Tuesday, June 25, 2019

July 4th Picnic or Party Ideas!

Hey neighbors!!

Who doesn't love gathering together with friends and family for a 4th of July picnic or party?  Here are a few ideas if you happen to be the one planning the get together.

Table Decor and Supplies
First off if you are creative I found a beautiful tablecloth made from handkerchiefs or bandanas.  You could easily make several for all the tables, or make just one for your main serving table.  See the picture below.


You can also purchase reusable, wipe off tablecloths, so you can put them away and use them year after year.  You can choose a 4th of July design, or choose plain red, plain white and plain blue, and then you can pull them out for other occasions too.


If you choose the handkerchiefs, you can also use extras as napkins!!  Other options of course include disposable napkins.

You have plenty options for table decor.  You can choose red, white and blue carnations for your centerpieces, or you can purchase table decor from places like Hobby Lobby or Amazon.



Look at this table top cooler to help keep beverages and cold drinks cool! 


Be sure to decorate with plenty of red, white and blue!!  You can of course go the easier route, and just purchase a set of plates, napkins, etc.



General Decorations
Obviously these choices will be based on whether you are having an indoor or outdoor celebration.  Inside you will most likely hang a few decorations on the wall, while outside, you can string decorations around the yard.  Be sure to put a nice patriotic looking sign out front to announce the party to people as they arrive. This works well too if you are meeting at a park or pavilion.


Games
1. For the kids you could plan a red, white and blue water ballon war.  Just make sure parents know to bring a change of clothing.  Or pull out the slip and slide.

2. Fill a mason jar with red, white and blue candy, like jelly beans, and ask guests to guess how many are in the jar.  Have pens and small sheets of paper available for them to write their estimate on. The winner gets to take the jar of jelly beans home.  

3. Plan a Patriotic Scavenger Hunt where clues will lead guests to find miniature soldiers, Statue of Liberty, flags and more!

4. Play a game of flag football.

5. Put up sheet after dark, and let the adults and children watch a patriotic movie.  Options include National Treasure, Captain America, Yankee Doodle Dandy, Night at the Museum, even The Music Man.

For the competitive games have small rewards.  Maybe take home a watermelon, a $5 GC for a local restaurant, or just some gag gifts.  Get creative and have fun!!

Food
Generally, keeping it simple is best.  Some may want to cater in food, or create elaborate meals, but keep the day easy for you too.  If it works for you, you could have people sign up to bring a certain dish so it all does not fall on your shoulders. Fire up the grill and cook some hamburgers and hotdogs.  For the kids you could heat up some chicken nuggets or mini corndogs.  Open a few bags of chips with dip or even popcorn.  Add some potato or macaroni salad, which you can keep cold in your table top cooler (see above).  A big pot of baked beans goes well too.



Drinks can include ice tea or lemonade and have a few strawberries and blueberries that can be added to the drinks.  The kids might prefer a punch or even Kool-aid.  

Desserts can include Strawberry Shortcake.  Between the strawberries, whipped topping and add a few blueberries and it will fit right in with your red, white and blue theme.  Cut up some nice, juicy, watermelon for a cool refreshing treat on that warm summer day.  Another idea would be cherry and blueberry pies with vanilla ice cream or whipped topping.



Entertainment
Be sure to have some cd's on hand to play throughout the day.  And once evening comes you can watch your movie (see above), pull out some sparklers, or watch the local fireworks.  Set up a table with some board games for the "older" children. 

Hope this helps give someone a few ideas.  Thanks for stopping by, where neighbors share!  Share a few of your own ideas in the comments.



Monday, June 24, 2019

HipStik Legwear!

Hey, y'all!

Today I want to take a few minutes to share about Hipstik with you!  Hipstik is a woman-founded/owned company that offers tights and hosiery (made in the USA!).



