Friday, December 28, 2012

Wishing You Joy and Peace

TEAM-PRZADA would like to take this opportunity to wish you peace during this holiday season.  May you experience warmth and joy in your gatherings and travels. 

Now, seems like more than ever, our world needs gentleness and kindness.  We can't think of a better way to be that kindness than joining in the 26 Acts of Kindness movement to honor those souls lost in Connecticut. 

Have a happy and safe New Year. 


 
 

Monday, December 10, 2012

Residing at The Reserve

YES, PLEASE!!

As you drive through the beautifully landscaped neighborhood of The Reserve at Westridge, you get that warm, neighborly feeling...you know, the urge to stop and chat with everyone you see. The Reserve is a little slice of Mayberry with a Lone Star State twist that is.  The streets are quiet but active.  The neighborhood is dotted with friendly residents walking dogs, following kids on scooters, or chasing toddlers while attempting to feed the resident ducks.    DR Horton's southwest McKinney, Texas community has much, yes much to offer!  The Reserve is located just minutes north of 121, off Independence and Westridge.  It is served by Frisco ISD and will ultimately have its own brand-new elementary school.  The community boasts an amenity center with several pools, a kiddie splash pad and towering water slides.  In the heart of the master-planned development sits a pastoral spot with a pond surrounded by hike and bike trails, all of which add to the charm of the neighborhood.  The Reserve is currently building in Phase 3 and plans to open a Phase 4.  There is an extensive variety of floor plans and beautiful elevations to suit.  Whether you are considering making an offer on a newly built spec home, or, if you choose to build from scratch, DR Horton's The Reserve is a winner.  Jennifer Green, one of the on-site sales representatives, is WONDERFUL.  She is responsive and easy to work with.  You certainly get the feeling that she enjoys helping people find not just a house, but their next home in The Reserve.  How does this Urban-Mama know so much about this community and the AH-Mazing Jennifer Green???  Well, let's just say my little Urban family will be calling The Reserve home and we could not be more excited about it. 

Stay tuned for a peek inside our building experience.....


signed Urban Mama

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thank YOU!

We are so grateful for your overwhelming response to TEAM-PRZADA's Annual Food Drive!  Because of YOUR generosity, we were able to donate multiple car-loads-full of food and supplies to both The Plano Food Pantry and The Second Chance SPCA.  We know there are many appreciative Plano citizens and canine and feline recipients.  It is truly a blessing to get to serve so many wonderful clients and friends that never hesitate to give back....and for that, we are THANKFUL {FOR YOU}!

As a small appreciation, I would love to share one of my treasured recipes, just in time for Thanksgiving.  It comes from my beloved sister, Joyce, who makes the most divine pecan pie. 


Ingredients:

·       3 eggs

·       1 cup sugar

·       1 cup white Karo

·       1 t. vanilla

·       1/2 stick butter

·       1/8 t. salt

Instructions:
  • Mix ingredients and pour into prepared pie crust;  cook at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until set.
Indulge & Enjoy!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Name Change....From Haggard Estates to West Park Estates


*****Update*****  As of 2013, this development is now named West Park Estates.

Many of us, especially our children, grew up driving past the Haggard Farm while running afternoon or Saturday morning errands!  What city the size of Plano has a real farm with cattle lazing in the pastures, llamas grazing under the trees and a field of maize waiting to be harvested, always reminding us that Plano was once a farming community?  Seeing the windmill has long been a favorite announcement of our three year old grandson, Little Man L, as his mama’s car approached the farm, “I see the windmill!”


Not too long ago we began hearing rumors that the Haggard Family had decided to sell this scenic spot, located on the corner of Custer Road and Park Boulevard,  a piece of prime real estate for sure.  And soon, construction equipment arrived on the North corner of this historic and once proud pasture, as the rumor turned to reality. Toll Brothers had purchased the land!  This future site of Haggard Estates is comprised of 59 acres on the northern half of the farm.  The project is currently in the land prep-stage, with an anticipated opening date of the Spring of 2013. 


Toll Brothers is a fine home builder, known nationally for quality workmanship, style and the finished product.  One of their more recent and sought after Plano neighborhoods, that you may have seen, is Preston Lakes located off Ohio and Parker Road.  No doubt, like other Toll Brother communities, Haggard Estates will be a much sought after home site in the near future.  For more information, please click on the link… Toll Brothers/Haggard Estates

Monday, November 5, 2012

TEAM-PRZADA's Annual Food & Supply Drive

 
 
