September 18th, 2013

Getting Ready for Fall in a New Home

Categories: Crafts, Fall, Home Tips, Move In Ready Home, Outdoor Care | Tags: , , , , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Even though the summer house-hunting chaos is coming to an end, many Texans are still on the hunt for the perfect family home. A new season means a new start; so if you are still looking for your dream home, consider one of Grand View Builder’s move-in ready homes like this beautiful four bedroom, two bathroom, two car garage house in the Lakes of Bella Terra community in Richmond.

Grand View Builder's Move in Ready Home

Many of our homes, like this one, have large green outdoor spaces, which make for a great play area for children and pets, as well as outdoor activities, like gardening and outdoor dining.

With a beautiful outdoor space, now is the perfect time to plant your fall vegetable garden. Leeks, mustard greens, collards, beets and carrots all grow well in cooler weather. These vegetables can be used to make a fresh, crisp salad and delicious sides to go with your family’s favorite meal.

Fall Garden

Our favorite way to make a house a home is with Do-It-Yourself decorations and our favorite place to make these is our craft rooms. This featured home is large enough to use one of the bedrooms as a craft room for the DIY lover in your family. We love this popcorn kernel wreath from Cherished Bliss and it is a marvelous way to spruce up your home for fall!

This home also features a media room, which is great for watching fall football. Now that all those summer movies are coming out on DVD, it is the perfect time to make some pumpkin spiced snacks and enjoy a family night in.

Grand View Builders Media Room

We can’t wait to enjoy the fall season! Visit our Facebook page and give us your suggestions of ways you fall-ify your home!

September 11th, 2013

Hosting Football Viewing Parties at Home

Categories: Fall, Home Tips, Kitchen | Tags: , , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

College football is back!  Grand View Builders wants to help you make sure your home is ready for viewing parties and your kitchen is equipped with all the necessities for making delicious tailgate food.  Plus, we’ve got some after-party cleanup tips to share with you too!

Tailgate Recipes

Tailgating Recipes
With the start of college football comes the endless list of tailgate recipes.  Whether you find your recipes on Pinterest or your grandmother’s cookbook, it’s important to find a recipe that is a crowd pleaser. Some of our favorite football finger foods include pigs in a blanket, seven-layer dip and BBQ pork sliders.

If you’re looking for some cooking inspiration before the big game, check out the Metro Cooking Houston, Cooking and Entertainment Show on September 14-15 at the Reliant Center. The event will feature Food Network celebrities, cooking demos and tastings.

Post-Party Cleaning
When the party is over and it’s time to clean up, remember that your drink cans and plastic drink bottles can be recycled.  The Houston Curbside Recycling Program collects recyclable items on a biweekly basis.  Don’t forget to ask your guests if they want to take home any of the leftovers to help eliminate any wasted food.

After party recycle

Don’t worry if you find some spills while you’re cleaning. Most upholstered furniture can be washed with a vinegar/alcohol solution to get rid of unwanted stains. For your sticky kitchen tiles, we recommend using this white vinegar solution to cut through the grime.

A football viewing party is the perfect reason to invite people to your home.  We hope your favorite team has a good season and that you enjoy watching all the games with your friends and family!

September 4th, 2013

Round Two “You Share, We Give” With Lone Star Veterans Association

Categories: charity, Contest, Fall, military, military charity | Tags: , , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Grand View Builders received great feedback during last month’s “You Share, We GiveFacebook campaign. We asked you to share our post and the more shares we received, the more we would donate money to Operation Homefront.

We are continuing to give back to our military community this month’s with our new “You Share, We Give” campaign benefiting Lone Star Veterans Association.

Grand View You Share We Give Operation Homefront

Lone Star Veterans Association is an organization  dedicated to helping  post September 11th veterans. It is the go-to place for Texas veterans to share their stories, resources, assistance and hope during the transition to post-war life.  Lone Star Veterans Association also provides veterans with helpful resources including education and health information, peer mentoring, PTSD support, networking opportunities and more. Their ultimate goal is to prevent post-war veteran unemployment, depression, isolation, homelessness, substance abuse and suicide.

