10 Tips for Moving with Kids

Making a big move with children can seem like a daunting task. There are new friends to make, possibly a change of schools, and new bedrooms to get used to! We’ve rounded up 10 of our favorite tips to make moving with your kids as easy as possible.

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  1. Pack up your child’s toys while they are asleep (but leave one box of toys until the very end!).
  2. Keep your child’s belongings separate and organized by using a different colored duct tape for each child. You’ll know exactly who belongs to which box with a quick glance!
  3. Let your child help decorate their new room. Give them three “parent-approved” paint color choices to choose from to let them feel like they have a say without picking something crazy.
  4. Find a fun playground or restaurant in your new neighborhood to visit even before you move (if possible!). This creates a sense of excitement and shows your children how fun your new part of town will be!
  5. Pack a “moving day bag”. Let your children keep a special toy or fun activities out and in an easily accessible bag that will give them things to keep them occupied while the adults are working.
  6. Keep a positive attitude. Children will feed off of your energy. If you can stay positive and excited about the move, they will be too! Think of this as a fun, new adventure for your family.
  7. Create a “moving day plan” and talk about it a lot before the big day arrives. This will help relieve some of your child’s anxiety when they know what to expect!
  8. Let your kids help with the move. Children love to be a part of the action. Let them dust, pack a box, or sweep!
  9. Say “goodbye” to your old house and then say “hello!” to your new home! This small gesture is big for younger children.
  10. Most of all, listen to your children and their concerns. Even the youngest of children can have a hard time adjusting during a move.

If you’re ready to make a move with your family, we are ready to help! Contact us here to find your dream home!

5 Ways to Repurpose Your College Student’s Old Bedroom

If you recently sent your child off to college, you might be wondering what to do with their old room. Even if you aren’t ready to totally clear out their clutter and want to keep their room ready for them, there’s no harm in dreaming about what this extra space might be some day! Here are some of our favorite ways to repurpose your child’s old room.

  1. A craft room. 

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2. A cozy library.

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3. A home gym. 

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4. A walk-in closet. 

Walk in closet

5. A luxe guest room.

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Which one would you pick? Comment below and let us know!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Haylee Gang!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate! Meet Haylee Gang!

Haylee Gang

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

I love just about everything about Tehachapi. My fiancé and I are newer to the area and we already see it as the perfect place to raise our children. Everyone is so warm and welcoming anywhere you go. It is a quaint little town that has so much to offer. Most of all I am obsessed with the sunsets in Tehachapi. The way it sets perfectly behind the mountains is breathtaking and makes our little town glow.

2. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

When trying to sell your house it is so important to stage it perfectly. When sellers remove all clutter from counters and tuck away their personal items it allows buyers to envision what living in that house may look like for them. I also highly recommend keeping the front yard in tip top shape when your house is for sale. After all it is the very first thing a buyer will see, and first impressions are everything!

3. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

I think the most important thing for clients to remember when buying a house is to not let the stressful parts of home buying steal your joy. Trust your agent to walk with you throughout the process and take care of helping you get pre-approved, all the paperwork, negotiating with sellers, etc.

4. Where is your favorite place in the world?

My absolute favorite place in the world is anywhere that I am with family. I can find the beauty anywhere I go if I am surrounded by good company, good times, and good vibes.

5. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

I love being a real estate agent because it fulfills my desire to make others happy. The excitement and joy I see in my clients when selling/buying their homes is priceless. I look forward to expanding my clientele in the area so I can see more of that. I also love how it always keeps me on my toes. This business has a lot of ups and downs, but it sure is exciting! Finally, I love that I get to work with my mom. We work as a team at Associated Real Estate. She has taught me everything I know!

6. Tell us a little more about yourself and your family!

I was born and raised in California. I have lived just about all over this big state. I was born in the Central Valley where I hold so many fond childhood memories. Shortly after my family moved to Northern California where I did most of my growing up. Now, I am in Southern California. I have lived in many different areas, small towns & big cities. I appreciate that fact because it has given me the opportunity to explore so many different types of living.

My family is the most important thing in my life. I have a strong bond with each one of them and thank God for them all every day. I am so happily engaged to the love of my life who blessed me with our handsome baby boy, Noah. I have the best parents anyone could ask for and five amazing siblings. Life is so good. I am beyond blessed!

Want to work with Haylee? Contact her here!

5 Ways to Make Your Rental Feel Like Home

Just because you don’t own the building that you live in, doesn’t mean that it can’t feel like home.  We’ve got some easy ways to make your rental feel warm, cozy and like you.

