As Thursday and Friday approach (and many employees plan to become incredibly unproductive due to the NCAA Basketball Tournament starting in the middle of the day with multiple games that generally end in upsets and buzzer beaters) it is important to know some of the keys to winning your bracket challenge.
- The Big Ten is not nearly as deep as normal, but the four teams from the Big Ten can all make great noise in the tournament. Michigan State is a popular pick for many brackets with Purdue also getting some attention as a potential champion. Michigan won the Big Ten Tournament and Ohio State had some impressive conference wins.
- The old adage that defense wins champions could prove true this year. Tennessee, Virginia and Cincinnati are three teams that give their opponents 40 minutes of tough play. Virginia is the top seed, while Cincinnati and Xavier have had exceptional years. Kentucky joins Tennessee as a top team out of the SEC. Kentucky was able to take home the SEC Tournament crown, though they didn’t have a great regular season. The SEC has eight teams in the tournament field, but nobody in the conference is considered a strong contender for the Final Four.
- Perennial powerhouses Duke and reigning national champion North Carolina join Virginia with star power to finish the season cutting down the nets. All three teams have the talent to beat any other team in the country.
- The Big East’s top two teams are Villanova and Xavier. Villanova won the conference and is a one seed while Xavier was upset in the conference tournament in the semifinals and lost the potential of being a top seed. Arizona is the top team out of the Pac 12 and their freshman phenom Deandre Ayton could take them all the way. Kansas also owns a top seed and some believe they could make some noise in the tournament after winning the conference tournament. Finally, you can’t count out last year’s national champion runner-up Gonzaga. They have restocked and are ready for another long run in the tournament.
Who are you picking to win your bracket?
To search for homes on the MLS, click here.
Annette Masterson is a licensed broker with EXIT Realty Bob Lamb & Associates in Murfreesboro, TN. She has developed one of the most successful real estate teams in Rutherford County, known as Masterson Network, that specializes in new home construction and residential listings and sales throughout Middle Tennessee. You can email Annette at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 615-896-5656 (Office) or 615-533-1660 (Cell) for more information.
Murfreesboro always has so much to offer and this March is no exception! Check out just some of the many events below:
Aristocats Kids at Center for the Arts
This fun show about an eccentric millionaires who wills her entire estate to a cat and her kittens will provide laughs for everyone! Tickets are $12 for everyone.
The Center for the Arts
110 W. College Street
Murfreesboro, TN 37130
Bluebird in the Boro 5th Annual Concert Series
March 5th through 7th
This annual concert benefits Alive Hospice with one-of-a-kind “in the round” performances by top songwriters as well as catering by Five Senses and Mayday Brewery. The event lasts for three nights and is at 6pm each night. Admission is $100 per person per night.
The Grove at Williamson Place
3520 Wilkinson Pike
Murfreesboro, TN 37129
TSSAA Girls Basketball Championships
Come see some of the top players and teams in Tennessee play to try to win the top title for the season! Game times vary and can be found on the website.
Middle Tennessee State University Panhellenic Easter Egg Hunt
March 25th from 2-4pm
Bring the whole family and enjoy this annual Easter egg hunt at the MTSU President’s Lawn. Admission is free.
MTSU President’s Lawn
Murfreesboro, TN 37132
March 30th through April 8th
This is a full-length junior show and is about a group of disciples helping Jesus to tell different parables by using a wide variety of games, storytelling and comedy. Tickets are on sale now and season pass holders get $2 off. Admission is as follows: Adults $15, Students, Seniors and Military $13 and Children $11.
To search for homes on the MLS, click here.
Is the warm February weather just tricking us into believing that spring is here or will we have more cold weather before spring comes to stay for good? Regardless, now is the time to start your home to-do list so that your home is ready by April! Here are a few things you can tackle over the next few weeks:
- Clean out the trashcans. Spring is a great time to hose down both the indoor and outdoor trashcans to sanitize them and cut down on their smell before the weather gets warmer.
- Clear out the corners. Look high and low for cobwebs, dead bugs, dirt and grime in your ceiling corners, baseboards and windowsills. Use your vacuum’s attachment to make things a little simpler and quicker to clean.
- Air out the house. When the weather is warm, open up all the windows in the house to air it out. While the windows are open, vacuum the sills and the screens and wipe down the inside of the windows.
- Clean the carpet and upholstery. Call in the professionals, rent a carpet-cleaning machine from a home improvement store or just spot clean stains if nothing needs a deep clean.
