Friday, August 18, 2017

Toy Aussies and Quick Bath Wipes From IVS



Hey neighbors!

We are slowly adding Toy Aussies to our pets.  These little bundles of energy are constantly getting into something, and it is not always clean.  So, for those times when they play in their food or water, or dig in the dirt, or shred up some messy item they find, I now have the IVS Quick Bath Wipes for Small Dogs.  This means I do not have to throw them in for a bath every time they get dirty, messy or smelly.  Now I can just grab a pack of the Quick Bath Wipes and quickly clean them up.  Also great for those extra long times between bathing your dog.

Poppins and Bobbi


The Quick Bath Wipes come in a pack just like diaper wipes for babies.  You just pull one out of the pack and wipe you furry friend down.  The wipes are pH neutral and alcohol free.  They also have vitamin A, Vitamin E and Aloe.  The vitamins and Aloe help keep your pups fur looking nice, healthy and shiny.

Brooklyn

You wouldn't think these little ones could get into so many messes, but they do, so I am glad we have the Quick Bath Wipes from IVS. These are also available for large dogs in a larger size.

IVS or International Veterinary Sciences also has many other pet related products.  Be sure to visit their site.  Also, follow them on their social media.
Facebook: https://www.facebook .com/ivspet/
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nstagram: https://www.instagr am.com/ivspet/Twitter: https://twitter.com/i vspet



Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Dos and Don'ts of Moving

Moving to a new home can be pretty difficult and stressful, and you need to be aware of what you should and shouldn’t do before the moving day actually arrives. Let’s face it; there are so many things that can go wrong. And many of those things can cause you major disruption that you don’t want to have to deal with.

DO

Get Insured

First of all, you should make sure that you get insured. This is one of those things that can often get ignored. If you don’t insure the move, you could be left with a big bill for repairs and replacements after it. On moving day, things can get pretty hectic. And that means that there is always a chance that things can get broken. That’s not what you want to happen, so putting insurance in place is essential. Learn about all this at household-tips.thefuntimesguide.com/moving_insurance/.

Label According to Rooms

Labeling things is obviously important. But go a step further than just labeling what’s going to be in the boxes. Instead of just doing that, you should label which room each box and its contents belongs to. That way, the box can be taken directly to its corresponding room when the moving day happens. This saves you time and makes things a lot easier for you. And all it takes is a little forward planning.

Ask the Old Owner Plenty of Questions

It’s always a good idea to learn as much as you possibly can about the home that you’re moving into ahead of the move. So, ask the seller plenty of questions. You need to know about the gas and electricity, and you also need to know when the trash is collected. Knowing about all of these things will make your life a lot easier in the days directly following the move. It doesn’t take much time or effort to pick up the phone and ask these questions, so do it.

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DON’T

Try to Go it Alone

It’s a big mistake to think that you can go through this whole process on your own. It’s a lot wiser to seek the help of professionals who know what it takes to carry out the move properly. You can go to www.nicksmoving.com if you want to hire a moving company with experience and the right credentials. Even if you think that you can take care of things by yourself, you will probably find that that’s not the case.

Leave Too Much Until the Last Minute

Another mistake that often gets made is that people leave things until the last minute. It’s easy to put things off when they seem time-consuming or difficult. But that moving day is coming for you faster than you think. So, you should try to make sure that you get these things out of the way sooner rather than later. That’s always the smart way to do things when you’re moving. It will save all that rushing around on the day before the move.

So, if you are considering a move, be sure to take these points into consideration.

Summer Sweets With Eagle Brand! #Giveaway


What is the first thing you think of when you hear the words "Eagle Brand sweetened condensed milk"? If you said fudge, you're not alone! I'll be honest; I knew sweetened condensed milk was used for other baked goods and treats and I've used it a few times in the past for something other than fudge, but I never realized just how much you can use this little can of sweet, gooey goodness for! We received a couple coupons from Eagle Brand to pick up some sweetened condensed milk and try one of their summer recipes. Let me tell you, browsing the selection of recipes on their website made for a difficult choice to pick just one to feature! I admit to saving several so I can go back and try them out as well. For this post though, I decided on the Chocolate Peanut Butter Mousse Pie, a frozen dessert that is perfect for summer get-togethers.



The recipe is very simple (only six ingredients!), so even if baking isn't your thing, you can still delight family and friends with a yummy, cool treat this summer. I made the pie for our Thursday evening Bible study with family and friends, and it was quite the hit! You can make your own graham cracker crust if desired, but I found it easier to simply use a pre-made crust as suggested in the recipe. The sweetened condensed milk is actually used in both the chocolate layer and the peanut butter part of the pie, adding just the right amount of sweetness to the pie without being too rich.







