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  • Save Money With These DIY Spa Day Ideas
    on September 25, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Being pampered by someone else at a spa is relaxing"and expensive. If you dont mind doing the beauty treatment yourself, you can do your own spa treatment at home and save a bundle. Here are some DIY spa day ideas you can do at home: A Soothing AtmosphereClean and declutter the room in your home where youll be doing your DIY treatments. To create a calming mood, turn on some relaxing music, light candles or dim the lights, bring in a few plants and turn on an essential oil diffuser if you have one. Dont use a cellphone on your spa day. If you dont have a robe, pajamas, sweatpants or other comfortable clothes, buy some. And get some comfortable slippers. Prepare DrinksFor a spa day, keep hydrated with tea, fruit juice or fruit-infused water. DIY FacialsWe wont go into all of the details of how to give yourself a facial on the cheap"you can find plenty of ideas by searching online"but it should start with a facial steam. This can be done over a bowl or sink of hot water, with warm towels, or a home facial steamer. After that, create a mask to put on your face. It can be made with simple ingredients you find in your kitchen pantry: honey and oats mixed with hot water. DIY face masks can also be made with avocado, egg whites, milk and chocolate"though not all at the same time. DIY Manicure/PedicureYou may already have enough supplies to manicure your nails at home. If not, you can buy a nail file, cuticle cream, cuticle stick, nail buffer and nail polish at your local drugstore. You can make cuticle cream yourself at home, too. For a pedicure at home, start by soaking your feet in warm water that you add Epsom salts or essential oils to. You can then do a Listerine foot soak to remove dead skin. Once your feet feel refreshed, do a foot scrub. There are all kinds of recipes online that shouldnt cost much money or need many ingredients. And whatever you do buy, youll have plenty to do it again and again. There are also other things you can do for a DIY spa day at home. Ask your significant other to give you a massage, or simply put some vitamin E oil on your lips at night. Whatever spa treatments you do at home, your skin and your bank account will thank you. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Vacation More Safely
    on September 25, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Even though vacations may look a little different this year, there are many great ways to enjoy the season, whether youre headed off on a roadtrip or simply to the backyard. Farmers Insurance recommends considering the following tips to help enjoy a safer summer: Know Before You Go – Before embarking on a road trip adventure, consider getting an overall checkup of your car to ensure comfortable cruising, especially if your car has been sitting for an extended period of time. Take your car to a professional for an inspection well in advance of your trip, so you have plenty of time to address any unexpected issues that come up.Check Your Coverage – It’s also a good idea to know your insurance coverage before getting behind the wheel. You probably already know your personal auto coverage, but if you’re planning to rent a vehicle or an RV for your travels, it’s worth checking in with your insurance agent to understand what coverages you have and discuss coverage options you may want. Go Phone-Free in the Car – Limiting mobile phone use is one of the easiest ways to become a more focused driver"and that keeps everyone safer on the road. Recent driving data from Farmers Signal app, which is powered by TrueMotion, shows that non-call phone use while driving is up 50 percent compared to pre-coronavirus levels. For more focused driving, make your car a “phone-free zone.”Pump the Brakes – Take the time to safely slow down if you have to go over a pothole or any other object in the road and keep a safe distance from other cars. Farmers data indicates that 24 percent of all collision claims in the summer involve a rear-end collision.Enjoy a Quiet Drive – Road trips are great for bonding with loved ones, but boisterous conversation can be a distraction for drivers. Take a cue from the 33 percent of people who believe that talking to passengers, even those seated in the back seat, poses a danger to others on the road and keep the chat light.Treat Yourself – Your homecation is still a vacation"treat it like one. Many of us are working from home these days, so it’s important to be intentional about taking time to relax and unplugging from your home office. Set up an out-of-office reply for your work emails, think about turning off email notifications on your phone and be sure to take plenty of pictures so you can cherish your homecation memories forever.Get All Decked Out – Think about taking on home improvement projects that expand your living space to the outdoors. Renovations like building a deck or balcony can create a much-needed personal paradise after spending so much time indoors"and can increase your home’s value. Consider checking in with your insurance agent to understand what coverages you have and discuss coverage options you may want.Guard Your Pool With an App – Pool safety rule number one: never leave children unattended. You may already have a locked gate to help keep kiddos away from the pool, but you may also want to think about adding a high-tech monitoring system that connects WiFi motion sensors, lights and cameras around your pool to your smartphone.Bounce Into Safety – Trampolines can be a fun addition to your backyard setup, but they also can create a safety hazard, especially when multiple people are bouncing at once. Flips and somersaults can also be major causes of injury. Set firm ground rules for trampoline use at your home that limit use to one person at a time and prioritize safe bouncing. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Decorating 101: How to Hang Pictures
    on September 24, 2022 at 4:00 am

