Real Estate News

    • 4 Tips for Navigating a Low-Carb Family Meal Plan

      11 May 2021

      Meal planning for a family, particularly one with picky eaters, can be a challenge under any circumstances. When you add one member’s low-carb dietary preference into the mix, meal planning can seem downright impossible. Thankfully, these strategies ensure that everyone leaves the table satisfied without compromising anyone’s nutrition or taste preferences. 

      Don’t Force the Issue
      Unless everyone in the family has agreed to a new dietary plan—and a new plan has been medically approved for all members—it is best to avoid drastically changing the full family’s mealtime habits, particularly for children. Creating unnecessary restrictions can create an unhealthy strain on children’s burgeoning relationship with food. Focus on gently incorporating new low-carb foods or meals alongside your normal fare with known or favorite foods available with the meal.

      Go Back to the Basics
      Any great dietary plan is built on a foundation of whole unprocessed foods. Go back to the basics to create a simple meal with a meat and a couple of veggies as a side. Don’t forget to add a lot of seasonings—whole foods don’t need to be boring! For your low-carb family members, green veggies such as salads, broccoli, green beans and zucchini, can be seasoned deliciously alongside fish, chicken or steak. Simply add a starchy vegetable, a simple pasta or a side of warm bread to ensure every family member can meet their macronutrient requirements. 

      Try Buildable Meals
      Buildable meals are a perfect solution that will fit everyone’s dietary and taste preferences. Foods like soups with toppings, taco bowls and even salads are an easy way to allow each family member to include only the items that fit their meal preferences. 

      Simple Substitutes
      With a simple substitute available many meals can have the versatility of a buildable meal with just a little extra work. For pasta nights, keep your sauce and veggies separate from the actual pasta. Cook the regular pasta for the carb-friendly family members and provide an option like edamame spaghetti or zucchini noodles for a low-carb alternative.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips to Promote Health During Spring

      11 May 2021

      (Family Features) As seasons change, there’s often a great deal of shuffling and movement, including common allergy triggers like trees, pollen, mold spores, dust and dander along with pesky sinus pressure. Combined with changes in barometric pressure and weather patterns bouncing up and down, spring can be one big pain – literally.

      “This is the time of year when most of us are excited to see the change of seasons, but millions of allergy and sinus sufferers welcome spring with trepidation,” Dr. Ian Smith, M.D., said. “Common triggers such as trees, pollen, mold spores, dust and dander can wreak havoc for many. Having a trusted multi-symptom reliever of upper respiratory allergies like Mucinex Sinus-Max is absolutely key in making the season more enjoyable for all suffering from sinus and congestion issues. With a reliable multi-symptom product stashed in your medicine cabinet, and the combination of simple modifications like being mindful of your indoor climate, eating more fruits and veggies, and staying hydrated, can help limit sinus discomfort this season.” 

      Take steps this spring to ease the impact of sinus and allergy problems and focus on your overall wellness for a smooth transition with these tips:

      Control your allergy and sinus triggers. Knowing what flares your allergic reactions can help prevent discomfort. For many people, monitoring pollen counts and limiting time outdoors on high-pollen days can help reduce reactions. You might also avoid hanging laundry outside, as pollen can stick to clothes and sheets as they dry, and ask for help with yardwork to limit your exposure.

      Find some pressure release. When nasal congestion or sinus pressure build, it can feel like a ton of bricks have landed on your head. However, you can find relief with products designed to help clear up your stuffy nose, relieve headaches and thin and loosen excess mucus. Often, if you’re experiencing sinus problems, you’re dealing with multiple symptoms. From congestion to headaches and sinus pressure, an over-the-counter medicine like Mucinex Sinus-Max can break up your sinus symptoms with just one dose or your money back. 

      Manage your indoor climate. Even when you start spending more time outdoors, it’s important to keep close tabs on the quality of the air inside your home. If you’re prone to allergy flare-ups or sinus infections, manage the humidity level by using a humidifier or dehumidifier. If outdoor allergens are a concern, avoid opening windows and doors, and instead rely on air conditioning on warmer days. Also be sure to change filters regularly and use an air purifier for added protection.

