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Robot companions for your pet

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If you’re worried about leaving your cat or dog alone while you’re at work, you may want to invest in a robot pet companion. These battery-operated devices are designed to amuse, feed, and otherwise occupy your furry friend while you’re not home.

There are different models available, such as ones that regularly feed your animal and others that periodically eject treats. The best robot companions, how¬ever, truly interact with your pet. They connect to your smartphone and can be set to either operate automatically or be controlled through an app. The best part is they give your pet something to play with when you’re not around, ensuring that Fido or Mittens isn’t bored in your absence.

Robot pet companions are water-resistant and strong enough to withstand bites. Most of them include a camera, microphone, and speaker. This al¬lows you to see and talk to your pet when you’re not home and ensure they’re safe and happy.

Part pet-sitter and part toy, these robots are set to change the way we take care of our cats and dogs.


 

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How to install a vapor barrier

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If you’re constructing a wall, building an addition, or finishing your basement, installing a vapor barrier is a must. This thin layer of impermeable material, typically polyethylene sheeting, is designed to keep your home dry. Here are a few installation tips.

• Always install the vapor barrier on the inner side of the wall (the surface facing your living area) as it experiences hotter, moister conditions than the outside wall. A vapor barrier for the ceiling is also a must.

• Start in one corner and work your way around the room allowing the vapor barrier to hang down from the top framing sill. Once you’ve made it across the wall or around the room, allow for a fair amount of overlap in the corner where you started to create a tight seal.

• Make sure you seal cracks and holes in the wall. This will block any air gaps. Also, use acoustic spray foam or sealant tape to waterproof spaces around windows, doors, electrical outlets, and light fixtures.


Keep in mind that incorrectly installing a vapor barrier can lead to moisture problems and the need for costly repairs. For this reason, it may be best to leave this job to a professional.

 

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3 tips for installing recessed lights in your basement

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Lighting a basement can be a challenge, but recessed lights are a great option. They provide a widespread light source and tuck conveniently out of the way, making them ideal for low ceilings. Here are three tips for installing recessed lights in your basement.

1. Use the right placement
Make sure you position your recessed lights evenly throughout the space to avoid creating dark spots. As a rule of thumb, divide your ceiling height by two to give you the space required between each light. For example, if your ceiling is eight feet high, then position your lights four feet apart.

2. Opt for full brightness
Basements are usually quite dark. Therefore, you should opt for recessed lights that produce at least 600 lumens. This will ensure you have enough light to fully illuminate the space. If you want to be able to tone down the brightness for movie night, make certain to put the lights on a dimmer switch.

3. Consider color temperature
Don’t underestimate the importance of color temperature. For example, warmer tones make a room feel cozy and intimate, whereas cooler temperature hues make a space feel bright and energetic. To prevent your basement from feeling dark and dingy, lights that cast cooler temperatures are best.


Keep in mind that installing recessed lights can be a challenge. Therefore, it’s best to contact a professional to ensure this job is done right.

 

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5 original wedding themes

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Are you planning a wedding? If you’re currently getting ready for your big day and looking for an original theme, here are five you may want to consider.

1. Candy
Choose decor elements in bright colors that evoke sweets, candies, and pastries. You can tie this theme together by setting up a candy bar for your guests.

2. Fairy tale
Book your venue in a castle-like setting, choose an outfit worthy of royalty, and arrive in a horse-drawn carriage. You could also include props from the fairy tales you love to decorate the tables.

3. Globetrotter
Incorporate suitcases, passports, airplanes, and maps into table settings, photo booths, and other decors. You could also decorate each table to represent a certain country or continent.


4. Rainbow
Hang origami flowers, balloons, or umbrellas in an array of hues from the ceiling, and decorate your chosen venue with accessories in all the colors of the rainbow.

5. Retro
Decorate your venue with vintage accessories and second-hand furniture, and visit your local thrift store to find old-fashioned cutlery, vases, tablecloths, and picture frames.

To stock up on accessories that match your theme, contact a wedding planner or visit your local stores.

 

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How to repair potholes in an asphalt driveway

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Potholes in your asphalt driveway can damage your car’s tires and suspension and become a tripping hazard. Fortunately, you can repair them on your own in a few easy steps.

• Start by cleaning out any debris, such as rocks, pebbles, and leaves from inside the pothole using a shovel or stiff-bristle broom. You can also use a hose or pressure washer to remove any stubborn dirt. Once the area is clean, make sure the area is completely dry before proceeding with any repairs.

• Measure the depth and length of the pothole to determine how much asphalt filler you need. If the pothole is more than four inches deep, fill the base of the hole with clay, crushed concrete or limestone for added strength.

• Once you’ve mixed the correct amount of asphalt filler, pour it into the pothole to about one-and-a-half inches above the rest of the driveway.


• Next, pack down the asphalt filler using a hand tamper until it’s level with the rest of the driveway. Make sure the asphalt is very firmly packed to ensure it doesn’t sink when a vehicle drives over it.

If your driveway has several deep potholes or cracks, it may be best to call in a professional to assess the damage and proceed with any necessary repairs.

 

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4 must-have features for the ultimate dream kitchen

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Are you updating your kitchen? If so, here are four fabulous features you may want to consider installing.

1. Pot filler
A pot filler is a swing-out faucet on a long, jointed arm that’s generally mounted over the stove. Pot fillers are extremely convenient and prevent you from having to lug heavy, water-filled pots from the sink to the stove.