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
 
 
This is the season, isn't it? It is the time of year when we verbalize what we are thankful for. There is much to appreciate year round, but it seems especially appropriate to take this time as the holiday season begins to count our blessings and to think of what we can do to help others. There are always opportunities to help, in both big and small ways. In fact, it has become a yearly and well-loved tradition for TEAM-PRZADA to organize a food and supply drive for both The Plano Food Pantry and The Second Chance SPCA in Plano. It is hard to believe the year is flying by so quickly and Thanksgiving is just around the corner! Since our little drive has become so successful and very much appreciated by both agencies, our team is reaching out to YOU, dear readers, to help make this year's drive an even bigger success. TEAM-PRZADA will collect and deliver donations before Thanksgiving. If you would like to participate, browse the list below. You can make a donation one of two ways:
1. Please bring your items to Christ United Methodist Church, room N158, The Family Living classroom during the week of November 5th, 2012, Sunday, November 11, 2012 will be our pick up date. If you plan to leave your contribution in our SS classroom before the 11th, please mark them TEAM-PRZADA.
2. Email Nancie@ nprzada@kw.com and she will coordinate a local pick up on Monday, November 12th, 2012.   

We very much appreciate your help toward this community event and hope that you plan to participate again this year. If you have questions, please call at 469-387-8111.



· Raman Noodles
· Canned Green Beans and Corn
· Cereal
· Boxed Pancake Mix

For Dogs:
  • Nature's Recipe Canned Dog Food
  • Canned Chicken
  • Science Diet-Small bites
  • Soft Dog Treats
  • Milk Bones
  • Pill Pockets
  • Toys
  • Revolution Flea Preventative
For Cats:
  • Canned Cat Food
  • Clay Cat Litter
  • Pill Pockets
  • Toys
  • Cat Treats
  • Revolution Flea
  • Preventative 
 

Monday, October 22, 2012

First Down Delicious!


Fall is the air or at least in the morning hours it feels it is!  Ha!  Nothing says fall, or approaching Fall like chili!  In my family, we watch a lot of football this time of year and cooking chili just seems like the thing to do. It is so easy, you can begin in the morning, use your crock-pot, then have time to watch all that college football with out missing even a play. I found a recipe I like, which I have modified a bit.  I think it turned out great.  My family agrees, so I will pass that along to YOU!

 Ingredients:
  • 1 pound lean ground beef, drain the grease
  • 2 cups fresh pinto beans (I soak them over night in water) or 2 cans of pinto beans
  • 2 cans Rotel tomatoes with green chilies
  • 1 cans dark beer
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • l-8 oz. can tomato sauce
  • l large green pepper chopped
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1tablespoon chili powder
  • 1teaspoon salt
  • tomato juice to make enough liquid
 
Directions:
  • Brown the meat with the onion.
  • Put all items in a large crock pot and cook for about 6 to 7 hours. You can double this recipe for a large group.
  • Serve with grated cheese and cornbread!

Yum....a first down if you ask us!




Monday, October 1, 2012

Unplugged & Away

Even though we absolutely love and fully appreciate our North Texas Lifestyle, occasionally we need to get away.  We really enjoy the opportunity to visit other communities across Texas.  Such was the case last Thursday when we left Mega Agent Camp in Austin and headed for true Texas Hill Country.  Our destination was Fredericksburg, Texas.  On the agenda:   a couple of days of relaxation, tasty food & drink along with great entertainment!

We discovered all of that and more while staying at the Hanger Hotel!  We found Fredericksburg to be a charming community with wonderful restaurants, terrific entertainment, tons of wineries, museums and shops.  One of the area's top highlights was The National Museum of the Pacific War, after spending several hours taking in displays and as much information as possible, we left at closing.  A return visit is a must as we still were not able to see it all. 

The Hanger Hotel, is a real find…a true step back in time.  We lunched in a 1940s era diner,  enjoyed entertainment and drinks in the officer’s club and unplugged in a lovely, comfortable room during our stay.  All of this in a building that looked like an airplane hanger situated adjacent to a functioning airstrip!  Adding to the character of our weekend, the Falco Airplane Club had a fly in and their members stayed for the weekend.  These well built (by their owners who started with a kit) planes were coming and going each day.   From the hotel balcony, we were able to capture tons of photos and videos of these snazzy planes taking off and landing, no doubt for our eager grandson. My favorite part had to be listening to the pilots' stories of the years of dedication spent building and fine tuning their planes.

As we headed back to North Texas, we realized that visiting Fredericksburg is absolutely a two-timer for our family!



 

Monday, September 10, 2012

Balloon Festival- YES?

Balloons, sky divers, kids' fun zone, music and fireworks, OH MY!  Are you ready for Plano's annual Balloon Festival?  Mark your calendars for the weekend of September 21st-September 23rd.  Visit the official website for complete details.  Take a look back at the festival's past with our post from last year.  Happy Ballooning folks! 

