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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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Prepare for Entertaining Inside and Out

June 2, 2017 12:30 am

(Family Features)--With warm weather comes an overwhelming urge to get outside and enjoy it. From barbecues and cookouts to ice cream parties and poolside hangouts, summertime is a popular excuse to kick up your feet and invite your friends and family over to celebrate together.

Now is the perfect time to give your deck or patio area a little TLC before inviting the masses. Follow these tips to revamp and refresh your home's exterior and interior ahead of hosting your next summer event.

Get your gardening gloves on. A little color goes a long way for a bed of plants and flowers. Plant some bright flowers along your patio or consider growing functional, edible plants that look and taste great. Gardening is a fun summer project that can add beauty to your home's exterior lounging areas. If gardening isn't your thing, fresh-cut flowers in a vase as a centerpiece can do the trick.

Ready the deck and home exterior. Fungus on the deck isn't appealing, nor are mildew stains, dirt or weather-beaten patches. Pressure wash your deck then re-stain it with a matching color and finish, and apply a wood preservative to help prevent water damage and discoloration. In addition, it might be time to give dull shutters and doors a fresh coat of paint to prevent them from looking washed out.

Remove mold and mildew. Mold and mildew can form on the exterior siding and trim of your home, as well as on patio furniture, flower pots and swimming pools. It's important to regularly clean the outside of your house as well as your outdoor furniture and accessories that may have been stored away all winter. It's easy to remove mold or mildew with a garden hose, a long-handled brush and a mixture of a 1/2 cup of Clorox Regular-Bleach per each gallon of water.

Stop the spread of fungal disease in gardens. Fungal diseases can be deadly to plants and wildlife. When used as directed, bleach is a simple but powerful tool that can be used to help stop the spread of fungal diseases. It can also keep cut flowers alive longer when you add a few drops to a water-filled vase.

Clean up the bathroom and kitchen. Don't forget about indoor spaces. When hosting friends, it's likely that you or a guest will need to visit the kitchen to prepare a side dish or grab another drink and bathroom visits are inevitable. Clean up any loose items and use a disinfecting wipe on hard surfaces like countertops, door handles and light switches.

When it comes to summer entertaining, all you need is a quick refresh before you kick back with loved ones in a clean, relaxing space.  

Source: Clorox

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Plan Ahead for a Kid-Friendly July 4 Party

June 2, 2017 12:30 am

July fourth is a perfect time for a patriotic backyard celebration. Invite family and friends, create lasting memories, and make it kid-friendly with these fun and flavorful tips:

The décor:
Keep it simple with red, white and blue streamers festooned from the fences – and dress up your picnic tables with plastic tablecloths, paper goods and cutlery in the same patriotic colors. Carry out the theme by hanging a flag and/or by placing small American flags strategically in the lawn around the yard.

Edible centerpieces can be as simple as popping a bowl full of red, white and blue jelly beans on every table.

The food:
Make it kid-friendly with hot dogs and hamburgers. There’s nothing more classically American than that – but appeal to adult tastes with a sideboard full of interesting toppings, like chili, salsa, or guacamole.

Add side dishes that appeal to kids and adults alike; potato salad, cole slaw, chips, and baked beans. Or share the work by asking guests to bring their favorite side dish or dessert – and keep to the theme by heaping a white platter with fresh blueberries and slices of watermelon cut into star-shaped designs.

Make the focus of the dessert table a plate of white iced cupcakes with a tiny flag in the center of each. Round it out with a selection of store-bought cookies and/or with guest contributions.

The entertainment:
For kid-friendly fun while the adults are chatting, set up an all-American crafts table. Provide drawing paper and crayons along with a selection of red, white and blue construction paper, pipe cleaners, beads for stringing, scissors, white glue and patriotic stickers. (Adults can take turns manning the craft station to assist or settle any arguments.)

For kids seven or older, charge them with putting on a play. Provide some costume pieces, like hats or wigs, and suggest they come up with their own script, using characters like George and Martha Washington, Betsy Ross, Ben Franklin and others to act out the events of the day – and be prepared to gather as an audience to watch their home-made entertainment.

Backyard fireworks are an option if legal in your town. Or have the kids light sparklers with adult supervision, and/or bring out a large screen TV set and watch televised fireworks shows together.

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How To Hire a Mover

June 2, 2017 12:30 am

When moving, there’s a million small details to juggle. Hiring a moving company can save you a bundle of stress, but it’s important to note that not all moving companies are the same, and you want to make sure your items are safe and secure in the hands of your movers.

Below, Two Men and a Truck® has compiled a list of tips to protect consumers looking to hire a moving company:

Hire a licensed company – Be sure to only use a licensed moving company and check for a valid U.S. Department of Transportation number on the main DOT website.

Find reassurance in valuation – Even if movers are bonded and insured, verify if belongings are covered during the move. Some states require a valuation of 60 cents per pound of coverage but in many cases additional valuation can be purchased for the move

Avoid imposters – Visit the official site of the moving company and ensure there is a local address and the office is staffed

Get a real quote – Inspect the website to ensure they will not sell personal information to other movers to provide the quote and avoid sites that feature multiple quotes from different companies. Never pay for an estimate and consider an on-site estimate to ensure accuracy for larger moves.

Inquire about the movers – Be careful if choosing to move forward with a company that employs temporary or day laborers and does not have Workers' Compensation coverage should anything happen.

Research options – The Internet is filled with reviews and comments on social media pages, so take the time to read about pros and cons of a potential company. Learn from customers' experiences and look into complaints on the Better Business Bureau website, as well. Understand, not every move can be perfect, but if the company is taking time to respond to customers comments and work toward resolution, it is a good sign.

Don't fall for a too good to be true price – If the price seems like it is too good, it probably is going to cause headaches and problems down the line. Moving is expensive – even if completed without movers – be sure to look at all of your options as it's best to go into the process prepared. Also, never move forward with a company that only accepts cash.

Check for hidden fees – When asking about pricing, be sure to understand what is included and if there are cancellation fees or a nonrefundable deposit. Most companies will refund a deposit if within a certain amount of days before the move, and see if there are extra fees for stairs, mileage or large items. TWO MEN AND A TRUCK® includes complimentary padding and stretch wrap to protect furniture, but not all companies will.

Reputation is important – Many reputable movers belong to the American Moving and Storage Association. Identify if a prospective company is a member before booking a move.

Ask for references – Get advice from friends and family who have had a good experience with movers. Did they feel like they were communicated with throughout the process and were told a window of time for the movers to arrive? Don't forget to ask questions to feel confident with booking a company.

Source: TWO MEN AND A TRUCK®

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Prep Your Car for That Summer Road Trip

June 2, 2017 12:30 am

Hitting the road this summer? You’re far from alone. Summertime is the No. 1 season for road tripping, so it’s important to make sure your car is up for the drive.

Below are several tips to make sure your car is road-ready:

Check fluids. Never head off on a long trip without first checking your oil levels.

Pack an emergency kit. Make sure you have a first aid kit, water and a change of clothes in your car before heading off.

Bridgestone recommends drivers of cars, pickup trucks, crossovers and SUVs remember these three easy tips to help maintain their tires:  

Inflate. Drivers should use a tire pressure gauge to check tire pressure at least once per month, as well as before long trips or when carrying heavier loads. Tires can lose one psi (pounds per square inch) per month under normal conditions. To determine proper inflation pressure, drivers should refer to their vehicle owner's manual or the information posted on the placard located in the driver's side doorjamb of their vehicle.

Rotate. Tires should be balanced and rotated according to the vehicle manufacturer's recommendations, or every 5,000 miles, in order to help prevent irregular wear.

Evaluate. Drivers should get into the practice of regularly checking their tires for damage or signs of tread wear that could impact traction. The penny test is a simple way for drivers to check tread depth. By placing a penny upside down into the tread, drivers can easily determine if it's time to replace their tires. If Lincoln's head is visible, it is time to consider purchasing a new set of tires.

Source: Bridgestone

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Top Tips for Cleaner Air Every Day

June 1, 2017 12:30 am

We all work hard to keep our home clean, right? But how often do you think about the cleanliness of the air you breathe? One of the top culprits of dirty air is your car, but there are many things you can do to ensure you’re having the smallest negative impact on air quality as possible. Below is a roundup of rules from Georgia's Clean Air Force.

The 30-Second Rule. Nearly four million gallons of gas are wasted each year by unnecessary idling. Idling can allow harmful deposits to form inside of an engine, damaging vital components. Turn your engine off if you will be idling for 30 seconds or more.

It's Cool to Pool. Telecommuting or carpooling to work is an effective way to contribute to cleaner air and to save money. The average vehicle releases 10,000 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. Teaming up with some colleagues and carpooling to work can cut down on harmful emissions. If you have a shorter commute, pledge to walk or ride your bike to work once a week.

Get Pumped About Cleaner Air. Underinflated tires produce more drag, requiring your engine to work harder. Underinflated tires decrease fuel efficiency and can produce harmful emissions. Properly inflated tires can improve gas mileage up to 3.3% annually and extend the life of your tires, according to U.S. Department of Energy.

