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Home & Garden

Know when to get rid of the garden pests and when to let them be

Know when to get rid of the garden pests and when to let them be

The world is full of pests — at work, at home, on the internet and in the garden, still, in the hot weather garden pests get more active and annoying. As the gentle spring days are wafted away by the last breezes and the sun bears down, plants become more susceptible to damage and pests become more intent on damaging. Now is the time to marshal all your efforts to keep your garden healthy and...
'Fixer Upper' Clint Harp and wife Kelly get own HGTV show 'Wood Work'

'Fixer Upper' Clint Harp and wife Kelly get own HGTV show 'Wood Work'

A lot is going on in the world of the “Fixer Upper” stars. Wednesday we learned that show hosts Chip and Joanna Gaines are starting their own restaurant. They are turning Elite Cafe into The Magnolia Table by the end of the year. Joanna Gaines has also started her own wallpaper line  among other endorsements. Now we learn from the Waco Herald Tribune that “Fixer Upper&rdquo...
Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens

Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens

GARDENING Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens Take a stroll through almost any Central Texas garden and chances are you’ll come upon at least one type of salvia. Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the mint family, and is also commonly referred to as sage. All sages are salvias; those used for medicinal purposes or as culinary herbs are generally called sages and the name...
GARDEN: How can you get rid of mosquitoes in the yard? Try these tips

GARDEN: How can you get rid of mosquitoes in the yard? Try these tips

Recently, we tested which insect repellents work best in our scientific test, but what about just getting them out of your yard? Ryan Larsen, a civil engineer at storm water management company NDS Inc., calls himself Dr. Drainage and has these recommendations: 1. Eliminate standing water around your home. Keep gutters clear of debris; check at least once a week for any discarded cans, buckets...
HOME: New upscale flooring store A Modern Step opens in Hyde Park

HOME: New upscale flooring store A Modern Step opens in Hyde Park

Austinites Kacey Samiee and Aaron Lindsey have opened A Modern Step, an upscale for-appointment-only flooring store. It carries only lines that are ecologically sensitive, including Scandinavian hardware Junckers, Karelia, Kahrs and WoodLife, and North American lines Appalachian Flooring, Kentwood/Metropolitan, Eco-Timber and Valencia Hardwoods. It also features reclaimed wood from barns, vineyards...
HOME: Marie Kondo turns 'Tidying Up' into manga graphic novel

HOME: Marie Kondo turns 'Tidying Up' into manga graphic novel

Home organization guru Marie Kondo, who appeared at South by Southwest in March, has taught us to consider if something “sparks joy” when we think about whether to keep it, toss it or donate it. Now she’s turned “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up” into a graphic novel with illustration by Yuko Uramoto in “The Life-Changing Manga of Tidying Up: A Magical Story...
GARDENING: Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens

GARDENING: Consider the heat-loving salvia for summer gardens

Take a stroll through almost any Central Texas garden and chances are you’ll come upon at least one type of salvia. Salvia is the largest genus of plants in the mint family, and is also commonly referred to as sage. All sages are salvias; those used for medicinal purposes or as culinary herbs are generally called sages and the name salvia is generally associated with the ornamental plants. At...
FATHER’S DAY: Need last minute gift? Hiatus Spa + Retreat has specials

FATHER’S DAY: Need last minute gift? Hiatus Spa + Retreat has specials

If you’ve messed up and don’t yet have a plan for Father’s Day on Sunday, Hiatus Spa + Retreat offers these specials for him: The Gentleman’s Retreat includes a 90-minute massage and scalp treatment. $165. Dad’s Essentials includes his choice of two services, either a massage, facial, body glow, body wrap or a mani-pedi. $189. The Frosty Mug Retreat gives him a full-body...
It’s National Flip Flop Day. What does Joanna Gaines wear?

It’s National Flip Flop Day. What does Joanna Gaines wear?

