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March 26, 2020

Working From Home Productivity Tips

 

If you typically work in an office setting, working remotely can be a bit of a transition. Instead of being surrounded by coworkers all day, you are surrounded by family, roommates or even nobody. Working from home may also make certain tasks a little more difficult to handle than if you were in the office. We have a few tips for you to make working from home as smooth of a transition as possible.

 

Pick an Area

The first step to being productive while working from home is picking an area where you plan on getting your work done. Working from home can have several distractions, so we recommend you pick somewhere that will cause as little distraction as possible. If you have a guest bedroom, you can retrofit it to work as a home office. One thing you should avoid doing is working while in bed. If your bedroom is the only place you can work without being distracted by family members, set up a desk or table in your room to work from.

 

Set Boundaries

Your home office won’t be filled with coworkers but rather the people that you live with. When you are at home you are much more accessible to the people in your life you share a home with. This is why it’s important to set some boundaries with these people. You need to make sure your family or roommates understand that you are home to work and you need the time during the day to accomplish that. Set a rule that if the door to your home office is shut, then people aren’t allowed to come in unless it’s for an emergency. Setting these boundaries will help you remain as focused as possible.

 

Make a Morning Routine

Routines are certainly helpful to get in the right headspace to tackle your workday. It’s easiest to establish morning routines that will carry on throughout the day. Wake up, shower, brush your teeth and doing what you normally do before work is a great way to start your routine and make you ready to tackle your work. If your routine is to start the day drinking some coffee and reading or doing some meditation, those work too! Everybody will have a slightly different routine and that’s totally normal. Just do what works best for you!

 

Take Breaks

Speaking of routines, it is important to routinely take breaks throughout the day. Sitting in the same spot for the entirety of the workday isn’t good for you for many reasons. For one, you need to get up and stretch your legs and move around. Secondly, it’s hard to stay focused on the entire workday while staring at the computer screen. You can set goals each hour to force yourself to get up and move, like doing a little at-home exercise or taking a short walk. For example, when the hour turns over, get up from your desk and do 10 pushups, 10 squats, and 20 sit-ups. Not only will this give you a break from work, but it will also help you get a bit of exercise! If you don’t want to do that, you can still take a few laps around your home to get your legs moving.

 

Don’t Socially Isolate Yourself Completely

 

Working from home can get lonely at times. You aren’t able to head over to a coworker’s desk to chat about work-related topics or just to catch up on what they have going on in their lives. That kind of social interaction is important in the workplace and even more so if you are working remotely. Call or video chat with your coworkers once in a while to have that human interaction that is harder to come by when you aren’t in the office. This will help keep you in a good mental space while you work from home.

 

 

Posted in Home Tips
March 24, 2020

Wisconsin Real Estate Report – February 2020

 

Let’s take a look at how the Wisconsin housing market is shaking up! The number of home sales in February 2020 was 4,033, which was a decrease of only 0.9% compared to February 2019. Statewide listings were down 8.7% to 23,580 while the median single-family home price rose 8.6% to $190,000. Houses were selling quicker this February compared to last February. On average, homes are on the market for 111 days, which is 4.3% less time than February of 2019.

 

Source data provided by the WRA

 

 

 

Posted in Market Reports
March 23, 2020

CONSIDER THIS: WHEN TO REFINANCE

 

Refinancing your mortgage is something most homeowners consider at least once throughout the lifespan of their home loan. It allows you to pay off your previous loan by applying for a new one that has better financial advantages. While there are many good reasons to refinance, here are five common ones.

 

·         Scoring a lower interest rate. The number one reason homeowners decide to refinance is to secure a lower interest rate on their mortgage. Not only does this save you money in the long run and decrease your monthly payment, but you can start building equity in your home sooner.

 

·         Using an improved credit score. Even if interest rates have not dropped in the market, if you’ve improved your credit score over the last few years, you may be able to reduce your mortgage rate.

 

·         Shortening the loan’s term. If interest rates are decreasing, there is a chance you may be able to get a shorter loan term with little to no change in your monthly payment, allowing you to pay off your loan sooner.

 

·         Switching from an adjustable rate to a fixed rate. If you chose an adjustable-rate mortgage with great introductory rates when you initially financed your home, that rate may increase significantly over the years. By switching to a fixed rate while interest rates are low, you can protect yourself from future increases.

 

·         Cashing out home equity. If there is a big purchase or payment on the horizon, such as funding a wedding or going back to school, your best option may be to use the equity you’ve built in your home to borrow money at a lower cost.

Posted in Real Estate Advice
March 19, 2020

How to Make Your Bedroom Sleep-Friendly

 

Getting enough sleep is one of the most important things for everybody. We need to be able to wake up the next day feeling energized and ready to tackle any task we have on our plates. Not getting a good night’s rest will leave you feeling groggy and lethargic the next day, making even simple tasks feel that much more difficult. How can you get a better night of sleep? Follow these tips to create a sleep-friendly environment!

Upgrade Your Mattress

In order to sleep better, we need to start at the source, which is taking a look at what you’re sleeping on. Your mattress! If you already have a great mattress, go ahead and skip to the next tip. Having the proper mattress that works for you is essential. Sure, upgrading to a better mattress may be pricey, but it will be worth it when you feel like a new person, waking up with plenty of energy to take on the day.

Remove Clutter

Making your room clutter-free is a quick and easy way to help you sleep better. Having a messy room can leave people feeling anxious, which makes it difficult to both fall asleep and stay asleep. So, pick up those clothes laying on the floor and clear up your dresser so you can go to sleep with a clearer mind!

Close Your Curtains

Keeping your room completely dark can help you get to sleep. Of course, the easiest way to do this is to close your curtains at night so there isn’t as much light coming in. To go a step further, you can buy blackout curtains that will go a step further in making your room completely dark.

Noise

For some individuals, complete silence is needed for them to get a good night of sleep. There are also people who sleep better with a bit of ambient noise. You could turn on a fan or there are things you can buy that create a consistent noise that can help you fall asleep.

Turn Off Your Electronics

Electronics affect our sleep habits in a number of ways. For one, you can easily lose track of time by mindlessly scrolling, causing you to go to bed later than you probably should. Also, staring at screens before bed can make it difficult for us to fall asleep as soon as we put the phone down or turn off the tv. Try reading a book before bed in place of scrolling through your social networks.

Getting an adequate amount of sleep is important to everyone. Other than the health benefits, a good night’s sleep refuels our bodies and gives us the energy we need to be productive the next day. Take these simple tips and you’ll be well on your way to feeling well-rested!

 

Posted in Home Tips
March 18, 2020

School closures, Information, and Services for Parents and Students

 

Information and free tutoring for families during COVID-19 school closures

 

 

Visit https://schoolclosures.org to get more information about school closures, dealing with the situation, and more. It also has a list of services that can help students and parents.

 

Posted in Community Events
March 18, 2020

UW Credit Union Emergency Personal Loan

 

Emergency Personal Loan

For existing UWCU members who have been financially impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak, we are offering a low-rate personal loan to help with budgeting concerns. Loan funds can be used for purposes such as to supplement income loss, pay bills and cover expenses related to COVID-19.

  • Up to $2,500
  • Available for all credit tiers
  • No application fee, monthly service fees or prepayment penalties
  • No payments and no interest for the first 90 days.

Should you need a longer repayment period, then:

  • Fixed rate of 1.90% APR1 for 36 months

How to Apply

To apply, please call 800-533-6773, option 1 during regular business hours.

Or, complete our standard personal loan application and specify in the comments section that you would like the “Emergency Personal Loan.”

 

 

Posted in Community Events
March 18, 2020

Restaurants offering delivery, to-go or curbside specials

 

To help limit the spread of the Coronavirus, restaurants are closing temporarily. Some restaurants will remain open for delivery, to go or curb-side specials.

 

Here are the restaurants that can serve you.

 

Liliana’s Restaurant - offering delivery through EatStreet and online takeout, and staff will run food out to your car. 608-442-4444

Fairchild - offering takeout of its entire menu during its normal business hours. 608-819-6361

L’Etoile - Curbside takeout orders go live on Monday for L’Etoile’s Family Meal, with pickups starting Wednesday. 608-251-0500

CocoVaa Chocolatier - offering curbside pick-up only of the shop’s confections starting Friday, March 20. You’ll be able to order online starting this Wednesday. cocovaa.com

The Conscious Carnivore - offering curbside pickup at the store to customers practicing social distancing. Call ahead with your order, pay via card over the phone and the butcher will walk your order out to you. The business is also asking that anyone who may be feeling sick to not come into the store. 608-709-1418

Salvatore’s Tomato Pies - Call in or place your order online here, and your delivery person will let you know when your pizza is left on your doorstep. DarkHorse will also have other family meal options starting Tuesday; and all three locations will offer wine and beer takeout options. salstomatopies.revelup.com

Brix Cider - working on special offerings in lieu of dining in. brixcider.com

SoHo Gourmet Cuisines offering curbside pickup at its Fitchburg storefront, so you can enjoy the eatery’s Asian-fusion dishes with a side of social distancing. Owner Rocky So is also generously offering to personally deliver meals within a 5-mile radius. 608-960-4011

Harmony Bar & Grill - offers carryout from Harmony. The Atwood Avenue establishment also offers takeout options, as it always has, on a daily basis. 608-249-4333

Johnson Public House - order online and your items will be ready for pickup with minimal contact. Delivery (dropped on your doorstep for no contact) is also available to those within JPH’s delivery radius from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily. If you stop in the coffee shop, all orders will be prepared to-go. jph4ever.com

Nick’s Restaurant - offering curbside takout for the time being. There’s also an entrance on East Johnson Street when you go to pick up. 608-255-5450

Merchant and Lucille - offers curbside, takeout and delivery menu.

Bloom Bake Shop - fulfilling takeout orders and will likely provide free delivery, family meals and single meals next week. Watch for more details from Bloom in the coming days. bloombakeshop.com, 608-509-7669

The Heights - offering a “Pop-Out” meal for takeout Monday and Wednesday (March 16 and 18), which will feature a barbecue chicken sandwich meal for two. You can also support The Heights by joining its Wine Society. And if you want to avoid the grocery store, keep in mind that The Heights has a small grocery section in the North Allen Street restaurant featuring items including meats, cheeses, eggs, coffee, tea and some shelf-stable products. 608-405-5500

Rosie’s Coffee Bar & Bakery - offering pick-up dinner starting Thursday. Check its social media page or website for updates. 608-441-7673

Food Fight Restaurant Group - carryout or delivery via food apps EatStreet or Chow Now. foodfightinc.com/restaurant-status

Rare Steakhouse - offering a limited menu for curbside pick-up, to-go or delivery — call the restaurant to get the details. 608-204-9000

The Tin Fox - you can order a $42 family meal deal that feeds four and includes eight pieces of fried chicken, two family-sized sides, four pieces of cornbread (may substitute biscuits if necessary) and bar cookies (brownies or blondies). You can order directly from the restaurant and carry out for the $42 deal, and pre-paid orders can be picked up curbside. The offer will also be on EatStreet, along with The Tin Fox’s regular menu. 608-709-1616

Harvest Go - offers delivery and curbside pickup system that is made possible by Harvest’s professional servers. harvest-go.com

Pasture and Plenty - equipped for to-go/at-home meal services. Take away and delivery from the menu available. 608-665-3770

Rockhound Brewing Co. - will stay open from 4-8 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday for limited dinein and carry-out services. 608-285-9023

International Catering Co. - offers meals starting Tuesday for delivery or pick up. More information is available by emailing chef@international-madison.com.

 

Posted in Community Events
March 18, 2020

List of Madison area restaurants, bar and shop closures.

Gov. Tony Evers has directed the Department of Health Services to prohibit gatherings of 10 people or more to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

To help limit the spread of the coronavirus, local businesses are closing their doors for the foreseeable future. Evers said restaurants and bars are still able to offer takeout or delivery, but dining in is not allowed at this point.

 

  • The Barre Code: Closed March 16-29
  • Bel Air Cantina: Dine-in services stopped March 16, but takeout and delivery will be available
  • Bierock: Closed to dine-in guests, takeout and delivery will be available.
  • Booth 121: Closed starting March 17
  • Brasserie V: Closed starting March 16
  • Bungalow608: Closed starting March 16
  • Burrito Drive: Closed March 16-March 27
  • Busse’s Tavern: Closed starting March 16
  • Cassetta Kitchen and Counter: Closed starting March 15
  • CocoVaa: Closed to dine in, carryout, will be offering free delivery every Sunday
  • Cool Beans: Closed starting March 17
  • D’Vino: Closed starting March 16
  • Dane County Human Society Thrift Store: Closed starting March 17, main shelter is only open by appointment only
  • Dexter’s Pub: Closed until next Tuesday, but there will be a limited take out menu of corned beef and cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day
  • DUNE gift + home: Closed for the next two weeks; gift certificates, gift bundles and other products available online
  • EVP Coffee Co.: Starting March 17, all stores apart from Sequoia location will be closed
  • Food Fight Restaurants: All Food Fight Restaurant Group restaurants will be closed to dine-in guests
  • Forage Kitchen: Pick-up and delivery only; curbside pick-up will be available at Hilldale and Monona locations
  • Fosdale Home Bakery: Store will be closed starting March 17, curbside pickup options will be available
  • Garth’s Brew Bar: Closed, except March 18 from 4-9 p.m., March 20 from 4-6 p.m. and March 21 from noon-2 p.m. for to-go sales
  • Gates & Brovi: Closed starting March 16
  • Good Day Shop: Closed through March 27; can shop in person through appointment or through Instagram stories and website
  • Good Style Shop: Closed March 16-March 20; shopping available through Instagram stories
  • Gotham Bagels: Dine-in service suspended starting March 16; online, phone and carryout orders will still be available; cashless payments only
  • Grasshopper Goods: Closed starting March 16
  • Great Dane Pub & Brewing Co.: All Madison locations are closed until further notice
  • Greenbush Bar: Closed starting March 17
  • The Heights: Closing regular service March 19
  • La Kitchenette: Closed starting March 17
  • Lazy Jane’s Cafe: Closed starting March 16
  • Longtable Beer Cafe: Closed starting March 16
  • Lucille: Closing dining rooms March 16; delivery and takeout will be available
  • Madison Eats Food Tours: Canceling all tours through March 22
  • Madison Chocolate Co.: Open for takeout and pick up starting March 17, but no dine in; chocolate and bakery delivery starting March 20
  • Marigold Kitchen: Closed starting March 16
  • Merchant: Closing dining rooms March 16; delivery and takeout will be available
  • Monetti Tailoring: Closed starting March 16, can help with urgent appointments only
  • Mickey’s Tavern: Closed March 16
  • Mickie’s Dairy Bar: Carryout only available as of March 16
  • Mint Mark: Closed March 16; carryout orders will open for pre-order meals
  • Morris Ramen: Closed starting March 16, though will be open March 16 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
  • Ogden’s North Street Diner: Closed March 16, updates regarding following days will be found on Facebook
  • The Old Fashioned: Dining room closed, but takeout and curbside will be available
  • The Old Feed Mill: Closed starting March 17
  • Original Pancake House: Closed starting March 16
  • Paoli Schoolhouse American Bistro: Closed through March 27
  • Pasture & Plenty: Closed through April 6 for dine-in; weekly meal kit service, farm-to-freezer meals, takeaway and delivery available
  • Pooley’s Sports Bar: Closed starting March 16
  • RED Madison: Closure effective March 16
  • The Robin Room: Closed for foreseeable future after midnight March 15
  • Sardine: Closed starting March 16
  • The Soap Opera: Closed, but online store will be open with in-store pick-up option available
  • Strictly Discs: Closed starting March 16
  • Tanners Bar and Grill: Closed starting March 16
  • Tempest: Closed starting March 16
  • Tip Top Tavern: Closed March 16, updates regarding following days will be found on Facebook
  • Tornado Room Steak House: Closed starting March 16
  • Vintage Brewing Co.: All locations will be closed starting March 16
  • Wildewood: Closed starting March 16
  • Wildwood Cafe: Closed starting March 15
  • Wisconsin Craft Market: Temporarily closed
  • Working Draft Beer Co.: Closed taproom March 15
  • Zip-Dang: Closed until further notice; online shopping is available
Posted in Community Events
March 13, 2020

