Lifestyle

Seasonal Fun in Houston and Dallas

Each year, the holiday season draws families and friends closer together. This holiday season spend time with loved ones while creating holiday crafts and delicious treats everyone will enjoy. While you’re at it, take the time to make the season that much more festive with a night out to enjoy a show or one of the many light displays in Houston and Dallas. Here are some of our favorite activities for the season.

Nutcracker Ballet

What can be more festive for the holiday season than The Nutcracker? Tchaikovsky’s classic follows the dream of young Clara and her Nutcracker Prince. Enjoy this holiday classic at the Wortham Theater in Houston by choreographer Stanton Welch from November 23 through December 29. In Dallas, The Nutcracker is being performed by the Dallas Ballet Company at the Granville Arts Center.

Newman Family Holiday Cookie Recipe

A special occasion like the holidays calls for a special recipe.

For the Newman family, the namesakes of our Newman Village in Frisco, each special day is filled with homemade dishes and recipes passed down from generation to generation.

For years, the Newman family has used this homemade holiday cookie decorating recipe for the holidays.

COOKIE DIRECTIONS

Mix and sift flour, soda and salt, then set aside. Cream butter. Add sugar gradually and cream until fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time; beat well after each addition. Add extracts and mix. Add sifted ingredients gradually and mix. Tint dough with food coloring as desired. Chill. Roll about 3/8-inch thick on floured board. Cut out desired shapes. Bake on ungreased cookie sheets in oven at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Frost and decorate cooled cookies. Approximate yield: 2 1/2 dozen.

COOKIE INGREDIENTS

  • 4 1/2 cups of sifted flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
  • Food coloring if desired

ICING DIRECTIONS

Place sugar into mixing bowl. Combine milk, corn syrup, vanilla, almond and blend. Add liquid mixture to powdered sugar and mix thoroughly. If it’s too thick, add a tad more corn syrup. Divide frosting into several cups and add food coloring to each. If using liquid coloring, add a little more powdered sugar until it reaches good spreading consistency. Dip cookie or spread the icing onto cookie with knife. Icing may also be piped on with an icing bag and tip. Decorate with sprinkles or colored sugars. Allow cookies to dry. Enjoy!

ICING INGREDIENTS

  • 1 3/4 cups pf confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tsp. milk
  • 2 tsp. light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp. almond extract

Sugar Land Holiday Lights

Spend the season among the sparkle and shine of the Sugar Land Holiday Lights. This showcase of lights takes places at Constellation Field and features 2.5 million lights and over 100 enchanting walkthrough displays. Food trucks, shopping, and children’s activities will also be present. Santa Claus will be in attendance, spreading holiday cheer every night until Christmas Eve, of course.

Looking for more seasonal inspiration? Check out Darling Homes’ Pinterest boards for additional holiday ideas that will help you celebrate the season.

Design

Tips for Building a New Home with Darling

Your home is a reflection of who you are and what your life means to you. A new home is your chance to create the perfect space for you and your family. It’s a chance to create a lasting memory for all who visit or live in it. But getting to that point can sometimes seem daunting. Where do you start? What are your choices?

If you’re building your new home with one of Texas’ most recognized brands, Darling Homes, then you’re in good hands. With more than three decades of building experience and some of the industry’s most innovative plans, a Darling home can be everything you long for your dream home to be.

Thoughtful Designs Abound

Darling has carefully crafted collections of home designs that cater to the needs and desires of homebuyers. Their style is unforgettable, and the features offered demonstrate the care and thought that’s gone into each plan.

The building professionals at Darling have taken the time to get to know what homebuyers are looking for in their next home and they’ve taken the time to incorporate those design attributes that set their homes apart.

Getting Started

There are several things to think about when buying a new home: Where do you spend most of your time in your home? Where do you want to live? How important is entertaining space? Are you looking for a move-in ready, showcase home or do you want to personalize it with your own design selections?

Each Darling Homes community in Dallas and Houston is staffed by experienced community sales managers that can help you pour over those decisions and arrive at the best plan of action for your new home purchase.

They can help you select the best homesite, point out available structural options for your new home and guide you through the build process to make sure your needs are met each step of the way.

Designing Your Dream Home

The Darling team of design professionals help make your dream a reality, by assisting you with options for finishes, fixtures, paint colors and more. They’re available to guide your selections and help you arrive at a cohesive design plan for your home. Will that wood flooring look best in the kitchen? What color should the cabinets be? Does the main living space mesh with the colors and finishes chosen for the master suite? Darling’s design team can answer those questions and many more. They’re available to give your home the look you’ve dreamt of owning.

What About Home Construction?

If you’ve chosen to build a new home from the ground up with Darling, you’ll have a front-row seat to the level of professionalism and coordination that the builder employs to make each new home build as smooth as possible.