    First, establish eye level, which in most houses is 57 to 60 inches from the floor. The center of the picture should be at this point. Second, consider your space. Is your artwork landscape or portrait? Coordinate that with the space, or hang portraits side by side and landscapes one on top of the other. Third, keep it neat. If you’re creating a gallery wall, align them on a grid. You can also begin with one in the center, and arrange outward. Above all, look for symmetry. It’s important that everything is even throughout your home. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Undo Common Stains
    on September 23, 2022 at 4:00 am

    No matter how careful you are, inevitably, youre going to spill something. Whether its red wine on your favorite shirt, tomato sauce on your best tablecloth, or chocolate on the rug, the time will come when youll have to move into action fast to remove a stain from clothing or furniture. Heres a stain-removing guide from Real Simple for some of the most common culprits youre likely to encounter:Coffee. Stretch the coffee-stained fabric over a bowl and pour boiling water over it from about a foot above. If the coffee included milk or cream, follow up with an oil solvent. Sugar too? Pre-treat the item with a stain remover. Wine. For red wine, start by giving the stain a coating of salt. Then stretch the fabric over a bowl and pour boiling water over it from a foot above. For white wine, run cold water over the stain then spray with a solution of 1 tbsp. of clear dish soap in 10 oz. of water, and dab with an enzyme detergent.Chocolate. First, scrape off any excess chocolate on the fabric. Next, spray with the above dish soap solution and dab with detergent. Gum. Start by rubbing an ice cube over the gum to freeze it. Then chip away as much of it as you can using a spatula or plastic knife. You can loosen any remaining gum with a lubricant like glycerin. Rinse the fabric and dab any remaining gum with dish soap. Tomato sauce. After scraping off any excess sauce, spray the stain with a dish soap solution and blot with a damp towel to remove. If the stain is still there, apply a few drops of white vinegar to the area. Lipstick. Spray the stain with hairspray and allow it to sit for 10 minutes. Then wipe with a damp cloth to remove. No matter what stain youre tackling, the faster you move into action, the better your odd of removing the stain. Also, be sure to take these stain-removing steps before the item goes in the dryer. The heat from the dryer will set the stain for good. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • The Best Smart Home Tech for the Outdoors
    on September 22, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Over the last few years, technology has increasingly found its way into our homes. One area that often gets overlooked, however, is technology for outside the house. As we move into the warmer months, its time to take a look at some of the best devices and systems to equip your outdoor living area. Robotic Lawn MowerA well-kept lawn is essential to maintaining curb appeal, but you might not always have time to get out there and push the mower around. With a cutting-edge robotic lawn mower, you can schedule the machine to regularly cut your grass, rain or shine, and ensure that the yard is always looking its best. Smart GrillIf its time to upgrade your barbecue area, then a state-of-the-art smart grill can make the perfect addition this spring. Todays intelligent grills can be programmed to prepare food just the way you like it, each and every time, so youll never have to worry about over or undercooking again. Youll receive notifications when its ready to be flipped or taken off the grill. With one less thing to worry about, you can spend more time relaxing in the backyard. Speakers and LightsFor avid entertainers, you can extend the conveniences of your smart home to the outdoors with lights and speakers that are controlled via your smartphone or virtual assistant. All it takes is a quick voice command and youll have the perfect ambience with mood lighting and your favorite tunes playing on the terrace. Smart SprinklersAutomatic irrigation systems are nothing new, but these days a smart sprinkler system can adjust your lawns watering schedule based on local weather data. If a heavy rain storm will be coming down later in the day, for example, it will know to skip that mornings irrigation so youll never have an over-watered lawn again. Additionally, soil-moisture sensors are utilized to ensure that just the right amount of water is provided for a healthy yard. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Color Schemes for Your Home's Exterior
    on September 21, 2022 at 4:00 am

    If you’re looking to boost your home’s curb appeal, consider getting creative with your exterior color scheme. Stick to the Classics Shades of beige, light and warm, can do wonders for a classic home. If done right, even the most basic colors can stand out. Use muted tones and play with shapes, tones and textures. Play With Primary Blue, red and yellow represent each of the primary colors. Not only are they vastly different, but they also compliment each other. Though this may seem like an odd combination to put on the exterior of a home, if done right, it can provide a unique and interesting depth. Warm Up With Wood For a more modern-style home constructed out of concrete, adding wooden accents creates a unique look. This color scheme works well with lots of greenery, heightening the natural elements in contrast to the bare-boned grays to draw attention to the modern and contemporary concrete. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Items to Slash From Your Grocery List
    on September 20, 2022 at 4:00 am

