Wednesday, January 31, 2018

10 Terrifying Creatures That Still Exist Today

While the days of giant centipedes and raptors are long gone, you don’t need to go back in time to witness some truly frightening monsters. Whether it be in the darkest depths of the ocean, in the lush jungle or right under your bed, they lurk among us, and some of them are not very friendly.
These creatures are beyond your brain’s best attempts at a nightmare and they’ll make you think twice about stepping foot outside your door. But worry not, as most of them are far from your home. Unless you live in Australia of course. In that case, good luck.

Japanese Giant Hornet

Hailing from the land of the rising sun is one of the nastiest flying insects you can ever hope to never come across. A hornet the size of your hand is proof that mother nature simply doesn’t prioritize humans. It’s sting injects a venom that’s strong enough to dissolve human tissue as well.

Coconut Crab

It looks like a spider, lives up to 60 years, weighs 8 pounds, can be 39 inches in length and has pinchers strong enough to crush a human skull. There, now you’ll never want to lay your head down at the beach again. For more information on this abomination, check out Midday Daily’s article.

Goliath Birdeater Spider

It’s a spider big enough to eat birds. That should already give a good indication of how big it is. In case you’re still not sure, that’s bigger than a dinner plate. Its hairy as well. Imagine stepping on one...


Unless you’re Aquaman, you won’t have to worry about this nightmarish fish tearing up your flesh anytime soon. It does look really, really ugly though.

Lamprey Eel

Now slippery eels are creepy enough, but how about one that clings onto your skin with its concentric teeth and feeds on you? This eel-crossed-leech hybrid has one of the nastiest mouths you’ll ever see.

Raspberry Crazy Ant

These little suckers live up to their name by not only eating raspberries, but also running towards electrical circuits, swarming them and essential committing suicide in the process. Their erratic movements are sure to give anyone a fright when they’re all swarmed together.


When it comes to parasites, this should be the last one on your wish list. The fly deposits it’s eggs under your skin until they grow to about the size of your finger. Then, the larvae use the pores on your skin as breathing holes, waiting to be pulled out by a doctor. Wonderful.

Gliding Snake

Normal snakes inhibit more fear than most can handle. But how about one that can fling itself off the end of a branch and fly onto your head?


While this feathered little fellow may look cute, he packs a punch like no other bird. They can take their prey, which ranges from anything as simple as a bug to a full-blown lizard and drops them onto barbed wire, spikes, thorns or anything that will impale them.

Mexican Redknee Tarantula

This gnarly looking arachnid takes the spider fear factor up a notch by being able to fling its hairs towards whatever it’s aiming at. That includes not only your skin, but your eyes as well. 

Sunday, January 28, 2018

Common Plumbing Problems You Can Fix Yourself

For those used to calling a plumber every time there is even the minutest plumbing issue, the idea of fixing these common plumbing problems can seem somewhat foreign. Yet, if you are determined to get it right, you are likely to get it the first time you do it. As notes, complex plumbing jobs should be left to the professionals. All the same, there is nothing to stop you from doing those smaller easier plumbing jobs in your home. Some of those that you can fix on your own include:

Toilet Won’t Flush

If you find that your toilet is not flushing properly, don’t wait for a plumber. This DIY task requires little skill. Wait until the toilet tank is full to check whether the flushing mechanism is faulty. Open the lid of the tank and check whether there are visible obstructions interfering with the cistern’s filling process and remove whatever you find. It is likely that the chain is broken, in which case you will just need to reattach it. If your toilet has been serving you for more than five years, chances are that the problem will be beyond repair and you may need to replace it altogether. Here is a list of the best toiletsYou could also find that you need to replace the whole cistern or the complete valve system.

Low Water Pressure

The sink faucet can sometimes frustrate you because of low water pressure. Before you embark on solving this problem, check whether the low pressure problem is affecting cold as well as hot water systems in your home. If that is the case, then the likely culprit is the aerator. Typically, calcium deposits will build up slowly around the faucet aerator and over time reduce the pressure of the water. Unblocking such an aerator is easy: carefully take out the aerator and remove all debris. Mount it on back and your low water pressure problem will be a thing of the past.

Tub Draining Slowly

A slow draining tub does not have to give you needless trouble. In a matter of minutes, you can solve this problem using readily available tools at home. Often times, the reason for the slow draining of your tub is an accumulation of hair, which over time becomes substantial enough to slow down your water on its way down the drain. To solve this problem, you will need to use needle nose pliers or the Zip-it tool. These two are excellent tools for reaching into and clearing out all debris in your drain. If your drain has a tub stopper, remove it first to get better access to all the hairs clogging your drain.

