RE/MAX 440
David J Feinberg

David J Feinberg
4789 Route 309  Center Valley  PA 18034
Phone:  610-509-4358
Office:  610-791-4400
Fax:  610-791-9575

My Blog

Fun in the Garden with Kids

May 13, 2014 1:54 am

There is something about digging in the dirt that brings us back to childhood. It is a reminder of the simpler days when spending time in the sunshine was all that was on our minds. Involving children in the garden has several benefits beyond making the outdoors a more beautiful space.

Foster creativity
Make children part of the adventure in gardening by including them on a visit to a local nursery. A simple shopping trip can be used to foster their creativity and make them think beyond simple colors. Pointing out the differences in plant varieties such as unique foliage textures or which plants attract butterflies or hummingbirds can make it a more memorable experience. Choose plants together and help to coordinate varieties for a fun project to do at home.

Fun Exercise
Children don't think of gardening as exercise, but the simple act can help improve mobility and flexibility. Try getting the kids involved by giving them the opportunity to help dig holes, pull pesky weeds or carry small loads of soil and mulch. Keeping them moving in the garden allows them to stay active while having a fun time doing it.

Sense of Accomplishment
Completing a garden project from start to finish gives kids a unique sense of accomplishment. Try planting a container garden by using a re-blooming shrub such as Mini Penny Hydrangea as the highlight in the pot. Include other plants such as ivy, begonias or creeping jenny to fill up spaces and grow over the side of the container. Children can help take care of the plant by watering and making sure it gets what it needs. As they see the container flourish, they can take pride in knowing they pulled it all together.

Healthy Benefits
Growing our own vegetables and fruits is a great way to provide healthy food for the family. When children invest time in the garden, they learn where food comes from and get satisfaction in trying what they have created. Planting edible shrubs such as Blue Suede Blueberry gives kids a chance to see how the fruit is formed. Nothing beats picking ripe berries in the summer for a healthy snack or sweet treat for dessert.

Priceless Family Time
You can't put a price on spending quality time together. Studies have shown that doing family activities outside organized sports will create stronger emotional bonds and better communication with children. What better way to spend time together than enjoying the fresh outdoor air and creating a garden project that lasts?

Get the kids outside and create memories that will last a lifetime. It is an activity that can become a lifelong passion that links generations together.

Source: Gardener's Confidence Collection

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Best BBQ Spots in America

May 12, 2014 1:42 am

TripAdvisor® has announced the highest-rated restaurants for barbecue. From sweet and saucy to simple and smoky, these spots serve up low-and-slow cooked meats that are sure to satisfy any travelers' tastes.

Franklin Barbecue, Austin, Texas. Committed carnivores often wait upwards of three hours to score a meal at this joint that serves up the Texas trinity of barbecue: brisket, ribs and sausage. The meat is simply seasoned with salt and pepper and then slow-cooked to perfection over an oak-fueled flame.

Oklahoma Joe’s BBQ & Catering, Kansas City, Kansas. Operating out of a gas station since 1996, this Kansas City restaurant offers a mouthwatering medley of meats that are dry rubbed and then slathered in the region’s distinctive tomato and molasses-based sauce. Fan favorites include burnt ends and the “Z-Man” sandwich, a unique stacking of brisket, provolone cheese and onion rings served atop a Kaiser roll.

Bogart’s Smokehouse, Saint Louis, Missouri. Since designing his first grill at the age of 14, pit-master Skip Steele has perfected the method for crafting melt-in-your-mouth meats. Patrons can choose between four homemade sauces including “Mad Maddie's,” a vinegar-based concoction, and “Pineapple Express,” a tangy and sweet sauce with a burst of tropical fruit.

Wiley’s Championship BBQ, Savannah, Georgia. With more than 30 years of experience winning awards on the national barbecue competition scene, husband and wife team Wiley and Janet McCrary opened their first brick and mortar restaurant in 2008. The joint pleases palates with low-and-slow cooked meats including savory St. Louis cut ribs.

Hickory Pit Bar-B-Que, Chattanooga, Tennessee. Amid the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachian Mountains in southeastern Tennessee, this log cabin style restaurant feeds famished barbecue fans with an emphasis on Southern hospitality. Dry-rubbed meats are smoked over hickory wood, and can be served on a plate, as a sandwich, or even stuffed inside a “killer” baked potato.

Jim’s Smokin’ Que, Blairsville, Georgia. Open Thursday through Saturday, this northern Georgia smokehouse advises guest to arrive early, as their succulent meats – including ribs, brisket, pulled pork, chicken and turkey – often sell out. Those lucky enough to score a meal can also enjoy their choice of satisfying sides, from Brunswick stew to banana pudding.

