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Fall Cleaning Checklist
We all know the concept of "Spring Cleaning"; the time of year where everyone gets organized and gives their home a deep clean as…

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Fall Cleaning Checklist

We all know the concept of "Spring Cleaning"; the time of year where everyone gets organized and gives their home a deep clean as the weather starts getting warmer. But Spring isn't the only time to get organized. As the leaves start to fall and the temperatures drop, revisit your spring cleaning list and add a few seasonal chores to prepare your home for the upcoming holidays and colder winter months.

Outside Your House:
 

  • Check weather stripping and caulking around windows and doors.  Repair or replace as necessary.
  • Check and clear gutters of leaves and debris. Don't forget the downspouts too.
  • Clean patio furniture and store inside for the winter.
  • Drain hoses and sprinkler systems.
  • Touch up paint on doors or railings as needed.
  • Rake fallen leaves regularly.
  • Winterize lawn mower and other lawn equipment.
  • Wash the outside of your windows and doors.

Inside Your House:
 
  • Clean light fixtures and dust thoroughly. Don't forget to dust your ceiling fan blades.
  • Vacuum upholstry and window treatments.
  • Wash the inside of your windows. Wipe down the sills, blinds and trim too.
  • Wipe down kitchen cupboards, countertops, and top of the refrigerator.
  • Dust ceilings and walls. Vacuum baseboards and hand wash, if necessary.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils.
  • Have your carpets professionally cleaned.
  • Straighten up closets and declutter, if necessary. Consider donating or selling any summer clothes you didn't end up wearing this year.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Replace the batteries, if necessary.
  • Thoroughly scrub tile or vinyl floors.

Tips for a Healthy Fall

Fall - the season the leaves turn pretty, the weather gets colder, and all you want to do is bundle up. For many, this means your activity decreases too. Try to remember to stay active, but there are some other things you can do to keep yourself healthy this Fall!
 

Think beyond the pies and the jack-o-lanterns. Pumpkins are great for other things too! Pumpkins offer both Vitamin A and C in its pulp and the seeds are also packed with phytosterols, which helps lower cholesterol.
 

 
Fight off the seasonal candy craving. If you buy candy for trick or treaters, buy only enough for the kids. Try waiting until the day of Halloween to buy it as well. That way the in-house temptation isn't haunting you through the month.
 

 
Pass on the chips and dip. Football season usually involves lots of sitting and food grazing. Instead try setting out raw veggies and other healthy snacks.
 

 
Start your turkey day off right. Before your big Thanksgiving meal, start your morning with a high protein and fiber breakfast. This will boost your metabolism and help prevent sugar cravings!

Now that we've got a game plan, let's all have a healthy fall and go into the holidays feeling GREAT!

Tailgating Season

Football season is upon us again. What's that, you ask? Well, sometimes it's better known as Tailgating Season! Sometimes getting ready for a tailgate can be super overwhelming. There's so much to get together and so many people to coordinate between. With tailgating, organization and planning ahead is key. The following are some great ideas to help you have the best tailgate ever.
 


 
Freeze bottles of water! By placing these frozen bottles of water in your cooler, they'll require less ice. Plus they'll be melted by the time the game is over, and they'll be refreshing for your throat after all that cheering!
 

 
How many coolers do you have at your tailgate? How many do you have to look through to find the drink you're searching for? Cut the logos off the drink packages and tape them to the lids of your coolers. It's an easy way to mark what drinks are where. Now there won't be any more numb fingers and hands from searching through cooler after cooler!
 

 
This tip is an oldie but a goodie. By using the guides on the solo cup, you don't have to bring the measuring cups and shot glasses to your tailgate. Drink responsibly!
 

 
While we're on the subject of solo cups, make sure you bring a marker to label them! Labeling your cups will help limit the lonely cups that end up getting thrown away and will help limit stealing someone else's drink!
 

 
There is no need to bring all of your big spice containers to the tailgate with you. Save your empty tic tac containers and fill them up with all your favorite seasonings! You'll save so much space by using this trick!
 

 
Are you constantly losing track of your paper towels at your tailgate? Well worry no more! Use this bungee cord trick to hang your paper towels from your tent. It's genius!
 

 
Hours and hours of tailgating can get long for everybody. Create your own version of Tailgate Bingo! Get everyone to play along and see how entertaining it can be. You could even make a children's version for all the young ones running around.
 

