Thursday, April 26, 2018

INTRODUCING THE DIALOGUE: VOICES AGAINST EXTREMISM



PRESS RELEASE
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

INTRODUCING THE DIALOGUE: VOICES AGAINST EXTREMISM

(Houston, TX, April 23, 2018) - Fatih Ozcan of The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest, and Kathlyn Curtis of Why I Love Houston Properties, will present “The Dialogue: Voices Against Extremism” (VAE), on Friday, April 27, 2018 at 8:30 AM, at The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest in The Turquoise Center, located in SW Houston at 9301 W. Bellfort Avenue.  They will introduce the plan and purpose of VAE to Houston, unveil “The Dialogue” an art installation depicting dozens of different modern and ancient religious leaders, prophets and symbols, and seek support from Houstonians. This event is open to the public and will include a key note speaker, breakfast and reception.

“The Dialogue” aims to align our thinking with that of great teachers and philosophers promoting peace on earth and the idea we are all connected. Created by Mary Jane Miller and Valentin Gomez, artists living in San Miguel de Allende, the installation includes seventeen paintings of Gods and Goddesses, ten paintings of master teachers and forty prayer wheels rotating in forty different languages, saying “Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us”.  Lastly, seventy symbols flank three ascending steps to a doorway with a portrait of our beloved planet earth.

The goal of VAE is to become a unified voice against the use of violence or any form of persecution against any religious individual or group in the name of any other religion.  Through VAE, an annual festival will be held with a visual arts exhibition, a performing arts component through music, song, and dance, and a mediated panel discussion bringing together religious leaders from diverse backgrounds to share their faith with others.  The annual VAE festival will be presented to the public in a way that condemns terrorism and increases awareness of themes of Love, Mercy, and Tolerance in all faith backgrounds.  To find out more about participating in the Festival of Faiths this fall, please contact Fatih Ozcan at fozcan@thedialoginstitute.org or Kathlyn Curtis at kat@whyilovehouston.com.  

An example of the VAE’s goal of artistically promoting Love, Mercy, and Tolerance is the Interfaith Peace Garden Project underway at the headquarters for the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest in Houston, Texas.  The Interfaith Peace Garden will serve the Greater Houston community and Houston’s visitors as a multi-religious center and physical pilgrimage site for all people to meditate, worship, and learn about how their fellow Houstonians understand and worship the divine.   The Interfaith Peace Garden currently includes three, steel-frame life-size structures of a synagogue, mosque and church.  

About the Dialogue Institute of the Southwest
The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest (formerly known as the Institute of Interfaith Dialogue) was established in 2002 as a 501(c)(3) by Turkish-Americans and their friends.  The Institute aims to promote mutual understanding, respect and cooperation among people of diverse faiths and cultures by creating opportunities for direct communication and meaningful shared experiences. For more information, please visit: thedialoginstitute.org.

About Kathlyn Curtis
Consistently a Top Producing Agent at Keller Williams Realty, Kathlyn is an authority on Houston’s most desirable neighborhoods and a trusted advisor to her clients.  A driving force behind her success is her breadth of experience including being an attorney, her fiduciary duties to her clients and her love of Houston. Her passion for diversity and interfaith dialogue led her sponsor The Dialogue: Voices Against Extremism project.
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Press Contacts:

Fatih Ozcan
The Dialogue Institute of the Southwest
601-454-4782

Kathlyn Curtis
Why I Love Houston Properties
713-376-3011

 


Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Affordable Ways to Update Your Home

Lighting is a simple but effective way to upgrade your home 

Tired of your home looking off-trend and out of touch? Or investing in an older home and want to update it? You don't need deep pockets to do either. In fact, upgrading your home can be quite affordable with the right projects.

Here are five ways to make a big impact without spending a lot:

Repaint. Paint trends come and go, so if your walls are still the same color or have the same wallpaper from 1950, they're likely out of date. Consider giving the walls a new look with a more modern tone.

Change light fixtures. It's time to kick out-of-style light fixtures to the curb. Pendant lighting, Edison bulbs and simple recessed lighting are what's hot with today's designers and buyers.

Update your hardware. You'd be surprised at how easily doorknobs, drawer pulls, locks and handles can start to look aged. Take a good look at your existing hardware, and consider upgrading to newer models. And don't forget the hinges.

Reface your appliances. Have an old, yellowing appliance but don't want to replace what's not broken? Just use peel-and-stick stainless steel or marble contact paper, and reface those appliances instantly.

Install a kickplate. If you want to upgrade your curb appeal but can't afford a new door, consider installing a kickplate. It's an instant, affordable way to add visual appeal to any existing entryway.

These upgrades may seem minor, but when done properly, they can have a serious impact on your home's aesthetic.

If you're considering more extensive updates, let's get together to discuss ways to increase your home's marketability and long-term value.

Kathlyn 

5 Ways to Update an Aging Home

Tired of your home looking off-trend and out of touch? Or investing in an older home and want to update it? You don't need deep pockets to do either. In fact, upgrading your home can be quite affordable with the right projects. Here are five ways to make a big impact without spending a lot:

Repaint. Paint trends come and go, so if your walls are still the same color or have the same wallpaper from 1950, they're likely out of date. Consider giving the walls a new look with a more modern tone.

Change light fixtures. It's time to kick out-of-style light fixtures to the curb. Pendant lighting, Edison bulbs and simple recessed lighting are what's hot with today's designers and buyers.

Update your hardware. You'd be surprised at how easily doorknobs, drawer pulls, locks and handles can start to look aged. Take a good look at your existing hardware, and consider upgrading to newer models. And don't forget the hinges.

Reface your appliances. Have an old, yellowing appliance but don't want to replace what's not broken? Just use peel-and-stick stainless steel or marble contact paper, and reface those appliances instantly.

Install a kickplate. If you want to upgrade your curb appeal but can't afford a new door, consider installing a kickplate. It's an instant, affordable way to add visual appeal to any existing entryway.

These upgrades may seem minor, but when done properly, they can have a serious impact on your home's aesthetic. 

If you're considering more extensive updates, let's get together to discuss ways to increase your home's marketability and long-term value.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Why I Love Houston: Miller Outdoor Theatre


When I'm helping new Houstonians find their perfect home, I'm often asked for recommendations for things to do in the city. One of my favorite suggestions is a performance at Miller Outdoor Theatre. Its world class programming has something for everyone - concerts, musicals, dance, movies, and so much more. And the best part - it's free! The 2018 calendar runs thorugh August with lots of events to choose from for the whole family. Here are few of the performances I'm looking forward to attending. 

Introduce the little ones to opera with the Houston Grand Opera children's show of Monkey & Francine in the City of Tigers. This Bollywood style production will be sure to bring on a fit of giggles as the monkey prince and his sister outwit crocodiles and tigers to prove they are worthy of running the Monkey Kingdom one day. This show runs May 2-4th at 11 am. 

Treat mom to the ballet as Houston Ballet presents Don QuixoteMother's Day weekend, May 11-13th. I recommend arriving early with a cooler full of picnic supplies to enjoy a beautiful sunset on the hill before the performance starts. Our family go-to spots for picnic favorites are take out from Barnaby's on Binz, the drive-thru at Oui Banh Mi, and treats from the aisles of HEB on Alabama. 

The 2018 season ends with the Houston Shakespeare Festival July 27-August 5. You can choose from the drama of Hamlet or the rollicking tale of mistaken idenity in The Comedy of Errors. After the play, our family loves to end the evening on a sweet note with dessert at nearby Chocolate Bar or Sweet Cup Gelato

Hope to see you on the hill! 


Kathlyn


Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Easy Ways to Save for a Down Payment


With rising rental costs and the amount of student debt at an all-time high, it's no surprise that many potential buyers are unable to save up for a down payment. If you've found yourself in this boat, don't lose hope. With the help of technology and a little foresight, you can save for that down payment -- and probably sooner than you think.

Here's how:

Set up automatic deposits. Enable automatic deposits into your savings account. Schedule them right after paydays, when you know you'll have the cash available. If you can't automate your deposits, set a reminder to transfer money every two weeks.

Try a round-off app. What if you could round off every purchase you make to the nearest dollar and then put that extra cash to good use? Apps like Acorns and Clarity Money round off your transactions and either invest your money or add it to a savings account.

Cut down on spending. Find an area of spending that you can afford to cut back on -- maybe eating out or grabbing to-go coffees. Each month, tally up your saved funds and add them directly to your savings account. You'll be surprised at the impact.

Clean house. Do a little spring-cleaning, and declutter those closets, drawers and shelves. Sell anything you don't want on Facebook, Craigslist or a consignment app. It may only be $20 to $50 at a time, but when added to an interest-paying savings account, it'll make a big difference.

Remember, you don't need the mythical 20 percent down payment ready and available to buy a home. In fact, thanks to low down payment loan options and a plethora of down payment assistance programs, you can actually buy a property with much less than that -- sometimes just 3 percent!


Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Why I Love Houston: The 31st Annual Art Car Parade!

Calling all Art Car fans!
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! 

Mark your calendar for this year's 31st annual Art Car Parade that's scheduled to roll through downtown Houston and Allen Parkway on Saturday, April 14th at 2 pm. Be sure to arrive early for the Starting Line Party so you can preview the colorful caravan before the art car drivers rev up their engines. The parade lasts about two hours so be prepared by bringing collapsible chairs, a small cooler, and plenty of sunscreen! Food and drink will be available along the parade route too. Admission is free but you can go VIP (for a price!) with special seating and other swag on the grounds of Hermann Square at City Hall. For more Art Car Parade fun, attend the Sneak Peek at Discovery Green on Thursday, April 12th from 6-8 pm where you can catch a glimpse of these moving works of art in the evening. Or get tickets to the Art Car Ball held on Friday, April 13th, for an original, uniquely Houston date night where costumes are encouraged. 

Let's roll! 

Kathlyn