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    Top things homeowners forget when prepping their home for winter

    (BPT) - In the winter, keeping the cold out and the heat in is everything. For many busy homeowners, it can be easy to overlook a few simple preventive maintenance tasks before cold weather sets in. Doing so can reduce the risk of home damage and help maximize energy efficiency. So before frigid temperatures are here for good, you can use this list to make sure your house is shipshape.

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    Jumping on the real estate boom? Do your homework first

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    People everywhere are being priced out of housing. But together, we can make it more affordable.

    (BPT) - Over the years, the inventory of affordable homes has been in sharp decline, while home prices have risen dramatically. With housing becoming increasingly unaffordable, the shortage of safe and affordable homes is affecting more and more prospective homebuyers every day. However, potential impacts go beyond individual would-be homeowners, with growing implications for society at large. This problem has no one solution, but with collaboration across the entire housing industry, together we can create more opportunity for more people to achieve sustainable, long-term homeownership.

Pet Central

pets

Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>

Fitness

Fitness

Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>

Crosswords

Crosswords

Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>

Sudoku

Sudoku

Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>




Wednesday 12/02/2020
Sensible Solutions for Holiday Gifting
Updated: December 03, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Practically every year there’s at least one person on your holiday gift list that seems to have it all. One way to think outside the box is to sift through wants and needs to find something that can truly be put to use on an almost daily basis.

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5 Tips for Your Next Snowmobile Adventure
Updated: December 03, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) As travel restrictions and popular trends like staycations have changed the way many people escape from their day-to-day lives, rediscovering classic, outdoor winter activities like snowmobiling can provide a simple way to spend time with loved ones.

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Quick Ways to Freshen Up Your Home for Fall
Updated: December 03, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) As fall weather sets in, many homeowners take advantage of cooler days to spruce up their living spaces since they’re confined indoors. However, fitting all that work into a busy season filled with school, sports and other family demands isn’t always easy.

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5 Tips to Get Your Home Winter-Ready
Updated: December 04, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) As the days get shorter and the weather turns chilly, it's time to prepare your home for the winter months ahead. Because your home will likely require extra maintenance to keep it in shape throughout the winter, beginning preparations early can help lower energy bills, increase the efficiency and lifespan of your home's components and make your property safer overall.

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Monday 11/30/2020
A Surprising Assistant
Updated: December 04, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Here’s a hot tip: Most baking enthusiasts may not realize it, but turning out great baked goods can be easier with a quality kitchen appliance that’s NOT the stove. It’s the sink.  

With, for example, the BLANCO IKON Low-Divide white farmhouse sink, prepping your ingredients and getting your sweets into the oven can be faster and easier than ever.  

Here are seven reasons: 

•You get a custom floating cutting board that lets you transform the area into a functional prep space.  

•The way a farmhouse-type sink is installed also provides a more ergonomic set-up by bringing the sink closer to you, so you can tackle food preparation with less strain on your back, so you enjoy baking more. 

•It can also make cleanup easier. If the recipe calls for eggs, say, you can crack them on the side of your sink. You won’t need to worry about wiping up messes on your counter because the sink is made of a durable granite composite material called SILGRANIT that’s super easy to clean. Sticky or messy baking substances, such as egg whites, can be quickly wiped away with a sponge or easily rinsed down the drain. Its non-porous, food-safe surface is long-lasting and low-maintenance because it resists liquids and residue.

•It can also save you time. Just toss all the dirty plates, spatulas, and whisks into the sink. The material it’s made of is heat-resistant and can withstand temperatures up to 536°F, much hotter than most baking requires. It will not blister, burn, melt or discolor from heat.  

•There’s an optional floating grid you can use as a cooling rack.

•Because a farmhouse sink has two bowls, you can use one for prep and the other for cleanup.  

•The low-divide and deep bowl mean getting large baking sheets into the sink is a breeze during cleanup. 

Learn More 

For further facts, tips and recipes, go to www.blancoamerica.com

 

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Cook Up A Low-Maintenance Kitchen
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—An increasing number of families are finding how much fun it can be to cook and eat at home—but an easy-to-clean-and-work-in kitchen can make a big difference.

Here are five ideas on how to have one that can help you save time, effort, and expensive cleaning supplies.

1.Be clever about cabinetry:  Choose simple, flat door cabinets without molding or raised panels which can collect grease and dirt. Soft-close doors help reduce touch points. 

2.When you get down to it, the right flooring and a well-thought-out floor plan can reduce the likelihood of messes. The “work triangle”—from sink to refrigerator to cooking appliances—should be designed with an ergonomic flow in mind so moving around the room is easier, faster and less likely to result in spills.  Avoid textured linoleum or any flooring with wide seams and gaps. 

3.Apply the same principles to appliances: Stainless steel is both beautiful and enduring and can now come in a fingerprint-resistant finish. If you store them in cabinets instead of on countertops, that’ll keep them cleaner.

4.Hot ideas for stoves: Get sealed burners on gas cooktops; flat glass electric, and induction tops make it far easier to wipe up spills. A strong ventilation hood with dishwasher-safe filters will reduce dust and grease in the kitchen so it doesn’t settle on surfaces. 

5.Be smart about sinks. Food-safe surfaces that reduce bacterial growth are important. A hygiene-friendly sink material solution, ­SILGRANIT by BLANCO, has a non-porous surface with a smooth stone-like finish that resists stains, scratches, chips, acid and heat. The Hygienic Plus surface acts as a shield against dirt and germs while reducing bacterial growth by up to 98%. Plus, the material needs no harsh chemicals to keep clean—just soap and water or baking soda, since the hydrophobic surface pushes away dirt and water so it easily drains away.

