Karen Lawley | Revere Real Estate, Malden Real Estate, Lynn Real Estate, Boston Real Estate


Image by Emilian Robert Vicol from Pixabay

Have you ever gone outside after a patch of cold weather to find long icicles hanging from your roof's edge? These spears of ice are usually caused by an ice dam forming along your eaves or roof's edge and can be dangerous when they melt and go flying to the ground.

What is an ice dam?

An ice dam is a rim of ice that accumulates when snow melts on your roof and cools enough to turn to ice before it falls to the ground. The result is a heavy buildup of ice that can tear down your gutters and drain pipes as well as cause those huge (and dangerous) icicles. It can even cause water to back up and enter your home. Ice dams are usually the result of heat escaping from the top of your house due to poor insulation. Chimneys and exhaust vents on your roof can also contribute to causing ice dams.

Dealing with ice dams

To keep ice dams in check, it's important to keep the snow from building up on your roof. You can do this with a roof rake or a roof broom without having to climb up on the icy roof. For a long-term fix, it's also a good idea to inspect your roof's edge and the inside of your attic each fall and seal up any cracks or gaps where heated air can escape. In addition, you want to keep as much heated air in your living space as possible for energy efficiency as well as preventing ice dams. That means making sure that your ceiling is secure and insulated and that no air is passing between the two spaces.

If, despite your best efforts, you still have ice dams appearing at your roof's edge, it's best to call in the professionals. Walking around on an icy roof can be hazardous and is better left to those with special training and experience.  


Photo by SHOP SLO® on Unsplash

The Pantone Color Institute has a certain knack. The design company gets a feel for the mood of the year to come, and shapes design trends to match it.

It takes cues from new kinds of materials we use. It considers our social media platforms, upcoming sports events and the sights and sounds that receive international attention. Pantone has selected a color each year for more than 20 years.

For the Start of a New Decade, Pantone Picked Classic Blue

Classic Blue has a timeless and universal appeal. It's a shade of azure that brings to mind a calm, expansive marine horizon or an afternoon sky. Or perhaps bright tiles, crafted by artisans of Mediterranean and semi-tropical climes.

Classic Blue is a primary color with an approachable feel. It has a reassuring presence. That's exactly what Pantone was going for in 2020.

The 2020 Color of the Year Is Refreshing Yet Traditional

Beautiful interior touches in Classic Blue evoke calm and connection, and a sense of the enduring as we pass the 2020 milestone. 

Silver and white accents make blue feel clean and attractive, simple yet elegant. Blue brings a sense of peace, clarity and tranquility to a home, fostering relaxed interactions.

No matter whether you avoid or embrace smart home technology, your can create space in your home for the "true blue" we trust.

Especially If You're Selling in 2020, Classic Blue Is Perfect for Adding Timely Flair   

Think gentle off-white for bathroom wall sconces or a sink or tub, framed by blue-and-white mosaic tiles.

Imagine a blue wall setting off a bright, polished-nickel kitchen faucet. Kitchen border tiles or mosaic tile flooring in blues, whites and golds evoke the long sunny days of a youthful summer. 

You Don't Need to Spend a Lot on Renovations 

Classic Blue makes for striking accents even in small touches. It might inspire your choice of bowls to place atop a crisp, white kitchen shelf. Use blue ceramic coasters on a white, black or gold table. Or paint the door in Classic Blue, adding bright contrast to the entryway against a white exterior.

In an era of conflicting ideas and rapid changes, blue brings a sense of dependability that naturally pleases guests and puts home buyers at ease.

Choose Classic Hues to Sell Your Home This Year

When Pantone chooses its annual Color of the Year, a variety of industries showcase that hue: interior decorating, travel, filmmaking, manufacturing, marketing, packaging and graphic design. Tap into the mood of today when thinking about accents and updates.

Ready to get your home looking great for selling this year? Contact us for more tips!


Not all smart home devices are created equal. If you wind up paying a high price for a smart home gadget you do not need, you risk wasting precious time and resources.

Fortunately, there are lots of things you can do to make informed smart home device purchases, such as:

1. Consider Your Smart Home Device Needs

The needs of one property owner for a smart home device may vary from those of another.. If you consider how you can use different smart home devices, you can boost the likelihood of making smart home gadget purchases that will serve you well for years to come.

For example, if you find your electricity bills are on the rise, investing in smart light bulbs may prove to be a great choice. These light bulbs can help you optimize your house's electricity consumption and lower your electricity bills.

On the other hand, if you are concerned about home security, a smart house security system may be an excellent investment. This security system can help you simultaneously safeguard your residence against theft and lower your home insurance rates.

2. Perform Comprehensive Research

New smart home devices are becoming available every day, and as such, determining which ones are right for your house sometimes is difficult. If you perform in-depth research into the smart home devices at your disposal, you could find gadgets that you can enjoy day after day.

Conduct online research into assorted smart home devices – you will be happy you did. Once you learn about different smart home gadgets, how they work and their benefits, you can choose the right devices for your residence.

Also, it may help to consult with family members and friends as you assess myriad smart home devices. If a family member or friend recently purchased a smart home device that works perfectly, for instance, you may want to consider buying the same gadget for your house.

