Recent Community Posts

Congratulations to our SMR

3/6/2018 (Permalink)

Community Congratulations to our SMR Congratulation Phil!!

We want to give a big shout out to our SMR Phil Demery for winning Ambassador of the Year at the Lexington Chamber Awards Luncheon. We are so lucky to  have Phil on our team!!!

Save A Life And Give Blood

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Save A Life and Give Blood

Donating blood is one of the greatest gifts that you could give yourself and someone in need. According to the American Red Cross, “Every two seconds someone in the U.S needs blood.”

On July 13, from 2- 7, the Greater West Columbia Chamber is partnering with the American Red Cross for a blood drive. Consider joining and potentially saving many lives.

Here are some great reasons to give blood:

  • It helps in reducing risk of damage to liver and pancreas.
  • Donating blood may help in improving cardiovascular health and reducing obesity.
  • Donating blood can help in treating patients suffering from cancer, bleeding disorders, chronic anemia associated with cancer, sickle cell anemia and other hereditary blood abnormalities.
  • Regular blood donation may help in reducing iron overload.

So, now that you know some of the great benefits of giving blood, why not join the Greater West Columbia Chamber for their blood drive? Here is the link for more information: http://www.cwcchamber.com/

Grill Safety

7/3/2017 (Permalink)

Community Grill Safety Happy Grilling!

Grill Safety

One of my all-time favorite things about summer is being able to fire up our grill and have a cookout, with our friends and family. If your family is anything like mine, we have a large group, and the one thing that we don’t want to have to worry about is someone getting hurt. That is why being knowledgeable about grill safety is so important!

The Do’s and Don’ts of grill safety:

Do:

  • Keep your grill at least ten feet away from your house.
  • Make sure to keep your grill clean.
  • Always check for gas leaks.
  • Make sure to keep decorations or anything that may be flammable up away from your grill.
  • In case of flare-ups, it is a good to keep a spray bottle of water near your grill.
  • Always keep a fire hydrant nearby.

Don’ts:

  • Never turn your gas on when the lid is shut.
  • Do not leave your grill unattended.
  • Never use your grill inside your home.

Now that you know a few do’s and don’ts of grilling, here is a great recipe for you to enjoy with your loved ones: http://www.spendwithpennies.com/grilled-bacon-jalapeno-poppers/ :) 

Summer Sun Safety

6/26/2017 (Permalink)

Community Summer Sun Safety Summer is fun when you and your family are protected from the sun!

Summer Sun Safety

Whether you are planning a vacation or simply staying home to play in the sunshine this summer, you should protect your skin. The sun can damage your skin, hair, and eyes so don't forget to protect you and your family from the harmful rays of the sun. 

- 1 oz. of sunscreen should be applied to your entire body. You should reapply every two hours. 

- Only broad spectrum sunscreens of SPF 15+ can protect skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays.

- The sun's rays are the strongest between 10 a.m.-4 p.m. So limit your time in the sun between these hours.

- It only takes ten minutes for a babies skin to burn, if possible keep babies out of the sun.

-  Sunscreen is only one level of protection against the sun, add clothing, hats, or sunglasses for added protection. 

Hurricanes and Their Categories

6/19/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricanes and Their Categories

Category 1: There will be very dangerous winds that could produce some damage. (Winds- 74-95 mph.)

Although, category 1 storms aren’t as severe as a category 3, it should still be considered dangerous. The winds will be very strong causing buildings to have damage to their roof, siding, and gutters. Extensive damage to power lines and poles can result in power outages that could last several days.

Category 2: There will could be extensive damage due to extremely dangerous winds. (Winds- 96-110 mph.)

In a category 2 the winds are much stronger, which could cause extreme damage to your property, such as, major roof and siding damage. Trees could snap or be uprooted and cause road blocks. Power loss is could last from several days to weeks.

Category 3: Devastating damage will occur. (Winds- 111-129 mph.)

Hurricanes reaching category 3 and higher are considered to be major because of their potential for significant loss of life and property damage. Your property may sustain major damage. Until the storm passes, electricity and water will be unavailable for several weeks.

Category 4: Catastrophic damage is expected. (Winds- 130-156 mph.)

Buildings and homes may have severe damage with the loss of the roof and some exterior walls. Trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles will be down, causing residential areas to be isolated. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months.

Category 5: Catastrophic damage is expected. (Winds- More than 157 mph.)

There is more of a chance that most homes will be destroyed. There will be a considerable number of fallen trees and power poles. Most of the community may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Looking to for more information on Hurricanes:

Storm Information: National Hurricane Center- http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

American Red Cross- http://www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies/hurricane

FEMA- https://www.fema.gov/

             https://www.ready.gov/

Photo Credit: https://weather.com/safety/hurricane/news/saffir-simpson-hurricane-wind-scale

Content Credit: S.C. Emergency Management Division

Summer = Grilling

6/12/2017 (Permalink)

Community Summer = Grilling BACON, PINEAPPLE, CHICKEN KABOBS

Summer = Grilling

Who is enjoying their summer time so far?

I hope you all have had a chance to enjoy a little bit of what the summer has to offer. One of the wonderful things that my family and I like to do to do over the summer is grill out. Thanks to Tablespoon.com here is a great recipe that you and your family are sure to love.

Ingredients:

  • Two Large boneless, skinless chicken breasts.
  • One large pineapple, cut into 1 ½ inch chunks.
  • Two large red bell peppers, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  • One large onion, cut into 1 ½ inch pieces.
  • Twelve strips of thick cut bacon.

For the Hawaiian Sauce:

  • 1 ½ cups of pineapple juice.
  • ½ tablespoons cornstarch.
  • ½ cup brown sugar.
  • Two tablespoons of soy sauce.
  • ½ teaspoon of salt.
  • Six long skewers.

Instructions:

  1. To make the Hawaiian sauce: Combine all ingredients in a medium saucepan and stir until the cornstarch is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes. Set-aside until ready to use.
  2. Thread the skewers. Weave the bacon around each piece of chicken and pineapple, stick the bell pepper and onion together and weave the bacon around both of those. You'll need two strips of bacon per skewer if using 4 pieces of chicken and 3 pieces each of pineapple, bell pepper and onion. Brush some olive or vegetable oil evenly over each kabob.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium high. Grill the kabobs for 10-15, turning a couple of times, until done.
  4. Slather with hot Hawaiian sauce and serve immediately.

If you have enjoyed this recipe, please visit http://www.tablespoon.com , for more great recipe ideas!

Hurricane Preparedness

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Hurricane Preparedness

Are you prepared for hurricane season? Hurricane Season starts June 1 and lasts until November 30.

No one can predict when a disaster will strike but as we are entering hurricane season, it is always a clever idea to be prepared just in case.

To be prepared each home should have a three-day (72 hour) disaster survival kit for each family member.

Here is a suggested list of survival kit supplies:

  • Drinking water:
  • The suggested amount for each person is one gallon per person/ per day. You should use unbreakable containers that will not break or decompose.
  • Don’t forget to add additional water for mixing formula if you have a young child and don’t forget to have extra water for your pets.
  • It is also a promising idea to have extra water for food preparation.
  • Water for sanitation use:
  • Store extra containers of water to be used for flushing toilets, cleaning, and bathing.
  • Non-perishable food: (Bring foods that you know that you and your family will eat even when there isn’t a storm).
  • Maintain at least 3-7 days of food for each member of your family.
  • Ready to eat canned meats, fruits, and vegetables are great, you don’t necessarily have to heat this stuff up just in case you are without power.
  • High energy foods like crackers, granola bars, and trail mix.
  • Fresh bread.
  • Comfort foods: cookies, hard candy, sweetened cereal, instant coffee, tea bags.
  • Food for infants.
  • Paper cups, plates, and plastic utensils.
  • Aluminum foil.
  • Plastic storage containers.
  • Sanitation:
  • Toilet paper, towelettes, soap, baby wipes, liquid hand sanitizer.
  • Liquid detergent.
  • Feminine supplies.
  • Toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo.
  • Garbage bags.
  • Bleach, disinfectant.
  • First Aid kit: (Assemble a first aid kit for your home and for each car).
  • Band-Aids.
  • Germicidal hand wipes or hand sanitizer.
  • Gloves, Adhesive tape, antibacterial ointment, antiseptic spray.
  • Cold packs, scissors, tweezers, rubbing alcohol.
  • CPR breathing barrier.
  • Safety pins.
  • Aspirin, ibuprofen, Benadryl, peroxide.
  • (If you are taking any prescription drugs make sure you have at least a 30-day supply).
  • Clothing and Bedding: (Include at least one complete change of clothing per family member).
  • Sturdy shoes.
  • Rain gear.
  • Blankets or sleeping bags.
  • Hat and gloves.
  • Lawn chairs.
  • Extra things you may need:
  • Wind up battery operated clock.
  • Paper and pencil.
  • Small sewing kit.
  • Map of the area.
  • Citronella candles.
  • Extra batteries.

For more great tips on how to make sure your family is prepared for a hurricane please visit: www.ready.gov/kit  

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

6/5/2017 (Permalink)

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade

I don’t know about you but I am loving this warm weather! Summer is such a fun season, with swimming, cookouts, and lots of fun in the sun, who could not love summer time!?!

Well how about a nice cold refreshing drink to go with those days by the pool. Here is a great recipe for a frozen strawberry lemonade.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of frozen strawberries.
  • 1 Tbsp. Frozen lemonade concentrate.
  • ¾ cup of sprite.
  • 1 Tbsp. of Sugar.

(This is for 1 serving)

Instructions:

  • Add ingredients to your blender and blend thoroughly.
  • Serve in a mason jar or any cup to your liking and be ready to be refreshed! ?? Enjoy!!!

Summer Time

5/30/2017 (Permalink)

Community Summer Time Have a Great Summer!

Summer Time

Now that school is ending, you might be wondering what you are going to do with your kids?

Sometimes it isn’t easy coming up with ideas to keep the kids busy throughout the entire summer. So, here is a list of ideas that I have come up with to help you keep them active.

  • Create a Summer bucket list.
  • Have a picnic at the park.
  • Start a library summer reading program.
  • Go for a swim.
  • Go strawberry picking.
  • Make strawberry smoothies.
  • Go out for ice-cream.
  • Go on a bike ride.
  • Water balloon baseball.
  • Go to a baseball game.
  • Make sand or dirt pudding.
  • Backyard water fun.
  • Visit a splash pad.
  • Finger paint.
  • Make silly putty.
  • Go to the beach.
  • Jump rope.
  • Go camping.
  • Start a garden.

Here are just a few suggestions for you and your kids to enjoy, but with a little bit of imagination and creativity, who knows what your summer will hold. Enjoy!

… And have a great Summer!! ??

Homemade Air Freshener

5/8/2017 (Permalink)

Homemade Air Freshener

 

 

 

In honor of us discussing better air quality this month, I wanted to share with you guys a great DIY air freshener, thanks to The Prairie Homestead. It is super simple to make, better for the air, and it really smells great! ??

 

 

All you need is:

 

  • ¾ cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol
  • One of the essential combinations listed below.

 

 

  1. CITRUS MINT AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 10 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 8 drops peppermint essential oil
  1. SWEET LAVENDER AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops chamomile essential oil
  • Use 2 tablespoons real vanilla extract in place of the 2 tablespoons of alcohol.
  1. SUMMER CITRUS AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 5 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops lime essential oil
  • 5 drops grapefruit essential oil

 

  1. COZY HOLIDAY AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 6 drops wild orange essential oil
  • 5 drops cassia essential oil
  • 5 drops clove essential oil
  1. FLOWER GARDEN AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops geranium essential oil
  • 4 drops grapefruit essential oil
  1. HAPPY HOMESTEAD AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 5 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops lemon essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  1. DEODORIZING AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 4 drops melaleuca essential oil (aka tea tree oil)
  • 8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 6 drops eucalyptus essential oil
  1. SPICY CHAI AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 4 drops cardamom essential oil
  • 3 drops cassia essential oil
  • 3 drops clove essential oil
  • 2 drops ginger essential oil
  1. WOODSY AIR FRESHENER SPRAY
  • 7 drops white fir essential oil
  • 6 drops cedar wood essential oil
  • 5 drops frankincense essential oil
  1. GET FOCUSED AIR FRESHENER SPRAY

(Ideal for when you’re sitting at your desk and need to concentrate)

  • 10 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 8 drops rosemary essential oil

 

Combine in an 8-oz. spray bottle, shake well, and enjoy!!!

 

Happy Customers

5/1/2017 (Permalink)

Community Happy Customers Thank you, From your friends here at SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington!

!!!!Happy Customers!!!!

 

 

 

Here at SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, we take immense pride in our customer’s happiness! We love what we do and look forward to making each one of our client’s home or business, “Like it never even happened.”

 

Without the loyalty that we have established with our customers we would not be where we are today. So, thank you for allowing us to serve you, your family, and your home/ business!

 

 

Here is just a couple of things that some of our wonderful clients have said:

 

 

 

“I am so glad we called SERVPRO when we had our unexpected disaster! They turned a hardship into a pleasant experience ! Taylor and his team were always on time and very respectful of my personal time and property!!!”

 

  • Jessica B.

 

 

 

 

 

“They were very prompt and courteous and did a great job and did everything they said they would do. This is the second time I have used them. Clay and Sam and the rest of the crew were great!”

 

 

  • Susan R.

 

 

“An amazing company to work with in all areas. Most trustworthy company I have ever worked it. Highly recommend them!”

 

 

 

  • Angie H.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Homemade Pizza Twists

4/24/2017 (Permalink)

Homemade Pizza Twists


 


I don't know about your family, but my family absolutely loves pizza! Here is a great recipe to jazz up your pizza night, that I found on Pinterest!


 


The ingredients are super simple, all you need is: 



  • 1 package of Crescents (8 count)

  • 1 cup of shredded mozzarella and Parmesan cheese blend. 

  • Pepperoni.

  • 1 cup of Marinara. 


 


This would be a fun dish to get the kids involved in:



  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 

  2. So that your twists don't stick, line your baking sheet with parchment paper. 

  3. Press two crescent triangles together to make a rectangle. 

  4. Brush your rectangle crescents with butter.

  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese in the center. 

  6. Place 3 pepperonis on top of cheese. 

  7. Fold each side over to the middle and press the edges together. 

  8. Twist your breadsticks and place onto your parchment paper. 

  9. Brush with butter. 

  10. Bake for 18-20 minutes. 

  11. Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. 

  12. Enjoy!!! 


 

Rhythm on The River

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Rhythm on The River

 

 

 

 

South Carolina is such a fun place to live and visit- we offer lots of free activities for everyone! One momentous event is the Rhythm on the River.

 

The Rhythm on the River Concert Series was created by the River Alliance in March 2002 after the opening on the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater that January. The West Metro Chamber of Commerce and Visitor Center took over control of the series in 2004 and continues to produce the series this day. Rhythm on the River is a free concert series on Saturdays from 6 to 9.

 

There is a lot of fun to be had, so come enjoy yourself at the Riverwalk from April 8th to May 27th.

    

                         Get Directions

 https://www.google.com/maps/dir//33.9941433,-81.0523979/@33.9941433,-81.0545866,17z/data=!3m1!4b1

Severe Weather

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Severe Weather

                                             

 

 

Severe weather can happen anytime, anywhere. Approximately 98 percent of all declared disasters are weather-related, leading to around 500 deaths per year and nearly $15 billion in damage. Knowing your risk of severe weather, taking action, and being an example are just a few steps you can take to be better prepared to save your life and assist in saving the lives of others.

An emergency can happen anywhere and anytime and it can happen to you. In an emergency, it is vital to think clearly and react quickly. If an emergency occurs, it is essential for you to know what to do and what not to do. The time to find this out is before an emergency happens.

Once an emergency occurs, do not panic. Emergency information will be broadcast on the Emergency Alert System, on local radio and television stations, the NOAA weather radio and the Cable Interrupt System. But in an emergency, it is up to you to determine what action is appropriate.

THUNDERSTORMS:
Thunderstorms produce many dangerous and severe forms of weather. Lightning, destructive winds, heavy rain and hail can all be products of thunderstorms.

Severe Thunderstorm Watch: the conditions are favorable for severe weather and you should continue normal activity, but monitor weather conditions closely.

Severe Thunderstorm Warning:  you should seek shelter immediately and monitor conditions on the radio or television.

What to Do:

  • If you are outside, get into a building, car or bus.
  • If you are in the woods, pick a low area under small trees. 
  • If you are swimming or boating, get out of the water immediately and onto land as soon as possible. 
  • If you are in an open area, head for low ground such as a valley or ravine, or crouch down. 
  • If golfing, leave the course as soon as possible and take shelter in the clubhouse.

What Not to Do:

  • Do not touch metal objects such as bicycles, fences, golf clubs, and equipment such as lawnmowers. 
  • Do not go near trees, poles, hills, clotheslines, overhead wires, metal pipes, or water.
  • If in a group, do not huddle -- but spread out. 
  • Do not use the telephone except in an emergency. 
  • Do not take a shower or bath.

TORNADOES:
Tornadoes are violent storms with spiraling high-speed winds. Tornadoes are usually accompanied by hail, severe thunderstorms and wind. The noise of a tornado has been described as a roaring sound -- like a train far away.

A Tornado Watch: there is a possibility of one or more tornadoes in your area. Continue normal activity but monitor weather conditions closely.

A Tornado Warning: a tornado has been sighted and may be approaching -- seek shelter immediately.

When a tornado threatens, immediate action can save your life!

  • Stay away from windows, doors and outside walls. Always protect your head!
  • In homes and small buildings, go to the basement or to an interior part of the lowest level -- take shelter in closets, bathrooms or interior halls away from windows. Get under something sturdy or lie in the bathtub and cover yourself with a blanket. 
  • In schools, nursing homes, hospitals, factories, shopping centers and malls, go to pre-designated shelter areas. Interior hallways on the lowest levels are best. Stay away from exterior glass doors. 
  • In high-rise buildings, go to interior, small rooms or hallways on the lowest floor possible with no windows. If you can see outside, you are not safe. 
  • In vehicles or mobile homes, vacate and go to a substantial structure. If there is no shelter nearby, lie flat in the nearest ditch, ravine or culvert with your hands shielding your head and neck. 

 

Contact SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington for more readiness tips and tools, including SERVPRO’s Emergency READY Profile (ERP). Having an ERP in place for your facility can help minimize business interruption in the event of a disaster.

 

 

 

 

Tie Dye Easter Eggs

4/10/2017 (Permalink)

Tie Dye Easter Eggs

 

It’s that time of year again, time to get things prepared for Easter! Here is a fun idea to do with your little one’s as you decorate those eggs. Enjoy! Happy Easter!

 

 

                                                                              

 

 

Ingredients

  • Hard Boiled Eggs
  • Food Coloring
  • Paper Towel
  • Water Spray Bottle
  • Tiny Elastics or Twist Ties
  • Table Fan

Instructions

  1. Tear apart the paper towels into small rectangles. Place a cool, dry egg in the middle of the paper towel.
  2. Wrap the paper towel up and around the egg so it's completely covered. Twist the top of the paper towel so it's tight against the egg and secure it with a tiny hair elastic or a twist tie.
  3. Wearing rubber gloves, gently squeeze drops of food coloring directly onto the paper towel wrapped egg (3 or 4 drops at a time), leaving some white space between each color. Repeat until there are large food coloring dots around the whole egg.
  4. Using a spray bottle, gently spray a small amount of water into the center of each food coloring dot. Keep spraying until the colors bleed and there is no more white space. The less water you spray, the brighter the colors on the egg will be.
  5. Gently squeeze the wet paper towel wrapped egg over the sink to drain any excess water. Even if there's no extra water, gently squeeze the egg to make sure the color on the paper towel transfers to the egg.
  6. Place the wet, paper towel wrapped eggs in a baking dish. Point a table fan at the eggs and allow them to dry for 3 to 4 hours. (Without a table fan, you'll have to wait overnight for them to dry).
  7. When the paper towels are completely dry, remove the elastics and unwrap each egg.

Notes

It's best if you can make these the day you plan to serve them. If they MUST be refrigerated, place the eggs in an egg carton. Make sure you remove them from the fridge (and open the egg carton lid) at least 3 hours before you plan to serve them to give time for the condensation to dry.

 

April Showers, Brings May Flowers

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

April Showers, Brings May Flowers

 

                   

 

 

Spring is in the air for South Carolina, and with spring, comes spring showers- which may lead to flooding conditions. These tips will help reduce the impact spring floods have on you and your home, before the rainy season begins!

 

 

  1. Identify any existing roof or siding problems:A licensed contractor can inspect your roof for missing shingles and possible leaks and do any repair work if necessary. It’s also a good idea to inspect and reinforce any loose siding, which can quickly rip off during high winds.

 

  1. Use shredded bark mulch as landscaping material:If you have rock or gravel landscaping, it’s a good idea to replace it with bark, which won’t cause damage if blown around in high winds.

 

  1. Maintain trees and shrubbery in your yard:Spring is the perfect time to remove dead or weak branches or remove trees that could fall on your home during a storm. Check trees and shrubs regularly to identify potential problems.

 

  1. Ensure gutters aren’t loose or clogged:Clear your gutters of debris, it can block the passage of water from flowing freely off roofs and away from the home, and make sure they are tightly attached to your house. Strong winds can quickly tear loose gutters from your home and cause damage. Also, it’s important to make sure downspouts are positioned away from your home’s foundation to help prevent basement flooding.

 

  1. Secure top-heavy furniture:Don’t forget about the inside of your home too. Walk around your house and secure large, top-heavy pieces, such as bookcases, to the wall.

 

  1. Install and maintain sump pumps: Sump pumps help to send water away from the home in areas such as basements and below-grade rooms that tend to flood more easily. If you don’t already have one, consider installing a sump pump or investing in a more portable version. If you already have a sump pump, inspect it to make sure it is in good working order and is clear of debris.

 

  1. Catalog possessions: Using a digital camcorder or camera, create a home inventory for insurance. Inexpensive digital cameras start at about $100. Although traditional video and photographs are adequate, they can be bulky to carry and may get damaged if left in a flooded home. Digital files can be stored on a small USB drive and kept in your go bag, sent to a friend or relative for safekeeping, or stored on an online backup system.

How Often Should you Clean Everything?

4/3/2017 (Permalink)

How often should you Clean Everything?

