Neighborhood Spotlight – Kim Sinclair

Connecting and highlighting incredible people in our South Bay community is one of our favorite parts of our jobs.

 The inspiration we draw from those we interact with keeps us fueled through the ups and downs of the daily grind!

With the start of April, the designated Autism Awareness Month, we are proud to feature Kim Sinclair – Executive Director for the Autism Society Los Angeles!

After meeting Kim and sharing our story, she reached out to us to be featured as a Neighborhood Spotlight. This act is a perfect portrayal of Kim and her commitment to representing the Autism community. ¬†Kim’s role with¬†The Autism Society Los Angeles has provided her¬†with an incredible platform to¬†empower individuals with Autism, as well as serve as a resource for their families. With over 20 years of experience in both corporate and non-profit environments, Kim’s efforts have¬†brought a¬†focus on processes, fundraising, and program administration and development to the ASLA. ¬† Kim and the whole ASLA team work ardently to improve the lives of individuals with autism, their families and professionals. Kim is especially passionate about using community collaboration to empower, educate and, ultimately, improve the lives of all individuals with developmental disabilities

Kim’s other passions include cycling, spending time outdoors and with her family.

  1. You are very passionate about what you do! What is your favorite part about working for The Autism Society Los Angeles?

Our mission is truly making a difference: ‚Äúimprove the lives of all affected by autism. We help empower individuals with autism (self advocates), their families, and professionals through advocacy, education, support and community collaboration‚ÄĚ.¬† I love our entire community and that we are making a difference in people‚Äôs lives every day.

2. The Autism Society Los Angeles has a broad range of services, can you please give us a brief run-down of the services/experience that the organization offers?

We are engaged throughout the community in Public Policy to influence the laws that support our individuals and families.¬† Through Advocacy ASLA represents individuals with developmental disabilities in Sacramento through membership on statewide commissions and committees and building relations with legislators and administrators.¬† ASLA trains medical and law enforcement professionals improving the outcomes of interactions for our community members.¬† Providing a resource ‚Äúwarm-line‚ÄĚ, to provide support for in need families, self-advocates and members of the community.¬† Presenting conferences and trainings, to provide education and increase advocacy skills.¬† ASLA also just launched a Self Advocate Speakers Bureau, to provide speaking opportunities for Self Advocates to community groups representing their voices. And finally, we provide an Annual Summer residential camp to young adults ‚Äď Camp NAVIN to support independence and friendships.

3. Of the many programs the organization offers, which one is your favorite and why?

I love the newly launched Self Advocate Speakers Bureau. We train individuals with disabilities on presentation skills and then connect with community groups for public speaking presentations to create acceptance of differences. It is powerful and provides employment for our disability community.

4. What would you say is the biggest place where you have seen The Autism Society Los Angeles make an impact?

Our programs and services help families and individuals across all developmental disabilities develop advocacy skills and become educated on how to navigate the multiple support systems in California to improve their quality of life. Most importantly, we have been the lead organization in passing laws in California that will have a profound impact on the thousands of individuals with disabilities.

5. Does the Autism Society Los Angeles only help individuals with Autism?

No, we help families and individuals across all developmental disabilities, and professionals including medical and law enforcement.

6. What do you see for the future of the Autistic community and how is The Autism Society Los Angeles helping shape that future?

We are THE resource in the LA disability community and have trained thousands of family members, individuals with disabilities, and professionals.  And we will continue to support the community across all stages of their lifespan.

7. What impact do donations to The Autism Society Los Angeles make within the community?

All donations stay local, unlike many peer organizations. ASLA is mostly a volunteer-run organization that relies on donations to keep our programs and advocacy efforts continuing.  The funds raised support our mission and all dollars raised by ASLA stay in our community.  We are also always in search of passionate and dedicated volunteers that can help.  And we always value business support to help sponsor programs.

Details of how to donate or become engaged can be found at www.AutismLA.org

A great opportunity to get involved with the Autism community is taking place THIS SATURDAY from 12:00-4:00! The Nick’s Community Chili Cook-off guarantees delicious food, adult beverages & unlimited fun for kids, with profits benefiting¬†Nick’s Community & ASLA

Prepping For Spring // Backyard Edition

No matter where you live (but especially here in SoCal!) outdoor entertaining at your home becomes more appealing as the weather warms and the days get longer.

