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8 Easy Ways to Naturally Detoxify Your Home

Our homes are meant to make us feel safe, happy and healthy. To keep it that way, it’s important to know how to detoxify your home from certain toxins, germs and other hazardous substances that can have adverse health effects on your family.

Unfortunately, the sad truth is that your home can have upwards of 500 various chemicals trapped inside its sealed-up, insulated walls. Furthermore, the air inside your home is estimated to be 2-5 times more polluted than outdoor air (yikes!). Given these facts, more and more serious conditions are being linked to environmental toxins – autoimmune and reproductive disorders, just to name a few.

So, you’ve installed a filtered fresh air intake system to improve the air quality in your home, tested your tap water for lead and routinely changed your HVAC air filters. Give yourself a pat on the back … this is a good start!

The question is: what else can you do to be proactively keep your family healthy and safe?

Try these easy, all-natural steps to instantly make your home healthier.

Use all-natural cleaners

Replace harsh cleaners and poisonous chemicals with mother nature’s homemade alternatives.

    • Wooden Cutting Boards & Surfaces: Lemon and Salt
      Cut a lemon in half horizontally. Sprinkle the wooden surface with coarse salt. Scrub the surface using the lemon, squeezing slightly as you scour the surface to release the lemon juice. Let it sit for 5 minutes, then rinse with a clean wet sponge.
    • All Purpose Cleaner: Dissolve 4 tablespoons baking soda in 1 liter of warm water.
    • Drain and Burnt Pots and Pans Cleaner: Baking soda and vinegar. It’s a proven fact that the combination of baking soda and vinegar can pretty much clean anything.
      • To clean the drain: Pour a half-cup baking soda down the drain. Add a half-cup white vinegar. Cover and wait five minutes. Rinse drain with a full pot of boiling water.
      • To clean burnt pots and pans: In a burnt pan, bring 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar to a boil. Once boiling, remove it from the heat and add 2 tablespoons of baking soda. When the mixture stops fizzing, empty the pan and scrub with a rough sponge. For any tough spots, add additional baking soda. Rinse.
    • Kitchen sink: Baking soda and rubbing alcohol
      Baking soda works well on stainless steel surfaces as it’s abrasive enough to scrub away hard water deposits and stuck-on food and grease, but not too harsh as to scratch shiny stainless surfaces. To create the mix, combine baking soda with a bit of water or rubbing alcohol until a paste forms. Cover your sink with the paste, scrub, rinse and enjoy the sparkle!
    • Oven Cleaner: Water and salt
      Mix water and three tablespoons of salt in a spray bottle. Spray the spills and scrape them away once the oven has cooled.
    • Toilet Bowl Cleaner: Lemon juice and borax
      Make a paste with lemon juice and borax. Apply the paste to the toilet bowl, let set for two hours, then brush and rinse.

No shoe policy

Shoes bring in contaminants from outside, including soil, that in many cases, still contains lead compounds.

No artificial air fresheners

Health experts preach that plug-in air fresheners use of phthalates (air polluting chemicals) that can cause harmful side effects, like asthma and allergic symptoms. Essential oil diffusers are a great alternative and smell just as delicious.Beware that phthalates are also used to soften plastics in children’s toys and as sealants and adhesives in nail polish – likely consumer products you already have around your home.

Use untreated fabrics

Man-made fabrics, like acrylic, polyester, rayon, acetate, and nylon are treated with thousands of harmful toxic chemicals during production. Stain-resistant surfaces as found on furniture and flame-retardant clothing, including children’s pajamas, have volatile organic compounds (VOCs), like formaldehyde.Stick to shopping for fabrics that are good for your skin, such as bamboo, wool, synthetic fabrics, vintage clothing and wrinkle-resistant apparel.

