Summer 2019
In this issue:  All about summer in this issue!!

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Time for Vacation.. 
Michelle Miller
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services


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Happy Summer Everyone,

I hope everyone is having a wonderful summer thus far.  In this issue I have a refreshing dinner idea, some quick tips & tricks and a security tip that you need to read.

If you have ideas or topics you'd like to see in included in this newsletter, please drop me a note (

Are you on Instagram?  I'd love to connect, you can find me at: @MillerTeamAZ

As always thanks for reading......


Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices has launched our 7th annual Code Red effort to provide much needed water to the Phoenix Rescue Mission.
Arizona temperatures are now consistently over 100 degrees, and rising to 120, during the summer.  As the temperature rises so does the need for water.
The water drive runs from June 15th - July 15th and all donations are deductible. Each $1 donated = 10 bottles of water.  All donations made will be doubled thanks to a matching grant. This means your $1 contribution now buys 20 bottles of water!
How can you help?
1. Drop off water at any of the Berkshire Hathaway offices in the valley OR I am happy to pick up any donated water (assuming you are located in the Arizona valley :)).  Just call, text or email me and I'll be there. 
2. Donate via check made out to Phoenix Rescue Mission, I can send you a donation form.
3. Donate online at
Go ahead skip that latte and donate 80-100 bottles of water for the same cost!
Thank you to those willing to donate.
Summer Sun Protection

I definitely have a love/hate relationship with the sun.  It makes you feel happy and it's a great source of vitamin D.  Like all good things too much sun can have consequences like skin damage or worse skin cancer.  
Here are a few new products to help protect you and your lovely skin.  
Sun Guard Laundry Aid
  Did you know you could wash SPF into your clothes?  Did you also know that the SPF in protected clothes can wear out over time?  To add protection to your clothes wash with a laundry aid, such as Sun Guard. The laundry additive will add in an SPF 30 level of protection.  Maybe try to wash the sun items monthly to make sure you are covered.
Sunscreen for the face
I don't know about you but I hate the feel of sunscreen on my face.  It feels thick and causes me to breakout.  I was so happy to find a couple of good alternatives
  • Coolio - I received a sample of this and it dries like a gel so it's great for the face.
  •  LaRoche-Posay liquid mineral sunscreen.  I use this regularly as it's designed for the face and goes on like a thin moisturizer.  They also make a tinted version which is nice.
  • Brush On Block
     I discovered this mineral powder sunscreen last year and I LOVE it! You can't feel it on your skin so there is no sticky or greasy feel. The container is small so I keep it in the pocket of my car door and reapply throughout the day.  I also have one for my purse if I know I'll be out all day showing property.  Colorescience is also a similar powder sunscreen product.
Sun Sensors
L'Oreal has developed a wearable UV sensor called UV Sense. The sensor helps track your sun exposure to reduce your cancer risk.  They make a sensor you can attach to your nail, like in the picture, or one you can clip on your clothes or other items.  Genius!

Most sun damage occurs before the age of 18 so make sure to lather up those kids and grand kids.  I do not recommend baby oil with iodine, as we used back in the day (remember that?)...unless your objective is to be bright red and blistered - yikes!

Compliments of Real Simple
Mobile User Warning When Charging Your Cell Phone vector_mobile_phone.jpg

This is a tip that was recently shared with me that I thought was worth passing along.  This is especially noteworthy for those of you who travel or charge your phone in public locations.
Charge your phone on trusted USB ports only
Those oh-so-handy USB power charging stations in the airport may come with a cost you can't see.  
Cybercriminals can modify those USB connections to install malware on your phone or download data without your knowledge.
"Plugging into a public USB port is kind of like finding a toothbrush on the side of the road and deciding to stick it in your mouth. You have no idea where that thing has been," says Caleb Barlow, Vice President of X-Force Threat Intelligence at IBM Security.  "And remember that that USB port can pass data" If allowed to do so.
SOLUTION: It's much safer to bring your regular charger along and plug it into a wall outlet or, alternatively, bring a portable power bank to recharge your phone when you're low on bars.
NOTE: If you have to use a public USB charger, ensure that while you are connected that your device remains Locked...try not to unlock or use your device while plugged in/charging...wait until you are done then unplug and access your  device. If you receive any Prompts to Give access/permission...say no to the connection.

Courtesy of  IBM Secutrity 
black bean and avocado salad
Black Bean Avocado Salad 
This is a nice recipe to bring when friends invite you over this summer.  It's easy to make ahead of the time.  The creator said she likes to wipe lime on the inside of the bowl and on the wrap that covers it, this help to keep the avocados from turning brown.
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (11 ounce) can whole kernel sweet corn, drained.
  • 4 roma (plum) tomatoes, seeded and chopped
  • 1 small red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced   
  •  1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbs red wine vinegar
  • 1 Tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 avocados diced
Mix black beans, corn, tomatoes, red bell pepper, jalapeno pepper, cilantro, red onion, lime juice, vinegar, salt, and black pepper in a bowl; fold avocado into the mixture. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, putting it right on top of salsa; chill   
* You could also add in some grilled chicken or shrimp and turn it into a meal 

source: Allrecipes .com

Tips & Tricks

I don't know about you but I love a good tip so here are a few handy ones I've come across lately.  Hopefully one or two might help you out.

1) Tastier slow cooker meals 
Do you find that some of your dishes seem a little watery when you use your crockpot?  The condensation can build up under the lid watering down your sauces.  The fix - place a kitchen towel lightly over the top of the cooker before topping it with the lid.  The towel will soak up the excess liquid.

2) Change your AC Filters
A clean filter can reduce your cooling system's energy consumption by 15%.  It's recommended to change them monthly.  All of my HVAC reps always recommend the super cheap filters without all of the pleats. They say the system breathes better and doesn't have to work as hard.

3) Optimize the wash cycle
Ditch the hot water - today's machines (and detergents) clean clothing just as well on cold or warm.  You'll cut energy use by 50% if you use warm water vs hot. Opting for cold water will save even more.
4) Clean the Chlorine Smell from Pool Towels
Do you find that your pool towels still smell like chlorine even after you wash them?  If you need to use them immediately you can spritz them with vodka...not just for vodka tonics anymore!  Apparently, vodka is a natural deodorizer, who knew? If you have time to re-wash them add a half cup of borax to the water, along with regular detergent.  Borax, like baking soda, helps to break down settled-in odors.

5) Perfect Bacon for that BLT
Summer is the season for BLT's so here's how to make a large batch of bacon that's perfectly crispy.  Heat your oven to 400 degrees, place the oven rack in the middle position. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with foil.  Arrange bacon in a single layer and bake 15-20 minutes, or to your preferred level of crispiness.  I have a rack that fits inside my pan so the drippings fall through to eliminate the need to dry off the strips. YUM! 

6) Witch Hazel for Varicose Veins
Summer is the height of shorts season there are many who won't wear them to due varicose veins on their legs.  British researchers have found that dabbing witch hazel on mild varicose veins twice daily can help reduce their appearance.  The anti-inflammatory and astringent compounds in witch hazel work together to shrink the puffy veins and minimize the darkness.

7) Start a Campfire Fast
Here are two different approaches: The first option is to scatter broken corn chips over the wood and light.  The grease will help the flames ignite. Now there is a use for all of those crumbs at the bottom of the bag...unless you enjoy eating them as I do.

The second option is to toss cotton balls soaked in coconut oil on the kindling and light.  The flammable oil will ignite quickly and it will also make you want a pina colada.

courtesy of real simple and first magazines

Have a safe and wonderful rest of the summer and I'll be back in late summer.   Thanks for reading....