Ask Away Blog: November 2019

Giving Your Home a Real In-Depth Clean

Thursday, November 21, 2019












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Whether you’re houseproud or not, cleaning is something that everyone has to engage with on a regular basis. It’s what keeps our homes not only presentable, but hygienic and sanitary too. Now, we’ve generally got the day to day chores and tasks down to a tee after years of practice and experience. But there are many cleaning tasks out there that many of us are less familiar with and may not have considered carrying out before. Either that, or we’re not sure how to carry them out correctly, so become hesitant. The good news is that we’re here to help! Here are just a few different areas of in-depth domestic cleaning that you should seriously consider getting involved with!

Carpet Cleaning
Chances are you run the vacuum around your carpets on a regular basis. But considering your carpet may get ground in dirt, this isn’t always sufficient. Remember that people walk over the carpets in your home on a day to day basis. Whether that’s yourself, family members, friends, other guests or pets - there are a lot of people coming in from the outdoors and walking on your carpet. Now, there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of dirt that builds up. You can remove your shoes and ask your guests to remove their shoes before stepping inside. You can also wipe pets paws when they come in from the outdoors. But when it comes down to it, dirt is always going to gradually build up in your carpet regardless of how careful you may be. Remember that while vacuuming is great for picking up surface dirt from your floors, it doesn’t clean the carpet itself. It would also take you a really long time to tackle a whole carpet with just a sponge and cleaning solution by hand yourself. The answer is to either hire a professional carpet cleaning machine, which you can use to shampoo your carpets, or you can hire a professional carpet cleaner to do all of the work on your behalf. Both options are effective!

Cleaning Mattresses
When we think of cleaning, we don’t tend to think of cleaning mattresses. An in-depth mattress clean doesn’t really form part of many of our regular cleaning routines. Really, you need to change your mattress once every eight years, as dirt builds up and the quality reduces. However, there are times that you may need to scrub your mattress due to spills. In these situations, it’s important that you clean your mattress properly. It can't just be thrown in the wash, so you’re going to have to look into how to clean your mattress properly yourself! Start by rubbing your mattress with a high quality, non-toxic fabric cleaner or a specialist upholstery cleaner. If you’re wary of a product you’re using, it may be a good idea to test it out on a small area that’s not so visible. If your mattress has any odours, you can easily remove by using a little bicarbonate of soda. Simply sprinkle this over the mattress, leave it for a little while, and then vacuum the bicarbonate of soda. Allow your mattress air dry and make sure you leave it until it is thoroughly dry before putting any bedding on top or using it.

Cleaning Specialist Items
We’re all familiar with how to clean things we’ve been using our whole lives. We know how to wash a dish. We know how to mop the floor. We know how to wipe down a sink. But sometimes we can feel a little lost when it comes to cleaning items we’re unfamiliar with or have only just started using. You may not know how to clean a chemex, a spiraliser, or other bits and bobs that have just come into fashion. When in doubt, it’s always best to do a little research or to contact the manufacturer of a product that you’re unsure how to clean. This will prevent you from making mistakes, which could hurt you or damage the item you’re attempting to clean. Remember, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. There are often videos and articles out there on how to clean very specific items for the best results.

Window Cleaning
Many of us only clean our windows from the inside. We give it a quick wipe down with some window cleaning solution and a window cleaning cloth. But it’s important to remember that both sides of a window get dirty. In fact, the outside of your window is much more likely to build up dirt than your interior windows, as it’s going to be exposed to the elements. Wind can blow all sorts of dirt and muck up the windows. So, it’s important you give your property’s exteriors a little TLC too! There really isn’t much point just cleaning one side of a transparent surface! Now, cleaning the outside of windows can often be difficult due to accessibility issues - especially if the window isn’t on a ground floor. This is why, generally speaking, it’s best to leave this work to the professionals. Call in a professional window cleaner. They’ll have the equipment, expertise and experience to complete this job to the best standard possible. Your windows will be left sparkling and you won’t risk hurting yourself in the process. Never underestimate the impact that clean windows can have on your home!

