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Camp Grandma and Grandpa: Tips for Hosting Your Grandkids This Summer

Posted on June 20, 2017 by Suzanne Carroll

This year, countless children will be spending at least part of their summer at one of their favorite destinations: their grandparents’ house. If you’re planning on welcoming your grandkids this summer, you’re likely thinking about how to fill those special days. Maybe you’re planning beach outings or trips to the museum; maybe you’re also dreading the mess or worried someone might get hurt. Find out how you can get your home and yard ready for those rambunctious kids (and how to get your home back to normal once they’re gone).

Start with safety

The safety precautions you take will depend on your grandchildren’s ages. For the youngest visitors, put any hazardous products (cleaning products, Read more

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Posted in: Consumers
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Avoid Plumbing Emergencies over the Holidaze

Posted on December 20, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

I vividly remember one Christmas Eve when toilet water backed up into my shower and flooded the entire bathroom floor and laundry room. Our many houseguests were taking showers every day and both toilets were being flushed more than usual. What we didn’t know (until it was too late) was that our main sewer line was clogged with tree roots. With extra stress on an already compromised drainage system, it was a recipe for disaster. Since that expensive and embarrassing emergency, I’ve had a professional clean my drains every year to make sure the roots are cut and the water has an easy path to the main line. I haven’t had this problem since. Read more

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Holiday Stress-Busters

Posted on December 01, 2016 by James Florence

’Tis the season to be jolly, but for many people, the holidays are more synonymous with stress than merriment. From checking off your gift shopping list to getting your home ready to accommodate guests, the nonstop pace of the “holiday hustle” can eventually dim even the brightest of spirits. That’s why, in the interest of avoiding a yuletide meltdown, it’s important to be proactive about self-care in the weeks leading up to your seasonal celebration. Consider the following ideas for busting your stress buildup:

Practice simple stress-managing techniques. You may not realize it, but the power to alleviate stress is literally in the palm of your hand. For example, placing your palm to your forehead has a legitimate physiological effect. Read more

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Posted in: Consumers, Health Tips
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Keeping Your Dogs Safe over the Holidays

Posted on November 29, 2016 by Chris Bjorklund

I’ll never forget the time I was walking my dog the day after Thanksgiving and she got into a neighbor’s garbage bag that was full of turkey bones. First she started chomping and then she started choking. Luckily, the mail carrier was passing by and knew exactly what to do: the Heimlich maneuver. The partially chewed and splintered bones popped right out. We avoided an emergency trip to the veterinary hospital on a holiday weekend.antioch-dog

According to Dr. Howard Schutzman, owner of Antioch Veterinary Hospital, a Diamond Certified practice, we were fortunate. “The main problem with bones, especially turkey bones and chicken bones, is they splinter easily,” he explains. Read more

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(Un)Paving Paradise with Small Business Saturday

Posted on November 22, 2016 by Jennifer Chan

by Jennifer Chan

“Don’t it always seem to go that you don’t know what you’ve got ’til it’s gone?” -Joni Mitchell

Welcome to November: the start of shopping season. Whether your holidays include hot cider, tamale-making or Chinese food on Christmas, they probably also include spending. In 2015, the United States spent more than $630 billion on holiday shopping (about 20 percent of the retail industry’s total sales for the year). American shoppers spend around $900 on gifts alone every holiday season, plus more on food, entertainment and travel. Read more

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Posted in: Consumer News, Consumer Events, Consumers, Diamond Certified Extras, Personal Stories
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Savvy Consumer Tip: Dealing with Gift Cards

Posted on December 17, 2015 by Chris Bjorklund

Expecting to receive a lot of gift cards this holiday season? Watch this video for some helpful info about maintaining their value. Read more

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Avoiding Unhappy Returns

Posted on December 15, 2015 by Chris Bjorklund

When I managed a consumer complaint line for KGO Radio and TV, we always had calls after Christmas about stores’ unreasonable return policies. Consumers were frustrated that they couldn’t get their money back, receive a store credit or exchange a gift. In some cases, receipts had been misplaced or thrown away, and some were simply unavailable because the item was a gift. In other cases, stores had failed to clearly post their refund policies as required by state law. People were unhappy about restocking fees, too. Read more

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