Special Events to Enjoy During the Holidays
by Cara, Thursday, December 18, 2014

Holiday season brings to mind excited kids, colorful Christmas lights, and warm eggnog by the fire and puts us in the mood for celebration. From tree lightings to parades, there are community events to enjoy with the family. We’ve put together an overview of some of the festivities near Taylor Morrison communities.

Arizona

Ice Skating

Phoenix

Christmas at the Princess – This tree lighting ceremony comes with special events like a skating rink performance and rides on the Princess Express Train.

If you’re living in Phoenix, check out this guide to free and reasonably priced Christmas activities and events in the area.

California

craft fair

Bay Area

Great Dickens Christmas Fair – The unique Christmas fair and Victorian holiday party, held at the Cow Palace, features costumed players who perform and interact with attendees. (Through December 21)

Sacramento

Global Winter Wonderland – Take a walk around the world at this festival and multi-cultural celebration at Cal Expo, open everyday from December 19, 2014 to January 4, 2015.

Southern California

Festival of Lights – This annual event in Riverside has been nominated by USA Today as one of the 10 Best Public Lights Display.

L.A. Zoo Lights – Open nightly through January 4th (except December 24 and 25), L.A. Zoo Lights offers a transformed Zoo experience with amazing sets and lighting design, complete with glowing light animals.

Colorado

Denver Lights

Denver

The Polar Express -– If you call Denver home, head over to the Durango Train Station. On select dates through December 16, your family can take a memorable train ride to pick up Santa at the North Pole while enjoying hot chocolate and a treat, Christmas carols and a special gift for every child.

Florida

Santa Telling a Story

Fort Myers / Naples

Holiday House – Decorated for the season, the historic Burroughs Home and Langford Kingston Home in downtown Fort Myers presents Songs of the Season, December 12-23. Santa Claus visits every night.

Jacksonville

Nights of Lights – St. Augustine lights up with holiday magic that National Geographic calls One of the World’s 10 Best Holiday Displays. Through February 1, 2015.

Orlando

Space Coast Light Fest – Own a home in Orlando? Be sure to take the family on a delightful drive in Melbourne to witness what is billed as “over the top” light displays. Through January 1.

Sarasota

Lights In Bloom – This dazzling event, held December 19-23 and December 26-29, magically transforms The Gardens into a tropical winter landscape with nature-inspired botanical light displays.

Tampa

2014 Holiday Lighted Boat Parade – Boats lit up with decorations make the Riverwalk and Channelside basin a holiday wonder. December 20.

Texas

texas

Austin

Trail of Lights – This holiday tradition lights up Zilker Park in Austin’s most extravagant Christmas celebration of the season. Through December 21, 7:00pm to 10:00pm.

Houston

Santa’s Woodland – Called a Texas Christmas Experience, Santa’s Wonderland is the biggest Christmas attraction in the state. The seasonal event features over a million festive incandescent lights and a full menu of Texas-style musical performances.


Need a Unique Idea for Your Holiday Cards
by Cara, Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Want to send out a unique holiday card that truly reflects you and your family? These days there are lots of do-it-yourself options out there, so don’t worry about having to come up with your own idea if you’re short on time.

DIY cards range from photographic to traditional to whimsical. And the beauty is you can create your own card with help from the Internet no matter where you live, whether it’s in one of our Phoenix area homes, a Denver home, or a Taylor Morrison house in Sarasota.

Christmas Cards

Ideas to Get You Started

On Minted.com you can see your photos in several cards at once to find the one that’s just right. 

Here’s another great site with a wide range of customizable photo cards you can make is Cardstore.com.

You’ll find DIY personalized cards designed by people from all over the U.S. at Etsy, including this fun Year-in-Review theme and these clever handmade holiday card sets.

Love vs. Design features an impressive selection of holiday cards in a variety of styles, like modern, vintage, hand drawn and indie. The site also offers plenty of free printables you can download and customize.

If you’re feeling crafty, be sure the check out 49 Awesome DIY Holiday Cards for some creative and unusual ideas.


Guess What is in the Box
by Cara, Friday, December 12, 2014

 Here’s a throwback to the holidays when you were a kid: Can you guess what the presents are? Friends of Taylor Morrison are invited to play the every-weekday Guess What’s in the Box game on our Facebook page for the chance to win the contents. Guess every day if you want, but you only have through December 19 to participate.

