Monday, September 9, 2013

Easy Ways to Renovate


 

Home remodeling can seem daunting, especially if you are not particularly handy. There are some easy ways to spruce up your living spaces without needing to call in a professional. Consider tackling these transformational projects to give your home a wonderful new look.
 
Get out that paintbrush
Painting is the number one way to update a room. Painting can be done by anyone and is a way to inexpensively change the look and mood of a room.

Update your lighting
Changing or adding to the lighting in a room is an easy and inexpensive way to update the look of your home. Small accent lighting gets rid of dark corners and can spotlight those special d├ęcor pieces or paintings in your room. Adding lighting to a room also gives you the ability to turn on a few lights for a cozy mood or to light up the whole room for a bright boost.

Reuse what you have
You may think you need all new furniture to give your room a new look, but that is not usually your only option. You can purchase beautiful new slipcovers, throw rugs, bed coverings, or curtains to spruce up the look of a room. Painting or refinishing small accent pieces like side tables or dining room chairs can also give a room a fresh update.

Rearrange for a dramatic effect
If your room feels boring and stale, try rearranging your furniture. If possible, remove everything but the largest pieces of furniture. Experiment with new arrangements until you find a configuration that feels fresh and comfortable. Then slowly bring in the remaining small furniture and accent pieces, trying them in different places until you get the look you are aiming for. And don’t forget that you can switch out furniture or accents from different areas of your home to give several living spaces a nice update.

One more thing to remember... we can refresh your carpets making them look as good as new!



Friday, September 6, 2013

A Few Autum Tips for Pet Owners


 
Pets, just like people, look forward to a break in the hot weather of summer. It is a lovely time of year for our animal friends, but there are some safety tips to keep in mind as the weather cools.

-- As you gather school supplies, remember to keep them out of the reach of your pets. While items such as glue sticks and magic markers have low-toxicity, a pet can get sick if he or she ingests a large quantity of them. To be safe, store them out of your pet’s reach.

-- If your pet spends time outdoors, be sure to keep a close eye on the weather forecast. In the fall, cold weather can move in quickly, even on a day that starts out warm. Make sure that your pet has adequate shelter and some protection from freezing rain and wind.

-- Fall is one of the best seasons for mushroom growth. When heading outdoors, be sure to keep a close eye on your dog when he or she explores areas with lots of plants. Most mushrooms are non-toxic, but ingesting one of the dangerous varieties can have serious consequences. If you see your dog eating a wild mushroom, contact your veterinarian immediately.

-- In preparing for colder weather, many people change or add to the coolant in their vehicle. Be sure to keep antifreeze away from your pet, as it is highly toxic. Spills should be cleaned up immediately. You may also consider switching to propylene glycol-based coolants rather than using the standard ethylene glycol-based coolants. While not completely non-toxic, they are much better than the standard antifreeze.


Monday, June 24, 2013

Helping Your Houseplants Enjoy Summer

 

As the weather warms up, consider giving your houseplants a vacation outdoors this year. With a little care, your houseplants can thrive on your patio, balcony, or deck. Most houseplants enjoy warm temperatures. If you expect nighttime temperatures to fall below 40 degrees, plan on bringing your plants indoors. Until the nights stay warm, continue to move them outside during the day and inside at night.

Houseplants generally do not like direct sunlight. They will usually get enough reflected light by being outdoors even when they are in the shade all day. Being outdoors will dry out your houseplants more quickly, so be sure to water more frequently. They should be fed a liquid fertilizer on a regular basis. Be prepared to re-pot some of your houseplants when you finally do need to bring them back in for the winter. They usually will grow larger and need larger pots after the warm summer months.




 
 
 

Image courtesy of hyena reality - www.freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, June 17, 2013

Backyard Safety

 

The sounds of summer always include children playing outdoors. To ensure that your children will be safe as they enjoy their summer vacation, use this checklist to inspect your backyard swing set and play equipment.

- Are the bolts tight? Be sure to tighten all bolts before your children use the equipment.

- Do the ends of the bolts have safety caps on them? Children can be seriously injured from a puncture by an uncapped bolt. Most hardware stores sell replacements caps.

- Are handrails rusted or loose? Tighten all handrails and ensure that there are no loose or sharp edges. Any other metal parts should be checked for rust and rough spots. They should be filed down and recoated before children use the equipment.

