Ask Away...: February 2018

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

How To Protect Your Property: Do This, Do That





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As a new homeowner, one of your largest concerns is going to be protecting your property. You’ll want to make sure that it’s safe, secure, and that you have the means to get repairs or replacements if something breaks or is stolen. Unfortunately, because there are so many things that could happen to your home, it is difficult to keep it safe, and you are left worrying every time you leave your home. However, there are a few obvious things that you can do, to keep your home safe. So, whether you’re a new homeowner or have had your house for years, here are some things that you can do.


Do Plan Ahead

Preparation is always important, as thinking fast is essential if you want to ensure that you and your property are kept safe. Because of this, you need to sit down and think of a few dangerous scenarios, such as a burglar breaking in, or a fire starting, and how you would deal with these. For example, with a fire, you would need to get out of the house as quickly as you can and phone the fire department, but you need an escape route to do this.




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Don’t Hide Keys

Never, under any circumstances, should you hide keys outside your property. Burglars will look under mats, in plant pots, and over door frames, and will find the keys, and get into your home. If you are concerned about locking yourself out someday, leave a spare set of keys with a family member or trusted neighbour.


Do Have Insurance Or Warranty

Home insurance and a home warranty are fairly different things, but it’s essential to have at least one, and usually both. Just make sure you review multiple home warranties and insurance policies before making a decision. Mortgage lenders usually require insurance, but it’s useful to have a warranty too, as it covers against normal wear and tear.




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Don’t Leave Curtains Open

Burglars tend to scope out a home before they break into it. If your curtains or blinds are kept closed, especially when you’re not in and at night, they won’t be able to do this and will be less likely to risk breaking into your home, as they won’t know if you have anything worth taking.


Do Get A Dog

Dogs are man’s best friend, of course, but they are also a great burglar deterrent, as they can be dangerous, and make a whole lot of noise. If you don’t think getting a dog is the right move for you, sometimes just putting up signs indicating that you have a dog is enough for burglars to skip your property.




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Don’t Leave Doors Unlocked

Whether you’re home or not, it is never a good idea to leave your doors unlocked. Burglars tend to be desperate people and will take any opportunity to get into your home, even if they know that you’re there. Don’t put yourself or your property in danger; Make sure you always lock your doors and windows.


With these tips, you should find it much easier to keep your property protected.
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Stunning Spring Looks For Your Home



There are glimpses of buds in the flowerbeds, and the birds are singing their dawn chorus again. After weeks of chilly climes and gray skies, spring is finally on the horizon. As warmer temperatures and sunny skies approach, you may be thinking about updating your wardrobe, but have you considered a seasonal home makeover? The transition from winter to spring is all about breathing new life into your interiors and creating a clean, fresh vibe. If you’re looking for inspiration for your home, here are some stunning spring trends to try out.


Green

There’s no color fresher and more vibrant than green. This year, the spring/summer lookbooks are full of flashes of verdant hues, and you can choose a shade to suit the tone and style of the room. Go for zesty lime accents to lift a white kitchen or meadow or bottle green for a sophisticated living room. You can add color by painting the walls, but you don’t need to don your overalls if you want a more subtle look. If you’ve got white or gray walls, for example, you can add splashes of green using plants, soft furnishings like cushion covers and rugs, and decorative accessories such as frames and vases. Green works well in almost any room, but it’s ideal for garden rooms, conservatories and kitchens that overlook the yard, especially if you’re channelling the natural trend and creating spaces that combine outdoor and indoor living.




Image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/emilysnuffer/10670860726



Sorbet shades

Pastels are always popular when the spring months arrive, and in 2018, sorbet shades are stealing the show. These pretty, delicate tones are ideal for romantic boudoirs, retro kitchens and contemporary living rooms. The wonderful thing about pastels is that you can mix and match them to embrace completely different looks. In the kitchen, you can use a range of different shades and quirky accessories to celebrate a vintage vibe while in a chic living room, you can stick to a single tone such as blush pink, lilac or lemon to produce a classic, stylish look. Look out for accessories in sorbet shades from stores like Deconovo or be a little bolder and create one or two statement walls. If you’re keeping the walls subtle, you can add color with framed prints and wall hangings. Alternatively, look for an eye-catching piece of furniture that will set the room alight, such as a delicate pink winged chair.




