Here’s to A Lovely LOVE DAY at Home…

c9395154857303d65d6d8d79ebfa43a7Well, Valentine’s Day is here again and restaurants are so booked in South Florida this year, Waffle House has jumped on board to add an option for Love Day Dining…

If you’re like me, the idea of getting dressed up and spending a special date night with your loved one sounds amazing ~ the crowds and wait for a table…   Not so much!

So this year, I am going to skip the dialing for reservations step and get started on thinking of ways to make Valentine’s Day even more special – Right at HOME!

It’s going to be a beautiful day here in Parkland, with morning lows expected to be in the high 40’s, but by afternoon it should be crisp, clear and in the mid to upper 60’s.  So, HMMMMM…

What about a little al fresco dining?  How about setting up a romantic table for two on the 532c3ef6e444eb0633c6bbce61ac5f18patio?  It doesn’t have to be super fancy, although it can be if you like…  But I am thinking of creating a little Italian Cafe feel with a simple red table cloth and table decor to match…

An inexpensive patio table on your patio or balcony will do the trick.  Add a few candles, hurricane lamps or torches to add a romantic glow.  Flowers, a bowl of grapes…  You get the picture!

I am working on a simple yet delicious menu that we can make together, then we can watch a great movie, perhaps.  I will put my personal menu plan below for ideas.

The point is, wherever your living space is, it should be your haven and a place where you can greatly enjoy celebrating the different seasons of life.

We are all about Home being where your Heart is and so we will always help you find ways to make your home your own dream space.  And if you just need more space, or less, or need a ‘change of space’ for whatever reason – call us, of course!  We can help!

Nicola “Nicki” Riettie | Florida Luxury Real Estate Group | 954.708.6841 | nicola@flluxreg.com

Valentine’s Day Dinner Menu at Home

Screenshot 2015-02-12 13.10.23

P.S.  If you would like any of these recipes, just leave me a comment below…

FotorCreated

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Do Halloween Dangers Lurk at the Entryway of Your Parkland Home?

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Do Halloween Dangers Lurk at Your Entryway?

Happy-Halloween-Scary-2Is your front entryway ready for Halloween visitors? Keep everything fun and accident-free with these seven safety tips.

Everyone loves a good scare on Halloween — as long as it’s just a trick.

To help you avoid any real-life scares — such as falls, fires, and traffic accidents — around your property this All Hallows Eve, play it safe while you’re setting up your Halloween lights and decorations.

Here are seven simple precautions recommended by John Pettibone, curator of Hammond Castle, a Gloucester, Mass., mansion that draws thousands to its renowned 20-room haunted house every Halloween season.

1. Light the Scene

Providing plenty of illumination ensures that your visitors can see where they’re walking, helping to avoid missteps and falls. Pettibone suggests using the highest wattage bulbs your outdoor lighting fixtures can safely take (check the label on the socket), and adding landscape lights every few feet along your front walk.

“We use the solar-powered kind because there’s no wiring needed,” he says. “Just push them into the ground, let them soak up the sun during the day, and they’ll light up the walk after dark.”

2. Secure the Footing

Clear your walk, steps, and stoop of any obstructions that could trip youngsters focused more on tricks and treats than watching where they’re going. That means moving potted mums and jack o’lanterns out of the way, and hammering down any nail heads protruding out of your steps.

If you have a concrete stoop, which can get slippery when wet, apply friction tape ($16 for a 60-foot roll of 1-inch-wide tape) to ensure stable footing, says Pettibone. He also stocks up on chemical ice melt ($20 for a 50-lb. bag) just in case of an early freeze.

3. Tighten the Railings

If your porch railings are wobbly or broken, family members and friends may know not to lean too heavily on them, but Halloween visitors won’t. So hire a contractor or handyman to fix the problem. It’ll make your home safer for guests all year round. Because more strangers come to your front door this night than the rest of the year combined, now is the time to take care of it.

4. Eliminate Fire Hazards

Don’t put real candles into your carved pumpkins or paper lanterns. “That’s a fire waiting to happen,” says Pettibone. Instead, pick up a bulk pack of LED-bulb faux candles, which emit a yellowish, flickering, battery-powered light that looks amazingly similar to the real thing — without the danger.

