Full Service Independent Broker, Lic.# 01324429 
Jason Kardos 8030 La Mesa Blvd. #261 La Mesa, CA 91942
Phone: 619 303 2826 Mobile: 619 347 6337 Fax: 619 270 2595 Email Jason

Suggestions to plan a dinner party!


Wow your guests with your service and etiquette by following these tips.  Of course, wowing them with the food is entirely up to you!

  1. Invitations - they can be written, delivered by phone or in person, or emailed (only for the informal get-togethers!). Guests are expected to RSVP.
  2. Greet your guests as they come to the door. Have a place for their personal items. Introduce people. Accept host/ess gifts graciously. 
  3. Offer guests beverages and hors d'oeuvres. 
  4. During hors d'oeuvres, slip out to the kitchen quickly to get the first course on the table before the guests are asked to take their seats (unless that first course is hot, in which case you should wait until the guests are seated). 
  5. Call guests to the table and direct them to where you want them to sit, either with place cards or verbally. 
  6. Follow an etiquette book as far as setting the table. Many things have changed in recent years.  Not all of the pieces that were once used are necessary now, and some utensils are placed in different locations. A guest should never have to move a utensil to get to his/her napkin.
  7. After each course, remove the plate and utensils used.
  8. After the entree, remove all plates, used utensils, salt and pepper, butter, dressing, and so on. The dessert fork and spoon are usually placed at the top of the plate. They would remain on the table until dessert is served.
  9. Serve dessert and coffee cups. Place sugar and creamer on the table.
  10. After dessert, you do not need to remove the dessert dishes, unless they will be seen from the living room or family room for the rest of the evening.
  11. Hors d'oeuvres and cocktail glasses should have been cleared already.
  12. Games and conversation are both acceptable during this time.
  13. When guests leave, get their coat and belongings, walk them to the door, say a brief good-bye and return to the other guests. 

Tips for Indoor and Outdoor Grilling


Wanting to learn how to do some outdoor or indoor grilling?  Here are some helpful tips to follow:

  1. A hot grill is your best defense against sticky situations.  Be sure that the grates are piping hot before laying down your food.
  2. Keep a spray bottle of water close by to tame any flare-ups.
  3. To oil your grill without creating a wild fire:  fold up a cotton kitchen towel, lightly dip in vegetable oil, and use your tongs to glide a coat onto the grates.
  4. Barbeque sauces contain sugar that caramelize and then quickly burn.  Try a dry rub in the beginning and then at the end of grilling baste with a thin coating of sauce.
  5. When cooking anything skewered soak the wooden sticks in water first to prevent them from burning.

Links to check out:


Protect Your Pets in Your Home!


Is your dog your best friend? Is your cat?

Either way, it is up to you to ensure that they are kept out of harm’s way!

Most of us assume that our home is the safest place for our pet, but there are common household items that can be potentially harmful to your pet – sometimes even lethal. Sometimes we don’t even know that they are a danger.

You'll be surprised at the common household items that can be deadly to your pets. Learn more by downloading this report:

Protect your pet at home

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Build A Backyard Pond! Ducks Not Included


Planning the backyard of your new home can be a very exciting adventure for the whole family. If you have ever thought that you would like to add a pond to your yard, but did not do it because you thought that it was too much work or too complicated, it is a lot easier than you thought!

Download this informative article to learn about how to build a magnificent backyard pond!

How to build a backyard pond!

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Backyard Composting


 

couple_rakeleaves.jpgThe Basics
The microbiological process that creates compost is the natural process through which plants and other organic wastes are broken down. Doing the work of creating compost are worms, insects, fungi, bacteria, and other microorganisms that help to process dead materials.

The Golden Rule of Composting
Composting is a natural process that will pretty much happen no matter what. There is no need to obsess over creating a rapid, robust compost because even a failed compost heap will eventually succeed. That said, a very effectively created compost heap will proceed to finished compost much, much more quickly (and can be a strangely rewarding accomplishment).

The Requirements
For the composting process to occur, oxygen, water, some warmth, and a good ratio of carbon-based to nitrogen-based materials are necessary. Fortunately, every one of these materials is abundantly available and should be essentially free!

The Bin
Many different compost bins are available, for many different prices (naturally). In fact, many cities offer conservation incentives through which they offer bins at highly discounted rates. Which one should you get? Here’s the beautiful thing – it really doesn’t matter. You will run into trouble if your bin is too small, but otherwise, any old container will do. In fact, no container at all is just fine too! Some of the best compost heaps are just that – a heap in a corner of the yard with a small enclosure or picket fence to keep things looking tidy.

The Ingredients
The insects and microorganisms that do the work of composting will come no matter what you do. Fortunately, putting out the right combination of nitrogen- and carbon- based materials will be like offering them a free all-you-can-eat buffet. Carbon-based materials to add to your compost should be available in abundance. These are the brown materials such as dead grass clippings, leaves, and even shredded cardboard. Nitrogen-based, or green, materials, can take the form of fruit peels, green grass clippings, and food wastes (avoid adding dairy and meat wastes). The ideal ratio for your compost is about 30 parts carbon to 1 part nitrogen, but anywhere in that neighborhood will work just fine.

The other two ingredients you will need to ensure a speedy process are water and air. Because the center of your heap will retain a great deal of water, the compost should not need to be wetted very often except during dry spells.

Oxygen is introduced by turning the compost (a pitchfork works best) about once a week, or when the compost slows down.

What (you hope!) Will Happen
If you have built a heap with a good carbon to nitrogen ratio, and one that’s sufficiently damp and oxygenated, the composting process should start immediately. After a while (approximately a day), when the process peaks, the center of your pile will be producing heat (sometimes a surprising amount of heat!). It is up to you whether you want to completely compost a batch of wastes and then start over, or simply add wastes as they become available. When the center of the pile cools, the process has slowed and it’s probably time to turn your pile. Repeat until you’ve got nothing left but black gold.

The Product
When your compost has been – well – composted – what will remain is a moist, black, sweet-smelling mulch approximately the consistency of soggy cardboard. Nature’s most potent fertilizer, compost can be spread on your flowers, in your garden, on your lawn, and anywhere else you want healthy, strong plants.

Skip the trash can for some of your waste – six weeks in your compost heap can break down more material than six years in a landfill – and the end result is free, natural fertilizer for your efforts!

Happy Composting!