Saturday, December 21, 2013

Preventing Holiday Fires

Is your family safe this holiday season? In the United States, Christmas trees are the cause for hundreds of fires annually. In fact, 1 in 3 Christmas tree fires are caused by an electric problem with decorations! There are several things we can do keep our families safe, like preventing the tree from drying out, using strip plugs to power decorations, and using battery operated candles. Keep reading today’s blog to learn more about how to keep your family and home safe this holiday season.
  • Keep heating sources such as fireplaces, radiators, heat vents, space heaters, and candles away from Christmas trees
  • Never place a candle within 1-foot of anything that can catch on fire
  • Prevent fires by throwing out dry Christmas trees, or taking your Christmas tree down on December 26th
  • Never connect more than 3-strands of mini lights
  • Never connect more than 50 bulbs to a screw-in lighting set
  • If you are going on vacation, remove your Christmas tree before leaving
What measures do you take to protect your family during the holidays? Share responses with us on our SeaGate Homes Facebook page.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Fun Holiday Party Ideas!

Wow! Christmas is just around the corner. The holidays are the perfect time for inviting friends and family over for a holiday party. If you have not started planning your party, use today’s blog for holiday inspiration. We have plenty of effortless ideas to help you get started!

If you’re behind on decorating your tree, enlist the help of friends and family at a Christmas Tree-Trimming Party. Setting up for tree-trimming party is very simple, all you will need is a tree, boxes of ornaments, garland and lights, along with appetizers and drinks to serve. Arrange the lights and garland prior to the arrival of guests, and then organize ornaments and other decorations into a neat pile for guests to choose from during the party. We recommend serving mess free food options, such as fruit, nuts, veggies, and pigs in a blanket or other snack mixes.

One of our favorite Christmas Party ideas is a White Elephant Gift Exchange! Set a price limit for the gift exchange and ask each guest to bring a wrapped gift. Serve a mixture of light and heavy h'orderves as well as drinks. Before the exchange begins ask guests to place gifts in the center of the room and draw a number out of a hat. The individual with the highest number picks a gift first, and so on. After the first guest selects, a gift, the next guest has two options: to steal a gift, or select a new one.

Our last party idea for this season is a Holiday Cookie Exchange! Most families have holiday baking traditions. A cookie exchange is perfect for showcasing recipes. Ask each guest to bring 1 to 3 dozen of their favorite holiday cookie to share with others! You will only need to supply beverages for guests, but don’t forget to bake a dozen or two of your own favorite holiday cookies.

Join us on our SeaGate Homes Facebook page to share photos of this year’s holiday parties!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Surviving the Holidays

The holidays are always the busiest time of the year. It can be challenging to divide time between friends and family during Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and New Years Eve. And what about co-workers and work related holiday parties? What happens when there are two or more events on the same day? Or if guests don’t get along? Follow our blog throughout the holidays to learn how to survive this season!

  1. What do I do if guests are not getting along?

If you know ahead of time that certain guests will not get along, and you’re forced to have them both there during a holiday meal, use place cards to insure that they are on opposite ends of the table. If a disagreement occurs prior to sitting down and you over hear it, walk over and attempt to quickly change the subject. Or if a disagreement happens at the dinner table, inconspicuously switch seats, and continue to do so throughout the meal so you have an opportunity to socialize with everyone at the table.

  1. How do I prepare a meal for vegetarians?

It’s hard to please everyone during the holidays, especially if guests have special dietary needs. If vegetarians or vegans are attending your holiday get together, try to prepare a few dishes that they will be able to enjoy. There are several great vegan and vegetarian recipes available online. Many vegetarians will be happy with eating side dishes such as mashed potatoes, green bean casseroles, stuffings and other dishes. If you prepare any dishes using chicken or beef broths, or other animal meat products, try to substitute these ingredients with vegetarian friendly options such as vegetarian broth or stock.

  1. What’s the easiest way to clean up a huge holiday mess?

There is no doubt that the holidays will create a huge mess in your kitchen, and clutter around the house. If you’re anticipating leftovers, make space in the refrigerator and have containers prepared before serving the meal.  

It’s common to use fine china during the holidays, but most of the time we are unable to place these dishes into the dishwasher. This year pre-fill your sink with hot, soapy water to soak dishes in between courses, this will cut down on clean-up time at the end of dinner.

What holiday survival tips do you have for fans of SeaGate Homes? Share them with us on our Facebook page or in or comments section!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Pumpkin Patch

It’s that time of the year again, time to gather up the family and head to the pumpkin patch for the perfect pumpkin! Pumpkins come in all different shapes, sizes and shades of orange: fat, skinny, round, or square, bright orange and buttery shades of orange. If you consider them all, finding the perfect pumpkin can be quite a challenge for you and your family.  So, how do you find the perfect pumpkin? We’re glad you asked!

Love at First Sight
When you arrive at the patch, take a quick glance around, what pumpkins catch your eye first? Gather these pumpkins together for further examination. 

Does it have a stem?
Now that you have selected a few pumpkins that are free from visible rot, bumps or other non-visually appealing characteristics, examine each one for a stem. Eliminate all stemless pumpkins. 

