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  • CHORES

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    Daily: Dishes should be washed, dried and put away. Kitchen counters should be wiped after each meal. Clean the kitchen sink and wipe the range surfaces (including the microwave) once a day or, even better after each use. Picking up will become like a second nature.

    Weekly: Dust furniture and shelves; vacuum and where applicable brush upholstered furniture. Vacuum rugs and floors. Clean under furniture and behind it. Damp mop the kitchen floor. Dust radiators, woodwork, pictures and mirrors. Wipe window sills, and brush shades and blinds. Clean kitchen range burners. Wipe the refrigerator and kitchen cabinet fronts. Polish metal surfaces.

    Monthly: Do one or more of the following special jobs in several rooms on the same day: vacuum and where applicable brush curtains and draperies. Wipe wood trim and where needed wipe walls and around doorknobs. Wash windows. Wash and if necessary wax the kitchen floor. Polish wood furniture and vacuum upholstered furniture, paying special attention to cleaning under cushions and in crevices between the back of the cushion support. To prolong life, turn over mattresses, end to end and side to side. This will help equalize the wear. In hot water clean air conditioner filters according to manufacturer’s recommendations.

    THIS MAY SEEM LIKE A LOT OF ODDS AND ENDS TO KEEP UP WITH. THE DUSTING OF THE FURNITURE CAN BE OVERWHELMING. THIS IS WHERE WE COME INTO PLAY. TO HELP YOU KEEP UP ON ALL THESE ODDS AND ENDS AROUND YOUR HOUSE.

  • 8 Little-Known Facts About Sunscreens

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    Do you depend on sunscreen for skin protection? Millions of Americans do, but they shouldn’t rely on it alone. The rate of melanoma diagnosis is increasing. The consensus among scientists is that sunscreens alone cannot reverse this trend. Yet a good sunscreen can play a role in preventing sunburns – a major risk factor for melanoma – provided you use it correctly.

    Sunscreen should be just one tool in your toolbox. These eight little-known facts about sunscreens will help you spot problem products and avoid getting burned.

    1. There’s no proof sunscreens alone prevent most skin cancer

    Rates of melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – have tripled over the past 35 years. Most scientists and public health agencies – including the Food and Drug Administration itself – have found little evidence that the use of sunscreens in isolation from other sun protective measures prevent most types of skin cancer. Read more.

    2. Don’t be fooled by a high sun protection factor

    Products with high sun protection factor, or SPF, tempt people to apply too little sunscreen and stay in the sun too long. The FDA has proposed prohibiting the sale of sunscreens with SPF values greater than 60+ and have called higher SPF values “inherently misleading,” but the agency has not yet issued a regulation that carries the force of law. Read more.

    3. The common sunscreen additive vitamin A may speed the development of skin cancer

    Retinyl palmitate is an antioxidant that combats skin aging. But studies by federal government scientists indicate that it may trigger development of skin tumors and lesions when used on skin in the presence of sunlight. Other governments warn that cosmetics may contribute to unsafe amounts of vitamin A, and recommend against using vitamin A-laden cosmetics on the lips and large portions of the body. Yet the sunscreen industry continues to add vitamin A to beach and sport sunscreens and other products with SPF.

    EWG recommends consumers avoid sunscreens, lip products and skin lotions that contain vitamin A or retinyl palmitate, also called retinyl acetate, retinyl linoleate and retinol. Read more.

    4. European sunscreens provide better UVA protection

    Nearly every sunscreen sold in the U.S. claims to offer “broad spectrum” protection, which suggests they shield against harmful UVA rays. But many products are too weak to be sold in Europe, where standards are higher. In Europe, sunscreen makers can formulate their products with four chemicals that offer stronger protection from UVA rays. American manufacturers have been waiting for years for FDA approval to use these sunscreen ingredients. The FDA has asked for more safety data, but until the FDA approves these ingredients and lifts restrictions on combining certain active ingredients, Americans will not be able to buy sunscreens with the strongest UVA protection. Read more.

    5. Sunscreen doesn’t protect skin from all types of sun damage

    SPF measures protection from sunburn, but not other types of skin damage. The sun’s ultraviolet rays also generate free radicals that damage DNA and skin cells, accelerate skin aging and may cause skin cancer. American sunscreens can reduce these damages but not as effectively as they prevent sunburn. People can run into problems if they pick a sunscreen with poor UVA protection, apply too little or reapply it infrequently. Sunscreen companies commonly add SPF boosters that inhibit sunburn but may not protect from other damages. The FDA should strengthen its regulations to ensure that sunscreens offer the best possible skin protection. Read more.

