Morgan County Herald: Around The Home

Around the Home

Pet Central


Having a pet is a lot of responsibility, and we’ll help by giving you lots of tips and tricks! More >>



Our fitness articles will help teach you how to work out with gym- and home-based exercises. More >>



Enjoy the crosswords challenge in our free daily puzzles, from the harder Sunday crossword to the quicker daily. More >>



Every Sudoku has a unique solution that can be reached logically. Enter numbers into the blank spaces so that each row, column and 3x3 box contains the numbers 1 to 9. More >>

Tuesday 11/24/2020
Boosting Holiday Cheer at Home During a Socially Distant Season
Updated: November 26, 2020 - 2:34 am

(StatePoint) Unfortunately, many Americans will be unable to celebrate the holidays with their extended family and friends in person this year, making it all the more important to boost holiday cheer at home. Here are few festive ideas for getting into the holiday spirit during this socially distant season.

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Wednesday 10/21/2020
Home Lighting to Add to Your Holiday Wish List
Updated: October 24, 2020 - 2:32 am

(StatePoint) Spending more time at home working, learning and simply living? The holiday season is the perfect opportunity to gift your household with lighting that enhances the feel and function of your spaces.

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Saturday 10/03/2020
5 Fun DIY Craft Projects for Fall
Updated: October 07, 2020 - 2:33 am

(StatePoint) Give your home a warm and cozy vibe this fall with a few DIY projects that are sure to add seasonal cheer to any space. Whether you’re looking for a rainy day activity to keep kids busy or searching for affordable décor options, these fall craft ideas are a great place to start -- all you need is your creativity and a few supplies.

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Friday 10/02/2020
Shorter Darker Days Are Ahead: Make Your Home a Haven
Updated: October 06, 2020 - 2:32 am

(StatePoint) As more of life is centered around home, good design can help you augment and replace natural light, while creating a beautiful, productive, safe haven during the darker, shorter days of fall and winter.

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Thursday 05/07/2020
4 Hot Home Renovation Trends This Summer
Posted: May 07, 2020

(StatePoint) Whether building a home from scratch, doing a complete renovation or simply refreshing a room or two, you can take your project to the next level with some design inspiration.

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Thursday 03/19/2020
Top Ways to Lighten Up Your Home Workspace
Posted: March 19, 2020

(StatePoint) Many people have found themselves working from home. Whether setting up shop at the kitchen table or creating a complete home office, here are simple hacks to make your new work environment comfortable and productive.

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Monday 03/02/2020
Decorating With Table Lamps: The 5 Best Tips for 2020
Posted: March 02, 2020

(StatePoint) Many people underestimate the power of lighting to set the mood and introduce different design elements into their home’s interiors. As a result, they often make the mistake of relying solely only overhead fixtures to light their homes.

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Thursday 02/13/2020
Building a Home? What to Ask Your Builder About Lighting
Posted: February 13, 2020

(StatePoint) While lighting is an essential piece of new home design; it’s often selected and installed at the end of the building process. What’s more, statement-making decorative lighting is often not part of the initial design at all. 

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More Home Decorating
Thursday 01/14/2021
Leading Climate Scientists Launch New Science Moms Campaign [Video]
Posted: January 14, 2021

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Monday 01/04/2021
Dairy farmers work to care for the environment
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - A gallon of milk. Cream for your coffee. A pat of butter. Whether you’re enjoying a yogurt on the go in the morning or family night at home with a cheese and veggie pizza, dairy has been an enjoyable and nutritious part of daily life for generations. Throughout that time, America’s dairy farm families have provided an essential service to nourish their communities, during good times or bad.

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Wednesday 12/23/2020
Let’s All Cheer For The Plant And Flower Of The Year
Updated: January 09, 2021 - 2:31 am

(NAPSI)—It’s official: has named the sunflower as 2021’s Flower of the Year and the Prayer Plant as Plant of the Year. With everyone looking forward to a fresh start, there’s never been a better time to celebrate the hope, positivity and bright outlook each one of these well-deserved picks brings!

Sunflowers: Radiating Happiness

Sparking instant cheer with big, golden petals, sunflowers naturally turn toward the sun to uplift and inspire. That’s why the team at 1-800-Flowers is proud to give this ever-popular bloom the recognition it deserves. 

A Golden Opportunity

At a time when positivity is just what everyone needs, anyone can learn from this trending favorite:

•It’s a powerful reminder to rise, shine and hold your head high.

•All it takes is a bit of brightness to boost someone’s mood.

•Looking on the bright side is something all people can all incorporate into their lives.

Plant Prayers Have Been Answered

This popular houseplant’s unique leaves show off painterly-like veins for a bold splash of color. At night, they fold up, resembling hands in prayer. It’s a powerful reminder of just how far gratitude can go, making this plant a natural choice for such a coveted award. 

Inspiration, for Every Day

There’s more than meets the eye when it comes to the Plant of the Year…giving people even more reason to love it.

•Its vibrant appearance helps celebrate the beauty all around us.

•This plant’s nightly routine can inspire us all pause and reflect 

•Opening up again each morning promotes the idea that each day is full of opportunity.

“Plants are the perfect gift to help us relax and be happy,” said Alfred ­Palomares, vice president of merchandising for leading gifting site

Over 40 years ago, was founded on one simple, universal idea: making people smile. And that’s exactly what they’ve become most well known for. Through unique floral arrangements, thoughtful plant gifts, gourmet gift baskets, and so much more, is there to help connect you with loved ones for life’s little and big moments and all those in between.


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Tuesday 12/22/2020
A Gift That Keeps On Giving—To The Environment
Updated: December 30, 2020 - 2:33 am

(NAPSI)—You can spread a little happiness during the holiday season, or anytime, by spreading a little hoppiness, and helping a tiny frog called the coquí.

Contemplating Coquís 

Coquís are endemic to the nature-rich island of Puerto Rico and have been a cultural symbol there since the times of the indigenous Taino inhabitants. The coquí can be found primarily in el bosque, or forest, of El Yunque National Rainforest, the only tropical rainforest in the U.S. National Forest System. With 17 different species that inhabit Puerto Rico, when the sun goes down, male coquís begin singing their song that gives them their name (Co-KEE, Co-KEE) until dawn. 

If you’re looking for a great gift, Adopt a Coquí from Discover Puerto Rico, can be the answer. To participate, go to and donate $25 or more; 100% of proceeds go to Conservacion ConCiencia. Coquí adopters get a keepsake adoption certificate for their contribution to supporting conservation, sustainability, and climate resilience efforts. At the same site, you can discover the amazing natural beauty and great things to do and see on the island itself. Home to such unique habitats as rainforests, pink salt flats, underground caves and more, Puerto Rico presents an excellent place to connect with nature in 2021 and beyond. 

“We’re inviting future travelers to explore our natural offerings in a safe and responsible way from their homes as many are dreaming about their first trip when the time is right,” explained Brad Dean, CEO of Discover Puerto Rico, a not for-profit organization promoting Puerto Rico as a premier travel destination. “While Puerto Rico is ensuring the safety of residents and travelers alike and only encouraging essential travel at this time, Adopt a Coquí gives the gift of hope during this holiday season, supporting conservation efforts in Puerto Rico and felt globally.” 

Another Gift Idea

Until traveling is likely again, you can give yourself or someone you care for a taste of a trip to the land of the coquís with a five-episode narrative series called “Sounds like Puerto Rico.” The series, which can be found at, explores the origin and jargon used in Puerto Rico and the natural sounds that make up the Island’s unique culture. The first episode transports travelers to El Yunque National Rainforest. Other episodes explore the island’s coffee culture, surfing, birdwatching and the history of reggaeton. 

When It’s Time To Travel Again

Though the series is delightful, the island is best enjoyed in person—and now can be a great time to start planning on giving yourself the gift of a trip to the charming island next year. From shopping and sightseeing in sophisticated San Juan to snorkeling in a bio-luminescent bay, from art museums to soft sandy beaches, and from delicious local dishes to exotic cocktails, there’s much to enjoy amid Puerto Rico’s ancient history, rich culture, beautiful colonial architecture, excellent weather, fun attractions, lively music and warm people. 

What’s more, if you fall in love with the place so much you don’t want to leave, you may be glad to know it’s easy to work remotely there.

Learn More

For further facts about preserving the ecology, and to discover all the beauty the island has to offer, go to


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Monday 12/14/2020
The pandemic has increased plastic consumption: How you can help
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - The COVID-19 pandemic has increased the consumption of single-use plastic as disposable mask and glove usage has skyrocketed. Additionally, many businesses have eliminated the option to use reusable shopping bags at a store or to bring your own mug to a coffee shop.