I'll add the recipe below for you to check out, but be sure to also visit Eagle Brand's recipe section to find even more delicious ways to use their sweetened condensed milk in all sorts of goodies from beverages to pies to baked goods to frozen treats, and of course, fudge!

Ingredients

  • 1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 (14 oz.) can Eagle Brand® Sweetened Condensed Milk, divided
  • 2 cup frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crust
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • Instructions

    • COMBINE 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk and chocolate chips in microwave-safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH (100% power) 30 seconds. Stir until smooth. Place 2 tablespoons chocolate mixture in small resealable plastic bag for drizzle. Spread remaining chocolate mixture evenly onto bottom of pie crust. Chill 10 minutes.
    • BEAT remaining sweetened condensed milk, cream cheese and peanut butter in large bowl with electric mixer until smooth. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon over chocolate layer. Cut corner off bag with reserved chocolate mixture. Drizzle over pie. Sprinkle top with chopped peanuts if desired.
    • FREEZE 1 hour or until firm.
    • Can be made ahead and kept in freezer. Transfer from freezer to refrigerator 30 to 45 minutes before serving.
We're giving away a coupon for a free can of Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk to one of our readers so you too can try a summer recipe!

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Breathe Easy: Improving the Air Quality in Your Home

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Air pollution is on the rise, but for some reason, when the topic arises we think of threats outdoors: traffic pollution, smog, the ozone layer hundreds of thousands of miles above us. But the air in our homes, offices and other indoor spaces is exactly the same as that we are breathing in when we step outside of our front door. If anything, it may be even more polluted due to things like settled or air borne dust, radon, formaldehyde, chemicals from cleaning products and even fire-retardants. So how do we go about ensuring that we breathe the purest air possible when relaxing in our own living spaces? Here are a few tips and tricks to leave you breathing easy.

Maintaining Your Air Conditioning

Air conditioning is a must for many of us. Without it, we’d be doomed to restless nights stuck to our sheets and lethargic days, restricted to the ground floor of the home because the heat rising to the upper floors is uncomfortable. But it is essential for you to ensure that your air conditioning unit is always functioning at its optimum capacity. The majority of people forget that AC units can easily become clogged with dirt and dust and will eventually end up circulating unhealthy particles around your home. Other problems with your installation could also result in limited functioning, meaning that airflow is restricted and stagnant air can begin to linger in certain rooms. If you are experiencing problems with your unit, contact professionals from Rowlett Air who will be able to repair your air conditioning in next to no time.

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Investing in Houseplants

Plants are a beautiful addition to any home’s interior, brightening the place up and adding a touch of nature to the inherently urban. However, these aren’t their only benefits. They are also nature’s own life-support system, reducing the number of air particulates in their surroundings and photosynthesizing carbon dioxide into oxygen. Perfect! So which plants should you opt for to see the most beneficial effects? Some attractive options are spider plants, Dracaena, Weeping Figs, Peace Lilies, Boston Ferns and Bamboo Plants. If you want something that blooms more flowers, consider Chrysanthemum Morifolium, but remember that blooming plants can also add certain pollens to the atmosphere, so are something to watch out for if you have allergies.

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Regular Cleaning

Chemicals and allergens accumulate in household dust. While you may not be able to completely stop its formation, you can definitely clean it up effectively and easily. So keep on top of your household chores! Vacuum carpeted areas with a cleaner that has strong suction, rotating brushes and a filter that captures fine particles rather than rejecting them out of its exhaust. Mop wooden, laminate or tiled floors. Invest in a microfiber mop, as these purportedly capture more dust than any other option.

Follow these steps sooner rather than later to reap the benefits of cleaner, easier to breathe air in your own four walls. No more allergies, no more dust-caused sickness and a generally happier and healthier environment for you to live in. Perfect!

5 Ways To Improve Your Home’s Heating

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Summer might not be the time you think to fix up your home’s heating, but in fact it may be cheaper and more efficient to do it now. Here are just a few ways that you can improve your home’s warmth in time for the cold winter months.

Insulate

Insulation helps trap heat in your home longer, saving you from reaching for the thermostat. There are lots of forms of insulation from double glazing to draft protectors to cavity wall insulation. Costs to install this may be cheaper now when insulation companies have less demand for customers and are therefore more likely to offer deals. The government is trying to encourage more homes to install insulation. There may even be grants that your home is eligible for.

