Home Improvement

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Security 101: How to Buy a Professionally Monitored System

(BPT) - As temperatures rise, so do crimes of opportunity. Keeping our family safe is something that every one of us innately does. We teach our kids about “stranger danger” and we teach our teens about staying a safe distance away from the car in front of them. Yes, keeping our family members aware of their surroundings helps protect them in public; but what can we do at home to keep our families safe?

  • icon Posted: May 29

Pet Central


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



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



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



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 >>

Pet Central


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



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



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



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 >>

Recent Headlines

Wednesday 05/27/2020
A Nutritious, Appetizing Addition
Updated: May 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) One of the simplest ways to make meals tastier and more nutritious: just add mushrooms. You can multiply the flavor and nutrients like vitamin D and selenium by adding them to tacos, pasta, burgers and more. Find recipes and cooking tips at mushroomcouncil.com.

The Pill Turns Sweet 60
Updated: May 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Celebrating groundbreaking moments from six decades of the birth control pill empowering women to prevent pregnancy on their own terms.

Get Ready to Roll Safely Into Summer
Updated: May 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) During the summer months, personal vehicles tend to cover a lot of ground between travel and daily commutes.

4 Steps for DIY Paint Project Success
Updated: May 29, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Painting is one of the easiest and most impactful DIY projects for homeowners to quickly update their homes. Whether it’s a new look in a master bathroom, adding a pop of color to the guest room, finishing off a basement remodel or anything in-between, a fresh coat of paint provides a fresh spin that’s all your own.

Wednesday 05/20/2020
Bound to Your Home? 7 Essentials to Help Make Your Space More Comfortable
Posted: May 20, 2020

Essential Pantry Staples to Have on Hand
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Keeping a well-stocked pantry ensures you can pull together a quality meal on a moment's notice or when unexpected circumstances keep you from making it to the store. In many homes, the pantry is filled with mismatched odds and ends that may not fit together, but you can shop smart to gather basic ingredients you need for a wide range of recipes.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Transforming your backyard into a true extension of your home’s living space is a relatively easy way to add usable square footage and increase enjoyment of your home. Making outdoor upgrades is also a scalable project, meaning you can do as little or as much as your budget allows and continue enhancing the space over time.

5 Tips for Bringing a New Pet Home
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Bringing a pet home for the first time – even if you already have other pets – can be an exciting moment. However, it's important to involve the whole family in discussing whether your family will foster or adopt, and what each family member's responsibilities with the new pet will be. It also takes preparation and patience to ensure a smooth transition.

5 Questions to Ask When Hiring a Decking Contractor
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) When it comes to tackling a backyard makeover, there is no time like the present to start planning. Unless you're planning to build your own deck, one of the first items on your "to-do" list should be hiring a contractor.

Kids Can Save Lives by Getting Active at Home
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) As millions of people across the globe social distance and self-quarantine to help prevent further spread of the novel coronavirus, kids and families can help save lives by getting active at home.

8 Tips for Older Adults Isolating at Home or in Assisted Living Facilities
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) For many seniors, being home alone during the COVID-19 pandemic means being lonely. 

Weather the Storm
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

Prepare early for power outages and other storm impacts

Find Inspiration in Award-Winning Home Design
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Award-winning renovation projects aren’t just a way to identify top-notch contractors, they’re a chance for homeowners to gather ideas and learn from other home improvement success stories.

Home Improvements with High ROI
Updated: May 25, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) If the ultimate goal of your home improvement project is aesthetic, the greatest benefit may come from your personal enjoyment of the new space. However, if you’re looking to add true value to your home, it’s important to consider which projects are likely to bring the greatest return on your investment.

Monday 05/18/2020
Turn Your Summer Vacation Into A Staycation
Updated: May 20, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—For many people, social distancing brings concern about summer plans. In previous years, summertime was when families planned their vacations. The kids would be out of school, the weather could be fantastic, and the days are longer—allowing optimal time to venture to new places, catch some sun and spend more time with friends and families.  

Since you may have already been spending a lot more time with your family then you ever imagined due to coronavirus outbreak, you may be looking for ways to keep your family entertained. Between possibly working from home, managing your kids’ schoolwork and maintaining a functioning household, this time probably hasn’t felt much like a vacation. 

