Easy Tips and Menu for Outdoor Entertaining

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Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, bridal shower, graduation or simply inviting friends over to revel in the good weather, the change in seasons offers a great excuse to enjoy a meal outdoors and spend time with family and friends. Christopher Burton Homes, Melbourne’s premier custom home builder, would like to suggest a few tips to help you simplify, so you can make the most of your good weather soiree.

* Keep it simple. Plan a streamlined, make-ahead menu: a salad of fresh greens or in-season fruit; grilled burgers, like Mirassou Winery’s recipe for Sunset Sliders; and dessert, such as fresh fruit with a scoop of ice cream.

* Make the most of the season. Source your ingredients locally – the food will be fresher, and you’ll have an instant conversation starter. Your fruit might be from the orchard down the street, your greens from a local farm and your beef from a regional ranch.

* Cater to all tastes by offering a white wine like chardonnay, a red wine like Mirassou’s Sunset Red, as well as non-alcoholic beverages, such as lemonade or iced tea.

* Take your decorating cues from nature by featuring whatever is blooming in your backyard. Snip flowers, herbs or short leafy branches and place in mason jars or small vases, alongside tea lights.

* Relax. The best get-togethers are when you are relaxed and visiting with your guests, rather than harried and trying to get food on the table.

David Mirassou, wine expert and sixth generation of America’s oldest winemaking family, believes the key to hosting a truly enjoyable gathering takes equal parts planning and relaxing.

“I’ve been to events where the hosts are so busy creating the perfect meal that they don’t get to fully enjoy their guests,” says Mirassou. “The most memorable times are when everyone is relaxed, enjoying a glass of wine, good food, a beautiful sunset and each other.”

By simplifying, your get-together will be stress-free, delicious and enjoyable – after all, a relaxed host makes for happy guests.

For more recipes, visit www.mirassou.com/recipes.

Mirassou Sunset Sliders

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 6 to 8 minutes

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:
1 pound lean ground beef (preferably grass fed)
1/2 cup finely chopped baby bella mushrooms
1/4 cup minced shallots or red onion
1/4 cup Mirassou Sunset Red
1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 cup shredded aged Gouda cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste
8 brioche, ciabatta or other small slider rolls
8 thin Roma tomato slices
4 strips cooked cherry wood or apple wood smoked bacon, broken into quarters
Baby arugula leaves

Using your hands, mix beef, mushrooms, shallots, wine, rosemary, Dijon and salt in a medium bowl. Shape into 8 very flat patties. Grill, broil or pan fry for 3 minutes. Turn and top with cheese; cook for 2 minutes more. Serve on lightly toasted rolls with tomato, bacon and arugula.

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Washer and Dryer Safety

Your house is your most valuable asset. You work hard to make it your own leaving your signature touch on every part of it. It is the place where lifetime memories are made. Where laughter and tears are shared. Simply put, your house is more than just a dwelling space. It is your home, your sanctuary.

Burton Homes in Melbourne, FL knows this well. We specialize in creating Melbourne Fl custom homes that enhance your quality of life and provide you with the opportunity to create those lasting memories.

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Creative Ways to Get Outdoors this Summer

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The Brevard County school year has ended and Christopher Burton Homes hopes your family is enjoying the Summer with your families.  Now that Summer is here, kids are more excited than ever to get outside and play. However, as the days grow longer and summer boredom sets in, it’s easy to become uninspired during playtime and it’s tempting for families to turn to DVDs and video games as entertainment.

Here are a few creative ways to inspire families to put down the devices and get outdoors in this summer:

Make your own water park

Keep your family cool and refreshed while staying active by creating a do-it-yourself water park in your own yard. Simply setting up a sprinkler and putting on a swimsuit turns every game into a water game – water freeze tag, water volleyball or even water jump rope.

Compete in a play challenge

Bring a little friendly competition into your family by starting a play challenge this summer. Let’s Play, a community partnership led by Dr Pepper Snapple to help get kids and families get active and make play a daily priority, offers a Let’s Play pledge at LetsPlay.com. Take the pledge to play a certain number of minutes each week and then compete to see who plays the most to help the family reach its goal. Create a chart to track each family member’s progress, and the person who wins gets to choose a fun activity for the whole family to participate in. Let’s Play also offers a catalogue of play ideas organized by age, group size and season to keep your family inspired.

