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Meet new neighbors after a relocation by shopping for groceries with your dog

Ripley after our relocation to Indiana. He loves hanging out at the local farmers market.

Ripley after our relocation to Indiana. He loves hanging out at the local farmers market.


Relocating from Oklahoma to Indiana was a stressful experience for me and my family. Our relocation was prompted by my husband’s job transfer. Essentials had been packed and taken with us on our drive to get us through a few days until the professional relocation company delivered our furniture. We arrived in Indiana to an empty house. The first few days were a little like camping. After a long car ride and sitting in an empty house, the family was starting to get a little stir crazy.

New to the city and neighborhood, we decided to get out and about. So, we leashed up our dog, Ripley, and went to the local farmers market. It was a great experience! We met lots of locals and several of our neighbors as well as many local farmers. I even met a local rancher and purchased some meats to grill that evening. Our dog enjoyed exploring and meeting new canine friends, too. Many people stopped to chat with us because Ripley helped break the ice. It was a win-win and made us feel at home more quickly.

If you just moved to a new community, get out and explore by taking a trip to the local farmers market. The markets are free to roam, many have live entertainment and most have some prepared foods and snacks, which are perfect if your appliances haven’t arrived yet. Just being outside around other local people and the fresh, brightly colored fruits and veggies makes you feel more welcome.

Our family has gone to the local farmers market every Saturday it’s open. I love having the option to take my dog shopping for groceries!

Click here for a list of farmers markets in your area.

Relocating with Rhonda

Rhonda Baker (second from left) joined Bekins' Sales & Marketing team in early Spring

Rhonda Baker (second from left) joined Bekins’ Sales & Marketing team in early Spring


Relocating is a unique experience for everyone. It’s exciting for some and dreadful for others. One of the best ways to understand the process is by seeking advice from those who’ve experienced it first-hand.

Sales and Marketing Project Manager, Rhonda Baker joined the Bekins Van Lines team this spring. Prior to her job and life in Indiana, she lived in Oklahoma City with her two sons and husband. When her husband’s job required relocating, they packed up their life and headed to Fishers, Ind.

“I grew up in Oklahoma,” said Rhonda. “It’s all I had known my entire life.”

Adjusting to such a major change is no easy task. Rhonda’s advice – Don’t overlook the milestone. In the weeks leading up to the move, be intentional about spending time with friends and family for a proper goodbye.

“Relocating definitely makes you appreciate friends and family,” said Rhonda. “You won’t take any time together for granted. It inspired me to make more of an effort to get together with close friends and family.”

Rhonda said she looks forward to planning several trips to visit her two sons, lifelong friends and family who still live in Oklahoma.

“I was most surprised about the amount of planning involved,” said Rhonda.

Rhonda attributes a great deal of the success of her move to the attention to detail in planning prior to relocating. She went as far as measuring their current furniture and comparing it to measurements of the new house. This saved time, money and space when it came to deciding what items to move.

“Downsizing and adjusting to a new home was definitely a challenging aspect of moving.”

She suggests diving into your favorite hobbies soon after relocating. For Rhonda, it is gardening and sprucing up her outdoor space. This made the new house feel like a home and took her mind off the move.

She also suggests asking a friend to ‘dog-sit’ for moving day. The last thing you want is your precious pooch running away on moving day.

“Having Ripley running around the new house made it feel more like home. Pets can play a huge emotional role in moving.”

Heed the advice of someone who has seen moving from the professional standpoint as well as personal.

How to live with roommates…successfully

According to your standards, is leaving your shoes on the dining room table unacceptable? What may seem obvious to you may not be to a roommate.

Recent studies suggest that roommates are replacing spouses in the 20th Century. As a Millennial who has successfully lived with the same roommate for three years, I’m here to tell you successfully living with a roommate is possible.

Talk, talk, talk
Communication is a little detail that can make a BIG difference when living with others. Open and honest communication between roommates is crucial. This is especially true for roommates with a strong history of friendship. Confronting your roommates about a problem will be worth it in the long run. Allowing it to fester will only allow passiveness to pry its way into your living space.

Start with chores
As silly and elementary as it may sound, having a chore chart can save a lot of drama. Get as creative and cute with your chore chart as you want. Visit the craft store and decorate your chore chart to your heart’s desire then simply list each roommates’ name with the rotating chore(s) for which they are responsible. Understanding who is to do what around the house will establish expectations.

Expectation
In a perfect world, one could assume that everyone would have common courtesy when it comes to ‘rules of the house’. However, that’s not always the case. Clearly communicating one another’s expectations is a must. Here are some conversation starters:

  • Are we going to allow pets in the house? Who will be responsible for them?
  • Will we divide up the cost for food? Or will this remain separate?
  • What boundaries will we have for the common areas?
  • Any rules for visitors: family, friends, significant others, etc.?
  • Will there be a quiet time? Ex: During the week days after 11:00 p.m.

I am certain that with these tips, some cheap wine and good laughs, living with roommates can be some of the best years of your life!

Less is More: Housing Market Trends

Small house_don't careThe popular saying of ‘less being more’ couldn’t ring more true in today’s housing market. What are buyers really looking for when searching for a house to call home? According to recent housing trends, it is less about the space available and more about having a cozy, well-maintained property. And can you blame them? Properties requiring less keep-up are becoming more attractive for today’s buyers, who have many other demands of their time.

No surprise, purchase price is also a huge factor in buyers’ decision making process. The current market puts house hunters in a great spot to get the best deals. Don’t be shocked when a counter-offer is thrown back from buyers; it’s a competitive market. However, this shouldn’t be problem for well-kept spaces that offer a great deal of value to the buyer. Use this as a selling point when marketing your house.

Small AND Mighty

While the houses trending on the market today are smaller, they are not to be underestimated. Potential homeowners put a tremendous emphasis on the value the house will have when it comes to resale. Decorative details are important. Buyers are more attracted to upscale finishes such as granite countertops and wood floors compared to laminate countertops and tiled floors. Such details can make the difference to the prospective buyers.

Filling the rooms with high-end furniture and upscale decorative choices is preferable to having large spaces. Having updated, quality details will compliment this trend well.  The need for large houses with several rooms is a thing of the past to current buyers.

The Great Outdoors

In addition to a desire to downsize, the housing market is seeing a demand for greater outdoor spaces. The outdoor amenities have almost equal importance as the indoor ones. Therefore, taking careful consideration of curbside appeal is extremely important. Maintaining the outer appearance of a house is arguably one of the most important selling points for home buyers. A well-groomed lawn and exterior of a house can go a long way when selling your house.

Well, there you have it. You have all the secrets that the buyers are looking for in a house. When the big moving day comes, don’t stress of the boxes and relocation of your household goods – leave that up to Bekins, it’s kind of our area of specialty. Check us out at: http://www.bekins.com/.

Get Moving – Staying Healthy and Active!

7- heavy boxWhile relocating your household goods requires a great deal of physical labor…we regret to inform you that relocating once every five years or so will not keep you in shape and healthy. We apologize if this is earth-shattering news. But as most of us know, living a healthy lifestyle takes intention and dedication.

Obviously, our primary focus is moving  your household goods. However, we also want to keep a healthy lifestyle top-of-the-mind. We want to encourage you keep moving…physically (and if you need to relocate, you have certainly come to the right place! Visit our website for more information).

Have a Plan

Similar to advising those preparing to relocate, you must have a plan. The road to a healthy you should start with goals and direction. Being realistic when setting your goals is crucial.  Not sure where to start? Get some Diet, Health and Fitness tools from Good Housekeeping.

Take a holistic approach to planning out a healthy lifestyle. Just as moving affects every aspect of your life, your health does as well.  Have a plan around making time for exercise, shopping at the grocery, eating out with friends – the list goes on. Now, we know that the demands of life can make it difficult to set aside the time to and effort to make this a lasting change. And that’s where we come in. Watch out for our monthly tips plans, recipes and so on for make living healthy a permanent lifestyle.

FridgeHaving a Plan: In the Grocery Store

This is where it all begins. Consider these tips on your next trip to the grocery store.

