Christies Sereno White

Dave Bauer

Realtor®
CaDRE# 01166202

Thanksgiving Menu Ideas

Thanksgiving is an annual national holiday commemorating a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrim Fathers in 1621. This day, which is used to express gratitude, is observed in the United States on the fourth Thursday in November. One of the greatest traditions of Thanksgiving is that of a family dinner, which means menu planning is a must. Here are some Thanksgiving menu ideas that will fill your table and the appetite of your guests: Main Course The traditional main entrée for Thanksgiving is, of course, turkey. If this isn’t quite your taste, you may want to consider serving ham instead. This is a popular alternative and is a pleasing main course for your dinner guests. Side Dishes When it comes to serving a meal, the side dishes are almost as important as the entree. Popular Thanksgiving side dishes include mashed potatoes with turkey gravy, dressing, green beans, sweet potatoes, macaroni and cheese, rolls and cranberries served with cranberry sauce. If you have a large family, it may be a good idea to prepare several side dishes so that everyone will be able to find something that they like. Dessert What meal would be complete without the perfect dessert? Whether it’s a pumpkin pie, chocolate pie or other favorite flavor, this traditional treat is common at the conclusion of a Thanksgiving dinner. If you are planning for a large gathering, consider serving several different pies in an effort to accommodate a variety of taste buds. The Benefits Of A Homemade Meal Believe it or not, some may choose to dine at a restaurant on Thanksgiving instead of preparing a homemade meal. Although dining out may be easier, it cannot replace the taste and camaraderie of a family dinner at home. Many may shy away from preparing a large Thanksgiving meal because it seems intimidating to cook for so many people. However, with the right recipe, cookware and a little knowhow, your next holiday meal can be a breeze. Rounding Up The Perfect Recipes If you know what to cook, but still need a little help with the details, consider looking for the perfect recipes to turn your meal into a masterpiece. While many recipes are available online, many turn to cookbooks and/or women’s specialty magazines for popular recipe and preparation ideas. As the Thanksgiving holiday approaches, there is no shortage of publications containing ideas for creating the perfect meal. Now that you have the perfect menu idea, it’s time to start putting your plan into motion. By planning ahead, your Thanksgiving meal can be stress free and enjoyable for you as well as for everyone who joins you. And don’t lose sight of the reason for your efforts – a time for family and friends to celebrate and give thanks.

Decorating For Thanksgiving Using The Bounty Of The Season

Thanksgiving marks the beginning of the holiday season, a time spent with family and friends. It is also the time of year when we can spend a lot of money, and in these tough times finding ways to save during the holidays is always welcome. Using the natural bounty available at this time of year is a great, inexpensive, and environmentally friendly option for decorating for the holidays. Here are a few creative ideas for your Thanksgiving decorating! Harvest Vegetables The vegetables that are available during the harvest season are not only great to eat, but are also a beautiful and inexpensive way to decorate your home and table. Arrange some pumpkins or large squash on your front steps or by the door. Also use smaller squash as part of a table centerpiece or as candleholders. Corn is another great vegetable that can be used as a decoration during Thanksgiving. A bunch of corn hung on the door or arranged in a vase can create a stunning look at virtually no cost. Colorful Leaves The colors of the autumn season are some of the most beautiful of the year, and collecting leaves to use both in crafts and as part of seasonal decorations is a great and inexpensive idea. Leaves can be a beautiful addition to flower arrangements or can make great arrangements all on their own. They can also be used for festive wreaths for the front door or to make Thanksgiving themed garlands. Nuts, Berries, And Branches As the autumn season turns to winter, natural decorative items such as nuts, berries, and pine branches can be great choices not only for the Thanksgiving season but can easily transition into the Christmas season. Adding some walnuts to your Thanksgiving table or some berries to a wreath can add a nice touch that will last you through the season. Getting creative with the natural bounty at this time of year is a great way to give your home a beautiful and traditional holiday look without breaking the bank.

Tips For The Perfect Turkey

Whether it is Thanksgiving or Christmas, a small family gathering or a huge party, cooking the perfect turkey for the holidays is every chef’s goal. Here are a few foolproof tips to cooking the perfect turkey! Get The Right Equipment The first step to the perfect bird is having all the right tools. You will need: Heavy duty roasting pan Rack to keep turkey from resting on the bottom of the pan Foil to cover turkey Basting brush to brush turkey with melted butter Baster for basting with pan juices Fine sieve for straining the pan juices for gravy Wire whisk for making lump-free gravy Good quality carving set Meat thermometer Follow These Simple Instructions: A small, fresh turkey that weighs less than 14 pounds will usually be a more delicious bird. Large turkeys take longer to cook, which makes the outer meat overcook more easily. If you’re feeding a large group, buy two small turkeys rather than one big one. Brine the turkey. Salt draws out the blood, which cleanses the bird and breaks down the meat. This step is especially important if you purchase a frozen turkey, as it greatly improves the flavor. Cook the stuffing in the oven, not inside the turkey. A stuffed bird takes longer to cook and dries out the meat. When carving the turkey, remove the wings and legs first. Remove each breast half from the bone in one piece, and thinly slice each half crosswise. Cut each leg at the joint, and then carve the meat from the thigh and drumstick. These simple tips can help you make the star of your holiday meal-the turkey-taste fantastic, and will have your friends and family talking about it for the rest of the year!

