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Five Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

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Written by: Leverne Brown

The countdown for hosting Thanksgiving Dinner is on! Are you ready? We know that planning and cooking for a huge crowd can be overwhelming. We have five tips that will help you prepare for an exciting meal with your loved ones. From the entire team at Guarantee, we want to wish you and yours a very Happy Thanksgiving!

Set Your Table the Night Before
How many times have you actually set your table the night before Thanksgiving? Taking one thing off of your “to-do” list can relieve more stress than you can imagine. Here’s a bonus tip: If you have small children that are visiting, allow them to help set the table the night before. You can even make it into a family tradition by allowing them to pick the centerpiece or color scheme.

Use a Thermometer!
The USDA’s Food Safety and Inspection Service advises cooking turkeys until the thermometer reads 165°F; this is the “instant kill” temperature for any bacteria that might be present. Use a good digital probe thermometer to let you know when the turkey has reached temperature. For other cooking tips and instructions for turkey prep, visit the USDA website HERE. If you experience issues with cooking your turkey, feel free to reach out to the Butterball Hotline.

Order Your Desserts From a Local Bakery
It may sound shameful to serve store bought desserts at a family Thanksgiving feast. But just for a moment consider the time, cost, and preparation, that goes into all of that baking… Quality desserts can be purchased at local bakeries for the same amount you’d spend on the ingredients for baking your own desserts. Click HERE to order your pies at a local Marie Callender’s!

Serve a Buffet-Style Meal
Oh how wonderful it would be to display all of your dishes on the table, and to have Grandpa Joe carve the turkey right in front of everyone! But you’ve just spent hours cooking a beautiful meal for your guests to enjoy. Why not establish order and provide convenience to everyone? Consider serving your holiday dinner buffet-style. By doing so, your guests will have the opportunity to put what they want on their plates without having to pass a number of dishes around the table. The food will remain fresh and warm during the entire time!

Relax, Have Fun, and Be Thankful!
Although preparing a holiday feast can be stressful, don’t forget to relax and take some time for yourself before your company arrives. Oh!!! Don’t forget those classical holiday movies that you can watch while you cook. Click HERE for a complete list of holiday classics and show times. Click HERE for the 2018 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade channel guide.

Be sure to stock up on board games, uno cards, dominoes, trivia games, footballs, basketballs, softballs, etc. Remember the easel for a few rounds of pictionary during dessert! Make sure the person in charge of music and entertainment has a variety of activities for EVERYONE.

Most of all, don’t forget the real reason of the holiday. “Thanksgiving” is an expression of gratitude for family, friends, and loved ones that are dear to your heart. It’s a time of celebration and happy memories that can be shared for generations to come. Have fun and be THANKFUL!

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Leverne Brown

Guarantee Blog Writer

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The Value of Neighborhood Parks

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In this week’s Real Estate Minute (REM) with CEO, Andy Nazaroff, he explains the value of neighborhood parks. Did you know that Fresno has over 80 parks and trails? With so many to choose from who wouldn’t want to spend a lovely day in Central California?

Here are Just a Few Suggestions
Located in the heart of Woodward Park is the beautiful Shinzen Garden. This park is patterned after a group of ancient scrolls with a designed layout of all 4 seasons; Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter. That being said, there is an ever changing experience that one feels when the garden is visited during different times of the year. To see the cherry blossoms in full bloom, you must visit in January because by February, the blossoms are gone. Click HERE to learn more about Shinzen Garden.

Inspiration Park is located in Northwest Fresno and is the first universally accessible park in Central California. The park offers a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. It features a variety of sports, recreation areas, and a playground with low incline ramps. The swings are wheelchair accessible and the basketball hoops are adjustable to any skill and age level! For more information about this fun playground click HERE.

The benefit of living in the Central Valley is the plentiful, and convenient access to the great outdoors and the countless activities available to us with just a short drive. Hiking, skiing, water sports, mountain biking, and countless other outdoor activities are available to us all year round. The Buchanan neighborhood has a plethora of parks, and several trails that are easily accessible, shade-filled, and pet friendly. Click HERE to discover the enjoyment one can experience while walking on the Buchanan Neighborhood Trail.