"It all started with a pair of scissors. Seriously! One day after work, while changing into PJs, my husband and co-founder, Jason, was baffled by the scissor cut down the front of my pantyhose. He said, “What happened there?” I said, “THEY’RE SO UNCOMFORTABLE, so I cut them in the bathroom at the office!” We had a good laugh and that pair ended up in the trash. And then I began the hunt for a comfortable pair. After years of trying on dozens of styles and brands, I had given up. The largest size was too small – the tug, pull and irritating squeeze. The waist always too high – why is control top the only style available?! What if I don’t want a control top at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday!  I knew there had to be better. That’s when I had the “light-bulb” moment. With our backgrounds in product development and marketing, we knew we could make this happen. I could bring women the tights they actually want to wear. Then, the real work started. Asking friends about their own experiences wearing hosiery. Finding a manufacturing partner. Samples. Conversations. Samples. Testing. Patenting. It became a crusade for comfort in a product category that has never been comfortable. And here we are – Hipstik is everything women have ever wanted in a pair. I have found my happy. And I truly believe Hipstik tights are so comfortable, they will make your day happier, too."


There are several styles and colors to choose from, and each item features a feminine lace waistband (stretchy, so it's sure to fit correctly!), and it actually has a little silicone band to keep it from sliding.  That is honestly probably my favorite feature of these!  I love the classic look of wearing hose any time I'm "dressed up", and I can attest to the fact that it's hard finding a pair that the waistband does not slide or roll.


If you wear hose or tights on even a semi-regular occasion, you definitely need to head on over to the Hipstik website and choose a pair of your own!  You can also Like them on Facebook and Follow them on Twitter to stay up to date on their latest news, products, etc.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Top Dog-Friendly Destinations in the US


Summertime means longer days and warmer weather. With the extended sunlight hours comes extended time for recreation with your dog, which is fantastic. Summertime is also synonymous with vacations, which can often bring about trepidation for many dog owners.

The anxiety of trying to find an affordable dogsitter for an extended period of time is only rivaled by the anxiety of considering a cross-country trip with your confined canine.

Not to worry. We have compiled a list of dog-friendly destinations in every region of the country. So you can confidently plan to have your favorite canine companion accompany you on your travels.
East
Dog Mountain - Vermont
Dog Mountain, the brainchild and vision of married artists Stephen and Gwen Huneck, is located on 150 acres of a private mountaintop in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. The grounds are always open to people and their dogs. The Hunecks bought the property in 1995. In 1997, construction began on the Dog Chapel, which serves as a memorial for people whose pets have passed on. In addition to standard doors, the chapel has a dog door, pews with carved dogs on the ends, and stained glass windows celebrating the joy dogs bring to our lives. 

The chapel opened in 2000, and Stephen Huneck provided for much of the gorgeous design that was developed. Over the years, pet lovers have contributed with their tributes: pictures, letters, and colorful notes to departed pets, covering all of the walls several layers deep. The result is a masterpiece beyond description.
Freedom Trail - Massachusetts
The Freedom Trail Foundation's most popular tour highlights the revolutionary history that took place at 11 of the 16 official Freedom Trail historic sites. This 2.5-mile path is marked by either red bricks or a red painted line and winds through the city, starting at the Boston Common Visitor Center located on Tremont Street south of Park Street.

Leashed pets are welcome to enjoy the Freedom Trail with you; just remember to adhere to the following rules:
  • Pets must be leashed
  • Pet waste must be picked up and disposed of properly
  • Pets using the Boston Common Off-leash Area (from 6 am – 11 pm daily) must have current vaccinations, a current license, wear an ID tag at all times, and be leashed when entering and exiting the area. Owners must always carry a leash and are limited to three dogs in the off-leash area at a time.
Newport Cliff Walk - Rhode Island
Newport's majestic Cliff Walk is the perfect place for you and your dog to encounter a prolonged moment of peace. Observe the glory of the Gilded Age mansions, take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the ocean, breathe in the invigorating sea breeze, and explore the pristine beaches.

Your dog is welcome on the Cliff Walk, but he or she must be leashed and you must pick up after your dog. The 3.5-mile trail is littered with stretches of lawns, beaches, and parks for you and your dog to use as resting areas.
Mystic Seaport Museum - Connecticut
Mystic Seaport is the largest maritime museum in the country, but it doesn’t feel like a typical museum at all. The modern technology and nautical history are woven together so seamlessly that it has the feel of an interactive park of innovation and information. There are ample opportunities to explore impressive old boats and learn about the maritime lifestyle of New England in the 1800s.

