Archive | April, 2013

Dining in the Dark for a Good Cause in OKC

30 Apr

Dining in the Dark for a Good Cause in OKC

Blindness is one of the most common health conditions in the country. Many people live their lives in the dark with no capacity to see clearly. Though they may be used to such a lifestyle, it still helps to know that people care and are willing to help.  Thanks to a unique event for a good cause, Oklahomans can become more aware of the realities of the blind and visually impaired.

The Heartland Council of the Blind will be hosting its 5th Annual Dining in the Dark event at the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum on Saturday, May 18.  The event starts at 5:30 p.m., and the museum is located at 1700 N.E. Street.

Each participant will feel what it is like to do things in the dark  – in this case, having a meal. Food will be provided by the museum’s Persimmon Hill Restaurant, and each guest will wear a blindfold during the experience. To provide assistance, a guide will be present at all times to help each guest find their own food and answer any questions they may have.

Aside from the unique dining experience, there will also be other fun activities, including a silent auction featuring a Thunder basketball signed by Kevin Durant, challenge stations, and educational and adaptive equipment exhibits.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

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Keeping Your Houseplants Happier and Greener

29 Apr

Keeping Your Houseplants Happier and Greener

Houseplants offer a number of benefits and can bring more life into any home. It is refreshing to see houseplants throughout a home, especially if the area is sparsely decorated. Blooming plants also add a natural design element because they add immediate beauty to any interior theme.

One of the benefits of houseplants is that they help keep your indoor air fresh and clean. Plants naturally absorb carbon dioxide and unclean elements from the air and release fresher, more oxygen-filled air into the environment. You may no longer need to have an air purifier at home if you have enough houseplants to do the job for you. Not only is this a more natural approach, but it also helps reduce energy costs.

If you love having indoor plants at home, one important thing to do is to always keep them happy and green, so they will last for a long time. Here are a few tips to help you do that:

  • Know their light requirements. Plants need enough sunlight to keep them growing and thriving. However, not all plants have the same light requirements. Some may need constant sun and should be placed by a window, while others may only need indirect sunlight and should be place in a more interior part of a room. If you buy a new houseplant, make sure to read the label or research more about them online.
  • Keep them clean. When plants have residue on their leaves, such as dust, it can hinder their growth.  Dead leaves still on the plant or weeds surrounding it can also slow growth. Take the time to check your houseplants and see if anything dead or unwanted needs to be removed.  If so, remove the items immediately to be sure your plants stay clean.
  • Protect them against pests. Pests can easily eat your plants and damage them to the point that they stop growing in a short period of time.  Check your plant s from time to time to see if there are small pests lingering about. Be proactive in keeping them away by spraying pesticides….there are many all-natural options that you can buy or make at home, so you avoid adding chemicals to your air.
  • Give them enough water. This is a common mistake many homeowners make. Watering indoor plants may not be the same as watering outdoor plants. While you can simply water outdoor plants on a regular schedule, you need to make sure that you put just the right amount of water on our indoor plants and drain them. This will prevent overwatering the roots of the plants, so they are not soaked in the water for too long.
  • Put them in the right pot or container. Carefully choose the right sized container for each of your houseplants, so they are comfortable. Once your small plants have grown twice or three times their original size, you can transfer them to a bigger pot, so they can continue to grow.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

 

Do You Need a New Mattress?

25 Apr

Do You Need a New Mattress

Getting a good night’s sleep is essential to good health because sleeping well at night allows your body to regenerate its energy and strength for the next day. Unfortunately, where you lie down and sleep may sometimes contribute to sleep deprivation.

A good mattress is a great investment because it can keep your body aligned in a proper sleeping position. A good mattress will also last for many years, so you definitely get your money’s worth. Mattresses typically last for 10 to 20 years. Along that span of time, there are warranties for repairs on your mattress.  But, how can you tell if something is an easy fix or a serious problem?  How do you know if you need to buy a new mattress?

  • Consider the age of your mattress. Has it been seven or eight years since you bought it? If so, then it may be time to buy a new one if problems arise.
  • Consider how you sleep in your bed and how you sleep in other beds. Are you more comfortable on your own mattress or do you prefer sleeping in other beds? If you feel like your mattress may no longer give you a good experience, then you might consider replacing it with a new one. After all, it may not be worth enduring a less comfortable mattress every night.
  • Consider how you feel each time you wake up in the morning. If you feel comfortable and relaxed with your current mattress, it is still working effectively for you. However, constantly tossing and turning at night and waking up feeling tired are signs that your mattress may no longer be working for you as well as it once did.
  • Consider your aches and allergies each morning. Waking up with a lot of body aches may mean there is something wrong with your mattress. Check to see if it is still even or if it has sagging areas. An uneven mattress can contribute to a lot of body aches each morning. Plus, dust accumulation can activate your allergies when you sleep on your bed for hours at a time.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

How to Make Your Backyard More Fun

22 Apr

How to Make Your Backyard More Fun

When the cold months end and Spring begins, kids want to go outside and play with their friends. Warmer weather is perfect for running in the backyard, playing in the tree house, or digging around in the sandbox.  So, you need to create a fun backyard for your kids to enjoy during spring and summer.

If you have a spacious backyard, there are many things you can do to make it conducive to fun activities. You can add sports and playground equipment, sandboxes, play houses, etc.  But, if space is limited, make the most of the space by asking your kids what they want the most for your backyard.

