Jul 18

Land Development Activity Underway on Lone Mountain Parkway

Posted on July 18, 2017 at 5:27 PM by Adam Testa

You might have noticed land development activity has started along Lone Mountain Parkway. The Vistancia developer is pleased to announce David Weekley Homes and William Ryan Homes recently closed on two of the four remaining parcels in The Village at Vistancia.

 Located north of Lone Mountain Parkway and east of El Mirage Road, these two land sales are the first of four builder transactions to be finalized this summer. David Weekley Homes purchased 74  70’x125’ lots and William Ryan Homes purchased 87 53’x115’ lots.

 The remaining two parcels, which will bring 163 additional lots to The Village at Vistancia, are currently under contract with builders and will be announced upon closing in August. Estimated grand openings are planned for mid-2018.

 For community and development updates, visit the Vistancia Information Center at the guard-gated entrance of Blackstone at Vistancia, open daily from 10 a.m.-5 p.m., or call 623-933-6233. The Vistancia Information Center is located at the entrance of Blackstone at Vistancia.

Jun 08

Artist Gallery: Make Your Own Aromatherapy Bracelet

Posted on June 8, 2017 at 9:51 AM by Adam Testa

Show your summer style by making this simple and stylish aromatherapy bracelet using beads and other supplies from your favorite retailer; I prefer shopping at Michael’s and Amazon.

Unvarnished rosewood beads readily absorb essential oils. By using one to two drops of your favorite essential oil, you can enjoy the benefits of aromatherapy for several hours or even days.
The design consists of simple bead stringing and knots and can be easily completed in less than two hours. Using beads of your choice, you can create your own custom design.

  • Fine hemp cord
  • 6-8-millimeter natural stone and wood beads (or beads of your choice with a .5-1 millimeter hole) 
  • Copper ring beads (or other metal ring beads, approximately one-half inch in diameter)
  • Large-hole metal beads or metal accessories (choose large-hole findings like Pandora beads that are large enough to string onto two pieces of leather cord)
  • Unvarnished rosewood beads
  • Suede lace
  • Chapstick or other wax
  1. Cut two to four strands of hemp cord, approximately nine inches in length.
  2. Cut two pieces of suede lace, approximately 12 inches in length.
  3. Tie the cords to a copper ring using a single knot.
  4. String the beads of your choice onto each strand, making sure to incorporate at least four rosewood beads. Note, you might need to add a small amount of chapstick to the cord and experiment to find irregularly shaped beads that are easier to string.
  5. Once you have strung the beads, tie off the ends of the hemp cords in a single knot. 
  6. Tie the ends of the suede lace to the single knot of hemp cord. Make sure the knot is secure.
  7. Add a metal accessory to the hemp cord.
  8. Tie another knot in the leather cord. Optionally, add another metal accessory.
  9. Tie a final knot at the end. Use a tight knot, so it can fit into the copper loop you started with at the other end of the bracelet.
  10. Slip the knot into the copper loop to form a clasp.
  11. Add one or two drops of your favorite essential oil and enjoy!
Laura Bray is a Vistancia resident, jeweler and author. Visit her website.
Jun 08

Pro Tip: Use the Summer to Prepare for College Applications

Posted on June 8, 2017 at 9:47 AM by Adam Testa

College application season is an exciting time for high school students, but the multitude of options and the wealth of information available can make it feel a little overwhelming. Here are a few ways you can get a head start on the process this summer.

Determine what’s important: There are thousands of colleges in the United States. How do you choose? Typically, it’s a process of narrowing down from what often starts as a long list.

First, examine what’s important to you. Do you want a big school or a smaller one? Big schools offer more activities and options, but the trade-off is larger classes and less recognition. Consider location, climate, distance from home and ease of travel.

Are you looking for a particular academic program or major? Does the school offer, or is it located near, the types of leisure activities you enjoy? Are fraternities and sororities an integral part of campus life? Is cost a factor? Can you get your degree in four years?

Once you establish some basic criteria, start your research. You’ll soon hone in on the factors most important to you and shorten your list.

Line up references: Most teachers are happy to write recommendations for students, but popular teachers get more requests than they have time to accommodate, so ask soon—even though you won’t need the letters until the fall. That way, you’ll have references from the teachers who know you the best and think the most highly of you.

Prepare an Activity Summary: Schools want to know what you’re involved in beyond grades and test scores. Prepare a summary of clubs, athletics, work, community service and leadership activities you’ve been involved in throughout high school.

Include dates, number of weekly hours, brief descriptions and any honors or awards. You’ll use the summary as a reference when you fill out your applications, and some schools will allow you to attach it to your application to provide additional detail.

Plan College Visits: If you have time to visit colleges before you apply, do it. You’ll get valuable ammunition to help make your applications stand out. If this isn’t possible, set aside time for visits prior to the May 1 standard deadline to accept admission offers and mark it on your calendar. Try to visit schools when they’re in session to get the best feel for the atmosphere of each campus.

Ponder Essay Questions: Writing college essays can be great fun because they’re about something you’re an expert on: you! Many schools use the same questions, or "prompts," every year, so check recent application forms on the websites of the schools you're interested in.

Prompts are typically very broad, so you can decide what to write about within a general topic. Think about elements of your background, personality, experience or goals schools would be most interested in and consider how to communicate these elements within your essays.

SusanPrep.com offers classes and private consulting on the college application process and writing college and scholarship essays that shine.