Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Easy tips to create a relaxing experience at home

(ARA) - In our fast-paced and chaotic lives, we're always seeking ways to relax and de-stress from the day. For some, that means watching a favorite TV show, having a nice glass of wine, or even a message at the spa, but we often forget about our homes and the impact of its design on relaxation.

Kelly Edwards, designer and lifestyle expert and Waterpik suggest the following tips for creating relaxation -inspired home decor:

The kitchen is often called the heart of the home, so it's wise to invest in kitchen materials that are better for you and your family. Caesarstone and Silestone countertops are hypo allergenic, non-porous, resistant to stains, ultra strong, and will always look elegant and amazing.

Consider using streamlined high gloss laminate fronts on cabinets for a sleek and clean look and use pull-out drawers behind each cabinet for more storage space. Remember, being organized can make anyone feel less stressed.

The bathroom is the start and end to your day. By simply changing your shower head, you can turn a regular shower into a true relaxing, spa-like experience. The stylish Waterpik EasySelect shower head, for example, has a spray selector located right on the handle, so you can change the spray settings from circular massage to full body coverage without having to reach through the water stream.

Use monochromatic colors to sooth you from the moment you walk in and opt for striking marble or glass tiles. By installing a glass shower enclosure, you'll be able to show off the gorgeous tiles, update the look of your bathroom and make the room look larger.

Living Room
A natural material like grass cloth wallpaper is a great way to add color and texture to your walls in your living room, it has a very relaxed and sophisticated appeal to it. Paint the walls a color that conveys the feeling of relaxation like light shades of cream, white, green or greige (a combination of gray and beige).

Mix in a few natural elements like wood chairs and tables, cozy blankets, and fresh flowers, and you'll have a place that will feel comfortable to come home to every day.

Pick colors that are easy on the eye, like the blues and green, to evoke a sense of "rest." Change harsh overhead lighting for architecturally interesting lighting elements such as library sconces; place one on each side of the bed for the perfect reading lights.

Trade out your old worn-out shades for some natural wood blinds or bamboo shades and follow the look up by adding soft curtains to block out the light for a restful night's sleep.

For any space, a non-cluttered area will help you achieve a relaxed state of mind at home. Keep in mind that being comfortable doesn't mean being trendy; simply create your own style and just do what makes you feel your best.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Easy exterior projects that add lasting beauty to your home

(ARA) - In the current economy, homeowners want to improve their home's exterior while saving time, labor and money. You can enhance your lifestyle by choosing options that extend product performance and add beauty and enjoyment to outdoor living.

The easy patio fix that's eco-friendly

Adding pavers to any outdoor area can transform cracked slabs or troubled grass areas into virtually instantaneous living space. But most do-it-yourselfers shy away from working with heavy concrete or brick. Andy Vander Woude of AZEK VAST Pavers says you can install a new patio, walkway or driveway with new pavers that install three times faster on a unique grid system over a traditional sub-base. At less than half the weight of concrete, they contain up to 95 percent recycled scrap tires and plastics. "There is no need for wet saws or heavy equipment," Vander Woude said. "You can also resurface an old patio, deck or flat roof without the sub-base preparation - just assemble the grid and lay the pavers in like a big puzzle." He added, "It's a way to create instant living space that respects the planet."

Add curb appeal for lasting first impressions

You can increase curb appeal with stylish and functional, quality amenities that dress up an entryway, yard, patio, porch or deck. According to the experts at Walpole Woodworkers, known for outdoor furnishings handcrafted in Maine since 1933, consider classic accents such as lantern and mailbox posts, pergolas, arbors, window boxes, deck planters and birdhouses handcrafted from new advanced materials, with long-lasting benefits and low-maintenance. Walpole offers these and many other products handcrafted in modern cellular PVC. This advanced material looks just like natural wood, but won't rot, split, or warp and will maintain its good looks for years, virtually maintenance free. Call 1-800-343-6948 for a free catalog.

