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3 tips for better parent-teacher communication

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If you have a good relationship with your children’s teachers, it can have a positive impact on your kids’ academic performance. Here are three tips to help foster effective communication with your children’s educators.

1. Respect their communication style
Some teachers are at ease using text messaging, social networks, and email to communicate with parents. Others are more traditional and prefer to rely on phone calls and scheduled meetings to relay important information. As much as possible, respect their preference and avoid inundating them with messages. While they’re invested in helping your child, they need to manage the rest of the class too.

2. Be courteous, calm and clear
Be polite when interacting with teachers and don’t undermine their authority in front of other people, especially your children. If you’re angry or frustrated with the teacher, try to calm down and then explain your position clearly. It’s likely that there’s been a misunderstanding and that a level-headed discussion will ease the situation.

3. Attend parent-teacher meetings
Parent-teacher meetings allow you to find out how your children are doing in school. These meetings, which typically take place once or twice during the school year, are beneficial as some topics are easier to discuss face to face. Plus, attending these meetings lets your children know you’re invested in their schooling.


If you follow these tips, you should be able to establish an open dialogue with your children’s teachers.

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How the envelope budgeting method works

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The envelope budgeting method uses a cash-based approach to help people who struggle with sticking to a budget to be more mindful of their spending. It allows you to see how much you spend physically.

Start by dividing your income into different spending categories, such as bills, groceries, savings, gas, and entertainment. You can tailor your categories to your specific situation. However, don’t forget to create envelopes for irregular expenses, such as taxes, insurance, and gifts.

Then, assign a certain amount of cash to each category. There’s no set amount. Your dollar amount in each envelope should reflect your needs and personal goals. For example, if you spend $100 weekly on groceries, put $400 in the monthly grocery envelope.

Once the envelope is empty, you can’t spend any more money in that category until the new budget period begins. If you have money left over in any of the envelopes, you can either keep it in that envelope for next month or remove it and add it to your savings account or emergency fund.


This method can easily apply to a budgeting app if you no longer use cash to pay bills.

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Touchless appliances for the kitchen

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If you have a smart speaker in your home, you may already benefit from hands-free technology while you cook. You can use voice commands to set a timer or listen to an online recipe. Today, there are plenty of touch-free appliances that promise to optimize hygiene while increasing efficiency in the kitchen.

Sensor lights
Indoor motion detector lighting offers the same convenience and security as the lights you install on your home’s exterior. In the kitchen, you have the added benefit of keeping messy hands off of light switches. The automatic shut-off feature saves energy, too.

Faucets
Touchless faucets are available in various styles, finishes, and price points. Some even have voice control to let you adjust water volume and temperature.

Dishwashers
Hands-free dishwashers come with doors that you knock to open. They include safety features to prevent accidental activation when a person or pet bumps into it.


Refrigerators
Handleless refrigerators open with the touch of a knee or elbow. Since current models are built-ins, you must hire a professional to install them.

Cabinets
The classic touch-latch cabinet door is a simple hands-free solution you can install yourself. Get a professional to build a sophisticated electronic cabinet closure system for a more high-tech approach.

Get in touch with a local contractor to ensure your new appliances are installed and working correctly.

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Four perfect locations to hold your wedding

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Are you looking for a wedding venue that reflects your spirit as a couple? Here are four venue ideas that may inspire you.

1. Yacht. Space limitations may force you to limit your guest list to your absolute nearest and dearest. However, the fresh air and breathtaking views will ensure your intimate wedding at sea is truly memorable.

2. Public building. The stunning architecture of older buildings lends itself well to the decorum of a wedding. Imagine a couple of book lovers getting married in a stately library or a pair of art lovers tying the knot in the gallery where they had their first date.

3. Converted industrial building. Many old factories and warehouses have been given new lives as event spaces. Although you may need to spend more on decorations to offset the industrial backdrop, the funky surroundings will give your celebration playful energy.


4. Vineyard or brewery. Are you particularly fond of a local brewer or winemaker? A romantic vineyard is perfect for a sophisticated celebration. Go with a casual brewery space for a laid-back vibe.

Don’t leave your venue booking to the last minute. Take time this week to explore options near you.

When booking a unique venue, don’t forget to check with local authorities regarding crowd size, noise restrictions, and alcohol service regulations.

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Four things to know before buying an induction cooktop

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Traditionally, gas ranges have been the first choice for dedicated home cooks, but that’s likely to change. Induction cooking is gaining steam in the U.S. market, and according to Forbes, it will overtake gas and electric ranges and cooktops within a couple of decades. But before you make the switch to induction, there are a few important things you should know.

1. Induction stoves are more expensive to purchase than gas or electric. The higher price often pays off in the long run since induction models use about 10 percent less energy. Induction users save time, too, since cookware heats faster and more evenly.

2. You might need new cookware. Induction works by activating iron particles to create heat, which limits users to stainless steel or cast iron. Copper, ceramic, glass, or aluminum cookware will stay stone cold.

3. Induction is safer than gas or electric. If safety is a concern — think small children or curious pets — then induction might be a good pick, with no open flames and a cooktop that always remains cool since only the cookware heats up.


4. It takes some getting used to. Induction burners require precise placement of the cookware to activate the heating element, and shorter cooking times mean that you’ll have to adjust your usual routines.

