“America the Beautiful” by Coldwell Banker

In honor of Independence Day, we’d like to join you in celebrating America with a look at our country’s beauty, as seen through the windows of Coldwell Banker homes.

“America the Beautiful”
Words by Katharine Lee Bates,
Melody by Samuel Ward

skies_wlyrics

for amber waves of grain

Mountains_wlyric

above the fruited plain

America!

America!

God shed his grace on thee 
And crown thy good with brotherhood 

from sea

to shining sea!

Each of the images above are from Coldwell Banker listings.  Click on any image to see more about the property.

To view more Coldwell Banker listings, or to search for your dream home here in the USA or internationally, visit coldwellbanker.com.

Happy 4th of July!

The post “America the Beautiful” by Coldwell Banker appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

Grilling Guide for 4th of July

Nothing says “Freedom” like firing up the grill! BBQ is near and dear to the hearts of so many Americans. Looking for a grilling guide for 4th of July?  We’ve got you covered!  Here’s our guide to home cooking, 4th of July style!

Main Event
Let’s start with the meat. For the ultimate 4th of July BBQ, you’ll need to give your guests a few options. Whether you go with classic burgers & dogs, chicken & steak, pulled pork, or tofu & a big platter of grilled veggies, you’re sure to please a crowd! Remember to prep and marinate meat in advance so that when your guests arrive, you can relax and sip one of these delicious watermelon cocktails with them.

Classic burger

Image Source: Food & Wine

Savory Sides

For me, a summer barbecue is not complete without the side salads: potato, pasta, greens. Here are 16 great BBQ sides to give you plenty of ideas for dishes to round out your menu.  One of the easiest side dishes is buttery corn on the cob.  Soak husks in water for 10 minutes before throwing on the grill to avoid burning.

american-potato-salad-new_gal

Image Source: Real Simple

Get Saucy
There are about as many varieties of BBQ sauce as there are states in the U.S. Depending on your tastes, you can go sweet, spicy, smokey, tangy and even mustard-y. Check out this clever guide to American Barbecue Sauce Styles to find one that’s right for you.

Neely's BBQ Sauce

Image Source: Food Network

Sweet Freedom
Looking for a creative way to bring red, white and blue into your 4th of July menu? Dessert is the way to go! Check out these patriotic dessert ideas.  When in doubt, throw some sweet like peaches or pineapple on the grill for an easy, healthy treat.

4th cake

Image Source: Mashable

Header Image Source: Backyard Simple

The post Grilling Guide for 4th of July appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

What Really Happened on July 4, 1776?

Guest Blog by Lisa Yauch

via wcvb.com

Every year, most Americans celebrate the Fourth of July in recognition of Independence Day, when we declared our sovereignty from Great Britain and the birth of the United States of America.

But did you know…

  • Our predecessors actually began fighting for our freedom, during the American Revolution, in April 1775
  • One of the Founding Fathers, Thomas Jefferson, completed the first draft of the Declaration of Independence in June of 1776
  • The Continental Congress decided it was in our best interest to declare independence from Great Britain on July 2, 1776

On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress finally approved wording of the Declaration of Independence after deliberating over the copy for two days following its initial submission on July 2. And so July 4 became the date included in the actual document. It also happened this was the date printed on original copies of this historic piece, which was circulated throughout the new nation.

The formal and handwritten copy of the Declaration of Independence, which is on display in the National Archives in Washington, D.C., was actually signed by our founding forefathers in August of 1776. Great Britain did not receive official notification and a copy of the document until November of 1776. Talk about snail mail!

How July 4 became an official holiday

Approximately 15-20 years after the Declaration of Independence was drafted, people did not celebrate much as you might image they would have. The idea was very new and a wave of political unrest was surfacing.

  • 1790s – The Declaration was seen as controversial and two main parties (the Democrat-Republicans, who sided with Jefferson and the other, the Federalists, who did not) were bitterly divided
  • Following the War of 1812, the Federalist Party began to unravel and new parties of the 1820/30s became more supportive of the Democrat-Republicans; printed copies of the Declaration once again began circulating throughout the nation
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, who both uncannily died on July 4, 1826, may have helped spur the notion of an important date to be recognized and celebrated
  • The Fourth of July became more common and celebrated as the years went by
  • In 1870, (almost 100 years after the Declaration of Independence was written!) Congress declared July 4 to be an official, national holiday

While you celebrate the freedom of our great nation this coming Fourth of July, whether with ceremonies, fireworks, spending time with family and friends, just remember, you could have been celebrating it two days sooner had history dictated otherwise.

