Quick Hits

According to the American Farm Bureau Federation, a typical July 4th cookout for 10 people should only set you back $55.70 or about $5.57 per person.  The amount is based on 97 volunteer shoppers in 25 states checking retail prices at their local grocery store to determine the overall costs.  According to the report, that cost will get you:

  • eight hotdogs and buns
  • eight quarter-pound hamburgers and buns with cheese slices
  • four pounds of pork spare ribs
  • ketchup and mustard
  • three pounds of Deli potato salad
  • 28-ounces of baked beans
  • 15 ounces of corn chips
  • two quarts of lemonade
  • two quarts of chocolate milk
  • four pounds of watermelon for dessert

Source: American Farm Bureau Federation

We’re always being encouraged to buy American, but when it comes to cars a lot of us opt to go foreign. But if you are someone who really does want to stick to American products as best you can, you may be surprised about which cars are the “most American” out there.

Cars.com just came out with their annual American-Made Index, and for the first time ever, the Jeep Wrangler earned the title of overall “most American made” vehicle. The site based their decisions on five important factors:

  • Assembly location: The location in which the vehicle's assembly plant is located
  • Domestic parts content: Percentage of a vehicle's parts content originating in the United States and Canada as determined by the American Automobile Labeling Act
  • Country of engine origin
  • Country of transmission origin
  • U.S. factory employment: Each automaker's direct U.S. factory employment relative to its sales footprint

Top Ten Most American Made Cars

  1. Jeep Wrangler/Wrangler Unlimited (Toledo, OH)
  2. Jeep Cherokee (Toledo, OH)
  3. Ford Taurus (Chicago, IL)
  4. Honda Ridgeline (Lincoln, AL)
  5. Acura RDX (East Liberty, OH)
  6. Ford F-150 (Dearborn, MI./Claycomo, MO)
  7. Ford Expedition (Louisville, KY)
  8. GMC Acadia (Spring Hill, TN)
  9. Honda Odyssey (Lincoln, AL)
  10. Honda Pilot (Lincoln, AL)

Source: Cars.com

According to a new Bankrate survey, many Americans are wasting money on guilty pleasures like coffee, ordering takeout or drinking in bars, and Millennials are the worst.  29% of Millennials say they spend money on coffee three times a week, while 54% will eat out three times a week, and 42% of all Millennials, and 51% of those 21 to 26, will go to bars once a week.  59% of Americans say they don’t purchase coffee or tea in a typical week, while 73% don’t buy drinks in a bar or restaurant weekly, and 40% don’t get take out or dine out more than once per week.

Source: Yahoo Finance

Taco Bell just announced they will officially start offering wedding packages on August 7th.  The weddings will take place at their flagship Las Vegas Cantina restaurant, and only cost $600.  The package includes the ceremony and officiant, private reception for 15 guests, a sauce-packet bouquet and more.

Source: Yahoo Finance

We all want to have a better morning, but something has to give. Here are a few early morning habits we need to break to get going first thing.

  • Stop hitting snooze - It’s a hard habit to break, but it’s so worth it. Those few extra minutes of sleep you get between snooze alarms isn’t enough to finish a sleep cycle, so you’ll probably wake up even more tired when you do get up for good.
  • Stop taking long, hot showers - You’re trying to get moving, so a relaxing hot shower isn’t going to help. A short shower on the cool side is better for giving you an energetic start.
  • Stop drinking coffee - Relax, we don’t mean altogether, just not first thing. The ideal time for most of us to enjoy the buzzy brew is after 9:30, drinking caffeine too early slows your body’s natural cortisol production, which helps wake you up naturally.
  • Stop making breakfast - You can save a bunch of time by prepping the first meal of the day the night before. There are all kinds of breakfast eats that are designed to be made ahead.
  • Stop checking emails - You think that scrolling through your messages is innocent, but it can turn into a stressful waste of time. Most things can wait until you’re dressed and ready to start working, so hold off.
  • Stop checking social media - If you’re trying to streamline your morning, clicking through social media isn’t going to help. Wait until lunch when you need a break and have more time to spare - it’ll all still be there.
  • Stop stressing over your outfit - Even if you’re making good time, finding something to wear can derail your morning. You’ll be much better off choosing something the night before so you don’t even have to think about it at 7 a.m.

Source: PureWow

When we think of the Fourth of July, the celebrations always include fireworks. But as beautiful as those colorful bursts in the night sky are, when you’ve got kids, you have to plan carefully. Every year there are about 5200 injuries related to fireworks and over 30% of them involve children, so here’s how to avoid being one of those statistics this year.

  • Think about going firework-free - If you have a lot of little ones at your July fourth celebration, you could opt to skip the fireworks altogether. It’s not as pretty, but it is much safer.
  • Set up a safe viewing zone - If you do decide to set off your own fireworks, create a safe zone for small ones to watch from. You could even make that section be inside the house, where they can view from a big window, but won’t miss the show.
  • Go to a fireworks show - As in one that professionals put on. They have safety rules to follow and there are all kinds of precautions in place to protect the audience. Their fireworks displays are big and impressive, so if you have one nearby, it’s a good option.
  • Find alternative light-up gear - Sparklers are always a big hit with the kids, but they’re not recommended for children younger than 7, and they were actually to blame for close to 20% of firework-related injuries in 2014.

If you do allow sparklers, use them in an open area, and space kids out “at least 10 feet apart so they’re not waving them around each other,” explains Michael Ingram, director of development for Fireworks Over America and the founder and president of the American Pyrotechnics Safety & Education Foundation. Or you can keep it safe and simple and buy a bunch of light-up bracelets and necklaces instead.

Source: My Domaine

Jay and Dawn

Jay and Dawn

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