May 23rd, 2016 by Anastasios Dragseth
Tacos De Mayo
This first week of May brought about a little foodie realization for me- A paleo diet can make one feel excluded from the festivities of a jovial day like yesterday (Cinco de Mayo), or this past weekend’s taco truck extravaganza in Fremont. It seemed as if everyone ventured out into mexican bars and restaurants to enjoy fun flavors of chilled margaritas and great specials on tacos. But, when trying to adhere to a paleo lifestyle, the taco factor can be a bit of a road block. Even if you weren’t tempted to grab a taco yesterday, May is sure to spawn sunnier skies and the urge for easy summery eats, like the taco. So Happy belated Cinco de Mayo to everyone including the wholesome health-conscious paleolithic community. Because we can most definitely have our tacos and eat them too! Here are a few paleo-friendly ways to indulge…
Head out to to Rancho Bravo Tacos and indulge in a tortilla-less taco or two. There are locations in Wallingford, Fremont, and Capitol Hill, so you can get to one no matter what side of town you are on. Prefer to Order in? Try the pork carnitas from Outside the Box, it’s a customer favorite that is concocted by people who cater specifically to the Paleo diet. If you’re hosting company, or simply more inclined to do it yourself, try out this paleo taco recipe from PaleoLeap.
In whatever way you go about it, I highly encourage you to go for a mouth watering, “south-of- the-border”, treat this summer. Maybe skip on the sugar-filled mixes in the margaritas and opt for your favorite tequila, but have a taco!
1 lb. ground beef;
1 large head romaine lettuce, coarsely chopped;
2-3 Roma tomatoes, diced;
5 green onions, thinly sliced;
1 bell pepper, chopped; (an orange or yellow pepper adds more color to the dish)
1 cucumber, chopped;
½ to 1 cup homemade Catalina dressing
4 tbsp. Taco seasoning
1 cup of extra virgin olive oil;
½ cup homemade ketchup;
½ cup red wine vinegar;
½ cup grated onion or onion powder;
1 tsp. paprika;
½ tsp. Worcestershire sauce; (optional)
1/3 cup. honey; (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
Taco Meat Seasoning
2 tbsp. chili powder;
2 tsp. paprika;
1 tsp. onion powder;
- In a medium bowl, combine all the ingredients for the Catalina sauce, and season with salt and pepper to taste. For a smoother sauce, combine in a food processor and blend.
- In a small bowl, combine all the ingredients for the taco seasoning, season again with salt and pepper to taste.
- Over a medium-high heat, melt some Paleo cooking fat and toss in the ground beef. Cook until well done (about ten minutes). While the beef is cooking, break it apart with a wooden spoon.
- When the beef is almost done, add the taco seasoning and mix well, making sure all the meat is covered. You can also add a little bit of water if it looks dry. Let the meat cool down until it’s at room temperature.
- In a big salad bowl, combine the bell peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, green onions, and beef. Top with the Catalina dressing. Gently mix everything and serve.
May 18th, 2016 by Anastasios Dragseth
Neighbors: The Forgotten Value of a Home
When a client is in search for that perfect place to call home there are numerous details that are carefully analyzed. Number of bed and baths, neighborhood, square footage, commute options, windows, natural light, price, value, flooring, maintenance, location, location, and location, of course…the list goes on. But the most priceless asset or loathsome hindrance about your home is very often the thing that is not pre-considered and is non-negotiable…your neighbors. The relationship or lack thereof, of those who share your community can have an immense effect on making your house feel like a home. Whether you are the ‘new kid on the block’ or the one slowly exhaling as the move-in truck blocks your driveway, I think you will find that being a good neighbor will increase your chances of having good neighbors. And having good neighbors will make home… sweet home. of bed and baths, neighborhood, square footage, commute options, windows, natural light, price, value, flooring, maintenance, location, location, and location, of course…the list goes on. But the most priceless asset or loathsome hindrance about your home is very often the thing that is not pre-considered and is non-negotiable…your neighbors. The relationship or lack thereof, of those who share your can have an immense effect on making your house feel like a home. Whether you are the ‘new kid on the block’ or the one slowly exhaling as the move-in truck blocks your driveway, I think you will find that being a good neighbor will increase your chances of having good neighbors. And having good neighbors will make home… sweet home. being a good neighbor will increase your chances of having good neighbors. And having good neighbors will make home… sweet home.
Here are 5 ways to be a good neighbor whether you’re new in town or a seasoned locale.
Know your neighbors (part 1)- the foundational step can be a tricky one. Don’t worry about who is supposed to introduce themselves first. Bring a gift, or just knock on their door with nothing but your smiling face. Catch them on your way in, or leave them a note. Just let them know who you are and that you are mindful of who they are.
Know your neighbors (part 2)- After you’ve introduced yourself and you know who they are…be mindful of who they really are. An elderly couple that probably would enjoy a bit of company from time to time? Single mom running a few kids up and downtown? Out-of-towners who need some of the local where and how-tos? Paying attention to their typical routine, family size, and obvious details of their life is an easy way to spot opportunities to build a relationship. It can also help you to be prepared for whatever antics may come from their household and spill over into yours. running a few kids up and downtown? out-of-towners who need some of the local where and ? Paying attention to their typical routine, family size, and obvious details of their life is an easy way to spot opportunities to build a relationship. It can also help you to be prepared for whatever antics may come from their household and spill over into yours.
