LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE: Hosting The Perfect Pool Party

Maureen-Pool Image 1

We proudly premiere the next video in our “Love Where You Live” Lifestyle Series… “Hosting The Perfect Pool Party” was filmed in collaboration with author and lifestyle expert Maureen Petrosky. As we head into the holiday weekend, take just a minute or so to pick up some quick tips for making your next pool party the best ever!

Hosting a pool party can be fun and fabulous with just a few key preparations. Hosts often spend the entire party running in and out of the house gathering items for their guests. Instead of playing fetch, “Tray It Up”… Most home stores offer a variety of tray options that work well both indoors and outdoors. Having a stylish, easy way to efficiently transport a collection of items from the inside of your home to your outdoor entertaining space will enable the host spend more time at the party.

A­-List Essentials For Hosting the Perfect Pool Party:

Kitchen Carrier: Use a large tray with handles to hold your condiments, plates, napkins, and utensils inside until the party starts. You can assemble this tray hours in advance so it is ready to go when guests arrive. Simply carry it to your grill or outdoor dining area at mealtime. Makes for easy clean up, too!

Towel Transport: Provide your guests with plenty of extra towels. Choose one color that suits your poolside decor and place them all in a basket. If they are all the same color, it makes it easy for you and your guests to identify which towels remain at the house. Using a basket allows for easily transport from the linen closet out to the pool. After the party, reload the basket with used towels for a quick trip back to the laundry room.

Detailed Delivery: Successful entertaining is always in the details. Anticipating guests’ needs with a tray of summertime outdoor essentials like extra sunscreen, bug spray, swimming goggles, sun visors, band­aids, and even sunglasses will ensure your guests are comfortable and their various needs are met.

Pouring Poolside: ­This is the one time where plastic is perfect! Use another tray to set up a pretty plastic pitcher and tumblers to serve your guests a refreshing poolside sip.

As you can see, “Traying It Up” makes for easy transport of all sorts of pool party supplies between the house and your outdoor entertaining space. It not only helps keep you stylishly organized, but more importantly lets the host spend more time enjoying the party with their guests poolside. Enjoy!

Click here to watch “Love Where You Live: Hosting the Perfect Pool Party”.

Missed the first video in our lifestyle series? Pick up some quick tips for hosting an impromptu, fun-filled evening with friends and neighbors: Click here to watch “Love Where You Live: Outdoor Entertaining At A Moment’s Notice”.

Maureen Petrosky appears regularly as a Lifestyle Expert on NBC’s Today Show. Author of The Wine Club, The Cocktail Club, and popular columnist for TODAY.com, thekitchn.com, and many more publications, fans love her accessible and fun approach to making quick and easy yet sophisticated recipes, parties, decorating, food and wine pairings, and of course cocktails. Maureen is the ultimate hostess, and the only Lifestyle Expert focused on helping young professionals, moms, neighbors and co­workers bring their online social experiences to life with real­world social clubs inspired by her smart­chic book series, TV and spokesperson appearances, and regular editorial features like her “The 10­Minute Happy Hour.”

SUMMER MEANS AL FRESCO DINING

financing-parking-2

The days are getting longer and the weather is getting warmer. And that means it’s the perfect time of year for dining al fresco! Nothing beats enjoying some fresh air and sunshine along with a delicious meal.

Luckily for residents of central NJ, our area is rich with great places to eat and drink outdoors. Just in time for the start of summer, here’s our list of great outdoor dining options in Greater Princeton:

3d27167

Despaña Restaurant & Tapas Café – Princeton

Billed as “the best of Spain in NJ,” this Tapas and small plates bistro serves fare that’s perfect for sharing. For diners looking for a quick trip to the Old World without the airline ticket, Despaña offers an outdoor terrace where you can enjoy hot Flamenco music and cool Sangria.

