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Community Lifestyle

Staying Fit Indoors During the Summer

From cycling to barre to boxing and group classes, fitness trends are ever-changing. Gyms and other exercise spots near your Darling Homes community in Dallas and Houston help residents stay fit indoors during the hot summer months.

This article from Self helps break down the results from the American College of Sports Medicine’s survey that identifies some of the top exercise trends of 2018. One of which is High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). Companies like Orangetheory Fitness  focus on high intensity workouts in a group setting, providing an effective and efficient way to get fit.

Classes at local gyms and boutique fitness hotspots, provide a fun and upbeat way to exercise indoors. Group fitness classes are a big point of interest this year, including everything from yoga to barre and kickboxing to spin.

Bodyweight training and strength training are also seeing a surge in popularity this year. Because bodyweight training doesn’t require equipment, it’s an easy way to stay fit at home with push-ups, crunches, squats, lunges and more. Strength training helps boost muscle mass and provides a fairly simple way for fitness fans to stay in shape in the gym or potentially at home. Darling Homes has a variety of home designs with flexible spaces that could be converted to become a personal gym.

Personal training is also seeing an uptick in interest, with people hiring trainers to help them reach their goals and train them on the best exercises and practices for indoor exercise.

Another fitness trend that continues to grow is to follow progress and activity on wearable tracking devices. With well-known options including Fitbit and Apple Watches, more and more technology is being developed every year. Items like the Motiv ring, an activity tracking ring, and technology in your clothing to track heart rate, motion and more, continue to gain traction.

No matter what activity piques your interest and keeps you active, there are plenty of indoor options near your Darling Homes community in Dallas or Houston to keep you cool while staying fit.

At Home Lifestyle

Getting your Texas Home Ready for Vacation

Summer is an ideal time to explore a new city, visit an old favorite place or see family away from your Darling Homes community in Dallas or Houston. But homeowners often lose precious R&R time worrying about the security of their belongings while they travel and the chores they left undone. Fear not. There are some steps you can take before your next trip to ensure you return to a safe, secure and clean space.

Getting ready for vacation is a great time to clean your home and leave a blank slate for you to ease back into your daily routine after your travels. Unpacking and returning to work and school will seem less stressful if you have already taken out the trash, thrown out expired or perishable items from the refrigerator and have the pre-vacation laundry done.

When it’s time to leave, turning up the thermostat in summer or turning down the heat during cooler months can help save on energy bills during your vacation time.

Beyond getting your spaces cleaned and prepped, HGTV detailed a variety of miscellaneous to-do items you might not have considered. For example, prepare a simple breakfast for when you return, and prepare to leave pets with a sitter or boarding facility. Consider asking a trusted neighbor or friend to water plants and collect mail to maintain your home and make it look occupied while you are away.  

While traveling, you want to relax and not worry about keeping your dream home safe. State Farm created a checklist for travelers looking to make their homes appear occupied and busy during their absence.

Consider turning lights on daily timers, locking all doors and windows and double checking that all appliances are turned off to ensure your home stays secured during your absence.

Other key ways to protect your belongings include securing your valuables and making sure your security system is armed when you leave. Following these tips prior to departing can help your peace of mind during your absence and when you return to your Darling home.

Community Lifestyle

Best Staycations Near Your Darling Homes Community

There’s nothing quite like a summer vacation, but that doesn’t mean you have to travel far. These are our top picks for a fabulous and exquisite staycation near your Dallas or Houston community.

Dallas

Vacation close to home with amenities for all ages, including adults-only zones at the Hilton Anatole. Jadewaters, the hotel’s resort-style pool area, strikes the perfect balance of relaxation and luxury featuring Leisure Cove Pool that is adults-only on weekends as well as a swim-up bar, two water slides, a lazy river and a splash area for children. Elevate your poolside vacation with exclusive guest offers like picnic packages, cabanas, American Girl packages and more.

Situated between Dallas and Fort Worth, the Four Seasons Resort and Club showcases high-quality accommodations and offers a broad range of amenities including babysitting services. With indoor and outdoor tennis court options, access to an award-winning golf course, fitness classes, boutiques and a choice of three pools (must see: the Agave Pool & Bar), guests will have no shortage of options for relaxation and entertainment.

Houston

The Marriott Houston Marquis, near Discovery Green Park, creates a charming, luxurious oasis in the heart of the city. A rooftop infinity pool and lazy river set the scene for soaking up a Texas summer. Other hotel features include the PURE spa and multiple dining locations ranging from a coffee house to tapas and Mexican. The hotel’s central location is ideal for those looking to explore their city for a few days.

Hotel ZaZa, in the Houston Museum District, has unique room designs and services to delight its guests. With concept rooms including a Rock Star Suite, Fatal Charms suite, Soho Loft and Villa Champagne, guests may never want to leave their room — unless, of course, they want to head to the ZaSpa. The spa offers guests a choice of salon services, sauna, body wraps and exfoliation treatments. The Monarch restaurant, with views of the Museum of Fine Arts, has different menus of creative, fresh cuisine for every meal of the day.

Finding staycation options near your Darling Homes’ community is an easy and fun choice for you and your loved ones to enjoy a weekend away from home without having to travel far.

Community Fashion Lifestyle

Explore Local Texas Boutiques

Darling Homes’ communities in Dallas and Houston are known for their proximity to employment centers, restaurants and recreation options, but some communities are also close to charming, local boutiques and shops.

Dallas

Both Frisco and McKinney are home to local shops and artisans near incredible Darling Homes’ communities. From home decor to baby gifts and clothing, these boutiques have something to offer every shopper.

Frisco

The Charlotte Jones Collection at the Omni Frisco offers tourists and residents access to carefully curated goods including clothing for men, women and children as well as home goods. This shop, located by the Ford Center at the Star, also offers Dallas Cowboys merchandise.

The Blue Door Boutique, a Frisco favorite, gives shoppers a unique and tailored experience with stylists offering advice for customers sifting through clothing, jewelry, gifts and antiques.

McKinney

Update your summer wardrobe with a stop at Cotton Hearts in McKinney, where merchandise includes a beautifully manicured collection of clothing and accessories. Shoppers will find the perfect balance of elegant yet casual attire

For true Western Style, look no further than Orisons Boutique. From glittery cowboy boots to chic dresses and menswear, Orisons’ motto of “We Dress Texas” rings true.

 

Houston

The Woodlands

Residents of The Woodlands can stop by Marta’s, where jewelry, gifts, shoes, accessories, beauty supplies and more are well-stocked.

Diva Boutique puts a focus on women’s clothing, with tops, bottoms, dresses, shoes and accessories to find your complete outfit close to home.

Sugar Land

The summer season is in full swing at Anything Bling in Sugar Land. This boutique offers a mix of fun and classy sundresses, adorable tops and the accessories to compliment any outfit.

For a true Texas selection, head over to Fabulous You where you’ll find hand-selected items including unique tees, trucker hats, turquoise jewelry and boots.

Do you have a favorite boutique near your Darling Homes’ community? Let us know where you love to shop locally!

Community Lifestyle

Celebrate the Fourth of July in Texas style

In Dallas and Houston, near Darling Homes’ communities, residents are getting ready to celebrate the 4th of July with live music, good food, parades and more.

Dallas Celebrations

July 3

Head to a Texas Rangers game against the Houston Astros on July 3 or 4 for an all-American good time. After the game, the audience will experience an Independence Day treat with a fireworks show.

In downtown Arlington, Light Up Arlington is bringing in live entertainment with a beverage tent, food and activities including train rides with fireworks starting at about 9:45 p.m.

Red, White & Boom fireworks will light up the Dallas skyline from the Ronald Kirk Pedestrian Bridge, with the festival running from 6 to 10 p.m.

Fourth of July

Darling Homes residents in Frisco will have convenient access to the Frisco Freedom Fest at Toyota Stadium, which kicks off at 4 p.m. Live entertainment, local vendors and more fill the afternoon with fun before fireworks after the FC Dallas match is over.

In McKinney, another celebration titled Red, White and Boom! Starts at 10 a.m. with a parade followed by a block party in downtown. At Craig Ranch in McKinney, beginning at 5:30 p.m., live music, kids’ activities and other festivities will keep the party going until the fireworks show at 9:45 p.m.

Houston Celebrations

Celebrations of our nation’s independence continue in Houston, where the stars and stripes will be on display at a number of local events.

July 3

At the Miller Outdoor Theater, experience Independence Day with a free concert by the Houston Symphony at 8:30 p.m. followed by a fireworks show.

Residents of The Woodlands can catch the symphony’s show the day before at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion at 8 p.m.

Fourth of July

Looking to escape the July heat? Take your loved ones out to the Snow & Ice Celebration at Memorial City Mall from 1 to 4 p.m. and cool off while playing in 30,000 pounds of snow while indulging in frozen treats and enjoying live entertainment.

Missouri City is hosting its own series of events from 6 to 9 p.m., with activities, food and entertainment leading up to its traditional fireworks show at Buffalo Run Park, with seating available at Thurgood Marshall High School.

Keep your Fourth of July traditions and explore your community events by checking out one of the incredible opportunities to mark the holiday near your community.

At Home Food Lifestyle

Making the most of your Texas Garden

This summer, many Texans and Darling Homes residents in Houston and Dallas are planting gardens as a way to experience delicious homegrown food from their very own backyard.

Houston and Dallas are in different planting zones, meaning different types of produce grow better when planted at different times, but both zones grow a variety of fruits and vegetables well throughout the hot summer months.

In Houston, June and July create the perfect planting season for eggplant, melon, okra, peas, peppers, potatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon and pumpkins, according to the The Old Farmer’s Almanac planting calendar. For summer cooking, these Houston-friendly crops make great side dishes to any meal. Peas, watermelon and peppers are perfect for seasonal salads.  Harvest Green, a community in the Houston area, is labeled as an “Agri-hood” where residents have access to goods grown in a community farm, making agriculture a central theme of the neighborhood.

Similar to Houston, the Dallas planting calendar lists okra, onion, potatoes, sweet potatoes, watermelon, eggplant, melon, peas, peppers and pumpkin as ready to plant. Harvesting all of these in both Texas cities continue throughout the fall months as vegetables become ripe, though the growing time is different for each one.

To help your plants grow and increase your yield, there are a few tips and tricks for beginners that can help gardeners of every skill level. These delicious crops can be kept in separate pots or in one communal garden, depending on how many different plants you’d like to maintain throughout the year. Depending on how many different plants and what types you’d like to grow, creating a designated space for a garden bed for items such as watermelons or pumpkins, or planting in a series of pots for smaller items including herbs and peas, can create a manageable garden space in your backyard.

HGTV put together a list of tips for gardeners, including helpful guidance on cleaning pots, how to use garden tools and even how to get dirt out from underneath your fingernails after tending to the plants. From start to finish, gardening requires a lot of patience and care to produce healthy, flourishing plants.

Gardening can also have unexpected health benefits, including mood-boosting, decreasing risk of dementia and combating loneliness.  

Do you have a Texas garden or want to start one? Check out our list of Lone Star State-friendly recipes and garden spaces for Houston and Dallas and let us know what recipes you love to make with your home-grown food.

Community Food Lifestyle

Indulge in Food Truck Cuisine this Summer

Beginning in early June and continuing through the rest of the month, Sienna Plantation is hosting Food Truck Fridays.

Darling Homes residents at Avalon at Sienna Plantation are welcome to partake in this delicious weekly event taking place from 5-9 p.m. every Friday. The fun doesn’t stop at Avalon at Sienna Plantation, with food truck events taking place throughout the Houston and Dallas areas throughout the summer for Texans to enjoy. This would be a good opportunity to say something about our communities and the ability to enjoy these types of events or simply a closing remark like “ everyone can experience the innovative twist on dining al fresco”.  

On Friday evenings at Sienna Plantation, the Sawmill Lake model home park is being transformed into a foodie’s paradise. With a changing lineup of food trucks accompanied by live music performances, this free event is open to all ages looking to satisfy their appetite and enjoy a night out with neighbors and friends.

The fun doesn’t end in June. Food truck fans can look forward to the Houston Food Fest on August 18. This celebration will bring together over 100 different cuisine options, from food trucks, to local restaurants and vendors. From noon to 10 p.m., Houstonians will delight in sampling a wide variety of provisions from local artisans.

Dallas is no stranger to the food truck frenzy. With websites like Roaming Hunger and Food Trucks In, foodies can easily find their favorite mobile meals throughout the area.

On Saturdays throughout the summer, different trucks gather at Klyde Warren Park from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dallas-area families, socialites and all taste buds in between are welcome to try out new local cuisine and relax at the 5.2 acre park. A selection of trucks for upcoming weekends are kept posted on their event page, letting locals know which mobile restaurants will be rolling in.

With food trucks serving up delectable treats from coffee to ice cream, pizza to BBQ and everything in between, Darling Homes residents in Houston and Dallas will delight in the incredible range of options to try out this summer at a local food truck.

Community Lifestyle

Creating a Memorable Texas Father’s Day

Father’s Day is just around the corner, and throughout Texas there are special activities to help the dad in your life have a special day. Darling Homes residents in Houston and Dallas don’t have to look far to find one-of-a-kind Father’s Day specials to make the day memorable.

Father’s Day Fun in Houston

Houston has a wide range of options to choose from for fathers and father figures. For a fun, leisurely activity, Topgolf Houston-Katy recommends making reservations in advance. Reserve a bay for you and your loved ones and spend a day practicing your golf shot and having fun while indulging in delicious food and drinks. Topgolf provides a good balance of activity and down time for those looking to relax, eat and have a fun day.

The Secret Group is putting on a special, all-ages comedy show for the occasion called “Dad Jokes” where fathers get in for free. The doors for the show open at 7 p.m. on June 17, and tickets for those who aren’t dads are just $5. While you’re laughing, enjoy a raffle, drink specials and free samples.

