Safely Treating Without Tricks

MB-0219-Blog-103018-cover.png

One of the most amazing feelings as a child is Halloween day, and you know later you will get to stay up on a school night to gather loads and loads of candy. Maybe, just maybe your parents will let you stay up a bit later to enjoy tasting your treasure trove. The excitement is just too much and you can barely focus on school because you are deciding what you’re going to wear that eve. Here are a few tips to keep the kids safe and worry free so they can focus on the good times ahead.

Everyone carry lights. This may seem like a simple and obvious thing but sometimes we get so caught up with what costume we need to put together for Sally or who is going to stay home to pass out candy that we can easily forget. Go to the store and get flashlights and glow sticks so everyone will have a bit of light to take with them. There will be less falling, running into each other and even hitting trees. Hey, those masks are pretty blinding.

Not only does little Johnny need to be able to see now that he has his flashlight, but people also need to be able to see him. Bikers, people rushing around and cars passing in the dark can be dangerous for him. To avoid any accidents, strap the little guy down with glow in the dark costumes, reflective tape, and bright clothing so he is a beacon of light for all to see. That may be a good costume idea.

If your child has an identification card from school or otherwise have him or her carry it with them in their bag or pocket. The crowds during treating season can be overwhelming so if the little monster gets lost they will have a way to be found with help from an adult.

Go trick or treating together. Kids under 16 should have an accompanying adult with them. It would be fun for the kids and safer to go with a group of kids from school or the neighborhood. Large groups can be seen easier and its better than going alone. If something were to happen when one was alone no one would be able to see it or get help. Then afterwards the kids can trade each other for all their favorite candy and brag about their riches.

May your Halloween have many treats and little tricks.

Advertisements

Smashing Monster Bash

MB-0218-Blog-102418-cover

Whooooooo whooo goes there?? Oh, it’s just you. Come in my pretty, have a poisoned apple and punch. Poison? Did I say that? I meant perfect apple, the best in town. Though no one’s lived to tell me otherwise. Muahahahaha. Come sit and share in a smashing monster bash and gain some wisdom for your All Hallows festivities. Learn from the best monsters, I mean partiers, on the block.

All the most memorable parties have games. Start with a chalkboard to keep score of the winners. You can have winners of individual games or have teams play several mini-games and whoever wins the most rounds takes all. Our personal favorite is Slime Time where buckets are filled with oatmeal, water, jellies, pasta, and coloring to create a truly ghastly goop. Letters will be hidden in the muck and the first team to pull out all the letters and spell “Halloween” wins.

Next, you’ll want to make sure your scarecrow is nice and warm by having your person be a scarecrow and sit at the end of a row. Have each player run down the row to place an item of clothing on the scarecrow. The scarecrow isn’t allowed to move so this is sure to be challenging. Whichever team finishes getting all the items on their scarecrow first wins the round.

Every great party needs a refreshing punch to cool off after games. Bug juice will be a delightful treat for such an occasion. Take ginger ale, green koolaid packets, a can of frozen lemonade and a can of pineapple juice and mix well together. Add sugar for optional sweetness and the little monsters will have a lip smacking time. Float some plastic bugs for desired bugginess.

Now for the final touch, a centerpiece to top off the perfect evening. Make your favorite cheese ball. Everyone has their own favorite recipe passed down from a great grandmother. Cover the outside in cheddar cheese to make it an orange color. Then score the top of a bell pepper for your pumpkin stem. Place the stem in the top of your cheese ball and shape or score if needed to mold into a pumpkin shape. It’s the perfect dish without being too fussy.

The only thing left to do is the Monster Mash. Go have a graveyard smash.

DIY Halloween Décor

MB-0215-Blog-101518-cover

A wonderful holiday deserves a wonderful decoration spread. Halloween is the greatest time to let your creativity fly along with your brooms and bats. Sometimes the coolest decorations are the ones that you’ve made yourself. You can tell all your friends with pride that you crafted them on your own.

Black cats and pumpkins are a staple in the festivities. Combine both of them and you have a Jack o’lantern kitty cat. Spray paint a pumpkin black for your cat’s body. Carve your cats face into a small pumpkin for the head. Paint your head black and glue on some felt ears. Poise the head on its body and you have a cute Halloween pumpkat.

Make your outdoor bushes creepy for trick or treaters by saving toilet paper rolls and cutting various shaped eyes into each of them. Make your eyes glow with different colored glow sticks. Your bushes will glow with eerie eyes watching your Halloween partygoers.

Create blood-spattered candles by taking white candles of different shapes and sizes and melt a red candlestick over them using the drippings to create blood-like drops. This will be a sure way to creep out dinner guests. Muahaha.

