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Features & Contents Cover Story: Make Entertaining the Focal Point of Kitchen Design

table of contents: Your Information Guide:

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Cover Story - Make Entertaining the Focal Point of Kitchen Design

The kitchen is such a gathering spot, so when you are thinking about renovating the kitchen it pays to have entertaining in mind. In this article you will learn some great renovations decisions to consider so that you can reap the greatest return on investment and make your kitchen an ideal gathering spot for family and friends.

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Green Technology for Your Home

See the story on Page 6

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Grass Free Landscaping Are you thinking about upgrading your kitchen? There are lots of ideas in this edition of Home and Lifestyles to help you do just that. New cabinets or new cabinet doors can change the whole look of your kitchen. How about a new countertop? There are many options to choose from and this can also change the whole look of your kitchen. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens as a family and it’s always where guests gather so make your kitchen the talk of the town.

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Embracing Color For Your Home

If kitchen remodeling is not in your budget then what about redecorating your kitchen. Brighten it up with some fresh or silk flowers to bring some spring indoors. Choose a new look by getting new dishes or some accent dishes to go with your existing dishes. Have an appetizer party and invite some friends and ask them to bring a dish. Show off your new dishes and your brightened up kitchen. Most importantly have fun with it!

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Window Treatment Colors

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Belleville Area 2012

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Make Entertaining the Focal Point of Kitchen Design “No matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best.” This saying has adorned wall plaques in many people’s kitchens, and for most individuals the sentiment is quite true. The kitchen tends to be the gathering place for the family. When thinking about renovating the kitchen, it pays to have entertaining in mind. It is widely known that improvements to kitchens and bathrooms often reap the greatest return on investment. When making changes to the kitchen, paying attention to the trend of kitchen entertaining can make the room even more valuable -- should a homeowner choose to sell at a later point in time. Gearing renovations around kitchen entertaining also can make the space desireable for current homeowners. Here are some renovation decisions to consider that can make the kitchen an ideal gathering spot for family and friends. * Space: The best kitchens for entertaining are roomy and feature an open floor plan. For homeowners who have limited space, the first decision may be to expand the kitchen by building an extension on the home or taking down a wall. Many homeowners find that spacious eat-in-kitchens are preferable over a small kitchen and formal dining area. So if a dining room abuts the kitchen, remove the wall to create a large kitchen space. * Multiple islands: Instead of one large island, consider two islands. They are less cumbersome, making it easier for guests to easily traverse the kitchen. One island can be set up with a prep sink and wine cooler, while the other can feature a countertop-mounted induction stovetop for convenience and safety. A few tall stools around the back of one island can provide seating while prepping, or for simple conversation. * Company cleanup: Think about large sinks that can accommodate tall pots and pans, such as a double-basin apron sink. Drawer-style dishwashers can be installed so that delicate china and glassware can be washed separately from grimy pots. This segregated style means homeowners can save money by washing smaller loads as needed. * Gathering niche: A butler’s pantry or another alcove equipped with beverage center enables guests to gather in an area away from the main cooking and preparation space. * Breakfast nook: Cozy banquette seating nestled next to a picture window is a great spot for early-morning coffee or when overnight guests trickle down for a hearty breakfast. Decorative brick or stone -- or even a fireplace next to the nook -- completes the warm and fuzzy feel of the area.

A curved countertop serves as extra seating around the prep area, while a large table is perfect for serving big meals.

* Large table: Homeowners who h d do a llott off h hosting ti can b benefi fitt ffrom a ttable bl th thatt seats t many. P Purchase h a llarge ttable bl or one that can be expanded with a drop-in leaf. * Hidden appliances: The kitchen should be decorated according to homeowners’ preferences. Key appliances such as dishwashers, refrigerators and even ovens can be masked with cabinet facing, so they blend right into the rest of the cabinetry. A larger refrigerator with features for entertaining, such as room for platters or bakery cakes, is ideal for the host and hostess. A separate beverage drawer eliminates the need to open the refrigerator repeatedly, plus it’s at a great height for kids looking for juice boxes. * Lighting: Homeowners should consider many different lighting sources. Pendant lights over islands illuminate these work stations. Recessed lighting under cabinets can brighten countertop areas that tend to be dark. A chandelier or bold fixture over the table shows off the amazing meal. Because the kitchen is such a gathering spot, renovations to this room should reflect how much foot traffic and use the kitchen gets.


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Home & Lifestyles Magazine

Belleville Area 2012

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Green Technology Perhaps no decade has witnessed more rapid technological advancements than the opening decade of the 21st century. At the turn of the century, cellular phones had still yet to catch on universally, and few households had high-definition televisions. Ten years later, cell phones are so prevalent even many school-aged children have them, and rare is the household that has not embraced HDTV. And technology has advanced in other areas as well. Among the more notable advancements is the increase in eco-friendly technologies. Homeowners hoping to make their homes more environmentally friendly have a host of options at their beck and call that enable them to do just that. No matter which area of the home needs to be addressed, chances are homeowners can find ways to improve their homes in an eco-friendly way.

Carpeting

Cost-conscious homeowners often love how eco-friendly carpeting options are typically lower in price. Recyclable carpets require few, if any, toxic materials to manufacture. What’s more, homeowners who enjoy changing their home’s decor from time to time will find eco-friendly carpet tiles are easy to install and subsequently replace when the itch to change a home’s interior arises.

Building Materials

When building a dream home, homeowners also have a host of green building materials at their disposals. Be it mold-resistant drywall made from recycled paper or ecofriendly siding options, homeowners building their dream home or adding on to an existing home can choose ecofriendly building materials for both the interior and exterior of their homes.

Flooring

An increasing percentage of homeowners prefer wood 8

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For Your Home flooring over carpeting. Fortunately, there are several eco-friendly flooring options that use recycled and reliable wood from old buildings. In addition, homeowners can choose eco-friendly options like cork, rubber or even bamboo for their home’s flooring. But eco-friendly flooring is not necessarily limited to wood flooring. Recyclable linoleum flooring is also available, and these new products are typically far less toxic than the linoleum floors of yesteryear.

Home Office

Working from home has steadily grown in popularity as technology has made it easier for employees to get their work done without having to head into the office. For homeowners who want to add a home office to their homes, it’s easy to make that home office envi-

ronmentally friendly. Lighting fixtures are often a primary concern when designing a home office, in which men and women want to mirror the well-lit environment they’re accustomed to at traditional office buildings. To illuminate the room in an effective and eco-friendly way, individuals can install LED lighting fixtures. Such fixtures have a long life expectancy and use far less energy than their incandescent counterparts. Another way to go green at the home office without spending much money is to make room for some plants in the office. Plants will absorb toxins in the air and also improve the indoor air quality, which many office workers cite as a problem in traditional offices that don’t place too great an emphasis on indoor air quality. When going green, it’s easy to assume technology will be detrimental to the environment. However, advancements in eco-friendly technology have made it easier for homeowners to build their dream homes in eco-friendly ways. www.hometownUSA.net

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Belleville Area 2012

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YOU R L O C A L

Decorating Try out pattern, even if it is only on an accent chair in one room of the house. It can add visual dimension to a space.

Don’t be Afraid of Pattern Many homeowners want to introduce pattern to their rooms but don’t know where to start. They may wonder if two patterns match or how to determine scale. It may take a little practice, but using pattern is easier than one may think. Nothing adds visual interest to a room more than pattern and color. While homeowners may have the knack with color, they may shy away from pattern. Individuals can trust their instincts -- they’re usually right. For those who have mastered pattern with their wardrobes, it’s time to try out some pattern in home design. Varying pattern size adds dimension to a room. Not every pattern should be the same size and variety, otherwise things can look too matched and staged. Try varying patterns of similar colors but experiment with size. For example, place a largely patterned area rug on the floor. An ottoman may feature a medium-sized pattern. Mix things up by alternating throw pillows in a floral or paisley print with subtle stripes. However, make sure the texture of the fabrics match. Gauzy

curtains with heavy chenille pillows may clash. When selecting patterned items, choose similarly colored items. This way even if the fabrics or patterns aren’t exactly the same, they’ll look cohesive through color. For a room to feel a bit more upbeat, consider complimentary opposite colors. If you prefer a more restful atmosphere, try a palette of colors from the same family. Just vary the intensity of the shades. Homeowners who have gained some pattern confidence may want to strike out on their own to create a room that is unique. Those who still need a little help may want to consider taking the path of designers before them. There are certain patterns and fabrics that have already been established as working together for certain design styles. Here are a few. • American Southwest: Navajo patterns are at the forefront of this design style and can be used on upholstery or pillows. Use a smallerscale stripe on window treatments. Solid-shaded throw pillows in a complementary color to the

Navajo pattern will coordinate well. • English country: This style is about large-scale chintz on sofa and draperies. Mix in narrow striped, slip-covered lounge chairs for a little extra panache. • American country: A small floral print on the sofa or comforter can be offset with a large country quilt pattern hung on the wall as a wall treatment. Checkerboard checks, medium stripes on draperies or select crocheted valences coordinate well. • 18th century: Lavish patterned fabrics in chintz or paisley featuring golds and robin’s egg blue are just some of the options for classic decorating. • Modern: Mix stripes and geometric patterned items in splashes of color to add a modern feel to a room. Individuals can experiment with patterns to make a room more personalized and less of a neutral blank page. If it proves difficult to come up with patterns that work together, look at design magazines or books for some inspiration.

