Newsletter

October Newsletter

fall scene on road

The Best Month for a Road Trip? It’s October!

I’m going out on a limb and declaring October the best month for a road trip. Do I have meteorological data, research, or a poll to back me up? No, I’m just basing it on my experiences.

Here’s what October has going for it:

  • The color! Summer may have temperatures and spring may have flowers, but nothing (believe me) beats a good fall color tour. And believe it or not, California does have it’s share of vibrant orange, red, and yellow leaves.
  • The temperature! For me, the perfect weather forecast includes two things: moderately warm days and crisp nights. Cool enough to wear jeans, warm enough to not worry about a coat. For a lot of our country, October usually has both.
  • The prices! Unless you’re leaf peeping odds are you’re heading to your destination during its shoulder season meaning you’ll pay less and probably be surrounded by fewer people.

October is our last hurrah before the big holiday season and winter blows in. So put off the chores, hop in a car, and do some spontaneous or not-so-spontaneous road-tripping. Just make sure your car is ready for the trip.

Where should you go? There are so many choices. Yosemite. Big Bear. Lake Tahoe. Napa Valley to name a few. Or you can drive to your Alma Mater to take in a football game. If you have the time and the inclination, you can venture to the Pacific Northwest. It’s a good time to enjoy everything it has to offer when weather is optimal and the changing colors of nature must be seen to be believed.

So where are you going this month? No matter where you head, make sure you travel to your destination safely.

children in costume trick or treating

Trick or New Treats!

This Halloween, we all enjoy answering the door and handing out treats to the little ghosts and goblins that come a-knocking. Most of the treats they receive will be candy! So why not stand out from the crowd and give the kids something that is not packed with sugar? Here are some fun options to consider that they’ll enjoy:

  • Glow sticks – here’s a not so fun fact: Children are most at risk for being hit by a car on Halloween night. So to help them stay visible, you can toss glow-in-the-dark accessories into their bag. Plus, who doesn’t love a glow necklace?
  • Stickers – what kid doesn’t love decorating their notebooks with fun adhesives? Sheets of stickers make for fun treats that won’t weigh down trick-or-treaters’ bags.
  • Fruit Leather – So good, it tastes like candy but with less sugar!
  •  Snack bags – Pretzels and Goldfish crackers are yummy non-candy Halloween treat options.
  •  Pencils, erasers and pencil toppers – School supplies in fun shapes and patterns give them something to enjoy after Halloween is over.
  • Bubbles – Need I say more?
  • Spooky accessories – Think plastic vampire teeth, plastic spider rings and other goodies that you can grab at the party supply or dollar store.
  • Mini bottles of water – Walking from door-to-door can be a workout, so help them stay hydrated while they traverse the neighborhood.
  • Temporary tattoos – Halloween themed tattoos are safe for the kiddos, easy to press on, and they’ll have a blast showing them off at school the next day!

 

woman with coffee looking at phone

We’re here for you – 24/7

Managing your insurance policies just got easier. Apollo Insurance Services is here for you whenever you need us! Whether you’re at home or on the go, our customer service portal offers you secure access to your insurance information 24/7 from your laptop, tablet or phone! We also have an Apollo Insurance Services app available in the Google Play or Apple Store.

You’ll be able to:

  • View and reprint automobile ID cards
  • View critical policy information
  • Request policy changes online
  • Access your agent’s direct contact information
  • Receive documented confirmation of all activity conducted online
Click here and then on Create an account. We’ll send you an email with your login credentials. Then you’ll have the access you need whenever you need it. It’s that easy!
Wildfire in a neighborhood

What to do in the event of a wildfire

Whether it’s the rolling hills of the Paso Robles wine country or the sandy beaches and oceanfront of Newport Beach, California is a wonderful place to live. But while the climate is perfect for comfortable living and outdoor fun and adventure, the dry weather presents ideal conditions for wildfires. Your friends at Apollo Insurance Services are here to help you protect your family and your property.

Wildfires strike suddenly and move quickly and unpredictably. If a wildfire is in your area, it’s important for you to listen to emergency channels and closely follow the status of the fire. Gather emergency supplies and valuable items in your car so you can evacuate when ordered.

EMERGENCY SUPPLIES

  • Three-day supply of non-perishable food and three gallons of water per person
  • Map marked with at least two evacuation routes
  • Prescriptions or special medications
  • Change of clothing
  • Extra eyeglasses or contact lenses
  • An extra set of car keys, credit cards and cash
  • First aid kit
  • Flashlight
  • Battery-powered radio and extra batteries
  • Sanitation supplies
  • Copies of important documents (birth certificates, passports, etc.)
  • Pet food and water

ITEMS TO TAKE IF TIME ALLOWS

  • Easily carried valuables
  • Family photos and other irreplaceable items
  • Personal computer information on hard drives and disks
  • Chargers for cell phones, laptops, etc.

PROTECT YOUR PROPERTY

There are steps you can take to help protect your property when you evacuate such as:

  • If you’re able to, move furniture to the center of rooms and remove drapes and curtains to prevent combustion.
  • Close all windows and doors to prevent drafts and reduce heat.
  • Shut off natural gas from its source.
  • Turn on all lights in your property so that firefighters can more easily see it
    through smoke.
  • As you evacuate, lock your door as you leave your home.

EXIT YOUR HOME AND COMMUNITY

  • If advised to do so, evacuate safely and remain calm while evacuating. According to Ready.gov, “always keep a sturdy pair of shoes and a flashlight near your bed and handy in case of a sudden evacuation at night”.
  • If you’re driving, roll up your windows and close the air vents. The smoke from the fire can get into your car, irritate your eyes and cause breathing problems.
  • Turn on your headlights and keep your doors unlocked.

September Newsletter

3 men at the beach

Surfers Healing

Surfers Healing is an organization that was created by Israel & Danielle Paskowitz for their son, Isaiah. Isaiah has autism and when he struggled with meltdowns and sensory overload, riding the waves with his father really helped to calm him down. Not everyone has a championship surfer for a dad, so the Paskowitz family invited others to join them at the beach to help those like their son. Their idea caught on, and now they’re a nationwide, grass-roots non-profit organization that is known as the original surf camp for children with autism.