Hop over to Revival Market before the show, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. to indulge in a day of feasting on fried chicken. Featuring scrumptious chicken and side dishes, live music from the Will Van Horn Trio, games for the whole family and beer selections from Spindletap. This outdoor event is a great option for getting out of the house and enjoying Houston cuisine.

Father’s Day Activities in Dallas

In Dallas, the fun continues for dads with more special events to mark Father’s Day. Shannon Brewing Company, located in Keller, near several Darling Homes communities, is throwing its third annual DadFest on June 16 from noon to 5 p.m. Featuring a plethora of beer choices, live music and food from Hicks BBQ and Just Encased, this event also includes an ugly tie competition.

The Dallas Arboretum is offering up specials for Father’s Day, including a special Father’s Day menu at the Terrace Cafe with beer samples, free iced tea for dads and live music. Enjoy the gorgeous gardens with the extra additions featured on both June 16 and June 17.

At Campion Trail’s Sam Houston Park in Irving, there will be a Father’s Day kite flying event providing fun for all ages. With the help of their parents, kids are taught how to build their own kites, followed by a day of kite-flying fun in the gorgeous park.

Celebrate with your dad or father figure this Father’s Day by checking out one of the incredible events in Houston or Dallas near your Darling Homes community.

 

 

 

 

Lifestyle

Discover the Tax Benefits to Homeownership

Finding the right home for you and your loved ones is a dream come true, and Darling Homes provides stunning home options for shoppers in Dallas and Houston.

After you’ve found your dream house, a lot of time, care and love goes into making that house a home. Owning a home comes with a unique set of challenges and advantages, including tax benefits.

According to the Tax Policy Center, homeowners can deduct both mortgage interest and property taxes, as well as other expenses, from their federal tax income. These deductions are added benefits for homeowners.

Tax relief starts with itemizing all possible deductions. H&R Block recommends looking at your charitable contributions, as well as state and local income taxes along with other possible deductions listed on their website.

Buying a home is a financial investment that helps homeowners grow equity over time, and homeownership is an investment in your future. When it comes time to face tax season, keep in mind all the possible deductions that could apply to you and your loved ones.  A home office deduction may be a possibility for you.

Itemizing deductions does have its benefits, according to H&R Block. For homeowners, up to two homes with mortgages taken on or before Dec. 15, 2017, interest  up to $1 million in acquisition debt is applicable for deduction. For mortgages taken after that date, the price limit is $750,000 for the mortgage interest tax deduction.

Taxes can be a daunting task, but after you’ve found your Darling Homes dream home, you will hopefully find tax deductions that work to your advantage.

Lifestyle

Enjoy the Performing Arts Near a Darling Homes Neighborhood

From concerts to live music to plays, Dallas and Houston each offer residents a wide variety of entertainment options. For Darling Homes residents, located in communities all around the two cities, homeowners delight in opportunities to view live performances close to home.

In the Dallas area, there are various Darling Homes communities that provide residents with access to entertainment venues. In Frisco, communities such as Canals at Grand Park, Newman Village, Edgestone at Legacy, Estates at Shaddock Park and Phillips Creek Ranch Silvertail are within easy reach of centers with dance, music, community theater and more.

At Theatre Frisco, a dedicated group of volunteers puts on four plays per year, and the Frisco Improv Players hold monthly shows at the intimate venue. Frisco Fine Art, since its opening in October 2017, has featured art openings, book signings and a holiday music and art performance. The venue is continuing to host performing arts events and is offering hands-on opportunities with painting nights out and art camps for children. The Rock & Bach Music and Performing Arts School offers children and their loved ones a way to get involved in performing arts from an early age, with music lessons and the Starmoments Theater, where young actors put their skills to the test with a final dinner theater performance.

At The Woodlands in North Houston, Darling Homes residents have access to a wide range of performing arts centers. At the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, an outdoor amphitheater mere minutes from several Darling Homes neighborhoods, big-name bands like The Foo Fighters, Kenny Chesney and the Dave Matthews Band are common sights on the stage. Along with concerts from popular bands, the Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera bring their performances straight to The Woodlands. The nearby Payne Academy of Ballet holds an annual production of The Nutcracker along with a spring performance for fans of dance, and Class Act Productions brings in community musical theater to The Woodlands.

Darling Homes puts a strong focus on providing homeowners with the lifestyle they want, starting with high-quality, desirable locations throughout the Dallas and Houston metro areas. From Cypress to McKinney and Sugar Land to Irving, performing arts venues are in close proximity to Darling Homes communities, giving residents the opportunity to indulge in their favorite arts events throughout the year.