Livingston Reporting - page 274

Connecting With Kids During Pizza Night

By Friday night I am spent. A long week at work, kid’s activities that spill over into our Saturdays so I know that tomorrow is looking busy already. Fridays are the one night I don’t want to think about washing dishes, cleaning the house, worrying about what I am going to make for dinner, if there is even food in the house or kids whining that they don’t want to eat what there is for dinner. So instead of worrying about any of this I instituted Friday, Family Pizza Night. Whether we are home in Northville or on vacation in the UP say in Marquette my kids insist on finding a pizza joint!

Kids love PIZZA! It is the biggest treat for them to go out to dinner because we only make time for this on Friday nights. So after a long week I know when I pull in the driveway there will be a Caravan of kids waiting for me to venture out for pizza. This is my favorite time of the entire week – pizza dinner with my family. So if your family is anything at all like ours you might think about instituting your own special night of the week. The family bonding we do over pizza on Friday nights is beyond comparison.

Kids tend to talk when they are happy and pizza night makes them happy. They will begin to tell you all about their week. Who did what during class, what girls wore what brands, yes some of it is just the stuff of preteens but what are family has found is that these Friday night pizza nights have allowed us to have some of the more serious topics. Pizza night allowed us to information that our daughter keeps private thinking she will get someone in trouble if she “tells”. Pizza night is not like “telling” it is having a conversation with mom and dad where the information about kids smoking and talking about drugs comes out. It allows us to keep the lines of communication open with her so for us pizza night with her is our moment in the week to find out all the things that are going through her head.

I am so thankful for Pizza night in my home. Take my suggestion and add a pizza night, or whatever food night your kids love, to your family’s routine. You will find out more about what is going on in your child’s head then you ever thought was going on and it is the prefect non-threatening time to do just that – Pizza night.

Easy Tips to Save a Few Bucks While Eating Out

In times such as these eating out is a luxury. Who can possible afford forty-five dollars for one meal out, each week, for a family of four? Although, there are times when going out is almost a necessity, coming home from soccer, dance practice, football games or on those days when everyone is just to whipped to plan a meal. Eating out is so convenient for busy days and days when you just need a break. However, a budget is easily blown to bits when a family of four decides to take a break from their kitchen to eat out. Think about it, on average, forty-five dollars a week times fifty-two weeks is a whopping two thousand three hundred forty dollars a year. Here are some easy to follow tips so that your family can continue to enjoy a night out even while going through this economic downturn.

Beverage Choice: The first suggestion is to drink water. Soda beverages run about two dollars and fifty cents per drink. For a family of four that is ten dollars in drinks alone. If usually a fruity cocktail or draft beer was the drink of choice that could run upwards of ten dollars for just two adult beverages. Water is free, with unlimited refills. Another benefit of drinking water at a restaurant is that is fills you up so you won’t be as famished when your meal arrives. If you just must have an adult drink, ask about any specials or current promotions to save a bit of money. The other tip is to share a drink – just make sure the waitress isn’t peeking shares are individually charged if caught!

Try Something New: You always get the chicken salad so why not try something that the restaurant is trying to promote. These meals are distributed at a discount price to get people to try them. So ask your server or check the insert in your menu. Something new, at a discount, could be your new favorite!

Sign Up: Many restaurants have deals on the internet. If you fill out their customer form they will send you coupons, often buy one get one free type offers, to keep you coming back. Another great things about signing up for these promotions is that around your birthday they pass out free meals, free desserts and such as a gift to you from them. At the very least you are bound to come up with a coupon that gives you a percentage or straight dollar amount off and who doesn’t like to save a few bucks!

Eat Linner: Instead of waiting for dinner try stretching out lunch into an early dinner, late lunch. Meals are often times less expensive off the lunch menu. If you just can’t ask for a lunch portion at dinner. Many restaurants will do this, allowing you a less expensive meal with almost the same amount of food. Portion sizes are often so out of control at dinner time that a lunch size meal will do the job and save you a pretty penny.