  1. Make inexpensive updates. There are a lot of inexpensive updates you can make to your rental that can reflect your style and make it feel more customized to your tastes. Replace things like toilet seats, light fixtures, towel bars, shower heads, cabinet hardware and even outlet covers.
  2. Decorate the walls. Create a gallery wall with your favorite family photos and hang up your favorite art to really make your home feel like yours. Make a statement by highlighting a large piece of art or make it even more personal by framing large photos of your favorite travels!

picture-frames-1149414_19203. Make it practical. If your rental agreement includes a “no holes policy”, use removable hooks and adhesive strips to make your rental work for you. Need a hook on the back of a door for bath towels? Use a removable hook! You’ll be so much happier in your rental if you install elements that make your day-to-day easier.

4. Add texture. Sometimes a rental can feel a little sterile. Make it soft and comfortable by adding textures to your décor! Lay down a fluffy rug over rental-grade carpet to create a cozier feeling. Utilize throws, soft pillows, and high quality bedding to make you (and your guests!) feel at home.

5. Bring the outdoors in. Add life to your rental by adding house plants to your window sills, tables and kitchen! This is especially beneficial if you do not have a lot of outdoor space where you live.

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What are your favorite ways to make a rental feel like home? Comment below and let us know!

5 Outdoor Upgrades to Increase the Value of Your Home

Now that the weather is nice, it’s the perfect time to add some upgrades to the exterior of your home. But don’t start just any renovation! There are some projects (like adding a swimming pool) that could actually reduce your homes attractiveness to potential buyers. Even if you aren’t thinking of selling your home soon, but you do want to take on some projects this summer, consider these five value-adding exterior projects when deciding what to tackle.

Replace your garage doors. Beautiful, new garage doors are a great way to increase curb appeal and draw buyers from the get-go. While new garage doors are not cheap, the value that a new garage door can bring to your home when you are ready to sell it is almost guaranteed to offset the cost.

Build a fire pit. While some backyard additions can be polarizing, almost every one can agree that there is nothing nicer than enjoying a fire on a cool evening. Install a high-quality, classic fire pit to enjoy now that will eventually woo buyers when you are ready to sell. Want to build your own? Here’s how!

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Spend some time on your landscape. Really dedicating some time this summer to focus on the health of your lawn is worth your investment. Lush landscaping is another curb-appeal factor that will start any home showing off on the right foot.

Build a deck or patio. Adding a deck or patio to your backyard extends your living space which is a huge plus for homebuyers. And of course, you’ll love using it too!

wooden deck upgrades

Plant a tree. Trees are one of the only things that actually appreciate over time. Plant one (or two!) now so that when you are ready to sell, they add value to your home. Looking for the perfect tree for your front yard? Check out this list of “14 Favorite Front Yard Trees”!

What exterior upgrades are most important to you? Comment below and let us know!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Julie Apathy!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate! Meet Julie Apathy!

Julie Apathy

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I grew up in Glendale, CA with three brothers and a sister. We loved camping and going to the beach. My father was an architect, engineer, and contractor. My mom was a preschool teacher and played organ at church. I received my AA degree from Glendale Jr. College and transferred to California State University, Northridge where I received my BS in Foods in Business. While in college I worked as a tour guide at Universal Studios and later worked at Glendale Adventist Hospital in the dietary department. Because much of my family had moved to Tehachapi in the early 1980s, I followed them and helped run Old Town Postal & Blueprint Services. I had been dating Jon, who was also from Glendale, and we got married in 1986. We took over the business and had two daughters.  In 1997, I started my full time teaching career at Golden Hills Elementary as a second grade teacher, and have been there ever since. In 2013 I got my real estate license and have been a part time agent with Associated Real Estate. My teaching career is coming to an end, and I look forward to spending more time as a realtor, helping clients achieve their goals.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

I have lived in Tehachapi for 33 years and love it! I’ve seen the growth over the years, but it still has that small town charm. My husband and I have raised two daughters here and now have two grandkids that live down the street from us. It’s the friendly people, beautiful rural landscape, and location that truly make it one of the best places to live in California.

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

When getting ready to sell your house, it’s important to get it in ship-shape before listing.  Investing some money and muscle before listing will pay off in the long run and help to increase the home’s value. Neutral paint colors and curb appeal will also bring more showings. Pricing is key, and if it’s priced right, it won’t sit on the market and lose interest. Find a realtor who is knowledgeable and puts your interests first.

