Easter Egg Decorating Tips & Ideas

The Loken Group is helping to brighten up a classic springtime tradition by providing inspiration for a fun, fresh spin on your Easter festivities this year. From simple dyeing techniques to more unconventional designs, these decorating ideas are simple and easy to recreate, and all supplies are available at your local supermarket or craft store. Grab your eggs and get the whole family in on the fun with these egg-dyeing tips and decorating ideas.


Egg-Dyeing Tips

  1. Cover your work area with paper towels or newspaper to soak up any spills.
  2. Decorated eggs may be either hard-boiled or blown out of their shells. Hard-boiled eggs are traditional and a sturdier egg for your children to work with, while the blown shells are the best if you want to keep the eggs on display for a considerable time.
  3. Hard-Boiling: Place your eggs in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to completely cover the eggs. Place on medium-high heat and bring water to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer eggs for 9 minutes. Remove from heat and fill with cold water. The eggs must be completely cool to decorate successfully. Place eggs on a soft towel and allow them to dry.
  4. Mix 1 teaspoon of white vinegar into your water with food coloring for a more vibrant egg (the more you use, the more intense the color).
  5. If you’re doing multi-colored eggs, let them dry thoroughly between coats of dye.

Ombré Easter Eggs

To get these fun Ombré Easter eggs, first mix your choice of colors using 1/3 tsp (1/4 tsp for yellow) gel/paste food coloring, enough warm water to cover eggs, and 1 tsp white vinegar. Dip egg fully in dye and let dry. Dip the egg again 3/4 of the way into the dye and let dry. Repeat in quarterly increments.

Option: You can also start by leaving the tip of the egg white.

Ombré Easter Eggs

Animal Critters

Your little ones will love these adorable animal critters! Dye hard-boiled eggs green, pink, orange, and yellow. Print templates of the animals’ features. Print out on corresponding colored paper and cut. Attach features using craft glue.

Animal Critters Egg

Painted Blooms

For these beautiful spring-inspired eggs, start by first pencil flowers onto the hard-boiled egg (tip: practice on paper first). With the puff paint applicator, cover all the stems with green paint, then let dry 2 hours. Add petals by dabbing small dots in a circular pattern.

Painted Blooms

Gold Leaf Eggs

To get this gorgeous gilded look, start with dyed Easter eggs. Then, using a foam brush, add splotches of glue and let dry until the glue is tacky. Apply the gold leaf to the sticky areas, smooth with your fingers, and use a stiff-bristled brush to sweep away any excess gold leaf.

Gold Leaf Eggs

Twine-Wrapped Eggs

Try something different with these twine-wrapped Eggs! Adhere twine to one end of a ceramic egg with a glue stick, then apply glue and tightly wind the twine, working in sections, until you’ve completely covered the surface.

Twine-Wrapped Eggs

2019-2020 Proposed School District Boundary Changes

Here is a summary of the proposed school boundary changes for the Greater Houston area that may impact you and your family in the 2019-2020 school year.

Clear Creek ISD

Elementary Schools

  • New Florence Campbell Elementary’s attendance zone established south of FM 518 and West League City Parkway.
  • Ward Elementary School rezoned some students from North Pointe Elementary School west of I-45.
  • All of the Lakes of South Shore neighborhoods are rezoned to Hyde Elementary School.

Intermediate Schools

  • All students who attend Clear Lake City Elementary are rezoned to go to Clear Lake Intermediate School.
  • All students who attend Robinson Elementary are rezoned to go to Space Center Intermediate School.
  • All students who attend Hyde Elementary are rezoned to go to Clear Creek Intermediate School.

High Schools

  • Clear Brook High School’s boundaries are expanded to include Emerson Park Apartment Homes and the Reserve at Autumn Creek Apartments.
  • Clear Lake High School’s boundaries expanded to include the subdivisions along Kirby Road.
  • Clear Creek High School’s boundaries now include Coronado Apartments.

See More Here!


Conroe ISD

Conroe ISD has yet to vote on either of the 2 boundary proposals for 2019. Come back later for more information!

Click here to read about the 2 boundary proposals!


