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Brrrr… Simon & Pharis here… Talking about Winter!

 

Winter is a time when your beloved fur babies need a little extra care. So here is a little list of tips to protect your loved ones from the dangers of winter.

 If your pet spends most of the time in the backyard, you might want to keep them indoors during the freezing months, especially if you live in bitterly cold areas. No one wants an icicle for a pet -- they’re simply not that cuddly. But If you must keep your pet outdoors, consider this, your pet’s fur coat isn’t enough protection during winter. Provide your dog with a warm, dry and draft free shelter outside. The shelter should also comply with any state laws that apply.

 

It takes more energy to stay warm when it's cold so outdoor animals will eat more during the winter. Likewise, fresh, running water is vital for maintaining your pet's health. Keep an eye on the water bowls and make sure they haven’t turned into little skating rinks for fleas (boo, fleas!). While ice pops might be a fun treat, your pet really doesn’t want to have to lick a frozen lump of ice to get his water.Meanwhile, Indoor animals have different dietary needs. They conserve energy by sleeping more in the winter. Dogs and cats also exercise much less when they do go outside, so you may need to adjust their amount of food accordingly. After all, no one wants an overweight pet!

 

Frostbite is a serious problem during winter, especially for paws, tips of tails and ears. This makes it even more important in keeping your pet warm, especially if they’re an outdoor pet. Get special booties, coats, and maybe a hat for your pet during their walks. Look for early warning signs of frostbite such as firm, waxy skin and blisters.


 

The worst of all the wintertime chemical spills is antifreeze, which often leaks from a car's radiator. It may taste delicious to your cats or dogs, but it is extremely deadly - even the smallest sip can be fatal! If your pet starts acting "drunk" or begins to convulse, take him to the vet immediately. Better yet, keep your pets away from the garage and clean up any accidental spillage. You should also not let your dog wander too far during his walks. Who knows what dangers lie in your neighbors' driveways?

 

If you live in an area with cold and icy winters then you are probably accustomed to salt on the sidewalks and roads. However, the types of salt (typically calcium or sodium chloride) used to melt ice and snow and keep it from refreezing are somewhat harsh on delicate paws -- not to mention they corrode concrete and damage the beautiful vegetation. Protect your pet's paws, and keep him warm during walks, by outfitting him with booties.

 

Cars are particularly attractive to animals in the winter-time, especially frigid cats that love to climb up under the hood and curl up on the warm motor. This, as you can imagine, has led to many mishaps when motorists start their car… ouch! Avoid such accidents by tapping your car's hood before starting the vehicle. Sure, you may wake Kitty from her deep slumber, but she'll thank you in the long run.

 

Wintering with your pet is mostly common sense. If you’re cold, your beloved pet will most likely be cold too. So snuggle up, keep your pet warm and safe and sooner than you can say "Spanish Terrier" we’ll all be hitting the beaches for some summertime fun.

 

It's GIVING TUESDAY Champaign/Urbana IL!

by Rose Price


We had Black Friday to kick-off the Champaign/Urbana Holiday shopping season, then Small Business Saturday to support all our wonderful local shop owners and Cyber Monday to grab all the last minute deals we didn't get on the previous 2 days.   Now we have the opportunity to Give Back to our fantastic local Community Centers, Charities, Families and Businesses with...GIVING TUESDAY!

Yes....today is Giving Tuesday, a national day of generosity started in 2012, and the spirit of giving is in the air!! Today we can choose which of the fantastic Champaign/Urbana organizations we'd like to support. All of these organizations give to our local residents all year long in a variety of ways and are very deserving of our support. For those of us who may be feeling stretched this holiday season, consider one of these options in lieu of a monetary donation:

  • Donate your Time: Money is always needed, but it’s not the only thing we have to give. Homeless Shelters, schools, hospitals, and nursing homes often need extra individuals on hand to help with various duties.
  • Benevolent Spending: Some companies make it possible to simultaneously give to charity while taking care of your gift list too! Look for companies that donate part of your Holiday Spending to a charity of your choice with each Gift Purchased.
  • Bring in your Coins: You might be surprised by how quickly those little coins laying in the bottom of your Purse, in your Car, or stuck in Couch Cushions can add up. You may end up giving more than you thought you could give. Besides, many organizations take any amounts and put it towards bigger goals.
  • Donate your Air Miles: If you haven’t already used them for holiday travel, you can donate any extra airline miles or hotel points to charity. Check with your airline for all the specifics, but many work with the American Red Cross and Make-A-Wish Foundation.

