Tuesday, August 27, 2019

Caring For Your Hardwood Floors

Shortly after we moved into this house, we tore out the carpet in the downstairs and replaced it with hardwood floors. I love them, but taking care of them and keeping them clean is a bit different than the carpet I've always had. If you are lucky enough to live in a home with hardwood flooring, you know that proper cleaning is essential. You'll want to take the steps necessary to keep the wood looking its best. Here’s how to properly care for your Provenza old world flooring.

  • Daily Dust 
    Don’t blanch at the idea of cleaning your floors daily – a simple, two-minute dusting is all you need. A soft-bristled broom or microfiber cloth will keep the wood free of debris that can build up and make more work for you should you put this task off. My daughter recently got me a robot vacuum, and while I don't run it every day, I do run it more often than I ever managed to run the dust mop, and it really makes a difference.
  • Weekly Mop 
    A bucket of warm water and a bit of dish or castile soap is all you need to mop your hardwood floors. Avoid using vinegar, which can dull your floor’s shine throughout the years. An oil-based cleaner is also something to stay away from, as it can be very slippery and dangerous in high-traffic areas.
  • Monthly Polish 
    A monthly or even bi-monthly polish is a great way to care for the finish that protects the hardwood. A special polish and flat-surface mop will help even out the floor and fill in tiny scratches and holes. Using area rugs and mats can also help protect the surface and avoid significant wear and tear.
  • Bi-Yearly Refinishing 
    Depending on the kind of floors you have, it can also be a good idea to have your hardwood floors sanded and refinished every few years. This will strip the old finish and remove any deep gouges, and replace it with a new, shiny finish. You can also take this opportunity to have the wood stained if you’re looking to experiment with a new color or are remodeling a certain room.
If you commit to caring for your hardwood floors from the very beginning, you will be able to enjoy their classic beauty for many years.

Getting Consistency Out of Your Thermostat

thermostatWhether it’s a workspace or your personal residence, being too hot or too cold can interrupt your productivity and comfort levels. Even with a thermostat that is set to your desired temperature, you might find that you feel periods of hot or cold as the weather fluctuates outside. This isn’t your imagination, as there are several things that can influence the efficiency of your heating and air system.
  • Dirty Equipment - As the parts and elements of your system get coated with dirt, that dirt can interfere with how well the parts rotate, turn, or interact. Look into getting an HVAC service contract Chicago IL with a local company. Regular maintenance before each major heating and cooling season can help eliminate some of this extra buildup and keep your equipment operating at optimum efficiency.
  • Clogged Filters - The air filters in the building can get clogged with dust which can limit the clean airflow out of the system. When it is forced to flow backward into the unit, the trapped air lowers the operating temperature. If this is left unresolved, the unit can freeze and seize up. Ice forming on the coils is a sign that there is a serious issue with airflow.
  • Worn Equipment - When your environment experiences extreme highs and lows in temperature, your HVAC unit can see a lot of use. The condensing fan motor is one of the components that is continually exposed to the elements and will wear down over time. Another reason your unit might not be outputting the way your thermostat demands is a refrigerant problem. Over time, a small leak may develop in the evaporator coil, the copper lines, or the air conditioning unit itself. This would mean your unit continually runs but without releasing cool air.
If you want to maintain cool temperatures in summer and heat in winter, taking care of your HVAC unit and components is the place to start. If you aren’t familiar with the different areas that need attention, schedule a maintenance visit with your local professionals.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Before Baby Makes Three

Getting pregnant is a life-changing event that requires thoughtful planning. If you and your husband are considering starting a family, think about life before, during, and after pregnancy and birth. Consider every factor in every stage of the process; pregnancy is only the first step!

New born
  • Arrival and Newborn Baby - The practical questions need to be discussed before you actually bring a child into the world - before you even get pregnant. Pregnancy is just the beginning, and then the real work begins. Can you afford to raise a child? Is there space in your home, your schedule, and your life for a newborn? 
    • These answers are not always easy when you’re being completely honest with yourself, but they’re worth asking. Your life is no longer your own when you become a parent, so are you willing to put aside your free time and your sleep patterns? The benefits are definitely worth it, but are you willing to make the sacrifices?
  • Getting Pregnant - Before finding a birthing center San Antonio, you need to talk to your doctor about the possibility of pregnancy. Other preexisting medical conditions might play a role in your ability to get pregnant or carry a baby to term, or you might simply have concerns to address. Speak to your GP before deciding to go off birth control, or perhaps schedule a special discussion appointment and bring your husband along. Knowledge is power!
  • Pregnancy - Your body will go through massive changes once you’ve conceived, so stay up-to-date on milestones and what you should be feeling during each trimester. Do research on everything: How big baby will be at specific times; what side effects you should be feeling; and what changes you can expect physically and mentally.
    • Your OBGYN is the best person to discuss these with, but in the meantime, it can be fun to see progress on your own with pregnancy apps
Having a baby is one of the most personal choices that you can make, but making an informed decision is never a waste of time. Consider every aspect of parenthood and decide if it’s something that you and your husband are truly ready for.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

Camp Outreach 2019

For the past 5 years, I've been spending a week every summer serving at Camp Outreach. Here's a video of pictures taken this year. I even show up a time or two.

Camp Outreach is a missionary camp focused on improving the lives of those living in the inner-city neighborhood of Stingtown Indianapolis and working on the hearts of those young and old who volunteer to serve in the community. 2019 was a great year for Camp and we can't wait for next year!