Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Benefits to Convection Ovens over Conventional Ovens

Most people are familiar with the conventional oven.  They use radiant heat, usually dispersed through elements in the upper and lower oven. The problem with radiant heat is your cooking will be uneven due to the heat remaining fairly motionless. Because the elements are at the top and bottom of the oven best results are when the food is placed in the middle of the oven to help eliminate burning due to uneven heat within the oven. This limits your ability to utilize the entire oven for baking.

Convention baking uses forced air that is circulated throughout the entire oven through the use of a fan placed at the back of the oven. This eliminated hot and cold spots within the oven and the end result gives the food more visual appeal, texture, and flavor. This has proven to clearly be the choice of the future for baking.

Due to convection baking using forced air throughout the oven, this also cuts down on the overall cooking time and helps roasted foods stay moist and flavorful. It’s been said that forced air convection baking can reduce your time and energy up to 25% due to cutting the backing time down. You’ll also be able to utilize the entire oven space on any rack because of the even & consistent temperature caused by forced air heating.   Check out the Built-in Single Convection Wall Oven from GE.
    

Which Oven to Buy?

For those readers that are interested in converting over to a convection backing product, please start by checking out our website. Call our toll free number to speak to one of our specialists who will find you the right product for your personal needs. 


Friday, December 16, 2016

Time-Saving Holiday Cleaning Tips

The holidays are a time for family and friends coming together to celebrate the season and enjoy each other’s company. Unfortunately, this also means the holidays can be an often-hectic parade of parties, family dinners, and events that leave you with absolutely no spare time. How do you check all the items off your holiday to-do list and still keep your home presentable for all the guests (both expected and unexpected!) that may be popping by to share a cup of cheer? Follow these quick and easy housecleaning tips to keep your home in tip-top shape no matter what the holiday season throws your way.


Clean in Advance- This may seem like a no-brainier, but it’s worth mentioning that a little advance planning can save you a world of stress on the actual day of a party or dinner in your home. About a week prior to your holiday event, tackle the chores that can be done ahead of time, such as spot-cleaning any stains on your upholstery or walls, steam-cleaning the rugs or dusting the blinds. This leaves you free to do only a few last-minute housekeeping duties on the day of your party, and keeps the house looking tidy in the event of unexpected guests in the meantime.

Follow the 5-Minute Rule- If time has gotten away from you, see how much you can do in 5 minutes. Look at your house through the eyes of your visitors- chances are they aren’t taking in the minor details or running over every surface of your home with a white glove. (If they are, it’s time to find new friends!) Use your 5-minute window to go over surfaces with glass cleaner or furniture polish and a soft cloth, run the vacuum in the major traffic areas such as the living room rug, and wipe down your kitchen countertops. Also take a moment to make sure your bathrooms are clean and presentable with Clorox Wipes and a quick swish of the toilet brush. Boom! Instant clean house!

Grab a Laundry Basket- If it’s getting down to crunch time and you haven’t had any time to pre-clean and organize, don’t worry- just grab a laundry basket and make a general sweep of the areas of the house where guests are likely to congregate. Throw everything that is cluttering up your surfaces into the laundry basket, then stash it in a closet to deal with later. Sure, it’s cheating, but it will maximize your time, cut down on stress, and give you more time to spend with family and friends. Sounds like a win!

At the end of the day, remember that your loved ones are there to see you, not your sparkling clean house. Wishing you a stress-free holiday season!



Friday, December 2, 2016

Recipe- Old Fashioned Gingerbread

Nothing quite like the smell of freshly-baked gingerbread to get you and your guests in the holiday spirit! This recipe is easy and delicious, sure to bring cheer to even this biggest Scrooge!

Ingredients:
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 egg, large
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup hot water

Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9-inch square pan.
  2.  In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter. Beat in egg and mix in molasses.
  3.  In a bowl, sift together flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Blend into creamed mixture. Stir in hot water. Pour into the greased, floured pan.
  4.  Bake for one hour or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to cool before serving.



