My Monthly Newsletter

Cupid Of Roselake

Clarence, well-known in the picturesque town of Roselake for his exceptional matchmaking skills, was affectionately called “Cupid” by the locals. However, the townspeople were unaware of a significant detail: Clarence secretly held a profound love for Eliza, the town’s florist. Eliza was known for her delicate touch in creating beautiful arrangements at her store, Bloom’s Haven.

As Valentine’s Day neared, Clarence noticed a shift in the town’s mood. The air, usually abuzz with excitement, felt tinged with a sense of longing. People seemed to crave genuine connections, not just grand romantic gestures.

On the night before the holiday, Clarence was sitting by the river, deep in thought, under the stars. He had an epiphany: True love isn’t about grand gestures; instead, it’s about the genuine moments and sincere emotions shared between people. Taking this to heart, he told everyone in town to do small, kind things for one another on Valentine’s Day. The townspeople liked this idea and shared nice notes and stories, which made everyone feel more connected and a part of a real community.

As the day ended, Clarence, with newfound courage and a single, beautifully imperfect rose in hand, approached Eliza. Standing in the midst of her floral creations, he presented the rose as a symbol of his true, unadorned feelings.

In that moment, as Eliza’s smile brightened the dusky shop, Clarence realized his true role as Cupid was to inspire authentic love, starting with his own. The day ended not with the conclusion of a successful match, but with the beginning of a love story rooted in the genuine connection he had always championed.

~ Elisa McNinch, Realtor

 


Our Featured Listings

The Houston housing market has softened and seems to bein the process of becoming a more “balanced market” again. If you are searching for a Realtor to help you list or buy a home, we encourage you to give us a call to see if we are the “right” agent for you.  

Take a look at our Featured Listings below:

If you would like to search the Houston MLS system for your next property, click on the Home button on the top menu bar to navigate the main BrunerTeam website.

Note: We are taking new listings all of the time. 

ACTIVE LISTINGS:

  • 16002 Congo in Jersey Village (77040) www.har.com/22608687 FOR LEASE $3,474. 2-story, 2672sqft, 4 bedrooms, study, 2.5 baths, 3-car garage. 2HVACs. Custom kitchen, Extensive patio, screened-in porch. Lease includes yard service.  
  • 16002 Congo in Jersey Village (77040) www.har.com/58934050 $419,500 – 2-story, 2672sqft, 4 bedrooms, study, 2.5 baths, 3-car garage. 2HVACs. Custom kitchen, Extensive patio, screened-in porch.
  • 1726 Summerlyn Terrace in Spring Branch (77080) www.har.com/71923576 – $425,000 – Pulte-built 2021, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2 car garage. Tons of energy features. Gate community with dog park & guest parking. Stunning landscaped patio-size lot backyard. 

PENDING LISTINGS:

  • 3131 Cummins #54 in Greenway Plaza (77027)www.har.com/30453988 – FOR LEASE $1,195. 1-bedroom, 1-bath condo in the heart of Greenway Plaza. ALL UTILITIES INCLUDED including basic cable! 1-assigned underground parking space. Complex has swimming pool & central laundry facility.   

JANUARY SOLDS:

  • 15918 Capri in Jersey Village (77040) – www.har.com/26824582 FOR SALE $739,000 – Remarkable property on almost 1/2 acre with 3 “dwellings”: main house (3161sqft), garage apartment with full bath (550sqft), & wheelchair accessible guest house (745sqft). Total living space approximately 4500sqft. Swimming pool. Tons of amenities & updates.
  • 7910 Litchfield in Kleinwood (77379) – www.har.com/24296490 – FOR LEASE $2,000. 1-story, 1855qft, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-car garage. Beautifully renovated. Covered patio. Lease includes yard service. 
  • 11330 Log Cabin in Tomball (77379) – www.har.com/27656495 – FOR LEASE $2,000. 1-story, 1130qft, 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, 1-car garage. Wood-like tile flooring throughout. Sprinkler system (2023).
  • 2277 S. Kirkwood #607 (buyer) in Energy Corridor www.har.com/69253998 –  FOR SALE $135,000 – 1st floor condo with 7931st, 1 bedroom, 1 bath, 1-car garage.

