Pumpkin Carving Tips

halloween pumpkin on black background

 

Pumpkin Carving Tips

Yes, Halloween is right around the corner! And people are preparing to carve up some hauntingly good pumpkin creations to share on their social media. This article from Good Housekeeping shares some great tips on making your pumpkin carving experience safe and enjoyable!

  • The right pumpkin is important. Find a fresh one with a flat bottom & sturdy stem.
  • Cut the lid on an angle to prevent it from sliding inside the pumpkin.
  • Scrape all the innards out of the pumpkin & thin the walls to 1 1/4″ thick for easier carving.
  • Hold the pumpkin in your lap as carving faces/shapes are easier when you are looking down at the pumpkin.
  • Use scraps creatively by making accessories or facial features from them and attaching them to your pumpkin.

 

Be sure to check out the full article at Good Housekeeping for more great tips!

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Autumn Pet Safety Tips

autumn cat

(free image courtesy of Stockvault.net)

Autumn Pet Safety Tips

Something many of us don’t think about when it comes to autumn and that is making sure our pets are safe! There are things to consider in order to make sure your pet is safe when venturing out on those cool fall days and the ASPCA has a great article with some tips to help!

– Cold weather poisons. Many people spread rodenticides and other toxic poisons to keep animals from making themselves at home inside their own homes. These poisons are obviously toxic to animals and of course can cause death. Keep your pets away from areas where poison has been applied and if at all possible, spread the poison in areas that are inaccessible to your pet.

– School supplies. With school in full swing, I am sure many homes have an abundance of school supplies laying around. While many of the items are non-toxic or low-toxic to humans/pets, smaller items can get lodged in your pet’s throat or intestines that could cause some serious issues. Keep your school supplies out of reach.

– Wild mushrooms. Fall and spring are excellent times for mushrooms to grow. With the wetter weather and available growing material, they can be found in yards and on trails. While 99% of mushrooms are non-toxic/low-toxic, there is that 1% that can be fatal. Keep an eye out while walking your pet or check your yard for mushrooms and make sure that your pet does not get access to them. The article has a link to their poisonous plants guide that is very informative…

– Wild animals. Fall is the time of year when many animals are preparing for winter hibernation. Snakes are especially active at this time as they look for a place to bed down for the winter. Pet owners should be aware of the type of wildlife they may encounter in their own backyard in order to protect their pets from injury.

Be sure to check out the full article from the ASPCA as well as that poisonous plants guide in the article.

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Fall Lawn Care Tips

stockvault-autumn134258

Fall Lawn Care Tips

Fall is here, leaves are starting to float off the trees & the nights are certainly getting colder. Your lawn shouldn’t be neglected when preparing for winter, this article from Popular Mechanics has great tips on preparing your lawn for the coming winter months.

– Keep on mowing & watering your grass. Drop the blade to the lowest setting for the last 2 cuttings of the year, allowing sunlight to hit the crown of the grass.

– Aerate your lawn to allow water/fertilizer/nutrients to be better absorbed into the ground. You can rent aerators by the day, check your local tool rental facility.

– Rake the leaves as they fall, don’t wait until they are all down. Waiting for all the leaves to fall will create a blanket that will be difficult to rake up and may kill parts of your lawn due to no access to air/sunlight.

– Fill in the bald spots with lawn repair kits from your local home & garden store.

 

Be sure to read the article from Popular Mechanics for more tips on preparing your lawn for winter!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Winterize Your Summer Toys

Winterize Your Summer Toys

 

Fall is upon us and its time to put away our summer toys & tools in preparation for winter. Today’s tips come from an article found on CabinLife.com which shares tips regarding watercraft, summer tools, & camper/travel trailers. We highly recommend checking out the full article for more tips!

Watercraft

– Use “Engine Tuner” when storing two-stroke engines. This will break down carbon deposits on the pistons/rings/cylinder heads.

– “Fogging” your engine will help to extend the life of it during winter storage. Follow the directions on the fogging oil/spray to ensure it has been done properly.

– Take care of any repairs before storage. Making sure the watercraft is in good running condition before storage will make taking it out the following spring easier.

– For non-motorized watercraft, make sure all water is drained & add a coat of wax/protectant to the hull to protect it during storage.

Lawn Tools

– Prepare engines for storage by following the owner’s manual.

– Make any necessary repairs before storing to avoid frustration in the spring when you use the tool again.

– Cover with a coat of wax/protectant or seal the item properly for storage.

– Sharpen blades & lubricate hinges/pivot points before storing tools.

