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Your March Home Maintenance Checklist

by homewarranty.com


Spring is in full swing, and when spring arrives, many of us get the urge to clear out the cobwebs of winter by bringing the glow of the new season into our homes. Here are some April DIY projects you can do for under $100.


Get Moody with String Lights - String lights give most outdoor spaces instant mood lighting. Hang them over your porch, patio, or create a gathering spot in your backyard by hanging them from fences or trees. Spaces lit by string lights often become an "extra room" during summer entertaining.


Hide an Unsightly Meter - Your neighbor with the perfect front yard may be hiding a secret. If a vent, pipes, or meter detracts from the natural beauty of your garden, consider disguising unsightly attributes with large, faux rocks that fit snugly over the top to keep your garden looking award-worthy.


Update Your Kitchen Hardware - Replacing your kitchen and bathroom hardware is inexpensive, simple, and can be done with a small budget. Replace cabinet handles, doorknobs, pulls, and rods in each room for a fresh new look. We often overlook the hardware we use every day, but replacing tired drawer handles can freshen up a room in no time.


Install a Pot Rack - Pot racks are both beautiful and practical. Consider a half-circle option that takes up minimal wall space and can be easily installed with only a few screws; just be sure you find the studs!. The true benefit is the time you will save by not digging through cabinets and drawers trying to find the right pots and pans.


Switch Up Your Shower Curtain - This is a "no-brainer." A quick, cheap purchase that can dramatically change the look of your bathroom.


Double Your Porch Mats - Give your porch a new, luxurious look by layering a standard porch rug - like a welcome mat - beneath a large, outdoor area rug.


Swap Out Your Shower Head - Install low flow showerheads. They can save as much as 14,000 gallons of water a year which, in turn, helps you save big on your energy bill. There are tons of options, so look for the WaterSense label. A WaterSense label assures the showerhead uses no more than 2 gallons per minute.


Paint Your Front Door - Painting your front door doesn't cost much and can make a significant impact. Experts find that homes with charcoal, smoky-black or jet-black front doors sell for a premium.


Replace Your Mailbox - Consider updating your old mailbox. Your mail carrier will thank you for it, and it’s another little touch that will make a big difference to your front porch. Most are relatively inexpensive and now come in unique, fun, and beautiful styles.


Replace Your Registers - Many of us stare at the same heating and AC floor registers for years without giving them a second thought. If your floor vents are beaten up, broken, or scratched, switch them out for new ones. Floor registers are available in many styles and finishes, from decorative steel to wood

like oak and maple - and will give your place a quick upgrade in no time.


 

Let Your Compressor Breathe


April is a great month to check the vegetation around your AC compressor. Compressors require airflow in order to run efficiently. Make sure to keep at least two feet of space between the unit and plants and structures. You should also allow enough space for a technician to have access to your AC unit if necessary. Finally, keep at least five feet of clearance between the top of the unit and any trees above.


 


Tips for Storing Kitchen Tools and Utensils


For most of us, our kitchen utensils fall into two categories: cooking and dining - with both types being used by the family daily. Here are a few tips to help you spend more time in your kitchen cooking and less time hunting for things.


1. Drawers - Organize cooking utensils in shallow drawers. There's no need for dividers as long as you organize the utensils in shallow drawers. Deep drawers just create a jumbled mess.


2. Custom drawers - Custom drawers are an optimal solution and might use two levels of storage.


3. Pot rack hooks - Use hooks for hanging cooking utensils that you go to often. Hooks are also a great spot to hang your most-used spatulas, large spoons, and other cooking utensils.


4. Wall hooks - If you don't have pot rack hooks, simple wall hooks can do the trick.


5. Countertop utensil holders - Countertop solutions are best for those with abundant counter space. Countertop utensil holders are super easy to access - and can even add color or flair to your kitchen.


6. Portable kitchen island - Again, if you have floor space, islands are the perfect place to store both silverware and cooking utensils.


 

Spring Vegetables and Egg Ramen


Ingredients

• 1 leek

• 6 pieces of fresh sliced ginger

• 4 unpeeled cloves of garlic

• 1/2 cup of soy milk (optional)

• 6 cups chicken broth (fresh or store bought)

• 4 servings ramen noodles

• 2 cups of corn

• 4 eggs

• Salt & Pepper

• Olive oil

• Sesame oil for drizzling


For garnish (optional) Pea tendrils, scallions, squash blossoms


Directions


1. Cut 1 leek into fourths and then halves. Sauté garlic, ginger, and leeks with olive oil over medium heat until dark brown about 20 minutes.


2. Add 6 cups of chicken broth (fresh or store bought) and simmer together with the sautéed


3. For a perfect medium boiled egg, gently add eggs to a boiling pot of water and cook for 7 minutes. Transfer to an ice bath for 4 minutes, making sure it is completely cool before removing it. Peel and then slice.


4. Cut scallions as desired.


5. Sauté two cups of corn (or your favorite vegetables!) with olive oil and a little sea salt. Other

vegetables that we like to use are spinach, pea tendrils, sliced onions, and bean sprouts.


