Saturday, June 18, 2016

Real Estate Update

I recently posted that I started a career in Real Estate last year and I'm happy to report I'm making my way forward! I am getting ready to close on a house I recently listed in Briargrove Park that I was able to put under contract in just 4 days!
I feel very blessed to have to the opportunity to be working with Andrea Potts Snoddy at Andrea Snoddy & Associates LLC, she has been an amazing mentor. To be in an environment where integrity, client loyalty, and attention to detail are foremost has made me feel all the more at home.

I have done residential leases, worked with buyers as well as sellers to meet my clients' every expectation.  Speaking of leases, I just started working with the owner of a small apartment complex in Afton Oaks to list some apartments in the very heart of Houston.
The complex was built in 1965 and has been superbly maintained. There is only one unit available for lease at the moment but there will be others coming up soon. Click here to find out more about this spectacular opportunity to live in an area surrounded by the newly emerging River Oaks Distrct, Highland Village and the Galleria at an amazingly affordable price. 
I have also sold homes in the growing Fort Bend area. The commute into the Galleria area from this beautiful home is a lot faster than you might imagine. It just took some creative searching to find a niche neighborhood. We closed on this home last November. It touched my heart when this client recently called me one evening as he was pulling into his driveway to thank me for finding his dream home. He said that every time he comes home he can't believe he owns this house! That really touched my heart. 
Harvest Green is area I hope to be telling you all about more soon. It is in Fort Bend and has amazing amenities including an organic farm co-op. So far I have placed one family in this amazing neighborhood and they love it. 
You may recall this home I had on the market last year. We had a remarkable opportunity to lease it to a wonderful family. However, it may be going back on the market for sale again soon. Stay tuned. 

Please let me know if I can help you with your residential real estate needs. I work with customers in any and all price ranges in and around the Houston area. I'm even working with a new client to find some acreage "in the country" to build on. You can reach me at (832) 483-6604 or email me at 

I look forward to hearing from you! 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Apple Cider Vinegar! Fact or Fiction?

For a while now I've been hearing that there are keen health benefits to apple cider vinegar, especially the organic variety, so I decided to read up on it and found two main sources of information that seemed pretty reliable. 

Of course Dr. Mehmet Oz, is renowned as a health expert and offers advice on many levels. It seems he has been touting the benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar for some time now. 

Dr. Oz claims that the miracle substance is good for: 

  1. Dandruff Removal -  Salon sprays can be costly, but with apple cider vinegar, your dandruff destroyer will cost only pennies per spray. Just mix equal parts (about 1/4 cup each) apple cider vinegar with water in a spray bottle. Spray onto your hair after shampoo, let sit for 15 minutes and rinse. Use twice per wink and you should be flack free in no time. One theory suggests that the acidity in the vinegar makes it hard for the fungus to grow on your scalp.
  2. Sore Throat - If you suffer from chronic sore throats, but don't want to overdose on cough syrup, turn to apple cider vinegar. Mix one teaspoon apple cider vinegar, one teaspoon cayenne pepper and three teaspoons clover honey in a glass of warm water for an easy elixir. All three ingredients will work together to hep you heal: Apple cider vinegar and honey have antibacterial properties, and the capsaicin in hot peppers helps alleviate pain. If that sore throat is due to allergies, apple cider vinegar packs an extra punch, since it also breaks up mucous and sinus congestion. According to Reader's Digest - as soon as you feel the prickle of a sore throat, employ germ-busting apple cider vinegar to help head off the infection at the pass. Turns out, most germs can't survive in the acidic environment vinegar creates. Just mix 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar with 1/4 cup warm water and gargle every hour or so.
  3. Eliminate Foot Odor - Make amazing foot deodorizer wipes by pouring one-cup apple cider vinegar over baby wipes. (Thick single-use size paper towels will also work.) Soak the wipes overnight in the fridge, then store in a zip-lock bag to use as needed. The acids in the apple cider vinegar will alter the pH level of your skin, which fights off bacteria that cause smelly feet. In a pinch, these wipes also make great all-natural underarm deodorizers. Don’t be thrown off by the vinegar smell – it will dissipate once it dries.
  4. Balance your digestive system - Apple cider vinegar may just be the solution to help your digestive issues. To reduce gas, dilute a tablespoon of enzyme-rich apple cider vinegar with a cup of water or tea, and drink before a meal. This will also combat constipation, since the vinegar stimulates digestive juices that help your body breakdown food. You can also take a dose as soon as you feel heartburn symptoms coming on for a quick fix. Some theories suggest that heartburn occurs because of low stomach acid levels; so vinegar brings that level up. If you hate the taste of this mixture, try adding a dollop of honey.
  5. Clear up your skin - Apple cider vinegar can do wonders for your skin. For an all-natural astringent, apply a washcloth soaked in diluted apple cider vinegar to your face. Afterward, the protective acidic layer will make your skin feel smoother, absorb excess oil and reduce fine lines. This works by restoring the proper pH levels to your skin, and beta-carotene helps to counter future skin damage. Plus, a dab of diluted apple cider vinegar left overnight on age spots, pimples or acne scars will help reduce their appearance.
  6. Heal a sunburn - Burnt to a crisp after a day in the sun? Apple cider vinegar to the rescue! Try adding a cupful or two to your bath to neutralize the burn. After soaking for 10 minutes, the apple cider vinegar will have helped restore your skin’s pH levels and your skin will feel cool and soothed.
  7. Whiten your teeth - Yellow teeth are no match for apple cider vinegar. For stubborn stains, rub apple cider vinegar directly on your teeth then rinse with water. Be careful not to do this too often, as it can break down tooth enamel. For a less abrasive whitening mouthwash, mix one teaspoon of apple cider vinegar with a cup of water, then swish around in your mouth.