  • Lists are your friend; make one, and stick to it. This will help with temptation of buying the Oreos that seem to be staring at you in the checkout lane.  You will also save money, because you are not aimless wondering through the store.
  • DON’T GO HUNGRY.  We go to the grocery store when it’s convenient. Some after work, or after a workout. It’s an honest mistake,but we want to challenge you to go shopping on a full stomach. Going after you have made dinner will help you know what items you need, so you aren’t buying duplicates.
  • If this isn’t doable, grab a low-cal snack to bring along.

Join us on our fitness journey and stay connected via Facebook and Twitter for tips and advice! #GetMoving

 

 

Free Infographic: Relocation for Baby Boomers

Baby Boomers never cease to be one of the most intriguing and talked about generations. Things seem to be getting more interesting for the Baby Boomer generation as retirement approaches for many. Use this free infographic for detailed insights on relocation for the Baby Boomers.

This infographic sorts through trends of the Baby Boomer generation’s moving patterns. It breaks down easy to read statistics on when, where and why this generation desires to relocate. It also assists in formulating a plan for the relocation.

Get in touch with a Bekins representative who can provide you with additional information on relocating for Baby Boomers.

Bekins-infographic-Baby-Boomers

 

 

 

Easy Moving Recipes – Part Two

Bekins Van Lines understands the difficulties of trying to prepare a meal – on top of moving and unpacking – it can seem like an impossible task.

We’re here to ease the stress with three more easy-to-make recipes. Did you miss last week’s? You’ll want to check it out. It includes the recipes for easy fried rice, taco casserole, and more.  If you want more dinner ideas, be sure to visit our Pinterest board for more delicious meals.

Bisquick Chicken Nuggets

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless skinless chicken breast halves cut crosswise into 1/2″ strips
  • 2/3 cup Bisquick mix Bisquick Chicken Nuggets
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 Tbsp butter or margarine, melted

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 450 degrees
  • Line cookie sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray
  • In a resealable freezer bag (a big one), mix Bisquick, cheese, salt and paprika
  • Dip half the chicken nuggets into the egg and then place in the resealable bag. Seal the bag and shake. Place the chicken on the cookie sheet and repeat the process for the remaining chicken.
  • Drizzle your butter over the chicken and bake for 12-14 minutes, turning them over halfway through.

Mac and Cheese Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 2 packages of Kraft Thick and Creamy Macaroni and Cheese
  • 1 pound ground beef Mac and cheese lasagna
  • 1 1/2 cups spaghetti sauce
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Directions:

  • Prepare the macaroni and cheese according to the package directions. You can prepare it using half the amount of butter and skim milk to reduce the fat.
  • While the macaroni cooks, brown the beef in the skillet and drain. Add the spaghetti sauce to the meat and stir to combine.
  • In a 9×13 dish, spread half of the meat mixture to cover the bottom of the pan. Follow with a layer of half of the macaroni and cheese. Repeat the layers with the remaining meat mixture and mac and cheese.
  • Sprinkle the mozzarella over the layers and bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Homemade French Fries

Ingredients:

  • 2 potatoes Easy Homemade French Fries
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbsp garlic salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper, to taste

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 415 degrees
  • Slice potatoes in half and then in strips and place in bowl
  • Add the seasoning mixture to the bowl
  • Cover a baking sheet with aluminum foil and spray with olive oil or cooking spray
  • Spread out the fries so that they are all laying flat
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes and then flip
  • Bake for an additional 15 minutes until golden brown

 

Sunday Spotlight: Down on the Farm

Owning a cattle farm is hard work, and for the Gilmore family, it truly is a family establishment.  Located in the Florida panhandle, Gizmo Angus Farm is their pride and joy. With involvement in the farm spanning three generations, the Gilmore’s live and breathe this work and find that it’s a passion that the whole family can share and enjoy together.

Getting Started

a family portrait

The Gilmore Family

So how does a family get started running a 200-head cattle farm? The Gilmore family says it happened gradually.  Farming has always been an interest for the Gilmore’s; in fact, Debbie and Ronnie Gilmore, patriarchs of Gizmo Angus, met while participating in 4-H.  When they got married and had children, they encouraged their two boys to also participate in the organization.

Their oldest son Lucas began showing steers at age 12 and was followed by their youngest, Jacob, a year later.  They chose to show steers based on the thought process that you can probably make more money with steers than you can with other animals such as horses.  Thus began the Gilmore’s love affair with cattle… and it hasn’t stopped since.

