Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Beauty Of Vinyl Siding

Every house needs siding, and while there are some out there who will always prefer brick for the exterior of their home, there are a lot of exciting developments in vinyl siding that make it worth taking a look at. Before selecting the material for your home's exterior, it's a good idea to look at all the pros and cons of each.

Vinyl_sidingAce Home Improvements LLC, a siding company Bowie MD can depend on, has compiled the following list of reasons vinyl siding is one of their most popular products.

  1. Vinyl siding is, first off, incredibly affordable. Many people choose vinyl siding simply because it is what they can afford. However, those choosing vinyl siding just because it's economical will be pleased to know that there are many other perks to choosing it over other exteriors. Continue reading for just a few of the reasons that you can be happy with your selection of vinyl siding for your home. 
  2. Vinyl siding never needs to be painted. Love saving time? You're going to love the fact that your siding will never need to be painted over in order to keep it looking its best. Just install vinyl siding and it will continue looking great for years to come, provided you maintain it properly.
  3. Vinyl siding isn't completely maintenance free, but it is one of the exterior types that will be easiest to maintain. The bottom line is: vinyl siding can save you a lot of time if you're a busy person. You'll always need to do some routine maintenance but for the most part, you can let vinyl siding go a bit more than other exteriors. Just refer back to point #2 for a big time saver.
  4. Easier to install. Vinyl projects aren't going to take as long to install as other types of exteriors, so this can really cut down on labor expenses if you're not going to be doing it yourself. If you ARE doing it yourself, it's still a massive project but not nearly as much as other forms of siding.
House lamp
If you're excited about the prospect of installing vinyl siding, join the club! This type of siding continues to win over the hearts of homeowners year after year with its low cost and low maintenance properties.  32% of homeowners opt for vinyl siding for these particular reasons.

Watching Some Dancing

Our local ABC station decided we'd rather watch football last night than watch Dancing with the Stars. They were wrong. I don't mind attending the occasional Colts game, but when it comes to my Monday night television viewing, I really want to see DWTS. (and seriously, I saw on the news that the Colts stopped playing before the game was over and lost. Again. So we would have all been better off watching Disney night on Dancing with the Stars.)

Anyway, we're watching it now and I just fell in love with Lindsey and Mark's dance. It was just so good - and even earned that "10 from Len" - and in my opinion should have gotten all 10s.

So far Lindsey is definitely my favorite. I'm also really liking Drew from Property Brothers. I wasn't so sure at first, but he's really improved and really seems to be having a great time out there.

Who's your favorite this season? Have you started voting yet? I often don't start until later in the season, waiting to see how everyone will do - and obviously I could not have (knowledgeably) voted last night since I wasn't even able to watch. </pout>

Keep Your Fridge Running Smoothly

AGA APRO36FDSS RefrigeratorYou might think that appliance repair has gone out of style since there are so many cheap economical options for appliances, but you would be wrong. When given the choice, the majority of Americans would still rather buy very expensive appliances that function perfectly and last decades instead of near disposable models that can be replaced at the drop of a hat. Considering that the average refrigerator can run over $3000 even in residential home stores, it's no wonder that refrigerator repair services still exist and thrive in today's world.

When someone has invested thousands of dollars in a refrigerator, it's common sense that they need a place like Sub Zero repair Ft Lauderdale based. Sub Zero is an old pro at taking care of appliances both before and after they break down. Believe it or not, there's more routine maintenance on a fridge than you might think. Having it inspected once in awhile to see what kind of parts or products it needs to run smoothly is still a common thing when people buy more expensive appliances. These services work on a host of common refrigerator issues.

Here are but a few of today's most common issues with a fridge:
  • The fridge stops cooling and the food begins to warm (spoil)
  • Ice maker doesn't produce ice or it's not as cold as it should be
  • Defrost drain becomes clogged
  • Freezer is still working but the fridge begins to warm
  • Noise issues (It might rattle or run too loud)
These are just a few of the things that can go wrong with today's refrigerator. If you've invested a lot of money in your fridge, you don't want to go out and replace it every time something doesn't work. Instead, hire one of today's certified technicians to come inside your home and inspect your refrigerator. Nine times out of ten, they'll be able to get your fridge up and running again for a lot less than the price of a new refrigerator.

Repair services like Sub Zero are capable of performing both maintenance and repair on today's most popular brands of refrigerators. Routine maintenance, as well as periodic inspections, can help you avoid unexpected and costly repairs.

Monday, October 16, 2017

I've Been a Bit Buried

Well, actually it was Jason who was a bit buried:

Me, I've just been a bit busy. We just got back from Florida where we enjoyed spending time with our kids and grandson and spending time on the beach. We even survived Nate - though the storm pretty much missed us where we were. Still the waves and the wind were pretty amazing to experience.

Now that we're back, I've got quite a bit of catching up to do, IF there's such a thing as ever actually getting caught up. It seems like a lot of things fell by the wayside before we left because I was concentrating on packing to go - and now I've got to get everything unpacked and put away. Thankfully all that laundry is done, and tomorrow I can move on to the next project(s).

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Some Ideas For Kitchen Countertops

If you get the urge to make changes to your kitchen but don't want to spend a fortune, then maybe you should consider just updating your countertops. When you redo all of your kitchen countertops, the whole kitchen is going to look like it was remodeled to your family and friends. It can take some work to redo your countertops, but the end result will make all of the work worth it.

Album 26 - San Bruno Remodel - Traditional - KraftMaid - after-10.jpgHere are some ideas for updating those countertops:

  • Painting Your Countertops
    One of the simplest ways to change the look of your countertops is to paint them. It is important to understand that you cannot just buy any paint off the shelf and use it on your kitchen countertops. You need to buy a special kit that has the primer and paint that you need to get the job done. Prior to putting on the primer, you should also fill in any cracks or holes in your counters to get a result that is smooth and spotless.
  • Resurfacing Your Countertops
    In the last few years, new kits have come available that homeowners can use to cover their kitchen countertops in a new vinyl covering. The covering is extremely durable and there is a wide variety of colors and patterns to choose from. It takes a little effort and some precise cutting to get this job done, but you will have new countertops that will last for years and look great at the same time.
  • Replacing Your Countertops
    If you do some diligent searching, you can find durable and beautiful countertop material at discount prices. Imagine finding a low-priced marble slab and using it to create the countertops you have always wanted. This counter refurbishing project will probably require the services of an expert contractor, but the end result can completely change the look of your kitchen and possibly the entire first floor of your home.
Any remodeling work you do in your kitchen is going to improve the overall look of your home in some way. When you give your kitchen countertops an overhaul, you are going to add plenty of new life to your kitchen that your guests and family will notice.

