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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 
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Peter Cerruti

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5 Tech Toys You Can Find at the Dollar Store

December 6, 2013 8:18 pm

It’s easy to break your budget at holiday time. But blogger Marc Saltzman, whose Digital Crave seeks out bargains for stingy shoppers, has discovered a handful of tech toys regularly found and sold way below retail at dollar stores including Dollar Tree, Dollar King, Family Dollar, National Dollar and others.

Check your local store for these techie bargains that are worth putting under your tree:

• LED book light - This clamp-on, a steal for a buck, does the same thing as the $20 version at your local book store, illuminating a book for reading in low-light. Available at Dollar Tree locations, the slender, silver book light attaches to a soft- or hardcover books. Includes three AG13 watch batteries.

• Retractable Mouse – If you need a spare computer mouse, look for a retractable USB Mouse from Tech-1, available in white or black for less than two bucks. Plugs into an available USB port on your PC or Mac – no drivers needed – and you can pull on the cord to give yourself as much space as you need. It’s not wireless, but this small and affordable accessory could be an invaluable travel companion.

• Maplock GPS anti-theft device – If you have a standalone GPS navigation device, you know it can attract thieves. Instead of spending up to $30 elsewhere, you can pick up the Maplock for a couple of dollars. It clamps onto your GPS, locks it down and tethers it to your steering wheel via a security cable. Be sure to buy the correct Maplock to fit your specific GPS model.

• Double headphone adapter – If you’re hitting the road for the holidays, siblings might want to listen to the same music, movie or game in the backseat – without disturbing you. Whether using a smartphone, portable media player, tablet, laptop or gaming system, they can split the enjoyment with the HRS-Global Double Adaptor ($1). On one end is a male 3.5mm jack to snap into your device. On the other end are two female ports to plug in earbuds or headphones.

• Tilt Top Calculator (Studio) – A solar-powered Tilt Top Calculator from Studio ($1.50), has an easy to read, adjustable display. Scientific calculators were also offered at some dollar stores.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Six Ways to Eco-Deck the Halls without Sacrificing Tradition

December 6, 2013 8:18 pm

Heralded as the most wonderful time of year, the holidays are filled with traditions that many anticipate year round: social gatherings, cozy fires, festive music, and tasty treats. Decorating homes, packages and cards to set the mood is a big priority throughout the celebratory season.

Because eco-friendly habits can fall off to-do lists during the holidays, think green when celebrating, without forgoing tradition, delight or style. It is easy to reduce energy, minimize waste and improve neighborhood air quality by taking a few simple steps to deck the halls:

• Cleaner, Greener Fires – Try a fire log instead of firewood for your festive fire. Duraflame's fire logs are manufactured using recycled wood and agricultural fibers, saving valuable natural resources. A fire log produces 80 percent less emissions than a similar duration wood fire, providing a cozy fire with less impact on neighborhood air quality. A number of fire logs and firestarters carry the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) certified 100 percent biobased label that distinguishes products composed of renewable materials.

• LED Lights – Swap out conventional incandescent lights for ENERGY STAR–qualified LED lights that consume 65 to 90 percent less energy. Using a timer for lights is another way to create additional energy savings.

• Smart Wrapping – In lieu of shiny, new paper, wrap gifts with reusable bags, decorative storage boxes, scarves, maps or kids' coloring pages. Tie packages with reusable colored raffia and ribbons.

• Backyard Greenery
– Fill tables and mantles with materials from the yard: pinecones and fresh greens, or anything from the available local fauna.

• Reusable Dishware – Trade disposable dishes and flatware for options you can use all season long. Pick up mix and match colored dishes and cups at thrift stores. Add stripes, dots or other designs to plain dishes using permanent porcelain paint markers.

• EnviroCards – Send season's greetings by creating custom digital greeting cards through free online services. If standard mail is a priority, use old holiday cards, magazines or books to create new cards. When opting for purchased cards, look for recycled paper and soy-based inks.