Social distancing guidelines are likely to remain in effect in many places during the summer. Activities and entertainment options, lodging, and dining will be affected. The good news is, you really don’t have to totally give up on enjoying the summer at home with your family. Here are some tips to make your staycation exciting for the whole family: 

Fit Focused Days  

Plan hiking trips or long walks or bike rides close to home. Enjoy nearby parks and take time to look over the architecture in your neighborhood. A quick Google search of interesting facts can help you to plan what you want to go to see. Being a tourist in your own community will help you have a greater appreciation for the place. Challenge your kids to identify certain plants, landmarks or wildlife when you’re out walking. It will make the walks more engaging. Having prizes helps with motivation, too. Additionally, backyard games can be a blast—sprinklers, hula hoops and jump rope are things kids love.  

Embrace The Farmers Markets

A trip to a farmers market is not just a treat, it’s a great way to shop locally. Many of them have adopted social distancing guidelines, so they can be safe for family outings. These markets usually have beautiful fresh and seasonal options to explore, and perhaps find some fascinating new fruits and vegetables. Also, getting the kids involved in selecting ingredients for your meals may help spark their interest in healthier eating. Breaking your usual grocery shopping routine by browsing the stalls in beautiful weather can help spark a vacation vibe.  

Create Your Own At-Home Retreats

With a little planning, you can make your own backyard or home feel like an enchanting vacation spot. For a spa weekend, buy or make your favorite products, and set up time to relax and treat yourself. Turn off all your tech distractions, set up a space outside or in a quiet room. You can even make spa water by cutting up some cucumber or fruit to flavor the water. Consider creating your own yoga retreat. Turn to your favorite online trainer, set up your mat in a designated space, light some candles or incense, and be sure to practice daily, with relaxing music. It’s all about being creative.  

Travel With Your Cooking

With travel on the back burner, consider themed cooking nights to help transport your taste buds to any destination. It can be really fun to make drinks, shakes and meals with ingredients from places that are on your future travel list. Enjoy a nice Italian spritzer with your pasta one night, try cooking a beautiful curry meal or ordering take-out from a restaurant you’ve never tried before. Take it a step further and print out some fun-facts you can find online or rent a movie about the particular culture you’ll be indulging in that night; it’s a great opportunity for your family to learn about other cultures through food. 

Finally, take time to plan out your staycation in the same way you would with a travel vacation. Having an itinerary of what you want to do helps to prevent the lazy, do-nothing blues from taking over. A vacation is about rest, relaxation, discovery and recreation—all of those things can be accomplished right where you are. Studies have shown a positive correlation between taking vacation time and an overall feeling of well-being, so no matter what’s on your itinerary, make sure to thoroughly enjoy yourself. 

• Ms. Clayton is the vice president, Sports Performance and Fitness, Herbalife Nutrition. She’s also the mother of four and lives in Los Angeles with her family. You can find further tips and facts at www.IAmHerbalifeNUtrition.com.


Thursday 05/14/2020
Creating A Chef-Inspired Kitchen
Updated: May 16, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Cooking like a professional doesn’t have to mean a kitchen full of expensive gadgets, but you do want one where prepping, cooking and cleaning is seamless and comfortable. That requires considering design details that enhance the workflow. Consider these helpful hints:

Smart Storage

Items that are used frequently should be kept together and conveniently at hand. Use hooks, magnets and utensil holders to keep favorite knives, pot lids, spatulas and the like within easy reach. A lazy Susan can help spices stay properly sorted.

Bright Ideas For Lighting

Choose lighting that maximizes cooking efficiency and comfort. Task lighting should include overhead stove lights and under-cabinet fixtures so cooking and food prep area are properly lit. For dining, overhead chandeliers may be best.

Everything—Especially The Kitchen Sink

While shiny appliances, countertops and beautiful backsplashes may get all the attention, the sink and its surrounding area are the most used in the kitchen and deserve special consideration.

Position the sink with as much prep space around it as possible. For the sink itself, look for efficiency and functionality. For example, the new BLANCO IKON Apron 33” 1 3/4 sink is designed with a convenient low divide that makes it easier to handle large pots and baking sheets. Another advantage of its apron front design is that it’s installed further forward with no countertop. This means less strain on cooks and dishwashers because they don’t have to lean over as much. What’s more, it’s made with nonporous, easy-to-clean Silgranit composite patented material and comes in eight trending colors.

