Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #17- Help Save Ali’s Sweet Shoppe!

I’ve always had a soft spot for young people taking life by the horns and trying to make a business at an early age. I met just that person this week, Ali Duplessis of Ali’s Sweet Shoppe, opened a Sno-Ball stand right outside the Tanger Mall in Ascension Parish. This twenty-one-year-old woman took her idea, own money and bought herself a Sno-Ball stand. She carefully made sure to get the proper license, approvals and lease from the Tanger Mall so she could be located right where the action is. As you know, It gets hot going from shop to shop around the Tanger Mall and she had the wherewithal to set up her Sno-Ball stand and do it the right way. Hours after opening her first day, she was approached to shut down the stand, told she wasn’t allowed to have it at the location she was given permission to be at but they would give her a special pass for a few days to find a new location.

Ali had made her business plan early on and made sure she would have the location she desired the correct way. Only to be shut down a few hours into opening because someone else had made a mistake, This is a costly mistake for a young girl just starting off in business but the part that burns my hide is that she made sure prior to putting up the stand. She HAD planned ahead, she did all the right things but that didn’t matter.

My goal for this young entrepreneur is for the people of Ascension Parish to rally for Ali’s Sweet Shoppe so Ali will be able to keep the location she worked hard to get in the first place. Please Share this video with everyone you know so they can help her save her location. We are counting on YOU Ascension Parish.

“Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149




Ascension Parish Coffee Talk #17, Louisiana Fireworks, Gonzales LA

The Fourth of July is quickly approaching so I stopped into one of my favorite local Ascension Parish’s firework stores, Louisiana Fireworks!, located right off Hwy 44 in Gonzales (Close to the Lowe’s Hardware Store) 


Tim Tullier was kind enough to show me around some of his top-selling fireworks as he describes how some of them fire off, He also tells of several safety tips to keep you and your family safe this year and years to come.

I’ve added the safety tips from the Nation Council of Firework Safety below, this came directly from their website at

                                                                  “Because YOU Matter”

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                                Recommended Safety Tips

  1. Obey all local laws regarding the use of fireworks.
  2. Know your fireworks; read the cautionary labels and performance descriptions before igniting.
  3. A responsible adult SHOULD supervise all firework activities.  Never give fireworks to children.
  4. Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.  Save your alcohol for after the show.
  5. Wear safety glasses when shooting fireworks.
  6. Light one firework at a time and then quickly move away.
  7. Use fireworks OUTDOORS in a clear area; away from buildings and vehicles.
  8. Never relight a “dud” firework.  Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
  9. Always have a bucket of water and charged water hose nearby.
  10. Never carry fireworks in your POCKET or shoot them into METAL or GLASS containers.
  11. Do not experiment with homemade fireworks.
  12. Dispose of spent fireworks by wetting them down and place in a metal trash can away from any building or combustible materials until the next day.
  13. FAA regulations PROHIBIT the possession and transportation of fireworks in your checked baggage or carry-on luggage.
  14. Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department.
  15. And let’s not forget the safety of our pets!
  16. Don’t bring your pets to a fireworks display, even a small one.
  17. If fireworks are being used near your home, put your pet in a safe, interior room to avoid exposure to the sound.
  18. Make sure your pet has an identification tag, in case it runs off during a fireworks display.
  19. Never shoot fireworks of any kind (consumer fireworks, sparklers, fountains, etc.) near pets.

© The National Council on Fireworks Safety, Inc. ● 1701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Suite 300, Washington, D.C. 20006

Kristina Smallhorn 

Your Real Estate Whisperer

“Because YOU Matter”

eXp Realty LLC



Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149

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Bowtie Picture


Because of tropical storm Cindy, my scheduled interview had to cancel. In their place, my daughter came to the rescue and decided to show the people of Ascension Parish how the make the pioneer woman’s, Chicken Alfredo with bowtie pasta. Aubrey does most of the cooking after Sydney bails out to talk to one of her friends. Aubrey takes the position of head chef seriously as she explains all the steps in detail to the residents of Ascension Parish. Bowtie Pasta Pic

Cooking is something that has always been a way for my family growing up to be a part of. I’m so happy to pass on this tradition to my children. They both have been cooking on the stove ever since they could reach it. This has been such a wonderful help to me on nights when I get too busy to cook for them. I like having home cooked meals, they love stepping in when I get busy assisting home buyers and home sellers to make some of their favorites. The one featured today is on the top of their favorite list.


