BIA Parade of Homes

BIA Parade of Homes

****SPOILER ALERT****there are some inside peeks at the BIA Parade of Homes Houses. Also there is a ticket giveaway at the end of this blog post (pink lemons right?!)

The BIA Parade of Homes is located in Jerome Township at Eversole Run.  When you first arrive at this exclusive neighborhood you get an instant feeling of privacy and seclusion. Greg and I love going to the Parade of Homes, last year we missed it. With school and sports starting, we just never made it there.  The Foundation home was built by 3 Pillar Homes and I will be doing a separate blog all about what that means and some of the very innovative designs that they have incorporated into this years home.

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Bob Webb Homes

I want to start by saying that I was thrilled to get a preview into whats to come next week and thought it would be cool to share some sneak peeks with my readers.  I also have 4 sets of 2 tickets to give away! (children 12 and under are free, no cash value, and these are not for resale)

The first home to be completed was by Bob Webb Homes, home so I have the most images of it.  My first impression walking up to the property was that it is very inviting.  I love that it has a really cool breezeway to the carrige garage and a courtyard into the main garage

(It was a cloudy day the day I went so photo Credit for these images go to Bob Webb Homes. How cool is that “Messy Kitchen”!?! I really think that taking it to a full kitchen level makes it so functional for a family that likes to entertain.  I know I always miss out on mingling at the end of a meal because the mess is there and you don’t want it in the middle of all the fun happening.  With the messy kitchen you can just stick it all back there till the end or even keep the extra pre prepped food back there until you need it.

Check out this master Bath and Closet….seriously!  The design is so simple but glam at the same time.

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Like this PB Teen Room which is very similar to my boys room. I think Pottery barn kids and PBTeen do a good job of creating fun but classy kids bedding (click the link for purchasing the bedding)

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I could go on and one there are so many cool details in this home.  You just have to see them all for yourself.  Below are my favorite highlights

Here are a few other highlights from the Parade that i really thought were right on trend.

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The exterior stone of this Romanelli and Hughes home was actually quite beautiful before it was painted but the white takes it up a notch. I spoke with Brad Hughes for a little while about their process as well as their designer Allen Baker of Baker Designs, LTD.  Allen really did a good job bringing the design full circle from the inside all the way out.  Wait till you see the back patio area, it’s AMAZING!

This Fan in The 3 Pillar Homes Foundation home was still in heavy construction we I saw it but I think its going to be a real treat to see complete this weekend.  I think it looks modern but organic at the same time.  I enjoyed chatting with the owner, Zenios about the design and cool features of his home and I will be doing a separate Blog all about it once the parade kicks off.

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I was really impressed by the upgraded features in this Arthur Gutenberg Homes House but I only got one inside shot as it was also in heavy construction. Check out the texture on the shower tile, I love the movement in it.  Their Director of sales, David Brentley told me that a lot of the details in this home are standard.  Once you see it you will find out how crazy that is.

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The last house that I went to was the Coppertree Homes Model.  Kimberly Woods gave this home a warm cozy feel that I think is very live-able.  As a mom of 3 kids I think about function when I’m decorating a space because I don’t want to always be fussing at my boys as they are romping around.  I think that it’s fitting that it is the Christmas home as well because the style lends itself to that really well.

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Make sure you stop by the BIA Parade of Homes to BE INSPIRED.

September 1 – September 16, 2018
Yes, the Parade of Homes will be open on Labor Day
Monday- Friday noon -7:00 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday 11:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m.

More info available on the BIA Parade of Homes website.

Ok now for the Giveaway:

I have 4 sets of (2) tickets to giveaway (provided by the BIA Parade of Homes, no cash value, not for resale).  Drop me a comment about your favorite space in your home on my Instagram @kristin__taylor or Facebook Pink Lemons and follow me if you would like and you be entered.  This is not a sponsored post.  The contest ends at 10PM EST on Sunday, September 2, 2018.

Winner will be announced Sunday, September 2, 2018 by 11 PM EST*

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*Official rules  “no purchase necessary” open to US residents 18 and older, there are no conditions to be entered, as only a comment is necessary for capturing names.  The number of eligible entries received determine the odds of winning. The winners will be selected through a random generation formula.  Entries will be collected from August 28, 2018 until Sunday, September 2, 2018 at 10 PM EST and the 4 winners will be announced Sunday, September 2, 2018 by 11 PM EST. Tickets will either be mailed or Picked up on Tuesday September 4, 2018. Void where prohibited by law.  These tickets have no cash value and cannot be resold.

 

 

 

Disney Fun and Chaos

Disney Fun and Chaos

In the Fall of 2010 My husband and I had a business trip to go to in Orlando which had one free evening on the agenda so Greg suggested that we go to Magic Kingdom for the evening. I actually resisted going, it seemed like a big hassle and since I hadn’t gone as a child I really didn’t care about going. Sure, I’d always been a Disney fan but not a sold out, decked out, nut! I reluctantly agreed but little did I know that Greg had it in his mind that we would have our wedding there. I will never forget the feeling I had when I first walked into Magic Kingdom and honestly its because I get the same feeling each time we go back. I thought I would write this to help those that are planning their first trip or even if its your fifth trip…we learn something new each time we go!

This year was our 15th Trip to Walt Disney World (and 1 trip to Disney Land) and I know there are things we still haven’t done yet. We have always stayed on property for our vacations and when we have gone for business trips we have stayed at the Ritz Carlton Orlando (which is amazing Ive stayed there 3 times). For this post I will only refer to the Grande Floridian and The Animal Kingdom Lodge because those are the only two hotels that i have stayed in.

The Animal Kingdom Lodge

Last year we were asked to partner up with Disney for the Media Preview of Pandora World of Avatar opening (see previous blog post here) I thought the hotel was very nice and definitely would’ve been cool for kids but it just didn’t give either of us that relaxed feeling you get at The Grande Floridian. The positive of it is that it feels like you are on an adventure. I don’t like the layout of the Resort, its super long and we felt like it was a mile to our hotel.

The Grande Floridian

The bulk of our stays have been to The Grande Floridian. The first stay there was to plan our wedding and then the next trip was when we flew some family in for the wedding. We had to essentially book 6 vacations for that trip so we went through AAA, I didn’t really see much of an advantage booking through them so we haven’t booked with them since. Ill give more details on how I book next. The experience of the Grande Floridian is so relaxing. When you get there they greet you so warmly. If you stay in the main building (we have done that twice) you have a personal cast member to greet you and check you in and somehow they always know who you are are (total magic). The smell is so fresh and intoxicating in the lobby and if its the evening there is a band playing. The main pool area is clean and classy, there is a fun pool with a slide and an under 10 area with a water play jungle gym. Really the resort is a vacation in itself. My children love it there and haven’t wanted to try any other resort.

On a Side note-if you are going to Disney on a budget I think that its worth it to stay right on property just for accessibility to the parks without having to deal with parking. I will tell you about how it makes the Theme Park experience so much better.

Booking

From my experience booking in January works the best for our June trip. I book directly with disney online and there is usually some kind of a deal on the Deluxe Resorts at that time. The deal may come at other times of the year but I don’t like paying for next years vacation right after I get back from this years vacation. If I do run Across some great deal I have gone a head and booked it with the $200 deposit though. So I book the trip in January and if I’m unsure of schedules for the kids I just put the deposit down and wait to pay the balance because you have until a couple months prior to your trip to pay the balance off. I never charge more on our personal credit card then I can pay off. I use a Southwest Chase Credit card throughout the year to get points for our flights and to date I have never paid for any of our flights to disney. I recently signed up for a Disney Chase card just to get the merchandise discount honestly.

One tip for if you are trying to stretch out paying for your trip is to go to to Giant eagle and get $500 Gift cards and apply them to your account one at a time until the balance is paid. You can put one gift card in each time you go online to pay. So you get to earn free gas and if you use the Southwest Visa you get points to use toward your flights there. You also technically get an extra month to pay off the trip if you wait to pay right before its due because that amount will fall on your next months Credit Card statement. We fly Southwest for two reasons. 1. Its cheap and you can update your ticket if you see better deals! 2. There are a couple of non stop flights out of Columbus, let me tell you that is huge when you are traveling with 3 little ones. We also book to ride on the Magical Express when we book our hotel which is amazing because they get your bags from the sky cap directly to the hotel for you! No Baggage Claim!!!! We just bring a bag on the plan with us with one change of clothes for everyone Incase it takes a while for it to get to our room. I also go ahead and get park hopper passes with our tickets so that we don’t feel like we have to stay at one park all day.

