New Year, New You!

With a new year come new resolutions! As you say “goodbye”to 2012 and “hello” to 2013, follow these tips to help you make those resolutions last.

Write a specific goal list. If you take the time to write down your goals and set deadlines, you make yourself more accountable to fulfilling them. Place the list in a spot where you will see it every day to keep the goals – and accomplishing them – on your mind.

Try this Goal Setting Worksheet to help you stay on track.

Have a “Resolution Buddy”. Talking about your resolutions with others, getting support and working toward accomplishing them together will make it easier and more fun todo so. You might even consider joining a support network, such as a local weight loss program or smoking cessation group.

Remember to reward yourself. While your overall goal may seem distant, if you reward yourself along the way, it can make the experience of working toward it more enjoyable.  According to Family Therapist/LifeCoach Sharon Lotoczky, doing something positive that lightens your mood is the most successful way to make a resolution stick.

Build off of existing habits. If you already make coffee every morning, and your resolution is something like taking daily vitamins, keep the vitamin jar next to the coffeepot. Doing so will make the resolution an easier habit to form.

Lifehacker provides information on what it takes to form a good habit.

Understand there will be obstacles. Trying to accomplish your goals won’t always be easy.  However, that does not mean you should simply give up. According to CNN.com, 71% of New Year’s Resolvers have a slip, yet they feel that the obstacle actually strengthens their resolution and motivation to change.

Visualize the end result. If you have trouble staying motivated, focus on what you’ll get and how you’ll feel once you reach your end goal. While this may be easier said than done, making a conscious effort to stay positive will help keep you on track.

Although these tips can encourage you to make the resolutions last beyond the first few weeks of 2013, ultimately, the change only will come if you make it.  For some popular resolution ideas, visit Boston.com. Or, share your resolution with others here.

Vargas &Vargas Insurance would like to wish everyone a happy and healthy 2013. For information on how they can help you save money on homeauto, lifeinsurance and more, call 877-550-0025 today.

New Cars Keeping the Elderly Young

New vehicles are shown with lavishing young people behind the wheel, but in reality, the new automobile features are created to keep the elderly drivers on the road! These baby boomers no longer feel old and achy; they feel young and rejuvenated because of certain new features such as; push button start and park assist.  

Push Button Start:

Jump in your car, push a button and go! Push button start is a new hit feature that corresponds withyour remote control car key. Once you unlock your car doors with keyless entry and sit on your comfy leather driver’s seat, plop your key into your cup holder and press the ignition button, your engine roars to life! This system is super convenient for the elderly because many baby boomers have arthritis in their joints that causes pain when physically turning the ignition key. Push button start allows parents and grandparents to drive with more comfort and less agony.

Park Assist:

Park Assist is another luxurious feature that parks the car with no exerted effort expressed by the driver! Once you’ve found the spot where you would like to park, pull up next to the space, press the park assist button and let the car do all the work! Park assist relieves stress that is placed on elderly people’s backs and necks when trying to back into a spot or parallel park. This feature also reduces the potential stress that is created by the driver thinking of getting in an accident while parking.

            In the unfortunate event of getting into an accident while driving or parking your car, be sure that you have the proper automobile insurance coverage with your local independent insurance agent. Vargas & Vargas Insurance Agency is the local independent insurance agent that you can trust to correctly advise you on your Massachusetts Auto Insurance! If your additional needs are Home Insurance, Life Insurance or Commercial Insurance, our experienced representatives always know how to assist you. Call us today at 877-550-0025! 

Caring for Your Pets this Winter`

It’s a great idea to take your pet to your veterinarian for a check- up.  Better to take preventative measures to pre-empt any problems that could worsen as temperatures continue to drop. This is especially important for older pets, as they often have conditions like arthritis that makes their joints very sensitive and tender in colder months.

As the thermometer drops during winter, keep your pet indoors as much as possible. Keep your pet on a leash when on walks, so that they are close to you at all times. This way you can make sure that they aren’t going to get into anything dangerous, like anti-freeze or rock salt. Keeping you furry friends on a leash prevents them from wondering too close to frozen ponds or lakes with thin ice. When you return from home your walk, wipe off your dog’s feet. He can ingest road salt, antifreeze, or other chemicals while licking his paws.

Did you know that Antifreeze is like maple syrup to animals?Anti-freeze is poisonous to your pets and its sweet smell and taste can be attractive and LETHAL to pets. So be sure all antifreeze containers are tightly closed and placed on a high shelf.

