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Peter Cerruti
440 South West End Blvd, RT 309
Quakertown  PA 18951
 Phone: 215-429-7273
Office Phone: 215-538-4400
Fax: 267-354-6992 
petecerruti@yahoo.com
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Peter Cerruti

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10 Foods to Stock Up On to Reduce Impact of Cold and Flu Season

November 1, 2013 8:09 pm

Flu season has significant costs for everyone. According to a National Business Group on Health report, the flu indirectly costs employers about $76.7 million a year in employee absenteeism and other indirect costs. A typical employee has flu symptoms for five to six days and misses between a half day and five days of work.

With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicting flu activity to increase in the coming weeks and months, now is the time for employers to prepare. One important way is help employees boost their immune systems, the front-line for flu protection.

Get ready for the flu season by stocking the right foods in your kitchen. The 10 great immunity-boosting foods are:

-Oranges
-Veggie slices (peppers, carrots, celery, any)
-Whole grain fortified cereals
-Nuts (walnuts, almonds, peanuts, any)
-Hardboiled eggs
-Hummus
-Yogurt (Greek or low fat)
-Bean salad
-Green tea
-String cheese

Building one's immunity system with vitamin C, zinc, protein, and antioxidants before cold and flu season helps lessen its impact. Studies show that consuming these nutrients after getting sick does not shorten the duration or stop the virus.

In addition to eating the 10 immunity-boosting foods, here are some other ways you can to boost their immune system:

-Eat yogurt or other sources of probiotics to support the gastrointestinal tract, the second line of defense for the immune system
-Eat a well-balanced diet
-Reduce stress levels
-Keep skin healthy - dry cracked skin can provide an entrance for the flu virus
-Laugh – laughter has been shown to improve immune function by lowering stress
-Consider getting the seasonal flu shot and the pneumonia vaccine (to determine your suitability for these vaccines.

Source: Geneia

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Mold and Windows: What Homeowners Need to Know

November 1, 2013 8:09 pm

“As long as it has an organic food source such as wood, cardboard or paper, mold can grow in any location," says John Stark, marketing manager for Simonton Windows. "The key is the organic food source. When products in the home, such as wood window frames or wood window sills, come in contact with moisture for an extended period of time, then mold can grow."

According to The Mold Services Group, a division of GHH Engineering, Inc., vinyl is not an organic food source, so mold cannot grow on vinyl window frames.

However, if even tiny particles of organic debris are found on or around the surfaces of a vinyl window in a moisture-rich area, homeowners can potentially find mold growth. What makes up this debris? It can be anything from microscopic fragments of pollen to animal dander to insect pieces to normal household dust.

"Routinely cleaning vinyl window sills and surfaces helps eliminate the remote possibility of mold growing on vinyl windows," says Stark. "By removing organic debris, such as dust and dirt, you will help keep your vinyl windows free of mold spores."

Sweaty Windows
Stark reports that, in order to keep areas around windows moisture-free to prevent potential mold growth, homeowners should watch for - and take steps to minimize - condensation.

"People sometimes see their windows 'sweat' during the winter or summer months because of varying humidity levels in the home," says Stark. "Without proper ventilation, moisture can accumulate on windows and walls from daily household activities such as hot showers, boiling water and opening dishwashers after a cleaning cycle."

This minor accumulation of moisture or steam generally isn't a cause for concern, and using ventilation fans and dehumidifiers can help reduce humidity in the home.

"Windows are a major component in a home that impact other things around them," says Stark. "They eventually need to be replaced. If windows have major air leaks, don't close properly, or are failing to act as a solid barrier to the environment, then it's time to consider replacing them with new energy-efficient vinyl windows."

Reducing the Chance of Mold
The Florida Solar Energy Center reports that moisture levels in the home are one of the easiest elements to alter so that mold will not grow in a house. Since people prefer humidity levels that are generally below the critical relative humidity for mold growth to occur, the simple acts of using ceiling fans, reducing the number of house plants in a home and leaving interior room (and closet) doors open can all help reduce moisture levels throughout the home.

