Happy 4th of July

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America!!! There are always new topics to discuss when it comes to our country, but we can all agree that 4th of July is a day of honor and history! This link is full of 4th of July history facts. I enjoyed flipping through this site, so I wanted to share it with you! You may learn something new as you enjoy reading the history of 4th of July….

https://www.livescience.com/14844-50-fabulous-facts-july-fourth-declaration-independence.html

 

Myth Buster

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It’s hot! No question!!! Here is some myth buster information that will help your facts straight and keep you cool!

MYTH: Closing off vents and registers will reduce your cooling bill.
False. If you have a modern forced air system, the pressure load is balanced throughout the house. Blocking the vent can throw the system out of balance, causing it to have to work harder or possibly break down.

Also the most energy efficient practice you can do is to have cool air evenly distributed throughout the house. Blocking vents in certain rooms will make those rooms colder.

MYTH:  Fiberglas insulation alone keeps cold air out of your home.
Fiberglas actually does a better job at keeping heat in than keeping cold out. If you have cracks, air leaks and drafts anywhere in your house, the cold air will seep in no matter how much insulation you have. Air sealing is the most important thing you can do to plug these holes and gaps and keep the chill from creeping in.

MYTH:  Leaving a ceiling fan on will cool a room…even when you’re not there.
Fans cool your skin, not the air. They do not lower room temperature. If a fan runs in a room when no one is there, no one is feeling its benefits. So it’s just wasting electricity.

MYTH:  Leaving lights, computers and appliances on uses less energy than turning them off and on repeatedly.
This may have been true of computers 20 or more years ago when they were massive energy hogs. But today’s computers are much more durable and use a lot less energy. The small surge in energy created when any electrical product is turned on is much smaller than the energy used by running the device when it’s not needed. Rule of thumb: any time you can turn a machine or light off, it will save energy.

Try these tips out, and see if it makes a difference in your home. Saving little bits of energy add up…one step at a time to make your home energy efficient and cooler this summer!

Simple and Important

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Here is one thing you must do as the Houston heat is increasing. I know that we all like to be as efficient as possible when it comes to saving on our utility bill. Yes, it would be great to replace all windows to energy saving glass and to get radiant barrier in your attic. But, maybe there is not room in your budget to make those changes. So, this is something that all homeowners can and should do to keep your home cooler and your bill smaller!

Seal your attic door! Sounds simple, but will drop the temperature in your home. You can get foam sealer and cut it to fit the border of your attic door. This will seal shut the door into the ceiling…leaving no cracks for hot air to creep into your home. Your attic is HOT during summer. Even just a little bit of hot air creeping in will make your A/C work harder.

Not only will it stop hot air from coming in, but it will also stop cold air from going out!! Why waste cold A/C air? If there is even the slightest crack, there is cold air going in the attic..wasting your money and making you hot. Seal it shut. Hardware stores have many sealant options. Try it out and see the difference it makes in your home and your bill!

Summer and Rainy Days

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Summer is here, and it’s rainy outside!! This means we are stuck inside with these balls of energy!! Do you feel at a loss on how to pass the time? A little television is fine, but we also have to turn it off and play the day away! Here are some simple and free ideas to make these days more memorable. A bored child is rarely a happy child and usually results in a frustrated parent. So, here are some activities to avoid the boredom…..

Get out your paper towel rolls, and get prepared to have some floor time. These activities can last at least 45 minutes and guaranteed to make you all laugh! Set up the paper towels like bowling pins, grab a ball and bowl away! You can even get a chalkboard and have your little ones keep score. Bowling is always fun, especially a spontaneous game of paper towel bowling!

Next, take the paper towel rolls and set up a street…the rolls on each side in parallel lines. You can use some toilet paper rolls if you need more. Make the street curve or even put “speed bumps” in the street. Grab some race cars and have the kids drive, speed, and chase each other. Lastly, make a tower of paper towel rolls and roll other toys into the tower to watch them fall. This sounds so simple, but always a hit!

Good ole crayons and paper. We over look the value of these simple time passers. Play hangman, play tic tac toe, play “guess what I’m drawing.” Coloring with your kids can bring out so much creativity and laughter. Enjoy the simple task of just being with your children, at the table- coloring!

