The Good Things about Tax Day

We all know filling out your tax return forms can be stressful so why not reward yourself when they are done? Following is a list of some free and discounted things around town for you to enjoy! After I shred some paper, I will be heading to Schlotsky’s for lunch then Great American Cookies for dessert.

*FREE DOCUMENT SHREDDING @ OfficeMax & Office Depot (up to 5 pounds) until April 23rd.
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FREE DOCUMENT SHREDDING @ Staples (up to 5 pounds) until April 18th.

FREE CINNABON BITES on Tax Day! Visit any Cinnabon.

FREE ORIGINAL CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIE @ Great American Cookies on April 18th. (participating stores only)

FREE CUP OF SHAVED ICE from Kona Ice. Trucks will be parked outside post offices, tax prep centers and other businesses on April 18th.

FREE SANDWICH with purchase of drink and chips @ Schlotzsky’s on April 18th.

HALF-PRICE CHEESEBURGER @ Sonic on April 18th.

FREE HYDROMASSAGE @ Planet Fitness (must be 18 or older) from April 18th to 22nd. Download coupon starting April 18th from the Planet Fitness website.

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#humbled

On January 6th, myself and other Ebby agents from across North Texas, assisted in cleaning up neighborhoods that were affected by the recent tornadoes. The devastation I saw will never leave me! I never thought in a million years that clients I once helped to find a home and start their dreams, I would have to one day help them pick up the pieces. This is an experience that humbled me to my core.

We called ourselves “Team Ebby!” We consisted of approximately 80 agents, as well as some staff from our affiliated Title and Mortgage companies. Some duties for clean-up included: removing broken glass, nails and shingles; removing fences and soiled carpet; walking the neighborhood to ask different homeowners what they need. Sometimes all they needed was a shoulder to cry on.

Operation Blessing International (Disaster Relief Services) is the non-profit organization that coordinated Team Ebby. Their main mission during a disaster is to supply meals, lodging, equipment, work order coordination and more. They are always in need of volunteers, so if you would like to learn more about them and possibly sign up to be a part of their team, then just click on this link: http://www.operationblessing.org/volunteer/.

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Random Acts of Kindness

Even though Random Acts of Kindness week isn’t until February 14th, I wanted to go ahead and participate now! The truth is for years I have suffered from seasonal depression. But this year I have felt great. I believe that doing community service projects all year long has lifted my spirits. When I share and give to others, I feel better. You should try it too!

I got the idea to do Random Acts because a friend of mine’s daughter left her a note that said “These are all rinsed. Random acts of kindness.” Something little like helping with the dishes can make someone’s day. And remember, this is something the whole family can enjoy doing.

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Need some ideas?
*Treat someone to fresh fruit
*Put gas in someone’s car
*Sing Christmas carols at a nursing home
*Buy something for the person in line behind you
*Rake your neighbor’s yard
*Cook a meal for someone
*Give warm clothes, shoes and boots to the homeless
*Renew a friendship
*Facebook message a genuine compliment to some friends
*Leave a nice server the biggest tip you can afford
*Talk to the shy person at the party
*Adopt a rescue pet
*Send a care package to a soldier
*Bring holiday sweets to work
*Help the stressed parent by babysitting one night
*Leave a whole bunch of pennies heads-up for kids to find on the sidewalk
*Go to your friend’s kid’s event
*Send dessert to another table
*Give away stuff for free on Craigslist
*Decorate for the holidays
*Give someone a book you think they would like
*Spread the goodness!

Don’t worry, I am going to complete many Random Acts of Kindness this month….and hopefully every month. Just today I was standing in line for the restroom and I let the lady behind me go before me.

I love scrolling through the internet to see what others have done. I have attached some of my favorites. Would you mind sharing with me different Random Acts of Kindness that you either gave or received?

As always, I am never too busy to take care of any of your real estate needs! Contact me anytime, especially during the holiday season. It would make me happy to help you!

-Dawn Redmond

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MY TOP 10 FAVE PHOTO LOCATIONS FOR YOUR FAMILY – WHAT’S YOUR STYLE?

Dragon Park
3520 Cedar Springs Rd.
Dallas, TX 75219
There are angels, dragons, fairies and gargoyles all in one garden! Very small park, so not enough space to play, but enough space to take some magical pictures! It is a hidden gem. Dragon Park is for the eccentric family.

White Rock Lake
Lakewood
Dallas, TX 75334
White Rock Lake is a given! There is plenty of trees, wildlife, bridges and piers. As long as you are avoiding the cyclist you should be fine.  This place is definitely for the nature lover!

