Lawn Care

Green_GrassCaring for your own yard can be a rewarding way to spend your afternoon. Raking leaves, pulling weeds, watering  plants, and adding new plants to the yard is a good source of exercise and a healthy way to lower stress. When you don’t have time to work on your yard, or when you want an expert’s advice, you can turn to professional landscapers. Finding a trustworthy company to work on your yard isn’t easy, but following a few simple principles can help you find quality, reliable service.

Landscape Work: The company you work with should understand the weather and climate of your area and suggest plants that thrive in that environment. Lawn care professionals should also take note of the particular conditions in your yard, such as sun and shade coverage, soil type, drainage, moisture, trees, and terrain. Your landscape expert should make a plan that works well for your particular yard and communicate with you about conditions so that you can make informed decisions.

Pricing: Compare prices by investigating different lawn care companies and keep a record of how much each company charges for particular lawn care jobs. Ask friends and consult consumer websites to learn more about the typical cost of lawn-related jobs. Make sure you receive confirmation about the price before agreeing to a job.

Reliability: Ask friends and acquaintances for leads on reliable lawn care experts. You can also ask the company for references and look up a company’s past work by reading online reviews left by customers. Once you hire a company, keep a record of the work they perform for you. The company’s workers should be open about their pricing and work, and be considerate with your yard.

Look for lawn care experts on Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses. You can find a wide variety of businesses on RLP, from auto repair shops, to local restaurants. Begin searching by entering your city and state on the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com. Find businesses by entering key terms into the search box. You can also search by choosing a term from the popular categories list. Each business listing on the results page will display the phone number and address of the business; users can also leave reviews of the business on the RLP website.

Summer Travel Tips

shutterstock_2537857Summer is a popular time to travel and people often take advantage of the warmer weather to leave behind routines for an exciting vacation in a distant place. Although a vacation can be fun, it can also be a potentially stressful experience; travel delays, lost or stolen items, bad weather, hotel frustrations, difficult travel companions, and other problems can turn a dream trip into a trial. Following some basic principles can reduce or even eliminate travel headaches.

Packing: Streamline your packing, and when in doubt, eliminate the item. Luggage is expensive to check on flights, and if you’re traveling by car, too much stuff weighs your car down. Leave behind valuables or other items you would hate to lose. Check the weather of your destination and pack accordingly. It’s also a good idea to bring earplugs and a sleep mask.

Health: Vacations are meant to be fun, but they can also leave you exhausted, so it’s important to take care of your body. It’s tempting to overindulge during a trip or eat fast-food, so bring along healthy and filling snacks to curb cravings and save money. Getting good sleep, staying hydrated, and eating healthy will leave you more energized for the day’s activities.

Travel Safety: Don’t be lax about personal safety while on vacation, be aware of your surroundings and trust your instincts about a situation. Before your trip, tell someone where you are going and when you plan to return. Know the name and address of the place you are staying, and carry a list of important numbers with you in case something happens to your phone.

A Positive Attitude: Don’t let problems ruin your vacation, the best way to minimize travel frustrations is by maintaining a positive attitude. Unforeseen delays and problems will happen on vacation, but staying patient and optimistic can reduce the stress of a difficult experience.

Search for hotels and resorts by visiting the Real Local Pages (RLP) website, http://www.reallocalpages.com. RLP’s online directory contains listings for thousands of businesses across the United States, from hotels and restaurants, to computer repair shops and car dealerships. Enter your city and state to begin searching, then choose a search term from the popular categories list on the main page or look for businesses by using the search box. Each business listing includes the business’s address and phone number for your convenience.

Summer Vacation

campThe summer months are almost here, and although many working adults cannot take a long summer break like students, most people still associate summertime with fun and relaxation; a chance to visit a new place, spend time outdoors, and enjoy being with family. Despite the common misconception that summer vacation came about to accommodate children who needed to work family farms during the summer months, the modern idea of summer vacation actually arose because of urbanization.

School attendance wasn’t mandatory in the United States until the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. Throughout the nineteenth century, children in urban schools attended school almost year round. Those with money often skipped the summer months, escaping the city’s heat for pleasant summer homes. Kids in rural areas often took time off to help on farms during the busy spring planting and fall harvest seasons. By the end of the century however, schools moved to create a uniform school calendar, which resulted in the long summer break.

