FIVE TIPS FOR THE CHANGE OF SEASON
BEN FEINGOLD | FABRICARE CENTER OWNER
This is one of my favorite times of the year! Chilly evenings, leaves turning colors, crisp fresh air. Growing up in Atlanta I have always loved the four seasons of weather. Fall brings cooler temperatures to signal the winter months ahead. However, with such a mild climate in Atlanta, its nice knowing that we have until January, sometimes even February until winter is in full force.
I want to provide a few tips and reminders as we shift our wardrobes and household items during the cool weather as we move into fall.
GET THE STAINS OUT Whenever you put one set of clothing away for the season (typically in the fall and spring) it’s important to make sure all stains have been removed from the fabric prior to storage. This well help prevent moths and silverfish from destroying garments as they go after the sugars and proteins found in stains. Also, the longer a stain remains on clothing, the more likely it is to set permanently in the garment.
ORGANIZE YOUR CLOSET With so many TV shows and resources online, there has never been more information available to help you get this painstakingly annoying process crossed off your to-do-list. It may take a bit of time to complete but in the end it will be well worth it. Not only will you be able to find that favorite garment of yours more easily, you will have the opportunity to see what items you need to add to your wardrobe for the season.
CLEAN OUTDOOR PATIO CUSHIONS This is the perfect time of year to have Fabricare Center clean your outdoor patio cushions before putting them away for the winter or freshen them up for guests during the holiday season. Clients have been excited to learn that we provide this service and to see how clean we are able to make them look. You can drop your cushions off at our retail stores or arrange for us to pick them up.
BRING US NEEDED ALTERATIONS As we have been cooped up inside and adjusting to our new environment for the past 7 months of the pandemic, our size may have changed and some of our winter clothes may not fit as well as they used to. If that’s the case, remember Fabricare Center can make those adjustments for you with our quality seamstress so you don’t have to buy all new clothes.
PREPARE FOR GUESTS November and December are the most popular time of year for entertaining friends and family. Let us help you get prepared! We are ready to help you with area rugs, drapes, comforters, pillows, and table linens so your home is fresh and looking great for all your holiday guests.
One bonus tip! When you pull your garments out for the colder months they might have a musty smell from being stored for so long. Give them a good cleaning at Fabricare Center to knock the odor out, even if they were stored with mothballs or cedar.
Warm wishes as we enter the holiday season.
Getting Your Home Ready For Winter
Although preparing your home for winter is a fairly consistent process year-to-year, many homes have seen significantly more use this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Consider these tips from the experts at the National Association of the Remodeling Industry to help ensure your home is ready before winter weather strikes.
Improve Indoor Air Quality
The increased daily usage of your home naturally increases the importance of indoor air quality. Since windows and doors will likely be closed more often, moisture levels within your home can be significantly affected. Use a humidifier, if necessary, to maintain a relative humidity between 45-50%, which is healthier and can feel more comfortable. It can also keep wooden doors and windows functioning properly and wood furniture and floors looking good.
Get Your Furnace Checked
To keep your furnace from failing when you need it most, get it inspected by a professional before you need to rely on it to heat your home in the dead of winter. If you’re not leaving the house and turning down the thermostat each day, this will be especially important this year. Regular tune-ups can prolong your furnace’s life, help prevent carbon monoxide leaks and ensure your unit is working at maximum efficiency.
Seal Leaks Around Windows and Doors
Air infiltration is one of the largest culprits of reductions in a home’s efficiency. Small air leaks can add up to significant heat loss and a corresponding increase in energy consumption. Increase energy efficiency by sealing gaps around window and door moldings with caulk to help keep heat from escaping.
Check Your Gutters
Improper drainage away from the home is one of the biggest causes of water leaking into basements and crawlspaces. Gutters and downspouts have the single purpose of routing water away from your home to help prevent damage to your foundation. Once leaves have fallen, ensure your gutters are properly secured and clear of debris.
Best Educational Apps for Kids
If you’re like most parents, you may be a little squeamish about the amount of screen time your kids log. We wanted to learn more about educational apps, and were particularly interested to see what apps are available for kids age 9-11 that are healthy and stimulating. Here are a few we found from Today’s Parent:
Quick Math – Mental Arithmetic
Kids (and adults) can’t put it down! Practice your mathematics while racing the clock in this innovative app. Featuring advanced handwriting recognition and a beautiful interface. Quick Math will take your general arithmetic skills to the next level.
Barefoot Atlas World
Fly around the interactive 3D globe and discover the rich wonders of our planet. Barefoot Atlas World show stopping interactive app allows children to explore an enticing, spinning world packed with animated icons, an ever changing soundscape and interactive quizzes.
Seek by iNaturalist
Use the power of image recognition technology to identify plants and animals all around you. Earn badges for seeing different types plants, birds, animals, fungi and more!
