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Apr il 2013

Celebrate Mom p. 12

This Year’s Hottest Home Improvement Trend p. 4

Tips to Tame the Wild, Wild Web p.16 This special publication brought to you by Susan Brewer Service First Real Estate


DESIGN Josh West


A note from the editor... Believe it or not, spring is actually here. While it may not look or feel like it right now, soon we will all be dressed in our spring attire and working in our yards and gardens. St. Louis is a place where we get to enjoy all of the seasons, and we dedicated much of this issue to enjoying the wonderful weather in the spring. From growing the perfect lawn to grilling the perfect steak this issue will help you to enjoy the outdoors. As always, we have also included some articles to help with your home. Increasing the curb appeal of your home is something that is of interest to everyone this time of year and we also have articles on safety in your neighborhood and safe internet usage for children.


Of course, we also included some fun activities and recipes for Mother’s Day. Our Happenings sections will help you to find fun activities in our area that take advantage of the good weather. If you have a great story idea, or have questions about our publication please don’t hesitate to contact me at

Wade Brewer Editor-in-chief Self published by Susan Brewer Service First Real Estate. All material herein is copyrighted and all rights are reserved.

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Wonderful Ways to Celebrate Mom


Curb Appeal


Adventures in Grilling


Picture Perfect Lawn


Buying the Right Lawn Mower


Making Your Neighborhood Safer


Are Your Pets Ready?


Taming the Wild, Wild Web



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4 H&H Magazine |

2013’s Hottest Home Improvement Trend


he busy home remodeling season is a great time for homeowners to focus on increasing curb appeal. The percentage of homeowners who feel now is a good time to spend money on home improvement has doubled since 2009, according to a recent survey among Better Homes and Gardens readers. Considering two of the top four features consumers have on their wish lists for their next home are low maintenance exteriors and a private backyard, high-performance products that come in a variety of colors, textures and designs are expected to be in high demand this year. “Based on these survey results, we’ve found that many of our readers want to refresh what’s already there,” says Jill Waage, editorial director for home content, Better Homes and Gardens. “Perhaps they’re looking to dig out that hidden sophistication of a mid-century home, or they might have a classic and want to bring out the character a bit more. Beyond the facade, our readers also really love outdoor living spaces; they see their yard as an extension of the indoors.”

or house numbers can also go a long way in enhancing a home’s custom look.

Whole-home overhaul For those ready to create a whole new style, installing new siding and trim can infuse life into a bland exterior. Vinyl siding, stone veneer and designer accents have evolved over the years, with vastly expanded color palettes, easy maintenance and a natural look. By incorporating cellular PVC trim as an accent to vinyl siding and stone - around windows, on dormers, eaves and gables - even the most discerning homeowners can enjoy a sophisticated look that’s also low maintenance. To help with exterior color selection, look to free Ipad applications like Ply Gem’s Mastic Color Advisor. Design guides are also available for inspiration and recommendations on how to make the most of cellular PVC trim, with styles such as gingerbread, modern, rustic, colonial and much more.

From small touch ups to large renovations, projects such as replacing boring and beige with colorful vinyl siding and trim, updating entryways with bright front doors and shutters, and sprucing up outdoor living areas can make a big difference in the look of your home and neighborhood. “Homeowners want it all in 2013; low maintenance products that perform and style that breaks the cookie-cutter mold,” says Jerry Blais, vice president of marketing for Ply Gem Siding Group, a division of exterior building products manufacturer Ply Gem. “Colorful vinyl siding options in different styles, combined with complementary trim, stone veneer and designer accents that set your home apart are in demand for home improvements.” Consider these upgrades to get magazine-ready looks for your home exterior.

Make a grand entrance For experienced DIYers considering a weekend project, painting the front door or replacing shutters is a simple solution with dramatic results. These small changes create a focal point for the house and provide a warm, inviting appearance with a modern feel. Brands such as Mastic Home Exteriors by Ply Gem offer shutters in dozens of pre-selected colors, or can be painted for a custom look. Other subtle improvements like adding modern lighting fixtures, detailed railings, a new mailbox, stone columns

The great outdoors The perfect addition to any exterior design renovation is an outdoor living area to entertain friends, enjoy a summer barbecue or just relax with the newspaper. To extend your interior space to the outdoors, consider projects such as installing an outdoor fireplace or kitchen with durable stone veneer, or a low maintenance vinyl privacy or picket fence. To find design inspiration and product ideas for these and other exterior projects, visit Whether you’re looking for a small refresh or a completely enhanced look, many of this year’s hottest home design trends are waiting outside.

