This Popular Alcohol Is Being Pulled from Shelves Across the U.S.

Whether you’re planning a party or simply stocking up your at-home bar cart, alcohol is often a shopping list staple. The sale of beer, wine, and liquor has only increased since the pandemic started, with liquor store sales having climbed nearly 11 percent in almost every state, per CNN. But if you’ve gotten used to picking up a bottle of your go-to booze during grocery trips, you could be in for disappointment in the coming weeks. One popular type of alcohol is becoming harder to find in the U.S. as it’s being pulled from store shelves. Read on to find out what liquor has been banned in several states.

Some U.S. governors are ordering liquor stores to stop selling Russian vodka.

If you’re a vodka fan, you might have limited options soon. The governors of several U.S. states have just ordered government-run liquor stores to pull Russian-made vodka and other distilled spirits, Reuters reported on Feb. 27. According to the news outlet, this call has come as a show of solidarity for Ukrainian people amid the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russian forces. Some of the Russian-based vodka brands being sold in the U.S. include Russian Standard and Green Mark, CNN reported.

At least four states have issued orders to ban the sale of alcohol from Russia.

Some of the states that have put a concrete ban on Russian alcohol so far include New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

The U.S. doesn’t actually import much vodka from Russia.

These protests are mostly just symbolic and unlikely to have any meaningful effect—especially when it comes to you finding vodka at your local liquor stores. According to the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States, only 1.2 percent of the country’s vodka imports actually came from Russia in the first half of 2021.

By Kali Coleman for Best Life©

Source:This Popular Alcohol Is Being Pulled from Shelves Across the U.S. (msn.com)

Disney increases prices at both Disneyland and Disney World

It’s that time of year — Groundhog Day, Valentine’s Day, the dreary dead of winter and … Disney ticket price increase day.

Unofficially, February has become known for Disney ticket price increases. And, surprising no one, Disney ticket prices have been on an upward pricing trend, basically forever. When I bought my Disney World annual pass in the fall of 2018, the all-in cost for that pass was $904.19. In the fall of 2019, when I decided not to renew my pass right then, the cost for a new pass was $1,191.74. As of today, the cost for the same version of the Disney World annual pass is now $1,272.68.

That is a big pricing change in just 18 months.

Here’s a sampling of Disney ticket prices that have gone up:

Ticket typeOld price (pre-tax)New price (pre-tax)
Disney World Platinum Annual Pass$1,119$1,195
Disney Premier Pass (Valid at both Disneyland and Disney World)$2,009$2,119
One-day Disney World Park Hopper add-on to a base ticket$60/day$65/day
Disneyland MaxPass$15/day$20/day
Disneyland two-day tickets$225$235
Disneyland Flex Annual Pass$599$649

These sorts of price increases take immediate effect when buying tickets and passes directly from Disney, but you can usually beat the increases for a short period of time by buying currently available stock from authorized third-party sites, such as Get Away Today and Undercover Tourist. You can usually save a few dollars buying tickets via these sites anyway, but the savings is even more pronounced just after a price increase. 

Article and photo by The Points Guy – Maximize your travel.

47 Beautiful Flower Bed Design Ideas for Your Front Yard

Here are 47 ideas for your front yard. Some simple changes, some that will take much planning and preparation.  So, grab your favorite cup and dig into these ideas.

47 Beautiful Flower Bed Design Ideas for Your Front Yard | garden ideas – YouTube

Plenty of flower gardens that you are able to apply on your front page. All that you’re able to enjoy when you’ve applied a flower garden on your house page. Building a flower garden on your front yard isn’t as hard as you may think! Now you have some fantastic tips for your new Flower Bed Design. Roses are more difficult to maintain from different flowers like tulips since they grow back year after year. Edible garden will bring extra beauty to your property and lawn. Looking at styles will provide you with some wonderful ideas and can assist you to become quite creative with the form of garden that you want to create. Another idea is to specify a focus for your landscape. Themes are successful only in the event you unify all of the garden aspects carefully.

Most people consider flowers for color. In selecting the forms of flowers you will grow in your garden, spend some time researching the best kinds of flowers for your region. Perhaps you enjoy the concept of just smaller flowers or you wish to decide on ground cover as it’s much less difficult to maintain. In reality, you can construct a lovely topsy-turvy towering flower bed with only a few terra cotta pots and some other supplies. The accession of herbs to a patio planter adds a fantastic aroma as guests take pleasure in the patio during the summertime. Flowering shrubs and perennials will make extra textures and colors. With good nutrition and maintenance, you are going to have a lovely flower bed that doesn’t ask you to devote hours weeding it. Trees like coconut, palm along with green grass lawns are going to be a proper combination. There are a number of forms of flower bed edging you must look at.