Optional accessories help enhance the workflow and include a floating grid that provides an extra level within the sink, to further ease the strain of handling heavy pots. A floating cutting board fits right on top of the sink to instantly create more workspace.

Faucets To Favor

Faucets designed with a higher arc and a pulldown spray head make rinsing dishes, filling pots and cleaning the sink faster and simpler. The new BLANCO RIVANA collection includes semi-pro, high arc with pulldown and bar faucet options. A coordinating soap dispenser is also available. The convenient Solenta Senso works hands-free. “Handy” when your hands are full—or very dirty.

Learn More

For further facts and tips on kitchen design, visit blancoamerica.com.


Wednesday 05/13/2020
Kitchen Design with Health and Ergonomics in Mind
Updated: May 15, 2020 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—Whether you’re among the 50 million Americans over 65 (90 percent of whom hope to continue to age at home), the 60 percent of families with children at home, have other ability issues or safety concerns or think you could someday, incorporating ergonomic elements that promote a seamless experience in the kitchen can make it a more comfortable place for everyone for many years to come.   

Smart Sinks 

Given the amount of time spent in front of the sink, selecting one that considers your lifestyle and how you cook should be a priority. Details such as the durability and hygienic qualities of a sink’s material along with its style and size can impact efficiency and comfort.    

For example, the latest sink from BLANCO, a manufacturer of finely crafted sinks, is designed to enhance workflow and accommodate all users.  A first of its kind, the IKON® 33” Apron 1 3/4 Bowl with Low Divide sink is made with the brand’s exclusive SILGRANIT granite composite material.  Easy to clean and scratch resistant, patented SILGRANIT material is a repellent, nonporous surface that eliminates the need to use harsh chemicals when cleaning.  

The IKON sink also has a convenient low divide that sits just 5 1/2” from the sink bottom, making it easier to handle large pots and baking sheets while still dividing the sink into cleaning and prepping bowls. The apron front or farmhouse design, minimizes the need to lean over as much and so helps reduce strain.  

Optional accessories further enhance comfort and workflow. A floating grid provides an extra level within the sink so handling hot and heavy pots can be safer and easier. A Floating Cutting Board that fits right on top of the sink instantly creates another workspace beyond the countertop. 


Semi-professional and pull-down faucet models help make clean-up more efficient with their easy-to-maneuver design and powerful dual spray features. To make washing hands, food and dishes easier, consider a faucet with sensor technology such as the BLANCO SOLENTA™ Senso Semi-Professional Kitchen Faucet that lets you turn on the water with a wave of your hand. You don’t have to touch the faucet with your hands to get them clean—or if they’re full.  

Other ways to enhance the ergonomics in your kitchen include: 

•Use drawers instead of cabinets for storage so there’s less reaching

•Install different countertop heights to accommodate various users 

•Raise the height of the dishwasher and oven if you can 

•Select nonporous counter materials like quartz that are easy to keep clean  

•Use LED lights for more brightness from less energy and that are cool to the touch   

•Consider an easy-to-clean induction cooking surface—it can reduce energy costs, too 

Learn More  

For further facts about sinks and faucets that can make your kitchen safer, more efficient and even better looking, visit blancoamerica.com.  


Clever Kitchen Upgrades
Updated: May 18, 2020 - 2:32 am

Fresh colors and textures for a functional kitchen style

5 Tips for Better Home Safety this Spring
Updated: May 18, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) As people become more active during the warmer months, keeping home safety top of mind can sometimes go by the wayside. However, when it comes to fire and carbon monoxide safety, you can never be too prepared.

Secrets for a Well-Maintained Lawn
Updated: May 18, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Growing a healthy, appealing lawn isn’t about doing one thing right; it’s about doing a combination of things right. Different aspects of lawn maintenance, whether it’s watering, fertilizing or mowing, are interrelated. If you complete one task incorrectly – or skip it entirely – you may increase problems with insects, diseases and weeds.

Upgrade Your Outdoor Living Space
Updated: May 18, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Home improvement projects aren't limited to indoors. In fact, not only can upgrades to areas outside the house expand your livable space, they can also increase your home's value.