Stark advises that homeowners with plantation style blinds or heavy window coverings that are closed all the time should change their habits. Condensation can get "trapped" in between the window treatments and the windows creating a damp environment that may encourage mold growth.

"By routinely opening window coverings to increase ventilation near windows homeowners will help reduce both condensation and potential mold growth," says Stark. "Another smart tip is to make sure that air vent deflectors are placed on floor vents to reroute air into the room rather than straight up against a window.

"Vinyl windows are a smart, durable choice for the home. However homeowners have to do their part too. Keeping the home well ventilated and clean during all seasons of the year makes it easy for vinyl windows to remain the most effortless and reliable windows imaginable in the home."

Source: Simonton Windows

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Don't Compound the Hazard When Hiring an Asbestos Contractor

October 31, 2013 8:09 pm

The discovery of hazardous material like asbestos lurking in one's home is disturbing enough. Homeowners in this situation can get it resolved without compounding the problem by hiring an improper or unscrupulous contractor to do the work.

The Alvarado Group of Madison, WI recently posted some good advice from Gary Mason, a Wisconsin Registered Home Inspector. Mason says if you think asbestos may be in your home, don’t panic, usually asbestos material in good condition will not release asbestos fibers.
There is no danger unless the asbestos is disturbed, fibers are released and then inhaled. Mason also offers these tips for homeowners considering a corrective-action contractor:

-Before work begins, get a written contract specifying the work plan, cleanup, and the applicable federal, state and local regulations which the contractor must follow (such as notification requirements and asbestos disposal procedures).

-Assure that the contractor avoids spreading or tracking asbestos dust into other areas of your home by sealing off the work area using plastic sheeting and duct tape - also turn off the heating and air conditioning system.

-Insist that the contractor apply a wetting agent to the asbestos material with a hand sprayer - wet fibers do not float in the air as easily as dry fibers and will be easier to clean up.

-Make sure the contractor does not break removed material into smaller pieces. This could release asbestos fibers into the air.
At the end of the job, get written assurance from the contractor that all procedures have been followed.

-Upon completion, assure that the contractor cleans the area well with wet mops, wet rags, sponges and/or HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) vacuum cleaners. A regular vacuum cleaner must never be used.

-Air monitoring to make sure there is no increase of asbestos fibers in the air, and to assure that the contractor’s job is done properly. This should be done by someone not connected with the contractor.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Survey Sheds Light on Americans' Recycling Expectations

October 31, 2013 8:09 pm

There is an increasing need for the public and private sectors to collaborate to find and implement recycling solutions in communities across the country. A survey conducted by Research Data + Insights on behalf of the Carton Council of North America (CCNA) offers new findings that reveal that consumers overwhelmingly believe product companies and their brands play a crucial role in recycling. In the survey, which included 1,000 adults from across the U.S., 86 percent responded that they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages.

U.S. consumers also indicated they look to the actual products they purchase for environmental information, even before turning to other resources. The vast majority (76 percent) reported they would look at the product's packaging to learn if a package is recyclable. The second most popular place to determine recyclability was the product's company website (33 percent), followed by the consumer's city website at 26 percent.

"First and foremost, this survey reiterates the importance of including a recycling message on product packaging," said Jason Pelz, vice president, environment, Tetra Pak North America, and vice president of recycling projects for the Carton Council of North America. "In an increasingly competitive and green-minded climate, consumers are revealing they expect food and beverage brands to actively help increase the recycling of their packages."

Pelz continues, "The Carton Council currently encourages food and beverage packaging brands to use the recycling logo that was developed for cartons. This logo reminds consumers that cartons are recyclable and provides the RecycleCartons.com website where consumers can learn if cartons are currently accepted in their community's recycling program. We're working hard to spread carton recycling access to every community around the country, and we need to do all we can to educate consumers about placing cartons in the recycling bin in communities that accept cartons in their recycling program. But we can't do it alone and would like brands to help us spread the word, on packages, on their websites, via social media vehicles and beyond."