Rejoining the real world can be a very difficult transition for veterans coming home from war and Lone Star Veterans Association is there to help.

Help Grand View Builders give back to this wonderful organization by becoming a fan of our Facebook and “sharing” our “You Share, We Give” photo of the month.

August 28th, 2013

Celebrate Labor Day

Categories: events, Fall, Family Activities, Holiday, Summer | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
This post was written by: Grand View Builders

The summer season is officially coming to end this weekend as we celebrate Labor Day. Before we trade in our bathing suits for backpacks, check out our list of great ways to celebrate the long weekend below.

Celebrate with a Festival
If you and your family are looking for an exciting way to spend the Labor Day weekend, make sure The Woodlands’ Waterway Square Labor Day celebration makes your agenda. This free celebration lasts two days and features live music, fireworks both nights and family entertainment, including face painting, balloon artists and more.

Labor Day in the Woodlands

Head Out of Town
We don’t get three day weekends often, so when we do it’s a great opportunity to take a little trip and enjoy the extended break. Whether you want to head to the beach or the hill country, Houston is only a few hours away from some great easy getaways. Labor Day is a busy travel weekend, so make sure you plan ahead and get an early start on your weekend adventure. Look at this article for ideas on family friendly road trips in Texas.

Family Trip

Host a Party
Show off your home and yard by hosting a classic backyard party with friends and family. Pull out the grill and start flipping burgers, try some of those Pinterest recipes you’ve been holding on to and just relax with some of your favorite people. If you have a pool in your backyard, turn your BBQ into a pool party to celebrate the long weekend with some fun in the sun.

Backyard Party

Labor Day is the official send-off of summer, so make sure you have a great time celebrating. From our home to yours, Happy Labor Day!

August 21st, 2013

Back to School

Categories: Family Activities, For Kids, Home Organization, Home Tips, Kitchen, Summer | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

The end of August means that it’s almost time for the kids to head back to school.  It’s an exciting time for any family, but it can also be a stressful time.  We’ve put together a couple of ideas to help reduce the stress and get the most out of your first day of school experience.

Plan Ahead
Most children don’t enjoy waking up early, understandably, so some extra measures may be needed to ensure a smooth morning for the first days of school.  After a summer of sleepovers and sleeping-in, the morning routine you perfected last year will need to be restored.

A few days before the start of the school year, practice your bedtime and morning routine with your children so they will be more accustomed to falling asleep and waking up earlier.  If your children are hopping on the school bus, research what time the bus will arrive at your stop and practice making it to the stop on-time.  If you are carpooling them to school, include this as part of your “planning ahead” and drive toward your school.  Practicing and planning ahead will help ease any nerves and anxiousness that are part of the back to school-jitters.

back-to-school

It seems like a no-brainer, but a child’s first day of school outfit can often be over-looked.  Save time in the morning by picking out your student’s outfit the night before.  Make sure you actually lay the clothes out in your child’s room so they are ready and waiting the next day.  Planning the outfit the night before eliminates the chance of early morning decisions that can cause you to run behind schedule.

Kitchen Prep
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for children whose day will be full of learning and making friends.  Eggs, bacon, pancakes or cereal can’t be left out over night, but you can certainly prep your kitchen so it’s ready to tackle breakfast when you wake up.  Set the table and have your pans ready and waiting for you the night before.

breakfast

The same principle applies for making lunches.  If you are making lunch for your student, make sure your pantry and fridge are ready for the morning rush in the kitchen.  Don’t forget to add a special note in their lunchbox!

Study Space
Organization is key to helping your student create and maintain effective study habits.  Create an area in your home that is dedicated to studying and completing homework. Not only will this help your children focus on schoolwork, but it will also help teach them organization. This area doesn’t have to be extravagant. Consider putting a small desk in their bedroom or a small table and chair in your living room. Encourage your student to help create this space with you so that they are excited about learning and working in their own special homework corner.

study area

Summer may be drawing to a close, but back-to-school season means new beginnings are around the corner.  We hope you and your family have a successful first day of school and wish everyone the best of luck in the new school year.

