Coffee, coffee, and treats


Cheesecake Cafe, Irwin

If you are looking for break from the crazy day or need to celebrate with a custom made treat , this is the place. This coffee shop has a great selection of hot coffees and steamed varieties of the soothing lattes and more. As the name also suggest , they have cheesecakes, cheesecakes, and more cheesecakes ! My favorite one is the triple chocolate cheesecake! The really nice treat of the cafe’ is it is hosted in a Victorian parlor like room and if the weather allows, there is outdoor seating !

Peace, Love, and Little Donuts, Irwin

One of the newer shops in the area but has been around the Pittsburgh area for awhile. When you get bored with the regular circled breakfast treats, you can have a donut that has toppings as unique as you. My favorite donut is the maple bacon donut followed by the coffeecake donut. So good! All of this joy is followed up by a fresh cup of coffee and we are talking a love fest! This center of the peace and love of donut perfection is located on Rt. 30 in the Irwin Plaza. I can only end this stop with , Peace Out!

White Rabbit Cafe, Downtown Greensburg

This has become my new hangout in Downtown Greensburg! This cafe is located on Main Street and up from the courthouse . It is a more of a homey cafe with different sized and made tables with unmatched chairs. Enough about of the furniture! The baked goods are out of this world! I am a simple person so when I bit into the half inch thick , warm chocolate cookie, I felt like I fell into a hole surrounded by chocolate and friendship . My vanilla cappacino was so crafted! It wasn’t squirted out of a machine or hot water and mix. You won’t be treated to that. No, no, no! It was brought to life! And it was a first for me, my cup of art had a leaf design in the foam . So cool! Just wish I could get there more often !

Colonial Grille, Downtown Irwin

“The Grille” is the reason why I live in the Irwin area. My first trip to the area brought me to Downtown Irwin and just wanted to grab a quick but non-wrapper breakfast . It looked like a place that I used to go to in my hometown in Illinois. The short story is that I sat at the counter on a swivel stool and had a ‘Rasher” of bacon, dippy eggs, home fries, and rye toast. I caught up with the local politics and I believe the man next to me was the mayor! I have already mentioned my favorite breakfast which I have enjoyed for the last 27 years, but. if you come for lunch or dinner, you have to try the brosted chicken meal. You may not be able to have chicken anywhere else. The also have a Taproom in the back and watch for the nights they have Jazz Nights !

The Manor Grill,  Manor

This gem of Manor on Harrison City-Manor Road is the place for breakfast and coffee. If you walk away hungry from here, you forgot to open your mouth! So good! And if you are looking for a lenten place for fish, my mom-in-law used to say that they must have gotten confused and fried a whale! That says it all. Another reason to support this wonderful place, The owner and staff supply Thanksgiving dinners to people who can not have one due to need. It is a great thing they do! Enjoy this gem!

Hermine Diner, Downtown Hermine

I am including the Herminie Diner even though I have not been here yet. I have had lots of business recently in the Riltton and Herminie area and I ask where is a good place for coffee and breakfast. The only place I get told is this diner. I have found out that the breakfast are under the control of a local lady who has had a much missed breakfast place across the street.Then I found out that the owner is one of the associates of the legendary ANDROS of White Oak. That means high quality of service and mouth demanding gyros! I can’t wait to make it there and enjoy some time filling up on the specials ! I’ll let you know how it goes .

Do you have a favorite? Let me know where and what I should try.

Thanks again for reading

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10 Anti-Burglary Tips for Your Sellers

When your clients are opening their doors to the public for showings, they need to take extra precautions. Share these suggestions to help them keep their belongings safe.

  December 2016 | By Tracey Hawkins
After Christmas, many people put the empty boxes their expensive gifts came in out on the curb. What do you think that says to potential burglars? It screams, “I just got a brand-new TV! Come and rob me!”
That’s just one example of some unwise habits homeowners have. If those owners are sellers opening their doors to the public for showings, habits such as these put them in even greater danger. The above example is a good warning to give to your clients now, since we’re in the holiday season. But use it as a jumping-off point to have a deeper conversation about safety — and to show that your safety knowledge is an asset to sellers.
Consider using this checklist (you can request it as a customer handout on my website) during listing appointments to better prepare prospective sellers and show your value as a real estate professional. We spend a lot of time telling sellers how we’ll market their home, and while that is obviously important, we rarely address their true concern: how to keep their home safe while it’s open to the public. Touch on these 10 anti-burglary tips so your clients will know that you have their best interest at heart.
National Snapshot of Burglaries