GWITB

Already own a Taylor Morrison house in Austin? Or maybe you’re considering one of our new homes in Costa Mesa, CA, or are thinking of buying a Tampa home to live in part of the year. Anyone, homeowner or not, can enter the competition.

To be part of the fun, visit the Taylor Morrison Facebook page every weekday until the game ends. Each day features a different box with several prizes inside. Using the clues provided, post your guesses. If you’re the first to guess correctly you win a goody!

These prizes will really jingle your bells. So far winners have come away with Bose QC15 Noise Canceling Headphones, a Keurig K55 Coffeemaker, an Apple iPad, a Fitbit and much more.

Celebrate the season starting today. You could win a prize for a truly holly jolly holiday season!  

Check out the Official Rules for more details. 


Three Days in the Valley of the Sun
by Cara, Thursday, December 11, 2014

Fall is an ideal time to visit Phoenix, AZ. It’s called the Valley of the Sun, and for good reason. The average temperature is 75.5° F and it rains only 36 days out of the year. Spend just three enchanting days here, tour our Phoenix neighborhoods, and find out why this is such a wonderful place to live.

YOUR ITINERARY

Day 1 – Gilbert and Tempe, AZ

Valley of the Sun

First order of the day is a hearty breakfast at one of the most popular restaurants in the area, The Farmhouse. After filling up on their generous portions, it’s time for a walk, so head over for a tour of Adora Trails. Taylor Morrison offers nine, beautifully appointed, model homes here. Situated at the base of the San Tan Mountains, the master planned community abounds in natural beauty including 12 idyllic walking trails and a catch and release lake. Homeowners also enjoy a clubhouse, pool and other quality amenities. After your tour, head to Historic Downtown Gilbert, which is choc full of charm, shops and eateries. For lunch, savor authentic barbecue at Joe’s Real BBQ or enjoy tacos and cervezas at Joyride Taco House. After relaxing poolside at your hotel, stroll through Downtown Mill Avenue in Tempe. Take in one of the comedy clubs and choose one of the many excellent dinner spots.

Day 2 – Peoria, AZ


Couple at lake

Time for another memorable breakfast. Ronnie’s Café is hard to beat if you’re in the mood for a hefty traditional meal. Now you’re set for a tour of our new Northlands community with its amazing scenic views of Calderwood Buttes and Lake Pleasant Regional Park. Be sure to ask about our Quick Move-In Homes for sale in Peoria, AZ. If you’re in Phoenix on a game day, take in some NFL Arizona Cardinals football. Or, after a yummy lunch at Rio Mirage Café and Cantina or one of the other great eateries in the area, rent a pontoon boat and or take a guided cruise on Lake Pleasant. If you’re in the mood for something a little different, consider the French cuisine at Amuse Buche Gourmet Bistro.

Day Three – Phoenix and Sedona, AZ

camelback mountain

Pack a snack and experience an awe-inspiring sunrise climb up beautiful Camelback Mountain for a 360-degree view of the Phoenix-metro area. While you’re in the area, check out desirable Sonoran Commons, where you’ll tour three well-appointed model homes. Two home collections offer 14 lovely two- and three-story floor plans. After working up a lunchtime appetite, stop by Welcome Diner for a burger and fries. This very casual 9-seat diner is located in a historic old-fashioned diner. Now you’re ready for a three-hour drive to Sedona for dramatic views of the famous red rock country at sunset and an unforgettable dinner at Ken’s Creekside Restaurant.

Locations:

 

Day 1: NEAR ADORA TRAILS – GILBERT, ARIZONA

ADORA TRAILS

Encore & Discovery Collections

Get Driving Directions
2272 East Galileo Drive
Gilbert, AZ 85298
480-988-9098

Encore Collection – From the 200s

Encore II Collection – From the low 200s

Discovery Collection – From the low 200s

Discovery II Collection – From the low 200s

Odyssey, Passage & Summit Collections

Get Driving Directions

2261 East Galileo Drive
Gilbert, AZ 85298
480-988-1770

Odyssey Collection – From the high 200s

Passage Collection – From the high 200s

Summit Collection – From the mid 300s

Restaurants

The Farmhouse Restaurant
228 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ 85234
480-926-0676