Our Business Development Manager, Joe Cohen who is an avid surfer, loves to volunteer his time with this organization and has been doing so for the past 6 years at Doheny State Beach. I asked Joe what he enjoys most about volunteering with this organization and he said “Surfers Healing uses the sport of surfing to connect with children and adults who have autism and special needs. Some of these parents have never seen their child smile or speak, but when they get on these boards and ride a wave, they open up in a way their parents’ haven’t seen before. It’s so rewarding to help these families connect with their children in a new way.”

For more information about Surfers Healing, click Opens in new windowhere.

Teacher in classroom

7 Facts About Teachers that Might Surprise You

“What really makes a teacher is love … for it is love that transforms the social duty of the educator into the higher consciousness of a mission.”

Almost everyone has a story about a teacher who inspired them—the one who made learning fun, ignited a passion for a specific topic, or even pushed students hard to soar beyond expectations.

Those are the teachers we remember; their legacies live on in the professional and personal achievements of those who passed through their classrooms. And they can still inspire, long after the last class.

Since the school year has started we thought it would be fun to share a few interesting things we’ve learned about teachers and their dedication—because as any good teacher will tell you, learning is a lifelong journey.

  1. There are more than 3 million teachers in the U.S. Public schools have a total of about 3.2 million full-time equivalent teachers, according to federal statistics. Sounds like a lot, until you consider that there are approximately 51 million K-12 students to teach!
  2. The vast majority of teachers are women. The fact that many teachers are women probably isn’t a surprise, but the percentage might be larger than you think: It’s nearly 77%. And more than 54% of principals are women, too.
  3. They probably work more than you realize—and not only in the classroom. We’re all envious of the summer vacations most teachers get, but according to surveys, teachers work an average of 50 hours a week. And they might not have a summer vacation at all: About 30% of them have second jobs
  4.  When they’re not teaching, many teachers are taking classes of their own. Nearly 60% of teachers have a postgraduate degree—in order to advance their careers, additional education usually is required. And unlike training in the corporate world, this is done on the teachers’ own time (and often on their own dime).
  5.  They spend their own money in the classroom. When teachers don’t have enough supplies, or they want to provide their students with more, almost all of them (94%) dig into their own pockets. The average cost for teacher-funded supplies? About $500 annually. That’s not pocket change, especially when you consider that teacher salaries average about $55,000 nationally.
  6.  Frequently, that support goes way beyond school supplies. More than 65% of teachers in one survey said they had paid for food or covered the cost of field trips for students in need. And 33% have purchased coats, gloves, or other winter clothing for kids in their classes. Clearly, they’re dedicated to more than just education—they want to ensure the well-being of their students.
  7.  The best gift isn’t a red apple. Despite the classic image of an apple on the desk at the front of the room, teachers say there are better ways to show your appreciation. Try a gift card for a coffee shop, or to an office-supply store to help with their classroom expenses. If you’re one of the 88% of people who say a teacher has had a significant positive impact on your life, though, the most meaningful thing of all might simply be a heartfelt note saying, “Thank you for doing what you do.”

Apollo Insurance Services recognizes and applauds all teachers past and present!

3 children

Refer Family & Friends

Your business means the world to us. We work hard to earn your trust with great service and products. We understand the importance of an insurance package tailored for your lifestyle needs.

The highest compliment we can receive is that you’ll tell your friends and family about your good experience with us. As our way of saying thank you, we’ve created a referral rewards program.

Here’s how it works:

  • For every referral that is sold we will send you a $20 Gift Card!
  • We have an annual drawing, the prize is $100 and is given to the charity of the winner’s choice.
    • Each referral you’ve given throughout the year equals one entry for our annual drawing.
    • announce
    • We’ll announce who won on our Opens in new windowFacebook page.
For more info, give us a call at 800.426.1088, or click here.
shell on beach at sunset

End of Summer Bucket List

Unfortunately summer isn’t endless and as the sun starts setting earlier and earlier, we need to enjoy the moments we have left of this beautiful season. Here are some ways to capture what’s left of summer.

  • Eat ice cream for dinner
  • Go cloud gazing
  • Plan a family photo shoot
  • Hike a local trail that you haven’t visited yet
  • Roast hot dogs and ‘smores by a bonfire
  • Take the scenic route home
  • Host an outdoor movie night
  • Camp in the backyard
  • Watch a sunset together

July Newsletter

dog walking with American flag in mouth

Pet Safety Tips for Summer

We all love spending the long, sunny days of summer outdoors with our furry companions, but doing too much in hot weather can spell danger. To prevent your pet from overheating, take these simple precautions provided by ASPCA experts:

  • Visit the vet for a early-summer checkup. Make sure your pets get tested for heart worm if they aren’t on year-round preventative medication.
  • Pets can get dehydrated quickly, so give them plenty of fresh, clean water when it’s hot or humid outdoors. Make sure your pets have a shady place to get out of the sun, be careful not to over-exercise them, and keep them indoors when it’s extremely hot.
  • Know the symptoms of overheating in pets, which include excessive panting or difficulty breathing, increased heart and respiratory rate, drooling, mild weakness, stupor or even collapse.
  • Never leave your animals alone in a parked vehicle. It cant lead to fatal heat stroke.
  • Do not leave pets unsupervised around a pool—not all dogs are good swimmers. Introduce your pets to water gradually and make sure they wear flotation devices when on boats. Rinse your dog off after swimming to remove chlorine or salt from his fur and try to keep your dog from drinking pool water, which contains chlorine and other chemicals.
  • When the temperature is very high, don’t let your dog linger on hot asphalt. Being so close to the ground, your pooch’s body can heat up quickly, and sensitive paw pads can burn. Keep walks during these times to a minimum.

Please leave pets at home when you head out to Fourth of July celebrations, and never use fireworks around pets. Many pets are also fearful of loud noises and can become lost, scared or disoriented, so it’s best to keep your little guys safe from the noise in a quiet, sheltered and escape-proof area of your home.

people at backpack drive in Chino

Backpack Drive for Chino Neighborhood House

Every July Apollo purchases needed school supplies and we assemble fully equipped backpacks to help underserved students prepare for the school year.

Some of the supplies we purchase include colored pencils, glue, pencil boxes, notebooks, rulers, binders, paper, scissors, erasers, markers, pencils and pens and of course backpacks.

We’re planning to donate our fully assembled backpacks to the Chino Neighborhood House. Since 1945 the Chino Neighborhood House has worked to ensure that families in the Chino community have food on their tables as well as enabling students to be more successful in school and allowing seniors to live a healthy lifestyle.

Last year we donated 32 backpacks, this year we’re striving to donate 40 fully assembled backpacks! We also help this organization throughout the year by donating clothing and food to them.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Backpack drive, or to donate any supplies, please send an email to info@apolloins.net.

family packing up car for a trip

How to Pack a Car Safely

Summer is here and so are thoughts of hitting the road for a family vacation. According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, nine out of 10 Americans drive to their travel destination.

If you’re among those planning to hit the road, remember that safe driving starts before you even leave the driveway. Securing luggage, maintaining vehicle balance and keeping clear lines of sight from the driver’s seat are key elements in packing your car safely for the long drive.

Here are a few things to keep in mind as you load up your luggage, coolers and other vacation necessities:

  • Load heavier items such as suitcases first, and toward the center. Lighter items, such as coolers, beach bags and groceries, can be packed on top of and to the sides of the heavier items.
  • Make sure the weight is distributed evenly. Uneven weight can cause instability and increase the chance of the car tipping in the event of an accident.
  • Don’t pack things too high—items packed too high may obstruct the driver’s view through the rear-view mirror. Also, items packed too high could shift forward and injure those in the back seat if you should stop suddenly.
  • If you’re doing any rooftop or auxiliary cargo loading, make sure all cargo is fully secured. The wind created while driving could exceed 75 mph, which is equivalent to a Category 1 hurricane.
    • Be aware of the height of your cargo so you do not inadvertently drive into a low overhang.
    • If you use a detachable cargo platform on the back of your car, do not forget that it’s there when you back up.
    • Check the manufacturer’s instruction sheet to confirm that you don’t exceed the load rating of the roof-top or cargo platform.
  • If you tow a trailer, make sure it’s in good condition (lights, tires, wheels, etc.), and check the trailer periodically during your trip.
  • Pack only what you need since heavy cars can take longer to stop.

Your friends at Apollo Insurances wish you safe summer travels!

living room in beach front house

Bring summer into your home

Looking for a way to add some summer flair to your home décor? A vibrant splash of color is a simple, yet incredibly effective way of bringing the feel of summer into your home. This season, summer home decor is all about bright, saturated colors and you can achieve a summery decor look without having to spend serious amounts of time and money.

It could be a new set of bold, patterned throw cushions to liven up your chairs and sofas, some colorful books, or a new piece of artwork on the wall. However you choose to add a splash of color to your summer home decor trends, make sure it’s bright and cheerful. But if riotous color won’t look right in your home, consider more sober pastels and matte finishes to keep the look laid back yet energizing. And intriguing color combinations that pair a sensible neutral shade peppered with hits of color or animal prints also makes for a sound design direction, without having to take too much of a risk.

Adding a fresh coat of paint will also brighten up a room. For a more dramatic effect try having one main accent wall as your focal point.

Fresh summertime blooms will bring the outside in. Gather flowers from your garden and make a colorful arrangement as a centerpiece on your coffee or dining room table.

Have fun with it and you’ll enjoy summer that much more.

June Newsletter

Ken Potter Vice President

Ken Potter

Ken is the Vice President of Apollo Insurance Services and has been with the agency since 2012.

He’s been instrumental in making many improvements to our organization including streamlining procedures and embracing technological advances that will elevate the customer experience. Ken is very passionate about educating our customers on the importance of having the right insurance to protect their financial future. He’s also great to work for as he understands and embraces work-life balance and always has our best interests at heart.

Ken was a kicker for the UCLA Bruin football team and spends many Saturdays rooting for his alma mater. He also enjoys golfing with his son Andrew or hosting barbecues at home with his wife Veronica and their close-knit group of friends. He’s an avid cyclist, often participating in charity races such as the Tour of Long Beach last month where his team biked 30 miles and raised over $3,300 for pediatric cancer research.

national park with waterfall

Five Fun Northern California Road Trip Destinations

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of freedom of the open road, where the possibilities are seemingly endless. Whether you take off around the corner for a weekend getaway or across the country for an extended vacation, there’s adventure everywhere.

Whatever your pleasure, you may want to consider the incredible beauty of California. It offers many unique attractions and activities with 840 of miles of rugged coastline and countless miles of deserts and mountain ranges to explore.

1. The California Redwoods

If you’re looking for a scenic drive, Highway 101 near the Oregon border can’t be beat, as it winds between groves of redwoods and small towns. Start in Garberville and drive north to the Avenue of Giants. Make your way north from there to Redwoods National Park, where you can search for Hyperion, the world’s tallest tree. It measures a startling 379 feet from top to bottom, but it won’t be easy to find, as its location is a secret. The typical life-span of these trees is between 500 and 700 years – some live to be over 2,000 years old!

2. Napa

Wine production is one of the state’s biggest industries. There are more than 117 varieties of grapes growing in California’s diverse soils. Head north from San Francisco over the Golden Gate Bridge on Highway 101 or take Highway 116 through Sonoma. Continue to Napa Valley on Highway 121. Napa’s 450 wineries attracted 3.3 million visitors in 2014 alone, a hot spot for wine tasting. If you’re planning a trip to the area, arrange for a designated driver and look into a guided tour. Napa also boasts exquisite dining options like The French Laundry, which was named best in the world in 2003 and 2004 by Restaurant Magazine. Make sure to call and book your reservation two months in advance to guarantee a table.

3. Pacific Coast Highway

The Travel Channel named Pacific Coast Highway one of the most scenic roads in America and the number one road trip destination for Americans in 2013. The route provides road trippers with breathtaking views of California’s coastline. Start your trip in San Simeon and visit Hearst Castle. Continue north and have lunch in Monterey on historical Cannery Row. Walk the Monterey Old Town Historic District and visit the Old Fisherman’s Wharf before stopping by the Monterey Bay Aquarium. If you’re visiting between April and December, keep your eyes peeled for humpback whales while you’re standing on the back deck of the aquarium. Finish the day by heading to one of the local beaches to watch the sunset.

4. Lake Tahoe

California Highway 50 will lead you east from San Francisco to Lake Tahoe, which straddles the border of California and Nevada. Whether you’re golfing or boating, lounging on the lake or on an epic ski trip, you’ll love Lake Tahoe any time of the year. Fish the lake or, if you’re into water sports, try wind surfing or wakeboarding. Snowboarders and skiers will be impressed by the diverse terrain of the local slopes.

5. Yosemite National Park

Drive Highway 120 to Yosemite National Park. Attracting an astounding four million annual visitors, Yosemite is a hiker’s playground with more than 800 miles of established trails. The 214 miles of paved road throughout the park offer some of the best scenic driving in the country. Awe inspiring, towering granite faces characterize Yosemite’s unique landscape. El Capitan (7,569 feet) and Half Dome (8,839 feet) are two of the park’s prominent features. Yosemite Falls is one of the world’s tallest waterfalls, rushing down 2,425 feet. Be alert when driving, as rock slides are fairly common.

Most of us do a little research before packing up our cars. Remember that no matter where you end up, a smooth road trip requires planning to ensure your car is prepared for the journey. Call your friends at Apollo Insurance Services at 800.426.1088 or visit us at www.apolloinsuranceservices.com to make sure you’re properly insured.

girl waving large American flag

Fun Facts about the American Flag

Flag Day is celebrated on June 14th every year and we as Americans are encouraged to proudly display our flags on this day. To help get us in spirit of Flag day, here are some facts that you may or may not know.

  1. The flag has been changed 27 times. The final star for Hawaii was added in 1960.
  2. The flag is normally flown from sunrise to sunset.
  3. The flag should not be flown at night without a light on it.
  4. The designer of the American flag was Francis Hopkinson, a signer of the Declaration of Independence as a delegate from New Jersey.
  5. Betsy Ross sewed the first American flag.
  6. There are six American flags on the moon. Five are standing, but Neil Armstrong’s fell over.
  7. The flag should not be flown in rain or inclement weather.
  8. When your flag is old or torn, it is time to retire it. Old flags should be burned or buried.
  9. The colors of the flag have meaning. Red stands for hardiness and valor. White symbolizes purity and innocence. Blue represents vigilance, perseverance and justice.
  10. The American flag should never touch the floor or ground.
  11. When displayed on a wall or window the blue field should be in the upper left corner.
  12. The American flag always flies at the top of a staff above any other flag.

Long may it wave!

Newly married couple

Wedding Season is here!

June is the most popular month for weddings. While every bride dreams of the perfect day, very few think about what could possibly go wrong. And unfortunately sometimes things do go wrong. And that’s where wedding insurance can step in.

What is Wedding Insurance?

Wedding insurance protects a couple’s investment from circumstances beyond their control and reimburses expenses incurred. For example, what if your limo driver doesn’t show up and you have to book another one the morning of the wedding–for three times the price? Or what if the groom’s custom-made tux is lost in airport baggage and he has to buy a new one the day before the wedding? What if your reception space goes out of business a month before the wedding, and you lose your deposit and have to book another space? These are the types of wedding day financial losses that wedding insurance can help protect.

If you want your perfect day to be perfect, you should consider wedding insurance. It provides peace of mind in the event things don’t go as planned. It’s easy to get a free, no-obligation quote. Just click here.

 

April Newsletter

April newsletter

Spring Has Sprung!

Not everyone enjoys the rain, especially if you have to commute in it but for most of us it’s a nice and much needed change. Plus the results of the rain have been remarkable since our hillsides are now green and covered in colorful wildflowers. We also enjoyed a parade of painted lady butterflies fluttering about. Spring has definitely sprung and we love it! I asked some of the Apollo team what they like most about Spring and here’s what they had to say:

Shannon Rudder, Insurance Services Representative

The warm sun on my face. The sounds of the birds chirping in the morning. Looking at the open sky. There are more but these are my first and favorite.

Steve Arguello, Insurance Consultant

My favorite thing about Spring is enjoying softball and baseball with my kids.

Christina Rittenhouse, Receptionist

My favorite thing about Springtime is enjoying the pleasant change in weather, the beautiful flowers and watching the graceful butterflies. It is definitely one of my favorite seasons.

Gail Christner, Marketing Analyst

I’m more active and carefree in Springtime. I love that the sun stays out longer for us to enjoy the day and provides the opportunity to explore all the beauty that nature has to offer.

Armando Pacab, Insurance Consultant

I agree with Robin Williams’ take on Spring. “Spring is nature’s way of saying, Let’s party!”

April newsletter

Fun Easter Traditions You Can Start With Your Family

Easter tradition doesn’t just have to be about coloring eggs, egg hunts and Easter baskets! Here are some new ideas that you can incorporate into your family Easter celebrations.

  • Start a family tradition of making rainbow pancakes on Easter morning
  • Show the kids that the Easter bunny has visited by leaving bunny footprints
  • Make s’mores from peeps
  • Create an Easter tree
  • Make a graham cracker house for your peeps
  • Have everyone write why Easter is important to them, put in plastic eggs, then randomly read them and guess who wrote which one
  • Put some peeps on a skewer and arrange in a vase for a colorful bouquet
  • Tie dye your eggs
  • Everyone wears toy beads, whoever says Easter has to give up their beads, the person with the most beads wins a prize!

Your friends at Apollo wish you a very Happy Easter!

April newsletter

Fun Facts About Painted Lady Butterflies

The painted lady is the most widely distributed butterfly in the world

You can find painted ladies everywhere from meadows to vacant lots. Although it is resident only in warmer climates, it often migrates into colder regions in spring and fall, making it the butterfly with the widest distribution of any species.

It is sometimes called the thistle butterfly or the cosmopolitan butterfly

It’s called the thistle butterfly because thistle plants are its favorite nectar plant for food; it’s also called the cosmopolitan butterfly because of its global distribution.