Leashed pets are permitted throughout the 19-acre grounds of Mystic Seaport Museum, but they are prohibited from entering restaurants, exhibit buildings, or display vessels. Your dog, however, is allowed on boat rentals and on waterfront cruise boats, as long as there’s room on the tour for your dog to fit comfortably.
South
City of Charleston - South Carolina
Charleston, also known as The Holy City and Silicon Harbor, has been voted one of America’s friendliest cities in the US multiple times over. That cordiality is extended to your canine companions. From admiring the amazing architecture on King Street to strolling on the edges of Charleston Harbor to taking in the Civil War history at the Battery, there are dozens of dog-friendly venues to appreciate in the scenic southern city.
Nestled in between lush hiking trails and a historic downtown, the Hot Springs National Park is a great place to walk, run, or camp out with your pet. There is a peaceful river that can serve as a a cooling off point where your dog can dip its paws. And with 26 miles of hiking trails bicycle-spoked throughout the park as you pass by Bathhouse Row, you’ll have plenty of room to give yourself and your pup a substantial workout.
Eastport is a serene sailing neighborhood in historic Annapolis and has plenty of dog-friendly venues and activities. Take your dog on the All About Annapolis Walking Tour. Then, stroll through the many waterfront parks that are littered with Revolutionary War history and artifacts. Finally, patronize one of the many dog-friendly restaurants like The Wet Dog Cafe or Davis’s Pub.
The birthplace of the nation’s 16th President is surrounded by woods, hills, well-kept walking trails, and a river – all of which are available for you and your dog to wander and explore. Although pets are not allowed in the monument building or the visitor center, there are plenty of wide-open spaces like the Big Field at Knob Creek that your dog can take advantage of for recreation.
Midwest
Black Hills and Badlands - South Dakota
Whether you want to camp out at dog-friendly sites like Lake Park Campground and the Rapid City KOA or want to visit the iconic Mount Rushmore, you can bring along your four-legged friend with confidence to experience these scenic venues in the Dakotas. With scores of trails, miniature mountains, and creeks to explore, you and your pet will not lack for outdoor adventure.
Itasca State Park - Minnesota
From the Headwaters Center to Lake Itasca and river headwaters is an 800-foot trail where you and your furry traveler can observe diverse wildlife up close. From ducks to chipmunks to turtles and deer, Itasca State Park is crawling with creatures to spot and snap pictures of. 

After exploring headwaters, you and your dog should traverse the Wilderness Drive, a paved, 10-mile, one-way loop that circles through the park. Travel by vehicle, by bike, or by foot if you’re looking for a challenge.
This vestige of frontier living and Native American culture is a quiet venue, rich with history, that is a suitable expedition for you and your dog. As with most of these locations, pets on a leash are welcome to walk the trails and explore the grounds at the Knife River Indian Villages’ site with you, as long as you pick up after them. They’re prohibited from entering the visitor center and the reconstructed earthen lodge. The Village Trail can is accessible from the visitor center, and the North Forest Trail and Two Rivers Trail are accessible from parking areas on Highway 18.
West
Painted perfectly on a canvas of burnt red rock and verdant foliage, the desert city of Sedona is a picturesque destination for any dog lover. There are a variety of parks and hiking areas throughout Sedona and the surrounding towns, including Red Rock State Park, Coconino National Forest, and Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness. Leashes must be worn by your dog on the trails, but wherever you choose to begin and end your Sedona expedition, you’re bound to have a blast.
You and your dog will be transported back in time when visiting the Palm Springs Air Museum. You will be able to explore antique aircraft from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. As long as your dog is friendly and is on a leash, you’re welcome to attend any of the walking tours or explore many of the vintage exhibits.
Monument Valley has a unique place in cinematic history, having served as the backdrop for many Western films and having been featured in iconic blockbusters like Forrest Gump and Back to the Future Part III. Monument Valley’s multi-faceted, multi-colored desert landscape is located on the Arizona-Utah border and offers plenty of hiking trails to enjoy with your pup. One such trail is Wildcat Trail, a nearly-four-mile hiking trail that dives into the valley and wraps around West Mitten Butte.
Santa Monica - California
From the famed Santa Monica Pier to Airport Park Dog Park to Huntington Dog Beach, Santa Monica, California is saturated with dog-friendly venues, both indoors and in the open air. Santa Monica is a bona fide dog lovers’ community. The extra care and attention that the residents have invested in creating a canine-compassionate culture make this city an attractive and comfortable destination for visiting tourists and their pets.

