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Quick Winter Getaways

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Don’t let the frigid forecast keep you home this winter!  While you might not have the time, money, or ability to take a trip to the beach, there are plenty of fun getaway options that are just a quick car ride away!  So, whether you want a relaxing weekend to remember or a “kick-out-the-cabin-fever-jam-packed” adventure, we’ve got you covered!  Here are a few in-and-around Iowa ideas for your winter weather getaway!

 

1.  Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark, Dubuque, Iowa - Located in the Port of Dubuque, Grand Harbor is the perfect spot for enjoying this beautiful and exciting destination area.  With over 25,000 square feet of indoor waterpark and a Watersquirts Kids Club as the hub of great family activities, this location is sure to rank high among even the hard-to-please family members!

 

 

2.  Minneapolis, MN - Our neighbors to the north offer an abundance of winter activities and attractions.  Because, after all, no one does winter like Minnesotans (said in our best accent!).  Explore Minnesota is your one-stop shop for easy getaway ideas!  From the Mall Of America and skiing to dining out and nightlife, Minneapolis can’t be beat (well, maybe only by Des Moines!).

 

 

3.  Adventureland Resort - This year round destination offers a sunlit tropical courtyard, surrounded by lush plants and sparkling blue water!  Don’t let the closure of their amusement park keep you away!  This resort with three pools, a swim-up bar, hot tubs, and a restaurant is plenty of fun on its own!

 

 

4.  Ramada Tropics Resort, Des Moines, Iowa - The recently renovated Ramada Tropics Resort & Conference Center offers something for every traveler, boasting 8,000 square feet of meeting space as well as an 18,000-square-foot indoor water park, the only such amusement park of its kind in Des Moines. This family resort also offers an excellent bar and grill, plus a poolside tiki bar for adults. The kids (or kids at heart!) will love the park's three pools, pirate ship, and water slides.

 

 

5.  Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden - The Des Moines Botanical Center is one of the most popular attractions in Iowa (especially during the winter months!), providing educational, recreational, and community resources to thousands!  It is located on 14 acres along the east bank of the Des Moines River, close to downtown and is a definite “to-do” during the cold days of winter!

 

 

6.  Honey Creek Resort, Moravia, Iowa - By itself the Honey Creek Resort indoor water park (Buccaneer Bay) would be plenty of fun for a quick winter trip, but their offerings don’t stop there! There are winter rentals, hikes, tours, cooking demonstrations, games, a library, and much more!

 

 

7.  Lakeside Hotel and Casino, Osceola, Iowa - An adult adventure, for sure, Lakeside Hotel and Casino offers accommodations, gambling (duh!), dining, and plenty of entertainment.  

 

Keeping You Safe: Preventing Burglaries

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

 

Did you know that almost 40% of annual household burglaries in the United States are not forced entries?  This means that homes were broken into by walking, climbing, or crawling into a house, almost as easy as if the owner’s left the keys in the door! {source

 

Making your home a safe-haven does NOT have to require a lot of money or time -- just a little common sense.  Continue reading for 9 steps that you can take to ensure your home and family stay safe.

 

1.  Lock the doors.  Although this seems obvious, you would be astounded at the number of homes that are left unlocked during the day while residents are at work or at night when they are sleeping.  Be diligent and SMART -- lock the doors AND windows!  Windows should not only be shut, but locked when you are away from home.  There is no point in locking the doors if the windows are open.

 

2.  Make doors and windows visible to the street and neighbors.  Burglars will be deterred from breaking into your home if they know there is a high probability of being seen by neighbors or passersby.  Cut away shrubs and tree limbs that could hide burglars.

 

3. Keep valuables out of sight.  This goes for IN the house and OUT.  Possessions that might be of interest to intruders should be out of view from the windows (privacy curtains work, too!) and your outdoor “toys” (bikes, lawn mowers, grills, etc.) should be stored indoors or in a garage/shed.

 

4. Get rid of trash, like boxes, that may advertise, “Hey!  I got a brand new TV!” This may be as simple as breaking boxes down or disposing of them at another location.

 

5. Leave an illusion that someone is home, even when you are NOT.  This can be done by turning on outside lights at night (consider using a timer if you are out of town) or leaving music and a television on during the day. 

 

6.  Spare keys should be left with a trusted friend, family member or neighbor -- NOT hidden under the flower pot or welcome mat outside your front door.  Burglars make themselves familiar with common hiding spots for spare keys.  Use common sense and don’t make it easy!

 

7.  Secure sliding doors and windows with a strong dowel, steel bar, or 2x4.  This will ensure that even if an intruder is able to pick the lock, he or she will not be able to slide it open.

 

8.  In today’s social society, homeowners tend to share way too much!  If you are going on a vacation or just planning on being away from home for a period of time, DO NOT advertise your absence on social media platforms.  Instead, opt for posting pics and sharing about your adventures after you return home (to your non-broken into residence!).

 

9.  Finally, consider investing in a security alarm to deter burglars and alert authorities if there is a break-in. Many insurance companies offer discounts on home security systems, and we think it might be worth your effort to contact your agent.

