Last Minute DIY Holiday Gifts

by crblog - December 19th, 2014

This time of year is the season of giving, but sometimes it can be hard to come up with clever gift ideas without spending an arm and a leg. If you’re still scrambling to find the perfect present, Craig Ranch has you covered. Take a look at these simple DIY holiday gift ideas you can create right in your McKinney, TX home.

Animal Bookends

This adorable and practical gift will have your gift recipients smiling. It’s a great idea for families or kids that love to read! All you need is two of the child’s favorite plastic animal toys, two small blocks or scraps of wood, glue, and spray paint. Next, use the spray paint to coat the plastic animal toy in their favorite color and do the same with the block of wood.  Wait for them both to dry, and then adhere the toy onto the block of wood. Repeat these steps one more time, then viola! You have a pair of kid-friendly bookends.

Holiday Stovetop Potpourri

This is a great gift idea if you’re new to McKinney or recently purchased a new home in McKinney, and you want to get to know your neighbors! One of the reasons we love the holiday season is because of all the smells reminding us of winter. So, why not bag that smell?

In a clear or decorative bag, place one orange, three cinnamon sticks, one cup of fresh cranberries, one to two teaspoons of cloves (whole or ground), and one to two teaspoons of nutmeg. Then tie the bag up with a pretty ribbon and add a tag with the following instructions: “Cut up the orange and place in a small saucepan with the rest of the ingredients. Then fill the saucepan with water until it is about one inch below the rim. Place on the stove and simmer on low. Soon your home will smell like the holidays!” Consider giving this easy gift to your new McKinney neighbors to welcome them to the neighborhood!

Personal, Artsy Mugs

This is one of our favorite DIY gifts. All you need to make this popular craft are porcelain mugs and a porcelain paint pen, both in colors of your choosing. With the pen, write a personal note or the name of your gift recipient on the mug. You could even draw something decorative! Let the mug dry for 24 hours and then it’s ready to use.

For more holiday ideas and community updates, be sure to check back on our blog frequently! If you’re thinking about moving to McKinney we still have plenty of new Craig Ranch homes for sale.

Holidays at Craig Ranch: Have Yourself an Effortless Family Holiday

by crblog - December 18th, 2014

Do you think holiday entertaining must involve a trip over the river and through the woods – or at least a car ride across town? It doesn’t have to! The holiday fun stays in the neighborhood, when you live in a master-planned community, such as the award-winning Craig Ranch in McKinney. You and your holiday guests don’t need to plan a 30-minute caravan to keep things lively.

For starters, you can relax. Your guests can join you for a seasonal massage, pedicure and facial at the Cooper Spa at Craig Ranch. Then you can sign up for any of the fantastic holiday fitness programs at the Cooper Fitness Center, Craig Ranch’s state-of-the-art wellness facility. Members receive one free guest pass (and can purchase additional ones), so you and your holiday guests can keep up with your workouts while you celebrate.

Or both the adults and the kids can drop in for public skating at the Dr Pepper Star Center Ice Arena, at 6993 Stars Ave. What’s the holiday without a spin around the rink? You can even win 4 free skating passes this month – find out how here.

Tired of coordinating meals? Grab a quick breakfast, lunch or pick-me-up smoothie at Tenley’s Café at the Cooper Fitness Center; it’s full of healthy food choices. Members of the TPC Craig Ranch golf club – the centerpiece of the community – can enjoy a casual meal at The Legend’s Grill, with light fare, a full-service bar and panoramic views of the Audubon-accredited course.

Before your guests pack up and head home, host a farewell holiday meal at the TPC Craig Ranch club’s formal dining option, The Portobello Room. The event will practically plan itself; less work and more fun for you and everyone!

How to Keep Your McKinney, TX Home Safe During the Holidays

by crblog - December 12th, 2014

The holidays are here in McKinney, TX and for many families that means you are busier than ever! It’s easy to get swept away decorating your McKinney home for the holidays or preparing your travel plans. So, we’ve complied a few simple tips to keep your house safe during all the hustle and bustle.

Get To Know Your Neighbors
The holidays are a great time to get to know your neighbors. If you haven’t done so already, or you are new to living in McKinney, stroll over and introduce yourself! Don’t be limited to next-door meet-and-greets; include neighbors across the street and behind you as well. If traveling for the holidays, ask your neighbor to keep an eye out for suspicious activities. This will help build friendships and keep our Craig Ranch community safe!

Lock It Up
Take extra caution this holiday season to ensure that your McKinney home is safe and secure. Lock windows and doors when leaving as an extra precaution. It’s also a good idea to lock up while you’re inside. Remind children not to answer the door for people they do not recognize, as there can be a lot of door-to-door solicitations this time of year!

Be Discrete
Try to avoid keeping gifts or valuable objects near windows, where they are in plain view from the street. Be sure to also close the blinds when you are not home. Consider setting a timer on your indoor and outdoor lights to give the illusion that you’re home, even if you’re not.

Follow these simple tips to have a safe and enjoyable holiday in McKinney, TX and check back frequently to learn more about our new homes in Craig Ranch!

Health Benefits of Massage – Well Beyond Stress Relief

by crblog - December 12th, 2014

When it comes to massage, plenty of studies have shown that this alternative therapy can help relieve stress, reduce pain and nix muscle tension.

In addition, according to the Mayo Clinic, research shows regular massage can help with anxiety, digestive disorders, fibromyalgia, headaches, stress-related insomnia, myofascial pain syndrome, nerve pain, soft tissue strains, sports injuries and temporomandibular (or jaw) pain.

And more than that …

“Beyond the benefits for specific conditions or diseases, some people enjoy massage because it often involves caring, comfort, a sense of empowerment and creating deep connections with their massage therapist,” Mayo says.

Cooper Spa Craig Ranch, a serene oasis located in the Cooper Fitness Center, offers a full range of massage techniques for members and non-members.

Swedish massage: For tension in the muscles and tissue.

Deep-tissue massage: Therapeutic massage focusing on trigger points in the muscle tissue by using strong pressure. Ideal for an active person or someone who needs relief from extended muscle soreness or tightness. 

Fitness massage: Integrating deep-tissue massage with deep stretching to release tension, increase vitality and enhance flexibility.
Stone therapy massage: Combines Swedish techniques with the placement of warm and cool stones to loosen tight muscles, relieve stress and ease tension.

Aromatherapy massage: A blend of pure essential oils to reduce anxiety and lift the mood.
Neck and shoulder massage: No time for a full massage? Target the neck and shoulder area based on your preferred pressure to get rid of the tension where it builds.

Texas two-step massage
: Massage as a couples activity! Enjoy side-by-side massages with your spouse or a friend.

What do you think – time to say, “Ahhhhhhhh”?

Unique Outdoor Holiday Décor Ideas For Your McKinney, TX Home

by crblog - December 5th, 2014

With Thanksgiving behind us and December 25th looming, most people already have their holiday décor out. The holidays are a wonderful time to live in Craig Ranch; as you walk down the street and see the lights aglow and the trees hung with precious ornaments. For those who are still unsure how to incorporate unique outdoor holiday decorations, we have some ideas for you!

Cranberry Luminaries

Layer a stocky glass vase with fake snow and real cranberries then tuck in a pillar candle. Align the luminaries on your walkway or front steps with fir bundles. See what it looks like here.

Candy Cane Holder

Fill a large, white planter with decorative, plastic candy canes (such as these at Party City). Add a weather-treated ribbon around the planter then place it near your front door.

Glowing Globes

Scatter flowing globe spheres around the yard to create a winter landscape, or group a few together in a birdbath or some other outdoor container. Glowing globes can be found in large and small sizes from most home improvement stores. Home Depot has glitter globes for just $2.99 each.

Outdoor Ornament Display

Take extra tree ornaments and place a bunch of them under a garden cloche or two, or gather in a pretty bowl. Use ornaments of the same color or a collection of bright hues. Outdoor holiday decorating can be done well with items you already have!

We love these ideas as well as all of the other unique décor ideas McKinney home residents come up with! Remember: if you want to show off your Craig Ranch home’s outdoor décor, enter a photo into the #CraigRanchHoliday Instagram contest! See the rules and requirements here.

Come for the Golf – Stay for the Food

by crblog - December 3rd, 2014

We know members of TPC Craig Ranch are enticed to join for the top-rated course and practice facilities. But did you know their food is another important consideration when joining?

Seriously. The three dining rooms, open 7 a.m. – 9 p.m., Tuesday – Sunday, are run by a chef who primarily uses local ingredients and cooks up signature dishes members adore.

Photo: http://www.tpc.com

And it’s all within walking distance of 17 Green and many of Craig Ranch’s neighborhoods!

Imagine enjoying a full-service brunch on the weekend and themed meals every night. How does pasta or steak-and-seafood night sound?

Local, organic grass-fed beef and organic veggies are the centerpiece of steak night – one of the most popular nights at the club. Members recently enjoyed an evening of fine dining featuring artfully-crafted grilled ahi tuna, Creole crab cakes, giant prawn cocktail, baby back ribs and hand-cut steaks.

See you there next week?

Craig Ranch McKinney: Welcome to the Neighborhood of Nature

by crblog - December 1st, 2014

The wonder of nature can fill us with joy at any age – whether we’re 8 or 80. Gazing at a bird soaring over a field. Stealing a look at a rabbit slowly munching its way across the grass. Watching leaves stir in the breeze.

That’s why more and more research points to a daily dose of nature – plants, wildlife and all to keep the body working at its best, the mind sharp and the heart filled with joy.

Nature’s effect on the body, mind and heart is why Roby Robertson takes such pride in his work as director of golf course operations at TPC Craig Ranch. He has helped the golf course maintain its designation as an Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary – an honor it has held since 2005.

“The view you get of the course, especially if you live at 17 Green, is completely natural – rolling hills, stands of trees, the creek,” Robertson said. “That’s what draws the wildlife. We create habitat for birds and animals … and even native grasses and other plants.”

A display in the clubhouse details the kinds of wildlife that call TPC Craig Ranch home.

To receive the Audubon designation, TPC Craig Ranch must follow certain protocols for environmental planning, manage wildlife and habitat, reduce use of chemicals, conserve water, manage water quality and continue education. The goal is to enhance the natural areas and wildlife habitats golf courses can, but don’t always, provide.

At 17 Green, residents can glance out the window and marvel at a great blue heron or a scissor-tailed flycatcher, and catch a glimpse of a cottontail or a fox. Residents of 17 Green have direct access to the grounds and have prime viewing from balconies, patios and floor-to-ceiling windows – all the better to experience the wonder of nature.

Staying Active in Craig Ranch: No Better Time to Start Walking

by crblog - November 22nd, 2014

Could walking be the wonder workout? According to the American Heart Association, all the research proves that walking at a moderate pace for only 30 minutes a day can do the following:

  • Reduce the risk of coronary heart disease
  • Improve blood pressure and blood sugar levels
  • Improve blood lipid profile (affecting cholesterol levels)
  • Maintain body weight and lower the risk of obesity
  • Enhance mental well being
  • Reduce the risk of osteoporosis
  • Reduce the risk of breast and colon cancer
  • Reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes

When you live in Craig Ranch, your options are plenty when it comes to walking. Miles of trails crisscross the community’s six parks – from the rubberized trail at the Dr. Kenneth Cooper Park to a stroll among the beautiful blooms at Crape Myrtle Park (the only site in the world to represent each of the 120 known varieties of crape myrtles).

Craig Ranch also hooks up to the Six-Cities Trail, a 20-mile hike and bike path that connects Craig Ranch and McKinney to other suburbs north of Dallas.

If the weather isn’t working with your fitness plan, you can always join the Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch and take on the treadmill or elliptical machine. The view won’t be as expansive – but you’ll still get in your 30 minutes a day!

Craig Ranch Home Builder Spotlight: Huntington Homes

by crblog - November 21st, 2014

With McKinney, Texas being the #1 Place to Live and one of the most coveted zip codes in North Texas, homes are being built and bought right and left! Luckily, master-planned communities such as Craig Ranch have an esteemed list of home builders to choose from – one being Huntington Homes.

Huntington Homes offers luxurious single-family homes with 3,700+ square foot one and two-story floor plans. These homes are within Frisco Independent School District and feature spacious rooms, large backyards, options for extensive indoor and outdoor entertainment areas and open, inviting floor plans. Huntington Homes is dedicated to ensuring their customers are 100% satisfied with their homes. Each home is built to the highest standard and has to go through a detailed step-by-step checklist during every phase of the construction process.

Craig Ranch is lucky to have custom homes built by Huntington Homes in The Estates at Craig Ranch neighborhood on half-acre home sites. The Estates, which is gated, overlooks the prestigious TPC Craig Ranch private golf course and is near many parks and trails within the community. In addition to building a great home, Huntington provides incredible service to their customers. Mark Ingles, the on-site salesperson in The Estates at Craig Ranch for Huntington Homes, is well known for his incredible service and expert guidance in the home buying process.

The beautiful Huntington Homes model, which can be seen on Houzz, is located at 5809 Southwind Lane. Stop by to admire its wet bar, media room, four bedrooms and vaulted ceilings.

new home mckinney

To learn more about Huntington Homes and what they can provide for you and your family in McKinney, Texas contact Mark Ingels: 972-569-8110

4 Ways to Have a Perfect, Relaxing Thanksgiving in Your McKinney, Texas Home

by crblog - November 14th, 2014

The thought of hosting Thanksgiving, whether for the first time or the tenth time, sends most into a panic. Whether a beautiful home with a kitchen in an open floor plan is available to you or not, it can be stressful time. Each November, Craig Ranch residents travel far to see family while some choose to stay in their cozy home and have family come to them. For those playing host this year, here are some tips to ensure it’s an enjoyable day for everyone (and most importantly, YOU!)

Prepare Accordingly
With Thanksgiving two weeks away, now is the time to be in planning mode. Epicurious’ Thanksgiving Planning Checklist starts six weeks out and has all the tips and tricks you need to be ready for the big day. Now is the time to clean the freezer, buy the perishable ingredients for what you’ll make this week, cook the pie dough and make any nonperishable table decorations (such as pine-cone napkin holders). Get the whole checklist here.

Don’t Cook it All
Living in McKinney has its many advantages; one being all of the nearby restaurants, most of which offer holiday catering! While catering may sound like the lazy way of going about Thanksgiving, we recommend making all your family’s favorites then picking up the remaining dishes. Tenley’s Café, located in Cooper Craig Ranch, offers To-Go options as well as an entire Holiday Catering Menu. Call them ASAP to place an order: 214.383.1070.

Let Someone Else Clean
If your relatives typically remain glued to the couch and blame the tryptophan, get the kids involved as well as a couple adults to supervise and assist. When people seem reluctant to help, start making assignments politely, or offer a choice between two jobs. To save time, hand wash as much as you can while you have load in the dishwasher. Also, consider using disposable containers for some of the food.

Book a Spa Appointment
When the last dish has been cleaned, pamper yourself with a spa appointment. Whether you go the following day or the following week, give yourself something to look forward to (and the alone time you may need!) Luckily Craig Ranch residents have the convenience of the Cooper Spa being nearby! Cooper Spa at Craig Ranch is designed and dedicated to your total wellbeing – physical and emotional. Visit their website here for a full list of services.