Fun in the Sun – Drinks to make your 4th of July sparkle!

Fourth of July Cocktails

By Jamie Fields

Fun in the Sun

4th of July cocktails for adults and kids!

I love the Fourth of July! It has always been my favorite holiday! BBQ’s, pool parties, fireworks, freedom…What’s not to love?

As I have gotten older, I have come to realize all of the opportunities that this holiday presents in terms of fun and colorful drinks! Below are a few of my favorites (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic)! With a variety of options, everyone is sure to find something that they will love.

Click on the pictures to get the recipes! You can also find more Fourth of July ideas on our Pinterest page!

Adult Friendly

patriotic-passion-cocktail-center     Red-White-and-Blue-Sangria-from-Noble-Pig

Red-White-Blue-Margaritas-4     4th-of-July-Jello-Shots

Kid Friendly

Copycat-Sonic-Ocean-Water-Frugal-Coupon-LIving     Layered-Drinks-July-Fourth-Edition-034-2e250-145x145

Supporting the Local Community

Supporting the Local Community

By: Jamie Fields

Supporting the Community

As a small, family-owned home builder, Raymus Homes likes to give back to the community in any way possible. From volunteering at fundraising events to supporting the local business, Raymus and its employees try to do their part. Below is a list of our office staff’s favorite things that Manteca has to offer.


Bean and Leaf Café

The environment and aroma make for a welcoming place to grab your morning coffee or stop in for a hearty lunch.

Located at: The Raley’s Shopping Center: 1254 W Lathrop Rd, Manteca


A favorite of our accounting department, Johnny’s is, “A good, old fashioned coffee shop.”

Located at: 610 E Yosemite Ave, Manteca

Mom’s Thai House

Whether you get the Pad-Thai or one of the curries, you are sure to find something to love. Don’t forget to indulge in one of their Thai Iced Teas too!

Located at: 439 N Main St, Manteca

Pete’s Restaurant and Brewhouse

A constantly rotating selection of beers on tap, appetizers that are to die for (Pete’s Stuffed Knots!!!) and entrees that will fill you for days…Pete’s has quickly established itself as a favorite in our hearts that is a perfect stop for lunch or dinner!

Located at: 881 Lifestyle St, Manteca


Memorial Day – Not Forgotten

A day to honor those who serve our country and our fallen heroes. The day includes a car show, a 5k run/walk, World War II air craft fly-overs, fireworks and a concert! A beautiful day dedicated to remembering and honoring those who protect our freedom.

Located at: Woodward Community Park: 710 E Woodward Ave, Manteca

May 29, 2016

Tuesday Night Farmer’s Market

Bring the family out for fresh, local foods! Join the community in discovering the harvest of the Valley. You can also enjoy a variety of entertainment, craft vendors and a beer garden.

Located at: Library Park 100 Manteca Ave, Manteca

Every Tuesday night in June and July

San Joaquin Valley Brewfest

The second annual San Joaquin Valley Brewfest is right around the corner, and if this year is anything like the first, it is sure to be a great time had by all! A wide variety of samples of beer/cider, food truck and live music… you will love it!

Located at: The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley: 934 Perimeter Dr, Manteca

September 24, 2016

Great Valley Bookfest

This event a great way to support our community’s youth and it is an opportunity to promote reading and literacy! Book sales, food, raffles, and a variety of stages with different readings can all be found at this family event. There is also a book alley that offers huge discounts on gently used books.

Located at: The Promenade Shops: Bass Pro Center, Manteca

October 8, 2016

Teacher Appreciation Gift

Sharpie Mugs - Cover

By Jamie Fields

The end of the school year is fast approaching! If you are looking to get your kid’s teachers an appreciation gift, I have an idea of how to step up the game this year! Instead of a Starbucks gift card, which I’m sure they would love anyway, try making a more personal and memorable gift that is just for them!

I am talking about personalized coffee mugs! These inexpensive, crafty gifts will be sure to remind your kid’s favorite teachers how much of an impact they have had on their livesharpie-mug-8s.

What you’ll need:

  • Plain Mugs (Can be found at the Dollar Store)
  • Oil Based Sharpie Paint Pens
  • Scrapbook Stickers (optional)
  • Oven

You can do this project a couple of different ways. You can let your kids be creative and free-hand a design or you can use scrapbook stickers to spell something out (a name, initials, or quotes).