OPEN HOUSE at 1726 Summerlyn Terrace in Spring Branch (77080) – SAT 2/10 from 1-3PM –  www.har.com/71923576 

OPEN HOUSE at 16002 Congo in Jersey Village (77040) – SUN 2/18 from 1-3PM – www.har.com/58934050


Monthly Recipe: Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate CrustWe love celebrating Valentine’s Day with delicious decadent desserts. Personally, I adore cheesecake – so combining cheesecake, raspberry, and chocolate seemed like the perfect dessert for my February newsletter.

From Land O’Lakes, “Raspberry and chocolate combine in this cheesecake for a dazzling combination to serve your guests.”

For more go to:  Raspberry Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

 

 

 


February Roundup

Feb. 2, Groundhog Day: A popular North American tradition in which a groundhog’s behavior is believed to predict the weather.

Feb. 9, National Pizza Day: A day to celebrate one of the most popular and most versatile foods globally, with pizza restaurants hosting various events and promotions. Pick your topping!

Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day: A day to celebrate love and romance, commonly marked by exchanging gifts and cards between loved ones.

Feb. 29, Leap Day: Occurring every four years, this day is added to the calendar to keep it aligned with the Earth’s revolutions around the sun.


Word Game: Strange Tongues

In this game, try to identify the word from the clue given, being mindful that the answer must be one of two strange words—one with no vowels or one with no consonants.

  1. Ball on string game ___________
  2. Cold noise _________________
  3. Thoughtful musing ____________
  4. Dog threat ________________
  5. Sailor assent _____________
  6. Bronx hello _________________
  7. Seeing organ ______________
  8. Secret sound ______________
  9. Sting alert! _________
  10. Record playing guy _________
  11. Not he, she, we, they, or you _______
  12. Yiddish dismay ____________
  13. Casual yes _____________
  14. Yummy ___________                         (See the bottom of page for the answer key!)

February 2023 Happenings In Houston

February is a time to celebrate Mardi Gras and the Houston Rodeo. Take a look at some events and activities Houston offer: Mardi Gras! Galveston 2024, Brick Fest LEGO at NRG, Get Up & Dance at Houston Symphony, Harlem Globetrotters at NRG, Houston Rockets at Toyota Center, “Coffee and Cars” at Post,  “Madame Butterfly” at Wortham Theater Center, “Lunar New Year” at Post, “Monster Jam” at NRG, “The Eagles” at Toyota Center, “Houston Rodeo Bar-B-Que Contest” at NRG, “Cinderella” at Houston Ballet, Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, and more. Take a look at The Hobby Center; Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion; The Alley Theater; Toyota Center, Theater Under The Stars; Houston Zoo; Houston Symphony; Miller Outdoor Theater; Wortham Theater; Jones Hall;  N.A.S.A & Space Center Houston; Art Car Museum; Arboretum & Nature Center; Natural Science Museum; Kemah Boardwalk; & SO MUCH MORE! Take a look at some of the events in the links below for you, your family, & friends to enjoy in Houston & the surrounding areas:

Visit Houston: February Events in Houston 2023

Houston Mom’s: Happenings in Houston in February

Kids Out and About.com: February activities in & around Houston

101 Family Day Trips Around Houston


It’s rodeo time in Houston! February 27 – March 17

Take a look at all the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has to offer including the carnival, events, and nightly concerts.

For more information go to: Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo

 


Valentine’s Day Menu For Two

This Valentine’s Day, create a special evening at home with an easy, yet delicious dinner menu designed for two. Whether you’re a kitchen novice or a culinary enthusiast, these straightforward recipes will set the mood. Tie on your apron and enjoy a night of culinary bonding with your loved one!