Prep time: 25 minutes   Cook time: 1 hour  Serves 9  375 calories per serving

Friday, November 18, 2016

Repurpose Household Items for an Organized Home

If you are constantly trying to break the clutter cycle in your home and wish to have a more organized space, the answer might be right in front of your eyes. Household items that you have and use every day can be repurposed in creative ways to make your house a more orderly, clutter-free place without spending a penny! Here are a few ideas for taking what you have and transforming it into what you need to get your home in shape.

Ladders- If you have a ladder taking up space in your storage shed or garage, why not put it to work in another capacity? A small, 4- to 5-rung stepladder makes an ideal drying rack for your laundry room. If you have the type of ladder that can be hung from the ceiling, you can mount it sideways to use as a great place to hang freshly-laundered shirts, blouses and pants by their hangers.




Binder clips- If your home office is overrun with binder clips, you might find yourself wondering what on earth to do with them. Before you pitch them, consider the possibilities- binder clips can be extremely useful cord bundlers to organize your entertainment center or computer area’s mishmash of cords and keep them from becoming tangled and unsightly. Binder clips can also be useful in the kitchen as chip and pretzel bag clips, keeping your bagged items as fresh as the day you bought them!



Dish rack- Does your little one love to color but hate to clean up? A standard dish-drying rack can be repurposed as an ideal art supply caddy for children. The recessed area for holding silverware is a great place to store crayons or markers, and the grated areas for holding glassware are a nice place to set coloring books or extra drawing paper.

Picture frames- If you have a beautiful picture frame that is missing its glass or backing, don’t toss it- transform it! By simply screwing hooks into the top of the frame, you can create a picture-perfect place to hang and display your jewelry without worrying about your necklaces or bracelets tangling around each other.








Have any fun repurposing tips from your own household? Share them with us in the comments section!

Friday, November 11, 2016

Need a New Freezer? Here’s What you Should Consider…

    So, it’s that time of year again….the garden needs to be harvested, you’re planning your fall hunting trip, you need to stock up at the grocery store….and you need a new freezer! 

  There are a few things to consider when purchasing your new freezer:
  • What types of foods are we putting in this freezer?
  • How long will the food be in the freezer?
  • Where are you going to put this freezer?
  • Should I get an upright, or a chest freezer?
  • Frost-free, or manual-defrost?
  • What size should we get?

    If you are looking for a freezer to use for your regular day-to-day grocery needs, then a frost-free upright unit might be good for you.  These units do not build-up with ice and are best served for the foods that your family will go thru on a regular basis. If you are looking for more long-term storage, then a manual-defrost chest type freezer would be best.  These units keep your food deep-frozen, while the unit may build up with ice, your food will not get freezer burned.  When you open a chest freezer, the cold air stays down in the freezer.  When you open an upright freezer, the cold air tends to escape.  Chest freezers can hold a lot of food; however, some may find that keeping an upright freezer organized is easier.

    If you are going to put your freezer in the garage, make sure that where you put it doesn’t reach below -5 or above 110.  Put it along a joining wall with your home.

A freezer will hold approx 35 lbs of food per cubic feet, so a 15 cubic feet chest freezer should store approximately 525 lbs of food.

Chest freezers come in a variety of sizes from 5 cubic feet all the way up to 25 cubic feet, and range anywhere from $145-$799

Upright Freezers are usually in the 14-21 cubic feet size and range between $399 & $899.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Choosing the Right Dishwasher for You

When it comes to choosing appliances for your kitchen, nothing has larger differences than those found in dishwashers. Before heading out to your nearest Appliance retailer or ordering one online, you need to ask yourself a few questions to ensure to make the right choice for you and your family.
  • Do you pre-wash your dishes?

If you do, then features such as hard food disposers may not be a worthwhile feature.
  • Do you run your dishwasher at all times of the day?

If your answer is yes, then look for a unit with a decibel rating below 50db. This will allow you to have a conversation in the same room as your dishwasher and it won’t interrupt your rousing anecdote.
  • Do you use a rinse agent such as Finish or Jet Dry?

This is important as not all dishwashers have a heated dry feature. Condensation dry units require a rinse agent to effectively remove spots and allow the water to sheet off your flatware and cups. In addition, heated dry units will dry considerably faster, but at a cost in terms of energy consumption.
  • How big are your plates?

