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Create the Perfect Home Office
by Cara, Tuesday, June 30, 2015

No doubt about it. Home offices and computer workspaces are essential to the modern household. But that doesn’t mean these areas need to be sterile or cluttered cubicles. Instead, organize and use your sense of design to create the ideal office or work area.

Home Office

Now You See It, Now You Don’t

If you don’t want to disrupt the look and feel of a room, consider using an attractive computer hutch that complements the décor. Or, choose a secretary desk you can close up to put the paperwork out of sight.

Find Your Niche

Tuck your computer area into a niche. This can be underneath a staircase or even in a closet. The trick is to make the most of what you have available to create a workspace that doesn’t get in the way. A mezzanine bed with a computer desk underneath is a great idea for a teen.

Get Organized

One of the first rules of a home office is to organize your space well. That means bookshelves, cabinets and storage systems that keep the clutter at bay. Pick up some cord covers at a home improvement store or go with something creative like this or these.

Play Office, Grown-Up Style

If you own a newer home, you probably have a room that’s meant to be a den or office. Otherwise, convert an existing spare bedroom. Make it yours, functional but personalized and comfy. Use colors you like and make the most of natural light. For your desk and chair, attractive and clever looks great, but make sure they’re ergonomically correct if you’re going to spend a lot of time working in your office.

Got to Be Kidding

Create kid-friendly workspaces, away from the distraction of television. Newer homes often have a built-in computer desk, sometimes in the kitchen area. You can also put a desk for one or two in a kids’ bedroom.

For more ideas, some Internet browsing will spark your imagination. If you’re buying a Taylor Morrison home, be sure to consider your home office when visiting the Design Studio, where a design professional will help you with ideas. 


Things to Do with Dad
by Cara, Friday, June 19, 2015

He taught you how to fish and patched up skinned knees when the training wheels came off. Without Dad childhood memories just wouldn’t be the same.

There’s no better way to celebrate "dad", than to create yet another father/son or father/daughter moment to remember always. Choice one or more of these memorable ideas and make this Father’s Day the best one yet.

Get Your Kicks on Route 66

Dad Drive

You may not have time for a cross-country adventure but there’s no better way to bond than a weekend road trip. Cool tunes, Ritz crackers with Cheese Whiz, you can even play the license plate game for old time’s sake!

You don’t have to go far to craft a mental picture to last forever. Head to the hills or make a B-line for the beach, it’s up to you and Dad.

Snag a Pair of Tickets for Dad’s Favorite Team

Dad Baseball

New homes in Tampa are just a hop, skip and a jump away from a wealth of professional sports stadiums and arenas. In fact, most Taylor Morrison communities nationwide are strategically placed for convenient access to top level sporting events.

Whether Dad’s into pucks, pigskin or baseball, he’ll relish spending his special day in the stands with his little ones (even if you’re not so little anymore).

Southern California Real Estate & Fun in the Sun

Dad Basketball

On a tight budget? You don’t need to spend a dime to show you care.

California living means a short walk to the neighborhood park is all it takes to melt Dad’s heart. Challenge him to a game of HORSE -- make sure to let him win!

Feel Close from Far Away

Dad Skype

Technology makes it easier than ever to share your love from the other side of the country. Whether it’s Skype or FaceTime, a video chat bridges the gap between you and Dad.

An Impromptu Family Reunion

Dad Bicycle

Gather all the kids and grandkids for a Father's Day feast.

What’s on the menu? All of Dad’s favorites, of course. And yes, you do need to help with the dishes.

A Day at the Beach is Time Well Spent

Dad Beach

High speed watersports or a leisurely walk along the shore, everyone needs to feel the sand between their toes now and then, even Dad.

Don’t forget to do a quick rundown on your beach day checklist.

Stop to Smell the Roses

Dad Park

Got a Dad that loves tinkering about in the yard? Consider a relaxing day trip to a nearby botanical garden.

There’s nothing quite like spending an afternoon with fresh air and nature, even if you haven’t got a green thumb.

Home Sweet Home

Reunion Ranch

Communities like Reunion Ranch in Austin are designed with roomy outdoor spaces for picnics and family fun 365 days a year.

We’ve put together this exhaustive list of backyard fun activities to help you and Dad get the most out of Spring.


Once you get a taste for the Southwest Florida lifestyle it’s pretty much impossible to live anywhere else.

Haven’t you ever dreamt of living where others choose to go on vacation?

Bonita Springs and the entire Estero area offer year round access to outdoor activities such as golf, tennis, boating and fishing, coupled with the upscale urban charm of nearby Naples on the Gulf.

