Tips for Creating a Household Budget

  • MAKE GOALS

Goals can be as short-term as buying a new pair of shoes next week, or as long-term as going on vacation next spring. Regardless of what your goals may be, the only way to achieve them is to start planning them out now.

  • INVOLVE YOUR ENTIRE HOUSEHOLD

If it’s just you, great. But if you have a spouse and/or child, create a budget together, and explain to everyone that they may be asked to make sacrifices. When you plan together, you succeed together.

  • BUDGET IN FUN

A budget that leaves no money for an occasional dinner out or for a family outing at an amusement park is designed to fail. Your budget should help you, not put you in a bind. When you decide on a budget that works for you and your family, you’ll be able to enjoy the simple things like a trip to the movies, or more lavish like a trip to Paris.

  • MAKE THE EFFORT TO SAVE

Most people look at saving as putting away money for a rainy day. But a better way to look at it is putting away money for a nice vacation or something on your wish list.  Start with the spare change you have after a cash purchase or connect with a financial advisor that can help you start putting away towards your monetary goals.

  • TAKE INVENTORY

If you don’t know where your money goes, how do you expect to manage it? Keep track of your savings. Make sure you know where your money is being invested whether it’s your savings account, 401k, or IRA.

  • DISTINGUISH BETWEEN WANTS AND NEEDS

Buy what you need first. The wants belong in the “what’s left over” category. If you can’t decide what a Want versus a Need is, the best way to look at it is what would improve your life long term, not temporarily. Consider the differences between needing a new computer or wanting a designer accessory.

  • EXPECT CHANGES

Look down the road and get into the habit of thinking ahead. Life happens, especially as a homeowner. That’s why you should always plan for life changes, big or small.

  • FIND A SYSTEM THAT WORKS FOR YOU

It could be the envelope system, a bank or a credit union. If it works for you, use it. With today’s technology you can save seamlessly from the palm of your hands.

Regardless of how you save or for what reason, it is important to make efforts towards the future now, no matter how close or far down the road. Save towards fixing up your kitchen. Save towards a family vacation. Or save for the simple things like a fun night out. Build the perfect budget for your household today!

Out and About: Spring Bloom in SoCal

If you don’t know from the crazy amount of butterflies migrating through the city last week, spring is in bloom. With such is the arrival of California’s Wild Flowers. A site to see for those visiting the sunnier side of Cali, the wild flowers are experiencing a Super-Bloom this year.  An event not to be missed as this only occurs every 10-15 years. If you’re looking for the best way to really ring in the floral season, we have the City-Guide for you. Get some instagram-able photos and spend some time Out and About with Spring in SoCal.

From Arcata to San Diego the state flower is in full bloom and so is our guide of where to find them.

Death Valley National Park

Here is where you will find the full super bloom experience. The Mojave Desert is home to the wildflower event, although this years scarce rains did not result in its usual bloom, it’s still a sight to see.

Joshua Tree National Park

While in Death Valley, you can make your way to Joshua Tree which happens to be part of the Mojave. Blooms have already started here near the park’s south entrance and are expected to last longer thanks to cool temperatures.

Channel Islands National Park

These five islands that make up the park 25 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara coastline have a bounty of unique wildflower offerings. On Anacapa, Santa Barbara, and San Miguel islands, yellow coreopsis began blooming in January and will last through the month. The flowers are endemic to the Channel Islands but only found now on Santa Rosa Island.

Figueroa Mountain Recreation Area

In late March, the flanks of this summit (50 miles northwest of Santa Barbara) and nearby Grass Mountain begin bursting with a range of wildflowers. Hyacinth, shooting stars, buttercups, milkmaids, Johnny-jump-ups and poppies are just a few of the many flowers found here.

Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve

At this nearly 1,800-acre reserve about 75 miles north of Los Angeles, are rolling hills blanketed in poppies. The season for these hillside foliage’s begins in April, lasting through early May. While the poppies are the showstopper here, keep your eye out for other wildflowers like California Aster and blue lupine. Since this area received several more inches of rain then usual in 2019, a super bloom is expected here too.

