Maximize the Joy of Fresh Flowers


Pastel cut flowers in a glass vase

 

Mother’s Day is this weekend, and that means flowers will be flying off the shelves.

 

In fact, “one-fourth of the flower and plant purchases made for holidays occur at Mother’s Day,” according to the Society of American Florists.

 

If you’re the lucky recipient of flowers, here are some tips on how to make your bouquet last longer.

 

Fresh blossoming flowers at at the florist shop (roses, ranunculus, tulips, carnations, mattiola,)

 

Clean vases are a must.

If whatever container you’re putting your stems in isn’t clean, bacteria will continue to grow and kill your flowers. Experts suggest scrubbing the vase with a mixture of 1-part bleach to 10-parts water before rinsing.

 

If a whole leaf is submerged underwater, tear it off.

When leaves remain underwater, they decompose and bacteria grows. You must keep bacteria at bay if you want your flowers to last.

 

The colder the water, the better.

When you want to cook vegetables, you steam them with warm water until they wilt and soften. Think about it like this, if you use room temperature or warm water, you’re causing the flowers to soften. The colder the water, the better your results.

 

Cut stems at a 45-degree angle.

When you cut flower stems with scissors, you are constricting the straw-like tube that allows nutrients to reach the top of the flower. Use a Swiss Army knife for soft stems and a pair of bypass cutters for woody stems. Cut the stems at a 45-degree angle.

 

Measure flower food precisely.

Avoid taking the easy route and dumping flower food into the vase with your flowers. Too much flower food will poison your flowers, and too little flower food is somewhat pointless. Use the directions on the packet of flower food to follow the correct food-to-water ratio.

 

Fresh water is key.

Every two days, or when the water gets cloudy, replace the water in the vase. With each water change, it’s recommended to clean the vase. Use the same recipe as above.

 

Source: ProFlowers

Celebrating the Season in DFW


Group Of Friends Drinking Mulled Wine At Christmas Market

Celebrate the holiday season in North Texas at one of these family-friendly holiday events. Happy holidays!


Christmas in the Square at Frisco Square
 –
 Until Dec. 31
Take a walk through the Frisco Square and enjoy the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. The light show runs daily from 6 to 10 p.m. and there’s an outdoor ice rink where you can skate until your heart is content.

 

Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens’ The 12 Days of Christmas – Until Dec. 31
Celebrate the holidays like never before at the Dallas Arboretum’s extraordinary Christmas display. From 6 to 9 p.m. on select evenings, the Arboretum lights up with 12 elaborate Victorian-style gazebos inspired by the beloved Christmas carol. Each display is 25-feet tall and filled with beautifully detailed characters and animals.

 

Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Pops Concerts – Dec. 7 to 16
Complete your holiday bucket list at the DSO’s annual Christmas pops concerts featuring the Dallas Symphony Chorus. Head to the Meyerson Symphony Center to enjoy live renditions of your favorite holiday tunes.

 

Dallas Zoo Lights – Until Jan. 1
This Dallas Zoo spectacular has quickly become a must-see this season. After the animals head in for the evening, the zoo transforms into a winter wonderland with over 1 million twinkling lights illuminating ZooNorth throughout the holiday season. Discover realistic silk-covered lanterns in the shape of your favorite animals. You’ll also enjoy entertainment by local performers, crafts and tasty winter treats, including s’mores, hot chocolate and gourmet donuts.

 

Holiday Carriage Rides – Until Dec. 30
Take a tour of Highland Park and Plano’s Deerfield neighborhood with a festive carriage ride. Whether it’s date night or fun for the whole family, a leisurely ride to look at Christmas lights is a lovely holiday tradition. Different carriages are available to accommodate your party size and budget.

 

Holidays at the Heard – Dec. 14 and 15
Enjoy the beauty of the holiday season in nature at McKinney’s Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., enjoy lights and holiday décor along a half-mile nature trail, or stop for a photo with Father Christmas and Mother Nature. Grab a holiday treat and enjoy live entertainment at this family-friendly holiday event.

