Sweater Weather Baked Apples

Sweater Weather Baked Apples

The holidays can get hectic. Between family, friends, weather, travel, and gifts, it can be tough to muster the energy for baking.

But ho-ho-hold on! We have an easy treat that will please crowds and save you a ton of time. These baked apples are just the right blend of festive and sweet to bring joy to your world this winter.

Ingredients

  • 6 apples
  • 1/2 cup of raisins
  • 4 cup of chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups of 100% apple juice

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Wash and core apples; remove peel from around the top. Place apples in 9-inch-square baking dish.
  3. Combine raisins, nuts and cinnamon in a small bowl; fill center of each apple with raisin mixture. Pour juice around apples; cover loosely with foil.
  4. Bake uncovered for 30 to 35 minutes. Bake for an additional 10 minutes or until tender.

Source: ShapeYourFutureOK.com

The Perfect Pattern for an Awesome Jack-O-Lantern

Halloween is packed to the pumpkin-top with fun. The crazy costumes. The gooey goodies. The kooky, spooky decorations!

Kick your Hallow’s Eve up a notch with a jolly jack-o-lantern. It’s ghastly, ghostly fun for the whole family. Gather ’round the kiddos. Then carve up a harrowing good time with this easy-to-do jack-o-lantern pattern.

 

 

Download your pumpkin carving pattern here!

TOP 5 EASY WAYS TO WEATHERIZE YOUR HOME

If you’re experiencing a noticeable lack of comfort in your home, there’s a good chance it’s escaping through cracks and leaks. If so, that’s sure sign your home is in need of weatherization.

Weatherization is just a fancy word for sealing up all those leaks that allow outside air in (and vice versa) and keep your home from being as comfortable and energy-efficient as it should be.

Thankfully, it’s an easier fix than you might think. With just a small investment of time and money, you could turn your home into the comfort zone it was meant to be. Here are the top 5 tips to achieve that.

1. Go leak hunting. There are a number of areas where leaks could be occurring. Look for cracks and holes and feel for drafty areas. The top places to check are around windows and doors, electrical outlets, plumbing fixtures, vents, fireplaces, baseboards and attics.

BONUS TIP: On a windy day, hold a lit incense stick near these areas where there is a possible air path to the outside. If the smoke stream travels horizontally, you have located an air leak that may need caulking, sealing or weatherstripping.

2. Inspect your HVAC. Chances are pretty good that you have leaks around your ducts and, thus, losing a large percentage of quality, comfortable indoor air. While you’re at it, check your filters and replace them every month or two.

BONUS TIP: Ideally, you should have a professional check and clean your system once a year.

3. Fill in the cracks. Apply weatherstripping around drafty doorjambs and windowsills and use sealant or caulking to fill in cracks in ceilings, walls and floors. Weatherstripping can be bought at most retail and hardware stores.

BONUS TIP: Click here to learn about the different types of weatherstripping.

4. Check the fireplace. It may sound obvious, but if your fireplace flue (or damper) is open, your comfortable indoor air is probably escaping right up the chimney. Be sure to close it and double-check that it seals properly.

5. Add insulation. Your home might have old or insufficient insulation. If you’ve noticed some rooms aren’t responding to heating or cooling, adding more insulation can dramatically cut energy costs and boost comfort.

BONUS TIP: The attic is another common source of drafts. Check for uneven levels or gaps in your attic insulation. Anything less than 6 inches won’t be effective in keeping the temperature in your home constant.

For more simple ways you can bring home comfort and savings, visit PSOtips.com.

TOP 4 SHOPPING TIPS FOR A SMARTER, MORE COMFORTABLE HOME

Building a new home? Or just wanting to make your existing home more energy-efficient and comfortable? No matter what you’re shopping for, we have tips to help you make smarter purchases for your home that can lead to energy savings and boosted comfort levels.

1. LIGHTING. Whatever your lighting needs, there’s a high-efficiency LED bulb for the job. Learn about “light appearance,” choosing the right bulb for the right fixture, the difference between watts and lumens, and more.

2. WINDOWS. Something as simple as windows can impact the efficiency of your entire house. But don’t throw your money out the window! Before you buy, familiarize yourself with these terms: Climate Zone, U-Factor and Solar Heat Gain Coefficient.

3. NEW HOMES. If you’re building an energy-efficient new home, you want every element to work in harmony. Study up on what the HERS Index is, and how an ENERGY STAR® certified home can bring you savings and comfort for years to come.

4. INSULATION. Like windows, the right insulation can make a big difference in how efficiently your home performs. Learn about the different types of insulation and what they’re used for, and how its R-Value affects your comfort and savings.

BONUS BUYS: While you’re shopping, consider adding these smart products to your cart for extra savings and comfort:

SMART POWER STRIPS: Super-smart power strips allow you to shut off devices that are not in use without unplugging them. Some smart strips can even sense when you’re not using electronics and shut down devices that go into standby mode.

INSULATED BLACKOUT CURTAINS: The greatest products always serve more than one purpose. When it comes to energy efficiency, these curtains add extra insulation during the winter, andkeep the sun blocked out during the summer. Plus, if you want to sleep in, these curtains will keep the room dark until you’re ready to wake up!

ENERGY STAR ELECTRONICS: Electronics boasting the ENERGY STAR label use less energy than the federal government requires. This includes computers, televisions, stereos and more.

The more you know, the smarter you shop! Learn all this and more — lots more — at PSOtips.com.

TOP 5 WAYS TO REDUCE ENERGY AND BOOST COMFORT AT HOME.

Saving energy does a lot more than just save you a little money over time. It can also bring comfort and peace of mind. Knowing you’re doing all you can to reduce your energy usage can lead to a comfier home. Here are 5 easy tips to get you started.

1. Replace standard light bulbs with LEDs. LEDs not only give you better light, they use 90% less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Best of all, they’ll save you more than $50 in energy costs over the life of just one bulb! And don’t forget: Turn off all lights when you leave the room.

2. Upgrade to a programmable thermostat. Programmable thermostats adjust the temperature automatically based on the schedule you set and the comfort level you desire. Plus, they help reduce heating and cooling costs by an average of $100 a year. Click here to see how you could get one for free.

3. Wash clothes in cold water. Most of the energy used by washing machines comes from heating the hot water. By washing clothes with cold water, you can get them just as clean at a fraction of the cost. Bonus tip: Reduce your water heater’s temperature to 120° F to reduce energy even further.

4. Use a smart power strip. Did you know that electronic devices use electricity even when they’re turned off? Plug energy-draining appliances (like audio and video equipment) into a smart power strip and switch it off when not in use.

5. Buy ENERGY STAR® Looking to upgrade your appliances? Look for the ENERGY STAR label. ENERGY STAR appliances will save you energy and money all year long.<
These tips are just the tip of the iceberg. Click here for more energy-savings and comfort-boosting tips you can use year-round.