Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Decorating Ideas: Halloween and Day of the Dead

Fall and winter bring cooler weather and a rapid succession of holidays. Each month of the season, decorations go up, holiday colors brighten front yards and porches, and parties begin to fill the calendar. October kicks off the first month of seasonal fun with two holidays that fall near the end of the month: Halloween and Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead. Each has its own distinct style that makes it easy to get into the decorating spirit.

Halloween: All Hallow’s Eve

Early on, Halloween was regarded as a night when wandering spirits of the dead were thought to prowl the streets. Over time, the interweaving of folklore swelled the legends into something even creepier with the addition of supernatural creatures who roamed with the spirits.

When choosing decorations, keep this spooky idea in mind. Set the mood with sinister music. Build tombstones to make a graveyard on your front lawn. Make it even creepier by jutting a skeleton hand or foot out from the dirt. Ghosts are scary; ghosts that move are scarier. Use a pulley system to move hanging ghosts between trees in your yard to spook trick-or-treaters. Drape spider webs over bushes and trees to give your house a haunted feel. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, add some boards over windows to make the house look condemned.

Inside, small touches will bring out the sinister feel of Halloween. Use candelabras to burn candles. Add black cats and ravens to your shelves. Place a witch’s cauldron in your kitchen. Of, if you want to stick to basics, pumpkins are classic. Place little ones on counters and as centerpieces on tables.

Day of the Dead: All Saints Day and All Souls Day

Day of the Dead takes a much different perspective on death. It’s not a somber, bone-chilling event, but rather a time to reconnect with deceased friends, family members, and ancestors in a festive spirit of remembrance and celebration. It’s a recognition of the inevitable cycle of life with a focus on humor and empowerment.  
Capture the essence of the holiday by creating an altar in your home for friends or relatives who have passed away. Decorate it with a variety of items to welcome spirits into the home. Incorporate orange and yellow marigolds, the flowers of the dead. You can use fresh flowers or create them yourself using multicolored tissue and pipe cleaner. Display calaveras, doll-like figures that humorously represent the hobbies, character, and interests of a person who has passed on, to ensure spirits will visit the right home.

Skulls and skeletons are an important part of the tradition as they represent the continuation of life and its cyclical turns. This originated with the Aztecs, who used to keep skulls as trophies and display them during the rituals. Make or buy calacas, wooden skull masks, to wear while you dance in honor of the dead. Cut your own skeleton garland to drape along your walls. And don’t forget sugar skulls! You can easily make your own with a mold, sugar, and meringue powder.

Day of the Dead celebrates rebirth and renewal, and this is exemplified with bright, flashy colors with a focus on food and family. Pan de muertos, bread of the dead, is a bun with bone-shaped decorations on top that you can place out the night before for spirits. The family can then partake in this and any other treats when day breaks. If you celebrate both holidays, you can blend themes together to develop your own unique decorations that will be meaningful for your family. Place calaveras in your front-lawn graveyard. Pair spiders with the bright colors of Day of the Dead. As with any decorating venture, the important thing is to make it your own and have fun doing it!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Enrique & Pitbull Tour Comes to Houston

Enrique Iglesias and Pitbull are ready to set Houston ablaze with their upcoming tour stop at the Toyota Center on Sunday, October 19. This marks the second time the two will take the stage together, and the high demand to see them caused many shows to sell out, including the one in Houston. Bel Furniture, along with 104.1 KRBE in Houston, devised the Better Together Photo Contest to give one lucky fan the chance to win two tickets.

Enrique and Pitbull first collaborated in 2010 on the hit single, “I Like It,” a song that re-established Enrique as a powerful musical force in North America. The two have sinced collaborated on almost a half dozen more songs, including, “I’m a Freak” and “I Like How It Feels.”

Their collaboration involves more than just making music. Over the years, the two have become close friends who share mutual respect for one another. Co-headlining the tour gave them the chance to transfer the high energy of their friendship to the stage. Pitbull said in a statement: "Together we are going to give fans great music, energy and what they really deserve - to enjoy life and forget the rest for three hours, Daleee!"

Their friendship served as the inspiration for Bel’s Better Together Photo Contest, a contest that provided fans a chance to show the world their special relationship with their own best friend.

In a whirlwind week, fans flocked to Bel’s Facebook page to enter the contest and to vote for their favorite set of best friends. Though many photos received a lot of votes, it was fan Deli who came out on top when it ended yesterday, with 118 votes on her photo that featured Enrique himself.

Several other photos received plenty of votes, including this one from Jackie, a fun and festive selfie complete with smiles from her and her best friend.