Install a tankless water heater

Tankless water heaters heat up water only when you turn the faucet as opposed to storing water in a tank. This can lower costs used to store gallons of water for heating, using less energy. By serving hot water to one faucet at a time, they also reduce problems such as the shower going cold whilst someone uses a tap downstairs. It’s worth researching into the best tankless water heater as there are many on the market. As water needs heating all year round, there is no time of the year in which the demand is greater or less.

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Go electric

It’s possible to forgo gas altogether and run heating entirely off of electricity. Gas is cheaper, but for those wanting to live sustainably it could be a preferred option, especially if you go off grid and decide to power your home entirely with solar panels. Some people may prefer certain electric appliances over gas ones. Electric ovens for example can be safer, easier to clean and can distribute heat more evenly, although gas is cheaper and may have certain cooking benefits for some users.

Get smart

Smart technology is now entering our homes and making life more convenient. Heating is one place where this tech can really make a difference. A smart heating unit may allow you to adjust your heating remotely with your phone. This may allow you to turn on the heating before coming home or turn it off in the night without leaving your bed. Smart monitors meanwhile can tell you exactly how much gas/electricity you’re using to heat your home with. By being more aware of the energy costs as they’re using them, many people have been able to cut their energy consumption by 15% with smart monitors.

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Use heating creatively

People are starting to use heating more creatively in their homes now. This includes heated towel racks, heated clothes horses, heated mattress pads and even heated toilet seats. Such gadgets could provide a little more comfort in and around the home. You can even consider underfloor heating for cold bathroom tiles or chilly wooden flooring.

Consider making some of these changes in your home.

Common Causes of Leaks in the Home (and How to Prevent Them)

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A home that has water leaks is never a good sign. It wastes water, ruins furniture, causes mold, and perhaps worst of all, can damage the very structure (and safety) of your property. So, it’s fair to say that we should all be doing as much as we can to prevent leaks.

In order to stop your home from leaking, you first need to know what causes them, and then you need to know how to prevent them. If there’s a leak in your property, there’s a good chance it was caused by one of the following:

Broken Seals

Seals don’t last forever, especially where water is involved, and they will wear out with age. So, if you’ve noticed water flowing out from under your dishwasher or there’s condensation building up in the laundry room, chances are you’ve got a broken seal on your hands.

You can’t really prevent seals from breaking, but what you can do is be vigilant. The sooner you see the tell-tale signs of a broken seal and have a contractor come out and replace it, the less damage any leaks will do.

Clogged Drains

A lot of clogged drains are merely inconvenient, but if a blockage forms in your gutters or your air conditioner’s drain pans, for example, they could do a lot more damage to your property inside and out.

To prevent this, keep your air conditioning system and gutters spotlessly clean, and in the case of your air conditioner, perhaps call in an air con maintenance service to give it the once over. The better maintained they are, the less likely they are to give you any trouble of the watery kind now and in the future.

Roof Damage

If you’ve noticed water spots on the ceiling and water is dripping down on you from above, it’s highly likely that your roof is damaged. It could be that a tile is loose, and you should be able to repair that yourself, or it may be something more serious like a crack or a structural insecurity caused by falling objects, wind or hail.If that’s the case, you may need to call in a hail damage repair service or roofing contractor. They’ll know how best to patch up your roof so that it no longer leaks.

You can’t  always prevent damage from falling objects like trees and the weather, but you can make an incident less likely by trimming trees close to your property, covering your roof with a strong tarp before a storm hits and adding extra insulation to your roof space.

Corrosion

Unfortunately, even the best plumbing systems don’t last forever. Eventually, the water that runs through them, and the elements they’re exposed to (if they’re located outdoors) will cause them to rust and weaken. When this happens, it’s only a matter of time before your home springs a leak.

In order to prevent leaks from old, corroded pipes, the best thing you can do is call in a good plumbing service and have them fit new ones. If that’s too expensive right now, using pipe clamps to stem the flow or patching the leak with pipe wraps will provide a temporary solution.

Apart from keeping a keen eye out for the above, just maintaining a general sense of vigilance around your home, looking for signs that things aren’t right will help you to catch the causes of a leak before they have time to develop.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

New Movie - Altar Egos

Hey neighbors!

I was recently given the opportunity to screen Altar Egos starring Robert Amaya.  If you saw Courageous, you might remember him as the "snake king".  This film also has Erin Bethea and Victoria Jackson.