Light up the night

With the emergence of inspired outdoor living spaces and new trends in materials, it only makes sense that homeowners search for a way to enjoy their deck parties well into the night. Deck rail lighting has become extremely popular, with LEDs the preferred way to create ambient lighting. Michael Gori, Director of Product Management at AZEK Building Products, makers of AZEK Deck, said lighted post caps and light strips concealed under the hand rail are in high demand. "The lighted post caps add an elegant touch, while the hand rail lighting casts a downward glow, reducing hot spots and attraction to insects," he said. "The combination of the two light sources adds a dramatic effect for nighttime entertaining." Gori adds, "With warm, ambient lighting, there's no longer a need to head indoors when the sun goes down."

Know when to paint caulk

Did you ever poke your finger at a caulk bead to see if it's dry and ruin your nice work? "Caulk needs to dry for about one to two hours, before it can be painted-whether you're working indoors or out," says Jason Ringling, marketing director at Red Devil, a company with a 140-year old history in the industry. "Painting too soon can cause sagging and cracking and then the entire job has to be re-done." He says that there is a new technology called ColorCure sealant that turns from pink to white when it's ready to paint, so there's no guesswork. And if the job gets interrupted, you know exactly where you left off. "Formulations are getting smarter to help you work more efficiently," he adds.

When fixing up or adding beautifying elements to your home exterior, be sure to investigate all the options--from new formulations in caulks and sealants to alternatives to traditional materials that offer easy installation and better performance over time.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Spotlight on Keller Business

Congratulations to Dr. James and Team on their One Year Anniversary here in Keller

Located at 770 South Main, Keller
(817) 741-8050

The Grove team is delighted to spotlight our local businesses in Keller.  Specializing in the treatment and health of dogs and cats, the staff here is unsurpassed in their quality of care and ability!  Stop by for a visit today.

What lies beneath your dream home?

(ARA) - It's moving season. In a buyer-friendly market, home shoppers can be pretty particular in their search for a dream home. Increasingly, buyers are seeking flawless, move-in ready homes, and while traditional home inspections are a must-have, something equally important lurking beneath homes often goes overlooked.

A sewer line inspection is not included in the standard home inspection and is regularly waived in the purchasing process. Additionally, many buyers do not know that responsibility for the condition of the lateral sewer line leading from the street to the home lies with the homeowner, not a municipality. Buyers should reconsider including this important step before they sign a deal.

If a problem occurs, a sewer line replacement costs at least $4,500, but prices vary widely and costs increase dramatically by region, depending on depth and length of the underground pipes and if street repairs become part of the issue.

Experts at Roto-Rooter, North America's largest provider of plumbing repair and drain cleaning services, encounter this scenario far too often. Consumers, who just signed the dotted line on their dream home, soon find that they're trapped in an expensive plumbing nightmare.

"Just a couple of years after purchasing our home, we had a $15,000 sewer line disaster in our lap," says Jennifer Schappacher of Cincinnati. "The sewer line clogs began not long after we moved in, but as they became more frequent we had Roto-Rooter inspect the line with a video camera and only then did we realize the pipe had offset sections and a partial collapse that was causing sewage to back up into our house."

The Schappachers looked at only a few houses before deciding on one in a quiet shady neighborhood. It was charming with large, mature trees that shaded the entire street. But since the house was built in 1959, its concrete and clay underground sewer pipes were vulnerable to heavy root intrusion from the big trees. As those roots entered the pipe joints in search of water, they pushed the pipes apart and allowed surrounding soil to spill into the pipe, narrowing a 6 inch diameter pipe to just 1 inch in some sections.

Generally, a plumber can complete a sewer line camera inspection for $250 to $550, depending on the region. While not cheap, it's a relatively small price to pay when buying a home, especially if it helps a buyer avoid thousands of dollars in unforeseen repair bills.

To avoid unexpected and costly plumbing problems, the experts at Roto-Rooter recommend having a plumber conduct a video camera sewer line inspection, in addition to a standard home inspection, before buyers purchase a home. The process involves passing a waterproof fiber optic video camera through the pipe. The specialized cameras are equipped with bright LED lights so the inspection will reveal any cracks, breaks, offset or collapsed sections of pipe. The plumber will often provide a DVD copy of the inspection as part of the service.

