“MARTINI, anyone?”

WHITE CHOCOLATE PEPPERMINT MARTINIservings: 1 cocktail   |   prep time: 10 mins

This White Chocolate Peppermint Martini makes delicious holiday cocktail. #christmas #cocktail #martini #recipe #peppermint #whitechocolate

Cheers to another holiday season! Today we’re shaking up this gorgeous White Chocolate Peppermint Martini. It’s a deliciously sweet and creamy cocktail with a peppermint twist.INGREDIENTS

  • 1.5 ounces white chocolate liqueur (Godiva)
  • 1.5 ounces vanilla vodka
  • 1 ounce creme de cacao (clear/white)
  • 1 ounce half and half
  • .5 ounce peppermint schnapps
  • White chocolate syrup and crushed peppermints to garnish


  1. Begin by preparing your martini glass. Rim the edge of the glass with white chocolate syrup; then dip it into crushed peppermint candies or crushed candy canes. Set glass aside.
  2. Add the white chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka, creme de cacao, half and half, and peppermint schnapps to a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake and then strain into your prepared martini glass.

Leave a comment if you’ve tried this one.  It’s one of my favorites!  Watch out for more great recipes.


DECEMBER 4, 2015 – 5:35 PM  – 2 COMMENTS47

This is why sellers should pay close attention to the advice of their Realtor!



When my husband and I decided to sell our first home, we happened to put it on the market shortly before the holidays. Even though I knew about decluttering and keeping my house “show ready,” I couldn’t wait to pretty the place up with holiday decorations.

Until my real estate agent told me I couldn’t.

Or at least I couldn’t do it the way I wanted to or had always decorated in the past.

Turns out that just like family photos and other heirlooms that are personal to you but distracting for buyers, holiday decorations can make it hard for buyers to “see” themselves living in your home.


As a home seller it might be worth your time to make a few decorating adjustments during December—and for good reason:

  • Real estate experts continue to believe that those looking at houses during the cold-weather months are serious buyers.
  • The weekends before Christmas and New Year’s tend to have some of the highest traffic of the year. Realtor.com recently crunched datafrom its website and found this to be true.
  • During the holidays, says Andy Nelson, CEO and president of Willis Allen Real Estate in San Diego, “there are fewer houses on the market to compete with. Many sellers will wait until after the holidays to list their homes, creating a flooded market and increased competition.”

So rather than take your house off the market in December or switch its status from active to “active-no showings,” use these 15 tips on how not to decorate your house when selling during the holidays. Who knows? You might wake up on Christmas morning to an offer.

  1. Holiday decorations should fit the style of the home. If you have a modern home, consider tasteful modern holiday decorations. Selling your home at the beach? Your decorations should reflect this vibe.
  2. Go for seasonal greenery. A real wreath on the door with a few bows is fine. So is some pine garland on the porch or across a fireplace mantel.
  3. Don’t over decorate outside. No twinkling, musical or colorful animated characters on the lawn, front porch or the roof. Now is not the time to compete with Buddy the Elf for the most decorated home.
  4. Clean up around your tree. If you have a real Christmas tree, “please make certain you clean up the pine needles,” begs Lee Williams, a real estate agent with Level Group, a full-service real estate brokerage in New York City. “Neatness counts.”
  5. Keep it simple with ornaments. Don’t clutter your tree with every ornament you’ve ever used over the years. Think streamlined and simple.
  6. Don’t eat up precious floor space. If your home is small, pare down your Christmas tree size as well. You don’t want it or the presents underneath taking up valuable floor space and making your home looking smaller.
  7. One candle per window, please. Candles in the windows are fine, but, warns Williams, “make certain the candles do not draw attention to any potential negatives outside or inside the home.” Some negatives outside might be dented siding, for example.
  8. Some decorative lights are fine. Lights (white lights only, please) inside the home are OK, but if you must run extension cords all over the place—due to a lack of outlets, a negative to buyers—forget the lights all together, says Williams.
  9. Choose colors carefully. If you must decorate your home for the holiday you celebrate, use traditional colors only—so red and green for Christmas and blue and white or silver for Chanukah, for example. Even better, keep religion out of the color scheme and go with silver and gold!
  10. Put away religious symbols. Nutcrackers, manger scenes and menorahs may be important to you but could be a distraction to buyers. Keep those out for your own personal celebrations but put them away for showings.
  11. Staging still matters. For the holidays, you may simply want to swap out everyday linens for those in your holiday color scheme.
  12. Don’t display holiday greeting cards. They become like family photos—another distraction that prevents buyers from “seeing” themselves living in your house.
  13. Pare down presents. If presents are to be displayed, keep them to a minimum. In fact, you may want to wrap a few empty boxes, tastefully, of course, as part of your decorating theme, suggests Williams.
  14. Clear your cookies. Don’t leave a plate of cookies out at showings—you’re trying to find a buyer, not entice Santa to leave you more presents. Plus, food allergies are a real concern these days. Causing an allergic reaction is not a good way to inspire someone to make an offer on your home.
  15. Curb appeal continues to count. In the winter and with inclement weather, a big part of curb appeal is having a shoveled driveway and a walk clear of ice and snow. It’s definitely a negative if buyers can’t make it to your front door—safely.


Attract Buyers With an Inviting Atmosphere

Warm up your home’s appeal during cold-weather months.

Modern Master Bedroom Feels Bright, Cozy

Sawhorse Design & Build

By: Shannon Petrie

Related To:

Real EstateHome Staging

There’s no better time than the chilly fall and winter months to make your home seem warm and welcoming to potential buyers. When buyers walk into your house, use these tips to make it feel like a home. This will encourage them to stick around, giving them more time to admire the space.

Crank Up the Heat

When it’s cold outside, buyers will be grateful for a place to warm up. Turn the thermostat up a couple of degrees to make it extra toasty, or light a fire in the fireplace for an extra homey touch. Just be sure not to leave a fire unattended.

Let in the Light

To make your home look bright and open when it’s a bit dreary outside, turn on all the lights and open all the shades and curtains to let in as much natural light as possible. Use amber-colored light bulbs to give your home a warm glow.

Add Holiday Adornments

While overly large decorations can distract buyers from your home, tasteful wintry accents can complement your decor. Consider a simple wreath on the door, a vase filled with poinsettias on an end table, or a centerpiece made of pine cones on the dining room table.

Create Appealing Aromas

The scent of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls or apple pie is almost universally appealing. Avoid artificial fragrances like sprays and scented candles, which might affect buyers’ allergies.

Offer Warm Treats

If delicious aromas are wafting through your home, follow through by having food and drinks available for buyers, such as cookies, hot chocolate or apple cider.

Play Soothing Sounds

Classical or jazz music playing softly in the background can add to your home’s inviting atmosphere.

Emphasize Comfort

As a finishing touch, emphasize the comfort of your home with luxurious and inviting fabrics, like soft blankets, plush towels or a silky tablecloth.

Real Estate IN-DEPT Bronx Supplement.

 When Real Estate In-Depth began planning its first special section on The Bronx, the official newspaper of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors turned to perhaps the borough’s chief cheerleader Irene Guanill to provide a market report on its emerging neighborhoods.

By Irene Guanill.

North, South, East and West and all the neighborhoods in between make up what is the Bronx. The South Bronx has become an expansion of Manhattan where a two- family home is now priced in the low $800,000s. Manhattan busted out of its seams and now has expanded to the South Bronx. Anywhere along the 6-train route on the east side and the D/4 train route on the west side is a hot commodity. The South Bronx has coffee shops, thrift stores, the HUB shopping district and the storied Yankee Stadium.

Gentrification has definitely arrived in the Bronx. One of the reasons why this is occurring is the borough’s transportation network. Behind Yankee Stadium is the Major Deegan Expressway, the D and No. 4 trains travel north and south while the 6 trains head south to Manhattan and northeast to Pelham Bay. On the west side of the Bronx is Mount Eden where property values are steadily increasing.

If you are looking to start a business you will still find many opportunities available. The North Bronx borders Westchester County and if you take the West Side Highway to the Bronx you will have to pay a toll. It seems so inappropriate that we Bronxites have to pay a toll to get back into our borough from Manhattan. Most Bronxites exit at the last Manhattan exit on the West Side Highway and drive up Broadway to avoid the Manhattan/Bronx toll, as a matter of principle. Or you can exit at 177th Street and visit Fort Tryon Park in Manhattan before coming up to Van Cortlandt Park via Broadway, the 225th Street bridge is FREE and brings you right into the Broadway shopping district. All other bridges from Manhattan to the Bronx are free so you can understand our Bronxite non-verbal protest to the one toll bridge entering the Bronx.