 

Mardi Gras Fast Facts and Quiz

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Facts

  • Mardi Gras, French for Fat Tuesday, is also known as Shrove Tuesday.

Mardi Gras Day is the last day of Carnival season.

Carnivals include balls, parties and parades with floats and costumed dancers.

The colors of Mardi Gras are purple (justice), gold (power) and green (faith).

Social clubs called “Krewes” organize the parades, and host balls and parties.

Beads and coins called doubloons are thrown from the floats to the spectators.

Mardi Gras is a state holiday in Alabama, Florida and eight parishes in Louisiana.

Mobile, Alabama, was the first place in the United States to celebrate Mardi Gras, and now holds one of the largest celebrations after New Orleans.

Take the quiz: Choose the Correct Word

Answer Sheet:

30 Easy Ways to Upgrade Instant Ramen Noodles

©© 40 Aprons

Bacon Ramen

This deliciously smoky ramen has a bacon-infused broth that’s so delicious you’ll want to slurp up every last drop. Garnished with fresh spinach, green onions and soft-boiled eggs, it’s a perfectly soothing weeknight dinner that puts instant noodles to flavorful use. Get the recipe here.

©© Gourmandize

Thai-Style Chicken Curry Ramen

Turn instant ramen into a Thai-style curry dish by adding coconut milk, a few chopped vegetables and cooked chicken breast. Fresh lime juice and cilantro build up the flavors, while roasted peanuts bring the crunch. Get our full step-by-step recipe here.

©© Olives & Okra

Ramen Cups

Turn instant ramen noodles into crunchy little nests for tuna poke with this easy and elegant recipe.  Who knew those 50-cent noodles could be the base for such a sophisticated finger food?

This article written by Anna Hartley for Gourmandize continues at the link below.

30 Easy Ways to Upgrade Instant Ramen Noodles (msn.com)

Did You Eat Your Banana Today?

We’ve all grown up hearing “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, but it turns out the benefits of a banana a day could be just as good. Bananas are packed with vitamins and nutrients and when you eat a banana on a regular basis, they help to maintain and improve your overall health. In other words, eating a banana a day is definitely the way to go to stay healthy.

However, it’s important to remember not to go overboard with your daily banana intake. According to Healthline, you should stick to the recommendation of one or two bananas a day, but no more than that. Eating too much of any food, even one as healthy as bananas, can lead to weight gain or deficiencies in nutrients. There are plenty of benefits to your body when you eat a banana every day

1. You’ll be supporting your gut health.

Now, more than ever before, we are seeing the importance of gut health on overall wellbeing. There are many strategies to best eat for your microbiome, but it can start with a banana. According to a 2017 study review in Nutrition Bulletin, bananas contain resistant starch, which works to increase the production of short-chain fatty acids—essential for gut health. So, we can thank bananas for stabilizing our gut and providing nutrients for our microbiome.

2. You may lose weight.

A benefit that never goes under-appreciated, eating bananas daily can help us reach our weight loss goals. Packed with fiber and protein, bananas will keep you fuller for longer, despite being just over 100 calories a piece. They even made Healthline’s list of the 20 Most Weight-Loss-Friendly Foods on The Planet. So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, make sure to pick up a bunch.

3. You can improve your skin.

When you think of foods that improve your skin, you probably think of salmon, avocados, or maybe walnuts—but bananas can be a game-changer when it comes to skin health. It’s all due to the vitamins and minerals in bananas, specifically the manganese that boosts collagen levels. No matter what your skin difficulties are—acne, wrinkles, dry skin—eating a banana a day can help. Healthline even suggests a banana face mask could help to do the trick, but I think we’ll stick with eating our bananas instead.

4. You’ll improve your energy level.

Especially when eaten before or after a workout, bananas can be instrumental in boosting your energy levels and keeping you from feeling fatigued throughout the day. The results from a PLOS One 2012 study on male athletes found that those who refueled with a sports drink every fifteen minutes as opposed to a banana and water performed worse overall in long-distance cycling races. Therefore, there was a direct correlation between eating a banana and increasing energy levels on performance.

