3 Healthy Island Smoothies

3 Healthy Island Smoothies

A healthy smoothie makes for a great snack or dessert. You can combine your choice of ingredients into a meal that is portable and delicious.

If you are looking to make a tropical smoothie, you will want to incorporate exotic flavors. Here are some recipes for healthy island smoothies that will provide you with a tropical taste you’ll love.

Island Dream Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup coconut water
  •  1-2 tbsp. raw virgin coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp. organic spirulina powder
  • ½ cup frozen pineapple
  • ½ frozen banana
  • 1 packet natural Stevia
  • Handful or ice cubes

Directions: Blend and serve.

Coconut Acai Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk or coconut milk
  • 1 frozen packet of acai pulp
  •  2 tbsp. coconut oil
  • 1 packet Stevia powder
  • Optional: Dash of vanilla or coconut flavoring

Directions: Blend and serve.

Coconut Almond Smoothie Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tbsp raw almond butter
  • 1 tbsp raw virgin coconut oil
  • Dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp cocoa powder
  • Optional: 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • Handful of ice cubes

Directions: Blend and serve.

One thing these recipes have in common is that they all use coconut oil. Not only will coconut oil give your healthy island smoothies and great tropical flavor, but it is also beneficial to health.

Coconut oil is considered to be a superfood due to its high content of fatty acids that have a positive effect on health. Here are some of the benefits it can provide:

  • Support burning fat 
  • Satiates cravings
  • Helps raise good HDL cholesterol
  • Protects healthy-looking skin, hair and teeth

If you are interested in adding more coconut oil to your diet, you want to buy it from a reliable source. That way you can feel confident that the oil you’re using is pure and chemical free.

NOW Foods is recommended as a great source for coconut oil as well as other types of natural foods and supplements.

NOW Foods got its start back in the 1940s when the natural food and supplement industry was just beginning to evolve. Since then, it has grown with the industry to provide the very finest in health products targeted to boost wellbeing. The coconut oil the company sells is chemical and solvent free and designed to provide optimal health benefits to consumers.

Healthy island smoothies can provide a relaxing siesta during your busy day. Coconut oil is the secret ingredient when it comes to adding an exotic flavor and a healthy kick. How will you be using this superfood to improve your quality of life?

Teach To One Education Method Solves Common Teacher Frustrations

Teach To One Education Method Solves Common Teacher Frustrations

Educators are unfortunately well acquainted with some of the common struggles or frustrations faced in today’s classroom. From managing parent concerns over Common Core to making sure no child is actually left behind, teachers have a full plate. Teach To One actually eases many of these issues in innovative ways.

Maybe you can adopt some of these practices in your own classroom. If not, this article will at least deliver a greater understanding of the Teach To One method. It could be a gateway to the future of education.

What Is The Teach To One Method?

Teach To One is an innovative educational method that restructures classrooms and addresses individual students where they are at any given moment. It is flexible and adaptive because it is highly personalized.

Although individualized teaching methods often overload educators, Teach To One uses technology and unique grouped learning to actually reduce the load on teachers.

Instruction is broken into modalities represented by different sections within a single classroom. Students access an online portal to receive their daily lessons which build upon the ‘Exit Slip’ assessment they completed the previous afternoon. At regular intervals, students move from one area of the room to the next to receive one-on-one help or more traditional classroom instruction from a teacher. 

The method has been used primarily for math instruction and both students and teachers report tangible benefits.

Teach To One Solves Common Teaching Frustration #1: Technology Integration

While every skill students learn is important, we could argue that none is as vital as technological literacy. Computers are a part of everyone’s daily life and students must adopt familiarity with the technology they’ll face in higher education and the job market.

It’s no longer good enough to send students to a period of computer instruction. Additionally, teachers can’t always rely on parents to have computers in the household.

Teach To One: Math solves this concern by fully integrating tablet and Chromebook use in daily instruction. Students use this hardware to access their personalized lessons and take daily evaluations.

Furthermore, parents and students become familiar with a portal that gives them access to progress reports and easy communication with classroom instructors. Keeping all of this information in a centralized database makes it easy for supervisors and parents to track a student’s progress over a month, a year, or even their entire learning career.