 

     

 

 

Cleaning is a big chore that must get done! With everyone’s busy schedule, it is hard to get to everything, here is a list to help you know how often things should get cleaned:

 

 

 

Every Day:

 

  • Make Bed.
  • Sweep Kitchen floors.
  • Clean dirty dishes.
  • Wipe down kitchen counters and table.
  • Do laundry (as needed).
  • Clean coffee maker.
  • Wipe down bathroom surfaces.
  • Sanitize your kitchen and bathroom sinks.

 

 

Every Week:

 

  • Mop kitchen and bathroom floors.
  • Scrub bathroom surfaces.
  • Clean mirrors.
  • Dust Furniture.
  • Vacuum your floors and furniture.
  • Change bedding.
  • Toss expired food.
  • Wipe down kitchen appliances.
  • Clean inside of microwave.
  • Sanitize your sponges.

 

 

Every Month:

 

  • Vacuum vents and woodwork.
  • Dust and clean light fixtures.
  • Dust blinds.
  • Clean your dishwasher, washer and dryer, and vacuum.

 

Every Three- Six Months:

 

  • Wipe down inside of fridge.
  • Clean kitchen range hood.
  • Wash shower curtain liner.
  • Clean under and behind furniture.
  • Clean patio/ deck surfaces and furniture.
  • Wash pillows and comforter.
  • Vacuum Mattress.
  • Freshen drains and garbage disposal.
  • Clean inside of oven.
  • Clean out Freezer.

 

 

Every Year:

 

  • Clean Fireplace and Chimney.
  • Deep clean carpet and upholstery. (SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington, can help you with this ??!)
  • Deep clean windows.
  • Clean around dryer and vents.
  • Clean curtains.
  • Clear out gutters.

 

 

 

For more tips or questions on cleaning your home, don’t hesitate to call SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington at (803)755-9774.

 

 

 

How to Make DIY Bird Feeders

3/27/2017 (Permalink)

Spring is here and summer is fast approaching. The kids will be out of school soon and the summer will be in full swing. With many kids at home during the summer, parents can find themselves struggling to find things to keep the kids entertained while they are home. There’s plenty of activities to do with kids during the summer and getting outdoors should be on everyone’s to-do list.

If you are looking for a fun craft to do with the kids, create Pinecone Bird Feeders! These bird feeders are so easy to make, affordable, and exciting for all.

How to Make a Pinecone Bird Feeder

Supplies:

  • Pinecones
  • Small bowl of Peanut Butter
  • Bird Seeds
  • Plastic Spoon, Popsicle stick, or Spatula (to spread the peanut butter)
  • Paper Plate

Directions:

  1. Place the pinecone on a paper plate.
  2. Using a plastic spoon or spatula, spread peanut butter around the pinecone. Try to cover as much of the pinecone as you can with a thin layer of peanut butter.

 

  1. Once the pinecone is covered in peanut butter, roll the pinecone around in the birdseed until the pinecone is covered with birdseed.

 

  1. Tie a string at the top of the pinecone and hang from a tree in your yard.

 

Sit back and wait for the birds to arrive and enjoy the seeds from the pinecone bird feeder!

 

 

Content Credit: Pinterest: Momwifebusylife.com

How to Make DIY Bath Bombs

3/20/2017 (Permalink)

How to Make DIY Bath Bombs

 

Do you need something to help you relax? Here is a great recipe from Swanson Health Products to make your own bath bombs. Enjoy!!!

                  

 

 

Bath Bomb Ingredients:

Bath Bomb Tools:

  • Bath bomb molds
  • Bowl
  • Whisk

Bath Bomb Steps:

  1. Combine all dry ingredients in a bowl. Stir together with a whisk.
  2. Add coconut oil, essential oil and food coloring (if using). Stir until ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  3. When adding water, do it slowly and add only as much as needed because the mixture will fizz upon exposure to water. Stir vigorously to reduce fizzing while adding water.
  4. When the mixture is wet enough to stick together in clumps, press mixture firmly into molds until molds are filled. If using a mold with two pieces, such as a round mold, squish pieces together and remove any excess from the sides.
  5. Let the mixture sit in the molds for five minutes, then carefully remove bath bombs from the molds.
  6. Lay bath bombs on parchment paper or a towel and let them dry for 24 hours.

Recipe makes enough for two round 2.5 inch diameter bath bombs.

Simple, right? And so much fun!

Allergy Season

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Allergy Season


As the flowers start to bloom and trees start to blossom, we come to the realization that spring has finally sprung. Although, spring is a beautiful time of the year, with it brings pollen- and pollen brings allergies! If you are like one of the millions of people who have seasonal allergies, it means sneezing, congestion, a runny nose and other bothersome symptoms.


Allergy symptoms just make you feel simply awful. Fortunately, there are many options that may help you relieve your symptoms to all your allergies:



  • Reduce your exposure to allergy triggers.


     -   If you know the pollen count is going to be higher, try to avoid being outside as much as you can.


Keep doors and windows shut at night or any other time when pollen counts are high.



  • Delegate lawn mowing, weed pulling, and other gardening chores that stir up allergens.

  • Don’t hang laundry outside- pollen can stick to clothing, sheets, and towels.

  • Wear a pollen mask if you do outside chores.

  • Take extra steps when pollen counts are high.

  • If you notice that your allergies are starting to bother you, you may want to start taking allergy medications.

  • Avoid outdoor activity in the early morning when pollen counts are highest.

  •   Keep indoor air clean.

  •  Use your air conditioner in your home and car.

  • Have SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington check and clean your duct work. Even with frequently changing your air duct filters, dust and other allergens can get caught between your air conditioning unit and your air vents. It is recommended that you have your ducts cleaned at least once a year.

  •  Keep indoor air dry with a dehumidifier.

  •  Clean floors often with a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA filter. Vacuuming is great in helping with dust/pollen but it is also recommended that you should have your carpets professionally cleaned at least every 3-6 months to a year, at a minimum.


There are no miracle products that can eliminate all allergens, but I hope these suggestions will be helpful! If SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington can help rid your home of dust/ pollen, please don’t hesitate to contact us at (803)755-9774.

Irish Delight

3/14/2017 (Permalink)

Irish Delight

 

 

Every year on March 17, the Irish and the Irish-at-heart across the globe observe St. Patrick’s Day. What began as a religious feast day for the patron Saint of Ireland has become an international festival celebrating Irish culture with parades, dancing, special foods and a whole lot of green!

 

For St. Patrick’s Day, celebrate with Irish inspired foods like this New England boiled Dinner and Caraway Soda bread recipe:

 

 

New England Boiled Dinner Recipe

 

             

 

  • Cook time:4 hours, 30 minutes
  • Serves 6 to 8

Corned beef can be pretty salty, so if you are making boiled dinner with corned beef you may want to put it in a pot, cover with cold water, bring to a boil, and then discard the water before starting the recipe. If the broth ends up being too salty, you can serve just the meat and vegetables, without the broth, or add water to the broth to dilute it.

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket or plain beef brisket
  • 15 peppercorns
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt, if using plain brisket
  • 2 medium sized turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 4 red new potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 3 large carrots, cut into thirds and the thickest pieces quartered lengthwise
  • 1 small head cabbage, cut into fourths

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Method

  1. Put corned beef in a pot, cover with water, add seasonings, simmer:Put the brisket in a 5 or 6 quart Dutch oven and cover with an inch of water.

If you are using corned beef brisket and it does not come already packed in seasoning, add peppercorns, cloves, and a bay leaf to the pot.

If using plain brisket, add a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water.

Bring to a simmer and then cover, lower the heat until it is barely simmering. Keep at a low simmer for four hours or until the meat is tender (a fork goes through easily).

 

  1. Remove meat, add vegetables, simmer:Remove the meat and set aside, keeping the meat warm. Add the vegetables to the pot. Check the broth for taste. If it is too salty, add a little more water to taste.

Raise the temperature and bring the soup to a high simmer. Cook at a high simmer until done, about 15-30 minutes longer, depending on the size of the cut of your vegetables.

  1. Slice meat across the grain:Slice the meat in thin slices across the grain. You may find it easier to slice if you first cut the roast in half along the same direction as the grain of the meat. Then slice smaller lengths across the grain.

     

Serve in bowls, a few pieces of meat in each, add some of the vegetables and some broth. Serve with horseradish or mustard or both.

 



Caraway Soda Bread Recipe

 

 

 

Prep time: 10 minutes

  • Cook time:40 minutes
  • Yield:Makes one loaf

Ingredients

  • 3 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour (1 pound)
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons caraway seeds
  • 4 Tbsp butter (1/2 stick) room temp
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk*

*If necessary, you can substitute buttermilk with a half cup of plain yogurt mixed in with a cup of plain milk and a tablespoon of white vinegar.

 

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and caraway seeds.
  2. Using your fingers (or a fork) work the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse meal.

 

  1. 3. Make a well in the center of the flour. Pour the buttermilk into the center and using either your hands or a wooden spoon, fold the flour over the buttermilk and gently mix until just combined.

 

The dough should be neither too wet or too dry, so if it is a little too dry to work with, add a little more buttermilk. If too wet, add a little more flour. Roughly shape into a ball and place on a floured surface. Knead just a few times to shape it into a round loaf. Do not over-knead or the bread will be tough.

 

  1. Place dough loaf onto a lightly greased baking sheet (or cast iron pan). Make 1 1/2-inch deep cuts, forming a cross, from side to side on the loaf. The scoring helps the heat get to the center of the loaf while cooking.

 

  1. Place in oven, cook for 15 minutes at 450°F, then lower the heat to 400°F and cook for 25 more minutes. One way to test for doneness is to take it out of the oven, turn it over and knock on the bottom. If it sounds hollow, it's done. You can also use a skewer inserted into the center.

Let bread sit on the baking sheet for 5-10 minutes to cool. Then remove it to a rack to cool a little bit longer. I think the bread is best when it is still warm and just baked. Quick breads like this, which rely on baking soda for leavening, are generally best eaten soon after they're baked.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Credit: Friendsdriftinn.com and amazingribs.com

 

 

Content Credit: Simplyrecipes.com

Believe in Yourself!

3/6/2017 (Permalink)

You and only you are the author of your own life story!

Success is measured by character and integrity!

Live each day with courage!

                                             l l .     Take pride in your work!

                                        I l l .     Always finish what you start!

Do what has to be done!

  1. Be tough, but fair!
  2. When you make a promise, keep it!

Ride for the brand!

Talk less, say more!

  1. Remember some things are not for sale!
  2. Know where to draw the line!

Relax! It's Friday!!!

2/27/2017 (Permalink)

Relax! It’s Friday!!!

 

As adults, we tend to forget to let ourselves relax; with work, children, and homes, it is an easy thing to do! Even as adults we must learn to take time to relax, there are many options to do so, such as….

 

  • Take a bath.
  • Light a candle.
  • Listen to music.
  • Rest your legs up on a wall.
  • Take a nap.
  • Go to a body of water.
  • Fly a kite.
  • Watch the clouds.
  • Watch the stars.
  • Write a letter.
  • Sit in nature.
  • Read a book.
  • Learn something new.
  • Take a deep belly breath.
  • Listen to a guided relaxation.
  • Meditate
  • Write in a journal.
  • Take a walk outside.
  • Call a friend.
  • Go for a run.
  • Buy yourself flowers.
  • Find a relaxing scent (Lavender is great!)
  • Take a bike ride.
  • Turn off electronics.
  • Drive somewhere new.
  • Go to a park.
  • Color with crayons.
  • Stretch
  • Read poetry.
  • Love on an animal.
  • Forgive someone.
  • Dance!!!
  • View some art.
  • Read or watch something funny.
  • Get a manicure or pedicure.
  • Curl up with a hot cup of something.
  • Find something to be thankful for.
  • Spend time with family.

 

 

 

Happy Friday!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fun Friday

2/20/2017 (Permalink)

Fun Friday:

 

                                      

              Red Velvet Brownies

Ingredients

Brownies

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter - diced
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp red liquid food color OR 1 tbsp red gel food color
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder

Frosting

  • 1- 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups white chocolate chips

Sprinkle with 1/2 cup Valentine M&M's & 1/8 cup Heart Shaped Sprinkles

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  2. Use either non-stick foil or just use regular foil & then spray with non-stick spray & line a metal 9"x9" baking pan. (please do this- as it helps remove the brownies from the pan later on.)
  3. Stir butter & chocolate in a heavy large saucepan over low heat until all is melted.
  4. Remove from heat.
  5. Whisk in sugar & then eggs- one at a time.
  6. Stir in vanilla, salt & food coloring.
  7. Sift flour & baking powder & stir in & blend well.
  8. Transfer batter to prepared pan.
  9. Bake until puffed & dry looking- or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with some moist batter attached. (about 35-45 minutes).
  10. Cool completely in pan on a rack.

Once Cool- prepare your frosting.

  1. In small saucepan combine sweetened condensed milk & white chocolate chips.
  2. Heat until completely melted & combined.
  3. Pour immediately onto brownies while they are still in the pan.
  4. Top with your M&M's & sprinkles
  5. Allow to set before cutting. I popped mine in the refrigerator overnight.

 

 

 

Content Credit: Pinterest: Kleinworth & Co.

Photo Credit: Pinterest: Kleinworth & Co.

It's Never Too Soon To Organize

2/16/2017 (Permalink)

It’s Never Too Soon to Organize

 

Who says you can’t get a jump start on that dreadful spring cleaning and organizing? Check out these great organizing tips from Woman’s Day!

 

                      

 

  1. Who would have thought you could make your closet twice as big… by doubling up your clothes on the hanger with a can tag! Just pop the can tag of your favorite soda and place on your hanger to hang another piece of clothing and Wala two hangers in one!
  2. Getting rid of unnecessary junk!!! Go through the things you no longer use anymore and donate or toss, like old technology, books you have already read, and clothes you no longer wear.
  3. Time to Organize. Unfortunately, bills must be paid but why not organize them until you do. Creating different organizers for each bill is a great way to clean up all the loose bills that you have laying around; such as, bills to file, bills to pay, receipts to save, and so on.
  4. Taking back control… Do you have those little makeup brushes laying all around your vanity or makeup bag? Well there’s a great solution- keep your brushes upright with coffee beans or decorative rocks in a glass jar. You can also organize your eye shadow in an ice cube tray or stash your nail polish in a fish bowl.
  5. The messy drawer… Everyone has at least one messy drawer in their kitchen- but in less than an hour you can organize it all by asking yourself two questions.

-Has it been over a month since I used it?

-Do I have something else that works better?

          If you answered “yes” to both, donate it!

  1. Attack those linens!!! Tired of your family grabbing towels and unfolding all the others? Well by rolling your towels, it can make it easier to grab. Also, clean up those lose sheets by storing each set in their own pillowcase.
  2. Make your door work harder… You can use pocket shoe organizers to add more storage to your room. It’s great for storing hair tools, makeup, and so much more!
  3. Say “NO” to clutter!!! Tackle those useful but cluttering grocery bags. Grocery bags can be very useful, rather you use them for bathroom trash cans or for whatever. An empty tissue box is a great solution for storing.
  4. Get a handle on your dry foods… Never lose your favorite spice blend behind your boxes of cereal again! Give your pantry a makeover with clear containers and lazy Susan’s.
  5. Organize to clean… By organizing your cleaning supplies, you make your spray bottles easy to reach and less of a battle the next time you go to clean.

 

Well I hope these organizing tips help get you in the swing of things!

                       

                                                 Happy Organizing!!!

 

 

 

Image Credit: Woman’s Day

 

Fun Friday: Snow Day!

1/26/2017 (Permalink)

Community Fun Friday: Snow Day! Photo Credit: FrugalFun4Boys.com

Today’s Fun Friday is geared towards some winter fun with your kids. Winter here in South Carolina doesn’t always feel like winter time but why let that stop you from having some fun in the snow! Here’s a fun activity that is great for you and your kids to create your very own snow slime.

 

 

                               

 

 

What You’ll Need:

  • Liquid Starch
  • Elmer’s white school glue
  • Artificial snow (This can be found at Hobby Lobby in the Christmas crafts.)

 

 

  1. In a large bowl, stir ¼ of the bag of snow into ½ cup of glue.
  2. Stir in ½ cup of liquid starch

- After stirring, mix with your hands, it should form a slime.

- If the slime sticks to your hands, add more starch.

- If your slime won’t hold together, kneed in a little more glue.

  1. If needed, you can add more snow!
  2. Now enjoy some winter fun with your homemade snow slime!!!

 

Have a marvelous Friday!!!

 

 Content Credit: Pinterest:Things to Make and Do, Winter

South Carolina's Peanut Party

8/12/2016 (Permalink)

In the spirit of South Carolina’s Annual Peanut Party in Pelion on 8/12/2016. Here is a yummy recipe for boiled peanuts.

Boiled Peanuts Recipe

Prep time

5 mins

Cook time

24 hours

Total time

24 hours 5 mins

Boiled Peanuts are a favorite southern treat! Get this delicious, easy boiled peanuts recipe that you'll love!

Serves: 12

Ingredients

    1. 3 pounds green peanuts
    2. ¼ cup salt
    3. 6 cups water

Instructions

    1. Rinse peanuts until the water runs clear.
    2. Place into slow cooker. Add in salt and pour in water.
    3. Cook for 12 hours on high setting, checking occasionally to add more water if needed.
    4. Turn slow cooker to warm setting and allow to sit in slow cooker for another 9-12 hours.
    5. Serve straight from the slow cooker to keep warm, straining off brine and pouring into cups or bowls.

Summer Olympics

8/8/2016 (Permalink)

August 2016, time for the Summer Olympics in Rio!!!

Did you know why the Olympic flag is a white background with five interlaced rings in the center?

(Blue, Black, Red, Yellow and Green)

Blue is for Australia, because it's surrounded by water.

Black is for Europe, because it's in the center and that's where the Olympic Games started.

Red is for Asia, because Chinese lucky color is red.

Yellow is for Africa, because of Sahara desert.

Green is for America, because we have a lot of National Parks. 

This design is symbolic: it represents the five continents of the world united by olympism. While the six colors are those that appear on all the national flags of the world at this time. 

National Friendship Day

8/5/2016 (Permalink)

Growing up, I spent countless hours making colorful friendship bracelets. What a wonderful way to celebrate National Friendship day on 8/7/2016. Here are instructions for one of my favorite patterns – hearts!

You will need embroidery thread in two colors. Measure the thread using twice the length of your arm (from your fingertips to your shoulder and then back to your fingertips) for each string. Cut it. Do this two times for each color, fold them in half and knot them to form a loop. You should have a total of eight strings to work with, four of each color. Secure the loop using a clipboard or a safety pin attached to a pillow, your jeans… whatever works as long as it is held tightly and securely.

The basics:

Hold the second string with your left hand as you use your right hand to take the first string over and then under the second string. Pull the first string through so that it forms a 90-degree angle as you guide it away from you, towards the knot holding together the bracelet. Do this two times to make each knot. Hold on to that first string with your right hand! For the next knot going right, repeat these steps holding the third string in your left hand. Keep working with the first string as you work your way to the middle – for this pattern you will need to make three knots across in each direction. After three knots, make another knot to join the first and eighthstrings in the middle.

Hold the seventh string with your right hand as you use your left hand to take the eighth string over and then under the seventh string. Pull the first string through so that it forms a 90-degree angle as you guide it away from you, towards the knot holding together the bracelet. Do this two times to make each knot. Hold on to that first string with your left hand! For the next knot going left, repeat these steps holding the sixth string in your right hand. Keep working with the eighth string as you work your way to the middle – for this pattern you will need to make three knots across in each direction. After three knots, make another knot to join the first and eighthstrings in the middle.

The pattern:

1:Lay your strings out as shown. The color of the first and eighth thread will be the color of the heart shape.

2:Make your first row by following the instructions for making a row of knots going right and then left. Remember to join the two threads you were knotting with in the middle.

3:Make a second row of knots in the same way, this time with the second color.

4:Take the second string and knot it around the first string going left. Then, take the seventh string and knot it around the eighth string going right.

5:Fill in the space between the knots you made in step 4 with the first color by knotting the second string around the third and fourth strings going right and then the seventh string around the sixth and fifth strings going left. Join them in the middle. This step forms the top of the heart.

6:Take the second string and knot it around the first string going left. Knot the seventh string around the eighth going right. This step forms the outermost points of the heart.

7:Fill in the heart with the second color by making two knots to the right with the second string and two knots to the left with the seventh string. Join them in the middle.

8:To form the bottom of the heart, take the first string and knot it around the second and third strings going right. Next, take the eighth string and knot it around the seventh and sixth strings going left. Join the first and eighth strings in the middle.

9:Keep repeating these steps until you’ve made a bracelet. Have fun!

Back to School Drive Reminder

8/4/2016 (Permalink)

Back to School Drive Reminder

SERVPRO of Lexington has partnered with Giles Insurance to host a Back To School Supply Drive for underprivileged children in Lexington County. Our goal is to fill 300 backpacks and we will be distributing the backpacks on August 6, 2016 at 10am at The Church of Christ on Sunset Blvd.

For more information on SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington, please contact Denea Laurier at (803)755-9774.  

Family Fun Month

8/1/2016 (Permalink)

Each year, Family Fun Month is celebrated throughout the month of August.  It is the opportune time to enjoy family with extra fun and activities.

CELEBRATE

Make some time this month for family fun. 

You may want to:

·         Order pizza and watch a movie in the backyard

·         Go camping

·         Take a vacation

·         Go out for ice cream

·         Enjoy a backyard campfire

·         Build a backyard fort

·         Family bike ride

·         Day trip to the zoo

·         Fishing

·         Hiking

·         Day at the park

·         Make a talent show

·         Cook meals together

·         Have a karaoke night

The Best Ever Pie

7/25/2016 (Permalink)

We have had lots of birthday’s here at SERVPRO of Lexington in July. Here is one of our teammates favorite, summer, birthday treats.

BEST EVER BLUEBERRY PIE

INGREDIENTS

Crust

2 cups all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup cold Land O Lakes® Butter, cut into chunks

4 to 5 tablespoons cold water

Filling

3/4 cup sugar1/2 cup all-purpose flour1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon5 cups fresh blueberries

DIRECTIONS

Heat oven to 400°F.

Combine 2 cups flour and salt in bowl; cut in butter with pastry blender or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in enough water with fork just until flour is moistened.

Divide dough in half. Shape each half into ball; flatten slightly. Wrap 1 dough ball in plastic food wrap; refrigerate. Roll out remaining dough ball on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Fold into quarters. Place dough into ungreased 9-inch pie pan; unfold, pressing firmly against bottom and sides. Trim crust to 1/2 inch from edge of pan.