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Chalk Paint, Dazzle, Muscle Power & Pins...Hmmm


Do you ever look at a piece of furniture that has seen better days and think, with a little effort, I could make that look really good? I do this all the time.  When I see pieces of furniture discarded in the alley or at garage sales, placed in estate sales, or even familiar pieces around my house, it causes me to rethink their potential.  
I don’t remember when this hobby of  re-purposing furniture began, but I am sure it came out of necessity….you know, the old struggle between staying on budget vs. wanting all NEW furniture in a fit of re-decoration!  Enter ingenuity!   All you really need to refinish furniture is a little muscle power, creativity, a place to work, and the right tools.  There are several things you can do to furniture to change its tired appearance:
 
  • strip the finish and restain
  • sand the finish and repaint
If the above do not appeal to you, then a new technique I have discovered just might be it!  Anna Sloan Chalk Paint is a new type of paint.  It is so wonderful.  All you really have to do to achieve best results is make sure the piece is clean, then paint.
I stumbled upon this product while reading the Dallas Morning News. Once I read about it, I was hooked.  I purchased my first color and re-did a coffee table, which I happened to find in an alley. {ahem...ahem} With the help of my husband, and his re-construction skills, we created a unique coffee table that looks great! I purchased my paint in McKinney, Texas at The Lady Butterbug,   Currently; they have a booth at in the Frisco Mercantile in Frisco,Texas.  I have had so much fun working with this paint because there is not much prep-time involved, and you are able to bask in the fruits of your labor much sooner!   If there are some rough edges on the furniture, I might sand them down a little but that’s about it....no marathon sanding sessions here! There are so many wonderful and fun colors to choose from.  It certainly makes the current trend of bringing color into your home a piece of cake. I am about to start work on a table soon so be sure to watch for the Before and After photos on Pinterest!  That's right readers.....TEAM-PRZADA is now on Pinterest.  Check us out and let us know what you think about that next piece of furniture you can't help but make plans to make it dazzle again! 
 
 

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dear Unsuspecting Homeowner,

So in my weekly browse of the net, I came a across this cheeky article posted on houselogic.com.  It is aptly titled, Ten Things A Burglar Doesn't Want You to Know.  Click and read on....how many of these mistakes are YOU making? 

Enlightening stuff!

Signed,

LEAVEMYHOUSEALONETHANKYOUVERYMUCH!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

EASY!!

Yes, I typed the word easy and I intend it to describe my latest appliance buying experience.  That is seldom the case, right?  At least for us, it seems, we have had some bad luck with appliance purchase, installation, or service recently. 

When you discover that a new appliance purchase is in your immediate future, your thoughts and emotions can run the gambit from frustration at expense, to excitement for the payoff new technology brings to your life.  Unfortunately, most of the time, infuriating antics seem to accompany dealing with installers and delivery of said appliance.  Well, this tale is very happy AND short!  Seriously, our most recent appliance purchase was.... simply put, EASY!!!  Not long ago, the hubs and I decided it was time to purchase a new single wall oven and microwave.  Our normal M.O. is to get three estimates, then consult our research numerous times before we make a decision, (let me tell you, dear readers, I am NOT one to miss a deal and overpay.  I WILL find the most competitive price, in fact, I think it's kind of in my blood).  We *briefly* researched prior to our first outing, in order to get a feel for pricing.  Our "brick and mortar" search began at  Gold Star Appliance & Lighting in Richardson, Texas.  I do mean the same one that seems to have been just East of Central Expressway for as long as I have been conscious.  In fact, I think my folks shopped there when they were building their first Plano home, oh so many years ago!  Anyway, we intended to make this stop our first of three, mainly to gain knowledge about brands and features, rather than purchase.  The Mr. and I both thought Gold Star couldn't possibly beat the big box store pricing.  We were W.R.O.N.G.  As the three of us, (yes, we were crazy enough to bring a three year old along with us) ambled up the stairs and entered the store, we were met by the most amiable and knowledgeable sales associate, Stanley Quist.  He was disarming, but certainly knew his products.  Rather than hit us with a hard sales pitch, he was a resource with an honest approach.  We spouted our must-haves and our kitchen's space constraints.  We discussed price and installation.  My husband and I were so impressed with the product, Mr. Stanley's (as our three year old christened him) overview, and Gold Star's PRICE, that we were sold.  There really was no reason to shop anywhere else, PERIOD,( just to satisfy my inner deal hunter, that night, I scoured the Internet for a better price.  I came up empty, yo!).  Gold Star's pricing was more than competitive, it blew the big box stores away.  Fast forward to the installation process.  It was simple!   Stanley set up the delivery AND called when he said he would....which is HUGE, people!  In the entire process, there was only one hiccup.  It was an manufacturer availability issue.  We were notified promptly and Mr. Quist outlined three options, I selected one and before I knew it, we were basking in the glow of a beautiful, new, fully-functioning, wall oven and microwave.  The three year old was so impressed, he even slowed down long enough to watch as our dinner was baked to perfection the first time we used the oven.   Upon reflection, I've determined the most challenging part of this process to be learning about convection cooking...uptown problems, I know!! 