 

Mannheim Steamroller Concert – Dec. 28
Mark your calendars for a few days after Christmas when the widely celebrated new-age music group Mannheim Steamroller takes the stage at Bass Performance Hall in Fort Worth. Tickets start at $49, and you won’t want to miss the one-night opportunity to hear your favorite modern renditions of classic Christmas tunes.

 

Panther Island Ice Skating – Until Jan. 14
Take a trip to Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink, Panther Island, to join in some “cool” holiday excitement. The rink operates seven days a week, including all holidays, and a $12 ticket includes skate rental and tax.

 

Six Flags Holiday in the Park – Until Dec. 30
Experience the magic of the holidays at Six Flags Over Texas during this year’s Holiday in the Park. Enjoy fun for the whole family with rides, story time with Mrs. Claus, live entertainment and visits with Santa.

 

Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker – Select dates in December
Take part in a beloved holiday tradition and enjoy a live performance of Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker. This age-old ballet will delight you with a story of Clara and a dreamland filled with heroic battles and sweet treats. Performances take place Dec. 7 to 24 at Fort Worth’s Bass Performance Hall.

A Guide to Celebrating the Season


Tilted blue version, ice skates with reflection.
 
Celebrate the holiday season in North Texas at one of these family-friendly holiday events. Happy holidays!

Christmas in the Square at Frisco Square
 
Until December 31
Take a walk through the Frisco Square and enjoy the largest choreographed holiday lights and music show in North Texas. The light show runs daily from 6 to 10 p.m., and snow flurries occur every 15 minutes on Fridays and Saturdays. There’s even an outdoor ice skating rink where you can skate until your heart is content.
 
Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Gardens’ The 12 Days of Christmas  Until January 7
Celebrate the holidays like never before at the Dallas Arboretum’s extraordinary Christmas display. From 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and 6 to 9 p.m. on select evenings, the Dallas Arboretum lights up with 12 elaborate Victorian-style gazebos inspired by the beloved Christmas carol. Each display is 25-feet tall and filled with beautifully detailed characters and animals.
 
Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Pops Concerts Until December 17
Complete your holiday bucket list at the DSO’s annual Christmas pops concerts featuring the Dallas Symphony Chorus. Head to the Meyerson Symphony Center to enjoy live renditions of your favorite holiday tunes.
 
Dallas Zoo Lights Until January 2
This new event at the Dallas Zoo has quickly become a must-see this season. After the animals head in for the evening, the zoo is illuminated with nearly 1 million twinkling lights wrapping trees, hanging overhead or woven through decorations. Enjoy a stroll on a path covering 25 acres throughout the zoo and get a glimpse at various lighted vignettes along the way. You’ll also enjoy entertainment by local performers, crafts and tasty winter treats including s’mores, hot chocolate and gourmet donuts.
 
Holiday Carriage Rides Until December 31
Take a tour of the Deerfield and Highland Park neighborhoods with a festive carriage ride. Whether it’s date night or fun for the whole family, a leisurely stroll to look at Christmas lights is a lovely holiday tradition. Different carriages are available, so check out the Northstar Carriage website to see which one is best for your party or budget.
 
Holidays at the Heard  December 15 & 16
Enjoy the beauty of the holiday season in nature at McKinney’s Heard Natural Science Museum and Wildlife Sanctuary. From 6:30 to 9 p.m., enjoy lights and holiday décor along a half-mile nature trail, or stop for a photo with Father Christmas and Mother Nature. Grab a holiday treat and enjoy live entertainment at this family-friendly holiday event.
 
Manheim Steamroller Concert December 28
Mark your calendars for a few days after Christmas when the widely celebrated new-age music group Manheim Steamroller takes the stage at the Toyota Music Factory in Irving. Tickets start at $39.95, but you won’t want to miss the one-night opportunity to hear your favorite modern renditions of classic Christmas tunes.
 
Panther Island Ice Skating Until January 15
Take a trip to Fort Worth’s only outdoor skating rink, Panther Island, to join in on some “cool” holiday excitement. The rink operates seven days a week including all holidays, and a $12 ticket includes skate rental and tax. Click here for hours and available discounts.
 