I hope you like it, just to let you know, this recipe feeds a family of four pretty easily. It goes great with steamed asparagus. Please give Aubrey a BIG “GREAT JOB” to show her support and be sure to like, and comment below.

(This is the original recipe from the pioneer

“Because YOU Matter”
Kristina Smallhorn
Your Real Estate Whisperer
eXp Realty LLC
Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149………

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Zillow Gets Sued Over Zestimate.

Is Zillow® Gonna Get What’s Coming To Them?

Last week the story came out that a woman in a suburb of Chicago has had enough of Zillow’s Zestimates. She is suing after hers was valued at $70,000 under her asking price.  We in the real estate industry knew this was coming.  Many Ascension Parish Realtors® had been saying it was only a matter of time before someone had had enough of these ridiculous “Zestimates.”

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I can explain it like this. Type  “Zillow .com” in your web browser and you’ll see an area for you to type in your address.  When your home pops up, a little further down the page you will then see your “Zestimate,” a basic number pulled from the sky claiming to be your home’s value.  Zillow says in the fine print that this number can be as far off as 5%.  If you knew your neighbors home just recently sold for $250,000 you figure yours would be close to the same amount.  Zillow’s Estimates can be around 5% off from that amount. That’s a $12,500 difference.

This is why many buyers and sellers get frustrated. With information becoming so easily accessible, it’s no wonder buyers not being represented by an Ascension Parish REALTOR®, lean on these numbers they see on Zillow to make an offer. They feel like this is a well-known company, how could they possibly be so wrong?  Being a Realtor® in the Ascension Parish, I’ve seen these Zestimates being off MORE than 5%!  The system they use to gather the numbers takes the subject property and draws in all the properties that have closed within a 5-mile radius. If you are from Ascension Parish you can see how this can become a major problem.

There is more to a home’s value than drawing a circle and pulling numbers!  Appraisers get paid to do this job for a reason.  The same home, with the same floor plan, in the same neighborhood can have two completely different values.  The condition, location, and various other factors come into play when determining value.  No computer software algorithm can judge what homes current value is because they have no idea what the home owners have done to the home to adjust that value.  Did the home owners upgrade the kitchen?  Have they added a pool in the backyard?  Did the current home owners rip out every stitch of carpet and add beautiful wood flooring wall to wall?  All these things add value!  Of course, if the home has been literally ignored for the past 10 years, that will have a negative effect on value just as the homeowner who kept their home up will produce a positive effect.

Back to the woman who is suing, I believe she has a case.  In her state, the way the law reads, the value determined by Zillow can be construed as an appraisal and that’s against their state’s laws. With that, I really hope she wins her lawsuit.  Zillow is really doing a disservice to the people they give this information to. People trust that they are getting accurate information with these “Zestimates” no matter what the fine print says.  The home buying and selling can be a frustrating one if you are not being represented by a REALTOR®. We do not need a large company that the consumer trusts to be throwing random numbers at a home with the intent of figuring out its value.  It doesn’t help anyone and should be eliminated from the site.  Zillow’s Zestimates are as useful as weeds in your grass; they literally choke the value of people homes with inaccurate information.

If you’d like to know the real value of your Ascension Parish home for absolutely FREE, Please do not hesitate to reach out to me. I look forward to showing you that your Zestimate from Zillow is WAY off.

Kristina Smallhorn 

Your Real Estate Whisperer

“Because YOU Matter”

eXp Realty LLC



Office (225) 412-9982 ext# 149






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Take A Tip Tuesday- Flood Assistance


This comes directly from an email I received and I wanted to get the word out to all residents of Ascension Parish and surrounding areas.