When to bring in the pros

It’s great if you can fix minor plumbing issues yourself. You can save time and money and maybe even learn some new skills with help from the internet. When it comes to the big jobs, however, then it’s usually best to call in plumbing specialists. Here are three signs that it’s time to bring in the pros. 

Your toilet keeps overflowing

Most toilet overflows are caused by a simple blockage and can be fixed by some quick work with a plunger. If that doesn’t solve the problem, then there’s something more serious going on. In that case, you need to get in a plumber quickly. If you keep trying to fix it yourself with a plunger, you could damage your toilet and maybe your piping. 

Your water heater won’t stop “weeping”

It’s wise to go and check on your water heater regularly, not just if the pilot light goes out. If you notice any signs of dampness around it (e.g., rust), then it may be weeping. This is often a sign of a slow leak. Never try to fix water heaters unless you really know what you’re doing. Call in a pro. 

There’s a strong smell of sewage

If your drains have a bit of an odor issue, you can probably solve this with regular clean. If, however, there’s a strong smell of sewage, then you probably have a major plumbing issue. Don’t even try tackling it yourself, you could make the problem a whole lot worse, just call a plumber.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Top 3 Concerns for Moms Going Back to College

In current times, college is not only for teenagers, but for motivated adults as well.  Students aged 25 and older are expected to increase in enrollment percentage by 14% according to statistics from the National Center for Education.  Mothers going back to school to gain or finish their college degrees are among this population. Here are three top considerations for moms going back to school to keep in mind while managing their busy lives.

Keeping a Flexible Schedule and Availability

It is good to evaluate how much your coursework can fit into the available time you have between work and other scheduling necessities.  It is considered normal for each credit hour to entail three hours of course study outside of classes.  This number can change depending on whether you enroll in standard 3-credit classes or harder ones of 5 credits.  With this in mind, make sure you do not take more classes than you can possibly maintain with your living needs.  Start with one course, perhaps, and then add on from there if you are lacking confidence in juggling these aspects.

Look Around You for a Helping Hand

Moms are very busy people before adding on the extra time and effort of getting an education!  Thus, it is important to look around for some help in trying to balance one’s responsibilities.  There are many options available for women wanting to go back to school and get a degree.  From finding help with reliable child care from a partner, group or someone else, or getting help with domestic duties such as cleaning up at home, laundry, and running errands, there are plenty of resources in your life as well as online to help.

One place that is convenient for finding an individual that suits your needs and budget is  For help with watching kids to cleaning up around the home, there are plenty of people across many regions who are capable of assisting so that you can devote time toward your learning goals.

Be Wary of Financial Aid and Student Loan Scams

Today, there are many scholarships, grants, and financial aid options available for women, especially mothers, who are looking to complete their education.  The former two options are money that you would not have to pay back, which is even better!  However, it is important to find reputable sources for this information and for the scholarships themselves.  Some financial aid advisors and services can cost thousands of dollars and leave you owing more than the amount you received in scholarship “help”.  Do not find yourself paying for a service you could easily have done on your own or with the help of a campus advisor for free.

There are, unfortunately, unethical businesses as well out there that will attempt to steal your identity in the scheme of trying to help you find financial aid.  The majority of professional organizations will not ask for your personal financial information, such as a credit card or bank account number, and thus any institution asking for you to give this out should be a warning sign.  Some may, but these would be very clearly indicated as legitimate organizations that can be cross-checked before you provide that information.  For help in spotting potentially fraudulent organizations, check out our government’s Federal Student Aid site for more information.

If it has been a thought on your mind about going back to school and gaining an education to better your life and that of your family, visit Ohio University and check out Ohio University Online’s opportunities for women.  They have great resources for women of all backgrounds. 

Thursday, January 25, 2018

How to Deal with Lower Back Pain During Pregnancy

Back pain is one of the many issues affecting women during pregnancy. While these episodes of back pain can be caused by biological issues and hormonal changes, it can also be caused by bad habits that can contribute to poor back health. In this article, we’re going to give you a few tips on how to deal with back pain during pregnancy.

Work on Your Posture

You’d be surprised how many back pain issues could be prevented simply by having a better posture. And there is no time when this is more important than when you’re pregnant. Not only will a good posture help relieve back pain, it is also essential to ensure the wellbeing of your child as well.
Make sure that you always sit up straight and tall, and have the same upright posture when standing up as well. Make sure that you invest in a good supporting chair and put a small pillow behind your lower back for added comfort. Walk with your shoulders back and chest high, but make sure you aren’t too rigid and that you keep your shoulders relaxed as well. Also, be careful to not lock your knees.