Home construction begins once all selections have been made and a personalized meeting with the construction superintendent has been completed. Once construction starts, your community sales manager and construction superintendent will communicate often to ensure that your home meets expectation.

Bringing it Home

Darling strives to provide the best customer service possible. Communicating on a regular basis with your community sales manager helps ensure that your expectations are understood, and the building schedule is met. The Darling Homes team prides itself on being available to answer your questions – and all of your questions – throughout the build and beyond.

Whatever home or community you choose, rest assured that members of the Darling Homes team are available every step of the way. After all, you’ve chosen a homebuilder with a legacy of creating homes that offer the utmost in quality and design. There’s a reason it’s called the Darling Difference.

Darling Difference

Find Your New Darling Home Without the Wait

Are you in the market for a new home in the Dallas-Fort Worth area? Want a new home without the wait? Discover the new homes now available for quick-move-in with Darling Homes’ selection of inventory homes in must-see communities throughout Dallas- Fort Worth.

With Darling Homes, you’ll explore unique floor plans designed around the way you live, authentic architectural details, and distinctive design elements that make up the Darling Difference, an ideal blend of superior craftsmanship and luxurious livability.

What are the Benefits of Purchasing an Inventory Home from Darling Homes?

Choosing to buy an inventory or showcase home can speed up the home buying process. How? Let us show you:

  • Your New Home is Already Customized: Showcase homes are built with today’s trends and buyer’s needs in mind. That means you’re getting a home already designed with the latest features, fixtures and finishes included.
  • Your New Home is Right in Front of You: When you decide to purchase an inventory home, you’ll be able to tour a variety of homes that are available in the community of your choice. Design features are already included so the price you see is the actual price of the home.
  • Quick Move-In: Most inventory homes are already move-in ready so you can begin your next chapter in your beautiful Darling home as soon as you’d like.

Desirable Communities in Dallas

Inventory homes are offered by Darling Homes in a variety of communities throughout the Greater Dallas-Fort Worth area. With new homes in Frisco at communities like Edgestone at Legacy and new homes in Prosper in communities like Windsong Ranch, there are plenty of diverse home styles and community amenities to choose from. Take a closer look at what some of these communities have to offer below.

Edgestone at Legacy: This master-planned community is located in Frisco, ranked No. 1 in Money Magazine’s “Best Places to Live in America” for 2018. Boasting pocket parks and miles of lush landscaping, the 307-acre Edgestone at Legacy features an upscale community clubhouse and swimming pool, fitness center, as well as a pond, trails and playgrounds to create the luxury lifestyle you’ve been seeking. Homes in this community include open-concept living and entertaining spaces, hearth rooms, sweeping entrances and balconies that radiate with old-world charm.

Edgestone at Legacy is also conveniently located just west of the Dallas North Tollway and north of Legacy, providing an easy commute to major employment centers, excellent dining, shopping and entertainment venues.

The Tribute Somerset: Located in The Colony, Texas, this master-planned community offers resort style amenities as well as two award-winning golf courses. The Tribute is situated just minutes from the Dallas North Tollway and State Hwy 121, providing convenient commuter access to major employment centers, Downtown Dallas, DFW Airport and excellent schools within Little Elm ISD, including the prestigious, on-site Prestwick STEM Academy. There are four beautiful move-in ready inventory homes available in this community.

Bering Heights at Parkside: Limited new home opportunities exist at this beautiful Irving community. Parkside features an upscale amenities package including a series of lakes and pocket parks for hiking, biking and recreation. With more than fourmiles of wildflower-lined trails through greenbelts, along ponds and over waterways, the community is exactly where you’d expect to find beautiful Darling Homes opportunities. Find your new home in Irving today.

Windsong Ranch: This beautiful Prosper master-planned community offers two Darling Homes collections, both with limited opportunities remaining. It’s easy to see why Windsong Ranch is a popular destination for Dallas homebuyers. If you’re looking for a new home in Prosper, this community is hard to resist. Unparalleled amenities and more than 600 acres of natural and improved green space, Windsong Ranch puts a focus on lifestyle living. . There’s convenient access to DFW and Love Field Airports via the Tollway and Highway 121 and the area is served by highly regarded Prosper ISD schools.

Spicewood at Craig Ranch: If you love McKinney, another Money Magazine “Best Places to Live in America” city, then you’ll adore Spicewood at Craig Ranch, an intimate collection of homes that gives residents everything from winding creekside trails to state-of-the-art sport and fitness facilities, including baseball and soccer fields, an ice rink, a five-star TPC golf course, beach sand courts, and even a spa. With luxury home plans that demand less attention and award-winning community amenities, you’ll get the active lifestyle you desire without sacrificing the luxury and quality you deserve at Spicewood at Craig Ranch. But you have to hurry. Only the model remains!

Wherever you choose to live, it’s nice knowing there’s a Darling home community nearby. And with the current selection of showcase homes available for purchase, maybe you’ll find the home you’ve been dreaming of available for quick move-in!

