Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Changing Up Your Beauty Routine– and Growing Old Gracefully

So you've arrived at that age where you feel like you don't have to try so hard anymore – not in terms of your external appearance anyway. But au contraire! There's plenty you can do to look and feel young, while still growing old gracefully. All it takes are some small changes, like exercising, socialising, or changing up your beauty routine. There’s no reason why you can't maintain that youthful feel!

yours truly at 49 years old with my mom who's 73 years old 

Update Your Hairstyle

You may have greys now but,these days, grey is the new brunette. Or blond, or red, or black…Plus, a really graceful way to stay current is to have your hair in a short bob or pixie cut. Is your hair thinning? You can try hair replacement or restoration treatments from experts like Transitions Hair. A brand new ‘do will have you feeling 20 years younger every time you pass a reflective surface!

Use Argan Oil

It's never too late to enjoy the benefits of argan oil. Some rely on it for all their beauty needs: on the face instead of anti-wrinkle cream, on dry hair, as a body moisturiser, as lip gloss, as cuticle oil... the list goes on! This is one miracle oil.

Use a Bronzer

At this point in your life, you're unlikely to want to use the bright eye shadows, blushes and lipsticks you did in your twenties and thirties. The natural look is timeless. Bronzer can be used to define cheekbones, forehead, jawline and now can even be used as an eyeshadow and lip colour! Finish off with some eyeliner and mascara, and you'll be one classy lady!

Exercise

The one thing that is proven to help you ward off disease is exercise. “But I haven't exercised in so long!” you say. It'snever too late.You can still reap the benefits of taking up exercise. You’ll not only maintain a healthy weight and lower your blood pressure, you'll strengthen your muscles, which lessens your chances of falling. Your risk of developing diabetes and dementia will also be reduced.

Strreeettch

Exercise doesn't just mean going to the gym and doing workouts that are far too rigorous. Remember that milder activities like walking, gardening, and regular stretching will work wonders too. Your muscles will only stiffen up and shorten if you don't stretch and stay active. Consider yoga, which will improve your flexibility.

Prevention is Better than Cure

Keep an eye on disease indicators, like high blood pressure and diabetes. It can drastically reduce the physical difficulties you experience later on in life if you treat these issues promptly. And a tip for arthritis sufferers:keeping physically active can help reduce pain and other symptoms, even though it may feel like it's not right to exercise!

Be Optimistic!

Having a sunny disposition had been linked to healthier lives. In studies, optimistic women had a lower risk of heart disease and other chronic ailments.A great way to stay positive is to socialise whenever possible, whether that means having lunch with friends or going to church. Staying optimistic while socialising is great for your health.


You need not feel like there's nothing you can do once you reach a certain age. It's possible to grow old gracefully; the trick is to make some changes to your lifestyle – even simple things can help. Just having the right attitude can make you feel younger on the inside and it willshow on the outside too!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Preparing Your Character Home for Winter

For most people, getting ready for winter is a considered a burden. The days are shorter and bleaker, you feel like you’re sleeping outdoors, and there’s never any good light in which to read, sew, or do anything that requires basic vision. However, what winter does do is encourage you to be more creative with your space, and to see the charm in the less obvious areas of the house. It also encourages you to rejuvenate your home altogether, something that should be done whether the season is changing or not. Here are a few essential ways you can prepare your character home for winter.


winter in-door garden via pixabay.com

Inspect Exterior

The most important part of making your home cold-proof is to inspect and repair its exterior, because this is obviously where the cold originates. For starters, remove any rubble from the roof gutters (dirt, leaves, moss, etc.) so that they remain unclogged,and seal any air leaks that could make ventilation more difficult to achieve. Now is also the time to replace or conceal any peels or faulty layering that might prevent cold air from staying outside. For assistance in these areas, consider contacting a licenced repair service like Roofmasters. This way you will have multiple areas attended to by professional problem solvers.

Refurbish Interior

Now would be a great time to install warm lighting, display a range of new colours around the house, and dust out your fireplace for the coming winter. These tasks will amount to a more welcoming interior for you and your visitors. You’ll also need to properly insulate each room with not just an air-conditioning unit, but some tactful design choices. For example, heavy curtains mounted against the window drafts will insulate a room simply by preventing any cold air from seeping through. This method requires no energy use, so consider investing in some good curtains. You might also want to dedicate a room to dealing with the inevitable perils: wet clothes, muddy boots and cold air. So in your hallway, include a rack for raincoats and a bench for shoes so that no dirt will enter the rest of the house.

Landscape Changes

The last thing you want is a squelchy lawn, or worse still, grass that reaches your knees, so make an effort to mow it down and rake away the leaves before the rain decides to show. Pre-winter is also the best time to do some gardening before it is too murky to even step outside, so pull out any dead plants and create a neat space from the get-go.

Remember that all this effort won’t only make winter easier to endure, it will make your life easier. Times like these should motivate practicality all year round, and by the end of the season, you should be ready to do the same preparation for summer. Repetition is key—doing this once a year isn’t wise; it must be done whenever it is needed—so stick to these basic principles and after a while you’ll be greeting the cold season with open arms, from inside your sufficiently closed house.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Energy Books Offer In-Depth Takes on the Industry

Few industries in the world have as many implications on society than energy. Staying on top of the trends and developments that occur in the world of gas, oil, and electricity is an important job of many consultants and investors. However, realizing what is going on in the energy industry and how events led the world to a specific point is always important and compelling information for everyone. While news reports, podcasts, and some websites can be helpful in getting updates, energy books are one of the best ways to get some in-depth information and little known details related to the field.


News Reports, Podcasts, & More

Getting information via a number of electronic sources is a quick and efficient way of glossing over the highs and occasional lows of any type of industry. Because of limited time and page space, topics are introduced and reported on quickly. These types of informative sources are designed to be hard hitting and easily consumed. The downside of these types of reports is that the details get lost in the current facts, because of the nature of the programs. Historical significance and future paths are often left to future reports, but there is a better place to get information on energy.


Books

Books offer a unique experience for the reader, because the medium has the ability to delve deep into a topic. That depth provides pages full of insights and supporting facts, which is a big benefit for anyone wanting to learn the finer points of energy. Global politics, consumption, and conservation are all significant in the world of energy. Therefore, anyone looking for a total package of education and informational value is often better served to pick up one of the many books written by industry experts on the topics. Many of the experts that take to writing books incorporate the inside knowledge gained from years of experience in the field.



Backed by Industry Experts

Of course, the major advantage of books dedicated to energy related topics is the author. By drawing on inspiration and experience gained from working directly in a given field, the writer can convey jargon, history, and more effectively. From the coal mines of the past to the solar panels of the future, industry experts have a unique perspective. Instead of being limited to a few minutes on the air or a short interview, the experts have the ability to clearly spell out thoughts on a number of pages to truly get their message across. Plus, the writers get the opportunity to break new ground by telling stories and drawing comparisons, and in an industry as important as energy, learning from the past to prepare for the future is a pivotal lesson.


In short, getting information is a simple task in the modern world with technology making it more accessible than ever before. While electronic media outlets, like websites and television, are important, the general time restriction place on them works against anyone looking for in-depth information. Books might be a low tech method of getting information, but print offers an expert with years of experience the ability to explain trends, paths, and discoveries. Books offer the ideal landscape for ideas to be uncovered, discussed, and shared simply because the format allows for even the tiniest of details to be brought to the surface.



Image source: danielyergin.com 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

5 Steps to Making Your Dream Home a Reality

Everyone deserves to live in the home of their dreams, but making that dream a reality can be harder than it sounds. Whether you imagine yourself relaxing in a beach front condo, or roaming the halls of a large country estate, your dream home is out there. When you decide that it’s finally time to take the plunge, consider these tips to help make the process as satisfying as possible.




Organize Your Finances

Whether you’re willing to pay the price for your move-in-ready fantasy, or are ready to put your personal touch into a fixer upper, you’ll need to balance what you want with what you can afford. Go through your finances and check your credit score before you apply for a loan. The industry standard for a down payment is 20%, but remember that the more you pay upfront, the less your monthly mortgage will be. CNN Money tells prospective buyers to build up credit, find professional financial advisors, and consider the quality of the schools in the potential new neighborhood.

Explore the Area

You can change the color of the kitchen cabinets and even knock down walls to make an open floor plan, but you can’t change the location of your home. Do your research, and find a neighborhood where you can see yourself living happily years down the road.

Plan It Out

You’ll have to accept that you may not be able to afford everything, but you can sift through your fantasies and decide what really matters to you. Look through magazines, go online, and take a closer look at what you like about your friends’ homes to trim down your list of must-haves.

Contractors Matter

Finding exactly what you want from the pool of available homes in your neighborhood can be extremely difficult. If you’re determined to not have to compromise on anything on your wish list, you have two options: build a custom home or renovate. Companies like Alair Homes offer both custom homes and major renovations in Huntsville, but regardless of whether you are building a new home or renovating your current one, you'll need to know that your contractor is reliable.

Be Practical

While you’re making your list of must-haves, don’t forget that the functionality of your home will play a big role in your future happiness. Marble countertops and waterfall showers are luxurious, but not having adequate storage space or a decent laundry room will get old fast, and can ultimately change your opinion about your “dream home.”


Your home is where you’ll relax after work, where you’ll spend time with friends, and it’s where you’ll watch your family grow. You don’t compromise on those moments, and you don’t have to compromise on your dream home. These tips can help make your dream and your reality one in the same.

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Value Bump: 5 Tricks to Raising Your Home Value

If you're in the process of selling your home or you want to plan for renovation projects that update the property, it is important to choose improvements that will raise your home value. The best projects do not necessarily involve demolition. The best projects are more focused on how they will improve aesthetics and function while still offering a return on investment. If you are looking for tricks that are sure to bump up the value of your home during an appraisal, here are five ideas.

image credits: Mr GC - freedigtalphotos.net

Create Space in the Kitchen

More people than ever are looking for a home that has an open layout. If you have a non-structural wall or an island in your kitchen that is separating the room from the living area, removing these elements can make a major difference. Creating space will make your home flow better, and this added flow will attract potential buyers. Wide open floor plans mean larger value.

Update Your Siding for Curb Appeal

Siding does not just add curb appeal, it also serves a purpose by making your home more energy efficient. Dated siding can affect your outward appearance and send the wrong message to people who pass by. With new vinyl or cement siding that compliments the design of your home, you can make the property look better and save on utility bills as well.

Turn Your Home Into a Smart Home

With advances in technology, you can do more than just equip your home with an alarm. You can turn your home into a smart home with not much more than you would need to deter criminals if they attempted to break in. Home automation systems make it possible for you to turn home systems on and off from remote locations and watch your property while you are away. More and more people want smart homes because they can help save energy and keep the property safe in a convenient manner. If you want to cut down on wasted energy or you simply want to attract tech savvy buyers, research home security and automation companies like North Star Alarm and similar businesses.

Liven Up Your Landscaping

Landscaping serves multiple purposes. Not only is beautifully groomed landscaping aesthetically pleasing, it can also liven up a dull home. It is important to choose plants and layouts that are easy to maintain. You can also use trees and bushes as a way to increase privacy around the property for added benefits.

Catch Up with the Outdoor Living Trend

Many people want to enjoy the beauty of nature without leaving their homes. Spending time outside can improve your mood and give you energy. Real estate agents have found that buyers want sunrooms. If you want a higher-valued home and you want a feature that is great for entertaining, add on a sunroom and you can expand your home's square footage without taking on the large costs of adding a fully insulated room.


There are plenty of ways to raise your home value no matter how old the property may be. Take time to learn about new real estate trends before you plan a project. After you know the trends, you can decide which renovations will be best for your family and your budget.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

6 Ways to Create a Relaxed and Welcoming Home

The home should be a place in which to relax. It also needs to be a welcoming place for friends and family. How does one go about creating a home that has a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere? There are a number of ways to achieve this.



image credits to: photostock = freedigitalphotos.net


A Welcoming Entrance

For a welcoming space, one needs to start with the spot that welcomes visitors into the home. The right door can mean the difference between a cold and forbidding house and a space that is a warm, relaxed and welcoming home. A company such as Rusco Industries can provide just the right door to suit the design of the house and to create a welcoming environment.



Add a Splash of Color

Painting the walls in pleasant hues can add warmth. When it comes to color, be willing to be bold. However, don't use so much of a strong color that it becomes overpowering.

One room or even one wall in a room painted in red or orange can add a lot of warmth and flair. Shades of blue, on the other hand, bring a relaxed and calming effect. When choosing what color to use, think of the room and its uses.



Pillows Add Comfort

Colorful accent pillows scattered about on sofas and chairs can make a space more welcoming. These can soften the look of a room and are a budget-friendly way to remake the feel of a space. These can be easily found in a variety of department stores and even discount stores.



Add Some Green

Another way to make a home more relaxed and welcoming is to add a few plants. These can range from the simply beautiful to the more practical. At the practical end, there are herbs that can be grown in containers and used in cooking.



Add a Little Light

A dark house can be dreary. Add a variety of lighting options to your home. Choose lighting fixtures that are both beautiful and practical. Avoid leaving any corners of the house without adequate light.



Abundant Seating

To be welcoming, a house needs to have plenty of places for guests to sit. Choose a variety of comfortable seating options, and consider some fun but less conventional choices such as floor cushions for extra seating.

With just a few simple steps, any house can be a made into a relaxed and welcoming home.


Wednesday, February 04, 2015

9 Ways to Save on College Tuition and Costs

Reducing college expenses can help you to avoid crushing student debt and financial stress. Finding the right ways to reduce expenses will help you to get the most out of your education.

image source: pixabay.com


1. Choose a low-priced college.

Public universities often cost less than their private counterparts. Find one that fits your budget and will allow you to pay for your education without costly loans. There are online programs that will allow you to analyze the costs of college before you fill out an application.

2. Rent textbooks.


Textbooks can cost hundreds of dollars per semester. By renting your books or buying them used, you can significantly save on college costs. Make money by selling them at the end of the semester or renting them out to other students.

3. Live with roommates off campus.

Off-campus apartments often cost significantly less than on-campus housing. Grab a few roommates and split the rent several ways to save on rent, utilities and other housing costs.

4. Sign up for a work study program.

There are programs available that will allow you to work in exchange for part of your tuition and fees. This can significantly reduce your costs and help you to save on expenses.

5. Work a part time job.

Part-time jobs can help you to defray the cost of your education and allow you to pay your living expenses. Many businesses surrounding college campuses regularly hire students.

6. Start a small business.

Many of today's major businesses were started in dorm rooms. Feed your entrepreneurial spirit and offer a service to your fellow students. Start a tutoring service, assist students with writing papers or simply sell a product from your dorm room. The possibilities are endless when it comes to finding the right business you can run while in school.

7. Pay interest while still in school.

If you take out loans, you can pay off the interest even before you graduate. Sure, you may have to tighten your budget when employing this strategy, but it will be well worth it.

8. Apply for scholarships and grants.

There are many scholarships that go unused each year. They may be available from your school or from non-profit organizations and foundations.

9. Find affordable programs.

Some degrees are more expensive than others. Masters in public relations programs are some of the most affordable, and will allow you to enjoy a lucrative salary upon graduation.

When it comes to getting the most out of your education while paying the least amount of money, there are several ways to save money on college costs.


Monday, February 02, 2015

Single Life: Repairs You Should Know How to Do On Your Own

Whether young and fresh out of your parents’ home, or older divorced and single again, when living on their own, plenty of singles find themselves faced with a harsh reality. They don’t know how to do simple repairs. Since being single often means a lower income, hiring someone to do the job isn’t always an option. Here are some simple repairs everyone should know how to do for themselves.


Image credits to: Serge Bertasius Photography at FreeDigitalPhotos.net


Change a Flat Tire
Check your owner's manual for the location of the jack and spare tire for your car. The jack is often in a panel under the trunk, or under a seat. The spare will usually be in the trunk as well. There should be instructions on the jack, or near where it is kept that explain how to assemble it. On most newer cars, there will be grooves in the frame which the jack hooks into.

Set the parking brake. Fit the jack into the groove on the frame. Raise the car so the tire is off the ground. Use the lug wrench to remove each of the lug nuts attaching the tire to the car. Remove the tire and replace it with the spare. Carefully tighten the lug nuts down as tight as you can. Lower the jack. You might want to practice this a few times before it ever happens.


Unclog a Sink that Won't Drain
Take a wire coat hanger and unbend it. Slide one end into the drain, around the stopper and keep sliding until it won't move anymore. Wiggle it around and move it up and down until the water starts to drain out. You can also find kits at hardware stores that have their own wires and drain fluid.

If you have a garbage disposal, a Cincinnati, OH plumbing service it is a good idea to keep a small sink plunger on hand. Do not use a plunger designed for a toilet. Place the plunger over the drain and push down and pull up a few times until suction increases and the water starts to drain out.


Repair a Toilet that Won't Stop Running
Buy a toilet float assembly from the hardware store. Turn off the water at the base of the toilet. Flush the toilet so the tank empties. Follow the package instructions to remove and replace the old float. Turn the water back on. Be sure you know how to put everything back together before you begin. According to Midwestern Plumbing Service Inc, if this method doesn’t work, you should consider getting a professional to step in.


These are just a few commons problems you might be faced with when living on your own. Don't be afraid to tackle it yourself. Just make sure to follow directions.