5 Thanksgiving Space Savers

‘Tis the season to welcome your entire extended family into your home (including the twice-removed uncle you didn’t know existed until your mother invited him over). If you’re used to only hosting a small number of people at the same time, these helpful hacks will make your space go the distance during Thanksgiving.

  1. Make room for mingling. Hang some simple mirrors on the wall; they’ll give off the illusion of a larger room. Invest in some chic foldable chairs, and move seating towards the walls to make room for as much mingling as possible.
  2. Minimize mess. Make one signature cocktail for the night and serve them in pitchers or punch bowls. Clean as you go throughout the day so you’ll have more breathing room as dishes hit the sink.
  3. Aim high. Set your sights on hanging decor like festive lighting instead of tablescapes to make room for edibles.
  4. Ask for help. Ask each guest to contribute a dish. Be specific, though. You don’t want to end up serving three green bean casseroles and four interpretations of cranberry sauce.
  5. Take a break. Give the house a breather and take the party outside—head to the park for a post-dinner stroll or some football.


With these space saving hacks, the only extra space you’ll need to worry about is saving room for dessert!

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CENTURY 21® Expands Its Network with CENTURY 21 Peak in San Fernando Valley

San Fernando Valley is going through a powerful rebranding on the real estate front. Brokerage firms Peak Realty and Peak Commercial recently announced that they’re now affiliated with the iconic real estate brand. They celebrated the new affiliation with a grand opening at the company’s headquarters in Woodland Hills.

Raffi Tal (EVP, Peak Corporate Network), Donna Kreisler (COO, Peak Corporate Network), Eli Tene (Managing Director & Principal, Peak Corporate Network), Gil Priel (Managing Director & Principal, Peak Corporate Network) Photo credit: Linda Kasian Photography

The Peak Corporate Network team has been preparing for a move like this for the last two decades. Already operating as the largest independent brokerage firm in the San Fernando region, Principal and Managing Directors Eli Tene and Gil Priel acknowledge that the resources and extensive training provided to their agents by CENTURY 21 will help attract new clients while increasing their market share.

“The CENTURY 21 Peak name will be recognized as a leading asset providing value for entry level as well as affluent clients, foreign real estate investors, clients relocating to and from the area, and more,” Priel remarked.


Greg Sexton (COO, Century 21), Gil Priel (Managing Director & Principal, Peak Corporate Network), Eli Tene (Managing Director & Principal, Peak Corporate Network), Rick Davidson (CEO, Century 21) Photo credit: Linda Kasian Photography

“We are looking forward to leveraging our creative ideas, entrepreneurial spirit, and solutions with the SMARTER. BOLDER. FASTER.® assets that the brand delivers in order to bring our buyers and sellers, in both residential and commercial sectors, superior market knowledge and a wide-range of top-notch services for maximum value,” added Tene.

As a leading authority in the real estate industry, the Peak Corporate Network group of companies provide a full array of comprehensive real estate services nationwide including residential and commercial brokerage services, residential and commercial mortgage financing, loan servicing, insurance services, short sales, foreclosure processing and 1031 exchange.

“Eli, Gil and their team of affiliates will make wonderful additions to the CENTURY 21 System,” said Rick Davidson, CEO of CENTURY 21 Real Estate. “The group’s ‘whatever it takes’ service attitude, combined with the learning and marketing tools we deliver our affiliate base, will certainly help to enhance our iconic brand with consumers and industry professionals alike in the various markets that they serve.”

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The Hunger Games: Real Estate Listings the Districts Deserve

Unlike the glammed-out Capitol, the 13 districts of Panem are in less-than-desirable conditions. As we watch them fight for freedom in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, we hope they’ll have a home sweet home waiting for their return. Here are some real estate listings that the residents of the districts deserve.

District 4: Beautiful Beach House


Since this district resides on the coastal regions of Panem, its people love the commodity they produce: seafood. As skilled swimmers who know their way around a fishing net, they deserve a home as adapted to the water as they are. Standing on stilts, this house allows them to feel immersed in the sea while staying safely above the waves.

District 7: Luxurious Log Cabin


Tucked away in the woods, District 7 is a key producer of lumber. All that time spent in the forest with various wood cutters must pay off in quality crafting abilities, which no doubt should be reflected in their abodes. A stylized yet cozy home like this lux cabin will make them feel at one with nature while still keeping them warm during the snowier winters.

District 10: Quaint Country Cottage


District 10 rests on acres of farmland, which they use to raise cattle for the meat-eaters of their country. Livestock work is grueling, so these residents could use a no-frills place to relax. With a large kitchen to support home-cooked family dinners, this down-to-earth rural home provides all that a farmer could ask for.