- Are there any rough spots on the wood? Most manufacturers recommend that the wood on wooden play sets be stained every year to extend the life of the unit and to prevent splinters from forming.

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic / FreeDigitalPhotos.net


 
 
 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Fragrance Free


According to a Danish study of allergens, after nickel, fragrances were the second most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis, which is inflamed skin. Over the last decade, fragrance sensitivities in dermatitis patients have increased up to 13 percent. These substances can also cause allergic reactions when inhaled. If you are sensitive to these substances, you can help alleviate your exposure. Experts recommend looking for fragrance-free products, double-rinsing all detergents, avoiding fabric softeners, and avoiding perfumes, colognes, aftershaves, fingernail-care products, and hairspray.
We at Pfeiffer's can also do a Fragrance-Free cleaning at your request. Be sure to let us know at the time of scheduling so we can make sure our Carpet Care Technician is notified.


 
 
 
Image courtesy of David Castillo Dominici - www.freedigitalphotos.net

Monday, June 3, 2013

Don't Skip That Sunscreen!



It's no secret that we Washingtonians don't see the sun very often... and when we do, it's hard not to be out and enjoying every minute of it! Next time you go out, just take a few extra minutes to apply some sunscreen. 

There is nothing more you can do to prevent melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, than to use sunscreen every time you go into the sun. You might imagine that people who have survived melanoma would be extra careful. But a new study by researchers at Yale University’s School of Medicine reveals that more than 25 percent of melanoma survivors never use sunscreen when heading outdoors.

Everyone should limit exposure to the damaging effects of ultraviolet (UV) light. This means putting sunscreen on every time you go out, staying in the shade as much as possible, wearing protective clothing and a hat, and avoiding tanning salons.

The good news of the study is that over one-third of melanoma survivors always wore sunscreen. Other studies have revealed that only about 17 percent of Americans wear sunscreen all the time. The researchers believe that better education of the melanoma survivors increases the rate at which they use sunscreen.

With almost 77,000 cases of melanoma diagnosed each year in the United States, it is critically important for everyone to understand the risks of sun exposure. An estimated 9,500 American will die of the disease this year. But with better education about basic precautions, that number could be reduced significantly.




Monday, May 20, 2013

How Not to Spring Clean Your Home

Spring is in full swing and thoughts turn to annual spring cleaning chores. Spring cleaning can be hard enough to squeeze into your busy schedule. But it can be even more difficult if you make some of the common mistakes people make when performing this annual ritual. To make your spring cleaning tasks easier, stay away from these common pitfalls.

Don’t try to tackle cleaning a room without a plan. Start by decluttering any area that you wish to deep clean. If you try to clean without removing items that are out of place or that need to be discarded, you will find that it takes much longer to accomplish your goal.

Don’t use the wrong cleaning products. Read the labels before using to ensure that you are using the correct type of cleaner. You should also be aware of any safety precautions you should take, including whether you need to have high levels of ventilation.

Don’t take on more than you can handle. It is admirable to have a goal of cleaning your whole house in a weekend, but it is sometimes better to only tackle one room a week. By doing this, you will ensure that each room is cleaned well and that you won’t suffer from burnout.

Don’t hurt yourself. Take care when lifting heavy objects and moving furniture. If necessary, ask for help before attempting strenuous tasks.

Don’t be distracted. Let your answering machine handle any incoming phone calls and keep visits from family and friends to a minimum. If you focus only on your spring cleaning job, you will finish faster. In fact, if you are constantly interrupted, you may end up simply abandoning the job at hand and could find that you have trouble getting back to it.

Don’t put it off. Spring cleaning is such a big job because we only do it once or twice a year. If you try to keep up with cleaning jobs throughout the year, you will find it easier to tackle annual spring cleaning work. Ignoring these chores only means that they will get bigger and bigger.


Monday, May 13, 2013

House Cleaning Tip

Most manufacturers will not admit it, but using more of a cleaning product is not necessarily going to do a better job. This is also true of many concentrated detergents and cleaners. To see how much you really need, try cutting the amount you normally use in half. If you are seeing your laundry, floors, dishes, and bathrooms just as clean as you did before, you may be able to cut the amount down even more. For example, you only need about two tablespoons of a standard floor cleaning product in a gallon of water to get a floor really clean.


Monday, May 6, 2013

How old is your dog?