If you’re standing, try to keep your posture comfortably wide, and if you have to stand in place for a long period of time, consider putting your foot on a small step stool and alternating from time to time. Using a stool has been shown as one of the best ways to reduce fatigue and relaxing back muscles. You can find more tips on how to prevent backache on a site like

Invest in the Right Gear

Choosing the right shoes can make a huge impact on back health, especially if you’re pregnant. Make sure that you invest in a good pair of low heeled shoes with great arch support. And make sure that you stay away from flat shoes at all costs, they will only make matters worse. You should also stay away from heels as well since they might affect your posture and increase the risk for falls.

If you feel you need some extra support, you could also invest in a maternity belt as well. While there hasn’t been a lot of research in this area, many women swear by them and have reported great results.

Change Your Lifting and Sleeping Habits

Improperly lifting and sleeping can have a huge impact on the amount of pain you experience. In any case, you should never use your back for lifting, but use your legs instead. Squat while keeping your back in a straight position and lift up using your legs, this alone will allow you to avoid back sprains caused by lifting.

And when sleeping, be careful to never sleep on your back, but on your side instead, and buy the best body pillow for pregnancy. Keep your knees slightly bent and place a pillow between them to promote proper spine alignment. 

While back ache is never easy, these few tips should help you alleviate some of the pain. If it becomes too much to bear, then it might be a sign you should consult a chiropractor. But if the pain subsides, make sure that you maintain good habits and keep them after your pregnancy as well.

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Simple Ways To Achieve Better Health

Good health is something that should never be taken for granted, but maintaining it doesn’t have to be as difficult as you might think. With a bit of planning and making sensible decisions, you can stay fit, strong and healthy without spending all day every day obsessing over it. Here are just a few of the ways you can achieve better health.

Write Down Your Goals
Writing down your goals is extremely helpful. Rather than just dieting or working out indefinitely, when you have a goal it gives you something to work towards. Reaching each goal is also highly motivating, and can help to keep you on track. Break down large goals into smaller steps, so you know what you need to do to get there. For example, if you’re aiming to lose two stone in 2017 you could break this down to ‘lose 2lb a week’ (this is a healthy weight loss amount). This means that give or take, you could reach your target by around April. From there, you can set further goals such as ‘maintain for six months.' No matter what it is, setting a goal and then breaking it down into manageable chunks is the best way to go about it. Keep your goals health orientated, so no crash diets or quick fixes. If they involve weight loss, work out your recommended weight and aim to stay within this.


Take a Daily Supplement
A daily supplement is an easy thing you can do for your health. It takes a matter of seconds and could provide your body with any vitamins it might be missing. Supplements shouldn’t be a substitute for a healthy diet, but they can run alongside it. Get in the habit of taking one each day with a big glass of water and soon it will be so much a part of your routine you will do it without thinking about it. Even when you eat a healthy diet, there could be things your body is missing, so this gives you a fallback option. When your body is well nourished and has everything it needs, it performs at optimal levels. Check out this fabulous graphic on A Healthy Look Into the World of Vitamins!

Find an Exercise You Enjoy
Some people genuinely enjoy working out and going for the burn. For others, it’s much more of a struggle. If you fall into the second camp, to be able to keep up an exercise routine it has to be something you enjoy. Take a look at your local leisure center and see if there are any groups or exercise classes that appeal to you. Maybe you could take up a sport, and rope in a few friends to play it with you. If you know you’re one for falling off the wagon when it comes to exercise; you could look for fully certified personal trainers in your area. They will keep you motivated and make sure you’re doing everything you need to do.


Drink Green Tea
Most of us enjoy a comforting hot beverage, but if your drink of choice is coffee or regular tea why not make the switch? Coffee especially is high in caffeine, and if you’re drinking your hot drinks with milk and sugar, then you’re adding unnecessary calories and fat to your diet. Green tea is soothing, free of calories and packed with antioxidants. These help to protect against dangerous free radicals which can cause all kind of damage to your body including things like cancers in some cases. You can buy a variety of flavored green teas, they add to your water intake for the day and are extremely good for you.


#Swagbucks SWAGO Winter Edition!

Still recovering from all of your holiday shopping? The online rewards site Swagbucks has a smart and fun way for you to earn and save when you spend. 

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It's
a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.  

Click here to get started
Here’s what you need to know to get your 300 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):
  • Go to the Swag page and make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value - up to 300 SB - enough for your first $3 gift card.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, January 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus.

