Wanda Mooney

Blog :: 2020

Get Outside for Winter Skiing at Berkshire East in Western Mass

Berkshire East Mountain Ski Resort Charlemont MassWinter is here and with the arrival of beautiful fresh white snow, everyone is itching to get out and play! Getting outside and playing in the snow is a great way to cure the winter and Covid blues. Plus, it’s easy to social distance and keep everyone safe while doing so. Check out these local beautiful spots where you can bask in a winter wonderland!

Berkshire East Mountain Resort

Berkshire East Mountain Resort in Charlemont opened on December 17. The mountain crew has been working hard to make snow and keep the trails maintained for excellent riding conditions. This season, things will be different due to Covid, but Berkshire East has been preparing new systems and amenities to make the season safe and fun. For example, they are asking that all non-season pass holders book their tickets in advance so that they can control the number of skiers on the mountain. For dining, they ask that reservations for dining inside at Crazy Horse be made in advance. Or you can check out their new outdoor dining service. Order online from an even larger selection of food than in the past, and then pick up your order from the window when it’s ready. Plan ahead for your day at Berkshire East by reading their information online related to Covid-19. This will help to make it a safe and enjoyable season for all.

Northfield Mountain

As of December 14, Northfield Mountain announced that they will not be selling trail passes or renting equipment. But the good news is, if you have your own gear, you can still access the trails when the snow cover is sufficient. Just note that the trails will not be groomed or patrolled, so know your limits and plan ahead because there will be no restroom or warming facilities. When the snow cover is thin, the public will be allowed to use the trails for hiking or cycling on fat bikes. All trail users must wear face masks at all times. Check their Facebook page or website for any updates around this. 

Happy trails!


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Plum Boutique in Greenfield Seeks to Inspire and Enrich Local Community

plum boutique greenfield mass shop localChristmas is almost here and if you’re doing any last minute shopping, remember to support our local shops! One local shop that I’m happy to support is Plum Boutique in downtown Greenfield. More than just a retail store, Plum carefully selects products made by mission-based organizations, women-owned enterprises, and local artisans. As a member of the downtown Greenfield family of shops, they seek to enrich the community and to provide us with an ever-evolving gallery of fashion, design, and art which inspires, nurtures, empowers, and delights.

Check out their Perfect Holiday Gift Guide for inspiration on unique gifts for friends and family and get free shipping through the month of December on their website with code FREE2020.



Visit their website, plum413.com, and follow them on Facebook to stay updated on what's in the shop! 

Located at 281 Main Street in Greenfield, MA


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

The Power of Kindness During Covid-19: Give Back to Franklin County

giving back covid 19 pandemic 2020Recently, I came across a blog post in Coldwell Banker’s blog, Blue Matter, about the Power of Kindness in the Age of Covid. Check out the post here. The post evoked the question that in a time of such uncertainty, what can we do to make the world around us a better place to live? 

One of the reasons I love living in Franklin County is because I constantly see the community supporting each other and boosting itself up. There are various opportunities and events throughout the year to give back. In times like these, I don’t think we need to wait for a particular day or event to give back, but rather that every day can be an opportunity to make our home a better place for all. 

One organization whose mission I really appreciate is Big Brothers Big Sisters Franklin County (BBBS). BBBS is the nation’s largest donor and volunteer supported mentoring network. The organization matches children in the area facing adversity with carefully screened and professionally supported mentors. 

The Covid-19 Pandemic has impacted them in many ways, from reducing their income from events and fundraising to causing layoffs within the organization. The pandemic has also sent local youth facing adversity further into isolation, poverty, and food insecurity. 

BBBS Franklin County has set a goal to reach $10,000 in donations to be able to continue their mission of keeping youth connected, to match waiting youth with mentors, to provide wrap around pandemic services to youth and families, and to avoid further layoffs within the organization. 

Visit their website to make a one-time donation or to join their Monthly Giving Program, which allows donors to decide what they can afford and spread it throughout the year. Your donation reduces juvenile delinquency and crime, improves school attendance and higher graduation rates, and helps local Franklin County youth achieve their full potential.

Donate to Big Brothers Big Sisters Franklin County today!

Big Brothers Big Sisters Franklin County Fundraiser




















For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Two Meteor Showers for December 2020 Outdoor Almanac from Mass Audubon

meteor shower night skyThe December Outdoor Almanac from Mass Audubon has some exciting natural events listed for this month! The most interesting events include two meteor showers. First, December 13-14 will be the peak of the Geminid Meteor Shower. As many as 120 shooting stars will be visible in the dark sky between midnight and dawn. Then on December 21-22, the Ursid Meteor Shower will originate from the Little Dipper (Ursa Minor). The Ursid Meteor Shower generally has about 5 to 10 meteors per hour, but in rare instances could have bursts of 100 or more per hour. 