Picture credit https://www.flickr.com/photos/decor8/8594728053



Geometric prints

If you’re looking to add some on-trend prints to your home this spring, look no further than geometrics. Think crisp lines and cool, angular patterns. This trend was big in 2017, but most adopted a measured approach with the odd cushion cover or rug. This year, designers are going bigger and better with printed wallpaper and vinyl sheets that are designed to mimic tiles. This is an audacious look, but it works brilliantly in bathrooms, contemporary bedrooms and home offices. If you are going for a bedroom makeover, stick to a single wall or geometric accessories, as you don’t want the space to look too busy. Geometrics can also work well with minimalist, Scandinavian vibes. If this kind of laid-back look appeals to you, use geometric prints in monochrome to match white walls, dark furniture and wooden flooring.




Image sourced from: https://www.flickr.com/photos/designmilk/27400217840



Natural beauty

If you’re a green-fingered guru, spring is your time of year to shine. This year, the natural look is in, and the more greenery and foliage you can inject into your home, the better. Houseplants don’t only create a fresh, clean vibe and enhance the aesthetic of your home, they’re also proven to boost your mental wellbeing. Studies show that having plants scattered around the house can make you more productive and optimistic and less stressed. There are so many ways you can display plants, and you can work them into any trend. From rustic wooden crates and metal buckets to rose gold and sleek glass vases, you can channel vintage, retro, romantic and modern looks.




Image via https://pixabay.com/en/living-room-couch-interior-room-2732939/



Ombre shades

If you can’t decide on one color or a single shade, this is the look for you. Ombre is a graduated color fade, which enables you to combine shades or use different tones of a single color. Grays, blues and browns work well, and this is an excellent choice for living rooms and bedrooms. Once you’ve selected your wall color, you can shop for complementary accessories. Opt for matching lamps, rugs and throws in the bedroom and curtains, cushion covers and coasters in the living room.




Image by https://pixabay.com/en/photos/gradient/


Quirky furniture

If you’re keen to make your home unique, you’ll be glad to hear that quirky furniture is all the rage this spring. Look out for items, such as chairs, sofas and tables that have interesting shapes and keep your eyes peeled for a conversation starter. Browse online, trawl vintage stores and take a look around yard sales and restoration yards in search of pieces that will get people talking. If you’re creative and you have DIY and artistic skills, you could try your hand at upcycling. This involves taking something old and turning it into new furniture, which serves a purpose and looks fabulous. With this trend, the world is your oyster. You can transform battered chairs, turn wooden pallets into a coffee table or even create a castle out of an old wardrobe for the kids.




Picture courtesy of https://www.pexels.com/search/sofa/




Are you hoping to inject a touch of seasonal style into your home? With spring just around the corner, it’s time to lighten up and try out some new trends. Mix and match different looks to suit the style of your home and showcase your personality, and focus on light, space and color. Embrace the natural vibe, experiment with different colors and tones, have fun with prints and don’t be afraid to get creative. If you’re planning a revamp, have a look at interior blogs and magazines, cut out some images and grab some screenshots and start putting a mood board together. This will help you take elements of looks you love to create the perfect design for your home.









Tuesday, February 20, 2018

How To Grow Your Blog

How to Grow Your Blog


If you're reading this post you may be wondering how to even start a blog and I have to say there are great tutorials out there on the internet for that  But when it comes to growing your blog, that's a whole different story.  You may have a blog to go with your shop or store or you may have a blog that helps boost your income.  Maybe you even have a blog that's just for fun.  No matter what reason you have for starting a blog, every blogger can benefit from growing their blog.  Maybe it means more sales, more traffic, or more clicks on your affiliate links; but no matter what the benefits are, you have to put in the work.


The following tips are great for bloggers just starting out but also a great refresher for those of us that may be feeling stale with our traffic and our post content. These tips are ones that I have tried and succeeded with and even some that I need to work better at.  I've collected this advice over the last 8 years of blogging from conferences, other bloggers, and my own experience of seeing what does and doesn't work.


Fulfill the Need of Your Reader

In order to put content out that attracts readers you need to put yourself in their shoes.  What needs do they have that you can fulfill?  Maybe they just need a laugh, maybe they need fashion advice, or maybe they need to buy some beauty products that you just so happen to hand make.  You need to market yourself and your blog so that it serves a purpose.  For me as an advice blogger I try to solve common problems that people have whether it has to do with money, getting organized, or staying fit and healthy.  You don't buy a book just because you saw it on the shelf, right? You generally have an interest in the topic, so just remember that when you create blog posts.

