Archive for December, 2013
It’s almost 2014! And, what better way to greet the New Year than to be close with the nature? Once again, for the third year in a row, Oklahoma State Parks will be opening their doors on New Year’s Day with free guided hikes for those who love to commune with nature.
State Parks that will be offering free hikes are Foss State Park, Keystone State Park, Lake Eufaula State Park, Lake Murray State Park, and Osage Hills State Park.
Anyone who wants to join should bring along water, snacks, binoculars, and a camera if they desire. Hikers are encouraged to wear comfortable shoes and weather appropriate clothing. Park staff and volunteers will be leading the hikes, which will range from less than a mile to more than three miles in length.
MAPS 3 is an ongoing project in Oklahoma City that aims to provide improvements to the overall lifestyle of its citizens. Some of the project’s improvement plans have included sidewalk improvements, construction of new public buildings and amenities, and improvements to the streetcar route.
As part of the beautification plan for the downtown area, a new downtown park was approved this week by the MAPS 3 advisory panel. The park, which will be used to link the Oklahoma River and downtown areas will be called Core-to-Shore.
The new park will include beautiful gardens and a large grassy lawn facing a huge outdoor stage. Fountains will be added to various locations and a promenade and lake will be some of the main attractions.
Core-to-Shore Park will be connected to the SkyDance pedestrian bridge and will take up 40 acres north of Interstate-40 and 30 acres between the interstate and the river. It will be located south of the Myriad Gardens and will be between Hudson and Robinson avenues.
Construction of the project will require $80 million from the $132 million budget, and it is expected to be completed by 2021.
If you live in a two-story house, your stairs to the second floor take up a lot of space on the first floor and leave a wedge-shaped vacant area beneath them. This area under the stairs is oftentimes neglected or is used for shoes and hanging coats if there is enough room. The problem with this is that it can rapidly become a dumping ground for hiding random things.
There are many ways you can transform the area underneath your stairs, however, once you recognize its potential. With a little thought, you could turn it into an efficient area that serves multiple needs.
Here are few tips to make the space under your stairs more useful:
- Install shelves, cabinets, and drawers under the stairs. You can buy ready-made stackable units or add custom, built-ins if you have an usually sized area. This provides plenty of room to store off-season clothing, seasonal decorations, and keepsake items you do not display in the main part of your house.
- 2. If the space is close to the water supply or drain lines, you can install a small half-bath or powder room. You can use space-saving fixtures, like a wall-mounted sink and toilet, to maximize the space and add value to your home. You can also turn the space under your stairs into a mini-utility room, where you can hide your washing machine and dryer from the main part of the house.
- 3. If you have an open staircase, the space underneath is a great place to squeeze in a little home office or study nook. You can add bookshelves and a small desktop that is either shallow enough to fit under your stairs or has the ability to fold up into the wall. Use space-saving containers to keep desk accessories and stationery neat and tidy without causing clutter.
If you have piles of dried leaves on your property and want to get rid of them, consider donating them instead of just throwing them away. The Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma is now accepting leaf donations to be used as mulch for its gardening program called Urban Harvest.
Urban Harvest is a sustainable gardening program that was created to promote organic farming and more efficient gardening techniques. Through the production of organic fruits and vegetables from the program, the Regional Food Bank of Oklahoma has been able to distributed healthier foods to their feeding programs.
Aside from organic production, Urban Harvest is also reaching out to the community through gardening trainings and education to assist gardeners and partnerships with other gardens.
Donated leaves will be converted into mulch and compost for use in the Urban Harvest gardens. Partner gardens of the organization in the city will also received some of the materials. Those who want to donate leaves can email Mason at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their main office at 3355 S. Purdue Avenue, Oklahoma City. Donations will be accepted until December 18.
With the holidays just around the corner, many people are thinking of the get-togethers they will soon have with their families and friends. The joy of gathering together in one place offers a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and create memories year after year.
However, with all the fun and merriment that the holiday season brings, there is also a lot of stress during preparations. Because there are many to think about, such as holiday decorations, shopping for gifts, and making holiday meals, it can be easy to become overwhelmed.
To help you avoid stress during holidays, here are a few tips:
- Plan ahead. It is never too early to start planning your holiday feast and how you plan to entertain and welcome guests. Create a list of what you need to do and what you want to have happen when guests are in your house. This will give you an idea of the things you need to shop for and to prepare for your home ahead of time.
- Clean and service your kitchen appliances. Your kitchen will be the busiest room in the house during the holidays, so in order to make everything run smoother and faster, make sure your kitchen appliances are functioning well.
- Start reducing clutter at home. Even if the holidays may be a few weeks away, reducing clutter in phases can significantly reduce your cleaning workload when the holidays are a few days away. For example, on one day, you can sort your refrigerator and throw out old items, so you have enough space to store new food. On another day, you can polish your wood furniture.
- Prepare your guest rooms. You may have guests who will stay at your house, so be sure your guestroom is always ready for them by already adding necessities such as clean towels and bathroom essentials.
- Delegate work. Do not take on all the responsibilities when it comes to holiday celebrations. Remember, even if you are the hosts everyone must take part for the celebration to be a success. You can organize a potluck where everyone can bring a food item to share at the meal. Also, have your spouse or children help you cooking and clean the house.
- Decorate ahead. Hang holiday decorations as early as possible, so you don’t have to worry about them at the last minute. Plus, it will allow you to enjoy a magical feeling in your home.