I always encourage clients to bring in plates  or tall glasses and test them in a perspective dishwasher. Not all racks are the same, and nothing will frustrate you more than installing something that doesn’t accommodate your dishes.


If you can answer all these questions, your dishwasher buying experience will go much smoother, and ultimately you will be happier with your purchase. 

Friday, October 28, 2016

Pros and Cons of Counter Depth Refrigeration

Kitchen appliance shopping can be one of the most difficult shopping processes. One quick tip to making the process a little easier is pre-measuring the refrigerator. Obviously knowing the width, height, and depth of the opening is a crucial part of selecting the refrigerator. 

Today we will be focusing on the depth and know if counter depth is the best choice for your kitchen.

Pros:
  • More uniform look due to unit not protruding out as far as standard depth units which on average are 30 inches.
  •  Allow for better movement in the kitchen with only the door and handles extended past the neighboring counter tops thus creating better flow throughout the kitchen area.
  • Can create a better system of storage for items being placed within the fridge section. On standard depth fridges you can create rows of food on the shelving whereas the counter depth does not provide that ability so items can be more organized and ease of access simplified.

Cons:
  • On average the overall usable capacity will be decreased by 6-8 cubic feet. This is generally not ideal for larger families with children or multi-person homes.
  • Due to lack of freezer space some find there is a need for a small garage or separate freezer.
  • Always more expensive due to supply and demand.


With those basics pointed out you can see the importance of pre-measuring the space before going shopping so you know what to expect and what will be the best option for you home.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

4 Tips to Stay Healthy this Cold and Flu Season


Autumn is here, and there’s so much to love about it- from the beautiful falling leaves to football to an astounding array of pumpkin-spice flavored food and drinks, we couldn’t be happier to celebrate fall! However, the dropping temperatures also serve as a harbinger of the beginning of the dreaded cold and flu season. Keep yourself and your family protected from nasty cold and flu germs this winter with these tips:

1. Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands!- We simply can’t stress this one enough. The mere act of washing your hands several times a day can kill cold and flu germs before they have a chance to invade your body. Make sure to use warm water and soap, and do it for long enough to sing the ABC song through once.

2. Avoid face time- You wouldn’t believe how often you touch your face in a day. From scratching your ear to rubbing your eyes, you probably make contact with your face over 20 times a day without realizing it! Keep your hands away from your eyes, nose, mouth and ears to prevent cold and flu germs from entering your body via your fingers.

3. Disinfect your phone- Research shows that a mobile phone typically has more germs on it than a public toilet seat, yet we don’t often clean our mobile devices as we should to disinfect them. Use a safe-for-electronics cleanser and a soft microfiber cloth to gently clean the surface of your phone as well as any buttons on the side, and be sure to remove it from its case and clean between the cracks too. While you’re at it, clean your remote controls, computer keyboard, steering wheel and gearshift of your car and your keys- these oft-overlooked items that we use multiple times each day are positively teeming with germs!

4. Rest is best- If after all this you or your family members still fall victim to a cold or the flu, make sure to take it easy and have a day of rest. If you aren’t feeling well don’t send yourself to work or your kids to school. Not only does this aid in spreading germs to others, but it also increases the length of time it will take you to make a full recovery. Give yourself a break and catch up on valuable rest when you’re run down.


Do you have any home remedies for staying healthy during cold and flu season? Let us know in the comments section. 

Monday, October 3, 2016

Really, What Is The Best Time of The Year To Buy Appliances?

You’ve been seeing the commercials; the ads in the magazines, your fridge just decided to give up, or you moved into a new home and the appliances are avocado green from the seventies. There are so many reason why you may of started you appliance shopping journey, and one of the most important questions you’re asking yourself is “how” and/or “am I getting the best deal possible”.  Chances are you’ve seen an ad from Home Depot, Lowes, and even us Interstate Appliance and every week there seems to be some special deal or sale going on; and you’re stuck questioning when to buy. Or even worse you’re forced to buy right now, and waiting is not an option. If you take a few moments to review these tips you’ll be more prepared no matter the time you buy.


Expert Tip: If you don’t take anything from this article outside of this one tip you’re going to be in great shape. No matter where you purchase, make sure the retailer has a price match guarantee. But wait; not all price match guarantees are created equal. Make sure your retailer just doesn’t price match the day of the purchase but for at least 30 days after the purchase.

Recap: If the retailer will not price match 30 days after the purchase, even against their prices: DO NOT BUY!

Now that we’ve discussed one extremely important item to appliance shopping in general, lets talk about the best times of the year to buy appliances. Okay, let’s play a little game; take a few moments and think what the world and maybe even you think the best time of the year to buy appliances? 
………. …… Let me guess you said “Black Friday”? While Black Friday generally has some great deals, fun door busters, and lines around the corner; the best appliance deals are rarely during Black Friday; or even in the 4th Quarter.

Okay, you’ve waited long enough; the best deals and the best time to buy appliances is over the 4th of July holiday. However, don’t just focus on that one day; chances are most retailers will start their 4th of July pricing weeks before. Yes, that means you don’t have to rush to shop for appliances on one of the most fun family days of the year. Let’s make these numbers real so you can understand the discounts a little better.

At Interstate Appliance we are known for the value we offer in our prices; our customers love to tell us how much money they’ve saved just by walking through our doors. We like when our customers save money, it makes us happy; and we know it’ll make you happy.
  • Everyday customers on average save 15% when shopping with us over the competition.
  •  During the 4th of July our customers have reported saving over 27% – 33% over the competition! WOW!
  •   In comparison to ‘Black Friday’ where our customers reported savings from 21% - 28%
Now that that’s cleared up we can’t wait to hear from you; so we can learn more about your project and partner together and find the right appliances for your needs and wants. 

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Recipe- Pumpkin Bread

      Fall is upon us once again, which can mean only one thing- time for pumpkin EVERYTHING!! Here’s a recipe for pumpkin bread that is perfect for enjoying with a cup of hot apple cider on a crisp fall evening.

Prep time: 15 min. Bake time: 65-70 mins. plus 10 mins. for cooling

Ingredients:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
¾ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
2 large eggs
1 cup canned pumpkin
½ cup canola oil
½ cup water
½ cup chopped walnuts (optional)
½ cup raisins (optional)

Directions:
  1.     Preheat oven to 350°. Combine first eight ingredients. Whisk together eggs, pumpkin, oil and water; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in walnuts and raisins, if desired.
  2.    Pour into greased 9x5” loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Approx. 65-70 mins.) Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack. Makes one loaf (16 slices).

Friday, September 23, 2016

Why Invest in a Convection Microwave?


When shopping for a new microwave there can be more options available than you may know. A commonly asked question is “why would we need/want convection in our microwave”?  When shopping for a new microwave, please consider the following:
  1. How do we want to use our microwave? Do we need a unit that we can use as a primary cooking vessel, or simply a reheat machine?
  2. Where are we going to put our microwave? Do we want a counter-top unit or a unit that we can mount over-the-range?
  3. Who is going to use the microwave? Will the kids be using it, or do mom & dad do all the cooking?

    If you are cooking for your family on a regular basis, having a convection microwave can be an invaluable addition to your kitchen.  A convection microwave can be used to bake, roast, and broil.  It can truly be used as a secondary oven.  If you would like to have a microwave that you can use for more than just a bag of popcorn, or a baked potato, then you should seriously consider a convection microwave. Nothing heated in a microwave will ever be browned or crispy.  Pizza, egg rolls, pizza pockets, chicken tenders, and French fries are always better in the oven or the deep fryer, and you would never cook pork chops or a pie in your microwave…..right???  Well, now you can!  With the benefits of a convection microwave, you will truly have a second oven at your disposal.  Prepare your main dish in your standard oven, have your casserole or dessert in your microwave….yes, I said your microwave. 

Contact us today so we can help you pick out the right microwave for you and your family. They are available in counter-top, and over-the-range models, ranging from $399 and up.



Wednesday, September 14, 2016

What’s the deal with all the choices?