Source: Duraflame

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Last-Minute Decorating Ideas to Turn Your Home into A Winter Wonderland

December 5, 2013 8:18 pm

The holidays are right around the corner, and they're bringing a house full of guests with them. Lighten your load and impress your guests with last-minute decorating ideas at values worth celebrating.

Put on a Holiday Light Show

Few things make your home feel more like the holidays than a spectacular display of lights. Outdoor lights will help make yours the most festive house on the block. They'll brighten your mood and provide a warm welcome to visiting friends and family.

Insider tip: A good rule of thumb is 100 lights for every foot and a half of tree or shrub you want to cover. Of course, if you love lights and want to brighten the block, you might want to double that amount.

Start a new holiday tradition by adding some fun and color to your porch or yard with a GE 5-ft Brown Winter Berry Branch Tree, GE Super Bright LED Sugar Plum Light Set or a set of LED Acrylic Gift Boxes.

To round out the display, line a staircase with potted poinsettias. Use a mix of different-color plants for a lush look. Poinsettias come in a variety of sizes (4- to 10-inch pots) and start as low as $6.

Deck the Halls

Fill guests with holiday spirit as soon as they walk into your home by embellishing the foyer. Start by grouping scented candles or votives on a side table for some soft lighting and cheer. String holiday cards or ornaments around a mirror or tuck them in a frame. Fill glass vases, jars or lamps, such as the Portfolio 19-in Clear Fillable Lamp Base, with ornaments or pinecones and faux snow for a wintery feel. Lastly, set up miniature Christmas trees in the front hall, such as the allen + roth 5-ft Pre-Decorated Tree.

In your main living area, simply find the focal point and decorate around it. Frame the hearth with two pre-lit artificial or live Christmas trees and hang a wreath above the mantel.

Insider tip: For live Christmas trees, water the tree daily and make sure the trunk is always submerged in water. Use a tree stand that fits your tree, so you don't have to whittle down the trunk. Cover your tree stand with aluminum foil to prevent your pets from drinking out of it. Tree sap and water can be a lethal combination. Decorate with LED lights; they stay cool to the touch.

Source: Lowes

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Over Half of Young Men Now Use Facial Moisturizer

December 5, 2013 8:18 pm

Men might not like to admit that they have a skincare regime, but according to new research from Mintel, you might find your man stealing some of your valuable mirror time. Indeed, in a new report looking at the male grooming sector, some 58 percent of men aged 18-24 and 63 percent of those 25-34 report that they use a facial moisturizing product.

This is in stark contrast to the 32 percent of those aged 55-64 and 29 percent of men over 65 from other age demographics claiming to do the same thing.

"That younger men are more participative in the facial skincare category bodes well for the future growth of the men's skincare segment as younger men will likely continue using products as they age," says Gabriela Elani, home and personal care analyst at Mintel. "The fact that sales of men's personal care products have risen so sharply over the past five years highlights the growth in product categories that have traditionally been segmented by gender, such as antiperspirant/deodorant (APDO), shaving, and shower products."

The men's personal care market will reach $3.9 billion this year, enjoying growth of 15 percent since 2008. Despite the increased use of facial skincare among young men, toiletry products, such as APDO, shower gel, and haircare products enjoy the highest market penetration, as male consumers use these products on a daily basis to maintain their personal hygiene.

The men's APDO segment has increased by 13 percent during 2008-13 and is now worth 1.4 billion. Mintel projects that this segment will continue to grow steadily year to year into 2018. The continued growth is not surprising as some 95 percent of men report that they use an APDO product, making it the most commonly used product among all male respondents.

When it comes to personal care products, men are nothing if they're not loyal. More than half of all men (52 percent) say they tend to stick to the same brands of toiletries and grooming products. In addition, 34 percent of men like to smell their personal care products before buying them and 20 percent favor 2-in-1 products to save time.

"It will be a challenge for companies and brands to expand the current market, as men don't have a strong interest in trying out new product forms. In order to accelerate category growth, companies should focus on improving the functionality of male-specific haircare and facial skincare products in order to persuade men to switch over from general market products. Improved functionality could also influence nonusers to try out products in these categories," concludes Gabriela Elani.