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Adventures in Grilling T

he next time you fire up the grill, give your taste buds a thrill with recipes that are inspired by some of the best cuisines from around the world. These recipes from Omaha Steaks will take you on a culinary adventure right in your own backyard. Sweet and spicy Korean, zesty South American and bold Mediterranean flavors make per­fectly grilled steak even better. You can find more adventurous recipes at

Grilled Ribeye Steak with Chimichurri Salsa 4 Omaha Steaks Ribeye Steaks Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste 1 cup Chimichurri Salsa (see recipe) 4 cilantro sprigs

Begin by thawing steaks. Then season and grill to desired doneness. Top each steak gener­ously with Chimichurri Salsa. Garnish each steak with one cilantro sprig.

Chimichurri Salsa Makes 1 cup

1/2 cup green onions, minced 2 teaspoon fresh oregano, minced 1/4 cup red bell pepper, minced 1/4 cup cilantro, minced 1 tablespoon jalapeño, minced 2 teaspoons fresh garlic, minced 1/2 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 1/2 lime, juiced

Combine all ingredients and mix well. 6 H&H Magazine |

10 Tips for Perfect Grilling To help you get the perfect steaks every time, follow these simple tips from the experts at Omaha Steaks: 1. Clean and preheat grill on high. 2. Lightly oil everything before putting it on the grill. This helps the searing process and prevents sticking. 3. Season food before grilling. 4. Sear the outside of steaks when grilling. This helps with the flavor and juiciness. 5. Use tongs or a spatula to turn meat on the grill. Using a fork can damage the meat. 6. Cover grill as much as possible during the grilling process. This helps to lock in the grilled flavor and will help prevent flare-ups. 7. Keep a spray bottle with water handy to douse any unexpected flare-ups. 8. Use the 60/40 grilling method. Grill for 60 percent of the time on the first side, then grill 40 percent of the time after turning over the food. This will make sure your food is evenly cooked. 9. Place cooked food on a clean plate. Never place cooked food on the plate you used to transport the raw food to the grill without thoroughly washing it first. 10. Allow foods to “rest” for 5 minutes between cooking and eating. This will help them retain moisture when you cut into them. To get your grill time just right, download SteakTime, Omaha Steaks’ free app with an innovative grill timer, at

Begin by completely thawing tenderloin. It will take 2 days in refrigerator or 1 hour in a sink full of cold water. Remove tenderloin from plastic, and place in a large resealable bag with Korean Barbecue Marinade. Marinate overnight in refrigerator. Remove tenderloin from marinade, and season with steak rub. Sear tenderloin on all sides on a pre-heated grill. Place in a 250째F oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the internal temperature is 125째F for medium rare. With 15 minutes remaining, prepare the bok choy and heat Korean barbecue sauce. Remove tenderloin from oven, let rest 15 minutes. Slice and serve. Garnish with cilantro and a mixture of sesame seeds.

Korean Barbecue Marinade Makes 2 cups 1 tablespoon sesame oil

Mediterranean Sirloin Skewers Serves 4 to 6 2 pounds Omaha Steaks Sirloin Tips

1 cup Mediterranean Steak Marinade 4 to 6 skewers

2 tablespoons garlic, finely chopped 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced 1 cup canned pear juice 1/2 cup soy sauce 2 tablespoons brown sugar 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper Place sesame oil in a thick bottom pot and add garlic and ginger. Place pot on a medium burner and add the rest of ingredients and slowly bring to a boil. Bring heat down to a simmer and cook while stirring for approximately 5 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and refrigerate for up to one week.

Thaw sirloin tips. Prepare Mediterranean Steak Marinade. Drain sirloin tips and place in a resealable bag with marinade. Marinate sirloin tips in refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.Agitate bag periodically to ensure marinade is well combined with the sirloin tips. Preheat grill on high. Thread sirloin tips onto skewers. Grill for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Serve over couscous, pasta, salad or rice.

