Monday, July 30, 2018

Our Children Are Arrows


Psalm 127:3-5-"Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate."

As a family we have been discussing these verses quite a bit lately, and I just wanted to share some of the thoughts we have had. And I hope this will help someone out there.

First of all, an arrow doesn't just appear, someone creates them. Mom and Dad have the job of shaping and forming these arrows. A bent arrow, an arrow without the feathers to guide it, or without a sharp tip is pretty useless. So it is our job to shape and form these arrows to fulfill their purpose.

An arrow needs to be straight to be of any use. Your children need to be trained to have Biblical beliefs and standards. Help them to memorize Bible verses. This will help them to stay straight when temptations arise. Psalm 119:11-"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee." Only with God's Word will your children be able to stay straight. Are you training them in the Bible? Can they answer basic questions concerning their faith? Could they refute a cult member? Or would one of these temptations cause them to bend, or twist from the path God has desired for them?

An arrow needs to have a sharp point. It is a defensive weapon. We are in a spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12-"For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day and having done all, to stand." Your child needs to be trained to be sharp to be able to stand while in spiritual battles. They need to be sharp, for the Bible commands us to not only "not sin", but we are to reprove sin. Ephesians 5:11-"And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them." 
Proverbs 27:17-"As iron sharpeneth iron: so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." A parent should do the main sharpening, but what type of friends is your child around. Are they going to help sharpen him, encourage him in his Christian life, or are they going to make him dull and useless? It is your job to be watching over who your child is with, are his friends spiritual? Not just Christian, are they going to encourage your child in his walk?

An arrow also needs to be clean. A dirty arrow becomes useless, and if not cleaned, will eventually be thrown away and discarded. 2 Timothy 2:4-"No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier." 1 John 3:3-"And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure." A dirty arrow will not fly straight, the tip will rust and the feathers will become useless. Are you training your child to stay clean? Or is your child dirtied by the world you have allowed in the home through worldly toys (characters from movies, the occult, supernatural, etc.), books (Are they encouraging your child in Biblical values? or are they teaching your child worldly views?), video games ( occultism and violence) and tv (once again occultism, violence, unbiblical standards, even anti-biblical)? Are your arrows clean?

Also, an arrow needs to be used. Do you take your arrow out of the quiver? Or do you so shelter them that they are never doing anything for the Lord? No, don't send your arrow out into the world unguided, and unprepared, but do some target practice. Take them with you when you witness. Allow them to see and learn under your guidance. The same with streetpreaching. Take them with you. Yes, there are some events children just should not be at. You should be training them though. Take them to streetpreach outside a rock concert and explain why the music and environment are wrong. Wouldn't you rather they learn it with you present and able to direct them? Explain to them why alcohol is wrong. When they see the affect of sin, and hear the Bible's directions about it, if you are training them properly they will become stronger and be able to stand. But, if you shelter them all the time they are in your home, and they have never had training, how do you expect them to stand, when they are no longer under your roof? Take them with you, allow them to witness. There is nothing like being stumped by a question on the street to encourage more studying of God's Word. Arrows are meant to be used! Your child needs to be able to defend their faith, stand up for what is right and witness to the lost. Are you preparing them to be a useful arrow? Or will God be unable to use them?

Well crafted arrows are used as models in designing more arrows. Would your child be used as a model for designing more like him? 1 Timothy 4:12-"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity." Is your arrow someone that other parents would want their child around because he is a good example of a Christian? Is your child showing qualities and characteristics of growing in his Christian walk? Would your child be a pattern for other arrows?Remember, eventually an arrow must leave the quiver and do it's job. Is your child being prepared for this?

