Sunday, October 26, 2014

5 Must Have Kitchen Tools

By: May Gayle Mengert, AMS

The kitchen is an essential part of every household and you have to admit, regular upgrading of this area in the house is not only fun, but practical as well. With a number of new tools and appliances coming into the market regularly, it becomes hard to decide what to get. 

       May Gayle Mengert

I have compiled a list of five must-have appliances and devices for your kitchen:

1. The Trio Peeler

What else could a peeler do except peel? This is the thought that comes to mind when one first reads this term. However, you must have noticed that your single purpose peeler may be good with peeling potatoes and apples, but is not that efficient when it comes to peeling tomatoes

The Trio peeler is the perfect solution for peeling all sorts of fruits and vegetables whether they are hard or soft. The third function of this special peeler is that it juliennes as well! Now wouldn’t you want to have this in your kitchen? 

2. The Rotating Potato Masher

Potatoes the that type of food that is commonly used in every house. You may be a vegetarian or not, but potatoes will still be part of the menu at home. Doesn’t it get tiring to keep pounding potatoes to get them mashed?

Of course it does, which is why the rotating potato masher is a must-have! This essential tool simply requires you to use the palm of your hand to rotate a plastic/rubber or silicone based fan like head. It not only creates a wonderful mash in less time, but it requires minimum effort!

3. The Zyliss Five Way Opener

Why have a separate can opener and a bottle cap opener? The five way opener allows you to perform five “opening” functions in one, simple device. 

• Soda Can Pop Top Pull Up
• Bottle Cap Opener
• Unsealing of Machine-tightened bottle caps
• Pull Tabs Opener
• Unseals food cans or jars
4. The Tea Swizzle

Don’t you enjoy the flavor of tea made by teabags as much as open tea? This is the solution for you! Some of the best tea leaves are homegrown and come in loose packs. 

No need to worry anymore, as the tea swizzle will let you enjoy a perfect cup of loose tea! Or even if you want to mix two different types of tea leaves, this is the best way to do it!

5. The Perfect Paring Knife

This knife is perfect for both simple cutting tasks, thanks to the easy to use handle, and difficult chopping duties. This single paring knife performs the functions of three different knives depending on your needs and requirements. Mincing, chopping, peeling, coring, shaping and trimming! You name it and this single device will do it for you! 

Adding these tools to your kitchen will not only make your daily tasks easier to perform, but these tools actually look good in your kitchen as well!

Friday, October 10, 2014

Paul Mengert, President of AMG on Living in Smaller Spaces

Downsizing Your Living Space

Moving from a large place to a small place for living can be both tiring and saddening. This kind of move makes you realize that you have to let go of a number of things that you had and used in your large house or apartment.

This is definitely not an easy task, as most of us are left in a quandary when it comes to deciding what you need in your new space. Here are few strategies you could use when it comes to downsizing your living space. 

Can You Live Without It?

Ask yourself if you can manage a life without that mountain terrain bicycle you bought while you were living in your open, large space. Now that you have moved to a small apartment in the city, do you really need that bicycle? Why not go to the gym close to your home to burn the extra calories, instead?

Go through all the items and furniture you own and ask yourself one question, how many times have you used it? Be honest with yourself. This way, you will end up with a number of things that you realize you don’t really need. 

Keeping Your New Space Clutter Free

Clutter is something that tends to accumulate with time and sometimes, tags along when you are moving to a smaller living space. Before moving, make sure you get rid of all the unnecessary clutter lying around the house. Free samples of the perfume you got at a promotion in the mall, kits from your hotels while you were travelling, unnecessary paperwork and mail, you need to get rid of all these things! 

Avoid taking freebies from fairs or promotions or make a habit of donating these things to those in need instead of taking themhome. Do not leave it for “later”!

Hybrid Furniture

Hybrid furniture is the type of furniture that serves more than one purpose. This is a sound investment when it comes to downsizing your living space. If you do not have a guest room, try buying a sofa cum bed as it will not only serve the purpose of a comfortable couch but will also attribute to an extra bed when the need arises. 

If you have enough space for a single table, get one that can double up as an office table, coffee table or meal table. Depending on the storage spaces, use multipurpose organizer drawers keys, bags, ties, etc. 

Sell The Unnecessary 

If you have a large number of items that you do not need when you move out, consider having a small yard sale. These days, instead of having a physical sale, you can easily upload the items you want on websites like eBay and Craiglist to generate a better sale. A number of people will pay a good amount of money for collectible items and antique furniture that you have to get rid of. However, make sure you have a good description and a reliable payment option once you post your advertisement online!



Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Protect Pets—and Common Areas—from Parasites

Dogs and cats can be great companions, but they also can carry fleas, ticks and parasites into your home and our community. Infestations can spread quickly through a community when flea-infested carpeting or pet bedding is disposed of improperly, when a flea-infested pet plays with your pet and when pet waste is left uncollected on common areas. 

Help avoid harmful pests in your home and community with the following tips, and follow up with your veterinarian to learn more about other ways to prevent and treat outbreaks.


· Apply a topical flea and tick pesticide. Fleas lay 40 to 50 eggs a day. Unless a pesticide kills 95 percent of the fleas, you won’t eliminate the problem. To do this, you need to use the products sold by your veterinarian. Over-the-counter products just aren’t strong or effective enough. Monthly applications will help keep pets healthy even when they’re exposed to parasites—including mosquitos and mites.


· Always leash your pet. Although you may trust your pets to obey commands, keeping them leashed lessens the likelihood they’ll be infected by other pets and wildlife.


· Keep your pet clean. Even indoor pets should be inspected for ticks and flea “dirt,” which looks like pepper at the base of the coat on the skin. An occasional bath with flea shampoo is a good idea as well. Visit your local pet store or grooming facility or check online for information on bathing routines and options that are best for your pet.


· Monitor your pet’s behavior. Scratching is your first indication that fleas have discovered your dog or cat. Apply a topical pesticide immediately. Fleas, ticks and mosquitos carry potentially life threatening pathogens, so pets can experience a wide range of symptoms if infected; be suspicious of changes in behavior and discuss them promptly with your veterinarian.


· Keep the situation contained. Once you’ve treated your pet and your home (and possibly your yard or outdoor surroundings depending on how severe the infestation), keep the pet close to home until the problem is resolved. Wash bedding and toys that may harbor eggs or larvae in hot water. Infested bedding or carpeting should be tightly sealed in plastic bags before disposing to reduce risk of spreading to others.

Paul Mengert, President

Association Management Group, Inc. (AMG)

Sunday, October 5, 2014

See You Later, Summer!

It’s that time of year—you’re exchanged your swimsuit for sweaters and scarves just in time to roll up your sleeves and prepare you home for cooler weather. As we watch summer fade into the sunset, consider adding the following items to your winterization checklist, and ensure your home is in tip-top shape for the fall and winter seasons.

    Paul K. Mengert, Association Manager & Trainer    
    Association Management Group, Inc.

    Greensboro, NC


◾️ Update your window treatments. Summer’s venetian blinds and sheer curtain panels won’t keep the frigid air from creeping in on a cold night. Consider switching to a denser curtain fabric for the winter months to keep your home feeling cozy and keep heating bills low.


◾️ Schedule appliance check-ups. Your HVAC system, air ducts and hot water heater should be checked by a licensed professional to ensure all elements are in good shape for the change in weather—especially if any appliances worked overtime during summer months.


◾️ Don’t forget the attic. Check for leaks in the roof, possible cracks in attic windows and insufficient insulation. With the help of a licensed professional or advice from your local home improvement store staff, you can shield your attic from harsh weather. We recommend checking with the BBB (


◾️ Replace weather stripping. Doors and windows need extra help to hold heat inside your home. Inspect all door and window perimeters for cracks or tears in your current weather stripping. You also can add a second layer of protection with temporary weather stripping applied overtop your existing seals.


◾️ Deep clean and declutter. Thoroughly clean your home’s nooks and crannies inside and out. Ensure electrical cords, outlets and air vents are dust- and clutter-free; tidy up garages and storage areas; and clear any debris from your home’s exterior, especially around vents and drains.