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Houston Parks with the Most Perks

While one of the perks of community living is the indoor and outdoor amenities, sometimes some nature and open space can do the body good. Whether you’re walking the dog, running the kids around, or just taking a solo sojourn, a city park can be a breath of fresh a free public space. We’ve searched for and narrowed down the Houston parks with the most perks.

Close to home is Arthur Storey Park. Paved walkways create a break between the green grass and the waterway that runs along side. Naturalists can catch sights of ducks and turtles in the ponds.

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Also close to home is Bendwood Park. The open green expanse is great for unabridled running and playing and there is a kids gym for monkeying around!

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Closer to downtown is Memorial Park. It includes a 3 mile running loop through the green park with restaurants and amenities like tennis courts and volleyball courts. Park goes can cool down with a smoothy from Smoothy King while on route.

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Patio Dining to Cool Down and Eat up in Houston

There’s plenty of good food in Houston, but eating outdoors is a perk that comes with Texan weather. Here’s where you can find patio dining to cool down and eat up in Houston.

Chuy’s Tex-Mex restaurant has indoor and outdoor seating, so you can enjoy the homemade tortillas and fresh ingredients in the shade – or catching some outdoor rays. Cool off with margaritas made with freshly squeezed lime juice and put your shades on to enjoy the best Mex in Tex.

Also in the neighborhood Ranosh – a Middle Eastern restaurant and hookah bar. Savor lamb kabobs and humus swarma while sitting on the outdoor patio, a wooden deck surrounded by green trees and a water fountain. If it strikes your fancy, enjoy smoking a hooka in the warm summer air, or wait for the chill of the evening to make the atmosphere perfect for your dining experience.

Vintropolis is  an oasis for wine drinkers seeking good wine for a reasonable price. Meats and cheese make tasty accompaniments to both house and select wines. Enjoy a crisp glass of pinot on a warm summer evening while relaxing with friends – or solo company – on the outdoor patio. They’re open until 12 am every night but on Saturday they close at 2 am.

What are your favorite places to cool down and eat up in Houston? Let us know in the comments and we’ll feature it next time!
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How to up your Grilling Game with Unusual BBQ Foods

Summer is the time to spark up the grill and BBQ. Some common fare includes steak, burgers, and ribs, but you can cook more than meat up on the grill. To get your BBQ creative juices flowing, we’ve gathered ideas of unusual foods to BBQ.

Grilled Pizza: Approximately 3 billion pizzas are sold in the US each month, but it is one of the unusual foods to BBQ.



Grilled Watermelon: While most people have enjoyed watermelon chilled, grilling the melon will bring out more sweetness and flavor. Watch this video to learn the secrets of BBQ watermelon!



Grilled Lobster Tails: From under the sea to right on your grill, you can smother your lobster tails in butter and lemon and let them grill for 15 minutes.

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4 Fun Houston Events to Celebrate the 4th:

It’s almost that time of year again, when the Houstonian skies light up with fireworks and patriotic pride. The 4th of July is a fantastic holiday to celebrate surrounded by your family and friends with great food and loud fireworks. In case you haven’t decided on what to do this year, we decided to write this week’s blog on where to celebrate America’s birthday in our beautiful city.  
  1. Freedom Over Texas– Houston’s official July 4th celebration will feature a festival, food, fireworks and performances by Darius Rucker, Eli Young Band and The Suffers. The event requires tickets and runs from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Eleanor Tinsley Park.
  1. ExxonMobil Summer Symphony Nights: Star Spangled Salute- Enjoy your 4th of July with the Houston Symphony as they play all of the patriotic classics! It’s important to stay for the finale since they play the 1812 Overture with booming cannons and a firework spectacular. Open seating will be available on both the hill and the covered area of the Miller Outdoor Theatre.
  1. 4th of July Celebration at Bayou Bend: Celebrate Independence Day at Houston’s home for American decorative arts and paintings. The annual 4th of July blowout at Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens offers up an extravaganza of Americana: performers, crafts, activities, refreshments, and more. Don’t forget to sign the giant Declaration of Independence before you leave!
  1. Bridgeland in Cypress: Be sure to head to Cypress if you want to enjoy a pool party from 1 pm – 7 pm. The Texas Tycoons will perform beginning at 7 pm with fireworks over Lake Bridgeland at approximately 9 pm.
These are only a small amount of amazing celebrations happening in our city! Houston is such an amazing place to live, no wonder why it’s one of America’s favorite cities!
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Houston’s Top Farmers Markets to Visit This Summer

