Sunday, July 30, 2017

Back to School Ideas

There's an air of excitement (for parents?) when the back to school supplies arrive on store shelves.  A new school year is a time for a fresh new start and an opportunity to get the kids on the right track before the homework comes rolling in.

Here are a few ideas to make life a little easier or more organized for the new year.

1.  Plan out a week's worth of outfits and hang them in the closet using a hanging sweater organizer. Label each compartment by day of the week.

2.  Create a drop zone for backpacks and folder for paperwork that needs to be signed and returned. Hang bookbags near the front door and keep school shoes underneath.

3.  Before the week gets started pack up baggies or tupperware of snacks that can be easily grabbed and thrown in lunchboxes or grabbed on the way to after school activities.

4.  Create a wipe off calendar system using different color markers for each child.  Put the calendar in a location easily seen by the whole family.

5.  Make time for family time. Don't let the busyness of the day keep you from connecting as a family.  Talk about each other's day and allow time for fun!

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Summer Lawn Care

The way you care for and treat your lawn will vary with the seasons.  In the summer, it's important to be aware of how the high temperatures and possible lack of rain can affect your grass.  Here are some ways you can make life a little easier for your yard during the dog days of summer.

1.  Let your grass grow a little longer. The roots will grow deeper into the soil and the longer blades will help sustain the existing moisture.

2.  Use a mulching lawn mower instead of a bagging mower. Allow the mulch to settle back into the lawn to keep the grass cooler and trap moisture.

3.  Cut grass in the early mornings or evenings. Freshly cut grass is more likely to be damaged by the sun's rays.  Make sure your blades are sharp so as not to fray the grass.

4.  Don't forget to water! Most lawns need about an inch of water per week.  Try watering in the early mornings or evenings to prevent losing moisture to evaporation.

What tips do you have for keeping your lawn green in the summer?

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Keep Your Refrigerator Cool

It may seem strange but the hot summer days can affect more than just your lawn and landscaping.  It can take a toll on your kitchen appliances as well.

The heat can cause your refrigerator to run harder than normal to stay cool - affecting your utility bill and your wallet.

So what can you do?

Take these steps to help your refrigerator stay cool.

  • Keep your refrigerator in a cool spot in your home (not the garage) and make sure there is some space around it for heat to go and air to circulate.
  • Clean your coils regularly. Consult your owners manual for more information. Keep the front grill dust free as well.
  • When you leave the house, set the thermostat at a reasonable temperature so the home doesn't get too hot and then have to cool off fast when you return.
  • Uncovered food can release moisture back into the refrigerator. Keep food covered at all times.
  • Don't overload the refrigerator. Only store what needs to be kept cool.
  • Your most perishable items should be stored in the refrigerator itself, not the door. The temperature of the door will fluctuate the most.