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

If you are planning on buying a home, it’s important to get pre-qualifed for your loan. I recommend going with one of our local lenders here in Tehachapi. They are experienced, know the market, and make things move as smooth as possible.

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

My favorite place in the world is the garden island of Kauai.

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

The best thing about out being a real estate agent is that sense of accomplishment once escrow has closed and my clients are satisfied with their purchase or sale. It’s wonderful getting to know them and helping them through the process.

Want to work with Julie? Contact her here!

Patriotic Desserts for Your Memorial Weekend

The first big cookout of the summer is here! Celebrate with some delicious (and patriotic!) desserts that are sure to be a hit at your get-together.

Patriotic M&M Cookie Bars. Easy to make and perfect for a crowd, these will be devoured in no time.

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Red, White and Blue Cheesecake Strawberries. A healthier dessert option that is delicious and pretty!

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Red, White and Blue Popsicles. Made with Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, these popsicles are refreshing AND good for you!

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Red, White and Blue Pretzel Bites. Sweet and salty is always a winning combination! And adding a mini candy bar to the middle? YUM.

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Firecracker Cake. This cake is a showstopper! And it’s easier to make than you think.

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What will you be making for your Memorial Day Cookout? Comment below and let us know! For more ideas check out this recipe round-up from Country Living.

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Beecher Aller!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate!

Meet Beecher Aller!

ARE Real Estate Beecher Aller

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I grew up in a military family with five siblings in the Antelope Valley. My favorite part of living in the Antelope Valley now is its central location and the easy ability to get anywhere.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

Henry’s Café is one of my favorite places in Tehachapi!

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

Find a highly qualified and successful agent and price your home reasonably.

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

Do your best to determine ahead of time if you can really afford the market you are looking at.

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

Anywhere my family is!

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

Because I’m now “retired”, I can work the hours that I want!

Want to work with Beecher? Contact him here!

Yes, You WANT a Home Inspection and Here’s Why!

You’ve found your dream home and you’re convinced it’s perfect. While you may feel like you can skip the home inspection, having one done really is essential to the home buying process and totally worth the money. Here are our top reasons why home inspections are essential:

  1. Uncover Safety Issues. A proper home inspection will ensure that the home is safe. A home inspector might find leaky plumbing, improper electrical wiring, fascia problems, improper fan ventilation or inoperable windows during the inspection. Other safety issues that may be uncovered are things like radon, carbon monoxide and mold. Be sure that your home-buying contract states that if any of these hazards are found, you have the option to cancel the offer to buy.
  2. Use it as a Negotiating Tool. If the inspection reveals repairs that need to be made, your inspection report gives you the opportunity to ask the seller for a price reduction to accommodate those repairs. Your realtor will know which repair requests are worth asking for and which can help you negotiate a better deal.
  3. Project Future Costs. A home inspector will be able to take a look at large equipment like the HVAC, water heater and plumbing systems and let you know their current condition and when they might need to be replaced. This will help you predict home much you’ll need to spend on these large items in the future and adjust your home budget accordingly.

You’ll get peace of mind knowing that your future home is in great condition by having a home inspection completed by a qualified home inspector. Ask us who we recommend!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Sean McCostlin!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate!

Meet Sean McCostlin!

Sean McCostlin

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I was born in Monterey, California and lived in Salinas and Bakersfield before moving to Mojave. My dad works as an electrician for Chevron Oil and my mother is a homemaker.

  1. Have you always been in real estate or did you have a different career prior to becoming a real estate agent?

I received my Bachelors of Science in Advertising from San Jose State University. I worked in Retail Store Management for a majority of my life but recently decided to go into real estate because I view houses as the ultimate project. Selling homes comes naturally to me.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

The cooler climate compared to other areas in California.

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

Make sure not to overprice!

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

Try not to stress – that’s my job!

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

Venice, Italy.

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

One of my favorite things about being a real estate agent is that I get to be my own boss.

Want to work with Sean? Contact him here!

4 Thoughtful Home Updates Buyers will LOVE

If you are thinking about listing your home for sale, it might feel overwhelming to think about updates you need to make before you get it on the market. We’ve rounded up four ways to make your home really standout to buyers – and they are easy!

Give Them Curb Appeal. Freshen up your landscape, pull weeds, mow the lawn, trim the bushes and lay down fresh mulch to give potential buyers the best first impression as possible! Refresh the paint on your door (and maybe pick a new pop of color!) to invite them in. Add some hanging baskets on your front porch with beautiful, colorful flowers, and put a new, clean welcome mat at your door.