Beware of mold

When your kids are coughing or wheezing, it’s likely due to mold spores in your home versus the pollen outside. Mold flourishes where there is too much moisture in the air. Make sure there aren’t roof leaks or dripping faucets and that any space heaters, furnaces or fireplaces are properly calibrated and well-vented. To keep humidity under control, try a dehumidifier that keeps the relative humidity below 50%.

Ditch the chlorine

Although chlorine is an effective germ killer, it increases the risk of coronary heart disease and has been linked to linked to cancers, specifically bladder and rectal.Since chlorine is lurking in your tap water, try a kitchen faucet with an activated charcoal water filter and a similar showerhead filter to minimize the chlorine-containing compounds you inhale during a hot shower.

Be mindful of germs

    • Wash your hands after every meal and trip to the bathroom.
    • Try not to touch your hands to your mouth or eyes.
    • Use disinfectant sprays on doorknobs and other frequent touch points.
    • Use a dry toothbrush. Many viruses, including those that cause the flu, can survive for more than 24 hours on moist bristles. Alternate between a few brushes so you’re always using a dry toothbrush.
    • Replace sponges weekly. Kitchen sponges are breeding grounds for bacteria and can easily transfer food-borne bugs, such as salmonella and campylobacter, from countertops and cutting boards to dishes and cookware. The rule of thumb is to change your sponge weekly and make sure you air-dry it between uses.

Watch out for lead

Most of us think that lead isn’t an issue in a home anymore. Think again. The toxic metal can still be found in tap water, old paint, newspaper ink, as well as topsoil that remains highly contaminated due to the fallout of automobile exhaust that ran on leaded gas years ago.

 

To detoxify your home, the first step is awareness. If you’re reading this article, we’re guessing you’re ready to make the necessary changes. Check! ☑ The next step is implementation. Luckily, these easy, all-natural, non-toxic home cleaning remedies should have you worrying less about your family’s health and enjoying more memories together in your home.

Let us know how these DIY cleaning hacks work for you!

all natural cleaning hacks

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Lanvale Forest New Home Community in Leland, NC

Lanvale Forest by McKee Homes is a charming community of new homes that boast both quality and value.

Lanvale Forest is nestled in the heart of North Brunswick County only minutes from Downtown Wilmington. The Community offers a pool and bath house, sidewalks and street lights.  Enjoy living near Wilmington with the lower cost of living & taxes that are associated with the town of Leland.  Leland is a new, up and coming area that gives residents the convenience of proximity to Wilmington while choosing from a variety of beaches in either Brunswick or New Hanover County.

Lanvale Forest Video

With 1,300-2,900 square feet homes starting in the low $200’s just a short drive from downtown Wilmington and some of the best beaches in the area, it’s easy to understand why Lanvale Forest is such a popular community.

The Leland/Wilmington area is a fantastic place to explore with your family and show off to visiting guests. From strolling brick-lined streets to splashing in the sea at Wrightsville Beach, there’s something for everyone. There’s also Battleship North Carolina – a time capsule of 70-year-old naval history for you to explore. And Middle Sound Marina is a beautiful, hassle-free place to launch your boat.

After a day of work or play, come home to the tranquil streets of Lanvale Forest. The community has its own private pool and bathhouse for splashing with the kids and catching up with the neighbors.

Elegant home exteriors give a welcoming first impression, with charming entries and professional landscaping. Step inside and you’ll find large, spacious layouts with designer details such as decorative light fixtures, cottage-style arched doors, granite counter tops and stainless steel appliances.

From the beach life to a quiet haven, have it all at Lanvale Forest by McKee Homes – a place your family can grow for years.

Location:4505 Combs Forest Court, Leland, NC 28451

Price Range: From the low $200’s
Sq.Ft. Range: 1,300-2,900 Sq.Ft.
Schools:
Elementary School: Town Creek
Middle School: Leland
High School: N. Brunswick

Amenities: Pool and pool house

Lanvale Forest Location Map

Best Budget Hotels in Wilmington, NC

Planning a trip to the largest historic city in North Carolina but are not sure where to stay? Whether you are visiting on vacation or are in town for a business trip, you just may find yourself wanting to stay! While you begin dreaming about new homes in Wilmington, NC, here are several suggestions for your upcoming short-term stay.

