Saturday, October 23, 2021

 


As a woman, you find yourself driving an awful lot. If you have kids, it's usually your job to be the taxi service as you ferry them around everywhere. Add your job into the equation, and the chances are you spend many hours a day driving. 

The thing is, this is inherently bad for you. Yes, driving is convenient, but you end up doing something that can lead to lots of health problems: sitting down. That's right, driving makes us sedentary, which is awful for our long-term health hopes. Why is it so bad, and how can we try to drive less? 

Driving leads to weight gain & posture issues

The two main problems with driving all the time are that it can cause weight gain and posture issues. This is largely because you are sitting down for far too long. By driving, you're avoiding other activities that are better for your body. You walk less every day, meaning you burn fewer calories and will gain weight - it's as simple as that. 

From here, you have all the possible health problems associated with weight gain; heart disease, joint issues, and so on. 

Alongside this, sitting down and driving puts you in a terrible postural position. This leads to increased strain on your muscles, causing things like chronic back pain, neck pain, and leading to inflammation - which can increase your blood pressure and lead to cardiovascular issues. 

How can we drive less?

With all of the above in mind, how can we attempt to drive less every day? For one, you can only drive your car for journeys where no other option is available. Can you walk somewhere instead? If so, it is much better for your health as you stretch your legs, stand upright, take pressure off your joints, and burn calories. Cycling is another brilliant alternative - and it's also great at building leg strength and tone. 

Even riding a motorcycle is healthier than driving! If you don't have to ferry kids around - and most of your trips are done on your own - get some women's motorcycle gear and a motorbike and ride that instead of driving. It forces your leg muscles to engage more, so you are getting more of a workout in. For long journeys, ride this, for shorter ones, walk or ride a bike!

It really all comes down to assessing whether or not a car is your only option. For long family trips, you will need a car. To commute to work, you can almost always find alternatives. Even public transport is better as you still have to walk to the station or bus stop, then walk to work and back again. 

Ultimately, if you want a health hack that will lead to a longer and healthier life, it's this one: drive less! Don't get hooked into the idea of driving all the time as it will make you inactive, cause postural problems, and can lead to all sorts of ongoing health problems.

Friday, October 22, 2021

Things You Haven't Thought of About Retiring

 

For many people, retirement is a time of great excitement and anticipation. But before you start planning the next stage of life, there are some things about retiring that are essential to consider. Here are how physical needs may change and daily financial needs and support system considerations for those who need care.

Your Physical Needs

Your physical needs refer to the physical demands of your body, things like food and water. You will need to make sure that you always have healthy foods on hand for yourself at all times. If you are not non-disabled or possibly this could change shortly, it would be wise to invest in some adaptive equipment now. At the same time, they may still be affordable after becoming disabled when they become even more expensive.

The other side of the coin here is making sure that you get enough restful sleep every night so that your body can repair itself from everyday wear and tear throughout the day. With those two sides covered, then consider your basic hygiene as well - brushing your teeth daily.

Your Support System

Your support system and undue influence of a loved one is essential. Who will be there to support you? Do your kids want to move close enough that they can provide you with the care and companionship you need or are they already strapped for time between their own families and careers? Will one of them have an ageing parent who needs some assistance themselves, so it might not be possible for them to help out.

Possible mentors include:

  • Your doctor
  • A neighbor or friend who has retired before you
  • Family members away from home

If any of these individuals don't live locally, perhaps ask if they would agree to Skype meetings regularly to update each other about life experiences. If your mentor cannot do this due to physical limitations, perhaps they could also participate in an audio chat with you.

Your Daily Financial Needs

Your financial needs are going to change as you age. You will have a lot of options for how you spend your money, but it is essential to consider what those costs could be so that you can plan accordingly.

Retirement calculators are great tools to use when planning out your finances in retirement. These easy-to-use online formulas ask questions about future expenses and income from investments and other sources. They then calculate the estimated annual cost of living for this period based on these inputs, allowing users to determine whether their current savings would cover their projected expenses or need additional plans for funding during retirement years.

How Much Care You Will Need

This is a critical factor to think about when retiring because you will need some form of care. Retirement communities provide a lot of different levels and types of care, and community members are always on-site to help. You can also find home care services in your area, but they may not be able to provide the care you need or have enough staff available for 24/hour live-in assistance.

Conclusion

In conclusion, there are many things to think about when looking into retirement communities. Make sure you also consider your physical needs, daily financial requirements and support system before choosing a community or living situation.

Thursday, October 21, 2021

How To Buy A House As A Single Woman

Buying a house or flat can be a daunting task at any time but can be particularly daunting if you are a woman who lives alone. Having to do everything alone, without any support from someone else, can be stressful, but there is no need to panic. Buying a home is a big task, but it can be much more manageable when broken down into smaller steps. So, how do you go about buying a home as a woman on her own?

Credit: AILes/ Pixabay

Do your research

Before buying any property, you should research the area that it is in as well as the property itself. You do not want to buy a property and then realize later that it is located in a rough area or that it has a history of plumbing problems. Therefore, you should have surveys done of the property and ask neighbors what they think of the area. You should also visit the property. It would also be a good idea to ask a friend or family member to come with you when you go to view the property as they may see something that you would have otherwise missed. Taking the time in these early stages to make sure that you are happy with the property will be worth it in the long run, as you will either know that you are getting a good property, or avoid buying a property that has too many problems.

Apply for a mortgage

Once you have found a property that you love and want to buy, you will need to look into applying for a mortgage. However, before you can do this, you need to receive a mortgage quote, and then you need to decide whether or not this amount of money is realistic for you to afford on your own. If you think that you can, then you can proceed to apply for your mortgage and begin thinking about moving into your new home! If you have never applied for a mortgage before, then you could ask your parents and friends for advice but you should also consult a lawyer to help you get through the process smoothly and easily.