Exterior

Replace Bathroom Mirrors. A sure sign of an outdated bathroom are old, gross mirrors. Replacing them with something more modern and new will freshen up the space. Other bathroom tips? Replace the shower curtain (with something clean and neutral) and switch out your linens with new white towels. Replacing your bathroom fixtures like faucets and shower heads will also go a long way!

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Install Ceiling Fans. Buyers love practical and beautiful ceiling fans. If your home does not already have them, consider adding them to your living room and bedrooms.

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Tone Down Bright Colors. While you don’t need to repaint your entire house, if you have some rooms with especially loud colors (think: kid’s rooms), consider repainting them to something more neutral. Chances are the buyers would be planning to do this anyway, so cross this off their to-do list from the start.

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If you are thinking of putting your home on the market, we’d love to help you get ready! Our agents have a ton of knowledge about what Tehachapi buyers are looking for and would be happy to talk to you about how you can make your home stand out. Contact us here to get started!

Tehachapi Guide for Dog Owners

Moving to Tehachapi with your dog? We’re so happy to welcome you and your 4-legged family member to our beautiful community! We’ve put together a resource guide to help make your move to Tehachapi with your dog as easy as possible.

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(Josh and DeVerie Riley’s dog Lucy)

Dog Parks

  1. Meadowbrook Dog Park
  2. Bear Valley Springs Dog Park

Dog-Friendly Restaurants

  1. Red House BBQ
  2. Petra Mediterranean Deli
  3. Kohnen’s Country Bakery
  4. Village Grill 

Dog-Friendly Wineries

  1. Triassic Vineyards

Veterinarians

  1. Tehachapi Veterinary Hospital
  2. Billingsley Veterinary Clinic

Dog Boarding

  1. Tehachapi Pet Lodge
  2. Happy Trails Boarding and Pet Grooming

Grooming

  1. Canine Creek Pet Wash and Grooming
  2. Grooming Spot
  3. Devan Yates
  4. Dorrie The Groomer
  5. Wizard of Happy Paws Dog Grooming

Is there something that we missed on our list? Leave a comment below and we’ll be sure to add it!

Tehachapi dog resource guide

(Lindsey Redera’s dogs Dexter and Rivet)

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Wendy Finley-Blackburn!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate! Meet Wendy Finley-Blackburn!

Wendy Finley-Blackburns

  1. Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I grew up in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita Valleys.  I have 5 brothers. Growing up we had horses, milk goats, chicken and ducks.  As a child I raised guinea pigs and sold them to a local pet store.  We always had animals my entire life.

My husband and I have a blended family of 4 adult children, 9 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. We also have a donkey, horse and 2 dogs! We love the open spaces and the beauty of Tehachapi.  We volunteer at the Tehachapi Railroad Depot Museum and for our church.

  1. What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

When I come back to Tehachapi after traveling, I feel peace and serenity.  I know I am “home”.  There is beauty in every season.

  1. What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

Fix everything before listing it for sale.  The better it looks, the faster it will sell.

  1. What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

There is no “perfect” home.  But you can make any home your own.

  1. Where is your favorite place in the world?

I haven’t been there yet!

  1. What do you love about being a real estate agent?

Meeting new people and helping them reach their home ownership and home sales goals.

Want to work with Wendy? Contact her here!

Where to Get Fit in Tehachapi!

Where to Get Fit in Tehachapi

If you’re like a lot of people, you might have a New Year’s Resolution to be healthier in 2019. Lucky for all of us, Tehachapi has tons of great places to help you get fit this year! Here’s a round-up of some of our favorite local spots to get active and be healthy!

Health Clubs
Tehachapi Fitness
The Gym

CrossFit/Boot Camp
Indian Hills Crossfit

Specialty
Macias Boxing Team
Garage Gym Barbell

Yoga/Pilates
Morning Light Yoga Studio

We want to know! Where’s your favorite place to work out in Tehachapi? Comment below and tell us!

Thank You for an Amazing 2018!

As we close out the end of 2018, we wanted to take a moment to thank YOU, our fantastic clients. In the past year, we have been able to help so many of you find your dream home, and many of you sell your home – quickly and painlessly. We are so proud to be a part of the Tehachapi community and are incredibly grateful to be able to help our neighbors with such a big life decision. Thank you for trusting us with your real estate needs!

