Monday, November 28, 2016

Cleaning Tips for Your Hardworking Appliances

Occasionally cleaning household appliances like stoves and refrigerators may seem obvious, but what about equipment that does the cleaning, like the dishwasher and washing machine? Give these often overlooked appliances a deep clean with the following tips before the holidays have them working overtime.
Unclog the dishwasher. The cleaner the dishwasher, the cleaner your dishes will turn out after going through a wash cycle. Take a moment to clean the dishwasher's filter, usually located on the inside bottom of the machine. This detachable filter becomes clogged with food and debris over time, so empty it out regularly to keep it working efficiently.
De-gunk your garbage disposal. Use a natural abrasive combo of ice and salt to loosen grime from the blades. Though it will be loud, run the disposal until the ice is gone. When finished, you can grind up a lemon or lime wedge to deodorize the drain.
Give your washing machine a wash. Hosting out-of-towners during the holiday season? Avoid musty bedding and towels by sanitizing the machine and removing mildew buildup every few months. To do this, run a hot wash cycle without a load and add one cup of bleach to the soap dispenser or directly into the machine.
Give your vacuum more power. Increased foot traffic could have this tool working harder over the holidays. Keep your vacuum maintained with simple fixes like unclogging hoses, cleaning the rotating brush and replacing the filter.
Want to keep your appliances working hard for you? Give them regular attention and their own cleaning now and then.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Open Houses This Weekend, Sunday Dec. 4th, 2-5 pm!

Open Houses in Woodland Heights, Willowbend, Sienna Plantation, and Memorial

Make this beautiful Woodland Heights property your new home sweet home. Situated on a large 4,675 sq ft lot, the oversized front porch welcomes you to this beautifully updated home with hardwoods, high ceilings, crown molding, spacious kitchen and black and stainless steel appliances. Living room just off kitchen overlooks large backyard -perfect layout for entertaining. Home is just minutes away from bike and walking trail- a move-in ready gem!

Welcome home to this picture-perfect lovingly remodeled ranch in one of Houston's most charming and convenient communities close to the Medical Center, Galleria, and Downtown! With formal living in front and a large den in back, the floor plan is great for families. No neighbors behind - just green space for a private school! Super quiet street at the back of the neighborhood - let the kids can play in the street out front worry-free! Make this your your new home today!

GORGEOUS 4-bedroom family home on a large corner cul-de-sac lot. Chef's dream kitchen with granite counters opens to sunny breakfast room, large dining room, and huge great room. This beautifully maintained showstopper is truly a home sweet home! Make it yours today!

Check out the phenomenal 3 bedroom and 2 bath gem just a short distance from local shops and restaurants! Open floor-plan features tile floors and built-in shelves in living areas. Kitchen is a chef's dream with granite countertops, Stainless Steel appliances, and tons of storage. Retreat to your cozy master suite with spacious bath and closet. Spacious outdoor patio is perfect for entertaining.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

3 Key Tips for a Stress-Free Dinner Party

Think being a good host means stressing in the kitchen while your guests enjoy the party? Think again. With a little advanced preparation, you can unlock the secrets of a stress-free holiday get-together.
Plan and Practice the Menu
Choose dishes that don't have to be served piping hot, like lasagna, quiches and braised stews. Test out new recipes in advance so you can make necessary adjustments to the ingredients and perfect your prep time. Once you've got the menu figured out, prepare what you can ahead of time. Ready entire courses that will keep for a day; then heat them up just before your guests are set to arrive.
Don't Forget the Drinks
Serving a signature holiday cocktail, whether it's alcoholic or family-friendly, can simplify your hosting process. If you can, find one that can be premixed and served from a pitcher. Chill other beverages in an ice-filled tub to keep your refrigerator food-focused, and position the drink station opposite the food buffet to create a nice flow and avoid bottlenecks. This will help cut back on the number of people congregating in and around the kitchen.
Aim for Easy Cleanup
Plan out the number of serving dishes you'll need in advance, and borrow from family and friends to supplement what you have. Want to reduce your dish-washing burden? Serve hors d'oeuvres, which can be filling and require little more than a napkin. If you do opt to use dinnerware, begin the party with an empty dishwasher so you clear plates and glasses as soon as guests have finished.
These tips will help you enjoy your gathering without the typical hosting hassles.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why I Love Houston: Holiday Shopping Guide

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. 

With the holidays fast approaching, many of us turn to online shopping for the convenience. Why not leave behind the laptop and check out these festive markets in Houston for unique presents that also provide the opportunity to meet the creative minds and makers for a soulful shopping and gift giving experience!

The Nutcracker Market (Nov. 10-13) opened on Thursday at NRG Center and the shopping frenzy continues through Sunday, November 13th. Be sure to study their handy floor map of merchants which includes many Houston-based businesses. The proceeds benefit the Houston Ballet which will be premiering a new rendition of The Nutcracker this year. 

Power Stone Rings from Lee Lewis Designs

Flea Style (Nov. 19, 9 am-4 pm) Don't miss this Dallas-based traveling market when it sets up booths filled with handmade and vintage wares inside Silver Street Studios. Be sure to check out the jewelry collection from Lee Lewis Designs, handcrafted by Kaila Lewis who learned the traditional craft of filigree in Ecuador. Her one-of-a-kind designs feature brass, silver, and incredible stones. 

WHAM - Winter Holiday Arts Market (Nov. 19-20) This is the 11th annual three-day juried art sale in the Washington Avenue Arts District. Fuel up with a latte or enjoy an herbal tea at nearby Catalina Coffee before heading in Winter Street Studios to view the wares of over 90 artists. 

DesignCraft Holiday Art Market (Saturday, Dec. 3, 10 am-5 pm) The Houston chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) hosts their 7th annual market in downtown's historic Market Square Park. Food trucks will be on site along with live music to accompany your browsing. Be sure to review my recent blog post for exploring downtown before you head out.

The First Saturday Arts Market (Saturday, Dec. 3, 11 am-6 pm) Catch their last market of 2016 to score unique works of art from paintings to photography to sculpture. The location on 19th Street in the Heights provides hardcore shoppers with more opportunities to shop small and local at neighboring businesses.

Glassell Studio School Student Art Sale (Friday, Dec. 9 at noon and Saturday, Dec. 10 at 10 am) Discover up-and-coming talent and find one-of-a-kind gifts at this annual sale featuring prints, paintings, ceramics, watercolor, and jewelry. 

Happy shopping!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Find Your New Home This Sunday!

Stop by one of our 4 Open Houses this Sunday, November 6 from 2 to 5 pm to find your new home.

Check out this charming brick bungalow in the Heights.

4507 Warm Springs Rd., Houston
A must see lovely remodeled ranch-style home in one Houston's most charming communities. 

9418 N Fitzgerald Way, Missouri City
View this gorgeous home on a large corner cul-de-sac lot. 

12955 Trail Hollow Dr., Memorial
Don't miss this phenomenal townhouse a short distance from local shops and restaurants.

See you this Sunday!

The Why I Love Houston Team