6. Cook ramen noodles until they are slightly firmer than the final consistency you want, since they will continue cooking after you remove them from the water. Final texture should be not to hard and not too soft.


7. Assemble bowl! Add noodles, broth and finish with toppings such as scallions, pea tendrils, squash blossoms.


Recipe courtesy of: Food52.com


 







Updated: Mar 21


Your March Home Maintenance Checklist

by homewarranty.com


Spring is the perfect time of the year to start preparing your home for the warmer months ahead. Get outside and assess any damage your home may have sustained during the wet winter weather. Here are a few tasks to get you started on your March Home Maintenance Checklist.


HVAC

Preparing your HVAC system ready for the summer months is one of the most important tasks to check off our list. Replace your air filters to help your AC do its job. Replace your air filter every 90 days. Check your outdoor AC unit. Remove debris, leaves, and dirt from around the unit.


Detectors

Install new batteries in carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Batteries should be replaced semi-annually. Dust all detectors and test them every season.


Ducts

Check your air ducts for cracks or poor connections to keep your cool air indoors this summer where it belongs.


Sump Pump

Check your sump pump for any blockage or debris that can keep your pump from doing its job this summer.


Check Your Deck

Use a garden hose to spray down your deck using a mild detergent. If the water does not bead up, it's probably time to re-seal it with a maintenance coat.


Foundation

Talk a walk around your house and check out its foundation. Look for cracks or leaks that might let water in. Experts say if you can squeeze a dime into a foundation crack, it's time to bring in a specialist.


Shingles

When spring arrives, it's time to for an expert to examine your roof shingles. Look for lost, cracked, loose, or buckled shingles that need to be replaced. Make sure the flashing around skylights, chimneys, and vents is secure.


Gutters

Clogged gutters may not seem like a big deal, but when water is not allowed to flow from your roof and be directed away from your foundation, serious damage can occur to your roof. Depending on your house, you might want to consider a professional to tackle the chore safely.


Pests

Warmer weather brings pests that would like nothing more than to cohabitate with you. Inspect caulking around windows and doors, replace torn window screens, and check your attic for evidence of critters.


Check Stucco and Bricks

Look for chipping on the face of the brick, which allows moisture to penetrate. If your brickwork shows signs of efflorescence (white deposits caused by salt during water evaporation), The Brick Industry

Association recommends dry brushing these bricks in dry weather to remove them. If bricks show signs of water damage, it's time to seal them.


Tackle one or two jobs a week, and your house will be ready to take on summer.


 

Yes, You Can Start Those Seeds!


We know you're chomping at the bit to get out to your garden, so start indoors. According to the Urban Farmer Seed Catalog, March is the perfect month to get your tomato and pepper seeds started indoors. This ensures the seeds will be ready to plant when you get your garden going. Depending on where you live, this is a great time to start planting cold-weather vegetables like beets, cabbage, broccoli and carrots.


 

Stay Safe With 10 Essential Items Every New Home Should Have


1. Smoke Detectors and Carbon Monoxide Detectors should be the first thing you should have in place.


2. Window coverings not only provide privacy and security, they help with energy efficiency.


3. New door locks guarantee you're the only person walking around town with keys to your front door.


4. Fire extinguishers are another potentially life-saving piece of equipment that every home should have.


5. Home security systems are more available and affordable than ever before.


6. Smart doorbells allow you to see via WiFi who is at your front door from wherever you are.


7. Security cameras can keep an extra eye on what's going on inside your home.


8. A tool kit will allow you to make necessary repairs around your new house as needed without borrowing from your neighbor.


9. A heavy-duty flashlight is a must for every home, in fact, invest in more than one.


10. A safe or lock box is essential for keeping irreplaceable documents or certificates safe from theft or fire.


For full article visit: safewise.com


 

March 18 Is National Sloppy Joe Day!


Ingredients

1 Tbsp butter

1 tsp olive oil

1 lb. ground beef

1/3 green bell pepper, minced

1/2 large yellow onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 Tbsp tomato paste

2/3 cup ketchup

1/3 cup water

1 Tbsp brown sugar (or less, if you prefer)

1 tsp yellow mustard

3/4 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)

Dash of hot sauce (optional)


Directions

Heat butter and oil in large skillet over MED/ MED-HIGH heat. Add beef and brown, breaking apart into crumbles as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Transfer to colander to drain. Add onion and bell pepper to same skillet and cook 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds or so, until fragrant. Add beef back to the skillet and add tomato paste. Stir well. Add ketchup, water, brown sugar, mustard, chili powder, Worcestershire sauce, salt, red pepper flakes (if using), and black pepper. Stir well to combine.


Cook over MED heat for 10-15 minutes, until mixture has thickened to your liking. Remove from heat and serve over toasted buns.


Photo & recipe courtesy of: chunkychef.com The Best Homemade Sloppy Joes


 








February 18-27, 2022 - The Greatest Treasure Hunt in the Pacific Northwest! Visit Stanwood and Camano Is

land and search for unique hand-blown glass treasures by world-renowned glass artists, Mark and Marcus Ellinger.