Joe’s Real BBQ
301 N. Gilbert Rd.
Gilbert, AZ  85234
480-503-3805

Joyride Taco House
302 N. Gilbert Rd. Suite 101
Gilbert, AZ  85234
480-632-8226

Activities

Historic Downtown Gilbert
Get Directions

Downtown Tempe
Get Directions

----------------------------

Day 2: NEAR NORTHLANDS – PEORIA, ARIZONA

NORTHLANDS

Get Driving Directions

9945 W. Spur Drive
Peoria, AZ 85383
623-546-0677

Encore Collection – From the mid 200s

Passage Collection – From the low 300s

Summit Collection – From the high 300s

Restaurants

Ronnie’s Café
4323 W. Cactus Rd. Suite 3
Glendale, AZ 85304
602-548-5857

Rio Mirage Café y Cantina
12245 Santa Fe Dr.
El Mirage, AZ 85378
623-583-7708

Amuse Bouche Gourmet Bistro & Catering
17058 W. Bell Rd.
Surprise, AZ 85388
623-322-8881

Activities

Arizona Cardinals
1 Cardinals Dr,

Glendale, AZ 85305
800 999-1402

Lake Pleasant Marine & Boat Rentals
518-548-7711
Get Directions

Lake Pleasant Cruises
8708 W. Harbor Blvd.
Peoria, AZ 85383
602-625-7776

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Day 3: NEAR SONORAN COMMONS – PHOENIX, ARIZONA

SONORAN COMMONS

Get Driving Directions

31111 N. 25th Drive
Phoenix, AZ 85085
623-383-2255

Encore Collection – From the high 200s

Passage Collection – From the mid 300s

Restaurants

Welcome Diner
924 E. Roosevelt St.
Phoenix, AZ 85006
602-495-1111

Ken’s Creekside
Creekside Plaza
251 Hwy 179
Sedona, AZ 86336
928-282-1705

Activities

Camelback Mountain
4925 E. McDonald Dr.
Phoenix, AZ
602-534-5867
Driving Directions

Sedona
Visitor’s Guide
Driving Directions


Give a Gift that Truly Matters
by Cara, Tuesday, December 09, 2014

Ah, the holiday season! We marvel at the bright lights and cheerful decorations and fill our homes with the irresistible aroma of baking cookies. Holiday music seems to follow us wherever we go. But while we’re drinking that warm mug of eggnog and wondering what gifts we’ll get, think about those less fortunate. Give the gift of your time this year and volunteer. You’ll find causes and events that fit you best on sites like volunteermatch.org and handsonnetworking.org.

Volunteer

Here are some holiday volunteer opportunities near Taylor Morrison communities:

ARIZONA

Phoenix

The 5th Annual Phoestivus Market in Downtown Phoenix on Wednesday, December 10th. Phoestivus, (pronounced like "festivus"), is a fundraiser to bring healthy and fresh foods to communities in Arizona.  They need shoppers to attend this event on Wednesday, December 10th and 17th from 4pm to 9pm.   

CALIFORNIA

Bay Area

If you own one of our houses in Campbell or other Bay Area community, visit an isolated elderly person this year by volunteering with San Francisco’s Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly (December 25).

Sacramento

Be an Angel and put a smile on a kid’s face this year. Read through the wish lists of children, tweens and young adults who are in crisis and deliver your unwrapped gift to Arden Fair Mall through December 28.

Southern California

Three great Southern California volunteer opportunities include: A Place Called Home benefiting former foster kids in L.A., San Diego Food Bank in San Diego, and American Cancer Society in Fullerton.

COLORADO

Denver

If you enjoy getting out and staying active, volunteer at Achilles International and help empower people with disabilities in the Denver area through athletics.

FLORIDA

Fort Myers / Naples

Be Christmas Red Kettle Bell Ringer or Toy Shop Elf volunteer for the Salvation Army.

Jacksonville

Donate books or start a book collection where you work for grade school kids through Got Books? program of HandsOn Jacksonville.

Orlando

Did you buy a home in Orlando? Organize, wrap, and fulfill wishes during the Children’s Home Society Holiday Drive

Sarasota

Whether you organize a fundraiser or become individual volunteer, Safe Place & Rape Crisis Center in Sarasota could use your help.

