Tips for Outdoor Entertaining

Summer is in full swing so it’s time to start cleaning up the yard and getting ready to entertain outdoors! Get your backyard prepped and perfect before you invite your friends, family, and neighbors over for a wonderful outdoor gathering. Here are some helpful tips to get your backyard ready!

Prep the Yard
For great outdoor entertaining, you’ll want your backyard to be clean and in order. Mow the grass, rake any debris away, and make sure any outdoor tools or toys are put away. Having your yard in order will make outdoor entertaining a breeze!

Clean Up the Inside as Well
Although you are mainly entertaining your guests outdoors, you’ll also want to clean up the inside of your home as well. There will be some light traffic within your house, mainly the entryway, kitchen, and bathrooms. You won’t want to overlook these spaces when you entertain.

Set Up Seating
You’ll want to have plenty of seating for your guests to use! Put out extra chairs, or you could even put out blankets on the grass if you are short on chairs. Also, if you know you won’t have enough seating, you could always ask your guest to bring any chairs that they have! Never be afraid to ask for help!

Set Up Lighting and Other Essentials
If you intend your outdoor party to go into the night you should set up lighting before hand. Not only will the lighting set a fun and special atmosphere, but it will also light up the yard when it gets darker. Also, don’t forget to set up other essentials as well! Set out tables with tablecloths, add umbrellas or a canopy for shade. Don’t forget to set out coolers with a vast array of drinks!

Pick Music Beforehand
Music is always great for background noise. If you plan on playing music during your outdoor gathering, make sure you pick the right music beforehand. Choose tunes that are entertaining, pleasant, and something everyone loves, nothing that will overwhelm your guests.

Choose Food Everyone Will Love
When you’re planning on what dishes to make for your outdoor party, make sure to think of your guests when you decide on your menu. When you extend the invitation, ask if anyone has any food allergies or dietary preferences. Or you could ask what everyone enjoys and make that. You could even try a potluck party, where every guest brings a dish, which will definitely lighten you load!

Prepare the Food in Advance
If you do decide to make the food yourself, try to prepare as much food in advance as possible. When it comes to the day of the party, you’ll be glad you got a head start so you can enjoy the party yourself.

Ask Friends For Help
You should never be afraid to ask for help! Whether you need help with pre-party preparation, food preparation, or if you are in need of chairs/supplies, always ask your guests for help.

Prep the Grilling Station
If you intend to grill for your outdoor party, make sure to prepare your grilling station ahead of time. Clean the grill and check if you have enough charcoal or gas to fire it up! Have all grilling utensils close by, along with a meat thermometer, so you don’t have to guess on grilling time!

Keep Pests Away
Don’t let summer pests ruin your outdoor gathering. Make sure to have plenty of bug spray and citronella candles to keep mosquitoes away. The best citronellas are ones with a light scent, so try and find a candle with a light scent!

Set Up Yard Games
You’ll want to plan on having a couple of yard games to play throughout your gathering. Set up popular yard games that everyone will enjoy including, croquet, badminton, horseshoes, and bocce, so you and your guests can enjoy a couple of games throughout the day.

Looking for a wonderful community to entertain all of your friends and family in? Check out one of our wonderful new home communities! Here at Judd Builders we have a strong commitment to quality workmanship and quality homes. If you have any questions feel free to contact us! We’d love to answer any questions you have!

7 Entertaining Tips In Your New Home

Now that you moved into your amazing Judd Builders home you can enjoy the benefits of living in a wonderful planned community. But how should you celebrate the big move? Well you could throw a housewarming party if you’ve just moved in or you could just throw a regular house party to reconnect with your neighbors, friends, and family. Here are seven tips to help you entertain in you new Judd home!

1. Prepare in Advance
Don’t do everything the day of your party. Instead, prepare everything you can in advance, so the day of you can enjoy the party as much as your guests. Shopping, cleaning, and cooking is a recipe for one stressful day. Organize a week in advance and plan out a schedule so you won’t get too overwhelmed. Clean the house one day, go grocery shopping the next day, and cook the day before the party and everything will go as planned.