Gizmo Angus Farm

Debbie Gilmore bought her husband Ronnie his very first cow for his birthday back in 1991 and she says the rest is history.  The farm started as just a small plot of land at their house a family riding on a tractor on a farmwith only five cows to their name.  By 2001, when Jacob graduated high school, the family purchased 400 more acres of land and accumulated a total of 200 cows, 120 of those being mothers.

The operation has grown even more since then.  Their main focus on the farm is to sell purebred Angus bulls to commercial cattlemen which in turn help the cattlemen improve their own cow herds.  “You have to stay on top of what’s working in the industry,” Debbie explains.

This is especially evident in Debbie’s work studying cattle genetics.  Figuring out how to breed each cow is the linchpin of the family business and Ronnie even says that “Debbie is the brains of the operation”.  “She’s the one who leads this rodeo,” laughs Ronnie.

Whereas Debbie studies the genetics of the cows, Jacob and Ronnie’s passion lies in judging the cattle and looking for ways to improve them.  Even Jacob’s wife, who, according to Debbie is a “total city girl”, has even started getting involved in the operation.  “She’ll go out there and try and learn how to pick the best cows. She asks quite a few questions and has learned a lot about the cattle operations,” Debbie explains.

Jacob’s twin daughters, the third generation of Gilmore’s, have already picked out their own heifers. They may only be two years old, but they have already embraced life on the farm. two babies in front of a herd of cows The girls enjoy riding in the family Gator and looking at the cattle with their mother and father.

Bekins Van Lines Connection

Gilmore Moving & Storage began in 1955 by Ronnie’s father.  The moving company signed on to become an agent for our partner company, Wheaton World Wide Moving in 1979 and have enjoyed being a part of the network of agents ever since then.  Their favorite part of being a Wheaton agent? The fellow agents and friends that they’ve made over the years.  “We’ve truly appreciated and enjoyed the relationship with Wheaton over the past few decades,” Debbie said.

Make sure to keep up with the rest of Bekins’ Sunday Spotlights.

Sunday Spotlight: Fitness Superwoman

 

Every day is a juggling act for Annie Dietrich, CFO of Bekins agent, Lincoln Moving & Storage Co.  She wakes up every weekday at 4:40a.m. to prepare herself for her long, busy and full day.  Yes, Annie works for Lincoln Moving & Storage, but that isn’t her only working responsibility.  She is also the proud Co-Owner and a Certified Group Exercise Instructor and Personal Trainer at her fitness studio, AOK! Fitness.

Her Passion for Fitness

Dietrich has always enjoyed being active, citing walking and biking as a couple of her

a man and a woman

Annie Dietrich and her husband.

favorite physical activities. She started making exercising a staple in her daily routine back in 1985, reminiscing listening to 80’s classics such as “Jessie’s Girl” by Rick Springfield and “Physical” by Olivia Newton John while working out and teaching classes.  “I really can’t remember a time prior to 1985 that I haven’t worked out,” said Dietrich.  “It’s always been something I love, so it’s easy to do it each day.”

Transition to AOK!

With the help of her good friend Kim, Dietrich decided that her passion for exercising could be more than just a hobby – it could be a profitable business as well.  In 2002, the two women decided to open their own fitness studio, AOK! Fitness.  Opening this studio meant making a commitment to offer the best in fitness, health, and wellness while offering a welcoming atmosphere to people of all shapes and sizes, ages, and fitness backgrounds.  This commitment hasn’t changed a bit since the opening day in 2002.

Evolution of AOK!

Since opening AOK! in 2002, the studio has grown from just 2,000 square feet to a staggering the outside of AOK! Fitness  8,400 square foot operation, boasting over 20 Certified Instructors and 84 group exercise classes every week.  In addition to their main facility, AOK! also contracts their classes out to local recreation centers, private companies and adult continuing education programs. In addition to co-owning the facility, Dietrich also plays a pivotal role at the studio by teaching several classes including Cardioboxing, Spinning, TRX Yoga, Barre Pilates, Resistance Training, PiYo, Weight Lifting and Step… just to name a few!