Work with Other Bloggers

Working with other bloggers in collaborations is a great way to get their readers to become your readers as well. Sometimes I link to a random blog post from another blog I enjoy reading.  I've also teamed up with other bloggers for giveaways and I always interact with them on social media.  A very important way to get yourself noticed is by visiting other blogs and leaving GENUINE comments on their posts.  Now, when I say genuine I mean more than just "Great Post" because trust me as a blogger, I hate that and I totally know when you're commenting just to get more traffic.  Read my post, process it, and make a genuine comment or add your 2 cents but don't be generic.  When other people see that they aren't going to want to check you out.  At the end of your comment make sure you link to your own blog.  This is how other people may stumble upon your blog from another one.  Also, reach out and find your blogging bestie.  For years now I've been meeting up with Monica of Jersey Girl, Texan Heart to spend time together and we've actually become best friends. She was even at my wedding reception!  


Run Good Giveaways

Giveaways are a great way to boost your traffic on your blog and on social media.  You can ask readers to subscribe to your newsletter, follow your social media sites, and even leave a genuine blog comment on your post in order to gain entries.   One of the keys to a good giveaway is a decent prize.  I know that some of you may work with a company that wants to run a giveaway and that's great but sometimes the prizes are LAME! I will confess that even I used to run lame giveaways.  Winning a coffee mug is just boring and most people would rather spend the money on it than waste the time trying to enter and win.  That doesn't mean you can't giveaway the mug from the company that is working with you but try adding something else like maybe a $10 gift card to Starbucks.  Make the prize worthwhile for those entering.  Everyone has a busy life and people won't want to waste their time if it's not going to be worth it.

Make Your Blog Attractive

This is a very important aspect of blogging.  Choose a nice clean layout and a simple background.  And make sure you have an attractive logo and/or header. This is where you may need to invest a little bit of money to have a graphic designer help you out but trust me it's worth it.  If you have low traffic it's either because your content is boring or your blog is "ugly". Sorry, but it's the truth.  Take a good look at your blog.  Then go look at other blogs that seem to be doing well.  Who has a nicer layout and cleaner look when you visit the blog?  When you visit a blog there shouldn't be any pop ups or broken images that don't load.  Clean your blog up.  Don't have a ton of things going on in your sidebar.  Keep it nice and uniform. I've worked really hard to get this right over the years so if you need some inspiration, take a look at mine.

Respond to Comments

When someone comments on a blog post, make sure you respond in a very timely manner.  Don't just give a generic thank you but instead thank them for visiting and respond to their comment acknowledging that you're paying attention to what they are saying.  This is a great way to make readers feel appreciated. 


Attend Conferences and Trainings

I've attended a few blog conferences and the benefits are endless.  Not only do you learn a lot but you meet new people and you have more confidence as a blogger.  If there are no conferences around you then just look for online trainings for growing your blog or even polishing up on your social media skills.  You can write the expenses off at tax time and the money you invest will be well worth it with the information you get out of the training.  And if you don't have the money for that then find posts from other bloggers about how to do better.  Just last month I did a post about how to grow your Instagram

Create a Work Zone and Get Organized

Make sure you have a little area of your home that you can get some quiet and focus on writing your blog posts. This will help you get in the zone and avoid distractions.  I have a little office area with no TV or music and that's where I go.  Sometimes if it's nice out I'll sit on the porch and do some blogging on my laptop.  You also need a way to stay organized as a blogger so consider getting a planner book where you can brainstorm ideas and schedule when your blog posts will go out. 

So if you polish up on some of these skills, and keep this in mind as you blog in the future you should see some improvements in your traffic and readership.










Staying Safe On The Road This Spring



Spring is almost with us and most of us will be taking to the roads on day trips and family holidays over the Easter period. With the rise in the number of roads users around, the roads can become a dangerous place to be. To keep yourself and your family safe on the road, follow some of these simple tips.



1. Leave the winter tyres on


Even though it is almost the end of winter, the temperatures will still drop pretty low. Because of this it is best off that you leave the winter tyres on for a while. The last thing you want is to skid out of control and have to call a lawyer like www.seveydonahuetalcott.com to get you out of trouble.


2. It could still snow


In February and March we are still very likely to get some snowfall in areas, and because of this we will still need to stay vigilant of ice and snow on the roads. With the warm spring sun beating down on snow and ice, you will see a lot of melt water which can freeze in the shade and cause issues on the road. Slow down while on the roads to make sure that this isn’t an issue.


