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10 Easy & Unique Housewarming Gift Ideas

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Giving a thoughtful housewarming gift doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive.  Whether it be food, home supplies, kind words, or a sentimental gift, the thought is what counts (at least that what my mom always said...).  Check out these unique and friendly ways to warmly welcome friends and family to their different digs, or new neighbors to the ‘hood!

(See source list below)

1. Jar ‘o goodies by Little Life of Mine

2. Fancy wine gift: Source Unknown

3. Illustrated house portrait from Etsy shop: Rebekkaseale

4. Wine in kitchen towel: Source Unknown

5. Ice Cream Sundae Gift Box from Tip Junkie

6. Home Cleaning essentials: Source Unknown

7. New home needs bucket from Champagne Thursdays

8. Pasta dinner & wine in colander: Source Unknown

9. Lemonade makin’ jar: Source Unknown

10. Personalized address stamp from Etsy shop Foryoo

Home Swimming Pool Safety

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

In the midst of these sweltering summer days, we believe that it is especially important to be mindful of swimming pool safety.  And while Iowa isn’t necessarily known for it’s home swimming pool popularity, it is certainly a trend on the rise from the real estate perspective.  For this reason, it is crucial that homeowners remain diligent when it comes to maintaining a safe environment around their swimming pool.

We have put together a list of home swimming pool safety steps for homeowners in hopes to inform and educate, thus preventing a potential drowning tragedy. 

● Invest in and make use of a lockable safety cover for your pool.

● Secure pool area using a four-foot or taller fence, with self-closing and self-latching gates.

● Consider the use of pool and gate alarms that sounds when children go near the pool.

● Drain and suction covers should be checked on a frequent and regular basis. Defective equipment can lead to accidental entrapment and drowning.

● Pool and hot tub water should be kept clean and clear by maintaining proper chemical levels, circulation, and filtration. Water should be tested regularly to avoid spreading of disease.

● Keep life-saving floatation devices on a pool hook close-by to aid in emergency rescue situations.

● A first-aid kit (including scissors for cutting hair or clothing that may be caught in a drain, a charged portable phone for calling 911, and a floatation device), should be accessible and well-labeled. 

● Clearly mark water depths and have “no diving” signs visible.

● It may seem like it goes without saying, but children should always, always, always be under active supervision if they are in or near the pool.

● Additionally, children and adults should be taught basic water safety.

● Learn to perform adult and child CPR and keep those skills updated regularly.

● Have young children or inexperienced swimmers wear life vests.

Nothing brings pool fun to a screeching halt faster than a water emergency. At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we take the safety of you and your family very seriously.  Therefore, we encourage you to go the extra mile this summer by implementing all of these steps to ensure a safer pool experience.  

Ankeny SummerFest, Part II

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

Welcome back to part II in our series highlighting Ankeny’s SummerFest and some of our favorite/we-think-you-ought-to-know-about events!  As we mentioned last time, not only do we pride ourselves on being the “Ankeny Specialists” when it comes to real estate, but we’d like to think we know a little something about our community and it’s happenings, too.  So, without further ado, here are just a few of the, what we consider to be, can’t-miss events from SummerFest days 3 and 4 (July 13 and 14).

Read Part I {here}.

Saturday, July 13, is a day jam-packed with fun and activities for all ages and citizens with a wide variety of interests. 

● The day begins with a bang as the SummerFest Grand Parade takes to the streets of Ankeny at 9:00 am.  As long-time patrons, we encourage parade-goers to find a spot along the route early, come prepared, and be ready to to be entertained!

●In it’s 16th year, the Cardboard Boat Regatta is among the most popular of SummerFest events!  The challenge to, “design and build a person-powered corrugated cardboard boat that is capable of racing, or at least floating,“ is not only exciting for participants, but is also highly entertaining (read: hilarious!) to watch.

●Once again, no SummerFest evening is complete without a stop by the Leisure Garden where bands like Throwing Toast and the Standing Hamptons will be performing on Saturday.

