Ask Away...: July 2018

Monday, July 23, 2018

Don't Ruin Your Body!

You only get one body, so you best make the most of it! If you think about all the little mistakes that you might have made over the years with your body, we guarantee that you can think of a few too many. But, that’s not to say that the decisions you made when you were younger are going to be doing the damage now. It’s the decisions you’re making right at this very minute that could be damaging your body. The numerous habits that you have are what can put your body under pressure, but a few simple changes can sort it all. We think we know a few ways that you might be damaging your body, and how we think you can turn it all around.

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Turning Your Teeth Bad

Do you ever have those dreams where all of your teeth just seem to be falling out, and you’re doing anything you can to stop it, but all you seem to be doing is pulling them out more? Well, imagine that happening in real life. Obviously it won’t be as dramatic as suddenly having a mouth full of teeth falling out in seconds, but it will happen over the course of a few years if you’re not careful. Things like drinking fizzy drinks, coffee with a bit of sugar in, smoking, and drinking alcohol are all going to damage your teeth. If you know you’re bad for any of these, it might be time to stop, and even time to think about what treatments you might need done. From some teeth whitening, to fillings, if you’ve abused the sugar and alcohol over the years, you’ll need it. If you want to know a full range of treatments available,
visit this site today! The best thing for your teeth is getting into a routine of flossing once a day, brushing twice, and using mouthwash. This combination will keep your teeth fresh, but it won’t stop your damage. Reduce the number of fizzing drinks that you have to an absolute minimum, and you should be ok!

Damaging Your Organs

Our organs are what keep us alive after all, so we might as well try to preserve them. The best way to do so is to keep to a healthy diet, with the odd indulge once a week. We know you can’t be healthy all the time, but you can at least try! A healthy diet consists of protein, fats, carbs, and vitamins. You need a little bit of fat, so don’t think that because we’ve listed it, you can go and eat all the chocolate in the world. It has to be healthy fats, and it has to be minimal. Sources such as omega-3 are good for this! As for exercise, get into the habit of going for a walk, around 30 minutes, every day. See what difference it makes to your
energy levels, and even your weight if you combine it with healthy eating. You don’t have to be in the gym every day to make a difference!

Dating For Divorcees Made Easy

Getting back into the world of dating after being married for quite a few years can be a very daunting experience indeed. Firstly, you might find it nerve wracking just putting yourself out there and trying to meet new people. That’s not all, though, as many divorces find that the world of dating has changed massively since back in the day when they were first doing it. After all, when most divorcees were originally dating as teenagers, there was no such thing as social media and online dating! So, there will be a lot for divorcees to learn before they dip their toes back into this modern world.

Are you recently divorced and ready to start meeting new people? Here are some great tips that will make it a lot easier and less nerve wracking for you.

Wait Until You Are Truly Ready
First of all, before you launch yourself into dating, you need to ensure that you are 100% healed after your divorce. When relationships break up, it can also be emotionally difficult, especially if it means the end of a marriage. This could be made even more difficult if you shared children and need to sort out custody. You will certainly experience some major heartbreak and will need to take plenty of time to come to terms with being single and working through all of your emotions and feelings. If you start dating before you are truly over your ex, you will find that dating will be very stressful and could end up dragging up some of your negative emotions. So, wait until you are truly healed, and then dating won’t be such a painful experience for you, and you will also be a lot less likely to make some bad decisions.

Think About What You Want From A Partner

Next, once you are sure you’re ready for dating, it is super important that you consider the qualities and characteristics that you want from a partner. The best way to figure this out is to write two lists - one that contains things you want in a new partner and then another that contains things you don’t want. For instance, if you are quite sporty and love keeping fit in your spare time, you might also want a partner who shares these pastimes. Your list should also contain personality traits, such as honest and easy going. Even though the things on your list shouldn’t be completely set in stone, it’s good to have them for guidance once you do start meeting new people.

Try Online Dating

Even though this may not have existed the first time around you were dating, it’s still a good idea to try some online dating. This isn’t something that is considered odd anymore - everyone who is single will have tried it at some point or another! There are different platforms designed for online dating, and it might take a bit of experimenting to find out which one you prefer. There are the ones you can use as apps on your smartphone,
such as Tinder and Bumble, although these are usually aimed at young people. These are also associated more with hookups rather than long-term relationships. Don’t worry, though, not all of online dating is aimed at young people looking for their next hookup. Sites including Match often attract older daters who are looking to create some more serious connections. Once you are online, you can use these good conversation starters to get chatting. It’s a good idea to sign up for a couple of different dating sites or apps, so that you can get a taste of the kinds of platforms that are out there.

Let Go Of Your Expectations

Once you are ready to start arranging some dates with the people who you connect with online or in real life, you need to make sure you let go of your expectations. After all, your next relationship isn’t going to play out like a Hollywood romance, so there is no point expecting to meet Hugh Grant or George Clooney while you are swiping through profiles on Tinder! In fact, it’s best to forget
about romantic movies completely and get rid of all your dating expectations. If you keep your expectations way too high, you will never be happy with anyone who takes you out on a date, no matter how lovely and compatible they may be.

Do Things That You Enjoy

Not too keen to start off with online dating? That’s fine, some people really don’t get on with it at all and would much prefer to meet someone in real life. The best way to ensure that happens is to start doing things that you enjoy, such as hobbies and activities. Then you just need to join clubs or societies to meet like-minded people. You never know, the love of your life might be waiting for you at one of these clubs! For instance, if you love keeping fit, you might want to start taking your running seriously and
join a club. No matter what kind of hobbies you are into, I’m sure there will be a local club to join. By improving your social life in this way, you’ll be able to make more meaningful connections with the people you meet.

Look Out For Warning Signs

Make sure you take things very slow when you start to date again. That way, you can get to know someone completely, and will be less inclined to fall for someone who isn’t being completely honest with you. Unfortunately, lots of older people are regularly targeted on online dating websites by scammers
and con artists. So, you need to make sure that you know all of the warning signs that you need to look out for.

Be Patient

One very last point to make - you need to be patient when you start dating again. A new relationship won’t happen overnight, so be sure to take your time meeting new people so you have the chance to meet Mr. or Mrs. Right!

Good luck entering the world of dating once again!

Friday, July 20, 2018

How My Dogs Enjoy the Summer

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I haven't done a big photo dump in a while so I figured I'd do one today and show you how my dogs enjoy the summer. Since they each have different personalities they actually have different ways of enjoying it.

 Pixie and Rocky are sun babies.  They will lay inside in a sunshine spot coming in the window if it's available.  They ALWAYS wants to be out on the porch and will stay there until I physically drag them inside. They both love feeling nice and warm.
 Unfortunately though there have been plenty of Summer thunderstorms and when that happens they all clump together and tremble until it passes.
 Stella loves laying out in the shade on the porch furniture.  She absolutely loves being as comfortable as possible. Look at her adorable leg stretched out behind her in that photo above!
 She's also great to bring along to parties. She guards my wine!
 Grace will basically go anywhere I go and lay with me as much as possible. So even if I'm sitting out in the sun, she tries to join me. I try to keep my dogs cool when they're outside though so if they aren't in the shade of the porch, I only keep them out in the sun for a few minutes.  I also ALWAYS have clean fresh water available both on the patio and in the porch.
 Pixie sleeping in the porch!
 Grace and Stella staying cool in the shade. Stella's sticking her tongue out!

I always make sure to keep treats handy for them to reward good behavior and make sure they get some protein so they have energy to play and endure the Summer temperatures.  Lately I'm loving Wellness Core Grain Free Beef Treats from Chewy. They are freeze dried natural dog treats and are packed with protein! There's no grain or corn, wheat, and soy and of course no artificial flavors and preservatives.  The dogs love these and it holds them over in between meals.

How do your dogs enjoy the Summer?

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

A Great Tool In Your Financial Arsenal: Credit Cards (For The Uninitiated)

credit cards

While are there so many finance tips you can access online, a lot of it can seem pretty complex, especially if you've dug yourself into some sort of debt that you don't know how to get out of. But, with something like credit cards, there can be so many different aspects that prove to be very confusing. Sometimes, we view something like a credit card as free money, which is far from the case! But, for those people who are wary of credit cards, they can prove to be incredibly useful, when used under the right circumstances. So, what are the circumstances, and how can you best take advantage of them to benefit your life?

What A Credit Card Can Do For You In Your Day-To-Day Life

Firstly, a credit card is one of the most suitable methods to pay for items. When you are purchasing a very expensive item, it can be done with ease. The big issue with paying for items like this is that you can easily get trigger happy, especially when it comes to making small payments, more of this later, but in your day-to-day life, it's a very quick and efficient way to give out payment, just as long as you pay off the outstanding balance swiftly. And for those people who are scared of getting a credit card, it can benefit you in the fact that you need to acquire a certain amount of credit in order to be considered for the bigger purchases in life. Your credit score is something that has to be above board, and you might think that because you've never had a credit card before,
your credit score is absolutely fine, this is not the case. Unfortunately, as is the old adage, you have to spend money to make money; you have to use credit in order to accrue credit. Your credit score is vital for the vast majority of things now, from your phone contract, to the bigger purchases in life like a mortgage. It seems that now, credit checks are being run for every single aspect of your life, and if you are someone who is just about to step onto the ladder of adulthood, and have started on a career, or you are looking to buy a house or make purchases like a car, your credit score is the most valuable currency. One of the great things about having a credit card at your disposal is that you can get certain freebies, such as miles or reward points, as well as cashback. So, when you are looking for the right credit cards, this may prove to be one of the selling points. When you look at the best Chase credit cards, you can see that there are various rewards depending on the type of card. In essence, when you use your credit card to buy something, you can get a small percentage of the amount back, usually around 2%. Other variables on getting your cashback can depend on how much you spend, but also where you spend it. Something like fuel is a great way to get some cash back, because it's something you need on a regular basis. But always be sure to read the small print, and check if there are any fees for the cards, and if it's something you can realistically afford.

The Perils Of Credit Card Spending

Once you have made the decision to get a credit card, and you've found the right one for you, you will get a specific spending limit. It's at this point where you need to ensure that you don't exceed this. The first thing to bear in mind is that credit cards aren't free money! It can feel like this because you've got a very simple way to pay for your items, especially with processes like contactless payments, you'll be surprised to see how quickly little payments here and there add up. It's far better for you to enter into an agreement with a credit card company with a plan of action in place on how you are going to pay off the money. Because if you don't have a way to pay off the card's outstanding balance every month, you tend to have to pay interest on it. As a result, the interest will add a considerable amount to your debt. So, if you miss a payment for whatever reason, the interest will quickly start to add up, and if you continue to operate with this trigger happy attitude to paying things with your credit cards, which is all too easy to do, you could find yourself spiraling into debt pretty quickly. Not to mention the fact that there will be
additional fees now and again depending on the card, and the more you use your credit card, the more it will damage your credit score. When entering into any sort of credit card agreement, it's best for you to think long term, and make sure you have the means to pay it off. Of course, for a lot of us, part of the reason we get a credit card is that it can provide a little buffer, especially if we need to make big purchases. And we can think that we don't have to pay that outstanding balance off right away, but if you use the card more, the balance that's outstanding will increase. This is why it's best to have a good idea of the mathematics behind it, especially when you are charged interest. For example, if you had a $1,000 balance, the interest was 18%, but you don't use the card anymore, the monthly repayments would be $30, meaning that it would take 3 years and 10 months to clear the outstanding debt. The temptation could always be to pay the minimum balance off, but it's far better for you to pay as much as you can when possible. If you find yourself in a considerable amount of debt, there are methods like the debt snowball method that could benefit, but by increasing the monthly repayment to $100, it would take you 11 months in which to pay off that outstanding $1000 balance, a major difference.

What Can I Do To Escape Debt?

One of the most common approaches you can do, especially if you've been trapped by credit card debt and high interest rates is to do a balance transfer. It depends on the amount of money you want to transfer, but in essence, it is where you are avoiding paying interest on your current credit card, by moving the outstanding balance to another card. This is where the application process can get a bit difficult, because you need to get approved for another credit card, so if you have a poor credit score, it can seriously limit the amount of money you are able to have on your new card, or, be completely denied for one. This is why, before applying for your first credit card, you treat it more like a debit card, where the money you spend on it is repaid as soon as possible. It's now easier than ever to keep track of your spending, especially with regards to online services. And even the bigger credit card suppliers, like
Barclaycard online, gives you a detailed breakdown of what you spend, as well as provides little pieces of advice. But with all of these, it's always important to undertake your own research, and know how you will be able to pay off any debt. Again, this is one of the perils of having a credit card, that we treat it as free money. But with this free money, it's very much like a loan from a bank. If you think about it like this, it will get you into the better mindset, but, with credit cards, there are so many ways you can use a credit card to rebuild your credit score, as well as get you approved for certain things in life. That's not to say that if you get a credit card, that you spend nothing on it. In order to build your credit score, you have to use it. This is why it's best, if you are looking long-term, with regards to something like buying a house, that you use the credit card to make small purchases that you can repay quickly. That way you are keeping yourself financially float, but you're also building up your credit score.

Because the credit card is one of those things that can strike the fear of god into the uninitiated, as long as you have an understanding of what you can do with it, and understand the perils of credit card debt, as well as the interest fees and so forth, you can use it as an arsenal in your financial weaponry. It's a fact of life, if you want to make a large purchase, you will need a credit card at some point, but also, you need to think about the fact you are protected by the credit card company should there be issues with a big purchase. This is something that we don't always know about; because we do it from the perspective that it's just about getting ourselves into debt. When it comes to buying a vacation, if the company is to go under, the credit card company will usually
insure you based on a certain amount. Ultimately, a credit card is an essential tool, as long as you know how to use it right.
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Garden Updates for July

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Well, the Summer heat has done my garden well it seems.  The lettuce just skyrocketed and I almost had too much which always makes me feel guilty.  I have been eating Caesar salads with my Romaine lettuce like it's my job lately.

My tomato plant shot up and has lots of little matos on it!

My pepper plants have some gorgeous fruits growing and seem very strong and healthy.

My butternut squash also came up and once the summer humidity is here (which it kind of already is) they will spread out even more and I can't wait for the squash to actually start growing come fall!

And then last but certainly not least my zucchini plants are kickin butt! I have gotten several healthy and generously sized zukes from them so far. I'm so proud.

My summer harvest is almost over though so soon it'll be time to start planting for Fall.

How is your garden looking so far?

Styling With The Swedes In The 2018 Volvo XC60 T5

SUVs are all the rage, these days, and the Swedish car wizards at Volvo have you covered with their XC60 T5. Here, we’re going to take a closer look at the stylish 2018 model, how it fares in all the ways you care about, and whether or not it’s worth taking the plunge.

The drive
First, let’s look at the handling and the performance. Compared to the T6, the T5 is an entry-level model, powered by a turbocharged version of the Volvo’s 2.0L direct injection inline four engine giving 250 hp at 5,500. If you’re looking for a car that needs to be able to handle urban and town environments, it’s worth it to visit and take it for a test drive. It’s a great car for accelerating and manoeuvring around town, with tight handling, and a 6.4-second 0-60 time that makes it surprisingly zippy when heading around town.

The interior
The Swedes show their passion for tasteful, minimalistic design yet again in the 2018 XC60 T5. The dash is sleek, without too many buttons cluttering things up and demanding your attention be pulled in a hundred different directions and there’s a big, impressive center display screen that’s crisp and informative without being too busy. The leather upholstered seats are low maintenance, likely not needing much more than the occasional steam cleaning, and there’s all the space you should hope to find in an SUV, making it easy for those who need to bundle a family up in there. There is a slight hump on the floor that decreases leg-room for the back passenger in the middle, but it’s not too much of an obstruction.

The safety
SUVs are big, burly, and designed to handle tough situations and the T5 won’t let you down in that respect. It has all the expected safety features that have become the hallmark of Volvo cars, including lane-keeping assist, oncoming crash avoidance, crash mitigation, and run-off protection What’s more, it has impressive safety ratings at, managing the optimal score in almost all departments.

The reliability
If you’re running a family around town, you want to ensure that your car can handle the stresses of the job. There have been no major recalls as of yet, but this is the only area in which the T5 falls just a little behind. It’s covered with a four-year/50,000 mile warranty, so most issues won’t be of significant concern, but it has average scores at without too many major common issues, but it’s seemingly not as long-lived as other SUV options, particularly from the Japanese manufacturers. That said, it has an impressive fuel economy of 22 mpg, making it just as efficient as the much more expensive T8 plug-in hybrid model.

All in all, the T5 is a zippy, comfortable, and easy SUV perfectly suited for those who need a family car that can both fit all the kids in but make their journey through the town a lot more comfortable without weighing down too heavily on your budget.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

No A/C Unit? No Problem!

The heatwave is here to stay. There’s no way around it; you need to adapt if you want to sleep comfortably at night. Unfortunately, if you don’t have an air conditioning system, keeping your home cool with only a fan sounds like an impossible challenge. However, there are some cooling hacks you can use to control the temperatures at home. With young children in tow, nights can be difficult, especially when the bedroom is too warm to sleep. And before you invest in an ice cream maker in an effort to keep the family cool — it’s a yummy but often unhealthy solution – try these simple summer hacks.

Protect your home from the heat

By the power of the blinds, I demand thou shine not

First of all, don’t make the mistake of opening your windows and curtains during the day. While you want to let the natural light in, be careful to protect windows that are in direct sunlight, using blinds that keep the room fresh. If you’re not sure where to find blinds or shutters to fit, you might want to browse the window fashion collection from Carpet One. This simple change can help to reduce indoors heat during the day. It’s also important to remember that, if you’re using a fan during the day, it doesn’t create fresh air. It only moves the air in the room for you.

Make your own Summer-inspired indoor garden

Plants are naturally cooling. So, if you haven’t prepared an indoor garden already, it’s time to acquire some summer-friendly houseplants for your home decor. You can create an elegant seasonal display to integrate the plants in your interior fashionably. It’s also a great activity to do with young children! To keep the temperature down, you should choose your foliage carefully. Ultimately, some plants are more cooling than others! Aloe vera, for instance, is a great choice, and its natural gel can come in handy in you get a sunburn. A ficus tree can keep the room fresh, but beware if you’ve got pets as its sap is highly toxic. If you’re worried about your cat or your dog accidentally poisoning themselves, the areca palm tree is an effective humidifying plant that is guaranteed non-toxic to pets.

Ventilate when the sun goes down

In the evening, you can open your windows to let the fresh air in. The best time to turn your fan on is once you’re ventilating your rooms. As a rule of the thumb, aim to keep your windows open for at least one hour in the evening to renew your indoor air. You can sleep with your windows open if you’re an early riser who can shut the windows before the morning’s heat comes in.

Change your sheets

Last, but not least, opt for cooling bed sheets in summer. Natural fabrics such as linen and cotton allow great breathability and keep your body cool at night. Additionally, with its loose weave, linen let the air flow underneath the sheets that keep you at a constant comfortable temperature.

In conclusion, no air con, no problem. You don’t need to invest in extensive home improvement projects to keep your home cool in the heatwave.

Monday, July 16, 2018

Our New Patio!

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So we FINALLY have a patio!!! You  may have heard me mention it before but we had big plans for our backyard!

This was out area right outside our porch before.

It was basically some old garden beds that I had filled with stone when we first moved in and a bunch of grass. There was no privacy so everyone that drove by my house could see the side yard and backyard.  So we decided to use the money we received as a gift at our wedding reception to put in a privacy fence and patio and we had Jack Hammer Concrete do the work!

It was actually an awesome process to watch. On Day 1 they dug out the ground.   On Day 2 they framed and filled with gravel.

On Day 3 the concrete truck arrived!

And voila!

We had to wait 5 full days before we could put anything on it so that it didn't scratch the top.   It was an excruciating 5 days but it is so worth it now!

And here's a shot of it at night!

This isn't the finished product though because I will have another post when we add stone and make everything even more beautiful!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Common Money Mistakes You Need To Avoid

We all make mistakes from life. Learning from them is what makes us stronger and helps us to move forward. However, when it comes to matters concerning money, mistakes can be very costly. This is why it is a good idea to learn from the mistakes that other people have made so that you can avoid making them yourself. So, let’s take a look…

Buying a property without understanding the true expense – There is a lot more to buying a property than the deposit and the monthly payments. You are going to need to pay legal fees, as well as having an emergency fund set aside for maintenance. You also need to pay for a professional property inspection and removal services. The list goes on. Buying
a home before you are truly financially ready can be one of the biggest mistakes you make, and it is not one that is easily reversed.

Irresponsible borrowing – There comes a time for most people when they need to borrow money. This could be to fund the purchase of a new car or it could be because you are struggling to pay your bills. No matter the reason, and no matter whether you turn to online loans from the likes of, hand-outs from friends, or a credit card, you need to make sure you borrow responsibly. You need to know exactly what you are getting yourself into and you need to be certain you can make the repayments.

Not having an emergency fund – Life has a habit of throwing unexpected things at us, and these aren’t always the best surprises. If you do not have an emergency fund, you could find yourself getting into financial trouble. After all, how are you going to pay for your vehicle to be repaired or your boiler to be fixed?

Not checking your credit score – last but not least, failing to check your credit score regularly is another error. You may assume there is no need to check your score because you have not got a credit card or you always make your repayments on time. However, many factors determine your credit score, as you can discover at You need to maintain it. Plus, with your credit score dictating so many things, from your ability to rent a property to securing finance, you can’t afford to simply ignore it.

So there you have it: some of the most common mistakes that people make when it comes to money. If you have noticed any of the errors mentioned above because you have made them before or are currently making them, there is no need to go into panic mode. Simply follow the advice that has been provided so that you can manage your money better.

How to Reconnect With Nature for a Happier, Healthier You

We are one with nature. We are not separate from it, no matter how much we like to try. Nature is within us, and distancing ourselves from it is to our detriment. Whether it is our health or mental wellbeing, being amongst and around nature provides so many benefits. From improved air quality, to simply living a more harmonious life, here are the top tips to reconnect with nature for a happier, healthier you:

The Importance of Reconnecting with Nature

Nature is critical to our health, which is why what we are doing to the planet in the name of capitalism and corporate growth is so worrying. Not only do plant life offer beauty to the world, they also purify the air and provide us with oxygen. Cut down too many, greenhouse gas emissions rise, and, while that has so far worked in our favor by delaying the next ice age, it has started to melt the polar ice, which will result in catastrophic change to our natural world.

On a smaller scale, reconnecting with nature and enjoying more of it in our everyday lives improves our physical health, by allowing us to breathe in cleaner air and by providing us with more nutritious food. It also helps us to relax. There are so many reasons reconnecting with nature is important, and with these tips you can bring more of it into your life, starting today.

How You Can Bring in More Nature into Your Home

There are two main ways you can bring more nature into your home. One, through air-purifying house-plants that you can as decoration. Not only will they help clean your air, but they also look great in any interior design scheme.

Another way you can bring nature into your home is with your own vegetable and fruit garden. This can be done regardless of your home type. Either plant these foods in the ground, or use a vertical garden or indoor garden set-up to grow fresh, organic foods right at home. Not only will you purify the air, but you will also have the best and freshest food for you and your family to enjoy.

How You Can Spend More Time Outdoors

Hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, and all of those fun outdoor activities are great ways to enjoy more time amongst nature. If you live in the city, try to spend more time in your local park and book camping trips to the national parks. There are some amazing camping St George Utah opportunities out there through Visit St George, so you and your friends or family can all get out there and enjoy being completely surrounded by nature. Get some exercise, enjoy the natural beauty, and disconnect from the stress of modern life. It’s a great way to reconnect with nature and enjoy all the associated health benefits.

Reconnecting with nature means breathing cleaner air, relaxing, and even enjoying healthier foods. It means slowing down and going back to our roots. The more time you spend outside, the better. Therefore, book trips, go on walks, bike, and try to get out there more for your health and your happiness.

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