Protect Your Home While Traveling

College football season is officially here, and we couldn’t be more excited. For many people fall means road trips to alma maters to see old friends and cheer on your team. This season make sure your home is protected while you’re away tailgating and hoping for a win by following these tips.

A blue circle with an image of a bag.
Photo by Vita Vilcina on Unsplash

Prevent Water Damage

  • According to a recent survey by Chubb, only 19% of homeowners are concerned about water damage in their homes despite the fact the risk is more frequent than fire damage and theft. Before you leave for vacation be sure to shut off your home’s main water supply.
  • Other ways to remain proactive against water damage are checking for leaks, making sure old pipes are still in good condition, and having a friend or family member check your home during your absence.

Prevent Theft

  • While posting about going on vacation may seem like a fun and simple way to let friends and family know what you’re up to it could also make you susceptible to theft. Posts outlining dates you’ll be away let potential thieves know your home is vulnerable. Save your posts for once you’re home and have pictures to go with them!
  • You can also protect your home by setting light timers. It will decrease the likelihood the house seems empty for the length of time you’re on vacation.
  • Don’t forget to lock doors. If you are in a rush and leaving the house it’s an easy mistake to make with great cost.

Other Ways to Protect Your Home

  • Make sure to set your alarm before you leave if you use a home alarm system. According to Chubb, a home without an alarm is 2.7 times more likely to be broken into than one that does.
  • If you have an alarm that alerts the fire department of emergency while you’re away be sure to set it.
  • Follow our tips for how to save energy in your home while you travel as well.

Financial Aid Facts For College Students

Just like that summer is over and school has started again. Even if you’re only a freshman the thought of student loans and repayment can be a dark cloud that looms over your four, or more, years at a university. We’ve compiled information that may help when you’re taking out loans, as well as repayment once you’ve graduated.


Make sure to fill out your Free Application for Federal Student Aid early. There are some deadlines and certain types of financial aid that may have limited funds. The FAFSA is filled out every year and determines your eligibility for financial aid. The FAFSA application for the 2017-2018 school year is currently available on their website.

Financial Aid Advisors

One of the most beneficial things you can do is speak to an advisor about financial aid. Asking questions about loans and repayment can save you time and money in the long run. Some beneficial questions could be: What types of aid are available? How much aid do I need? What are all of my options for repayment? When will I have to begin repayment? Can I get a sample repayment schedule? Knowing the big picture of your loan will help you to avoid common mistakes such as taking out more funds than you need and paying a greater amount in interest.

Repayment Programs

Whether you get federal aid or a private loan you’ll eventually have to pay back that loan. There are several options from deferment until after you graduate to full monthly payments during school. Depending on your status as a student and finances any number of options could work for you. The Student Loan Hero website is a great resource for all things financial aid and outlines most repayment options.

If you are a Gainesville resident attending the University of Florida or Santa Fe College we suggest visiting their financial aid websites for more information.

Handmade Ice Cream Sandwiches

Summer may be winding down, but the average temperature in Gainesville is still 90 degrees and cold treats are still on everyone’s mind. In honor of National Ice Cream Sandwich Day we’ve got three delicious ice cream sandwich recipes that you can make at home!A blue circle with an image of a bag.

Our first two recipes come from Delish and are the ice cream sandwich twists of the classic breakfast foods, cereal and cinnamon rolls.

Fruity Pebble Ice Cream Sandwich


3 tablespoons of butter

1 10-ounce bag of marshmallows

6 cups of Fruity Pebbles cereal

1 pint of ice cream of your choice


Grease a sheet pan

In a saucepan melt butter and add marshmallows. Once completely melted and smooth remove from heat and stir in Fruity Pebbles until coated

Press mixture onto sheet pan and let cool for 20 minutes

Use a cookie cutter to cut out 8 circles and add a scoop of ice cream

Freeze until ready to eat

Cinnamon Roll Ice Cream Sandwich


1 tube of refrigerated cinnamon rolls

1 pint of ice cream of your choice


Bake cinnamon rolls according to packaging and let cool

Halve the cinnamon rolls and freeze for 20 minutes

Add ice cream and drizzle icing from cinnamon roll packaging

Our third recipe is a classic ice cream sandwich from Martha Stewart’s website.


½ cup of unsalted melted butter

½ cup of sugar

1 egg

1 tablespoon of vanilla extract

½ teaspoon of salt

½ cup of flower

¼ cup of unsweetened cocoa powder

2 pints of ice cream of your choice


Preheat oven to 350 degrees

Butter a pan and line with parchment paper

Whisk butter and sugar together; add in egg, vanilla, and salt; add cocoa and flour until smoothly mixed. Spread in prepared baking pan. Bake until cake is dry to the touch and edges begin to pull away from the sides, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool completely in pan.

Using paper overhang, lift cake onto a work surface. With a serrated knife, halve crosswise. Place one half of cake, flat side down, on a large piece of plastic wrap. Spread with ice cream, then top with remaining half of cake, flat side up. Return ice-cream sandwich to baking pan, and wrap tightly in plastic. Freeze until firm, about 2 hours.

Unwrap sandwich; using a serrated knife, cut into 8 rectangles, wiping off blade between each cut. Serve ice-cream sandwiches immediately.

We hope you enjoy these recipes. If you end up making any of them share pictures with us on our Facebook wall!