- Wipe out the windows. Get the window cleaner to tackle the insides and then grab the hose to clean off the dirt and grime on the outside.
- Pressure wash the siding. If you have siding on your house, you know it’s prone to unsightly mildew. Grab the pressure washer to get rid of it and then turn the pressure washer to your driveway and sidewalks, too.
- Prune the bushes. Trim them back in both height and circumference so that the bushes can receive sunlight on all sides during the spring and summer months.
- Clear out anything dead. Pick out dead leaves, foliage and fallen tree branches from your beds and lawn so that new growth can get through.
- Pull the weeds. Pull any existing weeds and take steps to ensure they don’t come back for the rest of spring and summer.
- Plant annuals in your bed. Pansies, violas, cyclamen and English Primrose are good choices for spring planting because they can handle low temperatures down into the 50s.
What’s on your spring home checklist that you’d like to accomplish before the weather warms up for good? To search for homes on the MLS, click here.
Sometimes you can get so excited about starting a renovation that you forget to do your due diligence in selecting a contractor! So before you jump into your next project, be sure to ask a contractor these five questions:1) What and for whom have you renovated before? Ask the contractor for references so you can talk to other homeowners who have used him or her. Then follow up with these homeowners to ask what they liked and didn’t like about him or her and the renovation process. If you’re tackling a similar renovation, you could even ask to see the work.
2) When is your estimated start and completion date? And a secondary question may be “What do you need from me to get started?” Some contractors may have months-long wait times and depending on when you need the work done, you may have to mark some of them off the list based on their availability to start. You’ll also want to ask if you will be their only project or if they plan to bounce back and forth between your project and others.
3) What licenses and insurance do you have? Your contractor should have all applicable licenses and as well as insurance and be able to show them to you for proof. From there you can find out what, if any, permits you or the contractor may need to pull from your local codes department before you can get started.
4) What is your estimate for the project? Request quotes from various contractors when you first talk to them. When you’re comparing quotes, be sure you’re comparing “apples to apples” and be leery of any quotes that fall too far below the others. When you ask about payments, avoid anyone who only wants to be paid in cash. Find out how much, if any, is due up front and who will pay the subcontractors.
5) How do you best communicate and how to do prefer to make final decisions? Ask the contractor how he or she prefers to communicate – via email, phone, text message or in person – and how often he or she will initiate more formal update meetings. You’ll also want to find out how the contractor will want you to make a final decision on everything or if he or she wants the ability to make decisions when you aren’t immediately available.
What other questions would you ask?
Are you starting to think through what you need to do to get your yard ready for spring and summer? Trends in landscaping are constantly changing but I’ve put together a list of trends for 2018 that are sure to stick around for a while. Take a look at the list below and let me know if you’re planning to add any of these to your home this year!
1) Simplified Lawns. Ten years ago, lawns were tending towards being heavily landscaped with less grass to mow but more flowers and plants to maintain. Today we’re seeing simplified lawns with minimal and easy-to-care for plants and flowers. In today’s busy world, homeowners are wanting more time to enjoy their lawns by taking less time to maintain them.
2) Wildlife Habitats. No we’re not talking about attracting deer and bunnies (you probably have enough of those eating your garden already.) Attracting wildlife like bees and hummingbirds by planting friendly plants and flowers is a fun way to add to your garden while also keeping it easy to maintain. Ask your landscaper or your local garden store how you can add to your garden and lawn to make it more friendly.
3) Dogscaping. Yes you read that correctly. Dogscaping is landscaping that is pet friendly! Homeowners may want separate parts of their yard for their dog to use for waste and play. Landscaping companies are getting creative in how they build backyards to keep both pets and their owners happy!
4) Firepits. More and more homeowners are wanting to build their backyard landscaping around a central conversation piece like a firepit. If you’re not ready to commit to a permanent fixture, start by using a portable and small firepit to see how you could begin to make changes to your yard in order to easily incorporate it. If you find out you’re using it a lot, you can start to make bigger changes.
5) Hardscaping. This should come as no surprise but we continue to see homeowners want to move their living outdoors! This means adding covered porches, outdoor kitchens, built-in seating and more. A great landscaping company can even add the perfect lighting and also audio options to create the perfect outdoor atmosphere for your backyard.
What do you plan to add to your yard this year?
To search for homes on the MLS, click here.
Check out what’s happening in and around Murfreesboro this month!
Monty Python’s Spamalot!
