Wednesday, March 21, 2018

International Voices Houston Concert This Weekend

My years singing in choir have always held a special place in my heart, which is why I'm excited to have joined International Voices Houston. This prestigious choir celebrates the diversity of our city by bringing together the voices and cultures of countries from all over the world. We have more than 130 members who represent 40 nations that speak 30 different languages.  

Our upcoming concert, One World, is this weekend at MATCH. It promises to be a phenomenal experience where we will sing in a dozen different languages featuring pieces from Turkey, Ireland, Kenya, Ecuador, Mexico, and many more destinations. There are three opportunities to see this performance.  

Saturday, March 24th at 7:00 pm 

Sunday, March 25th at 3:00 pm and 7:00 pm

Make the most of the Midtown location and pair the performance with global cuisine from one of the nearby dining options. Tacos a Go Go's pollo guisado tacos made Texas Monthly's list of 120 Tacos You Must Eat Before You DieWinbern Mess Hall is a global fusion of self-described Korean Mexican and Asian Hotdogs. Spicy Girl serves a menu of authentic Sichuan dishes. All are delicious! 

I hope to see you this weekend!


Wednesday, March 14, 2018

4 Fixes for a Lush Lawn

The colder months are notoriously hard on foliage -- and subsequently, curb appeal. Fortunately, spring is just around the corner, and that means now is the perfect time to prep your lawn for its revival.

Try these easy fixes, and you'll have lush landscaping in no time.

  1. Reseed and fertilize. Have bare or thinning spots of grass? Take the time to reseed now, and use fertilizer to encourage new growth. Be sure to scrape any bare patches with a rake before seeding, and keep the area moist until it begins to sprout.
  2. Look for problematic slopes or shaded areas. Sometimes large, shady trees or steep inclines can hinder lawn growth. Step back and analyze your yard for these potential problem areas. Consider planting fescues in shady zones, and look into hydroseeding in sloped regions.
  3. Use sod to patch extensive dead areas. If the cold weather has killed large swaths of the lawn, resodding may be your best bet. You can install sod anytime of year; just make sure to water it often until it sets.
  4. Consider xeriscaping. Xeriscaping is the easiest way to weatherproof your lawn no matter where you live. It's also super-low maintenance and low cost, and it can be a big selling point if your home's in a hot or arid climate.
Whether you're planning to sell your property or you just want a great-looking home, your lawn -- and its health -- is going to play a big role. Take care of it, address any problems now and by spring, you'll have an outdoor oasis you'll be proud to call your own.

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Why I Love Houston: Mutton Bustin' at the Rodeo

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...Mutton Bustin' at the Rodeo! 

The rodeo is in full swing! I can't wait to take the family for a day of fun and festivities. One of our can't miss events is Mutton Bustin'. This crowd favorite is always exciting, as you watch the aspiring cowgirls and cowboys grab a hand full of wool and attempt to hold on for 8 seconds as the sheep buck their way across the arena. 

We usually take in a few rounds of the Mutton Bustin' at The Junction, where there are hourly shows from 11 am to 7 pm. If your little one is 5 or 6 years old and weighs under 55 lbs, they can take a turn on first come, first served basis. (The cost is $15.) More serious contenders can register for the big shows before the nightly performances at NRG Stadium. Registration for the 2019 Rodeo opens in November, so start your training now! 

Before leaving The Junction, we make sure to stop by the pedal-tractor pulls, Petting Zoo, and watch the adorable Pig Races, where the pig participants are rewarded with Oreos, all before heading over for our favorite fair treats. 

Happy Trails! 


Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Tiny Homes: The Pros & Cons

The tiny house trend is a big movement. Everyone from millennials to retirees is opting to live small, but that doesn't mean the lifestyle is right for you. Consider these pros and cons before you downsize. 

What consitutes a tiny house?
Generally, tiny homes measure between 100 and 500 square feet. Many are portable, but some city ordinances and housing divisions require homes to be set on a foundation.

What are the pros?
People are drawn to tiny houses for a number of reasons. Owners of tiny homes often cite price as the deciding factor. Tiny homes range from $10,000 to $60,000, depending on the manufacturer. Even a top-of-the-line custom unit typically costs less than $100,000.
Other perks include the freedom of mobility and the ability to live more sustainably. There's also the added flexibility to use the structure as a rental unit, add-on expansion or mother-in-law suite.

What are the cons?
Of course, not everyone is willing to contend with the realities of owning a tiny home. For instance, despite their low sales price, there are hidden costs that can sneak up on potential buyers. From construction crew markups and shipping fees to property taxes and plot purchases, the final figure can add up quickly.
What's more, unless you have enough liquid funds to make a cash purchase, financing for tiny homes can be difficult, and there are also obvious drawbacks such as space restrictions that complicate hosting guests and storing nonessentials.

No doubt our collective desire for simplification and financial freedom has birthed the tiny home movement. However, before you commit to one, it's important to educate yourself about the complicated regulations and overlooked nuances of owning a tiny home.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

5 Signs You're Ready To Sell Your Home

Have you outgrown your home? Or has your home outgrown you and your household? Fewer and fewer families expect to stay in their first or second home for the long haul. Here are some factors to determine if you're financially and emotionally ready to sell your house:

Growing or shrinking household -- Are you about to welcome a new baby or take in aging parents? Maybe you're sending your youngest off to college. In any event, if your living space has become too cramped or grown beyond your needs, it may be time to make a move.

Plenty of home equity -- Subtract the value of your home from the amount you have left on your loan. What's left over is the equity -- or the amount you'll have post-sale. After you sell your home, you'll be a buyer again, so having some funds to put down is key.

Interest from potential buyers -- You'll want to list when you know buyers are looking. Some experts say late spring is the ideal time to sell, but peak seasons vary by region. Milder weather can increase buyer interest, but that also means more competition from other sellers.

Changing circumstances -- Location matters. Whether your neighborhood dynamics are changing, you're unhappy with the schools in your area or a new job significantly increases your commute, your community needs to fit your lifestyle.

Home improvements -- Renovations may be a wise investment, but it's best to avoid listing your home in the middle of a project. If you plan to sell your home as is, completing some minor home updates such as new paint and fixtures can be a huge selling point.

Moving is a big decision, one that requires careful consideration. If your needs have changed since you bought your home, don't hesitate to get in touch.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

These Will Be The Hot Colors of 2018

Color can impact the overall mood of your surroundings as well as what potential buyers feel when they step inside your home. The challenge comes in choosing the right combination for your particular space. See what forecasters are predicting and learn how to implement the hot colors of 2018.
Hues to Use
Experts from Pantone, Sherwin Williams and other companies make annual paint color predictions based on global themes. Hues such as BEHR's color of the year, In the Moment, along with its peaceful palette, focus on people's need to unplug from an overconnected world. Similar shades like Equilibrium and Off the Grid also promote a sense of serenity.
The Light and the Dark
Contrasting light and dark colors is a great way to create dynamism in your home decor. The lighter the shade, the more spacious the appearance. If your furniture or flooring is primarily neutral, adding dark colors to the mix can bring balance and help create attractive focal points.
Capitalizing on Color
Our mood is subtly yet consistently influenced by the colors around us. For example, soothing shades such as the powdery blue Casual Day can help you unwind and relax after a long day at work. Conversely, vibrant deep oranges like Civara invigorate and promote an optimistic tone.
Pointers for Color Pops
Both fun and formal spaces are equally enhanced by accents. Whether you use them to highlight a unique architectural feature or tie an area together, the trick is to be strategic. In design, the 60-30-10 rule is a well-known way to bring balance to a room.