Source: Mintel

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Heating Bill Rises Bigger Concern for Pensioners than Falling Ill this Winter

December 5, 2013 8:18 pm

Keeping warm this winter is a bigger concern for pensioners than falling ill or being left housebound, with a majority revealing that their heating bill is set to be their largest outgoing over the coming months, according to new research.

Figures from HomeServe find that one in five people aged 65 or older (21 percent) are worried about their heating bills this winter, second only to slipping and injuring themselves (31 percent) and ahead of falling ill (17 percent) or being left housebound by the weather (13 percent).

A majority of pensioners (54 percent) give their heating bill as one of their largest, with one in 10 (11 percent) braced to pay a bill that's more than they can afford and 9 percent unsure how they will pay for it.

As a result, one in 10 (9 percent) will have to raid their savings to keep the heat on, while just under one in 30 (3 percent) will have to put their bill on a credit card. One in three (33 percent) say they will have to ration when they have the heat on, with one in four (25 percent) only heating part of their homes. Yet both these can jeopardize their health and well-being and, if homes are not effectively insulated, can in fact be a false economy.

Here is some advice on how to cut the cost of heating this winter:

1. More radiant radiators
To make your radiator more effective, put aluminum foil between the radiator and the wall. This acts as a heat reflector instead of allowing it to pass straight through the walls. If you have high ceilings, shelves above the radiator can also help.

2. Get on your high horse
Use a drying rack instead of drying your clothes on the radiator directly, stopping heat reaching the rest of the room and also making the furnace work harder to reach the desired temperature, increasing the amount of energy used.

3. Don't touch that dial

If your home is cold first thing in the morning, turning up your thermostat to a higher level won't make it heat up more quickly. Instead, set the boiler to come on a little earlier, this will use much less energy.

4. Get it covered
If your furnace breaks down in the middle of winter, as well as the discomfort of being without heating and the hassle of finding a tradesman, putting things right can also be costly. Having coverage can save you lots of time, stress and money.

Source: HomeServe

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Tips for Preventing and Thawing Frozen Pipes

December 4, 2013 8:18 pm

According to State Farm Insurance, an average of a quarter-million families have their homes ruined and their lives disrupted each winter due to the freezing and bursting of pipes.

"Taking some simple precautions can save you the expense as well as the time of repairing burst pipes," said Mary Kennedy Thompson, president of Mr. Rooter Corporation. "The best way to prevent frozen pipes is to winterize your plumbing system."

To help keep frozen pipes from being a drain on your wallet, here is a series of tips for homeowners to use when preventing or dealing with a frozen pipe scenario.

To prevent your pipes from freezing:

• Cover faucets and exposed pipes with insulation, or wrap them with thick towels.
• Open cabinet doors. This allows heat to circulate and keeps interior pipes warm.
• Keep faucets running--a small trickle of water/constant drip is recommended.
• Secure basement doors, windows and crawl space openings.
• Remove garden hoses from outdoor faucets.
• Open outside hose taps so water can drain.
• Apply electrically-powered heat tape. (Follow manufacturer's instructions or call a plumber.)

Homeowners should also locate the main water shut-off valve, and learn how to use it. This can come in handy if pipes freeze and burst.

To safely thaw frozen pipes:

• Turn off the water at the shut-off valve.
• Open the nearest faucet. This allows water to drain out as the ice melts.
• Heat the exterior of the pipe with a hair dryer. Apply heat slowly and don't keep heat in one spot.
• Do not attempt to thaw exposed frozen pipes with an open flame, such as an acetylene torch.

If immediate assistance or repairs are needed, it is recommended that you call a qualified plumber. By following these prevention tips, hopefully your pipes will remain unfrozen and usable throughout the entire winter season.