Lifestyle

Top 5 Things to Do in Dallas-Fort Worth During Thanksgiving

The holiday season is almost here! With all the shopping, decorating and preparation to be done, here’s one less thing you have to worry about: planning fun things to do on Thanksgiving weekend. That’s because we’ve already made a list of the top five events going on in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Home for the Holidays

The day after Thanksgiving, enjoy a spectacular presentation of Home for the Holidays by the Fort Worth Symphony Orchestra. Let your ears indulge in a sweet sonata while you sit back and relax in the beauty of Bass Performance Hall, the crown jewel of downtown Fort Worth.

Enchant Christmas 2018

Looking to experience the wonder and magic of the holiday season? Look no further than the World’s Largest Christmas Light Maze and Market, Enchant Christmas 2018. And yes, this festive holiday attraction is as captivating as its name suggests. Lose yourself in the light maze and make cherished memories under the glow of millions of dazzling lights. Located just twenty minutes away at Globe Life Park in Arlington, you won’t have to travel far to escape to a winter wonderland.

Christmas Lights, Chocolate & Sips Tours

What could possibly be better than a holiday light tour? How about a light tour plus chocolate? Now we’ve got your attention! Your weekend will not be complete without Christmas Lights, Chocolate & Sips Tours presented by Dallas by Chocolate Tours. Delight in scrumptious treats from premier local dessert venues before enjoying some of Dallas’ most spectacular light displays all from the comfort of a private, heated motor coach. Tours will take place in Vitruvian Lights (Addison), Farmers Branch Historical Park, downtown Dallas and select homes in the Park Cities.

The Nutcracker

Enjoy a holiday tradition like none other than – The Nutcracker, presented by the Texas Ballet Theater. Watch as Christmas Eve comes to life during the enchanting performance of the story that has delighted audiences for generations. You’ll never forget this exquisite experience stepping into a beloved Christmas dream at the Winspear Opera House.

Vitruvian Lights

Watch as the gorgeous Vitruvian Park transforms into a winter wonderland with the flip of a switch at 6 p.m. on November 24. Vitruvian Lights – A Magical Night of Lights will include a performance by the Jordan Kahn Orchestra, gourmet food trucks, delicious desserts, free photos with Santa, an Elf balloon artist, holiday shopping village, Addison Police & Fire Santa’s Heroes Toy Drive and much more. Can’t make it to opening night? Don’t worry, the merriment will continue all the way up until the new year, so friends and families will have plenty of time to come and enjoy this festive celebration.

It’s easy to stop and experience the magic of the holiday season with the numerous events going on in Dallas this year. Get out and enjoy the season!

Lifestyle Tips

Tips for Cold Weather Home Maintenance

Winter is coming! As the cold weather approaches, there are plenty of things you can do to ensure your home stays warm and protected this season. Check out these home maintenance tips that will help you save money and prevent damage to your Darling home this winter.

Protect Pipes from Freezing

Some homeowners like to turn their heat down when they leave the house to reduce their electric bill. However, you may not want to turn it down too much, since the heat helps prevent your pipes from freezing. Make sure your pipes are not exposed or vulnerable by wrapping them in insulation. If your pipes do end up freezing this winter, make sure to call a plumber as soon as possible.

Inspect the Fireplace and Chimney

If your home comes with a beautiful fireplace to enjoy during those cold winter days and nights, it’s important to maintain it properly. Before lighting a fireplace with a flue, make sure your fireplace and chimney are clean and free of any hiding critters. Keep the flue closed all the way when you’re not using it to prevent warm air from escaping your home.

Seal Windows and Doors

Warm air from the inside of your home can easily escape through gaps around windows and doors. To prevent this, seal gaps around windows with caulk and install weather stripping around doors. This small task is inexpensive and can even help you save money on heating costs this winter.

Prevent Ice Dams on Roofs

When heat escapes through the roof, it can melt snow that has landed on the roof. When this happens, ice dams can form from the melted snow and refreeze on your roof’s edge. When this ice eventually melts, sometimes it doesn’t have anywhere to go but through your roof, damaging the inside of your home. Here are a few simple steps that will help you avoid this:

  • Clean out clogged gutters to keep water flowing during winter.
  • Seal areas around vent pipes, exhaust fans, chimneys, and light fixtures to prevent warm air from leaking to your attic.
  • Install a heat cable along the eaves to melt ice. This is something you may want to hire a roofer to do.
  • Add more insulation to your attic floor.

Stock Up on Cold-weather Essentials

If ever a power outage were to occur, you’d want to be prepared. Make sure your family is ready for any unexpected weather by having these cold-weather items on hand:

  • Fire extinguisher
  • An alternative heat source like a generator or wood-burning stove
  • Sand, ice melt, and a shovel

Now you can enjoy your Darling Dallas or Darling Houston home without worry that the winter weather will damage it.