Whether it is for a cat or dog, make sure your pet has a warm place to sleep, away from any drafts. We all know not to leave our pet in a car during summer, but you may not realize that the same goes for the winter-when a car basically acts as a refrigerator!

If you keep your pet outside, make sure he has adequate shelter from the winter elements, and regularly check your pet’s water bowl to make sure it isn’t frozen.  Know the signs of hypothermia and frostbite. Here’s a great article that will help you out, http://hypothermia.org/animalhypo.htm.On particularly cold days or nights, bring your pet indoors where it is warm.

Vargas & Vargas can help you with your MA homeowners or Ma automobile insurance policies.

Spreading Holiday Cheer

As the holiday whirlwind is upon us, it is easy to forget the season’s true meaning: helping one another and supporting those in need. Here are some ways you and your family can reach out and pass on the holiday spirit to others, making this time of year festive for all.

Donate: Toys for Tots is a charitable organization that helps about 40,000 children across the country receive gifts this holiday season. Click here to find a place near you to donate. You also can bring clothes, toys and home items to your local Salvation Army and Goodwill stores.

Or, donate to your favorite charity; any little bit helps!

Volunteer: Heading Home is committed to ending homelessness in Boston through several out-reach programs. In addition to on-goingvolunteer projects, Heading Home has special holiday opportunities such as fulfilling a family’s gift wish list or throwing a festive party for those in need.

Boston has many other volunteer opportunities, which you can participate in throughout the year.

Make crafts: Several organizations accept homemade craft projects that the whole family can help make together. About.com provides a list of ideas, and Squidoo features art supplies and a video on how others are crafting for charity.

Host a party: Ask your guests each to bring an item to donate to the charity of your choice. This is a simple way for all to enjoy making a difference together.

In addition, the city of Boston hosts several exciting charity events throughout the holiday season. However, it is important to remember that the spirit of giving and helping others doesn’t have to end when the decorations are taken down.

Vargas & Vargas Insurance cares about keeping the community safe every month of the year.Call today at 877-550-0025 to speak with a dedicated agent about how they can help you and your family with your MA automobile and MA homeowners insurance policies.

Holiday Budgeting

Being on a budget doesn’t have to stop you from fully embracing this holiday season’s festivities. The following tips can help you save money and still bring joy to those who matter most.

Create a budget notebook. Keeping track of those you buy gifts for and setting limits on how much you spend annually can prevent you from overspending year to year. One way to do this is to have a special holiday spending notebook. Attach a plastic bag, and save all receipts in it. Bring it with you while you shop, and record how much certain gifts cost at various stores.

In addition, you can use this holiday budget template to plan and track purchases.

Set expectations for gift exchanges. Discussing with friends and family members how much to allot for gifts is a great way to make sure you don’t spend more than each other. This ensures that everyone receives a similar gift and respects each other’s holiday budgets.

Organize your home. Cleaning out closets could be a way for you to find forgotten goods you never used (re-gift ideas), holiday decorations and gift-wrap bought in previous years or items to sell on ebay or Craigslist.

For quick and crafty ways to organize your home, visit HGTV.

Be an educated consumer. Ellie Kay, author of “The Little Book of Big Savings”, advises people to comparison shop on sites like mysimon.com before even setting footin a store. There also are sites dedicated to coupons such as couponcabin.com, dealhunting.com and retailmenot.com helping you save even more.

Buy Smart, Shop local.  You may just find what you are looking for at a better price at a local store, it’s important to spend money at
local businesses in our neighborhoods. When you spend $100 at a locally
owned business, $73 stays local, versus, when you spend $100 at a
non-locally owned business, only $43 stays local. Spending money in our
neighborhoods keeps that money in our neighborhoods

Create homemade gifts. Making your own gifts is a good way to stay on budget while still showing the ones you love that you care. Spoonful and Martha Stewart are useful resources for crafty homemade holiday gift ideas.

For fun, family activities to do around Boston this season,visit Mommy Poppins or Chiff.com.

Vargas &Vargas Insurance cares about keeping your family safe and protected with the right MA homeowners or MA automobile insurance coverage. Call 877-550-0025 and speak with their friendly agents today about how they can help you get the coverage you deserve.

Avoid Dry Skin and Chapped Lips this Winter

As we leave the warm and humid days of summer behind, the cold, dry weather of winter is starting to settle in.  The generally warmer temperatures we have been experiencing in Massachusetts have made many people question if true winter is ever coming. But even though you’ve barely noticed a change in the weather,your skin, nails, and lips most definitely have and no doubt that they are starting to show. Whether its dry skin, cracked hands, or chapped lips! Survive the harshness of winter with the following few helpful suggestions:

Face- Exfoliate &Moisturize!

