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5 ways to make your laundry room more efficient

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Your laundry room may not be the most glamorous part of your home, but it’s certainly a space that gets regular use. Here are five things you need to make your laundry room more efficient.

1. A sorting station. Instead of heaping piles of clothes on the floor, create a designated space for white, bright, dark and delicate clothes. This can involve placing laundry baskets on a shelf or even installing slide-out laundry drawers.

2. A drying area. Some clothes do fine in the dryer, but others need to air dry. To save space, mount a drying rack on the wall, or buy a folding rack and neatly tuck it away after the laundry’s done.

3. A folding surface. A long counter that provides you with enough room to fold your clothes as soon as they come out of the dryer is ideal. Consider building the counter over your washer and dryer to save space.

4. A supply shelf. Keep laundry supplies handy on a shelf near the washing machine. Store laundry detergent, stain remover and dryer sheets alongside a receptacle to hold things left behind in pockets.

5. An ironing board. Having a wall-mounted board that includes space to store an iron makes it easy to quickly iron your clothes when you’re on the go.

For a laundry room that’s as beautiful as it is functional, choose a color scheme and apply it throughout the whole room. You could also use clear glass jars to hold your laundry supplies instead of storing them in their ugly, plastic containers.

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What to expect the first week of summer camp

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Is your child anticipating their first summer camp experience? If so, knowing what to expect may reassure them — or simply satisfy their curiosity. Here’s some information you may want to share.

Their first day
When they first arrive at camp, kids will be able to check out the area, meet their fellow campers and get to know their counselors. There will also likely be games and activities that allow everyone to get to know each other.

What they’ll do
Most summer camps offer an array of activities for kids to learn, explore and have fun. And whether it’s a specialized camp or a more traditional one, the itinerary is sure to include singing around a campfire.

Where they’ll eat
Generally, meals at camps are served in a cafeteria similar to the one where your child has lunch at school.

What if they get hurt?
Everyone who works at the camp should be trained in basic first aid and will be able to deal with regular cuts and scratches. There should also be a nurse available onsite to help with anything more concerning.

Where they’ll sleep
Your child may sleep in a tent, dormitory or shared bedroom, depending on the type and location of their camp. One thing that’s common to all camps is that boys and girls sleep in different areas and that counselors bunk separately.

If your son or daughter still has questions, don’t hesitate to contact the camp. They’ll be happy to assuage any fears and share more information.

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How to feature bright colors in your wedding

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An increasing number of brides and grooms are incorporating bright colors into their wedding outfits and decor. Here’s how to do the same.

Choose the right color
While red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet look great on a rainbow, it may be overwhelming to use them all at your wedding. Instead, choose only one or two of your favorite colors.

Or, choose colors based on the meaning behind them and the feelings they evoke. For example, green is the color of renewal and balance, while blue calls to mind feelings of serenity and peace.

Use color judiciously
Incorporating colors into your wedding doesn’t mean everything should be bright and bold. Instead, favor neutrals and use your chosen hue as an accent here and there. The bride’s bouquet, bridesmaids’ dresses, centerpieces and the groom and groomsmen’s ties are perfect places to inject a vibrant shade.

For a look that’s rich and voluptuous, be sure to use different shades and textures of your chosen color.

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10 things you can rent for your wedding

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If you’re planning a wedding, there’s no need to buy everything you’ll need for the event. Here are 10 things to consider renting instead.

1. Tables and chairs. Even if your venue offers them, you may prefer to choose different ones that better suit your theme.

2. Table linens and napkins. These come in a number of colors and styles and can be selected to complement your wedding esthetic.

3. Lighting. Add lights to create the precise ambiance you’re looking for.

4. Centerpieces. You’ll need to purchase the flowers, but many florists offer vases as rental items.

5. Tents. If you’re hosting an outdoor wedding, it’s important to have a plan in place in case it rains.

6. Lounge furniture. An area with comfortable chairs and couches is a great place to rest between dances.

7. Dancefloor. A space to cut the rug is a must at most weddings. If your venue doesn’t have one, rent it.

8. China, flatware and stemware. Your caterer or venue may have some that you can use, but you may wish to upgrade to nicer looking pieces.

9. Photo backdrop. Whether you’re planning a photobooth or not, a beautiful backdrop is sure to be a hit with selfie-loving guests.

10. Entertainment. If you want to make sure your guests have fun, rent some large scale games or even a bouncy castle to keep them talking.

To simplify your life, find a company that offers full rental services and can include everything you need in one package.

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Should I sell my home?

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Selling your home after retirement has certain advantages. You can move closer to your family, reduce your expenses, have access to better services, or find a home that is easier to maintain. However, moving isn’t for everyone. Life in a condo may not suit you and a smaller home may force you to get rid of some precious belongings.

Whatever your choice, never rush into a decision. Visit several neighborhoods or rent a condo for a few months to make sure that the lifestyle and the area suit you. Factor in all the routine expenses linked to your new surroundings, especially if you move away from your family or you decide to live abroad. In other words, you should take into consideration traveling costs to visit friends and family in addition to maintenance and property taxes.

Don’t make the mistake of believing yourself to be immune to poor health, either. Will you have easy access to healthcare? Does your health insurance cover care received abroad? And who will take care of you if you are far from your family?

Moving is not a decision that should be taken lightly. Whether you want to live in a smaller home or a condo, in a retirement community or abroad, it’s a good idea to consult a real estate broker and financial planner to find out what best suits your needs and if you can afford them in the long-term.

Selling your home has advantages and disadvantages; think twice before you make a choice.

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Saving and investing: 3 advantages of automated plans

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If you want to start saving but aren’t sure where to begin, then an automated plan might be what you need. Here’s why.

It makes saving easier
Saving small sums is easier than trying to put large chunks of money aside. You can start with a manageable amount like $50 a month, and then increase it as your situation allows. You can also reduce the amount if you need to.

It enforces good habits
By arranging for a pre-determined portion of your income to be deposited into a savings account, you’re creating a habit. And if you automate these payments, you won’t be tempted to spend the money you intend to save. In addition, many such accounts impose penalties for withdrawals or prevent them altogether. Even if you’re tempted to dip into your savings, you won’t be able to unless you jump through a few hoops first.

You can benefit from compound interest
Aside from your regular savings account, you should also put a portion of your money into an investment portfolio. This allows you to benefit from receiving compound interest. Your investment’s interests are periodically added to the invested capital, meaning that they’ll start accumulating interest as well. For instance, at an average yield of three percent, saving $150 a month for five years will net you $700 in compound interest.

To learn more about automated savings plans, talk to a representative at your bank or a financial planner.

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Should I worry about my dog throwing up?

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Like people, dogs may throw up from time to time. Usually, this isn’t cause for concern, but it can sometimes be a sign of a bigger problem. Here’s what dog owners should know.

Vomiting vs. regurgitation
It’s important not to confuse vomiting with regurgitation. Regurgitation involves undigested food coming up easily from the esophagus. This is often caused by eating or drinking too fast and isn’t usually anything to worry about.

Preceding indicators
Vomiting is typically preceded by drooling, shivering or swallowing excessively. The dog’s abdomen will also visibly heave repeatedly before they throw up. It’s most often caused by something they ate, but could also be due to motion sickness, stress or illness.

Signs of a health problem
In general, there’s no cause for concern if your dog throws up. However, the following may indicate a larger problem:

• The vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pale gums, lethargy, decreased appetite or sudden weight loss.
• You suspect the dog ate something toxic.
• The dog vomits more than twice a month.
• The vomit contains blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds.

If you’re in doubt about your dog’s well-being, be sure to call a veterinarian. They’ll be able to answer your questions and provide you with a treatment plan if needed.

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Upcoming Events

Feb
25
Tue
4:30 pm Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Novel Ideas @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 25 @ 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 25 – Children will explore popular books and book series through S.T.E.M. activities, games, food, and more! After[...]
Feb
26
Wed
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 26 @ 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, February 19 and Thursday, February 20: Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome. Wednesday, February[...]
Feb
27
Thu
10:00 am Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 10:00 am – 8:00 pm
Day of Giving @ Samuels Public Library
In conjunction with “Love Your Library Month,” Samuels Public Library will hold its first “Day of Giving” on Thursday, February 27, 2020. Thanks to an anonymous donor, all donations made in-person at the Library or[...]
10:15 am Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Toddler and Preschool Story Time @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 27 @ 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, February 19 and Thursday, February 20: Come in for some great stories, songs, and a craft about our feathered friends, Birds!  Siblings welcome. Wednesday, February[...]
Feb
28
Fri
9:00 am Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Feb 28 @ 9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Veterans Benefit @ Able Forces Foundation
Able Forces Foundation will once again be hosting a visit by Andre Miller, Resource Specialist, Virginia Veteran and Family Support, Department of Veteran Services, Commonwealth of Virginia, and Danielle Cullers, Homeless Veteran Advocate-Volunteers of America[...]
7:00 pm Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Love Revival – FREE Monthly Comm... @ Love Revival Ministry Center
Feb 28 @ 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
29
Sat
10:00 am Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Feb 29 @ 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Loom Knit a Kitten @ Strokes of Creativity
Loom Knit an adorable kitten. In this beginner’s class for teens and adults, you will work on a 24 peg loom to knit a small stuffed toy. *Instruction will be right handed. No prior knitting[...]
11:00 am Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 1:00 pm
Kooky Chefs Cook It Up: Soups @ Samuels Public Library
Nothing is more comforting than warm soup on a chilly day! Learn how to make some yummy soup, and do some taste-testing to choose your favorite. For ages 8 and up. Registration begins January 29.
11:00 am Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Trauma & Resiliency Training for... @ Samuels Public Library
Feb 29 @ 11:00 am – 12:30 pm
Trauma & Resiliency Training for Early Childhood Providers @ Samuels Public Library
Statistics show us that one in four children will experience trauma by the age of four. This trauma could be abuse, hunger, homelessness, witnessing violence, medical trauma, or grief. We know that a child’s greatest[...]
1:00 pm Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge
Feb 29 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Bingo Fundraiser @ Elks Lodge