In the front yard shape ghostly figures out of chicken wire. Then spray paint them with glow in the dark paint. These frightful creatures will greet your guests as they arrive. Your otherworldly party guests will be quite an intriguing surprise as the walk up the front lawn.

For a petrifying centerpiece, take mason jars and coat in a layer of glue or modge podge. Layer gauze in a strategic mummified pattern. Add googly eyes and you have yourself a set of mummies for your table. Put tea light candles inside for an ambient eve.

These are some precious and terrorizing ways to dress up your home in preparation for an inspired Halloween. Now, let us just hope your guests don’t ghost you.

Fall is for Family

MB-0213-Blog-100818-cover

The best time of the year is finally here and if feels like we have waited a long and sweltering summer for this day. It’s now time for scarves, books, tea, and family. AS much as there are many tempting activities you can do inside this season, this time we’re going to shed some sunlight on the outdoors. This Fall get outside and enjoy everything it was meant for. You know we only get what feels like two weeks of it so make the best of your time.

For the kiddoes or even your child at heart friends, go on a nature scavenger hunt. This is a great time to see the wildlife and changing foliage. See how many different color leaves or stones you can collect. Take a Polaroid camera to snap photos of as many animals as you can. The woods are abundant with wildlife like squirrels, deer, beavers, and birds preparing for winter. Here is a printable scavenger hunt list to get you started, https://www.takethemoutside.com/nature-scavenger-hunt/ . You can add your own twists to it or just head out as is with paper and pen in hand.

For the entire extended family, go apple picking. I’ve always wanted to do this. Usually, you go out to the farm and fill up a basket they give you and then just pay per basket. The coolest part about this is that you have fresh handpicked apples that you can take home to make favorite fall treats like apple pie, apple butter, candied apples. The options are endless.

Have a picnic in your favorite park as the leaves change. Take little Scruffy with a Frisbee and stock a basket full of delicious seasonal foods like chili, soup or pasta and a carafe of hot cocoa. “I regret going to the park on such a beautiful day,” said no one ever.

Now some exciting fall fun is to get lost…in a corn maze that is. Corn mazes are an absolute delight and the thrill of figuring out the puzzle is too cool. They’re fun for people of all ages and bonus points if it’s a haunted maze. Ooooooohhhh. Nothing says Autumn like corn and being scared.

This time of year is the optimal time to go camping. The weather is perfect, the stars are brighter, and waking up in a warm sleeping bag while the air is crisp is a feeling that can’t be replicated. Not only that, you can incorporate all the traditional autumn to do’s such as making s’mores, building a campfire, walking the woods, heating apple cider over the fire, cooking stew, and bike riding down a trail.

Make some memories out of doors this year, your soul will appreciate it.

Be a Professional at Home Buying

MB-0211-Blog-092518-cover

Purchasing a home is a whole process that takes months of proper planning, time and effort. It’s difficult to even know where to begin. Hopefully, we can help you out with some tips and tricks to the trade so that you can be a professional home buyer in no time.

The first tip is to work with all the right people. You want to build your team. Just like in P.E. class when you’d pick teammates for dodgeball. You have to choose the most skilled people to work with. You want them in your corner. Take care in selecting your real estate agent and mortgage broker so that its ensured you all work fluidly together.

Ask a ton of questions. Don’t be afraid to sound silly because this is a big deal. It’s finding your future home. Make sure to capitalize on your team’s knowledge. They will be more than happy to fill you in on anything you may not know. They are there for you.

Look at multiple homes. Don’t just settle on the first one you see. There are plenty of houses out there for your perusal, so don’t get overly enthusiastic about settling down so soon. Check out all your options.

When you are touring a home, imagine that it is filled with your furnishings, pictures, and décor. Remember that the beautiful chaise and dining room set are just for show and they’ll be gone once you’re moved in. Will your bed look good up against that wall? Will your entertainment center fit? Think of all the possibilities.

List all the costs and expenses before making a commitment. These can include taxes, utilities, and insurance. Not to mention maintenance. Many forget all that comes with owning a home and a major one is that you are your own landlord now. Prepare for all of this before signing that paper.

To finalize your professional home buying training, you must be flexible and have fun. Not all dates and times are going to be perfectly planned. Closing dates can fall through and life will get in the way. Buying a home is an adventure that is exciting and new, so relax and savor the moments.

Autumn decor on a Dime

MB-0208-Blog-092118-cover

I am especially ready to get summer over with and move on to thick socks and scratchy sweaters. I know most of you are too. Despite the 90 degree heat that’s irritatingly stuck here like the shirt to my back, let’s get in the chilly weather mood with a little decorating. I know I am always on a strict budget so we’re going to decorate on a dime. You’ll be so inspired that you may find yourself in the local dollar store parking lot without knowing how you got there.