The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program strongly urges all flood-affected homeowners to complete the initial homeowner assistance survey. The survey takes about 15 minutes and may be completed online at or over the phone by calling (866) 735-2001 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The program recognizes that some homeowners may need help completing this survey and has scheduled six outreach events to ensure that those who need assistance can receive it.

These events will be held as follows:

May 16 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Southeastern Louisiana University – Student Union 500 W University Ave., Hammond, LA 70402

May 17 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Ascension Parish Library – Gonzales 708 S Irma Ave., Gonzales, LA 70737

May 18 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Bill Cockrell Recreation Center

4109 Pines Road, Shreveport, LA 71119

May 23 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

East Baton Rouge Parish Library, Greenwell Springs 11300 Greenwell Springs Road, Baton Rouge, LA 70814

May 24 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Youngsville Sports Complex Gymnasium 801 Savoy Road, Youngsville, LA 70592

May 25 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Denham Springs Old City Hall

115 Mattie St., Denham Springs, LA 70726

The purpose of these events is to help homeowners complete the survey and answer any questions about the program. No formal presentation will be provided, but program information and materials will be available. While no documentation is required, we do ask that you bring your FEMA ID number if you have one.

For all updates, go to

To be eligible for one of the six phases of the program, homeowners must meet all of the eligibility criteria listed below:

• Must have been the owner occupant at time of the disaster event

• The damaged address must have been the homeowner’s primary residence at the time of the disaster event

• The damage suffered must be a result of the March or August 2016 severe storms and flooding events

• The structure must be eligible as determined by the program, which includes single family homes, duplexes, mobile homes, and condominiums

• The structure must be located in one of 51 disaster-declared parishes


******The description provided comes directly from The Restore Louisiana Homeowner Assistance Program and does not belong to me. If you would like to see this information please visit the website in the description.******

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

eXp Realty LLCRestore LA_Homeowner Assisance_Revamp_v10 (003)

Take A Tip Tuesday- Clean Your Pantry, Ascension Parish! (Including Me)

Take A Tuesday, May 9th, 2017 Time To OrGaNiZe, Ascension Parish (including me)!

When you are selling your home, now is the time to clean out your pantry and closets.
This is a view from my personal pantry and I know many of you have this in your home or at least seen it.
This may be shocking to you, but buyers open cabinets and they look in the pantry. As silly as it may seem you it could turn off a buyer or even get offered less money because your closets are in chaos. The little time it takes to get this stuff back in shape will pay off in the long run.
I know that some of you won’t be able to go with a professional organizer, so hopefully, this tip will help you home stage your closets yourself. I will be happy to help you prepare your home when listing with me. Please don’t hesitate to ask.

“Because YOU Matter”

Why I Left Villar & Company Real Estate.

Let me start off by saying, there wasn’t a single dramatic event that had me storm out the doors and drop the mic, kind of moment.  In June of last year, I finally dragged myself out of bed after being in a 6-month long depression.  I have no idea what caused it!  I just know I was completely in the depths of it.  It had gripped my life and the only people who knew were my immediate family.  One Monday in June I said,  “enough” to myself!  “Get out of the bed!”  It was then I decided to live again and not let this take hold of me any longer. The first thing I did was to tell every person I knew what had happened, and why nobody had seen me for months. I figured that if I disappeared for a while again people would know to check on me.  It’s a hard thing to admit to people that you are like this and some people may have not even understood why but I had to ask for the help. This was step one for me.

Step 2

My next step for myself, since I checked out for so long, was to basically kick start my career again. I hadn’t quit doing real estate but I wasn’t really doing anything to help myself either.  So I began to really look at how I had represented myself online. Everyone is online and I knew that if anyone was looking for me how did I look like to them as a buyer or seller?

