My family has been spending a lot of time outdoors this spring…and boy has it been a hot one! Now school is out and summer is just around the corner. Knowing Atlanta weather, those temperatures will just continue to rise. The last several weekends, we’ve been taking our son to the pool as a refreshing way to cool off. Last year we had fun visiting splash pads in the area, we’re excited to check some more out this summer too! When we’re at home, he also loves running through the sprinkler or playing with his water table in our backyard. And of course, gotta end things with a cold treat, popsicles and ice cream are in heavy rotation in this house now that the warmer months are here. Anything to help beat the heat!
As the temperature cranks up during these summer months, we tend to shed layers and wear light-weight clothes and more breathable fabrics to help stay comfortable. I know in the summer I trade in my long sleeve button-down shirts for much more seasonably appropriate polo shirts or golf shirts. Whether I opt for quick-dry fabric, linen, pique, or even a light-weight cotton – these types of shirts tend to be my uniform of the summer.
Do you shed some layers this time of year too? Even in breezier clothing, in this heat, we still tend to perspire a lot during these especially hot, few months. Send your polo shirts, golf shirts, and other summer attire into Fabricare Center so we can knock out those deodorant marks, sweat stains, caked on sunscreen or insect repellent, and pesky odors before they set in and become a lingering issue. Though not many people think to dry clean or wet clean their golf shirts or athleisure attire, it has become increasingly popular in recent years, due to delicate fabrics and the high price of many of these garments.
Whether it’s at the pool, on the golf course, on a neighborhood stroll, or at an outdoor yoga class, enjoy your time outside with family and friends, and be sure and let us keep you looking and smelling so fresh and so clean all summer long!
3 Fun, Easy Ways to Keep Kids Learning During Summer
With school out, summertime brings long, carefree days of play and fun. It can be easy to forget how much children learn through play, but they have a natural sense of curiosity. With a little thought and a few supplies, summer is a perfect opportunity to revitalize their innate love of learning that may be a bit squashed after a year of academic pressures, tests and schedules.
“At this time of year, we often hear families express concern about children losing academic skills during summer break,” said Sue-Ann Lively from KinderCare’s education team. “The pressure to add academic learning to summer can lead to increased anxiety, which isn’t helpful for parents or children. Children retain what they learned best when they’re engaged and interested in what they’re doing. As we head into summer, think about the skills your child learned during the school year and how you could incorporate those skills into activities your child enjoys doing.”
Consider these three tips to help your family incorporate learning classroom concepts in summer fun and nurture your children’s love of learning through real-life applications.
Build on classroom skills Practicing writing may not be at the top of your children’s summer activities lists. However, writing might be more appealing if it led to something fun, like a card or letter from a relative or friend. By encouraging your children to write to pen pals, like friends or family members, they will not only practice their literacy skills by writing letters and reading replies, but also work on important executive function skills by learning to manage anticipation while waiting for a response. Even children who are too young to write can participate by drawing pictures and dictating the captions to family members.
Go outside A walk around the neighborhood can turn into an opportunity to build STEM skills by observing changes over time. As you and your children walk, ask questions, make predictions and discuss what you see. This way, you’ll be forming hypotheses and analyzing your results, just like scientists.
Find learning opportunities in regular activities Cooking provides a variety of opportunities to work on math skills. For younger children, that could mean getting two carrots and one apple for a recipe. For children who are learning fractions and multiplication, that might mean figuring out how much of an ingredient to add, such as “If the recipe calls for 1/2 cup of flour and we’re doubling the recipe, how much flour do we need?”
Board games are another opportunity to build academic skills, like math and literacy; executive function skills, like waiting for their turn; and social skills, such as being a gracious winner.
Additionally, read with your children daily and help them find opportunities to practice reading skills, such as reading signs aloud at the park or reading books out loud to other family members.
Tuna Romesco Salad Board
3 large Roma tomatoes
1 roasted red pepper, skin removed and seeded (or from jar), coarsely chopped
1/3 cup roasted salted almonds
1 garlic clove, chopped
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 cans Genova Yellowfin Tuna in Olive Oil
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 bunch scallions
kosher salt, divided
freshly ground black pepper, divided
1 zucchini, sliced 1/2-inch thick on bias
1 red bell pepper, sliced lengthwise into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup roasted salted almonds
1/2 cup marinated artichokes, drained, patted dry and halved
1 bunch radishes, halved
1/2 cup green olives
1/2 cup black olives
4 ounces manchego cheese, sliced into triangles
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
To make romesco: Preheat broiler. Cover sheet pan with parchment paper or foil. Place tomatoes on sheet pan and broil until well charred on both sides, 2-4 minutes per side. Transfer tomatoes to bowl; cool slightly then remove skin, core, seed and coarsely chop.
In blender, combine tomatoes; roasted red pepper; almonds; garlic; vinegar; paprika; red pepper flakes, if using; salt; and pepper until chunky paste forms. With blender on high speed, slowly drizzle in oil, scraping down sides of blender as needed until mixture creates rustic texture. Transfer romesco to bowl and taste for seasoning. Let romesco sit covered at room temperature 1 hour.
To prepare board: In bowl, drain tuna; set aside. Set grill on medium-high heat and brush grates with 1 teaspoon olive oil. Grill scallions until charred and tender, about 4 minutes per side. Remove to large plate and season with salt and pepper. Toss zucchini and red pepper in olive oil then season with salt and pepper. Grill until charred and tender, about 3 minutes per side. Remove to same plate to cool slightly.
To assemble:With large spoon, scoop generous amount of romesco into center of board.Using back of spoon, spread romesco into circle with well in center. Gently pile tuna into well. Arrange zucchini, pepper, roasted almonds, artichokes, radishes, olives and cheese around romesco and tuna. Sprinkle tuna with chopped parsley before serving.
How to Care for Fresh Flowers
The beauty of having a garden is buds continually blooming on one plant or another throughout most of the year. While this provides lovely views from your windows, it can also be nice to bring some beauty indoors.
Don’t be afraid to snip off a few blossoms each week. Many plants thrive after trimming and may reward you with even more flowers. Once you’ve gathered a bouquet from your garden, consider these tips to help keep fresh flowers at their best for a week or more:
Bacteria can quickly destroy fresh flowers, which is why it’s important to use a clean vase. Any floral foam, wires or frogs used in your arrangement must also be washed in warm, soapy water.
Remove any lower leaves that may come in contact with water inside the vase.
Carefully trim each flower stem at a 90-degree angle. It may also be helpful to cut flowers while they are underwater to keep moisture flowing into the stems.
Keep your arrangement out of direct sunlight. The darker and cooler the room, the longer your blossoms will bloom.
Adding a crushed aspirin, bleach, vinegar, sugar or penny to the vase are age-old tricks. However, you can keep bacteria at bay and help flowers thrive by adding a packet of flower food to the water. It can be found at your local florist or home improvement store.
Flowers are living things that still require water, food and care after they are cut. Every 2-3 days, be sure to change the water, replenish the flower food and re-cut the stems for additional days of glorious color.
8 Family-Friendly Travel Destinations
From the sunny beaches of Florida to the mountains of Montana, there are many ideal locations across the country for families and friends to visit together. When traveling with a group, booking a vacation home in these popular destinations allows families to stay under one roof and provides privacy and other family-friendly amenities like kitchens, private pools, backyards and more.
To help inspire families to travel and stay together, Vrbo announced its first ever Vacation Homes of the Year. The vacation homes meet a combination of selection criteria – including 5-star ratings, guest reviews, number of bookings and family-friendly amenities available – and represent a variety of price points, destinations, types of properties and designs to meet the different tastes and vacation preferences for families.
Big Sky, Montana: This remote mountain lodge is located on 20 acres in the mountains near Yellowstone National Park. Outdoor enthusiasts can appreciate the hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking and fishing, but the scenic views can be enjoyed by all kinds of travelers.
Broken Bow, Oklahoma: This pet-friendly modern cabin is perfect for extended families, multi-generational groups and those traveling with kids. It sleeps 18 people and comes with a spacious outdoor patio for grilling and a game room with 12 bunk beds.
