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Thanksgiving Essentials For A Perfect Holiday

Thanksgiving is such a great time of year because it kicks off the holiday season and gets everyone together to start celebrating a time of giving. For some, Thanksgiving is easy peasy because they’ve got the basics down to a science and they kick off Thanksgiving without a hitch every year. However, for some they need a few reminders and guidance on how to throw an amazing Turkey Day party. We here at Alta City West want to give you some Thanksgiving essentials to make sure your day is one of the best you’ve ever had. And even better news, Houston is one of the best places to throw a Thanksgiving day party. The weather isn’t too hot but you don’t need to be in jackets either. So just relax, you’ve got the base to an amazing holiday already going. Here are just a few Thanksgiving essentials to put the cherry on top of the sundae.

The Dessert

The one thing we know for sure is the necessity for sugar on Thanksgiving. We understand that having the same pie every year can become tiresome. These recipes are sure to pleasantly surprise everyone while still bringing a fall theme to your Turkey Day dinner. (Recipes and photos from here).

The Decorations

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It doesn’t take much to give your home a fall feeling when inviting a bunch of guests over. If you’re hosting the big dinner chances are people are going to be more focused on the food rather than the decorations anyways. However, it is still nice to welcome people in with small reminders of the season around us. Get a chalkboard going for people to write their favorite dishes, have small fall crafting tables for the kids, and put out some candles and pumpkins to get everyone in the spirit. (Decorations and photo from here).

The Basics

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The one thing everyone tends to forget about on Thanksgiving is to just have fun and relax with your closest friends and family. Plan ahead and just take the day as it comes and don’t worry about things going wrong. No matter what, if you spend the day with your nearest and dearest it’s going to be a great holiday. Follow some of these tips to plan ahead to have a less stressful holiday. (Tips and photo from here).

Thanksgiving is approaching quicker than you might think! Use our guide to create the perfect deserts, decorations and scheduling so that you can have the most relaxing and well put together dinner your friends and family have ever seen. Make it fun and festive but most importantly make it a memorable Turkey Day.

5 Tips for Preparing for Daylight Saving Time

Spring is coming! It’s almost that time of the year again where we forgo an hour of sleep in return for an hour of daylight. Let’s face it, springing forward and loosing that extra hour of sleep to daylight saving time is never fun, but we guarantee that these tips will help make the transition a little bit easier.

Tips- for -Preparing- for- Daylight- Saving -Time

Tip #1

Starting the Wednesday before the time change (March 4), make sure to start going to bed at least 15-30 minutes earlier. This will allow your body to ease into the time change so that by the time you have to go to work on Monday, you will already be physically adapted to getting up an hour earlier. Tips- for -Preparing- for- Daylight- Saving -Time

Tip #2

To help with going to bed earlier, make sure to keep your bedroom cool and to dim the lights in your house in the evenings leading up to the time change. It’s also key that you avoid bright lights from objects such as computers and TV screens 30 minutes before you plan on going to bed. This is very important because bright lights have been shown to hinder a persons ability to fall asleep. On top of keeping your bedroom cool and dark, having a calming bedtime routine such as reading or taking a bath will also help you fall asleep quicker. Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.25.51 AM

Tip #3

Make sure to write yourself a reminder note to change all clocks, watches, computers and appliances back an hour on Saturday evening to prevent oversleeping on Sunday morning. We guarantee that you will thank yourself later for resetting all of your clocks a little earlier! Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.28.19 AM

Tip #4

It is essential that you avoid caffeine in the evening and that you have an early breakfast and dinner the weekend before. It is also important that you have a hearty breakfast the Monday morning after the time change. We also recommend some light morning exercise in the sunlight the Monday morning after the time change to help you wake up. If you don’t have time to workout, make sure to have some caffeine to help you stay alert. Tips- for -Preparing- for- Daylight- Saving -Time

Tip #5

Not only does daylight saving time mean longer days and more sunlight, but it also gives you an opportunity to rethink your sleeping schedule. Think of DST as a reset button and consider altering your morning routine accordingly. This is your chance to get on a better morning schedule and we highly recommend setting your alarm for a fixed time and not hitting the snooze button. We hope this list helps you ease your way into daylight saving time and that it makes the transition a little less difficult this Sunday. With that said, what tips do YOU plan on using for DST this March? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @AltaCityWest. Thanks for reading!
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The 5 Best Brunch Spots in Houston

Brunch lover’s rejoice! We’ve dedicated several hours of research looking far and wide to find you the best brunch spots in all of Houston. From Bloody Mary bars to to mouth watering Eggs Benedict, these 5 brunch spots in Houston are sure to satisfy your inner foodie.  