To locate which Champaign/Urbana Organization you'd like to support, you can search this main GIVING TUESDAY website:  GIVING TUESDAY

Here are some quick links to Champaign/Urbana Organizations we know are looking for support;

University of Champaign YMCA

Christie Foundation

 

 

Illinois Walk & Run for Wishes

 

Champaign Park District

 

Feeding Illinois

To find any Illinois Organization:  ILGIVES.com

 

Champaign IL Upcoming Events!

by Rose Price

7th Annual Folk and Roots Festival November 5-7

The Champaign-Urbana Folk and Roots Festival is an all-volunteer-run, grassroots festival that brings together national, regional and local artists and folk organizations.  There will be over 80 high-quality folk performances and participatory activities throughout downtown Urbana. The festival includes performances, dances, instructional sessions, jams, song-circles, family activities, storytelling, instrument-making and much, much more!  The festival is interested in evolving and unique forms of folk music and art, notably forms that break down barriers between audience and performers, while at the same time preserving local traditions and histories.

Official Site

Full Schedule

Volunteer

The 36th Annual Chris Cringle Craft Show --> November 6th & 7th 

Friday 3pm-9pm & Saturday 9am-5pm

@ 601 N Country Fair Drive, Champaign IL

The Chris Cringle Arts & Crafts Show is one of the Midwest’s largest craft shows, featuring over 155 booths and a wide variety of handcrafted items by local and area artists, as well as artists from all over the Midwest. There is free parking at the Fluid Events Center, but please DO NOT park in the County Market lot across the street, you may be towed. 

Illinois Heartland Decorative Artist sponsors a raffle featuring a holiday quilt, painted and pieced by our members. Tickets for the raffle are $1 each or 6 for $5. Proceeds from our show support our many projects, including art student scholarships, Memorial 4-H Camp, Decorative Arts Collections, memory boxes for hospitals, sponsoring families through the Department of Children and Family Services, area food banks, seminars, demonstrations, displays and a weekend retreat.

Visit the Illinois Heartland Decorative Artists Website for more information.

CUSR Cupcake 5K --> Sunday November 8th @ 9:00 am Parkland College

The only race that ends with a cupcake! Pretty Sweet!

The CUSR Cupcake 5K is  is a timed race ending with a cupcake. Funds raised will go into CUSR’s scholarship fund, which supports individuals who need financial assistance in order to access CUSR programs and services. Runners, walkers, and registrants who use a wheelchair are all welcome. A valid ID must be provided in order to receive pre-race information.  You can also check the CUSR Facebook page for more information.  The event will be held, rain or shine and there will be no refunds given, which is good because all proceeds go to the CUSR Scholarship fund.  For more information visit the CUSR Facebook Page.

Register

Check back often to my website, blog and Facebook page for more events, Holiday Festivals and more!

Champaign IL Top 3 Style Preferences of Home Buyers!

by Rose Price

Champaign/Urbana IL Home Owners if you're looking to "Freshen-up Your Decor" and get your homes on the market, take note of the Style Preferences below! In a recent promotion taken of prospective Home Buyers by Realtor dot com, buyers were asked to vote for their favorite type of decor as part of their “Get This Look” promotion. The styles below won overwhelmingly over any other home styles. 

The following is a breakdown of the TOP 3 STYLE PREFERENCES of BUYERS:

Good-Bye Hollywood's Spectacular looking but "don't touch" decor! Follow these tips for an easier to sell home!