These measures are important to help stop the spread of the virus but there are simple steps to take to help reduce your single-use plastic consumption and achieve a more sustainable way of living, even during the coronavirus pandemic. Here are six ideas:

1) Buy local

If possible, get out to your local farmers market or butcher for your grocery shopping. Farmers market vendors often use less packaging and you can ask your butcher to wrap your meat in wax paper instead of plastic. Shopping local is also a great way to support your community.

2) Swap your cleaning tools

The leading spray mop uses single-use plastic pads. One greener choice, the O-Cedar ProMist MAX Microfiber Spray Mop features a reusable, machine washable microfiber pad and a refillable bottle to cut down on plastic waste while removing over 99%of E. coli and Staph. aureus from pre-finished hardwood flooring and ceramic tile using tap water, as tested at an independent accredited lab.

3) Plate over bowl, bowl over plate

If you’re doing more cooking at home, you’re likely finding yourself with leftovers. Ditch the plastic wrap and use your dishes as an easy, inexpensive food storage solution. To do this, place a plate or saucer over a bowl to cover its contents or, alternatively, flip any size bowl over leftovers on a plate. It’s a simple solution using what you already have. You’ll be protecting your food from drying out in the fridge while eliminating your plastic waste.

4) DIY cleaning solutions

With all the extra cleaning you’re doing around the house, buying cleaning solutions in disposable bottles for your home can be expensive and result in additional plastic waste. The average household goes through 18 bottles a year of cleaning solution when using the leading disposable spray mop. (Calculated using consumer consumption data found in Linkage Research Report: Spray Mop Habits & Practices Study (March 10, 2020).) Instead use a refillable bottle and make your own cleaning solution using water and your choice of vinegar or castile soap.

5) Wear a cloth mask

Safety guidelines make it difficult to go anywhere without wearing a face covering. But the popularity of disposable face masks has impacted the amount of plastic in the waste stream, according to a report by the LA Times. Do your part by opting to wear reusable, cloth masks – you can find them just about anywhere these days.

6) Avoid plastic where you can

When you’re ordering takeout, be sure to ask the restaurant to leave out any extra disposable materials. For example, let them know you don’t need disposable silverware. And although most coffee shops and cafes aren’t accepting reusable drink containers, you can still bring your own reusable straw.

These tips make it easier to do your part in reducing plastic waste. For more information, visit

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Wednesday 11/25/2020
Gifts That Do A World Of Good
Updated: December 01, 2020 - 2:32 am

(NAPSI)—This holiday season, you don’t have to look far to find items that deliver great features and functionality but use less energy. Products that earn the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s ENERGY STAR label save money on energy bills and help protect the environment, making them gifts that do a world of good. 

With a wide range of things to wrap up—from smart thermostats, laptops, tablets and other electronics, appliances and even lighting—you can put a bow on a gift that has been independently certified to meet strict standards for energy efficiency. 

A typical household spends about $2,000 a year on energy bills. A home outfitted with products that have earned the ENERGY STAR label can save 30% or about $575 a year on household energy bills. Over their lifetime these products save about $8,750 on utility bills and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 77,000 pounds of carbon dioxide.

The ENERGY STAR Holiday Gift Guide at features energy-saving products popular this time of year, along with special deals from manufacturers, retailers, and utilities that participate in the ENERGY STAR Program. Looking for the ENERGY STAR label on products specially priced for the holidays means you save on the initial price, plus keep saving through the holidays and beyond. 

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Monday 11/23/2020
3 eco-friendly projects to boost home health during pandemic
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - How healthy is your house? After spending more time at home due to quarantine and social distancing, many homeowners are asking themselves this question.

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Tuesday 11/03/2020
3 ways being a label reader helps protect people and the planet
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - We’ve all seen people reading the labels of food, beverage and supplement packaging to look at the ingredients and nutrition facts — chances are you have, too. More than ever, shoppers are looking at labels to make sure products match up with their values, whether it’s protecting people or the planet. Over the past decade, purchase of and trust in food labels has increased, showing an upward trend in shoppers voting with their dollars for what they care about most. In fact, more than half of U.S. consumers agree eco-labels raise their trust in a brand, and nearly 65% believe retailers’ and brands’ claims about sustainability and the environment need to be clearly labeled by an independent organization (GlobeScan 2020).

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Friday 10/30/2020
5 tips: How to create your own private spa at home
Updated: December 21, 2020 - 2:31 am

(BPT) - As Americans are spending more time at home in response to the pandemic, many are looking for ways to turn their living spaces into retreats of calm, comfort and well-being.

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How agriculture helps keep the U.S. economy moving forward
Updated: January 15, 2021 - 2:34 am

(BPT) - Despite the economic challenges since the beginning of the global COVID-19 pandemic this year, one area of the U.S. economy is still going strong: agriculture. Amid so much uncertainty, food security is essential to the population of the United States and the world.

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More Green Living
Wednesday 01/13/2021
How to Create a More Functional Laundry Room
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) A laundry room may be one of the spaces that you use the most, but cramped quarters and clutter can hinder your productivity. Eliminate the excuses and get your laundry room under control with these tips to add function to your washing routine.

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4 Tips for a Productive 2021
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) This year has taught many workers a thing or two about being productive when offices and homes blend into one.

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How to Bring More Space into Bathrooms
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Today’s designers, architects and builders are creating modern bathrooms that are practical, luxurious, comfortable and accommodating. They know homeowners and homebuyers desire – even demand – these features regardless of the bathroom’s size or layout.

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8 Tips for Safely Operating Battery-Powered Tools
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Battery-powered power tools make it convenient and efficient to tackle chores around the house and job site. While batteries eliminate the risks associated with electricity, they come with their own requirements for safe use and handling.

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Energy-Efficient Ideas to Upgrade Your Home
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Energy bills are likely among the largest expenses for homeowners, but you can take action to lower those costs. During a remodel, a certified contractor can help you make smart decisions when it comes to selecting appliances, windows and insulation for your projects.

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Colorful Kitchen Inspiration: 5 impactful, on-trend cabinet stylings
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

5 impactful, on-trend cabinet stylings

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5 Tips to Refresh Your Home in the New Year
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) Each new year gives you the chance to reset and start new routines. When you’re considering new approaches to healthy living – whether eliminating or adding habits to improve your daily life – beginning with your home is an optimal choice.

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Thursday 01/07/2021
Discover Nature-Inspired Paint Trends for a Calming Home
Updated: January 14, 2021 - 2:31 am

(Family Features) When it comes to home design, color can change everything. From understated, clean hues and calming neutrals to soft greens and mid-tone colors with artistic qualities, a whole new style is just brush strokes away. With the right color palette, you can transform your space to highlight contemporary trends while creating your desired ambiance.

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Wednesday 01/06/2021
5 Ways to Make Your Home Eco-Friendly
Updated: January 11, 2021 - 2:35 am

(Family Features) An earth-friendly approach to your home isn't just good for the environment. Making minor adjustments with sustainability in mind can enhance your enjoyment and comfort while reducing expenses related to energy consumption.

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Ready for Winter Weather
Updated: January 11, 2021 - 2:35 am

Tips to keep your family safe and warm

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More Lawn & Garden
Saturday 01/09/2021
Healthy, Safe and Affordable Home Cleaning Tips
Updated: January 13, 2021 - 2:30 am

(StatePoint) When it comes to keeping your home healthy, safe and clean, it’s all about balance. Using the following tips, you can make 2021 the year you perfect your cleaning technique affordably:

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Thursday 08/06/2020
Eco-Friendly Home Cleaning Hacks
Posted: August 06, 2020

(StatePoint) With families spending more time at home, messes are on repeat and cleanups are often an hourly routine. At the same time, many households are looking to reduce their environmental impact affordably.

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Tuesday 04/28/2020
Common Moving Myths - Busted!
Posted: April 28, 2020

(StatePoint) You’ve finally found the perfect home. Now comes the hard part: moving. But don’t let misconceptions complicate the process. To keep frustrations to a minimum and make your move more manageable, here are five common moving myths, debunked.

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Monday 02/10/2020
How to Make Household Shopping a Breeze
Posted: February 10, 2020

(StatePoint) One of the most important parts of any household or personal care routine is shopping for all the items you need. With new products introduced to store shelves all the time, sorting the best from the rest can be a time consuming process.

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More Kitchen, Bed & Bath
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