White Oak Kitchen + Drinks

5011 Westheimer Rd Houston, TX, 77056 Conveniently located in the Galleria, White Oak Kitchen has solidified itself as being one of the most popular brunch spots in all of Houston. With delicious food ranging from chicken and waffles to French toast, White Oak Kitchen is always packed with a weekend crowd of loyal brunchers. if you desire a more boozier brunch, White Oak Kitchen also has an array of drink specials ranging from $17 carafes of brunch punch and sangria on Saturdays and $12 and $16 carafes of mimosas and sangrias on Sundays. Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.14.36 AM

Common Bond 

1706 Westheimer Road Houston TX, 77098 This Montrose cafe and bakery has some of the best pastries and baked goods in all of Texas! Common Bond may be a small and booze-free cafe, but their savory and sweet baked goods will make you forget all about not having that Blood Mary with your brunch. If you are looking for something a little more hearty then pastries and donuts, Common Bond also serves delicious tortas, yogurt parfaits and sandwiches as part of their weekend brunch menu. Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.15.15 AM

Hugo’s 

1600 Westheimer Houston, TX 77006 This widely popular Mexican food restaurant offers a brunch experience so delicious that it needs to be added to your foodie bucket list. That being said, Hugo’s offers a Sunday brunch buffet packed full of authentic Mexican dishes such as chilaquiles, carnitas, tamales and braised brisket. If you have a little bit of a sweet tooth they also include churros and Mexican hot chocolate as part of their Sunday brunch special. Let’s face it, you just can’t go wrong with all the endless plates of Mexican food your heart desires! Screen Shot 2015-07-26 at 11.16.07 AM

Saint Genevieve 

2800 kirby #A206 Houston, texas 77098 Located in Upper Kirby, this fun and upscale eatery offers a swanky weekend brunch experience for the books. Sip on $10 loaded mimosa carafes or enjoy a $9 build-your-own Bloody Mary bar as the DJ cranks the tunes and gets the Sunday Funday party started. If you thought their build-your-own Blood Mary bar was tempting, just wait until you’ve tried their $6 plate of “Adult Milk & Cookies”, complete with some Kahlua-spiked milk and fresh baked cookies. Apart from their drink specials, their food is equally amazing and their diverse menu includes everything from s’mores to Crabcake Benedict. If you’re looking for a wild yet sophisticated brunch experience in Houston, Saint Genevieve is for you!

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BRC Gastropub

 519 Shepherd Dr Houston, TX 77007 BRC Gastropub had us at their out-of-this-world extra cheesy and gooey, mac’n cheese! Yes, that’s right, BRC Gastropub includes mac’n cheese on their weekend brunch menu along with the most heavenly cheddar biscuits (served with bacon jam) that you will ever devour!  If you’re more of a traditional brunch person, they also serve buttermilk pancakes and chicken fried steak. Wash all of this down with $10 pitchers of mimosas and you’re sure to have a fantastic brunch experience. We hope this list helps you find the perfect brunch experience for you whether you’re looking for a traditional brunch menu or the best boozy brunch specials around town. In the end, whatever experience you are looking for, we guarantee that these Houston restaurants will fulfill your brunch wishes and dreams! With that said, where do YOU plan on eating brunch at this weekend? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @AltaCityWest. Thanks for reading!

   
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The Best Places to Pamper Your Pet in Houston

We know that you love your pet 24/7- 365 days out of the year and that there’s very little you wouldn’t do to keep them happy. With that being said, it was National Love Your Pet Day this month so why not celebrate your love for your pet with a little pampering? As we all know, Houston is a pet-lovers mecca and has no shortage of places for your pet to get pampered at. From the best off-leash dog parks to the most over-the-top pet salons, we’ve rounded up the best places to pamper your pet in Houston any day of the year!

Barks 5th Avenue

10620 Cypress Creek Pkwy Houston, TX 77070 (281) 653-8041 Barks 5th Avenue is anything but your average pet salon. Much like Saks 5th Avenue, Barks 5th Avenue is packed full of only the highest quality products from organic pet foods to natural styling products. Barks 5th Avenue also offers an array of services from pet boarding to pet daycare. In short, this pet salon will quickly have your pet feeling like the royalty they are to you!

Urban Tails Pet Resort

1618 Webster St. Houston, TX 77003 (713) 658-0900 Winner of the Houston Press award of “Best Place to Pamper Your Pet in Houston”, Urban Tails Pet Resort truly is one of the best pet salons in the Houston area! From luxury loft lodging to daycare services, this pet salon has it all! They even offer an assortment of pet treatments such as grooming, nail clipping and dental hygiene services. Urban Tails Pet Resort also has an unique low-chlorine indoor swimming pool for your pet to take a relaxing dip in. Just when you thought it couldn’t get any better, Urban Tails Pet Resort also offers “Doga”, a gentle doggie yoga class that involves light stretching and massaging.  

Millie Bush Dog Park

16756 Westheimer Pkwy. Houston, TX 77082 (281) 496-2177 After you have pampered your pet at the salon, why not extend their pampering to a trip at the dog park? Every pooch loves some good old-fashioned playtime and they will undoubtedly get it at Millie Bush Dog Park. Millie Bush Dog Park at George Bush Park is a nose above the rest (so to speak) and offers 8.68 acres of leash free park for your ball of fur to play at. It also features three lakes and two walking trails so that you and your pet can take in the views as you adventure around together! pet-friendly-activities-in-houston

Discovery Green’s Kinder Large Dog Run & Harriet and Joe Foster Small Dog Run

1500 McKinney St Houston, TX 77010 (713) 400-7336 Discovery Green is Houston’s main multi-use park and is already well known for its festivals, food vendors, ice-skating and more. What is lesser known about Discovery Green is its amazing dog park that includes separate fenced areas for large and small dogs. It also includes doggie drinking fountains and plenty of shade so that your pooch can play comfortably all day long. We hope that everyone had a great National Pet Lover Day and that our list will help you make your pet feel like the royalty they are to you for a day. With that said, how do you plan on pampering your pet in Houston this month? Let me know in the comments below or on Twitter at @AltaCityWest. Thanks for reading!
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