Month: June 2015

Combating Mosquitoes


With all of the rain we have had this summer, the mosquitoes are BAD! Here are some tips to keep them at bay:

  • Get rid of standing water by emptying out water in places like sandboxes, wagons, plastic toys, pet dishes, plant saucers, gutters, spaces underneath decks or porches, etc.
  • Remove excess grass, leaves, firewood and lawn clippings. All of these can create places for water to accumulate which will act as a breeding ground for the bugs.
  • Turn over big yard items such as sandboxes, toys, etc that can hold water. 
  • If you have any tarps covering wood piles, grills, boats, etc be sure to shake them out after a storm to get rid of any water that they are holding.
Protect yourself against mosquito bites by wearing long pants/sleeves, shoes, and socks and using bug repellent when spending time outside.
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Top 12 Family Vacation Spots

A group of 2,000 participants from different regions in the U.S. were asked what their top family vacation destinations were. Out of over 400 places to choose from, these were the top 12, and one of them is right in our own backyard!

  1. Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida
  2. Universal’s Islands of Adventure, Orlando, Florida
  3. Orlando, Florida
  4. The Strong, Rochester, New York
  5. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, SD
  6. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, NC and TN
  7. Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium, Omaha, NE
  8. Toledo Zoo, Toledo OH
  9. Yellowstone National Park, WY, MT, ID
  10. National Mall & Memorial Parks, Washington, DC
  11. San Antonio, TX
  12. Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago, IL
What is your family’s favorite vacation spot? Have you visited any of these places this summer?
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The Biggest Air Leak In Your Home That You Don’t Know About


John Riha for House Logic

Have you caulked all of your windows and replaced any damaged weatherstripping on doors? That’s great but the biggest leak in your home is probably somewhere you never thought about….

The largest air leak in your home could be coming from a hole that the plumber makes in the sub floor to create room for the drain assembly at the bottom of the bathtub. Since the drain assembly is so large, plumbers usually cut a very generous hole to make room for connecting the pipes. This large hole is usually left open to the space below.

How do you know if you have this hole?
If your first floor bathroom is over the crawlspace or unheated basement, it is likely that you have one of these giant energy wasting holes in your home.

Is it a big deal?
Having one of these huge holes can waste about as much energy as leaving a window open a few inches all day, every day. Another problem? These holes are big enough for critters to get into your home!

What is the best way to fix the leak?
Plumbers can stuff around the hole with loose insulation but that is a temporary fix since fiberglass insulation sags over time, especially if it gets damp. Here’s a better solution:

  1. Crawl under the bathroom to look at the drain assembly from underneath.
  2. Patch the hole with pieces of foam board that are cut to fit around the pipes and then screw them into place.
  3. Seal any remaining gaps with spray foam insulation which only costs around $8 a can.

If you decide to have a plumber do the job instead, it will probably cost about $100-$150 but is worth it so you can know you are both saving energy and keeping unwanted animals out of your home!

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Get Inspired With These Great DIY Apps

Chicago Tribune 


  • Photo Measure: This app is great if you need to know the dimensions of a space when you’re not home. You can use this app to take pictures of all of the rooms in your home and then drag an arrow along the walls and insert the measurements. The app stores all of the photos along with the measurements which can then be shown to contractors or used when shopping for furniture. This app sells for $6.99 and is available through both Android and iOS. 
  • Home styler: This app can be used to see what new furniture and wall colors would look like in your home. You can take pictures of rooms and then you can use 3-D models of the space to visualize what new furniture and color might look like. You can then share the photos either through Facebook or email to get second opinions on your choices! This app is free and is available for the iPhone.
  • IKEA Catalog App: If you are interested in IKEA furniture, you can use this app to take photos of rooms and see what various pieces of IKEA furniture would look like in that space. Anything from the IKEA catalog can be placed into your home using this app. It is free and is available for iOS and Android. 
  • mypantone: This app is so cool-use it to take a picture of anything from something you see outside on the street to an article of clothing and it will match the colors from them to a paint color. You can also share your pictures/colors to Facebook and Twitter and attach text notes and voice annotations to them. This app sells for $9.99 and is only available for the iPhone. 
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All About Father’s Day

Did you know?
   Father’s Day was originally created by Mrs. John B. Dodd (Sonora Smart) of Spokane, Washington in 1909. Her father was both a Civil War veteran and a widow with six children; he made his daughter so proud that she started petitions for a day to celebrate Fathers. Within a year, the city of Spokane agreed to honor Fathers on the third Sunday in June, right around the time of Mr. Smart’s birthday. Other cities around the country also began to celebrate Fathers and in 1924, President Calvin Coolidge supported the idea of a national Father’s Day with it later becoming official in 1972 by President Nixon.

Celebration Ideas

  • Head to a local State park for hiking or  biking
  • Enjoy a day of fishing
  • Go down memory lane-literally: This would be especially great for older kids who have moved out of the house. Take your Dad to the neighborhood you grew up in, old places he liked to take you, etc. This is sure to spark a lot of fun reminiscing that both you and your Dad would enjoy.
  • Take your Dad to the store: This is for anyone who has procrastinated and does not have a gift ready in time for the special day. Offer to take your Dad to any store he wants and buy him an item of his choosing.
  • Boy’s night out: This is a great activity for Fathers and their sons. Get out and do something with the guys such as attend a sports event, dine at your Dad’s favorite restaurant, enjoy a Poker night with your Dad and his friends (maybe even their sons too), etc.
  • Daddy/Daughter date: Have a picnic, see a movie you both like, have Dad help you create his favorite treat in the kitchen, go out for a nice meal, etc.
  • Activities for Dads and younger kids: finger painting, movie or cartoon marathon, have a play day, go on a scavenger hunt, play tag or hide and go seek, play board games, etc.
  • Plan a stay-in Father’s Day: Stay home for the day and serve your Dad all his favorite foods, give him back rubs, and let him have full control over the comfiest spot in the house and the TV remote.
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Open House!

OPEN HOUSE this Sunday, June 14th from 1-3 pm!!
8302 Frost Court in Woodridge

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Staying Safe At Hotels

State Farm

With many of us traveling this summer, these are great tips to keep in mind!

  • Preventing theft: Many hotels have low liability for stolen/lost items so if you are an avid traveler, you may want to speak with your insurance agent to see how you may be protected under your homeowner’s insurance policy or about obtaining a type of traveler’s coverage.
  • Don’t flash a lot of cash or expensive jewelry
  • Utilize the in-room safe to store valuables as opposed to your vehicle
  • Put the “Do not disturb” sign on the door when you leave
  • Keep any credit cards and ID’s out of sight
  • Make sure that all adjoining rooms are locked as well as the main door to your room
  • Don’t forget to ensure that all valuables are secured in your home while you are away
  • Preventing assault: Always look through the peephole before opening the door; don’t open the door for someone that you don’t know.
  • Always keep your key with you; if you lose your room key, request a new room code or a new room 
  • Only use the main entrance to the hotel after dark
  • Request that the front desk clerk write your room number on the key sleeve instead of saying it out loud
  • Always keep the dead bolt and door guard secure when in the room
  • Fire: Always read the fire safety instructions that are on the hotel room door and make sure you know where the emergency exits are located. If you notice an odor of smoke, tell the management immediately and get out as soon as you can, using the stairs instead of the elevator.
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