Visit my Facebook page for clues @CamanoKerri and check out the event's website for the official guide!

www.thegreatnwglassquest.com


Happy Questing!



 

You're Going to Love These 2022 Design Trends

by homewarranty.com


Design trends tend to grow from several factors, and the pandemic continues to influence design trends. With more of us spending more time at home, a few of 2022 trends should come as no surprise.


Warm Interior Colors - Warm tones and textures have found a way into our kitchens. These include paint colors like beige, natural mid-tone colors for cabinets and flooring. 2022 will see light-colored wood furniture at its peak, with added stone textures like granite, onyx, and marble. Green has been trending for a couple of years, and with good reason. The color green is associated with nature and tends to de-stress us. Focus on warms shades of green such as olive to help bring the outdoors in.


The Home Garden - The global trend of indoor gardens and plants gained solid footing during the world's quarantine. Indoor plants make us feel comfortable and relaxed. Remember, choose plants that will happily share your indoor space, such as the low-maintenance Marble Queen Pathos, or the low-light loving ZZ Plant. Avoid bringing in too many plants to avoid the room resembling a greenhouse. Choose 2 or three areas to display plants - depending on the size of the space.


Rounded Shapes - Although the trend began over a year ago, 2022 will see forms with a soft, feminine touch. Rounded shapes will trend in architecture, furniture and décor. Look for sofas, chairs, lamps, poufs, and tables to lose their right angles. Curved furniture makes a powerful and artistic statement that can break up the harsh lines of any room with its originality. You can find rounded shapes in the glamour of Art Deco design.


Minimalism - Designers again point to the pandemic for furthering the trend toward minimalism. During 2021 , many of us felt the urge to purge our home from unused belongings to find more space to engage in daily activities like work and school. Decluttering and organizing your home can bring with it lower stress levels, and even better - more space. Embracing minimalism doesn't just mean emptying your home. Design experts suggest focusing on furniture or other pieces that are interesting in shape or color.


Convertible Furniture - Move over Murphy Bed. This space-saving trend is gathering steam in 2022. Consider Elephant in a Box's "working sofa" that converts one of its armrests into a functioning home office desk. Powell Company Wales offers a transformable chair that goes from ottoman to chaise lounge to a twin-size sleeper - depending on your needs. Another popular piece is Ikea's FRHETEN sleeper sofa

chock full of secret storage space that's easily accessed with the lift of a cushion.


Multi-functional Spaces - Some of us may recall our parents or grandparents entertaining in a separate formal room usually off-limits to children - an unfathomable concept to our families today. Almost every room offers the opportunity to carve out a homework or reading nook. Use ladders, shelving, or furniture as room dividers to separate space and offer privacy within a common room in your home.


 

Patch Up That Small Hole in Your Drywall Like a Pro


It's time to stop covering that hole in your drywall with a painting you don't even like. It's not as complicated as you might think to patch a small hole. Pick up a wall-repair patch kit from your local hardware or home improvement store. The repair kit is going to include a mesh adhesive patch, a putty knife, a small tub of spackling paste, sandpaper, and a sponge. Protect your floors. Cover the area beneath the wall you will be repairing. Next cover the hole in the drywall with the mesh pushing down air bubbles. Cut away any loose strings. Using the putty knife, apply a thin, flat coat of the spackling paste to hold the mesh in place. Smooth the texture with a damp sponge. Otherwise you may wait until the spackling paste dries and sand it to a smooth finish. Let the area dry for about 24 hours to get an idea of whether you see a dent in the area you have repaired. If so, just add another coat of spackling paste and check it again after a day. Once you've repaired the hole to your satisfaction, paint the repaired spot to match the rest of the wall. Voila, you no longer need to hide damaged walls with awful paintings.


 

Homeowner Tip: Protect Your Home's Entryway


Whether it's rain, snow, or sleet, tracking moisture into your home's entryway can take its toll on your floor.

It's a given that you place an all-weather mat outside the door, but be sure to keep a mat inside the door as well. Consider a shoe or boot rack in the entryway to offer your family a place to park wet shoes somewhere other than indoors. Install sturdy hooks for wet jackets and gloves.


 

It's Cherry Month - Make a Versatile Cherry-Rhubarb Chutney


Ingredients

• 7 cups chopped fresh or frozen rhubarb (about 2 pounds)

• 2 cups packed brown sugar

• 2 cups fresh or frozen pitted tart cherries, chopped

• 1 large tart apple, peeled and chopped

• 1 cup red wine vinegar

• 1 medium red onion, chopped

• 1 celery rib, chopped

• 1 tablespoon finely chopped crystallized ginger

• 3 garlic cloves, minced

• 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

• 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


Directions

In a 6-qt. stockpot, combine all ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, 25-30 minutes or until mixture has thickened. Transfer to covered containers. (If freezing, use freezer-safe containers and fill to within 1/2 in. of tops.)


Refrigerate up to 3 weeks or freeze up to 12 months. Thaw frozen chutney in refrigerator before serving.


Photo & recipe courtesy of: tasteofhome.com