●Among much, much more, don’t forget to check out other Saturday events, such as: The Miss 16 Contest; Kiwanis Pancake Breakfast; Sand Volleyball, Slowpitch Softball, and Bags Tournaments.

Even on it’s final day, SummerFest doesn’t let up on fun!  The events schedule is full, but a few of our Sunday favorites are:

Ankeny Optimist SummerFest 5k/1 mile run.  This is the perfect way to work off some of that fantastic fried food from the midway that you’ve been consuming all weekend!  Even better?  It’s for a great cause!

Corks & Caps: Iowa Wine and Craft Beer Festival.  A perfect opportunity to check out wineries and breweries from all over Iowa!  Tickets are available at the door!

Fireworks!  The finale!  It’s a spectacular show...especially for those that choose to be up close and personal, viewing the fireworks from the Leisure Garden or Prairie Ridge Sports Complex!  These fireworks are the perfect way to celebrate another successful year of SummerFest!

And there you have it!  Our complete list of must-see/must-do 2013 SummerFest activities!  For the full schedule of events, details, and other general information, visit www.ankenysummerfest.org.

 

Ankeny Summerfest, Part I

by Ankeny Real Estate Service

At Ankeny Real Estate Service, we like to refer to ourselves as the “Ankeny Specialists” when it comes to Ankeny homes.  BUT, that doesn’t mean that our expertise ends with the real estate market. Nope! We are proud to be a long-time, Ankeny-based business, which means our community ties are strong and we are well-versed on all things Ankeny...including local events. 

This year’s Ankeny Summerfest is right around the corner and we think you need to know about it!  However, this 4 day event (July 11 - 14) is just too BIG for us to cram into just one blog, which is why we’ve decided to make this a 2-post series.  Today we’re excited to share with you some of our favorite Summerfest activities, beginning with the events of the first 2 days (July 11 & 12), then finishing up with the final 2 days (July 13 & 14) in our blog post next week.  So, hang onto your hats, this is going to be fun!

Summerfest 2013 begins with a Thursday evening chock-full of fun!  Here’s the rundown on what Day One has to offer:

Summerfest on-site carnival and vendors.  Runs Thursday, July 11 thru Sunday, July 14.  There are games, rides, and lots of attractions for the kids (or kids at heart!), as well as, plenty of foods, drinks, and vendors for those less interested in the Midway shenanigans. 

●The ever-popular Leisure Garden will be playing host (yet again!)  to the band, The Rumbles on Thursday, July 11, from 7:30-11:00 pm.  As always, entrance to the Leisure Garden is free.

●This year’s 3-On-3 Youth Basketball Tournament gets it’s start on opening day.  What an awesome opportunity to grab a couple buddies, lace up those sneakers, and begin your quest for 5th-8th grade total basketball domination! 

The Summerfest fun continues on into Friday with a full day of activities offered.  Some of our favorites include:

●The Ankeny Alumni Association will be hosting it’s Tenth Annual Golf Tournament at Otter Creek Golf Course.  This is a 4 person best shot tourney, with a $70 registration fee that includes a cart, lunch, and plenty of swag!  Details can be found {here}

●The Bill Riley State Fair Talent Show, presented at Prairie Ridge School Stadium.  Be there at 7:00 pm and be prepared to be wowed by some of Ankeny’s wicked-awesome talent!

●This year’s Kiddie Parade is fully embracing the Summerfest theme of “Get Loud” and we have no doubt that it’ll be just that...plus LOTS of fun! Kids (and parents) should meet in Uptown Ankeny at 6:00 pm.  Judging begins at 6:15, with the parade to start soon after at 6:30.

●Friday night’s Leisure Garden band line-up begins with Abby Normal from 6:00-8:30 pm, then continues from 8:45 to 11:45 pm with Summerfest-newbie Fahrenheit

And there you have it -- just a FEW of our Summerfest favorites from Days 1 & 2.  To view a complete schedule of events and to learn more about all that Summerfest has to offer, visit their website at www.ankenysummerfest.org.  Plus, don’t forget to stay tuned for next week when we highlight more of event favorites from Saturday and Sunday in our blog: Summerfest, Part II.

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