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5 great reasons to go camping

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Planning a holiday? Here are five great reasons to swap the hotel room for a tent.

1. You’ll reconnect with nature. When was the last time you explored the woods or saw the night sky filled with stars? Leave behind the hustle and bustle of the city and rediscover the serene beauty of the natural world.

2. You’ll spend quality time with loved ones. Camping presents the perfect opportunity for you and your fellow campers to unplug. Leave smartphones, computers and other devices at home, and make new memories with your loved ones instead.

3. You’ll be able to bring your dog(s). Fido is part of the family too, so why not include him in this year’s vacation plans? Most campgrounds welcome dogs, and your pup is sure to enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

4. You’ll share invaluable life lessons. Teach your kids essential skills such as how to pitch a tent, start a fire and generally not perish without Wi-Fi. Camping is also an ideal time to teach them how to catch and cook a fish, be safe around wildlife and use a compass.

5. You’ll get plenty of exercise. Hiking, biking, swimming and canoeing are just a few types of exercise you can enjoy when camping. That said, if you’re envisaging sitting back and relaxing, there’s nothing stopping you from getting some well-deserved rest.

Camping is an affordable and low-key way to spend your summer holiday. You don’t need to venture far to have an awesome experience, and you’re sure to make memories that will last a lifetime.

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10 washable hygiene products

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Given the monetary and environmental costs associated with single-use hygiene products, switching to washable versions is a no-brainer. You can now easily find the following reusable items:

1. Tampon applicators
2. Sanitary pads

3. Menstrual cups
4. Cotton swabs
5. Diapers (including special swimming diapers)
6. Wipes
7. Facial tissues
8. Toilet “paper”
9. Incontinence protection
10. Makeup removal wipes

Most of these reusable items are offered in a variety of sizes and styles. But to reduce your carbon footprint as much as possible, be sure to privilege locally made products.

Be sure to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and sanitizing your reusable hygiene products. Other¬wise, they could present a health risk.

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How to survive a layoff

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If you’ve been laid off, it’s important to re-evaluate your finances. Here are some tips to help you manage the situation until you find another position.

Evaluate the situation
Review your savings and adjust your budget accordingly. List your recurring expenses, including those for your cable, cell phones, medications, rent and mortgage. Then, tally up what income you have, if any, and determine for how long you can make ends meet.

Decide where to cutback
You probably won’t be able to maintain the lifestyle you’re used to while you’re unemployed. Start by making sure you can cover essential costs, such as those for food, medication and shelter. Then, cut back on unnecessary spending (such as by terminating subscriptions or at least putting them on hold). You should also talk to your financial institution to see whether you can renegotiate bill and credit payments. It’s also important to avoid taking on any new debt.

Secure income sources
You’ll likely need to supplement your savings while looking for work. Don’t wait until you’re struggling to meet basic living expenses before looking into securing unemployment benefits. You may also want to consider getting a part-time job until you can find something more permanent.

For more advice, don’t hesitate to speak to someone at your financial institution, as they could help you find ways to minimize costs while you find work.

Be prepared
Experts recommend having an emergency fund with sufficient savings to let you live for three to six months. In addition, maintaining a strong professional network could make finding a new job much easier. Periodically updating your resume and attending networking events is a good idea, even if you aren’t expecting to be laid off.

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3 signs it’s time to update your plumbing

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Though the plumbing components in your home can work for years at a time without fail, they do have a limited lifespan. Here are three signs it may be time to update yours.

1. Murky water
Water that’s brown, yellow or otherwise tinted is usually cause for concern. It could indicate that there’s corrosion in the pipes. When this happens, minerals build up and cause pressure, which in turn can cause the pipes to burst.

2. Outdated pipes
Modern plumbing systems use PVC, copper or brass pipes. Older houses usually have pipes made of galvanized steel, cast iron or lead. Each material has a limited lifespan.

Copper can last up to 80 years. Brass, cast iron and galvanized steel, however, may be good for up to 100 years. Modern PVC pipes will hold for a maximum of 45 years.

If the pipes have outlasted their natural lifespan, it’s time to replace them.

3. Unpleasant odors
If you detect a foul odor coming from your tap, it could indicate that there is mold or mildew inside the pipes or in the wall around the plumbing. Not only is this unpleasant, but it could pose a health risk.

If your home is at least 60 years old, there’s a good chance that some of your pipes are exposed. If so, take a look at them regularly. If you spot any flakes, bumps or other signs of damage, it may be time to have the whole system inspected by a plumber.

If your home has lead pipes, you must replace them ASAP. Lead is highly toxic and can make you and your family sick.

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Five tips for a healthy retirement

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Staying active and healthy is essential if you want to make the most of your retirement. Here are some tips to help you enjoy your retirement for years to come.

1. Remain active. Physical activity is not only beneficial to your health; it’s also good for the morale and great for relaxing. Golf, gardening, swimming, walking, dancing, and cycling are all simple options. Find activities you enjoy and do them on a regular basis.

2. Take care of your health. Go for regular checkups and screenings for diseases such as osteoporosis, breast cancer, or prostate cancer. Don’t forget to have your eyes, hearing, and teeth examined as well. Quitting smoking would also be a good idea.

3. Eat healthy. Ensure that your diet includes enough protein, fiber, calcium, and vitamin D. Refer to the USDA’s MyPlate food guide for recommendations related to your age group (visit www.choosemyplate.gov).

4. Sleep well. To promote better sleep, avoid caffeine and cigarettes before going to bed, develop a bedtime routine, and try to always go to bed and get up at the same time, including on weekends.

5. Boost your memory. Here are some good memory strengtheners: physical activity; sleep and relaxation; games such as scrabble, Sudoku, crossword puzzles, and cards; an active social life; and intellectual work such as reading, writing, and analyzing.

By following these tips on a daily basis, you’ll help yourself stay healthy and you’ll be able to live your life to the maximum. You can enjoy your retirement to the maximum by taking good care of yourself.

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Small home? Maximize your living space!

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Is your home feeling cramped? Before you consider an addition, here are some ways you can maximize the space you have.

Repurpose space
Many people have parts of their home that are underused. Consider turning the attic into a guest room, a storage space into an office or a closet into a reading nook for the kids.

Design vertically
Use vertical space to free up more room. A loft bed in a kid’s bedroom provides space for a desk underneath. And shelving units can hold lots of items without taking up a ton of floorspace. You can even install a shelf above the bathroom door to store toilet paper and cleaning supplies.

Head outdoors
An outdoor living room allows you to gain extra square footage without sacrificing indoor space. You may not be able to use it year-round, but you’ll undoubtedly appreciate it in warmer months. Install a firepit or outdoor heaters so you can keep using it once the weather gets colder.

If you live in a small home, it’s also important to think carefully about what you own. By purging what you don’t use, you’ll free up extra room.

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4 financial questions to ask before tying the knot

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Financial conversations aren’t very romantic, but they are important. Here are four questions about money to ask before getting married.

1. What is your current financial situation?
Perform a thorough assessment of your combined finances laying out all assets and debts. This is also a good opportunity to check your respective credit reports so you know where things stand going in.

2. What are your goals?
Define your short- and long-term goals. Depending on whether you want to travel, start a family or go back to school, you’ll need to organize your finances differently. It’s important that you and your partner are on the same page about what your goals are and how you’ll achieve them.

3. How will you organize your banking?
Determine which accounts you’ll want to merge and which ones you’ll want to keep separate. You could, for instance, use a joint account for shared expenses but maintain separate accounts for personal expenditures.

4. How will you split assets if you divorce?
While you may not want to think about it, having a plan now means that you won’t need to try to come up with one later on if things end badly. Have a frank discussion about it before the wedding.

Being clear about your financial priorities as a couple will ensure your marital union starts off on the right foot. If you need any help, don’t hesitate to consult a financial planner.

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Front Royal
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Upcoming Events

Jan
29
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 29 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Jan
30
Thu
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Jan 30 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
Jan
31
Fri
10:00 am Citizenship Day Workshop @ Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington | Hogar Immigrant Services
Citizenship Day Workshop @ Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington | Hogar Immigrant Services
Jan 31 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Citizenship Day Workshop @ Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington | Hogar Immigrant Services
On Friday, January 31, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Arlington is partnering with the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) to host its annual Citizenship Day Workshop. The workshop is one of six AILA is[...]
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Jan 31 @ 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Love Revival - FREE Monthly Community Dinner @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Free Community Dinner for everyone! Come enjoy a hot meal on the last Friday of every month at Love Revival Ministry Center.
Feb
1
Sat
10:00 am Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 1 @ 10:00 am – 11:30 am
Books and Barks @ Samuels Public Library
Come to our extremely popular monthly program that gives developing readers the chance to read and relax with a trained therapy dog.  For beginning readers and up.  Choose a time slot at registration, which begins[...]
11:00 am HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
Feb 1 @ 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
HSWC Polar Plunge @ Northern Virginia 4-H Center
The Humane Society of Warren County will hold their 1st annual Polar Plunge event on February 1st at the Culpeper Lake, located at the Northern Virginia 4-H Center in Harmony Hollow. “Plungers” are asked to[...]
2:00 pm World of Lego @ Samuels Public Library
World of Lego @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 1 @ 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm
World of Lego @ Samuels Public Library
Children ages 5 and up are invited to explore all the amazing things you can do with Legos.  Registration begins January 1.
Feb
4
Tue
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 4 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 4 @ 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! Tuesday, February 4 – Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! After[...]
Feb
5
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 5 @ 10:15 am – 12:00 pm
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
10:15 Toddler story time | 11:00 Preschool story time Wednesday, January 29 and Thursday, January 30: Puppies are cuddly! Puppies are cute! Our stories, songs, and craft will be about our friends, the puppies! Siblings[...]