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DEC OR ATING GUIDE

Decorating Use a magazine picture as inspiration for your room, then select similarly shaped and scaled furnishings that mimic the look for less money.

Create A Designer Look On A Budget Interior designers have a knack for pulling together furniture and accessories to create rooms with widespread appeal. But not every homeowner has the resources to hire a professional to help turn their interior from drab to fab. Fortunately, it doesn’t always take a pro to transform a home’s interior. The key to creating a beautiful room is planning. Designers do it and so should you. Measure the dimensions of the room and create a sketch of the area using graph paper or computer software. Be sure to plot any windows or doors on the drawing so that you will be aware of obstacles. Homeowners unsure of what they want should browse through magazines or pictures on the Web for inspiration. Search for key phrases that describe your design style, such as Tuscan, farmhouse, country, colonial, etc. When designing, identify or create a focal point in the room and build off of that. This may be a large window, fireplace, or even the entertainment

center if it’s a family room. Place furniture around the focal point and then move outward. When choosing colors, make sure they are cohesive. Research the color wheel that artists use to help with designing the room. Some colors are complementary or opposites and still work together. Homeowners nervous about color should choose a color from fabric or furniture and use a few different shades of the same color in the room. Select an accent color that can be used on trim or as a spot of color on a pillow or accessory. When plotting wall hangings or other decor, odd numbers often look more pleasing to the eye. Experiment with different sizes of framed artwork or different shaped accessories for visual appeal. For example, a few rectangular shaped items with a circular clock and a conical flower vase can mix it up in the room. This is where looking at magazine layouts can be extremely helpful.

Many stores sell items that mimic the look of higher-priced items. When copying a designer room, select pieces that are similar, but not necessarily the same brands. Consider shopping at second-hand stores or antique shops for discounted pieces. With a little new fabric or stain, many items can look like new again. Shopping online also may enable shoppers to find items more readily and see how they look in staged rooms. When designing, it never hurts to think outside of the box. Items that were intended for outside may work well inside as well. Hanging lanterns or plant stands could be put to use in a rustic room. Decorating doesn’t have to cost a fortune or look like you pieced odd items together. By following the guidelines of a designer room and selecting lower-priced items that mimic the shape and scale of similar accessories, it’s possible for any homeowner to create a room for less.


Grass-Free A Viable Many homeowners equate a beautiful landscape to rolling acres of pristine lawn. But changes in the climate and widespread seasonal restrictions on water use each year could change the way people think about outfitting their yards. There are many reasons people choose to forgo grass and opt for different ornamental elements in their yards. Cost is one factor. While grass seed is relatively inexpensive, the upkeep, including mowing, fertilizing, re-seeding, and watering, requires a significant investment of both time and money. Many homeowners choose to lay down sod to create a beautiful lawn, an expensive option for homeowners with vast landscapes. The environment is another reason homeowners look for grass alternatives. Grass requires a lot of upkeep, much of which is not environmentally friendly. For example, maintaining a pristine lawn requires the use of a gaspowered mower and oftentimes the application of chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Seeking alternatives to grass can be friendly on both the wallet and the environment.

Grass-Free Landscaping Alternatives

For those who are ready to say goodbye to grass, there are many alternatives.

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Landscaping Alternative • Ground cover: Homeowners who still desire the look

of green can choose among different types of ground cover that will quickly fill in the landscape. Clover, lowgrowing evergreen plants and ivy are some of the more popular ground cover alternatives.

• Rocks: Decorative rocks intermingled with native plants

can add dimension and color to the yard. Once rocks are placed, there is little upkeep except for pulling the errant weeds.

• Mulch: A less expensive alternative to rocks is mulch.

Mulch is available in different colors and types and can even be created by a homeowner by chipping trimmed branches from trees in the yard. It helps lock water into landscaping beds, decreasing the need for frequent watering.

• Water features: Think about installing a pond in the yard that can be bordered with stones and mulch. This will take up a good amount of space and can create a natural habitat for wildlife and even some low-maintenance pond fish. • Concrete or patio stones: Although they’re not allnatural materials, patios can take up areas normally consumed by the lawn and create expansive outdoor entertaining areas. It will require an initial investment of the patio material, but once installed, patios don’t require significant maintenance. Homeowners can offset the concrete jungle feel by placing plenty of potted plants and container foliage around the perimeter. • Decking: Another alternative to concrete and stones is a wood or composite material deck. Again, this structure will increase outdoor living space and won’t require the level of routine maintenance needed to keep a lush lawn.

Grass-free alternatives, such as ground cover mixed with patio stones, can be an option for homeowners looking for less upkeep. www.hometownUSA.net

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Belleville Area 2012 15


Built Stronger to Last Longer Building product manufacturers have come a long way over the past several decades when it comes to the creation of products for the home. Decades ago wood roofing shingles or wood millwork had a relatively short lifespan due to environmental conditions the products faced. In today’s marketplace, homeowners can easily locate building products that have lifetime warranties and are constructed to withstand almost anything Mother Nature throws at them. “Synthetic products are a huge advancement for the building industry,” says Mark Clement, contractor and host of MyFixItUpLife radio show. “In particular, products like DaVinci Roofscapes slate and shake roofing tiles are made of polymer and have a 50-year warranty. And, fiberglass doors, urethane millwork and vinyl windows are all great examples of products constructed for low-maintenance ease combined with very impressive product warranties -- plus they look great!” If you’re constructing a new home, start by paying special attention to the basement. By requesting precast wall panels you can add valuable living space to your home. Superior Walls (www. superiorwalls.com) offers Xi insulated concrete wall systems that are custom created for homeowners and installed in less than 24 hours by certified crews. The energy-efficient walls, which received the first National Association of Home Builders Green Approved rating for foundation systems in the country, help lower energy costs for homeowners. The Xi wall panels feature steel reinforced concrete and 21/2-inches of insulation to create a permanent barrier against sidewall water penetration. The sturdy panels are designed and constructed in a factory-controlled setting using steel rebar inside the studs and beams for strength. Built to last, Superior Walls Xi foundations systems are backed by a 15-year warranty. Moving up the house, vinyl windows are crafted for maximum energy efficiency and low maintenance. One manufacturer, Simonton Windows (www.simonton.com), offers a limited lifetime warranty for their durable products. Why vinyl? Because vinyl windows and doors offer excellent thermal performance for year-round comfort and help lower utility bills. Vinyl is an effective insulator, and combined with a strong glass package, provides optimum energy efficiency. “The energy-efficient features of the Simonton products are very impressive, which is why I selected them for my own home,” says Clement. “I’ve found that a glass package that includes Low E glass,

Durable vinyl windows and polymer roofing tiles help create a low-maintenance exterior for this home. an Argon gas fill and Simonton’s Intercept spacer system really outperform other windows I’ve seen.” Select a fiberglass entryway system married with urethane millwork and you’ve chosen more building products meant to last. ThermaTru Doors (www.therma-tru.com) offers a wide variety of reliable, energy-efficient fiberglass door systems. Each door is constructed of durable fiberglass with a polyurethane foam core, can be ordered ENERGY STAR qualified and provides five times the insulation of a wood door. Best of all, fiberglass doors will not rot, split or crack, plus they will not rust, dent or ding. Backed by a limited lifetime warranty, Therma-Tru doors create the tightest seal possible, creating an energy-efficient envelope that stabilizes interior temperatures and helps decrease the home’s energy costs. When using decorative Fypon (www.fypon.com) trim around a fiberglass entry door, you create a winning combination. The crisp, architecturally-correct details on Fypon’s urethane products are crafted from tough, weather-proof, high-performance materials. Pilasters, crossheads and door pediments are all impervious to decay, insect infestation and water damage. Other exterior urethane pieces, such as column wraps, louvers and brackets, are also crafted for long-lasting beauty and low maintenance. Also appropriate for interior application, the urethane pieces are backed by a limited lifetime warranty and are ideal for high humidity areas of the home such as the kitchen, bathroom and laundry room. While all areas of a home’s exterior can take a beating from severe weather and harmful ultraviolet rays, the roof is easily the building product that is most subjected to the elements. To make sure your roof overhead can protect your family and home, investigate the benefits of polymer roofing tiles. “The DaVinci slate roofing tiles on my home resist fire, impact, wind and other weather conditions,” says Clement. “These tiles have their colors blended completely throughout each piece and will resist fading over time because of the UV protection built into each tile. “Products like polymer roofing tiles, which are a good environmental choice and are guaranteed to last for 50 years, are a smart choice for a home. All of these products are a sound investment for a new home and when remodeling an older, cherished home. Doing your research up front to find the best products in the marketplace will result in many savings -- on long-term maintenance, utility costs and repair or premature product replacement.”


