February 2018 Family Events Calendar

It’s almost the month of celebrating lovers and the rich cultural history and contributions of black America- so as you can imagine, there’s a lot of fun (and learning) to be had in this month’s Family Events Calendar. As always, simply click the icon below to open up the PDF– which you can then print for your fridge or save to your computer. Clicking any of the events will, as always, take you to a page with more information about the event(s). We’re excited to explore the history of Los Angeles and Ventura with you this month- and welcome your suggestions if there are any events we forgot to mention!


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15 Inexpensive Disney Home Pieces You Need Right Now

When the holidays are over, it can feel like all of the magic has worn off. No more lights sparkling on every street, no more peppermint hot cocoa, and no more of that excitement in the air. I know- we get depressed just thinking about it, too. BUT, we’ve thought of a way that your new year can still have some of that magic. And, like always, there’s a link either to buy or make the item in each photo- just click on the photo to be led there!

Disney Home v2


For a fraction (literally like 1/100) of the cost of a ticket to the parks, we’ve thought of a few low-cost, subtle ways to add just a touch of Disney magic to your home or apartment (hey- even dorm room!). These cute little ideas are perfect for kids and house guests- and we can’t wait to give your home the feel of ‘the happiest place on Earth’.

1. This cute Peter Pan clock.



Every room needs a clock, if only for aesthetic purposes, so why not make it a fun one? This fun clock from Etsy gives off major  “second star to the right, and straight on ’till morning!” vibes.



2. This DIY ‘Beauty and The Beast’ stained glass “window”.



Using ‘Reality Daydream’s’ method, you can make a ‘stained glass’ replica from Beauty and The Beast, or if you’d rather, you can do one inspired by ‘Cinderella‘, ‘Sleeping Beauty‘, and countless other favorites. Choose whichever size frame you want, and voila! You have the perfect size masterpiece.



3. This familiar little candelabra. 



This is such a cute (and relatively inexpensive) lighting option for your home library, next to your stained glass art, or really anywhere. You can find cheaper options on Ebay, but the link we provided is the Disney-direct.



4. These sneaky little visitors. 



The only kind of rodents you actually want in your house- this decal can be done in a contrasting color, or a few shades darker than your paint so that anyone walking down the hallway *might* catch a glimpse of these little guys sneaking a key back to Cinderella. Or, if you feel really confident in your art abilities, this painted version is a cute option, too.



5. This elegant trivet for hot dishes.


This piece allows you to keep your love for all things Disney ‘hidden in plain sight’, while serving up an elegant side of Mickey Mouse.


6. These ‘haunted’ bookends.


If you’ve got a desk, bookshelf, or library and a love for ‘Haunted Mansion’, then you’re in luck. These subtle bookends add just a touch of Disney: enough to make your decor magical but not overwhelming.


7. This unique tea set.


There’s absolutely no cuter way to serve tea to guests or family. This little set, straight out of ‘Alice in Wonderland’, adds a touch of fun to an otherwise mundane task- and for $65, it’s definitely cheaper than your average porcelain set (and way cuter)!


8. These (not-so-subtle) DIY directions. 


I hate to say it- but if you aren’t artistic, this could be significantly more difficult- but if you are, what a fun DIY way to display your favorite rides or movie titles in their respective fonts!


9. At LEAST one vintage travel-inspired (kind-of DIY) Disney poster.


Make guests do a double take when they see that your vintage travel posters aren’t very vintage, or travel-y, at all! The link above (click the photo) provides a bunch of websites where you can download the cutest, FREE posters. Then, all you have to do is send those files to your favorite printer (Costco, Walmart, Walgreens, etc.), order them in poster size (around 18×24), pick up a cheap poster frame from Walmart (like these)- or don’t, and you have a cheap (under $10!) addition to your home decor. NHE Tip: If you order your poster print from Walmart, you can also have the frame purchased online and waiting for you in the store!


10. A door to Wonderland.



What better way is there to add a little imagination to your home than with this a-door-able (had to do it) prop! For just $60 and available in multiple hardware finishes, some “wood” say it’s worth it’s weight in gold. (We’re done with the puns, I promise).


