RE/MAX 440
Sandy Hershey

Sandy Hershey
4092 Skippack Pike, P.O. Box 880  Skippack  PA 19474
Phone:  610-909-2929
Office:  610-584-1160
Fax:  267-354-6987

My Blog

5 Tips for becoming a More Energized Morning Person

October 7, 2013 1:03 am

Most people train themselves to leap out of bed when the alarm clock sounds in the morning or at the call of a crying baby – but many have never learned to embrace the early-morning wake-up.

“Morning people are rarely understood by those who prefer to sleep in,” noted a San Francisco psychologist. “They seem to start the day with a cheerful energy their opposites can’t seem to fathom.”

But there are ways to ‘trick’ the subconscious into getting more in tune with natural circadian rhythms, so that you get to sleep earlier and more easily and wake more rested and ready to tackle the day.

From a recent panel of behavioral therapists, here are five tips to help it happen:  

Open the curtains – Natural light helps regulate your body clock. Before you go to sleep, open the curtains or blinds in your room so that you are awakened by natural sunlight. Then open the curtains in other rooms so you have as much natural light in your house as you can get.  

Eat a good breakfast - Fueling your day with something healthy and tasty will give you the energy boost you need after having fasted through the night. It can also make getting out of bed less of a chore and more of a reward. Play around with quick and easy granola or muffin recipes that you really can look forward to.

Get outside early - Now that you're awake, it's time to soak up as much sun as you can. Walk or bike to work if you can, or make some time early to increase your exposure to natural light and increase your energy level.

Dim the lights at night – Less exposure to artificial light allows your body to power down and sync with the sun. After sunset, turning off as many lights as possible will help you relax into bedtime.

Power down early – Not only does the exposure to light keep your body awake, but the movement and activity on screens can keep your mind busy when it needs to be quieting down for bed. Turn off your electronic devices once the sun has gone to bed – and resist the urge to watch TV in the bedroom.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Plant and Prepare Your Lawn for Spring

October 7, 2013 1:03 am

Most gardeners can't wait for spring to arrive so they can get outdoors and plant. But experts know fall is the perfect time to plant trees, shrubs and bulbs while tackling essential lawn care projects that will prepare your yard for a burst of growth next spring.

While soil temperatures remain warm - actually warmer than in the spring - air temperatures start to cool in the fall, creating the perfect setting to get outdoors and plant in pleasant, moderate weather. The cooler air temperatures also mean less stress during planting of trees and shrubs, while providing them a head start to develop root systems, acclimate and rest before spring's rush.

While fall offers the only time of year to plant spring-blooming bulbs, you don't have to wait until spring to add a burst of color to your yard. Pansies and mums thrive in abundance during autumn, complementing changing leaf colors in beautiful yellow, orange and red hues.

Also consider planting frost-tolerant vegetables in your garden such as:

Carrots: Try short or round varieties with rocky or heavy soil. Look for yellow, white, and purple selections for variety.

Beets: Known for their intense coloration, entire beet plants - roots and leaves - are edible. Try growing a sampling of striped, golden, and red beets. Beets can be roasted, pickled or sauteed.

Kale: Edible varieties of kale are just as hardy as their ornamental counterparts, which are widely used in pansy beds during winter. Try pretty "Red Russian" or tasty "Lacinato" for a calcium-packed treat.

Onions: An everyday kitchen ingredient, pungent onions are a garden staple. Whether growing white, yellow, or red, harvest early for immediate use or wait for bulbs to mature and dry them for storage.

Lastly, make sure your yard is able to withstand the stress of winter by maintaining lawn care in the fall. Start by aerating, which allows greater movement of water, fertilizer and air, to stimulate your lawn. Aeration also speeds the decomposition of grass clippings and enhances deep root growth. Then, apply the last main fertilizer feeding of the year and seed to avoid any bare spots in winter. Finally, lower your mower's deck for the last cutting to reduce disease potential during wet winter weather and to make raking leaves easier.

Source: Lowe’s

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How-To Reduce Lyme Risks This Year

October 4, 2013 12:54 am

(BPT) - Colder weather's arrival means homeowners across the country brace themselves for the battle against bold, foraging deer. But with recent reports that Lyme disease - transmitted by ticks that live on deer - is even more prevalent than health officials once thought, keeping deer away from your backyard is not just a cosmetic or financial issue any more. Your success at deterring deer could directly affect your family's health.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently estimated about 300,000 cases of Lyme disease are diagnosed each year. Only about 30,000 of those actually get reported to the CDC. Many more likely go undiagnosed since Lyme symptoms can mimic other ailments and even disappear altogether for a time. Lyme disease is now the most common tick-borne illness, according to the CDC, and its health consequences can be severe.

