Hey, Siri – Set Timer for 20 Seconds!

I had no idea what an incredibly long time 20 seconds was until we were instructed to wash our hands for a full 20 seconds. I’ve started using “Hey Siri” to make sure I am washing for the entire 20 seconds. Here are a few things you can do while you are waiting for your 20 seconds to end…

  1. 20 Squats. A lot of squats will result in getting fit if you are following the protocol several times a day.
  2. Sing Happy Birthday twice. At least two people somewhere in the world are having Birthdays.
  3. Use the Mindfulness app to meditate. We can all use some peace of mind now.
  4. Place your arms on the rim of the sink and stretch in a modified downward dog.
  5. Say an affirmation. “I am washing my hands, for myself and others.”
    More positive affirmations here.
  6. Think about a friend or loved one you will call or text when you are finished.
  7. Make a hand washing poster with 20 second lyrics from your favorite song. https://washyourlyrics.com/
  8. Express your love and appreciation to your spouse (even though you’ve been cooped up with him or her WAY too long)l
  9. Play the Handwashing Song for the little ones.
  10. Keep up the habit even after this virus is over!

Corona Virus Scams are invading our community..Please Share!

I received this email today from one of our local financial institutions outlining a number of scams being circulated in the community. These scams surround the Corona Virus. Let’s watch out!

https://mailchi.mp/ffbla/security-tips-from-first-federal-bank-of-louisiana-4899542?e=9042c738cc

Would you hire a roofer without a recommendation?

If you wouldn’t call a roofer without a recommendation, why would you randomly pick just any Real Estate agent to help you with one of the most important purchases of your life?

I’d like to share my personal experience of purchasing a home in a new city where I didn’t personally know an agent. About four years ago, my husband and I moved to Lake Charles, Louisiana, to be near family and friends. I didn’t know anything about agent “referrals”. I was extremely lucky that a friend was able to recommend an amazing Keller Williams agent in Lake Charles.

After purchasing my home with this awesome agent and after she got to know me better, she encouraged me to become an agent at Keller Williams which I did with her help and direction.

Since becoming an agent with Keller Williams Realty Lake Charles, I was introduced to the concept of “Referrals”. It never occurred to me it would be beneficial for me to contact a successful agent who might be a friend or family member to ask for a referral to an agent in the city where I was moving. Now that I think about it, would I just call a service provider from the phone book or would I ask my friends and family for a recommendation? Never!! Why would I not seek an agent referral when I am making one of the most important purchases in my life?

I know for certain that the agents at our Keller Williams market center in Lake Charles, will not just give you a random name and then forget about it. They will carefully research the agents in the city where you want to move and will even call the Team Leader at the market center in your new city to discuss your needs and get a recommendation for an agent that fits YOU best. This agent will also follow up to make sure you are satisfied with the agent they recommended.

It is of utmost importance to the agent who will help you find a referral agent in your new city that he or she do just as good a job in finding you an agent as they would do if they were helping you to buy or sell a home themselves.

If you know someone who needs real estate services in another city anywhere, your local agent can help them find an agent no matter where they are moving. I hope you will pass along this information to any friends or family who need real estate services no matter where they are.

Don’t pick just any agent in your new city…get a referral from a trust agent. Please call me anytime.

Don’t Forget to say Hello!

We should NOT become comfortable with Social Distancing although we all should be observing the proper protocols to keep us safe during this difficult time. We must, however, NEVER forget that we are still part of our community and a part of the world. We especially need more expressions of connection during this time. It should remain as an uncomfortable way to live.

Make sure to wave or make a gesture of a hello as a symbolic gesture of connection to everyone including strangers especially if you are wearing a mask when out at the grocery store.

Perhaps we should create a universal gesture of connection as a symbol that we are still connected to our humanity. If you see me and I cannot connect with you on any other level, you will see me smile or wave at you whether you are in a car, walking separate and apart or in any other distancing situation. I will never forget that we are all connected.

Focus on Local Business – Crying Eagle Brewery

One of my favorite places in SWLA is the Crying Eagle Brewery on McNeese Street. As I take my favorite spot on the sofa near the music and put my feet up, I can’t help but relax, enjoy and listen. Sadly no music for the time being.. We truly miss spending a Saturday or Friday evening at Crying Eagle. Another favorite event is when the McNeese Drum Corps has their event at Crying Eagle. Their Caribbean music is beyond compare. If I close my eyes, I feel as though I’m on St. Thomas. We also love Food Truck night and just sitting outside under the lights. Needless to say the craft beer is excellent. It’s always an adventure trying out new ones each time. They have great food as well.

I asked Krickett Schmidt-Racca, the Marketing and Event Manager of the Crying Eagle to tell me something about the story of the brewery.

“As so many great things do, Crying Eagle Brewery started with a conversation at a family supper. It would become more than just another business or job; this one would be a passion project!”

The Crying Eagle is currently offering outside Food & Beer pick up on Wednesday-Saturday 3:00 to 8:00.

We are all looking forward to the reopening of the Crying Eagle.

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Focus On Business – Most Real Estate Agents are small family owned local businesses.

The focus of this blog is not to push Real Estate on you nor ask you to buy, sell or invest in real estate at this difficult time. My blog is about Working Together in SWLA and getting the word out about small businesses in our area.

Today’s blog is about getting to know a a little something about some of the local Real Estate Agents that are being affected by the Corona Virus here in Lake SWLA.

The majority of Real Estate Agents are small business owners who are dependent upon commission only income. When referring to “Agents”, I am also referring to “Realtors”. You can become an Agent through your state licensing process but to be called a “Realtor”, you have to be a member of the National Association of Realtors after having been licensed.

I spent many years in the business world and between my husband and I have bought and sold a number of homes. Before obtaining my license to become an Agent a few years ago, I simply had no clue whatsoever about the actual practice of Real Estate.

The typical impression of a Real Estate agent is that you call the agent, they meet you at a house, you like the house, they negotiate with the seller, go to the closing and pick up their commission check and..”wa-la”, you have a new house! The same goes for a seller…You meet with the Agent, the Agent puts a sign up, a buyer makes an offer and again “wa-la”, you have sold your home!

Little did I know the real truth.

My impressions were far from the reality of practicing as an Agent. That being said, I LOVE being an Agent and the Agents I know love what they do. Real Estate is about money because agents depend upon the buying and selling of houses for their livelihood but I believe there is another essential layer to the job. I find the Agents I’ve met to be genuine caring people who really do care about their clients and our community here in SWLA. They go above and beyond to take care of their clients and care about the outcome outside of the income generated. I think this goes hand in hand. When a deal is closed, I see the happiness from the Agent which results from finding someone a home or helping them sell their home outside of the income.

It seems like Real Estate is trying to go the way of less personalization by buying and selling homes through online sources with no personal touch. You can’t, however, just look as real estate as a transaction. Sellers think of their homes as a place where they raised their families, entertained friends and made memories. Buyers are looking for homes for the same reasons.

In my personal opinion, there is no replacement for the personal touch and humanness in the transaction. The Agents in SWLA with whom I’ve been associated, genuinely feel empathy and joy for their clients. We have to handle rejection, not just for ourselves when we lose a commission but feel just as empathetic for our client and be willing to comfort our clients when things don’t turn out the way they are supposed to for whatever reason. Our brokerage has meetings where we talk about good things and sometimes not so good things. I have yet to hear an Agent who does not express an attitude of genuine caring for their client before they express the disappointment of losing a deal for themselves. Today I received a phone call from a member of our staff just to see how I was. This meant so much to me as I am part of a brokerage (Keller Williams Realty Lake Charles) that has their agents well being at heart.

People still need to move and sell despite the Corona Virus being upon us. Agents are going out of their way more than ever to help both buyers and sellers who might be in need of help despite the current situation. We are still, however, needing that face to face contact even though we cannot shake our client’s hand. At least we have the technology to do this online.

Please be compassionate towards our Agents when they call you just to check up or ask what they can do for you. They truly care about you and want to help you. There is not enough room in this blog to tell you all of the things an Agent will do to help you achieve your goal. Just talk to them about it.

Focus on Local Business-Bespoke Hat Company

Bespoke Hat Co is a local family owned business and was established in 2017 in the Downtown area of Lake Charles, Louisiana. We started out very small and have grown more and more each year by searching for the best brands we can find. We strive to carry the highest quality in a variety of shapes and sizes. We carry a great selection of hats from brands including Stetson, Dobbs, Bailey, New York Hat Company, Gigi Pip, Charlie 1 Horse, & Goorin Bros. We also carry BED|STU genuine leather handbags & shoes. To shop you can click the “Collections” tab on our website. We also have an “Information” tab to help with sizing when looking for the best fit.  We have a huge selection and a wide range of prices to fit everyone’s budget.

Bespoke Hat Company (www.bespokehatcompany.com) is currently closed due to COVID-19. Gift certificates can be purchased by messaging us on Facebook or Instagram. We will mail them to you. We are offering 20% off your purchase, and the discount is automatically taken at checkout. 

Help Support Our Locally Owned Businesses in SWLA

COVID-19 is not only devastating to workers who have been sent home during this Pandemic but is also devastating to our locally owned small family businesses. We want these locally owned businesses to survive this trial so that our people will have a place to return to work. There are many reasons to support our local businesses and restaurants. Both their workers and the businesses are our friends and family here in SWLA.

As part of my blog, I will be featuring small, family owned SWLA businesses. I hope you will read about our local businesses and get to know our SWLA family “members”.

“Most independent businesses are run by people – not by boards, not by stockholders, not by algorithms. And so you get a different kind of care and quality in their product because their work is a reflection of themselves. Instead of focusing on the next market they’re expanding into or the next round of funding they’re raising, they’re focusing on the details and being the best they can be.” – Erica Cerulo and Claire Mazur (co-founders – Of a Kind).

“Choosing to support an independent business is an act of respect; it’s acknowledging the tremendous risk and challenges inherent to starting your own thing.” – Matt Kliegman (co-founder – The Smile, The Smile To Go, Black Seed Bagels)

“Independent business bring originality and variety in a world that’s becoming increasingly homogenized.” – Craig Costello (Artist and founder, KRINK).“You want to shop and live near places that actually mean things to people; places that have a real effect on communities. You can feel when someone really cares about the neighborhood they’re running a business in.” – Sandeep Salter (co-founder – Picture Room and Goods for the Study)

“Independent businesses make neighborhoods healthy; they ground them.” – Bernie Telsey (founder – Telsey + Company).

“Independent businesses give cities their shape, texture, color, and taste…often literally.” – Hasan Minhaj (comedian, correspondent – The Daily Show).

“Independent businesses feel like home.” – Yasmin Daguilh and Mackenzie Gleason (creative content producer – Alice & Olivia / head bartender – The Wayland).

Quotes from Forbes.com, 43 ReasonsYou Should Support Small And Independent Businesses)

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Social Distancing? We are still one community..

I moved to Lake Charles about from Lafayette almost four years ago. Lafayette, Louisiana, is an amazing community but I have truly come to love Lake Charles and the SWLA area. The pace is a bit slower and it is fun to discover those hidden gems in our community. We are struggling right now as is the entire country and world. I do, however, find the people of SWLA to be extremely resilient and coping in the best ways they possibly can. Although a difficult time, I feel a spirit of optimism. I believe that a lot of the optimism and resiliency comes from our Acadian “Cajun” culture. Even if you are a transplant to the area as I am, the “sense of community” is integral in our every day life. By starting this blog, I hope to share some of the stories of people and small businesses in our area that need your help now and in the future.

Please join me on a journey to share and support our community. #StayInTouchSWLA