Refuel in the Cool. Hot temperatures combined with gasoline fumes create harmful ground-level ozone. Experts recommend that motorists refuel in the evening when temperatures are cooler and gasoline evaporates at a less rapid rate. Also, don't forget to tighten your gas cap. Each year, 147 million gallons of gasoline vaporize due to loose, damaged or missing gas caps.

There's an App for That. There are many smartphone apps to help motorists find the most efficient travel routes, including apps that help motorists avoid left turns, which can be a major source of idling.

SOURCE: Georgia's Clean Air Force

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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5 Tips for Easing Spring Migraines

June 1, 2017 12:30 am

Nothing kills your spring like a throbbing migraine. Thousands of Americans suffer from these debilitating headaches, which can keep you out of work, dampen your social life, and more.

Here are some tips from the Mayo Clinic and USA Medical to help lessen migraines:

Routines matter. Try to keep the same sleeping and eating schedule every day.

Eat fresh. Avoid foods that are processed because they may contain nitrates, too much salt and other ingredients that trigger migraines.

Skip the bar. Limit your alcohol intake.

Ohhhhm. Make a habit of muscle relaxation exercises such as yoga or meditation.

Headache hitting? Stay in the dark. Rest in a dark, quiet room and apply gentle pressure to pain points.

Source: USA Medical

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Tips for Summer Travel with Your Pet

May 31, 2017 12:30 am

(Family Features)--The warm summer months call for some fun traveling with loved ones, however, trips can be less fun if four-legged family members aren't able to come along. Pet parents already know not to leave pets in the car on a hot day, but there are other factors to consider when your pets are tagging along for the ride.  

"Your pet's safety and comfort while traveling are extremely important to help reduce stress for both the pet and owner," says Jam Stewart, director of corporate communications at Mars Petcare. "Creating a safe space for your pet to travel not only shows responsible pet ownership, but also allows additional quality time for you and your furry best friend."

Keep these tips in mind when taking your pet on vacation this summer:  

Be sure your furry friend can join you in all areas. Unfortunately, not all accommodations love pets as much as pet owners do. Don't forget to call ahead to the places you plan to visit to be sure your furry loved ones are welcome. It's also imperative for owners to understand any rules for their pets at their destination, like keeping their pets on a leash. Making sure your pet is well socialized and comfortable visiting unfamiliar places also helps make the new experience fun and positive for your pet and for you.

Don't forget your pet's ID. Microchipping your pet is one of the most effective ways to ensure he or she can be reunited with you if lost. Combine it with on-collar identification tags and a GPS pet tracker, such as Whistle 3, which lets owners track their pets wherever their travels take them.

Make sure your pet is comfy on road trips. It's important to introduce your pet to your car slowly before embarking on a long adventure. You can also bring your pet's favorite toys, blankets or bed to help him or her feel more at ease. If your pet is still uneasy in the car, your veterinarian can provide options like essential oils, over-the-counter supplements or, if needed, prescriptions.

Don't forget the treats. While traveling, make sure your pet has healthy treats for the long ride. Treats such as Greenies and Pedigree Dentastix promote fresh breath and clean teeth for dogs. For treats your cat will love, try Temptations, which offers tasty treats in multiple flavors.

"Pets make our lives healthier, safer and happier, and owners should take the time to plan properly before heading out on the road with their pets to ensure a fun, safe and comfortable trip for all," Stewart says. "Pets are part of the family and we want them to enjoy the trip as much as we do in order to have more opportunities to introduce them to new experiences and places."

Source: Mars Petcare

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Business Owners: Prep Your Tech During Hurricane Season

May 31, 2017 12:30 am

While you may be used to prepping your home for hurricane season, have you given any thought to how to prepare your business. Power outages, data loss and emergency evacuations can be a huge hassle post storm, not to mention ensuring your team is safe, so prep with the following suggestions from AT&T.

Set up a call-forwarding service to a backup location. Set up a single or multiple hotline number(s) for employees, their families, customers and partners so they all know about the business situation and emergency plan.

Back up data to the Cloud. Routinely back up files to an off-site location. Tools like AT&T Enterprise Recovery Services are cost-efficient and help ensure your important data is there when you need it.

Outline detailed plans for evacuation and shelter-in-place. Practice these plans (employee training, etc.). Establish a backup location for your business and meeting place for all employees.

Assemble a crisis-management team. Coordinate efforts with neighboring businesses and building management. Disasters that affect your suppliers also affect your business. Outline a plan for supply chain continuity for business needs.

Consider a back-up cellular network. Services like AT&T Remote Mobility Zone protect critical communications for businesses. If a disaster disables primary communications networks, the back-up cellular network can help you stay connected.

Source: AT&T

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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How to Avoid Food Poisoning This Picnic Season

May 31, 2017 12:30 am

The sun is shining, the kids are out of school, and families across the country are eating al fresco. But when taking your edibles out of the refrigerator for extended periods, it’s important to make sure they are still safe to eat--especially as temperatures rise.