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Five ways to add a tropical twist to your decor

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Does the cold winter make your dream of a sunny getaway? These five decorating tips will make you want to throw on a bathing suit, sandals, and sarong despite the sub-zero temperatures.

1. Choose evocative materials and textiles. Transport yourself to a picturesque fishing town on the coast by decorating your space with furniture and rugs made of materials like rattan, driftwood, linen, and bamboo.

2. Dress your walls and windows in summer colors. Purchase artwork and window coverings in tropical colors like pure white, azure blue, bright yellow, fuchsia pink, emerald green, and turquoise.

3. Use outdoor furniture in your home. Turn your home into a beachside resort with outdoor lounge chairs, picnic tables, and hammocks. You can also use your prettiest beach towels as throws.


4. Accessorize your space. Utilize ocean-inspired accent pieces like buoys, fins, surfboards, anchors, lobster cages, and seashells to create a vacation-like atmosphere.

5. Arrange a variety of plants. Create a beachy vibe with natural or artificial tropical plants and flowers like palms, cacti, and hibiscus. Arrange a basket of exotic fruits as a centerpiece.

Visit your local stores to find summer vacation decor.

 

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Expert tips for managing an inheritance

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The gift of inheritance almost always comes with a loss. Consequently, it’s normal to feel confused, upset, and overwhelmed. The last thing you want is to make financial decisions while in shock. If needed, put the assets in a high-interest savings account to give yourself time to grieve. That way, you won’t regret rushing into any major purchases.

Once you’re ready to take the next step, hire a financial adviser to help you create a plan about how to work your inheritance into your life. For example, you could pay off debt, save for retirement, or put money into your children’s higher education fund. You may also want to establish an emergency fund with at least three to six months of living expenses.

Moreover, don’t feel bad about using some of the inheritance money to treat yourself. After all, your loved one wanted the best for you. For instance, you could use some money to take a trip or buy your dream car. The most important thing is to be intentional about how you spend money.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Aders Insurance Agency, Inc (State Farm)

Aire Serv Heating and Air Conditioning

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Avery-Hess Realty, Marilyn King

Beaver Tree Services

Blake and Co. Hair Spa

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Card My Yard

CBM Mortgage, Michelle Napier

Christine Binnix - McEnearney Associates

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Explore Art & Clay

Family Preservation Services

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Independent Business Alliance

First Baptist Church

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Fussell Florist

G&M Auto Sales Inc

Garcia & Gavino Family Bakery

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

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Habitat for Humanity

Groups Recover Together

House of Hope

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Key Move Properties, LLC

KW Solutions

Legal Services Plans of Northern Shenendoah

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Merchants on Main Street

Mountain Trails

Mountain View Music

National Media Services

Natural Results Chiropractic Clinic

No Doubt Accounting

Northwestern Community Services Board

Ole Timers Antiques

Penny Lane Hair Co.

Philip Vaught Real Estate Management

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Rotary Club of Warren County

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Cinemas

Royal Examiner

Royal Family Bowling Center

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Ruby Yoga

Salvation Army

Samuels Public Library

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

Shenandoah Shores Management Group

St. Luke Community Clinic

Strites Doughnuts

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The Institute for Association & Nonprofit Research

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

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Vetbuilder.com

Warren Charge (Bennett's Chapel, Limeton, Asbury)

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Warren County Department of Social Services

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Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

WCPS Work-Based Learning

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

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Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

Jan
28
Sat
9:00 am 2023 Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
2023 Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Jan 28 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
2023 Women's Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Registration: January 3-25, 2023 Register online: www.frontroyalwomenswellness.org
7:00 pm Harp Magic with (Eli)zabeth Owens @ Honey and Hops Brew Works
Harp Magic with (Eli)zabeth Owens @ Honey and Hops Brew Works
Jan 28 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Harp Magic with (Eli)zabeth Owens @ Honey and Hops Brew Works
Join Honey and Hops Brew Works for an evening of music magic featuring original songs & fresh covers by Harpist and Songwriter (Eli)zabeth Owens! Influences include Kate Bush, Bjork, Joanna Newsom, and Caroline Polacheck. (Eli)zabeth[...]
Feb
1
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 1 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
4
Sat
1:00 pm Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
Feb 4 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Front Royal Bluegrass Music Jam @ The Body Shop
New Bluegrass and traditional music jam the first Saturday of each month starting Feb. 4th, from 1pm till 4pm. All levels of playing invited to attend.
Feb
6
Mon
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 6 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
7
Tue
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 7 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
8
Wed
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 8 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Feb 8 @ 6:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Bingo to support the American Cancer Society mission, organized by Relay For Life of Front Royal. Every Wednesday evening Early Bird Bingo at 6:30 p.m. Regular Bingo from 7-9:30 p.m. Food and refreshments available More[...]
Feb
9
Thu
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 9 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]
Feb
10
Fri
8:00 am Chocolate Crawl
Chocolate Crawl
Feb 10 @ 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
Chocolate Crawl
The Front Royal Chocolate Crawl is back for its 3rd year, and it is BIGGER than ever. With over 20 businesses on our list, you’re guaranteed to find something amazing (to purchase) and meet some[...]