Cy-Fair ISD

Elementary Schools

  • Some of Stonehaven Apartments are rezoned from Post Elementary School to Lee Elementary School.
  • Gleason Elementary School’s boundaries will now include students from Stoneway Village Townhomes, Bellagio Apartments, Windfern Forest, and WIndfern Gardens.
  • Warner Elementary School students living in Blackhorse Ranch and Stoneridge will now attend Pope Elementary School.

Middle Schools

  • Dean Middle School students from Stonehaven Apartments, Sommermeyer, Westbranch West of E. Laud, Century Westway Park Apartments, Spring Branch Villas, Spring Branch Terrace, Westbranch, and Westway Courtyard will now attend Truitt Middle School.

See More Here!


Fort Bend ISD
  • Malala Yousafzai Elementary will incorporate part of the school boundaries of Madden Elementary School for the 2019-2020 school year.
  • In 2021, Malala Yousafzai Elementary will expand to include some of Oyster Creek Elementary’s current boundaries.

Read more here!


Katy ISD

Katy ISD has changed their attendance boundaries to accommodate the opening of Elementary #42, which is anticipated for Fall 2019.

For maps and additional information, click here!



Westchester Magnificence

Westchester Magnificence

14630 Kellywood Lane

Houston, TX 77079

Bed: 5
Bath: 3 FULL & 2 HALF
Stories: 2
Year Built: 1968

This gorgeous Tudor-style home sits on an oversized corner lot in Westchester, just minutes from the Energy Corridor, Memorial City Mall, and CITYCENTRE.

Life in Westchester

The neighborhood of Westchester is the epitome of upscale living in Houston, located near premier shopping and dining, and less than 30 minutes from the Galleria and Downtown Houston. As one of the original Super Memorial Neighborhoods, Westchester has historical significance for the city of Houston, and the beauty of stately homes and mature trees. Enjoy easy access to Terry Hershey Park and Edith Moore Nature Sanctuary, as well as close proximity to I-10 and the Beltway. Westchester is also home to schools in the highly-acclaimed Spring Branch ISD.

Here in Westchester, all of Houston is in your grasp.

Living Room

The elevated ceilings and oversized windows in the great room let in the perfect amount of light.

The bay windows, French doors, and rich, red walls make this living room pop.

The exquisite wood panels and ceiling beams along with the brick hearth offer a warm and inviting dining area.

Enjoy cooking in this beautiful kitchen with stone accents, double oven, and separate cooktop.

The master bedroom is a serene retreat, with sumptuous paneling, crown molding, and parquet flooring.

You’ll love the study with built-in shelves, French doors, and expansive windows.

This gorgeous backyard is perfectly designed to help you melt away the stresses of life.


12 + 9 =

Insurance and The Power of Choice

Once you have been preapproved for your new dream home and have found a lender, it’s time to start shopping for insurance rates. Although you don’t need to be an insurance expert (that’s the agency’s job), it’s important to make informed decisions with the help of an agent who has the power to pick the right company for you based upon your specific needs. Scott and Ryan Sacchieri with Goosehead Insurance answer some of the most commonly asked questions surrounding the topic, including the difference between captive and independent agents, bundling, and flood insurance in preferred risk and non-preferred risk zones.

1. What is the difference between a captive agency and brokerage?

The main difference between a captive agency and an independent broker is the power of choice, which is of paramount importance when it comes to choosing your insurance. Whereas a captive agent is contracted to work for a single insurance company and can sell only that insurance company’s policies, an independent broker such as Goosehead has 30+ insurance carriers that they can use to shop the entire Texas market to find the best coverage for you at the best price.

2. How do I decide what policy to choose from?

Whenever you’re looking at different quotes, one thing to consider is that not all insurance policies are created equal. There’s a big difference between different companies, different carriers, and different policy forms. It’s important when you’re talking to somebody that they know your needs and can recommend the right option for you.

3. Do I need flood insurance in a preferred risk zone?

Flood insurance over the last 2 years has been a huge topic in the Houston area due to the Tax Day Flood and Hurricane Harvey, during which the city experienced unprecedented levels of flooding. What’s more, the Houston Chronicle reported that over 240,000 houses were damaged, 75% of which were in a preferred risk zone. For these reasons, it is most likely in your best interest to get flood insurance regardless of where your house is located or how elevated it is. At the moment, the most that you’ll spend on a flood policy in a preferred risk area is around $480, which is a small price to pay for peace of mind.

