Simple and Important

Attic access hatch weatherstripping

Here is one thing you must do as the Houston heat is increasing. I know that we all like to be as efficient as possible when it comes to saving on our utility bill. Yes, it would be great to replace all windows to energy saving glass and to get radiant barrier in your attic. But, maybe there is not room in your budget to make those changes. So, this is something that all homeowners can and should do to keep your home cooler and your bill smaller!

Seal your attic door! Sounds simple, but will drop the temperature in your home. You can get foam sealer and cut it to fit the border of your attic door. This will seal shut the door into the ceiling…leaving no cracks for hot air to creep into your home. Your attic is HOT during summer. Even just a little bit of hot air creeping in will make your A/C work harder.

Not only will it stop hot air from coming in, but it will also stop cold air from going out!! Why waste cold A/C air? If there is even the slightest crack, there is cold air going in the attic..wasting your money and making you hot. Seal it shut. Hardware stores have many sealant options. Try it out and see the difference it makes in your home and your bill!

Summer and Rainy Days

paper towel tower Collage

Summer is here, and it’s rainy outside!! This means we are stuck inside with these balls of energy!! Do you feel at a loss on how to pass the time? A little television is fine, but we also have to turn it off and play the day away! Here are some simple and free ideas to make these days more memorable. A bored child is rarely a happy child and usually results in a frustrated parent. So, here are some activities to avoid the boredom…..

Get out your paper towel rolls, and get prepared to have some floor time. These activities can last at least 45 minutes and guaranteed to make you all laugh! Set up the paper towels like bowling pins, grab a ball and bowl away! You can even get a chalkboard and have your little ones keep score. Bowling is always fun, especially a spontaneous game of paper towel bowling!

Next, take the paper towel rolls and set up a street…the rolls on each side in parallel lines. You can use some toilet paper rolls if you need more. Make the street curve or even put “speed bumps” in the street. Grab some race cars and have the kids drive, speed, and chase each other. Lastly, make a tower of paper towel rolls and roll other toys into the tower to watch them fall. This sounds so simple, but always a hit!

Good ole crayons and paper. We over look the value of these simple time passers. Play hangman, play tic tac toe, play “guess what I’m drawing.” Coloring with your kids can bring out so much creativity and laughter. Enjoy the simple task of just being with your children, at the table- coloring!

Cooking!! Sometimes, this can get messy- so keep it simple with items you have in your pantry. Make some cookies or sandwiches cut into shapes. One of our favorites to make is “ants on a log” with celery, peanut butter and raisins!

Don’t let these rainy days make you feel trapped. Instead, use these days as an opportunity to return to the basics! The basics of  simply being with your children and grandchildren…laughing and making memories!

Tree Health

tree

Trees are a protected and appreciated aspect of real estate. No homeowner wants to remove a tree. However, it is beneficial to remove or treat a tree before a bigger problem arises.

It is important to know the warning signs of an ill tree. If a tree is sick…a heavy wind or storm can knock it down. This could potentially put your home or other belongings at risk. As hurricane season approaches, take note of these warning signs to make sure your trees are healthy.

– Check the ground soil around the tree. Cracked or raised soil opposite a tree’s lean can indicate root problems that could mean a tree is in the process of uprooting. Look carefully for signs of a tree beginning to fall over.

– Fungal growth like mushrooms on or near a tree trunk is indicative of rot or decay.

– Look for places on the tree’s trunk where there is no bark. This can indicate a dead section or a fungus attack. A long streak of missing bark coming down the tree usually means the tree was hit by lightning.

-Insects often attack a sick tree’s trunk, leaving very fine sawdust shavings that are clearly visible because they are light in color.

-Sometimes a tree grows two or more trunks. The points where the multiple trunks connect must be inspected for weakness or past storm damage. Stronger connections appear as a U shape at the crotch. A tight V shape usually evidences a weak connection.

– One of the most obvious tree dangers is dead wood that can fall. You can spot dead wood easily: dead branches have leaves that are completely brown or there won’t be any leaves at all.

-If you are having work done on live trees, do not permit climbers to use leg spikes. Leg spikes injure and can sometimes kill a tree.