    Also, if you sign up through me this month, you'll get a $10 rebate when you make your first purchase via Swagbucks Shopping! You can activate it in the "Swag Ups" area of "My Account"

Monday, January 22, 2018

Pros and Cons of Student Loan Consolidation

Consolidating the loan means refinancing it. As a student, you should be aware of your priorities and affordability. Loan consolidation may be very beneficial for some students, but at the same time, it may not be a good idea for many. Here are some pros and cons of consolidating student loans.


Consolidation is useful because it allows the student to put all the payments in one single payment. The consolidation loan is used to pay off the other debts and then you have to pay only one lender. This simplifies the process of paying off the debt. The purpose of introducing the student loan consolidation system is to make the borrower take multiple loans from one servicer.
The loan consolidation also enables the person to extend the repayment period if he is not able to afford high monthly payments. This flexibility of the loan makes it extremely useful.

The loan consolidation that comes with variable interest rate also gives you interest breaks in specified periods. The variable interest rate starts with a very low-interest-rate due to which, the borrower can save a lot. The loan consolidation allows you to keep your credit score good. When you can pay on time and lower your credit card balances, you automatically get the good credit score. Having a good credit score enables you to avail low-interest rate features at your next loan consolidation.

The borrower will have to make low monthly payments. Because of refinancing, you will be able to pay off your debt at the low interest rate. Because of low interest rate, you will have to pay a low monthly payment. It also enables you to save money. Because of the ease of payment, the borrower finds it easier to pay the money each month. This makes his credit history good, and he improves the credit score. The good credit score, in turn, secures him a low interest rate consolidation loan.

Keeping track of multiple payments can be confusing. You may also forget to pay the money, which will consequently ruin your credit score. One single large payment instead of many small payments never lets you forget anything about the debt.


Having your loan consolidated may make you lose all the benefits that come with the loans that you have combined into a single loan. With the loan consolidation, a student has to pay higher interest. In trying to lower the monthly payments, one extends the repayment plan, which ultimately increases the interest rate.

The consolidation loan, as told earlier, extends the repayment period. One has to pay over a longer period with this loan. The student ends up paying a lot for this time duration. The reality of a variable interest rate is not what you think. You may be very happy in the start when the interest rate is low. However, the interest rate tends to increase gradually. 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Simple Ways to Save Money on Baby Gear

Having a baby doesn’t have to cost the earth.  Granted, there are some things you will need to buy before your little one is born, but you don’t need to buy every gadget out there, and you don’t need to buy everything in one go.  If you stick to the essentials and only buy what you need, you should be able to save money.  For more tips, keep reading.

Start Planning When You’re Three Months Pregnant

Once you have reached the three-month mark, you’re usually fine to start planning the items that you will need.  Essentials are newborn-sized clothes, wipes, and diapers, bottles and formula.  You will also need something for your baby to sleep in, and a car seat if you drive.  Before you head out to the closest baby superstore, do some research.  You won’t need to buy every gadget the shop sells, so think about the things that are going to be most important and start with them.  You can always buy the non-essentials once your baby is born.

Buy Used

Babies grow quickly, as I’m sure you know, and this means there is a huge second-hand market for baby items.  Everything from clothes and toys to cots and strollers can be found for as much as 50% less when you buy used.  Often, these items have a lot of wear still left in them too.  The only items we do recommend that you buy new are a cot mattress and a car seat – this is for safety reasons.

Hit the Sales

Parents who shop during the sales and who use coupons can save as much as 30% on the cost of new items, so it’s well worth doing your research into when these happen.  Sites like list a lot of freebies and coupons that can help you save money as well.  That said, it is still important to know when to splurge.  There are some baby items that are worth spending a little more money on, such as a breast pump and organic bedding.  Those who plan on walking a lot with their baby will also want to invest in a high-quality stroller.

Ditch the Name Brands

Babies don’t know the difference between Target and the designer brands, so don’t waste money on designer clothing that your baby will outgrow within three months.  In most cases, it’s not worth spending the extra to buy a name brand, when a department store brand is just as good.

Set Up a Baby Registry

Finally, why not set up a baby registry?  A lot of people may want to buy a gift for your little one but will be unsure of what to buy.  A baby registry enables you to create a list of the items that you need and ask people to buy them for you.  Amazon, Target, and Babies R Us all offer this feature on their websites, and all have a comprehensive selection.

Keep the above tips in mind and having a baby won’t be as expensive as you thought!

How to Become a Respiratory Therapist

People suffering from conditions like emphysema and asthma go to respiratory therapists who treat them by administering oxygen to their lungs using ventilation devices. Respiratory therapists can also assist someone who has just had a stroke or a heart attack regain his normal way of breathing. You will find these professionals in nursing homes and hospitals.

