Home & Garden Decorator 9

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home garden

D E C O R AT O R 12

GARAGE & SHED ORGANIZATION MADE EASY

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BEAN & LENTIL SPROUTING

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SPRING CLEANING FOR BETTER HEALTH

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MOVING & PACKING TIPS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER

GREEN GARDEN PARTY

Spring 2018

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Contents Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils, make for a rich source of healthy protein, carbohydrates and fiber. But they can also be hard to digest and cause abdominal discomfort, bloating or gas.

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AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM IMPROVES CURB APPEAL & PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT

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STENCIL DECORATIONS

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GREEN SMOOTHIE WITH AVOCADO

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BEAN AND LENTIL SPROUTING

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D E C O R AT O R

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GREEN GARDEN PARTY

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GARAGE & SHED ORGANIZATION MADE EASY VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS EDAMAME HUMMUS

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START A WORM FARM TODAY & GARDEN TOMORROW

BUYER BEWARE: KNOW YOUR HOME LOAN OPTIONS SPRING CLEANING FOR BETTER HEALTH CREATE A POTTED PARADISE WITH DRIP IRRIGATION FOR LESS THAN $100

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PISTACHIO LIME CREAM CHEESE CAKE

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MOVING & PACKING TIPS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER


home garden D E C O R AT O R

LETTER from the Editor Upcycling is great for the environment, helps you clear much needed space around the house and it’s a great way to save money. With Earth Day on the horizon, Home/ Garden Decorator encourages you to unleash your green thumb and lifestyle! In this issue, we’ll show you how to install your own irrigation system for potted plants, fertilize your garden with a worm farm and throw a green garden party with reusable items. Spring is all about renewal, rebirth as well as home and garden renovations, so don’t be afraid to put your best green foot forward. - Liz McGehee Executive Publishers Greg and Suzanne Fox Jumpstart Publishing, LLC Managing Editor Suzanne Polk Fox

Contributing Writers Anja Springthorpe Chad Ruiz Michele Robert Poche Patricia Danflous

Editor Liz McGehee

Creative Team Director Dianne Waller

Copy Editor Chad Ruiz

Art Tra Pham Production Claire Thomas

Home Garden Decorator is a quarterly magazine that is a resource for readers in our community for home decor inspiration, creative DIY projects, gardening tips, home selling tips, product reviews and much more. From gardening to real estate, this magazine has something for everyone!

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AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM IMPROVES

CURB APPEAL &PROTECTS THE ENVIRONMENT BY CHAD RUIZ

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ou scoff at it on every pass. Every subdivision has one – the neighbor with the greenest, lushest landscape. With grass so green, it glows in the dark. An abundance of topiary and bushes and flowers thick and imposing. You hear it snicker while you water your decaying yard. Is it magic or fairy dust or…gulp…witchcraft? No, it’s irrigation! Planning and installing a beautiful landscape is only half the battle. Without an adequate watering system, your plants morph from thriving flora into drooping, battered twigs.

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WHAT IS IRRIGATION? Irrigation is simply a sprinkler system used to water your lawn, gardens and even potted plants. Typically, a professional crew maps out your landscape – included in the initial plans are things like pathways, driveways, porches and buildings. Next, they designate the ideal locations of sprayer heads

for optimum coverage. The crew begins the construction by marking your yard then digging trenches about 12 inches deep. After tapping into the main water line, the crew routes PVC pipe through the trenches, ultimately connecting it to sprinkler heads that pop up when activated. The whole system usually ties into a programmable, electronic control panel. The entire endeavor lasts a few days and costs between $2,500 and $5,000, depending on the size of your landscape.

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WHY INVEST IN IRRIGATION? If a window on your home breaks, do you repair it? When the paint cracks and fades, do you update it? As homeowners, too often we forget and neglect the property on which our homes sit. Protect your investment with adequate irrigation. Maintaining a lush, inviting landscape improves your home’s curb appeal and, when

Most realtors agree that buyers always prefer a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape. 6

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D E C O R AT O R

selling, attracts more buyers. Most realtors agree that buyers always prefer a beautiful, low-maintenance landscape. “Your front yard should look sterling – a regular showcase of the property,” longtime realtor Helene Nunez with Helene Team Realty says. “After all, it’s one of the first things that buyers will see.” Plus, it’s good for the environment. Watering the garden and lawn with a hose or attachable sprinkler wastes water and poorly distributes it evenly across the lawn. The latest irrigation systems detect moisture levels in the air and ground, preventing over and under watering. Landscapers also recommend watering lawns in the early morning hours, a feat easily accomplished with a programmable irrigation system. (Unless you enjoy spraying the yard in your pajamas.)