Six Flags Holiday in the Park Until January 7
Experience the magic of the holidays at Six Flags Over Texas during this year’s Holiday in the Park. Enjoy fun for the whole family with rides, story time with Mrs. Claus, live entertainment and visits with Santa.
 
Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker  Select dates in December
Take part in a beloved holiday tradition and enjoy a live performance of Texas Ballet Theater’s The Nutcracker. This age-old ballet will delight you with a story of Clara and a dreamland filled with heroic battles and sweet treats. Performances take place Dec. 20-23 at Fort Worth’s beautiful Bass Performance Hall.

Holiday Market Benefits Collin County Charities


 

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Ebby Halliday Realtors is a proud sponsor of the Junior League of Collin County’s 22nd-annual ’Neath the Wreath Holiday Gift Market, taking place November 9-12 at The Plano Event Center.
 
Shop the selection of home décor, ladies clothing and accessories, gifts, jewelry, children’s items and gourmet food from over 100 carefully selected merchants. You’ll find the perfect gift for everyone on your holiday list while making a difference in the community.
 
’Neath the Wreath provides funding for the Junior League of Collin County, a nonprofit organization of women committed to promoting volunteerism, developing the potential of women, and improving the community through the effective action and leadership of trained volunteers.
 
Advance tickets are $12 at area Tom Thumb stores and at neaththewreath.org. Tickets at the door are $15. Children 12 and under are free. For more information, visit neaththewreath.org.
 
Ebby Halliday Realtors has served the residential real estate needs of Collin County since 1971, when Ebby personally opened a one-room office in Plano. We now have 10 offices serving Collin County: 190-RichardsonAllenCampbell/CoitFriscoMcKinneyPlanoPlano/Willow BendPreston KellerPreston Plano Parkway and Prosper | Celina.

‘Tis the Season to Decorate


It’s the most wonderful time of the year – holiday décor time! However you celebrate in your home, decorations are the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit, express your joy and show off those crafty talents.

 

Our Holiday Cheer Pinterest board is dedicated to inspire DIY décor, recipes, crafts, and much more.

 

top-10-delicious-pull-apart-rolls_09
Christmas Tree Pull-Apart

 

Candy-Cane-Shooters-2
Candy Cane Shooters

 

Mini-Dreidel-cakes-for-Hanukkah
Dreidel Mini Cakes

 

enhanced-buzz-2652-1354395921-0
DIY Holiday Cards

 

Click over to discover our collection of all things inspired by this season of joy.

Last-Minute New Year’s Eve Solutions


New Year’s Eve is almost here! If you’re looking for easy, last-minute solutions to make your night one to remember, head over to our dedicated Pinterest board, Holiday Cheer. Whether you’re counting down with friends, family, or both, we have fun DIY’s, activities, decor, and recipes to make this New Year’s Eve the best one yet!

 

Here are a few examples of what you’ll find:

Last-Minute New Year's Eve Solutions

How to Hang Your Lights with Care


How to Hang Your Lights with Care

Exterior lights on trees, lawns, and rooftops are going up all over DFW, but if you haven’t put yours up yet we want to make sure you do it safely! There are many things to consider in order to avoid injury or pesky bulb outages when decorating you home this year. If you’re a lighting DIY-er, take these tips into consideration before you begin your outdoor decorating.

 

1. Read Labels: Make sure you’re using outdoor lights because they have been tested to certain specifications for safety, wattage, and ability to weather the elements. This applies to extension cords as well.

 

2. Test Each Strand: Check every set of lights individually to make sure they’re working after sitting in storage over the last year. While you’re doing this, inspect each stand for frayed or bare wires, loose sockets, and bad bulbs.

 

3. Support: Use string, ties, and hooks to securely fasten your lights to your trees, walls and roof. Make sure to leave some slack when connecting to outlets so that they stay plugged in even in harsh weather.

 

4. Don’t Overload: Most lights recommend connecting a maximum of 3 strands to one another to avoid blowing a circuit. Check your box for more specific instruction.