Have you ever heard that one dog year is equivalent to seven human years? This ratio of 1:7 is a good general guideline, but is not accurate in all cases. Different species or breeds actually age at different rates. There are a number of other factors involved too, including nutrition, genetics, and environmental factors.

A better way to judge the relative age of your pet is to consider the first year of a puppy’s life as equivalent to the first 15 years of a human’s life. The next year brings your dog to about the same maturity as a 24 year old person. Then after that, each dog year is equivalent to about four human years.

It may be even easier to know that your dog goes through many of the same developmental stages as people do. You can expect different behavior as your puppy grows from an infant, to a toddler, child, adolescent, young adult, middle-aged adult, elderly adult, and finally geriatric adult. Your dog has different needs at each stage, so understanding those stages, and knowing how best to meet your pet’s needs, will have benefits for you and your dog.



Friday, May 3, 2013

Sunny Weather Recipe

It's time to get the grill heated up! Enjoy this tasty treat... it's got BACON so you can bet it will taste awesome!


Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

24 medium jalapeno peppers, cut in half lengthwise and seeded
8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 pound chorizo sausage, cooked
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
12 bacon strips, cut in half

Mix together the cream cheese, chorizo, cheddar cheese, chili powder, and salt. Stuff each pepper half with the filling. Then put the pepper halves back together and wrap the bacon around each pepper. Secure with toothpicks that have been soaked in water. Grill over indirect medium heat for about 15 minutes. Move to direct heat for about 2 minutes to finish the bacon. Serve immediately.


Monday, April 29, 2013

How to Find a Reliable Carpet Cleaning Company



Thanks to online resources, it is easier than ever to find out more about a company you may choose to hire. The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one of the best ways to check up on a business.

From the BBB website --- > http://alaskaoregonwesternwashington.bbb.org/
  • Select "CHECK OUT A BUSINESS OR CHARITY"
  • Type a business name into the search box.
  • Click on the business name or charity to see their BBB review.

Things to look for :
  1. Check the letter grade. Grades of C, D, or F? = "NO THANKS!"
  2. Length of time in business.
  3. How many complaints do they have?





You will also want to see this important reminder from the BBB on Carpet Cleaning Scams.
 
 
 
 
 
 

Monday, April 22, 2013

Keeping Your Pet Healthy and Active


A full and healthy life for your pet includes lots of good exercise. Idle pets can encounter health problems and can have behavioral problems. To prevent this, your pet needs both mental and physical workouts. Try these ideas out to increase your pet’s health and happiness.

• A healthy adult dog needs at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise twice a day. Go for a walk or a run with your pet or visit a dog park for some off-leash fun. As an added benefit, you’ll be getting exercise too.

• Encourage your pet to get a good work-out by playing fun, energetic games. Play fetch or tug-of-war with your dog. Your cat can be encouraged to move with engaging cat toys.

• When you are away from home, be sure to leave some active toys along with some chew toys that your pet likes.

• Your pet’s mind can be exercised by teaching him or her new tricks. Dogs love to learn and benefit from lots of repetition. Cats surprisingly can also be taught some skills like coming when called, sitting up, and rolling over.




Monday, April 15, 2013

Could you be saving dollars but sacrificing quality?



We know there are other carpet cleaning companies out there that offer their services at a cheaper price. We also know that you don't want your hard earned money to go to waste on a service that does not do the job how you expected.
Here at Pfeiffer's we take pride in the extensive training we provide our Carpet Care Specialists. This ensures you with consistent high quality cleaning, leaving you delighted with your home's fresh and clean carpets.
So when you think that you found a better deal somewhere else, think about why.  Are they sacrificing extensive training and effective cleaning products in order to provide cheaper prices?

If you want to know what we do for you and how we give utmost care to your home and flooring investment, just pick up the phone and contact us!  We will be happy to tell you exactly what we do to make certain that you are 100% satisfied with our work.

 
 


Saturday, April 13, 2013

Gluten Free Banana Walnut Muffins

For the past year, Bob and I have been eating gluten free. We made the switch for health reasons and have been feeling so much better since the change in our diets. Every once in a while however, we really crave a good, doughy, fluffy pastry or sweet thing.

Gluten Free baked goods are a little tricky. It's not easy to get a texture that is close to the regular wheat flour varieties. This muffin is the closest I've had to a wheat flour one in a long time and it was soooo wonderful!