February 2-18, Fridays & Saturdays 7:30pm & Sundays 2pm
Spamalot the Musical was inspired by the classic comedy film, Monty Python and the Holy Grail and includes the hilarious flatulent Frenchmen and the killer rabbits. This musical is rated PG-13.
Inaugural Murfreesboro Chinese Festival of Chinese Arts
Running through March 26
Come experience visiting professors lead workshops on topics such as Chinese calligraphy, Chinese modern painting and philosophy. For a full list of events and their locations, check out the Center for the Arts website.
Southern Invitational Truck and Tractor Pull
February 2 & 3
The whole family will enjoy the truck and tractor pull this weekend! The Friday night show begins at 7pm and is $18. The Saturday mid-day event starts at 11am and costs $15. The Saturday night event starts at 7pm and costs $18. Kids 10 and under are free!
Tennessee Miller Coliseum
304 West Thompson Lane
Cannonsburgh Valentine’s Tea
February 8 at 4pm
Dress up in your dressiest frocks and come enjoy the Valentine’s tea at Cannonsburgh Village. You must make a reservation by February 2nd by calling 615-890-0355 but tickets are only $2.50 per person. This event is for ages 7 and up.
312 South Front Street
Whiskey and Wine Valentine’s Date Night
February 10 from 7-9pm
Beat the Valentine’s Day crowd and celebrate a few days early! Admission is $20 per person and it includes drinks and catered food from Five Senses Murfreesboro. You’ll also receive 15% off shopping at Quinn’s Mercantile during this catered event. Proceeds benefit the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon counties.
301 N. Spring Street
Murfreesboro Taco and Tequila Festival
February 24 at 1pm
This event will include live music, tacos, tequilas and more! Included in your $20 general admission ticket is five tokens with which you can purchase tacos and tequila. More tokens will be available to buy on-site. Early access tickets allow you to get in an hour earlier and include 10 tokens, all for $30.
The Grove at Williamson
3250 Wilkinson Pike
What’s on your list of things to do in February?
The Super Bowl is happening on February 4th between the Philadelphia Eagles and the New England Patriots. It will take place in US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. If the Patriots sound like a familiar name, it’s because they defeated the Atlanta Falcons 34-28 in overtime in last year’s Super Bowl. In honor of this week’s game, here are some fun facts that you may not know about the Super Bowl!
1) Tom Brady, who will lead the New England Patriots again in this year’s game, was named the Most Valuable Player in last year’s Super Bowl, his fourth time to be named the MVP of the Super Bowl.
2) We all know one of the most famous parts of the Super Bowl is the commercials. In 1967, a 30-second commercial cost around $40,000 during the first Super Bowl. In 2016, the most expensive 30-second spot ever was sold for $5 million!
3) The lowest winning score of the Super Bowl was in 1973 when the Miami Dolphins played the Washington Redskins and won 14 to 7 in Los Angeles. The highest winning score of the Super Bowl was in 1990 when the San Francisco 49ers beat the Denver Broncos 55 to 10 at the Louisiana Superdome in New Orleans.
4) The NFL buys up to 150 Super Bowl rings at $5,000 each for the winning team. The losing team gets 150 pieces of jewelry from the NFL and the cost of each item has to be less than $2500 each. The winning team also gets the Vince Lombardi Trophy which is made by Tiffany & Co.
5) The 2019 Super Bowl will be played in Atlanta while the 2020 will be in South Florida and the 2021 Super Bowl will be played in Los Angeles.
6) There have been quite a few “malfunctions” throughout Super Bowl history. In 2011, the Cowboys stadium oversold the game by 1250 tickets. 850 people were given other seats while 400 were left with no options to attend the game. In 2013, the Super Dome lost power for 34 minutes.
7) The New England Patriots have played in 9 Super Bowls which is the most of any team. But the Pittsburgh Steelers have won the most with 6 wins. The Denver Broncos have the most losses in the Super Bowl with 5.
Who will you be cheering for during this year’s Super Bowl?
When it’s really cold outside it’s hard to get motivated to leave the house to go exercise! If you find yourself wanting to move but aren’t sure where to start, do this simple exercise routine a few times a week. You’ll start feeling better and stronger within just a few weeks!
1) To begin, warm up for about five minutes. Warm up by running in place or walking or running up and down the stairs a few times.
2) Do 20 bodyweight squats. To do squats, pretend like you’re sitting down into chair. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your back in a vertical position and the weight of your body should be in your heels with your feet facing forward and not outward. Use your hand to stabilize you if necessary as you bend your knees and come back up again.
