Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Effective Ways To Stay Warm This Winter

 This winter will be much like those in the past: colder weather, longer nights and snow and rain. While there is nothing worse than being chilled to the bone in cold weather, there are few things nicer than feeling all warm and toasty while the snow falls outside your window. Here are a few ways to add some delightful warmth to your life in the next few months.

Upgrade Your Home

If you are like most people, you probably spend more time inside your home in the winter. A nice, warm home is an undeniable pleasure. With insulation contractors Maryland, you can increase the comfort level of your home or business by adding energy-efficient spray foam. When the furnace kicks on, you will feel confident that the heat will stay inside much longer than before. Your furnace won't have to work as hard to keep everyone warm and you will save money on utility bills.

Get Out and Exercise

A little exercise is a good way to generate some heat of your own. Plus, it elevates your mood during the short days of winter and promotes better health according to WebMD. You can try out some of these outdoor activities:

  • Snowshoeing
  • Ice-skating
  • Playing hockey
  • Nordic skiing
  • Downhill skiing
  • Working in the yard

You can find an activity that suits you, whether it is walking the dog or looking for winter birds. Elevating your heart rate is a good way to stay warm.

Wear Some Awesome Clothes

One key to staying warm is to wear the right clothing. You don't necessarily have to spend a lot. Concentrate on the basics of hat, gloves and a warm coat. Always be sure to wear some warm socks to keep the chill off your feet. If it is really cold out, bundle up with some extra layers and don't be afraid to break out the long underwear. Remaining warm in winter just might help you enjoy the season even more.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Things To Do for Your Child's First Birthday


There's something so special about your little one's first birthday. You've made it through a whole year of ups and downs, sleepless nights and so many firsts. Although most people only think of throwing a party for their child, here are some other things you can do to mark the occasion. 

Get Professional Photos

Although you may be tempted to save the money and just take pictures on your phone, you won't regret spending a little extra for the real deal. Hire a professional to do a photoshoot for your little one. A popular first birthday tradition is a cake smash photo session. You can find cakes in Schaumburg IL, and the photographer will capture your child digging into it with frosting smeared all over the mouth and little hands. 

Write Your Child a Letter

Your child won't remember the first year, but you can write a special letter that tells what it was like. Record all the details about your kid's first steps. Write down your little one's birth story. Put all of the memories down on paper and then present it at the eighteenth birthday party or any other special occasion when you feel your child is old enough. 

Celebrate Together

Of course, you'll want to commemorate the occasion with friends and family. It's always fun to throw a party for your little one and have everyone get together. However, you and your significant other should celebrate just the two of you as well. Making it through the first year is a big deal, so you should do something for yourselves. Get a sitter, go out to dinner and reminisce on the past year.  

Don't worry about going overboard when it comes to celebrating. You're not just observing a birthday. You're celebrating everything that happened in that first year so be over the top and enjoy the special day.

Swimming In Style - And Modesty

 Swimwear can be a hard issue for many women. Whether it's the fit, finding the right suit for your body type, or, for someone like me, making sure I can move around easily in the water without sacrificing modesty. Growing up, I mostly wore lightweight skirts that came to mid calf, with a pair of capri athletic pants underneath and a t-shirt on top. This was before all the modest swimwear styles and companies came on the scene, and let me tell you - my younger sisters have a much easier time finding modest swimwear than I ever did! We have been on several cruises over the past few years and it has been so nice being able to shop for modest swim attire through various shops online. Not to mention, they look much classier than I ever did in my leggings, skirt, and t-shirt! And of course, with these swimsuits being designed for water activity, they're much safer and more comfortable. Here's an example of one of my sister's swim skirts.

For me, modesty isn't something that goes out the window when I'm at the beach, pool, or in any other activity. Modesty means different things to different people but I pretty much look at it as covering my body; not out of shame or embarrassment, but because it's not public property for everyone to look at. Whether it's casual wear, church clothes, an evening gown, or swimwear, I want my clothing to cover my body without being too snug or fitted. Not so loose and baggy that I look like I'm wearing a potato sack, but not a form-outlining fit either. Both because I can't stand anything snug, but most importantly because I don't want to be "covered" with a material that ends up outlining or drawing attention to my body.

I just love the ruched waist on this swimsuit!

One company I discovered is LYRA modest swimwear. These swimsuits offer full coverage, including leggings that go to the ankle, without sacrificing movability and even style. Cute, stylish, classy, and leggings that keep you covered even if the skirt happens to float up. These literally look like cute day wear, but they're made in a quick-drying fabric designed especially for water. And it's even chlorine-resistant, so swimming in public pools isn't going to damage or fade your suit. They are available in a variety of colors as well as styles, to flatter and fit every body type, skin tone, and personal preference! I'm so glad that modest swimwear is now something you can shop for online, not have to come up with your own best option or pay outrageous prices for a custom outfit to be made. When modesty, style, comfort, and ease-of-buying combine, it's definitely a win-win!

