Thursday is National Pasta Day: Easy Vegan, Gluten-Free Pasta Recipe

This Thursday, Oct. 17  is National Pasta Day, so the chefs at Fresh n’ Lean (the nation’s #1 organic meal delivery company) have created a masterpiece of a gluten-free, vegan pasta dish that anyone can make.

PASTA ALL’ARRABBIATA By Fresh n’ Lean

Spicy Italian classic

This classic spicy Italian pasta dish can be on your table in only 20 minutes. It’s one of the easiest pasta recipes but at the same time surprisingly flavorful and perfect in its simplicity, like almost every Mediterranean dish.

Total time: 20 minutes.

Ingredients:

(makes 4 servings)

400g gluten free pasta of choice (preferably short type of pasta, like penne or maccheroni)

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 tsp of chili flakes

400g canned crushed tomatoes

salt to taste

For serving: handful of fresh parsley and (optionally) chili flakes to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (according to suggested cooking times on the package). Drain, saving about ¼ cup of the cooking water.
  2. In the meantime, add olive oil and minced garlic to a pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add chili flakes and saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes along with all the juices, stir well and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and let simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the pan with arrabbiata sauce, stir well until the pasta is evenly coated. If the sauce is too thick (that will depend on the variety of tomatoes), add 2-3 tablespoons of the saved pasta cooking water. Quickly heat up to the desired temperature, stirring constantly, don’t cook.
  6. Transfer to serving bowls or plates, decorate with freshly chopped parsley and, optionally, extra chili flakes. Enjoy!This classic spicy Italian pasta dish can be on your table in only 20 minutes. It’s one of the easiest pasta recipes but at the same time surprisingly flavorful and perfect in its simplicity, like almost every Mediterranean dish.Total time: 20 minutesIngredients:

    (makes 4 servings)

    400g gluten free pasta of choice (preferably short type of pasta, like penne or maccheroni)

    2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

    1 garlic clove, minced

    1 tsp of chili flakes

    400g canned crushed tomatoes

    salt to taste

    For serving: handful of fresh parsley and (optionally) chili flakes to taste

Instructions:

  1. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente (according to suggested cooking times on the package). Drain, saving about ¼ cup of the cooking water.
  2. In the meantime, add olive oil and minced garlic to a pan and cook over medium heat for 1 minute.
  3. Add chili flakes and saute for 30 seconds, stirring constantly.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes along with all the juices, stir well and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and let simmer for 6-8 minutes.
  5. Add cooked pasta to the pan with arrabbiata sauce, stir well until the pasta is evenly coated. If the sauce is too thick (that will depend on the variety of tomatoes), add 2-3 tablespoons of the saved pasta cooking water. Quickly heat up to the desired temperature, stirring constantly, don’t cook.
  6. Transfer to serving bowls or plates, decorate with freshly chopped parsley and, optionally, extra chili flakes. Enjoy!

Is Investing in Real Estate a Quick Route to Riches?

If you’re on the hunt for sensible ways to make money and live the lifestyle that you deserve, it might seem like there are very few dependable options. One tactic many people consider is whether real estate is a good strategy for quickly building up wealth. Whether you’re interested in an entrepreneurial house-flipping business or just curious about investing in a real estate project, you’ll want to know how to do it wisely. Before we answer the titular question, we’ve put together a list of pros and cons for you to consider before you take the plunge into real estate.

Pros:

First, we’ll cover a few reasons why investing in real estate might be an enticing option.

  • Real estate investing is a form of passive income (in some cases), so if you’re successful you won’t have to worry about clocking in and out – your check will simply be in the mail from your recent real estate deal, or from tenants renting out your property if you do choose to lease it. This makes property ownership a good option for retirees who are looking to augment their retirement savings with extra cash flow.
  • Real estate is a reasonably steady, long-term investment option. Property values do tend to rise and fall (more on that in the Cons section), but over time, a good amount of real estate appreciates in the long-term. So, this may not be a quick route to riches, but it certainly could be a slow and steady one.
  • It’s widely available in some growing areas. Parts of the country like Colorado, Nevada, and Texas are growing rapidly. However, they also have a lot of land. That means that there’s still plenty of room for your real estate investments to appreciate, making even riskier options like Fort Worth hard money loans actually seem somewhat attractive.
  • Property is actually a tangible asset. Unlike investments in the stock market that serve no purpose before you sell them, property can actually be used. For instance, if you’re flipping a house to resell it, you can still live in it during renovations. Or, if you’re just waiting for property values to increase before selling, you can lease to renters and make some more income that way.

Cons

Now we’ll go over what you should be careful of before you get started investing in real estate.

  • There are a lot of real estate scams. If you don’t do diligent research before investing, you could wind up with a property that rapidly depreciates or isn’t worth anywhere near what you paid for it. Be careful and do diligent research before putting your money toward any real estate investment opportunity.
  • Real estate investing takes time. If you are looking for a way to make money quickly, purchasing a house in hopes that property values will increase could take a decade or more. House flipping might be an easier way to make money more quickly, but this requires significantly more time and investment, as you’ll have to renovate the home well enough to warrant a high asking price.
  • Property management can be a headache if you can’t find good tenants. If you do go the leasing route, it’s important to find tenants who will respect your property and treat it well. The last thing you want on your list of costs is repairs necessary after troublesome tenants move out.
  • A substantial amount of your net worth is tied up in your investment. If you find that you need money quickly, you might be in some trouble. Real estate is difficult to convert into liquid funds fast enough to cover a last-minute need for emergency cash. That’s because you’ll have to sell the property successfully to make your money back. Plus, if you have tenants, you might not be able to just evict them to liquidate in your property, further stalling access to funds.

So, is real estate a quick route to riches? In most cases, real estate is not a way to get rich quickly. That’s because, as with any investment, it can take time to fully appreciate. While flipping houses can be a good way to earn money, it’s not always easy to quickly get rich this way – in many ways, it’s like owning any small business, as the overhead costs are substantial and don’t allow for immediate profits. Let us know whether you’ve had any teachable experiences from real estate investing in the comments below!

7 High-Paying Remote Jobs You Should Know About

The 9-5 grind has become an exhaustive source of stress for people all around the world. Spending 40 hours chipping away at a job that doesn’t necessarily bring you joy is a tough middle ground to live in. Instead of submitting to the grind of the traditional work-life, people are opting for career paths that allow them to build their own type of success while following their work-life balance dreams.

In fact, according to a report by Global WorkPlace Analytics, “regular work-at-home, among the non-self-employed population, has grown by 159% since 2005, more than 11x faster than the rest of the workforce and nearly 50x faster than the self-employed population.”

1. Virtual Assistant

The beauty of the virtual assistant career path is that there are so many different industries in which your services are needed. Responsibilities typically range from office admin work, social media management, email organization, proofreading, and client contact.

Virtual assisting is becoming increasingly popular among remote workers as it’s fairly simple to complete all tasks from the comfort of your couch or inside of your favorite cafe. The average virtual assistant makes between $35- $50 per hour.

2. Blogger

Have a way with words? The blogging sphere is wide open and waiting for ambitious and eloquent writers to engage audiences among the many burgeoning industries out there. Whether it’s sharing your passion for fashion or divulging into your opinions on the current political landscape, you have the power to make an impressive annual salary on your words alone. There is, however, plenty of hard work involved in building up your blogger status, but if you play your cards right, you could rake in a substantial amount of money in no time. 

3. Accountant

In this day and age, you don’t need to be a certified public accountant (CPA) to land a well-paying remote career in accounting—you will, however, you need a robust bookkeeping background and high-performance software for tax preparers to get your career started.

Accountants are essential for clients and companies who need some extra help handling tasks ranging from payroll duties to corporate tax preparation. Because these jobs require some high-level skills and a decent amount of experience, the average salary ranges between $45,000 and $80,000.

4. Airbnb Host

Airbnb has become the number one alternative to hotel stays, and business is booming for Airbnb hosts. Depending on your real estate’s location, you could potentially make over $75,000 a year by simply renting your space out. While Airbnb earnings tend to range drastically more than 50% of all Airbnb hosts make more than $500 per month. All you need to do is be a kind host and make sure your space is sparkling for the next visitor. 

5. Freelance Writer

If you’re looking for a remote job that has a splash of creative spice to it, freelance writing may be your destined career path. The market for writers has always been huge, it’s merely a matter of finding your niche that makes a world of difference to your pockets and to your interests. While the average freelance writer makes between $50,000 and $60,000, specific niches, specifically those in technical industries, are more likely to earn higher wages. 

6. ESL Tutor

Online tutoring has transformed the education field, making learning a more accessible experience around the world. English as a Second Language tutoring has blossomed into one of the most opportune remote work options for people who have a hankering for teaching, traveling, or a bit of both! Depending on your skill level and client base, you could earn anywhere between $25,000 and $40,000 annually. 

7. Social Media Consultant

Are you particularly skilled in the social media department? Whether you have a degree in marketing or just have an impressive background in understanding social media trends, pursuing a career in social media consulting may be the pathway to success for you.

Today’s businesses place high importance on their social media presence and their engagement levels with clients and potential leads. Having the right social media strategy in place could make a significant difference for a company or brand.

Are you a remote worker? What lucrative remote career paths do you wish you could pursue? Open up the discussion in the comments below.

Jesus Christ Superstar Amazes Patrons in Austin

Aaron LaVigne and Jenna Rubaii and the company of the North American Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Aaron LaVigne and Jenna Rubaii and the company of the North American Tour of JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR. Photo by Matthew Murphy.

Lexus Broadway In Austin’s presentation of “Jesus Christ Superstar” raucously tells the story of Jesus in the final dramatic days leading up to his crucifixion.

Having no spoken dialogue, this modern day rock opera, with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber and lyrics by Tim Rice is loosely based on the biblical Gospels, focusing on the personal tensions between Jesus, his disciples, the people of Israel, and the leadership of Rome.

Unique among biblical retellings, this theatrical portrayal makes great emphasis of Judas’ concerns for Jesus’ increasing popularity and the potential negative repercussions from local authorities that may ensue, as Judas criticizes Jesus for accepting his followers’ unrealistic beliefs in him. Meanwhile, Caiaphas, the High Preist of Israel, assembles the Pharisees together at the Sanhedrin to hold council about Jesus and his disciples unwillingness to accept the Romans as their rulers and the threat of imperial authority being debased. Caiaphas soon concludes they kill Jesus for the greater good, and the Pharisees concur upon his decision.

Upon Jesus’ exultant arrival in Jerusalem, Pontius Pilate, the governor of Judea, has a dream in which he meets with the Galilean and then receives all of the blame for the man’s violent and mournful death, predicting the rise of Christianity.

Chorus upon chorus regale the familiar epic history that follows with Judas’ betrayal of Jesus to the Pharisees, the last supper, Peter’s three-time denial of Jesus, the Garden of Gethsemane, Judas’ kiss upon Jesus cheek inciting his apprehension by Roman soldiers, the numerous interrogations and tortures that ultimately placed the Man from Galilee upon the rough timbered surface of the cross, all the while Mary Magdalene and countless followers stand helplessly by as Jesus is raised in to the air for his final pains taking breath and ignite a movement singular only to not only the King of the Jews, but the Son of God.

Visit Lexus Broadway in Austin for more details at https://austin.broadway.com/shows/jesus-christ-superstar/.

Today is National Dessert Day: Vegan Raspberry Coconut Cheesecake Recipe

Today is National Dessert today, so the chefs at Fresh n’ Lean (the nation’s #1 organic meal delivery company) have created a masterpiece of a vegan dessert that anyone can make.

VEGAN RASPBERRY COCONUT CHEESECAKE – By Fresh n’ Lean

No-bake and gluten free

This no-bake raspberry coconut cheesecake is a real crowd pleaser. It’s vegan, gluten free,
creamy, naturally sweet and refreshing. Made with a bunch of wholesome ingredients, it will
satisfy your sweet tooth being healthy and nutritious at the same time. It needs only 20 before
it’s ready to be popped in the freezer and it can be prepared the day before, which means you
don’t have to worry about the dessert anymore, just remember to take it out of the freezer 30
minutes before slicing and serving.

