• Summer

    8 ways your family can cure cabin fever

    It’s not always easy to be at home with kids day after day, but with a little creativity, you can beat cabin fever. Whether you’re in your own backyard or venturing out, there are plenty of things you can do to have fun together. Make sure to choose activities that are age-appropriate and that follow your current local guidelines for social distancing. Here are just a few things to try. Get out in nature Visit nearby parks or scenic areas for fresh air and exercise. Choose locations that aren’t crowded, so social distancing isn’t difficult. Bring toys for the kids, like balls, kites, hula hoops, scooters or bikes. Play tourist…

  • Home Improvement,  Staging

    3 ways to give your home’s curb appeal a boost

    Homeowners only get one chance to make a first impression. That’s one chance to impress potential buyers, family, friends and neighbors with the first thing they see: your home’s exterior. From simple upgrades to meticulous landscaping projects and replacing an outdated roof, there are dozens of options to enhance the appearance of your home’s exterior. Improvements don’t need to break the bank or take a year to complete. By focusing on three simple areas, you can change the entire look of your home that you’ll appreciate every time you pull into your driveway. 1. Landscaping The key to curb appeal is balancing what makes you happy with what works in…

  • Buying a Home

    Do the math: Buying a home now may be more affordable and save some cash

    At a time when the strength of the U.S. economy and personal finance is on most renters’ minds, low down payment mortgage options are more appealing than ever. With mortgage interest rates being at historic lows, it is possible to qualify for a home loan while keeping a rainy day fund. Private mortgage insurance (MI) has been around for decades and helped over 1.3 million homebuyers last year. It is a temporary cost that allows for a down payment as small as 3% of the purchase price. While some borrowers wait until they save 20% for a down payment, the added years of saving can translate to higher interest rates…

  • Holiday

    National Poppy Day helps brighten veterans’ outlook during COVID-19 crisis

    With COVID-19 changing the way we interact, gather and celebrate, many holidays will look different this year, including Memorial Day. But that doesn’t mean servicemembers, veterans and their families need our support any less. In fact, several members of the American Legion Auxiliary (ALA) are doing their part to protect and honor veterans during the pandemic. Sandy Deacon of ALA Unit 37 in Ames, Iowa, delivered food to an Iowa veterans home along with other ALA members, and Carol Kottom of Unit 270 in Buffalo, Minnesota, has been sewing masks for veterans. “Our veterans spent part of their lives looking out for us. It’s time we help take care of…

  • Summer,  Yard & Garden

    Simple ways to beautify your outdoor space and enjoy time at home

    Fortunately you don’t need a lot of time or space to create an outdoor escape you’ll enjoy for months to come. Here are some simple, affordable ideas for transforming any space into an outdoor oasis where you can release stress and reconnect to Mother Nature: Step 1: Pull up a chair A place to sit and relax is essential so you can fully enjoy your outdoor space. This doesn’t mean you have to order a whole new set of patio furniture though. Just one or two chairs along with a table for your favorite beverage can be an inviting start. You could even update a worn outdoor chair with a…

  • Garden,  Spring

    Top Gardening Trends for 2020

    Blooms and beyond: The top gardening trends for 2020 Whether you have an outdoor oasis or are a nurturing indoor plant parent, gardening offers a multitude of benefits and has the power to brighten up any space or mood. Spring is the time to plan what plants to grow, and with some expert insight on top trends, you’ll be gardening with success and enjoying the results. The team at Ball Horticultural Company shares the top trends for 2020, guiding plant lovers at all levels to confidently grow a garden, big or small. Indoor Garden Rooms Mother Nature has made her way indoors with more people planting inside their homes in…

  • Home Decor

    Spring into 2020 home design trends

    The year is already off to a stylish start, but there are plenty more trends that will be coming into focus in the coming months. Designers around the country are exploring a dynamic mix of patterns and unexpected colors, plus creative new approaches to flooring, accents and lighting. Here are the go-to trends making a splash in design studios and homes this spring. Florals are blossoming Just in time for spring, floral designs are bringing walls and furnishings to life. Floral wallpaper is coming back in a big way, turning rooms into virtual gardens. But not to worry — the latest designs are not your grandmother’s wallpaper. Intriguing, modern and…

  • Home Insurance

    How to protect your most valuable asset

    How to pick the right homeowners insurance (BPT) – If you’re like many Americans, your home may be your most valuable asset. That’s why it’s so important to protect it with homeowners’ insurance. Plus, it’s probably a requirement of your mortgage. Setting up your coverage the right way starts with understanding the major parts of a homeowner’s policy. Consider the following information and tips from the USAA Home Learning Center: Dwelling protection This protection covers the cost of repairing or rebuilding your home if it’s damaged or destroyed. When you select the amount, keep in mind the cost to rebuild your home is different from its market value. It’s important…

  • Home

    Preserving analog photos is easier than ever

    When it comes to passing down family memories, there’s nothing like the visual impact of a photograph. Photo frames, custom ornaments and similar memorabilia make some of the most popular gifts. Family photos can remind us where we came from, preserve valuable information and bring up warm, fun and often comforting thoughts of times and people gone by. Sometimes, they just make us smile. “Capturing a moment in time isn’t just about securing a memory – it can help you appreciate your life more every day,” advises Gretchen Rubin in Good Housekeeping. “Photos tilt your memories toward the good experiences you’ve had, simply because you’re more likely to take photos…