This is an interesting story regarding a pastor who takes over his father's church after his father passes away.  He runs into a few problems when he wants to implement new ideas.  One woman in particular resents the changes he is trying to bring about and defeats him at every turn.  He uses an interesting technique to try and change her mind.  I personally enjoyed the humor that was thrown in, and the lesson on loving the unloveable as well as reconciliation.  An enjoyable family film, with a runtime of 88 minutes.

Official:
Desperate to see their church grow, Pastor John (Robert Amaya, MOM’S NIGHT OUT, COURAGEOUS) and wife Betsy (Erin Bethea, FIREPROOF) do the unthinkable and change their church Christmas pageant. Flabbergasted, elderly choir director Mary Margaret (Sallie Wanchisn) leads the choir to boycott. Facing termination, Pastor John resorts to disguising himself as an old man to bridge the generation gap, win over Mary, and lead the choir back to the church. When he discovers that the wounds run deeper than he first suspected, Pastor John must learn to love the unlovable or risk the ruin of his church and family. Also stars Victoria Jackson.

The DVD will be released September 5th, so plan on picking one up for family night!  Watch the Exclusive Clip below.



Does this look interesting to you?  We are hosting a giveaway here in coordination with LEV3L for the Altar Egos DVD.  Be sure to visit their website for more information and how you can purchase tickets, see video clips and photos. (https://www.altaregosmovie.com)

Thanks for stopping by today and be sure to enter the giveaway.

5 Family Getaway Ideas #TravelTuesday

This week for our travel feature, I'm going to highlight five of our family's favorite places to visit, rather than focusing on one specific region or attraction. We have visited all five of these destinations, many of them more than once (for example, the Creation Museum we have been to easily 100 times!). They're spread out in different parts of the country, so hopefully one of them is close enough that you can plan a visit if you haven't already been. Without further ado, let's get started with five must-visit destinations!

1. Arches National Park in Moab, UT. We visited this national park several years ago and quite honestly I was not prepared for the amazing, breath-taking sights! The tour starts (and ends) at the visitors center and gift shop, so you have to be sure to pick up a souvenir from the trip. Most of the tour is drive-thru, although there are many places to pull off and walk for a closer look. I could not believe the amazing natural arches, valleys, and rock structures. We literally spent all day in the park, and still didn't see it all! With over 2,000 sandstone arches, this is definitely a place every kid should visit!


2. The Creation Museum near Cincinnati, OH. Our family has a lifetime pass to this museum, and it is well worth the price! As one of the few Bible-based museums in America, I also feel like it is the BEST! State of the art displays, this museum truly brings the Bible to life. Adam and Eve, Noah building the ark, the Garden of Eden...all of these familiar Bible stories are displayed here. And the planetarium is fabulous! I have visited several other planetariums (a pretty big one in Chicago, among others) and quite honestly, the Creation Museum's planetarium easily surpasses the quality and beauty of any others I've been to.


3. Knoebel's, a family-friendly amusement park near Elysburg, PA. I've been to many other amusement and theme parks (Disney, Carowinds, etc) and while they may be a little bigger, to me Knoebel's is the perfect family park. The prices are very reasonable, and queue lines are pretty much nonexistent! Of course, the roller coasters are our family favorites, as well as the Tilt-a-Whirl and the flume ride. For several years we made visiting Knoebel's an annual event with some friends, and while we haven't been able to visit in several years, it is still a must-visit place!



4. The Alamo. Our family visited the Alamo not too long ago, and honestly some of us had mixed feelings. There was an air of commercialism around the place, and being situated right in downtown San Antonio, it doesn't have the backdrop you would expect. However, I loved it. Being a history buff might add to my enjoyment, but I really think it is an important place for every child to visit. When you watch the videos, read the signs and informational blurbs along the tour...you realize just how courageous these men and women were who fought and died at the Alamo in 1836.



5. The Texas Rangers Museum. Not the baseball team, the law enforcement. I have to admit, I have always been fascinated with law enforcement, good-guys-beat-the-bad-guys, mysteries, etc. I grew up reading every Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys and Trixie Belden I could get my hands on! And yes, I still love a good book about the good guys vs. the bad guys. So after reading a lot about the Texas Rangers I was absolutely thrilled to actually visit the Hall of Fame and Museum in Waco, Texas! The museum takes you through the history of the Rangers and highlights important events, etc. For example, did you know it was a retired Texas Ranger who finally tracked down Bonnie and Clyde? There is also a 40-minute video to watch that does an excellent job of presenting the historical information in a way that even young children find attention-getting. Even the 10 year old sat through the entire video! 




