easy appetizers!

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The weather is getting crisp and the holidays are knocking on the door. Whether you are hosting or a guest, having a cache of easy appetizers on hand is always a great idea. Wow you guests and lock down that invitation to the next party with these amazing recipes!

Pull it apart
Why not have a sweet appetizer? Why not have it be pull apart breads? There's no reason not to. This recipe is for a pumpkin cheesecake monkey bread, and this is for a pumpkin spice pull apart loaf. YUM!

Re-do a classic
There is nothing wrong with the classics when it comes to the holidays and appetizers...but with a twist. Try these pigs-in-a-pretzel, or maple Chex Mix that you can make in a crockpot!   

Skewer it
Whats easier than putting a bunch of food on a stick? Not much, and this anitpasto skewer looks divine and super easy. 


For more appetizer inspiration, check out our Pinterest board.

no carve pumpkins!

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It’s that time of year again! Bust out your crafting supplies for bats, cobwebs, skeletons and PUMPKINS! These amazing tutorials show you how to skip the hassle of carving a pumpkin and just focus on making your pumpkins pretty. And they will last the whole season this way! 

Glue Guns Forever
Every crafter knows the wonders of a glue gun, and there couldn’t be a better tool for no-carve pumpkins. From beads and ribbon, to paper bats and buttons, the world of gluing-things-on-pumpkins has never been so diverse.  

Color Explosion 
Who says you have to have an orange pumpkin? Paintingmelting or splattering a pumpkin with color is a great (and easy) way to add some fun pops of untraditional color to your porch.   

Boo-tiful Words
Use your words with these sassy worded pumpkins. Whether it’s a classic "boo", or something more trendy, letting your pumpkins speak their minds is just the right choice. 


For more pumpkin inspiration, check out our Pinterest board.

mls ispo pictures

Sometimes you find incredible inspiration in MLS photos from other listings. Here are a few of our favorite shots! 

Staging

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How have we never thought of pillows in the bathroom? Makes bathroom naps much more convenient.

Lived-in Look

 You want buyers to know they will feel at home in their potential new house. So, don't have your clients clean up!

You want buyers to know they will feel at home in their potential new house. So, don't have your clients clean up!

Keep on Theme

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If there is a good style in a client's home, we now know that keeping it is the best choice! Creepy or not...

For more MLS inspiration, check out our Pinterest board.


poppin' popsicles

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It's HOT y'all. What better way to beat the heat and enjoy a fun activity than to make some home-made popsicles! Stay cool and (more importantly) look cool with these gorgeous pops. 


The Tools
From Dixie cups and tongue depressors to basic molds all the way to those fancy shaped molds, there is no wrong way to make a yummy popsicle! 

The Ingredients
Think anything refreshing: coconut water and fruitstrawberry cheesecakeinspired, or gummy bears and lemon-lime soda! 

Make Use of that Blender
Have left-over smoothie? Put it in a mold! Or do it on purpose and make a delicious fruit-whip popsicle

For more popsicle ideas, check out our Pinterest board.

get your grill on

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Has the mundane act of grilling burgers getting you down? Do you feel tired at the thought of cooking another hotdog? Lets get excited about grilling again. The weather is right and our stomachs are ready. 


Different Meats
Everyone has had a burger and hotdog, but what about a pork chopFlank steak wrapped veggies!? A whole pork tenderloin on the grill! 

Don't Forget Your Veggies
There are endless possibilities to the veggies you can grill. From tomatoesmushroom skewers, to cauliflower steaks. And a twist on a summer classic: grilled Mexican street corn!

Don't Be Afraid to Be Different
Have you ever heard of grilled nachos? Well us either. TRY THEM!!! Other great, and odd, grilled options could be pizza, peaches, watermelon. And for dessert - grilled donuts

For more grilling ideas, check out our Pinterest board.

pantry makeover

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With 2018 (gasp!) upon us, it's time to start getting our homes as organized as our Pinterest boards. Here are a few simple things you can do to get started with your pantry!


Jars & Baskets
If you are like someone I know, you throw bags of potatoes, popcorn, onions and other loose grains into the pantry willy-nilly. When it's time to actually find those things, it usually results in disaster. The use of clear jars and baskets is an inexpensive, aesthetically pleasing, and easy way to make your pantry shine. 

