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Keep Your Home Safe During the Holidays

Oh there’s no place like home for the holidays, right?! The holiday season is full of traveling near and far to see family and friends. While you’re preoccupied with the hustle and bustle of bopping around for the holidays, you don’t want to forget about keeping your home safe. Traveling can already be stressful enough, so I took the liberty of speaking with Officer Lana Davidson, Gilmer Police Department Investigator, about the best tips and tricks to protect your home during the holidays.

Our local law enforcement is loaded with knowledge and information to help us stay safe and out of harms way, especially during a crazy time like the holidays. I’m so thankful for all of our police officers, especially Officer Davidson, for keeping us all safe. Officer Davidson gave me so many useful tips that she even uses when she’s traveling away from home, so you know it’s the good stuff  when even she’s practicing what she’s preaching! When you sit there and think about it the police department is there for every break-in or intruder alert, so they all know a thing or two about what people are looking for while homeowners are out of town.

With Christmas nearing in, here are some great tips from our local law enforcement to keep your home safe during the holidays:

Remove Hidden Keys Outside

Have those spare keys hidden under a flower pot? Front doormat? You’re not alone and you’re not being clever because everyone has that SAME hiding spot. Move those keys! Or at least move them while you’re out of town to give you a little piece of mind.

Have Your Mail Picked Up By Family/Friend or Held By Post Office

There’s nothing that say’s I’m out of town more than a full mailbox of unread mail. Have a family member, friend or neighbor drop in to pick up your mail while you’re out of town. If that’s not an option, you can coordinate with your local post office to hold your mail until you’re back in town.

Send Packages Elsewhere

Hitting up those last minute sales or have that Amazon Prime order coming in? Don’t let those packages pile up on the front porch. Either have them shipped to an office or different location. As said above, you can also have a family member, friend or neighbor pick up packages while you’re out of town. To request a mail hold, call 1-800-ASK-USPS or complete a “hold mail” form at the post office. You can make the request up to 30 days in advance or as early as the next-scheduled delivery day. The postal service will hold mail from three to 30 days.

Put Your Lights On A Timer

Sounds complicated, but it’s really not. You can buy a cheap timer for your lights inside and outside of your home, or get a smart plug. Have your inside lights on a rotation that matches with your normal schedule when you’re typically home and not. You can find timers at Walmart, Target or even Amazon. Officer Davidson also mentioned having your TV on a timer, it’s not necessary but it really adds to the look of being home.

Watch Your Social Media

Check yoself, before you wreck yoself. Avoid posting vacation countdowns or checking in on social media while you’re out of town. I know you want to share all of your insta-worthy photos with the world, so just be sure not to geotag yourself or even better… wait to post until you’re BACK HOME! Yes, this is difficult even for me, but no one knows you’re out of town if you don’t show them.

Ensure All Windows and Doors Are Locked

Check your windows and doors and then double-check them! Don’t forget to look at all of your screens, too. Officer Davidson said this is a surefire way to see if someone tried to break in by looking back at the screens after the trip to see if there’s been any bends or breaks.

Take An Inventory of Valuables

Take a video, pictures and write down all of your valuables. Photos and serial numbers are very useful for local law enforcement. For example, if a gun is stolen, having a serial number can help track if the item was sold or used. You want to file stolen items IMMEDIATELY to the police department so they can have it in their files.

Move Valuables Out of Site

Take those valuable out of the window area or any rooms that can be seen from outside of the home. Out of sight, out of mind!

Install Motion Lights

And make sure the lights work!! This will scare off intruders if they’re walking around your home.

Keep Your Neighbors In The Loop

Homies with the neighbors? Good! Let them know that you’ll be out of town so they can alert you if they see any funny behavior while you’re gone. It’s not an imposition to them because trust me, they’ll want the favor in return.

Set Your Alarm 

I mean… duh! Crazy enough, Officer Davidson said a lot of people don’t do this. WHAT?! Don’t forget this little step before you leave the home.

Keep Things As They’re Normally Seen

This means that if your curtains are typically open, don’t draw them closed when you’re out of town. Leave them open. Are your blinds typically opened? Leave them opened. That’s a big sign for intruders to look for.

Change Those Keypad Lock Codes

Keypads for garages and front doors sure do make life easy, but have you ever thought about how many people have your code? Family, friends and friends of friends could have quick access to the inside of your home. NO GOOD! Change those keypad lock codes often and only give it out to people who really need to know. 