District 11: Sprawling Southern Home


Home to plentiful orchards and fields, District 11 provides Panem with a majority of its agriculture. Since their days are spent among the peach trees and wheat fields, wouldn’t it be nice if they could cool off with some lemonade on a lengthy, shaded porch? This home is breezy and beautiful, with room to spare for entertaining out of town guests.

In a perfect world, the districts would already enjoy the same home comforts as those in the Capitol do. Until then, may the odds be ever in their favor.


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How to Baby Proof for The Holidays

If you’ve got a little one this holiday season, don’t make the mistake of being unprepared. This time of year brings about unique potential dangers for him or her that you might not have considered. Follow these five tips on how to baby proof your home for the holidays.

  1. Skip the tablecloth. Infants are known to be grabby, and the hanging end of a tablecloth is too tempting to resist. In one quick tug, your tyke could accidentally pull down the entire dinner table setting, including your dishes, silverware, and candles. Yikes!
  1. Keep flowers out of reach. Contrary to popular belief, poinsettias aren’t actually poisonous, but there’s still no reason for your child to ingest them. Keep all plants out of reach. They’re not food, and you never know which one may make a particular individual sick.
  1. Don’t wrap with ribbons. Stick to wrapping paper only when giving gifts. Leftover ribbons can easily fall on the ground, presenting a choking hazard for you baby. Additional tip: Gather up and throw away wrapping paper as soon as it’s discarded. Again, you never know what your child might put in their mouth.
  1. Secure your tree. Fasten your tree to the wall and consider blocking off the area with a baby gate because after all, the tree is for looking, not for touching. If you want to bring your baby closer, do so under strict supervision, and don’t let them tug on any branches.
  1. Hang ornaments higher. Hang all ornaments out of reach on the top half of the tree, just in case your tot does get closer to the tree. Smooth, shiny decorations will be sure to attract their attention, and all too many are easily breakable. If you feel like your tree is a bit bare, opt for paper or felt ornaments on the lower half.


These simple changes to your holiday decorating routine may make for a safer celebration for your newest family member.

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5 Fantasty Homes for the Football Fan

Autumn may have foliage, Halloween hauntings, and pumpkin spiced everything, but one thing dominates the minds of the most dedicated sports fans: football season. Chances are you’re not going to leave the house on Sundays between now and the Super Bowl, so you might as well cozy up in a nook that reflects your passion for your fantasy football team and admiration for eating hot wings in sweatpants. Here are some must-haves for the ultimate baller’s crib.

Crawl into the Man Cave

Your wife wouldn’t be a huge fan of the entire home being a giant shrine to your favorite team, but one dedicated room will easily become your favorite in the entire house. Some must-haves for your dream man cave might include at least two flat-screen TVs no less than 60 inches so you can catch every bit of action from every game, a sound system that’s all about the bass, sound installation to noise-proof the space outside of the cavernous doors, a floor-to-ceiling wall mural of the home team, and theatre-style recliners where you can kick up your feet and sink into the seat.

The Ultimate Bar

Drinking Budweiser might be okay for Game Day, but you’re not one to settle for a run-of-the-mill six-pack. Upgrade your bar area to include leather stools, a sleek bar top, and a fully-packed fridge that includes your quintessential hops and IPAs. Don’t forget about the liquor cabinet; always have the right ingredients (or perhaps an engraved cocktail shaker) for your signature martini or weekly Make-Your-Own-Bloody-Mary Bar.

XXL Backyard

When you’re not busy watching or analyzing football, you’re probably playing football before the game with your bros. Having an extra spacious yard saves you a trip to the local park—and also the embarrassment of having strangers watch you practice your touchdown dance. Wrapping up the game with an impromptu tailgate on your wooden deck is the ideal way to unwind after getting down and dirty on the green.

A Bar-Centric Kitchen

Your doctor recommends being healthy six days out of the week so you can splurge on Football Sunday. Having the ultimate buffet set up on a spacious kitchen island gives you enough room to spread out the mountain of hot wings and seven-layer nacho dip you’re planning on sinking your teeth into by the end of the first quarter. Getting pizza delivered from Domino’s is a decent standby for newbies, but wouldn’t a pizza oven make your slices that much better? If you don’t have space in the house for one, setting one up in the backyard is a good alternative.

Game Room for Game Day

You’re never too old to have game nights with your buds. A room solely filled with the works—a billiards-style pool table and a foosball court, a curated jukebox with nothing but the hits, darts in one corner and a Pac-Man arcade machine in another, a poker table for weekly Blackjack, an Xbox and PS4 (or a Super Nintendo if you want to go retro) hooked up to a massive flat-screen, and a cabinet filled with addictive faves like Cards Against Humanity and Monopoly—will keep you and your crew occupied for days.

