June Croissette
HomeMy ListingsView Area Listings•  Foreclosures•  Short SalesInside ToursMortgage InfoCommunity InfoSchool InfoHelpful LinksAbout MeContactLoginBlog
RE/MAX 440   June Croissette
440 South West End Blvd, RT 309  Quakertown, PA  18951
Office Phone: 215-538-4400    Phone: 215-538-4400 Ext. 1210  Fax: 267-354-6834  Cell: 215-872-4966
jcroissette@remax440.com

My Blog

Cranberries Have Health-Promoting Properties

November 26, 2014 5:46 am

Cranberries are more than a holiday favorite, given their remarkable nutritional and health benefits. A new research review published in the international journal Advances in Nutrition provides reasons why these tiny berries can be front and center and not just a side dish. The review authors conclude that cranberries provide unique bioactive compounds that may help reduce the incidence of certain infections, improve heart health and temper inflammation.

"Hundreds of studies show that the bioactive compounds found in cranberries improve health," said lead author Jeffrey Blumberg, PhD, FASN, FACN, CNS, Director of the Antioxidants Research Laboratory and Professor in the Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. "For example, the polyphenols found in cranberries have been shown to promote a healthy urinary tract and exert protective benefits for cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions."

Cranberry Health Benefits Extend Beyond Urinary Tract Health

The authors cite data that shows the cranberry may improve cardiovascular health by improving blood cholesterol levels and lowering blood pressure, inflammation and oxidative stress. Cranberries have been shown to help support endothelial function and reduce arterial stiffness. Together, these benefits may promote overall health and functioning of blood vessels to help slow the progression of atherogenesis and plaque formation, which can lead to heart attacks and stroke.

Need Fruit? Eat More Cranberries

While all fruit contributes necessary vitamins and minerals to the diet, berry fruits offer a particularly rich source of health-promoting polyphenols. Because of their tart taste and very low natural sugar content, sugar is often added to cranberry products for palatability. Even with added sugar, cranberry products typically have a comparable amount of sugar to other unsweetened fruit juices and dried fruit products. Additionally, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans asserts that the best use of calories from added sweeteners is for improving the palatability of nutrient-rich foods, as is the case when adding sugar to cranberries. As an additional option, non-nutritive sweeteners are used to produce low calorie versions of cranberry products. Americans can help increase their fruit intake by incorporating cranberries and cranberry products into their diet and there is no need to wait for the holidays – cranberries can be enjoyed year round – fresh, frozen, dried, or in a juice or sauce.

"While we look forward to more research to better understand how cranberries affect our well-being and longevity, we know that including cranberries and cranberry products in a healthy diet is a great way to increase fruit intake," said Dr. Blumberg.

Source: www.CranberryInstitute.org

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

Top Black Friday Shopping Tips

November 26, 2014 5:46 am

This year, with many stores planning to open super-early on Thanksgiving, the turkey may not even be cooked, never mind cold, before bargain-hunters are out hitting the stores. For those hoping to scoop up the best Black Friday buys this Thanksgiving weekend, Consumer’s Report suggests adopting these savvy shopper tips:

Be prepared
– Study the ads beforehand. Many retailers advertise their in-store specials early, so check a Black Friday-focused website such as bfads.net or blackfriday.info to see where the best deals are.

Shop online first – Before you brave the crowds, check to see if the retailer is offering the same or even better deals on its website. Some retailers offer online sales during Black Friday week that include many of the same deals to be offered in-store. There may even be some online-only specials, like no-cost shipping.

Use social media – Check the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of your favorite stores or brands to see if they're offering discount incentives when you "like" their page or follow them.

Get appy – Load your smart phone with a few comparison-shopping apps, such as ShopSavvy or ShopKick, that let you compare prices while you're in the store. If you see that an item is cheaper at another store, try showing that price on your phone to a store manager and see if he or she will match that deal.

Check the return policy – You may find it’s different for a Black Friday special. Are all sales final? Is there a shortened return or exchange policy? Can you get a refund or only store credit? What about a restocking fee on a returned item?

Check the warranty – Some manufacturers offer "derivative" models during promotional periods like Black Friday. Be sure you can live with the warranty terms being offered.

Avoid buying pricey accessories – An easy ways to blow your great deal is to pad the deal with pricey accessories. This is where retailers make their money, so avoid the hard sell at point of sale.

Avoid bait-and-switch tactics – Sometimes, retailers will advertise a great deal on a certain TV but denigrate it once you're in the store, hoping they can push you to a more profitable model. Stick to your budget and resist efforts to ‘upgrade’ you to a model that may not be such a great deal.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

Turkey Day Plumbing Tips

November 25, 2014 12:01 am

The day after Thanksgiving is the single busiest of the year for many plumbers. Big holiday meal preparation and cleanup can lead to a lot of unwanted waste in the kitchen drain and garbage disposal. Also, holiday house guests who require additional clothes washing, showers and toilet flushes put a strain on household plumbing.

"Often, the case is that a house already has partially clogged drains that go unnoticed, until holiday guests arrive and overwhelm the system," said Paul Abrams, Roto-Rooter representative. Hectic houses full of people and frantic hosts quickly and easily lead to plumbing problems throughout the holiday season. "Even more problematic is that virtually every traditional Thanksgiving dish is a supreme drain clog culprit," Abrams continued.

Thanksgiving hosts can avoid a visit from their plumber over the holiday weekend by following these clog-preventing tips:
-Never pour fats or cooking oils down drains. They solidify in pipes. Instead, wipe grease from pots with paper towels and throw in trash.
-Avoid putting stringy, fibrous or starchy waste in the garbage disposal. Poultry skins, celery, fruit & potato peels, for example, cannot be sufficiently broken down.
-Make sure the disposal is running when you put food into it. Don't wait until it's full to turn it on.
-For homes hosting weekend guests, it's a good idea to wait ten minutes between showers so slow drains have time to do their job.
-Never flush cotton balls, swabs, hair or wet wipes down a toilet. They don't dissolve and will cause clogs.
-Try to address any plumbing problems before the holiday and before guests arrive. However, in holiday emergencies, don't hesitate to ask up front about extra holiday service fees. As always, know your DIY limits. Often, minor plumbing problems turn into plumbing catastrophes if not handled properly.
Source: Roto-Rooter

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

RREIN RC - How to Avoid Overspending during Thanksgiving

November 25, 2014 12:01 am

While Thanksgiving may be intended as a day to give thanks for everything life has to offer, many Americans view it as a day to overcook, overeat, and overspend. Below are a few tips you can use to practice moderate spending and eating, so that you don’t break your budget—or your belt--in order to enjoy the celebration.

Here are five tips to follow so your Thanksgiving is fun, but not expensive:

1. Don't go in cold turkey
– Plan a realistic budget well in advance, one that considers what you can really afford to spend on the holiday (in cash), not what you'd "like" to spend.

2. Think like a Pilgrim – The fairytale version of early Thanksgivings included a focus on saying thank you, and not trying to impress those in attendance, so be modest and frugal.

3. Remember the trimmings – not the stuffing, the decorations! Don't buy them, make them! Look online and you'll find easy-to-make, inexpensive ways to decorate your home and table.

4. Ask everyone to give thanks – Ask family and friends to bring a prepared dish, dessert or the wine, and build those items into your budgeting and planning.

5. Involve the natives – Invite your children, or some who may be attending, to prepare decorations, easy-to-make snacks, or lead after-dinner games rather than spend on entertainment.

Source: www.InCharge.org

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

How to Safely Handle Leftover Meals

November 24, 2014 6:10 am

Many families enjoy eating leftovers from dinners and dining out as a time-saving and budget-friendly meal. It is important to remember that leftovers need to be properly handled to help reduce the risk of food borne illness. Illness can be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.

