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Things to Check in your Home Every Year

01/22/2019

Regular home maintenance is a tedious task many homeowners put off until something goes amiss. Don’t wait for any emergency before evaluating your home’s condition. Maximize your home’s efficiency and save big time on costly repairs with this maintenance checklist:

Seasonal and Annual Maintenance
Spring: Spring is the busiest time for home maintenance. This is the time you need to pay attention to your exterior and prepare it for the humid summer air. Clean out the gutters and clear out dead plants and shrubs in your house. Trim your trees to minimize electrical interference.
Summer: Plumbing maintenance is best done in summer. This is also the season to clean your garage. Check your door hinges and oil them.

Fall: For some, fall is the perfect time to tackle general home maintenance projects since it is not too hot. This is the season to re-paint, power wash and seal cracks and gaps in your sidings and windows. Check your heating system, fireplace, and chimney to prepare for winter.
Winter: Concentrate on your interior in winter. Check for caulking, ice dams, and icicles too.

Quarterly
Critical items that you should perform every three months include checking your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors as well as your fire extinguishers. Check water and toilet flush in areas that you don’t use regularly such as your guest bathrooms. Ensure that your garage doors’ auto-reverse feature is working.

Biannually
Testing your water heater pressure relief valve should be done twice a year to prevent mineral and corrosion deposits. Deep cleaning your home once every six months is also a great way to keep your space in its tip-top shape.

Monthly
Your kitchen sink disposal should be inspected and cleaned every month. Run vinegar ice cubes through your disposal to clean it as well as sharpen its blades. Cleaning the filters of your AC and furnace should also be done at least once a month. This will make it easier to regulate your home’s temperature and minimize utility bills.

Remember to practice safety when tackling any of these home maintenance projects. Consider hiring the help of a professional for risky projects especially ones that involve electric or heavy equipment.

How to Spend Martin Luther King Day

01/17/2019

It can be challenging to explain to your kids the role of Martin Luther King Jr. in the civil rights movement. If your kids’ school considers Martin Luther King Day an official holiday, consider the day off to commemorate and educate them of his legacy.

Celebrate Martin Luther King day with your kids through the following:

Watch his speech

Martin Luther King Jr. gave a public speech entitled “I Have a Dream” during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. While the speech took place 56 years ago, his message is still powerful and resonating today. He called for civil and economic rights and encourages to end racism in the United States. His speech is an important conversation starter for your kids about human rights.

Participate in community events

Check with your local community if there are any special tributes. Consider attending commemorative services in your local church or organizations. You can also participate in Martin Luther King Day of Service. This is the president’s national call to service initiative. Find a volunteering project in your area and tag your kids along!

Serve others

Consider this day to volunteer in your local area. There are plenty of opportunities that you and your family can involve into. From feeding the homeless to clean-up drive, volunteerism helps your kids understand the concept of serving and helping others. If your kids are still young to involve in public activities, you can also donate food and toiletries to your local food bank.

Rather than just honoring Martin Luther King Jr. on his birthday, make it a habit to reflect on his message on daily basis with your family.

Fun-Filled Winter Activities for January 2019

01/15/2019

Just because it is cold outside doesn’t mean your mood has to be as gloomy as the season. There are plenty of indoor activities you can do with your family to warm up the dreary weather.

Take the fun outside

Make most of the season with winter activities that your kids will surely love.  Don’t let the cold wind get in the way of these fun-filled activities:

Ice skating

Winter is the best time to teach your kids ice-skating. With the right coaching and encouraging, you and your kids will have a great time together. Don’t know how to skate either? Consider enrolling the entire family in a class! This is a great way to learn while meeting new people!

Winter Camping

Transform your backyard into a winter mini-camping retreat. This activity requires the right equipment and a lot of preparation. Cozy up in your fleece blanket and enjoy great stories over a cup of hot chocolate! Let your kids roast some marshmallows and hotdogs in your campfire. Camping is a beautiful experience for your family as it brings you closer together.

Snowboarding

This winter activity is more popular among older kids, especially teenagers. Snowboarding is a great way to help your kids work with their balance and skills. Make sure the safety gears and equipment fit snugly to you and your kids.

Snow Angels

Forget any winter equipment, just layer up and enjoy the outdoors throwing snowballs. Better yet, lie in your back, spread your arms straight out and swing them to the top of your head and voila, you have your snow angels!

Stay Indoors

If it gets too cold outside, your family can still have fun indoors doing:

Board Games

Take board games to the next level using excellent reward system. Consider classics like Pictionary, Scrabble, Monopoly and Chutes and Ladder.

Movie Time

Get the popcorn ready as the winter season is the best time to catch up with your favorite movies and series. Let a family member choose one movie that you should watch for a day. The other family member gets to decide the next film you should binge. You can also watch a movie or TV series.

Winter doesn’t have to be dreadful when you have a handful of activities for your family. What is your go-to family during this season? Let us know by posting a comment below!

The Holiday Aftermath – Tips on Removing Decors

01/11/2019

The new year is officially here. Vacation bubble is fading away as regular life is settling before your eyes. Now that we’re re-acclimating into our usual humdrum, it’s time to get these Christmas decors to storage. You wouldn’t want to be the only house in the neighborhood with lights and garlands on Valentine’s day.  

Here are some tips and tricks to store your Christmas decor so that you can reuse them next Christmas.

Plan Ahead

Think of where and how your holiday decorations will be used so that you can plan storage space and options accordingly. It makes sense to break up the collection into different storage areas depending on your home’s layout. For example, it may make sense to store first-story decorations on the first floor and the second-story decorations on the second floor, thus eliminating the need to lug large trees, wreaths, figurines, and light sets from floor-to-floor.

Clear Resealable Bags

Sort your ornaments by color and use clear resealable bags to stop the guessing game come next Christmas. Then next year, it’ll be super easy to assess your stash.

Wrap Lights around Cardboard

When you wrap your lights around pieces of disposable cardboard, you can write handy reminders that’ll keep you organized next year. It also helps your lights not to get tangled.

Storing Your Fake Tree

Wrap your fake tree with dust sheets and create bags for the top, middle, and bottom pieces of it. You can also wrap it in cling wrap and get it protected all-year long. Store it in your garage without worrying about getting it dirty.

These are just some of the tips we got from Good Housekeeping, Better Homes and Gardens, and other magazines. Do you have other suggestions in storing decors? Comment below and let us know about it.

Get The Resolve for 2019

01/09/2019

 

Yes, it’s that time of the year again when you hit the reset button and get the inspiration to start things from scratch. Whatever it is you set your eyes on like losing weight or learning a new hobby, you’re dead sure you’ll be doing them for one year. But as the year goes on, the momentum you have right now just doesn’t stay with you. So here’s a list of things you need to prepare before even starting your New Year’s Resolution.

Choose the Right Resolution for You

According to Franklin Covey, the global leader in personal growth and transformation, one-third of resolutions don’t make it past the end of January. And, a lot of people fail because they didn’t make the right resolutions for themselves.

You’ll have better success when you choose a resolution that fits you, not one that’s shoved to you by a co-worker or a well-meaning relative. It should be SMART. We’ll get to that.

Make The Plan

Resolutions aren’t wishes that happen just because you uttered magical words into the universe. It has to be SMART to be successful. What does SMART mean?

Specific

Instead of saying “I’m gonna lose weight.”, say “I’m gonna lose 40 lbs in one year.” Don’t be vague. The key here is to make a specific goal so you’ll know what you need to achieve in a given time.

Measurable

Keep tabs of your progress. Whether it’s jotting down your weight loss or recording yourself while practicing your ukulele, no matter what your resolution may be, this can keep your resolve and reinforce your progress.

Attainable

Aiming for the moon isn’t bad. By all means, hit it with all you’ve got. But, it can cause an awful amount of frustration for you and may lead you to just end the resolution entirely. Instead of saying, “This year, I’m gonna buy a house IN CASH.” (unless you’re a billionaire) say, “This year, I’m gonna start saving up on a downpayment for a house.”

Time-bound

This part is similar above. The trick here is to do small efforts so it becomes significant in the long run. If you’re new to saving up money, try setting an amount of money in a short period of time like save $200 in a month. By the end of the year, you will have saved $2,400. See where this is going?

Reward Yourself

Pat yourself on the back for doing such an awesome job in following through your plan down to the T! But, don’t overindulge. You wouldn’t want to halt the momentum. It’s too easy for you to say “I’ve been so good, I deserve a few candy bars,” or throw caution to the wind with a new purchase when you’re trying to save up. One slip and it could all be over.

Don’t give up!

A slip-up is inevitable at some point. You must not let this become an excuse to give up. Remind yourself of your past achievements and don’t become critical of yourself and immediately forgive yourself and say “I’m starting again now!”

Get support. STAT!

Get support from your ride or dies. Choose people around you who are trustworthy, supportive friends and explain your plans. Let them know of ways they can help when the going gets tough. They’ll know the right things to say during the hard times.

Be the Captain

This resolution is under your control. Well-meaning people may give you unsolicited advice, but it’s still your call to take them or not. It is your actions that get you the change and results you need. Having a strong sense of control is necessary to stick with your resolutions. Blaming everyone else apart from yourself will not get you to the change you need.

After reading these tips, aren’t you hyped up in fulfilling your New Year’s resolutions? You’re now in a great position to improve your life this year. Good changes are worth the time and effort. So, get started and good luck!

Seahawks wins against Cardinals: 27 to 24

01/03/2019

Close Fight

The Seattle Seahawks’ game-winning drive came to a close fight with the Arizona Cardinals, pushing their record 10-6. Their opening possession looked promising and included the first run down on the 3rd & 7 from Ed Dickson. Russell Wilson threw an interception on a shallow in-route to David Moore which did not succeed. The Cardinals took advantage of this and got 3 points a few minutes later.

Team Highs and Lows

Though the game may not have begun in their favor, the team went three and out on their next drive. That’s when they finally started to get going. Wilson saw Tyler Lockett all by himself 15 yards downfield, took the chance and passed the ball. Lockett sprinted unencumbered into the end zone for the touchdown. This strong play set the team’s spirits throughout the game.

The second half began exactly how the first one ended: Seattle went three and out on their first two drives, taking a 3rd down sack for the 5th time on their second one that came after two shocking drops from Doug Baldwin.

With all those fumbles and set-ups, the best quarterback performance by the Seahawks was on the 4th quarter. Mike Davis started the final drive followed by a 5-yard catch. Then, he charged ahead for four more on the 3rd & 1. That put the Seahawks at 38. And then it was Wilson’s glorious moment. He rolled to his right, faking a hand-off. This baffled the Cardinal’s defensive line. Wilson moved his eyes downfield while running into an open space. He cocked his arm and threw a perfectly wide-open Lockett down 37 yards. At this point, this puts the game at 25-13 in favor of the Seahawks.

Expectation vs. Reality

The Seattle Seahawks entered Week 17 as a near lock for the NFC’s fifth seed. But, their win against the Cardinals was no walk in the park. Sports analysts observed that the team didn’t play like a team locked into a playoff spot. For the most part, starters played throughout the game.  Nevertheless, the Seahawks took home the bacon and is locked as the 5th seed in the NFC.

After wrapping up the regular season, Seattle will now prepare for their return to the playoffs. The team match-ups are up but the exact schedules will be released by the end of February.

Until then, onward, upward— Seattle Seahawks!

Featured image by Philip Robertson via Flickr

Seahawks vs Arizona Cardinals

12/20/2018

The Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals will soon face head on for their final game this year on December 30 at the CenturyLink Field, Seattle WA.

For Seahawks, winning this game after more than three consecutive triumphs will prove a victorious feat in their NFL season this year. Quarterback Russell Wilson, with running back Chris Carson, wide receiver and return specialist Tyler Lockett, and the rest of the team players are expected to bring home the bacon for Seattle and their massive following.

Seahawks Coach Pete Carroll pins his hopes for a promising conclusion to their season in 2018. Despite challenges that they had to overcome, such as Lockett’s leg injury during their preseason game in August, Carroll is confident for his team to hit a home run in the anticipated game.

For Cardinals, however, preparations and training are still on the way. Expected players to perform well on the field include quarterback Josh Rosen, running back David Johnson, and wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald. Cardinals coach Steve Wilks sets his sights to redeem the team after losing against Seahawks in their previous game.

As the holidays continue and the new year celebration approaches, perhaps one of the greatest gifts that supports  both teams can give and receive is the sportsmanship, and the reminder that whoever wins or loses, the game remains a testament to American unity in sports.