Create Kid-Safe Jack-O’-Lanterns

Create Kid-Safe Jack-O’-Lanterns Halloween is a great time of year to let the creativity go wild, and when decorating for this fun and family-oriented holiday, it really wouldn’t be complete without a jack-o’-lantern or two! While carving pumpkins is the traditional way to create a jack-o’-lantern, if you have young children or kids who want to create jack-o’-lanterns without adult supervision, then it can be a dangerous and risky craft idea. You would be surprised at the number of kids, and even parents, who end up in emergency rooms each year from pumpkin carving related accidents. So to prevent this from happening to your family, here are some safe carving tips and alternatives to keep little fingers safe! Alternatives To Carving While carving a jack-o’-lantern is the traditional way, more and more people are choosing to paint their pumpkins as a safe and kid-friendly alternative to pumpkin carving. The easiest method is to use stencils similar to ones that you would use in carving, and simply paint the image in black paint rather than cutting it out. This can include things like simple faces, or more complicated images such as a silhouette of a witch flying on a broom or even a skeleton. You can also get really creative with this idea and use other colors! Try painting an entire pumpkin silver or gold, or even just let the kids go crazy and create a one-of-a-kind pumpkin masterpiece. For The Jack-O’-Lantern Purist If the idea of painting your jack-o’-lantern doesn’t appeal to you, and you want the effect of the glowing light shining through on Halloween night, there are a few steps you can take to prevent injury. Be sure that you always have an adult supervising any children who will be carving, and purchase a special carving knife that is safe for children to use. Also, you may want to do the actual carving yourself, and just have the kids draw on the stencil and scoop out the pumpkin. Also, if you are going to light your jack-o’-lantern, be sure you use a flashlight, or even better a battery operated tea light, rather than a candle. It will prevent accidents, and you won’t have to re-light it throughout the night. Halloween really is a great time for the family to get creative together, and keeping everyone safe while having fun will make the season most enjoyable for everyone!

Create A Spooky Yard For Halloween

Halloween can be one of the most child-like and fun holidays of the year. From the adorable and excited children in their costumes to costume parties for adults, Halloween is really a time to let out the kid in all of us and have a good time. Whether just entertaining the Trick-or-Treaters or having a party, creating a spooky looking yard and exterior for your home can really add to the atmosphere of the event. Here are a few great ideas to make your home and yard look “spooktacular”! Pumpkins And Jack-O’-Lanterns Autumn is a great time of year to find lots of decorations that come from nature. Naturally when we think of Halloween we think of Jack-o’-Lanterns, and having plenty of these on your front step and in your yard will give it a great eerie effect. Also, rather than just cutting out the traditional faces try tracing out other images such as witches and cats. Painting pumpkins is also a great idea, and be sure to include many of different sizes. Remember to use battery operated tea lights or flashlights rather than candles in order to prevent accidents. Scary Signs And Window Decorations Creating scary signs or gravestones is a really inexpensive and creative way to make your front yard look scary. Use old pieces of wood to create signs that welcome your guests to your house of horrors or to design old-looking grave markers. Also don’t forget to decorate your front windows to match the look. Hang dark colored drapes, suspend fake cobwebs, and add a few fake spiders to complete the look. Lights can also add a nice spooky effect, but avoid candles for safety reasons. Don’t Forget Your Trees! A great place to add scary Halloween décor to your front yard is in your trees. Hang fake bats or a ghost, string some lights, or set a witch on one of the branches. These are just a few of the fun, scary, and inexpensive ways in which you can make your property the spookiest on the block. But most importantly, don’t forget to get yourself into the spirit of the day and find a great costume that matches your newly created house of horrors!

Halloween Safety Tips

On October 31 of every year, children around the nation enjoy carving jack-o-lanterns, dressing up in their favorite costumes and going out trick-or-treating for candy and treats. Although the traditions of Halloween have been longstanding, it is important that both parents and children approach the occasion with a combination of diligence, forethought and safety in mind. Costume Selection When children choose a Halloween costume, they think more about the style and character than the actual safety aspect. It’s important that any mask be designed in such a way that does not obstruct the child’s view while being worn. In addition, a costume should be comfortable and not restrict movement or increase the risk of the child stumbling or falling. Therefore, the costume’s length must also be considered. Bright colors also are recommended so they can be easily seen. Chaperone Requirements In a perfect world, it would be safe for children to go out and enjoy Halloween by trick-or-treating in the nearby area or neighborhood. However, this is not a perfect world and it’s important that an adult accompany children who are outdoors and/or trick-or-treating. Ideally, there should be one adult for every 2-3 children. This is especially important in large groups, where it may take more than one adult to supervise multiple children at once. Must-Have Accessories Because trick-or-treating typically occurs in the evening hours, it’s important to have a working flashlight on hand. Add fresh batteries to ensure it will last through the night. Adults should carry their cell phone in case of car trouble or to reach emergency contacts, if needed. Rules Of The Road When trick-or-treating, always remain in well-lit areas. This includes areas with working street lights and homes that have a porch light turned on, which is a sign that the homeowner(s) welcomes trick-or-treaters. If the house is dark and/or the porch light is off, avoid the home and continue on to the next one. One of the greatest attractions of Halloween to a child is that of trick-or-treating and the prospect of receiving candy and other treats. It’s important that both parents and children know which types of candy are safe and which are not. Candy that is unwrapped or is not factory sealed should not be eaten. Instead, it should be thrown away. In addition, candy with expiration dates that have passed or anything that’s homemade should be discarded. With this in mind, it is recommended that nothing is eaten until parents and children examine all of the “loot” once everyone gets home. Observing Local Curfews Trick-or-treating is typically designated at a certain time for every area. This means that some towns may allow trick-or-treating on the night before or the night of Halloween. Additionally, there are specific hours and age limits that must be observed by all who choose to trick-or-treat. It’s important that both children and adults understand the local rules and adhere to them strictly. If you are concerned about missing the curfew, wear a watch that lights up with the touch of a button. This will allow you to easily see your watch face in the dark and will ensure that everyone gets home on time.

Fabulous Homemade Halloween Costumes

Halloween is the time of year when you can dress up as just about anything you want to be. While store-bought costumes certainly offer convenience, a costume made at home is more fun, often more affordable, and can look just as good if not better. You probably have the components of a great costume in your house right now-take a look at these simple ideas for great homemade costumes. Fairy Tale Princess Every little girl wants to be a princess, and it’s one of the easiest costumes to put together at home. Remember that bridesmaid dress that you had to buy but never want to wear again? It could be the perfect ball gown for a little Cinderella. A cocktail length dress makes the perfect floor length gown on a younger girl-you will probably have to take in the waist a little, but even if you can’t sew, a wide band of ribbon tied around the waist will pull it in. Safety pins can fix any other areas not fitting well. All you will need to finish it off is some costume jewelry and of course a tiara. Make your own by using a basic headband and some cardboard: cut out a piece of cardboard in the shape of the crown portion and then decorate it with paint and rhinestones! Rock Star Who doesn’t want to be a rock star? This one is among the easiest to put together at home! A pair of torn blue jeans (use an old pair!) topped with a black t-shirt are a great start. Paint the name of your child’s “band” onto the t-shirt with crafting puff paint. Then add some hair gel and give your little rock star a rockin’ new ‘do. Girls can add some makeup. A toy microphone, available at most dollar stores, will finish the look. The Robot This classic homemade Halloween costume is as much fun to make and wear as it ever was. Create the robot’s body from cardboard boxes, and then add arms made from flexible tubing. You can use paint to decorate the box however you like. A metal colander is the classic robot hat, but you can also use a silver baseball cap as a more comfortable choice. There are many fun homemade Halloween costumes you can put together easily. If you enjoy crafting and think a unique homemade look is better than a store-bought costume, then take the time to make something special!

