Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 2/4/2019

Changing locations is daunting. There are a plethora of exciting things to learn and do. One that might not be on your radar ahead of the move is finding a place to source your food. Most people have a favorite grocery store. You know, it's your go-to place because you know exactly where to find things. You get what you need and are in and out in a flash.

If your chain is national, you're in luck, because most modern grocery chains have similar layouts and offer similar, if not the same, product lines. Some chains, however, go by different names in different states. In this case, each brand may have its quirks, local products, and unique layout while still offering some of the nationally branded items. If you have a loyalty card from your current store, comparable "sister" stores may be on a list on the back or the connecting website. Visit the sister store to see if it appeals to your comfort level but check out other local stores as well. Some grocery conglomerations allow you to use your loyalty points interchangeably among all their stores, while others limit access to local stores. 

For those that typically shop at farmers' markets, co-operatives, and directly from the source, finding local alternatives may be a little more difficult. Many area farmers' markets list hours and locations online, but you also might discover your local library is a better resource for information.

Some cities also boast small "mom and pop" shops that specialize in regional foods or ethnic products and spices. You might find the best ready-to-bake chicken parmigiana you've ever had at that tiny shop around the corner. And if your taste runs to more exotic fare and African, Hispanic, or Asian markets might have just the specialty items you need.

Check out local butchers, bakers, well, and even candle-stick makers for regionally sourced produce, locally baked bread, and farm-to-table livestock.

And if you prefer a more extensive, one-stop-shop type store, you may find local versions with higher quality goods or locally sourced products than the nationwide brands. Some stores even offer special-order products unavailable from other sources.

Some local stores may offer special events such as cooking classes or live music and outdoor seating with a dine-in option. Plan to explore new culinary experiences in your new home by branching out from the national chain stores to include local produce and spices, ethnic stores, and farmersí markets.




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Posted by Kimberly Bagni on 5/8/2017

Having a cat turns a house into a cozy home. The mess they bring with them, however? Not so much. If only they could keep your house as clean as they do themselves. Iíve got six of tips for you today to keep your home clean so you enjoy your catís company without resenting them for the disorder they can create.

1. Start with a little pampering for your feline friend. Groom your cat regularly if not daily to stay on top of shedding fur to ensure it ends up in the trash instead of all over your furniture. You may also want to trim claws regularly or invest in a set of claw caps to prevent your cat from scratching up furniture or snagging on fabrics. 

2. Vacuum your carpets, drapes, and furniture weekly to prevent hair from building up on every possible surface. You may even want to vacuum high traffic areas a few times a week to maintain your carpetings condition. Investing in a handheld vacuum is a great way to easily swoop in on messes throughout the week without lugging your main vacuum out several times a week. 

3. Dusting regularly is also ideal to cut down on fur and dander from building up on surfaces. Dusting one room per day is an easy way to stay on top of the chore. Keeping a microfiber cloth tucked away in each room makes it even easier to get the job done and keep surfaces clear of debris.

4. Wipe down counters and tables regularly with disinfectant. While you canít guarantee your cat isnít strolling over your counters when you arenít looking and wiping surfaces down at least daily ensures they are clean. Keep germs at bay especially from paws that may have just recently left the litter box by keeping disinfectant on hand at all times.

5. The litter box. The source of the most dreaded of cat messes. Obviously, scooping daily and doing a full clean out every two weeks cuts down on odor. But putting a litter mat underneath the litter box catches litter outside the box right away and prevents your cat from tracking it throughout the house. Some clever placement can also keep cat litter from finding itís way throughout the house. Place the box in the furthest corner from the door and in a low traffic area.  

6. Clean up hairballs asap. Pick up solid messes with a towel and scrape any excess off with a butter knife. Youíll also want to use an enzyme based odor neutralizer to prevent odors from settling into carpeting. Grooming your cat regularly is a not only a great way to keep hair from clinging to every surface as mentioned in tip number one but also prevents hairballs from happening in the first place.

Owning a cat is such a rewarding experience. The messes they leave behind, however, can feel anything but. With a regular cleaning schedule and the right tools, you can keep a tidy home in a manageable way so you can get back to snuggling up with your cat faster.




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