Source: Mr. Rooter

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Bedtime Tips to Encourage Kids to Get to Sleep

December 4, 2013 8:18 pm

(BPT) - Despite parents' best efforts, bedtime can be the most stressful time of the day. Many kids fight sleep and resist going to bed, and questions of "but why do I have to go to bed?" are often answered with an unsatisfying, "Because I said so!"

To help eliminate bedtime frustrations, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) recommends parents take the following steps to positively influence their child's sleep habits:

Keep a bedtime routine. A consistent routine (10 to 15 minutes long) - brushing teeth, changing into pajamas and reading a book - helps children go from alert and active to a quieter state, giving them the ability to fall asleep on their own.

Focus on timing. Kids who go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time every morning, sleep better and have fewer night wakings. Studies also show that kids who go to bed around the same time each day have fewer behavior problems and perform better in school.

"Research has shown consistent bedtimes and bedtime routines encourage cognitive development," says Dr. M. Safwan Badr, president of the AASM. "Educating children on necessary sleep health and establishing effective bedtime routines will help foster healthier lifestyles as they grow into adolescents and adults - reducing the epidemic of insufficient sleep in America."

Source: SleepEducation.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Go Global: Keep Connected Away from Home

December 4, 2013 8:18 pm

(Family Features) Whether your international travel is for business or pleasure, chances are you’d like to remain connected. Your wireless phone or tablet is a likely solution, but not all wireless services are created equal.

When U.S. customers use their phones abroad the way they normally do at home, their costs can total $1,000 a day or more. According to a study by T-Mobile, more than 40 percent of customers turn off data roaming completely to avoid those fees, and another 20 percent say they would if they knew how.

“Wireless customers face a hard choice — use their phone when they need it and pay the price, or cut off communications to contain costs,” said Desmond Smith, senior product manager at T-Mobile. “In reality, with a little pre-planning, customers can find the right carrier and service plan that meets their travel needs, significantly reducing, or even eliminating, travel-related wireless charges.”

Before you pack your bags and begin your travel adventure, spend some time researching the best wireless company, device and data plan to fit your needs and check that you have the right accessories too, including an international power converter.

Choosing a Carrier
With so many wireless service providers available, it’s difficult to know which one to choose. Especially if you will be traveling internationally, choosing the right data plan is not only about ensuring you have freedom and peace of mind (so you don’t come home to bill shock) — it’s also about making sure you choose a phone company that focuses on customer service and provides flexibility and choice.

• Ditch the burdensome contract — Several providers offer no-contract wireless service that gives you freedom and flexibility without being locked into a service agreement for a year or more.
• Make the world your network — Look for carriers, such as T-Mobile, that provide unlimited data and texting worldwide, freeing you from worrying about coming home to bill shock from outrageous roaming fees.
• Don’t break the bank — Some providers offer programs to help manage the out-of-pocket costs associated with purchasing new devices.
• Device upgrades — If you’re accident prone, likely to break or lose devices while circling the globe or just like to upgrade your phone frequently, look for protection and upgrade options. For approximately $10 per month, you can protect your device and have the option to upgrade twice per year to the latest phone.
• Explore the extras — Prepaid international calling cards may also be available through your wireless provider. If your travels keep you in the States but your wireless needs take you beyond, some carriers offer plans that allow you to talk with friends, family or business associates across the globe.

Source: T-Mobile

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Tips for Buying Safe Toys

December 3, 2013 8:18 pm

The holiday season is here, and many people will be buying toys for children. It's a nice idea to get children something they like, but it's more important to buy gifts that are safe and age-appropriate.

Before you go shopping, check a list of recalled toys. These are toys that don't meet the safety standards published by the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Check this online list of recalled toys at www.cpsc.gov/Recalls/ or call 1-800- 638- 2772 to get the list.

Consider the child's age

When buying toys for children, remember to consider their age and abilities.

• Make sure to buy a toy that's age appropriate. Generally, the recommended age range is printed on the package or in the instruction manual like this: 5-6 years or +5 years.
• If the child you're shopping for is under 8 years old, avoid buying toys with sharp points or toys that shoot. These types of toys can cause serious injuries.
• Separate toys that belong to older children and store them where small children can't reach them.