Teach To One Solves Common Teaching Frustration #2: Teaching To The Least Proficient Student

One of the most valid complaints about standardized tests is that it forces teachers to teach to the least proficient student in the class. This creates the potential for more advanced students to grow bored. This situation is also dangerous because it holds the most proficient students back from progressing even further while others lag behind.

It’s also difficult to address the different needs of each student without singling them out in some way. When struggling students feel the pressure of attention or fear being ‘found out’ about their struggles, they’re less open.

This very concern can deplete the joy of learning. This risks their test scores now and their willingness to participate in the future. In short, performance-based anxiety can hinder a student’s ability to embrace learning.

Teach To One Solves Common Teaching Frustration #3: Students Under The Iceberg Suffer Silently

To understand this concern it helps to dive into something known as The Iceberg Problem

Many students are arriving into middle school with unfinished learning from prior years. This is especially problematic in math because it is so cumulative. For example, working with percentages can be challenging if you have never learned decimals.  But education policies signal to teachers to focus exclusively on grade-level material. Instructional time

is limited. It can be challenging for teachers to address each student’s unfinished learning while also covering the grade-level material—all in a single school year. As a result, unfinished learning accumulates and persists, hindering the ability for many students to become ready for college and career. We call this The Iceberg Problem Only a small portion of an iceberg’s mass is visible, while most of it remains hidden below the surface. – Iceberg Problem Offical Website

A nonprofit group called New Classroom Innovations Partners identifies a roadmap for addressing the cumulative failures that lead to The Iceberg Problem.

  • Measure learning growth with adaptive assessments that measure gains on an individual student level from grade to grade. 
  • Modify accountability systems to measure growth over a multi-year span, heavily considering transition grades and establishing additional growth indicators. 
  • Launch Math Innovation Zones within schools allowing individual schools to embrace a new approach that caters to students’ proficiency and future-readiness. 
  • Make teacher support and training a priority. 
  • Establish a new educational future where assessment and accountability go deeper than grade-wide standardized tests. This can happen if we create a culture that expects more.

Teach To One was created to address each bullet point in the New Classrooms’ ideal plan.

Teach To One Solves Common Teaching Frustration #4: Large Classroom Size

Teachers can relate to the challenges of reaching each student as classroom size steadily increases. School districts may not have the budget to hire more teachers or the space to create additional sections of the same class.

Teach To One pairs individualized plans that students access through technological hardware with personalized instruction. It breaks students into smaller groups within the classroom and opens the door to aids with specialized training who can lend a helping hand at a lower cost to districts.

Former Professor Emeritus of Education and researcher, Lary Cuban, details the physical classroom structure in a Teach To One math class in his blog.

Taking over the school’s library, the large space is demarcated into four separate rooms each with a sign of a local university (e.g., San Jose State, San Francisco State). Each room is designed with Teach To One space consultants. has long tables–each movable chair clearly numbered–capable of seating up to six students.

There is much noise from different segments of the room since library shelving units separate the spaces. Students, teachers, and aides went about their business amid ebb and flow of sound across the divided space. One space is used for a teacher-directed lesson on scientific notation,, another space is used for students to use their Chromebooks to work on the individually designed lesson on scientific notation (based on their results of work the previous day recorded on their online Exit Slip…); the third space is for collaborative work between and among students and teachers.

The fourth space is used for a teacher-directed lesson on circumference. This morning, the seventh and eighth graders are distributed between the four “rooms” spending a half-hour in each space before moving on to the next “modality.” For each segment of the 90-minute class, students sit at different tables with different classmates. – Lary Cuban

Breaking Away From The Status Quo

This review briefly explores the Teach To One experience for educators. Specifically, it’s obvious how this unique teaching style addresses many common frustrations that teachers struggle with every day.

Rather than leaving teachers to innovate their own solutions while already straining under the pressure of their jobs, Teach To One provides a structure. This structure is based on research and informed projections in the hope of transforming the American education system.

Follow Teach to One on Twitter:

3 Perks of Using Corporate Event Planners

3 Perks of Using Corporate Event Planners

It is true you can pull off a great event. However, the only problem is that you may not possess the right skills and what it really takes to manage that. You see, it involves a lot. For your event to be full of flair, you need to have a booking agency to take care of the most crucial parts of your event. 