5. Secure your Property

To prevent burglaries and Halloween pranks — especially on mischief night the previous evening — make sure to keep all windows and doors (other than your main door) locked shut.

You might have an electrician add motion-sensor lights around your property, so anyone who walks down your driveway or around into the backyard will be discouraged from intruding any farther.

6. Set the Scene

In addition to spooky items like cotton cobwebs and half-buried skeletons, consider a few safety-related scene-setters. Pettibone suggests propping open the screen or storm door so it doesn’t get in the way when there’s a big group of kids congregated on your stoop. “We use yellow caution tape to tie open the door,” he says. “You can order it online and it works well with the Halloween theme.” A 1,000-ft. roll of 3-inch-wide caution tape is about $8.

You’ll also want a working doorbell, so if yours is broken, either hire an electrician or handyman to fix it — or install a wireless doorbell in its place.

7. Enhance Street Safety

Four times as many child pedestrians get killed on Halloween night than a normal night. So limit the danger as much as you can by clearing parked cars off the curb to allow better visibility and placing a reflective “watch for children sign” at the edge of the road. For for high-traffic roads in Halloween-intensive neighborhoods, consider posting an adult in the street with a hand-held traffic control light to help maintain safety.

Happy-Halloween-2014-2

From all of us at Florida Luxury Real Estate Group ~

Have a Happy and Safe Halloween!

 

Article Written By: Oliver Marks - Houselogic.com
 Read more: http://members.houselogic.com/articles/halloween-safety-rules/preview/?cid=eo_em_mkt_rcrnewsletter#ixzz3HSDNVpQL
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Are You Ready For The 4th of July?

4th-of-july-plank-flag-manditremayneOne of our nation’s most patriotic events will be here this Friday – are you ready for the 4th of July?  What will you be doing this year?  Barbecue at home, hanging out at family or friend’s or celebrating it with your community?

Whatever you are doing, here are some great ideas that you can add to your celebrating to bring your full patriotic spirit to your home.

Here in South Florida, the 4th of July is one of our favorite summer days.  It usually is a beautiful sunshin-ey day, great for spending outdoors.  Enjoy the pool or beach or local park and cool off from the heat with this Watermelon Blueberry Salsa.

Watermelon Blueberry Salsawatermelon-blueberry-salsa2

Yield: 2 1/2 cups

Total Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 4 small Roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 small onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (discard seeds for a milder salsa)
  • 1 cup diced watermelon
  • 1/2 cup fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice (from 1 lime)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions:

  • Combine tomatoes, onion, and jalapeno in the bowl of a food processor; pulse briefly or until finely chopped (do not fully liquefy). If you don’t have a food processor, you can finely chop the ingredients by hand.
  • Transfer tomato mixture to a medium bowl; stir in watermelon, blueberries, cilantro, lime juice, and salt.
  • Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes to allow the flavors to develop.

Read more at http://www.loveandoliveoil.com/2012/08/watermelon-blueberry-salsa.html

Serve up these great Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Cupcakes for Dessertred-white-and-blueberry-cheesecake-yogurt-cupcakes

Skinnytaste.com

Servings: 12 • Serving Size: 1 cupcake • Old Points: 2 pts • Points+: 3 pts Calories: 98 • Fat: 4.3 g • Protein: 3.6 g • Carb: 10.5 g • Fiber: 0.3 g • Sugar: 7.6 g Sodium: 29.5 mg

Ingredients:

  • 12 reduced fat vanilla wafers
  • 8 oz 1/3 less fat cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 6 oz fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 8 oz strawberries, hulled and sliced thin
  • 8 oz blueberries

Directions:

  • Heat oven to 350°.
  • Line cupcake tin with liners. Place a vanilla wafer at the bottom of each liner.
  • Gently beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth using an electric mixer. Gradually beat in fat free yogurt, egg whites, and flour. Do not over beat. Pour into cupcake liners filling half way.
  • Bake 20-25 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool to room temperature then chill at least 1 hour in the refrigerator.

healthy-4th-of-july-strawberry-blueberry-poke-cake-dashingdishWe LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this recipe for a Strawberry Blueberry Poke Cake, served with sparklers and all!

Check out the recipe here

 

4th-of-july-mantel-landeeseelandeedoIf you are crafty, you can try these great ideas for decorating for the holiday to add to the patriotic spirit!

