Consumer Real Estate News

    • 6 Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer

      21 June 2021

      With the global pandemic slowly receding and warm weather descending all across the nation, Americans are resuming activity in droves—and that’s a good thing. But it’s easy to forget how important it is to stay hydrated in summer’s heat.

      Whether you’re out in the sunshine hiking and biking or back to working out at the gym, medical professionals offer tips for preventing dehydration.

      • Know the Signs - Dehydration can take many forms, from dry, itchy skin to muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue or dizziness. Other signs are infrequent urination or having dark yellow urine. If you experience these symptoms, get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. Over-the-counter options like Pedialyte can help balance out the electrolytes and sodium associated with dehydration. 
      • Drink Enough Water - Daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age and sex. Start by drinking a cup of water each morning and another before bed. Have a glass with every meal and drink one or two cups after working out. To help ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually throughout the day.
      • Avoid Alcohol, Sugary Drinks and Caffeine - Drinks like coffee, sodas, beer, wine and hard liquor, lemonade, sweet tea, energy drinks, smoothies and flavored milk work against hydration. Swap them out for more water.
      • Dress Up Your Water - If plain water bores you, try dressing it up with limes, lemons, mint, oranges, berries or cucumber to improve the taste without artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Or, give coconut water a try. The mineral-rich liquid is packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot climates.
      • Eat Foods With High Water Content - About 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water. The other 20% comes from food. Whole fruits and vegetables contain some water, but for maximum benefit, snack on cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli and grapefruit.
      • Try Probiotics - Probiotics are the living microorganisms found in yogurt and other cultured foods and supplements that can help improve your body’s bacteria. Taking a probiotic can help improve your immune system, protect against infection and improve your digestion and absorption of food and nutrients—including water. They also help with several conditions associated with dehydration.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Support Ocean Health

      21 June 2021

      (Family Features) The ocean covers more than 70% of Earth’s surface, produces more than half of the world’s oxygen and is home to more than 700,000 species. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists estimate if nothing is done, 90% of the world’s tropical reefs will be gone by 2043, threatening 25% of marine life and impacting nearly 500 million people who depend on them for food, income and coastal protection.

      As a leading cat food brand, SHEBA® is hoping to be a catalyst in helping ensure the future has fish. To do so, the team launched Hope Reef, the start of the world’s largest coral restoration project. Additionally, there are many ways individuals can get involved and protect the health of the ocean.

      Explore the Ocean
      If you live close to an ocean basin, consider visiting the beach and ocean. From swimming and snorkeling to whale watching and sunbathing, there are many activities that can help you gain a greater appreciation for the ocean. If you live near a local lake or river, consider paying a visit to learn how it connects to the ocean, or go online to learn about coral reefs and the marine life that calls the ocean home, such as sharks, octopuses, clownfish and more.

      Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
      Carbon dioxide emissions drive global warming, which has several negative effects on the ocean, including increasing its acidity and weakening coral reefs. You can reduce your carbon footprint by walking, riding a bike or using public transportation; turning off lights when leaving a room; line-drying clothes; opening windows or using fans instead of adjusting your thermostat.

      Support Coral Reef Restoration Efforts
      There are groups working to restore coral reefs around the globe. For example, the SHEBA® team aims to help restore more than 185,000 square meters of coral reefs around the world by 2029 through the world’s largest coral restoration program. Hope Reef, unveiled off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia, was built to spell out the word “H-O-P-E” on the seabed using restored coral. Since the start of the project in 2019, coral cover has increased from 5% to 55%, fish abundance increased and species such as sharks and turtles have returned. To help support the efforts, visit the Channel that Grows Coral on YouTube. All content views contribute money to coral reef regeneration.

      Conserve Water
      Using less water can help limit excess runoff and wastewater flowing into the ocean. To help ease the burden on the environment and your local water supply, there are simple steps you can take at home like turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, fixing leaks, installing low-flow toilets and shower heads and avoiding overwatering your lawn.

      Get Involved in Local Cleanup and Community Efforts
      Debris often found in the ocean and other bodies of water typically begins as litter. After a day at the beach – or near a water source – be sure to take all your belongings and trash with you. You can also volunteer through local organizations that help keep the land near water sources free of debris or join a community garden or group that has adopted an area to help maintain it.

      For more information and to help support the efforts, visit

      SOURCE: Sheba

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • The Best Way to Grow an Herb Garden

      21 June 2021

      If your jarred spices are out-of-date and flavorless or if you’re frustrated by wasting store-bought fresh herbs that wilt before you can use them all, there’s one simple solution: Grow your own herbs. Here are some tips and advice from the experts at Epicurious to get you started:

      Plant Outside, If Possible - Herbs grow best in full sun, meaning at least six hours of direct sunlight a day. So planting your herbs outside presents the ideal environment. This will also help you avoid the detrimental effects of a dry indoor atmosphere, which can lead to pests. To make an outdoor herb garden super convenient, plant them in pots right outside your kitchen door or mounted in a window box beneath your kitchen window. This will allow you to water and snip them for cooking with ease.

      Plan for Proper Light Inside - If you need to keep your herb garden indoors—or if you want to grow herbs year-round—strategize ways to ensure they’re receiving the proper amount of sunlight. If you have an unobstructed south-facing window, set up your herb garden here. If not, set up a plant light on a timer to guarantee the proper amount of light. Even if you do have your herbs in a south-facing window, they’ll need this more intense dose of light in winter.

      Start With Baby Plants - While it may be tempting to grow your herbs from seed, this route is only for serious gardeners as seeds need weeks to germinate in advance. Instead, start your garden with small herb plants purchased at the store.

      Grow What You Eat - While there’s a plethora of interesting-sounding herbs you could plant, stick to what you actually eat most often. Otherwise, your efforts and space will go to waste.

      Trim Properly - Herbs are just like any other plant, therefore, trimming them must be done with care. Don’t be tempted to simply chop off leaves indiscriminately for cooking. Do some research on your various herbs to find out when and how to trim them. A general rule of thumb, however, is to never let them bloom; as budding begins, the plant will send energy to the flower instead of the leaves, so be sure to trim blooms off as soon as you see them.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Start a Family Game Night Tradition

      18 June 2021

      Starting a weekly, biweekly or monthly tradition can prove to be an effective and incredibly fun way to slow down and focus on each other even when schedules get hectic. If you are ready to start a family game night for this reason, here are some tips to make it happen.

      Define Game
      Game night can mean different things to different family members, so be sure to define what your family would like to see on a game night. Will it be a rough-and-tumble night of sports or obstacle courses? Does your family enjoy the strategy involved with a long-lasting game of cards? Do you prefer quick board games? Or do you simply want to join the kids in a battle royale on their favorite video game console? Whatever you choose, be sure to set expectations for what the tradition will involve.

      Pick a Low Traffic Night
      The key to making the family game night a true tradition is simply ensuring that it continues even when life gets more chaotic. Pick a low-traffic night, especially if you plan to make your family game nights a weekly event. Choosing a Friday night may work for your family when your children are small, but it could pose a challenge to keep everyone interested as high school years and Friday night football games approach. Choose a night that won’t require family members to sacrifice events or extracurricular activities and you’ll be much more likely to keep up the tradition long-term.

      Ensure Variety
      Traditional family game nights often involve board games since they are an easy way to ensure a technology-free and family-focused evening. If you opt for board games during your game nights, don't forget to ensure variety. You can achieve this by creating a monthly game night with a form of games you don’t normally play (think video games or sports) or you can purchase or borrow new board games regularly. Check with your local library to see if they lend board games to members, or support a local game store and find an eclectic board game you wouldn’t come across otherwise. Either way, keeping game night fun and interesting means mixing it up, especially if one family member keeps winning every time you play Monopoly. 

      Bring Snacks
      Snacks and game nights go hand-in-hand, and everyone can get excited about a delectable treat. Keep it low-key by setting out your family’s favorite crunchy snacks and treats, or plan your game night around dinner and make it a fun build-your-own meal. Taco bars, chili bars or ice cream sundae bars can prove an excellent companion to game night fun. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Summer Snacks That Satisfy Cravings

      18 June 2021

      (Family Features) Road trips, outdoor adventures and relaxing by the pool are some of summer’s most popular activities, and all can be more enjoyable by adding favorite snacks to the mix. Next time you bask in the summer sun, bring along some tasty pecan snacks that allow you stay on track with wellness goals without sacrificing those snack-time delights. 

      Whether you enjoy their natural sweetness straight from the bag or add them to your go-to recipes, pecans are among the lowest in carbs and highest in fiber of tree nuts, an option that’s perfect for snacking. In fact, each ounce of pecans includes 3 grams of plant-based protein and 3 grams of fiber to go with 12 grams of “good” monounsaturated fat and only 2 grams of saturated fat. 

      Curb your snack cravings with a savory option like Buffalo-Pecan Pimento Cheese Dip with veggies and crackers, or if something sweeter tempts your taste buds, dive into a tangy treat with these Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts. 

      Visit for more snacking tips and recipes. 

      Mini Pecan Lemon Berry Tarts
      Total time: 22 minutes
      Servings: 24

      Mini Pecan Crusts:
      Nonstick cooking spray
      2 cups pecan pieces 
      1/4 cup butter, melted
      2 tablespoons sugar

      Lemon Filling:
      1/2 cup lemon curd
      1/2 cup blueberries, raspberries or combination
      powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

      To make mini pecan crusts: Preheat oven to 350 F. Line mini muffin tin with paper liners or spray with nonstick cooking spray.

      In a food processor, blend pecan pieces, butter and sugar until mixture forms coarse dough.

      Scoop about 2 teaspoons pecan mixture in each muffin tin. Use the back of a wooden spoon or fingers to press the mixture evenly along the bottom and up sides of each muffin cup.

      Bake for 12 minutes, or until the crusts are golden brown. Allow crusts to cool completely before removing from the pan.

      To assemble crusts: Spoon 1 teaspoon lemon curd into each mini pecan crust. Top with one raspberry or three small blueberries. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired. 

      Buffalo-Pecan Pimento Cheese Dip
      Total time: 15 minutes
      Servings: 30

      1 cup raw pecan pieces
      1/2 pound (2 cups) sharp cheddar cheese, freshly grated
      1 jar (4 ounces) sliced pimentos
      2 tablespoons red hot sauce 
      2 tablespoons mayo
      1 teaspoon kosher salt
      1/2 teaspoon fresh cracked pepper
      1 tablespoon chives, freshly chopped
      veggies, for serving
      crackers, for serving

      Preheat the oven to 350 F.

      On a baking sheet, spread pecans and roast for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant, tossing once halfway through. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool completely. 

      In a bowl, combine cheddar cheese, pimentos with juice, hot sauce, mayo, salt and pepper. Stir until combined.
      Add 3/4 of pecan pieces and mix until combined.

      Place dip in a serving bowl and top with remaining pecan pieces and freshly chopped chives.

      Serve with veggies and crackers. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.