Less Fuel, More Power
Updated: May 18, 2020 - 2:32 am

3 lawn care technologies that provide strength, sustainability

Tuesday 05/12/2020
Tips for Staying Safe and Connected During a Move
Updated: May 14, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—Planning a move can be stressful, but planning a move in the midst of an unprecedented pandemic brings a new set of challenges. Stay safe and connected with some smart pre-move planning; here are some tips:  

Follow Approved Protocols—If you can’t postpone your move, take extra precautions before moving in to ensure your new place is clean. Follow general disinfecting guidelines set forth by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Among other surfaces, disinfect doors, door handles, bathrooms, kitchen appliances, countertops and—something many people don’t really think about—cabinet and doorknobs as well as light switches. 

Safely Stay Connected—New work-from-home protocols and online schooling mean reliable Internet connectivity is more important than ever. Prior to your move, SmartMove can connect you to your local provider and help arrange new Touchless Installs that let you safely connect your tech services yourself. Cable companies deliver equipment with step-by-step activation information so you can set up your system on your own, or with support over the phone, online, through chat functionality or video tutorials. In most cases, no technician will need to enter your home. 

Keep in Touch & Maintain Daily Routines—You may be staying in more, but don’t forget to take a break from unpacking boxes. Use your new online connection to find delivery services to help stock your pantry and fridge and refill prescriptions. Your new house will feel more like home if you take time to watch your favorite shows, maintain your exercise program or explore online courses that can help you discover new talents or resume old hobbies. Don’t forget to connect with friends through group video chats or viewing parties—you can even take your friends and family on a virtual tour of your new place! 


3 Water-Savings Tips That Simplify Your Cleaning Routine
Posted: May 12, 2020

(BPT) - The average American household uses over 300 gallons of water per day. As our habits have changed while staying at home, we are likely using even more water than usual for handwashing, dishwashing and home cleaning.

Friday 05/08/2020
Ready to create more space for work and play at home?
Updated: May 31, 2020 - 2:30 am

Wednesday 05/06/2020
Give Your Space a Spring Refresh
Updated: May 11, 2020 - 2:33 am

Start with upgrades to your home’s design features

Monday 05/04/2020
Make Your Garden Count For Butterflies
Updated: May 06, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)­—In this season of social distancing, many Americans are turning to gardening, finding joy and peace in an outdoor activity that can be safely enjoyed from home. “What all gardeners know, and the rest of you may discover, is that if you have even the smallest space, a pot on a window ledge, a front step, a wee yard, there is no balm to the soul greater than planting seeds,” recently wrote Charlotte Mendelsen for The New Yorker. If you haven’t gotten your hands a little dirty yet, now could be the time.

More Milkweed for Monarchs

This spring, you can help feed both your soul and butterflies across the country by planting monarch habitat, including milkweed and other flowers that provide nectar. Milkweed in particular provides an essential source of food and is the only place monarch butterflies will lay their eggs.

Supporting monarchs is critical, as they face many health challenges including climate change, drought and habitat loss. However, anyone can help by planting milkweed and other brightly colored, pollinator-attractant flowers in the garden or even on the balcony.

There are 12 states that monarchs tend to visit during their annual migration. Those who live there can do their part by planting milkweed and recording their efforts in the HabiTally app. These states are:

• Illinois

• Indiana 

• Iowa

• Kansas

• Michigan

• Minnesota

• Missouri 

• Nebraska 

• Oklahoma 

• Ohio

• Texas

• Wisconsin

Until May 31, any monarch habitat planted in these states and recorded in the app will be taken into consideration by the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) as it evaluates recommending that monarchs join the list of animals protected under the Endangered Species Act. With the help of your conservation efforts, monarch health may become secure enough to not need this designation.

Other Flowers That Butterflies Love 

For people who don’t live in one of those 12 states, there are many other flowers they can plant to support butterflies, bees and other pollinators’ health while adding beauty to the garden with bright, happy blooms. These 10 plants attract butterflies and make vibrant, fragrant additions to any garden:

• Sunflowers

• Lavender

• Asters

• Coneflowers

• Black-eyed Susans

• Verbena

• Catnip

• Rosemary

• Sage

• Salvia

Whether you already find solace in gardening or are looking for a new hobby, you can help make a difference. So, plant a few flowers to see what gardening can do for you—and for butterflies—this spring. 

Learn More 

Because monarch butterflies are an important pollinating insect that contribute to both agriculture and biodiversity, the Bayer Bee Care Program is committed to supporting their health, as well the health of other pollinators. You can download the free HabiTally app and get started by visiting the Apple App Store. To be sure you’re planting flowers that are best adapted to your region, visit www.Pollinator.org.