With the start of Spring and the much-rejoiced arrival of day light savings, now may be the ideal time to prep (or update) your outdoor living spaces! Thanks to Pinterest & HGTV, the design and decor ideas are endless… which may have you feeling a bit overwhelmed.

The key is not to take on too much – just remind yourself that your main goal is to create a outdoor space that you can enjoy being in. We have gathered the following guidelines to get the gears turning and the inspiration flowing..

  • Be sure to create traffic patterns or designated ways to walk/move around. Due to the restricted lot sizes throughout most of the South Bay, this rule is especially critical if you want to make the most of a small or cramped space. This can be done in a variety of ways.. whether that be laying formal stone walkways or planting shrubs to help establish corners and borders.

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  • Add an outdoor fire source. Indoor fireplaces are great and all.. but when the mid-summer heat rolls around, you definitely do not want to be stuck indoors! Keep it low key with a portable firepit or firebowl (how cool are these!) or take things to the next level with a full fireplace. Just be sure to check your local building codes / fire safety rules… and to stock up on the s’mores supplies!

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  • Outdoor kitchens are an ideal way to extend your home’s living space into the outdoors. While detailed outdoor kitchens can easily become expensive, they don’t have to be! Remember, it is about creating an environment and the ability to eat outside, not necessarily buying all the frills and accessories. A charcoal grill and small outdoor dining table can be the start of your backyard¬†dining experience.

Check out a few of the outdoor kitchens we are drooling over:

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  • Keep things practical and organized. Do not go over the top with accessories or details and have a designated area to put things (seat cushions, pillows, etc) when rain is in the forecast! Also, if you choose to incorporate an outdoor kitchen/dining area, be sure to have create a storage area for equipment to help keep the space cleared and available for enjoying.
  • Try out vertical gardening!¬†Blank walls, covered patios and fencing¬†can all benefit from the addition of vertical gardens. Succulents work best, and when coupled with found wood are a easy, affordable DIY project. We love ¬†this charming vertical garden our Neighborhood Spotlight Ana√Įs and her husband build!

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  • Lastly, remember that a roof extends usability. ¬†Overhead structures like a gazebo or screened porch provide comfort and protection from the elements, ultimately giving you more opportunities to spend time outdoors. However, the roofing does not have to be a permanent structure – pop-up tent over your deck or out in the yard can be just as effective in blocking the sun or rain!

Feeling Green in 2017?

The Hermosa Parade & Redondo 5k may have already passed, but there is still plenty of time to get revved up for St. Patrick’s Day!

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Our suggestions to get in the spirit: Send a hand-written Irish blessing to a friend, bake some Irish Soda bread & check out a nearby celebration! (or dye your pool green if you are really committed)

  • Saint Rocke:¬†Saint Rocke gets it going with tribute band Hollywood U2 and Barley Friday March 17th. Get in early for happy hour with ‚ÄúPiano Man‚ÄĚ Scott Doyle (this is the guy from your favorite Dueling Piano nights).
  • Celebrate St. Patrick‚Äôs Day with the LA Kings at Taste of the South Bay. It‚Äôs an upscale, food-centric social event at Shade Hotel‚Äôs new location in Redondo Beach. In between tastings, guests can mix and mingle with LA Kings personnel and celebrities, play casino games and bid on the silent auction. Also, proceeds from the event benefit Redondo Beach Police Foundation to buy classroom emergency safety kits for all Redondo Beach schools – a win-win!
  • If you feel up to venturing outside of the South Bay bubble,¬†head over to¬†the Original Farmers Market on St. Patrick’s Day for corned beef, cabbage and green beer at Magee’s Kitchen.¬†Glen “the strolling bagpiper” will be playing Celtic tunes during lunchtime, while¬†Stuart Marks and the Paddy O’Dors Band will park themselves on the¬†West Patio during dinner.

Irish Blessing

May you always have…
Walls for the winds
A roof for the rain
Tea beside the fire
Laughter to cheer you
Those you love near you
And all your heart might desire.


