Things To Do In Houston Over The Holidays

11 Exciting Things To Do in Houston This Holiday Season

Thanksgiving and Christmas will be here soon, and for many, that means hosting out-of-town family members.  Entertaining can quickly become overwhelming, and even exhausting at times.

 

Why not enjoy some time outside of the house this holiday season?

 

11 Fun Activities to Enjoy in Houston With Your Out-Of-Town Guests Over The Holidays:

 

1. Ice Skating at The ICE – Nov 19-23, Dec 24-31

 

If you’re looking for fun, new ways to enjoy the outdoors during the winter, head to the ICE at Discovery Green.  Tickets are available online.

 

2. Thanksgiving Brunch at The San Luis Hotel – Nov 22

 

Let someone else cook for you on Thanksgiving!  The San Luis Hotel hosts an incredible brunch with plenty of options to choose from, plus bottomless mimosas.

 

3. 59th Annual Autorama car show – Nov 22- Nov 25

 

For the car buffs, check out AutoRama’s annual show, which proudly celebrates “America’s finest hot rods, customs, trucks & motorcycles.”

 

4. TFTI Interactive Photo Exhibit – Nov 23-Dec 30

 

Get creative and enjoy plenty of photo opportunities with the whole family!

 

5. The Dinner Detective: An Interactive Mystery Dinner Show at Doubletree Hotel- Nov 24

 

Enjoy dinner and a show that you can be a part of!  The Dinner Detective has been named the Best Dinner Show in Los Angeles for four years now, and is finally making its way to Houston!

 

6. Be Someone Artist Showcase at Last Concert Cafe- Nov 24

 

Experience the art and music of local talent while you raise money to end youth homelessness at this exciting fundraiser!

 

7. Maggiano’s Breakfast With Santa – Nov 24

 

Enjoy an extensive breakfast buffet, learn all about the North Pole, and take photos with Santa, of course!

 

8. Little White Oak Night Market – Nov 24 & Dec 29

 

Shop from local vendors selling food, apparel, produce, handmade jewelry, and more!

 

9. Shop & Brunch at Heights Morning Market- Dec 23 & Dec 30

 

Enjoy brunch, live music, and plenty of shopping.  Check out items from local vendors including home goods, arts and crafts, jewelry, and more!

 

10. Lobster Tail Night at Phil & Derek’s Restaurant & Jazz Lounge – Dec 25

 

If you don’t celebrate Christmas or your family prefers to dine out, why not enjoy some delicious seafood?

 

11. Improv Comedy: Battle Station – Competitive Improv show at Station Theater – Dec 23 & Dec 30

 

Watch two improv teams go head to head, and vote to decide who will make it to the next round!

 

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Buying Or Selling A Home In The Houston Area?

 

I’ve proudly served the Tanglewood, Memorial, Uptown, and Galleria neighborhoods for years.  If you have questions about buying or selling luxury property, please get in touch with me today for assistance!

5 Christmas Gifts for Homeowners

5 Gadgets On Every Homeowner’s Christmas List This Year

Is there anything more exciting than finding helpful new gadgets to make your house smarter?

 

Thanks to today’s advanced technologies, there are hundreds of exciting new gadgets that can help you run your home more smoothly.

 

From pure entertainment purposes to automating some of your least favorite chores, technology for the home really has revolutionized the way we all live, and most of us are ready to welcome even more tech “toys” into our lives, especially this Christmas season!

 

Top 5 Christmas Gift Ideas For Tech-Loving Homeowners in 2018

 

1. Doorbell cameras

 

Doorbells with built-in camera systems are among homeowners’ favorite new security gadgets.  These devices stream live footage straight to your phone, and some even have two-way talk functionality, letting you answer the door from anywhere in your house.

 

Top-rated doorbell cameras

(based on ratings from Offers.com)

 

1. Ring Video Doorbell Pro

 

2. Ring Wifi Enabled Video Doorbell

 

3. Skybell HD Silver Wifi Video Doorbell

 

4. Honeywell RCWL330A1000/N P4-Premium Portable Wireless Doorbell

 

5. Remobell Wifi Wireless Video Doorbell

 

 

 

2. Voice-assisted smart speakers

 

The new smart speakers coming out are more impressive every year, and make it easy to create a fun, interactive sound system for your home!  And voice-activated assistants are great for controlling your music hands-free!

 

Top-rated voice-assisted speakers

(based on ratings from PCMag)

 

1. Amazon Echo (2nd Generation)

 

2. Amazon Echo Dot (3rd Generation)

 

3. Amazon Echo Show (2nd Generation)

 

4. Google Home Max

 

5. JBL Link View

 

6. Sonos Beam

 

7. Sonos One

 

8. Lenovo Smart Display

 

9. Apple HomePod

 

10. Amazon Echo Plus (2nd Generation)

Certain devices are recommended over others based on how the speakers will be used (i.e., integrating with other smart home technology vs strictly being used for music).

 

3. Smart home climate control

 

Smart thermostats have been growing in popularity since they first came out a few years ago.  Many homeowners love these systems for their energy efficiency and compatibility with smartphones.  Smart temperature control systems even offer the functionality to set custom temperatures for individual rooms.

 

Top 5 smart thermostats**

(based on ratings from Offers.com)

 

1. Nest Learning (3rd Generation)

 

2. Honeywell RTH9580WF Smart Wifi 7 Day Programmable Color Touch Thermostat

 

3. Ecobee3 Thermostat with Sensor, Wifi (2nd Generation)

 

4. Emerson Thermostats Sensi Smart Thermostat

 

5. Honeywell RTH6580WF Wifi 7 Day Programmable Thermostat

 

 

Aside from making your home more comfortable, these systems also make a house more attractive to buyers when it comes time to sell!

 

 

4. Smart lawn irrigation timers

Smart sprinklers and irrigation controllers help you keep your lawn healthy with minimal effort.  These advanced systems can access the Internet to adjust watering schedules based on the weather.

 

Top-rated smart irrigation timers

(based on ratings from Offers.com)

 

1. Rachio 8 Zone 2nd Generation Smart Sprinkler Controller

 

2. RainMachine Touch HD-12 Smart Wifi Irrigation Controller

 

3. Orbit B-Hyve Smart Indoor/Outdoor Wifi Sprinkler System Controller

 

4. RainMachine Mini-8 Cloud Independent Wifi Irrigation Controller

 

5. Rain Bird ST8I-Wifi Smart Indoor Wifi Sprinkler/ Irrigation System Timer/ Controller

 

Finally, you won’t have to worry about flooding your yard if a rainstorm is coming while you’re at work or away on vacation!

 

 

5. Robotic lawn mowers

 

Finally, we can all stop pushing our heavy lawn mowers in the hot sun!  Several brands now sell robotic mowers, so you can enjoy the warm weather and spend less time doing grueling yardwork.

 

Top-rated robotic mowers

(based on ratings from PCMag)

 

1. Husqvarna Automower 315X

 

2. Robomow RS622

 

3. Honda Miimo HRM 310

 

4. Worx Landroid M Cordless Robotic Mower

 

What Gadgets Do You Want to See Under the Tree This Year?

 

Leave a comment below with your favorite device from this list, and follow me on social media for more fun tips about homeownership!

 

Have a Real Estate Question?

If you’re buying or selling a home in the Houston area, please feel free to contact me with your questions!  I’ve happily served the Tanglewood, Memorial, uptown, and Galleria neighborhoods for years, and look forward to helping you learn more about the local market.

How to Winterize Your Home in Houston

7 Winterization Tips Every Houston Homeowner Needs To Know

Winter will be here before we know it!  Luckily, homeowners in Houston don’t need to worry about the extreme conditions other parts of the country experience, but you’ll still want to make sure your property’s ready for the colder weather.

 

Take care of last-minute outdoor projects while the weather’s still pleasant, and get your house ready for the cool temperatures ahead!

 

How To Prepare Your House For Winter

 

1. Blow out your sprinkler system

 

Removing leftover water from your sprinkler system helps prevent freezing and cracking during colder months.

 

You can usually find local sprinkler companies to complete the job on sites like Angie’s List or HomeAdvisor.

 

Alternatively, if you have an air compressor at home, it shouldn’t be too hard to complete the job yourself.  There are plenty of helpful tutorials available that you can check out beforehand.  Reference.com has a detailed step-by-step blog post outlining the process, and Instructables created a quick, informative video that you can refer to as well for some DIY tips.

 

2. Clean your gutters

 

A good rule of thumb is to clean out your gutters at least once each season.  Freeing gutters and downspouts of leaves, twigs, and other debris before the beginning of winter will prepare your house for the season, and you most likely won’t need to repeat the job until spring.

 

3. Sweep your chimney

 

Nothing’s more satisfying than curling up in front of a fire on a cold winter evening!  If it’s been awhile since you’ve had your chimney cleaned, though, you’ll want to do so as soon as possible.

 

Because chimney buildup can create a fire hazard, it’s best to hire a certified professional if you are not familiar with how to inspect and clean your own chimney.

 

4. Close your pool

 

 

If you haven’t done so already, it’s time to cover the pool for the winter.  Not only does this help make the process of re-opening your pool in the springtime much easier; you could even run the risk of seeing your pool get completely destroyed if you neglect to properly clean and cover it.