Community Involvement

AOK! Fitness doesn’t just aim to offer an inviting and welcoming atmosphere for their customers.  In addition, they also place an importance on giving back to their community of Strongsville, Ohio.  This coming September, AOK! Fitness is presenting Party In Pink, a huge party and Zumbathon benefitting the Susan G. Komen Foundation.  AOK! Fitness has been presenting this event for several years, and has raised well over $20,000 over the years.  It’s an event and a cause that Dietrich is very passionate about. One of her close friends and co-workers at Lincoln Moving and Storage is a breast cancer survivor as well as several AOK! clients and friends.

Bekins Connection

Annie Dietrich is the CFO of The Lincoln Moving & Storage Co. and proudly represents the third generation of family ownership and management of the moving business.   She shares this third generation distinction with her brother and three cousins.

Easy Moving Recipes – Part 1

Great Dinner Recipes

It’s your first week in your new home, and you still haven’t managed to find the box with most of your cooking supplies. By the end of every day it seems like you’re verging on near exhaustion.  This is unfortunately what many people experience after a move, especially after a move that has taken you all the way across the country, like many moves that Bekins performs.  Don’t fret though, you will eventually get your house and your kitchen unpacked, but in the meantime, here are a few easy recipes that your whole family will enjoy – and won’t break the bank.

All of these recipes were found on Pinterest. You can access the recipes on Bekins’ Pinterest board entitled Easy-to-Make Recipes.

Easy Fried Rice with Chicken

We love recipes that don’t require a lot of ingredients and this one is about as easy as they come:

Ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beatenfried rice
  • 1 cup uncooked carrots, shredded or diced
  • 1 cup onion, diced
  • 3 cups cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • Chicken or shrimp – you choose how much you’d like to add

Note: You can add whatever frozen or fresh vegetables that you typically prefer in your fried rice. Customize based on preference — and what you have in your kitchen!

Directions

  • Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; warm pan over medium-high heat. Add eggs; tilt pan so that eggs cover bottom.
  • When eggs start to set, break them up into pieces with a heat-proof spatula or wooden spoon. Cook until eggs are cooked through, about 1 minute more; remove eggs from skillet and set aside.
  • Off heat, recoat same skillet with cooking spray; set over medium-high heat. Add carrots and all but 2 tablespoons scallions; sauté until carrots are crisp-tender, about 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in cooked rice, peas and soy sauce; cook until heated through, stirring once or twice, about 1 minute. Gently stir in cooked egg and remaining scallions; heat through. Yields about 3/4 cups per serving.

Tuna & Pasta Cheddar Melt

Ingredients

  • 1 can Condensed Chicken BrothTuna & Pasta Cheddar Melt
  • 1 soup can water
  • 3 cups uncooked rotini pasta
  • 1 can Condensed Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 can (6 ounces) tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded (about 4 ounces)
  • 2 Tbsp. Italian-style dry breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp. butter, melted

Directions

  • Heat the broth and water in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat to a boil. Stir in the pasta. Reduce the heat to medium. Cook until the pasta is tender, stirring often. Do not drain.
  • Stir the soup, milk and tuna in the skillet. Top with the cheese. Stir the bread crumbs and butter in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the tuna mixture. Cook until the mixture is hot and bubbling.

Taco Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onionTaco Casserole
  • 1 bottle (8 ounces) taco sauce
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 package (12 count) taco shells, broken
  • 2 cups shredded mild cheddar cheese, divided
  • Optional: chopped tomatoes, green bell pepper, sour cream

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Spray with cooking spray 11×7 inch baking dish
  • Cook beef and onion in a large skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until beef is browned
  • Drain and discard excess fat
  • Stir in taco sauce, water, chiles and seasoning mix; bring to a boil
  • Reduce heat to low
  • Cook 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally
  • Layer half of broken taco shells on bottom of prepared baking dish
  • Cover with half of meat mixture; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese
  • Repeat with remaining incredients
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until bubbly and cheese is melted
  • Serve with desired toppings

Stay on the lookout for more recipes that will grace the pages of our blog. Until then, follow Bekins Van Lines on Pinterest for more recipes, DIY home decoration ideas, and moving tips.