Labels
With all those new jars and baskets, how are you supposed to tell the difference between quinoa and couscous? Well, labels, that's how. Another great idea is labeling sections of the pantry for certain food groups and types.

Tension Rods & Hooks
So what about all your nonfood items? Things like cutting boards, your mixer, etc.? Just as easy! With the use of small tension rods between shelves, it is easy to organize flat items. Use 3M hooks (the OG hero) for things like mixer accessories, seldom used spatulas and more!

For more pantry ideas, check out our Pinerest board.

easy appetizers

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With a whirlwind of activity happening during these holiday times, we wanted to make a board of quick and easy appetizers. Whether it's your turn to host or you've been invited to an event, all of these dishes will be crowd pleasers, and quick to make!

Sausage Pineapple Bites
This might be the easiest appetizer next to store bought dips and chips. Sausage, pineapple chunks and toothpicks are all you need to wow guests with a spicy sweet bite!

Classic Cheese Ball
Make your guests nostalgic with this crowd-pleasing cheese ball. With a little work and a pretty plate, this appetizer won't take long to disappear.

Apple Pie Bites
If you are a fan of something sweet, this twist on dessert will make you happy. Keeping it simple with just crescent rolls, apple slices, pecans and a few spices. Guaranteed to make any sweet tooth satisfied. 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more appetizer suggestions.

home for the holidays

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We've put together some of the best things you can do to welcome your guests during the holiday season...and all year round! Check out this list of other essentials.

Wi-Fi Password Art
Because it's the 21st century, everyone will want to be on your Wi-Fi while visiting. Don't make them ask for the password, display it in their room for easy access.

Toiletry Essentials Basket
Without a doubt, someone will forget something essential while packing for their stay. Make it easy and have a basket in the bathroom with extras; toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, shampoos, conditioners, etc. Your guests will thank you!

Extra Blankets
Everyone has different comfort zones when sleeping. Have plenty of extra blankets for guests to choose from while staying with you. Place them in a decorative basket to make them easy to find. 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more ideas on making your guests feel warm and welcome.

no carve pumpkins!

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Ever been faced with carving a pumpkin on Halloween while juggling costumes, dinner, and the doorbell already ringing? Why not try one of these easy fun ideas that can be done way ahead of time? We have compiled another list of no-carve pumpkins that are as cute (or even cuter) than their chopped up cousins. 

Melted Crayon Pumpkin
Although this may sound weird, a melted crayon pumpkin is a cathartic way to create very pretty pumpkins! All you'll need is crayons, a blow dryer and some time. 

Painted Donut Pumpkin
If you want to get a little more creative, making your pumpkin into a delicious donut pumpkin is an unexpected and whimsical idea! 

Push Pin Pumpkin
Probably the easiest and fastest no carve pumpkin is the push pin pumpkin! Just get some simple pushpins (colored or not) and make some fun designs in your pumpkin. Done! 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more no-carve pumpkin fun.

indoor plant love

Whether you have a black thumb or the greenest thumb of all, anyone can enjoy indoor plants. Here we have put together a few tips and ideas about plants your skills can handle! 

Succulents
Only the most trendy plant type of them all, it is true that succulents are very difficult to kill. And with so many varieties to choose from, everyone can find a type that they love! Here is a great guide on taking care of succulents. 

Snake Plant
For those who want a larger plant, but just as easy to take care of, I introduce the Snake Plant. It is on every list of hard-to-kill indoor plants and for good reason! This pretty plant looks good in every room and needs just a little light and water. For other hard-to-kill plants, here is a great list.  

Orchids
Probably known as the scariest and hardest plant to keep alive, I am here to bust that stereotype! Orchids have a way of staying alive and surprising you with new buds. All they really need is a few ice cubes once a week! They are beautiful and add sophistication to any room. Here is a guide to keep yours happy! 


Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more indoor plant guidance and inspiration.

pretty patios

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Patio, deck, porch: whatever you have, you should enjoy it! No matter the size, make the most of it with fun, cozy and inviting pieces to maximize your quality down time. The end of summer is a great time to find killer deals on outdoor furniture and accessories.