Joe’s BBQ, Blue Ridge, Georgia. In the midst of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this joint satisfies hungry guests with tender and moist meats complemented by a selection of sauces including “Alabama white,” a mayonnaise-based mixture that has found fame in several Southeastern states.

Captain’s BBQ, Palm Coast, Florida. Boasting stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean, this waterside smokeshack doubles as a bait-and-tackle shop. Moist and juicy meats are the backbone of the mouthwatering menu which offers up classic plates as well as more unique creations, including pulled pork burritos slathered in Baja sauce.

Poppa’s BBQ, Clearwater, Florida. On the Gulf of Mexico, Poppa’s BBQ delights tastebuds with their “Q.” The deliciously simple menu includes an assortment of slow-smoked pulled pork, juicy chicken and Memphis-style ribs that are generously rubbed with a special spice blend and served with a tomato and vinegar sauce on the side.

Madd Jacks Grillin Shack, Cape Canaveral, Florida. This beach-themed joint brings a taste of the West Coast to the Sunshine State, as chef Robby O’Connor dishes out generous portions of California-style barbecue including sliced tri-tips that are dry-rubbed and cooked over white oak for a slightly smoky kick. 

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Bring Fun to Life’s Messiest Moments

May 9, 2014 1:06 am

(Family Features) Who says cleaning has to be boring? If you’ve just had a large party, are making room for a new wardrobe or simply doing house chores, there are plenty of ways to turn an otherwise mundane task into a fun activity.
In fact, lifestyle bloggers, Jessie Jane of LilyShop, Kelly Lee of Kelly Golightly, and Jennifer Brandt of Perfectly Disheveled learned firsthand how to make cleanups more fun when surprise “Trash Crashers” were sent to clean-up their parties.
The bloggers have these tips to make cleanup more fun in your home:

• Host a clothing swap. Designate areas in your house for certain items, such as shoes, accessories and jackets. Once all the clothing has been sorted, swapped and shopped, you can bag up the remaining items to donate or take to a resale store. Afterwards, all of your belongings will be organized and easy to find.

• Add extra bags. Keep extra trash bags at the bottom of each trash can. This way, during the party you (or a handy helper) can empty full trash cans in a snap and easily put a new bag in without having to scramble.

• Keep clean-up easy. Don't let extra party food go to waste. Instead, send your guests home with leftovers in food storage containers. They'll appreciate the snack and you'll appreciate that nothing will go to waste. Plus, this means less clean-up work for you.

• Make it a competition.
Have each person in your family grab a trash bag when you’re cleaning up after a party or another messy occasion. Set a timer so you can see who has collected the most trash after 5-10 minutes. If you’re playing with little ones, you can even have a little candy treat for the winners.

• Work it out. Cleaning is a great way to burn calories. Put on your favorite tunes and you've got a great opportunity to work in some cardio. You can lunge around the room, run or skip – anything to get your heart pumping. Plus, lifting full heavy duty trash bags is excellent for toning your legs and arms.

Source: Glad

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Simple Ways to Recycle Electronics and Reduce E-waste

May 8, 2014 12:54 am

(BPT) - Reduce, reuse, recycle - it's a mantra we've known for decades. While Americans understand the benefits of recycling bottles, cans and paper, they aren't as savvy when it comes to recycling electronics. Between cellphones, tablets, computers and other consumer electronic devices, the average U.S. house has 24 electronic devices - making for a lot of e-waste when that technology becomes dated.

While it may be tempting to put electronic devices and batteries in the trash, it's critical to understand how to properly dispose of and recycle electronics because each contains contaminants that are harmful to the environment. Here are three big e-waste offenders - cellphones, batteries and computers - and how each can be properly recycled.

Cell phones and mobile devices

You probably have a few sitting in a drawer at your house - cellphones you no longer use but aren't really sure what to do with. According to Bamboo Mobile, it is expected that there will be roughly 396 million idle or inactive mobile devices in the U.S. by the end of 2014, and of those, only about 80 million will be recycled.

Recycling small electronic devices is easier than ever, and you might even get some money in the process. Just find the nearest ecoATM at a mall or retailer nearby. The kiosks pay you for recycling phones, MP3 players and tablets that are broken or no longer being used. Just place your device in the kiosk and the machine examines it and determines a bid. If you agree to sell it, you get cash immediately. Approximately 75 percent of ecoATM devices purchased find a second life - old or broken phones are responsibly recycled. Visit www.ecoatm.com for more information.

If you don't have an ecoATM near you, most cellphone providers offer recycling programs within stores. While you won't earn cash, you'll still have the opportunity to properly recycle your mobile devices and keep toxic materials out of the waste stream. Keep in mind, for every million cellphones recycled, 35 thousand pounds of copper, 772 pounds of silver, 75 pounds of gold and 33 pounds of palladium can be recovered, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Batteries

From your electric toothbrush to your TV remote or your children's animated toys - each day your family uses a lot of batteries. In fact, every year Americans throw out almost 180,000 tons of batteries, according to Earth911, and the majority of these are the single-use type (not rechargeable).

Dry-cell batteries are used in most consumer electronics, and these include alkaline and carbon zinc batteries (including some D, C, AA, AAA and 9-volt) and lithium batteries (including some 9-volt, C, AA and rechargeables). Another type to be aware of are wet-cell batteries that are found in cars, boats and motorcycles. Both dry and wet-cell batteries must be properly recycled.

Recycling all types of batteries helps to prevent pollution and reuse valuable metals. Start by checking with your local government or recycling center to learn how to properly dispose of batteries. Automotive stores will often collect and recycle wet-cell batteries. For dry-cell batteries, many municipalities offer boxes in city halls, libraries and community centers where batteries can be placed for recycling. Additionally, consumer electronics stores often have recycling kiosks available to consumers.

Computers and laptops


Computers are part of most people's daily lives, but when it comes time to upgrade, don't put your legacy electronics in the trash. Recycling one million laptops saves the energy equivalent to the electricity used by more than 3,500 U.S. homes in a year, according to the EPA.

For old laptops and computers, research donation possibilities in your area. While the technology might be dated for your purposes, it could still be put to good use at a local school, library or retirement center. If there isn't a place where your computer can find a second life, recycle it through a reputable organization.

Start by researching your computer manufacturer's recycling programs. From simple recycling drop-off programs to mail-in recycling options, most manufacturers make it easy to reduce e-waste. In addition, most counties offer waste drop-off sites where you can bring your computer - as well as any other electronics - to be properly disposed of and recycled. Call your city or county to learn about available options.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Protect Your Home from Wildfire

May 8, 2014 12:54 am

Wildfire season is approaching and it’s time to make sure you have done everything you can to protect your property. Firefighters must make snap judgments about which structures to try to save and which are too dangerous to defend. A defensible space is required to protect your home from approaching fire and to give some protection to the firefighters. Firefighters will risk their lives to protect your home, but not if you haven’t done your part.

First, don’t start wildfires. Ninety percent of wild fires are started by people. Some fires are started by lightning, but most are caused by campfires, cook fires, cigarettes or matches, fireworks, and arson. In dry areas, many fires are started by improper disposal of ashes. Fireplace and woodstove ashes can smolder for a week and a half. A strong gust of wind can ignite buried ashes.

One recent wildfire was caused by a 20-year-veteran volunteer firefighter who buried ashes in a pit. He soaked and stirred the ashes, but several days later a strong wind fanned the smoldering ashes into a fire that consumed his home and 165 others. The humidity is so low in certain regions at times that organic material in soil may smolder seeming to burn dirt.

The second thing is to make the space around your house defensible. Clean away anything that might burn that is on or next to your house. Wildfires mainly spread through flying embers. Pine needles and leaves on your roof or in your gutters can catch fire. This is even more of a problem if your roof covering is not fire resistant. Class A materials are the most resistant to fire and include fiberglass shingles and tile materials. Untreated wooden shake shingles have the lowest fire rating and take little to ignite.

If you are in a wildfire-prone area, remove shrubs and trees within 10 feet of your house. Clean all combustibles from this immediate area. Trees and bushes within 30 feet of a structure need to be kept pruned with tree branches below 6 feet removed. Stack fire wood and store propane grill tanks, and other highly flammable materials. Install propane tanks for home heating at least 30 feet away from your house. This provides a buffer zone for firefighters to defend your house.

During an active fire your home will be evaluated if threatened. If you have prepared a proper defense zone no action may be required and precious manpower can be used elsewhere. If you have a fair defensive zone, firefighters may improve the zone and move on if possible. They may need to actively protect your property if weather conditions escalate the danger. If a functional defensive zone exists and it can be defended without a high probability of loss of life, firefighters will try to save it. If saving your house endangers their lives more than the house next door, they will put more energy into saving your neighbor.

