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ASSURANCE VOLUME 05 / APRIL 2013

SPOTLIGHT TRAVEL FOOD FUN PROJECTS

Taking Your Kids On Your Island Holiday PAGE

23 WHAT’S HOT IN 2013 Travel Insurance THE ULTIMATE FAMILY GETAWAY

TIPS ON

Selecting


Travelers understands that life happens...more often than not. Life happens - and so do accidents. That’s why it’s important to have a Travelers Umbrella policy in place to protect you against unforeseen situations. Whether it’s a serious at-fault auto accident or an incident on your property, you can quickly find yourself stuck with a liability lawsuit that exceeds the insurance limits on your auto, homeowners, or other policy. And an expensive judgement is the last thing you want to worry about. For around $17 per month*, you could have an additional $1 million in liability coverage. It’s peace of mind you can’t afford to live without. travelers.com

MCMAHON AGENCY INC 2301 GEORGE URBAN BLVD DEPEW, NY 14043 Phone: 716-837-3943 • 716-836-3356 Email: TBFOX@EMSINSURANCE.COM Web Site: www.McMahonAgencyInc.com www.facebook.com/McMahonAgencyInc

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•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••• * For a policy with a $1,000,000 limit of liability and standard deductibles. Policy is for a single vehicle risk with no youthful operators. The price also assumes that the named insured’s personal auto insurance is with aTravelers affiliated company. Actual price will vary. Rates vary by location, amount of coverage, underwriting characteristics and are subject to change. The price is based on the rates in effect as of the date of this brochure. Price does not include the monthly installment fee that applies in most states. This material is for informational purposes only. All statements herein are subject to the provisions, exclusions and conditions of the applicable policy. For an actual description of all coverages, terms and conditions, refer to the insurance policy. Coverages are subject to individual insureds meeting our underwriting qualifications and to state availability. ©2011 The Travelers Indemnity Company. All rights reserved. The Travelers Indemnity Company and its property casualty affiliates. One Tower Square, Hartford, CT 06183


CONTENTS SUMMER TRAVEL CRUISES BECOMING TOP CHOICE FOR MULTIGENERATIONAL TRAVEL

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THE ULTIMATE FAMILY GETAWAY

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TRAVEL: WHAT’S HOT IN 2013 Soluptatur? Qui ullab iur, que consequ aeptius plitiore nisim res nempori atquam videlique

06 SUMMER FOOD

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GET YOUR GRILL ON GRILLING AND BROILING SEAFOOD Soluptatur? Qui ullab iur, que consequ aeptius plitiore nisim res nempori atquam videlique

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SAVOR A SATISFYING FRESH FRUIT SALAD

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POWER UP

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SUMMER FOOD

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GET YOUR GRILL ON GRILLING AND BROILING SEAFOOD Soluptatur? Qui ullab iur, que consequ aeptius plitiore nisim res nempori atquam videlique

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POWER UP

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AVOID COZYING UP TO BED BUGS WHILE TRAVELING

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25 TIPS TO SAFEGUARD YOUR HOME AND PROPERTY WHILE YOU TRAVEL

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TIPS ON SELECTING A HOTEL TAKING YOUR KIDS ON YOUR ISLAND HOLIDAY Soluptatur? Qui ullab iur, que consequ aeptius plitiore nisim res nempori atquam videlique

ALL INCLUSIVE CARIBBEAN VACATIONS TRAVEL INSURANCE Soluptatur? Qui ullab iur, que consequ aeptius plitiore nisim res nempori atquam videlique

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SUMMER TRAVEL SELLING YOUR HOME? A GREAT DECK SPRUCES UP THE CURB APPEAL

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HOW TO BREATHE EASIER IN YOUR OWN HOME THIS SPRING

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The Value of Travelers Insurance Company to the McMahon Agency Watch this quick video to see how Travelers Helps Independent Agencies throughout the world to: See the BIG PICTURE - through training and workshops; Use the TOOLS - by creating Assurance Magazine; to Stay CONNECTED with clients - by using Social Media ... ...or you can go straight to 1:40 - 2:48 to see Tom Fox, Agency Principle at McMahon Insurance, express how Travelers has helped his agency bring you Assurance Magazine. He calls it ‘Marketing Tool Box’ with the available ads slick links and support. As an internationally recognized company, Travelers enables McMahon Agency’s clients to have true 24/7 access in all areas of their daily life and meet their changing needs. Ron Endle, a client who sees NcMahon’s influence in the Buffalo New York community as well is featured as he is brought through the process of finding what best protects him and his business. As a matter of fact, several clients speak up (although not seen here) to sing the praises of several in the McMahon office who have provided not just great service but a helpful friend at a time of loss. June 3, 2009 I would like to give special thanks to Dyan Thrush. We needed a policy change because we had our house demolished and need a builder’s risk insurance policy to construct a new residence. I had no idea where to begin - so I was lucky to get Dyan. We needed this quick because the contractors were ready to build, and Dyan was right on it. Through e-mails and phone conversation, Dyan gave me various proposals and explained everything so I would understand and could make a well informed decision. Dyan was always there when I needed her and answered all my questions. Dyan coordinated all of the required insurance documents with my attorney and made sure everything was completed so I could close on my construction loan. Thank you for helping me. Irene and Mark Schmidt Niagara Falls, New York June 2, 2009 I would really like to tell you how much Peg Stewart helped me when my homeowner insurance information was incorrectly handled by my bank that has my mortgage. When I received my mortgage statement, my payment had gone up some $690.00. The reason for that was the yearly payment was put through to be deducted each month instead of once a year. I must say that Peg put me at ease and I trusted that she would take care of everything - and she did. Roberta Seekins North Tonawanda, New York 4


Letter from the EDITOR

Summer is nearly here.  To some,  summer means a time of renewal from long winter days.  To others, it means time spent with family and friends or vacations and an opportunity for rest and relaxation.  Regardless of what summer means to you and your family we want to encourage you to take advantage of the many opportunities that summer provides. In this issue we wanted to give you some great ideas to make the most out of your summer.  We will take you to the high seas on a cruise, tempt you with mouthwatering food and help you plan projects to bring your family together. We would love to have you share with us how you spend your summer.  So, as you go though the next few months think about dropping us an email, and hopefully some photos, of what will hopefully will be one of your best summers ever…Summer 2013. Each one of us wishes you, your family and your business a wonderful year.