With literally hundreds of natural, unspoiled islands and endless miles of secluded beaches it’s easy to slice off your own sliver of paradise in this very special part of the world.

New Homes Bonita Springs & New Homes Estero Area: From Coconut Plantation to Friendly Community

Bonita Springs is a treasured location with secrets in store for everyone. With nature to explore, beaches for tranquility, warm blue waters and modern shopping facilities, it’s the perfect blend of country allure and city chic.

At the heart of Bonita Springs lies Pebble Pointe at the Brooks, a quiet community of 90 single family homes nestled between a web of open spaces, pristine lakes and lush landscape.

Perfect for those who enjoy water sports, picturesque views and social activities, Pebble Pointe is the newest gated enclave at one of the region’s most celebrated master planned communities.

Here are ten captivating reasons why life doesn’t get any better than calling Pebble Pointe home.

Golf with Benefits – A different course for every day of the week!

Golf Course

It’s easy for golf fanatics to fall in love with Southwest Florida. The Fort Myers and Sanibel area alone offers an incredible 17 different golf courses ranging in size, difficulty and layout.

Bonita Fairways Golf Course & Raptor Bay Golf Club in Bonita Springs offer a high end golf experience while Estero features the Stoneybrook Golf Club, a public course with a stunning practice facility and links spread across acres of beautiful lakes and preserves.

Coconut Point – A shopper’s dream.

Shopping

Pebble Pointe at The Brooks is located just two miles from the region’s principal shopping mall.

Coconut Point is comprised of more than 20 restaurants for a broad selection of dining choices plus 80 shops and a 16-screen movie theatre.

As a Simon Mall, the shopping center includes all of your big favorites and staples such as Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Sports Authority and Super Target as well as high quality fashion boutiques and specialty shops.

It doesn’t matter where you go in life, as long as you go to the beach.

Beach

Southwest Florida is known for isolated beaches offering serene and tranquil settings.

One of the most popular sand-in-your-toes destinations is the nearby Barefoot Beach Preserve. Barefoot Beach is ideal for a quiet day hunting for shells or bird watching, but Watch Out! The seagulls around here aren’t scared of people at all and they might just fancy a bite of your lunch.

Dog owners love Barefoot Beach Preserve as the grounds include a dedicated dog park.

Boating – There’s nothing quite like a day on the water.

Boat

Whether you prefer powerboats or paddling along on your own steam, there are water based activities for everyone a hop, skip and a jump from Pebble Pointe.

The hugely popular Great Calusa Blueway is a marked and GPS-plotted waterway trail running from one end of the county to the other.

Historic Sites – Dive into the past.

Historic

The Koreshan State Historic Site is a State Park with a history uniquely Floridian!

Visit eleven beautifully maintained historic structures dating from 1882-1920 and wander through gorgeous gardens presenting unique ornamental exotic vegetation from across the globe.

The park was once the vision of Cyrus Reed Teed, a man who attempted to create not only his own religion but his own version of utopia.

Parasailing & Jet Skis – The need for speed.

Parasailing

For an unforgettable day at the beach, why not rent jet skis or take to the skies on a wild parasailing adventure?

Adventure enthusiasts will also find a wealth of other extreme sport activities ranging from stand-up paddle board rental to kayaks, sailboats and more.

The Road Less Traveled – Exploring the best of what Mother Nature has to offer.

Nature

Owning a home at the Brooks is just like living inside your very own nature preserve. Every day offers a new adventure with countless lakes, sanctuaries and lush vegetation to sweep your worries away.

Where else can a stroll around the neighborhood feel like a day at the park?

What’s for dinner? A world of dining options at your fingertips.

Dinner

For a relatively unpopulated region you’ll be amazed at the wide range of dining options available within a short drive of Pebble Pointe.

Head to the beach for seafood so fresh it practically jumps out of the sea and on to your plate. Choose Coconut Point for dozens of eating options in one convenient location.

Let’s go for a bike ride!

Bike

Take advantage of gorgeous year round weather with the simple joy of cycling.

With an endless network of trails to explore you’ll never have to do the same ride twice.

Fish on! Florida knows fishing.

Fish

The warm waters of the gulf provide the opportunity to enjoy some of the world’s most exciting sports fishing.

But not all angling adventures take place on the high seas.

Unique to this neck of the woods is Florida-style backwater fishing. There’s a reason Southwest Florida is called the tarpon capital of the world.