East Hampton, New York: A short walk from Georgica Beach, this contemporary farmhouse features a gourmet kitchen, private pool and 15-foot screen in the home theater.
Gatlinburg, Tennessee: This cozy chalet is located near Dollywood and Smoky Mountain National Park and provides outdoor lawn games, indoor arcade games and a pool table.
Hilton Head, South Carolina: Featuring panoramic views of the ocean, this luxury beachfront house also has a heated pool, fully stocked chef’s kitchen and 24/7 concierge services.
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida: This oceanfront beach house sleeps 16 guests and has its own private pool and balconies overlooking the waves.
Sawyer, Michigan: A modern property near Lake Michigan, this getaway is a short walk or bike ride to Warren Dunes State Park and boasts multiple outdoor gathering spaces by the hot tub and firepit.
Telluride, Colorado: A perfect place for adventurous travelers and nature lovers, this mountain lodge is situated between Telluride ski resort and Mountain Village. It’s called “Overlook Haus” because of the breathtaking mountain views from almost every room.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT – Golf Shirt Cleaning
Are you looking your best on the course?
Have your shirts cleaned to remove stains and perspiration. We’ll have you looking and feeling fresh for your next tee time.
With spring in the air, we are coming into the height of wedding season. There are so many gorgeous flowers and trees in bloom this time of year. That coupled with the breezy spring weather in Atlanta makes this time of year both a beautiful and popular one to tie the knot. There is nothing more special then being surrounding by the people you love most on your big day. It’s one of those moments in life that stays with you always.
There are many ways to treasure special memories from your wedding day. Of course, beautiful photo albums and wedding videos encapsulate the day in a meaningful way. These are two items to be enjoyed for years to come. I know my wife and I love to look back through our wedding album year after year. Many brides will opt for other creative ways to commemorate the day with anything from framing their wedding invitation to having it transcribed on a glass vase or silver plate. I’ve also seen brides have their wedding bouquet preserved and displayed in a shadowbox, a lovely and interesting way to remember the day. Another wonderful way to remember your special day is to have your wedding gown preserved.
At Fabricare Center we offer wedding gown cleaning, preservation and restoration. We like to schedule a consultation with each bride to perform a complete inspection of your wedding gown and review your options for cleaning. Our expert cleaners with over 40 years’ experience will professionally spot, treat, and clean your gown. After a thorough cleaning we like to have our brides review their gown before it is preserved and elegantly boxed. With approval from our brides, we then store their gowns in a Museum Quality Wedding Gown Box, allowing them to cherish their wedding gown for years to come. Let us help you treasure the memories from your special day by preserving your beautiful gown.
5 Tips to Stretch Your Summer Travel Budget
Many of the nation’s leading travel experts are predicting a surge in travel this summer. It’s no surprise that after months of restrictions, Americans are ready to set out on their next adventures. While popular destinations are likely to be open and welcoming visitors, the uptick in traffic combined with higher prices may translate into more expensive travel.
Be flexible on travel dates and destinations. Unless your travel is tied to a specific event or occasion, try searching with flexible dates to find the best available rates. Similarly, if you know you want to get away but you’re not particular about where, try looking for destinations offering special promotions or deals for travel during certain timeframes.
Consider trip interruption and cancellation policies. Planning for the unexpected can help protect you if a trip needs to end early or be canceled altogether. Unless you have travel insurance, you’re likely to lose money on non-refundable expenses such as flights, event tickets or tours. However, some travel companies or your credit card provider may cover reimbursement for certain prepaid expenses. Look into what options are available before you travel to avoid extra headaches when the unexpected occurs during a trip.
Get rewarded no matter how you travel. Using your credit card rewards to offset travel costs is a smart strategy, but not everyone wants or needs perks like miles or points that are exclusive to use with a single travel partner. With point-based travel reward cards, like the Credit One Bank Wander Card, the more places you visit, the more rewards you reap along the way that can be redeemed for future experiences, statement credits, gift cards and more. That means no matter what hotel chain you stay at, car rental agency you select or airline you fly with – or as you mix and match to get the best deals – everyday adventurers have opportunities to earn up to five times the rewards points for doing things they love.
Come up with a realistic budget. When you’re planning a trip, it’s easy to focus on the big-ticket expenses like airfare and hotel rooms. The reality is, when you add up all the smaller expenses, you may spend significantly more than you realize. To plan a more accurate budget, be sure you account for expenses like dining out at restaurants, paying for fuel at the pump and tickets to attractions and events. Don’t forget fees that add up, too, like tips for housekeeping, checked bags, Wi-Fi access, parking and souvenirs.
A Brunch Surprise for Mom – Fruit Tart
Try this Brunch Fruit Tart with a tasty granola crust and colorful fruit topping to start Mother’s Day in style. It’s a sweet option to begin her day on the right note.
With a crunchy crust and smooth center, this tart is balanced, easy to make and a beautiful addition to the menu. It’s also easy to customize as the fruit topping options are nearly unlimited. Pick your mom’s favorites and decorate the top however you please. Or, let the little ones get creative and put their own spin on an essential Mother’s Day meal.
To make crust: Preheat oven to 350 F. In large bowl, combine granola, butter and honey. Grease 11-inch tart pan with nonstick cooking spray. Line bottom of tart pan with parchment paper. Press granola mixture into tart pan. Place tart pan on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. Cool completely.
To make filling: Using mixer, combine yogurt, cream cheese, sugar, vanilla extract and gelatin until whipped completely. Pour yogurt mixture into tart crust. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Top with strawberries, blueberries and kiwis.
5 Tips for Gardening with Kids
After months of cool weather, the first hint of spring will likely have the whole family eager to dive into outdoor activities. This year, as you begin tackling the garden, find ways to get the youngest family members in on the action, too.
Not only is gardening an activity you can enjoy together, there are numerous ways to incorporate age-appropriate, teachable moments from counting and colors to responsible care of living things.
Creating a positive first experience with gardening can start with this simple advice:
Dedicate a spot for a junior garden, which allows you to instill a sense of pride and ownership in the little gardener while protecting your own garden areas from ambitious young hands.
Provide appropriate tools in child sizes. Just as you would teach a child the finer points of baseball using a bat and glove, demonstrate the joys of gardening with tools such as a rake, hoe and trowel, all of which can be found in sizes more manageable for little helpers.
Let the kids choose what to plant. Whether flowers or food plants, allow children to make their own decisions (within reason) about what they would like to grow. This can help them engage in the magic of watching items they selected emerge from the ground and grow into their finished forms.
Encourage exposure to unfamiliar plants that entice the senses with appealing smells and flavors. Herbs such as chives, mint and basil are good choices, or consider edible flowers such as pansies or violets.
Set an example for your child to imitate by giving regular and proper care to your own garden.
Entertain in Style
It’s never too early to plan ahead, especially when you are expecting guests in your home. Your family and friends know and might love your style, but it can be important to spice things up now and again to impress your visitors. Factors such as lights, music and food can affect your guests experience in your home.
To remain stylish and keep your party going, consider these tips for fun and festive home entertaining.
Back to Basics. Staying organized is key while entertaining guests in your home. Try to plan out every detail before the big event, which can allow things to go more smoothly on the big day.
Think about Theme. There are numerous ways your style can be shown while entertaining. One way is to pick a theme or theme-related food dishes. One way to show your theme is through decorations. Placing them throughout your home can give the party some life.
Light up the Party. Transforming your home can be made simpler by changing the lighting. It’s typical for lights to be dimmed for parties to set a more relaxed mood. Other ideas include using candles, lamps or even hanging lanterns if you are entertaining outside.
Set the Mood with Music. Pick music that matches your theme and inspires that same feel throughout the house. If you’re going for a fun, energetic atmosphere, try something with a quick tempo, such as pop. If you’re wanting to relax, go for subtler, soothing tones.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT – Wedding Dress Cleaning & Preservation
It’s time for wedding season!
Let Fabricare Center clean and preserve your wedding dress. Save the memories for years to come.
The dogwoods are in bloom, warmer temperatures are here, and with daylight savings we get to enjoy being outside even later into the evening. As the season has officially changed, my wife and I have recently taken the opportunity to turn over our closet. This time of year means swapping out boots for sandals, pants for shorts, skirts, and dresses, and coats and sweaters for more spring friendly shirts and blouses. We also recently took off our comforter and switched it out for a much more light-weight, breathable quilt for these upcoming spring and summer months.
It’s always nice to shed some layers for spring. When packing up your winter wear and heavy bedding, it’s important to have your items cleaned before storing them till fall or winter. There are a number of frustrating stains that can occur if your clothes aren’t properly treated before they are stored.
One issue we commonly see is insect damage which often appears as small holes in the fabric of a garment. This commonly occurs on wool fabrics but may also occur on other fabrics, especially if stains are left on the garment. In order to prevent insect damage, it’s important that all food and beverage stains are removed prior to storage. Using moth crystals or balls or storing clothes in a cedar closet or chest can also be really valuable in combating this issue. A variety of moth proofing finishes can also be applied to clothes during the dry cleaning process.
Perspiration stains are another common issue we see. These stains often appear as yellow or tan stains, streaks, or rings and are typically found in areas that may become damp with perspiration such as underarms, neck, back, and waistband. These stains have a tendency to oxidize over time so it is important to wash and dry clean your garments regularly, so we can remove the stains while they are still fresh.
Yellow stains are another frequent occurrence that we come across. The stains vary in their degree of intensity but usually are yellow, tan, or brown, depending upon their age, the staining substance, and the fabric it contacts. These stains are caused by contact with juices, beer, soft drinks, tea, coffee, or other foods or beverages that contain tannin or sugars. The only method of prevention against these stains is to flush these stained areas with water immediately after contact. This is best accomplished by taking the garment to the cleaner as soon as possible and pointed out the stained area. Once the stain has been left in the fabric for a period of time, it can be very difficult to remove.
Oxidized oil stains can be caused by cooking or vegetable oils, mayonnaise, salad dressings, lubricating oils, or other oil-based materials. Stains from these oils are mostly invisible when they first contact a fabric, but they oxidize and yellow with age, heat, and/or exposure to the atmosphere. If the stain is fresh, it can usually be removed by professional spotting chemicals and dry cleaning.
Many stains may appear invisible to the naked eye but they do oxidize over time, making them harder to remove. So the moral to the story is to be sure and send in your garments, bedding, etc. on a regular basis. The sooner we clean the garment and treat the stain, the better the odds are that we’ll be able to remove it. So this spring when you pack up your winter clothes and bedding for the season, don’t forget to send them in for one last cleaning. Then you can breathe easy knowing your items will look good as new when you pull them back out of storage this fall or winter.
The Ultimate Spring Cleaning Checklist
Spring is the perfect time to clear out unused items and give forgotten corners a good scrub. However, setting out to clean your entire house can be a challenging task that requires patience and organization.
1. Service Major Appliances: Spring is an opportune time to deal with any issues you may have been putting off, including having major appliances serviced. For example, if your fridge makes excessive noise or wavers in temperature or your oven heats unevenly, it’s important to have a home services professional take a look and provide an expert opinion that can save you money in the long run.
2. Clear Out Cabinets: Spring cleaning isn’t just about washing – it’s also the perfect time to get rid of things you don’t need. In the case of your kitchen, that means taking a thorough inventory of the cabinets and pantry.
1. Clear Pipes: Plumbing professionals recommend you get your pipes checked regularly to prevent clogs. Spring cleaning is a great opportunity to hire an expert to tackle slow-moving drains and give your plumbing its annual checkup. This is especially important if you live in an area that reaches freezing temperatures, as your pipes may have been affected during the winter.
2. Eliminate Grime: If you have hard water, you may notice a buildup of lime or mineral deposits in your shower or sink. There are several grime-fighting products you can pick up at the store to make your metal fixtures shine once more. For tougher stains, such as those under the toilet bowl lip, you can use gel or scrub with a pumice stick.
1. Sort Clothing: Before you can properly reorganize, you need to see what you have. Start by separating items into piles:
Warm weather clothes and accessories
Cold weather clothes and accessories
Clothes and accessories you haven’t worn for a year or more
2. Store Seasonal Items: When you’ve let go of possessions you aren’t actually using, you’re typically left with two piles. The first is items you can wear in current weather and the second is items appropriate for a different season.
5 Steps for Mastering Family Meal Planning
As you and your family embark on a mission to create delicious, nutritious meals all while saving money, it’s key to remember meal planning is essential for success. From tracking a list of ingredients you’ll need to noting your loved ones’ favorite foods, there are some easy steps you can take to make dinners at home enjoyable and budget friendly.
Getting on track with your own plan can start with these tips from Healthy Family Project’s Mission for Nutrition, which aims to help families find weekly meal success with an internationally inspired e-cookbook including grocery lists, recipe ideas and cooking hacks.
Work together. Before heading to the store or heating up the oven, sit down with your loved ones and make a list of easy-to-make recipes you all enjoy. Each time you discover a new favorite, add it to the list so you’ll have a reference guide when it’s time to plan a week’s worth of meals.
Stick to a schedule. Set a day and time each week your family can meet and plan out dinners. This also offers an opportunity to bring to light any newfound favorites or fresh ideas while bringing everyone to the same room for quality time together.
Plan time-saving processes. Think ahead while planning meals and consider the equipment you’ll need. Saving time while cooking can be as easy as sticking to recipes that call for hands-off appliances like a slow cooker or pressure cooker and using a food processor rather than a knife and cutting board.
Schedule a “leftovers night.” When you prep dinners that call for crossover ingredients, it’s easier to turn one meal into two. For example, buying sweet onions and chicken breast to make Chicken Apple Enchiladas means you’ll have those ingredients on hand for Greek Chicken Bowls later in the week.Make a list. Once you’ve decided on recipes for the week, create a list of all the ingredients you’ll need. While you’re at the store, stick to your plan and avoid impulse buys to help stay on track while getting in and out quicker.
4 Tips to Make Adopting a Dog a Paws-itive Experience
Adding a dog to the family can be exciting, but it comes with responsibility, too. When you involve the entire family and plan ahead, you can be better prepared to provide a loving home and enjoy all the unconditional love only a four-legged best friend can give.
1.Prepare Your Home for Adoption
In order to make the transition as smooth as possible, prep your home and make sure you have all the necessary items for your furry friend’s arrival. You’ll need supplies like a crate or kennel, food and water bowls, collar, leash, grooming supplies and toys. It’s also a good idea to stock up on puppy pads and cleaning supplies for inevitable accidents when you’re potty training.
2.Search for Your Ideal Dog
When you start your search, you’ll likely discover a wealth of choices and options. Think about your lifestyle and the type of breed, mix or size dog that best suits your family. Some breeds require more exercise than others, so you’ll need a fenced yard or enough time for regular walks. Also think about grooming and maintenance; longer-haired dogs require more regular, hands-on care. If you’re overwhelmed by all the options, try using a breed selector tool to help narrow down the choices.
3. Encourage Kids to Get Involved
Childhood pets can create sacred memories in later years, and having your kids take an active role in helping choose the family dog can make the experience even more special. Kids aren’t always able to communicate what they envision, but they can often show you in a drawing.
4.Begin the Shelter Adoption Process
To find “your dog,” keep an open mind. It’s important to find the right dog for you – one that fits your lifestyle, family dynamic and home. Be prepared to visit and meet potential matches as many times as it takes. Bring a notepad and pen so you can write down pertinent information and important questions you want to ask, including any information the shelter can provide about the dog’s history, health, training and behavior. Once you find the right dog to join your family, be prepared for some paperwork. Adoption questionnaires help shelters ensure dogs are going to loving, responsible families that are willing to provide forever homes.
8 Spots for a Spring Getaway to the California Central Coast
Long among the most popular areas for homeowners to undertake improvement
The historic fishing town offers iconic attractions like Cannery Row, Old Fisherman’s Wharf and Monterey Bay Aquarium, where the “Into the Deep: Exploring Our Undiscovered Ocean” exhibit opens this spring. Visitors will discover many California firsts, including the first state capital, first brick house, first public library and first printing press, which printed “The California,” California’s first newspaper.
Reminiscent of the French countryside, this sun-kissed region offers rolling hills covered in grapevines, olive groves and lavender fields as well as more than 20 wine tasting rooms and wineries. If you’re undecided on accommodations, consider Los Laureles Lodge, a historic property with old horse barns converted into rooms and a saloon restaurant. Carmel Valley is also home to America’s first co-ed spa, Refuge.
This small fishing village, located at the mouth of the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Reserve, is the ideal destination for those who enjoy outdoor recreation and wildlife. Moss Landing is a popular spot for surfing and nature watching, including year-round whale watching on Monterey Bay, as well as a hidden gem for antiquing.
Founded in the 1870s, this historic town’s Victorian-style homes evoke yesteryear nostalgia, and each spring a purple carpet of ice plant blooms spans the coastline. Picturesque Lovers Point Park and Beach is a popular spot for surfing, swimming and picnics, and you’ll find some of the area’s best tide pooling, too. In addition, Pacific Grove CiderWorks – the only cider tasting room in Monterey County – offers temptation in the form of award-winning hard cider, pear cider and pear port.
If the beach is calling, Marina offers miles of beachfront and stretches of sand dunes. It’s the spot for active adventures such as hang-gliding, paragliding and skydiving. In addition to sampling a selection of restaurants, visitors can explore the remnants of Fort Ord, a military training ground that closed in 1994. The area also offers luxury accommodations and family-friendly hotels, including Hampton Inn & Suites by Hilton scheduled to open spring 2022, which features amenities including a pool, gym, meeting rooms, business center and expansive breakfast area.
This vibrant agriculture hub is the county seat of Monterey and a culinary hotspot thanks to the growing food scene and numerous breweries. Emma’s Bakery & Cafe has quickly become a local favorite, while authentic Italian is what’s for dinner at Mangia, Eat on Main. Home of the nationally renowned National Steinbeck Center, Salinas also hosts the annual California International Airshow and California Rodeo Salinas.
This up-and-coming city boasts easy beach access for sunset views. It’s packed with activities from skateboarding to rock climbing and golfing at former military golf courses Black Horse and Bayonet. Plus, the town provides access to Fort Ord National Monument and its 86 miles of trails for hiking, biking or horseback riding and an array of diverse dining options, including several Black-owned restaurants.
A rich agricultural region known as the “Salad Bowl of the World,” this fertile area is home to Pinnacles National Park and more than two dozen wineries and tasting rooms, including an expanded second tasting room at Joyce Wine Company. Most of the wineries are connected by the scenic River Road Wine Trail, which runs along the Santa Lucia Mountains.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT – Spring Cleaning
It’s time for spring cleaning!
Let Fabricare Center clean your coats, sweaters, and winter wear before storing them.
There have been a growing number of “organic dry cleaning Atlanta” cleaners popping up in over the past few years. And we are commonly asked what exactly organic dry cleaning means. We’ll cover the basics, giving you the knowledge to understand what’s being used on your clothes and how they are being processed.
Organic Dry Cleaning Atlanta
The word “organic” has become a popular buzzword in food and other products. While organic can have many benefits, especially as it relates to food, when it comes to complex compounds and cleaning detergents, it doesn’t carry quite the same meaning. For example, both gasoline and paint thinner are organic compounds. Do you want these used on your clothing? The truth is, when it comes to dry cleaning, the term organic can be very misleading. Many dry cleaners that promote themselves as organic, in fact aren’t organic at all!
What you need to know about Eco Friendly and Organic dry cleaning
Currently in the dry cleaning industry there are 3 types of cleaning methods that are classified as “Eco Friendly”, and 2 (1 still in production) classified as organic.
1. C02 Cleaning
C02 cleaning is often mentioned in older articles and we have had some customers ask about this process. While organic and eco-friendly, C02 cleaning proved to be so expensive that the equipment required to process garments this way is no longer being made.
2. Wet Cleaning
Wet cleaning is another organic and eco-friendly cleaning method. This process is used by some dry cleaners. The process of wet cleaning tends to be very involved, time consuming and requires a lot of manual labor, this translates into being more costly than traditional dry cleaning.
3. GreenEarth Cleaning Solution
GreenEarth Cleaning Solution is a non toxic, non hazardous, eco friendly option that dry cleaners can opt to use. While technically non organic (using man made sand) the product has been rated non toxic for human use.
At Fabricare Center Cleaners we are proud to use GreenEarth cleaning solution. It is both the best choice for the environment and our customers. This allows us to use an eco-friendly, green solution while being able to offer the service to all of our dry cleaning clients at an affordable price.
If you have any questions about organic dry cleaning in Atlanta, please feel free to send us a message!
Everyone has their favorite sweater. And with proper maintenance and care, that sweater can last for years. So today we’ll be looking at how to wash a sweater. Breaking down the different fabrics types and care instructions. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below
How to Wash a Sweater – by Fabric
Cleaning an acrylic sweater requires a few precautions due to the way heat can affect the acrylic fibers. Often made to look like real wool, it’s important to check the tags, looking for the word “acrylic.” If it is, you will have to take some care when drying. Preferably you will dry the sweater by laying it on a flat surface. Or, if the labels say it’s ok, in a dryer on a delicate low heat setting.
Angora is known for its incredibly soft feel. It’s also known for how delicate setting can cause how delicate it can be to wash without causing shrinking. Even the best washing machines can cause Angora to shrink. Because of this it’s recommended to spot treat and/or hand wash and lay flat to air dry.
Camel’s Hair / Cashmere / Mohair Sweaters
Incredibly soft forms of wool. Camel’s hair, cashmere, and mohair are high end fabrics that are often blended with wool for added strength. Because of their delicate nature matting, pilling, and shrinkage are common problems caused by incorrect care. With these fabrics it is important to read the label and most will be “dry clean only.”
Possibly the most popular fabric for sweaters. Wool comes from sheep’s hai and is a string, soft, and durable fabric. Even with that said, it’s important to read the tag and treat wool sweaters properly. If the tag says hand clean only, then you hand wash and lay flat to try. And “cry clean only” obviously means take it to the dry cleaners
Spring is almost here and that means spending lots of time outside with family and friends. The chilly winter temps are on their way out making it the perfect time to entertain outdoors again. The beautiful spring weather is always such a welcome change with the start of this new season.
With the nicer temperatures, my wife and I love dining al fresco, playing in the backyard with our little boy, and entertaining guests for springtime holidays, cocktail parties, and other fun festivities that make this time of year so much fun. Spring in Atlanta really cannot be beat!
If you’re like my family and plan on spending lots of time in your backyard this season, let Fabricare Center help spruce things up by cleaning your patio cushions. Our expert cleaners will spot treat your cushions for mold, mildew, and grease spots. Our alterations department will also take a look to see if they have any tears or loose threads or ties that need to be resewn. We will send your cushions back to you looking as good as new. Give your patio the refresh that it needs this Spring!
As I mentioned, we get immense joy from spending time outdoors. Springtime in Atlanta is especially gorgeous as the dogwoods start blooming and the azaleas, daffodils, and tulips start sprouting up. This Spring, you can find us taking hikes on some of our favorite local trails, attending our son’s soccer games, visiting various playgrounds in the area, enjoying picnics, and attending some of the fun neighborhood art festivals that start popping up in the months ahead.
Protecting the environment is one of Fabricare Center’s core values. We thought we’d share a little bit about our best environmental practices with you. Fabricare Center is proud to use GreenEarth cleaning solution to treat our garments. Silicone based, this environmentally non-toxic, non-hazardous solution is extremely gentle and a great alternative to petro chemicals. This solution is designed to ensure the best possible result for fabrics and the environment. Using GreenEarth is just one way we can do our part to protect the beautiful planet we live on.
Now that spring is upon us, get outside, savor those warmer temps, enjoy nature’s beauty, and create special memories with family and friends!
5 Ways to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Routine
Day-to-day life involves responsibilities that can lead many to feel overwhelmed. In fact, a survey from CNBC found more than half of U.S. women (53%) are experiencing burnout. To counter the stresses of everyday life, DOVE Chocolate recommends these tips to show yourself compassion and take time to nurture your well-being.
Try a New (or Old) Hobby
Setting aside “me time” can help you recharge and show yourself the compassion you show others while nurturing your interests. Create a list of things you’ve been telling yourself you’ll try, whether it’s starting to paint, trying a cooking class or picking up a good book, and give yourself permission to take time to pursue your interests.
Incorporate a Treat into Your Day
When days feel long, incorporating a favorite treat can give you something to look forward to. This could be a phone call with a friend, catching up on your favorite show or indulging in a favorite goodie, which are three times the size of original Promises and come in Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter and Milk Chocolate and Caramel varieties.
Spend Time Outdoors
Whether setting aside time for an afternoon stroll or mixing up your morning commute by walking, time spent outdoors can provide benefits for your well-being. In fact, spending time in nature has been shown to decrease feelings of loneliness and can have a positive impact on mood.
Block Off Your Calendar
Getting caught up in day-to-day responsibilities is easy, and many feel the burden of obligations to family, work and communities. Remember you also have an obligation to yourself and your well-being, so be intentional by setting aside time for yourself without other distractions. Whether it’s taking time off work or making plans for a vacation or staycation, nurture yourself the way you care for those around you.
Start a Routine
Starting (or ending) your day with a self-care routine can be a relaxing practice that helps you reinforce your wellness and values. Your routine can incorporate skin care, a gratitude practice or mindfulness techniques – anything that makes you feel grounded as a manageable addition to your day.
Citrus Breakfast Toast
Prep time: 13 minutes
Cook time: 2 minutes
16 ounces pitted California Prunes
1/2 cup hot water
1 large citrus fruit, peels and piths removed with knife, sliced into rounds
1 1/2 tablespoons raw sugar
4 tablespoons sunflower butter
2 slices whole-grain sourdough bread, toasted to desired darkness
2 tablespoons prune puree
1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
2 California Prunes, finely diced
To make prune puree: In blender, pulse prunes and water to combine then blend until smooth, pourable consistency forms, scraping sides, if necessary.
Store in airtight container up to 4 weeks.
To make bruleed citrus wheels: Place citrus wheels on baking sheet and divide sugar evenly among each piece.
Using circular motion, pass flame of culinary torch repeatedly over sugar until it boils and turns lightly charred and amber.
To build toast: Spread 2 tablespoons sunflower butter on each piece of toast. Top each with 1 tablespoon prune puree spread evenly across sunflower butter. Sprinkle each evenly with sunflower seeds and diced prunes. Top each with half broiled citrus and serve.
Alteration: Use broiler set on high instead of culinary torch to caramelize sugar.
5 Family Staycation Ideas that Won’t Break Your Budget
Family vacations are a great way to bond and take a step back from the hectic schedules that accompany everyday life, but sometimes time or money (or both) make planning an elaborate trip a non-starter.
However, a staycation – a vacation you take right in your hometown (or nearby) – can be much less expensive and fit into nearly any amount of available time with the added bonus of skipping out on potentially stressful travel.
Visit local landmarks. Just because it’s not a traditional vacation doesn’t mean you can’t pretend to be tourists. Start by visiting the places you recommend to friends and family from out of town or pick up a city guidebook to uncover hidden spots you may not even know exist. Make a plan to seek out historic sites, visit local landmarks like museums or try an out-of-the-way restaurant (or two) you’ve never eaten at before.
Camp out in the backyard. Camping doesn’t have to be done far from home. In fact, it can be done right in your own backyard. Pitch a tent to sleep under the stars and plan a night full of traditional camping activities like roasting s’mores, telling spooky stories by flashlight and trying to identify stars and constellations.
Set up a picnic in the park. Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit and other treats and head to the park. You can enjoy a casual meal then take advantage of the open space for a family walk or game of tag before retreating to the playground to let the little ones expel any leftover energy.
Have a home spa day. If you’re looking for some relaxation but don’t want to splurge on the full spa treatment, plan an at-home oasis instead. Light some candles, run a bubble bath and break out the facial masks and fingernail polish.
Visit an amusement park. No matter where you live, there’s probably an amusement or water park within driving distance. A quick online search before you arrive can help prepare a strategy for hitting the most popular thrill rides and waterslides while skipping those that may not provide quite the same entertainment value.
Easy, Affordable Bathroom Upgrades
Long among the most popular areas for homeowners to undertake improvement projects, bathrooms can be some of the easiest rooms in the house to renovate without spending a fortune.
If you’re looking to update one of the most-used spaces in your home, consider these easy and cost-effective ways to give your bathroom a facelift.
Accessorize with Color
There are numerous ways to create a new look without lifting any tools. Replacing linens and other soft surfaces like rugs, window treatments and shower curtains can help brighten up your space. Adding a fresh coat of paint is another low-cost way to modify the look and feel of a space. With a variety of paint colors and finishes to choose from, you can add a splash of color as an accent or go all out to create depth and contrast.
Update Cabinetry and Light Fixtures
Keeping your existing vanity and other bathroom cabinetry, especially if they’re in good condition, can be a cheaper option than replacing all the cabinets. To create an updated look, add a different coat of stain or paint, replace the hardware and add pullout shelving or drawer dividers.
Replacing old, out-of-date light fixtures with modern, efficient options – including the appropriate bulb selections for each fixture – is another cost-effective way to help the space look and feel brighter.
Install a Heated Towel Rack
Consider investing in a multi-purpose appliance to help refresh the look of your area. For example, a heated towel rack can save time and money while providing comfort and convenience. Some freestanding models come ready to use and take as little as 5 minutes to set up.
Swap Out Decor and Accessories
A quick, inexpensive way to transform your bathroom is to update the decor and other design elements. Installing a new toilet seat, faucet or showerhead and adding matching accessories, such as a toilet paper holder, shower control knobs or a toothbrush holder, can make the space feel new and interesting. For even more impact, add artwork that matches the theme of the room, greenery or floating shelving.
Add Accent Tile
You can create a luxurious look with your backsplash, flooring or shower by adding a pop of colorful tile. Cheaper than purchasing an entire room’s worth of tile, creating a chevron or herringbone pattern in one of these oft-seen areas of the bathroom can make a fresh statement.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT – Patio Cushion Cleaning
Relax in comfort!
Are your outdoor cushions ready for Spring? Let us get them looking like new!
Make sure your patio cushions are looking great for all of your upcoming outdoor gatherings.
It’s been so cold this past month, my family and I have been spending a lot of time bundled up, indoors. We’ve been playing lots of games, watching movies, and of course keeping up with the football playoffs. Getting excited for the Super Bowl in just a few days! What are some of your go-to Super Bowl dishes? Homemade sheet-pan nachos, buffalo chicken dip, and mini sliders are some of our gameday staples at my house.
As much as we’ve been staying indoors to avoid the cold this month, we have taken some brisk walks and braved the playground in the afternoons on the less frigid days. Gotta get that fresh air and vitamin D! We had a lot of fun playing outside in the snow with our two-year-old son a few weeks ago. Hopefully many of you got to enjoy an Atlanta-style snow day as well.
Now that February is here you probably have started thinking about Valentine’s Day and ways to treat the special people in your life. I know flowers, candy, and jewelry are more typical Valentine’s Day gifts but this year consider doing something a little bit different and purchase a gift card to Fabricare Center. Nothing says I love you more than saving someone from endless loads of laundry, am I right?! 😉
Between all the extra layers we are wearing both indoors and out, our mountains of laundry seem to be piling up much faster this season. Take advantage of Fabricare Center’s wash & fold service today. Spend time doing what you enjoy with those you love, and leave the overflowing piles of laundry to us! And everyone rejoice…famous Georgia groundhog, Beauregard “Beau” Lee saw did not see his shadow this year spring should come early. Until then, bundle up and stay warm!
