Christmas Tree Lighting Held at The Bridge

The North Baltimore community was invited to share a Christmas Tree Lighting!

https://www.thebridgeub.com/

Ways to Keep Your Car Clean in the Winter

Some may think that it’s too cold to clean your car, but this is far from the truth……

 (Partnered Content) Learn about some effective ways to keep your car clean in the winter.

There are a lot of things to worry about in the winter months, from the holiday planning to driving in the snow. An additional thing to take note of is how to keep your car clean. No matter the weather, cleaning your car is still a necessary part of car maintenance. Learn the ways to keep your car clean in the winter below.

Apply Snow Foam

Unlike other months, winter has more elements at play that can damage your car’s cosmetics. A major source of harm to your car is salt, which is used to melt roads. Salt can lead to rust damage down the line if you don’t wash your vehicle properly. An excellent way to keep your car clean in the winter is to use foam as you wash it. Snow foam is designed to soften all the particles, such as salt and dirt, that are prone to sticking to your car in the winter. Once it’s off your car’s surface, you can clean it properly.

Clean the Undercarriage

Another part of your car that is susceptible to the winter elements is the undercarriage. For instance, you may notice that blocks of snow and mud will stick to your car’s underside. This problem may be more prevalent if you drive a vehicle that is lower to the ground. Clean your car’s undercarriage by spraying it with a hose.

Use Rubber Floor Mats

However, your car isn’t just disposed to damage on the outside. If you walk through a lot of snow and mud, it’s likely to end up in your car. Placing winter rubber floor mats in your car is an excellent option to keep your car clean in the winter. The floor mats will do a great job keeping all the wintertime debris off your car’s carpet.

Park in a Garage

One more thing you can do for your car is to find coverage for it. Parking it in some type of garage can protect your vehicle year-round. Placing it in a garage at work and at home is a great option, if possible. A garage will provide coverage for your vehicle, so it isn’t exposed to all the winter weather when the snowstorms hit.

3 Reasons to Have a Fence Around Your Home

A fence has many benefits, but these benefits vary depending on the type you install. Here are three universal reasons to have a fence around you home.

 (Partnered Content) Fences are both practical and aesthetically pleasing. Yet, despite this, many people neglect to think of them when it comes to home improvement. Here are three reasons to have a fence around your home.

Safety

Potential burglars and other unwanted guests will have a difficult time entering your property with a high fence standing in their way. Some property owners even resort to using an electric fence. Depending on your area, you might also want to keep out unwanted animals. In either case, a fence will help prevent damages to your yard and home, as it will act as a barrier against intrusion.

If you have pets or young children, a fence can work in a reversed role; it will ensure they don’t run off into the street or get lost wandering.

Privacy

Without a fence around your yard, anyone can just walk up and see what you’re doing. Even if you contain your activity within your house, a passersby can easily see into your windows if you don’t draw the curtains or shut the blinds. A solid fence can remedy this issue because it will block the view, leaving you with more privacy. It gives you peace of mind to freely sit outside (or inside) and go about your business without disturbance.

Appearance

Beyond utility, a nice fence can make your home feel more complete and more beautiful. It will also increase your home’s value should you ever decide to put it up for sale. If this is important to you, opt for a style that complements your home’s exterior and yardwork. Research the different types of fences to make the best choice for you. As you look through the options, check to see if there are any community standards that you must adhere to—ignoring certain guidelines will likely create problems.

A Comforting Casserole

Try this Rotisserie Chicken-Biscuit Casserole with just a handful of ingredients and less than 15 minutes of cook time…..

(Culinary.net) Almost nothing says comfort food quite like a freshly baked casserole. Next time your family asks for a warm, comforting meal, try this Rotisserie Chicken-Biscuit Casserole with just a handful of ingredients and less than 15 minutes of cook time.

Find more comfort food recipes at Culinary.net.

Watch video to see how to make this recipe!