Pinnacles National Park

Around 8-miles south of San Jose is Pinnacles National Park. The wildflowers here can be seen in March, showing most in May. Depending on rainfall and temperature one would find a mix of milkmaids, shooting stars bush poppies and orchids.

10 Spring Cleaning Tips for Your Home

Now that spring is officially here the time to tidy up around the home has also arrived. As cliche as it sounds to “Spring Clean” there is no better time to clean house and spruce up in and around your abode. That’s why we have rounded up 10 of the best tips to clean your home for the Spring Equinox!

 Bye, Bye Dust Bunnies!

  • Use a sticky lint roller to clean dirt and pet fur off the lower parts of drapes. For a deeper clean, take the drapes down, remove the hooks and run them through an air-fluff cycle in the dryer with a damp towel for 15 minutes. Rehang immediately after.
  • Dust blinds often with a microfiber cloth, swiping left to right and blade by blade from top to bottom on each window.
  • Spring is allergy season so dust end tables and shelves in your home thoroughly to keep allergies at bay.

The Rinse Cycle

  • Wash out trash cans. To really clean garbage cans, spray them thoroughly with a hose and then dump the water out. Afterwards use a disinfectant spray on the inside, then scrub the trash can with a handled brush and rinse it out again. Leave the trash can upside down to thoroughly dry.

Kitchen Kleanse

  • To clean glass, chrome or steel appliances, fill a spray bottle with a mixture of 50 percent rubbing alcohol and 50 percent water. Then use a dry cloth to polish and clean the surfaces to remove spots and fingerprints.
  • The refrigerator can become an unexpectedly cluttered place. Organize it once it’s had a thorough cleaning. Keep highly perishable food front and center and sort the longer-lasting ingredients and toppings by category.

 Scrubba-Dub the Tub

  • Maintain the tile surfaces of your bathroom, especially the shower by spraying the surface with generous amounts of cleaner. Allow the cleaner to sit while cleaning the rest of the bathroom, then go back to start scrubbing. If the grout is dirty with mold or mildew, make a paste of washing soda and peroxide to deep clean and disinfect.

Bedhead

  • On average we spend about 3,000 hours a year in our beds, almost the equivalent of four months to be exact! With that in mine, keeping our mattresses clean is as easy a flip of a coin. Rotate your mattress a few times a year and vacuum the surface. Afterwards sprinkle a mixture of baking soda and a few drops of essential oil. Let the mixture sit for a couple hours then vacuum the mixture away.

Office Space

  • Spend the day getting your files organized and space decluttered. Aside from going through papers on your desk, you should also take the time to back-up files on external or cloud devices so they’re secured. Have a lot of documents to toss? Make sure to shred anything personal before throwing it in the bin!

Outside and over Yonder

  • Cleaning your outdoor furniture is incredibly simple, but easily forgotten. While the rain can wash away some dirt and pollen, a thorough wipe down with a mild detergent goes a long way. Make sure to check your furnitures manufacture guidelines if a special care routine is required.

 

 

 

 

The Benefits of Solar Panels for your Home

Here in California, we lead the forefront in the nation for our clean energy initiatives and green living. It should come as no surprise then, that so many people are switching over to Solar Power for their homes. Sunny California is home to the top two solar installers(Telsa/SolarCity) as well as the world’s most efficient solar pane manufacturer(SunPower). Factor that in with the state’s high cost of electricity  and notably lower solar prices and its a no brainer. Read below for our tips on switching over to Solar Power and save your energy of searching the web on your own!

 

1. Compare all your options: get as many quotes as possible

If you are considering installing solar, research and consider every option that you can. Various resources such as the National Renewable Energy Laboratorythe California Solar Initiative and others can offer pricing data. Additionally, there is a long list of companies in the state that can provide free PV quotes.

2. The largest installers will not necessarily offer the best price

Although large companies will often bring out superlatives like ‘biggest installer’ in their sales pitches, this does not mean that they offer the best value. The premise is simple: massive installers already have market share and brand awareness and thus do not need to offer the best prices and value. When small installers compete in a price auction, on the other hand, the result is some of the lowest bids you can find in the U.S. for a PV installation. Make sure you price compare to ensure your getting the best value!

3. Different products for different people

Just as a Lamborghini might not be the right choice for everyone in the market for a car, the same concept applies with solar. Not everyone needs to shop for the most expensive solar PV equipment. There are many different types of solar panels and inverters for different needs and preferences. For the price-oriented, value-focused consumer, it is easy to save thousands simply by choosing standard solar panels instead of a premium top-of-the-line brand.

There is a hefty list of solar panel brands that offer a wide range of features and prices.

How much could I save?

Solar panels offer homeowners a wide range of financial benefits. This is largely based on the sizes of the rooftop solar systems, average electricity rates, and local incentives.

As an example, let’s assume that you live in Los Angeles and fit the average profile for an L.A. homeowner:

  • You are paying 20.3 cents per kWh (48.2% more than the national average)
  • You’ll purchase 7,200 kWh of electricity each year
  • You pay an average of $92 per month for your power bill (but that’s climbing)

If you were to install a 2.4 kW solar power system on your home, you could see the following savings over the course of the system’s 25- to 30-year lifetime:

  • Monthly Savings: $80-$145 (more over time depending on rate hikes)
  • Lifetime Savings: $25,000-$43,000 (more over time depending on rate hikes)

Investing in your home

Saving on power bills isn’t the only financial benefit to going solar. A commonly overlooked personal benefit is how it affects your property value.

While some expect rooftop solar to devalue a home, it actually increases your home’s value. Most homebuyers save on electric bills with a solar home and are willing to pay more for it.

The National Bureau of Economic Research found that solar panels add, on average, between 3% and 4% to a home’s value. In fact, it’s one of the smartest investments you can make on your home.

Leslie Kavanaugh list home in Malibu’s coveted Point Dume

Rodeo Realty’s Leslie Kavanaugh has acquired the listing for an extraordinary property in Malibu’s most desirable neighborhood–Point Dume.

The estate is offered at $8,888,888 and has received an influx of media coverage in various publications. The estate is located steps away from one of Malibu’s most pristine beaches. It is truly an exceptional opportunity to reside in the coveted Point Dume neighborhood.

Fox 34 News has named the listing “one of Malibu’s Best Homes” on the market right now.

6950 Point Dume Drive sits on over one acre of land with Smart Home technology. It comes equipped with all the entertainment necessities one could ever need.

From a 10-seat theatre to it’s woodwork office, private gym and swimming pall, this estate has it all. Designed by renowned architect Douglas Burdge, this stunning abode is a seaside dream!

More about Leslie Kavanaugh:

A native Californian, Leslie Kavanaugh began her real estate career in 1979. A top-producing agent, Leslie specializes in the Westside communities of Bel Air, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Brentwood, Pacific Palisades, Malibu and Beverly Hills.
She has received both the California 100 and the Circle of Distinction awards, President’s Elite Circle and National President’s Circle in recognition of her sales record and extensive experience, having served as a sales associate, estates director, marketing director and training director as well as in management for several major real estate firms.
Leslie has personally represented more than 200 estate sales in the Los Angeles, Beverly Hills and Malibu area, and Rodeo Realty is very proud to welcome her to our Beverly Hills office.

For more information on this listing. 

Out and About: Museum Edition

Do you know the perfect activity for a rainy day in LA? No it is not Netflix-ing the newest show or all of The Office. Head over to your nearest Museum for a proper dose of culture. While the clouds play a game of hide-and-seek, LA is offering a bounty of famed art and it’s all right outside your door. Well not literally but you get the jest of it. From LACMA to MOCA, we’ve got you covered with a list below of current exhibits and museum deets(details but shortened for the millennial reading this).

When you gotta Van Gogh. You gotta Van Gogh check out some art!

LACMA

LACMA’s collections boast modernist masterpieces, large-scale contemporary works (including Richard Serra’s massive swirling sculpture and Burden’s buzzing, hypnotic Metropolis II), traditional Japanese screens and by far L.A.’s most consistently terrific special exhibitions.

