Brought to you by
Brett Frosaker
Brett Frosaker
Columbia Real Estate Group
321 NE 72nd Street
Seattle, WA 98115

Planning for Surprise

The “Eureka” moment often comes as a surprise when you see something you never noticed before, or look at a situation in an entirely new way. “Planning for surprise” may sound like an oxymoron, but you can arrange to be caught off-guard by new insights if you make an effort. Here’s how to boost creativity and cultivate a sense of never-ending surprise in your life:

  • Pay attention to everything around you. As you go through your day, try to recognize when things are new or different. Focus more intently on what you see, taste and read. Adopt the attitude that you can learn something about whatever you experience. Never stop exploring. If you become complacent about the world, you won’t be able to enrich your life through observation and learning.

  • Change it up. Veer away from your routine. Change your hairstyle or wear something that is out of the ordinary for you. Try a new restaurant or take a walk in a park that you haven't visited before.

  • Keep a journal of surprising events. Make a record of when you surprised others and when you yourself were surprised. Writing down these events will make your experiences less fleeting. Eventually, you may see a pattern you had not noticed before. From this you may find a path to explore that you hadn’t previously considered. And you may encourage an increase in the flow of creativity in your life.

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Also in this issue...
Not a Team Player?
Perfect Boiled Eggs
Control Fleas and Ticks without Chemicals
Increase Kitchen Space
Authentic Guacamole
Brand-Name Icons

Not a Team Player?

Team sports can boost children’s self-esteem, coordination and general fitness, and help them learn how to work with other kids and adults. Some children aren't natural athletes and may not be interested in competitive team sports, but that doesn't mean your child should be a couch potato. There are plenty of opportunities for kids to get the recommended 60 minutes or more of physical activity each day. Here are just a few:

  • swimming

  • horseback riding

  • dancing

  • inline skating

  • cycling

  • skateboarding

  • hiking

  • martial arts

And don't forget the importance of allowing your child plenty of time for free play, which exercises not only the body, but the imagination as well.

Perfect Boiled Eggs

If you have ever removed chunks of egg white with the shell, you know that peeling boiled eggs is not always as easy as it sounds. But if you follow these steps, you can boil the perfect egg:

  1. Buy your eggs about a week in advance of when you’d like to prepare them. Fresh eggs are harder to peel.

  2. Put eggs in a pot of cold water (not boiling water). This will allow the egg to cook gradually without cracking the shell.

  3. Here's the important part: add a teaspoon of baking soda to the water.

  4. Bring the water to a rolling boil over high heat.

  5. Turn off heat, cover and let the pot sit for 13 minutes.

  6. Remove the eggs from the pot. Place them in an ice-water bath and let them cool for five minutes.

  7. Peel and enjoy!

Control Fleas and Ticks without Chemicals

The National Resources Defense Council (NRDC) checked the ingredient list of more than 100 flea and tick products. The NRDC found that many contain toxic chemicals, which could poison pets and harm people, even when applied as instructed on the package. Keep your pets safe by choosing your flea and tick treatments with care. Also, regular combing, bathing and vacuuming can reduce and control fleas.

  • Regular combing of a pet can help reduce fleas and also helps monitor the success of a flea control program. Fleas caught in the comb should be drowned in soapy water.

  • Soapy baths are a great way to control fleas, because any soap will get rid of them. Fleas tend to accumulate in bedding, so wash your pet's bedding in hot water once a week.

  • Vacuuming picks up fleas and eggs from carpets, floors and from under or on furniture. Immediately after vacuuming, throw vacuum bags away to prevent fleas from escaping and re-infesting your home.

Increase Kitchen Space

Do you struggle to find space for all your kitchen gadgets, cookbooks and other food-preparation necessities? Here are some creative ways to utilize any unused space in your kitchen:

  • Look up. If you've got some space on your ceiling and no light fixtures are in the way, consider mounting a hanging pot rack. This is a great way to keep pots and pans handy and maximize your time and space. Also, if your cabinets don't extend all the way to the ceiling, you can store cooking items that you don't often use on top of them.

  • Organize cabinets by zones. Keep glasses and cups in a cabinet near the fridge for when you want a drink. Keep pots and pans near the stove for cooking. Keep dishes above or near the sink and dishwasher.

  • Magnets are functional. Keeping knives in a drawer, especially if they are tossed in with other utensils, isn't the most efficient - or safe - ways of storing them. Instead, install a magnetic strip near your prep area to hold your knives.

Authentic Guacamole

3 avocados, halved, seeded and peeled
1 lime, juiced
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. cayenne
1/2 medium onion, peeled and diced
1/2 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 Tbsp. chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced

Place avocado pulp and lime juice in a large bowl, toss to coat. Drain, and reserve the lime juice. Add the salt, cumin and cayenne; mash with a fork or potato masher. Stir in the onion, jalapeno, tomatoes, cilantro, and garlic. Add 1 Tbsp. of the reserved lime juice. Serve with tortilla chips.

Makes 4 servings.

Brand-Name Icons

There’s still no match for Yankee ingenuity. Here are the origins of three iconic American products:

  • Coca-Cola. John Pemberton, a pharmacist in Atlanta, first concocted the soft drink in 1886 as a cure for an upset stomach. He then marketed Coke as a cure for morphine addiction, nervous exhaustion, headache, and impotence.

  • Quaker Oats. Before this product was sold on grocery shelves, it was stored in open barrels, where it spoiled easily. Its store packaging was introduced in 1891. Quick-cooking oatmeal came in 1921 - one of the first convenience foods.

  • Wonder Bread. In 1921, a Taggart Baking Co. executive by the name of Elmer Cline was put in charge of naming a new brand of bread. He came up with Wonder Bread after he saw hundreds of hot-air balloons fill the sky one day - a sight that filled him with wonder.

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