2. Know Your Limits
Not only do you need to know you limits when hosting a party, you need to know the limits of your house! Don’t invite too many people where you can’t accommodate for them. Whether it’s not enough space in the house or you can’t make enough food, know you limits and don’t stress yourself out by inviting too many guests to your party.

3. Don’t Go too Crazy over Cleaning
It’s understandable that you’ll want to clean your house before the party, but don’t go overboard and clean everything. All you really have to do is vacuum, dust, and clean the bathrooms and your house will be ready for your party. Also, if you have a lot of papers and clutter lying around on counters, gather it up and put it in a bin in your bedroom.

4. Make a Playlist
Music can create a perfect party atmosphere, so make a playlist in advance for your house party. Start off with mellow music and continually build it up and bring it back down for the right balance of music that your guests will enjoy.

5. Serve Simple Foods
Don’t try to make a brand new recipe for your party. Instead stick to recipes you’ve made before and are simple to make. It will be less stressful and you’ll be more at ease knowing that the recipes taste delicious.

6. Ask for Help
Whether it’s help from your family or friends, don’t be afraid to ask for help. They can help before, during, and after the party taking some of the load off your shoulders. Also, if your guests offer to bring anything like desserts, appetizers, or sides, say yes! You don’t have to do everything yourself!

7. Enjoy the Time with Your Guests
Don’t forget about the reason you’re throwing a party. Enjoy the time with your guests and don’t fret over imperfections. Most likely your guests won’t care or even notice any imperfections because they’re too busy having fun and spending time with everyone.

Fun Friday Nights: How to Have Fun While Staying In

You don’t always have to go out to have a good time! That’s right, you can just as easily stay in on Friday night and have all the fun in the world. Plan to invite your friends and neighbors over and try out some of these fun at-home activities that will keep you entertained all night long.

Game Night
This classic is still one of the best ways to have fun while staying in. Invite your friends or your neighbors over for a rowdy night of card and board games that are sure to create lasting memories. Also, if you want to go big for game night add a theme and decorate accordingly.

Movie Night
Having a movie night is always a surefire way to have an awesome Friday night. A movie night is always easy to pull off and it can be very relaxing after a long week of working. However, you can also take movie night to a grander scale by having a big screen in your backyard. Pick a nice night to sit outside and project a movie onto a sheet. Not only is this different and fun from an original movie night, but you can also enjoy the outdoors.

Neflix Night
Similar to movie night, you can easily have a wonderful night in by hosting a get together and watching the latest Netflix series or a show that you and your friends have missed out on. Are you trying to catch up on a series? Gather with your friends and binge as much of the season as you can. At the end, not only have you spent quality time with your company, but you’ll have endless theories to chat about after the binging is over. If you don’t have Netflix don’t worry, just stick with the classic movie night and you’ll be sure to have a good time!

Girls Night: Spa Night/Bake Off
Forget girls night out. Instead have a girls night in and have a spa night or bake off. You don’t have to stick with the classic game night to have a fun time with your ladies. Relax and unwind from a stressful week of work and treat each other to a spa treatment. Paint your nails or give yourself a facial, whatever you decide to do make sure it’s relaxing and fun. However, if spa night is not for you, you have other options to choose from. Have a bake off and try out all the recipes that you’ve been dying to try. The options are endless, so plan the perfect girls night in for you and your favorite ladies.

Guys Night: Sporting Events/Competition
If girls can have a girls night in, why can’t guys do the same? Don’t limit yourselves to game night or movie night, get creative and think about what you and your guys would enjoy. Does a flag football game sound fun or would you rather grill and chill with your buddies? Whatever you decide to do just remember to have fun with it!

Host a Winning Super Bowl Party!

With the Super Bowl just around the corner, you’re probably thinking about how to celebrate. Hopefully your team made it to the final showdown, but if they didn’t you can still have fun and throw a winning Super Bowl party to enjoy the festivities with your friends and family. Here are some great tips, trick, and recipes to help you throw a spectacular Super Bowl party, even if your favorite team isn’t competing.