Notify The Police Department Of Travels

Your local law enforcement is there to HELP!! Remember this. You can call your police department and let them know that you’ll be out of town and they can add your home to their typical route while you’re out of town to keep an eye on everything. Growing up, if my Dad was out of town, my mom and I have had no shame asking the police department to take a loop around our place at night. No. Shame.

 

Safe travels and happy holidays! I hope that you can rest easy knowing that you have these great tips and tricks to keep your home safe from our local law enforcement. Share any useful tips that you use while you’re out of town during the holidays!

Cyber Monday: Homeowner Edition

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! But I’m talking about Cyber Monday! This little holiday and shopping day is my speed because it’s all online and one click away! As you can guess, I am keeping all of my Cyber Monday finds specific for homeowners!!

For Cyber Monday: Homeowner Edition, it’s not just about vacuums and blenders. I’m pulling finds from Pottery Barn with my favorite bedding to Crate and Barrels wine glasses (yes, the one’s Olivia Pope uses in Scandal)! I will throw in some great tech and guest rooms finds as well. Cyber Monday is like Christmas everyday because all the packages keep showing up on your doorstep! Enjoy and click away!

Wordpress Featured Image- Cyber Monday


|| BATH & BODY WORKS||

40% OFF SITEWIDE PLUS FREE SHIPPING ON $40 PURCHASES

Your house will smell like Christmas in NO TIME! Time to stock up on candles, wallflowers, moisturizers and more! My house will personally be getting loads of Fresh Balsam and Vanilla Bean Noel to have my house smelling all festive and what not. Also thinking about grabbing plenty of wallflower plugs and fragrance refills for my real estate clients and their new homes! Sale starts online at 6AM.

USE THE CODE: SHOPCYBER

023845824  Wallflower Fragrance Refill  Vanilla Bean Noel 3-Wick Candle  023996166


|| POTTERY BARN||

25% OFF SITEWIDE PLUS FREE SHIPPING

Basically, anything goes. Want a new duvet? 25% off. Looking for some serving dishes? 25% off! I love anything and everything Pottery Barn. A couple of items I’m eyeing include the TENCEL™ Ruffel Duvet Cover & Sham. In love with the simplicity of the duvet and sham and think it adds a nice and clean look to a room.

All of the serving pieces you need for hosting parties or just a wine night can be found at Pottery Barn, too. I love the Everyday Pitcher that is perfect of lemon water or a sangria and the PB Classic Glass Drink Dispenser to help hydrate a crowd. Speaking of wine nights, Pottery Barn has a variety of cheese boards that are Insta-worthy. My favorite is the Chateau Wood Cheese Board.

USE THE CODE: CYBER

tencel-ruffle-duvet-cover-sham-white-o  PB CLASSIC GLASS DRINK DISPENSER  everyday-pitcher-o.jpg    chateau-wood-cheese-boards-o


||CRATE AND BARREL||

20% OFF SELECT FULL PRICE ITEMS

Entertaining pieces galore! My mother LOVES to buy their big white platters for cookies and snacks when she’s entertaining crowds. I am personally obsessed with their Camille Wine Glasses (yes, the ones Olivia Pope has in Scandal). They’re already discounted, so might as well throw it in your cart! As for using the 20% discount, I recommend piling up on their LeCreuset cookware, especially their signature round dutch oven.

Other discounts include 40% off of rugs and 20% off lighting. Sales prices are final and do not include the 20% off full price items.

Camille Red Wine 23oz  Rectangle Platter   LeCreuset Signature Round Dutch Over


|| BED BATH & BEYOND||

Talk about an organized shopping experience! Bed Bath & Beyond has all of their Cyber Monday deals separated into categories from kitchen to electronics to vacuums, so you’re sure to find something you NEED for your home.

Keep your house clean with vacuum savings that can be up to $120 with the newest Dyson V8 Vacuum on the market. You can equip your home as a smart house with the Nest Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm ($20 in savings), as well as, the Nest Learning Thermostat for $179. My sister has been eyeing the Nespresso® by Breville® Coffee and Espresso Maker Bundle that $100 off for Cyber Monday. Honestly, I’m starting to eye that coffee and espresso maker, too. Talk about a steal!

Discounts for Cyber Monday items are already applied online when shopping.

Snip 2018-11-25 20.11.42  Snip 2018-11-25 20.21.33.png  Nest Learning Third Generation Thermostat  Snip 2018-11-25 20.30.11


|| AMAZON||

Amazon, the head honcho of Cyber Monday, has got the deals rolling in. I’m just going to cut to the chase here and give you all the sweet deals that are perfect for your home.