The Carton Council is leading a national effort to increase access to carton recycling in the U.S. In 2009, 21 million U.S. households had access to carton recycling in 26 states. Now, 52.5 million households in 45 states can recycle cartons, a 150 percent increase that includes 64 of the nation's top 100 cities. Food and beverage brands that use cartons for their products are encouraged to join this effort, especially in helping promote carton recycling to their customers. CCNA can provide companies with tools to inform their customers, from step one which is adding the recycling logo to packages and recycling information on their websites, to an extensive list of possibilities beyond that. Those interested can connect with the Carton Council through CartonOpportunities.org.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Top Kids' Toys for the 2013 Holidays

October 31, 2013 8:09 pm

It’s a scary thought for some, but the holidays are right around the corner! Wondering what the hottest toys for kids will be this year? Here’s a sneak peak at what’s likely to shine this season.

0-2 Years:
Alex Jr. Busy Bead Maze Race Around ($69.95)
Get ready for a day at the races! Little ones move chunky bead pieces shaped like a car, plane, bus and trucks around the colorful maze. It’s a great early learning toy for developing visual stimulation, hand eye coordination and cause and effect. For ages ten months and up.

Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo ($69.95)
There are so many ways to play with Sesame Street Big Hugs Elmo with 50+ animated sounds and phrases! When preschoolers give Elmo a great big hug, he'll hug back, say fun phrases or sing a sweet song about hugs! Press Elmo's left foot and he will invite little ones to join in on one of four imagination activities. For ages 18 months and up.

3-4 Years:
LeapPad2™ Monsters University Bundle ($139.95)
Get into the Disney/Pixar Monsters University spirit with this monsterized LeapPad2, $20 Digital Download Card, two Sticker Sheets, seven Wacky Wallpapers, Eye-mazing Gel Skin and Cleaning Cloth. The award-winning LeapPad2™ inspires kids to create, learn, and explore with front and back cameras and video recorders, 4GB of memory, motion sensor, and a library of 800+ games, eBooks, videos, music and more.
For ages three years and up.

Mini Kick Scooter Green/Red ($99.95)
The mini kickboard is the quality scooter for young children. Its unique 'lean-and-steer' design allows children to direct the scooter by using their body weight to curve from side to side. The mini kickboard makes scooting fun for young children and helps them to develop their balance, coordination and motor skills. For ages three and up.

4-8 Years:
Classic Pac-Man Connect and Play ($29.95)
Bandai's Pac-Man Connect and Play brings back your favorite classic video games right to your television. The battery-operated old school joystick connects to your TV. The unique Pac-Man shaped controller is designed like the original game controllers. For ages four years and up.

Color Your Own Igloo ($24.95)
No snow on the ground? No problem! This single-piece cardboard igloo comes ready to play in and easily folds for quick put-away. The white walls inside and out are ready for your kids to color, paint or glue decorations on.

8-10 Years:

Adventure Time Monopoly ($39.95)
Join best buds and top notch adventurers Finn and Jake on a journey to claim the Land of Ooo and beyond with the Adventure Time Collector's Edition of Monopoly. Includes six custom tokens: Ice King's Crown, Princess Bubblegum, Jake, Finn, Lumpy Space Princess, Tree Trunks. For ages eight years and up.

Fashion Angels Design Super Set ($24.95)
Create a clothing collection of runway-worthy pieces and learn about garment construction with the Fashion Angels Tapeffiti™ Fashion Design Set. Choose one of the 15 clothing patterns and use Tapeffiti decorative tapes to cover them any way you like. Cut out the pattern and match the numbered dots to construct your garment around the mannequin or dress forms. For ages eight years and up.

