Wednesday, October 31, 2018

How to Organize a Garden Party

Want to throw a garden party that has never been witnessed before in your area? Well, you need a proper plan that takes into account the garden furniture you will need and the lighting as well as the color scheme to light up, brighten as well as enliven the event. The plan should also include beautiful invitations, food and drinks, utensils and barbecue grills as well as dress codes for both men and women who will attend the party. But how do you get started if you have never organized a garden party before? Well, here is a step-by-step guide to organizing such a party.

1. Garden Furniture

Planning an extraordinary party starts with thinking about the appropriate furniture for the event. Of course, your regular home furniture does not fit the bill because they are definitely not designed for the outdoors. Garden furniture is the best option. You can buy your own garden furniture or lease some online. There are many companies that specialize in this kind of furniture, including but not limited to Alice's Garden.

2. Party Utensils

Your regular utensils will not serve you effectively in preparing foods and serve those alongside drinks to your guests. You will need to look for the right utensils when it comes to a garden party. Again, you can either buy your own utensils or lease some. For many homeowners, leasing is the best option because it does not require as much cash as buying does.

3. Garden Party Supplies

You will need balloons, garden party lights, one or a few trampolines and tents, an outdoor stereo system, banners, signs, bottle openers, garbage cans, and many other supplies to throw a great party. The greatest part is that you can lease some of these supplies if you do not want to purchase due to one reason or another.

4. Food and Drinks

Apart from furniture, food and drinks are the other hardest part when it comes to organizing a major garden party. You want to look for various recipes, ingredients, party flavors and drinks to be able to feed and provide beverages to your guests. You want to look for people who will help you in preparing and serving those foods and drinks. Hiring a professional catering service is the easiest option in this case. With one, you do not have to worry about this part.

5. Party Dress Codes for Men and Women

The dress codes for men and women that you select can make or break your party. Regular attires will not help your event. Be creative in choosing the best dress codes for the event. For example, for men, a classy look such as a pair of dress pants with a dress shirt and a wool vest matched with a pair of black, or brown leather boots would certainly not disappoint. For women, a white evening cocktail dress matched with a pair of red lace-up heels would definitely look awesome.

Final Thoughts

Organizing a great garden party need not be a cumbersome process. You will need only a few things to throw an unforgettable party. These include garden furniture, party utensils, and supplies, as well as ingredients, flavors, and drinks. Finally, you will need to figure out the best dress codes for men and women who will attend the event. When your fabulous event has concluded, don't forget about the personalized thank you notes!

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Why Juicers are the Preferred Choice When It Comes to Juicing

A few decades ago, juicing was something that was considered to be for overzealous health conscious people. Today, people now know that juicing is essential to their health more than ever, hence making juicers more popular. Below is why a juicer is a preferred choice when it comes to juicing.  
A juicer allows you to take in more nutrients
Even though whole fruits are incredibly beneficial, it is practically impossible to eat the five to seven servings of fruits and vegetables that have been scientifically recommended. Most people usually eat whole fruits once a day, either for breakfast or lunch. However, using a juicer makes it easy for them to have the recommended servings all at once. How? A juicer gives one the opportunity to have a diverse array of fruits and veggies in one glass. It does so by reducing them to tinier particles and then extracting the juice from them. This allows you to nourish your body with a ton of nutrients and vitamins in an easily digestible form on one go.
A juicer retains all nutrients
Most companies that are trying to market their products often go to the extent of giving bad press to juicers by saying that juicing causes one to lose all the pulp. Fortunately, gone are the days when a juicer separated all the nutrients from the juice, leaving you with a colored drink full of sugar. Today, thanks to technology, juicers retain all the nutrients while at the same time giving you a smooth drink to enjoy. They retain almost all nutrients, leaving only a small proportion of the fruit’s skin. However, to make the most out of your fruits, you need the best juicer, which is why you should ensure that you first check out these devices which make juicing fun and very easy so you can make an informed decision.
Juicing gets rid of the stored toxins in cell walls
Another reason why a juicer is preferred for juicing is that, apart from offering you a wide range of nutrients in a single glass, it also helps get rid of the toxins. Most non-organic fruits and vegetables usually contain residues of agrochemicals that do not come off completely even when washed.  Juicing helps separate your nutritious juice from these residues, as it extracts the juice fully from the pulp and leaves the toxic skins out.
A juicer helps transform your outlook on food
Seeing a piece of broccoli or spinach on your plate can feel like a task. However, seeing the same vegetables in a glass as beautiful green juice changes your perception. In other words, the vegetables that seemed like a task to eat now look more appealing, hence making it easy for you to drink. This is made possible by the use of a juicer. It helps you create a nutrient-dense and colorful beverage from fruits and veggies that you hate, thus helping you change your opinion and as such allowing you to enjoy the benefits offered by such foods in a much more fun way. Additionally, a juicer allows you to try out different juice recipes, which inches you closer to a healthy lifestyle.  
A juicer gives you the chance to control your fiber intake
Even though fiber aids in digestion, too much intake of this nutrient causes more harm than good. For instance, increased fiber intake results in more undigested food moving through your gut system and also overworks your digestive system. Unfortunately, purchasing ready juices makes it impossible for you to control the amount of fiber you are having while blending makes use of the entire pulp, which again means you have no control over your fiber intake. The good news, however, is that you don't have to purchase an expensive low-fiber meal plan just to limit your intake as a juicer allows you to do that. Having a juicer at home allows you to take juices just as you like them, as it separates the fiber from the juice while at the same time ensuring that all the relevant nutrients are juiced from the pulp. This ensures that things are working smoothly in your gut.  
Juicing offers a long string of life-enhancing health benefits. From enabling you to adopt a healthier eating pattern to enriching you with a burst of nutrients and vitamins, juicing is the ultimate way to lead a healthier life without trying so hard. It is in respect to this that a juicer remains the preferred choice when it comes to juicing.  

