Archive for September, 2011

Oklahoma City Celebrates Plaza District Festival

Oklahoma City Plaza District will again celebrate the annual Plaza District festival this year on Saturday, October 1, 2011. Local creations along with several live performances, artist booths, kid’s art activities and other local concessions will be featured in the event. The Plaza District Festival is free and open to public drawing audiences all over the state. This is one way to showcase local creations and talents of Oklahoma including artists, performers and even vendors.

About 40 Oklahoma artists’ booths will be set up in the 16th street. The stage is set in the center of the district and will cater to performances of local musicians and performers. During the day, live performances include the Irish Stepdances, Flamenco dancers and Everything Goes Dance Studio. There will also be a sneak preview of the Lyric Theatre, Altar Boyz.

During the night, performances include Kacey Walkingstick, The Wurly Birds, The Boom Bang, JuneBug Spade and the Brother Gruesome.

Kid’s art educational activities will also be highlighted in the festival. Kids can make four art projects along with art instructors from the Norman Firehouse Art Center and can even paint mural on interactive art mural. Other activities for kids include creating puppets, hosting puppet shows, artist scavenger hunt, moon bounce, craft booths, face painting and experiment instruments at the Music Playground by the Oklahoma City Philharmonic.

The festival will start at 12 noon with kid’s activities starting at 12 and ends at 6 p.m. Local food booths will open at 12 noon and ends at 10 in the evening.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Keep Kitchen Safety a Priority During Kitchen Renovation

The kitchen is arguably the most used area of the house hence it is important to always consider safety when it comes to this room. Often, we disregard safety over interior design thus unwanted circumstances occurred inside the kitchen.

When planning to renovate your kitchen, it is best to also keep in the mind safety inside the room. Here are some tips on how to implement safety during kitchen renovations.

  • Create a harmless floorplan. As much as possible, keep your cooking area away from the walkway. This means that if the left side of the kitchen is where your family always walks through, place the cooking area on the right side. Also, put the gas range as far away from the entrance as possible.
  • Do not place electric appliances near the sink. This is to eliminate the possibility of electric shock. Never place your toaster or even your electric plugs near the sink or in the area where it is always wet.
  • Do away with sharp corner in the countertops. If you plan to change your countertops or kitchen cabinets, consider round corners so there will be no possible injuries occurring to your children or even to you.
  • For added child safety, place childproof locks in cabinets containing ingredients or utensils that may cause your children harm including kitchen appliances like the oven.
  • Install the right lighting. With a good lighting inside the kitchen, any work can be accomplished properly and fast and well as done safely.
  • Have a slip-resistant floor. You can choose from matte-finished wood or a textured vinyl. This will eliminate unnecessary slips and falls inside the kitchen.
  • Have a safe storage for your fire extinguisher. Having a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen is a must especially for cases of fire. But, make sure these are tucked away safely and out of your children’s reach. Also, do not place your fire extinguisher near or under the range.
  • Have a slide out tray or bin in your cabinet. This will make it easier to reach on different items. Have these kinds of cabinet features on the base.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Tips In Maintaining A Hardwood Floor

Having a hardwood floor brings elegance and grace to your home. Once you set foot inside, you will feel an immediate atmosphere of comfortable elegance offered by the natural wood. Wood floors are a source of pride for many homeowners, and rightfully so!

However, despite the atmosphere wood floors provide, hardwood floor require upkeep and a little TLC from you. Yes, Total Loving Care. Otherwise, you will eventually see your floor in a very different light from the elegant and stylish look you had previously.

So, to save the gracefulness of your hardwood floor and give you a consistent and beautiful floor, here are some tips on how you can maintain your hardwood floor.

  • Always clean your hardwood floor! Just like our wooden furniture and other house hold essentials, your floor will need regular cleaning it to prevent dirt, stains and other detriments from accumulating and creating a bigger, perhaps unfixable, mess. Before applying any cleaning agent, always be aware of what kind of hardwood you have so you can use the appropriate cleaning solution. You can inquire at the hardware store ahead of time, or ask your contractor for advice.
  • Sweep regularly. This is in addition to the above tip. Sweeping your hardwood floor daily will keep things off of your floor and out of any cracks in the wood to prevent scratching and stains. Use only a soft broom and make sure to remove all sharp objects that are not supposed to be in the floor.
  • Never let any liquid stay on your floor! Water does not go well with wood. It is its worst enemy, so prevent damage by keeping the two separate. Clean any spills or liquids on your floor with an absorbent cloth. Do it as soon as you see liquid on your floor. If you fail to do so, it will seep inside the cracks, warp the wood and WILL damage the floor.
  • Always mop. This may sound contradictory to the above tip yet mopping your floor always will clean it thoroughly. You can use a dry damp mop so there will be no excess water to stay on the wood.
  • Protect your floor with a rug. If you have a rug or a carpet, use it. It will not only add a pleasant accent to your room but it will also protect your hardwood floor. Moreover, do not forget to vacuum your rugs and carpets so no dirt can fall on the wood.
  • Cover your floor if you plan to work. This means that if you plan to paint the wall or repair anything in the house, cover your floor. This will prevent damage, scratches or stains when you suddenly drop your paintbrush or your hammer.
  • Use foot guards on your furniture. Furniture in the house will get moved – wood is fairly easy to scratch with heavy objects such as furniture so save your floor by using a foot guard on your furniture. This way, even if you budge it a little, no mark will be left forever.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Easy Solutions for an Organized Pantry

One of our favorite things about fall is cooking. There is something about opening your kitchen windows, putting on Van Morrison (or whatever gets you in the mood) and being creative with food. Alan and I love to have friends and family in our cooking space and let them bring what they want to cook and we do the same and enjoy the act of doing it together and each having our own gourmet meals. It’s like having a mini cooking party.

To ensure that this is a fun and not challenging past-time, an organized kitchen is a must. For now, I will focus on the pantry and some easy things you can do to enhance your cooking experience.

To start: clean out your spices, throw away items that have been on the shelf for months unused and thoroughly clean off the shelves off crumbs, dust, and spilled food items. Below are some items that Alan and I can’t live without in the pantry. Every time we unpack from the grocery, we take everything out of the pre-packed boxes, throw them away and transfer it all to the containers you see below. We can see everything and we have a better chance of it staying fresh.

These stackable containers keep our unpacked uncooked risotto, noodles, and rice in a way that’s easy to store and use in our pantry. Made by Click Clack and found at The Container Store* or similar lines at Target.

*Container Store is a nationwide chain so check them out online or the closest store to OKC is Dallas.

 

 

 We use these tall cylinder containers for cooking and baking products: white and brown sugar, different kinds of flour, etc. It stays fresh and when cooking it’s easy to grab, use and put back in the pantry. We are all about cleaning as you go.

 

 

 

These were the first containers we bought in our efforts to have an organized pantry years ago. These are the 4.4 quart Click Clack line from The Container Store. We have seven of these lining our pantry shelves in our most reachable section. They store our staples that we buy: Wheat Thins and Tricuits, Goldfish Crackers, Special K Cereal, Pretzels, Tortilla Chips, Saltines and we leave one for something different that we might buy.

 

 

Different sized baskets are perfect for organizing many items. We unpack our granola bars and put them in the small basket, grab and go nut mixes go in another basket and then loose bags of snacks and bigger bags of our non-standard chips and crackers go in their sacks in the biggest basket. It really keeps things together nicely and we clip the “chip clips” on the basket when not in use.

 

 

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Which Should You Choose: A Detached Or An Attached Garage?

 

One question many homeowners face is whether they should add an attached garage or simply a detached one.  Many houses these days are attaching their garages so they need not go out on a  rainy day in order to get to their garage.  On the other hand, others prefer detached garages so whatever chemicals they place inside their garage, their fumes cannot leak inside the house.

There are several drawbacks as well as advantages to having each type of garage. These pros and cons enable a homeowner to evaluate and decide on what they want for their garage.

  • Design of the house

If you are conscious of the design of your house and a garage is not included, then a detached garage is for you. An attached garage will often affect the design of your house. Since it is extended from your house, it already belongs with the overall design of your house.

