Tag Archives: Spring

Your Weekend Spring Cleaning Guide

Ah! Spring is in the air! Time for spring break, spring fever, and spring cleaning? Ah, yes, along with turning the clocks forward and hay fever, spring cleaning is just another rite of spring that reminds us that nothing comes without a price. But before you totally decide that to throw your feather duster in the air, keep in mind that spring cleaning has its benefits. It increases productivity, it helps you to remove allergens from your home, it reduces stress, and it helps you focus. And, just think, it can also give you an excuse to ask that cute guy next door if he can help you change your light bulbs. Here’re some room-by-room tips to help guide you through your spring cleaning weekend.

Happy couple

Kitchen

  • Dust Refrigerator Coils
    Turn off your fuse box. Coils will be at the bottom of the fridge, under the grill. You can clean them by using the crevice attachment on the vacuum, or invest in a specialty refrigerator coil brush from your local hardware store.
  • Defrost the Freezer
    Turn off your fuse box. Empty your freezer and wipe it down with a solution of 2 tablespoons baking soda for each quart of hot water.

Living Room
Replace heavy throws, curtains and rugs with lighter weight ones

Take down heavy winter decor and store by rolling the material around an acid free tube. Then, wrap in a sheet of muslin or cotton and secure with a piece twill tape. Make sure to label each bundle so you will be able to identify everything when you take them out next year.

Woman cleaning window

Bedroom

  • Change Blankets and Flip Mattresses Over
    Flip your mattress over to make sure the wear gets distributed evenly. Swap heavy winter bedding for warm weather, lighter materials.
  • Clean Pillows
    Most pillows can be machine-washed to rid them of bacteria, mold, and odors.

Bathroom

  • Throw Out Expired Cosmetic Products
    Weed out your expired makeup products and discard in a plastic trash bag, kept out of reach of animals and children.
  • Update First Aid Kit
    A complete first aid kit should consist not only of ointments and bandages, but should also include emergency phone numbers, such as the one for the local poison control center.

Home Office

  • Organize files
    Time to go through those old insurance policies and contracts and put them in the right place.
  • Clean Computers
    Clean computer casings with a solution of one drop of dishwashing detergent for every one quart of water. Use cotton swabs to clean crevices in keyboards and wipe screens free of dust and dirt with a soft cloth or dry screen cleaning sponge.

Man cleaning

Closets
Trade out winter clothes for your new spring fashions. Wash garments before storing and put them in a zippered sweater or blanket bag.

  • Donate Clothes
    Some charities provide pickup service and you may also get some tax relieving receipts!

Outdoor Spaces

  • Clean Porch Ceilings and Walls
    Sweep up debris with a broom, wash walls with an all purpose cleaner and polyester sponge
  • Scrub Patios, Decks, Driveways, and Walkways
    Mildew spots can be treated using a deck brush dipped in a solution of one part oxygen bleach to 3 parts water.
  • Wash Outdoor Furniture
    Plastic wood and aluminum can be cleaned with a solutions of dishwashing liquid and water using a soft bristle brush.
  • Check Light Fixtures
    Wash covers and check for frayed wires and poor connections.

Feel better? We thought so! And how’s your new friend? Let us know how your exploits in spring cleaning turned out! We love to know!

Spring And Pollen Are In The Air

Spring has sprung, and so has your post nasal drip. Birds are singing, flowers are blooming, and while most look for love, your primary goal is to find a good decongestant. While your friends talk of vacation plans, you long for antihistamines. At this rate, you’ll be the first in your crowd to attend spring break in a face mask.

Although spring is a beautiful time of year, its also the time that plants release pollen, and millions start to sneeze and sniffle. If those millions include you, here are some things you might want to know about controlling spring allergies.

Woman and child sneezing

Pollen
When it comes to springtime allergy triggers, pollens takes first place. Trees, weeds, and grasses release tiny grain of the stuff into the air, and when they get into the nose of someone who suffers from allergies, the body’s immune system gets out of control.

The body’s natural defense system sees pollen as hazardous and releases antibodies to attack it. This triggers the release of histamines into the blood. Histamines are the chemicals are the causes of the itchy eyes, runny noses, and other common allergy symptoms.

Pollen count is highest on breezy days, when the wind carries the allergens through the air, whilst rain tends to wash them away, lowering the count.

Symptoms
Watering and itching eyes, runny nose, sneezing, coughing, and dark circles around the eyes are all common indicators of allergies.

Allergy Treatments
Although there is no cure for allergies, there are medicines that can ease the symptoms.

Antihistamines work to decrease sneezing, itching, and sniffling by reducing the amount of histamine in the body.

Woman scratching skin

Decongestants shrink blood vessels in the nasal cavities to relieve swelling and congestion.

Nasal spray decongestants work on clogged nasal passageways to relieve congestion faster than oral decongestants, without many of the side effects.