Combine sugar, 1/2 cup flour, cinnamon and nutmeg in bowl; mix well. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon blueberry mixture into prepared pie crust.

Roll out refrigerated dough ball on lightly floured surface into 12-inch circle. Place dough over filling. Seal, trim and crimp or flute edge. Cut 8-10 slits in crust. Cover edge of crust with 2-inch strip of aluminum foil.

Bake 35 minutes; remove foil. Continue baking 10-20 minutes or until crust is lightly browned and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust.

Cool pie 30 minutes; serve warm. Store refrigerated.

Parent's Day Stress Relievers

7/22/2016 (Permalink)

July 24th is Parent’s Day. Here are some things to do to help take the stress off of parents after working so hard to provide for others.

21 Stress Reducing Self Care Ideas

1. Take a bath

2. Go for a walk

3.  Buy yourself some flowers

4.  Indulge in your favorite treat

5. Put on an uplifting song and dance around

6. Read a book or a magazine that you like

7. Curl up with a hot cup of something

8. Go to the park and enjoy nature

9. Get a manicure or a pedicure

10. Get a massage

11. Stretch

12. Cook a new dish

13. Watch a good movie

14. Meet up with a friend

15. Spend time with your pets

16. Write an entry in a journal about how awesome you are

17. Do something artistic

18. Clean your environment (Call SERVPRO)

19. Take yourself out on a date

20. Find something to be thankful for

21. Enjoy a nice clean carpet (Call SERVPRO) 

Vote for your Favorite Teacher

7/21/2016 (Permalink)

Nominate your favorite teacher in Lexington School District 1,2,3,4 to win an Happy Planner Teacher Planner and Classroom Swag! Explain what impact they have had on their students and why they should win! Please include-- Teachers Name, School and Grade they teach!
Please email entries to denea@SERVPROlexingtonsc.com Winners will be picked August 5!

Peach Overload??

7/15/2016 (Permalink)

Vanilla Honey Peach Butter

This sweet vanilla honey peach butter is the perfect way to use up all those summer peaches. Easy to make and easy to follow canning instructions.

Makes 6 HALF PINT JARS

Prep time: 60 minutes 

Cook time: 30 minutes 

Total time: 1 hour 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 18 ripe peaches, peeled, pitted and cut
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2-1/4 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 2 vanilla beans, scrape the seed out
  • DIRECTIONS:

    In and 8 - 10 quart heavy pot, combine peaches and the water. Bring to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer cover, for 10 - 15 minutes or until peaches are tender. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

    Use a blender or food processor to puree peach mixture, in batches, until smooth. Return peach puree to same pot. Add sugar, honey and vanilla bean seeds and empty vanilla pod. Bring to boiling, stirring until sugar dissolve - reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes or until mixture is thick and mounds on a spoon, stirring often.

    Take out vanilla pods and ladle hot peach butter into hot, sterilized half pint canning jars, leaving a 1/4 inch headspace. Wipe jar rims, adjust lids.

    Process filled jars in a boiling water canner for 5 minutes (start timing when water returns to boiling). Remove jars from canner, cool on wire racks. (Makes 4 - 6 8oz. jelly jars of peach butter)

    Back To School Drive

    7/12/2016 (Permalink)

    LOCAL SERVPRO FRANCHISE HOSTING SCHOOL SUPPLY DRIVE


    West Columbia, SC -- July 11, 2016-- SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ and Lexington, a local cleanup and restoration company, announced today it has partnered with Giles Insurance to host a Back To School Supply Drive for underprivileged children in Lexington County. Our goal is to fill 300 backpacks and we will be distributing the backpacks on August 6, 2016 at 10am at The Church of Christ on Sunset Blvd.
    “As the owner of a family owned business and a new father, it’s important for the community to come together to help children in the community have a successful school year”, said Taylor Williams, owner of SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington.


    “We’re proud to be apart of this community, and this is our way to give back after so much has been given to us.”


    You can drop off all supplies and backpacks at 3 locations. Giles Insurance-- 2442 Devine St, Columbia, SC 29205, Greater Cayce/ West Columbia Chamber Office-- 1006 12th St, Cayce, SC 29033 or SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia Office-- 1831 Pine Street West Columbia, SC 29170 .  


    The backpacks and supplies will be distributed on August 6, at The Church of Christ 1303 Sunset Blvd, West Columbia, SC 29169.


    For more information on SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington, please contact Denea Laurier at (803)755-9774.   

    Social Wellness Month

    7/11/2016 (Permalink)

    In the Spirit of July being Social wellness month SERVPRO of Lexington would like to share a quote that rings true with our SERVPRO family.

    “We believe in the power of determination, singleness of purpose and unwavering commitment to our most important goals and priorities”.

    We believe that our team, together and individually will continue to grow and attain new skills and techniques to become more effective not only in our professional lives but our personal ones as well. By investing ourselves we will improve our ability to lead our team to excellence.

    We encourage you to also maintain a never quit attitude. Never quit growing. Never quit reaching your goals. Never quit focusing on what’s important- our faith, family and friends. SERVPRO of Lexington “Here to help”.

    Picnic Time???

    7/8/2016 (Permalink)

    Its picnic season again!!! Whether you are headed to the beach, to a park or right in your own backyard. Here is a fun Picnic recipe from our SERVPRO family yours!!!

    Pasta salad meets green salad in this Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad. A great summer Picnic side but hearty enough to serve for dinner on its own.

    Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

    Ingredients

    Meat

  • 3/4 lb Chicken breast, boneless skinless thin
  • Produce

  • 1/3 cup Basil, fresh
  • 1 1/2 cups Cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Green onions
  • 1 Lemon
  • 2 cups Romaine lettuce
  • Condiments

  • 1/3 cup Caesar salad dressing, store bought or homemade
  • Pasta & Grains

  • 1 lb Fusili or rotini pasta
  • Baking & Spices

  • 1/2 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 2 tsp Garlic pepper
  • Bread & Baked Goods

  • 1 1/2 cups Croutons, store bought or homemade
  • Dairy

  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Instructions

    1. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook thin sliced chicken for about 3 or 4 minutes per side, seasoning with garlic pepper as it cooks. When chicken is cooked through and no longer pink in center, remove from heat and transfer to a cutting board. Chop chicken into small bite-size pieces, squeeze the juice from half a lemon over the top and toss to combine. Allow to cool while assembling the salad.
    2. In a large mixing bowl combine cooked and cooled pasta, romaine, tomatoes, green onion, and basil. Add Caesar salad dressing and toss to combine. Add cooked, chopped chicken (which should be slightly cool by now), plenty of fresh ground black pepper, and the croutons. Toss again, sprinkle with shaved Parmesan and serve.

    Content Credit: fromvalerieskitchen.com

    Better Insulation lowers cooling costs

    7/7/2016 (Permalink)

    During this heat wave is your air-conditioner working over time? Did you know that one of the most efficient ways of making your home more comfortable year-round is to add insulation to your attic??  If you have an unfinished attic, pop your head up there and take a look around.  You should see about 6 inches of insulation there between the beams.  If you have an inadequate amount of it or if it appears to be damaged you’re going to install new.  Many states offer financial incentives, up to a 75% refund for instance, to encourage homeowners to better insulate their homes.  

    Worry Free Vacation

    6/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Going on vacation should be relaxing and worry-free which is why it is important to make sure your house is secure before you leave for your trip. Be SERVPRO ready so you don’t come back to damages in your home. Here are some tips for preparing your home provided by SERVPRO of Lexington

    Make Arrangements with an Emergency Contact

  • Choose a close friend or neighbor you trust as your emergency contact and provide them with all of your itinerary information in case they need to contact you.
  • A timer on lights will give the impression someone is home.
  • Leave written directions for alarm codes, doors, or other information needed to properly care for your home.
  • Make sure your mail is collected; burglars often look for homes with overflowing mail. 
  • The Post office can suspend your mail and deliver the day you get back.
  • Take plumbing and electric precautions

  • Prevent leaks and floods from damaging your home by shutting off gas and water at the meter, supply tank or appliances.
  • Turn off the water valves to washing machines, sinks, and the dishwasher.
  • Unplug electronics to cut down on any possible shortages which could potentially cause a disastrous fire.
  • Check your smoke detectors to ensure they are working properly.
  • Adjust your thermostat for the season in the winter 55-60 in the summer 75-80 should help control usage.
  •  Right before you leave

  • Notify your security company that you are leaving town.
  • Take out the kitchen trash and other trash that could get smelly.
  • Go on one last walk through of your home to secure windows, blinds, fences, doors, and plugs. This will ensure all entries are safe from hazardous obstructions.
  •  If you come back from vacation and encounter damage within your home, call SERVPRO of Lexington (803) 755-9774. We clean up mold, fire or water damage to your home or business in Lexington and surrounding areas.

    Summer Fun Safety Tips

    6/24/2016 (Permalink)

    Summer Sun Safety Tips

    Whether you are simply planning to spend some time in the sunshine at home this summer or you’ve got a vacation coming up, protect your skin from the sun and keep it healthy with sun safety tips and recommendations from SERVPRO of Lexington.

    ·         60% of adults reported being sunburnt in the past year

    ·         1 oz of sunscreen should be applied to your entire body and reapplied every 2 hours.

    ·         Only broad spectrum sunscreens with an SPF of 15% or higher can protect skin from UVA and UVB rays

    ·         The sun’s rays are the strongest from 10am to 4 pm. Limit your time in the sun during these hours

    ·         Sunscreen expires within two to three years but your bottle shouldn’t last for that long.

    ·         A family of 4 should use an entire bottle of sunscreen during a long weekend.

    ·         It only take 10 mins for a baby’s skin to burn, but sunscreen is not safe for infants under 6 months. Keep babies out of the sun.

    ·         30 mins is the average time it take for sunscreen to soak into the skin and work effectively

    ·         You will still need sunscreen on a cloudy day. 80 % of the sun’s rays can pass through clouds and fog.

    ·         There is no SPF with 100% protection. SPF 15 blocks out 93% of UVB rays, while SPF 30 blocks out 97%

    ·         Sunscreen is only 1 level of defense. Add wide- brimmed hats, protective clothing and sunglasses for more coverage.

    ·         The risk of melanoma is 75% higher for those who have used tanning beds before the age of 35.

    ·         Water- resistant isn’t water resistant forever. You need to reapply after only 80 mins in the water.

    Content Sources: www.webmd.com and www.cdc.com 

    Maintain Property Value

    6/10/2016 (Permalink)

    Most Common Household Emergencies

    Burst washing machine hose- as rubber washing machine ages they eventually wear down and burst, causing costly flooding. Consider switching to a stainless-steel reinforced hose.

    Leaky Roof- Mother Nature is pretty tough on your roof. Regularly check your roof for missing or damaged shingles.

    Refrigerator Leaks- like your washing machine, the refrigerator is a common culprit in home floods. Ensure your water line is unkinked and in good condition.

    Tips on handling water damages

    How many of you know how to respond during a water damage disaster? Your first and most important step should be to call your emergency mitigation specialists at SERVPRO. The sooner we arrive on site, the more you and your insurance company save in restoration and construction services.

    These emergency tips will assist you in taking the proper actions and precautions until WE arrive!

    Do:

    ·         Shut off the source of water if possible or contact a qualified party to stop the water source.

    ·         When access to the power distribution panel is safe from electrical shock, turn off circuit breakers in wet areas of the building.

    ·         Remove as much excess water as possible by mopping and blotting.

    ·         Wipe excess water from wood furniture after removing lamps and tabletop items.

    ·         Remove and prop up wet upholstery cushions for even drying.

    ·         Place aluminum foil or wood blocks between furniture legs and wet carpeting.

    ·         Any paintings, art objects, computers, documents and other materials that are valuable or sensitive to moisture should be relocated to a safe, dry place.

    ·         Use wooden clothespins to keep furniture skirting off damp floors.

    ·         Hang draperies with coated hangers to avoid contact with wet carpeting or floors.

    ·         Hang furs and leather good to dry separately at room temperature.

    Don’t:

    ·         Enter rooms with standing water where electrical shock hazards may exist.

    ·         Enter affected areas if electrical outlets, switches, circuit breakers or electrical equipment are exposed to water. Always avoid electrical shock hazards.

    ·         Leave books, newspapers, magazines or other colored items on wet carpet or floors to cause staining.

    ·         Leave oriental rugs or other colored rugs on wet wall-to-wall carpets to cause staining.

    ·         Use your household vacuum cleaner to remove water, possibly causing electrical shock or damage to the vacuum cleaner.

    ·         Use TVs or other appliances while standing on wet carpets or floors, especially not on wet concrete floors.

    ·         Turn on ceiling fixtures if ceiling is wet.

    ·         Enter rooms where ceiling are sagging from retained water.

    Leak Prevention Tips

    Regularly check the following items for leaks:

    Exterior

    ·         Check roofing for deterioration.

    ·         Check gutters and down spouts for blockage.

    ·         Check basement and crawl space for moisture.

    Interiors

    ·         Check appliances in break room and cafeterias.

    ·         Check sinks and toilets in restrooms.

    ·         Check HVAC for leaks and blockage.

    Household Cleaning

    Carpet Cleaning-

    How often should you have a professional clean your carpets? The cleaning frequency for a home depends on several factors, such as the number of persons living in the home, number of children and pets, and whether any occupants are smokers.

    A combination of conditions may require your carpets to be cleaned professionally more often. The main consideration is to clean carpets before they become totally saturated with soil. Dirt builds up in layers, and when a carpet looks dirty you are only seeing the dirt at the tips of the fibers. The dirt hiding below the surface down near the base of the pile is what causes most damage to a carpet. When a carpet is saturated with dirt, the soil has penetrated crevices and has become firmly lodged.

    Duct Cleaning-

    Unlike many duct-cleaning services, Server of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington uses a portable ventilation and Air Duct Cleaning system to examine ductwork and make a clean sweep, removing years of dust and grime. ?CLEAN SWEEP FOR DUCTS?*Improve the Air Quality of Your Business When addressing air quality inspecting the ductwork is your SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia/ Lexington first order of business. Dirty ducts can circulate odors and contaminates like mold and irritating dust throughout the building. Server uses a proven Portable Ventilation & Air Duct Cleaning system to help improve the air quality of your business. ?Sweeping Away Years of Dust and Dirt- Reducing Potential Health Risks?Since the ventilation system is often the biggest culprit in poor indoor air quality, inspecting the ductwork should be a high priority. Often times the HVAC system has been operating for some time without much attention. Dirty ducts can circulate odors, contaminants such as mold and irritating dust throughout your building. A routine part of a SERVPRO service is inspecting the heating, ventilation and air conditioning unit. Keeping the HVAC system and ductwork clean can potentially extend the life span of equipment by allowing it to operate at peak condition, which can in turn save you money!

    If you don't think it is important to have clean air in your home, well here are a few fun facts!

    ·         Children in homes with high levels of mold show persistent, cold-like symptons-300% more than those in clean environments.          

    ·         Every year about 40 pounds of dust is generated per 1,5000 square feet in a home.

    ·         Roughly 80 percent of the particles you see floating in your home in a ray of sunshine are dead human skin.

    Something very important to keep in mind, though, is that when you see a little bit of mold in your home, it's likely that there is a lot you can't see. That's where we come in. The most important aspect of mold removal is to remove the water source, something that we're, well, experts at. Mold in your home can jeopardize your health, so step 1: Don't ignore it. Step 2: Don't use bleach. Step 3: Give SERVPRO a call.

    Keeping it cool with SERVPRO

    5/27/2016 (Permalink)

    Keeping it cool with SERVPRO, remembering that it is Heat awareness day and a few “Cool” recipes to enjoy.

    Smoked Turkey & Cucumber 'Sandwiches'

    Ingredients

  •  a wide cucumber
  •  spreadable cheese {such as cream cheese or Laughing Cow cheese wedges}
  •  fresh or dried dill
  •  sliced deli smoked turkey
  •  salt & pepper
  • Directions

    ·         Remove ends of cucumber. Cut cucumber into 5- inch or 6- inch long pieces ( or longer if you’d like)

    Cut each cucumber piece horizontally into approximately 1/4 – inch slices to form the sandwich

    “Bread”

    ·         For each “sandwich” lay out one cucumber slice and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Spread with

    Cheese, sprinkle with dill and lay on some smoked turkey.

    ·         Top with another cucumber slice and sprinkle the top with additional salt, pepper and dill and enjoy!

    AND A

    Cherry Limeade Recipe

    Ingredients

    ·         1 can of frozen limeade concentrate, any brand

    ·         1 2 liter bottle of Sprite (or equivalent soda)

    ·         1 10 oz. jar maraschino cherries, with juice

    ·         1 lime

    ·         pebble ice (optional)

    Directions

    ·         Chill all ingredients in fridge until cool.

    ·         Slowly pour Sprite, melt limeade and cherries into a large pitcher and mix slowly to

    preserve carbonation.

    ·         Fill glasses with pebble ice, then pour in your limeade.

    ·         Slice limes to garnish, and enjoy!

    Content Credit: thekitchenismyplayground.com and theidearoom.net

    Red Cross Founder Day

    5/20/2016 (Permalink)

    May 21st is a day on which SERVPRO celebrates our partner; Red Cross’s Founder Clarissa Harlowe Barton, Clara, as she wished to be called. She is one of the most honored women in American history. She began teaching school at a time when most teachers were men and she was among the first women to gain employment in the federal government. Barton risked her life to bring supplies and support to soldiers in the field during the Civil War. At age 60, she founded the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C. on May 21, 1881. Barton first heard of the Swiss-inspired global Red Cross network while visiting Europe following the Civil War. Returning home, she campaigned for an American Red Cross and for ratification of the Geneva Convention protecting the war-injured, which the United States ratified in 1882. Barton led the Red Cross for 23 years, during which time we conducted our first domestic and overseas disaster relief efforts, aided the United States military during the Spanish-American War, and campaigned successfully for the inclusion of peacetime relief work as part of the global Red Cross network–the so-called “American Amendment” that initially met with some resistance in Europe. Her understanding of the needs of people in distress and the ways in which she could provide help to them guided her throughout her life. By the force of her personal example, she opened paths to the new field of volunteer service. Her intense devotion to serving others resulted in enough achievements to fill several ordinary lifetimes.

    To learn more about Clara Burton visit-  http://www.redcross.org/about-us/history/clara-barton

    Celebrate Mother's day with Homemade Sunshine

    5/6/2016 (Permalink)

    Did you pick bouquets of dandelions for your mother or teacher when you were a child? They are widely considered weeds, but there is something so classically All-American about a Mason jar full of fresh picked dandelions. You may not want dandelions growing in your yard, but these pretty yellow and green dandelions are the perfect gift for Mother’s Day.

    HOW TO MAKE EASY TASSEL FLOWERS

    MATERIALS:

    Yellow yarn

    Green yarn

    Green pipe cleaners

    Fabric glue or hot glue gun

    Scissors

    Serving fork, 1-1.5 inches wide

    DIRECTIONS:

    Tassels are easy to make with a fork. It may take you a tassel or two to get the hang of this technique. Don’t get discouraged, you’ll soon be a pom pom making pro!

    Gather materials.

    Place a pipe cleaner along one side of your fork.

    Wrap the fork and pipe cleaner with yellow yarn. Be careful to keep the wrapped area of yarn about 1 inch wide.

    Wrap the yarn 25-30 times around the fork.

    Twist the pipe cleaner together around the end of the yarn. Wrap it 3 times down the stem and then back up toward the flower (you are forming the base of the stem).

    Cut a 4-inch piece of green yarn and tie it around the base of the flower (between the last tine of the fork). Remove the tassel from the fork.

    Not the green yarn tightly two (2) times.

    Trim the ends of the green yarn close to the knot.

    Cut an 8-inch piece of green yarn. Add a dot of glue near the green knot and attach the green yarn. Wrap the flower from the green knot down to the stem, wrapping the yarn close together so no yellow yarn shows.

    Wrap the green yarn until it is about 1/4 inch from the end, add a dot of glue to the flower base and secure the end of the yarn.

    Cut the loops of the yellow yarn with scissors.

    Use a fork or metal tool to fray the yarn slightly.

    Fluff the top of your flower and trim any stray threads.

    Enjoy your dandelion!

    Tip: Make a few dandelions with white yarn to look like dandelions that have gone to seed. (Wrap the white yarn 35-40 times in step 3 to make them extra fluffy.)

    Content Credit: Brenddid.com 

    Autism Awareness Month

    4/25/2016 (Permalink)

    In Spirit of Autism Awareness Month here are some Sensory and Gross Motor Activities with Water Balloons. Have fun with the kiddos and water.

    How to Freeze Water Beads in Balloons

    Supplies:

  • water balloons
  • water beads
  • funnel
  • pumper
  • Directions:  Attach a water balloon to a funnel to get the water beads inside.  While being careful to not push the balloon off the funnel, you’re your finger to push the water beads inside the balloon.  Next attach the balloon to the pump to fill with water.  The pumper is not necessary, but it sure makes it easier to fill water balloons with added sensory materials.

    Every hour or so, you and your child can check the balloons to see how the water beads have changed.  Water beads start off tiny and expand when soaked in water.  It takes several hours for them to reach full size.

    Once they had fully expanded, you and your child can have a wonderful time squishy the water balloons and playing with them.

    This is one of those sensory activities that I have a hard time fully describing.  It is so cool!  The texture of the balloons was so unique and intriguing.  None can keep our hands off of them.

    After you are finally done squishy the balloons, put them all in a bowl and stuck the bowl in the freezer to play with another day.  When you are ready for some frozen fun, grab the bowl and peel the balloons off of the icy balls of water beads Also more sensory water fun for children. Enjoy this fun craft. Water can also be fun, but when it isn't so much fun, call SERVPRO for all your water mitigating needs. 

     Content Credit: learn play imagine.com

    Happy Earth Day

    4/22/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO deals with a lot of the negative impacts of fire and water, but today, we celebrate all aspects of nature!!!! Happy EARTH DAY from SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington.

    Founded in 1970 as a day of education about environmental issues, Earth Day is now a globally celebrated holiday that is sometimes extended into Earth Week, a full seven days of events focused on green awareness. The brainchild of Senator Gaylord Nelson and inspired by the antiwar protests of the late 1960s, Earth Day was originally aimed at creating a mass environmental movement. It began as a “national teach-in on the environment” and was held on April 22 to maximize the number of students that could be reached on university campuses. By raising public awareness of air and water pollution, Nelson hoped to bring environmental causes into the national spotlight.

