Archive for October, 2011

Five Students of Casady School Recognized for Extending Help to Zambia

A noble work is always worthy of honor, and that is especially true of people who think of nothing but extending all the help they can to people who need it the most. Five students from Casady School in Oklahoma City earned such honor after raising more than $74,000 to help build a school in Zambia, Africa.

The students founded a charity called Sow Love Zambia, whose primary focus has been to raise enough money to help build a five-room school located outside Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia. Within eight months, the group raised more than $74,000 and even traveled to Zambia to donate the money in person to Family Legacy Missions International.

The five big-hearted students are; Madison Utz, Abigail Utz, Laura Joullian, Emily Ellis, and Maya Shiff, and they will be receiving the national 2011 Outstanding Youth Making A Difference Award. According to Casady School headmaster Chris Bright, the entire school is proud of the compassion and commitment these students have shown.

Tood Utz, father of Madison and Abigail, said that the five girls intend to return to Zambia again and bring more students with them next time.  Their goal is to establish the program as a recurring initiative by involving underclassmen who can carry on the fundraising efforts after the founders graduate next year.

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

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Finding The Perfect Lighting for Your Basement

Transforming your basement to another useful room inside your home will not only require the perfect décor but also the right kind of lighting. Whether you’re converting your basement into a home office, a home theater, or a play room, choosing the right kind of lighting will be an important decision for successfully achieving the style you’re going for.

There are three things to consider when choosing lighting for your basement.  First, what is the primary purpose of the lighting in the room?  Are you looking for a primary light source, or do you prefer various sources of more subtle lighting?  Do you need to perk up the mood in your entertainment room?  Figure out what it is you’re wanting to achieve, as that will help narrow your search and point you in the right direction.

The second thing to consider is location.  Is electrical wiring already in place, or will you need to run wires to your desired location?  Which area of the basement would you like to be brighter, and where would you prefer a dimmer atmosphere? Are you looking for a statement fixture that will stand out in the room, or do you want something that blends in?  Deciding where you want to place your lighting also aids you in your decision-making process because you will have a better idea of the dimensions with which you’re working and whether or not any additional electrical work needs to be done.

Third, consider the kind of style and design you would like in a lighting fixture. It is important to invest in good lighting because, in many ways, it can either make or break the room. If you spare no expense to finish off your basement, for example, but then you skimp at the end by installing cheap lighting, it will lower the perceived quality of the room.  So, take a look at your budget and explore your options to ensure the investment you make in your lighting is a worthy one.

By asking yourself these questions ahead of time, you will be much more focused and knowledgeable when you enter the store.  If you find yourself in doubt or can’t make up your mind, ask for advice from your friends and family, who know your personal style, or from a professional who can offer you additional insights.

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

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Elegant Table Settings for All Occasions

Having a party the do-it-yourself style? Don’t become overwhelmed because you can carry off a professional grade party without the expense of hiring planners and caterers…all you need to do is cook a nice meal, clean your house, and dress your table for the party.

Though table settings may seem like they require a lot of work and creativity, you can easily master the art with the proper tools and inspiration.  Setting a table is actually easy and fun once you know what do to with it, and if you ever start feeling trapped, just focus on a theme that ties in with the type of party you’re having.

Here are some wonderful ideas for your next table setting:

  • Add some beautiful flowers. You can never go wrong with including fresh cut flowers in your table setting, and using seasonal combinations is always a nice touch.  You can even coordinate your flowers with the colors of your party’s theme.  Not only do flowers add character to your table, but they continue to serve as beautiful home décor days after your party has ended.
  • Use patterns. Simple and plain designs tend to require more decorations, but patterns will leave you content on their own.  Try using a patterned table cloth…or, maybe a unique patterned ornament.  However you decide to approach adding patterns to your table setting, just remember to make sure you have the tableware to go with it.
  • Invest in cloth napkins. Sure, they can be expensive, but they will definitely make your table look more sophisticated. And, if you can shell out a few extra dollars, you may want to consider embroidering them as well.  Learn how to fold napkins in different shapes to add beauty to your table regardless of the theme.