Steroid Nasal sprays are a preferred treatment, but only three, Flonase, Rhinocort, and Nasacort, are available over the counter.

Eye drops can be helpful in the relief of itchy, watery eyes.

Even though many allergy remedies are available over the counter, you may want to consider consulting a doctor to make sure you choose the right one. He may be able to recommend allergy shots, prescription medication, immunotherapy tablets, or steroid nasal sprays. Be aware that some antihistamines can make you feel drowsy.

Natural Allergy Relief
If you prefer your allergy relief organic, here are some options:

Butterbar is an herb which has shown allergy relief potential. Some studies show an extract called Ze 3339 to work as well as antihistamines when it comes to allergy relief.

Woman holding head

Quercitin has been shown in research to prevent the release of histamines. It is found in apples, onions, and black tea.

Nasal Irrigation Involves a a quarter teaspoon each of salt and baking soda combined with sterile or boiled water to clear sinus passages. A squeeze bottle or neti pot can be used for nasal irrigation.

Tips For Keeping Pollen Contact Low

  • Stay indoors when pollen count is high, usually in the morning.
  • Keep windows and doors closed in the spring. An air purifier may come in handy.
  • Keep air filters in your home clean and make sure bookshelves and vents are free of pollen.
  • Wash your hair after venturing outdoors.
  • Vacuum twice weekly, wearing a mask to avoid the kick up of pollen, dust, and mold trapped in your carpet.

Let us know how you deal with the high spring pollen count! Good luck and a great symptom free spring!

Spring Wine Pairings

As spring approaches, many people tend to prepare fresh, light meals over the heavy winter comfort foods. If you think your lighter fare is limited to white wines, think again. There are plenty of spring foods that pair incredibly with a wide range of wines. Below, check out some of our favorite spring wine pairings.

Fruits and wine

Fresh Fruit
Pairing fresh fruit with wine might seem a bit difficult at first due to the inherent sweetness of fruit, but it can be done. Whether you’re serving fresh fruit on its own simply sliced, or incorporating it into a dessert like a strawberry tart, there is a wine that you can pair it with. The most general rule about pairing wine and fresh fruit is to pick a wine that is even sweeter than the fruit you plan to eat. Picking a wine that is sweeter than the fruit you’re serving ensures that the sweetness of the wine won’t be lost in the fruit and will still be able to shine. Another option to consider are wines that have floral notes, as these tend to become more pronounced when paired with fruit. Try an effervescent Moscato, a sweet Riesling or a Gewurztraminer with notes of rose. If you want a little bit more bubble, choose a sparkling wine, like Lambrusco or Schiava.

Honey baked ham

Honey-Baked Ham
Easter falls on March 27th this year and there’s a good chance your family is going to purchase a honey-baked ham, or that you will prepare your own honey-baked ham. Honey-baked ham is both sweet and deliciously fatty, so you need a wine that has enough acid and sweetness to cut through the fat. Pinot Noir is a perfect pairing for honey-baked ham because it features sweet fruits, like luscious cherries. Another wine that pairs well with honey-baked ham is a Rose that doesn’t have too high of an acidity and that also does not have strong flavors of oak.

Salad and wine

Leafy Greens
Salads and other green vegetables are a huge part of spring menus and they do require a bit of thought when it comes to wine pairing. Acidity is important when picking a wine to pair with a salad; you want the wine to have more acidity than the salad you are serving so that the wine doesn’t taste flat. Generally, white wines are a better option than red when pairing with salads. Many spring salads include greens like kale, which has a bitter taste, so you want to avoid pairing a kale-based salad with a red wine. However, there is an exception: If you are serving a steak salad, a light red wine would be an excellent pairing. Wines that feature “green” notes like bell pepper work perfectly with leafy greens. Consider a Sauvignon Blanc, Lambrusco or Verdejo wine to serve with your fresh spring salad.

Lamb and wine

Lamb
Lamb is another popular meat for spring dishes and it happens to be one of the most wine-friendly meats there is. Choosing your wine pairing for lamb ultimately depends upon the type of seasonings you use or the dishes you make. For instance, an Irish stew featuring lamb, root vegetables and herbs like rosemary or thyme pairs wonderfully with country red wines, such as a complex, but not too tannic, Cotes du Rhone Villages wine. Cuts like leg of lamb or rack of lamb are frequent choices for Easter dinners, and there are many wines to choose from for this pairing. Bordeaux, Pinot Noir, cru Beaujolais or a dry Rose are all excellent pairings for leg or rack of lamb dishes.

The most important thing to remember when it comes to pairing wine and food is to drink what you like and flavors that you are attracted to. Spring foods, which tend to feature fresh, earthy, sweet and succulent flavors, pair well with a wide variety of wines. Spend some time exploring different flavor combinations to find your absolute favorite spring pairings.