Sources – Google, constitutionfacts.com, Wikipedia

Cover image via coversfortimeline

Lisa is the Manager of Communications for Coldwell Banker Real Estate LLC

The post What Really Happened on July 4, 1776? appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

10 Cool Kitchen Appliances

In almost every household’s kitchen there are standard appliances and tools that everyone uses. These consist of toasters, blenders, pots and pans, forks, spoons, knives etc.  Besides these run-of-the-mill appliances are others that are genius.

Recently, while roaming the internet I came across some interesting kitchen appliances that I had never seen before. Things like a tomato stem remover, vegetable cleaner, a pineapple slicer, and a salad chopper.

I rounded up some of what I thought were the coolest tools that I could find. Most of these are total luxuries and not entirely necessary but they will definitely make your life easier. Check them out!

1. Pineapple Slicer and Wedger  Have you ever nearly sliced both hands off whilst trying to prepare a pineapple? I certainly have, once or twice. I think this tool is incredible because whether you’re preparing the fruit for your family or trying to look fancy for a party, a tool like this one will help you get it right every time.

2. The Original Whirley Pop™ Stovetop Popcorn Popper This may be the hottest summer attraction in your home this summer. Does it get much better than custom made popcorn on your stove top? It’s a healthier and more fun alternative to using the microwave.

3. OXO Good Grips® Apple Divider Here is another tool that I think would make a great addition to your kitchen lineup. Imagine a world where you could have a perfectly sliced piece of fruit in one shot. If you are an avid baker, unlike me, this is a must have for ensuring that your pies look completely immaculate.

4. Icy Bottle Sticks Trays These ice trays struck a nerve in me. I have, for seemingly, my entire life looked for ways to squeeze regular sized ice cubes into my water bottles. It never worked, and I was always stuck with hot beverages. The moment I saw these special ice trays, I nearly jumped for joy. You can bet I’ll be ordering these soon and just in time for summer.

5. Bagel Biter I’m starting to notice an overlapping theme in this post. Many of the products mentioned thus far, and even ones that are to come, all involve ways to avoid accidentally chopping your hands off. Being from New Jersey, bagels are a regular part of my daily diet. Subsequently, this will get a lot of use in my house.

6. Oxo Good Grips® Salad Chopper and Bowl I’ve never been able to properly or gracefully eat salad. I like this salad chopper because it allows you to cut up salad into socially appropriate pieces.

7. Flavor Injector with Storage Case If something as genius as a flavor injector exists why would I ever resort to marinating meat over night again?  This is going to really come in handy this summer for all of the backyard barbecues that’ll go on.  

8. OXO Good Grips® Natural Bristle Vegetable Brush  Have you ever wondered how exactly to remove that gross wax coating from your favorite fruits and vegetables? Here is the answer to your dilemma!

9. Chef’n® Bananza™ Banana Slicer  All you need for perfect, uniform banana slices in no time is the Bananza™. Great for cereal, desserts, smoothies or just a snack, a quick squeeze of the Bananza™ and you’re all set. (Bed Bath & Beyond)

10. OXO Good Grips® Jar Opener

Open jars of any size and stubbornness. Simply wedge the opener around the lid and twist. (Bed Bath & Beyond)

The post 10 Cool Kitchen Appliances appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

35 Ways to Show Dad Love at Home on Father’s Day

Father’s Day is this weekend. Stop. Don’t even think of how you need to buy him a tie. Or socks. Or a book he’ll never read. Show the dad in your home you love him not with just gifts, but really good gifts.