Dead trees and are extremely flammable. If dead pine trees are next to and hanging over the house, temperatures in a forest fire can get hot enough to cause pine trees to explode spreading embers in all directions. Again, firefighters will defend the properties that can be saved with the least manpower and danger first. The more you do to protect them the more they can do to protect your property.

In grass land areas, fire can be just as threatening as in the forests. Grass fires burn extremely hot and can move at high speeds if wind driven. If your property has accessible fuel it can be consumed quickly. If there is no accessible fuel, it’s likely your property will survive where the house next door may not. Include your defensive zone in your spring clean-up and maintenance list.

Source: Carl Brahe, Certified Professional Inspector

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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The Hazards of Hoarding

May 7, 2014 12:42 am

The effects of hoarding can result in a variety of different issues that cannot be readily seen upon first diagnosis of the problem. What drives hoarding many times are conditions related to OCD. However, the long term effects can be an issue for both the individual who is suffering from it, but also their loved ones as well. Some of these effects can be fatal in the most extreme of cases.

One of the issues that can be affected is one's personal safety. The individual can cause a possible hazard to the structure of their building due to the excessive weight of the items that have accumulated over time. This weight could compromise the structural integrity of the building itself and result in the possibility of the building collapsing in on itself. Also, the items that the individual might be collecting could possibly be flammable and this could present a fire hazard.

In many states, individuals who are hoarders often face legal repercussions in regards to their actual property. If a hoarder is leasing or renting a property from a landlord, they can be evicted under certain laws and ordinances. This often is shown in court by the landlord demonstrating that the individual is risking the other individuals in the building. However, if hoarders do become homeless, they may not have a shelter to go to as often, shelters do not allow for hoarders to stay in their buildings because of the potential risk to other people.

If a parent poses a risk to the health and safety of a child, the child may be taken away into protective custody. The main reason for the child being removed is the potential health risks, since the items that can collect can decompose or become infested with bacteria that is harmful to humans. The infestation can cause respiratory issues due to mold, or ammonia from human waste and animal waste. Also, if a person does become sick from the items that are decomposing, emergency crews may have difficulty removing an individual from a property surrounded by waste.

All of these issues listed are hazards of hoarding. Not only does the hoarding risk the personal well-being of a hoarder, but it affects their loved ones as well. A hoarding situation can cause someone to lose to control over their possessions, family and home. Seek a professional hoarding cleanup company to help before the situation becomes out of control.

Source: Address Your Mess

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Disappearing Designs and Relaxing Environments Lead Bathroom Remodel Trends

May 7, 2014 12:42 am

A survey conducted by Geberit revealed that 30 percent of Americans believe the toilet tank is the most unappealing feature of their bathroom, revealing a growing shift towards form over function in bathroom design ahead of National Home Remodeling Month in May.

"Homeowners want to make their bathrooms sleek and spa-like," said Liz Murray, a Portland, Oregon-based interior designer. "Expect to see more 'disappearing designs' that tuck away anything that looks untidy, along with products that bring smart home technology to the bathroom to really transform the space into a sanctuary for the mind and body."
A survey from Houzz revealed that 17 percent of homeowners are opting for wall-mounted or tankless toilets instead of traditional toilets, pointing to the rise in "disappearing designs."

Another ongoing trend identified by Murray is the continued popularity of eco-friendly products: "Products created from sustainable materials like bamboo, cork, porcelain or recycled glass will be prominently featured during this year's remodeling season," said Murray.

Designing the Perfect Bathroom:
When asked to describe their perfect bathroom, Americans ranked creating a nice place to relax (37 percent), saving space (24 percent) and making it a quiet atmosphere (20 percent) as the most important qualities of a bathroom. A sleek and modern bathroom style appeals to 44 percent of Americans, followed by spa-inspired (27 percent) and elegant luxury (19 percent).

"The modern bathroom serves more than just the basic functions of traditional bathrooms," said John Fitzgerald, vice president of marketing for Geberit North America. "We're seeing people using their bathrooms to also read, check smartphones and listen to music."

According to the survey, 47 percent of Americans use their bathroom to read books or magazines, take a phone call or check email (35 percent) or listen to music (27 percent).

Good Bathrooms Matter: One third of Americans believe that having high-quality, updated bathrooms is important when making home rental or purchase decisions, meaning bathroom remodels are an important factor to consider during the spring real estate season. In fact, a survey conducted by Houzz revealed that 40 percent of homeowners are planning to remodel in the next two years and 27 percent of remodeling projects will be bathroom-related.

Source: Geberit North America

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Should Sunblock Be Used Indoors?