3. There will be lots of cyclists


In the spring, cyclists and motorcyclists once again grace the roads and this can pose an issue for drivers. Make sure that you stay alert at all times and be careful around smaller road users. Look out for cyclists on small lanes and make sure to always check your blind spot before turning.


4. The same applies for cyclists


If you are a cyclist, you will also need to carry out measures to ensure you stay safe on the road. Always wear brightly coloured clothes while on a bike as well as a helmet and stay close to the pavement. You can even get a bike light like this: https://www.jmldirect.com/at-home/utensils-and-gadgets/wheely-bright-led-bike-wheel-and-frame-lights/


5. There will be children


Once the days start getting longer and warmer, you will see a marked increase in the number of children out on the streets and road playing with their friends. Be very careful when passing both schools and residential areas, ideally you will want to slow down to make sure that you can control your vehicle easier. Children can be easily distracted so they might not notice you, which is why you must stay alert to notice them.


6. Changing temperatures


During the transition period of winter to spring you will see a large fluctuation in temperatures. It could be warm and sunny during the day, but the night will likely be icy and first over. This means that the ground will constantly freeze and thaw, which can cause the ground to crack open into a pothole. Be careful when driving and always stay far back behind the car in front in case they swerve to avoid a pothole. This way you will know to avoid it yourself. Be careful and always keep some de-icer in the car just in case it freezes over during the day time.











Monday, February 19, 2018

How To Avoid Those Common Aches And Pains





Image source: Woman suffering from a headache


In our day to day lives we will experience all kinds of aches and pains, and while sometimes they can be a symptom of something more serious - a lot of the time they are just randomly brought on because of your surroundings. This may be the weather, the temperature, your sleeping pattern, or even stress. Because of this though, it leaves it down to us to avoid having these pesky problems.


So here are all the most commons issues, and what we can do to avoid them.


Backache

A backache can be caused by a whole number of things. It may be from the way you slept, or picking something up the wrong way, so the sooner you identify what the issue may be, the easier it will be to treat it. If you are very concerned, you should make an appointment with your doctor straight away, but in most cases, you have probably just pulled a muscle. You can try icing the area, or the opposite and heat it up. A warm bath may soothe the pain as it will relax all of your muscles, so any tension that is being held there should disappear. You can also try stretching, but you don't want to risk making it any worse than it is, so be very careful when doing this, and don't push it if it doesn't feel right.


Headache

Headaches are awful, and can range from a little niggle, to a full-blown migraine. While taking painkillers can help at times, it really depends on the kind of a headache you're having. You should make sure that you are staying hydrated throughout the day, and make sure you've remembered to eat something too. Headaches are not the same as migraines though. While the head is affected, the pain is drastically increased, as well as your vision, and you can also feel very nauseous as well. There is no cure for migraine sufferers, only preventions. Telemedicine for migraines is a great way of stopping the triggers before they lead to an episode.


Tummy ache

In women, tummy aches can happen for all sorts of reasons that often stem from it being that time of the month. But you may also be suffering if you've eaten too much, haven't eaten enough, or are struggling with going to the bathroom. While there are many different types of medication to cover all of these areas, sometimes it's as simple as having a water bottle to soothe the pain away. Ginger is also a natural ingredient that does wonders for the stomach. You can buy it in root form and then boil it in water to make a natural tea. You can then add honey and whatever else you like to alter the taste.


So the next time you find yourself suffering and you know it isn't anything too serious, experiment with the things you have at home to make your own go-to remedies that will make you feel better. photo ScreenShot2014-06-25at102225PM_zps4fdda517.png







Essential Storage Tips for your Log Cabin




If you already have, or are planning to add to your living space with a log cabin, functionality is most definitely the name of the game. Comfortable and convenient living is high on the menu, which means you will need a whole host of gadgets and devices to ensure a pleasant afternoon in the sun. Log cabins are not the most spacious of accommodation choices, and because of this, one has to make maximum use of all available storage space, and with that in mind, here are a few tips.

||  Bespoke Storage Units – There are two ways to do this, the first is to have some timber storage cupboards built specifically with storage in mind. Anything above head height makes for clever use of available space and with top hinge opening, you can store spare blankets and towels, which are bulky items. The second method is to buy some plastic modular boxes, which can be kept under beds, or in the summer, they can be kept at one end of the front porch area. If you are ready to start viewing units, there are affordable log cabins for sale in the UK, and an established supplier would have a large facility with many show cabins, which helps you to get a feel of the design before making a choice.

