Category Archives: Home & Garden

5 Helpful Painting Tips To Paint Like A Pro

Winter is a good time to tackle some indoor home improvement projects. You would be surprised at what a fresh coat of paint can do to chase the doldrums of winter away. So, if you are ready to freshen up your walls, check out these 5 helpful painting tips to help you paint like a pro. 

Safety First:

Protect your eyes from paint drips or flying debris with a pair of plastic safety glasses or goggles. Make sure your room is adequately ventilated and if you are using any product with strong fumes, wear a respirator.

Prep First:

No matter how excited you are to get that color on the walls, you cannot skip the prep. Check your walls for cracks, holes, dents, stains or other imperfections.  For most issues, a lightweight spackling compound and putty knife will be all you need. Just apply the compound and remove the excess. Allow the area to fully dry then sand lightly until the area is smooth and uniform with the rest of the wall.

Remove dirt and debris by washing down the walls. Remove all outlet covers, pictures, hooks, nails etc. Remove as much furniture and belongings as possible. Having a clear space will make painting much easier. Using a painter’s masking tape, tape the room to prevent paint getting on the molding. Cover the floors with drop cloths.

Use Primer:

Primers are developed to help seal your walls, prevent mold and stains and can even be tinted to the color of the paint you are using. Since primer is less expensive than paint, using a tinted primer means you won’t need as many coats of paint  and that will save you money. You can buy a paint and primer in one too, but when you are painting on new drywall, you will want to use a primer first no matter what type of paint you are using.

Cut In:

Start by cutting in with the primer or paint/primer. You want to cut in where the ceiling meets the wall, around windows and doors and where the walls meet the baseboard. It is best to do this one wall at a time. You should cut in and paint the wall and then move on to the next for the best looking results.

Load your roller and start at the top, roll a W or a V shape over a section of the wall and continue until the sections is covered. Then move on to the next, reloading your roller as needed. Allow ample time for the first coat to dry before accessing if you need a second coat.

Clean Up:

Remove the painter’s tape, if left on too long it can become difficult to remove. Clean paint brushes, rollers and roller trays per manufacturer’s instructions. Tightly seal paint cans. Before putting outlet covers back on you can put a piece of masking tape to the back and write what paint color you used on it.

I hope this post inspired you to take on those dingy walls in your home. There are so many color options out there and even if you are not ready for a big color change, you could do one accent wall to make the room pop. Let me know if these tips helped you and tell me all about your project in the comments. Happy painting!


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The 6 Things You Must Do for Your Home This Spring

Many people look forward to spring because it provides a chance to start cleaning their homes after a long winter, and enjoy more fresh air. Remember, your home has been closed up and dealing with winter for as long as you have, so it probably needs a little TLC  to ensure everything is functioning properly. When the spring weather starts to roll around, here are six things you must do for your home, not just for it, but for you and your family as well.

Invest in your lawn.

Spring lawn care is essential to your home and its curb appeal, so it’s important to know how to care for the grassy areas around your house. After a harsh winter, your lawn needs specific nutrients and maintenance to  help it grow lush and thick for summer. Be sure you are seeding your lawn properly and raking away any dead grass, that could be doing more harm than good. Getting a jump-start on this will allow you to target problem areas and repair them before the heat of summer kicks in.

Touch up the exterior.

The harsh winter weather can wreak havoc on your home,  this means siding, windows, screens, roofs, and more could have experienced significant damage. Once the weather gets warmer, take some time to inspect the outside of your home and look for areas that need repairs. For instance, do you need to replace any windows or screens? How does the exterior of your home look? Does your siding need a new coat of paint or stain? Does your roof need to be repaired or replaced? Taking care of these issues in the spring, lets you take advantage of the mild weather to get your house looking spectacular for the summer season.

Spruce up the landscaping.

Aside from your grass, the rest of your home’s landscaping will need some love too. Spring is the time to clean up any debris or dead leaves that have used your yard to hibernate all winter. You should also purchase some extra mulch or rock to freshen up your landscaping, especially if those areas have been damaged during the winter. In addition, you should plant more flowers and trim bushes around your home. Doing this will get your home ready for outdoor living and make your yard look spectacular..