These are just a few different areas of in-depth domestic cleaning that we should all be engaging with. Sure, you might not carry them out as regularly as polishing surfaces and vacuuming your living spaces. But they are important and keeping on top of them can make your living space truly sparkle! Hopefully, the above advice will help you to achieve this!






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Gossip | The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Wednesday, November 20, 2019



Today, I wanna talk about gossip...something that is always a touchy subject, depending on who you ask of course.  There are those who say you should NEVER speak about others in gossip, those who say it's normal, and those that are in between...like me.  So what is gossip, why do we do it, and is it really all that bad? 




House Inspection Tips

Monday, November 18, 2019

So you found a house you love. You made an offer on it. It's been accepted. Now what? Now it's time to get an inspection. An inspector is trained to see things that you cannot see with your naked eyes, things like HVAC that's shot, the roof is shoddy, things that will cost you a lot of money down the line. You may pay a few hundred dollars, but it will give you peace of mind and ensure you're not buying a run-down property.

The Bathroom

The bathroom is the first thing you should check. You may have to fix the cracks in the foundation.  If you bought a fixer upper or a house with a lot of potential for renovations, you may want to do the fun stuff. But it is better to focus on the items that are going to determine the health of the house. For instance, what about the HVAC system? Is it in good working condition? Are you having water or mildew issues coming in through the attic? Maybe you need to replace that roof. It's not glamorous, but somebody's got to do it. Some of the tools you may need include a Generac.
Maybe you bought a fixer upper and you thought you were going to do a lot of it yourself. You may be a huge fan and advocate of DIY. But when you get into the contents of a wall with wires and plumbing and things that have a lot of legalities or could kill you, that's when you need to call the professionals. A contractor is necessary for those things.

Finding a Contractor

How do you find a good contractor? Get good references. Make sure that if you're going to have them do some work, it's all spelled out in the contract with an itemized list of what they're going to do and when you'll give financial disbursements. Never pay a contractor upfront for work that hasn't been done.

Budget

For a renovation budget, you really don’t need to have one. It is not easy to establish your renovation budget, as every project goes over the estimate and takes longer.

Inspecting a House For Purchase

What can sour the deal of your new house? If you ever saw water damage, you can repair that quickly. However, anything wrong with the foundation is a big red flag because if the foundation is broken, the whole house is broken. It is foundation that holds up the house. The only two things that would make you back out of a deal would be the shoddy electrical or real plumbing issues. Everything else can be fixed.  

Thanksgiving Outfit Ideas




Thanksgiving is a fun time of year because when you get to choose what you wear that day, you can pick a fall-friendly outfit that's fashionable and comfortable.  Today I have a few ideas for Thanksgiving outfits that hopefully will inspire you with your own wardrobe. 

3 Great Finance Solutions

Friday, November 15, 2019



So you're trying hard to live on a healthy budget and build up a savings, but you're stuck with a mountain of credit card debt that's holding you back.   Most people start to panic and feel like there's no hope.  Some people just stop paying their credit card debt because it's already overdue and they don't have the money but that just makes it much worse.  Before you freak out and decide you need to just go into hiding or file for bankruptcy you need to calm down and take a deep breathe.  If you can take the time to figure out how to move forward, you can actually find a lot of relief not just for your finances but for yourself. Here are 3 great finance solutions to help you get back on track. 


Why Getting Outdoors This Winter Is Important For Your Health

Thursday, November 14, 2019



Image by Lorri Lang from Pixabay


Is it gets colder this winter you might be thinking that the healthiest thing you can do for yourself is to stay inside and to keep warm? Mothers and Grandmothers and their mothers before them have warned that you would catch your death of cold if you go out in cold temperatures and while they're usually right about most things, this is one that is simply not true. If your children play outside in the cold, they will probably get a runny nose as this is the way the body naturally excretes bacteria in cold conditions. However, they won't get much else as you can only catch a cold from another person. Just because the temperatures are a little bit uncomfortable doesn't mean you need to be stuck inside all winter, there are many benefits to why you should don your sherpa pullover, your winter coat, hat, scarf and gloves and get out there.