Weekend Events

This Weekend in Wisconsin:  

ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE, COMEDY ON MAIN, AND HAPPY PI DAY AT PORTAGE PUBLIC LIBRARY!

 

ST. PATRICK'S DAY PARADE

 

 Capitol Square

Madison, WI 53703

Information: 608-259-9266

Event Date Detail

Mar 15, 2020. 1:30pm

 

Event details

Welcome to Madison’s St Patrick's Day Parade celebration! It’s time for "the wearing of the green!” The St. Patrick’s Day Parade Committee invites you to participate in the 2020 parade around Madison’s beautiful Capitol Square. We welcome all to participate as we celebrate the Irish culture.

 

 

Check out more events in Wisconsin.

Click on Event title to see more info.

 

South Central

March 13, Comedy on Main at JPAC, Janesville

March 13-15, Bikeorama, Madison

March 14, Cajun Strangers LIVE in the Tasting Room, Lake Mills

March 14, Food Fair & Farmer’s Market, Reedsburg

March 14, Kaleb Woods at Balanced Rock Winery, Baraboo

March 14, Happy Pi Day at Portage Public Library, Portage

March 14, St. Patrick’s Day Soup Luncheon, Beaver Dam

March 14, Trinity Irish Dancers, Fitchburg

March 14, Weekend Wild Walk, Baraboo

March 14-15, Dancescapes ’20, Whitewater

March 15, Camper Breakfast, Cambridge

March 15, Celebrating the 250th Year of Beethoven, Platteville

March 15, Maple Syrup Event at Donald County Park, Mount Horeb

March 15, Spring Bridal Expo, Tomah

March 15, St. Patrick’s Day Pancake Breakfast, Cross Plains

March 15, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Madison

March 15, St. Patrick’s Day Potluck, Dodgeville

South East

March 13, Admirals Dog Day II, Milwaukee

March 13, Movie Night at Springs Water Park, Pewaukee

March 13-14, 15th Annual Shamrocks & Shenanigans, Plymouth

March 13-14, Indoor Ice Bowling Classic, Sheboygan

March 13-14, The Boston Imposters, Oconomowoc

March 13-15, Greater Milwaukee Golf Show, West Allis

March 13-15, Home, Sporting & Recreation Expo, West Bend

March 14, 2020 Lucky Leprechaun 7K, Brookfield

March 14, Art in the Burg, Cedarburg

March 14, Candlelight Hike, Lake Geneva

March 14, Chocolate Extravaganza, Burlington

March 14, High Noon Rail Jam – Terrain Park Competition, Wilmont

March 14, Home & Garden Show, Burlington

March 14, Kenosha Symphony Orchestra Concert, Kenosha

March 14, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Racine

March 14, Taco & Margarita Crawl, Milwaukee

March 14-15, Cedar Creek Settlement/Winery Open House, Cedarburg

March 14-15, Rock, Mineral, Gem & Earth Science Show, West Bend

March 15, 34th Annual Flapjack Day, Sheboygan

March 15, Cabin Fever Craft & Vendor Show, Brookfield

March 15, Lake Country Wedding Show, Pewaukee

March 15, Oconomowoc Winter Farmers Market, Oconomowoc

March 15, Wildlife in Need Pancake Breakfast, Dousman

March 15, Wisconsin Wingfest 2020, Milwaukee

Central

March 13, Indoor Rome Winter Farmer’s Market, Rome

March 13-14, Blues Café Weekend, Rothschild

March 13-15, Central Wisconsin RV & Camping Show, Rothschild

March 14, 4th Annual BREW Fest, Wausau

March 14, 7th Annual Shamrock Shuffle, Custer

March 14, 9th Annual Marshfield Area Empty Bowls, Marshfield

March 14, Hooray For Hollywood, Wausau

March 14, The Zimmer Effect and The Rogue Electrics at Hollyrock’s, Wisconsin Rapids