    6. Some sunscreen ingredients disrupt hormones and cause skin allergies.

    Sunscreen is designed to be applied to large portions of the body, several times per day. Sunscreen ingredients soak through skin and can be detected in human blood, urine and even breast milk. Several commonly used ingredients appear to block or mimic hormones, and others cause allergic reactions on sensitive skin. The FDA’s sunscreen rules grandfathered in sunscreen active ingredients that were already on the market. The agency has never reviewed evidence of ill effects of all ingredients used in sunscreens. Read more.

    7. Mineral sunscreens contain nanoparticles

    Most zinc oxide and titanium dioxide-based sunscreens contain nanoparticles one-twentieth the width of a human hair, to reduce or eliminate the chalky white tint that larger particles leave on the skin. On the basis of the available information, EWG gives a favorable rating to mineral ingredients in sunscreens, but the FDA should restrict the use of unstable or UV-reactive forms of minerals that would lessen skin protection. Read more.

    8. If you avoid sun, check your vitamin D levels

    Sunshine causes the body to produce vitamin D, a critical function that sunscreen appears to inhibit. Vitamin D, technically a hormone, strengthens bones and the immune system and reduces risks of breast, colon, kidney and ovarian cancers, and perhaps other disorders.

    About 25 percent of Americans have borderline low levels of vitamin D, and 8 percent have a serious deficiency. Breastfed infants, people with darker skin and people who have limited sun exposure are at greatest risk of vitamin D deficiency. Many people can’t or shouldn’t rely on the sun for vitamin D. Check with your doctor to find out whether you should be tested for deficiency or should take seasonal or year-round supplements. 

    Cleaning tip of the day

    Got a low pressure shower head? Try cleaning it with the instructions below to get that pressure back.

    Restore your shower pressure.
    Unclog your shower head by mixing equal parts white vinegar and water and pouring it into a plastic bag. Tie the bag around the shower head to immerse the holes in the solution and secure with a twist tie. Let soak up to an hour, then remove and wipe away the loosened deposits.

  • Keep the dirt outside

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    Keeping dirt and germs outside of the facility is a good prerequisite to starting your floor care program off right. By establishing a pre-cleaning routine that involves clearing the dirt and debris from the outside areas of your facility, you can minimize the amount of dirt containing your floors on the inside. Installing proper entrance matting will also help to contain any stray dirt trying to make its way inside.

    Heart Healthy

    What is a heart-healthy diet?

    A heart-healthy diet is:

    • High in omega-3 fats, found in many fishes, especially salmon
    • High in fiber
    • High in fruits and in green, red and orange vegetables
    • Low in saturated fats and trans fats
    • Low in sodium
    • Low in sugar
    • Low in cholesterol
    • Low in alcohol or alcohol-free
    • Calorie-balanced to support a healthy weight

    What’s the difference between healthy fat and unhealthy fat?

    Saturated and trans fats can be especially harmful to your heart and arteries. A heart-healthy diet is low in these harmful fats but includes moderate amounts of healthy fats. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats, especially omega-3 fats, are good for your heart.

    When it comes to your weight, all fats are equally high in calories. When it comes to your heart, some fats are bad and some are good.

    Why are saturated fats so bad for me?

    Saturated fats are unhealthy primarily because they raise blood levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol. No more than 7 percent of your calories each day should come from saturated fats. For a person eating 2,000 calories per day, that’s 16 grams of saturated fat, the equivalent of less than 3 ounces of cheese.

    To decrease your saturated fat intake, cut down on meat, cheese, butter and cream. Switch to more plant-based fats instead. For example, add guacamole instead of cheese to your tacos. Spread peanut butter — especially natural peanut butter — instead of butter on your toast. Sauté vegetables in a teaspoon of oil instead of a pat of butter.

    Why are trans fats so bad for me?

    Trans fats, commonly found in deep fried foods or foods made with partially hydrogenated oils, are especially harmful because they raise LDL cholesterol and also decrease the “good cholesterol,” high-density lipoprotein (HDL). There is no recommended level of trans fat because any amount can be harmful.

    Fortunately, nutrition facts labels on packaged foods are now required to list trans fat content. Read labels and avoid foods containing trans fats.

  • Candles

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     Cleaning tip of the day!
    Clean out candle holders.
    Image result for cleaning your candle jars

    Save a pretty container when the candle’s spent by rinsing with steaming hot water and scooping out the wax residue inside with a paper towel. This will allow you to use that pretty little jar for something else around the house. Who knows you may even want to make your own candle and you now you already have the jar for it.

