Archive | December, 2011

Avoid Fires This Holiday Season – Holiday Fire Safety Tips

29 Dec

Holidays are the best time of the year. Why? Because it is the time we get away from work and enjoy a few days feasting and just being merry together with our families. Though Christmas is over – unless your tree has already been taken out, you should be paying extra attention to the dry needles on those evergreens as they are huge fire hazards.

So, to avoid such an ill-fated possibility, below are some easy tips to increase your fire safety in to lead into the new year. It is always better to take these precautionary measures and continue celebrating the holiday without any worries.

  • Always check your holiday lights. Replace damaged, worn or broken cord or string of lights. If you’re taking yours down now – now is the perfect time to check them for next year so you don’t forget.
  • Use flame-resistant decorations near your fireplace. Never use materials that can easily catch fire when placing decorations on or near your tree, fireplace or holiday lights.
  • If using candles, keep them away from your tree. Also, use a candle holder so the candles will not be easily knocked down. Do not place candles near airy or windy parts of the house like near a window as the flame may blow and catch fire to a nearby item.
  • Do not put your tree near your fireplace, heater, radiator or heat generating devices.
  • On a similar note – if you are using a real tree – keep it very moist and well watered. Dry trees are the cause of home fires each year.
  • Unplug all lights once you all get out of the house or before going to sleep. Make sure no extension cord or unnecessary plugs are plugged in.
  • Regularly check your smoke detectors so you will be alarmed should smoke be detected in any parts of the house.
  • Indoor lights may add beauty inside the house but a close eye should be kept on them especially with the dry air in your home due to the heater. Check them regularly for broken or damaged cords.
  • Do not burn wrapping papers or anything really aside from wood in your fireplace since some paper materials can instantly ignite fire that can spark a flame outside of your fireplace.
  • The holidays will always require a large feast, therefore lots of cooking happens inside the kitchen. Always check on your cooking range or any cooking devices that are in use even if you have to attend to your guests. There have been a number of cases where fire occurs due to unattended cooking.
  • Use fire screens or fireplace doors at all times and never let your children play near the fire.

Follow these tips, and you will be that much more on the way to having a safe and happy conclusion to this holiday season!

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent


Make Your Home Smell Good

22 Dec

Everyone prefers staying in a place that smells great, versus not, and that is why it’s important to do what you can to be sure your home smells good. Not only will you impress your guests and make their stay more comfortable, but you will accomplish the same with your family as well.

To make your house smell good, here are a few tips……

  • Clean your house. Regular, weekly cleaning will eliminate most dirt and bad odors from your home.  If possible, clean your kitchen and bathrooms twice a week, as those are the areas that tend to smell bad the fastest.
  • If you smell an unpleasant odor inside the house, search for its source and eliminate it. What better way to remove something than to get rid of its source.
  • Keep your garbage outside your house. Only paper and non-food waste should be placed in trash cans inside.  Food waste or other non-biodegradable waste, should be kept outside to avoid bad odors indoors once it begins to rot.
  • If you have pets, make sure their area is always clean. Pets and their belongings can easily cast an odor, so be sure to clean your cat’s litter box frequently and also be sure your pets themselves stay clean as well.
  • Open the windows. If the weather outside is nice, why not open your windows to let fresh air circulate?  Opening your windows allows old, stale air to escape outside and fresh, natural air to come inside.
  • Decorate your home with fresh flowers. Not only do flowers look beautiful and make you feel great, but they also emit a nice aroma.  Put flowers in your living room, dining room and even your kitchen to add vitality indoors.
  • Sprinkle baking soda on your carpet. Baking soda is great at removing bad odors, so before you vacuum, sprinkle baking soda all over your carpet, leave it for a while, and then vacuum.
  • If you love the smell of dried flowers, place potpourri throughout the house, and the strong scent will definitely circulate.  Just be sure you keep containers out of reach of children.
  • Introduce more potted plants inside your home.  They naturally cleanse the air.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Part of Interstate 40 in Oklahoma City Opening in January

20 Dec

Citizens of Oklahoma City will soon enjoy a faster and smoother drive across the city, as the new stretch of Interstate 40, replacing the old and damaged Crosstown Expressway, will begin opening in January.

The new highway will run about five blocks south of the Crosstown Expressway, from the I-44 junction toward I-35 and I-235. Construction began in 2005, and the $670 million freeway will have 10 lanes.

According to Brenda Perry, spokeswoman of the state’s Transportation Department, there has been no targeted date for the opening, but one or two sections will be open sometime in January as long as construction remains ahead of schedule. Officials in charge of the construction said that they split up the construction into several sections to allow more crews to work on different areas simultaneously.

The Skydance Bridge that will span the new I-40 is also undergoing construction and it must be completed before all lanes can open.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Reduce, Reuse And Recycle Your Food Waste

19 Dec

Food waste is a no-no in many homes. They say the average American throws out $500 of food each year. That is one reason why reducing, reusing and recycling food waste should be a must for every household.

