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Try this easy-to-make Christmas treat!

said on December 19th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Country Property, Cultural Events, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

Need a great treat to bring to your Christmas party? Or want a fun recipe to make together on Christmas eve? This recipe for Muddy Buddies is it! This recipe uses a full box of Chex so it makes a lot so you have plenty to share, or is great for creating small treat bags for you friends, family, or neighbors.


  • 1 box (12.8 oz.) (about 13 cups) Rice Chex, Corn Chex Wheat Chex or Chocolate Chex cereal (or combination)
  • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
  • ¾ cup creamy peanut butter
  • 6 tablespoons butter, cut into smaller pieces
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup Holiday M&M’s


  1. Line 2 baking sheets with wax paper and set aside. Pour cereal into a very large bowl; set aside.
  2. In 1-1.5 quart microwavable bowl, microwave chocolate chips, peanut butter, and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave 15-30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated.
  3. Add powdered sugar and gently stir into chocolate covered cereal. Spread cereal on the two baking sheets to cool. Once cool, put the Muddy Buddies into the desired container or gift bags, by adding a small amount of Muddy Buddies then sprinkle a few M&M’s and repeat.
  4. Store in airtight container in the refrigerator.

This sweet treat is sure to be a hit this Christmas! Give it a try!


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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Have you been to Holiday Lights in the Park?

said on December 12th, 2018 filed under: Localism

Holiday Lights in the Park will return to Western Gateway Park in Penn Valley on Friday & Saturday December 14th & 15th.  This drive through holiday event is a free & fun way to celebrate the season. The first 50 cars will get a goody bag provided by local businesses. Find many illuminated decoration displays made by Penn Valley residents, organizations, and local businesses, all in one location. Make a night of it by visiting local businesses for great food and drinks, or just drive through the event in the warmth of your own vehicle (you can even wear PJs!).

The Penn Valley Area Chamber of Commerce presented its inaugural Holiday lights in the Park event in 2015 and this year will be the 4th annual presentation of the event.  The event has been a huge hit with over 1,100 cars packed with folks of all ages coming out to view the displays set up by Penn Valley businesses, organizations, & local residents at Western Gateway Park.  During the event, the Chamber collects donations for the Interfaith Food Ministries & Nevada County Food Bank holiday food drives & Nevada County United Sock & Gloves winter campaign. The Chamber Board of Directors & organizers promise this year’s event will be even bigger & better.


Western Gateway Park
18560 Penn Valley Dr
Penn Valley
CA 95946

Dates & Time:

Dec 14th & 15th 2018

5:30-9:30 p.m.

Head on out to this event and celebrate the holiday season!

Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715


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Come out to Victorian Christmas 2018!

said on December 5th, 2018 filed under: Localism

Come out to Nevada City on Wednesday or Sunday nights for Victorian Christmas

This year Victorian Christmas is scheduled as such:

Sundays – Dec 9, 16 & 23 from 1:30 – 6pm
Wednesdays – Dec 12 & 19 from 5 – 9pm

The enticing aromas of roasted chestnuts and hearty holiday foods fill the air, along with cries of street vendors hawking their wares and lamp-lit streets filled to overflowing with authentic Christmas treasures — hand-crafted candy, jewelry, pottery, perfume, dolls, and over 100 different items in all. It’s the one & only Victorian Christmas-full of new shows, sights, sounds and attractions.

Welcome the holiday season in style in historic Nevada City, a quaint, Gold Rush town nestled in the foothills of the snow-capped Sierra where each year the town’s picturesque downtown transforms into a genuine Christmas card come to life. It’s a magical setting of hilly streets outlined with twinkling white lights and authentic gas lamps, wandering minstrels and carolers dressed in Victorian attire, and a myriad of visitors sharing holiday cheer and good tidings.