4. What are the best ways to save money without sacrificing coverage?

There are several different ways to save money on your insurance without sacrificing coverage, the first being bundling your home, auto, etc., potentially saving you between 5-25% on each policy. Additionally, your agent should ask detailed questions about the home that you’re buying, such as how old the roof is or if the plumbing has been updated. These key factors will play a major role in the pricing of your home policy, as will being able to shop several dozen carriers. Not every customer is the same and one policy will not match every client, which is why having an independent agent with the power to pick the right company for you based upon your specific needs is crucial in saving you money.

Heritage Heartwood in Tomball

Heritage Heartwood in Tomball

2503 S Cherry St.

Tomball, TX 77375

Listing Price: $800,000
Bed: 2-3
Bath: 2 FULL & 1 HALF
Stories: 1
Year Built: 1880

The historic Brill-Mueller House sits on 6.5+-acres of well-maintained, wooded grounds in a prime commercial location of Tomball. The history of this exquisite 19th century home reflects the area’s rich German heritage and offers a timelessness that is without equal.

Modern Homey Heritage

There are very few homes built in the 19th century that are still in livable condition today, and even fewer that have had renovations as unobtrusive as this home. Live out your dreams as a pioneer in the late 19th century, but with all the accommodations of modern luxurious living. Being located in modern Tomball, residents don’t have to experience all the discomforts of pioneering life. Go out and enjoy the upscale shopping and dining at Vintage Park, less than 8 miles away; or spend your leisure days golfing at the Gleannloch Pines Golf Club, less than 3 miles away. If you aren’t interested in living the modern pioneer lifestyle, you can share the experience with others. Turn this historic property into a bed and breakfast, event space, or corporate retreat. The possibilities are truly endless for this unrestricted historic lot.

Living RoomLiving Room 2

The wood floors, wooden walls, and wood burning fireplace with stone surround allow the spacious living room to keep the authentic pioneer look, while allowing for modern quality of life updates such as modern insulation and lighting.

Kitchen 1Kitchen 2

The open concept island kitchen that features granite countertops, tile backsplash, and cabinets with ornate metal covers perfectly encapsulates how this home fuses its historic significance with its modern elements.

Master BedroomMaster Bedroom

The light let in through the windows really make the wooden floors and ceiling of the master bedroom vibrantly pop.

Master Bathroom 1Master Bathroom 2

The the white tile floors and drawers beautifully contrast the dark colors of the counters, frames, faucet, and cabinetry, creating the perfect environment to unwind in.

Master ClosetMaster Closet

You will probably run out of clothes before running out of space in the spacious walk-in closet.

Surrounded by trees, this spacious backyard allows you to unwind and spend quality family time while connecting with nature.

What’s Your Home Worth?

See the recently sold homes near you, and find out how your home compares. Get trusted advice about local market conditions from experts in the industry.

TLG Recommendations for Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is almost here! Whether you’re spending it with your sweetheart or celebrating Galentine’s Day with your girlfriends, don’t miss this excuse to enjoy a fun night out. Did you know that The Loken Group serves buyers and sellers in all 9 counties of the Greater Houston area? As a result, we live (and drive) all throughout the Bayou City and have many favorite restaurants across town.

We’ve compiled a list of our most-loved restaurants and Greater Houston area hot spots that are perfect for date nights and special occasions. We hope you love them as much as we do!

If you’re choosing to forgo the crowds this Valentine’s Day, we’ve also provided some creative Valentine’s date ideas, including a low-key night in.

Restaurant Recommendations


d’Vine Wine Bar

Recommended by: Lance and Karina Loken, CEO & President
“We love the scallop risotto or the seafood cheesecake!” 
25202 Northwest Fwy #100
Cypress, TX 77429
(281) 213-4656
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes

Gringo’s Mexican Kitchen

Recommended by: Tiffany Bean, Buyer Specialist
“This is my and my husband’s favorite date spot! Love their food, love the atmosphere, and love the margaritas!”
27030 Northwest Freeway
Cypress, TX 77433
(281) 304-8226
Other locations: Spring, The Woodlands, Pearland, Rosenberg, La Porte, Stafford, Texas City, and more!
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes

Galleria Area

Bosscat Kitchen & Libations

Recommended by: Mark Sandoval, Inside Sales Agent
“This is a little higher in price range, but a great date night spot! My girlfriend and I went there recently and I would DEFINITELY go back again. Great food, great bar, with award winning original cocktails as well.”
4310 Westheimer Rd #150
Houston, TX 77027
(281) 501-1187
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes – Special 3 course Valentine’s dinner offered February 14th-17th

Maggiano’s Little Italy

Recommended by: Tara Kennedy, Director of Client Care
“The gnocchi is my favorite!”
2019 Post Oak Blvd.
Houston, TX 77056
(713) 961-2700
Other locations: Memorial City, Baybrook Mall, & Friendswood
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes

The Melting Pot

Recommended by: Josh Cantu, Inside Sales Agent
“Very romantic, great food, service and a unique experience!”
6100 Westheimer Rd #146
Houston, TX 77057
(713) 532-5011
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes

The Heights


Recommended by: Lauren Allen, Portfolio Division Inside Sales Agent
“CRISP is such a good date night spot, and their Parmesan meatballs are amazing!”
2220 Bevis St
Houston, TX 77008
(713) 360-0222
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes


T-Bone Tom’s

Recommended by: Allison Calascione, Graphic Designer
“The steak here alone would be enough for me to recommend this restaurant, but there are also other amazing BBQ and traditional American dishes on the menu. On top of this, there are always new specials, great happy hour deals and live music almost every night. Not to mention its walking distance to Kemah Boardwalk. Between the food, environment, and staff i’m never disappointed when I go to T-Bone Tom’s!”
707 TX-146
Kemah, TX 77565
(281) 334-2133
Reservations? No
Valentine’s Day Menu? No


Eddie V’s Prime Seafood

Recommended by: Joy Hilado, Buyer Specialist
12848 Queensbury Lane
Houston, TX 77024
(832) 200-2380
Other locations: West Ave
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? No

Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse & Wine Bar

Recommended by: Ashley Reaves, Buyer Transaction Manager & Director of Commercial Division
788 W. Sam Houston Parkway North, Suite 120
Houston, TX 77024
(713) 827-1120
Other locations: River Oaks, The Woodlands
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes



Recommended by: David Weaver, Director of Builder Relations
904 Westheimer Rd
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 522-4808
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes



Recommended by: Laura Handley, Director of Business Development
307 Fairview St
Houston, TX 77006
(713) 529-1099
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes, plus a $50 special for a whole bottle of Moët Chandon and dessert. Romantic movies will be playing all day on the patio.

Rice Military

Brenner’s Steakhouse on the Bayou

Recommended by: Leann Acuña, Buyer Specialist
“Pre-dinner cocktails at their Blue Bar are a must! The snapper is the BEST entree. Crab cakes for appetizer. All of their desserts are amazing.”
1 Birdsall St
Houston, TX 77007
(713) 868-4444
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes

River Oaks District

Toulouse Cafe and Bar

Recommended by: Sara Marceaux, President of Houston Portfolio Real Estate
“My favorite dish is the Poulet Roti (basically roasted chicken) and my husband loves the Dover Sole Meunière. They also have a DELICIOUS Grand Marnier Soufflè.
4444 Westheimer Rd E100
Houston, TX 77027
(713) 622-6778
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? No

Piggy’s Kitchen & Bar

Recommended by: Sydney Kempler, Social Media and Events Specialist
“Piggy’s Kitchen & Bar is perfect for Galentine’s Day! I would highly recommend the pretzelaches and prosciutto pizza!”
3412 W Lamar St
Houston, TX 77019
(281) 849-9606
Reservations? No
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes

Vintage Park

Peli Peli

Recommended by: Julie Delapaz, Inside Sales Agent
“My favorite restaurant for date night is Peli Peli. The one in Vintage Park is especially nice, because there is often a live band out in the courtyard on weekends and there are great bars and coffee shops to visit after dinner. It’s hard to recommend something because all of their food is delicious; however, the sticky toffee pudding is a must for dessert and their Brussels sprouts are so good (even if you think you don’t like Brussels sprouts- trust me- you will like these!)”
110 Vintage Park Blvd bldg j suite p
Houston, TX 77070
(281) 257-9500
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes – limited menu

The Woodlands

Via Emilia Italian Restaurant

Recommended by: Amy Flynn, VP of Inside Sales
10700 Kuykendahl Rd
The Woodlands, TX 77381
(281) 465-9555
Reservations? Yes
Valentine’s Day Menu? Yes

Other Date Night Ideas

Recommended by: Chrissy Mattax, Buyer Transaction Coordinator
“My boyfriend is taking me to the circus!!! I’m totally freaking out. I love the idea of doing something exciting and different for Valentine’s Day.”
Cirque du Soleil: Luzia at the Sam Houston Race Park
7575 North Sam Houston Pkwy W
Houston, TX 77064
Buy Tickets

Recommended by: Sydney Kempler, Social Media and Events Specialist
“This is our first Valentine’s Day together and we’re definitely staying in. Chick-fil-A let’s you order a heart-shaped tray of chicken nuggets so we’ll be picking one of those up along with a couple bottles of wine. We’ll probably pick a new show to binge watch on Netflix and it will be a perfect, inexpensive night in!”

Organize Your Home for the New Year

With a new year comes the urge to start fresh and set intentions for the future. It’s also a great time to stop procrastinating on those projects you’ve been putting off, particularly getting your home organized. Purging your home of unnecessary clutter promotes a healthier mindset and makes room for positive change in other areas of your life. We’ve compiled a list of tips that you can implement to help organize even the most cluttered of areas, leaving your home feeling beautiful, clean, and orderly in 2019.


Step 1: Imagine Your Ideal Lifestyle

Start by thinking about what kind of house you want to live in and how you want to live in it. According to tidying expert and best-selling author Marie Kondo, when you imagine your ideal lifestyle, you are really clarifying why you want to tidy and envisioning your best life. The KonMari Method™ encourages tidying by category – not by location – beginning with clothes, then moving on to books, papers, miscellaneous items, and, finally, sentimental items. Keep only those things that speak to the heart, and discard items that no longer spark joy. Many people have been drawn to this philosophy not only due to its effectiveness, but also because it places great importance on being mindful, introspective, and forward-looking.

Step 2: Make a Plan

It can be extremely easy to become overwhelmed when facing a big organization project. To lessen any anxiety, you should first make a list of specific, actionable items to accomplish; e.g. sort through “junk drawer” or organize the pantry. Checking the items off as you go will give you a real sense of achievement while helping to keep you on track.

Organize Your Shared Spaces


The kitchen is typically the messiest or must cluttered room in a home with a lot of hiding places and ways to cover up clutter. What’s more, the kitchen is a high-traffic area that everyone in the house uses, which means there are multiple hands in every space.

  • Start by focusing on an area that will be the easiest to tackle to help build the momentum (e.g. utensil drawer)
  • Empty each of the drawers and cabinets, placing the items on the countertop in their respective categories. Once everything is empty, review each category and get rid of the items that are no longer needed or wanted.
  • Tip: Use drawer dividers to keep your tools neatly separated

Living Room

Like the kitchen, the living room is another high-traffic area of the home that everyone uses. The living room (or family room) can have many functions, such as relaxing, entertaining, play, etc., which can often leave the space full of clutter.

  • Identify anywhere clutter accumulates, such as coffee tables and console tables, that serve as “catch-all” places for items
  • Return items that belong in another room to their storage spaces, then return living room items to their proper storage spaces

Organize Your Personal Spaces

Bedroom & Closet

Although your bedroom is meant to be a serene, calming space, it can often end up in a state of disarray with overflowing drawers, cluttered surfaces, and clothes strewn in all places. Your day begins and ends in your bedroom, so getting rid of any clutter will help you feel more at peace (and most likely sleep better too). Likewise, having an organized closet will save you time, space, and money, while also helping to get your day started on the right foot.

  • Buy storage for under the bed to stow away seasonal clothing or bulky items, such as extra bedding, pillows, or throws
  • Clear off nightstand surfaces (tip: choose a nightstand with drawers to stash all your miscellaneous items e.g. books, Kleenex, hand cream, etc.
  • Identify any clothing, shoes, and accessories that you haven’t worn in the past year and add them to a donation box
  • Reorganize your clothing by type and color

Home Office

Whether you work from home every day or routinely find your work following you home from the office, your home office can easily become one of the rooms that you spend the most time in. For this reason, it’s important to make your home office a clean, organized space that inspires creativity and fosters success.

