The Katy High School football team is coming home on Thursday, Sept. 22, to play Mayde Creek at Rhodes Stadium. You know what that means. Time to break out the mums. Mums? If you aren’t from Texas, you might not know about this unique homecoming tradition. Don’t worry, we’ve got you. Here’s the skinny on everything homecoming in the Lone Star State, so when you make the move to Marvida you’ll be ready.

What’s With the Mums?

In many ways, homecoming in Texas looks like homecoming in every state — except for mums. Mum is short for chrysanthemum, a flower said to represent happiness, love, longevity and joy. It’s traditionally given as a corsage by boys to their dates to the homecoming dance. As with everything Texas, though, these corsages are supersized.

Mums are given on the day of the homecoming game. The flowers are decorated with ribbons as well as strings of bells, plastic novelty toys, teddy bears and even LED lights. Mums are usually tailored to the girl’s interests and activities. For example, if she is on the basketball team, a small basketball might be included.

The more elaborate the mum, the more jealous other girls will be. The typical mum is about 3 feet or longer.

Usually, the mother of the boy makes the mum. There are many tutorials online. Craft stores offer everything you need to make one as elaborate as possible (go big or go home). You can also buy mums at most florist shops. They can cost upwards of $300.

Do Boys Get Mums?

Boys wear garters on the arm in colors that match their date’s mum. They have been getting more and more intricate but still don’t brush the floor like mums. The girl usually makes the garter, so it’s important that everyone collaborate.

Asking for a Date

You’ve heard of “prom-posals?” Asking someone to the homecoming dance is almost as complex. Anyone can ask, but as a rule, boys still ask girls. The ask is much more public than the shy, “Will you go to the dance with me?” of yesteryear. Boys spend a lot of time thinking of the perfect way to ask a girl. They may put cupcakes on a desk spelling out the ask. They might have flowers delivered. They also might hold up signs outside the lockers. However, they do it, it must be cool.

Spirit Week

As with most high schools, spirit week leads up to the homecoming game. There are theme days. Students wear school colors and shout themselves hoarse at rallies. Some schools have parades with floats. At the very least the marching band will play — if not march — the day of the pep rally.

The Big Game

The homecoming game is a big deal. Texans take their Friday Night Lights seriously. The game usually sells out. Girls wear their mums the day of the game. It’s not unusual for the cheerleaders to be covered by their gigantic corsages. The homecoming king, queen and court are announced at the game.

The Big Dance

The homecoming dance is usually held on a Friday or Saturday. Katy High’s is Sept. 23 at the Merrell Center. Formal wear is not required but everyone gets dressed up. Many couples have dinner first. Others show up as a group.

You’ve chosen your floor plan and your homesite. Now it’s time to make your new Sunterra home your own by putting your stylish stamp on it. Flooring, countertops and cabinets, paint and more are available in a dizzying array of styles, colors and materials. How do you make the right choices for you? We have some thoughts.

Define Your Style

Are you a minimalist or a sucker for shabby chic? Defining your style will make choosing your home’s design elements easier. Start by taking this HGTV quiz. Once you have an idea whether you trend toward Modern Farmhouse, Contemporary or Mid-century Modern start checking out design magazines and websites to see what excites you.

Make a Mood Board

Mood boards are like blueprints. They help you pull all your ideas together. Are there any common threads such as color, furniture shape or patterns? These will inform your decisions when it is time to choose your interior features. Remember that paint, flooring, cabinetry and countertops all serve as a backdrop for your furnishings, accent pieces and art.

How Do You Live

Think of your mood board as a guide for how you want to live. Then backtrack and think about how you actually live. Do you have young children ready to place sticky fingers on your beautifully painted turquoise walls? Will the marble kitchen island you love be easy to care for? That stand-alone tub is gorgeous, but will it be easy to get in and out of? Check your mood board again and remove anything that won’t fit your lifestyle. Then see if you can find an alternative you love.

Speak with a Professional

Some builders invite you to explore their design centers. You can speak with a professional who can help you pull together the look you want. Other builders offer packages that take the guesswork out of designing your home. Consider consulting with an interior decorator. Even if you choose not to have them decorate, they might be able to give you some ideas.

Set a Budget

Builders offer standard packages. If you want to upgrade, it will cost you. The good news is that the cost of those upgrades can be rolled into your mortgage. Still, you should set a budget so you don’t go crazy. Experts agree that kitchens and bathrooms are worth upgrading as they can make those rooms easier to care for. Also, doing it now will keep you from having to make costly renovations later.

Stay Away from Trends (Unless You Like Them)

The thing about trends is that they are, well, trendy. Décor choices that rely on what’s trendy can quickly look dated. Make décor choices based on how you want your home to look five years from now, not when you move in. Current trends that will always look fresh include stained wood cabinets, pops of color in the kitchen, neutral paints with color accents and organic materials such as wood floors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The well-respected Robert Charles Lesser & Co. (RCLCO) mid-year report was recently released, and Sunterra crushed the competition, becoming one of the top 10 best-selling master-planned communities in the nation.

The housing research firm ranks communities based on new-home sales from January through June. Sunterra scored the No. 8 position, with 450 home sales. That places us among the top 10 in the nation and No. 1 in Houston.

Sunterra is less than a year old but already we’re making a splash. Homebuyers are in love with our Katy location and the opportunity to send their children to Katy ISD schools.

Niche, a respected ranking review site, named Katy ISD the top district in the Houston area on its annual list of the Best School Districts. Katy ISD also scored the No. 13 spot on a list of the Best School Districts in Texas. That was out of 1,018 districts!

Fifteen builders offer a range of new home designs in Sunterra including

Adams Homes, Ashton Woods Homes, CastleRock Communities, Centex, Chesmar Homes, Colina Homes, Davidson Homes, D.R. Horton, Empire Communities, Gehan Homes, Hamilton Thomas Homes, Highland Homes, HistoryMaker Homes, Long Lake, Perry Homes, Pulte Homes, Shea Homes and Westin Homes.

Our planned amenities are also wowing homebuyers. Parks, lakes, trails and an expansive Amenity Village with a clubhouse and a pool overlooking a crystal clear lagoon will be part of the Sunterra experience.

Want to live in a pre-eminent master-planned community? We’re in Katy, look us over today.

You’ve made the big decision to buy a new home — congratulations! And you may have even made your next biggest decisions — where and which floor plan. Again, kudos to you! But your decision-making duties aren’t quite done yet.

If buying new from the ground up, you’ll likely be taking a trip to your builder’s design center. There, you’ll choose your flooring, countertop material, shower tile, paint and other décor features. You can also talk to your builder about other features that will make life easy in your new home. Some to consider:

Kitchen

Little changes add up in a big way in the kitchen, leading to better storage and functionality:

  • Consider putting outlets underneath your cabinets rather than on the wall. This will preserve the beauty of your backsplash.
  • Add a motion sensor to your pantry that will automatically turn on a light when the door opens — and turn it off when the door is closed.
  • Instead of deep kitchen cabinets where it’s difficult to get to items stored in the very back, switch to deep drawers that you can pull out and see everything stored.
  • Have a paper towel holder built in.
  • Design one kitchen drawer exclusively for knives. This will help keep knives sharp and reduce the chance of accidentally cutting yourself when quickly grabbing for a blade.
  • Have two built-in soap pumps — one for hand soap and one for dishwashing soap.
  • Install a pull-out garbage bin.

Owner’s Suite

The owner’s suite is your haven. It’s where you start fresh each morning and where you’ll rest your head at the end of a busy day. Why shouldn’t it be as convenient as possible?

  • Have a light switch at the head of the bed so you can turn out the light once you’re in bed. No more stumbling around in the dark.
  • Think about having a master switch in the bedroom that controls your outdoor lights.
  • Add USB plugs to your wall outlets near your bed for easy phone charging.
  • Install outlets in one or more drawers in your bathroom — perfect for blow dryers and curling irons!
  • Have an outlet near the toilet for a night light.
  • Warm up quickly after your shower with heated towel racks.

Outdoors

  • Say goodbye to propane canisters and have a gas line installed for an outdoor grill.
  • Add a 220V plug to the garage for tools and an electric car.
  • Place outlets under the eaves for holiday lights, with a switch inside to turn them on and off.

Miscellaneous

  • Recess your outlets in places where you may have furniture up against a wall.
  • Add a light switch to the attic in a nearby hallway.
  • If you have dogs, consider building a dog-wash station in the mud room or laundry room.

Your Sunterra builder likely has even more small additions that can make living easy. Talk to them today about building the perfect home for you in the perfect community!

Need art for your new home? The perfect plant? A unique gift? Find it all at Katy Market Day.

The ultimate artisan fair happens from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. every third Saturday of the month, March through November, in historic downtown Katy. Hosted and organized by Limited Edition Art & Antiques, the market has been delighting shoppers for more than 20 years.

The free event is an all-day affair with more than 100 vendors offering food, art, crafts, clothing and one-of-a-kind items. Food trucks, a beer garden, live music and inflatables for the kids add to the fun. In addition to the booths, Katy’s exceptional antique shops and boutiques are open.

This month, Katy Market Day is July 16. If you make the move to Sunterra, you can shop the market every month. It’s great fun and a great chance to get to know the community!

There’s a lot to consider when you visit your Sunterra builders’ design centers. Countertops, cabinets and floors may be a priority, but spare a thought for lighting. The right lighting and fixtures can transform any home from drab to delightful. We break down the science and offer a few design tips.

The Science of Light

Choosing the right lightbulbs is the first step in setting the tone for your rooms. Bedrooms should feel warm and cozy. Kitchens clean and bright. Doing it right is an art and a science. To get the ambiance you want, it’s important to choose bulbs that make colors pop. The gold standard is natural light, so you want to choose a bulb that has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of at least 90. CRI measures an artificial light source’s ability to render color on a scale of 1 to 100. The higher the CRI, the more closely it resembles natural light. The more closely it resembles natural light, the less drab your paint and fabrics appear.

You also want to pay attention to the color temperature of bulbs. This refers to the light’s color ambiance or chromaticity, not heat. Measured in Kelvins, color temperature spans the gamut between warm and cool. Warm lights emit more white light and pair well with cooler colors such as greens and blues. Lower temperature lights make warm colors such as reds and oranges pop. The sweet spot is 2800K. Look on the box or just choose bulbs that say “soft white.”

Lighting Open Floor Plans

Once you have a feel for the science, it’s time for the art. Open floor plans present a challenge when it comes to lighting. On the one hand, open plans benefit from lots of windows. On the other, each room serves a different function that requires different lighting. Oh, and it all must fit together to form a cohesive whole. Layered lighting works best with open floor plans. Start by lighting the entire space. Recessed lighting is a good choice as it provides ambient lighting throughout the area. Next, choose task lighting. This lighting should be focused on one area such as the kitchen island or dining table. Chandeliers and pendant lighting work well here. Accent lighting is where you can bring in your own style with floor lamps, side table lamps and wall sconces.

Cozy Bedrooms

Bedrooms shouldn’t feel dark and gloomy. They should feel cozy while providing enough light to read by. Install recessed lighting controlled by a dimmer switch. That way, you can turn it up while exercising and down when it’s time for bed. If you have a ceiling fan, choose a light kit with lights directed at the ceiling. Pendant lights aren’t just for kitchens. Choose them if you want to up your style game.

Bright Bathrooms

When was the last time you really thought about bathroom lighting? When the bulb burned out? We spend a lot of time in the bathroom, so we need to choose the right light. Lights should be task-oriented. You will be putting on makeup and shaving, so you want bright light. Task lighting doesn’t mean boring lighting. You can add style to your bath by choosing chandeliers, wall-mounted sconces and pendant lighting. Recessed lighting gives everything a nice glow.