     Walk into your friendly neighborhood appliance store and the first thing you’ll notice is a collage of color and material choices your appliances can come in.  Black, White, Stainless Steel, Slate, Black Glass, White Ice, Uber Glass Finish, Colored Stainless, Retro Colors, Modern Colors, Precious Metals, etc.  What happened to the good ol’ days when all you had to decide was whether you wanted a frost or frostless freezer?

     The truth of the matter is appliance manufacturers recognize consumers want more choices.  Everyone wants to make their home unique and “their own.”  Today’s appliance market offers more choices than ever to help accomplish this.  From a Big Chill Buttercup Yellow Retro Fridge to a BlueStar Infused Copper Gas Range; you can pretty much find whatever custom look you are going for in your home.  So get out there, look at what’s available and bring home something that will make your kitchen different than any other on the block.

Like one of these Samsung French Door Refrigerators? Find your perfect color here.

Monday, August 29, 2016

4 Tips to Store Patio Furniture Safely

Sad but true, the end of summer is upon us. Soon it will be time to prepare your home for the cooler weather ahead. One of the end-of-summer responsibilities that should be on your household to-do list is safely storing all your patio furniture, gas grill and any other backyard items that you do not want to get damaged by extreme winter weather conditions. We have compiled  four tips for properly storing your outdoor furniture and appliances until next summer:

  1. Invest in Chests - Storage chests that are made to withstand extreme weather conditions are ideal for storing things like your kids’ summer toys, patio knickknacks and garden equipment. You can also use the storage chests for cushions and pillows from your patio furniture to avoid the risk of fading or mildew.

 2. Head to the Shed- If your backyard has a shed, be sure to keep extra available space inside it for your patio chairs, table, and umbrella so you can securely lock it away until summer comes again. This will cut down significantly on dirt, grime, fading and other wear and tear that can ravage a patio set when winter weather comes.



  3. Cover Up- Invest in a good cover for your gas grill. Try to find one that is padded and can be securely fastened to avoid blowing away in the wind. If you own a fire pit, it is a good idea to purchase a cover for it as well.

 4.  Keep it Dry- Whatever you do, make sure all of your outdoor furniture and appliances are protected from the elements and kept dry. Excessive moisture can ruin finishes and cushions on patio furniture, causing mildew, color bleeding and damage to the wood, metal or wicker it is made of. Getting too wet is also not good for grills and fire pits, so be sure to store or cover everything on your patio before the cold weather comes.

What other things do you do to store your patio furniture?

Monday, August 22, 2016

Omelet Muffin Recipe

These nutritious and protein-packed muffins are a great way to give your kids a healthy start to their day AND get them out the door in time for school!

Ingredients:
8 eggs
8 oz. cooked ham, crumbled
1 cup diced red bell pepper
1 cup diced onion
¼ teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 tablespoons water

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease muffin tin or line with paper baking cups.
Beat eggs together in large bowl. Mix ham, bell pepper, onion, salt, black pepper and water into the beaten eggs. Pour egg mixture evenly into prepared muffin cups.
Bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until muffins are set in the middle.

Prep time- 15 minutes/Cook time- 20 minutes/Makes 8 muffins

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Get Rid of Fingerprints on Stainless Steal Appliances

Tired of fingerprints on your shiny new appliances? Stainless looks great but can show a lot of finger prints and unwanted grime. Their is a finish that gives you the same great looks of stainless but still is finger print resistant. Check out Frigidaire's smudge proof stainless and how easy it is to maintain. 



Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Counter Depth VS. Standard Size Refrigerators


There are a couple of major benefits and disadvantages to both the counter depth and standard depth refrigerators.  

Counter depth gives you the clean and flush look in the kitchen by having just the door stick out past your counter tops where as a standard depth will stick out 6 to 10 inches beyond the counter top.  

Counter depth still offer all of the same features and benefits as a standard depth fridge but you lose out on capacity.  This is the major disadvantage as an average standard depth refrigerator is between 26 and 30 cubic feet while a counter depth refrigerator varies between 19 and 24 cubic feet.  

Another disadvantage is the price of the counter depth refrigerator.  On average you tend to pay more for one than a standard depth because it is considered a specialty appliance. 

In the end if you prefer to have a clean look over a larger capacity then counter depth is right for you.  

Friday, July 22, 2016

Dorm Room Checklist: Essentials for College

It’s that time of year again- millions of families are getting their young adult children ready to embark on their journey to college. It’s an exciting time for students and parents alike as the kids get ready to fly the nest. Make sure your college student has everything he or she will need to make himself or herself feel at home with this handy checklist for dorm room supplies.

Kitchenware- Due to safety regulations in place in most of the college dorms across the country, items like hot plates and toaster ovens aren’t always allowed, but that doesn’t mean your child won’t need some basic kitchen supplies in the dorm room for quick study snacks. Make sure to add these basics to your school shopping list:

Non-breakable, microwavable dishes- 2 large plates, 2 small plates and 2 bowls
Flatware- at least 4 forks, spoons, and knives
2 plastic water bottles, reusable
Water pitcher
Regulation-size dorm fridge, if allowed
Measuring cups and spoons
Spatula/turner
Liquid dish soap
Dish towels
Dish scrubber
Can opener
Pizza cutter

Bedding- Since dorm beds are a little differently-sized than standard twin-size beds, make sure all bedding specifically says it is sized for dorm mattresses before purchasing.
2 sheet sets
Comforter or duvet with cover
Mattress pad
Pillows (both bed and throw pillows)
Throw blanket
Bedbug-resistant mattress cover

Cleaning Products- Help your college kid keep his or her dorm room clean by sending them off with the right cleaning supplies to tackle basic chores.
Glass cleaner
Multipurpose cleaner (make sure it also cleans electronics safely)
Microfiber cloths
Dusting tool (such as Swiffer duster)
Handheld vacuum cleaner

Laundry Essentials- Help your student tackle laundry effectively so they don’t start bringing it back to your house on breaks!
Pop-up space-saving hamper
Drying rack
Detergent, bleach and fabric softener
Emergency sewing kit
Iron with emergency shut-off feature
Ironing board
Delicate clothing wash bag
Lint rollers
Approximately 4 dozen hangers


What other items are on your necessity list for dorm rooms?

Friday, June 24, 2016

How to Choose the Right Lawn Care Service

We all love thick, green lawns- the maintenance and upkeep that come with it, though? Not so much. The amount of time, expertise and money that can go into properly maintaining a lawn can be overwhelming and exhausting, especially if the results you yield are less than desirable. We’re not all green-thumbs, unfortunately, but thanks to lawn care services, you can enjoy all of the benefits of a beautiful lawn with none of the hassle. But how do you choose the lawn care service that best fits your needs? Here are a few helpful hints to guide you to the service that will take the best care of your lawn and fit your budget.

Ask questions- Not all lawn care services are created equal- make sure to ask the representative exactly which services are included in the quoted price. Beware of companies whose prices significantly undercut those of their competitors, as it is likely that they don’t provide the same services. For instance, a company can get away with charging $10 less per week if all they are doing is mowing; a company whose weekly service also includes trimming, weeding, edging and fertilizing is going to quote you with a higher price. Be sure to compare apples to apples before choosing the service.
Negotiate- Many lawn care specialists work as independent contractors, which means they are able to set their own prices. It never hurts to ask if they can offer you a discount for a more limited battery of lawn care services, or if they would be willing to knock $20 off your monthly bill if you can refer your next-door neighbor. Larger lawn care companies will not be as willing to negotiate, but it is worth a try when you are speaking to someone wishing to grow their local business.

Ask around- If you want to know if the lawn care service is as reliable as they seem, ask the people in your neighborhood. Review websites like Yelp! exist solely to inform consumers about other clients’ experiences, both positive and negative, with a particular company. You may also wish to ask a neighbor whose yard you admire for the name of the company they use. Since many lawn care companies offer a referral program, your neighbor will probably be more than happy to pass along their business card.


Make sure they are licensed- Lawn care service companies are regulated by your state to make sure they are licensed to apply certain potentially hazardous lawn care products. Make sure the service you are working with is licensed to avoid potential danger and lawsuits.