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

3 Benefits of Stainless Steel Appliances


There are many ways to revamp the look of a kitchen without completely remodeling it. Installing stainless steel appliances can be a great way to update the room without having to change the theme of the décor. The shiny metal is durable and easy to clean, as well as modern and attractive.

1. Durable

Many people spend a lot of time in their kitchen. Stainless steel is resistant to scratches, rust and stains, allowing cooks of all levels to enjoy their time creating culinary delights without worrying about damaging their appliances. Should damage occur over time, metal refinishing Manhattan NY can be performed to extend the useful life of appliances.

2. Easily Cleaned

Spills can usually be cleaned up using a clean cloth. Mild soap and water may be used after cooking or during a normal cleaning session to remove dust, dirt and food. For more stubborn messes, specialized cleaners can be used to remove grime and restore the clean, shiny appearances of appliances. As stainless steel is non-porous, it better resists the growth of germs and bacteria that types of surfaces such as wood and plastic.

3. Complements Décor

Because stainless steel appliances are neutral in color, they can complement many different styles of décor. Since they are currently popular, many different companies produce stainless steel kitchen appliances and décor items. Homeowners can mix and match items from different brands and still create a theme that looks harmonious and cohesive. People are able to use as much stainless steel as they want. They can limit their use of the material to appliances, or add sinks, countertops or backsplashes for a bolder look.

Anyone who is thinking about updating their kitchen should consider purchasing stainless steel appliances or accessories. Used and new models can be found in a variety of price ranges, which can make them easier to purchase on a budget.

Monday, October 19, 2020

3 Things To Remember When Catering An Event


Whether you're just starting out as a caterer or are no stranger to a hot food merchandiser and big events, catering can be a demanding line of work. It takes a lot of time and preparation to do your job well. Here are tips to remember when catering your next event.

Go for Finger Foods

When in doubt, finger foods are a win for almost any event; they're easier to eat, kid-friendly, and keep portion sizes controlled. Along with this, finger foods eliminate the need for silverware, which can increase your overall budget. If you are serving finger foods, make sure they're appropriate for the type of event you're catering. Namely, don't serve something like hot wings at a wedding unless they're specifically requested by your client!

Serve a Diverse Menu

It's impossible to know what every single guest likes before an event, so your best bet is to offer a diverse menu that caters to many tastes. If you're offering exotic or especially spicy dishes, serve alternatives that are simpler and milder as well. No matter what kind of dessert you're offering, have a chocolate option available. Above all, don't neglect your vegetarian or vegan guests!

Think About Backups

Make sure you've got enough replenishment to feed everyone at least twice over — people love going back for seconds, especially if the event is offering buffet-style service. Consider what will be the most popular items of the night and make a few extra batches of these items. Remember: it's always better to have a little too much than not enough to go around!

When catering an event, it ultimately comes down to your guests. Get as much insight as you can on what the event will be and who you'll be serving on the day of; the more you know, the better you can serve them!

Tuesday, September 29, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Need to Get Your Windows Winter Ready


As cooler temperatures settle in, it’s a good time to go over your winter prep checklist. Many homeowners inspect their gutters, drain their water pipes, and so on. Be sure to include maintenance of your Denver Windows while you’re preparing for the frigid months ahead. Here’s why it’s important to do so.

Reason #1: The Window Trim Won’t Rot Away

Exterior wood on roofs and siding is treated for wood rot, but not so much for the wood on window trim. Excess moisture from rain and wet snow can perpetuate trim wood rot, leading to damaged windows and moldy siding. Paint and repair the wood on your window trim as needed to prevent further headaches in the coming winter. Exterior wood stains are an attractive and durable protective option. 

Reason #2: Fewer Bugs and Critters Can Get in

As windows age, the gaps and cracks can get bigger with each year. Critters look for warm sheltered nooks and crannies when cold weather strikes, and that includes your windows. If the thought of spiders and mice in your house creeps you out, that alone should motivate you to get insulation strips for your windows!

Reason #3: You’ll Save More on Your Heating Bill

At some point, you have probably heard this phrase before: “windows that perform better help you save more on your heating bill.” But how much energy can you really save with regular upkeep on your windows? Well, it turns out to be a lot… 25 to 30 percent! 

Reason #4: It’s Cheaper Than Replacing the Whole Window

Regular maintenance on your windows helps them to last longer, and it’s simple too. A fresh caulk or weatherstrip job is much cheaper than a window replacement. If you do end up replacing your window, use the opportunity to purchase an energy-efficient model to save money on maintenance in the future.

Reason #5: You’re Better Prepared for Winter Storms

Think of your windows as a shield. They’re the only barrier that keeps your home safe from the elements during a storm. Do you want to take your chances with a window that’s in iffy condition? Check the storm rating on your windows, and plan accordingly. 

Reason #6: They Simply Look Better

Let’s face it, well-kept windows have better curb appeal. You also get a better view from the inside when you’re cooped up indoors. Regular cleaning of your windows and siding helps control the growth of mildew, particularly in shady spots. Window sills are sometimes overlooked, but important to wash too. Clean window sills help improve indoor air quality.

These reasons alone provide good motivation for the regular maintenance of your windows. Doing most of the work yourself is simple and doesn’t cost much. By taking action now, your windows will last longer and you won’t have to handle emergency repairs out in the cold. You can relax by the fireplace knowing that your windows are already taken care of for next year.

Monday, September 21, 2020

5 Creative Vacation Ideas for Families

 Every family needs a break from work and school now and again. Family vacations are a great opportunity to relax, let off steam and enjoy making new memories with those you love. It also gives you and your family members a chance to branch out and see new and exciting parts of the world. The best part is that you do not even have to go too far to have a good time! If you are looking to plan a family vacation, consider these unique ideas.

Whitewater Rafting

For those looking for an exciting and engaging adventure, consider whitewater rafting. This thrilling getaway can last one day or one week, depending on where you go and what your family wants to explore. These rafting tours are led by professionals who will help you learn the tools of the trade and lead you on a trip down some of the country’s most beautiful waterways.

Camping on the Beach

When most people think of camping, they picture thickly wooded areas. But have you considered camping on a sandy beach right next to the ocean? There are several campground destinations along the coast that let you and your family combine the joy of camping with the fun of the beach. These camping areas are often suitable for tents and RVs alike.

Historic Sites and Towns

Visiting a place that is important to your state or country’s history can be a rewarding experience for all ages! Many historic sites included guided tours and attractions that are fun and educational. Consider asking your children what historic topics they are studying in school or ask your partner about their favorite moment in history. This may give you some excellent ideas for locations.

Your next vacation could be one for the record books. Consider using one of the ideas presented in this guide when organizing the next big trip for you and your family!

Friday, September 11, 2020

Home Renovations Under Quarantine

 Why is it that so many of my blog posts recently have been about doing things in quarantine? It seems like our way of doing things has changed in so many aspects since the beginning of this year, from shopping, to eating, to visiting with friends, to attending Church...not much is the same simple, everyday life we had just six months ago! Thankfully, we are slowly returning to a semblance of normality, but "everyday life" still looks so different in 2020 than it did in 2019. One bonus that did come out of the lockdown period for our family was having the time to actually get some of those home repairs done. You know, the kind that have been on a to-do list for  forever, but we never have the time to get around to them? We did hours and hours of cleaning, clearing out, redecorating, and repairing the home during quarantine and the house looks much better for it!

One of my ongoing pet projects is the kitchen. We had new wooden cabinets put in several years ago, but to be honest, they already need some repair. Knobs have come off, a couple have been damaged, and they definitely need a new paint job. We were able to get the bigger work taken care of a couple months ago, but we still need to do the paint and knobs. I recently found an incredible deal online for beautiful bronze knobs that I just love and they match our kitchen color perfectly! I also looked at some lovely backsplash tile for the kitchen that I will be keeping an eye on. I hate how messy the sink area gets, and backsplash makes it so much easier to keep clean. Plus, backsplash just looks so bright and cheery!

Another room we've been doing work on is the guest bathroom. Repainting, hanging new mirrors and medicine cabinets; we even put a new bathroom vanity and shelf in. All of these are items we could have gotten some great savings on if I had known about Build.com a few months ago!

One biggie in the home that we just have not found the time to do yet is replacing the bi-fold door to our entertainment room. Our house is an older farmhouse, and trying to find just the right door has been difficult in the area we live. The closest home improvement store is 45 minutes away, so online shopping is a huge plus, especially when it comes to something like this. I have been able to find so many beautiful doors, just the right size, and we can match it to the room colors and decor. I am especially loving the barn-door look of this one pictured below. I can not wait until we find the time (and hopefully a coupon or sale) to get this door replaced!

As I mentioned earlier, unfortunately I didn't know about Build.com and the deals you can get online for home repair. Now that I do, I think it's time we tackle the rest of our to-do list, starting with the aforementioned bi-fold door. Not having to drive 45 minutes to shop, plus adding in the home repair discounts you can find at Slickdeals means we can get the rest of our house in tip-top shape much easier and at less cost. Let's do this!