Experiences can be unique, but for this Urban-Mama, Stanley Quist and Gold Star Appliance & Lighting is truly our one-stop shop for appliances!  See, I said it was EASY!!!

~ Urban Mama


 Kitchen Bling!! 

Monday, July 16, 2012

DATE NIGHT!

Date night is always fun, right?  Well, this one will go into the books as GREAT!  Pat and I spent a delightful evening last Friday at the Winspear Opera House in the Dallas ArtsDistrict!  Have you been there?  We have attended two different shows and have fallen in love!  There is not a bad seat in the house.  The experience at the Winspear is very comfortable, easy maneuvering coming and going….the parking is underground, an escalator or elevator take you exactly where you need to go.  On Friday, we saw the Jersey Boys, one of our favorite shows because of the great energy and fun music from the ‘60’s.  We arrived early and hung out in the lobby bar, (GREAT for people watching) area until it was time for the “Boys” to take stage. 

If you are thinking of taking in a show this summer, Chicago- TheMusical runs from August 14th through the 16th.  Go, make a night of it!  You won't be sorry you did.  The Dallas Arts District and the Winspear are just two reasons North Texas is such a great place to call home!





Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Area Home Sales Soar- This is a 4 YEAR HIGH!!!

While reading the paper, I happened upon some good news I just could not wait to share.  On the front page of the Dallas Morning News on June 9th, appeared an article about current home sales in North Texas.  The following is what stood out to me. 

While sales soared in May to the highest level in four years, Real Estate agents sold 22% more homes than in May 2011, according to The Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University.  In addition, home sales in North Texas were up 16% from the first five months in 2011.  The surge in spring home buying does much to ease fears that our local housing market could slip back into recession. 

Some other points of interest:

  • Area home sales have been higher the last eleven months  than the previous year
  • Number of homes on the market for sale in DFW, down more than 22 percent
  • In May, average days on the market to sell a house was  70
  • End of May, only about a five month supply of houses for sale on the market
  • Six month supply considered a balanced market.
  • Agents say “demand in some neighborhoods is out stripping the supply”
  • Multiple offers are being seen on some properties
  • Buyers want to take advantage of low prices and low interest rates
  • Home sales in affluent neighborhoods like Park Cities and North Dallas up more than a third from a year ago
  • Sales up 54 percent in Frisco, 41 percent in Allen
  • Strongest markets continue to be those spanning the northern suburbs of D-FW
  • Median price of homes sold in North Texas was $162,500, highest level in two years
Pre-owned markets are being watched closely for increased sales, reduction of housing inventory and strengthening of house prices…all of these indicators point to a more universal recovery for the D­­­-FW housing market.  Record low mortgage rates continue to be a motivating factor! 

That my friends, is some good news! 

Monday, June 18, 2012

Italian Party Bites

There is nothing better than getting together with good friends in the summer!  Whether we go out to dinner or just barbecue at home we always have a great time! My husband and I have a great group of friends we've known for quite some time. We met through our children when they attended elementary school, and played team sports.  At this point, our kids are grown and have gone on with their own lives but we have remained friends!
No matter when we get together, one of my favorite dishes to serve is Italian Party Bites. This recipe is so versatile; you could even make it for a main dish and add a salad.  Although, if your husband is like mine, he would insist on adding meat, otherwise, he deems this not a meal, but “chick food.”

Ingredients: 

  • 1 Italian Bread Shell 12”
  • 1 tsp. Minced Onion
  • 1 tsp. Italian Seasoning
  • ½ cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • ½ tsp. Thyme Leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup of Thinly Sliced Veggies
  • (Red pepper zucchini, Mushrooms, Onion)
  • 1 Can (2.2 Ounce) Sliced Black Olives
  • ¼ Cup Shredded Parmesan Cheese
Directions:

  • Preheat Oven 450
  • Place Shell on Cookie Sheet
  • In bowl toss next 6 Ingredients, spread on Shell.
  • Top with olives and Parmesan Cheese
  • Bake 8 to 10 Minutes
  • Cut into 2 inch squares
Recipe courtesy of Ruth Brown

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

A Summer "What-List?"