What do you do for your lawn care?

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Organize Your Laundry Room! Quick and Easy Tips


It’s a room that people don’t often think about, but can be absolutely essential to the well-being of your entire home and family. We’re talking, of course, about your laundry room. Though it may seem like just a tiny room which houses your washer/dryer combo, a laundry room can be so much more. With a little organization and a few creative ideas, you can transform your laundry room into an organized, efficient little powerhouse of a room that you’ll be excited to show off to guests. Read on for some great laundry room hacks!

·         Create a cute lint depository. You know those little boxes that real estate agents put flyers in next to a house’s “for sale” sign? Well, they actually make great little places to save your dryer lint- they can hang right on the wall next to your dryer, and you can let your creativity run wild and decorate them any way you like! Since dryer lint is actually an excellent fire starter for a campfire or charcoal grill, it’s worth hanging onto, and now you’ll have a nice-looking place to do that!

·         Wall-mount hooks for your ironing board. You never know when you’re going to need to iron something, but where do you stash that ironing board until you need it again? With a couple of well-placed designer hooks from the hardware store or online, you can create a cute out-of-the-way space to hang up your board.

·         Put together a “stain station.” It’s all well and good to read handy laundry tips on blogs like this one, but most of us promptly forget how to get a certain type of stain out of clothing when the need actually arises. By putting together an attractive little kit featuring all the things you may need to get a stain out, as well as a little cheat sheet for which kinds of products remove which kinds of stains, you can have the knowledge and tools you need at hand.

·         Use designated hampers to sort clothes ahead of time. Three attractive bins marked “whites,” “colors” and “darks” can help you to pre-sort your laundry so you don’t have any red sock/white towel mishaps in your future.


What are your favorite ways to keep your laundry room looking organized? Be sure to let us know in the comments section.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Recipe- Mango Watermelon Smoothie

For a refreshing summer treat that is as good for you as it is delicious, follow this recipe before kicking back in your hammock!

Ingredients:
5 cups cubed watermelon
1 peeled, diced mango
½ cup water      
1 tablespoon white sugar
Ice cubes

Blend watermelon with mango, ice and sugar in a blender on medium or “smoothie” setting until there are no remaining lumps.
Pour into glasses and garnish with pineapple wedges or watermelon slices for a festive look.
Enjoy!


Prep time: 10 minutes. Serves 6.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Old-Fashioned Potato Salad

Here’s a summertime favorite sure to make everyone at your barbecue or picnic smile!

Ingredients:

5 potatoes
3 eggs
1 cup celery, chopped
½ cup onion, chopped
½ cup sweet pickle relish
¼ teaspoon garlic salt
¼ teaspoon celery salt
1 tablespoon mustard
Ground black pepper to taste
¼ cup mayonnaise

Prep time: 45 min.  Cook time: 15 min. 
Directions:
Bring large pot of salted water to a boil. Add potatoes and cook until tender but still firm (about 15 minutes). Drain, cool, peel and chop potatoes.
Place eggs in saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil; cover, remove from heat and let eggs stand in hot water for 10-12 minutes. Remove from hot water, cool, peel and chop.
In a large bowl combine potatoes, eggs, celery, onion, relish, garlic salt, celery salt, mustard, pepper and mayonnaise. Mix together well and refrigerate until chilled.

Makes 8 servings

Friday, April 15, 2016

Bust the Dust!

Does it seem like you are always dusting? No matter how often I dust, it seems like a fine layer has settled back on every surface of the room before I’ve even finished! Although there is no way to ever completely get rid of dust, here are some tips and tricks for keeping it under control so your home can have a clean, dust-free appearance.

Throw out the feather duster. Sure, you may feel like a cute French maid while using it, but that doesn’t change the fact that you are essentially just moving the dust from one surface to another, not getting rid of it. When we dust off the top of a table or the entertainment center with a feather duster, we are just sending that dust airborne so that it can be redistributed on another surface of the room. Dusters like the Swiffer 360 are designed to trap and hold dust, which is better than the feather duster (and still looks very cute, actually!) but if you really want to banish dust long-term, consider using your vacuum with the crevice tool attachment to dust things like blinds, lampshades and hard-to-reach places like the ceiling fan.