3. Evaluate Your Budget

As more smart home devices are released, the prices of various smart house gadgets are falling accordingly. Yet it is still crucial to evaluate your budget closely before you make smart home device investments. If you understand exactly how much money you can spend on smart house devices, you can take steps to get the most out of your available finances.

Don't forget to shop around for smart home devices, too. Online and brick-and-mortar retailers occasionally offer sales on smart home gadgets. Thus, if you search far and wide for smart home devices that fall in line with your budget, you could avoid spending too much to acquire top-notch smart house gadgets.

As you get set to invest in smart home devices, it generally pays to be diligent. If you take an informed approach to smart home device shopping, you can find gadgets that will deliver long-lasting benefits. Best of all, you can use assorted smart home devices to lower your electricity costs, secure your residence and much more.


Photo by Sophy Chen from Pexels

Like many Japanese words, om-rice is a portmaneau -- a new word created from combining two other words. In this case, it comes from “omelette” and “rice”, and the popular dish consists of fried rice with ketchup wrapped in an egg omelette. 

Made from basic ingredients like rice, ketchup, and hot dogs or chicken, it’s sure to be a hit. We break down the basics for you, then give some tips on how to change things up.

Ingredients (per serving)

  • ½ diced onion

  • 1 cup cooked rice

  • ½ hot dog, sliced into thin circles or cooked shredded chicken

  • 2 t olive or vegetable oil, divided

  • ½ t garlic powder

  • 1 T ketchup

  • Sprinkle of black pepper

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • Additional ketchup for garnish

  • Procedure:

    Heat the oil in a frying pan. 

    Toss the diced onions into the pan, stirring frequently.

    Add the meat when onions are almost translucent. Cook for about a minute, stirring frequently.

    Add the rice to the pan. Mix with the onions and meat. Make sure to break up the clumps of rice.

    Add the garlic powder, black pepper, and ketchup. Mix everything together so that the ketchup is spread evenly over the rice.

    Transfer the fried rice to a bowl.

    Add oil to the pan and let it heat up.

    Pour the beaten egg into the pan. Tilt the pan to spread the egg around in a thin layer.

    When it looks mostly cooked, flip to cook the other side.

    Spoon the fried rice into the center of the egg. Using your spatula, bring the sides of the egg up to cover the rice. It should look a bit like a burrito.

    Transfer the om-rice to a plate with the open side facing down.

    Garnish with more ketchup on top of the egg, if desired.

    Make It Simpler

    Wrapping the rice in the egg omelette can take some practice. If you're looking for a simpler presentation, spoon the rice into a bowl then lay the egg omelette on top tucking the edges down into the bowl.

    Additionally, the onions, garlic powder, and black pepper could make the dish a bit too spicy for some. You can leave some or all of them out if you'd like a milder flavor.

    Dress It Up

    We’ve made this recipe simple but you can make several changes to adjust to your taste. For instance, if you use fresh garlic rather than garlic powder, it will enhance the flavor. Green onions can give it a different taste.

    You can also change some of the ingredients to make use of what you have on hand. Instead of using hot dogs or chicken, use ground beef or diced ham. You can even add some vegetables, such as chopped cabbage or frozen peas.

    This recipe is simple, but delicious. Give it a try tonight.


    Ready to acquire your dream house? Before you embark on a home search, it often helps to establish a homebuying wish list. That way, you can narrow your house search and discover your dream home without delay.

    Now, let's take a look at three factors to consider as you craft your homebuying wish list.

    1. Home Size

    Home sizes vary. As such, you'll want to consider your living situation closely to ensure you can find a house in a size that suits you perfectly.

    Remember, a three-bedroom house may be too big for a single person. Much in the same vein, a one-bedroom home is unlikely to meet the needs of a family of five. But if you consider your living situation ahead of time, you can determine what size home to buy.

    2. Home Location

    Do you want to own a house that is located just minutes from your office in the city? Or, would you prefer a home in a small town? Think about where you want to live, and you can tailor your home search accordingly.

    Keep in mind that home prices will vary based on location. Oftentimes, houses in or near major cities are more expensive than similar homes in small towns. At the same time, homes close to top schools or attractions may prove to be more expensive than others.

    3. Home Exterior and Interior Features

    Consider the home exterior and interior features that you want – you'll be glad you did. If you evaluate home exterior and interior must-haves, you can create priorities as you search for your dream house.

    For instance, buying a house that features a central air unit may be a top priority if you plan to relocate to a warm-weather region. On the other hand, you might want to purchase a house that features an in-ground swimming pool, but you can live without this outdoor amenity if necessary.

    A homebuying wish list is essential, regardless of where you choose to pursue houses. In addition, if you require extra help as you get ready to enter the housing market, you may want to employ a real estate agent.

    With a real estate agent at your side, you can boost your chances of acquiring a top-notch house at a budget-friendly price. A real estate agent will allocate the necessary time and resources to learn about your homebuying goals. Then, this housing market professional can help you streamline your home search.

    Furthermore, a real estate agent will provide expert assistance throughout the homebuying journey. He or she will set up home showings, help you submit offers on homes and handle homebuying negotiations. And if you ever have homebuying questions, a real estate agent is happy to respond to them at any time.

    Make your dream of purchasing a home come true – consider the aforementioned factors, and you can create a wish list to help you accomplish your homebuying goals.




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