YOUR LO CAL

Weddings

Destination: Marital Bliss

Tips to make your destination wedding a success No two couples are the same, and as a result, no two weddings are ever the same. Weddings can run the gamut when it comes to style, from ultra-formal, black-tie affairs to laid-back ceremonies on the beach. One increasingly popular style is the destination wedding. When a couple decides to have a destination wedding, a walk down the aisle often takes place in a tropical locale. There are a host of factors that determine whether or not a destination wedding will go off without a hitch. Budget. Though destination weddings are often more affordable than traditional weddings, couples should still establish a budget. Destination weddings are typically more intimate affairs with far fewer guests. Fewer guests means fewer mouths to feed and less money needed to feed them. However, destination weddings can also come with some hidden costs. For instance, couples might want to fly their parents or the bridal party. If the wedding is taking place out of the country, that can significantly increase the cost of the wedding. So before making a final

decision on a destination, first determine how much can be spent and how that compares to what a wedding in a particular destination is going to cost. Attendance. Though a couple should get married in whatever location they prefer, most couples would prefer their most intimate friends and family members attend the services. Therefore, a successful destination wedding ensures those people closest to the couple can afford to attend. This means couples will need to provide significant advance notice to friends and families. Save-the-date cards should be sent out earlier than they would be for standard weddings. This gives guests time to budget for the trip and align it with their work schedules. If late notice is given, then attendance will likely fall short of a couple’s expectations. Also, couples who give advanced notice but still find their guests cannot make it might want to reconsider the destination, instead looking for one that’s more affordable. Help. Couples should know planning a destina-

tion wedding will go much more smoothly with the help of a wedding coordinator from the chosen destination. Such a coordinator will know the local vendors and procedures for getting married. Sometimes, this help is even part of a resort’s services. Couples who choose a resort destination for their wedding might want to consider only those resorts with on-staff wedding coordinators. If couples find a resort they love that doesn’t provide a wedding coordinator, look for a coordinator who’s readily available online. This will save money on costly international or long-distance telephone calls. Laws. Marriage laws vary depending on location, and couples should research the marriage laws of any destination they’re considering before setting any plans in stone. Overseas marriage licenses aren’t necessarily as easy to obtain for non-residents, and might take a long time to be issue. Know the hurdles before deciding on a destination and setting the plans in motion.


BRIDAL GUIDE

Weddings Financial 411: Surviving Your Wedding Expenses

The average couple will spend between $20,000 and $30,000 on their wedding, a figure that does not include additional expenses such as an engagement ring or honeymoon. Underestimating wedding expenses can lead to financial distress even before the marriage has begun. Most weddings now are paid for by the bride and groom with little contribution from family. Savings Plan With most couples paying for the majority of the wedding themselves, it will be up to them to come up with the bulk of the wedding finances. Starting to save early is essential. Once you have set the date, begin saving immediately. • To save, consider curbing recreational spending. Cut dinners out, trips to the movies or non-essential purchases. Place the money you would’ve spent into a wedding account. • Consider having automatic transfers or deposits into an account for forced savings. Many employers can deposit a portion of your paycheck into a separate account. • Eliminate debt right away. It may seem counterproductive, but sometimes you have to

spend money to save money. Instead of racking up high interest rate charges on credit card balances, pay down credit cards or other bills you have. Once you are in the clear, you can focus more on saving for the wedding. • If need be, have a long engagement so that you have ample time to save. Setting a Budget Setting a budget means you can prioritize what you want and what you will pass up. It also provides a savings goal and a firm deadline. • Shop around for the average rates of vendors in your area. Work on the big-ticket items first before focusing on the smaller details. Once you have average prices, you can base your budget as such. • Add up the average costs of all of the items on your wish list. If it seems out of range, start removing things you can do without. For example, can you have a brunch reception instead of an evening sit-down dinner to scale back costs? • Always set aside a little extra for those incidental expenses, such as tips for the waitstaff and donation to the church — items you may not think to factor in.

• Don’t expect wedding gifts to cover the cost of your wedding. While some guests are quite generous, others may not even cover the cost of their meal. Prioritize Figure out your priorities and work from there. Consider these cost-saving options. • Think about where you will be living after you are married. A residence takes priority over a lavish wedding. • Have the wedding party carry fresh flower bouquets, but use less-expensive silk flowers or even fruit as centerpieces. • Ask your baker to create a small wedding display cake you can use for your photos and serve guests from a much cheaper sheet cake that is hidden in the kitchen. • Get married on a weekday or at an earlier time of day. • Limit the bar to wine, beer and soda to save on the expense of top-shelf liquors. • Register for unconventional gifts, such as contributing to the honeymoon. • Handle some items yourself, such as favors or catering, to keep costs down.


YOUR LO CAL

Landscaping Successfully Transplant Trees

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Homeowners move trees around their property for a number of reasons. Some might be adding on to their property and need to make room for their new addition, while others might simply want to move a tree for aesthetic reasons. Whatever the reason, transplanting trees can be risky. Trees that are not fully healthy, for instance, might find a transplant too stressful. If the stress proves overwhelming, the tree could die or lose some its physical appeal. Though there are no guarantees when transplanting trees, there are a few guidelines homeowners can follow to increase the likelihood of a successful transplant. • Transplant at the right time. It’s best to transplant trees when the ground is not frozen. When transplanting in the spring, do so right after the ground has thawed and before the tree or shrub’s buds begin to swell. When transplanting in the fall, do so soon after leaf drop to allow time for root development before the soil freezes. • Re-locate to the correct spot. Before transplanting a tree or shrub, test the new location in mind. Make sure the place to where the tree or shrub will be moved can provide sufficient light for the given species to thrive. In addition, check the new location’s soil pH, moisture and wind exposure. Not all areas of a property are ideal for trees and shrubs, so inspect the area before moving. Such an inspection should include examining a layout of the property’s

utility lines. • Avoid drying out. Trees and shrubs should not dry out during the transplanting process. Water the plants for 2 to 3 days prior to transplanting the tree if the surrounding soil is dry. When it comes time to transplant, cover the root ball with a damp material, such as burlap or canvas, that will help retain moisture the tree or shrub needs. • Let the professionals move larger trees. Moving larger trees is an undertaking best left to professionals. Transplanting larger trees could prove a difficult undertaking for many homeowners, and the tree could suffer greatly if that’s the case. • Plant as soon as possible. It’s possible to store a tree and not immediately plant it, but it’s ideal to plant a tree or shrub that is being transplanted as soon as possible. If storing, avoid covering the root ball with plastic. That can suffocate the plant’s roots, putting its life in significant jeopardy. Protect stored plants from extreme temperatures, wind and direct sunlight. • Plant properly. Planting holes should be two to three times as wide as the root ball. If planting in dry soil, prewater the holes before planting begins, and be sure to plant the tree or shrub at the same depth it was originally growing in. Also, plant the tree so it is in the same direction, relative to the sun, that it was previously in.


L ANDSCAPING GUIDE

Landscaping From Bland Backyard to

Beautiful Vacation Destination Turn your yard into its own vacation destination with the addition of a quality fabric hammock and hammock stand.

The best vacations lift us out of the frenzy of our lives, whisking us off to faraway places that relax and rejuvenate us. Yet a great vacation can also be a great financial strain as well -- and really, how relaxing is that? Especially since once the trip is over, there’s typically little to show for all the expense beyond a few snapshots you can post on Facebook. So how do you meet the pressing need for a stress-reducing change of scenery without wiping out your savings in the process? The solution may actually be simpler, and closer, than you think: Open your own back door, and begin imagining the leisure possibilities right beyond your doorstep! Instead of throwing a bunch of money at a short-term getaway, consider investing a portion of it into transforming your back yard into a personal relaxation oasis. Don’t be put off by how big a task that sounds. Start out simple, making additional changes as finances allow, and inspiration strikes. To begin with, your yard may need some degree of facelift. Hire a quality professional landscaper who can design around native plant species, for maximum benefit and minimal upkeep. Yet landscaping is really only setting the stage -- you still need some kind of show-stopper to complete your yard’s transformation. Pools and decks are whopping financial commitments. There is, however, a less bank-breaking path to backyard-relaxation bliss: Invest in the very symbol of relaxation itself.

Invest in a hammock and hammock stand. “Repeat customers are always telling me the best mini-vacation they’ve ever bought has been a hammock and a hammock stand,” says J.R. Pelletier, manager of TheHammockCompany. com, an international leader in hammock sales. “A good hammock can feel as if you’ve just caught a flight straight out of your stressful daily life.” Plus, a quality fabric hammock can make your yard look as pretty as a vacation postcard as well. Recent advances in all-weather synthetic textiles have vastly expanded design and color options for fabric hammocks. “It used to be fabric hammocks were just drab,” notes Walter R. Perkins III, CEO of The HammockSource, the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of hammocks. “Owning one meant watching what little color it had fade like a flower by summer’s end. But today, a quality fabric hammock can be a show-stopper for your yard, for many seasons to come.” Add an arc-style cypress or fauxwicker hammock stand, and your outdoor living space becomes not only a gorgeous relaxation destination, but also one that requires no checked-baggage fees or full-body scans to get to! Your favorite patch of yard is finally the primo spot for unwinding, a personal relaxation space for letting your mind wander to all those distant getaway places you might one day like to go. But for now, you’re pretty content right where you are, aren’t you?


Rest Assured:

Zzzz

Overhauling a bedroom involves different renovations. Purchasing a new mattress is among the typical upgrades when refurbishing the bedroom. It can be difficult to determine when it’s time to buy a new mattress. An older mattress may still seem comfortable. Unlike a light bulb that burns out or an appliance that no longer works efficiently, detecting changes in mattress comfort can be a little more challenging. Obvious signs include sagging or lumping of the mattress, creaking and unsupportive edges. However, subtle signs can be recognized by the rest a person gets -- or rather, how little rest a person gets. Difficulty falling asleep, staying asleep or feeling unrefreshed after awakening may be signs that it’s time to replace the mattress. Back pain or stiffness can also be indicators. Once it is determined that a new mattress is in order, individuals should purchase one that fits their sleeping needs. Size It’s important to find the right size mattress for one’s needs. Twin and full-size mattresses should be reserved for solo sleepers, primarily children. Couples who try to squeeze onto a full mattress will definitely find themselves competing for space. Queen mattresses are a preferred option for many couples. They can also be a good choice for single sleepers who like to sprawl out. Queen mattresses are 5 inches longer than full mattresses, making them ideal for taller people. King mattresses are the largest of the offerings. They provide 38 inches of sleeping space per sleeper (2) 26

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Zzzz

Finding the Right Mattress

in the bed. That’s the equivalent of a twin mattress each. A king mattress will provide the space one needs, provided the bedroom is large enough to accommodate a king-sized bed. Support System Mattresses are constructed in different ways, offering different levels of comfort and durability. Inner-spring: Several rows of coiled springs form the inner suspension of this type of mattress. Foam and padding cover the springs. Some inner-spring mattresses have an individually wrapped coil system rather than interconnected springs. This reduces movement disturbances. Latex and memory foam: These mattresses feature several layers of foam or latex to form the mattress. They are especially good at reducing the feeling of motion, which is a boon for couples who are often awakened by their bed partner. Softness Depending on the position of sleeping, certain mattresses are better than others. Back and stomach sleepers should consider a firm mattress because they properly align the spine. Plus, firm mattresses are better for couples who share a bed and have different sleeping needs. They’re firm enough for back and stomach sleepers, yet soft enough to eliminate pressure points for side sleepers. Side sleepers may want a pillowtop mattress, which will be the softest of the options. This eliminates extra pressure in the hips and shoulders. www.hometownUSA.net

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4 ½ 1 1 ½ 1

6-8 oz. Filet Mignon C. Scallions Tbs. Chopped Garlic Tbs. Dijon Mustard C. Shitake Mushrooms Tbs. Worcestershire

2 Tbs. Brandy 5 oz. King Crab 1 Tbs. Butter ½ Tbs. Garlic Pinch Basil


WithWitha total a totalof of3131covered coveredbridges, bridges,Parke ParkeCounty, County,Indiana Indianais isknow knowas asthethe WithWitha total a totalof of3131covered coveredbridges, bridges,Parke ParkeCounty, County,Indiana Indianais isknow knowas asthethe

“Covered “Covered Bridge Bridge Capital Capital of of the the World” World” “Covered “CoveredBridge BridgeCapital CapitalofofthetheWorld” World”