 

See?  There is nothing ground-breaking or difficult when it comes to keeping your home safe!  Could you take all these actions and still experience a burglary?  Sure!  But we encourage you to take these necessary, commonsensical steps to prevent break-ins.  Being diligent and educated can pay off when it comes to the protection of your home and family! 

Trending: How To Create a LOVE-LY Master Bedroom

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

With Valentine’s Day just ONE day away, we thought it was the perfect time to talk about what’s happening behind the closed doors of your master bedroom.  And, of course, by “what’s happening,” we mean how your master bedroom is decorated!  

 

(Do we have your attention now?!)

 

Master bedrooms are often overlooked and ignored when it comes to updating and decorating, but we think that your bedroom deserves as much attention and care as your kitchen, living, and dining room.  After all, you DO spend approximately one-third of your life in it!  Might as well make it as comfy and as retreat-like as possible, right?

 

We think so!  Therefore, we compiled a short list of simple, low-cost ideas to makeover your master into a cozy place to crash, where you’ll be sure to have sweet dreams!

 

1.  Make it functional.  From sitting spaces and libraries to exercise areas and home offices, why not make your room work for you?  It may be just as simple as adding a small desk or comfy chair to the corner.  Regardless, seating in the bedroom can make a room feel cozy and inviting. 

 

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2.  Light it up!  Use any windows to your advantage, but also reserve the right to your privacy.  Think: Roman shades or wooden blinds that can be opened during the day to let the light shine in and then closed again at night to ensure maximum privacy and darkness for a good night’s sleep.  And don’t forget the lamps!  We’re firm believers that you can never have too many light sources!  Soft lamp light is sure to make your room feel warm and cozy.

 

Lastly, does your master have a great view that just can’t be beat?  If so, take advantage and arrange your room accordingly. 

 

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3.  Small changes can make a BIG difference!  Simply put: pick some paint and invest in a new, fresh bedding set!  This IS a place that you’re planning on spending a significant amount of time, right?  Well, then, fancy it up!  Start with finding a new sheet set, duvet, comforter, or quilt that fits your personality and decorating style, then choose a paint color to match.  Trust us -- you will be AMAZED at what these simple updates will do for your sweet dreams!

 

 

4.  Make it personal!  Your room should reflect youFrom simple pieces of personalized artwork and gorgeous photo galleries, to vinyl decor and wall treatments, your options for self expression are endless.

 

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5.  Regardless of how beautiful your bedroom is, YOU will not want to spend any extra time in there unless it is comfortable!  And, while this may be a bit more of an investment, we encourage you to collect furniture that comfy and well-crafted.  But don’t forget to look beyond the fancy furniture to pillows, blankets, rugs, and other cozy textiles.  Additions such as these are relatively low-cost and have a big impact.  So, begin there and when the time is right, start your furniture shopping with comfort and durability in mind.

 

Bottom line?  Making your master dream-worthy doesn’t have to be costly and exhausting.  Start simple, think outside the box, and work towards a comfortable and inviting space where you can rest easy and retreat when necessary. 

 

And with that, friends, we’d like to wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day filled with L-O-V-E and many sweet dreams!

2014 Des Moines Home & Garden Show

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Raise your hand if you’re in desperate need of a break from this long winter! We certainly are!

 

Well, we’re here with some good new for us all -- the Des Moines Home & Garden Show is happening now.  Like, TODAY through Sunday!  It is the perfect way to distract yourself from these cold, snowy winter days AND help you re-focus on what it is to come...warm, sunny spring and summer days conducive to home improvements and gardening goodness.

 

The 36th annual Des Moines Home & Garden Show is sure to be full of fantastically fun features, such as over 400 exhibitors, national and local celebrities (helllloooo, Ty Pennington!), and all of the latest products and services in the building and remodeling industry.  A show known for its feature gardens (designed with local celebrities), the Des Moines Home & Garden Show guarantees that attendees will not be bored!  You are sure to find “innovative products, new ideas, practical advice, and great deals in remodeling, home improvement and gardening, with hundreds of experts under one roof.”  In addition, with an increasing demand for the full range of home furnishings, interiors and outdoor lifestyle products, this exhibition is the ideal place to keep up on the latest and greatest, and to bring a little spring and summer inside during this frigid February.

 


From widows and flooring to cabinets and landscaping, and so much more, be sure to come, shop, compare and save! 

 

 

DATES & HOURS

 

 

 

 

Thursday - February 6, 2014

 

12:00 pm

-

9:00 pm

Friday - February 7, 2014

 

10:00 am

-

9:00 pm

Saturday - February 8, 2014

 

9:00 am

-

9:00 pm

Sunday - February 9, 2014

 

10:00 am

-

6:00 pm

 

 

LOCATION

Iowa Events Center

730 3rd Street

Des Moines, IA 50309

515-564-8000

www.iowaeventscenter.com

 

 

ADMISSION

Adults

$ 11.00

 

Adults (Online)

$ 9.00

 

Children Ages 7 - 12

$ 4.00

 

Children Ages 6 & Under

FREE

 

Group Tickets (Minimum of 20 tickets)

$7.00 each

 

 

 

Tickets can be purchased at the evening or in advance by visiting the website

 

Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4