Rotisserie Chicken-Biscuit Casserole

  • 1          whole rotisserie chicken
  • 8          refrigerated biscuits
  • 1          can (10 3/4 ounces) cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2       cup milk
  • 1/4       cup sour cream
  • 2          cups frozen vegetables
  • 1/2       teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/8       teaspoon pepper
  1. Heat oven to 450° F.
  2. Remove meat from rotisserie chicken and shred; set aside. Discard bones.
  3. Cut biscuits into quarters; set aside.
  4. In saucepan, stir soup, milk, sour cream, chicken, vegetables, basil and pepper. Cook until boiling.
  5. Spoon chicken mixture into baking dish. Arrange quartered biscuits over filling.
  6. Bake 10-12 minutes, or until biscuits are golden brown.

SOURCE:
Culinary.net

5 Tips to Ward Off Cold Weather

Colder weather outside means more skin sensitivities and dryness….

(Family Features) Colder weather brings plenty of changes, especially in the ways you take care of your home and self. Especially when the temperature drops, extreme winter conditions can play havoc not only with your skin and health, but also your family’s comfort.


Take steps to protect your family and household as the weather starts to cool this season with these practical tips:

Photos courtesy of Getty Images


Take steps to help prevent the flu.
As temperatures drop, the chances of getting sick rise. That’s partly because certain germs and viruses thrive in colder temperatures, and because the cold puts extra strain on your immune system. When it is cold outside, people are also more likely to spend time indoors (and in closer quarters) where germs are more easily spread. Do your part to help prevent the flu by washing your hands often and covering your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze. Also be sure to stay home if you’re sick and avoid exposing others to your illness.

Prepare your wardrobe. Colder weather outside means more skin sensitivities and dryness. Long pants and sleeves don’t just add warmth; they also protect your skin from harsh outdoor elements. When you haul your winter wardrobe out of storage, start the season on a comfy note by washing everything with an option like ‘all Free Clear Liquid Detergent or Mighty Pacs. It’s the No. 1 laundry detergent brand recommended by dermatologists, allergists and pediatricians for sensitive skin due to its hypoallergenic formula.

Dress in layers from head to toe. Bundle up with winter accessories to match the daily weather forecast. For chillier mornings and nights, cover exposed areas such as your head with a hat, neck with a scarf and hands with gloves. To accommodate warmer weather during the day, layer flexible clothing options to accommodate temperature shifts.

Stay active. Physical activity naturally warms your body in the short term. In fact, shivering is your body’s natural physical response to generate body heat when you’re cold. Aside from the immediate benefits, keeping active during the colder months can help in other ways, too. A healthy cardiovascular system keeps your blood flow steady and strong, and a good circulatory system plays an important role in keeping your body, and especially your extremities, warm when temperatures take a dip.

Nourish your body and skin. Preventing painful dry cracks and itchy, scaly skin is a job that requires attention inside and out. Externally, moisturize shortly after showering to trap in the water lingering on your skin, use extra lotion throughout the day on areas prone to drying and reapply lotion after washing hands. Remember to protect sensitive spots like your lips that can easily chap and crack. You can also prevent dry skin by ensuring you’re drinking plenty of water and eating a healthy diet with plenty of essential vitamins and healthy fats.

For more ideas to prepare for changing weather, visit all-laundry.com.

Content courtesy of ‘all

SOURCE:
‘all

5 Financial Tips for Teens

Help influence the financial literacy of a teen in your life……

(Family Features) When it comes to economics, many teens’ mouths write checks their knowledge can’t cash.

While 93% of American teens say they know how the economy works, 29% have had no economic schooling, according to a survey of 1,000 U.S. teens ages 13-18 by Wakefield Research on behalf of Junior Achievement and the Charles Koch Foundation. Even in light of their false confidence, teens are aware of the importance of financial education.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Although the study identified numerous gaps in economic and financial knowledge, it also showed teens do know where to look for credible information. Two-thirds (67%) recognize they should use their school as a resource.

“One of the things we hear often is that some textbooks are written too academically for most students to understand the concepts,” said Jack E. Kosakowski, president and CEO of Junior Achievement USA. “Our programs, which work as a complement to the school curriculum, are written from the perspective of today’s teens and use digital content to help bring economic concepts to life for students.”

Beyond the classroom, another 63% of students believe they should use their parents as resources for economics education. Help influence the financial literacy of a teen in your life with these practical money-management tips adapted from the curriculum.

Set goals. Managing your money is more meaningful when you’re doing it with purpose. This might mean budgeting to ensure you have enough money to maintain your auto insurance and keep gas in your car, or you may be saving for a big senior trip. Knowing what you want to achieve with your money can help you plan how you spend it more wisely.