Over 10 Million Pounds of Flour Recalled

After hearing recent rumors that Gold Medal and Wondra brands of flour have been recalled and contaminated with the E. coli virus, I decided to visit the General Mills website to find out more. While the claims have not been traced directly back to General Mills, over 10 million pounds of flour have been recalled according to major new sources such as NBC New, USA Today, and Fortune Magazine. Just below is the official statement from General Mills. Here you will find a complete list of the flours to be on the look at for. Also, towards the end of my post see what advice the CDC has for you. 
MINNEAPOLIS, Minnesota – General Mills is collaborating with health officials to investigate an ongoing, multistate outbreak of E. coli O121 that may be potentially linked to Gold Medal flour, Wondra flour, and Signature Kitchens flour (sold in Safeway, Albertsons, Jewel, Shaws, Vons, United, Randalls, and Acme). Out of an abundance of caution, a voluntary recall is being made.  To date, E. coli O121 has not been found in any General Mills flour products or in the flour manufacturing facility, and the company has not been contacted directly by any consumer reporting confirmed illnesses related to these products.
Consumers: Please open this page to ask additional questions of our consumer relations team, or call us at 1-800-230-8103.
State and federal authorities have been researching 38 occurrences of illnesses across 20 states related to a specific type of E. coli (E. coli O121), between December 21, 2015, and May 3, 2016. While attempting to track the cause of the illness, CDC found that approximately half of the individuals reported making something homemade with flour at some point prior to becoming ill. Some reported using a General Mills brand of flour.
Based on the information that has been shared with General Mills, some of the ill consumers may have also consumed raw dough or batter. Consumers are reminded to not consume any raw products made with flour. Flour is an ingredient that comes from milling wheat, something grown outdoors that carries with it risks of bacteria which are rendered harmless by baking, frying or boiling. Consumers are reminded to wash their hands, work surfaces, and utensils thoroughly after contact with raw dough products or flour, and to never eat raw dough or batter.
“As a leading provider of flour for 150 years, we felt it was important to not only recall the product and replace it for consumers if there was any doubt, but also to take this opportunity to remind our consumers how to safely handle flour,” said Liz Nordlie, president of General Mills Baking division.
Although most strains of E. coli are harmless, others can make you sick. E. coli O121 is a potentially deadly bacterium that can cause bloody diarrhea and dehydration. Seniors, the very young, and persons with compromised immune systems are the most susceptible to foodborne illness. 
Any consumers concerned about an illness should contact a physician. Anyone diagnosed by a physician as having an illness related to E. coli O121 is also urged to contact state and local public health authorities.
The recall affects the following retail flour products that could be currently in stores or in consumers’ pantries. It includes six SKUs (stock keeping units or UPC codes) of Gold Medal flour, 2 SKU’s of Signature Kitchens flour and 1 SKU of Gold Medal Wondra flour. 
  • If you have any of the products listed below, they should not be used. 
  • Consumers, please visit this page to ask additional questions of our consumer relations team or you can also call us at 1-800-230-8103
  • For additional information on this recall, please visit the General Mills blog.
  • Media can reach the General Mills communications team at 763-764-6364 or at

