) - Water damage is the second most common reason for homeowners to file claims with their insurance companies; only home fires are associated with more damage and more claims. Water damage can stem from a variety of sources, including leaking water heaters, ruptured washing machine hoses, leaky pipes and failed plumbing systems. These leaks can cause flooding that can stain ceilings, warp floors and destroy personal property anywhere in the home.
Another consequence of leaks and water damage: mold. Indoor mold is an additional source of damage that, according to the Insurance Information Institute, costs the average $3,000 to $4,000; while water damage combined with mold yields homeowner insurance claims ranging from $15,000 to $30,000.
Mold can damage walls, stain ceilings, ruin carpeting and damage home ventilation systems.
Mold also has the potential to damage personal items, including personal electronics, clothing with sentimental value (such as a wedding dress) and fine art.
Not only is mold almost impossible to remove, it contributes to poor air quality in the home, which can cause health problems for homeowners with allergies or asthma. Even non-allergic individuals may experience skin and eye irritation or respiratory problems in moldy environments. Although visible mold can be cleaned from walls, and moldy rugs can be replaced, homeowners with mold problems must consider how to reduce or control the moisture content in the home.
An automatic water shut-off system can help stop mold before it starts by identifying leaks before they lead to major water damage. One example of such a system, FloLogic
, acts as a circuit breaker for home plumbing. The System shuts off the water when it detects a leak, whether it is a pinhole leak, running faucet or malfunctioning appliance causing a flood. The FloLogic System automatically shuts off the water and alerts the homeowner with an alarm so the leak can be identified and repaired as soon as possible, limiting the water damage.
Homeowners who install and use a system such as FloLogic may be able to avoid the costly insurance claims associated with water damage. Some homeowners' insurance companies recognize the benefits of such systems and may offer discounts to homeowners who install devices to protect against water damage.
for more details about how the FloLogic System works.
) - Movies have always fascinated Americans. They are a way to escape reality (if only for a couple of hours), a place to stay cool on hot summer days, a typically pure, unadulterated enjoyment.
Cinemas are now capitalizing on this from of entertainment by boasting reserved seating, fancier food than your standard popcorn and soda, and best of all, adult beverages -- all for a high-end price.
The rise of "dine-in" theaters aims to put the traditional dinner-and-a-movie all in the same place, instead of making people rush from one venue to another.
"It's a way for theater owners to capture that revenue and keep it there instead of seeing it go down the mall," Patrick Corcoran, vice president and chief communications officer for the National Association of Theatre Owners, told USA Today in an interview.
However, even with all the bells and whistles that are part and parcel of many movie theaters, there are still things you may want to bring to make your experience that much more pleasurable, as well as do's and don'ts to attending your favorite flick.
Do Bring an Extra Sweater
Movie theaters tend to get cold (which is why they're a great place to go in the summer), so bringing a long-sleeve shirt, or light sweater or jacket, is never a bad idea. You can also forego it if the theater temperature suits you.
Silence Your Phone
Out of respect to those around you, don't forget to turn your phone to vibrate, or better yet, turn it off completely. This way, you won't be tempted to see if anyone has texted you.
Don't Start a Conversation
While people have their thoughts on any given movie or scene, or want to opine with their date about whodunit, keep the chit-chat to a minimum. Even over the superior sound systems used in movie theaters today, voices still carry.
If you are a smokeless tobacco user, you might want to consider purchasing a portable spittoon
. Look at it this way: taking a bottle or cup to a luxury theater is not a viable option (especially if it's a first date). But portable spittoons, such as those created by FLASR (OTCQB:FLSR), are discreet and, according to Everett Dickson, CEO of FLASR, "allows users to enjoy smokeless tobacco in public unobtrusively, without unwanted attention." To this end, the company's new 4-ounce pocket spittoon lets users open and shut it with just one hand. And FLASR's original tobacco flask has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays closed when not in use, eliminating the possibility of spills and leaks.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com
. Market listing: FLASR (OTCQB: FLSR).
