Need To Make Home Improvements? Read On!

December 8, 2017 0

Does your house need to be renovated in various ways? Or are you thinking about adding an expansion, like a patio? If so, this article contains many helpful tips that can answer some of your questions and get you started in the right direction to a successful home improvement project.

When selecting a contractor for a home renovation, be sure to find someone you trust. Perform interviews as if you were hiring a personal assistant. You will have to let this contractor into your home and work with them on a daily basis. It’s better to select one you trust from the beginning than to face personality clashes later.Home

Consider replacing your roof with shingles that are lighter in color or even using white tiles. Having a lighter-colored roof will reduce the amount of heat absorbed by your attic and upper floors, making your house more comfortable and reducing the energy needed to cool it during those hot summer months.

Air filters are something you have to remember to change. It is not only healthier for your family, it will make your heater and air conditioner last longer. A lot of the time, when these units do not work properly, the repairmen will say that it was due to the dirty filter getting into the machines.

Weather stripping installed around doors and windows can make your home energy efficient. This is a cheap fix but can save you lots of money on heating and cooling costs for your home. You may also notice that you don’t feel as many drafts in your home.

Glue your wallboard in place before nailing it! A caulking gun and the right adhesive makes quick work of the job. The advantages of quicker installation are obvious. Another advantage is fewer nails. Furthermore, the glue holds the wall board tightly in place and the nails you do use are less likely to pop out in the future.

Focus on exterior lighting for your next home improvement project. Installing an outdoor motion detector is a good choice; the sensor will ensure that the light only comes on when you need it to. Not only does this save you money on energy bills, but the motion detector is also a good security feature. It alerts you if anyone is walking around your property.

One valuable home improvement project that could save you money is the installation of ceiling fans. Having a fan in each of your rooms can help keep them cool and allow the air to circulate. If you use the fans instead of air conditioning, your summer energy bill will be much lower.

Paint your walls a new color. This can be a quick way to make a huge difference in your home’s appearance. Different colors can change the mood of the room and give the room a different personality. Many times a coat of paint can eliminate the need to change much else.

Opt to do your laundry every time your hamper fills up, instead of waiting for your dirty laundry to pile for a week. Throwing your laundry in the washing machine every two days cuts down the amount of time you need to spend folding, waiting for the washing machine and the dryer and puts less strain on your machine.

If you are going to do home improvements for family members or friends and are not insured to do the repairs you may want to think long and hard before doing the repairs. You can not see extensive damage behind walls and you could be setting yourself up for a lawsuit if you are not able to properly fix the repair after you have started.

Sometimes, as any pet owner can tell you, your pets can be destructive. If you have had a dog tear holes into your carpet do not despair. You can actually cut out a square of carpet, measure it, and using carpet tape actually mold the piece right in the empty slot seamlessly.

A home improvement project can be fun to do, but it also can be very practical. Taking care of your house is something you should take seriously, and renovating older, worn out sections can make all the difference when you’re planning to sell it for a higher price. These tips can help you save time and money and make the best decision for your home.

Snow Blower Safety Tips

November 8, 2017 0

During times of heavy snowfall, snow blowers are essential for quick and easy snow removal. But, because snow blowers are heavy pieces of machinery outfitted with dangerous blades, they need to be treated with respect.

Most snow blower injuries—which commonly include severe cuts, broken bones or amputations—occur when operators try to dislodge debris or clogs. Thankfully, these serious injuries are easily avoidable when the proper safety etiquette is followed.

For example, you should never clear clogs with your hands or other limbs. Instead, use a solid object like a stick while the machine is turned off.

In addition, take care not to run over debris while using your snow blower, as it can become a dangerous projectile when flung from a snow blower’s exhaust chute. Check our recommendation for best snow blower in your budget.

Combining the above safety tips with an attentive operation is the key to safe and effective snow removal. For added safety, check that your snow blower is approved by the Canadian Standards Association.

Snow removal is essential to your driveways, walkways and sidewalks during the winter months.
Find out what you can do to prevent slips and falls on your property.

Cornerstone Insurance Brokers is a full line insurance brokerage with offices in Woodbridge (Vaughan), Aurora, Markham, and Barrie. Cornerstone provides car insurance, home insurance, motorcycle insurance, farm insurance, equine insurance, rural insurance, business insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, critical illness insurance and health insurance, as well as employee group benefits all over Ontario.

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Fearless: The Undaunted Courage and Ultimate Sacrifice of Navy SEAL Team SIX Operator Adam Brown by Eric Blehm {Book Review}

January 11, 2014 0
Publisher’s Summary:
When Navy SEAL Adam Brown woke up on March 17, 2010, he didn’t know he would die that night in the Hind Kush Mountains of Afghanistan—but he was ready. In a letter to his children, not meant to be seen unless the worst happened, he wrote, “I’m not afraid of anything that might happen to me on this earth, because I know no matter what, nothing can take my spirit from me.”

Fearless is the story of a man of extremes, whose courage and determination were fueled by faith, family, and the love of a woman. It’s about a man who waged a war against his own worst impulses, including drug addiction and persevered to reach the top tier of the U.S. military. In a deeply personal and absorbing chronicle, Fearless reveals a glimpse inside the SEAL Team SIX brotherhood and presents an indelible portrait of a highly trained warrior whose final act of bravery led to the ultimate sacrifice.

Adam Brown was a devoted man who was an unlikely hero but a true warrior, described by all who knew him as…fearless.

My Thoughts:
This really was a great book. It takes you inside the mind of a fearless Navy SEAL from his childhood through to his wife and children, and his death in combat. From a life of drug addiction and loss of sight in one eye to pouring himself into his career and his family and his God. The author teaches you about the Navy SEAL life so that you truly understand the sacrifices made and the character of Adam Brown. I was amazed and the training that SEALs go through. This is a great read, especially for people interested in military life. Retired military would enjoy it as well.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Previous Review To Your Dog’s Health! 

Our Trip to Ethiopia

February 16, 2013 0

Day 0:

We have arrived in Ethiopia! It was the night when we arrived, but we can already tell it is beautiful, and the people are very friendly.

God blessed us with safe travel with only minor changes and added blessings! When we arrived in Frankfurt, we walked to the assigned terminal for our connecting flight, went through security and found different questions and inspections than Boston. Once through security, we found that our gate had been changed. Frankfurt is a large airport, and we ended up walking for 2 hours before getting to our gate. Thankful for a 5-hour layover! Went through security, found out, walked out of security, & walked back.

When arriving in Addis, the landing was bumpy (understatement), but entering the country went smoothly. While we were waiting in line for our baggage inspection, an employee asked for our baggage claim tags to match to the luggage. When we checked in in Boston, we each just picked 2 bags from our huge pile and checked them.

When we collected baggage in Addis, we just piled bags on carts and got in line. When we explained then we were a group of 14 and our bags were all together, another employee came up and asked if all of our bags had pink duct tape on them. (They did!) The employees looked at the bags for our pink tape, baggage handlers scooped our bags up on carts, and walked us around inspection! A very welcome blessing from God for a group of weary travelers!
I wish I had pictures of us piling into our vans and loading all the luggage into racks on top, but my phone (really just a camera and notebook this trip due to lack of internet) was dead. (Note to Frankfurt: more outlets around the gate would be nice. 😀 )

Tomorrow (really today as it is 12:30 local time), we will plan our time here, see where we are in the daylight, and meet our kids! We are so excited and can’t believe we are here!

Lesson learned during travel: Not holding the tickets and all details of a trip is really ok. 🙂
(Please forgive any typos. Our phones are a little buggy without the internet or cell service. I am actually typing this about 5:45 am local time 2/14 and we are without internet or power. Oh – and happy Valentine’s day everyone!)


Day 2:

My posts Will be more streams of consciousness during the day as things happen. Hopefully, they make some sense!
Land of contrast: new American clothes/old clothes/ET traditional; shacks next to a modern bank building next to nice stucco buildings with marble floors and walls
Took picture of boys’ door at drop in center; young boy invited me to his room and wanted me to take a picture of the back of the door
Visited Hope for the Hopeless’ church; shared crackers with kids; kids followed us in church; reaching out to neighborhood families
Met all the kids, played soccer with them, saw their beds, took pictures, saw the apple tree they each planted, many hugs – hello & goodbye from each child, almost cried leaving for the evening even though we Will see them after school tomorrow.
Habtamu has Zulalem translate our letters and has our picture on his clothing bin. He is shy because he doesn’t know English and can’t talk directly to me. He was very sad when we were leaving as he didn’t know that we would be seeing us tomorrow.
Quote of the day: “Uh, there is a car coming.” “That car is so far away that I am not worried about it.”
How to get whiplash without getting into an accident: drive down an Ethiopia dirt road
Is it this bumpy dirt road? Nope. This bumpy dirt road. Or maybe this one. Welcome to Mexico.
We are going to need a bathroom very soon.

Death & Taxes

April 16, 2012 0

I followed an example on Pinterest to organize our household bills a few months ago and love it!! So, when I was doing our taxes this year, I realized that the 3+ days of work it takes me to gather and organize all our data could be cut down if I used a similar system. (I itemize everything I can, so I have lots to gather.)

First… the 3 ring binder. A 2″ binder works for us. (I’m falling in love with binders again, can you tell? And I also love my labeler.) 🙂

I divided the notebook into the sections of the tax form (and Turbo Tax). The main sections are Income and Deductions. I added the front section “Return Copies” for a place to keep the printed copies of the return until I’m done and ready to pack it away. When I came across a subsection that was too big to keep in the main divider, I created a subsection. Below, Charity is a sub-section of Deductions, and I have a sub-category after Charity for an organization that I have donations and travel to track.

As I went through the information that I needed to gather, I created lists of the items and made a cover sheet for each section. Here is the Itemized Deductions cover sheet:

As statements and paperwork comes in during the year, I now hole punch it, put it in the right section, and check it off. The items above with lines are things I have to pull from our records.

Once I had all my notes together and data pulled from different places, I made a list for the front of the notebook with what items need to be pulled and where I get them from. This list will make it much easier to zip through and print off what I need, add it to the sections, and then I’ll be ready to run through Turbo Tax with all the info in one place!

Half the battle each year was remembering how I pulled certain information and what was the easiest way to record it. This has taken away the need to “re-invent the wheel” each year, and I can tweak the process as we go.

It also provides me with a neat bundle using round head fasteners that I file away once the money has been deposited into my account:

Have you tried something similar? Any tweaks to what I’ve done that might be easier? Please share below!

Blessings in your Adventure,



PS – The “Death” part of the post title was what it felt like doing our taxes Before. 🙂 I’m not saying I’ll rejoice about Taxes, but it sure will be easier!

Book Review: To Your Dog’s Health! by Mark Poveromo

September 16, 2010 0

To Your Dog’s Health! Canine Nutrition and Recent Trends Within The Pet Food Industry
by Mark Poveromo
Poor Man’s Press; February 2010

When I was given the opportunity by the Online Publicist to review To Your Dog’s Health! I jumped at the opportunity to learn more about dog nutrition. If you’ve ever talked with me about my dogs, you’ve probably heard that we don’t feed kibble, and we have raw fed for 6 years. Coming with the research I had done before beginning to raw feed, I was interested in what Mark Poveromo would have to say.

Mark does a great job clearly outlining the health needs of dogs (and cats) in this book. He walks through the different types of nutrition such as grocery store kibble, holistic foods, home cooking, and raw. He gives great advice and recipes for home cooked meals, meals for dogs with kidney disease or cancer, and what to look for in kibble.

His one chapter on raw feeding was a bit of a disappointment compared to the amount of time he spent on other subjects. While he went into great detail on kibble, home cooking for your dog, supplements to use, recipes, and things to keep in mind for certain health issues, he spent only one chapter on actual raw feeding and did not discuss how to do it yourself. He mentioned that there are good raw food manufacturers, but did not discuss how to balance your dog’s meals if you don’t buy a pre-packaged raw diet. I would have liked it if he went into more detail in some areas, including this one. I found this lack of information especially odd in light of the last paragraph of the chapter on raw feeding where Mark Poveromo said, “For the record, I have been feeding my pets a raw diet for about seven years now, and have had tremendous success.”

However, there was a wealth of information about vitamins, enzymes, carbohydrates, and vegetables, that I still came away learning a lot. Based on this information, I will try changing up our dogs’ diet a bit, but I will probably also consult some other raw diet resources before making a final decision.

I was delightfully surprised that he wrote a chapter about vaccines and other treatments. I must say I found his thoughts on that subject well balanced and helpful.

I do recommend this book for a quick, easy to read an overview of dog nutrition. In fact, despite my disappointment with the raw food chapter, I found enough good information in the book, that I am keeping it on my shelf to read again. There are various facts in this book that more pet owners, and some vets, need to know. One such fact is that the protein in most kibble is from rendering facilities. These facilities take leftover animal pieces (meat, fat, blood, bone, and feather) and render them down to be included in kibble. These are the animal pieces that are not sold in grocery stores because they are not fit for consumption! And because of this poor protein quality, we are seeing increased incidents of health issues in our pets.

Just like humans, our pets are what they eat, and we owe it to them to make sure we give them the best nutrition possible.

Learn more about Mark Poveromo
See a preview on Google Books
Buy To Your Dog’s Health! now on for $10.17 (sponsored link)

I received this book free from The Online Publicist. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
boost sales.

Great Parenting Show Teleseminar

August 31, 2010 0

Shared by request of Jonathan at No Excuses Workouts. 

Jonathan here: I am excited about this unique opportunity as the FlyLady, Dinner Diva (Leanne Ely) and Pam Young are also participating!

If you’re like me, you’ve spent a lot of time trying to answer life’s big questions:
• How can I create a joyful connected family?
• How can I raise self-reliant children?
• How can I help my children contribute to the world?
• How can I heal and become the parent I want?
• How can I balance my work and my family?

That’s why I want you to join me in this fantastic teleseminar series I’m in – and the best part is, it won’t cost you a dime!