An Ideal Width
If you already know what design you would like to carve before heading to the pumpkin patch, bring it with you! You can compare it against each of the pumpkins to make sure there is an adequate amount of space for carving. If you’re not quite sure what design you will be carving, select a pumpkin that appear to be greater than 10 inches in diameter. 

Did you know? Pumpkins that are between 8 and 10 inches are ideal for baking pumpkin pie because they contain less stringy pulp!

Is it Ripe?
Knock on each of the remaining pumpkins. If the pumpkins produce a hollow sound, then they are likely to be ripe! If you’re at a pumpkin patch where pumpkins are still on the vine, look for pumpkins with a dry, brown stem. 

Level Headed
The final test involves placing the pumpkin on level ground, does it appear flat? If so, then you have found the perfect pumpkin! If not, start our process over in a new area of the pumpkin patch!

What characteristics do you look for in the perfect pumpkin? Share your responses with us on our SeaGate Homes Facebook page! Happy Hunting!

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Fall Flowers

A few months ago we started our Do-It-Yourself (DIY) blogging series with the basics of floral design. In honor of the Fall season, we thought it would be a great idea to learn how to design our own Fall floral arrangements just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Themed floral arrangements are the perfect compliment to any seasonal table design, get started on yours today!

Simply Pumpkin 

If one of your favorite things about Fall is the pumpkin, then this is the design for you! In order to create this beautiful fall centerpiece, you'll first need to head to the pumpkin patch. After you have selected a pumpkin, take it home and cover it with matte black spray paint. Once the paint is dry, use a paring knife to scrape Fall foliage designs into the pumpkin, then hollow it out and fill with orange and yellow gerber daisies or flowers of choice. 

Fall Flowers

This dahlia and spider mum design will add the perfect amount of color to your Fall table. All that is needed to create this arrangement are white and pink dahlias, golden spider mums, and Fall foliage. Gather into a wooden vas and scatter leaves around the base for this beloved Fall arrangement. 

The Colors of Fall 

Our last arrangement is perfect for the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday! Purchase a white, footed ceramic vase and arrange roses, tulips, and protea in a visually appealing manner. We recommend selecting shades of red, yellow, orange, and purple.

Which floral arrangement will you create first? Share your pictures and ideas with us on our SeaGate Homes Facebook page!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Fall Landscaping

Now that Summer is gone, it’s time to spruce up your landscaping! The Fall season is a great time to not only prepare your garden for Spring, but also to lose lingering feelings of Summer. Often times the entire look and feel of a garden can be changed just by changing out an old element with one new flower, plant or tree! We have several simple ideas to please even the pickiest landscaping tastes!

  1. October Glory

One of our favorite trees for the Fall season is october glory. If your garden is lacking in color, this will add just the right amount red foliage. The best time to plant an october glory is during the month of September. Don’t leave this tree off of your must have list for next year!

  1. Confederate Rose

If you’re looking to replace last season's rose bushes, consider incorporating the Confederate rose into your garden! This beautiful flower blooms in shades of white, pink and deeper shades of red. It will also effortlessly transition your garden from Fall, to Winter, and finally to Spring!

  1. Blue Stars

Another great transitional flower is Hubricht’s blue star. The blue star is traditionally a Spring flower, but continues to look great during Fall when its leaves change to a golden hue. They are also perfect for Florida since they require moderate amounts of sun in order to thrive.

  1. Cozy Up By the Fire

If you have plenty of unutilized space in your garden consider building a fire pit. Not only are they great for Fall festivities, they are a fantastic asset throughout any season. If you’re not able to build a fire pit, a chiminea is also a wonderful addition to your landscaping. Plan enough space to add a few chairs for friends and family.

Follow our blog for more ideas on how to incorporate the Fall season into your home and landscaping this year! Have your own ideas? Share them with us on our SeaGate Homes Facebook page!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Palm Coast Homes Leader SeaGate Homes Recognized as 2013 Housing Giant

PALM COAST, FL- SeaGate Homes was recently recognized by Professional Builder magazine as a 2013 Housing Giant. Professional Builder magazine is a national publication that has continually identified SeaGate Homes as a Housing Giant for the last several years, most recently in 2012 and 2013. They are the market leader of Palm Coast home builders.

This year Professional Builder magazine established a nationwide list consisting of 242 of the largest home builders in the United States. SeaGate Homes of Palm Coast, Florida was most recently recognized for earning more than $10,000,000 in revenue, and for successfully closing on 40 homes during 2012.

SeaGate Homes was also recently noted as a premier builder in the state of Florida by the Daytona Beach News-Journal in the publications 2013 Reader’s Choice Awards. SeaGate Homes has been building quality homes throughout northeast Florida since 1994. Their homes continue to offer families outstanding value and increased customization options in comparison to other Florida and Palm Coast home builders. SeaGate Homes is known for their quality 15 year structural warranty and brand new design center.

For more information regarding the details of this press release, please contact:

Mike Sawdai, VP of Operations, SeaGate Homes

msawdai@seagatehomes.com