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General Articles

woman petting dog

Keep your furry friends safe all winter long.

As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to protect your pet from all the dangers that they face.  Unfortunately, during the winter months, your pet faces more risks than ever.  To keep your furry friends safe this season, here are some of the precautions that you should take.

  • Do Not Leave Your Pets Alone in the Car

While most pet owners understand the dangers of leaving their pets in the car during summer, many are not aware that it’s also dangerous to do so in winter.  When your car sits idle, it traps cold air, and the temperature inside your vehicle can actually drop below the temperature outside.  Obviously, leaving your pet in such conditions makes them susceptible to frostbite and hypothermia.  Remember, even dogs that are bred for cold conditions are at risk for these cold-weather risks.

  • Keep Them Warm for Potty Breaks

When your dog’s fur gets wet, it does not insulate well.  This is why you should protect your dog with a waterproof coat when taking them out in wet conditions.  When selecting a coat for your pet, look for one that will not impede their ability to go to the bathroom and also look for ones that provide much-needed coverage to their sensitive tummy area.

  • Schedule a Vet Appointment

If your pet has not gone for their annual vet checkup, then you should schedule an appointment this winter.  Cold weather can exacerbate your pet’s existing conditions, such as arthritis, or make them more prone to injury.  Having your pet examined by a professional will help you diagnose any medical conditions that you were not aware of and can also help you keep your pet happy and healthy this season.

These are some of the steps that you should take to keep your pet safe this winter.  Want another way to care for your pet and other loved ones?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance protections in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, today.

dog sticking head our of car window

Take care of your pets as you drive them around.

As a pet owner, you often have to drive with your pets in the car.  While this probably does not seem out of the ordinary for you, it’s important to remember that this task does pose serious risks for your furry friends.  To keep your pets safe in the car, here are some of the precautionary measures that you should take.

  • Transport Pets in a Carrier

While you might hate the idea of putting your pet in a cage, it’s much safer to crate your pets when transporting them.  When you allow your pets to run loose in the car, they are more likely to get thrown into the side of your car or get launched off the seat.  Additionally, your pet may try to sit on you, making it harder to operate your car safely.  When you crate your pets, you can ensure they are confined in a sturdy, safe place that is less susceptible to being jostled or thrown about as you drive.

  • Do Not Transport Pets in the Flatbed of a Truck

Some dog owners like to transport their larger dogs by putting them in the flatbed of their pickup truck.  However, it is important to understand that this is incredibly dangerous.  In fact, several states have outlawed this practice as it causes thousands of pet deaths every year.

  • Do Not Let Your Pets Stick Their Heads Out of the Window

While your pet might love to feel the wind in their fur, it’s actually very dangerous to let your pets hang their heads out of open car windows.  Not only could your pet fall out of the car, but they can also get clipped by passing vehicles or get debris in their eyes.

These are some of the things that you should do to keep your pets safe as you drive.  Looking for the best way to protect yourself and all your passengers?  Then make sure you have the right auto insurance in place.  For assistance with all your car coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

holiday party

Try out these suggestions to host a stress-free holiday party.

If you are hosting an event this holiday season, then you may be feeling overwhelmed by everything that needs to get done.  While there’s no way to eliminate your stress completely, there are things that you can do to alleviate it a bit.  Here are some of the party-planning strategies that can help you reduce your stress levels.

  • Create a List

When planning a party, you should create a list that documents everything that you need to get done before the day of the event.  This is because trying to keep everything straight in your head makes you more likely to forget details, which creates unnecessary stress.  Writing things down will help you stay organized and realistic about your party.

  • Clean Your Home Gradually

Trying to completely clean your home in a single weekend is a surefire way to stress yourself out.  Rather than trying to get your home guest-ready all at once, try to tackle this task in the weeks leading up to your party.  For instance, gradually clear up clutter and clean often-overlooked areas.  Then, the day before the party, all you have to do is run the vacuum and clean your bathroom, and you will be ready to go.

  • Prepare Food Ahead of Time

When planning your party menu, think of foods that you can prepare ahead of time.  For instance, things like soups, stews, quiches, and tarts can be cooked in advance and then frozen until the day of your party.  By cooking ahead of time, you can save yourself the stress of cooking a full meal while simultaneously trying to take care of last-minute party preparations, greeting your guests, and so on.

These are some of the things that you can do to reduce your party-hosting stress.  Looking for another way to avoid stress this holiday season?  If so, then turn to the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, for the hassle-free insurance experience that you deserve.  Contact us for assistance with all your coverage needs today.

flatbread pizza

Try out this fresh twist on a classic pizza.

October is National Pizza Month!  In honor of this month, you should serve up a tasty pizza dinner that your whole family will love.  Want to experiment and try out something more adventurous than the classic pepperoni and cheese?  Then whip up this interesting flatbread pie.