1d85e4d8b7c678f3136b3659eca55162_full_size

Witherspoon Grill – Princeton

This classic American steakhouse has become a destination for carnivorous Princetonians. In addition to a vibrant beer and cocktail bar, the Witherspoon Grill features an expansive patio right in the center of downtown Princeton. It’s the perfect place to enjoy a hearty meal and take in the sights and sounds of the town during the summer months.

large_ext

Mediterra – Princeton

This Princeton gem specializes in Mediterranean flavors. Their signature dish – the Spanish paella – is a generous portion best enjoyed with company and washed down with a glass of one of their many Spanish wines. Fans of al fresco dining will delight in savoring their meal next to Mediterra’s beautiful outdoor fountain – you might close your eyes and think you’ve been transported to Barcelona!

vidalia-restaurant

Vidalia – Lawrenceville

At this “Kitchen with Passion” in Lawrenceville, Sicily-born chef Salvatore Scarlata prepares fresh recipes from his native land. His attention to detail and masterful command of flavors earned him a loyal following, along with rave reviews. This BYOB doesn’t charge a corkage fee (bonus!), and their canopied outdoor seating area, softly illuminated with strings of lights, offers diners whimsical escape.

ef5b97e47474cd7c6d1713038e44b438

Nomad Pizza – Hopewell

This funky Hopewell pizzeria gets its name from its origins as a pizza truck, but its BYOB outpost in Hopewell is a now great place to stay put. Pies range from classic margherita to more adventurous interpretations, such as “Gorgonzola-pear” or shitake mushroom. Diners in their quirky yet refined outdoor area can see their historic 1949 REO Speedwagon pizza truck and take in their large garden of fresh herbs and arugula, which they use to season their food.

17119830-mmmain

The Boathouse – Lambertville

The Boathouse in Lambertville is a classic bar on the Delaware River. It’s cozy, but tipplers who can secure seating will delight in the establishment’s charming nautical décor, rustic ambiance and some of the best margaritas around. Their vine-covered patio is a model of vintage charm, and it can become quite lively with revelers during the warmer months.

lambertville-station

Lambertville Station – Lambertville

Another destination along the banks of the Delaware, the Lambertville Station is situated in an old train station (hence the name). This rustic inn and pub serves modern American fare and features an extensive wine list. Their outdoor dining area – complete with stunning views of the Delaware and New Hope, PA – makes it irresistible.

6469884

Antimo’s Italian Kitchen – Hopewell

Antimo’s Italian Kitchen in Hopewell specializes in dishes from Italy’s southern regions. Called a trattoria and a pizzeria, guest can’t go wrong ordering either. Their monthly specials all feature handmade pasta, and they serve both thin crust and thicker crusted,“Brooklyn” style pizza. The atmosphere here is casual and their outdoor patio area is large enough to accommodate bigger parties. A great place to come with friends or the kids after a soccer game or a day at the pool.

Beyond great food made from fresh, seasonal ingredients, summer also offers a chance to explore your own backyard. We certainly find new places to love everyday! So we’d love to hear from you – what are your favorite local spots for al fresco dining?

LOVE WHERE YOU LIVE: OUTDOOR ENTERTAINING AT A MOMENT’S NOTICE

Screen Shot 2016-05-26 at 9.33.10 AM

We proudly premiere the first video in our “Love Where You Live” Lifestyle Series!  “Outdoor Entertaining At A Moment’s Notice” was filmed at our incredible listing at 58 Rosedale Road in Princeton, in collaboration with author and lifestyle expert Maureen Petrosky.  As we head into Memorial Day Weekend, take 90 seconds to pick up some quick tips for hosting an impromptu, fun-filled evening with friends and neighbors. Click here to watch “Love Where You Live: Outdoor Entertaining At A Moment’s Notice”.

As the weather warms up, neighbors and friends slowly creep out of hibernation.  It seems that all of a sudden our sidewalks are buzzing, gardens are blooming, and inevitably impromptu outdoor gatherings emerge. These types of parties are my favorite. With very little effort you can host a fun-filled evening perfect for savoring the season.

Food & Drink A-List Essentials

Keeping a well-stocked pantry and assortment of drinks on hand is always a good idea, especially if you have a busy household. My culinary “must-haves” for entertaining on the fly include: a baguette or two in the freezer, an assortment of crackers, cured meats and cheeses, pickles and pickled veggies, dried fruits and nuts, assorted chocolates, graham crackers and marshmallows. Don’t overthink the drinks! Keep a few bottles of red, white and bubbly wine on hand, and simply dress up a pitcher of water with sliced citrus or cucumber for a perfect outdoor sip.  