The specific products in the recall include: 

  • 13.5 ounce Gold Medal Wondra
Package UPC 000-16000-18980
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 25FEB2017 thru 30MAR2017

  • 2 poundGold Medal All Purpose Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-10710
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC thru 03JUN2017KC

  • 5 poundGold Medal All Purpose Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-10610
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC thru 31MAY2017KC, 01JUN2017KC, 03JUN2017KC thru 05JUN2017KC, 11JUN2017KC thru 14JUN2017KC
  • 10 poundGold Medal All Purpose Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-10410
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 02JUN2017KC,03JUN2017KC

  • 10 pound Gold Medal  All Purpose Flour- Banded Pack
Package UPC 000-16000-10410
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC, 05JUN2017KC
  • 5 poundGold MedalUnbleached Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-19610
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 25MAY2017KC, 27MAY2017KC, 03JUN2017KC, 04JUN2017KC
  • 5 pound Signature Kitchens All Purpose Flour Enriched Bleached
  • Package UPC 000-21130-53001
    Recalled Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 28 2017
  • 5 pound Signature Kitchens Unbleached Flour All Purpose Enriched
Package UPC 000-21130-53022
Recalled Better if Used by Dates BB MAY 27 2017

  • 2 poundGold MedalSelf Rising Flour
Package UPC 000-16000-11710
Recalled Better if Used by Dates 23AUG2016KC1
According to Food Safety News, “Illnesses started on dates ranging from Dec. 21, 2015, to May 3, 2016. Ill people range in age from 1 year to 95, with a median age of 18,” according to the CDC outbreak announcement.

Additional victims could be identified because it takes several weeks for illnesses to be reported to officials after an E, coli infection is diagnosed, CDC reported.
Of 21 victims, 16 reported that they or someone in their household used flour in the week before they became ill.  Of 22 victims, nine reported eating or tasting raw homemade dough or batter before becoming ill.
A dozen of 22 victims reported using Gold Medal brand flour. Three victims reported eating or playing with raw dough at restaurants, according to the CDC.
As of May 31, the states with outbreak patients were: Alabama 1, Arkansas 1, Arizona 2, California 1, Colorado 4, Iowa 1, Illinois 4, Massachusetts 2, Maryland 1, Michigan 4, Minnesota 3, Missouri 1, Montana 1, New York 1, Oklahoma 2, Pennsylvania 2, Texas 2, Virginia 2, Washington 2 and Wisconsin 1.

Advice to Consumers
  • Consumers should not use any of the recalled flour and should throw it out.
    • If you stored your flour in another container without the packaging and don’t remember the brand or better by date is, throw it out to be safe.
    • Consumers should thoroughly wash the containers before using them again.
  • Eating raw dough can make you sick.
    • Flour or raw eggs used to make raw dough or batter might be contaminated. 
    • Bake items made with raw dough or batter before eating them. Follow the recipe or instructions on the package
    • Do not taste raw dough or batter. Even tasting a small amount could make you sick.
  • Clean up thoroughly after baking.
    • Wash any bowls, utensils, and other surfaces that were used when baking with hot water and soap.
    • Wash your hands with water and soap after baking.
  • Contact your healthcare provider if you think you may have become ill from eating raw dough.
    • Most people infected with STEC develop diarrhea (often bloody) and abdominal cramps an average of 3-4 days after swallowing the germ.
    • More information about signs and symptoms of STEC infection is available on the Signs & Symptoms page.

Advice to Restaurants and Retailers

  • Restaurants and other retailers should not sell or serve any of the recalled flour.
    • If you stored your flour in another container without the packaging and don’t remember what the brand or better by date is, throw it out to be safe
    • Restaurants and retailers should thoroughly wash flour storage containers before using them again.
  • Clean up thoroughly after baking.
    • Wash any bowls, utensils, and other surfaces that were used when baking with hot water and soap.
    • Wash your hands with water and soap after baking.
  • Always practice food safety for raw dough.
    • Do not give customers raw dough to play with or eat. It is not safe to eat or play with raw dough, whether made from recalled flour or any other flour.
    • Bake items made with raw dough or batter before serving or selling them. Follow the recipe or instructions on the package.