) - ¿Estás listo para el verano? Para los latinos, el verano es el momento perfecto para celebrar con la familia. La vida familiar es una parte importante de la cultura latina, se cuidan los unos a los otros, viven cerca y usualmente socializan juntos. Desde tomar vacaciones hasta barbacoas en el verano, cada evento es una razón para una divertida reunión.
, una de las tiendas de ropa y cosas para el hogar más grande de la nación, está en sintonía con la comunidad hispana y ofrece desde elegantes prendas veraniegas y accesorios, hasta piezas de entretenimiento y decoraciones para el hogar perfectas para acoger a la familia y a los invitados. Los siguientes son sólo algunos ejemplos de lo que puedes encontrar en JCPenney para satisfacer todas tus necesidades para las reuniones familiares de verano y hacer que la fiesta siga su curso:
El comal Simplemente Delicioso de 14 pulgadas con tortilladora es perfecto para todo, desde calentar tortillas hasta hacer panqueques y huevos la mañana siguiente. Las cuatro opciones de color le ponen un giro innovador a un elemento básico de utensilios en la cocina latina. Para acompañar la comida, considere la máquina para hacer margaritas y granizados de acero inoxidable de Nostalgia Electrics. Esta licuadora de acero inoxidable puede hacer hasta un galón de margaritas o bebidas frías refrescantes en cuestión de minutos. El contenedor aislado tiene capacidad para 128 onzas de tu bebida fría favorita.
Vestimenta De Fiesta
Ofreciendo comodidad y estilo, una camiseta polo de mangas cortas de la marca St. John's Bay es el estilo veraniego perfecto para los hombres. Esta remera de talle medio viene en más de 20 colores. Para las mujeres, un vestido sin mangas con el cuello plisado será un éxito asegurado y las mantendrá frescas. Hecho de chalis, este vestido importado se puede lavar a máquina y viene en una gran variedad de tamaños.
Después De La Fiesta
Para los invitados que se queden a dormir o para un divertido picnic de alfombra, el juego de edredón de 4 piezas de Eva Longoria Home Mireles podría ser exactamente lo que estás buscando. El edredón tiene un vívido patrón inspirado por los azulejos españoles con distintos tonos de gris, blanco y amarillo. El juego de 4 piezas de algodón incluye: un edredón dos fundas para almohadas y un volado para la cama con una caída de 15 pulgadas. Los juegos de tamaño completo y tamaño reina incluyen los volados estándar y los juegos de tamaño King y California incluyen volados King.
Para más información, por favor visite www.JCPenney.com
) - There are a few things that signify summer is in full swing: the sound of an ice cream truck driving down the street, catching lightning bugs on a warm night and outdoor picnics with your favorite fare. Between meal prep and setting up shop, packing the perfect picnic basket may seem like a chore, but it can be a walk in the park with a few quick tips.
Whether you're planning an outdoor outing for your whole family or just a party of two, you're sure to have a great time if you keep these pointers in mind:
* Forget the Forks: Portability is number one when it comes to a mess-free picnic. Save yourself the hassle of creating dishes that require multiple utensils and opt for simple sandwiches instead. For easy assembly and a fun twist, bring along delicious ingredients like lean protein, sharp cheeses and tangy condiments for a "build-your-own" bar. Guests will love testing their culinary chops with protein-packed options like Simply Delicious sandwich meats from Land O'Frost
. Available in a wide selection of flavors, from black forest ham and slow-roasted beef to honey-roasted turkey breast, the entire line of Simply Delicious products contain no artificial flavors, by-products or added hormones.