Current Exhibits: Charles White: A Retrospective (February 17-June 9, 2019), The Bauhaus at 100: Modern Legacies(February 16-May 5, 2019), Life Model: Charles White and His Students (February-September 15, 2019), Power of Pattern: Central Asian Ikats from David and Elizabeth Resibord Collection (February 3- July 28, 2019), Teresa HUbbard/Alexander Birchler: Flora(January 20-April 7, 2019), The Jeweled Isle: Art from Sri Lanka(December 9, 2018-June 23, 2019), Outliers and American Vanguard ARt (November 18, 2018-March 17, 2019), Rauschenberg: The 1/4 Mile (October 28, 2018- June 9, 2019).

Hours:

Monday 11 am–5 pm
Tuesday 11 am–5 pm
Wednesday Closed
Thursday 11 am–5 pm
Friday 11 am–8 pm
Saturday 10 am–7 pm
Sunday 10 am–7 pm

Closed on Wednesdays, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day

Admission:

L.A. County with Valid ID Outside L.A. County
Members Free Free
After 3 pm, Mon–Fri Free $25
Children (17 & under) Free Free
Adults $20 $25
Seniors (65+ with ID) $16 $21
Students (18+ with ID) $16 $2

More info.

Getty Center

What’s now called the Getty Villa served as the decades-long home for the J. Paul Getty Trust’s extensive art collection. But in 1997, the Getty Center opened. The end result is a remarkable complex of travertine and white metal-clad pavilions that houses ornate French furniture, recognizable Impressionist pieces and rotating exhibitions. Its relative inaccessibility is more than compensated for by free admission and panoramic views, from the hills and the ocean in the west all the way around to Downtown in the east.

Current Exhibits: Mapping Space: Recent Acquisitions in Focus (February 26-July 15, 2019), Marks of Collaboration: Drawing in Context (February 5-April 14, 2019), Pontormo: Miraculous Encounters (February 5-April 28, 219), Artful Words: Calligraphy in Illuminated Manuscripts(December 18, 2018-April 7, 2019), Spectacular Mysteries: Renaissance Drawings Reveled (December 121, 2018- April 28, 2019), MONUMENTality (December 4, 2018-April 21, 2019), Eighteenth-Century Pastel Portraits (August 28, 2018-October 13, 2019)

Hours: Open 10 am–5:30 pmSaturday 10 am–9 pm

Closed Mondays
Holiday closures: Thanksgiving Day, December 25, and January 1

Admissions: Admission is FREE. Parking is $15, $10 after 3pm

More info.

Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens

The bequest of entrepreneur Henry E. Huntington is now one of the most enjoyable attractions in the Los Angeles region. It’s also a destination that demands an entire day should you attempt to explore it in full: Between the art, the library holdings and the spreadeagled outdoor spaces, there’s plenty to see, and most of it is best enjoyed at lingering leisure rather than as part of a mad day-long dash. From a Gutenberg Bible to an exquisitely landscaped Japanese garden, nearly every inch of the estate’s grounds and collection is essential.

Current Exhibits: The Huntington presents a range of pieces focused on American and European Art. See American art from the late 17th to the late 20th century on view in the Virginia Steele Scott Galleries of American Art, and European art from the 15th to the early 20th century in the Huntington Art Gallery, the original Huntington residence.

Hours:

Monday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Tuesday Closed
Wednesday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Thursday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Friday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
Sunday 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

 

Last ticketed entry time is 4 p.m.

The Huntington is closed on Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Independence Day.

Admissions:

Reservations are not necessary to visit The Huntington (except on Free Days). Tickets may be purchased on site at the time of your visit or online in advance. Parking is free.

Weekdays/Weekends*
Adult $25/$29
Senior (65+)
$21/$24
Student (f/t ID)
$21/$24
Youth (4-11)
$13
Child (under 4) free
Groups (15+) $19/$23
Members free

More info.

The Broad

Three words: Infinity Mirror Rooms. Downtown’s persistently popular contemporary art museum has two of Yayoi Kusama’s immersive, mirror-laden rooms (and the stand by queue to prove it). Elsewhere in the free museum, Eli and Edythe Broad’s collection of 2,000 post-war works includes artists like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger and Jeff Koons. Outside, the museum’s plaza features a lovely olive tree grove that sits in from of Otium, the museum’s signature restaurant from French Laundry alum Timothy Hollingsworth.