There is something about attending a farmers market on a warm summer afternoon to choose the best fresh and organic produce. Local residents and vendors come together to celebrate delicious food, drink and entertainment, making a farmers market the perfect way to spend a morning or afternoon. Thankfully Houston has a multitude of farmers markets to choose from, giving its residents easy access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Eastside Street Every Saturday, 8 a.m.-12 p.m. Every Sunday, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.:

Urban Harvest Farmers Market at Eastside Street has extended its hours and is now open on Sundays too, which means you have more time to get what you want at the market. Saturdays seem to be busier than Sundays, thus giving you the opportunity to enjoy a nice, quiet afternoon at the market; same great food minus all the hustle and bustle.

Pearland Old Townsite Farmers Market 2nd and 4th Saturday of each month, 8 a.m.- noon:

Twice a month you can visit the Pearland Old Townsite Farmers Market to sample and purchase tamales, beef jerky, candies, olive oils, and spices. Grab a bite to eat for breakfast or lunch, and then spend the rest of your time purchasing fresh produce to last you all of the following week!

Spring Branch Farmers Market Every Thursday, 2-7 p.m.:

Head on down to the Spring Branch Farmers Market every Thursday night for something delicious! The market opens up at 2 p.m., but stays open until 7 p.m., selling fresh produce and ready-to-go meals! It’s a great way to grab a quick bite to eat while supporting Houston’s local economy!

Houston’s Farmers Market at Canino Produce Co. Everyday, 6 a.m.-8 p.m.:

Weekends too busy to spend your time at a farmers market? Thankfully, this giant farmers market is open every day from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m. and offers an exorbitant amount of Texas and local produce, along with numerous other products like spices, honey, olives, pasta and pecans. This is one of the most schedule-friendly places to shop in order to stock up on local produce and goods!

Houston is a great city because not only is it filled with exciting museums and entertainment, but the city also gives you plenty of opportunity to support local vendors while buying amazing food. Support your local economy and shop at one of these farmers markets this week!

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Photo Blog: Houston In The Spring

There’s no arguing that Houston is beautiful during all seasons of the year. Whether it’s fall and the leaves are changing or summer and the sun is shining Houston just makes everyone feel right at home. One of our personal favorite seasons here at Alta City West is Spring. With the flowers blooming and the weather starting to turn warm there really is no better season. We just want to remind you West Houston just how great Spring in Houston is so we’ve put together Photo Blog: Houston in The Spring.

Houston Flowers
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Houston Spring brings gorgeous flowers. They can be spotted all through town. Photo via Instagram user alishalefevre.
Houston Sunsets
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The sunsets this time of year can’t be beat. Sure, they’re beautiful year round but something about a Houston sunset in the Spring can’t be beat. Photo via Instagram user miumoth. 
Houston Outdoors
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Running through Houston parks is nothing without the cool spring air and fresh grass growing. Photo via Instagram user rmz990.
It doesn’t matter which part of Houston is your favorite part in the Spring, the important part is that we remember how beautiful this season is. Head outdoors Houston, the weather is perfect for it.
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Hosting An Oscars Betting Party

With all the other events and parties going on in February it’s no surprise that Oscars season has creeped up on us almost unnoticed. So don’t feel bad if you haven’t planned how you’re going to have the best Oscars party ever. We’re here to break down all the necessities you need to gather last minute and all the games you need to play at your Oscars party. Leave the thinking to us here at Alta City West, we know exactly who the winner will be this year.

The Food and Drink

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We understand that one of the most important things at any party is the grub. People come and they want to socialize, drink and chow down while they watch their favorite actors or actresses take home the gold trophy. Spruce up the drinks a little too for a fun touch that everyone can enjoy while they mingle and cast their votes on the winners of the night. Add a few gold touches to the buffet table and you’ve got yourself a golden hour ready for the Oscars. Photo via Popsugar.com.

The Games

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We go to the movies year round to see the performances and try to guess who we think acted their hearts out best each year. By the time the Oscars are here we’ve made our bets and we know who we want to win the nominations. So what’s better than a little friendly competition between friends? Cast your ballots and see who wins the most categories. Print out some of these printable ballots and hand them out at your party for a fun game. Photo and ballots from Theglitterguide.com.

The Oscars only come once a year and you shouldn’t have to stress last minute over it. Alta City West has the fun all planned out for you and all you need to do is throw it together and remind your friends to stop by and have fun. All of your friends will agree that the Oscar goes to you this year!