Meet the Neighbors
by Cara, Thursday, June 11, 2015

You’ve moved into your new home and neighborhood, and you love them. But what about the neighbors? When we move many of us struggle to meet, much less get to know, people living around us. If this sounds like you, take heart, because there are plenty of ways to be neighborly, whether you just moved into a new home in Deland, FL or are living in Phoenix, AZ.

Neighbor blog Arbor Woods Opening

  1. Knock on your neighbors’ doors and introduce yourself. This is the most direct action you can take.
  2. Organize a block party. Summer presents the perfect opportunity. Have fun with the activities.
  3. Host a neighborhood BBQ. Invite your neighbors and ask them to bring a side dish or dessert.
  4. Organize a neighborhood yard sale and invite everyone on the block to participate.
  5. Put on an ice cream social. If you want to make your ice cream, Epicurious.com has some great recipes.
  6. Have a family-friendly neighborhood backyard movie night. Have chairs on hand or make it a BYOB (bring your own blanket) affair.

These are just a few ways to get to know and enjoy your new neighbors. For more ideas take a look at 12 Ways to Get to Know Your Neighbors.


Suite Dreams
by Cara, Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Want to create a luxury hotel experience in your Taylor Morrison home? Try these tips:

Bedroom- Level 1

  • Invest in a quality mattress.  Turn it regularly for even wear.
  • Use a tailored bed skirt or box spring cover for a finished look.
  • Three sets of sheets - one on, one in the linen closet and one in the wash - is a good rule of thumb.
  • Unless you like lumps, be sure to smooth the mattress pad before you make the bed.
  • Dress the bed in layers for visual interest and temperature control.
  • Put the top sheet on upside down so the finished edge shows when you fold it over.
  • Tuck the edges tightly for a crisp look.
  • Add the spread or comforter, plus a doubled over duvet or throw at the foot.
  • Pile on the pillows: three big accent pillows against the headboard, two standard pillows, then one decorative pillow.
  • Mix up patterns and prints. Just keep everything in the same color palette.
  • Turn in and sleep tight!

Need more ideas for creating a dream home? Visit a model home in any of our Taylor Morrison communities for inspiration.


Beach Day Checklist
by Cara, Thursday, June 04, 2015

Yearning to feel sand between your toes and the sea breeze on your face? Then, pack up and head to the nearest beach. If you’re vacationing in Florida or Southern California this summer you’ll have lots of great beaches to explore.

Beach Day

While you’re in the area, stop by one or two Taylor Morrison communities close to the beach. Check out our Southern California homes in communities like Sol y Mar, coming soon to Rancho Palos Verdes, and Level 1 in Costa Mesa. Going to West Florida? Don’t miss our homes in Fort Myers, including The Cove at Indian Rocks Beach, and Naples’ Sandoval in Cape Coral.

Before you head out for a day at the beach pack well! Use this handy checklist as a guide:

  • Big beach towels
  • Flip-flops
  • Sunglasses, sun hats and lots of sun block.
  • Plenty of drinking water
  • Beach umbrella and chairs
  • A cooler on wheels with lots of snacks and sandwiches
  • First aid kit in case someone steps on sharp shells or broken glass
  • Binoculars for watching the kids
  • Change of clothes and cover-ups
  • Beach toys like pails and shovels, Frisbees and boogie boards
  • Zip-lock storage bags for wet clothes and to protect items from the sand
  • Hand wipes and trash bags

For more great ideas see the Beach Vacation Packing Checklist at realsimple.com.

Photo credit: www.visitflorida.com

 


Discover Beautiful Oldsmar
by Cara, Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Imagine keeping the city at your doorstep while defining daily life by gorgeous waterfront vistas, broad landscaped boulevards, abundant parks and access to a myriad of stunning Florida Gulf beaches.

Sound enticing?

This is Oldsmar, Florida.

Downtown

A thriving community situated in Pinellas County on the north shore of Tampa Bay, Oldsmar’s business sector outpaces any expectations you might have surrounding a town of less than 15,000 people. Make no mistake, this is just as much a place to work as it is to live and play.

Oldsmar New Homes: Best of Both Worlds within an Arm’s Reach

dining

You need not live in the belly of the beast to have access to all the goodies metropolitan life has in store. Florida Interstates are just a short jaunt from Oldsmar and a 25-minute drive or less takes you to the finest amenities Tampa has to offer. From shopping to dining, world class entertainment, theaters, cinemas and top-of-the-line professional sports complexes, it’s all right there waiting for you.

In addition to Tampa Metro, residents enjoy quick access to Clearwater, St. Pete and South Pinellas. You don’t have to leave town to enjoy great dining, either, simply stroll into great restaurants in Oldsmar like the Salk Rock Tavern, Flamestone Grill, or Rumba Island Bar & Grill.

