RE/MAX 440
Patty Jo Anzivine
pattyjovine@gmail.com
Patty Jo Anzivine
4550 W. Tilghman Street
Allentown  PA 18104
PH: 610-390-0415
O: 610-398-8111
F: 267-354-6902 
Welcome Home from RE/MAX 440!

My Blog

Survey Uncovers Surprising Bathroom Habits

October 1, 2013 2:39 am

Americans are spending more time checking emails, posting updates or surfing the Web – all while on their home toilet – according to a recent survey commissioned by Delta Faucet. With nearly half of respondents admitting to dedicating at least five minutes at a time to their bathroom business and ninety percent to multitasking while they "go", it's fortunate that today's newer toilets are designed to offer a more comfortable experience for bottoms and a homeowner's bottom line.

According to expert craftsman Chip Wade, host of HGTV's hit show "Elbow Room," installing a new toilet is one of the simplest updates a homeowner can do on their own to ensure the bathroom is a comfort-driven retreat.

"In most homes, the bathroom serves as one of the most frequently visited rooms, so functionality is just as important as design when considering new fixtures like a toilet," said Wade.

According to the survey, other reasons to consider installing a more comfort-friendly toilet include:

Master Multi-taskers. Nearly half of respondents admitted to setting aside five minutes or more to catch up on reading, answering emails or playing their favorite video game while sitting on their toilets.

Posting on the Go. Furthermore, nearly one third of Americans say they update or check their social status while using the pot.

Sticking to Stereotypes. Men admit to spending more time on the toilet; of survey respondents who reported they spent – on average – more than 10 minutes "going" while at home, 75 percent were male.

Age Matters. People ages 25-34 are nearly twice as likely to spend upwards of 10 minutes on the throne compared to respondents 45 and older.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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College Success Tips for 'Later in Life' Students

October 1, 2013 2:39 am

It's back-to-school time. In the old days, that meant that many high school graduates packed up their VW buses and headed for college, depending on mom and dad to pay the bills for four steady years of campus life.

But today, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, 75 percent of college students are older than age 24, work part or full time, commute to school, pay for their own college expenses and even juggle family life.

According to Jesse Hafen, company director of admissions for Stevens-Henager College, a nonprofit college dedicated to providing higher education for these "new-traditional" students, the path to getting a college degree can be stressful for many, and may even prevent some from finishing their degrees.

"The longer it takes to get a degree, the more life gets in the way of success," said Hafen. "Research shows that more than half of full-time students who enroll in a traditional four-year university take five to six years to graduate, but institutions such as Stevens-Henager offer many bachelor's degrees in three years, associate’s degrees in 20 months and master's degrees in 15 months."

To help today's new-traditional college students shorten the time to graduation, Hafen offers the following tips:

Find a college that caters to your needs with flexible class schedules, frequent enrollment periods (such as monthly), accelerated course formats, and a large selection of on-campus and online courses.

Find a program: You know you want to get an education in order to make a good living, but if you aren't sure what career you want to pursue, find a school with free online aptitude assessments and counseling to help you choose.

Find a schedule: Most four-year universities require students to plan their own class schedules each semester, but some colleges actually map out a full course of study for each student, figure costs and identify scholarship and financial aid options for those who qualify — all up front.

Find and use campus counseling and student services as a resource. Schools that cater to "new-traditional" students will provide information on jobs, transportation, housing, child care and more.

Seek a college with instructors with real-world experience who offer practical coursework during class, and one-on-one tutoring to help guide you.

Get a career: Before you start your job search after graduation, work with a career counselor to learn how to write a professional resume, dress professionally and interview well. A counselor will also help place you in a job in your field.

"My final recommendation for the new-traditional student is to take the time to thoroughly research the schools you are considering. It's free and well worth your time," added Hafen. "In my career, I've seen students who are single moms, working heads of households and more, who have graduated and gone on to have wonderful careers because they've put these kinds of strategies into play."

Source: www.stevenshenager.edu

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Keep It Simple to Move Seniors Successfully

October 1, 2013 2:39 am

According to experts, from 2000 until 2011, senior citizens 65 years and older grew nearly 18 percent, up to 41.4 million. Nearly 81 percent of that age group owned homes at the end of 2011.

Children and families of the Baby Boomer generation — people born between 1946 and 1960 — will soon find themselves helping elderly loved ones move.

Moving a senior family member is challenging. No one wants to upset that person, and everyone wants the move to go as smoothly as possible. This can sometimes seem like an impossible task.

The important thing to remember when moving a senior is to stay organized and calm throughout the move, say the experts at Two Men and a Truck®. When moving a senior into a living facility, consider contacting management to find out what can be brought onto the campus, what are appropriate moving hours, and do they have any best practices for the move.

Remember:

Start packing several weeks in advance. Pack early to avoid being overwhelmed as moving day draws near.

Wrap small items in colored paper. This prevents items such as knick-knacks from becoming lost or thrown out.

Label boxes on top and sides. Mark the top and sides of boxes as they're packed. Make sure to label boxes containing breakable or sentimental items with "fragile."

Pack all electronic equipment in original boxes. Otherwise use low-static bubble wrap when packing these items.

Always use packing paper. When wrapping fine china and precious items, the ink from printed newsprint may bleed onto valuables.
Sealing all boxes with packing tape. This makes it easier to stack and protect belongings.

Use boxes designed for the items you are packing. Use dish pack boxes for dishes and wardrobe boxes for clothing.

Source: Two Men and a Truck

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Gluten and Food Labeling: FDA's New Regulation

September 30, 2013 2:39 am

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued a regulation that defines the term "gluten-free" for food labeling. This new standard, which is voluntary for use by food manufacturers, provides consumers the assurance that "gluten-free" claims on food products are reliable and consistent across the food industry.

For those consumers seeking a gluten-free diet, the new regulation also eliminates uncertainty by providing a standardized tool for managing their health and dietary intake.

"Gluten-Free" Labeling is Critical for Some Consumers
What is Gluten? Gluten is a protein that occurs naturally in wheat, rye, barley, and crossbreeds of these grains. Foods that typically contain gluten include breads, cakes, cereals, and pastas. Gluten is the ingredient that gives breads and other grain products their shape, strength, and texture. But for someone suffering from celiac disease, consuming gluten can have serious health consequences.

Celiac Disease is a Chronic Illness: As many as three million Americans may have celiac disease – an inherited, chronic, inflammatory auto-immune digestive disorder. It is often silent, latent or misdiagnosed. When someone afflicted with celiac disease consumes gluten, his/her body's natural defense system triggers the production of antibodies that attack and damage the lining of the small intestine. This damage limits the ability to absorb nutrients and can lead to other very serious health problems.

Definition of "Gluten-Free": FDA has set a gluten limit of less than 20 parts per million (ppm) for foods that carry the label "gluten-free." This level is the lowest that can be reliably detected in foods, and most people with celiac disease can tolerate foods with very small amounts of gluten. The new regulation also applies to foods labeled with the terms "no gluten," "free of gluten," and "without gluten."

Timing for Label Compliance is One Year: Many foods that were labeled as "gluten-free" prior to the new regulation may already meet the federal definition. For those that do not yet comply, manufacturers have until August of 2014 to make whatever changes are needed in the formulation or labeling of the foods bearing a gluten-free claim in order to legally market them in the United States.

Source: US FDA

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Tips for Picking the Right Water Heater for Your Home

September 30, 2013 2:39 am

There are more than enough brands, shapes and sizes of water heaters around. The fuel types and energy ratings vary as well. There are also tank and tankless heaters. Review tips provided by top rated plumbers on how to find the most efficient water heater for you and your family or business.

Conventional Storage Tank Water Heaters
The first step is to understand the workings of an average water heater. Know the best kind of fuel source to use. The gas heater produces a flame and emits fumes through vents. It is a popular system because it heats water quickly and maintains heat for hours.

Natural Gas, LP Gas and Electrical Water Heaters
Due to the use of gas, this heater must contain safety features that prevent the ignition of flammable fumes. An electric water heater does not require vents and works as long as there is electricity.

Solar Water Heaters May Qualify for Rebates and Tax Incentives
A solar water heater may seem expensive, but it saves thousands of dollars in annual energy bills. This system draws in heat from sunlight that hits solar panels on the roof. For the greatest energy efficiency, use a solar heater along with a traditional gas or electric heater to reduce the utility bill. Overall, choose the right fuel source based on your location. If natural gas is easily available, use this source. Living in a hot, sunny area with little rain is ideal if you want to use a solar heater.

Tankless Water Heaters Provide Unlimited Amounts of Hot Water
A tankless water heater makes hot water as needed and does not have a storage tank that must be heated and reheated until there is a demand. There is either a point-of-use model that works attached to a sink or other fixture, or a whole-house model that heats water for the entire house. The point-of-use heater is small enough to appear under a sink cabinet.

The tankless heater has a number of advantages for the homeowner. Since it is more energy efficient than the tank model, look for tax savings. The tankless unit heats water continuously so that hot water never runs out. They are often warranted for more than a decade and with maintenance, can last more than 20 years.

To choose the right home water heater, the homeowner and plumber should analyze the hot water needs of you and everyone in the house. Compare the energy efficiency ratings and customer reviews. A tankless heater usually lasts longer than a tank one. Consider the size of the heater and where you plan to install it. Review all the choices you have when it comes to the modern water heater.

Source: Silverstate Plumbing

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How To Winterize for Immediate Savings and Year-Round Efficiency

September 30, 2013 2:39 am

Fall is the ideal time to tackle home improvements, and the last chance to get your home ready for winter weather.

"Thanks to new technologies, a few projects can significantly improve home safety, efficiency and convenience," says Tom Kraeutler, home improvement expert and syndicated radio show host of The Money Pit.

Kraeutler and co-host Leslie Segrete recommend the following for winterizing and protecting any home.

Improve attic insulation
"Up to 70 percent of home energy is used for heating and cooling, so trim costs by heading up to your attic and installing Owens Corning AttiCat Expanding Blown-In Insulation," says Segrete. "Using the bagged insulation and blowing machine, you can reach into tight spots and insulate an entire attic in less than four hours." AttiCat won't settle, maintains its R-value, provides sound control, and produces less dust.
Illuminate for security

"Now that days are getting shorter, nighttime security lighting is a must," says Kraeutler. "The Heath Zenith Secure Home 240-Degree LED Motion-Activated Security Light gives you peace of mind and intruders nowhere to hide." Advanced Dual Zone technology provides blind-spot-free coverage, and the Dual Brite system offers energy-efficient illumination without annoying on-and-off.

Smarter garage access
"Ever been far from home and wondered if you left the garage door open? You don't have to worry with Chamberlain MyQ Garage," says Segrete. "It installs with your existing garage door opener, and the MyQ Home Control App allows you to connect and control via smartphone." MyQ Garage works with most garage doors manufactured after 1993, and its WiFi hub connects to your home's wireless router.

Generate standby power
"Power outages are inevitable in the season ahead, and a Kohler Automatic Standby Home Generator can protect your home and keep systems going in an emergency," says Kraeutler. "Unlike portable units, it's permanently installed and connects directly to your home's electrical system, starting automatically whenever there's an outage." The Kohler Automatic Standby Home Generator gets systems and appliances up and running in 10 seconds or less, and can be monitored remotely from a laptop.

Wireless network support
"Even with wireless internet access and all your data in the cloud, a power glitch can be a major inconvenience," says Segrete. "But if you add the APC Back-UPS Pro 500 to your home network, you'll stay connected through any outage." The Back-UPS Pro 500 monitors network connection and automatically cycles power to its Smart Outlets to reboot frozen devices. It's placed wherever gateway equipment is located, and may be controlled from a web-enabled wireless device.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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10 Ways to Freshen Up Household Odors

September 27, 2013 2:39 am

Little is more annoying than waking up to a house that smells like kitty litter or the remains of last night’s dinner. But there’s no need to run right out and load up on expensive deodorizers.