Wednesday 04/29/2020
How To Make Mother’s Day From Anywhere
Updated: May 01, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—For many Americans, this May 10 will be a Mother’s day like no other. Some families have been home together for weeks and developed a new appreciation for all their mother does. Others are unable to see their mothers person due to social distancing or just because of time, finances and distance. Fortunately, in all cases, there are ways to show Mom how much you care.

If You’re Together

If the lady in your life has been working from home, on the front lines as an essential worker, home schooling and housekeeping, while keeping everyone healthy and happy, you can show you know all the effort that takes with a great gift. For example, Dads, kids and others can offer to take on her chores for a week. Give her a home spa day: do her nails, style her hair. Make dinner. Bake cookies. Create a handmade card full of heartfelt sentiments, popsicle stick jewlery box or clay bowl. One such lets her learn flower arranging through a live-streamed workshop from 1-800-Flowers.com and Alice’s Table.

If You’re Apart

Keep in mind this advice: “At its core, gift-giving is the practice of turning feelings such as love, warmth, appreciation and pride into physical keepsakes,” writes Mara Leighton on BusinessInsider.com. “It’s one of the too few opportunities to convey to loved ones just how much we really love them.”

One way to do that is to send flowers. You can quickly and easily order her favorite blooms at any time, though earlier is better to ensure ontime delivery. Consider a lush, healthy plant and give mom an opportunity to flex her green thumb. What’s more, scientists say plants add oxygen to the room and having greenery around may reduce stress.

You can also give her a gift that keeps on giving to children everywhere. This Mother’s Day, 1-800-Flowers.com, Inc. will contribute $1 (up to $50,000) to the nonprofit No Kid Hungry for everyone who shares a Mother’s Day note of thanks and a photo. No Kid Hungry ensures kids nationwide get the meals they need during school closures—and beyond. Share your #ThankfulforMom story at 1800Flowers.com/thankful-for-mom.


4 Ways to Help Nurses During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Updated: May 04, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) America's nurses are on the front lines of the fight against coronavirus, providing safe, quality, compassionate and nondiscriminatory care to those they serve, many of whom are doing so at significant risk to their own well-being.

Unleash Your Inner Home Chef
Updated: May 04, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) With many Americans staying home, the pressure is on to maintain fun and variety in the kitchen, so family meals don’t get boring. However, cranking out three meals a day can be a burden.

Monday 04/27/2020
How to Properly Alarm Your Home [Infographic]
Updated: May 31, 2020 - 2:30 am

(BPT) - Ensuring properly functioning alarms are placed throughout the home is the first line of defense for fire prevention. But even if you have smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms in your home, you and your family may not be sufficiently protected if you don’t have enough devices to properly outfit your entire house. Take action now to make sure your family and home are ready for anything!

Thursday 04/23/2020
Top Tips for Safe HVACR Maintenance
Posted: April 23, 2020

(StatePoint) There’s a lot of uncertainty about some aspects of life today. However, the importance of proper heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) installation and maintenance is a constant for homeowners, especially for those who have been spending a lot more time at home lately.

High-End Home Upgrades
Updated: April 29, 2020 - 2:33 am

(Family Features) For most people, the home is their family’s most significant asset. Upgrading is a smart approach to protecting and growing the value of that investment.

Wednesday 04/22/2020
How to Find the Right Mower for You
Updated: April 27, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Whether you’re a first-time homeowner or looking for an upgrade, deciding what lawn mower to purchase deserves careful consideration. Similar to day-to-day life, new technology over the last five years, specifically in the gas mower industry, is making it easier to maintain your lawn.

Wednesday 04/15/2020
Keep Clutter at Bay
Updated: April 20, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) You can get your home reorganized and looking great with just a little bit of TLC and some helpful storage solutions. From those stray groceries that haven’t found a home in the pantry to shampoo bottles that linger on the bathtub ledge, these options can help you get reorganized and maximize your storage space.

Seasonal Home Supplies for Spring
Updated: April 20, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Between spring cleaning and spending additional time outdoors (or both), the spring season can bring a lot of changes to your home. From insect prevention to rethinking home organization and adding style to your favorite spaces, it’s an opportunity to reimagine your living areas while planning ahead for potential problems.

