Archive | November, 2011

Officials Encourage Holiday Lights Caution for Local Residents

29 Nov

The holidays are days away and most people are starting to install holiday lights in and out of their houses as early as possible. However, even though these lights bring more color and holiday cheer to the entire family, accidents caused by mishandling of these lights are inevitable.

That is why city officials of Oklahoma City are encouraging local residents to implement caution when it comes to their holiday lights. These precautions were manifested with the increasing rate of accidents related to holiday lights in the city every year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there are about 1,300 people every year that were hospitalized due to injuries involving holiday lights. Moreover, there are about 500 cases of fires that are caused by these lights, accounting for millions of dollars in total damages. Lara O’Leary, spokeswoman of the Emergency Medical Services Authority, said that injuries involving holiday lights include electric shocks, falls and burns.

O’Leary advised the residents that they should slow it down, use commons sense and plan well when it comes to installing their holiday lights. She added that they should make sure that the lights they are installing in their houses have already been inspected by a trusted testing laboratory. These lights are marked with inspection insignia of UL or ETL.

Other holiday lights advice by O’Leary is that residents should show extra care when hanging their high-up lights on their own in case of falling. People must use sturdy shoes and a ladder when hanging their lights outside. Moreover, O’Leary advised that holiday lights must not be bought at swap meets and flea markets as these lights usually did not pass the safety standards.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent


Work Out Shared Spaces in Your Kid’s Bedroom

28 Nov

Kids would love to have their own room complete with their own things. But, if the number of rooms inside the house simply does not permit individual rooms, the tendency is your kids will have to share a space.

Make your kid’s shared space work out for them with a few easy and effective tips on how to design and organize their room. This way they have their OWN space, while still sharing with another sibling.

  • Give them their own private bed. Let them share one room but do not let them share one bed, even when the children are young. You can put two small individual beds that are identical so your kids won’t have to fight which “better” bed goes to whom. If there is less space to fit in two individual beds, makes use of an artificial loft. You can have one bed on top of the loft and the other on the bottom. Bunk beds work great too!
  • Identify their own work and play station. You can divide both rooms so each kid has their own station – label their station with their names or initials as wall decor.
  • Combined whatever they love. If you plan to paint their bedroom wall, ask both of them what colors they like and combine them! Paint a design in the wall that makes use of their favorite colors. You can even paint stripes with two of their preferred colors. To make it more effective, have your kids join in to help make it feel more “theirs”.
  • When it comes to furniture, always keep in mind to bring in at least two. You don’t want your kids to fight over one chair or bean bag all the time. If you plan to put in some seats, make it for two!
  • Make their room less prone to clutter. This means more designated storage for their things and double that number. Usually, conflicts arise when one kid would like to have a clean space to study while the other simply throws everything around. To avoid such problem, give them easy storage solutions to make use and consider an incentive program for keeping the room clean (i.e. kid who keeps his half clean gets to pick dinner once a week).

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

New Oklahoma City Library Offers New Features To The Public

22 Nov

Now, students as well as residents of Oklahoma City will be able to enjoy a state-of-the-art  library with plans to construct a new facility in the works. The new northwest Oklahoma City library will be able to provide more advanced and wider features for the public’s use.

The new city library in northwest Oklahoma City will be considered the third largest library in the Metropolitan Library System. As of today, it is the 18th facility to be built within the library system. City officials are planning to name the new library after the former mayor of Oklahoma City, Mayor Patience Latting. It is slated to open during March next year.

Although the proposed date of completion for the construction of the library is February, the Metropolitan Library System has decided to open the library to the public a month later to give enough time to move in everything needed for the building. Julie Ballou will be the new Manager of Operations for the new library, with 35 to 40 people filling the positions of librarians, library aides and clerks, for which hiring is still not complete.

Part of the new features expected in the new library will be a geothermal heating and cooling system, low flow faucets and toilets, recycling bins, and drip irrigation system. With these features, the library will become among the first Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified libraries in the state.