Current Exhibits: Infinity Mirror Rooms

Coming Soon: Soul of a Nation(March 23-Sept 1, 2019) and Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet The Sun Again(October 19-February 16, 2020)

Hours:

Tuesday & Wednesday | 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Thursday & Friday | 11 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Saturday | 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.
Sunday | 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day.

The standby line closes 60-90 minutes before the museum closes and may close earlier on busy days.

Admissions:

General admission to The Broad is free and includes access to the third floor galleries, which display a robust and changing selection of work by artists including Jean-Michel BasquiatMark BradfordJeff KoonsBarbara KrugerYayoi KusamaTakashi MurakamiAndy Warhol, and more.

GA tickets are timed and available every half hour, up until one hour before the museum closes. General admission tickets do not include access Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away, 2013. To experience this artwork, a separate signup is required after you enter the museum with your admission ticket.

More info.

Hammer Museum

Industrialist Armand Hammer founded this museum in 1990, primarily to house his own collection, and it opened just three weeks before he died. Now, the free, UCLA partner institution stages fascinating shows of modern art, photography and design, often with an emphasis on local artists. The shows are supplemented by the Hammer’s public events calendar (arguably one of the best in the city), chock full of free lectures, concerts and screenings.

Current Exhibits: Allen Ruppersberg: Intellectual Property 1968-2019(February 10-May 12, 2019), Dirty Protest: Selections from the Hammer Contemporary Collection (January 24- May 19, 2019), Hammer Projects: Tschabalala Self (February 2-April 28, 2019), Jamilah Sabur(January 19-May 5, 2019), Math Bass(September 29-March 17, 2019).

Hours:

Monday Closed
Tuesday 11 a.m.—8 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m.—8 p.m.
Thursday 11 a.m.—8 p.m.
Friday 11 a.m.—8 p.m.
Saturday 11 a.m.—5 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.—5 p.m.

The museum is open every day, except Mondays, July 4, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.

Admission:

Admission to all exhibitions and public programs is free and open to the public.

Free admission to the Hammer Museum is made possible through the generosity of Erika J Glazer and Brenda R. Potter.

More info.

MOCA Grand Ave.

The main branch of L.A.’s Museum of Contemporary Art houses thousands of artworks. They range in those crafted from 1940 to today, and it’s an efficient primer on post-war art. Spend half an hour or an entire afternoon absorbing contemporary pieces. From lesser known artists, punctuated by sightings of Mark Rothko and Jackson Pollock works. The museum’s most exciting exhibitions take place at the nearby Geffen Contemporary, while interior design buffs will want to visit their outpost at the Pacific Design Center.

Current Exhibits: One Day at a Time: Manny Farber and Termite Art (October 14, 2018- March 11, 2019), Zoe Leonard: Survey (November 11, 2018- March 25, 2019), Barbara Kruger, ‘Untitled (Questions)(1990/2019’ (October 20, 2018- November 30, 2020), Laura Owens (November 11, 2018- March 25, 2019), Cameron Rowland D37 (October 14, 2018- June 24, 2019)

Hours:

Mon 11am – 6pm
Tues Closed
Wed 11am – 6pm
Thur 11am – 8pm
Fri 11am – 6pm
Sat 11am – 5pm
Sun 11am – 5pm

Admissions:

Members: Free
General Admission (valid all day at both DTLA locations): $15
Students with I.D.: $8
Seniors (65+): $10
Children under 12: Free
Jurors with I.D.: Free

Admission is free every Thursday from 5pm to 8pm.

More info.

 

A Rodeo Guide to Moving and Packing

Moving can be stressful. From sorting through what stays and what goes to purchasing a heap of supplies, it’s a journey. Literally. But it does not always have to be. At Rodeo Realty we pride ourselves on making your home experience as seamless as possible. Thats why we’ve narrowed down your moving and packing essential tips! Read below for a helpful handful of moving tricks and click the link at the bottom for your moving checklist!

1. Don’t hesitate on ordering a-lot of boxes…because you never know

It is better safe then sorry! Rather then get the bare minimum and have to last minute track down more boxes, bulk up on extra boxes. It will save you that extra time you can use towards a well deserved glass of wine after all the packing is finished.

2. Pack in all sizes

When picking out boxes, it is better to get a variety of sizes. You are likely to need more small and medium boxes rather then a heap of large ones. Grab a few wardrobe boxes, many medium and certainly a lot of small boxes.

3. Don’t forget the other moving supplies

Sure you’re all set on boxes but make sure you have enough tape to close them securely! More then what you think you will need is better then not enough. Make sure you grab packing paper and everything else you will need to ensure your items are packed safely and securely.

4. Keep your fragile items safe

Group delicate items together and make sure they are labeled as fragile so your movers know which boxes need extra care and a secure space in the van.

5. Paper packing

When packing you delicate items, avoid using newspaper as it can stain and smear. Instead go for the real deal and pick up packing paper to save yourself the ink scrub down on your fine china.

6. Bundle Breakables

As you pack your dishes, put packing paper around each one, then wrap bundles of five or six together with more paper. Pack dishes on their sides and never flat. Make sure to use plenty of bunched-up paper as padding above and below. Cups and bowls can be placed inside one another with paper between and rapped three or four in a bundle.

7. Consider other items that will need special treatment

Plasma TVs require special wooden crates for shipping if you don’t have the original box and can be ruined if you lay them flat. If packing yourself, double box your tv, setting the box containing the tv into another box that you’ve padded with packing paper.

8. Label your boxes

This is an easy but often overlooked step. Label each box so you know whats in it and in what room it goes. This will make the unpacking process a breeze.

9. Ditch the heavy load!

The heavier the item, the smaller the  box should be! It is much easier to carry heavier items when they’re in smaller boxes. Save the larger boxes for things that are lighter but hard to carry on their own. And of course never over pack a box!

10. No packing on moving day!

Take on the busy day with ease by making sure all your boxes are packed already. It is less stress ! This includes removed pictures from the walls beforehand.

11. Put heaver items on the bottom of boxes add lighter items on top.

If you are loading the truck yourself, it is better to have your boxes properly proportioned. Another tip is to pack heavier boxes first and toward the front of the truck for balance.

12. Don’t leave empty spaces

Fill in the gaps with clothing , towels, or packing paper. Movers often wont move boxes they feel are loosely packed.

Packing with movers?

We have you covered here too!

1. Last in, First Out

Tell your movers which boxes you need first at your new home and they will load the moving truck accordingly.

2. Keep your most important things with you

Don’t pack  jewelry or medication–keep these with you. You might need to access them on moving day and its nice for the movers if they know they don’t need to worry about keeping track of these small items.

3. Sort out the details ahead of time

Make sure you know where you movers can park. This is LA and we know how parking is. Visit the parking enforcement page head of your move in case you need to obtain a permit.

4. Prep your furniture

Remove all heavy and breakable items from dressers and desks so they are easier to lift.

5. Moving fine art?

Ask your movers about special crating for you prized positions. Never wrap an oil painting in regular paper. For pictures that are framed behind glass, make an X with masking tape across the glass to strengthen it and hold it together if it shatters.

 

Need a checklist to get you through the big day? Click here for Rodeo Realty’s Moving Checklist and check those moving jitters off your list!

 

 

 

Fun things to do in LA this March

There’s more to this month then March Madness. With so many fun activities in LA we thought you might need more then the weekend round-up. Read below for a collection of events happening throughout  the month and discover your inner Angeleno!

The Other Art Fair is Coming to Downtown L.A. (March 28-31)

The Other Art Fair Los Angeles returns to Magic Box at The Reef. The Fair takes place March 28-31 for the 3rd edition of its independent artist showcase. See a curated selection of over 140 independent artists and check out thousands of pieces for every budget in one space.  -> More information

The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival (March 31)

The Torrance Cherry Blossom Cultural Festival comes to Columbia Park on March 31 for a unique blend of cultural performances with a fun variety of crafts by local artisans, centered around the blooming cherry blossom. -> More information

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes Celebrates César Chávez Day (March 31)

This free celebration features a guest speaker from the Cesar Chavez Foundation, Xipe Totec Aztec dancers, live music by Lorenzo and the Carnales, plus art, garden, and culinary workshops -> More information

Courtesy of: WeLikeLA

Home Security Tips and Tricks

Your home is your sanctuary. It is a place where fond memories are made and relaxing evenings are spent after a busy day. Your home is a safe haven where you and your family most feel at ease. If your home is under-protected this may compromise the security you feel in your own home.