Starter: Caprese Salad

Ingredients: Fresh mozzarella slices, ripe tomatoes, fresh basil leaves, extra-virgin olive oil, balsamic glaze, salt, and pepper.

Preparation: Alternate slices of tomato and mozzarella on a plate. Tuck basil leaves between them. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic glaze. Season with salt and pepper.

Main Course: Garlic Butter Shrimp Pasta

Ingredients: Pasta (like linguine or spaghetti), shrimp (peeled and deveined), garlic cloves, butter, olive oil, dried chili flakes (optional), parsley, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.

Preparation: Cook pasta according to package instructions. In a pan, sauté garlic in olive oil and butter. Add shrimp, chili flakes, salt, and pepper. Cook until shrimp are pink. Toss in cooked pasta, a squeeze of lemon, and chopped parsley.

Dessert: Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Ingredients: Fresh strawberries, dark or milk chocolate chips, and white chocolate for drizzling (optional).

Preparation: Melt chocolate chips in a microwave or double boiler. Dip strawberries into the melted chocolate, place on a parchment-lined tray, and let them set. Optionally, drizzle with melted white chocolate for a decorative effect.

Beverage: Easy Raspberry Mocktail

Ingredients: Fresh raspberries, lemonade, sparkling water, and a lemon.

Preparation: Muddle a few raspberries at the bottom of two glasses. Fill the glasses with ice. Pour over lemonade and top off with sparkling water. Garnish with a lemon slice and a few whole raspberries.

This menu, which offers a mix of freshness and simplicity, and a touch of indulgence, is ideal for a cozy and romantic Valentine’s Day dinner.


Love Day Humor

Why did the banana go out with the prune on Valentine’s Day? Because it couldn’t find a date!

What did the stamp say to the envelope on Valentine’s Day? I’m stuck on you!

What do you call two birds in love? Tweethearts!

What did the light bulb say to the switch on Valentine’s Day? You turn me on!

What did the paper clip say to the magnet on Valentine’s Day? I find you very attractive!


Southern Living: 8 Home Improvement Projects That Will Actually Payoff in 2024

woman painting interior wallFrom Southern Living, “It’s time to put those DIY skills to work. 

With a new year comes new home trends, but more importantly, new ways homeowners can revamp their space while increasing their home’s value. Home improvement in 2024 has a specific focus on creating personalized homes and making certain swaps, like upgrading to smart appliances, to enhance everyday living.

Whether you’re looking to achieve a brand new home design or increase your home’s value before listing, here are eight home improvement tasks that help to accomplish both.”

For more go to:  8 Home Improvement Projects That Will Actually Payoff In 2024 


Understanding The Gluten-Free Trend

The rise of the gluten-free diet has many people wondering why this dietary choice has become popular. Here’s a brief exploration of what gluten is, why some people avoid it, and how to determine if it’s right for you.

What is gluten?

Gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye gives bread its elasticity and chewiness. It’s also found in various other foods and sometimes in surprising places.

It’s important to understand the difference between celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes intestinal damage when gluten is consumed. Gluten intolerance, also known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, involves discomfort after eating gluten but without the intestinal damage caused by celiac disease.

Why go gluten-free?

A gluten-free diet is essential for individuals with celiac disease. Others might find eliminating gluten reduces digestive discomfort, inflammation, or fatigue. However, it’s not a universal health solution and should be considered carefully.

What are the signs of gluten intolerance?

Common signs include bloating, gas, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue, and skin issues, such as rashes or acne, after consuming gluten-rich foods. If you experience these symptoms regularly, then you might want to explore a gluten-free diet.

Before you eliminate gluten, consider consulting with a healthcare professional, who might recommend an elimination diet, in which gluten is removed from your diet for a specific time frame and then is reintroduced to notice if symptoms reappear.