10+ Years:

LEGO Minecraft ($44.95)
Build a mini model of the game that's sweeping the Internet with a LEGO® microbuild version of Minecraft! This build features a cool design with lots of 1x1 LEGO tiles and two buildable Micromob characters: Steve and Creeper. For ages ten years and up.

Source: Indigo Books & Music Inc.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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7 Simple Tips for Choosing Kid Tech Tools

October 30, 2013 8:09 pm

Computers, video games, mobile phones, and tablets are ubiquitous in our lives and the lives of our kids. Parents want to embrace technology to facilitate their children's learning. But with so much technology available, how are parents supposed to know which tools and activities will actually help build skills?

"Every day new resources appear in our Apps stores and we're bombarded with all the 'Best of' and 'Top 10' lists. Parents should look for reviews and endorsements by reliable sources, including educational organizations, before giving their children access to any new tech resource," says Julia Fitzgerald, Sylvan Learning's Chief Marketing Officer.

To help parents make good choices with digital media, Sylvan Learning is offering seven simple guidelines for selecting new tech tools and apps:

Does it focus on active learning? Choose educational tools and activities that are interactive, rather than passive, like TV and DVDs.

What skills does it reinforce? Look for skills like eye-hand coordination, memorization, computation, dexterity, critical thinking and creativity.

Does it allow your child to practice the skill? When a program or activity says it teaches a skill, then it should provide practice with that skill and explain how the skill building is accomplished.

Does it provide feedback? Effective technology provides feedback on performance to help your child build their skills and confidence.

Is it age appropriate? Check the age and skill level to make sure they are a good match for your child's current developmental level.

Is it user-friendly? Your child should be able to understand and navigate the technology, so that it fosters engagement and enjoyment.

Does it include ads? Some free or "lite" versions of apps or programs include ads. Before your child uses the program, you can review the content first and vet the ads. You can also opt to forgo Apps that include ads.

"When used effectively, technology helps enable and empower our children's educational lives," says Fitzgerald. "The key lies in monitoring kids' electronic use. There's no substitute for parental involvement when it comes to encouraging our children to learn. Playing educational games with our kids is a great way to encourage their academic progress. Also, as parents we need to remember to model good behavior and limit our own screen time."

Source: www.sylvanlearning.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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'Fall Back' To Sleep

October 30, 2013 8:09 pm

When the clocks change on Sunday most of North America may want to cling to that extra hour of sleep. But the reality is that this time shift from Daylight Saving Time to Standard Time may actually compromise sleep rhythms, according to researchers. With nearly one-third of Americans suffering from sleep disturbances and sales of over-the-counter sleep aids on the rise, Dr. Carol Ash, Director of Sleep Medicine for Meridian Health in New Jersey, believes the Fall time change is a wake-up call for America to rethink sleep and consider more natural ways to get a good night's rest.

"Getting proper sleep has never been more important. Inadequate sleep is considered a risk factor for obesity, heart disease and other chronic diseases," said Ash. "Instead of shopping for solutions in the pharmaceutical aisle, consider switching up what you eat and drink."

Research has shown that tart cherry juice may help improve the quality and duration of sleep, reduce the severity of insomnia and increase overall sleep efficiency. In one study, adults who drank two daily glasses of tart cherry juice slept about 40 minutes longer on average and had up to six percent increase in sleep efficiency. Researchers also found that drinking tart cherry juice daily helped reduce the severity of insomnia and time spent awake after going to sleep.

Researchers attribute the sleep benefits to the melatonin and phytonutrient content of tart cherries, which are especially abundant in anthocyanins. Each serving of tart cherry juice concentrate used in the studies is estimated to contain the equivalent of 90 – 100 tart cherries.

Natural Ways To A Good Night's Sleep
Dr. Ash recommends making sleep a priority by creating a routine with these simple changes:

Go Red Before Bed: Change your bedtime ritual by adding tart cherries to your routine. Get started by drinking a glass of tart cherry juice in the evening before you go to bed for seven consecutive days.

Be Anti-Social: The screens from gadgets can emit blue light that suppresses the sleep hormone melatonin causing alertness, so forget about social media before bed. Keep the room quiet, dark, and cool, creating a calm sanctuary.

Hit the Gym: Decompress from stress with exercise. The National Sleep Foundation Sleep in America Poll 2013 found that exercise anytime is good for improving sleep patterns.

Set Your Internal Alarm: The timing of sleep is critical for a good night sleep and keeping the same wake-up time everyday helps to set your biological clock that controls rhythms for wake and sleep. When you must make a shift due to a schedule change or Daylight Saving Time, start early. If you plan ahead and adjust your time to bed and wake up time by 15 minutes a night, the transition will be much easier.

Source: The Cherry Marketing Institute

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Superstorm Sandy Reminds Homeowners about the Importance of Storm Preparedness

October 30, 2013 8:09 pm

The one-year anniversary of Superstorm Sandy reminds many Americans about the importance of storm preparedness. Volatile weather can strike at anytime, anywhere in the country. From hurricanes and tornadoes, to snow storms and high winds, all homeowners need to be prepared for severe weather events.

Here are the top seven tips to help homeowners prepare for storms, power outages and other emergencies.

1. Assemble a dedicated storm box or bucket. If you are not told to evacuate, having items on hand like batteries, candles, matches, flashlights, AM radio, water, and even extra cash can be useful if your area loses power. If told by officials to evacuate your home, leave well in advance. Make plans for a safe route and destination where someone will be expecting you at a predetermined day and time.

2. Create a storm to-do list. This list reminds you of the important things you need to do before the storm hits. Things like getting prescription drugs, filling propane tanks, going to the bank, and filling your car with gas can be essential.

3. Compile a list of important phone numbers. Essential phone numbers to have on hand can include: utility companies, insurance company, bank, doctors, radio stations and local police. Also, have at least one hard-wired landline phone in the house.

4. Protect your chilled and frozen food supply. Before the storm hits, pack your most commonly consumed items like milk, cold cuts, and leftovers in a cooler with ice. Turn your refrigerator/freezer settings to the highest levels to chill remaining food as much as possible. Keep your refrigerator door taped closed to prevent unnecessary opening during a power outage.

5. Store water if you are on a well system. Store plenty of drinking water in clean containers. Also, store water in your bathtub so you can flush the toilet with a bucket of water when needed.

6. Inspect your basement sump pump system before the storm. During a major storm, heavy rains can flood your basement, so make sure your sump pump is plugged in and fully operational. Inspect the pump switch float ball on your sump pump to make sure it's operating smoothly. Also, make sure the drain line is not blocked and extends at least four feet away from your home's foundation. Finally, get a battery backup for your sump pump in case of power loss.

7. Look into an automatic standby generator system. A standby generator is permanently installed outside your home and hooks up to existing gas lines (propane or natural gas). If power is lost, a standby generator will automatically start up and restore power to your home. It can power lights, heating/cooling systems, refrigerators, sump pumps, home security systems, computers and more. With the addition of a standby generator, most issues you face during a storm can be eliminated.

Source: Kohler Generators

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Sure Ways to Waste Your Money

October 29, 2013 8:06 pm

No matter how careful we are with money, everyone has holes in the budget: small indulgences or careless mistakes that end up costing big dollars. The finance experts at Kiplinger’s point out six common money-wasters it makes good sense to avoid:

Carrying a balance – This can cost hundreds of dollars each year in interest – and also costs you down the line in the form of lower credit scores that trigger higher interest rates on loans. If you can’t pay off balances each month, at least keep your balance to less than 25 percent of available credit.

