January Newsletter


Amy Johnson

Advantage Realty Professionals


Turmeric Coconut Basmati Rice


  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup basmati rice, rinsed and drained
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
  • 7 oz lite coconut milk
  • 1 1/4 cup water
  • Chopped fresh basil leaves, for serving


  1. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, minced garlic, grated ginger, and salt and stir. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring, or until onions have become golden and soft, but haven’t yet browned.
  2. Add the rice and turmeric to the saucepan and stir until evenly combined. Let rice cook for just a few minutes, stirring frequently, and then add coconut milk and water. Stir to combine, and then raise heat to let liquid come to a boil.
  3. Once boiling, reduce the heat to the lowest setting and cover the saucepan. Let rice cook for about 15-18 minutes, or until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Fluff the rice with a fork and stir in chopped fresh basil for serving.

Source: My Sequined Life 

Thought of the Day
Make the best use of what is in your power, and take the rest as it happens.”
– Epictetus

Beyond the Champagne Toast: Strange New Year’s Traditions from Around the World

In most countries throughout the world, the beginning of a new year ushers in vows of self-improvement and hopes for health, happiness, and prosperity in the coming months. However, some cultures practice traditions that are quite different from simply writing New Year’s resolutions and toasting friends and family with wishes of good fortune.

How do your New Year’s rituals stack up to these unique traditions from around the world?

  • Breaking dishes on the neighbor’s door in Denmark. Most people would be angry and perplexed to wake up to a pile of broken dishes at their front doors—but if it’s New Year’s Eve in Denmark, the debris is welcomed as a sign of popularity. Danes stockpile unused plates, and on December 31, hurl them at the front doors of friends and family members as an unconventional way of showing affection.
  • Grape guzzling in Spain. At the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve, Spanish tradition holds that quickly eating twelve grapes will induce good luck for each month of the coming year.
  • Circular obsession in the Philippines. Coins are round, so in hopes of inviting prosperity in the new year, Filipinos traditionally celebrate with a bounty of round shapes—for instance, by eating round fruits or wearing polka dots.
  • Endless eats in Estonia. Estonian tradition dictates that eating seven meals on New Year’s Day will ensure abundant food throughout the year. While the seven-meal rule is no longer strictly followed, modern Estonians still celebrate with plentiful food and drinks.
  • Effigies in Panama. To ring in the New Year, Panamanians traditionally have bonfires in which they burn effigies, or muñecos, of famous people, like actors or political figures. The effigies symbolize the outgoing year, and setting fire to them is believed to expel evil spirits for a fresh start in the new year.

Source: Travel & Leisure

Selling Your Home in 2018? Here are Some of the New Year’s Hottest Design Trends

As a new year begins, interior decorators, residential builders, and other professionals involved in the real estate industry are quick to announce their predictions for the latest home design trends. If your home is on the market, incorporating some of these styles may help create an up-to-date look that appeals to savvy, design-conscious buyers.

However, home sellers often feel that they are too busy with the prospect of an upcoming move or purchasing a new home to worry about changing the style of their current one. Can you relate? If so, consider incorporating some of the top home design trends that experts have predicted for 2018—and that don’t require major changes to your home while it is on the market:

  • Colorful kitchens. The kitchen is the heart of the home, and today’s homeowners are reflecting that with the use of warmer colors, such as deep blues and grays along with richly hued cabinets. While cool neutrals will always offer a versatile base, a recent report by Houzz, a popular home design website, proclaimed that the white and stainless steel sinks that have been favored in years past are now declining in popularity. Instead, homeowners are opting for more colorful and textured materials like copper and granite. If you do not want to undertake a more extensive renovation, this look can easily be replicated by painting an accent piece—like your kitchen’s island—with trendy shades, or adding minor fixtures, such as brass faucets or cabinet pulls, that bring in a warmer color palate.
  • Warm, earthy accent colors throughout the home. This year, the preference for richer colors is extending beyond the kitchen. In many rooms, homeowners are incorporating small pieces, such as blankets and throw pillows, to make even the most minimalist design schemes feel less stark and more welcoming. Popular hues include earth tones like rust, camel, and burnt yellow.
  • Bold floral prints. Florals have earned somewhat of a negative reputation in the context of home décor—they often include drab colors and uninspiring patterns. However, today’s designers and homeowners are favoring prints with large, dramatic botanicals and sharp, contrasting colors, such as black and white or yellow and teal. To add this eye-catching style to your home, consider purchasing comforters or pillows or covering one wall of a room with wallpaper that showcases boldly colored floral patterns.
  • Trough sinks. Trough or bucket sinks are not only stylish, but also practical. They create a trendy industrial vibe, and tend to be deep, durable, and wide—making them a particularly useful choice for kids’ bathrooms or laundry rooms.
  • Relaxing, modern bedrooms. Even as homeowners are favoring more vibrant colors and patterns throughout the home, they are transforming their bedrooms into serene retreats. To adopt this trend in your home, remove bright colors, elaborate décor, and busy patterns from your bedroom. Instead, err on the side of minimalism, with calming neutral colors and simple, functional décor. In addition to reflecting one of the latest home design trends, incorporating soothing styles in the bedroom will create an inviting vibe for buyers.

Sources:  Business Insider  & Inman

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