||  Hanging Items – Just as in a tiny kitchen, one can make very good use of wall space by fixing some wall hooks in the right places. Jackets, coats and other outdoor apparel can be hung this way, as can an umbrella, and many other items, such as a flashlight and even BBQ tools. In order to ascertain how best to utilise hooks, think about the inside surfaces of cupboards, where you can manage to keep small things, and by standing at one end of the cabin. Look at what you can see – in terms of potentially unused space – and that should highlight the right areas.

|| Utilise the Exterior – If we’re talking summer, then the outside perimeters of the cabin can also be used. Aside from the BBQ and perhaps some outdoor furniture, there might be room to stack some storage boxes directly behind the cabin, and things will be out of sight.

||  Is it Necessary? – Ask this question about everything you have inside the cabin, and you might be surprised to find there are several bulky items that need not be there. The house is only a few metres away, and if you did decide to open that large shade umbrella one day, it isn’t far away. Rather like packing for a trip, one should begin to eliminate items that were first chosen, until we have what we really need, rather than what we might want.

Keeping things tidy will help, and with an eye for improvement, you will suddenly have a Eureka moment and realise the best place to store that broom is above the door.
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Why I'm Different from Other Bloggers + A Promise To My Readers




This post has been a long time coming and I finally was able to put it all into words.  Now don't panic - because nothing bad is happening with my blog. I'm not quitting or slowing down and I'm certainly not here to give you any bad news.


Today I wanted to take the time to speak to you guys, my readers, directly whether you're a fellow blogger or just an avid reader. I love being a blogger and I love being honest, realistic, and down to earth because that's just my personality.  I make sure to keep that strong with my blog content and social media posts but let me tell you it is hard.


One of the things that we as human beings do is compare ourselves.  We compare ourselves to other people, other colleagues at work, celebrities, and who knows who else.  It's just part of our nature I guess but as a blogger it's definitely something that haunts me.  I LOVE reading other blogs, some below to bloggers that have a smaller following than I do and some belong to bloggers that make a doctor's salary each year.  I love different blogs for different reasons and I consciously make an effort to not compare myself to them.  And while I appreciate other blogs I wanted to make a post about what makes me different.  Remember, I am in no way bashing or degrading anyone else.  I'm just trying to think of the unique things that set me apart from others.  And at the end of each topic I'll make a promise to you to continue to be my authentic blogging self.


So here's a few ways that I'm different from some of the bloggers I idolize.


Advertising

Okay, so I know it's the way some bloggers make their main income but for me blogging is a second job/hobby.  I have a full time job and use whatever income I do happen to make from blogging as supplemental to pay off debts or build up my savings.  Honestly, I mostly use it to save up for Rocky's heart doctor appointments which occur twice a year and run about $1,000 each time.  So yeah, thank you guys for buying my books and clicking my Amazon links because that small income helps my doggos. 


However, sometimes when I visit a blog I get pop ups immediately asking me to subscribe to a newsletter or sign up for a freebie.  I totally understand and respect the reasons they may do that but I get so aggravated with pop ups.  So I make sure to not have any kind of pop ups on my site.  If you want to subscribe to my newsletter you can do so in the sidebar to the right of my blog.  If there's any freebies I'm offering you'll find them right in my blog post.  I try to do what I know I would like as a reader so that's why my blog is set up the way it is.  Could I make more money from advertising if I did it different? Maybe, but I'd rather stay true to myself.  


When it comes to sponsorships and the types of products you see on my page or my social media channels, if it's cheap and boring, I won't promote it. If a company contacts me asking me to do an entire blog post about a bottle of soap, you will not find me doing a boring review of soap.  If you get a product and you just right blah blah blah about it, and copy and paste the stats about it from the website, your post isn't going to do well.   And your blog won't grow.  So instead, I organically weave those products into regular posts.  For instance, I may do a post about staying healthy during flu season and one of the things I do is wash my hands more often with a soap.  That's when I introduce the soap, talk a bit about it, and then move on to something else.  Great, now you know my secret.  But seriously, in the beginning every product I received had a boring review.  Even a silly bag of chips.  I noticed people despised those posts so I decided to do it differently. 