So as you deliberate on where to travel during the dog days of summer, you should give great consideration to these dog-friendly destinations.

Bio

Schimri Yoyo is a writer for exercise.com and a financial advisor with active health and life insurance licenses. Born in Haiti. Reared in Brockton, MA. Matured in Philadelphia. Schimri is a proud graduate of Arcadia University, having earned both a Masters in Special Education and an MFA in Creative Writing from the castle-riddled campus in Glenside, PA. By personality and by profession, Schimri is an educator and a storyteller who is eager to assist individuals and families to craft and complete their own financial success stories.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Benefits of Investing - Brice Capital



Hey neighbors!!

So good to see you all today!!  We are going to have a short discussion on investing.  How many of you are dabbling in investing?  Did you start out young, or did you start investing as you got older?  Are you investing on your own, using a broker, or are you in a 401K plan at work?

First of all, I want to say here, that I am 54 and prior to a couple years ago, never considered investing in any way.  Since I have begun a little research I have learned more and wish I had started when I was quite a bit younger.  Looking back I can see where investing would have been a benefit and though I can start now, obviously it won't have as much impact as if I had begun years ago.


First of all there is a major benefit by learning to invest when you are younger.  Not only does your investment have more time to grow, but you will learn early on what works for you and be able to branch out some.  Investing early, will also teach an awareness of money and how to budget and how to manage your money.

Most of the information I read said one of the best things to do is to get out of any debt before investing.  Pay off credit cards and any other debts.  Starting early can prevent having to go through this step. Once you have done this you should try to set aside enough funds to carry you through approximately three months without any income.  This will be of benefit, should you become unemployed and is a means to get you through until you find a new job without touching your investments.

Now, most people think, "I do not have enough money to invest".  It really does not take large amounts of money to get started.  I learned about Robo Advisors.  You can start with $100, and sign up through a Robo Advisor and they will make choices for you based on the information you input, like the amount you are able to invest, the amount of risk you are willing to take, and the amount of return you are expecting.  Robo Advisors a are much less expensive route to go, because you will not incur the larger fees of working with an investment company.  Be sure to check out the companies before investing through them.


There is also something called DRIP Stocks, where you can invest as little as $10.  I need to do more research on this one.  This method also avoids using a broker, so your output in fees is obviously less.  You are actually investing in the company and you want to choose a well established company.  This is a long term investment strategy, not a quick turn-around.

As with any type of investment program, diversity is a must.  You don't want to put all your money in one place, just in case there is a problem you will have other options available.


Another form of investment is in real estate.  If you have the skills to successfully purchase a piece of real estate and make repairs, this might be a viable option for you.  You must of course have the extra money to invest and to have it tied up for the amount of time it takes you to make repairs and then resell.  We personally know a couple of people who do this.  This is of course a high risk if you do not know what you are getting in to, or you do not have the necessary skills to do repairs and upgrades.  Before flipping a house consider what will go in to the full process.

Any one of these methods of investment will eventually produce a nest egg for your future.  You can rest knowing that you have created funds for later on in life, and the ability to get through minor setbacks that life throws at you.

I hope this information is a benefit to someone.  This really is just a general, basic post to give you some ideas on how you can invest and benefit from investing.  Have some ideas?  Share them in the comments.  Thanks for stopping by, where neighbors share!!

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Captain Marvel


Hey neighbors!!

How many of you have already seen Captain Marvel?  Captain Marvel actually released last week on DVD on June 11th, but I did not get the opportunity to see it until this week.  Anyway, we have a player that takes out swear words, so the family was able to sit down and with this together.  If you haven't seen it yet, you might want to get a copy for yourself. The spectacular, 1990s-era Super Hero adventure, which electrified and inspired audiences worldwide and surpassed $1 billion in ticket sales, is available on Digital in HD and 4K Ultra HD™ and Movies Anywhere May 28, and lands on Blu-ray™ and Blu-ray 4K Ultra HD™ June 11.  Bring home the first female-led franchise film that launches audiences higher, further, faster, centered on Carol Danvers a.k.a. Captain Marvel.