Give the inside a deep cleaning.

It’s not just the outside of your home that needs some TLC after the long winter. The inside of your home does too. Be sure to give your home a deep cleaning, whether you do it yourself or search for cleaning services near you that can tackle the job.  According to Amazon Cleaning near Atlanta, “A thorough deep cleaning of your home gets rid of harmful debris that lives in your home, which can improve your overall health and well-being.” Thoroughly cleaning your home and opening  the windows, will air out your home and improve the air quality inside.

Get organized.

Beyond  cleaning, you should also use the spring to get your home more organized. Go through all the rooms in your home, and make different piles: things to keep, things to donate/sell, and things to throw away. Doing this will allow you to get rid of the items you don’t use or don’t want. Getting rid of all that stuff will make it easier to organize what you are keeping. You will love the results and appreciate the fact, that you will be able to find the things you need quickly.

Clean the fridge/pantry.

Don’t forget to tackle your fridge and pantry. Sometimes people get so wrapped up in cleaning and organizing rooms, they forget about these things. It may have been some time since you really cleaned them out, so you probably have a lot of food or items that are expired and need to be trashed. In addition, you may find some items you forgot you had. These new-found products may mean you can make some new recipes  without having to go to the grocery store.

Spring is the perfect time to start fresh and tackle things inside and outside of you home. With that behind you, you will find cleaning is easier, your house looks better and you have more time to have fun with your family.

This is a sponsored post and does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

 


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10 Simple Ways to Organize Your Kitchen

If your kitchen is like mine, it is Grand Central Station for your home. I know when my kitchen is organized, it is easier to find what I need, and to work more efficiently. Here are 10 simple ways to organize your kitchen.

Purge Your Cabinets

Take everything out of your cabinets and drawer. Think carefully, do you really need it all?  I am almost sure you will find, there are many things you need to get rid of or donate. Put back only what you need. Place the items that you want to donate in a box and put the box by your door. On your next trip out to your vehicle,  carry the box to your car, so it is ready to be dropped off.

Group Similar Items

With your cabinets empty, start to really think about the best way to group items in them. Look at the things you are keeping and arrange baking things together, serving pieces together and so on.

Think About Your Space

Next, think about the best cabinet or drawers to put those things. Drinking glasses are probably best by the sink and dishwasher. Remember, you want things to run as smooth as possible, so have your coffee maker near your mugs and your pot holders near your oven. Be mindful of this as you decide where everything you are keeping goes.

Use Clear Plastic Bins

Use clear bins and containers to organize things inside your cabinets. Small bins are perfect for containing hot cocoa packets, oatmeal packets and more. Food in tiny boxes like pudding, can be stored in clear containers, so  it does not get lost among larger items.

Another food or pantry storage idea, is to use clear mason jars. You can even vacuum seal them if you have a Food Saver with a jar device.

 

Go Through Your Food Storage Containers

Go through your food storage containers and get rid of anything you don’t have a lid for. Organize what you have left by placing the lids in a clear plastic bin, so they can be stored  vertically. If all you have is just a bunch of tired Chinese food containers with no lids, think about throwing it all out and starting with a set of quality food storage containers.

Utilize Space Effectively,

That cabinet above your refrigerator, microwave or oven can be fitted with vertical rack dividers that allow you to store cookie sheets, trays, platters and more. In my new kitchen, I chose to have these dividers built in. I can tell you, it is much easier to store cutting boards, baking pans, large platters, trays etc. I did this to the cabinet above my oven and the one over my refrigerator.

Organize Your Drawers

Pick up some bamboo drawer dividers to organize your utensils and cutlery. You can find ones that expand to fit a variety of drawer sizes.  Smaller plastic bins can help you contain pens, pencils, tape scissors etc. Allow yourself only one junk drawer if possible.

Tackle Your Refrigerator

Clean out your refrigerator. Wipe down all the surfaces inside and out. Go through all your food and condiments, and get rid of anything that is old, expired, or you don’t use. Grab some plastic bins and use them to organize your food especially smaller items like juice boxes, food pouches and smaller condiments. Another idea that can save you time is to organize items that you use to pack lunches for yourself or your kids. That way you can quickly grab things like yogurt, cheese sticks, juice boxes, fruit etc.