  • If you plan on using stickers as a template, lay them on the mug in your desired location.
  • Choose your paint pen colors and make dots all around the letters. Really fill in the area. If you make a mistake, you can quickly wipe it away with rubbing alcohol on a q-tip.
  • Once you are satisfied with your design, let it dry. Then, carefully peel off the scrapbook sticker. Make any touchups that are needed.
  • After removing all stickers, set your oven to 350, place the mugs inside and let them bake for 30 minutes. After the 30 minutes, turn your oven off and allow the mugs to cool inside of the oven.

More details can be found at the sites below.

An extra bonus!

Gardens of Imagination

Fairy Gardens

By Jamie Fields

Make the great outdoors a place of imagination and adventure for your kids!

I found a project a few weeks ago that I thought would be great to do with my niece and I have been so excited to share it with all of you as well. Are you ready for this?

Fairy Gardens!

The idea is that you place a fairy home on a small patch of dirt (or in a pot) and add some enchanting trinkets to feel the magic. The great thing about these gardens is that they can be as big or small as you want them to be and no matter how simple they are, your kids will love them.

What you will needfairy-garden

  • Planter or pot
  • Soil
  • A small house (you can make or buy one!)
  • Glass beads or pebbles
  • Grass or flower seeds


  • Fill your pot with soil. Depending on how big your pot is, you may need to place it in the desired location before you fill. It might be too heavy to move afterwards.
  • Place your fairy home on top of the soil.fairy garden 2
  • Gently plant your flowers around the pot.
  • Place your beads/pebbles and any other magical accessories you want around the pot.
  • Wait for the fairies to come!

*Don’t forget to water your flowers.
**If you want a low maintenance garden, you can use fake flowers instead.

If fairies are not your child’s cup of tea, try adding pirates, dinosaurs or Army men to their pot instead. Remember, this is your child’s world and they are only limited by their imagination!

dino gardenMore ideas can be found on our Pinterest page!

Gardens of Imagination

grass gnomes

In celebration of Earth Week, April 17 – April 24, we will be kicking off the week with a grass gnome making
 event! Sunday, April 17th  from 12:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m., we will be helping kids make grass gnomes at Oleander Estates! 2004 Oleander Ave. Manteca, CA 95337.
RSVP to Jamie at or (209)824-3080 by April 8th for a special goodie!

Ghirardelli Chocolate Jubilee

Ghirardelli Chocolate Jubilee

What are you doing this Saturday??

Well, if you don’t already have plans, you’ve got to check out the first ever GHIRARDELLI CHOCOLATE JUBILEE! Happening this Saturday, March 19 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at their Outlet in Lathrop, here’s three reasons why you can’t miss the Ghirardelli Chocolate Jubilee…

  • You can attend Ghirardelli Chocolate School and actually learn how chocolate is made! Ghirardelli’s own “Chocolate Professor” – Dave Stuart – will teach participants the entire chocolate making process from bean to bar. Chocolate can be as educational as it is tasty…
  • Ice. Cream. Eating. Contest. Need I say more? Prepare to be entertained  as you watch six contestants eat a world-famous Ghirardelli Hot Fudge Sundae as fast as they humanly can – WITHOUT HANDS. I can already tell this event alone is going to be worth the price of admission…

The weather on Saturday is poised to be a beautiful 75 degrees – the perfect temperature for tasting and enjoying chocolate. In addition to my top three reasons for attending, there will also be  live music and dancing by local artists and plenty to keep the kids entertained – including bounce houses, carnival games, and face painting.

PLUS – a special coupon is available for all friends of Raymus Homes. Click to download a coupon for 15% off all chocolate purchased during the Jubilee!

Get your tickets before they sell out!!! Click here to purchase your tickets. Save $5 by purchasing in advance.

Not only is this another AWESOME local event that can’t be missed but ALL proceeds benefit our local Boys and Girls Clubs of Manteca and Lathrop. So purchase a ticket and indulge your taste buds – after all, “it’s for the kids…” See you there!


Tweet, Tweet! We Like To Eat!

Bird Feeders

By Jamie Fields

The first day of spring is almost here! Let’s get our homes and yards ready to thoroughly enjoy the sun!

If you are looking for something that will add some color to your life, get your kids involved, and attract some singing friends, I have some great ideas for you! What could I possibly be talking about?


I have scoured Pinterest looking for my favorite ideas and have detailed instructions for one below! I hope that you and your kids enjoy!