Seating
Whether you have enough room for 2 people for 20, you should have comfortable seating to relax and engage in conversation. Here are 2 of many options to get started:
Buy or DIY 

Entertainment
Once your seating is set, bring on the activities for entertaining friends or quality family time. Bring your mixology skills outside, play games or even set up an outdoor movie viewing. These fun DIY projects will get you rolling:
DIY Beverage Center
Giant Jenga
Movie Screen & Projector

Decor
Pick items that mean summer to you! Bright colors? Fun patterns? Neutral all around? What about a bohemian flair? There are great finds on Target, Wayfair, Walmart, Home Depot, At Home and more! 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more outdoor living inspiration.

choosing countertops

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Does your kitchen need a face-lift? New countertops might be the perfect way to update your space without a full reno. There are so many countertop choices available now, here’s some help in deciding which one is right for you.

Your Look
Browse online and in magazines to figure out what look you are going for. Do you like the clean classic look of marble? The rustic and industrial look of concrete? The high-contrast look of a simple black granite on white cabinets? Once you have a vision, check out local big-box retailers, or better yet, a countertop specialist to start narrowing your choices down. Many will even let you bring a sample home to make sure it’s the perfect fit for your space.

Practicality
Say you love the look of marble, but you have three kids and a love of food coloring. Never fear! Alternatives are here! Keep in mind that granite is a porous natural material, so it can absorb stains, especially the lighter colored options. Quartz is quickly becoming the countertop of choice for its near indestructibly and now huge variety. There are great looking (and budget-friendly) laminate options out there too.

Be Adventurous 
Although the most popular material out there is granite, do you really want to be like everyone else? Be adventurous and look into some interesting counters. Materials like: Concrete Butcher BlockStainless Steel and Soapstone are great options that will make your kitchen anything but blah.

In the end, choose what you love and will want to look at every day. Know that there are many alternatives to expensive materials. Try something different and fun! 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more countertop inspiration.

easy spring flower arrangements

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Making beautiful flower arrangements can seem intimidating and expensive, but it doesn't have to be! We have laid out simple idea of how to make any grocery store flowers look amazing - with time to practice before Mother’s Day on May 14th.

Flowers That Are Friends
Choose two or three types of flowers that really compliment one another. Like:
-Hydrangias and roses
-Sunflowers and wax flowers
-Ranunculus and dianthus (those green puffy balls)

Monochrome Colors 
One way to look super contemporary is to choose multiple types of flowers that are all the same color, or very close. Do an entire white arrangement for a clean look, a nice pink for a warm arrangement or a fun bright orange for guaranteed smiles.

Separate Groups
Whether you choose to have all one color or a variety of flowers, making multiple small arrangements in different vases makes a really fun and eclectic look. Just make sure you keep the number of vases odd (3, 5, or 7!) 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more room inspiration.

mason jar madness! 

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From storage to lights, weddings to salad containers, Mason Jars have been creeping into almost every aspect of our lives. We wanted to celebrate the Mason Jar and bring you a plethora of ideas for how to use the jars you have at home...or maybe just an excuse to buy more! Here are a few quick projects for every level of DIYer:

Beginner
Mason Jar salt container 
-All you need is a Morton Salt container, scissors, and a Mason Jar!

Intermediate
Mason Jar herb garden
-The cutest way to bring an herb garden to your kitchen and always have fresh ingredients within arm’s reach. 

Advanced
Mason Jar vanity light
-Those with a true love of Mason Jars, and some serious DIY skills, can make this adorable addition to any bathroom. 

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more room inspiration.

3 shades of gray

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Looking for a quick and relatively inexpensive way to refresh a space? Get the biggest bang for your buck with paint! We wanted to share our three all-time favorite paint colors that we find ourselves using over and over again—for listings and for our own homes. These colors are amazing in every room of the house. These are all Benjamin Moore colors, but most any paint store has the codes and can mix for you.

Revere Pewter
Benjamin Moore
HC-172
We love this shade paired with off-white or almond trim to help the trim pop instead of looking bland. 

Edgecomb Grey
Benjamin Moore
HC-173
Bring on the greige! This color is much lighter and brighter on walls than you would think, one of the best chameleon colors for throughout the house.

Grey Owl
OC-52
We usually do a 50% strength for this paint color, which brightens up the nice blue-green undertones. It’s perfect for houses that have aged hardwoods that are a little on the orange side.

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more room inspiration.

foodie smoothies

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I love that smoothies are a quick way to get a fruit and veggie boost in the morning, but often get bored of the typical fruit plus ice and milk combo. These three recipes have some unexpected ingredients that really take your everyday smoothie to a new level. Hope you like them as much as I do!  ~ Martha

Peach ginger smoothie
Frozen peaches
Handful spinach
1/4 tsp bottled grated ginger
Your favorite milk
1 scoop protein powder or 1/2 cup greek yogurt

Strawberry basil smoothie
Frozen strawberries
4-5 fresh basil leaves
2 TBSP bottled key lime juice 
Your favorite milk
1 scoop protein powder or 1/2 cup greek yogurt

Blueberry muffin smoothie
1/2 frozen banana
Frozen blueberries
Lemon zest
1/4 cup raw oats
Your favorite milk
1/4 cup vanilla greek yogurt
Ice

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for more smoothie inspiration.

holiday card displays

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This time of year our mailboxes tend to be full of wonderful holiday cards, and by next week we are always struggling on how and where to display them all. We hope the DIY article on card displays is fun and helps you enjoy all of the faces of those you love

Pick your space 
Whether you have a whole wall, the side of your refrigerator, the back of a door or a cabinet to hang your cards, you will need some space to display your array (hehe).

Pick your craft tolerance
Although making a display can be done by any novice crafter, it is good to know your tolerance when choosing what style to go with. Glitter a no go? Make sure to pick up washi tape instead of glittery ribbon. Don't have a hot glue gun? Thats ok, create something that Scotch tape can hold up. 

Pick up some supplies and get to it!
Some of you might have these supplies lying around the house. Holiday ribbon and a few clothespins is all you need to create a simple display. But if you want to get more creative, here are some alternative options:
-Washi tape
-Small ornaments 
-Craft paper
-Battery powered fairy lights

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for some fun and easy display inspiration.

thanksgiving centerpieces

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Want to avoid a #pinterestfail on your Thanksgiving table this year? A fun fresh centerpiece doesn't have to be hard or over-the-top, promise! Follow these three simple steps to put something together before the big day:

Pick your vessel(s) 
Vases, mason jars, pumpkins, oh my! Decide on the base for your decor and don't forget to think about scale. If your containers are smaller, you may need several to pull the table together. Remember that odd numbers look best, so go with 1, 3 or 5 to please all the eyes at the table.

Pick your “filling”
Candles or flowers are always a hit, but you can also add other fun seasonal touches to create something extra special. My mom loves to do cranberries and some other cute ideas include nuts, corn, leaves, pinecones, and even small gourds. When it doubt, head outside and see what is lying in your yard :-)

Pick your accent
This step is optional, but if you are feeling adventurous, pick up some twine or burlap to add a fun rustic touch to your centerpiece. Ribbon can be fun too!

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for some fun and easy centerpiece inspiration.

no-carve pumpkins

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Ever found yourself on Halloween night with the sinking feeling that you’ve forgotten something and come to realize it was to actually carve your pumpkins for the big night? Or maybe you managed to carve them a week or two in advance only to find that on the big night you have a pile of decomposing mush on your doorstep. Oh, must just be me :-) Of course, perfectly carving the night before would be ideal but real life takes over sometimes! Enter no-carve pumpkin decorating. They are super cute and there are so many options that can be done as early (or late) as you want with way less clean up. Here’s your essential no-carve roundup:

Think Mr. Potato Head
Channel your inner child and just stick things from around the house on your pumpkin! A pacifier with some sharpie eyes makes an adorable baby or use candy corn, buttons, or even felt cutouts to make fun patterns. Grab the hot glue gun and let your imagination run wild - the funnier the better.

Wrap it Up
Wrap a pumpkin? Yep! Try ribbon strips from top to bottom or tulle around the whole thing, twine to make a fun spiderweb, or gauze for an adorable pumpkin mummy. Fast, fabulous, and the best part - no mess!

Paint Perfect
If you are feeling a bit more adventurous get out the white glue and paint! Polk-a-dots, stripes, or just paint the whole thing! We love the idea of chalkboard paint for a spooky option and then using glue to write your family monogram (or cute message) and sprinkling it with glitter. What a fun OUTDOOR activity for October!

Visit this issue’s Pinterest board for ideas, inspiration and tips.