For ideas for other age groups , see https://www.todaysparent.com/family/activities/educational-apps-for-kids/
Delectable Holiday Dessert
With so many traditions and ways to celebrate the holiday season, the options are nearly endless for families looking to spend special moments together. This Peppermint Cheesecake Brownies combine chocolatey goodness with creamy cheesecake and peppermint.
Total time: 40 minutes
8 oz low-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
1 tbl all-purpose flour
1/2 cup peppermint pieces
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Heat oven to 350 F.
1. Coat 8-inch square baking pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.
2. To make cheesecake batter: Place cream cheese in bowl of stand mixer. Beat on medium until smooth and creamy. Add sugar and peppermint extract; beat well. Add eggs, one at a time. Add flour and beat mixture until blended.
3. To make brownie batter: In medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder and salt. In separate bowl, whisk sugar, oil, milk, eggs and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix until blended.
4. Pour brownie batter evenly into prepared pan. Carefully pour cheesecake batter over top, spreading evenly. Carefully swirl layers together using knife tip.
Bake 20 minutes.
5. Sprinkle top of brownies with peppermint baking pieces and bake 10 minutes. Cool brownies completely in pan on wire rack before cutting into 16 squares.
HELP OTHERS DURING THE HOLIDAY SEASON
Giving during the holiday season can mean more than gifts. It’s the time of year when giving back to your community can make an even bigger impact – especially this year when so many need a helping hand.
This holiday season, do your part to help deliver smiles to loved ones and people in need. Reap the feel-good rewards of helping others with these ideas on how to make a difference.
Give time. One of the greatest donations an organization can receive is your time. Volunteer roles can vary significantly depending on the organization you choose but can leave you feeling like you’ve contributed in a real and meaningful way. From sorting donated items, preparing and distributing warm meals or wrapping gifts, organizations can almost always use an extra set of hands during the holidays.
Make your shopping count. To help make the season even brighter, Amazon is donating millions of items to more than 1,000 charities worldwide through product and monetary donations and is making it easy for you to give back as well. When shopping for holiday supplies or gifts for family and friends, you can give back and donate to your favorite charitable organizations. Simply activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app or on your web browser to get the same online shopping experience you’re accustomed to with the added benefit of donating a portion of eligible purchases to a charity of your choice.
Spread information. People are more willing to contribute to a cause when they understand how they can help. Align with an organization or cause you care about and share details about how the community can help. That might include talking about the group’s mission and needs to your friends and family or simply sharing info about its cause on your social media feeds. Let the organization know you’re eager to generate awareness for its needs, and it can typically find a way to put your skills to use.
Shop for a cause. One thing nonprofits often hear is people want to give, but they don’t know what items will be most useful. You can remove the guesswork with a resource like AmazonSmile Charity Lists, which offer a convenient way to donate to your favorite causes. Just search for your favorite organization and find its list of most-needed items, purchase and have the donation delivered directly to the charity’s door. You can also make a donation to the organization of your choice through your Alexa-enabled device by saying, “Alexa, I want to make a donation.”
Donate gently used items. This holiday season, you’ll probably add new clothes to your closet and new toys to the playroom, but others may not have presents to unwrap. As you receive gifts this holiday, see what gently used toys, clothes and household items could be donated to help others.
Find more information and resources at smile.amazon.com, and share how you’re giving back by using #DeliveringSmiles on social media.
MAKE WAY FOR NEW TRADITIONS
Although there’s plenty of comfort to be found in holiday traditions, this year is the perfect excuse to mix things up a little and infuse some new ideas into your celebration.
Pass on family recipes. A traditional turkey dinner complete with a variety of seasonal sides and desserts is a staple for many families. To help ensure the tradition continues, use the extra time you may have together to teach older children how to prepare specific dishes that have been passed down through the generations. You could also have different family members like siblings or adult children take over making specific dishes, such as the turkey or pumpkin pie.
Share your good fortune. It’s been a rough year for many, in several different ways. If you and yours are able, dedicating a portion of your day to helping those who’ve fared worse can be a powerful bonding experience. Not only do you share the feel-good vibes that come from helping others, the experience can open your eyes to the many blessings you and your loved ones share.
Add group entertainment. If your family’s norm is to scatter as soon as the meal is done, or to scarf down a plate before returning to the gridiron action, look for ways to bring everyone together. Organize a board game tournament or gather a group to take a walk through the neighborhood and reminisce.
Learn a new skill. Discover something new about your loved ones by inviting one or two (or more) to share a special skill with the group. You can develop a new appreciation after an afternoon chatting while learning how to crochet, perform magic card tricks or make DIY decor for the holiday season.
Make a game of giving thanks. Ask each guest to jot down something they’re thankful for as they arrive. Later, after everyone has settled in, take turns drawing the cards, reading them aloud and letting everyone guess whose good tidings they’re hearing. It can be an easy way to catch up and allow you to celebrate special moments with one another.