Elisa McNinch & The Bruner Team

11211 Katy Fwy, Suite #415, Houston, TX 77079 / Office: 713-937-1000 / Fax: 832-604-4186

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Elisa McNinch,

Five-Star Estate Professional Award Multiple-Years (2012-2017).

Recognized in Texas Monthly Magazine

June 2012-2017


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Executive Assistant

& Licensed Realtor



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Bruner Team INFO Newsletter

 August 15 - September 15, 2017



Words of Encouragement

As a group of pessimistic frogs were traveling through the woods, two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs crowded around the pit and saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs that there was no hope for them. The pit was simply too deep to jump out of.

However, the two frogs ignored what the others were saying. They jumped with all their might. They kept at it for a good while. Every time they failed, the frogs at the top waved and shouted that they should give up. There was no way to make it out. Why not save their strength to enjoy what they could? Plenty of insects flew into the hole to support the frogs. Water dripped in from rains, but drained away too quickly for it to float them upward. Still, it was enough to live on.

Eventually, one of the frogs took heed to what the others were saying. He gave up, and settled into his new life in the pit. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Again, the crowd of frogs at the top yelled at him to stop the pain and just relax.

He jumped even harder, finally putting in his mightiest jump yet. And he made it out of the hole. The other frogs gathered around to congratulate him. “But,” they said, “Why did you bother? We kept telling you it was too high. You should have listened to us.”

The frog waved at his ears, letting them know he was deaf, and thanking them for encouraging him to get out of the hole.

Moral of the story: Words have as much power as we allow. Close your ears to discouragement.

~ Elisa McNinch


 Keep Fruits and  Vegetables Fresh Longer

Some fruits and vegetables produce a gas called ethylene as they ripen. This gas can prematurely ripen foods that are sensitive to it, so keep ethylene-producing foods away from ethylene-sensitive foods. Avocados, bananas, cantaloupes, kiwis, mangoes, nectarines, pears, plums, and tomatoes, for example, should be stored in a different compartment than apples, broccoli, carrots, leafy greens, and watermelon.

·    Store unripe fleshy fruits, like pears, peaches, plums, kiwis, mangoes, apricots, avocados, melons, and bananas on the counter. Once they're ripe, move them to the fridge. Banana peels will turn dark brown, but it won't affect the flesh.

·    Store salad greens and fresh herbs in bags filled with a little air and sealed tightly.

·    Citrus fruits such as oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes, will do fine for up to a week in a cool, dark place, away from direct sunlight, but you can lengthen their lives by storing them in the fridge in a mesh or perforated plastic bag.

·    Wrap celery in aluminum foil and store it in the veggie bin in the fridge.

·    Carrots, lettuce, and broccoli start to spoil as soon as they're picked, so place these in separate sealed plastic baggies in the crisper in your fridge ASAP. Make sure they're completely dry since moisture speeds up spoiling.

·    Don’t wash fruits or vegetables until you’re ready to eat them, as moisture encourages them to spoil faster. If you like to wash, dry, and cut your fruits and veggies all at once, dry them thoroughly, then store them in covered glass containers on top of paper towels. You'll not only be able to see them — which reminds you to eat them — but you'll also keep moisture out.

·    Remove rotting produce immediately, as that will cause the other produce to spoil faster.


 Coffee...Not the Dehydrator
We Thought It Was

Coffee is a diuretic—it makes you go to the bathroom more often, so it must make you feel dehydrated, right? Turns out that idea dates back to a 1928 study, and it wasn’t exactly rigorous research. Nonetheless, the results spread, and ever since, many people believe that drinking coffee draws excess fluids from your body, making you dehydrated. A recent study proves that coffee—and caffeine in other drinks—won’t cause dehydration.

It’s true that a diuretic increases the body’s production of urine, but that doesn’t lead to dehydration unless you fail to drink more fluids. Coffee, just like any liquid, will hydrate you. Not as well as water, though. Read on...

The 1928 coffee study involved just three people, and only revealed that when those three people abstained from caffeine for more than 60 days, drinking just a half cup of coffee, increased urination by a greater amount than the same quantity of water. This lead to the erroneous conclusion that drinking coffee will lead to dangerously high levels of urination and therefore a risk of dehydration. Quite a stretch.

More recently, British researchers published a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition which compared popular beverages to the hydrating effects of water. Their findings? Yes, you can hydrate with coffee, though it had the weakest replenishing effects of all the beverages they looked at, including beer. The best hydrating drink? Skim milk.


                Kid-Friendly Exercises    

Physical fitness should start early, so here are a few exercises disguised as play that you can do with children as young as two years.

·    Ball walk. Find a small bouncy ball, and have your child hold it between his or her knees. Then challenge the child to walk farther and farther without dropping it.

·    Giant walking. Have your child take the longest step he or she can, then stop for a moment all stretched out. Then have the child stand up straight and take a giant step with the other foot. Try giant walking all the way to the car or the park.

·    Wall taps. Place small dot on the wall. Challenge your child to stretch up to it. Also move it higher and challenge them to jump up to it. Monitor them so they don’t crash into the wall!


Just Say No to Spending!

When financial planners are asked about how to save more money, one suggestion that is often repeated is to declare a moratorium on spending.

Think of it like fasting. When we fast, we reset our internal food sensor. After a fast, we are more aware of the food we choose, and we tend not to automatically reach for junk food or to overeat.

Similarly, when we cut ourselves off from spending, we reset our internal money sensor.

It’s simple...but probably not easy. Here’s how to do a “spending fast:”

Commit to spending absolutely no money for one day per month, other than absolutely necessary expenses, such as gas or a bill that’s due.

When you have accomplished that goal, try stretching to two days. See how many days in a row you can go.

You’ll discover how much money you spend without thinking, and you’ll break the habit of reaching for your wallet on impulse. You may also find you can do without a lot of things you thought you needed to buy.



Tips for Taking Great Road Trips

A road trip is an adventure where the journey is more important than the destination. There are many ways to “do” a road trip, and here are 4 ideas to whet your appetite:

1.    Choose a theme. Ghost towns, water parks, museums, etc. Make the trip all about that. Map out locations for theme items, then draw a line connecting your stops.

2.    Do a little research to see if there are any weird, random things to see along your route.

3.    Make a documentary, or a mockumentary, if you prefer.

4.    Eat at small local "dives.” These are diners, road-side food shacks, and one-off restaurants.

A few extra tips:

  • Bring a spare car key.
  • Get a cash-back credit/gas card.
  • Bring a cell phone charger.
  • Never let the gas go below 1/3.


6 Tricks for Detailing Your Car’s Interior

1. Use a foam paint brush to clean dust from inside vents. Use a vacuum at the same time to pick up the dust.

2. Use a toothbrush to lightly scrub rough textured surfaces and get into tight seams.

3. Use a window squeegee and a squirt of water to scrape pet hair from cloth seats.

4. Pick dirt from between buttons and around the shifter by pressing kid's homemade slime into those spaces and pulling out the dirt that sticks to it. To make slime: Mix 1/2 cup of liquid starch, a small bottle of Elmer’s glue, and 1/4 cup of water.

5. For grime on the inside of the windshield, nothing works better than dry, crumpled newspaper and elbow grease. Some people like to finish with an anti-fogging solution, like Rain-X Anti Fog.

6. Removing stains. Coffee, blood, lipstick, etc...all stains are chemical compounds, and each should be removed using an “antidote” specific to the type of chemical. Look up “How to remove ___ from car seats” to find the right solution for your type of stain. Don’t just start squirting cleaner on every stain. That could make it worse!



 Silence Is Golden

It takes a disciplined spirit to endure the monastery on M in Spain. One of the fundamental requirements of this religious order is that the young men must maintain silence. Opportunities to speak are scheduled only once every two years, at which time they are allowed to speak only two words.

One young initiate who had completed his first two years of training, was invited by his superior to make his first two-word presentation.

"Food terrible," the young man said.

Two years later the invitation was once again extended. The young man used his forum to exclaim, "Bed lumpy."

After two more years, he arrived at his superior's office and proclaimed, "I quit." The superior looked at the young monk and said,

"You know, it doesn't surprise me a bit. All you've done since you arrived is complain, complain, complain.”


The Mini-Lessons in Motivational Quotes

People love to read motivational quotes. We love them on t-shirts, on posters, and in tattoos. But why do we love them?

Perhaps it’s because, like poetry, a well-formed quote can pack a lot of thought into a handy package, distilling large ideas into simple recipes. Or like a church sermon, quotes remind us of important life lessons that we get too busy to remember.

Here are a few popular motivational quotes:

·         “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”

·         “Your body has no reason to change so long as you’re working within its capacity.”

·         “The greatest limit on our ability to learn is our belief that we already know.”

·         “Figure out what’s important before figuring out what’s next.”

If you like reading and using motivational quotes, here’s a fun way to get more from them: Make a list of some of your favorite quotes. Pick a place to put one quote each day where you will see it at a glance: on the bathroom mirror, on the car dashboard, etc. Say the quote aloud, and think about how you will apply that quote to your life that day. Be specific. 


Bumblebees Leave “Footprints”

Bumblebees may be smarter than you think. According to scientists at the University of Bristol, bumblebees mark the flowers they feed from with “smelly footprints” so they can distinguish between flowers that have been visited by members of their nests and those fed on by strangers. This also allows them to ignore flowers whose food is gone and identify better sources of nutrients.

In one experiment, researchers trained bees to discriminate between flowers marked by their nest mates and those scented by bees from a different nest. In a second experiment, bees were seen learning that flowers with footprints from their nest mates were more rewarding than those marked with their own scent.

In addition, the scientists discovered that bumblebees can tell the difference between their own footprints and those of their nest mates.




May & June 2017 Answer


Question:   (A riddle) What goes up when rain comes down?


Answer:  An Umbrella


Congratulations to Daisy & Clarence & Mendoza!  Your name was randomly selected from all of the correct entries.  You won a $50 gift card from either Amazon.com, Bed, Bath, & Beyond, Olive Garden or Carrabba's Italian Grill, OR Home Depot gift card. Your choice!



August & September 2017 Trivia Quiz Question


Question: Frogs can be found on every continent in the world except ________.


Everyone who contacts Elisa via email (elisa@brunerteam.com) or phone (832-746-7911) with the correct answer by September 5th will be entered into a drawing for a $50 Academy, Target, Amazon.com, Khol's, OR Pappas restaurant gift card.  Your choice!