Other respiratory therapists travel to a patient’s home to install the respiratory equipment so that they can use it from home. has helpful resources to get you started on the journey to becoming a respiratory therapist. The following are the steps you will need to take in that journey:

Step #1: Obtain an Undergraduate Degree

To become a sought-after respiratory therapist, the first step will involve obtaining an undergraduate degree in respiratory care at an accredited university. Typically, the undergraduate degree curriculum will include coursework in, among other things, clinical respiratory procedures and care, pathophysiology, advanced respiratory theory, pharmacology, and mechanical ventilation.

Almost all the programs you can enroll in will require you to pass a competency assessment test. The test is designed to measure your skill level and whether you have the necessary characteristics for success in this challenging field. Practical experience is also extremely crucial. To get this, you will have to record a set number of clinical hours. After attaining your degree, you can work as a patient educator and advocate, a bedside clinician, a pediatric/neonatal/critical care professional as well as a pulmonary rehabilitation expert.

Step #2: Attain Niche-Specific Credentials

To attain these credentials, you will have to sit for and pass an exam administered by the National Board for Respiratory Care (NBRC). This is a multiple-choice test that measures the general knowledge you have in this field. It is only after passing this exam that you can apply to do other exams that further demonstrate your competency as a respiratory therapist, including the NBRC Therapist Multiple Choice Exam and the Clinical Simulation Exam.

Step #3: Obtain a License

You cannot legally practice as a respiratory therapist without a state license. This is true for all states in the United States except Alaska. The minimum requirement to apply for a license is an associate degree. In addition, background checks are necessary in the majority of the 49 states.

While it can take just two years to become a respiratory therapist, most health institutions require at least an undergraduate degree for a chance to work. Therefore, the average time it takes to become a fully credited and industry-competent respiratory therapist is four years. By then, you will have, among other things, completed most of the education requirements for respiratory therapists, including simulation, laboratory and considerable clinical experience in a healthcare institution.

Indeed, respiratory therapy is truly rewarding, especially for people who have the passion for taking care of people most in medical need. While it is a fast-paced career requiring physical and mental endurance, it is also well paying and consistently records impressive future prospects every time surveys and research reports are released.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel HONEST Review #BusyBeauty

Check out this super old post about my hairy legs when I was huge and pregnant. I sure wish I had Busy Beauty Showerless Shave Gel back then. I could have shaved my legs while sitting on the couch nursing a baby to sleep. Talk about being a Rock Star Mom.

Okay, so I got this product in the mail and waited for my leg hair to grow. It was August, so I needed shaved legs for the shorts and bathing suits that were constantly on my person. I grabbed a razor and the bottle and went down to our family room to watch some TV and shave my legs.

It was the easiest thing I have probably ever done. Pump out some of the gel, rub it on your legs like lotion, and shave. Then rub in the gel because it's moisturizing. A couple of things.

1. Something I hate about shaving in the tub or shower is that, afterward, I have to sit around putting lotion on my legs. It's just one. more. step. I don't have a ton of time for that. This shaves you and moisturizes you LIKE IT RESPECTS YOUR TIME. Yes. Finally.

2. My razor got backed up with hair, so I recommend having a cup of water nearby just to dip it in. Also, put a towel under your legs. If you are on an airplane, for instance, and want to shave your legs with just this product and a razor, you can, but if you are at home I'm telling you to have two extra things on hand ... the towel and the water.

Bottom line: I dig this time saver. It's mind-blowing to think you can do this ANYWHERE. I sure could have used this when the kids were little and I had to keep an eye on them EVERY SECOND ... I could have chased around after them WHILE shaving my legs, no joke. Shave and sit. Shave and sit. Very cool to have this option.

PS This product is also TSA-approved for travel and environmentally conscious. Great for those with sensitive skin and those with mobility issues.

*I received this product for free to post an honest review. Also, if you order through my Amazon affiliate link, I might get a few cents. Just letting you know :-)

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Education And Care: Take Your Teaching Career In A New Direction

If you’re well and truly in the swing of January and are ready to take all the new adventures and challenges that 2018 has
in store, then this is the right post for you. Often, a new year encourages you to access the past twelve months so that you
can better understand your successes and the areas of your life that you want to push forward, improve, and develop. A
common thread for many is their career, and getting as much job satisfaction and reward as possible when they get to the
weekend with their family. If you’re happy and enthusiastic about your line of work; your motivation will filter through into
each aspect of your life, which is great if you’re a working mom and have a busy household to maintain.