 

Check out these great mantel ideas from Landeelu

 

 

IMG_3063-1Try these super cute Kids’ Flag Shirts from Make It And Love It.

 

 

This year, we will be celebrating the 4th of July with our community at the beautiful Plaza Heron-Bay-2del Lago Clubhouse in Heron Bay in Parkland!  It is so wonderful to live in a community that puts on such fun, well-organized events for our neighbors and ourselves to enjoy and to celebrate our country’s Independence together!   Our own poolside Cabana Grille has a great, special menu planned and it is going to be one packed, fun-filled day for Heron Bay residents!!!  We can’t wait!!!

Whatever you do, enjoy your 4th of July! Don’t forget all who have fought for our freedom and independence so that we can live in and as the greatest nation on earth!!!

Happy Independence Day to All of You!!!

 

 

10 Inside Tips From a Designer Who Specializes in Small Baths

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A New York City designer shares secrets to making a small bath both functional and beautiful.

 

Got a small bathroom to renovate? Go wild with texture and colors if it’s a rarely used guest bath, but stick to clean and simple in a master bath.

That’s the word from designer Jamie Gibbs, who transforms incredibly small New York City bathrooms into beautiful spaces. “I liked being shocked by details in a little space, especially if it’s not going to be used much,” Gibbs says.

His small-bath secrets:

1. Avoid textures in bathrooms that get daily use. In a heavily used bathroom, kohler-boucle-textured-color-lavatory-camberanything with texture becomes a collection spot for mold, mildew, and toothpaste. Say no to carved vessel sinks or floor tile with indentations.

2. Be careful with no-enclosure showers with drains right in the floor. These Euro showers allow for a feeling of openness, but the average American contractor doesn’t know how to waterproof the floor for them, Gibbs says. The tile seals can be compromised if not installed correctly, causing the materials to decompose, and water to leak underneath.

3. Use opaque windows and skylights to let light filter into all parts of the bath. A long skinny window with frosted glass means you don’t have to burn high-wattage light bulbs. Make sure water condensation will roll off the window into an appropriate place (i.e. not the framing or the wall) to avoid future maintenance issues.

4. Look for fixtures that have a single handle rather than separate hot and cold taps. “Space-saving gearshift faucets are a very good choice in small bathrooms,” says Gibbs. You’ll also save money by not having to drill holes in the countertop for the hot and cold taps.

5. Save space with wall-mounted toilets and bidets, but be aware that the water bathroom-design-ideas-for-teenage-girls-28tank goes into the wall. That’s fine if space is such a premium that you won’t mind going into the wall to make any repairs. But if you share a wall with a neighbor, that’s a different issue.

6. Use a wall-mount faucet to make a reduced-depth vanity work in a small space. “I can get away with a 22” vanity instead of a 24” vanity with a wall mount faucet,” Gibbs says.

7. Check the space between the handles and the faucet of any space-saving fixtures. “If you can only get a toothbrush in it to clean, you’ll save space, but it’s functionally stupid,” Gibbs says. Make sure the sink is functional, too. If you’re using a vessel sink, make sure it’s large enough and not too high. “If it’s too high, you’ll knock it so many times that the fittings will come loose,” Gibbs says.

8. A pedestal sink is all form and no function. “It’s a great-looking sink, but there’s no place to [set] anything,” Gibbs says.

9. Wall-mounted vanities seem like they’re space savers, but they create dead space between the vanity and the floor — a space that often accumulates junk and never gets cleaned.

10. If you’re comfortable with it, go European and put up a glass walls between the bathroom and bedroom to create the illusion of space. Or put bathroom fixtures in the bedroom just outside the bath.

Article Written By: Dona DeZube of HouseLogic

Upgrade to Sell…

Thinking of selling your home and want to do some upgrades to maximize your resale value?  If so, you’re in exactly the right place.  We have some great, realistic tips that will help you make the most of your upgrade time and dollars and offer the best pay off.

  1. The main things to keep in mind are: neutral, clean and classic. Every prospective buyer is going to have their own taste.  Using a neutral palette will allow them to see the home as move-in-ready, yet simple to personalize as desired.
  2. Consider several small projects throughout the house like updating fixtures, fittings and finishes.  Buyers look at the overall package as opposed to one standout feature.
  3. Update light fixtures in the kitchen, baths and hallways.  Replacing dated fixtures instantly updates your home.
  4. Always remember that the key locations for upgrades are the kitchen and baths.  Buyers typically feel that these are the most important home features they look for and consider to be more costly or time consuming than they want to undertake themselves.
  5. Clean your home to sparkling condition!  Cleaning the floors and grout between the tiles,  the windows and home exterior are key to your home showing well in comparison to others.  Make sure to clean any rust stains from the exterior and on the inside, clean all vents & doors as well as cleaning and resealing grout in the bathrooms and kitchen.

For more ideas on how to get your home in show-ready condition, leave us a comment or send us an email at NICOLA@FLLUXREG.COM…

Happy Fourth of July!!!

Happy Fourth of July!  We are really looking forward to the holiday and are sure you are too!  What do you have planned for Independence Day this year?  

There are a lot of great, fun, family-events to consider in Broward County this year, starting with Parkland‘s own Red, White and Blue Bicycle Parade held at Terramar Park, 6575 NW 76th Drive on Monday July 4, 2011 from 9:00am-11:00am.

Bring your bike decorated in patriotic colors and parade around the park while the judges’ award 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes. This event is open to residents of all ages who want to show their patriotic sprit.

Evolution Martial Arts will showcase a karate/martial arts demonstration. Broward Sheriff’s Office will also have a bike course set up to test the children on bike safety and the Coral Springs/Parkland Fire Truck will be displaying their famous green fire truck! This is a FREE event open to all Parkland residents.

Watch the Fireworks at The City of Coral Springs‘ Annual Independence Day celebration, which takes place from 6-9 p.m. at Mullins Park, located at  10150 NW 29th St. in Coral Springs.

There will be entertainment, with food and refreshments available for purchase. Fireworks display starts promptly at 9 p.m. The event is free but there is a parking fee of $3.

Another great option is Fireworks at The Beach on Pompano Beach.  The Fireworks Extravaganza will begin promptly at 9 p.m. on the city’s main public beach, north and south of the fishing pier by Atlantic Boulevard. Blankets and lawn chairs are welcome. 

Thinking of heading to Fort Lauderdale?   The city’s centennial events commemorate the Wade-In 50th anniversary. This historic event led to the integration of Fort Lauderdale Beach. Celebration begins 9 a.m. at Eula Johnson house, 1100 NW Sixth St., followed by a state historic marker unveiling at 11 a.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard. Call 954-828-4755 to reserve a seat on the free Sun Trolley.

The “Fourth of July Spectacular” on the beach will have a DJ, beach games and the American Legion Patriotic Orchestra performing. Brass Evolution will also take the stage. Festivities start at 12:30 p.m. The half-hour fireworks presentation blasts off 9 p.m. at A1A and Las Olas Boulevard.

In Hallandale Beach, the kids will have a blast with a bounce house, arts and crafts, pony rides, music and balloon animals from 4-8 p.m. at The Village at Gulfstream Park. Their Fireworks show is at 9 p.m. over Gulfstream Park Racing and Casino, 501 S. Federal Highway.

The Independence Day weekend on Hollywood Beach will feature nightly musical performances at the theater (Johnson Street and Broadwalk) from 7:30-9 p.m. Caribbean Music Farm is scheduled to play tonight, upbeat jazz by Phil Fest & Friends on Saturday and classic rock ‘n’ by White Noise on Sunday. Then on July 4th, country music group Rodeo Clowns will be followed by Galo’s tribute to Santana (6-10 p.m.). Twenty minutes of fireworks will light up the sky over the Atlantic Ocean at 9 p.m. Park at a downtown parking garage and ride the free express bus to Hollywood Beach. Normal downtown parking rates apply.

If you are planning a family BBQ at home to celebrate, why not try  one of our personal favorite menus:

  • Rosemary Porterhouse Steaks with Olive Mayo
  • Red Potato Salad
  • Grilled Corn on the Cob
  • Watermelon Sorbet
(Click here for the Rosemary Porterhouse Steaks with Olive Mayo Recipe.)