Cooking!! Sometimes, this can get messy- so keep it simple with items you have in your pantry. Make some cookies or sandwiches cut into shapes. One of our favorites to make is “ants on a log” with celery, peanut butter and raisins!

Don’t let these rainy days make you feel trapped. Instead, use these days as an opportunity to return to the basics! The basics of  simply being with your children and grandchildren…laughing and making memories!

Tree Health

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Trees are a protected and appreciated aspect of real estate. No homeowner wants to remove a tree. However, it is beneficial to remove or treat a tree before a bigger problem arises.

It is important to know the warning signs of an ill tree. If a tree is sick…a heavy wind or storm can knock it down. This could potentially put your home or other belongings at risk. As hurricane season approaches, take note of these warning signs to make sure your trees are healthy.

– Check the ground soil around the tree. Cracked or raised soil opposite a tree’s lean can indicate root problems that could mean a tree is in the process of uprooting. Look carefully for signs of a tree beginning to fall over.

– Fungal growth like mushrooms on or near a tree trunk is indicative of rot or decay.

– Look for places on the tree’s trunk where there is no bark. This can indicate a dead section or a fungus attack. A long streak of missing bark coming down the tree usually means the tree was hit by lightning.

-Insects often attack a sick tree’s trunk, leaving very fine sawdust shavings that are clearly visible because they are light in color.

-Sometimes a tree grows two or more trunks. The points where the multiple trunks connect must be inspected for weakness or past storm damage. Stronger connections appear as a U shape at the crotch. A tight V shape usually evidences a weak connection.

– One of the most obvious tree dangers is dead wood that can fall. You can spot dead wood easily: dead branches have leaves that are completely brown or there won’t be any leaves at all.

-If you are having work done on live trees, do not permit climbers to use leg spikes. Leg spikes injure and can sometimes kill a tree.

Don’t wait for a tree to let you know it is sick or dangerous! Be proactive. Look over your trees. If you see something suspicious, call a certified arborist or tree doctor/specialist.

Naturally Repeal What Comes with Rain

Mosquitoes can be pesky, painful, annoying, and no one wants them lurking around our home! Here are a few unique  and natural tips that can help you repel those mosquitoes away this summer.

Coffee Grounds- The simple home remedy to repel mosquitoes is coffee grounds. All you need to do is just sprinkle coffee grounds wherever you find stagnant water near your house. The mosquito eggs present in the water will be forced to come to the surface of the water due to the coffee grounds. As they come to the surface, they will be deprived of oxygen. This will kill them before they are hatched and will prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

Garlic- Garlic has a very pungent odor, which many people do not like. Even mosquitoes do not like its smell. Crush a few cloves of garlic and boil the crushed garlic in water for some time. Then pour this homemade repellent in a spray bottle and squirt it around the outdoor space. This remedy will kill the mosquitoes.

Mint- The strong odor of mint, which most of us love very much, is loathed by mosquitoes. You can take out the mint oil from the mint extracts or just use the extract as it is to keep mosquitoes away. You can spray the mint oil by pouring it in a spray bottle, or you can apply it on the exposed parts of your body. You can also grow mint shrubs in your garden.

See and feel the results from the natural approach of repelling mosquitoes this summer! Have you tried any of these methods? What are your thoughts or tips?

Looking for Backsplash Ideas?

Remodeling your kitchen is an upgrade that many people look forward to. All of the choices can be overwhelming. There are so many options to choose from. You may know exactly what you want, or you may have no idea as the choices keep rolling in. Here are some backsplash ideas that may help you target what you want…

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Simple with an accent. Simple color and pattern with a splash of color. You can add an accent throughout the backsplash that can help you tie in colors, textures or style. Be sure to talk with your contractor about the placement of your accent pieces.

Over the stove accent. Create a focal point with your backsplash. Add color or change up the pattern over the stove. This will break up the simplicity and create a focal point that will add style to your remodel.

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Texture! Add some texture to your backsplash. This will bring dimension to your backsplash. You can add color tiles to your texture or keep it all the same color. Texture is a good way to bring depth to your kitchen. I hope these ideas helped you put the backsplash ideas into categories as you prepare for your kitchen remodel.