Category : Alta City West Apartments

Staying Cool in Houston This Summer

“Beat the Heat!” You hear it every year, and you often only realize it when it’s too late: when you’re sunburned, sleepy, and sick of the sun. Before the temperature gets too hot, we at Alta City West want to help you plan ahead! Yes, it’s fun to enjoy the summer, but staying cool should be at the top of your priority list once those temperatures rise.   Below, we’re detailing a few of our favorite ways to stay cool and beat the heat in Houston this summer: there are water activities and indoor spots, family fun and nights out with friends… and all of them will keep you cool without so much as breaking a sweat. Well, ok, maybe just a little sweat…   Option 1: The Pool. Ok, maybe we’re cheating by saying this one – but you can’t beat the pool here at Alta City West. There’s a reason we love to call this place home, and the pool is the at the top of that list. Come on out to barbecue, enjoy the cabana areas, and throw your own pool party! 🙂 Option 2: The Water Park. Been to Typhoon Texas Waterpark yet? Located in Katy, TX (only a short way west of us here in Houston), this water park has got it all! Fun for the whole family with pools, slides, and a whole lot more. Go ahead, and make a day of it. Option 3: The Outdoors. Cooling off is also a lot of fun when you’re outdoors! Whether you like lake swimming or beach days, Houston has got options for you. We recommend a weekend drive out to Galveston, where the beachs are beautiful, and the bay is calling your name! However you choose to stay cool, just be sure to lather up with sunscreen, and stay hydrated. It’s hot out there – but enjoying the heat can be fun, especially afterwards, when cooling off is the refreshment you need!

Photo Blog: Spring in Houston

Love spring as much as we do? What’s not to love?! From the flowers blooming to the sun being out, picnic in the parks with friend, to quality time with family – you can’t beat a spring day here in Houston. Over in our southwest corner of the city here at Alta City West, we have a lot to love. We’re looking at some highlights on today’s photo blog… just a few of the reasons why springtime is the best time! Have pictures that you can share with us, too? We’d love to post some on our social media, so comment and send along! #HappySpring

When after dinner walks turn into bickering from two kids who can’t agree, but hey look at that sunset 🌅

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No. 3; #instatravel #SpringTimeInHouston #parks #sugarland #texas #lakeside A post shared by Travel Fixes (@travel_fixes) on

Arlo decided to stop and smell the flowers on our walk today 🐶🐾🌺🌸

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Sprangtime

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House gardener and his dog assistants at your service. #greenthumb #springtimeinHouston @texmariner84

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The jasmine on our patio smells like heaven! #springtimeinhouston A post shared by Indika (@indikausa) on

Mother’s Day Fun Around Houston

There’s nobody quite like Mom, is there? With all the hustle and bustle of spring time and summer preparation, it can be easy to take mothers for granted… but this Mother’s Day, we at Alta City West want to encourage you to show Mom the best day ever by celebrating here with a fantastic day. There’s lots to do around us and all over Houston, so here are just a few of our ideas: Take her to brunch at The Egg & I What better way to tell Mom you love her than treating her to brunch at The Egg & I? With healthy options, as well as tried-and-true favorites from pancakes to eggs benedict, you surely won’t find a place around here better equipped for a Mother’s Day morning. And it’s a short walking distance away from us – need we say more? Oh, and don’t forget the mimosas – it is a celebration, after all! Surprise her with flowers from Classy Design We all know that nothing says, “I love you, Mom” better than a bouquet of flowers. This sweet spot just down a few blocks from us on Westheimer Road has many different arrangement options (some with little surprise gifts) that you can choose from. Just be sure to order online from Classy Design Florist’s website, or call ahead to be prepared! Enjoy a fancy dinner together at Joyce’s One of the best spots in Houston (since 1997) is Joyce’s Seafood & Steaks. A nice surf-and-turf dinner out will not only be a treat for Mom, but you’ll have just as good of a time indulging your palate. Don’t believe us? Take a look at Joyce’s menu, and try to tell us your mouth isn’t watering already! Remember, this weekend is all about Mom, so be sure to put her first this Mother’s Day – she’s done so much for you, and we’re glad we can give you some tips to help say Thank You to her!

Neighborhood Spotlight: Brunch at The Egg and I

Brunch – that magical time encompassing both breakfast and lunch – originated in 19th Century England, but thankfully it is still practiced in 21st Century Houston. For many, the best brunch spots are the closest brunch spots, as on the weekends we prefer to sleep in and take it easy! Luck for us, the best brunch joint in the neighborhood, The Egg and I, is just down the Street from Alta City West.

The Egg and I specializes in… well, eggs! But non-egg centric seasonal specials include Chia Coconut Oatmeal, Honey Smoked Salmon Frittata, and the Oatmeal Pancake (gluten free!) topped with berries and raspberry agave. Their season juice is sure to put some spicy nutrition into your belly as the fresh pair and citrus is sweetened with agave and ginger and then spiced up with jalapeño!