Decorating:
Decorating is essential for a fun Super Bowl party. Not only is it fun to decorate, but it also gets everyone in the perfect mood for the game. Get creative with your décor and follow a football theme that everyone will love. From AstroTurf coasters to a football field table runner, the décor options are endless! Check out some of these great ideas for Super Bowl décor and have fun decorating! Also, don’t forget to decorate with your team’s colors!

Food:
The most important aspect of the party, other than the game of course, is the amazing food. Opting to serve traditional tailgate food is probably the best way to go, but don’t be afraid to have fun with your food. Get creative with how you set up the food you are serving and take inspiration from some of these great ideas! If you’re having trouble finding recipes to enjoy during game day, look no further. The Today Show has got you covered! Check out their list of the 50 Ultimate Super Bowl Party Foods! However, if you’re looking for healthier finger foods try out some of these healthier recipes of traditional tailgate food.

Games:
Depending on what time your party begins, you can plan to play some games in advance. If you are starting the festivities early, play a game of flag football to get everyone pumped. However, you can opt for more low-key games as well. One of the best ways to get your guests interacting with games is to have a Super Bowl pool. Have your friends and family wager who will win and what the final score will be. At the end of the game make sure to have a small prize (a gift card would be great!) for the person who had the closest prediction. The game options are endless! This site has plenty of great Super Bowl party games if you need any help or inspiration!

Whether you decide to go all out for your Super Bowl party or throw a low-key party, make sure to enjoy the game and the time you spend with your friends and family! Hopefully your favored team wins and if not, there’s always next year!

Unique Holiday Party Ideas Everyone Will Love

With the holidays in full swing it’s only natural to have a holiday party to keep the festivities going. However, don’t get caught up in throwing a typical party. Get creative and throw a unique holiday party that everyone is bound to enjoy and remember for years to come. Here are some fun and creative ideas to inspire you!

Reverse Christmas in July
Everyone’s heard of Christmas in July so why not reverse the festivities and celebrate July during Christmas? That’s right, invite friends and family over and suggest they bring tropical temperatures with them. Tell guest to wear beach-themed attire and make sure you have plenty of piña coladas at the ready. Also, don’t forget to have summer themed food and treats with a holiday twist. Make classic sugar cookies cut out in flip flops, swim trunks, tropical flowers, surfboards, and santa but decorate them for Christmas! Have fun with this party idea and make sure to get creative! It is sure to be a hit with everyone and will surely be a party to remember!

Karaoke Night Holiday Style
Forget about caroling in the cold and unforgiving weather. Instead invite your friends, family, and neighbors over for fun-filled night of karaoke featuring everyone’s favorite holiday songs! It’s guaranteed to be a wonderful night to get everyone in the holiday spirit!

Movie Marathon
Who doesn’t love a great movie marathon? Compile a list of your guest’s favorite holiday movies before the party and make sure to have them on hand. Play them throughout the night and make sure to have plenty of food and holiday snacks for everyone to enjoy!

Gift Wrapping Party
Don’t wait till last minute to wrap all of your presents. Instead, throw a gift-wrapping party and invite you neighbors to make gift wrapping more fun! Tell everyone to bring gift-wrapping materials and make sure to have plenty of holiday snacks and treats for everyone! Also, don’t forget to hide any gifts that you might be giving to your guests! You don’t want to wrap their present in front of them and ruin the surprise!

Holiday Crafts
Gather with your most Pinterest-obsessed friends and neighbors and ask them each to find a fun holiday craft and bring the required materials. Make sure to pick a craft yourself so you aren’t left out of the fun. Then enjoy a day full of crafting using everyone’s ideas! This is perfect for kids as well!

Cookie Exchange
Hosting a cookie exchange is a classic holiday party that everyone enjoys! Tell your guests to make the cookie of their choice to bring to the party. However, you might want to communicate with your guests and figure out what everyone is baking so there are no duplicates in recipes. Once everyone is gathered, start exchanging cookies so that each guest has a bunch of different cookies that they can give out with their cookie plates! After, enjoy each other’s company and get in the holiday spirit!