2. Farmhouse sink
With their white, fireclay basins and tall, stainless-steel faucets, modern farmhouse sinks aren’t only stylish; they’re also wider and deeper than standard kitchen sinks. This helps make cooking and cleaning a breeze.

3. Double oven
Double ovens provide extra cooking space, so you have the flexibility to whip up multiple dishes simultaneously. They’re especially convenient if you do a lot of entertaining.


4. Built-in refrigerator
If you want your kitchen to have a streamlined and uniform profile, a built-in refrigerator is a way to go. Built-in refrigerators sit flush with the rest of the kitchen cabinetry in the space and offer an upmarket appearance.

If you’re designing your dream kitchen, keep in mind, you don’t have to do it alone. Consider reaching out to a home designer or general contractor in your area for help.

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A buyer’s guide to washers and dryers

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Are you in the market for a washer and dryer? Here are some things to keep in mind as you shop for your new appliances.

Size
Measure how much space you have to accommodate a washer and dryer. Keep in mind that you need to leave room behind both appliances for plumbing and ventilation. You should also factor in how many people will use the machines.

Type
Top-load washing machines with agitators are often the most affordable option, but they tend to be louder, less efficient, and hasher on clothes than high-efficiency top-loaders. Alternatively, you can opt for a front-load washer, which uses a tumbling method to clean clothes. This causes less wear on fabrics and removes more water for quicker drying.

Dryers only come in front-load configurations. If you want to save space, buy front-load appliances with front-mounted display panels so you can stack them.


Features
Most new washers and dryers come with a variety of energy-saving features such as automatic temperature control and moisture sensors. To make sure your appliances are energy efficient, be sure to look for the Energy Star certificate.

To find the right washing machine and dryer for your home, visit the appliance stores in your area.

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Thank You to our Local Business Participants:

@AHIER

Apple Dumpling Learning Center

Apple House

Auto Care Clinic

Blue Ridge Arts Council

Blue Ridge Education

BNI Shenandoah Valley

C&C's Ice Cream Shop

Code Ninjas Front Royal

Cool Techs Heating and Air

Down Home Comfort Bakery

Downtown Market

Dusty's Country Store

Edward Jones-Bret Hrbek

Family Preservation Services

Front Royal Women's Resource Center

Front Royal-Warren County Chamber of Commerce

Gourmet Delights Gifts & Framing

Green to Ground Electrical

Groups Recover Together

I Want Candy

I'm Just Me Movement

Jen Avery, REALTOR & Jenspiration, LLC

Main Street Travel

Makeover Marketing Systems

Marlow Automotive Group

Mary Carnahan Graphic Design

Mountain Trails

National Media Services

Ole Timers Antiques

Phoenix Project

Reaching Out Now

Royal Blends Nutrition

Royal Examiner

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Oak Computers

Royal Oak Bookshop

Royal Spice

Salvation Army

SaVida Health

Skyline Insurance

St. Luke Community Clinic

Studio Verde

The Studio-A Place for Learning

The Valley Today - The River 95.3

The Vine and Leaf

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

Warren County Department of Social Services

Warrior Psychotherapy Services, PLLC

What Matters & Beth Medved Waller, Inc Real Estate

White Picket Fence

Woodward House on Manor Grade

King Cartoons

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Upcoming Events

Jan
26
Wed
6:30 pm Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Front Royal Wednesday Night Bingo @ Front Royal Volunteer Fire Deptartment
Jan 26 @ 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[...]
Jan
28
Fri
12:30 pm Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and... @ ONLINE
Jan 28 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm
Free REVIVE! Opioid Overdose and Naloxone Education @ ONLINE
Northwestern Prevention Collaborative, in conjunction with Northwestern Community Services Board, will offer a free, virtual REVIVE! Training on January 28th from 12:30 pm to 1:30 pm. The one-hour online class provides an overview of how[...]
Jan
31
Mon
3:00 pm Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
Jan 31 @ 3:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Virtual Financial Services Workshop @ ONLINE
People Incorporated is cohosting a virtual financial services workshop for small business owners to learn about business loans, technical assistance, training, and other services provided by the agency. The workshop is scheduled for Monday, Jan.[...]
Feb
2
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 2 @ 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
Fri
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 4 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
Feb
5
Sat
all-day First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Feb 5 all-day
First Friday @ Downtown Main Street
Come celebrate First Friday! Downtown businesses will be open late, until 8 p.m., on the first Friday and Saturday of each month.
9:00 am Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Feb 5 @ 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
Women's Wellness Workshop @ ONLINE
Women’s Wellness Workshop – Virtual via Zoom Webinar – Key Note Speaker Dr. Neema. Registrations will begin January 5: frontroyalwomenswellness.com
4:30 pm Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Feb 5 @ 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Astronomy for Everyone @ Sky Meadows State Park
Historic Area: Discover our International Dark-Sky Park! Our evenings begin with a half-hour children’s “Junior Astronomer” program, followed by a discussion about the importance of dark skies and light conservation. Then join NASA Jet Propulsion[...]
Feb
9
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 9 @ 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
12
Sat
10:00 am Winter Tree Identification Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Winter Tree Identification Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Feb 12 @ 10:00 am – 2:00 pm
Winter Tree Identification Workshop @ Sky Meadows State Park
Winter Tree Identification Workshop: Botany and Bloom Series Historic Area Even after the chilly breezes of autumn have stripped them of their leaves, trees provide clues to their identification by way of their bark, leaf[...]