      After hearing mixed reviews about Captain Marvel, yet still curious about how it would be, I popped it in my player and gave it a viewing.  As most movies are that introduce a character by giving the backstory, Captain Marvel takes a few minutes to get into the story, but the film delivers as far as I am concerned and does not deserve some of the negativity that has surrounded it.  
     
 The actress Brie Larson does a fine job as the female superhero, providing a good balance between humor and seriousness.  And the roughly two hour movie has both.  While not having as many funny scenes as Guardians of the Galaxy and some of the other Marvel blockbusters, Captain Marvel has enough to crack a few smiles and lighten the mood when necessary.  The action scenes are plenty including a fantastic fight scene aboard a train and some battles that take place on space ships.  Fans of science fiction will be doubly pleased with the feature as it includes  alien races, beings that can change shapes etc.  The special effects are as good or better than expected and are right in line with other movies in the Marvel Universe.

      
And to bring in a popular character from the Marvel films and finally include his backstory, was a smart move on the part of the writers.  This character, (no spoilers here, sorry), added some fun and flavor to the movie.  The ending satisfied as so few movies do these days.  So sit back and enjoy Captain Marvel.  You will be glad you did.



If you want to share your opinion, please do so in the comments.  Thanks for stopping by where neighbors share.

June Gramma In A Box



Hey neighbors!!

Our Gramma in a Box arrived and I was pretty excited to see what was in it this time!  This box centers on Minions and Emojis.  How neat is that?

So, Gramma in a Box always arrives in her red box with stickers on the outside.  You just know that there is something special inside.  Gramma in a Box never fails to meet expectations!!  The box arrives with just about everything you need to complete the projects.  And the items you need to add are pretty common kitchen items.  We needed a microwave safe bowl, a spoon, a knife and of course you need a microwave. As a side not though the microwave is to melt the chocolate pieces and there is a stove top method to do this if necessary.


Each Gramma in a Box starts with 4 cards.  An introduction card and then the recipe cards.  The recipe cards give step by step instructions on how to complete each project and it lists the ingredients on the back with allergy warnings.  The ingredients are separated into small containers, so you can pull out what you need for each project.  She also includes wax paper to make your creations on.


Our first project this month was Emoji Pops.  We pulled out the necessary items and melted the chocolate to start.  First you get a little melted chocolate on the end of your provided stick and then insert it in a marshmallow.  Then dip or roll the marshmallow in the chocolate.  Dip top of the marshmallow in the brown jimmies for hair.  Use the candy decorations to create your emoji faces.  They came out so adorable.




Next we made the Minion Bites.  Basically the Rice Krispie mix coated in yellow chocolate and sprinkled liberally with the blue jimmies.  Pretty neat looking.




Last of all were the Minion/Emoji  cookies to decorate.  They came with yellow, blue and red frosting, already to decorate with, just snip a small hole in the tip of the bag.  Then add leftover candy decorations of eyes, mustache, hearts, and bow ties.  There are blue and gold sugar sprinkles and of course you can use the leftover jimmies.  I think they came out looking pretty good.



One last thing was in the box and that is the Gramma in a Box business card. You can subscribe with an auto debit program for only $20 per month…and the first box is only $10 – no code needed. There are several other options on her website as well.  Neighbors, this is a really neat subscription box to do with your children, grandchildren, or nieces and nephews.  Could you just go purchase everything yourself and come up with your own projects?  Probably, but you would have to find projects and purchase the supplies.  This way, everything is already planned, you have everything you need, and you don't realize in the middle of a project that you forgot something.  I am really impressed with the quality of Gramma in a Box and she comes up with new projects each month.  Purchase one for yourself to do with the children, or send it to someone as a gift.  If you do sign up, be sure to share some of your project photos with Gramma in a Box on her social media.  We would love to see the pics too!!
Facebook - Gramma in a Box
Instagram - Gramma in a Box




Thanks for stopping in today, where neighbors share!!

