New Year's Drink Recipes

New Years Eve Champagne Punch
Via A Spicy Perspective

Can you believe another year is almost over?  Time flies!  How do you plan on ringing in the New Year?  Whether it's a quiet night at home or you are hosting a big bash, we have found some great cocktails to toast with. And don't forget to get some sparkling grape juice for the kids!  Cheers!

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for the New Homeowner

You want to give the new homeowner on your list a beautiful gift that expresses your happiness for them, but you kind of forgot about it until the last minute so now there's no time for the awesome monogrammed doormat or engraved silver key-chains you had in mind. Not to worry, we have some great gift ideas for the new homeowner that you can pick up on the way to their house. And you won't have to take out a second mortgage to buy them.

Tips for Hosting Thanksgiving

Prepare early for an enjoyable Thanksgiving.

If you are hosting Thanksgiving dinner, it is never to early to begin preparations. Follow this checklist to get everything in order and reduce stress Thanksgiving week. 

Thanksgiving Host Checklist

Check in with food allergies/dietary restrictions - While it can be a pain to accommodate everyone's food allergies or dietary restrictions on Thanksgiving, it's nonetheless important to do so. Ask about this when you extend invitations, so guests can communicate their preferences well in advance. This way, you can plan a menu that works while accommodating guest preferences. 

Preparing Your Home for Winter

Preparing your home for winter can increase comfort and reduce energy bills, help maintain property value, and ensure peace of mind during winter storms. Get started on home and garden winter preparation with this checklist. 

Winter Preparation Checklist 

1. Seal windows and doors - Air leaks around windows and doors suck hot air outside so you feel chilled even when the heat is turned up to a comfortable level. Seal air leak around windows and doors using weatherstripping and caulk; repair or replace broken or cracked glass; use storm doors and windows; and repair damaged window frames. 

Creating the Perfect Fall Tablescape

The rich colors of autumn make even the least creative people want to decorate their homes to reflect nature's show. And the most creative people? Well, they pull out all the stops when the crisp scent of fall fills the air. No matter how your DIY skills measure up, following these basic steps for building a tablescape will make your home look like a page out of a magazine, a fall issue, of course.

Labor Day Menu and Entertaining Ideas

Keep it stress-free and casual.

With midsummer behind us, Labor Day is not far away. Start planning your entertainment menu now to give summer the farewell send-off it deserves. Start brainstorming now with our ideas for Labor Day entertaining. 

Labor Day Entertainment Ideas

Above all, Labor Day entertainment should be stress-free, so keep things easy and light. Prepare a casual online invitation and email it out to your friends and relatives. 

Stock up on disposables, like colorful paper plates and paper napkins. There's no need to get fancy with the decorations either. Scatter mason jars filled with tea lights or flowers throughout the party for a simple yet sweet party decoration. 

Put out lawn games so that guests can entertain themselves with backyard jenga, cornhole, badminton, croquet and other low-maintenance favorites. 

End the evening with a bonfire to transition to fall and gather round and socialize with all your nearest and dearest. 

Set out lawn games for entertainment.

Labor Day Menu Ideas

If you want to give your grill one last hurrah, this is the perfect excuse. Try grilled burgers and late-summer corn with summer watermelon for dessert. It's easy, no fuss, and sure to impress. Play it conventional with beef burgers or think outside the box with veggie burgers, turkey burgers, or lamb burgers. Upgrade this one by making your own pickles, mustard, and relish; if you're short on time but want to impress, pick up premium products. 

If you are looking ahead to fall instead, but still want to grill, try pizza. Pizza on the grill is easy and fun! Make your own pizza dough, or visit your favorite pizza shop and purchase their dough. Then put out an array of toppings so that guests can choose which toppings they would like to put on their pies. Follow up a pizza dinner with an ice cream sundae bar featuring late-summer fruit toppings, or make popsicles from late fall melons and berries. 

Fresh fruit makes an easy side or dessert.

Vegetable and meat kebabs are another simple option for late summer parties. Think ahead by marinating cubed meat for several hours beforehand. Throw diced mushrooms, peppers, onions, zucchini, and tomatoes on skewers to accompany the meat. If you need another option, grill corn and serve it alongside the meat and vegetable kebabs. Make this option vegetarian friendly by offering skewers of tofu or tempeh. For dessert, try a homemade or store-bought fruit pie with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream. 

No-fuss sides showcase all the produce of fall and offer picky guests more of a choice. Get creative with a pasta or grain salad by adding braised greens, grilled late-summer veggies, and fresh herbs and spices. 

Are you hosting a Labor Day get together? If so, what are you currently planning to serve your guests?

 For more information on Plote Homes and our communities please visit our website.

Video Home Tour of Plote Homes' Ashton Model at Cliffs of Fontana

This beautiful Ashton Model is located in the Cliffs of Fontana community located in Fontana, Wisoconsin.  It was featured on the Lakeland Builders Association Parade of Homes Tour.   It offers 1,944 sq. ft of living on the main floor and 1,178 sq. ft of living on the lower level.  This lovely home features 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a den.  Other details include: 10-foot ceiling height on the main level, 8-foot 8-inch ceiling height on the lower level, a finished lower level, stone fireplace, tray ceiling in master bedroom, luxury master bathroom and cathedral ceiling in great room.  Enjoy the video tour!

For more information on this home visit our website or contact Barbara, Sales Manager (262) 275-6000

Video Tour of The Bayhill Ranch Duplex Model from Plote Homes | Lakes of Boulder Ridge

This brilliantly designed Bayhill duplex sits on a premium lot. This luxurious ranch includes 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, open floor plan, study, den, mud/laundry room, full finished basement and a 2-car attached garage.  Additional features include a walk-out lower level, screened porch with open deck and concrete patio, 10-foot first floor ceilings, fireplace, luxury master bath, tray ceilings, kitchen island with breakfast bar and finished lower level with bedroom, bath and wet bar/beverage center.

For more information visit our website or contact our sales office at (847) 854-3008.

5 Fun Summertime Party Themes

Have some fun with summertime entertaining themes.

Barbecues and tropical luaus are classic themes when it comes to summertime parties, but your summer entertaining can lead the way in creativity if you think outside the party box. Consider these five ideas to inspire originality in your backyard soirees this year.

1.  The Best Burger Competition 
Invite your most competitive friends over for a cooking competition. The theme? Why, the classic hamburger, of course. You can provide the side dishes, the paper goods and the trophies, and let your friends take over the kitchen or grill to strut their stuff for the ultimate summer bragging rights.

Join the Parade! Plote Homes Ashton Model to be Featured in Parade of Homes

Modern open concept kitchen.
Actual model finishes will vary.

Experience the high-end finishes and custom details that make the two-bedroom Cliffs of Fontana home an ideal choice for couples and families. 

The Lakeland Builders Association annual Parade of Homes event is just a few weeks away, and Plote Homes is excited to have one of its homes as a featured participant this year. A tradition for more than a quarter century, the Parade of Homes showcases the area's homes, builders and remodelers, offering an easy way for interested home buyers to learn about the latest trends and innovations while experiencing the unique style and craftsmanship of leading builders and contractors. This year's event will be on July 25th and 26th and August 1st and 2nd.

Best Grilled Foods for Your Memorial Day Cookout

Delicious grilled foods with a new twist on cookout classics.

Memorial Day Weekend is the kickoff to summer and the outdoor cooking season. Whether your celebration is cozy or epic, the menu has to be filled with delicious grilled and barbecued foods. If you're looking for a new twist on cookout classics, checkout the eight grilled foods you must try this Memorial Day.

1. Grilled salad: Not all grilled foods have to be meat. Slice heads of Romaine lettuce in half lengthwise, and grill them for 2-3 minutes on a well-oiled grate to make a Caesar salad your friends and family will talk about all summer.

Unique Gifts and Ideas to Celebrate Mother's Day

Give her a gift that's as special as she is.

Every year you worry over finding a great gift for Mother's Day. Whether you're shopping for Mom or the mother of your children, you want to find something that's as special as she is--something that shows your appreciation for all she does. But what does Mom really want? Chances are the gift of her dreams is one of two things: 1. A break from all her responsibilities. 2. More quality time with her family. And if you can find a way to give her both those things at once, you'll be the child or partner of the year!

Plote Builders' Ashton Model to Be Featured in Lakeland 2015 Parade of Homes

The Ashton features 1,944 square feet of single-level living space.
Actual model finishes will vary.

Renowned area builder Plote Homes is proud to announce it's been accepted to participate in the Lakeland Builders Association's 2015 Parade of Homes, an annual event that showcases the area's newest homes in  all-day open house celebrations. This year's event is scheduled to take place on July 25th & 26th and August 1st & 2nd.  Plote Home's newest model, the Ashton at Cliffs of Fontana, will be among the parade's highlights.

Get Ready for Spring Cleaning

Springtime de-clutter, clean and organize!

Spring brings the promise of new beginnings. The delicate scent of blossoms fill the air while dust rags and bottles of spray cleaner fill your hands. Yes, it's time for spring cleaning! If that statement doesn't make your scrubbing fingers twitch with excitement, you may be interested in learning how to get the job done as quickly and painlessly as possible. Here are four tips to help you prepare and organize before your hand ever even touches a rubber glove: