Part of settling into a new house so that it feels like 'home' is getting to know the neighbors. Having that community connection helps establish a feeling of permanence and belonging. Here are some ideas for breaking the ice when you're the new kid on the block.
1. The direct approach … sort of
If you're an extrovert, then walking up to a neighbor's home to say hello will be easy. If you're on the shyer end of the scale, you can build up to it. Wave when driving by or checking the mail; a friendly "Hi" as you walk by with the dog or taking the kiddos to school lets you interact without being committed to stick around. When you're ready, you can hang out for a chat. Word of caution, avoid dinner hours when heading over to knock on the door.
2. Old school … with pen and paper
With the advent of the technological age, old fashioned hand written notes have gone by the wayside, and as such, are a welcome surprise when received. A small personalized note left in the mailbox or on the front door can make a big impression—and lay the groundwork to meet for coffee, or something similar.
3. Meet at the bus stop
Go with your kids to the bus stop the first few days (or weeks). It'll give you a chance to meet the neighborhood kids your child is likely to end up playing with in the future, and get you on a level playing field with the parents. When you have kids 'in common,' conversation easily flows from there.
4. Trust your dog
Animals are often good judges of character, and great conversation starters. Go for a walk, find the local dog park, just get out with Fido and before you know it, the opportunities to meet the local folks will come to you! Just remember to carry supplies to clean up any accidents along the way. Nobody likes a party pooper.
5. Groups and clubs are all the rage
Knitting, cooking, reading . . . there are all kinds of reasons that people join clubs. At the heart of them all is the socialization that comes from them. These are a great way for you to meet your neighbors and slowly acclimate. You can start off as a quiet observer if need be, then involve yourself more as you get comfortable. Before you know it, you'll be taking a turn at hosting the group! Tea party, anybody?
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As time marches on we tend to collect, some might even say hoard, so many "things." They might be personal mementos such as letters or various and sundry memorabilia from our school years, they might be "fangirl" collections from a book series, shot glasses from every state in the country, or baseball cards. Regardless of what is collected, humans like to gather. It's in our nature.
The problem with this is that eventually all this gathering leads to clutter, and clutter can lead to mental unease or distress. We're all very sensitive to our surroundings and the state of our living space often has a dramatic impact on our own emotional and mental state. Cluttered closets and messy houses make for a lot of pent up anxiety and emotional baggage. It might not seem obvious but the subtle effects of your surroundings have been studied and observed in cultures around the world for centuries, from Asian Feng Shui to modern Western Architectural Design principles. However, it's not always easy to part with our treasured collections of stuff.
Some of the most common reasons people refuse to get rid of these "things" are:
1. This is a family heirloom, so it would be wrong to let it go.
2. But it was a gift.
3. What if I need it someday?
4. I paid a lot of money for it.
Chances are, if you find yourself having to make excuses to yourself to keep the item(s), then you probably don't need them in your life or home. It's perfectly okay to have special mementos, but you don't need to hold onto every last thing you encounter in your life. Nor do you have to just throw away those relics.
Choose a few key pieces and create a shadowbox or a scrapbook. Consider donating your great-grandparents clothes to a local theatre organization where they can be used and appreciated by helping to bring the past to life . . . on stage. Perhaps you have some valuable china or crystal, or even art pieces, but they don't fit the style of your home and you never really liked the piece anyway . . . check with museum curators. You might have something that would be perfect for one of their displays (and this way you can go visit the stuff anytime you feel the urge to lay eyes on it again). Schools are always happy to take donations of gently loved books, toys, and clothes.
Minimizing, and thereby decluttering, your home will make you feel better. Don't keep things out of guilt or feelings of obligation. This is YOUR home, YOUR life, so make it a sanctuary. A happy place to be. You'll thank yourself for it.
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A flash of yellow darts around the garden, feeding on flowering seed heads or stopping at bird feeders. What could it be? Meet the American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis), one of the only vegetarian songbirds. Because they don't feed their young insects, they're able to hold off their nesting habits until later in the year, June or July, when seeds are abundant.
Here are some tips for making your garden inviting to these yellow birds:
Some common plant favorites of the American Goldfinch to feed on are thistle, sunflowers, asters, and milkweed. Looking to the trees will find these birds enjoying alder, birch, and western red cedar. They will work bits and pieces of these plants into their tightly-woven nests for both warmth and as a food source.