Lyme disease is named for the river-side Connecticut town where it first emerged in 1977. A number of children in the area began exhibiting arthritis-like symptoms, a hallmark of the disease. A bull's-eye target-shaped rash at the bite location may be the first indication that a person was bitten by a tick carrying Lyme disease, but not everyone will see or develop the rash. Symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, neck stiffness and heartbeat irregularities may get mistaken for flu or other illnesses.

In the northeast, mid-Atlantic and north-central states, deer ticks carry the disease. On the Pacific Coast, blacklegged ticks (who also like traveling on deer) spread Lyme disease, the CDC says.-

Year-round, especially during fall and winter, you should check your own body, children and pets for ticks. Deer ticks are often so small you won't even feel their bite, so visual inspection is important. If you suspect you've been bitten, talk to your doctor right away.

The CDC says that reducing your exposure to ticks is the best defense against contracting Lyme disease. While you can't vaccinate your family against Lyme disease (the vaccine maker stopped production in 2002, citing lack of consumer demand), you can "vaccinate" your backyard against deer that carry Lyme-bearing ticks. Keeping deer away from your backyard can help reduce your chances of encountering ticks in your home environment.

Look for a proven effective, natural deterrent that has been independently tested, like Bobbex Deer Repellent. The topical foliar spray uses taste and smell aversion ingredients to deter deer, moose and elk from browsing and causing other damage to ornamental plantings, shrubs and trees.

As part of your deer and Lyme prevention efforts, keep these facts in mind:

Prevention is easier than cure - in both cases. Even after treatment with antibiotics, 10 to 20 percent of Lyme patients have symptoms that last for months or even years, the CDC reports. Once deer move into your yard, they can be difficult to evict, and they can cause hundreds of dollars in damage. It's easier to keep deer away - and avoid Lyme altogether - than to rectify the problems created by deer and the ticks they carry.

-A single whitetail deer can consume 8 to 12 pounds of foliage a day.
-Home remedies rarely work for keeping deer away, and trying to treat Lyme on your own can have severe health consequences. Untreated -Lyme disease can cause arthritis, severe joint pain and swelling, and even chronic neurological problems such as numbness, tingling in the hands or feet and short-term memory problems, the CDC says.
-Even though many plants, bushes and trees will lose their leaves during fall and winter, it's important to continue applying deer repellents year-round. Remember, deer forage aggressively when food becomes scarce. Fall and winter are the times when they're most likely to enter your yard - bringing their disease-carrying cargo with them while ravaging your foliage, trees and shrubs.

Source: www.bobbex.com

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Make Your Home Safer for Your Family

October 4, 2013 12:54 am

(Family Features)—Filled with mesmerizing trinkets and gadgets—your home is a new and exciting world for your small child to explore. But this new world can introduce serious and sometimes surprising safety issues that many parents do not realize are risks.

Hidden concerns in common household devices

As your children happily toddle around your home, they may come in contact with unknown safety issues scattered throughout. One issue you may not have considered is coin lithium batteries, about the size of a nickel, which can be found around most homes in everyday items like remote controls, keyless entry devices for your car, sound-enabled books and a variety of health and fitness devices. Because many of these devices are not regulated as children’s toys, the battery compartments often are very easy to open. Children are naturally drawn to these devices, as many include buttons that are fun to play with and push.

The danger of these batteries is very real. If a coin-sized lithium battery is swallowed by a small child, it can get caught in the esophagus. The battery can react with saliva and cause a chemical reaction that can lead to severe injuries in as little as two hours. Unfortunately, many parents do not know about the issue. In fact, a recent survey showed 62 percent of parents reported being unaware of the risk associated with coin lithium batteries.

Spread the word

In an effort to help keep children safe, Energizer and the National Safety Council are working together to educate parents and caregivers on the steps they can take to help prevent these injuries.

“We know parents and caregivers are constantly thinking about their children’s safety, but we want to bring awareness to an issue still unknown to many families,” said Amy Heinzen, Program Manager of Grants and Strategic Initiatives for the National Safety Council. “Coin lithium battery safety needs to be top of mind and we hope parents will take the time to learn about the issue with these four simple steps to help children be safe.”

In case of emergency

If it is suspected a child has swallowed a coin lithium battery, it is important to go to the emergency department immediately.

For more information on child safety and coin lithium battery safety, visit nsc.org, www.energizer.com, www.TheBatteryControlled.com and www.poison.org/battery.

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Easy-to-Install Window Trim Options

October 4, 2013 12:54 am

On the “what’s in and what’s out” list for homeowners, naked window exteriors are definitely out. Easy-to-install decorative accents like mouldings, window crossheads and shutters are now trending for homeowners across the country.

“With so many options for enhancing window exteriors using lightweight polyurethane products, even the most novice do-it-yourselfer can change a window exterior from boring to beautiful in a short time,” says Niki Decker with Fypon. “If you can use a tape measure, a hammer and a caulk gun, you can transform your window exteriors!”

Options for homeowners to use include:

Crossheads – Decorative crossheads sit on the top of a window and add a regal look. They can be plain or detailed with keystones in the center to draw attention or detail trim along the length of the crosshead to suit traditional home styles. There are also crosshead arches and eyebrow crossheads that provide a softer, curved look when installed above a window.

Pediments – Stylish and eye-catching, pediments also sit above windows. From curved and peaked sunbursts to triangular peaked caps, acorn and rams head styles, pediments are the most dramatic way to draw attention to your window exteriors.

Pilasters – Not all window enhancements sit on top of the window unit. Usually intended to flank the sides of entry doors, pilasters can also be cut down to run vertically up the sides of windows. Pilasters can be smooth and plain, or have a “fluted” recessed design. They generally have plinths at the top and bottom to balance out the window design and add style to the window surround.

Mouldings - Perhaps the easiest way to surround a window is with flat or decorative trim and plinth blocks. This quick project requires no miter cuts because the plinth blocks are put in all four corners of the window exterior and butt up to straight cuts of smooth, paintable trim pieces. Many homeowners use this technique as a “starting point” and then add in other elements such as pediments and shutters to create their own personal window statement.

Shutters – Another popular way to draw attention to the sides of windows is to add a set of decorative shutters. Available in louvered and raised panel styles that are smooth and paintable, shutters provide the perfect way to carry an accent color throughout the exterior of your home. Or, timber shutters in board, plank and louvered styles can be stained to imitate the look of wood on a home without all the maintenance hassles of real wood.

Window Panels – To add depth to the look of a window, flat and raised panels can be added below the window unit and then enclosed entirely with trim. Window panels tend to fill in space between the bottom of the window and the ground, helping the windows gain more presence and focus on a home exterior.

Pot Shelves – Available in both timber and stone styles, a pot shelf is placed below the bottom window sill. Oftentimes they’re used to balance out an entire window surround with a finished look.

Source: Fypon, LLC

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Busy Schedule? Tips for Staying Healthy When Things Get Hectic

October 3, 2013 12:51 am

(Family Features)--Life can sometimes feel a little too jam-packed with work, errands, carpools, cooking dinner and more. When that happens, healthy habits often fall by the wayside in favor of convenience. Fast food can replace home-cooked meals and exercise makes way for the television.

Registered dietitians and authors Lyssie Lakatos and Tammy Lakatos Shames, who are also known as "The Nutrition Twins," have advice for feeling good and staying healthy despite a busy schedule.

Drink up: People often mistake thirst for hunger, prompting them to overeat. Keep seltzer, iced green tea or water with lime in the fridge. The next time you want a nosh between meals, drink a glass first and see what happens.

Sneak in exercise: If it feels like too much of a task to get to the gym each day, sneak in exercise wherever you can. Take the stairs instead of the elevator at work or push your kids on the swings for an arm workout. Even if you walk around the neighborhood for 15 minutes, it counts. Just get moving!

Bite into some energy: You might think a sugary candy bar from the office vending machine will perk you up, but a healthy, balanced snack will keep you on your toes longer. Make sure your snack has a quality, high-fiber carbohydrate, like fresh fruit, oatmeal or whole-grain crispbread, for long-lasting energy and a lean protein, such as a hardboiled egg or Greek yogurt, to help you feel satisfied. The two will work together to keep your energy up and your desire to visit the snack machine down.

Sleep tight: Sleep deprivation slows your metabolism down and negatively affects your immune system. When you're busy, that's the last thing you need. Set yourself a bedtime that's eight hours before you have to wake up and start getting ready for bed 30 minutes prior to that. The last step is tough, but don't bring your phone or computer to bed with you.

Source: www.Vitamints.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Survey Finds Adults are Just as Excited for the Fun this Halloween Season

October 3, 2013 12:51 am

This Halloween, fun never grows old. In fact, 65 percent of American adults are looking forward to enjoying a Halloween treat this year, with one in three adults planning to dress up in a costume. As families prepare for Halloween fun, other survey results revealed:

• Parents Get Into the Halloween Spirit: According to the survey, parents are more likely than non-parents to spook their friends, play a trick and host a haunted house.

• Home is the Halloween Hot Spot: With 41 percent of adults planning to watch a scary movie and almost one-third of all adults planning to host their own parties, Halloween is a great reason for a fun night in.

• Men Enjoy Tricks Over Treats: Men are even more excited to celebrate, with one in three men planning to spook their friends and/or play a trick on someone this Halloween.

Source: Cheetos

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Seasonal Maintenance Tips and Tricks for Consumers this Fall

October 3, 2013 12:51 am

Earth-Kind is offering simple fall home maintenance tips as part of its First Saturday initiative. The quarterly campaign provides expert tips and reminders about what can be done to prevent or repair damage and keep everything running in tip-top shape for the coming season.
Whether you live in the heart of the city or the heartland, there are simple, yet effective ways to prepare for the seasonal changeover. Earth-Kind founder and farmer-in-charge Kari Warberg Block offers the following tips to ensure that everything from pets to smoke detectors are prepared.

• Urbanites: As the season changes, so should your wardrobe. Bring out your sweatshirts, boots and long sleeves, and pack away your bathing suits until next year.

• Small Town Life: As you bundle up for the fall, be sure to test your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors. Be sure to stock your medicine cabinets with first aid kits and dispose of expired medicines.

• Rural Review: If you live on a large piece of property, do lawn maintenance to prepare your property for the cold. Trim grass and shrubbery and dispose of leaf piles. After cleaning farm equipment, use a rodent repellent such as Fresh Cab to protect from damage during the off season.

As the weather cools, rodents will begin to look for a warm place to stay this season. In fact, 50 percent of the world's population struggles with rodents. Protecting your home, car, RV, boat and even farming equipment from mice and other rodents requires just a few easy steps:

• Check area for gaps, and fill small openings with steel wool and caulk.
• Make sure grass is cut short and shrubbery within 100 feet of the home is well trimmed.
• Buy rodent-proof containers such as garbage cans and recycling bins.
• Prevent problems before they start with an all natural repellent option like Fresh Cab, an EPA-certified, long-lasting botanical rodent repellent which is 100 percent guaranteed, safe for humans, pets and the earth.

Source: Earth-Kind, Inc.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Top Auto Care Tips for Fall Car Care Month

October 2, 2013 12:45 am

At the beginning of the summer, savvy travelers visited their trusted automotive service professionals for a car care check-up. Now that the summer travel season is over, it's time to take another look under the hood. Firestone Complete Auto Care offers five tips to help drivers keep their cars running newer and longer.

1. Check your tire pressure monthly – Tires can lose one psi (pound per square inch) per month under normal conditions. Lower pressure increases heat, which results in tire wear and damage.

2. Rotate your tires as recommended by the vehicle manufacturer or every 5,000 miles – For maximum mileage from your tires, stick to a rotation schedule.

3. Keep your car washed – Keep the exterior washed and waxed to protect your vehicle from the elements as the seasons change.

4. Don't forget the filters – Oil, fuel, transmission and air filters are important to keep your engine running well. Check your owner's manual to see how often they should be changed.

5. Drive smart – Maintain good driving habits. They not only affect how long your car will last, but improve fuel economy. Place less stress on your vehicle by avoiding sudden acceleration and braking.

Source: Bridgestone Retail

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Living with Diabetes? Watch your Mouth!

October 2, 2013 12:45 am

(Family Features) According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with diabetes are two times more likely to develop gum disease. In fact, about one-third of people with diabetes have severe gum disease.

Why are those with diabetes more vulnerable to gum disease? High blood glucose levels impair the body’s ability to heal from oral infections and uncontrolled diabetes can make treating gum disease more difficult, according to the American Diabetes Association. The Association is joining with Colgate to launch a new “Watch Your Mouth!” campaign to help raise awareness surrounding the often over-looked link between oral health and diabetes. Here are some tips to help you live well with diabetes:

• Watch your mouth! Begin to develop healthy oral care habits, like brushing, flossing and visiting the dentist regularly. Research shows that brushing twice a day can help improve gum health in as little as four weeks.

• Don’t miss out on your favorite foods. Just eat healthier versions that everyone in your family can enjoy. Making simple substitutions to most dishes can help increase nutritional value, while not sacrificing on taste.

• Use the right tools. Stay organized with a journal large enough to keep your diet, exercise goals and health information together. Keep a week’s worth of prescriptions in one place with a handy pill case.

• Know your risks. The American Diabetes Association lists the common risk factors for diabetes as being 45 or older, being overweight, not exercising regularly, having high blood pressure and being a part of certain racial and ethnic groups.

• Visit your dentist. While your doctor and certified diabetes educator play an important role in helping with your diabetes, so does your dentist. If you don’t see a private-practice dentist, you can visit dental schools that provide services at a fraction of the cost to help you keep your mouth healthy.

For more expert tips and information, visit www.OralHealthAndDiabetes.com.

Source: Colgate Total

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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