August 14th, 2013

Houston Restaurant Week

Categories: charity, Summer | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Houston’s Restaurant Weeks have officially kicked off. With so many great restaurants participating, the largest “for charity” dining event in the Greater Houston area, actually runs through the whole month, ending September 2.

Established in 2003, this fun-filled dining event donates 100% of its proceeds to the Houston Food Bank. Participating restaurants create featured menus, usually showcasing two to four courses, for a set price per person. A set dollar amount from each meal is donated to the Houston Food Back to help fight hunger in Houston. On average, the Houston Food Bank feeds 137,000 people each week, so every dollar makes a difference.

Houston Restaurant Week

From lunches to brunches and dinners, there are more than 100 eateries participating in this year’s event. Browse the menus and search by location for whatever you’re craving on the Houston Restaurant Weeks website.

Does your kitchen need a break as the summer winds down? This is the perfect excuse to get out and explore the foodie scene in and around Houston, while giving back to your community. So dine out and do good during Houston’s Restaurant Week!

August 7th, 2013

Tax Free Shopping in Texas

Categories: Holiday, Summer | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Get your shopping bags ready, tax-free shopping kicks off Friday! Texas has scheduled this annual shopping extravaganza one week early this year, meaning this weekend (Friday, August 9 – Sunday, August 11) is tax-free shopping time, and time to stock-up on back to school essentials!

Tax Free Shopping

The Details:
As in previous years, the tax-free shopping law exempts most clothing, footwear, school supplies and backpacks from sales tax. In order to qualify as tax-free, the item must be less than $100. Don’t worry if your total bill is more than $100, as long as each qualifying item is less than $100 all items will be exempt from sales tax. With tax rates right around eight percent, shoppers can save roughly $8 on every $100 they spend- we’ll take it! For an itemized list of what qualifies for tax-free shopping, click here.

Back to School Shopping

Time to Shop
So clean out your closets, empty your desk drawers and get ready to re-stock this weekend. But before you hit the stores, make a plan! We’ve compiled a list of shopping tips to make your shopping adventure as hassle free as possible.

- Make a list:
Have a comprehensive shopping list of what items you need to pick up this weekend.
- Know where to go: Do your research and find who has the best prices. Know where you want to go ahead of time.
- Visit beforehand: Visit the stores this week so you can try on what you want to purchase and locate your items in store. That way you can run in, pick up your items and make your purchase without getting lost and having to hassle with dressing room lines.
- Shop early: Start your shopping adventure early so you can maximize on the day.

Now that you have all the details on Texas’ tax-free shopping weekend, we wish you happy shopping!

July 31st, 2013

You Share, We Give Kick Off

Categories: charity, Contest, military, military charity | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

Grand View Builders greatly appreciates those who put their lives on the line while serving and protecting our country.  On August 1, GVB will kick off our new “You Share, We Give” Facebook campaign to help raise awareness and funds for organizations that support our troops and veterans.

August Grand View You Share We Give

From August to December, GVB will donate money to military appreciation organizations based on the number of “shares” our “You Share, We Give” Facebook posts receive. We will highlight one military appreciation organization by posting information about what they do and tips on how you can get involved in their mission. GVB will make a donation at the end of the month to our highlighted organization based on the number of “shares” our “You Share, We Give” post receives.

We will post a different “You Share, We Give” graphic each month, which we will encourage our Facebook fans to “share.” The more “shares” the post receives, the more GVB will donate to the organization of the month, up to $1,000 per organization.

“Share” one graphic or all five and help give back to our military community! We are kicking off our “You Share, We Give” Campaign on Thursday, August 1. This month’s spotlighted organization is Operation Homefront.

Details on how to participate:
Become a fan of Grand View Builders on Facebook, “share” our “You Share, We Give” photo of the month and help raise money for a military support organization.

July 24th, 2013

Plan the Perfect Splash Party

Categories: Family Activities, For Kids, Summer | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

As August nears, we wanted to make sure you’re ready for the final summer hurrahs before the kids head back to school. We have compiled some great games to make our list of fun activities for an end of summer splash party!

Water Balloon Toss
Water balloons are a splash party essential. Although children always love a water balloon free-for-all, we prefer a more organized water balloon toss!  Position the children in pairs that are roughly three feet apart. Instruct the children to gently toss the water balloon from one partner to the other. If they successfully throw and catch the balloon without popping it, each partner must take one large step backward before making the next toss. The last team standing is crowned the water balloon toss champions!

water balloon toss

Fill the Bucket
Another great activity for your backyard splash party is a “Fill the Bucket” race. Divide your party attendees into two even teams. Have them line up in between one large container of water and one large empty container. The object of the game is to move all the water from the full container to the empty container using a small bucket. The first person in line will fill the small bucket and pass to the team member behind him or her. The bucket will be passed from team member to team member until it reaches the last person in line. The last person will empty the water left in the bucket into the empty container. The team that fills the empty container first wins! If you make the game even more challenging, drill holes in your small bucket so water escapes as it get passed down the line!

Fill the Bucket

Slip and Slide
The perfect end to your end of summer splash party is a slip and slide. You can make your own slide zone by laying out a long piece of tarp, adding some dish soap and spraying the tarp with water. Find a flat surface in your backyard with no rocks, sticks or other objects that may be in the way of the slider. Remember to occasionally spray down the tarp and add some more soap so it stays slippery. You can also lay the hose on its slide for a more continual source of water. You can also never go wrong with a slip and slide from a store like Target or Walmart. Many of the store purchased slip and slides hook up to your home’s garden hose to consistently supply water.

slip and slide

Summer might be coming to a close soon, but the fun does not have to slow down just yet. While the days are still long and the sun is out in full swing, invite over some friends and family for an afternoon of summer splash fun.

July 17th, 2013

Refreshing Summer Treats That Don’t Require the Oven

Categories: Uncategorized | This post was written by: Grand View Builders

The Texas summer heat continues to rise as temperatures reach well into the 100’s. Keeping your house cool during the summer months is a tough task, so causing your house to heat up even more with the oven is definitely an unwanted chore. Summer is a time of indulgence so we are sharing some of our favorite summer treats that not only taste good, but also keep your ovens off and house cool.

A fruity, cold Popsicle is one of our favorite summer treats. No need to head to the store to buy popsicles when you can make them yourself at home. You can buy a popsicle mold and make homemade treats with a packet of your favorite favor of Kool-Aid or Crystal light mix. Just stir up the drink mix, pour into the form and freeze for a couple of hours for quick and easy refreshing treats. You can also add in some pieces of fresh fruit to make the treat even more refreshing. For more recipes, check out Real Simple’s list here.

Popsicle mold

Another great summer treat that doesn’t require the oven is a “Dirt Cake”. This pudding-based “cake” is a fun and easy recipe the whole family will enjoy. Start by making a couple of batches of your favorite flavor of pudding. (We recommend chocolate to resemble dirt.) In a tall glass bowl, start by scooping a layer of pudding, followed by a layer of crushed Oreo cookies. Add in gummy worms and continue to layer your bowl until you run out of pudding. Top your cake with the rest of your Oreo cookie crumbles and a few exposed gummy worms and enjoy!

Dirt Cake

Staying hydrated during the summer months is a must! Pull out your blender and make a watermelon slushy, a fresh fruit smoothie or an ice cream milk shake to expand your summer drink options. Blend, shake or stir up hundreds of combinations using your favorite ingredients to create your perfect summer snack.

Watermelon Slush

We hope you will enjoy these refreshing summer treats that keep your ovens off and homes cool!

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