• May Yap

Happy Chinese New Year! 2019 is the Year of the Pig! There about 5 different types of pig year: Water, Wood, Earth, Fire and Gold. This year is the Earth Pig Year. An Earth Pig comes once in a 60-year cycle. Pigs are diligent, compassionate, and generous. They have great concentration: once they set a goal, they will devote all their energy to achieving it.

Chinese New Year is one of the most important festival/holiday in China as well as in the South East Asia. The celebration of Chinese New Year lasts for 15 days. On the Chinese New Year's eve, family will get together for a "reunion" dinner, just like the Thanksgiving dinner in the states. Traditionally, the elders will give the younger ones a red envelope (hongbao). The red envelop usually contains money. But hongbao is not about the money. Giving hongbao is giving blessing to the younger ones. Usually when presenting the hongbao, the elders will say something like "this will bring you good luck." By the way, you are not supposed to open the red envelop in front of people especially the one who gave you the red envelop.

Like Christmas, Chinese like to decorate their house with lot of red Chinese New Year decorations. There will be a lot of food and snacks ready for guests. It's a sign of abundance!

Here is how you say Happy Chinese New Year in Chinese:

新 Xīn 年 nián 快 kuài 乐 lè

Year of the Pig

Unlike cities like New Year, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, Omaha has a pretty small Chinese population although it has been rising steadily over the last decade. A small group of Chinese formed a non-profit organization in 2008, which is known as Nebraska Chinese Association (NCA) today. Every year, NCA puts together one of the largest cultural events in Omaha - The Chinese New Year Gala. This event attracts almost a thousand people from all over Nebraska and Iowa to Omaha. Every year the tickets sold out as soon as they went on sale! Usually the tickets are available online and in the Asian Market at 72nd Cass St. The ticket price is about $20 for member and $30 for non-member. It covers dinner and performance. Dinner is sponsored by several local Chinese restaurants. The community effort that comes together for this event is amazing. Here are some pictures of the past year Chinese New Year Gala:

So if you want to join in the fun next year, don't forget to check their website or you can even send them an email to ask them when the tickets will go on sale. Feel free to contact me as well!

You can learn more about the Year of the Pig and Pig's fortune in 2019 here http://bit.ly/2HRX7k6

  • May Yap

A "House For Sale" sign in somebody's yard! It is very rare to see a "For Sale" sign in the yard in the Elk Valley neighborhood! This beautiful Elk Valley went up on the market in Jan 2019 but it was SOLD within a few days. Isn't that sweet?

The Elk Valley residents truly love this neighborhood! A couple of months ago, I went door-to-door in Elk Valley trying to meet as many neighbors as I can to introduce myself to them. I had an opportunity to talk to many great neighbors. Many of them had mentioned to me that they do not have any intentions of moving... at least not in the near foreseeable future! I thought to myself "residents of Elk Valley truly love and enjoy living here." And why not???

Although I didn't ask everyone why they love living here, here are my TOP 3 Reasons I love living in Elk Valley:

1) Safe & Quiet. I can't tell you how many times we had accidentally left the garage door opened overnight. I'm not saying anyone should try this but we were lucky enough to have all our stuff remained where they should be. Elk Valley is pretty much surrounded by creek and nature. Best time of the year is Spring and Fall of course. Listening to birds chirping in my backyard is the best thing ever! Sometimes we see deers strolling in the creek.

2) No HOA. It's very rare now to find a neighborhood, especially in the Elkhorn area, that doesn't have a HOA fee anymore. Our neighborhood is still very well-maintained and safe. Neighbors take good care of their properties. During the holidays, most families would put up nice holidays lights and tasteful decorations. Elk Valley is within walking distance to Fire Ridge Elementary school and it's playground.

3) Convenient location. 13 years ago when we decided to move to Elkhorn, it was for 3 reasons: near Dodge express, closer to Lincoln, and for the school. 13 years ago, Elkhorn was truly a small quiet town, but now the population has increased and so are the amenities. Now we have Starbucks, grocery store, restaurants, salons and even yoga studio. It only takes 3 min to Village Point, where you will find more restaurants, shops, and movie theater.

As a realtor and a resident of Elk Valley for 13 years, I'm not surprised this home sold quickly. Besides all those good reasons why I love this subdivision, there is no doubt this is a great house with a beautiful backyard.

  • May Yap

Once the New Year arrives, thought turns to ways to improve our health, our finances and our schedules. Getting organized in one of the most common New Year’s Resolutions, along with losing weight and finding love; if it’s one of yours as well, here are 5 great ways to get organized.

Create a Cleaning Schedule – Everyone likes a clean home but very few people like a huge cleaning project. Build a schedule which allows you to clean as you go – daily tasks which are quick and easy to accomplish as part of the routine.

Pull out the Crock-Pot – Planning meals are easy with a crock-pot or pressure cooker. Start your evening meal before you leave for work.

Enlist Help – Everyone in the household can help out with daily tasks. Hold a meeting and assign each person with tasks and chores that best suit their interests.

Set Goals – Create manageable and quantifiable goals and measure the achievement weekly.

Prioritize – The most important way to organize your life is to set priorities. Not everything has to be accomplished all at once. Be realistic and start small. Set goals based on what’s most important.

Learn The Japanese Art of Organizing

Have you heard of a book called "The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo? It's the New York Times best-selling book. There's also going to be a Netflix show based on this. Well, if you don't have time to read the whole book, here's a great article by HGTV that pretty much sums up some of the great tips on how to organize like Marie Kondo https://www.hgtv.com/design-blog/clean-and-organize/the-life-changing-magic-of-tidying-up-cleaning-tips

© 2018 by May Yap. Elk Valley Blog | Elkhorn | Nebraska. All Rights Reserved.