No brunch would be complete without a plethora of egg dishes. Among the classic and creative benefits (like crab!) you’ll also find vegetarian options. They also have scrambles and omelets (see photos below).  Those seeking comfort food will find solace in Southern classics like biscuits and gravy and grits.

Each menu item is detailed with allergen information and dietary concerns, appeasing the the gluten-free, allergen-sensitive diners among us. The gluten-free menu can be found here.

At the Egg and I juices (orange, tomato, grapefruit, apple and cranberry) are fresh squeezed, and the coffee is bottomless and always served fresh.  You just can’t beat a local restaurant where everything is made to order!

The Westeimer location is open from 7:00 am until 2:00 pm, so get it while it’s hot!

What are your favorite spots in the neighborhood? Let us know and we’ll cover it in our next Neighborhood Spotlight!



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Where to Hike your Heart Out in Houston

With weather in the low 80’s and high 70’s this late winter, now is the perfect time to hike your heart out in Houston!

The Terry Hershey Sam Houston Parkway is just two miles down the road from Alta City West. At the Parkway you can run, hike, walk and bike! You can take the 2.9 mile loop or get more adventurous and veer off towards the Buffalo Bayou Park. On this trail  you’ll find hills, trees (some fallen) and green lushness – without the traffic that usually dominates the cityscape. The entire parkway expanse is about 10 miles, so if you want to go the distance, you may want to take a bike! Bring your dog and your kids and you’ll find plenty of other people out on the path!

Memorial Park sees 4 million visitors each year. You can hit the three mile loop by yourself or take the kids to the park. The Park’s official website indicates  that “thirty miles of hiking trails provide a respite from urban life, while local sports enthusiasts flock to the Park’s many amenities and facilities.” Amenities include a tennis court and a lighted path for walking at night. If you veer off the trail, you can find local restaurants (like Smoothy King) nearby.

Upcoming events include The Brunch Run on April 1st. A $20 entrance fee will get you a tee-shirt, 4 miles of exercise, and entrance into the after party.

Brays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail is where you can go Hike and Bike your heart out in Houston!  This paved trails even has a Bros Bakery on the trail! For those really into a long run, this path can stretch over 30 miles round trip! You can run, walk or bike right next to running water. There’s few shady trees on this path, so be sure to take advantage of the cooler winter weather.

Still need more green space and outdoor activity space? Try one of Houston’s many parks!



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10 Wonderful New Year’s Home Resolutions

2017 is almost here, and it’s a time for reflecting on the past and planning the future. Are you looking for ways to make the most of apartment living? Here are 10 awesome New Year’s resolutions you can do at home, for your home this year. Let’s make 2017 a good one!
  1. Declutter
  2. Master your tomato sauce recipe
  3. Take a one-week home design challenge
  4. Clean your apartment from top to bottom
  5. Throw a dinner party
  6. Redecorate boldly
  7. Make your bed every morning
  8. Make a gallery wall
  9. Make friends with your (new) neighbors
  10. Volunteer and get involved with your community

GUIDE: Your Perfect 24-Hour Houston Staycation

Sweet, sweet summer is over and so are the days of week-long vacations. As we are about to embark on the busy holiday season, it’s harder than ever to squeeze in a weekend escape. Something about the return of pumpkin spice screams need to getaway. Can’t get away but want to pretend you did? Try a staycation.

staycation: a period in which an individual stays home and participates in leisure activities within driving distance from home, eats like a boss, and sleeps in their own bed at night.

So go ahead, stay home and take advantage of all that Houston (particularly, the immediate area surrounding Alta City West) has to offer. Here’s our curated itinerary for your best Houston staycation yet!

MORNING

Start your morning at Mi Pueblito, a local spot with only two locations serving up some of the finest, homemade-quality Columbian food this side of Houston. Seriously, check out those pastries: it’s a done deal. P.S. – Don’t forget to grab some caffeine to-go, because you’ve got quite a packed day ahead of you!

 

Next you’ll head to Painting With a Twist, a Houston art studio that offers BYOB painting classes! All instructors are formally educated in painting, so no need to worry if you’re not the artsy type. After all, they call it FUN art – not fine art! Bonus: attendees 21+ over (with valid ID) may bring whatever they’d like to eat or drink!

  AFTERNOON

At this point you’re probably hungry, so we selected nearby Zagat-rated spot Ragin’ Cajun to grab some grub. Established in 1974, this locale serves up authentic bayou cuisine and has even been featured in People Magazine and Food Network. We recommend the crawfish etouffée, jambalaya, and seafood gumbo!

 

As much as we’d love for this Houston staycation to segment into a food tour, we have another activity planned for those who are up for the challenge! Gracie Barra jiu-jitsu school offers a free trial class – just remember to sign up online ahead of time. Now go ahead and kick some butt!

EVENING

Going into the evening, we bet you’re already thinking about dinner. Next up on the itinerary is dinner at Fogo de Chão, a high-end Brazilian steakhouse serving up a plethora of tasty, tender meats. Besides their signature steak, chicken, lamb, and pork, their menu includes seafood, sides, fine wines, desserts and more. This is a dinner worth splurging on!

