Summer's finally here! Time for cookouts, backyard parties, outdoor sports, and time by the water. All this time outside can lead to potential dangers, if we aren't prepared. With proper preparation and a safety plan in place, you'll be set for, what could be, your best summer ever.
To avoid accidents and pricey repairs, prepping your home for the summer months is a must. From steamy temps and unexpected storms to the general wear and tear on the inside and outside of your home, there are quite a few things to get ready for. First, we must take inventory of what home maintenance is overdue. From repairing broken appliances to cleaning out your air conditioning filters and ducts, summer upkeep projects can save you money in the long run and keep everything running smoothly. Conduct a home energy audit once every year, to determine where upgrades can make a difference in lowering your carbon footprint and utility bill.
To help keep the outside of your home looking great while keeping your family safe, be sure to add these to your to-do list:
- Install sunshades or tinting to your windows to deflect heat.
- Reseal any cracked caulking or weather strips on external windows and doors to prevent leaks.
- Inspect outside your home for cracks and any overhanging tree limbs that could fall during a storm.
- Double-check that flood insurance is included in your home insurance policy.
- Spray your yard and home to protect it from pests and other creatures. Set traps and other deterrents, where necessary.
- Schedule a yearly inspection to help catch termites before they cause major damage to your home's structure.
Keeping bugs at bay often entails the use of chemicals or pesticides, so safe usage should be top-of-mind. If you choose to use pesticides in and around your home, ensure children know to avoid any treated areas after application, for as long as manufacturer's instructions dictate. Always explain the dangers of all potentially harmful products to your children. This can help prevent injury from accidental exposure. Placement of a first-aid kit, with poison control information, and fire extinguisher on every level of your home is a smart idea - having them nearby helps you respond as quickly as possible in the event of an emergency.
Security and Monitoring
As temps rise in the summer months, unfortunately so do the rates of home break-ins and theft. On average, there is an 11% increase in home-based crimes during the summer months. And though we are now staying home more than ever before, this increase is enough to make one nervous during a weekend getaway. Thankfully, smart home technology has vastly advanced, giving homeowners control over their home protection and monitoring capabilities. Recent additions to the smart home market include indoor and outdoor cameras, motion detection lighting, and automatic locks that can alert you on your phone any time someone locks or unlocks a door. These devices are not only helpful for identifying and stopping burglaries, but they're also great for monitoring your children's activity throughout the home. Some devices even allow you to speak to your children or play music directly through speaker systems. Ultimately, the purpose of smart devices is to help streamline your life, making everyday tasks easier.
When we are around more often, like during the summer or shelter-in-place orders, our homes, appliances, and devices go through something known as home strain. And with a global pandemic keeping us homebound more than ever before, home strain is reaching new heights. As sheltering in place continues and as more people opt to work from home, this issue is likely to persist. The most needed repairs come from issues with power surges, broken appliances, and damaged electronic devices. To help counteract the effects of home strain, it's important to thoroughly clean your home, appliances, and other devices. Electronic devices and other household appliances run faster and last longer with regular cleanings. Regular cleaning also allows you to inspect for damage and fix small issues before they grow.
Grilling and Fire Protection
Grilling is an especially popular summertime activity. Improperly operated grillware can be extremely dangerous. This is especially true when there are young children in proximity, as they can accidentally injure themselves or others. A few things to consider before grilling this summer to keep your family and home safe:
Never leave a fire unattended. Constant monitoring will help keep the fire under control and prevent any potential injuries from children or pets getting too close to the flame. It is recommended to keep your grill at least 10 feet from your home or any other structures, and away from any overhanging trees.
When returning indoors, it is important to extinguish the fire. Never let it a grill burn out. While it is recommended to keep a fire extinguisher on hand for emergencies, a grill can be put out with water once you are done. It's also a good idea to keep a first-aid kit nearby in case of accidents or burns.
Whether you have an in-ground pool, hot tub, above ground, or inflatable pool, children should always be supervised while swimming. If possible, enroll your children in swimming lessons early or teach them yourself. As they are learning, a life jacket or other flotation device should be put on before getting in the water. Become CPR-certified and always keep an extra flotation device and first-aid kit nearby. To ensure you know when your child is near the water, consider adding back door and gate alarms to alert you of any movement near the pool or hot tub.