In honor of National Flip Flop Day today, we thought we’d take a look at what a notable Texan as been wearing. Joanna Gaines from HGTV’s “Fixer Upper” has been seen wearing a pair of Hari Mari tan and yellow Lakes flip flops on the show. Hari Mari is a Texas company founded in 2012 that also gives back part of its sales to kids fighting cancer, including here in Austin. You...
Austin enthusiasts all aboard the garden train in their yards

Austin enthusiasts all aboard the garden train in their yards

An orange refrigerator freight car is stopped on the tracks alongside a platform; a man wearing a hat leans way over. In the background, there appear to be mountains underneath white clouds and blue sky. Nearby is what seems to be an exceptionally tall tree trunk. It all looks so real, except perhaps the single leaf that spans across two railroad ties. This could be one of numerous train cars of the...
GARDENING: Austin enthusiasts all aboard the garden train in backyards

GARDENING: Austin enthusiasts all aboard the garden train in backyards

An orange refrigerator freight car is stopped on the tracks alongside a platform; a man wearing a hat leans way over. In the background, there appear to be mountains underneath white clouds and blue sky. Nearby is what seems to be an exceptionally tall tree trunk. It all looks so real, except perhaps the single leaf that spans across two railroad ties. This could be one of numerous train cars of the...
SHOPPING: Look for specials Thursday at Rock Rose at Domain Northside

SHOPPING: Look for specials Thursday at Rock Rose at Domain Northside

This Thursday, the stores and restaurants in Domain Northside’s Rock Rose area, domainnorthside.com, will be offering specials as part of its Third Thursday program. This month Drew Davis will be providing the live music. Find these specials from 6-9 p.m. Thursday: ● 77 Degrees: Extended happy hour drink pricing ● Birds Barbershop: Complimentary Shiner Beer and $5 services for $3...
GIFTS: What does Channing Tatum want for Father’s Day? A Giftagram box

GIFTS: What does Channing Tatum want for Father’s Day? A Giftagram box

Giftagram has teamed up with actor Channing Tatum to curate a special gift box for Father’s Day. Inside the American Legends Father’s Day Gift Box is Tatum’s own Born and Bred vodka. Also in the box is a linen Shinola journal, a Machine Era handmade solid brass pen, steel and leather cups from Yield Designs, and Theory 11 playing cards. The box sells for $120 at the Giftagram mobile...
Father’s Day: Buying traditional cigar? Head to new Casa de Montecristo

Father’s Day: Buying traditional cigar? Head to new Casa de Montecristo

If buying Dad, or yourself, a cigar for Father’s Day is on the list, check out the grand opening of Casa de Montecristo. It offers cigar brands such as Arturo Fuente, Macanudo, Montecristo, Romeo y Julieta as well as accessories. A special celebration of the new cigar store and smoking lounge will be held 5-9 p.m. Friday and Saturday with appetizers, cocktails and gift bags from Altadis USA...
SHOPPING: Need Father’s Day gifts? Head to Filson, B8ta events Saturday

SHOPPING: Need Father’s Day gifts? Head to Filson, B8ta events Saturday

Shopping for Dad this weekend? Remember Father’s Day is June 18. A couple of stores at Domain Northside section known as BLVD, 11700 Domain Blvd., have events this Saturday. B8ta opens its doors on Saturday with a party from 1-4 p.m. There guests can try out tech products as well as enjoy free food, music and giveaways. The store has virtual reality and audio experience rooms as well as a connected...
There’s always a spot at the turquoise table

There’s always a spot at the turquoise table

When Amy Hajdu first saw Kristin Schell’s turquoise table in front of her home in the Northwest Hills neighborhood, Hajdu remembers, “I first admired the color and wanted to steal it.” In fall 2013, Schell did an experiment. She put a picnic table she had purchased for a party in her front lawn, painted it Sherwin Williams’ Nifty Turquoise, brought out a cup of coffee and her...
Keep your summer cool with cucumbers

Keep your summer cool with cucumbers

Cucumbers are an excellent warm-season crop that will be showing up in gardens and farmers markets in summer. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), part of the Cucurbitaceae family that includes melons and squashes, are a refreshing vegetable to grow in the summer because they contain more than 95 percent water. They originated from Asia, likely from India, and they have been cultivated for more than 3,000...
GARDENING: Keep your summer cool by growing cucumbers

GARDENING: Keep your summer cool by growing cucumbers

Cucumbers are an excellent warm season crop that will be showing up in gardens and farmers’ markets in summer. Cucumbers (Cucumis sativus), part of the Cucurbitaceae family that includes melons and squashes, are a refreshing vegetable to grow in the summer because they contain more than 95 percent water. They originated from Asia, likely from India, and they have been cultivated for more than...
FASHION: Warby Parker introduces new summer line