My favorite thing that I’ve seen lately is glass containers layered with kernels and lentils. You can get a large vase from your home or the store and gently pour in a layer of dry green lentils, then dry red kidney beans, and top with un-popped kernels. It is such a festive yet simple chic look for a centerpiece or entryway. You can also use etching cream to put letters and pictures on square glass candle holders. Words like “thanks,” “boo,” or “family” are popular themes for this route. Then fill your holders with kernels and top with a tea light for a nice festive glow.

It’s just not Autumn without some sort of pumpkin. Our pumpkin this year is going to be a planter for succulents. You can use real pumpkins, ceramic pumpkins containers, or foam core pumpkies. With a foam core planter, you can paint it or leave it white depending on the color scheme you want. Then you’ll take your pumpkin and cut a hole out of the top with a large knife. Line the hole with a plastic bag and cut away the excess. Fill with dirt and arrange your succulents. It will be so gourd-geous!

Now that you have a nifty centerpiece and planters, its time to make your home smell as good as it looks. This one is too easy; you’re going to wonder why you’ve never done this before. Gather pinecones from your yard or purchase a bag. Paint each one with craft glue, sprinkle with cinnamon powder. Once it’s finished drying you have a set of cinnamon scented pinecones to use for a basket or tray on your coffee table.

Now show off your trendy home and give ‘em pumpkin to talk about.

Heat Proof Your House

MB-0193-Blog-062518-cover

Every Oklahoma summer is brutal. Each day, starting even in Spring, is a dry hot beat down from the sun. All summer it consistently reaches upper 90’s and the particularly scorching days, the 100’s. It’s important to be prepared for this. The best way to beat the heat is to go back to the comfort of your chilly home at the end of a long sweaty day. Ways to keep your house heat free are simple and don’t have to be too drastic like moving to Alaska to live in an igloo despite that being a fantastic option to keep as a backup plan.

Watch out for windows. Windows let in large amounts of heat into the house, especially if they are facing the sun during peak hours of the day. In order to keep your bills low and your comfort levels high close your blinds or shutters every time you leave the house. You can take it one step further by hanging blackout or heavy curtains with white backing to deflect and absorb the incoming rays.

For a long-term fix, plant tall trees and full bushes to shield the house from the sun. It may not be helpful this summer but in a few years, if you plan on staying in the home a while, you will have a massive shade grove for the house and your backyard barbecues. You can also plant creeping vines to cover an area that needs extra cooling.

Many don’t realize this but you can set your fans to rotate in the opposite direction. What?! Since when?! That’s what I said. The thought process behind this is that cold air sinks just like heat rises, so rotating your fans direction will pick up the cold floor level air and disperse it evenly throughout the room and around your body since most of us don’t typically sit on the floor. If you do, then its probably because your fans are still going clockwise.

Insulate although it feels counterintuitive. Your home may need an update in insulation. Have an expert come check it out or if you’re a DIY gal or guy then watch some Youtube videos and investigate yourself. Just like insulation keeps hot air inside during the winter it keeps cold air indoors during summer. Good insulation means good summer vibes.

Search for cracks. Look at all the windows for cracks in caulking. These can leave massive air leaks into the home. Check all the doors to make sure there are no gaps between the floor and the door. If there are you can invest in a foam device that slides onto the door filling in the gap. Enjoy your newly heat proofed house.

Family Fun in the Sun (Or the Shade)

MB-0193-Blog-061818-cover

Here’s a list of all the family fun that you MUST accomplish this summer. I dare you, double dog dare with no take backs. See how many items you can check off before the end of summer and make it a friendly competition with your neighbors. Kick boredom out the door.