I took a look at my website that hadn’t been updated in years and decided to trash it and start from scratch. I could have created any kind of website, as there are tons of sites for realtors to choose from, but this time I wanted it to represent who I am.  I wanted to control all the content that was put on it. Many months later I now have a website that I am proud of!  As far as the content, I blog several times a week and write every article myself; this is all from me. ( The wheels of change are rolling quickly and I have been thinking constantly about how a client would like to find a home and what it that would interest them when scrolling on a real estate website. Did I get it right?  Only time will tell but currently, I am really enjoying putting out content and I love using my own voice as the narrative.)

The Website Goes Live, Now What Did I Do? Step #3

I have not stopped studied about social media.  I have always had a love for Facebook and I had heard of people making quite a business using it to kick start their business and careers. So this is where I started.  I started posting and at first nothing; then I’d get a few likes from family but I didn’t quit.  I just kept posting and studying. Then I added a video that changed my whole way of thinking. I posted a video on Facebook live of a flooded and gutted home. I did it mostly for people outside the area who had never seen one before, but that simple video got 2,900 views and several comments. Then I got on Facebook live again and asked a simple question. Why do You Love Ascension Parish? That 30-second video got 2000 views but only took me a few seconds to make. I was nervous as hell, and scared, but I jumped out of my comfort zone and did it. Facebook and social media in general, when it comes to marketing, is a simple formula of, how do I get your attention, and when I thought about that I knew video was for me.  I knew it would fully represent my intentions as a local realtor in my area. I had so much to learn about my new found addiction for social media attention and how I could show the people of Ascension Parish that I had a lot to offer them as a Realtor here but I needed to give back.

YouTube Step #4

I had a Youtube Channel that I hadn’t used in a way that my new way of thinking was approaching my career. So I pitched it, just like my website and started from scratch. I started it one week prior to the Great Flood of 2016. My first few videos were me and my husband driving around showing how high the water was coming up. I wasn’t showing people in distress or anything gross like that. I mostly did those because it seemed anyone outside of the state of Louisiana had no idea we were flooding. At the time, no national media was even broadcasting it. Those first few videos got thousands of views. This made me nervous only because I didn’t want people to believe I was trying to use people’s despair to cash in on the attention. So I pulled back after a couple of days and began to rethink how I would approach my channel. This was a process for me. Studying and learning how I wanted to make this my own channel and still make it about my community that had given so much to me and my family. Months had gone by and I was always thinking about my next idea for Facebook live when it hit me. Why don’t I make a show specifically about Ascension Parish Businesses. I knew in order to really showcase a local business this couldn’t be a Facebook live thing, it had to be a real show.

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk! Step #5

A Wednesday afternoon I grabbed my iPhone and started recording. The first show I did by myself was about Ascension Parish Schools.  I mean that’s why most people find us when they are coming in from out of state. This first show, If I’m being honest with you, is terrible but I knew I was going to post it anyway.  I need it to remind me of the idea I had and how it all started.  My original idea of doing the show from my living room alone was dumped and I began to reach out to local businesses. I knew after I wrote a blog post about moving to Ascension Parish from out of state that people not from here had no idea how awesome Ascension Parish really is. That was my most popular blog post I had ever written so far.  That is when I did my first interview!  I guess my enthusiasm for the idea sold my first local business to interview and I was overjoyed when she allowed me to do it.   I knew what I would want to see if I was watching so I went that way and it worked. I LOVED the way it turned out, and I knew that other people would love it too. This was a way to give back to the community I loved and help clients get to know how great Ascension Parish is.  I have done five shows and seem to be a great way for me and viewers to see all these great new stores that are popping up.

This has been an exciting journey for me and I have needed help to take my career in the direction that I see for myself. This is when I had to take a step back and self-examine every aspect of what I am doing currently. This is when I decided to go with a different company for real estate. Not because they aren’t supportive of me; they completely are. It’s because they really can’t walk me in the direction I want to run my business for myself. This is a completely different way of doing real estate and I believe I have found a company that will work with me to help me achieve my current goals. I am fortunate enough that Villar and Company Family are understanding of my current goals and said I could come back if it didn’t work out for me.  I love them all like a real family, They were there for me and my family in some our darkest days and I know I wouldn’t be the person I am today without them. I feel truly blessed by each and every person that I have worked with there.