Guarantee Real Estate has several neighborhood experts who are ready to assist you with all of your real estate needs. Head over to the Guarantee neighborhoods page to take a look at all of the available homes in every neighborhood.

To locate a Fresno city park or trail near you, click HERE.

River Park Farmers Market

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Written by: Leverne Brown

River Park Farmers Market – Bigger and Better Than Before!
I couldn’t allow the summer to end without a visit to the Farmers Market at River Park. What are the chances of me running into Owner, Peter De Young on the day that I decide to go? Very likely! You can catch Peter at the market on most days of operation.

I had an opportunity to chat with Peter, and he gave me an update on all of the changes that have been made for the public to have a more enjoyable experience. The first noticeable change is the size of the market. It’s much bigger with a slew of vendors from everywhere! Additionally, Peter has decided to open the market on Saturday mornings so that those who otherwise couldn’t shop on Tuesday night would have the weekend option for shopping. If you visit on Saturday, be sure to grab a breakfast burrito. They’re authentic, made to order, and very delicious!

Live music and entertainment is available on Tuesday nights. I had the pleasure of listening to local Violinist Patrick Contreras during my visit, and the man is musical genius!

Fresh Fruit, Wild Alaskan Salmon, Fresh Dairy, Nuts, and Bath/Body Soaps!
With so many vendors to choose from, I decided to allow my heart to do the leading as I began shopping. I couldn’t resist the plump and juicy grapes that Topete Family Farms were showcasing. Everyone who comes across this stand is sure to meet a Topete family member and leave with great-tasting grapes! The varieties offered are: Thomcord (seedless concord), Ruby Seedless, Princess Seedless (Red Globes), and Autumn Royal Seedless.

My next stop was to sample the sweet treats at Brown Butter Baking Company. Delightful and delicious is how I will describe the cookies…I held back, but seized the opportunity to speak with the owners about their product.

“We use our secret ingredient, browned butter. I guess it’s not so secret anymore, but our process of browning the butter is significantly different. We use a meticulous five-step process in baking each batch, so I guess that part will remain a secret!” – Melissa McKinsey, Owner, Brown Butter Baking Co.

Olive and Yew – A Homemade Soapery!
My last stop for the evening was at Olive and Yew. I absolutely love natural bath and body products. Sasanna was nice enough to recommend a very soft and subtle citrus blended soap, with coconut milk for my sensitive skin. If you are fond of essential oils, natural scents, and homemade sundries, stop by and see Sasanna. A little goes a long way when using her soaps, and you know what that means…More lather for your buck!

River Park Farmers Market is open on Tuesdays, 5-9 PM, and on Saturdays, 9AM-1PM through the end of October. It’s a great place to meet up with family and friends or to enjoy an evening stroll with the ones you love. Be sure to visit before it’s gone until next summer!

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Leverne Brown

Guarantee Blog Writer

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And the Winner is Jolleen Ruiz!

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The Agents at Guarantee Real Estate-Willow & Nees participated in a contest to show off their love for Central California neighborhoods. What were the terms of the contest? The Associate who captures the most creative neighborhood video for social media wins!

Congratulations Jolleen Ruiz! Your hard work and creativity shows through your enthusiasm as a Sales Associate, and your love for family.

“When I first heard about the contest, I knew I wanted to create something that showed how much I love this community and what it means to me. There are so many amazing things here in Central California that we take for granted. I love to brag about my town and show off what makes Clovis the perfect town to raise a family. Winning the contest was just the icing on the cake for me.”

-Jolleen Ruiz, Realtor® at Guarantee Real Estate-Willow & Nees.

Stonebridge Community-A Stunning Gem

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Written by: Diane Hill

Tucked away in Northwest Fresno is the special community of Stonebridge. There is something magical when you cross over the bridge and enter this beautiful village of 53 acres in a park like setting, with 10 lakes, and tennis courts.

Stonebridge is sought for its serene, secure, and friendly community atmosphere. It boasts “The Clubhouse”, a stunning gem on the water’s edge. As you stroll through the tree lined streets with the well kept homes and landscape, you are struck by the serenity of the village with its classic street lights and English titled streets.

Those who decide to make Stonebridge their home, are welcomed as residents of this lovely community and will enjoy the many frequent activities held in the Clubhouse.