Summer Home Care



Hey neighbors!!

I don't know about you, but as we head into summer, we are preparing our home for the season.  After a winter that did not want to end, and a spring that tried to flood everyone out, we are finally getting the chance to clean and prepare for summer.

We are already experiencing those little summer pests.  You know, ants, mosquitos, gnats and flies.  I am sure some of the ant problems have to do with how much rain we have had and they are just coming in to stay dry too.  I have found ants on my desk, in the bathrooms and even one or two on our dining room table.  There was a whole army of them surrounding my husband's door to his study.  And don't get me started on spiders.  I have never seen more spiders here than this year.  Inside the home and outside.  At least I am short so if I let my husband go down our walkway first he takes out all the newly built spider webs!!


So what can you do about the invasion of bugs?
1.  Remove all standing water from around your home and yard.
2.  Cut back all brush, shrubbery and tree limbs from your home.
3.  Seal any cracks where you find them entering your home.
4. Be sure to put away all food, clean up spills, and wipe away all crumbs.
5. Wipe down all counters and stove tops with a cleaner.
6. Be sure your sink is clean after doing dishes.
7. Be sure to spray a pest control around window and door seals where those little pests can enter.
8. Keep all pet bags sealed and remove your pets dishes when they are done eating.

We are also doing a generalized cleanup of our yard.  Some of the weather had affected our privacy fence, so we had to replace some slats and tighten up a few boards.  The dogs found a few places to escape, so we had to fix that too.  We have mowed several times in between rain.  My husband has gone around the home cutting down branches and other brush as well as picking up dead branches that fell.  He has also cleaned the gutters and trimmed all the brush from the driveway.  He had to block several holes under the home to prevent larger pests.


Next on our list is giving the outside of the house a good cleaning.  We have a lot of dust, spider webs and wasp nests to remove.  I definitely do not want the wasps moving back in.  Of course all the windows will receive a good cleaning as well and then we will apply an insecticide.

So neighbors, what are you doing to cleanup and prevent pests?  Any helpful hints?  Be sure to share them in the comments below.

Thanks for stopping by, where neighbors share!!





Friday, June 14, 2019

Eating Your Way to a Healthier You


Eating Your Way to a Healthier You

Between job schedules, medical appointments and a social life, it can be hard to keep your household on track for healthy living. You might not have the time or ability to cook an entire food-group conscious meal. Fortunately, there are many easy and affordable options for keeping your family fit and focused on healthy eating and living. With some online assistance, you can always find out more about local eateries providing healthy options, but there are some changes you can make as well.

Start at the Beginning

Many people don’t worry about their eating habits until it’s a little too late. If you really want to get your family on track, start when your kids are young. If you are a new couple, make it a priority. It’s a lot easier to instill good habits than it is to break bad ones.

Get Colorful and Creative

Your evening meals don’t have to look like a Food Network show, but the more color you have on your plate, the better it will be. Kids like the variation in color and it does engage more of the senses in a dining experience. However, many of the colorful fruits and vegetables you include are some of the healthiest options available. Use chopped fruits and veggies for kid snacks or your afternoon work slump rather than processed snack foods.

Take Small Steps

A game changer for healthy living is the small substitutions that you make on a daily basis. Swap the bad fats for good fats (olive or coconut oil rather than butter) and invest in protein-rich foods rather than empty starches and carbohydrates. Little by little, you can revolutionize your family eating habits.

Make It a Memory

If you don't think your kids will appreciate the way you trashed the bucket of cheese puffs, turn their snacking alternatives in a family affair. Schedule a homemade pizza night where everyone gets involved. Let them roll their dough and pick their toppings. Many children are more apt to eat something they have had a hand in preparing. Look through recipes or snack ideas together, and let them have a hand in choosing what is on the menu. 

You Can Do It

The old saying goes that the best way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time. The same is true for starting on a healthy living mission. Change your diet one bite at a time.

Thanks for stopping by, where neighbors share!!

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Norm of the North King Sized Adventure



Hey neighbors!!