Prep time: 20 minutes + 4-6 hours in the freezer

Ingredients:
(12cm round cake tin, serves 6-8 people)
Crust:
½ cup gluten free oats
½ cup almonds, raw
½ cup desiccated coconut, unsweetened
2 large medjool dates
¼ tsp of sea salt
1 tbsp of coconut oil, unrefined
1-2 tbsp cold water
Coconut raspberry layer:
1 cup cashews, soaked in boiling water for 15-20 minutes, drained
½ cup coconut cream (solid part from a can of full fat coconut milk)
1 tbsp of coconut oil, unrefined
½ cup of fresh or frozen raspberries
3 tbsp of maple syrup
juice of half a lemon
2-4 tbsp of coconut milk, if needed
For decorating: handful of fresh raspberries, dessicated coconut

Instructions:
1. Add oats, almonds, coconut, dates and salt to a food processor. Blitz until wet sand
consistency. At this point add coconut oil and 1 tablespoon of cold water. Blend again
and see if the dough starts to come together. If not, add an extra tablespoon of cold
water.
2. Line 12cm cake tin with parchment paper. Firmly press the crust into the bottom of the
tin. Place in the freezer while you prepare the raspberry layer.
3. Add all raspberry layer ingredients, besides coconut milk, to a food processor or high
speed blender. Blend until smooth. Scrape the sides whenever necessary. Add 2 to 4
tablespoons of coconut milk if needed to keep your food processor work smoothly.
4. Pour the raspberry layer on top of the crust. Place in the freezer for a minimum of 4-6
hours to set (or overnight).
5. Take out of freezer 20-30 minutes before serving. Decorate with fresh raspberries and
desiccated coconut.

4 Fun Ways to Take a Home Sports Viewing Party to New Heights

There’s nothing better than having all your favorite people over to watch a sporting event together. No matter the sport, team, or event – be it a random NBA game, the Super Bowl, or March Madness – there’s just something fun and relaxing about watching with your own crowd. And you can make the experience even better by shaking things up a bit, and upping your watch party preparation to include more than chips, dip, and beer.
Amp Up the Eats

Chips and salsa may be easy to dump into a bowl when company’s coming, but it’s usually nothing special. And if it’s become a common staple at watch parties, it’s time to try something else anyway! One way to spice it up (pun fully intended) is to try a nacho-style fondue station. You can add something like Ro-Tel dip to the cheese if you want it to be hotter, and then give guests dipping choices besides tortilla chips. Add in extras like pretzels, bite-size sausages, or even french fries. It’s basically the ideal snack station, it doesn’t take a whole lot of effort, and everyone will wind up satisfied.

Have An In-House Betting Pool

If you and your friends are all into it, you can certainly have fun getting your own game going while you watch whatever event is on TV. Online sports bookie sites are becoming more readily available and more user-accessible than ever before, which in turn means more people are becoming familiar with the ins and outs of betting (in terms of how to read odds, which tips to trust, etc.). You might all simply place bets together at one of these sites, but you could also use them as a basis to set up your own, in-house betting pool. And really, it doesn’t even have to involve money. Betting candies, gift cards, or anything else fun and innocent can be a great way to give everyone a stake in the action. And for that matter, if you have regular watch parties, you could even organize season-long betting pools!

Watch Outside

Another very fun way to spice up a watch party is to structure it like your own home tailgate, no matter the season. You can get some lawn games going, set up a tent outside, and move a TV out under the shade if it’s super hot – or put the TV in the garage and set up heaters if it’s a cold fall day. Supply extra jackets or mittens for your guests, and even a hot coffee, hot chocolate and/or cider station. (If you’re feeling extra festive, add single shots of whiskey to make those hot drinks even more delicious.) Whatever the case, you can set up a grill outside, embrace the elements, and make whatever you’re watching the game with that much more satisfying in the process – be it a cool beer on a hot day or a piping-hot burger in a chilly garage.

Go Virtual

While watching at home generally gives you a better view than nosebleed seats at the stadium, there is now a way to get an even better angle. Watching a game through a VR headset is becoming an option, and allows you to enjoy the best seats in the house even though you’re at home. Not all leagues and games facilitate the option yet, but if it is an option, your friends might love getting in on the action together. Granted, it takes a little bit of the communal fun out of things, in theory, but particularly while it’s still aa novelty, we don’t think that will be a problem. It will be a blast to sit and talk with friends on comfortable couches while all enjoying first-person stadium views together.

You can always find fun ways to change up watch parties according to your personal interests and those of your friends as well. Maybe there’s something you all like to eat or drink every time, or maybe you have your own sort of betting or fantasy side game to go along with the action. But for more general ideas that anyone can try, the above options can make watching sports with the gang more fun than ever.

Peter Ulrich Collaboration Teaches “Lessons of Love” with Help from Singer Sharon Hochma-Hawk and Painter Ola Lubczyńska

The Third Single from “Final Reflections” Tells the Tale of an Art Aficionado Falling in Love with a Master Painter’s Rendering of a Beautiful Woman

It was truly a case of Art imitates Life imitates Art when the third single from The Peter Ulrich Collaboration’s album “Final Reflections” entitled “Lessons of Love” came into being. Producer Trebor Lloyd met Polish artist Ola Lubczyńska online through mutual friends. As it turned out, Lubczyńska was contemplating a painting where a man interacted with a painting of a beautiful woman while, at the same time, lyrics were spinning in Lloyd’s head about an art lover falling in love with a master painter’s rendering of another beautiful woman. Throw into this happy confluence some music from New York songwriter Anne Husick, collaboration head Peter Ulrich and others, enlist the charming Israeli American vocalist Sharon Hochma-Hawk to sing lead and not only was the song, Lessons of Love. born, but a lovely canvas from Lubczyńska ensued. The beautiful canvas was used as the cover image for the single and on YouTube for the audio video. Final Reflections, to be released on December 3, is the third and final album in The Painted Caravan Trilogy.

LISTEN TO LESSONS OF LOVE HERE: 

https://youtu.be/uwSUNqRrSdE 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OLA LUBCYNRISKA AND SEE HER PAINTINGS HERE:

http://www.lubczynska.pl/en/about-me 

ABOUT THE PETER ULRICH COLLABORATION:

The Peter Ulrich Collaboration is a collaboration helmed by Peter Ulrich, former percussionist for the iconic Dead Can Dance, the brilliantly innovative band that music historian Ian McFarlane described as world music that “constructed soundscapes of mesmerizing grandeur and solemn beauty… with African polyrhythms, Gaelic folk, Gregorian chants, Middle-Eastern mantras and art-rock”. Ulrich met Brendan Perry and Lisa Gerrard, the founders and cornerstones of Dead Can Dance, in London in 1982 and joined the band on drums and percussion. After leaving DCD and after releasing a string of critically acclaimed releases as a solo artist, Peter’s next big step was The Peter Ulrich Collaboration.

The Collaboration mixes folk rock, world rock, art rock and psychedelic music with a world view that encompasses alternative history, fictional universes, Steampunk, and Goth, and recalls the exquisitely crafted soundscapes of Dead Can Dance. The group features songwriting by Ulrich, Lloyd, and New York songwriters Anne Husick, Sara Wendt and Kathy Sheppard among others with vocals by David Steele, Wendt, Ulrich, Jen Elliott, Shane Chapman, Stephanie Linn, Timothy Dark and other bright American and English talents. The vocalists are backed by a crackerjack band playing rock, post-rock, world and folk influenced music. After the release of two albums, thrilled New York Collaboration fans were were treated to a live performance by the band at Manhattan’s famous Webster Hall in 2015. 

The Peter Ulrich Collaboration’s “Final Reflections”; the final chapter in the well received The Painted Caravan Trilogy, will be available for streaming and purchase on all the major services starting December 3rd, 2019.

ABOUT SHARON HOCHMA-HAWK

Sharon Hochma-Hawk was born and raised in Israel where she received early instruction in vocals and percussion. After a stint in the Israeli military, she joined the prestigious Circle in the Square theatre school in New York City. During her subsequent ten years in New York, Sharon sang and played live with a wide range of musical New York talents and also demonstrated similar range as a session player in New York recording studios.

Among those recording sessions were several with The Peter Ulrich Collaboration including vocals in all three albums of The Painted Caravan Trilogy including most recently in Lessons of Love for Final Reflections, the final album in the Trilogy. Sharon then returned to Israel for awhile where she continued her musical and acting career playing with her band and appearing in a slew of television commercials. However New York called again and she made a pilgrimage back to add her vocal talents and percussion expertise to The Peter Ulrich Collaboration show at Webster Hall in 2015.

Over the years, Sharon developed considerable chops as a song writer and a charismatic stage presence. Among her songwriting efforts was the song, Green, which appeared in Tempus Fugitives, the second album of The Peter Ulrich Collaboration which she also performed live at Webster Hall.

Presently Sharon is putting the finishing touches on her very own album which features self-penned songs in a delicious pop EDM style with wise and often witty lyrics.

“A rich and song-filled showcase”—RollingStone. com.

“Grand mix of folk and world music”—Modern Drummer.

“Riveting and intriguing”—Popdose.

“A collaboration to be cherished”—The Independent.

“Colorful and enjoyable record”—All Music Guide.

As a special thanks to Collaboration fans, from October 1 until November 5th, the new album Final Reflections – along with the entire Painted Caravan Trilogy – will be available on a pre order basis at a special discounted rate through AIS Records which is distributing Final Reflections and The Painted Caravan Trilogy under an exclusive license from City Canyons. Stayed tuned for a link for this very special discount with access to the entire Trilogy at one convenient location. 

With The Painted Caravan Trilogy now complete, Peter Ulrich brings his colorful Caravan home full speed ahead. All aboard for the final exhilarating trip!

LISTEN TO THE PETER ULRICH COLLABORATION ON SPOTIFY HERE: https://open.spotify.com/artist/51zJ8DnSMTP7aWHtY8mrdh.

FOLLOW FINAL REFLECTIONS ON FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/ulrichcollaboration.

VISIT THE TEMPUS FUGITIVES WEBSITE

http://www.citycanyons.org.

VISIT THE PAINTED CARAVAN WEBSITE

http://www.citycanyons.net.

VISIT PETER ULRICH ON FACEBOOK:

https://www.facebook.com/UlrichMusic/.

Defeating Obesity with These Isometric Exercises

An isometric exercise or workout is a type of training where the muscle length or joint angle doesn’t change. Simply put, the body stays static while it applies force. Some isometric exercise examples can be as simple as pushing your palms together or be as intense as holding a barbell at the peak of a curl. This is why they are so convenient and safe; people can perform them anytime, anywhere with an almost zero chance of injuries.

Shoulder Press 

  • Stand up straight and bend your left elbow by your side, fist up.
  • Place your right palm on top of your left fist. Your right arm should be parallel to the ground with your elbow bent about 90 degrees.
  • Press your right palm into your left fist and hold this for 10 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.

Trunk Rotation

A5_Trunk-Rotation.jpg

  • Place your left palm on your right shoulder.
  • Keep your right arm relaxed by your side.
  • Keep your back straight and both hips square. Rotate your torso to the left as you push your left palm into your right shoulder.
  • Hold this for 10 seconds and repeat on the other side.
  • Do this complete exercise 10 times.

Chair Pose 

Chair-Pose.png

This classic yoga pose works your entire body. Combined with isometric holds, it is an effective, efficient way to get in a full-body exercise in just a few minutes.

  • Stand up with your knees and feet touching.
  • Extend both arms in front of you.
  • Slowly squat down as if you’re sitting in a chair.
  • Squeeze your thigh muscles together and contract your abs.
  • Hold this pose for 10 seconds, then return to a standing position.
  • Do this 10 times.

5 Tips for Protecting Your Outdoor Space in the Offseason

Regardless of the climate you live in, protecting your patio furnishings and accessories during the colder months is crucial to maintaining a beautiful and functional outdoor living space. Protective outdoor covers can help defend against snow, sleet, wind, sun and rain, which can damage your outdoor essentials and cause them to deteriorate over time.

Consider these five ways to help ensure your outdoor space is protected from whatever weather may come your way:

Protect patio pieces – Investing in high-quality covers can help keep your outdoor furniture pieces functional for years. Look for covers that feature durable fabrics and details like adjustable straps and cord-lock closures for a quick, custom-like fit. To keep water from pooling and seeping into cushions and furnishings, use inflatable airbags to elevate covers and help repel rain, snow and debris.

Keep debris out of your AC – Air conditioning units are built to withstand rain and snow, but not to keep out debris or pests. Select a full cover with air vents to reduce inside condensation, as moisture buildup can freeze the condenser coils or create mold, causing damage over time. If you live in a milder climate and your unit is beneath trees, consider a mesh-top cover to protect your air conditioner from falling sticks and leaves.

Safeguard the grill – Whether you’re putting the grill away for the season or gearing up for winter cookouts, be sure to cover your grill when it’s not in use to help prevent rust and damage. Eliminate the hassles commonly associated with grill covers with an option like the Storigami Easy Fold BBQ Grill Cover, which folds twice as fast as standard covers and takes up one-quarter of the space when stored. Featuring looped, easy-to-grip handles and directional guide arrows to simplify the folding process, the collection allows you to continuously cover and uncover your grill whenever you want to fire it up.

Shield firewood from wind and water –If you use wood to heat your home, keep your logs burn-ready by storing them properly. Take time to stack logs neatly for proper airflow at least 20 feet from your house to prevent bugs from getting inside. Use a rack to keep the stack a few inches off the ground to protect the wood from moisture and insects. Then shield logs with a water-resistant cover with air vents that help reduce wind lofting and condensation.

Simplify storage – Streamline seasonal transitions with functional and flexible storage containers. For example, the Classic Accessories Ravenna Deck Box is a weatherproof storage solution for pool toys, gardening tools, cushions and other outdoor items. Available in three sizes, the series combines capacity with durable construction and fade-resistant materials designed to stand up to the great outdoors. These lightweight units can be easily repositioned or taken apart for convenient offseason storage.

Find more ideas for protecting your outdoor equipment at classicaccessories.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Classic Accessories

Be Prepared When Natural Disaster Strikes

Emergency situations, especially those that pertain to natural disasters, can be difficult to recover from without proper planning, which is why it’s important to take small steps from the start to help protect your family.

With the change of seasons comes an increased risk of weather-related emergencies. This fall, Clorox has partnered with the American Red Cross to encourage everyone to be “Red Cross Ready.”

Consider these three actionable steps to get your household ready for an emergency:

Prepare a kit: At minimum, you should have an emergency kit assembled with basic supplies. Depending on the circumstances, you may need to evacuate versus remaining in your home, which will affect the amount of supplies you need. A good rule of thumb is a three-day supply if you are evacuating and a two-week supply if you’ll be in your home.

  • Water: Keep one gallon per person, per day
  • Food: Stock up on non-perishable, easy-to-prepare items.
  • Disinfecting bleach: After a natural disaster, water may not be safe to drink. A few drops of an option like Clorox Disinfecting Bleach can be used to make water potable and can also help clean up mold and fungi from a buildup of excess moisture. Always pay close attention to the label to be sure you are following exact dilution instructions.
  • Flashlight (and extra batteries): Having a flashlight ensures that you’re able to navigate in the dark if the electricity goes out. Always keep extra batteries on-hand to power your flashlight and other items you may need.
  • First aid kit: In cases of emergency, first-aid supplies are crucial to help keep family members as safe and healthy as possible. Make sure to stock the kit with things like bandages, gauze and antibiotic creams.
  • Multi-purpose tool: Tools with multiple functions can be used for everything from cutting wire to opening bottles.
  • Sanitation and personal hygiene items: In addition to disinfecting bleach, it’s important to keep things like moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties for personal cleanliness.

Make a plan: Discuss how to prepare with your family or household members and talk about the best ways you can respond to the types of emergencies that are most likely to happen where you live, learn, work and play. Identify responsibilities for each member of your household and how you will work together as a team. Practice as many elements of your plan as possible.

Be informed: As an emergency is unfolding, normal communication systems like phone lines may be damaged or overloaded by call volume. Consider downloading smartphone apps such as the Red Cross Emergency App for customizable weather alerts, the “I’m safe”feature and other resources. It provides instant access to information for handling common first aid emergencies. You can also get trained in first aid and CPR so you’ll know what to do in case emergency help is delayed.

After a natural disaster, a safe and healthy recovery is key. Listen to local authorities and take safety precautions in case of storm aftershocks. Only use cellular or landline phones to report life-threatening conditions, keeping lines open for emergency responders. Return to your home only when authorities advise it’s safe to do so, making sure to also have photo identification to prove residency.

Learn more at clorox.com/redcrossready. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
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