Setting Safety Rules
The safety of their child is the goal of every parent, but it can be easier said than done. It is important to talk with your kids about summer safety, including the limits you've set for how far they can venture out or what activities they take part in without you nearby. In addition to installing safety measures like gates around the pool and locks on medicine cabinets, it's important to let your children know what type of play is and is not allowed. Playing in a parked car, for example, can easily turn dangerous in the summer heat. Always lock your car when it's not in use, even if it's just in your garage or driveway.
As children get older, they'll likely want to venture out to play with friends away from home. Before going out to play, establish ground rules for how far they can go and for how long. Ensure they are aware of the potential dangers of your area. Mobile numbers should be memorized in case of an emergency.
Whether your yard is relatively empty or full of toys, an inspection should be part of the pre-play routine. This allows you to address any issues you find before letting your children run around.
With summer in full swing and shelter-in-place orders continuing, you'll likely be spending most of your time at or near home. This makes total home safety more important than ever. While you may be able to make most repairs yourself, some things are better left to the professionals. Carve out enough time for cleaning and repairs - plus time for summer fun too!
It's Easter in the islands! A time when nature seems to be at its finest – as though it's putting on a show. Lush tropical greens, bright blue skies, crystal-clear aqua waters, and vibrant shades of pink, purple and red of the bougainvillea line the streets, all welcoming you and letting you know that Easter has arrived, and there's no better place to celebrate than here!
You can feel the excitement in the air and the quiet buzz of activity starting to pick up. Easter is a celebration, after all, and one that's often a mix of religious services, an opportunity to spend quality time with those you love, and here especially, it's a time for celebrating some of our favorite culinary traditions! Here are the top choices among the islands:
Dish It Up!
Get your Easter holiday weekend off to a great start with delicious Bahamian hot cross buns and fresh fish on Good Friday!
Hot Cross Buns
Seriously. Is it even Easter without a delicious hot cross bun?? Move over chocolate (just for a quick minute) – make way for these delectable delights! These mouth-watering bread rolls are rich and golden and full of cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and sweet raisins. They are also decorated with their trademark design – the "Mark of the Cross" – a simple yet significant emblem made using sugar icing.
These buns have a long history - they originate from ancient English traditions of Easter, and have been shared with our islands by the British since the late 1600s. Similar practices of baking hot cross buns can still be found throughout the UK and Australia, with almost no variation from our Bahamian version! Typically enjoyed on Good Friday, hot cross buns can be found in most local bakeries and grocery stores throughout the islands as Easter draws near. But don't wait till the last minute, or they'll be gone!
If you're feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at making some from scratch? Here's a recipe by Bahamian chef and writer Kenria Taylor!
The culinary tradition of eating fish during the Easter holiday is another custom belonging to the Christian faith. Although this practice originated in the Catholic Church, these days, you'll find this custom is almost as much a cultural one as it is religious. There are no restrictions when it comes to the type of fish or style you prefer to cook, but as you likely already know, Good Friday is usually a day reserved for some delicious fried Grouper, Jacks, Snapper, or Wahoo - to name a few! Of course, boiled fish or stewed fish are also great alternatives. You can even get creative and try a Masala fish curry dish! Vibrant, full of flavor, and ready for you at Taj Mahal!
If you're on the hunt for some delicious seafood options you can prepare yourself, head to Heritage Seafood, on Carib Road, just off of Mt. Pleasant Avenue in Palmdale! You'll find fabulous fish cuts and more. Here are a few recipe links for Bahamian boiled, steamed, fried, or curried fish that you can try!
For practicing Christians in The Bahamas, Easter is a time for celebrating and giving thanks, and what better way than with a beautiful meal to be shared with those we love. Traditionally, meat was restricted for members of the Catholic Church during the Lenten Season, making the main dish of "Easter Ham" a very welcome main feature! Today, a typical Bahamian Easter lunch will be sure to include all the fixings of down-home local favorites, including peas and rice, baked macaroni and cheese, potato salad, plantains, coleslaw, and more. And don't forget the dessert! When it comes to sweets shared on this cherished day, you're sure to find Coconut pie or tart, pineapple tart, rum cake, and more! And yes, of course, no Easter would be complete without those delicious chocolates and jelly beans!