Weigh needs vs. wants. When you begin making your own money, it’s easier to indulge your own wishes and spend money on things you don’t necessarily need. To some extent, that’s not a bad thing; rewarding yourself is fine when you do so within reason. That means not exceeding your available funds, and not forsaking things you truly need, like gas money to get to and from a job or school.

Get a debit card. Most people find that having cash on hand makes it easier to spend. If you use a debit card instead, you’re an extra step away from spending so you have a little more time to consider your purchase. Another benefit of a debit card is it helps track your purchases in real time so you can keep constant tabs on your balance and ensure you don’t overdraft your account.

Start a savings habit. Even if your income doesn’t allow for much, it’s a good idea to get in the habit of setting aside a portion of each check. It may only be $10, but over time each $10 deposit can build your account toward a long-range goal.

Protect your privacy. Teens who’ve grown up in the digital age tend to be less skeptical and cautious about privacy matters than their elder counterparts. It’s important that young people understand the potential impact of failing to protect their privacy when it comes to financial matters, including the possibility that their identities could be stolen and all of their money siphoned away. Teaching kids about security is an essential lesson in economics.

Visit ja.org for more tips and information to help raise your teen’s financial literacy.

SOURCE:
Junior Achievement

5 Pro Tips to Prep Homes for Winter

Winter is the perfect time to implement upgrades that boost energy efficiency and lower heating bills…..

(Family Features) Before blustery winter days arrive, there are plenty of home improvement projects contractors can tackle for homeowners. Many cooler weather projects focus on cost efficiency and sustainability, making the improvements all around smart investments.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Winter is the perfect time to implement upgrades that boost energy efficiency and lower heating bills, helping to manage household costs while improving comfort and enjoyment of the home. Consider these practical upgrade ideas.

Add insulation. Depending on the age of the home, improving the quality or increasing the volume of insulation can make a difference in the home’s energy efficiency. An expert can determine whether old insulation needs to be removed or new insulation should simply be added. A contractor can examine the home to determine where there may be gaps, as well as provide recommendations on the type and amount of insulation needed.

Seal air leaks. Air leaks can cause chilly drafts, contribute to frozen pipes and lead to energy loss. Eliminating leaks is an important aspect of winterizing any home, but not all leaks are easily identified. A skilled contractor can scour the home, checking unknown areas like basement through-wall penetrations, sill plates and the tops of concrete walls. Interior features like light receptacles and outlets are also common sources of air leakage. The caulking around windows and doors is another common culprit to be examined by an expert.

For most leaks, a solution like Great Stuff Pro™ Polyurethane Foam Sealant can seal gaps and cracks to help block air, moisture and pests from entering the home. In some cases, blocking drafty vents with cut pieces of foam board insulation or replacing seals will suffice to address leaks.

Install a programable thermostat. A programmable thermostat helps to regulate temperatures based on daily routines, so homeowners aren’t heating homes while no one is there to appreciate it. Experts can ensure electrical installation is done safely and provide guidance selecting a model that is appropriate for managing a home’s heating and cooling needs.

Replace weather stripping and seal trim. Over time and with frequent use, weather stripping breaks down and loses its shape, even becoming brittle. Cracked trim around doors and windows leads to air leaks, and sometimes homeowners think the only solution is replacing windows and doors, but they still end up with drafts. Contractors can periodically replace trim using foam sealant to help eliminate inevitable drafts and save homeowners money in the long run – a more cost-effective approach than paying for new windows and doors.

Prevent ice dams. Snow-covered roofs and freezing weather can lead to ice dams – thick ridges of solid ice that build up in gutters and along eaves. Dams can damage gutters and shingles and cause water to back up, which could force the water inside where it can peel paint, warp floors and lead to stained or sagging ceilings. To prevent damming, have a professional clear your gutters of leaves and debris ahead of the first snow and consider installing gutter guards to help prevent melting snow from refreezing in gutters.

For more tips and ideas on how to prepare homes for winter, visit GreatStuff.com.

SOURCE:
Great Stuff

Home Decorating for the Holidays

Before you go all out with the tinsel and holly, take some time to tidy up the areas in your home guests will use the most…..