Step #6

The hardest step. Friday, April 6th I turned my paperwork into My broker Donna Villar and signed with eXp Realty. This is a new concept in real estate but I believe this is the one that will work best with how I currently am approaching my career. It is different than most brokerages in the fact I won’t have a brick and mortar building to turn in paperwork. The concept is new, innovative and super exciting for me. eXp Realty offers so much education and technology training, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity. I’m very energized by the possibilities of what I can bring to my clients moving forward and can’t wait to see what the future has in store. I’m more than ready for whatever lies ahead. All I know for sure is I am ready and excited for step #7, “Because YOU Matter”.

Kristina Smallhorn

Your Real Estate Whisperer

eXp Realty LLCNew Font Logo

“Because You Matter”

Ascension Parish’s, Consign and Design!

Ascension Parish Coffee Talk Episode #5
Consign and Design! Watch it on YouTube, Consign & Design

This week’s show is about local business in Ascension Parish, Consign and Design, Located in Prairieville Louisiana off of Airline highway. (In the same Plaza as the Sunset smoothie and Little Ceasars Pizza)


The store is a super brightly lit space filled with pieces new and old. The owner Amy Trahan was kind enough to invite me to interview her about her unique concept for a consignment shop.

She features many other design items like chalk paint for refinishing old pieces of furniture. This type of chalk paint you can even use on fabric and it doesn’t need wax. Save yourself a step and try it out.


Looking for unique scented candles, Consign and Design has several different fragrances that match up with luxury laundry soaps.

The furnishings in the store change quickly since it is a consignment shop so make sure to stop in often, you don’t want to miss out and on your new favorite piece that may come in.

Looking for something completely different? She has custom builders that will take your idea and build you a piece straight from your imagination, not sure what you want? Ask Amy Trahan her design advice and work together to make your masterpiece.


All in all, this is a super cool store here in Ascension Parish, Just another business making Ascension Parish a wonderful place to live.

If you’d like more information on Cosign and Design, visit their website @ or follow them on Instagram @ atcosignanddesign.

On a side note, the piece that was featured in the video (the tree that was custom made) is no longer available, After my husband saw this video he fell in love with it and I bought it for him for his birthday. But don’t worry she will be getting similar pieces in soon.


If you’d like a home near Cosign and Design, visit my website

Kristina Smallhorn (Your Real Estate Whisperer)yrew
Cell 225-246-1812
Office 225-744-2610
Fax 225-744-2910

Villar & Company Real Estate,37283 Swamp Rd.,Suite 102 Prairieville LA, 70769
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.

Is Your Neighbor Killing The Sale Of Your Ascension Parish Home?

If you have lived in a house or an apartment here in Ascension Parish, you may have had some neighbors. Some neighbors are awesome; some, well, not so much. If you have the latter of the two described neighbors, and you are looking to sell, it may be the perfect time to bury the hatchet. So how do you go about that?  Below I’m listing a few tips to help you with the selling of your Ascension Parish home.

It’s Time To Talk


So you have lived in your Ascension Parish home for the last 8 years and you have only spoken to your neighbor to ask for him to stop letting his dog poop in your flower bed.  Unfortunately, the response wasn’t exactly the best reaction you had hoped for.  Since then, you haven’t said two words to one another.  Well, this is a perfect time, before you throw the sign in the yard, to make peace.  Let bygones be bygones, as they say!  Just walk over and let them know your plans and how this may be the perfect opportunity for them to get a new (and better?)neighbor.

But The Neighbors Yard Looks Like H#$% !


