Monday, August 31, 2015

Making Your Own Cleaning Products

Looking for a new household cleaning product? You may need to look no further than your kitchen cabinet! Many cleaning products can be made at home. Not only are they less expensive, they are more environmentally friendly. Check out these great ideas for cleaning up around the house.

All Purpose Cleaner
In place of ammonia, use ¼ cup of vinegar to one gallon of water. To clean surfaces in the bathroom, add baking soda to this solution. 

Windows and Glass
Use 1/2 cup vinegar diluted in one gallon warm water. To prevent streaking, don’t wash your windows when they are in direct sunlight. Use crumpled newspapers to dry them. 

Pots and Pans
To remove burned or crusted-on foods, use 2 tablespoons baking soda and 1 quart of water. Bring solution to a boil in the pan, remove from the heat, and let stand until particles are loosened.

As a preventative, pour 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain. Follow with 1/2 cup vinegar. When the fizzing subsides, pour boiling water into the drain.

Steam Irons and Coffee Makers
Dilute vinegar with water and run this solution through your steam iron or coffee maker. This will remove water residue and deposits.

Labels or Stickers
Soak a sponge or dishrag in warm vinegar. Cover the sticker with the wet sponge and let stand. When the sticker is saturated, it should peel off. If the sticker is not completely removed, try using nail polisher remover or rubbing alcohol. Use this method only on washable surfaces.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How Much is That Doggie?

When people are picking a dog, they consider lots of things: affection, temperament, energy level, and behavior. One thing that is easy to overlook is the cost. According to the APPA National Pet Owners Survey, basic annual expenses for a dog owner can run from $1,400 to $2,500. Costs are higher at the beginning and end of your pet’s life. 

First year costs include spaying or neutering, pet beds, leashes, collars, tags, food and water dishes, and toys. You may also want to purchase gates and a crate. You’ll have several vet visits for well visits and vaccines. Don’t forget to account for damage to your home, especially furniture and carpets, as you house train your new dog and deal with teething and chewing. 

As your dog ages, you’ll find that you often need more veterinary care. Owners of older dogs spend an average of $225 on routine vet visits and over $500 on additional care. Pet insurance can help with these costs, but you will only save money if you insure your younger pet. Getting insurance when your dog is older may not save you money in the long run. 

Other costs should be considered. You may want to get some obedience training or may need a pet sitter from time to time. Many dogs benefit from regular grooming. You can save some money by grooming your dog yourself or teaching your dog some obedience commands and behavior tricks. There are online resources, including online videos, which show you how to groom a dog and teach obedience behavior. 

They say you can’t put a price on love—most dog owners are happy to spend what it takes to care for their canine companion. But be sure that you add up the costs before you take the plunge. Not only will you avoid sticker shock, but you will be able to properly budget for the inevitable costs in the years to come.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Helping Your Child Cope with Pet Loss

It is a sad time in any family when a beloved pet dies. It can be especially hard on your children, who often have known their pet all their lives. The loss of a pet may also mark the first time a child has had to deal with any type of death, which can lead to varied and confusing emotions. To help your child deal with this grief, consider some of these approaches:

- Keep a small memento of your pet. A collar, favorite toy, or tag can be comforting. 

- Gather up some photos of your pet with your child and frame them. You can also put together a photo album of pictures of your pet. 

- Be sure to talk about your pet and share memories. Sometimes laughing about good memories can help in the grieving process. 

- Encourage your child to continue regular activities, even if those used to include your pet. 

- If possible, hold a memorial service for your pet. You can invite friends to share in this. Planting a tree in your pet’s honor is a tangible way to remember him or her. 

Monday, August 17, 2015

When Not to D.I.Y

Who isn't a fan of D.I.Y. projects? It's not just the process of putting things together, building it from scratch, and using what you have that is exciting -  but the whole idea that you are potentially saving money adds to the satisfaction that you are Doing It Yourself! For most projects the D.I.Y. approach is a brilliant way to cut expenses. Sometimes however, there are things on the "honey-do" list that should be passed on to a professional. How do you know when NOT to D.I.Y? In some cases the answer is clear when we find that our momentary joyful feelings rapidly evaporate with the realization that :
#1- Your time is worth more than the amount of money you are trying to save.
#2- You are in way over your head!

Carpet cleaning can be one of those tricky D.I.Y. chores. So you decide to go and rent a machine, pack it in the back of the car, and spend your Saturday slogging away, filling up, and emptying the waste water tank... again ... and again! Will you be impressed with the results? Most likely you will not. Here's why:

  • Poor results- from lack of power from the machine. 
Being small and lighter than a 'professional' machine means that there is a limit on the power,  heat, and suction - all things that are needed to leave carpets cleaner, brighter, and dryer.
  • Carpets stay wet longer.
Without the powerful suction of a truck-mounted machine, the carpets will remain wet for a longer period of time causing harmful mold or mildew to develop. 
  • Rapid re-soiling.
Not being able to properly rinse and extract after cleaning, the sticky residue left behind from the cleaning detergent will attract soil quickly.

So instead of saving dollars like you hoped, it could actually end up costing much more - in both your valuable time and money.

We can save you the frustration and hassle of cleaning your own carpets because your time is precious and should be spent on what's most important to you.