Escape Escape the rush the rush of theofcities; the cities; comecome relaxrelax where where the pace the pace is a bit is aslower, bit slower, where where everyone everyone treatstreats you as you a neighbor, as a neighbor, and nature and nature greets greets you at you every at every corner. corner. Escape Escape the rush the rush of the ofcities; the come come relax where where the pace the pace is covered a 31 bit is covered aslower, bitbridges, slower, where where everyone everyone treats treats you as you a neighbor, ascountry. a neighbor, and nature and nature greets you at you every at Explore Explore Parke Parke County, County, IN cities; with IN with its scenic itsrelax scenic back back roads, roads, 31 bridges, and expansive and expansive Amish Amish country. Relive Relive America’s America’s pastgreets past through through theevery the corner. corner. county’s county’s manymany restored restored historic historic buildings buildings and communities. and communities. Events Events are available are available year-round. year-round. Explore Explore Parke Parke County, County, IN bridges with INwere with its were scenic its scenic back back roads, roads, 31abundance covered 31abundance covered bridges, bridges, expansive and expansive Amish Amish country. country. Relive Relive America’s America’s past past through through the the In the In1800’s the 1800’s covered covered bridges practical practical due to duethe to the of virgin of and virgin timber timber and were and were county’s county’s many many restored restored historic historic buildings buildings and communities. and communities. Events Events are available are available year-round. year-round. covered covered to protect to protect the floorboards. the floorboards. EarlyEarly attempts attempts at wooden at wooden bridge bridge building building werewere at the at the In the In 1800’s the covered bridges bridges were were practical to due the toWith abundance theWith abundance virgin virgin andwood were and expense expense of 1800’s anof uncovered ancovered uncovered bridge bridge called called apractical plank adue plank bridge. bridge. no means noofmeans tooftreat totimber treat thetimber wood the suchwere such covered covered to treated protect to treated protect the creosote floorboards. the as floorboards. Early attempts attempts atquickly wooden at wooden bridge bridge building building werethey were at the at the as pressure as pressure creosote weashave weEarly have today, today, they they quickly rotted rotted and fell and in. fellSoon in. Soon they figured figured expense expense anofneeded uncovered antouncovered bridge bridge called called agood plank a example plank bridge. bridge. With With nouncovered means nouncovered means to bridges treat to bridges treat theatwood the suchsuch that they that of they needed cover to cover them. them. A good A example was the was two the two Bridgeton atwood Bridgeton as pressure as pressure treated treated creosote creosote as we as have we have today, today, they they quickly quickly rotted rotted and fell and in. fell Soon in. Soon they they figured figured which which collapsed collapsed throwing throwing people people and animals and animals into into the creek the creek below. below. So they So they did, in did, fact, in fact, build build that they that they needed needed to cover to cover them. them. A good A good example example was the was two the uncovered two uncovered bridges bridges at Bridgeton at Bridgeton a covered a covered bridge bridge that lasted that lasted 138 years 138 years before before beingbeing lost to lost arson. to arson. which which collapsed throwing throwing people people andbridges animals andbridges animals intoalso into the aided creek the below. below. So they So they did,horses in did, fact, in fact, build A secondary A collapsed secondary benefit benefit of covering of covering the the also aided thecreek horses, the horses, some some horses are leery are leery ofbuild of acrossing covered acrossing covered bridge bridge that lasted that lasted 138 years 138 years before before being being lost to lost arson. to arson. a bridge a bridge especially especially whenwhen they they can see canor seehear or hear the running the running waterwater beneath. beneath. By placing By placing A A benefit benefit of covering oftogether covering the and bridges the painting bridges also aided aided the the horses, horses horses are leery of thesecondary floor thesecondary floor boards boards close close together and painting the also bridge the bridge redhorses, (If redone (Ifsome looks onesome looks closely closely at leery aare at Parke aofParke crossing crossing a bridge a bridge especially especially when when they they can see can or see hear or hear the running the running water water beneath. beneath. By placing By placing County County covered covered bridge. bridge. It looks It looks muchmuch like alike long a long barnbarn would). would). It helped It helped the horse the horse go right go right the floor the floor boards boards closeclose together together and and painting painting the through bridge the through bridge red red one (If bridge looks onewith looks closely closely at Parke a Parke the(If the bridge with no problems. noa at problems. The Roseville The Roseville CoveredCovered BridgeBridge turnedturned County County covered covered bridge. bridge. It looks It looks muchmuch like alike long aAnother long barn barn would). would). It helped It helped the horse the horse go right go right Another secondary secondary benefit benefit of a bridge of a bridge beingbeing through through the was the bridge bridge with with no problems. noDuring problems. years years old this oldBridge past this Bridge fall! past The100 Roseville The100 Roseville Covered Covered turnedfall! turned covered covered was for the for the gentlemen. gentlemen. During Another Another secondary secondary benefit benefit of a bridge of a bridge being being horse-and-buggy horse-and-buggy days,days, it was it was proper proper to to 100 100 years years old thisold past this fall! past fall! covered was was for the for the gentlemen. gentlemen. During During courtcovered court your your lady lady in your in your carriage. carriage. What What better better placeplace to dotothis do outside this outside of the ofwatchful the watchful eyes eyes horse-and-buggy horse-and-buggy days,inside days, it was it was proper proper toThis toThis of the ofpublic the public thanthan inside a covered a covered bridge? bridge? gained gained themthem the title the title of “Kissing of “Kissing Bridges” Bridges” court your your ladytime. lady in your in your carriage. carriage. WhatWhat better better placeplace to dotothis do outside this outside of the ofwatchful the watchful eyes eyes for acourt for short a short time. of of public the public than than inside inside a covered a covered This This gained them them the the of “Kissing Thethe load The load limit limit is determined is determined by the bybridge? floor thebridge? floor beams beams and gained supports, and supports, astitle it as is title difficult it “Kissing is of difficult to Bridges” estimate to Bridges” estimate for a for short a short time. time. the strength the strength of the ofarches, the arches, which which are much are much stronger stronger in comparison. in comparison. The Burr The Burr Arches Arches usedused The shortest The shortest bridgebridge wouldwould be thebePhillip’s the Phillip’s Bridge.Bridge.The load The load limit isCounty determined isCounty determined by except the byfloor thethe floor beams andBridge supports, andBridge supports, as(which it has as is difficult it ahas isKingpost) difficult to estimate towere estimate in every in every Parkelimit Parke bridge bridge except Phillip’s thebeams Phillip’s (which a Kingpost) were the strength the strength of the of arches, the arches, which which are much are much stronger stronger in comparison. in comparison. The Burr The Burr Arches Arches used used It’s only It’swould 43 onlywould 43thelong. developed by Theodore by Theodore Burr.Burr. He was He known was known as the as“Father the “Father of American of American Bridge Bridge Building” Building” The shortest The shortest bridge bridge befeet befeetPhillip’s thelong.Phillip’s Bridge.Bridge.developed in every in every Parke Parke County County bridge bridge except except the Phillip’s the Phillip’s Bridge Bridge (which (which has a has Kingpost) a Kingpost) were were and patented and patented its design its design in 1820. in 1820. All the Allbridges the bridges are made are made of yellow of yellow poplar poplar woodwood withwith the the It’s only It’s 43 onlyfeet 43 long. feet long. developed developed bythe Theodore byBig Theodore Burr. HeFork was He Conley’s known was Conley’s known asFord the asFord “Father the “Father of American of American Bridge Building” Building” exception exception of of the Rocky BigBurr. Rocky Fork and and bridges bridges which which are made are made ofBridge white of white pine pine and patented and patented its design its design in 1820. in 1820. All the Allbridges the bridges are made are made of yellow of yellow poplar poplar woodwood withwith the the wood. wood. PriorPrior to 1900, to 1900, the abutments the abutments werewere mademade of blocks of blocks of Mansfield of Mansfield sandstone, sandstone, and after and after 1900,1900, they they werewere mademade of concrete. of concrete. If theIfbridge the bridge sat sat exception exception of the ofBig the Rocky Big Rocky ForkFork and Conley’s and Conley’s FordFord bridges bridges which which are made are made of white of white pine pine on a on winding a winding approach, approach, windows windows werewere placed placed at theatends the ends of theofbridge. the bridge. wood. wood. PriorPrior to 1900, to 1900, the abutments the abutments werewere mademade of blocks of blocks of Mansfield of Mansfield sandstone, sandstone, and after and after 1900,1900, they they werewere mademade of concrete. of concrete. If theIfbridge the bridge sat sat The inscription The inscription “Cross “Cross This This Bridge Bridge at a Walk” at a Walk” datesdates backback to thetohorse the horse and buggy and buggy daysdays and was and placed was placed at both at both endsends of theofbridges. the bridges. The rhythm The rhythm on a on winding a winding approach, approach, windows windows were were placed placed at the at ends the ends of the of bridge. the bridge. of the ofhorse’s the horse’s hooves hooves couldcould do more do more structural structural damage damage to the tobridge the bridge thanthan the weight the weight of a modern of a modern day truck. day truck. For the Forsame the same reason, reason, soldiers soldiers The inscription The inscription “Cross “Cross This This Bridge Bridge at a Walk” at a Walk” datesdates backback to thetohorse the horse and buggy and buggy daysdays and was and placed was placed at both at both endsends of theofbridges. the bridges. The rhythm The rhythm brokebroke cadence cadence whenwhen crossing crossing also.also. of the ofhorse’s the horse’s hooves hooves couldcould do more do more structural structural damage damage to the tobridge the bridge thanthan the weight the weight of a modern of a modern day truck. day truck. For the Forsame the same reason, reason, soldiers soldiers Not Not all ofallthe ofbridges the bridges werewere painted painted red originally red originally untiluntil laterlater years.years. If a bridge If a bridge was painted was painted at allatitall was it painted was painted white. white. One One bridge, bridge, named named broke broke cadence cadence when when crossing crossing also. also. The The Red Red Bridge, Bridge, was was traditionally traditionally painted painted whitewhite withwith red ends. red ends. Today, Today, the white the white endsends on the on remaining the remaining bridges bridges improve improve visibility. visibility. ParkeParke Not Not all of allthe of bridges the bridges were were painted painted redBridge, originally redBridge, originally until later later years. years. If and a bridge If Portland a bridge was painted was painted at Bridge, allatwhich itall was it remain painted was remain painted white. white. OneNevins One bridge, bridge, named named County County has three has three bridges, bridges, the Jackson the Jackson Stateuntil State Sanatorium Sanatorium Bridge Bridge and Portland Mills Mills Bridge, which white. white. The The Nevins Bridge Bridge is is The The Red Red Bridge, Bridge, was was traditionally traditionally painted painted white white with with red ends. red ends. Today, Today, the white the white ends ends on the on remaining the remaining bridges bridges improve improve visibility. visibility. Parke Parke unpainted. unpainted. All others All others are the aretraditional the traditional red with red with whitewhite ends.ends. County County has three has three bridges, bridges, the Jackson the Jackson Bridge, Bridge, StateState Sanatorium Sanatorium Bridge Bridge and Portland and Portland MillsMills Bridge, Bridge, which which remain remain white. white. The Nevins The Nevins Bridge Bridge is is Construction Construction cost cost varied varied fromfrom $1,200 $1,200 for the forCrooks the Crooks Bridge Bridge to $8,000 to $8,000 for the forWest the West Union Union Bridge. Bridge. At one At time one time ParkeParke County County had ahad total a total of 52of 52 unpainted. unpainted. All others All others are the aretraditional the traditional red with red with whitewhite ends.ends. 1/2 bridges. 1/2 bridges. The 1/2 Thebridge 1/2 bridge was owned was owned in cooperation in cooperation withwith Vermillion Vermillion County County as it sat as ithalf sat in half each in each county county crossing crossing the Wabash the Wabash River. River. ThirtyThirtyConstruction Construction cost cost varied varied from from $1,200 $1,200 fortothe forCrooks the Crooks Bridge Bridge to $8,000 to $8,000 for the forWest the West Union Union Bridge. Bridge. At one At time one time ParkeParke County County had ahad total a total of 52of 52 one bridges one bridges remain remain with with 10 retired 10 retired to vehicular vehicular traffic. traffic. 1/2 bridges. 1/2 bridges. The 1/2 Thebridge 1/2 bridge was owned was owned in cooperation in cooperation withwith Vermillion Vermillion County County as it sat as ithalf sat in half each in each county county crossing crossing the Wabash the Wabash River. River. ThirtyThirtyThe longest The longest bridge bridge would would mostmost definitely definitely be the beWest the West Union Union Bridge Bridge which which is 315isfeet 315 long. feet long. The Jackson The Jackson Bridge Bridge still has stillthe hasreputation the reputation of being of being one bridges one bridges remain remain withwith 10 retired 10 retired to vehicular to vehicular traffic. traffic. the the longest longest single-span single-span covered covered bridge bridge The The longest bridge would would definitely definitely be the beWest the West Union Union Bridge Bridge which which is 315isfeet 315 long. feet long. The Jackson The Jackson Bridge Bridge still has stillthe hasreputation the reputation of being of being still longest still in daily in bridge daily use use In the Inmost United themost United States, States, the the longest longest single-span single-span covered covered bridge bridge standing standing at 207 at 207 feet feet long.long. The The shortest shortest still still in daily in daily use use In the In United the United States, States, bridge bridge would would be the be Phillip’s the Phillip’s Bridge. Bridge. It’s It’s standing standing at 207 at 207 feet feet long.long. The The shortest shortest only only 43 feet 43 long. feet long. The Catlin The Catlin Bridge Bridge runsruns a a bridge would would the be the Bridge. It’s It’s closebridge close second second atbe only at only 54Phillip’s feet 54Phillip’s long. feetBridge. long. only only 43 feet 43 long. feet The Catlin The runs runs a a To visit To visit this beautiful thislong. beautiful partCatlin part ofBridge the ofBridge country the country close close second second at only at only 54 feet 54 long. feet long. simply simply jumpjump in your in your car and car and headhead out out To visit To visit this beautiful this beautiful part part of the of country the country to Indiana. to Indiana. You You can see can all seeofallthe of route the route simply simply jumpjump in your in your car and car and headhead out out mapsmaps and covered and covered bridges bridges details details on their on their to Indiana. to Indiana. You You can see can all see of all the of route the website website at coveredbridges.com. at coveredbridges.com. PlanPlan yourroute your mapsmaps and covered and covered bridges bridges details details on their on their visit visit todaytoday and enjoy and enjoy the fall thecolors fall colors alongalong The longest The longest bridgebridge wouldwould most most definitely definitely be thebeWest the West UnionUnion BridgeBridge whichwhich is 315is 315 feet long. feet long. website website at coveredbridges.com. at coveredbridges.com. PlanPlan youryour the way. the way. visit visit todaytoday and enjoy and enjoy the fall thecolors fall colors alongalong The longest The longest bridgebridge wouldwould most most definitely definitely be thebeWest the West UnionUnion BridgeBridge whichwhich is 315is 315 feet long. feet long. the way. the way.