6.A fact about faucets: Engineered with a solid brass body and a flexible, high-quality hose encased in stainless steel, the SOLENTA semi-pro faucet is both durable and easy to clean. It also provides the ultimate hands-free experience by combining reliable materials with a sophisticated start-stop technology so there’s less to clean while you’re keeping clean.

Learn More

For further facts and tips, visit www.blancoamerica.com.

 

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Wednesday 11/25/2020
Gifts That Do A World Of Good
Updated: December 01, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—This holiday season, you don’t have to look far to find items that deliver great features and functionality but use less energy. Products that earn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR label save money on energy bills and help protect the environment, making them gifts that do a world of good. 

With a wide range of things to wrap up—from smart thermostats, laptops, tablets and other electronics, appliances and even lighting—you can put a bow on a gift that has been independently certified to meet strict standards for energy efficiency. 

A typical household spends about $2,000 a year on energy bills. A home outfitted with products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label can save 30% or about $575 a year on household energy bills. Over their lifetime these products save about $8,750 on utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 77,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

The ENERGY STAR Holiday Gift Guide at www.energystar.gov/holiday features energy-saving products popular this time of year, along with special deals from manufacturers, retailers, and utilities that participate in the ENERGY STAR Program. Looking for the ENERGY STAR label on products specially priced for the holidays means you save on the initial price, plus keep saving through the holidays and beyond. 

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Winter Weather Emergency Preparedness
Updated: November 30, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) As temperatures drop, the risk of severe winter weather conditions and sudden power outages rise. Preparing your family ahead of time can help minimize the impact of a power loss.

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5 Pro Tips to Prep Homes for Winter
Updated: November 30, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Before blustery winter days arrive, there are plenty of home improvement projects contractors can tackle for homeowners. Many cooler weather projects focus on cost efficiency and sustainability, making the improvements all around smart investments.

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Make the Most of Holiday Gatherings This Year
Updated: November 30, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) The holiday season may look different this year, but family, friends, gratitude and good food never go out of style. This year, you can make the most of your intimate holiday gatherings with new traditions, cooking shortcuts and creative ways to keep friends and family close, no matter how far apart you are. For more information and ideas to spice up your holiday meal this season, visit BobEvans.com.

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More Home Improvement
Friday 11/06/2020
5 tips to turn your garage into an all-season getaway
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - As the weather cools down and winter looms closer, now is the perfect time to create more living space in your home. Whether you need a place to take a break from daily stressors, get some work done, or host friends and family, look no further than your own garage.

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5 top tips for refinishing hardwood floors
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - Since spending more time at home, you’ve probably started eyeing projects that need attention. If so, you’re not alone — Houzz home renovation website reported a 58% increase in leads for home improvement professionals this past summer.

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Friday 10/30/2020
5 tips to save on higher energy costs
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - Home may be where the heart is, but the higher energy bills from staying home 24/7 are causing households across the country a hefty case of heartburn. The hot summer months were tough enough, but as we head into the cold winter months, we’re in for another peak in power bills. Although you may not feel in control of lowering those bills, there are a number of ways households can reduce monthly energy usage and costs.

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Wednesday 10/28/2020
3 unexpected ways to save time and money by building a deck during the off-season
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - With temperatures cooling and leaves changing from golden yellow to deep auburn, there’s no denying that it’s the season of all things cozy and comfy. And as you begin to hunker down and bundle up indoors, the thought of embarking on a deck building project might not be top of mind.

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Monday 10/26/2020
DIY projects that will have you falling for outdoor living
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - Never before has a home’s outdoor space been more cherished or vital. It’s not surprising then that nearly two-thirds of American homeowners have either recently undertaken or are in the process of upgrading their home’s exterior, according to Porch.com. For those of you still in the planning phase, professional designer and TV personality Alison Victoria, host of HGTV’s “Windy City Rehab,” suggests four DIY-friendly projects to undertake this fall to turn your backyard into an outdoor oasis.

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Monday 10/05/2020
Haven't you always wanted a high-end bidet? Here's what to look for
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to bidet toilets. If you’re someone who insists on having the best, here's a tidbit to simplify your search: The evolution of the bidet largely occurred in Japan. Though the French get credit for inventing the bidet, it was actually Japanese innovation that reshaped the bidet experience into a must-have luxury.

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5 do's and don’ts of fire safety
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - A fire department responds to a fire every 24 seconds, and a small flame can turn into a major fire rapidly. With Americans spending more time at home than ever before, it is important to be ready before disaster strikes. To ensure your family is prepared for the unexpected, make sure you know these five fire safety do's and don’ts from First Alert:

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Friday 10/02/2020
4 easy – and effective – ways to protect your home
Updated: November 26, 2020 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Data collected in recent years by the FBI has revealed that there are roughly 2.5 million burglaries a year. This averages out to one burglary about every 13 seconds nationwide. So, while many feel safe and secure at home, one can never be too prepared when it comes to protecting your loved ones.

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Monday 09/28/2020
Bring personalized expression into kitchen design
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - Personalizing a kitchen’s design is an opportunity to showcase true individuality. The space will feel like a true reflection of self when finished with handpicked details. Adding special touches throughout a space, from unique materials to striking statement pieces, can work together to form that cohesive, yet individualized feel.

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Thursday 09/24/2020
Top tips for weathering storm season
Updated: December 05, 2020 - 2:33 am

(BPT) - It’s not over yet. Just past the peak of hurricane season weather forecasters have already had to resort to the Greek alphabet to name storms. And with severe storms and tornados appearing around the country, it is more important than ever to take steps and be prepared before, during and after a storm.

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