Archive | January, 2012

Dress Your Bookcase For Function and Beauty

30 Jan


Bookshelves are not just for books anymore. There is more to your bookshelf than merely its placeholder-status for your novels. Usually, bookshelves can make for a nice room divider or a furniture display inside a room. Therefore, dressing up your bookshelf is also important as it contributes to your overall interior design.

There are many ways to dress a bookshelf. You can either have a custom-made bookshelf built or a ready-made but well designed bookshelf so you can customize the shelf yourself. For existing bookshelves, customizing it would be the ideal way to go. Keep in mind that customizing does not always have to come with a huge price tag. There are also several ways to go about this without dipping into the wallet.

To help you spruce up your bookshelf, here are some creative ideas:

  • Arrange your books properly. This sounds obvious, but many people have a very cluttered bookshelf. Your books are the main attraction on your bookshelf so make sure they are arranged beautifully and properly. If you have lots of book in your collection, consider arranging them by their genre. You can place all fictional books on one side and non-fictional or informative books on the other side. Moreover, place all large books below with the small ones aligned on top.
  • Make room for more. If you have a small book collection, avoid making your bookshelf barren by making room for more displays. Put a small intricate vase near your stack of books or perhaps a trophy your child won during a school competition. To add more flair to your shelf, stack books in groups of five with varying sizes and place them all over the shelf. Then fill in the empty spaces with crafty ornaments.
  • Make your bookshelf more functional. Do not limit your shelf to a display only. If you have a low bookshelf, make use of the top shelf as a glassware station. Fill in your shelf with different glassware you can use for parties or during dinner with friends. Moreover, a wine station will look elegant on top of your stacks of book.
  • Create a balance for your shelf. If you have a big bookshelf, make sure you fill every side of it, from top to bottom and side to side. But this does not mean you have to fill every square inch. This simply means that you should scatter your books and other displays all throughout your bookshelf so it will not look as if everything is clustered in one area alone.
  • Create a background for your bookshelf. Instead of the regular hardwood at the back of your books, why not repaint it to a bolder color or perhaps you would like a mirror that to gives a more open feeling while browsing your books.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent


How to Deal with Bed bugs

26 Jan

We often hear parents tell their little ones, “Sleep tight! Don’t let the bed bugs bite!”  Although the expression is not normally taken literally, the fact is that bed bugs do bite, and if you are not careful, they can also wake you from your good night’s sleep.

Bed bugs got their name from the fact that they are usually sighted in or around beds. You can find them in your mattress, under your pillow, along your headboard, or even on your nightstand. What you are able to see with your naked eye are adult bed bugs.  Younger bed bugs are translucent and, therefore, much harder to find, but there are signs that can help identify where bed bugs are located, such as groupings of eggs and small bloodstains on or near your bed.

Getting rid of bed bugs is important for two reasons.  First of all, knowing there are bugs in your bed is psychologically unnerving.  Secondly, even though they do no transmit diseases, bed bugs do bite, and the areas surrounding their bites become quite irritated and uncomfortable.

So, in order to eliminate any bed bugs that may be crawling around, here are a few tips….

  • Always vacuum your bedroom, including your furniture. This will suck any tiny creatures out of your room. Afterward, when you empty or change the vacuum bag, do it outside, so nothing escapes back into your room.
  • Move your bed away from the wall.  Traveling along walls is actually one of the ways bed bugs can reach your bed, so move it far enough away that there is space between the two and they aren’t touching.  Do the same with any other furniture you have.
  • Protect your mattress by using a zip-lock cover.
  • Wash all your linens in hot water. Bed bugs are very sensitive to hot temperatures and hot water can easily kill them. Also dry your linens in a hot dryer versus letting them air dry.  A temperature of around 120-125 degrees Fahrenheit should do the trick.
  • Inspect new furniture before bringing it inside your house. No matter how old or new your furniture is, it’s wise to inspect for bed bugs first, so you can rest assured that you are not transporting these small creatures into your home.
  • Call an exterminator. If you can’t get your bed bug problem under control, call for help immediately.  The longer you wait, they faster they will continue to multiply.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Mobile Command Units Gear Up for Disaster Practice in Oklahoma

24 Jan

Last Thursday, mobile command units from Tulsa to Oklahoma City deployed not for a disaster response but for a communications exercise. This was the first time in state history that all emergency communication crews in the state of Oklahoma had gathered together in one location.

All mobile command units from different cities in the state of Oklahoma came together from the local level up to the federal. Trucks from the Marshals Service were highly equipped with advanced devices and this practice gave them the chance to test whether their devices were working in sync with the other agencies. According to Taran Groom of the U.S. Marshals Service, this was the first large-scale communications exercise that was held in Oklahoma. They had the whole radio communications frequency plus all of their computer satellite links so they were able to leave their trucks.

Such practice is considered very important although it is quite rare for all units to gather together at the same place, at the same time. However, this will help them in disasters as the trucks are responding to manhunts, searching for missing persons, as well as domestic terrorism.

Also part of the Command and Communication Practice is Oklahoma’s Command One. Command One is the emergency truck mainly used by the Oklahoma Highway Patrol but also used by other agencies for important events. It was bought by the Office of Homeland Security as it aims to offer aid during emergencies within the state.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Keep Your Child Safe During Home Renovations

23 Jan

Child safety is one of a parent’s biggest priorities, and during home renovations, tools, equipment, and potentially hazardous materials are scattered about, which can be harmful to your children’s health or lead to injuries.  So, when it comes to keeping your kids safe during home renovations, there are certain precautions that should be taken.