I really hope that this is an encouragement to you to press on and keep shaping the arrows God has given you.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Idle Words



We all know that gossip is wrong, and it is often preached on, but the Lord has really laid on my heart the verse Matthew 12:36. "But I say unto you, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment." I wonder how often we say things idly without thinking first. Our family likes to have fun and joke around, but sometimes the joking becomes overly silly and I just wonder how the Lord looks on that. There are even times that the joking becomes disrespectful. You know like a brother or sister responding to an older brother or sister with sarcasm or disrespect and they do not have the correct tone, or step over the line in what is said. This doesn't just occur with children though, adults are just as guilty.

How often have you been around adults and the joking becomes inappropriate in a sense of things being said that are just to be funny, yet we never would say them in a serious manner. Have you ever sat around joking and making fun of the way some one looked or acted? Would you walk over and say it directly to them? It is easy for things to go further than they should when a group is together and starts goofing around.  Yes, even our family has done this, but is it an idle word that will be judged? Yes, most likely it will. Or maybe you have jokingly responded to your spouse in a manner, tone or with words you never would if you were serious. And if you say them in all seriousness that is wrong also! But will the Lord judge us for that? Most definitely. The verse says every idle word.

What about when you correct your children? Do you ever say things like : "How could you be so stupid?  That was the dumbest thing you could ever do! Can't you ever be careful? Timmy would never do that."  Now I know and you know, you don't really mean that, but does your child?  Are your idle words spoken in anger or frustration something that needs to be dealt with?
   
Now, I am not saying you can't have fun, but when does the fun step over the line? It may be a little different for each person, but have you ever taken time to consider this? I am, much more than I ever had before and I hope this will encourage you to think about this also. Yes, it is fine to joke, and perhaps your family will have different standards than another family, but do take time to explain to your children what is allowed, and what is not.  Be sure they understand that even idle words are important to the Lord.  Here are just a few points to consider:

1. Is what I said disrespectful?
2. Is what I said making fun of someone, whether they are present or not?
3. Is this something I would repeat to that persons face?
4. Am I teaching my children to be disrespectful?
5. Is what I said going to hurt someone's feeling?
6. Is this something I would say if I was not overtired or stressed?
7. Am I hanging around someone who causes me to say things I normally would not?
8. Is what I am saying really necessary?

Hope this helps! Until next time.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Pet Hair Is Everywhere



Hi Neighbors!!

You all may know that we used to raise Shelties, but now we have 4 Toy Aussies.  They each have their own personality that makes them just a little bit different, but one thing they have in common is FUR.  Lots of fur!  It is important to try and keep this under control, especially if you have someone in the family who suffers from allergies.

We have hardwood floors and tile throughout the house, so if not taken care of, not only do I have 4 furry pets running around, I also start to see loads of little fur bunnies scurrying around from place to place.  I have come up with a few solutions to cut down on these little fur balls.


The first thing we do, is to groom on a regular basis.  I have a grooming table, as well as bins full of grooming supplies.  We have brushes, combs, safety scissors, grooming gloves and wipes.  Using the glove and brushes on a regular basis will cut down on quite a bit of the loose fur floating around.  Wiping the dogs off when they come in with wipes, will also help remove loose fur.  Included in grooming we bathe the Aussies on a regular basis, usually about once every 4-6 weeks.

We also make sure we are feeding them a healthy food.  We have experienced trial and error while trying to find a good balance in their dry food.  Healthy food makes healthy coats.  Adding a small amount of coconut oil or fish oil will improve their coats.

I have a dust mop that sprays a small amount of cleaner out in front of the mop head.  This is good for those occasional loose hairs wandering around, before they group together to form a bust bunny.



For those hairs, that seem to appear on a semi-regular basis, we vacuum.  It is important to have a regular schedule for cleaning our floors.  I like the extra attachments on our vacuum that allow me to also vacuum under some of the shelves and furniture that fur-balls love to hide under.  Many a time I have cleaned a room to turn and see small dust bunnies come out from under a piece of furniture.  Make sure the vacuum you use is good for pet hair.  You can find reviews online, check this out now. A good vacuum is needed if you have carpet in your home as well.

Last of all, we have several lint rollers in the home.  We use these mainly on clothing, but they will also work on upholstered furniture.  My daughter carries a small lint roller in her purse to remove those stray hairs when she heads out.