Here are some ways to show dad how much you appreciate him being in your home:

  1. Three words: Bacon in bed
  2. Don’t wake him. Doesn’t matter if it’s 4 pm.
  3. Five words: Coffee and bacon in bed.
  4. Remove Legos from the floor.
  5. Charge his iPad before he gets up.
  6. Get off his iPad.
  7. Abstain from comments about his attire, age, pants size, etc.
  8. Place Post-It note on TV remote that reads “your scepter.”
  9. Make plans to repeat step 8 tomorrow.
  10. Seven words: Remote and coffee and bacon.
  11. Do not spill any beverages for an entire day.
  12. Do not aggravate mom which in turn will aggravate dad.
  13. Clean golf clubs and insert them in vehicle of choice.
  14. Remove clubs from the minivan and place in other car so dad can maintain cred at the golf course.
  15. Do not ask him for money.
  16. Remove children from house for minimum of 30 minutes.
  17. Create “daddy do-list” that includes “nap” and “snackage” on it.
  18. Ask dad about “glory days” of high school sports.
  19. Act like you care about #18 for minimum of 90 seconds.
  20. Two words: filet mignon.
  21. Make sure The Good Wife does not grace the TV screen at any point during the day.
  22. Remove bills from sight for 24 hour period.
  23. Two words: 24 marathon.
  24. Compliment dad on how great he looks.
  25. Avoid laughter upon completion of #24.
  26. Tell dad you want to become a doctor. One who goes to med school on scholarship.
  27. Do the dishes for mom. Happy wife = Happy life.
  28. Fix that thing that only takes 5 minutes to complete that dad was supposed to fix last summer but never did.
  29. Three words: Chocolate covered bacon.
  30. At 8 pm proclaim it’s “John McClane time!” and proceed to watch whichever Die Hard dad wants.
  31. Kiss dad goodnight.
  32. Hug him.
  33. Tell him that you love him.
  34. Thank him for helping make this house a home.
  35. Then leave him some bacon for later.

 

Header image courtesy of BabyBeltz.com

The post 35 Ways to Show Dad Love at Home on Father’s Day appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

The Ultimate Summer 2014 Playlist

The first day of Summer officially starts on June 21st but that doesn’t mean we can’t start getting excited a little early. Summer to me means happiness in the form of warm summer nights hanging out in the backyard with loves ones, eating my dad’s ridiculously delicious food from the grill, and jamming out to the best summer songs all season long. It almost seems like summer and music are synonymous and that the best tracks of all time are often released during the three month period. Does anyone agree?

Below you’ll find a playlist of what I believe are some of the most incredible and iconic summer songs of all time. I’ve also put in a few contemporary hits that I foresee being played on repeat. So whether you’re hosting a summer house party or simply want to get in the spirit, these songs are a must have. This summer playlist will definitely bring on some intense nostalgia as well as possibly introduce you to some songs you’ve never heard before. Happy listening!

1. Summer- Calvin Harris

I thought it was more than appropriate to kick off this playlist by making Calvin Harris’ song, Summer, the number one must have. It is a dance song that will make you do just that. Harris, who is Scottish, was, according to Forbes, the highest paid DJ of 2013. He made a reported 46 million dollars.

5. Sky Full of Stars- Coldplay

Coldplay is one of my all time favorites. This song’s words and instrumentals are simply beautiful. I think you should add this to your summer playlist because it will literally make you want to jump around. Coldplay is another band from the UK. They have won 7 Grammys and sold almost 100 million albums.

10. Summertime- DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince 

Alright now, this truly has to be one of the top three summer songs of ALL TIME. Everything from the words, music, and video exude summer. This song is just fun and pure perfection. I listen to Summertime year round. If you didn’t know, the track’s vocals are lead by The Fresh Prince, aka, Will Smith.

15. California Girls- The Beach Boys

It’s not summer if you’re not playing some Beach Boys. I’m actually a ‘Jersey Girl’ but for 2:47 minutes, I want to be a California Girl! The Beach Boys have been considered ‘America’s Band,’ and have been featured on The Rolling Stone’s list of, ‘ 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.”

20. Summer Nights- John Travolta

The movie Grease and subsequently the song Summer Nights are both American classics. Along with listening to this song you’ve got to watch the movie once, twice, maybe five times at least during the summer. Grease was a huge box office success and at the time was ranked at number 2 on the charts, right behind Jaws.

25. Summer Madness- Kool and the Gang

One of the greatest Jazz songs, and bands, of all time. Summer Madness, is anything but. It’s slow,  instrumentally diverse, and a reminder that the summer is for enjoying each and every moment. And I’m proud to say that Kool and the Gang is one of New Jersey’s finest, they hail from Jersey City. This song was also sampled for DJ Jazzy Jeff & Will Smith’s Summertime.