Gingerbread House Decorating Contest
What’s more fun than having a little contest to heat things up? Gather all the supplies you need to make a gingerbread house and set up some ground rules for the competition. Then, you and your guests can have all the fun in the world decorating a gingerbread masterpiece! After the festivities are done, make sure you have delicious snacks to nibble on and put on some classic holiday movies on and mingle among your friends.

Sledding Party
If you’re lucky enough to live by a park with a wonderful hill then you can enjoy a sledding party! Plan to go sledding with other neighborhood families and enjoy the thrill of sledding. Once everyone is tuckered out head back to your cozy Judd Builders home and enjoy some hot cocoa with everyone!

Fall Decorating Tips

Summer is coming to a close, but the good news is that fall is right around the corner and you know what that means: apples, pumpkins, crisp air, hayrides and football. September 22nd marks the first day of fall, so here’s how you can incorporate the season into your home style.

Bring Warmth to a Large Space
You may love the look and feel of a cathedral or vaulted ceiling, however, it can get a bit chilly once the cooler months hit – not just in temperature, but in atmosphere too. Solve this problem by replacing the lightweight linen and cotton throw rugs, blankets and pillows of summer with richer, warmer fall shades and fabrics. Velvet, wool, cotton, chenille and cashmere are all good fabric choices, says HGTV. Look for bold reds, orange, mellow gourd green, mustard yellow, and various shades of beige and brown.

Dress up Your Porch
Instead of tossing a few boring pumpkins on your porch, make them picture-perfect. Gather some metallic glitter, white paint and leaves or ferns collected from the backyard. Paint the pumpkins white, then add glue to the leaves. Press them against the pumpkin in varying patterns, then sprinkle the glitter to cover the whole shape. This can also be a great activity for when the grand-kids come to visit! Besides who doesn’t love a little glitter?

If you have a farmer’s porch or even just a normal sized porch, add a rocking chair with a flannel throw for extra warmth. Place a basket of pumpkins nearby and a small rustic table to place tea on! For that basket of pumpkins, add a variety of sizes and colors to spice things up. Place a lace doily over the stem of a few pumpkins for an elegant touch.

If you’re not a fan of pumpkins, try a wire basket filled with birch firewood to adorn your front porch and complement it with a natural wooden bench, suggests Country Living.

Adorn Your Mantel
Your mantel is likely the centerpiece of your living room, making it a prime spot for decorating this fall. Add simple clear vases or mason jars with one crab apple branch in each. For even greater visual appeal, vary the heights of the vases you use. Craft some mantel accessories by stringing painted pine cones onto twine, says Better Homes and Gardens. Paint the tips of each pine cone with a hint of color like cranberry, gold or even burnt orange.

Get cozy this fall with these tips to warm up and decorate your home! And if you’re looking for a new home to get cozy in, call Judd Builders or browse our communities today. We would be happy to answer all of your questions about our many beautiful homes!

Labor Day Activities For the Family

Labor Day

It’s the last weekend to celebrate summer. What will YOU do with the family? Labor Day is the unofficial end to summer, commonly celebrated with cookouts and get-togethers before everyone has to head back to work and school. From barbecues to festivals, here are a few of the best activities in the area.

Made in America Festival at Ben Franklin Parkway

Headlined by Rihanna and Coldplay, this fifth annual Made in America Festival will take place Saturday, September 2, and Sunday, September 3 in Philadelphia. Featuring a killer lineup of musicians playing rock, indie, hip-hop and more on multiple stages, be prepared to stay all day and enjoy the good life. Jay-Z, J. Cole, The Chainsmokers, Solange and many more artists are expected to take the stage.

Labor Day Folksfest at the Cannstatter Club

If folk music is more your thing, come experience the 144th annual Cannstatter Volksfest. This German festival, Philly’s own version of Oktoberfest, features lots of music, dancing, beer, food, and rides for the kids. This festival takes place at Cannstatter Club beer garden in Northeast Philly on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Music Jam at FDR Park

FDR Park will host a free two-day music festival sponsored by the Philadelphia Songwriters Project and the summer beer garden called Parks on Tap. On Saturday, musicians include Ross Bellenoit, Angela Burns and Ginger Coyle. On Sunday, musicians include De Tierra Caliente, Andrea Nardello and Pixel8ter.

