Unique Christmas Tree Ideas

Here are a few unique if not ingenious Christmas Tree Ideas, most of them are pretty easy to recreate for your office or home to give it a WOW factor!

Santa Christmas Tree

santa tree

Snowman Tree

snowman tree

Beach themed Trees

Shell Tree and Star Fish Tree

shell tree star fish tree

Suspended by fishing line this tree is created with ornaments and suspended from the ceiling (Clearly the most complicated of our trees)

ornament tree

Want to use items you already have at home?

book christmas tree bktree

How about this Book Tree?

Maybe your Camera Tri-pod?

tripod tree

My personal favorite the Redneck AKA Ladder Tree!


Love the Mexican Tree, Now you have something to do with all those Sombreros you have accumulated over the years

sombrero tree

How about an Antler Tree?  This is for the TRUE Outdoorsman!

antler tree

How ever you choose to deck your halls this holiday season, just have a Safe and Blessed Holiday!

Merry Christmas!

Why to Sell a Home during the Holidays!

Thinking of selling your home over the holidays?

Thinking maybe you should take it off the market until next year?

sell during holidays

Here are some things to take into consideration when deciding to sell over the holiday season.

January is traditionally the month for many employees to begin new jobs or transfer. These employees cannot wait until the “Sales Season” gears up so NOW is the time!

Buyers have more time to look for a home during the holidays than they do during a typical work week.

Houses are more inviting with a feeling of family and tradition when decorated for the holidays.  This makes it easier for prospective buyers to imagine your house as their new home.

Many people need to buy now for tax reasons. shutterstock_117614494-690x350

Listings will increase at the end of January, more homes on the market in the same style as yours, means more competition for you and your home.

People who are looking for a home during the holidays are more likely to be serious buyers.

Serious buyers have fewer homes to choose from during the holiday season. Less inventory on the market means more opportunities for you.

Be sure to contact a local Realtor to help, they are familiar with the area, the pricing and comps as well as listings just coming on or going off the market.  It pays to have a professional in your corner to advise you step by step through the process and benefits  of selling NOW!

Take Control when Contractors Do you WRONG!

See Updates on the bottom of this Blog Post

bid close up

So my 89 year old Dad and I needed some Tuck pointing work

We went out and got bids for the work to be done and selected a contractor.  My dad and I live across the street from each other so this would be easy one stop job for them.  We put down the 1/2 deposit AND I told Terry J Marler of Marler and Sons (The guy we met with for the bid) I would be leaving town and hopefully he could get it done before or after my trip.SKMBT_C36413101411120_0001

While I was gone he completed the work, there was no one to really check the work as my father walks with a walker and does not get around very well.

Terry showed the work to my 20 year old daughter and thought that was adequate.

Mean while my father was told that the work that he needed was not bid correctly because he did not notice how bad it was.  Now it is chimney work at this house, clearly visible to the naked eye, is this not why you get a bid?  Ok it is not always that easy but the charge was $1000 MORE for my dads house then bid.  That is crazy in and of itself.  But my dad did NOT complain instead he paid the bill.

When I returned home I saw the work and was very disappointed.  I personally called and talked to Terry J Marler as did my father.  Terry told me he would personally come to my home and look at the work and talk to me on Monday AM.

Here is the list on the bid of what was to be done

bid close up

This is my back step they were to fix

Step work step 2

Here is my front porch step they were to waterproof, FYI that off colored concrete was NOT there when I left town!

front steps front steps 1 front steps 2

Here is the Tuck pointing on my garage

zz back garage

That Monday however 2 workman showed, I asked them if they were her to fix what was wrong, one of the workman said to me, “No we are just here to pick up our form from the back yard for the step.”  I said, that is not a form in the back yard, that is a piece of board and my landscape rocks.  He chuckled and said “Yep, that is what we call a form.”

Days, weeks passed no Terry.

So I emailed



I decided the Better Business Bureau might be able to help me so I filed a complaint.


I was stunned to get a response from the Better Business Bureau that the company I complained about had responded, The BBB thought their response was adequate AND closed the case.  That I could respond but they would not re-open the case unless there was new information.  WHAT NEW INFORMATION could you get?  My garage fell down??????  The response was a LIE!