Your Bullard Neighborhood Expert

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Diane Hill


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Inspiration Park

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Written by: Mannie Camarena

Last month my sons and I were in desperate need of some sun and a “run-free” zone with lots of space. As most children do when they’re excited for a three day weekend, my kids were running around the house and bouncing off of every wall they could find. I knew just where to take them…Inspiration Park!

Inspiration Park is located in Northwest Fresno and is the first universally accessible park in Central California. The park offers a wide range of activities for all ages and abilities. It features a variety of sports, recreation areas, and a playground with low incline ramps. The swings are wheelchair accessible and the basketball hoops are adjustable to any skill and age level!

Our Day at the Park
Our first stop was the telescope at Lookout Mountain, and then we headed over to the windpipes to make music. The kiddos got a kick out of the different sounds they were able to achieve.

Some of the other areas we visited were the hydraulic elevator, the various different slides, and the aero glider. If you’re wondering what an aero glider is, just imagine a pirate ship on rockets. Once you have enough momentum you should really hold on!

There are just so many activities to enjoy at Inspiration Park and it’s the perfect recreation spot for all seasons. During the summer months kids can enjoy the Splash Pad. Be sure to bring your sunscreen though!

Serving the Community and Neighborhoods
The park has a community center which is managed by the on-site Boys and Girls Club and free lunch is provided to children during the summer season. I love the community center because it serves as a wonderful haven for our community and neighborhoods.

If you’ve never visited Inspiration Park, I strongly encourage you to make plans for your family to visit. I guarantee there is no better place to roam free.

The address of Inspiration Park is 5770 W. Gettysburg Ave. Try to avoid driving during peak times and if you happen to see me and my three boys, stop and say, “hi!”

Your Central Neighborhood Expert

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Mannie Camarena


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Guarantee Real Estate Reopens in Dinuba

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Guarantee Real Estate is proud to announce that Dinuba’s finest real estate office has opened for business!  After thorough planning, real estate agents Crystal Diaz and Christina Valdez opened their doors in mid-February, and hosted their ribbon cutting ceremony on March 16th. The magnificent duo is delighted with the new office location and they are eager to serve the community and surrounding south county areas.

Crystal Diaz and Christina Valdez met 15 years ago, while working together in the lending industry. They share the same business ethics and strong family values which bond their friendship. “After leaving the lending side, it was Crystal who strongly encouraged me to get my real estate license and soon after, it just made sense for us to become business partners.” -Christina Valdez

“Deciding to partner with Christina wasn’t hard at all. We share the same Christian values and desire to help families accomplish their goals in and around the community. The success of our business is attributed to the value of hard work and by implementing 3 core principles of our business structure; faith, family, and community.” -Crystal Diaz

The new office is conveniently located in downtown Dinuba near the epicenter of the city’s activity and prime spot for business locations. The new office is much larger with an inviting space and it offers a calm & tranquil ambiance. The modern décor includes comfortable furniture in the wait area and a conference room for client privacy. Most importantly, the new office is easier for the clients to access services.

“I am so excited to return to Dinuba because this is my hometown. Dinuba is the land from which my family roots were planted, where my son attends school, and it’s where the community that I’ve grown to love and appreciate was established over 100 years ago. The city of Dinuba is rich with culture, history, and the traditional ways of life that date back to the 1800’s. The people here make it easy and pleasurable to do business with. These reasons, and many more are why we’ve worked so hard to reopen a real estate office here.” -Crystal Diaz

Crystal Diaz and Christina Valdez share 13-years in the business of real estate.  A strong back ground from the lending industry, matched with the ability to offer bilingual services and notarial services, gives these ladies a powerful lead and an advantage to complete modern real estate transactions.

The entire family at Guarantee Real Estate is very supportive of this new and improved business venture. “We’ve been so touched by the excitement and encouragement felt from our fellow team members and management team.”-Christina Valdez.

“With nearly 100 years of service and commitment to Central California communities, Guarantee Real Estate is happy about the Dinuba office reopening. Backed by experienced real estate veterans Crystal Diaz and Christina Valdez, Guarantee remains committed to serving the real estate needs in Dinuba, Reedley and beyond.”-Andy Nazaroff-President/CEO Guarantee Real Estate


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