  • Set in one color. If you want a more attractive table setting, set it with one single hue in mind. All pink will add a touch of class to your daughter’s birthday, and blue hues will make your small evening dinner parties even more dramatic.
  • Metals create a great look in table settings, so instead of using natural embellishments, try incorporating metal into your place cards, candle holders, and flower vases.
  • If you don’t like the look of metal, go the crystal route. Ceramic colored tables require no tablecloth, and glass plates and glasses will accent your colorful table ornaments.
  • Who says vegetables are only for eating?  Vegetables actually serve as great table décor, especially for summer parties. Pile up peppers and other seasonal veggies in the center of your table, and there will be no doubt that your guest are in for a dining treat!

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

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Annual Holiday For Chemistry Celebrated By The Science Museum Oklahoma

November 4th is an exciting day for all chemistry enthusiasts of Oklahoma City as Chemistry Day 2011 will be celebrated by The Science Museum of Oklahoma as the first SMO holiday for this school year.

The Science Museum of Oklahoma was founded in 1962 at the State Fairgrounds as the Oklahoma Science and Arts Foundation, the same year the John E. Kirkpatrick family donated a dome structure for the Kirkpatrick Planetarium. In 1998, the museum began construction on a large, dome-screen theatre, which was the first of its kind in Oklahoma.

Chemistry Day is one of the three official holidays set by the Science Museum Oklahoma and it is dedicated entirely to chemistry. Darren Ransley, the museum’s academic networking coordinator, said that this type of event enables kids to further enhance their learning in chemistry in a hands-on environment.

Jenn Tylbon, Chaos Coordinator at the museum, said that, even though there are more popular holidays like Halloween and St. Patrick’s Day, only in the Science Museum of Oklahoma will you have a holiday just for chemistry.

Chemistry Day will start 9:00 in the morning and last until 5:00 in the afternoon. Aside from general admission to the museum, there are no additional entrance fees, and no registration is required, except for school groups.

Some of the exciting activities at Chemistry Day will include Cold Chemistry, Reaction Rockets, and Playing with Polymers. Only at the Science Museum Oklahoma do you have the opportunity to mix your own chemicals and control rockets!

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

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Storage Ideas for Your Dining Room

When designing a dining room, we often overlook the practical purpose of dining room storage since most essentials needed for dining are found inside the kitchen. However, storage set in this room will not only produce extra storage for other house essentials, but will also provide a beautiful addition to the dining area.

Planning for good storage inside your dining room is now easier with several different ideas to choose from. Even though a dining area usually has limited space due to the huge dining table complete with dining chairs, there will always be that extra space for a storage area. Here are some ideas on how you can put a storage space inside your dining room.

  • Built-in cabinets. Nothing will ever go wrong with built in cabinets as these can serve three purposes – beauty, space, and ample storage. Built-ins are usually customized according to the space and from of the area so it fits well. You can even use the space above the cabinet for ceramic displays.
  • Built-in shelves. Shelves are great for display. To make your dining room more intimate for the family, place some family photos and family treasures on the top shelves. You can fill in the rest of the space with other things like books, small vases, or other souvenirs from a holiday trip.
  • Buffet table. If your house is often a venue for gatherings, you might want to consider a buffet table. Buffet tables are ideal for group celebrations since not everybody can fit at the dining table. Also, the empty space beneath the buffet table can be an ideal space for additional storage. You can place some of your china and close it with glass cabinet doors or perhaps cover it with a wooden door to store away extra plates and utensils or table linens.
  • Wine rack and table linen storage at your table legs. Who says your dining table is only for eating? Now, you can also store some bottles or your table linens using a built in small cabinet at your table legs. Customize your dining table so you can make your table legs an extra storage space for your dining essentials.
  • Window seat drawers.  If you have a window seat in your dining room, convert the empty space beneath it for table linen storage or extra cushions for your dining chairs.
  • Room divider. Usually, small houses combine the living room and the dining room in one limited space. To separate the two rooms, place a tall cabinet that will divide both rooms as well as give you more space for storage.
  • Traditional dining room cabinets. There are a lot of cabinets that are designed for dining room use. Make use of these storage options for your dining room essentials.
  • Baskets and Bins. Use baskets and bins to organize your plates, utensils, and table linens. You can place these baskets on empty shelves inside your dining room or your can have your dining table customized with hollow spaces to fit baskets and bins.
  • Small trolley. Have a small trolley inside your dining room for wines, teapots, cups, and glasses ready to serve your guest at anytime.