Tampa

United Way Hands On Suncoast has a whole menu of volunteer opportunities throughout December.

 

TEXAS

Austin

Get your kids involved in Kids of Hope Austin Children’s Services, where you can also donate to the Project Santa Holiday Gift Drive.

Houston

Adults, teens and children over 6 are invited to pitch in with prepping, serving, cleaning up and other chores for City Wide Club’s 36th Annual Christmas Eve Big Feast at the George R. Brown Convention Center.

 


Do Not Miss your Chance
by Cara, Thursday, December 04, 2014

A bundle of incredible prizes valued at more than $10K could be yours in Taylor Morrison’s Disneyland Resort Vacation drawing. But the competition ends soon so enter no later than midnight December 7, 2014 to be in the running.

Disney Innoventions

You don’t want to miss this one. If you win in the random drawing you’ll receive a three-day vacation for four at Disneyland® Resort in Southern California, round-trip airfare, three nights at the Disneyland Resort Hotel, a package of home tech so you can trick out your own home, and more. That’s an estimated value of $10,050.

Here’s a rundown of the Grand Prize:

  • 4 round trip coach airfare tickets
  • 4-day Disneyland Resort® Park Hopper® tickets for 4
  • 3 nights at the Disneyland Resort Hotel
  • Personalized 6-hour guided tour of Disneyland Park
  • A $1,000 Visa® Card for expenses
  • Legrand Whole Home Audio System
  • Legrand USB charger outlets
  • Microsoft Surface Pro III Tablet
  • High-tech thermostat

Taylor Morrison once again helped build the Disney Dream Home with the latest and greatest in innovative home technologies. If you win you’ll get to see this magical home up close. You’ll also win some impressive tech that’s perfect for your new Denver home, house in Tampa, or new home in any of our communities nationwide.

Remember to enter by Dec. 7. Good luck!


Tis the Season for Family Fun
by Cara, Tuesday, December 02, 2014

If you’re looking for something special, there’s plenty to do, including the following things happening near Taylor Morrison communities.

ARIZONA         

Phoenix

Revisit the magical nanny in Mary Poppins, playing at Phoenix Theater Nov. 19 – Dec. 28. Another classic children’s story, Polar Express, will entertain kids of all ages at Grand Canyon Railway Nov. 14, 2014 – Jan. 3, 2015.

CALIFORNIA

Southern California

For residents of homes in Brea, San Juan Capistrano homes or anywhere in Southern California, treat your taste buds at the Indio International Tamale Festival, Dec. 6 and 7. Or, if you’re in the mood to shop American, spend those days at the 7th Annual Unique L.A. Market.

COLORADO

Fossi

Denver

Discover the dinos at Dinosaur Ridge and take in the new Brachiosaurus. Then nurture your inner scientist at the UCAE Center for Science with its activities for students, exhibits, tours, art galleries and more.

FLORIDA

Fort Myers / Naples

Enjoy the wildlife at Naples Zoo, which features everything from African honey badgers to hyenas to anteaters and much more. Or, spend some time with Fido at Dog Beach in Fort Myers.

Jacksonville

Dec. 5 – 7 spend some time at the 38th annual Boxwoods and Bow Ties 2014 Art and Antiques Show. There’ll be guest lectures, antique art, furniture and jewelry for sale.

Fast Car

Orlando

Feed your need for speed at Festival of Speed, Dec. 5 – 7. Fast cars, like vintage and contemporary Porsches, Ferraris, Lamborghinis and Aston Martins, will be on display. Fine jewelry, art, wine, fancy food, cigars and liquor will also satisfy lovers of luxury.

Sarasota

Bring your blankets and lawn chairs along to the Downtown Sarasota Holiday Parade, Dec. 6, one of the largest holiday parades in West Florida.

Santa

Tampa

It’s a holiday wonderland at the Winterville Festival, Dec. 6 and 7. Here, you’ll enjoy all things Christmas including costumed characters, caroling shows, hot cider and cookies, crafts and gifts and a gingerbread house competition.

TEXAS

Austin

Come out for a good holiday cause at the Blue Genie Art Bazaar, Nov. 28 – Dec. 24, where unique items from over 200 local and regional artists. A portion of the proceeds go to Make-A-Wish®.

