How to Protect Floors and Carpets When Moving

Here are some things you can use to help protect your floors and carpets:

Furniture sliders – minimize or even eliminate the friction between the object and the floor

Doormats – prevent, as much as possible, dust, mud, water, snow, or other types of debris to be introduced into your home.

Old rugs – keep water or dirt away from the floors below and to provide a protective cushioning barrier against dents and scratches

Floor runners – are made of a special material and have an anti-slip surface on one side to keep them from shifting when in use.

Painter’s Drop cloths – repels the messiest dirt, protects valuable carpet and flooring, durable, long lasting and reusable. You can typically purchase these at local Home Depot & Lowes stores.


9 Simple Steps to Move out in a Month

Step 1: Organize and Clean to Start Preparing to Move Out Start organizing and cleaning your current home as soon as you find out your moving. This way you know what you have and you don’t get overwhelmed by a messy home. Do a deep cleaning in every room, even if the move is a month away. Organizing all the belongings in you home will help you pack like things together more easily than if everything is everywhere.

Step 2: Pack up Decor and Seasonal Items If there are no major holidays coming up before you move, make sure you pack up all of your holiday and seasonal décor and items. Along with out of season clothes and regular décor. If you haven’t already, now is a great time to choose a space in your home to stack all of the boxes that you’ll be packing up before you move.

Step 3: Gather Packing Supplies If you are moving on a budget DO NOT GO OVERBOARD here. You don’t need to buy fancy bubble wrap or packing peanuts or anything like that. Seriously, you don’t, it’s just a waste of money. Use dish towels to help cushion dishes, or you know all those plastic bags you get your groceries in that you don’t want; use those.

Step 4: Pack Up Anything You Know You Won’t Use in the Next Few Weeks This will include, hopefully, most of the items in your kitchen, physical copies of movies, books, and whatever else you may have that you know you could live without for a few weeks. This should be the majority of your packing and should be done before your final week at your old home.

Step 5: Update Address About 2 weeks before you move you should update your address. Along with telling friends and families about your new address, there will be companies and doctors offices that you’ll need to inform, as well.

Step 6: Pack All Non-Essentials At the beginning of your final week in your home, you’ll want to pack up everything that you can live without for a few days; ALL of the non-essentials.

Step 7: Clean Again and Pack All Essentials Once you have the majority of your belongings packed, make sure you do a deep cleaning again. It should be a lot easier this time! Then, the day before you move, pack up the rest of your belongings. Well, all but toothbrushes, stuff to use during your shower, and whatever it is that you may be sleeping on for your last night in your old home.

Step 8: Move Everything to New Home Then comes moving day!

Step 9: Clean Old Home for the Last Time and Fix any Minor Damage The final step you’ll have to worry about concerning your old home; do one more deep clean and fixing any minor damages that may have occurred while living there. AKA making sure there’s no crayon on the walls.


8 End of Summer Cleaning Tips

Once Labor Day has passed and school has started, that pretty much marks the end of summer for most people.   Out with the heat and in with the cooler weather and thoughts of upcoming holidays. The end of summer means trading your sleeveless tops and flip flops for warmer clothes.  With the kids back in school (homeschool or otherwise) we have a little more time for other things, and now is a great time to do an end of summer clean up!

Wash And Store The Beach Towels

Since the outdoor pool and beach season has come to an end, give those beach towels their much-needed cleaning and disinfecting before you prepare them for storage.

Change Your Air Conditioner Filters

After running the air conditioning all summer this is a great time to change your air conditioner filter one last time before winter, too.  Because we all know changing it once a month throughout the summer months will help it work better.

Scrub Your Outdoor Furniture

Give your outdoor furniture a little more love with a thorough cleaning! Remove all the built up debris and keep them looking good by spraying them with an all-purpose cleaner and wiping them down with a damp cloth or sponge.

Sweep The Garage

Clean out your garage and get rid of all the grass and debris that accumulated during the hot weather months.  If you are worrying that cleaning your garage is hard, there are simple ways you can maintain the cleanliness of your garage.

Clean The Barbecue Grill

After days of summer barbecues, your grill could use a serious cleaning to remove all of the cooked-on grit and grime.  

Prevent Your Items From Getting Grimy

You may not be aware but your favorite summer essentials may get grimy and even mildewed if not stored properly.  The floaties, plastic pool toys, and rafts need to be cleaned.

Don’t Forget The Garden

Be sure to clean all of the garden tools.  You want to make sure they are well disinfected so they don’t spread any disease.  It’s a good idea to disinfect them each time you move from one plant to another, too.

Check Your Weather-proofing

Keep your family safe and bring down your utility bills with weatherproofing.  Unnoticeable small leaks can threaten your whole family’s health. 