Below are handful of safe picnic tips from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Defrost first. Defrost meat, poultry, and seafood in the refrigerator or by submerging sealed packages in cold water. You can also microwave-defrost, but only if the food will be grilled immediately afterward. If marinating, use the fridge not the countertop.  Never reuse marinade that contacted raw foods unless you boil it first or set some of the marinade aside before marinating food to use for sauce later.

Scrub-a-dub. Thoroughly wash all produce before eating even if you plan to peel it.  Fruits and vegetables that are pre-cut or peeled should be refrigerated or kept on ice to maintain quality and safety.

Prep for anything. If your picnic site doesn't offer clean water access, bring water or pack moist towels for cleaning surfaces and hands. Don't forget to pack a food thermometer!

When packing coolers

- Place food from the refrigerator directly into an insulated cooler immediately before leaving home and use lots of ice or ice packs to keep it at 40 °F or below.

- Pack raw meat, poultry, and seafood in a separate cooler if possible, or wrap it securely and store at the bottom of the cooler where the juices can't drip onto other foods. Place beverages in a separate cooler; this will offer easy drink access while keeping perishable food coolers closed.

- Load coolers into the passenger compartment of the car– it's cooler than the trunk. Once at the picnic site, keep food in coolers until serving time (out of direct sun) and avoid opening the lids often.

When grilling

- Have clean utensils and platters available. Cook meat, poultry, and seafood to the right temperatures– use a food thermometer to be sure. Keep cooked meats hot at 140 °F or warmer until serving time and set them to the side of the grill rack to keep them hot.

- When removing foods from the grill, place them on a clean platter – never use the same platter and utensils you used for raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Advice for Grads: Act Like a Leader

May 27, 2017 12:30 am

Newly minted college grads usually have one overarching goal: find a job. While most are understandably consumed with where to work and what kind of salary they may be able to score, some say that those first entering the workforce should also be thinking about how to become an exemplary leader.

"When you're looking for that first job, keep in mind that 97 percent of employers believe that leadership development should begin by age 21," says Jim Kouzes, coauthor along with Barry Posner of the sixth edition of The Leadership Challenge: How to Make Extraordinary Things Happen in Organizations (www.leadershipchallenge.com). "If you haven't started your leadership development by now, you should. You probably won't be in an 'official' leadership position immediately, but from your very first day, you can set the example for others, inspire others, challenge yourself to improve, collaborate with others, and encourage others to do their best."

Kouzes and Posner emphasize that leadership is not about a title and delegating to others - it’s about relationships, credibility, passion and conviction, and ultimately about what you do.

"Everyone has the capacity to be a leader," says Posner. "It's not some mystical inborn quality. It's an observable pattern of practices and behaviors, and a definable set of skills and abilities. As one young leader told us, 'You never know where one step will take you. And you never know where the next one will lead. The difference in being a leader is that you take that step.'"

Kouzes and Posner’s research led them to develop the following Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership®:

Model the Way. Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. Eloquent speeches about common values, however, aren't nearly enough. Leaders' deeds are far more important than their words, so words and deeds must be consistent.

Inspire a Shared Vision. People talk about their personal-best leadership experiences as times when they imagined an exciting, highly attractive future for their organization. To enlist in a shared vision, people must believe that leaders understand their needs and have their interests at heart. Leaders forge a unity of purpose by showing constituents how the dream is for the common good.

Challenge the Process. Every single personal-best leadership case involved a change from the status quo. Not one person claimed to have achieved a personal best by keeping things the same. Leaders venture out. They also know that innovation and change involve experimenting and taking risks. One way of dealing with the potential risks and failures of experimentation is to approach change through incremental steps and small wins. Try, fail, learn. That's the leader's mantra.

Enable Others to Act. Achieving greatness requires a team effort. Leaders foster collaboration and build trust. The more people trust their leaders, and each other, the more they take risks, make changes, and keep moving ahead. When leaders enable people to feel strong and capable, they'll give it their all and exceed their own expectations.

Encourage the Heart. The climb to the top is arduous and steep. People become exhausted, frustrated, and disenchanted. They're often tempted to give up. Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward. Recognizing contributions can be one-to-one or with many people. It can come from dramatic gestures or simple actions. It's part of the leader's job to show appreciation for people's contributions and to create a culture of celebrating values and victories.

"There are many opportunities to make these five practices part of your life, while you're working at a temporary job, before you get a position in your desired field or even before you have a paying job at all," says Kouzes. "You can inspire others right now. You can encourage others. You can shake up the status quo and take some risks. These are the hallmarks of exemplary leaders."

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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