Lakeside Park
Lakeside Dr. & Armstrong Ave.
Dallas, TX 75205
Highland Park
Lakeside Park runs along Turtle Creek. There are beautiful lily pads and sculptures. It is very well maintained with benches located throughout. There are large teddy bear sculptures that will definitely be for the playful family!

Continental Ave. Pedestrian Bridge
101-115 Continental Ave.
Dallas, TX 75207
Design District
Are you the artsy type? Not only is this spot a great view of downtown, you can see the arches of the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge and the full span of its cables. Being the creative type, you shouldn’t have a problem taking some really cool and interesting pictures here.

Dallas Arboretum
8525 Garland Rd.
Dallas, TX 75218
Lakewood
Everyone knows about the Dallas Arboretum. It has amazing flowers, coves, benches, statues, artwork, plants and trees for picture options. The list here goes on and on!  This would be for the garden lovers!

Heritage Farmstead Museum
1900 W. 15th St.
Plano, TX 75075
In the heart of downtown Plano, the Heritage Farmstead Museum is the premiere living history site interpreting the Texas black-land prairie region in North Texas.  It is 4.5 acres of history! Find interesting places and re-enact what life could have been like. This is for the History buffs!

The Harbor at Rockwall
2074 Summer Lee Drive
Rockwall, TX 75087
Bridges, sidewalks, fountains, piers and even a lighthouse make this spot great for photos.  It is beautifully landscaped as well. So if you are a family that loves to hang out at the lake, this spot is for you. All your pictures can have a beautiful lake in the background.

Grapevine Vintage Railroad
705 S. Main St.
Grapevine, TX 76051
Main Street in Grapevine, TX is very charming. There are historical buildings and of course the old railroad depot. This is a great spot to get creative and artistic, but please make sure to check the train schedule before starting!

Babe’s Chicken Dinner House
6475 Page Street
Frisco, TX 75034
It has to be the Babe’s in Frisco! Have you ever walked around there? There are old buildings and cute signs. So put on your cowboy boots…this is for the true Texans!

Deep Ellum
Intersection of I-30 & US 75
There is so much art painted on the brick walls and garage doors in Deep Ellum that it would take hours to use every location. The hard part is picking what background you want to use. There are so many colors and options….makes for a really fun time! This is so unique to Dallas, you won’t find a spot like this in any other town!

I hope everyone takes advantage of this beautiful Fall weather that is starting this weekend. Take your family out for some photos and send them to me! I will post them on my blog! If you found another great spot let me know as well. And as always, I am always here to help you out with any of your Real Estate needs! Have a blessed day.

-Dawn Redmond

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Who’s ready to get their high heels on? Join my sorority sisters and I at our 3rd Annual Stiletto Walk benefiting the Alzheimer’s Association. We will be walking ½ mile in our Stilettos and will do fun and healthy activities afterwards. Our goal is to raise $1000. Come help us!

***New this year, we are inviting the men to strut their stuff and prove that they are “Men with Sole!” So bring your husband, brother or friend along!

The event will begin at 8:00 a.m. on September 19, 2015 at Fairview Town Hall in Fairview, TX.

Registration is $35 and includes a t-shirt. Registering by September 1st will guarantee your preferred size. To register click here.

Can’t come out to support or stilettos aren’t your thing? You can donate $30 to “Wearing Flats and Sneakers” and this gives you a chance to donate to the cause!

(Festivities begin at 8 a.m., but a variety of health-centered activities, including a Health Expo, will occur throughout the morning.)

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As always, I am here to help you with any of your Real Estate needs. Don’t hesitate to contact me!

-Dawn Redmond

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New Listing in Lewisville!

Check out my new listing at 1169 Courtney Lane in Lewisville…

Lots of windows and views in this move-in ready home featuring an open floor plan with split bedrooms, hardwoods throughout living areas and bedrooms. Custom options include updated kitchen and bathrooms with granite counters, stainless steel appliances, recently installed seamless glass shower, an extended side patio and Pergola swing in the back yard. Nicely landscaped backyard with fruit trees. Near school, freeway and shopping.

Don’t miss out! Contact me for a showing at 972-689-8424 or visit my website at www.dawnredmond.ebby.com.

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AKA: an organization of lifelong service and sisterhood

For some, the sorority and fraternity life ends after college graduation. For me, the real benefits of sorority life began after graduation. I was initiated into Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. (AKA) 26 years ago and I cherish my sorority membership today more than ever before. Most people think that my involvement is social and are surprised to learn how much community service is involved along with leadership and professional development. As the president of the Plano chapter, I am responsible for implementing the sorority’s program goals which include five program target areas: (1) Education Enrichment (2) Health Promotion (3) Family Strengthening (4) Environmental Ownership and (5) Global Impact.