To Fight the Winter Blues

Being outside, especially during winter months, can combat obesity and depression that comes from spending too much time indoors. When the days are shorter and darker, many people feel trapped inside, but getting outside and seeing a little sunlight can work wonders,

Exercising also causes your brain to release epinephrine, or adrenaline, and norepinephrine, which make us happy. And getting active in the cold can cause your brain to release even more of the substances, so don't be afraid to have a snowball fight, it just might cheer you up. It's also an opportunity to be mindful, so if you're going out for that walk, leave your phone at home because a brisk mindful walk outside while being present and noticing your experience will boost dopamine levels too.


It can improve your memory

Did you know that a walk in the park can improve your memory? According to a study from the University of Michigan which was testing how scenery affected the brain's cognitive function, researchers found that those who walked around an arboretum showed an improved ability to recall by almost 20 per cent, while another group who walked around the city didn't really improve. According to one of the researches, Interacting with nature can have similar effects as meditating, Marc Berman said in a University of Michigan newsletter that People don't even need to enjoy the walk to get the benefits from it, he said: "We found the same benefits when it was 80 degrees and sunny over the summer as when the temperatures dropped to 25 degrees in January. The only difference was that participants enjoyed the walks more in the spring and summer than in the dead of winter."


You Can Enjoy Winter Activities

As well as going out for walks, you can have so much fun with your family. Try ice skating, skiing and sledging, build a snowman or making snow angels. Have fun with your family and stay active. Even if it doesn't snow, going out for a family walk, making a nature trail or playing a game of football in the cold are great ways to have fun together.

What Breed Of Dog Should You Get?


Dogs are wonderful, loving creatures who deserve a lot of care and attention. And if you’re willing to give a dog all of your love and a lot of your time in the future, it might be the perfect time to go out and adopt one! But before you do, it might be worth looking into the breeds of dogs there are out there, and which one might be right for you. 

So, to help you in your quest to find the best pooch to keep you company, we’ve listed a few thinking points below that you should go over. You never know what a dog is going to be like when you bring them home, but there’s a lot of research you can rely on to estimate how they’ll react to their new environment!




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It Can Depend on Your Age

The breed of your dog you want to look into getting might just depend on how old or young you feel - some dogs have a lot of energy, some don’t, and some just love to cuddle with your on your lap, whilst others prefer to lie in front of the fireplace. Knowing the activity levels of the dog breeds you’re interested in ahead of time is key to making sure an adoption works out right, and you’re never feeling too pulled along by the pooch you’ve welcomed into your home.

The internet is a very handy place for research like this. If you want to go a bit more in depth right now, you can look into lists such as the best dog breeds for seniors, or even just ask around your friends who seem to be dog veterans for their experiences with different breeds.

It Definitely Depends on the Space You Have!

If you’re going to bring a breed of dog home that generally tends to grow to a large size, such as a German Shepherd or a Husky, you’re going to need the space to keep up with them. When dogs grow, they grow fast, and that little puppy in your arms won’t stay that way forever!

Which means you need to do some research into what kinds of dogs would fit into your home. Of course, if you have a tiny apartment, you can still bring a large sized dog home, but it will be a tight fit, and they will require a lot more exercise than usual.

And Don’t Forget About the Time You Spend at Home

A dog shouldn’t be left on their own for too long, so keep that in mind - you’ll need to be around for your dog, no matter what breed they are. If you work a lot away from home, or if you travel a lot, it might be best to wait until your life settles down a little more before adopting.

If you’re looking to get a dog, you’ll definitely need to pick by breed. Some are better for your way of life than others.









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Everything You Need To Know Before Becoming Vegan


Veganism is becoming more common in America, with around 1.62 million Americans eating a vegan diet. If you’re considering becoming vegan, whether for ethical, moral or health reasons, it’s important to do your homework first and make sure you’re ready for the change. Even the transition from vegetarian to vegan can be quite a big step.




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How To Have A Great Laugh This Winter

Wednesday, November 13, 2019











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We are interested in all forms of fitness and health. Anything that can help you feel better in yourself from day to day, support your health, and keep you feeling engaged and stimulated in this somewhat unpredictable life of ours can always help you enjoy your best experience. Meditation, faith, heading to the gym, eating right, sleeping well, all of these things, especially combined, can help you feel like a new person.