Christmas Traditions with the Family

12/18/2018

Thinking of starting a Christmas tradition with you and your family? Begin with simple yet heartwarming ones. These activities for all ages will help your family bond over the holidays.

Wreath-Making
Take the kids outside for a quick winter walk to gather evergreen branches and pine cones. Trim some from the bottom of your Christmas tree. Attach your greens to a foam or wire ring and allow the kids to decorate it with Christmas ornaments and bows.

Watch Movies
Watch Christmas movies! You could also spread out your movie marathon over the course of a week. Let each family member choose a favorite holiday flick to watch. If your family is quirky and think Christmas movies are cheesy, watch horror movies instead. Screaming together all huddled in the living room is a great bonding moment.

Hot Chocolate Buffet

Enjoy the cold December with a mug of hot choco. Up your game with a buffet of toppings for your cocoa such whipped cream, marshmallows, crushed candy canes, shaved chocolate, chocolate chips, and cinnamon dots. The kids will love customizing their hot cocoa — a fun and easy activity for Christmas Eve.

Christmas Cookies

There are many holiday cookies you can choose from. Choose a simple recipe that children of all ages can get involved in the kitchen. Younger kids can add pre-measured ingredients, stir the bowl and decorate cooled cookies. Older kids can pitch in at any stage.

Wear Tacky Christmas Sweaters

It’s cold and grandma knitted you the annual Christmas sweaters. Wear them with pride and be tacky with the rest of your family. It looks horrible in the photos but it can definitely keep you warm. Plus, laughing at each other is fun, too.

Write a Letter to Santa

Encourage your kids to write a letter to Santa. You’d be surprised at what they’ll write about. It can be amusing when kids say (or write) the darndest things. When they’re done, they can hang it on the Christmas tree or slip them in their Christmas stockings.

When everything is all said and done, just enjoy each other’s company. Savor each moment. Who knows, maybe one day it’ll become a story you’ll be telling for years to come. And, isn’t that what Christmas is about?

 

Seahawks prepares for final playoff with San Francisco 49ers this year

12/13/2018

After winning 43-16 in a match earlier this month, Seattle Seahawks is set to face San Francisco 49ers for their final playoff this year.

The game is set to take place at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara, California on Sunday. Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson, who was able to accomplish four touchdown passes in their previous game, will take it as an opportunity to complete 65.6 percent of his passes for 2,788 yards, coupled with 29 touchdowns and six interceptions. Along with Wilson, Seahawks’ team players such as wide receiver and return specialist Tyler Lockett and fellow wide receiver David Moore are expected to bring home the bacon. Both Lockett and Moore have accumulated 1,168 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns.

This anticipated game marks the second of two divisional games this season between Seahawks and 49ers. With Seahawks’ winning streak, they cling to hope for another possible victory.

 

Keep Your Home Bright This Winter

12/11/2018

 

In winter, days become shorter than usual, and gray skies and gloomy days appear earlier in the day.  Follow these tips to help you keep your residence looking vibrant. By using the proper lighting system and with constant maintenance, your home retains its glee even on darker winter days.

  • Clean fixtures – Dust off your fixtures as these will improve quality lighting for your home. Whether these are installed outdoors or within your residence, fixtures will help project light better. Dust, stains, or insect remains might dim the lights.

  • Replace bulbs and lamps – Like any tool, bulbs and lamps have limits, especially when they have been used for quite a while. To avoid dimness, it’s best to inspect the bulbs and lamps that you use at home. If they do not function well anymore, it’s time to buy new ones that can produce the same light your home needs.

  • Survey your landscape – If you wish to extend brightness over your property, your lawn might be the best place to situate your additional lights. Since winter almost always arrives in December, your lighting display can be related to the holiday season too! Add sparkly lights to shine brightly on your home to give it warmth.

  • Keep track of the usage – As much as you want your home to look bright on cold gloomy days, you also need to consider the cost. As electricity can be expensive, make sure to plan and keep a budget, so you don’t overdo it!

Keeping your home bright this winter will not only repel the gloom, especially at night but will also add more joy in the season. Whether you’re with your family or if you choose to invite friends over, the lights will always turn your home into a spectacle.