7 Ways to Help Your Family Adjust to a New City [Guest Blogger]

Uprooting yourself from a familiar place you call home can prove to be a tough task. It takes careful planning, the support of your friends and family, and a period of adjustment to your new locale — in this case, Houston. However, if you do intend on making the leap of faith, following a few simple guidelines can help make your family’s transition easier and more comfortable.

6 Ways to Help Your Family Adjust to a New City

Keep Family Communication Open

As with any other big decision, it’s vital that you keep the avenues of communication open between your family and yourself. Allow them to express all the concerns they have with the impending move. This allows them to air out everything that’s bothering them, giving you the opportunity to help with the transition. Children often take the news the hardest; they must leave behind friends and familiar surroundings. Make sure you take extra time to help them get settled and have them discuss their feelings once you get to your new home.

Move to the Perfect Area of Town

Because moving to a new area can seem overwhelming, especially a thriving one such as Houston, make sure you have everything planned ahead of time. Check out different homes in Houston, see what the community has to offer, and try visiting the area before the move. Finding a home in the perfect area of town to suit your family’s needs can often be the difference between happiness and loneliness. Remember to always ask your family what they think about the new area and house. Make sure your new home feels like home and not just a new house, this may take a little while, especially with children, but making it as comfortable and as beautiful as possible for everyone in the family is key to adjusting to a new city.

Get Involved

Even if you begin to work an insane amount of hours, use your free time to get your family involved in the local community. The sooner you get your spouse or children involved in activities, the faster they’ll acclimate to the move. Many bigger cities like Houston offer an array of free or cheap activities such as youth sports programs, museums, and fun runs to keep your family occupied and get their mind off the move.

Deal With Goodbyes

Perhaps the most difficult part of a move is saying your goodbyes. Everyone has something that they’ll miss. Understanding that everyone copes with this in a different way is important. Make sure you allow everyone to air out their grievances before the move and afterward. That way, you can pay special attention to your family members that are having trouble with the transition.

Schedule Family Days

Once again, the mental health of your family tends to be the most integral aspect of the move. Even if you’re working non-stop, take a day to schedule a family day. While this tends to be a bit more difficult with teenagers, they won’t regret it. Make sure that you don’t make the outing too long. If you have younger children, it’s a perfect way to get your mind off work and entertain the kids by going to the zoo or an Astros, a Texans, or a Rockets game.

Make Your New Home Feel Like Home

Making your new abode feel like home means making it as comfortable and as aesthetically pleasing to everyone in your family. It’s a good idea to have the whole family help out and have some input in the decorating and painting process of the new home. Check out these apps to help spur some creative design ideas. Letting them pick out the new paint colors, theme and decorations for their own rooms, will give them a sense of customization, ownership and pride in their new home, which will in turn expedite the adjustment process.

Help Your Spouse

Much like your children, your spouse has doubts and questions about the new move. To help with the transition, make sure your finances are in order. This allows your spouse to search for a rewarding job as opposed to taking the first one that comes their way. Also, lend ideas to how they spend their free time. Sitting idly at home is a horrible way to transition to a new city, so finding clubs, trivia nights, and open mics is a great way to meet new people and have fun at the same time. No matter where you choose to move and at what time in your life, the transition is harder than you think. However, you can help smooth things over by making sure your family is in good spirits. This will enable you to keep your focus on your job and not stressing out over things at home. A healthy family life should be the focal point, and once everyone is adjusted, you’ll find yourself loving life in a new place and enjoying new adventures for years to come.


JT Ripton is a freelance writer out of Tampa, who loves to write about a myriad of things, home improvements, moving and interior decorating being a few of them, you can follow JT on twitter @JTRipton

Fabulous Fall Festivities: Dining on the Deck


With the advent of autumn and the arrival of cooler weather comes the perfect opportunity to entertain your friends and family by hosting your own dinner party or social gathering out on your back deck. And a memorable evening is within your grasp by taking care of the basics beforehand.


If a picture is worth a thousand words, this one covers the entire concept of fall dining/entertaining out on the deck with a single shot! You’ve got sparkling lights in the background coupled with an entirely autumn tablescape complete with candles, fall foliage and a bit of bling with the glittering seasonal fruit display.

Let’s take a closer look at each aspect as we break down the merry must-haves for hosting your own fall festivities in your backyard.

Let there be Light


One thing is certain: you can’t have an outdoor party in the evening without a little bit of light!

Whether dangling festive lanterns down from the lumber rafters or from the railing of your deck, incorporating larger pops of illumination is a fun way to set the lighthearted mood and see the faces of your friends at the same time.

Additionally, consider draping string lights over your fence and around the perimeter of your backyard to create subtle ambience and add an air of whimsy to your gathering. After all, who says string lights only belong on Christmas trees?

Now that everything is in clear view, it’s time to tackle the table.

Fall Foliage


Set the scene by mixing in autumnal hues wherever you need a pop of color. The rich reds and oranges combined with the jewel-toned berries and woodsy browns are the perfect palette for leaving no doubt about the evening’s theme: fall has arrived!

Whether comprised of composite decking or natural lumber, your outdoor deck space is only enhanced by incorporating more of the earthy beauty surrounding it so feel free to apply the colors of fall liberally throughout.

For a festive centerpiece, consider placing a few thick candles inside the willowy confines of a fall wreath made out of dried vines or branches. Accent the piece with a few sprigs of berries or seasonal fruit.