All over the blog'o sphere are posts regarding a summer bucket list.  I love the idea, maybe just not the name!  Anyway, the premise is to make a splashy, visually attractive list to keep track of all of the summer fun you are planning.  I began seeing this trend last summer, but I think this summer is my summer to try it!  Check out some of the links we've gathered:

Happy Summertime FUN to each of you!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

CONGRATULATIONS And Thank YOU

First of all, we are honored, and we say a big "Thank YOU", to you!  This past January, we received a call, telling us that we had been selected, in the Dallas Ft Worth area, as Five Star Professional Realtors for 2012.  We were told the honor would be announced in the May issue of Texas Monthly Magazine!

This is very exciting...not to mention rewarding, for our team as our clients recommended us for this award!  A client satisfaction survey was sent to over 126,200 households, asking client participants to rate their Realtors on nine areas of service.  In the final count, we were extremely pleased to have scored in the top 1% out of 61,000 Realtors in this region! 

We appreciate this honor.  We appreciate even more our clients who thought enough of us and our personal service to take time to complete the survey.  It is always a great feeling to be honored for a job “well done”and by people whom we have helped fulfill a dream!

Friday, May 18, 2012

LOST Dallas?

Have you ever heard, "Dallas has NO history?"  Have you ever thought it or said it?  I have heard that all my life.  I know it is not completely true.  I mean my goodness, there is a history of the city, you can find it in classroom text books, or on wikipedia.  I think the true meaning behind this statement hints at the frustration people feel when they see how quick the city of Dallas has been to tear down and rebuild...all in the name of new.

I found myself thinking about this, and what was, after I stumbled upon a podcast a few weeks ago.  It was from the program, Think, on NPR.  The topic was a discussion with author and preservationist, Mark Doty.  He has just written a book, Lost Dallas, a Look at a Vanished City.  It delves into a previous world in which the sometime- rundown businesses on Ross Avenue did not exist. In their place stood a tree-lined, majestic and monied collection of mansions rivaling Swiss Avenue.  This podcast is really worth a listen.  I've found myself many times staring at the old Dallas High School building which butts up to the DART Pearl station.  Each time I see it, I imagine what it must have been like in its heyday.  I can almost hear the bustling teenagers, scurrying to make it from class to class before tardy.  This podcast gives you a rare glimpse of many other examples of Dallas history. As I listened, I was invited to imagine what Dallas was before "progress" took over.   The insightful interview also paints a wonderful picture of the city's current historical buildings, giving me a context from which to appreciate the many things I do see in my travels to downtown.  I am certain the book is even more inviting and interesting.  In fact, I think it will top my "summer reading" list.  How about you?


One of Dallas's Art Deco masterpieces, the Esquire Theater was near the intersection of Oak Lawn Ave. and Cedar Springs Rd.  As pictured in 1931, found in Lost Dallas, by Mark Doty, the theater was torn down in 1985.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Mi Casa es Su Casa?

Is it really???  Have you ever happened upon a charming neighborhood, intrigued by the architecture, the landscaping, the very feeling it inspired?  Have you ever found yourself scheming a way to get a look inside interesting homes,(no that would be creepy), wanting a peek inside?  Well, unless you fortuitously meet a resident of said neighborhood, who just happens to invite you over for dinner, that's probably not going to happen.....UNLESS the neighborhood hosts an annual home tour!  That's how we spent last Sunday.  It was beyond great for this period architecture obsessed gal.

The Hollywood/Santa Monica Neighborhood Association for the Hollywood Heights/Santa Monica subdivision of Dallas just hosted their annual home tour.  It was capped off by the Art in the Park festival, complete with gourmet food trucks, showcased art and even a dog adoption event.  We had a fantastic day.  Even the smallest (my three year old) of us had a great time!  As for the home tour, five fantastic examples of period homes were showcased.  All had been lovingly restored, improved, expanded, or all three.  Check out the association's website for more information on the architectural styles, history of the neighborhood, and events. 


If this sounds like the perfect way to spend a weekend afternoon, well, YOU are in luck, as the Swiss Avenue Historic District presents its Annual Swiss Avenue Mother's Day Home Tour on May 12th and May 13th, 2012.  Swiss Avenue boasts a wonderful collection of period architecture, such as Tudor, Italian Romanesque, Prairie, Craftsman among other examples of 20th century architecture.  If you go, be sure to post on North Texas Lifestyle that you were there!  We'd LOVE to hear from you!

Urban Mama

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Fantastic Experience

Choosing a Realtor is a tough decision.  It seems everyone knows someone who is in the business.  Your REALTOR is there helping you through, most likely, the biggest purchase of your life.  Read on to see what one of our clients has to say about her home-buying experience with TEAM-PRZADA.  For more information about buying or selling a home with us, see what our clients have to say.   