All this without even mentioning the famed Gulf Beaches.

It doesn’t Matter where you Go in Life as Long as you Go to the Beach

beaches

Walk barefoot across miles of soft white sand beaches at Clearwater or launch your canoe at Mobbly Beach Park.

Pinellas County offers 3 idyllic beachside parks for enjoying water sports with the family.

You’ll soon discover that nothing quite beats living by the beach and with so many sandy destinations to choose from you’ll never run out of shoreline to explore.

Spend your Weekends Hitting the Links

golf

With seven top quality golf courses nearby you’ll never have trouble finding a new set of fairways to break in your new driver.

Speaking of “links”, check out this collection of awesome public courses and country clubs:

Eagles Golf, Westchase Golf Club, Chi Chi Rodriguez Golf Club, Silver Dollar Golf Club, TPC Tampa Bay, Rocky Point Golf Course and Lansbrook Golf.

Kiss those northern winters goodbye. Down in Florida you’ll be golfing all year long.

Fun for the Whole Family

amusement park

From grabbing a hot dog at New York Yankees Spring Training to spending the day at America’s #1 Zoo for kids (as selected by Parents and Child Magazines), living in central Florida is just like being on vacation twelve months out of the year!

Busch Gardens is a world class theme park and Adventure Island offers season passes to make it more affordable than ever to cool off and get the thrill of a lifetime at one of the state’s most impressive collection of water slides and swimming pools.

These activities are just the tip of the iceberg. You’ll never hear “I’m bored” out of your children ever again.

More Parks than you Can Shake a Stick At

parks

You’ll be amazed at how many parks Oldsmar has to offer for a town of its size.

Bicentennial Park, Canal Park Sports Complex, Cypress Forest Rec Center & Spraypark, Harbor Palms Nature Park, Mobbly Bayou Preserve, Moccasin Creek Park, Richard Rogers Park, R.E. Olds Park, Sheffield Park, Veterans Memorial Park.

No matter where you find yourself in Oldsmar, greenery is just around the corner.

Oldsmar Houses: Tuscany Woods Exemplifies the Quality of Taylor Morrison Planned Communities

Tuscany Woods

When searching for an Oldsmar home builder, look no further than Taylor Morrison and their newest community Tuscany Woods.

A collection of 80 exquisite townhomes bordered by a wooded preserve, Tuscany Woods offers new home options in one of the most desirable areas of Pinellas County. The grounds include the added bonus of a small residents-only park for tranquil enjoyment of the splendid Florida weather.


Feeling hemmed in? Yearning for some peaceful moments communing with nature and beauty? Your city probably has just the spot to satisfy: botanical gardens. Created to grow, study, research, conserve, display and educate, these lush gardens offer respite from all that is hectic and stressful.

This overview introduces you to some of the best botanical gardens to be found near Taylor Morrison communities.

ARIZONA

Arizona plants

Phoenix

Desert Botanical Garden – Wildflowers are the springtime stars, but you’ll also enjoy scenic trails, events, exhibitions, classes and more. Be sure to bring water, sunscreen and a hat to shade you.

CALIFORNIA

California flowers

Bay Area

Gamble Garden – Located in Palo Alto, this free-admission destination is just one of the Bay Area Public Gardens, located in the cities of Santa Cruz, Walnut Creek, San Francisco, Woodside, Berkeley, Saratoga and Glen Ellen.

Sacramento

Jensen Botanical Garden – This 3-1/2-acre Carmichael garden offers a paradise filled with Tulips, Japanese Maples and a variety of Magnolias and Dogwoods.

Southern California

Best Botanical Gardens in OC – Here’s a wonderful list of botanical gardens in Orange County compiled by CBS Los Angeles.

Descanso Gardens – Take in a tour, relax in the café, or stroll the verdant winding paths of this La Canada Flintridge garden in Los Angeles.

COLORADO

Colorado

Denver

Denver Botanic Gardens – The garden offers too many options to list, but favorites include the 2015 Summer Concert Series, pre-ordering bulbs for September planting, seedling classes for kids, instructional programs like Pumpkins – The Art of Growing Giant Fruit, and periodic films.

FLORIDA

Florida

Fort Myers / Naples

Naples Botanical Garden – Through July 5 you can ooh and aah at the Unearthed Dinosaurs in the Garden exhibit of life-sized, moving, growling dino replicas in a garden setting, but there is plenty to do any time of the year.

Jacksonville

Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens – Wander the trails of this 120-acre urban woodland that feature a series of distinct ecological habitats, inspiring views, and over 100 labeled plants.