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Winter TexMex Recipes

We might not get a cold winter in Houston but we sure are going to eat like it! Despite not needing to warm up and eat something cozy to heat up our days, we still feel like it’s necessary to mark winter with a little comfort food. And in West Houston is there anything more desirable than some good ol’ TexMex? Here at Alta City West we’re combining our local favorite food with a little winter spice and making sure this winter is commemorated with good food, TexMex spice, and feeling like we truly celebrated winter despite being outside in shorts most days.

Brisket Nachos
NachosPrepare yourselves for the best nachos you’ll ever snack on in your entire lives. Between layers of homemade brisket, melted cheese, avocados and tomatoes you’ll be feeling warmed up and in the winter spirit in no time all while celebrating the best flavors Houston has to offer. Recipe and photo via Addapinch.com.
Chile Potatoes
Chile poatatoes
There is no comfort food that screams ‘winter’ more than mashed potatoes. And mashed potatoes are great, don’t get us wrong. But TexMex mashed potatoes? Well that’s just texcellent. Recipe and photo via Gimmesomeoven.com.
Chicken Soup
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Chicken soup. It’s good for the soul. Know what else it’s good for? Warming up and letting that cold winter feel melt away. Add peppers, chiles, and spice and you’ve got yourself TexMex happiness in a bowl. Recipe and photo from Sixsistersstuff.com.
Most of the time we’re grateful we live in an eternal summer and we get the luxury of living in beautiful West Houston, but every once in a while we like to feel like we celebrated winter months just like everyone else! These Winter TexMex Recipes will put you right into the winter mood while you also get to enjoy Houston’s official favorite food (almost official). Time to get cooking, Houston!
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Photo Blog: New Year, New Apartment Decoration Tips

Whenever the new year rolls around we here at Alta City West get the itch to redecorate. Call it a new years resolution or call it spring cleaning, either way there’s no better feeling than a redecorated apartment and a fresh perspective on your home. We like to keep with the general theme of Texas and West Houston when redecorating but it’s also fun to put a spin on the typical interior decoration ideas. Not interested in redecorating your whole apartment? No fear, these small tips can help you add a little spice to your home without going too crazy. Embrace the spring cleaning fever everyone!

Store up

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Instead of bulky bookshelves that take up floor space, try shelves that stack up the wall. They’re decorative and open up the area for more movement. Decoration and photo from Artsandclassy.com.

Get Creative

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Picture frames are out, hanging photos are in. Hang your photos in a unique way with a little help from some greenery and crafts. Decoration and photo from Bloglovin.com.

Mismatch

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Sometimes it’s fun to mix things up a little, and it always looks good! Frame prints, photos, and silhouettes for a beautiful living room mural. Decoration and photo from Popsugar.com.

2016 is the year of “out with the old, in with the new” for us! We think redecorating is the perfect chance to start fresh and get some new inspiration in your life. Keep it Texas and keep it fun, y’all.

Hosting Award Show Parties at Alta City West

Ringing in the start of the new year also means ringing in the start of award show season. Award show season is a time filled with playful competition among friends guessing who will or won’t win and of course our personal favorite, award show parties. Here in Houston, award shows must be commemorated because really if you live in Texas and don’t turn everything into a competition, are you really even Texan? Roll out the red carpet and pull out your baking tools because hosting award show parties at Alta City West is fun and easy to throw together. 

The Decorations

Decor

Sure, you can throw an award show party, put out snacks, and throw on the show and be done with it but when a Texan decides to go big, they go big. That means pulling out all the stops with the decorations and turning your home into Hollywood for a night. A little crafting and guidance and you can have a red carpet entry that will blow your guests away. Photo via Pinterest.

The Food

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It ain’t a party until there’s food at the party! You can dress up the champagne as little tuxedos, put edible gold glitter on everything, and make award cookies to hand out to everyone to make the night as festive as possible. Photo via Pinterest.

The Attire

Attire

Playing dress up is just as fun as adults as it was when you were kids. You can make it a formal event where everyone gets dolled up in their finest or you can make it silly and have everyone dress up as their favorite horrible outfit from past years like the Denim Duo Brittany Spears and Justin Timberlake from 2001. Photo from Pinterest.

Place your bets now and make sure to catch up on watching all the nominated movies because knowledge is power in the game of award show winners. Your guests will be blown away by the decorations and food and you’ll have a hoot seeing everyone playing dress up. By the end of the night everyone will be handing you an award for the best award show party ever!