It’s called Great Parenting Show Teleseminar and it is produced and hosted by Jacqueline Green. With over 10 years experience in parenting education, Jacqueline Green is a sought after parenting educator in her own right, as well as a powerful force putting the top parenting experts in reach of all parents. Her passion for helping parents comes from turning her own personal struggle with parenting to a transformation of all aspects of her life! Jacqueline has worked with and learned from many of the top parenting educators in the world. Her mission is to help millions of parents by helping you to find the right expert for your unique parenting situation and concerns. Watch Jacqueline’s cool video and sign up here.

Jacqueline will be interviewing me and 23 other of the world’s top thought leaders about how to achieve the relationship you’ve always dreamed of having with your children. Here is a sampling of the amazing experts who will be a part of this series…

The FlyLady, Marla Cilley
Marla is the bestselling author of Sink Reflections, co-author of the New York Times Best Seller Body Clutter, syndicated newspaper columnist, radio show host and mentor of millions as the FlyLady. With her southern charm and inspirational emails, FlyLady guides those living in CHAOS (Can’t Have Anyone Over Syndrome) and clutter. She has her own Blog Talk Radio Channel, weekly syndicated column in over 250 newspapers around the world and she has been featured in numerous major magazines and newspapers and tv, including: CNN and The Today Show.

Hal Runkel LMFT
Hal Runkel, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist has dedicated his life to helping families stay calm and connected. He is the best-selling author of ScreamFree Parenting and sought-after international speaker. Hal is also the founder of The ScreamFree Institute, a not-for-profit organization working to build-up a worldwide network of certified leaders, each reaching countless families with the generation-changing ScreamFree message. He is active in training and equipping these leaders around the world, in addition to his counseling, speaking, and writing activities. Hal and his wife Jenny have been married for 17 years, and they live with their two children in the Atlanta area.

Leanne Ely
Leanne Ely wrote the New York best selling Saving Dinner series. She’s been on several national television shows, including HGTV’s Simple Solutions, ABC Family’s Living the Life, Ivanhoe’s Smart Woman, Small Talk for Parents and Talk of the Town. She has guest chef-ed on the cooking show, Carolina Cooks and has taught cooking classes all over the country for Bloomingdale’s. In addition, she is a seasoned radio personality. Leanne’s current show, Saving Dinner with the Dinner Diva airs each Wednesday afternoon on and is one of the top ten shows on that channel.

Dr. Michele Borba
Michele Borba, Ed.D. is an internationally renowned educator, award-winning author, parenting expert and child and adolescent expert. She is recognized for her practical, solution-based strategies to strengthen children’s behavior, character, and social development, and to build strong families. Dr. Borba is an NBC contributor who has appeared over 80 times as parent expert on the Today show as well as countless talk shows including: Dr. Phil, The View, The Tyra Banks Show, Fox & Friends, Geraldo & Friends, The Doctors, CNN American Morning, Countdown, and The Early Show. She appears regularly on Fox Headline News and CNN Headline News to discuss late-breaking news and has been interviewed by numerous publications including Newsweek, People, U.S. News & World Report, Reader’s Digest, The Globe and Mail, and People. If you are a fitness freak then check here for the best treadmill reviews 2018.

There are 24 speakers in all including: Pam Young, Rhonda Ryder, Dr. Kenny Handelman, Leanne Ely, Tom Hoerr Ph.D., Terri Amos-Britt, Josh Shipp, Shari Criso, Nancy Gruver, Deborah Critzer-Fox, Jennifer Kolari MSW, Claire Mysko, Shelly Lefkoe, Carolyn Ellis, Dr. Lynne Kenney, Dr. Daniel Siegel, Dr. Vicki Panaccione, and more. Wow!

We’ll be sharing the best of the best strategies, tactics and processes we know to help you get from where you are to where you want to be faster and easier than ever before.

Please take advantage of this unique opportunity and reserve your spot.

After you register, keep an eye out for Jacqueline’s email with your details for listening in on the calls.

Also, be sure to click on the special link in Jacqueline’s email and grab your bonus gifts they have especially for you. They’re all yours to keep just for enrolling in this free series.

Take care.
Jonathan – aka “Your Biggest Fan”

P.S. The event starts today! The FlyLady is being interviewed at 1PM EST and you can listen to the replay for free for 48 hours post-interview.

P.P.S. By the way, if you can’t make the LIVE CALLS Every Tuesday & Thursday 1:00 PM Eastern starting Tuesday August 31, 2010, DON’T WORRY… we’ve got you covered!  These calls will be recorded and will be available after each show for 48 hours so you won’t miss a thing. Make sure you sign up now to get these free recordings.

Mindy’s Disclaimer: I am not running this teleseminar, and I do not know all of the speakers involved. This does not constitute an endorsement of anyone involved in the teleseminar series.