Archive for September, 2011
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.
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.
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.
Many would agree, among the worst odors anyone can smell, especially in their home, is smoke odor. As a realtor, I have had to work with homes in the past where it appeared as though there was a smoker in residence.
Living in a smoke smelling house can be a turn-off to visitors and friends, especially to people who hate or are even allergic to the smell of smoke. It is therefore essential for most households to eliminate the smell of smoke inside their houses as much as possible.
Even if smoke odors cling to things inside the house such as our clothes, furniture and other fabric-based materials, these can still be removed. Here are some tips on how you can remove smoke odor and live a much fresher, cleaner lifestyle.
- Obviously, one of the primary ways to eliminate smoke odor is eliminating its source. This simply means quit smoking. I won’t go into the health benefits of this – odds are you are already aware, but it will be difficult to purify your house while you are still pumping smoke into it.
- Open all your windows and doors for a while to let in the fresh air and let out the bad air. Try doing it in a daily basis if smoke odor does not go out after a couple tries.
- If you can afford air purifiers or cleaners, buy them! These innovative devices can help you get rid of any odor inside the house faster than traditionally “airing out”.
- To make the air fresher again, add slices of lemon, lime, orange and other citrus fruits you can think of to a pot of water. Simmer it all day so the house will have a citrus smell since the aroma from the boiling water will travel all throughout the house.
- If you smell smoke in your carpets or rugs, dust some carpet freshener or even just plain-old baking soda all over the material and let it stay for the night. Vacuum the excess powder first thing in the morning and you will be amazed at the difference.
- For all areas in the house, place a bowl of vinegar in different rooms to remove cigarette odors. To create the vinegar concoction, simmer undiluted vinegar for a couple of house on a very low heat. It’s a strong smell – but it will do the trick.
- If you or your loved one continues smoking, fill your ashtray with baking soda since it will absorb the odor from your cigarette.
- For smoke odors found in the closet or a small room, fill a large bowl with cedar chips and set it in the corner.
- If you smell smoke odor in small items like a small pillow or your gloves, place them inside a zippered plastic bag with fabric softener sheets and leave it for one night.
- For upholstered furniture with smoke odors, place a carpet freshener or even a baking soda on the furniture and leave it for one night. Vacuum in the morning.
- And a final fun tip to help spread a positive scent throughout the room: Spray some of your perfume on a cold light bulb. When the light turns on, it will spread your scent all over the room as it heats up.