Change those air filters. We live in an area with a high pollen count in the spring and summer months, and we have two dogs who shed like it’s their job to do so. Needless to say, it can become pretty obvious that it’s time to change the filters in our furnace and A/C unit when we let it go for too long. Try to change your filters once every three months, and you will see the difference in the amount of dust and dander you have to keep up with in your cleaning routine.


Close your windows. Yes, it’s tempting to keep the windows open during the spring and summer to reduce air-conditioning costs, but it’s also a great way to let in every speck of dust from the great outdoors. Dust particles move around naturally in the wind, so a delightful spring breeze is bringing a lot more than you think into your home. Keeping your windows closed, especially during high-pollen times of the year, will cut back on dust particles in your house and hopefully keep hay fever symptoms at bay.

Friday, February 12, 2016

Roundup: DIY Valentine’s Day Crafts

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching, and there is still time to turn your home into a love-themed haven of hearts with a little crafting magic. Here are our favorite V-Day craft ideas from the web:

String Art Heart (Source: HGTV)
Simple, yet unique, this bold heart design makes a statement in your home all year round. Instructions available on the website.

I Heart You Kitchen Towels (Source: BuzzFeed)
For a gift that is both thoughtful and practical, follow the tutorial to transform boring linen towels into something that will wow your recipient! Functional art at its finest.



Heart-Shaped Pot Holders (Source: Martha Stewart Living)
While we’re in the kitchen, follow the outlined steps to make a charming heart-shaped set of potholders guaranteed to make any kitchen cozy and loving.



Love (Yarn) Letters (Source: My Sister’s Suitcase)
Want to display your love in a big way? Spell it out- literally! Giant foam block letters and a couple balls of yarn is all you’ll need to create this fun home decoration.



For an ethereal heart-filled space in your home that doubles as an adorable backdrop for V-Day selfies, grab some fishing line, paper punch and card stock and get to work .



Are you inspired by any of these Valentine’s Day creations? Let us know how you like to decorate your home for Valentine’s Day in the comments below.




Friday, February 5, 2016

Banish the Winter Blues: 5 Fun DIY Projects

The groundhog may have predicted an early spring this year, but that’s still no consolation when you look out the window and see all that snow. Shake those late-winter blahs by shaking up your indoor d├ęcor- not only will you have a fun project to work on, but your home will look great in the end!

Add a Splash of Color- Sometimes all you need is an accent wall to brighten up your living space (not to mention your mood.) If the gloomy grays and browns of winter have got you down, head to your local hardware store and pick up a quart of paint in a cheerful hue, and get to work transforming a wall of your choice. Accent walls provide visual interest and can often create the illusion of space and depth.

Lighten Up- Replacing a boring light fixture or ugly chandelier with a fresh, modern look can give your room an instant facelift! And the fixture doesn’t necessarily have to be costly to make an impact- in addition to bargains at the big-box stores, if you scour thrift stores, flea markets and eBay you can find interesting, unique fixtures for cheap. Make a day of it!

Switch Up your Switch Plates- Who says everything has to be beige? For a fun and funky, as well as cheap and easy, upgrade to your home, opt for decorative, eye-catching light switch and wall outlet plates. Look online for all kinds of decorative options to fit your personal style (check out SnazzySwitch.com), or simply spray paint your existing plates with a vibrant color or striking metallic finish.

Clean Your Carpet- If you’ve got 30 bucks and a few spare weekend hours, why not get rid of some of that tracked-in winter dirt by cleaning your carpets? Machines like Rug Doctor are available for rent at Walmart and other local grocery stores, and most machines take less than 20 minutes to do a room. An added bonus is the workout you will receive from taking the DIY approach to shampooing your rugs- a great way to burn some calories on a cold day!

Invest in Some Vinyl- Vinyl tiles, that is. Peel-and-stick vinyl tiles are a perfect way to transform an ugly concrete or wooden floor with minimal time and cost. These days, vinyl tiles come in a variety of attractive patterns resembling stone, wood, or metal, to name a few finishes.