A burglary is committed every 20 seconds, with nearly 1.6 million such crimes nationwide annually, according to the FBI’s 2015 Crime in the United States report. That’s down 7.8 percent from 2014. Total property crime, which includes arson, larceny theft, and motor vehicle theft, reached nearly 8 million instances in 2015, down 2.6 percent from 2014.
– Maintain your property. Especially in the wintertime, many people stay indoors and neglect issues such as peeling trim or an overgrown yard. But if the home looks unkempt, thieves may think it’s abandoned and, therefore, an easy target. Shoveling your walkways to clear them of snow and debris and removing holiday decorations and fallen tree branches in a timely manner will signal that the home is occupied.
– Know your neighbors. Many people don’t really know their neighbors; it’s more than just saying hi and being friendly. Invite them over to see your home before it goes on the market, and introduce them to the people they may see regularly stopping by during this time (especially your agent). Then they’ll know who is and isn’t supposed to be at your home and can better assess when there may be a threat while you’re gone.
– Assess your home’s vulnerability. Walk to the curb and face your house. Ask yourself, “How would I get in if I were locked out?” The first thing you think of, whether it’s the window with a broken lock or the door that won’t shut all the way, is exactly how a thief will get in. Think like a burglar, and then address the issues that come to mind.
– Respect the power of lighting. Criminals are cowards, and they don’t want to be seen. The house that is well-lit at night provides a deterrent because thieves don’t want the attention and the potential to be caught by witnesses. It’s wise to invest in tools that make nighttime light automation easy. That includes dusk-to-dawn adapters that go into existing light fixtures and motion detectors. But beware of leaving your exterior lights on at all times, which signifies the occupant is gone for an extended period of time.
– Use technology to make your home look occupied. In addition to lighting, smart-home technology has made it easier to make it appear like people are home, even when they’re not. Systems that remotely control lighting, music, and appliances such as a thermostat can help you achieve this. Though not considered smart-home tech, simple lamp timing devices available at hardware stores are also good for this purpose.
– Yes, it has to be said: Lock your doors. It’s amazing how many people think they live in a safe-enough neighborhood not to have to lock their doors when they leave. Some facts sellers should know: In 30 percent of burglaries, the criminals access the home through an unlocked door or window; 34 percent of burglars use the front door to get inside; and 22 percent use the back door, according to the FBI Uniform Crime Report.
– Reinforce your locks. A good door lock is nothing without a solid frame. Invest in a solid door jam and strike plate first, and then invest in good locks. Know the difference between a single-cylinder and a double-cylinder deadbolt. Double-cylinder deadbolts are recommended because they require a key to get in and out. For safety and emergency escape purposes, you must leave the key in when you are home. But double-cylinder locks are against regulations in some places, so check with your local police department’s crime prevention office.
– Blare the sirens. Burglars are usually in and out in less than five minutes, and they know police can’t respond to an alarm that quickly. Their bigger concern is witnesses to their crime. For that reason, an external siren is invaluable, whether as part of a monitored security system or a DIY alarm. Even if you don’t have an alarm, it’s not a bad idea to invest in fake security signs and post them near doors.
– Consider surveillance cameras. The Los Angeles Police Department started a program encouraging homeowners to install a device called Ring, a doorbell with video surveillance capability that allows homeowners to view what’s outside their door on their smartphone, in a neighborhood that was a target for burglaries. After Ring was installed in hundreds of homes, the burglary rate dropped by 55 percent, according to reports. Most state and local regulations require posting a warning that people are being recorded. (But again, this can be effective even if you don’t actually have the cameras installed!)
– Mark your valuables and record details. Use invisible-ink pens or engravers to mark identifying information (driver’s license or state ID numbers) on items. Log serial numbers and take photos of your belongings. Check to see if your police department participates in the Operation Identification program. They will have stickers for you to place on doors or windows warning would-be thieves that your items are marked. These steps may prevent them from pawning or selling stolen items and can help you reclaim recovered belongings.
Tracey Hawkins

Tracey Hawkins, founder and CEO of Safety and Security Source, is a former real estate agent who, for 21 years, has been a national speaker and educator on real estate safety issues. She has created the country’s only real estate safety designation, the Consumer Safety and Security Specialist (CSSS) program.

Home Safety Ideas

If you have wondered as much as I have on how to make my home safer for my family, we must be responsible adults in this crazy world we all are living in.

I have learned a few things as I travel down this wonderful world of real estate and I really do mean that. I can truly say that I have never had the same day or the same transaction in this business. I was working in an accounting like job that my day was pretty much the same everyday but I’ll save that story for another day. 

This letter is about the little things that I have learned that you might have heard of or not on your travels of maintaining the safety of your castle.

1. My first did you know ~ That fire detectors expire? We all have heard the saying “change batteries when you change the clocks” . We all know this is in refinance to smoke detector’s batteries but did you know that there is an expiration date on the detector itself.The little bit of material needed for the detection loses its ability to do its job . So the next time you change your batteries, look for the date!

2. My second one is ~ Open light bulb sockets bad? This one happened to us. A lamp’s bulb burns out and you are in the room when it happens. You naturally unscrew the bulb , take it to the garbage , get a new one, and head back to the lamp. Nothing out of ordinary, right? Well, as I heading back to the room, my daughter stuck a butter knife in the open bulb socket. The switch was still in the on position and the electrical current passed through the knife and her hand. By many graces, her thumb was on a metal part of the lamp and the charge left her body.

3. The third one is ~ What is the dryer Beast? The dryer beast is the little cared or noticed shiny vent tube that goes from the back to the dryer to the outside. This is a small part of the appliance but just as important as the lent trap! This also needs to be changed out every six months or so. The lent that in deposited here builds up fairly quickly and with the heat coming through can become a nasty fire hazard!

4. The forth did you know ~ Did you ever figure out what these are for? This one is coming from a home inspector. There is a stop on our windows that prevents the window from being too far! It looks like a small rumble strip about two inches from the lower pane. Put your finger on it and push it up. It should pop out! Now who would open a window and crawl out and not tell their parent. My guess would be a toddler. Nice option that I never knew about.

5. The fifth thing is ~ What is a GFI plug and why is it the talk? This plug is not new but pops up at home inspections all the time. I only know the why and it is big. Lets say you are curling your hair next to a member the family who is shaving and you place the curling iron down. The iron rolls into the sink. With a GFI plug, the current is broken and no one is hurt or worse !

6. And finally, this one ~ Who bags up your new items boxes? This one came from a police officer . We all see it on garbage day. The people in the area have their new tv or computer box just propped up next to the cans. You drive by and think , Oh the Smiths got a new 60” flat screen. There are people who drive around and note 2314 Main St has the tv we need . Simply bag up the box and invite the Johnsons over for movie night on the new tv!

Hoped these might help you and till the next time, Be Safe!