Home improvement guru Bob Vila suggests ten common household items that can help freshen and deodorize your home in record time:

• Green tea in the litter box – A box or two of dry green tea leaves sprinkled into the litter box will keep the cat john area smelling fresh.
• Dryer sheets in the trash bin – Stomp out persistently foul-smelling garbage bins with the same disposable dryer sheets you use in the laundry. Toss one or two in the bottom of the bin and the fresh scent will take over.
• Apple cider vinegar in the drains – Pour half a cupful into offending drains to get rid of yucky smells.
• Vanilla extract in the freezer – Freshen up the freezer by soaking a cotton ball in vanilla extract and wiping it around the inside.
• Lemon juice in the sink – Douse the odor in your sink or garbage disposal with a cup or two of lemon juice poured in. The disposal can take the lemon rinds, too.
• Onions in the basement – Musty smell in the basement after the rain? Believe it or not, a raw onion halved and left there overnight will banish any mold or mildew odor.
• Coffee grounds in the fridge – If your refrigerator tends to smell like spoiled food, fill a nylon stocking with fresh ground coffee and toss it in the back of the fridge,
• Baking soda for sneakers – sprinkle baking soda into foul-smelling sneakers to make them smell fresh and new again. Tap the powder out in the morning, and you and your shoes are ready to go.
• Salt and cinnamon for stovetop spills – If the soup’s boiled over, spatter a mixture of salt and cinnamon over the spill while it is still warm. Sponge off the residue after it’s cool, and no burnt smell will survive.
• House plants all around – To keep your home smelling fresh, let a few houseplants do the work. Scented geraniums and Arabian jasmines, in particular, can help banish household odors.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Tips and Tools to Stay Safe in the Face of Disaster

September 27, 2013 2:39 am

Over the last 12 years, natural disasters such as major storms, floods, earthquakes and fires have affected 2.9 billion people. With alarming stats like these, it is important to be amply prepared should disaster strike.

“Natural disasters can strike at any given moment and while it might seem difficult to prepare for the unknown, there are a number of standard supplies that should be easily accessible in the face of an emergency," said Sport Chalet’s Chris Burston.

To further help consumers navigate their survival gear needs, Burston has compiled the following top 10 tools to ensure preparedness:

1. Regardless of the emergency, storing a supply of safe drinking water is absolutely essential. Store water in 55 gallon (BPA free) drums, and always have a high capacity water filter, water purification tablets and/or a handheld UV water purifier.

2. When temperatures drop and shelter or heat is no longer available, survival blankets are a compact, lightweight way to keep body temperatures warm.

3. Food may be scarce. Dehydrated food buckets and #10 Cans are easy to store and have a shelf life of up to 25 years.

4. Since medical help is not always accessible, be sure to have a well-stocked first aid kit to keep loved ones safe and healthy. Adventure Medical Kits, a company started by actual explorers and doctors, offers the best quality first aid kits and survival items on the market, which include essentials such as bandages, wound cleanser, wound repair (Quik Clot), splint, pain reliever, scissors and more.

5. Storms and earthquakes can often leave homes without electricity for days, or even weeks. Always keep flashlights, headlamps or lanterns, along with plenty of batteries on hand, such as Princeton Tec Headlamps, which are lightweight and long-lasting, or Goal Zero products, which includes solar recharge kits and lighting.

6. The serious preppers know it's always good to have an evacuation bug out route, should a quick escape be necessary. To assist in an efficient getaway, keep a handheld GPS or compass handy to avoid taking a wrong turn.

7. Cellphones cannot always be relied on to call for help, so keep an emergency radio on hand, such as the Eton FRX 3 Radio, a solar and hand turbine powered AM/FM weather radio that glows in the dark and allows a 30-second emergency phone call.

8. When assembling a survival kit, don't forget about stocking an extra supply of personal needs, such as medicine, glasses, sunscreen, bug spray with DEET and any other daily essentials.

9. Many people overlook the fact that they might be caught without heat or gas, making food prep difficult. Fire starters, ready fuel and lightweight portable stoves alleviate this problem.

10. In extreme circumstances when proper shelter is lacking, there could be the possibility of confronting dangerous wildlife. Just in case, it's a good idea to have personal defense items on hand, such as Sabre bear spray.

Source: Sport Chalet

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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New Survey Finds Small Decor Changes in Your Home Can Affect Your Mood

September 27, 2013 2:39 am

A new survey released by HomeGoods found that the décor in your home can impact your mood. According to the survey findings, 93 percent of Americans felt a room’s décor can positively or negatively affect someone’s mood, of which 77 percent had at least one room in their home that needed attention.

Released in time for fall decorating and holiday entertaining, the survey found that boosting your mood doesn’t have to come at a price; great news for the 54 percent of Americans who haven’t made the décor changes they want because it’s too expensive. In fact, nearly all (99 percent) of people surveyed felt that simple décor updates – improved lighting, stylish organizational solutions, decorative accents – could make them feel happier without breaking the bank.

Through these survey insights, HomeGoods has created six happy home resolutions to demonstrate easy and affordable ways to incorporate small changes that can boost your mood.

Happy Home Resolutions:

• Incorporate Personal touches: Half (50 percent) of Americans surveyed said they had at least one room in their home that felt unfinished even though it is fully furnished. Choosing décor touches that reflect your personal style will help create a finished look that will make you smile every time you walk into the space.

• Bedrooms can benefit most from small changes: The bedroom most negatively impacts people’s moods. Nearly half (48 percent) of survey participants who’d like to improve their décor felt that the bedroom would benefit most from small changes. Think about easy updates that don’t involve excessive amounts of time or money. Refreshing your bedding, changing lighting or just adding some colorful pillows can help make your room a happier place without breaking the bank.

• Better lighting makes a big difference: Of those Americans who have a room that negatively affects their mood, nearly half (46 percent) felt that better lighting could improve their moods. With shorter fall days and daylight savings time, the right lighting is key, so choose lamps with personality and style to boost your mood.

• Decorative accents can provide a boost of happy: Thirty-seven percent of those with a room that negatively affects their mood felt that adding decorative accessories would have a positive impact on their mood. Each room of your home is an opportunity to create a unique space – bring in bold decorative accessories that are unique and surprising to make a room feel fresh.

• Pops of color can boost happiness: Among those who have a room that negatively affects their mood, 39 percent felt that updating a color palette would have a positive impact on their mood. Instead of painting, adding color though pillows, glassware, wall art and accent furniture are simple and affordable ways to make a room feel cheerful.

• Stylish solutions to organizing your home: Among the 22 percent of survey participants who thought updates to décor would have a positive impact on their mood, the survey found that organizational solutions would have the greatest positive impact. Fashionable and functional storage solutions can lift your mood while making a significant style statement.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Seasonal Changes Can Bring Sleep Problems

September 26, 2013 2:39 am

Golden autumn afternoons, fall foliage and cooler temperatures are a welcome change for most people after a long hot summer, but families should be watchful that the change in seasons could lead to sleep problems and other behavioral troubles for adults, teens and children.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that affects an estimated six percent of the population. A person with SAD can experience unexplained fatigue as daylight hours grow shorter into the fall and winter months. Other symptoms could include increased irritability, increased daytime sleepiness (as opposed to most other forms of depression, which can cause insomnia), difficulty concentrating, and craving carbohydrates and sugary foods, so-called “comfort foods.”

“For some folks, autumn clearly presents something much more than just ‘great sleeping weather,’” says Dan Schecter, creator of SleepBetter.org. “If families suspect they are affected by SAD, they should seek a proper diagnosis from a physician or mental health professional.”

Schecter said families can also take steps on their own to encourage healthy sleep patterns as the seasons change:

• Make seasonal adjustments, if necessary, but set regular sleeping and waking times and stick with the schedule, even on weekends.
• Get plenty of exercise, outdoors if at all possible, to maximize exposure to daylight.
• Ensure your home sleeping environment and bedding are clean and appropriate to the season.
• Eat a well-balanced diet with sufficient vitamins and minerals.

Source: SleepBetter.org

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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