AN IRRIGATION SYSTEM IS RIGHT FOR YOU IF… • You desire a green, healthy landscape • You wish to protect and potentially increase the value of your property • You want to invest in your home • You care for the environment


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STENCIL DECORATIONS

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BY ANJA SPRINGTHORPE

ecorative feature walls can change the atmosphere of entire rooms. However, a few rolls of high-end wallpaper can be costly. It also takes skilled precision to apply paper to walls. Decorative stencils might just be the thing to get that luxury look while keeping cost and effort to a minimum. Stencils come in all types of designs, sizes and budgets. From intricate damask designs to cool children themes, you can achieve anything with stencils. Because DIY stores often have a limited number of stencils, the internet may be the best source to find the perfect design.

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Specialized websites stock thousands of stencils and typically include pictures of the design applied to walls. Stenciling a wall can seem daunting, but the process is as simple as painting. Once you have decided on a wall color, pick the color of the stencil. Choose a similar tone for the wall and stencil to create a calm, harmonized look. If you want to make a statement, choose high-contrast colors. Depending on your project, it’s best to start in the middle of the wall height and length-wise. This creates an even design across the wall. First, fix the stencil to the wall with painter’s tape. Next, apply paint with a


quality foam roller. The trick is to saturate the foam roller with paint, then roll off as much paint as possible on cloth or paper towels before painting your stencil. The drier the foam roller, the crisper the stencil. Excess paint leads to leaks and results in smudges. You can utilize stencils for a number of projects. Use fabric paint and foam brushes with your stencils to update pillows, throws, window dressings and even furniture. Although time consuming, stenciling can transform conventional tiled floors or walls into breathtaking designs. Stencils are a fun, affordable way to decorate your home. If you are new to stencils, practice on a small area to gain some experience. After that, you are ready to tackle the big projects.

Stencils a fun, aff are or way to dec dable ora your hom te e.

Choose a similar color tone for the wall and stencil to create a calm, harmonized look. If you want to make a statement, choose high-contrast colors.

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GREEN

SMOOTHIE

WITH AVOCADO BY LIZ MCGEHEE Start to finish: 20 minutes Serves: 1

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D E C O R AT O R

Unlike most fruits, avocado is low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats. This fruit actually contains more potassium than a banana and is packed with fiber. Avocado also helps you absorb fat-soluble nutrients, like vitamins A, D, E and K as well as antioxidants, making it the perfect addition to a smoothie rich in greens. INGREDIENTS • 1 avocado, deseeded and peeled • 1 cup spinach • 2 kiwis, peeled • 1 lime, juiced • 1 banana, peeled and frozen • Mint to taste • 1-3 cups water • Ice

DIRECTIONS Cut your avocado in half and remove large seed from center of avocado. Peel skin off of the avocado and the kiwis. Blend all ingredients on high until smooth. Add ice or freeze peeled kiwis the night before use. Pour into glass or to-go bottle and enjoy!


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Garage and Shed

ORGANIZATION MADE EASY

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BY MICHELE ROBERT POCHE

icture it. You stroll into your garage and walk directly, without tripping, to the appropriately-labeled bin and extract the exact item you need – all in under 20 seconds. Yes, you can make that dream a reality with a little effort on the front end.

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1.

Empty the room first. Sure, it’s tempting to clean around everything, but you won’t get the same result. Clear the space completely so you can sweep the entire area. This clean slate approach encourages you to think twice about each item before putting it back into the room.

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Create piles. The keep, donate or toss sorting system helps to eliminate much of the clutter before you even attempt to organize what remains. In my household, we have a fourth pile for eBay. It’s surprising how much extra pocket change it can bring into the family budget.

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Use walls and ceilings. The goal is to get things off the floor. Hooks, shelving and pegboards can help create a lot of open floor space. Go vertical and get taller storage pieces then keep a ladder or step stool handy. For a cleaner look, invest in some closed shelving if space allows.