I know, I have had one myself, and it could be a deal killer for sellers. My best advice for this, since you have now buried the hatchet, you could suggest, at your own expense, for a lawn company to freshen up the yard. I would do this tactfully just by saying, “Hey Neighbor, I was just about to call the landscaping company to spruce up my yard. I’ll pay for your’s to be done too as a courtesy if you would like?”  Many people will take you up on the offer, especially since time and money will not be an issue on their end of the deal. If they refuse and the yard is really that bad, you could amp things up by getting your homeowners association involved, but I would strongly suggest you go the civilized route.

The Fence On Their Side Is Rotting.


I had a listing several years back where the neighbors shared a fence. The sellers were not on speaking terms with the next door neighbors.  I wasn’t completely sure of the reason, but I did know something needed to be done about that rotting, panels missing, eyesore of a fence. According to the sellers, they had made several attempts to remedy the fence issue to no avail, including offering to repair it themselves. So I went over to the neighbors home and asked if it was possible to get the fence repaired, They grumbled for a minute but before they said a flat out NO, I said: “You can pick the fencing company and we will foot the bill!” This seemed to satisfy the neighbor and within a week new panels were being put up and the sellers were able to move on with their lives.

What If This Doesn’t Work?


Some people are just not happy unless they are making others miserable, I get it.  So, I understand sometimes you can’t just change a bad relationship overnight. If you have exhausted all your resources, and you really need to move, you can always add an incentive to the buyer to sweeten the pot. What I mean is, buyers can often overlook a sour neighbor if they feel like the deal benefits them, so simply add incentives into the listing such as, some additional closing costs or lawn care for a year or even possibly a reduced price for a serious buyer.

Your best approach is to try your best to improve the relationship with the neighbors for the sake of getting your home sold for the most money.

“Because YOU Matter”

Kristina Smallhorn

(Your Real Estate Whisperer)

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Cell 225-246-1812 Office 225-744-2610 Fax 225-744-2910
Villar & Company Real Estate,37283 Swamp Rd.,Suite 102 Prairieville LA, 70769
Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.


Many of you in Ascension Parish have heard of Sweet Robichaux, but may not know they have their own store now! The owners, Stephen and Jennifer Robichaux, were kind enough to let me pop in to take a look at their new shop and taste a few pastries.  It’s conveniently located off Highway 42. I know that morning traffic woes won’t feel as horrible after you make a quick pit stop into Sweet Robichaux.  Seriously, how can you have a bad day when you walk into a bakery that smells as heavenly as this place.  I had the opportunity to sample their cinnamon rolls. They are to die for!  They put them under the broiler for a few minutes with their cream cheese frosting, and they will warm you inside and out. They have croissants and muffins as well.FullSizeRender.jpg

This Isn’t Just A Breakfast Place!

Oh no, not at all! They have cleverly decorated cookies for all occasions. I suggest you visit their Facebook Business Page to see some of their photos for ideas for your next event. They also do simply decorated cakes with a delicious buttercream frosting and everyone I have spoken to about their cakes has said they are amazingly delicious.IMG_9968

They Will Be Expanding.

After talking to Stephen and Jennifer, they had mentioned that as business picks up and they get more settled, they will be adding to their menu.  They will be doing Burgers on store made Brioche buns and ready for quick pick up. They also said that they working on the perfect chicken salad recipe to add to their home made croissants. Doesn’t that sound delicious! I personally want them to start those right away; I LOVE a good chicken salad sandwich and then you add those amazing croissants with it, my mouth is already watering.IMG_9966

Don’t just take my word for it!  Stop in and try it yourself. I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Another great new store making Ascension Parish a desired area in which to live.

If you’d like more information on homes in Ascension Parish close to Sweet Robichaux please visit my website at and be sure you stop by Sweet Robichaux, and  tell them I sent ya! 

To watch my interview with Sweet Robichaux visit my YouTube Channel by clicking this link.

“Because YOU Matter”

Your Real Estate Whisperer

Kristina Smallhorn

Cell 225-246-1812

Office 225-744-2610

Fax 225-744-2910



Villar & Company Real Estate,37283 Swamp Rd.,Suite 102 Prairieville LA, 70769

Kristina Smallhorn is a licensed REALTOR with the state of Louisiana, USA.