Stars

Houston

Discover Green hosts the dazzling art installation, Field of Light by internationally acclaimed artist Bruce Munro (Nov. 22, 2014 – Feb. 8, 2015). From Nov. 15, 2014 to Jan. 4, 2015, Moody Gardens will debut ICE LAND: Ice Sculptures with SpongeBob SquarePants, sure to be a kid-pleaser.

 


Decorate Your Home for the Season
by Cara, Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Fall home decorating calls for cozy interiors with autumn colors and natural, even rustic, touches. It’s a great season for making your home warm and inviting. Here are some of our favorite ideas for transforming your home for fall:

The Entryway                                                                                                

Residents of our Bee Cave, TX homes or in any other Taylor Morrison Austin-area communities can greet evening guests with votive candles lighting a warm pathway to the entry. Also, consider hanging an autumn-themed wreath at the front door.

The Fireplace

Adorn your fireplace with decorative gourds and pumpkins. Branches and leaves from your own yard are a great ecofriendly option. If your house has an outdoor fireplace, like many of our homes in Sarasota, FL, do, warm it up with a little autumn love, too.

tablescape

The Dining Table

Give your dinner table a fall theme. This fanciful spread includes a scarecrow and harvest themed dishes, soup tureens, dinnerware and glasses. Other options include decidedly simple and elegant.

Accents

There are plenty of other places to add a touch of fall. Beautify a bookcase, make floral pumpkins, or add a simple tabletop display of branches, leaves and flowers.


Preparing for the Big Day
by Cara, Friday, November 21, 2014

Thanksgiving is one of our favorite holidays because it centers around the home. It’s a time for great food, family and friends, and expressing our gratitude. But, if it’s your turn to host the gathering, there’s also the sometimes-stressful task of preparing your home for the big feast.

At Taylor Morrison, we put together preparation ideas for folks who own our homes across the country, from Campbell, CA homes in the Bay Area to homes in Jacksonville, FL.

Autumn Decor 2

Teamwork                                           

Take inventory of plates, serving dishes, pots and pans, flatware and glasses. If you come up short, borrow from family or friends who won’t need these items for their own Thanksgiving.  Ask guests to bring a Turkey Day side dish and do a potluck. This not only helps share the load, but allows everyone the chance to try different dishes and makes things more interesting.

Autumn Decor 1

Spruce It Up

Clean your home and move non-essential items out of sight to make your home feel more open and pleasant. Give the guest bathroom a lift with fresh flowers or a tray of scented soaps. If you’re having overnight guests, place clean bath towels and washcloths in the guest room and add a bouquet of flowers. Consider placing a welcome basket in the guest room with local goodies.

Autumn Decor 3

Prep Food Ahead of Time

Cook and refrigerate side dishes a day or so before Thanksgiving. This list will show you which dishes are easily made ahead. Fill your wine rack with a selection of different varietals. Don’t want to bake? Buy pies – every city has a local business known for their fresh pies. Or try these easy pie recipes. And remember that too much is better than too little, so be sure to have plenty of food for the big day. 


Ready for Thanksgiving
by Cara, Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Is it your turn to have the Thanksgiving feast at your house this year? It may seem daunting, but with a little planning, your celebratory spread will be a hit. If you’re inaugurating your new home in Houston, try something more regional, like this Texas-style Thanksgiving. Own a Taylor Morrison house in Fort Myers? Check out these Florida chefs’ recipes.

Turkey

Here are some delicious Thanksgiving recipes to consider:

Let’s Talk Turkey

The Perfect Roast Turkey will get your mouth watering just reading the recipe. For something more unique, see 9 Unusual Turkey Recipes.

Don’t Forget the Cranberry

This super easy Chunky Cranberry Sauce uses frozen cranberries, apple juice and sugar. Or try Candied Cranberry Sauce, also a cinch to make.

Vegetarian Options

If you or one of your guests prefer meatless, 40 Vegetarian Main Dishes for Thanksgiving  has some great ideas for you. As a side, try Twice-Baked Butternut Squash.

Love on the Side

The Ultimate Potato Gratin looks tempting. You’ll also want to be sure to view this yummy video for making Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts.

Pie Paradise

This video dares to call the recipe Best Pumpkin Pie Ever, so it’s worth a try! A Grandma-style apple pie looks tasty, too. Or, for something more fancy, there’s Martha Stewart’s Marionberry Pie.