Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fall Yard Care

Fall is an important season in the life of your yard.  This is the time to undertake several projects that will ensure a healthy and vibrant landscape in the spring and summer.

  • Now is an important time to fertilize your yard. It will shorten the brown, dormant season and help repair any damage done over the summer months.
  • Continue to mow until the grass has finished growing for the season.
  • Fall is a good time to overseed - helping cover any bare patches when the grass begins to grow again.
  • Dethatch or aerate your lawn to remove the layer of dead leaves or roots that may cover the healthy grass seedlings.
  • Continue to water your lawn especially if rains have been scare. A well watered lawn will do better during the harsh winter months.

If you're looking to plant some trees or shrubs - Fall is a great time!  Newly planted trees and shrubs will continue to grow in the warm soil, even after air temperatures have begun to cool. Make sure to thoroughly water the new plants.

Fall is also the time to plant spring season flowering bulbs such as tulips, daffodils and crocus.

Some work and preparation now will lead to a beautiful yard come Spring!

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Create a Fall Bucket List

There's something about Fall that captures our imagination. The cooler weather, the changing leaves, the smell of's a time we all seem to love!

Here are a few ideas for creating your Fall bucket list to make sure you get everything out of the season that you can!

1.  Visit an apple orchard or pumpkin patch - search online to find one near you

2.  Go leaf peeping - take a quick weekend trip to the mountains for the best views

3.  Make your own apple cider - enjoy the aromas of cinnamon and apple as it simmers on the stovetop

4.  Host a football party with friends

5.  Decorate your home and porch with fall decor - leaves, pumpkins and scarecrows!

6.  Drink a pumpkin pie flavored beverage - coffee hot or cold

7.  Bake an apple treat and share it with your neighbors

8.  Go to a Fall Festival or Trunk or Treat

9.  Make a list of everything you're thankful for

10.  Rake a pile of leaves and jump in!

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Help with Harvey Relief

Over the last several days we've all seen the devastating photos of the destruction in Houston and Louisiana.  While the situation may seem overwhelming and the needs just too great - there are many ways you can help.  Here is a brief list below.

Salvation Army  - Donate Here

American Red Cross - Donate Here

Samaritan's Purse - Donate Here

Other ways to help include donating blood and diapers which are not provided by most relief organizations.

To avoid scams make sure you go directly to an organizations website to donate, do not follow an email link no matter who sends it to you.

Be wary of opening attachments claiming to be ways to help as they may contain malware.

Most importantly, recognize that the relief and recovery efforts will take months or years.  Even as the news cycle changes be aware of the needs and ready to give when you can.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Storm Safety and Planning

With the first hurricane of the season set to make landfall in Texas, it's a good time to go over your own storm preparedness supplies and family plan.


- One gallon of water per day per person for food and sanitation
- Non perishable food
- Battery powered radio and flashlight
- First aid kit
- Can opener
- Cell phone charger and extra battery
- Prescription medicines
- Emergency contact phone numbers

- Know your local evacuation routes should you need to leave
- Have an evacuation bag ready with first aid kit, the supplies listed above and important personal and home documents
- Have an emergency communications plan should family members be out of the home when evacuation needs to occur

Stay informed to stay safe.  Keep up with the latest in storm path predictions and recommendations. It is always better to be safe than sorry.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Indoor Air Quality

Most of us know that it's routine home maintenance to change your air filters on a regular basis. Yet we still fail to do it on time or with any real thought about why we're doing it.

Air filters not only make your home HVAC system more efficient, they also make the air your family breathes cleaner and safer.

Here's what you need to know.

- Air filters use synthetic fibers to trap pollutants and dust in the air - keeping them from entering your home.

- You get what you pay for.  The cheaper air filters are mainly designed to allow for the efficient running of your heating and air conditioning but do very little to remove pollutants from the air. They must also be changed more frequently.

- Pleated air filters remove about 45% of home pollutants while high efficiency air filters remove over 80%.

- The air filter that removes the most irritants and pollutants from your home is the True HEPA filter - removing almost 98% of air pollutants.  The main drawback is that these type of filters do not work for every home system - only those with a whole house filtration system.

Keep your home cleaner and your family healthier by choosing the right air filter for your home.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Benefits of Programmable Thermostats

One of the major benefits of buying a new home is the new technology built into the home through both the construction process and use of advanced appliances or systems.

Programmable thermostats are one of those advances in technology that improve both home comfort and efficiency.

Managing your heat and air conditioning needs can be a huge help in the face of rising energy costs. Programmable thermostats allow you to set a heating and cooling schedule around your family's schedule.  What does this mean?  That your home doesn't need to heat or cool while no one is home but can still be comfortable when you need it to be.  That it will adjust incrementally to ensure your night temperature is how you desire it.  It means that while your home is unoccupied you aren't paying to heat or cool it.

Programmable thermostats can save you on average about $150 a year.  Utilizing the technology
built into your new home can decrease your energy costs and increase your home comfort.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Sleep Better Tonight

The kitchen and master bath often get all of the attention when it comes to the "wow" factor in a new home.  But once you're moved in, there is one room that may be more important than any other - the master bedroom.

Getting a good nights sleep is vital for your health and well-being, especially after a big life event such as moving into a new home.

So how can you make your new master bedroom a sleep sanctuary?

Here are a few ideas:

1.  Keep it dark.  Make this one of the first rooms that gets window treatments to block out the sun and heat.

2.  When setting up your electronics (chargers, cable box, modems) try to position them in a way that their lights are not pointing toward you and possibly disrupting your sleep.

3. Figure out your best sleep temperature. The rule of thumb for sleeping is to keep the temp at 65 degrees.  Make sure you don't have too much or too little bedding that will wake you up at night.

4.  If you have outside noise that wakes you up at night, invest in sound machine or fan for white noise.

5.  Have plants in your room to improve indoor air quality. Certain scents such as lavender and vanilla are natural sleep enhancers.

What do you do to create the perfect sleep environment?