Scotchgard carpet protector?
If your home is subject to frequent spots and spills, whether caused by kids or pets, then you should strongly consider having carpet protector applied after your next professional cleaning.
What is carpet protector?
A carpet protector, such as Scotchgard® or Teflon®, creates a protective barrier around carpet fibers, helping to repel liquid spills as well as dust and dirt.
This gives you more time to clean up a spill and prevent it from becoming a permanent stain. It also helps your carpet look nicer and clean easier in the future.
Where should I have it applied?
We recommend applying carpet protector to the high-traffic areas in your home and your most-used pieces of furniture. Especially any couches where your family likes to sit and eat or the dog’s favorite chair.
Will it change the feel of my carpet or furniture?
No. After application, your carpet will still look and feel clean, soft, and fluffy. It may take a little longer to dry than usual, but the benefits to your home are well worth it.
How much does it cost?
Carpet protector is very inexpensive, especially when compared with the cost of repairing or replacing heavily stained carpet. It only takes a few minutes to apply and could save you a bundle in the long run.
How to Clean Jewelry
Lotion, soap residue, and everyday dirt and grime can dull the shine of your favorite baubles. To restore the sparkle of your jewelry, follow these quick-cleaning tips.
- Mix a few drops of mild dish soap with a cup of warm water. Dip a clean, soft cloth in the water and then gently rub the piece to remove dirt and filmy accumulations.
- Use a soft toothbrush or makeup brush dipped in the soapy water to scrub away stubborn grime that may be hiding in between prongs or around in-set jewels.
- To remove tarnish from silver, mix 3 parts baking soda to 1 part water to create a paste. Wet the silver and work the paste onto the surface with a soft cloth.
Rinse each piece under cool water and pat or buff dry
All About Roses
Did you know the rose symbolizes love and passion? Or that rose sales climb during the month of February? As Valentine’s Day approaches this month, check out some of these cool facts about the most popular flower of the month!
- The oldest recorded occurrence of a rose is found in a fossil that dates back 35 million years.
- The Cathedral of Hildegarde, located in Germany, holds the world’s oldest rose, which is believed to be 1,000 years old.
- In the Middle Ages, rose petals and oils were added to the baths of the rich and famous, symbolizing wealth and status.
- The most expensive breed of rose in the world is called “Juliet,” and is priced at 5 million dollars.
- Roses come in a wide variety of colors, but there is no such thing as a black rose. “The Black Rose of Turkey,” though seemingly black, is actually an incredibly dark crimson.
- There are well over 150 species of roses and thousands of hybrids. The oldest variety is thought to be the Alba, which may date back to the 1st
- If left alone, roses will grow into a fruit, which is called a rose hip. This fruit is berry-shaped and most are red in color, though you might find some dark purple versions.
- Ancient Romans revered the rose, using them as room decorations and even necklaces. They believed that anything said “under the rose” (sub rosa) was deemed top secret.
- Cavalier, which is located in Italy, is the largest private rose garden in the world, holding over 7,500 different kinds of roses.
- In 1986, the rose became the floral emblem of the United States. It is also the official state flower of four states, including New York, Iowa, North Dakota, and Georgia.
- Since the ancient days, the rose has been known as the ultimate symbol of love. This is most likely why we associate it with holidays, such as Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day!
- The rose is the most popular flower in the United States year-round. However, gardeners grow over 100 million roses for Valentine’s Day alone every year!
1653 New Amsterdam, now known as New York City, is incorporated
1842 Postage stamps with adhesive on the back are sold for the first time at the New York City post office
1870 The 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is ratified, guaranteeing the right of citizens to vote, regardless of race, color, or previous condition of servitude
1950 Walt Disney’s “Cinderella” released
1965 Singer Nat King Cole, who smoked up to three packs of cigarettes a day, dies of lung cancer at age 45
1979 In Stamford, Texas, the highest recorded price for a pig is paid: $42,500
1982 Unknown stand-up comic David Letterman is tapped to star in a new NBC late night variety show
Healthy Living: Keep Your Heart Healthy
When we think about being healthy, we typically think of phrases such as, “eat healthy,” or “exercise more!” But there’s so much more to being healthy, and one major organ everyone should be concerned about is the heart.
Take a look at some of the things you can do daily to keep your heart happy and healthy:
Whether you smoke or not, tobacco smoke can affect your heart. You especially want to avoid secondhand smoke if you already have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, as tobacco smoke contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Children, in particular, should be kept away from secondhand smoke.
Manage Your Cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is carried in your blood. Although your body needs cholesterol to be healthy, an imbalance can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Make sure to get your cholesterol checked at least every 4–6 years, and maintain a healthy diet and weight.
Be Physically Active.
Research has shown that people who live sedentary lifestyles are at a higher risk for cardiovascular events than those who move frequently throughout the day. If you work at a desk, make sure to take short walks throughout the day, and try not to sit still for too long.
Eat Healthy Foods.
Eating healthy foods helps lower your risk of heart disease. A heart-healthy diet includes foods that are low in saturated and trans fats, added sugars, and sodium, but high in fiber like whole grains, legumes, lean meats, and fruits, and vegetables.
Manage Your Stress.
This is important to help avoid serious problems, like heart disease and high blood pressure, so try to do some deep breathing or meditating to relax and manage your stress every day. Talk therapy (whether you chat with a professional therapist or supportive friend) can also be help you deal with the stress in your life.