Labor Day Fireworks at Sesame Place

The kids will love visiting Sesame Place in Langhorne PA, and Labor Day weekend is the time to do it. Take part in their annual Labor Day weekend fireworks show, set to Sesame Street music! Celebrate with all your favorite characters, Elmo, Abby Cadabby, Cookie Monster and Count von Count. Fireworks start right after the 8 p.m. performance of the Neighborhood Street Party Night Parade. Also, have a bite to eat as part of the Labor Day Weekend BBQ, offering plenty of pulled pork, smoked chicken, burgers and hot dogs.

Playwicki Park

Enjoy a barbecue at Playwicki Park, also in Langhorne, where you can play baseball and basketball, go fishing and hiking, have a picnic, and play on the playground. Nestled along the Neshaminy Creek, you’ll be sure to enjoy the solace and recreation this 33-acre park has to offer. Bring your BBQ meats because grills are open to the public.

Whether you live in Poet’s Walk in Bucks County, Siena Place in Philadelphia, or want to head to the city for the holiday weekend, there are plenty of activities to keep you busy this Labor Day.

Fun Designs for the Kids’ Rooms

Kids Room

Is your child’s bedroom boring and outdated? Are they outgrowing their room? Sounds like a new design is in order. We can help. Spruce up your kid’s room with these tips:

One thing to consider is – as your child grows up, their style is going to change. So, sticking with a neutral color could be your best option and then adding pops of colors with pillows, rugs, décor and lighting.

Purple Passion

Have a little girl who’s outgrowing the pink unicorns and fluffy teddy bears? No problem. Explore your pre-teen’s style by giving her room a purple makeover. If you live in Whispering Pines, then you know how close you are to the Lehigh Valley Mall or the Promenade Shops at Saucon Valley. Chances are, your pre-teen loves shopping, so why not get her involved and get her input on everything? Check out this purple passion bedroom from Babble.

A bed with extra storage provides just what she needs for all her new clothes. And a fluffy purple throw rug with added beanbag chair makes this room a must for sleepovers with the girls.

Bunk Beds with a Twist

If you have two little ones moving in together to make way for, say, a brand new baby, you want them to have as much fun as possible. Bunk beds are perfect for that cozy feel of camping yet an elegant touch of a growing child’s room. Try this look of bunk beds nestled on top of each other in a T pattern instead of the usual vertical stacking position. Lime green walls provide the perfect backdrop for simple patterns on the bed spread, pillows and throw rugs. White furniture makes the ideal complement, making the way for style changes throughout the coming years.

Pink Princess

This charming twist on the typical princess room features a carriage style bed that would make Cinderella jealous. On oval mirror-mirror-on-the-wall offset by elegant white furniture and hot pink drapes bring the whole look together for your little princess.

Pirate Theme

For your little buccaneers, there’s the pirate-shaped bed complete with flags and sails. A vertical map with skull and cross bones marks the spot on the wall, with treasure map themed posters adorning the walls as well. Old books, a compass and a lantern set the stage for an adventure on the high seas.

The best part about redecorating your kids’ rooms is involving them in the decisions. The more they take part, the bigger investment they make in their own décor. Have them choose the accents, or put them in charge of the wall color (within reason of course!)

To learn more about joining Whispering Pines or any of our other communities, call Judd Builders today.

Must-See in Lehigh Valley

Must-See in Lehigh Valley

With the summer in full swing, you’re probably itching to get out and about to enjoy the scenery in Lehigh Valley. Especially if you’re living in a community like Brookshire or Whispering Pines, right in the Lehigh Valley itself, you want to know where to go and where the fun attractions are. Here’s a list of some must-see and must-do adventures while living in Lehigh Valley this summer.

Jacobsburg State Park

Perched on the north edge of the Lehigh Valley, Jacobsburg State Park is a beautiful area in which to explore and learn. You can participate in one of the many environmental education programs for preschoolers right on up to high schoolers. Or, take part in an environmental problem-solving program, historical program, teacher workshop or public interpretive program. Of course, you can simply pick a trail and explore on your own. It is located on the site where the Henry Rifle was made, with plenty of scenic hikes and multi-use trails.

Coca-Cola Park

There’s nothing better than taking in a ball game in the summer. In Allentown, you’ll find Coca-Cola Park, an 8,000-seat stadium home to the minor league team of the Philadelphia Phillies. Enjoy an affordable day or night out with the family as you cheer for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs.

Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom

Take a break from the summer heat and cool off at Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom. This is an amusement park and water park in one. For one ticket price, you get access to 100 rides, shows and attractions at one of the country’s best water parks. It also happens to be home to the largest collection of kids’ rides in Planet Snoopy, with Dorney Park being one of the most visited amusement parks in the country thanks in large part to its eight roller coasters.

Covered Bridge Tours

Lehigh Valley boasts seven of the 200 covered bridges in all of Pennsylvania. Take a tour of these beautiful bridges, five of which are open to traffic. The Lehigh Valley Covered Bridge Tour is about 50 miles long, so plan to spend the day. You’ll get a chance to take photos, eat a picnic lunch, take a hike, or rest by the babbling brooks. Some of the bridges you’ll encounter include:

  • Bogert’s Bridge in Allentown
  • Manasses Guth Bridge in South Whitehall
  • Wehr’s Covered Bridge in South Whitehall
  • Rex’s Covered Bridge in North Whitehall
  • Geiger’s Covered Bridge in North Whitehall:
  • Schlicher’s Covered Bridge in North Whitehall
  • Kreidersville Covered Bridge in Allen Township

As a resident of our communities in Lehigh Valley, you have access to so many surrounding activities and fun things to do in the summer. If you’d like to be a part of our community, contact Judd Builders today to learn more.

Best Activities to Beat the Heat

Summer in the city - little boy playing with fountain

With summer in full swing, here are some of the best activities in the area to keep you busy while keeping you cool.

Philadelphia

If you live in our beautiful Siena Place, you’re close by many of Philadelphia’s summer attractions. Between now and October 1, be sure to visit Spruce Street Harbor Park, returning for its fourth season. This temporary park has colorful hammocks you can relax on in the warm weather, sample delicious local fare in its floating restaurant, drink cold drafts from the beer garden, and participate in plenty of team games such as ping pong and shuffleboard. It’s located at Spruce Street and S. Columbus Blvd in Philly.

Want to catch a movie under the stars? Head to Penn’s Landing every Thursday night in July and August for a public outdoor showing of a different movie on the big screen. Just bring your own blanket or a lawn chair to enjoy the latest movie while perched on the scenic banks of the Delaware River.

Lehigh Valley

If you call Whispering Pines in Coopersburg, Lehigh County home, take in a ball game in nearby Allentown at Coco-Cola Park. This 8,000-seat stadium is a cheap night out as you cheer for the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the minor league team of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Also in Allentown is Dorney Park and Wildwater Kingdom, where you pay one low price and get to enjoy both parks. With more than 100 rides, shows and attractions, you can spend a whole day and night here with the family or grandkids. Ranked one of the country’s best water parks, and home to the largest collection of kids’ rides in Planet Snoopy, Dorney Park happens to be one of the most visited amusement parks in the country. Which one of the eight roller coasters will be your favorite?

Bucks County

Do you live in Renaissance at Morgan Creek? If so, and you have grandkids who like to come visit on the weekend, a visit to Kids Castle in Central Park in Doylestown is a must. This impressive play area includes an eight-story wooden playground structure created in 1997. There are designated areas for kids ages two to five, and other areas for kids five to 12 years old. You’ll find this iconic park at 425 Wells Road. On a rainy day, head to the Bucks County Children’s Museum at 500 Union Square in New Hope. Enjoy a fun, educational, and hands-on environment for children and parents that celebrates Bucks County’s charm, history and character.

If you’re looking to find the perfect house in Pennsylvania, rely on Judd Builders to connect you with your new home. Browse our website and give us a call to learn more about our many communities as well as the many things to do around here.