The Latest Laundry Technology

I've been drying some of our laundry lately using the latest technology.

I saw this on Facebook, and I thought it was fun.

I wanted a clothesline when we lived in our first house because the neighbor across the street had one, and it reminded me of how much I love the smell of freshly dried clothes. My mom used a clothesline a lot when I was growing up. But, I never got one while we lived there. I would have been quite convenient since the washer and dryer were in a little room that opened to the backyard, and the garage.

Then in Wisconsin, my laundry room was in the basement, and I really didn't give the clothesline too much thought, so it has taken me until this summer to start drying some of the clothes outside in the sunshine. There really is nothing like freshly washed and line dried sheets!

Jeffrey is planning to put a real clothesline in behind the awesome garden he built me. He has the post built but still needs to put it in the ground and add the line. So, in the meantime, I ordered some of these portable clotheslines, and we have one strung between the shed and the garden so I've been using that. I can only dry one king-size sheet at a time, but they dry pretty quickly in the sunshine.  It's been working well for shirts and shorts. To dry several at a time, I put them on plastic hangers (the ones we get at Kohl's when we shop there) and use the notches in the line to hang the hangers so they stay in place on the line.

Have you upgraded your laundry technology recently?

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

What Should You Update in Your Home?

I was talking to a friend this past weekend, and he was telling me about some improvements he'd been making to his house. It seems there's always something to be improved, doesn't it? What gets done and how soon all depends on time, money, and priorities. His home improvements involved pulling the carpet out of a couple bedrooms to expose the hardwood floors underneath, which sounds like a project that mainly takes time and manpower, but not a lot of investment. That's my kind of improvement. I was especially interested because we have a wood floor underneath the carpet in our bedroom, and I would love to pull that carpet out and expose the wood. The upstairs carpet is in decent shape, so it's not a huge priority, but it would be nice. We've been a bit worried about how the staples that hold the carpet down may have damaged the floor, but my friend said it wasn't a big problem on his floor and reminded me that the tack strips for the carpets are only around the edges. We may have to think about pulling that carpet out one of these days.

We've already done quite a few improvements around here since we moved in, the major one being pulling all of the carpet out of the downstairs and putting in wood floors, and replacing the laminate floor in the kitchen with ceramic tile. We certainly like it better, even if it isn't one of the things listed in this HGTV article entitled Which Home Improvements Pay Off?

Unsurprisingly, kitchens and baths made the list.
So exactly what should you improve when you redo your kitchen or bathroom?  Think traditional: all-wood cabinets, commercial-look appliances, natural wood or stone floors and stone countertops.
I certainly can't argue with that. One of the big pluses in this house was that the kitchen had been remodeled a few years back. I may not have chosen the exact marble slab or granite counter top they chose, and I never would have chosen the light cabinets they chose, but I got a great kitchen, and I didn't have to make all those decisions and live through the tumult of a kitchen remodel. The few days I couldn't get into or use my kitchen while the tile was installed were hard enough. I use my kitchen a lot.

If you're planning an update to your kitchen, I say definitely go for it. I think the kitchen is the most important room in the house, so every house deserves a great kitchen. Get some expert advice on which counter materials will work best for what you want and how you use your kitchen. As the HGTV article says, "if you're not planning to move in the near future, spend your money remodeling in a way that you'll most enjoy... Even if you get less than 100 percent of your money back, you're really ahead of the game over time because you get the use of all that space"

What kind of improvements have you made to your home? Did you do them with the idea of increasing the value of your home, or to increase your enjoyment in your home?

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Drop Everything and Read

This phrase keeps running through my head. It's something the kids used to do in school. I'll have to ask Jason if they still do during the school day. I know he has a certain amount of reading he has to do at home. I'm not doing a very good job of actually listening to that voice in my head, though, no matter how much I might like to take a day and spend it reading. Or even just finish some of the books I've got started. Maybe next rainy day...

Except there will always be something else to do, and I always feel that I need to get all that other stuff done before I can actually sit down. I may just have to start making to-do lists (something I really need to do anyway), and put reading time on the list. If it's on the list, I have to do it, right?

Also, I set a goal on GoodReads of reading 40 books this year, which isn't a lot when I compare with some other people I know, but I thought it was reasonable. And I still read more books in a year than a lot of other people. But now here we are in September with only about 3 months left in the year, and I'm only 50% of the way to that goal. Either I'm going to have to count some of the books Jason and I read together when he was here, or I'm going to have to make a lot more time to read.

Or just accept failure.

Not sure this actually applies here, but I saw it on Facebook...

Monday, September 18, 2017

Three Reasons to Sell Your Timeshare

CondoOwning a timeshare is like owning a vacation home or property. The resorts behind these homes offer larger units with enough space for your family and friends and smaller units that are suitable for just two people. Though some function more as vacation clubs and let you visit different destinations and book different unit types, many require that you stay in the same place and the same unit year after year. Even if the resort makes it hard for you to terminate your contract, you may still want to sell your timeshare and end that contract for a few clear reasons.

  • Your Lifestyle Changes
    A common reason to get rid of your timeshare is that your lifestyle changes. While a small timeshare in a romantic destination might be great during the early days of your marriage, you may need more space once you begin having children. If you own a timeshare in a party city, you'll also want to sell because that resort doesn't offer opportunities or activities for kids. Timeshare termination can also happen because you recently separated or went through a divorce and no longer want to visit the same place you visited with your former spouse.
  • Medical Issues
    When you learn that you have a serious medical issue, you may want to stay home and care for yourself rather than travel to another part of the country. The same thing is true when your spouse receives a diagnosis of a serious medical condition. Caring for your loved one is more important than taking a vacation. Medical conditions can also limit the amount of money that you have to spend on your travels too. You'll need to pay for hospital visits and medications and won't have the money to fly to your timeshare resort.
  • Loss of Income
    Another reason why you might want to sell your timeshare is that you lose your job, take on a new job or have your hours cut back at work. As you make less money, you need to prioritize how you spend money. Paying for a timeshare and a luxury vacation will take a backseat to paying your mortgage and putting food on the table. 
Depending on the contract that you signed, timeshare termination can be easy or it can be really hard. Thankfully there are experts who can help you terminate your contract or find a buyer willing to take over your timeshare.