We have big plans for 2019 (like more community events!) and hope you’ll stay connected with us even if buying or selling a home in the next year is not in your plans. As always, if you had a great experience with Associated Real Estate in 2018, we’d appreciate if you told your friends and family about us! We’d love to help them buy or sell their home.

We live here. We work here. We love it here.

We are your local, family-owned Tehachapi real estate team, and we thank you for your business! Here’s to a new year!

Associated Real Estate Team

4 Easy Ways to Increase Your Home’s Energy Efficiency – All Year Long!

Looking for easy ways to save money and energy in your home throughout the year? Here are 4 simple things you can do (each season!) to make sure your home is as energy efficient as possible!

Winter

Change (or clean) your furnace air filters. This is the quickest and easiest way to improve your unit’s efficiency and improves your air quality. Not sure how to do it? Here are some easy instructions: https://bit.ly/2Gziupw

Spring

Use nature to your advantage. The spring is the perfect time to utilize the mild temperatures outside and the abundance of sunshine. Turn off your AC unit and open the windows when it’s warm to catch a breeze inside. Open your window treatments to let the sunshine warm your house when it’s cool.

Energy Efficiency

Summer

Switch the direction of your ceiling fans. Save money on you electricity bill by letting your ceiling fans do some of the hard work in the heat of the summer! You’ll want the blades to circulate in a counter clockwise motion to create a breeze. This one is as simple as pushing a button!

Fall

Check weather stripping on windows and doors. Before the weather gets too cool, check to make sure that your home is properly sealed. Leaks in your weather stripping will increase your energy bill and make for a drafty home. Check out easy ways to check your weather stripping here: https://bit.ly/2ECRgfi

What other things do you do you save energy? Comment below and let us know!

Associated Real Estate Agent Spotlight: Meet Adriana Ghorbani!

Each month, we’re highlighting one of the amazing real estate agents here at Associated Real Estate!

Meet Adriana Ghorbani!

Adrianna Ghor

Where did you grow up? Tell us about your family!

I grew up in San Gabriel Valley and moved to Tehachapi in 2012. I’ve been married for 20 years and have three children.

Have you always been in real estate or did you have a different career prior to becoming a real estate agent?

Prior to becoming a real estate agent, I was in the escrow business for over 15 years. I joined the Associated Real Estate team in 2016!

What’s your favorite thing about Tehachapi?

I love the small town hospitality!

What is your number one piece of advice for someone trying to sell their house?

Before you put your home on the market, finish up small projects and complete the minor repairs you’ve been putting off.

What do you think is the most important thing for clients to know about buying a house?

Be sure to visit the neighborhood during different times of the day to really get a feel for what it’s like!

Where is your favorite place in the world?

Fiji! I can’t wait to go back.

What do you love about being a real estate agent?

My favorite thing is being able to build lasting relationships with my clients.

Want to work with Adriana? Contact her here!

Where to volunteer in Tehachapi this holiday season!

The hustle and bustle of the holidays combined with the stress of finding the perfect gifts, planning the perfect meal and attending every holiday event can really take the joy out of the season. An easy (and meaningful!) way to get back to what the holidays are really supposed to be about is to volunteer. Giving your time and talents to an organization that means a lot to you is a win-win for everyone. Here are some of our favorite organizations to volunteer at in Tehachapi this holiday season!

  1. Tehachapi Valley Recreation & Park District: Protect what you love! The Park District has a lot of ways to volunteer including trail cleanup and landscape maintenance. Learn more and sign up here: https://bit.ly/2G4SwtT
  2. Have a heart for animals? Marley’s Mutts Dog Rescue is striving to make all dog shelters in Kern County “no-kill”. They rescue, rehabilitate, train and re-home dogs that need it most. Volunteer or donate items to their ranch. Sign up to volunteer and see their wish list here: https://bit.ly/2FYhACK
  3. The Mission at Kern County provides shelter, food, clothing and support to our neighbors who need help. You can volunteer at The Mission, donate items, or create a Care Kit to distribute to those who are living on the street. Find out more here: https://bit.ly/2Qd4Ug5
  4. Did you know that you can volunteer to transport and/or care for sick and injured birds? The Pacific Waterfowl Rescue needs volunteers to help rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming domestic ducks and geese. You can even adopt one! Find out more here: https://bit.ly/2Pk6kQJ
  5. The Family Life Pregnancy Center of Tehachapi trains volunteers year round to help those in our community who need support when facing a pregnancy. Learn more about what they do here: http://familylifepc.org/

Know of some more awesome ways to give back this season? Comment below and let us know!

Its the Season to Give Back