How To Get The Biggest Bang For Your Buck In Remodeling

Plenty of suggestions exist about where you should put your home-remodeling money and how much you can expect in return. Some experts say kitchens, some say bathrooms, and some say family rooms.

However, you—along with the advice from a real estate agent or architect—are the person who knows best about what your house needs. Contractors might overstate how much money you’ll get back from what you spend.

Few remodeling projects add as much to the value of a house as they cost. The key to planning should be to make the house more enjoyable for yourself, rather than to spend extravagantly on a feature that might or might not interest a future buyer.

Most buyers have a checklist of must-haves and won’t highly value anything not on their checklist, even something attractive, such as a solarium. If resale is a primary concern for you, then stick to the basics. A unique home takes longer to sell and could bring a lower price than a conventional home.

Adding a bathroom puts your home into a higher tier of properties in the minds of home buyers with checklists. But there is no need to make it fancy, say home designers. An expensive whirlpool will not reap a good return.

As you remodel, architects advise about preserving your home’s character. If you have a two-story home, then make a two-story addition. You’ll need a foundation and a roof anyway, and the cost of the additional floor might not be as much as you expect.

Think about how you will use the new space. Is there a place for kids to drop their backpacks? Is there a walk-in pantry? If little things matter to you, then they might matter to the next owner, too.

Always think of yourself as a consumer of housing and as a would-be seller. When you wear both hats, you can make smart choices and easy compromises.


Southern Living: The Best 15 Things To Do In Marble Falls, Texas

Downtown Marble Falls TXFrom Southern Living, “Take in everything that Texas Hill Country has to offer in this small town. 

Texas Hill Country—with its rolling landscape and charming small towns—has long been a destination for weekend road trips that take advantage of the scenery and hidden gems. You can explore at your own pace during spring when the wildflowers are in bloom, in autumn when fall color covers the region, or anytime in between. Take in everything that Hill Country has to offer in Marble Falls, a small town is located on Lake Marble Falls, a reservoir on the Colorado River in Texas’s Highland Lakes region. Known for its proximity to outdoor adventure, quaint downtown lined with local shops and restaurants, and access to Texas wine country and vineyards, Marble Falls is easy to enjoy.

Here are the best things to do on your next trip to Marble Falls, including what to do and where to eat.” 

For more go to: The Best 15 Things To Do In Marble Falls, Texas


It’s Always A Great Time To Take A Class

Maybe you’re worried that your professional skills are falling behind. Or perhaps you’ve wanted to learn woodworking, knitting, or conversational Japanese and have no idea of where to start. Or maybe you’re recently retired and considering ways to keep your mind and body active while you make new friends.

The solution can be simple: Take a class. Here are a few ways to return to the classroom, whether virtually or in person.

Check your local craft store. Big chains, such as Michaels or JOANN Fabric, usually have single-session and multisession crafting and sewing classes available. Mom-and-pop quilting and sewing shops might provide advanced instruction or even blocks of unstructured time to socialize while you work on your own project.

Visit your public library. Most public libraries offer activities and classes for people of all ages. Your library card also might provide access to online courses and webinars for everything from business to languages to university-style STEM classes.

Research community colleges. If you want a more-traditional academic experience or want to work on a degree or certificate, then research community colleges near you. Several states have drastically reduced or eliminated community college tuition to make it more accessible. Check with your state’s education agency for more information and eligibility requirements.

Go virtual at your own pace. Although such eLearning platforms as Udemy, Skillshare, Coursera, and LinkedIn Learning don’t offer accredited degrees or certificates, they can be great and cost-effective ways to pick up new skills at your own pace. Course quality can sometimes vary, so read reviews and research the instructors before you select a class and dive in.