Get Under the Sink

Maximize your space under the sink with a 2 Tier Expandable Adjustable Under Sink Storage Shelves. This will maximize your space to store your cleaning products, soaps, sponges and more.

 

Hang It Up

Organize your mop, broom, dustpan and more with a hanging storage rack that you can mount to the inside of a closet or pantry door.

It is easy to organize your kitchen when you have the right tools. Weeding out the excess and organizing what you have will maximum your kitchen’s efficiency. With a streamlined and more organized kitchen you might find you like cooking and entertaining even more.


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Easy and Delicious Mini Cheesecake Recipe

I have been making these mini cheesecakes for my family for over 20 years. If I didn’t make them, my kids would be crushed, because it is one of my traditional dessert recipes that I bake for Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Years Eve, New Years Day, Easter and other special occasions.

They are very easy to make, and they are such a hit because you can top them several different ways which makes them even more appealing. If you are looking for a mini cheesecake recipe that is easy and delicious, you found it! This tried and true recipe is posted for you below.

 

This recipe is supposed to make 18 mini cheesecakes, but there is always enough filling for a few more, so I add the crumb mixture to 3 or 4 additional, lined muffin cups. I hope you give this recipe a try,  I think you will really like them.

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Mini Cheesecakes

Ingredients

  • • 1-1/2 Cups of Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • • 5 Tbsp. Melted Butter
  • • 3 Softened 8 Ounce Packages of Softened PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese
  • • 3/4 Cup of Sugar
  • • 2 Tsp. of Pure Vanilla Extract
  • • Zest of 1 Fresh Lemon
  • • Fresh Lemon Juice (I use the juice from ½ of the lemon)
  • • 3 Large Eggs

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F.
  2. Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter; press evenly onto bottoms of 18 lined muffin cups. I always have enough mixture for more than 18 cheesecakes so I put the mixture into at least 21 lined muffin cups. Put these into the oven for 5 minutes or until lightly golden brown.
  3. Raise oven temperature to 350°F.
  4. Beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice in large bowl with mixer until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each just until blended. Fill your muffin cups about 3/4 of the way with this mixture.
  5. Bake 20 min. or until center is almost set. Cool completely. Refrigerate 3 hours.
  6. Before Serving top each cheesecake with about a tablespoon of the pie topping. You could also top with whipped cream and fresh berries, fruit preserves or jam.
http://www.mommyramblings.org/2017/12/27/mini-cheesecake-recipe/

 

Let me know what you think if you try this recipe.


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How Do You Take Care of Hardwood Floors?

Those who embrace the green lifestyle know the value of wood in building sustainable homes. Wood provides good insulation—400 times more effective than steel is—because of its air pockets. This means you don’t have to spend money on synthetic insulators, which can cost more and may be made using materials that are not naturally biodegradable or renewable.

Reducing carbon footprint is one of the main goals to avoid climate change. Wood contributes to that reduction by storing carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas, from the atmosphere and releasing oxygen instead. Carbon is then absorbed and used in the tree’s leaves or roots.

Hardwood flooring exudes a timelessness and sophistication that other kinds of flooring may not be able to imitate. More than that, though, wood is sturdy, lasting for a long time when taken care of properly.

How do you care for and maintain hardwood floors then? You may have your own system for doing that, but there are correct cleaning practices to follow. Aside from that, you should use durable microfiber mops and organic cleaners. The usual cleaning agents may contain toxic chemicals or irresponsibly sourced materials.

Read this infographic for suggestions on how to clean hardwood floors and what kind of cleaning you should do at certain periods. When you’ve finished reading that guide, you make sure that cleaning the floor consistently becomes part of your housekeeping activities.

The journey to a green lifestyle starts with using sustainable materials, like hardwood, and avoiding waste. When you have good cleaning habits for your hardwood floors, you are making a step toward this environment-conscious way of life.

This is a sponsored guest post that does not necessarily represent the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.