Mediterranean Steak Marinade Makes 1 cup 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons sea salt 1 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons fresh garlic cloves, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped 1 tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped 1/4 cup California chardonnay wine Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Korean Barbeque Beef Tenderloin with Stir-Fried Bok Choy Serves 6 to 8 1 3-pound Omaha Steaks Tenderloin Roast

2 cups Korean Barbecue Marinade (see recipe) 1/4 cup Omaha Steaks Private Reserve American Steak Rub 1 pound Stir-Fried Bok Choy (see recipe) 1 14-ounce bottle Korean barbecue sauce 6 to 8 cilantro sprigs 1 teaspoon black sesame seeds 1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds

Stir-Fried Bok Choy

1 tablespoon canola oil 1 pound bok choy, chopped 1/3 cup Korean barbecue sauce 1 tablespoon sesame oil Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

In a wok, briefly heat canola oil. Add bok choy and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add Korean barbecue sauce and sesame oil to wok and mix well. Serve while hot.

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Make Your Lawn


t takes more than just mowing the lawn to get a great looking yard. In addition to making sure you have healthy, well-cut grass, there are some finishing touches you should add so that your yard goes from so-so to something you can be proud of.

Trimming and Edging the Lawn The lawn mower can’t reach every place that grass grows. So after mow­ing, you’re often left with long grass sticking up around trees and flower beds, as well as along sidewalks, patios and driveways. When you trim, you leave your lawn neat and tidy. Trimming is cutting the edges of your lawn horizontally. It levels unmowed grass so it’s 8 H&H Magazine |

even with the rest of the lawn. String trimmers are effective tools for this job. A battery powered trimmer, such as the 36 volt Lithium High Performance String Trimmer with Power Command® controls from Black & Decker, is a lightweight option for many home­owners. Its battery holds a charge 5 times longer while idle compared to HPB18 NiCad battery packs, and it requires no gas to operate.

To trim properly, keep a few things in mind Make sure the area you’re going to trim is free of debris. Slowly move the trimmer from side to side, letting the tip of the line do the cutting. Keep the head two to three inches off the ground so you don’t scalp the lawn and damage it. Cut thick or tall grass in smaller sections so you don’t clog the trimmer.

Edging and Trimming Safely To help protect yourself from debris: Wear protective safety glasses. Wear long pants. Wear closed shoes. Wear gloves. Keep others away from any debris or objects which may be hit by the line. Always follow your instruction manual.

Don’t let the line cut into trees and shrubs. This can damage them and make them more vulnerable to disease or hurt their growth. When you’re finished, remove clippings and debris from the trimmer. Plan on trimming every mowing to maintain a neat appearance.

More Easy Finishing Touches Add decorative edging to flower beds. You can use hard­scape materials such as brick, stone, plastic or steel, or you can plant living edging with attrac­tive ground cover plantings.

When you edge a lawn, you’re making vertical cuts to remove grass grow­ing over sidewalks or patio edges. Some trimmers require a separate attachment for edging or will not convert to an edger, while many can simply be rotated to operate vertically.

Mulch around trees, shrubs and flower beds. Not only does mulch keep weeds in check, but it can give those areas a neater appearance. Look for natural materials such as wood chips or cocoa hulls. While there are a variety of colored mulch options, keep in mind that dark, earth-colored mulch will put the spot­light on your plants, while brighter colored mulch will draw attention to itself.

Trimming Hedges

Keep hoses neatly stored with hose reels. You can find wall-mounted reels, covered boxes, or even attractive pots to keep hoses from cluttering up your yard.

Properly pruned hedges not only improve the look of the plants, but their health, too. Formal hedges are typically made up of shrubs with small leaves that get sheared into a smooth and uniform-looking surface. Informal hedges are more casual in appearance, and are usually made up of plants that bear flowers or fruit, and have wider leaves.

Hedge Trimming Safely To help protect yourself from debris: Wear protective safety glasses. Wear long pants. Wear closed shoes. Wear gloves and keep both hands on the trimmer. Always follow your instruction manual.