Wi-Fi will also be offered for free as well as over 60 computers with Internet Access. The library is also equipped with two large meeting rooms, activity rooms, programming rooms, children’s areas and study areas. Around 156,000 books, magazines and DVDs will also be included in the library.

Eight faux oil derricks dominate the interior decor of the new library, still under construction at 5200 NW 122.

The bases of the derricks serve as glassed-in meeting rooms and quiet rooms, while the top of the derricks reach through the roof and are skylights.

Other design features include glass exterior walls across much of the structure, allowing for natural lighting.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Cleaning Tips And Tricks For Your House

21 Nov

Cleaning is something we do each day inside our homes. Even if you cleaned your house from top to bottom for the entire day, give it a day or two, a mess will start to accumulate and it may take you another entire day to repair the damage done. It may seem tedious but it is perfectly normal. In fact, it happens to all houses so do not worry; you are by no means the only victim in this war against dirtiness.

Although cleaning is sometimes taxing, several tricks to cleaning will help you finish your work in a jiffy. These tricks can help you clean different areas of the house without having to spend too much effort and time on one. What’s more important, you can even ask other members of the family to help you out and make the cleaning a fun experience for all.

Here are several cleaning tricks you might want to consider when cleaning your house:

  • Dust everything first before you start vacuuming. Never save dusting for last as it will allow dust particles to remain in the air. When dusting, start from top to bottom. Then wipe the surfaces in your house with a wet cloth before you start vacuuming.
  • Have a carryall apron whenever you plan to clean. Use your apron to carry everything you need so you do not have to go back and forth to get something. This way you save more of your energy and time and devote it more towards cleaning than pacing back and forth.
  • Clean your mini blinds easily with soapy water in a bathtub. Just place it in the tub and let it soak in the soapy water for several minutes until you can see a clear difference in the color of your blinds.  If there are stains in your white blinds, consider adding bleach.
  • When scrubbing your wall, know first what it is covered in so you will know what cleaning solution to use. There are paints that can be damaged by water. If you have gloss paints on your wall, spray it with a dishwashing liquid and let it sit for several minutes before rinsing with lukewarm water.
  • Spills in your oven often leave a stain. Avoid this by sprinkling salt immediately on the spills. Once it has cooled, you can brush it away using an old sponge. No stain there!
  • Moving your furniture when cleaning can be very risky especially on your floor. Simply moving your cabinet a few feet away can lead to scratches on the floor. Prevent this from happening by placing a cloth on the foot of your cabinet or any furniture before you move it. It will easily slide when it has a smooth cloth underneath it.
  • When cleaning your upholstery, make sure you read the tag first. You do not want to end up with damaged furniture just by cleaning it.
  • Use cleaners with phosphoric acid in your bathroom so you do not need to scrub. Just make sure to read the directions on handling the product to avoid unwanted circumstances. Also, keep it away from children at all times.
  • Clean your ceiling fan using a pillowcase so you won’t spill the dust on the floor and let it float through the air. To do this, place the pillowcase on one blade and tighten it before you pull it away so the dust is contained in the case.
  • Pet hairs are a disaster in the house but you cannot blame your lovable pets. To get rid of their scattered hair, put on wet rubber gloves, wipe your hands on the surfaces, and the hair will stick right on them.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Dressing Up Your Basement Windows

17 Nov

Dressing up the perfect window for your basement will not only allow enough light to come in and enhance ventilation, but will also add beauty and elegance to the room. Many homeowners are currently investing in high-quality windows as they help illuminate the room and bring focus towards the overall design of the basement.

If you are planning to replace or renovate your basement windows, take note of these excellent ideas beforehand.

Include a small window on top of your fireplace to enhance lighting. This will also place more emphasis on the area while allowing more natural light to come into the room. To further add beauty to your fireplace, enhance your window with natural adornments such as flowers in full bloom in an elegant vase or crawling plants outlining the top side of your fireplace.

High wall windows offer more privacy in your basement. A lower level bedroom will be a great place to hideaway with high level wall windows. This will allow natural light to softly illuminate the room and in a dimmer lighting, give the room a cozier ambiance. Moreover, it will enable hot air to escape easily therefore maintaining the coolness of the underground room.

Install window treatments. Even basement windows need treatments. To maintain the beauty of your glass window, choose a more subtle window treatment and a style that blends well with the overall design of your window. Window treatments will not only protect your window but it will also filter the light coming into the room.

Never forget your basement door. Many homeowners ensure that their basement has easy access to provide an alternative route when emergency situations arise. A basement door does not need not look like it is the only a way out. Make your basement door a beautiful addition to the room by transforming it into an elegant glass window for added ventilation and lighting. Install your basement window on top of your living area and make sure it is big enough to fit a person upon exiting.

Include a window in your stairway. This will not only look unique and elegant in your stairway, but it will also add lighting along the path. The full wall and elevation will allow you to create a bigger window for enhanced lighting.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Oklahoma Governor Proposes A More Efficient Energy Plan

15 Nov

One vital resource needed for all states is sufficient energy used to run and operate the vast number of vehicles roaming the streets each day. Not only that, energy output must also be cost efficient and safe for the environment.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin understands the importance of energy in Oklahoma and has therefore proposed an energy-efficient plan that will allow ample amount of energy for vehicles in a cleaner and more cost-effective manner. Governor Fallin has constructed an energy plan that implements the use of vehicles that run on compressed natural gas. Three other states are collaborating with the plan, namely the state of Colorado, Wyoming, and Pennsylvania.

The energy plan proposed by Governor Fallin indicates that the state will be investing in 5,000 natural gas vehicles per year. These vehicles will be used as the state’s transportation as well as a positive factor in hopefully encouraging more carmakers to create a suitable CNG Sedan. This partnership will soon bring in more functional natural gas vehicles for the public to use and also promote a cleaner means of transportation.

Moreover, Governor Fallin noted that the new energy plan will be able to create more jobs for the people as well as enhance the energy production of the state. It also will be able to create a new market for the natural gas reserve in Oklahoma.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

More Functional Furniture Ideas for Your Bedroom

14 Nov

Having a small bedroom limits you on the amount of furniture you can use. Because space is an issue, you will need to mostly stick to a bed, a side table, a dresser and perhaps a cabinet or chest of drawers. Limited space means that some of your personal things will have to migrate to other rooms, like your home office, bathroom, living room, or closet.

However, if you don’t like the idea of your bedroom belongings residing in other locations, you can place a lot of your personal things inside your bedroom by creating storage space using your basic bedroom furniture. You no longer have to buy bulky storage bins or rearrange your furniture so everything can squeeze in. Here are some wonderful ideas for how your furniture can serve a dual purpose.

Create a platform for your bed and use the free space along the sides of your platform to store your books, alarm clock, reading glasses, and small knick-knacks. The extra spaces can also provide a nice place to throw pillows, your towels, or even your clothes for the next morning. By installing a hinge device, you can lift your mattress to access the interior of the platform, which can create additional storage for linens, extra pillows, suitcases, etc.

Use a trunk by your bed instead of a side table and immediately create additional storage.  You can use the top surface as an area for placing a bedside lamp and other nighttime necessities and the lower compartment for miscellaneous items.

Add storage in your headboard by widening the sides, so they can store books, magazines, important documents, and even DVD collections. The upper part of your headboard can be used for your floral displays or pictures of your family.

If you choose to stick with a side table, there are still ways you can maximize the space.  Leave the upper compartment hollow so you can arrange your magazines and books. Cover the lower compartment so you can store more clothes and bed linens.

Install wall panels for displays and racks of important papers like bills and letters. Wall panels are ideal in small spaces since it occupies no floor space but makes use of the unused and potential wall space.

Use a wall mirror instead of a huge vanity. This will save a lot of floor space by eliminating an otherwise bulky piece of furniture, and you can even make it a full length mirror, thus combining two separate items within your bedroom into one.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent