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you might have a dumb home if…

If you come home from a Costa Rican vacation and find vagabonds eating your marshmallow puff, your home is dumb.  Read more…

grilling like a boss

I love Sundays in the summer. It’s a great time to have some folks over for a lazy afternoon of grilling and chilling. The only problem for me is that I’m not the best griller in the world. I’m getting better, but it would be a stretch to say

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demand response: beneficial to community and consumer

A few months ago I came across an article debating the benefits and downfalls of demand response programs. My first thought was, what in the heck is demand response? I’ll do my best to answer this first question in a minute. My second thought was, do I even need to read this article? Does it apply to me? and the answer is “Yes!” If you are

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lightning safety tips

Summer storm season is in full effect. Have you been experiencing significant weather? In the Midwest, where I live, weather radios have been altering us to tornado warnings and watches with frightening

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you are a workaholic if…

Have you ever wondered if you’re a workaholic? Maybe you love your job or maybe you just have a hard time leaving work at work, but here are some signs that you might be a workaholic…

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national hot dog month

July is National Hot Dog month, and it is a perfect time to enjoy a hot dog on a summer afternoon. Whether it is at a ball game or at a backyard barbeque, the hot dog is the perfect summer meal. My absolute favorite hot dogs come from

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bug spray repellant round up

It’s officially the middle of summer (how did that happen?) and I am covered in bug bites. Unfortunately that’s the cost of spending so much time outdoors in the summer – especially when it’s been

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backyard fire pit safety

I have so many great summer memories of being gathered around a fire pit, roasting
marshmallows or telling ghost stories or playing a guitar and singing with friends.
(My life sounds like an eternal summer camp, huh?) There’s something so magical
about being

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solar + shade

Out in California where we enjoy nearly 300 days a year of sun, going solar is a no
brainer. But take away the predictable sunny weather and solar can be a bit of a

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window covering options to keep you cool

Each season brings the dilemma of how to best deal with the change in
temperature and how to do it in an energy efficient way, which in turn can lower
those energy bills. There are several ways to handle this simply by making

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let’s neighbor: the simple life is the best life

Focus on ways to make your life simple. Simplify things and you will find you have
more time for the important things in life like spending time with loved ones and
enjoying each day to its fullest. The simple life is truly the

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recycle your old grill

We all know that summer is the time to grill. If you’re in my family, we grill every weekend. We can’t help ourselves. We tend to run our grills ragged by all the grilling we make them do. Because of that, we’ve gone through a grill or two and have learned the best ways to

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printable neighborhood – road trip!

This week’s printable features the roads you need to fill out your neighborhood and get your little cars out of town! Some of my favorite summertime memories are my family’s annual road trips to see my

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demand response energy conservation

If you are green to the core or simply looking for ways to budget your energy
consumption this summer, DR or Demand Response could be the incentive you have
been

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the sandwich generation

You’ve heard of Baby Boomers, Generation X, and Millennials? But are you familiar with the Sandwich Generation?

The Sandwich Generation refers to adults, typically in their thirties and forties, who are caring for their aging parents while raising their own kids. Caring for two generations can be

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time wasters

Time is a precious commodity. While there are many things that we think
of as valuable in this world, the thing you can never replace is

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backyard pool safety

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! SUMMER. That word, to me, means sunshine, warmth, swimming, and lots of

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what freedom means to me

Years ago I read an interview with J.K. Rowling where she was asked what she enjoys most about the success of the Harry Potter series. She replied that it was never having to worry about

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keeping an eye on the grill

One of my favorite parts about the summertime is the food. I mean the sunshine, warm weather, and time spent at the pool are all great but what really makes summer special is

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firework cleanup

 Very few of us in the spirit of patriotism would throw a bag of garbage out of our moving car onto the side of the road. Nor would we toss paper debris in front of our neighbor’s yard and yell out a cheerful

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road trip technology: driver essentials

My wife and I have probably logged tens of thousands of miles in our car on road trips.
We switch between driver and passenger during the drive, but in terms of
prepping for a lengthy road trip, she usually is in charge of

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road trip technology: passenger essentials

As one half of a married couple who just lives for a road trip, I’ve learned a thing or two about what it takes to make a great one. And for me (usually the passenger), a
lot of that means

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july neighborhood calendar – new york city

July is right around the corner and what better city to represent our country’s freedom and independence than New York City. Whether setting off fireworks, grilling for your family barbecue, or sewing the words

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new home. safe home.

You did it!  You bought a home! The process involved in purchasing a new home, more often then not, can be a long and stressful experience. It starts with

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are we creating technology for the wrong reasons?

Take a look at your phone, how many apps do you have? It might seem like a silly question, but

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protect your nest with tech

First is there anything more adorable than chubby baby legs? I think not! My husband often travels for work and when he’s away

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smarten up your dumb home

Gone are the days when hiring a house-sitter was the best way to protect your home
while on vacation, in fact, some of these old ideas are now considered

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tech isn’t always smart

Technology is one of the most important tools in today’s society. For most of us, I don’t think we could even function without it. It’s how we pay our bills, communicate with one another, and even

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5 ways to secure our homes and protect our families

There is nothing more important than the safety of home & family. With todays technology we can keep our homes secure & our loved ones safe while

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is your home dumb?

As much as we love to talk about the home of the future, the reality is that a Jetsons-status dwelling is still a little ways off in our home. We reside in an apartment (which has been admittedly very good to us) and can’t always

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