Planning The Perfect Memorial Day Barbecue

When you think of backyard celebrations, the Fourth of July often comes to mind but why wait and pass up the opportunity to celebrate Memorial Day. For many of us, the weather is finally warm enough to enjoy the outdoors as spring begins to wrap up and the summer season gets ready to kick off. Memorial Day is the perfect time to gather friends and family together for the perfect backyard barbecue (or cookout as my husband prefers).

What’s On The Menu?

Since Memorial Day is usually low-key, consider going the extra mile when it comes to the food you choose to serve. Barbecued ribs are a finger licking good favorite that everyone will appreciate. They can be a little expensive, so consider them for a small gathering. Another fun choice is to slow-smoke a pork shoulder or other piece of meat. It takes a long time, but that true smoky barbecue flavor simply can’t be beat!

If that is more than you were thinking, then simply add a couple couple of flags to your burgers. istock_000016813565small

Or wrap your hotdogs in scrapbook paper and twine.

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A homemade coleslaw or pasta salad is always a classic choice for a side dish, but you can also consider taking it up a notch with some homemade baked beans. Made in the slow cooker, they are an easy choice to prepare ahead of time.

Why not decorate with these kid friendly food options.

2ff7294c212d95c451cea65b44eee27a9889dd4efca9001ae117309b588f5ff2 If you are feeling adventurous, you can tackle this fun flag cake.

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Fun And Games

Set up some fun games for people of all ages to add to the fun. Classics like a three-legged race, a water balloon toss, or corn hole are always popular choices.

cornhole-gameYou can also consider getting a piñata filled with small toys and candies for the young children.

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Patriotic pinata via Walmart

A scavenger hunt around the neighborhood is another great way for everyone to have a good time, and works especially well if your neighbors are joining your barbecue/cookout. Create a list of things to find and send out teams on the hunt! When everyone comes back, have prizes for the teams who have been successful!

In addition to remembering those who served our country to protect our freedom, Memorial Day is a great way to celebrate the American Dream. Start off the barbecue season and have friends and family over for a great time. Take advantage of your long weekend and plan a great party everyone will be talking about.

Have a happy and safe Memorial Weekend!

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Happy Earth Day

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I would share some green living tips.

Green Living Decorating

Decorating can be a challenge. I know, because I’ve been working on decorating my own home lately! Trying to balance style, cost, and environmentally responsible choices can be a challenge. However, when it comes to making green choices that look amazing, here are some tips I’ve heard for making your home work double duty as a trend setter and as an eco-friendly sanctuary!

Get plants. That’s plural – hence more than one. Not only will they purify and oxygenate the air you breathe, but they will offer a calm oasis in your home. Plants in unexpected places, such as bathrooms or kitchens, are stylish and functional.

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Check out these six best plants for the bathroom

Larger scale plants look gorgeous in rooms with high ceilings. These fig tree plants are all the rage right now!

Re-use and recycle! This is my favorite!! Visit local flea markets, antique fairs, and yard sales to find one-of-a-kind items that adds character and warmth to your home.

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By purchasing used or refurbished pieces, you are cutting down on consumerism.
Doesn’t this piece by Centsational Girl look fun?

If you are confined by a small home and have to get rid of something in order to bring something in, donate your old furniture, have your own yard sale or advertise it as free on Craigslist. They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure!

 

Choose paint wisely. Some paints release toxins into the air for years after they have been applied. Natural paints with zero VOC and low VOC are not only good for you and your family but also for the environment.

Make “big” decisions such as flooring changes and renovations with care, and give thought to the environment. There are many options such as bamboo and cork flooring, which not only look stunning but are eco-friendly!

Choose textiles, such as linens, curtains, carpets and rugs that are made of natural or recycled materials.

Re-purpose items you already own! Used mason jars make trendy light fixtures,

a quick and simple vase

gorgeous candle holders

or cute storage containers!

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Kitchen bowls can find new homes as bathroom organizers, and bedrooms can become cozier with the artful placement of natural objects from family trips to the beach, mountains or the forest!

What are you doing to celebrate Earth Day?

Curb Appeal

Welcome to my real estate blog! This is just another way to keep in touch! I will be sharing ideas about buying, selling, renovating and maintaining your home as well as other tips and lessons learned from typical and not so typical real estate transactions. Hope you enjoy and feel free to share links or leave comments!

Today I want to share some simple ways that you can improve the curb appeal of your home. Whether you have just moved in or are getting ready to sell, curb appeal is something every homeowner needs! I hope you are find these tips useful as you get settled into your new home.

EASY WAYS TO IMPROVE CURB APPEAL

Walk across the street and look at your overall landscape.

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Via Zillow

  • Are shrubs trimmed neatly? Windows and doors shouldn’t be overshadowed by overgrown bushes or out of control ivy like this home my clients were purchasing.photo (4)
  • Clear your entry, sidewalk, and plant beds of leaves and debris. Add a new layer of attractive mulch to all planting areas.
  • Are there bare spots or weeds in the lawn? Your local garden supplier can tell you the best way to remedy this problem.
  • Hardscape (bird feeders or houses, simple water features, statuary) can add warmth and character to an otherwise drab terrain.
  • Make your front door more appealing with a fresh coat of paint or stain and new hardware. Accent doors are inviting and quite a trend these days, however, traditional doors work just as well.
  • Speaking of hardware, install new light fixtures on both sides of your door and change your old, scratched house number plates with shiny new ones. That goes for the worn out kick plate as well.

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  • Consider shutters or awnings to dress up your windows.

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  • Well placed, low voltage landscape lighting is fairly inexpensive and will dramatically enhance your home when the sun goes down. For do it yourself tips, check out this how to install low voltage lighting guide.

What curb appeal tips do you have that I missed? Please share them below!