Amazingly Easy Irish Soda Bread

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Ingredients

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a large baking sheet.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, salt and margarine. Stir in 1 cup of buttermilk and egg. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead slightly. Form dough into a round and place on prepared baking sheet. In a small bowl, combine melted butter with 1/4 cup buttermilk; brush loaf with this mixture. Use a sharp knife to cut an ‘X’ into the top of the loaf.
  3. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. You may continue to brush the loaf with the butter mixture while it bakes.

 


Wherever you find yourself this St. Patrick’s Day, the Weber Accetta Group wants to leave you with the following Irish Blessing:

May there always be work for your hands to do
May your purse always hold a coin or two;
May the sun always shine on your windowpane;
May a rainbow be certain to follow each rain;
May the hand of a friend always be near you;
May God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you.

Bringing The Sunshine Inside

With one of the grayest, rainiest winters the South Bay has seen in years behind us (hopefully!) the forecast shows blue skies ahead! This weather has us feeling inspired to bring the sunshine inside and give our own living spaces a spring makeover.

We are also pulling inspiration from this Avenue C listing (3 Bed, 3 Bath, 6,084) which perfectly exemplifies a light and bright style, while still remaining the ideal blend of comfortable and stylish.

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While it may be hard to completely capture a newly constructed house’s fresh¬†feel in your home, we have¬†gathered a few tips to help brighten things up this spring! Some are simple and some are more detailed, but even just one or two subtle changes can spring-ify your home!

  • Mirrors aren’t just for checking your hair!¬†Place a large mirror directly across from a window to reflect light all around the room.¬†¬†Or hang a few small ones on a wall perpendicular to the window to subtly bounce light around a room.
  • Just add white..or off white.. or eggshell. A fresh coat of paint around door frames, stair case banisters and window paneling will do wonders! HackIf you aren’t up for painting, just give frames, banisters and paneling a good scrub down to get rid of finger prints and accumulated dust.¬†
  • Change out those curtains. Get rid of any heavy or insulated curtains that you were using during the winter and replace them with light-colored airy ones. This can be applied¬†all around your home – from the kitchen to the living room and even your bedroom (lighten up your bedding colors and fabric for a full transformation!)
  • Raise the roof (not literally). Many homes (especially those in the Golden Hills) have vaulted painted ceilings or even wood paneled ceiling applications. While these higher ceilings do create a larger feel in the room, without the correct lighting and appropriately located windows they can leave a room feeling dim. Recessed lighting fixtures or commonly referred to as ‚Äúcan lights‚ÄĚ help to brighten up the ceiling without being obtrusive to the eye. Some options even include a dimmer switch to allow for flexible lighting control.
  • Keep it low. According to Designer Blair Gordon ‚ÄúStreamlined furnishings with low-slung profiles help rooms feel more spacious.‚Ä̬†While you are at it, opt for white furniture, rather than dark colors. Think white bookcases, cream couches, and white tables… especially if you have dark wood floors!
  • While it would be nice to put in a few windows or a sky light, it is much easier to add some artificial lighting! Try Bright White LED bulbs to maximize the brightness coming from your lamps. Or add¬†a table lamp to your current decor to help add a bit more brightness.
  • Bring in the Green! Indoor plants (whether flowers or green leafy plants) bring a breathe of fresh air into your home. Just be sure to water them regularly so you don’t end up with brown, wilting plants ūüôā

Have any other simple “home-brightening” tips? Please share them with us! info@weberaccetta.com

We are excited to Spring Forward in a few weeks and wish you all a very happy March!

 

Getting Schooled on RB’s Schools

While our beloved Redondo Beach is just over six square miles, the Redondo Beach Unified School District school district of consists eight elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school (as well as one continuation school and one adult school). But our residents are focused on quality, not just quantity! Over the past two years, seven of these schools were named”California Gold Ribbon Schools” while several others have been recognized by the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. High honors for our idyllic ocean-side community!

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Elementary Schools: Alta Vista, Beryl Heights, Birney, Jefferson, Lincoln, Madison, Tulita, Washington

Middle Schools: Adams, Parras,

High Schools: Redondo Union

Not sure which school you are currently zoned for? Or interested in buying in a specific school district? Check out the district map below or try this interactive version for a simplified way to determine which school territory your home is located in.

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Wondering why our schooling systems are so effective?

