Tips for Preparing for Your First Family Road Trip

The great road trip has fast become a quintessentially American tradition, accounting for nearly 39% of all vacations taken. From the Pacific Coast Highway to Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia (where I grew up traveling to), there are a plethora of gorgeous natural areas to drive through and stop for a few days. Road trips appeal to America’s love of independence and freedom. It can be extremely liberating to let your wishes be your guide, and to take every day as it comes, sleeping in your very own RV or booking local hotels with charm. If you are keen to take your very first road trip and you need some advice for traveling with children, keep these considerations in mind and enjoy a fun-filled bonding experience with those you love.

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Choosing a Destination that Appeals to Everyone

Because a road trip enables you to visit more than one site, ask everyone in your family to come up with their own ‘bucket list’ that covers the general area you are visiting. If everyone feels like they have chosen at least one top destination, the trip can be a little more satisfying for everyone involved. There is one proviso when it comes to lists, of course. Some places are particularly magical and may entice you to stay for longer than envisioned. For this reason, you should keep your bucket lists fairly ‘loose’ and agree to slightly alter your route if you become enamored by a new spot.

Selecting and Preparing Your Vehicle

If you are traveling with children (and let me tell you: you haven’t travelled with children until you’ve traveled with 3-year-old twins!) or simply taking a road trip spanning more than a long weekend, a spacious RV-style vehicle will certainly make travel easier and more convenient. On the one hand, items like strollers, toys, and other essentials can be easily stored, as can sports equipment and sportswear – including items like boots, thick coats, and the like – without worrying about space. Check your vehicle maintenance book and ensure that your oil and filter are clean/new, change your spark plugs if need be, ensure spare tires are in good working order, and obtain extra items such as car belts and other essentials. If a maintenance check is due in the next few months, pull up the date slightly to ensure you don’t go over the stipulated mile count. 

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Why Keeping Your Eaves Clean Is Essential To Your Home’s Health

As long as you don’t have to deal with leaks in your home, you may not give your roofing system that much thought. The fact is, your roof and eaves have a very important function in keeping your home safe and healthy. When one of those things isn’t operating as it should, damage can build up and cost you a bundle in repairs or replacement. And we’ve been keeping a close eye on all things roof at our home, since it’s hurricane season, we live in Florida, and we JUST BARELY missed that nasty monster storm Dorian.

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Your eavestrough system is designed to redirect water and snow runoff away from the delicate seams of your roof. When water isn’t displaced in the right way, leaks can form, wall damage can happen or your foundation can even crack. My husband, who works in the home insurance industry, sees these kinds of issues often!

Real estate experts like Scott Haveson will tell you that the health and quality of your gutter systems should always be in excellent working condition, especially if you are thinking about selling. Potential buyers can easily spot issues that could mean larger problems when your gutters aren’t functioning properly. To maintain the health of your roof it’s important tokeep your eaves cleaned out and in good repair.

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5 Tips for Keeping Your Home Feeling Bright This Fall

No matter where you are in the country or what the weather is like, there’s an approaching feeling of fall in the air. Summer is coming to a swift close, and the carefree feeling of vacation season is fading away. Pumpkin spice products are starting to appear on grocery shelves, even if it’s still hot and humid.

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Before you get the end-of-summer blues, make some plans to brighten up your home this fall with these tips:

Bring Your Garden Indoors

Spring and summer are when our flowers bloom and our gardens thrive—but what about the fall? Sure, you can find some beautiful late bloomers at great prices this time of year, but your outdoor space still won’t have the pizazz it had when in full bloom. Save yourself the “garden gloom” and find a few easy-to-care-for houseplants to brighten up your indoor rooms!

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Effective Tips for Cleaning Up Your Home After Water Damage

In 2017, Hurricane Irma passed directly over our house in Central Florida. It was a pretty scary time for us, but in the end, we were thankful that the only major damage to our property was some wind-driven rain that entered our back bedroom and soaked (then molded) the carpet. As a result of all that, I’m very familiar with issues that unwelcome water can cause to a home. (It also stays in the forefront of my mind because my husband works in homeowners insurance and is always sharing his nightmare claim stories with me!)

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So let’s look at this a bit more closely:

There can be several causes for flooding and water damage, including torrential rainfall, sewer issue, broken sump-pump, burst pipe, or damaged appliance. No matter the cause, the effect is devastating and unbearable. Water damage can ruin your furnishings, the structure and foundation, and other prized possessions occupying your house. 

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Prepping & Cleaning Your Home For A New Puppy

***SIGH*** You guys. We got a new dog.

I don’t think I’ve mentioned it here on the blog yet, but about a month ago, we lost our Taffy girl.

She was SUCH a great dog. We adopted her from the SPCA, and when we got her home, we discovered she was already completely trained. She barely bothered the cat. She survived through us bringing twins home. She was the happiest dog ever. We miss her SO VERY MUCH.

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Yet, we are dog people. We adopt, we don’t shop. And my husband has been going on FOREVER about getting a chocolate lab, like the one he grew up with.

So…without further ado…meet Trixie!

She’s another rescue. She’s about a year old, from what we know. She has the sweetest disposition, but still she spent her first week with us destroying the house. Cue doggy school to learn some manners. She’s doing much better now!

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