Follow the Golden Rule – Share: Sharing a meal is a great way to get a deal. Dinner portions are often served larger than any other time of the day. Dinner meals, at most restaurants, can easily be shared between two people. This is sort of like that buy one get one free deal. If you just can not share a meal make sure to divide your meal when it arrives at the table and take the second portion home for leftovers. Leftovers make a terrific quick lunch for busy professionals.

Ditch Dessert: Is it really worth five or six dollars for one slice of pie or scoop of ice cream? No, if you are craving dessert stopping at a local bakery or ice cream joint it is a lot less expensive. Half gallons of ice cream these days are only around three bucks, pick one up and enjoy a sundae bar at home. What kid or adult, for that matter, wouldn’t love to create dessert? That is an extra special treat after a wonderful night out.

Reasons to Scope out a Local Tavern

The word “tavern” means a place to gather, eat good food, and enjoy some beverages. It is interesting that the word actually encompassed so much more in the history of the United States. Taverns were the epicenter of towns. Travelers could actually stay in rooms provided at the larger taverns, also known as inns. In the days of old a tavern was essential for commerce, colonists could trade prices on their crop, arrange trades of goods, newspapers were read, and business opportunities were exchanged. Taverns were a place to spend what free time people had enjoying cards games and pool tables filled the higher class establishments.

As history tells us views on women mingling in taverns all had one thing in common – women were not welcome to mingle only allowed to serve. History usually leaves out that two-thirds of taverns were operated by women. This comes out of necessity. Local governments, who issued the licenses for such establishments, often would find local widows to operate taverns. This would keep them from becoming a burden, financially, on the government. Widowed women were seen as a threat to the government because without the business most would be left impoverished and become dependant on the services of the country. So as the government saw it Taverns run by local women was a win-win solution. Women and children were never allowed to eat, drink, or socialize in the taverns. The times have sure changed.

Taverns today are still the epicenter of many towns and cities. Today taverns are places that locals go to relax, eat, drink and be merry. Often a round of pool will be shot, some darts thrown, possible even some karaoke sang. Taverns allow us a place to sit and enjoy friends after long work weeks. They allow us to grab a burger with our families on those nights that we are running from one sporting event to another. Taverns today are places that invite the entire family out during the week however that usually changes when the weekend rolls around. Visit a tavern on any given night and I guarantee the bar will be full, music will be playing, the aroma of a juicy burger will be lofting through the air and a cold beverage will be near.

Taverns have taken their place in history and manage to stay in the forefront of the good times of today. Taverns still exist in all types of environments, all different price ranges and activities to do. Hopefully this article will lead you to research taverns and local watering holes in your area. It is almost a guarantee you will find yourself having a great time at your local tavern. Awaken your senses with a juicy sirloin, loaded baked potato and ale of some kind. Taverns are places to feed your soul. They were and continue to be the epicenter of towns and cities not only in America but all over the word.

The Benefits of Blinds Between the Glass

Imagine a day without having to dust your blinds to keep your asthma at bay. What about a day when you don’t worry that your child will fall out of bed and get tangled in the cord of the blinds. What about those pesky little pets who think it is major fun to chew on the ends of the blind cords? It gets really old seeing the cord shredded and the plastic/wood piece at the bottom chewed into oblivion. An answer has been found to all of these issues the solution…blinds between the glass. This article will explain several advantages to having blinds that sit between the glass. If you weren’t already convinced they were better for your home you will after you read this.

Installation is a no brainer. There are no blinds to install. They are already installed into the window. How much easier can that be? Think about how happy you would be if you didn’t have to mess with all of those teeny hardware pieces installing mini blinds.

Windows with blinds between the glass have little to no maintenance. It is not like regular blinds where you have to take each individual blind and wipe it down to remove the built up dust. Not to mention all the time you spend doing the tedious task. With blinds between the windows there isn’t any need to wipe down the blinds. They are not exposed to the dirt and grime of the outside world.