"Sewer inspection camera equipment is expensive and often is only utilized by well-equipped plumbing companies, but the video inspection service itself is easy to complete and well worth the extra step," says Roto-Rooter master plumber Larry Rothman.

Root growth is the most common cause of sewer line damage and is often responsible for blockages and separated pipe sections. Outdated and eroding pipe materials are also a common culprit in sewer line deterioration. Older pipes are much more susceptible to root intrusion than new plastic pipe.

Inspections are especially important if:

* The home is 20 years or older.
* There are mature trees around the property.
* The home has been vacant for a period of time.
* The concrete surrounding the home is cracked or raised.
* There is considerable visible root growth in the yard.

Many homeowners, especially new homeowners, do not know or think about their home plumbing. For seasonal maintenance tips and general information, visit Roto-Rooter's plumbing basics section online at

Friday, May 18, 2012

5 Tips for Finding the Right Movers

Summer Mandell | Consumer columnist May 1, 2012 26 

After my husband and I decided that we should hire professionals for our move, we searched for the best deal for our budget. In addition to websites like Yelp, word-of-mouth recommendations are a great way to find out about movers, and your Texas REALTOR® is a good place to start.

We narrowed down the competition with these five tips.

Think three
There’s no harm in calling multiple moving companies for estimates, but decide on at least three that you want to learn more about.

Get an in-person assessment
Most people aren’t good at judging how much stuff they own, and while some companies have online tools to help you create an estimate with your best guess, you should have your top-three picks visit your home and take inventory for an accurate estimate.

You’ll be asked about what you’re planning to take, the moving supplies that you need, and about your heavy or fragile items. Your movers will need to know the layout of your new home, too, so don’t forget to tell them about the three flights of stairs or your lack of a driveway.

Ask questions
There are plenty of questions you can ask depending on your situation, but here are some you shouldn’t miss.
  * Are you licensed for in- or out-of-state moves? The Texas Department of Motor Vehicles licenses moving companies, which must display a valid TxDMV or United States Department of Transportation license number on the truck to operate legally. Find out if a company is licensed on the TxDMV website.
  * What type of insurance do you carry? (workers’ compensation)
  * What insurance coverage do you offer? (valuation or replacement coverage)
  * Can I pack myself? Will my items be covered if so?
  * Is your crew bonded? (protection in case of employee theft, vandalism)
  * Are there items you won’t transport? (light bulbs, batteries, gas)

Be honest
Be upfront about what you need your movers to do, whether it’s packing and unloading, assembling or dissembling items, or heavy lifting. You may think you can get a deal by glossing over details, but you’ll ultimately pay more for your hidden extras and your movers won’t be pleased.

Negotiate the deal
You’ll receive an estimate from your moving companies based on several factors, such as the distance of the move and the potential gas expense, the weight or square footage that your items will use in the moving van, and labor costs. This is where having more than one estimate will come in handy. Don’t be afraid to tell your top pick if you’ve received a lower estimate that appeals to you, or roughly how much you want to spend. Look for other areas in which you can negotiate, such as free hauling services or reduced rates for extra supplies or a different move date.

Your movers can be a huge help, but only if you put in the effort to choose the right one for your move.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Updates from Keller ISD

May 12, 2012 Keller, Texas by Nelson Thibodeaux

Keller ISD Announces a New Campus Principal and One Principal Reassignment Keller ISD’s Board of Trustees approved Thursday, May 10 the hiring of a new campus principal for Park Glen Elementary. The Keller ISD administration announced an internal reassignment of a current principal to Friendship Elementary.

The Keller ISD administration is offering a new campus experience to David Rische, current principal at Whitley Road Elementary. He will replace Bronwyn Sullenberger at Friendship. David has been the principal at WRES since 2009-10, having also served as an assistant principal or administrative assistant at Whitley Road, Hidden Lakes and Bear Creek. “David has developed a great relationship with his staff; he has a strong curricular focus and is well respected by his parents and community,” said Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources Penny Benz. “These are all traits that will serve him well at Friendship and will provide a smooth transition to the campus.”