Here are some tips on how you can keep your children safe while home renovations are underway:

  • Keep track of your tools and put them away when not in use. During renovations, a number of powerful tools will be needed for the project. Kids, especially younger ones, are very attracted to the noise and sight of powerful tools, and when they see you using it, they’ll want to also.  To keep your children from playing with your tools when you’re not around, make sure you keep larger power tools shut inside the room you are renovating and smaller ones inside a tool box.
  • Keep your children away from the place of construction. To ensure that your kids don’t play with your renovating tools, get in the way when work is being done, or hurt themselves on sharp tools and materials, keep them out of the room entirely.  Place a no entry sign or line, so they will know that they are not allowed inside. If possible, shut and lock the door as well, so they will not be tempted.
  • Keep all of your waste contained in one place. Yes, renovations can be messy, but that is no excuse for your waste be scattered all over the house. Gather everything that is considered as waste and contain it in one place. This will minimize the risk of your little ones cutting their hands on tiny pieces of metal or glass.
  • Keep the air clean. Children are prone to allergies during renovations because of the dust and foreign materials, so try to keep the air as clean as possible.  In order to prevent dust and other allergens from leaving the room, seal all HVAC vents in the area or use plastic sheeting to surround the renovation zone.  Moreover, practice the concept of “clean as you go” – before you call it quits each day, clean and vacuum your work area and leave it as clean as possible.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Get Rid of Clutter and Earn Money: Have a Yard Sale!

19 Jan

There are probably many things inside your house that are no longer useful – to you, that is. Holding onto these things only adds clutter to your home, garage, and basement, and there are probably too many boxes you have to sort through when you’re looking for something.

You have more things inside your house than you need, but don’t worry because there is an easy way to get rid of them and make money: have a yard sale!  As they say, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, so clear your clutter and follow these tips to make sure your yard sale is a success…

  • Schedule your garage sale ahead of time. Once you’ve selected a date on your calendar, also check the weather forecast too be sure there is no anticipation of rain.
  • Schedule your yard sale either at the end of the month or the first week of the month because that is when people get paid, and they have extra spending money.
  • Prepare the things you need to sell and organize your “shop”.  Spend the time to clean your things and repair whatever needs to be repaired because even if you are selling old things, it’s still important to be sure they’re not dusty or dirty because no one will want to buy them in that condition.  Try to keep your “shop” presentable too. You do not want your customers to have to walk through piles of leaves or be near trash bins.
  • As much as possible, put a price tag on each of your items. That way, you won’t have to answer a question every time someone is interested in buying something.
  • Be open to bargaining. People will feel encourage to buy from you when they can feel like they’re getting a discount.
  • Have your friends and family to help you. You can’t be setting things up, answering questions, and taking money all at once.  Have a couple of people help you, so you can handle the traffic and know everything is covered if you need to take a break.
  • Advertise! Tell your neighbors that you are having a yard sale, print posters to put in nearby parks, stores, and other public places, and place an ad in the newspaper, so you will generate interest, traffic, and sales!
  • Prepare change ahead of time. Some people may bring large bills, and you don’t want to lose a sale just because you can’t give them change.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Volunteers of Red Cross Offer Fire Safety Tips To Oklahomans

17 Jan

Monday, January 16, 2012, was not only a day to celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. Day but also be a great day to remind families on how to avoid fires in their homes. A number of volunteers from the American Red Cross spent the day roaming around Oklahoma City, spreading helpful tips on house fire prevention.

Different volunteers from the American Red Cross started going door-to-door to various homes in the city to inform families on tips for preventing house fires. Officials of American Red Cross are hoping to prevent more house fires in the future and this great method to spread some information around the community.

Officials also said that many of their volunteers have already been responding to about 57 homes and apartment fires within central and western Oklahoma. At the start of the New Year, there have already been 12 house fires. Rusty Surette, Director of Communications, added that this time of the year is very important as many cases of home fires will happen during this time. People should think of fire safety when they cook or heat their houses.

Aside from imparting various fire prevention tips to the residents, volunteers also left safety-tip door hangers in houses that are locked or without people at home. These hangers also include tips on how to avoid fire, including heating tips, cooking tips, smoke alarms and even a fire escape plan.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent

Made In Oklahoma Lunches for All Oklahoma City Schools

16 Jan

All elementary students in the Oklahoma City School District will soon enjoy healthy lunches that are made from homegrown Oklahoma ingredients. The Made In Oklahoma Coalition, an organization that promotes Oklahoma food and agricultural products, has collaborated with the Oklahoma City school district to provide lunches made of Oklahoma-based food ingredients to all elementary schools.

Lunches will be served to about 27,000 elementary school students every month, and the first meal will start this month. According to Al Pilaski, Operations Director for Child Nutrition Service of the Oklahoma City School District, the project will enable students to understand the value of supporting local companies. It will also help students see how such support can impact the economy through jobs and revenue.

For many years now, the Oklahoma City School District has been serving Made In Oklahoma ingredients in select areas. More food ingredients are now included in the selection of Made In Oklahoma food served in schools, now that the coalition partners with more than 30 food companies and agriculture manufacturers. Jerry Dyer, President of the Made In Oklahoma Coalition, said that the companies in MIO have been household names for many generations. The coalition hopes that such traditions will live on among Oklahoma families for generations to come.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent