Fair-Style Fairfield Lakes of Fairhaven
April - May 2011
Fairfield Mothers April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 1
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April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 3
Fair-Style in this issue: 6
Moms of Fairfield
Teen Drummer Spotlight
What a "Novel" Idea
Spring Landscape Maintenance Tips
A Farmer's Market
Save on Electricity 17774 Cypress Rosehill, Suite 400 Cypress, Texas 77429
Advertising & Sales Margaret Pirtle | Crystal Shell | Leanne Donelson Gregg Gotlieb | Ben Wilson | Henry Engel
Distribution Cody Green
Disclaimer: Articles and ads in this publication express the opinions of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Homestead/GLF-Style/The Vibe/Fair-Style/WR-Style/CC-Style/Houston Junior Baseball or its employees. Homestead/GLFStyle/The Vibe/Fair-Style/WR-Style/CC-Style/Houston Junior Baseball is not responsible for the accuracy of any facts stated in articles submitted by others. The publisher also assumes no responsibility for the advertising content with this publication. Any ad warranties, representations and endorsements made in the advertising content are solely that of the advertiser and any such claims regarding its content should be taken up with the advertiser. The publisher assumes no liability with regard to its advertisers for misprints or failure to place advertising in this publication except for the actual cost of such advertising. Although every effort is taken to avoid mistakes and/or misprints in this publication, the publisher assumes no responsibility for any errors of information or typographical mistakes. Under no circumstances shall the publisher be held liable for incidental or consequential damages, inconvenience, loss of business or services, or any other liabilities from failure to publish, or from failure to publish on a timely manner. This is not an official publication of your particular subdivision, and, your particular subdivision does not endorse, affiliate or associate itself or its affiliates with this publication. Homestead/GLF-Style/The Vibe/Fair-Style/ WR-Style/CC-Style/Houston Junior Baseball and it's Associate Publications/Business Interest, whether business or person, do not accept any liability for the electronic, printed, or perceived value of any kind in relation to the functionality, integrity, performance or any assumed benefit of the QR Bar Code Readers/Bar Codes, etc. published in any of Homestead/GLF-Style/The Vibe/Fair-Style/WR-Style/CC-Style/Houston Junior Baseball or it's affiliate publications whether in print or electronic. All articles and photos in this publication are copyrighted. Published by: The Homestead 281.435.5064
If you would like to advertise or want information about our rates, or email Sales@TheHomesteadPublishing.com 4 Fair-Style Magazine | April - May 2011
Photographer Jean Megahan
Contributing Writers Margaret Pirtle Chris Schneider Tiffany Nolan
Publisher Tom Green (Homestead Publishing)
April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 5
Moms' of Fairfield
Fairfield mothers are not rare to find. They are the ones who run the carpools, make cookies and sew Halloween costumes. They are the ones who stay awake all night with a sick toddler in their arms, constantly uttering those compassionate words, “It’s okay honey, mommy’s here.” As daylight falls away, you can see them outside yelling for kids to “come inside, it’s late!” They are the women of Fairfield who teach manners to kids; who show their children how to tie shoes; who deliver forgotten lunches and books to school; who fight the traffic home from work, and still make all the sporting events and ballet lessons. So, for all the young and aged mothers, working mothers and housewives, married mothers and single moms: We wish you a very Happy Mother’s Day!!
6 Fair-Style Magazine | April - May 2011
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Sommer Blankenbecler Sommer Blankenbecler, our Fairfield Cover Mom, works full time as a office manager for a dental clinic in Cypress. With two small children, daughter Sydney five and son Tyler, who is three, she has also found time to begin her own side business: a dental staffing agency. We asked her about her hectic schedule and here is what Sommer told us. “ Balancing everything is a full time job in its self. After having my first child I soon learned a perfect clean house was the least of my worries. Somehow I have managed to work, take the kids to their activities, be a wife and still make time for sit down family dinners a few times a week. In my life I have been a daughter, sister, friend, and wife, but my favorite of all has been, being a mother and a wife. Nothing compares to motherhood....."
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If you want to bring life and shine back into your hair and increase its volume and luster, then it is time to start using hair rinses. Natural rinses promote hair growth, improve the blood circulation to the scalp, and repair damaged hair. They are easy to make, with common kitchen herbs. Below are some quick homemade rinses for you to try.
Rosemary Hair Rinse Recipe
Take two cups of distilled water and add four tablespoons of rosemary. Boil the water till it reduces slightly. Strain the water and allow it to cool. After shampooing your hair, pour this rinse over your hair. Using fingertips give the scalp a good massage as well.
Lemon Hair Rinse Recipe
This hair rinse is ideal for people with blond hair. To prepare the rinse, combine two cups of white vinegar, two cups of pure distilled water, one quarter cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and a quarter cup of chamomile flowers in a saucepan. Heat the liquid till it reduces slightly. Strain the liquid and keep it aside. Pour over the scalp and hair after shampooing. Finally rinse with cold water.
Sage and Malt Hair Rinse Recipe
In an enamel bowl, mix two cups of malt, two cups of pure distilled water and a quarter cup of sage. Heat the liquid till it reduces slightly. Remove the bowl from the heat source and strain the liquid. Allow the rinse to cool down and then apply it directly after shampooing the hair. Finally rinse the hair with cold water.
Tomato Juice and Cornstarch Hair Rinse Recipe
Combine one teaspoon of cornstarch with one cup of fresh tomato juice. Shampoo hair and pour the rinse. Finally rinse the hair with cold water
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April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 9
Teen Drummer Snares Spotlight It seems to Daniel Shudra’s parents that he has been drumming all his life. Actually he received his first snare drum in 2005, when he was in fifth grade. He loved it, but quickly moved on to a drum set. Daniel got his first taste of playing for an audience when he joined P 1-13, (the middle school division of Percussion 1) an indoor drum line. During the summer of 2008 he attended Camp Jam where he was placed in a “band.” They chose a song, rehearsed during the week and then performed for a large audience of family and friends. From that point on Daniel was obsessed with the idea of playing in a rock band. Finding a rock band appropriate for a fifteen year old was no small task. Daniel finally got the opportunity he had been waiting for in July, 2010, when he heard that a band called Maximus was looking for a drummer. After two intense auditions he was in. Then the work began. He had about three weeks to learn thirty classic rock songs and be ready for the band’s next show. It was hard work, but it was worth it. Maximus is a band of young, talented boys who are passionate about their music and performing. The singer is 11, the bassist just turned 13, the lead guitar player is 14, and Daniel is 15. In addition to playing various clubs around town two to three times a month, the boys also play private parties and corporate events. In October Maximus won the Bellaire Battle of the Bands. Most recently they performed at House of Blues. Daniel has never been one to sit
Maximus J.D. Pappas Nathan Richardson Daniel Shudra Michael Thompson 10 Fair-Style Magazine | April - May 2011
Guitar Vocals/Guitar Drums Bass Guitar
still for very long. He currently plays drums during the contemporary worship service each Sunday for Good Shepherd United Methodist Church. He participated in the Texas Big Beat in 2007, 2008, and 2009 and helped raise money for the Mr. Holland’s Opus Foundation. During the summer of 2010 he
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volunteered with the Baby Bird Program at the Texas Wildlife Rehabilitation Coalition. Daniel is also active in Boy Scout Troop 533 where he is at the Life rank working his way to Eagle. Daniel’s dream is to attend Boston’s Berklee College of Music and to continue playing drums professionally. As Daniel says: “I want to play in an arena someday.”
April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 11
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What a “Novel ” Idea!
Many people have great aspirations of becoming a writer. Whether it’s a novel or magazine contributor, the lure of writing can be overwhelmingly appealing. The idea of writing a best-selling novel is a dream-come-true for many. In the past, publishing a book was a long and sometimes arduous process. But today, anyone with an idea or story can publish an electronic book or EBook. One such person is Talia Jager, who has found, that for her EBooks are a popular and financially satisfying alternative to traditional publishing. With two books available now on Amazon, and Barnes & Nobel, Talia has fulfilled a life-time dream. “ I have always written stories” she said. “When I was a teenager, I use to have spiral notebooks filled with stories and ideas.” With years of plots, Talia finally decided to stop storing them and to take the leap to become an author. Talia found that her talent lay in writting for the teen or young adult audience. Her first book “Damaged explores the problems that confront a teenage girl who finds herself in an abusive relationship with her boyfriend. Talia other book, “Teagan’s Story,” shows the depth of frustration for a teen as she battles epilepsy. “With five children, it is sometimes hard to find the time to write,” Talia said. “ But I set a goal of 1000 words per day and I can usually finish a book in about two month.” With elecronic books, Talia is in charge of the entire process, from start to finish. So she had to learn how to not only be the writer, but also the marketer and distributor. Self-publishing has now opened up viable options for many like Talia, who have the talent, but were slowed or stopped by rejection slips, editors and agents. Whether a seasoned or aspiring writer, EBooks provide for both the reader and writer, a quick and easier way to gratify the yearning for the printed word. ©2011 Domino’s IP Holder LLC. Not valid with any other offer. Valid with coupon only at participating stores.
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April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 13
News Room April 11th and 18th Embellished Tote Bags Craft Class Lily Gaytan shows how to transform a generic tote or shopping bag into a personalized treasure at the Hockley Community Center. Stop by the center or call (936) 931-5030 to register and get a supply list. 1:00pm - 3:00 pm each day. Advance registration is typically requested, and an adult must accompany and remain with anyone under the age of 18 visiting the center. 28515 Old Washington Rd. Hockley April 14th Heart Health Seminar 7:00 PM Join cardiovascular specialist, Dr. Fadi Alameddine, at North Cypress Medical Center for a free Heart Health Seminar Find out what puts your heart at risk, know the warning signs associated with a heart attack and learn about steps to take to help prevent heart disease. To register call 832-912-3734. North Cypress Medical Center 21214 Northwest Fwy.
14 Fair-Style Magazine | April - May 2011
April 16 Cy Ranch Athletic Boosterâ€™s 3rd Annual Golf Tournament The Cy Ranch Athletic Booster Club will host their third annual Golf Tournament Fundraiser, benefitting Cy Ranch Athletic at Longwood Golf Club. Registration begins at 11:30 a.m. with a shotgun start at 1:30 p.m. The event includes prizes, a putting contest, silent auction and dinner. To register, visit cypressranchmustangs.com.
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April 28th Cy-Fair Womenâ€™s Expo The Cy-Fair Express Network will host the 2nd Annual Cy-Fair Women's Expo on Thursday, April 28, 2011, from 11am-2pm, at Sterling Country Club at Houston National. Since its inception in 2003, CYFEN, a local network of the American Business Women's Association, has been dedicated to bringing together businesswomen of diverse occupations and providing opportunities for them to help themselves and others grow personally and professionally through leadership, education, networking, support, and national recognition. April 30th Boys and Girls Country Spring Festival Annual spring festival benefitting Boys and Girls Country. Food, games and entertainment for kids of all ages. Activities include moon walk, super slide, moon walk, hay rides, train ride, climbing wall, pony rides, petting zoo and more! 10AM to 5PM, Boys and Girls Country Campus, 18806 Roberts Rd., Hockley, TX 77447 May 20, 2011 Wounded Heroes Welcome Join MoMs USA in giving wounded warriors a Texas size welcome as they make landfall on Friday, May 20, 2011 at Houston Intercontinental Airport. Meet there at 8:30 am at the baggage claim in Terminal C to help us celebrate the arrival of these brave soldiers. The Warriors Weekend Organization will be hosting a fishing weekend at Port Oâ€™Conner for hundreds of wounded soldiers for the entire weekend. Learn more about The Warriors Weekend Organization at: www.warriorsweekend.org To learn more about MoMs USA contact Gale Muskiet at: 281-536-6999
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www.mathasium.com/cy-fair April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 15
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n my last article i ended with the importance of knowing and understanding that we are currently in a buyer’s market. This month i would like to elaborate a little. For many sellers the thought of a buyer’s market means that their home will not pull as much value as it would if it were a seller’s market. With this ideal, some sellers decide to wait it out until the tables turn even though they risk not obtaining their “dream home”. however, there is hope for sellers in a buyer’s market if they just follow the direction of their consulting agent in order to obtain a quick sale for the highest dollar possible. The direction i refer to suggests that the home being sold is turn key. Turn key means that the home being sold is ready for a buyer to just move in and do nothing. Basically it means not having to do any updates or repairs that require additional cash out of pocket after the closing. updating a home and preparing a home for sale in today’s market is sometimes questionable as far as what to do but always means higher return on investment and a quicker sale. Simple neutralization of paint, updating old worn out appliances and staging the home can do the trick. The important thing to remember is to interview the real estate professional who has your best interest in mind and heed their advice even if it has to be taken with a bit of candor.
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16 Fair-Style Magazine | April - May 2011
Simple Solutions 5 Quick Tips For A Shiny Bathroom 1. Pour 2 tsp. of lemon oil on a clean cloth then wipe your shower doors. This helps keep soap scum from building up. Shaving cream can also be used to remove built up soap scum on doors, walls and fixtures. 2. Remove rings inside the toilet bowl by applying a paste of borax and lemon juice to the stain. Allow to set for 2 hours then scrub clean. 3.Bring a sparkle back to your shower curtains by laundering them with a bath towel. Add 1 cup vinegar to the rinse cycle. 4. Remove nasty hard water buildup around tap fixtures using paper towels soaked in vinegar. Wrap them around the base of the taps for several hours to break down the crud, then wash clean. 5. Remove hair spray and splatter buildup on mirrors by buffing with a lint-free cloth and a bit of rubbing alcohol.
Sweet Dreams When stripping the beds down for laundry, freshen up the mattress by sprinkling a thin layer of baking soda directly on top of the mattress. Leave sit for a few hours then vacuum the powder up.
Carry-all Apron Take that old kitchen apron off the hook and use it to stash all your springcleaning supplies in the pockets as you go around the house. It leaves your hands free for scrubbing and polishing, plus you wonâ€™t have to lug a cleaning bucket around the house.
A Bright Idea Help keep fabric lamp shades dust-free by using an inexpensive adhesive lint roller. Hold the shade steady and pass the roller over the exterior of the shade.
April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 17
Roadside Bouquets Wild flower bouquets can be amazing elements of interior floral decoration, be it for your home or for a special occasion. They are a harmonious bend of color and form, with their predominantly bright colors and blossoms, that vary from large to small. When these wild flowers are arranged into a creative assortment, their beauty is enhanced to breathtaking heights. To make a simple yet stunning wild flower bouquet, the flowers should be cut to a desired height of various lengths. The larger flowers should be placed first, and the smaller wild flower blossoms should be arranged around them. Fillers like foliage, stalks and stems can be added in the end. Easy wildflowers to find in this area are: Black-eyed Susan, Indian Paint Brush, Coneflower, White Prickly Poppy, Bluebonnet, Daisy, Buttercups, Crimson Clover, Texas Dandelion, and Yellow Thistle. Benefiting Cypress Assistance Ministries
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These little Oreo eggs are just too easy-- and they taste incredible. If your family loves Oreo cookies, there’s no way you can go wrong with this Easter candy recipe. For Easter, shape the Oreo truffles into cute little eggs instead of balls, and add pastel-colored white chocolate to the outside. Easy, cute, and impressive.
