California’s Water Crisis and What You Can Do to Help

It has recently come to our attention that as a state in a drought, we’ve actually consumed MORE water this year! Granted, it’s mainly happening in Southern California, there is still more we can do to reduce our water usage. We found an infographic that gives insight to what we can do to help.

WaterCrisisInfographic

All the information is above, but in summary, it looks like we could all cut back on watering our yards and we can reduce our shower time. If you are considering upgrading any appliances, now might be the time to do it. You can save money and California’s water supply with low-flow toilets, faucet aerators, and low-flow showerheads. It’s going to be mandatory in less than three years, so why not start now? Not to mention more eco-friendly washers/dryers and dishwashers might be another good thing to buy now.  It may be tempting to buy something used because of the upfront cost, but in the long run, you will save a good chunk of money on your monthly water and electric bill.

You may think that you are only one family and that your water consumption won’t make a difference, but every little bit counts. Here’s another (humorous) infographic to show that a little bit can go a long way. We understand if you don’t want to leave it mellow if it’s yellow, but we are sure that you can find something that you can reduce to help our state get through this drought.

Westside of Danville Top Restaurants

We are a food loving family. Mark is the BBQ king, Conor proudly has his name on multiple restaurant walls for food contests, and Caitlin has a sweet tooth that keeps her baking up a storm. We have all spent an ample amount of time in Danville over the past thirty years, which has led us to eat at all the great restaurants Danville has to offer. Especially the west side of Danville, given its proximity to our family home. For anyone looking for some restaurants to try, we thought we would give you a peek at our tried and true favorites, as well as some new terrific establishments.

(In no particular order other than what we’d like to eat most at this moment in time)

el nido

El Nido: We may be biased, but this is THE best Mexican restaurant. If you haven’t sunk your teeth into a burro bronco, your life is not complete. If it’s nice out, make your way to the patio for some fresh margaritas, chips, salsa, and a Mexican feast.

domenicos

Domenicos: If you are fixin’ for a deli sandwich, this is where you need to go. Be sure to try their flavored mayos and don’t forget to call in your order during rush hour. You get to skip the line AND they give you a free cookie.* How’s that for a treat?

*Not 100% sure this is still their policy, but it’s worth a try 🙂

yukis

Yuki of Tokyo: Yuki’s knows their sushi. And their teriyaki chicken. Be sure to look out for coupons- it’s practically cheaper than cooking!

petes

Pete’s Brass Rail and Car Wash: Walk in and look left to find Conor’s name on the beer connoisseurs wall. Yes, he has drank well over 300 hundred different beers and ate more tasty bacon burgers than he might like to admit. It’s no wonder he runs so much.

pascal

Pascal French Oven: After the Saturday farmers market, walk over to this cute French cafe on Railroad Ave. for an unforgettable pastry (aka the cinnamon twist) and cup of Jo.

peasant and the pear

Peasant and the Pear: You can always find seasonal menus for lunch and dinner, as well as great cocktails.  You will probably love it so much that you wish they had breakfast…but don’t fret. Head to their Courtyard Cafe in our neighboring town, Alamo.

forbes mill

Forbes Mill: Beef. It’s what’s for dinner at Forbes Mill. A perfect spot for date night or a celebration dinner.

valley medlyns

Vally Medlyn’s: Start your morning right with a delicious breakfast and an old fashioned milk shake at Vally Medlyn’s.

country waffles

Country Waffles: The country decor proves its authentic country cooking. Order a waffle with lots of toppings and you will be a happy country bumpkin.

And on to our newest favorites:

sideboard

Sideboard: It’s new location is a perfect lunch spot for a healthy sandwich, salad, or even some enchiladas.

mangia mi

Mangia Mi: The newest Italian restaurant in town has been quickly accepted by all the residents. You can’t beat a good wine menu and some tasty pasta!

We’ve also heard about some new hot spots in town but haven’t had a chance to try them. Firehouse Grill, Revel, The Growler, and Yo’s on Hartz. Have you been? Tell us what you like in the comments!

What great Danville restaurants are missing from our list?

Pictures via Yelp

Five At-Home Dates for Valentine’s Day

You’ve spent so much time and money making your house a place you are excited to call home. So why not enjoy it to it’s fullest, even on special occasions? Skip the inflated Valentine’s Day prices and enjoy the Hallmark holiday for what it’s really all about: spending time with your partner. No partner? No problem. Invite a friend over for a fun night in the most comfortable place of all…home!

1. A fancy home cooked meal. Make something out of the ordinary, light some candles, break out the champagne, and end the meal with a rich, chocolately dessert. Why go to a restaurant when you can create the same ambiance and meal at home?

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Need inspiration? Check out more Valentine’s Day dinner ideas.

2. Cheese, Wine, Beer, or Chocolate Tasting.  Buy a variety of one item and taste a little bit of everything. Talk about your likes and dislikes and you may even find a new favorite!

chocolate2

photo credit

3. Outdoor Movie Theater. Might as well take advantage of this crazy warm California winter! Set up a movie theater in the backyard, make some popcorn, and play one of your favorite movies.

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photo credit

4. Game Night.  Everyone has a favorite game…play it! Nothing like some healthy competition to create some romance.

couple-playing-twister

photo credit

5. Make a Theme. Pick a theme for your evening and revolve your whole night around it. How about Italian themed? Make some nice Italian food, watch Il Postino, and drink some Italian wine.

top-10-most-romantic-movies-in-italy-and-their-locations-under-the-tuscan-son-tuscany

Check out some more romantic films based in Italy.

See? Even your home can provide a perfect Valentine’s evening. Best part is…you can even wear sweats.

2014 New Year’s Resolutions for Home Buyers

new years resolutions

If you’ve been thinking about buying or selling your home this year, maybe it’s time to breakaway from the normal diet & workout new year’s resolutions. Maybe this year it’s time to focus on one of the most important investments you can make; your home.

We recently read an interesting article about Real Estate New Year’s resolutions, and they had some good suggestions for where to get started. Resolutions are easier to keep when you write down specific goals, right? So let’s get these resolutions going.

You can read all the facts and figures about the current market, but the first thing to do is figure out if buying a home is right for you in your current life status and if it aligns with your future goals.

Still want to buy a home? Ok good, that’s what we thought.

Find out your credit history and credit score. Talk to a local lender who can help you with this. If your credit is not great, the lender will give you ways to improve it so you can qualify for the best loan possible.

Alright, now that your credit is out of the way, start your research. Which loan is right for you? There will be pros and cons to different loans, so be sure to see what is out there before you decide.  Walk into your bank and give the lonely-looking person behind his or her desk someone to talk to you. It’s what they do so they can teach you what you don’t know about loans. Be sure to compare rates with other banks as well, not just your own.

Last but not least, find yourself a great real estate team. No matter what, you will need a great agent (in comes…wait for it…The Dunn Team!) and a mortgage lender. You may also potentially need a real estate attorney, tax preparer, inspector, etc. But, if you call us first, we will gladly recommend any and all of these professionals.

If you are ready to resolute to home buying or selling in 2014, please let us know and we would be glad to help.

If not, do you have any great resolutions that you care to share? We’d love to hear them in the comments below.

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