Don’t Forget the Patio

A well-lit patio means your outdoor celebrations won’t shut down when the sun sets. When choosing lighting, take the weather into account. Your lights should be water-resistant at the least. Solar-powered lights allow you to light paths and walkways without the need for an outlet. When it comes to ambient lighting, nothing beats an outdoor fireplace or fire pit.

 

 

Your new home in Sunterra is ready. All that’s left for you to do is unload the moving truck and meet your new neighbors. Sounds easy in theory, but many people find it difficult. Not to worry. Sunterra is all about building community. Follow these tips and you’ll be hanging with your neighbors in no time.

Say Hello

Sunterra residents are always ready with a smile. Reward them with the word, “hello.” A simple greeting tells people that you want to engage with them. Before you know it, you’ll be exchanging phone numbers and making plans to meet up at the local coffee shop.

Let Fido Be Your Wingman

Dogs make great wingmen. Who doesn’t want to stop and pet a tail-wagging pup? Take your furry Fido for a walk in your neighborhood and along the trails. You are sure to meet neighbors and their dogs. See, you already have something in common!

Everyone Loves Gifts

Not long ago, neighbors welcomed neighbors with gifts of baked goods. You can take the initiative and whip something up for your neighbors (and if you happen to need to borrow a cup of sugar, that works, too). If you are worried about potential food allergies introduce yourself with a beautiful plant or bouquet of flowers.

Throw a Housewarming Party

Let’s be honest. Your new neighbors are probably dying to see your home. Invite them via a dinner or housewarming party. Send cute invitations or make up flyers. Plan to keep it casual with appetizers and drinks. It’s a good idea not to invite friends from your old neighborhood or family members because you want to concentrate on making new friends.

Ask for Advice

Asking for advice is a great way to get a conversation going. If you are new to the area, ask your neighbors where the best coffee shop is, who they use to repair their bikes, how to sign your kids up for soccer or any other questions you might have. Sure, you could use Google, but why do that when you can make a new friend?

Get Outside

It should go without saying that if you want to meet new people, you can’t hide in the house. If your home has a porch, be sure to be sitting on it in the evening. Encourage the kids to play in the front yard. Doing so will attract other kids and their parents. Parks, playgrounds and dog parks are also good places to meet people.

Participate in Resident-only Events

Master-planned communities like Sunterra offer lots of resident-only activities. Be sure to sign up. You never know who you might run into standing in line at a food truck, dancing to music played by a local band or doing yoga on the event lawn.

Join a Club/PTO

Master-planned communities often have resident clubs dedicated to interests such as volunteering, sewing, whiskey, reading and more. Find one that appeals to you and join. Don’t see anything you like? Start your own club. If you have children join the Parent Teacher Organization at their school. It’s an easy way to meet parents as dedicated to their children’s education as you are.

 

When you want a home designed to balance beauty, function and sophistication, you want to build with Westin Homes.

Westin Homes has been impressing homebuyers with their designs for more than two decades. Each floor plan has been carefully designed to meet both the practical and aesthetic needs of modern families.

Take the builder’s popular Albany floor plan. The design is perfect for entertaining, with a spacious island kitchen open to a gorgeous family room. That’s practical. You want plenty of room so your guests can easily mix and mingle. Layered on top of the practicality is the sophistication. In this case, floor-to-ceiling bay windows overlooking your covered patio.

Westin adds other goodies to the homes they build, including their signature winding staircase crowned by a triple-tiered rotunda. Westin doesn’t just design primary suites. They design primary retreats. Homeowners can pull up a comfy chair and read by the bay window or fill the garden tub with bath salts for a long soak.

Beyond the embellishments, you’ll find a team dedicated to crafting the home of your dreams. Your sales representative will walk you through the process and be with you every step of the way. You’ll get regular construction updates. An in-house designer will help you choose cabinetry, flooring, fixtures and more.

