Consumer Real Estate News

    • 5 Fall Turf Tasks

      18 October 2018

      Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking they can finally stop obsessing about their lawn once the leaves start to turn. But think again. According to the experts at This Old House, letting your lawn go dormant in the fall is actually one of the worst mistakes you can make, and can lead to a disappointing showing come spring. Here are five steps you should take right now that will yield big results when backyard weather returns:

      Rake. While an array of colorful autumn leaves sprinkled across your lawn can look lovely and be great fun for the little ones, they’re doing a big disservice to your grass by blocking valuable nutrients from the sun and trapping in moisture. So rake and blow the leaves away as often as you can.

      Mow. Your grass might not be growing as fast, but it is growing, up until the first hard frost, in fact. Make sure you keep it trimmed to its ideal height of 2.5 - 3 inches, which is short enough to allow the sunlight in, but not so short that it stunts the root system.

      Aerate. Aeration—or punching holes in the soil to break it up—prevents your yard from becoming compacted and covered over with thatch: a thick layer of roots, stems and other debris that blocks water, oxygen and important nutrients from getting into the soil and nurturing your lawn’s roots. You should aerate right before you…

      Fertilize. Feeding your lawn with fertilizer after you’ve aerated will help protect the roots from freezing and provide energy for your lawn to bounce back in the spring. A soil test is always a good idea to find out what blend of nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium will best serve your grass.

      Seed. Fall is also the right time to tend to bald patches in your lawn and shore up existing grass by seeding. Dense grass is the best defense against springtime weeds, and fall offers the ideal conditions for seeding, including cool nights, lots of moisture, a less intense sun and a ground that is still warm.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Take a Tech Time-Out

      18 October 2018

      Have you ever tallied up the hours in a day you spend in front of a screen? Between your desk job, your social media accounts and your nightly Netflix-a-thon, those hours in front of a screen really stack up. Too much time in front of a screen can seriously damage your vision, and hinder your mental health. Below are a few tips for stepping away.

      Weekly game night. Skip the TV time for a weekly game night with family or friends. Pick out your favorite old-school board game and get some healthy competition flowing, away from your phone.

      No phones in bed. Leave your phone charging in another room when you head to bed. This will keep you from staying up late checking social media, as well as checking your messages as soon as your eyes are open. You may need to revert to an old-school alarm clock, but the time away from your screen will be worth it.

      Skip the video chat. While video chatting with friends and family can be a great way to see their faces, it does mean more screen time. Once in a while, opt for a regular phone call and let your eyes rest as you catch up.Leave your phone at home. Once a month or, if you can swing it, once a week, go on an outing and leave your phone at home. For safety precautions, let your family know where you'll be, and that you’ll be out of reach. Head to a museum, park, movie or restaurant and let your mind wander, phone-free.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Choose the Right Food for Your Dog

      18 October 2018

      (Family Features)--When it comes to selecting the right food for their dogs, people often agonize about choosing among a myriad of options. Given that 95 percent of pet owners consider their pets to be part of the family, according to a Nielsen survey on The Humanization of Pet Food, pet parents typically want to provide a well-balanced diet, made from quality ingredients.

      Whether looking to introduce variety into a pet's diet or address a problem, such as a food sensitivity or weight issue, the right pet food can nurture pets and address health issues.

      "There are so many well-formulated dog foods to choose from today," says Dr. Jennifer Adolphe, senior nutritionist, Petcurean. "Like humans, all animals are unique, so it just takes a little patience and persistence to find the recipe that is best for each pet."

      Keep these tips in mind when evaluating what might be best for your pup:

      Look at the ingredients
      High-quality, whole-food ingredients like fresh meats, fruits, vegetables and grains provide the essential nutrients your dog requires. They are also a source of other important dietary components such as antioxidants and plant-based nutrients to support optimal health.

      Select a protein source
      For dogs with food sensitivities, selecting a protein source can be tricky. If you suspect a food sensitivity, it's a good idea to consult with your veterinarian. You'll also need to begin testing alternative food options to identify a formula your dog can tolerate. If you are not sure which proteins your dog is sensitive to, try something more obscure, such as duck or pollock.