    As more Americans move towards better health, saving money and keeping the planet healthy high up on their to-do lists, consumer advocates point to painless ways to accomplish all three. If youre listening, check out this list of things you should stop buying now: Disposable Wipes – Baby wipes, dusting and disinfectant wipes are handy, but not much good for a planet coping with overflowing landfills. Switch to biodegradable baby wipes and reusable microfiber cloths for household cleaning and dusting. Plastic Straws, Tableware and Sandwich Bags – Our oceans are awash with plastic, killing undersea life and threatening the environment. Buy paper or reusable stainless steel straws, pass on plastic tableware and wrap sandwiches in waxed paper or reusable beeswax paper. Diet Soda – They may cut back on sugar, but numerous studies link excessive diet soda consumption to the development of metabolic syndrome, which often leads to diabetes or heart disease, as well as stroke and dementia. K-cups – Some 40% of American homes own a Keurig or other pod-based coffee maker, which adds up to billions of pods placed in landfills annually. The company says its K-cups will be recyclable at some point soon, but until then, use reusable plastic pods. Pre-cut Produce – Plastic packages of cut-up fruit and vegetables arelikely to be less fresh and cost as much as 40% more than uncut produce. Take the time to buy fresh and cut up your own. Antibacterial Soaps – Those pretty-colored solutions sold in plastic bottles are no more effective at killing bacteria than conventional soap and water, and they contain a chemical called triclosan that can enter the bloodstream and increase the risk of developing allergies and de-regulating the thyroid. Air Fresheners – The market for air fresheners in aerosol, solid or plug-in form has grown along with concern over harmful pollutants they often contain. This includes phthalates, which are banned in children’s toys in some states due to hormonal and reproductive disruptions, and carcinogens like naphthalene and formaldehyde. Cleaning Products – Most of us buy far too many cleaning products in plastic or aerosol containers. Many contain bleach or ammonia, which is harmful to children and linked to liver and kidney damage. Find instructions online and make your own effective cleansers at home using vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 4 Smart Tech Options to Upgrade Your Bedroom
    on September 19, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Reduce the Amount of Fat in Your Diet
    on September 18, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Many people eat a diet with too much fat, which can lead to obesity. That can increase the risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease and some types of cancer. High fat intake can also lead to high cholesterol levels, which can increase the risk of heart disease. Here are some ways to cut back and develop healthier eating habits. Read Nutritional LabelsWhen you go grocery shopping, read the nutritional labels on packages. You might be surprised by the amounts of fat in many foods, even ones labeled low-fat or fat-free. In addition, many low-fat or fat-free foods contain large amounts of sugar, which can lead to weight gain. Avoid buying products with high levels of saturated and trans fats and hydrogenated oil. Chips, baked goods, fried foods and processed snacks tend to have high levels of fat. Choose Lean and Low-Fat FoodsBuy lean meat, such as chicken and turkey, and remove the skin before cooking. If you want to have pork or beef, look for lean cuts or trim the fat before cooking. Fish is another good source of low-fat protein. Grill, broil or bake meat and fish instead of frying it. Place meat on a rack so fat can drip from it as it cooks. Beans, lentils and tofu are good sources of protein that have less fat than meat. Incorporate them into your diet in place of meat for some meals. Replace whole milk with a reduced-fat or fat-free version. Buy low-fat cheese, yogurt, cottage cheese, cream cheese, margarine, mayonnaise and salad dressing. Avoid sauces made with cream or cheese, or use low-fat ingredients. Flavor foods with herbs and spices instead of butter and cheese. Use olive, canola, sunflower or safflower oil instead of butter or shortening. Eat more fruits, vegetables and whole grains at mealtimes and for snacks. Look for creative ways to incorporate them into your favorite dishes. Make Healthy Choices When Dining OutRestaurant meals often contain high levels of fat, as well as salt and sugar. When you eat at a restaurant, look for nutritional information on the menu. If it is not available, choose dishes that are baked, broiled or roasted and avoid foods that are fried or that have heavy sauces or gravies. If a dish is ordinarily cooked with butter, ask if it can be made without it. Order your salad with low-fat dressing on the side. Look for low-fat desserts or skip dessert altogether. Work on Developing Healthier Eating HabitsMany people eat unhealthy amounts of fat and suffer a range of negative health effects as a result. Cutting back on fat does not mean that you have to go without foods you enjoy. You can look for healthier alternatives or find new recipes to try. If you have questions about your health or need advice on dietary changes, consult your doctor. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Maintaining Your Laminate Flooring
    on September 17, 2022 at 4:00 am

    As durable as laminate flooring can be, it does require some know-how to keep it in top shape. Here are some tips for caring for your laminate flooring. Avoid Moisture Build-Up Laminate flooring does not handle moisture build-up well. Spills must be addressed quickly, spot cleaning is ideal and traditional wet mop methods can cause warping or swelling. Clean With the Right Tools Laminate floors can be irreparably damaged with the wrong tools or chemicals. Avoid high-heat steam mops and acidic cleaners. Instead, clean with a microfiber cloth or dry mop. Look Out for Whiteners Some chemical products can wear away at the protective coat and cause bleaching or discoloration to your flooring. Be sure to use laminate-safe cleaners. Deep Clean With Minimal Water Mopping with Castille soap and water will keep your floors free of grime without damaging them. Follow up after mopping by drying your floors with a microfiber cloth. Published with permission from RISMedia.