Amazon’s Echo Dot (3rd gen) is honestly a game changer and it’s even half off. Listen to your musics, the news or just get information. One of my friends even had her Smart Light Bulbs hooked up to her Echo Dot and would tell Alexa when to turn her lights on and off. NOW THAT’S COOL! You can also add an Amazon Smart Plug to any Echo device for $5. Schedule your lights, fans and appliances to shut off; yes, schedule that curling iron to turn OFF! Don’t miss out on saving 46% on this Dyson Pure Cool Link Air Purifier. It’s asthma and allergy friendly and could really be useful with the changing weather! Also, check out the Nespresso VertuoPlus Coffee and Espresso Maker. This version does not have the milk frother, but it does have the same capabilities as the other Nespresso Coffee and Espresso makers.

All-New Echo Dot (3rd Generation)  Amazon  Dyson Air Purifier 71aYbx0GxDL._SL1500_


||THE CONTAINER STORE||

CYBER WEEK: 20% OFF A DIFFERENT CATEGORY EACH DAY

Here’s to all the neat freaks! The Container Store is for all the organizing kings and queens of the world. Instead of just hosting a Cyber Monday they’re hosting a Cyber Week! For Cyber Monday, though, they are hosting 20% off on closet and bedroom essentials. This means shoe storage, jewelry holders and hangers are all 20% off! My favorite non-slip hangers keep my closet neat and tidy to where I can see ALL of my clothes and hold up all my off-the-shoulder tops. Keep all of your shoes dust free with the shoe box. I love that I can SEE the shoes but they’re not collecting dust either. I recommend buying the case! The acrylic jewelry stand are sitting on my dresser in my room perfectly displaying my bracelets. They’re simple and pretty and don’t clash with whatever style is going on in your room or closet. I’m also a BIG FAN of the Diamond Dazzle Stick. It cleans all my rings and jewelry to like NEW and it’s a great gift for friends that are newly engaged, so stock up!

Huggable Hangers  Acrylic Jewelry Stand  Diamond Dazzle Stick


||WILLIAMS SONOMA||

I LOVE shopping in Williams Sonoma. The place is in my kitchen dreams and has just about EVERYTHING you could need! Savings are up to 70% and the discounts are unbeatable here for Cyber Monday and it’s a one day deal! 

I’ve been on the hunt for a knife set and of course, William Sonoma has the best quality and brands. Their Wüsthof Gourmet 12 Piece Knife set has a savings of $349, like hello DONE! Their LeCreuset Cast Iron Dutch is over 50% off and their essentials bakeware collection with 6 pieces is priced at $79. All worth the buy!

Wusthof Gourmet 12 piece knife block set  Le Creuset Signature Cast Iron Round Dutch Oven, 2 3:4-Qt.  img46c


|| TARGET||

15% OFF SITEWIDE

Here’s what’s giving you more bang for your buck at Target for Cyber Monday: TVs and Vacuums. It’s fun growing up and have adult-like things on your wish list, right? Save $150 with the iRobot Roomba 890 Robotic Vacuum for $349.99. Roomba deals are everywhere, but the Target one is pretty sweet. As for TVs, save $120 for the Samsung 50″ Smart UHD TV for $329.99. I’ve also been going back and forth on this Luxury Mink Weighted Blanket; hoping it will make me toss and turn less at night.

iRobot Roomba 890 Robot Vacuum  SAMSUNG 55" Class 4K (2160P) UHD Smart LED TV UN55NU6900 (2018 Model) Luxury Mink Weighted Blanket


 

I hope that you find these Cyber Monday finds useful for your home! I’m excited to load up my shopping cart and get lots of goodies. Happy shopping! Please share all of your Cyber Monday finds!

Sneak Peak: Best of Black Friday Sales for Homeowners

Here’s my confession: Black Friday shopping SCARES me!! I have never been into Black Friday shopping. It’s overwhelms me with all of the people hustling and bustling everywhere I’m more of a Cyber Monday gal. But, I can’t blame people for loving Black Friday! With all of the deals you can get on clothes, household items and more, I see the appealing side of the ‘holiday’.

This year, I am excited to be participating in Black Friday to help find the perfect gift for homeowners. From vacuums to TVs, air fryers and more, you really can’t pass up the deals. Whether you’re shopping for yourself, a family member or a friend, here are some great finds for the homeowner in mind!