      A limited-ingredient diet may also be beneficial to lessen the chance of an adverse food reaction. These diets usually contain a single-source, novel protein and have a limited number of ingredients, which decreases the odds of your pup eating something that doesn't agree with his or her stomach.  

      Consider activity level and weight
      You may need to choose a food that is designed to meet specific needs. For example, an overweight dog may need a food with fewer calories. With a calorie-reduced food, you may be able to feed the same volume, but your dog will take in fewer calories. Alternatively, high-energy and active dogs may require food higher in fat and carbohydrates.

      Look for healthy fats
      Healthy fats, such as omega-3 fatty acids, can provide health benefits in dogs. The omega-3 content of a food can sometimes be found in the guaranteed analysis on the packaging. Some examples of ingredients that contain omega-3 fatty acids are salmon oil, flax oil and canola oil. A good guideline is to look for foods that contain an omega-6 to omega-3 ratio between 5:1-10:1.

      Think about rotational feeding
      You also may want to consider a rotational diet, which can allow your pet to experience different flavors and textures and discourage picky eating. This approach also encourages varied proteins and food forms.
      For those looking to change things up for their pet without making a full switch, there are also creative ways to add variety to your pet's diet, such as adding wet food, mixers or toppers.  

      Source: Petcurean

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Show Your Cats You Love Them

      17 October 2018

      (Family Features)--Cats take on so many different roles within their owners' lives and families, such as cuddle buddies, emotional support animals, quiet companions and purring playmates. Each furry feline deserves the best, so as a cat owner, it's important to shower your pet with love and make him feel special all year round.

      Here are five ways you can show your cat just how much you care.

      1.  Give Them Their Own Space - They may be small, but cats need their own space to exert energy during the day. Provide them with an area to call their own to play with and store their toys. If you live in an apartment or a smaller home, vertical space works great for cats. For example, giving your furry pal a cat tree to climb on shows you understand his needs.

      2.  Know Nutrition - It's important to understand the ingredients you are feeding your feline and the effects they may have on his body. When in doubt, look for food and treats made with real meat to provide protein cats need.

      3.  Incorporate Hygiene into Your Routine - Treating your cat to a nightly routine of brushing is a great way to show some love while maintaining hygiene. Keeping your cat's coat healthy and shiny can also make him an even fluffier cuddle buddy, so you can both benefit from the bonding experience of a nightly brush and cuddle session.

      4.  Make Playtime a Priority - Cats have a natural curiosity and love to get their paws on things. Make sure you're giving your cat lots of love by exploring what kind of toys will give them the best experience.

      5.  Stay Proactive with Health - An easy way to show love for your cat is to schedule annual visits to the vet.

      Don't just wait for signs of illness; be proactive and keep your furry friend up-to-date on all shots and checkups to help ensure a happy and healthy life together.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Smart Hacks to Keep Your Fridge Fresh

      17 October 2018

      Does your fridge feel like a disaster zone whenever you open it? Does it have a lingering odor with a source you can't quite find? Below are a handful of hacks to keep your fridge fresh, and organized.

      Build a basket system. Just like a well organized closet, your fridge should have a place for everything. While you may be skilled at stashing your produce in the produce drawers, grab plastic baskets and use them for separating your leftovers, dry goods, liquids, condiments, animal products and more. Pro tip: Place items that need to be used fast in a basket so you always know what edibles you should prioritize consuming or tossing.

      Take inventory with dry erase. Did you know the front of many fridges work like dry-erase boards? Here you can take inventory of your items so you never run out of milk again.

      Line the shelves. Grab plastic mats and line your shelves with them. These mats are easier to slip out and wash than our fridge shelves. Pro tip: Instead of mats, use plastic wrap. Once every other week, remove the wrap and re-apply.

      Utilize lazy susans. Grab a few plastic lazy susans and store things like condiments, leftovers or liquids on them for easy access.

      Keep animal products low. Items like meat and dairy tend to drip, and spoil faster. Store them low so unwanted spills don't impact items below them.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.