3) Do 10 pushups. You can modify pushups on your knees if you need to. Put your arms slightly out to the sides of your shoulders and slowly lower yourself down, keeping your back straight and not dipping your lower back.
4) Do 20 walking lunges. Do 10 on each leg. Keep your eyes looking ahead while keeping your upper body vertical. Take a step and lower your back knee until it’s just an inch or two off the floor and then use your front leg to propel your back leg forward until the two feet come together. If you stay in one place instead of walking, take a step forward and then use that front leg to push yourself back into a standing position.
5) Do 10 dumbbell rows. Use whatever is heavy enough if you don’t have any weights on hand. Lean over something with one arm stabilizing you. Lunge back while keeping your back straight, raising whatever you’re holding until it’s flat to your back and your arm is at a 90 degree angle. Release your arm down and then repeat.
6) Do a 15-second plank. Your hands should be under your shoulders and shoulder-width apart. Your core should be tight and straight and your gaze should fall forward but your head should not lift up. Hold this position for 15 seconds.
7) Do 30 jumping jacks. Hold your arms down to your side and as your feet jump out to the side, your arms go up and over your head to clap and then fall back to your side again. Do 30 of these.
Repeat this routine as many times as you’d like and then stretch to cool down.
We’re now two weeks into 2018 and you’ve probably had time to set some resolutions or expectations for yourself this year. You’ve possibly even broken a few of them by now! I’ve been thinking through things (almost) every homeowner will want for the year ahead and I wanted to highlight them here:
1) More organization. By the end of each year and when holiday decorations are still up, most people are just feeling overwhelmed with all the stuff in their homes. Don’t get overwhelmed and do nothing! Instead take baby steps to begin to go through everything in your home and add some organization. Begin by creating sell, giveaway and trash piles to start making a dent in the clutter.
2) An updated home. Maybe you want a massive kitchen overhaul or maybe you just want to update your doorknobs. Whether it’s something big or small, make a list and then begin to budget to see if that’s possible. Don’t have the funds to completely gut your kitchen and start from scratch? Decide what small changes you could make that would create a huge difference.
3) More smart technology. We all want our homes to run easier and be more efficient, so it may be time to add some smart technology to your home. Video doorbells and wireless security systems can keep your home safer. Vacuums that run on scheduled timers can add time into your day. Nest thermostats that save you energy and money by adapting to your habits can shave dollars off your monthly bills. And lights that you can control when you’re both home and away will create a safer space. If technology overwhelms you, don’t hesitate to ask for help from an expert!
4) A place to rest. Our lives and jobs are stressful and your home should be a safe and restful retreat for you at the end of your day. How can you do this? To start, move your office out of the bedroom. It’s hard to rest when you’re staring at a pile of bills that need to be paid. Add music, softer lighting, better seating and fire up the fireplace that you haven’t used since you moved it. Ask yourself how your space can work better for you?
What do you want in 2018?
When the holidays are over, I always enjoy a little bit of a slower-paced January! Check out some of the fun events happening in Murfreesboro over the next month and let me know what I’m missing! (Who’s heading to the Polar Bear Plunge on Saturday? Brrrrrr!)
Hairspray The Musical!
January 5th through January 21st
The beloved musical Hairspray comes to The Center for the Arts in Murfreesboro! You’ll love following the story of Tracey, the lovable teen from Baltimore as she tries to make it on the “Corny Collins Show.” Tickets are available through the website below.
Polar Bear Plunge
January 6th from 8:30-11:00am
The 16th annual Polar Bear Plunge takes place at SportCom with the Arctic Adventure starting at 8:30 in the gym and the Polar Bear Plunge happening in the outdoor pool at 10am. Bring a non-perishable food item for local needy families.
2310 Memorial Blvd
Middle Tennessee State Men’s Basketball Game vs. Southern Miss
January 13th at 5pm
The MTSU Men’s basketball team takes on Southern Miss at MTSU! These games are a great event for the whole family!
Middle Tennessee State University
Charles M. Murphy Athletic Center
1301 East Main Street
MTSU Martin Luther King Candlelight Vigil
January 15th from 6-8pm
Join the MTSU community to celebrate the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at the annual candlelight vigil.
Extreme Bull Riding
January 26th to 28th at 7:30pm (Doors open at 6:00pm)
Come enjoy all that this extreme bull riding event has to offer! Tickets go on sale January 8th at the website below or are also available at the door.
Murfreesboro, TN 37129