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How to Choose the Right Type of Barbecue Grill

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Lots of people enjoy the flavors of grilling over other types of cooking. It's a tried and true method of getting juicy and deliciously cooked food. If you're thinking of purchasing a grill but unsure about the best option for you, you've come to the right place. Keep reading to learn about the different types of grills on the market right now and which one will deliver you the performance you're after. Although many think of grilling as a summertime activity, you can grill 12 months a year, and many stores have winter clearance sales.

Gas Grills

One of the best outdoor barbecue grill setups you can use to improve your home is a quality backyard gas grill. Widely popular and designed to run on propane, this type of grill can also be converted quite easily to work on natural gas. If you want to fire up your grill on short notice and not worry too much about food preparation or clean up, this is the perfect solution for your home.

Electric Grills

An electric grill is especially convenient since a lot of units can be run both outside and indoors. Safe to use in areas with strict fire regulation codes, electric grills can be a great idea when you don't want city laws to prevent you from having a great time in the summer.

Charcoal Grills

If you long for that genuine, smoky and delightfully flavored barbecue, consider getting a charcoal grill.

These barbecue grills run on charcoal briquettes and are considered to be healthier than regular gas grills. You do need a bit more skill to use it, and the price and maintenance costs may be higher than gas or electric outdoor grills, but it's well worth it, especially if you add a firebox to cook delicious meat at lower temperatures.

All these options are great depending on your budget and lifestyle. If space is an issue, a portable grill running on propane or charcoal will help you minimize the space needed for a fun outdoor barbecue.

Should You Go for Built-in Grills?

A built-in model can be very costly, but totally worth it for those planning to grill all year round. What's more, it can increase your home's value considerably. Portable units are a lot more affordable, but they don't provide the same level of convenience and elegance. An in-between option for those who don't have the budget for a built-in is to go for a freestanding island, which is cost effective and still comes with a lot of features.

All in all, there's really no one best grill—it all depends on your specific situation and needs, so do a little research and find the grill that is perfect for you.

The Woodlands Market Street- Environment Friendly

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

The Woodlands Market Street: Environment Friendly

The Woodlands Market Street has set the bar for being environment friendly. The proprietors of this community have made sure that the community preserve the environment it is built on. For years, activists have opposed the construction of new subdivisions in areas that they considered as protected. A good number of people have dedicated their lives to keep these areas as pristine as possible. These individuals have concluded that the constant construction of residences have lead to the cutting down of numerous trees and replacing them with brick walls and buildings. However, The Woodlands Market Street has begged to differ and set an example for others to follow.

The Woodlands Market Street is designed with the environment in mind. This community is indeed an eco-friendly village. If you are wondering about the measures the proprietors took in order to make the community eco-friendly, here are some examples.

Using Grass

Instead of covering The Woodlands Market Street with concrete, the architects created a design that will pave way for grassy patches rather. Anywhere you look at the street you will notice areas covered in grass. In fact, majority of the area is covered in grass. Grass reduces the heat being emitted by the concrete therefore enabling the establishments save on energy consumption.


Recycling is defined as the method of reprocessing waste materials and transforms it into a different product. The Woodlands Market Street has encouraged the establishments to engage in recycling be providing the customers with re-usable shopping bags and proper garbage segregation. This will allow them to separate reusable items from biodegradable items. The re-usable shopping bags on the other hand will allow the consumers to reduce the amount of plastic shopping bags used whenever they go out to shop or buy groceries.

Go up

In the hopes of conserving space the buildings where constructed in an upward manner rather than outward. This enabled The Woodlands Market Street to save of the land area being used for buildings and more land area for grassy patches and parks. This upward construction is not only reserved for establishments but it also applies to parking areas and garages.

Saving Trees

The problem with construction subdivisions is that trees are cut down. To counter this, trees are planted all over the Woodlands Market Street. More than 500 trees are saved as well as the 24 mature trees rescued from previous projects.

Conserve Energy

The growing number of people residing in one area will result to an increase demand for energy. In order for The Woodlands Market Street to save on energy consumption, they installed solar panels and reflective roofing materials. These reflective roofing materials are not just installed in one building, but are installed on all buildings. Each year they get to save enough energy to power 30 residences at the same time.

Every 5 minutes, someone in the United States learns that they have
leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma – nearly 300 people a day.

Walk for a Cure. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s annual “Light the Night Walk” returns to The Woodlands, Sunday, October 24th, at Market Street in The Woodlands. The program will begin at 7:00pm and the walk begins promptly at 7:30pm. Light the Night Walk is the nation’s night to pay tribute and illuminating hope to people battling cancer. Funds raised enable scientists to continue their research. Great strides have been made over the last couple of years with new drugs developed to help battle blood cancers. 