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Tips for Getting a Loan When Self-Employed

The digital revolution has created a wealth of opportunities, allowing many people to ditch their traditional jobs. While they may not be classified as business owners per se, this new group of entrepreneurs is considered to be self-employed, nonetheless. In addition to the perks that go along with this lifestyle, there are also drawbacks. For instance, how does one apply for a loan without a traditionally verifiable income?

Your Tax Returns are Vital
Obviously, you'll want to keep up with your taxes for legal reasons, but filing returns every year can also help you get credit. Lenders want to verify your income, no matter what your profession, and tax returns are really the best way to do that. If your job doesn't provide you with traditional pay stubs, copies of your tax returns for the most recent two years can serve. The lender will simply take your adjusted gross income from both returns, add them together, and divide that number by 24 to get your estimated weekly pay.

Your Credit Score Still Matters
If you are a registered business owner, you'll have to check both your business and personal credit scores. Although you should be doing this regularly to spot instances of identity theft, you'll definitely need to do this in advance of applying for any self employed loans. If you see any discrepancies, file a complaint immediately. Otherwise, work on paying off your debts to help improve your scores.

Reduce Your Debt to Income Ratio
Most lenders give as much weight to your debt to income ratio as they do to your credit score, so it's important to analyze it ahead of time. This ratio compares the amount you pay out in debts each month compared to how much money you earn within that time frame. There are two ways you can improve this ratio. You can either reduce the debt you owe (credit card balances, mortgages, car loans, etc.), or you can earn more income each month. If you can do both, you'll improve your ratio from both ends.

Be Ready to Pay More
The downside to applying for self employed loans is that lenders view you as a higher risk than traditionally employed applicants. This means you'll usually end up paying a higher interest rate in the beginning. As you begin paying off this loan and building up your credit profile, you'll have better opportunities. After a few years, it may be wise to look at refinancing options to see if you can get a lower interest rate.

Offer a Larger Down Payment
Even if you maintain excellent records and accept that you'll pay higher interest, it may still be difficult to get approved. Sometimes, offering a larger down payment can tip the scales in your favor. This can also help you pay less overall, because your monthly payments will be a little lower.
Getting approved for a loan as a self-employed individual won't be easy, but it is possible. Lenders may expect more from you, as far as your credit score, debt to income ratio, and down payment requirements, so your approval may depend on how much you prepare for the process. Taking the time to build up a positive credit profile can help you work miracles, as far as obtaining the loan you need.

Thursday, October 25, 2018

How to Add Value to Your Home

Part of our dream kitchen in our dream home. We've been here a year now!

A home is a lifetime investment, and as such, it should be improved upon as well as maintained throughout your life. The more you put into your home improvements, the more you can make back if you ever choose to sell. Not every renovation will make you your money back, after all, but the right ones can drastically increase your home’s overall value. The best part is that these designs allow you to take steps towards turning your house into your dream home. You just need to get started with the improvements that will add the most value, like these four below.

Add Another Room for Extra Value
The best way to add value to your home is to increase the number of bedrooms. More bedrooms appeal to bigger families, and bigger families pay more. You can convert your attic, add an extension, or renovate your basement. Similarly, adding another room to your ground floor for a home office, for example, can also be appealing to working professionals. In short, these upgrades that you make for yourself could be very attractive to future buyers and are therefore the best home investment you can make.

Renovate Key Areas in Your Home
If you don’t have space or money to add an entirely new room to your property, consider renovating instead. You do need to be careful, of course. Adding a hundred-thousand-dollar kitchen is not going to increase your home’s value by a hundred thousand dollars! You need to match your renovation projects with your current property. Put your efforts towards kitchen and bathroom renovations, however, and you can improve the quality of your lives in your home and your property’s value when you decide to sell.

Improve the Curb Appeal
Curb appeal should never be underestimated. Not only is it a critical component to the overall look and feel of your home, but great curb appeal can also help sell your property to potential buyers in an instance. If you aren’t looking to sell, bettering your exterior can instead improve the overall quality and value of your community, especially if others on your street follow suit. To start improving your property, you need to have a clear design idea. You could start with pebbledash removal and end with a front extension to bring more space and interest to your home’s design. Learn how to remove pebbledash, and any other project you want to commit to first. If you are unsure of the project, get a quote from a professional and start improving your curb appeal today.

Add Custom Storage  
A lack of storage can have any family feeling claustrophobic and wanting to move. Before you do so, consider adding custom storage. There is a lot of space lost vertically along walls and in closets that you can take advantage of. The better your storage solutions, the more you can organize your home and clear out the clutter. Do this, and you can make your home livable again.

Adding value to your home should be done with two things in mind. One, how much value it will add to your overall property, and two, how much value the renovation will add to your life. Renovate for yourself first, others second, and you will build your dream home in no time.

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

4 Reasons Why Everyone Uses Travel Photos on Their Dating

A potential photo I would use if I were on the hunt for my husband, like back in 1995 ;-) Taken in Galveston Island, Texas
Have you ever been on a dating site or browsing through Instagram and feel drawn to someone’s photo simply because of their background? It happens every day. We are starting to see that more and more individuals are becoming ‘outdoor’ and ‘cultured’ beings. So why is this newest trend of making a travel picture an profile picture; especially, for dating sites? If you need inspiration, travel expert and photographer D. Scott Carruthers delivers unbelievably breathtaking photos that can boost your profile picture.

With dating sites, you always want to put your best foot forward. Even if it is hanging off a cliff with clear blue waters underneath. The more daring the more attractive, right? Maybe for some. Being well-traveled is perceived better than having a picture taken by your fireplace. Here are 4 Reason Why Everyone Uses Travel Photos on Their Dating Profiles.

1. A different side

People want to show a different side that isn’t shown on a daily basis. It is already known that certain colors on a photo attract people to view your profile. This is also true for those that use dating sites. Dating sites are used for capturing a person’s attention and hoping that they become Mr./Mrs. Right. Therefore, showing a side that is not seen every day is ideal. There is a saying, “Everyone is showing off their highlights.” You could have used all of your savings to get to Greece to take that one breathtaking photo in front of the pillars of Olympia. That breathtaking photo just caught the eye of someone that you define as your type.

2. Travel shows romance

Lisa Marie Bobby stated that many people do not think their day to day routine shows who they really are. If they work a 9-5 then chances are they don’t have much time to “let their hair down” or go out with friends. It can be a challenge for some when it comes time to put yourself out there on a dating site. This is the reason for dating sites, but for those that have that chance to take a vacation once a year, will find a way to capture that perfect travel picture. Dating experts say that having people in your background or a drink in your hand can increase your likes.

They are saying have a bar in presence, but a simple drink that you enjoy – alcoholic or not – make it as presentable as you are. Travel can be perceived as romantic. Especially, if you pair yourself with hanging lights on a local street in Rio de Janeiro in a sleek white outfit with a drink in hand or holding your hand out while hiking in Machu Picchu. Regardless of the scene, it shows an interesting, fun, and sexy side to the individual. Couples who travel together, live happily together. Traveling gurus like D. Scott Carruthers also agree about the love language and excitement that traveling can be seen as on a dating profile picture.

3. Travel decreases stress

Stress levels can decrease for several reasons, but traveling is considered one of the top stress reducers. This is because your brain is perceiving wonders that are outside of what you normally experience. Think about Paris, taking a picture with your back to the lights of the city while you’re atop the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe is in focus behind you; does that not sound like a stress reliever? Those interested in you will see that you’re capable of releasing your stress into the air and capture a moment of peace. Peace is a valued concept that is hard to achieve at times. If you are able to achieve peace within yourself and capture it in a picture, you become more desirable.

4. Conversation starter

Researchers say that a travel photo makes the individual seem like an adventurous, rich, and interesting person that own their self-development. This translate into the ideal mate. Travel photos on a dating profile can break the ice when it comes to mingling on the internet and in person. The first thing that can be said is, “We should go visit Venice. It’s beautiful there this time of year.”

Author Bio: Adrian Rubin is a climate change advocate and freelance writer.

4 Things You Need to Know About an Embargo in a PR Email

When it comes to PR, there are certain things that need to be understood when sending an embargo in a PR email is concerned. An embargo is a media release that is shared with the media before a publishing date.

In the media relation world, an embargo is more of a provision versus a ban. This ensures that the PR assistant does not release particular news to the public until a scheduled date and time.

Information that is under an embargo can be pushed to a number of reporters who will either accept or decline the story. If they would like to view the information then they will have to agree to contain the news until the designated time and date that you have purposed.

So, when it comes to a handling an embargo in an email, here are four things to be conscious of.

Have the story ready

You want your story to be ready immediately after you hand it over to a reporter. This gives them time to make the story blossom. They can look over the information, draw interviews if needed, and write their take with more than enough time. The more time for the journalist has to prepare; the better prepared the release will be. Nancy at Behrman said it best by saying, “Remember that your information or news needs to be newsworthy.”Before you can capture the media, you need to capture the reporter.

Stay on the same page communication-wise

After making the decision to pitch an embargo in a PR email. Have a clear line of communication with the PR assistant or journalist. Make sure they know the date and time of every single content piece that your pass long. Be transparent about changes that need to be made or if it is the final piece.

Be careful about how much information you share

Although you are giving this information to be published, be careful with the amount of information you allow to be shared. This can make or break your pitch. If you are pitching your embargo about a new technology then you would start your pitch with, “We have a big announcement being released this date, would you like to take an advanced copy under embargo?” or the company you are sharing the information about.
Now if it is about a client of yours that you are pitching, then giving a few more details is necessary.

Nancy and Behrman say to give enough interesting information without giving away too much. After the yes has been given, make sure the embargo date is understood when you follow up. This is where you will include the necessary information for your story. It is very rare that he embargoes is broke and a story is leaked before the instructed date, but it can happen. Nancy at Behrman says that in this case, the best thing to do is gather your paper trail of the embargo date. This will prove that the embargo's specified notions were acknowledged. Immediately let your client know about this if you are working on someone’s behalf.

Be prepared for an announcement change

The thought of everything going smoothly from beginning to end is honestly a fairy tale. Embargos would be acknowledged and the information you gave would be presented at the exact time and date that you stated. Unfortunately, there are times when the schedule changes. Remember the line of communication, use it and reach out to your PR assistant. There can be a situation where the assistant is going to move forward with the release no matter what, Nancy and Behrman suggest remaining calm and distracting yourself if you find this happening to you.

Give only one person the news

The most important thing that is a must know is to never give the story to someone else after you have already shared with and placed an embargo on it with another firm. You want to build trust and giving the same news information to another firm is unacceptable.

Everything mentioned also goes for PR firms. When handling a client’s information that you want to present to a journalist, these are the most important things to remember. Earn your name by building a reputation with reporters, the media, and most importantly your clients.

Author Bio: Adrian Rubin is a Philly photographer and freelance writer.

How to Cope with the Unexpected Death of a Loved One

There is nothing harder in life than having to deal with the sudden loss of a loved one. It can lead to emotional turmoil and create challenging living circumstances in both the short and long-term. It is impossible to feel okay straight away, and it will take a long time to heal, but there are a few steps that you can take during this challenging time to put yourself in a position to heal in a healthy manner and start building towards a brighter future. Here are a few ways that an individual can cope when they suffer a sudden loss of a loved one.