Below is the recipe and the adjustments I made to it. Just as a warning... I did learn to bake by following my Great Grandma's handwritten recipes where the measurements were " a handful" of this and a "splash" of that. I'm sorry in advance for not being more specific in areas but here's what I did:
On the back of the Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Mix there is a recipe for Biscuits. I doubled this recipe and made some adjustments to make about 18 muffins.


2 1/2 cups Baking Mix
4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used the regular fat one)
1/2 stick of butter
1/2 cup Vanilla Almond Milk (regular, not unsweetened)
about 2 tbs Agave sweetener
2 very squishy and ripe bananas
3 eggs


Preheat oven to 400.

I put everything into one big bowl (because I'm lazy like that) and then used a hand mixer on low to get it all mixed up. Then I added about a handful of chopped walnuts and re-mixed them in with the mixer for just a couple of seconds.

Spoon the dough into lined muffin pan and pop 'em in the oven for about 10-12 minutes. My oven runs a little hot so I checked them at 10 mins and then let them stay in there another minute or two.
I didn't want them to be too dry so I didn't let them brown on the top. They were baked all the way thru though and perfectly moist.

They taste best when they are warm from the oven with some butter & honey or jam.
Hopefully this recipe works for you too!



<Allani>

Friday, April 12, 2013

Water Safety for Spring

 
Now that the weather is warming up and us Washingtonians are seeing some sunshine, we are feeling motivated to do our Spring cleaning. When cleaning with small children in the home, it's important to be aware of the potential hazards of water.
While more than half of drownings among children under the age of one occur in bathtubs, small children can also drown in the very small amounts of water found in buckets. In fact, of all the children between the ages of seven months and fifteen months who have drowned since 1984, almost 90 percent have died from accidents involving five gallon buckets. These buckets are found in many households and are commonly used for cleaning and mopping.

To keep your child from becoming a victim, never leave your child unsupervised near any type of water. Both standing and moving water can be hazardous, and children can easily drown in as little as three or four inches of water. 

It's also good to remember that children should be supervised at all times when bathing or using the toilet. Shower doors and toilet seats should be closed when not in use. Better yet, keep your bathroom door closed. Take care to empty all buckets immediately when you are done using them and always store buckets upside down. It would be wise to check your child’s outdoor environment before he or she begins to play. Empty any water out of buckets, garbage cans, wheelbarrows, or flower pots. By taking these simple precautions, you can help keep your child safe from these common water hazards.


 
 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Is re-applying the Scotchgard finish worth the money?

 
 
Scotchgard Protector is well know for being best-in-class on carpet. It works by surrounding each individual fiber, protecting the entire carpet for a complete stain and soil shield. This allows a "reaction time" in blotting up spills and prevents accidents from becoming set-in stains. It's no wonder that Scotchgard Protector is the industry favorite (and ours too!) for reducing cleanup time and keeping maintainence easy.
Most new carpet does come with a protectant already applied, however with foot traffic and dirt, this will wear away with time. After having the carpets cleaned in your home, re-applying the Scotchgard finish will keep your investment looking fresh!
 
We also include a 12 MONTH Spot &amp; Spill Warranty with each Scotchgard application. What a great deal!
 
Give us a call to have all your questions answered.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Keeping Your Older Dog Healty

Our dogs are very much a part of the family. From the first day we bring the happy energetic pup into our home, we make sure to give them all that they need to stay healthy.
 
At around eight years of age, dogs begin to show some signs of age-related changes in health. While some of these are avoidable, you can help your dog to stay healthy and active, even into old age.

One of the most important things you can do is realize that when your dog gets older, he needs a change in diet. For small breeds, that change may begin at age seven, but larger breeds need a change in diet even earlier, beginning at five years of age. You should talk to your veterinarian about the necessary changes in diet for your dog.

Some senior diets for dog have reduced levels of protein, but studies have shown that this is not the best choice. Protein levels do not contribute to the development of disease, so you should be feeding your older dog a diet that contains good levels of highly digestible protein. This helps maintain muscle mass and energy levels. Dogs also begin to put on body fat as they age, due to a change in their metabolism and a decrease in activity level. A good diet for an older dog has a decrease calorie level, while still maintaining optimal levels of protein.

A good diet for a senior dog should include an increase in GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid, and FOS, which promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria in the gut. Your dog should also get higher levels of antioxidants such as vitamin E and beta-carotene.

Finally, remember that regular exercise is a must for good health as your dog ages. Changes in your dog’s daily routine can cause stress, so make any changes in daily activity gradually.