Prepare Your Oven for Thanksgiving with These Cleaning and Maintenance Tips


Thanksgiving is right around the corner and many of us are preparing for opening our home to friends and family. We are going are over our grocery lists, pulling out the table settings, and cleaning and decorating our home in preparation for this holiday. However, there’s one important thing we all may overlook… our oven. We put a lot of faith in our ovens that day, so it’s smart to get it prepared as well.

Here are a few Tips:

Clean your oven now.  If you have a self cleaning oven do not use this feature the day before or day of a big holiday, as your oven could overheat and damage a key component such as a fuse or control board. Sometimes ovens can get stuck in self-clean mode. If this happens turn off the circuit breaker or unplug your oven for one minute to reset the power.

Check all burners to make sure everything is working properly. Use your oven a couple of days before hand to rule out any irregularities in temperature or uneven cooking.  If you find your oven is not heating properly, below are the most common things to check. Remember, to avoid personal injury (or death!), always unplug the appliance or disconnect the power before attempting any repairs yourself. Always turn off the gas at the source before repairing any gas appliance.

·         Bake Element.  The bake element is a black tube near the bottom of the oven about as thick as a pencil.  You can tell there’s a problem if the element glows only a little, only in certain areas along the element or not at all. If this is the case it will need to be replaced.


·         Broil Element.  The broil element is a black tube near the top of the oven, also about as thick as a pencil. When it is operating normally, the broil element will glow red hot. In most ovens the broil element comes on during pre-heat. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly, the broil element may have burned out. It is often obvious to see where the broil element has burned out because there will be a hole in the element or blisters on the outside of the element. If this is the case, it can’t be repaired and will need to be replaced.


·         Oven Igniter. If the oven won’t heat and the oven igniter glows for more than 90 seconds without igniting the gas flame, the oven igniter should be replaced.


·         Oven Thermostat. Some ovens have a thermostat bulb that can come loose, in which case you would find it lying on the bottom of the oven or resting against the heating element. If the thermostat sensing bulb is still in place, it could still be defective and may need to be replaced.

With some oven models, you can calibrate the temperature on a keypad. On other models there’s a thermostat knob that can be adjusted. Check your owner’s manual for complete instructions. If the thermostat isn’t calibrated correctly it may be that you have to replace a gasket. If this is the case, then you should contact a professional repairman.


·         Oven Control Board. An electronic oven control panel controls the oven when its buttons are used to set the oven’s temperature. Diagnostic codes, also known as fault codes, are shown on its display when there is a problem with the oven. If the display on your oven shows a code beginning with an “F,” there is a problem with a component in the control board or oven. Troubleshoot the control board to determine if it requires replacement.


·         Convection Element. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly during convection bake, the convection element might be burned out. The convection element is located near the convection fan and helps to heat the air circulating inside the oven. The convection element can be tested for continuity by using an Ohm meter. If the convection element is burned out it will need to be replaced.


·         Convection Motor. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly during convection bake and you’ve checked the convection element, the convection motor might be defective instead. The convection motor drives the convection fan and circulates the air inside the oven. The convection motor can also be tested for continuity by using an Ohm meter. If the motor shaft doesn’t turn freely, the motor bearings are probably bad and will have to be replaced.


·         Oven Sensor. The oven sensor works in conjunction with the oven control board – or clock – to regulate the temperature. The oven sensor is a simple electronic device which varies its resistance to electrical current as the temperature varies. If the oven doesn’t bake evenly, this oven sensor resistance might be incorrect. For small variations, often there is a calibration feature at the control board. On many models there is a certain pattern of pushing buttons in order to calibrate the control board to the oven sensor resistance. Check the owners’ manual for more information.

If your oven is not working at all, check to see if the oven’s wall plug is plugged in all the way first. A partially removed plug may be the reason your oven won’t turn on. If that’s not the case check your fuse box first to see if the oven blew a fuse. Older ovens have their own fuses. To check if one is blown unplug your oven first, then pull it out from behind the wall. The fuse is located under the range top on the back of the oven.  If you have checked the plug, fuse box, and all the above parts and still can’t locate the problem, it may be time to call a repairman.