Handling leftovers

  • Wash your hands before and after handling leftovers. Wash all utensils, dishes and work surfaces with hot soapy water.
  • Keep foods out of the danger zone, between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria. Throw away any cooked food left in the danger zone for more than two hours.
  • Never rely on your nose, eyes or taste buds to judge the safety of food. You cannot tell if food is contaminated by its look, smell or taste. When in doubt, throw it out!
Cooling leftovers
  • Refrigerate or freeze all leftovers within two hours to minimize the chance of bacteria growing.
  • Refrigerate all hot leftovers promptly in uncovered, shallow containers so they cool quickly.
  • Very hot items can first be cooled at room temperature and then refrigerated once the steaming stops.
  • Leave the lid off or wrap loosely until the food is cooled to refrigeration temperature.
Storing leftovers
  • Always use a clean container or leak-proof plastic bag to store leftovers.
  • Meat from large cooked birds should be cut, deboned and stored refrigerated or frozen for safety.
  • Keep different types of leftovers separate to prevent cross contamination.
  • Don't overstock the refrigerator - allow cool air to circulate freely.
  • Eat refrigerated leftovers within 2 to 4 days, or freeze them for later use. The recommended refrigeration times may vary slightly, depending on the food. Follow these guidelines to be safe.
  • Label the leftovers so you can identify the contents and include the date, to make sure they aren't stored too long.
Defrosting leftovers
  • Thaw frozen leftovers in the refrigerator or using the "defrost" setting on your microwave. Make sure leftovers are completely defrosted before reheating.
  • Consume or cook the leftovers immediately after they have thawed.
Reheating leftovers
  • When reheating leftovers, cook to a safe internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Use a digital food thermometer to check the internal temperature.
  • Bring gravies, soups and sauces to a full, rolling boil and stir during the process.
  • Discard uneaten leftovers after they have been reheated – don't reheat leftovers more than once.
Reheating in a microwave
  • Use only containers or plastic wrap designed for use in the microwave.
  • Loosen the lid or wrap to allow steam to escape.
  • Stop the microwave midway through reheating and stir the food so that the heat is evenly distributed. Rotate the plate several times during cooking if your microwave does not have a rotating tray.
Source: Health Canada

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

Ceilings: Your Fifth Wall Has Design Potential

November 24, 2014 6:10 am

(BPT) - Many homeowners don't consider ceilings part of their interior design, and it shows. Most are expanses of bland white paint. But savvy do-it-yourselfers are converting these blank canvases into interesting and functional design elements that accent a room's decor, create a cozier space or disguise problems commonly found on this fifth wall.

Updating a ceiling is one of the easiest and budget-friendly ways to freshen a space. Dana Vento, DIY expert and popular home renovation blogger, recommends tackling a ceiling project that can be quickly and easily finished over the weekend. Here are her tips:

Warm up with wood. There's a reason wood flooring is so popular - it tends to warm up a room and add character. The same goes for ceilings. Real or engineered wood panels can extend your sense of style in any room. That's because they come in a wide range of tones, textures and patterns to suit any decorating style, from rustic to mid-century modern to contemporary.

Go beyond vanilla.
For those who want to add a splash of color, the ceiling holds special allure. Painting the ceiling the same color as the walls (or one shade lighter) can make a small room feel larger. A bright color, say yellow or pink, could enliven a child's room, while a sky blue ceiling creates a more soothing ambiance. Black ceilings have their own design advantages, dramatically defining a dining area in an open floor plan, for instance, or enhancing the enveloping atmosphere of a home theater.

Add shimmer. Love the look of metals? Consider today's pressed metal ceiling tiles. They're far easier to install than their antique ancestors, and the light-refracting properties of copper, brass and lacquered steel can help raise the ceiling visually in any room.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

Consumers Eager to Adopt Smart Home Automation

November 24, 2014 6:10 am

A recent survey conducted by leading luxury smart home technology company Savant® reveals that more than half of consumers in the United States believe that home automation will be an everyday features in less than 10 years, and nearly one-fourth say that the technology will be an everyday feature in less than five years.

The survey further found that control/ease of use (69 percent) and convenience (58 percent) were the most important features for consumers when purchasing a new technology. Cost savings (41 percent) and safety and security (35 percent) were cited as the two primary considerations among consumers for the adoption of smart home automation systems.