Painted ladies have unusual migration patterns

These orange butterflies are known to travel annually from the deserts of Southern California to the Pacific Northwest. Recently people are taking notice because of the sheer size of the migration: Scientists estimate the teeming painted ladies number in the millions. Substantial rainfall is the reason for the unusually large swarms. The explosion of plant growth in Southern California that has fueled this migration of butterflies is in itself a spectacle. The growth of colorful wildflowers, called a super bloom, besides attracting the butterflies, has also attracted a steady stream of tourists.

Painted ladies fly fast and far

These medium-sized butterflies can cover a lot of ground, up to 100 miles per day during their migration. A painted lady can reach a speed of nearly 30 miles per hour. Painted ladies seem to be in a hurry like the famous white rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, late for a very important date.

Hopefully you’ve had the chance to see them, if not, they’re probably headed your way soon!

April newsletter

Spring Cleaning Mistakes You Should Stop Making

Hello Spring Cleaning Season! It’s the time of year where we want to clean and organize our home and spruce it up by adding some special touches like some fresh flowers from the garden. It’s also the time to put on the rubber gloves and get down to business. But before you do, read this to change three cleaning habits that work against you. It will save you time and money.

Stop using vinegar on wood & stone

From windows to laundry, vinegar is an eco-friendly cleaning powerhouse. But it’s also an acid that can damage stone and wood. When cleaning your granite or marble counter tops, use mild soap and warm water instead. It’d be a shame to ruin your carefully chosen kitchen materials. And only clean floors and furniture with made-for-wood cleaners.

Don’t use lemon in the disposal

While you may have heard running a lemon through your disposal will clean the blades and make your disposal smell fresh, think twice about trying it. It may indeed clean the appliance, but lemon’s citric acid can also corrode the metal, while the peel can damage grinders and clog pipes.

Stop using hot water in the washer

This is one time you shouldn’t listen to grandma. Today’s laundry detergents clean more efficiently than ever in cold water. Even though it may feel strange, your jeans will get just as clean on the cold setting — and you’ll save money on utilities too. But when a family member is sick or you’re washing nasty dirty messes, then listen to grandma. Use hot water mixed with chlorine bleach to kill any bacteria.

March Newsletter

march newsletter

Staff Spotlight – Paula Cobbs

Paula is one of our cheerful, friendly and knowledgeable Insurance Service Representatives. She has been with Apollo for almost 20 years! Chances are that if you have an insurance policy with us and have had any changes or updates in the last 19 years that you have probably spoken with Paula. And that’s not all, Paula has been lucky enough to work every day alongside her twin sister.

When Paula isn’t on the phone helping you with your insurance needs, she’s usually enjoying her time reading Crime Drama novels and cuddling up with her 9 year old Maine Coon, Jasper. When out and about, Paula loves walking and checking out antique shops to hunt for an unusual find at a bargain price.

Paula is also very happy when she’s with her extended church family and enjoys spending quality time with this close-knit group of people who all support each other.

If you haven’t already met Paula, we hope you get the opportunity to speak with her soon!

march newsletter

Celebrate St. Patty’s Day early!

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner and we know you can hardly wait. Well, you don’t have to! You can celebrate early with us. Apollo Insurance Services is proud to be one of the sponsors of the upcoming St. Patty’s Festival at the Shoppes at Chino Hills.

The event is hosted by the Chino Valley Fire Foundation and will support many of their community outreach programs and local charities.

Join us on Saturday, March 9th at the Shoppes at Chino Hills from 1:00 pm – 5:00 pm. You can taste craft beer from up to 30 independent breweries and enjoy delicious food sponsored by Limericks Tavern. There will also be live music from the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Pipes & Drums and music by LA Alehouse Fire and DJ Rhino as well as games, raffles and much more.

Tickets are $35 and can be purchased through the Chino Valley Fire Foundation.
We hope to see you there. Apollo Insurance Services wishes you & yours a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

march newsletter

Tell a Friend! Get $20!

Thank you for being one of our valued customers! But please don’t keep our quality coverage and great service to yourself…. let your friends and family know that we can also help them with their insurance needs. If you do, we will send you a $20 Gift Card for every referral that is sold!

  • Just fill out the form on our website
  • We will also have an annual drawing for $100 which will be given to the charity of the winner’s choice.
    • Each sold referral you’ve given throughout the year equals one entry for our annual drawing.
    • We’ll announce who won on our Facebook page.

You can also give us call with your referrals at 800.426.1088, option 2.

Thank you again for letting us serve your insurance needs!

march newsletter

Family Spring Break Travel Tips

After a long, cold winter one of the most exciting times of the year is getting ready for spring break vacation. It’s the perfect way to start the new season with your family, and to unwind and have some fun. Traveling with your family can be tough – so we wanted to provide you with a few tips that will make sure your travel plans go a little bit smoother this year.

Research before you book

You may have an idea about where you and your family would like to visit during spring break, but make sure you research the area ahead of time. Certain locations are known to be party spots while others are made to be family friendly. Make sure you are booking your location based on what will work best for your family. Also be sure to ask what type of atmosphere a hotel has before you decide to book a room.

Book plans early

Spring break is one of the most popular travel times within the entire year and no matter the location you’re planning on visiting, it will most likely be busy. Make sure to not only book your airfare a great deal ahead of time but also your hotel accommodations and rental car. Also look into pre booking any activities you are interested in so you can plan an itinerary and make sure you are able fit in something for everyone.

Take safety precautions

Before you go, make sure your home is safe and securely locked. Be sure to let a close friend, family member, or neighbor know the dates you will be traveling and has your phone number in case of any emergencies. While you are on your trip it’s important to remember that such a popular travel time can also put you at a greater risk for travel scams. Make sure to shy away from wearing flashy clothing and jewelry and always leave your valuables locked away safely in your hotel room.

Make it educational

If you are traveling with children, spring break can be a great way to find educational activities that are also fun. Before you leave, research where the best parks, museums, tours, libraries, and zoos are so that you can incorporate learning and having fun.

Prepare for the weather

Before you leave make sure to look up what the weather is expected to be at your destination. If you’re traveling to a tropical location be sure to pack lightweight clothing, sunglasses, and plenty of sunscreen. Pack appropriate footwear that is comfortable for all activities. Also remember that even if you’re going somewhere hot, to pack pants and a sweatshirt or jacket for cooler nights.

Invest in travel protection

Purchasing a travel protection plan can help de-stress the trip, just by knowing you have coverage for your family if any unexpected travel disruptions do in fact happen along the way.
Click here for a free quote.

February Newsletter

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Your “Burning Love” should not ignite the house!

What could be better for creating that perfect romantic Valentine’s Day mood than a favorite dinner at home, gazing out at that moonlit ocean or mountain range by candlelight?

But be careful with those candles so that you don’t ignite something you don’t intend! Take these tips from the National Candle Association on how to use candles safely:

  • Be sure all candles are extinguished before you leave the room
  • Keep clothing, blankets, pillows and other flammables away from lit candles
  • Keep them out of reach of pets and children
  • Place candles on a stable, heat-resistant surface
  • Use a holder designed specifically for candles
  • Burning candles should be at least three inches apart, and not near vents, ceiling fans or other air currents
  • Ensure the room is well ventilated/li>

By taking these precautions, you can spend Valentine’s Day the way you planned—and not by filing a home insurance claim!

Everyone at Apollo Insurance Services wishes you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

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How Efficiently (or inefficiently) Do You Use Your Heat?

Many homeowners in California see their energy bills each winter and think, “How can I be spending this much when the house isn’t even that warm?”

To get an answer to that question, you should start with some other questions that will help determine just how efficiently you’re heating your home.

  • Where is the warm going? If you’ve got a leaky house, you’re costing yourself money, plain and simple. Heat ends up escaping and cold air keeps flowing in, which means you either turn up the thermostat or just shiver in your living room. The U.S. Department of Energy recommends getting an energy audit so you can find and seal the gaps.
  • When is the heat on? Are you keeping the house the same temperature all day and night? Even when you’re sleeping or at work? There’s no reason to, and programmable thermostats mean you can still have a warm house when you wake up and when you get home.
  • How often do I use space heaters? If you find that you’re using space heaters to supplement your main heating system, you could be masking a bigger problem and actually increasing your energy costs.
  • Am I maintaining my system? A lot of homeowners simply forget to do things such as changing their air filter regularly or getting periodic examinations of their heating system. These routine tasks can not only prevent more costly problems down the road, they can help you more effectively heat your home right now.
  • Is my fireplace hurting more than it’s helping? It could be, if you always leave the damper open even when you don’t have a fire going. And if you have the damper closed, a leak can make it yet another place where warm air gets out and cold air seeps in. Check the seal around your damper, and consider using a chimney balloon when you aren’t using the fireplace.

Taking some time to answer these questions can increase your efficiency, decrease your bills and perhaps even prompt another, more pleasant question this winter: “Is it too warm in here?”

Your friends at Apollo Insurance Services hope you have a warm and cozy winter.

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Tips for Buying a Used Car

Buying a used car can be scary – especially if you worry about being scammed. There’s nothing worse than seeing a car you like online, checking it out in person and making the purchase – only to realize the previous owner ‘forgot’ to mention some serious mechanical issues. Pretty discouraging to say the least. I have only ever purchased used cars, so I’ve learned a thing or two about getting the right bang for your buck and lucky for you, I’m going to share it!

  1. The first step when buying a used vehicle is to determine your budget. It will narrow down your choices while searching the local area for deals, and you’ll be able to calculate your monthly payment if you decide to finance it. If you do plan on financing the vehicle, research your options! You may find that a loan from your bank will have a lower interest rate compared to the dealership or manufacturer.
  2. Next, decide if you want to purchase a used vehicle from a dealership or a private owner. If you’re leaning towards a dealer, expect a bigger price tag. Used vehicles in their lot may include an extended warranty or service program, meaning these cars must be refurbished in order to meet warranty standards. Wondering where these cars came from? They’re usually acquired from auctions or trade-ins.
  3. If you prefer buying from a private party, expect to do all the leg work. When you meet with the owner, be prepared with a list of questions regarding ownership history, maintenance upkeep and the current condition of the car. Do a walk-around and take note of any bumps or scratches on the car, as well as any leaks. Remember, as the buyer, you are in control of the sale! Feel free to ask as many questions as you want about the vehicle you are interested in buying – especially if you don’t know much about the make of the car. It will save you financial headache in the long run. Want to investigate the car’s history yourself? Write down the VIN number (usually located on the driver’s side door) and you can run a report online for a small price.
  4. Whether you are purchasing from a dealer or private owner, ALWAYS take the car for a test drive! During the drive, it’s a good idea to drive on hills, highways and in stop-and-go traffic. You’ll get a better feel for how it drives and decide if you feel comfortable driving it.
  5. Finally, after negotiating a price, it’s time to close the deal! Before you negotiate, make sure the car is priced fairly (you can find out it’s worth on a vehicle valuation website). After a price is set, you should never pay a private seller with cash. If something goes wrong and there’s no paper trail, it may be tough to get your money back. Along with the car, the previous owner should provide the title, a dated receipt for the sale signed by you and the seller and a spare key if available. Call your friends at Apollo Insurance Services prior to taking possession of the car to insure the new vehicle.

Happy Shopping!

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Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries

Who doesn’t love delicious chocolate dipped strawberries for Valentine’s Day? Juicy, fresh strawberries covered in decadent dark chocolate are the perfect surprise for your sweetheart. Make them with extra love!

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon shortening or vegetable oil
  • ½ cup semisweet chocolate chips or white vanilla baking chips
  • 1 pint (2 cups) medium-large strawberries (18 to 20 strawberries)

Directions

Gently rinse strawberries and dry on paper towels (berries must be completely dry).

Line cookie sheet with waxed paper. In 1-quart saucepan, melt chocolate chips and shortening over low heat, stirring frequently. Remove from heat. Dip lower half of each strawberry into chocolate mixture; allow excess to drip back into saucepan. Place on waxed paper-lined cookie sheet.

Refrigerate uncovered about 30 minutes or until chocolate is firm, or until ready to serve. Store covered in refrigerator so chocolate does not soften (if made with oil, chocolate will soften more quickly at room temperature).