If you wish to keep your range, stove, or oven operating safely and efficiently, you will need to make sure they are kept clean. Both the control panel and cook-top can be cleaned with non- abrasive cleaners. Always apply the cleaner to the rag other than the surface you wish to clean. The burner drip holes are usually not cleanable once they have been stained, so it’s often a better idea to replace them altogether. If the oven is not a self-cleaning model, you can use oven cleaner to maintain the interior. If your oven is self cleaning, simply follow the manufacturer’s instruction for the self cleaning setting. You may also need to replace your ovens light bulb from time to time if it burns out. Most ovens use a universal 40 watt bulb. Simply unscrew the old bulb and install the new one. Follow these simple steps and your appliance should continue to run great for many Thanksgivings to come!


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Slow Cooker Recipes for Game Day


Game day isn’t just about the game; it’s also about the food.  Whether you are hosting game day at your house or you are hosting a tailgate, you are preparing food for your party. Keeping your recipes simple (and of course delicious) will make life a lot easier for you. Here are a few of our favorite slow-cooker recipes that are perfect for game day! What makes these recipes so perfect you might ask?  Not only are they delicious and simple, but with the slow-cooker you prepare it and leave it to cook, giving you the opportunity to socialize with your party…which makes you the perfect host!

Slow-cooker Turkey Chili Recipe So delicious and so easy to make!

What you will need:  (4-6 servings)

·         1 ¼ pounds lean ground turkey

·         1 large onion, chopped

·         1 garlic clove, minced

·         1 envelope chili seasoning mix (1.25-oz)

·         1 can beer (12-oz)

·         1 ½ cups frozen corn kernels

·         1 green bell pepper, chopped

·         1 red bell pepper, chopped

·         1 can crushed tomatoes (28-oz)

·         1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (15-oz)

·         1 can tomato sauce (8-oz)

·         ¾ teaspoon salt

Toppings: shredded cheddar cheese, finely chopped red onion, sliced fresh jalapenos


1.      Cook the lean ground turkey, onion, garlic and chili seasoning first in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring often, 8 minutes or until turkey crumbles and is no longer pink.

2.      Stir in beer and cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Next, spoon mixture into a 5 ½-qt. slow-cooker: stir in corn and next 6 ingredients until well blended. 

3.      Cover and cook on LOW for 6 hours. Serve with desired toppings.

Recipe Courtesy

Buffalo-Style Drummettes with Blue Cheese DipClassic game day treat!

What you will need: (15 servings)

·         3 pounds of chicken wing drummettes, skinned (30 drummettes)

·         ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

·         ¾ cup thick hot sauce

·         2 tablespoons cider vinegar

·         1 teaspoon reduced-sodium Worcestershire sauce

·         2 garlic cloves, minced

·         Blue Cheese Dip

·         30 carrot sticks

·         30 celery sticks


1.      Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2.      Line a jelly-roll pan with foil; coat foil with cooking spray. Place chicken on prepared pan; sprinkle with pepper. Lightly coat chicken with cooking spray. Bake uncovered at 450 degrees for 7 minutes or until lightly browned.

3.      Combine hot sauce, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce and garlic in an oval 4-quart electric slow cooker coated with cooking spray.

4.      Remove chicken from pan; drain on paper towels. Place chicken in slow cooker, tossing gently to coat with sauce. Cover and cook on HIGH for 3 hours or until chicken is tender. Serve with Blue Cheese Dip, carrot sticks, and celery sticks.

Recipe Courtesy Oxmoor House

Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches – Guaranteed to be a hit!

What you will need: (4 servings)

·         3 tablespoons light brown sugar

·         2 teaspoons hot paprika

·         1 teaspoon mustard powder

·         ½ teaspoon ground cumin

·         Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper

·         1 to 4 pound boneless pork shoulder, trimmed of excess fat

·         2 teaspoons vegetable oil

·         ½ cup apple cider vinegar, plus more to taste

·         3 tablespoons tomato paste

·         6 potato buns

Barbecue sauce and prepared coleslaw, for serving


1.      Combine 1 tablespoon brown sugar, paprika, mustard powder, cumin, 2 teaspoons salt and ½ teaspoon pepper in a small bowl. Rub the spice mixture all over the pork.

2.      Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet; add pork and cook, turning until browned on all sides for 5 minutes. Remove the pork and transfer to a plate; whisk ¾ cup water into the drippings in the skillet. Transfer the liquid to a 5-6 quart slow cooker.