    Speaking of which have you ever wondered how to get more “Scent throw” from your candle?

     

    The term used to describe the strength of fragrance for a candle is called “scent throw.” Scent throw is used to describe how the candle smells while the wax is solid (cold throw) and how much aroma is given off after it has been lit (hot throw). There are a number of things you can do to maximize the scent throw of your candles.

    1. Use the recommended percentage of fragrance oil for the type of wax you’re using. For more information on recommended fragrance oil and wax combination.
    2. Be sure to weigh your fragrance oils on a scale, not measure in a cup or spoon.
    3. Add fragrance oil at 185Fº and stir gently and thoroughly with the melted wax.
    4. Let your candles cure before test burning them. The minimum cure time is 3 days, while 1-2 weeks is the preferred curing time.
    5. Place a lid on each candle and store them in a place away from excessive heat or light.
    6. Keep the container size and room size in mind. The wider the diameter, the stronger the fragrance will be. While a smaller candle, such as a tin or jelly jar, may be sufficient for a bedroom or bathroom, a larger living space may require a candle with a wider diameter to fill the room with fragrance.
    7. You may also want to evaluate your wick choice to ensure that it is not under or over wicked as that will also affect your hot throw. A wick that is too small or too large will directly impact how strong your candle smells. The following two links will help you evaluate your wick.

    Hopefully these steps help you enjoy your candle a little bit longer. Especially if you are crafty and making them yourself!!!!

     

     

  • Cinco de Mayo

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    Cleaning Tip of the day!

    Sanitize your phone.

    The icky truth: Your cell might harbor more germs than toilet seat. Zap germs by wiping with an alcohol wipe, and give your TV remote and computer mouse the same treatment while you’re at it.

    Image result for pictures of cell phones

     

    CINO de MAYO

    Cinco de Mayo, or the fifth of May, is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican army’s 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. The day, which falls on Sunday, May 5 in 2019, is also known as Battle of Puebla Day. While it is a relatively minor holiday in Mexico, in the United States, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a commemoration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with large Mexican-American populations.

    Cinco de Mayo history

    In 1861, Benito Juárez—a lawyer and member of the indigenous Zapotec tribe—was elected president of Mexico. At the time, the country was in financial ruin after years of internal strife, and the new president was forced to default on debt payments to European governments.

    In response, France, Britain and Spain sent naval forces to Veracruz, Mexico, demanding repayment. Britain and Spain negotiated with Mexico and withdrew their forces.

    France, however, ruled by Napoleon III, decided to use the opportunity to carve an empire out of Mexican territory. Late in 1861, a well-armed French fleet stormed Veracruz, landing a large force of troops and driving President Juárez and his government into retreat.

    The Battle of Puebla

    Certain that success would come swiftly, 6,000 French troops under General Charles Latrille de Lorencez set out to attack Puebla de Los Angeles, a small town in east-central Mexico. From his new headquarters in the north, Juárez rounded up a ragtag force of 2,000 loyal men—many of them either indigenous Mexicans or of mixed ancestry—and sent them to Puebla.

    The vastly outnumbered and poorly supplied Mexicans, led by Texas-born General Ignacio Zaragoza, fortified the town and prepared for the French assault. On May 5, 1862, Lorencez gathered his army—supported by heavy artillery—before the city of Puebla and led an assault.

    How long did the Battle of Puebla last?

    The battle lasted from daybreak to early evening, and when the French finally retreated they had lost nearly 500 soldiers. Fewer than 100 Mexicans had been killed in the clash.

    Although not a major strategic win in the overall war against the French, Zaragoza’s success at the Battle of Puebla on May 5 represented a great symbolic victory for the Mexican government and bolstered the resistance movement. In 1867—thanks in part to military support and political pressure from the United States, which was finally in a position to aid its besieged neighbor after the end of the Civil War—France finally withdrew.

    The same year, Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian, who had been installed as emperor of Mexico in 1864 by Napoleon, was captured and executed by Juárez’s forces. Puebla de Los Angeles was renamed for General Zaragoza, who died of typhoid fever months after his historic triumph there.

    Cinco de Mayo in Mexico

    Within Mexico, Cinco de Mayo is primarily observed in the state of Puebla, where Zaragoza’s unlikely victory occurred, although other parts of the country also take part in the celebration. Traditions include military parades, recreations of the Battle of Puebla and other festive events. For many Mexicans, however, May 5 is a day like any other: It is not a federal holiday, so offices, banks and stores remain open.

    Why do we celebrate Cinco de Mayo in the United States?

