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Speedy Ideas for Decking the Halls Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

No time for Christmas decorating? Last-minute party prep? Check out these speedy ideas for decking your halls in style courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals.

Double Duty Ornaments

xmas ornamentsCreate a splashy showcase for your favorite Christmas ornaments by perching them atop assorted candlesticks. Unify the display by using ornaments with a similar color palette and candlesticks that are similar in color and shape. (Note: Keep fragile ornaments stable by using museum wax or Tacky Wax (that can be found at most craft stores) to anchor them on to the candlesticks.)

Seasonal Fashionxmas fashion

Give an ordinary pillow a touch of Christmas style with holiday-theme silk scarves. Wrap scarves around a pillow to resemble a package, and tie ends together in a pretty bow. Hand stitch the bow to the pillow to secure if desired. Use red satin ribbon to tie large red jingle bells to the center of the bow. Knot the ribbon ends and trim with scissors.

Christmas Ephemera

xmas ephemeraDress up a tabletop in a snap by arranging vintage Christmas ephemera, such as cards and gift tags, in a tray along with a few Christmas accessories. Throughout the season, add this year’s holiday greetings to the display as they arrive in the  mail.

Dressed for the Holidaysxmas chandelier

Add Christmas sparkle to a room by suspending glass or silver ornaments from a chandelier. You can use a variety of ribbons or a single type of ribbon to unify the display.

Instant Glamour

xmas glamourAdd some bling to a plain Christmas stocking  by pinning an antique brooch to the cuff. Create the same look by adding a small ornament or jingle bell.

Curtain Callxmas curtain

For a seasonal window treatment, drape strands of beaded garland over a curtain rod, securing them with tape on the back. Wire elegant glass ornaments to the garland, and hot-glue sprigs of greenery to the ornament tops.

Take a Message

xmas messageWrite a holiday greeting on a mirror with temporary window paint (available at craft stores). Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure the paint can be removed after the season.

Silver Beads Sparkling in Candlelightxmas candle bowl

Glistening silver balls and beads reflect the golden glow of candlelight in a sophisticated centerpiece. Fill a bowl with shiny ornaments, then pack in white and ivory candles of various sizes. Drizzle the arrangement with silver beads, allowing some to flow over the edges of the bowl.

Let Your Spirit Bloom

xmas bloomPick up a florist’s foam ball cover by inserting red carnation blooms all over it. This adds elegance and fragrance to your display. Place this atop a raised platter and tie a bow over it with silver ribbon.

Holiday in the Hillsxmas village

Skip the flammable cotton snow and use inverted bowls to lend a little Alpine elevation to your Christmas village. A swag of greenery creates a perfect border to showcase the scene.

Planting Some Holiday Spirit

xmas houseplantsHouseplants look more festive with a layer of moss over the dirt and a sprinkling of holiday ornaments. Hot-glue the ornaments to the moss to ensure they don’t roll away.

Natural Lightxmas natural

Nestle soft-colored candles in a bed of mixed nuts and tiny red ornaments or cranberries set on a tray for easy ambiance.

Simple Stripes

xmas candyStuff iconic candy canes into a decorative bowl or flowerpot, and add red-and-white ribbon for a coordinated touch.

Dressed Up Doorknobxmas doorknob

Tie a bit of velvet and a sprig of holly onto a doorknob for a fun holiday touch. Satin ribbon streamers tipped with little sleigh bells from a craft store would look great, too.

Fast and Simple Centerpiece

xmas punchTie a large festive ribbon around a punch bowl and surround it with a fresh pine wreath to create a quick, easy, and elegant centerpiece.

Powder-Room Panachexmas bath

Don’t neglect the bathroom when decorating for the holidays. Candles, vintage ornaments, and a beaded garland dress up the space for your guests.

Stocking Options

xmas stockingNo fireplace? Hang stockings from stair railings, doorknobs, bookshelves, or the backs of chairs. Until the big day arrives, stuff the bottom with a roll  of tissue or bubble wrap, then nestle a tiny gift, candy cane, and greenery into the top.

Pine-cone Vasexmas pine

Pine-cones have a natural appeal, so show them off in clear vases or decorative bowls. Add a handful of colored ornaments for a bit of color, and tie a sheer ribbon around the center of the container.

Holiday on Ice

xmas iceA gathering of friends is cause for celebration. Chill sparkling wine on a bed of frozen cranberries.  Star-shaped ice cubes add extra twinkle.

Mitten Bagsxmas mittens

If you want to send party guests home with a few goodies, skip the conventional paper gift bag for something more creative, such as fuzzy mittens, which also make a nice table display for your party.