Paying late fees on missed deadlines – It’s easy to miss a payment occasionally. But if you miss a credit card payment by even one day, you will pay a late fee of $25 ($35 if it's the second time in six months) – and your credit score could also take a hit. A history of on-time payments accounts for 35 percent of your FICO credit score - more than any other factor. If you have a good payment record, you should call your card issuer and ask that a one-time late fee be waived.

Buying insurance you don’t need – Unless you have people financially dependent on you, you may not need as much life insurance as you are paying for. You can also probably do without credit-card insurance (use the premium to pay down debt), rental-car insurance (most auto policies carry some coverage) and mortgage life insurance (a regular term-life insurance policy is more comprehensive).

Overspending on gas and oil – Most cars do fine on regular gas, and be sure tires are properly inflated for best gas mileage. Most cars today require oil changes every five or six thousand miles, not every 3,000 as they once did. Check your owner’s manual regarding regular maintenance – and opt for a fuel-efficient car.

Keeping unhealthy habits – The average price per pack of cigarettes in the U.S. is $6.03, but health-related costs per pack are $35, according to the American Cancer Society. Over a year, those added costs can amount to $12,775 for a pack-a-day smoker. Another habit to quit: indoor tanning. There is a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services – and as with cigarettes, the true cost of tanning -- one of the most dangerous forms of cancer-causing radiation -- is higher than the price you pay per session.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Make Working at Home Work

October 29, 2013 8:06 pm

(BPT) - Working at home is a growing trend. The 2010 U.S. Census reports 9.5 percent of the population spends at least one day a week working at home—an increase of more than 2 percent since 1997. Technology is making it easier for employees and self-employed workers to set up a home office and conduct business.

When deciding to set up an office at home, one challenge many workers face is determining what computer to use—or purchase. Apple and Windows-based PCs are the two staples, and everyone has a preference on which system they prefer. Sometimes it's the user interface of one over the other that's preferred, and in other cases, how chosen programs perform on each platform determines what type of computer workers purchase. And often, workers just want to seamlessly blend in with the office environment, and purchase the same system for home.

With Parallels Desktop for Mac, the difficulty of choosing between the two platforms is obsolete. This software enables users to run all operating systems like Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows XP, Mac OS X, Google Chrome OS and more on a Mac without rebooting. This allows an at-home employee to easily switch between the system provided on work computers and the home computer, even if they're running different operating systems.

This allows at-home workers several benefits:

• If you have a Mac and a PC, then Parallels Desktop software can simply move your entire PC onto your Mac so you have everything on one computer. If you don't have a PC, its wizard lets you simply add Windows and other operating systems to your Mac so you can do everything on one computer.

• Save money because there is no need to repurchase software you already own. All of the PC applications you invested in can simply be moved to your Mac and run in Windows via Parallels Desktop.

• Run both Windows and Mac systems at the same time, allowing you to work in a Mac program while using a Windows platform.
• Copy and paste between documents running in both operating systems easily, which is not possible if you must reboot your Mac to change between OS X and Windows applications.

Another challenge working-from-home employees face is taking the business on the road. Those who are self-employed often don't have the luxury of bringing business into the home office, and have to make the office mobile. This requires updating technology so email, documents and files can all be accessed from either a smartphone or tablet.

Another option is to access your computer remotely, allowing you to do everything you'd be doing at home while away. Parallels Mobile for iPad and iPhone lets you remotely access and run all of your Mac and Windows files and applications when you're on the go.

One final challenge is being able to handle business errands without having to leave the office - or home. Banking, setting up conference calls or ordering supplies can all be done electronically using websites and downloadable apps. This technology allows a home-worker to make business deposits, connect with clients and have supplies delivered to the door - without having to leave.

Seamless connection is key to working at home, because any interruption in getting technology to work is lost time, and potentially lost business. Apps, using the same computer programs you've always used through Parallels Desktop for Mac and mobile devices will help any at-home worker keep all connections with the office and clients going strong.

Source: http://www.parallels.com/desktop

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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