Host a donate-to-play field day

Gather your neighbors or kids’ play group and organize a summer field day. Set up stations with classic games like a potato sack relay race, water balloon toss and three-legged race. Parents can man the stations or compete alongside their kids. Instead of an entrance fee, ask participants to contribute a monetary donation to a non-profit that promotes play. For example, Good Sports is an organization that helps to lay the foundation for healthy, active lifestyles by providing athletic equipment, footwear and apparel to disadvantaged young people nationwide. There’s nothing better than getting active and giving back while doing so.

Christopher Burton Homes, premier Brevard County Builder, in Melbourne, FL encourages family time together.  Whether it’s indoors or outdoors, in Melbourne, FL or outside the area, always take the time to be with your family and stay active!

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Getting Your Home Sold

Selling your existing home can add a lot of stress to your life. Deciding on a real estate agent, fielding potential buyers, keeping things neat and tidy, and getting ready to close the door on your old home can be exhausting. Home building in Melbourne, Florida always poses a challenge.

But, did you know there are several simple fixes you can do on your own to help get your home sold faster? In May alone the sale of existing homes was up 4.9 % from the previous month making this the largest gain since August of 2011.

These transactions include single-family homes, co-ops, and condos according to the National Association of Realtors. If you have been considering putting your existing home on the market now may be a great time. Let’s take a look at some things you can do to get your home sold.

Get Rid of the Clutter

Many prospective home buyers go straight to the closets to see how much storage a home has. If you have lots of belongings scattered about this can give the appearance that your home does not have enough space. Try boxing up a large portion of you clothing and shoes. This can give the appearance of adequate space and alleviate storage concerns.

Create a Neutral Space

When someone comes to view your home they want to envision their belongings in your space. So take down family photos, remove your personal items, and make a space buyers can see themselves in.

Don’t Over Spend on Upgrades

When home sellers are in a rush to put their homes on the market sometimes they mistakenly believe that everything has to be brand spanking new. However, costly upgrades may not be the best return on your investments.

Rather than going crazy trying to get the best and brightest focus your attention on fresh paint, new knobs, hinges, and door handles. Make sure your grout is clean. Rather than a new toilet perhaps a new seat and cover are all you really need. Simple, relatively small, changes can add so much to your home and you don’t have to break the bank doing them.

Do Spend on the Kitchen

It could be said that the kitchen is the most important room in your home when it comes to selling. If you need to upgrade it would be wise to spend the money there but don’t go too crazy. Access the kitchens within your neighborhood or those of recently sold comparable homes. If you spend too much you may price yourself out of your target market and lose the money you invested on upgrades.

Let the Sunshine In

Open your curtains and let the light in. Light can make any room appear larger and more open so keep that in mind when staging your home for buyers.

Keep Your Home Ready to Show

This one can be a pain. Because you never know when you may receive a call from an agent it is best to keep your home ready for viewings at all times. You’ve already done all the hard work of de-cluttering your closets and putting away personal items so just be sure to stay on top of it.

Every person that walks through your door could be the one that eventually becomes its new owner. Sometimes a quick glance is all a buyer needs to decide whether or not they want to see more.

Hurricane Season Checklist

The sweltering days of summer are upon us here in sunny Florida. Life on the Space Coast is usually a striking mix of bright blue skies and coastal breezes. Long days of sunshine coupled with afternoon showers are the new regular. But the start of summer also kicks off hurricane season.

The time of year when paradise is threatened by severe weather. Hurricane season officially began on June 1 and runs until November 30. These 6 months of the year bring with them the threat of calamitous winds and destructive rains. While you cannot control Mother Nature you can be as prepared as possible for what she may bring.

Your Melbourne, Florida home builder is committed to helping you build the home of your dreams. We are also devoted to providing you with all the information you need to keep it that way no matter what storms may come.

