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Briece’s Pieces

Welcome to Briece’s Pieces, Lori’s blog on home related things. The topics discussed will be broad, and probably not related necessarily to heating and air conditioning. Lori will be offering information on a broad range of topics (e.g. saving money on utilities, home safety, renovation ideas, pet care). The only limitation will be Lori’s imagination. Welcome, and looking forward to hearing from you!

Tornados, Earthquakes, Floods… Even in Oregon, anything is possible and will happen when you least expect it.

Posted on Mar 28, 2013 in Brieces Pieces | 0 comments

Tornados, Earthquakes, Floods… Even in Oregon, anything is possible and will happen when you least expect it. Are you prepared for a storm or natural disaster?

You should have enough food, water and other supplies for at least 72 hours. Keep a survival kit in a safe place that is cool and dry. And remember to keep your kit
up-to-date. Having a working grill can be a huge help if power goes out. If you have animals, make sure you have dog and/or cat food on hand.


Water, nonperishable foods, batteries, candles, matches, medicines, Battery-powered or Hand-cranked Radio, First Aid kit, Lighting, Sleeping Bags/Blankets, Sanitary Items, Utensils, Games and  Activities such as board games, puzzles,
coloring books and Cash!

  • WATER: Make sure you have enough water for drinking and
    flushing the toilet. The Federal Emergency Management Agency  recommends storing at least 1 gallon (3.8 liters) of water per person per day (at least three days’ worth) for drinking and sanitation purposes. Children and nursing mothers might need more. If it’s warm where you live, having additional water on hand is important to keep you hydrated. Bottled water should be in its original container, unopened and in a dark cool spot
  • FOOD: Keep unopened canned and boxed foods, along with products such as peanut butter, crackers and other nonperishable items in your kit. Experts say store at least a three day supply. Make sure that the food in
    your emergency kit is not expired. Throw away any food that is exposed to
    contaminated flood water. If it smells, swells or looks rancid, throw the food out. Try not to pack salty snacks, or other foods that will make you thirsty. And don’t forget the manual can opener!
  • COOKING: Fires, grills and camping stoves should all be kept outside. Some canned foods can be ate cold right out of the can. If you want to heat it over a fire, remember to remove the label and open the can before heating.
  • MEDICATIONS/FIRST AID: Your kit should contain bandages,
    antibiotic ointments, burn ointments and other emergency supplies. If you take prescription medications on a daily basis, make sure you have enough in case you can’t run to the drug store. Don’t forget to stock up on
    nonprescription drugs, such as aspirin and anti-diarrhea medications as well.
  • TOILETRIES: Toothpaste, toilet paper, diapers (if applicable),
    soap, contact lens solution, denture cream (if needed) and feminine supplies, are just a few must haves for your emergency storm kit. Some items might not seem important until you run out of them. Stick everything in a waterproof container or Ziploc bags to keep dry and sterile.
  • EMERGENCY CONTACTS: Keep on hand your gas, water, sewage
    treatment and telephone service contact numbers and website addresses. Once the power goes out, there will be relatively few ways to recharge your iPads, cell phones, tablets, PCs, laptops and other electronic devices, so keep a written list of phone numbers for family and friends in your survival kit. This list should include at least two out of state contacts.

You never know when a natural disaster could happen. So be prepared and plan ahead!

For more information on how to plan ahead visit

Get Trendy, Eye Appealing Appliances Without Dropping Large Bills!

Posted on Mar 6, 2013 in Brieces Pieces | 1 comment

Tired of looking at your same old boring appliances…

but don’t have the cash to buy all new ones? There may be a solution! You can keep your current appliances while giving your kitchen and/or laundry room a face lift, even when working with a tight budget, and it’s a “Green” alternative! If you’d like to change the look of your kitchen, but the price tag for a new stove, fridge, even dishwasher is too high; now you have options other than throwing the less appealing ones away… From a new paint job to an integrated overlay, this will brighten your kitchen and make you feel more at peace each time you walk in the room. Get the most value out of your appliances. Just because they look a bit out of date, doesn’t mean you need to throw them away!


Specialty appliance paints, paints designed for plastic, and heat-resistant paints can help you create a fresh look for a low cost. This is a do-it-yourself project that can be a bit time consuming, but so worth it. For a low price you can create whatever design strikes your attitude and personality. If you want a pink dishwasher or bright red refrigerator, now you can have them. Painting your own appliances will ensure that everything matches when you’re done. Appliance paints are available in both brush on and spray on varieties. Brush paint is for smaller projects such as a microwave as opposed to the spray paint which you would want for your refrigerator. Just make sure you don’t use regular acrylic or enamel paint on appliances. It won’t bond and you’ll just end up with a huge mess on your hands. Literally! BE sure to research before you start for helpful hints on prep, and removal of viable parts of your appliances before starting. Remember the saying: “less is more”? Same applies here. Avoid applying paint in a thick layer; thinner is better. This can be a cheap fix, but if rushed; rather than your appliances getting a face lift, it could look more like a kitchen massacre!!! Like any job, time and patience will make all the difference.