Fun & Games

My back porch and backyard have lots of options for games — and not just for the kids. Adults like to have a little fun, too!  My A-List Essentials to keep on hand for outdoor entertaining include a couple of cases of mason jars (one for drinks, and one for catching fireflies), a large rope for tug-o-war, a basket of flashlights for flashlight tag, and a container of sidewalk chalk for hopscotch, tic-tac-toe, or even checkers (using rocks as your checkers).

Sweet Endings

Gathering ‘round a fire pit to roast marshmallows or lighting sparklers are a couple of ideal ways to end an impromptu evening with friends.

And so you see, with some simple food and drink preparation, a few fun games and other tricks up your sleeve, outdoor entertaining at a moment’s notice really can be a breeze. It doesn’t take a lot to enjoy a little bit of luxury wherever you live.

Click here to watch “Love Where You Live: Outdoor Entertaining At A Moment’s Notice”.

Maureen Petrosky appears regularly as a Lifestyle Expert on NBC’s Today Show.  Author of The Wine Club, The Cocktail Club, and popular columnist for TODAY.com, thekitchn.com, and many more publications, fans love her accessible and fun approach to making quick and easy yet sophisticated recipes, parties, decorating, food and wine pairings, and of course cocktails. Maureen is the ultimate hostess, and the only Lifestyle Expert focused on helping young professionals, moms, neighbors and co-workers bring their online social experiences to life with real-world social clubs inspired by her smart-chic book series, TV and spokesperson appearances and regular editorial features like her “The 10- Minute Happy Hour.”

Maureen C Petrosky author pic

IN THE KNOW: PRINCETON PLAYGROUNDS

Marquand park climbing structure

Marquand Park

If the perfect playground is a little slice of heaven, then Princeton’s Marquand Park (located off Lover’s Lane) is surely one. This exquisite spot, nestled among 17 acres of preserved land and specimen trees, offers tons of play-time options: swings, a climber with slide, and a much-loved, giant-sized sandpit filled to the brim with tractors, diggers and the like. The surrounding paved path is ideal for a stroller ride or learning bikers, and a picnic area and ball field are on site as well. The beauty of Marquand’s backdrop is astounding, matched only by the grins and giggles abound.
Access: Parking lot on Lover’s Lane. Footpath via Stockton or Mercer Street.

On the other end of Princeton Borough sits “Maggie’s Park”, a hidden gem on a cul-de-sac at the end of Spruce Street. This playground is much smaller in size than it’s Marquand counterpart, but equal in fun. Reminiscent of a New York City playground, there is a surrounding fence and the park is filled with goodies: a sandbox, zip-line, bridge, tall slide, tunnel and more. Just outside the playground gates is a set of swings and a paved path.
Access: Street Parking on Spruce Street

Spruce Street Playground – “Maggie’s Park”

Another perfect spot (with or without a little one in tow) is The Delaware and Raritan Canal State Park, the 70 mile-long linear park which runs through Princeton. The Canal trail, also known as the towpath, is the perfect spot for a walk, run, or bike, and serves as one of Central New Jersey’s most popular spots for canoeing, hiking, fishing and horseback riding as well. The section of the path near Princeton University runs parallel to Lake Carnegie, home to Princeton’s rowing team.
Access: Parking lot and canoe rentals at the Alexander Road entrance.

Other favorites include the Princeton YWCA and YMCA’s child-designed and community-built playground located at 59 Paul Robeson Place, and for rainy day play the Cotsen Children’s Library at Princeton University’s Firestone Library is a dream.

DSC04008

Towpath

EXCLUSIVE Q&A WITH PRINCETON EXPERT MIMI OMIECINSKI

IMG_0903

Mimi at Princeton Pi Day, an annual event she created to celebrate Einstein’s birthday which falls on 3/14.