March 14, WKEB Comedy Night, Medford

March 14, WRFSC 20 Years on Ice, Wisconsin Rapids

March 15, the foxfire affair at O’Brien’s On Main, Amherst

March 15, Yamato: Drummers of Japan, Wausau

Northeast

March 13, Ana Popovic, Fond du Lac

March 13-15, Oshkosh Craft Beer Week, Oshkosh

March 13-15, Rooms of Blooms, Oshkosh

March 14, 3rd Annual Shamrocks For Shelter, Manitowoc

March 14, 46th Annual Northeastern WI Great Lakes Fishing Fundraiser, Manitowoc

March 14, 2020 Rocket Blast-Off 5K Run/Walk, Neenah

March 14, Appleton’s Downtown St. Patrick’s Day Tent Party, Appleton

March 14, Girl Scout Cookies & Wine/Cocktail Pairing, Neenah

March 14, Oshkosh Farmers Market and Spring Bazaar, Oshkosh

March 14, Rock Into Spring, Appleton

March 14, St. Patrick’s Day Celebration, Wautoma

March 14, St. Patrick’s Day Parade, Fond du Lac

March 14-15, Monsters on Ice Festival, Appleton

March 15, Fond du Lac Lions Flea Market, Fond du Lac

March 15, Return of the Under Par Open, Berlin

Northwoods

March 13-15, The Great Northern Boat & RV Show, Marinette

March 14, Ironwood Polar Plunge, Wakefield

March 14, Braveheart Midwest Snowshoe Racing Championships, Cable

March 14, Home, Sport & Health Expo, Park Falls

March 14, Jefferson Starship, Lac du Flambeau

March 14, Karaoke Night, Bruce

March 14, Keyes Peak Uphill Truck Drags, Florence

March 14, Pickerel-Pearson St Patrick’s Day Parade, Pickerel

March 14, St Patrick’s Day Parade, Rhinelander

March 14, Tim Cavanagh, Rhinelander

March 15, Mrs. Wisconsin Pageant, Eagle River

Posted in Community Events
March 9, 2020

Townhouse Vs. Condo: Which Should You Buy?

 

Whether it’s your first time buying or you just want to purchase something smaller, townhouses and condos are both great options. Check out the differences between the two to help aid you in your search!

 

Condominiums

 

Condominiums are similar to apartments in that you purchase an individual unit inside of a larger building, but not the property it sits on. This generally includes access to the building’s amenities, such as the clubhouse, pool, and gym. However, condo owners are not responsible for the upkeep and repair of these common areas. Because of the number of shared spaces, living in a condo often allows for meeting new people and building a strong sense of community. There is a fairly similar vetting process for loan approval as for a full-sized home; however, the lender will also look at the health of the condo association.

 

Townhouses

 

Those who purchase a townhome are generally purchasing the complete unit, both inside and out, including the land it sits on. This might also include the driveway, yard, or roof. Traditionally, these units are two- or three-stories tall and may also include common areas like pools and parks. Townhome owners pay a fee to a homeowners association every month and the loan process is the same as buying a full-sized home.

 

Which is the best choice?

 

 

Both townhomes and condos offer less maintenance than a traditional home and generally offer great shared areas. Your decision ultimately comes down to you and your family’s needs and wants. Things you’ll want to take into consideration include location, lifestyle, family growth, and price.

 

Posted in Home Buying