Using a few simple home security tips and tricks, you can protect your belongings, thwart would-be thieves and increase your feeling of security while home and away.

Prevention begins outside your home from the minute it comes into view. Take a walk around your property with a critical eye to see what changes it needs.

Consider these tips to help keep you and your family, and your possessions, safe and secure:

Icon of fenced yard.

  • Landscape with safety in mind. As you walk around your property, look for areas that could be potential hiding spots for thieves, who prize the privacy they provide. Try and clear away any overgrown areas.

Icon of shield.

  • Talk with your local police department. It can offer insight on past break-in trends in your area.

Icon of home with shrubs out front.

  • Get to know your neighbors. Take the time to meet and engage with people on your street and encourage them to watch out for any suspicious activity when you’re not home.

  • Lighting matters. Lighting can set the right ambiance inside your home, but outdoor lighting can be the difference between your home being targeted – or not – by thieves. Motion-sensitive fixtures can help add security and provide light when needed.Also consider using automatic timers or smart lightbulbs that can be controlled remotely to turn lights on and off in various parts of the house to help make it seem like you are home.

  • Avoid advertising that shopping spree. Thieves look for and steal newly delivered boxes on your front porch, a method called porch pirating, so consider having them delivered elsewhere or requiring a signature for delivery. Thieves may also look at clues provided by your trash or recycling, which may indicate the new computer or flat-screen television inside.

Icon of padlock.

  • Set a safety routine. Make sure you establish a routine where you regularly lock all doors, shut windows and turn on your alarm system every time you leave your home. Avoid leaving spare keys outside, under a planter or under a welcome mat, as thieves know most of the potential hiding places.

  • Manage visibility. Make sure you can see who is at your front door without opening it. Avoid placing valuables where they will be visible from the street, and do not place your home alarm panel in a place where people can see you arming it from the outside.

  • Protect your outdoor valuables. Burglars also target sheds, garages and other outdoor buildings. Secure your grill, lawn mower, bicycles and other outdoor gear.

Icon of watchful eye.

  • Create a plan for when you are away. Hold your mail, stop your papers and ask a friend or neighbor to remove flyers from your property. Arrange for snow removal and lawn mowing so you do not advertise when you are away from home.

  • Install a home alarm system: While an alarm may not keep burglars from getting inside your home, it will deter some and bring the police to your home quickly, limiting what a thief is able to take. Home security systems will only work if you always remember to engage the alarm. You should have your alarm engaged while you are away or while you are at home as many thieves will attempt to break into one part of your home while you are busy in another. Also, some insurance companies may lower your home insurance premiums for having a home alarm system installed.

Icon of broken glass.

  • Take precautions to protect windows: If you are purchasing new windows for your home, it might be worth the upgrade to buy shatterproof glass. This would prevent anyone from breaking a window to gain access to your home. If new windows aren’t in the budget, consider adding a security film to windows. This will prevent the glass from shattering upon breaking and may deter thieves from continuing their attempt to break in.

Icon of open sliding glass door.

  •  Secure sliding glass doors: Sliding glass doors have incredibly flimsy locks. A thief can easily pop them in an instant, giving quick access to your home. Installing a security bar for sliding doors would make gaining access to your home more difficult. This measure of protection is a must-have for all sliding doors and windows.

Icon of key.

  • Change the locks as necessary: If you’ve just purchased a home from someone, your first order of business should be to meet the locksmith at your new home. You have no idea who is out there with a key just waiting for the moment to use it. In addition, if you’ve had a breakup recently, it is time to change the locks. The person may give you the key back, but you have no idea how many copies are out there. Having the locks changed is good for the peace of mind.

Keeping your family, your belongings and your home safe and secure does not involve a lot of money. A few simple changes such as the home security tips mentioned above can protect everyone and everything for years to come.