If you’ve worked in education for a while; you’ll already have developed a variety of skills that could lead you to all sorts of
different avenues. If you’ve been considering taking your job and career in a bit of a new direction and heading for your
ambitions this year; there’s no time like the present to begin planning your actions and discovering all the potential options
that await you. As a mom and a teacher; you’re already pretty prepared for an array of challenges, and you can make this
the year that you take on some new ones and ensure that you’re happy with your work/life balance. The following are some
ideas for those who want to take their qualifications and experience in education and do something different, for a fulfilling
and exciting year ahead.

Counseling And Health Care

If you love working with kids and young adults, and your experience have developed your understanding of their behavior
and how to help them through life; heading towards becoming a counselor could be a great option for you. If you’re
concerned about taking up studying on top of your working and family hours; check out accredited online counseling degrees
so that you’ll have more flexibility regarding your time. The work you’re doing within a school or college can often complement
studying counseling, so talk to your colleagues and senior members of staff about your goals so that you can work out the
best plan of action for your future career. Extra qualifications can lead to opportunities to work with young people in a variety
of different environments, so it’s worth thinking about where you can best utilize your skills and the sort of challenges you’re
ready to take on.

Private Tutoring And Flexible Hours

If your resolution this year was to work independently and remotely so that you could focus more on caring for your family
and have a better work/life balance; you could consider becoming a private tutor. You’ll need a space in your home that will
provide an effective learning environment or the means to travel to various homes, places of education, and public spaces
where you can meet your students regularly. You’ll get all the rewards of helping to educate young minds and could assist
students in getting the grades they need to fulfil their potential or gain entry into the college they desire. There are all sorts of
ways to have a positive impact on a young person, so use this time to explore your many options, and you’ll have a year to
look forward to ahead.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Is Your Child's Playroom Ready for a Makeover? - How to Make it Happen on a Limited Budget

Your child’s first playroom or play space is an important part of their development. It gives them a place to explore, create, and learn to be independent. As your child grows from baby, toddler, to school-aged it’s often necessary to give the playroom a makeover as their tastes, toys, and needs will differ as they grow older.

If your child is of school-age and their playroom still looks like something meant for a toddler, then it’s well overdue a makeover. The good news is that you can make some pretty transformative changes that are relatively easy on the budget, giving your child a much more age-appropriate place to play in.

Start with Paint

The very easiest and cheapest place to start is usually with paint. When you first decorated a playroom for your child as a baby or toddler, you probably picked something bright and cheerful. This time around, why not let your child be involved in picking the color. By now they have their own likes and dislikes, as well as unique personality. Their playroom can be a reflection of them, which helps to make them feel more comfortable and happy with the space.

If you want to take the involvement one step further, they can even help with the painting if they are old enough. They may choose to do an accent wall too, complete with their own creations. Remember, it’s just paint and it can always be painted over at a later date.

Work on a Theme Together

As discussed on, your child may also want to pick a theme for their playroom. This can be helpful for you when it comes to d├ęcor, as it will give you a basic idea to work with. Popular themes include space, science, superheroes, dinosaurs, animals, under the sea, Lego, and nature.
If your child is stuck on finding a theme, it can be helpful to take a look at Pinterest and show them various ideas.

Get Creative with Storage

One of the most important parts of a playroom is the storage. You want to be sure you have plenty of it and that it is easily accessible to your child. This is where you can get a bit creative in order to save money. Sure, you can purchase those pre-made shelving systems with cubby boxes, but they don't tend to be very cheap.

Instead, look for ways you can repurpose furniture already in the room, or in other areas of the house that you aren’t using, and look for inexpensive items you can purchase that can be turned into a storage solution. Things such as milk crates, buckets, hanging shoe organizers, old tins and jars all make for great ideas. You can add personality to the storage solution with paint, fabric, and other details.

An Age Appropriate and Fun Space

These tips will help you to transform your child’s playroom into a space that is fun, creative, imaginative, and age-appropriate all on a budget.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

How to Take Excellent Photos for Your Blog or Website

We all want to take awesome photos. Whether it’s for a blog or website, or for social media, we want our photos to be the best and to have the most impact on viewers. Unfortunately, not many of us have the tools or skills required to take those world-class photos.  However, with a bit of know-how, you can be taking great photos in no time. Today, we’ll be having a look at how you can take awesome photos for your blog or website.

