In This Issue:
Are Your Windows & Doors Ready for Spring?
Healthy Eating for Life!
Take Spring Cleaning Outside!
Recipe: Smoky Peanut Butter Chili
Read on and don't forget to share with your friends and family.
One of the best things about spring is being able to open the windows and doors and enjoy the warm air. Spring is the perfect time to take a close look to make sure they are in good condition, both functionally and aesthetically. Follow these steps to get your windows and doors ready for spring and let the sunshine in!
· Check for Gaps - Look around the frames of windows and doors for any separation, which can let in bugs, dirt and pollen. Many times gaps can be filled with a sealant for an easy fix. Next, inspect the insulation or weather stripping surrounding the doors and windows. If any material is missing, call a window professional to check it out and fix it before it gets worse.
· Clean and Repair Screens - It can be hard to see, but window and door screens get dirty too. Set aside a morning or afternoon to remove the screens from your windows and give them a good cleaning. First, use a vacuum attachment to remove dirt and debris, then use soap and water to clean the screen and the frame. Holes or rips in screens should also be repaired, this is best done by a professional.
· Assess Your Window Coverings - Whether you have blinds, curtains or another type of window covering, spring is the time to clean them thoroughly and ensure that they are in good shape. A quality window covering can help keep warm air out of the house and lower air conditioning bills once summer rolls around.
· Wash Your Windows and Doors - Last, but not least, it’s time to wash your windows and doors. Clean the inside and outside of windows using a cleaning spray and wipe with a newspaper to reduce streaking. Don’t forget to clean the windowsills and frames. For doors, use a dish soap and water mixture to remove dirt and dry with a paper towel.
Once you’ve completed the routine maintenance on your windows and doors, take a look from the outside of the house. You may find that you want to touch up the paint surrounding your windows and doors or upgrade your door handles and locks to a different style to make your house look picture-perfect.
* $1,000 off purchase of $5,000 or more. $500 off purchases under $5,000.
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Diet fads may come and go, but there are certain tenants of healthy eating that never change. Making drastic changes to your diet can be difficult, so taking small steps in your quest to eat better can be more achievable. Incorporate these habits into your everyday life to help you and your family make healthy food choices.
1. Eat a variety of foods. Different foods provide different nutrients, so it’s important to eat a variety for a well-balanced diet. Your daily diet should include fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins and dairy products, in accordance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture MyPlate program. Challenge yourself to find a way to eat one more vegetable or fruit a day!
2. Drink water. Staying hydrated is a key part of a healthy lifestyle. Your body uses water to aid in digestion, circulation, brain function and much more. Water can also help to suppress your appetite. Instead of going straight for that bag of chips, drink a glass of water first and then see if you are still hungry.
3. Eat snacks and sweets, but in moderation. Rather than eliminating certain foods from your diet, take a more modest approach. You can enjoy chips, cake, ice cream and candy, just don’t go overboard. Use small bowls to control your portions or state your goals out loud (for example, “I’m only going to have one bowl of ice cream this week.”) so your friends and family can help to hold you accountable.
4. Make simple swaps. When cooking, there are many small tweaks you can make that result in healthier meals. Look for lower sodium options in soups and canned goods, try whole grain pasta and choose ground chicken or turkey instead of beef. In many instances, your family might not even realize that a swap has been made.
5. Try a new food. Make it your mission to make one new healthy meal each week. Trying new foods is exciting and gives you a chance to expand your go-to recipe collection. Once you find a food that gets a thumbs-up from your family, share it with a friend and ask for their favorite healthy recipe in return.
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Spring cleaning is a common activity as winter ends and warm weather returns. While many people take time to do a deep clean indoors, there is no shortage of outdoor spring-cleaning activities. Time spent outdoors will be even more enjoyable once you spruce up your home’s exterior and yard areas.
From afar, your house may look great, but when you get up close and personal, you may notice some issues that need to be addressed. Inspect concrete and bricks for cracks and examine siding and trim for signs of rotting. It’s always a smart idea to be proactive in your caring for your roof to schedule a roofing professional to look at your roof and make note of any shingle damage, gaps or concerns that might be of concern and needs to be repaired.
Take your landscaping one step further than simply planting flowers and laying mulch. Prune trees and shrubs so that they don’t encroach upon your house. To prevent drainage issues, clear debris from downspouts and yard drains and make sure that your yard is graded to slope away from your house. If you have an irrigation or sprinkler system, do a walk-through to ensure there are no leaks and that sprinkler heads are spraying in the right direction.
In the spring, take some time to conduct any necessary maintenance on your lawn equipment—lawnmower, edger, blower, etc.—to make sure it is ready to go before the grass starts growing at rapid-fire pace. Replace any old gas, charge batteries, sharpen tools and stock up on frequently used items like trimmer line and lawn garbage bags.
Is there anything more satisfying than seeing the progress of a power washer as it happens? It’s easy to become accustomed to the dirt that slowly builds up over time. Spring is a great time to say goodbye to all of the grime. Consider power washing your siding, walkways, fences, patio furniture and playground structures for an extra-clean outdoor space.
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This month we'd like to thank the people listed below for referring
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Michael Carrell | Myrna Bourcy | Mike Rosen
Brenda & Allen Goetsch | Michael Heatherston
Ken & Donna Stutzman | Steve Leatherman
Recipe Courtesy of: Taste of Home
· 1 tablespoon peanut oil or canola oil
· 2-1/2 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
· 1 large green pepper, chopped
· 1 large red onion, chopped
· 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
· 2 garlic cloves, minced
· 2 cans (15 ounces each) tomato sauce
· 2 cans (14-1/2 ounces each) diced tomatoes with basil, oregano and garlic, undrained
· 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chiles
· 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
· 1 to 2 tablespoons ground ancho chili pepper
· 1 teaspoon kosher salt
· 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
· Optional: Shredded smoked cheddar cheese and chopped peanuts
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; add beef and cook in batches 7-10 minutes, or until no longer pinking, breaking into crumbles. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain. Add green pepper, onion and carrot; cook and stir until slightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Transfer meat, vegetables and drippings to a 5- or 6-qt. slow cooker.
Stir in the next 7 ingredients until combined. Cook, covered, on low until vegetables are tender, about 4 hours. If desired, sprinkle servings with shredded cheese and peanuts.
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