 
Last, but DEFINITELY not least, create a list of things you need to bring to your tailgate. It'll help you remember everything you need, and you'll be much more organized. The more organized you are, the more you'll be able to enjoy yourself instead of digging through everything just to find the chips!

We hope these tips have helped all you tailgaters out there! We can't wait for our team's next home game!

Pass the Salt!

We all know that salt is essential to life and goes great on fries, but did you guys know all the great uses it has in your home? Bust that salt out of your kitchen and see the good it can do throughout the house! Did you know salt has the capability to do all of these things?

It can make your coffee taste better. If your morning cup of coffee is tasting a little bitter, salt can fix your problem. Fill the pot with water and then add four tablespoons of salt. Run the salt water through the coffee pot without adding any grounds and then rinse out the pot. Your next cup of joe should be a lot less bitter.

It can remove soap scum from your glass shower doors. Ever get that really unattractive layer of film on your glass shower doors? That no matter how hard you scrub and with what cleaning solutions, it just won't come off? Use salt! Mix equal parts of baking soda and salt and add water until it forms a paste. With a sponge, rub the paste into the door, let it sit for about half an hour, and then rinse the paste away with water!

It can clean a sponge. To clean a dirty sponge, soak it overnight in a solution of 1/4 cup salt per quart of warm water.

It can remove wine stains. Spill wine on your carpet? Sop up as much liquid as possible and then sprinkle the affected area with salt. Let sit for about 10 minutes and then vacuum the area.

It can clean a flower vase. To remove mineral deposits from a glass flower vase, rub the stains with a mix of equal parts of salt and water. Then rinse with warm water!

It can erase lipstick stains from your glasses. Rub the stained edges of your glassware with a paste of salt and water until the lipstick disappears. Then wash the glassware as usual!

It can clean yellowed wicker furniture. Is your white wicker not very white anymore? Salt can fix it! Scrub the furniture with warm salt water with a stiff-bristled brush. Let the furniture dry in the sun. No rinsing required!

It can remove sweat stains. Remove sweat stains from your favorite shirts with a mixture of four tablespoons of salt per one quart of hot water. While the mixture is still hot, sponge it directly onto the stains until they disappear. Then just pop in the wash as you normally would!

It can clear out your garbage disposal.
To dislodge stuck waste in your disposal, pour a half a cup of salt down the drain, run cold water, and then turn the disposal on. The salt will also help neutralize those not so pleasant sink odors!

It can keep ants away. By sprinkling a line of salt at your home's entry points (like doors and windows), ants will stay out. They generally won't cross the barrier!

It can polish brass and copper.
To remove tarnish from copper and brass, mix a paste of equal parts salt, flour, and water. Rub the paste into the tarnished item with a soft cloth and then rinse away with warm, soapy water.

It can remove a tub ring. Mix one tablespoon of salt with a few drops of water to form a paste, and then coat the ring with it. After 2-3 minutes, scrub the ring and then rinse the paste away. If you ring is stubborn, you may need to repeat this several times before it's completely gone.

It can clean your wok. While your wok is still hot, pour in two or three tablespoons of salt and scrub it with a stiff-bristled brush. Wipe away the salt and then coat the wok with vegetable oil. In general, avoid cleaning your wok with water. It can cause the surface to rust.

It can remove grease stains. To remove grease stains from carpets and cloth furniture, mix one-part salt with four-parts rubbing alcohol. Rub this mixture into the grease stain. No need to rinse. The rubbing alcohol will evaporate.

It can erase drink rings. To erase ugly rings left by drinks and hot dishes on wooden furniture, mix a handful of salt with a tablespoon of vegetable oil until it's the consistency of paste. Gently rub the past into the ring until it disappears.

It can clean the refrigerator.
In a bowl, mix salt and soda water equally until it forms a thick paste. Using a soft cloth, wipe down the inside of your refrigerator and then rinse away with water.

It can stop suds.
If you're been too heavy-handed with the laundry or dish detergent, stop suds from forming by sprinkling salt on them immediately.

It can brighten colors in the wash.
If your reds look a little more like pink these days, rinse them in a saltwater solution in the sink before running them through the wash. The key to brightening your colors is to vigorously rub the salt into the clothing.

It can remove bloodstains from clothing.
Soak the stained garment in a saltwater bath as soon as you can. After about four hours, check to see if the blood is gone. Once it's gone - or at least faded - wash the clothes in a normal, hot cycle.

It can clean your iron. Over time, your iron may develop a gunky film. Remove it with salt! Sprinkle salt directly on a piece of paper and then run the hot iron over the salt. This will remove any residue and gunk.