INVITING: This is described as a welcoming atmosphere that includes fun bar ware, plenty of seating, and a gather-worthy kitchen that can serve as the LIFE OF THE PARTY!

RUSTIC: This look is for those who prefer natural elements: wood, stone, water and light. This design style usually incorporates organic materials from the outside/ inside for a perfect balance.

BEACHSIDE CHARM: This design has a relaxed and casual feel, often incorporating terra cotta tile, patio umbrellas, sun decks, and scattered shells.

Meanwhile, the design styles least favored in the survey: Regal (a design that uses fine fabrics and antiques), Urban, eclectic Mid-Century Modern, and Earthy.

Happy decorating...Look for more tips to come here on my Blog and on my Facebook Page!

If you'd like more information about homes for sale in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, please give me a call at 217-202-8843 or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com.

Resource: Realtor Mag.

Champaign IL Top 3 Haunted Houses for 2015!

by Rose Price


A cold, sleeping dread creeps amongst the moonlit forest of the Central Illinois night…Something evil in the woods, something dark and ominous.  There have been reports of paranormal happenings at the‚Äč Bonesaw Mill... Or maybe some biological freaks of a recent military experiment roam the forest, bloodthirsty, angry for vengeance... Or maybe it's the eerie laughter of an insane clown wandering through a cannibal circus from hell?  If you're looking for the best haunts in Central Illinois, look no further.  The New Haunt at Bonesaw Mill and the newest attraction "The Freak Show" are two of the best haunted experiences of the season.  Come explore, if you dare

Looking for the best HAUNTED HOUSE in Central Illinois? Visit the All New Haunt at Bonesaw Mill and Brand New Haunted House attraction, The Freak Show. Come explore what you’re afraid of, if you dare!

Midway Of Madness

Every year The Midway of Madness takes over the Champaign Co Fairgrounds, now in it's 4th season, the haunts get better every year.  Make your way through a dark ominous maze of crazed carnies and fantastic scares around every corner....ARE YOU BRAVE ENOUGH FOR THIS HAUNT?? Check out their facebook page for more info.

Upcoming Dates

 

Saturday, October 17, 2015, Starts at 7:00pm 

Friday, October 23, 2015, Starts at 7:00pm 

Saturday, October 24, 2015, Starts at 7:00pm 

Friday, October 30, 2015, Starts at 7:00pm 

Saturday, October 31, 2015, Starts at 7:00pm 

Haunt Masters

Two more great haunts in 1 Spectacular Location: Head to Rantoul, IL.  Haunt Masters present their Fear Factory & Psychosis Haunted Houses this October, and are more than ready to scare you! 

Visit Illinois Haunted Houses for more great Haunts in Illinois

Mahomet IL is One of the Best School Districts in Illinois!

by Rose Price

BEST SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ILLINOIS

I am so happy to work in the communities that I service!  Four of the school districts that I work with clients who Buy & Sell Homes in everyday have been ranked on NICHE'S Best Public School Districts in Illinois, which ranks 8,738 school districts based on dozens of key statistics and 4.6 million opinions from 280,000 students and parents. A high ranking indicates that the district contains great schools with exceptional teachers, sufficient resources, and a diverse set of high-achieving students who rate their experiences very highly. In addition to that, Illinois has 200 School Districts in the state.  200...that means that our wonderful, albeit small in comparison to many in the state, has 4 that have ranked extremely well, in a category that is a PRIORITY for every family that is living here today and is contemplating a move to our communities in the future!

So, without further ado...let's take a look at those districts that made this coveted list!

Mahomet Seymour Community Unit School District #3 Ranked #25

Mahomet-Seymour Community Unit School District No. 3 is centered in the Mahomet Township, Illinois. It has 2,981 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 74% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $30,358,000, spending an average of $10,454 per student. There have been 65 reviews written and they have been mostly positive.

Tuscola Community Unit School District #301 Ranked #38

Tuscola Community Unit School District No. 301 is centered in Tuscola Township, Illinois. It has 1,010 students attending 3 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 66% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $9,992,000, spending an average of $9,903 per student. There have been 14 reviews written and they have been mostly positive.