If you have any tried and true, fast and easy ideas for holiday decorating, please share them with us! We’d love to pass along your ideas!

Wishing joy and happiness to all in this season of giving and sharing.

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Thoughtful Ways to Prep Your Home for Company Courtesy of Pensacola Real Estate Professionals

With the holiday season in full swing; we, at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals, thought it might help if  we shared with you some thoughtful ways to prep your home for company.guest bedroom 1

With the addition of a few niceties, your spare bedroom will be as inviting to visitors as a fine hotel room. Set out essentials such as towels and an alarm clock, then provide little luxuries as well: bottles of water, foil-wrapped chocolates, a a few cut blooms in a vase.

Towels with a Special Touch

Keep sets of guest towels together, bound with twill tape or ribbon. When visitors arrive, just transfer a stack from linen closet to guest bedroom. Provide small toiletries, such as travel sizes of shampoo, conditioners, soaps, moisturizers, mouthwash, toothpaste, dental floss and toothbrushes; as well as, cotton balls, cotton swabs and tissues.guest towels 1
guest bedroom 5

Chilled Bottle Service

Give your overnight guests the five-star treatment by setting chilled spring water on their nightstand. Choose a vessel, such as a vase or a large julep cup, that is deep enough to accommodate a small bottle and ice. Place a saucer underneath to collect the condensation and protect the surface of the table.

Decorate Sparingly

In a strange room, comfort and space are more soothing than a clutter of unfamiliar things. On a bedside table, place a single flower bloom in a simple glass, a nice clock, and a selection of books suited to your guests’ tastes.

Sitting Area

guest bedroom 2Space permitting, set up a comfortable chair or settee with a pillow and throw, an adjacent table, and a good adjustable-brightness lamp in the room your guests will be staying in while they are visiting. Assemble a small personal library, including some magazines and a daily newspaper (useful for local listings like concerts). A radio for morning news and quiet evening listening is a thoughtful addition; you might also include a portable CD player with a selection of music.

Closets and Drawers

Make sure there is adequate closet and drawer space. Supply a variety of hangers — at least a dozen good wooden or metal ones — that will hold trousers and jackets, flimsy dresses, and heavy coats. And make certain there is a full-length mirror.

Outfit the Bed

Make up a double bed with four ample sleeping pillows — two medium or firm, and two soft — as well as two smaller pillows to prop up the head when reading. Use cotton or linen sheets, starched and ironed for hotel crispness. Provide both light and heavy blankets, as well as lightweight throw for afternoon naps.guest bedroom 3

Desk Supplies

guest bedroom 4Provide a small desk  or a cleared tabletop, and stock it with pens and paper, note cards, envelopes and stamps. Compile a list of some favorite local places — restaurants, cafes, museums, antiques, shops, movie theaters — and provide timetables, if appropriate, for buses, ferries, or trains. A telephone in the room is a convenience, but not a necessity.

Your guests will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will cherish the memories and the time they spent with you.

Post some ideas you have on how to make house guests feel at home. Speaking of homes, Timberland Contractors, LLC is busy constructing new homes in Cottonwood, Plantation Woods and Covington Woods, just to name a few subdivisions. Call me at 850-393-7106, if I can help get you into a new home in 2014!

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Pensacola Real Estate Professionals Favorite Christmas Trees

Pensacola Real Estate Professionals is delighted to offer some fresh ideas for decorating the family Christmas tree.

metallic sparkler christmas-treeMetallic Sparkler

Create an opulent feel without overwhelming the space by decorating your Christmas tree with a limited color scheme of silver, gold and bronze.simply elegant Christmas tree

Simply Elegant

The plan is simple: strands of tiny white lights, glass icicles, and medium-to large-size ornaments in shades of gold and cream.

cascading ribbon treeCascading Ribbon Tree

Decorate your Christmas tree with long, cascading tendrils of colorful ribbon, rickrack, and pom-pom fringe. Search the remnants section of a fabric-and-trim store for good deals on pieces that are at the end of a roll or odd-sized, and collect throughout the year. Attach ribbon directly to an embroidery hoop and then simply slide over the top of your tree.refined rustic tree

Refined Rustic

Use warm colors and nubby textures to make a rustic tree. Burlap unifies the look with homespun stockings on your fireplace mantel, an oversize bow topping the tree, and gifts wrapped in woven material. Cool mercury glass ornaments add a touch of shimmer.