Wordpress Featured Image- Black Friday


|| TARGET ||

Target, or as I like to call it Tarjay, has some deals rolling through for Black Friday. I’ve found the perfect finds for your extended stay guests, technology gadgets to help you save on your monthly energy bill, and other home life-saving applicances! You can save $60 on a Serta Air Mattress for those last minute visitors and a 50% off THIS blow dryer for the guest bath. Show off your GREEN side by being energy efficient with the NEST Thermostat that’s $70 off the original price. Now the best find, in my opinion, is the KitchenAid mixer. I LOVE MINE. This is the bigger mixer – meaning more cookies and sweets can be made! Can’t beat getting a 5 Quart KitchenAid for a whopping $230 off sticker! Also a big fan of the $20 savings on the AirFryer.

Last, but certainly not least, is the kitchen appliance on my wish list: The Ninja Professional 1200W Kitchen System. It’s basically a four-in-one machine. All of the attachments can be used for making my yummy oreo balls, to a quick protein shake, or even margaritas. Done and DONE!

Target’s Black Friday shopping begins on Thanksgiving Day at 5PM and doors close at 1AM. They reopen at 7AM on Friday.

Serta 16  GUEST_93a7a6cf-aae3-48cf-9874-a8ba31d1d444  GUEST_bc122e75-f97d-4715-8635-cbe21b13ed82  GUEST_c9b74774-628c-48bc-8c6c-82c537c3c59c  GUEST_55b87cbe-a889-476b-b45d-e93abd41db53  AirFryer

 


|| SAM’S CLUB ||

Savings in BULK! Sam’s Club already has some of the lowest prices around, but Black Friday is where it’s at. At our house we LIVE FOR their towels and pillows. They’re basically luxe hotel quality and they’re CHEAP! Their 2018 Black Friday savings catalog has basically everything needed for any home gift.

Some of the savings I’m most excited about are the iRobot Roomba ($100 off), Arlo Pro Home Security System ($249.00), Jumbo-Sized Bamboo Pillows ($10.98) and Samsung 75″ TV with Xbox One X ($1,279.00). Walmart also has an Arlo 3-Pack for less, but it’s not the Arlo Pro, so it’s all about personal preference! Back to the pillows… I have these and one of my dearest friends has them and they’re like sleeping on a cloud! GET THEM!!

Sam’s Club Black Friday shopping begins online on Thanksgiving Day and their doors will open at 7 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 23.

iRobot Roomba e5 5134 Wi-Fi Connected Robot Vacuum  Arlo Pro Wire-Free HD Camera Security System (2-Camera Kit)  Samsung 75   Bamboo-Polyfill Pillows, Jumbo (2-pack)


|| WALMART ||

I look at Walmart as the HEAD HONCHO of Black Friday. That place is cray cray when Thanksgiving Day hits! To keep the search simple, here’s what I have my eye on for the Walmart Black Friday sale:

  • Instant Pot: BEST FIND! Here’s to making cooking easy! We love our Instant Pot and the quickness and ease it brings to our lives when making quick dinner. Walmart is selling the Instant Pot 8 Quart for $59 which is ~$40 less than what it would normally cost. PSSSST… $10 cheaper than Target!
  • SAMSUNG Smart TVS: I have one and LOVE IT! It’s so nice to use ONE remote for all of my Netflix, Hulu or Cable TV needs. Walmart is running deals on the 55″ and 60″ Smart TVs that will be hard to beat.
  • Roku: Don’t have a Smart TV? Don’t worry! There are two Roku deals – Roku Ultra for all you heavy, high definition, streamers (saving $51) and the Roku SE, still a high definition stream, ($20). These can easily be hooked up to your TV through the HDMI port and you can watch shows, movies or videos from all your favorite apps. My family loves theirs! Again, better deals than Target!
  • Arlo Security Cameras: This is my best find! A couple of different stores (Sam’s Club, etc.) are running deals on the Arlo Camera Systems, but Walmart has the BEST deal with a 3 camera bundle system; other stores are only including 2 cameras. My parents have these and LOVE THEM! They’re wireless and you can check the cameras from your phone on an app wherever you are; you can even set up alerts when there’s movement near the camera. Sam’s Club is selling the Arlo Pro which is different from just the Arlo.
  • Vacuums: We all could use a nice, new vacuum! From what I’ve seen, Walmart has some of the best and lowest Black Friday prices around. They have the Dyson vacuum at $159 for Black Friday. What a deal!