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

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OKC Community Events this Weekend

Why pick just one to feature? Here are my TOP 5 for this weekend!

Friday
KC Clifford at The Blue Door – enjoy one of my fellow Heritage Hall alums (who we are most proud of) at OKC’s favorite eclectic music venue. Bring your own wine and beer and enjoy KC’s stories and selections from past albums and new album, Orchid. Show starts at 8:00pm.
Mistletoe Market at the Cox Convention Center – one of OKC’s favorite shopping events of the year and all for a good cause! This annual event sponsored by OKC Junior League is the best place to get your holiday shopping started. Vendors from all over the US with speciality clothes, foods, high end crafts and more. Think the Arts Festival of shopping…
Runs October 14-16th.

Saturday
Festival on the Green – Official Reopening of Myriad Botanical Gardens with activities for kids, pets and adults including a farmers market. Free evening concert with red dirt country artist, Pat Green at 7:30pm.
Heritage Hills Home Tour – Once a year, you can tour a handful of our most celebrated homes in town. The history runs deep in this urban OKC neighborhood and the pride in ownership shows.
Saturday 12noon to 5pm.
59th Annual Parade of Homes – After seeing how homes built at Oklahoma statehood and shortly thereafter were designed, jump forward to 2011 and see what’s all the rave in construction and current living. The Parade kicks off this Saturday and runs until October 23rd. Get your free Parade book at Best Buy or download the iPhone app. Admission is free.  We would especially appreciate your coming to see us at The Villas at the Vineyard, Oklahoma City’s new development centrally located in The Village by Casady Square. The crews are out today putting on the finishing touches and we are ready to show them off!!! Alan, Ken, Bryan, and myself plus builder, O.A. Garr will be out there all this week. www.thevillasatthevineyard.com  Every day 1-7pm.

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

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Improve Your House through Proper Lighting

Lighting is not only for illuminating a room –  proper lighting is often one, fairly easy, way to enhance décor and design inside any home. With the proper lighting tools and the appropriate application of presenting them in your house, you can easily change the look of your home into one of luxury and sophistication with ease.

Here are some tips on how you can utilize lighting in your house:

  • Think of where you need lighting the most. Setting a lighting must always center on where you need it so no matter what your activity is, you do not need to adjust or move to the light. Set your lighting to where you will read, write, work on your computer, eat and entertain guests.
  • Select what kind of lighting you will want in a specific room. Bedrooms do not need as much light since it is predominantly used for sleeping – therefore dim lighting is a perfect fit here and one conducive to sleep. Place more lighting in your kitchen, dining room and living room. These are the high activity areas where you will spend the majority of your time, and thus will have the need to see easily from a convenience standpoint.
  • Make use of natural light. As much as possible, make use of natural light during the day. This will save you on energy costs as well as cost for additional lighting you would otherwise require even during the daytime.
  • If you have a fireplace, use it. Especially in the winter time – this will eliminate the need to use a lot of lighting the room.
  • Use creative lamps. Select a lamp that gives you dual function – lighting and design. A lamp can always become a focal point of creativity or elegance in the room so it is not always necessary to decorate a great deal more when you have a great statement piece like this – so feel free to spend a little more than you normally would on most, more practical lamps.
  • Use recessed lighting if you can. Hiding your light will create a dramatic effect inside the room. This will become possible with wall lights or lightings positioned behind objects in a room – or even the room itself (i.e. if you have lights from the exterior of your home projecting in). You can utilize this kind of lighting in hallways or an entertainment room where ambiance lighting is welcomed.

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

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