11. DIY dedicated display areas.


How cute is this Snow White-inspired decor area?! And Beauty and The Beast?! Putting objects that might otherwise seem completely mundane in the same place can totally change the feel of an area- take these for example! Gather up objects from thrift stores or around the house, and get to decorating!


12. A special, DIY sparkly visitor.


By day, it’s a normal piece of decor- but by night, this little jar turns into a home for the cutest of guests!

13. This DIY lamp with a secret message.

Screen shot 2013-05-16 at 7.45.05 AM_large_jpgThe options are endless with this tutorial- whether you want to use words, or have the silhouette of your favorite characters shining through, you can do it all by just changing the shapes.


15. The cutest speaker you’ve ever seen.


With sound fit for a queen and the most adorable look of any speaker ever, this little piece doubles not only as a piece of decor, but for playing music around your castle.



We hope you’re as in love with all those ideas as we are- we can’t wait to add a few subtle touches here and there- and when you do, send us a photo at info@nhelementrealty.com so we can feature your designs on our social media and blog!



Guest Post: Natalie Jones from HomeownerBliss


Image via Pixabay


Moving is one of the most stressful experiences a family goes through. First, you have to accustom yourself to the changes that are going to occur. Second, finding a real estate agent and searching for the perfect place to call home can take months. Finally, the process of actually moving your life from point A to point B is stressful, time-consuming, and expensive.

Of course, it isn’t all bad. There are tons of benefits of moving to a new house. You get to audit all the stuff you have and get rid of things your family does not need. A change of scenery can be good, especially if you are upgrading to a better job or bigger place. Finally, it can be a positive bonding experience for a family as you lean on each other to make the transition easier.

If you find yourself in a position where you are ready to buy a house, take the following tips into consideration to streamline the process and make it as smooth as possible.


Preparing Financially

Buying a house is a huge financial investment, so you want to make sure your finances are in order before even approaching a real estate agent. Here are some tips:

  • Check your credit report. If it is less than stellar, check for errors and dispute any you find. If you owe money, work on paying that off before you consider applying for a home loan.
  • If your credit score is acceptable, set aside the maximum amount you are willing to spend on a down payment. The more you can put down, the lower your monthly mortgage payment.
  • Research your potential markets and figure out which markets have homes that fall within your budget.
  • Find a lender. If you have a real estate agent, ask him or her for a referral. Your agent is more likely to set you up with someone who is willing to lend because your agent wants your home-buying venture to be successful.


Looking at Homes

You may have a dream home in mind, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will line up with your family’s needs and budget. Be mentally flexible when looking for a house but don’t compromise when it comes to safety and school districts. Some advice includes:

  • Narrowing your search by looking at online listings, details, and photos before spending your valuable time seeing the house in person. Tell your real estate agent about the listings you are interested in and ask him or her to obtain any additional information not listed online.
  • Having your agent provide multiple listing service numbers regarding comparable sales in your targeted neighborhood or neighborhoods.
  • If you find that choices are limited, consider looking at foreclosures and fixer-uppers that will save you money but will cost more in work down the road. While these houses require more resources, you have the flexibility to make changes as you like over time.
  • When you find a home, make an intelligent and informed offer and be prepared to negotiate.


Moving Day

Finding a home isn’t the end of your workload. Moving day can be the biggest task of all. The following are some tips for prepping for moving day:

  • Use a moving cost calculator to view quotes for all available moving options and find one in your budget.
  • Account for unanticipated expenses that are bound to come up.
  • Cut down on costs by looking for boxes and other moving materials for free on Craigslist.
  • Schedule your moving day during the week for lower rates and less traffic.



Moving is a huge life change for a family, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a negative experience. Preparing yourself is the best way to simplify the overall process and make sure it goes smoothly. First, you want your finances to be in order before looking at a house. Once it is time to look at the market, be flexible and use your real estate agent as a resource. Finally, when moving day finally arrives, save money where you can because unexpected expenses are bound to pop up.