Studies have shown that people who regularly get less than 6 hours of sleep a night are at a higher risk for cardiovascular disease no matter your age or other habits. So make sure to make sleep a priority, and get 7–8 hours of rejuvenating rest each night.
4 Easy-to-Make Valentine’s Day Goodies
Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, which means you’ll need some themed treats to celebrate the holiday! Whether you make these treats for a classroom party at your child’s school or you just want to spend some quality time with the family for this season of love, these treats will be sure to satisfy your sweet tooth! Take a look at some of our suggestions below for some fun snacks this month.
Heart-Shaped Rice Krispies® Treats.
Rice Krispies treats are always a fun go-to sweet treat to bring to a party. First, gather all of your ingredients: butter, marshmallows, and Rice Krispies cereal, and grab a heart-shaped cookie pan from the baking section of your local grocery store. A heart-shaped cookie cutter will also work.
Melt the butter and marshmallows together in a large pot and then stir in the Rice Krispies cereal. Next, press the mixture into the heart pan, or press out a flat rectangle and, when cool, cut hearts out using the cookie cutter.
No need to cook these treats! Simply pop them in the refrigerator for a little while to let them set. Bonus: Melt some white chocolate until smooth, dip the top of your hearts in the melted mixture, and top with heart-shaped sprinkles for some added sweetness!
Valentine’s Marshmallow Pops.
Another simple treat for Valentine’s Day are marshmallow pops. All you need are strawberry marshmallows, chocolate, sprinkles, and lollipop sticks.
Push the lollipop sticks into each marshmallow to begin. Melt the chocolate until smooth, and dip one marshmallow at a time in the chocolate, but only about two-thirds of the way. Allow the excess chocolate to drip off, and then dip the chocolate-covered marshmallow in your sprinkles.
Set the marshmallow pop (stick down) in a cup or mug so the chocolate can set. You can also put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to speed the process along.
This Valentine’s snack is perfect for lovers of both salty and sweetness. Grab some pretzel twists and sticks, white chocolate or candy melts (for a non-chocolate flavor), and a variety of sprinkles.
Next, melt your chocolate or candy melts in the microwave until smooth. If you’re using candy melts, make sure to add a tablespoon or two of vegetable shortening while heating. Once melted, dip each pretzel in, covering about a third of the surface, and let the excess drip off.
Place the dipped pretzels on a sheet of wax paper and cover with your favorite sprinkles. Place them in the refrigerator for a quick chill to help them harden.
February isn’t exactly ideal for bonfires. But, fear not! For an awesome indoor version of this traditional treat, all you’ll need is a microwave and all of the regular s’more ingredients.
Grab some graham crackers, chocolate (bars, not chips!), and pink marshmallows. Break the graham crackers into squares and place a large marshmallow on top. Heat in the microwave for 10–12 seconds so the marshmallow can heat up. Top with a square of chocolate and another graham cracker, and then squeeze down until the marshmallow puffs out the sides.
Pay It Forward: Spreading Love this Month
Since February is the month of love, what better way to spread some than by paying it forward? Paying it forward means instead of paying someone back for doing something nice for you, do something nice for someone else. Check out some of these simple ways to pay it forward this month:
Smile at Strangers
Sometimes all it takes is a smile to brighten someone’s day. It sounds cliché, but it’s true! Test this theory out by smiling at strangers to spread some love and pay your good feelings forward. You’ll be surprised at how good you feel by doing this, too!
Hold the Door
It doesn’t take anything to open a door for a stranger. This small act of kindness might save someone a lot of hassle (especially a mom juggling kids and grocery bags!).
We all have clothes in our closets or dressers that we don’t wear anymore. Maybe they’re old and don’t fit, or a style that we no longer prefer. Whatever the reason, take those clothes to your local church or donation center so they can go to someone who may need them.
Let Someone Cut
Here’s another easy one and requires no extra effort on your part. If you have a full week’s worth of groceries in your cart, let someone who is only buying a couple of items cut in front of you at the check-out line. It’ll save them some time and make you feel good for doing them a quick favor!
Ever feel like that one coworker who comes in early, skips her lunch, and stays late doesn’t get the credit or recognition she deserves? Then, you should give it to her! Send a thoughtful note or email to that employee who deserves acknowledgement for her hard work. You might just make her week.
Keep it Going
The only way the “pay it forward” mentality spreads is if it continues beyond your own kind deeds. When someone asks how they can repay you for your favor, ask them to pay it forward.
Overnight Peaches-and-Cream French Toast
Impress that special someone with this delicious twist on traditional French toast. It has the consistency of bread pudding with the tangy sweetness of summer peaches. The only way to make this breakfast better is to serve it in bed!
- 1 8-oz loaf French bread, sliced
- 8 large eggs
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 15-oz cans sliced peaches packed in juice, drained (fresh peaches can be substituted)
- 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Butter a 9-by-13-inch baking dish. Arrange bread in a tight, flat layer in dish.
- In a large bowl, whisk eggs with milk, sugar and vanilla until blended; pour over bread. Arrange peaches on top and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 8 hours.
- Remove baking dish from refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Pour cream into a small pan; bring to a boil over high heat. Cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Drizzle over peaches and bake, uncovered, until casserole is lightly browned on top and just cooked through, 45 to 55 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.