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Tender & Delicious Pot Roast Cooked In a Tagine

Wow, the weather has taken a serious dip in the Northeast. Tomorrow is going to be absolutely frigid, the morning will feel like 7 below 0 degrees F. The only bright spot is that next week, we should be back to more seasonable temperatures.

When the weather gets colder, I get into the mood to make hearty meals that stick to your ribs and warm you up. I love a good pot roast, beef stew, pasta fagioli and other flavorful stews and soups, on cold winter days.

If you have been following Mommy Ramblings for a while, you will remember my posts about the best way to cook hearty soups and how to make the perfect beef stew. The right cookware, and the way you cook, really make a difference in how your recipes turn out. I love trying new things in the kitchen and, I have always wanted to try cooking in a Tagine.

A Tagine is a cooking vessel that is used to cook food at a low temperature, for a long time. The unique shape of the Tagine lid allows steam to circulate, which works to keep all the ingredients tender and moist. This kind of vessel and cooking method, works so well with dishes like pot roast. The end result is that type of meat that just falls apart so beautifully, and melts in your mouth.

I just finished cooking my second pot roast in my Emile Henry Tagine, and I don’t think I will cook pot roast any other way. There are so many great recipes you can make in a Tagine. My daughter loves cooking chicken tagine. Any type of recipe that you can cook at a low temperature for a long time, will turn out well.

There are many different kinds of Tagines on the market, but I prefer the Emile Henry Tagine. This Tagine is made of their Flame Ceramic and can be used directly on the heat of the stove or in the oven. This is perfect, because I love starting off on the stove cooking my onions and garlic, browning my meat, and then transferring it all to the oven, to cook for several hours.

You can see the video I made the first time I used the Emile Henry Tagine to make pot roast

We love the Emile Henry Tagine so much, which is why you will find it on Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. A gift of Emile Henry Cookware, is a gift any cooking enthusiast will treasure. I know, I certainly do! My Emile Henry Cookware and Bakeware are staples in my kitchen, and they make cooking and baking for my family and friends, easier and better than ever.

Giveaway

Emile Henry Set of 2 Burgundy #9 Ramekins Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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Filed under Baking, Cooking, Entertaining, Gifts, Giveaway, Holiday Gift Guide, Home & Garden, Kitchen, Review

How to Display Colored Artwork Around Your Home

Do you ever find yourself just going on a coloring spree? I know I do. After a long day, there is nothing quite like taking a hot bath, grabbing a glass of wine and my favorite coloring book and just forgetting about the world for a few hours.

I’ll even let you in on a little secret… If the week hasn’t gone so well, or I just can’t seem to get my fix of colored artwork, I can finish an entire coloring book in a matter of days. Sometimes, I feel guilty because I feel as though I might have wasted the book by speeding through it.

However, when I look back on the beauty I have created, I think: “This ought to be displayed and appreciated, not closed up in some book on a shelf.” So, if you find yourself looking for ways to show off your colored artwork, consider displaying it around your home.

Avoiding Common Mistakes When Displaying Artwork 

Displaying colored artwork is an art within itself. What can you do other than just tape the page on the wall Let’s start with what you shouldn’t do. Here are a few things people commonly do wrong when displaying their colored artwork:

Tear the pages out of the book.

Rather than going all in and ripping the finished colored artwork right out of the book, take a calmer approach.
Use scissors to gently and precisely cut the page out or remove the cover and binding of the book so that the pages naturally come out.

Overusing the same sized pages.

You’ve heard the saying – too much of a good thing is bad.  Well, too many of the same sized colored artwork pages are not the most appealing. Instead, use pages from a few different books that still have a compatible color schemes, but vary in size. This will add some dimension and character to your display.

Lacking regard for a color palette.

While a variety of colors is beautiful, a finished piece of colored artwork with clearly no color palette in mind can be a bit mind boggling, and leave the viewer confused and overwhelmed. Beyond that, it can be incredibly hard to find a place where such a display will fits well.  Instead, pick a color palette that compliments the area you plan to display your colored artwork so that it flows well and accents the space, rather than standing out like a sore thumb.

Over cluttering the wall.