Set up your patio and backyard for the party and add some flair to your table by adding a red, white, and blue crepe paper streamer around the edges. Apply double-stick tape to the edge of the table, pinch the crepe paper to create pleats, and place it on the tape. You also can run a stitch line through the crepe paper to create extra pleats.

Here’s a little bit of July 4th Trivia for you:  Did you know that the first real July 4th party was held at the White House in 1801?

Whatever you decide to do this Independence Day, we hope you have a wonderful time.  Don’t forget to give thanks for the troops fighting for our freedom and safety and for our many blessings.  

God Bless America!!! 

Hot Home Trends…

The hottest new Home Design Trends reflect the transition from the McMansion Era to simpler spaces that have the ideal flow, layout and design for utility and enjoyment of a home.  Take a look at the hottest new trends:

Trend #1: Convertible Spaces

Forget “museum rooms” we use twice a year (dining rooms and living rooms) and embrace convertible spaces that change with our whims. Foldaway walls turn a private study into an easy-flow party space. Walls can consist of fancy, glass panels ($600 to $1,600 per linear ft., depending on the system); or they can be simple vinyl-covered accordions ($1,230 for 7 ft. by 10 ft.). PortablePartions.com sells walls on wheels ($775 for approximately 7 ft. by 7 ft.). A Murphy bed pulls down from an armoire-looking wall unit and turns any room into a guest room. Prices, including installation and cabinetry, range from $2,000 (twin with main cabinet) to more than $5,000 (California king with main and side units). Just search online for sellers. And don’t forget area rugs that easily define, and redefine, open spaces.

Trend #2: A laundry room of your own…

Humankind advanced when the laundry room arose from the basement to a louvered closet on the second floor where clothes live. Now, we’re taking another step forward by granting washday a room of its own. If you’re thinking of remodeling, turn a mudroom or extra bedroom into a dedicated laundry room big enough to house the washer and dryer, hang hand-washables, and store bulk boxes of detergent. Look for spaces that already have plumbing hookups or are adjacent to rooms with running water to save on plumbing costs.

Trend #3: Souped-up kitchens

Although houses are trending smaller, kitchens are getting bigger, according to the American Institute of Architects’ Home

Design Trends Survey. Kitchen remodels open the space, perhaps incorporating lonely dining rooms, and feature recycling centers, large pantries, and recharging stations. Oversized and high-priced commercial appliances—did we ever fire up six burners at once?—are yielding to family-sized, mid-range models that recover at least one cabinet for storage. Since the entire family now helps prepare dinner (in your dreams), double prep sinks have evolved into dual-prep islands with lots of counter space and pull-out drawers.

Trend #4: Energy diets

We’re wrestling with an energy disorder: We’re binging on electronics—cell phones, iPads, Blackberries, laptops–then crash dieting by installing LED fixtures and turning the thermostat to 68 degrees. Are we ahead of the energy game? Only the energy monitors and meters know for sure. These new tracking devices can gauge electricity usage of individual electronics ($20 to $30) or monitor whole house energy ($100 to $250). The TED 5000 Energy Monitor ($240) supplies real-time feedback that you can view remotely and graph by the second, minute, hour, day, and month.

Trend #5: Love that storage

As we bow to the new god of declutter, storage has become the holy grail. We’re not talking about more baskets we can trip over in the night; we’re imagining and discovering built-in storage in unlikely spaces–under stairs, over doors, beneath floors. Under-appreciated nooks that once displayed antique desks are growing into built-ins for books and collections. Slap on some doors, and you can hide office supplies and buckets of Legos. Giant master suites, with floor space to land a 747, are being divided to conquer clutter with more walk-in closets.

Trend #6: Home offices come out of the closet

Flexible work schedules, mobile communications, and entrepreneurial zeal are relocating us from the office downtown to home. Laptops and wireless connections let us telecommute from anywhere in the house, but we still want a dedicated space (preferably with a door) for files, supplies, and printers. Spare bedrooms are becoming home offices and family room niches are morphing into working nooks. After a weekend of de-cluttering, basements and attics are reborn as work centers.

Staging a home for sale can also greatly benefit from these tips and styles.  Buyers like to see how they can use the space to best suit their needs.  For more information on how to use these trends for Home Staging, give us a call at (702) 538.2294…

Some Content Originally Written By Lisa Kaplan Gordon – a HouseLogic contributor and homebuilder.