Light the Night Walk is a national fundraising campaign that commemorates and celebrates all lives touched by cancer. Company teams, civic groups, neighbors and friends raise funds strolling on an evening walk along a two mile route carrying twinkling balloons . . . White balloons for survivors, Red balloons for supporters and gold balloons in memory of a life lost. Walkers carry dedication banners that provide an opportunity to display a name or message, honoring or commemorating a family member or friend with cancer. More than a walk, Light the Night is a community celebration with food, live entertainment and family activities – a community coming together to support people with cancer. In recent years, walks all over the country have raised tens of millions of dollars.

The 2 mile walk will begin and end in Market Street. The course will take the walkers through a leisurely stroll through Market Street and the Woodlands Town Center. The event will also feature live entertainment, activities for the kids including mascots, face painting and refreshments. Something for everyone, families are encouraged to bring the kids and strollers and join the fun!

Roxanne Davis, a committee member for Light the Night Walk The Woodlands, explains her involvement. “This event has a special place in my heart. I lost both of my parents to blood cancer. Light the Night Walk is truly a unique event. When the balloons are lit at dusk, your spirit is illuminated by all the white balloons representing cancer survivors. Your heart is filled with hope and fond memories of those lost to blood cancer represented by the red balloons. It is an evening you will not forget. For those than cannot participate in the walk, there are many opportunities to donate a gift. Please give when asked or you can make a donation online at”.

Team captains are encouraged to register their team, recruit walkers and begin raising funds. Set a goal for your team and encourage friends, family members and co/workers to join you. Representatives from the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society are eager and available to meet with you and your co/workers to set up FUN-raisers such as ice cream socials. Call Misty Moody, 713-680-8088, to set up an appointment.

Check in for teams begin at 5:00pm. The band will play 6:00 – 7:00pm. At 7:00pm the event begins with an invocation and program with the walk start time at 7:30pm. Following the walk, there will be a brief awards presentation.

Leukemia, lymphoma and myeloma are cancers that originate in the bone marrow and lymphatic tissues.

  • Every 5 minutes, someone in the United States learns that they have leukemia, lymphoma or myeloma – nearly 300 people a day.
  • Leukemia and lymphomas are the leading fatal cancers in young women and men under 35 while leukemia remains the leading cause of death in children.
  • An estimated 640,000 Americans are presently living with leukemia, lymphoma Hodgkin’s disease or myeloma.
  • Every 9 minutes, another child or adult dies from a blood-related cancer. This statistic represents 165 people daily.

If you are interested in sponsorship or volunteer opportunities, forming a team, make or donation or need additional information on the 5th Annual Light the Night Walk in The Woodlands please visit or call 877.LTN.WALK. On site registration will be available on October 25th, beginning at 5:00pm.

The mission of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is to cure leukemia, lymphoma Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma and to improve the quality of life of patients and their families. Funds raised through the walk go towards finding a cure and supporting the mission of the society. The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society is one of the top rated voluntary health organizations and the leading resource for blood cancer information and services.

The Woodlands is a fantastic place to be! Find out more at

The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Surrounded by lush forest, the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion is an outdoor amphitheater that provides the Houston area with a remarkable array of musical entertainment in a setting of unparalleled beauty. The Pavilion is located on Lake Robbins Drive in The Woodlands, Texas. The Pavilion is owned and operated by The Woodlands Center for the Performing Arts, a nonprofit corporation.

George P. Mitchell, chairman of Mitchell Energy & Development Corp. and founder of The Woodlands, and his wife Cynthia, for whom the Pavilion is named, had dreamed of creating a first-class performing arts facility for The Woodlands since its inception in 1974.

The dream became a reality when the Pavilion opened with a star-studded gala weekend in April 1990. Since then, it has earned praise from both artists and audiences. Entering its sixth year, the Pavilion presents approximately 50 events during each April-through-November season of operation, ranging from rock to classical music, jazz to country and western, and Argentine tango to contemporary American ballet.

The Pavilion accommodates an audience of 13,000. Beneath its soaring white fabric roof is reserved seating for 3,000 guests, 1,900 uncovered seats, while an additional 8,100 may enjoy the casual setting of the hillside lawn. Three video screens provide a close-up look at onstage performers.

Koi Garden On The Woodlands Waterway Now Open To The Public

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Koi Garden, an Asian-inspired garden and koi pond located on the south side of The Woodlands Waterway, is now open to the public from dawn until dusk daily. The garden was created on and around two “tear-drop” shaped islands in The Waterway that are linked to the banks of The Waterway by pedestrian bridges. The garden was designed to be a place for quiet contemplation and meditation, where visitors can reconnect with nature, according to Alex Sutton, president of The Woodlands Development Company.

The koi pond is one of the largest of its kind outside of public arboreta or gardens. A variety of distinctive materials and exotic plantings enhance Koi Garden, along with a 60,000-gallon koi pond that is separated from The Waterway by dams. Designed by SLA Studio Land and constructed by Millis Construction, the Koi Garden is secluded from a pedestrian walkway along The Waterway by walls, fences and timber bamboo, native to Asia. The koi pond was designed in collaboration with Laguna Koi Ponds of Laguna Beach, California, using bio-filtration methods for fish health and water clarity.

A two-sided galvanized steel arbor marks the entry to Koi Garden off Waterway Court. Two ancient proverbs are carved into the arbor – “Enough Pails of Water….A River” on the south side, and “The Journey is the Reward” on the north side.

According to David Smith, principal of SLA Studio Land, there are common elements in the garden’s design that represent several Asian cultures. “Those elements include water, which is typically “Yin” or female, rock with is typically “Yang” or male, and plant materials expressive of the seasonal changes and the cycle of life. Common to many Asian gardens is the inclusion of islands and bridges designed to emphasize the act of “crossing over between states of consciousness or ‘worlds’”, Smith said. Koi Garden on The Woodlands Waterway includes two bridges that provide scenic connectors between the land and water elements.

The positioning of these elements provides different visual emphasis from various points in the garden. This experience is enhanced by a wide variety of hardscape materials, including granite, slate, pebbles, limestone and metal in a selection of interesting colors and textures. Flowering and semi-aquatic plants such as Formosa azaleas, camellia Japonica and Sasanqua, canna, Louisiana irises in a variety of colors, powdery-leafed thalia, pickerel rush, and eight different varieties of water lilies add to the seasonal color in the garden. Dwarf and timber bamboo, spike rushes, grasses and variegated celery are among the bog plants that help purify the koi pond as well as add to the beauty of the garden.

The koi in the pond are Japanese imports selectively bred for their brilliant colors and appealing patterns. There are 33 adult koi and about a dozen baby koi in seven different varieties currently living in the pond. The koi pond is maintained by Brett Rowley of Brett’s Fish Farm, fisheries biologist.

The Woodlands Ice Rink

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Located at the Northeast Corner of Lake Robbins and Six Pines Drive

Paid Parking: $5 at the parking lot at Six Pines and Lake Robbins Drive

Free Parking: Town Center Garage-located adjacent to The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion on Six Pines Drive

Open Daily: November 21, 2009 through January 18, 2010

Ticket Prices:

Weekdays (Monday-Friday)

$9.50 for 2-hour skate session (includes $2.50 skate rental)

$5 for 2- hour skate session for children 5 and under (includes $2.50 skate rental)

Weekends (Saturday-Sunday)

$10.50 for 2-hour skate session (includes $2.50 skate rental)

$6 for 2-hour skate session for children 5 and under (includes $2.50 skate rental)

Hours of Operation:

Monday-Thursday: 3pm to 9pm

Friday: 3pm to 11pm

Saturday: 10am to 11pm

Sunday: noon to 7pm

Holiday Hours:

School Holidays: 11am to 10pm

Thanksgiving Day: 1pm to 9pm

Christmas Eve: 11am to 6pm

Christmas Day: 2pm to 8pm

New Years Eve: noon to 1am

New Years Day: 11am to 9pm

Concessions: Hot Dog: $2, Nachos: $3.25, Popcorn: $3, Candy: $2, Chips: $1.25, Soda: $2.50, Bottled Water: $2.50, Hot Chocolate: $3, Coffee: $2.50, Specialty Coffee: $3.50

Specialty Coffees Include: Espresso, Café Mocha, Café Latte, Cappuccino, French Vanilla Cappuccino, Chai Latti, Chai Mocha, Chai Tea, and French Vanilla Latte


The South Montgomery County YMCA Breaks Ground

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

The South Montgomery County YMCA celebrated a ground breaking ceremony on “Phase One” of their lastest project, YMCA Outdoor Adventure Center, located in Creekside Park. The 21 acre site was donated by The Woodlands Development Company.

Located in The Woodlands newest Village of Creekside Park, the YMCA Outdoor Adventure Center, adjacent to the 1700 George Mitchell Preserve, is scheduled to open in May, 2010. The Creekside YMCA will be a unique facility. A primary element will be the attention to outdoor recreation, reconnecting kids and families with nature, and bringing back the sense of adventure to the family outdoor experience. The opportunities to plan outings with family and friends in a nature setting develop closer personal ties and lasting relationships.

The YMCA’s next great adventure features a 21-acre recreation site and centerpiece lodge style building which will be the home to our Summer Day Camp programs, serving up to 500 youth from The Woodlands, Tomball, and surrounding communities. Leadership skills development, team building activities, and creative, interactive programs are offered to summer campers by caring young adult role models. Camps offered during the holidays and spring break, in addition to summer, will also include team building ropes courses, hiking trails, canoeing, outdoor chapel and theater, and nature education experiences.

The Creekside YMCA Outdoor Adventure Center will be available to local schools for expanded outdoor education opportunities. The outdoor classroom offers numerous opportunities for team-oriented projects at all grade levels, as well as expands greatly each individual student’s prospect to learn self-reliance and to reach full learning potential.

The 14,000 square foot lodge, will include a large multi-purpose room for special events, group exercise, community meetings and expanded programming opportunities for the South Montgomery County YMCA.

The components of Phase One include:
• 15 Acres Day Camp
• 14,000 Square Foot Lodge
• Tepee Village and Themed Tree Houses
• Alpine Tower, Ropes Course and Archery Range
• Outdoor Theater with Stage
• Outdoor Chapel
• Family Outdoor Adventure

The project team is Tellepsen Construction, Kirksey Architecture, TMG Project Management, Vogt Engineering and Lauren Griffith Associates.

The South Montgomery County YMCA touches the lives of over 20% of those in the communities we serve. This translates to over 43,000 individuals that use the YMCA for health/wellness programs, youth sports activities, early childhood development & after school care, youth leadership training, and older adult social gatherings. The YMCA strives to turn no one away due to inability to pay keeping the YMCA available to ALL. The South Montgomery County YMCA is in an enviable position to make a dramatic impact on the lives of thousands through positive, caring, informative programs.

The latest project will further enhance opportunities for the current South Montomery County YMCA membership. When Phase One opens in May, 2010, your local YMCA will have One Membership with Three Locations: Shadowbend YMCA, Branch Crossing YMCA and Creekside YMCA.

Find more entertainment, community events, and other information at

Summer Nights Waterway Lights

by Jutta "Utah" Burden



The Woodlands Convention & Visitors Bureau and CATW Parks & Recreation

Looking for something fun this summer on Friday and Saturday evenings? Come to Waterway Square for an exciting new entertainment series called Summer Nights, Waterway Lights.

Every Friday and Saturday through Saturday, September 19 from 6pm to 8pm at Waterway Square

Friday, September 4 – Magician, Stilt Walker
Saturday, September 5 – Caricature Artist, Juggler on Unicycle, Musical Duo (keyboardist with guitar)

Friday, September 11 – Face Painter, Balloonist
Saturday, September 12 – Trick Roper, Magician, Musical Duo (guitarist with bass)

Friday, September 18 – Caricature Artist, Juggler on Unicycle
Saturday, September 19 – Stilt Walker Juggler, Face Painter, Musical Duo (keyboardist with guitar)


The Woodlands ALWAYS has LOADS of events going on! Find out more about The Woodlands at

4th of July Parade

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

ParadeThe South Montgomery County 4th of July parade begins at 9 am and runs through The Woodlands Town Center and Market Street, beginning and ending at The Woodlands United Methodist Church on Lake Woodlands Drive. The theme is “Traveling the USA.” The Grand Marshal of the parade will be Dr. Don Stockton, Conroe ISD Superintendent. Pre-parade entertainment, including Darrel the Fire Juggler, Uncle Sam, Clowns, Spiderman, Scooby Doo, Sponge Bob, a stilt walker, balloonist and magician will mingle with the crowd from 8 -9 am in Market Street’s Central Park.

Find more entertainment in The Woodlands at

Star-Spangled Salute

by Jutta "Utah" Burden

Star-Spangled Salute

Star-Spangled SaluteThis free concert on Independence Eve, July 3 at The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion begins at 8 pm. Patriotic music from the Houston Symphony will be performed with a finale of fireworks. Led by Principal Pops Conductor Michael Krajewski, the symphony will perform a variety of traditional favorites, American classics and patriotic medleys, ending with Tchaikovsky’s ever-popular “1812 Overture” complete with cannons blasting away at the top of the hill. Joining the symphony will be The Cactus Cuties, a group of four talented young people who have delighted audiences for years with their beautiful harmony and charismatic presence. Their arrangement of “The Star-Spangled Banner” garnered 5 million hits on You Tube in only three months, touching hearts all over the world.

Gates open at 6:30 pm for pre-concert activities including free photos with lovable mascot of The Woodlands, Puffy Pine Cone. The concert is sponsored by The Woodlands Development Company.

Happy 4th of July to all my friends and clients , I'll see you there!



For more events in The Woodlands, visit


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 10




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