To cap off your staycation, stop by Krispy Kreme on your drive home for their classic glazed donuts. If you’ve never had them, they pretty much taste like a ball of fluffy, sugary heaven. Keep a lookout for their neon sign to get them hot off the press!

  We’ve given you the plan – the rest is up to you. Have fun and make yours a Houston staycation to remember!

4 Brilliant Tips to Keep Your Home Cool in the Summer

Summer weather is quickly approaching, so that not only means that it’s time to break out the shorts and flip flops, but also that Houston’s temperature will rise to sweltering levels. Thankfully, Alta City West offers state-of-the-art air conditioning units in all of their homes, but there are other ways to keep your apartment cool and utility bills down. This week’s blog sheds light on the different ideas on how to keep your home comfortable before reaching for that thermostat.

Keep Your Blinds Closed

This may seem like common sense, however, 30 percent of unwanted heat comes from your windows, and utilizing shades and curtains can save you up to 7 percent on your bills and lower indoor temperatures by up to 20 degrees. Blinds truly save your home from the sun turning your home into an apartment size greenhouse!

Swap Your Bedding

While flannel and fleece sheets can feel wonderful in the cooler months, switching your bedding to cotton will have an amazing cooling effect. Cotton is the best textile at wicking away moisture, thus leaving you to feel cooler throughout your night’s sleep. For an added bonus, buy a buckwheat pillow or two, since buckwheat hulls have a naturally occurring air space between them, they won’t hold onto your body heat like conventional pillows.

Fire Up the Grill

The summer months are a perfect time to use one of our grills, not just because of the delicious food you can make, but also because it keeps your home from heating up! Using your oven or stove top in the summer will make your home very warm, so head down to Alta City West’s pool area to cook dinner!

Put Off Chores

Have a few loads of laundry or dishes to wash? Don’t run the dishwasher, clothes washer/dryer, or other appliances during the heat of the day, since these machines generate heat and humidity that will be hard to overcome. It’s better to complete your housework during the evening, night time, or even early morning when the temperature is way down.

Houston’s summer weather is one of the best things about Texas, however the high temperatures can also become bothersome. These tips will help you to give your home’s air conditioner a break while also keeping your home cool and comfortable.

Alta City West Favorite Easter Recipes

Sure, maybe Easter isn’t recognized every year for great food like Thanksgiving or Christmas but we think Easter is highly underrated in the food category. So much tasty goodness comes out this time of year (um, hello Peeps?!). Alta City West is here to remind you Easter is still in the running for the holiday with the best food. We’re going to show you all our favorite Easter recipes that you can make your family and friends believe in the food spirit of Easter again.

Carrots for Dinner
What’s a bunny to do when everyone likes carrots?! Make carrots! These Maple Dijon carrots will make everyone remember the greatness behind carrots and Easter. Photo and recipe from Closetcooking.com.
Eggs
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Easter is filled with eggcelent traditions and one of them is the egg! Between hunting for them and dying them the egg is an eggceptional part of the Easter tradition. Turn them fun colors and serve them up deviled style for a fun Easter tradition. Photo and recipes from Justapinch.com.
Peeps
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Remember the previously mentioned Peeps? Well they’re good for more than just snacking and microwaving to see how big they can get. Make them into these delicious brownies for a new Easter tradition.
Photo and recipe from Thedomesticrebel.com.
Crack open the eggs (pun intended) and get to making those delicious Easter recipes! It’s time to remind everyone that Easter does serve up some of the best dishes!

Alta City West St. Patricks Day Cocktails

Every year when St. Patricks day rolls around we look forward to dressing up in green, pinching our friends who skipped on the tradition and eating all the green foods we can get our hands on! This year we’re celebrating with our favorite cocktails in St. Patricks day form because green foods are great, but green drinks are so underrated. You can throw a party or show up to any gathering with your green drinks and blow your friends and family away. This isn’t the luck of the Irish, this is Alta City West St. Patricks Day Cocktails!

Sangria
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The only thing that could possibly make any holiday any better is sangria. It’s light and refreshing which is perfect for Houston spring time and it is so easy to make. This sangria is made with green apples to commemorate the Irish Holiday. Photo & sangria recipe from madewithhappy.com.
Layered Cocktail
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This beauty features layers of delicious St. Paddys Day deliciousness. It also has our favorite honorary Irish spirit; Bailey’s Liquor. Easy to make and even prettier to look at, this is the most delicious cocktail you can throw together this weekend. Photo and recipe from diply.com.
Decorative Drink
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Of course you can’t talk about holiday drinks without showing off the flashy, sugar drink. This beauty not only features the color green but you get whipped cream AND cookie crumbs in there and since calories don’t count on holidays, this makes for the perfect St. Patricks day drink. Photo and recipe from snappygourmet.com.
Don’t worry, we have all the best cocktails for you to celebrate St. Paddys Day in style and with some cute homemade cocktails. March is the perfect month in Houston because it’s just starting to get nice outside and you can head out to the park in your green outfits with your green cocktails and celebrate your luck of the Irish.