Tips to Stay Safe On Halloween

It’s the time of year for costumes, sweets, tricks, and treats. Halloween is here again! Put Halloween safety first with these common-sense tips.

  • Carve safely—Are your children begging to carve pumpkins? Make Halloween safety a family affair.
  • Decorate with markers or paint. Let young children draw faces on pumpkins with washable markers or child-friendly paint. Leave any carving to an adult.
  • Use candles with care. Place candlelit pumpkins on a sturdy surface away from curtains and other flammable objects. Never leave candlelit pumpkins unattended. Better yet, light pumpkins with flashlights or battery-operated flameless candles instead.
  • Get clever with costumes—From princesses to superheroes, choosing costumes wisely is an important part of Halloween safety.
  • The brighter the better. Whether you buy a costume or make one yourself, choose bright colors and flame-retardant materials. If your child will be trick-or-treating outdoors after dark, attach reflective tape to his or her costume.
  • Skip the large face masks. A mask can obstruct your child’s vision, especially if it slips out of place. Use kid-friendly makeup instead.
  • Trick-or-treat with care—The promise of Halloween candy may leave stars in your child’s eyes, but Halloween safety still rules
  • Stay close to home. Don’t allow your child to go door to door in an unfamiliar neighborhood.
  • Inspect the treats carefully. Don’t let your child snack while he or she is trick-or-treating. Discard anything that’s not sealed, has torn packaging, or looks questionable. When in Doubt, Throw it Out!
  • Stay safe and sweet on the home front—If you’ll be handing out treats, make sure you’re ready for trick-or-treaters.
  • Turn the lights on. Replace any burned-out bulbs to ensure good visibility at the walkway and front door.
  • Control your pets. Take no chances that your pet might be frightened and chase or bite a child at your door.

Use these safety tips to ensure that your Halloween doesn’t become a real “fright” night!

We hope you have a safe and Happy Halloween.

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Recipe of the Month: Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

 
One of my favorite Halloween traditions is roasting pumpkin seeds. Creating the perfect recipe for roasting pumpkin seeds can be a bit tricky, but I think I’ve finally got the right one.

These are a delicious (and nutritious) seasonal favorite!

Directions

  1. Clean the seeds. Once all of the strands have been cleaned off, give them a GOOD rinse with water in a colander.
  2. Boil the seeds for 10 minutes in salt water. Bring the seeds to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer for 10 minutes, then drain the seeds using a colander and dry them lightly with a paper towel.
  3. Spread seeds on a baking sheet and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil. Massage the oil into seeds and add a generous sprinkle of fine-grain sea salt.
  4. Roast the seeds at 325F for 10 minutes and then remove them from the oven and stir. Roast the seeds for another 8-10 minutes. Test a couple of them, they are done when the shell is crispy and easy to bite through.
  5.  Enjoy the best pumpkin seeds you have ever tasted.

Have a safe, happy Halloween!

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Practice Fire Safety & Prevention

October is Fire Safety and Prevention Month so I thought it was a great chance to review a few fire safety tips with you. Make sure your home doesn’t join this statistic by following the following tips:

  • Smoke Detectors – While it almost goes without saying, every home should have a smoke detector in every room. Smoke detectors can be picked up at any hardware store and are fairly inexpensive.

  • Create an Escape Route and Practice – In the event of a fire, getting your family out safely is the top priority. Create an escape route from each room in the house and practice it regularly. 

  • Don’t Overload Your Electrical – Never overload extension cords or the circuits in your house. Keep wires and cords away from rugs and other high-traffic areas. Make sure all plugs are fitted snugly in the outlet. A poor-fitting plug can overheat and ignite a fire quickly.

  • Keep Your Dryer Vent Clean – Clothes dryers are a common ignition source for house fires. Keep the lint trap clean and make sure your exhaust duct is clear. The exhaust duct should be made of metal tubing, not plastic. It is a good idea to clean behind the dryer at least twice a year.

  • Install a Sprinkler System – A quality sprinkler system will not only greatly increase your chances of surviving a house fire, it will also lower your insurance premiums and push up your property value. Sprinkler systems have dropped in price in recent years and are much more affordable than in the past.

  • Alternative Heat Sources – Whether you are using a fireplace or a space heater, pay close attention when using an alternative source of heat. A portable heater should be kept at least three feet away from anything flammable, including curtains and furniture. When using a fireplace be sure to use fire screens and have the chimney cleaned regularly.

If you have any questions about your current policy, give us a call at the office at any time.



Yours and your family’s safety is Our Agency’s #1 Priority

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5 Tips To Prevent Deer Collisions

You may have noticed in the recent weeks that deer sightings are becoming more prevalent.

Since we are unable to train deer to stay off the roads ☹ here are 5 tips to help you prevent and decrease
the danger of being involved in a deer-related auto accident:

  1. Deer generally travel together. If you see one, there are likely more close by.
  2. Look for deer-crossing signs. Pay attention while driving, and if you see a deer-crossing sign, slow down.
  3. Know what time it is. Deer are most active in the evening and following dusk, from around 6-9 PM.
  4. Another light tip… use the high or “bright” setting whenever possible while driving at night to help illuminate the roadway and assist you in seeing deer approaching.
  5. If you come up on a deer stopped in the road, DO NOT swerve to avoid the collision. Doing so could result in your complete loss of control of the vehicle and cause a more severe accident.

If you do have a collision, seek emergency help immediately and then contact our office and allow us to help you with any claims.

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Recipe of the Month: Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake

I love Oreos and Fudge! I discovered an easy recipe that has combined both of those amazing treats together! And…. it’s so delicious that I had to share it with you!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup hot fudge ice cream topping, warmed
  • 1 tub (8oz) COOL WHIP Topping, thawed, divided
  • 1 pkg. (3.9 oz.) JELL-O Chocolate Flavor Instant Pudding
  • 8 OREO Cookies, chopped
  • 12 rectangular vanilla ice cream sandwiches

Directions

  1. Whisk fudge topping and 1 cup COOL WHIP in a medium bowl until blended. Add dry pudding mix; beat 2 min. Stir in chopped cookies.
  2. Arrange 4 ice cream sandwiches, side-by-side, on a 24-inch-long sheet of Reynolds Wrap® Aluminum Foil; top with half the COOL WHIP mixture. Repeat layers. Cover with remaining ice cream sandwiches.
  3. Frost the top and sides of the dessert with the remaining COOL WHIP.
  4. Fold foil up to make a packet.
  5. Freeze for 4 hours or until firm.

Enjoy!

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Change Is In The Air

September is one of my favorite months. Maybe it’s the fighting spirit inside me, but I like to root for this ‘underdog’ month. Think about it…September is the month right before all of the major holidays start, and I think September doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

The heat of summer staves off and we welcome fall. After the hot summer we’ve had, I’m ready for there to be a bit of a chill in the air. If you’re a fan like me, you’ve likely been counting down the days until football season, which is finally here!

There is one pretty neat thing that happens in September that you might not know about. You might remember from grade school that each equinox and solstice we experience is an astronomical event, caused by Earth’s tilt on its axis and orbit around the sun. We have an equinox twice a year – spring and fall – when the tilt of the Earth’s axis and Earth’s orbit around the sun combine in such a way that the axis is inclined neither away from nor toward the sun. Additionally, we have a solstice twice a year – summer and winter – when the sun reaches its highest and lowest points in the sky. When we experience the September Equinox on September 22nd, Earth’s two hemispheres will be receiving the sun’s rays equally. How’s that for a science lesson from an unlikely source?

I hope that you enjoyed a fun-filled summer with your family and are enjoying all that the changing of seasons brings.

Wishing you all the best this fall!

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Tips For Picking Your New Neighborhood

Our agency’s #1 priority is making sure that you and your family are both informed and insured. Our main purpose is to help you protect all that matters most, especially your family and your home.

Being in insurance, I get a lot of questions from friends, family, and clients who are looking to buy a new home about the many factors that go into choosing your next (and sometimes even first!) home, both relating to insurance and much more.

Here are a few common things that I like to make sure folks pay attention to when choosing their next home:

  • Public Services – Is the street that your dream home is sitting on clean and well-maintained? Are there sidewalks? Do you want/need public transportation, and if so, is it available nearby? Where’s the closest hospital and fire station? These are just a few things to consider and factor into your decision-making process based on their importance to you. This is something that you really need to pay attention to. If the bathroom or kitchen in your new home needs to be remodeled, no big deal, you can do that. You can’t build a new hospital around the corner.
  • School System – Even if you don’t currently have children, you might one day, and where they would go to school may be a strong factor in choosing your home. Being in a good school district can increase demand for your property, as well as give you a higher resale value if you choose to move again. Talk to your realtor, friends, family, and even those who already live in the neighborhood to get a good idea of what school area you prefer.

  • Crime Rates – It’s important to make sure that no matter where you choose to move, you’re in a safe neighborhood. Besides talking to your realtor and other industry professionals, like me, to get advice, you can take advantage of multiple free resources, like www.crimereports.com which provides you with free minute by minute updated crime maps and crime reports for your local area. 

  • Noise & Traffic – If these are important factors to you, you certainly want to do a bit of research. Pay attention to where your new home is located, if it’s in a busy or slower area. Also be sure to check out the neighborhood at different times of the day, as well as noting traffic patterns you see. Talk to people who already live in the area if at all possible, as they can give you a realistic opinion.

I hope these tips help you in making a decision about your new home. Of course, you’ll need homeowner’s insurance too, so don’t forget to call or come by the office so we can make sure you’ve got the coverage you need to protect your new home.

Happy house hunting!

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Did You Know?…

One of the most frequent questions I hear in my insurance agency is an explanation of the various types of life insurance that are out there. September is National Life Insurance Awareness Month, so I wanted to put some info out there so you can be informed and make the right decision for your family.

While everyone can benefit from a life insurance policy, the real question is which type is the best way to protect you and your family. I wanted to give you the basics about the most common types of life insurance. School is back for the kids, and back for us! First class this semester… Life Insurance 101!

  • Term Life – This is the most common type of life insurance. Term life premiums remain stable over a certain amount of time (the term) and if you pass away within that term the policy pays out the agreed-upon value. Terms usually range from 10 to 30 years. During the initial term, the premium stays level which means it does not change.
    If you decide to renew the policy after the initial term the premium will rise to reflect the fact that you are now older and the risks of death are greater. Term life insurance is very easy and affordable; however, it does not generate any cash value.
  • Universal Life – This type of insurance offers a cash value and is a tax-deferred investment, which makes it more costly than term life. This type of insurance can be complicated with many variations, so make sure you have a clear understanding of how your policy works and ask for clarification on anything you do not understand. That’s why we’re here!
  • Whole Life – This type of insurance offers a level of premium and life insurance protection that lasts as long as you live. This type of policy can also accumulate a cash value that is tax deferred. Like Universal Life insurance, this is one of the more “complicated” types out there, so make sure to do your research and ask questions if you don’t understand something.

These are the three main types of life insurance. There are variations of each, so make sure to do your research and ask all the questions you can think of when trying to make a decision about what fits best for you and your family. Feel free to forward this message to your friends and family who may also need a refresher on the basics, and feel free to give us a call today with any questions you might have. We’re here to help!

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Recipe of the Month: Granola Banana Sticks

Looking for the perfect after school treat for your kids or a tasty mid-day snack for yourself? Look no further than here. We’ve got a great recipe for you. Whip up some Granola Banana Sticks and dig in. They are easy to make and make a delicious, healthy snack anywhere, anytime!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1-1/2 teaspoons honey
  • 4-1/2 teaspoons brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons of milk
  • 3 medium firm bananas
  • 6 Popsicle sticks
  • 2 crunchy oat and honey granola bars, crushed

Directions

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the peanut butter, honey, brown sugar, and milk; cook until heated through, stirring occasionally.
  2. Peel bananas and cut them in half widthwise.
  3. Insert a Popsicle stick into one end of each banana half.
  4. Spoon peanut butter mixture over bananas to coat evenly.
  5. Sprinkle with granola.
  6. Serve immediately or place on a waxed paper-lined baking sheet and freeze.

Enjoy!

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Complete a Policy Review Today and Stay Ahead of the Curve

We are in the middle of baseball season and as an Insurance Agent, it always makes me think about curveballs in life.

While it’s entertaining to watch something like that during the game, it’s not so great when you get one of life’s curveballs thrown at you.

Sometimes the curveballs life throws at us are disguised as automobile accidents, unforeseen damage to our homes, or even the passing of a loved one.

Fortunately, those are all curveballs that our agency can help you prepare for. Completing a policy review today can help make sure there are no gaps in your insurance and that you have enough coverage to protect the things that matter most.

Curveballs follow the age-old adage, “Hope for the best. Prepare for the worst.”

It would be ideal for every pitch thrown at us to be straight and right up the middle, but that’s unrealistic. That’s why we’re here to help.

Our agency is always here to help you when you’re preparing for the pitch and keep you ahead of the curve. We can help you with a Policy Review to make sure you and your family have the protection you need.

Call Our Office Today to Complete a Policy Review!

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