Feel free to share your own tips and tricks in the comments below.  See you soon!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

5 Home Problems that Can Be Bigger Issues than You Think

Sometimes, a crack in the foundation is just a surface issue. Other times, it is a sign that your foundation is shifting and you need major repairs. Some home problems just require a little attention, and others are signs that you are dealing with more major issues. The only way to know for sure is to stay informed about the signs and to consult with a professional who can get to the bottom of the issue.

Here are five of the problems that you might encounter that can signal that you are dealing with a bigger issue in your home: 



Pests
You see a few cockroaches, and you put out a few traps. But the problem persists. You're annoyed, but you don't think anything of it. Little do you know that behind the walls is a teeming nest of roaches that is growing by the day and ready to spread germs throughout your home.
Moxie Pest Control (https://www.moxieservices.com/) warns that any visible pests can be a sign that you have a serious infestation. Typically, pests either live in places you wouldn't see them or they try to avoid you, so there's no reason for you to see them. You need to hire an exterminator to do a thorough inspection once a year, as well as any time you see pests. A professional can develop an effective plan to get rid of the pests quickly and to keep them out of your home.



Roof Damage
You may see a loose shingle and think you just need to call a roofer to replace it after a storm. But a loose shingle can be a sign that your roof is failing or that you have other serious roof issues. Other signs that you could have a serious roof problem include moss or mildew on the roof, peeling paint on your ceiling or walls, or utility bills that are higher without explanation.
Schedule a roof inspection at least once a year and again after each major storm. Always call a roofer if you see one of these signs. Allowing the problem to go unaddressed could allow damage to spread, costing you even more money. 



Plumbing Leak
We all get the occasional leaky faucet. Connections loosen over time, and components wear down. But sometimes, a leak is a sign of a larger problem. And sometimes, a leak can go undetected, letting water spread throughout your home and causing damage that you can't even see. 

Always call a plumber if you notice a leak or signs of a leak, such as brown spots on the floor or walls, the smell of mildew, or a rising water bill. The sooner you can put a stop to the leak, the better.

Sagging Floors
Floors can begin to dip over time because of heavy traffic in one spot or even a gradual weakening of the wood. Fixing this problem may be as simple as replacing a joist. However, floors can also sag because you have a termite infestation or there is extensive water damage. The only way to know for sure is to call a contractor to investigate the problem.
Don't dismiss sagging floors in your aging house. Find out if there's a bigger problem and correct it as quickly as possible.



Flickering Lights
You turn the light on and it flickers a few times before it stays on. You think you just need to change the light bulb. Little do you know that there is a major electrical issue waiting to cause a spark and potentially a house fire.

Never ignore electrical issues like flickering lights, randomly ringing doorbells or glitchy appliances. You could have water damage, a problem with an electrical wire, or some other issue that could cause a major electrical fire. 

Things will inevitably go wrong with your house, no matter how old it is. You need to get regular maintenance, and you need to know when to call a professional. Understanding when you're dealing with a bigger problem is key to keeping your house and your family safe. Learn the names of professionals you can trust, and keep their numbers handy in case of a problem.

DaffaDoot Reflux Wedge Pillow

*Sponsored
Hey neighbors!!

Here is a super product, if you have a newborn, a DaffaDoot Reflux Wedge.  It would also make a wonderful baby shower gift.  Take a moment to read a little about this wedge pillow.  

** SPECIFICS ABOUT OUR CRIB WEDGE:

DaffaDoot Baby Reflux Wedge Pillow. For babies who frequently suffer from reflux or dramatically spit-up. It's a safe, sound baby reflux treatment which gently elevates the baby's head and torso to help alleviate discomfort due to frequent stomach acid or frequent spitting up. Happy baby equals happy parents!




