When Alex and I had decided to make an offer on our home, we knew we had to stretch our budget. The home was listed higher than we had originally wanted to spend, but it was the only home we had found that had all the features we wanted. So, we considered our options, decided we could stretch a bit, and sent in our offer just under the list price. Happily, our offer was accepted. During our home inspection, we learned from the seller’s real estate agent that a backup offer had been made on the home. Above our price. Alex and I knew we couldn’t compete with that, so all negotiations from that point forward landed squarely in the seller’s favor. Fortunately, they were a lovely couple and the home had very little to negotiate over so it was a smooth process and we moved in about a month later.
About 10 doors south from us is a grand white colonial home. Its two story façade is reminiscent of a southern plantation home. Joanne and Kelly moved in about 6 months after Alex and I, so we are both discovering the neighborhood at the same time. The colonial has been a labor of love for Joanne and Kelly for about 2 years. They are restoring the home which had been poorly maintained over a number of years and through a couple rentals. We first met Joanne and Kelly at a neighborhood mixer. Turns out, Joanne & Kelly were the other bidders on our home. Kelly was disappointed he didn’t get our home, but we now laugh about how things might have been different for each of us had Joanne & Kelly been selected by our seller. Certainly, Alex and I would not have had the courage (or finances) to take on the restoration of the white colonial, but we are happily maintaining ours. Two historic homes saved.
Turns out, Joanne and I not only have a common interest in old homes, but we also love to decorate for the holidays. There are three homes on our street which go all out for holiday décor- us, Joanne’s and Judy’s (two doors north of Joanne). You can tell the season by looking at these three homes. I was talking to Joanne about her Easter décor and complimenting her on her burlap banner with a cute little Easter bunny on it. It was from Pottery Barn and I had seen it in a recent catalogue. Turns out Joanne works there part time- apparently it helps with her decorating habits. Lucky gal, that Joanne. One week later, Joanne was knocking at my door. She and her daughter Jenny were dropping by with a little Easter gift for me- a Burlap banner of my own! Sometimes the generosity of my neighbors astounds me. Now we match. Two historic homes, decked out for the Easter holiday. Adorable!
How to be Neighborly: Home is where you hang your banner.
Easter evolves as follows at our place: 1) decorate, 2) eat chocolate, 3) make Easter eggs, 4) head to family brunch. Here’s step #3.
My husband figured out how to boil the perfect egg- no gray edges! He shared his tricks with me, so I can share them with you. There are lots of variations on deviled eggs, and everyone has their favorite. This is mine. Many people use mayonnaise in their eggs, I don’t because my husband hates mayonnaise. I put the oil in its place to keep it from drying out too much.
- 6 eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp mustard
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- Pinch red pepper flakes
- ¼ tsp olive oil
- Fresh ground pepper
- Smoked paprika
Put eggs in pot with ½ tsp salt, cover with water, and bring water to a boil. Once the water starts to boil, turn the heat off, cover the pot and let sit for 12 minutes. After 12 minutes, submerge eggs in ice water. Peel eggs and slice in half. Wipe your knife on a paper towel after each egg for clean whites.
Put yolks in a bowl with mustard, Dijon mustard, red pepper, oil, and ground pepper. Mix until smooth. Put the yolk mixture in a plastic bag, and snip off one corner. Pipe the yolks into the whites. Sprinkle with paprika. Enjoy!