Prep Your Kitchen for Back to School


Kitchen
3605 Indian Trail | Dalworthington Gardens | $1,250,000

 

Sadly, summer is almost over and the kids will be returning to school soon — August 24th, for most. With school days fast-approaching, it’s time to kick your kitchen back into gear. Follow these eight tips to make sure you start the school year on the right foot:

 

Snack Station

Long days at school mean hungry kids. Clear out a low pantry shelf, kitchen cabinet, or fridge drawer for quick-grab snack options. Organize with clear boxes or open bins for easy selection.

 

 

vegetables and fruits

Leave It Out

Out of sight out of mind, right? Leave out fresh fruits and veggies for your kids to grab when they get home from school (they’re more likely to choose what’s readily available).

 

Lunch Load Up

Visit your favorite discount store to stock up on plastic baggies, tupperware, lunch bags, napkins, and anything else you’ll need to make lunches during the school year. For faster fixing, keep all of this in drawers or cabinets that are near each other.

 

Pantry Restock

The routine of weeknight dinners is coming, so get your pantry ready by making sure you’ve got all the essentials. Think grains, condiments, baking staples, and soup. Stocking up on frozen items are good, too. If you don’t have time to plan meals every night, these items will definitely come in handy.

 

Refrigerator interior

Refresh The Fridge

Take the time to clean out food items that have been pushed to the back over the summer. This way, you’ll know exactly what you need for school days and you’ll have the space to put it.

 

Color Code

If you’re known for calling your children by their sibling’s names, make things easier on everyone with color-coded lunch boxes, tupperware, backpacks, etc. By doing so, you keep yourself and them organized.

 

Wish List

If you need inspiration for lunch or dinner, place a whiteboard or a notepad in the kitchen and invite your family to add their ideas. You can use the same technique in between grocery trips.

 

Get in the Groove

Set aside a time to get the next day’s lunches and dinners ready the night before. A schedule is the best way to ease stress and keep things running smoothly. Plus, that leaves more time for more organization.

Get Your Kitchen Prepped for Back to School


Can you believe summer is almost over and the kids will be returning to school soon? With school days fast-approaching, it’s time to kick your kitchen back into gear. Follow these 8 tips to get back on track and start the school year on the right foot.

 

1. Snack Station: Long days at school mean hungry kids. Clear out a low pantry shelf, kitchen cabinet, or fridge drawer for quick-grab snack options. Organize with clear boxes or open bins for easy selection.

 

2. Leave It Out: Out of sight out of mind, right? Make the opposite true by leaving out fresh fruits and veggies for your kids to grab when they get home from school or run out to their next activity.

 

3. Lunch Load Up: Head to your favorite discount store to stock up on plastic baggies, tupperware, lunch bags, napkins, and anything else you’ll need to make lunches in the upcoming year. Keep all of this in drawers or cabinets that are near each other for faster fixing.

 

4. Pantry Restock: The routine of weeknight dinners is coming, so get your pantry ready by making sure you’ve got all the essentials. Think grains, condiments, baking staples, soup, and things that can be frozen or stored for a while. If you don’t have time to plan meals every night these items will definitely come in handy.

 

5. Refresh The Fridge: Take some time to clean out whatever has been pushed to the back over the summer. This way you’ll know what you need for school days and have the space to put it.

 

6. Color Code: If you’re forever calling your children by their sibling’s names, make things easier on everyone with color coded lunch boxes, tupperware, backpacks etc. This will make mornings a little bit more organized.

 

7. Wish List: If you need inspiration for lunch and dinner, place a whiteboard or a notepad in the kitchen and invite your family to add their ideas. You can use the same technique for when you run out of grocery items.

 

8. Get In The Groove: Set aside a time to get the next day’s lunches and dinners ready the night before. A schedule is the best way to ease stress and keep things running smoothly.

 

Photo via ebby.com & Shoot2Sell: 7018 Old York Rd., McKinney

 

 

How-To: Pick the Perfect Paint Color


How To: Pick the Perfect Paint Color

If you’ve ever had to pick a paint color you know this major truth, the options are endless. Choosing the right paint color can be an overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. Follow these 10 tips and you’ll have a new sense of confidence next time you’re in the paint isle.