At the same time, more Americans were becoming city-dwellers, and the natural world—seemingly untouched by human civilization, grew into an attractive contrast to the stresses of city life. Writers like Emerson and Thoreau described the transformative power of nature, urging Americans to leave behind their populated cities to find spiritual meaning in the woods. In 1869, a preacher named William Murray published Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, a guidebook that glorified the wilderness of upstate New York and portrayed it as a perfect antidote to the pressures of urban living. Murray’s book sparked a rush of city-dwellers to the Adirondacks and helped inspire the camping craze of subsequent decades. The term “vacation” replaced “holiday,” as Americans “vacated” their homes for wilderness camping.

Find hotels and car rental locations for your summer vacation by searching Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses throughout the United States. Search the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, by entering your state and city. Find businesses by choosing from the popular categories list on the main page, or, enter search terms into the search box. Each business listing matching the search terms will show the address and phone number of the business. Real Local Pages is useful for finding a variety of businesses, from hotels and restaurants, to clothing stores and landscapers.

Old-Fashioned

old-fashionedAround the turn of the twenty-first century, cocktail enthusiasts brought the Old-Fashioned, the classic cocktail with a history dating back to the early 1800s, from obscurity into prominence. An Old-Fashioned is typically mixed with whiskey or bourbon, along with sugar, a dash of bitters (an alcohol flavoring derived from seeds, spices, flowers, or other plants), and garnished with a lemon peel or cherry. Despite its recent popularity, the Old-Fashioned has not always enjoyed a venerable place as an essential cocktail.

The Old-Fashioned was simply known as the whiskey cocktail back before the American Civil War. Cocktails were morning drinks consumed at breakfast and contained a heavier dose of bitters, which at the time was used for medicinal purposes rather than as a flavoring. In the 1870s, bartenders began experimenting with new additives and some cocktail drinkers called for a return to “the old-fashioned” whiskey cocktail. The name stuck, and after the moniker’s first print appearance in the New York Times in 1886, the whiskey cocktail was thereafter called the “the Old-Fashioned.”

The drink’s peak of popularity lasted into the early years of the 20th century, but like every other alcoholic beverage during the 1920s Prohibition era, the Old-Fashioned fell into disuse. Although many people continued making and drinking alcohol in secret, the ban on alcohol production severely hurt liquor quality. The liquor quality was often so bad that people started mixing in more sugar, fruit juices, and muddled fruit in with the alcohol to mask the bad flavor. Once Prohibition ended however, the practice of mixing in loads of sugar and muddled fruit in with cocktails like the Old-Fashioned lingered on. When cocktail drinkers took a renewed interest in the Old-Fashioned in the first years of the 21st century, they prepared the drink in the more traditional manner with only a little sugar and a simple fruit garnish.

Use Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses to find a good bar to enjoy an Old-Fashioned at. RLP’s directory has listings for thousands of businesses and services throughout the United States, from restaurants and bars to auto repair shops and veterinarians. Search for businesses by visiting the website, http://www.reallocalpages.com. Enter your location and browse listings by using the search box on the main page, or choose from the popular categories list. Each listing will show the address and phone number of the business.

An Evening Out

luceys-lounge-640Deciding on the right bar for an evening out can be tough unless you know what you’re looking for. The right bar can depend on your location, who you are going out with, or your price range. Although each bar offers patrons a unique experience, certain qualities can separate a mediocre bar from a memorable one.

Drinks: Most bars provide a variety of drinks, but different bars might have a better selection of the drinks you’re looking for. Some bars have a huge selection of beer on tap or have a great cocktail menu. Other bars may have an extensive wine list or specialize in a certain drink.

Service: A huge part of the experience at any establishment is the service and quality of the staff. At a bar, the bartender should not only be great with the drinks, but be personable and efficient. The bartender and the rest of the staff should be attentive, prompt, and friendly. Great staff keep the place running smoothly and give patrons a pleasant experience.

Cleanliness: Although cleanliness is not always the first thing on a person’s list when choosing a bar, a well-ordered establishment certainly creates a better experience. Clean bathrooms are especially important at a bar since they get a lot of use over the course of the evening.

Atmosphere: As a patron, you should feel comfortable in the overall atmosphere of the bar. The music in the bar should be at a reasonable volume to create a good ambiance, not drown out all other sound and conversation. Places that offer patrons activities (like live music, pool, etc.) can also make the evening more entertaining.

Find great bars in your area through Real Local Pages (RLP), an online directory of businesses. RLP is great for finding a variety of services and businesses, from roofing contractors to resorts. Visit the RLP website, http://www.reallocalpages.com, and enter your city and state. Search for businesses through the search box or choose from the popular categories list on the main page. The results page will display the business listing along with the address and phone number of the business.