May 6, 2014 12:30 am

The same ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun that are harmful outdoors pass right through windows into offices, homes and cars. Experts say this is a serious contributor to people's daily accumulation of indoor ultraviolet exposure leading to skin cancer and photo aging.

"If you're sitting next to a window with sunlight streaming in, you're at risk for UV damage to your skin and eyes," said Darrell Smith, executive director of the International Window Film Association (IWFA), a nonprofit group representing the many benefits of window film for consumers, on behalf of leading manufacturers, distributors and dealers. "Window film brings automatic and continuous protection indoors without the need to take action in the form of sunblock," added Smith.

Residential and commercial window films can also reduce glare by more than half while allowing 30 to 80 percent of visible light in and blocking up to 99.9 percent of the sun's UV rays. Window film protects from the dangers of the sun while letting in natural light, safely.

Many dermatologists suggest using sunblock inside the home, but knowing people often forget this extra step, window film can provide 24/7 protection indoors and the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends it.

Dermatologists note a wide body of evidence showing that cumulative, ongoing exposure to UV rays leads to skin aging and cancer, according to a report in Clinical Interventions In Aging. In addition, automobiles, side windows and sunroofs may also let in harmful rays and people who drive frequently often have pronounced sun damage and skin cancer on their left side as documented in the The New England Journal of Medicine.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Moms Hate to Wait on Mother's Day

May 6, 2014 12:30 am

Across the country, Mother's Day is one of the most commercially successful U.S. occasions for flowers, greeting cards, and restaurants. However, a new survey from NoWait, the wait-listing app and seating tool for casual-dining restaurants, reveals that the number-one reason why moms would choose not to dine out on Mother's Day is because their "favorite restaurant is too busy." NoWait announced its nationwide survey results to uncover Mother's Day preferences around dining out.

When asked how they typically spend Mother's Day, 71 percent stated they "plan on taking Mom out to eat" for the holiday, yet only one-third (33 percent) find making a reservation necessary for their dining plans. If they do plan ahead, the Mother's Day study shows that partners are poor planners, with 74 percent making plans "less than a week before"; only 20 percent plan "more than a month in advance" and six percent "make no plans at all." Despite the large number of procrastinators who wait until the last minute to make Mother's Day plans -- if they make any plans at all -- 88 percent would walk out after just 30 minutes of waiting; only eight percent are willing to have her wait "up to an hour" and an especially small fraction (4 percent) are willing to make Mom "wait as long as it takes."

More results from the inaugural Mother's Day survey from NoWait are as follows:

• When it comes to the specific meal with which families celebrate Mom, they can sleep in. Almost half (44 percent) take Mom out for dinner, while breakfast (8 percent), brunch (37 percent) and lunch (11 percent) were less popular.
• Although President Wilson officially declared Mother's Day the second Sunday in May, Americans are less literal when it comes to celebrating on the specific day. Despite a majority (70 percent) celebrating Mom "at a restaurant," they are split evenly between dining out actually "on Mother's Day" versus "at some time during the Mother's Day weekend."

Source: NoWait

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Seven Spring Safety Tips

May 6, 2014 12:30 am

Spring is in the air, and along with it comes the urge to clean, organize and spruce up your yard after a long, hard winter. Public Service Electric and Gas Co. (PSE&G) wants to ensure that you do so safely and that your equipment is in good working order. PSE&G offers the following tips to stay safe around electricity and gas.

Spring cleaning indoors:

1. When vacuuming and sweeping, check for electrical cords crossing your path or running under rugs. Cords should be out of pathways to avoid tripping and should never be hidden under rugs or furniture where they could overheat and potentially start a fire.
2. When cleaning in the bathroom and kitchen, make sure that electrical appliances are not placed where they could get wet. Electrical parts can become grounded when wet, posing an electric shock or overheating hazard.
3. When dusting, check lamps and fixtures to ensure they have light bulbs with the correct wattage. Wattage should be of equal or lesser value than that recommended by the manufacturer.

Spring cleaning outdoors:

1. If you use power tools to work outside, make sure that extension cords are marked for outdoor use and rated for the power needs of your tools. Overloaded cords may lead to electric shock and serious injury.
2. Check for overhead power lines when using ladders to clean your gutters or pool-cleaning equipment that could reach within 10 feet of the lines.
3. When digging in your yard to plant new trees or bushes, make sure that you know where underground electric and gas lines are located..
4. If planning to trim trees, check for overhead power lines. The only safe way to trim trees within 10 feet of power lines is to call a professional.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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