Monticello Community Unit School District #25  Ranked #63

Monticello Community Unit School District No. 25 is centered in Willow Branch Township, Illinois. It has 1,664 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 71% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $17,451,000, spending an average of $10,302 per student. There have been 55 reviews written and they have been mixed.

Mount Zion Community Unit School District #3 Ranked #85

Mount Zion Community Unit School District No. 3 is centered in Mount Zion Township, Illinois. It has 2,410 students attending 5 schools in grades PK and K-12. According to state standards, 76% of students in this district are considered proficient in math and/or reading. The district has an annual budget of $22,448,000, spending an average of $8,968 per student.

**Some extra special news for those of you considering a move to the gorgeous Mount Zion area!  I have an incredible new, premier development...WOODBINE PARK PRAIRIE ESTATES that offers the "Peaceful coexistence between Neighbor and Nature"! An amazingly beautiful community that offers Home Buyers  Premium Lots in sizes of 1 to 10 acres....almost unheard of today!

                                  

If one of these School Districts sound like a place you'd like to live & raise your children...Give me a call at 217-202-8843 or visit my website at Champaignrose.com!

You can also search homes in each of these cities by clicking on the links below:

Homes for Sale Mahomet IL          Homes for Sale Tuscola IL       Homes for Sale Monticello IL       Woodbine Park Prairie Estates

10 Fall Maintenance Projects for your Champaign IL Home

by Rose Price

1. Time to Stow that Mow...errrrr!

Two Words: Fuel Stabilizer.  If your mower sits for months with gas in the tank, it will start to deteriorate and damage the internal parts of the engine.  You can protect from this with a $10 bottle of stabilizer.  This way, you can keep your mower in good condition over the winter.

Another mower tip is to cool and remove the spark plug the pour a capful of engine oil into the spark plug hole. After, pull the starter cord a couple times to distribute the oil.  This will keep the pistons lubricated and ensure an easy start in the springtime. Lastly, turn the mower on its side and clean out the grass and debris from the mower deck, finish and stow. Goodnight Mower til spring!

2.  Secure your hoses..

Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets. Leaving hoses attached can cause water to back up in the faucets and plumbing.  Doing this can result in cracked pipes, water damage and lots of "green" spent on your end! Don't gamble with the weather. If the water does freeze and expand...it's already too late.

3. Give your sprinklers a long break

Drain your irrigation systems.  Even deep buried systems can freeze, which again, leads to broken pipes and sprinkler heads. It's pretty simple:

Turn off the water to the main valve, then shut off the automatic controller. Once complete open the drain valves to remove water from the system. Once you've drained the water completely from the system, remove any above ground sprinkler heads and shake the water out.  If you don't have valves, then you may need to hire a pro to blow out the pipes with compressed air.  It may cost you a little bit of money, but it's well worth the time & money spent!  

4. Caulk your Cracks

Purchase a couple of tubes of colored caulk to match your exterior color then walk around your home and seal the cracks between the trim, window frames, door frames, and entry points of cables, pipes & vents. This is one of the simplest and most important jobs you can do to ensure you're not wasting energy this winter.

5. Get your head in the Gutter!

Clogged rain gutters may be one of the jobs you dread most, but they can be one of the costliest repairs if left undone. These can cause ice dams to form which often lead to expensive repairs, not just at the gutters & roof, but the attic, ceilings of your rooms and even the walls and floors!  So make this a priority; After all the leaves have fallen, remove the leaves, and other debris- including the gunk that forms from the gutters and flush them out with a hose. Make sure your gutters aren't sagging; tighten gutter hangers and downspouts.  If you find any colored sand or grit it is most likely from your shingles.  If you find enough of this, it may be time to replace the roof or at the very least have it inspected by a professional.  Click here for Recommended Roofers in Champaign/Urbana

*Your downspouts should extend at least 5 feet from your home to prevent foundation problems

6. Raise the roof!

Look for warning signs of damage or any loose or missing shingles.  If shingles are missing, you should replace immediately.  Black algae stains are normal, but masses of moss could be a sign that a roof is decaying underneath.  If you do find moss, call a roofer for an evaluation. 