For advertising I promise... to never get in your face with pop ups on my blog and to only promote products or services in an organic way that is interesting and relevant to my blog and my readers. 
Are you impressed by my tiny bathroom décor? LOL


Home Décor

So this is where I struggle a lot and I'm always playing the comparison game.  I am obsessed with beautifully clean and organized homes especially on Instagram but unfortunately when I obsess over them I begin to aspire to have a home more like theirs and that's just not realistic.  Some people have big houses with enormously spacious rooms that they can fill with unique and expensive décor.  Nope, not me.  Our "master" bathroom is smaller than my office cubicle.  And that's all fine with me.  Our ranch home is only 1,100 square feet so instead of trying to fake it and re-decorate each room for a new post to make it look bigger, I'm just going to be true to myself (and my home) and I'll show you how to make the most of minimal space. 


My home does not have tons of natural light because of the way it's positioned.  So when I take photos of my rooms, they may not be the most crisp, but hey I'm workin' with what I got!   My home does not have tons of storage space and room for excessive décor so I will not make posts that differ from my realistic situation.  Also, most bloggers don't have a squeaky clean spotless home.  They prepare those rooms in advance for the photos they take.  I don't mean to brag but I really do have a clutter free minimalistic spotless home.  That's probably because we don't have kids and I'm UBER OCD but hey, I'm proud of it!


For home décor I promise... to always show you what my home REALLY looks like. And to show you how I live like more of a minimalist even if it means I have less fancy décor. 
Trying my best to use the good lighting from the porch.



Photograph Quality

Alright, I try my darn hardest to take high quality photos with my DSLR camera but I'm not an expert at it and I work a full time job.  So by the time I get home, the lighting coming in the windows is no longer ideal because it's at the back of the house and only in the porch.  So I'm not standing in the cold porch to stage photos.  Sorry! I can use other lights inside but the photos won't look as amazing.  I will still try my best but I can only do what I have time and energy for.  If I didn't have a full time job I could do so many more amazing things but life didn't go that direction for me, lol! 


Also some bloggers are blessed with having a spouse that can operate a DSLR and take great photos of them.  Mine doesn't get it and really has no interest in it by the time he gets home from a long day of work.  So I use a tripod and a remote and I try my damnedest but I know it won't be as good as some of the talented bloggers I so adore.  But you know what, that's okay. 


For photography I promise... to try my best and keep getting better with the resources I already have available to me.



This is as good as it gets for outfit photos after a long day of work.


My Outfits

Okay, so while I love following other bloggers and seeing the amazing pieces they have in their wardrobe, I can't afford 99% of them.  I don't get the opportunities to visit random shops just to try on their clothes and take AMAZING photos of them.  So I work with the small wardrobe I have.  A wardrobe that definitely doesn't have anything that costs over $50 in it (aside from purses).  I have 1 Louis Vuitton purse that I got at a thrift store for a great deal but still a lot of money.  I can not afford Gucci, Louis, or Chanel bags besides the one LV I own.  But I also know that the majority of my readers can't either.  So I want to stick with clothing that my readers can afford. 


For outfits I promise... to wear and share things that my readers can afford and continue to encourage them to shop at affordable stores. 


Affiliate Links

Ah affiliate links...the bane of my existence.  The second a company asks me to be an affiliate I decline because I do not do well with those.  I never click those fashion affiliate links myself because first of all I can't afford most of the clothing they link but I also am a firm believer in searching for what I want at various places on the internet.  So I can not in good conscience ask my readers to purchase a brand item directly from the brand through MY link if they can find it at a discount store for even cheaper.  The only affiliate links I use are Amazon ones because I love Amazon, they always have great deals on things, and I feel like if you don't want to purchase it directly through them that's okay but you can at least view the product without having to sign up for anything. 


For affiliate marketing I promise... to always tell you straight up where my products come from without making you sign up to see them and I will always encourage you to shop around for the best deal.




So there you have it.  These are the things that make me different from many bloggers but these are the things it seems you guys as readers love about me.  What works great for other bloggers doesn't always work great for me.  I don't have the same following as other bloggers so there's no reason to want to be more like them if I'm already doing great as it is. 