Know What to Expect

First, it is important that you are aware that you are likely to feel a wide array of emotions after a sudden loss. Due to the fact that the loss is unexpected, it is likely that you will feel shock, disbelief, anger, and sadness. Often an individual will have stronger feelings of shock and anger as they have not had time to prepare so it can feel like the rug has been pulled from under them. There may also be physical symptoms like lack of sleep and loss of appetite.

Speak to Someone

Nobody should have to go through this process alone and speaking to someone will help you to come to terms with what has happened. It is important to speak to someone else who is going through the loss and potentially a healthcare professional if you are struggling to cope. There are also support groups which can be of a huge help particularly for those that do not have friends and family to speak to.

Support Children

If there are children to consider, it can be a huge challenge to explain the loss to them. How this should be done will depend on their age, but there are methods for explaining death in an age-appropriate manner for all ages. You also need to show that it is important to communicate and show your emotions during this challenging time.

Making A Claim

If it was a fatal accident, then you may be able to make a claim. While no amount of money will compensate for your loss, it can help with resulting financial hardships and help you to build a brighter future. It can also help to answer questions you may have about what happened and why which can help with closure.


It is hard to consider the practicalities and day to day chores when you are coping with an unexpected loss. Having people who can support you and help with daily chores and taking steps for the funeral can be a huge help. Although it may all feel too much at times, it can be helpful to stay active and move forwards.

Dealing with the unexpected loss of a loved one is a traumatic experience and there is no cure other than time. The above are a few important steps to take which will help in the long run and allow you to come to terms with what has happened.

Monday, October 22, 2018

Prescription Sunnies for My Husband! (Just Eyewear Review)

Originally posted 10/10/12. We just hit our TWENTY-YEAR ANNIVERSARY in 2018, so yay us!

Today is all about my husband because it's our 14th wedding anniversary! If you had told me 14 years ago that today I would be going back to the animal shelter to get more stuff they forgot to send with us, to PetCo for dog supplies, homeschooling, squeezing in a shower, doing laundry, going to hang out with a group I created called Heathen Homeschoolers (the name is a joke), picking up take-out BBQ and heading to the park WHERE WE GOT ENGAGED and have never been back to (how romantic!) all with FIVE KIDS IN TOW, I would have told you ...

"AWESOME! I can't wait! Bring it on because that sounds like us! Sounds like fun! Sounds like a bustling, loving household of the good kind of crazy! I'll take a ticket to that roller coaster ride!"

Enough about our disgusting love. This is a review, dangit. And I am here to review the heck out of these Aron got from Just Eyewear. I think they are adorable on him and no more squinting for him in the sun, which we all know causes wrinkles. (sometimes I like to apply my wrinkle cream to his little eye area and he pretends like it hurts, but it is our little bonding thing and was that too much information?)

Their glasses start at just $17.95. I'm a little embarrassed to say that I trotted my butt into Lenscrafters last year and got myself a pair of RayBan prescription sunglasses as a treat to myself for my 40th birthday. I'd never had prescription sunnies and had always wanted them so I just did it. I spent ... um, well, a lot. Okay, fine, they were in the neighborhood of $300. (like my font change?!)

Aron got something he really wanted and the total was only around $88 (in all honesty, he got a $50 credit from Just Eyewear so we could do the review so he really only spent $38). He got a nice case and a tool to adjust the screws and a cleaning cloth. What a deal!

We were surprised they were so cheap, seeing as how back in the day he wore Coke bottle thick lenses and to make those nice and thin for sunnies takes some doing. By the way, I am also practically blind, so I am allowed to make fun of my hubs, but if you do it I'll scratch your eyes out!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

5 Ideas for Your Family Getaway

Chicago, March 2017

The thought of heading off on vacation with your spouse and children probably fills you with glee, as it will provide you all with an opportunity to relax, have fun and enjoy some quality time with each other. Yet you might not know about the best destination to visit to complement everyone’s needs.
If you are scratching your head about the best places to go with all the clan for an upcoming vacation, here are five helpful ideas for your next family getaway.

1.    A City Break
How does a trip that is filled with museums, shopping and sightseeing sound to you? If your answer is heaven, consider taking your family on a fun city break. Fortunately, you will not be short of options, as you can travel to a city at home or abroad, such as New York, Tel Aviv, Dublin, or Rome. One city you shouldn’t overlook for a family-friendly trip is London, as it offers activities and attractions for all ages, such as many free museums, historical attractions, and musicals for kids at the West End.

2.    A Family Cruise
If you want your children to see the world while they are young, so they have a childhood filled with superb memories, you would be wise to book a family friendly cruise. Not only will you visit different locations along the way, but there will be plenty of children’s entertainment and activities to keep boredom at bay. Simply do your homework to find the best cruise line for your family.

3.    A Tropical Vacation
If sun, sea and sand sound like utter bliss to you, a tropical vacation might be the dream getaway you have been looking for. You can trust your partner and children will have fun swimming and snorkeling. You also should pick a kid-friendly hotel, so they will have plenty of fun in a swimming pool and can enjoy superb entertainment every night.

4.    A Fun Road Trip
There is no better way to explore your home country than embarking on a fun road trip with your partner and kids. They will love jumping into a car to find out where the road takes them, and there are bound to be many superb roadside attractions they will love when driving from A to B. Don’t forget to book hotels along the route to ensure the whole family has a place to sleep each night during an adventure.

5.    Go Camping at a National Park
If you are looking for a fun yet affordable break away with your children, consider going camping at a national park. The kids will love helping to pitch a tent before heading off on a walking trail to explore the beautiful landscape and view wildlife in its natural habitat, which will provide them with a new appreciation for the great outdoors. You can then spend the evening cooking a delicious meal for all the family, making s’mores, singing songs, and staring up at the stars.

Friday, October 12, 2018

New Home; New Bills? Surprising Reasons Your New Home Will Cost You Money

When we choose a place to live, we tend to consider the same sort of things:

  • Do we like the house? The neighborhood? Can we see ourselves living there, our family settling in this environment?
  • What is the commute like to our workplace?
  • Can I afford it? Do I need to allocate extra resources to renovating it?
  • What are the schools in the area like?

And so on and so forth - and all are good things to consider. Necessary things; the vitals on the surface of the choice of the place we call home.

Going back to one of those points: "can I afford it?". Within this bracket, you will think about things like the down payment, the monthly mortgage, the property taxes. These are, again, the surface elements. But if you dig a little deeper, you will find that your decision about where you live can have other financial ramifications - and you won't even realize until you're all moved in.

1. It can alter your insurance premiums.

This applies to any kind of insurance you might want to take out, including seemingly unrelated things like pet insurance. It's wise to acknowledge your home insurance can change, but everything else is up for grabs as well.

The way that insurance premiums are calculated is done in such a way as to be almost entirely obtuse. So you likely won't know about the issue when you move. You can find yourself still reeling from the cost of moving and suddenly finding your health insurance premium has gone through the roof. This might happen even if you have only moved a couple of blocks across the city; it's impossible to predict.

Insurance rarely locks you into a contract, so be prepared to shop around and switch to another insurer if you have to. If doing so leaves you struggling to pay your bills, then there are still options. For health, services like can help meet the gap between what you can and can't afford. Similar plans are available for all other types of insurance, too - you just have to be prepared to look for them.

2. You can be given higher quotes by tradespeople.

If you have got a home renovation project in mind, then you'll contact a tradesperson for a quote. A friend of yours who lives across the city could do the same. Same tradesperson; same company; same job - different prices.

Perception is a big part of how these quotes are generated. Tradespeople aren't just looking at the cost of a job, but trying to analyze how much you can afford to pay. If your new home is more affluent, then you're going to see the price go up.

The only solution here is being willing to haggle. If a price isn't good enough, then say so. It's also worth dropping in a mention of the expense of moving and how you're on a budget for this project - it helps make the point that you don't have an endless money pit!

3. The air quality is worse - to the point of causing health problems.

We know healthcare is an expensive thing, and sadly, if you move to a more polluted area then it could rise another few dollars for you. Air pollutants are a major health catastrophe that is already happening, but not in an obvious way. Because no one is inhaling these pollutants and immediately coughing up blood, we've become lax to understand the issues that they pose.

Those issues are substantial. A worsening of conditions affecting the lungs is the primary concerns, while you may also find you or your children develop lung problems or allergies. You can find out more about the potential issues pollution causes at - it really is worth knowing.The treatment for all of these fresh ailments is going to need paying for somehow.   

There are ways and means of mitigating the damage. You can only allow your children to play outside at certain times, for a start. Anything around either the morning or evening rush hours should be avoided. You can also look at filtering the air inside your home, either by mechanical means or with plants that help remove toxins from the air.

While maps of pollution do exist and are worth checking before you move, they are not the most reliable of things. They don't see the fluctuations throughout the day and the information is frequently out of date - but it's still worth a look to identify any potential oncoming problems.

None of the problems listed above are going to be serious enough to cause you to want to move. All you can do is make the adjustments you can and do your best - such is the compromise of a new home you love!

Originally published 12/19/16

Monday, October 8, 2018

Swagbucks October SWAGO Time!

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shop 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 150 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 150 SB.
  • 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, October 12th 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.  

Start Saving for Christmas! 300 Bonus SB When You Sign Up Swagbucks in October

It is never too early to start saving for Christmas! I use sites like Swagbucks to rack up points throughout the year for Christmas shopping. Then when I am doing my online Christmas shopping, I get more points to go toward next year's shopping! Win-win!

All throughout October you can earn large bonuses when sign up as my referral on Swagbucks. Swagbucks is a rewards site where you earn points (called SB) for things you're probably doing online already, like searching the web, watching videos, shopping, discovering deals, and taking surveys. Then you take those points and exchange them for gift cards to places like Amazon, Target, or PayPal cash. 

When you sign up through me this month, you can earn a 300 SB bonus! Here's how: 

1. Sign up using this link 

2. Earn 300 SB total before November 1st, 2018. You'll get a 300 SB bonus for it! 

3. That's it. It's super easy, and Swagbucks is for real. I use it myself, and I've earned 129,641 Swagbucks since signing up, and it's been a fun ride! 

Give it a try and let me know how many Swagbucks you get!

Sunday, October 7, 2018

5 Tips to Make Cleaning So Much Easier for a Parent

Being a parent is a big responsibility which takes patience, dedication and the right approach to keep things going right. For a parent, the most difficult thing to manage is cleaning because it's time consuming and a day to day responsibility.

Before doing everything themselves, parents need to make children know their responsibility of keeping things back to place , try to create less mess and try to be a helping hand of parent. Make children learn the lesson of sharing and giving because this habit is not only a good deed but also reduces extra or spare items around the home and makes cleaning easier for a parent because less items means less work to wind up and a parent should also try to establish the habit of giving. Here are tips to make cleaning enjoyable for kids:

Involving kids

To make cleaning so much easier, a parent needs to take the help of the kids too because sometimes they know exactly where their things belong. To involve them in cleaning, the best way is to make cleaning an enjoyable and fun task. Fix their playtime rules so that less mess will be there to clean. While involving children in cleaning, make sure it’s an exciting and fun game and only then will they get involved in helping a parent.

High-Traffic Areas
Try to keep things in the proper place where there is great chance of too many items. If a parent keeps high-traffic areas clean then cleaning will become easy. Children’s toy rooms or other places need extra time to clean. Shoes should be kept in one place near an entrance to keep the place dirt free and hygienic and shoes should be put near a washroom, especially near the kid’s washroom. Additionally, follow the simply maid blog to get up to date tips about cleaning.

Try to Never Go Empty
The habit of going empty from one room to another will consume extra time in cleaning. Moving from one room to another, always try to do a quick scan to see if there is anything that belongs to the room where you are going. This will save time and make cleaning easier. But try to take only those things which don’t consume time. It will definitely make the difference in cleaning.

Give Everything a Place
Try to give everything a place and put things back to their belonging place, as this will keep the place tidy. Fix a particular place for everything at home so that putting things back will become easier and the home will look clean and neat.

List of Priority
Make a list to prioritize things. This will make cleaning easier because there are many jobs which can be delayed to next day. There is a lot of work which needs to be done urgently and as soon as possible. So making a priority list will help parent a lot. This will instantly reduce the pressure of cleaning.

Parents need to start small, as they should try to organize small things first and should not try to clean whole house in one day. This will give only stress and burden of cleaning but doing cleaning according to priority will reduce pressure and make cleaning so much easier.

Safety Zone
Decide on a safety zone because in a house where kids are of growing age, keeping unsafe things anywhere can be dangerous. To avoid all this there should be a safe zone where a parent can put anything which is extra or which is unsafe or which should out where kids can get to it. Mainly this will be a safety zone for keeping all extra things to keep the home clean. The laundry room is a good place for a lot of people to make their safety zone.

As we know, cleaning is not an task so these steps can help a lot to make cleaning easier for a parent.


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