Safety Tips For Fourth Of July Fireworks

The Fourth of July is an exciting holiday filled with family and friends, backyard barbeques, and of course the main event-the fireworks. Setting off your own fireworks can be a lot of fun, but it can also be dangerous. Before you get ready to start your pyrotechnic display, make sure you know some of the basics of fireworks safety. Keep Kids Back Young children don’t understand that the pretty lights they are watching are dangerous. If you have young kids watching your fireworks display, set up seats for them far from danger, and be sure they don’t come any closer. Sometimes a clearly defined line can help them understand-try using chalk to draw a “safe line” on the ground and ensure they don’t pass it. Read The Instructions Before you set off any fireworks, read the instructions on the packaging and all of the details on how the particular piece works. You should know what height to expect from it as well as how much space you will need around it. You should also be sure you know how long it will take to burn, and exactly how to light it. Even if you are experienced with setting off fireworks, it’s important to read each new package to be sure you set them off safely. You should also make certain that all of the fireworks you purchase are legal for use in your state-state laws vary. Be Fire Smart Fireworks have the word fire in them for a reason! Fires started by errant fireworks on houses, trees, and other items are not uncommon. Be prepared for any eventuality. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby just in case something catches fire. You should also keep a bucket of water handy and drop used fireworks into the water to make certain they are out afterward. It doesn’t take much to start a fire, so don’t take any risks. A few precautions can prevent a big disaster. A safe fireworks display is a thing of beauty and awe, and should be fun for everyone with minimal risk. Be prepared, know what to expect, and anticipate possible dangers. That way everyone can enjoy the Fourth of July safely.

How To Make The Fourth Of July Fun For Kids

Every year, the Fourth of July holiday honors the birth of our nation. Independence Day, as it’s also known, is a special day for every American and time for celebration. Both children and adults enjoy a variety of traditions that have grown to become popular pastimes for all. If you want to see a big smile on the face of your little ones this July 4, consider the following ways to make it a kid-friendly kind of fun. Host A Cookout One of the most popular traditions to enjoy over the Fourth of July holiday is a cookout with family and friends. Get out the grill, grab some hotdogs and hamburgers and get cooking. Children love cookouts and they also love playing outdoors. If you can find a way to combine both by hosting a cookout and inviting some of the other children in the neighborhood, along with family and friends, you will have a happy Fourth of July and so will your kids. Take A Trip Speaking of traditions, the July 4 holiday is one of the most popular times of the year for travel. If you really want to make this holiday fun for your kids, take them on a vacation. Whether it’s an amusement park, a weekend of camping, or a few days at the beach, make sure that you choose something that’s fun for everyone. Take In A Fireworks Display If your neighborhood or city is hosting a display of fireworks, take your child to see the show. Make sure that you watch the kids closely, especially in large crowds, and take the camera to capture some of the colorful displays that only a Fourth of July fireworks show can create. Plan A Pool Party If you have a pool in your backyard, the Fourth of July holiday is the perfect time to spend some time splashing around. With temperatures heating up, the cool water is sure to cool you down. Children love to spend an afternoon playing in the pool, but make sure that you get permission from all parents whose children you plan to invite to the party. Additionally, make sure that an adult is present to supervise the children at all times. Have A Birthday Party Because July 4 is a celebration of our nation’s birth, it would be the perfect day for a birthday party. All children love a birthday party complete with balloons, decorations and, of course, cake and ice cream. Now that you know how to make the Fourth of July holiday fun for kids, make sure to take the time to enjoy the celebration yourself. After all, that’s what a holiday is all about.

Decorating For The Fourth Of July: Show Your Patriot Pride!

Decorating for the Fourth of July is really a great and easy way to show your patriotic pride, and with our nation’s colors of red, white, and blue going so well together, it also couldn’t be easier. Whether it’s decoration ideas for a Fourth of July party, or even if you are just looking to give your home a more patriotic look all year round, here are a few great ideas for infusing the traditional, or the contemporary American look, into your home! Denim Blue Really, what could be more American than blue jeans? Denim is a great fabric for decorating for the holiday or all year round, as it is an inexpensive and durable fabric. You can create pillow covers using denim with a vintage American flag sewn on, or can also create placemats with a similar theme. You could even make napkins using a softer grade of the fabric. Set The Table If you are hosting a Fourth of July party, setting a table for the day can be really simple. Finding red, white, and blue tablecloths, napkins, and tableware is easy at this time of year; just keep in mind that it is not a good idea to use the flag itself as a tablecloth or placemats. Instead you could use a red tablecloth with blue and white placemats. For a centerpiece, a combination of red and white carnations with little American flags placed in the arrangement will finish the table off. White plates would look great on this table, but you may also want to find a set specifically for the day. Decorate Outdoors! Independence Day is a great excuse to get outdoors and celebrate with friends and family. You can decorate your yard for the day by not only thinking red, white, and blue, but also Americana. Touches like porch swings and hammocks bring us back to a simpler time. Flowers are a great way to show your pride, and potted arrangements of red, white, and blue flowers will look great on any patio. You can also hang a flag in both your front and back yards, and find various outdoor decor items that have an American theme. These are just a few of the countless ways you can bring your American pride into your home for the Fourth of July, and keeping the theme going all year can really lend a cozy feel to your home and yard.

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Contact

Dave Bauer, Realtor® CaDRE# 01166202
380 Diablo Rd, Ste 100 Danville, CA 94526
Phone: (925) 855-4040
Email: dave@davebauer.com

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