Thomas B. Fox, CIC Vice President

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INSURANCE & FINANCIAL SERVICES

Group


SUMMER TRAVEL

Cruises Becoming

Top Choice For Multigenerational

travel Among the hottest trends in travel is family travel, but multigenerational trips -- which span three generations of a family -- are quickly gaining popularity. Last year, 32 percent of vacationing U.S. grandparents took their grandchildren along. In a recent study, Preferred Hotel Group found that 40 percent of U.S. leisure travelers -- about 21 million of them -- took a multigenerational trip in the previous 12 months. The study also found that nearly eight in 10 multigenerational travelers plan “milestone vacations,� with half planning around a life event like a birthday, anniversary, reunion or wedding.

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SUMMER TRAVEL

There are many reasons why such trips are popular.

The almost all-inclusive nature of a cruise also makes it

Today’s seniors are living longer, healthier and more

convenient for families to budget for lodging, meals and

mobile lives and are eager to make up for long distances

entertainment.

away from grandchildren. Grown children, strapped for time and money to plan relaxing vacations and trips to

While mega-cruise ships offer more activities and

see extended family, are combining the two.

amenities, many families opt for the unique experience of a sailing cruise. These vessels provide an intimate

The last decade has seen a significant increase in

environment similar to a private yacht while offering an

multigenerational cruising, and the cruise industry has

adventurous, educational holiday for the whole group.

responded to changing vacation patterns by adding enriching destinations, excursions, on-board activities

Star Clippers’ fleet of three sailing ships provides the

and amenities to cater to every age.

thrill of sailing on an authentic tall ship, an extensive water-sports program and exotic destinations with

The ease of cruising makes it an appealing vacation

cross-generation appeal. The ships’ smaller size -- either

option. Travelers can see multiple destinations without

170 or 227 passengers -- means families can have an

packing and unpacking, and if it gets to be too much,

intimate vacation experience without long lines and

Grandpa can easily retire to his cabin.

large crowds.

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SUMMER TRAVEL

The Ultimate Family Getaway Planning the vacation of a lifetime for the whole family

There are so many options for a great family vacation that it can be hard to decide on where to go. One thing that will help you decide on a destination is to think about your family’s vacation personality. Is your family laid back, or adventurous? Do you enjoy exploring on land or experiences at sea? Once you know your family’s vacation personality, you can plan the vacation of a lifetime. Here are a few exciting ideas to get you started on your ultimate family getaway. 10


SUMMER TRAVEL

Family Cruise If fantasy, fun and the magic of the sea appeal to your family, then a cruise

want to make sure that everyone,

is for you. Twenty-five percent of cruisers sail with children, according to

from grandparents down to the

the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA). And today’s ships offer a

toddlers, has something they can

wide array of onboard features and programs for all ages - not to mention

enjoy.

exciting ports of call along the way. When choosing a family cruise, you 12


For example, Disney Cruise Lines’

activities available, ranging from lively deck parties and Broadway-style

cabins are designed with families in

stage spectaculars to water-based fun on deck with pools, waterslides and

mind, with extra storage space and

splash zones. But you don’t have to do everything together:

split bath design. There are plenty of family-centered shows and


SUMMER TRAVEL

• Younger kids will love having their

When choosing a cruise, make

of cruising over a traditional land

own elaborately themed play areas

sure you look for ports of call and

vacation is unbeatable. And with

and activities and getting to meet

excursion options that fit your

many convenient U.S. ports to sail

Disney characters.

family, too. Alaskan cruises are great

from, such as Galveston, Texas and

for families who enjoy the outdoors.

Miami, Fla., getting to your ship is

• Teens and tweens have their own

You can go fishing for salmon,

simple.

private clubs, and activities geared

hiking on a glacier, take railroad and

just for them.

helicopter tours, and ride with sled dogs. If warm, golden beaches are

• And adults don’t have to miss out

more your family’s style, a cruise to

on the fun - there is an adults-only

the Caribbean will let you lounge,

pool and spa along with activities

swim and snorkel in azure waters, or

like cooking demonstrations, wine

shop in exotic marketplaces.

tastings, or a champagne brunch. With most cruises, all your meals and most onboard entertainment and activities are included in your stateroom price. The value 14

Click here to view video


Family Adventures swimming, explore a volcano, enjoy wine tasting, and visit the Acropolis and Olympic Stadium where the kids can participate in their own mini marathon. Or, you can explore the American West in Wyoming by whitewater rafting down the Snake River, touring Yellowstone National Park, going horseback riding, and staying on a dude ranch. Family adventure trips mean you can enjoy an adventure without many of the hassles of pulling it off by yourself. Guided tours such If your family is always looking for

as these can also provide special

new places to explore, a family

access to places and experiences

adventure vacation is just the thing.

you can’t get on your own.

With guided adventures, you can explore and experience places and cultures you’ve only dreamed about - and you have the benefit of experts to make it enriching and easy. When choosing a family adventure, make sure the itinerary will satisfy the energy levels and curiosity of the different age groups in your family. For example, on a trip to Peru with Adventures by Disney, you can enjoy an Andean feast, go river rafting, explore ancient ruins, and take a privately guided tour of Machu Picchu. On their trip to Greece, you can go sea kayaking and


SUMMER TRAVEL

Resorts If your family enjoys gorgeous beaches

and

a

laid-back

atmosphere, a destination resort should be in your vacation plans. Many

families

love

the

advantages of all-inclusive resort packages. You get to enjoy a wide variety of activities without worrying about expenses you weren’t counting on. You can find family-friendly resorts that feature variety of water sport activities, resort amenities such as spas and lounges, and sandy beaches perfect for relaxing with a good book. Tour desks often offer excursions for an additional charge.

Popular

excursions

include swimming with dolphins, catamaran

snorkel

cruises

or visits to local museums or galleries. There are plenty of options for everyone. All-inclusive

resorts

are

convenient, but before you book, make sure you know exactly what is included and what is available for an additional cost.

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SUMMER TRAVEL

Avoid Cozying Up to Bed Bugs While Traveling

Bed bugs are a year-round problem, but if

encountered bed bugs specifically in hotels

the most challenging to treat,” says Missy

you’re gearing up for travel or vacation --

and motels. And since bed bugs remain the

Henriksen, vice president of public affairs for

you may be at an increased risk of bringing

hardest pest to treat, infestations can easily

the NPMA. “Bed bugs are equal-opportunity

these most unwanted souvenirs home.

grow out of control.

pests and are not a result of poor sanitation. So whether you’re staying at a motel or five-

A 2011 national survey of pest professionals

“Increased public awareness, education

conducted by the National Pest Management

and vigilance are key in detecting and

Association (NPMA) found that a whopping

preventing bed bug infestations as these

99 percent of respondents encountered bed

pests tend to travel undetected from place

bug infestations in that year, and 80 percent

to place, breed quickly and remain one of

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star hotel, check your surroundings.”


To reduce the risk of cozying up to these pests, remember the following expert advice while you’re traveling. *

Thoroughly inspect the room with a flashlight before unpacking, including behind the headboard, under lamps, and inside dressers,

drawers, sofas and chairs. *

If you do suspect a bed bug problem, notify management immediately.

*

If you need to change rooms, don’t move to a room that is adjacent, directly above or below the suspected infestation.

*

Do not place luggage on upholstered surfaces. The safest place is in the bathroom in the middle of a tile floor or on a wooden

luggage rack after it has been thoroughly inspected. *

When you return home, vacuum your suitcase thoroughly before bringing it indoors and storing it away.

*

Wash and dry all of your clothes -- even those items you haven’t worn -- on hot cycles to remove any bed bugs or eggs that may

have traveled home with you. Clothes that are not suitable for machine washing should be taken to the dry cleaner.


SUMMER TRAVEL

Protecting your home

while you travel involves much more than discontinuing newspapers and arranging to have the lawn mowed. Here are 25 tips that will make your home more secure while you enjoy your holiday.

01 02 03 20

Keep a lid on it. You may be bubbling over with enthusiasm about your upcoming holiday. However, avoid discussing details in public. The guy standing behind you in the bank or grocery store might be a professional thief itching to break in the moment you leave. Avoid advertising your intentions. Professional thieves often watch “housesitter wanted� ads for potential break-in targets. Do not advertise on the Internet or in a local newspaper for a housesitter. Instead, contact a professional housesitting service.

Tell the right people. Be sure to tell your alarm company and the local police authorities about your plans. Provide them with details for a local emergency contact and let them know how they can reach you while you are gone.


04 05

Put your tax dollars to work. Ask the local police detachment to patrol your area more frequently while you are on holiday.

Provide your housesitter with important details. Be sure that your housesitter knows where to locate all water and gas shutoff valves as well as fuse boxes and main electrical circuit boxes.

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Put your digital or cell phone camera to good use. Take photos of everyone who has permission to enter your home while you are away: yard maintenance people, petsitters, contractors, etc. Develop the photos and give prints to your housesitter, or e-mail digital copies to him/ her. Alternatively, provide authorized people with a signed permission letter granting them access.

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Keep the yard welllit. Burglars avoid bright lights. Installing motion-sensitive yard lighting is an excellent investment that will help to discourage night intruders.


SUMMER TRAVEL

08 09 10 11 12 22

Check exterior lights. A week or so before you leave, replace burnt out bulbs and/ or repair yard lights if necessary. Keep the yard well groomed. Arrange for regular yard maintenance such as lawn and hedge trimming, raking of leaves, snow removal, etc. Put it out and pick it up. Ensure that someone takes the trash to the curb on garbage day and picks up your mail soon after delivery.

Secure windows and doors. Good deadbolt locks will discourage all but the most dedicated intruders. The majority of trespassers will abandon break-in attempts if they take more than 60 seconds to gain access. Provide 24-7 security and fire monitoring. There are many excellent monitored alarm systems on the market. In addition to providing security, they may entitle you to lower house insurance rates. Discuss systems with your insurance company before making any purchases. Your agent might be able to make recommendations or provide discount coupons. The best systems will monitor for intruders as well as carbon monoxide fumes and smoke.


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Use a few children’s toys imaginatively. Scatter some children’s toys in the yard where they will be visible from the street. This gives your property a lived-in look.

Plan some vehicle deception. If you are not taking your vehicle with you, do not leave it in the garage. Instead, park it in the driveway and arrange for someone to move it once in awhile. Alternatively, ask a neighbor to use your driveway for parking. Secure the garage. Garage door remote controls are produced on assembly lines. They often have the same combinations or operate on the same frequency. Prevent accidental or intentional activation of your garage door by unplugging the opener before you leave.

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Utilize your safety deposit box. Move items like loose cash, expensive jewelry, and other small valuables out of your home and into your safety deposit box. Protect appliances and conserve electricity.Take photos of Unplug all non-essential appliances as well as electronic and computer equipment. This protects surge sensitive devices and saves a bit on your electricity bill.


SUMMER TRAVEL

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Avoid tattletale telephones. Switch off all telephone ringers. A constantly ringing unanswered phone is an advertisement to passersby that nobody is home.

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Be extra careful with voice mail or answering machines. Never record a message that mentions your holiday or admits that you are not home. Instead, say something nonspecific such as, “Sorry, Bill and Sue can’t come to the phone right now. Please leave a message when you hear the beep. We’ll get back to you as soon as possible.”

20 21 22 24

Protect your extra house key. Do you hide an extra key in a hanging plant, inside a dryer vent, or above the doorjamb? Guess what - if you can find it, so can a thief. Give your extra key to the housesitter. Avoid water damage. Hoses to appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers can spring leaks. Prevent water damage by turning off each appliance’s water supply valve.

Provide light and sound. Set timers on two or three lamps and a couple of radios so that they turn on and off throughout the day. The sound and light will create an illusion of occupancy.


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24 25

Secure all entry points and holes. Lock all the doors and windows of your home and outbuildings, and secure pet doors as well. Have you ever seen a raccoon or cat squeeze through what looks like an impossibly small space? Some burglars are almost as agile.

Use your air conditioner wisely. If you are not taking your vehicle with you, do not leave it in the garage. Instead, park it in the driveway and arrange for someone to move it once in awhile. Alternatively, ask a neighbor to use your driveway for parking. Clear your voice mail or answering machine. While you are gone, check and clear your voice mail or answering machine to avoid beeps, “voice mail full� messages, or immediate routing to the messaging system that might indicate you are not home. If you cannot or do not wish to do so, arrange for someone else to do it for you.


SUMMER TRAVEL

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TIPS SELECTING A

HOTEL

Click here to view video


SUMMER TRAVEL

Everyone who travels wants their lodging to be comfortable and clean. Choosing the appropriate accommodations can be difficult. If you have never been to a particular hotel, you do not always know what to expect. The following tips can help you narrow down your choices and hopefully choose the best hotel to meet your needs. Cleanliness: No one enjoys staying at a filthy hotel. When you enter the lobby, scan the area for dirt, garbage, and tidiness. When you meet the staff, check to see if their uniforms are clean and neat. It is important to check the room where you will be sleeping. Look at the floor and bathroom to see if they are clean. Check to see if the floor has been vacuumed. The bathrooms should have new shampoo and soaps. The towels and facecloths should be clean and placed in an orderly manner. Make sure the toilet is clean. Check to see if the bed has fresh sheets and is properly made. The sheets and blankets should be clean and free of bedbugs. Also, smell the room for any unusual odors. There should not be any dust or garbage. Staff: When arriving, the hotel staff should be smiling and warmly greet you. Someone should take your bags and lead you to the check in desk. Do they provide a concierge service? The concierge should be able to answer all of your questions and explain the other amenities the hotel offers. Do they offer information packets on activities and events in the area? This can include entertainment and other 28

dining establishments in the area. A staff member should then take you to your room and explain the contents such as toiletries, mini bar, internet services,etc. They should also explain such services as laundry and room service. Family Oriented Hotels: Many hotels provide activities for children. If you are traveling with children, you should ask a few questions before booking. Ask the staff about any special kids clubs. Does the hotel have a pool or recreational area for children? Are there staff member that monitor these area?

Smoking: Some hotels may be smoke free or have certain smoking floors. If you smoke, ask if they provide smoking rooms. For non smokers, make sure you get a room that is non smoking. When examining the room, smell the room to see if it smells like smoke. Look fro ashtrays or reins such ashes or cigarette butts.


Business Accommodations: Make sure the hotel has enough rooms to accommodate everyone attending. If you require a convention room, make sure you ask before booking. You can also ask the following questions: How many occupants per room? Are there discounts for business events? Is there a business discount on meals or catering? Are there events in the area that the business guests could attend? When choosing a hotel, there are many issues that you should consider. Check websites for discounts and packages that may not be offered over the phone. You should also be aware of the cancellation and refund policies in case you decide to go to another hotel. If you have friends or family who

stayed at a particular hotel, ask for their opinions. There are also online sites that post hotel reviews written by former guests. However, you should be aware that there are unsatisfied customers who exaggerate or are difficult to please. Most importantly, make sure you have all your questions answered before making a reservation. By doing your research and asking the right questions, you will be able to relax and enjoy your stay at a quality hotel that meets all of your expectations.


SUMMER TRAVEL

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Taking Your Kids on Your Island Holiday Are you planning on taking a family vacation? With all the tropical islands all over the world, you have a varied choice when picking an island as your family vacation spot. The best part about going to a vacation in the tropics is that it won’t be very expensive and most importantly is meant for the whole family. The sand, the sun, and the lapping of the waves as they hit the shore nothing is as soothing as a quite, serene holiday on a tropical island destination, unless of course, you are taking the children. Taking your children on vacation with you requires you to think differently about what you plan on doing while on the island. You and your kids can obviously jump start the day by simply lazing around the beach, sun bathing, with kids swimming in the waters or digging in the sand making castles. But if your little ones are like most other children, they will want to be very active. There are plenty of activities you

can do with your children. Kids can indulge in a half day sailing trip and have a snorkeling experience around the island’s coral reefs. They can see the magical and awe inspiring universe of the vibrant, vivid and vivacious sea creatures and plant life that live below the water. Children as young as 8 yrs old, with the aid of a scuba instructor can safely descend to a depth of 20 ft. For other children who don’t want to explore the ocean, they can be guided through glass bottom tours that will still let them see the ocean.


SUMMER TRAVEL Tropical islands pose as a non stop fun for kids where children can swim in clear water, find Nemo as they snorkel just meters from the shore or discover the under water world while scuba diving. Kids who are nature enthusiasts can explore the beauty and wilderness by walking through the forests of the island. The kids can swim in the refreshing waterfalls as well as spot animals and birds. Hiking through a rainforest can also be an exciting alternative and good break from the beach allowing the kids to do something different than just sitting on the beach, which might make them bored. Besides scuba diving and snorkeling, kids can enjoy other beach activities like parasailing and kayaking as well. Playing sports like beach volley ball or staying by the pool can keep the kids occupied and active while on your holiday. A well struck balance between both inside and outside activities will get your little ones to value and love their tropical island holiday while keeping them busy and keeping you sane. A holiday with children can be a lot of fun. There are plenty of things you can do to keep your children busy on a tropical island besides just going to the beach. Kids have a lot of energy so it s important to find activities that use that energy.

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SUMMER TRAVEL

All Inclusive Caribbean Vacations: Plan Yours in 8 Easy Steps Caribbean vacations; they sound great don’t they? Do you want to travel to the Caribbean? If so and if this is your first time traveling to the area, making your travel plans may seem like a long and complicated process. As big as a trip to Jamaica, the Bahamas, or the Dominican Republic is, the planning process is fairly simple. In fact, it only requires eight easy steps. What are they? Check Your Passport For travel to and from most areas of the Caribbean, like Jamaica, all Americans must have a valid passport. Passports do expire, so be sure to check the date if you already have one. Most importantly, give it time. It can take up to two months to receive a new passport. Do not plan your Caribbean vacation before you can reasonably expect yours to arrive. Decide on a Destination You already know you want to travel to the Caribbean. That is good, but where exactly. As previously stated, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, and the Bahamas are popular vacation destinations in the area. They draw attention due to their all inclusive resorts and beautiful beaches. Unless you are traveling to attend a special event, such as a destination wedding, the choice is 100 yours to make. Take the time 34

to examine each location, nearby attractions, look at pictures, and so forth. Which place would you like to see the most? That should be your Caribbean vacation destination.


Decide on Travel Dates When choosing your dates of travel, consider a number of factors. One is length of stay. On average, most tourists spend at least five days in the Caribbean. Many claim it gives them the opportunity to relax, enjoy most resort inclusions, and sightsee. As for when you travel, is your goal to save money? Price compare and experiment. Airlines and hotels tend to offer better deals during the off season. Regardless of when you travel, experiment. In most cases, it is cheaper in fly in the middle of the week or on a Saturday.

Research All Inclusive Resorts As previously stated, one of the reasons why the Bahamas and Jamaica are popular vacation destinations is because of their all inclusive resorts. Caribbean resorts that offer special inclusions to their guests are a dream come true. You often get a better value for your money and planning is easy. One big travel arrangement can book your airfare, resort room, food, drinks, tips, qualifying airport transfers, and some forms of onsite entertainment. Once you have decided on a destination, such as Jamaica or the Bahamas examine inclusive resorts in the area.

Compare Those Caribbean Resorts When examining all inclusive Caribbean resorts, keep your eyes open for anything appealing. This is a resort with fair prices, good travel deals, a large number of onsite activities, great inclusions, and more. Since all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean come highly rated and recommended, a number are likely to catch your eye. Find the resorts that meet or exceed your expectations and then price compare. Which offers you the better deal?


SUMMER TRAVEL Book Your Travel Arrangements When making your travel plans, try to book your airline reservations at the same time. Most resorts allow you to include airfare with your inclusive travel package. Doing so should save both time and money. Before finalizing your reservations, review your travel dates and destination to ensure accuracy. For your records, print and save all documents pertaining to your online order.

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Start Packing for Your Trip In the days leading up to your Caribbean vacation, consider contacting your all inclusive resort to verify your travel plans. Your trip should be complication free, but checking will not hurt. Then, start to pack. Pack all needed forms of identification, such as a passport and driver’s license, and your health insurance documents. Monitor the weather and pack clothes and accessories accordingly.

Wait Since most travel experts recommend booking Caribbean vacations at least two to three months in advance, you may have a few months to wait. During this time, you can research nearby activities and attractions if you wish. For example, if you opt to vacation in Montego Bay Jamaica, look at nearby attractions, compare and make reservations for guided tours, and so forth. Also, during this time, your passport should arrive. Store it in a safe location.


SUMMER TRAVEL

Travel Insurance Before leaving on vacation, make sure you have adequate insurance. Vacations can sometimes cost thousands of dollars so it is important to have the proper insurance protection in case the cruise or tour operator goes bankrupt or you need to cancel the trip due to illness or other unforeseen events. There are four major types of travel insurance, although you can also purchase packages that offer several options, including Trip Cancellation, Lost Baggage, Medical, Dental, Emergency Evacuation, 24 Hour Traveler Assistance, Baggage Delay, Travel Delay, and Accidental Death Coverages. Some policies also have options for Collision/Damage coverage for rented cars.

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1. Trip Cancellation This would reimburse you if the cruise line or tour operator goes out of business. It would also provide coverage if you have to cancel the trip due to sickness, a death in the family or another calamity listed in the policy. In addition, if you or an immediate family member becomes seriously ill or is injured during the trip most policies would reimburse you for the unused portion of the vacation. The cost is generally five to seven percent of the price of the vacation, so a $5,000 trip would cost roughly $250 to $350 to insure. Trip cancellation is very different from a Cancellation Waiver that many cruise and tour operators offer. Waivers are relatively inexpensive, costing approximately $40 to $60. They provide coverage if you have to cancel the trip, but they have many restrictions. They must be purchased when you book the trip and will usually not cover you immediately before departure (the time period most people cancel) or after the trip has begun. Most importantly, waivers are not insurance. Cancellation Waivers are not regulated by the state department of insurance, so if your tour or cruise operator gets into financial difficulty, you may not be able to collect.

2. Baggage Insurance or Personal Effects CoverageInsurance

This would provide coverage if your personal belongings are lost, stolen or damaged during the trip. To insure $1,000 worth of personal belongings for a week, it would cost roughly $50 per year. Before purchasing this type of coverage, find out how much insurance the airline or trip operator provides for your belongings. Also, check your homeowners or renters policy. It will usually provide coverage for offpremises theft. Therefore, if your luggage is stolen, your insurer will pay to replace it, less the deductible. If you are traveling with expensive electronic equipment, jewelry or sporting gear, it might be more cost-effective to purchase a floater or endorsement to your homeowners or renters policy. The cost to insure a $1,000 ring would be between $10 and $40 annually. This would provide full coverage for the item, anywhere in the world, usually for one year.


SUMMER TRAVEL

3. Emergency Medical Assistance This provides insurance and medical assistance for travelers. It would cover you if you had to be airlifted off a mountain due to a skiing or hiking accident, or if you had to stay for a prolonged period of time in a foreign hospital. It would also provide coverage if you got seriously sick or were injured and needed to be flown home. Some commercial airlines require very sick passengers to travel on a stretcher with a doctor. This means that you might have to purchase 10 or more seats on a plane at a possible cost of over $10,000. Before purchasing this type of coverage, check with your own health insurance carrier. Find out what type of coverage you have when traveling abroad and if there are any limits. Also, ask if the policy will pay to fly you home or to a country with first-rate medical care.