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Congratulations to Realtor Magazine’s Good Neighbor Award Winner John Kersten!

On September 30, 2015, it was announced that John Kersten, President of CENTURY 21® Town & Country in Utica, Michigan, was one of the five winners of the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) Good Neighbor Award. For his dedication and commitment to serving his community through his work with Easter Seals Michigan, he’ll receive a $10,000 grant, along with a feature in the November/December issue of REALTOR Magazine. Additionally, Kersten will receive an additional $1,000 donation to the organization for winning the Web Choice Award.

While Kersten started out organizing rubber duck races for Easter Seals 24 years ago, he utilized his marketing skills to run annual car and cash raffles that raise more than $1 million a year. Throughout the last decade and a half, the $15 million he has raised has helped support programs for children and adults with special needs, including the Miracle League baseball team for children with disabilities and the AgrAbility program, which directly provides services for farmers with illnesses, injuries, or issues associated with aging.

“I accept this award on behalf of the work Easter Seals does on behalf of families and children living with disabilities to live, work and play in their communities,” Kersten said after hearing the good news. “To be mentioned in such great company with these other Good Neighbor finalists is a tremendous honor as their work, too, is helping to build better communities around the country.”

Kersten’s drive to raise money for his branch of Easter Seals has resulted in his brokerage leading the country in fundraising for CENTURY 21®, which is an official sponsor for the organization. In fact, the $1 million his office raises each year makes up about one-third of what CENTURY 21® raises for the organization across the country. Kersten, who has been in the real estate business for the last 48 years, said that his fundraising initiatives have “become like my business.”

“The selflessness demonstrated by John speaks volumes about his leadership skills and his ability to mobilize people for a common cause,” said Rick Davidson, President and Chief Executive Officer of CENTURY 21® Real Estate, LLC. “John has always been a ‘Good Neighbor’ to the CENTURY 21® System, and we are proud to have him represent our brand.”

Watch the video below to learn more about John Kersten’s contribution.

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Cleaning Hacks to Help Prevent the Flu

With the cinnamon-flavored joys of this season come another set of not so pleasant activities. Coughs, sneezes, and stuffy noses are sure to come as the weather cools down and brings the flu season upon us. However, there’s hope. Keeping clean may prevent transmission of the flu, so we’ve provided hacks that may protect you and your family.

Sanitize surfaces

When multiple people come into contact with the same surfaces, they run the risk of spreading and contracting germs. Find common areas that your family uses and disinfect them often. Obvious places include the kitchen counter, bathroom sink, and toilet, but don’t forget about spots in the rest of the house. Home offices and staircase railings get a lot of action, too.

Launder linens

When you reuse towels and sheets, you’re reintroducing yourself to germs that might have accumulated there. During flu season, it’s more important than ever to keep these items fresh. Linens, especially ones that you use on your face like pillowcases or bath towels, should be washed more often in a hot water cycle.

Cut out carriers

Certain items in your home are more likely to accumulate bacteria, which can turn them into potential carriers. These items include (but aren’t limited to) the one listed below.

  • sponges
  • toothbrushes
  • bathroom sink handles
  • dish towels
  • welcome mats
  • TV remotes
  • cell phones

Replace the items you can like sponges and toothbrushes, and be sure to wash or wipe down the others.

Don’t wait until you see symptoms to start cleaning. Prevention is key, and by avoiding the flu you can save your sick days for a “stay at home, cuddled in blankets” day, instead.

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Peanuts Characters: Where Are They Living Now?

Charlie Brown, Peppermint Patty, Lucy Van Pelt and the Peanuts gang may have been perpetually eight years young for the last six decades, but have you ever wondered what they would be like once they grew up? Fast forward to the good old days of contemplating life at the brick wall and ice skating with Snoopy and Woodpecker and peek into their future selves with our predictions of what their cribs might look like.

Charlie Brown


Despite his good intentions to overcome his childhood insecurities, Charlie Brown held himself back and now lives in a modest two-bedroom apartment (one bedroom for him, and the other for his baby sister whenever she comes over to visit). Framed on the wall are the remnants of the kites he used to fly before he got tired of the Kite-Eating Tree destroying his valiant efforts, and he still has his bare childhood Christmas tree sitting in a lonely corner.



The townhouse Lucy Van Pelt lives in also acts as her private psychiatry practice. When she’s not busy bossing around her maids and butlers, Ms. Van Pelt can be heard calling Schroeder on the daily to come over and play the baby grand piano she bought him as a surprise. Fun fact: the centerpiece of her sprawling entranceway is the football she used to trick Charlie Brown over and over again in her youth.