 

5. Make sure your heating system is working properly

 

Before the cold weather is here to stay, it’s not a bad idea to test out your home’s heat to make sure it works properly.  You can check to make sure your pilot light is igniting as well.

 

If, for some reason, you turn on the heat and discover your home isn’t getting warmer, you’ll still have plenty of time to have a professional come fix the problem.

 

6. Get a professional roof inspection

Better safe than sorry!  If you have any doubts about your roof’s condition, have it inspected while the weather’s still tolerable.  You may only need a small repair job, but the sooner you have your roof looked at, the better.

 

The last thing you need is a leaky roof making your home cold and damp in the winter!

 

7. Tidy up outside

 

Keep your yard looking its best!  Clear away leaves, fallen branches, and any other clutter that may be remaining from the summer months.  Don’t forget to clean off outdoor furniture and properly store chairs, cushions, and tables, so they’re ready for use in the spring.

 

Get More Helpful Home Maintenance Tips

 

Follow me on Twitter today or like my Facebook page to see more articles like this with tips for taking care of your home!

 

Buying Or Selling In The Houston Area?

 

I serve the Tanglewood, Memorial, Uptown, and Galleria neighborhoods, and am happy to help you understand the market.  If you’re getting ready to buy or sell property, feel free to contact me today for assistance!

 

What does it actually mean to be healthy?

Disclaimer: Please consult with your doctor before trying new supplements or making changes to your diet and exercise routines.

 

 Is healthy living worth the effort?

 

Some people feel that being healthy requires too much work and is not worth the struggle; they believe keeping a healthy lifestyle means eating salads and working out every day. The truth is, being healthy means taking care of yourself so you can feel well without depending on medication.

 

Introducing guest author, Ana Sanchez-Vivas

 

Hi everyone!  My husband, Ivan, and I are parents of two toddlers, and as wellness researchers, we want to show you that being healthy doesn’t have to be difficult; you can make easy changes in your life and burn calories even without exercising!

 

Ivan and I are brokers of natural products, and we work with a wonderful team, including a urologist and expert on naturopathic medicine who recently shared the article below.   We wanted to share with you as well!

 

5 tips to Burn More Calories Without Exercising

 

By Dr. Juan Jose Ramos

The first advice they always give us if we ask how to burn more calories is to exercise. Playing sports is an excellent way to increase energy expenditure and improve our motivation and mood to lose weight in a healthy way.

However, there are other natural ways to achieve this, too.

How to Burn More Calories?

There are many people who have a hard time losing weight. There are also others who are going down in weight based on hard efforts and sacrifices, but would like to achieve the same results more easily. For all of them we propose 5 tips that are based on food and good habits.

This way, not only will we lose weight faster, but will also improve our health, which fills us with optimism and energy.

1.       Do not Reduce Calories intake.

 

The way to burn more calories does not consist precisely in reducing calories.  The hypocaloric diets accustom our body to spend less energy, so that it will still cost us more to lose weight and, in addition, we will suffer the dreaded rebound effect if we leave the diet.

2.       Infusion of Ginger.

 

Ginger is, like cayenne, an excellent activator of metabolism that we must include in our diet. In addition, it improves our digestion and favors the elimination of liquids, so it should not be lacking in any diet for weight loss purposes. We can prepare the infused ginger, accompanied by lemon juice and stevia, and take it throughout the day, cold or hot.

3.       Food Rich in Vegetables.

 

Vegetables have the peculiarity that our body spends more calories to digest them than other foods. For this reason we recommend eating a diet rich in vegetables, raw and cooked.

4.       Make Several Meals a Day.

 

Making several meals a day is good advice for those who want to increase energy expenditure, and also for those who suffer from starvation during a diet. They must be meals that satisfy us but do not fill us completely.

5.       A Good Rest.

 

Sleeping well is essential to achieve our goal. By sleeping well we mean to rest enough; what our body needs. If we sleep little we alter our nervous system and we will notice an increase in appetite due to lack of energy. On the contrary, if we sleep too much, we will reduce our metabolism, burn fewer calories and we will feel tired more easily.

Learn More

 

 

This article is merely informative. We are not recommending any medical treatment, nor are we offering any diagnoses. We encourage you to speak with your doctor prior to making any adjustments to your diet, nutrition, and/ or exercise routines.

If you would like to learn more about the concepts described in the article above, Ivan and I have put together a complete guide with 6 Energy Charged Foods to help you feel your best!

This FREE GUIDE will show you how to…

  • Avoid the afternoon energy crash
  • Add these super 6 foods to your daily routine
  • Improve your overall level of health

Go to IvanAndAna.com and download your guide today!