Super Bowl Sunday Funday

By Shannon Perkins, Marketing Coordinator

I am a bit ashamed to admit that I am the stereotypical female who knows very little about football. In fact, the only reason I paid attention to the Super Bowl last year is because I tricked myself into believing it was a Beyonce concert. This year I’ve decided to celebrate the Super Bowl by making sure everyone knows how to prepare a hearty spread of dips, snacks and drinks while they cheer on their favorite team.

Make a signature drink

It’s expensive to buy an assortment of beer, wine and liquor. Make your party memorable and simple by creating a signature drink and putting it in a big punch bowl. Mix vodka and lemonade and toss in some ice, create “beer-mosas” with beer and orange juice, or go for simple sangria with a bottle of wine, ginger ale, and a pile of colorful fruit. Click here for even more game day drink ideas.

Buffalo Wings from Parade

Buffalo Wings from Parade

Just wing it

I love wings in any shape, flavor or fashion and it goes without saying that the Super Bowl is a holiday for wing-lovers! Buffalo-style is still the favorite flavor of most wing-lovers, followed by barbecue, breaded or fried, teriyaki and sweet and sour sauce. Most wing connoisseurs dip their wings in ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, blue cheese or hot sauce. Click here for more wing recipes your party goers will love!

Slider Burger Party by PS by Dila

Slider Burger Party by PS by Dila

Create a slider bar

Make small patties, grill them, and pile them onto a big tray next to a platter of slider buns. Fill the table with bowls of onions, pickles, mayo, salsa, cheeses, jalapenos, bacon bits, and anything else you would like to see on your burgers. Make sure to have turkey and beef burgers to please your diverse audience! Hint: This works for tacos, too.

I dip, you dip, we dip

All Super Bowl parties must have a dip. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cheesy, gooey concoction or a fresh veggie salsa. Making dips is easy, and your dishwasher will thank you come post-game cleanup time. Check out a few of my favorite recipes here.

It’s time to consume flavor-packed, easy-to-eat treats without a care in the world for diets. I’m sure there are healthier ways to celebrate the Super Bowl, but how much fun would that be?

For more Super Bowl Party ideas, visit our Super Bowl Sunday Funday board on Pinterest.

Make Your Guests Feel At Home

As the holiday season approaches, you may be opening their doors and welcoming family and friends to their homes. Before they arrive, take some time to get your guest room into shape.

By turning your spare bedroom into a five-star getaway, your guests can experience all the comforts of home. Here are some tips for creating the ultimate guest room.

Guest Room Make the room inviting. Start with the biggest bed that will fit the room. A queen size is the ideal fit for most guest scenarios (a couple, tall guest, adult plus child, etc.) Then add fine-quality sheets, a blanket, pillows and a beautiful duvet. Keep extra pillows and blankets nearby.

Focus on functionality. Guests come with stuff, so provide them plenty of space to put it. Set out a luggage rack or bench to hold a suitcase or duffel. On the nightstand include a reading lamp and clock. Also allow for easy plug-in access to charge a phone. Make sure there are plenty of hangers in the closet and extra drawer space available. Hang a small mirror and if space allows, a long dressing mirror.

Bath productsAt your service. Create a soothing, comfortable room by laying out towels and toiletries so your guests won’t have to search for items. To give it that little extra something have water and other snacks on hand.  A reading chair with a cozy throw is also a nice addition.

Thanksgiving Traditions

What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition?What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition? We asked that question to some of our Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage family and we love their answers. What is yours?

“My favorite Thanksgiving tradition is the pattern of the day that I have created over the years… I start the day reflecting on everything good in my life, followed by watching some of Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. These activities are a prelude to cooking a couple of classic comfort dishes to pass at our family Thanksgiving dinner. I love cooking stuffing, and green bean casserole and sharing a traditional dinner with my family.” – Judy Hearst, Regional Vice President, Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Southeast Wisconsin

“My tradition is simple-to be with my family, relax, and be grateful. It is my favorite holiday for those reasons.” — Kathy Kalnes, Regional Vice President, City Region

“For past Thanksgivings, my family was never big on turkey. Instead, we would go out to the grocery store, and each kid would get to choose his or her meal for the night. For me, that meant a whole lot of popcorn shrimp. In recent years we have gotten a lot more traditional with a big meal (including deep frying a turkey this year), but one tradition has remained…Black Friday shopping.

Every Friday after Thanksgiving, we fire up Amazon and get our Christmas shopping done the tech (and non-freezing way). Christmas movies and music go on the whole time, and we stay in pajamas and eat all day. It is always a great way to kick off the holiday season.” Chris Haran, Director of Strategic Planning and Initiatives

“Waking up in the pre-dawn hours to the heavenly aroma of onions, celery and carrots sautéing in butter for my mom’s fantastic sausage apple stuffing. Early on she only used the cavity of a 20lb-25lb turkey to prepare it but later acquiesced to the clamor for more and made a side dish as well. The stuffing from the bird was the best hand’s down.” — Jim Moran, Regional Vice President Relocation Services

“Weather permitting. All the cousins play a game of touch football. We also all know to bring our baseball gloves for playing catch.” — Rich Rogala, Digital Strategist, City Region

“My father has 6 brothers and one sister who each alternate hosting a potluck Thanksgiving in their home each year. Every family member is responsible for bringing their signature dishes. Some memorable dishes are my mother’s potato salad, my uncle’s fried turkey , my aunt’s macaroni and cheese and my grandmother’s peach cobbler. This is my favorite holiday because it is the one time of year that you are guaranteed to see everyone in the family.” — Shannon Perkins, Marketing Coordinator, Regional Support Center

“Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because the focus is on family, food and reflecting on all the good things you are grateful for in your life. I of course love the eating part, but my favorite part is after the food when we all sit down and play board games together and laugh. It makes me feel 10 again. Nothing beats good wholesome family fun. And pie. Don’t forget the pie.” — Lala Mahoney, Social Media, Online Marketing Specialist & Transition Coordinator, North Shore Region

“My family kicks off Thanksgiving in the morning with a friendly game of football and Bloody Mary’s (I may or may not stand on the sideline cheering on with said Bloody Mary in my hand). Once we are in our holiday best, we gather around the table and write down on a leaf what we are thankful for. We all then add our leaves to a tree which becomes the centerpiece for our Thanksgiving spread.” — Ann Marie Wulfram, Senior Graphic Designer, Regional Support Center

“After dinner – we get out the newspapers (we each have our own copies) and map out Black Friday shopping plan. We don’t necessarily buy a ton we have so much fun watching the crazy people out there and then go to breakfast.” — Lisa, Regional Support Center

What is YOUR favorite Thanksgiving Tradition? 

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving in a Small Space

Space Solutions for Hosting Thanksgiving Dinner

By Shannon Perkins, Marketing Coordinator,  Regional Support Center

The task of hosting holiday celebrations should not be limited to homeowners. While this may prove to be challenging for renters, proper planning makes it possible for things to go smoothly. In addition to preparing as much of the meal ahead of time as possible, it is important to have small snacks on hand for the crowd before dinner. Below are a few tips that can help apartment renters prepare to host thanksgiving dinner.

Delegate tasks

A good hostess knows that delegating tasks is just as important as preparing meals. Consider having friends and family bring a dish as it may cut down on the amount of storage needed and post dinner cleanup. Be prepared to delegate the following items:

  • Drinks
  • Bread / rolls
  • Pie
  • Salad
  • Side dish
  • Appetizers

Finding space

Having company in a small and cluttered home is a recipe for disaster. In order to have a large event in a small area, it is imperative to make the most of your space.

  • Rearrange furniture and look for new possibilities in each room. Use your largest space as the dining room or major seating area.
  • If your apartment has a nice view, think about arranging the seating near the window. A focal point such as a picture or mirror can make tight space appear larger.

Furniture

  • Trying to find an extra table may be difficult if you are not accustomed to hosting large parties. Ask guests that do not cook to assist by lending useful furniture. Renting these items may also be an option.
  • Thanksgiving dinner can work well if you make your bookshelves, counters and tables serve multiple purposes. A tall bookshelf would work well for serving drinks and appetizers, as well as a bar area. Trays can also be a wonderful way to serve extra guests, particularly if they are sitting on a comfortable couch or chair.

When everyone is finally sitting around your table , enjoying their delicious meal you’ll be thankful your hard work paid off… and that Thanksgiving only comes once a year!

Homes Fit for the Victor’s Village

Alicia Eisenbise, Social Media Specialist, Regional Support Center

If you’re a fan of the Hunger Games, you know that today Catching Fire, the second book in the trilogy, is released in movie theaters. The story returns to Katniss and Peeta six months after their win in the 74th Hunger Games, which means they should be living in the Victor’s Village. In the books, the Victor’s Village is a gated, luxurious community filled with gorgeous homes given to the victors for surviving the Hunger Games.

We’ve yet to be introduced to this luxurious subdivision in the movies, but while I was reading the books, I imagined grand stone homes decorated with unique, intricate architectural details and large living spaces fit for a king. In my imagination, the following spectacular homes would be perfect for Katniss or Peeta. What do you think the new Victor’s Village will look like?

Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

Guest blogger: Brooke Balco, Communications Specialist, Regional Support Center

Tips to Prepare Your Home for the Holidays

With Halloween in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look ahead to the holiday frenzy that’s about to ensue. For many, the holiday season means gathering with loved ones to celebrate tradition, but for others it can mean stress and chaos.  The good news is that when it comes to prepping your home for entertaining family and friends, there are many tricks of the trade that will get your space party-ready in no time. Before you stress out, take a deep breath and read on.  

“Entertainment space in a home can be a major selling point, and more and more homes are being built with this in mind,” explains Fran Broude, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.  “This is one reason why open floor plans are some of the most sought after designs.  Especially in the kitchen and living room areas, it offers great space conducive to hosting gatherings.”

How can I possibly fit all of my friends and family in my living room?
Open up your living room by removing large pieces of furniture and rearranging the remaining to allow guests to move around freely.   Not only will this free space for more standing room, but it will also make your room look larger.  If you’re hosting a formal dinner party and don’t have a dining room, use the cleared out living room space to rent large tables that will accommodate your guests.

How can I make my home look festive but elegant?
There’s a fine line between tasteful décor and distracting clutter.  Your home will feel most inviting with subtle personal touches and holiday cheer, without going overboard with holiday trinkets.  Other great ways to create a comforting ambiance is to burn lightly scented candles, light the fireplace, play with the lighting to set the mood and be sure to play festive music.

How can I make my home feel inviting to my guests?
This time of year it’s likely that you will have visitors from out of town or travelling further than normal distances that need a place to stay.  By enhancing your guest room with plush bedding, fresh flowers, and stocking up on toiletries they may have forgotten, your guests will feel right at home.

Holiday gatherings are meant to bring loved ones together to celebrate cherished memories from the year’s past and to look forward to the year to come.  There’s no better place to create new memories than home sweet home.