21 September 2015

Healthy Cooking that Saves Energy {Guest Post by Trisha at That Dang Vegan}

Blasting the heat in this summer is already a huge energy sucker, but so is cooking on the stovetop! (I know, right?! who’d have thought.) Thinking about how much cooking goes on in the house each day really opens one’s eyes to just how much of an energy waster cooking really is. There isn’t really much any of us can do to stop all that heat from escaping from the stovetop, but there are a few small tweaks that can be made to cut down of some energy costs while still providing your home with healthy foods.

Cook with leftovers in mind. Now, of course this isn’t always going to be possible, but putting meals together ahead of time can save a lot of time and energy. Cooking a large batch of food all at once will use a little bit more energy during the process. However, it would take a lot more energy to cook the same foods 7 times over for each night of the week. Even heating food up for a few minutes in a small toaster-oven or microwave will use less energy than cooking on the stovetop.

In addition to saving energy, there are several foods that are healthy and keep well in the fridge (and may not even need to be re-heated). Try out some flavorful and vitamin rich grains instead of the same old pasta. Keep in mind that it takes a lot of heat and thus a lot of energy to heat up boiling water. So, when you are using water to boil some pasta, rice, or quinoa make sure to follow the exact measurements on your cooking instructions.

10 September 2015

Disney Princess Costume Review – Snow White

One of my favorite Disney Princesses growing up was Snow White because she has dark hair like me. I was excited to come across this costume so I could finally dress as her for Halloween.  No need for a wig! There were quite a few choices for Snow White but many were either too expensive or too short for my taste. I found this great costume at Costume SuperCenter at a fair price that has a nice fit and isn’t too revealing. Snow White should be modest anyway, right?

The costume is made of polyester and I was a bit worried that it would be wrinkly and hard to wash. To my surprise the material isn't bad and there is a zipper in back so washing is much easier. There is great detail to the dress and the red ribbon on the front that adds a nice touch. The back has a nice stretchy elastic material for a good comfortable fit. To complete the look there was a cute headband included with a red bow on it. See all the other costumes that are New for Halloween 2015.

I ordered a size small bit I think the dress is still a little big in the waist. That would probably be my only complaint. It’s really long too, but I like that. It’s easier to shorten a dress than to lengthen. Usually dresses are too short on me (I’m 5’5”).

Overall I highly recommend this costume to all Snow White lovers. Although it’s referred to as sexy, I found it comfortable, modest and cute.

Have a Happy Halloween!

03 September 2015

Keeping Your Family Safe: Top Tips for Homeowners

Keeping your family safe is likely one of the most important things in the world to you and it’s probably something you put a lot of effort into. However, keeping them safe when they’re at home isn’t always quite as easy as it sounds, and problems can sneak up on you in parts of the house where you least expect them.

While home inspections and outside contractors can help you, there are a lot of things you can do on your own to make your house safer. Use this guide to help.

Replace Windows

Old windows are easy to break, and in a lot of cases the wood around them is so easy damage that even when they’re locked burglars will be able to get into your home. Replacing your windows, especially on the outside of the house, can really make a big difference.

You’ll also get another benefit when you replace your old windows. The new ones will help trap cool air in the summer and warm air in the winter, helping you to reduce your heating and cooling bills a little bit.

You’ll also be more comfortable inside your home.

Upgrade Smoke Detectors

If you’re like a lot of homeowners living in a home built before the 1990's you probably have old-style smoke detectors in your house. While these might work okay to let you know there’s a fire, they really aren’t efficient when it comes to detecting small amounts of smoke.

Older smoke detectors also don’t detect radon gas and carbon monoxide in most cases. Today, these gasses must be detectable when you build a home. Bring your house up to today’s basic safety standards by upgrading your smoke detectors.

Install a Security System

Installing a security system in your home can seem like a huge expense, but for the most part, you’ll only have to pay a monthly bill to keep your home secure. When you have a family, this small additional payment is really one that’s worth it if you want to keep them and your possessions safe from burglars.

Another thing that you’re going to want to do is to use the signs and stickers supplied by your security company that go in your front yard and windows. They may not seem like they would make a difference, but sometimes a sign is enough to make a thief move to an easier looking target.