Modern Glamour

modern glamour treeA petite white fir tree, heavily flocked at the tree lot, makes a big statement in a small room. Flocked trees may be a retro thought but look thoroughly modern when paired with a crisp white-on-white color scheme. Bursts of peacock blue and sea-foam green pop against the clean backdrop, and a sculptural weathered urn makes a perfect base.

Colorful Classiccolorful classic tree

A Fraser fir, with its symmetrical shape, coordinates nicely with classical architecture. A Southern magnolia wreath hanging on a nearby window by strips of fabric used elsewhere in the room, and red and gold ornaments play up a traditional bells and holly theme. Strands of large, clear glass bulbs usually used to light a patio, give this tree and ethereal glow at night.

Classic Red and Silver

classic red and silver treeThe common color of old and new silver ornaments makes this tree elegant; different shapes and sheens make it interesting. Red beads mimic cranberries without the mess. Vintage-look white bulbs cast a calming glow. A Fraser fir holds lots of ornaments.

Colorful Tabletop Displaycolorful tabletop display tree

If you are tight on space, try a tabletop tree planted in a sculptural garden urn. Dripping with antique ornaments and beaded garland, it’s a festive way to display your treasures.

Organic and Shimmery

organic-shimmery-treeSkip the ubiquitous metal tree stand, and give your tree a unique base by anchoring it in a large container. Adjust the vessels to your style: fancy urns for an elegant look and rustic baskets for a casual one.

Beachy Casualbeachy-casual-tree

Sand dollars, sea stars, and shells make ideal ornaments, since we live by the coast. Collect them all summer to bring a warm smile to the holidays.

Twinkling Delight

twinkling delight treeFor the ultimate twinkling tree, dress each branch with white lights. It can be tedious, but the glow is worth it. Minimal ornaments in a limited color scheme show off the tree.

Colorful and Coastalcolorful and coastal tree

Shades of aqua, turquoise, and white create a crisp, festive holiday vibe. Glass pinecone ornaments reflect the area’s indigenous conifers and bring a traditional holiday motif to the tree. Extend the unconventional color scheme to the giftwrap paper you use under the tree to carry through the fresh look.

Winter Wonderland

winter wonderland treeUse silver and gold to decorate the tree, basically neutral, but with a little bling. Glittered ornaments and mercury glass balls lend a glimmering, glamorous feeling. Skip the tree skirt for a clean and simple look , and to let the lower limbs of the tree brush the floor. Place packages around the outside of the tree to make it look larger.

Nostalgic Red and Goldnostalgic red and gold tree

Nothing is more traditional than a red and green holiday palette. Give it a twist by using only red and gold ornaments on the tree, so that the pine needles, gift ribbons, and threads of green in a tartan blanket tossed on a sofa nearby are the only green elements. This look proves that a nostalgic color scheme can be updated for a fresh and modern look.

Green and Gold Tabletop Tree

green and gold tabletop-christmas-treeIf you have small children, we suggest a small, tabletop tree to keep fragile ornaments and alluring packages out of reach. A wide burlap ribbon will look pretty festooning this tree, cascading down the branches with casual elegance.

Fashionable Fresh Greensfashionable fresh greens tree

The trick to keep this graphic look punchy, and not ho-hum, is choosing the right shade of green. A crisp apple hue pops perfectly — anything darker or lighter would fade into the tree. To keep the holiday look fresh and bright, choose all-white ornaments for their modern feel and bold contrast. A playful, paper lantern is a cute tree topper, and trailing garland and ribbons can echo the same color palette.

Blue Christmas

blue-christmas treeMany of us love to decorate with blue, so why not incorporate it into a holiday palette? Offset the rich colors with plenty of sparkle. Pile on silver and glass ornaments, disco ball-esque garlands and a quirky topper.

Whimsical Snow White Treewhimsical snow white tree

Let your Christmas tree reflect or carry through a white-wall color palette. Find a tree that is white or looks like it has been dusted with snow. Use candy-colored ornaments and garlands that look like jewelry. In lieu of a traditional skirt or stand, place the tree in a sculptured garden urn.

Golden Glow

golden glow treeCompliment a colorful living room with an all-gold tree. Pair antique ornaments with modern ones for a more “collected” and less “designed” look.

Whatever way you choose to decorate the family Christmas tree, remember to have fun and rejoice for the gifts received, not just at Christmas, but everyday.

If I can help you find a new home for the holidays, or if you would like to start the new year in a new home, please contact me here or directly at 850-393-7106.

