Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Top Ways To Save Money on Your Heating Bill


There are many ways to heat your home in the winter and no matter which heating system you have you want to make sure you're not overspending. Here are some tips to save money on your next heating bill.

Use Wood

Using a wood-burning fireplace or wood stove can heat your home quickly and efficiently. Remember to keep the flue closed when the fire isn't roaring to prevent warm air from escaping up the chimney. Have wood delivered from home heating supplies Virginia to replenish your fuel throughout the winter.

Use a Programmable Thermostat

Controlling the temperature in your home automatically is an easy way to save money on your energy bill. You can program your thermostat to decrease the temperature for times when you're out of the house or while you're sleeping and increase it when you'll be home.

Change Filters

Filters should be changed monthly to keep hot air flowing from your furnace with ease. This adds life to your furnace system and prevents costly issues from cropping up.

Stop Drafts

The areas around windows and doors can allow cold air in from the outside, making your heater work overtime. Make sure each door and window is weather sealed properly using caulk and weather stripping. If drafts are coming in through the bottom of your doors, place door snakes in front of them to block the cold air.

Open and Close Drapes

Use the power of the sun during the day to heat your home by opening the drapes. When the sun starts to go down, close the drapes to keep the heated air from escaping through the window panes.

Saving money on your heating bill can happen immediately when you apply these simple techniques to prevent hot air from leaving your home and to keep your furnace working well.

Tuesday, December 22, 2020

Moving, Homes, and Mortgages

 Hey, everybody! It's been a bit since I posted, due to both the holidays and because I was out of town for three weeks at my seasonal job in Kentucky. My sister and I both travel to Kentucky three to five times a year for a seasonal job, working at a place we love. The idea has been tossed around about us moving to Kentucky, either full-time or at least for the majority of the year. One obvious and important item we've been looking into is where to live. We currently rent a small apartment from a friend, but if we did move, we would definitely need something more permanent, more our own space, where I'd be able to bring my dog, and where we would have all the appliances and furniture needed for permanent living. Not to mention, since I love the job there, the friends, and the location, I'd be much more interested in purchasing a home rather than continuing to rent. Because I would be a first-time homeowner, I've been looking for helpful and reliable information online. For example, I was surprised to find out that last year, many first-time homeowners are turning to their parents for financial help rather than getting a loan (according to this article from Wall Street Journal).

Unfortunately, the part of Kentucky we would be looking to move to isn't the cheapest part of the state. It's a great area, and real estate is slightly pricier than we were hoping when moving was first mentioned. I have been able to do some browsing online of homes for sale and realized that one thing we definitely needed to look into was a mortgage calculator so we could figure out the basic requirements such as what we could afford, the minimum income we would each need to be able to afford a downpayment and monthly payments, et cetera. I actually found a calculator that not only calculates the home-related payments, but allows you to input your other monthly costs (car, car insurance, credit cards, bills, et cetera) to give you a clear picture of what you can afford. Super helpful for sure!

Needless to say, this certainly is not a decision we will be making quickly. Moving and buying a home are both huge commitments and we will be pondering, praying, and seeking advice before making any decisions. I'm 

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Get Outside This Winter With These 4 Family-Friendly Cold Weather Activities

 There are so many reasons to get the whole family outside, even in cooler weather. Nature is known for its ability to encourage healing and reduce stress. It also helps reduce illnesses and boosts the immune system. If those aren't enough reasons, there are also some really cool outdoor things to do as a family in the winter. Instead of sitting inside staring at your screens, go ahead and give one of these four family-friendly activities a try this winter. 

1. Take a Nature Walk

The majesty of nature is not diminished in the winter. In many ways, it is even more remarkable as the landscape quiets down and prepares for a rebirth in the spring. That makes the winter a great time to get out and enjoy that beauty on a nature walk at a local park.  

2. Try Cross-Country Skiing

If you don't want to walk, cross country skiing is an excellent form of exercise and a good way to cover long distances rather quickly. For safety purposes, it is a good idea to take a lesson or go with an experienced skier before setting out on your own. For those who prefer a more adrenaline-inducing experience, RAP snowmobile tours may be just the ticket. 

3. Experience Ice Fishing

Most people think of fishing as a fun, relaxing summer pursuit, but it is actually quite enjoyable even in the ice and snow. Many outdoor shops around northern lake areas can help you learn what you need to get started with ice fishing, plus get you suited up with the right gear. 

4. Create Snow Art

You don't have to go further than your own backyard for this fun family activity. Let loose and create some magical snow art with squezable food coloring bottles. Then, head inside for some warm cocoa and cookies as you gaze through the windows at your creations.  

No matter what winter outdoor pursuit you choose, be sure to take general cold-weather safety precautions like wearing layers and carrying emergency supplies. This way, everyone gets to have fun and stay safe. 


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!