Living in a high-rise overlooking the town’s pumpkin patch, Linus Van Pelt usually comes home and sprawls out on his hammock he sewed out of his beloved childhood blanket in his philosophy-stocked study.






The baby sister of Charlie Brown has a very laissez-faire approach to life—and that reflects in her home. Every room of her pink-and-polka-dotted house has a beanbag ready for her to plop into, along with a flat-screen television and overflowing snack bowls aplenty.



Peppermint Patty


The star athlete likes to consider her abode the “wo-man cave”—every inch of her home, floor to ceiling, is covered with sports memorabilia. One room is dedicated to the innumerable trophies and medals she received for her world-class achievements in football, hockey, and baseball.





This former litterbug cleaned up his act and is now an owner of a pristine condominium with ivory furnishings and snow white floor-to-wall carpeting.






You can never tell from the outside, but the beloved beagle has pimped out his iconic red doghouse over the years. Inside the arched open doorway is a five-story mansion with a dog-shaped indoor pool, a World War I-inspired flight simulator, an ice skating rink to practice his hockey skills, and an anti-gravity room to prep him to be the first beagle on the moon.

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How To Stage Your House Over the Holidays

Selling your home during the holidays doesn’t mean you have to hold back on the festivities. Let your home shine while attracting buyers during the most wonderful time of the year with these seasonal touches.

Deck the halls:

Don’t let selling your home stop you from spreading the holiday cheer. Subtle hints like a welcoming evergreen wreath at the front door, mulled cider brewing on the stovetop or hand-sewn stockings hanging from the fireplace awning gives the space a jolt of spirit.

Trim the tree:

Usually the most eye-catching piece of the living room during the holiday season, make sure your spruced-up Christmas tree matches the aesthetic you want to sell to potential buyers. If your living room has a clean-cut scheme with ivories and whites, for example, make sure your baubles fall under the same color palette.

Tone it down:

As tempting as it is to blow some lawn ornaments to celebrate the season, it’s best to go for a minimalist approach during this crucial selling time. Neatly highlight the defining elements of your home’s exterior with snow white lights or hang fresh garland with bright red bows from your rooftop or mailbox.

Warm up:

Before open houses, make sure your home feel as cozy as possible. Now’s the perfect time to light a fire in your fireplace and warm up your home. If your home is lacking the fiery centerpiece, turning up the thermostat to a comfortably toasty level gives potential buyers extra incentive to linger for a while to escape the brutal cold outside—and allows them to fully digest the best qualities of your home.

Tune up:

Fill up the hallways with contemporary holiday classics while potential buyers are roaming the halls. Make a mix of festive favorites: go old-school with Frank Sinatra’s “White Christmas” or Natalie Cole’s take on “The Christmas Song”…or just play Mariah Carey’s “All I Want for Christmas (Is You)” on a loop.

Feed the masses:

The best way to make somebody feel at home—potentially at their future home—is through their stomach. Whip up some holiday-themed cookies and mocktails to serve during your open house; the extra hint of hospitality will keep you in the mind of prospective buyers even after the last present is unwrapped during the holidays.

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Be My Guest: How to Get Your Home Guest-Ready in 15 Minutes

Anticipating some last-minute company? While you may not have time to scrub down the house, some simple tricks of the trade will make it look like you did. Prepare your home for the unexpected—even if the unexpected is your mother-in-law inviting herself over for dinner.

Take a whiff:

Burning a few candles around the abode will not only brighten up the space, but it will also upgrade the usual aromas of your home. Light up a rich Mahogany Teakwood in the den, or perhaps indulge your guests’ senses with a fresh Vanilla Bean scent in the kitchen.

Pillow talk:

Upgrade your low-key loveseats and couches with hints of color. Take decorative pillows and throws out of the closet and add them as accents to the coziest spots. Be sure to fluff them, and then watch as everyone sits back and relaxes.

Reduce, reduce, reduce:

Having a magazine or book at arms’ reach in every room may be convenient, but there are stylish ways to hide them away. Minimize your reading materials clutter by stashing them in a basket or bin. It instantly improves the ambiance of your living space.

Show off your green thumb:

Pick out a simple bouquet from your garden and proudly display it on the dinner table. Also, swap out the run-of-the-mill vase with an empty wine bottle to highlight your creativity and charming style.

Feng shui the space:

If you haven’t moved your couch since it was first delivered, now’s the perfect chance to rearrange and harmonize the room. Even the simple act of angling your furniture a few inches can make each living space look brand new.

Throw it down:

Every room needs an anchor—and for those who are missing one, a bright throw rug brings the space together.

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