Label boxes and bins. Not only does labeling make it easy to find what you’re looking for, but it also encourages the user to return items to their proper place, so the area stays neat and organized. Labeling also prevents you from losing or repurchasing items, so you save money! Group items wisely. Lawn and garden tools should be stored together as should paint cans, brushes and trays. Frequently used items, like bikes and scooters, should be easy to access whereas holiday decorations and seasonal items can be stashed in a less accessible spot.

Go vertica l and get taller s to then keep rage pieces a la step stool h dder or andy.


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L I T N E L D N A BEAN

Sprouting BY ANJA SPRINGTHORPE

Legumes, including beans, peas and lentils, make for a rich source of healthy protein, carbohydrates and fiber. But they can also be hard to digest and cause abdominal discomfort, bloating or gas. In fact, many legumes contain antinutrients, plant compounds that block nutrient absorption in the digestive system. Sprouting is a popular soaking method that mimics growth conditions, softens legumes for easy digestion and disables antinutrients. And it is easier than you may think. With minimal equipment, time and effort, sprouting is a fun way to grow your own produce.

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Choose your equipment Legumes sprout well in glass jars, deep plastic trays or terracotta bowls. Garden centers also stock specialized trays for sprouting. Choose your beans As a rule of thumb, you can sprout any bean or lentil. Depending on your tastes, you may prefer delicate sprouts over lentils or favor the somewhat bold flavor of bean sprouts. Be adventurous. Try different types of legumes, such as red lentils, black beans, gazpacho beans or mung beans. Rinse, soak, drain – repeat Rinse your beans thoroughly with cold water; discard any debris or broken beans. Place beans in jar, bowl or tray. Add cold water until approximately three– fourths of the beans are covered. Place mesh or cheesecloth over the container; secure with a rubber band or string to

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allow for airflow. Soak for at least eight hours (best overnight); drain the sprouting beans. Simply turn over the jar, bowl or tray, and let beans drain for several hours. Tilt the container slightly to ensure airflow. Soak again and drain for three to four days. An easy-to-remember schedule: soak overnight and drain during the day. Depending on the size of the beans and temperature of your kitchen, most legumes sprout after three to four days. Spouts can become bitter, so make use of your spouts as soon as they appear. Store and eat your sprouts You can eat lentil and pea sprouts raw. Bean sprouts require a quick steam to soften. Another tasty option is stir-fry sprouts. Raw sprouts are tasty, nutritious and make an excellent salad, soup or sandwich topping and store best in an airtight container up to five days.

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Sproutin g is a popu lar soaking method that mimics growth conditio ns.

VIETNAMESE SPRING ROLLS WITH SHRIMP AND BEAN SPROUTS

INGREDIENTS  8 rice wrappers (8.5-inch diameter)  8 large shrimp – cooked, peeled, deveined and halved  2 cups bean sprouts  1 cup matchstick carrots  2 tablespoons Thai basil, chopped  3 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped  3 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Start to finish: 25 minutes (20 minutes active) Servings: 8 spring rolls

DIRECTIONS  Fill a large shallow dish with warm water. Submerge 1 rice wrapper in warm water for approximately 4 to 5 seconds or until softened.  Lay softened wrapper on wooden board. Place 2 shrimp halves, bean sprouts and carrot sticks along the middle of the wrapper. Leave two inches around the edge free. Add Thai basil, mint and cilantro.  Carefully fold the sides of the wrapper inwards from top and bottom into a tight roll. Cover with a damp cloth until ready to serve.  Repeat with remaining 7 rice wrappers.

DIPPING SAUCE INGREDIENTS 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 tablespoons garlic, minced 2 tablespoons ginger, minced 1 cup soy sauce 4 tablespoons honey 3 tablespoons orange juice 1 tablespoon sesame oil 1/2 lime, juiced 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted

DIRECTIONS  Heat olive oil over medium heat in a saucepan. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes. Add ginger, soy sauce, honey, orange juice, sesame oil and lime juice. Stir to combine. Simmer on medium for 4 minutes. Add sesame seeds and let cool.  Serve with Vietnamese spring rolls and cilantro.

* If you don’t have all of the ingredients on hand, don’t worry.