To help you create a fun backyard at home, here are a few tips:

  • Add a sandbox. Every kid loves to dig up sand and create sandcastles. Though the beach may be miles away from your home, that doesn’t have to prevent your kids from digging in the sand. Create a sandbox in your backyard. You can add a small beach chair, a beach ball, and some digging tools for them.
  • Create an outdoor room. Not only will your kids love the comfortable surroundings, but you can enjoy an afternoon lounging in the backyard as well. Create an outdoor room that will allow you and your kids to spend the entire day outdoors if you want to. Add comfortable chairs, a cozy fireplace, an outdoor grill, and some decorative plants to beautify the area.
  • Encourage outdoor dining.  It can be fun to allow your kids to help you prepare meals, but when you’re indoors, things can get a little messy. Encourage your kids to help you with food preparation by having an outdoor dining area. Bring out the grill, a table for preparing the food, and kitchen essentials and let the outdoor cooking party begin.
  • Have a place where you can camp out. Create a special nook in your backyard where you and your kids can go camping. You can even have a bonfire and cook some s’mores.  It also creates a perfect place for star gazing.
  • Install a small pool. When it’s hot outside, it’s nice for your kids to have a place where they can take a dip and play with their friends all day.  Have some of your neighbor’s kids over and make it a pool party.
  • Build a tree house. Create a private place for your kids to play. A tree house can give them their own refuge, where they can store all of their toys and play all day long. You can even add a small swing under their tree house if there is room.
  • Set up a play set. Add a play set to give your kids a backyard playground.  It gives them a great play to play without even having to leave their own home.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

Bathroom Design Mistakes You Can Avoid

18 Apr

Bathroom Design Mistakes You Can Avoid

Designing a bathroom can be a lot of fun because you get to integrate your personal preferences to create your ideal bathroom. You can choose where the toilet is located, as well as the tub and sink. You also get to choose the color and theme of the bathroom, as well as the fixtures and storage.

That said, designing a bathroom also requires a lot of proper planning. Some homes must endure long-term problems with their sink, ventilation, shower, or toilet because of mistakes in their bathroom design.  So, it is important to plan how your bathroom will look and be organized so as not to create a huge mess later.

Below are some common bathroom design mistakes that you can avoid:

  • Slippery floors. Your flooring in the bathroom is not always the same as it is in the rest of your house. It is important to consider the type of materials you use in order to avoid slipping. Choose non-slip surfaces for your floor and place a rug beside the toilet and tub to avoid slips and falls.
  • Improper positioning of storage. Your bathroom needs storage options so you can organize your bathroom necessities. However, many bathrooms have medicine cabinets that are easily reached by kids or storage areas that have high levels of moisture. When designing your bathroom, always consider where your storage is located.
  • Mismatched bathroom fixtures. Does your tub match your shower?  Does your toilet match sink? Storage areas and walls? Lighting? There are a lot of options to choose from when it comes to bathroom fixtures. Try to choose matching items to create a more balanced and elegant bathroom.
  • Faulty plumbing. Plumbing problems can be a major disaster. You don’t want to have to deal with flooding in your bathroom because it can cause a huge mess inside your house. Avoid plumbing problems by making sure that your plumbing is ideally situated inside the walls. Also consider ways to make it easy to repair your pipes. Avoid placing your pipes inside walls that require removing or destroying your tiles just to get through.
  • Improper ventilation. Good ventilation is crucial inside the bathroom due to the high levels of moisture that is produced. It is ideal to put an exhaust fan inside the bathroom. You may also want to add a window that allows air to circulate.
  • Unplanned spacing. Consider the space inside your bathroom and how comfortable it is to walk around. Always plan a comfortable and convenient way to move from the door to your toilet to your tub.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

OCU Plans Program to Give Back to the Community

16 Apr

OCU Plans Program to Give Back to the Community

In 2008, the Student Government Association of Oklahoma City University launched a community service program called OneGive that promotes environmental conservation awareness throughout the entire campus and community. OneGive is a campus-wide and community-wide service initiative that takes place for an entire day, and this year’s Student Association plans to continue the tradition by bringing back the program on April 19.

According to the OCU Student Association, there will be five activities taking place throughout the day. They include ChunkIT!, an Ultimate tournament; ImagineIT!, a recyclable art contest; DumpIT!, a trash bin search game; PlantIT!, a student volunteer project where participants plant trees around the campus; and DimIT!, an outdoor performance without any electricity inside the campus.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031

How to Make Your Laundry Room More Efficient

15 Apr

How to Make Your Laundry Room More Efficient

It’s great to have a laundry room that is well organized and efficient, so doing laundry can move quickly and easily.  It can be a tedious task, but everyone must do it, and if you keep your laundry room organized and easy to manage, it makes the process a lot more bearable.

Making your laundry room efficient means doing everything you can to make doing the laundry easier, faster, and more productive. For example, you want to have ample storage space to keep your cleaners, soaps, bleach, and other essentials.  Putting it simply, what you want is a functional laundry room.

Below are some useful tips on how you can make your laundry room more efficient:

  • Add storage above your washing machine. Keep your soaps, detergents, and bleach in one easy to reach location, so it is easier to use them when doing the laundry.  This will also serve to keep them out of the reach of small children and pets.
  • Have a pre-sorting area. Arrange a table or counter where you can put several laundry baskets to sort your dark clothes from the white ones. If you have room, you can even permanently place hampers there,  so you can simply toss clothes in their category after collecting them from the bedrooms.
  • Clear an empty space for ironing. It is much easier and quicker to iron clothes when you have a convenient, designated ironing area inside your laundry room.
  • Add a folding area. Create a small area where you can easily fold newly-washed clothes and sort them. A table with ample space will do. If you have counter space in your laundry room, even better.
  • Separate wet and dry zones. Even if you do laundry in the same place where you fold clean clothes and do the ironing, it is still best to keep the wet zone from the dry zone. This will ensure that no clean clothes will be spoiled with the moisture of the wet zone.

Jennifer Fields
Oklahoma City & Edmond Real Estate Agent
405.330.0031