Hosting Thanksgiving this year? Here are some tips to save money


Hosting ANY holiday can be a drain on your budget let alone your mental sanity.  But coming together at the holidays shouldn't break the bank for you or add unnecessary stress to you so if saving money when hosting Thanksgiving can help make your life better, I'm all about it.  These tips can help you save money so you can really just enjoy the food and the company. 

The Benefits of Redevelopment for Established Communities

Tuesday, November 12, 2019




Apartment redevelopment, which is when new construction is created on a site that has a pre-existing purpose, offers an array of benefits for well-established, older communities. From more diverse housing options to improved amenities and sustainable and modern designs, redevelopment is usually a positive process for everyone involved.

Get All My FREE Finance Printables!

Monday, November 11, 2019



When it comes to getting your financial situation sorted out whether it's paying off student loans or getting on a realistic budget, being organized can really help.  That's why today I'm doing a little round up of all my finance printables that are available for FREE! 



The Things You Shouldn't Say To Your Aging Parents

Friday, November 8, 2019


It can be difficult to know what the right thing to do is, or what the best ways are to help, when you have an aging parent. They can be stuck in some ways which can make change difficult, and if they are getting sickness or health problems as a result of aging, it can be hard to help in the right way, especially if they are looking to try and be as independent as possible. Plus, if you are busy with your own family, then it can be hard to make enough time for all that they need. It can be tough and you might get frustrated, and you might find that you say things that you don’t mean. So here are some of the things that you need to avoid saying to your parent when they are aging.




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How SMS Marketing Can Help Grow Your Business



Years ago, the best way to advertise may have been TV commercials, radio ads, or billboards, but today is a very different time. Technology is so advanced anymore that it’s really just a matter of reaching your target audience through the technological tools that they know and use on a regular basis. One of those tools is SMS messaging. You can now use an SMS api to reach your audience anytime of day no matter where they are. So today I’m going to show you how exactly SMS marketing can help you succeed in business.

You Can Control All The Details

Using an SMS api can actually allow you to translate what you’re trying to communicate to different languages and it can also give you a variety of templates that you can use for your actually messaging. The message delivery can even be based on your customers responses.

It’s Less Invasive

When you log on social media you often can’t help but see the ads everywhere or have your funny videos interrupted by being forced to watch a 30 second advertisement. With SMS marketing there’s actually an easy way for potential customers to opt-in or opt-out and you can have it tracked so you can see who opts out. You’re giving people the choice to stay and sometimes that alone can be a reason people stay subscribed to your messages.

It’s All Inclusive

Pretty much everyone is able to receive SMS messages these days as long as they own a cell phone so there is SO much reach there. Not everyone has cable anymore, many people don’t listen to the radio, and it seems billboards get so easily forgotten or missed. So basically you now have the power to reach people right in the palm of their hand, anytime, anywhere, and to send any type of marketing message you please. The possibilities are endless!

Accuracy

With an SMS api you can utilize cloud-based APIs and high-quality global connections. You can have various groups of customers receive different types of messages based on their opt-in choices. When you try to do something like this yourself without a helpful tool, there’s too much room for error but a cloud-based API is super fast and error-free.

Engagement

One of the more obvious reasons to use SMS marketing is because mobile engagement is huge these days. Everyone has a phone and they love to be on it. When they’re in line at the store, they check their phones. When they’re in a waiting room at the doctor’s office, they check their phones. People are always checking their messages and notifications so it’s HIGHLY UNLIKELY your marketing messages will be missed. This also allows customers to communicate back directly with you in many cases. If someone has an issue with something, you’ll hear about it almost immediately. You can make announcements that reach your customers in real time.

When it comes to marketing your business and growing for the future, it’s important to use the latest and greatest tools that are the most effective, which is why SMS marketing is an immensely important tool these days. Will you be trying SMS marketing for your business?






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How to Work Through Your Grief for a Loved One

Thursday, November 7, 2019





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Grief hits us all at some point. It is the risk we take when we love and a natural process to help us heal and continue with our lives. While grief is never going to be fun, it can be cathartic and help you to re-evaluate your own lifestyle and move forwards in a positive and pro-active way.