Types of Lodging
In addition to the numerous hotels and motels around town, there are many different types of lodging available. There are condos for rental, quaint guest rooms available by the night, and suites with full kitchens for those who want to eat in occasionally. Some hotels are located on the beach while others are conveniently placed in the historic downtown. Here are four budget-friendly hotels worth considering:

Ramada Inn Conference Center
This hotel offers standard rooms in a convenient location, with affordable and competitive rates. The room includes free breakfast, with an on-site restaurant if you want to stay in for lunch or dinner.

TownePlace Suites by Marriott
The TownePlace Suites by Marriott prides itself on being friendly and welcoming, the perfect base for your Cape Fear getaway. It offers competitive rates, even over holiday weekends, and each suite includes a full kitchen with a stovetop and refrigerator. The hotel is close to downtown and includes a 24-hour on-site business center.

Beach House Inn and Suites
Although located about twenty minutes from the city, the Beach House Inn and Suites might be worth considering! The property includes a variety of suites and oceanfront rooms, with easy access to sites and events in the area.

Riverview Suites at Water Street Center
Depending on when you are traveling, you may be able to get a decent rate at the Riverview’s affiliate, the Hilton Riverside. However, staying at the Riverview might be worth it thanks to its all-suites design, complete with full kitchens so you can prepare some of your own meals. Guests at either hotel can enjoy the fitness center, heated outdoor pool, and more.

A Word to the Wise
If you are traveling for vacation, you may want to consider staying at a bed and breakfast or in a vacation rental. However, these may be more costly than a hotel for a short-term stay. Do you have flexible travel dates? If you are looking for a place to stay on a budget, consider traveling during off-peak times. Hotel rates tend to rise during the summer tourist season, so try coming a few weeks before or after. With some competitive shopping, you should be able to find the perfect place to stay within your budget.

If you decide that coastal living is for you, contact McKee Homes for more information on new construction in Wilmington, NC. Our energy-efficient homes are expertly crafted and built in the area’s most attractive, up-and-coming neighborhoods. Let us help you find your dream home.

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Fun Local Events in Wilmington, NC

Are you hoping to relocate to a friendly, arts-oriented community along the Southeast Coast? Many people are building new homes in Wilmington, NC to enjoy the city’s temperate weather and year-round festivities and events, from street fairs to flower festivals. Whether you are in the area for a few days or are considering staying long-term, here are several fun, local events to check out:

Events for Hobbyists

Are you interested in antiques, gardening, or old films? The city is home to countless small hobbyist festivals, including the:

  • Cucalorus Film Festival: This is one of the biggest events in the area, attracting more than 14,000 people from around the world to view over 200 films in historic downtown theaters. In addition to films, the festival includes kid-friendly activities, workshops, keynote speakers, and programs on dance, social justice, and more.
  • North Carolina Azalea Festival: Many locals say that it never truly feels like spring until after the North Carolina Azalea Festival, held every year in April as the flowers reach peak bloom. This five-day event, which began in 1948, includes a street fair, horse show, home and garden tours, and the crowning of the Azalea Queen, Princesses, and Belles.
  • Wine and Chocolate Festival: This much-loved weekend event includes tastings, food demonstrations, live entertainment, and more.
  • Model Railroad Show: Held in January each year, the Cape Fear Model Railroad Society Show and Sale has something for everyone! Dozens of vendors set up booths and working model train displays, with free clinics on display techniques for those interested.

