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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Fabulous wedding favors and unique bridal party gifts

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Trying to decide on wedding favors? Or maybe you’re wondering what types of gifts to purchase for your bridal party? In either case, here are a few ideas to look into.

For the guests
• Flip flops: these will be a hit when people’s feet start to hurt from dancing

• Flower seeds or bulbs: your guests can grow your wedding flowers at home

• Coaster with your initials: opt for a natural material like cork or wood

For the bridesmaids
• Tote bags: have hemp or canvas bags personalized with their names

• Jewelry: a dainty necklace or bracelet that matches their dresses

• Floral robes: they’ll have something to wear while getting ready and they’ll look great in your photos

For the groomsmen
• Flasks: if they’re a group that likes to party, these will get a lot of use

• Monogrammed pocket watches: a good timepiece never goes out of style

• Fun socks: men don’t always get a chance to show their personality, so get them some fun socks to wear with their suits

Show some appreciation to your guests and bridal party by giving special wedding favors and gifts. And be sure to accompany the selected token with a simple thank you.

Interesting Things You Need to Know

Raising awareness about the importance of healthy money habits

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Since 2004, the U.S. government has recognized April as National Financial Literacy Month, a time for encouraging Americans to learn about financial issues and develop healthy spending and saving habits.

Studies show that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for Americans to put part of their income into savings. People of all ages aren’t saving enough money to retire comfortably, and numerous surveys reveal that most Americans would struggle to produce an extra $1,000 in an emergency. Plus, the average American household has just over $6,000 in credit card debt.

In light of these troubling statistics, it’s important to take steps to promote financial literacy in our families, schools and workplaces. Here are some personal finance basics to remember.

• Build an emergency fund. Experts advise having six months’ worth of expenses saved in case of an unexpected job loss or sudden medical emergency.

• Use credit cards responsibly. Avoid making only the minimum payment on your credit card each month. Try to spend only what you can afford to pay off.

• Co-manage money wisely. Whether you have joint accounts or manage your money separately, have open and honest conversations with your partner about money to ensure you’re on track to meet your long-term goals.

• Save 20 percent of your income. Automate payments into your savings account so you’re putting aside the recommended portion of your income each month.

Keep in mind that the best way to become financially literate is by developing good money habits early in life. If you’re a parent, consider kid-friendly ways to introduce your children to personal finance this April.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

What does the eco button in my car do?

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Many new cars have a feature known as eco mode that allows drivers to increase their vehicle’s fuel efficiency. Eco mode is engaged by pressing the button labeled “eco” or “econ,” which is typically found on the car’s central panel among the controls for the air conditioning, heat and radio.

So, what exactly does eco mode do?

It varies somewhat between makes and models, but generally the principal action is to reduce the vehicle’s throttle response (i.e. stifle its acceleration). Often this translates into a stiffer feel in the pedal.

Note that the eco mode function is automatically disabled when the vehicle travels at high speeds so that the driver can make safe passing and merging maneuvers.

Additionally, eco mode can enable various other tweaks to a car’s operations to increase fuel economy, whether it’s dialing back the air conditioning, executing transmission upshifts sooner or shutting off the engine when the vehicle is stopped.

So, if you want to save money on gas and reduce your tailpipe emissions, know that if you have eco mode, you can do it with the press of a button.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Why your kid doesn’t want to go to camp and what to do about it

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During the summer, many parents send their kids to day camp while mom and dad are at work. Though many children love the experience and look forward to it, not all do. Here are some common reasons why some kids don’t want to go to camp and what to do about it.

BEFORE CAMP
Are your children saying they don’t want to go to camp before it’s even begun? Here are some possible reasons why they may be reluctant to attend:

They’re nervous

Talk to your children about how they’re feeling, empathize with them and let them know what they have to look forward to. You can then set up a play date before camp begins.

They don’t want to be alone
Try sending them to the same camp as a friend. If that’s not a possibility, reach out to the camp’s directors who may be able to put you in touch with other campers.

DURING CAMP
If your children decide out of nowhere that they don’t want to go to camp, this doesn’t necessarily mean there’s a serious issue. Becoming averse to camp may be due to the following:

They didn’t like something that happened
Maybe somebody said something your kid didn’t like, or perhaps your child was unhappy with yesterday’s activities. Asking your kid questions or talking to a counselor can give you an idea of what’s up.

They miss you
Sometimes kids want to spend more time with their parents. If it’s possible, try picking them up early once in a while, or consider taking a Friday off to spend together as a family.