How many of your children like Norm of the North?  Well, check out Norm's newest, E-NORM-OUS adventure!!  I love that while the children are having fun watching Norm as he bumbles around in his polar bear style, that they are also learning valuable lessons.  This one is about how it is important to keep your word.

King Sized Adventure arrives today on Blu-ray Combo Pack (Blu-ray, DVD and Digital), DVD, Digital, and On Demand from Lionsgate.  The Combo Pack suggested retail price is $21.99 and the DVD is $19.98.

Norm is preparing to celebrate his grandfather's wedding with his friends, when he gets sucked into another adventure that has him trying to recover an artifact and return it it its rightful place and still make it back in time for the wedding like he promised.  Will Norm do it?  You will have to watch to find out.

Take a sneak peek at the trailer and then purchase a copy of Norm of the North King Sized Adventure for your family to enjoy.


Thanks for stopping by where neighbors share!!

Travel - Hints to Inexpensive Eating



Hey neighbors!

With summer fast approaching and the school year ending already for many students, some of you may be planning trips.  Or perhaps you would like to take a trip, but expenses stand in your way.  If that is the reason you can not take a trip this summer, check out a few ways to cut down on food expense for a trip.



One of the first things to do is pull out your cooler.  If you don't own one, consider purchasing or borrowing one for your trip.  The cooler will allow you to bring snacks on the trip, as well as cold drinks or at least ice for your drinks.  This is also where plastic containers and zip-loc bags will come in handy.  We like to bring fruit, deli meat, cheese, yogurt and other things like this for snacks and or a quick lunch.  Use snack size containers and bags, so you can just grab one snack and be done. Bring along a case of water and toss them in the cooler throughout the day to get cold.  If your children prefer a little flavor, grab a small box of the flavor packets you can use to flavor your water. You can also make a pitcher of tea or lemonade and fill drink bottles before leaving.

Planning on being in a hotel your first night, or maybe you are only going one day's travel away.  Make a casserole a day or two ahead of time for dinner and double it.  Freeze the second one and you now have dinner the first night in your hotel.  It will help keep things cold on your trip and then just pop it in the microwave for a quick dinner the first night.


We also pack a small tote with our dry goods.  We put in bread for deli sandwiches, snack bags of nuts, chips, crackers, along with a few paper plates and plasticware for eating.  We toss in a roll of paper towels and a packet of hand wipes.  We add a plastic grocery bag or two for trash.

Eating out will definitely be more expensive then bringing or preparing meals, but it is possible to cut down on expenses even here.  First of all, eat out for lunch rather than dinner.  Many restaurants have a lunch menu.  Have children share meals.  Mine did, and even at the age of 32, 22 and 18 they often share meals.  Like a footlong sub or a pasta dish at a restaurant.  If you have a cooler, or you are at a hotel with a refrigerator bring back your leftovers.  They can be used for dinner, lunch the next day or even just an evening snack.  Look for coupons and special deals.  You can oftentimes find coupons in the Sunday paper, restaurants close to the hotel often give discounts by showing your room card, and small, local papers will have specials advertised.  Download apps from your favorite restaurants since they will send you specials occasionally.


Many hotels provide a breakfast for their guests, but if yours does not, purchase items to eat there in the morning.  Donuts, pastries, and cereal are easy to have on hand in your hotel room.

We always make sure the hotel room has a small refrigerator and microwave.  This is big help when trying to eat inexpensively.  You can store and then warm up leftovers and keep deli meat and snack items all in your room.

We have managed to take several trips and save on our food by utilizing most of these suggestions. My daughters travel quite a bit and have come up with some of these hints.  If you have other ideas, please share them in the comments to help our neighbors!!

Thanks for stopping by where neighbors share!


Monday, June 10, 2019

Care For an Elderly Parent

It’s a difficult time in life when parents are aging past the point of being able to care for themselves. It often brings up mixed emotions and causes distress for all parties involved. In many cases, seniors do not want to leave their homes to go to a nursing home or assisted living facility. This causes anxiety for family members who often can’t spend all of their time at a loved one’s home and they do not have he ability to take a parent into their home.  Fortunately, there are companies who specialize in providing care for medical and health needs within the home.

When To Call in the Experts

In most cases, people know when one of their parents needs help. If you are starting to question an elderly parent’s ability to live alone and take care of themselves, you should start researching home health agencies. It’s a difficult conversation to have with a parent, but it’s essential for safety.

How To Find the Right Provider

A simple internet search of “home health agencies Bethesda MD,” for example, will yield dozens of results for you to narrow down. Check reviews for top agencies, and make sure they have a stellar rating with the Better Business Bureau. Ask friends or coworkers for recommendations, and schedule a meeting with your top choices to answer all of your questions and ease concerns.

What to Expect

Home healthcare providers will assess your parent to determine the individual needs and care plan. In some cases, you may only need a caregiver for several hours each day to give medication and check on your parent. In other situations, companies can provide a live-in  assistant for more complete care.
As your parents age, it isn’t easy to come to the conclusion that they need additional help that you can’t provide. However, home healthcare is a great option to minimize disruptions to your loved one’s life and enables him or her to stay in the home. The choice will give you peace of mind that your parent is in good hands.

Friday, June 7, 2019

Teach Your Teens These Life Skills - Graylock Advisors



Hey Neighbors!!

So good to see you today!!  I wanted to talk about something I am noticing more and more today.  We are raising an entire generation, that no longer have life skills once they graduate and move out into the world on their own.  So, I thought I would share here a few things that I think we need to be teaching our teens.

Finance
Most teens today have no idea of how to plan a budget, fill out checks, or how to save.  We need to make sure our sons and daughters have a well rounded education, and this includes teaching them about financial planning.  Teach them how to write out a budget and how to follow through on sticking with the budget.  Have them sit down with you as you do your monthly/weekly budget and walk them through it.  We had our daughters each plan meals for a week, where they were given a certain amount to spend and plan meals.

Open their own savings account or purchase a bank for them to keep savings in.  Help them to plan and save for larger purchases and how to make wise choices when spending.  Teach how much better it is to save for a purchase rather than go into debt for their purchase.  Show them how to use a debit card and ATM.  Yes, we had a young friend (20) visit who did not know how to withdraw funds from her account and my son had to help her.

Responsibility
This one is so easy to ignore, and is very important as they get a job, perhaps marry, and have children.  Many parents give an allowance for chores, and if you can do this it is good.  I would like to encourage you to also assign chores that do not get paid for.  Explain that as part of the family, they are also responsible for helping around the home.  Give them a chore chart or list of chores they are responsible for on a regular basis.  Teach them that not only are they to get the chores done, they are to do them on time and fully complete them.  To do the job well. My husband taught our children that on time was late.  They were always just a couple minutes early.  This has helped all of them in their employment.

Life Skills
Another thing teens need to lear are just general life skills.  Anyone male or female who drives a car, needs to know how to check the oil and water levels.  How to change a tire if necessary and how to put oil in their vehicle.


General cooking skills are also needed.  At least some basics for making some simple meals.  My husband ruined a box of macaroni and cheese he tried preparing one time because he was never taught any kitchen skills.

A little home maintenance will be a great benefit too.  Changing a light bulb, how to use a screwdriver, hammer, wrench, etc.  Teach them how to plunge a toilet.  Anytime you have to do a home repair such as replacing a leaky kitchen faucet or changing out a door knob use it as a way to teach your teen a new skill.

Manners
Please give your son and/or daughter the gift of good manners.  It will truly help them in a world where being polite seems to have been lost.  Have them hold doors for the person behind them.  Let them know that a simple please and thank you goes a long way.  Being able to apologize and take responsibility for their own mistakes will help them along in life.  Saying sir and ma'am to those who are older than them.


Table manners is another seriously neglected area.  Chew with your mouth closed and never speak with food in your mouth.  If you must cough or sneeze, turn away from the table and cover your mouth with the napkin or your hand.  Wait to start eating until everyone is seated and ready to eat.  Don't talk over someone, wait until they are done speaking.  Also, use inside voices when at a dinner table.

I am sure there are many other life skills you can think of that would help teens as they move into adulthood.  Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments.  Thank you for stopping by today, where neighbors share!!