*Tip: Give your décor a glittery boost by spray painting your accent pieces with metallic gold, copper or silver spray paint or even spraying them with glue adhesive and then dipping them in glitter. To add texture and balance out the sparkle, incorporate some decorations in their natural state, like unadorned pinecones and fallen leaves.

Pretty Perimeter


Moving away from the center of the table and to the surrounding areas, if you have thick railings around your deck, place tiny votive candles in little autumn pails all around the outdoor space.

Alternatively, you could hang autumn-appropriate planters and baskets from the railing.


For the ultimate in fall and flowers, carve out the interior of a pumpkin and use it as a “gourd-geous” planter for a bunch of mums!

Fun Finger Foods


And what type of party would it be without a bit of food? Give your guests a bite to eat in bite-sized portions that can easily be managed with one hand and that don’t require plates or silverware. This way, they have a free hand for a cool drink or a warm beverage and you aren’t stuck with dish duty or garbage clean-up afterwards!

Easy Breezy

If you live in a warmer climate or the air has yet to adopt the brisk chill you were hoping for, keep the environment cool by placing a few freestanding fans around the deck. Not only will this keep your guests comfortable but it will also discourage unwelcome guests like gnats and mosquitoes from crashing your party.

*Tip: Remember those candles? Make some of the ones on the perimeter of the deck citronella candles to really drive home to the bugs that they are not on the list!

What are some of your favorite fall decorations for outdoor dining and entertaining?

Jay Harris is a Home Depot “on the floor” sales associate in Illinois and a regular contributor on decking tips for Home Depot’s website. Jay also writes often on outdoor home lumber projects, including tips on fences, patios and children’s playsets.

Happy with M/I Homes Customer Story: The Hansberry Family

We could spend an endless amount of time telling you why you get more with M/I Homes how we make homes that are comfortable, stylish and built with superior quality, and why you should build with us, but we feel like our customers simply say it better! We’re so thrilled to have a long list of happy customers who are happy to share their stories while working with M/I Homes during the building process, and how much they love their homes once complete!

Today we hear from Beverly and John Hansberry- a happy couple of empty-nesters who are preparing to call our Woods at Indian Lake neighborhood home.


1.    What neighborhood are you building in?

Woods at Indian Lake in Lawrence Township

2.      When do you move in?

We are closing the week of March 25!

3.    What made you want to build with M/I Homes Indianapolis?

We built an M/I Home in 1992 and had a great experience then, which encouraged us to build with M/I again.

4.       How much research into builders did you do before you decided to go with M/I Homes?

When we built in 1992, our realtor recommended M/I Homes. We were aware of other builders, but after a little research, we felt none compared to the quality of M/I. This time around, after looking at existing homes, we decided to check into building once again. We would not have built with any other builder than M/I Homes.

5.       How did the M/I Homes team ease any nerves/worries you experienced during the building process?

Someone was always there for us. Any time we had questions, we felt comfortable enough to ask, knowing for certain we would get a quick and helpful response. Whether in sales, interior design, or construction, each person showed confidence and knowledge in their area of expertise. They also worked well as a team as we moved through the total building process.

6.       What do you think you will love most about your home?

We really love so many things about our home! The exterior is what caught our eye to begin with – it has a lovely little front porch that draws us into just spending time sitting! The interior is open and inviting as well. And the lot is beautiful with trees in the back that make us feel we are among nature, even with houses around us.

7.       Is there anything else you’d like to share?

Yes! There are a few key pieces of information that has made us especially happy with our decision to build with M/I!

·           M/I offers a variety of options and are open to adjustments to fit your needs and/or preferences
·           They have an energy certification that guarantees efficiency
·           Materials/options are high quality
·           M/I Homes will still address concerns or issues we have even weeks after the home has been completed

Happy with M/I Homes Customer Story: The Ball Family

M/I Homes is a company founded on the belief that customers should be treated right. Years—and tens of thousands of homes later—we still keep customers as our number one priority. As a result, we have many homeowners who are happy to talk about their experiences with us!

 Today we introduce you to the Ball family. Jeff and his wife Katie live with their children Shelby, Landon and Lincoln in the Brownsburg community of Birch Run at Wynne Farms. They’ve only been there a few months, but they already love the space the home provides for their family! Read more about their experience with M/I Homes Indianapolis.

 1.     What neighborhood do you live in?

 We live in Birch Run at Wynne Farms.

Ball Family Home

2.       How long have you lived in your M/I Home?

We moved in the beginning of December 2012.

3.       What made you want to build with M/I Homes Indianapolis?

My parents built with M/I Homes Indianapolis 20 years ago and were very pleased with their home and had a great overall experience. They still currently live in that home. M/I also provided neighborhoods in locations that met our needs—that was key!

4.       How much research into builders did you do before you decided to go with M/I Homes?

We did quite a bit of research! We like the fact that M/I has been around for quite awhile. They have many employees that have been with the company for a long time which shows that M/I is a good company to work for and with.

5.       How did the M/I Homes team ease any nerves/worries you experienced during the building process?

Debbie was amazing! She responded very quickly to phone calls and emails. She addressed all our needs in a very timely manner. Jadelle was also very helpful and patient!

6.       What do you love most about your home?

We love all the space! It felt like home on the first day we moved in!!

7.       Is there anything else you’d like to share?

We would recommend M/I Homes Indianapolis to our friends and family. We enjoyed our building experience and are loving our new home. Great customer service, too!

 Thanks to the Ball family for sharing their story with us!

Ball Family

Are you interested in the Birch Run at Wynne Farms community? Get in touch to schedule a visit. There are also some move-in ready homes currently available in this community!


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