3.      Add the vinegar, tomato paste, the remaining 2 tablespoons brown sugar and 2 cups water to the slow cooker and whisk to combine. Add the pork, cover and cook on low for 8 hours.

4.      Remove the pork and transfer to a cutting board. Strain the liquid into a saucepan, bring to a boil and cook until reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Season with salt roughly, chop the pork and mix in a bowl with 1 cup of the reduced cooking liquid, and salt and vinegar to taste. Serve on buns with barbecue sauce and coleslaw.

Recipe Courtesy Food Network Magazine

Loaded Creamed Corn with TomatoGet ready for a loaded bowl of Southern style goodness. This easy side dish is perfect for game day!

What you will need: (16 servings)

·         4 packages of frozen kernel corn thawed (12-oz)

·         1 ½ cups half-and-half or light cream

·         1 cup chopped onion

·         ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

·         ¼ cup butter cut up

·         1 teaspoon sugar

·         ½ teaspoon salt

·         ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

·         5 thick slices of bacon

·         ¾ cup shredded Monterey jack cheese with jalapeno peppers  (3-oz)

·         ½ cup chopped tomato

·         2 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley

·         1 teaspoon red wine vinegar

·         1/8 teaspoon sugar


1.      In a blender combine the corn from one package and the half-and-half. Cover and blend until smooth. In a 4 quart slow cooker combine blended corn mixture, the remaining corn, the onion, parmesan cheese, and butter, 1 teaspoon of sugar, salt and pepper.

2.      Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 3-4 hours or on high-heat setting for 2 hours.

3.      In a skillet cook bacon over medium heat until crisp, turning once. Drain bacon on paper towels; cool. Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces.

4.      Sprinkle Monterey jack cheese and bacon over corn in slow cooker. Cover; let stand about 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

5.      In small bowl stir together tomato, parsley, vinegar, and sugar. Before serving, spoon tomato mixture over corn in slow cooker.

Recipe Courtesy Better Homes and Gardens

We hope you’ll give these recipes a try on game day.  We can’t guarantee your team will win, but we can guarantee the food will be a success!


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Tailgating Tips For Rookies


Tailgating has been a long standing tradition of Football, and having a successful tailgate takes experience and preparation.  If you are about to embark on your first tailgate, you may think you have it all under control…but you’re wrong. Everybody has made a rookie mistake during their first tailgate! Here are a few basic tips from seasoned tailgaters to help you avoid some common first time mistakes on game day.

Prepare Early

Pack what you can in your car the night before.  Be as portable as possible;  grills, generators, chairs, tables or tents–make sure all these things can be easily loaded and unloaded.  You should also pack a bag/box of essentials you will need for that day.  For example, pack plastic serving ware, napkins, toilet paper (don’t assume the porta potties will have this) and garbage bags. To make your life a little easier, designate people in your tailgate party to be responsible for bringing certain items.

Make A Food List

Making a list of food you want to bring to your tailgate prior to the event will help to ensure you don’t forget certain items when packing your cooler game day morning. Having two coolers works best, one cooler for your food and one for your beverages.  Make sure to pack non-alcoholic beverages as well, you will need something for your designated driver to drink and something to keep your drinkers hydrated throughout the day. Drinking nothing but alcohol can cause people in your party to become dehydrated and ill.

Have A Plan

Know before you go!  Check your stadium’s parking and tailgating guidelines prior to game day. If you are meeting friends, you may want to discuss a general area in the parking lot where you will meet and use a flag that will signal your exact location. Get to the parking grounds early (about 3-4 hours before game time) to secure your discussed location. Do not rely on your cell phone to contact your friends once you get there since many phones have trouble with reception in and around the stadium area.  Make sure everyone in your party is aware of the plans before hand.

Get To Know Your Neighbors

Once you have completed set up, put your game face on and make friends.  Don’t be shy!  Everyone is there for the same reason so finding a common interest won’t be difficult. It’s important to get to know your community.  Say you forgot to bring mustard for your hot dogs, I’m sure your nice neighbor wouldn’t mind sharing their mustard with you!

Break Out The Radio

A portable radio is perfect for playing music while you tailgate or listening to updates on other football games going on that day. Just remember to be respectful of your neighbors. Don’t play your radio too loudly or play music with vulgar lyrics that could offend the nice neighbor who just shared their mustard with you.