30. BRANDY- Looking Glass

“There’s a port on a western bay
And it serves a hundred ships a day
Lonely sailors pass the time away
And talk about their homes”
This song has references of summer all throughout. Its message is that the summer is short, so enjoy it for what it is while you have it!

 

35. The Way You Make Me Feel- Michael Jackson 

Would any playlist be complete without a little MJ? Nope. This track makes me feel ready to for June 21st to begin!

The post The Ultimate Summer 2014 Playlist appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

15 Beautiful Backyard Swimming Pools

With summer quickly approaching, everyone is gearing up for the season’s hottest pastime: swimming! The beach can be fun but there is nothing like having your own oasis right in the backyard. Swimming pools have long been a focal point for homes because they bring everyone together where real lasting memories are made. Whether you love to swim or enjoy soaking up the sun poolside, we think you will find these backyard swimming pools amazing.

If you love these pools, be sure to check out more here!

1.  A Custom-Built 27,000 Gallon Salt Water Pool- $929,500 

This home is graced with abundant custom details and craftsmanship yet still exudes comfortability. It features 4 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.

 Listed with Debbie Yankey of Coldwell Banker Wallace & Wallace, Realtors 

2.  A 60 Foot Resort-Style Pool- $34,500,000

An overwhelmingly beautiful and timeless cliff-side mansion. It features 7 bedrooms and 9 bathrooms.

Listed with Chris Cortazzo of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage

3. A Rare and Private Gated Home- $3,250,000

There isn’t much this home doesn’t have! It features its own horse stables, an underground shooting range, gym, game room and an expansive, palm tree adorned, pool.

Listed with John Karadsheh of Coldwell Banker Trails and Path

4. A Gorgeous English Country-Style Estate- $10,995,000

A home with elegant and sophisticated design aesthetic. It features 5 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms.

Listed with Hugh Cornish of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

5. A World Class Estate Set on 18.6 Private Acres- $48,000,000 

A home made with the finest European craftsmanship, materials and design. Features include: a 1-bedroom pool house, and a 4-bedroom guest house. Equally as impressive are its incomparable manicured grounds, exquisite antique statuary, formal gardens, stone terraces, saline Pebble Tec pool, playground and 2 private driveways. The home has 7 impressive bedrooms and 11 bathrooms. 

Listed with Debbie Sonenshine of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

6. A Classic Greenwich Getaway- $4,495,000

A fabulous and dramatic Greenwich, CT mansion and pool that epitomizes fine living. It features 6 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms.

Listed with Tamar Lurie of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

7. A Modern Miami Masterpiece- $37,000,000 

A home built by the renowned developer Todd Galser has over 13,000 square feet and features unparalleled views of the Bay and city skyline.

Listed with Jill Eber of Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate 

8. Arguably the Finest Luxury Pool in Virgin Gorda- $5,500,000

The standard of construction, choice of materials – marble countertops, andiroba vaulted ceilings, mahogany hardwood floors, custom andiroba doors and windows, over 100 tons of imported stone, jatoba hardwood cabinetry, bedroom sets and interior doors and location, beachfront, Virgin Gorda, are all second to none. This home is set in a very private location amongst Virgin Gorda’s famous boulders. The property sits on a 2 acre lot, offers 240 feet of pure white sand beachfront and fabulous ocean and island views. This home features 6 bedrooms and 5 bathrooms. 

Listed with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, BVI

9. An Old-Hollywood Influenced Retreat in Palm Springs, CA- $1,195,000

A classic 5,000 square foot home with contemporary decor and style. It features 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms.

Listed with John Nelson of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage  

10. An Italian Influenced Villa in Beverly Hills, CA- $45,000,000

This estate boasts 2 guest houses, a majestic library, theatre, swimming pool, pool house, tennis court, wine cellar, gym, parking for 30+ cars, coiffure salon, staff quarters, conference room, 3 offices and an observation deck. There are 10 bedrooms and a whopping 16 bathrooms!

Listed with Linda May of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

11. The Ultimate Vacation Home in Tortola- 4,000,000

A mountainside retreat with a pool that will make your jaw drop.

Listed with Coldwell Banker Real Estate, BVI

12. An Olympic Grade Pool in Santa Barbara- $4,495,000

A custom designed and stunning Mediterranean home built on a generous 1/2 acre with a careful eye towards combining the breathtaking open space of the prestigious gated community of Ennisbrook with the openness of a European villa. 

Listed with Nancy Hussey of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

13. A Rare Rooftop Parisian Chateau- $7,477,250

A wonderful and classic home situated minutes from the city center. It features 6 bedrooms and 4 bathrooms.

Listed with Coldwell Banker Paris Prime Residential 

14. A Home with Views of Ultra Exclusive Town of St. Tropez- $7,409,275

A beautiful newly built contemporary style villa in a private, gated domain for maximum enjoyment and security. 

Listed with Coldwell Banker PREVIEWS Demeure Prestige

15. A Southwest Contemporary Mansion in Scottsdale- $2,500,000

Forever views from this stunning Southwest Contemporary Masterpiece sitting on over 1.8 acres in the exclusive gated community of Boulder Crest at Troon North. Created by some of Arizona’s finest talents, including architect James Kotte, builder Todd Simmons and interior designer Lynne Beyer. Strategically placed, so that upon entering the pivoting glass front door you are greeted with the beauty of the Sonoran Desert. It boasts the finest quality and craftsmanship including the use of natural stone Brazilian cherry floors and walls of glass. The open and flexible floor plan offers areas for grand and intimate entertaining.

Listed with Wendy Walker of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage 

The post 15 Beautiful Backyard Swimming Pools appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

Happy Memorial Day

Home is a sacred place, a place certainly worth protecting. Today, we honor all of the fallen heroes that died serving and protecting our country in the United States Armed Forces.

As we fire up the grill and kick off the summer months, we also reflect on the great freedoms we enjoy every day.

To the families on the home front and the soldiers on the front line, we thank you for your ultimate sacrifice.  Today, we salute you.

Image Source: Flickr

The post Happy Memorial Day appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

The Right Way to Clean Your Grill

Memorial Day Weekend is finally here which means it is time to give your grill a little TLC.

A simple scrub down isn’t enough. Get expert advice from Mike Lang, of Weber Grills, on how to safely clean your grill in the video above.

Click for Recipe

Happy Grilling!

 

The post The Right Way to Clean Your Grill appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.

A Memorial Day Tribute

The United States Army. The Marine Corps. The Navy. The Coast Guard. The Air Force. These five branches of the military are comprised of courageous men and women who serve our country daily. They could be your son/daughter, sister/brother, a parent/grandparent, a neighbor, or a complete stranger. Regardless, they are the individuals who take an oath to protect us, our homes, and the lives we have grown accustomed to, while sometimes giving up their own. Each year, we honor these fallen men and women on Memorial Day.

Memorial Day originated after the Civil War to commemorate Union and Confederate soldiers who died during that time period. Originally referred to as “Decoration Day”, as it was common practice to decorate soldiers’ graves with flowers, the name gradually changed to Memorial Day after World War II and was extended to include all Americans who have died while in service. Today, many people visit cemeteries and memorial sites to show their thanks and gratitude for departed military members. Others volunteer to place an American flag on grave markers in national cemeteries. Current and former Veterans march in local parades to represent their late peers. However one chooses to recognize this national holiday, it is truly a time for reflection.

We recently heard from Ron Denbow, a Vietnam Vet and manager with Coldwell Banker Hunter Realty in Medina, OH, who took time to explain what the day means to him.

Drafted into the Army in 1970 immediately after college, Ron served in active combat in Quang Ngai and in the Quang Tri Province.

Upon returning to the States and working briefly in manufacturing and construction, Ron decided to pursue a real estate career. Understandably, he has a passion for helping military Veterans and their families though his work with Fisher House in Cleveland.

But this weekend is special. Ron honors the memory of friends and other soldiers privately or participating (sometimes with his grandchildren) in the local Memorial Day activities and attending events at the VA National Cemetery in Rittman, OH.

However, Ron doesn’t want to be thought of as a hero.  And he doesn’t want the focus to be on him. But the reality is when you look at Memorial Day from Ron’s eyes, we all get a different view of what the holiday really stands for.  It is truly about the fallen military members and their families.

“We didn’t do it for the money, the glory, the benefits or the recognition,” he said.  “We just served to the best of our abilities when the country called upon us to do so.”

Thank you Ron for allowing all of us to take an extra moment to honor the men and women who have served and died in the line of duty. We will do our duty to keep your memories alive.

The post A Memorial Day Tribute appeared first on Coldwell Banker Blue Matter.