Must Do Fall Activities

1. Go to a haunted house
2. Go through a corn maze
3. Go on a hayrack ride
4. Go to a football game
5. Watch Halloween movies
6. Bake something pumpkin-flavored
7. Make homemade apple cider
8. Make a hearty homemade soup in a crockpot
9. Roast marshmallows over a campfire
10. Pick fresh apples
11. Go on a scenic fall hike
12. Eat a caramel apple
13. Celebrate Octoberfest
14. Try a fall seasonal beer
15. Make/try a new fall seasonal cocktail
16. Go to a pumpkin patch
17. Go to a fall festival
18. Go to a vineyard
19. Attend a wine tasting
20. Read a book outside
21. Read a scary story
22. Have a picnic
23. Drink hot chocolate
24. Make your home smell like fall
25. Decorate for Halloween
26. Decorate your home for fall
27. Do a DIY fall decor project
28. Do a DIY Halloween decor project
29. Make your own Halloween costume
30. Carve a Jack O Lantern or Paint a pumpkin
31. Bake pumpkin seeds
32. Bake a pie
33. Go for a walk on a foggy morning
34. Go to the farmers market
35. Try a new kind of fall produce
36. Visit a sunflower farm/pick sunflowers
37. Plant some flower bulbs for spring
38. Buy/plant fall seasonal flowers
39. Host a Friendsgiving
40. Tailgate for a football game
41. Make a fall floral arrangement

 

What Laundry Detergents Should You Buy?

 

 

We tested 3 different brands of detergent. Check out our results!

 

Liquid Detergent
The most widely used among consumers, Liquid Detergents perform particularly well on oil and grease stains. Conveniently, it can be used as a spot pre-treater and you’ll never have to worry about it not dissolving. Don’t forget to use the correct amount, though. Sometimes they are hard to see, but the lines on the measuring caps are there for a reason! Follow the label instructions to ensure you don’t use too much or too little. Too much will cause over-sudsing and the soap may not rinse out when the cycle is over or it can even shut down your machine. If there is too little, your clothes won’t get clean. Many of us just pour detergent directly into the washing machine or dispenser and hope for the best but trust us, you get better results when you use the directed amount!

Single-dose Pods
These little packets are very convenient but on average, cost a little more. Don’t worry about using too little or too much detergent as it is already pre-measured. Usually, one pack is recommended for average size loads and two packs for large or heavily soiled loads. One pack may be too much for very small loads and you never want to break them. Keep in mind, some packs have trouble dissolving in some machines, especially in lower water temperatures. If you have a low-water using machine, make sure you add the packs before adding the clothes. Last but not least, make sure you store your packets away from children, pets, and anyone else who could be at risk of ingesting them or using them for anything other than laundry.


Laundry Tips

  • Get Sorted
  • Separate Linty Items
  • Wash Jeans Inside Out
  • Pretreat Stains
  • Apply Detergent Directly To Stain
  • Load With Detergent Then Clothes
  • Load Properly
  • Measure, Do Not Pour
  • Mark Fill Lines With Marker

 

While none of our picks could remove every stain completely, Persil definitly prevails as our top pick. Persil may not be the cheapest at .22 cents per load, but it is among the cheaper options especially for the quality.

 

5 Must have gadgets to make traveling easier

 

Sony Noise-Cancelling Headphones: Sony’s sleek headphones feature an adaptive sound control smart system that balances the noise-cancelling levels according to your environment. The Hi-Res Audio sound reduces distortion so you can enjoy your favorite tunes the way they were recorded. And you can customize all of your sound options in Sony’s app. The battery lasts up to 30 hours, which is quite impressive.

Micro smart phone charger: A high-capacity portable phone charger with 3350mAh rechargeable battery, Jackery Mini Portable Charger has enough power to refresh your phone to fully powered. The world’s smallest external battery charger and power bank is compact, portable & stylish and perfect for long flights, road trips, or whenever you need to charge your iPhone, iPad, or other smart device. Jackery Mini has a USB port, making it a versatile device capable of charging a wide variety of smart devices.

Internet/Communication: Pocket Wifi/GoTenna:
Pocket Wifi – Forget foreign SIM cards or roaming charges when traveling the world, Skyroam Solis has you covered. One of the best mobile Wi-Fi hotspots on the market, this ingenious connectivity gadget offers unlimited 4G LTE service in over 130 countries around the globe. Each device can support up to 5 connections and also works as a portable charger for your phone or tablet while on the move, thanks to its integrated 6000 mAh power bank. A day pass is $9 and gives you unlimited internet access for 24 hours. GoTenna – Going completely off grid? No problem. Designed to keep Android or iOS devices connected even when there is no cellular service, goTenna Mesh lets adventurers communicate while off the grid. Made of rugged materials, this slick, pocket-sized device uses Bluetooth-LE to pair with a smartphone, enabling users to share messages and location info instantly within a range of up to 4 miles in open areas. Compared to the original goTenna, this new and improved backcountry communications tool comes with revolutionary mesh networking technology that allows private 1:1 and group chats or public broadcast messages through other devices to extend beyond point-to-point range.

Purifying Water Bottle: Most of the travelers’ health problems are caused by contaminated drinking water, which means a water purification system is a must when traveling abroad. GRAYL’s Ultralight Purifier, is a state-of-the-art device capable of transforming almost any tap or clear natural water source into pure drinking water in just 15 seconds. Perfect for travelers and outdoor adventurers, each 0.50-liter bottle comes equipped with a replaceable purifier cartridge (lasts for about 40gal), providing protection against viruses, bacteria, heavy metals, as well as many chemicals. This is an excellent way to get safe drinking water on the go, while at the same time, saving money on bottled water.

Small Space Saver Vacuum: Need more room in your suitcase? Say no more! Small, smart, and stylish, VAGO is the ultimate travel packing gadget. Equipped with a pressure detecting sensor, this automatic vacuum pump removes all the air inside your suitcase, condensing the clothes to half their size, thus leaving plenty of room for souvenirs and other things you may buy on your trip. It’s an essential travel tool, especially if you’re adding a bit of shopping to your trip, or traveling somewhere cold and need to bring along some heavy winter wear.

4 Reasons why Travel is good for you!

What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear ‘travel’ – Vacation? Meeting new people? Or maybe, Instagrammable sunsets? While traveling can be exciting and exhilarating, it’s so much more than sipping margaritas on a sun-soaked beach.
It’s no news that travel is good for your physical wellbeing, but a significant amount of scientific research suggests that exploring a new place can do wonders for your mental and emotional health as well.
Here are five evidence-backed ways traveling makes your mind happy and healthy:

1. It’s a great stress buster.
“The stress of work and daily demands can distract us from what we find to be actually meaningful and interesting,” says Dr. Tamara McClintock Greenberg, a San Francisco-based clinical psychologist and author of Psychodynamic Perspectives on Aging and Illness. Thus, taking a break from the daily hustle and bustle is essential for your mind to relax, recharge and rejuvenate.
And what better way to do so than to pack your bags and cross wanderlust-worthy destinations off your bucket list? Traveling promotes happiness and helps you take your mind off stressful situations. This leads to lower cortisol levels, making you feel more calm and content. “It also helps us reflect on our personal goals and interests,” adds Greenberg. According to a 2013 study, more than 80% of Americans, who were surveyed, noticed significant drops in stress just after a day or two of traveling. “Even though I’m always busy when I travel, whether it’s sightseeing, taking photos or just exploring a destination on foot, I know I’m the calmest and most relaxed when I travel,” says Jacintha Verdegaal, an avid traveler and founder of travel and lifestyle blog, Urban Pixxels.

2. It helps you reinvent yourself.
Writer Patrick Rothfuss said, “ A long stretch of road can teach you more about yourself than a hundred years of quiet .” Experiential traveling, particularly to a foreign country, can help you re-evaluate and reinvent your life. “If you allow it, travel has the ability to expand your mind in a way you never realized was possible,” says solo travel expert and founder of the Trusted Travel Girl, Valerie Wilson.
Moreover, the valuable lessons that you learn along the way broaden your perspective, making you more aware and open to new things. “I love traveling to places with different cultures because it forces you to think about your own,”

says Verdegaal. “Different is not better or worse, it’s just different. But being confronted with these differences helps me to re-evaluate my own principles and values and, sometimes, change them,” adds the professional globetrotter.
Exploring new places can also give you a fresh start if you’re recovering from a major transition in your life. “When I had Lyme disease, for several years, my world shrunk. I lost friends who didn’t know how to deal with a sick friend. I was quite alone and lost a lot of my self-confidence,” says Wilson, who began to travel “out of fear of relapsing.” “By traveling and interacting with the world around me, I found a new passion for life. I convinced myself to travel even when I wasn’t feeling well. It has brought me happiness, given me a purpose, and has made me a strong, independent woman,” she explains.