Find the Fun!
Nassau is abuzz with activity this weekend – great outings (social distancing and mask in mind) and local island finds are the order of the day!
Here's a quick look at some of the things happening:
Drive-In Movie at Ardastra Gardens
Saturday, April 3rd | 6:15pm
This Saturday, take the kids to see "Peter Rabbit" at the Drive-In Theatre at Ardastra Gardens! This feature is an adaptation of Beatrix Potter's classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer's vegetable garden. Fun for the whole family! Visit www.ardastra.com/recreation for details.
Authentic Bahamian Pop-Up Shop at The Island Store
Beginning March 31 – 9am – 5pm
Dress Your Tables
Now – Saturday, April 3rd
Whatever your plans, or who you choose to celebrate this holiday weekend with, we at Morley wish you the happiest, hoppiest of holidays!
We've heard it before, but it warrants saying again - it's been a year. Are we right? If ever there was a time when life seemed turned upside down, turned around, and something closer to the lyrics of a Bahamian song, it would be 2020. And yet, with so many unknowns, so many changes, there are some silver linings we can take with us. One of these is the spirit of Bahamian entrepreneurship and innovation.With COVID-19 restrictions in place, local businesses were hit hard. Both the health and economic impacts have been felt not just here, but around the world. Traditional business practices changed, with many companies finding new ways to adapt to meet the needs of their customers.
New opportunities were created as well. Almost overnight, Bahamian entrepreneurs stepped up to the plate. They created avenues to support local businesses. The traditional delivery concept morphed. Companies answered the call for services like grocery delivery, or wines and spirits. Retail items, pharmaceutical supplies, household goods - you name it!
An extra bonus for the business owners using these services? Exposure via a third-party marketing initiative. The delivery companies focus on promoting their services, of course. But they also promote and advertise the vendors that they work with - it's a win-win all around!
Our retailers, service providers and restaurants are now open. Yet, we have a feeling the demand for delivery is here to stay. Some of us are happy to get out and visit our favorite shops on our own. But there are also some who feel more comfortable avoiding the crowds and prefer to stay at home.
Here are some companies leading the charge for delivery services across the island:
With Kraven, ordering your take-out, beverages, groceries, pharmacy items, merchandise and more, is a breeze. Download the app on your phone and sign up for an account. For customers, there's no charge to sign-up, and you'll know your costs up front when it comes to delivery. The service provided by Kraven is efficient, professional and easy. The company is responsive and a pleasure to use!
Mutru is revolutionizing how online and in store customers get their goods. "We partner with freight forwarders and major retailers to bring your purchases to you at home, at work, or anywhere you need it. We also provide a new delivery solution to power same day delivery for retailers and businesses. Whether you want to integrate Mutru into your eCommerce site or simply book a local delivery today, we've got you covered. Mutru gives customers more - a lot more – Choice and Convenience," they say. Partnering with retailers including CBS Bahamas, WHIM Automotive, Missari International, Sugar Mama's and more, the company proudly provides services to large enterprises and small businesses alike. With Mutru's EcoPack Fulfillment service, retailers can meet the needs and demands of their local clients. Mutru will receive, package and deliver your goods directly to your clients for a flat rate of $5.00!
They also offer direct shipping from The Bahamas to the United States! Great news for Bahamian businesses and entrepreneurs trying to expand their reach. Locally-made goods can now be offered to an American market in an easier way!
Their latest achievement? A Messenger Service. Now you can have your documents and small packages delivered across the island. Payment options are either a pay-as-you-go or monthly subscription rate.
Mutru's latest results show that their retailers have:
- saved $30,000 and 37 hours
- had 3,000 packages delivered
- served 872 unique customers
As the holiday shopping season ramps up, there is a strong push for supporting local businesses. The Bahamas Federation of Retailers this week launched a ShopLocal Bahamas campaign. They stress the value and reach of local purchasing for our Bahamian economy and workforce. We agree, and we know we can do this. Through innovation and by working together. Utilizing supporting services, our retailers can maximize efforts to meet their customers' demands.