The administration is recommending Mary Dunlevy as the principal for Park Glen Elementary as Carol Wicker-White retires. Ms. Dunlevy is currently an elementary principal in the Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada. She has served there for the past four years. Prior to that, she was an elementary principal in Northwest ISD for four years. She has 15 years teaching experience in both Northwest and Birdville ISDs. She holds a Master’s in Education Administration from Tarleton State University and a Bachelor’s in Special Education/Elementary from Texas Woman’s University. Mary is a data driven, experienced principal. “Mary is passionate about kids and is a relationship-builder who believes in strong staff development opportunities for her team,” Ms. Benz said. “She practices continuous improvement by looking for root causes and encouraging parent, staff and student feedback. Based on the campus profile feedback, these characteristics make her a very good fit for Park Glen.”

Update and source -

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Living green and eating clean

(ARA) - The trend of protecting the environment continues to gain momentum, and people everywhere are adopting more eco-friendly lifestyles. Within this movement, a growing number are taking a look at their diets and seeing how eating more natural foods can improve their health while minimizing the impact on the environment.

The health benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables may be intuitive, but switching to a plant-based diet also has a positive effect on the natural world. Processed foods and meats, while plentiful and convenient, have a huge impact on the environment. The methods used to manufacture, package and transport many of these products emit harmful chemicals into the atmosphere and create tons of waste.

Environmental organizations are promoting the positive impact of plant-based diets and encouraging citizens to eat more fruits and vegetables. This can be difficult for those who are accustomed to consuming large amounts of meat, dairy and packaged foods. However, adopting a whole-foods diet could benefit both your well-being and the planet, and these three tips can help ensure an easy transition.

Drink your greens
Green smoothies are a delicious and easy way to incorporate several servings of fruits and vegetables into your diet each day. Many recipes for these easy-to-make drinks include ingredients that will help you reap nutritional benefits without sacrificing taste. Author and celebrity nutritionist Kimberly Snyder recommends the Glowing Green Smoothie to her clients and readers in her book, "The Beauty Detox Solution."

Snyder says blending releases the full nutritional benefits of greens, emphasizing the importance of using a high-quality machine like the Vitamix, her personal choice. Able to completely pulverize whole fruits and vegetables, the Vitamix makes any combination into a silky-smooth beverage in minutes says Snyder. This versatile machine is capable of a number of other whole-food applications, including grinding whole grains, creating frozen sorbet, and even making hot soup, making it the must-have tool for anyone adopting a more plant-based diet.

Meatless Mondays
Preparation is key in the transition to a plant-based diet, and creating a meal plan for the week can be extremely helpful. Take into consideration your work and personal schedules, such as lunch meetings, special events, recreational activities, etc. You might begin by creating all plant-based meals just one or two days a week and then gradually increasing the number as you adjust. Adapt your weekly meal plan into a shopping list, and purchase the produce you'll need once to save time throughout the week.

Alternative eats
If you have favorite meat- or dairy-based foods that you can't imagine giving up, check out plant-based alternatives as an option. From veggie burgers made from beans, falafel, lentil or even walnuts to grilled portabella mushroom panini to breaded eggplant parmesan, there are countless recipes to help you find the perfect plant-based replacement to any meal.

Eating more whole foods will have a number of positive effects on both your health and surroundings. Keeping the planet healthy has never been more important, and transitioning to a plant-based diet will keep your body healthy as well.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Sign of the design times for kitchen

(ARA) - The number of kitchen styles and design options for homeowners to consider during the building and remodeling process is enough to make a person go crazy. Avoid feeling overwhelmed by simplifying your options.

Keep an eye on trends

Traditional? Transitional? Contemporary? The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) recently surveyed more than 350 designers to identify the top trends and styles they tend to incorporate into their kitchen and bath designs. According to this survey, transitional style, a combination of traditional and contemporary, is now the most popular style in both kitchens and bathrooms.

This marks the first time (since the NKBA began tracking annual design trends) that "traditional" is no longer the most common type of design. The survey also showed that contemporary is the next most common style - with shaker, arts and crafts and cottage also following as frequently used styles.