Music Festivals

This coastal city attracts and celebrates music of all kinds, including these three annual events:

  • North Carolina Jazz Festival: This festival is typically held in early February, attracting big names and local musicians alike for over 35
  • Cape Fear Blues Festival: Held during the last weekend of July each year, this festival attracts local, regional, and national blues musicians. Formal concerts and more casual live performances are presented across the city in various venues.
  • Airlie Garden Concert Series: Are you more interested in hearing a mix of different styles of music? Airlie Gardens hosts two-hour concerts twice a month from May to September. Bring a blanket and picnic supper to make it a perfect evening out.

Community Events

Additional community events abound in the city, giving both tourists and locals the chance to feel at home. Here are three local gatherings worth attending:

  • Coastal Living Show: This annual, two-day event serves as a fundraiser for the local Woman’s Club and attracts vendors from across the city. Visitors can stop by over 80 booths for gifts, products, foods, and services that tell you all about life on the coast.
  • Riverfest Street Fair: Typically held in early October, this enormous street fair celebrates the city’s heritage with live performances, fireworks, food, and crafts.
  • Riverfront Farmers’ Market: Offering the very best produce and treats from local farmers and business owners, this farmers’ market is open nearly every Saturday between April and December.

The city’s annual events include additional festivals for music, seafood, flowers, and more. With so many great events year-round, you would be missing out if you chose to live anywhere else! Contact McKee Homes today for more information on new homes in Wilmington, NC.

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5 Best Restaurants in Wilmington, NC

If you are considering contacting home builders in Wilmington, NC, then you must already know some of the benefits of living in this historic, arts-oriented city. However, did you know that the area is also known for its large number of high-quality, must-try restaurants? The best places are sprinkled throughout town, from the area around the university to practically anywhere along the waterfront. As the locals say, throw a rock and you will hit a good restaurant! Here are five of our top picks:

  1. Genki Sushi
    Genki Sushi is the place to go for fresh, authentic sushi. Everything on the menu is hand-prepared or homemade, including the sauces. The restaurant offers a true Japanese taste experience, with dishes like shrimp tempura and udon noodles. Plus, the owners are candid about the menu, using pi-water for drinking and cooking, with no chemicals or MSG in sight.
  2. Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet and Sushi
    Are you looking for a top-quality menu that includes sushi as well as vegetarian and organic dishes? Nikki’s Fresh Gourmet is highly rated by locals and tourists alike. You can visit its original location on Front Street as well as its locations in the mall and near the university. Another option is Nikki’s Hibachi Steak House, featuring hibachi dining along with the restaurant’s famous sushi.
  3. Cape Fear Seafood Company
    If you prefer your fish pan-seared, grilled, or otherwise prepared, stop by the Cape Fear Seafood Company. This locally owned restaurant prides itself on offering dishes with fresh ingredients in a relaxing atmosphere. Enjoy the extensive wine list, local art on the walls, and not-to-be-missed menu.
  4. Caprice Bistro
    For a taste of Europe with French and Belgian cuisine, plan a visit to the Caprice Bistro. Stop by the upstairs lounge for drinks and hors d’oeuvres, or enjoy a meal of fresh mussels, trout, or lamb downstairs. More favorites include the French onion soup, bistro steak, and fresh pasta.
  5. Paddy’s Hollow
    If you want comfort food in a great environment, look no further than Paddy’s Hollow, a pub located in a restored cotton warehouse. The restaurant has numerous beers on tap to complement entrees including grilled salmon, shrimp po boy, and shepherd’s pie. Locals cite it as a great place to stop for dinner before going out for the night, or anytime you want a meal in a great atmosphere.

Bonus: The Peppered Cupcake
No list of great restaurants would be complete without an option for dessert! This little shop offers gourmet cupcakes crafted with unique flavor combinations. Flavors include apple crisp, bourbon black cherry and vanilla cobbler, German chocolate, maple and bacon, and crème brûlée. Their everyday menu includes seven flavors, with other varieties depending on the day.

You may not be able to try dining at all of these restaurants unless you move to the area! Contact McKee Homes, expert home builders in Wilmington, NC, for more information on finding your perfect home.