What makes the DaffaDoot Reflux Wedge Pillow special:
Many wedges are "foldable", which means that it's actually two smaller wedge pieces held together by a cover. In other words, it is split and can "gap" under baby. Foldable wedges are marketed as "convenient to store"... but this feature degrades its performance. It's better to have a wedge which focuses on performance instead of focusing on easy storage. Foldable wedges, since they are in multiple pieces, are also more likely to shift around. Our wedge is a single, stable, correctly sized piece with a non-skid bottom and a hypoallergenic, waterproof casing. The zipper is at the back of the wedge (to keep it well away from baby) and our foam is the perfect firmness (not too soft, not too hard). It meets and exceeds federal safety regulations. These regulations dictate that the wedge must extend the entire width of the crib mattress (27"). Anything else is not snug enough.We are using an eco-friendly zippered bag to package our wedge. This can be used to store your wedge in later, or as a blanket bag today.




 
** SPECIFICS ABOUT DAFFADOOT:

DaffaDoot is all about family values, and we are on a mission to improve the lives of everyone we can reach. We are a Mother/Daughter team, and proudly donate our time and money to numerous organizations supporting pregnant moms-to-be, new parents, battered women, and school age children. We are insanely committed to providing the best customer service on the planet and delivering only the highest quality products available.

Happy Times! DaffaDoot Brings It!

My Readers Receive 20% off orders using Promo Code HWBLFYLE 
1. Crib Wedge - amazon.com/dp/B074BPBTTN 

2. Auto Seat Protector - amazon.com/dp/B0788HY2QS

3. Car mirror - amazon.com/dp/B077JJZZLZ

Thanks for stopping by today!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

4 Great Places to Take an Overland Trip

Overland trips allow you to experience the natural world in a way that few people do. But what if you don't have a particular destination in mind for your next journey? What if you need some fun travel ideas? Here are just a few places where you might enjoy an overland trip.



1. Japan
One of the most incredible things about Japan is that you can travel the entire length of the country in just a few weeks. It won't take you months and months of vacation time to see everything that the Land of the Rising Sun has to offer. From the rugged snow-topped mountains of Akita to the glittering shores of Odaiba Beach, you can pack it all into one exciting trip.



2. America
America has a number of highways, trails and driving routes that attract overlanders from all around the world. For example, the Trans-America Trail (TAT) stretches more than 5,000 miles between Tennessee and Oregon, and you'll get to enjoy everything from cliffs to forests as you follow it. It's definitely a road trip for the ages!



3. Tanzania
If you're looking to take an authentic African safari, try a place like Tanzania. It has all kinds of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries where you can see lions, tigers, elephants, rhinos and wildebeests. It's also a nice destination for travel photography if you're a shutterbug. There's nothing like a golden African sun rising over marula trees!



4. Australia
Experience a land "down under" when you travel the Australian outback. It's famous for its lush scenery and exotic animals, so you're sure to have a one-of-a-kind experience as you travel. An overland trip only makes it that much better. Instead of being stuck in the crush of the big cities, you'll have the wind in your hair as you drive through nature.

If you're ready to buy some overland equipment and hit the road, try one of these destinations for your next trip. They might be different in terms of scenery and style, but all of them will make for an amazing journey!

Summer Parties

If you love gathering your family and friends and hosting big backyard barbecues, holiday events and fun themed parties at your home, you may be in need of some ideas and ways to make your job as host easier. While it is fun to kick back with family and friends and enjoy the big event, there is a lot of prep work that needs to be done to ensure that everything goes off without a hitch. Here are some quick and easy tips to make your next outdoor event a complete success.


One of the easiest ways you can save yourself a ton of headache during your next planned party or event is to stop playing caterer. You can spend a ton of money and time buying, preparing, cooking and grilling food for all of your guests, or you can simply tell everyone that it is going to be a potluck party. Hiring a professional caterer saves you a lot of time, but it can be very expensive. When you tell your guests that it is a potluck party, every guest will have to contribute a dish in order to attend the event. This not only saves you time and money, it also greatly reduces clean up after the party, since people will be bringing their leftover food and dishes back home.