    The first Earth Day was effective at raising awareness about environmental issues and transforming public attitudes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, “Public opinion polls indicate that a permanent change in national priorities followed Earth Day 1970. When polled in May 1971, 25 percent of the U.S. public declared protecting the environment to be an important goal, a 2,500 percent increase over 1969.” Earth Day kicked off the “Environmental decade with a bang,” as Senator Nelson later put it. During the 1970s, a number of important pieces of environmental legislation were passed, among them the Clean Air Act, the Water Quality Improvement Act, the Endangered Species Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act. Another key development was the establishment in December 1970 of the Environmental Protection Agency, which was tasked with protecting human health and safeguarding the natural environment—air, water and land.

    Since 1970, Earth Day celebrations have grown. In 1990, Earth Day went global, with 200 million people in over 140 nations participating, according to the Earth Day Network (EDN), a nonprofit organization that coordinates Earth Day activities. In 2000, Earth Day focused on clean energy and involved hundreds of millions of people in 184 countries and 5,000 environmental groups, according to EDN. Activities ranged from a traveling, talking drum chain in Gabon, Africa, to a gathering of hundreds of thousands of people at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Today, the Earth Day Network collaborates with more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. According to EDN, more than 1 billion people are involved in Earth Day activities, making it “the largest secular civic event in the world.”

    The April 22 Earth Day is usually celebrated with outdoor performances, where individuals or groups perform acts of service to earth. Typical ways of observing Earth Day include planting trees, picking up roadside trash, conducting various programs for recycling and conservation, using recyclable containers for snacks and lunches. Some people are encouraged to sign petitions to governments, calling for stronger or immediate action to stop global warming and to reverse environmental destruction.

    Symbols used by people to describe Earth Day include: an image or drawing of planet earth; a tree, a flower or leaves depicting growth; or the recycling symbol. Colors used for Earth Day include natural colors such as green, brown or blue.

    Here at SERVPRO, We love all things green!!!!!

    Contents Credit: timeanddate.com and history.com

    Super Hero 5k

    4/20/2016 (Permalink)

    SERVPRO is proud to be a sponsor in this year’s Super Hero 5k run for ADOA. Come join us and support our community.

    Walk or Run to find a cure and don your SUPER HERO costumes as we Save Children with Optic Atrophy--Fun for the Entire Family! 

    What Is Optic Atrophy?

    The optic nerve is a bundle of nerve fibers that carry images from your retina to your brain.  Each fiber carries a part of the visual information to the brain. If these nerve fibers become damaged, the brain doesn't receive all of this vision information and sight becomes blurred. Optic atrophy means the loss of some or most of the nerve fibers in the optic nerve.  The effects range from visual change to severe visual loss.

    Symptoms

  • Blurred vision
  • Abnormal side vision
  • Abnormal color vision
  • Decreased brightness in one eye relative to the other
  • The symptoms described above may not necessarily mean that you have optic atrophy. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your ophthalmologist for a complete exam.

    Causes

    Many diseases and disorders can lead to optic atrophy or damage to the optic nerve. Optic atrophy can occur in cases where the optic nerve did not develop properly. It may also result from inflammation of the optic nerve or from glaucoma when the pressure inside the eye remains too high. In unusual cases, poisons, vitamin deficiencies, or tumors may be responsible. Most commonly, optic atrophy simply occurs without a known or proven cause.

    Risk Factors

    Risk factors for optic atrophy depend on the underlying cause.

    Tests and Diagnosis

    A comprehensive eye exam is necessary to determine the cause of optic atrophy. This includes a complete medical history, assessment of visual acuity, color vision, side vision, and pupil reaction.  By looking in the back of your eye with an instrument called the ophthalmoscope, your ophthalmologist may determine that the optic nerve appears pale, indicating a loss of nerve fibers. Additional testing such as MRI of the orbits and brain and blood tests may be necessary.

    Treatment and Drugs

    Unfortunately, there is no effective treatment for optic atrophy.  Once the nerve fibers in the optic nerve are lost they never heal or grow back. However, early diagnosis and treatment of the underlying causes of optic atrophy can help prevent further damage from the disease.

    For more information about Jillian's Cure and ADOA visit Jillian's Facebook Page

    For race or sponsorship information contact Carolyn at glamgal@marykay.com or 803.979.3258.

    Important Details

    Date:

    Saturday April 23, 2016

    Time:

    6:30 am: Race Day Registration Begins 
    7:30 am: Race Day Registration Ends 
    8:00 am: 5K Run Begins 
    8:05 am: 5K Walk Begins

    Cost:

    $25 until March 15, 2016
    $30 after March 15, 2016

    Location:

    The Beautiful Saluda Shoals Park 
    5605 Bush River Rd, Columbia, SC 29212

    Packet Pickup:

    Fleet Feet 
    945 Lake Murray Blvd, Irmo, SC 29063 
    Friday, April 22 from 10am - 7pm

    Timing:

    The race will be officially timed by Run Hard

    Awards:

    Awards will be given to the top three male and female runners.

    Content Credit: Kellogg.umich.edu and runhard.org

    Trey Shirey EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER

    4/13/2016 (Permalink)

    Every Quarter SERVPRO of Cayce/ West Columbia and Lexington chooses an employee that goes above and beyond, that excels at their job TREY SHIREY, is that employee, and has earned the honor of being EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER. Trey is a reliable, positive, family oriented member of our team, who makes every day at SERVPRO a fun day.

    In the next couple of blogs we will learn all about Trey and his story and why he is such an outstanding member of our SERVPRO family. I had the pleasure of talking a little with Trey and discussing our fun questionnaire to find out a few interesting facts about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER.

    Personal:

    Do you have any Nicknames? Trey is actually his nickname as Earl is his first name.

    Where were you born in raised: Right here in SC.

    Do you have any kids? I have one on the way.

    Are you married? No

    Work:

    How long have you been working for SERVPRO? Two years.

    What do you love most about your job? Being able to help customers in time of need.

    What do you consider a good day? Any day that I am racing.

    Entertainment:

    What is your favorite genre of music? Country

    What is your favorite sport? Racing

    Last movie you saw in the theatre? Straight outta Compton

    Favorite Movie or TV show? Six Pack Movie

    Be sure to check our next blog to wrap-up our questionnaire about our awesome Employee of the Quarter!

    Springtime Pinwheels

    3/28/2016 (Permalink)

    It’s National Nutrition Month!  Here is a recipe that combines all five food groups for a healthy snack. Whether you’ve got work parties, club parties, or get togethers with family and friends, there’s always something going on during spring time. Turkey Cranberry Pinwheels are a perfect appetizer for bringing to any spring gathering. They’re quick and easy to make. And, they only require a few common ingredients. They’re stuffed with flavored cream cheese, dried cranberries, turkey, and spinach. The cranberries give the pinwheels a little pop of sweetness, which is fantastic! 

    Serves: 48 Pinwheels

    Ingredients:

  • 1 (8 oz.) container of chive and onion flavored cream cheese, softened
  • 4 large (10 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 (5 oz.) package dried cranberries
  • 9 oz. thinly sliced turkey breast
  • 2 cups baby spinach leaves, stems removed
  • Instructions:

    1. Divide the cream cheese among the tortillas.  Spread the cream cheese in a thin layer to cover the tortillas.
    2. Sprinkle the cranberries over the cream cheese, covering half of each tortilla.
    3. Add thin layers of turkey and spinach leaves on top of the cranberries.
    4. Starting with the end that has the cranberries, turkey and spinach, roll up the tortillas as tightly as you can.
    5. Tightly wrap the rolls in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour, or up to 1 day.
    6. Remove the plastic wrap.  Slice each roll into 12 pieces, making 48 pinwheels.

    Content Credit: Pintrest.com 

    Savor the Flavor

    3/25/2016 (Permalink)

    Is food really just fuel? Should it be used only medicinally or functionally to achieve a fitness, weight or sports related goal? It depends on who you ask. Registered Dietitian Nutritionists (RDNs) are encouraging everyone this month to ask themselves “What is my relationship with food?”

    March is National Nutrition Month and the theme for 2016 is "Savor the Flavor of Eating Right," which, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetic  (AND), "encourages everyone to take time to enjoy food traditions and appreciate the pleasures, great flavors and social experiences food can add to our lives. How, when, why and where we eat are just as important as what we eat.”

    What is food outside of fuel? It is celebratory, social, nostalgic, comfort, medicine, flavor, culture, an act of love or kindness and the list goes on. With rising obesity rates in the United States, is it possible food is being consumed for the reasons listed above more often than for fuel? Short answer: yes. So how do we find balance and how to do we “Savor the Flavor of Eating Right?”

    The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends we “develop a mindful eating pattern that includes nutritious and flavorful foods.” According to the Center for Mindful Eating, “Mindful eating is allowing yourself to become aware of the positive and nurturing opportunities that are available through food selection and preparation by respecting your own inner wisdom. By using all your senses in choosing to eat food that is both satisfying to you and nourishing to your body, acknowledging your responses to food (likes, dislikes or neutral) without judgment, and becoming aware of physical hunger and satiety cues to guide your decisions to begin and end eating, you can change your relationship to food.”

    You can incorporate mindful eating by performing the following steps:

    ·   Ask yourself, “How hungry am I? What could be contributing to this hunger? Am I in a mindful environment?”

    ·   Create a mindful environment free of distractions. This is usually achieved at a dining table with no television, phones, reading materials or Internet browsing.

    ·   Take a moment to consider where the food came from and the efforts of those who brought it to the table.

    ·   Consider a sense of thanks and praise.

    ·   As you engage in the meal or snack, be sure to smell the food well. This enhances flavor and satisfaction.

    ·   Take small bites and chew until the flavor is gone. Pay attention to flavor, textures and feelings as the food exits the mouth and travels to the stomach.

    ·   Put the utensils down a moment and assess how the hunger and satisfaction levels have changed with each bite.

    Mindful eating has been credited with everything from weight management to recovery from disordered eating. It puts the individual in the driver's seat and allows the body to decide internally when it is full and satisfied versus utilizing external cues such as a clean plate or a diet plan. 

    Content Credit: http://www.tennessean.com/

    Poison Prevention Week

    3/23/2016 (Permalink)

    In 1961, the United States Congress designated the third week in March each year as National Poison Prevention Week, a week dedicated to raising awareness about poisoning in the U.S. and highlighting specific ways to prevent it.

    This year’s National Poison Prevention Week will focus on two overarching themes: Children Act Fast, So Do Poisons and Poisonings Span a Lifetime. Additionally, daily themes will be observed during the week, including a day dedicated to recognizing the important role poison centers play in the communities they serve. And on Tuesday, March 17, Aapcc encourages the public to celebrate the value of America’s poison control system.

                    According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), poisoning remains the leading cause of injury death in the United States. “In 2014, America’s poison control centers managed 2.9 million calls, about 2.2 million of which were about people coming into contact with dangerous or potentially dangerous substances,” said Jay L. Schauben, PharmD, DABAT, FAACT, Director of the Florida/USVI Poison Information Center in Jacksonville, and current AAPCC President. “National Poison Prevention Week allows poison centers to emphasize poison prevention education to help prevent poisoning accidents before they occur and to raise awareness that health care professionals are available around the clock for assistance in our nation’s poison centers.”

    Jointly, America’s 55 poison centers provide services to the entire U.S. population in all 50 states and U.S. territories. Poison centers save lives and protect the health of Americans through direct medical services, data collection and monitoring, and educational outreach, at no cost to the public. “Poisonings can happen anywhere and to anyone. While the majority of poisonings happen at home, they can also occur in the workplace, schools, and healthcare facilities. Parents and older adults are not the only ones who benefit from poison control services. Health care providers in emergency rooms and hospitals rely on the experts at poison centers to assist in the diagnosis and treatment of their patients as well,” said Dr. Schauben.                

    In 2014, approximately 68 percent of human exposures reported to poison centers were treated at the exposure site, saving millions of dollars in unnecessary hospital visits. Unfortunately, budget cuts continue to threaten the existence of poison centers. “Poison centers save Americans more than $1.8 billion every year in medical costs and lost productivity, however, without continued funding, many poison centers could be forced to close their doors,” said Stephen T. Kaminski, JD, AAPCC CEO and Executive Director. “The poison control system is extremely cost-efficient, as it takes just $0.43 a year per U.S. resident to fund the nation’s poison control system, a network of 55 poison centers working tirelessly to provide free services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round through the Poison Help line.”

    While most poisoning deaths are due to the misuse and abuse of licit and illicit drugs, poison exposures can involve a vast array of substances and occur in many ways. In 2014, almost 80 percent of exposures reported to poison centers involved people who swallowed a substance. However, people were also exposed through the lungs, skin, eyes, and other routes. Additionally, 57 percent of human exposures reported to poison centers involved medications, or pharmaceuticals. Other exposures are to consumer and household products, plants, mushrooms, pesticides, animal bites and stings, carbon monoxide, chemicals, and many other types of non-pharmaceutical substances. “It’s important to remember that poisonings can really happen to anyone, anywhere, and at any time. While the majority of human exposures called in to poison centers occur at a residence, they can also occur in the workplace, schools, healthcare facilities and elsewhere. The good news is that many poisonings are preventable.

    Content Credit: http://www.aapcc.org/

    Jello that is Green (St. Patty's Day)

    3/16/2016 (Permalink)

    St. Patrick’s Layered Jell-O

    I love Jell-O, and this recipe is a St. Patrick’s Day variation of the popular strawberry pretzel Jell-O. Enjoy! 

    St. Patrick's Layered Jell-O

     Ingredients:

     Layer 1:

    2 cups pretzels, crushed

    3/4 cup butter, melted

    3 tablespoons sugar

     Layer 2:

    1 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened

    3/4 cup sugar

    1 (8 oz.) container cool whip (about 2 cups)

    Food coloring, green

     Layer 3:

    1 (6 oz.) box Jell-O, lime

    2 cups water, boiling

    1 (20 oz.) can crushed pineapple, undrained

     Layer 4:

    1 8-ounce container cool whip (about 2 cups)

    Directions:

    Layer 1:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

    2. Mix pretzels, butter and sugar. Press into 13×9″ baking dish and bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. 

    Layer 2:

    1. Beat together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in cool whip, and tint green with food coloring.

    2. Spread over cooled pretzel crust and refrigerate until well chilled. 

    Layer 3:

    Dissolve Jell-O in boiling water. Add pineapple. Allow mixture to cool and set slightly before pouring over cream cheese mixture.

    Layer 4:

    Top with cool whip when layer 3 is completely set. 

    Contents Credit : http://www.celebratingholidays.com/

    Save some time

    3/11/2016 (Permalink)

    Save some time during daylight savings time, by throwing dinner in the crock pot first thing in the morning.

    Slow Cooker Honey Teriyaki Chicken

    Prep time

    10 mins

    Cook time

    4 hours

    Total time

    4 hours 10 mins

    This recipe is so easy to throw into your slow cooker and the honey teriyaki flavor is our of this world! The chicken cooks to perfection and will be one of the best things that you will make!

    Author: Alyssa

    Serves: 4-6

    Ingredients

    4 boneless chicken breasts, about 2 pounds

    ½ cup soy sauce

    ½ cup honey

    ¼ cup rice wine vinegar

    ¼ cup onion, chopped

    2 garlic cloves, minced

    ¼ teaspoon pepper

    ¾ teaspoon ground ginger

    ¼ cup water

    3 Tablespoons Cornstarch

    Optional garnish: green onions, sesame seeds

    Instructions

    Spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and place the chicken breasts in the bottom. In a small bowl whisk the soy sauce, honey, rice wine vinegar, onion, garlic, pepper and ginger. Pour over the chicken breasts.

    Cook on high for 3-4 hours or low for 4-5 or until chicken is cooked throughout and shreds easily. Once the chicken is cooked, remove with a slotted spoon and shred on a plate.

    Pour the sauce into a medium sauce pan. In a small bowl, whisk together the water and cornstarch. Slowly whisk into the sauce on medium high heat. Continue to whisk and let it boil until the honey teriyaki sauce starts to thicken. About 2 minutes.

    Add the chicken back to the slow cooker and pour the sauce on top stirring to coat. Serve over rice and garnish if desired.

    Contents and Picture credit: therecipecritic.com

    Leap year

    2/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Leap year: 10 Interesting facts about February 29th

    The "leap day" of 29 February exists for purely astronomical reasons, but has always prompted less scientific curiosities.

    Here are 10 things to think about

    1. The leap year's extra day is necessary because of the "messiness" of our Solar System. One Earth year (a complete orbit around the Sun) does not take an exact number of whole days (one complete spin of the Earth on its axis). In fact, it takes 365.2422 days, give or take.

    2. Until Julius Caesar came to power, people observed a 355-day calendar - with an extra 22-day month every two years. But it was a convoluted solution to the problem and feast days began sliding into different seasons. So Caesar ordered his astronomer, Sosigenes, to simplify things. Sosigenes opted for the 365-day year with an extra day every four years to scoop up the extra hours. This is how the 29 February was born. It was then fine-tuned by Pope Gregory XIII (see below).

    3. Every fourth year is a leap year, as a rule of thumb. But that's not the end of the story. A year that is divisible by 100, but not by 400, is not. So 2000 was a leap year under the Gregorian calendar, as was 1600. But 1700, 1800 and 1900 are not leap years. "It seems a bit arbitrary," says Ian Stewart, emeritus professor of mathematics at Warwick University. But there's a good reason behind it. "The year is 365 days and a quarter long - but not exactly. If it was exactly, then you could say it was every four years. But it is very slightly less." The answer arrived at by Pope Gregory XIII and his astronomers when they introduced the Gregorian calendar in 1582, was to lose three leap days every 400 years. The math has hung together ever since. It will need to be rethought in about 10,000 years' time, Stewart warns. But by then mankind might have come up with a new system.

    4. Why is February 29, not February 31, a leap year day? All the other months have 30 or 31 days, but February suffered from the ego of Roman Emperor Caesar Augustus, says Stewart. Under Julius Caesar, February had 30 days, but when Caesar Augustus was emperor he was peeved that his month - August - had only 29 days, whereas the month named after his predecessor Julius - July - had 31. "He pinched a couple of days for August to make it the same as July. And it was poor old February that lost out," says Prof Stewart.

    5. The tradition of a woman proposing on a leap year has been attributed to various historical figures. One, although much disputed, was St Bridget in the 5th Century. She is said to have complained to St Patrick that women had to wait too long for their suitors to propose. St Patrick then supposedly gave women a single day in a leap year to pop the question - the last day of the shortest month. Another popular story is that Queen Margaret of Scotland brought in a law setting fines for men who turned down marriage proposals put by women on a leap year. Sceptics have pointed out that Margaret was five years old at the time and living far away in Norway. The tradition is not thought to have become commonplace until the 19th Century. It is believed that the tradition of women proposing on this day goes back to the times when the leap year day was not recognized by English law. Under this theory, if the day had no legal status, it was acceptable to break with the convention of a man proposing.

    6. A prayer has been written by a female cleric for people planning a leap year day marriage proposal. The prayer, for 29 February, asks for blessings on the engaged couple. It reminds them that wedding plans should not overtake preparations for a lifetime together. The prayer has been taken from Pocket Prayers of Blessing by the Venerable Jan McFarlane, Archdeacon of Norwich:

    "God of love, please bless N and N as they prepare for the commitment of marriage. May the plans for the wedding not overtake the more important preparation for their lifetime together. Please bless their family and friends as they prepare for this special day and may your blessing be upon them now and always. Amen."

    7. The practice of women proposing in a leap year is different around the world. In Denmark, it is not supposed to be 29 but 24 February, which hails back to the time of Julius Caesar. A refusal to marry by Danish men means they must give the woman 12 pairs of gloves. In Finland, it is not gloves but fabric for a skirt and in Greece, marriage in a leap year is considered unlucky, leading many couples to avoid it.

    8. The chance of being born on a leap day is often said to be one in 1,461. Four years is 1,460 days and adding one for the leap year you have 1,461. So, odds of 1/1,461. But Stewart points out that is very slightly out, owing to the loss of the three leap years every 400 years. In any case, babies are more likely to be born at certain times of the year rather than others, due to a range of other factors, he says. Babies born on 29 February are known as "leapers" or "leaplings".

    9. Other calendars apart from the Gregorian require leap years. The modern Iranian calendar is a solar calendar with eight leap days inserted into a 33-year cycle. The Indian National Calendar and the Revised Bangla Calendar of Bangladesh arrange their leap years so that the leap day is always close to 29 February in the Gregorian calendar.

    10. Explorer Christopher Columbus used the lunar eclipse of 29 February 1504 to his advantage during his final trip to the West Indies. After several months of being stranded with his crew on the island of Jamaica, relations with the indigenous population broke down and they refused to continue helping with food and provisions. Columbus, knowing a lunar eclipse was due, consulted his almanac and then gathered the native chiefs on 29 February. He told that God was to punish them by painting the Moon red. During the eclipse, he said that God would withdraw the punishment if they starting co-operating again. The panicked chiefs agreed and the Moon began emerging from its shadow.

    Also of a supernatural nature, on 29 February 1692 the first warrants were issued in the Salem witchcraft trials in Massachusetts.

    Are you prepared to take advantage of this extra day to do something different? Perhaps starting Spring Cleaning early? SERVPRO can help you leap into that.  It transpires there are a lot of people who're ready to use this day to take a leap. Let us assist you cleaning up the “messiness” that the winter season has brought to your home. 

    Contents Credit: www.wikipedia.org

    Heart Healthy Hungry?

    2/26/2016 (Permalink)

    HEART HEALTHY FRENCH COUNTY CHICKEN

    Dietitian's tip:

    These boneless, skinless chicken breasts are sautéed and topped with a creamy mushroom sauce. Serve over whole-wheat spaghetti or fettuccini with a steamed broccoli-carrot blend on the side.

    Serves 4

    Ingredients

    4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, each 4 ounces

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    4 shallots, thinly sliced

    1/4 pound mushrooms, thinly sliced

    1 tablespoon all-purpose (plain) flour

    1/4 cup white wine

    1/2 cup low-sodium chicken stock

    1 tablespoon fresh rosemary (or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary)

    2 tablespoons chopped parsley

    Directions

    Place the chicken breasts between wax paper and pound with a mallet to flatten. Cut each piece in half lengthwise. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm.

    In a small frying pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and sauté for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally.

    In a small bowl, whisk together the flour and wine until all the lumps are gone. Add the flour mixture to the shallots and mushrooms. Stir in the chicken stock and cook over medium-high heat. Stir until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add the rosemary.

    In a large, nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the chicken and sauté until no longer pink or until a thermometer inserted into the chicken reads 170 F, about 5 minutes.

    To serve, transfer 2 chicken breast halves onto each plate. Spoon mushroom sauce over the chicken and garnish with parsley. Serve immediately.

    Nutritional analysis per serving

    Serving size: 2 chicken breast halves

    Total fat 9 g

    Calories 239

    Protein 28 g

    Cholesterol 66 mg

    Total carbohydrate 6 g

    Dietary fiber 0.5 g

    Monounsaturated fat 5 g

    Saturated fat 1 g

    Sodium 98 mg

    There are a lot of other HEART HEALTHY RECIPES ON: http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/recipes/heart-healthy-recipes/rcs-20077163 to help take care of your heart. 

    Millions of Hearts

    2/24/2016 (Permalink)

    American Heart Month

    This February during American Heart Month, Million Hearts® is challenging men to start one new, heart-healthy behavior. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for men, and African American men are disproportionately affected more by heart disease than other races or ethnicities.

    Simple changes can make a big difference! Here are some ideas for getting started:

    Talk to your doctor about ways to control high blood pressure.

    Add physical activity to your daily routine.

    Make heathy eating swaps, such as using fresh or dried herbs and spices instead of salt.

    Quit smoking.

    Join the Conversation

    Follow Million Hearts® on Facebook and Twitter and share your #HeartMonth posts.

    Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/millionhearts

    Twitter: https://twitter.com/millionheartsus

    Facebook Challenge

    Learn how to protect your future—and the people you love—by protecting your heart. Encourage friends and family to make healthy changes with you by being part of our #HeartMonth Facebook Challenge. Each week, Million Hearts® will challenge you to complete one action that can help you maintain a heart-healthy lifestyle—and to share your success!

    In our first 10 years, we’ve changed millions of hearts

    Ten years ago, the American Heart Association discovered that heart disease killed more women than men. And it took more women’s lives than all forms of cancer combined. So we created Go Red For Women, a network of women dedicated to education, support, and research. Since then, we’ve educated millions of women on the dangers of heart disease, and made major changes in health care. Over these first ten years, we’ve tracked the progress for millions of women involved, and the improvements within the healthcare industry. Here are ten encouraging accomplishments that make all of those involved very proud.

    1. Lives are being saved

    34% fewer women now die from heart disease.

    More than 627,000 women’s lives have been saved.

    2. Overall heart health has improved

    Nearly 90% of participants made healthy lifestyle changes.

    37% have lost excess weight.

    More than half now exercise more.

    60% now eat healthier diets.

    43% have had their cholesterol checked.

    3. Awareness of heart disease has increased

    23% increase in awareness that heart disease is the #1 killer of women.

    4. Unhealthy lifestyle risks have decreased

    Smoking decreased by 15.1%.

    Cholesterol levels decreased 18.1%.

    5. Diversity challenges have been identified and targeted

    Heart disease rates vary by ethnicity, with unique challenges for each.

    Targeted efforts are reaching African American and Hispanic women.

    6. Grassroots movement has grown substantially

    Enrollment has grown from 395,000 to 1,751,512.

    Women completing Go Red Heart Check-ups has increased from 127,227 to 1,960,704.

    Annual Go Red luncheons/events has grown from 65 to 1,377.

    Website hits have grown from 293K to 56.6 M.

    7. Advocacy efforts have been successful

    Congress passed the Heart for Women Act in 2012, requiring the FDA to report clinical trials based on gender.

    We helped increase funding from the Center for Disease Control to provide screenings for low-income women.

    We helped pass a law in 2010 to keep women’s health insurance premiums from costing more than men’s.

    8. Gender-specific guidelines have been developed for prevention and treatment

    We’re helping physicians recognize that women’s heart symptoms and treatment are different from men’s.

    Our “Get with the Guidelines” program has helped hospitals provide improved heart treatment for both genders.

    9. We’ve helped medical research become gender-specific

    Women have been under represented in clinical studies, but the FDA now requires results reported by gender.

    Increased gender-based research has revealed important differences in women’s symptoms and response to medications.

    10. Gender-specific inequalities are identified and targeted

    We’ve discovered that women aren’t receiving the same level of treatment for heart disease as men. But this is changing!

    The fight is not over. Heart disease is still the #1 killer of women. But it doesn’t have to be. We’ve made great progress in our first ten years, and with your help we’ll keep working to change women’s hearts.

    Learn how to live healthy and sign up for Go Red For Women’s E-Newsletter on our homepage for heart disease news, research and advice just for you.

    Contents Credit: millionhearts.hhs.gov and www.goredforwomen.org

    Random Acts of Kindness Week

    2/15/2016 (Permalink)

    101 RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

    During Random acts of kindness week SERVPRO would like to give you some wonderful ideas.

     1. Be there “We are here for you” to help others in time of crisis and help make it “Like it never happened”.

    2. Bring doughnuts (or a healthy treat, like cut-up fruit) to work.
    3. While you’re out, compliment a parent on how well-behaved their child is.
    4. Don’t write the angry internet comment you’re thinking of writing.
    5. When everyone around you is gossiping about someone, be the one to butt in with something nice.
    6. Cook a meal or do a load of laundry for a friend who just had a baby or is going through a difficult time.
    7. If you walk by a car with an expired parking meter, put a quarter in it.

    8.  Tweet or Facebook message a genuine compliment to three people right now
    9. Hang out with the person who just moved to town.
    10. Offer a homeless person your leftovers bag from the restaurant.
    11. Each time you get a new piece of clothing, donate an old one.
    12. Don’t interrupt when someone else is speaking. (Surprisingly few people master this.)
    13. Email or write an old teacher who made a difference in your life.
    14. Compliment someone to their boss.
    15. Leave a nice server the biggest tip you can afford

    16. Smile at someone on the street, just because.

    17. Let someone into your lane. They’re probably in a rush just like you.

    18. Forgive someone, and never bring up the issue again.
    19. Talk to the shy person who’s sitting by themselves at a party.
    20. Leave your New York Times or Us Weekly behind for someone else to read at the coffee shop, the doctor’s office, or on a plane.
    21. Cut someone some slack.
    22. Help a mother with her baby stroller.
    23. Become a big brother or big sister.
    24. Let the person behind you at the supermarket checkout with one or two items go ahead of you.

    25. Write someone a letter. Like a real letter, on paper. And mail it!
    26. Give away stuff for free on Craigslist.
    27. Make a “breakup playlist” on Spotify for your friend who’s going through heartbreak.
    28. Give someone a book you think they’d like.
    29. Be the person who puts a tip in the tip jar at the coffee shop. (Fewer people tip than you’d think!)
    30. Bring in fun office supplies to liven up the workday for everyone.
    31. When you go somewhere to get or do something, ask the people around you if you can pick up anything they need.
    32. Give someone a hug.

    33. If you spill creamer or sugar on the counter at Starbucks, wipe it up.
    34. Call your grandparents. Call them!
    35. Donate your old eyeglasses so someone else can use them.
    36. When you’re throwing something away on the street, pick up any litter around you and put that in the trash too.
    37. Write something nice on that person’s updates who posts on Facebook constantly. They’re probably lonely.
    38. Sincerely compliment your boss, who probably doesn’t often get feedback from her reports.
    39. Put sticky notes with positive slogans on the mirrors in restrooms.

    40. Let them have the parking space. 
    41. Relay an overheard compliment.
    42. Volunteer to read to kids at an after-school program.
    43. Bring your partner coffee in bed tomorrow.
    44. Try to make sure every person in a group conversation feels included.
    45. Stop to talk to a homeless person.
    46. Answer that email you’ve been avoiding.
    47. Send anonymous flowers to the receptionist at work.
    48. Pay the toll for the person behind you.
    49. Donate or recycle your old laptop and electronics.

    50. Write a nice comment on your friend’s blog.
    51. Play board games with senior citizens at a nursing home. Sixty percent of them will never have a visitor during their stay.
    52. Give someone a tissue who’s crying in the public, and offer to talk about it, but only if they want to.
    53. Listen intently.
    54. Babysit for a single mom for free.
    55. Adopt a rescue pet. 
    56. Compliment someone in front of others.

    57. Hold the elevator.
    58. IM or email that person you’re afraid to talk to because you don’t want to “bother them.” They’re probably thinking the same thing about others!
    59. Remind yourself that everyone is fighting their own struggles.
    60. Leave some extra quarters in the laundry room.
    61. Write your partner a list of things you love about them.
    62. Put together a small herb garden for someone.
    63. Empathize.

    64. Say thank you to a janitor.

    65. Talk to someone at work whom you haven’t talked to before.
    66. Frame your friend’s favorite lyric or quote and give it to them with a nice note.
    67. Send dessert to another table.
    68. Text someone just to say good morning or good night.
    69. Help your elderly neighbor take out the trash or mow their lawn.
    70. Give up your seat to someone (anyone!) on the bus or subway.

    71. Tell your siblings how much you appreciate them.
    72. Bring a security guard a hot cup of coffee.
    73. Plant a tree.
    74. Purchase some extra dog or cat food and drop it off at an animal shelter.
    75. If you’re a good photographer, take photos of your friends and make them into a digital album.
    76. Send mail to a children's hospital.
    77. Smile when you feel like scowling.

    78. Wash someone’s car.
    79. Dog or cat sit for free.
    80. Keep an extra umbrella at work and let someone borrow it on their way home if there’s a sudden downpour.
    81. Make two lunches and give one away.
    82. Reduce air pollution by carpooling.
    83. Say yes at the store when the cashier asks if you want to donate $1 to whichever cause.
    84. Be encouraging!

    85. Help someone struggling with heavy bags.

    86. Take all your change to Coinstar and donate your collection to charity. 

    87. Give your friend a hug, touch their arm, or pat them on the back. So many of us are starved for human touch!

    88. Buy lemonade from a kid’s lemonade stand.
    89. Give your partner the benefit of the doubt.
    90. Be kind to the customer service rep on the phone. It’s not their fault. 
    91. Do the dishes even if it’s your roommate’s turn.

    92. Print out this gift pillow box and leave someone special something special.

    93. Give someone the rest of your pack of gum.

    94. Be patient.

    95. Clean someone’s windshield.
    96. Every night before you go to bed, think of three things you’re grateful for.
    97. Make plans with that person you’ve been putting off seeing.
    98. Call your mom.
    99. Offer to return a shopping cart to the store for someone loading groceries in their car.
    100. Have a clean-up party on the beach or at a park.
    101. When you hear that negative, discouraging voice in your head, remember to leave yourself alone — you deserve kindness too!

    Picture and Content Credit: Buzzfeed.com 

    Candle for your LOVE

    2/12/2016 (Permalink)

    CANDLE FOR YOUR LOVE
    Here’s the easy step-by-step tutorial…

    SUPPLIES

    Empty jar

    Candle wax

    Candle wick

    Candy sprinkles

    Corn syrup

    Tip: Make sure your candle is already melted when you begin.

    STEP 1:  Add a small amount of corn syrup inside your jar. Turn your jar to coat the entire inside of the jar. Turn the jar upside down to let the excess run out.

    STEP 2:  Add in your sprinkles. They will stick to the corn syrup. Add a little or a lot or a lot at the bottom and less at the top. It’s fun to be creative!

    STEP 3: Have your candle already melted. Put it in a double boiler or set the candle on a candle warmer until it’s melted.

    STEP 4:  Fill you jar with melted candle wax.

    STEP 5:  Insert the wick and hold it in place with a toothpick until the wax dries.

    This year celebrating Valentine’s Day with your love. When creating the warm glowing atmosphere with candles, because there isa special beauty and tranquility to candles, keep in mind that a lighted candle is also an open flame, and a potential fire hazard if not carefully monitored. In fact, accidental candle fires account for approximately four percent of all U.S. residential fires.

    A study by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission suggests that 85 percent of candle fires could be avoided if consumers followed three basic safety rules:

  • Never leave a burning candle unattended.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that might catch fire.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets.
  • The National Candle Association urges consumers to always follow the basic rules of fire safety when burning candles.

    HOW TO BURN A CANDLE SAFELY

    BEFORE LIGHTING

  • Trim the wick to ¼ inch each time before burning. Long or crooked wicks can cause uneven burning, dripping or flaring.
  • Always use a candleholder specifically designed for candle use. It should be heat resistant, sturdy, and large enough to contain any drips or melted wax.
  • Burn candles in a well-ventilated room.
  • Place the candleholder on a stable, heat-resistant surface. This will also help prevent possible heat damage to counters and table surfaces and prevent glass containers from cracking or breaking.
  • Keep the wax pool clear of wick trimmings, matches and debris at all times.
  • Avoid drafts, vents or air currents. This will help prevent rapid or uneven burning, sooting, and excessive dripping.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations on burn time and proper use.
  • WHILE BURNING

  • Never touch or move a burning candle. Never move a votive or container candle when the wax is liquefied.
  • Don’t burn a candle all the way down. For a margin of safety, discontinue burning a candle when 2 inches of wax remains (1/2 inch if in a container).
  • Place burning candles at least three inches apart from one another. This is to make sure they don’t melt one another, or create their own drafts that will cause the candles to burn improperly.
  • Extinguish a candle if the flame becomes too high or flickers repeatedly. Let the candle cool, trim the wick, and check for unwanted drafts before re-lighting.
  • Always keep the candle within your sight. If you are going to leave the room, be sure to first blow out all candles.
  • Always burn candles in a well-ventilated room. Don’t burn too many candles in a small room or in a “tight” home where air exchange is limited.
  • Never use a candle as a night light.
  • Be very careful if using candles during a power outage. Flashlights and other battery-powered lights are safer sources of light during a power failure. Never use a candle during a power outage to look for things in a closet, or when fueling equipment – such as a lantern or kerosene heater.
  • Never burn a candle on or near anything that can catch fire. Keep burning candles away from furniture, drapes, bedding, carpets, books, paper, flammable decorations, etc.
  • Keep candles out of the reach of children and pets. Do not place lighted candles where they can be knocked over by children, pets or anyone else.
  • WHEN EXTINGUISHING

  • Use a candle snuffer to extinguish a candle. It’s the safest way to prevent hot wax from splattering.
  • Never use water to extinguish a candle. Water can cause the hot wax to splatter and might break a glass container.
  • Make sure the candle is completely out and the wick ember is no longer glowing before leaving the room.
  • Don’t touch or move the candle until it has completely cooled.
  • Never use a knife or sharp object to remove wax drippings from a glass holder. It might scratch, weaken, or cause the glass to break upon subsequent use.
  • Contents Credit: www.candles.org

    Picture Credit: www.safewise.com

    Year of the Monkey

    2/10/2016 (Permalink)

    Chinese New Year Facts

    Chinese New Year, also known as Spring Festival, is the most important traditional festival in China. It is a time for annual family reunion, which is as important as Christmas Day in western countries. Here are some fun facts about this holiday:

    2016 New Year falls on February 8th (Monday), and the celebration will last for 15 days till February 22nd (Lantern Festival).


    When is exactly Chinese New Year?
    The festival dates change every year as it is defined by the lunar calendar, falling on a day between mid-January and mid-February.


    How long is the festival?
    It starts from the first day of the first month of the lunar calendar and continues for 15 days to the Lantern Festival. The peak time of the entire celebration is on Chinese New Year's Eve and the first day.
    Longest public holiday in China
    Most employees will have 7-12 days off the work, and students have one month winter vacation off.
     

    It is a worldwide festival for a sixth of the globe.
    It is not only celebrated in China, but also observed in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Vietnam, Singapore and some other Asian countries as well as Chinatowns around the world.
     

    Why is red color so popular?
    House decorations for the holiday use red widely in pictures, paper cuttings as well as spring couplets. The fact is that red though considered a warning color in western countries, is the token of fortune, wealth and prosperity in China, which can ward off evil spirits and bring good luck.

    Why the celebration is also called “Guo Nian”?
    “Nian”is the Chinese word for year. In folk culture, the Spring Festival celebration is also called “Guo Nian” (meaning “passing a year”). In Chinese New Year story, “Nian” is a fierce and cruel monster which eat livestock and kids, but it is scared about red color and cracker sound. Therefore, people use red decorations and fireworks to drive away “Nian”.

    Spring Festival starts a new zodiac year.
    Every year comes with a new zodiac sign. Based on the lunar calendar, an entire cycle of the lunar calendar is completed every 60 years, and 12 years is regarded as a small cycle. Each of the 12 years is defined by a different animal sign: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. To make up the full 60 year cycle, each year is also associated with ‘Yin’ or Yang, and one of ‘Wood’, ‘Fire’, ‘Earth’, ‘Metal’ or ‘Water’.

    The whole country is on the move.
    No matter where someone is, they will attempt to return home for a family reunion. The world's largest human migration takes place annually in China famously known as Spring Festival Travel Rush. A billion people take planes, trains, buses and cars to reunite with their families.

    Different festival foods in south and north China
    This is a very interesting fact – in northern China, people used to having dumplings served at the reunion dinner; while people from southern China prefer rice cakes (Niangao) made of glutinous rice flour.

    Lantern Festival marks the end.
    The Lantern Festival comes on the 15th day of the first lunar month, with people usually enjoying a lantern fair or watching a Shehuo folk performance on the streets.

    New clothes and red underwear
    On New Year's Day, everyone will dress in new clothes to welcome a brand-new age in all respects. Red underwear is also a must, believed able to bring good luck, wealth and longevity, especially for middle-age people.

    Kids get red envelopes as gifts.
    Red envelopes stuffed with cash are the most popular gifts during the festival. Children will receive lucky money from grandparents, uncles, aunts and other elders who have started to earn their way. The amount of money varies according to the giver's financial status.

    House cleaning on Dec. 24th
    There will be a year-end cleanup taking place in every household on the 24th of the last lunar month before the holiday, which is an activity to expel misfortune and poverty.

    Reunion dinner is a ritual.
    The reunion dinner on New Year's Eve is a feast to commemorate the past year. This is the most important time to be with families.

    Largest usage of Firework on this Planet
    According to the legend, the monster “Nian” is afraid of loud sounds, so people set off fireworks to scare it away. Today, fireworks are an indispensable part of the celebration to liven up the air of Spring Festival, creating the biggest firework show on New Year's Eve.
     

    The most watched TV gala on New Year's Eve
    As the most watched TV program, the gala is a must after the reunion dinner for a Chinese family. The four-hour long program collects various well-selected performances, targeting audiences in different gene.

    While watching all of the wonderful displays of fireworks be aware of fire safety:

  • Store fireworks in a cool, dry place
  • Always read and follow the directions on the label
  • Always have an adult present when handling fireworks
  • Never give fireworks to young children, even sparklers!
  • Use fireworks outdoors in a safe, non-wooden area
  • Having a working garden hose or bucket of water handy
  • Keep everyone a safe distance away from fireworks
  • Light only one firework at a time
  • Never re-ignite a firework that doesn’t light the first time or one that has finished its display
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket
  • Don’t throw fireworks at another person
  • Keep pets indoors and away from fireworks
  • Never shoot fireworks in metal or glass containers
  • Keep spectators at a safe distance
  • Always wear safety glasses when igniting fireworks
  • Contents and Picture Credit: www.americanpyro.com and www.travelchinaguide.com

    Mardi Gras 2016

    2/8/2016 (Permalink)

    ORIGINS OF MARDI GRAS

    According to historians, Mardi Gras dates back thousands of years to pagan celebrations of spring and fertility, including the raucous Roman festivals of Saturnalia and Lupercalia. When Christianity arrived in Rome, religious leaders decided to incorporate these popular local traditions into the new faith, an easier task than abolishing them altogether. As a result, the excess and debauchery of the Mardi Gras season became a prelude to Lent, the 40 days of penance between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday. Along with Christianity, Mardi Gras spread from Rome to other European countries, including France, Germany, Spain and England.

    Did You Know?

    Rex, one of the oldest Mardi Gras krewes, has been participating in parades since 1872, and established purple, gold and green as the iconic Mardi Gras colors.

    Traditionally, in the days leading up to Lent, merrymakers would binge on all the meat, eggs, milk and cheese that remained in their homes, preparing for several weeks of eating only fish and fasting. In France, the day before Ash Wednesday came to be known as Mardi Gras, or “Fat Tuesday.” The word “carnival,” another common name for the pre-Lenten festivities, may also derive from this vegetarian-unfriendly custom: in Medieval Latin, carnelevarium means to take away or remove meat.

    MARDI GRAS IN THE UNITED STATES

    Many historians believe that the first American Mardi Gras took place on March 3, 1699, when the French explorers Iberville and Bienville landed in what is now Louisana, just south of the holiday’s future epicenter: New Orleans. They held a small celebration and dubbed the spot Point du Mardi Gras. In the decades that followed, New Orleans and other French settlements began marking the holiday with street parties, masked balls and lavish dinners. When the Spanish took control of New Orleans, however, they abolished these rowdy rituals, and the bans remained in force until Louisiana became a U.S. state in 1812.

    On Mardi Gras in 1827, a group of students donned colorful costumes and danced through the streets of New Orleans, emulating the revelry they’d observed while visiting Paris. Ten years later, the first recorded New Orleans Mardi Gras parade took place, a tradition that continues to this day. In 1857, a secret society of New Orleans businessmen called the Mistick Krewe of Comus organized a torch-lit Mardi Gras procession with marching bands and rolling floats, setting the tone for future public celebrations in the city. Since then, krewes have remained a fixture of the Carnival scene throughout Louisiana. Other lasting customs include throwing beads and other trinkets, wearing masks, decorating floats and eating King Cake.

    Louisiana is the only state in which Mardi Gras is a legal holiday. However, elaborate carnival festivities draw crowds in other parts of the United States during the Mardi Gras season as well, including Alabama and Mississippi. Each region has its own events and traditions.

    MARDI GRAS AROUND THE WORLD

    Across the globe, pre-Lenten festivals continue to take place in many countries with significant Roman Catholic populations. Brazil’s weeklong Carnival festivities feature a vibrant amalgam of European, African and native traditions. In Canada, Quebec City hosts the giant Quebec Winter Carnival. In Italy, tourists flock to Venice’s Carnevale, which dates back to the 13th century and is famous for its masquerade balls. Known as Karneval, Fastnacht or Fasching, the German celebration includes parades, costume balls and a tradition that empowers women to cut off men’s ties. For Denmark’s Fastevlan, children dress up and gather candy in a similar manner to Halloween–although the parallel ends when they ritually flog their parents on Easter Sunday morning.