 

5. Have a Spotter: If you’re on a ladder, have someone holding onto the bottom of it. Don’t overreach or set the ladder on an uneven surface. If you insist on getting on the roof, research adequate safety equipment and always have someone watching you. If you’re unsure, hire a professional.

 

6. Take Down and Recheck: Leaving your lights out all year will cause deterioration and shorten their lifespan, so take them down when the holiday season comes to an end. When you take them down use the same caution as when you hung them and recheck for damaged wires, lights, and plugs.

Perfect Presents for the Ones You Love


The holiday season is upon us once again, conjuring up that annual gift-giving anxiety in a quest to find the perfect present. It can be a bit time consuming, to say the least, so our good friends at Luxury Portfolio International have put together a list of this year’s hottest gifts that are sure to land you in everyone’s good graces.

 

Perfect Presents for the Ones You Love

Barney’s Python iPhone 6 Case

If you know someone special who just got the new iPhone 6, or will be getting one this holiday season, this Python iPhone 6 Case from Barneys will ensure they keep it safe and sound while looking great too. It doesn’t take much for these super-sleek phones to slip out of your grasp, but with a chic snake skin case you won’t need to worry. Styled with a durable silver-toned frame, it’s the perfect addition to any iPhone.

 

 

Perfect Presents for the Ones You Love

Dammann Frères Bayadère Set

Nothing beats curling up with a warm cup of tea this time of year, and the Dammann Frères Bayadère Set is a must-have for the tea-drinker in your life. Packaged in an exquisite lacquered wooden box, the set comes with an assortment of 21 original teas from the distinguished French master blenders. Unwind with a host of complex flavors and a variety to suit any occasion, from an Earl Grey Yin Zhen to a Jasmin Chung Hao.

 

 

 

Perfect Presents for the Ones You Love

Loubi Under Red

The iconic red soles of French designer Christian Louboutin’s shoes have long been a resounding fashion statement, and now it’s one that your nails can make, as well, with the Loubi Under Red. Inspired by calligraphy, the custom-designed triangular brush provides a subtle yet sophisticated accent to any manicure. If there’s a woman in your life with a passion for Louboutins, there’s a good chance she’ll go crazy for this one.

 

 

 

Perfect Presents for the Ones You Love

Michael Aram Ornament

Combining holiday tradition and iconic elegance, the Butterfly Gingko Ornament from Michael Aram will add a touch of glamor to any tree and is the perfect special something for a fabulous holiday gift exchange. Hand-sculpted using natural bronze and stainless steel, the special piece evokes a sense of charm and fantasy with Michael’s signature style.

 

 

 

Perfect Presents for the Ones You Love

zai for Bentley Skis

When Bentley Motors teamed up with renowned Swiss ski maker zai, we knew we were in for a treat. Designed for all abilities, these handcrafted skis deliver the utmost speed, smoothness and stability, just like a Bentley, not to mention unmatched style with the famed wings logo. If you enjoy feeling good while looking good (and let’s be honest – who doesn’t?), the zai for Bentley skis are the obvious choice for the skier on your list.

 

 

 

bunk bed

Tropical Surf Shack Bunk Beds

When you’re a kid, it doesn’t get much cooler than bunk beds, yet Posh Tots has managed to raise the bar with the Tropical Surf Shack Bunk Beds. Your little ones won’t believe their eyes when you surprise them with the ultimate island experience. The only downside is sending them to their room won’t be much of a punishment anymore.

 

The holidays are for spending time with friends and family, so now that you’ve found the perfect gift, you can ensure the rest of your time is spent with the people who matter most. Happy holidays from your friends at Ebby Halliday Realtors and Luxury Portfolio International!

DFW Weekend Round Up (12/4-12/7)


DFW Weekend Round Up (12/4-12/7)

It’s all about celebrating the holiday season this weekend in DFW. From your favorite holiday musicals to magical lights, you’ll be filled with joy and the holiday spirit just about anywhere you go.

 

Thursday, Dec. 4:

A Christmas Carol: Be enchanted by the Dallas Theater Center’s version of the Dickens classic story featuring the infamous Ebenezer Scrooge, now through December 27 at Wyly Theater.

 

A Christmas Story, The Musical: Laugh along with this holiday classic presented by Dallas Summer Musicals, now through December 14 at Music Hall at Fair Park.

 

Cowboys at Bears: In week 14, the ‘boys will play a Thursday night game away against the Chicago Bears at 7:25pm. We’re 8 and 4 this season thus far, so grab your friends, your jersey, and a seat around the nearest TV.

 

Dallas Arboretum 12 Days of Christmas: Celebrate the holidays like never before with an exhibit featuring a collection of 25-foot Victorian gazebos each telling the story of one of the 12 days from the beloved Christmas carol. The exhibit runs through January 4.

 

The Trains at NorthPark: The holiday favorite is back for its 27th year and its 16th at NorthPark. This wonderful tradition features model trains and famous U.S. landmarks on more than 1,600 feet of tracks. You can get in on the fun of this display through January 4.

 

Usher: The Dallas-native and hip-hop/pop sensation will be at American Airlines Center with opener August Alsina.

 

Friday, Dec. 5:

Dickens in Historic Downtown Plano: Enjoy an evening of shopping, food, music, carolers, the tree lighting and more.

 

DSO Christmas Pops: Over the next three weeks, join the Dallas Symphony Orchestra and a choir for a night of holiday songs. You can sing along to all of your favorites through December 21.

 

Mavs: The Mavs play the Phoenix Suns at 7:30pm. Get to American Airlines Center to cheer them on. They also play the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday at 6:00 and the Milwakee Bucks on Sunday at 6:30.

 

Light Up Lakewood: Get in on some family-friendly fun at the shops at Lakewood where you can take pictures with Santa, have your face painted, enjoy a petting zoo, and hear performances by Woodrow Variations Choir and Restoration Blues.

 

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical: The musical rendition of this classic holiday film will be performed at Bass Performance Hall through Sunday and then move to the Majestic Theater for shows through next week.

 

The Nutcracker: This show is the ultimate in holiday traditions for adults and children alike. Texas Ballet Theater will present their rendition at the Winspear Opera House through Sunday and then at Bass Performance Hall through next week.

 

Saturday, Dec. 6:

Dallas Children’s Healthy Holiday Parade: We are proud to once again be a sponsor of the annual parade, which begins at 10 a.m., through the streets of downtown Dallas! This free, fun-filled parade offers a great time for all.

 

Celebrate the Holidays at Klyde Warren Park: Get your free picture taken with Santa and Mrs. Claus, plus enjoy holiday music, children’s activities, the tree lighting and more.

 

Highland Park Village Lights: Enjoy face painters, balloon artists, music, hot chocolate, and take part in a toy drive benefiting the S.M. Wright Foundation’s Christmas in the Park. All of the activities are free and, in case you were wondering, the lights at HP Village will be illuminated until February 14.

 

One Arts Holiday: Don your most festive holiday attire for this party featuring local fare from Proof + Pantry, Tei-An, and Jorge’s Tex Mex. The event is free, open to the public, and will feature live music.

 

Image via Dallas Arboretum

Help Fulfill Dallas Childrens’ Holiday Wishes


Help Fulfill Dallas Childrens' Holiday Wishes

 

The holiday season is a time of celebration, but it is also a time of giving. Now through December 12, Community Partners of Dallas needs your help making children’s holiday wishes come true. Granting these wishes is one small step you can take to brighten the holiday of abused and neglected children in Dallas County, many of whom are in the care of Child Protective Services.

 

Of the 10,500 wishes that Community Partners of Dallas will fulfill this holiday, there are still more than 1,000 left unfulfilled. Simply click this link or the image above to donate time, money, or gifts and get in the giving spirit! Here’s a short list of what these children want most this year:

-Bikes
-African American Dolls
-Items from Disney’s FROZEN
-Buzz Lightyear Action Figures
-Barbies
-Basketballs, footballs, soccer balls
-Learning toys for toddlers (like a Vtech Learning Laptop)
-Dora Dolls
-MP3 Players
-LEGO Sets
-Tonka Trucks
-Bath and Body Works Sets