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Is it Too Early for a Fire?

I know summer isn't quite finished, but I've been seeing signs of fall all over the place. Suddenly the leaves on the trees are starting to turn yellow and red and even falling to the ground. It won't be long until they're all brilliant and gorgeous like this picture from last year. Mornings are cool, and I need to wear a long sleeved shirt when I go for my morning walks.

It seems like it happened overnight. One day it was summer and the next fall had arrived. (Let's just ignore the fact that the temperature is supposed to be in the 80s by the weekend)

These cool evenings have me pulling out the cozy flannel pants and wondering if it's too early for a fire in the fireplace.  Our fireplace isn't really a source of heat, but it's just enjoyable to have a fire going. We enjoy a fire many evenings when the weather turns cool. Since it's a gas fireplace, it's fairly easy to get a fire going, and put it out at the end of the night.
Dec 21
When I was growing up we heated our house with a wood stove, and I use that term 'heated' very loosely because we really only tried to heat a couple rooms in the house while the rest of the house was closed off and very cold at times. I still appreciate being able to get warm when I go to bed at night and not waking up with snow on my pillow some mornings. But we did survive, and I guess we have memories and stories to tell because of it.

I did not have much responsibility for the fire except for carrying in wood quite often after school. The boys may have played with the fire a bit more. Isn't that a guy thing? I remember one time us kids were home alone and the chimney behind the stove started getting hot, and the cover in the next room started turning black. We were terrified that the house was going to burn down and ended up calling the fire department. Everything turned out fine, but it was very scary. I think it was something as simple as the damper on the stove not being closed so all the heat from the stove was going up the chimney instead of staying in the stove where it belonged. I know it could have been a lot worse.

I've been reading about how birds' nests and other debris like weeds, twigs, and grass can accumulate in a chimney during the summer when the fireplace or wood stove isn't being used, meaning that the first fire of the season could inadvertently spark a blaze that could spread to the rooftop. It sounds like it's not a bad idea to hire a DC chimney sweep, or general handyman to inspect and clean the chimney and roof before that first fire of the season.

Unless you want to climb up there yourself, which isn't exactly the best idea because it can be nearly impossible for the typical homeowner to figure out how to sweep out the chimney.  It also takes special equipment long enough to reach past the stack at the very top and vacuum hoses that can extend far enough down the chute to reach everything embedded inside. Professional sweeps come to your home with all of this equipment on hand and ready to use.  Before they get started, they inspect the chimney to make sure live creatures like squirrels or raccoons are removed safely.  They can then start removing nests, grass, weeds, and other debris from inside the chimney.

I don't think we ever had any such thing done to our old farmhouse in the country. Thankfully, we survived to tell the stories anyway.

Thursday, September 07, 2017

First Days

I had a memory pop up on Facebook this morning - some pictures I'd scanned in a while back. There was a really cute one of my precious daughter Beth. It was kind of weird to realize that she was not that much older in that picture than her son is now. How did that happen?

And that's when I thought it would be fun to put some pictures side by side. Jason started first grade this week. What if I put his first day of first grade picture next to his mom's first day picture?

Aren't they cute?

Here's what my baby girl looks like today (with a brand new first grader of her own):

I think we're pretty blessed to have both of them. <3

Friday, August 25, 2017

Wellness Tips for Great Health

Many people want to get healthy, but then they engage in behaviors that are diametrically opposed to the realization of that goal. If you realize that getting healthy takes work and are ready to put in the required effort, here are some tips for you. Utilize some or all of the information found here to make great health yours:
  1. Stop Watching Television And Become More Active.
    Research studies have indicated that people who watch more than three hours of TV may be compromising their brain health. As indicated in a LiveScience article, one study found that individuals who watched a lot of television performed more poorly on cognitive tests than those who didn't. Thus to promote not only your physical health but also your brain health, put that remote control down and become more physically active. You'll reap a wide range of brain benefits when you engage in exercise, some of which include improved memory and enhanced cognitive function.
    Some of the other great benefits of exercise include:
      • increased pulmonary ventilation
      • increased cardiac output 
      • increased respiratory capacity
      • improved body composition
      • increased aerobic capacity
    Note that the ideal exercise routine will include stretching, cardiovascular activity, and weight-bearing exercise. Also keep in mind that if you don't like lifting weights, you can do resistance exercises using your own body weight. If you haven't exercised in a long time, it is a good idea to speak with a physician like one of the professionals at Cypress Family Medicine before you begin.
  2. Get Off The Standard American Diet (SAD) Right Now. junk food
    If you eat like most Americans, know that your food habits are not conducive to optimal health. In fact, the SAD is chock full of harmful processed goods and sodium-rich items that can take a toll on your heart and weight. To really eat in a manner that is conducive to wellness, be sure to incorporate more leafy green vegetables such as spinach and kale into your diet. Also consume a wide range of delicious fruits such as apples, bananas, pears, cherries, and peaches. Finally, make a point to educate yourself about nutrition. For example, note that vitamins perform specific physiological functions that enhance your level of well-being. Vitamin E is responsible for protecting blood cells and fatty acids from destruction within your body. You can obtain vitamin E through foods such as nuts and green leafy vegetables.

So, basically - get off your butt, get moving, and stop eating all that junk food!

Turning the television off, exercising regularly, and abandoning the traditional American diet are three keys to attaining optimal health. Make these lifestyle changes immediately so you can begin to thrive inside! I promise it will all be worth it.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

The Best Storage Option

2012_212X_11I thought it was awesome when my Dad bought a boat. What I didn’t realize was that he would have nowhere to park it.  So it sat and sat until it killed some grass.  The thing also got covered with leaves in the fall.  Then he decided that it needed a place to live permanently.  So we did some research into how he could store it.

Self Storage
The first idea we investigated was a self-storage unit, but those are really expensive.  Plus you don’t have ready access to your boat. Say it's a nice day, and Dad wants to go out on the lake and take my kids with him. That’s a win-win for me, but first he has to go and pick the boat up at the storage place, and by then the kids are cranky and tired of waiting.  Paying a monthly fee for someone to keep your boat locked up just doesn’t make sense.

New Garage
Then we looked into building onto his house.  This was his idea not mine. I already knew I couldn’t afford it, and I doubted that he could. Sure enough, the quotes he got for building a new garage were over $20,000.  He could buy another boat for that! What’s more, there would be a lot of turmoil during the process. A foundation would have to be dug. Heavy equipment would run all over the yard.  I saw that happen with a renovation a few years ago at a neighbor’s house. In the end, they spent another $1,000 just to reseed and replant their yard.   

Free-standing Carport
So then we looked into getting a free-standing carport.  I was surprised that a metal carport was such an affordable option.  It wouldn’t disturb the yard or require much in the way of installation.  Sure enough, Dad went for it.  The new carport was installed quickly. Mom was happy because it was a no-mess, no-fuss solution. Dad was very happy because it cost a tiny fraction of what a garage would have cost, and it protects his boat. This seems like a good option for cars and campers, too. You protect your investment from the worst of the weather, but you don't spend a fortune doing it.

Disclaimer: This is a guest post. My dad did not buy a boat, though it would be cool if he did. He did build a carport, though.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Because I Have So Much Free Time

When I first started blogging, I used Photobucket to host a lot of my images. Thinking about it now, I'm not sure why. I've used Blogger for ages, and I can just use Google for all the images I need for my blog. They even make it super easy to add photos from my phone - which happen to be pretty much the only pictures I seem to take these days. (see example 'eclipse' photo on the right)

And now, after all this time, Photobucket has decided to change things (read: they want money) so that I can no longer use my Photobucket images on my blog - not only all images going forward, which would be OK since I haven't actually used them to host any blog images in ages (did I mention how easy it is to use Google?) - but every single image that I have ever used. So, everywhere that I have an image I hosted on Photobucket (and included in my post with code provided by Photobucket), I now have this super ugly graphic telling me that I need to upgrade my account. Oh Yay.

So now I have to go back through every post looking for those ugly graphics, figure out what image was supposed to be there, and then get them downloaded from there and re-uploaded (to Blogger and Google), and then fix the code so that the images display properly. Because, of course, I have nothing else to do with my life...

Thanks, Photobucket. I love you too. (jerks)

And, yes, if I wasn't such a perfectionist, I'd just let it go. They're all old posts anyway. Except for those things in the sidebar - what were those, anyway? And the background on my recipe blog. That is the final straw! (or was - got that one fixed at least)


Monday, August 21, 2017

Independent Health Insurance Options

doctorsMany small businesses and families need independent health insurance. In Florida, the Office of Insurance Regulation reviews health insurance plans that offer wellness and preventive care benefits. Insurers must provide access to health care and medical services when the insured needs them.

Independent health insurance Florida plans offer a few different options. Most insurers offer the same kinds of health services, but plans differ in cost sharing and the manner in which services are provided to beneficiaries. The following type of independent health insurance plans are offered in Florida:

Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Options

A private Florida PPO allows the insured to receive health care and medical services for any provider or doctor. Costs to the insured are less when he or she uses the PPO’s in-network providers. All PPO plans in Florida require the beneficiary to pay a deductible. It’s necessary for the insured to meet the deductible threshold before the PPO plan begins to pay a portion of healthcare costs.

If you’re scheduling a surgical procedure, take the following steps to ensure your medical costs are covered by the PPO plan:
  • Check the PPO provider directory. Confirm that the surgeon, surgical center or hospital, or other healthcare providers are participating in the PPO network.
  • Call the healthcare provider’s office to confirm that he or she is in the PPO network.
  • Realize that you must pay more for healthcare providers who don’t participate in the PPO network.
  • Note that some plans, such as Florida Blue, allow the insured to receive services from any healthcare provider or physician, but out-of-network costs may be significant.
  • Check “pre-determination of benefits.” Ask the provider to estimate the costs of the procedure. Alternatively, use the private health insurance plan’s cost estimator tools.
Before receiving any care from the provider, surgical center, or hospital, the insured must show his or her plan member identification card. This information can help the provider to determine the insured’s costs of care.

Standard and high-deductible PPO plans are available in the state of Florida. To offset the out-of-pocket costs of care, it’s possible for the insured to use funds in a Health Care FSA or a Limited Purpose FSA for vision and dental costs.

Health Maintenance Organization (HMO) Options

HMO plans can help the insured to save money on private health insurance plans in Florida. Unless the insured goes out of network, he or she typically has no deductible to meet for the plan year in a standard HMO plan. The insured may need to make copayments for provider visits or make higher contributions for coverage. A Health Care FSA can help members to offset the costs of healthcare in Florida.

A high-deductible HMO costs less in premiums to the insured but includes a higher deductible, such as an in-network per person or per family deductible for the plan year.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

No Totality Here

One of my Facebook friends just posted this neat site that lets you put in your zip code to see a simulation of next Monday's solar eclipse in your area.

Here's what the peak coverage should look like at my house:

We won't be in the area of complete totality, but it will still be interesting to check it out. Of course, I haven't picked up any of those eclipse glasses or even figured out the best way to 'watch' it. I'm thinking I'll definitely be checking out the shadows on the driveway through the leaves on my tree, but other than that, I don't know.

ABC News is planning to do a live special Monday afternoon, and NASA will be streaming it live with views from NASA research aircraft, high-altitude balloons, satellites and specially-modified telescopes. They'll also include live reports from Charleston, as well as from Salem, Oregon; Idaho Falls, Idaho; Beatrice, Nebraska; Jefferson City, Missouri; Carbondale, Illinois; Hopkinsville, Kentucky; and Clarksville, Tennessee.

What are your plans for viewing the eclipse?

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Health Care Made More Convenient

Doctor Looking for a physician for your health care needs can sometimes be a bit of a challenge.  However, many Houston family physicians have chosen to provide healthcare options all in one online place through Spring Medical Associates.  Many people call them their go-to website and love the convenience of having several types of doctors all in one place.  They provide a variety of convenient healthcare services via online appointments, specialists are also available as well as onsite x-rays and labs.

Healthcare in One Place - Searching for a general physician or even a healthcare specialist all over the internet can be a challenge.  To make healthcare a lot more convenient and easier to handle, many healthcare developers are combining services in one central online location to meet the demand of their patients. Spring Medical Associates is one of these places that have gotten onto this new type of healthcare bandwagon.  On websites such as this one, patients can easily search for the doctors by name, gender, specialty, and even language.  Sites such as this one allow the patient to search by languages, such as Chinese, Hindi, Telugu, and French.
Specialists Available - Specialists doctors may be another challenge for some patients to find. However, websites such as Spring Medical Associates helps patients find specific specialists all in one online site.  The website provides walk-in appointments, online appointments, and same-day appointments for specialists, such as ear-nose-and-throat specialists, interventional pain specialists, and breast specialists.  Patients can also find specialists that work in primary care or family medicine, urology, and even general surgeons.

Onsite Technology - Another challenge in healthcare is finding doctors’ offices that have onsite x-ray technology and labs.  Spring Medical Associates is one of the places where patients can make a doctor’s appointment and know that laboratories and x-rays are on site.  This can save the patient time, gas money, and energy when they are especially sick.

Getting check-ups, routine care, and maintaining health care are so much more convenient when medical associations provide a network of healthcare providers all in one online location.  

It Takes a Bit Longer

Our grandson Jason is visiting this week. He's 6 and about to go into the first grade. I'm not sure who told him he could grow up so fast, but he's certainly doing it.

Ready to go, sporting his new Spiderman
water squirter (from the cereal box)
I usually get up every morning after Jeffrey leaves for work and go walk 2 or 3 miles. With a 6-year-old here, I can't exactly do that, so I made him promise to go walking with me. Of course, that means I have to wait until he gets up in the mornings, so we're not leaving until quite a bit later than normal. (I should probably start getting him up earlier so he can start getting ready for his really early mornings once school starts, but he does have all month...) And then it takes quite a bit longer than usual to walk those 2 miles. His little legs are a bit shorter than mine, and he's always stopping to pick things up or look at flowers or trees or bugs. It's a boy thing, I guess.

Getting hot

Yesterday we walked a mile - and then we went to the playground and played for a bit afterward. Jason wants to be an American Ninja Warrior when he grows up, and those playgrounds offer all kinds of 'obstacles' for training.

On the home stretch

Then today Jason was determined to walk 2 miles, and a Ninja Warrior should be able to walk 2 miles, so I took him on my regular route. He made it! Never mind that it took an hour to do it...

And we made it!

Monday, July 31, 2017

Making Extra Money

It can be difficult to take care of a household when unexpected expenses occur. Even expected expenses can be hard to juggle. A night out at a restaurant can quickly turn into a costly outing. If you make a bit of extra money, then you will feel free to go out and enjoy yourself without feeling guilty about spending extra money. Sometimes all it takes is a bit of creativity to make a bit of extra money. Here are some suggestions to stash away some cash.

Offer Services - If you have any special skills, then you can consider using those skills to make some extra spending money. Taking care of children in your home or providing tutoring to neighborhood children can help you bring in some extra cash. You can also consider other services, such as cleaning houses, doing chores, or offering handyman services. Sometimes a hobby can turn into a lucrative gig as well. If you love to garden, then consider offering landscaping maintenance as a service. If you are a dog lover, then you may be able to take care of dogs while their owners go on vacation.
Host a Yard Sale - Another way to earn money is to sell items that you no longer need. Clean out your closet and put together all of the items that you want to get rid of. You may be surprised to find how many items you have kept throughout the years. Selling these items can bring you more money than you might think. If your friends or neighbors have unwanted items, then you may be able to work together to have a larger sale.

Be Creative - You may feel that you do not have any skills or unwanted items, but you may just need to be more creative in your thinking. Families who have sold used wheelchair vans have been able to earn money quickly. Think about any larger items that you may have, such as unwanted furniture or vehicles, as well as smaller items. If you have any creative talents, such as creating crafts or wreaths, then you may be able to market those skills as well.

Once you have earned some extra money, then you should feel comfortable occasionally treating yourself to a special time with friends and family. Consider trying a new restaurant or visiting a local attraction. You can enjoy your outing without breaking your budget.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Top Benefits Of Using Full-Service Storage Solutions

Long gone are the days when you have to load up all of your belongings and transport them to your new home or to a storage facility yourself. These days, you have many storage options available at your disposal and one of them is storage pickup service Boston MA (the reputable company found at www.ondemandstorage.com). While there are many advantages to using storage solutions of all kinds, here are some of the top benefits of using a storage company that will pick up your stuff for you.

Moving companies Arlington VA

No Renting Trucks - It can be time consuming and expensive to have to rent a moving truck. Not many people enjoy having to load and unload the truck, and it can also be tricky to try and drive that huge truck in traffic. When you hire a storage service with pickup included, they will come to you, get your stuff, and transport it for you. There is no need to worry about renting or driving any moving trucks.

No Heavy Lifting - With storage solutions that offer pickup services, you don't have to worry about doing any heavy lifting. You have enough to deal with when you are moving or storing your belongings. Full-service storage companies will come to you, pack and load up all of your stuff, and then transport it to their storage facility until you need it again.

Return Items - When you use a traditional storage unit, you have to pack up your belongings and take them to the unit yourself. Additionally, when you want to remove your belongings, you have to go pack them up again and transport everything. When you use a full-service storage solutions company, they will not only pack and transport your belongings to the storage facility, they will also bring your stuff back to you when you are ready. There is no need to make the trip to the storage facility to pick up your stuff. The company will bring it to you wherever you need it.

Moving or trying to store your belongings doesn't have to be difficult anymore. Using full-service and on-demand storage services can take away a lot of the stress involved with moving. It couldn't be easier to get your belongings packed and stored away so that you can have extra time and energy to take care of other important things.

Leave all of the work to the professionals.

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Camp Outreach

I spent last week at a summer camp. It's not your ordinary summer camp. Instead of swimming and hiking and canoeing, and whatever other activities you regularly find at a summer camp, the campers at Camp Outreach spend their days painting, cleaning up overgrown lots, replacing roofs, and all kinds of other projects in a neighborhood in downtown Indianapolis. And they love it! Some of these young people (and not so young people) have returned year after year after year.

This was my third year. The first year I helped out in the VBS for the neighborhood kids in the mornings and then worked on various projects in the afternoons. The last couple years I helped out with VBS in the mornings and then was responsible for feeding all our hard-working people dinner every night. There's a lot of planning, a lot of shopping, and a lot of work involved, but it's all worth it. And I certainly could not do it without lots of help.

If you're interested in seeing a bit about Camp and hearing from some of the young people who were involved this year, be sure to check out this video and discussion of Camp Outreach 2017.

Perhaps it's something you'd like to get involved in next year?

The Magic of the Bedtime Story

Bedtime StoriesMany of us have fond memories of childhood and the bedtime stories that often ensued once we were cozily nestled underneath the covers. The magic that happened at bedtime was often our first introduction to literacy, and one of the defining moments that fueled our interest in the world and all the adventures yet to be had.