(Family Features) Chances are good that at some point during the holiday season, you’ll welcome guests into your home. Whether you lease or own your home, creating a cozy, festive setting for holiday gatherings can actually be quite simple, especially if you take on the project one room at a time.

One advantage of seasonal decorating is that it is, by definition, temporary. This gives you plenty of freedom to experiment with new ideas and completely transform your living space on a short-term basis. It’s also an opportunity to get creative with your home’s decor to create warm, inviting places for family and friends to gather.

Get started decking the halls this holiday season with these room-by-room decorating tips from the design experts at Invitation Homes, one of the nation’s premier home leasing companies with more than 80,000 single-family homes for lease in the United States.

Photos courtesy of Getty Images

Exterior

Curb appeal isn’t a concept reserved for buying and selling; set the festive mood from the moment guests arrive by enhancing your home’s outdoor space. Bold or twinkling, strings of lights add instant holiday appeal, and the possibilities for creating a custom look are nearly endless when you use weather-resistant removable hooks. You can embellish the design with fun, whimsical inflatables or go more traditional with stylish wreaths and garland to accent the door. Make the look your own with unexpected touches like an old sled propped against the porch railing. The beauty of outdoor decorating is that virtually all of it can be easily removed to make way for a new season or event.

Entryway

Delight guests from the moment they enter your home by paying special attention to the entryway. It’s a great place to introduce a theme you’ll carry throughout the house such as seasonal patterns or textures like a colorful plaid print. Create ambient light with strings hung from the ceiling or wrap banisters and stairs with garland (pre-lit garland adds a classic touch).

Kitchen

In most homes, the kitchen is an entertaining hub. While platters of food may occupy many of the available surfaces, you can still incorporate a holiday theme. Set the table with a festive yuletide log with faux berries, pinecones and candles artfully placed nearby. Seasonal candles, festive seat cushions and a cheerful table runner all add subtle touches of holiday flair. Other ideas include dangling lights from the chandelier or stacking pinecones with string lights in a bowl or vase to accent the buffet line or to use as a table centerpiece. Holiday desserts can be artwork in their own right, so get creative to make the dessert table a stand-out element of the decor.

Living Room

A comfy, cozy environment that invites guests to make themselves at home as they catch up with loved ones is a holiday entertaining must. Extend the holiday happiness into this space with little touches like a lantern filled with pinecones, faux gifts by the mantle, stockings hung from stocking holders that reflect your decorative theme, seasonal throw pillows and evergreen arrangements on the end tables and coffee table.

Bathrooms

It may be a smaller space, but the bathroom is a room every guest is likely to visit. Incorporate flameless candles and seasonal metallic accents that complement the fixtures. Hang holiday items from shower curtain rings and replace your standard curtain with a festive or candy-cane striped alternative. Be sure to finish the look with seasonal decorative towels.

Guest Rooms

Traveling during the holidays can be stressful, but you can do your part to make guests feel comfortable by adding some cheerful touches to the area they’ll call home. A miniature evergreen tree in a planter or pot makes a fun addition to a nightstand. You can adorn headboards with garland or delicate lights and add festive throw pillows and blankets or even swap out linens entirely for a full-blown holiday welcome.

Holiday Hosting

Hosting guests can be stressful, especially during the holidays. These are some easy ways to prepare for holiday guests and make sure they feel at home.

Tidy Up
Before you go all out with the tinsel and holly, take some time to tidy up the areas in your home guests will use the most. Your decorations can shine brighter and make a better impression without school bags and shoes cluttering the display. Take advantage of holiday sales and invest in some storage cubes or other storage options.

Candles
Not only do can they add visual appeal, but the right scent creates an ambiance that brings everyone together. If you want to stay away from anything with flames, there are plenty of alternatives, such as plug-in scent diffusers, room sprays and wax warmers.

Snacks
Waiting for the big holiday meal can be tiresome. Set out some hors d’oeuvres for everyone to enjoy while they wait for the main course to be served. Cheese and cracker plates, hummus, veggies, mixed nuts and pretzels can help keep your guests from getting hungry. Make sure you ask about any allergies or dietary requirements beforehand so you can be prepared.

Find more lease-friendly holiday tips at invitationhomes.com.


SOURCE:
Invitation Homes

Bittersweet Farms Offers Festive Cookies with a Purpose

Bittersweet’s Culinary Program offers 12 different types of cookies…..

Whitehouse, OH…With the holidays right around the corner, the Culinary Program at Bittersweet Farms is accepting special orders for cookies and brownies! The Culinary Program at Bittersweet Farms provides meaningful paid employment opportunities for adults with autism. Your cookie purchase supports Bittersweet’s mission of positively impacting the lives of individuals with autism. Place your order today and serve delicious cookies with a purpose at your next holiday gathering!

Bittersweet’s Culinary Program offers 12 different types of cookies, including frosted sugar, monster, red velvet, chewy brownie, chocolate chip, vegan molasses, and gluten-free peanut butter s’more. Frosted sugar cookies are available in festive seasonal shapes, such as bells, Christmas trees, and candy canes. Cookies are sold in three-packs, six-packs, and by the dozen, with beautiful holiday trays available upon request. Prices vary by cookie variety. The program also sells salted caramel brownies, which are sold in single packs and four-packs.

Now is the time to place your holiday order! To place a cookie order, visit bittersweetfarms.org and click the cookie banner on the home page or call 419-875-6986, ext. 1214. Two weeks’ notice is required for cookie orders, or a $5 rush fee will be charged. The final date to pick-up holiday cookie orders is Monday, December 23rd. Thank you for supporting Bittersweet’s mission!

About Bittersweet, Inc.

For 36 years, Bittersweet, Inc. has been successfully serving adults and adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorders across three locations in Ohio. The mission of Bittersweet, Inc. is to positively impact the lives of individuals with autism and those whose lives they touch.

Sweet, Savvy Ways to Simplify Holiday Cooking

Simplifying your recipes and the ingredients you’ll need is one of the easiest ways you can take pressure off your own shoulders as the festivities draw near…….

(Family Features) Most holiday feasts call for delicious dishes to please a crowd, but making preparation as simple as possible is as time-honored a tradition as the turkey itself. Simplifying your recipes and the ingredients you’ll need is one of the easiest ways you can take pressure off your own shoulders as the festivities draw near.

For example, this Sweet Tea Turkey Brine calls for just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients like Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea – available nationwide and fresh-brewed without any added preservatives or colors – for a tender centerpiece at your gathering. Follow it up with Sweet Pumpkin Bread for dessert that will truly wow your crowd while cutting down on prep time.

Find more holiday recipes and inspiration at drinkmilos.com.

Sweet Tea Turkey Brine

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes

  • 1          gallon Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea
  • 1          cup kosher salt
  • 3          large sweet onions, quartered
  • 4          lemons, sliced
  • 8          garlic cloves, peeled
  • 5          sprigs rosemary
  • 10        cups ice
  • whole turkey
  1. In large stockpot over medium-high heat, combine sweet tea and kosher salt; stir frequently until salt is dissolved. Add onions, lemons, garlic and rosemary. Remove from heat; let cool to room temperature.
  2. When broth mixture cools, pour into clean 5-gallon bucket. Stir in ice.
  3. Wash and dry turkey. Remove innards. Place turkey, cavity-side up, into brine to fill cavity. Cover and place bucket in refrigerator overnight.
  4. Remove turkey, carefully draining excess brine; pat dry. Discard excess brine.
  5. Cook turkey, as desired, reserving drippings for gravy.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

Sweet Pumpkin Bread

Prep time: 15
Cook time: 55-60 minutes
Yield: 1 loaf

  • 1 2/3    cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2    cups sugar
  • 1          teaspoon baking soda
  • 1          teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2       teaspoon salt
  • 1/2       teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2       teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 2          eggs
  • 1          cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2       cup Milo’s Famous Sweet Tea
  • 1/2       cup pecans or walnuts (optional)
  1. Heat oven to 350° F.
  2. In large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking soda, cinnamon, salt, baking powder and nutmeg. In small bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin and sweet tea. Stir wet ingredients into dry ingredients until just moistened. Fold in nuts, if desired.
  3. Pour into greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Bake 55-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool in pan 10 minutes before removing to wire rack.

Photo courtesy of Getty Images (pumpkin bread)

SOURCE:
Milo’s Sweet Tea