Friday, February 16, 2018

Sexual Health Tips for Men



Sex is a natural activity for people to engage in, as well as one that has enabled our very existence. Aside from being a means of reproducing, it can also be a pleasurable experience, a form of exercise and a stress-reliever. For most men, thinking about sex and actually engaging in the activity kicks off sometime after puberty and continues throughout the course of their life. However, the things you need to do to maintain a healthy sex life may be something you’ve had to learn along the way. If you’re wondering what exactly sexual health is all about, it is essentially ensuring that you can fully participate in and enjoy sexual activity. Staying healthy while being sexually active is, therefore, important so that you can enjoy all the benefits sex has to offer over the duration of your life. This article aims to give you a few sexual health tips to ensure you’re in the best shape possible.

Check Regularly for Infections

Regular check-ups when you’re sexually active are quite essential. They are especially key in order to make sure you don’t have any sexually transmitted diseases or infections. Apparently, the number of people visiting sexual health clinics has fallen by 24% in the last decade and men are far less likely to visit than women are. Whether or not you choose to use condoms, there is always a risk of infections being transmitted. It may, therefore, be a good idea to go for regular check-ups just to ensure that all is well and give yourself that peace of mind. Remember, STI’s don’t always have visible signs and symptoms, so just because you feel okay, don’t assume that you are. Also, when you go for these check-ups, discuss any concerns or worries that you may have with a professional.

Check your Optimal Sexual Health

Sexual health isn’t limited to sexually transmitted diseases and infections. It could also include other issues such as erectile dysfunction. Sometimes, psychological challenges or a lack of self-confidence could be affecting your sexual drive and performance. Some triggers may include stress, depression, problems in your relationships or low testosterone levels. In this case, speaking to a professional could help you take steps in the right direction to improving your sexual health in this area. Other areas to consider are premature ejaculation and anorgasmia which is the inability to experience orgasm upon ejaculation. If it happens that you’re struggling with any of these issues, consider booking an appointment with a health professional to explore your options. You could also consider trying a device such as Bathmate Direct that will help with penile health and male sexual wellbeing.

Create Work-Life Balance

As briefly mentioned above, stress can often affect your sexual health. Some other things that can affect how healthy you are sexually include diabetes, heart disease, income, self-esteem, and anxiety. These are often things that you can prevent or control through choosing to eat healthier, learning how to manage stress, regular exercising, and learning to relax by doing things that make you happy. When you are mentally, emotionally, and physically healthy, it is likely that you’ll find that your sexual health is in good condition as well.

Sex isn’t something that you should be embarrassed to discuss, and sexual health isn’t something you should shy away from. It is important that if you do choose to be sexually active, that you remain as healthy as possible so that you can enjoy a fulfilling sex life. By taking some of the things mentioned on board, hopefully, you’ll be able to remain on a path that leads to good sexual health.









Five Car Maintenance Tips For When the Winter Is Over



Having a car in the cold months is more essential than any other time. You will need to use it to safely get from A to B and to give the kids a lift to and from school on rainy days and during snowfall. You are more likely to use the lights, heating, and air conditioning during the winter months, and after they pass you can expect something to go wrong. Below you can find a few tips on how to make sure that your car is safe to drive after driving it in the cold weather for months.

Door Seals

In the cold weather, chances are that your car has experienced a drop and rise of temperature several times. Rain might have fallen and frozen on the external door seals, and could have damaged them. When the weather starts warming up, you might want to give your car a spring clean, too. This gives you the perfect opportunity to inspect the seals on the doors. Pour some water from the outside over the doors and check for leaks. Seals are not too expensive to replace, and making sure that your car is well insulated is essential.

Heating and Air Conditioning

Chances are you have used your heating and air conditioning every day during the winter months. Make sure it is working properly, and get your filters changed if necessary. You can get your air conditioning system inspected and refilled by a professional. Certain cars come with regular maintenance plans, so be sure to check Vauxhall Service Plans to find out whether or not this is covered under your current agreement.

Lights and Brake Lights

During the winter, we use our lights more, as the nights are darker, as well as the mornings. Take your time to carry out the essential checks, and look for faulty wiring and bulbs. Replacing these will not cost a fortune, but if you are caught without lights by the police, you can face a penalty. Being safe and being seen in your car is the best way of avoiding accidents.

Windshield Wipers



Image via Flickr


Another part that often gets damaged due to the cold weather and freezing ice is the windshield wiper. It is likely that you will only have to replace the rubber, which is only a few dollars. You will, however, be able to stay safer when the sunny days come and you want to see through your windscreen without the dust and dirt causing a reflection. Check that your wipers are working fine electrically and mechanically, and get them fixed before the spring comes.