Another thing that is great about blinds between the glass is in bay window area and window seats. How nice would it be to actually use the seat without wreaking the blinds in the mean time? No one will be leaning up against your blinds, bending them, if they are incased with in the glass if the window.

I think windows with blinds between the glass are a no brainer for people with allergies. Nothing like breathing a little easier while you are in the comfort of your home. No blinds outside the glass means no dust to settle and less allergens to collect to cause your family health issues. Also, there won’t be blinds outside of the glass to collect dog and cat hair which are allergen issues in themselves.

Anyone with an animal already knows the benefit that would be found with blinds placed between the glass. Animals love hanging objects. Anything that dangles is an animal toy in their minds. The cords of blinds installed outside of the glass are left out attracting pets. The plastic or wood stoppers on the end of the cords become chew toys and then leave a big mess for you to look at for the life of your blinds. That is may not be the best option for home decor.

Speaking of home decor, what looks classier then blinds placed in between the glass in your new windows. They add a touch of pizzazz to boring, old, regular, plastic mini blinds. Obviously, the benefits of windows with blinds inside the glass are not limited to their high class look benefit you get from by purchasing them. It sure doesn’t hurt though.

Enjoy all the benefits that you will get out of your replacement windows with the blinds installed between the glass. Surely you will find a benefit that has been missed because really the benefits are endless.

The Great Debate: Windows with Blinds or Windows with Curtains – What Will You Decide?

With so many options in blinds and curtains these days how does one really make a good choice on which is good for their home? The choices in blinds and curtains are endless. There are several questions to ask yourself before you begin the daunting task of searching for blinds or curtains. If you can figure out if you want blinds or curtains before you head out to the store it will make the purchase a little less intimidating. This way you can focus on the stores selection of one or the other. Picking out the exact curtains or blinds is all up to – the following tips can help determine whether blinds or curtains are best for your home.

Five Things to Consider When Choosing Blinds or Curtains:

Location: There are many things to consider in regards to the location of your window treatment. Are the windows in an area of high traffic where they would get grubby? Are the window treatments in a room that has a lot of moisture like a bathroom or kitchen? Is the window in an area with kids and pets playing? Location might just be the most important consideration when deciding whether to choose blinds or curtains. You for sure don’t want to get dramatic floor length curtains in a room occupied by a busy kitten.
• Kitchens have natural light and occasional messes. Most of the times it is beneficial to have curtains that will be easy to remove and clean from the grease and grime kitchens produce. Also, the kitchen isn’t necessarily a spot you need to block light out which blinds tend to do.
• In a bedroom however, blocking the natural light out is one of the most important things to consider. Choosing shades seem like a natural choice for they block out the most light and will provide an environment more favorable to sleeping.

Purpose: Are the window coverings serving a purpose? Do they need to block out or control light? Are you installing them for the sole purpose of privacy? Is there a breeze or some type of moisture that needs to be blocked? Are the window coverings for decoration only? Determining the purpose that your window coverings will serve is going to make a large difference in the final decision on what to buy.
• If you are looking for fresh air curtains are a better choice. You can pull them back to let air and light in.
• If you are purposely trying to block our moisture and are looking for maximum privacy blinds seem to be a better option for your window treatments.

Aesthetics – Decor: This is the fun part of picking out window treatments. What is the look and feel you are hoping to gain from applying window treatments to your home?
• Are you looking for something modern? Do you want sleek lines and solid colors?
• Maybe country or classic is more your style? Do you think wood blinds or rooster curtains are the look you are trying to obtain? This is the part that only your eyes matter. Of course, remember it should compliment the fell the room already has.

Health: This is something I am sure you have not considered when choosing between blinds and curtains but it is incredibly important.
• Blinds tend to be an attractant to dust so if someone in your household has severe allergies it is probably best to stay away from blinds.
• Curtains are much easier to keep dust free. Dry cleaning and regular washings is all the care most curtains need to keep them free of extra dander and allergens.

Price: Although you can find window treatments in all price ranges it is still something to consider.
• Blinds can be found from $2.99 and up. You need to consider wear and tear when pricing blinds. Most inexpensive blinds are plastic which have a tendency to break easily. Blinds that are made of hard plastic or wood are considerably more durable and still relatively inexpensive. The really nice part about blinds is that they usually come with all the hardware that is needed for their installation making blinds relatively cheaper than curtains.

• Curtains are a little bit more expensive due to the hardware expense. Even if you find reasonably priced curtains you are still looking at how you are going to hang them. Hardware for curtain installation is another expense to consider when choosing curtains.

It is a difficult decision between blinds and curtains. What will you decide?

Advantages to Buying Replacement Windows

So much consideration goes into if you really need to replace your windows. The cost alone drives many of us into thinking that we should reconsider other improvements to our home before we purchase replacement windows. There are many reasons why taking on the challenge of replacing your windows is worth it. In this article we will explore heating and cooling costs, curb appeal and ease of maintenance.

First let’s discuss the money savings that goes along with replacement windows in regards to heating and cooling. To see the expense/profit ratio equal out you really need to be in your home for the long haul. It is most advantageous to purchase replacement windows if you plan on inhabiting your residents for more than 10 years. This is the point where the savings equals the cost. For instance, say the cost of replacement windows plus installation, for your home is $6,000.00, which is average. An average heating and cooling bill, per month, in Michigan is $150.00, with new windows you could easily take this bill down to $100.00 a month. Saving $50.00 am month x 12 months = $600.00 a year. In 10 years the windows would have paid for themselves.

Next is curb appeal. If your old windows are rotting and painting is peeling you can guarantee people will assume the rest of your home is kept up in the same manner. Purchasing replacement windows in wood or vinyl will make your home more attractive causing prospective buyers to feel like the home is one worth looking into because care was taken in regards to the homes up keep. The value in resale alone, in this situation, makes replacement windows a great buy.

If you are concerned at all about maintenance new windows will be beneficial. Many newer models of windows have the ability to be washed from the inside of your home. Replacement windows come so that you are able to flip the top and bottoms in to throughly wash them. Also, many windows now come in vinyl or wood that is throughly treated so no extra painting or staining is needed. That beats the up keep on older windows where you need to repaint or restain them every few years to keep them looking fresh and to prevent wear from the weather. Replacment windows can be almost completely maintenance free.

There are many reasons to buying replacement windows. You won’t be disappointed replacing your worn, outdated windows with energy efficient, maintenance free, value adding windows. As I see it the only choice now is vinyl or wood, single or double hung, contractor or do it yourself and you though replacing your old windows was going to be an easy decision.

Tips For Quick Fire Restoration

After you experience a disaster of any magnitude involving water the last things you want to do is walk into your home and smell that distinct mildew, mold, wet odor. Water restoration might just be the most important part in the clean up process following a flood or water damage of any kind. The process of water restoration allows you to breathe in fresh air and eliminates nasty molds that can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. If you are looking to eliminate any future issues and to repair the damages made by water you should read and follow the following in regard to water restoration.

1) Hire an experienced water restoration company after any type of water damage has occurred. This will ensure a complete cleanup is done. Water restoration companies will come out and do a procedure such as ozone restoration. This method of water restoration eliminates odor and is also effective in removing odors caused by mildew and mold.

2) To be safe before you or any person does any type of water restoration turn off all electricity to the area affected by the water damage. Also, gear up in appropriate attire rubber gloves, boots, air masks, and protective eye wear should be worn.

3) While preparing for the water restoration company to come is to act fast removing water. Water removal is a vital step in the beginning process of water restoration. You can use a sump pump if one is available or even start with a vacuum cleaner, made for water, to begin the process of removing the water.

4) Disinfect the area and deodorize odors to make the area livable before a water restoration company is available. Crystal deodorizers are available that help mask odors until the restoration company can come out and do a wet or dry fog of the area.

5) It is imperative to dehumidify and dry the affected area. Use oscillating fans and home dehumidifiers to remove all moisture from the air. Water restoration companies will have industrial equipment to use but until they are available home appliances will make a difference.

6) Remove and dispose of any articles that are beyond restoration. Sound wave treatment will be provided by a water restoration company to ensure everything that can be saved and is not already contaminated is restored. Curtains, clothes, furniture, and carpet can be restored after water damage if restoration services are sought promptly.

Quality water restoration services will ensure your possessions are cared for in the best possible manner. It will also guarantee that the air quality meets and exceeds what you expect for yourself and your family. Just because water damage has reeked havoc on your life doesn’t mean that the quality you expect from your belongings and environment can’t be restored. Water restoration makes this all possible.

http://www.tcirestoration.com/fire.htm

Water Restoration After a Disaster

After you experience a disaster of any magnitude involving water the last things you want to do is walk into your home and smell that distinct mildew, mold, wet odor. Water restoration might just be the most important part in the clean up process following a flood or water damage of any kind. The process of water restoration allows you to breathe in fresh air and eliminates nasty molds that can wreak havoc on your respiratory system. If you are looking to eliminate any future issues and to repair the damages made by water you should read and follow the following in regard to water restoration.

1) Hire an experienced water restoration company after any type of water damage has occurred. This will ensure a complete cleanup is done. Water restoration companies will come out and do a procedure such as ozone restoration. This method of water restoration eliminates odor and is also effective in removing odors caused by mildew and mold.

2) To be safe before you or any person does any type of water restoration turn off all electricity to the area affected by the water damage. Also, gear up in appropriate attire rubber gloves, boots, air masks, and protective eye wear should be worn.

3) While preparing for the water restoration company to come is to act fast removing water. Water removal is a vital step in the beginning process of water restoration. You can use a sump pump if one is available or even start with a vacuum cleaner, made for water, to begin the process of removing the water.

4) Disinfect the area and deodorize odors to make the area livable before a water restoration company is available. Crystal deodorizers are available that help mask odors until the restoration company can come out and do a wet or dry fog of the area.

5) It is imperative to dehumidify and dry the affected area. Use oscillating fans and home dehumidifiers to remove all moisture from the air. Water restoration companies will have industrial equipment to use but until they are available home appliances will make a difference.

6) Remove and dispose of any articles that are beyond restoration. Sound wave treatment will be provided by a water restoration company to ensure everything that can be saved and is not already contaminated is restored. Curtains, clothes, furniture, and carpet can be restored after water damage if restoration services are sought promptly.

Quality water restoration services will ensure your possessions are cared for in the best possible manner. It will also guarantee that the air quality meets and exceeds what you expect for yourself and your family. Just because water damage has reeked havoc on your life doesn’t mean that the quality you expect from your belongings and environment can’t be restored. Water restoration makes this all possible.

http://www.tcirestoration.com/water.htm

Tips to Prevent Fire Damage

Every 23 seconds a fire department responds to a fire. Fire damage is done to a home structure every 66 seconds. That isn’t the worst of it though. One person is injured by fire every 32 minutes and death occurs almost every 3 hours. Actually, house fires are the 2nd leading cause of death. Fire changes you. It damages possessions, emotions, and lives leaving a devastating mark on the future. Fire, accidental or not, can destroy you. Fire damage causes monetary and emotional distress along with possibly changing the structure of your family. The death of a parent or child would be the most devastating fire damage imaginable. The following are easy things your family can do to help prevent fire damage and keep your family safe.

1) Prevent fire damage by eliminating a myriad of accidental fire sources such as: cigarettes, curling iron, deep fryers, fire crackers, and candles from being used inside your home.

2) Check all electrical wires in your home especially if you have a home that is a little older. Replace older appliances that might be faulty. Professional electricians and hired technicians can help in these areas.

3) Vacuum out dryer vents every three to six months. Dryer lint can build up, heat up and then fire up. A little preventative maintenance can eliminate the possibility of fire damage to your home from dryer lint.