POPSICLE STICK BIRD FEEDERS from Tonya Staabpopsicle stick

What you’ll need:

  • 50 Popsicle sticks
  • 1 large tongue depressor
  • 1 bag of bird seed
  • 2 long pieces of hemp cord (thick twine)
  • Glue – Adults can use a hot glue gun. Kids should stick to a strong Elmer’s or similar products.
  • Hot Glue Gun

*Optional: Outdoor paint and Glitter Glue for decorating*


  • Line up 12 Popsicle sticks. Glue two across them. Turn it over.popsicle stick 2
  • Glue a second layer of 12 sticks in the opposite direction. This secures the base.
  • Alternate sticks once around the frame.
  • Glue down the tongue depressor in the middle. It should hang over one edge.
  • Alternate sticks around the outside until you have 6 rows. Glue down each stick as you go. Set aside to dry.
  • *OPTIONAL: Let the kids decorate the bird feeder. Set aside to dry.
  • Parents: Use a hot glue gun to attach the cord to the underside of the feeder.
  • Thread the cord in between the top Popsicle stick and the one below it. Secure with hot glue again.
  • Fill with bird seed and enjoy!

Some other really exciting ideas are:

For even more fun, head on over to our bird feeder Pinterest Board, Tweet Tweet We Like To Eat!

Top 5 Reasons to Buy New

Top 5 reasons to buy new

Tell me if this sounds familiar…

Your current home/apartment just isn’t working for you anymore…Maybe the upkeep is becoming overwhelming or your family has been blessed with a new addition so space is tight. Whatever your situation, you’ll likely be considering the pros and cons of used (resale) homes versus new homes.  Here are five reasons why buying new should be your top priority:

1) Chance to Design your Home the way YOU want it

With a used home, you are essentially living someone else’s dream. Why settle for someone else’s choices when you can select the cabinets, counter-tops, flooring, and appliances YOU want in a Raymus home? When you purchase a new home from Raymus, you meet with our professional interior designer, Cynthia. She helps you select everything to your taste and budget so you can personalize and craft your brand, new home.

2) Everything is New and Under Warranty

Used toilet seats, used roofing, used nails, used appliances, used carpet – sadly, this is usually the standard in a used home. Plus, in a used home, the building products have aged and will likely need repair or replacement. With a new home, you can relax knowing everything in your home is new AND under warranty. Products in new homes feature the latest technology and design, offering years of comfort before needing replacement. This brings us to the next point…

3) New Homes are Low Maintenance

Ever noticed how nowadays, new cars rarely (if ever) break down? Homes are the same! Today’s new homes are built with cutting-edge materials and products that are designed to require less care and maintenance. Raymus Homes firmly believes you should spend more time enjoying your home and less time taking care of it. With our commitment to low maintenance materials and easy care surfaces, you can rest easy in your new home and soak up your slice of the “American Dream.”

4) New Homes are Energy-Efficient (leaving green in your pocket!)

So you may not be a crazy hippie tree hugger, but I know you work hard for your money and don’t like to see it flushed down the drain. Did you know, always leaving your phone charger plugged in costs you about $20 a year? Our USB outlets in the Drop Zone don’t suck power so those 20 bucks stay in your pocket (hello, Starbucks splurge). The same goes for the rest of your home – tankless water heaters, low-E windows, and radiant barrier roof sheathing all save you money on a monthly basis and keep you more comfortable in your brand, new home.

5)  That “New Home” Feel

You know how people always notice that new car smell? Well, it’s the same with new homes! Not only is there a new home smell, but there’s a new home feel – the blank canvas where you and your family can be the first to make memories and make this house feel like your home. And while you can always learn to get used to the quirks of a used home, the bigger question is – should you have to?

Style. Quality. Comfort. Those define the new home experience. Do you and your family deserve anything less?

Visit Our Neighborhoods page to learn more about our new home communities!

Books, (Teddy) Bears, and Blankets Drive!

books, bears, blankets drive

Give Every Child a Chance & Manteca Unified School District Present…

Books, Bears, and Blankets Drive!

November 2 – December 4
#PayitForward #BooksBearsBlankets

Shower the foster and homeless youth of our community with books, bears, and blankets this holiday season! Your contribution can make a lasting impact in the life of young person and remind them that Manteca is a thoughtful, inclusive community that cares about them.

Everything donated directly benefits the foster and homeless youth in the Manteca community and will be given to the Manteca Unified School District Family Health Services Center for distribution.

Raymus Homes’ goal is to collect 50 items to donate and we need your help!

Please bring in new or gently used fleece blankets, books, and/or teddy bears to one of our offices listed below. We will deliver all items collected to Give Every Child a Chance (GECAC). Last day to donate is December 4.