* Reverse Your Thinking: Once you've identified your picnic destination, it can take a while to prep before you can chow down. Streamline setup by packing your basket in reverse order. Rather than placing food items on top, move them to the bottom of your basket, followed by serving items and a tablecloth to top it off. This will make it easy to grab what you need when you arrive. * Squeeze In Extra Savings: If you're planning to grill at your next picnic, save yourself the trouble of packing full-size condiments for burgers and hot dogs, and bring along portable packs. Save extra condiment packets from your favorite fast-food restaurants to add to your next picnic basket. Taking up almost no room, these are ideal for outdoor meals.
With these time-saving tips in mind, your summer picnics will be a breeze. For coupons and more information about Simply Delicious products from Land O'Frost, visit www.landofrost.com
) - Three square meals a day are a thing of the past. Busy schedules, diverse dietary preferences and the flow of modern life necessitate more flexible and convenient meals. Luckily, snacking is in the midst of a revolution. Traditional snacks like chips and pretzels have given way to bigger, better and healthier options that deliver both convenience and nutrition in one tasty package. Whether clean-label, organic, vegan or nutrient-added, it's up to ingredient suppliers and manufacturers to develop products that meet all of these demands. That's certainly a tall order.
While there are no standard requirements for clean label snacks, naturally derived gums, hydrocolloids and colors are generally accepted in such applications and have become increasingly popular. You might see these ingredients listed as carrageenan, a soluble fiber from red seaweed, or cellulose gel, which is a refined plant fiber. In many foods and beverages, these ingredients improve shelf life and nutritional value without diminishing taste -- like giving drinkable low-fat yogurt that distinctive creamy consistency with every sip.
They also prove quite functional in products that meet strict dietary requirements, like gluten-free and vegetarian options. Hydrocolloids and gums like carrageenan, alginates and cellulose gel can be sustainably sourced from nature and are perfectly suited for vegetarian and vegan foods. Either by improving the flavor and fullness of meatless sausage or producing non-dairy ice cream with that definitive indulgence and delectability, these ingredients are making new snacking options both possible and palatable.
Reducing the number of ingredients in a recipe is one challenge and, more recently, adding ingredients has become another. We want foods and beverages with added value, but it's important to understand that introducing vitamins or nutrients to any product can significantly affect flavor and texture. Enriched, shelf-stable snacks that boast added protein need a stabilizer to maintain the quality of the product. Without the added ingredients like carrageenan, similar products might separate, taste chalky or be less effective than their claims imply.
Food companies are adapting their product formulations and rolling out new products to meet demand for healthy snacking solutions. Naturally derived ingredients that help reduce fat and sugar content but maintain product integrity are changing the way we snack. They deliver that indulgent experience we all appreciate. For more information on ingredients that give us a variety of snacks for a wide range of diets, please visit www.FoodScienceMatters.com
) - "Made in America" matters; almost 80 percent of Americans would prefer to buy an American-made product instead of one made abroad, based on data from a national survey by the Consumer Reports National Research Center. The findings appeared in an article in the February 2013 issue of Consumer Reports magazine.
In addition, more than 80 percent of the survey respondents cited keeping American jobs and maintaining America's strength in the global economy as reasons to support American-made products.
Henry Repeating Arms
, maker of repeating firearms based on the design that was patented in 1860, is one example of a company that takes pride in its American roots and gives back to the country and communities.
The company's Guns for Great Causes program includes a range of activities that benefit individuals and organizations of all sizes.
Examples of how the company has made a difference include a donation of two Henry rifles to a Missouri high school fundraiser to send the school choir to perform at Carnegie Hall, as well as a donation of 100 Henry rifles custom embellished with the Kansas state flower to benefit a sick 4 year old girl from Sedan, Kan. Henry is the lead sponsor of the Charlie Daniels' Volunteer Jam 40th Anniversary to benefit The Journey Home Project program for veterans. It has made donations to many medical charities, including the Peyton Manning Children's Hospital, the Roger Maris Cancer Center and the Ronald McDonald House. Within its industry, Henry supports the NRA, as well as many wildlife conservation and youth shooting sports organizations.
Henry Repeating Arms is one of many companies that support American troops via the USO and a multitude of charitable military organizations -- such as the Marine Corp Scholarship Fund, Operation Homefront and Paralyzed Veterans of America. Anthony Imperato, president of Henry Repeating Arms, has personally thanked many veterans for their service with a gift of a Henry Military Service Tribute Edition rifle.
Extraordinary customer service is a key foundation of the company's success. Henry's Extreme Customer Service policy means that all customer service issues are handled in-house by a staff operating with a mandate from Mr. Imperato to do whatever it takes to make certain the customer is satisfied. The policy includes an unlimited lifetime guarantee on products, and Mr. Imperato responds personally to customer emails seven days a week.
For more information on Henry's Guns for Great Causes program, visit www.henryrifles.com
) - No doubt about it, Americans like their "stuff."
We like to accumulate and surround ourselves with material things.
The late George Carlin summed it up when he quipped, "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff."
The problem is that stuff creates a mess, and most people also like to be neat and organized. Unfortunately, the two concepts do not necessarily align, which is why companies like The Container Store boast close to billion-dollar bottom lines.
And when you have kids? Fugehdaboutit. The potential for messiness multiplies tenfold.
For those wannabe organized families who would like to declutter (or at least keep the detritus at bay), look no further than the tips below:
* Buy bins. These plastic tubs can be a godsend for parents whose kids either refuse to throw (or give) anything away, or who want to try and teach their kids to organize their things at an early age. It keeps the mess to a minimum and makes cleaning simple for both parents and children.
* Cue the cubbies. These three-drawer organizers can be stored in the closet, don't take up much room and allow kids to store odds and ends that might otherwise be everywhere but their bedroom.
* Have an in box. A parent of any school-age child knows the amount of paperwork that comes home is obscene and overwhelming. To that end, having one place for all incoming papers is paramount.
* Use hangers and hooks. These minimally priced inventions that hang on the backs of doors helps keep towels, scarves, coats and other items off the floor. Similarly, a shoe rack that hangs in the closet can also be a great organization tool for little ones.
* Consider a portable spittoon. For smokeless tobacco users, a portable spittoon
can mean the difference between a permanent, albeit accidental, stain and keeping a potential mess contained.
To that end, companies like FLASR, creators of smokeless tobacco accessory products, can help. FLASR's portable spittoons are an easy-to-use solution that prevents unwanted spills and leaks that often accompany spit cups and bottles. The FLASR flask, for instance, has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, even if curious little hands get a hold of it. In addition, the new 4-ounce FLASR pocket-sized spittoon is designed to allow users to open and shut it with just one hand, making it an ideal solution for everyday use.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com
) - Dating is hard these days. Never mind the whole getting-to-know you thing, the Internet has created a world where every foible, every flaw, every thing (literally and figuratively) is on display for all the world, including potential dating partners, to see.
"Surviving any worst-case scenario comes down to not panicking, having a plan and ultimately being prepared," David Borgenicht, author of The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Sur-vival Handbook: Dating & Sex, told the Chicago Tribune in an interview. "And this applies to the realm of dating."
That is why it's best to be prepared for any dating scene so you don't find yourself wondering whether leaving-by-the-bathroom-window is actually an option.
The following tips will help you avoid the minefield of dating.
* You spill wine all over the table, on yourself, or on your date. At best, you and your date can laugh it off. And if you like one another, it's an easy way to ask them out for a second one --to a dry cleaners where you'll foot the bill. At worst, if the sparks aren't there, you have an easy out.
* You're running late. It happens -- traffic, work runs over, mistiming on how long it takes to get ready -- and all of a sudden you've kept your date waiting. In this case, take a few minutes to send a text message or a quick call and let them know you've run into a snag, but will be there as soon as possible. Better yet, giving them a timeframe. One caveat: try to keep it light. If you sound stressed about being late, they'll be stressed about waiting.
* You're a smokeless tobacco user. For smokeless tobacco users, the thought of taking a spit cup or bottle on a date is horrific, and of course, an absolute no-no. So, what to do? You might want to consider a portable spittoon made by FLASR
, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in creating smokeless tobacco accessories.
To avoid the messiness that can go along with using smokeless tobacco, the FLASR flask has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, thus eliminating the risk of spills and leaks often found with cups and bottles. In addition, the small size of the FLASR flask allows users to enjoy smokeless tobacco unobtrusively while in public.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com
) - The smart home has gone mainstream. Currently available technology allows homeowners to further personalize the environments in their homes and to monitor their homes remotely. Consider the increasing popularity of smart appliances such as motion-sensor lights, programmable thermostats and sound-control surround systems. Such technologies will likely expand as ways to make homes not only more comfortable, but also safer and more efficient. Smart home technology is becoming increasingly affordable and will become increasingly common in new homes. For example, in 2013, approximately half of all new homes built in the United States included structured wiring, which is needed for the transmission of high-speed video.
Some examples of the latest smart home technology could fall into two categories: Home comfort and home monitoring. Homeowners are able to set up systems that program the house doors to unlock, certain lights to come on, and the thermostat to adjust to preselected settings automatically when someone arrives at the home. In addition, homes can be programmed to send emails or text messages to alert homeowners to potential problems, which can be addressed before they escalate into expensive repairs.
Another point in favor of smart home technology: resale value. If you want to boost the value of your home, smart home technology is a worthwhile investment, and a system that monitors plumbing is a good place to start.
Preventing water damage is one area in which smart home monitoring technology can be especially helpful. Water damage accounts for a significant portion of home insurance claims, and being able to identify potential water problems and address them early can save time and money.
The FloLogic System
is engineered to act like a circuit breaker for the plumbing system in the home, and it may be fitted to any home, old or new. The system monitors the water flow throughout the home. The system is designed to shut off the water if it detects any sign of a leak, from something as large as a broken pipe to as mall as a pinhole. It sounds an alarm at the control pad and shuts off the water. The FloLogic System may be linked in with a home security system and will be WiFi enabled by year end.
For more information about how the FloLogic system works, visit www.Flologic.com
) - Owning a second home has many benefits: a potential rental income and a relaxing, reliable getaway, to name a few. However, second homeowners also must consider the challenges of maintaining a property left vacant for long periods of time.
Potential water damage is a key element of concern for homeowners who leave a second property for long periods. For example, a power failure and loss of electricity in the winter might result in frozen and broken pipes in a vacated summer house. An unsuspecting homeowner or renter could cause a flood by turning on the water. Home monitoring systems, such as the FloLogic System
, are designed to provide remote monitoring of the water flow in a home. A sustained flow of water, whether from a pinhole leak, running faucet or flooding appliance, prompts the FloLogic System to send an alarm and shut off the water supply, so the homeowner can identify and address leaks before major damage occurs.
Many insurance companies offer reduced rates to homeowners who install the FloLogic System. Find out more about how the FloLogic System can give you peace of mind as you manage your vacation home by visiting www.flologic.com
In addition to preventing water damage, owners of second homes can protect their property with these other simple strategies:
Protect the Pipes
For second homes in areas where the temperature dips below freezing, reduce the risk of a frozen pipe by leaving the heat running at 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Homeowners also should consider draining toilets, pipes and hot water tanks before leaving a vacation home for a long absence.
Protect Your Property
Be sure all windows and doors are locked and skylights and ventilation shafts are closed. Bring outdoor furniture inside. Secure bikes, boats and other similar items in a garage or shed. Move electronics, such as TVs and computers, away from windows.
Prepare for Power Surges
Unplug electrical appliances, including toasters and washing machines, for safety in case of an electrical surge.
Manage Your Mail
Be sure the post office has the correct forwarding address and the date on which to start forwarding your mail to an alternate location.