December Newsletter

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What do you want to find under your Christmas tree?

I asked some of the team at Apollo what present they would like to find under their Christmas tree this year and here’s what they said:

Deanna Dekker, Insurance Consultant – I would love to find an Instant Pot – Electric Pressure Cooker under my tree as I have started cooking new recipes to maintain my new healthy lifestyle.

Paula Cobbs, Insurance Service Representative – I would be so excited to wake up on Christmas morning and find a vintage Nancy Drew book from the 1930’s under my tree,

Bill Obelmito:, Insurance Consultant – it would be awesome to find a pair of headphones that allow me to watch TV without disturbing anyone. Mainly because my wife, daughter and grandkids make too much noise and I can’t ever hear the TV!

Jessica Santana, Sales Support Specialist – I love to be surprised on Christmas morning. Big or small, the thought that went into picking the gift is what really matters. My biggest joy is watching my kids faces light up as they’re opening their presents–that’s my gift–their happiness.

Christina Rittenhouse, Receptionist – I really enjoy the excitement of watching my friends and family open their gifts. However, it would be fun to get a mixer so that I can bake with my nieces and the gift will bring us many happy memories and delicious treats!

Steve Arguello, Insurance Consultant – The best present would be to have my mom who lives in Massachusetts with us at Christmas.

All of us at Apollo hope you get what YOU want under your Christmas tree!

december newsletter

Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays

The holidays are here and with it bring the promise of a beautifully decorated house with a pile of brightly wrapped presents tucked under the tree brimming with ornaments. But not everyone is as fortunate. And to help those in need, or those who have suffered a financial hardship, and can’t afford to enjoy a lavish holiday season, there is the Adopt-A-Family program. Most cities have one or you can check with a charitable organization, such as the Salvation Army or even reach out to one of the armed forces to adopt a military family in need.

This year, Apollo Insurance Services is adopting two families through the Chino Neighborhood House. The Chino Neighborhood House is a non-profit, charitable organization that provides food and clothing and other necessities for families in the Chino Valley. We’re excited to shop for the families, each with three children that need clothing and some other goodies that they had on their wish list. We’re hoping to have all the presents wrapped and under their trees before Christmas. We also hope to have the opportunity to meet the families and wish them a safe & healthy New Year with the prospect of a fresh start and memories of a delightful holiday season.

Wishing you & yours the joys of the season and hoping you will also consider to Adopt-A-Family for the Holidays this year.

december newsletter

Stay on Top of Holiday Spending

The Holiday season is a great, yet expensive time. All the decorations, parties, cards, cookie baking and gifts for everyone on your list add up. Studies have found that almost 80 percent of Americans overspend on holiday purchases. Here are three tips to help keep holiday spending on track:

Create a Budget for Holiday Spending

Creating a budget specific for holiday spending is a great first step to avoid overspending. Whether you’ve been saving up to buy gifts or if you’re going to use a portion of your existing spending budget, make sure to determine how many gifts you want to buy and how much you want to spend on each gift. Be sure to leave a little room in the budget, in case you forget a gift or get invited to a gift exchange.

Use Credit Cards Wisely

Using credit cards for holiday purchases can be a great idea for some people, particularly those who have a rewards-earning card or are trying to build their credit. However, you should make sure you have a plan to pay off the card balance without incurring any unnecessary fees. If you plan to use credit cards for your holiday spending, make sure your post-holiday budget leaves some room for making payments.

Be Careful Not to Overdraft a Budget

Holiday shopping can be a frenzy-especially if you’re shopping in a large mall or trying
to take advantage of multiple sales. Having a budget is a great first step, but if you’re using a debit card, you’ll also need to be aware of your account balance and any daily spending limits.

Happy Shopping!

december newsletter

Buttery Snowball Cookie Recipe

It looks and tastes just like the holidays – this delicious, melt-in-your-mouth recipe of butter cookies with pecans shaped into snowballs and dusted with powdered sugar.  All we can say is yum!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup butter softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup finely chopped pecans
  • 1 cup powdered sugar

Instructions

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the butter and powdered sugar until creamy
  • Add the flour, vanilla, salt and chopped pecans. Mix well again.
  • Chill the dough for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Roll the dough into 1″ balls. Place on a non-stick baking sheet. These cookies will not rise or flatten, so they can be placed relatively close together.
  • Bake for about 10 minutes. Don’t allow the balls to brown. This will ensure they  are buttery soft!
  • Immediately roll the cookie balls in powdered sugar.
  • Allow the cookies to cool completely and then roll them in powdered sugar again.

Stack them on top of each other so they look like a pile of snowballs and dig in!

November Newsletter

november newsletter
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Thanksgiving Thoughts

I asked some of the team at Apollo what their favorite thing about Thanksgiving is and here’s what they said:

Ken Potter, VP – My favorite thing about Thanksgiving are the sights, sounds and smells! I enjoy seeing my wife smiling while we chop vegetables and prepare the turkey. I love having family and friends around to share stories and reminisce about the past and look forward to things to come.

Joseph Cohen,, Manager, Business Development – The thing I love most about Thanksgiving is the time to be thankful for the blessings in my life. To have the ability to host a family gathering, eat some great food, and to be loving to others is all something to be thankful for. 

Karen Irwin:, Insurance Services Manager – My favorite thing about Thanksgiving is having all of my family together.

Julia Barragan, Insurance Services Supervisor – What I love most is being with family.
Roland Taylor, Business Analyst – Playing touch football before the big meal and then the huge game of Monopoly afterwards!

Gail Christner, Marketing Analyst – I love the tradition of gathering at my cousin’s house every year. They host over 40 people and we bring our favorite dishes to share while we enjoy each other’s company and count our blessings.

All of us at Apollo are thankful to have you as our customers and we wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving!

november newsletter

How to Survive the Holiday Travel Season

As the holiday season approaches, so does a busy travel season. The chaos can put a damper on your cheerful spirit if you aren’t prepared. Here are some of Travel Insured’s top tips to survive holiday season travel:

Take the road less traveled

Even if you know where to drive, use a navigation app (Google Maps, Waze, etc) to keep you on the least congested route.