Westin will soon offer seven designs in Sunterra. Pricing has not yet been announced but the four- and five-bedroom homes will range from 2,600 to 3,300 square feet. Designs feature front porches, covered patios, studies, game rooms, formal dining rooms and two-car garages.

Visit Sunterra today to see how you can build your life with us and with Westin Homes.

 

 

The goal of any high school is to turn out accomplished young adults who are well prepared to succeed in the future. Katy High School has been doing that for nearly 125 years.

Generations of Katy residents have attended Katy High. Some — including Renee Zellweger and Andy Dalton — have even gone on to become famous. Famous or not, Katy Tigers have all received a comprehensive education with opportunities to excel in academics, athletics and extracurricular activities.

The school is known for its athletics program. Niche ranked Katy High No. 3 on its 2022 list of Best High Schools for Athletes in Texas. The football team has won multiple state championships, most recently in 2020. Teams have also won awards in girls’ soccer, tennis, boys swimming, boys track, wrestling and cross country.

Advanced Placement, honors and dual credit courses are available to students planning for higher education. According to U.S. News & World Report, 46 percent of the students took at least one AP class. Of those, more than 80 percent achieved a 3 or higher. Students regularly score well above average on state-mandated tests. Niche ranks Katy High among the top 50 high schools in the Houston area for college prep.

Highly skilled and caring teachers contribute greatly to student success. In fact, they are ranked No. 10 in Fort Bend County on Niche’s list of Best Public High School Teachers in Fort Bend County.

It’s not all work for young Tigers. Katy High prides itself on offering numerous co-curricular and extra-curricular activities and organizations. These include clubs in special interest areas like computer science, geography, foreign languages and statistics as well as opportunities to engage in drama, visual arts, media and care-oriented groups such as health occupations. Students also participate in academic competitions including Academic Challenge, Academic Decathlon and Academic Octathlon.

Yep, the future is bright for graduates of Katy High. That includes Sunterra students who will proudly wear the red and white.

Are you ready for your design center appointment? Ready to choose your cabinets, countertops, flooring, fixtures, paint and more? Sounds overwhelming? It doesn’t have to be. Builders provide you with design consultants to help you make the best choices. Still, it doesn’t hurt to come prepared. Here are some tips.

A Blueprint for Success

Your builder uses blueprints to build your home. You need to come to your design center appointment with one for your décor. Create a mood board using pictures gleaned from Pinterest, design magazines, paint chips, fabric swatches and more. Bring pictures of your furniture, as well. That will tell your consultant what your aesthetic is so they can point you in the right direction.

What Do You Love?

Whether you currently live in an apartment or a house, there are things you love about your home and things you wish were different. Make a list of those things. Also check your floor plan. How do you imagine living in your new home? Will you entertain a lot? Do your teens need their own space? Those things will influence your decisions.

Set a Budget

At the design center, you will pick from a standard list of colors, fixtures and finishes. If you want to upgrade these, there will be a cost. It’s usually recommended to budget 10 percent of the base price of your home for upgrades, so for a $200,0000 home you would want to budget an extra $20,000 for upgrades. If you are thinking you might sell your home someday, concentrate on upgrades that add value such as hardwood floors, a finished garage, extended patios and additional storage.

Thinking Renovations? Think Again

Sometimes it’s better to spend a little extra money upfront rather than renovate later. What sort of things? Structural changes such as adding a home office or bedroom can be rolled into your new mortgage, making it less expensive than writing a check later. Kitchen renovations can be time-consuming, and who wants to eat out all the time? Get what you want now. Anything having to do with wiring and plumbing should be handled by your builder.

Be Honest

Be honest with yourself and your design consultant about your wants, needs and budget. If your budget doesn’t allow for one thing, they can show you something similar in your price range. Ask if you can take pictures of the items you’ve chosen. If you can’t make up your mind, see if you can arrange for another meeting — even if you have to pay for it. After all, you want to be happy with your new home.