On any given weekend you can see the members of the Plano chapter (also known as the Chi Zeta Omega Chapter or CZO) beautifying the playgrounds of Memorial Elementary School in East Plano or donating, along with 60,000 other AKAs, 1 million backpacks to students over the next four years. CZO offers mentoring ans scholarship opportunities for high school girls and boys through its A.S.C.E.N.D. program and Pearl&Ivy programs for girls. We also do various events to raise awareness of health issues along with our community partners National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), American Heart Association (AHA) and the Alzheimer’s Association. Further, we donate clothing and food to those in need locally and in Africa.

Additionally, the chapter works to raise awareness and funds for historically black colleges and universities, HBCU’s. Our beloved sorority was founded in 1908 on the campus of Howard University, a HBCU, so this a way giving back to institutions that afforded African Americans so much.

In between all of community service, we attend annual conferences that focus on leadership development and offer recognition for the hard work we do. We also have a little fun supporting the events of other civic and service organizations.

When you see me and my sorority sisters wearing pink and green, I hope that you now have an idea of why we are so proud to wear the letters AKA. Many of us have found life-long friendships through our membership. A line from our national hymn describes our sisterhood best – “We help each for we know there is no other like our sisterhood.”

To learn more about the activities of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. ®, Chi Zeta Omega chapter, visit our website http://www.akaczo.org.

Taking Bluebonnet Pictures?

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Do you plan on taking pictures in the bluebonnets this year? Most Texans really enjoy doing this around April. Here are a few tips for you.

* Make sure the bluebonnets are at their prime, which is a short window. Check your favorite bluebonnet patch often and don’t take them too early or wait too late!

*The more natural the picture, the better. Laugh often and make it fun! Well rested and fed children make better models! Try wearing solid colors so the picture isn’t too busy. The bluebonnets will add enough pattern to the photo.

*Keep a blanket or towel in your car just in case the ground is a little wet. Also, watch out for ants!

*Make sure you are eye level when taking the pictures. If you are on a hill, stand closer to the bottom and take pictures so the bluebonnets fill up the whole picture from the back. In an ideal situation, you want the sun behind the subject of the picture so they don’t have to squint. If there seems to be shadows, use your flash. Try to make the subject fill up 2/3 of the photo and the bluebonnets fill 1/3.

*Best time for photos – early morning or late afternoon/early evening. Not midday!

*Yes, the bluebonnets are beautiful, but stay safe and only take pictures in a safe area!

*Don’t pick the bluebonnets. We want them to grow back next year.

Would you rather have someone else take pictures for you? My friend and Sachse resident, Laura Wilmarth, has a photography business called Water Lily Photography. Contact her to set up an appointment.

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By the way…who noticed the old photo at the top of the blog? That was me as a toddler in my pretty Easter dress:) I hope you have a Happy Easter and a wonderful weekend with your family and friends. As always, I am never too busy to take your call. Contact me anytime so I can assist you with ANY of your real estate needs!

-Dawn Redmond

Earthquake Insurance?

Thanks to Nick Klein with Home Team Insurance, I have some answers to your Earthquake Insurance questions….

*Yes, you can add earthquake coverage to an existing homeowners policy, but not normally as a stand-along policy

*Unfortunately, very few companies offer earthquake coverage, but with all the earthquakes happening lately, I am sure more will consider adding the option

*Yes, only a 10% minimum deductible is usually required

If you have more questions regarding this topic or if you have ANY Real Estate needs, call me so I can help you!

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Tour a “Green Home” this Friday in Lake Highlands

There is a home in Lake Highlands known as “Urban Reserve” located at 1 Vanguard Way. The home is considered “Green” as it is built around streams and ponds to conserve water, has geothermal heating and cooling, high-performance windows, spray-foam insulation and an 18,000-gallon cistern to collect rainwater from the roof.

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Not only is the 4,500 square foot only eco-friendly, but it is beautiful! It was designed by Tod Williams and Billie Tsien Architects of New York. The owner’s best design is the kitchen, large for her many dinner parties! It also has many unique features such as the floor-to-ceiling windows on three sides in the living room and an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven tucked away under the main living level.

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You can tour this home plus more in the DFW area by visiting the website www.lhwl.org to purchase tickets. The event is called “Holiday in the Highlands Home Tour.” Tours are this Friday, December 5th between 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m and 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Proceeds help fund scholarships and other community projects.

This may give you some creative décor ideas for your own home!