Take precautions for your electronics

Add password protection to your devices if you haven’t already done so. If you’re checking your bank account, or anything else confidential, don’t use public Wi-Fi. Travelers often forget that even hotel Wi-Fi is a target for hackers, since they know tourists are there.

Keep the kids happy

When traveling with children, pack yummy snacks for them. If they’re being disruptive to others it could help to distract them with a snack. You could also gift your snacks to nearby travelers as a “thank you for being patient with us” offering.

Always arrive at least an hour early to the airport

Airports are particularly crowded around holidays. Showing up early ensures you won’t miss your flight due to long lines. Having extra time to kill is better than running to your gate or missing your departure.

Don’t travel with wrapped gifts

You should pack your gifts unwrapped or you risk TSA opening the gift before the intended recipient! Another alternative is to use gift bags instead of wrapping paper. You can pack gift wrap and tape in your bag to put the gift together post-security checkpoint. If you’re still concerned, you can always ship your gifts to your destination instead of packing them.

Make your baggage stand out

Invest in a unique colored/patterned bag or find a bright luggage tag or ribbon to attach. This can help you recognize your bag easily at baggage claim and in crowded overhead bins.

Don’t over pack, except for medication

Take enough of your prescription medications for the duration of the trip, plus extra in case you aren’t able to return home on time. Weather can be pretty unpredictable around the holidays, which means travel plans are susceptible to delays and cancellations.

Help prepare for the unexpected with travel protection

A travel protection plan can be useful during one of the busiest times of the year. There are more important things to have on your mind, so let travel protection help you travel relaxed, travel secure, travel insured. For more information, click here.

november newsletter

Thanksgiving Day Quiz

We celebrate Thanksgiving every year during the fourth Thursday in November, eat lots of delicious roasted turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy and velvety pies but what do we really know about the traditions that started after the Pilgrims feast at Plymouth Rock?
  1. Where was the first Thanksgiving parade held?
    1. Washington, DC
    2. New York
    3. Philadephia
  2. Which NFL teams played in the first Thanksgiving game in 1934?
    1. Dallas Cowboys & Chicago Bears
    2. Detroit Lions & Chicago Bears
    3. Dallas Cowboys & Detroit Lions
  3. How many turkeys do Americans eat each Thanksgiving?
    1. 23 million
    2. 46 million
    3. 55 million
  4. Which pie do most Americans prefer?
    1. Pumpkin
    2. Pecan
    3. Apple
  5. Black Friday is the busiest day for?
    1. Restaurants
    2. Plumbers
    3. House Cleaners

Answers: 1c,2b,3b,4c,5b

november newsletter

Black Friday Shopping? Don’t leave gifts on car seats

You might be leaving your car at home unattended while traveling for the holidays, or maybe you’re staying local and hitting the Black Friday sales. Either way, you’ll want to protect your car from break-ins.

Here are tips you can follow to help protect your car from burglars this season:

  • Lock all car doors, and make sure windows are shut after you park
  • Do not store gifts or other valuables on the seats where they may be visible
  • If you have a garage, park inside instead of on the street
  • Make sure any installed car alarm or security systems work properly

October Newsletter

kids playing with pumpkins
apollo employees in costumes

We Love Halloween!

Last year, your friends at Apollo got into the spirit by dressing up as our favorite dead celebrities such as Hugh Hefner, Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Janis Joplin, Steve Irwin and Jackie Kennedy. This year, we’re doing a team theme. (Some ideas – The Flintstones, The Addams Family, Hocus Pocus)

Come by and say hello to us while Trick or Treating at The Shoppes at Chino Hills. The event starts at 3:00pm on October 31st, and runs until 5:00pm. There will be a costume contest that starts at 4:00pm, as well as many other fun activities, such as trick or treat stations, craft projects, and face painting. We hope to have a booth there to give out candy and prizes to the little ghosts and goblins!

We hope to see you there!

 

Kids trick or treating
Next to Christmas, Halloween is probably the most favorite holiday for kids, and as mentioned, your friends at Apollo!  With candy, costumes, and spooky decorations, there’s not a lot you can do to keep your kids calm! But trick-or-treating can be a little scary for parents with all the ghosts and goblins out on the streets — you never know what could be lurking around the corner. Here are a few tips to keep your kids safe and to let you relax and enjoy it all:Choose costumes that:

  • are flame-resistant
  • have masks that don’t block their vision
  • aren’t too long (so they don’t trip and fall)
  • have props such as swords that are made of soft materials
  • have something reflective on them (so drivers can see them crossing the street)

While Trick or Treating make sure to:

  • walk only on the sidewalks
  • obey traffic signals
  • only walk on well-lit streets
  • bring a flashlight
  • save all the treats to eat at home

Halloween is a fun and exciting time – enjoy it. It only comes once a year! Your friends here at Apollo Insurance Services wish you a Safe & Happy Halloween!

fall collage

Thank you for sharing us with your friends & family!

We appreciate all of our valued customers. Our #1 goal is to help you protect what’s essential in your life and give you the best possible experience while doing so. If we have reached our goal, we hope you’ll spread the word to your family and friends. We would be honored to help them as well. As our way of saying thank you, we’ll send you a $20 gift card for every referral that is sold!

You can call us at 800.426.1088 or click here and complete the form.

pumpkin soup

Pumpkin & Italian Sausage Soup

Here’s a smooth, hearty pumpkin soup recipe to try on a chilly fall evening. The sweetness of the pumpkin complements the spiciness of the sweet Italian sausage. If you like spicier foods, try it with hot Italian sausage.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
1 medium white onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1 15-ounce can of pumpkin
Shaved Parmesan cheese
Chopped parsley (optional)

In a large saucepan heat oil over medium heat. Add sausage; cook until browned. Add onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to medium. Cook 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally.

Add butter to meat mixture, cook until melted. Stir flour into 1 cup milk; stir into meat mixture. Stir in remaining milk, chicken broth and pumpkin. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and gently simmer 10 minutes.

Ladle soup into bowls, Garnish with Parmesan cheese and if desired, parsley.

Enjoy!