Using a hedge trimmer such as the 36 volt 24-inch Keep others away from any debris as it falls. Lithium Hedge Trimmer from Black & Decker can make this task easy. The lithium-ion battery holds a charge up to 18 months. The 24-inch dual-action blade cuts branches quickly and has less vibration compared to a single action blade.

Yard Clean-Up Do a periodic yard check to take stock of what needs to be picked up or removed. Remove twigs and branches. Pick up and store outdoor toys. Make sure pet items such as shelters, bowls and toys are clean and well-maintained. Remove dead plants from flower beds, planters and window boxes. Rake leaves and debris from flower beds, shrubs and around trees. Remove leaves, grass clippings and other lawn debris from sidewalks, decks, drive­ways and other hard surfaces with Black & Decker’s 36 volt Lithium Cordless Sweeper Vacuum. Its Power Command ® controls speed for run time or power and easily con­verts to vacuum mode when you need it.

Here are few tips for trimming a formal hedge Deciduous hedges should be trimmed in late winter, while evergreens can be trimmed in mid-spring. Sloping the hedge so that the base is broader than the top lets sunlight reach lower leaves. To help you trim hedges evenly, use stakes and string to set up guidelines for height and width. Cut slowly, and use a smooth, up and down sweeping motion. If you apply too much pressure, the blades can tear branches instead of cutting them neatly. Cut the sides of a hedge first. Use a ladder to reach the tops of tall hedges. Keep trimmer blades sharp and clean.

Taking a little extra time to put the finishing touches on your yard pays off. You’ll boost your home’s curb appeal and make your yard something everyone can enjoy. Learn more about lithium-ion battery powered tools at

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aking good care of your lawn requires the right equipment and that includes the right lawn mower. But with so many options available, how do you know which lawn mower is right for you? Know Your Yard Spend a few minutes assessing your yard. How big is it? Is it flat and smooth, or does it slope? Do you have trees and garden beds to mow around? All of these will factor into the kind of lawn mower you choose. Size - If your yard is smaller than half an acre, a walk-behind mower will work just fine for you. For yards larger than that, you may want to consider a riding mower. Topography - If your yard has uneven terrain, a self-propelled mower will make cutting up hill much quicker and easier. 10 H&H Magazine |

BUYING THE RIGHT LAWN MOWER Obstacles - For mowing around trees and landscape beds, pay attention to the mower’s maneuverability and ease-of-use when making tight turns. For example, John Deere X310 Select Series riding mowers have power steering, which makes trimming around tight areas much easier.

the operator leaves the seat while the blades are in motion. And, be sure to familiarize yourself with the operator’s manual so you understand all of the features on your equipment.

Turf - The thickness and coarseness of your grass will play a part in how much power you need to ensure a clean cut. Lawns with thicker, tougher grass will need a mower with higher horsepower and larger wheels.

For long-term savings, look for a mower brand that provides reliable after-sale support and maintenance. Local equipment dealers not only help you make the right purchase, but can offer on-site maintenance and even at-home service like John Deere’s Mobile Maintenance program, that brings a factory-trained technician to your home.

Additional yard tasks - If your list of seasonal chores includes collecting fall leaves, fertilizing your lawn or removing snow, look for a lawn tractor with attachment options that can help keep your yard in good shape year round.

Safety Features Operating any piece of power equipment requires taking safety precautions. Before you buy a mower, make sure you know what safety features come standard. For example, the blades on John Deere riding lawn mowers will automatically shut off if

After-Sale Service

For more tips and tools to help you choose the right lawn mower visit

To view all of our current listings or to try our Lifestyle Search, please visit

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Wonderful Ways to Celebrate



others are incredible people. This year, make sure you properly thank her for all she has done for you by celebrat­ ing her with a day she’ll cherish forever. Here are a few ideas to make this Mother’s Day her most memorable yet: Plant a Garden Together Before you shell out big bucks on chocolates and jewelry, consider a greener gift that mom can treasure from her window. Visit your local garden center or nursery and pick some vibrant beauties you know she’ll swoon over. Supply the gloves, mom’s favorite cocktails and snacks and make an event out of gardening with your favorite lady. Create Your Own Card No matter how old you are, nothing says it better than construction paper, glitter and a little creativ­ity. If she’s a grand­mother, involve the kids and make it a family craft project. Take a trip to your local hobby store to make sure you have all the goods for this tried-and-true ticket to mom’s heart. Plan a Beautiful Brunch Create a colorful, bountiful brunch for mom. Make a checklist of all the necessary ingredients, ensuring you serve all of her favorites! For a fresh twist on brunch, incorporate the sweet summer­time goodness of watermelon and other fresh fruit. Impress her with Breakfast Six Layer Trifle, or make her smile with Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches. Design a homemade menu card, and throw in an arrange­ment of her favorite blooms for a finishing touch. Mother’s Day brunch wouldn’t be complete without a fabulous serving of fresh fruit. These recipes include the summertime goodness of watermelon for a sweet addition sure to make mom smile.

Watermelon’s Many Benefits Just like mom, watermelon is a sweet and wonderful thing. Mom always told you to finish your fruits and vegetables, but did you know that watermelon boasts immunity benefits? Here are some of the perks for eating this juicy treat: Vitamin A — This vitamin is known to promote eye health, while boosting immunity through the enhancement of white blood cells. Vitamin B6 — Boosts the immune system by maintaining normal nerve function and forming red blood cells. Vitamin C — Protects immune system against infections, viruses and harmful free radicals that accelerate aging and other conditions. Potassium — A two-cup serving of watermelon also contains potassium, an essential mineral that maintains water balance in every cell.

Breakfast Six Layer Trifle Serves: 8 to 12 3 cups organic fat free vanilla yogurt 2 cups low fat natural granola 4 cups watermelon, minced 3 cups organic fat free peach yogurt 2 cups organic crisp rice cereal 2 cups shredded coconut Spread the vanilla yogurt over bottom of deep glass casserole or trifle dish. Layer remaining ingredi­ ents in order listed above in even layers over vanilla yogurt.

Chunky Watermelon Lemonade Serves: 2 to 3 2 cups water 1/3 cup raw sugar (or to taste) 2 cups seedless watermelon puree 1 fresh lemon, sliced thinly 1/4 cup lemon juice 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 2 cups chopped seedless watermelon flesh In half-gallon pitcher with lid, mix 1 cup of water with sugar until completely dissolved. Stir in rest of water, watermelon puree, sliced lemon, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Stir to mix well and chill thoroughly. Stir in 2 cups of chopped watermelon before serving.

Watermelon Pancake Sandwiches Serves: 4 2 tablespoons maple syrup 8 silver dollar size (3 to 4-inch) natural blueberry pancakes homemade or prepared, warm 4 slices seedless watermelon, same size as pancakes Spread syrup over one side of each pancake. Place slice of watermelon on the syrup brushed side of 4 of the pancakes. Top the watermelon with other 4 pancakes, syrup side down. Serve immediately.

Watermelon Waldorf Salad Serves: 4 to 6 2 cups cubed watermelon (1/2-inch cubes) 1/2 cup celery, sliced 1/2 cup seedless red grape halves Dash of salt 1/4 cup Greek yogurt 2 tablespoons sliced almonds, toasted Stir together watermelon, celery, and grapes in bowl. Just before serving, stir salt into yogurt for dressing. (Add water to thin, if necessary.) Pour dressing over fruit; stir until coated. Sprinkle with almonds.

For additional recipes and brunch ideas, visit

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cial network for neighborhoods, found that 67 percent of homeowners feel safer in their home and neighborhood because they know their neighbors. In addition, 76 percent said they thought their neighborhood would be safer if they communicated more with neighbors. “The single most important thing you can do to create a safe neighborhood is to get to know your neighbors,” said Matt Peskin, director of the National Association of Town Watch (NATW), a nonprofit dedicated to community crime and drug prevention. “People who know each other look out for one another. And now with online tools making it easier, there’s no excuse not to connect and communicate with those who live around you.” Nextdoor has partnered with NATW to expand its efforts around community-based crime prevention. Here are their tips for creating a safer neighborhood: 1. Create a neighborhood watch online and off. Host an in-person meeting to discuss how to communicate with neighbors in emergency situations or organize foot patrols. For daily vigilance, use an online tool, like, to share urgent alerts or safety tips.

Making Your Neighborhood Safer How safe do you feel in your neighborhood? Unfortunately, residential crime happens more often than you might think, which leaves many homeowners feeling uneasy. But there are steps you can take to protect your home and your neighborhood. One of the best preventive measures you can take is to simply get to know your neighbors. A national poll by, a free and private so14 H&H Magazine |

2. Keep the neighborhood clean. A clean neighborhood is a deterrent for criminal activity. Organize volunteers to pick up litter, cut grass and hedges, and make property repairs. Make efforts to beautify vacant lots with a community garden or flowers. 3. Turn the lights on. Keep a dim porch light on all night to discourage crime. Encourage others to do the same. Consider also leaving an interior light on when gone for the evening or longer. 4. Update your home security. Ensure all exterior doors have deadbolt locks. Lock all windows and connect them to your home alarm system. Shut and lock gates and garages to reduce hiding places. And keep ladders in a locked garage or shed. 5. Get to know the police. Make an effort to meet your neighborhood officers. Report questionable behavior or activity in your area. Attend or help organize an event, like National Night Out, that strengthens ties between police and residents. Nearly 10,000 neighborhoods nationwide are using Nextdoor to create a virtual neighborhood watch to

alert residents about suspicious activity, share safety tips or send urgent alerts about critical issues, like a break-in or house fire. “We’ve seen our members help police apprehend criminals, support each other during natural disasters, even reunite a lost girl with her parents,” said Nirav Tolia, CEO and co-founder of Nextdoor. “There are so many ways our neighbors can help us, and technology can play an important role in bringing back a sense of community.” This website features a dedicated section for Crime and Safety messages, Urgent Alerts for immediate notification of time-sensitive information, and the ability for police and fire departments to share updates with members. In fact, more than 100 cities and police departments nationwide have partnered with Nextdoor to keep neighbors informed. To get your neighborhood website started visit

Are Your Pets Ready for Outdoor Weather? When the weather’s nice, many people like to head outdoors and their pets do, too. Before you let your pet go outside, make sure you’ve taken steps to prevent pests, care for their skin, and know how to spot signs of allergies. Fleas and Ticks: Pets are susceptible to a variety of bugs and pests - especially fleas and ticks. Both should be avoided as fleas can trigger allergies and dermatitis in pets as well as infectious diseases in people and pets. Ticks may also carry diseases that can be harmful to pets. However, in a survey by the American Pet Products Association, only 64 percent of dog owners and 41 percent of cat owners purchased a flea and tick product for their pet last year. Be sure to purchase preventative topical treatments like K9 Advantix(r) II for dogs only or Advantix(r) II for dogs or cats to protect your pet. And after pets go outdoors, inspect them carefully for ticks and other insects to ensure their safety. Grooming: A winter indoors often leaves pets with dry skin, tangled fur and a thick undercoat, which begins to shed when the weather warms. A professional grooming salon, like those found in PetSmart stores, will help keep pets cool with services like a bath, brush or hair cut to remove loose hair. Have their skin and coat moisturized with a hypoallergenic conditioner for a softer, shinier coat. Medicated flea and tick baths or spot treatments can also be added for instant relief and to help prevent flea and ticks from returning. Allergies: Warm weather lets loose high amounts of pollen in many areas of the country and since pets can experience allergic reactions to inhaled particles like dust or pollen, pet parents should be on the lookout for signs that their pet may be suffering from allergies. Dr. Simon Starkey, veterinary expert for PetSmart, says you should monitor your pet’s behavior and consult your veterinarian if your pet exhibits reactions such as: * Swelling or irritation of the skin, especially around the eyes, face, head and feet. * Hives, rashes, blisters, clear discharge from eyes or nostrils, sneezing, itching and mild discomfort may also be present. * Pets may also chew on or lick their feet constantly. * Allergy treatment for pets varies based on severity, but usually includes antihistamines and other medications to control the allergic reaction. To learn more about pet essentials and services for spring, visit a store near you or H&H Magazine | 15



here’s no doubt that mobile phones, tablets, computers and the Internet make accessing and sharing information a lot easier. From pop culture trends, politics and sports updates, to breaking news and social networks, there’s an awful lot of information out there, and trying to stay on top of it all can be overwhelming. If everyone in the family is connected to their devices — are they really connected to each other?

It’s not just adults trying to consume all that information. The Kaiser Family Foundation says that kids 8 to 18 years old average more than 7 1/2 hours a day using digital media. And they spend a lot of that time using more than one digital medium simultaneously, so they end up packing 10 hours, 45 minutes worth of media content into that 7 1/2 hours.

Information Overload

So how can you get the information you want while also turning down the noise?

If you think your email inbox is overloaded, take a look at some of these numbers: 30 billion pieces of content are shared on Facebook every month. 864,000 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every day. 16 H&H Magazine |

More than 190 million tweets are sent on Twitter every day.

Tips for Managing Your Media “Internet and digital devices aren’t going away,” says Kinsey Schofield, pop culture maven and social media strategist. “They’re only going to become more prominent. The

trick is to find ways to manage your time and the information effectively. When you do that, you’ll have less stress and more time for some fun together.”

Set Internet limits — for everyone With so much information and social connections available in an instant, it’s tempting to spend too much time in the digital world. But when you do that, says Kinsey, you miss out on things happening in the real world. For kids, set time limits on their electronics usage. They can earn time by doing chores, for good behavior, or as rewards for good grades. Keep track of time with stickers, beads or even candy. Adults should lead by example. Set aside a specified chunk of time to deal with emails, social media check-ins or catching up on the latest celebrity news, for example. Desig­nate meal times as “device-free” zones, and make a point of letting your kids see you setting aside your devices. As a family, make a list of Internet house rules. Include the types of sites that are acceptable and those that are off


OPEN! limits, time allowed on the Internet, and guidelines for sharing information online.

Monitor mobile usage A lot of time is spent on the phone — and most of it isn’t actually talking. “Just looking at your data usage each month can be a wakeup call,” says Kinsey. Go through your monthly statement as a family so you can see exactly how much time you are spending connected. This can help you determine reasonable limits on texting, Web browsing, game playing and consuming music. Most mobile data plans have parental controls available that will let you limit when kids can text or call, filter Web browsing, block picture messag­ing and block unknown phone numbers. This can help you put some limits on when your kids can go online, and keep them safer while doing so.

Make your online time more efficient Keeping on top of the latest news, hottest trends or social chatter is great, but it can take a lot of time. Instead of trying to sort through thousands of sites to get the information you want, try a site that does it for you, such as msnNOW. “With msnNOW,” says Kinsey, “you can get an up-to-the-minute view of what’s happening across the Web, what people are saying about it all, and why it matters. It’s a quick and edgy way to get plugged into the hottest conversa­tions happening across Facebook, Twitter, and Bing — all in one place.” So whether you want to stay on top of the latest trending topic, keep in touch with friends or share a video, msnNOW keeps you in the know. Learn more at

Manage email more effectively You don’t have to get buried in an avalanche of junk email, nor do you have to answer every email sent to you. Use your filters. Email filters can automatically detect spam, send junk to the trash folders, help you keep track of messages relating to specific tasks or coming from certain people. Learn how to use your filters and you will simplify your inbox (and life) in an instant. Unsubscribe frequently. Whenever you type your email address into an online form, you’re agreeing to get messages. “If you don’t read that newsletter, don’t shop at that store, or don’t care about those updates, follow the directions for unsubscribing,” says Kinsey. Do this fairly regularly and you should see your inbox get smaller. With the right plan, you can tame the wild, wild Web and break free from information overload. And that will go a long way toward getting — and keeping — your family connected to each other.

At the entrance to Historic Main Street Saint Charles

406 Boones Lick Road 636.493.6500

High-tech and fully wireless with a coffee house style atmosphere.

Come see the future of real estate and discover the Service First Difference. H&H Magazine | 17



courses and chip timed. Race entry fee includes a full-color dry-tec T-shirt in men’s, women’s and youth sizes (while supplies last), refreshments and tickets for prize baskets drawing. The Health and Wellness Expo is free and open to the public from 8 am - 11 am. Race registration begins at 6:30 am.

Greater St. Louis Book Fair April 25-28, 2013

Macy’s, West County Center The Greater St. Louis Book Fair is one of the nation’s oldest, largest and most popular charity book sales. For over 60 years, book lovers and collectors have enjoyed bargain prices on a diverse and quality selection of new, gently-used and rare books. Fair proceeds benefit local non-profit education and literacy programs.

World War II Weekend


Laserium at the Planetarium

Saturday, April 27

St. Charles Community College St. Charles Community College presents the annual RUN. LIVE. LEARN. 10K, 5K, Fun Run and Health and Wellness Expo. Both the 10K and 5K races are USATF certified 18 H&H Magazine |

April 26-28

Jefferson Barracks County Park Stroll through military camps and talk with re-enactors representing the troops of the United States, Britain, Canada, the Soviet Union, and Germany from World War II. Battles will be held on Saturday at 10 am and 30 pm. and on Sunday at 12 pm. There will also be military vehicle displays, weapons demonstrations and a canteen dance. Free Admission.

Now through May 31st

James S. McDonnell Planetarium Experience the one-and-only LASERIUM® as it returns under the stars of the James S. McDonnell Planetarium! Join us for a Cosmic Laser Light Concert perfromed by a master

Laserist conducting a symphony of vibrant laser light set to music. A fantastic explosion of immersive sound and the purest of colors, LASERIUM brings an out-of-this-world experience to the Planetarium. Experience this ‘blast from the past’ now that the world-famous LASERIUM has returned to the Science Center

St. Louis Storytelling Festival

Classic Car Show

May 1-4

Saturday, May 11

Various Locations

St. Charles County Heritage Museum at Heritage Park

For the 34th year, some of the nation’s most treasured storytellers are gathering in St. Louis to tell their tales, spin their yarns, and otherwise entertain students and teachers. The St. Louis Storytelling Festival lays the foundation for 21st Century learning. Students of all ages have the opportunity to experience culturally diverse professional storytellers tell a wide variety of traditional, literary, historical and family stories.

St. Louis Microfest May 3-4 Upper Muny Parking Lot

A St. Louis premiere annual craft beer tasting festival features beers from dozens of North American craft breweries and international beers, as well as great food from area restaurants. The event features over 80 craft beers and 50 international beers along with live music, homebrew competition, brewers’ Olympics and more.

Cinco de Mayo on Cherokee Street Saturday, May 4 Cherokee Street at Iowa

A celebration of the rich Hispanic culture within the Cherokee neighborhood and surrounding south St. Louis area. This annual festival features live music on three separate stages, an assortment of authentic Mexican refreshments and other ethnic food and drinks. There will also be live art demonstrations, street performers, and a People’s Joy Parade at 1:11 pm. The festival expands on the eastern corner of Cherokee Street and Iowa Street with the addition of a fourth stage.

The St. Charles County Parks Department and the Coachmen Car Club of St. Louis are proud to present the first Classic Car Show. This entertaining program allows car enthusiasts from around the region to learn about a variety of hot rods, muscle cars and vintage automobiles on display outside, and a chance to explore the free, educational transportation-themed exhibit on display inside the Museum.

Wine Tourism Day Saturday, May 11

Missouri River Wine Country Local wineries in the Missouri River Wine Country region will be participating in the first-ever Wine Tourism Day in North America with wineries, hotels, restaurants, and other businesses offering a variety of events to the public. Historic Missouri Wine Country in conjunction with the Greater Saint Charles Convention & Visitors Bureau will offer special group tours to mark this day locally. Locally, area businesses in Defiance and Augusta, MO will host specialty tours geared towards local wine consumers. The tours are geared toward groups of all sizes, and have three focus areas. Tours include transportation based on the size of the group.

Mother’s Day Bike Ride Sunday, May 12 Commerce Bank 3134 S. Grand Blvd. Celebrate Mother’s Day with a family bike ride on routes of extra short (family ride around Tower Grove Park), medium, and long routes. Bring your mom (or just bring yourself!) and see a variety of beautiful, historic neighborhoods. Fees: On-line - $8 member, $13 non-member, $3 child. Day of ride - $10 member, $15 non-member, $3 child, Moms ride free! H&H Magazine | 19


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Home and Happenings Magazine April  

Home and Happenings Magazine