I sent the BBB the SAME photos you are viewing here, actually I took a few of these photos this morning AFTER the BBB closing my case!!!!!!


bbb closed


Look I just want my money back so I can hire someone to fix this right, I cannot afford to pay someone else, where is the justice?


TV News Crews?

The Attorney General?

Well I am going to try all of those and so here you will find all the updates and information on how this turns out.  I appreciate you liking and sharing this story wherever you can to help me find justice.

For Now Terry J Marler of Marler & Sons Tuckpointing and Masonary and the Better Business Bureau get a HUGE F

bbbf public service annoumcementOne more thing for those of you who are concerned.  This is the actual words Marler & Sons personally used to respond to my complaint.  THEIR OWN WORDS

marler own words

ALL of the Photos included in this blog were taken 10/14 on my iPhone

So if they (Marler) wrote on Oct 11 in the response to the BBB see line #2 “we went back out and completed, our company owner inspected then called customer to inform it was done told her if anything else needed please contact us.”

NOW YOU TELL ME,  Those photos are what Marler & Sons OWNER deem “completed and inspected”. REALLY!!!!!????  WHO IS WRONG HERE?

UPDATE 10/15/2013 Went to Missouri Attorney General site and found 3 complaints against Marler & Sons, 2 in the past 30 days that are unresolved!  Search Marler Here http://www.consumer.ago.mo.gov/search/complaintSearch.cgi

ALSO UPDATE – Employee Stephanie Gore decided to engage on Facebook tonight with RE/MAX Slander and attacks.  Here is the facebook page of this business should you choose to check it out, https://www.facebook.com/pages/Tuckpointing-and-MasonryCom/241019008975.  Photos of the Facebook page conversation to follow soon.

Update July 2015– NOW the BBB is warning consumers about Marler!  I give the BBB an F for waiting almost 3 years.  Clearly as you see in the letter from the BBB they were not warning consumers when I compared.  Well maybe now we will see some justice.


Home Financing During the Government Shut Down

Home Financing During the Shutdown

By Don Menendez, Paramount Mortgage Production Manager

The government shutdown is here. Whether it’s not being able to get a new Social Security card or visit a national park, Americans will immediately feel the effects. But there is one bright spot of the economy that stands to be affected as well: housing.

How the shutdown will affect housing has revolved around the mortgage market, specifically prospective buyers’ access to new home loans. After all, more than 90% of all loan activity is underwritten, insured, or owned by the government and its affiliated entities.

Initially at least, the mortgage market is likely to be only minimally impacted. New loans will continue to push through most government agency pipelines. What possibly will change is how long the process takes, as many agencies expect to experience delays.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac purchased mortgages will be unaffected because their operations are paid for by fees charged to lenders. The Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to guarantee mortgages for Americans who have served in the military, since these loans are funded by user fees as well. The FHA office remains open for business, albeit with a smaller staff. For lenders who rely on FHA underwriters to approve loans, this will cause delays. Ruth Battle, Senior Vice President at Paramount Mortgagesaid, “Paramount Mortgage has a staff of underwriters on site and we expect absolutely no delays in taking care of our clients’ needs.”

USDA loans…well that is another matter. The USDA says that NO NEW housing loans or guarantees will be issued through its Rural Development programs in a shutdown.

The consensus is that for the most part you aren’t going to see much of a hit in the mortgage market unless it goes for a long period of time. If the shutdown does stretch on, the worry will be what mortgage rates do in a market shrouded in fiscal uncertainty and how that will affect the home buying, especially in light of recent rate spikes. For now, at Paramount Mortgage, it is business as usual.

2013 FHA Loan Limits
One-Family: $281,250 Two-Family: $360,050
Three-Family: $435,200 Four-Family: $540,850
CY2013 St. Louis basic standard mortgage limits.

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share this information
with you. I hope you find it helpful!
Jerry D’Agostino

Mortgage Bankerjerry

pmcParamount Mortgage Company

347 N. Lindbergh Blvd.

Creve Coeur, MO 63141



Email: jerryd@paramountmortgage.com

NMLS ID: 237510

Missouri ID: 6044-MLO

NMLS Office ID: 67856

Is My Home Haunted?



