• Home and Lifestyle,  Uncategorized

    Are “Energy Vampires” Draining Your Bank Account?

    The term “vampire appliances” refers to appliances that continue to draw energy passively, even when they are not in use. These appliances are not just a seasonal concern – items like computers, small kitchen appliances, and cable boxes will draw energy all year long. This can add up to hundreds of dollars each year on your energy bills, and wasted energy. Learn how to identify these “energy vampires” below and prevent them from draining your bank account. In the Kitchen Most of us have small appliances in our kitchens. Toasters, coffee makers, blenders, and counter-top ovens (like pizza or toaster ovens) are common. Since you use these appliances on a…

  • Current Newsletter,  Home and Lifestyle,  Uncategorized

    Home Updates That Will Stand the Test of Time

    Any major home improvement project requires planning and thought. Design, budget, timeframe for completion, and opting for “DIY” or choosing a contractor are common considerations. Something you might not consider (but should) is the update’s “universal appeal” down the road. At some point, you will likely sell your home and move to a new one. Potential buyers of your current home might not share your enthusiasm for uniquely colored walls, or a bold and trendy kitchen design. If you can’t get a good return on the investment into your home, it might not be a wise choice. Read on to learn about designs that will be appealing to a broad…

  • Current Newsletter,  Home and Lifestyle

    Optimize Your Work From Home Space

    Working from home has become the reality for many people across the country as COVID continues to alter the ways we work and live. For some, working from home might be a welcome change – no commute, no dress code, and no fluorescent office lighting. For others, the relative isolation and potential productivity killing distractions can be a deal breaker. Whichever camp you’re in, there are things you can do to stay productive and salvage your sanity while working from home. Make your space work for you… Whether you have a separate room or home office that you can use for your workspace, or you’re working in the corner of…

  • Home and Lifestyle

    Outdoor Summer Recreation in the Madison Area

    The Madison area is well known for its many opportunities to get active outdoors. From parks, to boating, biking, or hiking – there’s something for everyone! The City of Madison as even been recognized as the second best city for parks (2016) by Livability.com, and awarded “Platinum Level” as a bicycle friendly community by the League of American Bicyclists. There is no shortage of outdoor activities in the Madison area, but check out some of our favorites below. Bonus – outdoor activities are among the safest options during COVID! University of Wisconsin-Madison Arboretum With 1,200 acres of prairies, savannas, wetlands, and Lake Wingra shoreline, the Arboretum is a wonderful place…

  • Home and Lifestyle

    Summer Home Maintenance Tips

    The warm summer months area here, along with heat waves, storms, insects/pests, and other nuisances that threaten the integrity of your home. Read on for helpful tips to keep your home in great shape all season long. Prioritize Energy Efficiency Summer cooling bills can climb quickly with the outdoor temperatures. Make sure your home is optimized to use the least amount of energy while keeping you and your family comfortable inside. Consider sun and UV blocking window film that applies to the inside of windows quickly and easily. There is no adhesive or mess to deal with, since they apply by “static cling”, and can easily be removed when no…

  • Home and Lifestyle

    Outdoor Space Refresh

    Summer months are just around the corner and we’re all ready to enjoy some nice outdoor weather – especially since we’ve all been “extra” confined lately. If you’d like to create an outdoor space that you’ll be proud to host your friends and family in, read on for our top design tips. Start with the right furniture… What you’ll sit or lounge on can be the foundation of your outdoor space. Whether you opt for durable cushioned pieces (made with weather proof outdoor material) or a more traditional table and chair set up, you can build the rest of your outdoor decor around these foundation pieces. Choose furniture that fits…

  • Home and Lifestyle

    Kid Friendly Activities for Safer at Home and Beyond

    Even as safer at home orders start to ease in our area, summer is almost upon us and kids will have more free time on their hands. Many traditional summer activities, like overnight and day camps, have been canceled or postponed out of an abundance of caution. If you’re looking for ideas to keep your kids engaged and active this summer, here’s a list that can help get you started. Almost all of these resources are free too! American Family’s Dream Bank – Under normal circumstances the Dream Bank offers free interactive experiences for kids (and the whole family) on “Family Saturdays” each week. While in person event have been…

  • Home and Lifestyle

    Working From Home? How to Stay Productive and Sane

    Many people find themselves working remotely from home these days. Working from home can be beneficial for some (there may be fewer distractions) but it can also present challenges. It can be hard for some employees to remain productive and happy while working in extended isolation. If you find yourself struggling, these tips can help you stay on task and keep your sanity too. Have a Dedicated Space Try to avoid working from your couch, or even worse, your bedroom. If you are not fortunate enough to have a separate home office, set aside or create a space just for work. This can be a nook in your living room,…

  • Home and Lifestyle

    Homebound and Bored? Check Out These Resources for The Whole Family

    Many of you are probably starting to feel the effects of our safer at home order, and you can only go for so many walks each day. This is especially challenging if you’ve got children to keep engaged and entertained too. Fortunately, several companies are doing their part to help us through this unusual time with free and reduced rate services. Several more are adding virtual access to resources that are typically only available in person. From entertainment to education, the links below should have you covered! Streaming Services HBO – for FREE! HBO is making a large selection of it’s hit shows, documentaries, and movies available to stream for…

  • Home and Lifestyle

    Spring Gardening Is Just Around The Corner

    We’re getting our first hints of warmer weather, and the first Spring rains will begin to wash away the accumulated “yuck” of Winter soon. It’s time to start thinking about Spring gardening and Lawn care again, so here are some tips to help get you ready this season. Start With a Clean Up Before you can do anything with your gardening beds and containers, you’ll need to do a thorough yard clean up. Melting snow can reveal debris that you might not have even known was there. Clean up any trash that might have made its way into your yard over the winter months, along with any fallen branches or…