Dining Plan

We have gone back and forth with the Dining Plans worth now that we have been to most of the Character Dining Experiences. We don’t eat a whole lot and I don’t like sitting for 3 meals so last year we didn’t do the Deluxe Dining Plan like we have normally done, we only did the Disney Dining plan which seems to suit us better. I would say if you can do it sit down for a least one meal a day…its relaxing. I have realistic expectations so I know generally that Buffets aren’t going to be the best food ever but honestly I have never had a meal at Disney that didn’t meet the expectations that I had for the type of restaurant it was. I would say for us the benefit of the dining plan is that our trip is totally paid off before we go let gratuities we leave. The first thing I do is book Chef Mickeys when I know the dates we are going. This is a hard to get reservation and if its your first trip its a must! You see Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Daisy and Donald and the food is really good. Here’s a list of our favorite restaurants and one that we are trying new this year. We also plan our days around what is available at these.

Chef Mickey’s (The Contemporary)

Tepan Edo (Epcot)

Crystal Palace (Magic Kingdom)

Mama Melrose (Disney’s Studios)

Dino Cafe (Disney Springs)

Pandora’s Quick Service Cafe (Animal Kingdom)

Hollywood and Vine (Disney Studios)

Be Our Guest Cafe (really hard to book but lunch is open for quick service)

The Boathouse (Disney Springs) trying out this year

Some others we have been to but just haven’t gone again yet are Victoria and Alberts (AMAZING Anniversary dinner), Cinderella’s Royal Table and The Brown Derby.

Book your sit down meals early! You have to put a credit card down but its so much better for your overall experience. I have heard so many fights in the waiting areas of families that are hungry and tired that waited too long to go to the restaurant and have an hour long wait. My husband likes to sit down for at least one meal its quiet, not as chaotic and also a good time to chat with the kids and hear what they are enjoying. If you aren’t on a Dining Plan you can still pre book but they just hold a card for the reservation.

Another benefit of some restaurants is priority seating for shows so you don’t have to waste your fast passes. I usually book the Dinner package at Mama Melrose or Hollywood and Vine so that we can get priority seating at Fantasmic.

How to Keep it Magical

This may seem silly… don’t under-plan but don’t over-plan, Ive done both. Over planning (yea I’ve done spreadsheets) makes it seem like work keeping right on schedule and under planning can lead to a lot of tears (and I’m not just talking about the kids). We have literally seen a fist fight, sun burned kids screaming and adults yelling at each other and their kiddos (not judging because I have fussed at mine). I mentioned earlier that we like to stay on property and even if you have to stay at one of the Value Resorts to stick to a budget its worth it because here is how our schedule goes:

We get up between 7-8am we don’t set an alarm unless there is something special or a breakfast that we are getting to). We get breakfast at the quick service restaurant and bring it to the room (we have done a lot of Character Breakfasts over the years and the kids are usually too cranky to enjoy it honestly)

We get ready and head to whatever Park we are going to between 8-9am. We already have 2 fast passes booked sometimes they are set for the evening if that’s the case we ride a couple rides that aren’t long wait times.

These are just some of the tips I’ve gathered over the years!

Closet Redo

I’ve been busy over here working on  projects that were kind of half done around the house.  We had a few rooms left that needed to be painted .  My closet which already had Elfa shelving from the Container Store needed finishing off and I also needed to paint it.  So in typical Kristin style, one night I was laying on the floor of my closet I know that sounds weird but I was tired from putting away all my laundry and sat there thinking about what I wanted to do and decided it was time to finish it.  Every room plus the storage closet in my home has the Elfa shelving which I love it because it’s interchangeable.  At our old house my husband had custom shelving put in in our closet which was beautiful but I almost like this better because I could change it out as seasons change so for instance this time year and have us a sweater so I put more shelving but in the summer I have more dresses so I need more hanging space.  I bought a few more decor shelves and I really love the shoe racks.  I also added a few inexpensive touches like these 3 M Command knobs for my long necklaces, a couple led lights for my vanity area and a couple gold frames from TJMaxx.  I have one last thing to do which is to add LIGHTS. I have this chandelier but I really need some can lights installed.  (Greg please read this) 

If you have an Idea or want something done…do something about it.