You can fill Vietnamese spring rolls with all sorts of tasty options. Try minced meat, vermicelli noodles, cucumber sticks, thinly-sliced spring onion or bell peppers. Spring 2018

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GREEN GARDEN PARTY BY SUZANNE FOX

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his spring go green all the way – and not just with color. Reuse and repurpose items from your home as decor for your next spring garden party. Make table runners from extra sheets, create place markers out of oranges, put lemons in a centerpiece along with flowers from your garden and paint old candlesticks to match your theme. Try scrumptious green recipes, like our wedge salad with green goddess dressing, green hummus on toasted baguettes and a refreshing spritzer made with homegrown mint, for a green party your guests won’t soon forget. The simple decorations paired with delicious recipes create the perfect backyard soiree setting.

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DON’T FORGET THE MINT!

So many uses, so little time. The fresh, fragrant smell of mint adds delight to any table bouquet. Freeze mint into ice cubes to make a refreshing cranberry mint spritzer even better.

CRANBERRY MINT SPRITZER INGREDIENTS • 1 bunch mint, muddled • ½ cup sugar • ¾ cup cranberry juice • 20 ounces sparkling water • 1 1/3 cups lime juice • Ice

Start to finish: 15 minutes Serves: 6

DIRECTIONS Mash mint using a muddler; add crushed mint and sugar to pitcher. Follow with cranberry juice, sparkling water and lime juice. Fill remaining space with ice. Garnish with lime slices, mint leaves and/ or cranberries.

E WEDGD SALA

Start to finish: 10 minutes Serves: 4

• 1 head iceberg lettuce, cut into quarters • ¾ cup blue cheese, crumbled • 2 green onions, chopped • ¾ cup bacon, crumbled • 1 ½ tomatoes, minced Cut lettuce into 4 wedges; place one on each plate. Pour green goddess dressing on wedges. Sprinkle with bacon, blue cheese, green onions and tomatoes.

BUTTERMILK GREEN GODDES DRESSING S LIVE ON THE WEDGE! Wedge salads are a consistent crowd pleaser. Plus, they’re easy to make. For a green spin on the classic wedge, try buttermilk green goddess dressing.

A green your gu party ests won ’t soon for get.

Start to finish: 20 minutes Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS • 2 anchovy fillets, drained and chopped • 1/3 cup buttermilk • 1/3 cup mayonnaise • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped • 1/4 cup chives, chopped • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice • 1 tablespoon tarragon, chopped • 1 clove garlic, minced • Salt and black pepper DIRECTIONS Puree anchovy fillets, buttermilk, mayonnaise, parsley, chives, lemon juice, tarragon and garlic. Salt and pepper to taste. Cool in fridge or serve. Spring 2018

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A NEW SPIN ON AN OLD FAVORITE

EDAMAME HUMMUS BY MICHELE ROBERT POCHE

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damame, or young soybeans, are harvested when green and still in the pod, leaving them soft and edible, not hard and dry like their mature counterparts used in soy milk and tofu. Traditionally used in Asian cuisine, edamame are finding their way onto mainstream tables around the world in recipes for everything from soups and salads to casseroles and dips. Chock-full of health benefits, the edamame bean can help boost the immune, cardiovascular and digestive systems as well as assist in bone strength, lung function, weight management and anti-aging efforts. With low levels of fat and sugar, edamame contains fiber, protein, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals including calcium, iron, magnesium and potassium.

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D E C O R AT O R

INGREDIENTS DIRECTIONS • ½ pound edamame, shelled (about 1 ½ cups) 1. Boil beans in salted water for 5 minutes. • ¼ cup tahini 2. Puree edamame, tahini, water, lemon zest • ¼ cup water and juice, lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, corian• 1 teaspoon lemon zest der and oil until smooth. (Optional spices may • 1 lemon, juiced be added here as well.) • 1 lime, juiced 3. Spread generously on toasted baguette • 2 cloves garlic, smashed slices and garnish with edible flowers. Serve. • 1 ½ teaspoon salt 4. Refrigerate leftovers. • 1 teaspoon ground cumin • ½ teaspoon ground coriander • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil • 1 tablespoon cilantro • Red pepper flakes and/or cayenne to taste (optional) • French baguette, sliced and toasted • Edible flowers (optional)


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ONCE YOU HAVE YOUR WORMS, FOLLOW THESE STEPS TO BUILD YOUR FARM:

START A WORM FARM TODAY

AND GARDEN TOMORROW BY PATRICIA DANFLOUS

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great garden starts with worms. Yes, ooey, gooey, wriggly worms can make your garden grow. Vermicomposting or worm composting is an excellent method of turning kitchen scraps into nutrient-rich soil. “It’s all about the castings,” says Master Gardener Jane Hirling. “As worms work their way through vegetable peelings and other scraps, they shed their skin. The decomposition process provides fertilizing minerals and in turn, bigger, healthier plants.” Whether you are a serious gardener looking to improve soil or just want to get closer to Mother Nature, starting a worm

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farm is easy, good for the environment and fun. “Red wigglers and red worms are the best choices for cultivating the best soil,” Hirling states. “You don’t have to dig for worms to get started. Starter worms are available through web-based stores, or you may be able to purchase them at an area nursery.”

TO LEARN MORE Hirling suggests searching “worm farms” or “worm gardens” on the internet. You will find information about cultivation and its benefits as well as a few how-to videos on YouTube.

D E C O R AT O R

• F ind or buy a 10-gallon plastic bin. Clear bins will allow you to see the worms at work. • Tear about 50 pages of newspaper into one-inch strips. • P lace the strips in a bucket or plastic garbage bag. • Wet the strips until they are moist – not dripping wet. • F ill your bin three-fourths full with the wet strips. • A dd up to four cups of soil. Use potting soil or dig some up from your yard. • I ntroduce the worms to their new home. • F eed the worms small pieces of vegetable and fruit scraps once a week. Bury the food under the newspaper. Do not use meat, oils or dairy leftovers. • P lace a sheet of dry newspaper on top of the bedding and cover the container. Be sure to leave the lid open a little or drill holes in the top for airflow. Over time, the food scraps and bedding materials will transform into a nutrient-rich compost to add to your garden.

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VA Loan: www.benefits. va.gov/HOMELOANS Whether you’re an active or inactive veteran, or even a spouse of someone who serves in the military, you probably qualify for a VA-backed home loan. The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a great purchasing program for our country’s servicemen and women with no minimum credit score, potentially no down payment, closing cost discounts and extra benefits.

E R A W E B R E Y BU KNOW YOUR HOME LOAN OPTIONS BEFORE SIGNING THE PAPERWORK BY CHAD RUIZ

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uying a home is scary! Closing costs, appraisals, realtor charges, assessments, oh yeah, and that looming purchase price are just some of the expenses involved when purchasing a property. According to the 2017 Joint Center for Housing Studies report published by Harvard University, more families rent nowadays than in the previous ten years. Who could blame them? Home prices continue to steadily increase as supplies dwindle, creating an advantageous market for sellers. Here’s the good news: there are several ways to purchase a home without emptying your bank account.

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CHOOSING THE RIGHT HOME LOAN Traditional Mortgage While this is the most conventional means of purchasing a home, it requires a healthy credit score in the high 600s. It hardly helps to know your score before contacting a lender because they typically prefer conducting their own credit checks. Unfortunately, these often return lower numbers than you expect. Traditional mortgages also require proof of income or the ability to pay the note, and a considerable down payment between five and 20 percent of the purchase price.

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FHA Home Loan: www.FHA.com The Federal Housing Administration insures the mortgage by guaranteeing the lender that they’ll pay off the loan if you don’t. The FHA limits the amount you’re allowed to borrow based on your geographic location. These loans also include lower interest rates, lower credit scores (as low as 500) and lower down payments (minimum of 3.5 percent of purchase price). Because of the FHA payoff guarantee, the monthly note costs an average of $100 more than a standard loan.

USDA Loan: The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a similar opportunity as the FHA loan. They too guarantee repayment to the lender should you default on the loan. USDA-backed loans are only available in eligible rural areas but check with a lender before jumping to conclusions about your eligibility. These loans offer low to no down payments, low to no extra monthly premiums and have lenient credit requirements. Hard Money and Bridge Loans: These are asset-based loans where a borrower applies for a loan from a private investor, like a local entrepreneur. Of course, you’ll have to literally prove your worth to the investor by offering as collateral any and all of your assets. Borrowers have years to pay off hard money loans and only a few months to pay back bridge loans. These loans are risky and involve high interest and high fees. Plus, no laws currently regulate these loans.

to steadily Home prices continue indle, creating increase as supplies dw ket for sellers. ar m s u eo g ta n va ad an


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g n i n a e l C Spring FOR BETTER HEALTH BY ANJA SPRINGTHORPE

