How to Throw a Festive Spring Soireé in Your McKinney Home

by crblog - April 14th, 2014

Spring is one our favorite seasons in Texas. It’s warm, but not too warm, and we are graced with sunshine almost every day. Now that April is in full swing, it’s safe to say we can stash our winter coats once and for all and bring out the bright colors and pastels that make this season special. The best thing about spring, though, is the chance to bring the festivities outdoors. If you’re planning to throw a birthday, graduation or even a just-because party in your McKinney, Texas home, it’s officially time to open up the doors and let your guests soak up some rays.  We’ve compiled the perfect list of ways to throw an unforgettable spring soiree. Now let’s begin.

Naturally, the most exciting part of throwing a party is all of the planning and preparation that goes into it. Here you get to decide what the invitations will look like, how to decorate your space and most importantly – what the guests will eat!

For starters, picking an overall mood or atmosphere you want to set will help you make every decision that follows. It could be a daytime garden party or a nighttime barbecue. Let your guests know on the invitations what to wear, perhaps what theme you have chosen and whether or not they should bring swimwear. Spring invitations should mirror the season, so don’t shy away from using pastel colors or foliage/floral prints. Decorations can include soft touches like white string lights in trees, table centerpieces or a nighttime fire pit. Take advantage of the outdoor space! Tiki torches are also fun to have at an evening fete.

In terms of food, you can hardly go wrong. Earlier parties call for finger sandwiches, summer salads and some fresh cut fruit. Dinnertime spring events in Texas often include some sort of barbecue, so this is your perfect excuse to bust out the grill. Either way, you can’t go wrong. A themed or signature cocktail (mocktail for those underage) is a recent trend, so think along the lines of mint, basil, lemonade or sweet tea to achieve the perfect spring drink.

Last but not least, don’t overlook entertainment. Games like cornhole or horseshow or some nice background music often helps to break the ice. If you follow our advice, we guarantee you will have the McKinney, Texas spring soiree of the season. Good luck and don’t forget our invite!

Development Update: The Beach at Craig Ranch

by crblog - April 3rd, 2014

We recently mentioned the attention Craig Ranch has been getting, specifically David Craig from D CEO, and the exciting projects underway here, such as new multi-family projects, new office building in the McKinney Corporate Center Craig Ranch, hot residential sales and now an expanded sports facility.

The Beach at Craig Ranch, one of the premier athletic facilities for beach sports, just broke ground on an 18,600-square foot indoor sports facility with an additional 810 square feet of office space. The building is expected to be done in July 2014 and will be used primarily for volleyball and Futsal.

“We are proud to be bringing an indoor sports facility that is very much needed in the McKinney-Allen area,” said Susan Hoelting, The Beach at Craig Ranch. “[Now there are] a lot of choices out here for those looking for a fun sports venue!”

With the addition of the new facility, The Beach will be calling their new area The Sports Resort which will consist of The Beach at Craig Ranch, Bermuda’s Grill & Bar (the on-site restaurant), The Beach Pro Shop and Indoor Sports Facility. The Beach currently offers 12 pristine sand courts that can move seamlessly between beach volleyball, beach tennis and beach soccer, among other fun sports and activities. The Beach is also proud to be junior friendly. Leagues, tournaments, special pro events, free play and socializing are all available at The Beach.

The Craig Ranch community as well as the city McKinney, TX is flourishing. The family-friendly atmosphere and our quality amenities such as The Beach make it a perfect place for families and singles to live. Come experience the community! Stop by the Craig Ranch Information Center to speak with someone who can help your McKinney homeowner dreams become reality.

Craig Ranch Homebuilder Spotlight: Our Country Homes

by crblog - March 28th, 2014

Our Country Homes is well on their way to building one-of-a-kind custom homes in The Settlement at Craig Ranch, including a model home and three additional home designs.

Our Country Homes is a third-generation, family-owned custom homebuilder that is primarily based in Tarrant County but thankfully is expanding into Collin County as well. They chose Craig Ranch because of our signature amenities, Frisco schools and exceptional location. In January 2014, they purchased 21 custom home sites in Craig Ranch and we could not be more thrilled to invite them to be a part of our community.

This homebuilder has designed a new Platinum Series of luxury home designs specifically for Craig Ranch. Many of these luxurious homes will have breathtaking views of the beautiful TPC Craig Ranch golf course and prices will start at the $500s.

A 3D Home Elevation from Our Country Homes

Our Country Homes has been a homebuilding legacy in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex for more than 40 years. They built their company on a foundation of quality, integrity and customer service and their homes portray the same quality and craftsmanship. Our Country Homes is an Energy Star-Certified builder, therefore all of their homes are energy efficient, which will save you money on utilities while giving peace of mind about your family’s carbon footprint.

Each home is truly unique to the buyer and is personally built to satisfy specific wants and needs, lifestyle and budget. Our Custom Homes builds a variety of home designs with such beautiful attention to detail that you’ll no doubt be able to find your dream home among one of them.

Our Country Homes builds homes to the highest standards and offers their buyers a well-rounded package. These dream homes are still in the process of being built and in 3-4 months the model home will be available for the public to view. Stay updated on the progress of these homes by joining our Facebook community, following us on Twitter and Instagram.

How to Incorporate the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year Into Your McKinney Home’s Décor

by crblog - March 21st, 2014

This year the 2014 Pantone Color of the Year is Radiant Orchid, a beautiful and vibrant purple that encompasses the essence of spring! Incorporating this color into your McKinney, Texas home décor will brighten up your home and make it feel more inviting and playful. Adding a pop of color with just a few items, such as a throw pillow, blanket or rug, can make all the difference. Here are a few simple ways to incorporate Radiant Orchid into your existing décor.

Throw Pillow
Throw pillows are an easy way to add a splash of color to any room. Place them on a couch, chair or bed! Pillows additionally are a versatile object for every part of the home as they can be used for seating, sleeping or solely décor. You will quickly catch the eye of your guests when you add a colorful pillow, large or small, to a room.

A decorative, colorful chair can add a whimsical feel to your décor. A single chair can be placed in the corner of a living room to create an eclectic feel, while two or more chairs can be placed around a table. Not only are these chairs beautiful, but they are also functional.

Blankets come in many different textures and patterns, so it will be easy to find one that fits your style. Drape one over your couch in the living room or across the foot of your bed. They also come in handy during the colder season. Similar to pillows, blankets have a versatile effect on any room in the home and can be used in various ways while being easy to store as well.

Rugs are perfect for adding notes of color to a home’s interior. Whether you put a big area rug in your living room, a mat in your kitchen or a small shaggy rug in your bathroom, it will make all the difference. They also help to keep your toes warm on hardwood or tile floors!

When in doubt, a purple orchid will add the much needed color to your décor. Place fresh flowers in a nice vase and put them in the kitchen, living room or bedroom. This will not only help liven up your décor, but will also create a pleasant floral smell throughout your home.

A picture frame, or the frame of your favorite piece of art, can be a great way to add this magnificent Radiant Orchid color to any room with little to no effort. Find the frame you love at a nearby home décor store or pick up a plain one at a craft store and add a touch of paint!

Lamp Shade
Lamp shades are a slightly unconventional way to bring more color into a bedroom or living room. Whether you buy a new lamp shade or just get crafty and add fabric to the one you already have, it can change the mood of your entire room.

These methods of incorporating Radiant Orchid into your home décor are simple and creative. With quick design options, you can save time and money. Whether you decide to buy or craft, adding this timeless color into your McKinney home’s décor with one-of-a kind pieces will be a fun project for you and quickly brighten up every room.

Check out ELLE Decor for some more color inspiration! They have many visual examples of how to incorporate Radiant Orchid, as well as the rest of Pantone’s Fashion Color Report for spring 2014.

The Traditional St. Patrick’s Day Recipes to Cook Up in Your McKinney, TX Kitchen

by crblog - March 14th, 2014

St. Patrick’s Day is a day to commemorate and remember the patron saint of Ireland, Saint Patrick, and we can do so by rejoicing with friends and feasting on traditional Irish cuisine! You see, St. Patrick’s Day isn’t only about parades, festivals, green attire and shamrocks, it’s also about culture and food! So if you are planning on partaking in a traditional St. Patrick’s Day celebration, you might want to check out some of these traditional St. Patrick’s Day recipes you can cook up in your McKinney, TX kitchen.

Colcannon is a traditional Irish dish that consists of mashed potatoes mixed with kale or cabbage. This recipe goes one step further and combines mashed potatoes, cabbage, onion and bacon! Who wouldn’t love that? This recipe is sure to be a hit at any St. Patrick’s Day gathering you attend.
Get the recipe here.

Soda Bread is a classic Irish dish. This type of bread uses sodium bicarbonate as a leavening agent instead of the more common yeast, which makes it more light and airy. This recipe includes the use of buttermilk and sour cream, giving the bread a richer flavor, plus the raisins add a little sweetness to the bread, leaving you with a party dish favorite!
Get the recipe here.

Corned Beef and Cabbage is about as traditional as you get and is often served at many St. Patrick’s Day gatherings. It often includes juicy corned beef with cabbage and other vegetable items. This recipe includes potatoes, carrots and onions as well. Cooking it in the slow cooker makes this dish super easy, and the addition of beer gives it an amazing flavor!
Get the recipe here.

Irish Stew is traditionally made with lamb or mutton, and includes potatoes, onions, parsley and sometimes carrots, but every household usually has their own version. This recipe contains the addition of bacon and a variety of herbs, giving it a wonderful depth of flavor.
Get the recipe here.

Cream Cheese Sugar Cookies are loved by all! And after all this delicious savory food, you are going to be craving something sweet for dessert, maybe even something fun for the kids! These cookies are soft, chewy and full of flavor. Use a cookie cutter to make fun shamrock shapes and top them with green icing for a little St. Patrick’s Day flare!
Get the recipe here.

Any of these recipes are sure to be a huge hit on St. Patrick’s Day! Anybody can add green food coloring to eggs or pasta, and although it is fun to eat green food, this year mix it up! Take the traditional route to celebrating St. Patrick’s Day with these delicious, mouth-watering dishes your family and friends will love!

Quick Spring Break Trips for McKinney Families

by crblog - March 7th, 2014

Although a magical trip to Disney World or a relaxing weeklong trip to the beach sounds wonderful, you may not have the time to go on an extended vacation. Instead, take a shorter trip a little closer to home. Because of McKinney’s central location, there are a variety of family-friendly places to go, whether you want to take a day trip or a weekend trip! Don’t miss out on the opportune family vacation just because you can’t take a whole week off work. Sometimes a day or a weekend is all you need! We have compiled a list of some top vacation spots around the area that you and your family can enjoy on Spring Break!

Dallas is one of the top tourist destinations in the beautiful state of Texas, and lucky for us, it’s only 30 miles away from McKinney, about a 40 minute drive, which makes it a perfect place to spend Spring Break! Dallas offers a vibrant mix of culture, art and cosmopolitan flair!

  • Go shopping at the many fabulous shopping centers including NorthPark, The Galleria or Highland Park Village.
  • Take a stroll through the Dallas Farmers Market to buy fresh produce and support local farmers.
  • Have a family picnic at the beautiful Klyde Warren Park or experience the culture of Dallas’ finest art at its many educational museums, such as the Perot and the DMA.
  • Watch a basketball or hockey game at American Airlines Center.

Arlington, located about 50 miles away from McKinney and about a one hour drive, is also a good day trip location because of the variety of activities offered there. The city of Arlington has plenty of attractions for the kids! Experience the thrill at Six Flags Over Texas, do some shopping at The Parks at Arlington, or see a concert at AT&T stadium!

Fort Worth
Fort Worth is “Where the West Begins.” The city of Fort Worth is known for its cowboy heritage and cultural attractions. Fort Worth is 60 miles away from McKinney, about a 1 1/2 hour drive, which makes it a great day trip location as well. Do some shopping at the many quaint shops located in the Stockyards, visit the Museum District to experience the culture of Fort Worth’s finest art at six different world class museums, learn about wildlife and see live animals at The Fort Worth Zoo, and eat at a variety of world-class restaurants in the revitalized Downtown and newly-renovated Sundance Square!

If you’re looking for a weekend trip, then Austin might be more your style. It is about 230 miles away from McKinney, about a 4 hour drive. Austin is a good place for adventurers, hipsters and the like! The “Keep Austin Weird” culture can be found in its many attractions and food venues. Learn about Texas’ history by visiting the Texas State Capitol, have a family picnic and fly a kite at Zilker Park in the heart of south Austin, experience live music at local restaurants, go canoeing or kayaking at Town Lake, go hiking at Mount Bonnell and have lunch at Oasis to experience the breathtaking views of Lake Travis.

San Antonio
Another good short trip destination is San Antonio! Located about 300 miles south of McKinney, about a 5 hour drive, San Antonio is a historic Texas city filled with fun and educational activities the whole family can enjoy. Take a tour of the Alamo to experience The Battle of the Alamo that took place in 1836 as a pivotal part of the Texas Revolution, take a stroll down the San Antonio River Walk and eat at one of the many restaurants or hop on a River Boat!

Spending time with your family is a reward in itself, but it’s also fun having something new to experience or somewhere new to go. So whether you are looking for a day trip or a weekend trip, there are plenty of options right here in Texas. No matter if you are interested in shopping, dining, adventure, culture or art, any of the cities on this list would make the perfect family vacation.

(Image credit)

Developer’s Corner With David Craig: D CEO Feature

by crblog - February 28th, 2014

After 13 years of working to develop the vision that is Craig Ranch, Master Developer David Craig is pleased to see his vision realizing its potential. Exciting projects are underway in Craig Ranch, such as a multi-family community from Robert Shaw, which will initially add 418 units out of the expected 2,100 residences. More than 1,000 new single family homes and a speculative office development are also in the works.

“Craig Ranch has proven itself as a master-planned community. What I see in the future are corporate relocations—and a full-service hotel,” says David Craig. “We’re now considered an ‘A’ location. Our time has arrived.”

David Craig’s D CEO feature in D Magazine highlighted the journey of Craig Ranch, from his dreams to his successes. Craig’s vision of Craig Ranch was to have a “new urbanism,” complete with thousands of homes, apartments, commercial space and a PGA golf course. Understandably Craig’s vision came to light successfully but not without its hardships.

“Two or three years ago, we couldn’t even get a conversation with builders; now, they’re beating the door down to get product in our community,” Craig says. “It’s a breath of fresh air.”

Craig Ranch was initially a tough sell to investors because it wasn’t zoned for residential use, but its location was very attractive to Van Tuyl, David Craig’s investment partner, mentor and friend.

“It was at the crossroads of Collin County, where four cities come together—McKinney, Allen, Plano, and Frisco,” Craig says. “And it featured magnificent topography, with limestone bluffs and Rowlett Creek, which traverses through the middle of the property. It was 1,125 acres of contiguous land in a prime location.”

In 2004, the TPC Craig Ranch golf course opened, hundreds of homes were sold, The Ballfields opened and a deal was made to establish the Cooper Fitness Center on site. Two recent events have surged Craig Ranch’s ultimate vision to becoming a grand success: Sam Rayburn Tollway is now complete, which significantly reduces the commute time from McKinney, TX to DFW Airport, and together with the city, the McKinney Corporate Center Craig Ranch is now in development on-site as McKinney’s official corporate destination.

The Craig Ranch community in McKinney, TX is flourishing. The family-friendly atmosphere and quality amenities make it a perfect place for families and singles to live. Come experience the community and the way of life by taking a tour of the property and step inside one of the beautifully-crafted homes.

If you would like to read more about David Craig’s journey in developing Craig Ranch, check out the full story at D Magazine:

Craig Ranch Community Spotlight: K. Hovnanian Homes in The Villas at Craig Ranch

by crblog - February 14th, 2014

This may be your last chance to buy a brand new home built by K. Hovnanian Homes in the Villas at Craig Ranch. There are just a few of these low maintenance, luxury style patio homes left in the Craig Ranch community. If you’re in the market for a new home in McKinney, Texas, you may want to consider one of these lovely, spacious Villas for you and your family.

K. Hovnanian Homes builds single family homes that offer either Classic or Mediterranean elevations. Each home is designed with state-of-the-art energy saving features that provide low monthly utility bills. Because K. Hovnanian Homes builds their homes by using energy saving construction methods and materials, your home will not only have better air quality, but you will also conserve water. These high performance homes often include a bonus room, large patio, gourmet kitchen and grand entryway. With all the space you will have in one of these luxurious one-story homes, you’ll enjoy regularly entertaining family and friends.

All new homes in The Villas at Craig Ranch, including those built by K. Hovnanian Homes, include a two year membership to the Cooper Fitness Center & Spa plus the developer will waive the initiation fee for the prestigious TPC Craig Ranch golf club if you wish to apply for membership.  When you buy a home in The Villas at Craig Ranch, you will also have access to various amenities such as six parks, miles of hike and bike trails and fun community events. The city of McKinney- ranked the #2 city to live in America by Money magazine- is a great place for families. Its charming homes, lively historic downtown square, friendly population and excellent school districts make McKinney a great lifestyle option for empty nesters as well as singles and growing families.

If you’re interested in living a luxurious lifestyle without the maintenance, then you’ll love the Villas homes by K. Hovnanian Homes. These high quality, energy-efficient homes are perfect for anyone from empty nesters just wanting to relax to young busy families who are always on the go. This may be your final opportunity to obtain a NEW K. Hovnanian home design because the homes listed below priced from the mid $400s are the last ones available in The Villas at Craig Ranch.

To take a tour, please call 469-737-6530 and schedule your visit to Craig Ranch in McKinney today!

How to Have the Perfect Valentine’s Day Dinner at Home in McKinney, Texas

by crblog - February 7th, 2014

Not looking forward to going out on February 14 and battling the crowds? You might find it more enjoyable to just stay home, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a thoughtful and romantic evening. There are plenty of ways to have a wonderful night in the comfort of your McKinney, Texas home. Here are some tips for planning the perfect Valentine’s Day homemade dinner.

The Meal
First, think about the food. The pressure of trying to prepare a romantic dinner that is delicious, yet simple, can be very stressful! The key is to create a menu that includes a one-pan dish, a dessert that can be made the day before and a bottle of chilled champagne. For the main dish, you can cook a special cut of meat with simple seasonings such as salt, pepper, olive oil, rosemary and garlic. Throw some vegetables into the same pan to cook and there you have an easy entree. In addition, chocolate covered strawberries will make a great dessert! All you have to do is dip strawberries into melted chocolate, lay them to dry on a wax-paper lined cookie sheet and chill them in the refrigerator overnight.

The Mood
Second, set the mood. There is nothing more romantic than sitting in front of the fire with your significant other. Once you get the fire started, see if you can move a small table into the same room as the fire in order to create an intimate setting. Dress the table with a simple white tablecloth, a small unscented candle, a vase of red roses and don’t forget to use the good china! Dim lighting and subtle background music will also enhance the romantic setting.

The Conversation
Lastly, think about the type of conversation you want to have. Take topics such as kids, work and any other sort of worries off of the table. Keep your conversation light, fun and relaxed. Some talking point examples include places you want to travel, how you would spend a million dollars, a funny story from your past or a compliment for the other person that you don’t often tell them. It would also be fun to pull out a game you haven’t played together in a while, maybe Scrabble or checkers!

If in need of other ideas for your homemade Valentine’s Day evening, Real Simple has some great ones for a “seductively stress-free Valentine’s meal.” Having a romantic dinner at your home in McKinney, Texas is the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day this year! We hope these three simple tips will be the foundation to a flawless evening with your significant others on this very special day.

The New Year’s Resolutions McKinney, TX Residents Should Keep

by crblog - January 31st, 2014

It’s been one month since the ball dropped and we raised our glasses to ring in the New Year. So ask yourself, have I kept my New Year’s Resolution? If you haven’t, don’t worry! There are plenty of ways to be active and live a healthy lifestyle in McKinney, TX. If your resolution was to lose weight or get in better shape, here are some ways you can achieve that right here in the Craig Ranch community.

Play Golf
All Craig Ranch residents have the opportunity to join TPC Craig Ranch, the prestigious golf course centrally located within the community. This is a par-72 course covers 7,438 yards from the PGA TOUR tees and includes a dual-ended driving range, short-game practice area and putting greens. Whether you want to play a game with some friends or just come for putting practice, going to the golf course is a great way to stay active (physically and socially!).

Work Out
The Cooper Fitness Center at Craig Ranch offers a variety of activities for members. The 75,000-square-foot facility features state-of-the-art cardiovascular and strength-training equipment as well as trained personal fitness trainers. Members can also take advantage of several jogging tracks, a basketball court, an Olympic-size swimming pool, tennis and sand volleyball courts, group exercise classes and even a climbing wall.

Ice Skate
Living an active lifestyle doesn’t have to be just hard work, it can also be fun! The Dr Pepper Star Center is primarily used for youth and adult hockey, but is also available for general public ice skating. So whether you want to join a team and play hockey or just gather up the whole family after dinner for an hour of ice skating, the Dr Pepper Star Center is a fun way to be active.

Bike, Run, or Walk
Going on a sunset bike ride or an afternoon walk is a great way to clear your mind and get in shape. Craig Ranch offers several biking and running trails as well as parks that residents can use to supplement their new active way of life. Parks such as Millie Cooper Park, Dr. Kenneth Cooper Park, Rowlett Creek Park and Throckmorton Park offer beautiful landscapes for evening activities. Grab a friend and enjoy the serenity of nature as you both begin your journey to a healthier lifestyle!

Participate in Events
Craig Ranch plans family-friendly events throughout the year such as the Kite Festival, holiday celebrations and Casino Night for the residents. These events encourage the Craig Ranch community  to live an active lifestyle, so whether you enjoy being active in a social setting or just want to get involved in the community, plan to attend some of our upcoming events.

There are plenty of fun and family-friendly ways to work toward living a healthier lifestyle in Craig Ranch, losing weight and getting in shape is just a plus! Make this the year that you stick to your New Year’s Resolution and become active today!