Say “Yes.” when you can. Not everyone can dog sit or move heavy objects, but lend a tool box and make a conscious effort to accept their invitation to dinner if you can. Small kind gestures go a long way. Next thing you know your trash can has already been pulled off the street when you arrive home from work. And whenever you have to decline an invitation or say “no” for any reason, they’re less likely to take it personally.
Be Considerate. Try not to block driveways, have excessive noise during normal resting hours, and maybe offer up your driveway as additional parking space when your neighbors are hosting a party. If ever, you happen to accidentally inconvenience others, they will be less inclined to overreact or be upset when you have a track record of amiability.
Communicate. The magical key to all relationships should come as no surprise- if you can truthfully and tastefully let your neighbors know what’s going on with you, there’s much more room for understanding. Remember that listening is a vital portion of communication. Hearing someone else’s perspective can help you to empathize, or at least, move towards plausible solutions to a disagreement. Hearing someone else’s perspective can help you to empathize, or at least, move towards plausible solutions to a disagreement.
April 8th, 2016 by Anastasios Dragseth
March 21st, 2016 byAnastasios Dragseth
Buying a home can seem like a daunting task, but the financial and personal advantages it offers are too many to count! Here are 5 of the top reasons you should buy instead of rent:
January 19th, 2016 by Anastasios Dragseth
Paleo & Whole30® Program
Our real estate office here in Seattle is abuzz with talk of an interesting new healthy eating plan and we are wondering if we can complete a 30-day challenge based on Paleo.
Paleo provides a model for holistically healthy living. The Paleo diet recommends whole, nutritional foods, combined with honoring the body’s circadian rhythms.
By eliminating many of the causes of allergies and autoimmune disorders, the body is able to detox and naturally reset the basic functions that make breathing, eating and moving effortless in a healthy system.
The Whole30 Program Rules:
Eat real food.
Eat meat, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruit, and good fats from fruits, oils, nuts and seeds. Eat foods with very few ingredients, or better still, no ingredients listed at all because they’re totally natural.
Avoid for 30 days.
More importantly, here’s what NOT to eat: legumes, dairy products, sugar, alcohol or processed foods. Omitting these will help you regain a healthy metabolism and help you discover how they are truly impacting your health and quality of life.
Together with the diet, Paleo seeks to address ailments caused by modern life:
Be active and compete in a sport, play with the kids or go for a walk.
Sleep for at least eight hours whenever possible.
A little sun every day boosts mood and overall health.
No man is an island! Face-to-face conversations, physical touch and emotional exchange are all valuable.
Use social media but make a point to regularly “unplug”
Stress reduction: deep meditation, yoga, a church service or even a hug.
New Year Resolutions
- Quitting smoking means better health and more money
- Reducing debt is easier if you see the fun in the challenge. Get your friends to join in with you and instead of night outs in Seattle try hosting nights in in your homes. There is no reason a night entertaining at home in Ballard can’t be as entertaining as a night out in Capitol Hill!
- Exercising more doesn’t have to be done in the gym, why not take the dog for a walk and see what real estate is available locally. Maybe it’s a new home for new year!
- Decide to “pay it forward”. This could be as simple as making time to chat to a lonely neighbor or buying a homeless person lunch.
- Look for the good in people and spread positivity by helping others.
- Give yourself time to enjoy nature. You can get a bird-feeder and watch them flock to your garden or enjoy what Seattle has to offer by exploring outdoors with friends or just you and your dog!
FOMC Minutes: Low Inflation Rates Won’t Delay Rate Hikes
January 8th, 2015
The minutes of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) indicate that Fed policymakers aren’t concerned about low inflation rates as an obstacle to raising the target federal funds rate.
The national inflation rate was 1.50 percent for the 13 months ending in October. The inflation rate as reported in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) dropped to 1.25 percent in November.
The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes food and energy sectors, showed an inflation rate of 1.75 percent. The Fed has repeatedly cited a target of 2.00 percent inflation, but inflation rates have remained consistently lower.
Recent freefall in fuel prices is keeping inflation below the Fed’s target range, although long-term indicators for inflation remained stable.
Fed Says Economy Increasing at “Moderate Pace”
Committee members noted that economic conditions improved at a moderate pace during the fourth quarter and that labor conditions also showed additional improvement. Non-farm payroll reports expanded in October and November and exceeded third quarter growth rates.
The national unemployment rate edged down to 5.80 percent in October and held steady in November. FOMC members established a national unemployment rate of 6.50 percent as a target rate for removing accommodative measures such as its asset purchase program that concluded in October.
Labor force participation rose, while the number of those under-employed in part time jobs declined.
Private sector hiring and quits increased, although job openings remained elevated in November and maintained levels seen in September and October. Stronger labor markets typically support housing markets as more families can afford to buy homes when hiring and employment rates are stable.
Housing Markets Remain Slow; May Inspire Would-be Buyers
The FOMC minutes noted that committee members viewed housing markets as housing starts and building permits saw slight increases. Construction of single-family homes increased while multi-family construction decreased. Ongoing shortages of rentals are seen as a factor driving renters into the housing market.
Sales of new and existing homes rose “modestly” in October. Slowing home sales will likely drive prices down as inventories of available homes increase. Mortgage rates are expected to rise, but analysts don’t expect mortgage rates to rise much beyond five percent, which remains historically low.
In spite of low mortgage rates, the Fed characterized mortgage refinance activity as “subdued” and said tight mortgage credit conditions continue to inhibit mortgage approvals for all but those with “pristine” credit.
Surveys of economic and financial analysts indicated that the Fed may raise its target federal funds rate mid-year instead of initial projections for raising the rate in late 2015. The target federal funds rate is currently 0.00 to 0.25 percent.