If you are still unaware of what you can do to your food waste aside from throwing them in the garbage, there are a number of ways on what you can do in order to reduce, reuse and recycle your food waste. Here are some practical ideas on what you can do to your food waste:

  • Shop only what you need. One of the main reasons why you have food waste is because you have a lot of extra foods left uneaten that becomes spoiled in your food storage or in your refrigerator. To avoid this, create a list of the ingredients that you only need for your next two days and shop only the ingredients that you lack in your pantry. That way, you only have to store what you need for today and tomorrow.
  • Cook only what your family can eat. Do not oversize the portions of what you cook. If you think your family can only eat a certain portion of food, then only cook your food in that measurement. If some of your family members will not be able to eat at home, cook only for those who are dining at home. That way, you can avoid leftovers – because there is no guarantee they will heat up what you cooked when they get home.
  • Recycle your fruits. If you do not want to eat fruits that are already soft, recycle them. Create smoothies or juice it so you do not have to throw them away. You can also create pies or other pastries in different fruit flavors.
  • Cook with your leftovers. Do not throw leftovers. These can still be used as ingredients for another great meal!
  • Use the older food first and the new stock later. Following this system will enable you to reduce food waste since you can use all of your food up before buying replacements.
  • Compost your food waste. If you no longer can recycle your leftovers in your home, your garden will still love it. Create a compost bin for all your food scraps so you can turn it into garden food later.
  • Use your freezer. Foods store in the freezer will help to prevent mold or rot so if you have foods left, freeze it!

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Inexpensive Ways to Organize the Nursery

15 Dec

The nursery is one of the most important rooms inside your home because that is where your baby will spend most of its time. It needs to be safe, clean, and organized.  As much as we would love include everything we need inside the nursery, space and money often don’t allow.

So, if you find yourself working in a smaller space and on a budget, there are a number of inexpensive ways you can organize your nursery in a cute way…

  • Make sure the crib has extra storage drawers beneath it.  This provides the perfect space to store your baby linens and extra clothes and, thus, free up space elsewhere.
  • If you don’t have a changing table, you can easily transform a cabinet into a changing table by placing a changing pad on top and your diapers, wipes, and powder in the drawer below. You can even make use of the wall beside your changing pad to hang your baby’s tiny shoes and socks. Just be sure that the cabinet is at a height that allows you to change your baby’s diapers easily.
  • Convert an old hamper into a place to store toys.  This will save you a lot of money that would otherwise be spent on a toy chest, yet still gives you the same functionality. Also, there are hampers that are soft and light enough to hang on the wall, so if you just have a few toys inside the nursery, this can help you save floor space.
  • Do not overlook the potential of top shelves. If you frequently buy bigger clothes for your baby to wear in the future, set them aside for easy organization, so they don’t get mixed into your baby’s current clothes. Store them in a box or plastic container, label the outside with the size of the clothes, and when your baby grows into that size, you will be able to retrieve all of them easily.
  • Divide your closet. Baby clothes are small in size, so they aren’t going to take up your entire closet space.  Make use of the rest of your closet with stackable containers or baskets below the clothes rod, which will create additional storage.
  • The back of the nursery door can be a great place to hang coats, hats or sweatshirts.  All you have to do is install hooks or an over-the-door hanger.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

OK Kids Korral: Plans Approved & Ready for Construction

13 Dec

When children are diagnosed with cancer, they often undergo extensive treatments, which require a lot of rest afterward in order for them to recover.  That is why the Toby Keith Foundation is planning to build a comfortable place for these children and their families to stay while they go through the treatment process.

According to Juliet Nees-Bright, Director of the Toby Keith Foundation, the OK Kids Korral, located at NE 8 and Laird, will serve as a home away from home for children with cancer, and their families, who are undergoing treatment at The Children’s Hospital at OU Medical Center, the Peggy and Charles Stephenson Cancer Center, or other cancer treatment facilities in the area.

The OK Kids Korral will include twelve overnight suites that can host up to five people each. There will also be four other family rooms ideal for day stays and a library and play area to provide entertainment.  Families can come in the morning and stay in their rooms or enjoy the facilities while they wait for their afternoon treatment. Not only can they relax inside, but the OK Kids Korral is strategically located within the downtown area for convenience.

The OK Kids Korral will begin construction in the sprint, and it is estimated to be completed by late 2013. Plans for construction are already approved by the Oklahoma City Urban Renewal Authority.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Prepare Your Patio for Winter

12 Dec

If you haven’t done anything yet to prepare your patio for this winter, it’s time to start. Winter is upon us and your patio will be directly affected by the cold weather, so it’s important to protect your outdoor belongings to preserve them and make them last longer.

Here are some ways to prepare your outdoor patio for the cold season…

  • Store your patio furniture. Clean all of your furniture outside first and then store it in your garage or a storage shed. Your furniture will be clean when you pull it out for Spring, and it will be safely tucked away from the winter weather that could cause damage to it.
  • Cover your furniture. If you have patio furniture that is sturdy enough to withstand the cold weather, it’s fine to leave it outside, but cover it with a reliable furniture cover, so you can extend its outdoor life.
  • Install outdoor lighting. As the days become shorter, adding additional lighting to your outdoor living space enables you to enjoy it longer and bundle up with a cup of hot cocoa on chilly evenings.
  • Store away umbrellas and hammocks. Any patio accessories that are loose or can be detached should be removed and stored to avoid damage from inclement winter weather.
  • Install patio heaters. Just like lighting, patio heaters will allow you and your family to enjoy your outdoor living space longer into the colder months.  There are many patio heaters in modern styles that are easy and safe to use and warm large areas.
  • Store your garden tools. Since you won’t be gardening during the winter months, don’t leave your gardening tools outside because after they become covered with snow, they become less sturdy and will be prone to rust.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent