YANKEE AT THE BIG E
The Biggest Event of the Year
This month, everybody around Yankee Home Improvement is readying up for The Big E, which most of you probably know is one of the oldest, largest annual fairs in the entire country. Held every year in West Springfield, Massachusetts, it’s an enormous shindig with tons of live music, rides, and more fried food than anybody should ever eat. But for me and the rest of the company, the best part of the event is hanging out at our booth and connecting with dozens of our wonderful customers. This year, it’ll be our sixth year at the exposition, but with something like a 10-year waiting list for new businesses to get into the event, it took a lot of work to get us in originally. For years, we would send the officials in charge of the show little things to put us on their radar. But despite sending flowers, flyers, and other small gifts, nothing seemed to work — that is, until we sent a squishy foam foot in, alongside a humorous piece our writers drafted up. Initially, we didn’t get any response from that either, until one day, I saw that the guy who’s in charge of the whole operation was up for an award. So, hoping to strike up a conversation, I called him up to congratulate him on the accomplishment. I knew he was from Ireland, so I put on my best Dublin accent and started chatting with him about the Auld Sod.
Fifteen minutes into the call, we were talking away, when he suddenly asked me, “Now who are you again?” He wasn’t sure if he knew me already or not! When I told him I was the guy who sent the foot in, he chuckled, and that was that — we were in! Lucky thing, too, because in the six years we’ve been doing it, it’s been an absolute blast. I’m not huge on big crowds and rides, but I am big on talking to people, so I always enjoy my time running our booth. With more than 1.5 million people attending the event each year, it’s amazing how many of our old customers stop by to check in and say hello, not to mention all the fresh faces I get to meet. It’s important to me that all of us at Yankee Home Improvement forge genuine relationships with the people we serve — after all, we want to be your contractor for life! — and The Big E is the perfect venue to connect with our awesome customers and hear what they’ve been up to. This year, we’ll be celebrating the 10th anniversary of our company while we’re at the event. If you’re going to make it out to this enormous exhibition — and you absolutely should! — grab a deep fried holy cannoli, make sure to stop by, and say hello to the team. We’d love to see you! –Ger Ronan
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NEED A PERSONAL ASSISTANT TO MANAGE
YOUR KIDS’ CRAZY SCHEDULES? T R Y T H E S E 3 T I P S I N S T E A D
School has started. Youth sports are in full swing. Work is crazy. Food has become more about necessity than
tool like a shared calendar, you can coordinate the entire family’s schedule so you never miss a beat. And apps like Mealime and MealBoard give you the ability to whip up food that is cost-effective and delicious. TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORK While you’re busy trying to rally the troops at soccer practice, the scene at home resembles a horror movie. Laundry is piling up, food is spoiling in the fridge, and the dust bunnies around the house now have names. Housecleaning is a part-time job in its own right. The only way to stay on top of duties around the house is to work together. A chore chart with clear responsibilities is a great place to start. Whether you have one child or eight, everyone is capable of pitching in. You can have all the organizational abilities in the world, but the best way to manage life’s madness isn’t by directing day-to-day tasks; it’s by managing stress. Instead of using these tools to control life, look at them as a way to free up time so you can decompress and enjoy the things you love.
enjoyment. All of this can only mean one thing: Fall has begun. The crazy schedules this time of year can make it tough for parents to keep their heads on straight; making it through the insanity sometimes feels more like survival than life. But there are tactics you can employ to turn the tide and find more time for yourself. TAG TEAM There’s no reason to try to do everything on your own. The phrase “It takes a village to raise a child” exists because managing the stressors of life requires help. A great place to start is by establishing car pools with a parent group you trust. You can alternate drivers weekly, which provides the opportunity for you to focus your attention on other priorities — or if you’re lucky, have some freedom.
THE RIGHT TOOL FOR THE JOB Technology makes organization easier and more accessible than ever. By using a
YANKEE HOME IMPROVEMENT G E T S A F A C E - L I F T At Yankee Home Improvement, we’re passionate
graffiti is known worldwide. “I wanted to see if we could incorporate some stuff around the office with the same kind of off-the-cuff style.” Look around the office and you can see that we’ve done just that, bringing some fresh color into the space with a few attractive murals. First, we’ve got a larger-than-life ape jamming to some tunes, followed by a rather encouraging little robot. And of course, we wouldn’t be the “Thank You, America” company without a massive mural of the American flag, complete with the Statue of Liberty. Of course, these murals aren’t the only ways we’ve been revamping our office space — we’re just getting started. If you get the chance, come on down and check it out. We’re always excited to chat with our awesome customers and show them around!
about creating a cozy, friendly space for our team to work in. We know that the happier and more comfortable our employees are at work, the better service they can provide for our wonderful customers. That’s why we’re excited to announce that we’re in the midst of a remodel at the Yankee Home Improvement offices! Ger and the team are always tweaking the Yankee space to make it one of the best offices in town, but recently, we’ve been undergoing a comprehensive face-lift of the facility. Some of the most eye-catching improvements can already be seen right on our walls.
“I’ve always admired the work of Banksy,” Ger says, speaking of the guerilla visual artist whose
YOUR WINDOWS MAY BE COSTING YOU MONEY
REPLACING YOUR WINDOWS COULD EQUAL SAVINGS ON YOUR ENERGY BILL
The chilly weather is enough to make you shudder as you reach for your jacket this fall — but your energy bill should not have the same effect. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, windows can have a 10–25 percent impact on your energy bill. Whether that impact is positive or negative is up to you and the maintenance of your windows. Replacing outdated windows with new, energy efficient models can help keep the heat inside your home this winter, keeping your energy bill lower as a result. The coating and style of each window can directly impact the amount of heat or cold air that is let in and out of your home. Homeowners in colder, northeastern climates should select windows with specialty coatings that prevent heat loss, the Department of Energy suggests. Proper sealing along the edges of the frames and the corners of the windows can also keep heat inside your home. Tight-fitting windows will trap the warm air inside and keep the cold air outside,
while old, misshapen, or damaged windows will do the opposite.
The Veridis 1800 Series we use at Yankee Home Improvement has a .01 air infiltration rate, ranking best in the industry for keeping the air you pay for inside your home. This year, instead of turning to plastic window wraps or temporary foam sealers from the hardware store, consider replacing your inefficient windows with a lifetime solution. In addition to new (and stylish) windows, updating the siding and roofing on your home can also seal up cracks that may be costing you more money. When combined, each improvement adds up to more savings on your energy bill. Throughout the months of September and October, Yankee Home is offering 50% off the installation of 4 or more windows. Call (413) 320-4994 to schedule a free estimate.
Want to take your grilled cheese game to the next level? This recipe calls for cheese both inside and outside the sandwich, adding a crispy crunch to the grilled cheese experience. It’s a quick, delicious weekday dinner option the whole family will love. Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese
8 slices of bread (Pullman works best)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (preferably Parmigiano-Reggiano)
8 ounces ham, thinly sliced
1/2 pound Swiss cheese, sliced
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup apricot preserves
1. Butter each slice of bread on the outsides and sprinkle with Parmesan. 2. Layer ham and cheese evenly on top of 4 slices of bread. 3. Spread apricot preserves and mustard across the other 4 slices. Press sandwiches together. 4. In a cast-iron skillet or large sauté pan over medium heat, grill sandwiches until golden, about 3 minutes per side. 5. Cut in half and serve.
Inspired by Food & Wine magazine
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(413) 320-4994 | www.Yankeehome.com
36 Justin Dr. Chicopee, MA 01022 INSIDE
Ger and the Yankee Team Head to The Big E
3 Tips to Help Organize Your Crazy Life Yankee Home Improvement Gets a Face-Lift
Save Money by Replacing Your Windows Inside-Out Grilled Ham and Cheese
Get a Head Start on Next Spring’s Garden
PREPARE YOUR GARDEN AUTUMN STEPS FOR A BETTER SPRING GARDEN
With fall just ahead, it’s a good time to think about your spring garden. For a beautiful garden next year, begin preparing this fall. Here are a few ways to get a head start!
rodents from digging them up and allows the plants to grow through the gaps in the wire.
KEEP YOUR GARDEN TIDY
Once you’ve harvested your best fruits and vegetables, go back through and harvest the rest, even if you don’t plan to eat them. Make sure your garden is clear of old vegetables, fallen leaves, and weeds. Leaving decaying plants in or on top of the ground can spread diseases into the soil and attract unwanted pests to your garden.
If you want beautiful flowers in April, you should start planting bulbs now. Many flower bulbs need to be in the ground before winter settles in; this helps activate the bulbs’ biochemical process that allows them to bloom. Getting the bulbs into the ground before it freezes allows their roots to grow deep enough to protect them from the biting winter weather. Among the flower bulbs you should plant soon are tulips, daffodils, irises, and hyacinths.
Pulling up weeds and all of your vegetables can help keep the earth free from rotting plants, but there are other steps you can take to ensure that your soil stays full of nutrients. Pick up a kit to test the pH levels of your soil. Most gardens thrive in soil with a pH of 6.5. Add compost to your soil supply now to give it time to break down during the winter months.
After you’ve planted your bulbs, there’s a risk that uninvited guests will dig them up. There are a few ways you can ensure that your bulbs remain undisturbed throughout the fall. One way is to place chicken wire over your bulbs after they’ve been planted. This keeps
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