Play Games

Not everyone in your party will be content just sitting around drinking and discussing their predictions of that days’ game, so have fun games available to play. Bring a football to toss around, a Frisbee or even a deck of cards for card game.  Anything to keep your party busy will make them happy, and happy people are the key to a successful tailgate.

Dress Appropriately

Check the weather beforehand and dress accordingly. It will be a long day outdoors and you don’t want to be caught over or under dressed. If you know it’s going to be chilly early in the day, bring a sweatshirt with you. If there is a chance of rain, bring a rain jacket.  There is nothing worse than sitting through an entire game and then a ride home in wet clothes.

Have Spare Chargers

In the digital/social media world we live in, it’s going to be very hard to have a day without using technology. On a busy tailgating weekend, your phone and tablet hours may double. You will also find that your battery life drains quickly when your phone or tablet is constantly searching for service. Be sure you have your devices charged and get a spare charger for the car in case you run low.

Clean Up

You want to start breaking down and packing up at least 30 minutes before you plan to head into the stadium. Put all your garbage in a garbage bag and all bottles in a separate bag.  The parking lot trash bins may be full, so it is important to bring hefty duty garbage bags that seal odors in case you have to travel home with your trash. Make sure all food you are traveling home with is sealed shut as well.

When it comes to charcoal, coals can stay hot for hours and they need to be disposed of properly. A good trick for this is using the aluminum pans that held your burgers, hot dogs and other food you came with. Discard the remaining coals into the aluminum pans then take the melted ice from your coolers to pour over the coals. After the coals have cooled you can throw them in a garbage bag as well.

Whatever you do, do not leave trash, food or bottles lying around the parking grounds. When it comes to tailgating the same rules apply as if you were camping… you should take out everything you bring in.

Don’t Forget Your Camera

Not only will you want pictures of yourself and your tailgate party, but you are going to see some interesting things while you are there. Tailgating is a huge event! You will most likely see people decked out in team spirit with their faces and bodies painted, decorated vehicles and crazy blow ups…well, who really knows what you will see, but trust me you will want to capture those memories!

These are all the tips we are willing to share, everything else you will have to learn on your own like the rest of us had to! Follow our advice, be safe, have fun, and nobody will realize you are a rookie on game day. Happy tailgating!


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Safety Tips for Using a Portable Generator



If you really want to be prepared the next time the power goes out, a portable generator is the way to go! A portable generator can be a life saver when the power goes out… You’ll have the lights back on in no time at all! Portable generators can power most, if not all of your home’s power needs. If you plan on using a portable generator here are the dos and don’ts to operating your generator and keeping you and your family safe.

What to Do:

·         Buying a generator. When choosing the right generator, you need to first figure out what you will be powering in your home. Will it be your lights, appliances, or other household equipment? Once you know that then figure out how much power they require and total it up. You will need to purchase a generator that produces more power than what will be drawn from your home’s equipment.  If the equipment in your home draws more power than the generator can produce, you may blow a fuse on the generator or damage the connected equipment. If you can’t determine the amount of power that will be needed, ask an electrician to determine that for you.

·         Storing your generator. Always store your generator in a dry, clean area that is easy for you to get to. When the power goes out you don’t want to be tripping over things in the dark trying to get to your generator.

·         Use a ground wireUse heavy duty, properly grounded extension cords to plug appliances into the generator.  Without proper grounding you could be electrocuted.

·         Check all cords. Make sure to check all cords that are to be plugged into the generator for frays and exposed wires.

·         Maintain your generator.  Always use fresh gasoline when possible. If a generator is likely to sit for long periods of time before being run again, use a gasoline stabilizer. You should start your generator at least once a month and let it run for a few minutes. If it has a battery, trickle charge the battery from time to time to ensure it is ready to go.


What you shouldn’t do:

·         Do not run your generator indoors.  Never run portable generators inside your home or in your garage. Gasoline-powered generators produce carbon monoxide, and the fumes can be deadly. Keep your generator away from your home’s windows and doors as well.  To be on the safe side invest in a CO alarm with battery backup for your home; if gas from the generator has entered your home the alarm will sound to warn you.

·         Do not run your generator unprotected in rain or snow. In bad weather keep your generator in a shed, under an overhang, or a portable shelter if possible. It is very important to keep your generator dry when operating. Never touch a generator with wet hands, you could be electrocuted.