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Recipe makes about 30 eggs, depending on size. 1 (1 lb.) pkg. Oreo cookies (don’t use double-stuffed) 1 (8 oz.) pkg. Cream cheese, at room temperature 1 tsp. Vanilla extract 16 oz. white chocolate almond bark Food coloring of your choice, as needed (optional) Instructions: 1. Break Oreos slightly and add them, cream and all, to a food processor or blender. 2. Grind until Oreo crumbs resemble something like coarse coffee grinds. 3. Dump Oreo crumbs into a bowl and add cream cheese and vanilla. 4. With an electric mixer on medium speed, beat Oreo mixture until well mixed. You can also do this by hand. 5. Cover and refrigerate about 45 minutes to an hour. 6. With your hands, shape into small eggs (about 1 1/2” long). Place eggs on waxed paper and refrigerate another hour. 7. When ready to dip, melt your white chocolate bark. Add food coloring if and as desired. 8. Spear each Oreo egg with a toothpick and dip in white chocolate. Allow the excess to drip away. Place gently on waxed paper. 9. Let sit 15-20 minutes to set. Decorate with drizzled chocolate as desired. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. They taste even better the next day!
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April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 19
Cool Summer Fun Summerâ€™s just around the corner! Time to register for hockey camp. Kids ice hockey is the perfect sport for children to gain strength, build up endurance and most importantly to maintain the balance of the body. Planet Hockey is back this summer ready to help develop hockey players in a challenging and fun way. Offering two action-packed weeks, where players will leave feeling great about their camp experience. The camp range in age, and skill level; each one concentrating on improving skills, endurance and continuous learning. To register your child, or to learn more about this fun summer camp, please contact: Aerodrome Ice Rink 281-847-5283 8220 Willow Place Dr. N. Houston
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Register @ www.aerodromeskaters.com Skating instructor is Mark Poole 281.847.5283 8220 Willow Place Dr. N. Houston, TX 77070
20 Fair-Style Magazine | April - May 2011
Hope Field Team Tiara Foundation (http://www.teamtiara.net) has teamed up with Fairfield Sports Association to build the first ever girls softball field dedicated to breast cancer awareness. Fairfield Sports has 230 girls ages Kindergarten through 5th Grade in the softball league. The league has outgrown the one field that they have and desperately need a second field. Last spring, the Hope Field Committee asked Team Tiara to partner with them in this venture, giving the field a breast cancer awareness theme. “Hope Field has a pink theme,” says D’Lyn Biggs, Team Tiara President & CEO. “We have a pink scoreboard, pink ribbons in the outfield and Phase 2 will include a walkway that honors and memorializes those who have fought breast cancer.” “This partnership has been a timely one,” Biggs continues. “Recently the news reported a link that tied childhood obesity to early puberty and a higher incidence of breast cancer. “We need Hope Field,” says Suzi Bruin, Fairfield softball parent and Team Tiara member. “We need the lasting impact it will have on our children. We need it here, and we need it in neighborhoods across the country. We think this is the start of something big. And we know that many times Something Big starts out small.” Hope Field has truly been a neighborhood effort. Neighbors joined together to support snow cone stands and bake sales. A poker tournament, individual and corporate donations also help fund the field.
April - May 2011 | Fair-Style Magazine 21
SPRING LANDSCAPE MAINTENANCE TIPS Spring is officially here, and the months of April and May are ideal times to get out and work in the yard. Whether you maintain your own landscape or have a yard maintenance service, these tips will help you maintain an attractive, healthy landscape to enjoy for months to come. If you have not done so already, have the soil tested by a reputable soil testing laboratory as soon as possible. Results will usually take about 7-10 days depending on the laboratory workload. Apply fertilizer according to the soil test recommendations. Remember to water the fertilizer in well. Avoid weed and feed type products around flowerbeds, trees and other susceptible plants. Prune back any dead wood or vegetation to allow for new growth, and apply mulch to about 3 inches deep. Avoid piling mulch around tree trunks, do not prune plants back more than 1/3 of their size, and keep string trimmers back from around any plant trunk or base. It is best management practice to water deeply and infrequently during dry conditions. Mow the lawn at the proper height according to the type of grass. If insects, diseases, or weeds become a problem use pesticides sparingly and carefully, and always follow the label instructions accordingly. Most pesticides are available at local lawn and garden stores and feed stores. There are a lot of good sources of information out there, but make sure it is from a university or other reputable source and relative to your area.
Article Written by Chris Schneider
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Meet our Gardening Expert Chris Schneider grew up in the Cypress area and graduated from Cy-Fair High School. He then went on to receive his Bachelors Degree from Texas A&M University. He also attended Texas Tech University and received his Masters Degree. Chris has been in the agricultural field for more than 30 years, most recently as a County Extension Agent specializing in agriculture and natural resources. He has worked closely with the county 4-H and youth development program. He has trained and worked closely with a great team of Texas Master Gardeners in three Texas counties. Chris has written hundreds of news releases and planned and conducted educational programs with grassroots committees. He enjoys sharing knowledge with others and landscape and horticulture consulting. Chris recently returned to and lives in the Cypress area and may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or further questions and consultation.
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Visit A Farmer's Market Farmers markets begin sprouting open as the first warm breezes start reminding us that spring and summer are just around the corner. Fertilized by increasing interest in foods that aren’t trucked or flown in from thousands of miles away, here are three great markets in our area that are stocked with fresh produce for your kitchen table.
Tomball Farmers Market
Opening April 2 thru July 30, providing the are eighteen weeks of the freshest, locally grown produce around. Conviently located at the corner of FM 2920 ( Main Street) and Cherry Street in Historic Downtown Tomball. 8am - 12 pm Daily.
Debbie’s Garden and Farmers Market
Fresh local produce,from town around the area. Working with the local farming community, they offer Dustin Eggs from Weimar, Reed Honey from Magnolia and our own produce from Kalbow farms in Cypress. Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday: 9am-6pm and Sunday, 9am - 4pm. Located at the Corner of Old Hempstead Hwy and Huffmeister Rd.
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Office: 281.351.5038 • Cell: 713.205.9759 24 Fair-Style Magazine | April - May 2011
Dilorio Farms and Roadside Market
The DiIorio Family has been growing fruits and vegetables for the public for four generations. DiIorio’s is a 20,000 square foot, fan cooled, roadside open air produce market that is open 12 months a year, 7 days a week. 750 Hightw 290 East, Hempstead Tx.
A favorite of local chefs, Canino’s is a giant farmers’ market that has been offering a tremendous selection of fresh fruits, vegetables, beans, vinegars, and even milk and eggs for years. Go to the very back for the best deals and the freshest hardto-find items. Whatever you do, don’t miss the tamales. Open every day 6 a.m.-8:30 p.m. 2520 Airline Drive
The Theiss Family has been producing vegetables and other farm and ranch products for over 158 years in Harris County. The main location of Theiss Farms Market began in the late 1970’s as a little stand under a shade tree selling homegrown tomatoes to friends and neighbors. We are known for our “Best tasting sweet Corn in Texas.” Come see us beginning with our opening in May, just behind the HEB store off Stuebner Airline, just north of Louetta. We sell our homegrown tomatoes and our summer sweet corn and a wide variety of fresh fruits and other home grown vegetables raised on our own farm. Open 7 days a week starting in May.
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Save Big On Summer Electricity Payments In today’s economic climate every homeowner is searching for a way feasible to cut corners and conserve cash. Electricity costs are also on the rise and the final thing that you want to see this summer, is a super-sized electric bill. One successful way to deal with this dilemma is by stopping the sun’s radiant heat from entering your house through windows, doors and sky lights. You might think that blinds and drapes will stop the suns rays when closed, but they do so after the sun’s heat is already on the inside of your window. The heat filters through the blinds and drapes, and still gets into the house. If blinds are closed you loose your windowns and also darken your house. With the heat still coming in your A/C unit still keeps running.
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Over the years, it has been learned that the radiant heat should be stopped before it gets to your windows. After 20 plus years and numerous tests, it has been learned that solar screens will do just that. They go on the outside of your window and can block up to 80 and 90% of the radiant heat from entering your houme. They also will block up to 80% of the UV rays from fading your interior. You are able to open your blinds during the day and see out just fine, but still have some privacy. By having solar screens installed you can save up to 20-30% off your monthly electricity bill. This translates to saving hundreds of dollars each year that goes back into your pocket.