The best part of the contest was getting to see all the ways that best friends like to have fun together. Both the tour and the contest proved that some things are just better together.

Congratulations again to the winner, Deli! Bel Furniture and 104.1 KRBE hope that you have a fantastic time.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Fall Decor Made Easy: Bel’s $100 Million Sale & Clearance

Autumn is here!
Whether you want to redecorate just in time for October and November or you want to get ahead and plan for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Bel is hosting its $100 Million Sale & Clearance where you can get items up to 80% off! But like the leaves falling in New York, this is a fleeting event...

Orange is Always in Style 
Apart from being “the new black”, the color orange is a main staple in any fall related decor scheme. Classic fall styles include colors like orange, beige, yellow, taupe, tawny, and everything in between brown to red on the color spectrum. Some people favor the leaves falling aspect of fall while others latch onto the more Thanksgiving related parts of autumn. Either way, Bel’s got you covered from chairs to tables and more!

Give the Kids Another Reason to Love Fall!
After getting over the bummer that going back to school can be, give your youngsters another reason to celebrate the months of October and November! Coming equipped with a safety guard on the top bunk, this stylish twin over full bunk bed is the perfect addition to any room that might feel a bit cramped.

It even comes with two drawers below the bottom bunk! Regardless of the time of year, everyone can agree that more storage is never a bad thing (especially at these prices!).

Rich Hardwood with Red Notes
This 7 piece queen bedroom set is on sale right now at Bel for just $591.00 and it’s just the right grain color to fit any fall color scheme. A classic sleigh bed is coupled with a lovely chest of drawers and a vanity mirror.

Accent this beautiful wood color with a golden rod comforter and orange throw pillows (and maybe a taupe blanket at the foot of the bed) to really get into the autumn spirit!

So if you’re ready for the Fall…
Hurry into Bel Furniture and take advantage of these amazing and soon to end deals!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Back-to-School Tips for Parents

Most schools are back in session by now, and while starting a new school year can be very exciting for children and teens, it can also be anxiety-inducing. Help them (and you) calm those fears and start the school year off right; here are two very simple ways that we as parents can help in the first few weeks.

While it’s best to start settling into a back-to-school routine a few weeks before the school year begins, why not practice these habits now if you haven’t already? Helping children or teens fall into a cadence will make the transition into academic years smoother. 

Set a Reasonable Bedtime

Not many children (and especially teens) want an established bedtime, but this is important. Kids need more sleep than adults, and setting a bedtime will ensure that they are well-rested for their day and ready to succeed. We know that as parents, you’re very busy, but take this opportunity to see if you can fit in some extra shut eye for yourself.

While we’re on the subject of extra sleep, are your children in need of new bedroom furniture? Maybe you finally want to get that bunkbed for the boys. With a built-in desk, this sleek twin-over-twin loft style bed doubles as the perfect study space and, best of all, it will last for many school years to come! 

Or perhaps your teenager just needs her own space? Maybe she’s making the transition from middle school to high school, so why not make this difficult time memorable with this gorgeous Queen Bedroom Set?

More than just new furniture, these options will help your children sleep better and, in turn, succeed. What could be better?

Eat Breakfast.

Another extremely important thing to remember is making sure children eat a healthy breakfast every day. You want them to do their best in school, and this small step will go a long way! Remember that kids (young ones, particularly) want to emulate their parents. An excellent thing for them to parrot is the action of eating breakfast, so think about trying to pencil in the time to eat a quick breakfast as a family.

Perfect for sitting down for that quick meal, this Dinette set will not only allow you to have breakfast in the mornings, but reconnect as a family when you gather together again at dinner.

Don’t let the new school year get you down. Follow these quick tips, and you and your children will fall into the swing of things in no time. Now, if we could just do something about this summer heat...

Monday, September 1, 2014

Millions of Peaches: Celebrate National Peach Month!

August is National Peach Month, and since we can only scratch the surface of all the delicious culinary inspirations out there, we thought we’d share some of our favorite recipes.

Traditionally, most will think of pies or cobblers when thinking of baking with peaches, so what better way to start this recipe extravaganza than with an old standby? The cobbler has a long history, actually. Cobblers originated in the British American colonies, and today in the United States, there are six different varieties. The Deep South tradition only calls for a single fruit filling--in our case, peach--and gives the option of topping the dessert with a scoop or two of ice cream. Who knew the ice cream was optional? This simple recipe takes 7 ingredients, and delivers delicious results!

We’ve got a cobbler recipe, but what about a pie? We just love this recipe for a beautiful pie with a lattice crust! Lattice crusts add such a great look to a pie, but how do you do it easily? Check out this video and make one sure to make your family and friends jealous. 

Are we sleepy yet? Picture the scene: you’ve had your fill of cobbler (and pie), and now you just want to relax without fully reclining on a sofa or a bed. Why not look into this reclining swivel chair with ottoman
So, now you’re relaxing with a delightfully full stomach, or maybe you decided to completely forego the desserts. Whatever the case may be, this delightful recipe for a peach bellini is perfect for indoor or outdoor summer refreshment, or you could try this super-easy non-alcoholic option for adults and kids.

The peach bellini is always a classic option, and wouldn’t it look amazing served from behind this modern bar? Such a classic drink would contrast nicely with the this chrome-accents here.

With recipes for desserts and drinks, we’re ready to celebrate National Peach Month! How about you?

Friday, August 1, 2014

Family Movie Night

It’s August and that means summer is winding down. Pretty soon, the kids will be back in school, and life will get hectic again. What better way to make the final weeks of summer last than by having a family movie night?

But you can’t just watch movies on any old sofa or couch. How about watching a movie in the comfort of your own home in this 3 piece Leather Home Theatre Set?

Part of the Sara Collection, this set features 3 recliners and 4 cup holders. It comes in Premium blended leather in a rich Burgundy Brown color that will go with any decor. And additional middle recliners are available to extend the amount of seating. Right now, this set is on sale for $899 down from $1769!

If you have a large family or just lots of friends or neighbors that always end up at your house on the weekends, how about this 2 piece RAF Sectional?

This casual contemporary deep seat chaise end sectional is covered in a durable extra plush chocolate microfiber cover and comes with stunning accent pillows.  Its strong hardwood frame guarantees that this piece will be in your family for years. At $899.99, down from $1124.99, this would be a great addition to your living room. We totally want to stretch out and watch a movie on this!

What would movie night be without delicious food? A couple hours before show time, get the kids in the kitchen to help make these classic movie night treats:

This Grilled Chicken Taco Pizza blends the best of both worlds: Tex Mex and Pizza! Kids will love piling on their own toppings, and it is so easy to make and feed a large group.

If you are into snacks, how about some fun twists on basic popcorn?

Get a bunch of ideas for jazzing up the classic buttered popcorn recipe here. The Frito Pie, Mustard Pretzel and Thai Curry flavors are making our mouths water!

What is movie night without dessert? We found the perfect summertime treat to satisfy your sweet tooth.

Cookie Ice Cream Sandwiches are the perfect dessert to enjoy while watching your favorite comedy, drama or action-packed film!

With several locations to choose from, you can go to your local Bel Furniture Store and pick out some new seating for your family movie night, or order it online and have it delivered right to your home. Make the most out of the last weeks of summer by spending quality time with family, friends, good food and fun flicks!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Summer + Texas = HOT: The Dog Days of Summer

Can you believe it? It’s already July!  In Texas, July, for most, means the kind of heat that really saps your energy.  There’s a better name for that kind of summertime heat, and you’ve likely heard of it:  the “Dog Days of Summer.”

This isn’t just a phrase though; it’s an actual time of year that runs from July 3rd to August 11th. It’s thought that this is the time when we get the least rainfall. However the phrase came about, it seems fairly accurate when describing how the weather feels right now! When it comes down to beating the heat during those “Dog Days,” let Bel Furniture help with some great ideas!

When most of us want to cool down, we reach for water, and what better way to reach for that water than spending time at a water park? There are so many options—way too many too list—but we’ll give a few ideas! Why not head to a water park near a Bel Furniture location? We’ve got Splashtown locations in  San Antonio and Houston and Paradise Water Park in Beaumont. Water Parks are a great spot to cool down and spend time as a family.

Houston also has some great features exclusively for kids. Why not take them to one of the many spraygrounds around the city?

Well, now you know what to do when it comes to beating the heat outside, but what about inside? There’s no need to fear! Bel Furniture is here!

Yes, we are in the Dog Days of Summer, for sure, but from July 3rd to August 15th, we recognize Air Conditioning Appreciation Days. (Sometimes it feels like Texans should recognize these days all year!) Why not celebrate these days in perfect comfort? We’ve got some amazing deals on recliners and chaise lounges! Take, for instance, this recliner by Simmons. With its casual contemporary look, this high-backed recliner will be your new favorite spot!

Or maybe a chaise lounge is more your speed. No problem there! Check out this beautiful option by Coaster of America! It’s got a gorgeous transitional design and is available in a soft gray velour microfiber.

Well, we’ve got our summer plans! How are you going to spend the rest of your summer?