Richer, warmer and darker wood species and finishes are dominating in popularity. "Hickory cabinets are catching on, as the dramatic grain variation is ideal for creating a rustic look," says Sarah Reep, director of designer relations and education for QualityCabinets. "Despite the growing trends, maple and cherry are still homeowner favorites for cabinetry."

Determine your style

While it's good to be aware of the trends, keep in mind that you are the one who will have to live with this kitchen. Incorporate design elements that you and your family will enjoy for years to come. If you don't plan to stay long, consider resale value and how kitchen design might help or hurt it.

Determining your personal style is the most crucial step before the kitchen remodeling process can begin (after budgeting, of course). Take pictures of other kitchens that you like and tear out pages from magazines. Scan home and design blogs to get ideas. Apartment Therapy recently revealed the best home design blogs with its award (as nominated and voted by readers), The Homies 2012. These blogs are a good place to start.

Several websites offer great resources and inspiration galleries for homeowners trying to plan their kitchens. QualityCabinets has an Idea Gallery that showcases a wide range of options, from more formal and traditional to sleek and contemporary. Pinterest is another great place to collect home and design ideas and save them to later share with your designer.

Work with a professional designer

While many people think they know their desired kitchen style, many have a difficult time articulating and identifying exactly what they want. A professional designer can help you design a kitchen that is comprehensive and consistent in design style.

The difficult task is designing a room that comes together as a whole versus bits and pieces. This is where a designer comes in and can turn a nice-looking kitchen into one that is both stunning and functional. Designers can also help you add a personal flair through the accessories, organizational features, hardware and finishes you choose.

For more ideas for finding your design style, visit

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Keller Williams Realty - Red Day 2012

Keller Williams Realty
RED DAY, 2012
Renew - Energize - Donate

RED DAY May 10, 2012 - Our KW Southlake office showed our culture this year by helping a family in need of help with their home in North Richland Hills.  THe project and work is underway!  Check out our Facebook Fan Page for more awesome pictures! 

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Avoiding five mistakes that even good homeowners make

(ARA) - Have you ever accidentally left a candle burning unattended? Or left home without turning on the security system? You probably made a mental note to yourself to not do it again, but otherwise didn't think much about it.

But next time, you might not get so lucky. A simple "uh oh" could lead to thousands of dollars in damage to your home.

"We recommend homeowners adopt a mindset of thinking about the consequences of things, of what could go wrong," says Dr. Tim Reinhold, senior vice president of research and chief engineer for the Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety.

Here are five tips to avoid common homeowner mistakes:

Tip 1: Clean out the filter on your clothes dryer

Why? Fire. Those wads of lint that get caught in your dryer's filter can pose a major fire hazard. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission estimates that dryers cause more than 15,000 fires a year.

Your strategy: Be sure to completely empty the lint trap every time you use your dryer. Also, make sure your dryer ducts are metal, since they're less likely to sag and allow lint to build up.

Tip 2: Trim tree branches that hang close to your home

Why? Roof or other property damage. A storm or high winds could sweep through your neighborhood and knock those branches onto your roof, causing serious damage.

Your strategy: Consult an arborist or tree surgeon about any trees in your yard that might present a hazard.

Tip 3: Don't put cardboard boxes from recent big-ticket purchases out on the curb with the garbage

Why? Theft. By placing boxes in a visible location, you're sending a signal to burglars that you have valuable items in your home.

Your strategy: Cut boxes up and put them into the garbage or recycling bin.

Tip 4: Make your house look occupied when you're on vacation

Why? Theft. An empty home can be an easy target for thieves.

Your strategy. Have your mail and newspaper deliveries suspended or have a trusted neighbor retrieve and safeguard them until your return. "Not only do piles of mail signal that a house is vacant, but thieves can sift through letters to steal your identity," says Joe Vahey, vice president at Erie Insurance.  "You also may want to arrange for someone to maintain your lawn if you'll be gone for more than a few days, and consider installing central alarms, motion detectors, or timed lights that will illuminate the area around your house at night."

Tip 5. Check appliance water hoses

Why: Water damage. Hoses for washers and refrigerators wear out and need to be replaced before they spring a leak. The water supply line to the icemaker can also be a water leak waiting to happen.