It can deter weeds from growing.
If cracks in your driveway or walkway invite weeds to grow, spread salt between the cracks and then pour water over the salt to form a paste. This concoction will block the sun and prevent weeds.

It can prolong the life of your candles. To prevent candles from dripping away, soak them in a saltwater bath for a few hours when they're brand new. This will prevent them from dripping as quickly when you burn them. Just make sure they're completely dry before you burn the wick!

It can fill nail holes in the wall.
If you're ready to move a painting but aren't pumped about having a nail hole in your wall, grab the salt! Mix two tablespoons of salt, two tablespoons of cornstarch, and enough water to make a thick paste. Use the paste and a knife to fill the hole.

It can extend the life of your toothbrush.
To keep the bristles on your toothbrush firm a little longer, soak it in a saltwater bath for about an hour before your first use.

It can clean your broom.
To clean all that muck off a straw broom, soak its bristles in a 50/50 mixture of salt and hot water for about 20 minutes. Let the broom completely dry before you use it again!

It can sweeten your fruit.
Salt decreases your taste buds' perception of acidity and allows you to better taste the sugar compounds. If you usually reach for the sugar, try adding a little salt to your morning grapefruit instead.

It can add some flavor to your pasta.
It's a myth that adding salt to simmering water will make it boil faster. Salt does make water boil at a high temperature, but you'd have to add a huge amount to make the different noticeable. But, myths aside, a few sprinkles of salt will make your noodles taste better!

It can instantly chill champagne.
Put your champagne bottle into a bucket or tall container. Add a layer of ice and sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of salt. Continue to layer ice and salt until it reaches the neck of the bottle. Then add enough cold water to cover everything. The science: Salt on ice decreases the freezing temperature, and water increases the cold surface area touching your bottle. This trick also works for wine!

It can clean a stained coffee pot.
Put salt and ice cubes directly into an empty coffee pot, shake it, and then rinse. The salt and the ice will scour the coffee stains on the bottom. No sponge needed!

What If I Wait Until Next Year to Buy?



Keeping Current Matters published a very informative article today about the decision to wait another year to buy. The following is their article.

First-time homebuyers are flocking to the housing market in greater numbers than any time in the last few years. Renters who are ready and willing to buy are now realizing that they are also able to as well. Many first-time buyers are Millennials (born between 1981 – 1997).

If you are one of the many in this generation who sees your friends and family diving head first into the real estate market, and wonder if now is the time for you to do the same, keep reading!

The Cost of Waiting to Buy is defined as the additional funds it would take to buy a home if prices and interest rates were to increase over a period of time.

Let’s look at an example of what the experts are predicting for the upcoming year, and what that really would mean for you. Let’s say you’re 30 and your dream house costs $250,000 today. Right now mortgage interest rates are at or about 4%.

Your monthly mortgage payment (principal & interest only) would be $1,193.54.


But you’re busy, you like your apartment, and moving is such a hassle. You decide to wait until next year to buy. CoreLogic predicts that home prices will appreciate by 5.1% in the next 12 months; this means that same house you loved now costs, $262,750.

Freddie Mac predicts that over this same period of time, interest rates will be a full point higher at 5.0%. Your new payment per month is now $1,410.50.

The difference in payment is $216.96 PER MONTH!


That’s basically like taking $8 and tossing it out the window EVERY DAY!

Or you could look at it this way:

That’s your morning coffee everyday on the way to work (average $2) with $10 left for lunch!
There goes Friday Sushi Night! ($50 x 4)
Stressed Out? How about a few deep tissue massages with tip!
Need a new car? You could get a brand new car for $217 a month.
Let’s look at that number annually! Over the course of your new mortgage at 5.0%, your annual additional cost would be $2,603.52!

Had your eye on a vacation in the Caribbean? How about a 2-week trip through Europe? Or maybe your new house could really use a deck for entertaining. We could come up with 100’s of ways to spend $2,603, and we’re sure you could too!

Over the course of your 30 year loan, now at age 61, hopefully you are ready to retire soon, you would have spent an additional $78,105.60, all because when you were 30 you thought moving in 2015 was such a hassle or loved your apartment too much to leave yet.

Or maybe there wasn’t an agent out there who educated you on the true cost of waiting a year. Maybe they thought you wouldn’t be ready. But if they showed you that you could save $78,000 you’d at least listen to what they had to say.

They say hindsight is 20/20, we’d like to think that 30 years from now when you are 60, looking back, you would say to buy now…