FASHION: Warby Parker introduces new summer line

Eyeglasses and sunglasses style king Warby Parker has a new line of sunglasses inspired by the colors of summer and a new line of glasses inspired by the 1950s. The sunglasses line features 12 frames in different colors that look like a kaleidoscope of crystals. The glasses feature half metal frames, half acetate to give that half-frame classic look. All start at $95 and can be found at warbyparker...
HOME: Alexander Marchant adds Vola, Hastings fixtures

HOME: Alexander Marchant adds Vola, Hastings fixtures

Ever wanted to add a pop of color to your bathroom? Alexander Marchant, which specializes in architectural hardware, has added Hastings contemporary tile and bath products as well as colorful Vola faucets from Arne Jacobsen. You can even select an orange faucet if you’re a Longhorn or a maroon one if you’re an Aggie. You can find the new collections on display at the Austin showroom, 1114...
GARDENING: Clean Air Lawn Care Austin offers solar-powered lawn care

GARDENING: Clean Air Lawn Care Austin offers solar-powered lawn care

Want your lawn mowed without using fossil fuels or electricity to do it? Clean Air Lawn Care Austin uses solar-powered equipment as well as organic fertilizer that is pet-friendly and child-friendly. Texas A&M University alum Austin Gaskamp quit the oil and gas business in 2015 to focus on growing heat-tolerant plants and then started Clean Air Lawn Care Austin. The equipment it uses is electric,...
FASHION: Find summer style with Greer Image Consulting, Nina Berenato

FASHION: Find summer style with Greer Image Consulting, Nina Berenato

Nina Berenato Store is hosting a Summer Styling 101 event. Raquel Greer Gordian of Greer Image Consulting will show you the latest trends and tell you how to make the most of what’s in your closet. All jewelry in-store will be 30 percent off and Greer Image Consulting will off $100 off the Greer Style Tasting, a 90-minute in-home personal styling session. It’s all happening 2-4 p.m. June...
FASHION: Esperos Soho opens its first retail location

FASHION: Esperos Soho opens its first retail location

Luxury bag label Esperos Soho has had pop-up shops in New York, Los Angeles and Austin, but will open its first brick-and-mortar store in Austin on June 20. The new store at 209 W. Second St. will feature leather and canvas bags for men and women as well as a curated set of gifts such as books, journals and art. The store also will offer personalizations such as foil monograms. The store also will...
June is the month for planting flowers, animal watching in the garden

June is the month for planting flowers, animal watching in the garden

June is the month when all our garden dreams come true. Flowers are blooming merrily in every size, shape and color. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and other mouthwatering and soul-satisfying crops are giving their best. Blueberries, peaches and plums offer up their juicy sweetness. Even if you haven’t grown all those things, you can still enjoy them. The many farmers markets in our area are bursting...
Inside one of Austin’s Cool Houses

Inside one of Austin’s Cool Houses

Laura Britt calls her family’s home “a living laboratory.” The Austin architect and interior designer known for some of Austin’s high-end projects, including the model homes for the Austonian, set out to create the healthiest home she could when she and husband Jeff Capra bought the property in 2012. They thought they would be remodeling the 1,900-square-foot 1951 ranch house...
BEAUTY: Get beach hair look in Verb’s first full product line

BEAUTY: Get beach hair look in Verb’s first full product line

Verb, the hair care line born in Austin in 2011 by Claire Moses and Birbs Barbershop’s Michael Portman and Jayson Rapaport, has launched its first full line of hair products. The Sea line is meant to give you that windswept look without having to go to the beach to achieve it. The line features a 12-ounce shampoo, a 12-ounce conditioner, a 6.3-ounce spray and a 2-ounce cream. They add texture...
June is the month for planting flowers, animal watching in the garden

June is the month for planting flowers, animal watching in the garden

June is the month when all our garden dreams come true. Flowers are blooming merrily in every size, shape and color. Tomatoes, peppers, squash and other mouth-watering and soul-satisfying crops are giving their best. Blueberries, peaches and plums offer up their juicy sweetness. Even if you haven’t grown all those things, you can still enjoy them. The many farmers markets in our area are bursting...
FASHION: Krewe eyeware tiny house at Hotel San Jose, Austin Motel

FASHION: Krewe eyeware tiny house at Hotel San Jose, Austin Motel

Krewe, an eyeware line from New Orleans, showed up at South by Southwest this year in a tiny house and has returned to Austin. The Tiny House is at Hotel San Jose until Thursday and then moves down South Congress Avenue to Austin Motel on Friday through June 12. It’s open 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 pm. Sunday. The 154.8-square-foot showroom reflects its New Orleans...
Put interior design on your wedding, baby registry with Havenly site