Peel-and-stick films: 

Want to give the appliances a designer touch? If you don’t want to take the time or invest the money in a replacement panel for your appliance, here is a creative, yet less painful way to do it. Peel-and-stick you can do yourself in very little time and does not require the use of tools and you cover a standard sized refrigerator for under $100! Pick from custom colors to copper or even stainless. Your dream kitchen and/or laundry room is now within reach. It usually comes in a roll and can be cut with scissors or a craft knife. Best part of all, when you get tired of the look, or decide you liked it better the original way, you can heat the finish slightly and pull it off. Clean your appliance with soap and water and your back to the way it looked before it was covered. With Peel-and-stick you can even cover the sides of your stove and microwave because they can tolerate temperatures up to about 120º. You can also use this stuff to cover countertops and backsplashes. One downside to the product, it isn’t completely indestructible, but then, what is? Just be sure to read the manufacturer’s labels before you start covering everything in sight.

By Lori Briece




Money Saving Tips with NO-COST SOLUTIONS

Posted on Jan 17, 2013 in Brieces Pieces | 0 comments

Money Saving Tips with NO-COST SOLUTIONS

  1. Unplug battery chargers for power tools, mobile phones, laptops and other devices when not in use.
  2. Use a Kill A Watt® energy monitor to see where you can cut your electricity use further—some libraries have Kill A Watts available for check out.
  3. Turn off lights when not needed.
  4. Use a countertop convection, microwave or smaller electric appliance, instead of a full-size stove whenever possible.
  5. Turn down the thermostat to 65–68 degrees during the day and 58–60 degrees at night during cooler months. If you have a heat pump, turn the thermostat down no more than 10 degrees at night.
  6. Wash and rinse laundry with cold water. To save more energy and water, run full loads.
  7. Use the water-saver washing and energy-saver drying options on your dishwasher.
  8. Check to make sure refrigerator and freezer gaskets seal tightly.
  9. Clean lint filters after drying each load of clothes.
  10. Close fireplace and wood stove dampers when not in use, but wait until several hours after the fire is out and the ashes are cold.


Halloween Safety For Kids and Teens

Posted on Oct 11, 2012 in Brieces Pieces | 0 comments

Kids love Halloween! They get to dress up and get free candy, what more could they ask for! How about safety on this night of fun? With all the excitement, “common sense” is not always the first thought in their minds. Remind them to be careful and go over some of the simple things that they should know and use every day in life. They think they know everything, but nobody ever got hurt from getting told something they already knew…

Never, ever go into a stranger’s house! Don’t even ring their door for treats unless your parents are with you and/or within sight when trick-or-treating. If your kids are older or young teens, and going out with friends, make sure they tell you, the parent, where they are going and who they are going with. They might think you are being a pain, but just remind them you love them and just want them to be safe.

Check your children’s candy before they eat it. If it’s been opened or is opened, through it away! Never allow them to eat “homemade” products. You just never know! If you question a piece, chuck it! They won’t notice one less piece amongst their pile of goodies.
Look both ways and be careful when crossing a street. Hold hands until you get all the way across the street. If the street has a stop light, make sure to use the crosswalk. Even when the sign tells you to cross, still check both ways before you cross!

If they can drive and are taking a bunch of friends to a party, make sure that they have enough gas to get there and back. You don’t want them to run out on a dark street and be all alone.
Get an address of where they will be, and phone numbers where they can be reached. Give them a curfew and make sure they abide by it. If they are running late, remind them they need to call. A fun night can turn bad quickly. The more you know the better chance you have of keeping them safe.

Vandalism is not cool! “Egging” may seem fun at the time, but think about how you would feel if someone did that to your house. What kind of mess it makes, and who has to clean it up. Nobody “expects” to get caught, but they do. That owner of the car or of that house, if nice, will only make them clean the mess. Did you know that throwing eggs at cars and houses is considered vandalism? Your child gets caught they could get arrested and punished as a juvenile. (And they do get caught!) Causing harm to animals is never acceptable behavior! It is illegal in most places to hurt or torture animals and punishable by law. You should never hurt a helpless living thing.