The Redondo Beach School System is financially supplemented by two contributing organizations: the Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and the Redondo Beach Education Foundation (RBEF). There is frequently confusion regarding the differences between these two organizations, but the RBEF and the PTA play clears roles in their over-arching purpose to fill the gap between the state provided school funds and the actual operating costs of each classroom.¬†One of the largest children’s advocacy organizations in the US, the PTA pays for school and site-specific needs (ex: field trips and classroom enrichment programs). The Redondo Beach PTA has more than 8,000 members and runs an annual membership drive. Incredible to see such a huge cumulative effort to make education one of the pillars of our community!

Alternately (but just as importantly), the RBEF’s focus is on funding the salaries of the individuals that are needed to teach the varying programs that are in place in each school throughout the districts. RBEF works to maintain the high quality of education offered at each of Redondo Beach campuses by providing living wage salaries for music teachers, science teachers and all specialized instructors.

All of the changes and developments in Redondo Beach schools can be followed by “School News”- a monthly newsletter to promote the news of the district and each of the schools. While print copies of each issue are distributed to the elementary school students, to teachers and staff in all schools¬†and to select business locations, you can also access the newsletters online. Check out the February 2017 Edition to learn more about the role of the RBEF, 2017 kindergarten enrollment and much more!

As a Redondo Beach resident, your children are guaranteed a space in kindergarten at your home/ neighborhood school – so be sure to take advantage of living in the award-winning Redondo Beach Unified School District and get enrolled!(side note: next Fall marks the enrollment of the class of 2030!)

Timing Your Home Sale

As many of you have probably learned, the timing of a situation can be everything! When it comes to selling your home, it is wise to take go over the following questions and develop a timeline¬†that works for your family’s unique needs:

  • How long is it going to take you to get your home ready to be put on the market?
  • How long is your home going to be for sale?
  • How long of an escrow should you negotiate?
  • How long will it take you to find your new property (whether buyer or selling)?
  • How long does it take to actually move?

Questions on how to best time the sale of your home?
Contact us!  info@weberaccetta.com
Lauren: 310-387-4693 and Michelle: 310-293-1883

 

(Not So) Extreme Fireplace Makeover

Nothing beats a warm, roaring fire on a snowy winter’s night!

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But with winter weather in Redondo Beach hovering around a sunny 60 degrees, that cozy fire may not have the same appeal. For some SoCal families fires are a novelty saved for Christmas day and the fireplace goes unused the other 355 days of the year.

Luckily, there are many creative ways to transform that otherwise unused space and turn it into a focal point for your home. Here‚Äôs a look at some “fireplace makeover” ideas we are dying to test out.

1. Use your fireplace to freshen up the room! Artfully arranging flowers and other potted plants inside your fireplace can add color, dimensions and scents to your living space. A fireplace garden can satisfy your green thumb..without having to go outside. Succulents or ferns are hearty, low-maintenance options that will make your room come alive!We also love the idea of adding seasonal plants during the holidays, such as holly branches or poinsettias.

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2. If you love the flickering effect of a fire, as well as that alluring wood scent, an arrangement of candles inside your fireplace can help you achieve a similar feel. Home goods stores offer a wide range of candle scents, from Campfire Smoke WoodWick Candles ¬†to Tory Burch’s Cedarwood Candles. The beauty of this option is that you swap out scents and holders to keep the arrangement appealing and smelling heavenly! It also mimics the romantic fire vibe without generating the smoke, mess or hassle of tending a fire.

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3. Create more storage by adding shelving into your fireplace. Beyond giving your another place to store books or trinkets, this option adds a focal point to the room. This is an easy way to add a mini library to your home or to display those family photos that never quite got hung up. To jazz things up, consider painting the backdrop of the fireplace a bright color or line it with patterned tiles!

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4. Showcase an art piece or family heirloom. When properly cleaned, the inlay of a fireplace creates a perfect place to  display a singular item. This tactic works best with a sculpture, but could also be used to feature a framed piece of art. The simplicity of this setup will add a sophisticated, museum-like feel to an otherwise unused space!

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5. If you are one of those “we use our fireplace once a year” families, then completely transforming your fireplace may not be the best ideas. (We don’t want to see those books caught on fire!) However, one easy way to transform your fireplace and achieve a rustic, homey ambiance is to stack it neatly with firewood.¬†Use logs that are the same length but have varying diameters, and be sure to pack them tightly to fill the whole space. And hey, when that “one day a year” rolls around you will already have firewood on hand!

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The beauty of owning your own home is that you can transform it into whatever you want it to be! You can take each space and make it into something functional that works for your family and individual style. With a little creativity (and the help of the internet), your  fireplace transformation could be the start of a complete home-make-over!

 

Living in a Landmark

 

The Redondo Beach City’s Preservation Program, encourages property owners of historically significant structures to voluntarily apply for local landmark status. Currently, 35 individual properties and 16 properties located in North and South Redondo¬†have been designated as local historic landmarks!

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The Brandt House – 426 N. Gertruda Ave.

 

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The Shinn House – 324 N. Gertruda Ave.

Check out the full address list and photos of all the designated RB historic landmarks!

If you are interested in purchasing a historic home, be sure you know what you are getting yourself into. This article from Realtor.com highlights both the pros and cons of living in a landmark.

Redirecting Resolutions.. Towards Your Home!

Here we are – four days into 2017.

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The novelty of a new year year, often comes accompanied by the dreaded question: What are your New Years Resolutions.  According to the top ten resolutions gathered by Time magazine, a majority of resolutions are centered on self-improvement. Topping the list was losing weight and quitting smoking.

This year, to mix things up, we put together¬†a list of New Years Resolutions for your HOME. Setting home management goals early in the year will help you to develop better habits… and ultimately a cleaner, comfier residence!¬†Whether you are preparing to sell or just want to better enjoy your home, try out a few of the “resolutions” listed below.

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Streamline Your Stuff: Clearing out clutter is one of the simplest and cheapest ways to feel better about your home. Set a January date (the earlier, the better) to purge and/or organize all the new things you have accumulated over the year. Often times, we spend way more time shuffling unnecessary items out of our way, than we do actually relaxing in and enjoying our space.  Aim to only keep items that improve your mood and positively contribute to your daily life.

* Tip: You know those “necessary, but not so pretty” items that we all have? (remotes, chargers, etc) Store¬†them in decorative, designated baskets to keep them accessible, but out of sight.

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* Try: Removing every appliance off of your kitchen counter for one week. At the end of the week, only keep out the items that were used twice or more.

Lighten Your Work Load: A few simple tweaks to your home could save you a boatload of time (and money!) over the next year. If saving time and money isn’t enough, these suggestions are also great for the environment! (Triple-whammy!)

*Try:  Eliminating bathroom mold by running your bath fans during your bath or shower and for a half-hour after to flush out moisture. Also, after a bath or a shower, squeegee water off the shower walls. Doing this daily eliminates at least three-fourths of the moisture that supports mold and mildew growth (which means less time scrubbing off that accumulated nastiness!).

* Try: Replacing all of your incandescent lightbulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs. CFLs last up to 6 times as long and help to save up to 66% of energy usage.

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*  Tip: Always turn off the lights when you leave a room.. and consider installing automatic timers in your forgetful teen’s room!

Clean Out the Cracks. No matter how committed you are to maintaining an orderly home, a few things will always slip through the cracks. On a designated monthly date, commit to addressing a few easily forgotten tasks,

* Try adding a cup of vinegar to your empty dishwasher and running it on full cycle. Your kitchen may smell like a pickle after, but this will rinse away hard-water lime buildup in your dishwasher to help it work flawlessly.

* Clean out dryer lint by 1) detaching the duct from behind the unit 2) then tie a rag securely to the end up a plumbing snake and pushing a plumbing snake through your dryer vent from outside. Pulling the cloth and snake through a several times will dramatically clean the vent vent will..savings energy and possibly preventing a fire!

* Check for termite by walking around home and examining the foundation (inside and out) with a flashlight. Look for sawdust and termite tunnels, as most of the damage done is invisible.  If you notice anytime call an exterminator immediately! Checking for termites regularly will ensure that they cannot do major damage over time.

Beyond these suggested actions, it is good idea to personalize the resolutions for your home. Just as every person in unique, each home and household has its own quirks and needs. Tweak your home’s resolutions and start off the new year feeling comfortable and happy in your space!

PS. You aren’t completely off the hook! We feel strongly about living a healthy, active life and encourage you to make personal changes to help achieve your potential!