6 Essential Kitchen Ice Cube Recipes

1. Herbed Ice Cubes

When purchasing fresh herbs from the store, it’s always more than most will use in my recipes so you can chop everything up and make ice cubes with the left-overs and they are available and ready for me to pull out of the freezer for future recipes.

Basil, Oregano, Cilantro, Thyme, and Rosemary are just a few of the herbs that can be stored in the freezer with either water or olive oil in an ice cube. Chives, peppers, and onions, just chop and put directly into a storage container to freeze. You can break off what you need and put the container right back into the freezer.

2. Buttermilk

Again, you can’t just buy a 1/2 cup of buttermilk so use what you need and then freeze 1 tablespoon in each ice cube square so that they are pre-measured for your future recipes.

3. Wine Cubes

That last bit of wine that no one drank from a bottle? Don’t let it go to waste. Measuring it out into tablespoons for your cubes makes popping it into recipes so easy and already measured.

4. Fruit Cubes

Do you have left over fruit from the week that you don’t want to waste? Pop the fruit into ice cube trays with water and have refreshing cubes to liven up your water or glass of sparkling wine over the weekend. You can do the same with lemons and limes.

5. Gravy Cubes

There always seems to be left over gravy anytime it is made. Pop them into cubes and you have either quick gravy for a weeknight meal or added flavor for stews or soups.

6. Left-Over Coffee Cubes

When making a full pot of coffee, there always seems to be some left. Put them into ice cube trays and you will have them available for iced coffee that doesn’t get watered down.


Working with the B.U.D.S. Association

Coastal Bringing Up Down Syndrome (BUDS), southeastern North Carolina’s Down syndrome association, needs volunteers for iCan Swim Camp August 8th through 12th. iCan Swim is an adapted swim program for children and adults with Down syndrome and other disabilities.

The week-long camp is at the YWCA Lower Cape Fear and is open to those age 3 and up with Down syndrome or other disabilities. Slots for swimmers are full and currently on a waitlist.

Coastal BUDS is still seeking volunteers to serve as buddies at the camp. Volunteers need to be at least 15 years old and comfortable in the water, but no special swim skills are required. Those interested in volunteering can call 910-742-5204 or visit to sign up.

Coastal Bringing Up Down Syndrome (BUDS) has received a grant from the Global Down Syndrome Foundation to expand iCan Swim Camp for children with Down syndrome and other disabilities into Brunswick County in 2023.


Increased bear sightings on highways of Brunswick County in the summer

Wildlife says the increased bear sightings during the summer months is due to bear cubs being sent away by their mothers to explore and go off on their own. Bears will then attempt to cross the road, at a time when there are more drivers on the road during the summer tourist season.

“Anytime you’re on a highway, or a road, you can always come in contact with a deer or some other animal, but bears are so big, they’re dark, especially at nighttime, it’s tough to avoid those type of collisions, so you just have to be cognizant of watching your speed in general being careful of anything that can run out in front of you” -NC Wildlife Master Officer.

The NC Wildlife Resources Commission also reminds drivers, if you do hit a bear, do not take it or its remains home with you. They emphasized that it is illegal to possess them when it’s not an active bear hunting season.


How To Save on Flight Costs During Inflation as One-Third of Americans Overspend

One thing you should prepare for when you start planning your trip is that flights will likely be more expensive than you might typically expect. In addition to trying to recoup lost revenue during the pandemic, airlines are reeling from skyrocketing fuel costs and lingering travel restrictions. However, there are still ways you can get the best deals, even if it’s just on a relative basis:

  • Travel on off-peak days, typically Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday.
  • Compare prices at low-cost airlines, but factor in all ancillary costs.
  • If your ticket is flexible, continually recheck prices for rebooking opportunities.
  • Consider flying into or out of alternate airports.
  • Take a redeye or fly at unpopular hours.
  • Use reward air miles, if possible.

Best Pain Reliever for Back 

Back pain is common. And there are many causes for back pain, from a simple muscle strain to more serious medical emergencies. Acute back pain refers to pain in your back that has been around fewer than 4 weeks. For many people, acute back pain that a musculoskeletal problem causes often gets better without medications or other treatments. But some people aren’t as lucky. In certain cases, back pain can become chronic (long term). 

Best over-the-counter pain relievers for back pain: NSAIDs are the best over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers for back pain. When you notice pain in your back, your body’s inflammatory system is active in that area. NSAIDs work by lowering inflammation, which in turn decreases back pain. If you have acute back pain that is affecting your life, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), with or without muscle relaxants, help people the most.

Best for fast back pain relief: Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)

Best for all day/night back pain relief: Naproxen (Aleve)

Best for back pain relief if you can’t use NSAIDs: Acetaminophen (Tylenol)

Best topical back pain option: Diclofenac gel (Voltaren gel, Aspercreme gel)

There are other safe and effective natural back pain relievers. Here are some to consider.

Home exercise: Moving your body at home can help with back pain symptoms. A home exercise regimen is a safe way to try to improve back pain on your own, without needing someone else’s help. It may be more helpful for back pain that has been around for over a month. 

Heat or ice: It may help to apply heat to your back in the area where you feel the pain. And this may be more beneficial when the pain is new and not severe. You can also use cold, like an ice pack. There’s better evidence for heat therapy than ice.

Spinal manipulation: Spinal manipulation can improve pain and function in some people with back pain. Different types of practitioners can do spinal manipulation, including chiropractors, osteopathic physicians, and physical therapists. The therapist moves the affected joint(s) in different directions as far as they can safely go.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture involves placing small needles in specific points of your skin and body. It’s based in traditional Chinese medicine. And it’s very safe. Some studies have shown that acupuncture can help chronic low back pain. 

Physical therapy: Certain people are more likely to benefit from physical therapy for low back pain. Consider physical therapy if you generally have trouble moving around. Your healthcare provider can refer you for outpatient or at-home physical therapy, if they think you will benefit from it. 


So Long, Aspen! 10 Cities Where Outdoor Lovers Can Actually Afford To Buy a Home, 2022

COVID-19 sparked seismic shifts in how Americans live, and one change that’s still going strong today is the itch to ditch those languishing gym memberships and hop on a bike, go on a hike, or otherwise embrace the great outdoors. For real.

A record-high number of individuals (53%) participated in outdoor recreational activities in 2021 largely due to necessity, according to a recent Outdoor Industry Association survey. Not only do open-air spaces sport lower COVID-19 transmission rates, but they also carry psychological benefits many realized they needed dearly. It was only a matter of time before this new wave of outdoor enthusiasts started dreaming of settling down in more natural surroundings 24/7.  We narrowed our rankings to places within a four-hour drive of a national park, and picked just one metro per state to ensure geographic diversity. (Metros include the main city and surrounding towns, suburbs, and smaller urban areas.)   The results prove it’s entirely possible for mere mortals with regular-sized paychecks to purchase property in an outdoor paradise—they just have to meander a bit off the beaten track.



7 Common Moving Costs to Know Before You Pack Up

1. Moving Your Stuff

Hiring pros. You might want to get estimates from a few companies to make sure you’re getting the best deal.

Expect to pay an average of $550 to $2,000 for a basic local move, and $2,000 and up for a long-distance move.

A packing service can add a chunk to these costs (but may be well worth it to you). You should consider “full value protection” through your mover to protect against loss or damaged.  Standard coverage is minimal.

2. Transporting Yourself

Short or long move, you’ll have to get yourself there, too. That could mean a road trip, which includes gas, tolls, possibly lodging, and meals along the way.  Otherwise, it means the cost of a plane ticket, getting yourself to and from the airport, and possibly the price of shipping your car.

3. Moving Supplies

You probably know that you’ll need boxes. But don’t forget the oodles of tape, bubble wrap, packing peanuts, labels, and markers.  You may be able to save by asking for free boxes from local grocery stores, abc stores and using recycled newspaper as packing material.

4. Costs Upon Arrival

If you’re renting, you might owe a security deposit and first month’s rent to your new landlord. You may also be responsible for a pet deposit or fees for getting utilities hooked up.

If you’re moving into a home of your own, you may need to make repairs before you settle in. Some new homeowners also invest in changing locks, putting in security alarms, or replacing smoke detectors.

You may also want to take care of renovating some areas before all your stuff is in the way, and if you have a lawn for the first time, you might need to buy a mower or hire a service.

Will you need a storage unit? Plan on about $ 150 to $400 a month depending on size and location.

5. Cleaning Costs and Supplies

You might be responsible for leaving your old place in tip-top shape. That means paying for stuff like floor cleaner, mops, brushes, and wipes. You may also need to hire a carpet cleaner or house cleaners if you’re short on time.  On the other end, you might need supplies to clean your new apartment or house before you unpack everything.

6. Furniture and Other Items

Even if you’re bringing a lot of things with you, chances are you’ll need to buy some furniture for your new home. You might save by searching online or perusing garage sales and flea markets.

Still, if you need any substantial pieces, like a bed, couch, or table, you could be looking at a few hundred dollars. Beyond furniture, if you’ve moved far away, you might need to stock your new place with all kinds of everyday items, from pantry staples to toiletries.

7. New License and Vehicle Registration

If you’re moving to a different state and have a car, you’ll need to apply for a new license and register your car with the local department of motor vehicles. This comes with a fee, of course.  It is time sensitive before fines set in (really).