  • Establish a well-ordered, efficient filing system and file away any loose papers (tip: make your categories color-coded)
  • Organize your books by genre, color, or size depending on your preference
  • Throw out any writing utensils that are dried up or no longer usable

How to file for Homestead Exemption


What is Homestead Exemption?

Homestead Exemption removes part of your home’s value from taxation, lowering your taxes. For instance, if your home is appraised at $100,000 and you qualify for a $20,000 exemption, you would pay taxes as if your home was only worth $80,000.


When to apply?

Regular Residential Homestead Exemption applications should be filed between January 1 and April 30.


Here are some helpful resources about how to apply for homestead exemption for those of you who live in the Greater Houston Area…


Filing Homestead Exemption in Brazoria County

Brazoria County Appraisal District Information

Brazoria County Homestead Exemption Information

Download the Brazoria County Homestead Exemption Form


Filing for Homestead Exemption in Chambers County

Chambers County Appraisal District Information

Chambers County Homestead Exemption Form Submission Information

Fill out the Chambers County Homestead Exemption Form


Filing Homestead Exemption in Fort Bend County

Fort Bend County Appraisal District Information

Fort Bend County Homestead Exemption Information

Download the Fort Bend County Homestead Exemption Form


Filing for Homestead Exemption in Galveston County

Galveston County Appraisal District Information

Download the Galveston County Homestead Exemption Form


Filing Homestead Exemption in Harris County

Harris County residents can now file Homestead Exemption through a mobile app for iPhone and Android:
Click here to learn more about the Harris County app.

Harris County Appraisal District Information

Harris County Property Tax Exemption for Homeowners Info

Download the Harris County Homestead Exemption Form


Filing for Homestead Exemption in Liberty County

Liberty County Appraisal District Information

Fill out the Liberty County Homestead Exemption Form


Filing Homestead Exemption in Montgomery County

Montgomery County Appraisal District Information

Montgomery County Homestead Exemption Information

Download the Montgomery County Homestead Exemption Form


Filing for Homestead Exemption in Waller County

Waller County Appraisal District Information

Property Tax Exemptions for Homeowners in Waller County

Download the Waller County Homestead Exemption Form


Other Resources:

Homestead Exemption FAQs (resource from the Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts)


Still have questions? We’d be happy to help! Email or call us today:



Giving Back This Holiday Season: Angel Tree 2018

The Tanko family, consisting of Robert, his wife Julie, and their two lovely daughters, received the news this past March that their youngest daughter has Retinoblastoma, a cancer of the eye, which happens to be right on her optic nerve. In addition, Robert was recently the victim of an identity theft crime that has taken a heavy toll on his credit. After learning of their hardships, TLG Gives arranged a fun night out for the family at Shen Yun, and also provided the family with clothes, toys, and gift cards to various grocery stores, restaurants, and family-friendly entertainment.

Laura and her husband live in Cypress with their 2 children. Laura is a fourth grade teacher who shows up big for her students every day, demonstrating such strength and positivity that most would never guess the devastating time she and her family are going through. Laura’s husband has an aggressive form of cancer that he has yet to beat, despite extensive treatments, including a stem cell transplant. TLG Gives gifted the Acosta’s with a Visa and Kroger gift card, Nintendo Joy-Con, and a fun family day at Urban Air Trampoline and Adventure Park.

Don and Dana Faulk live in Cypress and have two beautiful little boys – Jackson and Landon. Dana recently suffered from a stroke, which put her in the hospital for over two weeks. Dana is hopeful that with physical therapy she will be able to gain movement back. Although Don has been working full-time, Dana was laid off from her job just a few weeks prior to suffering a stroke. We wanted to make their holidays a little bit brighter, so TLG Gives provided them with toys, pajamas, an Amazon Echo, and gift cards to various retailers, restaurants, and family-friendly entertainment.

Amy and her two children, Keenon and Hannah, are recovering from the recent loss of their beloved husband and father. Hannah is in middle school and Kennon is currently enrolled in high school with the intention of graduating early and working full-time in an effort to help support the family. Since his father’s death, Keenon has been working non-stop performing various tasks such as mowing lawns and doing handyman work within the neighborhood to contribute financially. After learning of the Vickers’ heartbreaking loss, TLG Gives arranged a holiday meal for the family, as well as a Bose speaker, pet toys and treats, school supplies, slipper socks, a spa voucher, and gift cards.

