NELA Living Blog by Emilie Broughton

Stop Killing your House Plants

Houseplants have become a popular interior decorating accessory. But you can destroy your investment through improper care. Here are 8 bad habits to avoid in caring for your houseplants.
1. Being impatient When you bring a new plant home it can go into shock while it
adjusts to its new environment. This can cause leaves to fall and growth to slow.
Don’t add to the stress by excessive watering, fertilizing, or continuing to move it
around. Let it settle in.
2. Avoid that rock layer at the bottom of a pot. A layer of rocks in the bottom of
pots does not improve drainage. In fact, they can cause root rot.
3. Too much water If you notice a declining plant, don’t just add water. First, check
the soil with your fingers, or lift the pot to see if it is heavy with water. If it is still
wet, do not water it! Check for light levels, temperature extremes, pests, or diseases.
4. Watering just a little bit at a time If a plant is getting crisp and shriveling, you
may be under-watering. Get rid of the crisp leaves and give a thorough watering
by sitting in a sink or tub with 2-4 inches of water for about an hour. If the pot
feels heavier after this time. Remove and let it drain. Some plants do not get
enough water to the roots with just top watering. Consider repeating this soak
every 2-4 weeks.
5. Trimming orchids all the way back to a couple of nodes. This will give you new
blooms faster, but they will be small. If you trim back to the first node on the
spike, you will get larger blooms, but it will take longer. In any case, leaving the
plant as it is after flowering won’t result in a robust orchid.
6. Keeping it trim Leaving your plant in the same pot for a long time can harm and
eventually kill it. The plant can become root-bound as its root system outgrows
the pot. An indication that you need to repot is when you see roots growing out
of the drainage holes or above the soil line.
7. Incorrect light level All plants do not need to be in the sun, on a windowsill or on
the patio. Check for the correct light levels on the tag or on the Internet. If a
plant isn’t doing well in the full sun, find a new spot.
8. Using the wrong liquid Tap water often has fluoride, chlorine, and salt, which can
damage some fragile indoor plants. Many plants will be fine with tap water, but
if they are in distress and there are no pests or diseases, consider bottled water.
And any other liquid is a bad idea. Don’t dump the last bit of coffee or seltzer
into your plants. It might not kill the plant when done once, but done
consistently it can have a bad result.

Category: Blog |

Baking Soda as a Green Cleaner

Baking Soda, a common kitchen ingredient, can be used for so much more than just
baking. As a green cleaning agent, baking soda can combat germs, odors, and burnt-on foods. Use it in your sink, on carpets and rugs, and in your washing machine to give your detergent a boost. Baking soda can also whiten porcelain, brighten laundry, and act as a scrubbing agent that won't scratch surfaces. Best of all, this cleaning product is eco-friendly, non-toxic, and safe to use in households with children and pets. Here are some fantastic baking soda cleaning hacks for those conscious of their indoor environment.
 Remove burnt-on foods by boiling baking soda and water in your soiled pan, and
then letting it cool. Let the concoction soak overnight, if necessary, and then wipe
it clean.
 Refresh your carpets. Instead of reaching for harmful, conventional carpet
cleaners, use baking soda as an earth-friendly alternative to deodorize and clean
your rugs naturally. Sprinkle baking soda onto your carpet, mist it with warm
water, and let it sit for several hours. Then, vacuum it up.
 Combat dishwasher odors Try sprinkling 1/2 cup of baking soda into the bottom
of the dishwasher in between uses. After a few cycles, the smell will begin to
 De-odorize drains
Sprinkle baking soda into your drain and garbage disposal, and then let it sit for a
few minutes or up to several hours. Next, pour in some distilled white vinegar and
then run the hot water. Food residue, germs, and soap scum will be washed away,
and your drain will smell fresh.
 Refresh your refrigerator Make a paste of baking soda and water to clean
cleaning out your fridge. This non-toxic cleaning formula can be added to a wet
microfiber rag and used to wipe away residue from food, condiments, and
produce. Rinse the rag well in between uses, and buff off any remaining baking
soda residue.
 Scrub without scratching Delicate bathroom surfaces, like porcelain or white
subway tiles, can be scrubbed clean with a recipe of baking soda and distilled
white vinegar. With a soft brush or a reusable plastic sponge, spread the paste
onto the surface, and then wait a few minutes before rinsing it clean. This
effortless method is effective for whitening sinks and showers.
 For many more uses of baking soda see

What Not to Clean With Baking Soda

You should never use baking soda on marble counters or ceramic
cooktops. Baking soda will remove the protective finish on
marble counters and will scratch cooktops, leaving a thin, white
film. Similarly, gold-plated items and aluminum pots should not
be cleaned with baking soda. Baking soda may scratch the soft
precious metal and will oxidize when used on aluminum, causing
your pot to change color.

Category: Blog |

Just Sold! 3961 Via Marisol #131 Los Angeles, CA 90042

Congratulations to the sellers of 3961 Via Marisol #131! It was a pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best in your next chapter!

Category: Blog, Real Estate |

Is a Fixer-Upper the Answer?

With interest rates moving higher and the inventory of houses low, many are
considering whether a “fixer-upper” might be a better choice than a ready to move
in “turnkey” property.

A “fixer-upper” could give more bang for the buck if what needs to be fixed is more
cosmetic than fundamental. A coat of paint can be a do-it-yourself project, but
removing wet mold is a major project. You can change the landscaping, but you
cannot change the location. You need to decide how big a project you are able to
take on, and how you will finance these repairs.

Evaluate the results of inspections carefully. Expect the unexpected. Work with
recommended licensed contractors. Add 25% to your estimated costs for the

Category: Blog, Real Estate |