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nnual spring cleaning is a dreaded task for many of us. Finding the motivation to tackle chores like window washing, rearranging furniture or organizing the garage can be challenging. However, what we ought to keep in mind is that spring cleaning not only results in a polished, organized home, but also provides a number of health benefits. DEEP-CLEAN FABRICS TO REDUCE ALLERGIES Upholstery, carpets, rugs, throws and mattresses are a prime spot for dust mites. These tiny crawlers feed on dead skin flakes in the home. In sensitive individuals, dust mite exposure can trigger coughing, sneezing or watery eyes. In more severe cases, dust mites can cause asthma attacks and allergic reactions. If possible, place mattresses in the sun for several hours to get rid of mites. Also,

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steam-clean all fabric surfaces inside your home. This helps eradicate dust mites and reduces the risk of allergies. CHECK FOR LEAKS TO AVOID MOLD Be diligent and check all piping throughout your home. Even the smallest of leaks can lead to mold and fungi. Children and older people are most susceptible to mold. Airborne particles cause respiratory problems, rashes and weaken the immune system. If you find a moldy area in your home, address the leak immediately and contact a registered professional for mold removal. CLEAN UNDER KITCHEN APPLIANCES TO AVOID PESTS Pests delight in the spills, sticky spots and food scraps left on kitchen floors. Avoid the wrong kind of house guest by keeping your kitchen floor clean. And don’t forget about appliances. Liquid

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spills, crumbs and mold accumulate under fridges, dishwashers and ovens. Cockroaches thrive in this environment. Roaches aren’t just frustrating, but also carry parasites and spread germs that trigger asthma or gastroenteritis. Give your kitchen an annual deep-clean to reduce the risk of roaches and other bugs inhabiting your home. CLEAN AIR FILTERS AND DUCTS Change your air filters

every month, especially if you, or someone in your household, suffer from allergies or respiratory conditions. Poor air quality in the home is one of the top five environmental contributors to asthma and seasonal allergies. Unless your air ducts are visibly moldy or dusty, duct cleaning isn’t necessary. However, the Environmental Protection Agency recommends regular cleaning if family members experience unexplained illnesses. DECLUTTER FOR MENTAL HEALTH Cluttered, messy homes are known to trigger anxiety and depression in people with mental health problems. Disorganized rooms, cluttered surfaces and untidy floors not only create a chaotic environment, but also affect our quality of sleep, which is vital to mental well-being. A decluttered, organized home supports restful sleep, reduces stress and improves overall mood.

es Cluttered, messy hom xi an ety are known to trigger le with and depression in peop s. mental health problem


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the water and unroll it in the sun. The heat softens the material, making it easier to unfurl.

G N I T A CRE

A POTTED PARADISE

WITH DRIP IRRIGATION FOR LESS THAN $100 BY CHAD RUIZ

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magine growing your own potted plants bursting with color, dangling several feet below your balcony like those found in the New Orleans French Quarter and the heart of Paris. By installing an automatic drip irrigation system, you can transform your balcony into a tourist-worthy attraction. After all, improper watering causes most potted plant issues. Follow these simple steps for creating your own potted paradise. For cheap too! GATHERING SUPPLIES The foundation for your drip irrigation requires 1/2-inch, flexible polyethylene tubing

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connected to your faucet and snaked around your plants. 1/4-inch tubing is then punched into the 1/2-inch tubing and placed in the soil of the pot. This is an easy project for all ages.  Battery-operated water timer ($25-$50)  Faucet splitter ($5-$10)  1/2-inch female adapter to connect to faucet/timer ($2.50)  50 to 100 feet of 1/2-inch polyethylene tubing ($9-$15)  50 feet of 1/4-inch polyethylene tubing ($5)  1 dripper stake per pot ($1.50 each)  Pack of 1/4-inch couplings if not included with dripper stakes ($5 for a pack of 15)  Hole punch and goof plugs pack ($3)  1/2-inch poly end crimper ($2)

D E C O R AT O R

STEP 1: Connect the faucet splitter to the faucet. A splitter allows the use of a garden hose without detaching the irrigation system from the spigot. Install batteries and program the water timer before attaching it to the splitter. TIP: Wrap threads in pipe-sealing tape to prevent leaks.

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STEP 2: Attach one end of the 1/2-inch polyethylene tubing to the 1/2-inch female adapter. Then connect the adapter to the timer and wind the tubing around the potted plants. Seal off the end of the tubing using the crimper. TIP: To make the tubing more flexible, seal the end, turn on

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STEP 3: Cut a strip of 1/4-inch tubing to connect from the 1/2-inch line to the potted plant. Insert a coupling into one end of the 1/4inch tubing then punch a hole in the 1/2-inch tubing with the hole punch tool. Securely insert the coupling into the hole in the 1/2-inch line. TIP: For easier insertion of the coupling into the 1/4-inch tube, soak the end in a glass of hot water for a few minutes.

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STEP 4: Attach a dripper stake to the 1/4-inch tubing that you just connected to the 1/2-inch main line, then insert the stake into the soil nearest the center of the pot. Push it down until no more than six inches is above the soil. Repeat steps three and four until all pots contain dripper stakes. Finally, turn on the water and adjust the output at each dripper stake by turning the dials. Increase and decrease the flow of water for larger and smaller pots. Most potted plants require deep watering every two days. Cut away the access 1/2-inch tubing and enjoy your new potted paradise.

A splitter allows the use of a garden hose without detaching the irrigation system from the spigot.


PISTACHIO LIME

e s e e h C m a e r C Cake

INGREDIENTS

• 1 box Pillsbury™ Super Moist® White Premium Cake Mix • Key lime juice • Wilton® Leaf Green Gel Food Coloring • Lime candy flavoring or extract • 1 container Pillsbury™ Cream Cheese Icing • 1 ½ cup pistachios, ground • Lime, sliced for garnish • Light Karo® syrup DIRECTIONS  Follow boxed cake instructions, but replace

water with lime juice. Add green food coloring until the desired green is achieved.  Pour batter into three 8-inch round cake pans. Spray with Pam™ or coat with butter and flour to avoid sticking.  Let cake cool on rack.  Grind pistachios in a coffee grinder.  Using small amounts, add lime flavoring to cream cheese icing until preferred taste is achieved. Candy flavoring and lime extract require different amounts to achieve the proper flavor.  Spread icing on cooled cake. Sprinkle ground pistachios between layers.  Let cake sit for 25 minutes to develop a light crust. After a crust develops, place the backside of a Viva® paper towel on the cake and lightly smooth out with your hand. If the paper towel sticks to the cake, dust it with powdered sugar before you begin. The buttercream will soak up the powdered sugar so it won’t leave any residue on the cake.  Using a pastry brush, brush a 1-inch ring of Karo® syrup around the cake. Place the ground pistachio powder on the strip of syrup.  Garnish cake with mint leaves, lime slices and whole, peeled pistachios.

Spring 2018

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GET BOXES FOR FREE. Check with area grocery, department and liquor stores or online at Craigslist and freecycle.com for cardboard boxes. Pay it forward and donate them when you’re done.

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LABEL WISELY. Write not only on the tops of the boxes but also on the sides in case they wind up stacked. Color-code your labels/ink by room to speed up unpacking.

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USE WHAT YOU ALREADY OWN. Put washcloths between plates and socks over glasses before packing. Oven mitts, towels, pillows, sheets and comforters all make great cushioning materials.

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SIMPLIFY REINSTALLATIONS. Take close-up pictures of plugs, jacks and cords and use them when reconnecting electronic items.

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MOVING & PACKING TIPS TO MAKE LIFE EASIER BY MICHELE ROBERT POCHE Whether across the country, to a new neighborhood or even just around the corner, relocating to a new home involves a lot of planning and organization. Here are a few helpful ideas that can make your moving experience smooth for everyone involved:

REBUILD WITH EASE. When disassembling anything, put all screws and small parts in a baggie and label with any instructions. Take pictures if necessary.

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SAVE YOUR BACK. Transport heavier items, like books, effortlessly inside of a rolling suitcase.

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MAKE UNPACKING A BREEZE. Wrap full drawers with cellophane. Pack clothes on hangers in oversized trash bags or wrap in a bed sheet. With these tricks, it will take no time at all to put everything away at your new place.

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PACK AN “OVERNIGHT BOX.” Include everything you need for the first night (toiletries, medicine, change of clothes, breakfast, kitchenware), so you don’t have to search for them at midnight.

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HAVE THE TOOLBOX HANDY. Pack your toolbox into the moving truck last, so it’s the first thing you take off when you get to the new house.

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