 

1. Bring in Inspiration: Take along an existing pillow, piece of fabric, or photo of your space. This will help you make more informed decisions.

 

2. The Right Light: Make sure to view your paint or paint chips in natural light to assure you’re seeing the color correctly. Paint looks different under artificial light, so try holding the chip near a window or painting a sample on your wall first.

 

3. Take Home Testers: All the major paint retailers now sell paint in small, tester sizes. These are perfect to take home and try out before committing to a full gallon of paint. The small amount will provide you with enough paint to give you an idea of what it would really be like to live with the color.

 

4. Try Multiple Shades: If you’re having trouble choosing, buy multiple testers and paint side-by-side squares on your walls. Live with them for a few days so you get the chance to see how the colors look morning, noon, and night. Make sure to mark them with identifiers so you’ll remember which one you liked best.

 

5. Choose Your Drama: Take a look at the color wheel for inspiration. Colors close together will make a room calm while those farther apart add drama.

 

6. Do What You Love: Start with a color you love, even if it’s not popular at the moment. Doing this will assure you’ll love the color for years to come. Just remember, your favorite color comes in a range of hues.

 

7. Lighten Up: If you’re afraid a hue may be too dark, ask the mixer to do a 50% tint of the color to lighten it up. Custom colors can also give a room a designer look, but make sure to jot down the specifics of your color for future touch ups.

 

8. Room to Room: If you have rooms that are open to one another, avoid choosing radically different colors, which will make the spaces feel chopped up and small.

 

9. Go Bold: Small rooms that are visited more rarely, like a library or half-bath, can be done in stronger colors that make a statement.

 

10. Spraying vs. Rolling: Rolling may be the most popular choice, but it’s also the most time consuming and requires touch ups more often. On the other hand, spraying results in a more high-end, professional look that also cuts painting time in half. You can rent high volume, low pressure sprayers at most home improvement stores. With both options make sure you properly cover the areas you don’t want painted.

7 Wise Ways to Start a Renovation


home-improvement-2

If you’re planning a renovation at your home, no matter how small, you need to take some time to prepare. Follow these seven tips to make your home improvement project as successful as possible.

 

1. Don’t expect perfection: Contractors, designers, bricklayers…they’re all human. Prepare mentally by realizing ahead of time that you’re probably going to hit some little bumps on the road. If you’ve done your due diligence, the expert(s) you’ve hired will come through for you.

 

2. Set a budget: It’s never smart to think you’ll just figure it out along the way. Talk to the people you’ve hired and work out a budget and payment schedule. If you decide to make a splurge purchase or two along the way, that’s fine, but having a planned budget from the beginning will help you reign in costs.

 

3. Don’t hire the cheapest labor: You get what you pay for. Interview multiple companies/experts before you choose your renovation partner(s). And remember, the lowest bid isn’t usually the best.

 

4. Keep calm: Try to keep your cool when hiring and working with professionals. Your attitude towards them and their work can affect the outcome of the renovation.

 

5. Set aside time: How often do you hear of a renovation finishing early or even on time for that matter? Don’t assume that you’ll be the exception to this common occurrence. With all the moving parts and decisions to be made during a renovation, you need to be realistic about how long it will take to complete.

 

6. Open up: You’ve hired these professionals to alter one of the biggest investments you’ll ever make, your home. It’s important that you have a trusting and open relationship with them. Think of them as your partners, not your employees.

 

7. Design for real life: Open shelves and sleek materials look nice in magazines, but they’re not always great for daily life. If you’re not a particularly organized person, don’t expect yourself to change just because of your renovation. Find a way to design your space so that it is both beautiful and practical.

Essential Moving Calendar & Check List


Whether you’re moving across town or across the country, there’s a lot to be done before you move from one home to another. Once you’ve found the perfect home, using your trusty Ebby agent, of course, it’s time to begin thinking about actually moving.