Aspects of entertainment are usually very critical when it comes to event planning. This is because not all entertainers can make your event a hit. For it to be memorable enough, you need to have the best artist, corporate speakers, comedians, and other talented guys. But do you know why you must hire a corporate event planner? Hire the perks associated with that. 

Timely Planning

You can decide to plan an event by yourself. However, due to tight job or office schedules, you may not be able to achieve a lot. If you hire a corporate event organizer, they will create a successful event in a timely way. You see, it is their job to plan events. This means no other commitments that may arise and destruct them from achieving their goals. Even when things take an unfortunate quick turn, the event planners have special skills on how to go about it. 

You Can Save a Lot

You might have heard that event organizer is damn expensive. That is not true. You see, when you do it yourself, chances of getting better venue charges and discount on certain packages are minimal. 

But an event planner has the skills to negotiate for better charges because they already have a network of professionals and people have partnered with to achieve their goals. That way, you will have saved a lot. This could have been different from having done it all by yourself. You could end up using more cash than it had been allocated. 

Marketing Services

One of the crucial perks of using corporate event planners is that they offer marketing services for your upcoming event. So, if you intend to launch new branches on that occasion, you will probably need to have the message received by as many as possible. 

Also, you would want to market your event so that many people will be aware of the new outlets where they can do their shopping. Therefore, instead of doing it yourself, consider seeking the services of event planners. They will offer marketing services for your event. This is an offer to leverage. 

Bottom line

You have to be certain the event you want to organize is going to be successful. One of the ways to achieve success is to hire an expert to handle all the relevant aspects s you pursue your daily endeavors. Do not be swayed away by those that say event organizers are expensive to hire. 

They can even help you save a lot on your event. Also, since they have a wide network of the guys they work with, they will negotiate for reasonable prices, and your event will be successful.

Most Dangerous Roads in the US

Most Dangerous Roads in the US

Did you know there are roughly 2.7 million miles of paved roads in the United States? That’s enough to stretch around the globe 110 times. While those roads can be fun to drive, there are also a series of incredibly dangerous highways that claim over 30,000 drivers each year

If you have a road trip planned in the near future, then it may be in your best interest to avoid these roads at all costs. These are the most dangerous roads in the United States.

Highway 99, California

Spanning a total of 424 miles, Highway 99 travels through California’s Central Velley. Changing from four lanes to two as enters rural territory, this stretch of road retains an average of 0.62 fatal crashes each mile. That doesn’t include non-fatal car accidents

U.S. Route 1

Notably the longest vertical highway in the United States, Route 1 stretches all the way from Maine to Florida. Its 2,369 miles allow it to be the most dangerous highway in Florida, Maine, and Maryland. In just one decade, America’s first route claimed over 1,000 lives. 

U.S. Route 550

Nicknamed the “Million Dollar Highway,” Route 550 passes through San Juan Mountains in Colorado. Willed with sharp turns and winding mountain roads, both of which lack guardrails, plenty of drivers have accidentally taken the plunge over its many edges. 

Oregon Coast Highway

While this highway starts in Los Angeles and ends in Washington, the dangerous portion lies on Oregon’s coast. With an average of 34 fatal accidents per year, these 363 miles are ones you may want to avoid. The scenery is beautiful, but the winding roads are treacherous when wet. 

Interstate 285

Atlanta’s I-285 also makes this list. Known as The Perimeter, this 63-mile loop links every interstate in the city. Given its location, that means an intense amount of traffic. With its sharp turns and interchanges, there are accidents here on a daily basis. 

James Dalton Highway

Opening to the public in 1974, this Alaskan highway was featured in the television series Ice Road Truckers. Ice is a common hazard, but what makes this road so dangerous is that it is almost entirely remote. There are only three towns along the way and the road is patrolled by helicopters to keep an eye out for accidents. 

Interstate 4

This 132-mile stretch leads from Tampa to Daytona Beach. It averages almost 1.5 fatalities each mile, earning it the ranking of one of the most dangerous interstates in the country. Personal injury attorneys are quick to point out that the dangers on this road come from Florida’s laid-back texting and driving laws. 

Interstate 17

Located entirely in the state of Arizona, this interstate offers stunning views from Flagstaff to Phoenix. That beauty, however, is coupled with extreme heat and an average of 0.84 deaths per mile. Take into account its 176-mile stretch, and that’s a lot of fatal accidents. 