The Magic of Routine
One of the sweetest and most satisfying aspects of bedtime was knowing that there was always an interesting and exciting story to send us off into sleepy land. Although none of us really wanted to go to bed, we were always excited about the prospect of another bedtime story adventure that would be unveiled if we submitted to the necessity of bedtime. Bedtime was never put on a pedestal, but we knew that bedtime was the only ticket to the coveted bedtime story.

The Adventure
Bedtime stories were always fun because each one had an inherent adventure and dilemma tucked neatly into the story line. Would Jack ever make it back down the beanstalk without being caught? Would Little Red be spared from the Big Bad Wolf? Would Elizabeth ever find those regulation cornhole boards she secretly borrowed from her mom? We were all on the edge of our seats waiting to hear what the outcome would be as each character battled their nemesis for survival or some other hidden or obvious treasure. These stories taught the love of the unexpected and the need to embrace courage and face problems in order to overcome them.

281/365 Bedtime StoryLove from the Storyteller
Although the storyteller was not the obvious heroine or hero of bedtime, they were, in an unspoken way. They were the bearers of the stories. We learned to appreciate them just as much as the adventures they unfolded every night. We knew that it was love that fueled their desires to enrich our lives with the stories and adventures of others, both fiction and nonfiction. We loved them for loving us enough to tell the stories in such provocative and entertaining ways. Often, these people were our very own moms and dads, or grandmas and grandpas, and the love was often twofold because they did so much more for us than tell bedtime stories.

The telling of bedtime stories has been a well-known tradition for many years. Many children have looked forward to the telling of some exciting adventure or dilemma faced by a character in a bedtime story. This ritual has often been the first taste of literacy that a child experiences, and it is often one of the tools to help encourage bravery and problem-solving.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

What is the Best Counter Material for Your Kitchen?

One of the huge pluses when we bought this house was that the kitchen had been completely redone and upgraded just a few years prior. Now, if you know me, you know that the kitchen is probably the most important room in the house. I spend a lot of time in there, and it has to be usable. Some of the other houses we looked at had kitchens that were just barely usable and would have had to be upgraded and redone as soon as possible. In one way that would have been nice because I could have had exactly the kitchen I wanted - in the end - but I certainly wasn't looking forward to the actual remodel.

Even though I didn't get to actually design my current kitchen or choose any of the colors or materials, I'm happy with it overall. And there are some really great features like the spice cabinets on either side of the cooktop. The one thing I think I would have chosen differently is the countertop. It's a nice color, and it looks nice, but I just don't like that it's glossy. When I wipe the counter, I always have to dry it too in order to keep it from looking streaky. Maybe I'm just picky...

The point of this story is that, if you are remodeling or upgrading your kitchen, be sure to research the types of counter materials that are available so that you pick the one that is best for you. Because you will be living with that countertop for a long time, and you want to love it. Don't just get a granite countertop because you think that's the thing to do.

Choosing from the wide variety of counter materials can make the decision difficult. They all can have both positive and negative features. You'll want to do more research and actually look at and touch and feel the different options, but here is a bit of information and a few of the more popular countertop materials:
  • Soapstone - The non-porous nature of soapstone makes it a desired counter product, but it is a surface that can be easily scratched. Natural soapstone is lighter in color, but the surface can be oiled, providing a slightly darker coloration. This product is impervious to staining, but has to be sanded or oiled again to maintain a like-new look. Soapstone is the perfect choice for bathroom renovations.
  • Marble - The variety of color mix with marble offers an almost guaranteed unique look to every kitchen and bathroom. The formed designs within the stone are different with every piece that is milled. Marble is considered very soft and should only be used in areas without a lot of traffic. This may not be the perfect choice if you have a number of heavy appliances on the counters.
  • Granite - Granite is one of the hardest substances used for counters. It has to be coated with a protective seal to prevent staining, since it is porous. The colors of available granite are many and there is one that will fit any decorative style you wish to create, or match.
  • Engineered Stone - Many types of engineered stone are made with crushed quartz embedded into resin. It creates a non-porous surface that is easy to clean and keep clean. There does need to be extra care taken to keep hot pots and pans off the direct surface. Use of pot holders is essential.
  • Ceramic Tile - Tiles made with ceramic are durable, come in many colors and are popular for use in bathrooms, kitchens, and for backsplash. This product is not easy to scratch and doesn't easily stain, but individual tiles can be broken when hit with enough force. The grout can be the most difficult part to keep clean.
When you're ready, you'll want to contact kitchen and bath experts San Diego or the experts in your area to get started on your kitchen remodel.

Friday, June 16, 2017

Have Patio, WILL Use It

We had out of town visitors a couple weekends ago, and we ended up spending a long lazy day just hanging out on the patio. It was so nice and has me wondering why we don't use the patio more often than we do. We've lived here almost 4 years, and we've only used the patio a handful of times. I'm thinking we definitely need to change that!

When we built our house in Wisconsin, we didn't put in a patio or deck right away. A lot of the houses in the neighborhood had concrete patios that were usually put in when the driveway was poured, but we just had some rock brought in. It wasn't the most beautiful thing, but it was usable, and we wanted to wait until we had the money to put in a paver patio. We really liked the way the patio would look, and we liked the idea that there weren't very many paver patios in the neighborhood. And yes, we know that there are many different patio designs and patio pavers, so even if every other house in the neighborhood had a patio, the odds of them all being the same were really low. Still, in a neighborhood where every house was built by the same contractor, every little bit of individuality is important.

In the end, Jeffrey and Cory built a deck and pergola on the back of the house. I can't remember the exact reason we decided on the deck instead of the patio - perhaps that it was something they could do more easily than put in the patio - but we really loved that deck! Once it was built, we ate dinner out there often. It was also a great place to enjoy my morning coffee and read. It was a wonderful addition to our living space.   And it was a great Father/Son project I doubt either one of them will forget.