 

While every move is different, we’ve compiled a general checklist and calendar that should ease your transition and keep you organized. Click the list below to download and print it. It’s sure to to save you time and energy in your upcoming move!

How-To: Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Looking New


How-To: Keep Your Outdoor Furniture Looking New

Though outdoor furniture is meant to be just that, outdoor, it’s still susceptible to aging because of all the elements to which it gets exposed. Since it’s the time of year get outside and enjoy the weather, it’s also time you get your outdoor furniture back to a presentable state.

 

Here are some tips on how to get your pieces in shape before all the pool parties, backyard barbecues, and warm weather festivities begin:

 

Cushion Care: If your dirty cushions are removable, simple throw them in the wash to brighten them back up. If they’re not, start by dusting off the surface, then use a sponge or brush to apply a cleaning solution (1/4 cup mild detergent diluted in 1 gallon of water). After, rinse thoroughly and let air dry.

 

Washing Wicker: Use the same cleaning solution mentioned above to wipe down your wicker with a cloth. You can get the more stubborn grime off with a bristle brush and a little more elbow grease. If your wicker is drying out and starting to show splits, wait for a windy day, sprits the affected areas with a garden hose, and allow to dry in a shady area.

 

Touching Up Teak: Ramp up the above cleaning solution to a one-to-one ratio for cleaning teak, since it’s even more susceptible to mildew. A good scrub down once a year with a bristle brush should do the trick.

 

Mending Metal: Most metal furniture will be extremely durable thanks to the protecting coating that it’s typically covered in. If you see the varnish bubbling, rusting, or wearing away, though, use sandpaper to remove the damaged area and then apply new paint or varnish to it. To keep metal furnishings tip-top, give them a wipe down whenever you notice bird droppings or thick spills.

 

Photo: 8545 Midway Road, Dallas

14 Fast Fixes & Easy Upgrades for Your Home


14 Fast Fixes & Easy Upgrades for Your Home

Spring is a great reminder to take some time to spruce up your home a little here and there. It’s important to give your home a breath of new life every so often.

 

We found a great article with a list of quick ways to make your home as bright and cheerys as the spring season. Take a look at these tips to help you spiff up your house, from the front porch to the dining room table.

 

1. Front door decor: Liven up your front stoop by replacing winter plants with evergreens like boxwoods. Freshen up your stoop with a good hose down and think about a new paint job or washing of any outdoor furniture.

 

2. Refresh your floors: If you’ve got hardwoods that have seen better days, pick up a water-based formula like Bona and add a little elbow grease. This simple treatment will keep your floors gleaming for months.

 

3. Quiet the creaks: Silence squeaky doors, bed frames, and other metal joints with a good dose of WD-40.

 

4. Sweeten a stinky disposal: Drop cubes of frozen white vinegar and a few lemon peels down your disposal to combat the odors that can build up easily in your kitchen sink. Run the tap on cold and let the disposal do its thing for about a minute.

 

5. Hang it up: We all procrastinate hanging artwork and family photos because the task of hanging things straight can seem daunting. Finally check this to-do off the list by using D-ring hangers. See full instructions here.

 

6. Hide lighting cords: Replace cheap-looking wiring or chains on chandeliers with a jute-wrapped pole that hides the cord.

 

7. Get out those old stains: A set-in stain can be such an eyesore, but it can be removed with a powerful homemade stain remover. Mix 1 tsp. OxiClean with 2 cups of water in a spray bottle and spritz the stain liberally. Cover the area with a damp white rag, set a medium-low iron on it, and let the steam go to work. Keep an eye on the process, but the stain should transfer to the white cloth.

 

8. Change your ring: An updated doorbell can do wonders for your home and is such an easy thing to swap out, just be careful with live wires.

 

9. Update your threshold: The base of your front door sees a lot of traffic. You’ll be amazed at the transformation you’ll see with just a few coats of paint.

 

10. Tighten up: Tend to those loose door knobs and drawer pulls. A couple of screwdrivers and a walk around your home will have these pesky pulls fixed up in no time.

 

11. Give hardware a facelift: A can of copper, bronze, or nickel spray paint has the ability to completely transform the look of your kitchen. By updating the finish on your hardware, you introduce a fresh new feel.