Goldfinches want and need an ideal habitat for seed-hunting, like shrubby fields or forest edges.
These birds prefer to build their nests in shrubs or young trees, but several feet off the ground. To maximize your chances of attracting mating pairs, be sure to incorporate larger shrub species.
Keep any feeders you have full, and clean. American goldfinches are at risk of getting mycoplasmal conjunctivitis—house finch eye disease—from birdfeeders. If you do notice that your winged guests have crusty eyes, take down the feeders and disinfect them with a 10 percent bleach solution then leave them down for about a week so the birds can heal rather than continue to spread the disease.
American goldfinches are one of the U.S.'s national treasures. Thanks to their assorted adaptations, they are often the object of fascination and admiration for everyday backyard gardeners and ornithologists alike. If you attract the American Goldfinch to your backyard, let us know and snap a picture if you can!
Plant late summer to be ready for your guests to arrive in the fall!
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Summer is in full swing in Central Ohio and our locals can't get enough of the sunshine and great outdoors. When the winter is so long and cold, it's always nice to break the ice with some fun, family-friendly summer activities right here on home turf. Here are three of our favorites for you to consider. Whatever you do, get out there and have some fun in the sun!
Get on the Lake
Indian Lake offers a wealth of activity for the whole family. Swimming and enjoying the lakeside park areas are a great way to spend a few hours together without spending too much. For the more adventurous types, check out Spend a Day Marina for boat andwatercraft rentals. Nothing beats buzzing around on the lake with a Jet Ski or speed boat. If you're up for fishing there are some great spots around the lake for catching bluegill, yellow perch, and largemouth bass. From a boat or the shore, you're sure to get something on the end of your line.
The Welcome Woods Family Campground offers you and yours a chance to get outside and camp under the stars for a few days this summer. 18 acres of open land offers plenty of camping spots from the primitive setups, where it's just you and a tent, to recreational parking with water and electrical hookups. The campground is on the south side of Indian Lake so you can walk over for a swim or fishing, or just hang out by the fire pit roasting hot dogs and s'mores! The great outdoors is the iconic summer family experience.
Living in the Midwest has its own quaint country charm but nothing says America like a rural horseback tour. Our friends at Marmon Valley Farm off horseback riding adventures and trail rides, plus camps and lessons for all ages. Let your kids experience the wonders of a fully functioning farm with animals, pets, crops, and of course… horses!
Make memories to last a lifetime right here in Logan County.
There's nothing quite like a beautiful country home and good old-fashioned American hospitality to create an amazing vacation experience. Whether you're a local to the area and need a break from the norms of home or a visitor passing through Indian Lake, these bed and breakfast inns in Logan County represent all the rural beauty our community has to offer.
A unique, Victorian style country home nestled just west of Bellefontaine, the Whitmore House is renowned for its lavish delicacies andbreezy country atmosphere. They specialize in weddings and catered events that are looking for that romantic touch and even offer corporate event catering on the property. For couples looking to sample some of the homegrown hospitality of the Midwest, and see one of the most beautiful homes in Logan County, a stay at the Whitmore House for lodging and breakfast is ideal.
Another quaint country family
home offering genuine hospitality for Logan County visitors is the
Escape Route 508. A peaceful country bed & breakfast located in rural West Liberty, Ohio, this little gem is close enough to all the local attractions from Mad River Mountain to Indian Lake State Park. Get a sample of a family business that welcomes all with open arms.
Located in quaint Zanesfield Ohio, Myeerah's Inn Bed and Breakfast offers private guest rooms decorated with antique curios and vintage furnishings. Breakfasts are hearty country offerings and are served by candlelight or outdoors during the summer. The Inn caters to business luncheons and private events as well. Just another example of the homegrown country character of Logan County and the surrounding area.
If you fall in love with Logan County and decide to stay, as many have before you, there are some beautiful homes for sale in Logan County that we can help you find. Contact one of our award winning real estate agents for a tour.
Summer is finally kicking into gear as schools are letting out and the sunshine is soaking the countryside. Of course, there's no better way to celebrate summer with your neighbors and community than a day at the city pool. The municipal pool adds significant value to the community and the many lovely properties and homes for sale in Bellefontaine Ohio just by offering something wholesome and enjoyable for families and kids in the neighborhood.
The pool has its big Opening Day on May 23 and will be open from 12pm to 8pm most days, weather permitting. With affordable daily tickets and season passes, the pool offers a plethora of fun and opportunity for families in Logan County.
The American Red Cross will be offering swimming lessons for all ages throughout June for those interested in introducing the little ones to the water. There will also be sign-ups for the Bellefontaine Swim Team, which is an open league for anyone in Logan County and surrounding counties.
The Bellefontaine Pool facilities will host public pool parties on Friday Nights on June 19 and July 24 and the pool is available for private parties based on available reservation. Rent the facility for your event and enjoy the well-kept beautiful pool. At the end of the season, in late August, the pool will welcome dogs for Dog Day at the Pool. We wouldn't want to leave our furry friends out.
Bellefontaine and Logan County hold significant community value for families in the area and we're always happy to find quality houses in Bellefontaine for those interested in being a part of our community.
Our award-winning real estate agents are exceptional for many reasons, not the least of which is their knowledge and awareness of all that the Bellefontaine community has to offer. When you're representing the beautiful homes for sale in Bellefontaine, it pays to know the area's best attractions and that starts with great food. The following 4 local restaurants of Bellefontaine are some of the most popular and highest rated eateries in town.
With several awards to their name and a long-standing #1 ranking on TripAdvisor for the best restaurant in Bellefontaine, Six Hundred Downtown leads our list. Pizza Champ Michael Shepherd offers classic handcrafted pizzas in old fashioned brick ovens that are good enough to have been featured on the Food Network and Discovery Channel. Don't miss this local excellence!
Another local favorite, Don's place features classic American burgers like your granddad used to make. The chef is highly creative and does some amazing things with ribs, pulled pork, and chili too! As a Main Street original, Don's Downtown Diner is a great example of the homegrown quality of the Bellefontaine community.
It's all in the sauce, is the famous saying of great Italian pizza around the world and at Vicario's, that's never been more true. Famous for the sweet sauce and creative toppings, this local pizzeria gets consistent 5 star reviews and continues to draw in crowds from far and wide.
No town is complete without a great Mexican restaurant and Los Cabos is the local favorite. With a classic Mexican atmosphere and delicious signature dishes, the residents of Bellefontaine can't say enough good things about this place. Try the Chili Relleno next time you're in town!
There are plenty of great places to eat in Bellefontaine Ohio and the surrounding area so don't limit yourself to just these four. When you come to town, try something different each time. It's hard to be disappointed by the local eats.
After a long and anticipatory wait, Bellefontaine can finally welcome its newest home grown steak house to the neighborhood. Dan Stinebaugh proudly opened his doors recently to offer locally-made craft beers to the Bellefontaine community along with choice steaks and classic American eats at Chops & Hops Brew Haus.
We're always excited to welcome new local businesses to the community. Locally owned restaurants and shops are the lifeblood of a strong and vibrant community and with so many wonderful houses for sale in Bellefontaine, the area is ripe for new life.
The new Chops & Hops steakhouse will be offering a variety of local beers and foods and they're open for lunch at 11am. The buildinghas a long history, built in 1973 by the Tazwell Corporation and later spending much of its life housing the Pardner's Steak House before serving as home to a local Wingers franchise until 2012.
Now it's back in the hands of a local with promising dreams for the property and its new restaurant-brewery. Be sure to stop in and congratulate Dan and his family and welcome their new enterprise to Bellefontaine. We'll be highlighting this new expansion of the local economy to anyone interested in moving to Bellefontaine.
Be sure to check out the most recent homes for sale in Bellefontaine and Indian Lake at our website.
When you and your family decide to move to a new town or area, one of the first things likely to come to mind is the local school district. Will my kids have a good education? What about extra-curriculars? What kind of friends will they have? These are all valid concerns for parents looking to relocate to Bellefontaine Ohio and have the kids switch schools.
Fortunately for you (and our residents), Bellefontaine has one of the highest rated school systems in the state of Ohio. With exceptional test scores at the high school level and enrichment programs for all our K-12 students, Bellefontaine schools rank in the top 5% of Ohio schools.
Elementary School serves the little ones in Kindergarten up to 2nd grade and then our Intermediary School takes care of grades 3-5. The Middle School (Grades 6-8) prepares our young adults for High School (grades 9-12).
