June 2014

Easy July 4th Treat Ideas

Can you believe that the July 4th holiday is already upon us? As we celebrate our nation's birthday this week, many people will be getting together with friends and family to grill out and watch the fireworks. Bring these easy and festive treats to your next gathering.

Spangled Sandwich Pops

Photo Source

These patriotic pops from Spoonful are a great way to show off the red, white, and blue, without having to do a bunch of cooking or baking. For smaller kids, you can even cut the sandwich in half.

4th of July Rice Krispie Treats

Photo Source

Who doesn't like rice krispie treats? Make the classic treat a little more patriotic with this recipe from Two Sisters Crafting.

Watermelon Stars

It can't get much easier than this sweet idea from I Heart Nap Time! All you need is watermelon slices and a star shaped cookie cutter.

Cut-and-Bake Flag Cookies

Stars and Stripes have never looked so tasty! Use different color sprinkles to make this treat from Pillsbury.

Do you have any other holiday treats you'll be making this weekend? Share them with us on our Facebook and Twitter pages!

How To Throw a Housewarming Party in Your New Ball Home

You've just moved into your new Ball Home--congratulations! Now's the time to show it off to your friends and family by throwing a fantastic housewarming party. Here are a few things you can do to ensure your event is enjoyable for both you and your guests.

Come One, Come All

If you're having a party, you've got to make sure people know about it. You can find unique invitiations on Pinterest or Etsy. If you're the creative type, try your hand at making your own.

Let Them Eat Cake

No party is complete without refreshments. Make sure you have enough food and drinks at your soiree. To keep costs down, consider grilling out hotdogs, kabobs, or chicken, and make side dishes for people to graze on during the party.

Take a Tour

The whole point of having a housewarming party is to show off your new digs! Give your guests a tour of your new abode. Try to split up the tours between you and your spouse or significant other, that way, you'll both be able to enjoy the party, and keep people from wandering around by themselves.

Dress It Up

If you're having people at your house, dress up the outside with planters on your front porch, or string lights across your patio. Another thing to keep in mind is annoying backyard pests, like mosquitos. If they're a problem in your backyard, keep citronella candles burning, or consider having bug spray handy for your guests.

Be A Good Neighbor

If you're brand new to your subdivision, this party might be one of your first introductions to your neighbors. Start your relationship off on the right foot by letting your neighbors know you're having a party. You may even consider extending a neighborly invitation and invite them to your party to get to know them better. If you aren't considerate, you run the risk of initiating bad feelings between you and your neighbors.

Do you have any other tips for the perfect party? Let us know on our Facebook page!

How to Protect Your Home While on Vacation

More than half the population will be taking a vacation this summer. According to FBI statistics, the number of home robberies increases 10-18% during the months of July and August. Before you head off on your much-needed time away, don’t forget to take proper precautions to keep your home safe while you’re away.

1. Stop Your Mail
Nothing screams “We’re not home” like a pile of unopened mail in your mailbox. Put a hold on your mail at the post office, or ask a trusted neighbor or family member to come by a few time while you’re away to pick up your mail. Nothing deters burglars more than having someone come over a few times a day. Plus, they can water your house plants too.
2. Make Your Home Look Lived In
When you’re home, the blinds open and close, the cars go in and out of the garage, and the lights go on and off. When you’re away, the normal routine stops. Help create the illusion that you’re still home by investing in a light switch timer that turns your lamps on and off at certain times of the day. Leave your curtains or blinds exactly as you keep them normally. Move your expensive items, like cash or jewelry, out of plain sight if they’re visible from the window.
3. Pull the Plug
Unplug your television, toaster oven, coffee pot, and computer while you’re away to protect from power surges and save on your electric bill. Even while off, many of these electronics still use electricity. Disconnect your automatic garage door opener as well, so that burglars can’t open it with a universal remote.
4. Remove the spare key
Collect any spare keys hidden around your house. If a person decides to burgle your house, the first place they’ll look is under door mats, in a potted plant, or around the door frame.  Instead, give a copy of your key to a trusted neighbor or nearby friend for emergencies. Make sure the key doesn't have any identifying marks on it, like your name or address.
5. Keep It To Yourself
In today’s social media world, it’s so easy to post about upcoming vacations, photos of yourself at the beach, or check-in at a vacation resort. Unfortunately, it’s not just your friends and family that can see those posts. Would-be burglars can easily check social media sites to see who’s home and who’s away. The less information you put out there, the less likely it is to reach the wrong ears and eyes.
Do you have anything you would add to our list? Let us know on our Facebook page!