      Keep fluids flowing. More time outdoors in warmer weather can quickly lead to dehydration, especially if you’re working up a sweat. Drink plenty of water to stay well hydrated and keep your body operating in top shape. Staying hydrated can also help keep mucus moving, allowing you to ease through allergy or sinus problems.

      Update your medicine cabinet. A seasonal change is a good time to take stock of your medical supplies and medications to ensure you have what you need for the months ahead. Discard any expired prescriptions or over the counter medicines and be sure restock common spring and summer essentials like bug bite ointments, sunburn spray and multi-symptom products like Mucinex Sinus-Max to help temporarily relieve sinus and congestion symptoms in one dose. Also be sure to replenish your first aid kit with plenty of bandages and wound care supplies.

      For more information, visit

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Is It Time to Replace Your Mattress?

      11 May 2021

      Getting enough quality sleep is essential for your physical and mental health. A good night’s sleep can help you recover after a workout, avoid back pain and wake up feeling refreshed instead of stressed out. Sleep is also important for a healthy immune system.  

      If you regularly wake up feeling stiff, achy, tired or irritable, your mattress may be to blame. Here are some signs that it needs to be replaced.

      Average Lifespan of a Mattress
      Mattresses typically last seven to 10 years. The type of mattress you have, the manufacturer, the quality of the mattress and how often it’s used can all affect how long it will last. Flipping or rotating a mattress can help it wear evenly, but sooner or later, it will still become worn out and have to be replaced. 

      The warranty period for your mattress may be much longer than seven to 10 years. The warranty covers some parts of a mattress, but it’s not a guarantee that it will stay comfortable for the full period. 

      Signs That Your Mattress Is No Longer Serving You Well
      Your mattress should support your body so you can get a restful night’s sleep. If you have a memory foam mattress, it should contour to your body. If your mattress is sagging, has lumps or protruding springs, is too hard or too soft, or has Memory Foam that doesn’t spring back soon after you get up, it may be time to start shopping for a new one. 

      Think about how you sleep away from home. If you have noticed that you sleep better when you’re a guest at someone else’s house or when you stay at a hotel, that can be a clear indication that the mattress at your home needs to go.

      Mold, mildew, dust mites and other allergens can accumulate on mattresses. If you sneeze or feel congested when you’re in or near your bed, that may be why. You may need to buy a new mattress made with hypoallergenic materials.

      If your weight has increased or decreased significantly, your mattress may no longer suit you. Even if it’s still in good condition, it may not be the right fit for your current body type.

      Focus on How You Feel
      You may not notice a visible problem with your mattress, but you may realize that there’s an issue if you think about how you feel. If you toss and turn because you can’t find a comfortable position, wake up achy but feel better after you get out of bed or get enough hours of sleep but still don’t feel refreshed, it may be due to your mattress, not stress or your partner’s snoring. Consider all these factors to figure out if you should invest in a new mattress.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Care for a Cast Iron Skillet

      10 May 2021

      A cast iron skillet is a vital tool in every home chef’s arsenal. The versatility of cast iron has made it a long-term favorite cookware item, even with all the modern cookware options out there. If you find yourself a proud new owner of a cast iron skillet, you should know there are some hard-and-fast rules of caring for your new pan.

      Understand the Importance of a Seasoned Skillet
      You may have heard about a cast iron’s “seasoning” in passing. A well-seasoned cast iron pan will ensure a nonstick surface when you are cooking. In essence, seasoning is oil baked into the cast iron. The more you cook and care for your pan, the more oil or fat can molecularly bond with the pan to create another layer of seasoning. Since a well-cared-for pan can last for generations, it’s easy to see why the art of seasoning is vital knowledge. If you’re not lucky enough to get grandma’s skillet, you can buy them pre-seasoned for ease of use out of the box.

      Never Put Your Cast Iron Pan in the Dishwasher
      Cast iron may have its advantages, but hands-off cleaning is not one of them. Your pan should never be put in the dishwasher. Between the high heat and strong detergents of the dishwasher, your pan’s seasoning will be stripped away and will leave your pan likely to rust. Clean your cast iron cookware by hand only.

      Avoid Dish Soap
      If cleaning by hand makes sense to you, but you’re ready to reach for your trusty dish soap—stop right there! While dish soap and warm water won’t be as harsh as using a dishwasher, it will still serve to strip your pan’s seasoning. You will also want to avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaning tools, such as steel wool, and never let your pan soak to get off stuck-on bits of food. A cast iron pan soaking in water will rust.

      Properly Clean Your Skillet
      You may be wondering how you can clean your pan with all of these limitations. Rinse your pan and remove any food debris. If you find any stuck-on food bits, you can use a paste of coarse kosher salt and water. Once your pan is clean and rinsed, thoroughly dry it with a lint-free paper towel. Finally, rub a light layer of cooking oil or seasoning spray onto the surface of your cookware and use a paper towel to ensure no oil residue remains.

      Caring for any cast iron cookware can seem like a chore at first, but eventually, it will become second nature and you too will be a cast-iron convert.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • DIY Ideas to Increase Your Home’s Value

      10 May 2021

      (Family Features) Now as much as ever, your home may be a sanctuary for all kinds of expression, from thinking and dreaming to working and playing. Over the past year, homeowners began to consider the intersection of function and design in new ways.

      Weekend warriors are dedicating themselves to creating more organized living spaces and making their homes better places for learning, working and living. If you’re considering upgrades to your home, consider these DIY ideas from the experts at Royal Building Products that can increase beauty and resale value.

      Home Office
      Spending more time at home may mean storage space is at a premium, especially if you’re relying on a makeshift home office. You can add a high-impact and functional element to your office with a built-in bookcase or workstation. Consider your materials carefully since they have a big impact on your final results. For example, a versatile alternative to wood is synthetic polyvinyl chloride (PVC) trim, which you don’t need to sand or prime before painting, ultimately saving time, energy and money. While PVC is slightly more expensive than some wood options, it also requires less maintenance long-term. 

      By updating worn-out items, modernizing fixtures and creating a more functional space, you can expect to recoup up to 50% of a bathroom’s remodel cost, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. If you’re considering an on-trend look like shiplap, a practical solution like Royal prefinished PVC Shiplap can help create a clean, comfortable space. It’s waterproof, mold resistant, flexible and works well in spaces with many slants and angles. Plus, it’s lightweight and easy to install.

      A home’s foyer offers the first impression of its interior, teasing the personality of architecture and decor found with each step deeper inside. Whether bold and dramatic, tranquil and serene, or something in-between, the entryway often sets the tone for a home’s ambience. Details like decorative molding and lattice trim can create a striking entryway for almost any home style.

      Whether you’re sprucing up an outdoor living space or simply want to boost curb appeal, subtle enhancements can make a big impact. For example, board and batten shutters offer an attractive, low-fuss way to highlight your home’s windows. Painting the front door is another low-cost way to freshen up your exterior. Or invite a touch of nature by adding flower boxes to your front porch or windows.
      Find more creative inspiration, tools, tips and practical steps for every level of DIY-er at

      Select a Trim Style to Match Your Home Style
      The right style of trim can transform a room into a whole new space. A good rule of thumb is to keep the style of trim consistent with your home style and from room to room.

      The craftsman home style pairs well with simple, tailored and purposeful doors and minimally ornamented window casings while white, light beige and cream-colored crown moulding can create roomier spaces.

      This home style’s rustic simplicity and rich detail call for interior trim that lends a touch of stately courtliness. Choose multi-piece trim and wider baseboards, wainscoting and crown moulding to adorn family room floors, walls and ceilings.

      Cape Cod
      This practical and quaintly unassuming design can be accented by subtle interior trim such as transom windows and sidelights that surround multi-paneled entry doors, casings for double-hung windows, picture rails and frame walls. 

      The clean expansiveness of this home style lends itself to unadorned window and door casings as well as baseboards. You can go minimalist and use trim merely to protect walls and floors. Alternatively, you could rely on trim to create an appealing contrast with the wall colors.

      Open, informal and inviting, this style needs trim work that flows from room to room. Many styles work, from simple baseboards to more formal trimmed windows and cabinetry in the kitchen, fireplace mantels in the family room and passageway casings.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.