Put interior design on your wedding, baby registry with Havenly site

It’s wedding season, graduation season and baby shower season. What do all three of those life-cycle events have in common? They often represent a time when you either change homes or apartments or you are changing the home you live in to represent your new status in life. How do you go from dorm room or first-apartment look to grown-up design if you have no idea what furniture, finishings,...
Sunflowers, we’re ready for you

Sunflowers, we’re ready for you

Though roughly 8-feet tall, several sunflowers in my front yard have not yet bloomed (but plenty of shorter sunflowers nearby are already showing off their sunny yellow petals). A closer look, by pulling the long, thick stem down toward the eye, shows that they could be ready to unfurl soon. Then eager watchers will get to see how big the sunflower face will be. Sunflowers are the topic of some fun...
Have a shady spot in your yard? Pick these plants

Have a shady spot in your yard? Pick these plants

When the sun pelts us with relentless, record-setting summer temperatures, Central Texas gardeners spend a lot of time figuring out what to plant that won’t fry in the full sun. But there are many different gardening conditions, and they all have their own challenges. Just about the time you figure out what to plant in that sunny bed, the trees have grown and it’s now a shade bed, and...
Vase was likely mass produced in 1940s

Vase was likely mass produced in 1940s

Dear Helaine and Joe: This pretty little vase was my mother’s, but I wonder if it was first her mother’s. Most of the things my mother had were midcentury modern, but this little vase stands out as being different. It is 5 1/2 inches tall and 5 inches across. It has a delicate white flower on the front with green leaves with some gold. There is some damage to one of the petals. The bottom...
Fennel, queen of arid herb gardens

Fennel, queen of arid herb gardens

It’s said that fennel was old when Troy was new. The big bold Mediterranean herb has its roots in the ancient world, and yet is now as commonplace as any other potentially invasive plant in parts of California. Fennel loves the mild West Coast climate, and where other escapees fail during extended drought, it thrives as it has since long before the pharaohs. Although fennel is a culinary herb...
How to make a small apartment seem bigger

How to make a small apartment seem bigger

When it comes to apartment-style living, maximizing space is often key. Depending on the size of your urban environment, furniture placement can especially be a challenge. From furniture size to colors and even materials, here are some tips you can follow to create an oasis in your urban environment. DO: Use light or neutral colors. Light colors will automatically help open up a space. Create a floor...
When downsizing means an upgrade

When downsizing means an upgrade

It started as a whim. My cousin Anne, who is a designer at Nell Hill’s, has three daughters who would soon be out of the nest. Why not sell their larger family home and downsize into a fixer-upper she could renovate? “It sounded so fun,” Anne remembers with an eye roll. “Looking at pictures and finding what you want is fun. But living through it isn’t as much fun,&rdquo...
A redesigned 500-square-foot rowhouse strives to make less more

A redesigned 500-square-foot rowhouse strives to make less more

BALTIMORE — Tiny homes are giving new meaning to the phrase “less is more.” The less square footage, the fewer things you own, says Greg Cantori, a volunteer tiny-house consultant for Baltimore nonprofit Civic Works. The fewer things you own, the less “junk purchases” you make. And fewer such purchases free up time and money. “We spend so much time buying, moving...
Heron Hall: one of the greenest buildings ever, and home

Heron Hall: one of the greenest buildings ever, and home

BAINBRIDGE ISLAND, Wash. — The first sign was tangible: “Lot for sale,” it read, all nonchalantly, in handwritten letters — as if this weren’t the site of a zillion future superlatives. Architect Jason F. McLennan notices signs. This time, he and his family were in the market for a promising lot on Bainbridge Island; had been for a couple of years. And this lot, so close...
St. John’s Episcopal Church starts labyrinth for all to garden, pray

St. John’s Episcopal Church starts labyrinth for all to garden, pray

Church’s labyrinth opens garden beds for community The layout of a North Austin church’s meditation labyrinth has indeed provided some inspiration. Though not quite finished, the Labyrinth Community Garden, on land owned by St. John’s Episcopal Church on Parkfield Drive by Braker Lane, is designed to somewhat mirror the adjacent meditation labyrinth. During the design stage, &ldquo...
We love bulk collection week! But where do large trash items go?

We love bulk collection week! But where do large trash items go?