US-83

Finally, there’s US-83. This road stretches across the Canadian border before heading through Middle-America to Mexico. Its length contributes to its dangerous rating, but the Texas portion of the road holds the highest number of vehicular deaths with 26 fatal crashes a year. The Texas part of US-83 has held these high numbers for over a decade.  

Best-selling cocktails in the world

Best-selling cocktails in the world

The world of cocktails is ever evolving. Mixologists and bartenders are forever pushing the boundaries of this realm of drinks as they craft new and exciting concoctions. The question remains, however, do people prefer the classics or these new creations? What are the best-selling cocktails in the world? 

As it turns out, people do love the classics. While bars continue to sell variations on these old standbys, people crave the familiarity of a perfectly crafted cocktail. Here are the top sellers from around the globe. 

Old Fashioned

The number one drink on any continent remains America’s Old Fashioned. This bourbon or rye cocktail is mixed with Angostura bitters, a few dashes of water, and is muddled with a sugar cube. If you’re looking for the real deal, it should also be finished off with a citrus rind. 

Negroni

The Negroni has earned its spot in second place for five years in a row now, with almost 20% of bars worldwide saying it’s their most-served drink. This cocktail calls for one parts gin, vermouth rosso, and Campari. An orange peel acts as garnish. 

Experts and car accident attorneys alike warn drinkers to be careful with this one. It’s so easy to knock back that you almost forget you’re drinking at all. So, take it easy and gauge yourself if you’re planning to drink Negroni all night. 

Whiskey Sour

Coming in third is the whiskey sour, which is popular thanks to its ability to be sweet and sour all at the same time. This simple yet delicious drink calls for whiskey, sugar, and lemon juice. You can also add in a dash of egg white if you prefer your drink to be creamier. 

Daiquiri 

Another simple mix, the Daiquiri combines simple syrup and lime juice with white rum. However, bars around the world serve up their own variations with several types of juices sweeteners. In most cases, you’ll find this cocktail finished with a lime rind. 

Manhattan

Straight from New York, this cocktail is sold at 40% of bard worldwide. It uses a sweet red vermouth mixed with rye whiskey and Angostura bitters. To make it traditional, a maraschino cherry is used for garnish. 

Dry Martini

Ever popular, the dry martini almost always finds itself in the top ten. There are dozens of ways to make a martini, but the dry variant calls of one-part dry vermouth and six parts gin. It is also garnished with three green olives. 

Due to the high alcohol mix in the dry martini, it’s advised to sip on this cocktail. More than two in an hour sitting is often enough to have you fail a sobriety test. As always, drink responsibly before you find yourself in need of a DUI defense attorney

Espresso Martini

If you want a less alcoholic option, try the seventh most popular cocktail in the world. An espresso martini combines vodka with espresso, coffee liqueur, and sugar syrup. It’s sweeter and more decadent than it’s dry cousin. 

Margarita

Finishing off this article’s list at number eight in worldwide popularity is the margarita. It remains the most popular tequila cocktail, but you might have had this drink without one key ingredient. A traditional margarita combines tequila with the lime juice, simple syrup, and salt rim you love, but also includes orange liqueur.

Getting Your SweatZone Glow On

Getting Your SweatZone Glow On

If you aren’t a big fan of sweating, you’re in good company. After all, it causes your skin to become clammy, and you might not feel very fresh.  It even smells at times, but it also makes you feel like you have accomplished something big.

You might be surprised to find out that sweating is actually a good thing. It can help your body rid itself of excess chemicals, including heavy metals, chemicals and bacteria. Sweat also can help wounds, scrapes and burns heal faster. Sweating also helps release endorphins, which can improve your mood. It’s also natural; sweating is nature’s way of cooling your body. 

But sweating earns the highest marks when it comes to physical fitness. In fact, it’s critical to a good workout. It can make you work harder, recover faster, and lose more weight.

Let’s take those one by one.

Getting A Harder Workout: Sweat helps your body maintain a healthy temperature. Because it keeps your core temperature from getting too high, you can work harder. A prevalent study of cyclists found that the hotter they were, the faster they cycled.

Healthier Recovery: Because sweating increases blood flow to your muscles, it can reduce the time it takes to recover from muscle strains. 