Building a Rail

Here we have a nice brick patio with a brick wall all the way around and beautiful hand-made tin light fixtures on the wall. It's showing its age a bit, quite a few of the bricks are coming apart, and weeds keep trying to take over. We mixed up some salt, vinegar, and Dawn and sprayed the weeds a couple years ago, which killed them pretty well, but they're weeds and they keep coming back. One of these days we are going to have to tear out the whole patio - not because of the weeds, but because of all the bricks that keep deteriorating - and put something else in. Maybe this will be our chance for that paver patio, hopefully with a nice stone fireplace or firepit area. We may just go with the poured concrete patio so many of our old neighbors had, but have you seen what they can do with concrete these days? It can look just like a fancy paver patio. Either way, we'll probably have to have someone come in and build the patio for us. We can probably do the demolition, but I'm not so sure about the leveling and installation that comes after. It's important to get the drainage right so that we won't have water standing on the patio when it rains - and it can certainly rain around here! - or water running back to the house and sun room.

In the meantime, our patio is still very usable and very pleasant. It's nicely shaded throughout the day and the best place to enjoy our backyard. Even if I can't figure out exactly why we haven't been using it, that doesn't mean we can't do a better job of using it from now on. Jeffrey does need to use his new grill. Often.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017


This was just posted by one of my favorite librarians, and I had to share.

Reading really is like magic. We look at these printed marks on a flat, white surface, and whole worlds come alive. We make lifelong friends, fall in love, and have our hearts broken time and time again. And then we dive right back in for more!

Oh - I really need to make more time to read. Why is it that real life always seems to get in the way of all stories just waiting to suck me in?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Does Your Air Conditioner Work?

Our air conditioner stopped working last summer. Right when we needed it, of course. We all expect to be able to flip a switch when the weather heats up and have our air conditioner cool the house down, but what if it doesn't? How do you decide who to call? The former owners of our house left a lot of information about the companies and contractors they had used while they lived here, so we called the HVAC company they used - the same one who installed a new furnace just a few years ago.

But, if you don't have a file full of recommended contractors, here's a list of things to consider when searching for a good HVAC Company.
  1.  Experience - The ideal HVAC company should have at least 2-3 years of experience in things like heating, cooling and plumbing. If their website was just created last month, that's a sign that they're new to the business and without the kind of background that you need in your repairmen. Hold outLook for people with more longevity.
  2. Courtesy - Some companies offer things like an "all due respect" guarantee where they promise that their employees won't curse, smoke or drink while in your home. This is especially helpful if you have small children running around while repairs are taking place.
  3. Payment Plans - While you should always consider a company's prices before hiring their services, don't write them off just because their costs are a little outside of your usual budget. A good HVAC company will offer payment plans that can be spread over weeks or months for their penny-pinching customers.
  4. Staff Qualifications - Look at the company's website. What do they say about their staff? How were they trained? Where did they go to school? Do they have any certifications or memberships to industry organizations? If you can't find anything on the Internet, don't be afraid to ask about their qualifications when you call. They should be happy to tell you.
  5. Location -Last but certainly not least, a good repair company will be located within your community. For example, if you live in Williamsburg, they'll be one of the many HVAC companies Williamsburg VA. This will ensure that they're familiar with all of your area's weather patterns and general heating and cooling needs as well as be readily available should you need any follow-up or future service.
These are just a few signs that your chosen HVAC company is the right one for the job. It's a decision that should be made carefully, so take your time. Don't rush into anything. Your heating and cooling units aren't going anywhere, and you should make sure that you hire good people to handle them.

Unless, of course, the weather forecasters are calling for a week of temperatures in the 90s with high humidity, and you need that air conditioner to work now.  Then, your number one priority is probably finding a company that can come out and look at your air conditioner and get it fixed. Thankfully, the company we called was available, the part was ordered, and it was fixed within a day or two. Because, for once, the weather forecast was right, and it did get hot.

Monday, June 12, 2017

It's Definitely Not the Venue

We attended another concert last month. After our disappointing Soul2Soul tour experience in April, I was a little worried. I knew it was Tim & Faith's sound guy/crew that was the problem, but still...

We had tickets for Neil Diamond's 50 Year Anniversary Tour, because we've been listening to Neil diamond for not quite 50 years - and how could we miss seeing him when he was going to be so close?

Once again we had seats up on the balcony level - this time on the side. (We're still trying to figure out where the best seats in the house would be - besides perhaps front row on the floor.) And there was no problem whatsoever with the sound at this concert. We could hear every word that was spoken, every word that was sung, and every instrument in the band. It was great. Neil Diamond has a sound guy who knows what he is doing. It makes all the difference in the world.

Also, Neil didn't bother with an opening act. Why should he? He's celebrating a 50-year career, and he's got plenty of songs to fill up an entire concert - and then some! Here's the complete setlist from the Indy concert. I've looked at the lists for some of the other concerts, and he varies it a bit each night - probably because he does have so many songs to choose from.

It was an amazing concert, and we loved every minute of it!

Friday, May 19, 2017

Adorable Gift Ideas for Baby Showers & First Birthday Celebrations

New babies are reasons to celebrate, as are first birthdays. These times allow you to show your support to new parents, while helping to shower their little one with love and gifts. However, the prospect of shopping for a baby leaves some people at a loss. Luckily, the following list has you covered with 4 adorable gift ideas that would be big hits at a baby shower or first birthday celebration. Piggy bank

  • Customized Keepsakes for Later in Life
    From personalized piggy banks with a few dollars to add to, or beautiful silver frames for a picture of the new little family, or even a first teddy bear, there are hundreds of customizable keepsakes that make awesome baby shower or birthday gifts. Be sweet, kind, and sincere in your choice of keepsake. Because these are items that could last throughout a baby’s childhood, and even well into adulthood. They are sentimental for a reason.
  • DIY Blankets & Snuggly, Plush Animals
    If you are the crafty kind, invest in some fabrics and stuffing to make your own baby-friendly, kid-safe stuffed animals. Or, opt for a woven blanket, with tight loops to keep a kiddo warm, secure, and protected through the night. You can go with the traditional colors: pink for girl or blue for boy. Or, make your own blend with colors that the parents love, like a beautiful green and red blanket.
  • Books, Books, & More Books (this is my favorite!) Bedtime reading
    No kiddo can have enough, or too many, books. And it's never too early to instill a love for reading with books galore. Pick your childhood favorites, like Little Golden Books, and bestow them on the parents-to-be. You can bet mom and dad will read these stories often. They are sure to become before-bedtime classics in their household.
  • The Necessities—And Then Some
    If you would rather go the practical route, diapers, bottles, or even gift cards to baby stores, are always winning presents. They aren’t quite as personal, but their association with the baby-to-be makes them adorable. To make these necessities a little more…memorable, consider adding on a customized gift for a combo of fun and sentimental with functional and must-have.
The above-mentioned gift ideas are things that any parent-to-be will love for their baby. Whether you are going to a baby shower, or a first birthday celebration, use them aforementioned ideas as a guide to picking the perfect presents.

Have These Always Been a Thing?

I recently started making Kombucha, thanks to some friends who love it and were willing to share some info and a scoby. I don't really know much about it, so I've been doing a bit of reading, and I read that the scoby should never touch metal. I'm not sure what the reasoning is, and I'm not sure if it's more about actually being stored in metal or just a momentary touching. But, I've used a mesh strainer a couple times - and it's metal - so I thought I'd look for some kind of plastic colander or strainer to use. I did find some really cute and colorful colanders at Aldi - a set of 3 for $5.

But then I found a set of 4 nylon mesh strainers. They look just like the metal ones, except they're nylon, and the mesh collapses for easy storage. How perfect, not just for the kombucha, but also for everything. I use my strainers for a lot of things, but it seems that the metal always ends up rusting, and I haven't figured out a way to stop it. These should completely avoid that rust problem. I'm actually very excited about these things and wondering if they've been around for a while, and I just never noticed or if they're something new.

Does anybody know?

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Get Healthy In 2017

If you want to lead an amazing life, it's important to know that getting healthy will increase the likelihood of realizing that goal. Being healthy ensures that you will have the energy and mood stability necessary to excel in your professional life while also pursuing your personal dreams with passion. Luckily, there are hundreds of wellness strategies you can use to get healthy in 2017. Some of them include:
  1. Focus On Dental Health.
    Focusing on dental wellness is a wonderful way to get healthy in 2017. This technique is important because dental health contributes to overall wellness. For example, people who take good care of their teeth are less likely to experience unwanted conditions such as toothaches and severe mouth pain. If you do find yourself in need of an emergency dentist Charlotte NC residents can rely on to offer exceptional services, the professionals of Charlotte Dental Partners can assist you. To ensure that you select the right dentist, make sure that you use the internet to check his or her online reviews. If the majority of the dentist's online reviews are positive, you can be fairly confident that he or she will offer you the exemplary dental services you deserve.
  2. Develop An Exercise Routine. exercise
    Another strategy you can implement to remain on the path to great health is developing an exercise routine. There are many benefits that result from regular engagement in physical activity. Some of those benefits include:
    • clearer thinking 
    • more youthful looking skin 
    • better memory 
    • improved sleep quality
    • enhanced metabolism
    • better posture

    Note that the ideal exercise program will have three components: cardio, strength, and stretching. Three types of exercises that would contribute to a holistically sound exercise program would be cycling, weight-lifting, and pilates.

  3. Invest In A Monthly Massage. Massage
    One final technique that will keep you on the road to amazing health is investing in a monthly massage. This step will provide you with a wonderful way to combat the anxiety that tends to surface due to factors such as a stressful job, death in the family, new relationship, etc. In addition to helping people fight stress, a monthly massage will help boost your metabolism and improve your digestion!

Don't Delay: Get Healthy Today!

Individuals who want to get healthy should know that there are numerous options they can explore to make it happen. Three of them include focusing on dental health, developing an exercise routine, and investing in a monthly massage. Start using these techniques now to put yourself on the path to better health!

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Sometimes You Gotta Spend More to Spend Less

ShoppingWe love shopping at Kohl's. Of course, the fun is in the savings and not really the shopping itself. I don't understand people who actually enjoy shopping for the sake of shopping. But when I can stack savings on top of savings, then I'm having a bit of fun.

Last weekend we stopped into Kohl's because we had some Kohl's Cash ($7.84) from an earlier return, and we needed to spend it before it expired. Combined with the 20% discount we had, we figured it was a good time to find something we needed. I ended up finding a quilt/bedspread - originally priced at $219.99 but marked down to $43.99. Since we had been looking for something just like that, we decided to grab it and go, which is the best kind of shopping trip - in and out without wasting a lot of time.

1st rule of shopping: Start with the clearance racks.

I can't actually imagine that anyone would spend $220 on this bedspread because the 2nd rule of shopping is to never pay full price. Of course, that's similar to the first rule but can also include sale prices. I personally think sale prices are usually too high, which is why I wait for things to go on clearance, and even then I usually wait for 70%, 80%, or 90% off before I'm willing to buy.

So, we got a nice quilt/bedspread for a total cost of $30.94, which was a pretty good deal - until I realized that we had a coupon for $10 off a $50 purchase for Mother's Day. I was thinking women's clothing, jewelry, purses and accessories, etc. and didn't realize it also included items from the Home department - which would include the quilt. No, we didn't spend $50, but we did spend $43.99 (before discounts and Kohl's Cash), which meant that all we had to do was spend an additional $6.01 to be able to use the coupon and save $10. If we had bought something else that cost exactly $6.01, using the same Kohl's Cash and the same 20% discount, we would have spent $27.53, saving $3.41 - and getting an additional item. More merchandise for less money. Who can argue with that?

It gets even better, though. We didn't make it back to Kohl's until this past Sunday. I asked if they could re-ring my purchase if I found something else so that I could use the coupon - because I would have if I'd realized it applied. They said sure, so I found a blouse I liked - not exactly $6.01 but close. It was on clearance for $8 (80% off). After 'returning' the quilt and then re-ringing the transaction with both the quilt and the blouse - with the 30% discount we now have - the total cost was $25.57, a savings of $5.37. (and remember, I got a blouse, in addition to the quilt I originally bought)

Of course, when we have a 30% discount we do like to see what we can find, so we did a bit more shopping the clearance racks. I found some more tops, some dresses, pants, etc. - enough to use the coupon again - and Jeffrey found some golf shirts and t-shirts. We spent enough that we got $10 Kohl's Cash, and when I added the receipt from the quilt and blouse I bought first, we had enough for another $10 Kohl's Cash.

This, of course, means that we have to go shopping again next week when the Kohl's Cash is valid. And if we wait until Thursday, there's a coupon for $10 off a $25 purchase. That means if we find something(s) worth $30, we can use the coupon to save $10 and then pay the difference with our $20 Kohl's Cash, and actually pay absolutely nothing.

Note: Kohl's Cash is only valid during specific dates. If you can't find something you actually need or want, just buy something, anything. Hold onto the receipt, and next time you go to Kohl's, return whatever it was you grabbed. They'll give you Kohl's Cash (good for 30 days) to spend then when you're ready.

Be sure to start with the clearance racks.