Don’t wait for a tree to let you know it is sick or dangerous! Be proactive. Look over your trees. If you see something suspicious, call a certified arborist or tree doctor/specialist.

Naturally Repeal What Comes with Rain

Mosquitoes can be pesky, painful, annoying, and no one wants them lurking around our home! Here are a few unique  and natural tips that can help you repel those mosquitoes away this summer.

Coffee Grounds- The simple home remedy to repel mosquitoes is coffee grounds. All you need to do is just sprinkle coffee grounds wherever you find stagnant water near your house. The mosquito eggs present in the water will be forced to come to the surface of the water due to the coffee grounds. As they come to the surface, they will be deprived of oxygen. This will kill them before they are hatched and will prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Garlic- Garlic has a very pungent odor, which many people do not like. Even mosquitoes do not like its smell. Crush a few cloves of garlic and boil the crushed garlic in water for some time. Then pour this homemade repellent in a spray bottle and squirt it around the outdoor space. This remedy will kill the mosquitoes.

Mint- The strong odor of mint, which most of us love very much, is loathed by mosquitoes. You can take out the mint oil from the mint extracts or just use the extract as it is to keep mosquitoes away. You can spray the mint oil by pouring it in a spray bottle, or you can apply it on the exposed parts of your body. You can also grow mint shrubs in your garden.

See and feel the results from the natural approach of repelling mosquitoes this summer! Have you tried any of these methods? What are your thoughts or tips?

Looking for Backsplash Ideas?

Remodeling your kitchen is an upgrade that many people look forward to. All of the choices can be overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from. You may know exactly what you want, or you may have no idea as the choices keep rolling in. Here are some backsplash ideas that may help you target what you want…

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Simple with an accent. Simple color and pattern with a splash of color. You can add an accent throughout the backsplash that can help you tie in colors, textures or style. Be sure to talk with your contractor about the placement of your accent pieces.

Over the stove accent. Create a focal point with your backsplash. Add color or change up the pattern over the stove. This will break up the simplicity and create a focal point that will add style to your remodel.

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Texture! Add some texture to your backsplash. This will bring dimension to your backsplash. You can add color tiles to your texture or keep it all the same color. Texture is a good way to bring depth to your kitchen. I hope these ideas helped you put the backsplash ideas into categories as you prepare for your kitchen remodel.

 

Helpful Lawn Reminder

green grass

As the seasons begin to change, we need to keep the lawn hydrated. An unhealthy lawn can spread fast and end up costing way more money to re-sod! So, take these tips and apply them to your yard as we welcome summer.

Summer heat means we need to water more often. Set your sprinkler system accordingly or plan your mornings accordingly if you water yourself. You want to water each section of the yard at least 20 minutes to fully saturate the soil.

Water early. You want the water to be fully saturated and absorbed before the heat of the day. It is recommended to water between 5am-8am. Frequent watering to avoid stress on lawn.

Prevention. Fertilize your lawn and treat with insecticide to boost its immune system. Dealing with the heat is taxing on the immune system, so give it a boost and avoid it from having to fight off infestation. Then, act quickly if you see an infestation. These steps should help your lawn stay green this summer!

End of Year Gift Ideas

That’s a wrap!!! The school year is almost over. For many of you, you just have weeks left of school. You may want to give the teacher a little gift of appreciation. Teachers work hard all year long, and they have loved on your children from day 1. A little gift that shows them you are thankful will go a long way!

You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to be thoughtful. Here are some ideas that can make your child’s teacher feel appreciated as summer takes off. A practical summer cup with straw and lid. This will be perfect poolside on summer days. You can fill it with water flavoring packets or other drink ideas. Then top it off with a cute card on the straw.

I love this one! Your child can help with this project that the teacher is likely to keep in her classroom for years to come. All you need is crayons and glue! Neatly cut the crayons in the shape of the teachers name. This is such a creative way to leave your mark in their classroom. The teacher will always remember your child, just as your child will always remember the teacher!

Get the teacher ready for summer with a tote bag. You can get it personalized or paint stencil on it yourself. You can fill the bag with summer items…towel, flip flops, magazines! Get creative and have fun! Top it off with a cute card, and you have the perfect git! So, let’s kick off summer with a little gift of appreciation!