Homes for sale in Bellefontaine Ohio are appealling to families relocating to the area because the school system has such a great reputation and track record. You know you're in a good community when everyone loves the schools.
Boasting an open enrollment policy, Bellefontaine schools invite families from neighboring communities to enroll students if they so choose. We take pride in the next generation in the Bellefontaine community and there's no place where that's more apparent than in the halls of our school system, the fields of our athletic teams, and the minds of our students.
Welcome to Bellefontaine Ohio and enjoy the search for your new home! Go Chiefs!
It's getting warmer every day and we're on our way to Spring! Northerners are always sick of winter by March and the promise of warmer weather on the horizon is usually the only thing keeping us from going stir-crazy with the cabin fever. We're all personally excited about the return of warm weather because the Indian Lake area really comes back to life.
Fishing & Boating
Kicked off by this year's Indian Lake Boat Show, the Lake itself will be the perfect place to get a boat on the water and cast a line. Fishermen come from all over Ohio to fish in Indian Lake. There is no horsepower restriction on the water so boats of all sizes and speeds can be found cruising along the surface. Grab a fishing license and get ready to get out on the water!
Hiking & Camping
As the weathergets warmer, more and more of us are eagerly venturing out of the house to explore the trails and parks that make Ohio such a beautiful place to live. Indian Lake State Park has a number of exceptional landscapes to explore from its winding network of trails and campsites. We always love hearing from the out-of-town visitors that make it to thearea for the first camping of the season.
Local Festivals and Events
In addition to appreciating the natural world around us in the spring time, many of us are gearing up for several fun, family-friendly festivals and street fairs that dot the many townships and communities around Indian Lake. The Boat Show and Maple Syrup Festival are just the start of a long summer of community fun.
We're as excited for this year's warm weather as anyone. If you have plans or suggestions for how to celebrate the thawing snow, leave a comment!
The weather in Ohio is infamous for being unpredictable and ever-changing and, while the winters aren't as harsh as our northern neighbors, January and February can be a rough time for Ohioans who are used to being outside in the forests, fields, and parks. But there are still winter recreation options just a short drive from Columbus, Dayton, and the Indian Lake area.
Mad River Mountain is the largest ski resort in Ohio and offers skiing, snowboarding, and snow tubing activities for families during the winter months. Their own restaurant bar features a concert series and several events to keep things interesting all winter long.
There are family and group lift ticket specials and membership perks, as well as training and club activities. If you and your family are interested in the winter festivities available in Central Ohio this winter, check out the slopes at Mad River Mountain.
For the winter trekker who isn't so fond of barrelling down a mountain, there are some beauitful winter hiking trails around the Indian Lake State Park that are sure to give you some breathtaking photographic moments.
If you're interested in going a bit further away, there's also the Snow Trails and Clear Fork Winter Resorts in the Mansfield area.
More and more families are seeing the value in small town living all across the Midwest, opting for a cohesive community over sprawling urban congestion. If you find yourself chaffing under the stress of heavy traffic, urban crime, or skyrocketing costs of living, consider a move to one of Ohio's most enjoyable rural communities right in the heart of Logan County.
With a downtown that thrives with diverse businesses and restaurants, Bellefontaine offers a wholesome place to raise a family and connect with neighbors. But that's not the best part. What really draws people from all over the state to Logan County are the assortment of attractions and adventures available right in our own backyard.
These beautiful caves are the largest of Ohio's hidden caverns and feature impressive stalactites and stalagmites for you to explore year round.
A popular family destination all across the Appalachian region, Mad River Mountain features a variety of fun winter activities for the family, including 140+ acres of ski terrain, 24 trails, 12 lifts, 2 different terrain parks, 133 fan guns, and the Avalanche Tubing Park.
For summertime fun, the 5,800 acre Indian Lake offers water activities you're sure to enjoy, including boating, swimming, fishing, and a host of fun water sports. Surrounding areas allow for hiking, biking, and camping too.
Our local Agri-tainment Farm Park, Marmon Valley Farm offers a unique farm-style family fun center complete with exquisite picnic grounds, large swings, hiking and horseback riding trails, hay tunnels, animal interaction for the kids, a Playbarn, and a host of educational exhibits for the whole family.
With so much to do year round, living in Bellefontaine and Logan County never gets old or boring. Contact one of our agents to learn about the beautiful Bellefontaine homes and rentals currently on the market.