4) Use caution using electric heaters. Keep blankets and curtains form touching baseboard or electric heat sources.

5) Use extra caution is the kitchen. Do not use deep fryers or fryers. Watch all boiling water – a boil over can cause fires.

6) When you leave a room, makes sure to never leave a candle burning. The smell good when they are being used properly, in the care of a responsible adult. They don’t smell so good when they cause your home to burst into flames.

7) Hire a professional to come out and clean your fire place and chimney on a regular basis. If your fireplace uses propane have a professional come out and check all of the switches. Regular maintenance can help prevent needless fires when it comes to your fireplaces.

8 ) Lighters and matches should only be used by adults. Never let a child touch a lighter – they look fun and are hard to resist. Temptation leads to house fires.

9) Lastly, replace batteries in your fire detectors and smoke alarms. If a fire starts in your house and your fire detectors are in working order you will only lose replaceable items and not the lives of your loved ones.

Fire damage is preventable; all you need to do is prevent fires form starting. A little caution goes a long way in fire prevention.

http://www.tcirestoration.com/fire.htm

Controlling Mold Before You Need Mold Remediation

Moisture
Odor
Life threatening
Destructive

Nothing about mold sounds attractive except mold remediation. There are thousands of ways to treat mold once it appears. Reversing and then stopping the effects of mold can cost a lot of money. When I think of mold remediation I think don’t think about correcting an existent problem but instead of how I can prevent mold from needing remediation! The following are steps you can take to prevent mold, an organic substance that can grow any where moisture and oxygen are, from taking route in your home.

Preventing mold from happening is a lot easier that getting rid of a mold infestation once it starts. The old saying “a little prevention goes a long way” is defiantly the case when talking about mold remediation.

You can begin by controlling the moisture levels inside your home. Buildings that are tightly sealed with little ventilation are just asking for mold to come hang out in them. Make sure that there is proper ventilation in your attic and crawl space. If the area feels or smells damp have a professional out to rectify the problem before the mold starts to grow. It is also important to make sure your roof does not leak and to check the seals around the windows and doors. Keep an eye out for how the landscaping and gutters direct the flow of water. It is best to have the water drained away from the house into, perhaps the ground or a reservoir to reuse later in a garden. A sloped ground area going away from the homes foundation will also suffice.

Once you have control over the moisture getting in and out of your homes structure lets look at problems that can exist inside. Uncontrolled humidity in the home can lead to many different problems. If installing a new heating and cool system check to see if you can add a dehumidifier onto the system. If this is not an option you can purchase a dehumidifier at your local Meijer in Brighton, Howell, or Wixom. Adding a ceiling or exhaust fan to areas in your home, such as bathrooms, kitchens, and basements also helps control the humidity levels.

Leaking pipes and plumbing are a huge hot spot for mold spores to pop up. It is best to do a quick check every three to six months around your home to look for wet spots or condensation build up. Pockets of water develop quickly. It is best to prevent them but if this is not the case catching them early will eliminate mold.

Appliances such as dryers should be specially vented. It is best to have appliances, such as these, vented directly outside your home. Many contractors have taken to venting moisture-generating appliances into the homes attic. I would not recommend this as a form of mold remediation. It is always best to vent directly to the outside of the home.

Clean and dry any spot in your home immediately. Whether your pet has had an accident or your child has spilled their juice the best prevention to keep mold from growing is immediate action. It is necessary to have the area spot cleaned, deep cleaned and dried. A house fan can do the trick in most situations but if you find your socks still feeling damp when you step in the affected area it is best to call in a professional. Carpet installers often have industrial fans that they use on larger spots.

If you have been unfortunate enough to have had a mold issue after taking all the above steps it is important to find a reputable, reliable mold remediation company that will help you remove the mold problem and will guide you in the proper ways to fix and alleviate future mold reoccurrences.

http://www.tcirestoration.com/mold.htm