What a fantastic first-time home buying experience! It was an absolute joy to work with TEAM-PRZADA; they truly are two of the kindest people I know! As a first-time home buyer, I was admittedly quite intimidated by the whole process. Pat and Nancie patiently guided me through each step and kept me informed the whole way. As I get moved in and settled, I am so thankful to TEAM-PRZADA for their dedication in helping me find a place that already feels like home. I absolutely recommend TEAM-PRZADA!

With gratitude,
Vanessa

Thursday, April 5, 2012

A Three Car Garagae- YOU Got It!

When it comes to their next home, every man, or woman for that matter, would love to have a three car garage!  Often this size garage only exists in a home with a larger footprint, meaning more square footage and more cost!  Recently, I conducted a search for a home in the 2400-2800 square foot size range with one of the top priorities being a three car garage!  Guess what???  There are several new communities that fit the bill.

The Arbors of Willow Bay – Highland Homes-Frisco

The Heights of Westridge-Horizon Homes-McKinney

Trails of Glenwood-DR Horton Homes-Plano

If one of your dreams is to have a larger garage for all your “stuff” and your cars, give us a call and we’ll go see these homes together.

Nancie and Pat Przada
Licensed Texas Realtors
Keller Williams Realty

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chicken Salad- YUM!

I have a great Chicken Salad Recipe that I have made for years and I want to share with YOU! I was gifted with this recipe from a neighbor.  She has long since moved and I am not even sure where she lives now, but I am still making her chicken salad recipe. Every time I make it for dinner or a luncheon, it gets rave reviews.  In fact, I used to make it for my daughter when she was in college and would send it back with her so she would have something to eat besides cereal and soup. To this day, her college roommate comments about my chicken salad whenever I see her!  This recipe is so easy and can be made ahead of time. Try it out and let me know what you think!


Jan’s Chicken Salad
  • 2 to 3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
  • I chop my in my food processor
  • 1 cup of celery, chopped
  • ½ cup of toasted almonds (optional)
  • To toast almonds bake at 400 until lightly browned
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tsp. grated onion
  • ¾ cup of mayonnaise (You can add more if you like)
  • Use real mayo.
  • Grated cheese, any kind (optional)
  • Mix all ingredients. Toss lightly and sprinkle grated cheese on top, if desired. Serve on croissants or kaiser rolls.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Home Decor and Pinterest...Sounds Like the Perfect Way to Spend An Afternoon...

As promised, here is a taste of the decor trends for 2012.  These trends made their debut in 2011, but are going so strong that style experts predict they will be white hot this year.  For more information AND visuals= eye candy, check out colourlovers blog. 

  • Owls & Birds
  • Wall Art- The Family Tree (I've been mulling this one over in my mind)
  • Stair Makeovers
  • Ruffles, Ruffles &  More Ruffles
  • PINTEREST!!!
So...what's this Pinterest, I teased in this week's newsletter?  Well, it is nothing short of greatness!  It is a social site, kind of like Facebook....think of it as a virtual bulletin board where you can pin your favorite images, links, recipes, ideas, and projects.  You can have as many boards as you want, organize them any way you want, share them with friends AND browse other people's boards, too.  You can use Pinterest for a lookbook to plan a party, decorate a room, keep track of a decorator's TO DO list, create a wish list ....the lifestyle possibilities are literally endless.  Surf on over and see for yourself.  Be warned, though, time does not stand still while you get lost in Pinterest and its millions of beautiful ideas.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Are You Ready?

Well, fellow North Texans...spring brings two types of weather:  Extreme and Lovely.  Personally, we prefer the latter.  Anyway, to help you prepare for the extreme and enjoy the lovely, we want to share two of our favorite Facebook resources. 

For the extreme, nail-biting storms we seem to be so prone to, check out Prepared in Plano  This Facebook page keeps you up to date with all severe weather alerts and local city and emergency information for the City of Plano.  It comes in SERIOUSLY handy during those nasty, unpredictable spring storms that knock out your dish, satellite, cable, etc., rendering your TV useless, (just when you need it the most).  We have spent many a storm, sirens wailing, huddled in the hall bathroom, glued to this page on our iPad.  Prepared in Plano posts weather alerts, watches, and warnings in real-time status updates.  In addition, they also post information regarding water restrictions, ERCOT notifications and local safety information. 

NOW…for the lovely weather!  North Texas spring days are truly a treasure.  You know, those days, that you are so thankful to live here and enjoy the beautiful sunshine and delicious temperatures, (this is of course before the searing heat makes its way to our area to make even the simplest tasks impossible and you remember it is your goal in life to plot and scheme to live ANYWHERE but here).  On those lovely spring days, I want…. no I need to be outside.  If you feel the same way, then make your plans for leisure using Playground Perspectives.  This Facebook page gives you the low-down on local parks and trails.  The resourceful ladies behind this page also have a great blog site, too.  On the blog, you can find parks and trails categorized by zip code, along with helpful information about park features.  Using this resource has allowed me to rediscover some of the hidden gems my city and the surrounding areas have to offer. 