You'll also want to check your plumbing vent stack, which is usually lined with a rubber collar (called a boot) that may crack or loosen.  They will definitely wear out before your roof does.  So check it annually to ensure it's not cracked or loose.

7. Drains

Look at the soil around your foundation and make sure it slopes away from your home at least 6 vertical inches and ideally over ten feet away.  This way, you'll keep water from soaking the soil around the foundation, which often leads to cracks and leakage.   

8. Check your furnace

Schedule an appointment with a heating and cooling professional before winter. These checks should take place annually.  Make sure to check the filters, which should be replaced every 2 months. If your HVAC includes a humidifier, make sure to replace this filter as well. Remember, Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a silent killer. Don't put your lives at risk! Get your HVAC checked at regular intervals.

 

9. Prune the plants

Late fall is the best time to prune your plants.  The goal is to keep branches 3 feet from your house, so moisture doesn't continually drip on your roof and home during the winter and damage your home.  

10. Check your fireplace

This is important for safety.  Grab a flashlight and take a peek inside.  Make sure the damper opens and closes properly.  Look into the flue to make sure it's free of birds, nests, branches and any other obstructions.  Check for missing or cracked bricks and replace damaged ones immediately. Next check for creosote buildup and clean your chimney thoroughly. Because creosote is a dangerous & highly flammable substance, using a certified Chimney Sweep is highly recommended.   

 

 More Winterizing Tips Below  

For more Home Maintenance Tips give me a call or visit my website at www.champaignrose.com.

 

Urbana IL Sweetcorn Festival celebrates it's 40th Year!

by Rose Price


ARE YOU READY?  It's time to help Urbana IL celebrate this festival's "Sweet" 40th Anniversary!   What am I referring to?  The 40th Annual Urbana SweetCorn Festival! 

WHEN:   Friday (08/28)- Saturday (08/29)

WHERE: Downtown Urbana IL

TIME:     Friday- 5:00- 11:00 pm, Saturday- 11:00- 11:00pm

COST:     Admittance to the festival is FREE, and that includes see the bands! You will need to purchase tickets for food, drinks and games. The tickets are $1.00 each.

 A little HISTORY of the fest:

The first Urbana SweetCorn Festival  took place in the parking lot at Main & Race St, downtown Urbana, and was put on by the Busey Bank employees.... in August 1975. 

The Urbana Business Association is now responsible for the planning of the festival, over the years adding a local car show, an expanded family area, live music on multiple stages, food, vendors, and beer all in the heart of downtown Urbana. It is also the LARGEST FREE FESTIVAL in Champaign County!

FESTIVAL FACTS:

  • Around 30,000 ears of sweet corn are consumed each year at the festival.
  •  The wonderful Sweet Corn comes from FRESH, our own LOCAL FARMERS! It's what makes it so delicious! 
  • Bet you didn't know that they use an antique steam engine to cook the corn. (I thought that was amazing!)
  • The festival promotes "Green Efforts" by offering recycling receptacles throughout the festival, and they even compost all the corncobs!

                      

Some Common Q & A:  Check out this link- Commonly Asked Questions

There is a FANTASTIC line-up of music this year!  Bands from the The Psychedelic Furs to the Urbana High Marching Band! For the Complete Schedule click here: Musical Line-Up

Vendors, Vendors and more Vendors! Check out this link for a complete list: VENDORS

This is going to be a KIDS DREAM ZONE! From Bounce Houses to Meeting Box Turtles and more....the kids will have a blast! Here's the complete kids schedule: KIDS ZONE

BELOW IS THE ENTERTAINMENT SCHEDULE FOR THE ENTIRE FESTIVAL:

                         

I hope you all enjoy the festival as much as I have over the years! If you've never attended, make this year your first.  It's the 40th Anniversary after all, there's never a better reason that that!  HAPPY 40TH ANNIVERSARY URBANA SWEETCORN FESTIVAL!!                 