In February of 2017, Kaye Griggs was found unresponsive in her home by her mother. At first it was thought that she suffered a heart attack. Further testing revealed that she had Type 2 diabetes and a kidney stone, which had led to an infection. As a result, Kaye lost her right hand, several fingers on her left hand, and all of her toes. Before her medical emergency, Kaye was in business for herself as a personal chef and caterer. Since her amputation, she is unable to continue the job she loved doing for others. After learning of her struggles, TLG Gives provided Kaye with gift cards to Kroger and Bed Bath & Beyond, a recliner chair that would be easy for her to get in and out of, and a throw blanket.

The Vasquez’s are a family of 6, including Sergio, his wife Janine, and their children Alyssa (14), Joaquin (13), Kaylen (9), and Hailey (3). Sergio lost his job due to Hurricane Harvey and was out of work for 6 months, which eventually led to them losing their rental home. They were forced to sell off most of their belongings and move in with Sergio’s parents, where the whole family has been living together in one bedroom. Their oldest daughter, Alyssa, has Scoliosis and Marfan syndrome, which affects her heart, eyes, blood vessels, and bones. She is in and out of the hospital and doctors’ offices a lot, and the medical bills have put further financial strain on the family. Kaylen also has scoliosis, which requires occasional monitoring. TLG Gives provided the Vasquez’s with a 1-year pass to Sea World San Antonio and Aquatica, clothes, toys, a Nintendo game console, furniture, and gift cards.

TLG Gives does 2 main philanthropic outreach projects annually: TLG Gives Angel Tree in December and TLG Home Transformation in the summer, where we surprise one deserving family in need by transforming their home, giving them peace of mind and a comfortable home environment. We take year-round donations to fund these projects in our community, with 100% of donations received going directly towards TLG Gives efforts. To make your tax-deductible donation, donate using the link below. To learn more about TLG Gives, visit our website. To make donations to TLG Gives, please visit our Paypal.

Holiday Safety and Security Tips

The holidays keep many of us preoccupied with last-minute shopping, festive parties, and traveling, which can make us vulnerable to robbers. Prevent yourself from becoming an easy target with these tips from security expert and award-winning author Roger Eckstine.

1. How can I avoid my packages being stolen?

Package theft is an increasingly prevalent issue, especially around the holidays. Fortunately, there are several ways that you can prevent your packages from being stolen from your front door or porch. The most obvious solution is to ensure that you are home when your package is being delivered, which you can monitor through the online tracking service offered by most couriers. Another alternative is to have the package delivered to your office or place of work. Thirdly, you can choose to have your package delivered to a locker or access point – which are typically located in safe, convenient locations such as a convenience store – or to the nearest UPS facility.

2. What can I do to reduce the risk of being robbed?

Jugging, a term commonly used by law enforcement, is used to describe the stalking of potential victims as a prelude to burglary or robbery. This form of robbery is reported to be on the rise in the Houston area, which is why it is critical to be properly informed on what to do should you find yourself in this situation. Jugging occurs when a criminal will stake out a bank or popular place of shopping with big-ticket items and lie in wait until the victim loads the car and drives away. They will then follow them to their next stop. If that stop is a place like a restaurant or the dry cleaners, they will smash and grab, meaning they will break into the car and steal the merchandise while the victim is otherwise occupied. In the worst-case scenario, the criminal may follow you home, which can lead to a driveway robbery, carjacking, or home invasion. The best thing you can do to stay safe is to be aware. Watch your rear-view mirror, keep your money or purchases hidden (never leave them in the car), and always stay alert.

3. How can I know when I’m being followed by a car and what can I do about it?

If you think you’re being followed into your neighborhood, make a circle and see if they continue to follow you. If you are being followed, continue driving – don’t stop – and don’t confront. While you’re driving you can call 911.

4. What can I do to make my house less vulnerable to break-ins?

The most common type of break-in is having your door kicked in. In fact, an estimated 70% of home invaders enter through a door (as opposed to a window), which includes front doors, patio doors, and even garage doors. A good way to combat this is by installing two doors and having one of the doors pull outward (i.e. high impact storm doors).

5. Are motion-activated lights effective for home security?

Motion-activated lights are an extremely valuable addition to your home security because they can deter potential robbers and stalkers. However, you must pay attention to how they’re adjusted, and be sure to avoid any blind spots!