5. You’ll get a boost of potassium, which supports heart health.

Bananas are known for their potassium, but did you know that potassium can help to strengthen your heart? Well it absolutely can—so eating a banana a day can lead to a healthy heart. Most people do not consume enough potassium in their daily diet, which often can have a direct impact on blood pressure control and other components of heart health. Additionally, a potassium-rich diet—AKA eating a banana every day—can lower your risk of heart disease by 27%. So, it’s time to add this fruit favorite into your daily routine.

©© Provided by Eat This, Not That!

6. You will enhance your vision (both during the day and at night).

No, we’re not talking about carrots. According to the National Institute of Health, bananas contain Vitamin A, which works to do three things, protect your eyes, maintain normal vision, and improve vision at night. So, there’s no need to overdo it with your carrot consumption and risk your skin turning orange. Instead, the move is definitely to stick with a banana a day because not only does it enhance your vision, but it has so many other health benefits too.

Written by Rachel Linder for Eat This, Not That©

Source: Surprising Side Effects of Eating a Banana Every Day (msn.com)

Unplug These Appliances That Hike Up Your Electricity Bill

Hold on to your wallet. Due to inflation and prices surging for natural gas, heating oil, and other fuels, you will see a significant rise in your bills this winter. So if you’ve already opened your electric bill only to be shocked by the amount owed, you’ve already seen the change. According to Associated Press, households can expect to see jumps of up to 54% in their heating bills.

©FreshSplash / Getty Images/iStockphoto

Figuring out how to reduce your electric bill can be as simple as figuring out what’s costing you the most. To do this, you can follow a simple formula to determine how many kilowatt-hours (kWh) a device is using in a month or year, and then find ways to cut back where possible.

Kilowatt-hours are essentially a way of measuring how much power a device uses in an hour of being turned on. If you look at most appliances, they will supply a wattage or a range of wattages the device operates at — how many watts it burns in an hour. Once you have the wattage, simply divide that by 1,000 (to convert the watts to kilowatts) and then multiply by how many hours a day you use the item. That will give you a basic figure for how many kilowatt-hours a day you’re using with that item.

From there, you can use the U.S. Department of Energy’s number for the average U.S. utility rate of $0.14 per kWh, or you could get more specific and get your rate straight from your energy provider. Based on what your costs are, you can then determine which appliance or device is the actual energy vampire and what’s not really using much electricity.

Random Energy Suckers

There are certain devices that still suck power even after they’re turned “off” — and that’s a major issue. You need to be aware of how many are actually continuing to draw power even when they’re not on, including devices like your computer, instant-on TVs, surround sound systems or even cable and satellite TV boxes. For that matter, anything with a built-in digital clock is pulling a little juice.

The National Resources Defense Council estimates that almost a quarter of the energy used by your home is consumed by idle devices that aren’t even on. It is estimated that the average household in Northern California spends between $210 and $440 a year on energy vampires and the country as a whole spends $19 billion a year for electricity it’s not really using.

How do you deliver the proverbial wooden stake to the heart of your energy vampires? Unplug things you aren’t using, use power strips for devices you know use power while idle, adjust power settings on things like your computer or TV and consider getting timers for outlets to help control usage.

Not sure which devices are adding the biggest idle load to your energy bill? These are the top 10 culprits, according to the NRDC.

1. Fishpond Equipment

  • Average Wattage: 220 watts
  • Cost per Year: $220

Although you likely can’t pull the plug on your fishpond (unless it’s not currently housing fish), consider investing in an energy-saving pump to cut down on energy costs.

2. Hot Water Recirculation Pump

  • Average Wattage: 28-92 watts
  • Cost per Year: $28-$93

Plug your hot water recirculation pump into a timer and program it to switch the pump off at times when no one is typically using hot water, such as in the middle of the night.

3. Set-Top Box

  • Average Wattage: 16-57 watts
  • Cost per Year: $16-$57

Many homes have multiple set-top boxes, which leads to a bigger energy suck. Consider unplugging boxes that aren’t used regularly, such as a box in a guest bedroom. For the boxes you use regularly, consider plugging the entire entertainment system (set-top box, TV, speakers, etc.) into a power strip so that the whole thing can be turned off at once.

4. Audio/Visual Gear

  • Average Wattage: 7-40 watts
  • Cost per Year: $7-$40

Audio devices like amplifiers, stereos, boom boxes and internet radio receivers are easy enough to unplug when not in use. This simple act can save you up to $40 a year.

5. Fans

  • Average Wattage: 110 watts
  • Cost per Year: $111

Unplug fans when not in use, and switch to a fan with a timer so that it doesn’t stay on all night while you sleep.

6. 24/7 Lights

  • Average Wattage: 4-104 watts
  • Cost per Year: $4-$104

There really is no need to keep a light on when you are not using it. Switch off lights when not in use or put them on a timer so that they shut off automatically.

7. Television

  • Average Wattage: 2-54 watts
  • Cost per Year: $2-$54

Unplug any TVs that you don’t regularly use, such as one in a guest bedroom. You should also adjust the power setting on your TV. Consider disabling your TV’s “quick start” setting to save on energy.

8. Aquarium

  • Average Wattage: 4-104 watts
  • Cost per Year: $4-$104

The main culprit of energy usage in your aquarium is the heater. Although you might not be able to unplug it depending on the optimum temperature for your fish, consider insulating the tank and placing it in a well-heated room to cut down on heating costs. If you have an aquarium light, unplug it when not in use.

9. Desktop Computer

  • Average Wattage: 1-49 watts
  • Cost per Year: $1-$49

Your computer doesn’t draw a ton of power, even when it’s on, with a typical desktop costing you about a penny an hour. However, even pennies can add up over the course of a year. Plug your computer, monitor, printer, computer speakers and other computer accessories into a single power strip that can be turned off when not in use. Let your computer go to sleep after a maximum of 30 minutes of inactivity, and turn your computer off whenever you’ve finished using it.

10. Modem

  • Average Wattage: 5-17 watts
  • Cost per Year: $5-$17

Unplug your modem before going to bed. You don’t need internet access when you’re asleep.

Source: Unplug These Appliances That Hike Up Your Electricity Bill | GOBankingRates

7 Signs of When to Start Planting a Garden

After waiting out the cold winter months, your green thumb is probably itching to get back into the soil. But before you pull on your garden gloves, here are a few signs to look for that indicate when to start planting a garden.

1. Your Last Frost Date Has Passed

The first step in deciding when to start planting a garden is determining your garden growing zone. Once you know what zone you live in on the USDA Hardiness Zone map, you’ll have a better idea of when the last frosts are for your area. As a general rule, seeds or seedlings should go in the ground at least two weeks after the last frost date.

2. Your Seed Packets Tell You It’s Time

Armed with your hardiness zone, the next indicator in deciding when to start planting a garden can be found on the back of your seed packets. Based on the days to germination and the days to harvest listed on your seed pack, you can determine when you need to sow seeds or start them indoors.

3. Thawed Ground

Another sign to check for is the soil condition. If the ground is still frozen, it won’t make for successful planting. Checking for workable garden soil is pretty simple: Take a walk around your planting area and squeeze a handful of soil into a ball with your hands. If it sticks together or is dripping wet, it’s not workable or ready. If it falls apart easily, it’s a sign it’s nearly time to plant.

4. Warm Nighttime Temperatures

Just because you’re seeing some warm daytime temperatures doesn’t mean your garden is ready for planting. It’s essential to look at nighttime temperatures, too, before transplanting any seedlings to your garden. Ideally, you should plant warm weather plants when evening temperatures no longer dip below 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

5. Warm Soil Temperature

As the weather outside begins to warm up, the soil also steadily grows warmer. Checking your soil temperature is another method you can use to determine when to start planting. Seeds planted too early may not germinate right away or at all and can be disturbed before they get the chance to do so. Seedlings also need the proper soil temperatures before being transplanted to ensure survival.

To measure your soil’s temperature, use a garden and compost thermometer. The soil should be at least 60 F to 65 F for spring planting. Take measurements three times throughout the day — morning, noon and late afternoon — to get a more accurate average temperature range.

6. More Sunlight Hours

Keep an eye on your garden area where your growing beds sit and clock how many hours of sunlight it receives throughout the day. Most warm weather plants, like squash and tomatoes, require six to eight hours of full sun daily. Once the area starts to get closer to six hours of steady sunlight, you’ll know it’s about time to get planting.

7. Your Seedlings Are Ready

If you start your seeds indoors, it’s also vital to look to your seedlings for signs it’s time to begin planting. Most seedlings should have at least two sets of true leaves before being transplanted into the ground. Don’t forget to factor in time for hardening off the plants when you begin your garden preparation.

Watch for a few signs that your garden is ready for planting — no single one should be the only indicator. A combination of these signs, coupled with experience, can help you determine the best time to start.

Source: When to Start Planting a Garden – Burpee