Check out the full December Outdoor Almanac from Mass Audubon below:

december 2020 outdoor almanac mass audubon


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog

Ready to Make an Offer? Four Tips for Success

buyer tips make an offer home real estate

Once you find the perfect house to call your new home, making an offer can be an intimidating part of the buying process. In such a competitive market, you’ll want to make sure you make all the right moves to ultimately land your dream home.

Below are four helpful tips provided by Freddie Mac so you can feel more confident about making a competitive offer on your next home.

1. Determine Your Price

“You’ve found the perfect home and you’re ready to buy. Now what? Your real estate agent will be by your side, helping you determine an offer price that is fair.”

Based on your agent’s experience and key considerations (like similar homes recently sold in the same neighborhood, the condition of the property, and what you can afford), your agent will help you determine an offer to present.

If you’ve been pre-approved for a mortgage in advance, you’ll be that much more prepared for this step. Pre-approval will show home sellers you’re serious about buying and will allow you to make your offer with confidence as it relates to your budget, savings, expenses, and more.

2. Submit an Offer

“Once you’ve determined your price, your agent will draw up an offer, or purchase agreement, to submit to the seller’s real estate agent. This offer will include the purchase price and terms and conditions of the purchase.”

Talk with your agent to find out ways to make your offer stand out in this competitive market. 

3. Negotiate the Offer

“Oftentimes, the seller will counter the offer, typically asking for a higher purchase price or to adjust the closing date. In these cases, the seller’s agent will submit a counteroffer to your agent, detailing their desired changes, at this time, you can either accept the offer or decide if you want to counter.

Each time changes are made through a counteroffer, you or the seller have the option to accept, reject or counter it again. The contract is considered final when both parties sign the written offer.”

If your offer is approved, Freddie Mac urges you to “always get an independent home inspection, so you know the true condition of the home.” If the inspector uncovers undisclosed problems or issues, your agent can discuss any potential repairs with the seller’s agent.

4. Act Fast

The inventory of homes listed for sale today remains well below the 6-month supply that constitutes a ‘normal’ market. Buyer demand has continued to outpace the supply of homes for sale, causing buyers to be in competition for their dream homes. Presenting an offer as quickly as possible might make a big difference when you’re ready to move forward.

Don’t be surprised if you find yourself in a bidding war in today’s low inventory environment. Your real estate agent will help guide you through every step of the process, so you don’t have to navigate it alone.

Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or your fifth, let’s talk about your needs and what you’re looking for to make sure the process goes smoothly.

For more tips on buying a home, check out Wanda's Fall 2020 Buyers' Guide.


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Adams Donut Shop in Greenfield Reopens Under New Ownership

Adams Donut Shop Greenfield MassachusettsAdams Donut Shop has been serving delicious donuts with creative flavors to the community of Greenfield since 1956. Charles and Myra Adams started the business, first selling donuts from their garage in the 1940s and then finally opening up the shop in 1956. The business was passed down to subsequent generations until it was eventually sold outside of the family in 1989. The most recent owner was Carrie Brown, who had to close the shop when the pandemic hit in March. In late June, Brown announced that she would have to close the shop and the current owners (and sisters), Sidra Baranoski and Sabra Billings, jumped on the opportunity. 

The two sisters have been working hard to prepare the shop to reopen. They gave the inside of the building a makeover, learned a lot about donut-making, and came up with a new line of premium donuts, called Adams Fancies. The new line-up includes creative flavors such as S’mores, Peach Cobbler, Caramel Latte, and Cannoli. They will continue to make Adam’s famous donut varieties, calling them Adams Classics. 

The shop will also serve other items like fritters, muffins, cinnamon swirls, and even breakfast sandwiches in the near future. They have also worked with Pierce Bros. to come up with a new blonde roast just for them called Twice as Nice, since both sisters are blonde. In addition to this specialty roast, they will have Pierce Bros. Moka Java, a medium roast coffee, plus decaf and a variety of teas, milks, and juices. 

Adams Donut Shop officially reopened at the end of November. Their hours are Wednesdays through Saturdays 6 am to 12:30 pm and Sundays 7 am to 2 pm. There is no indoor seating and all guests must wear a mask and practice social-distancing. Adams donuts can also be purchased online with curbside pickup for orders of a half-dozen or more. Since the reopening, the shop has been quite busy, so be sure to order early to make sure they don’t sell out of your favorite flavor! 