An overstuffed chair with stained pink fabric. A volleyball coated in a layer of dirt. A chipped and faded dining room table with chairs piled on top of it along with a gray tub of miscellaneous household items and a weed whacker. Piles of metal pieces from failed home improvement projects. Broken children’s outdoor play sets, faded by the sun. In Austin neighborhoods, twice a year our cast-asides...
Is Austin the Fashion Capital of Texas?

Is Austin the Fashion Capital of Texas?

Press Cleaners decided to crown the Fashion Capital of Texas. And it chose Austin. Why do we deserve such a title? Press Cleaners’ John Egan looked at the number of general clothing stores per 100,000 residents in Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston and San Antonio. It used 2014 U.S. Census Bureau data to get this information. According to the Census, we have 227 clothing stores, or 11.7 per...
FASHION: Dress up the graduation gown, wedding dress with wild shoes

FASHION: Dress up the graduation gown, wedding dress with wild shoes

Sometimes the event calls for an element of decorum … and sometimes you just want to scream. If you have a few of those events this summer, consider adding a statement piece in your shoes. Hot Chocolate Designs specializes in flats, heels and platform shoes that have vibrant designs that can’t be missed like lightning bolts and geometric patterns. Find them online at amazon.com and hotchocolatedesign...
SPA: Hiatus Spa + Resort introduces new treatments

SPA: Hiatus Spa + Resort introduces new treatments

Hiatus Spa + Resort has introduced new treatments to its lineup for summer. • The Epic Mani-Pedi uses seasonal ingredients to exfoliate hands and feet, deep hydration to renew dry soles and a foot massage with hot stones. $140. • The Turkish Delight uses bowls of warm water, a mint scrub, a full-body clay mask, warm body oil on a full-body massage. $175. • The Perfect Body Lift is an...
JEWELRY: Distillery launches second literature-inspired jewelry line

JEWELRY: Distillery launches second literature-inspired jewelry line

The Distillery’s Catelyn Silapachai has launched her newest jewelry collection. The Golem and the Jinni is based on the book by Helene Weckert. The book tells the story of a woman who is created from clay and a genie unleashed in the streets of 1899 Manhattan. For the collection Silapachai brought elements from Thailand that were originally from the Congo and Afghanistan. The collection includes...
How to create a new cactus plant from an old one

How to create a new cactus plant from an old one

My teenage daughter has an interest in cactus. In early spring, she decided to try something she had seen on YouTube. Using basic instructions, she removed one pad off a prickly pear and let it dry out for a few days. Then she stuck the cut side down a few inches into the dirt, so it was firmly entrenched. It got watered occasionally. Basically, it sat there for a good while. Neither of us expected...
Solving the mystery: What is this growing in my garden?

Solving the mystery: What is this growing in my garden?

Name that mystery vine In early springtime, a vine with large leaves started growing in a mound of dirt in my yard. Soon bright yellow flowers bloomed, and after a week or two, something small and mostly green started to sprout. I thought perhaps I had dropped pumpkin seeds or watermelon seeds on the way to the compost pile in the backyard. The mystery plant seemed like a gourd or melon, as it got...
Go inside Northwest Austin gardens, church labyrinth on Saturday tour

Go inside Northwest Austin gardens, church labyrinth on Saturday tour

The layout of a North Austin church’s meditation labyrinth has indeed provided some inspiration. Though not quite finished, the Labyrinth Community Garden, on land owned by St. John’s Episcopal Church on Parkfield Drive by Braker Lane, is designed to somewhat mirror the adjacent meditation labyrinth. During the design stage, “someone suggested a spiral idea, like the labyrinth,&rdquo...
What’s that snow on the ground? Cottonwood seeds

What’s that snow on the ground? Cottonwood seeds

It’s springtime, but in some areas of Central Texas, it might look like snow is falling, with yards covered in white stuff. Don’t blame a sudden cold front. It’s the cottonwood trees. The most common cottonwood tree in this area is the eastern cottonwood, with the scientific name of Populus deltoides, according to Andrew Anstrom, certified master arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts...

Looking for fun ways to save water

Q: Hi Ed: We are building a new home this year and want the plumbing to be state of the art. But, we also want to save water. Do you have any ideas on new plumbing fixtures available that can help us conserve water, while having a little fun? — Peter, Texas A: Installing high efficiency plumbing fixtures is a smart idea in more ways than one. First, many of today’s quality plumbing fixtures...
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