Batteries



Image via Flickr


It is likely that you are going to take more road trips in the spring and summer than you did in the winter. As your batteries are under more pressure during the cold months, it might be time to get them tested by a professional. You don’t want to be stuck on the side of the road, or asking people to jump start your car. Stay safe and get your car batteries checked.


The cold winter months put an extra pressure on our car. Carry out the above safety checks to make the most out of your spring and summer road trips.








Six Financial Pitfalls Caused By Life-Changeing Events: Revealed



It happens, we can all find ourselves in situations that feel quite life changing. They may happen when we least expect it, it might be that we plan for something and something else happens. We will all be in some sort of situation like this at some stage in our lives and it can be very overwhelming. Mostly because that often these events can really impact us financially. While money doesn't make you happy, having enough to live the life you want or are happy with indeed makes you happy, doesn't it not?


Some of the most common issues we can all face are listed below, not all of them are negative, and actually when you think about it most of them can be turned into some sort of positive. After all, when one door closes another one opens. I thought I would share with you six financial pitfalls that can be caused by life changing events, I hope that discussing them here helps you in the future if you find yourself faced with any of these situations or circumstances.




Image source


Being involved in a car accident


One minute you could be driving along, minding your own business, the next, involved in a car accident. It happens very often, and at some stage you may even experience it yourself. It isn’t pleasant, but knowing what to do in this situation is vital. Gathering evidence in pictures, taking notes of details of witnesses, informing the authorities and your insurance company, and even looking into auto accident attorneys to help with any claim or legal action you need to take. The experience isn’t going to be nice, and you may also feel like your confidence takes a knock. What this can do is give you the sense of slowing down and also being more aware of things on the road. Everyone can get complacent at times, so if anything, this could even make you a better driver.


Suffering with an injury in work


You don’t expect to become hurt or struggle with an accident in the workplace, do you? You head there and work each day, whether in an office or out in the field, and you expect to stay within good health. But just like the road, accidents can happen when you least expect it, and in some cases, this can leave you unable to attend work. In some cases, injuries can be severe, which means not only do you need to handle loss of earnings and take time to recover, but your lifestyle may need to change or be adapted in some way. Employers have insurance policies for things like this, so don’t be afraid to pursue a claim to ensure that any bills and loss of earnings you have had are returned to you. Again, this may seem like a really bad point in your life. For a while you may be asking yourself why has it happened to you? Why, why why? But, all you can do in life is take on the cards that you are dealt, and actually turn them into something good and positive. This could again present an opportunity for you, what that might be, who knows?




Image source


A marriage ending in divorce


I don’t think anyone enters into a marriage thinking that it will end in divorce, but this may happen for some couples, and sadly it is happening more often as the rates of divorce are rising. This can cause you financial pain without you even realising as you begin to divide assets and finances. It most certainly is not one of the most pleasant things to experience. There are many reasons why this may happen. For starters, couples can fall out of love with one another. Sure you may not expect it to happen, but as life goes on people can change, your lifestyle can change and so can your priorities. Maybe you love each other but you just don’t get on anymore. Many couples could work through their problems and often counselling is a good option. But of course, it can often end up with the same result. But it isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can often mean that you become a better person, and if there are children involved, creating a better atmosphere for them as a separated couple may just be the right answer all round. Money can be made once more, and assets can be built upon once you are back on your feet. This sort of life hurdle can be a seen as temporary, while you build you life back up once again, and who knows what could be in store for you in the future. Some may say they might be put off by marriage after a divorce, but some move on to find love and happiness once more.


Getting into debt


Debt can be seen as part and parcel of life at the moment. Most people have some form of debt in the form of a mortgage, but they may also find that they have credit or store cards. This isn’t a bad thing if you can afford to keep up with the repayments, but debt can mount up because of interest charges if you are only paying the minimum back. A great tip is to not feel so helpless when it comes to debt, and instead tackle the problem. I have plenty of articles about how you can do it, and the feeling of becoming debt free is fantastic. It might feel like a challenge, but with clever budgeting you can do it.


Losing your job or your career ending suddenly


At some point, you may find that you're in a position where your career is coming to an end or you are losing your job. It can be a scary time and a period of uncertainty as you wonder what your next career move might be. Whether it was your fault you lost your job or something happening internally within the business, the only thing you can do is pick yourself up again and start again.


I hope that this gives you some hope that even the hardest of times could provide you with fresh opportunity.
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