4 Drivable Destinations in the United States
During the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, road trip travel saw a surge, followed by the return of air travel when cases started declining. Now, with COVID-19 continuing to affect daily life, travelers are returning attention to drivable destinations as a way to avoid unpredictable delays and ensure their vacation plans continue without disruption.
From every major region of the country, travelers can find a popular vacation destination within 300 miles, which is about a 3-4-hour car ride. To avoid the crowds and enjoy a getaway on their own terms, many travelers are opting for private vacation homes instead of large hotels and resorts.
If you’re from New England, consider Hamptons, New York.
Located on the South Fork of eastern Long Island, the Hamptons is a chain of oceanside communities and popular summer destination. With its long stretches of coastline, vast farmland and quaint villages combined with upscale restaurants and boutiques, the destination can satisfy a diverse array of interests. Whether you’re looking for outdoor play or to shop to your heart’s content, staying in the Hamptons can put you in the center of it all.
If you’re from the South, make plans to visit Miramar and Rosemary Beach, Florida.
If you want to be surrounded by water, Miramar Beach is a perfect destination. One side of this peninsula in northern Florida touches the Gulf of Mexico while the other side overlooks Choctawhatchee Bay. It is a bit of a contradiction, where old traditions meet modern interests and a slower pace is balanced by plenty to see and do, including historical sites, water sports, golfing and more.
If you’re from the Upper Midwest, drive to Traverse City, Michigan.
When you’re not visiting the marina or watching the boats at picturesque Torch Lake, you can head for the historic City Opera House to check out a live performance or go for a nature walk in Traverse City State Park. Enjoy some shopping or a stop at a quiet cafe along the walkable East Front Street then take the kids to the Great Lakes Children’s Museum.
If you’re from the Lower Midwest, head to Galveston, Texas.
Galveston is known for its Victorian architecture and one of the largest concentrations of well-preserved buildings in the United States. Staying in a pet-friendly cabin can put you within walking distance of beautiful, historic neighborhoods. During your stay, consider checking out a tour of a Victorian mansion, the Ocean Star Offshore Drilling Rig Museum or one of the many festivals that take place throughout the year.
Pulled Beef and Slaw Sliders
Recipe courtesy of chef Anthony Serrano
2 pieces (about 3 pounds each) beef chuck roast
2 tablespoons taco seasoning or barbecue rub
1 cup beef bone broth
16 ounces Fresh Cravings Chunky Mild Salsa
Salsa and Queso Slaw:
16 ounces Fresh Cravings Chunky Mild Salsa
16 ounces broccoli slaw blend
1/4 cup green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup crumbled queso fresco
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1/2 cup mayo
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons cilantro (optional)
Fresh Cravings Salsa
To make pulled beef: Season both sides of beef with taco seasoning. Wrap with plastic wrap and place in fridge 2-12 hours before cooking.
Place meat, beef bone broth and salsa in pressure cooker; seal according to pressure cooker directions. Cook on high 60 minutes. Once pressure cooker is safe to open according to instructions, open and let meat rest in liquid 15 minutes.
Remove meat from liquid and place in large bowl. Carefully shred meat. Pour liquid, up to half, over meat while shredding to keep it juicy.
To make salsa and queso slaw: In large bowl, mix salsa, slaw blend, green onions, salt, queso fresco, Dijon mustard, mayo, apple cider vinegar and cilantro, if desired. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.
To assemble sliders, place pulled beef and salsa and queso slaw on buns. Top with salsa, barbecue sauce, pickles, jalapenos, sliced cheese, roasted peppers and onions.
5 Tips to Make Your Home More Energy Efficient This Winter
Winter is a time of year when many people are looking for ways to be warm and cozy to combat the chilly temperatures outside. It’s also the time of year when energy bills can skyrocket. Focusing on energy efficiency can help you keep your home temperature comfortable and your energy bills at bay while also reducing your carbon footprint.
1. Do a Heating Systems Checkup
Be sure all vents and registers throughout your home are clear of obstructions. Checking that all plugs, vents and appliances are in safe, working order can also help improve efficiency and prevent potential hazards. Also consider hiring a professional annually to tune up your HVAC system, tighten electrical connections and check controls to ensure they are working properly and safely.
2. Install Energy-Efficient Light Bulbs and Appliances
It’s important to replace old light bulbs and appliances in your home with newer, energy-efficient ones. Using LED light bulbs in place of traditional incandescent bulbs can save homeowners about $225 in energy costs each year, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. You can also install timers to ensure you’re only using electricity when needed.
3. Add Insulation
Install insulation in and around windows, walls and doors to decrease heat flow from warmer spaces to colder ones, helping to maintain your home’s temperature and lower your heating and cooling costs. Also insulate your water heater with a blanket or cover and check the insulation in your attic, basement, walls and crawl spaces for leaks.
4. Improve Flooring and Windows
Adding rugs or carpet to hardwood floors and ceramic tiles can help prevent drafts and make the room feel cozier. Installing double-pane windows can also help prevent cold air from leaking into your rooms while opening blinds and curtains during the day to let in light can naturally heat up the space.
5. Use an Energy-Efficient Space Heater
A space heater is a simple option for heating up a single chilly room for a short amount of time, which makes it perfect for those looking to save money and energy. Some space heaters are designed specifically for energy efficiency. They use infrared technology to heat rooms, sensing spots that need heat and distributing it accordingly by heating objects instead of filling the space with heat.
Wake Up Refreshed Simple ways to begin your morning
Ready, set, go. Just as you would set off at the starting line of a race, this hectic pace is how mornings begin for many men and women.
Instead of waking with dread to face another hectic morning, consider these tips for a healthier way to ease into your daily rituals. While these activities may require you to allow extra time, you may be pleased with the productive results.
Meditate. A practice that has been around for thousands of years may still be one of the best stress busters for hurried mornings. To start, find a place in your home that is free of noise and distraction. Practice sitting still, with eyes closed, and focus only on your breathing. Using deep, controlled breaths, try to steer your thoughts away from negative and stress-inducing thoughts.
Stretch. While the most health-conscious person may opt for a morning sweat-a-thon, working in some stretches can also be beneficial. When you awake, think about oft-used muscles and extend each one for 15-30 seconds.
Activate. Give your brain some fuel in the morning while also doing something nice for your mind. For example, journaling is a gentle way to ease into your morning and get your brain firing. If you can’t think of a topic, simply write down a few affirmations for the day, revisit a pleasant memory from your past or scribble down a goal for the week. Journaling can be an uplifting way to engage the mind and express gratitude for the day ahead.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT – Wash & Fold
Never Do Another Load Of Laundry Again!
Give the gift that keeps on giving, with monthly wash & fold delivery service from Fabricare Center.
Get 20% Off Your First Month’s Wash & Fold Subscription
Limit one per customer. Not to be combined with any other offers. Only valid with wash & fold subscriptions. Expires 3/1/2022
This holiday season we spent lots of time entertaining family and friends. We enjoyed festive dinners, lazy days in our pajamas, and family game nights. Now as we usher in the new year, we are greeted with much more frigid temperatures and also a lot of rain. With this less than ideal weather, my family has been hibernating indoors…cozying up in front of the fire, watching movies, enjoying wintertime favorites like soup and chili.
With all this extra time inside, our house has quickly become a mess, especially in part due to our two-year-old son and puppy. Between entertaining over the holidays, school being out for what seems like ages, and spending lots more time inside this chilly winter, our area rugs are certainly starting to show wear.
If your holiday season was similar to ours, your area rugs may have also seen lots of muddy little feet and dirty paws, holiday spills, and some extra wear and tear from all the additional foot traffic.
A good rug is for more than just walking on. Make sure your rugs are as clean as the rest of your house, especially if you’re planning to be cooped inside all season long. Of course, rugs in the highest traffic areas like dining rooms and dens come to mind, but don’t forget about the ones in your kids’ bedrooms, the playroom, or the ones in the formal living room and dining room. If you’re like us, you only use those two rooms for more special occasions.
Our master cleaners specialize in all types of rugs, including wool rug cleaning and oriental rug cleaning. Fabricare Center also provides free pick up and delivery on area rugs within our delivery radius. Rugs are meticulously inspected and cleaned to remove all ground-in dirt and surface stains. From pet dander to dirt and mud, most area rugs need more than just vacuuming to really be clean. Plus, we offer an odor removal service.
Let us get your favorite rugs looking like new. Schedule your free pickup and delivery today. Stay warm this winter and start your new year on a fresh note!
6 Tips to Keep Pets Safe and Warm This Winter
Just as people prepare their homes, cars and families for extreme temperatures and weather events of winter, it’s important to remember pets’ needs this time of year. As cold weather sets in,use these tips to prepare and ensure your pets are warm and happy throughout winter.
Take Caution When Outdoors
When temperatures reach levels of extreme cold, limit outdoor walks and monitoring your pet’s behavior for discomfort. Letting your dog outside to use the bathroom or go for a quick walk is OK, but never leave a pet outside for a long period of time, especially during a winter storm.
Add Extra Layers
Pets who are small, short-haired, old or have any health issues or illnesses may be more sensitive to cold weather. Pet sweaters can help keep your pet warm.
Watch out for Hazardous Chemicals
Products like deicers, antifreeze and salt, which can cause skin irritation and be fatal if ingested by your pet. After a walk, thoroughly rinse your pet’s paws and stomach.
Keep Skin Protected
Just like humans, many pets get dry skin during the winter. Try using a pet-friendly moisturizing shampoo to help keep skin healthy and hydrated. If your pet’s skin seems extra dry, supplements like fish oil can be added to your pets’ food to help the skin and coat.
Have an Emergency Plan
While creating emergency kits in case of a storm or power outage, don’t forget about your pet’s needs.Gather any other care items your pet may require such as medications, puppy pads, waste bags, litter box supplies and calming spray.
Ensure Identification Information is Current
While winter emergencies may add to the importance, it’s crucial your pet wears a tag displaying your phone number year-round. Microchip and register your pet with current contact information.
Mediterranean Rice Bowls with Zucchini Fritters
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
1 bag Success Brown Rice
2 medium zucchinis, grated
1 teaspoon salt
3 green onions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon fresh dill, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup canola oil
2 cups diced cucumber
2 cups cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup feta, crumbled
1/2 cup garlic hummus
Prepare rice according to package directions.
In medium bowl, toss zucchinis with salt; let sit at least 10 minutes. Transfer to colander and squeeze out excess moisture. Return to bowl and stir in eggs, green onions, dill and garlic.
In another bowl, stir flour, Parmesan, baking powder, cumin and pepper. Stir dry mixture into zucchini mixture and combine to form thick batter.
In large skillet over medium heat, heat 1/4 cup oil. Working in batches, drop 2 tablespoons batter into pan for each fritter. Cook 2-3 minutes per side until golden brown, adding remaining oil as needed. Drain on paper towel-lined tray.
Divide rice between four bowls. Top each with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta and fritters. Garnish each bowl with scoop of hummus.
Substitution: Hummus may be replaced with prepared Greek tzatziki sauce, if desired.
5 Color Trends for a Stylish Home in 2022
A new year brings new opportunities to refresh your living space and add new colors into your life. These five trends are all about incorporating more of yourself and your lifestyle into your home.
Bring in Nature
Soothing earthy tones help bring a sense of calm and balance indoors. When designing with nature in mind, use gray-green tones to connect your aesthetic with the serene elements of the outdoors. Incorporate nature’s palette with greens in fabrics, accessories and even on the walls.
If you’re aiming to infuse some sophistication with an update to a favorite space, opt for a monochromatic look in a dark (almost black) hue. The approach is simultaneously bold and classic, but the secret to this trend is finding a shade that’s rich and deep, but not quite black, then complementing it with fabrics and furnishings that let the hint of color shine.
Connect with Your Inner Self
Creating a living space that is uniquely yours requires understanding your inner motivations, traits and talents. One source of personal inspiration may be your zodiac sign, a reflection of the earth’s orientation to the sun on your birthday.
Add Comfort and Warmth
Treating your home like a sanctuary never goes out of style, and one way to create a soothing, inviting space is through the use of cozy neutrals. Whether it’s applied to a bedroom retreat or a more bustling space like the living room, a neutral palette can add to the allure of comfort and warmth. Keep the visual interest strong by incorporating subtle patterns, textures and layers of complementary neutral colors.
It may seem counter intuitive, but vibrant retro shades like orange and yellow, and even warmer neutrals, can help establish a calming vibe within your home. The throwback hues can help your mind connect to moments from the past.
Brush on the Color
Using quality brushes can provide you with a smooth, professional finish, but depending on the surface you’re painting, different sizes and types of brushes can help you achieve the desired look.
How Small Businesses Can Attract and Retain Employees
Small business administrators are typically among the most competent multi-taskers, but even the most talented jugglers occasionally end up with too many balls in the air. Attracting and retaining employees doesn’t have to be part of your juggling act; in fact, having the right team can make the rest of your business run smoother. Make employee retention a priority for your business with these practices:
Create a positive work culture When employees enjoy coming to work each day, it shows. Your customers recognize it, and your internal team can feel it, too. A positive work culture encourages excellence, forgives mistakes, and leaves plenty of room for having fun. You can create a positive culture by making sure expectations are clearly defined and giving feedback that is consistent and fair.
Provide an appealing salary and benefits package A competitive salary that aligns with expertise is an obvious edge in hiring top talent. You can become a more attractive employer by offering a benefits package that includes paid time off, insurance and other extras.
Allow for flexible schedules In large part due to the pandemic, employees have learned to juggle their work and home lives like never before. The businesses who recognize this need have an edge, particularly for employees who need flexibility to care for family members. The degree of flexibility you can offer may vary depending on the business model. Communicating with your employees and working to make reasonable accommodations can go a long way toward attracting strong candidates and retaining current employees.
Provide opportunities for growth Employees typically look for opportunities to learn and grow through additional responsibility, compensation and rewards for performance that encourage long-term commitment. Working with employees to understand their career goals is an important step on a path for growth that is mutually beneficial.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT – Table Linens
A good rug is for more than just walking on. Whether it’s playing with your children or pets. Make sure your rugs are as clean as the rest of your house. Our master cleaners specialize in all types of rugs, including wool rug cleaning and oriental rug cleaning. Fabricare Center also provides free pick up and delivery on area rugs within our delivery radius.
Rugs are meticulously inspected and cleaned to remove all ground-in dirt and surface stains. From pet dander to dirt and mud, most area rugs need more than just vacuuming to be really clean. Plus we offer a odor removal service.
I can’t believe December is already here and the holiday season is upon us! There’s always something fun and festive going on in Atlanta during December, from holiday markets to magical light displays, to ice skating and so much more. Whether it’s gathering around the table for a special meal, visiting with relatives from out of town, or picking out the perfect gift from someone you love, we hope you have many memorable moments surrounded by friends and family this holiday season. Amidst the flurry of gift giving in December, I’m always inspired to find ways to give to those less fortunate. As you may remember from last year, we sponsored a coat drive to benefit Wellspring Living. We are sponsoring the coat drive again this winter and would love it if you’re able to participate.
Wellspring Living is a nonprofit in Atlanta, GA. Over the last 20 years they have supported women and children that have been at risk or victimized by sexual exploitation. Wellspring Living needs help this holiday season. To aid those most vulnerable, Fabricare Center has partnered with Wellspring Living to provide warmth through our coat drive.
Wellspring Living programs include residential and community-based programs which provide therapeutic services, educational support, as well as personal and professional development. The hope is to safeguard and uplift as many women and children as they can. By collaborating with the generous community, Wellspring Living provides their participants the tools needed to flourish in life. Consider donating gently used or new coats in sizes small to 4X at either of our two retail locations. We are also collecting coats through our convenient pickup and delivery service, just remember to include a note to let us know what items you are donating.
Whether you donate with Fabricare Center’s partner Wellspring Living or are working with another organization this holiday season we hope you are inspired to give a little back this year and help those most in need.
Wishing you and your family a wonderful holiday season!
6 Tips to Keep Some Jingle In Your Pocket This Holiday Season
Awe-inspiring decorations. Extravagant family meals. Gift wish lists that seem to go on forever. No wonder the holidays can be stressful for many Americans and their wallets.
However, “Food Network” personality and best-selling cookbook author Sunny Anderson has a few tips that can help you gear up for the festivities while still leaving some jingle in your pocket.
Shop Your Pantry First – You may be amazed by what might be sitting in your pantry that you could transform into an amazing holiday dish or treat. Most people have pancake or waffle mix, food coloring and sprinkles sitting in their pantries. Mix them together to create fun, holiday-themed tree waffles your kids, and even your most gourmet guests, may never forget. As an added bonus, you can get a head start on clearing out your pantry for the new year.
Add Some Holiday Glitz – Make simple holiday treats more enjoyable with festive but frugal flair. Simple candy canes can “heat up” your hot chocolate. Shave portions of the candy cane into the hot chocolate or use one as a stir stick for the holiday classic.
Bring the Outside In – Don’t hesitate to use elements from nature to add a little holiday cheer to your home. Simply place colorful leaves in different sized, shaped and colored glass jars along with pinecones and battery-powered tea lights. These timeless pieces can be added to your dining table, end tables or mantel.
Get Carded – Make the holiday cards you receive from friends and family even more special by making them centerpieces of your seasonal decorations. Use temporary, damage-free wall hooks and a string of white or colored indoor lights to outline a tree or your favorite holiday decoration. Then attach the cards to the tree as you receive them.
Regift Away – This doesn’t have to be taboo. These items are often new, unused things someone you love could use immediately. A simple way to feel better about regifting is to package it with another item you select or make to provide that personal touch.
Give the Gift of Time –Block a series of windows on your calendar throughout the month of December to call friends and family you haven’t connected with in a while. If you want to really give the gift of connection this season, look no further than a brand like Straight Talk Wireless, which offers a wide selection of plans and phones without contracts or mystery fees on America’s largest and most dependable networks. The brand is also embracing the season of giving, offering double data on its $35 plan, which now includes 10 gigabytes of high-speed data with up to 5 gigabytes of hotspot enabled, as well as unlimited talk and text included.
Chocolate Chunk Miso Brown Butter Blondies
Recipe courtesy of award-winning fashion designer and culinary creator Peter Som on behalf of Russell Stover
Yield: 16 squares
1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 3/4 cups light brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white miso
1 1/2 cups roughly chopped Joy Bites chocolate bars, divided
flaky sea salt
reheat oven to 350 F.
Line 9-inch square baking tin with parchment paper, leaving overhang.
In saucepan over medium heat, melt butter, swirling occasionally, until it turns deep golden brown, approximately 5-7 minutes. Cool on countertop or transfer to sealed container and chill in fridge.
In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; whisk to combine. Set aside.
In large bowl, use whisk or handheld electric blender to combine cooled butter still in liquid state with brown sugar, eggs, egg yolk, vanilla extract and miso until smooth.
Fold in flour mixture until just combined. Fold in 1 cup chopped chocolate bars. Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth top.
Bake 30 minutes, or until top is golden brown and has few cracks. Center will set as it cools.
Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining chocolate bar chunks on top in even layer. Cool completely on wire rack. Top with flaky sea salt. Cut into squares and serve.
Whether you’re a stylist with an eye for fashion who chooses each garment carefully or the laid-back type who can rock the first outfit you find each morning, the closet provides a location for inspiration. Turning bland closet space into a truly eye-catching room calls for a little planning and DIY creativity.
Plan it out
Creating the perfect closet space begins with your ideas. Think about the details such as how you want the space to look and the amount and type of storage you need. Envision everything from colors and finishes to the physical shape.
Focus on practicality
Once you’ve dreamed up your ideal closet, compare your ideas with the space you have available and adjust your plans to fit your footprint and budget. This step allows you to get creative with ways to maximize your space and use every available inch to create a closet that gives you the function and aesthetic you desire.
Keep it organized
A beautiful closet likely won’t mean as much for you if it isn’t functional, and organization is a key to true functionality. Keep your space organized in a stylish manner with an option like the ClosetMaid Revolution Storage Ottoman, a convenient, easy-to-assemble, multi-use piece designed for closets or any area of your home. Able to hold up to 12 pairs of shoes, its rotating design maximizes storage for functional appeal.
It’s not just the structure that can bring your dream closet to life; little touches can add up in a big way. Upgrade your light fixture, for example, and look for other ways to personalize the space for a look that’s all yours, such as shelving to display treasured photos or keepsakes, or a spot on the wall for a vision board to draw inspiration from as you begin each day.
Change up the color
Introduce light and personality into your closet with rich color and style. Add accent color on the walls behind your clothes or incorporate color with the structural elements. On-trend finishes can help make the space pop by complementing the colors of your wardrobe.
What to Expect in Travel in 2022
After a couple abnormal years, many families are eager and ready to travel together again, and there are indications some pandemic-influenced travel behaviors will persist in 2022.
Consider these 2022 trends spotted by the travel experts at Vrbo:
Spots in Ohio, New York and Alaska saw double vacation rental demand over the past year. Within driving distance of major Midwest metros like Chicago, Indianapolis and Louisville, Cincinnati was the year’s top emerging destination.
Other up-and-comers include Niagara Falls, a popular choice for those who wanted to experience life at the border. Yorktown, Virginia, the location of the last Revolutionary War battle, allows history buffs to witness a battle reenactment. Adventurous travelers trekked to Matanuska-Susitna, Alaska, to enjoy the wilderness of Denali National Park and Preserve, breathtaking glaciers and surrounding mountains.
Chalet All Day
You may have heard of Cabincore and Cottagecore, but chalets are a trending aesthetic that inspires family travel. Chalets saw a nearly 85% increase in demand year over year. Located on lakefronts or nestled in the woods, these charming and idyllic properties are desirable lodging options for many families.
Kids Call the Shots
After being cooped up at home, it may be no surprise parents are letting their kids have a bigger say in vacation planning. Compared to pre-pandemic times, half of the families surveyed said they’re more likely to let their kids decide where they vacation and 43% of parents are more likely to let their kids skip school for vacation.
Traveling with the Pack
Many families adopted pandemic pets because they had more time at home to spend with their furry friends. Now more people are bringing Fido and Fluffy along on vacation; 68% of pet parents have traveled, plan to travel or would like to travel with their pets. What’s more, there has been a 40% increase in demand year-over-year for pet-friendly vacation homes.
Early Bird Bookers
If 2021 was any indication, families will continue booking their vacations further in advance. Booking activity occurred an average of 2-3 months earlier than usual for several major travel seasons. Families booked summer travel in February, holiday trips in July and snowbirds got a head start on booking warm weather stays for 2022. In fact, 60% of survey respondents said they plan to book their vacations earlier than they did in pre-pandemic times with nearly half making plans 3-5 months in advance.
SERVICE SPOTLIGHT – Table Linens
Fabricare Center Cleaners has partnered with Wellspring Living to make giving this holiday season, easier than ever.
Wellspring Living is a nonprofit in Atlanta, GA. Over the last 20 years they have supported women and children that have been at risk or victimized by sexual exploitation. Wellspring Living needs help this holiday season. Consider donating gently used or new coats in sizes small to 4X at either of our two retail locations. We are also collecting coats through our convenient pickup and delivery service, just remember to include a note to let us know what items you are donating.