If your child is adamant about not liking day camp, consider enrolling them in one that specializes in their favorite hobbies or interests.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Is my dog or cat overweight?

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Many house pets in North America are overweight or obese, usually because they get too many treats and not enough exercise. However, extra weight can lead to serious health problems for your pet, including osteoarthritis, diabetes and heart and respiratory issues.

If you’re not sure if your pet is overweight, you can easily check if you know what to look for when you examine them. Healthy dogs and cats have a waist between their ribcage and hind legs that you can see when standing over them, and their belly should tuck in toward their hind legs. When you run your hands down your pet’s sides and back, you should feel their ribs and spine through a thin layer of fat.

If your pet’s overweight, talk to your vet about how to help them get to a healthy weight for their size and breed. This typically includes feeding them only the recommended amount of food, cutting down on treats and table scraps and making sure they get enough exercise. Just like humans, cats and dogs need to move to lose weight, so make sure to take your dog for long, regular walks, and play with your cat to raise it’s heart rate.

A pet at a healthy weight will live a longer, healthier life than one that’s overweight, so make sure your furriest family members stay in shape.

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Interesting Things You Need to Know

Top tattoo trends for 2019

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Thinking of getting inked but don’t know where to start? These are the top tattoo trends to watch out for in 2019.

• Tiny geometric designs: small, easy to hide tattoos made with thin black lines are simple, elegant and increasingly popular. They can be intricately designed or as simple as one thin line.

• Dot work: intricate and striking, tattoo artists can use tiny dots as either shading or to create an entire image. These tattoos can take a long time to produce, but your patience will be rewarded with a gorgeous tattoo.

• Watercolor: distinguished by a lack of black outlines and often features freeform shapes or splatters. This isn’t a technique everyone can do, so be sure to see an artist that specializes in watercolor for a tattoo that will be beautiful for years to come.

Where to place your tattoo
Since tattoos are becoming more mainstream, people are being bolder with their tattoo placements, often positioning them on their fingers, wrists or behind an ear. If you’d like something more discreet, think about tattooing your ribs or thigh.

No matter what the current tattoo trends are, it’s important to remember that it’s something you’ll have on your body for the rest of your life, so instead of choosing a tattoo because it’s trendy, pick something in a style that you love that holds personal meaning for you.

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Millennial farmers: the future of agriculture

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America’s farmers are getting older. U.S. Census data shows that over the last 30 years, the average age of the American farmer went from 50.5 years to 58.3 years. Nevertheless, many young people in America are choosing to go into farming. In fact, millennials (people roughly 34 and under) account for about 250,000 farmers — or around eight percent of all agricultural producers — across the U.S.

Some millennials become farmers because it’s the family business. In fact, most American farms are owned by families — either individual families or family corporations. When older relatives age, the younger generation takes over the farm.

Other young people are inspired to go into agriculture out of an interest in organic farming, sustainable farming and the local food movement. According to a survey conducted by the National Young Farmers Coalition, millennial farmers are much more likely than the general farming population to grow organically, limit pesticide and fertilizer use, and diversify their crops or animals. They’re also more likely to be closely involved in their local food systems through farmers’ markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) programs.

Given the essential role that American agriculture serves in feeding the world and strengthening our economy, it’s important that the industry continues to attract young people to its related professions. And with all the technological innovations, business ventures and advances in sustainable agricultural practices, the farming sector has lots to offer people with all kinds of interests and backgrounds. To learn more about opportunities in agriculture, visit the National Ag Day website at agday.org.

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Upcoming Events

Apr
20
Sat
10:00 am Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
Apr 20 @ 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Humanity Day @ Main Street Gazebo
This Saturday, April 20th, will be the 1st Annual Humanity Day sponsored by SONA Bank and the Habitat for Humanity. The event will take place at the Gazebo on Main Street in Front Royal from[...]
1:00 pm Dawn McCarty – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Dawn McCarty – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Apr 20 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Dawn McCarty - Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Thanks to the efforts of VGSR volunteers, Mickie was surrendered to the rescue and started a new adventure. Mickie was very special and it was not because of his feet. He was a fabulous companion[...]
1:00 pm Jeff Ryan – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Jeff Ryan – Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Apr 20 @ 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm
Jeff Ryan - Book Signing @ Royal Oak Bookshop
Author, speaker, photographer and avid hiker Jeff Ryan was born and raised in Maine. His love of the outdoors was evident early in life. He was skiing at the age of three and spending at least[...]