·         Do not connect your generator directly to your home’s main fuse box or circuit panel.  The only recommended method to connect a generator to house wiring is by having a QUALIFIED ELECTRICIAN install a power transfer switch. Never try and do this yourself.

·         Do not refuel your generator while it is running. Shut off your generator first and let it cool down, gasoline spilled on hot engine parts could ignite and start a fire.

·         Do not overload your generator. Use your generator only when necessary. Turn it off when you are asleep or away from your home to avoid a possible fire hazard.

When using a portable generator always remember, safety first! If you have any doubts about how to properly use your portable generator, contact the manufacturer or a licensed electrician for assistance.


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How to Prepare for Power Outages


prepareWeather can be unpredictable, and we need to keep ourselves and loved ones as safe as possible during a bad storm. There are basic things you can do to prepare your home for loss of power in either the summer or the winter months.

Don’t get caught in the dark

o   Keep a few emergency automatic power failure night lights plugged in. Plug in emergency night lights in dark hallways, bedrooms, common areas, basements, and garages.  Emergency lights can last from 6-20 hours depending upon what you purchase. These can come in handy the first couple of hours during a power outage, especially when you are trying to make your way around a dark house.

o   Always keep a number of flash lights and an emergency lantern with fresh batteries in your home. Make sure to keep your flashlights, lantern and additional batteries in a location that you can get to easily with little or no light.

o   Have candles and plenty of matches as well.  Make sure you keep your candles away from anything flammable, such as drapes.

Food Safety – What to do when power remains out for over 4 hours

o   Invest in a cooler and ice packs. Keep the cooler in a convenient location inside your home and ice packs in the freezer.  When power is out do not open your refrigerator if you do not have to, unless the power outage lasts longer than 4 hours. After 4 hours get your cooler and ice packs and pack items from your refrigerator into your cooler. Throw away any food that has a temperature of more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit.

o   If your freezer is half full, it will hold safely for up to 24 hours. A full freezer will hold safely for 48 hours – do not open freezer door if you can avoid it.

o   Get the right foods before you lose power. Keep at least a 3 day supply of nonperishable foods such as crackers, whole-grain cereals, and canned food. Don’t forget a manual can opener!

Things to do before a power outage:

o   Be prepared for injuries. You should have an emergency kit at your home that is fully stocked with bandages in various sizes, sterile dressings and gloves, hand sanitizer and antibiotic towelettes, a thermometer, pain medicines, tweezers, and scissors. Make sure you purchase or build your own first aid kit that is large enough for your family

o   Stock up on bottled water. Water purification systems may not be working when the power goes out.

o   Purchase a battery operated or hand cranked radio to stay tuned in to news and emergency information when power is out.

o   Fill up all your vehicles’ tanks in case gas stations lose their power as well. Remember if you are using a generator they require roughly 12-20 gallons of gas per day. Store all fuel away from the house.

o   Have car chargers for cell phones and keep a corded phone as well. Cordless phones require AC power. Keep in mind cell phones may be more reliable than landline phones when local service is disrupted.

o   Be prepared for special needs. Tell your utility and local fire department before a storm if someone in your home uses an oxygen concentrator, ventilator, or medical bed, as power may be restored to you sooner. Always keep a one month supply of medication on hand.

It is important to plan ahead and be prepared you never know when a bad storm will hit. Sudden power outages can be frustrating and troublesome, but being prepared can eliminate some of that stress. For prolonged power outages, it may be wiser to seek shelter with friends, family, or a hotel.  Stay safe!


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Introduction to Surround Sound



Want to have that same surround sound experience you get at the movie theater in your own home? You can, and it’s really simple! Here is a basic “Do It Yourself” introduction to setting up a home theater system in your own home.

You will need a home theater receiver and at least six speakers; including a powered subwoofer. You can keep it simple by buying a pre-matched surround sound speaker system.

When purchasing your speaker system, keep the size of your room and TV size in mind.  If you have a big TV or a medium-to-large size room, choose larger speakers.  Where you position each speaker, depending upon the layout and shape of your room, may affect size or type of speaker as well.

Next, decide on your layout. Check the picture below for a basic set up of how speakers should be properly placed.



Remember you can get a cleaner look with in-wall speakers, in-ceiling speakers or custom flat panel speakers that integrate with your TV set.