Renting out backyard games and boards: cornhole, volleyball, giant Jenga, ladder ball and other games is much easier than attempting a last-minute DIY project or spending a ton of money purchasing games you may only use once or twice a year. There are a plethora of online and local party stores and companies that offer different types of game and cornhole rentals.


Arguably the biggest way to save money at your next outdoor event is to require your guests to bring their own beverages. Perhaps you can make a large pitcher of lemonade or purchase several 2 liters of soda to offer guests when they first arrive. Place all the beverages brought in by your guests on a table, where everyone can have access.

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Picture of Steps for a "Green" Home




Running a home is not always easy, particularly if you have a large family. It can get very difficult to fulfil the organizational tasks from day to day for someone who is a homemaker full time, let alone someone who also has a career and has to manage the income on top of that. Adding even more responsibilities such as trying to make your household run "green" can seem like a weary burden you can’t afford to think about. It’s not particularly hard to understand why this is the case.


Thankfully, a "green" home is much easier to run than you might think. After all, small and incremental steps, or steps taken every once in a while, will speak volumes more than no effort at all. Green work is all about sustainability and recycling. So if it is a burden to you to manage these tasks, it’s likely you’re going to fail no matter how noble your initial intention is. You walk up a mountain with small steps, and that attitude should be carried over to this.


You might be wondering what small steps you can carry out if you’re not already. Here are some you might like to implement:


Recycling Regularity


Regularly recycling your plastic and cans can be a great step to start with. Without this, all of your waste will go to landfill. That’s not good. At least recycling can help a large family contribute well to the world around them, and lessen their footprint on the environment. Be sure you request the correct bins from your local authority, as they are usually obligated to help you recycle if the collections are available for it in your area. If not, consider crafting a compost in your garden from organic materials, as this can help you grow your own plants or vegetables, helping reduce your footprint a little more. Opting for healthier packaging methods can help you to no small degree also.


Donating Goods


Donating your unwanted goods not only helps you lessen the clutter of your home, but allows those belongings to find a better place or to fundraise through upcycling, perhaps in the direction of people less fortunate than you. Be sure to opt for a reputable charitable service here such as Habitat for Humanity, and you will have absolutely no trouble with the process of donating goods, thus allowing your family to help others, and once again the environment around you.


Energy Saving


Choosing energy saving bulbs, opting for electrical appliances with high energy efficiency such as monitors or computer components, reminding your family to switch off appliances and only keeping the number of lights on in the house that are appropriate by installing motion sensors can really help with your overall energy usage. Not only does this save you money in the long term, but helps you use less energy from the grid, and thus detach yourself from the constant use of power. This can also help your appliances last longer, allowing you to conserve their use and neglect to take part in rampant consumerism.


A "green" household is one that does everything in its power to reduce its footprint on the environment around it. This doesn’t mean driving yourself insane in this process but making small changes that can help in the long term. Thankfully, those in this list are easy to begin. Why not try a few for yourself?

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Shopping for High-quality Art Supplies

   Arts and crafts are mindful activities that calm and quiet anxious individuals.  People who engage in activities like painting, drawing, sketching, and other forms of art find it easier to relax and to stay ahead of difficult emotions like sadness, depression, and panic.

   As calming as these activities might be, they still require participants to have access to supplies that will serve them well.  You can shop online for specialty paintbrushes, stencils, paints, markers, and other supplies today.



Top Quality Design

   The paintbrushes that are for sale online are designed for budding artists who want to create memorable works of art.  They feature craftsmanship from top quality materials like horse hair and fine wood.  These materials are designed to last for years without breaking, warping, or coming loose while the brushes are being used.

   They also come in a variety of widths and lengths, allowing you to have brushes on hand for all types of art projects.  When you need to paint in fine lines, for example, you can use a narrow and smaller brush.  When you want to paint in larger areas or use broader strokes, you can use a wider brush with thicker bristles.



Shopping in Stores

   If you prefer not to buy the brushes online, you might wonder where you can find them in local stores.  The website shows you the various retailers that carry the brushes in stock.  You can locate these stores in your local area and then make a trip to that location to look at the brushes firsthand.

   Additionally, you can get inspiration for present and future projects by reading the company's blog on its website.  The blog highlights artistic endeavors that might interest you.  You can use these posts to decide what to paint.


   Painting can be a calming activity that allows you to create unique works of art while staying on top of challenging emotions.  You can indulge in this pastime to your own level of contentment by purchasing top quality art supplies on the website.  You can also get inspiration from blog posts.

Join Swagbucks and Earn!




All throughout July you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon or PayPal cash.  

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how:  

1. Sign up using this link 

2. Earn 300 SB total before August 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it!  

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned several thousand SB and usually use it for Amazon for gifts, or occasionally PayPal. 

Join the July Swago





The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts on their July Swago Board, which runs from July 9th through July 16th at 9am PT! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips: 
  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
     
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
     
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, July 16th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
     
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, July 16th to use all your spins. 

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.  

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of August, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Simple Tips For Becoming A Greener Home Today

Concerned about the environment? With all the stories in the news lately about the effects of plastics, global warming and changes to our landscapes - it’s no wonder it’s at the front of your mind. The good news is that everyone can do their part to help out and make the planet a greener place.


Image: Pxhere


Whatever your current efforts, there’s always room for improvement. Take a look at these simple tips for becoming a greener home today to help you and your family do your part to help the environment.

Reduce how much energy you use

One of the immediate things you can do to help the environment is to reduce your energy use. Not only will cutting how much gas or electric you use help your home to produce fewer emissions, but it will also help you lower your electricity bills. Simple things like turning appliances off at the mains, using less heating and cutting your morning shower in half can all bring your energy use down.

Set a target for your recycling

How effective are your current recycling efforts? By recycling your unwanted trash, you will be doing the environment a favor and ensuring that local wildlife doesn’t suffer as a result of waste. As well as your usual plastics, paper, metal recycling, you can also recycle items like your electronics, your clothes and even your furniture. If you’re concerned about having multiple piles around your home, call in professional rubbish removal. As explained in this infographic: https://www.dirtcheaprubbishremoval.com.au/Infographic-Why-You-Need-Professional-Rubbish-Removal-Sydney.php, rubbish removal has many benefits. Aim to increase the amount of trash that you and your family recycle to significantly reduce your waste and make your home much more environmentally-friendly.


You can also reduce your food waste by making meal plans to help you plan your grocery list better, as well as making the most of your freezer to save leftovers. Food waste can also be recycled, so keep a compost bin in your kitchen to help you reduce everyday food waste.

Use your car less

Want to be greener and boost your health at the same time? Then start using your car less. By walking to work, cycling, and making fewer small errands and carpooling where possible, will all help you to reduce your fuel emissions, as well as your fuel costs. Walking more is an easy way to fit more exercise into your day, helping you and your family to become healthier.


Doing your bit for the environment benefits your home by helping you be more efficient, less wasteful and by helping you to save money too. There is an increasing number of ways you can help the environment, and making those small changes to your lifestyle will have an impact. Teach your kids about what they can do to help, and document your efforts on social media to spread the word.


What are you doing to make your home greener? Are there any tips you can share that will help others?

La Tavola Authentic Italian



If you have been searching for a great Italian Restaurant in the Burlington, Keokuk, Ft. Madison area, you need look no further.  After being recommended to La Tavola by my son, who lives in Burlington, ( we live nearly an hour away), I thought we would take his advice and try it out and I am sure glad that we did!  We have traveled quite extensively over the years and visited many Italian restaurants, including some well-known ones in Chicago as well as others in various states including Florida, Kentucky, Utah etc. Many individuals who write a review do so because they live close by and are impressed in comparison to similar businesses that are in the surrounding area.  Because of our travels, my experience encompasses a wide variety of Italian restaurants.   La Tavola ranks among the best and in my humble opinion, there is no Italian eatery in this area that comes close.  
      