Free Family Entertainment from Home
Updated: April 20, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) As people from coast to coast hunker down at home, some with children, taking a mental break from a new and unfamiliar lifestyle with the world of entertainment can be a way to relax and disconnect.

Easy Ways to Improve Your Home’s Health
Updated: April 20, 2020 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Maintaining a healthy home is a goal most Americans share, but not all are confident they’re doing the best job they can to protect their home’s health.

Monday 04/13/2020
Instantly Unwind in the Backyard with Next Generation Fire Pit
Updated: May 31, 2020 - 2:30 am

(BPT) - Since the beginning of time, the experience of sitting around a fire has provided a retreat from the busyness of everyday life. A moment where the chaos of everything going on disappears and time stands still. Screens are put down, conversation flows and lasting memories are made. We all wish we could experience more of these moments, but starting a fire takes time, keeping it going requires effort and smelling like smoke isn’t pleasant.

Thursday 04/09/2020
5 Insta-Worthy Hacks to Get Your Home in Tip-Top Summer Shape
Posted: April 09, 2020

(StatePoint) The weather is warming up which means you’re probably chipping away at your cleaning to-do list.

Wednesday 04/08/2020
A Spring Cleaning To-Do List
Updated: April 13, 2020 - 2:30 am

(Family Features) Spring cleaning often lands in a perfect spot on the calendar to serve as an annual reminder of your regular home maintenance to-do list such as changing HVAC and appliance filters, checking smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and cleaning exterior appliance venting. Keep this checklist from Kidde in mind this spring and find more spring safety information at kidde.com/home-safety.

Wednesday 04/01/2020
Get Stronger Every Day With At-Home Workouts
Updated: April 03, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—These days, people are navigating unprecedented times that have them rethinking how they live and work. While big shifts to normal, daily habits can be unsettling, this also provides an opportunity to start new routines and make positive changes. 

Many are spending more time at home, so adding structure is more important than ever—especially when it comes to staying active. Studies have shown that exercise can help boost your mood, productivity and immunity. 

According to Tom Holland, exercise physiologist, Bowflex fitness adviser and host of iHeartRadio’s Fitness Disrupted podcast, it takes most people a minimum of two months to form a new habit. He recommends making the most of your time at home to establish healthy routines. 

To help you get started, Holland offers these simple tips to add at-home fitness into your daily routine: 

Connect with a Coach: When motivation wanes, there are plenty of subscription services and online resources. For example, there’s the Bowflex JRNY app (https://www.bowflex.com/jrny-app.html), which features a personal fitness coach who gives spoken instruction and encouragement as you push through your custom workouts—available on the Bowflex Max Total (https://www.bowflex.com/max-trainer/) and Bowflex BXT216 treadmill (https://www.bowflex.com/treadmills/).

Start small: You don’t have to commit to an hour or more; aim for several micro workouts of 5, 10 and 15 minutes throughout the day; those add up and count as much as one long workout.

Put it on the Calendar: Keep exercise at the top of your to-do list by scheduling a daily walk or run or streaming a yoga class. 

Multi-task: Connect to streaming content and sweat through your favorite daytime show, or catch up on the news.

Home Gym Essentials: Holland recommends including one piece of cardio and one piece of strength equipment in your home gym.

If space is limited, two good cardio-strength options are the Bowflex Max Total (https://www.bowflex.com/max-trainer/) and Bowflex 840 kettlebell (https://www.bowflex.com/selecttech/).

Creating healthy habits now can carry you through the current times, and help set you on a path to finish up the year feeling healthy and stronger than ever. 


Expressing Sympathy During This New Normal
Updated: April 03, 2020 - 2:30 am

(NAPSI)—While experiencing the loss of a loved one is always difficult, these days in the environment of social distancing due to COVID-19, it can be particularly so. If someone you care about is mourning, it’s still the time to connect to family, friends and co-workers.

While many people are adapting to new everyday routines, the etiquette of expressing sympathy by and large has not changed. 

What You Can Do

Here are a few helpful tips from the experts at 1-800-Flowers.com:

•Even if you don’t know the person well, saying “I’m sorry for your loss” is always appropriate and meaningful. It’s acknowledging what has happened in an honest and direct way. And it lets the person know they have permission to experience any uncomfortable emotions. You can find more tips on how to comfort someone who is grieving.