 

12. Have a knock out number: Grab and easy-install solar light and hang it above your home’s address to make your home more inviting and easier to find. While your at it, pick up some new numbers to give the exterior of your home a simple but effective new look.

 

13. Fix up dining table scratches: For scratches that penetrate beyond the wood finish, rub a shelled walnut gently across the marks and then polish with a soft cloth. The nut’s oils naturally conceal the blemishes.

 

14. Clear the drains: Unclog slow drains without using chemicals by choosing zip ties instead. Cut notches in them with sharp scissors to make them effective hair removers. You can tie a few together for a longer reach.

Room Re-Do: High-Rise Luxury Bedroom


On this edition of Room Re-do we’re at 2408 Victory Park Lane, unit #1133. It’s located in the South Tower of the W Hotel. This fully furnished end unit is the ultimate in luxury high-rise living.

 

This home is truly a dream for anyone who loves views that never seem to end and amenities that just keep on giving. Though every room is decorated to the nines in beautiful and calming decor, our favorite room has to be the master bedroom.

 

If you’re a fan of this cozy-contemporary design, here’s the easiest way to get the look (other than buying this gorgeous unit for yourself)!

Room Re-do: High-Rise Luxury Bedroom

1. Mercury Lamp (2) 2. Mirror 3. Bed 4. Painting 5. Bedside Table (2) 6. Rug 7. Orange Pillow 8. Geometric Pillow

9. Nesting Tables 10. Chaise 11. Bedding

 

Tips & Tricks: Your Best Garden


Tips & Tricks: Your Best Garden

Gardening can feel like one of those unattainable dreams. The idea of a beautiful garden is so nice, but when it comes to actually doing it, who has the time? Well, we’re hoping we can help you finally make your gardening dreams come true this year. We’ve searched around to find some of the best tips and tricks to making this year’s garden your best yet! From the easiest plants to grow to keeping those pesky misquotes away, check out what we found below.

 

Online Smart Garden: This website plans your garden for you. You tell it where you live and it tells you what to plant and when. It will even help you lay out your garden and give you daily to-do reminders.

 

17 DIY Garden Ideas: From unique planters to fire pits, this website’s got ideas to keep you busy beautifying your garden all spring.

 

13 Low-Maintenance Perennials: Discover easy-care perennials that don’t need frequent attention to look their best.

 

Creeping Thyme: This plant has special mosquito-repelling powers thanks to it’s citronella oil that makes it smell lemony.

 

How to Grow Fruit Trees in Containers: Follow this link for instructions on how to grow a fruit tree of your very own and, even better, in a container!

 

Grow a Garden for $100: These inexpensive and creative garden ideas are helpful for anyone starting a new garden on a small budget.

 

How to Start a Vegetable Garden: This website is perfect for newbie vegetable gardeners. It will even tell you the best plants for beginners.

 

17 Easy-to-Start Seeds: Check out the easiest seeds to grow if you’re a first-time gardener, edibles and flowers included.

 

13 Tips for Growing Beautiful Roses: Get the low-down on how to grow some perfect roses this year.

 

DIY Hanging Tomato Planters: This is a great project for those with a small garden, or even no garden at all, who want to grow their own tomatoes.

An Outdoor Grill Just In Time For Spring


built-in grills

Have a backyard that needs a little upgrading? Love to spend time outdoors when the weather’s nice? This Monday’s high of 72ºF was all it took to get us excited for warmer temperatures and that time of year when being outside feels like a necessity. While browsing our current inventory of homes on the market, we began to notice a common feature- the built-in outdoor grill. Then, with a little bit more digging we found the perfect article on just how to get one of your own! Just think about grilling out, lounging in your own backyard with friends and family, and the satisfaction of a project well done! Then, check out this helpful article to get started.

1. 121 Saint Annes Drive, Mabank, TX 2. 4975 Oak Knoll Lane, Frisco, TX 3. 6620 Myrtle Beach Drive, Plano, TX 4. 11545 Hillcrest Road, Dallas, TX