This annual, family tradition takes place 2 Wednesday evenings and 3 Sunday afternoons in December and features holiday activities for all ages:  carriage rides, live entertainment, savory yuletide treats and libations, and of course, Father Christmas!  At locations throughout downtown, Victorian singers, bagpipers, brass bands and strolling minstrels provide warm Christmas music. Nevada City’s famous Walking Christmas Tree can be found, along with hot roasted chestnuts and horse-drawn carriage rides.

Below are some of the locations and times of performers:

This is another great local event to attend during the holiday season. It is a rain or shine event, so make sure to mark your calendars!

Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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Cornish Christmas 2018

said on November 29th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Cultural Events, Fun Things to Do Outdoors, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

Come on out to Grass Valley’s Cornish Christmas. This year Cornish Christmas falls of the Fridays November 23rd & 30th as well as December 7th, 14th, and 21st. It is free to the public, runs from 6-9 pm, & happens rain or shine!

Started in 1967 as a way to preserve Grass Valley’s Cornish heritage and holiday traditions, Cornish Christmas remains one of our most popular events. Mill and West Main Streets are closed to motorized traffic and filled with the sights and sounds of an old fashioned Christmas; carolers, jugglers, musicians, the Grass Valley Cornish Carol Choir, and of course, Santa Claus. Handmade arts and craft from artists throughout California are displayed on our historic downtown Grass Valley streets. Delicious food and drink can be purchased from a number of Grass Valley restaurants and specialty food vendors.

The Cornish Christmas celebration is truly an overload of the senses. Stroll down the bustling historic downtown Grass Valley streets as Christmas music fills the air. Hear young and old alike play their rendition your favorite holiday tunes as buildings dressed in Christmas lights sparkle in the December night air. Smell the aroma of your favorite dish while you browse the multitude of gifts and decorations made by some of California’s best crafters and artisans.

Cornish Christmas is one of the most popular holiday events in Grass Valley. It is a fun time for young & old, for foodies or people needing to get some holiday shopping done. Grab your family or friends and head out this Friday!


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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A jewel of the foothills: Miners Foundry Cultural Center

said on November 21st, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Cultural Events, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

From humble beginnings as a machine shop in 1855 to its current incarnation as a cultural center and community meeting place, Miners Foundry has prospered and grown with Nevada County.  The Miners Foundry Cultural Center is a living historic treasure serving Nevada County as a cultural arts and community events center.  More than a venue, the nonprofit’s mission is to preserve, enhance and utilize the historic Miners Foundry for cultural, educational and social activities in Nevada County.  It is a symbol of California’s rich historical heritage, providing an educational and social bridge from our past to the present and future.

For its first 100 years, the Miners Foundry produced equipment for the gold mining & timber industries. For the next 50 years it has served us well as a cultural center; first as the American Victorian Museum and later the Miners Foundry Cultural Center.  The first Pelton Wheel was manufactured here.  KVMR Community Radio was born here.  This rich mixture of our Historical Landmark status along with a broad-spectrum of community offerings make it the perfect place to meet, marry, party, celebrate, dance & enjoy a concert. There is always something going on at the Miners Foundry.

The Miners Foundry hosts many weddings throughout the year. With native stone walls, heavy beams, & antique furnishings, the Foundry is the perfect blend of rustic & elegant, intimate & expansive, feminine & masculine. The Foundry also hosts many social events throughout the year. A gathering of people of all ages & singing levels called The Foundry Sings gather every few months.  For the holiday season, the Miners Foundry has lots of events.  This year they are holding the Holiday Cabaret on December 1st, Clara & the Nutcracker on December 6th, 7th, & 8th, as well as the Winter Craft Fair on December 9th.  For more info about these events & more, visit

Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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NEW HOME FOR SALE: 23183 Sunset Ridge Dr

said on November 15th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

Our newest home for sale in Lake of the Pines

23183 Sunset Ridge Dr Auburn CA

Good vibrations! Enjoy our peaceful home framed by oaks in the Sierra Foothills. Just a quick walk to the main beach to stand up paddle, fish, swim, play tennis, golf and Bocce ball or dine at the Clubhouse. Enter on the main living level:great room, kitchen, master suite, laundry, half bath and back deck. Fido friendly too with a tidy dog run. Two other bedrooms and family room are found downstairs with a private entrance for your guests. Be the lucky owners of this impeccably cared for home.

Lake of the Pines is a stunning 2000-home gated community located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, roughly 46 miles north east of Sacramento. In addition to our 230-acre lake, LOP residents and their guests enjoy a host of on-site amenities including a 19 hole golf course and driving range, pro shop with adjacent sports lounge bar and Grill, a junior Olympic size swimming pool, six developed parks, 148 marina slips, 4 tennis courts, 2 bocce ball courts, 3 pickle ball courts, a full-size basketball court, a spacious and newly built lakeside clubhouse and restaurant with full bar service, 24 hour control gate access, RV and boat storage services, and more!

Check out the full listing here


Interested in taking a look at this lovely home? Or are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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Selling your home: A legal checklist

said on November 8th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Negotiating, Nevada City, Whimsy

Here is a general legal checklist for you to use to prepare yourself for selling your home. This checklist outlines the steps and items needed to be the most prepared for your home being on market.

Resolve any financial obstacles before you sell

If your property has incurred any sort of debt, encumbrance or lien, you will need to take care of them before settling with your buyer. These obstacles can arise any number of ways:

  • Federal, state or local tax liens
  • Civil court judgments
  • Missed child support or spousal support payments
  • Failure to pay homeowners association dues
  • General unpaid debts

Gather important documents

  • Deed
  • Evidence of encumbrances, liens, judgments, etc.
  • Surveys
  • Appraisals
  • Documentation of major repairs, damage or improvements
  • Any agreements made between tenants or cohabiting partners
  • Comparable sales in the areas (if available)
  • Any agreements made between you, as the seller, and your real estate agent (if applicable)
  • Copies of restrictive covenants imposed up upon the community

Draft a home sale agreement, if needed

If you’re unmarried and have a domestic partner, consider drafting a home sale agreement to protect both parties. Otherwise, if the deal or the relationship fails, the court will only be able to help the party named on the deed as the owner.

  • Encourage open communication
  • Establish clear contract terms that determine the profit division after the sale—especially if one partner is not on the deed
  • Review the current financials of the property, including outstanding mortgage debt, asking price and the bottom line offer
  • Discuss the ownership expectations of both parties, including mortgage payments, home improvements, sweat equity and upkeep
  • Have an experienced real estate attorney draft a home sale agreement that addresses all the agreed-upon terms

Get joint tenants on the same page

If you inherited the property with several family members as joint tenants, the ownership structure of your property might limit your options for selling.

  • Gather consent from all owners on how to split the net proceeds
  • If everyone can’t agree, divide the property in your state’s court of equity

In divorces where the property is owned through joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety, both owners must:

  • Mutually decide to sell the martial home
  • Sign the transfer deed over to the new buyers
  • Agree to split the proceeds

If you go through this checklist before selling your home, you will be ready for anything that might come up once on market or in escrow on your home.


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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A New Favorite: The Stone House Restaurant

said on October 31st, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

Last Saturday night Bob & I experienced a wonderful meal at the historic Stone House Restaurant in Nevada City.  They serve local food that is grown or raised on nearby farms.  As the seasons change, so does the menu.  In fact, the chef is constantly adjusting the offerings to fit the available foods from the farm.  I liked the small plate options as we could enjoy many tastes.  We shared carrot ginger soup, pork belly & collared greens, and a fried chicken with a fig jam.  I know these might sound strange, but they were superbly cooked and delicious! The most exciting and tasty dinner experience we have eaten in a long time!

The Stone House’s mission is to provide great food, inspiring libations and a conducive atmosphere for their guests to celebrate life in this historic Sierra foothills Restaurant, Tavern, & Event Venue. Undeniably exquisite in appearance, the building itself naturally brings the “outside in” with hand-cut stone walls & beautifully reclaimed timber. With 10,000 sq. feet of space, they have made the most of every inch of this unique and historical building. The Stone House contains an upstairs restaurant, 2 glamorous bar areas, a premier venue and stage for concerts and shows, extensive space for weddings and corporate events, charming patios, a wine cavern and an exclusive 3rd floor penthouse. The Mediterranean-influenced restaurant features organic, local, farm-to-table cuisine with a seasonally updated menu. The beverage offerings range from craft cocktails, local micro-brews, regional wines, and an espresso bar.

Next time you need somewhere to grab a bite, or want a lovely night out, head to The Stone House Restaurant in downtown Nevada City!


Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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Our top 5 favorite House Plants

said on October 24th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Gardening, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Whimsy

House plants are always a great way to brighten up a space and make it feel more lush. House plants are great for people who don’t consider themselves to have a “green thumb” because most are not too high maintenance. If you have never had a house plant, or would like to add to your collection, here are our current favorite 5 house plants.


Snake Plant

These plants are so fun and basically impossible to kill! They need moderate sunlight and watering every 1-2 weeks.  They are great for smaller spaces because they grow very vertically rather than wide. They always have a wonderful green color that will brighten any room.


Fiddle Fig Tree

This type of ficus is very trendy right now! These trees grow very slowly but have amazing large green leaves. They love bright indirect light or soft direct light so put them in the corner of your brightest room. They do not do well in colder temperatures or where there is a draft so make sure to keep your fiddle fig cozy.


Aloe Vera

This guy is best known for its healing qualities of the gel inside the leaves. They are common succulent plants, and aloe vera is just one of hundreds of different types of aloe plants. When they are kept as indoor plants they purify the air & are slow growers. These cuties need good drainage, frequent light watering or misting, and good sunlight.


Golden Pythos

Commonly know as Devil’s Ivy, this is the classic indoor hanging plant. Its green color and ever-growing vines are always a great addition to a room. This is one of the easiest house plants as it thrives in almost all environments pertaining to light conditions, just not direct light. These plants are poisonous though rarely fatal to cats, dogs, and children if digested, so keep that in mind when purchasing.


Rubber Tree

These trees are very low maintenance and have nice smooth & shiny leaves you will want to pet each time you walk by. If you keep it in a well-lit position in your home, the rubber tree will need very little else other than watering once a week. Besides the ornamental aspect, the rubber tree is considered an air purifying plant.

Whatever your style may be, house plants are always a lovely addition to any home. Bring one of these plants home soon or give one as a house warming or holiday gift!

Are you interested in buying or selling a home in our beautiful area? Call CJ! 530.906.4715


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Helping seniors with Real Estate at their own pace

said on October 17th, 2018 filed under: Alta Sierra, Auburn, Colfax, Grass Valley, Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, Localism, Nevada City, Success Stories, Whimsy

Make change happen at your own pace!

Working with seniors is a joy. It is important to note that life style changes may take more time for folks that have been in a place a long time.  Understanding this by assisting seniors at a comfortable pace is part of being a Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES).

John moved away from Lake of the Pines seven years ago to a tri-level care facility for his lovely wife’s medical care.  After she passed, John thought about returning to the community he loved.  After some tours of single-story homes, John selected a new home, but the concept of moving from one place to another was overwhelming. I arranged for a sweet couple to manage his move, so it would make things easier for John.  They planned packing, movers, changing over utilities, cleaning of both homes, arranging furniture, unpacking, and so much more.  With our help, many of the worries of moving melted away for John.

To truly help John feel right back at home in his old community, I threw him a Welcome Party once he was settled in. I invited some of John’s old friends as well as his new neighbors, so he could get to know more people. A fun time was had by all, especially John.


Are you or a loved one thinking of making a big change? Not sure how to proceed? Call CJ! 530.906.4715

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