CHAMPAIGN IL, Top 40 Commuter City in Illinois!

by Rose Price

Obviously there are many great reasons to live in the Champaign/Urbana IL area, but one often overlooked is commute time!  A bad commute can get old quickly and the daily back-and-forth to work can have a serious impact on your overall well being, turning your new dream home into a cage of sorrow. Well, no worries because now we've added a great commute to our list of great Champaign/Urbana traits.  Each of these cities are well below the average American commute time of 25.5 minutes.  

#7 Champaign

Coming in at number seven is Champaign!  That's pretty high on the list and here's why:  

Champaign IL is home to the University of Illinois' Research Park, which has received numerous high profile rewards over the past few years for it's unparalleled innovation and consistent creation of new high tech jobs.  The increasing job opportunities provided from the University means that residents no longer have to travel far to work a great job.  9 out of 10 Champaign residents make it to work in 29 minutes or less, with an average commute time of 16.4 minutes. 

#8 Urbana

Urbana IL, gets the green award on this one!  Over 10% of residents carpool and 4% telecommute!  So, obviously, less cars helps commuters get to work an average of 35 percent faster than workers across America and due to technological advancements, it looks like more and more people will be working from home, which will reduce commute times even more.    


#32 Rantoul 

The University of Illinois' Research Park isn't the only innovator in the area.  The Business Center in Rantoul IL is gaining a reputation as a new hub for innovation.  Not only does it offer new businesses high tech office spaces it is also home to the Rantoul Business Incubator and the Illinois Small Business Development Center and like The Research Park, more and more high tech jobs are being created here.  So Residents here don't have to travel far for a great job either.  Half of all workers in Rantoul travel less than 15 minutes to get to work, making the average total commute time 19.2 minutes.   

*All information and graphs taken from Obrella Insider.

Visit Obrella for a complete list of the 40 Best and Worst Commuter Cities in Illinois and check back with us for more information and useful tips for living in the Champaign/Urbana area.  

If you're sick of the lousy commute time in your area, then Champaign/Urbana may be the perfect town for you! give me a call, I'd be happy to show you around my fabulous community. If you'd rather look at some homes that are available first, visit the links below for homes available in each of the area's listed.  Then give me a call with any questions you have!

Champaign/Urbana Homes for Sale

Urbana Homes for Sale

Rantoul Homes for Sale

Mahomet IL One Of the Top 100 Places To Live In America!

by Rose Price

For those living in Mahomet, Illinois, it comes as no surprise that this thriving village has made Niche's 2015 list of Top 100 Communities to live in America. Niche ranks US suburbs based on livability; grading each for weather, safety, schools, and access to activities, jobs, housing, and transportation.  A high ranking then, indicates those particular suburbs offer a high quality of life to those living there.

MAHOMET IL

This midsize Illinois town of 7,412 is a great all around mid-western town.  Home Values are in the range of $185,300.  Rent Values are average and the Unemployment rate is extremely low at 3.1% (half of the national average).  Citizens here are usually highly educated and enjoy high income levels, with an average household income of $80,529. Housing here is varied; from turn of the century beautiful homes to high end new construction, so there's really a home to fit every taste and need.  The people are friendly and there's no shortage of unique local shops.  There are great parks in the area, providing many options for outdoor activities.  A favorite among residents is Lake Of The Woods Forest Preserve, which offers multiple walking/biking trails, swimming, boating, fishing and prime picnic spots, as well as a museum, botanical garden and golf course and in the wintertime, the preserve is a great spot for sledding, snowshoeing and other winter activities.  

If this sounds like the perfect town for you, give me a call! I'd be happy to show you around the town and find a home that fits your personal needs. If you'd rather look at what is available first, follow this link to see all available homes for sale in special mid-western town. Mahomet IL Homes for Sale

I'm here to help make your Home Buying as easy & painless as possible, so please contact me with any questions you may have at 217-202-8843.

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