  • Lot size

If you have a smaller lot size and want to maximize it so that you can have a yard or garden, an attached garage is more likely for you. Detached garages will take up more space on your lot. However, a detached garage can still fit easily into a smaller lot size especially if you need to customize your garage to fit your lot.

  • Health

Basically, a garage is useful as a shop for repairs and even a place for storing tools and chemicals. If you are concerned that these elements are getting inside your house, then a detached garage is for you. Having an attached garage can allow these elements to easily travel inside your home.

  • Convenience

An attached garage is more convenient since you do not need to travel out of your house to get to your garage. This is advantageous during bad weather when you need something from your garage but are hindered by the storm outside.

  • Use of your garage

Think of what you need to do in your garage. Will it only be for parking your vehicle or will you need to work there too? Having to know what use you will need from your garage will help you decide whether to have it extended to your house or separated.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Tips for In-Ground Pool Safety

Swimming pools are a great addition to any house. Not only does it provide a refreshing activity during hot summer, but it can also improve the beauty of your backyard. However, much as these aquatic oases are beneficial, they can also be a source of accidents, especially for the little ones. It is therefore vital to implement certain pool safety measures to avoid unnecessary accidents.

  • Place pool signs near your swimming pool. Make sure that these signs can be seen by everyone – the last thing you want is a guest walking around at night and taking a long step head-first into your pool. Also, provide signs that will make your guests aware of what to look out for when inside the pool, such as rock formations or other additional features.
  • Placing a fence or deck with a privacy gate around the pool will help prevent children from getting in – and certainly from falling in without someone noticing.
  • Always acquaint your visitors, especially first time users, with the information about the pool such as the depth, bottom contours and the slopes before they use your pool. Again, this will give them an idea on what to expect from your pool.
  • Place ample lighting in your pool area. This is especially ideal when your pool is open for night swimming. Good pool lighting will enable users to have a clear view of the pool during a night swim and avoid any accidents – not to mention it adds fantastic ambiance to your backyard.
  • Have safety equipment ready at the pool area. It is best to always be ready when accidents occur. A first aid kit is a must for your pool area, but also have floatation devices on hand as well to throw to someone who may be having a hard time swimming.
  • Use pool covers to limit the access of children to the pool. Moreover, pool covers will protect the pool water from animals, dirt and leaves.
  • Always place a depth marker in the pool and note where the depth has changed.
  • Maintain your pool drains, vents and filters. Make sure no cracks or holes are evident in your drains, vents or filters.
  • Chlorinate and clean your pool water regularly. Make sure you use ideal amounts of pool chemicals. Too much of these elements can harm the skin while less of it in the water will allow bacteria and algae to accumulate.
  • Install a pool alarm- especially if you have children. This will add security to your fences as notify adults/owners of the pool if a child or other visitor has gained access to your pool.

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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Is It Time To Start Planting For Fall?

Now that is gorgeous outside, can I start planting for fall?

Not so fast :). I woke up this morning to a cool breeze and the anticipation of gorgeous fall colors in our garden. I called my neighbor and expert landscape consultant, Leigh Howell Love and asked her for some direction. Here are a few short tips and suggestions from her.

-Wait a couple of weeks before you plant any mums, pansies or others flowers of color. While the Oklahoma weather is predicted to stay cooler from here on, it is still subject to warm to a level that could stress new fall plantings.

-Now is a good time to clean out your beds, replace shrubs and prepare for fall plantings.

-Leigh mentioned that it might be a good time to think about next year and plan for that. She said to look in your garden and see what has survived. If nothing has survived in your garden, look around town and see what is still alive and make note. If might be worth planting next year if we have another run of 100 degree temperatures.

-Go ahead and put out your fall decorations. It will get you excited and when you can start your plantings, you will be that far ahead of the game!

A special thanks to Leigh Howell Love, with Leigh Howell Love Landscape Design, Inc.
Phone: 405-840-4437
Website: http://leighlove.com

Heather & Alan Davis
Oklahoma City Realtors
http://www.alanandheatherdavis.com

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