The combination of wind and a lack of sunlight have the unfortunate effect of drying out your skin. Get your glow back by exfoliating, and moisturizing. While in the shower (when your skin is soft and your pores are open), gently scrub your face with an oil-free exfoliating wash. Then, right after the shower, apply a moisturizer. Moisturize your face both morning and night and fight the dry, flakes of winter skin!

Hands and Body-Drink It In!

Sometimes wearing gloves when you are out in the cold is just not enough to prevent your hands from painful cracking.  Probably one of the best things you can do to fight winter dryness is to drink water!  You can also incorporate inside-out moisturizers, like fish or vitamin E oil capsules, or flax seed oil, to help your body produce enough lipids to keep you soft and smooth.

Caffeine and alcoholic drinks can also dry you out, so if you’re into sipping your sins, be sure to increase your water intake, and carry your moisturizers (one for face, one for the rest of your skin) around with you and use whenever your skin needs “a drink of moisture”

If you’ve got itchy winter skin, use a scrubbing loofa or a body brush to remove any and all flakes while in the shower or bath. Then, you guessed it! Liberally apply lotion/body butter as soon as you get out.

Lips-Don’t Let Winter Lick You!

The skin of your lips isn’t like your other skin; it doesn’t produce sweat, natural oils that help skin stay supple on its own. When you lick your lips you are accelerating the damages already being done by the winter weather. So to protect your pucker from the harsh conditions of winter- be sure to keep them hydrated.

To care for your lips, run a facecloth under some warm water, then, gently, rub your lips with the facecloth to remove any dead, dry, flakey, chapped skin. Then slather on a heavy moisture and keep some with you to re-apply throughout the day. Be sure to drink plenty of water, and try to keep the lip-licking to a minimum.

Vargas & Vargas wishes everybody a safe and happy holiday season!

Taylor Swift Contest

We have a pair of Taylor Swift concert tickets (section 136, 3rd row from the field, awesome seats) to give away for her concert on Friday July 26, 2013 at 6:30PM at Gillette Stadium.

taylor-swift-fans-taylor.jpg

Taylor Swift Contest Rules

  1. Stop by one of our two offices in either Stoughton or Dorchester, starting this Friday December 7th

  2. Drop off a food item for one of the food pantry charities that we are supporting, AND/OR a toy for the US Marines, Toy’s for Tots charity we are also supporting. 

  3. Have your photo taken with one of our agency staff and the items that you’re donating

  4. Post and tag the photo on our Vargas & Vargas Insurance Facebook page

Each item you donate is an individual entry into the contest, the more visits you make with items, the more entries you have in the contest. 

The contest ends on Wednesday December 19th, the winner will be announced Thursday December 20st on Facebook.

So…make sure you get to one of our offices and help us support these wonderful charities, you may just make someone’s Christmas a little bit more exciting!

Thank you AND Good Luck!


No purchase necessary to enter this contest.

O Christmas Tree!

For many of us the tradition of carefully selecting and decorating a Christmas tree is our favorite time of year!  But did you know that every year, an averageof 240 Christmas tree-related homefires occur in the United States?  Those fires are usually caused by electrical problems, heat sources placed too close to the tree, decorative lights, cigarettes or other open flames.

Don’t let your carefully-chosen fresh Christmas tree become a fire hazard. Observe these fire safety tips:

  • Keep the trunk of the tree immersed in water at all times.

  • Do not permit smoking near the tree.

  • Use flame retardant trim/decorations.

  • Use only lights that are UL approved.

  • Inspect lights for frayed or cracked wiring, broken plugs and defective sockets.

  • Unplug lights at night and when leaving home.

  • Do not over load circuits or outlets.

  • Do not run extension cords under carpets or across doorways.

  • Remove the tree soon after the holidays, before the needles dry out.

  • Check your smoke alarms; install new batteries if necessary.

  • Use caution if hanging lights outside; be aware of power lines and hazards while using a ladder.

  • Use caution with candles or open flame devices.

Most importantly, talk to your insurance agent and make sure your home or renter’s insurance policy is up to date and you are adequately covered- no one plans to have a house fire. Call us today at our toll-free number 877.550.0025, we are happy to help!

Vargas & Vargas can help you with your MA homeowners or Ma automobile insurance policies. We wishe everybody a safe and happy holiday season!