Credit: Piqsels

Think about how much space you need

If you plan to live in your new home alone, you need to consider how much space you will actually need. Chances are, you probably won’t need a lot of space, so this is worth keeping in mind when you are looking at homes to buy because you do not want to buy a massive home that will feel a bit empty if you are the only one living in it. However, if you do find the perfect home, but you are concerned about it feeling too big for just you, you could consider looking for a lodger to live with you. Their rent could help you pay off your mortgage, and their presence may make you feel less lonely. However, if that is not something you would be interested in, it may be worth considering adopting a pet to give you company and to bring life into your new home. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Helping An Elderly Person Who Has Fallen

 


One thing we all want to do is make sure our loved ones are kept safe. This is especially the case when they are in their own home. After all, this is one place whereby they should feel safe and secure. However, there is no denying that the consequences of falls in the elderly include feeling anxious and worried. Sadly, a scary number of senior citizens fall each year, resulting in millions of hospitalizations and visits to the emergency room. We do not want this to happen to you are someone you love. So, with that being said, we are going to reveal everything you need to know about fall risks and what to do if someone has a fall.

Risk factors

Research has indicated that there are a number of different risk factors for falls. This includes environmental hazards and a history of previous falls. Research also indicates that women are more likely to fall than men, as there have been frequent falls in middle aged women. Other risk factors include heart disease and stroke, as well as other chronic and acute diseases and disorders. There is also evidence that medication can increase the chance of taking a fall, for example, antidepressants and analgesics. Your nutritional status also matters, for instance, calcium and vitamin D deficiencies have been linked to falls. Gait disorders, a lack of mobility, balance, and physical ability all matter as well. Sadly, we have also seen that falls have happened due to negligence, and so nursing home neglect lawyers may need to be hired to assist with this. 

Falls prevention

There are a number of different things that you can do in order to prevent a fall and reduce slips and trips. This includes adding handrails and other pieces of useful aids around the home. You should also avoid wearing clothing that is loose, make sure the lighting is right in your home, wear non-slip shoes, and clean up the clutter. It is also important to remove or repair tripping hazards and living on one level can also be beneficial.

What to do if someone has fallen

If someone you love has fallen, it is important to stay calm and encourage your loved one to do the same. You need to examine them for possible broken bones, sprains, bleeding, and bruises. Find out if they are experiencing pain, where it is, and how bad it is. Don’t move your loved ones if they have a serious injury. You should call the emergency services and keep them as comfortable and warm as possible until help gets there. If they are not hurt badly and they want to get up, make sure you go slowly. If they experience pain, become stuck, or get too tired, then you should stop.

So there you have it: everything you need to know about fall risks and what you should do if someone you know or love has taken a fall. We hope that the information that has been provided in this blog post will be useful. We know that there is a lot to take into account. However, the most educated we become about something, the greater chance we have of prevention.

Thursday, September 9, 2021

Your Home Needs a Rooftop Deck

The pandemic has proven the necessity of having additional and outdoor living spaces. People had to spend more time at home because of the spreading virus. Certain aspects of life, including work, are now done at home. 

While many restrictions have already been lifted, many employers are adopting a work-from-home setup. The past year proved that most jobs do not have to be done at an office. In fact, people were more productive and less stressed when working from the comforts of their homes. 

There also is a need for more outdoor space for relaxing. The lockdowns meant that people have been spending more time indoors, which has detrimental effects on the body and mind. People need sun exposure and fresh air to be healthy physically and mentally. 

A rooftop deck is a great addition to the home. 

Is It Worth It? 

A rooftop deck is a nice way to add an outdoor living space into a home, especially for those who live in urban areas with limited room for expansion. The rooftop space can be used as a garden, a dining area, or a place for recreation. Anything you can do on the ground, you can do on the rooftop, too. 

A rooftop deck addition will not be cheap, and not all houses are suited for it. Moreover, many homeowners are concerned if the expensive addition will increase the property's value when it is time to sell it. 

In most cases, a rooftop deck is worth it. 

It is a coveted home feature because it creates more space for the homeowner to enjoy. A rooftop deck that overlooks a nice view is an advantage. It will cause buyers to fight over the property, further increasing its price. 

Depending on the material used, a rooftop deck can typically add about 6 percent to 8 percent valuation to the home. Homes that have one sell faster, too. 

In a strong real estate market like in San Francisco, where the rooftop deck can be enjoyed all year round, homeowners can get a 147 percent return on investment. They will profit off of selling a house with a rooftop deck. 

Several homeowners are adding rooftop decks to their property. It is a good investment that can increase the property's resale value and provide additional space for lounging and other activities. 

However, the challenge is to make your rooftop deck charming and comfortable. 

A Strong and Weather-Proof Rooftop Deck

The addition of a rooftop deck is not an easy home improvement project. It has to withstand environmental elements. It should also have the integrity to tolerate outdoor furniture, a garden, and the constant movement of people who will use it. 

A rooftop deck has to be resistant to changes in the weather. Because it is on top of the house, it will be the first to catch rainwater and, depending on location, snow. The surface of the space should be waterproof.

Many use concrete to build their rooftop deck. The material is actually porous, which means that water can penetrate through it. It is bad news for a space that frequently will be exposed to moisture. Builders use a sealant to make it water repellent. Bitumen can provide waterproofing to any surface. It is similar to those used on roads and pavements. It is ideal for rooftops that will be used for strenuous physical activities. 

Moreover, there should be proper drainage. The rainwater that will fall on the rooftop deck should not create a pond. Not only will standing water make the deck slippery and unusable after a storm, but it also creates the perfect environment for mosquitoes to survive. The water should be controlled and flow away from the house. 

Consider adding an awning or any overhead covering if you plan to use it as a space for dining and relaxation. Sunlight gets very intense, especially during the summer. 

Make It Lush

A rooftop can get pretty hot during the day. Unless you add plants, it will also look gray and boring. You need a kind of space that will feel welcoming. Plants can add vibrancy and life to the space. 