In the Bronx we have three golf courses, Van Cortlandt Park, which has a golf course and an ice-skating rink, a beautiful dog park and walking trails. Trump Golf Links in Throggs Neck, which recently opened a great restaurant and hall for events; Split Rock Golf Course by Shore Road is considered part of Pelham Bay and also features a venue for entertaining and functions. Be it Riverdale, Country Club or Classon Point you seek, you will have the best water views you could dream of. The property values have been stable in neighborhoods such as Riverdale and Country Club for decades, whereas Classon Point just installed a new ferry option for transportation to Manhattan and real estate is on the rise. In Riverdale you will want to take a tour of Spuyten Duyvil Shorefront Park. It is a smaller botanical garden with incredible views of the Hudson. Many days I have gone there for walks and it is the perfect place to just smell the flowers.

Bordering Country Club is Throggs Neck and Pelham Bay. These neighborhoods are in the Northeast Bronx by City Island, which most people can reference as the Landmark neighborhood for the best seafood in the Bronx. Both Riverdale in the West Bronx and Country Club in the East Bronx have stable real estate sales and offer residential feels that anyone would enjoy. If it is Riverdale you seek, definitely look at the Kingsbridge, Woodlawn and the Norwood sections as additional options. They are all hops, skips and jumps if you are traveling to Manhattan, Westchester or New Jersey. Woodlawn Cemetery offers tours, it is a national historic landmark. Visit https://www.thewoodlawncemetery.org/events/ to schedule your next twilight tour of the cemetery. Kingsbridge/Riverdale has access to the 1/9 train and most neighborhoods offer an express bus to Manhattan.

Mosholu Parkway, Pelham Parkway and Allerton neighborhoods are more in the center of the Bronx and offer short cuts from east to west on any day. Morris Park and Pelham Gardens are both considered double commute areas. You will pass the Botanical Gardens, the Bronx Zoo and if you are heading to Fordham Road to shop for clothing, jewelry or furniture you should stop by Arthur Avenue for a meal. A beautiful view of Fordham University will be yet another highlight of your travels. Many high schools use the sports facilities for competitions. Morris Park has quaint homes that are moderately priced as well as parks and foods of many different cultures. Westchester Square is very welcoming and if you are interested in starting a business we have a location for you.

In the center of the Bronx, you can enjoy the best food, shows and animals the Bronx has to offer at Arthur Avenue, Botanical Gardens and the Bronx Zoo. Arthur Avenue has many restaurants and bakeries to choose from. For that matter every neighborhood in the Bronx has great food, just ask any local Realtor for the best place to eat in the neighborhood. I find Realtors keep their eyes on our neighborhoods and food is one of the perks. One will never accomplish the full exploration of the Bronx in a day and the highlights are many, so a move to the Bronx could be a great decision.

Pelham Bay is home to the largest park in New York City, Pelham Bay Park is 2,772 acres which is approximately three times larger than Manhattan’s Central Park. Pelham Bay Park is completely renovated with a new dog park, Explorers Park for children with disabilities, bike and walking trails, tennis courts, football and baseball fields and a beach with 13 miles of shoreline available with a boardwalk and lots of outdoor entertainment. Orchard Beach has salsa lessons and Zumba on the weekends in the summer. You can enjoy the beach, the basketball courts, a beautiful nature walk at Hunter Trails, and offers views of other parks where you can enjoy a canoe ride, a car show and delicious food. Please do not miss out on a horse ride from Pelham Bit Stables on the trails of Pelham Bay and Orchard Beach, it is sure to be an experience. You can also schedule a bird watching tour with a park ranger. Many people visit the Bronx and all are in awe of all the beauty it has to offer. The New York City Parks Department will also, by appointment, rent you a canoe to use for the day. The Bronx Parks are filled with so much to do during the summer. Your weekends would be filled with Bronx entertainment and exploration. Summer fun and much to do right here in the Bronx!

On Pelham Parkway this time of year at 1605 Pelham Parkway, we have what is known to all locals as the Christmas House. Yes, the Christmas House is a brick two-family home on the corner of Pelham Parkway where families from near and far line up to view all the magic one family can provide. I have been visiting their home since I was a kid and many years later I took my kids and still today they offer a special show right here in the Bronx. It is especially enjoyable being it is here in the Bronx and we do not have to travel for hours in traffic to Manhattan. Beautiful life-size ornaments and decorations displayed with beautiful lights and moving figures.