Orlando

Leu Gardens – Just minutes from downtown Orlando, Leu Gardens offers kids’ programs and a variety of tropical plants and flowers.

Sarasota

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens – Find nature on a Sarasota bay-front setting and discover horticultural displays and a center that focuses on education, research and conservation.

Tampa

USF Botanical Gardens – As part of the Department of Geography, Environment and Planning at the University of South Florida, these gardens span about 16 acres and include a greenbelt on the Tampa campus.

TEXAS

Texas

Austin

Zilker Botanical Garden – Locals call it “the jewel of Austin.” Visitors enjoy rose gardens, a Japanese garden with streams, waterfalls and Koi ponds, and the recreation of a local prehistoric dinosaur habitat.

Houston

Houston Botanic Garden – Although the gardens began as an idea over 30 years ago, it wasn’t until 2015 that the board of directors received City Council approval to transform the site into a botanical garden.


Walkable California Communities
by Cara, Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Hands (and feet) down, walking is about the easiest, cheapest way to get fit. There’s no expensive gym membership or special equipment needed. Just get a pair of good shoes and hit the pavement. As little as 20 to 30 minutes of brisk strolling a day can help you whittle your waistline, maintain a healthy weight, strengthen bones, lift your mood and even prevent or manage medical conditions include heart disease, high blood pressure and Type 2 diabetes, according to the Mayo Clinic. Even if you break it up into two or three shorter sessions, you’ll still reap the rewards of a daily walk. And, if you live in a walkable community, it’s even easier to get out there and just do it.

At Taylor Morrison we take a lot of pride in building where people are close to parks, shopping, schools and services. Many of our urban locations put residents within walking distance. In fact, three of our California communities have earned pedestrian-friendly kudos from Walkscore.com, an online service that helps people identify walkable communities based on proximity to stores, restaurants, parks and other amenities.

Bay Area Beats

Brighton

Brighton, our new metropolitan community in historic Livermore, was named as one of the Top 5 Hottest Neighborhoods in America a couple years back, and it just keeps getting better. In addition to seven stylish floorplans and easy access to BART, Brighton offers hiking trails, downtown art walks and plenty of dogs-welcome play areas. Brighton’s Livermore location netted a Walk Score of 95 out of a possible 100, earning it the designation of Walker’s Paradise! Walkscore.com noted that daily errands can be done on foot and you’re close to parks including Lizzie Fountain and Carnegie. Three-story homes at Brighton start in the mid $600s and include many that are ready right now.

3rd and Main

3rd and Main, a collection of contemporary, energy-efficient townhome-style condos, puts you right in the heart of beautiful Walnut Creek. That’s one of the East Bay’s most desirable cities, with more open space per capita than any other California community! Walkscore.com calls it Somewhat Walkable because some errands can be accomplished on foot, but they also point out that it’s quite bike-friendly, too, and close to Larkey Park, Walden Park and Shell Ridge Open Space. Sound like your style? Check out our ready-now two-bedroom homes priced from the mid $550s.

 

Strolling SoCal

Level 1

Urban living in Southern California doesn’t get much better than Level 1. For starters, you’ll be living right on the boundary between Costa Mesa and Newport Beach. The ocean is about a mile from your front door and you’re even closer to the area’s hippest shopping, dining, nightlife, parks and cultural hot spots.  Walkscore.com ranks the area at 73, Very Walkable, since most errands can be done on foot. Level 1 two- and three-bedroom, three-story plans with spacious private rooftop decks start in the mid $700s. We’re only building 60 units, so you might want to pick up the pace and jog by soon! 


The Meaning of Memorial Day
by Cara, Wednesday, May 20, 2015

This Monday, in Taylor Morrison communities across America, people will be observing the Memorial Day holiday. In addition to touring some of our model homes over the long weekend, take a few moments to observe and honor members of the U.S. Armed Services who gave their lives for our freedom. Add one of these traditions to your family’s celebration.

Flags

• Fly the flag. Learn how to display and store the Stars and Stripes properly here. 
• Attend a religious service or a ceremony. 
• Visit a local memorial, historic site or museum honoring the military.
• Observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3PM your time to think about the true meaning of the day.
• Thank a veteran or active service member.
• Read the Declaration of Independence aloud and talk about what it means.
• Do a patriotic craft together such as making a garland of red, white and blue paper stars. Find more ideas here.
• Have patriotic song sing-along.
• Visit a wounded warrior at a local hospital.
• See our 50 Ways to Get Inspired at Home and find ideas you can adapt for your family’s Memorial Day. 
Share your celebration with us.