Other findings include:
- When considering the purchase of a new technology, consumers ranked the following attributes as very important:
  • Ease of use (37 percent)
  • Convenience (38 percent)
  • Seamless integration (28 percent)
  • Low environmental impact (24 percent)
  • Personalization (32 percent)
- Nearly half (47 percent) of consumers rate personalization as extremely/very important when purchasing new technology.

- Women (49 percent) are more likely than men (34 percent) to find low environmental impact as extremely/very important when making a technology purchase.

- Consumers 50 or older (77 percent) are more likely than all other age groups to find simple control/easy to use as extremely/very important when purchasing new technology.

- Consumers between the ages of 35-49, along with those aged 65 or older, are more likely than younger consumers (18-24) to rank “cost savings” as their top consideration when purchasing new technology.
Source: Savant

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

December Deals May Trump Black Friday Savings

November 21, 2014 6:46 am

According to ShopAdvisor, procrastination may be just the ticket for those seeking the hottest holiday deals. A recent survey points to December 18 as last year’s best day to snag low prices in-store and online. The virtuousness of patience was further borne out by data showing last year's post-Black Friday discounts reaching double digits, even for some of the most coveted brands.

Surprisingly, 42 percent of the products tracked by ShopAdvisor were actually priced higher on Black Friday than in the four weeks leading up to it. Luxury goods remained undiscounted from November through January.

Other noteworthy findings:
  • The average discount was 17.5 percent on December 18 versus less than 5 percent on Black Friday.
  • Discounts were 30 percent deeper weekdays than on weekends from after Black Friday through the holiday shopping period.
  • While discounts continued from December 26 through New Year's Day, the deals were not as strong as those offered on December 18.
"The question becomes, are retailers planning to backload deals again this year? The perception of a stronger economy may embolden them to behave that way," says Scott Cooper, CEO, ShopAdvisor. "What is now clear, if it wasn't already, is that Black Friday is more about sport than savings – consumers competing for real deals on just a handful of limited quantity doorbusters, not widespread season's-best pricing."

Source: ShopAdvisor

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

Inspect Your Car before Heading Home for the Holidays

November 21, 2014 6:46 am

Before you pack up the car to head home for the holidays, make sure your vehicle is ready for the journey. Conducting a thorough vehicle inspection will help you avoid the inconvenience and potential safety hazards of breaking down miles away from home.

"It's easy to remember to get your family ready for the holiday festivities, but what about preparing the car that's going to get you there?" said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council. "Having a pre-inspection performed on your car will give you peace of mind as you travel and help make your journey safer."

Before leaving home, the Car Care Council recommends a check of the following, often overlooked, items: tires and tire pressure, brakes, hoses and belts, air filters, wipers, exterior and interior lighting, and fluid levels, including engine oil, windshield washer solvent and antifreeze/coolant.

"A pre-trip inspection provides the opportunity to have service repairs made at home by your own trusted technician who knows the vehicle, and helps reduce the chance of costly and dangerous trouble on the road," said White.

The Car Care Council also recommends that drivers keep important telephone numbers in their cell phone or glove box in case of a breakdown or travel emergency. Vehicles should have a roadside emergency kit that includes items such as a first aid kit, a tire-changing jack, a tire pressure gauge, jumper cables, a flashlight and a blanket.

Source: Car Care Council

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags:

Household Financial Priorities Reflect Economic Improvement

November 21, 2014 6:46 am

According to a recent report by Bankrate.com, Americans' feelings about job security, comfort level with debt, net worth, and their overall financial situation all showed improvement compared to one year ago.

For the third consecutive year, Americans' top financial priority is getting caught up on bills or staying current on living expenses. Nearly half of Americans say that they are most concerned with getting a handle on their bills.

Staying current or getting caught up on bills was the most common priority across all age groups, but highest among those ages 50-64. Americans age 65 and older were more likely than any other age group to say providing financial assistance to family members or friends was their top priority. Other commonly cited top financial priorities include paying down debt (22 percent) and saving (17 percent).

Savings, however, are still a weak spot for Americans, with nearly one-third of Americans saying they're less comfortable with the amount of contributions to their savings.

Source: Bankrate

Published with permission from RISMedia.

Tags: