9 Ways to Cool Down Air Conditioning Costs

Is your AC skyrocketing your electric bill? Here are 9 cool ways to beat the heat without breaking the bank.

http://www.bankrate.com/finance/personal-finance/chill-air-conditioning-costs-1.aspx

Clutter Cramping Your Style? Here’s How to Get It Under Control!

So you might not be the neatest person in the world, but that doesn’t mean that you have to deal with clutter cramping the style in your apartment. There are a number of smart, simple ways to de-clutter your space without spending hours cleaning every day. Here are just a few tips for managing the mess.

  • Think function, not fashion. Sure, that matching furniture set might look great, but that doesn’t mean that it actually works in the room. Having too large furniture (or even too much furniture) is a surefire way to make a room look cluttered. Downsize to maximize your space.
  • Create a place for everything. Go through your home and make a note of everything that doesn’t have its own designated space, from the stack of mail to your everyday beauty products. Invest in small bins or drawer organizers where you can toss things to keep them out of sight.
  • Add shelving. Keep things off of the floor by adding shelving anywhere that clutter frequently accumulates. Add attractive bins or boxes that you can put things in.
  • Spend a few minutes. Take a few minutes before bed each night to make one final sweep of your home, putting things away and getting organized. Waking up to a tidy house will make you want to get in the habit of de-cluttering.

Clear Clutter and Take Control of Your Life [All You]
Clutter Control in 10 Steps [Family Circle]
25 Ways to Clear Clutter [Style at Home]

The Gin Rickey: A Crisp & Refreshing DC Cocktail For the Dog Days of Summer!

July is the official month of the Gin Rickey! This signature DC beverage was once called "air conditioning in a glass" for its refreshing balance of spicy gin, effervescent club soda, and tangy lime.

Try the recipe and learn more about the interesting history of the Gin Rickey by clicking the link here. Cheers!

Give Old Furniture a Paint Makeover With These Must-Know Tips

Furniture is expensive, which is why you can’t exactly run out for a replacement when your sofa starts to look worn or your coffee table shows some signs of wear. With a bit of elbow grease, you can make over your outdated furniture and turn it into something fresh and new — without spending a fortune.

  • Choose the right paint. If you decide to paint a piece of furniture to give it new life, be sure to buy paint that's made specifically for the material of your piece. Use a high quality brush (or an easy-to-use spray) that won’t leave behind stray bristles or residue.
  • Sand away old paint. If your furniture is already painted — and most is — be sure to start with a rough sandpaper and sand away the old paint. Finish with a finer grade paper to create a smooth, blank canvas.
  • Add a primer. Many first-time painters don’t realize that some pieces of furniture require a primer before painting to help the paint stick. If you’re worried about how thorough you were with your sanding, a primer might be a good choice.
  • Fill in holes. If your wooden furniture is filled with nicks and holes, make it look like new again with a simple wood filler from your local hardware store. Fill the holes, let it dry and sand away the excess for a smooth finish.

Paint Makeovers: An Expert Tells All [Bob Vila]
How To Paint Furniture [Live Love DIY]
Quick Furniture Makeovers for Fashionable Results [Benjamin Moore]

Imponderable of the Day: Why Does Looking at the Sun Make You Sneeze?

It’s a very curious sensation: You’re inside a dark room for a bit too long and when you step back outside into the bright sunlight, you suddenly feel a sneezing fit coming on. What’s the deal?

Staring at the sun makes about 20 to 35 percent of humans sneeze, and although scientists have a general idea of what causes this sensation, it’s still a very confusing conundrum. The phenomenon, which is known as “photic sneeze reflex,” is actually a genetic trait, which is why it only affects a small percentage of people. These people have visual systems that are more sensitive than those of other people, causing them to become agitated by the sunlight and send panicked responses to all of the nerves in the face, including the somatosensory system, which controls sneezing!

Now, go ahead and impress your friends with this new tidbit of information!

Looking at the Sun Can Trigger a Sneeze [Scientific American]
Why does bright light cause some people to sneeze? [Scientific American]
Does the sun make you sneeze? It's not just you [NBC News]
How Staring at the Sun Can Make You Sneeze [Gizmodo]

Three Surprising Sources of Lactose

Millions of Americans suffer from lactose intolerance, a sensitivity to foods that contain the natural sugar lactose. Most often, lactose is found in dairy products such as milk and cheese, but there are some foods that contain it that you might not know about. Here are three surprising sources of lactose you should look out for:

  1. Lunch meats. Cold cut meats are great for having on hand for a quick sandwich, but they're often made with processed ingredients that include lactose. Even a small amount could be harmful to those with sensitivities. So the lactose intolerant sure to purchase farm-fresh deli meat when possible.
  2. Nougat. This creamy sweet filling in candy bars contains lactose. There are many other candies that contain lactase as well, so do your research before you indulge.
  3. "Non-dairy" creamer. This tricky label might seem like a safe choice for lactose intolerant individuals, but many brands of this milk-derived substitute still contain trace amounts of lactose. Avoid it altogether and use soy- or almond-based creamers.