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Pensacola Real Estate Professionals’ Checklist to Plot a Path to Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays

With all you have to do before the holidays arrive, it’s easy to leave things until the last minute. But why not get an early start on your holiday list this year. With a little planning and only an hour or two each week, your holiday can come off without a hitch.holiday sleigh ride 2

1. Holiday Cards

Put on holiday music, light a scented seasonal candle, light the fireplace and settle in the same time every week to work on your cards. Assess how many you need by making a list of names and addresses of friends and family, business associates and people you need to add on your kids’ behalf – like teachers, troop leaders and coaches. If you’re sending photo cards, start sorting through photos to find the one you want to share.

holiday travel 12. Travel Plans

If you’re traveling this holiday season, research hotels, flights and rental cars on booking, bid or auction sites and look into package deals. if you’re flying, travel early or late in the day. If you’re driving, make an appointment to have your car tuned. Put together an emergency kit for your car, too. It can be a lifesaver!

3. Plan Your Holiday Meals

Are you having a holiday open house? Hosting a dinner? Start pouring over your cookbooks to plan your menus – and don’t forget to hit websites for great recipes. A site like Recipe Quantity Calculator can help you figure out the new measurements you need when doubling or tripling recipes.

4. Food Shopping

You can shop early for canned goods, dry goods and frozen foods. Make sure to clear some room in your cabinets, pantry and freezer first. Double-check to make sure you have baking and cooking basics like baking powder and baking soda, salt and pepper, vanilla, sugar, flour, chicken stock, olive oil and vinegar.

5. Holiday Cookies

If your holiday planning includes gifting baked goods, Ziploc Brand Containers are ideal for packaging them. They are great for freezing cookie dough until it’s ready for baking and for bringing home cookies from a swap and keeping them fresh. christmas cookies 1They’re also inexpensive enough to fill and give away as gifts. Another great gift idea is to package the dry ingredients of your favorite cookie in a new Ziploc VersaGlass Container along with cooking instructions – your friends will love the cookies and the tempered glass container.

6. Polish the Silver

If you store it correctly, you can polish your silver now, and it will be tarnish-free when it’s time to set the table. Apply a good liquid cream or paste polish with a 100 percent cotton cloth, and follow your previous polishing pattern. (It’s usually circular or lengthwise.) Rinse under warm water and dry with another soft cotton cloth. (Air drying can leave corroding water droplets.) Wrap silver in tarnish-inhibiting flannel bags, and store it away from heat and light.

7. Wash and Iron Table Linens

Unfold your holiday linens and examine them thoroughly. Apply a stain removing product on any stains and then launder. Remove linens from the dryer while they’re still damp (this makes ironing much easier). Keep them wrinkle-free until it’s time to set the table by folding them once, gently, and rolling them onto a cardboard wrapping-paper tube or by hanging them over a padded hanger.

8. Gift Wrap Supplies

Check to see what you have left over from last year so you can build on your current supplies. Cut small samples of each paper and attach them to the top of a shopping list to make it easier to pick matching ribbons and bows.holiday gift wrap

9. Guest Room

If you’re putting up friends and family this holiday season, make them feel welcome. Since guest rooms tend to accumulate clutter, make a list of what’s been stored in there that needs to find a proper home. Stock up on cleaning supplies to use once your guest room has been cleared. Multi-surface and extended-time cleaning products are great to have on hand.

7 Day Thanksgiving Checklist:

thanksgiving 1

7 days before the Thanksgiving festivities begin, break out this checklist to make sure you’re set up for success!

The Week Before:

Clean out your refrigerator: Make room for Thanksgiving food with a quick cleaning.

Wash and iron tablecloths: Adorn your dining room table with freshly washed linens. Use laundry beads and dryer sheets for a fresh scent that lasts.thanksgiving dining

Organize serving platters: Label them with names of the dishes to be served on them.

2 Days Before:

Thaw pre-made dishes: Transfer quick breads and pies from the freezer to the refrigerator.

Clean your home: Start with rooms guests will see before moving upstairs.

Check the small details: Make sure you don’t miss the big game or parade by making sure your remotes have fresh batteries.

The Day Before:

thanksgiving side dishesAssemble side dishes: Make stuffing and casseroles, then cover and refrigerate until baking tomorrow.

Set the Table: Welcome in the holiday season by setting out holiday decorations.

On Thanksgiving:

Prepare the Meal: Cook the turkey, whip cream for pies and warm the side dishes.

Sit back and enjoy a memorable meal: Enjoy time with the ones you love.

From all of us at Pensacola Real Estate Professionals, to all of you, We Wish you A Very Happy Thanksgiving and a Joyous Holiday Season!

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