Lucky for all of us, Mimi Omiecinski (aka Mimi O’) moved to Princeton in 2006 with her husband and son. And while many of us consider ourselves very lucky to call the Princeton area home, Mimi put her Princeton passion to work.  She started the Princeton Tour Company, and her New York Times recommended tours are the #1 most popular Princeton activity on Trip Advisor.  Why tours? Mimi’s goal was to “create a business that would honor all of Princeton – her history, culture, residents, university and merchants so I knew a touring company made sense”. We are thrilled to share our A-LIST Q&A with the fabulous Mimi O’:

A-LIST: How would you describe Princeton to someone who has not yet been here?

MIMI: Princeton is akin to every European village you’ve visited.  It’s gorgeous, lively, values quality, and portrays all the traits of a  welcoming community.  You drive into Princeton and, literally, start to relax.  We have a gorgeous Ivy League campus and diverse shopping district which offers plenty of diversions for a first time visitor.  Our Art Museum holds the most exquisite collection of its kind in Northern America.   You read that right, the most exquisite art collection in Northern America.  Go into the museum and see Picasso, Monet, Degas and more inside the boutique museum.  There’s also world-class theater at McCarter Theater where Christopher Reeve, Ethan Hawke, John Lithgow and Lucille Ball had their stage debut.  There’s a small movie house called Garden Theater  that will take you back in time with oldies alongside the hottest Sundance movies.  Rent a bike and see Carnegie Lake – the most expensive man-made lake in America and playground to Olympic hopefuls.  Go off the beaten path and see the neighborhoods of Einstein, TS Elliot, Robert Oppenheimer, Toni Morrison, Paul Krugman, Joyce Carol Oates, Jeffrey Eugenides, Paul Muldoon, Cornel West, F Scott Fitzgerald, Thomas Mann, John von Neumann, Woodrow Wilson, Grover Cleveland, Andrew Carnegie, Robert Wood Johnson ……Clearly, I’m a slave to shameless name dropping so I’ll just stop there ….

gohistoric_13022_z

Albert Einstein House Princeton, NJ. Photo courtesy of GoHistoric.com

A-LIST: What are some of your favorite things about living here?

MIMI: I love being able to walk anywhere and get anything I need or want.  From a face to face class with the Dalai Lama to a crossing guard that texts me that my son made it to his first day of middle school okay.  Princeton is a globally recognized world-class brand but if you able to live here it feels like Mayberry.  It’s not bragging to say I’ve seen the world – I did it – and I’m telling you, there’s no better place to live in America.

A-LIST: Why did you start Princeton Tour Company
MIMI: I met my husband in my mid-30’s as a career girl in the South  (there weren’t many of me – I was a bona fide workaholic).  I met my husband on a plane and it was love at first sight so we eventually got in the same zip code and decided to marry.  I knew I wanted a baby but his career required us to move so I stopped working to follow his career, which required a lot of travel.  I would tag along and take tours of major cities and villages.  When my husband was done working I was his tour guide before we would catch a plane back to the states.  When we were relocated to NJ, I toured the state and after a long weekend in Princeton, I knew I was home.  There is no better village on earth.  I don’t have an Ivy League education but I’ve seen the world and can, beyond a shadow of a doubt, say there is no better village in America.  I took all the tours in Princeton and loved them all.  I wanted to create a tour company that combined all of the wonders of Princeton – the University and surrounding town.
AboutUSshot

Mimi is known for her fun AND fact-filled tours!

A-LIST: What classes did you audit at Princeton University?

MIMI: There are too many to list here but I can tell you that taking a class on campus is a wonderful experience.  The University offers many lectures from visiting scholars which are listed on their Community Page.   As I’m writing this, I’m going to see Meryl Streep perform on campus – free to the community compliments of Princeton University.

A-LIST: What is your most recent discovery in Princeton?

MIMI: I never stop discovering new people/places and things about Princeton.  I’m currently stalking Aaron Burr, Jr. whose history seems so tragically misunderstood.  EVERYONE knows about that duel with Alexander but no one knows he was the first male feminist in America.  He taught his daughter as if she were a son which was dangerous territory back then.  I like telling the full truth about a person in history.  We’re all complicated and they were too.  I tell their stories as if they can hear me to be sure I’m respectful.

photo-18

Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty agents stay “in the know” thanks to private lectures with Mimi O.

A-LIST: What is your most memorable tour?

