Thanksgiving Day Time and Sanity Savers

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Oh boy, we all know the feeling of the looming holidays. It's a mixture of emotions, isn't it? While one of the emotions can be excitement and joy...often times we also feel stress around getting everything done on time and done right. Well, this year needs to be different. This year you need to allow yourself let go of perfection and relax into a most enjoyable holiday. Here are 10 tips to ensure you (and your guests) have a great day!

1) Make it a potluck. There are plenty of reasons to do this but let me just mention the obvious: the first Thanksgiving was a potluck, right? Why not just stay with that theme? Not to mention that everyone wants to feel helpful and this is the perfect way to ensure that everybody gets to do their part in creating the meal. Assign every dish out (unless there are one or two you want to make) so you can focus on preparing your home for guests.

2) Don't want to delegate so much of the cooking? That's fine...but go ahead and do yourself a HUGE favor by measuring out all the ingredients ahead of time. This is a big one because when you're in the thick of it cooking-wise, the time saved by pre-measuring is priceless.


3)  Prewash & chop your veggies. Because vegetable sides and salads make up a large part of the dinner, you will save some time by prepping these fresh ingredients before the day of. You can even buy prechopped veggies or use the salad bar at your local grocery store if you're in a pinch.

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4) Enjoy your meal buffet style! Buffet style dining is a great choice if you prefer a laid-back, casual atmosphere over a formal dinner with multiple courses.

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5) Save oven space by utilizing the Crock-Pot, pressure cooker, and stove-top in addition to the oven on the big day. Go ahead and keep gravy, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, etc. warm in the crock pot!

6) Save precious refrigerator space! Use a cooler for drinks and save room for foods that need to stay chilled to avoid constantly rearranging the fridge! BRILLIANT! 

7) Make the cranberry sauce a day or two ahead. Cranberry sauce is something that gets better with age, so save yourself some time on the day of and make it a couple of days ahead of time. Here is a foolproof recipe courtesy of Delish!

8) Put the kids to work! Get them involved in the whole experience by helping set the table, measuring ingredients and filling the cooler with ice. Even if it's just picking up their toys or straightening the living room, the little things add up to big-time help.

9) Be open to semi-homemade items. Not everything has to be made from scratch, especially when you're cooking for a crowd. Remember Sandra Lee? She had a leg up on this whole concept, didn't she?

10) Skip baking altogether. Turn to your local bakeries for some delicious handmade desserts. Why not give yourself a break this year? Our local bakery, Blackbird Bakery, has some of the most delectable treats you will ever have! Flavors like Pumpkin Ginger Cheesecake and Carmelized Apple Pie are off the charts. You can even order pie crust from them! Get your orders in now and you'll be glad you did! 


We should all remember that ultimately, Thanksgiving Day is about giving thanks and appreciation to the gifts we have, the people in our lives and the grace we are surrounded with, not the perfection of the event.  Cheers!



Halloween on Winslow Way

Bainbridge Island has the sweetest traditions. One of them is the annual Halloween Walk held on October 31st. Between the hours of 4-6 pm, Winslow Way shuts down traffic between Madison Ave. and Ericksen Ave. and opens up for trick-or-treaters to wander through from store to store as downtown Bainbridge Island merchants sponsor a safe trick-or-treating evening with family fun.


There is a multitude of costumes to see. Everything from little princesses to scary clowns to the most abstract and creative getups ever. This is one of my favorite events on our little's always such fun seeing the transformation of the people and hearing the spooky tunes from the Eagle Harbor Church bell tower while sipping on free hot cider. This year we had some great costumes donned by our very own brokers and staff!








Jazz takes over Bainbridge Island this fall, as Bainbridge Island Museum of Art proudly announces the first annual Within/Earshot Jazz Festival, a stunning month of world-class events in partnership with Earshot Jazz. The Festival fills BIMA’s auditorium and galleries in October 2017, and is presented by HomeStreet Bank and Realogics Sotheby’s of Bainbridge Island, with support from KUOW Radio and Best Western. An intensive, one-month island celebration of jazz, Within/Earshot mixes club-style concerts and live performances from some of the most respected names in jazz today with a History of Jazz series, artist documentaries, lectures, exhibitions, a high school jazz band performance, and special pop up events. The result is a powerful immersion into America’s most unique, indigenous musical art form designed for music lovers of all ages and experiences.

The Within/Earshot Jazz Festival is a powerful immersion for music lovers of all ages and experiences into America’s most unique, indigenous musical art form. This intensive, month-long island celebration of jazz includes:

  • Club-style concerts and live auditorium performances from some of the most respected names in jazz
  • a History of Jazz series
  • Artist documentaries, lectures, exhibitions
  • High school jazz band performances
  • Special events and pop-up concerts.

Click here for more information and the schedule.




Pumpkin Walk at Bainbridge Gardens


Pumpkin Walk at Bainbridge Gardens

October 13 & 14 from 6-8 pm




Pumpkin Walk? What is a Pumpkin Walk? Well, let me tell's about the sweetest little tradition ever held at Bainbridge Gardens where all the pumpkin carvers on Bainbridge Island pull out their talents and create some of the most awe-inspiring and creative jack-o-lanterns ever seen! Once carved, they're brought to Bainbridge Gardens where the staff carefully put them on display (lit, of course) throughout the trails behind their nursery where the public can wander through to enjoy the home-made art once the sun sets.