LA Eats of the Week

With all the hustle and bustle in LA, narrowing down the best places to grab a bite can be tricky. Rather then making your routine stop at Panera Bread, why not try something new. LA has more restaurants then there are Bird scooters. With that in mind we’ve narrowed down the best places to nosh this week.

Breakfast is the most Important meal of the day!

Here’s Looking at You

Location: Koreatown

While most restaurants don’t put too much creativity into their brunch menus,  chef Jonathan Whitener is bringing fresh ideas and energy to the table. Take for instance his coconut waffle with koji, blueberries, ume (Japanese salty plums), and smoked maple syrup.This dish is far more interesting than it needs to be, going above and beyond the brunch-time status quo. Respect the waffle. 

Pikoh

Location: Los Angeles, CA

The menu weaves across the hours with a mix of rethought American classics. From breakfast bowls with activated charcoal or a smoked salmon tartine with yuzu cream cheese. To lighter lunches like grilled tuna salads or hummus and steamed mussels. For dinner there’s a full bar run by lead bartender Jamie Clark and surprises like an all-vegan beet-based bao, or a throwback filet mignon atop wasabi mashed potatoes. Throw in a daily happy hour, and it feels like Pikoh really can do it all.

Lately

Location: Chinatown

Lately’s menu is an all-day savory jaunt, with their breakfast sandwich sporting an organic fried egg, gouda, and oven roasted tomato on an English muffin. They also serve biscuits, a soft scrambled toast, a heaping avocado toast, salads, breakfast bowl, and a country-fried steak sandwich.

Power Lunch

Urban Radish

Location: Arts District

Urban Radish, the healthy-eating oasis in the Arts District is the perfect lunchtime spot. The outdoor grill is hidden behind a row of water-circulating vertical planters brimming with kale and other greens. Look through the foliage to find one man and a stack of tickets. Skirt steak, salmon, chicken; it all hits the hot metal and gets served over healthy grains and greens to a slew of daytime diners. Yum! 

Tacos 1986

Location: Koreatown

 LA’s best new taco stand has landed a highly visible location in Koreatown. Meaning it’s the best time to stop by during weekdays. Ask nicely for the chicharron de queso con hongos, paired with the stand’s excellent mushrooms. The best part about Tacos 1986 is its accessibility, placed right in the heart of Koreatown. Located at a crossroads for anyone traveling to Hollywood or Downtown, South LA, or Mid-City. What’s better than a taco pit stop? 

KazuNori

Location: Los Angeles

With open seating and rapid rounds of sushi hitting plates, KazuNori is the place to find some of the LA’s freshest fishes. It’s not uncommon to find a long line, which can be surprisingly short thanks to the restaurant’s efficiency. Choose from three to six hand rolls, which are made in plain view. The chefs transform the sea bream’s tender flesh and shiny silver skin into an elegant and perfect hand roll. Order a Sapporo and watch the chefs do their magic. 

What’s for dinner?

Tartine Bianco

Location: Los Angeles

Newly opened, Tartine Bianco is a hot ticket dining spot. The chicken liver toast is an early stand out and quite possibly the most thoughtful dish. The base of the matter, a crusty slice of the restaurant’s famous bread, sturdily held onto the pretty pink liver, as well as dollops of kumquat puree and blood orange segments. Balance comes among the varied components, hitting the brightest of notes with just enough richness to bring it home.

Jame Enoteca

Location: El Segundo

Jame Enoteca is well on its way to becoming a new kind of standard for the city of El Segundo. The corner strip mall option makes all of its pastas in-house and keeps a cozy but refined sort of vibe. Of particular noteworthiness (though all of the pastas seem to be pretty delicious) is the off-menu occasional lasagna with assorted foraged mushrooms. Pair it up with some vegetables to start and maybe a glass of wine, and be well on the way to a very full and very relaxed time in the South Bay. 

Atrium

Location: Los Feliz

The chefs at Atrium have whipped up pristine dishes with flavors that are unique and strong, just the way Angelenos like it. The beef carpaccio, inspired by the chef’s love of carne asada, is topped with crispy potato matchsticks, a thick salsa macha, and avocado crema. Those crunchy, salty, and savory layers makes for fun eating, but one plate might not be enough.