Follow these steps for a quick set up:


  • Connect the surround sound receiver to your TV by inserting the HDMI cable into the “HDMI Out” jack on the back of the receiver and the “HDMI In” jack on the back of your TV.
  • Position the front-left and front-right speakers facing your audience on both sides of the TV. You may place the speakers on the ground, on a shelf or hang them with wall fasteners.
  • Position the center speaker above or below your television, level with the front speakers.
  • Position the subwoofer wherever it is convenient; placement does not have an impact on sound quality. In picture above we have it placed to the left center, but that may not be ideal for you.
  • Attach speaker wire to the correct speakers. (Samsung’s surround sound systems include color-coded speaker wire to assist in identifying wire placement). Insert the black end of each wire into the “Negative” port and the red end of each wire into the “Positive” port of each speaker.
  •  Match the speaker wire plugs to their corresponding jacks on the back of the surround sound receiver. If using a wireless system, insert the included TX card into the “TX card” slot, with the label reading “Wireless” facing up, and connect your rear surround sound speakers to the wireless receiver.
  • Plug in the surround sound receiver and power it on to enable your surround sound speakers.


Now pop in Jurassic Park and enjoy your at home theater experience! If you need more help with your installing your home theater system, electronic installations are available in the NY, NJ, PA, and CT areas through P.C. Richard & Son. For more information click here.



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Top 10 Dorm Room Essentials


Back to school, whether you are preparing to go away for the first time or preparing to go back, it’s time to make a list of what you need.  We did a friendly poll and asked the question “What do you need when you go back to school?” – below are the top 10 answers.

#1 Laptop

 Laptops are essential to campus life.  When looking to purchase a laptop it is good to keep a few things in mind.

  • Size – pick a portable size, something  light that can be stored easily
  • Processors – faster is always better. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on a processor either, there are less expensive processors that will easily handle students’ web, email, word processor, and spreadsheet requirements.
  • Memory and Hard Drive – You may want to talk to university about minimum requirements of memory and what size Hard Drive you may need.  Your university may offer shared space on a network server for student files.
  • Battery Life – It may not always be easy to plug in on the go, so you may want to find a battery that can last at least 5 hours.

On a budget, check out Samsung Chromebook 11.6” Exynos Dual Core Processor Chromebook Computer for $229.99.

#2 Printer

You may not have time to stop by the library before class to print out that paper that’s due. Having your own printer can come in handy. You do not need anything fancy, just something reliable. The HP Wireless All-In-One Printer can easily handle printing out papers and other assignments.

#3 TV

Every student enjoys downtime in their dorm room watching their favorite TV shows. Dorm rooms tend to be small so no need for a big screen, a screen between 24” and 39” should be fine. You can get a Proscan 32” Class LED HDTV for under $200. I would suggest, if possible, mounting your TV to the wall instead of buying a TV stand, you will save money and space.

#4 Mini Fridge

Anybody who has lived on campus will tell you, you need a mini fridge. It is perfect for storing drinks and small snacks. A mini fridge will save you a little cash too. Instead of buying an individual drink every day, you can buy a 6 or 12 pack of your favorite drink, buying in bulk is much cheaper. Same goes for small snacks like fruit. When you are on the go and have no time to sit and have breakfast, grabbing an apple or orange from your mini fridge on the way out the door can be a great convenience.

#5 Microwave

So much for home cooking you’re in college now! Don’t be too worried you will be amazed how many recipes you can find for cooking with a microwave online. This is one of my favorite sites for awesome microwave recipes. Just like the mini fridge having a microwave will save you money as well. Going out for meals everyday can be costly, having the option to make a few of your own meals will minimize how much you eat out.

#6 Desk

Sometimes you can’t always get to the library having a place to do your school work is key. When looking for a desk you want to find a size that will easily fit in the space you will be occupying and also room for your laptop to sit. The Bell’O Computer Desk/Workcenter is perfect for the dorm, with a built in shelf you can store some of books as well.

#7 Chair

Well you can’t have a desk without a chair. Besides personal use, an extra sitting area other than the bed can come in handy when you have guests. We have an excellent suggestion for you, Office Star Task Chair, wheels, adjustable height, and on sale right now!

#8 Fan

So it seems even when it’s not summer time a fan is a dorm room essential. You will most likely have no control over the temperature of your dorm room and a fan can help keep a comfortable temperature as well as circulate the air. Fans are inexpensive and take up little room so they are perfect for small spaces.


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Quick Tips On Cleaning Your Grill

Clean your grill

Summertime is coming to a close, but don’t put those grills away just yet. Football season is right around the corner! Whether you are going to the game or hosting a party at your home, a tailgate without a barbecue is just not complete. Before you fire up the grill and get ready to ‘WOW’ your guests with your award winning wing recipe, remember, the secret to great grilling is a clean grill.

Your grill has probably worked hard all summer long and could use a good scrubbing before another season of grilling, so here are some quick steps and tips on how to clean and properly maintain your grill:

Step 1

Before you start make sure your grill is off and has cooled down. If you have a gas grill make sure to disconnect the propane tank before beginning. Fill a bucket or pan with warm soapy water. Remove grates and place them in the warm soapy water to soak.

Step 2

If you have a charcoal grill remove the coal grate and brush out the insides. If you have a gas grill, remove briquettes, lava rocks or metal flame shield to expose burner. Clean out ash and residue around the burners. When you are finished make sure the burner is in place and did not shift during cleaning. Cleaning the burners is important, because they can accumulate grease and food leading to uneven temperatures along your surface.

Step 3

Use a wire brush and a little soapy water to gently scrub the inside surfaces of your grill. If you have a gas grill, brush off briquettes, lava rocks or wash metal flame shield in warm soapy water. Remove any particles from grill and reassemble.

Step 4

Remove cooking grates from water and brush clean with wire brush. After you have brushed grates spray it down with cooking oil. This prevents your grill from rusting and ensures a long life. Then put grates back on grill.

Step 5

Allow the whole grill to air dry after cleaning. Once you grill again give an extra five minutes of heating time to make sure any cleaning residue has burnt off.

*This type of cleaning should be done after every 8-10 uses

Tips to properly maintain your grill

  • Keep your grease traps clean. Grease is highly flammable and can cause a fire or heat up all surfaces including the handles.
  • For charcoal grills it is important to dump all used charcoal or ash after each use.  After dumping remains clean inside with a wire brush. By keeping the bed of your grill clean, you will cut down on excess smoke and bad flavors
  • Regular cleaning makes the job easier. Routine brushing of the grates with a wire brush prevents food and bacterial buildup. After each use you should soak your brush in hot soapy water. Then hang brush upside down to dry. Drying the brush naturally ensures the bristles will last a long time. If bristles from your wire brush start to fall off, it is time for a new brush. Fallen bristles mixed with food is dangerous if ingested.
  • Keep your grill in good shape by properly storing it when not in use. Grill covers are great investments for protecting all types of grills from inclement weather.
  • Replacing your grill parts is important. And many manufacturers come with a lifetime guarantee on certain parts. Save your book and any warranty information.


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Keurig Iced Teas: Perfect for Warm Weather!

Did you know that making iced teas and coffees with your Keurig machine is just as easy as making hot drinks? Now that it’s finally getting warmer outside, it’s nice to relax with an ice-cold sweet tea with lemon or French vanilla coffee.

Brewing these delicious drinks is easy: Fill your cup (avoid using glass) to the very top with ice. Then, pop your favorite K-cup into the machine and set it to brew either 6 or 8 ounces. This will give you a potent shot of flavor that will melt some of the ice and give you the perfect flavor-to-liquid ratio. Stir it up and you’re all set to climb into the hammock and enjoy a nice sunny day.

We have several K-cups perfect for icing, including sweet lemon iced tea, sweet raspberry iced tea, and half and half iced tea and lemonade. If you don’t already have a Keurig, what are you waiting for? We have these popular single-serve coffee brewers right here.

What’s your favorite way to enjoy a warm day? Share it with us in the comments!


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Shop Our Catalog Through Facebook!

You can now shop our entire catalog of HDTVs, appliances, electronics, video games and more through our app on Facebook! You can access it on the left-hand side of our fan page via the “Shop Now” link. This handy app allows you to easily share your favorite products with friends, maintain your Facebook chats while browsing, and once you’re done shopping, you can check out through

Once you click “get started,” you’re taken into the online store with category and price filters on the left-hand side. You can also search for specific products or sort by relevance, price and popularity. This is a great Facebook tool that we hope you’ll take advantage of!

You can visit the new Facebook store here. Happy shopping!


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