This is a reblog of a blog written by Jennifer Warner

When Halloween is mentioned, we think of grinning jack-o-lanterns and little ghouls scouring their neighborhoods,  trick or treating.  Our children celebrate this ghost time with darling costumes and fantasies of Fairies, Witches, Super Heroes and all kinds of FUN personal alternative personas. However, it wasn’t always about pumpkins and candy.  Halloween dates back to ancient times and was celebrated differently than the way we do today.

For example the Celts believed that on the night before the New Year, the boundary between the living and the dead became blurred. The Samhian on the night of October 31st, when the dead supposedly returned to walk the earth. Ghosts were thought to cause trouble and damage crops and enable the Druids and Celtic priests, to predict the future. To commemorate Samhain, the Druids built huge sacred bonfires, where people gathered to sacrifice crops and animals.

Well since we are speaking real estate here, how can you learn the history of your haunted home? How can you find out who lived or died on the property before you owned it or lived in it? It helps to know a friendly real estate agent or title company employee if you want to get the distant past history of your haunted land. Or better yet, talk to the neighbors, sometimes they know more than anyone.

A title company can run a title search and get what is called the “chain of title” for you. That will tell you much more than a property profile or the county records, which often go back only about 10 years. A chain of title can go way, way back-as far as Mexican or Spanish land grants in our area.

Sometimes the chain of title will also include, death certificates, so you’ll know if anyone died on the land or in the house. But don’t expect this to be absolutely perfect- no guarantees here! BOO!!!!



Jennifer Warner Team  (910) 237-3411

Re/Max Premier Properties
150 North McPherson Church Road
Fayetteville, NC 28303

“Selling Homes Today For Your Tomorrow!”

What do Rising Home Prices and Interest Rates Mean to Me?

home buyer questions

The nation is coming to grips with the fact that the period of ridiculously low interest rates may soon be reaching the end.  The question I get asked most often is, “But what does this mean to me? Did I miss the boat?”

Valid fears and concerns, yes you did miss the “Rock Bottom Pricing” we had earlier this year but now is still an excellent time to buy.  No one knows when exactly rock bottom is going to hit and when the rebound will begin, now that we see home prices increasing as well as interest rates it could be disheartening, but let me give you a few insights to consider.

#1 More sellers will be able to sell their homes as the prices stabilize, so those who could afford to manage to hold on will now be looking to sell those homes.

#2 Mortgage rates are still at a Historic Low, Take it from someone who saw 18%, you are still getting a GREAT deal if you buy today.

#3 We are not done with the foreclosure market, there will still be plenty of those out there, just remember the commitment to purchase a short sale or foreclosure home is NOT for the weak of heart, this can take a lot of twists and turns and can be delayed many times in the process.

#4 Today, the national average for a 30-year fixed mortgage reached 4.35 percent, according to Bankrate.com, which, in the grand scheme of things, is still well below historical norms.

The Bad news?

The home you might be qualified for today might be less of the home you were qualified for earlier this year.

Zillow Economist states,  “At some point, with both increasing (Prices and Interest rates), consumers will find themselves in a position where they notice homes are more expensive than what they’re used to,  and potentially priced out of the market”

In appears that it has been mostly the home prices that have driven the buyers back to the market and will continue to do so despite the increasing interest rates.  Buyers will continue to purchase they simply may have to purchase a home that is less expensive than they first anticipated.

Buyers who were trolling for “The Deal of the Century” might have to re-establish what they want and acknowledge that buyers have more options then they had in years past, the sometimes ferocious buyer mind set might also have to shift a bit in future negotiations.

All in all it is a great time to buy or sell real estate, if played well it can be a Win-Win for all parties involved.

home buyer

Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep – Unique Kids Bedrooms

In my day we slept on simple twin beds.  MAYBE we got to pick our paint color but over all it was a simple quilt, plain pillow, “acceptable paint and a hand me down dresser.  Today’s kids however are living it up in style as parents out do themselves decoration the perfect childs room.

So come on along with me and check out some of the Best Kids Beds I found so far.

The 1st two are mostly traditional, clean lines, simple colors but some unique beds.

boy bedroom

I really love how simple bed #2 is.  I am thinking even I could build this bed.  The colors could change whenever, I love the smart idea of steps that are also drawers.  Well thought out and just simple.

great kids bunk bed

Now lets move onto the NOT so Simple.  Let’s start with our Princess Line.

Stairs up to the little Play Area/ Princess Tower,  and a Slide runs down the opposite side for a quick exit from those dastardly knights

girl bed

Very Similar to the First Princess Bed but also houses shelving in the turrets


What little girl wouldn’t swoon over this Cinderella Carriage Bed?

princess bedroom

Maybe you have boys?  How About a Nautical Theme which seems still to be so popular?

tugboat bedroom

There are so many great ideas you can come up with when you use a Nautical theme.

pirate bedroom

These Little Dingy’s are so MUCH fun!  One of my favorites.

dingys bedroom

Now as for this one… WOW, I am thinking this child has a VERY special Parents who can provide him such a bed.  I wonder if he forgets to brush his teeth is he has to walk the plank?ship bed

Oh now I have saved the best ones for last.  Here we goooooo

This is a nursery, what a sweet idea for a baby bed, like being cared for in the forest by wild beasts?  Possibly Fairies dancing around you to protect you?

baby room

This tree house bed offers a slide and a play space.  I again like this one because it feels like something I could make

treehouse bed

As for this Dinosaur Bed I dunno, That looks MUCH to scary to sleep in, is it just me?

dinosaur bed

Lastly is this nest bed, of all the beds today this is my favorite.  I can just imagine myself flopping into this big round soft bed and being cradled by soft inviting pillows as I slowly lull myself to sleep.

Do you have a favorite?

nest bed

GREAT Rooms? Or AWESOME Rooms?

great room 9 rustic

An Amazing Rustic and simple Great Room

great room 8

A Grand Room with a clean open feel

great room 7 round

Clean, Round, Views all around

great room 6 tacky

Tacky? or AMAZING? This Great room is filled with Marble, Gold and Statuary

great room 5

Simple and Carefree

great room 1

Another Rustic Type Design, Cozy and Warm feeling, I can hear those guitars softly playing in the background while I read now

great room 3

You can NEVER go wrong with Window seats, a Fire place and floor to ceiling windows

great room 2 windows

More common and traditional today, the great room encompasses a dining, cooking and lounging area

great room 4 modern

This Great room manages, modern and sterile while still projecting comfort

Looking for more “Perfect Home Ideas?  Check these out



Mail Boxes


Dream Home

Beautiful Bathrooms- Rubber Ducky Optional

For a room that we really do not spend all that much time in, in a given day, this seems to be the room most people DREAM about changing and redesigning.  Maybe it is because it is a private place to be alone and simply relax.  Here are some of the most incredible Bathroom Designs we could find.




An really nice clean, modern unique design with this bowl tubBathroom bowl like tub


BEAUTIFUL and Functionalbathroom infinity tub


I love the natural rustic feel of this private outdoor bath room.  Realistically I am not sure it would work for me but it is certainly pleasant to just look at and imaginebathroom outdoor


I will give this one the initial gasp of beauty, but the more One looks at it the more I am NOT sure it would be the bath for me.  My perfect bath needs to be both beautiful and functionalbathroom round


This one is my VERY favorite one, I could simply get lost in this rustic fireplace nirvana.


bathroom rustic




OK there were a couple of Bathroom sinks that needed a closer look, check out this shell sink and the aquarium sink.  One simple thought on the aquarium sink, they look nice fresh and clean like this BUT if you have ever had an aquarium you know they do NOT always look like this.

bathroom sink aquarium


bathroom sink


Smart Clean design with this Japanese inspired feeling, be sure to make not of the shower that enters from the side and is open to the bath area.


bathroom tub in the floor


The magnificent view make this bath design almost perfect.  Clean, modern and fresh, now all I need is a private islan

dbathroom with a viewDo you have other bathroom photos to share?  PLEASE DO

Also tell us which of these amazing Baths would make it into your perfect dream home?

Looking for other Perfect Dream Home ideas?  Check out these..


Mail Boxes

Perfect Pools

Dream Home