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Archive for the ‘life’ Category

Next to your home, your vehicle is one of the most expensive purchases you will make.  So, if you plan on keeping your car in top working order, winterizing your car each year is a must.  The following tips will help you know what you need to do to winterize your car before the cold weather arrives.

Change your oil –Change the oil from 10W-30 during the summer to 5W-30 in the winter.  If you’re not sure whether to change the oil, check your owner’s manual to see what the manufacturer recommends.  Most vehicles call for an oil change every 3 months or 3,000 miles.

Check your antifreeze – Before the weather changes too much and the temperature drops too far, check the antifreeze in your cooling system to ensure that the ratio is around 60% coolant and 40% water.  Check your owner’s manual or ask a local mechanic to find the correct mixture needed for your area’s winter conditions.

Check the battery –Prior to winter, inspect the battery, cables, terminals, and fluid levels.  Look for tight terminal connections and make sure the cables don’t have cracks or breaks.  Check the level of water in the battery cells.  If the water is below the cap, refill it with distilled water, but do this while the engine is off.  Verify the age of your battery, if the battery is getting close to its expected life, go ahead and replace it.

Test the belts – Check all of the belts and hoses to ensure they’re not loose or cracked.  A loose belt could be all that keeps you from your destination.  A blown hose may also set your planned trip back.

Do you need snow tires? – If you live in an area that you’ll need snow tires, you have some options.  All-season tires are available, as well as chains that you can purchase rather than having to replace all four tires. If you live in an area where there is a lot of snow, consider trading out your summer tires for snow tires.  Just don’t forget to change them back in the spring.

Locks and keys – Make sure the lock system is working well. If you do get locked out, you can purchase a glycerine product to de-ice the locks.  Keep a couple handy, just in case you find yourself locked out this winter.

Keep an emergency kit handy – While no one wants to ever find themselves in need of one, it’s a good idea to have an emergency kit in your vehicle at all times.  The following items are good to keep in your car in case of an emergency:  Flares, blankets, wind-up radio, wind-up flashlight, a change of clothes, a pair of heavy boots and gloves, and a box of non-perishable food and water.

In doing these important tasks, you’ll be prepared in case your vehicle breaks down.  Planning ahead and choosing to winterize your car while the weather is still warm will help your car remain safe and reliable throughout the cold winter months.

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40…and Counting

I was just sitting here thinking about this blog – it was a while ago that I started it.  I was thinking that I wrote a post similar to this one just about a year ago…here it is.

I just re-read it and realized that I haven’t accomplished anything on my list…YET.  What got me thinking of it was the golf weekend that my husband and I went on this past week.  I didn’t break 100 yet.  I’m getting closer, but no cigar yet.

That’s alright – I was looking at that post and I STILL feel good about myself.  Life is STILL good and I’m still busy, happy, and feeling good.

Can you tell that I’m going to milk this birthday all weekend long?  🙂

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That’s right…I’m the big 4-0 today.

Probably about 10 lbs more than I was 10 years ago (not a big deal).

Probably about 100 times wiser than I was 10 years ago (that’s a HUGE deal).

I’m happy, healthy and enjoy getting up and doing what I do every morning

…that’s what life is all about, isn’t it?

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The time has come! Your teen has just received his license and the worry begins. Summertime is here and that means your teen will be spending more time on the road.

Here are some tips for keeping your teen safe on the road this summer and beyond:

  • Set ground rules as to when your teen can use the car. Daytime driving in the beginning, at least for the first six months; then gradually allow your teen to drive at night; but only up until a certain hour.
  • Teach by example. Don’t: drive and use a cell phone; eat while driving; tailgate or speed; invoke any road rage when driving; drink and drive.
  • Wearing seat belts is a law; therefore, follow all of the rules and regulations taught in driving school. Your teen will take note, and follow your lead.
  • Limit the areas where your teen can drive, at least until he or she has been driving for a while.
  • Do not allow any passengers in the car for at least six months. They need to understand the rules of the road, and not engage in conversation with friends. These can ultimately distract them causing an accident.
  • Ensure your car is well maintained. Check the following regularly: tires; windshield wiper fluid; water; brakes; windshield wipers, etc.
  • Accompany them as much as possible in the beginning; pointing out hazards they may come across such as potholes, construction, and the like. Mix up the routes so they become used to driving to different places.
  • Take your teen to the gas station. Teach them how to pump the gas and which type to use in your car. Teach them how to put air in the tires as well.
  • If you don’t already have one, purchase an emergency road kit, and explain each item to the teen.
  • Teach your teen how to change a tire, how to use road flares, and what to do in an emergency.

These tips for keeping your teen safe on the road this summer probably need to be mentioned often to help them remember. Another thing to point out is that while they are a safe driver, others on the road may not be.

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AAhhh…Vacation

Okay – enough slacking. I was on a vacation this past week with my family. We drove up to PA to my parent’s house and met my brother with his 3 kids. We had a blast! The weather was great and the kids had a terrific time…not to mention the excellent time with Grandma and Grandpa!

But now, alas, we have returned and I have to get back to work. I apologize for the lapse in posting, but everybody’s got to have some “down time.” So, between unpacking, laundry and grocery shopping, I vow to update my blog this weekend and get some cool tips coming your way!

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Are you suffering from SuperMom burnout? Do you sometimes struggle just to make it through each day? Moms everywhere are breaking down and giving out because they are too chicken to say, “No.” “No” may be a tiny, two-letter word, but it is definitely your secret weapon. And you can say it.

I am dedicating this list of ways you can say “no” (and not feel guilty about it) to my good friend Robyn at One Tough Momma – she admittedly has a LITTLE problem. Take these to heart, Robyn!

  • “Sorry, I’m taking a break.” The number one reason why you should say, “no” occasionally is simply that you deserve a break. You are chef, chauffeur, dish washer, and more. You job never ends on any given day of the week. You deserve a break.
  • “My schedule is full.” We tend to jam-pack our schedule full of activities, leaving time for nothing. Cut back on your kids activities (the rule in our household is one activity per season). Start a car pool and share driving responsibilities. Do whatever you can to free up some time in your schedule.
  • “I’m really slammed right this second, could I call you back tonight after the kids are in bed?” You’re headed out the door, rushing to the next appointment when the telephone rings. What do you do? Do you come to a screeching halt and answer the phone? Let’s say you do, and it’s a family member, calling to dump their latest woes on you. Do you stand, tapping your foot impatiently while you roll your eyes and listen to the sob story? This is a typical scene for many moms. Unless it is a DIRE emergency, they should understand that you have a busy life too and you will be much better equipped to help them later on after your immediately stress is gone.
  • “I have another commitment that day.” Say it and mean it. Regularly schedule in time with your family or time alone (and physically write it down in your planner) and if someone ask for your help during that time look in your planner and tell them you have another commitment.

Instead of rushing to be everything to everyone, stop for a moment. Ask yourself if you truly have time for whatever comes up. If not, say no by walking away, turning off the ringer on the phone, or not answering the knock at your door. Always remember that you are a mom—not a super hero. When you have to say no, people will understand; if they don’t at first, they will get used to it eventually.

Find out how to de-stress your life and regain YOU with Journey to Joy!

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Everybody rode their bike as a kid. It was a means of transportation and just a good way to get from here to there. As we age, we realize that we need some steady form of exercise and bike riding can be just the ticket! Read on to see just how great riding a bike is for your health.

It’s Great for the Heart!
Riding a bike is great cardiovascular exercise and increases the health of your heart. Everybody needs a minimum of thirty minutes of aerobic exercise at least three days a week. Purchasing a bike with several speeds will allow you to increase you fitness level as your cardiovascular function improves. Begin by riding at an easy speed over even ground. If a challenge is what you desire, change your terrain.

Bicycling is Kind to the Joints!
Women often experience joint pain especially in the knees as they get older. Osteoporosis causes joint problems to worsen because of the lack of proper calcium levels in the bones. Bike riding offers exercise without pain. The aerobic benefit is comparable to jogging or running without the strain. Make sure that the seat height on your bike is adjusted to allow your legs full range of motion with each revolution. Full range of motion also promotes better circulation to the lower extremities which do the majority of the work in moving the bicycle.

You Get Great Looking Legs!
Bicycling whips those leg muscles into shape. For muscular endurance, stick to a flat terrain, but adjust the speed of the bike as your strength improves. To avoid cramping, stretch thoroughly before and after each bike ride. If you are looking to increase muscle definition, vary your terrain. Off-road biking on dirt trails helps to flex leg muscles as you keep the bicycle under control even on uneven ground. Steep hills are great for working the quadriceps and hamstrings.

The Backside Gets a Little Boost Too!
The gluteus muscles also reap rewards from bike riding. For maximum power, raise your body about an inch off of the seat as you pedal. Squeeze your butt to control the pedaling motion. After a mile or so, those glutes should be on fire.

Increases Your Balance!
Learning to ride a bike is all about staying upright. To do that, you have to find a balance between your body and the bike. Maintaining that balance strengthens the core muscles of the abdominal region. Tightening the core muscles keeps you from falling off of the bike. The lower abdominals pull your legs back towards you body from the bottom of the cycling revolution. The lower back is also kept pain free by a strong balanced core.

Riding a bike is not just for kids. I am a great testament to this because I had not been on a bike for at least 15-20 years. The last bike I had was a 10-speed in high school. My husband just bought me a bike and we have started going out as a family. Man…my legs BURN like you wouldn’t believe! Even though there’s pain, the benefits are great and I know this too shall pass. This is something that the entire family can do together and have fun at the same time. Get on out there and try it!

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