Obviously, you would not be able to grow a tree from a rooftop deck. You have to consider the weight and the size, and the weight of the vegetation. Anything that is lightweight and will stand at a medium height will not be a problem. 

A few pots and planters would not add much weight to the rooftop deck. However, if you plan to grow an entire garden, consider using bagged soils as container mixes. Those are lighter than regular garden soil, and they retain moisture much better. Avoid using terra-cotta and concrete pots and planters, either. A plastic or wooden pot or planter would not be too heavy. 

A rooftop deck can be used any way you want. It can be your own bar. You can add a jacuzzi to it. You can make it your own basketball court. It is a great addition to many homes and will be one that you will use until you decide to hand the property over to someone else. 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

3 Ways to Stay Motivated To Exercise

Staying healthy and fit is a top priority, not only now because we are fighting a pandemic, but it should be a daily habit to stick to. Minding our diet is only one part of a health and wellness routine. It is beneficial for our bodies to get the proper nutrition, however, doing physical exercise also plays an important role in building our immunity. 

Exercising regularly can be fun at first, however, most of us get bored and drop our routine after a few weeks. Here are three ways to stay motivated to continue doing exercises:

Shop for great workout clothes


Getting new work out clothes that look good and fit well can definitely put you in the mood to exercise. Choosing the right ones can be tricky, though. You may find some that come in your favorite colors, but always put in mind the following factors:

  • Get a good sports bra that would offer both comfort and support
  • For leggings, tops, or body suits, choose the right fabric designed for your exercise routine
  • Check out the right kind of shoes you need depending on the kind of exercise you will be doing.

Once these factors are met, you can feel that urge to get up and start moving! A few bombshell athletic clothing pieces will make you feel motivated, confident and sexy! Check out some beautiful pieces at Bombshell Sportswear. Your future self will definitely thank you for purchasing new workout clothes. 

Get an accountability partner/exercise buddy

Having someone to do exercises with adds fun to your routine. It can be anyone you choose - your husband, partner, best friend, sibling or even your child! You can keep track of each other's progress and exchange ideas on other fun ways to exercise. Encouragement and support can go a long way!

Switch your routine regularly

Try other exercise routines. If you have been doing cardio, try switching it up to doing dance or zumba. If you are into running, you can do yoga or tai-chi the following week. Be creative! There are so many ways to move your body and have fun at the same time.

Exercise does not have to be complicated. All you have to do is to keep at it, and have fun doing it!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Tips for Finding a Great Roofing Contractor

Leaking roofs are never convenient, and they can be incredibly damaging to your home. Therefore, you should get them fixed right away, but if you haven’t ever worked with a roofing contractor, you may be anxious about choosing the right one. These are a few tips to help you find a great roofer.


Search Your Local Area

Your first task should be finding local contractors. For example, you can search for “roof leak repair Laurel MD.” You may also contact the local chamber of commerce. They will let you know what contractors are in good standing in the community. You can also ask for referrals from friends and family members. However, search for their customer reviews, and contact the Better Business Bureau to ensure they do not have outstanding complaints.

Ask About Their Insurance

When you contact the roofers you have found, ask about their insurance. Roofing contractors should carry liability insurance in case your home is damaged during the roofing process. They should also carry workers’ compensation insurance in case any of their staff are injured while they work on your roof. Accidents happen, even with the most experienced contractors, so you want to ensure that you and those who work on your roof are protected.

Verify Their Licensing

Roofing services require a license from the state. This license verifies the contractor’s capability of completing the job properly and safely. You want a high-quality roof, so you need a roofer who has completed the licensing requirements. Also, your roofing materials typically have a warranty, but it may be voided if the materials are installed improperly or by an unlicensed professional. Therefore, verify your contractors’ licenses.

Ask About Their Experience

Your contractor should have extensive experience. Avoid those who just started companies or who recently changed their names. This may suggest inexperience or existing complaints or violations of the law. Ask for references, and be sure to check them, to verify the quality of the contractors’ work.

Protect your home from extensive damage by getting your roof fixed quickly. Choose a licensed, insured contractor with experience in installing high-quality roofs.

Saturday, September 4, 2021

How To Stay Safe While Driving

Unfortunately, injuries on the road are more common than you might think. Your average car accident lawyer will be able to tell you just how many cases they receive each and every day, and this number is continuing to grow due to reckless driving and a variety of other risk factors that can increase your chances of losing control while out on the road. Thankfully, there are several c, and implementing these ideas can provide you and your passengers with ultimate peace of mind. So, if you're ready to find out more, then simply read on! 

Take Your Car To A Garage Regularly

One of the most important steps that you must follow to become a safe and secure driver is to take your car to a garage regularly to ensure that it's in the best condition possible. Experiencing even a minor fault with your vehicle could send you off the road and lead to serious injuries or even fatalities, so it's a good idea to take your car in for a check up every now and then to ensure everything is in great working order. If ever your mechanic does find a fault, get this fixed immediately - you simply cannot afford to wait around and 'hope' that nothing bad will happen, as in reality you will be dicing with death driving inside an accident waiting to happen. 

Always Stick To The Speed Limit 

Ensuring that you stick to the speed limit on each different road that you drive on is absolutely vital, as these limits are in place for a reason. Whether you're driving slowly in a school zone to avoid hitting a child at speed, or controlling your acceleration whilst driving around winding roads to stay within the white lines, you must not take your speed too far and creep even 1mph over the speed limit. Drive slowly for the sake of yourself, your passengers, other drivers and those walking around you. 

Don't Get Distracted

When you're driving, all of your attention has to be on the road. You cannot allow yourself to get distracted by anything that's going on around you, as taking your eyes away from the road ahead for just a second could lead to catastrophe. Do not look at your smartphone while at the wheel, and do not let any other passengers wreak havoc in your vehicle. If your children are becoming loud and boisterous, pull over and deal with the situation away from the main roadway. If you receive a phone call that you need to answer, use the hands free feature that allows you to speak without the need to hold your phone or pull over to answer in a safe place. 

Never Perform DIY Without Training

Attempting to perform your own DIY on your vehicle without any previous training is one of the worst mistakes that you can make, as you could cause your car to experience a far more serious problem than the one that you were ultimately trying to resolve. You cannot watch a YouTube tutorial and perform work on a car, as it's a huge and complex machine that could easily put you and others in severe danger. Always approach a registered, qualified and trustworthy mechanic to fix your vehicle if ever you encounter an issue. If you do feel as though you have the skills to complete work on your own vehicle, then it's best to get it checked out by a professional before you decide to hit the road. 

Pack A Safety Kit 

Packing a safety kit inside your vehicle that contains a range of different items that can relieve pain and protect or sustain you in the event of an emergency is vital, as you never know what might happen to you and your passengers while you're out on the road. Start off by sourcing a first aid kit that has some basic medicines, plasters and bandages, and other essential medical kit that you can use on the go. It's also a good idea to prepare a winter care pack inside your car when the temperature drops, as having ready access to thick blankets and coats will keep you warm if you break down when the temperature goes below freezing. Always have a glass hammer in your vehicle so that you can break a window to escape if ever your doors are unable to open.

There's no time like the present to become a safer driver, so what are you waiting for? 

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Five Business Management Tips

Running a business can be a deeply exciting time, but if done wrong it can also be a time of great stress and anxiety. That's why it's important to know all the different tips that allow for smooth and easy business management. Whether you are a project manager, CEO or office manager, you have come to the right place as this guide has been created to recommend a few key ways that you can ensure solid business management. Read on now for all you need to know about smooth business management now. 

Know When to Outsource and When To Create In-House

To outsource or not to outsource: this could be the question that you are asking yourself when it comes to finding that balance between efficiency and cost. It is worth having a long think about the needs of your company and the cost of in-house teams. For example, when it comes to managed IT services then it's worth looking for a cheaper outsource-able option rather than hiring your own IT team. 

Ditch The Flat Hierarchy and the Open Office

Despite the best wishes of many people, businesses are not actually democracies. While it's important to make sure that everyone in the office feels respected and that their voice matters, having a flat hierarchy can often lead to confusion when it comes to people figuring out what they should actually be doing and who to look to for authority. That's why it's much better to have an established structure so you can have a proper decision-making workflow. Additionally, the open office — once a utopian idea for communal thinking — has been pretty much debunked as it increases paranoia and encourages an always-on culture that stifles productivity. Get rid of it. 

Pay Everyone on Time 

When it comes to paying your employees, the more often that you pay them on time — or if possible, even ahead of time — the more likely that they are to respect you as a business manager. Therefore, it is always worth making sure that you have the process and the money in place to ensure a smooth cashflow. 

Use Cloud Computing 

The days of emailing important documents is over, with the latest generation sick and tired of using email, which they consider an antiquated method of communication. As a result, it's better to use the latest technologies in order to understand what everyone is working on and when. Consider downloading a solid cloud computing package that can have your employees working on shared tasks together with minimum fuss. 

Listen to Others 

No business is a one-person job. Instead, it requires collaboration between a variety of different partners in order to be a success. That's why, as a business owner, you should definitely make sure that you are listening to your other employees when they raise concerns. You can actively court feedback by having an anonymous drop box or scheduling one-on-one sessions. Don't just listen either: make sure to take their advice and to convert it into actionable goals. 

Friday, August 27, 2021

How to Plan for Retirement Financially

Retirement. It's something we all think about, but not many of us actually start planning for it. But with the average American retiring at age 62, you don't want to wait any longer if you're going to enjoy your retirement years stress-free and on your own terms. So here are five things that you can do right now in order to plan for a happy retirement!

#1 Start an Emergency Fund

First, if you haven't already, start an emergency fund. A lot can happen in the years leading up to retirement, and it's never a bad idea to have some extra cash on hand for emergencies. It also makes good financial sense as long as your savings don't interfere with your other goals (i.e., paying off debt or saving for college). So just remember that even $500 is better than nothing!

#2 Plan Ahead

Second, make sure you're planning ahead financially when deciding how much money to withdraw from retirement accounts each month during retirement. While it may sound like common sense, many retirees find themselves struggling because they didn't take into consideration inflation and are withdrawing too little from their accounts every month, which could lead to running out of money. To avoid this, try to withdraw no more than four percent of your retirement account balance in the first year of retirement and then adjust it each subsequent year as necessary.

#3 Think about Taxes

If you're withdrawing from a traditional IRA during retirement or if you plan on leaving money to heirs after death, be sure that you are taking advantage of tax planning strategies for both scenarios. There are some Gold Investing Pitfalls when it comes to your IRA, so be sure to avoid them early enough. Depending on how much income is coming out of an IRA account versus other taxable accounts will determine whether someone should choose a Roth conversion ladder over their life expectancy under IRS rules (in general), which allows people at least at age 59 to begin withdrawals without penalty. Also, keep in mind that some states offer state-tax-free inheritances while others do not. Talk to an estate planning attorney for more information on state-specific rules and regulations in your area.

#4 Get a Professional Opinion

Fourth, talk with your financial advisor about the best approach when taking withdrawals from retirement accounts during retirement because there are some strategies you can use that will allow you to withdraw a set amount each year without penalty or taxation regardless of what is happening with inflation which will enable people greater control over their income than just using a fixed rate withdrawal plan every year. For example, if someone's account balance has decreased by $20,000 due to market fluctuations one year but then increased again the next, they should be able to take larger withdrawals in years where their investments have done better versus smaller ones in years where markets have performed poorly since it all evens out in the end.

#5 Consider Health Care

Finally, don't forget about health care costs! Medicare is an essential part of retirement planning, and you should make sure that you understand all your options if you plan on signing up for it at age 65 or later when traditional medical insurance plans are required to accept applicants regardless of pre-existing conditions. It's also a good idea to learn more about Medigap policies because they can really help with out-of-pocket expenses, which no one wants to worry about during their golden years, so get educated before making any decisions!

Wednesday, August 25, 2021

Plumbing plays a big role in our everyday lives, and without it, we can't keep our homes and ourselves clean. However, plumbing problems are prevalent in the U.S., happening almost every day in many states. This is why many experts suggest improving plumbing in homes so that their water needs won't get interrupted.

The average cost of plumbing services can range between $175 to $450, depending on the severity of the problem. Severe problems can cause some homeowners around $2,000 to fix, and replacements for pipes can easily cost double that amount. These prices are telling you a story: it's much more expensive to fix a problem with plumbing than improving it for the better. But how can you do that? One way is to keep an eye out for what you're pouring into your pipes.

Watch What You're Putting Into Your Pipes

We play an essential role in keeping our plumbing in the best of conditions. Unfortunately, all the things we pour into our pipes can cause a serious problem later on, and if we continue to do this out of habit, our plumbing will surely suffer from it.

Here is a list of things that you should avoid pouring directly into your pipes:

  • Hot oil or oily products
  • Grease 
  • Coffee grounds 
  • Hair 
  • Solid food waste
  • Heavy soap scum 
  • Any acidic product

Generally, you should avoid pouring solid materials or anything acidic into your pipes. Solid materials can clog your plumbing system, and acidic products and hot oil can cause damage to your pipes. But if you can't help it, you should invest in drain covers.

Covering Your Drains

One of the easiest ways to improve your plumbing is by covering your drains. The majority of plumbing problems come in the form of obstructions forming in the pipes. This can be from hair, food waste, and thick soap suds. Drain covers are essential if you have multiple people with long hair living in your home. These can all be prevented if you have something covering your drains.

A drain cover isn't going to cost you a lot of money, and having multiple of them isn't going to break the bank. Every hardware store also sells drain covers if you need them, so don't be scared to purchase a few for your home. It'll save you the trouble of calling the plumber every three months. Drain covers are crucial if you have multiple people with long hair living in your home.

Invest in a Liquid Separator

We might think that as long as it's not solid, it won't clog our pipes, but this isn't true. All sorts of liquid waste can clog our pipes, especially if they have accumulated fully. One of these things is oil.

Oil and fat are naturally in liquid form, especially once we've cooked them thoroughly. However, once they've settled, they become hard substances that can be hard to remove once they've stuck into your pipes. This is why you should invest in an oil-water separator. This contraption can lead water and oil on separate paths. This can keep your pipes from clogging. If you're the kind of person who cooks every day, this is an essential investment.

Invest in a High-Quality Plunger

There is one household item that can save you a lot of money when it comes to plumbing, and that is a high-quality plunger.

A plusher pushes in the air into your pipes so it can push out any obstruction out. It's a simple process, but one that can make a difference in your home. Unless the obstruction isn't severe, a plunger can push it right off. So this saves you a couple of hundred dollars.

Always Look for Leaks

Lastly, you must always look around your home for leaks. When leaks turn for the worse, it can net you thousands of dollars in repair and a lot of time wishing that you'd had that leak repaired beforehand.

Natural disasters such as hurricanes can also cause a small leak to turn into a big problem. That is why it's better to get leaks repaired the moment you see them.

You can do DIY repair on leaks if you don't have the time to hire a plumbing service. If you have a bit of experience in home repair, leaks can be fixed with epoxy. You can also choose to replace your pipes if it's one of the easily replaceable ones. However, if you don't have any experience in home repair, we highly suggest that you call a plumbing service instead. You might do more harm than good to the pipe if you try to fix it.

By doing all of these things, you can save yourself thousands of dollars. You can also keep water running in your home. So, try these suggestions out in your home.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

Five Team-building Activities to Boost Employee Morale

 


Employees are the greatest assets of any company because, without them, success will be unattainable. No one succeeds on their own; everyone needs a team of like-minded individuals working towards the same goal to make the impossible possible. And that’s why boosting employee morale is important.

Happy and satisfied employees are more productive because they know that their contributions to the company are being valued. These employees are motivated to give their 110% because their employers treat them right, which often leads them to become loyal employees who stay even when the company is facing adversities.

By working on employee morale, you can establish a strong workplace culture built on trust and mutual collaboration. If you feel like the people in your workplace isn’t there yet, here are five team-building activities that you can do to get there faster:

Schedule a Karaoke Night

Every company needs a chance to bond outside of the office, and the best way to do this is by holding a karaoke night. You can schedule the activity on a random Friday night so that everyone can bond over food, drinks, and a showcase of hidden talents. And it can be a nice way to relieve stress after a long work week.

It may not be as helpful in establishing teamwork as other team-building activities, but it sure can be a great chance to create strong workplace relationships. During a social event, you’ll be able to see one another in a different light and learn more about your colleagues outside the bounds of their jobs.

Going on a Fishing Trip

Not everyone enjoys being out in the open waters, but some people enjoy fishing trips to bond with their colleagues. If you prefer spending time in a more relaxed environment and have a friendly competition over who catches more fish, then you should go fishing for your next team-building activity.

Fishing charters are perfect avenues to develop patience and work on delayed gratification. Plus, with all the idle time you’re going to spend waiting for the fish to bite, you’ll have plenty of chances to share life stories and discuss things that are beyond the scopes of work. Besides, everyone deserves a day like this.


Book an Escape Room

There’s nothing like putting heads together to solve impossible puzzles and escape impending doom, or at least until the time is over. If you want to test your and your colleagues’ teamwork, patience, grace under pressure, and attention to detail, you should book an escape room for your team-building activity.
Plus, escape room themes can be very entertaining. A few of the most common themes for escape rooms are being trapped in a room with a zombie or solving a murder, which is great for thrill-seekers. But of course, you can choose a theme that will work best for your company because zombies are not for the fainthearted.