3. It boosts happiness satisfaction.
Apart from the obvious fact that you don’t have to go to work (and can legit eat pizza for breakfast), traveling gives you the opportunity to step away from the daily grind. The new events and experiences help rewire your brain, hence boosting your mood and self-confidence. “I think people, in general, are not meant to be tied down to just one place their entire lives. I especially feel “trapped” when I have to stay in the same place for too much time, without being able to really move about and explore,” says travel aficionado and co-founder of The Passport Memorandum, Marta Estevez. “My life feels most fulfilling when I’m outside, living through new experiences and learning,” adds the travel expert who has been to more than ten countries.
“Travel definitely makes me happy,” agrees Wilson. “Even the act of planning a trip gives me something to look forward to and brings me happiness,” says Wilson. Turns out, she’s not the only one who feels that way. According to a Cornell University study, the anticipation of a trip can increase your happiness substantially, even more than the anticipation of acquiring something tangible, like a new car.

4. It enhances creativity.
According to Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, visiting a foreign place and immersing yourself in their local environment (for instance, attending a ‘snake boat’ race in southern India or feasting on crispy tarantulas in Cambodia), increases your cognitive flexibility. It also enhances “depth and integrativeness of thought,” consequently giving a boost to your creativity. Galinsky is the author of multiple studies that look into the connection between creativity and international travel. Although, it’s important to note that traveling stimulates creativity only when you engage with the local culture of that place. Merely visiting a new city or a country isn’t going to cut it.

Additionally, extended traveling also improves your productivity, problem-solving skills and can even increase your chances of getting promoted at work!
However, “it’s important to remember that vacation can be very stressful for some,” notes Greenberg. If that’s the case with you, try taking “short, structured vacations in order to get used to the experience of having time off,” she suggests. Also, plan your trip properly, in advance, to avoid last-minute panic and chaos.

Now that you’ve finished reading about all the wonderful things travel does to your brain, it’s time to pack your bags and get going!

Pets of the Month

Say hello to this month’s featured furry friends!

Morty: Morty lives at LionsGate Apartments in Lincoln, Nebraska. He really likes to take walks around town, but his favorite thing to do is play with his friends and family. He is the chillest dog you’ll ever meet! I even have my own Instagram page: @adventure_of_morty

Gracie: Gracie lives at Kensington Apartments in Dallas, Texas. Her Mom says Gracie acts like a dog because she greets her meowing loudly at the door when she comes home, and then flops over for a belly rub when her mom comes inside. Sometimes Gracie even likes to play fetch! She craves attention and is addicted to cuddles.

 

Tips and Tricks on How to Beat the Summer Heat Naturally

 

Try these natural tricks to cool your body down during the hot summer months.

Some of us may enjoy the warm sunshine on bare skin, and look forward to spending the weekend playing outside. But no matter how much you enjoy the warmer months, everyone needs ways to cool down when the summer heat rises. There are plenty of ways to find that cool energy and seek cooler experiences without blasting the air conditioner. Here are 5 natural ways to help you balance your hot summer adventures with cool breezy activities.

1. Plan Your Day.

Depending on how hot your locale is, there are definitely certain times of day that are essential to capitalize on. Before the sun
rises and after it sets you have a few golden hours of cooler weather. Take this time to water your plants, go for a jog, or enjoy a meal outside.

2. Hydrate.

Invest in a Hydro Flask, S’well, or another brand of insulated water bottle that keeps water cold throughout the day. Hydration
during the warm months is crucial.

3. Essential Oils.

Peppermint and Spearmint Essential Oil both contain menthol which has cooling properties. Add a few drops to your
diffuser at home, or make your own body mist for when you’re on the go. You can even create event-specific essential oils by
mixing different scents together.

4. Swim!

Take a dip in your community’s pool or nearby beach/swimming area! There’s nothing better than
submerging in cold water on a hot summer day.

5. Eat Cool, Be Cool.

Consume foods that are cooling to your internal systems. Go for sweet and ripe summer fruits, fresh veggies, and foods that
are bitter or astringent rather than salty or spicy.

Pets of the Month

Say hello to this month’s featured furry friends!

Munch: This is Munch, and he is absolutely the best dog there ever was! I recently went though a very hard time that caused me to move from Idaho to Omaha. I really had nothing with me, except Munch. He went through a huge move with me, and hasn’t complained (that much) about it! Every time I walk with him outside all of the neighbors come running up to see him. Everyone seems to totally adore him, and he adores everyone too. He has made lots of new friends and is so happy to live at Alpine Village in La Vista, NE. Munch made this move so much easier on me, and I could never thank him enough. He is my family, and I am so lucky to have him.

Ginger: Meet Ginger, a 14-year-old tortoiseshell. I have had her since I was a little girl, and she has always been the greatest companion. She spends most of her time in boxes, laundry baskets, or hunting down pieces of paper/receipts. What she loves best about living at Claremont in Minnetonka, MN, is that she can safely go out on the balcony without me being afraid of her running off! She loves that she gets to see all kinds of birds and squirrels from our balcony window, something she did not always get at our last residence. You might even see her around the community as we occasionally bring her for walks with her harness!

Get these 10 Gadgets to Help with Your Spring Cleaning!

1. Eufy Smart Robot Vacuum: Want to keep your floors clean without lifting a finger? Let a robot do the work for you. Eufy is voice activated and works with home assistances like Alexa and Google. So, while your hands are busy cleaning your bathroom, let Eufy take care of your living room or kitchen!
Price: $244
Where to find it: eufylife.com

2. Paw Plunger: The Paw Plunger is a quick and effective way to clean your pets muddy and dirty paws after outside and before they make a mess in your home! The extra soft bristles quickly and gently remove dirt from between the paw pads and nails, leaving your pets with clean paws!
Price: $15 – $27
Where to find it: pawplunger.com

3. Alfawise Window Robot: You can’t always reach the high windows in your home, but dust bunnies can. These Roomba like cleaners use artificial intelligence to detect window frames and avoid obstructions. The robot uses suction to crawl on the window, wiping away dirt in those high places so you can avoid wobbly, tall ladders.
Price: $217
Where to find it: amazon.com

4. Aribelly Ball Cleaner (& cat toy): Tired of constantly cleaning up your four-legged friends’ fur? Get this colorful fur ball that automatically rolls around your home, cleaning up your pets winter coat. All you need to do is clean the furry cover and let the ball do the rest!
Price: $9
Where you can find it: amazon.com

5. SpotClean Pro Spot Remover: Vacuuming might get the dust and debris out of your carpet, but it’s not really cleaning it. SpotClean Pro is a portable carpet cleaner combines powerful suction, strong scrubbing action, and cleaning solution for professional cleaning results that remove stubborn dirt and super tough stains.
Price: $139
Where to find it: bissell.com

6. O-Cedar Mop and Bucket Kit: With the O-Cedar Easy Wring Spin Mop and Bucket System, you will enjoy an effective and efficient cleaning experience with little mess! Its triangular mop head allows for cleaning in hard-to-reach areas. The mop’s deep-cleaning microfiber removes tough dirt and grime!
Price: $30
Where to find it: amazon.com

7. Angry Mama Microwave Steam Cleaner: Need a quick and easy way to clean your microwave? Angry Mama steam cleaner disinfects and cleans the crud in your microwave in minutes! The steam comes out of mama’s head and softens microwave dirt and stains for easier cleaning.
Price: $10
Where to find it: containerstore.com

8. GermGuardian Smart Air Purifier: Sure, you can clean all the surfaces in your home, but is there a way to clean the air? Sure is! GermGuardian Air Purifier is an app-controlled gadget will help to provide allergy relief, fight germs, and monitor indoor air quality, keeping your home sparkly clean and happy!
Price: $145
Where to find it: guardiantechnologies.com

9. DrillBrush Heads: Some things you just can’t get clean by hand. DrillBrush power scrubbing brushes are the way to go for tough spots and corners you can’t reach, and they promise to cut through tub grime way quicker than scrubbing by hand.
Price: $15
Where you can find it: amazon.com

10. Affresh Washing Machine Cleaner: Your washing machine helps you clean your clothes, but what helps keep your machine clean? Affresh washing machine cleaner works with almost all washing machines, getting rid of odors and mildews, making sure your next batch of laundry is cleaner than ever.
Price: $11
Where to find it: amazon.com

Tasty Spring Time Recipes!

Looking for fresh new recipes for this spring season? Check out our list of what fruits and vegetables are in this spring to make these tasty meals, created with seasonal ingredients like zucchini, asparagus, strawberries and more! Happy Cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces)
  • 1 cup fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup chopped zucchini
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 5 ounces prosciutto, diced
  • 2 cups sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 8 ounces grated parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain. Toss pasta with olive oil.
  3. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, roast asparagus, broccoli, bell pepper, and zucchini until flecked with dark brown. Set aside.
  4. In a large skillet over medium heat, melt butter. Saute garlic with prosciutto and sun-dried tomatoes until heated through. Toss with penne, roasted vegetables, and Parmesan. Place in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake 30 to 40 minutes, until hot.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons raspberry vinegar
  • 2.5 tablespoons raspberry jam
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 8 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 8 strawberries, quartered
  • 2 kiwi, peeled and sliced

Directions:

  1. Mix together raspberry vinegar, raspberry jam, and vegetable oil in a small container.
  2. Combine spinach, nuts, strawberries, and kiwi in a salad bowl. Toss with raspberry dressing.

What’s in this spring?

 

After a long winter, there’s nothing more welcoming than the sight of spring’s first vegetables: Crisp lettuces, earthy mushrooms, slender spears of asparagus, leafy spring onions, fresh peas, and green beans, and piles of bright rhubarb join year-round staples like garlic and beets as well as winter favorites nearing the end of their season. Below is a list of fruits and vegetables to look for this season as well as some expert tips for buying the best of spring’s bounty!

  • Spring Peas: Peas should be tender and the pod plump.
  • Blackberries: Ripe berries are large, plump, and deeply colored.
  • Swiss Chard: Harvest leaves under 4 inches and when tender.
  • Strawberries: Berries will have an even deep red all around.
  • Celery: Ripe when the stalks are 6 inches in length and clustered together.
  • Parsnips: Roots should be 1 to 2 inches wide and 8 to 12 inches long.
  • Beets: Best when harvested young, smaller than 6 inches.
  • Leeks: Harvest when stalks are around an inch wide.
  • Oranges: Ripe when the fruit has a firm texture with thin, smooth skin.
  • Carrots: Mature carrots will have a firm and tender texture.
  • Broccoli: Ready when the buds of the heard are firm and tight.
  • Rutabaga: Ripe when it is smooth and has purple-tinged skin.
  • Cauliflower: Ready when the heads are compact, white, and firm.
  • Avocado: Ripe when it has a slight sponginess to it and is dark in color.
  • Raspberries: Ripe berries are plump, large, and brightly colored.
  • Peaches: Ready to each when the color is deep golden.
  • Mushrooms: Freshest right after the veil breaks open.
  • Asparagus: Ready when spears are deep green or violet tinted.
  • Brussels Sprouts: Ready when the heads are firm and 1 to 2 inches.
  • Rhubarb: Freshest when the stalks are at least 10 inches long.
  • Cabbage: The heads should be firm all the way though when squeezed.
  • Bok Choy: Leaves may be anywhere from 6 inches to 2 feet when ready.
  • Radishes: Fresher when harvested young, roots no wider than an inch.
  • Artichoke: Look for a firm bulb with tightly closed inner petals.
  • Lettuce: Leaves will be well-ruffled and deeply lobed when mature.
  • Plums: Ripe when texture is semi-soft has a deep, even color.
  • Zucchini: Will be a deep green and around 6 to 8 inches in length.