More Weight Loss: That’s what we all show up to the gym for, right? Whether sweating more actually makes you burn more calories is a hotly debated subject, but you can’t ignore the statistics. Typically, for every pint you sweat, you will lose one pound of body weight. According to a recent story in a running magazine, you will lose about 17 ounces during an hour run.

Long story short: The sooner you sweat, the sooner you reap the benefits. That’s why we created SweatZone, a topical gel that enhances your workout by insulating the sweat near your skin and creating a sauna effect. In other words, it helps you sweat more while you work out.

Here’s how it works: you apply the gel to your skin before any type of exercise. This helps insulate the sweat you produce in those areas, which allows your body to sweat even more. It’s great for everyone who want to work out and maximize their time. It’s great for every type of activity: running, walking, cycling, CrossFit and weightlifting. 

Although the product has been on the market for less than a year, it’s getting rave reviews. One recent client review pointed out that SweatZone “not only increased sweating, but it also created a slimming effect.” When applied it before a yoga session, the reviewer found that it was easier to achieve better pose postures. It also resulted in less joint clicking and restriction.

You can get SweatZone almost anywhere—including: www.shopsweatzone.com www.gomedzone.com or in the Sports section of Walmart.

Gyms and fitness centers, along with additional retailers, will be selling SweatZone shortly.

The Social Cloud Improves Your Communication And Your Productivity

The Social Cloud Improves Your Communication And Your Productivity

The cloud is everywhere and there’s no escaping it – not that we want to.  The cloud was created as a centralized management system for data; however, today, almost everyone uses it for a multitude of reasons.  Because of the cloud, we communicate differently, share data differently (whether that is visual or text-based), and so much more. Using the cloud means that, not only is our data protected, but also that it is accessible anytime, from anywhere. Whether it’s part of your personal technology strategy or just there because you are stuck with it, at the end of the day, we are all using it at home and at work.  No matter how many users you have accessing your information, storing it in the cloud means keeping it safe. Everyone from business owners (of every size) to individuals with huge iCloud storage files understands that the cloud makes our lives easier and far more secure.

When we use the cloud properly, we are enhancing our productivity for two reasons: first, because our data is stored in one unified location and secondly, because we are able to access it “on the fly” as needed.  And if you are one of the few people that don’t realize they are using the cloud, it’s easy to demonstrate that you probably are. For example, if you are using a Microsoft or Apple product, you’re using the cloud.  If you have an online accounting or even an online gaming program, you guessed it, you’re using the cloud. 

What you may not realize though is that each user modifies how they use the cloud themselves.  Every cloud experience is different, just as every person is different. And, each of us processes information differently as well.  Some of us are more visual, while others are more textual. By understanding this, we can begin to understand how using the cloud to our advantage is not only a time-saver, but also a productivity enhancer!   In fact, with the right attention to detail and setup, the cloud is actually the best insurance money can buy for our data stores. And yes, this even includes pictures and videos!

What you may also not realize is that the cloud enhances our security and reduces the risk of losing our data.  CIO.com and multiple publications have regularly reported that, “20% of cloud storage users recover from a site disaster in four hours or less. For those outside the cloud, a mere 9% of storage users can typically restore their information. For those that don’t use the cloud, this can be disastrous.”

This may not seem like a lot to you at first, but just think how it would be to lose pictures, graphics, documents and other files that cannot ever be recreated.  It is impossible to put a number on the value of those lost files. And it is partially for this reason that the cloud was created in the first place. Since its launch, the cloud has changed significantly.  Today, it’s a natural part of our everyday lives. In the beginning it was a purely a means of data and file storage. Today, there is Social Cloud Storage.

If you don’t know about it yet, you should! Social Cloud Storage, when used personally or professionally, offers a significantly higher rate of data engagement.  It enables the user to organize and personalize their files as they see fit. It also enables the sharing of files and information in a curated manner never seen before.  Between individuals or between departments in a company, Social Cloud Storage makes the cloud adaptable and shareable. The four cornerstones of Social Cloud Storage are: organization, access, control, and customization.

Now that you, the reader, have a better understanding of the cloud, and of Social Cloud Storage as well, it’s time to turn our attention to the two most commonly asked questions about it: bandwidth and cost.   Cost comes in two forms: inherent cost and bottom-line cost. Because Social Cloud Storage is user-friendly and easy to set up, the only inherent cost comes with the time spent setting it up the way you want your data and files archived. 

The real bottom-line cost, according to Arvind Raichur, CEO and Co-Founder of, MrOwl, comes with no cost and low-cost options. After studying the cloud industry and other related ones closely, Raichur and his team literally invented a new category for cloud-based technology applications called Social Cloud Storage™. 

Social Cloud Storage “enables the sharing of content directly out of your cloud storage to a community beyond your contacts. Users can share information, while creating communities of curated information through their own personal cloud storage.”

Raichur notes, “it’s all about enhancing communications and building a wider community where individuals feel heard, understood, and above all, connected.  And, it’s never been easier to share knowledge and resources because MrOwl offers unlimited storage for public content as well as 10GB’s of free private storage.”  Today, MrOwl enables users to store free, unlimited files in public branches, up to 20MB per file. As your files increase in size, moving to the company’s private storage offering is your best bet.

Choose The Right Type of Thermostat for Your Home

Choose The Right Type of Thermostat for Your Home

Your HVAC system is capable of doing a good job of keeping your home warm or cold, but it would really not be able to work at its best without a thermostat. The thermostat is the main control for your HVAC system and it goes a long way to influence its efficiency. 

Different thermostat models have additional features like energy reports, maintenance notifications, and the capacity to link with other devices in your home. You can always call in a professional who will be able to help you with the installation and repair of the thermostat for your HVAC system. In this article, you will learn about the various types of thermostats you can choose from for your HVAC system.


The Different Types of Thermostats

48d8885f87e5da5e717888bd1d2fd188.jpeg

Image via Flickr by czarcats

The different basic types of thermostats for your HVAC system are as follows:

  • Wi-fi Thermostats
  • Smart thermostats
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Non-programmable thermostats


Wi-Fi Thermostats 

Wi-Fi thermostats run on wireless networks. You can use your smartphone or computer to gain access to a wireless network. The wi-fi thermostat is perfect for those who want to control the temperature setting in their homes when they are not at home. You can adjust the thermostat and control temperature remotely via a wireless network.


Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats fit in with various automation equipment and tools in your home. After some time, it will be able to adjust the temperature in your home autonomously after learning the various living routines in your home. After learning when you come home, it will adjust itself based on these recorded conditions and gives your home the right cooling and heating conditions.

You can have access to smart thermostats via your smartphones, computer, or tablet connected to a wireless network. If you are tech savvy, smart thermostats can be a good addition to your home. Though the price can be on the high side, smart thermostats help you reduce energy costs; moreover, the comfort you receive will go a long way to making it feel worth it.


Programmable Thermostats

Most programmable thermostats have both daily and weekly settings. They can be preprogrammed to adjust the temperature in your home during the day or at night. You can also set it to a moderate temperature on days when you are away from home.

Climates with drastic temperature changes will find programmable thermostats very useful. They provide the convenience of not having to manually set the temperature for your home every morning and night.


Non-Programmable Thermostats

For those who are always at home, non-programmable thermostats can be a good option for their HVAC systems. You can always manually adjust the temperature to your choice. Unlike the programmable thermostat, you can’t pre-adjust the thermostat temperature setting.

Choosing a good and appropriate thermostat for you HVAC system will depend on a lot for factors. With the information above about the different types of thermostats that are available, you’ll have an easier time making the right choice for your home and lifestyle.

5 Fall Home Improvement Ideas

5 Fall Home Improvement Ideas

Now that the kids are back in school, you might have more time to focus on home improvement projects. Autumn is the perfect season for making preparations for the winter and addressing indoor and outdoor problems that you might have been putting off all summer. There are plenty of cost effective DIY projects you can tackle, and as for the big ones—this is an especially slow time for contractors so give them a call!

Clean Out the Gutters

bba1d1a8ef086a5edd0a872ecbed01b6.jpeg

Image via Flickr by Field Outdoor Spaces

Not a favorite task among homeowners, but cleaning out your gutters is a job that must be done—preferably before the frigid air makes it unbearable to be outside and up on a ladder. When you remove leaves and other debris from your gutters, water flows more easily and is less likely to make a detour into your house. A backed-up gutter also can cause damage to the roof. While you’re up there, consider installing mesh guards to prevent your drainage system from getting clogged up in the first place.    

Repair or Install a Deck

Now that the deck isn’t being used as often, it’s the good opportunity to address those much-needed repairs. Does your deck have a loose or falling apart railing, ripped deck boards, or a faded finish? These problems may get worse over the winter months. Therefore, these are excellent reasons to call in a professional contracting company. Typically, these fixes can be done in less than a day. If you’d like to get a head start on next year’s warmer months, it’s not too late to get a new deck project going. Cedar, perhaps?

Install a Programmable Thermostat 

This small, DIY quick-fix is not only energy efficient, but money saving too. Putting in a new, programmable thermostat will allow your home to be on a smarter heating/cooling schedule, which is especially great when you’re not home for long periods of time. Your heating bills won’t be such a shock and the temperature in your home will always be at your level of comfort. 

Paint the Front Door

Painting the front door takes but an afternoon, yet the results last much longer. You can make your door look newer simply—and its curb appeal—will benefit too. Such a project is not advisable during the sweltering heat, as the paint will dry faster than you can apply it. Aim for 50 degree weather. Any colder and the paint won’t adhere properly. 

Power Wash the Exterior 

If you’d like your home to look newer, but don’t want to invest in an exterior paint job just yet, consider giving your home a power wash. The transformative results will amaze you. Your house exterior can collect a lot of dirt and debris over the years—nothing that a professional can’t handle!

There are many smart, cost-effective projects you can take on during the autumn season. Not only will these fixes improve the value of your home, but make it a more pleasant place to live when the colder temps roll in. 

Chef and Author, David Ruggerio Discusses His Best Recipe for a Horror Novel

Chef and Author, David Ruggerio Discusses His Best Recipe for a Horror Novel

David Ruggerio is a well-known chef and New York restaurant owner. He mastered his culinary skills in France at its leading restaurants. At the age of twenty five, David rose to fame. He received raved reviews as he worked as a chef at the legendary New York eatery, La Caravels. In 1995, he was recognized as one of the thirteen best young chefs in America.

David Ruggerio is also the author of two cook books. His third book, A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters will be releasing soon. He gives us the best recipe for the makings of a horror novel and more.

David Ruggerio

What made you want to become a horror author?

Though I did not attend college, and my education was limited, throughout my life, I sought refuge from a horrific childhood through reading. In the worst of times, I escaped my surroundings by leaping into the story I was reading at the time. Now, that I’m no longer working behind the stove, I returned to books, but this time, I became the storyteller instead of the reader. I don’t consider myself a true writer, instead, I’m a storyteller in its truest sense.

Did being a famous chef influence your writing?

My fame as a chef took me on a tour of the world. I saw cultures, people and food that I never knew existed. I learned things that later had a great influence on my storytelling. In addition, hosting a television show hones your ability as a storyteller, these were great advantages for me when I decided to trade in my knife for a pen.

Find on Amazon

What is the best recipe for a horror novel? What are some of the twists and turns, scary things, or elements that you added to yours?

I wish I had a secret recipe, but my books begin with either a real place, an actual event, or a nonfictional person. Though fiction, I think using these realities adds a special flavor to my books.

When I decided to pick up the pen, I first read Stephen King’s book on writing. I adopted his formula, I began my first book and allowed the characters within to take me on a journey. I never planned or anticipated any twist or turn within it, and because of that, I have great joy writing about them when they occur!

What is your favorite part of this time of year?

Without a doubt, autumn. With the change of the leaves, the chill in the air, this season reminds me of a saying—“Ghost and Goblins come out to play in October’s final day.”

Where did you come up with the idea to write A Wistful Tale? What inspired you?

I am a true horror aficionado and living in New York, one of my favorite places to visit is Sleepy Hollow. I adored Washington Irvings’ novel and it inspired me. On a trip upstate, I found the village of Brunswick, and I came upon the towns’ abandoned cemetery that some say is the most haunted place in America. It didn’t take much more after that!

What books are you reading this Halloween?

My grandmother left me an original copy of Dracula from 1897. I’m going to enjoy Bram Stocker’s words in its most wonderful original text!

Stay tuned for the release of David Ruggerio’s award-winning horror novel—A Wistful Tale of Gods, Men, and Monsters. It is now available for pre-order on Amazon, Target, and Barnes and Noble, and will be released on October 31, 2019. You can find and read more about David on his website.