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4. Accidental Death This provides a variety of coverages if you or a family member die on the trip. If you have a good life insurance plan or made other financial provisions for your loved ones, this may be duplicate insurance. Your credit card company may provide travel-related services and coverage. You can also purchase travel insurance from either a travel agent or you can buy directly from an insurer that specializes in this type of coverage.


SUMMER FOOD

Get Your Grill On

Firing up the grill is an American tradition. The farm families who produce the food so many people enjoy at backyard cookouts want to share some of their favorite grilling recipes, as well as an appreciation for how food gets from the farm to the table. Farmers like Amanda Folkens, from Iowa, Danell Kalcevic, from Colorado, and Nicole Small, from Kansas, have joined with more than 42

70 other farmer volunteers across the country in the CommonGround program as a way to talk with home cooks about how food is grown and raised. “On our farm, animal care is top priority, as it is for thousands of other family farms in the U.S.” said Amanda. “By keeping our animals indoors, we make sure they are protected from predators, disease and bad weather.”

To learn more about family farms and facts about your food, visit www.FindOurCommonGround.com. Here are some of Amanda, Danell and Nicole’s favorite grilling recipes.


Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures 145°F Beef, pork, veal and lamb (roasts, steaks and chops) 160°F Ground meat 165°F Poultry (whole, parts or ground)

Things to Know Before You Shop the Meat Case There’s no need to pay extra for poultry or pork that’s labeled hormonefree. USDA prohibits farmers from using hormones to raise chicken and pigs. Nearly all beef cattle, whether raised organically or conventionally, spend the majority of their lives on pastures eating grass. Purchasing organic, grass-fed and free-range meats does not make them safer to consume. These labels refer to how the animals are raised, but all meat and poultry can contain bacteria that could cause illness. Most cases of foodborne illness can be prevented with proper processing, handling and cooking of food to destroy bacteria.


SUMMER FOOD

Grilled Hawaiian Ham Sandwich

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Ingredients • • • • • •

1 tablespoon brown sugar 1/2 tablespoon seasoning pepper 1 to 21/4-inch thick ham slices (about the same thickness as the bread) Cooking spray Pineapple slices (can be fresh or canned) 2 slices sourdough bread

Preparation • • •

• • •

Preheat grill for high heat. Mix brown sugar with pepper to create a rub mixture. Using your hands, massage the rub onto both sides of the slices of ham. Ham slices should be completely covered (front and back) with brown sugar mix. Place ham slices on sheet of lightly greased foil, then place onto grill. On separate sheet of greased foil, lay pineapple slices out, uncovered. Cook for 6 to 8 minutes or until brown caramelization appears around edges of ham and pineapple. Remove ham and pineapple from heat and assemble onto toasted sourdough bread.


SUMMER FOOD

Beef Rack of Ribs

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Ingredients • • • • • • • •

Salt (to taste) 1 tablespoon black pepper (to taste) 1 tablespoon seasoned garlic salt (to taste) Cayenne pepper (optional) 1 to 2 racks of beef ribs (number of racks based on number of people) 1 tablespoon yellow mustard 1/3 cup brown sugar One bottle of favorite barbeque sauce

Preparation •

The night before serving, prepare rub for beef ribs (salt, pepper, seasoned garlic salt and optional cayenne pepper). Sprinkle both sides of ribs and then rub vigorously. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, place on medium temperature grill and spread yellow mustard and brown sugar on each side of the ribs. Grill for 5 to 8 minutes until each side is slightly browned and caramelized. Remove ribs from grill and slice with sharp knife. Place individual ribs in a crock pot on low. Add one bottle of your favorite barbeque sauce. Let simmer 6 to 8 hours.


SUMMER FOOD

Country Barbecue Potatoes

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Ingredients • • • • • • •

2 pounds small red potatoes 2 tablespoons butter, melted 1 teaspoon honey 3 teaspoons seasoned salt 1/2 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 1/4 teaspoon pepper

Preparation • • • •

Preheat oven to 450°F. Coat 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick spray. Cut potatoes into small to medium-sized pieces and put in pan. Melt butter and honey, and then drizzle over potatoes. Sprinkle with seasoned salt, salt, garlic powder and pepper. Toss well to coat. Bake, uncovered, for 25 to 30 minutes, or until potatoes are tender and golden brown. Stir potatoes at least once.


SUMMER FOOD Delicious taste, beautiful colors, packed with healthy nutrients what’s not to love about fresh fruit? And with fresh fruits available all year long, you can enjoy them in mouthwatering, healthy meals any time you want. These satisfying fresh fruit salads showcase the flavors and healthy benefits of Chilean fresh fruit. Here are some of the reasons eating fresh fruit is so good for you: •

Adding the bright colors of fresh fruit to your plate can help lower your risk of heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s. That’s because the rich colors found in brightly colored fruits and vegetables indicate the presence of powerful natural protectors called phytonutrients and antioxidants.

Scientific evidence has shown that eating whole fruit is best for optimal nutrition benefits rather than taking supplements to provide each nutrient separately.

Fresh fruits can satisfy a sweet tooth without adding unhealthy fat or excessive calories to your diet. That’s because fruits contain naturally occurring sugars suspended in a natural healthy matrix of calorie-free plant fibers and water. They help you fill up without filling out.

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Savor a Satisfying Fresh Fruit Salad


SUMMER FOOD

Salmon, Fresh Chilean Blueberries and Lemon Salad with Chive Vinaigrette

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Ingredients • • • •

8 cups salad greens, in small pieces 1 pound salmon fillet, poached 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries Lemon zest to garnish

Preparation •

Divide salad greens on four salad plates. Tear salmon into medium pieces and arrange on greens. Sprinkle on blueberries. Top with lemon zest. In a jar with a lid, add all vinaigrette ingredients. Shake well. Serve salads chilled with the dressing alongside.


SUMMER FOOD

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Ingredients • • • • • • •

4 cups washed baby spinach 1/2 cup red grapes 1/2 cup green grapes 2 plums sliced 1 peach sliced 2 kiwis sliced for garnish 1/2 cup toasted almonds

Preparation •

Spinach Salad with fresh Grapes, Plums, Peaches and Kiwis

Place spinach and sliced fruit in a salad bowl and toss with kiwi vinaigrette. Garnish with additional fruit pieces and top with toasted almonds.


SUMMER FOOD

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Ingredients • • • • • • •

3 kiwis peeled and chopped 1 tablespoon rice vinegar 3 tablespoons orange juice 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard 2 - 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 tablespoon agave or honey salt and black pepper to taste

Preparation •

Kiwi Vinaigrette

Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until smooth. Set aside.


SUMMER FOOD

Power 60


r Up

It takes a lot of energy to keep up with today’s busy lifestyle. Between juggling work, family, friends and activities, people are often looking for something to help them keep going. Many are turning to nutritious, plant-based sources of protein, such as peanuts, to help provide longlasting energy throughout the day. “By adding peanuts it is easy to make a protein-boosting smoothie, energy-rich waffles, better-for-you burgers, and crunchy kale chips without a lot of salt,” says Jennifer Iserloh, chef and certified health coach. “This Peanut Teriyaki Turkey Burger has more ingredients than you would normally expect when building your burger, but the payoff is huge. This meal is a source of vitamins E and A, folate and plenty of heart-healthy compounds that you get from superfoods like peanuts.” For more nutrition information and delicious ways to stay energized, visit www.nationalpeanutboard. org. With 7 grams per serving, peanuts have more energy-boosting protein than any nut. This, along with their more than 30 essential vitamins and nutrients, makes peanuts a superfood.


SUMMER FOOD

Peanut and Cherry “Sundae” Smoothie 62


Ingredients • • • • • • •

1 cup frozen cherries 1 cup reduced-fat, plain Greek yogurt 1 cup fresh, prewashed baby spinach leaves, packed 1 cup skim milk 1/4 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 4 ice cubes

Preparation •

Place all ingredients in blender and process until smooth. Serve immediately.


SUMMER FOOD

Peanu Waffles 64


ut Berry es

Ingredients • • • • • • • • • •

1 cup whole wheat pastry flour 1 cup peanut flour 3 tablespoons granulated sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder 4 egg whites 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 cups skim milk 1/2 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped Cooking spray 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

Preparation • • •

• •

Preheat waffle iron according to manufacturer’s instructions. Place flours in large bowl along with sugar and baking powder. Mix well and set aside. Place egg whites in large bowl along with salt. Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites on high about 1 minute until fluffy and cling to bowl. Add milk and peanuts to bowl with flour mixture. Using wire whisk, whisk flour mixture into milk until just combined; there will be small lumps. Fold in 1/2 cup egg whites, using rubber spatula, until well combined. Gently fold in remaining egg whites until just combined; batter should be light and fluffy. Coat inside of waffle iron with cooking spray. Place a heaping 1/2 cup mixture onto waffle iron, spreading it out slightly with rubber spatula. Top with 2 tablespoons blueberries and close the lid. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until waffle is cooked through but still soft to the touch. Transfer to plate. Repeat with remaining batter. Cool waffles completely before storing in an air-tight container on the countertop for 3 days. To freeze, transfer cool waffles to large zipper lock bag and freeze for up to 3 months.


SUMMER FOOD

Crispy Kale Ch 66


y Peanut hips

Ingredients • • • • • •

1 10-ounce bunch curly kale, stems trimmed Cooking spray 1/2 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, finely chopped 1/4 cup ground flax seed, golden or brown 1/2 teaspoon low sodium jalapeño or chipotle seasoning or 1/4 teaspoon salt 2 egg whites

Preparation • • • •

Preheat oven to 400°F. Rinse kale under cold water. Dry well with paper towels or dry dish towel. Coat two baking sheets with cooking spray. Place peanuts, ground flax and seasoning or salt on sheet of wax paper. Mix with your fingertips. Place egg whites in large bowl and whisk until foamy with a wire whisk, about 10 seconds. Dip edges of kale leaves into egg then press into peanut mixture. Transfer kale leaves to baking sheets; spread out so leaves aren’t touching. Coat tops of leaves with a layer of cooking spray. Bake 10 to 12 minutes, until leaves crisp and peanuts are golden. Cool 1 minute before serving.


SUMMER FOOD

Peanut Teriyaki Turkey Burgers

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Ingredients • • • • • • • • • • • • •

2 cups baby spinach 1 clove garlic, quartered 1/2 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise Zest of 1 lemon 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup unsalted, dry roasted peanuts 1 8-ounce container mushrooms, such as button and cremini 1/2 pound ground turkey breast meat 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce Cooking spray 4 large romaine lettuce leaves or 1 cup packed baby spinach leaves 1 ripe avocado, thinly sliced 4 5-inch whole wheat pitas

Preparation •

• •

• •

Place spinach and garlic in a food processor. Process until spinach is finely chopped. Add mayonnaise, lemon zest and lemon juice; blend again to smooth. Transfer to container and clean food processor bowl. Preheat oven to 400°F. Place peanuts in food processor and pulse until they are finely chopped. Add mushrooms and pulse again 10 to 15 times until finely chopped. Add turkey meat and teriyaki sauce, and pulse until just combined; mixture should be sticky and moist. Form into four equal patties, and place on plate or waxed paper. Heat large skillet over medium high heat. Pull skillet off heat and coat with cooking spray. Add burgers and place back on heat. Cook without moving for 4 minutes until a golden crust forms. Spray tops of burgers with a thin layer of cooking spray and flip. Cook four minutes more then slide skillet with burgers into oven. Bake 20 to 25 minutes until burgers are cooked through and no longer moist in the center. Set aside.


SUMMER PROJECT

Selling your home? Make it more appealing to buyers You’ve made the decision to sell your home - now you want to position yourself for a quick and successful sale. What’s the most important thing you can do to entice buyers? “The most important thing you can do is to make your home look welcoming when people drive by,” says Kimber Powell, Realtor and sales manager for Coldwell Banker Mid-America Group in Altoona, Iowa. “You want to invite them in. Make sure your front door looks nice. Trim and landscape your yard. Accent your entryway with a new door mat and pots of flowers that contrast with the color of your home,” she says. Follow these tips to position your house for a successful sale: Enhance curb appeal A well-maintained house appeals to more buyers and can sell faster and may sell for a higher price, according to Realtor.com.

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Maximize your home’s exterior appearance. Keep the lawn and landscaping edged, cut and watered. Inspect doors, windows, trim, foundation and siding for peeling paint. Repaint and replace items as needed. Clean out gutters and replace missing caulk and shingles.


Declutter inside Make your home look bigger by removing clutter and storing personal items and extra furniture before prospective buyers arrive. Make repairs where needed, Powell advises. “Repairs are ongoing maintenance needs that show your home has been well-cared-for and kept upto-date,” she says. “Most potential buyers want turn-key homes that are easy to move into.” Repaint dingy or stained walls with a neutral shade of paint. Repair cracks or holes in walls, ceilings, tile and woodwork. Replace broken items and consider updating wornout cabinet knobs, dated curtains and battered bath and kitchen hardware. Show lifestyle possibilities Create a lifestyle story to help buyers envision themselves living in your home. Have a small kitchen but a big deck? Focus on outdoor entertaining by adding lights, comfy cushions and showcasing grilling areas, Powell recommends. If you love your neighborhood, highlight a front porch with wicker furniture and window boxes. “You want to show buyers the ways they can use the entire home and yard,” Powell says. “If you don’t have outdoor furniture or decorations, work with a stager to borrow those items.” Or consider borrowing items from friends or family to get your home staged for sale. Highlight quality brands If your home features or you’ve replaced items with high-quality brands, like Pella Windows and Doors, include their names in your home’s sell sheet, Powell says. “People are very conscious of name brands and high-quality products. They also want to know about energy-saving benefits and warranties that may transfer to them,” she says.


SUMMER PROJECT

Landscape Gardening The term landscape garden is related to the English garden design and style which is the characteristic of the eighteenth century. A landscape gardener is a person who designs, develops, maintains and remodels gardens and landscapes which beautify the environment. In order to beautify the gardens vines, low growing annuals, perennial herbs and other land scape plants can be used to beautify these landscapes. If a person wants to have ground covers then the vinca vine flower can be planted in the gardens. Small herbs and shrubs can be planted. There are a number of flower available in the nurseries that are of colorful colours and when planted grows along the ground. The use of small potted plants containing the flowers of rose waterlily, jasmine etc, also enhance the beautify of these gardens. The sun flowers are usually of yellow colour and their conspicuous colour attract the visitors in the garden. The mottia plant spreads its fragrance in the entire garden and rose flower is so beautiful that it is given the title of queen of flowers. In order to beautify the garden one should make use of water fountains. The use of tall, blue ceramic planters in them is ideal

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because in sunlight they glaze. On the sides of these fountains a decorative pipes can be set by molding copper wires in different styles. As we all know that harsh lines are formed on the outer boundary of fountains because of the swimming pool equipment therefore the plants must be grown around them. It would help to soften these harsh lines and also it will help to blend more naturally. In this case evergreen broadleaf plants are most suitable. There are certain problems that are related to landscaping because if one does not take care of the plants the gardens would spoil. Therefore they should be watered in time. The rough and uncultivated weeds must be removed from these beds. There are some plants that

are attractive but are harmful for other plants in the garden. If the area is small than small raised beds must be planted. One another point that should be kept in mind is that the area where there is plantation should be rich in phosphates and humus. There are certain fertilizers that help in the production of flowers and fruits. The most important fertilizer is the urea, ammonium phosphate and di- ammonium phosphate. These fertilizers add the fertility to the soil as they contain the nutrients required by the plant. There are certain insects that attack the other harmful insects therefore they can be used. The example of such insects is the aphid. Proper watering and in time cultivation are the other factors that increase the productivity of these gardens. beautifying environment.


SUMMER PROJECT With spring on the horizon, airborne allergens and pollutants can cause much grief to homeowners who suffer from breathing problems such as asthma and seasonal allergies. With the potential for increased irritation, allergy sufferers typically seek long-term, consistent relief any way they can. Regardless of the season, allergens, dust particles and pollutants can penetrate even the smallest of gaps of a home, leading to potential respiratory problems for occupants. When combined with airborne moisture, the potential for breathing problems is noticeably high. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Americans, on average, spend around 90 percent of their time indoors, so improving indoor air quality is an investment in lifestyle comfort and well-being. Indoor and outdoor sources such as chemical cleaning supplies, insecticides, carbon monoxide, mold, dirt and dust can all contribute to poorer indoor air quality. For instance, in low-traffic areas such as attics and cellars, an accumulation of dust or moisture that eventually breeds mold can significantly affect the air quality of the whole home. Homeowners can take steps to improve the indoor air quality of their home. Regular cleaning with environmentally sensitive products and tools is a great way to reduce the amount of dust within the home. Fewer dust particles in the home reduces the potential for irritation. Another effective solution is using an air purification unit to attract dust particles and return cleaner air throughout the house. The unit works to provide cleaner, fresher air in the home and the amount of allergens and particles in the home is noticeably minimized. 74

Homeowners can also stop the dust particles and allergens entering their home from the outset. Using an air-sealing product such as spray foam insulation eliminates air leakage, thereby helping reduce the amount of particles and allergens that enter the home. The air-sealing qualities of spray foam insulation, like that available from Icynene, help reduce the infiltration of pollutants, airborne allergens, and airborne moisture. The product both insulates and air seals a home by expanding up to 100 times its size within seconds to fill any gaps and cracks within the building. The air barrier that spray foam insulation creates helps prevent pollutants, dust and irritants from penetrating the structure, even in low traffic areas such as the attic. In addition to helping alleviate respiratory distress, spray foam insulation has the added benefit of protecting against the threat of moisture and mold, as well as reducing flanking noise for a quieter home. Spray foam insulation works to provide constant indoor comfort and protection, as along with the opportunity for homeowners to significantly reduce heating and cooling bills, in some cases by up to 50 percent. More information can be found online at www.icynene.com.



McMahon Spring 2013