Questions? Please call the GECAC Program Office at 209.825.7003. Thanks in advance for your generosity and for making Manteca a better place to live for everyone!


Drop off your donation at one of these locations:

Raymus Homes Corporate Office
1433 Moffat Blvd. Suite 13
Manteca, CA 95336

Sales Office at the Raceway Collection
2004 Oleander Avenue
Manteca, CA 95337

Where would you want to live? Help name a neighborhood!

Name Neighborhood

We need your expert opinion…

As we all know, a lot goes into a name. We as humans LOVE to names things from our car to our progeny! Names are extremely important and we could really use your help.

Raymus Homes is in the process of developing names for an upcoming neighborhood. Who better to give us their opinion than the very people who might call that community home?

Let your voice be heard! Take 30 seconds and follow the link below. You will be asked to vote for your favorite neighborhood name. There is also an optional comments section if you would like to suggest a different name or provide additional information about why a particular name caught your fancy.

We would like the opinions of 500-1000 individuals so please share with friends and family so you can all “Rock the Vote” together!

Besides having a stake choosing the name for a Manteca neighborhood, two survey entrants will be selected at random for a $25 Starbucks gift card. Hello free Pumpkin Spice Latte!

Take the Survey! Click Here!


Things You Can Do {starting} TODAY to Save Water

By now, we all realize that the drought we are experiencing is very serious.

If we all band together and consciously work to conserve and reduce our individual intakes of water, we can survive this drought and create healthy water use habits for years to come.

Are you ready to get serious? Are you up for our Earth Day 2015 Challenge? Pledge to begin doing one of the following today:

Turn Off the Faucet While Brushing Your Teeth
Why it’s worth the effort: Brushing your teeth seems like a quick job, but before you know it, four gallons of water may have slipped down the sink.
Your one-year effect: 2,880 gallons of water saved.
The effect if everyone in the U.S. did it for one year: More than four times the Mississippi River’s annual flow of water.

Bring Your Water With You
Why it’s worth the effort: Buying a daily bottle of water may quench your thirst, but it parches the planet. Each one-liter plastic bottle takes seven liters of water to produce. Refilling your own bottle directs the water where it’s needed―into your body.
Your one-year effect: 577 gallons of water saved.
The effect if everyone in the U.S. did it for one year: Equal to the amount of water that would cover Washington, D.C., by 52 feet

Buy Recycled-Paper Products
Why it’s worth the effort: Products made from 100 percent recycled paper require much less water in their manufacturing than do those made from virgin paper. If your family goes through four rolls of paper towels a week, choosing recycled reduces waste significantly.
Your one-year effect: 637 gallons of water saved.
The effect if every household in the U.S. did it for one year: More than the amount of water that cascades over Niagara Falls in a day.

Install a Low-Flow Showerhead
Why it’s worth the effort: Low-flow showerheads cut water use in half. If you take a five-minute shower using this type of showerhead, the showerhead would save enough water in a year to fill a 15-foot above-ground pool. Plus, you save all the energy that would have gone into heating the shower water.
Your one-year effect: 4,550 gallons of water saved.
The effect if everyone in the U.S. did it for one year: Enough water to fill about 2,100 Giants Stadiums.

Eat One More Vegetarian Meal a Week
Why it’s worth the effort: It takes a lot of water to grow the grain to feed the cow that ultimately produces a hamburger. Replacing just four ounces of beef in your diet a week with a vegetarian option can save more than 3,000 gallons of water. Hello, Meatless Monday!
Your one-year effect: 171,704 gallons of water saved.
The effect if everyone in the U.S. did it for one year: More than twice the volume of water in the Chesapeake Bay.

Use a Lower Setting on Your Dishwasher
Why it’s worth the effort: Contrary to popular belief, it’s almost never necessary to use the normal setting on a dishwasher or to rinse plates beforehand. The light-wash setting cleans just as well while reducing water use up to 55 percent.
Your one-year effect: 2,860 gallons of water saved.
The effect if every household in the U.S. did it for one year: Equal to the amount of water that would cover Rhode Island by a foot.

Install Faucet Aerators
Why it’s worth the effort: Faucets account for 15 percent of indoor water use and typically flow at twice the rate they should. Installing aerators in kitchen and bathroom sinks fixes this problem for less than $5-$10 per sink.
Your one-year effect: 1,000 gallons of water saved.
The effect if every household in the U.S. did it for one year: Equal to the 10-day water supply for New York City.

By Jennifer Bogo