Embracing Your The growing trend of homeowners staying in their existing houses longer due to economic challenges has had a colorful effect on homes. People are taking the opportunity to personalize their homes more with colorful exterior accents and they’re not stopping with just a splash of paint. According to national color expert Kate Smith, homeowners are taking steps to express their personalities by adding color to everything from their roofs to their entry doors to their window frames. “Today’s homeowners are looking beyond variations of whites and beiges to set off the key accent points of their homes, such as louvers, trim and window frames,” says Smith, president of Sensational Colors. “With the realization that they’re going to be staying in their current houses longer comes the commitment by people to truly personalize their homes. This has resulted in eye-catching neighborhoods. “As homeowners replace major components of their homes they place greater value on finding products with a long life span, lower maintenance and style. They are seeking out both a noticeable change and an improvement from existing products on the home. The ability to add a creative element, personal touch or signature color tends to ‘bond’ homeowners even more closely with their living spaces.” According to Smith, one of the hottest trends for exterior enhancements is to select vinyl win30

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Color On Home dows with exterior color frames that complement the overall look of the home. She cites the Decorum by Simonton product line as one that offers everything consumers are looking for -- color, energy efficiency, style and low maintenance. “With their minds on sustainability and their eye on good design, many homeowners are investing in color as a way to express themselves and reinvent their current homes,” says Smith. “Simonton offers exterior window frame colors of brick red, pine green, bronze, driftwood and chocolate that perfectly match up with the earthy colors homeowners gravitate to for their home exteriors. These same colors can be drawn out further on trim elements of the home along with being component colors of the roof and entry door.” Along with offering colorful exteriors on their replacement window frame exteriors, Simonton also offers the same colors on new construction windows so homeowners can build with color confidence right from the start. “A window is like a two-sided canvas,” says Smith. “The colors on the frame exteriors enhance the home’s overall appearance from the street. And then when you get inside and select stylish woodgrain frame interiors and premium hardware finishes, you’re adding beauty to the room settings. That’s a ‘winwin’ experience for any homeowner.”

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32

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Exterior Home Essentials s s s s s

s s s s s

As a child, a large cardboard box with cut-out windows made a can be applied to vinyl siding, PVC, wood, aluminum siding, stucco, great playhouse. However, as you grew up, you wanted your home to masonry, and fiber cement surfaces. The top-quality paint resists have more appeal and real windows. After crossing the threshold to mold, fungus, algae, flaking, chipping and staining, making it an homeownership, it’s time to consider more than cardboard for your essential exterior product for the home. home’s exterior. The sun’s harmful rays can do more than fade the paint on a home -“The outside of your house is much more than just a reflection of they can enter a house through its windows. Unchecked, the harmful your lifestyle or the architectural design of the structure,” says Tina ultraviolet (UV) rays can damage carpeting and solar heat gain can Mealer with Fypon(R). “Your home’s exterior has essential elements cause energy bills to soar. Energy-efficient vinyl windows with highly -- like siding, louvers, windows, a roof and doors -- that all join protective LoE glass packages are vital to help reduce energy costs. together to protect what’s inside your home.” “When we renovated our 100+ year old home, we decided on Due to the fast-paced lives of many families, these days the exterior ENERGY STAR(R) qualified vinyl windows,” says Clement. “As a of the home needs to be especially easy to maintain. And, with severe remodeling professional, I fully believe that energy-efficient windows weather cropping up in many areas are a critical investment for a home. The along with the need for energy-efficient Easy-care products like vinyl windows and Simonton windows we installed provide products, the selection of your home’s urethane millwork help a home look great excellent thermal performance and for years without maintenance hassles. exterior products is critical. look beautiful from both the inside and “Think about your home from the outside of our home. They were a highlytop down,” advises Mark Clement, carpenter and co-host of efficient and attractive choice that provides us with both comfort MyFixItUpLife.com website and radio show. “Start with the roof and peace-of-mind.” overhead that needs to protect your home from rain, sleet, snow, After the structure of your residence is in place, it’s time to take hail and even potential lightning strikes. Consider the stress factors care of embellishments that turn the house into a home. Lowplaced on a roof over time plus the need for long-term durability. maintenance urethane shutters, mouldings and trim pieces that “After doing a vast amount of research, I chose maintenance-free surround windows and doors come in hundreds of styles and sizes, DaVinci Roofscapes(R) slate synthetic roofing tiles for my own home. allowing you to customize your home’s exterior. These eco-friendly roofing tiles have a 50-year warranty, are fire“As children, we used crayons to draw on the cardboard houses we resistant and can help many homeowners lower their homeowner created,” says Mealer. “As adults, we install urethane products to insurance premiums. Once installed, I can practically forget about create embellishments. Actually, it’s much more fun to be a grownthe roof for five decades -- except for enjoying the way it looks!” up and have the selection of hundreds of decorative and functional Moving down the sides of the house, homeowners are often millwork pieces to enhance our homes. As a bonus, remember disappointed by paint that fades, flakes or chips. One company has that the cardboard house falls apart in bad weather. Urethane and developed an exterior paint that is warranted for 15 years against PVC products, just like synthetic roof tiles and vinyl windows, are fading. NeverFade(TM) paint from APV Engineered Coatings(R) impervious to rain and humidity, decay, rot and termite infestations!” www.hometownUSA.net

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Select Your Favorite Craft Beer In A “64oz. Growler To Go” ...& Bring It Back For A Refill

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Window Treatment Colors Curtains are a fast way to bring new life and color to any room, and now home decorators can create them more quickly and easily than ever. One clever example: simply clip an attractive tablecloth or tea towel onto a rod. Curtains and drapes will give you the more traditional window covering that you can combine with window shades and blinds. Measure each window separately and record the measurements on paper. Be sure to check all measurements twice Choosing a great window before you purchase a new window treatment. Measuring and installation is available in the Brooklyn, NY area. treatment idea can be a Measure from the point you’ll hang the shade to the point where you want it to drop. Add an extra two inches to daunting task if you’re not the top portion of the window frame to allow for mounting brackets. There are many types of window treatments to choose from. Aside from the standard curtains and drapes here are: sure where to start. wood blinds, pleated shades, cellular shades, plantation shutters, aluminum mini blinds, and vertical blinds are only a few of the many options available. Matchstick and bamboo blinds can be found at many imports stores or on the Internet. Wooden vertical blinds offer a vast choice of different natural and stained colors. The lightweight woods which offer paler colors such as ash and beech can create a warming and inviting atmosphere, for a more contemporary and dramatic effect dark woods such as dark oak and rowan are very striking. Don’t forget the interior wood shutters. These give a country styled appearance to a home and kitchen. They may be painted in any color that one desires. Wood, for example, is warm and rich and works well in home offices. Deciding on what type of blind to use in each room can be done with your own creativity or you can hire an interior designer who can offer more helpful advice. Wood blinds can be cleaned with a cleaner suited for wood surfaces. Use water sparingly, however, as you don’t want to damage the wood. Wood shutters are charming and substantial; those that cover only the bottom half of the window protect privacy but let in light, so you’ll want to add roller shades or Roman shades on top. Gathered Roman shades, handsome even in simple canvas, look wonderful in a circus stripe. Shades are similar to blinds, but instead of slats, they consist of fabric. Choosing the right kind of window treatment for your home can get very overwhelming and confusing. You should work from the design style in the room you are decorating and choose a treatment that complements the design. Since most curtains and drapes are simply vertical in design; these can work in any décor. You just have to choose a color that fits and that is done by finding the predominant color and matching it (if there is not a lot of this color) or complementing it to avoid over saturating the predominant color. A fabric store is the best place to start; so bring a sample of the predominant color with you.

