Kid Friendly St. Patrick’s Day Breakfast Lunch Dinner and Dessert

Celebrating holidays, no matter how big or small, make a house a home. Here are some fun food ideas that will create lasting memories for your little ones this St. Patrick’s Day.

Breakfast

Shamrock Eggs

Look no farther than your veggie drawer for a lucky four leaf clover. This easy pepper and egg combo is a quick and healthy way to kick off St. Patty’s Day. Recipe Here.

St Patricks Day Four Leaf Clover Eggs

Lunch

Bento Box

While you could totally get away with a green salad, we suggest a fun option like this lucky Bento Box complete with a pot of gold(fish). Recipe here.

St Patricks Day Kid Lunch Bento Box

 

Dinner

Green Mac & Cheese

This is a sure hit for little leprechauns. Recipe here.

St Patricks Day Dinner Green Mac and Cheese

Dessert

Cake-in-a-Jar

Lucky Charms + Chocolate Cake…need we say more? Recipe Here.

St Pattys Day Dessert

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Romantic Homes To Inspire Your Valentine’s Day Weekend

Valentine’s Day is almost here, and what better way to celebrate than by taking a look at some of the most romantic homes currently listed by Coldwell Banker? Whether your home is currently romance-ready, or you just need a little inspiration, these photos are guaranteed to make you feel all warm & fuzzy inside!

After a day of skiing or hiking, what better way to unwind than in a Jacuzzi overlooking a beautiful mountain range? This home, located in Aspen, Colorado, is the perfect location for a romantic getaway!

hottub

Listed by Coldwell Banker Mason Morse Real Estate for $9,975,000

sunset

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $10,700,000

Enjoy a breathtaking sunset and views of the Pacific Ocean from this home located in Carmel Highland, California.

hometheater

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $16,500,000

 

Why buy tickets to see a movie when you’ve got a private theater right in your home? This estate, located in New Jersey, is the perfect place to cozy up with your Valentine and enjoy a movie together.

sauna

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $24,995,000

Sure you could plan a spa day… but what if you had one in your own home? This Mailbu house has its own massage room and sauna, so you never have to leave to feel pampered.

waltz

Listed by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage for $9,950,000

Imagine having this room all to yourself to put on your favorite love song and dance with your Valentine. You’ll feel like you just stepped onto a movie scene in this beautiful English Renaissance estate located in Lake Forest, IL.

However – and wherever – you’re spending Valentine’s Day this year, we hope it’s one full of lots of love!

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Home Tip of the Day: Valentine’s Day Home Decor Ideas

Decorating your home for Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. Here are some simple ways to make your home feel more romantic this Valentine’s Day.

For other helpful home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

*Header Image Courtesy of: Randy Heinitz

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6 Valentine’s Day Decorations to Spice Up Your Home

Dressing your home up for Valentine’s Day isn’t only about creating the right decor, it’s about creating the right mood! If there’s one thing that spa and hotel owners know better than anyone else, it’s that creating the right tone depends on how you choose to decorate. Turn your house into a romantic getaway, with these quick decoration DIY’s provided by Hometalk bloggers.

XO Pillows

DIY Valentine XO Pillow

Image: Hometalker Adina/ Simply Country Life 

Make pillows even cozier, with DIY pillow cases that encourage some V-Day sofa cuddling. With just a few pieces of fabric and a couple moments of stitching, you’ll have eye-catching decor that’s almost too sweet to snuggle into.

DIY Valentine’s Day Dinner Table

 Image: Hometalker Megan/ Rhapsody in Rooms

 

The key to the perfect holiday table is always the centerpiece, and Valentine’s Day is no different. Create your own budget, easy centerpiece using a DIY chalkboard table runner, some rose petals, and a few sweet sentiments.

3D Vday Letters

Image: Hometalker Shanna/ Restoration Redoux

Spray painted cardboard letters provide the perfect pop of pretty for a Valentine’s Day mantel, and you can personalize your message by spelling out sweet words, or by writing out you and your SO’s names.

Pom Pom Wreath

 Image: Hometalker Melissa/ Two It Yourself

 Use all your favorite yarn colors, to make a simple pom pom yarn wreath for your door or mantel. Though this quick craft won’t take too much time from your date-planning or gift-hunting, it will turn your home exterior into cupid’s clubhouse.

DIY Marquee

DIY Light Marquee

 Image: Hometalker Kelsey/ Poofy Cheeks

 People always say that love makes everything seem brighter. With this DIY heart marquee, you can take that literally, and add some sparks to your usual home decor. Think of this as a fresh alternative to illuminate candlelit dinner!

Alternative Colors Vday Table

 Image: Hometalker Dawn/ Creative Cain Cabin

 If you’re looking to surprise your SO or favorite couples friends with something a little different this year, try an alternative Valentine’s Day color scheme. Go modern and bright, with a non-traditional palette, like this mint and yellow table!

For more Valentine’s Day decoration ideas, take a look at Hometalk’s Valentine’s Day Ideas topic page!

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A Father’s Guide to Valentine’s Day at Home…with Kids

Ah Valentine’s Day. A day dedicated to love, chocolate and suckering you into buying expensive stuff because you’re expected to. While jewelers and florists rejoice at Cupid’s special day, those of us who are parents of young children have a bit of a dilemma: who’s going to babysit?

If your regular babysitter is a young female with a suitor, you’re in a bit of trouble. You may think of turning to your parents, but then of course they may want to go out for the evening. And just to make things even worse, this year Valentine’s Day is on a Saturday. Ugh. Your chances of finding a sitter have just gotten worse than the Sixers shot at making the NBA playoffs.

Nothing screams romance like an evening with children, but you have some options.

Option 1: Take the kids out to dinner with you.

I did this last year. Couldn’t get a sitter and my wife said she wanted to go out so we packed the kids in the minivan to experience some candlelight dining. Of course as soon as you walk into a restaurant on Valentine’s Day with all the starry-eyed lovers, you’re going to get some looks and even a few snide remarks. The key is to just own it. This is your reality. Sure, we’re the only table ordering off the kid’s menu, but a dinner out is a dinner out. Charge up those iPhones and iPads so each child has some personal entertainment that may keep them from being overly rambunctious. You could even open that wallet and spring for a new $0.99 app to give the kids a new game to enjoy. Then you could hopefully enjoy a meal, and some sanity, with your Valentine.

Option 2: Dinner and a Movie for the Wee Ones.

Ok, so you’re not ready to venture out with little ones and you’re stuck at home. While dinner and a movie may sound like a date night, it’s actually a decent option for your kids on Valentine’s Day. Order pizza and whatever Disney cartoon or Marvel epic they haven’t seen yet. Move that coffee table in front of the TV and put down a blanket for the kids to eat dinner in front of the TV. While they’re experiencing the wonder of animation, you can then move to the dining room or kitchen to have a separate dinner with just you and your Valentine. Now I will warn you, this is a race against time. There’s zero chance the kids will not come and bother you at some point, but these are the cards you’ve been dealt.

Option 3: It’s bedtime and a late dinner.

The two words every kid hates to hear just might be your one chance at a quiet dinner with your Valentine. That’s right, it’s bedtime. Oh the sun is still out? Too bad, time for bed. Send the kids to their beds a bit earlier than usual and plan on bringing home a special dinner. Let the kids listen to music in their room, read for a little bit or whatever you need to do to get the kiddos out of your hair. If bedtime is a struggle on an ordinary night, you might be out of options, but for those who can rally and push through this might be your best (and last) resort.

To all those parents out there trying to find babysitters and make the most out of a fictitious holiday, I feel your pain. Good luck out there.

 

Header image courtesy of Flickr user JD Hancock

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Tips for Enjoying the Big Game at Home

Now that we have all moved past Deflategate, we can focus on preparing for the Big Game!

Russell Wilson and the Seattle Seahawks…

vs

Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.

As you set up for your party, be sure you have enough seating for your guests.

Next, be sure to set up snacks…

Lots and lots of snacks!

Seriously, you can’t have enough snacks. Looking for some recipe ideas? Try here.

If you really want to go all out then you can even get your pets ready for the game :)

Once your guests start to arrive, entrust your remote to someone who will not be tempted to flip through the channels. It’s BIG GAME day..it’s all about the football!

You may be tempted to get up during the commercial breaks, but stick around because sometimes this is the most entertaining part of the day.

Well, maybe not as entertaining as watching Rob Gronkowski.

Don’t forget to catch the half time show. Katy Perry will be rocking the stage.

In the second half…anything can happen. Let’s hope for a close game!

Now would be a good time to put out some desserts.

Last but not least remember, if your team loses the Big Game…don’t be a poor sport.

Need more ideas? Check out “5 football party ideas that will score big”

 

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Home Tip of the Day: Holiday Ornament Storage

Sadly, it’s time for many of us to put away the holiday decorations.  Storing your favorite delicate ornaments can be tricky without the right storage solution.  Use this clever trick to keep fragile ornaments safe until next year.

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

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Home Tip of the Day: The Must-Have Holiday Kitchen Appliance

The key to holiday entertaining is a relaxed hostess.  If you’re hosting guests this holiday, this must-have holiday kitchen appliance will help you avoid running around the kitchen all day and most importantly, take time to enjoy your family and friends.  (It also makes a great last minute gift, too!) Happy hosting!

For other clever home tips & tricks, subscribe to Coldwell Banker On Location to view the complete Home Tip of the Day video series.

 

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Family Traditions At Christmas

It always seems like the month of December flies by. We sometimes get lost in the flurry of gift shopping, wrapping presents, and preparing our homes for holiday gatherings. Before we know it, it’s December 25th and we can’t quite fathom how Christmas is already here.

I’ve always found Christmas Eve to be one of the most peaceful, enjoyable days of the year. Everyone finally slows down and is able to enjoy some quiet, relaxing moments at home. Here are some of my favorite personal family traditions:

1. Watching “It’s A Wonderful Life”
This is one of those movies that I watch with my family year after year and it never gets old. I love curling up with a mug of hot chocolate and enjoying this classic which always leaves me feeling more festive and appreciative!

2. Matching PJs
Yes, my sisters and I may all be in our 20′s, but we’ve always worn coordinating PJ’s on Christmas Eve and Christmas morning. It makes for some really cute family photos, and a great cozy clothing option for lounging around all winter.

3. Baking with my mom
My mom is basically famous for her amazing chocolate chip cookies, and I always love spending the day “helping” her bake them (which means eating them as they come out of the oven). We always package a few tins up to bring with us to family gatherings, but my mom makes sure to keep at least one just for us!

4. Christmas breakfast
One of my favorite Christmas traditions is the delicious breakfast we have every year after opening gifts. It includes French toast, sausage, eggs, fruit — pretty much anything you could imagine, we have! It’s by far one of my favorite meals of the year.

What are some of your favorite Christmas traditions? Leave us a comment below or tweet us and let us know!

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I’ll Be Home by Meghan Trainor Captures the Feeling of Home for the Holidays

What is the purpose of a home?

At its core home is a gathering place. Sure you sleep there, eat there and watch TV there, but home is one of the few places you can join together with those that you love to celebrate any occasion. Birthdays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and most of life’s major events center around home, and not just the physical structure, but the idea that home is the place where your loved ones come. There’s a certain joy in having others come to your home.

You may remember that joy as a child, but with my 4 boys being young I witness it  every time someone comes to the door of our home. A spark of excitement lights in their eyes and the anticipated arrival of their cousins coming over is enough to make them sit patiently by a window. Did you catch that? 4 boys sit patiently. You know it’s a special occasion.

The holidays are, of course, one of the most prominent times where we gather with loved ones at home so when I came across this song I’ll Be Home by Meghan Trainor on my Spotify Christmas station, I knew it was something I had to share.

We’ve all heard various renditions of I’ll Be Home for Christmas which in my mind is one of the best Christmas songs ever written, but there’s something about I’ll Be Home that captures both the hopeful wishing that you will be able to make it home as well as the joy of being home for Christmas.

I’ll Be Home is all about wanting to be home with the ones you love and isn’t that what makes the holidays so wonderful? Sure I want Call of Duty for Xbox as much as the next person, but while gifts are fleeting memories made with loved ones last so much longer. Home is the canvas on which those memories are created.

While I enjoy being left alone to watch sports or be slothful at home, no one wants to be away from home and family and friends at Christmas. That’s why whenever I hear these Christmas songs about coming home for Christmas I can’t help but think of our men and women in the military who are not only away from the ones they love, but are also in harm’s way. They’re sacrificing Christmas memories for the sake of our freedom. When I think of it that way, it’s hard not to get choked up.

To all those headed home for the holidays, we here at Coldwell Banker wish you safe travels and a wonderful holiday season. And to those in the armed forces who are stationed overseas, we are hoping you get to come home soon.

Here’s Meghan Trainor’s I’ll Be Home.

 

Header image courtesy of Flickr user Chris_J

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