Happy spring!  Let’s hope the lovely weather out numbers the extreme!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Are You Looking For a Way to Donate Your Large Furniture?

Have you been lucky enough to buy new furniture...a bedroom suit, dining room table, or a great new sofa?  If so, what did you do with your "old stuff?"  Recently, we were faced with this same question.  It can be a real problem if you want to donate good-condition furniture without owning your own truck.  In researching possible solutions, we discovered a few charities that not only accept large furniture items, but also pick up your items, too. 

What an opportunity...you can responsibility pass along your used furniture and help others in need along the way.  Check out our list of great charities:

Plano Community Charities-  A representative will pick up your donation furniture or anything else that is gently used, but still has life.  If it is a bed and someone walks into their store and is in immediate need, Plano Community Charities will make sure that individual's need is met right then and there. Most items are initially put into their store where people come to shop for items at a fair price.  The profits from PCC's store is then used to help people in our community who are unable to pay their electric, water or gas bills.  Plano Community Charity is located at 2436 Avenue K in East Plano.  To schedule a pick up, call 972-578-0399, or visit Plano Community Charity Finder.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

To Food Truck Or Not?

Whether you are a true foodie or not, you will certainly feel like one while strolling the line of food trucks in the Dallas Arts District.  On a recent outing to the Dallas Art Museum, my son and I strolled down to Flora Street, about a block from the DMA's north exit.  It was a bit chilly, but a perfect Dallas winter's day nonetheless.  Picnic tables with young professionals, seasoned mega career types and everything in between dotted the lush strip of green grass along the sidewalk of an otherwise concrete swath. My little man and I were overwhelmed with choices.  We saw food trucks with names like Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, Rock Star Taco, The Butcher's Son and Easy Slider which lined Flora Street for the lunch hour and a bit beyond.  Once we saw the testimonial menu for gourmet grilled cheeses on the side of Ruthie's Rolling Cafe, we were sold!  While the grilled cheese were good, we decided they might not be as good as the ones I create at home, (slightly off-beat grilled cheeses happen to be my speciality).  What was good great was the experience of choosing my food in a unique way and eating along side the bustling street with an unknown community of lunch mates who were sharing the same experience.  This experience certainly met our criteria...fun, interesting...and a launchpad for building new vocabulary and a great topic of conversation a mama and a little boy (ok, I know that last one really  pertains to me).  I enjoyed it and my son certainly did, too!  In fact, we now have a hot wheels "food twuck"  that regularly makes an appearance during playtime at home. 

To plan your own Big D Food Truck experience check out Big D Food Trucks.  You can find them all over DFW.  You might just discover your next favorite adventure.  It certainly was a hit with this Urban family!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

What Is On YOUR Bucket List?

Welcome to our newest featured blogger on Housing "Cents."  Vanessa is a client of TEAM-PRZADA who happens to be up for just about any adventure in North Texas.  Today, she shares her latest thrilling discovery in Big D.   

"Why do you want to jump out of a perfectly good airplane?" That was the most common response when I told anyone that I was going skydiving. A skydiving excursion was one of the first things placed on my bucket list upon creation a couple of years ago and I was thrilled when my younger brother also expressed interest. On January 7, 2012, a beautiful Texas day, we did it!  

We did some research on skydive centers in the DFW area and chose Skydive Dallas in Whiteright, Texas. They have a great website, www.skydivedallas.com. I called 1-800-SKYDIVE to make my reservation and the staff was polite and professional. The day of the jump, you first complete the ground school instruction; it takes about an hour. Not long after the instruction is complete, you are in a suit and meeting your instructor. I also met my skydive videographer. My brother and I chose the Premium Package, which is the Basic Package plus video recording and still photographs. Because everything went so fast I hardly had time to be nervous. The plane took us up to 13,500 feet and then....WE JUMPED!!!  The free fall lasts a minute and then you canopy down for about five minutes. There really are no words to express how amazing it is to be able to see everything for miles. After the jump, the DVD was done when I was ready to head home. Skydiving was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime experience (and I can't wait to go again!)

Be sure to add skydiving at Skydive Dallas to your Dallas Do List!


Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Valentine Goodies


Are you looking for a delightful sweet treat to gift your sweetie this Valentines Day?  Well, I have a great recipe that is so delicious and easy to make. NO BAKING REQUIRED! Did you get that peeps?  Let me repeat…NO BAKING REQUIRED!!  I got this recipe from a friend of mine and decided to make it for several people for Christmas Gifts. I received so many compliments and requests for the recipe I figured I needed to rework it for Cupid's Day and share with our readers!