Flatbread Pizza

Ingredients:

(for the flatbread crust)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • vegetable oil, for pan

(pizza toppings)

  • 12 oz. grape tomatoes, halved
  • ¼ small red onion, sliced
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. freshly chopped oregano
  • kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 8 oz. mozzarella, sliced into ¼-inch thick rounds
  • balsamic glaze, for serving
  • 2 cups arugula

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400° F. In a large bowl, whisk to combine flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Add yogurt and oil and mix until no dry spots remain.
  2. Lightly flour a clean work surface. Transfer dough to surface and knead until smooth, 3 to 4 minutes, adding more flour if the dough is sticky.
  3. Divide dough into 3 pieces, then roll each piece into a ¼-inch thick round. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium-high heat and add enough vegetable oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  4. Cook flatbreads until golden on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Continue cooking flatbreads, adding more vegetable oil as needed.
  5. In a medium bowl, combine tomatoes, red onion, oil, and oregano and season with salt and pepper. Top each flatbread with cheese, tomato-onion mixture and bake until cheese is melty, 15 minutes.  Drizzle with balsamic glaze and top with arugula before serving.

This pizza will impress all your loved ones this October.  Are you looking for assistance with your insurance this month?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  Our dedicated team is eager to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

smartphone apps

Try out these suggestions to spend less time on social media.

For many people, simply checking the time on their phones can quickly turn into hours wasted on various social media apps.  If you are sick of spending so much time on social media, then here are some of the suggestions that you should try to limit your use.

  • Schedule Limits

Most smartphones now have apps or features that allow you to track the amount of time that you spend on various apps.  For instance, iPhones running iOS12 or later can access a feature called Screen Time.  Screen Time tracks how many hours you spend on certain apps and allows you to schedule “Downtime.”  Downtime places time limits on apps and alerts you when you have reached said limit.  Using this feature can prevent you from wasting hours at a time on social media apps.

  • Put Your Phone Away at Night

Many people use their phones as their alarm clocks.  This offers the perfect excuse to keep your phone within easy reach of your bed.  Unfortunately, this also makes it easy to spend hours at bedtime just mindlessly scrolling through your feed.  To eliminate this temptation, invest in a real alarm clock and store your phone out-of-sight when it’s time for bed.

  • Delete Social Media Apps

One of the best ways to curb your social media use is by deleting social media apps from your phone.  While you can still access various platforms through your web browser, they will be less easily accessible.  Because most users are not motivated to put in the extra effort, this automatically reduces their social media use.

These are some of the tips that you should try to limit your social media use.  Want another way to use your time more effectively?  Then turn to the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas, for all your insurance needs.  Our dedicated team is ready to offer you the easy, efficient insurance experience that you deserve.

family house hunting

Tips for selling your home this month.

If you want to sell your home, then you might be worried about putting your home on the market in October.  This is because numbers show that October is one of the worst months for the housing market.  However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t have success.  Here are some of the things you can do to sell your home this October.

  • Take Care of Your Yard

Many sellers are so concerned about the interior of their home that they overlook their outdoor spaces.  However, the appearance of your front and back yards has a significant impact on how buyers view your property.  By raking up leaves, trimming bushes and trees, and keeping your lawn lush and green, you can improve the impression that your home makes on visitors.

  • Keep Things Warm and Bright

Because the housing market slows down in October, it’s important that your home is in tip-top shape.  This will appeal to house hunters and help your home stand out from the competition.  Make sure that your home’s heating and cooling systems are operating efficiently and make sure that all your home’s lights are functioning properly.  When your home is at a comfortable temperature and brightly lit, it will leave a much better impression on visitors doing a walk-through of your property.

  • Have Your Home Staged

Real estate experts have found that staged homes sell faster than non-staged or empty properties.  When the home is well-furnished and decorated, potential buyers are not distracted by ugly décor or design decisions that they do not agree with.  Keeping furnishings and decorations neutral, elegant, and inviting is a great way to make your home look more appealing to visitors.

These are some of the things that you can do to successfully sell your home this October.  Whether you are buying or selling, you need the right homeowners insurance to protect you.  For assistance with all your home coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

woman on her smartphone

Here’s what you should do to stay safe when using public Wi-Fi.

In today’s day and age, most people do not think twice about connecting to the public Wi-Fi networks offered by local businesses and retail centers.  However, it’s important to remember that connecting to these networks can expose you to certain risks.  To protect yourself and your sensitive data, here are some of the safety suggestions that you should employ.

  • Do Not Allow Automatic Connections on Your Devices

Rather than allowing your laptop, tablet, or smartphone to connect to any open network, you should set your devices so they only connect to the networks that you approve.  This way, you do not have to worry about automatically connecting to a dangerous or unknown network.

  • Moderate Your Actions

When you are using public Wi-Fi networks, scrolling through social media and watching YouTube videos is pretty safe.  However, you should not do more intensive things like insert payment information, access password-protected accounts, or do anything that involves your sensitive data.  These online activities should be saved for when you are at home and can use your own private, protected network.

  • Use Secure Connections

Another way to stay safe while on public Wi-Fi networks is by only browsing sites that have an “https” URL.  Https sites are encrypted while the normal http ones are not.  Https sites offer an extra layer of security that protects your data and keeps your online activity hidden from hackers and criminals.

These are some of the things that you should do to protect yourself while using public Wi-Fi networks.  Are you looking for another way to protect yourself?  Then make sure you have the right personal insurance in place.  For assistance with all your coverage needs, contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

school supplies on a desk

Try out these yummy school lunches this year.

Now that school is about to start, it’s time to start thinking about packing your kids’ lunches.  While you do not want to spend all day preparing lunch for your kids, you also don’t want to settle for the same boring sandwich every day.  If you want an easy way to keep school lunches interesting, then try out these tasty ideas.

Chicken Avocado Roll-Ups

Ingredients:

  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 2 cups shredded chicken
  • 1 bell peppers, seeds and cores removed, chopped
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack
  • 1/2 cup shredded Cheddar
  • 2 tbsp. sour cream
  • 2 tbsp. finely chopped chives
  • 4 large flour tortillas

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl, combine avocado and lime juice and mash until only small chunks of avocado remain. Add chicken, bell pepper, red onion, Monterey Jack, cheddar, sour cream, and chives and stir until evenly combined.
  2. Spread a thin layer of the chicken avocado mixture onto a large tortilla, leaving a small border around the edges. Roll the tortilla up tightly, then cut off the edges and slice into 1-inch rolls. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
  3. Serve cold or at room temperature.

Mediterranean Quinoa Salad

Ingredients:

(for the salad)

  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 2 medium cucumbers, chopped
  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 avocado, chopped
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 2 tbsp. freshly chopped parsley, plus more for garnish

(for the dressing)

  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. honey
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tsp. oregano

Directions:

  1. In a large bowl combine quinoa, cucumber, tomatoes, onion, avocado, feta, and parsley.
  2. Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, honey, and garlic. Season with salt, red pepper flakes and oregano and whisk until combined.
  3. Pour dressing over salad mixture and toss until salad is coated in dressing. Garnish with more parsley and serve.

Try out these delicious and easy lunch ideas this school year.  Are you looking for assistance with your insurance this academic year?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas.  We are ready to assist you with all your coverage needs today.

woman putting sunscreen on her shoulder

Try out these ideas to beat the heat this summer.

Now that summer is here, temperatures are on the rise.  This means it’s time to find ways to escape the heat.  Here are some of the things that you should do to stay cool this summer.

  • Schedule Outdoor Activities Wisely

If you need to get outdoor work done, then try to schedule these activities during the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler.  When out and about, take frequent breaks in the shade to ensure that you are not overworking yourself and becoming overheated.

  • Reduce Outdoor Exercise

While you might have enjoyed hiking, biking, and running outside during the cooler seasons, you should avoid these physical activities during the hot summer months.  This summer, move your outdoor exercises to an indoor gym or switch over to less strenuous activities such as swimming, water aerobics, yoga, and so on.

  • Wear Sunscreen

Anytime you are outside, you should protect your exposed skin with sunscreen.  Not only will sunscreen prevent painful sunburns, but it can also help you stay cooler.  This is because sunburn affects your body’s ability to regulate your internal temperature, which increases your chances of overheating.  So, wear sunscreen with a high SPF and make sure you reapply regularly to help you stay cool and sunburn free.

These are some of the tips that you should try to stay cool this summer.  Are you looking for assistance with your insurance this summer?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.

picnic setup

Get romantic this summer!

Want a great way to enjoy the beautiful summer weather with someone special?  Then try taking your date nights outdoors.  Here are some of the cute ways that you can celebrate summer with your significant other.

  • Picnic

July is actually National Picnic Month!  Obviously, the best way to celebrate this month is by packing up some of your favorite portable foods and drinks and heading out to a nearby park or another outdoor venue.  This casual spin on eating out is a great way to enjoy the weather and spend time with your loved one.

  • Fruit Picking

Many fruits, such as berries and melons, reach their peak during the summer months.  If you are looking for a sweet date idea, then look for farms in your area that allow guests to pick their own fruits.  Once you and your significant other have picked the freshest and most delicious fruits available, you can go the extra mile by heading home and cooking up something tasty.

  • Watch the Sunset

As your date winds down, head outside where you and your loved one can sit and watch the sunset.  Because summer offers clear skies and warmer evening temperatures, you can enjoy an unobstructed view of the setting sun in total comfort.

Try out these sweet outdoor date ideas this summer.  Are you looking for assistance with your insurance this summer?  If so, then contact the experts at The Schwab Agency in Colleyville, Texas today.