A picture is worth a thousand words, right? So, if you add 10 pictures to one small space, you have essentially placed 10,000 words on one small wall. Instead, leave some white space. Allow each picture to speak for itself and give it room to breathe rather than cluttering one entry wall with every picture you have ever colored.

Incorrectly hanging the art.

Once you have chosen which colored artwork pieces are worthy of display, the last thing you want is to wake up the morning after hanging them to find them on the floor. Instead, invest in quality hanging materials to ensure your artwork stays safely in its place. So, now that you are well versed in the things you shouldn’t be doing, let’s go over the things you should be doing:

Creative Ways to Display Colored Artwork Around Your Home

If you just can’t get enough of your favorite, completed page from your coloring book or your home could just use a little sprucing up in the artwork department, try displaying your artwork around your home like this:

Design your first animal clothing line.

If you are like me and are one of those fur parents who love to dress your animals up just about all year round, this display is for you. When you print your artwork out onto some fabric for your pillows, go ahead and grab a little extra to create the perfect t-shirt for your favorite furry friend. Who knows? Maybe they will even convince their pal at the vet to get one, too. Add some personalized tags and washing instructions to really make it your own!

Create a view.

Typically, a window creates a view – it gives the wall a definite shape by adding a square or rectangle to it, giving the room a focal point that lets you appreciate the beauty outside.

But, what if there is no window?  No worries, just add some of your favorite colored artwork! Use pattern scissors to give the artwork a decorative edge and then place it in an oval, square or rectangle frame and hang it  above your couch or in front of your kitchen sink to define the space.

Bonus: If behind the kitchen sink is your location of choice, it will give you something beautiful to look at while you do the dishes!

Make magnets…to hang more artwork.

Display your artwork with some artwork – sounds a bit like overkill, right?  This is a great way to switch up the normal look of a standard coloring page and also a great way to use your colored artwork for practical purposes.
Use round button magnets and clear glass marbles to create colorful magnets, then use those to display your other colored artwork on your fridge, dishwasher, or even your chalkboard or whiteboard.

Use it as placemats.

I know what you’re thinking: You would never use your artwork as something to eat off of, right?
Good, because neither would I! However, with a little lamination, you can use your artwork as a placemat without damaging it, and it is quick and easy to clean. Plus, most placemats will be the size of at least two pieces of artwork, so you can display more than one at each place setting.

Cover your pillows with it.

One of the easiest ways to decorate your couch is to add an accent pillow. What about showcasing your artwork? Talk about the perfect way to spruce things up and make it your own!  Print your colored artwork onto some fabric then wrap your couch pillows you already have and transform them in a matter of minutes. Your kids will love to nap on them.

Displaying your artwork does not have to be as simple as ripping out the page and hanging it on the wall. You have already worked so hard on it, why not take it to the next level and get creative?

Happy decorating, friends!

This is a sponsored guest post and does not necessarily reflect the views or ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

 


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Stay Connected with The Motorola Talkabout 2 Way Radio Sets #Giveaway

Do you love staying active with your family? I know we do, we love traveling, hiking, biking and setting off on adventures together. We also want to make sure that we take precautions to keep everyone safe.

That means proper helmets for biking, the right type of hiking shoes, water bottles to keep us all hydrated, safe sunscreen and more. When thinking about safety gear, we cannot dismiss the need for a way to keep us all connected and to receive important weather alerts.

That is why we love our Motorola Talkabout T260 two-way radios. We have the three radio set, but they also have a two radio set. The set has everything we need, it comes complete with belt clips, NiMH rechargeable batteries, Y cable charging adaptor with dual micro-USB connectors to charge 2 radios and a single micro-USB connector to charge a single radio.

I like that I can walk around the lake we live on which is over one mile around, and at any point check in with my husband or family at home. The connection is clear as a bell and that says a lot because we live in the mountains and get sketchy cell service.  Having a radio with a clear connection makes me and my husband feel better when I am out walking alone.

Our kids love using them too! They can communicate from the dock or boat up to the house or use them when they are playing around our property to contact each other. They are easy to operate, lightweight, compact and durable. The radios have essential features like NOAA weather channel and alerts as well as iVOX/VOX hands-free communication making it easy to stay in touch no matter your location or situation.

They cover a long-range of up to 25 miles which really makes me happy. If we were ever separated on a hiking or cycling trip, the long-range gives me the peace of mind that I would be able to contact a member of our family.

You can check out our unboxing and review video below:

Features

Know the Weather In Advance
Keep updated with real-time weather conditions by turning on one of 11 weather channels or initiating weather alerts. NOAA radio service may not be available in all areas. Check with your local weather office for frequency and details, or visit www.weather.gov/nwr (Canada: www.msc.ec.gc.ca/msb/weatheradio).

Be Hands-free
With iVOX/VOX acting like a speakerphone and allowing hands-free communication, you can keep on moving without stopping to answer a call.

22 Channels Each with 121 Privacy Codes
With 22 channels and 121 privacy codes, totaling 2,662 combinations, it’s easy to find an available channel.

Compatible with Any Radio
You can communicate with other FRS/GMRS radios regardless of brand by being on the same channel and privacy code.

Power Through Your Adventures
There are two ways to power your Talkabout T260 radio: use the included NiMH rechargeable batteries for up to 12 hours or use 3 AA batteries for up to 29 hours. To recharge the NiMH batteries, choose from one of three ways: connect it to your vehicle adaptor or your computer, or plug the micro-USB cable into an outlet.

20 Call Tones
A call tone is what people calling you can hear instead of the normal default ring. It grabs the attention of your family and friends before you start speaking.

Eco Smart
Most of the energy wasted when using a mobile device occurs during the charge. This radio consumes less power during its idle condition.

Quickly Find a Channel
Use the scanning feature to see which channels are currently in use.

Low Battery Alert
Low battery alert reminds you when batteries are running low.

Keypad Lock
The keypad lock prevents your personalized settings from being inadvertently changed.

T260 Packaging Includes:

• 2 radios
• 2 belt clips
• 2 NiMH rechargeable batteries
• 1 Y cable adaptor with dual micro-USB connectors
• 1 user guide

Holiday Gift Guide Pick

Mommy Ramblings thinks that the twin or triple pack of the T-260 Motorola Talkabout make a great gifts for those active people and families on your holiday gift list. We have added the T-260 Talkabout to Mommy Ramblings’ 2017 Holiday Gift Guide. The twin pack has a MSRP of $64.99 and the triple pack has a MSRP of $89.99. Right now these sets are on sale on Amazon! You can pick up the 2 pack for just $41,22 and the 3 pack for only $69.99.  Hurry though, Amazon prices change quickly, so you never know how long they will last. 

You can stay in the loop with Motorola Solutions on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube

Giveaway

 

Motorola Solutions is sponsoring a giveaway on Mommy Ramblings. One lucky blog reader will win a Motorola Talkabout T-260 Twin Pack! Thank you to Motorola Solutions for the review T-260 Triple Pack and for sponsoring this amazing giveaway on Mommy Ramblings! Open to US residents.

Motorola Talkabout T-260 Twin Pack 2-Way Radio Set Giveaway on Mommy Ramblings Rules:

Enter for your chance to win using the Rafflecopter widget below. Good Luck!!!

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How To Find The Best Neighborhood For Your Family

When looking for a new neighborhood to move into, it serves you well to do your homework to avoid moving into bad areas. The region needs to have a low crime rate, be affordable, and have the right amenities. If you are looking to buy a house, remember you are not just buying a property, you are also investing in the neighborhood.

Here are some tips that will help you choose the safest and best neighborhood for you and your family:

Ask The Right Questions  

According to the owner of Eastown apartments, ask yourself what the best features of the neighborhood are . What would make an area stand out to you?

  •         Amenities that are within walking distance?
  •         Trees and parks?
  •         Active, busy areas or quiet streets?
  •         New developments or older neighborhoods?
  •         Anonymity or tight-knit areas?

Once you have the right picture of the neighborhood in your mind, make sure all your criteria are met when choosing a house.

Crime Rates

Using search engines such as Bing or Google, you can look up the crime statistics by neighborhood to generate information about the area you are considering. Most big urban areas have crime reports that are detailed enough to help you choose the right area. Smaller towns, on the other hand, only have general information, which might not be very useful.

Contact The Local Police

The local police department will provide you with the right information about a certain area. This will probably be your best source of information when looking into the safety and crime in neighborhoods. A police station can also help you to find out how active a community is in crime prevention.

Drive Around

Drive around a neighborhood to look for graffiti as well as other forms of vandalism like broken windows. If the homes have strong deterrents such as ‘beware of dog’, exercise caution.

Take A Look Around

Spend some time walking around the neighborhood, then take note of how the houses look: how are the front yards, sidewalks, and streets? If the people in the area make eye contact with you and smile, it is probably a safe place. Look for abandoned and vacant buildings, which might affect the property value and feel of the neighborhood.

Take several walks through the neighborhood at different times of the day to get a better idea of its highs and lows. Assess the people living in the neighborhood: are they old or college-age students?

Public Transport

Is there public transport nearby? You might need to use public transport if the cost of fuel becomes too much for you. How often does transit stop during the peak periods?

Schools

A well-kept school is a sign of a very good neighborhood. Moreover, you need to look into schools if you have kids: this should be your first consideration before you buy a house. Is the school near your house and if it is not, how will your kids be getting there?

Future Development

You can find information through the local chamber of commerce or city hall. Anticipating future developments is smart because they usually increase traffic and taxes. You need to invest in the future potential of your neighborhood if you want to decide whether the outlook is great for your family.

Property Taxes

You need to find out the current tax rate in the city you want to move to. If there is an expected tax increase, consider this amount in your moving budget.

This is a sponsored guest post that does not necessarily reflect the views or  ideals of Mommy Ramblings.

 


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Top Vacuums of 2017 for Dog and Cat Owners

Do you share your home with pets that shed? If you do, you are probably well aware that you share your home with their hair as well. You may also find that their hair wants to go everywhere you do. Do you constantly find pet hair on your clothes and in your car? Do you keep pet hair rollers in your purse because it is a never ending struggle? Pet hair can be a real issue to vacuum too. Many vacuums simply do not get the job done. The last thing you want is for friends and family to find pet hair all over themselves after a visit to your home. Let’s take a look at some of the best vacuums for pet hair.

A recent Consumer Reports study rates the Miele AirClean Dynamic U1 Cat & Dog Upright Vacuum at the top of their list. This powerful AirClean pet vacuum features a unique electrobrush that follows the contours of your floor, automatically adjusting for different carpet depths and surface coverings. This vacuum provides even, constant suction and gentle cleaning. Accessories include a mini turbo brush, integrated dusting brush, upholstery tool and crevice nozzle.

The Kenmore Elite 21814 Pet Friendly CrossOver Canister Vacuum also earned high marks from Consumer Reports as a canister vacuum. From carpeting on stairs to your hardwood floors and even the space behind your fridge, this vacuum easily takes on your weekly floor chores. Stubborn pet hair and even the fluffiest dust bunnies, are no match for this powerful vacuum. Vacuum attachments like the Pet PowerMate and a 2 motor system that creates some serious suction, making vacuuming a breeze. The swiveling 8 ft. hose makes it simple to suck up cobwebs from your ceiling. If you like this model, you can purchase it from Sears.

The Shark Rocket Ultra-Light TruePet Deluxe Vacuum features a pet brush attachment, hard floor attachment and microfiber pad. The versatile design converts to a handheld vacuum for use in small spaces like vehicles and stairs. The lightweight stick design makes it effortless to use. I have this vacuum and I love it, it has great suction, is effortless to push and does an amazing job no matter what type of flooring I am using it on.

The Dyson V8 Absolute Vacuum Cleaner is one I personally own, and it works great! It has a rechargeable 21.6 volt Lithium ion battery and comes with a second bare floor brush roller as well as, a small motorized brush. There is a turbo mode for when you need extra power and a dirt cup that empties in one easy step. The cord free design allows you to vacuum anywhere. Get this vacuum on Amazon and live in harmony with your pets. This is another vacuum I own, and I love it. It has no cord so you can take it anywhere. It has great suction and works on all areas of my home.


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