It’s called Vanilla Bark Candy and trust me, it is worth the calories. 

Ingredients:
  • aluminum Foil
  • 24 ounces white/vanilla bark candy (found on the baking aisle at your local grocery store)
  • 2 Cups plain Cheerios
  • 2 Cups plain Wheat Chex
  • 2 Cups pretzel twists
  • 1 Cup roasted almonds (I roast my own almonds & pecans)
  • 1 Cup roasted pecans

Directions:
  1. Lay foil out on counter shiny side down
  2. Just make sure you buy nuts that have no oil them when you roast them, (you can by your almonds & pecans in bulk at sprouts). Put them on a tray at 350 degrees and roast. It does not take long, around 3 to 5 minutes, so keep an eye on it. 
  3. Mix Cheerios, Wheat Chex, pretzel twist, almonds & pecans in large bowl.
  4. Next, melt vanilla bark candy according to directions. I melt mine in microwave oven. Pour all of your dry ingredients and melted chocolate onto foil.  Let the mixture dry. After it is dry you break it up and put into a pretty jar or a fun bag with some ribbon and give it to your Valentine!





Thursday, January 19, 2012

In Today's Real Estate Market....

Here are a few things we've noticed about the state of the Real Estate Market. Encouraging News??  We think so!  Read on and let us know what YOU think!   

·      In November, while compiling the stats for our monthly newsletter, we found that there were fewer active listings by  some 20%-30%, in many North Dallas Suburbs, from the same month in 2011!  That trend continued by lesser percentages in December. What does that mean?  Are Sellers tired of the Buyer’s Market that has existed for the past several years and have decided to wait to list their homes?  Are more houses selling? 

·      According to Steve Brown, Real Estate Editor, Dallas Morning News, (January 10, 2012,) North Texas purchases of pre-owned homes were up 5 percent in December from a year earlier, the sixth month in a row of higher sales.  Brown also noted, after almost five years of declines, home prices in the DFW area will edge up in 2012!  Our market will be among the top ten home gainers and should increase 5.8 percent by the end of 2012.  That is higher than the nationwide forecast of 0.2 percent.

·      With this news, we are thinking it is a great time to list your home…less competition! 

·      Mortgage rates continue to hover just under 4%!  Brad Lynch, Premier Nationwide Lending, reported on 1/18/2012, 30 year conventional loan rate at 3.875%,  FHA, 30 year rate at 3.75% which also makes it a great time to be a buyer! 




Sunday, January 8, 2012

Happy New Year!

The happiest of New Years to each of you!  A new year is all about taking stock.  Some of us set goals, some of us make resolutions, some of us count our blessings.  Here are a few thoughts from TEAM-PRZADA for 2012.  Whatever your resolutions or goals we wish you luck in achieving them, we wish you peace and we wish you joy. 

Pat & Nancie Przada-
For our World, we wish for safety.  We wish for a more stable Earth, some peace from natural disasters.  We wish for economic stability.  For our nation, we wish for stability, for leaders who connect with reality and get America going again.  We wish for a year of job creations...jobs for people!!  For our family, we wish for health, happiness, job security and the blessing of time spent together. 

Karen Secor- My goals and hopes for 2012 I would say pretty much revolve around my family and friends. For myself I hope that I can continue to stay focused on getting in better shape and continuing to learn about all the technology that makes the world go round these days. I want to make it a point to keep in contact with people whose friendships I treasure.  My hope is that for Vanessa and Mitchell that they are working in a job that they both enjoy and that helps them work towards the personal and professional goals that they have for themselves. For Peyton that he continues to work hard in school and understands what a gift it is to be able to have the opportunity to get an education. For Mike that he also has continued success in his job and he is able to do things for himself that he enjoys since he has always sacrificed to so much for his family. Most of all I hope for good health for family and friends and that they have a great year!

For work I am hoping that will we have continued success in helping our clients with the best service we can provide and that our clients in return will send us business so we can help more people find their dream home.

For our country I hope that our leaders can some how figure out how to come together and get people working again and that in turn will help turn our economy around.

More than anything I want to try to appreciate all the great things I have in my life and not focus on what I don’t have!

Cheryl Urban-  For the world, I wish for peace, love and joy to its people and all its creatures.  I know that sounds simple, but if the world was filled with more love, I believe we would all be a lot better off.  I wish for freedom from fear and discomfort.  I wish for others to know the true blessing of joy.  For my family, I wish for continued health and happiness.  We are so thankful for our many blessings. So, as for wishes, well, I am just feeling grateful.  May you all be blessed by a loving, healthy family.