Low Tire Pressure Can Be Dangerous

Taking proper care of the tires on your car not only saves money, it could save your life. Here’s some advice from the Rubber Manufacturers’ Association:

  • Inflate tires properly. Under-inflation makes it more likely that you will lose control or skid. Yet most cars have underinflated tires. Tire pressure can be low without tires looking flat.
  • Check the label on the door, in the glove compartment, or on the fuel door for air pressure guides. Some makers recommend different pressures for front and rear tires, especially for SUVs.
  • It’s best to test pressure when tires are cold. Check every couple of weeks and before leaving on a trip.
  • Avoid fast starts and stops, don’t bump the curb when parking, and don’t overload the car.

Southern Living: You May Need To Water Your House Plants Less in Winter

Potted houseplants by windowFrom Southern Living, “Whether you’re new to owning houseplants or have an ever-expanding collection, ensuring your plants are hydrated is one of your main responsibilities. Paying attention to the moisture in the soil is important. 

During the colder months, indoor plants typically receive less sunlight, which means their growth slows down. Slower growth typically means houseplants need less water. “When light quantity and duration decreases, photosynthesis and certain other biological processes slow down, explains Leslie F. Halleck, certified professional horticulturist based in Dallas, Texas, and author of Gardening Under Lights.

However, there are factors, such as light levels, home temperature, and humidity, that will influence how much water your plants need.”  

For more go to:  You May Need To Water Your House Plants Less In Winter 


Houston Housing Market Year-End Review (posted 1/10/24)

HARFor a DETAILED review from the Houston Association of Realtors, take a look at their comprehensive review posted at https://www.har.com/content/department/mls


Daily Productive Habits

Success is based on how you use the time available to you every day. To make the most of every minute, follow these simple rules:

  • Use a day planner. Whether you rely on technology or old-fashioned pencil and paper, plan every day for maximum efficiency. Start with a daily to-do list for both short- and long-term projects, carry over unfinished business to the next day, and check your list frequently so nothing important drops off your radar.
  • Set priorities. Don’t just work on tasks randomly. Identify your most important goals, your secondary objectives, and routine items that you can’t ignore. Plan your day around the work that supports your top goals, moving on to other projects when time permits.
  • Eliminate procrastination. This can be tough, but it separates the truly successful people from the also-rans: Don’t waste time on nonessentials. Get quickly to the point in every conversation and move on as soon as you’re finished. Plan your work, but don’t over-prepare. Decide what you need to accomplish, and then do it.

Answer Key:   1-yo yo, 2-brrrr, 3-hmmm, 4-grrr, 5-aye, 6-yo, 7-eye, 8-psst, 9-bzzz, 10-dj, 11-I, 12-oy, 13-ya, 14-mmm.

 


January 2024 Trivia Answer

Question:  In the movie “Back To The Future,” what kind of car is the time machine?

Answer: DeLorean

Congratulations to David Villareal! 

Your name was randomly selected from all of the correct entries. You’ve won a $50 gift card to one of the following: Amazon.com, Target, Khol’s, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Home Depot, Academy, Petsmart, Outback, Carrabba’s Italian, Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s, Chili’s, Red Robin, Panera’s, OR IHOP.  IT’S YOUR CHOICE!

February 2024 Trivia Question

Question:  Where were the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and Bill of Rights stored during WWII? 

Everyone who contacts Elisa via email (Elisa@BrunerTeam.com) or phone (832-746-7911) with the correct answer by February 25th will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card to one of the following: Amazon.com, Target, Khol’s, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Home Depot, Academy, Petsmart, Outback, Carrabba’s Italian, Texas Roadhouse, Cracker Barrel, Olive Garden, Domino’s Pizza, Papa John’s, Chili’s, Red Robin, Panera’s, OR IHOP.  It’s your choice!


Facebook Page

Dear Readers,

You are welcome to check out my business Facebook page where I post our latest listings as well as real estate tips, etc throughout the month. Just go to  ElisaMcNinchRE. 

And as always, thank you for allowing me to be your real estate consultant for life. I love what I do because of clients like YOU

Elisa McNinch, Realtor