Upgrade Your Camera

Today, most photos are taken on a phone. While a DSLR or mirrorless camera would be ideal, many will have to make do with a phone. If you own a cheaper phone, consider upgrading to the latest Android or iPhone since the more you spend, the better the photo quality will be. If you want to get serious with your photography, consider buying a cheaper DSLR or digital camera. Lenses are important too and Sigma makes a wide variety of great lenses. Sigma Rumors is a great website which will keep you informed about Sigma lenses. Bang-for-buck, getting a dedicated camera will be better than simply upgrading your phone, but who doesn’t like getting a new phone and camera in one?

Consider the Purpose and Focus of Your Photo

If you’re taking a photo for your blog, what’s the story behind the photo? What do you want to emphasize? If you’re trying to show your awesome holiday, give your photos variety and focus on the story. Don’t get too focused on things that might look good but don’t add to your story - the main reason for a photo should be to complement the writing and to strengthen the story. If you want to emphasize something in the foreground or background, you can use a shallow depth of field on your camera to blur out the rest of the photo. If you’re on a mobile phone, it might have to be done manually, but on most cameras, simply opening the aperture and focusing on the object will blur everything else out.

Learn How to Use the Camera

Great, so you know what you should be taking a photo of and you have a great camera. If you simply switch to auto mode, you might come away with some great shots, but for an amazing photo every time, you’ll want to learn how to use your camera in its entirety. Learning how to use manual modes will enable you to take photos in conditions outside the normal operating range of auto mode, so you’ll be able to get awesome shots, even in extremely low or high light situations.

This concludes the list of how to take excellent photos for your blog or website. With these tips, you should be able to take awesome photos day in day out. Whether it’s for your traveling blog or your website portfolio, these tips should ensure that you take great looking photos. 

Final photo in the old basement at 9028 Grant Street ... my readers love pictures of my husband because he's cute and also because they see plenty of the kids :-)

Saturday, January 6, 2018

How Are Business Credit Cards Different From The Consumer Credit Cards?

A consumer credit card is a credit card that pretty much anybody can get. You can buy Visa and MasterCard credit cards from different financial institutions such as banks, credit unions, community banks, large banks, insurance banks, and finance companies. But business credit cards are very different in the sense that they are supposed to be specifically for small businesses.

So, in other words, they are for people who own a store, who have retailer outlets and for small business owners. Business credit cards and consumer credit cards look very similar to each other. Both have a credit card number, magnetic strip, and the same type of overall layout.

Liability and Credit Reporting

The primary difference between the two types of credit cards is liability and credit reporting. With a consumer credit card, whether you use it online or go to a branch, you are signing to be liable for that card yourself. It means that if you make charges on the card, then you are liable for the debt and if you do not make payments on that card it will be reported on your credit report.

Personal Guarantee

A small business card application is filled out on not only your name but also on your company’s name. So, a company that is essentially applying for the card and is, therefore, liable for the payments of that card. There are many scenarios, however, where the small business owner or the principal is being asked to sign, which is referred to as a personal guarantee.

In this case where you sign for a personal guarantee, not only does this make your business liable for the debt incurred on the card, but the owner or the principal of the company is also personally liable for the debt incurred on the card as well. It means that if a debt is incurred on the small business credit card and it is not paid then the bank not only goes after the company for the payment but they can also go after the business owner or the principal because they have signed to be personally liable for the debt.

Credit Score

When this happens, the bank can employ the same type of activities or tactics that any normal consumer credit card company could employ. This will include: negative credit reporting, outsourcing of the collection of debt to a third-party debt collector, and they can even sue you, not the company but the individual who signed the guarantee for the debt on the credit card. That’s bad news.

However, the good news is also there. It is when the card is being paid on time, and then the credit card activity will not be reported to the principal of the company’s consumer credit report. It is done because in many cases the small business owners use their best business credit cards to fund operations of the business. What happens in this scenario is that the debt that is incurred on behalf of the company ends up showing on the credit report of the owner of the company, and it can cause harm to his/her credit score.

Another thing to keep in mind is that many credit cards have rewards associated with them that have tangible benefits. If you have a small business credit card which has a reward program, the company realizes the benefit of the reward program and the company has to report it as some income or benefit.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Feeling Safe In Our Abode: What To Look Out For

The new year is in full flow and so many people are filled with the thoughts about making some big
changes for the next twelve months. It might men that you are focusing on some self-improvement,
where you are hoping to lose a few pounds or start a new fitness journey. It might be that you want
to improve your finances or even take on a dream of owning a new home. After all, it is one of the
biggest purchases you can make in your life.

It’s important for us all to feel safe in our homes. It should be the one place that you can relax and
unwind after a busy day in work or a stressful period in your life. But there are some niggling everyday
problems that we simply can’t avoid sometimes, but thankfully there are a few things we can do better
protect our homes from them. So with that in mind, here are some top tips for everyday problems that
you may have to deal with.


What happens if you get a rodent or pest infestation?

No one likes to hear unwanted sounds in the middle of the night. Or that unexplained scratching in
the walls and the surprise of droppings throughout the home. It can certainly put the fear in you
wondering what and who is causing these unexplained things going on in your home. But this is
where you may find that you have a rodent or pest infestation. While never pleasant to encounter,
there are plenty of services advertised online who can help solve your issue once and for all.
Websites and articles like can point you in the right direction
of companies to consider to help you find the right resolve for the problem. It is something that would
need to be resolved quickly, really, especially if you have children in the home. So don’t delay. If you
want to try and protect yourself further, then seek out any holes or entries to your home from your
exterior. Paying close attention to your loft space and pipework and seal them up. You’d be surprised
how easy they can get into your home.

Problematic birds

There are some beautiful birds in the world, and they are lovely in your garden on the trees, on a
bird feeder or in the bird bath. But when they get into the eaves of your property, and especially birds
like pigeons and other pests, they can cause serious problems to your home. Bird feces, in
particular, can cause a lot of damage and especially be an issue if you have young children. This is
when you may want to take some extra precautions with chimneys and other access areas to your
home that may get overlooked.

Opportunists taking advantage

There is no hiding from the fact that unfortunately, we live in a world where burglary happens more
often than we would like to think about. It often happens when you least expect it to, and it can be
devastating to return to your home to find thieves have stolen your possessions. Especially if they
are sentimental things like jewelry. If you can fit burglar alarms to your home, then it’s always
advisable to do so. These days you can get some great additions to your home such as doorbells
that have a camera on them, alarms that work directly with a smartphone application and even have
security cameras fitted that you can also keep tabs on with your phone. Some alarms can even be
linked to local law enforcement, to ensure that if any triggers to your alarm are made, that someone
is there to sort it soon it rather than later. It’s also a good idea to check entries into your home to
make sure windows and doors are secure when the property is empty. New door locks and
even just adding extra security measures could make all the difference. Websites like are full of information and advice.

Flooding during adverse weather

Flooding is something we are never sure we might be subject to. It is controlled by weather which
sadly no one has control over. While you may be aware that your area in which you live might be
prone to flooding, perhaps due to past events or living close to a river or the sea, you can still be
devastated and the problem can arise so quickly. You may have some time to put belongings and
possessions on higher ground, and often with advance weather warnings systems now, you are
warned of possibilities of this happening sooner than in the past. You may even be able to apply
sandbags to doorways and river banks to try and aid the effort or help lower the chances of
devastation. But if disaster strikes then it can be much more than just what is in the home to get
damaged. The best advice would be to save as much as you can, and then prepare yourselves for
the rehabilitation of your home after the event. Thankfully, there are now expert companies out there
who deal with this sort of damage to property and insurance policies, although needing to be
checked first, can often cover you for the expenses.

Other strong weather disasters

There is more than just water that can cause huge problems to your home. Depending on where you
live you may be subject to bad storms that can include weather systems like hurricane and tornadoes.
These can have a huge impact on your property if you are in the firing line. Other disasters include
forest fires that get out of control. These can spread rapidly especially if there has been a lot of dry
and warm weather in previous days leading up to it. Your homes are in the path of destruction, and
again in most cases, it’s saving what you can but ultimately saving your life first. Thankfully, for these
sorts of things, again weather systems have advanced and you can be warned more in advance of
what is going on.

Your home is subject to mold

Another problem that your home could endure is mold on your walls. This can appear at any time,
and it doesn’t matter how clean your home is or what you do, it has much to do with the building and
the damp that some of the walls have generated. Once it has hit your home without proper care and
attention, it can spread to other parts of the walls and even other parts of your home. This can cause
illness to family members and should be treated as soon as possible. Especially if any family
members struggle with things like asthma. There are professionals out there who would be able to
clean this up for you quickly and offer advice to avoid things like this happening in the future. So as
soon as you spot any signs of damp, even if it is just the beginning like condensation on the windows,
then speak to the professionals straight away.

While it may sound strange to be highlighting some of these things, it’s always a good idea to be
really mindful of what could happen. Buying a house is one of the biggest decisions you might make
in your lifetime, and it certainly costs you enough to do it. So it is always a priority to ensure that you
feel safe in your home, as well as keeping your home and belongings safe within your power. I hope
that this has highlighted some of the big issues you might potentially face, and give you a few tips on
how to overcome or deal with them.


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