  • Elevation Trampoline Park: the Best way for kids to spend some of that summertime energy. Let them jump it out until they get those naptime eyes. You know what I’m talking about.
  • Pick a fruit, any fruit: Let them pick their own produce at a local OK farm. Then after a long day’s haul, you can take home your goodies to bake something delicious. Or just eat it right then and there. No judgment.
  • Dem’ Bones: If your little Mikey or Mena is an aspiring Paleontologist then they’ll get a thrill at the Museum of Osteology. It features hundreds of skeletons from around the world and is the first and only bone museum in the USA.
  • African Safari (In OKLA): Tiger Safari is an exotic zoo park that provides an interactive experience with the little baby animals (Sigh). They’re so cute. Take a guided tour through the park and feel like you’re in an exotic faraway land.
  • Shade at the Arcade: When its extra miserable on those OK summer days, shoot for a day indoors at any of the family-friendly arcades offered. These can include, but aren’t limited to, Brickopolis, Dave and Buster’s, Main Event, Chuck E. Cheese (classic), Cactus Jacks, Celebration Station, HeyDay, and Andy Alligator’s. The possibilities are endless.
  • Beach Blues: Being in a landlocked state can have its downsides, one being no ocean front beaches. Fear no more because now you can have an outdoor blast at Bricktown Beach. This new venue has sand, lounge chairs, volleyball nets, and SUN. Beach blues obliterated.
  • Natural Beauty: Get natural in nature at Martin Nature Center. This reserve contains all the elements of a wildlife Reserve all in your own city. Rolling waters, prairie dog watch party, bird observatory, and easy hikes for the small feet.
  • Memory Lane: Take a trip down memory lane with a night at a nostalgic drive-in movie. The Winchester and the Beacon offer kids and adult films alike. Nothing is more fulfilling than homemade popcorn in a brown Crest bag popped by your parents. I can attest.

Don’t just survive summer, master it.

Celebrate Your Fabulous Father

MB-0190-Blog-061218-cover

Father’s everywhere anticipate the day of the year where their children celebrate them, give them gifts from the heart, and spend quality time with the ones that taught them how to ride a bike and tie their shoes. On this day we will give them praise and reminisce about the good ol’ days. Here are ideas to kick off his day right.

If dad likes to grill, have a cookout for him. He will enjoy the time together and the kiddos can present him with a grilling plate complete with their handprints. If the kids are grown then a nice grill set of tongs and spatulas are a sweet surprise. If you are especially crafty, create a DIY hanger for his new grill tools with a dad joke or quote for his humorous side.

If you’re looking for an adventure with dad, take him ax throwing at Bad Ax Throwing. It is a great way to relieve stress and you get professional coaches that will train you for your game. You can bring lunch and refreshments to make it a party. They are open from 5pm-9pm.

Take dad to a relaxing concert in the park. Sunday evenings are the Twilight in the Park series at the Myriad Gardens. Bring lawn chairs or a blanket to sit out on the Great Lawn for a delightful musical experience. It may be his favorite Father’s Day event yet.

There is nothing more appetizing on Father’s Day than steak. If you don’t; want the mess of cleaning up after a cookout then WAGYU Japanese BBQ gives you the experience of a cookout without the mess. Yes, you cook your own meat on the grill at your table. This delicious multiple-meat course will leave your dad completely satisfied and a little plumper. It’s the perfect ending to the perfect day. Your dad may just consider you his favorite child. Only joking. We know favorites aren’t allowed.

 

Oklahoma Weekend Adventures

MB-0188-Blog-060518-cover

You don’t have to sit at home all summer just to avoid the heat. Take a little getaway trip with your S.O. or the kiddos or even a zen solo trip. Get out of the house and explore your own state. These adventures aren’t that far and you can most likely make it there on one tank of gas. No excuses. Just hop in the car already and take off down the road. What’s more freeing than a weekend away to clear your head.

Talimena National Scenic Byway is beautiful no matter what season. It always has gorgeous scenery and interesting sites to visit. It is a 54 mile stretch where you can enjoy wildlife and foliage. There are historic cabins and train cars to check out along your drive. Of course, just driving down the byway is interesting enough in itself. You can camp and hike in the Ouachita National Forrest or rent a cabin for glamping. A mini road trip never seemed more exhilarating.

Spice up your weekend adventure with a trip to Meadowlake Ranch Bed and Breakfast. Here you can stay in authentic native American tipi for the night. Each tipi has a modern bathroom so don’t fret too much, we wouldn’t suggest you do your business in the woods. That may be a little too adventurous. The tipis are located near a lovely trickling brook and waterfall to soothe your worries away while you feel like you’re having a Western experience.

Maybe roughing it is a bit much for you this weekend. You want to be pampered and live in the lap of luxury for a while. Choose from a variety of suites and cottages for your stay. At Echo Canyon Spa and Resort, you will be treated to the full service five-star Aloha Spa and a five-star restaurant, The Baron of Beef. Here you will forget about the work week and completely be able to treat yourself. Although only an hour and 15 minutes outside of Oklahoma City, it will feel like you’re in another world.

Feel like you’re not even apart of this era at the Victorian Lady Bed and Breakfast in Jenks. Each room is decorated with vintage Victorian furniture so that you can truly feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Despite the lavish old décor, all suites have modern amenities. Lounge and converse in the parlor or take a walk in the perennial gardens and imagine yourself as Jane Eyre. Go “into town’ to enjoy shopping and various dining options.

Get lost in your own state and state of mind with these relaxing Oklahoma getaways.