Things to Do on a Road Trip

Do you ever feel like Clark Griswold whenever your family takes a road trip? Things don't go according to plan, you get lost, or the kids drive you crazy. As tomorrow is the busiest travel day of the year, we here at Ball Homes thought it would be appropriate to share a few ideas to keep your kids entertained (and hopefully keep your sanity intact) as you make the long car, plane, or train ride to wherever your holiday festivities may be.


  • "Name that Tune": a passenger in the car will hum the tune to a song and the other passengers need to gues what song it is.
  • "I Spy": Use these printable cards from Prepared NOT Scared to spot different items along your route. The first person to spot all the items on their sheet wins.


  • Use an almost empty peanut butter jars to store apple slices or celery sticks. You'll save valuable space by using less containers.
  • Use small shower caddies to contain meals for small children. Each child will get their own caddie to put their drink, sandwich and snack into, for an easy-to-hold and juggle-free organizer.


  • Tie an over-the-door shoe organizer to the back of the front seats to keep small toys, crayons, and books in order and off the floor. The best part is that everything is right in front of your child, so they can reach it themselves, which means fewer distractions for the driver.

What other tips and tricks do you use to ensure a smooth road trip? Share them with us on our Facebook page!

Happy Veteran's Day!

We wanted to take a minute to honor the brave men and women who have served or are currently serving in our armed forces. We understand that freedom is never free and we're so thankful for your service to our country.

Labor Day Recipes

Many people will be firing up the grill this weekend to commemorate the (unofficial) close of summer. We’ve got some simple recipes that are sure to be a hit with your guests!
Steak and Potato Kabobs
This easy recipe from Better Homes and Gardens uses items that are more than likely already in your pantry. Combine oil-and-vinegar dressing, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, and garlic powder to make a simple steak marinade.
Layered Summer Salad
This easy salad from can be made ahead of time and customized towards even the pickiest eater. Use a glass bowl for an even prettier display. 
Peach Cobbler
You’ll have no trouble finding this in-season fruit at your local Farmer’s Market or grocery store. Enjoy this classic dessert from Real Simple with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.

Top Recipes for the Big Game!

You’ve no doubt heard about a big game going on this Sunday. Millions of people will be glued to their television to see if their team will win or lose. Even if you don’t know the teams that are playing, you can still enjoy some good food and good company at a Super Bowl party. Whether you’re watching the game at a friend’s house, or enjoying the comforts of your own home, here are some of our favorite dishes to get you ready for some football!
Classic Hot Wings
This traditional dish is a go-to snack when it comes to football. Just be sure to have plenty of napkins on hand!
Easy Guacamole
This easy guacamole dish gives you a healthier version of the classic dip. Add in a little heat with some jalapeños.
Cheesy Garlic Sticks 
Cheese and bread—a perfect combination! Use marinara for a dipping sauce for this easy appetizer

Fudgy Football Brownies 
Use a football-shaped cookie cutter and icing to shape these brownies into a football.
Do you have any recipe staples you’ll be having on game day? Tell us on our Facebook page!

Top 3 New Year's Resolutions

Tonight, everyone will be celebrating the end of 2012 and look forward to 2013. For many people, the new year means a fresh start and a new outlook. For a majority of people, a new year means new resolutions: pledges to make a change in the upcoming year for a better life. We’ve narrowed down a list of the three most common New Year’s resolutions and included some tips on how to help you stay focused in 2013.

1. Get In Shape
There’s no doubt that Get In Shape/Get Fit/Lose Weight/Get Healthy is one of the top New Year’s resolution on many people’s list. Why not let your home help you keep your resolution? Losing weight starts with being more active! Use the bonus room in your new Ball Home to put a treadmill or weight machine. Take advantage of the many walking trails and parks around your subdivision, like Chilesburg or Notting Hill. Getting out and getting active around your community is a step in the right direction to leading a healthier life!
2. Get Organized
Many of our popular floor plans offer sizable closet spaces, attic areas, and storage options; make the most of them! Install space saving shelving in your garage so that everything has a place. Use large plastic bins to store holiday decorations, sports equipment, and out of season clothing items. Reorganize your bedroom closet to make sure you aren’t keeping clothing you never wear. If you haven’t worn an item in the last 6 months, chances are you probably don’t need it. For tips on how to organize your kitchen, read our previous blog post.
3. Save More/Get out of Debt
Saving more money throughout the year starts with changing small habits, and the best place to start is by cutting energy use in your home. To save on your utility bills, lower your thermostat before you leave for work. Install compact florescent bulbs in your lamps. Switch off your electronics and lights when they aren’t in use. Utilize your fireplace instead of turning up the heat a few degrees. If you really want to take a big chunk out of your debt this year, why not look into refinancing your home? With mortgage rates at historic lows, now is the time to refinance and save money on your mortgage payment. Contact a loan officer at Walden Mortgage for more information on your refinancing options.

From all of us at Ball Homes, we wish you a very happy New Year and we look forward to what 2013 has in store!