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North Hills Monthly

Simplify Your Life by Letting Someone Else Do the Work

Jan 27, 2020 03:06PM ● By Kathleen Ganster

Photo provided by College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors North

You’re late for work again and still need to drop the children off at daycare, throw dinner in the crockpot and walk the dog, not to mention that the house looks like a tornado passed through and the lawn is long overdue for some attention. How can you possibly keep up with it all?

Fortunately, there is a plethora of services available to assist in just about every aspect of life.

Most folks don’t enjoy cleaning, but it won’t go away on its own. Affordable Maids has been in business for more than 28 years, and according to Manager Lynne Reynolds, have cleaned over 500,000 homes and offices.

“We are the largest maid service in Pittsburgh with eight locations,” she said. Affordable Maids can provide a one-time “spring cleaning” or regularly scheduled cleaning services. Rates vary according to the size of a home and the frequency of cleaning services.

With the slogan “Take your time back with Chip and Kale,” co-owners Zita Edsall and John Lopez started their food service in 2014.

“Our mission is to answer that age-old question, ‘What’s for dinner?’ with taste, quickness and affordability,” Lopez said. Chip and Kale delivers plant-based meal kits all over the Pittsburgh area and offers meal kit pick-ups and fresh lunches at their Beechview location.

“They are pre-portioned with easy to follow instructions—it’s like cooking by numbers. Simple pots and pans are all that’s necessary,” Lopez said. Their changing weekly menu rotates with the seasons, and gluten-free offerings, brunch and desserts are also available. The rates for a five-meal package of four-servings each is $110 plus tax.

“That’s $5.50 per serving, which is one of the lowest in the meal kit industry,” said Lopez. For more information, visit

 Is the next big family event slated at your house? Hire a caterer or better yet, move the event to a venue where all you have to do is walk in the door with the rest of the guests. 

“We cater in our event space, The Evergreen Room, and for in-home events, off-site events and private dinners. We can cater for two people to 200,” said Justin Harrison, co-owner of Just In Thyme Catering & Events Inc.

The company provides everything needed for someone to pull off a fabulous event, according to Harrison, including linens, centerpieces, bartenders, servers, entertainment, flowers and desserts.

Pets bring so much joy to our lives, but they do require care in return. Kate Batko has served as a pet sitter/dog walker for over 18 years. “I have been responsible for not only all breeds of dogs and cats, but horses and ponies, chickens, sheep, and even a 120-pound pig who was housebroken,” she said. 

Services range from 30-minute walks (including waste cleanup) to overnight stays where Batko maintains the pets’ routines in their own homes while owners are away. 

“This is a frequent request as most pet owners would prefer for their animals to remain in their own environment as opposed to kenneling,” she said. 

Batko, who is from McCandless, serves the Greater Pittsburgh area. Thirty-minute dog walks are typically $15 for one dog, and $5 each additional dog. Overnight stays start at $45, depending on travel time and number of animals in care. 

“I have one client with three dogs, two cats and a snake; that’s $75 a day,” Batko said. 

Cullen Green has been helping busy clients with lawn care through his business, Green Landscaping Inc., for 10 years. 

“We are a full-service landscape and construction company. We cover everything from landscape bed maintenance to landscape construction of backyard patios, bars, grills, excavation, gas lines, and more,” he said. “We also perform routine grass cutting, tree trimming, snow removal and other services.”

Clients may choose one-time landscaping and maintenance jobs to weekly grass cutting and lawn care services. 

“Our clients range from young, first-time homebuyers to HOA complexes in need of year-round service,” Green said. Rates range due to scope and size of services along with frequency needed.

Need to pick up your dry cleaning? How about engaging a service that picks up and delivers right to your home or office at no extra cost? Model Cleaners offers dry cleaning delivery two days a week with turnaround in three business days—and there is no extra fee for the service.

According to President Dan LaCarte, the company serves Cranberry, Freedom, Mars, Gibsonia, Allison Park, Oakmont, Sewickley, Seven Fields, Treesdale, and Murrysville. Customers can register online by visiting

The last thing you want to do when you’re sick is head out to the pharmacy or leave a sick child in the middle of the night to pick up medicine. Customers can receive same-day medication delivery in many locations by using the CVS Pharmacy app or by calling their neighborhood stores. Fees for the service are $4.99 for one- to two-day delivery or $8.99 for same-day delivery.

Along with eligible prescriptions, a selection of the most popular health and household items including cold and flu remedies, allergy medications, pain relief, first aid, digestive health, vitamins, baby supplies, and personal and feminine care products are also available to add to delivery orders.

“Today’s health care consumer wants easier ways to access the products and services they need to get well and stay well,” said CVS Health Spokesman Joe Goode. For more information visit

Another timesaver is CVS MinuteClinic Video Visits, available 24/7 through the CVS Pharmacy App and online, according to Brent Burkhart, CVS spokesperson. The video clinics supplement the medical clinics located inside many CVS pharmacies where common illnesses such as strep throat, and ear, nose and bronchial infections can be treated. Additionally, many common vaccine and wellness and prevention services are offered through the clinics as well as physicals for college, campus and sports activities. The clinic is open seven days a week, including weekday evenings. No appointment is required but visits can be scheduled in advance at

Need a night away from the children or thinking about hiring a nanny? College Nannies, Sitters and Tutors North offers one-time sitting services, part- and full-time nanny services and tutoring for children as young as a few weeks old through their teens.

Unlike many childcare services, College Nannies' employees work for the company, so families don’t have to worry about paying taxes and liability insurance.

“Our model is unique—our employees are just that and we take care of all of the clearances, background checks, references and CPR training,” said owner Nikki Rimer.

Tutors are also well-vetted and work under the guidance of the tutoring manager to ensure that students receive the one-on-one attention that they need.

“We meet with the families and students to determine what their goals and needs are. We call it the ‘bring your backpack approach’ and we create an individualized program for each student. Plus, they have the same tutor week after week,” said Rimer.

For more information, visit

While these are just a sample of companies providing these types of services, there are many options available when it comes to simplifying your life by letting someone else do the work. Give yourself a break by taking advantage of their expertise.