MIMI: My most memorable tour was the one I gave to my grandfather.  He said he was proud of me.  After that, there was no turning back.

A-LIST: What’s the one thing you wished we’d ask about living in Princeton?
MIMI: I guess a lot of people wonder if they can truly make friends in Princeton.  The “brand” can feel intimidating but if you have a love of learning, curiosity of heart and sincere desire to contribute to a community you’re going to feel at home in Princeton.
Thank you Mimi!
PS…catch up with Mimi on Saturday, March 14th, and celebrate Princeton Pi Day (and Einstein’s birthday!)

A-LIST AGENTS: AROUND THE WORLD

IMG_2137-2

Callaway Henderson Sotheby’s International Realty agents are the LOCAL experts with an unparalleled GLOBAL reach. Thanks to our unrivaled Sotheby’s International Realty network, they can help meet your real estate needs ANYWHERE in the world.

 Follow our agents #AROUNDTHEWORLD!

Vanessa Gronczewski (above) visits Proprietes Parisiennes Sotheby’s International Realty.

FullSizeRender

Beth Kearns stops by Gustave White Sotheby’s International Realty in Newport, Rhode Island.

IMG_2189

Amy Schaefer at Russ Lyons Sotheby’s International Realty in Arizona.

 IMG_2979-2

Beth Steffanelli checks in at Puerto Rico Sotheby’s International Realty.

IMG_3281

Amy Granato stops by Old Cape Sotheby’s International Realty.

SueCookSIR

Sue Cook visits Costa Rica Sotheby’s International Realty.

JenCurtisSIR

Jennifer Curtis at Damianos Sotheby’s International Realty in the Bahamas.AnnGSIR

Ann Galbraith at Washington, D.C.affiliate TTR Sotheby’s International Realty.DavidSchureSIR

David Schure visits Treasure Coast Sotheby’s International Realty in Florida.1669672_627424714004826_460721339_o

Marti Moseley says hello to Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty in Arizona.
1926739_626396787440952_643607804_nLast but not least! Cheryl Goldman visits Aspen Snowmass Sotheby’s International Realty. 

LET’S GO: LOCAL FALL ACTIVITIES

In the blink of an eye, summer has come and gone. The kids are back in school, football season is kicking off, and while it might not feel like it now, the weather will soon turn brisk. Luckily, for many, autumn is the best time of the year.

And this is especially true for residents of Central NJ.

Our brilliant scenery and bountiful fall harvests make for a picture-perfect fall experience. To help you make the most of the season and appreciate it in its full glory, we’ve prepared a list of autumn activities for the whole family.

Continue reading

A DAY IN LAMBERTVILLE, NJ

For an easy but rewarding day trip, there’s no better destination than Lambertville, NJ. The cozy little town’s timeless blend of arts, history, natural splendor, and gourmet food means there’s something for everyone. And Lambertville’s small size means it can be comfortably enjoyed in a day. To help our readers get the most out of their trip, we’ve prepared a sample itinerary for the perfect visit.

Continue reading

Beat the heat with a local frozen treat!

ICE-CRAM

During the hot months of summer, there’s nothing like a cool, creamy ice cream cone to sweeten your day.

Luckily, the Garden State’s unique blend of history and culture, coupled with its rich agricultural traditions make our area’s ice cream delights some of the best in the world.

If you haven’t yet explored Greater Princeton’s bounty of frozen treats this summer, don’t despair. To get you started, the A-List has assembled this helpful guide. You might never have imagined ice cream could taste so wonderful.

Continue reading

Enjoying the great outdoors in our own backyard

large_dells

Summer is finally here! The kids are out of school and there’s no better time than now to get outside, get active, and appreciate Mother Nature’s splendor. Spending time outside makes for a great escape from the daily grind, and provides families with memories that last a lifetime.

Many readers choose to live in our A-LIST towns because of their well-regarded education systems, quaint downtowns, and strong sense of community. What they might not realize, though, is that the greater Princeton area offers a panoply of outdoor activities perfect for weekend warriors and dedicated outdoorsmen alike.

To enjoy some fresh air, get some exercise, and bond with friends and family, add these places to your summer to-do list:

Continue reading