Archive | Special Event

Shopping Safely in Stores During the Holiday Season

Last week we talked about staying safe online, and in that time Marriott hotel group announced a security breach. That should be another warning that our online information is not always safe! But we can’t forget about the dangers of shopping in brick-and-mortar retail shops, either. We don’t want to be all doom and gloom about the world, but unfortunately, there are people who prey on others for their own gain, and it’s smart to be prepared. Continue Reading →

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Stay Safe During Holiday Online Shopping

Black Friday has passed, but there are still online shopping deals to be had between now and the holidays, whether you celebrate Hanukkah, Christmas—or just exchanging gifts with loved ones.

But nothing ruins the perfect shopping trip online than your identity being stolen and having to make all those calls to replace your credit cards and try to restore your credit. How can you avoid that happening? Here are our tips for safe online shopping! Check back next week for our tips on brick and mortar shopping. (Yes, people still go to stores.) Continue Reading →

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Keeping Your Pets Safe During Thanksgiving

Don’t let that cute face and puppy-dog eyes fool you into giving your dog a turkey bone!

It’s easy to get excited about Thanksgiving, especially if you’re not the one doing the cooking! But one thing is guaranteed is that there will be a lot of wonderful, rich food around this time of year, and our four-legged friends are fully aware of the savory goodness going on around them. Tempting as it may be, please be careful about “treating” your pets this time of year, especially dogs. Here are some fantastic tips from California veterinarian Dr. Bonnie Franklin:

– Put the trash away where your dog cannot find it, and make sure that trash cans cannot be accessed by your dog. They can be persistent when something delicious is inside!

– The leftover turkey sitting on the carving table, or left in an available trash container, could be a dangerous feast for your dog. Turkey bones may splinter and lodge in a dog’s mouth, throat or esophagus or lodge in the GI tract. Anything used to tie up or wrap the turkey, such as strings or bags and packaging, may also cause an intestinal blockage that can become life-threatening.

– High-fat foods, such as turkey skin, are not well tolerated in dogs. They may develop gastrointestinal upset or even pancreatitis, a potentially life-threatening disease.

– All those delicious chocolates around the house are toxic to your pup if eaten in sufficient quantities. Small dogs do not need to eat much chocolate to run into trouble. Dog-proof your chocolate, and also consider what is in it. Macadamia nuts can cause weakness, depression, vomiting, tremors, hyperthermia, and paralysis. Grapes and raisins in small amounts can cause kidney failure in dogs.

Onion and garlic can also be harmful to dogs and cats. Ingestion of onion/garlic powders or raw or cooked bulbs can cause damage to red blood cells, which could result in anemia. Garlic is approximately 1-5 times more potent than onion, and concentrated powdered forms (e.g., garlic powder, onion soup mix, etc.) are more potent than in its raw form.

Xylitol, a commonly used sweetener, is extremely toxic to dogs. Sugar-free gum has xylitol, as does sugar-free candy, breath mints, baked goods, peanut butter, cough syrup, children’s chewable vitamins, mouthwash, and toothpaste, to list a few.  Even small amounts of xylitol can cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar), seizures, liver failure, or even death in dogs.  Xylitol is estimated to be 100 times as toxic as chocolate to dogs. Dogs love to chew “ABC” (already been chewed) gum.

– Ingestion of raw yeast dough can be life-threatening to dogs. Moisture from stomach juices combined with the dog’s body heat enables replication of the yeast and development of a rising ball of dough in the stomach which can cause painful gas and dangerous bloating.  Signs seen with bread dough ingestion include severe abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, lack of coordination, and depression.

– We all know smoking is bad for us, but nicotine in low doses can be fatal for our dogs. Nicotine may cause coma and death. Nicotine patches, lozenges, nasal sprays, gums, inhalers, e-cigarette cartridges, cigarettes, cigars, and cigarette butts are sources of concentrated potentially deadly nicotine.

– Some festive plants and flowers may be toxic such as amaryllis, hydrangeas, lilies, Sweet William, some ferns, Sago Palms, Baby’s Breath and more.  The ASPCA lists toxic plants and flowers on their website. If you believe your pet has eaten something they should not have, call the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline 888-426-4435 and go to the pet ER immediately. Signs of a problem may be depression, pain, sudden changes in behavior, vomiting, diarrhea, and shivering.

Pine needles, pine cones and other holiday decorations if eaten could potentially cause intestinal blockages or perforation.

– Watch for potential escapes! Sometimes all the new people visiting can cause a mild-mannered dog or cat to become nervous.  Guests who are unfamiliar with pets, especially yours, may leave the door open or the gate, and your pal is on the move.

Everyone at BMR Insurance Agency wishes you and your family (including your pets!) a great Thanksgiving Holiday! Don’t forget we’re here for you if you have questions about your policy or coverage: Call us at 714-838-1911 or send us an email: info@bmrins.com. Don’t forget to follow us on LinkedIn for all the latest and best information and advice on all insurance matters.

 

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Top Orange County Halloween Events for Kids

Yes, it’s here! The annual holiday that’s spooky, fun, and full of costumes and candy—Halloween! But sometimes, sending your kids out trick-or-treating in the neighborhood can be, well, scary, and luckily there are plenty of other options. So get the kids dressed up (you can put your costume on too), and head out to one of these fun events this Wednesday. Continue Reading →

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The O.C. Fair is Here!

The Orange County Fair is rolling into town. Opening July 13, the fair will run until August 12, at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626. The Fair brings with it smells of fried foods, a wide range of rides and entertainment, and the chance to flex your green thumb or baking prowess. This year’s theme is “Free Your Inner Farmer,” which means that if you show up in your overalls any Wednesday, you get in free! The OC Fair is a time-honored tradition of summer fun. Nothing says summer like a county fair! Continue Reading →

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Family Holiday Volunteering in the OC

The holiday season is a time of gratitude and generosity– what better way to channel this than volunteering and giving back to those in your very own community. Volunteering is a great way to act as a role model, encourage good works, and build memories with your entire family.

Orange County offers a wide range of opportunity for volunteer work during the holidays. Get to know your neighbors, and truly give back to the community this year! Here are a few places to start:

Build Futures – Huntington Beach, CA – https://buildfutures.org/

Build Futures focuses on taking young adults age 18-24 off of the streets, and providing them with the tools to stay off the streets. This year, they are asking for hygiene kits and grocery bags of food. This is a good one to do from home, and even as a part of a holiday gathering. Make an assembly line, blast the Christmas music, and ask guests to contribute some of the following items:

Build Futures asks for: “hygiene items (full size not travel) for the homeless youth we serve. Items needed include deodorant (male or female), lip balm, disposable razors (male or female), comb/brush (male or female), shampoo, conditioner, tissue (small packs), toothpaste, toothbrush, Soap (bar or body wash, Male or female), Toothbrush holder or caps (optional)”.

And for grocery bags: “Non-perishable grocery items for newly housed individuals are needed so they have food when housed. Re-usable fabric bags are preferred but can be paper. Suggested items (please keep in mind nutritional needs, these are full sizes): 2 to 4 cans or packs of tuna or chicken, peanut butter, strawberry or raspberry jam, whole grain crackers, soups, protein or granola bars (box), oatmeal, whole grain cereal, nuts of some type, whole grain pasta, brown rice, can of black beans, 2 cans chili/ravioli type meals, fruit cups or applesauce (6 pack)”.

Friendly Center – Orange, CA – http://www.friendlycenter.org/

The Friendly Center helps keep children and their families safe, stable, and secure. In the holiday season, this means providing shelter, clothing, and gifts for the kids of families who are focusing solely on getting food on the table. Contribute to the turkey basket drive, give toys, host a craft table for kids at holiday events at the center– there are countless ways to help!