 

Trailers

– Prepare trailers for storage via the owner’s manual

– Make any repairs before storage to avoid issues with next use.

– If possible, put trailer on jacks to avoid flat tires or store tires/rims separately.

 

Again, check out the article on CabinLife.com for more tips on winterizing your summer toys & tools!

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Divorce & Insurance

Divorce & Insurance

 

Every 36 seconds a couple gets divorced with the average length of union being 8 years. Oftentimes it is one spouse that handles the financial aspects of the relationship while the other is left in the dark or with a VERY rudimentary understanding of the couple’s financial position. This can often be devastating when left to figure out their own financial picture after a divorce. This article from insure.com shares some important aspects of insurance when it comes to separating from your spouse and not knowing what to do.

– Health Insurance should be priority one in a separation/divorce. Many times it is one spouse that has coverage that covers the household and when a divorce occurs the other spouse is left without coverage. Divorce is a “trigger event” according to ACA guidelines, so you need to speak with someone at healthcare.gov about securing your own policy within 60 days. Don’t wait until the divorce is final or when your current coverage ends before looking to replace coverage.

– Auto Insurance is next on the list of priorities when it comes to insurance. DO NOT TRUST your former partner when they tell you they will keep you and your vehicle on their policy unless you have it in the divorce decree. Too many times ex-spouses have messed over people by canceling their coverage, having to be placed in a high-risk carrier for not having current insurance coverage.

– Home Insurance is important and again, make sure the divorce decree stipulates that you remain on the policy until your interest is paid off. If you’re a renter, contact a local independent insurance agent for coverage.

– Life Insurance is something divorced couples tend to forget about. Change the beneficiaries on your life insurance policies if the ex-spouse is listed.

Above all, even without a divorce – make sure that both partners have a basic understanding of the couple’s financial & insurance standing so in case of a separation/divorce they will at least have a starting point. Having a hometown, local independent agent can be invaluable when it cones to untangling your financial/insurance lives after a divorce.

Here’s an article from Credit.com with financial tips when it comes to separation/divorce and another from TheWeek with tips for men dealing with divorce.

 

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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Moving Tips

Moving Tips

 

Millions of Americans move every year. Whether they move across town or across the country, it can get harried and stressful. This week’s tips come from a Lifehack article of 20 tips to make your move easy as pie…

– Find free moving boxes. Grocery stores, Craigslist, even your local Facebook yard sale-type trading groups may have boxes suitable for moving. Make sure to reinforce the taped seams for additional structural support.

– Purge as you go. While boxing up your belongings, ask yourself where in the new home the item will fit or the last time you used said-item. The best way is to have a keep box, a donate box, and a box/bag for trash. Moving is one way to declutter your life.

– Take pictures of your electronics and other items. Taking photos of your electronics and other items before you disassemble them for packing will cut down on the frustration when it comes to reassembling those items in the new home. Wind cords and label accordingly so you know what they are for.

– Pack a “first night” box or bag. This will contain your toiletries, clothing, & any other items you may need for your first night in your new home. Much better than rummaging through 50 boxes trying to find the Keurig in the morning.

– One room to a box. Pack up one room and ONLY one room at a time. This way when you bring in a box labeled “Kitchen”, you know the items belong in the kitchen.

 

Be sure to read the rest of the article at Lifehack for additional tips to make your move easy as pie…

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

 

 

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Labor Day Tips

Labor Day Tips

Thousands of people will be traveling over the Labor Day holiday, whether by plane, by boat, or by car. This week we thought we would share tips for having a safe holiday weekend no matter if you are traveling or staying around the house. This week we share some tips from Safewise.com on how to enjoy your holiday weekend safely.

 

  • Vehicle Inspection – have a mechanic give your vehicle a “once over” to be sure that there are no issues that may derail your travel plans. If traveling for long periods, make sure to be well-rested, take frequent breaks, and if possible divide up the driving time.
  • Fireworks Celebration – if you are going to enjoy fireworks at home, make sure you check out our podcast on firework safety as a refresher course…
  • Drink in Moderation – “letting loose” for the long weekend is a great plan as long as you don’t go overboard – and if you do, don’t get behind the wheel.
  • Boat Safely – Check out our recent boating safety podcast for a refresher on being safe out on the water.
  • Clean Up the Yard – the weekend is supposed to be in observance of working all year, to take a day off for ourselves and our families. Some see it as a chance to do some last-minute yard work or preparation for winter. Be careful and follow all safety guidelines.

Be sure you visit the Safewise.com article for more tips on having a safe Labor Day weekend!

 

Contact Us!

At M. Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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