Tips On Preparing Your Garden For The Winter Time

Wednesday, November 6, 2019




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If you’re a keen gardener, the winter can sometimes feel like a bit of a boring time! Though there’s little actual gardening to be done, there are a few things that you should do to prepare your garden before winter really kicks in.

Holiday Budget Preparation | FREE PRINTABLE



Oh the holidays....they can really throw you off your game with your finances, can't they.   What's odd is that we have literally an entire year before the holidays come, yet we still seem SO unprepared.  What gives? Well, a little organization would likely help that.  


So here's how to handle the holidays with your finances. 

7 Ways To Look After Your Smile





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Want to preserve your smile? Here are just 7 tips for looking after your teeth and keeping your smile beautiful.

Keep a good brushing regime

The obvious way to protect your smile is to have a good brushing regime. You should ideally brush your teeth twice per day for two minutes each time. Many people make the mistake of using a vigorous back and forth motion when it’s actually better to brush each tooth individually using small circles. Always angle your toothbrush towards the gums.

Change your toothbrush

After three to four months, the bristles on most toothbrushes start to blunt. This causes them to become a lot less effective at getting rid of plaque. For this reason, make sure that you’re replacing your toothbrush every three to four months.

Floss

Flossing can be important for getting plaque out from in between your teeth. If not removed, this plaque can lead to decay, as well as gum disease. Always use dental floss to clean in between your teeth – try to use a gentle motion so that you don’t damage your gums or teeth.

Chew gum

Chewing gum throughout the day can help to pick up placque in between meals, keeping your teeth cleaner. Of course, you should make sure that this is sugarless gum.

Drink more water

Staying hydrated is also good for your teeth. Drinking water helps to clean the teeth by washing away plaque while also helping the production of saliva. Try not to let your mouth get dry, as this is when bacteria breed and your teeth will get the most damaged.

Know when to get professional treatment

It’s important to know when it’s time for a teeth cleaning from your dentist. Tartar could be a good sign that you need professional cleaning. Meanwhile, any toothache is also a sign that you should go and see your local dentist. Getting a toothache seen to early could prevent it turning into a serious infection and could save your tooth.

Cut down on soft drinks

It’s important to also consider the things that could be damaging your smile. Soft drinks are some of the biggest culprits – they coat every surface of your teeth with sugar. Try to drink more water and less soft drinks if you can. Zero-sugar soft drinks could be another alternative. You can also reduce damage by sipping through a straw so that you’re not swilling the liquid around your mouth.

Quit smoking

Smoking can also be harmful to your smile. It can discolour your teeth and it can also lead to gum disease. Consider quitting smoking if you want to preserve your smile.





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The Interior Design Elements People Always Forget

Monday, November 4, 2019



Creating a beautiful interior is more complicated than you might think. While you might have a vision for the space in your mind, it’s often a lot more challenging to create something that looks amazing in reality too.


Here are some of the interior design elements that people regularly forget. Don’t be one of them!

How To Prepare Your Home for Winter





Winter is coming!!!! No, really it is.   And in order to save money and have a cozy well maintained home in general, winter maintenance and preparation is essential as a homeowner.  Here are some ways to prepare your home for Winter. You can save money in the long run with most of these tips! 

Preparing Your Dream Home For 2020

Friday, November 1, 2019



2020 is coming, and there’s something about the symmetry of that numerical listing that suggests cleanliness, an organized nature, and true potential. It can be important to take that energy of excitement we have and apply it to the important matters of our lives that surround us, allowing us to take things easy and follow up on the best results.

The Problem Might Be Right Under Your Nose! Minimizing Allergies In The Home




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In this modern world of illnesses around every corner, it's important that you look after yourself. And while now, people seem to be allergic to everything, we've got to figure out how to keep this monkey off our backs. The best place to begin is in our home. Believe it or not, there are so many allergies lurking, that if we've got a tickly cough or we sneeze a bit too much, the problem may very well be in the home we inhabit. What are the best way to minimize allergies in our home?

What I'm Loving Lately

This site has affiliate links and sponsored content. Read my Disclosure Policy.

There are so many fun products I discover on a regular basis so I always like dedicating an entire post every month or so to what I’ve been using and sharing these new products with my readers.

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