Shore Haven is the most Southern point of the Bronx, but it is not considered the South Bronx. This neighborhood is called Classon Point. You have a beautiful water views of Manhattan and with the new ferry you can park your car within four blocks and hop on the ferry to Manhattan.

Classon Point has seen a boost in sales now that the ferry is fully operational. Classon Point is a double commute area; you need to take a bus/car to the train or now the ferry is a great travel alternative. With the ferry being 30 minutes to Wall Street and shorter to 42nd Street and a stop on 90th Street, we have greater travel opportunities within the area in less time. In the neighborhood you will find a beautiful gated community of condominiums priced to sell. The complex features many amenities and is called Shore Haven.

City Island is off to the side of Orchard Beach and the mile-long neighborhood is diverse and village like. In the fall you should enjoy the street festivals of clam chowder competitions, in the summer the bass competitions and twice a year the local theatre offers a play or musical. If you want to go fishing, schedule your trip on the Riptide III for all your fishing fun. Many local blocks have private access to the water with a private beach for those that live on the block. In the summer you will see many locals out on their boats. Orchard Beach hosts an annual fireworks show the weekday prior to July 4th.

I do hope you take the time to visit the Bronx and if you choose to live here I know you will love it here. Every neighborhood has beautiful parks, many different choices of entertainment and foods with so much appreciation for the arts and nature. After all, we have the best zoo in all of New York City and the largest park! The Bronx neighborhoods can offer a fast city life or a small community filled with good days and many local community activities. How you live here is your choice. Get involved in the community you live in or not, it is your decision and how you get involved will make the difference of the experience you have while living here.

Join the community in activities, meetings and events. Join the Friends of Pelhambaypark.org. Go to a movie in a park. Every neighborhood has a civic association to join. When you find the neighborhood of your choice join the civic association and make new friends.

Credit for this wonderful article goes to IRENE GUANILL.



Suite Surrender
By Michael McKeever

Directed by Amanda Livingston Martin

It’s 1942, and two of Hollywood’s biggest divas have descended upon the luxurious Palm Beach Royale Hotel — assistants, luggage, and legendary feud with one another in tow. Everything seems to be in order for their wartime performance…that is, until they are somehow assigned to the same suite. Mistaken identities, overblown egos, double entendres, and a lap dog named Mr. Boodles round out this hilarious riot of a love note to the classic farces of the 30s and 40s.


Bernard Dunlap: Male, Mid 30’s – Late 40’s 
The General Manager of the Palm Beach Royale Hotel & Spa, wants everything at his hotel to run smoothly and doesn’t handle it well when it doesn’t.

Claudia McFadden: Female, Late 30’s – Mid 60’s
Larger than life, America’s Beloved Matron of Song, moves into every room like an elegantly dressed tornado.

Athena Sinclair: Female, Late 30’s – Mid 60’s
A great star of stage and screen, beautiful, stylish, and every inch the diva, former screen siren.

Murphy Stevens: Female, mid 20’s – Late 30’s
Personal secretary of Athena and former fiancée of Francis, once wanted to be a big star but settled for being secretary to a big star.

Mr. Pippit: Male, Early 30’s – mid 40’s
Personal secretary of Claudia, pretty much resigned to the fact that his lot in life is to be yelled at, a tiny man compared to his employer.

Dora Del Rio: Female, Mid 30’s – Mid 50’s
A gossip columnist, can smell a juicy story and will try just about anything to get it, must be good at physical comedy.

Mrs. Everett P. Osgood: Female, Mid 40’s – Mid 60’s
A society matron and President of the Palm Beach Ladies for Unity, a bit daft, sees the War Effort as equivalent to one of her cotillions.

Francis: Male, mid 20’s – Late 30’s
A bellhop and former fiancé of Murphy, quit show business to join the army, now hiding out in Palm Beach after they wouldn’t take him.

Otis: Male, Mid 20’s – Mid 40’s
Another bellhop, tends to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, must have excellent physical agility and comedic timing.

Thursday, March 8 @ 7:30 PM
Saturday, March 10 @ 2:00 PM

Friday, April 27@ 8:00 pm
Saturday, April 28 @ 8:00 pm
Sunday, April 29 @ 3:00 pm
Friday, May 4 @ 8:00 pm
Saturday, May 5 @ 8:00 pm
Sunday, May 6 @ 3:00 pm

Inquiries: email: auditions@cityislandtheatergroup.com