You'd be sad to miss such a fun and festive event as not only is there a fabulous display of jack-o-lanterns to inspire you, there are a multiple of events to keep you and your kids entertained.  You will find a bounce house, harvest maze, live music, carnival games, plus food & drink from New Rose Cafe. Don't forget to have a photo taken with the Great Pumpkin!  Admission is free but donations are appreciated and benefit the Bainbridge Island Boys & Girls Club. See you there! 







What to do before buying your first home


You know you're ready to buy a house; you've had your eye on a particular neighborhood for quite some time, you've been slowly donating unused items to the local charity and possibly you've even been saving up pennies here and there for the down payment. So far, so good! Here are a few important tips to be sure your purchase is smooth.

1) Check your credit

 This is a big one.  The homebuyer's credit score is among the most important factors when it comes to qualifying for a loan these days. Your score will likely affect the cost of the loan so definitely know what your numbers are before going forward.

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2) Evaluate Your assets & liabilities

Know what you make, what you spend and where it all goes. A first-time homebuyer (everyone, in fact) should have a good idea of what is owed and what is coming in. Take a few months to carefully track your spending and be mindful of small purchases along the way.


3) Qualify yourself

By calculating debt-to-income ratio and factoring in a down payment, you will have a good idea of what you can afford, both upfront and monthly. 

Though there's not a fixed debt-to-income ratio that lenders require, the old standard dictates that no more than 28 percent of your gross monthly income be devoted to housing costs. This percentage is called the front-end ratio.

The back-end ratio shows what portion of income covers all monthly debt obligations. Lenders prefer the back-end ratio to be 36 percent or less, but some borrowers get approved with back-end ratios of 45 percent or higher.

4) Organize documents

When applying for mortgages, home buyers must document income and taxes. Typically, mortgage lenders will request two recent pay stubs, the previous two years' W-2s, tax returns and the past two months of bank statements -- every page, even the blank ones.

5) Figure out your down payment

That can be tough to scrape together but incredibly worth it in the long run. Plan ahead, put money aside, sacrifice where you can because it all adds up to a bigger down payment!




Bainbridge Island Waterfront Market


Accessible by a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle, Bainbridge Island is a mature commuter market. Our beautiful island offers an abundance of saltwater frontage with views of the city and the Cascade Mountains along most of its eastern shore while the western side showcases breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains. In addition, boaters with homes here enjoy a suburban springboard to marine destinations around Puget Sound and north to the San Juan Islands.

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From July 2016 through June 2017, the average selling price among the 87 waterfront sales on Bainbridge Island was $1.41 million, and just over $500 per square foot. On a neighborhood basis, the highest average prices were paid at Pleasant Beach and the historic town of Winslow, and the top price paid for a home was $3.8 million. Waterfront homes during this period were selling in less than 90 days, at 87 CDOM.

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NEW Artistic Director of Bainbridge Dance Center

After ten years of dancing professionally in New York City, island native Christiana Axelsen will become the new Artistic Director of Bainbridge Dance Center.


Christiana grew up dancing at Bainbridge Dance Center from the age of three through eighteen.  After graduating from Mount Holyoke College, she spent several years in the northwest and taught at BDC alongside Susan Thompson and current Artistic Director BryAnn Bingham. 

An islander through and through, Christiana attended Wilkes Elementary, Woodward Middle School and Bainbridge High School.

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Bainbridge Dance Center was founded in 1981, and is dedicated to providing quality dance education with a commitment to excellence, integrity and community.  With a roster of committed and generous faculty, BDC offers technique classes and cumulative training in modern, classical ballet, tap, and jazz, for youth, teens and adults. 

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Christiana is very excited about the potential to develop new artistic and creative legacies at BDC, such as bringing in New York artists for residencies and masterclasses, and continuing the studio's mission of high quality dance instruction on Bainbridge Island. 

Browse Christiana's website and sign your child up for dance classes using the link below. We're so happy to have your back, Christiana!




Humble Brag

Every year the residents of Bainbridge Island get an opportunity to vote for their local favorites. From sushi restaurants to electricians to real estate companies...everyone gets a shot at being voted number one. Well, 2017 is our year and I couldn't be more proud. Realogics Sotheby's International Realty was voted #1 Real Estate Office on Bainbridge Island!

This is such huge honor and a really big deal for us as individual real estate brokers because it solidifies what we already know - we work for a phenomenal company. Thank you, Bainbridge Island for voting for us, and thank you, Realogics Sotheby's for providing us with a badge we are so proud to wear. I'm so grateful to represent this company.




Island Living Home Tour

A most spectacular event is coming. On Sunday, August 27th Realogics Sotheby's International Realty will be hosting their SUMMER OPEN HOUSE TOURS which will include phenomenal real estate from Mercer Island, Bainbridge Island and San Juan Islands.

Realogics Sotheby’s International Realty would like to invite you to join us on a series of tours of some of the most luxurious and notable properties in our city and beyond. Each of our monthly open house tours is a carefully curated collection of homes around a theme to showcase the distinct lifestyle properties in the Pacific Northwest.


Ready to heed the call of the islands? Discover iconic Pacific Northwest Island living, from the shores of Bainbridge Island to the legacy homes in the San Juans and beyond. We will be adding our ISLAND LIVING TOUR collection throughout the month of August.