On top of this solar screens are very durable. Most are made of a strong polyester material and are even pet resistant. There are several types of solar screen material to choose from. They can be customized to match your window openings and made in various material and frame colors to enhance the look of your house. Don’t wait for one more monstrous energy invoice. Have solar screens set up on the windows of your home and start saving useful money right now.
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At LeatherShoppes, being the oldest and most experienced leather specialty store in the greater Houston area, you will find more selection, more styles and 100’s of colors from some of the best brands like Bradington Young, Flexsteel, Palliser, Hooker, Aspen Home, Berkline and others. All at discount prices. So if you’re tired of the choices you’re finding, come see us. That’s why we say Don’t Compromise...Customise.
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Gain no Hill Across the road, from the hustle and bustle of the Premium Outlet mall, the weed- bordered train track attracts no special attention from anyone. Yet it was precisly near this spot that the old Swanson Depot was the main boarding platform for cattle ranchers in the area. This spot was known, not so much for the little depot, but for the uphill ride to reach it. Though the land looks as flat as the surrounding area, this spot is actually a hill. A small one, but any hill in Harris county is an oddity. Called the Swanson Depot, it was named after , Robert E.L. Swanson who was the Chief Railroad Clerk in Houston around 1900. The Hill itself was named Kelleyâ€™s Hill. The only reference to a Kelley that
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can be found in the area, was in the 1870 Census which shows that the Cypress Section Boss for the railroad was William Kelley. It is only a presumption that the reference to ‘Kelley’s Hill” might have orginiated with him. But for the local’s there was only one good name for the hill - “No-Gain Hill.” Survey’s, which were done in 1915 and 1916, show that the Cypress Depot, near Spring Cypress, was at 150 feet elevation. Leaving Cypress and heading west, the tracks gradually rose to 158 feet and the last half mile to the depot and summit, the land rose to 204 feet. A real hill by our flat land standards. Wagons loaded with produce, pulled by mules were strainning to reach the top. Old model T Fords, bogged down on muddy roads and slipped backward when trying to reach the depot. What little we know about the Depot comes from a newspaper article from 1924 and from an old photo, taken near where Buckey’s is today, In the photo you can make out the water tower, a old section house and pond.
Our modern cars don’t flinch at the rise in elevation and looking at the area it is almost impossible to see a hill rising up. But if you fancy wanting to experience NoGain Hill and the elevation rise for yourself, I might suggest a walk or bike ride from Spring Cypress to the Outlet Mall. I’ll stick with the car ride, but I admit it’s more fun to tell folks I am heading to No-Gain Hill than to the Mall.
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With hawks, crocodiles, armadillos, racing ducks, highjumping dogs and much more, Nature Fest promises to be one wild adventure. Highlights include The Great American Duck Races, the Houston Canine Frisbee Disc Club, Birds of Prey, The Crocodile Encounter performances, the Houston Zoo Mobile, the Drum Café and more. Feeding the crowd will be a caravan of cuisine-themed food trucks, a current craze among Houston foodies. Trucks trekking to Bridgeland will be 3 Cajun Pigs, Bernie’s Burger Bus, Frosted Betty, Fusion Taco, Spork Grill and Papa John’s Pizza. Admission to Nature Fest is free; however, proceeds from T-shirt sales and a children’s arts and crafts tent benefit the Katy Prairie Conservancy and Habitat for Humanities Northwest Harris County, respectively. For more information, visit http://www.bridgeland.com/events/nature-fest.
10 am to 5 pm Saturday, April 30, at Bridgeland’s Oak Meadow Park, 16919 North Bridgeland Lake Parkway
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Listing Your Home For Sale In Cypress? Dawn and her team were recognized by the Houston Business Journal as one of Houstonâ€™s Top 25 Real Estate Teams in 2010. Call RE/MAX Lakeland to set up an Interview.
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