    WHEN IS MARDI GRAS? MARDI GRAS DATES:

    ·         2014: March 4

    ·         2015: February 17

    ·         2016: February 9

    ·         2017: February 28

    ·         2018: February 13

    ·         2019: March 5

    ·         2020: February 25

    Contents Credit: www.history.com

    Good for Body and Soul

    1/29/2016 (Permalink)

    Hot Cocoa can help you feel better this flu season, after donating blood AND is a great recipe to make while mentoring a child.

    There's nothing quite like warming up with a cup of hot cocoa on a cold winter day. It may seem like an indulgence, but the chilly day treat actually has a whole host of health benefits. Cocoa powder contains powerful antioxidants and many studies have shown its beneficial effects on heart health, insulin levels, memory and more. Best of all? It just plain makes you happy.

    1. Cocoa Is Nutritious

     According to the USDA, cocoa powder is a good source of fiber and iron. Dark chocolate (70-85 percent cacao solids) contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K.

    2. Cocoa Contains Antioxidants

     Cocoa is rich in antioxidants known as flavonoids. According to Cornell University scientists, cocoa has twice the antioxidants of a glass of red wine and three times as many as found in green tea.

    Flavonoids have been connected with plenty of health benefits, from reducing inflammation to boosting immune systems, Live Science reports. These antioxidants have been associated with a longer life, weight management, cancer prevention and more.

    Dark chocolate makes a difference, the USDA says. The higher percentage of cacao the better when it comes to bars. Antioxidants are also higher in less processed cocoa powders, meaning that Dutch-processed cocoa powder, while delicious, is not the healthiest option.

    3. Cocoa Promotes Heart Health

     According to the American Heart Association, cocoa's effects on cardiovascular effects are wide-ranging and, overall, reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

     These same antioxidants go a long way in promoting heart health. According to the European Food Information Council (EUFIC), cocoa's flavanols have been associated with a lower risk of heart disease, combating LDL cholesterol, increasing blood flow and reducing blood clotting.

    4. Cocoa Aids Memory

     A 2013 study published in the journal Neurology found a correlation between drinking hot chocolate and boosted memory, suggesting that drinking two cups a day could help stave off Alzheimer's.

     "As different areas of the brain need more energy to complete their tasks, they also need greater blood flow. This relationship, called neurovascular coupling, may play an important role in diseases such as Alzheimer's," Dr. Paul Rosenberg of Johns Hopkins School of Medicine told the Daily Mail. Cocoa's ability to increase blood flow is thought to be at the root of its memory-enhancing abilities.

     In 2014, researchers provided the first direct evidence that cocoa consumption can increase cognitive function in a study published in Nature Neuroscience. Researchers narrowed down the benefits to a boost in activity in a specific region of the brain called the dentate gyrus and tracked the effects of a high-cocoa drink on this region, ultimately finding a significant difference in cognitive function.

     "When we imaged our research subjects' brains, we found noticeable improvements in the function of the dentate gyrus in those who consumed the high-cocoa-flavanol drink," the study's lead author, Dr. Adam Brickman of the Taub Institute, said in a statement.

    5. Cocoa Makes You Happy

     Chocolate contains many secrets to happiness. Not only does it taste delicious, but it has quite the positive effect on your brain. It releases certain neurotransmitters that make you feel comfortable and happy, and can even reduce pain and stress.

     Chocolate makes you feel good because it contains energy-boosting caffeine, mood-lightening serotonin, and relaxing tryptophan, the Washington Post explains.

     For the healthiest hot cocoa, the key is to make your own using unsweetened cocoa powder or 85 percent dark chocolate. For a lower-fat version, go with a plant-based milk. Sweeten to your taste with natural sweeteners like honey and pure maple syrup, but don't go overboard. Last but not least, enjoy your guilt-free treat!

    The World's Best Hot Chocolate

    *serves 2-4

    Ingredients:

     1 cup whole (or 2%) milk

    1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

    1 1/2 cups cocoa powder

    1 tablespoon granulated sugar

    1 1/2 teaspoons dark chocolate, grated

    1 1/2 teaspoons milk chocolate, grated

    1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk

    1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

    whipped cream

    ground cinnamon (optional)

    Directions:

     Pour milk and heavy cream into a saucepan. Heat over medium-high heat. Do not allow to boil or scald.

     In a large bowl, mix: cocoa, sugar and both chocolates. Whisk together. Add this dry mix to the milk/cream mixture in saucepan. Whisk to combine. Reduce heat to medium.

     Pour in sweetened condensed milk and vanilla. Stir well. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

     Remove from heat and ladle into serving mugs. Top with whipped cream and a sprinkling of ground cinnamon.

    Contents and photo Credit: www.weather.com and www.disneydiner.com 

    Donating Blood Saves Lives

    1/27/2016 (Permalink)

    January is designated as “National Blood Donor Month” because it is often a challenging time for maintaining the area’s blood supply. Winter weather tends to keep people indoors, discouraging them from visiting the blood center to donate. Illness and holidays can also interfere with donating. Yet winter weather can lead to more traumatic injuries on icy roads and may increase the need for blood. A reduction in turnout can put our nation’s blood inventory at a critical low.

    Do you ever wonder what makes up blood? Unless you need to have blood drawn, donate it or have to stop its flow after an injury, you probably don't think much about it. But blood is the most commonly tested part of the body, and it is truly the river of life. Every cell in the body gets its nutrients from blood. Understanding blood will help you as your doctor explains the results of your blood tests. In addition, you will learn amazing things about this incredible fluid and the cells in it.

    Whole blood is made up of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and plasma. All but plasma are made in the marrow of bones, especially the vertebrae, ribs, hips, skull and sternum; these essential blood cells fight infection, carry oxygen and help control bleeding. Everyone’s blood falls into one of four types. Blood types are an inherited trait.

    Someone needs a blood transfusion every two seconds, and one in ten patients entering a hospital will need blood. Over 500 people need to donate every day to meet the daily needs of the hospitals we serve and be prepared for emergencies. In order to collect the units needed, The Blood Connection must screen between 550-600 people a day for blood, platelet, plasma and double red cell units. Blood is good for only 42 days, so donors are needed every day to ensure a stable blood supply.

    Interesting facts:

    MORE THAN 15 MILLION pints of blood are transfused in the U.S. each year

    EVERY 2 SECONDS someone in the U.S. needs blood

    Red blood cells can be stored FOR ONLY 42 DAYS

    LESS THAN 10% of the population donates blood.

    Where to go to ask questions and start the donating process in South Carolina

    www.thebloodconnection.org

    www.redcrossblood.org/donating-blood

    or

    www.americasblood.org

    Content Credit: www.thebloodconnection,org

    Battle the Flu

    1/25/2016 (Permalink)

    How can I tell if I have a cold or the flu?

    Colds and the flu cause many of the same symptoms. But colds are usually mild, while the flu tends to be more severe.

    A cold often starts with feeling tired, sneezing, coughing, and having a runny nose. You may not have a fever, or you may run a low fever—just 1 or 2 degrees higher than usual. You may have muscle aches, a scratchy or sore throat, watery eyes, and a headache. 

    The flu starts suddenly and hits hard. You will probably feel weak and tired and have a fever, dry cough, a runny nose, chills, muscle aches, a bad headache, eye pain, and a sore throat. It usually takes longer to get over the flu than a cold.

    What causes colds and the flu?

    More than 100 different viruses can cause colds. There aren’t as many viruses that cause the flu. That’s why there is a shot for the flu and not for colds. To keep from getting the flu, all children between six months and five years of age, adults older than 50 years, and people with asthma or lung problems should get a flu shot every October or November.

    What can I do to feel better?

    There is no cure for a cold or the flu. Antibiotics don’t work against viruses. Unless you have the flu and see your doctor within two days after your symptoms start, all you can do to feel better is treat your symptoms while your body fights off the virus. You can also use over-the-counter cold medicines to help you feel better. Do not give children cold medicine without checking with your doctor first. People who take prescription medicine also should check with their doctor before taking over-the-counter cold medicine.  

    WAYS TO TREAT YOUR COLD AND FLU SYMPTOMS

    Stay home and rest, especially while you have a fever.

    Stop smoking, and avoid secondhand smoke.

    Drink plenty of fluids like water, fruit juices, and clear soups.

    Do not drink alcohol.

    Gargle with warm salt water a few times a day if you have a sore throat. Throat sprays or lozenges may also help with the pain.

    Use a nose spray to help loosen mucus and moisten the skin in your nose.

    Can also treat symptoms by:

    1. Sipping tea- Drinking the tea and breathing in steam stimulates the cilia—the hair follicles in the nose—to move out germs more efficiently. Lemon thins mucus, and honey is antibacterial."

    2. Get a Protein Fix- Research shows that diets that are too low in protein can deplete the immune system

    3. Zinc It- Cold-Eeze lozenges with zinc for a few days. They relieve symptoms and can get you better faster.

    4. Get what you knead- I receive massages once a month to increase my circulation, which boosts immunity by nourishing cells with more oxygen and blood. It also makes me relaxed and less stressed, and when you're less stressed, you're less likely to be a germ magnet.

    5. Sweat It-  Sweating can help release toxins

    6.Call it a day- Sleep is my most reliable defense against illness.

    Should I call my doctor?

    Most people do not need to see a doctor when they have a cold or the flu. But if you have any of the symptoms in the box below, call your doctor. 

    EMERGENCY COLD AND FLU SYMPTOMS

    In children:

    Fever above 102°F (38.9°C) or a fever that lasts a long time

    A cold that lasts for more than 10 days

    Trouble breathing, fast breathing, or wheezing

    Bluish skin

    Not drinking enough fluids

    Earache or drainage from the ear

    Mental changes (such as trouble waking up, irritability, or seizures)

    Flu-like symptoms that get better but come back later with a fever and a worse cough

    Chronic medical problems (such as diabetes or heart disease) that get worse

    In adults:

    Fever above 102°F (38.9°C) or a fever that lasts a long time

    A cold that lasts for more than 10 days

    Trouble breathing or shortness of breath

    Pain or pressure in the chest

    Fainting or feeling like you are about to faint

    Confusion

    Severe vomiting

    Very bad pain in your face or forehead

     Hoarseness, sore throat, or a cough that won’t go away

    Contents Credit: www.health.com and www.aafp.com 

    Make a Difference

    1/20/2016 (Permalink)

    National Mentoring Month is a campaign held each January to promote youth mentoring in the United States. It was inaugurated in 2002, and is spearheaded by the Harvard School of Public Health, MENTOR, and the Corporation for National and Community Service.

    Each year since 2002, President George W. Bush has endorsed the campaign by proclaiming January as National Mentoring Month. The declaration has been endorsed by both chambers of the United States Congress. The campaign's media partners have included ABC, CBS, Fox News, and NBC; Comcast; the National Association of Broadcasters; Time Warner; and Viacom.

    Participants in the National Mentoring Month campaign include leading nonprofit organizations and numerous governors and mayors. Designated nonprofit and governmental agencies are responsible for coordinating local campaign activities in communities across the country, including media outreach and volunteer recruitment. Local lead partners include state and local affiliates of MENTOR/National Mentoring Partnership, Corporation for National and Community Service, Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network, America's Promise, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Communities in Schools, and United Way of America.

    A highlight of the campaign is Thank Your Mentor Day, in which Americans thank and honor their mentors. People are encouraged to contact their mentors directly to express appreciation, become a mentor in their own community, make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program, or post a tribute on WhoMentoredYou.org.

    These are simple ways you can thank your mentor:

    Contact your mentor directly to express your appreciation;

    Express your gratitude on social media.

    Pass on what you received by becoming a mentor to a young person in your community;

    Make a financial contribution to a local mentoring program in your mentor’s honor

    *Thank Your Mentor Day™ is an initiative of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

    Contents Credit: www.nationalmentoringmonth.org and www.wikipedia.com 

    Martin Luther King Jr. Day

    1/18/2016 (Permalink)

    Martin Luther King Jr. was born on January 15, 1929, in Atlanta, Georgia. King, both a Baptist minister and civil-rights activist, had a seismic impact on race relations in the United States, beginning in the mid-1950s. Among many efforts, King headed the SCLC. Through his activism, he played a pivotal role in ending the legal segregation of African-American citizens in the South and other areas of the nation, as well as the creation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. King received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1964, among several other honors. King was assassinated in April 1968, and continues to be remembered as one of the most lauded African-American leaders in history, often referenced by his 1963 speech, "I Have a Dream." 

    Martin Luther King, Jr./ Quotes

    The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.

    Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.

    Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.

    Life's most persistent and urgent question is, 'What are you doing for others?

    Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

    I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.

    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.

    We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

    Love is the only force capable of transforming an enemy into friend.

     Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.

    Contents Credit: www.biography.com

    Winter Foods That Will Help Warm Your Body And Spirit

    1/13/2016 (Permalink)

    What you eat (and drink for that matter) can make a big difference in how warm your body is. There are certain winter foods that will help warm up your body (and your spirit). There are also certain foods you should stay away from during these chili months. Let’s talk about what you should and shouldn’t eat in the winter.

    Foods that Warm the Body

    Adding certain foods to your diet on a daily basis can make a difference in your body temperature. Some of these items may not come as a surprise to you, but others may have you asking yourself if they really do make a difference?

    Nuts & Seeds

    Peanuts and almonds are easy to incorporate into a diet. 10 soaked almonds or a handful of peanuts can give the body deep warmth that lasts.

    Seeds such as sesame, pumpkin and fennel are great body warmers. Sesame seeds can be incorporated into many dishes, such as green beans or chicken. Pumpkin seeds are great as a snack when roasted. Fennel seeds can also be added to foods. These seeds are great for the digestive system and help to warm the body no matter how you choose to use them.

    Spices & More

    Cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper are warming spices. Ground cinnamon can be added to add flavor to many of our baked foods. Cinnamon sticks give a wonderful taste to many warm beverages, such as tea.

    Cloves are not only warming but they are a great mouth freshener. Because they have antiseptic properties, they not only help with bad breath, but can also keep other parts of your body healthy. Ginger can be added to soups or vegetables to help incorporate this spice into our daily diets.

    Pepper just yells out warmth. Sprinkle a little pepper onto your foods in place of the extra salt.

    Honey is effective when it comes to warming the body. Honey is a natural sweetener that can be added to just about anything sugar is used in. Honey is also great for the complexion.

    Onions and garlic are easy to incorporate into most meals. These little gems not only help in keeping the body warm but can also be helpful in keeping the body healthy. Have a cold? Try a little garlic to open up those stuffy noses. Lowering cholesterol is also one of the benefits of garlic and onions.

    Fruits & Veggies

    Fruits and vegetables will also give the body the warmth it needs. Add a serving of fruits and vegetables to each of your meals every single day. It’s just what the doctor ordered. We all know fruits and vegetables are healthy, but when added to your daily diet in the winter time, they help to warm your entire body by boosting your immune system, blood flow and much more.

    Foods to Avoid in Winter

    Not all foods are the greatest if warmth is what you’re after. There are some foods that should be avoided in order to stay toasty in the winter. First things first, remember not to overeat on a cold winter night. Overeating can jump start your metabolism which burns off the extra calories needed to keep the body warm. It can also extinguish digestive fires which help in fending off the chill.

    Certain foods that should be avoided include:

    • White breads
    • Cucumbers
    • Too much butter
    • Cold drinks
    • Rice (especially at night)
    • Alcohol
    • Processed chips

    These foods can also heighten metabolism and add to your blustery feeling.

    These are just a few of the foods to eat and to avoid during those cold winter months. The next time you curl up in front of the TV with a warm blanket to fight off the winter chill, try snacking on a few of the foods listed above to help keep you warm. You might be surprised at how well it works.

    Content Credit: www.hillbillyhousewife.com

    America's PrepareAthon

    1/11/2016 (Permalink)

    FEMA has a grassroots campaign for action to get families, organizations and whole communities better prepared for emergencies. The campaign offers easy-to-use preparedness guides, checklists, and resources to help individuals prepare for common natural hazards and to take action, including downloading alerts and warnings, holding a drill, or safeguarding critical documents. Despite the devastation that tornadoes, wildfires, and other natural disasters have caused in recent years, nearly 60 percent of surveyed Americans have not participated in a preparedness drill or exercise at their workplace, school, or home in the past year. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) is encouraging the whole community to participate in the America’s PrepareAthon! campaign by performing one of these simple preparedness actions:

    1. Sign up for local text alerts and warnings and download weather apps to your smartphone.
      Stay aware of worsening weather conditions. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Be Smart: Know Your Alerts and Warnings to learn how to search for local alerts and weather apps relevant for hazards that affect your area.
    2. Gather important documents and keep them in a safe place.
      Have all of your personal, medical, and legal papers in one place, so you can evacuate without worrying about gathering your family’s critical documents at the last minute. Visit ready.gov/prepare and download Be Smart: Protect Your Critical Documents and Valuables for a helpful checklist.
    3. Create an emergency supply kit.
      Bad weather can become dangerous very quickly. Be prepared by creating an emergency supply kit for each member of your family. Visit ready.gov/kit for information on what to include in your kit.
    4. Develop an emergency communication plan for your family.
      It’s possible that your family will be in different locations when a disaster strikes. Come up with a plan so everyone knows how to reach each other and get back together if separated. Visit ready.gov/make-a-plan for communication plan resources.            

    For more information about America’s PrepareAthon!, visit ready.gov/prepare. Follow America’s PrepareAthon! on Twitter using the handle @Prepareathon and #PrepareAthon. 

    Contents Credit: www.fema.gov

    Toasty tips for staying warm during this cold season

    1/8/2016 (Permalink)

    Community Toasty tips for staying warm during this cold season Photo Credit- bbc.com/news/magazine-24757144

    1. WARM YOURSELF FIRST. It's easier to change your body temperature than room temperature, not to mention more eco-friendly. Instead of turning up the heat, put on another layer of clothing.

    2. WEAR A HAT. Your mom may have said that you lose 80 percent of your body heat through your head, but that's not actually true. If you're otherwise clothed, you'll lose heat from any surface that's exposed. So put on your hat, even if you're inside.

    3. TURN ON THE CEILING FAN. Warm air rises to the ceiling. Run your fan on its lowest setting in a clockwise direction to push the warm air back down to where you can feel it.

    4. SWITCH BETWEEN HOT AND COLD WATER IN THE SHOWER. Hot showers immediately warm you up, but cold showers improve blood circulation between your skin and organs. Cold showers are also correlated with a stronger immune system.

    5. BLOCK DRAFTS WITH A POOL NOODLE. Keep heat in and cold out by cutting a pool noodle in half lengthwise, wrapping it in fabric, and sliding it under your door. It'll stay put all winter, and you can re-use it at the pool come summer. (But we recommend you spring for a new one.)

    6. TWO WORDS: PROGRAMMABLE THERMOSTAT.Another two words: Obvious, right?Stay toasty on schedule, so you never go home to a living room that's colder than outside. You can even do it with your smartphone.

    7. TRICK A LOCKED THERMOSTAT. Not everyone has access to adjust the thermostat in their apartment or office building. If that's the case, you may need to outsmart the device by making it "think" the room is colder than it actually is. Putting ice near it often does the trick.

    8. DRESS YOUR WINDOWS UP IN WARMER CLOTHES. If you're not wearing a tank top or going sleeveless, your windows shouldn't, either. Replace thin curtains with heavier wool or fleece drapes in the winter. But be sure to open them on sunny days for free heat.

    9. GO AHEAD, BAKE ALL DAY. Using your oven heats up the whole house. You'll feel even cozier if you invite friends—and all their body heat—over to eat four dozen cookies.

    10. START COMPOSTING. If you're already interested in composting, here's another reason to do it: The microbial breakdown of organic material produces heat. Some people use it to warm up showers and greenhouses, but even small-timers in studio apartments can feel a difference.

    11. LAYER YOUR COVERS WITH THE THINNEST, DENSEST ONES ON TOP. It's intuitive, but fluffy blankets should be closer to your skin. Thin, dense blankets should be on top to prevent convective heat loss. Bonus tip: Don't put your bed directly against an exterior wall. You'll be warmer if you leave a little space. 

    12. STUFF YOUR COAT POCKETS WITH DIY HAND WARMERS. You could just buy hand warmers, but you'll radiate pride and self-sufficiency if you make them yourself. All it takes is two Ziploc bags, water, and calcium chloride ice melt pellets from the hardware store

    Content Credit http://mentalfloss.com/article/60076/12-toasty-tips-staying-warm-cold-weather 

    Last and final post getting to know our Employee of the Quarter, CLAY HUTTO

    12/23/2015 (Permalink)

    In the last and final blog about our December EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER, CLAY HUTTO we discussed his favorite sport of football. Clay has played football and encourages his children to do the same. He believes with a smile that he would be able to coach this sport. He has been interested in football since he was ten years old and likes the competition of the game. Clay’s favorite football team is the Carolina Panthers and will always remember the time his favorite player, Cam Newton flipped over the defender to score a touchdown. He has always enjoyed the Panthers and does not jump on the bandwagon to like a team just because of who plays on the team.  SERVPRO in Lexington, Cayce/ West Columbia is about working in a family like atmosphere, service with a caring nature and a smile. SERVPRO prides ourselves on being more than a team in order to provide the best service possible, we are a family. CLAY HUTTO is an intricate member of our family and was a joy to interview. I hope you enjoyed learning about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER as much as we enjoy having him as part of our team/ family. 

    More interesting facts about our Employee of the Quarter

    12/23/2015 (Permalink)

    Humble Clay states that he doesn’t do much but work, BUT we found out:

    1)  What was the last movie you saw? Green Lantern

    2)  What is your favorite book to read? IICRCS520

    3)  What is your favorite hobby? Farming/ Chicken kicking

    4)  What is something about you that most people would not know? I was ran over at 16 years old and survived.

    5)  If you could have one super power, what would it be? X-Ray Vision

    6)  What is your favorite activity to do during the summer? Camping or Fishing.

    7)  If you could trade places with someone living or dead, fictional or real, who would it be? Michael Jordan

    8)  Describe yourself in three words- open, funny and adventurous.

    9)  What is your dream car? Pinto, uhhhh no not really, 1969 Chevy Nova.

    10)              When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up? A police officer.

    11)              What is your biggest fear? Heights

    12)              What is your biggest pet peeve? People who do not treat others with respect.

    13)              What type of movie do you prefer? Comedy and Drama

    14)              What is your favorite color? Blue

    15)              What is your favorite genre of music? 90’s on 9 (XM radio)

    16)              What is your guilty pleasure? Nutter Butters and Milk at Midnight.

    17)              When you are not at work, what are you most likely doing? Piddling on the farm

    18)              Do you volunteer anywhere? If so, where? Yes at my house every day.

    19)              Do you have a favorite quote? If so, what is it and where is it from?  The Bible

    Isaiah 6:8

    Also, I heard the voice of the Lord saying

    Whom shall I send and who will go for us?

    Then said I, Here I am, Send Me.

    Stay tuned tomorrow, for one more interesting and final blog about CLAY’s most favorite sport. 

    Clay's time with SERVPRO (Employee of the Quarter)

    12/22/2015 (Permalink)

    In the spirit of the holiday and making sure we get to know all we can about our Employee of the Quarter, i will post twice today and twice tomorrow. In continuing to get to know CLAY, I asked him about his time at SERVPRO. Clay stated that he was excited about becoming Employee of the quarter. He believes that being a little competitive, being proud of what you do and goal driven is how he became Employee of the quarter. He has been with SERVPRO for all together three and a half years. He applied at SERVPRO because Darrell and Sam, whom also work here at SERVPRO are his friends and they talked about what a great team it was to work for. Clay thinks that every day at SERVPRO is a great day at work, he enjoys talking with the customers and working with the guys. He says that he aspires to be the best mold expert around, enjoys his job because he can help others in time of need and thinks everyone around him should be positive with all things in life instead of negative. Stay tuned for 2 more blogs filled with fun filled facts about our EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER; CLAY HUTTO.

    The family man, Clay (Employee of the Quarter)

    12/22/2015 (Permalink)

    Employee of the Quarter, Clay was born in Aiken, SC but raised in Wagner, SC. He has four children, Blake- age 11, Miles- age 9, Claire- age 4, and Remington- young age of 5 months. He said that he loves being a good role model for all of his children and the most important thing he teaches them is respect for others. He has been married for 5 years and his biggest accomplishment in life was being able to marry his best friend, Liz. He enjoys that he can be who he is and be real with her because they are best friends. He enjoys playing football in the front yard with his family and taking them to the Cracker Barrel for family fun time. He would love to take his family to Gatlinburg, TN in near future on vacation. Stay tuned for tomorrow when we learn a little bit more about CLAY’s time at SERVPRO.

    Introducing Employee of the Quarter

    12/21/2015 (Permalink)

    Every Quarter SERVPRO chooses an employee that goes above and beyond, to excel at their job. CLAY HUTTO, is that employee, and has earned the honor of being EMPLOYEE OF THE QUARTER. Clay is an upbeat, positive, goal- driven member of our team, who makes every day at SERVPRO a great day. This week we will learn all about Clay and his story and why he is such an outstanding member of our SERVPRO family. Stay Tuned. 

    Summer Safety

    6/9/2015 (Permalink)

    With summer here, many families are looking forward to summer fun including vacations, camping, picnics and barbecues.  Unfortunately, summertime may also bring increased risk of fires and injuries due to campfires and outdoor grills.

    • Build campfires away from dry grass and leaves, and where they are not likely to spread.
    • Keep campfires small and dont let them get out of hand.
    • Keep water and a shovel close to the fire to douse the fire when you're done.  Stir the fire and douse it again with water to help ensure it is out entirely.

    for more information, vist the USFA website

    www.usfa.dhs.gov

    Memorial Day

    5/22/2015 (Permalink)

    Community Memorial Day photo credit: handsonsuburbanchicago.org

    Every year we gather around with friends and family, put some burgers on the grill and just enjoy a national holiday aka a day off from work for most.  But there is something more to this day, something bigger than just putting your American flag out on your front porch, its about remember what the day is, to honor our fallen soldiers.  

    Memorial Day started as an event to honor Union soldiers, who had died during the American Civil War.  It was inspired by the way people in the Southern states honored their dead.  After World War l, it was extended to include all men and women who died in war or military action.

    Memorial Day was originally known as Decoration Day.  The current name for this day did not come into use until after World War ll.  Decoration Day and then Memorail Day used to be held on May 30, regaurdless of the day of the week, on which it fell.  In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed as part of a move to use federal holidays to create three-day weekends.  This meant that  from 197 Memorial Day holiday has been officially observed on the last Monday in May.  However it did take a longer period for all American states to recognize the new date.  

    Memorial Day is a federal holiday.  all non-essential Government offices are closed, as are schools, businesses and other organizations.  Most public transit systems do not run on their regular schedule.  Many people see Memorial Day weekend as an opportunity to go on a short vacation or visit family and friends.  

    It is traditional to fly the flag of the United States at half mast from dawn until noon.  Many people visit cemeteries and memorails, particularly to honor those who have died in military service.  Many volunteers place an American flag on each grave in national cemeteries.

    American Red Cross Guide

    5/19/2015 (Permalink)

    How is blood used? Blood that is generously donated goes through many steps to ensure that it is as safe as possible and is then given to patients in need.  There are different components of blood and each serves a distinct purpose.

    Red Blood Cells

    Red blood cells carry the body's oxygen supply and are needed for patients such as accident victims, those undergoing surgery or people with conditions such as anemia or kidney disease.

    Platelets

    Platelets are vital to life, because they help prevent massive blood loss resulting from trauma, as well as blood vessel leakage that would otherwise occur in the course of normal, day-to-day activity.

    Plasma

    Plasma severs a variety of functions, from maintaining a satisfactory blood pressure and volume to supplying critical proteins for blood clotting and immunity.

    SAM TEEM

    5/15/2015 (Permalink)

    Getting to know our new employee of the quarter..

    SAM TEEM

    1) Do you have any nicknames? yes, fathead

    2) Where were you born and raised? Born in Florida, Raised in Germany

    3) Do you have any kids? Yes-2 a boy and a girl

    4) Are you married? Yes, 9 years in counting

    5) How long have you worked at SERVPRO? 10years in Oct.

    6) What do you love most about your job? Helping people

    7) what do you consider a good day? No crying customers.

    8) Coffee or Tea? TEA

    9) Chocolate or Vanilla? BOTH

    10) Salty or Sweet? BOTH

    11) Summer or Winter? Summer

    12 Hugs or Kisses? Kisses

    13) Morning or Night? Night

    14) What is under your bed? My wife's shoes

    15) Favorite hobby? Cooking

    16) If you could have one super power what would it be? Mind Reading

    17) What is your bigges pet peeve? Traffic

    Don't go on vacation with stress

    5/6/2015 (Permalink)

    Community Don't go on vacation with stress photo credit: prnewswire.com

    It's a conundrum many small-buisness owners face.  You want to take some time away from work and go on vacation.  But you dread what will happen when you are gone and what you will face when you return.  You may come back to unhappy clients, a stalled project, or piles of paperwork that didnt get addressed while you were out.  What's worse, your employees may not have done their best without your supervision and now you'll have to deal with the fallout.  Don't let this happen to you.  Instead, follow the three tips below and relax.

    1) Appoint a person-in-charge.  In your absence he or she will:

    • Be the go to person for employees
    • Communicate with clients on your behalf
    • Take care of the daily tasks you normally handle
    • Communicate with vendors and suppliers
    • Be your contact person

    2) Start planning in advance.

    • Your finances
    • Unfinished projects
    • Employee tasks
    • Make a plan of what you need to tackle when you return

    3) Prepare your clients for your absence.  You should let your key clients know in advance that you will be on vacation.  For smaller clients, you wont need to contact them individually, but you should set up and out-of-office email or phone message.

    Understanding wireless alerts

    4/21/2015 (Permalink)

    Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs) are free notifications delievered to your mobile device as part of a public safety system provided by authorized government-alerting authorities.  The alerts are designed to inform you of imminent threats to safety or missing persons alerts in your area.  Government partners include local and state public safety agencies, FEMA, the FCC the Department of Homeland Security, and the National Weather Service.

    A WEA can be sent to your mobile device when you may be in the harm's way, without need to download an app or subscribe to a service.  WEAs may be used to share:

  • Extreme weater warnings
  • Local emergencies requiring evacuation or immediate action.
  • AMBER alerts
  • Presidential Alerts during a national emergency.
  • A WEA will look like a text message.  The message will typically show the type and time of the alert, any action you should take, and the agency issuing the alert.  The message will be no more than 90 characters.

    Visit www.ctia.org/wea to learn more about Wireless Emergency Alerts, including how to determine if your mobile device is WEA capable. 

    It is probably NOT what you think.

    4/13/2015 (Permalink)

     Most people see SERVPRO and automatically think of a faceless and large corporation.  Many do not know that while SERVPRO is a nationally known corporation, its over 1600 franchises are all individually owned and operated.  This, in part is what makes us better than the rest.

     One of SERPRO's biggest advntages over it competition is that no job is too large or too small for us.  Due to the fact that we are a coproation, we have access to unlimited supples.  If a large loss occurs, we call call in as many "sister" franchises as we need.  SERVPRO even has both a Large loss team and a Storm Team for such cases.  On the other hand, as before states, SERVPRO franchises are supporting your community.

    SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia, Lexington and surrounding areas for the past 40+ years.

    SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia & Lexington is therefore not only a brand you can trust, but a family you can trust.

    " Like it NEVER even happened"

    OPENING DAY

    4/6/2015 (Permalink)

    The Masters Tournament, also known as The Masters or The US Masters, is one of the four major championships in professional golf.  Scheduled for the first full week of April, it is the first of the majors to be played each year.  Unlike the other major championships, the Masters is held each year at the same location, Augusta National Golf Club.

    The Masters was started by Cliffor Roberts and Bobby Jones.  Jones designed Augusta National with course architect Alister MacKenzie.   The tournament is an official money event on the PGA Tour.  This is also an invitational event, so the field of players is smaller than those of the other major championships.

    In 1997, Tiger Woods won the Masters by twelve shots at the age of 21.  Recently, the club was targeted by Martha Burk, who organized a failed protest at the 2003 Masters to pressure the club into accepting female members.  Burk planned to protest at the front gates of Augusta National during the third day of the tournament, but her application for a permit to do so was denied.  A court appeal was dimissed in 2004.  In 200 the tournament was won by Mike Weir, who became the first Canadian to win a men's major championship, and the first left-hander to win the Masters. 

    Last year the total prize moeny for the toruanment was $9,000,000 with $1,620,000 going to the winner.  In addition to a cash prize the winner of the tournament is presented with a distinctive green jacket, formally awarded since 1949.

    SERVPRO & AMERICAN RED CROSS GOLF CLASSIC

    4/3/2015 (Permalink)

    Event Date & Time: Thursday, April 23, 2015

    11:00 a.m Shotgun Start

    Site: Golden Hills Golf & Country Club

            100 Scotland Drive

            Lexington, SC 29072

    Entry Fee: Individual:$75         Team:$300

    Proceeds from the Parnters in Disaster relief Golf Classic will benefit the programs and services of the American Red Cross Columbia Region.

    The Red Cross is proud to have SERVPRO as a community partner in fulfilling our humanitarian mission.

    The following SERVPRO franchise are sponsors of this tournament:

    SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia

    SERVPRO of Lexington

    SERVPRO of Richland County

    SERVPRO of The Dutch Fork

    SERVPRO & PGA

    4/2/2015 (Permalink)

    Community SERVPRO & PGA PHOTO CREDIT:PGA

    SERVPRO is proud to be the Official Cleanup and Restoration Company of the PGA TOUR.

    Founded in 1967, The SERVPRO Franchise System is a national leader and provider of fire, water cleanup, restoration services, mold mitigation and remediation.  SERVPRO's professional services network of more than 1,650 individually owned and operated Franchises responds to property damage emergencies ranging from small individual disasters to multi-million dollar large-loss events.  Providing coverage in the United States and Canada, The SERVPRO System has established relationships with major insurance companies and commercial clients, as well as individual homeowners.

    With the SERVPRO Ready Plan APP and Emergency Ready Profile, tools created for property managers and owners, having an immediate plan of action can minimize business interruption.  Knowing what to do and what to expect in advance is the key to timely mitigation and can help minimize how water and fire damage can affect your home or business. 

    FLOODS

    3/16/2015 (Permalink)

    Community FLOODS photo credit: Wikipedia

    Floods are one of the most common hazards in the United States, however not all floods are alike.  Some floods develop slowly, while others such as flash floods, can develop in just a few minutes and without visible signs of rain.  Floods can be local, impacting a neighborhood or community, or very large, affecting entire river basins and multiple states.

    Flash floods can occur within a few minutes or hours of excessive rainfall, a dam or levee failure, or a sudden release of water held by an ice jam.  Flash floods often have a dangerous wall of roaring water carrying rocks, mud and other debris.  Overland flooding, the most common type of flooding event typically occurs when waterways such as rivers or streams overflow their banks as a result of rainwater or a possible levee breach and cause flooding in surrounding areas.  It can also occur when rainfall or snowmelt exceeds the capacity of underground pipes, or the capacity of streets and drains designed to carry floodwater away from urban areas.

      Be aware of flood hazards no matter where you live or work, but especially if you are in low-lying areas, near water, behind a levee or downstream from a dam.  Even very small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can flood.

    For more information please go to: www.ready.gov/floods 

    THE AMERICAN RED CROSS

    3/11/2015 (Permalink)

    Community THE AMERICAN RED CROSS RED CROSS LOGO

    The Red Cross is well positioned to be a leader in all of these areas.  With the help of our partners, donors and volunteers, our vision for the future is one where:

    • All people affected by disaster across the country and around the world receive care, shelter and hope.
    • Our communities are ready and prepared for disasters.
    • All members of our Armed Forces and their families find support and comfort, whenever needed.
    • In an emergency, there are always trained individuals nearby and an AED close at hand.

    THE RED CROSS IS NEEDED NOW MORE THAN EVER

    American Red Cross - MISSION STATEMENT

    3/9/2015 (Permalink)

    The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization let by volunteers and guided by its Congressional charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, will provide relief to victims of disaster and help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. 

    Upcoming Events close to you!

    10/20/2014 (Permalink)

    Looking for something to do in your local town during the fall?  Well Lexington and West Columbia have a ton of great family friendly events that you can attend in order to bring in that fall and Halloween spirit and enjoy your local community first hand!

    Lexington:

    Deceased Farm

    October 3-5, 10-12, 16-19, 23-26, 29-31, 2014 | November 1, 2014

    Featuring two complete haunted houses, Deceased Farm is fast becoming the Midland’s premiere haunted attraction. Conveniently located in Lexington, South Carolina next to the corn maze at Clinton Sease Farm, you can spend the day wandering the corn maze and when darkness falls come over to test your bravery in one or both attractions. The main haunt encompasses three buildings that are crammed full of state of the art props and sets inhabited by over 30 live characters surrounded by a 2 acre haunted corn maze. Deceased Farm is a very intense attraction and is NOT recommended for small children. Recommended for children 12 years of age and up, but younger children are allowed if accompanied by an adult.

    Boo at the Zoo

    October 17 - 30, 2014 from 6PM - 9PM

    Riverbanks Zoo and Garden presents Boo at the Zoo - a 2014 Halloween Spooktacular event! Featured attractions include the trick-or-treat trail, Moonlight Magic with Ray, a nightly costume parade, marshmallow roasts, Frankenstein's Foam Zone, the Spooky Safari, Haunted Carousel, Spooky Hay Maze and more. Tickets are only $9 for the general public and children younger than 2 are free! Make plans now to attend this family friendly Halloween event in Columbia, SC.

    Halloween Hustle at Saluda Shoals Park

    October 30, 2014

    Dress in your Halloween best for this run held on a fast, fun course that runs through Saluda Shoals Park. The festivities continue after the hustle with a laser light show, DJ, and fun activities. Costumes are encouraged. Prizes will be awarded to Best Youth, Best Adult, Best Group, and Best Overall Costumes. T-Shirts available for purchase. Click here for additional information.

    39th Craftsmen's Christmas Classic Art & Craft Festival

    November 14 - 16, 2014

    Features original designs & work from hundreds of talented artists & craftsmen from across the nation. Something for every style, taste & budget with thousands of choices from traditional to contemporary, functional to whimsical and decorative to fun & funky. Patrons visit with the actual artisans as they browse the booths to find those one-of-a-kind treasure only found at the Craftsmen's Classics.

    Cayce/West Columbia:

    Hall of Horrors

    Cayce, SC

    2014 brings yet another exciting season of screams this October. Hall of Horrors, the longest running haunted attraction in the Midlands is proud to unveil Xperiment 13!! Like nothing you've ever experienced, you'll venture through the halls of pure hospitHELL!! Also new this year will be the addition of our outdoor maze of terror. You'll run from crazed, needle-wielding doctors, angry patients and come the closest you have ever been to death.

    Harvest festival

    West Columbia, SC

    Come celebrate the season at Varner-Hogg Plantation’s Harvest Festival and learn about harvesting on a 1800s plantation! Visitors can view tools and wagons used in harvesting sugar cane, see and taste real sugar cane, and learn how it’s gathered and processed. Take a hayride and search for our plantation scarecrows. There will be storytelling, games, craft activities, and free refreshments.

    Back to School Preparedness

    8/13/2014 (Permalink)

    School is right around the corner. Make sure your children are able to get in touch with you at all times. Develop a communication plan and have back up numbers that they can reach you at or even another relative's number in case of emergencies!

    Not preparing is preparing to fail.

    Family Fun Month

    8/4/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Family Fun Month Photo Credit: http://sciencemadefun.net/blog/august-2013-e-news-celebrate-family-fun-month/

    August is Family Fun Month!

    It's a month that I'm sure you and your kids will enjoy! There are so many things that you and your family can do for fun. Some suggestions would be:

    • Having a game night! Have the kids pick out their favorite game and have everyone join in on the fun!
    • Have a bake night! Who doesn't love sweets? Bake some cookies, cakes, or anything that your family loves and enjoy the bonding time.
    • Go to the park! Get some fresh air and go to the park. You could have a picnic, throw the frisbee around, or just enjoy the outdoors.

    There is nothing better than spending time with family! Get more ideas on what to do with your family here: August is Family Fun Month

    Admit it... You're Happy!

    8/4/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Admit it... You're Happy! Image Credit: http://tinatruelove.hubpages.com/hub/Bulletin-Board-Ideas-for-Admit-Your-Happy-Month-August

    August is National Admit You're Happy Month, declared by the Secret Society of Happy People.

    Ways you can celebrate the month include:

    • Have conversations about happiness. Let others know what makes you happy and ask them what makes them happy.
    • Create a Happiness Treasure Chest with your family. Write down things that bring a smile to your face and put them in the treasure chest.
    • Suggest a "Happiest Employee and/or Customer Award" at your job to promote everyone to be happy.

    To get more on National Admit You're Happy Month, visit http://sohp.com/society-celebrations/happiness-happens-month/

    Employee of the Quarter: Family Life

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    Just recently, we at SERVPRO of Cayce/West Columbia and Lexington have started recognizing our outstanding employees with “Employee of the Quarter.” Vanessa Willis is the first person to receive it. Everything about Vanessa screams exceptional, so the least we could do was recognize her. Our SERVPRO team loves her great personality and amazing cooking skills, so we would like for you all to get to know her also.

    Today, we want to give you all an insight on Vanessa’s family and life. Vanessa was born and raised in Wagener, South Carolina. She feels that her biggest accomplishment in life has been having kids. Vanessa has a son the age of 32 and a daughter the age of 29. The one thing she loves about being a mother, is being able to be a grandmother. She says that her favorite thing to do with her family is to go camping on Dreher Island and if she could take them on any vacation in the world, it would be to Hawaii. The motto that Vanessa lives by and teaches her kids is to always respect others and know that you have to give respect to get it.

    Employee of the Quarter: Life With SERVPRO

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    Vanessa has been with SERVPRO since 2009, so today we would like to give you an insight on her work here.

    What drew Vanessa to SERVPRO was the fact that she loved to clean and with her job, she is able to do just that, by restoring what people could have lost and putting smiles on their faces at the same time. Vanessa says that what she loves the most about working with SERVPRO are the people that she comes into contact with.

    A typical day at work for Vanessa would be coming into the office and getting everything prepared to go out and get the day started. Sometimes, she doesn’t even know what they day consists of, but she never complains and is always ready to tackle whatever comes her way. She considers a great day at work just simply being able to get her job done well. Vanessa was not only surprised, but happy to be named the Employee of the Quarter. She believes that she received this recognition from just simply following the work ethics. Although that plays a big part, Vanessa’s ability to just do things without asking and her great attitude so early in the morning just brightens everyone’s day played another huge part in making it effortless to recognize her for her outstanding work. Vanessa hopes that she will continue to grow with the company and feels like there is nothing that should be changed in her work environment. She loves SERVPRO.

    Fun Question and Answer Session w/ our Employee of the Quarter

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    1. What is the last movie you saw?

      Think Like a Man Too

    2. What is your favorite book to read?

      The Bible

    3. What is your favorite hobby?

      Cooking (which we can all tell she does a great job at by the delicious baked goodies she brings to work)

    4. Who is your favorite basketball and/or football team?

      The Lakers, I am not too much into football.

    5. What is something that most people don’t know about you?

      I know how to paint and draw and I actually went to Atlanta Art School to be a graphic designer.

    6. If you could have one superpower, what would it be?

      To be INVISIBLE!

    Stay tuned, because we have more fun facts about our terrific Employee of the Quarter coming tomorrow!

    Employee of the Quarter: Fun Facts

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    1. If you could trade places with anyone, living or dead, fictional or real, who would it be?

      Oprah Winfrey, most definitely!

    2. When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?

      An Architect

    3. What is your biggest fear?

      Not seeing my grandson grow up.

    4. What is your favorite activity to do during the summer?

      Going camping or fishing, just  because it is so peaceful. Whether I catch anything fishing or not, just being in peace is wonderful.

    5. What is your biggest pet peeve?

      Dirt. OMG, I just do like like dirtiness at all!

    6. What type of movie do you prefer? Comedy, Romance, Scary, or Action?

      Definitely Comedy.


    Be sure to check our blog tomorrow for our wrap-up on our wonderful Employee of the Quarter!

    Employee of the Quarter: More Fun Facts

    7/15/2014 (Permalink)

    1. What is your favorite color?

      Blue

    2. What is your favorite genre of music?

      I would have to say it’s a mixture, because I like some Rap, some R&B, some Pop, so it’s definitely a combination of all types.

    3. What is your guilty pleasure?

      Bingo

    4. When you’re not at work, what are you most likely doing?

      Playing Bingo

    5. Do you volunteer anywhere?

      I used to volunteer with Meals on Wheels.

    6. Describe yourself in 3 words.

      Reliable, Dependable, Honest

    And if I had to describe Vanessa in one word, it would be remarkable! She is such an awesome and warm-loving woman and that is what we all love about her!

    Congratulations, once again, to our Employee of the Quarter, Vanessa Willis!

    Social Wellness Month

    7/2/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Social Wellness Month Image Credit to: http://www.bondseniors.org/archive.html

    July is Social Wellness Month!

    This is the month to nurture your relationships! Get involved and be social! Join a club that does a hobby you enjoy! Volunteer and help others! Rekindle your relationship with an old friend!

    Research shows that:

    • People who have a strong social network tends to live longer.
    • The heart and blood pressure of people with healthy relationships respond better to stress.
    • Strong social networks are associated with a healthier endocrine system and healthier cardiovascular functioning.
    • Healthy social networks enhances the immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases.

    So build your social network, not only this month, but every month, and stay healthy!

    Credit: Social Wellness Month

    Safety Tips for Independence Day

    7/1/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Safety Tips for Independence Day Image Credit to: http://www.4thofjulyimages.com/4th-of-july-family-party-2014-usa-independence-day.html

    The most important thing on Independence Day is to stay safe! SERVPRO has a TON of tips for staying safe so check them out and have a wonderful 4th of July! 

    • Never allow young children to play with or ignite fireworks.
    • Avoid buying fireworks that are packaged in brown paper because this is often a sign that the fireworks were made for professional displays and that they could pose a danger to consumers.
    • Always have an adult supervise fireworks activities. Parents don't realize that young children suffer injuries from sparklers. Sparklers burn at temperatures of about 2,000 degrees - hot enough to melt some metals.
    • Never place any part of your body directly over a fireworks device when lighting the fuse. Back up to a safe distance immediately after lighting fireworks.
    • Never try to re-light or pick up fireworks that have not ignited fully.
    • Never point or throw fireworks at another person.
    • Keep a bucket of water or a garden hose handy in case of fire or other mishap.
    • Light fireworks one at a time, then move back quickly.
    • Never carry fireworks in a pocket or shoot them off in metal or glass containers.
    • After fireworks complete their burning, douse the spent device with plenty of water from a bucket or hose before discarding it to prevent a trash fire.
    • Make sure fireworks are legal in your area before buying or using them.
    • Fireworks should only be used outdoors.
    • Know your fireworks.  Read the caution label before igniting.
    • Alcohol and fireworks do not mix.
    • Wear safety glasses whenever using fireworks.Avoid using homemade fireworks or illegal explosives: They can kill you!
    • Report illegal explosives, like M-80s and quarter sticks, to the fire or police department
    • Always remain standing while using sparklers.
    • Never hold a child in your arms while using sparklers.
    • Never hold, or light, more than one sparkler at a time.
    • Never throw sparklers.
    • Sparkler wire and stick remain hot long after the flame has gone out.  Be sure to drop spent sparklers in a bucket of water.
    • Teach children not to wave sparklers, or run, while holding sparklers.
    • Steer clear of others — fireworks have been known to backfire or shoot off in the wrong direction. Never throw or point fireworks at someone, even in jest.
    • Point fireworks away from homes, and keep away from brush and leaves and flammable substances. The National Fire Protection Association estimates that local fire departments respond to more 50,000 fires caused by fireworks each year.
    • Think about your pet. Animals have sensitive ears and can be extremely frightened or stressed on the Fourth of July. Keep pets indoors to reduce the risk that they'll run loose or get injured.
    • Do not wear loose clothing while using fireworks.
    • Stand several feet away from lit fireworks. If a device does not go off, do not stand over it to investigate it. Put it out with water and dispose of it.
    • If a child is injured by fireworks, immediately go to a doctor or hospital. If an eye injury occurs, don't allow your child to touch or rub it, as this may cause even more damage.
    • Never smoke or drink alcoholic beverages while handling fireworks.
    • Sparklers burn at extremely hot temperatures from 1200 to 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. Glow sticks make an excellent, safer alternative to sparklers, especially for young children.
    • Keep fireworks away from watermelons, dolls and mannequins. The dangers of allowing fireworks near these objects are clearly demonstrated every year on television around the 4th of July.
    • Do not use fireworks on grass or any soft, uneven ground. Only use fireworks on hard, flat, level surfaces. This is very important, to prevent the fireworks from tipping over.
    • Ground spinners such as "Ground Gloom Flower," etc. need a large, flat, smooth, hard, level surface to work. The same goes for traveling novelty items such as "Tanks," etc. Bring a large board if no hard, flat surface is at the shooting site.
    • Flying Spinners and helicopters such as "Plane Flying at Night," etc., need a flat, smooth, hard, level surface to spin on before they lift off. Make sure the printed side is up and the fuse is underneath a wing. Do not stand them on end.
    • Skyrockets must be launched from a narrow tube or a rack designed for them, not from your hand or by sticking them into the ground.
    • Roman Candles must be set in a stable rack or other support. Do not hold roman candles in your hand!
    • Light the firework with a long-handled lighter such as for barbecues, or a jumbo punk or a road flare.
    • Step back after lighting the fuse, to at least 10 feet away from the firework you just lit.
    • Never, ever, look into a tube that has a shell loaded into it, and never place any part of your body over a tube.
    • Always clean up the area after the show. 

    Credit: http://fireworksland.com/free-fun-stuff/articles/fireworks-safety-tips , http://www.in.gov/dhs/3375.htm , http://www.safekids.org/tip/fireworks-safety-tips , http://kidshealth.org/parent/firstaid_safe/outdoor/fireworks.html , http://fireworkssafety.org/?p=41 , http://www.cpsc.gov/en/Safety-Education/Safety-Education-Centers/Fireworks/

    Places to Watch and Enjoy Fireworks on Independence Day

    7/1/2014 (Permalink)

    1.    Lexington County  

    ·       Lexington County Peach Festival - Gilbert, South Carolina

    §For a peach of a celebration, head to this annual festival, which is held every year on July 4th (or July 3rd in years when the 4th falls on a Sunday.) Throughout the day, enjoy entertainment, arts and crafts and plenty of yummy peach creations such as peach ice cream, peach tea, peach sundaes, peach cobbler, peach slush, fresh sliced peaches and more. In the evening, there is a street dance and fireworks display.

    2.    Kershaw County

    ·       July 4th

    §Lake Wateree Fireworks Celebration
    Next to Shaw AFB Recreation Area
    At Sunset (probably around 7 o'clock)

    3.    Fairfield County

    ·       July 4th

    §Fireworks show at Lake Wateree at Twilight
    Rain Date will be July 5th
    Directions: Call 803-635-4242

    4.    Newberry County

    ·       July 4th

    §6pm Newberry College - **  fireworks begin about 10 PM
    -Live Band
    -Free rides for children
    -Carshow
    -Skydiving
    -One of Southeast's largest fireworks show: 20 min show

    §Mt. Nebron Church, 8801 Bluff Rd., Eastover

    3:00 July 4

    Gospel jamboree, cookout & fireworks

    5.    Clarendon County

    ·       July 3rd and 4th

    §Big Water Lake Club, off I-95 at exit 102 (considered North Santee)
    Five Bands on the 3rd from 1pm until 10pm
    All Gospel Sunday on the 4th from 1pm until 5pm
    Also a Family Fun Fishing Tournament, Boat and RV Show
    Fireworks on Sunday night

    6.    Orangeburg County

    ·       July 4th

    §Orangeburg County Fairgrounds
    Gates open at 6:30; Program starts at 8:30pm
    Fireworks at approximately 9:20 pm, when dark
    Sponsored by Dept. of Public Utilities

    7.    Lancaster County

    ·       July 4th

    §Camp Creek Independence Day Celebration
    Powerpoint Patriotic Celebration set to music, during the service 
    Church-wide cookout after the service

    §First Baptist Church in Lancaster, Fourth of July Celebration
    Fellowship BBQ in Family Life Center
    Cost of lunch $5 for adults, $2.50 for children

    8.    Darlington County

    ·       July 4th

    §Greater Hartsville Chamber of Commerce and Emmanuel Baptist Church
    Located on the campus of Emmanuel Baptist Church
    Begins at 6pm, Family Fireworks Festival, Entertainment, BBQ and Vendors
    Rain Date: July 5th

    9.    Florence County

    ·       July 4th

    §Fireworks Spectacular at Florence Motorspeed Way
    Gates open at noon, Entertainment and food

    10.Horry County

    ·       June 28 through July 4

    §Star Spangled Celebration at Broadway at the Beach
    21st and 29th Avenues North and U.S. 17 Bypass, Myrtle Beach
    Live entertainment, street performers, and waterski demonstrations
    Fireworks July 4
    For more information: 800-386-4662, Broadwayatthebeach.com

    ·       July 4th

    §Murrells Inlet 4th of July Boat Parade starts at 11am 
    Begins at Garden City point moving through the main channel of Murrells Inlet
    View from waterfront locales
    For more info: 843-357-2007

    §Murrells Inlet Fireworks Display over the inlet, approximately 9pm
    Can be viewed at Garden City Beach
    For more info: 843-357-2007

    §Independence Day Celebration at Barefoot Landing
    4898 US 17 S. North Myrtle Beach
    Boardwalk entertainers 7-11pm
    Fireworks over the Intracoastal Waterway at 10:15pm
    For more info: 843-272-8349, ext. 104

    §July 4th Independence Day Celebration, 7-11:30pm
    Cherry Grove Pier, 3500 N. Ocean Blvd. North Myrtle Beach
    Concert and Fireworks

    11.Bamberg County

    ·       July 4th

    §Fourth of July Celebration in Bamberg
    Fireworks (Phoenix Specialty and Tobul Accumulators)

    Patriotic Dipped Oreo Cookies

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    These are the perfect treats for Independence Day. After all of the good grilled food, finish off with something sweet and enjoy these great Independence Day themed Oreo cookies!

    Ingredients

    -24 Oreos

    -4 oz White Melting Candy

    -2 oz Red Melting Candy

    -2 oz Blue Melting Candy

    Instructions

    • Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
    • Melt white candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in white chocolate and flip to coat. Remove from chocolate allowing excess to drip off and place on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.
    • You can take a knife and shave any excess off of cookies to keep nice shape.
    • Melt red candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in red chocolate to coat one end. Allow excess to drip off and place back on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.
    • Melt blue candy by heating in microwave for 30 seconds, then stirring and repeating until melted and smooth.
    • Dip each cookie in blue chocolate to coat opposite end. Allow excess to drip off and place back on lined sheet.
    • Allow to set for 15 minutes.

    Blog Credit: Patriotic Dipped Oreo Cookies

    Bacon Wrapped Potato Bites

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    BACON! Seriously, who doesn’t love bacon? Check out this fun appetizer and wow your family and friends’ taste buds!

    Makes about three dozen bites

    Ingredients:

    1 pound small or medium red potatoes
    2 1/2 teaspoons salt, divided
    1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Freshly ground pepper
    12 ounces to 1 pound thick-cut bacon
    1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
    1-3 teaspoons hot sauce
    Salt and pepper

    Directions:

    Preheat the oven to 400°F.

    Wash and dry the potatoes. Chop them into 1-inch pieces, keeping the chunks roughly the same size even if they aren't the exact same shape. Put the potatoes in a medium pot, cover with cold water, and bring to a boil. Season the water with 2 teaspoons of salt. Once the water begins to boil, cook the potatoes for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can stick a fork into them without too much resistance. You want the potatoes to be almost, but not fully, cooked through so they won't fall apart during the next steps.

    Drain the potatoes and put them in a large bowl. Add the rosemary, olive oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a few grinds of pepper, and toss until the potatoes are evenly coated.

    Cut the strips of bacon into thirds. Wrap each potato bite in a piece of bacon, securing it with a toothpick. Put the potatoes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil spaced an inch or two apart. You may need to cook the potatoes in two batches.

    Cook the potatoes for 15 minutes, then flip each piece. Cook for another 15 to 20 minutes, until the bacon is cooked through and as crisp as you like it. Mix the sour cream and hot sauce in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Pile the potato bites on a plate and serve alongside the dip.

    Blog Credit: Baconwrapped Potato Bites

    Spicy Sausage Rolls

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    This delicious recipe is great for a game day treat! And even though many people prefer beer on game days, wine would be perfect for the appetizer. So on the next game day, pull up this recipe and show your friends and family a great time by giving them some great food!

    Ingredients

    • 1-2 sheets thawed puff pastry (see notes)
    • 1¼lb sweet Italian sausage meat
    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, diced
    • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
    • 1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander
    • 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
    • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    • ½ teaspoon black pepper
    • ½ teaspoon all-spice
    • 1 large egg beaten with ½ tablespoon water

    For the dipping sauce:

    • ½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
    • 1 tablespoon Gallo Family Vineyard Pinto Grigio
    • 1 teaspoon hot sauce

    Instructions

    1. Heat your oven to 400 degrees F. and line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
    2. n a large bowl, combine the sausage meat, onion, garlic, red pepper flakes, ground coriander, paprika, salt, pepper and all spice. Mix well to combine and transfer to your food processor.
    3. Pulse the sausage mixture until the onions break up and the sausage is smooth and almost paste like – about 10-15 pulses.
    4. Transfer the sausage mix to a disposable pastry bag or Ziploc bag with the tip cut off to pipe about ½ inch in diameter.
    5. On a lightly floured surface roll out one sheet of puff pastry so that it is one large piece – about 10-12 inches long.
    6. On the long edge pipe out 4 rows of sausage mix, leaving 1 inch between each section.
    7. Using a sharp knife, cut the puff pastry into 4 sections and roll over the sausage making sure to seal the edges.
    8. Brush the puff pastry logs with egg wash and cut into 1inch sections.
    9. Transfer to the baking sheet.
    10. If using the section sheet of puff pastry repeat the filling instructions. If making sausage balls, roll the leftover meat into 1inch size balls and place on the prepared baking sheet.
    11. Cook the sausage rolls for 25-30 minutes or until the puff pastry is cooked through and golden brown.
    12. Cook the sausage balls for 20-25 minutes.
    13. In a small bowl, combine the Greek yogurt, pinto grigio and hot sauce to make the dipping sauce.
    14. Serve the sausage rolls and balls hot with the sauce on the side.

    Blog Credit: Spicy Sausage Rolls

    Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Cups

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    This is seriously strawberry shortcake heaven! They are the perfect dessert for kids after dinner, perfect for parties, and perfect just to whip up and eat on your own! Take a look at this recipe and be blown away that you'll be able to make these delicious strawberry shortcake cookie cups on your own!

    Ingredients

    • Refrigerated Sugar cookie Dough
    • Whipped Cream
    • Fresh strawberries

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350.
    • Wash and remove stems from strawberries.
    • Form cookie dough into 1" balls. Press each ball into the openings in the muffin pan and press down in the middle with your thumb to form a cup shape.
    • Bake for 12 minutes or until browned.
    • Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the pan then remove from pan.
    • Take a few strawberries and puree them to make a drizzle.
    • Place a strawberry or piece of a strawberry in each cup. - I used half of a small strawberry in each
    • Fill cup with Whipped Cream.
    • Top with a strawberry slice and drizzle of strawberry puree.

    Blog Credit: Strawberry Shortcake Cookie Cups

    Pizza Casserole

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Who doesn't love pizza and spaghetti?! This is a great casserole idea and don’t forget to add in your favorites to make it your own special recipe! When you want to fix an easy casserole recipe that you know will be a hit, give this dish a try! Your family and friends will love you for this delicious dish!

    Ingredients

  • 1 (10-ounce) bag of egg noodles
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce
  • 3 cups Mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1 1/2 pound hamburger meat
  • 1 package of pepperoni
  •  Instructions

    1. Brown the meat and drain the grease.
       
    2. Boil Noodles until soft.  Drain the water.
       
    3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
       
    4. In a 9x13 casserole dish, start layering by first spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom.
       
    5. Second layer half of the noodles over the sauce.  Then half of the meat and the rest of the noodles.
       
    6. Next layer half of the cheese, the rest of the meat, the rest of the sauce, and then the rest of the cheese.
       
    7. Lastly, top with pepperonis.
       
    8. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.  After 30 minutes remove foil and bake for another 15 minutes.
       
    9. Once it is done baking, take it out and let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes.  Enjoy.

    Blog Credit: Mama's Pizza Casserole

    Professional Wellness Month

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Community Professional Wellness Month Photo Credit: http://rebootbreak.com/2011/06/17/june-professional-wellness-month/

    June is Professional Wellness Month!

    Professional wellness is about promoting a healthy work environment, building relationships among employees, and improving personal work performance. Employers should show they care about each employee’s well-being, encourage less stressful professional practices, and help employees become more efficient.

    Exercise at Work

    It’s hard to find time to exercise, especially for those of us who work in an office. Exercising at work may seem impossible, but it’s one option for staying fit and keeping your energy up. It takes some creativity, but there are opportunities to exercise at work if you pay attention. All it takes is a little planning and some inspiration to squeeze in a little movement all day long.

    The Basics

    You probably know a few tricks for staying active at work. Taking the stairs when you can, parking further away from the door and walking around the office when you can are good places to start. Beyond that, there are a few other options to keep you moving:

    • Sit on an exercise ball instead of a chair. This will strengthen your abs and back and you’ll work on your posture without even trying.
    • Set an alarm to go off every hour to remind you to stand up and move around. Even if you just swing your arms or take a deep breath, you’ll feel more alert.
    • Use the restroom on another floor and take the stairs
    • Use a pedometer and keep track of how many steps you take. Aim for 6,000 to 10,000 steps a day.
    • Leave something important in your car (your lunch, your briefcase, etc.) so you have to run out to get it (and take the stairs)
    • Deliver documents or messages to co-workers in person rather than by email
    • Go to the mall for lunch and park on the opposite end of the food court. Don’t forget to buy something healthy.
    • Get a headset for your phone so you can move around while you talk.

    Be creative. Any movement is better than none, so don’t feel like you have to do sprints all day long. Adding short bouts of exercise throughout the day will help you burn more calories and will also reduce stress so you can easily smile at your boss when she piles more work on you.

    Credit to: Professional Wellness Month

    National Rivers Month

    6/25/2014 (Permalink)

    Community National Rivers Month Photo Credit to http://dirtyhippieproductions.tumblr.com/post/88385460772/june-is-national-rivers-month

    Did you know that more than 250,000 rivers and streams run throughout America? Together, these waterways flow for nearly 3.6 million miles, providing drinking water to over 65% of Americans. The Outdoor Industry Association reports that nearly 175 million Americans ages six and older participated in outdoor activities on local waterways. Together, they pump more than 86 billion dollars into the economy every year!

    But the truth is you can’t put a price tag on a river-especially when illegal dumping, litter, sewage and industrial runoff threaten the communities and ecosystems that depend on them. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that more than 290 million scrap tires are produced in the United States each year. That’s enough tires to circle the Earth 1.6 times! Unfortunately, many of these tires, along with other unwanted items, are dumped into rivers every year. To give you an idea, National River Cleanup®volunteers removed more than 36,000 tires from local waterways in 2012 alone.

    In honor of National Rivers Month, we’re calling all paddlers, fishermen, outdoor enthusiasts and humans alike to organize or volunteer with National River Cleanup. By participating in a river cleanup, you help preserve these invaluable resources that make life on Earth possible. So what are you waiting for? There’s never been a better time to give back to the rivers that do so much for us!

    Credit to National Rivers Month

    Holiday Mail for Heroes 2013

    12/17/2013 (Permalink)

    While you reflect on this past year and give thanks throughout the holiday season please do not forget our men and women in uniform. Many of those who volunteer to wear this nation's cloth and defend our freedom will be worlds away from their own families. To show their appreciation the American Red Cross hosted their seventh annual Holiday Mail for Heroes program.



    SERVPRO participated by educating two local schools, Saxe Gotha Elementary and Carolina Springs Middle School, on great sacrifice our service members make daily and the importance of extending support during the Holidays. The kids then spent the class period writing heartfelt messages and drawing pictures for our troops. We always enjoy explaining what this program is about and seeing the children's faces light up as they fill out the cards. 



    "The simple act of receiving a card with a holiday greeting or message of thanks is an enormous morale booster and can have a great impact on a military member" said, Bill Cronin, Chapter Executive of the Central South Carolina Chapter of the American Red Cross.

    Smoky Success Story

    8/1/2013 (Permalink)

    Actual Letter from a SERVPRO customer

    “Recently, I listed a 1-bedroom condo that had been owned by a smoker. She moves out and we removed all furniture and anything that might have absorbed smoke. We washed the walls and ceiling and repainted, change the carpet and installed new kitchen appliances. The place looked great but still smelled stale. It went on the market. After the first 3 showings, the buyers declined to make an offer because the condo still smelled strongly of smoke. I called my local SERVPRO Franchise. I knew of them because they had done a water damage cleanup in my neighborhood.

    The team came out and we made a list of things to do to “detox" the condo. After the first few measures, there were still a few SERVPRO team kept at it, taking the tiniest details into account until the place smelled fresh and brand new. The team honestly seemed as interested as I was in completely eliminating the odor; they were like hound dogs with their nose on the scent!

     As SERVPRO wrapped up, an agent and his buyer looked at the unit and it resulted in a sale. Immediately! Certainly I could smell the difference but the “Sold” status of the condo is even stronger proof of SERVPRO success in ridding the home of the smell of smoke. There’s no question who I’ll call if I ever list a smoker’s home again!" 

    Firework Safety

    7/1/2013 (Permalink)

    With the 4th of July approaching, firework safety is appropriate. Here are some tips to keep you and your family safe during this holiday. 

    • Use fireworks outdoors only.
    • Obey local laws. If fireworks are not legal where you live, do not use them.
    • Always have water handy. (A hose or bucket).
    • Only use fireworks as intended. Don't try to alter them or combine them.
    • Never relight a "dud" firework. Wait 20 minutes and then soak it in a bucket of water.
    • Use common sense. Spectators should keep a safe distance from the shooter and the shooter should wear safety glasses.
    • Alcohol and Fireworks do not mix. Please have a designated shooter.
    • Only persons over the age of 12 should be allowed to handle sparklers of any type.
    • Do not ever use homemade fireworks of illegal explosives: They can kill you! Report illegal explosives to the fire or police department in your community.