Check out Adams Donut Shop online at adamsdonuts.com or on Facebook

Adams Donuts Greenfield Massachusetts











For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Light Up the Fairgrounds: Holiday Lights Drive Thru in Greenfield

The Franklin County Fairgrounds will host a festive display of lights this holiday season to spread cheer to the community and raise funds for three organizations. They are working alongside Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Franklin County and the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Regional Dog Shelter to organize a light display lasting three weekends. Over 30 groups from the community of 4 people or less are putting together the various light displays and are competing for a cash prize of $1000. We have two weekends left, December 4-6, and December 11-13, for the public to drive through the fairgrounds and enjoy the light display. 

Each car is asked to donate a minimum of $5 and each night one of the three organizations will receive 100% of the proceeds. These local non-profits have been hit hard by Covid-19 due to canceling events to stay safe and this creative fundraiser is a way to recover some of those funds and spread joy to the local community. 

For more information about this event, visit the Franklin County Fairgrounds on Facebook!

light up fairgrounds franklin county holiday mass


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

Reverse Advent Calendar: Give Back This Holiday Season

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Although this year has been particularly difficult, today is a great reminder to appreciate what we are fortunate to have and to be grateful for the positive people and things in our lives. As we approach the end of the year, we can all think about ways to show our gratitude and to boost up the community around us.

You are probably already familiar with the advent calendar. Used for counting down the days until Christmas, these calendars usually offer some sort of treat behind tiny doors on each day, typically chocolate. They are a great way to build excitement leading up to Christmas. 

But have you heard of the reverse advent calendar? Rather than having a treat for yourself on each day, these calendars inspire you to give back. Every day you can collect a food item or donation to add to a box. Then at the end of the calendar, bring your box to your local food bank or donation center as a way to give back to your community. Reverse advent calendars are a great way to spread holiday cheer and to teach children that the holidays are not just about receiving gifts and eating chocolate, but also about making a positive impact on your community. Check out the reverse advent calendar below for ideas to fill your donation box.

reverse advent calendar christmas

Plus check out this list of thoughtful holiday gifts whose sellers will donate part of the profits to different charitable organizations.


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.


Shop Locally Online for Small Business Saturday and the Holiday Season

In past years on Black Friday, the village of Shelburne Falls has come alive with vendors, performers, lights, and festive decor to kick off the holiday season with their annual Moonlight Magic event. Shops would stay open later and offer special deals to encourage holiday shoppers to support the small local businesses. Unfortunately, there will be no Moonlight Magic this year. Therefore, it is more important than ever to support our local businesses this holiday season. Many shops have expanded their online stores, making it easy to purchase items from them without having to enter the store.

Small Business Saturday is on Saturday, November 28 this year. Support our local economy by shopping local on this day and throughout the season. Here are some shops in Franklin County with online stores where you can find great locally made gifts for your loved ones this holiday season:

small business saturday shop local western massSalmon Falls Gallery - Gallery in Shelburne Falls representing 90+ local artists and the glass art of Josh Simpson

Shelburne Artisans Coop - A Gallery in Shelburne Falls of Fine Arts and Crafts owned and operated by regional artists

Ann Brauer Quilt Studio - Original modern art quilts that capture abstract landscapes using fabric and color made by Ann Brauer in her studio in Shelburne Falls

Molly Cantor Pottery - Handmade pottery inspired by New England nature and life

Zawalich Woodwork + Design - Custom woodwork including electric guitars!

Bridge Street Bazaar - Bohemian lifestyle boutique in Shelburne Falls

Love Marjorie - Ethically handmade gifts that are beautiful and functional

KeenEye Photo & Collections - Film photography supplies, antiques, and collectibles

Al Ladd, Woodworker - Fine edge woodworking

Marilyn Beal, Dyed Naturally - naturally dyed scarves

Morrell Metalsmiths - Handcrafted ironwork for your home

Rag Hill Farm - Functional fiber art

Moonshine Designs at Kedalby Farm - hand dyed, hand woven goods using mohair

Pegathus Design - Calligraphy and Color Judaica and more

Mason Willard Photography - New England nature photography

Inge Jockers Jewelry - Handmade jewelry by local artist

Happy Holiday Shopping!


For more information about community happenings and real estate news visit Wanda's Blog at www.wandamooney.com/blog.

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