8 surprising sources of lactose [Best Health Mag]
Lactose Intolerance [National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse]
Learn to Detect Hidden Lactose [Cornell Women’s Health]
What is Hidden Lactose [Lactaid]

Expecting Last-Minute Guests? Here’s How to Speed-Clean Your Apartment!

You were thrilled to hear that your friends were coming to town for a visit… but then they told you they would be there in an hour. When your apartment isn't exactly ready for visitors, you can follow these last-minute cleaning tips to tidy it up in no time at all.

  1. Keep all of your cleaning supplies in one place. That way you can simply pull out the bin or bucket in situations just like this one.
  2. Banish clutter. When it comes to making a room look clean, your guests are more likely to notice your dirty laundry on the floor than a bit of dust in the counter. Make one quick sweep of the apartment and clean up clutter as you go.
  3. Clean the bathroom. Your guests will likely use the bathroom before, say, your office, so be sure that all counters are clean, the toilet is scrubbed, and fresh linens are hung. Don't forget to restock the hand soap and toilet paper!
  4. Don’t get hung up on little things. Now is not the time to rearrange your shelves. Instead, dust only the visible surfaces, fluff up the pillows, and look at the room as a whole instead of focusing on individual details.

9 Tips For Speed Cleaning [About Home]
13 Tips to Help You Speed-Clean Your Home [Better Homes & Gardens]
Speed Cleaning [Real Simple]

Happy Memorial Day!

Windsor at Arbors would like to wish everyone a very Happy Memorial Day!

Spring Forward: How Start Your Warm Weather Workouts on the Right Foot

Whether you want to tone up before bathing suit season or you're striving to lead a healthier lifestyle, the spring season is a good time to begin an exercise routine. If you’re struggling to find the motivation to begin your spring workouts, these tips can help.

  • Put it on paper. If you write down your fitness goals and a loose schedule, it will help you to remain accountable and stay on track.
  • Start slow. Remember to keep your schedule light at first and work up to more difficult workouts. Begin with 30 minutes of moderate cardio exercise three or four times per week, and be sure to switch up your workouts to keep things interesting.
  • Enlist a partner. If you’re still feeling sluggish, ask a close friend to work out with you and help to keep each other motivated.
  • Invest in new workout gear. If your sneakers from last season have seen better days, invest in a brand-new pair that will get you excited to exercise.
  • Get outdoors. Now that the cold weather is over and the days are longer, you likely want to get outside as much as you can. Schedule early morning runs before work, go for weekend bike rides, or even sign up for yoga in the park.

Spring-Clean Your Exercise Routine [Health]
20 Ways to Spring Clean Your Fitness Routine [Shape]
Spring Clean Your Workout Routine: 21 Bad Habits To Toss Today [LiveStrong]

6 Fantastic Ways to Celebrate Mother’s Day this Year!

1.) Have Breakfast in Bed
Drop a few not-so-subtle hints that you’re expecting a Mother’s Day brunch. Peruse these delicious Mother’s Day brunch recipes to find the perfect meal to start off your Mother’s Day.

2.) A Day Together
Set aside all other plans and treat the mother in your life as a queen for the day. Turn the day into a one day adventure to someplace special. Grab the whole family and head to a favorite park, lake or ocean. Spending the time together (preferably outdoors) is what really counts, so have a picnic, go for a bike ride, take a hike, or do some gardening together.

3.) Generations Unite
Gather all the grandparents, great grandparents, aunts and uncles and other ‘mom’ family members together for a joint celebration. If the weather is nice a barbeque is the perfect venue.

4.) A Simple Celebration
Making a Mother’s Day celebration memorable and unique doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. It could be as simple as heading to your favorite local ice cream shop and sharing an ice cream sundae (this would be top choice in our house!).

5.) Give Mom the Day Off
This could be the best gift of all. Encourage everyone to pitch in and let the moms in your life sit back and relax. They deserve it! Have the family prepare dinner (go for something simple and pre-packaged like Tyson’s chicken) and serve Mom on her special day.

6.) Give to Others
Mother’s Day is about honoring all mothers. This Mother’s Day help a mother in need by donating to organizations that help mothers and children.

Click here fore more information!

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