    In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is widely interpreted as a celebration of Mexican culture and heritage, particularly in areas with substantial Mexican-American populations.

    Chicano activists raised awareness of the holiday in the 1960s, in part because they identified with the victory of indigenous Mexicans (such as Juárez) over European invaders during the Battle of Puebla.

    Today, revelers mark the occasion with parades, parties, mariachi music, Mexican folk dancing and traditional foods such as tacos and mole poblano. Some of the largest festivals are held in Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston.

    Confusion with Mexican Independence Day

    Many people outside Mexico mistakenly believe that Cinco de Mayo is a celebration of Mexican independence, which was declared more than 50 years before the Battle of Puebla.

    Independence Day in Mexico (Día de la Independencia) is commemorated on September 16, the anniversary of the revolutionary priest Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla’s famous “Grito de Dolores” (“Cry of Dolores”), a call to arms that amounted to a declaration of war against the Spanish colonial government in 1810.

     

    Citation Information

    Article Title

    Cinco de Mayo

    Author

    History.com Editors

    Website Name

    HISTORY

    URL

    https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/cinco-de-mayo

    Access Date

    April 30, 2019

    Publisher

    A&E Television Networks

    Last Updated

    April 29, 2019

    Original Published Date

    October 23, 2009

     

  • May Day

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  • Easter

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    Easter

    The Holiday that never seems to have the same date or even month. I was recently asked why is Easter so late this year. So to get the best answer possible I did some research on the Holiday. It all has to do with the moon. Below is some interesting information leading to this decision of just when Easter will fall each year.

    Astronomical vs. Ecclesiastical Dates

    In years in which the church’s March equinox and Paschal Full Moon dates do not coincide with the astronomical dates of these events, confusion about the date of Easter can arise. In 2019, for example, the March equinox in the Western Hemisphere happened on Wednesday, March 20, while the first Full Moon in spring was on Thursday, March 21 in many time zones. If the church followed the timing of these astronomical events, Easter would have been celebrated on March 24, the Sunday after the Full Moon on March 21.

    However, the Full Moon date in March specified by the church’s lunar calendar, also called the ecclesiastical Full Moon, was March 20, 2019—one day before the ecclesiastical date of the March equinox, March 21. For that reason, the Easter date 2019 is based on the nextecclesiastical Full Moon, which is on April 18. This is why Easter 2019 falls on April 21.

    Easter Traditions

    • DYEING EASTER EGGS.
    • Making Easter Baskets.
    • Cooking or attending an Easter dinner.
    • Easter egg hunts.
    • The Hollow Chocolate Bunnies!!!!
    • Dressing up.
    • and many, many more

    When dyeing most Easter eggs we tend to use vinegar because that’s what the instructions tell us to do. Some of us will look for dye that doesn’t require vinegar because we can’t stand the smell. Some of us will avoid the mess all together and not dye eggs, and others will use the stickers or crayon method. Which ever you decide becomes a family tradition that gets passed down from generation to generation. And each year it brings up memories and makes you think of all the good times you have had with your family.

    Cleaning Tip: Vinegar is not just for dyeing those eggs. You can also use it for cleaning. Vinegar’s acidity is what makes it such a good cleaner. Because vinegar is so acidic, it can counteract some icky buildups. It can dissolve away soap scum, brines left by hard water, and glue left behind by stickers. … A paste of vinegar and baking soda can dissolve set red wine stains.

  • National Flash Drive Day

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    Did you know?

    National Flash Drive Day on April 5 commemorates the date inventors filed their patent for the first USB Flash Disk. Their invention revolutionized the way we store and manage digital data!

    As information flowed from our fingertips, the flash drive became the go-to storage device. Called by many names, the USB (universal serial bus) drive makes digital data more accessible than ever before. Today, we effortlessly store photos, transfer files and upload gigabytes. Not only that, but flash drives contribute to making the world a better place.

    Making a Difference

    By stretching budgets and services, these super functional devices make virtual classrooms possible. They provide access to information to parts of the world many of us take for granted. In third world and oppressed countries, flash drives go where the information superhighway cannot. Despite being classics to a majority of the population, books considered contraband become windows to the world around them. Comparatively, movies and radio recordings provide the same information to people in underdeveloped countries. In homeless communities, flash drives keep people connected by giving them access photos and a resumé; these items may be a lifeline of hope.

    Tuck a few bytes into your pocket and celebrate National Flash Drive Day with a few new ways to appreciate the USB drive.

    HOW TO OBSERVE

    Whether you save pictures or back up files, consider how versatile the thumb drive is. Play a retro game or if you have extra devices, donate them to a good cause. Charities across the country deliver your donations to schools, homeless shelters, and nations in need.  Use #FlashDriveDay to join the excitement and spread the word about National Flash Drive Day.

     

    Here’s a Tip: We talked about cleaning up your technology a few weeks ago. Go buy a couple flash drives (you can get some really cute ones these days) and download all those photos from your computer to one, then all your business files to another. Not only will this allow you to clean up your computer and free up all that space to make it run faster it will also give you that much needed back up that you love to have. While going through which items to remove from your computer to a flash drive you may come across some things you will no longer need ever. Go ahead and get rid of those items. Cleaning your computer can be very rewarding. If you aren’t good at this type of thing don’t be afraid to seek help.

  • National Scribble Day

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    It’s national Scribble Day! Oh the mess that can be made while having fun scribbling. Go ahead and try it, scribbling on a piece of paper can release some built up frustration. Allow your little ones to scribble too. We try to focus on them staying in the lines when coloring or painting, and writing nicely all the time. Make that exception today and allow them to be silly and have some fun. Don’t stress if they make a mess there are ways to get crayon off practically anything by just scratching it away, ink can sometimes be a little more tricky to remove so here is a helpful cleaning hint to  remove ink from almost anything. Works wonders on wooden tables.

    You Will Need:

    Baking soda
    Water
    Soft cloths
    Cotton balls
    Rubbing alcohol (optional)

    Steps to Remove the Stain:

    Begin by mixing water and baking soda to form a paste.

    Spread the paste over the ink stain and rub it in with your fingers. Baking soda can be slightly abrasive, so avoid scrubbing too hard or it may damage the finish.

    Moisten a soft cloth with plain water and scrub the area as you remove the paste.

    For larger stains, repeat the steps above until all of the ink is removed.

    If a haze is left on the surface from the baking soda, wipe the area with a cotton ball moistened with a small amount of rubbing alcohol to remove.

  • Spring Cleaning Part 2

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    Yup you guessed it! There’s more things to clean! Some of these things aren’t thought of as part of your regular spring cleaning. It’s always nice to look at things in someone else’s view because it will open up your eyes to new things. As a cleaning person myself I can visit different places and find things that people have over looked for some time. My parents are good ones for the computer won’t work. By not working they mean it’s running slow and or it keeps freezing, which brings me to more cleaning possibilities.

    What about technology? Do you have a smart phone that keeps freezing, a computer that won’t load, or a tablet that it seems like every time you want to download something new it tells you there’s not enough space? Well whens the last time you have cleaned up these items? While we  all tend to take really good care of our electronics for the most part we really need to DE-junk them. Maybe you have thousands of pictures stored in your phone, screen shots even that you took of a new recipe you wanted to try or a new craft idea. You can back most of these items up to your cloud or google accounts and then delete them off your phone. I normally do this and then go through my storage once it’s on my google account and then delete items I don’t need. Maybe it was I took 20 pictures of my 3 year old just to get the perfect photo for that moment, but I really don’t need those 19 other photos. You may have games you downloaded to pass time but you haven’t played them much in the last month, go ahead and delete those to clear up space as well. What about files you may have saved on your computer for what ever reason? Delete them if you no longer need them. Once you have gone through and deleted everything you can think of run a system cleaner such as Clean Master and it will find more items that are hidden, or that you didn’t think about and will give you the option to delete those as well. I try to run this program on my systems every three months. Freeing up this space will help your device run faster, you may even feel like it’s brand new again.

    Other things that you may not think about for your normal spring cleaning include your yard, your car, how about that garage! We all have those leaves that either waited until it was too cold to get or something came up and we just didn’t have the time. Now is the perfect time to go ahead and take care of those as well. You may have debris laying around your yard because that pesky raccoon decided to get into your trash or it may have blown there with all that 40 mph plus wind we’ve had recently. This also is the perfect time to inspect that patio furniture, It may be time for new, or you may need to make a couple simple repairs. now how about your car? I’m sure it could use a good cleaning both inside and out. Take advantage of these nice sunny days and detail the inside of your car. When it’s warm enough run it through a car wash to get all that rock salt and dirt off it. Speaking of cars, what’s that garage look like? Can you even park your car in it? Start in an area of the garage and eliminate items you may no longer need. If you are unsure leave it this time, when you do your next big clean if it still sits there untouched get rid of it. This is a perfect time to get all items together that may require you to call for a large trash pick up for your residence.

    Once you have completed your new spring cleaning list you will feel better not only about yourself but also about everything around you. Just remember if you get to in over your head there are always services out there that will help you with all your needs.