First and foremost have a plan.  Know what you and your family are going to do in the event of a hurricane. Awareness of evacuation routes and shelters, having the proper provisions, and storage for important documents before disaster strikes will hopefully take some of the guesswork and planning out of the event. Hurricanes are stressful enough without having to rush and put something together last minute.

Be sure that you are aware of your county’s evacuation routes. Should the need to evacuate arise you should know the best exit route for you and your family. You may not have the time (or power) to check last minute.

Brevard County Florida is divided into 8 predetermined zones and each has a specific evacuation route. To find out what your zone’s preferred route is refer to the Brevard County website.

 

It also helps to know beforehand where you will be headed after evacuating. Detailed maps will point you in the right direction. Keeping an open line of communication with out of town family members or friends will assist you in this.

Should you find that you absolutely cannot leave there are 14 designated primary shelters. This information can be accessed through the county’s official website as well.

Now that you know how to get out or where to find appropriate shelter let’s discuss packing your hurricane preparedness kit.  Experts recommend having at least 1 gallon of water for every member of your family for approximately 7 to 10 days.

You also need a supply of non-perishable food items (enough to last you at least 3 days), non-electric cooking tools, and any fuel you may need to run them, batteries, flashlights, extra blankets, toiletries, cash, medical kit, and a supply of any medications you or any family members take.

Don’t forget provisions you may need for pets during this time. Of course there are many more things you can have to assist you in case of severe weather but having these essentials is a great start.

Homes can be destroyed during hurricanes and if you keep important documents there you will need to take them with you should you choose to leave. If you are sentimental about photographs it may be a good idea to get duplicates made and keep them in a water safe container.

You may want to pack family heirlooms, jewelry, special mementos, and other items important to your family. Plastic storage bins are a good idea for transporting items that cannot tolerate water but remember; if you are leaving home space is key.

No one wants to face the possibility of losing everything because of hurricanes. However, being prepared helps ease the fear. Stay informed and know where to turn in case of dangerous weather.  Links to helpful sites are listed below. Check them out and get prepared.

Green Cleaning

Keeping your home clean and beautiful is a priority. It feels like most days we are all trying to find ways to maximize our time and budgets and with all the cleaning products on the market that can be tough.

Not to mention, most over the counter cleaning products are full of harsh chemicals that can be toxic and are definitely not earth friendly.  Did you know that you probably already have some of nature’s best germ fighting ingredients in your pantry? Your Melbourne Fl home builder wants you to share tips on green cleaning.

That’s right, all you need to keep your home fresh and immaculate is already waiting for you in the cupboard.  Good ole white vinegar, baking soda, and lemons can be your best friends when it comes disinfecting your home.   With these simple ingredients and a few extra minutes you can make your own cleaning agents for pennies on the dollar.

Most of us have white vinegar around the house and if you don’t a gallon of this miracle agent only costs about 18 dollars.  That’s way more than you will probably need.  According to the Heinz Vinegar website the shelf life of white vinegar, if stored properly, is almost indefinite.

White vinegar is proven to kill most germs, bacteria, and molds and, because of its acidity, can be used to clean countertops, floors, windows, and mirrors, disinfect drains and garbage disposals.

Pesky lime and mineral deposits or smelly toilets are not match for white vinegar either. This wonder product can really keep your house clean and save you money in the long run.

Baking soda does so much more than make your bread rise and deodorize the fridge.   Sodium bicarbonate has multiple uses throughout your home. The abrasive nature of this home remedy makes it a great cleaning agent. It is non-toxic and won’t stink up your house either. Baking soda can be used to remove odors from carpets by sprinkling it on and then simply vacuuming it up.

You can remove pesky burnt on food stains from pots and pans by pouring some on the affected areas and letting it soak over night. The next morning simply scrub away the baking soda taking the grime and gunk with it. If you have glass shower doors in your bathroom you know how frustrating water build up on them can be. By mixing a little baking soda with water on a sponge you can get your glass doors looking brand new.  Baking soda won’t leave scratches like other harsher cleaners and it is totally safe.

Lemons truly are the miracle fruit. They make sweet tea and water delightful and nothing cools you off on a hot summer day like lemonade. But lemons are also wonder cleaning agents. This citrus fruit is an ideal disinfectant because of its acidic nature. Lemons can be used to clean cutting boards, laminate counter tops, and even get rust stains out of clothing.

Christopher Burton Homes in Melbourne, FL is committed to helping you create the perfect home and dedicated to giving you tips on how to keep it that way. By utilizing products you already have in your home, you can clean, disinfect, and protect your family from harsh toxic chemicals.

Homeowners Insurance Basics

Now that you have settled on your dream home it is time to start shopping for homeowner’s insurance. In simplistic terms, homeowner’s insurance provides you with peace of mind knowing that your home and belongings will be protected in case of damage or theft. Home ownership is an exciting thing.

However the unexpected can happen resulting in the loss of your home and possessions. You need to be sure that you are well protected. Here in Florida the summers bring extreme temps, high winds, and the possibility of wildfires.

Residents must also be vigilant from June to November during the busy hurricane season. But with all the choices for coverage out there, how do you know you are being protected in case of loss or damage?

Burton Homes in Melbourne, FL is your premier custom home builder but we also want you to have the facts to make the best decisions possible regarding home ownership. Understanding what is covered under your policy and how you will be compensated are key when choosing a policy. Here is a brief guide to both.

Know What’s Covered

Most insurance policies cover four areas. These include your home, personal belongings, liability, and living expenses if you are required to live away from your home due to an incident covered under the policy.

Having homeowner’s insurance does not mean that you are protected from certain natural disasters and unforeseen circumstances. According the Insurance Information Institute, in most cases standard policies provide for loss or damage due to: fire or lightening, windstorm or hail, explosions, riot or civil commotion, damage by aircraft or vehicles, smoke, vandalism or malicious mischief, theft, volcanic eruption.

Notice that flood damage, sinkholes, and loss due to mudslides, earthquakes, and aftershocks and much more aren’t included in standard coverage. When selecting a policy be sure to take into consideration all potential possibilities and plan accordingly. When purchasing your policy you can buy additional coverage as an add-on to your standard policy.

Actual Cash Value vs Replacement Cost

When deciding upon a policy you need to consider terms such as Actual Cash Value and Replacement Cost. These are terms that will determine how your provider compensates you for any losses. Actual Cash Value (ACV) or “market value” refers to the actual value of an item and takes into account how much it costs minus depreciation. For example, if you paid $2,000 for a leather couch 5 years ago and it is stolen you will be reimbursed for its current value, which may be less. ACV takes into account the depreciated value of property and pays you accordingly. Most policies use ACV to assess values unless otherwise stated within the policy.

Replacement Cost compensates you using the actual cost to replace your property not taking into account depreciation. There is generally a cap on how much an insurance company will pay out though.

Guaranteed Replacement Cost is exactly what it sounds like. You are guaranteed all costs associated with replacing your property no matter how much it costs.

Purchasing homeowner’s insurance can seem like a daunting task. Policies vary from provider to provider and the differences can be subtle. It is extremely important to read the fine print and ask lots of questions.

The Ins and Outs of Brevard County Home Building

Life on the Space Coast offers many amenities and lifestyle choices that simply are not offered anywhere else. With a mix of old world charm and innovative technology, life here has much to offer and is a great candidate from your Brevard County home builder.

Whether you are relocating for personal, career, or lifestyle reasons Brevard offers something for everyone. Miles and miles of pristine beaches, exceptional schools, rich cultural offerings, and a thriving business life make Brevard County a remarkable place to plant roots.

Families considering making Brevard County home can be confident in an outstanding education through top rated schools through the Brevard Public School System. Brevard consistently ranks in the top for education in the State of Florida boasting two nationally ranked junior/senior high schools according to the U.S News and World Reports.

Our elementary and middle schools lead the pack within Florida. Moving your family to the Space Coast will guarantees a quality education for your children.

Brevard County also has a thriving business community home to a workforce ready to accommodate new business ventures. A dynamic and educated employee pool is here and ready to put their talents to work for you.

If you are relocating because of a job opportunity, you will be well situated amongst the nations brightest and most innovative thinkers. The Space Coast is well versed in everything from technology to health care ensuring a viable business community.

The parks and recreation department offers residents and visitors alike the opportunity to bask in the nature and soak up the Florida outdoor lifestyle
Brevard County manages 108 parks with facilities to accommodate everyone, 3 campgrounds, and public golf courses.

You can get in touch with wildlife at the 6 nature centers located within the county as well. Imagine yourself camping along the shore at Manatee Hammock Campground in Titusville or taking advantage of jogging and cycling trails in the great outdoors at Wickham Park.

Recreational sports complexes are located throughout the county as well giving offering everything from softball to shuffleboard. Our beaches offer a chance to unwind and soak up the sunshine all year.

If you are looking for cultural activities look no further than Brevard. The Arts are thriving here. The Foosaner Art Museum houses brilliant collections and offers classes for the budding and established artist alike.

The King Center for the Performing Arts brings in internationally renowned acts to the area while several smaller theaters stage productions on a regular basis. The Eau Gallie Arts District offers galleries and quaint shops while Cocoa Village offers charming dining and waterfront activities.

Throughout the county there are delightful pockets of charm to entice the senses and delight the spirit.

Brevard County is an amazing place to call home. Offering phenomenal educational opportunities, a stellar business climate, an outdoor lifestyle at its best, and is the perfect place to enjoy gorgeous weather year round. If you are looking for somewhere new to call home look no further than the Space Coast.

Building Your Dream Home: The Burton Home Building Process

When building a home from the ground up, a professional Viera Fl home builder like the Chris Burton Team, works through all phases of the process with the client.

Due to the fact that you are going to be living in the home, it should be fully functional for you and your family, and should have the desired features that you want.

For this reason, the six step process focuses on the buyer, the features they are looking for, and what is most important to them, in the new home they will be living in.

Design Meeting

This focuses on your vision. The team will meet with the buyer, to discuss your basic needs and wants. It is a home you will be living in, and therefore has to meet your desired specifications. The meeting will entail what you love, hate, what you need, and which features are optional; this meeting puts your vision on paper, so the builders can make it a reality.

The Team Goes to Work

During this phase, the team will take your visions and ideas, and put them to work. Developing concepts and ideas to create the home that meets and exceeds your expectations is the key goal. From the size and layout, to the features, design, and unique finishes, the team will put all ideas down, to create your dream home.

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Develop your plans

This is where the construction team, engineers, developers, and architects come together, to develop blueprints. High quality standards are put forth, to develop a home that not only meets the aesthetic appeal the customer seeks, but also a structural foundation, that is going to last.

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Construction Phase Begins

Working with sub-contractors, this is the most exciting phase of the process. Developers, and construction professionals will start to build, and buyers can finally see their ideas and concepts come to life. The design details that are written on paper, begin to take form and design ideas can really start to come together for the buyers.

Meetings Moving Forward

During the process, you are encouraged to stop by and look at the development; you will also be included in meetings with designers and developers, to discuss the construction phases. And, you will be involved with finishing touches.

If you want a specific landscape design, a pool, or any last minute additions, you will be engaged throughout, and meet with the team throughout, so you can see these finishes incorporated in your new home.

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The Masterpiece You Envisioned

You can finally move in to your new home, the masterpiece you have envisioned. When all the finishing touches are completed, and construction has come to an end, it is time for you to move in.

Not only so you can enjoy the grand style and quality finishes, but so you can begin making new dreams with your family, in the home you were a part of constructing.

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Building a home from the ground up can be quite challenging; but, when you work with the right home builders, it should be a much easier process. With Christopher Burton Luxury Home Builders, not only do you work with a well rounded team of builders, you are a part of the building process.

Not only will this make the entire process a little easier on you, it also allows you to dictate the look and finishes you want in the home that you will be moving in to.

For more information, visit: SCBMarketing, SCLiving, SCLiving HOME

Home Buying Trends: Millenials vs Boomers

When it comes to home buying trends, there is definitely a difference between boomers and Millenials as the two have different ideologies on what the entire process is.

For starters, while young people who want to buy homes remain optimistic and still view purchasing a home a great investment, older people may prefer to trade down to much smaller property that will keep up with their changing lifestyle.
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