The Walmart Light Up Black Friday event begins on Thursday, Nov. 22 at 6PM in stores and Wednesday, Nov. 21 at 9PM CT online. 

fe9c913e-0524-4c27-8132-a357e71a2ab6_1.b5a550810f64f4eeba6e49aaac096fdba4aa8214-30ee-4fd0-b177-21828eeebbf0_1.07981d95fc037f64329d3ff996885549  fd4e1787-086f-42f8-baf6-acecfe3413cf_1.dd667895da5df9e7153673b8739b61a6    3e947f11-7286-411d-b027-a70ea46ae2a1_14.162aafaee79bbc284a68fa3843a12018-2 3b54f535-13ef-4f83-917d-4bc978153955_1.2953bfa0b8133944ed6fee47e2d98896


|| AMAZON||

Loud and proud Amazon Prime Member over here! Love that I can get quick shipping on just about anything and can find everything. Amazon is a little heavier on the Cyber Monday train, but they’re still throwing in some great deals on Black Friday.

So what does Amazon have to add to your home, you may ask? Well, the Ring Video Doorbell (saving $60) is a great start. Safety at it’s finest. I’m a scaredy cat when people are ringing on my door (even if it’s just the mailman), so it’s nice to see who is at your doorstep whether you’re home or away. They will also have all of their Echo products at a discount and their new Echo Plus reduced by $40. Other savings included are up to 35% off on mattresses, furniture and area rugs and up to 40% on select coffee makers.

Ring Video Doorbell 2  All-new Echo Plus (2nd Gen) - Premium sound with built-in smart home hub - Charcoal


|| BEST BUY||

Here’s where I look for all of the tech goodies and there are lots in the Best Buy Black Friday sale. What are you going to find? LOTS! Similar to Amazon, Best Buy has the Ring Video Doorbell 2 priced the same BUT they’re including an Echo with purchase…. so WIN WIN! This is also the hot spot for TVs on Black Friday. All brands, all sizes and big discounts! Samsung has great Smart TV options with savings of $200-300.

Let us not forget about the bigger appliances, too! From refrigerators to washer/dryer combos, this is the time to make the big splurge on those big items. There are  savings of up to $700 on the refrigerator and ~$250 on the washers and dryers along with a FREE Samsung POWERbot Vacuum (valued at $499.99) with the purchase!

Doors open on Thursday at 5PM for the Best Buy Black Friday Sale.

Ring Video Doorbell 2  6199827_sd.jpg;maxHeight=640;maxWidth=550  5580242_sd.jpg;maxHeight=640;maxWidth=550 Samsung - 4.5 Cu. Ft. 8-Cycle Front-Loading Washer - Fingerprint Resistant Black Stainless Steel


**Please note that the links will not show the discounted pricing until Thanksgiving Day!

Happy shopping! Would love to know what you’re shopping for or have your eye on this Black Friday! Share your finds!

Meet Bethany: Realtor®, Consultant and East Texas Native

Hello! Howdy! Hi there! I am Bethany Nolan, a Realtor® and Consultant, with a lot on my mind! Starting a blog has always been an aspiration for me, but finding the time and narrowing down content that I am passionate about has been my struggle. Before we get into all of that fun, here’s a little bit about me:

I’m a ninth generation Texan with seven generations in Upshur County. Growing up in rural Gilmer, Texas was always a treat and I’m a proud Gilmer Buckeye and alumna. After high school, I obtained a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Communications and Journalism at Texas A&M University and a minor in Horticulture with an Event Planning Certification. Upon completion at Texas A&M  I moved to Lubbock, Texas to receive a Master of Science in Agricultural Communications. Once all of my fun schooling was over, I moved to Houston and began working for a public relations firm specializing in their food, agriculture and beverage department focusing on media relations and social media. Working in public relations gave me a great background to transition into opening up Bethany Nolan Consulting, LLC, to assist clients with their social media, media relations and more. Unknowingly at the time, but my background serves as an advantage for marketing and selling real estate. Summed up in a nutshell… that’s a little bit about ME!

Now that you have a little bit of a backgrounder on ya girl, here are some fun little tid bits to get to know me a little better:

  • Hobby: I love to bake and test out new recipes; it’s a great escape for me!
  • Favorite Movie: Son-In-Law, Troop Beverly Hills and Heavyweights
  • Favorite TV Series: Hart of Dixie, Gilmore Girls and Gossip Girl
  • Biggest Pet Peeve: Smacking… GETS. UNDER. MY. SKIN!
  • Biggest Fear: Needles, just can’t shake the fear

I’m excited to take a deep dive into real estate, consulting and the life of Bethany! My hope and plan is to help guide you in the home buying process, preparation tips for preparing your home for the market or the holidays and even give some insight on social media marketing that I use to guide my consulting clients. Follow along, subscribe and enjoy the ride.