Take additional safety measures

• Read product labels to make sure toys or items around the house do not contain lead. This harmful substance can affect a child's health, even if only a small amount is inhaled or swallowed.
• Don't buy toys with parts that can be removed, like a doll's eyes, buttons, coins, etc. A child can choke if they swallow these small toy parts.
• When buying a battery-operated toy, make sure the battery compartment can't be opened by a child. Avoid toys that have to be plugged in or that use electrical wires.
• When a child opens a toy, immediately throw away packaging, including plastic wrappers, boxes, string or other packaging. Children can accidentally choke or harm themselves if they play with them.

To learn more about safety issues see USA.gov, the U.S. Government's official web portals in English and Spanish, and part of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Top Entomologists Call for Awareness in War against Bed Bugs

December 3, 2013 8:18 pm

There's one thing on which top entomologists agree: the current bed bug infestation has not yet reached its peak in the U.S.

According to experts, the current surge in U.S. bed bug infestations began around 2004, but didn't hit the national news until 2010, when multi-unit dwellings began to experience issues with the pesky bugs. Data from the 2013 Bugs without Borders Survey by the National Pest Management Association (NPMA) confirmed that 98 percent of pest management professionals encountered a bed bug infestation during the past 12 months in an apartment or condominium, up from 90 percent in 2011.

"Bed bugs have been a hot topic in the news during the past several years; especially when a new geographical area is infested or bed bugs are discovered in public places such as hotels or shopping centers," said Dini Miller, Ph. D., Department of Entomology at Virginia Tech. "Unfortunately, people have become desensitized to the issue, leading them to believe the risk has decreased, but the issue is actually greater than before."

Pest control companies and businesses that sell products to prevent or control bed bugs echo the observation that the war against bed bugs is probably not going away any time soon.

"Since 2010, sales of mattress and box spring encasements have continued to increase each year," said James Bell, CEO of Protect-A-Bed. "Every major pest control company in the United States buys our products, which they sell to individuals fighting a bed bug infestation. The demand for product has certainly not slowed down."

Bugs without Borders survey respondents reported an increase in bed bug infestations at a variety of public places, including schools, day care centers, hospitals, libraries and on public transportation. Based on these reports, top entomologists also agree on several other emerging trends.

People with bed bug issues tend to experience unnecessary anxiety

If you ask anyone who has experienced an infestation in his home, he will likely elaborate on the stress, anxiety and financial burden caused by the unwelcome bugs.

"There are pockets of the country where both the cost and the stigma associated with bed bugs are barriers to getting help," said James Sargent, PhD. and director of technical support and regulatory compliance for Copesan, a commercial pest management company. "The bottom line is there is no need to freak out. Bed bugs do not typically spread disease and aside from temporary marks that itch, the bites are not lasting. A bed bug infestation can be quickly and effectively managed with the right tools. Eventually, this issue will be a pest control problem which can be approached in a similar way to how we currently handle cockroaches and termites."

Public places still pose a bed bug risk

Most of the experts also predicted a continued increase in bed bug colonies outside the home, in places like hotels, libraries and office buildings because people often don't know they have bed bugs in their homes and unknowingly transport the pests into public spaces.

According to Jeff White, technical director at BedBug Central, all public places need to have specific policies in place that outline how to monitor for and address the bed bug issue because of the potential risk to the business or organization.
"Public awareness of the issue has increased, but it's the responsibility of all industries to institute policies to address the risk of bed bugs, which will help slow the spread," White said.

Education is the key to prevention
Anyone can be affected by bed bugs in their home, regardless of their income or geographical location. Top entomologists agreed that education about what a bed bug is, how to spot it and how to avoid bringing it into the home are the most critical tools in prevention.

"Avoid bringing bed bugs home by being very careful of what you carry into your house," Miller said. "If you use diligence while traveling, you'll be significantly more likely to avoid an infestation.

Source: www.protectabed.com

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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