•Regarding social media etiquette, follow the lead of the person who is grieving. If they haven’t said anything on Facebook, neither should you. But if they have posted about it, it is appropriate to comment. For more about the dos and don’ts on expressing condolences on social media.

•Due to the regulations on large gatherings in many places due to COVID-19, many funeral services are being postponed or livestreamed over the Internet, making it an extraordinarily stressful time for the immediate family. If you aren’t able to express your condolences in person at this time, a delivery of a gourmet food basket, houseplant or sympathy flowers to their home is an appropriate way to let them know you are thinking of them. You can find many sympathy gifts and more for home delivery.

•Remember to also support those who have experienced the loss of a loved one, perhaps not so recently, and may be feeling a bit more aware right now, be it due to social distancing or an upcoming important date or anniversary. To help, Rebecca Soffer, co-founder of Modern Loss, provides some additional thoughts. You can also explore complimentary sentiment ecards for Thinking and Sympathy to let them know you are thinking about them.

Learn More

For additional resources on sympathy and remembrance, visit www.1800flowers.com/sympathy-articles. If you are in need of expressing your condolences and not sure what to send, 1800Flowers.com sympathy specialists can help. To reach them, call 1-866-538-2259.


Prepare Your Home for Storm Season
Updated: April 06, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) Protecting your personal safety is the first priority when severe weather emerges with homes and personal property often running a close second. After all, the home is not only a place for comfort and sanctuary – it could be your single largest investment.

7 Steps to Prepare for a Home Remodel
Updated: April 06, 2020 - 2:32 am

(Family Features) A homeowner’s motivation for taking on a remodeling project can vary greatly, but there’s one universal rule of thumb: home upgrades should add value, function or both. This step-by-step guide can help ensure you get the maximum return on your investment and make the most of your remodel.

Monday 03/30/2020
Simple steps for a stunning and affordable DIY backsplash
Posted: March 30, 2020

(BPT) - The kitchen is the heart of the home for many good reasons. It serves as a central location for people to cook and catch up. It's the ideal place for entertaining and visiting. From birthday celebrations to baking adventures, it's the location of countless memories. Additionally, the kitchen is one of the most popular rooms in a home to renovate and upgrade.

Thursday 03/26/2020
Ignite Immunity, Clean Naturally With Lemons
Updated: April 01, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—If you’re among the increasing number of Americans keen on natural solutions to boost immunity these days, you may be glad to know the answer may be right in your refrigerator—or should be. Loaded with vitamin C and zinc, and with key antioxidant qualities, Limoneira Lemons can play a vital role in helping the immune system adapt to new threats and conditions.

Experts have cited lemons as a way to “reduce the risk of complications from a cold or flu, and reduce inflammation in the body.” Experiments have also found that lemon juice can destroy the bacteria of malaria, cholera, diphtheria, typhoid and other deadly diseases.

Lemons are also a boon to any kitchen or DIY beauty routine—plus, they’re a handy sustainability tool. Use them to make life simpler without investing in potentially toxic chemicals or overpriced solutions. In fact, beyond their immunity-boosting benefits, lemons provide natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties that let you clean and disinfect your home, naturally.

Here’s how to create a useful all-purpose cleaner for your kitchen and bathroom that can help your house smell spring fresh all year: Combine equal parts lemon juice and water in a spray bottle. You can use it nearly anywhere. For wood surfaces, create a polish by mixing one cup of olive oil and one-half cup of lemon juice. Test it first on a small spot.

For other “green cleaning” with lemon tips, visit www.Limoneira.com/cleaning.

 "A natural solution to boost immunity may be right in your refrigerator. Loaded with vitamin C, zinc and antioxidants, lemons can help your health and, when used as a cleaner, give your home a fresh smell.https://bit.ly/2UlE1Hm"

5 Ways to Upgrade Your Home With New Tech
Posted: March 26, 2020

(StatePoint) Upgrading your lifestyle doesn’t have to mean undergoing a major home renovation. By simply introducing a few technologies around the home, you can boost the style, efficiency and comfort of your living spaces. Consider these five ideas for five areas of your home:

Friday 03/20/2020
Unlock Your Home Equity with A Home Co-Investment
Updated: April 28, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NewsUSA) - Owning a home is a huge investment, and once they've owned long enough to build up equity, many homeowners opt to leverage the equity for other uses. But if you're on the fence about taking on another monthly loan payment, an option that may be right for you is co-investing.

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