Renovating Your Flooring

If you are working on renovating your home, it can be a minefield if you don't know where to begin, and even if you don't know your vinyl from your laminate, let's lay down the basics when it comes to picking your ideal floor.

Vinyl
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Vinyl flooring is very durable and is suitable for almost every room in the house, and you will tend to find them as sheets or tiles. You can get plenty of information from a vinyl flooring installation company on the benefits of vinyl, but it is incredibly cheap. The types of vinyl you can get include rotogravure ,where the pattern and the color is printed on the finish side only making the texture difficult to clean on occasion. You can also get sheet vinyl which is very popular with bathrooms, kitchens, and hallways, which come in many different patterns and styles. You can also get vinyl tiles, but because they are laid individually, it is more likely you will get dirt caught in between them. And inlaid vinyl is more durable, looks very good and tends to last for many years in comparison to rotogravure vinyl.

Hardwood
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One of the main benefits of hardwood is that it can last a lot longer than most of the other options and can be refinished almost an unlimited number of times, and you can also restain them to change their appearance which is handy if you want to change the whole style of your home. The various styles of hardwood include unfinished which gives you unlimited color stain options, but the unfinished flooring needs to be sanded after it's installed, putting that room out of action for a few days. Prefinished is something that many people go for because of it eliminating sawdust and finish vapors. Solid or engineered flooring has two or more layers of woods much like plywood, and while the top layer has a hardwood veneer, the lower tends to be softwood.

Carpet

If you want softness under your feet or something to invoke a more relaxing feel, then this is your best choice. The main rule when it comes to picking a carpet is, the heavier it is, the better it will hold up in the long run. However, you shouldn't pick a carpet just based on the weight, you need to look at the density of the carpets, the height, as well as the type of fiber, but you can pick different strengths of carpets for different rooms depending on the “foot traffic” in each part of the house. If you are trying to cut down on the cost, it's best to pick the heavier product four rooms with the most foot traffic and go for the lower weight ones for rooms such as studies or junk rooms.

Whatever you decide to install, it always needs to be suitable for your lifestyle and it's always best to take into account the durability of the material, how easy it is to clean, how resistant it is to moisture, as well as if you have any particular allergies. There's a lot to bear in mind when picking the right flooring.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Don't Forget to Clean These Neglected Areas of Your Home

Cleaning your home is just something you have to do. If you don't do it regularly, you end up with a messy and unhygienic home. Most people clean their whole house once a week, every two weeks, or possibly twice a week or more. However, no matter how often you clean your home, there could be areas you're leaving out. It's easy to neglect some places, especially when it's something that doesn't need to be cleaned often. If you let it go too long, it could be more difficult to get clean. Remember to pay attention to these often neglected areas of the home when you're cleaning.


Ceiling Fans and Air Vents

Anything that circulates air in your home needs to be clean. Otherwise, you're also circulating dust and dirt. It's easy to neglect something like a ceiling fan or an air vent. After all, you don't usually look at them closely, so any dirt is easy to miss. They can gather a lot of dust, and you don't want to look at what has accumulated after a few years. You might need to get out a ladder, but it's worth it to get everything clean. You might not even need one if you have a long and flexible duster, or perhaps a vacuum cleaner that can reach into awkward places.

Windows and Doors

You're always opening and closing windows and doors, and they get exposure to the outdoors as well as indoors. You might notice that they look a bit grubby, but it's easy to ignore when you're busy doing something else. It can help if you schedule when you're going to clean both windows and doors, which you don't need to do too often. When it comes to windows, choosing something like Shine Window Cleaning services makes it a lot easier. Reaching your upper windows can be difficult too, so if you want to do it safely, a professional service is often the best answer.


Behind the Fridge (and Other Objects)

The space behind the fridge might be a bit of cliche place to gather dust, but it is rare that people manage to clean there. It's understandable, since it does mean moving the fridge out of the way. The same can be said for any other furniture or large appliances, which can get dirty underneath or behind them, where it can be hard to clean. While you don't want to move your furniture around every week, it's a good idea to make a point to clean these areas at least once a month.


Inside Appliances

It can be surprisingly easy to neglect the inside of appliances such as your oven or dishwasher. You only have to look at them when you open the door, so if you don't use them much, they're even easier to ignore. Some appliances, it can be a good to develop habit to wipe them out after use. Others might just need a thorough clean every now and then.

Many areas of your home are out of sight and out of mind. Make a point to remember them if you want to keep them clean.