Your strategy: Replace washing machine hoses every five years. If you see the plastic line along the back of the refrigerator becoming discolored (yellow or brown), have an appliance repair expert check it out.

Despite your best efforts to properly maintain and protect your home, accidents and mishaps still happen, which is why it's also important to know what your homeowners insurance does, and doesn't, cover. For example, no homeowners insurance will cover flood damage from natural disasters, so you may want to seek federal flood insurance if you live in an area prone to flooding. In addition, check to see if yours is a guaranteed replacement cost policy, which would pay to rebuild your home if it's severely damaged or destroyed. The coverage is rare, but some companies like Erie Insurance include it in their standard homeowners policies. For more information on homeowners insurance, visit

Friday, May 4, 2012

It's a colorful life inside your home

(ARA) - The summer months are all about color. From flowers in bloom to vibrant beach towels and colorful dresses, summer brings with it a multitude of hues. As you look around, you might start to feel like your home is a little, well, blah. If so, just adding a little pop of color into your home can help.

Once you have an idea of the color direction you are heading for your home, the fun begins. Start by thinking about the colors you want to add, where color can make the most impact, and just how much you need to give your home a fresh look.

Here are a few tips to get you started on your adventure in color.

Explore color
More than likely, you already have a favorite color in mind and would be OK seeing more of it in your home. Or, maybe a little inspiration from the season's hottest hues would help. Either way, the first step is to explore color. Take a visit to your favorite clothing boutique, stop in at a paint store or flip through home design magazines. Choose the looks you are most drawn to or the colors that evoke a feeling of happiness or calm. These colors reflect your personal style and will make you feel most comfortable in your home.

Start small
After picking a color palette, don't go out and paint your whole house with it, start small. Just changing your accent pillows, throws, lampshades or accessories can make a big impact when you are first incorporating a new color. Remember to make sure the color flows well throughout the entire space, especially if your home has an open floor plan with rooms easily visible from one to another.

Accent with artwork
Another easy way to bring color to your home is by updating artwork and wall decor. Simply moving artwork from one room to another can give your home a refreshing look, and adding some newly purchased pieces to other spaces can breathe new life into your home.

Be brave
If you're ready to go all out with color, it's OK to make a dramatic change. The kitchen is a great place to go big with color and is usually the gathering place in the home. One of the best ways to bring bold color in the kitchen and set a tone for your entire home is to change your cabinetry. In addition to traditional wood-toned cabinetry styles, there is also a growing selection of on-trend paint and stain colors like KraftMaid's new Slate and Midnight finishes. Take it a step further by choosing glass front doors and adding a contrasting back panel inside the cabinet in colors like KraftMaid's serene Aegean or energetic Envy. Cabinetry colors can bring whimsy and personality to the kitchen.

"Colorful cabinetry can be a big commitment, but it also can set your kitchen apart in a sea of design sameness," says Sarah Reep, director of designer relations and education at KraftMaid Cabinetry. "This year's cabinetry trends are colorful yet timeless and work with just about any design style. The KraftMaid Style Finder on is a great way to see what cabinetry colors might work best for you."

The beauty of adding hints of color into your home is that with just a few thoughtful touches, it can feel as though your home has been completely made over. Be sure to carry elements of the color from room to room for maximum effect.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The Grove Team needs YOUR help!

The Grove Team, Keller Williams is participating in a contest this month and we need your help!  Our goal is to receive 10 referrals before the end of May in order to win! If you know someone who is in need of a real estate professional, send us their name and number so we can call them. 

If you think of anyone in the next month, be sure to call us, (817) 337-0000 or post it to our Facebook page!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Video Tour - 4013 Claymore Lane, Fort Worth

Just listed by the Grove Team, Keller Williams
4013 Claymore Lane, Fort Worth
Offered at $133,900

Situated on a LARGE lot in a cul-de-sac, this home is a winner in the McPherson Ranch subdivision.  Located in the renowed Northwest ISD, 4013 Claymore offers three bedrooms with a study, two baths and a covered patio.  Call the Grove Team today to scheduled a showing, (817) 337-0000, or find us online