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6 Sanity Saving Thanksgiving Tips

November 9th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in U-Tube

Stress-free Holiday Season

November 9th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Live Well, Work Well

Start Planning Today for a Stress-free Holiday Season


While the holiday season brings joy and togetherness, it can also bring stress for many individuals and families. Top holiday stressors include staying on a budget, managing multiple commitments and finding the perfect gift. Fortunately, by getting organized and planning out what you can ahead of time, you can help reduce your holiday stress.

  • Write down any known commitments. Does your child’s school have a holiday concert? Are you planning on hosting a holiday dinner? Making a list of your commitments will help you plan your time and help you avoid double-booking yourself.
     
  • Create your budget now. If you’re stressed about how your holiday spending will impact you after the holidays are over, you’re not alone. Remember, the sentiment of a gift is much more important than the cost. Set a realistic budget and do not go over it.
     
  • Start shopping early. Do you already know what you want to get some people on your list? Don’t be afraid to shop early. Sometimes, you can get great deals on presents even before the holiday season hits. Moreover, you can avoid the scenario of not being able to get the gift you want because it’s sold out.

Though these tips won’t prevent all of the holiday stress you may experience, they can definitely can help reduce it. If you experience high holiday stress, try these coping mechanisms to get your stress under control.

View more Live Well, Work Well tips here.

Kitchen Appliance Safety Tips

November 9th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Family Health & Safety

The kitchen is home to a number of appliances that are used on a daily basis. And while these appliances are incredibly useful, they can also be dangerous if they are used incorrectly or break down.

In order to protect your home and family from injuries caused by kitchen appliances, consider the following safety tips:

  • Unplug appliances when they are not in use to reduce the risk of electrical shock. If this is not an option, ensure that plugs are kept away from sources of water, like sinks.
     
  • Ensure that appliance cords are tucked away neatly and out of general walkways. Hanging cords can create tripping hazards or endanger small children that might tug on them.
     
  • Store countertop appliances like toasters and microwaves away from sources of heat, like stoves. Some kitchen appliances are made of plastics and can melt if exposed to excess heat, creating a fire hazard.
     
  • Only use microwave-safe utensils and cookware when reheating food items.

Above all, it’s important to install fire alarms in your kitchen and avoid using outdated appliances.

Home Inventory Checklist

November 9th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Personal Tips, Trips & Traps

Why create a home inventory checklist?

Though your homeowners insurance policy provides the protection that you need in the event of a loss such as a fire or burglary, your policy can only pay for items that you can document. In order to assure that all your prize possessions will be replaced, you should conduct a home inventory so you have a finite record of everything that you own. This inventory will assist you in determining which items were destroyed or stolen.

How should you conduct a home inventory?

To complete a full home inventory, walk through every room in your home and identify all of the contents. It is also wise to take photographs or make a video of all of your possessions, and keep this media documentation with your list. Then, place all of this information into a fireproof safe or safety deposit box at your bank.

Periodically, update this list as you purchase more items for your home.

How does a home inventory list relate to my insurance policy?

Not only can a household inventory checklist assist you in the event of a loss, it can also help you determine whether you have enough insurance coverage. Your coverage should equal the cost of your possessions at today’s prices. Items such as jewelry, furs and fine art should be appraised on a regular basis to ensure that you have enough insurance to cover their high-priced value.

Once you have completed your home inventory walk-thru, contact Hodge, Hart & Schleifer for more assistance with your insurance needs.

Download the Home Inventory Checklist here.

November 2017 Festivals and Events

November 9th, 2017 | No Comments | Posted in Spotlight on the Community

Fall Theater in Washington DC
With dozens of performances around the region, here is the schedule of the top shows for the season.

Washington Wizards Basketball
See NBA games live at the Verizon Center or enjoy the national broadcasts throughout the season.

Museum Shop Around at Strathmore
?November 9-12, 2017. Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sunday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Shop at 16 museum shops under one roof at the Mansion at Strathmore, 10701 Rockville Pike, North Bethesda, Maryland (301) 581-5100.

Veterans Day
November 11, 2017. Honor American veterans at this event and/or attend a wreath-laying ceremony at one of the monuments in Washington, DC. See the schedule of this year’s events.

FotoWeek DC
November 11-19, 2017. The annual celebration of photography in Washington, DC, will feature programs including a photo contest and juried exhibition, gallery openings, lectures, educational workshops, portfolio reviews, book signings and more.

Holiday Craft Shows
Throughout the month of November, you will find lots of arts and crafts shows ideal for shopping for unique holiday gifts. Find here a variety of craft shows in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia.

National Harbor Christmas Tree Lighting
November 12, 2017, 5-7 p.m. Waterfront Plaza, National Harbor, Maryland. The waterfront community will kick off the holiday season by lighting up the sky with fireworks and a 65ft Christmas tree decorated with 20,000 lights.

DC Cocktail Week
November 13-19, 2017. More than 50 Washington DC area restaurants and bars offer specially priced cocktail and food pairings to entice guests to try something new. This is a great opportunity to check out the local happy hour scene.

Grand Opening Museum of the Bible 
November 17, 2017. 300 D St SW, Washington, DC. Check out the new 430,000-square-foot nonprofit museum located just three blocks from the Capitol Building.

ICE! – Christmas at the Gaylord National Resort
November 18, 2017 – January 1, 2018. The award-winning holiday attraction is a winter wonderland created entirely of 5,000 BLOCKS of ice weighing 1.5 MILLION POUNDS! hand-sculpted by 40 international artisans and kept at a chilling nine degrees Fahrenheit.

This is an interactive holiday attraction you won’t want to miss.

Six Flags America – Holiday in the Park
November 18, 2017-January 1, 2018 Upper Marlboro, MD. The amusement park offers a holiday celebration featuring millions of glittering lights, holiday entertainment, seasonal treats, Santa’s Village, and many popular rides.

Gettysburg Remembrance Day Parade and Illumination
November 19, 2017. Gettysburg, PA. Abraham Lincoln’s famous “Gettysburg Address” and the dedication of the Soldiers’ National Cemetery are commemorated with a special ceremony, a parade and an illumination of the cemetery. 

Turkey Trots in the Washington DC Area
Various Dates. A variety of organizations in DC, Maryland and Northern Virginia sponsor walks and runs to raise money for charity.

Presidential Turkey Pardon
Each year, the President pardons a turkey and spares its life in celebration of Thanksgiving. See photos!

Thanksgiving Parades
Attend the annual Thanksgiving parades in Reston, Virginia and Silver Spring Maryland.

Thanksgiving Weekend in the Washington, DC Area
Thanksgiving weekend kicks off the holiday season and many wonderful activities and events begin in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Here are some ideas of fun things to do during the Thanksgiving weekend.

Black Friday in Washington DC
November 24, 2017. The day after Thanksgiving is the busiest shopping day of the year. Many stores open early and offer big sales for the holidays. See the schedule of store openings in the DC area.

Christmas at Mount Vernon
November 25, 2017 – January 6, 2018. Learn about the Christmas traditions of George Washington and his family, meet historic characters and tour the Mount Vernon Estate by candlelight.

City of Alexandria Holiday Tree Lighting
November 24, 2017, 7-9 p.m. Musical entertainment with a visit from Santa Claus in Market Square, 301 King St. (703) 838-4844

Small Business Saturday in the Washington DC Area
November 25, 2017. The Saturday after Thanksgiving has been designated as a day to shop for the holiday season at locally owned businesses to support the economy.  See a guide to Washington DC area neighborhoods that have a number of small businesses.

Nutcracker Performances
Enjoy the Christmas holiday classic ballet at a theater in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Schedules vary, but many theatres begin their performances in late November.

The National Christmas Tree and the Pageant of Peace
Lighting ceremony – November 30, 2017, 5 p.m. Ellipse near the White House. Visit the National Christmas Tree and enjoy live entertainment through January 1.

Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia
Find dates and times for Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremonies in the Washington, DC area.

Christmas Light Displays
Celebrate the holiday season with a drive or a stroll through one of the Washington, DC area’s spectacle of lights at a local park in DC, Maryland or Virginia.