Wednesday, November 25, 2015

How To Protect Your Home While You're Gone

The holiday season is prime time for thieves looking for an easy opportunity to break into your home. While you're enjoying the hustle and bustle of this festive period, a thief could be taking a leisurely stroll through your home in search of valuables. Keep your home safe and secure over the holidays with these five thoughtful tips.
Alert the Neighbors -- Let the neighbors you're friendly with know about your travel plans and ask them to watch for any suspicious activity. Arrange for someone you trust to enter your home every couple of days to ensure everything's running smoothly.
Put the Post Office on Pause -- Temporarily suspend mail and newspaper delivery services while you're away. (Or ask a neighbor to collect them for you.) Nothing signals that a home is unoccupied like a week's worth of newspapers at the doorstep.
Keep Gifts Under Wraps -- Don't advertise what you've bought over the holiday season via social media, and ensure gifts and valuables aren't visible from the street or at the trash. Many a holiday has been ruined by thieves making off with all the presents carefully chosen for friends and family.
Secure All Entry Points -- Ensure all doors and windows in your home have functioning locks that properly fasten. Be sure to remove any spare keys you may have hidden near your door.
Install a Security System -- A professional security system gives you peace of mind while you're away. Modern systems often include remote video monitoring that allows you to check in on your home from wherever you are.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Why I Love Houston....Houston Holiday Festivities

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I Love Houston....Houston Holiday Festivities!

Via Colori 2014 

Among the many things I am thankful for this time year of year, I'm especially grateful for the time I get to spend with my family enjoying many of Houston's holiday festivities.

We'll be starting the family fun this weekend with Via Colori, the 10th annual street painting festival held ​downtown Saturday and Sunday (11/21 & 11/22). Over 200 artists participate in painting the streets surrounding Hermann Square at City Hall with their unique and temporary chalk creations. Plus it's all for a good cause​ because ​the festival benefits The Center for Hearing and Speech, which helps children with hearing impairments. Even though it's free to attend the event, please consider ​mak​ing​ a $10 donation and your kids can participate in Via Bambini ​where they create their own masterpiece to be viewed by the masses.

Frostival!, the opening celebration for ICE at Discovery Green, is Tuesday, November 24th. The many free activities include a snow zone, ice sculptures, live music and guest appearances by Houston Rockets' Corey Brewer and local roller-blading phenom, Juan Carlos aka The Montrose Rollerblader. You can also purchase tickets for your first go at ice skating this season! 

We hope to enjoy the artistic floats, high-flying balloons, and marching bands of the Thanksgiving Day Parade​ when it hits the streets of​ downtown Houston. Jean Luc, my son, loves all the hustle and bustle of a parade!

And our family favorite, Zoo Lights at the Houston Zoo, returns on ​Friday, November 20th​ and runs through January 9, 2016​. This magical winterscape​ made up of 15+ miles of tree lightings and festive scenes is always a hit ​with ​our household ​and great for visiting relatives and house guests​.

Happy Thanksgiving!


Friday, November 13, 2015

Current Listings: November 13, 2015

Current Listings

211 E 22nd St., Heights: Beautifully renovated large home in this desirable location. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: A well-maintained gem nestled in Sunset Heights. 

2124 White Oak Dr., Heights: New construction to be built. Great lot location with scenic view. 

102 Lanai, Tiki Island: This is must see property, with amazing, unobstructed waterfront views of Galveston Island.

1922 Ebony Ln., Oak Forest: Priced at lot value, this property offers a huge corner lot in the booming Oak Forest neighborhood. 

6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.

3908 Spring Circle Dr., Pearland: Gorgeous 4-Bedroom home with a huge backyard on a cul-de-sac lot. 

Open Houses

Why I Love Houston Properties is hosting the following Open Houses this coming weekend, Nov. 14-15. 

425 W 21st St., Heights: Charming bungalow with a cute front porch and large yard.

  • Saturday, November 14th 3-5 pm
  • Sunday, November 15th 3-5 pm
814 E 28th St., Sunset Heights: A well-maintained gem nestled in Sunset Heights.
  • Saturday, November 14th 2-5 pm
  • Sunday, November 15th 2-5 pm
6018 Hummingbird St., Westbury: Immaculate mid-century modern ranch home.
  • Sunday, November 15th 2-5 pm
3908 Spring Circle Dr., Pearland: Gorgeous 4-Bedroom home with a huge backyard on a cul-de-sac lot. 
  • Sunday, November 15th 2-5 pm

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Holiday Entertaining Made Easy- Your Complete Checklist

Is the whole family coming over for the holidays? Or perhaps you'd like to share some festive cheer with your neighbors? Whatever the reason, 'tis the season, so now's the time to start planning.
Stock Your Pantry -- Get ready for hosting with a well-stocked pantry and freezer. Must-haves include quick, no-cook appetizers; basic baking ingredients; spices and marinades; and frozen puff pastry, pie and cookie dough. Head to Airline Drive where you can create your own cheese plate to keep on hand from Houston Dairymaids, along with olives, cured meats, and crackers. Visit nearby El Bolillo Bakery for a bag of their delicious wedding cookies coated with powdered sugar that pair well with a glass of bubbly! 
Set the Mood -- Keep decorative accessories handy during this season of entertaining. A vase with fresh-cut flowers and tea lights in frosted glass holders are enough to add that festive touch. Emerson Sloan in Rice Village specializes in "Modern Goods for Happy Occasions" featuring seasonal decorations and party supplies to add festive charm to holiday entertaining at home. 
Pre-Plan and Prep Cook -- Come up with a few go-to holiday menu plans and try to prep cook many of the elements in advance. This will prevent you from spending the day slaving over a hot stove and allow you to enjoy your guests. Or let Houston's best chefs do the cooking for you. Revival Market, Hugo's Mexican Restaurant, and James Beard award-winning restaurant, Underbelly, all offer holiday menus featuring main dishes, sides, and desserts. Be sure to check their websites for ordering deadlines! 
Find a Place for Everyone -- Consider your holiday hosting capacity. Do you have enough space at the dinner table? Do you need extra chairs or place settings? Is your oven space adequate from the quantity of food you'll be preparing?
Bring on the Fun -- Have a variety of board games, books, playing cards and movies ready for those times when your guests need to entertain themselves. If you're hosting young ones, have a few age-appropriate toys available as well. Big Blue Whale in the Heights is a great local shop for picking up toys that will keep the little ones entertained. For kids (or adults!) into gaming, Bedrock City Comic Company has multiple Houston locations. If you visit the Washington Avenue store, be sure to pick up treats from Three Brothers Bakery or splurge on their famous Pumpecapple Piecake -three layers of cakes with three pies baked into it that weighs in at 23.5 pounds! (Please note they require 5 days notice for ordering.)
Ready the Guest Room -- If your houseguests are staying overnight, make sure they have everything they need to enjoy their stay. Set out extra towels, toiletries and bed linens, as well as maps and guidebooks for the area. Treat your guests to a neighborhood guide created by local experts, Trip Chandler, for a unique gift that will make your visitors feel right at home in our great city of Houston! 

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Why I Love Houston: True South

Welcome to my Why I Love Houston Series, where I share my favorite Houston experiences and excursions. My goal is to make my hometown of Houston more accessible to the ever-changing mix of folks adopting our amazing city as their home base and reminding natives of the hidden gems throughout H-town.

Why I love Houston....exciting public art exhibits like True South.

I'm passionate about our local art scene in Houston.​​W​e're lucky to not only have access to world class museums, but also amazing public exhibits like True South-- A Historic Trail of the Arts. This temporary installation along Heights Boulevard features eight sculptures by contemporary Texas artists. These pieces bring a smile to my face everyday as I make my neighborhood commute to the Why I Love Houston Properties' office on the Boulevard, where Kermit Eisenhut's Heart of the Heights sits​ right out ​side of​ our front door!

I highly recommend making a pilgrimage along the Heights Boulevard Trail to get up close and personal with these day-brightening artworks before the exhibition ends on December 15th. Plus these installations make fun family photo backdrops and selfies for Facebook and Instagram​! A few favorites are Sharon Kopriva's Marcella, a whimsical, bird-like figure whose wings are made of paintbrushes; Hans Molzberger's Retired Cowboy Clown, an over-sized rocking chair with a tiny cowboy clown perched atop; and Joe Barrington's Sock Monkey, a playful take on this iconic stuffed toy.

While in the neighborhood, make sure to stop by one of my favorite​s​, Revival Market, for breakfast or lunch, or grab a coffee and snack to go. Another great refreshment option along the trail is EQ coffee house. And if you're ready to make the Heights your new neighborhood​, ​be sure to set up a viewing of this charming bungalow or this lovely, newly renovated house, both just a short walk away from the trail.

Happy Trails,