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YOUR LO CAL

Remodeling Easy and Economical Solutions for those Postponed Remodeling Plans If you cannot wait any longer to make some much needed changes in your home, you are not alone. Americans are once again getting ready to begin the home improvement process. This pent-up energy often begins in the kitchen, a room that gets a lot of wear and tear but also seems to go out of fashion more quickly these days. This time around, you will be more cautious like many consumers are with their choices and costs ... and yet you want to make observable changes. The most obvious change is installing a new countertop. Remember that countertops represent 30 percent of the color in any kitchen. Create new excitement by simply replacing your tired, scratched or stained counter surface with one made from the latest generation of premium laminate. The latest additions to the popular Wilsonart(R)HD(R)High Definition(R) design series reflect new interest in natural, classic and tumbled marble, limestone and travertine. The good news is this fashionable look is available without the high cost of stone or the constant maintenance those stones require. These lighter, less patterned laminate designs are perfect for today’s hectic lifestyle. In fact, the new cost-efficient countertop can be installed within a few hours and without disrupting family life. They also give an existing kitchen the promise of a whole new look that’s universally appealing. That equals a big change for small change. All of these new designs are available in a new surface effect of a lower matte-gloss sheen that seems almost

glazed. The “Glaze” texture is actually a layering of matte features over a glaze of semi-gloss. This creates a timeworn result that is less reflective and more restrained. It’s a perfect balance for the sophisticated dramatic materials that are part of today’s kitchen: stainless steel, chrome, copper, and even glass. Wilsonart patterns benefit from AEON Enhanced Performance technology. AEON brings four times the scuff and scratch-resistance of conventional laminate, as well as five times the wear resistance to the surface. Unlike granite, the surfaces of these new laminates are nonporous and never need to be sealed. Here are some other remodeling ideas that will have high impact without high expense: • Replace your old refrigerator with an energy-efficient model. Look in the big box stores for floor models or even those with a little dent on the side, which will never be seen. • Refresh your cabinets with a coat of paint, and change all the cabinet hardware in the process. This makes everything look new. • Swap out your old ceiling light fixture and install under cabinet lighting as well. A little light can make a dramatic difference. • Change your sink or sinks. Consider a new Wilsonart(R) HD(R) sink when adding a laminate countertop. These sinks were designed to be mounted to a laminate surface. Still puzzled by the process or need more help choosing the right color or pattern for your countertop? Visit www.WilsonartHD.com for many good answers.


REMODELING GUIDE

Remodeling On your Side Understanding Different Siding Options Seemingly from the moment a home is purchased, its new owners start envisioning ways to transform their new pad into their dream home. Once they turn their key for the first time, homeowners enter an empty home and see a blank slate on which they can improve. But even before homeowners enter their new home, chances are the home’s exterior has inspired a few improvement ideas as well. One of the more common home improvements is changing a home’s exterior siding. Many new homeowners want to change their home’s appearance with siding but might not be sure which option is the best fit for them. The following guide to siding options might help make this decision that much easier for homeowners still on the fence. • Vinyl: Vinyl siding is a popular choice among homeowners who don’t want to break the bank to change their home’s exterior look. Vinyl siding is one of the more affordable siding options, and many homeowners are attracted to its durability and reputation as a very low-maintenance siding option. Seamless vinyl attracts homeowners because of its aesthetic appeal. In general, vinyl siding is wind-resistant and unlikely to rot, scratch or blister, and vinyl siding does not attract insects nor is it susceptible to mold or mildew. However, some vinyl siding cannot withstand extremely cold weather. • Solid wood: Wood siding can last for decades and many homeowners love its old-fashioned appeal. However, homeowners who don’t want the hassle of worrying about their home’s exterior might be better suited to other options, as wood siding can be

difficult to maintain. Because wood will expand or contract depending on the season, wood siding is prone to cracking or splitting, and especially humid climates might foster mildew in wood siding. Wood siding typically requires restaining or repainting every few years, and such maintenance is necessary throughout the siding’s lifespan. Proper and routine maintenance of wood siding can also help reduce the risk of termites or mold. Durable and • Aluminum: affordable, aluminum siding is easier to maintain than wood, though many homeowners still choose wood over aluminum on the basis of aesthetic appeal. Many homeowners often come down to deciding between aluminum and vinyl siding, and environmental concerns might come into play when making that decision. Aluminum siding is considered by many to be the more eco-friendly option, as some feel vinyl siding is bad for the environment and might even negatively affect human health. Aluminum siding is generally windresistant and homeowners enjoy its status as a relatively low maintenance siding option. • Stucco: Many homeowners prefer stucco siding because of its unique makeup that allows them to choose a design and color uniquely their own. A manufactured product made up of cement, lime, sand, and water, stucco is easy to maintain and can last a very long time. Stucco installation, however, is an intricate process and homeowners can expect to pay more for stucco’s installation than they would with other options, even though the installation can be finished very quickly, particularly when compared to wood siding.


Montana Home From American Anders Lewendal a Bozeman, Mont. contractor is building the first all-American building materials home. With Lewendal’s background in economics he acquired the idea of building the home after reading 2009’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which aimed to lift the U.S. economy out of despair. The act required that at least 51 percent of a product’s components to be made domestically for it to be considered “made in America”. He also studied reports from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and thought if every contractor in America used all-American products by 5 percent; the country’s economy could increase by 100,000 jobs. Lewendal also figured that if families bought 5 percent more domestic products in their daily life, the recession could be over. Beside economic benefits buying American has social and environmental benefits. If Americans stop buying products from countries with low labor and environmental standards, those countries could be forced to rethink their policies, Lewendal said, and buying domestic products

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Built Entirely Made Products also saves money in the transportation of raw materials and finished goods, Lewendal added. At about 2,000 square feet the estimated final cost of the two-story home is $400,000. The allAmerican home is a little house that represents a big idea. Every piece of it is predominantly American made. Lewendal puts emphasis on the term “predominant” because some things – like the computer chips that might regulate an American made furnace – could have been made in a foreign country. Lewendal also states that the total cost of the home is only half a percent higher than other homes and that most of the materials including appliances can be found in the U.S. Until he has accounted for every piece of the house Lewendal can’t say whether building all-American is more expensive than not building all-American, he doesn’t really think that it will be. For more information on the all-American home including a list of all the materials used in the project please visit: www.theallamericanhome. com.

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MAGAZINE


Own Your Own Lobster Trap With Catch a Piece Of Maine

Founders Story

Brendan and John grew up on the water in Cape Elizabeth, Maine where they were introduced to the lobster industry by their uncle Ted who was a commercial lobsterman. They would work in the summer months for him compensated in old, beat up lobster traps that they would fix and put back together. By the time they were 9 years old, they were

harvesting lobsters from their own boat and fishing traps which they had earned the season before. They never knew it as kids, but growing up and working on the water in a coastal community gave them both the insight and appreciation for the simpler things in life. It also gave them the perseverance and imagination to found Catch a Piece of Maine. It seemed natural, as lobstermen from the age of nine, that their dream of earning a living from the sea would come true. Their passion for the sea continued, and with each year they gained more knowledge and experience with how the lobster industry worked. Years later, Brendan and John were fortunate enough to have had the opportunity to attend college and reluctantly headed off to school with the desire to return home to the sea. They graduated in 2004, both with degrees in business from Northeastern University and Stonehill College. They remained determined to make a difference for Maine, the lobster industry, and traditions they loved so much. Brendan and John have been extremely fortunate to live their dream and follow their desires of becoming Maine lobstermen. Catch a Piece of Maine was created by

John & Brendan, with the help of family, friends, and fellow lobstermen, in part as a response to the financial realities of the lobstering industry and as a means to introduce you to their traditions, trade and the sea. Through Catch a Piece of Maine they have toppled the barriers between lobsterman and consumer, allowing those who love to eat the freshest most delicious lobster a chance to get to know the dedicated lobsterman who harvests their dinner. Bringing the consumer closer to the dock allows them to sell direct so that they earn a premium and effectively preserve the traditional working waterfront. The lobsterman at Catch a Piece of Maine are all stewards of the sea; always making sure today’s catch is available for tomorrow’s lobsterman. Their industry exemplifies hard work, tradition, heritage, and sustainability. They pride themselves on the eco-friendly manner of harvesting, producing little to no bycatch and enforcing strict laws to allow the release of all lobsters too small and too large. Lobstering is hard work and capital intensive, requiring boats that cost as much as a house, on top of equipment, traps and fuel. In the past several years the price of bait and fuel has tripled while they have been watched their working waterfront slowly disappear.

Catch a Piece of Maine Premium Lobster Club Membership

The Ultimate Gift - Be a Virtual Lobsterman, Own Your Own Trap or 1/2 Trap : A one of a kind gift only found here! Enjoy the rewards of having your own personal lobstermen and lobster trap catching lobsters just for you. Your partnership provides you with a minimum of 13 gourmet lobster dinners

delivered anywhere in the country with free shipping! (Over 52 1.5lb. lobsters, clams, mussels, desserts, and more). As a partner, you will be assigned a private lobsterman that will fish your trap all season. Join the excitement of hauling traps and discovering what you’ve caught by monitoring your lobster trap online. You’ll feel like you can catch your own lobster, even if you can’t make it to Maine! Enjoy the rewards of Catch a Piece of Maine by requesting your lobster dinners, caught by your lobsterman, to be shipped to whomever you choose, whenever you want, wherever you like. To make your lobster dinners even more memorable, our Captains will actually give you a call the day your lobster dinners arrive. Share this rare experience with your family, friends, or a group of co-workers for everyone to enjoy. We invite you to come aboard our lobster boat in Maine to meet the lobstermen and see firsthand how your dinner is harvested. Choose this remarkable gift for yourself or to surprise your family, friends, or business associates. Order today and reserve your own piece of Maine. If you don’t want to own your own lobster trap or share a lobster trap then you can always order live lobsters, lobster tails, fresh packed lobster, dinners and gift certificates. Visit Catch a Piece of Maine at www. catchapieceofmaine. com or call them at 877.222.4630.