Christmas Toy Drive (Giving Children Hope Facility) – Buena Park, CA – http://gchope.org/

Giving Children Hope provides for the welfare, health and self-esteem of Orange County Unified School District students who the McKinney-Vento act identifies as homeless. Contribute toys, sponsor a child’s wishlist, or participate in the organization’s wrapping parties.

Orangewood Children’s Foundation – Santa Ana, CA – http://www.orangewoodfoundation.org/

As a 24 hour emergency shelter for children up to 18 years, the Orangewood Children’s Foundation is at work 24/7. Help them provide these children with a little holiday spirit. Sponsor their wishlist program, and pick an item or items requested specifically by a little one.

Adopt-a-Park – Santa Ana, CA – www.ocgov.com

Take advantage of the unseasonably warm weather and get outdoors. Do park clean up, landscaping, greet visitors, or work in the office. Adopt-a-block can be a one time experience, or become a regular tradition in the family. Volunteers of all ages are welcome.

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Holiday Health Tips

Holiday festivities are always guaranteed to involve food, and lots of it. It’s no wonder that our New Year’s resolutions usually involve opening a gym membership and swearing off sugar. But not to fear, if you come to the feast prepared with a healthy mindset and a few strategies to avoid overindulgence, there is no reason for you to not thoroughly enjoy the holiday goodies. Continue Reading →

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What To Do With Thanksgiving Leftovers

You probably didn’t think you could ever make enough food for all of the Thanksgiving guests– but now you have two pans of mashed potatoes and more turkey than you know what to do with. Ah, Thanksgiving leftovers.

Instead of getting tired of the same turkey-stuffing-cranberry sauce combo or eating turkey sandwiches for days, combine your leftovers in new and simple ways. We’ve scrounged up a few of the more easy and creative options for your Turkey Day leftovers:

Cranberry Turnovers

We all know no one is going to be finishing off the cranberry sauce anytime soon. But turn it into a warm breakfast pastry and you’ll have people fighting over the crumbs. Beyond the cranberry, all you need is puff pastry, cream cheese, eggs, and sugar. Find the recipe here.

Sweet Potato Waffles

We know, it sounds a little strange. But just wait until you try them– you might like them even more than these spiced pumpkin waffles. It’s the perfect morning after Turkey Day meal, and will use up all of that sweet potato. Try this recipe.

Leftover Holiday Ham Pizza Rolls

Still working your way through 12 pounds of ham? Turn it into a scrumptious bite sized pizza roll with more puff pastry, provolone cheese, pizza sauce, and an egg.

Creamy Turkey and Noodles

Spice up the dry day-old turkey with some cream and pasta— it’s great both fresh out of the oven and reheated all week long!

Simple Shepherd’s Pie

But what to do with all that leftover potato? Make a dent in the leftovers with a simple shepherd’s pie. The ultimate comfort food, this recipe combines turkey, veggies, and plenty of mashed potato on top.

Let us know in the comments below how you creatively use up your Turkey Day leftovers! It’s a great way to kick off the holiday season and fuel your Black Friday shopping!

Questions about your insurance coverage or policy? Call BMR Insurance today at 714-838-1911 for a free quote.

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Kids Can Help With Thanksgiving Dinner Too

Whether hosting a family of 5 or a gathering of 50, Thanksgiving dinner requires plenty of planning and a lot of time. It can be hard to do it all and enjoy the festivities yourself. One of the ways you can transform your Turkey Day dinner into a successful and enjoyable affair is to sign off tasks to your best little helpers: the kids.

Kids of any age can help out, and both you and they will find the holiday to be more memorable and meaningful. Continue Reading →

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How To Host the Best Fourth of July Barbecue

Summer is finally here, and so is that wonderful, patriotic holiday that we all love to celebrate. Yes, get out the red, white, and blue bunting, raise the stars and stripes, and clean the barbecue. That’s right–it’s the Fourth of July, and we’re getting ready to ‘cue.

Nervous about hosting an Independence Day feast for friends? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with six tips that will ensure you have a party free from failure and full of fun. Continue Reading →

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