Plan a Boot Camp Weekend

Many people rarely have the chance to experience obstacle courses and physical challenges once they enter the corporate world, but you can change that. If you want a team-building activity that centers on athleticism, cooperation, teamwork, leadership, and competition, then a boot camp will be perfect for you.

Spending an entire weekend in a boot camp will increase your trust in one another and help you work on your communication skills. It will also encourage collaboration and stimulate creativity when building strategies on how to defeat the other teams. Plus, boot camps are perfect avenues to release stress.

Give Back to the Community

While most team-building activities revolve around the idea of fellowship within your organization, you can also take this opportunity to give back to the community your workplace belongs to. Or you can choose a deserving cause that you want to support and hold a fundraising event in their honor.

As long as you’re all working towards a common goal, it can count as a team-building activity to boost employee morale. And what better way to bring people together than to find a good cause that everyone cares about? So, on your next team-building event, choose to support your local community.

Team-building activities can only do so much to boost employee morale, and that’s why you can’t rely on them alone. The events will help strengthen your bonds with your colleagues, but they have to apply to your day-to-day lives as well. After all, the whole point of creating social interactions outside of the workplace is to forge stronger relationships that will help you work better as a company.

 

When we visit a destination on vacation, it’s not unusual to find our hearts stolen by picturesque streets, blazing sun, and a lifestyle entirely different from our own. Sometimes, this love fades with the post-vacation blues but, in some instances, it grows into a potentially life changing question – do you love that destination enough to move there?

Locations that we return to time and again are especially likely to hold our attention in this sense but, before you start viewing properties and book a cross-country moving company like North American Van Lines to make that dream a reality, you’re going to want to remove the rose-tinted glasses of tourism. After all, living in a place is very different from visiting, and to avoid disappointment when you realize that, it’s always worth taking the following precautionary pre-move measures.

Take time off the tourist route

Every country wants tourists to see its best, meaning that typically touristy areas tend to be the best kept and most modern. In tourist-heavy countries, this can have the downside of leading to neglect in residential areas but, even if this isn’t the case, the chances are that you’ve only seen a tailored snapshot of the country before now. As such, the best step towards removing your tourist overview is to take a less popular route by exploring areas that you’d never think to go as a tourist, and trying out towns, restaurants, etc. that the local residents actually use

Find out what real life looks like

Few of us think about the job market when we take a road trip around a destination like Montreal, and house prices are the last things on our minds when we marvel at Barcelona. It’s this real life removal that often makes these destinations so appealing, which is why you should also consider real practicalities before any move of this nature. It’s especially worth taking the time to understand job and housing markets, as well as things like cost of living that will, once and for all, give you a taste of what you can actually expect from life here. 


Spend a little longer

It’s also essential to spend at least one long period pre-move in your chosen location. It might be that you can temporarily move for a month to give things a go, or even just that you’re able to spend two weeks instead of a weekend. Either way, this provides the perfect opportunity to do everyday things like food shopping, laundry, etc., and even gives you a chance to meet the locals. After all of that, you’ll be way better poised to realistically imagine your new life there, and whether it’s right for you.

We get it – going on an amazing vacation can make anyone want to leave their old life behind. You might even be one of the lucky ones who makes doing so work for them. Just make sure of it by taking these precautionary pointers before jumping into an ill-informed move to a location that, in reality, you barely know at all. 

Thursday, August 19, 2021

Real Estate Market: Is 2022 the Best Time to Buy a House?

None of us anticipated a pandemic that would wreck almost every aspect of our lives, personal or career-wise. In the same vein, a lot of industries were greatly affected by the Coronavirus disease.

The sudden shutdown of establishments sent a lot of businesses spiraling down, many closed forever. For those who kept afloat, every day seems like a battle.

As the world is halfway to 2021 now, the question posted on every aspiring homebuyer's mind is, would the housing market be favorable in 2022? Let us find out more about what to expect next year in the real estate industry.

Image credit


1. Mortgage Rates Will Remain Relatively Low

Although the Coronavirus pandemic has significantly affected almost all industries, the residential real estate market continues to be strong. Thanks to the all-time low mortgage rate since the 70s, this sector is quick to bounce from the initial economic effect of the pandemic.

The decrease in mortgage rates back in 2020, dropping the monthly payments of housing loans to 12 percent. This allowed a lot of potential homeowners, particularly millennials, to enter the housing market sooner than expected.

As of date, the fixed rate for a 30-year mortgage is still at .97 percent. For a 15-year fixed plan, it stays at 2.32 percent. Thus, whether you plan on purchasing a new home or refinancing your mortgage, the current mortgage rates are very tempting.

Apart from the low mortgage rates, a number of individuals and families thought of heading towards the suburbs. Rather than renting out tiny apartments in the city, plenty moved and are moving into single-family homes. In essence, if you think about it, the demand for housing is steadily increasing.

2. Inventory Shortage

Since the demand for housing is continually increasing, 2022 is predicted to remain a seller's market. A seller's market occurs when the demand for real estate properties exceeds the housing inventory supply. The opposite of the same is a buyer's market. This occurs when the inventory supply for housing surpasses the demand of the market.

During the outbreak of COVID-19, the real estate industry suffered a halt in operation along with other businesses from other sectors. Nonetheless, it eventually picked up its pace significantly due to the decrease in mortgage rates.

As mentioned, the pandemic drove several organizations to consider remote work setups. In turn, this led to plenty of individuals and families reconsidering their living conditions and opt to move to more desirable areas, such as the suburbs.

A number of families have relocated to suburban areas amid the pandemic not only for financial reasons, but also to fulfill the lifelong American dream of owning a home.

It is to be noted that as of December 2020, there were only 1.07 million units in the inventory. To sum it up, it could only provide a 1.9-month worth of housing supply. According to statistics, there is a 23 percent decline in housing inventory year-over-year.

3. Underbuilding in the Last Few Years

In a nutshell, there are only two types of housing available to homebuyers. It is either newly constructed or existing ones.

Data shows that over the last 10 years, there has been a short supply of newly built homes. With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, home constructions are even slower not only because of a shortage of labor but also due to an increase in construction materials such as lumber.

According to experts, it is highly unlikely that the construction industry would shift to high gear in order to increase inventory by 2022. It would take more years to do that given that there has been a decade of underbuilding and underinvesting.

4. Homeowners are Afraid to Part with Their Homes

Since newly constructed homes are out of the question, then existing homes might answer for the inventory shortage.

Unfortunately, although there have been more and more existing homes listed in the market, the number is not enough to cover and turn 2022 into a buyer's market.

Based on surveys conducted over the past months, plenty of homeowners are actually disinclined to put their properties for sale. Reading and hearing news about how it is a struggle for homebuyers these days to land properties, only made them worried if they would suffer the same fate.

Not to mention, since there has been a surge of demand and low supply, home prices have been rising in the past few months.

It has been noted the cooling trend with respect to the real estate market of the country. However, experts agree that these current conditions are still not enough to create a buyer's market in 2022.

Wednesday, August 18, 2021

Pets are the most cherished companions of individuals and families throughout the United States. According to statistics gathered by the National Pet Owners Survey, more than 85 million families in the country, or approximately 67 percent of households in the US own at least one pet.

However, owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Aside from seeing to its needs such as food and healthcare, you must also be wary of how your home can affect its well-being. Your home can be comfortable to you, but it doesn't mean that it will be comfy or even safe for your pets.

Below are some basic pet-proofing tips you'll need to do, so your pet can live safely in your house.

Beware of Pests

Pests are the carriers of many diseases that can be especially debilitating to your animal companions. Ants can cause allergic reactions in bunnies, ticks can pass parasites to your dog and fleas can sicken your cats. However, the real danger is when these pests inadvertently pass the diseases they carry from your pets to you or your loved ones.

Make sure to assess the pests in your home, from ants to flies. There are companies that specialize in tick control services, as well as fleas and all manner of household pests. Regular treatments will be necessary if your home is to be a safe space for your pets.

Assess Plants 

Decorative plants and herbs are all the rage in many homes around the country. These plants provide some fresh air, wonderful scents and a splash of greenery in every house. However, not all ornamental plants you put in your home can be safe to your pets.

Cats and dogs have a habit of chewing on greenery because of the flavor or to aid in digestion. If your decorative plants are unsafe, you can inadvertently poison your pets. Some of the most toxic plants you need to keep out of your home include the sago plant, the cyclamen plant and oleander flowers. Consult with a veterinarian before you buy any new plants for your home.

Clear the Nightstand

Pets are apt to try to crawl into bed with you at night. They will also be liable to start playing or even eating the things you leave on your nightstand. These can include small batteries and, more dangerously, your medication. Human medicine is dangerous to animals because the chemical interactions won't be the same.

Instead of leaving your medication and other objects on top of your nightstand, lock them inside drawers. This will prevent your pets from accidentally ingesting your medicines or choking on small items such as batteries and jewelry. If you must leave items on top of your nightstand, secure them in lockboxes or similar contraptions.

Set Up Barriers

Cats and dogs are curious by nature. They will rarely settle for staying indoors and will most likely stray outside at the first opportunity. You need to set up various barriers around your home if you want to keep your pets corralled within your home and avoid having to search for them.

Instead of having just one door, you may find it prudent to install a screen door as well. This will allow your pets a view outside that they can find stimulating without letting them run outdoors. Put up barriers at the top and bottom of the stairs if you want to keep dogs and pets from scrambling down and injuring themselves. Finally, you should install narrow window security bars on all windows to prevent cats and even dogs from leaping outside. 

Tie Up Cables

Cats and dogs are endlessly fascinated by cables and cords to the point where they play with them. However, they also tend to play with these things with their claws and teeth. If your pet manages to gnaw through the protective coating of the cables, the electric current can be powerful enough to give them a nasty electric shock that could injure or even kill them.

If you want your pets to avoid electrocuting themselves, hide your power cords and cables. If you can't stow them away from your pet's claws, you can give them an extra layer of protection. There are plenty of durable electrical cord protectors you can buy to ensure that your pet's teeth and claws don't fray them so easily.

Keeping a pet is an immense responsibility and providing them with a safe and comfortable home is essential. So before you even think about buying a pet or stopping by the pound, make sure your home is up to standards of safety. 

8 simple ways to foster a positive work environment

If you run your own business, you need to create a positive work environment. Otherwise, you will have a high staff turnover rate and an unhappy workforce. This guide will provide eight simple ways to foster a positive work environment. 

Prioritize onboarding and training

As new employees learn the ropes and take on more complex tasks, they will become happier with their work. You can prevent a high turnover rate by having effective onboarding and training plans in place that detail what's expected of every person joining your staff.

Introduce new hires to their colleagues

Take the time to introduce new employees to the rest of your staff. If you are a larger company, it's possible that they will never meet people in other departments and may feel disconnected from the company as a result. Be sure to make introductions at both an upper-management level and with new hires working directly with the new employees.

Create a comfortable work environment

The workspace should have comfortable furniture, sufficient lighting and air conditioning, and a relatively quiet environment. Employees should enjoy being in the office, which will encourage them to work for the company instead of looking for somewhere else to work. You should also provide a comfortable area for employees to relax during their breaks.

Conduct regular check-ins

As the founder or manager of a small business, you should regularly meet with your employees to check on their progress. This is especially important at the beginning of their time with your company because you can help them adjust to the workplace and establish clear career goals that tie into the overall goals of your company.

Get employees the equipment they need

Help your employees by investing in the necessary equipment for them to do their jobs better. This could be anything from a laptop or tablet they can use to more complex items including tools, engineering instruments, and chemicals. You can often find excellent equipment at trade prices. For example, if you run a healthcare business, you can use medical-supermarket.com.

Encourage collaboration and communication

Every workplace can benefit from establishing a more friendly environment that allows employees to communicate with each other more easily. You should create workflows so that team members will be able to talk with one another and share ideas. For example, if you're an accounting business, you may want employees to use a cloud-based accounting software solution such as Wave to keep everyone updated on company finances.

Develop a strong workplace culture

Let your employees know that you respect their efforts and acknowledge positive contributions. For example, you could make a rule that all employees will receive healthy snacks and drinks once they've finished a major project near the end of the week, so everyone is able to relax and celebrate on a Friday afternoon. This will let them know that you care about their well-being and want to make sure they have positive experiences.

Facilitate opportunities for learning

If your company offers continuing education, let employees know that you will pay for them to study in university. This could be either through tuition reimbursement or even an educational stipend. You should allow staff members to choose at least one course each year to pursue, as long as they agree to work towards a degree related to their roles in the business.

Thursday, August 12, 2021

How Can You Manage Home Contractors Effectively?

Last year has seen an amazing increase in home construction. Lots of people, forcibly confined to their homes to avoid the pandemic, decided that their houses need some improvement.

According to a recent survey of homeowners in the United States, 58 percent of homeowners in the country were planning on implementing home improvement project within the next 12 months. Respondents revealed that most of their proposed home improvement projects were to increase the comfort of their homes during lockdowns whereas 62 percent were more concerned about increasing the health features of their abodes. 

Regardless of why you would want to improve your home, unless you have extensive construction experience, you will most probably require the help of a home contractor. But how can you ensure that you work well with the contractor?

Here are four tips on how you can make sure you manage the project and your contractor effectively.

Keep a Journal

You need to keep track of everything that happens during construction. Did your contractor suggest you purchase some heavy equipment on the market to hasten the project? Did you change your mind about the tiles you were using in the kitchen? Was construction unusually fast or slow today? Was someone injured in the workplace?

Detailing all these in a journal helps you keep track of what's going on. In can also be helpful if you have to check what's already been accomplished and what needs to be done. A journal with dates and timestamps can also be critically important if things go south and you have to file a lawsuit against the contractor. It's better to be safe and have documentation than have nothing to back up your claims, after all.

Finally, a journal can be very instructive in case you plan on improving your home again in the future. You can easily refer to what you did right and avoid mistakes simply by reading your journal.

Document All Changes

Home improvement projects rarely remain within the parameters they started in. Sometimes you think that the paint you used to living room isn't right. Or maybe your contractor insists that the foundations of your carport designs aren't suited for the type of soil on your property. A home improvement project can suddenly change in many ways.

It is vital to the future of your project that you document every change that occurs. This will not only help you keep tabs over the direction of the project, it can also tell you if there are financial issues. Too many changes can cost you more money and maybe a sign of deliberate efforts to extract money from you. Documenting all the changes can help you see which are necessary and which are superfluous.

Communicate Continually

You may not be able to live in your home while the contractors are making your improvements, but that doesn't mean you should not maintain constant communication with them.

Visit the construction site and always ask for daily reports. These reports will be important if you are keeping track of all changes and documenting progress in your journals. Continual communication will also be vital if you want to assess quality of the work that's being done on your home.

If you remain standoffish from you're your contractors, you can find it very difficult to coordinate with them regarding changes. You may find out about delays too late to do anything about them. And most importantly, you could miss out on the opportunity to learn more about construction. You could be surprised how much information you can glean from daily conversations with your contractor.

Establish Payment Schedules Beforehand

One of the most crucial aspects of managing a home construction project is establishing payment schedules. Unless you want to have multiple awkward conversation with your contractor, you should discuss when you are due to pay them beforehand. Don't be tempted to pay them like any other employee. Instead, you should link the payments with preset milestones.

For example, if you are having your kitchen redone, have them receive the first payment after the floors are retiled, the next when the cabinets are done and the final payment when the fixtures are installed. Establishing such time frames helps keep things on track, preventing people from delaying the construction.

Home improvement projects are very difficult to complete, but they don't always have to be. Keeping a level head, treating your contractors fairly and establishing open communications with them are all essential for ensuring you get the improvements you want without losing time or money.

Tuesday, August 10, 2021

Physical therapy is a field in medicine dealing with care for patients diagnosed with physical abnormalities. Physical therapists are required to help restore the muscles and joints' abilities to function and move effectively.


Also, assist in maintaining physical function and promoting physical activities. This field deals with patients who have physical abnormalities and those involved in accidents causing injuries. If you have any problems, you can seek help from Assisted living in Tallahassee. The following are tips on how you should prepare for a physical therapy evaluation. 

Find a physical therapist

A doctor who will handle your case is known as a physical therapist. You need to look for referrals from the best physical therapists. Ask friends and relatives who might have had similar pain problems before, and they are likely to direct you to good physical therapists they worked with. Also, you can contact the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) or else use their online directory. In another case, you can visit the PT via direct access as many states in the U.S. allow it. 

Book your evaluation

After identifying several physical therapists, don't fear to ask them whether they can handle your case. Check their websites and read through some previous clients' reviews to understand whether they offer quality services. Then, ask your physical therapists about their profession, get to know more about their drug knowledge, including heat sensitivity, cold sensitivity, or photosensitivity. Also, inquire about the costs and ask whether they can accept your insurance. 

Preparations

The evaluation stage will help you identify suitable physical therapy for your case. Now, you need to prepare for an initial physical therapy appointment. Write down all essential facts about your problems and their historical backgrounds. Some of the guiding tips to writing the facts are:

  • When and how did the problems start?
  • What was the status of your functional mobility before the injury?
  • How are conditions changing? Getting worse or better?
  • Do the symptoms recur from time to time?