First of all the food is genuine Italian made by a man who understands Italian food, because he IS Italian and much of what he learned came from his mother and his sisters.  Carlo and Cheryl opened La Tavola in 2007 with the intent to bring authentic Italian food to the Burlington area and they have well succeeded.  The proof is in the pudding, so to speak, and the food speaks for itself.  The first time in I ordered the Chicken Parmigiana.  As advised by our server when debating the parmigiana or the spaghetti, I chose both!  The Chicken Parmigiana comes with an option of spaghetti for a side.  Katie recommended getting the spaghetti side and then adding meatballs.  After that I was hooked!  Unlike other restaurants that I have tried, the chicken in the Parmigiana was moist, not dry and crusty.  The spaghetti was outstanding partially due to the marinara sauce which only added to the meal.  The flavor of the sauce can only be described as fresh and tasty!  The meatballs again, are moist and just right!  After partaking of my lunch I sat back and realized that the meal was literally perfect, there was no improvement that could be made to this “delight” that I had just partaken of!  You have heard someone say about a meal, or perhaps you have said it yourself, “It was great but I wish there were more?”  Well, that does not apply at LaTavola.  I had enough leftovers to have a complete meal for lunch the next day and by the way, I am no light eater.  I was so pleased by my experience there as was everyone else who was with me at the time, that I ordered a large pizza and my wife ordered a meat Calzone to go.  The meat Calzone has ham, sausage and pepperoni as well as both mozzarella and ricotta cheese in it.  The Calzones are HUGE and there is no exaggeration in my statement!  For the average person, one Calzone will make two meals and again, is superb.  My pizza was a large two-topping sausage and pepperoni that did not disappoint!  It was fresh-tasting, in complete contrast to the fast food pizzas that many settle for and between the combination of the toppings, the crust and once again, that wonderfully-flavored sauce, the result was one fantastic pie!
      







We have visited La Tavola four or five times in the last two months and in that time various family members have had numerous Calzones, Chicken Fettucini Alfredo, Stuffed Shells and Lasagna as well as Pizza.  We have thoroughly enjoyed the La Tavola experience every time!  Each dinner comes with garlic bread, garlic bread that actually has garlic on it (some businesses seem to hide the seasoning on the “garlic” bread), a side salad and we have ordered the garlic knots as an appetizer (as if we needed an appetizer)!   The food and dining experience is worth whatever drive you may have!
      


The people, be it the owners Carlo and Cheryl, or the employees, only add to the time spent there.  I have spoken to both Carlo and Cheryl numerous times, though usually brief, and both are down to earth individuals, willing and ready to say hello to their patrons, and on those rare occasions where they are not cooking, are glad to hold a quick conversation.  The service is at it should be, with the server there to assist, answer questions, bring refills etc. but not hover around so much that you feel like they are eating with you.  Ariana and Katie have been our servers in the past and their service shows that La Tavola has it right once again.  Pleasant employees who are there to help you enjoy your experience at their dining establishment.  Whether this is due to the training of the servers or the carefulness of Carlo and Cheryl as they choose their employees, it works!  And prices?  To me, the food is a bargain for what you receive.  The prices are no more, or less, than certain Italian Restaurant chains, but the food is authentic and made as ordered, not taken from a freezer and popped into a microwave!

      


To finish off your meal, you can also order one of the most unique desserts.  It is orange sorbet frozen inside a carved out orange.  It is delicious.  Or if you prefer a cannoli, my daughters said those are great too!!

My vote for La Tavola, Burlington, Iowa is 5 stars!  You have worked hard all week, perhaps its your anniversary or maybe you just happen to be downtown at lunchtime.  Stop in, look at their menu, which includes much more than I have mentioned, and enjoy the La Tavola experience!  You will not be disappointed!  You can find them on Facebook - HERE

James