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Mediterranean Diet May Help Fight Breast Cancer New research suggests women looking to prevent breast cancer after menopause may want to consider dietary changes, including adopting Mediterranean eating habits, to reduce their risk. According to information published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Greek post-menopausal women who rated highly in terms of researching scores in their consumption of foods that fit with a Mediterranean diet were 22 percent less likely to develop breast cancer during the study than others. Although the diet is not a cure-all for breast cancer, researchers estimate that if all women in their study population had closely adhered to a traditional Mediterranean diet, about 10 percent of the 127 postmenopausal breast cancers in the group would have been avoided. It has long been believed that a Mediterranean diet has many positive effects on personal health. Although studies have only been conducted on breast cancer thus far, there is also hopeful evidence that the diet may reduce the risk for other cancers, including colon and stomach cancer, as well as reduce the chances for heart disease.

What Is a Mediterranean Diet?

Nations in the Mediterranean region, including Italy, Greece, Turkey, and Spain, have historically had lower rates of heart disease and some cancers, including breast cancer, compared with other European countries and the United States. Researchers believe there is a correlation between the foods Mediterranean people eat and the rates of cancer and other illnesses. A traditional Mediterranean diet is rich in seafood, heart-healthy fish, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and olive oil. It is relatively low in dairy and red meat products. According to the Mayo Clinic, most if not all major scientific organizations encourage healthy adults to adopt a diet similar to the Mediterranean diet to prevent major chronic diseases. Those who want to follow a Mediterranean diet can consider the following guidelines. * Base every meal on the consumption of fruits, vegetables, grains, olive oil, beans, nuts, legumes, seeds, herbs, and spices. * Consume fish and seafood often, at least two times per week. * Enjoy moderate portions of poultry, eggs, cheese, and yogurt daily to weekly.

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* Reduce and limit consumption of meats and sweets.

Experts say that if the Mediterranean diet does have a preventative nature toward breast cancer and other illnesses, it is likely due to the antioxidant components of the diet. The Mediterranean diet is rich in antioxidants, which protect cells from damage that may lead to diseases. The diet also helps to promote a health body weight, which is instrumental in keeping the body in top form and helping with immune system function. To get started on the path of healthy Mediterranean eating, enjoy this recipe for Eggplant Dip.

Eggplant Dip

1 medium eggplant 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt 1 small red bell pepper, finely chopped 1 small chile pepper, such as jalapeno, seeded and minced (optional) 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 1 tablespoon finely chopped flat-leaf parsley 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste 1/4 teaspoon salt Position oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source; preheat broiler. Line a baking pan with foil. Place eggplant in the pan and poke a few holes all over it to vent steam. Broil the eggplant, turning with tongs every 5 minutes, until the skin is charred and a knife inserted into the dense flesh near the stem goes in easily, 14 to 18 minutes. Cool on a cutting board until ready to handle. Put lemon juice in a medium bowl. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scrape the flesh into the bowl, tossing with the lemon juice to help prevent discoloring. Add oil and stir with a fork until the oil is absorbed. (It should be a little chunky.) Stir in yogurt, onion, bell pepper, chile pepper (if using), basil, parsley, cayenne and salt. If the eggplant has a lot of seeds it may be bitter. Add a dash of salt to sweeten the dip. Serve with whole-wheat crackers, wedges of toasted pita, or fresh vegetable slices.

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How to Equip Your Home Office Working

from home is growing more popular each and every year. Advancements in technology have made it easier than ever before for the nation’s workers to login from their home environment. While working from home has its advantages, one notable disadvantage concerns the furniture. A cubicle or office at an office building comes fully furnished at the employer’s expense, while a home office typically must be furnished entirely by the employee. Those about to furnish their home office should consider the following tips. • Don’t overdo it. Home offices need not be as crowded as the standard office building office. In today’s computer age where most files are stored electronically than in file cabinets, a home office does not have to be filled with numerous file cabinets, shelving units or tons of drawer space. When www.hometownUSA.net

• Be choosy with the chair.

working from home, especially when working from home only part-time, the office does not have to be fully stocked. The essentials will probably do the trick. • Be flexible with choice of desk. A desk for a home office can be effective whether it’s a folding table or an aesthetically appealing oak desk. Oftentimes, the individual will know what he or she needs. For example, an architect will need a larger desk to spread out blueprints while a writer might be fine working on a smaller desk because he or she does not need much more than a computer. Home & Lifestyles Magazine

Employers often look for chairs that discourage slouching and will keep workers comfortable and productive throughout the day. People working from home should also be choosy when finding a workday chair. Cost should not be a major consideration. Instead, comfort should take precedence or it could have adverse effects on an individual’s health over the course of time. Also, be sure the arms of the chair fit under the desk. • Install a second phone line. It’s not ideal to rely on an existing home phone line as the primary means of contact for work. Family or friends might call and force workers to miss important work-related phone calls. Many employers provide a phone line connected to the actual office where the business is located. However, they do not often expect workers to have a work-specific line at their home. Belleville Area 2012 45


Bring the Movie Theater Experience Home Perhaps no home-improvement craze has grown more popular in recent years than home theater installation. As technology has become more advanced and more affordable, a number of people have opted to turn a room in their homes into their own private theater, complete with big screen, comfortable seating and anything else the heart desires. For those homeowners who have yet to embark on their own home theater, the process can prove intimidating, especially for those unsure of just where to get started. The following guide should help homeowners understand just what it is they’re going to need to make their dream home theater a reality.

Television

First and foremost, no home theater is complete without a television (unless, of course, there’s room for an actual movie screen). When it comes to televisions, it’s genuinely amazing just how far technology has come in such a relatively small amount of time. As recently as 20 years ago, most television viewers did not even have cable television, and the programming they did watch was on TVs with rabbit ear antennae that often received poor reception. Nowadays, a consumer’s television options are seemingly endless, with plasma, LCD, DLP, LED, and even 3D televisions available. While it might be tempting to be the first in the family to buy a 3D television, it’s important to note 3D televisions are very expensive, and most channels do not even broadcast in 3D yet. Savvy homeowners might want to put 3D on hold for now, choosing instead the relatively new yet affordable LED option instead. Plasma and DLP, while still a bargain and still capable of providing stunningly clear images, are also becoming harder to find in favor of LCD

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and LED televisions. Remember, harder to find televisions may also prove harder to fix should something go wrong.

DVD Player

Today’s consumers are increasingly looking to Blu-ray players as their video source of choice. Homeowners with high-definition televisions will likely prefer a Blu-ray player, which provides the clearest picture. Homeowners who double as gamers or have children who play video games might already have a high-definition DVD player at home, as many of the latest gaming system models pull double-duty as high-definition DVD players.

Home Theater Receiver

This is the point when many homeowners grow confused. Surround sound is often what amazes most about home theaters, and that surround sound is only possible with a home theater receiver. The receiver will process and amplify audio signals and send them to the speakers. Home theater receivers all boast surround sound decoding, and many even make the entire process of home entertainment much easier because homeowners can connect multiple sources, including a cable or satellite box, a DVD player and a gaming console, to the system itself. This makes it possible to simply push one button on the remote and change the television’s input, making it easy to switch from a DVD to a video game to a television show.

Speakers

Speakers play a significant role when attempting to recreate that movie theater experience at home. One essential element when choosing speakers is voice-matching. With voice-matched speakers, sound flows easily around viewers. Without voicematched speakers, the speakers might not Home & Lifestyles Magazine

all share the same harmonic characteristics, leading to disjointed sound as the sound travels from speaker to speaker. Though “voice-matching” might sound complicated, it’s actually quite easy. Simply choose speakers from the same family of speakers, meaning the same manufacturer and model of speakers. Many speaker systems are even pre-matched. A home theater system also requires the use of a center channel speaker, front left and right speakers, surround speakers, and a subwoofer. Oftentimes, these systems can be bought all in one.

Cables

Which cables to purchase is often another area that proves confusing. The basics that are necessary are audio cables, video cables and speaker cables. While incredibly expensive HD or speaker cables might not be necessary, it’s important to note the sound produced by cheap speaker cables tends to reflect their price. And the standard audio and video cables that come with a television or DVD player often produce lower quality sound and picture. So while the appliance might have come with all the necessary cables, these complementary cables often impede viewers from getting the most out of their home theater systems.

Protection

The cost of a dream home theater system will not be cheap. Therefore, it makes sense to protect that system as much as possible. A power protection unit safeguards the home theater from power surges, outages and even lightning strikes. Such units are a small price to pay for protecting a much larger investment.

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