Ask Away Blog: July 2020

A Thank You to Reality TV

Friday, July 31, 2020


Dear Reality TV, 

It's time that I thank you for all you have done for me.  I know some people have cut the cord on cable, but you are my guilty pleasure.  You see, your reality TV shows like Jersey Shore, Siesta Key, Real Housewives, and Teen Mom have done so much for me.

Should You Overhaul Your Garage Interior? Yes, Of Course You Should!

 

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When architects designed homes in the past, they almost always included a garage. People wanted a place where they could store their vehicles out of sight and out of mind. For many, it was a necessity. You simply couldn’t store older cars outside long-term like you can their modern equivalents. They were total rust buckets and would start falling apart after a couple of months.

Today, keeping a vehicle indoors is no longer necessary. However, it is something that many people still like to do, especially if they want to keep it in excellent condition for years on end.

The garage, though, is a somewhat neglected space. It is the only room in the house that remains purely functional to this day. For goodness sake: people are overhauling their utility rooms. Garages, though, remain cathedrals of blank breezeblocks and metal tool cabinets. It’s a little strange when you think about it.

For instance, there’s no fundamental reason why your garage can’t just be another room in your home, with the car as the centerpiece. Heck, you don’t even need to keep your vehicles in the garage at all if you don’t want to. You can use it for entirely different purposes.

So the answer to the question posed in the title is “yes,” you should absolutely overhaul your garage. It provides extra space in your property and allows you to ogle your vehicle in pleasant surroundings.

Overhauling a garage, though, isn’t easy. You’d like to have something that looks neat and attractive, but interior designers don’t usually provide templates for the room. It’s hard, therefore, to know where to start.

Ideally, you want something that looks great but is also functional. After all, the garage is a working room, just like the kitchen. Unless you’re a very eccentric person, you won’t be adding chandeliers or drapes.

Your best bet is to think of the garage in the same way as you might a basement. The room is always going to be a little rough and ready. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t combine function with form. Making the room attractive and practical is an achievable goal.

So what do you need to consider? Take a look at the following ideas.

Create An Area, Besides Your Vehicle

If you have a double garage and you want to turn it into somewhere besides a place to store your vehicles, you may have to limit yourself to a single car. Then, you’ll need to focus on the other half of the space and turn it into a functional, attractive room. Once you have a clear space, you can work with it however you like, creating something akin to a viewing gallery. This area will allow you to view your vehicle, work on it, and get in and out of it with relative ease.

Cover The Breezeblock Walls

Garages tend to look terrible because of their bare walls, not the stuff inside them. Therefore, you may want to think carefully about covering them up in a render of one kind or another. Painted plaster will do the job, but it might crumble if your family uses the garage for work.

Cladding might be a better solution in this case. You simply screw it to the wall in sheets, and it’ll cover up insight walls for years. Most cladding is made of plastic derivatives, so it’ll last a long time. You often see it in modern bathrooms. It is also attractive, meaning that you can use it to radically improve the way that your garage looks.

You also don’t have to worry about it scuffing or getting splattered. Most damage and stains are reversible. Vendors will often provide you with cleaning instructions you can use to make it look good as new.

Prepare To Contend With The Elements

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If you want to transform your garage from a cold, dank room into somewhere you actually want to spend a Sunday afternoon, you need to think carefully about the basic structural features.

For instance, a lot of garages are prone to water infiltration from under the door. During heavy rainstorms, it seeps in underneath the front of the garage, creating a puddle on the floor - not what you want.

You can, however, install a garage strip drain to stop this in its tracks. Instead of pouring it, water collects in a small gulley. It then travels off into your regular drainage system.

Garages can also be a little cold if you have a single wall (instead of the cavity variety). Heat quickly passes out of the room, making it practically unusable in winter. Fortunately, you can get around this problem by installing a layer of insulation behind some plasterboard. Doing this will encourage heat to stay in the room - ideal if you’re working on a project.

Turn Your Garage Into A Mud Room

Garage doors are great if you want to store a vehicle inside. But they’re unsightly and a waste of time if you’d like the room to serve as a place where people wipe their shoes after a long, muddy walk.

Fortunately, you can turn your garage into a mudroom pretty quickly. You just whip out the conventional garage door and replace it with a window and a new, regular side door. Suddenly, you have an extra room in your house to use as a mudroom, utility space, or just for storing furniture.

Add Skylights

Lack of lighting is one of the main reasons people don’t use their garages to the fullest extent possible. Garages should be airy spaces that feel open and welcoming. For most people, though, the only source of light is a single bulb hanging precariously from a wire in the middle of the room.

Skylights, however, provide you with a much-needed, novel solution to this little problem. Light floods in through the ceiling during the day, illuminating the space for better than any lighting setup ever could.

Skylights, however, are only possible if you have a single-story garage. Installing them can make a massive difference in how the room feels, encouraging you to get in there and actually use it!

Put Down Robust, But Attractive Flooring

You’re not going to be able to put down carpet or wood in your garage. It’s just not practical or robust enough. However, that doesn’t mean you have to leave it as bare concrete.

It might sound strange, but the best place to look is commercial flooring vendors. These guys provide all kinds of materials that professional workshops use to cover their floors. The top option is flooring that fits together like a jigsaw puzzle. It comes as a set and then slots into place, depending on your room's size and shape. You then stick it to a base layer of concrete to create something that looks surprisingly attractive.

Please note, this won’t look as beautiful as a kitchen floor, but it is undoubtedly an improvement for most garages. If you drop something on it and damage it, you simply take up the old piece of flooring and replace it with a new one. It’s much easier than you think.

Add Colors

Garages needn’t be dull, dingy places. Instead, they can be colorful and vibrant - more so than other rooms in your house. For some reason, functional spaces have artistic license to be bright, bold, and loud. If you want something that looks on point, you could go for bright orange - a color reminiscent of industry. You can also use deep blacks and reds - color combinations you’re not usually able to use in other parts of the home.

Colors are fun, and the choice you make for your garage should reflect how you plan to use it.

Add Stainless Steel Cabinets

The biggest challenge in any garage is making all the stuff you have in it look attractive. In a way, it’s like the problem you have in the kitchen. You need all your crockery and appliances - but you don’t want to look at them all day long.

Stainless steel cabinets, though, are a way to get around this problem. Not only do they look smart and functional, but they’re also excellent for keeping tools. When considering cabinets, pay special attention to the design. Many vendors now combine artistic elements with functionality, so there’s no need to go with something that looks bland.

You can also add stainless steel embellishments to other parts of the room for complementarity. Place sheets around the frames of your doors to make them last longer and look like they’re a cohesive part of the room.

Remember, a garage is always going to be a garage. It’ll never look as elegant as your dining room. But that’s not what you want anyway. Instead, you’re looking for a place that provides all the benefits of a utility space but offers a sense of style. It might look industrial - but that’s a good thing. It gives you the confidence to use the room for the purposes that the architect intended.



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What To Do WIth Your Money After Achieving Your Financial Goals

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

 

So you have achieved the financial goals you had made for yourself like successfully sticking to a budget and building up a savings fund.  Maybe you even paid off your debt and you're so proud but you are wondering what to do next.   It's hard to keep going towards financial freedom when you feel there's nothing you're working towards.  That's why today I'm going to talk about several other things you can do with your money to stay on track and build a better future for yourself.


The Importance of Scholarships

 

It can be very stressful figuring out how to handle furthering your career path especially in uncertain times.  Let's be honest, student loans can be scary and overwhelming and way too often, people to go to college and never use the degree they earned.  There are some trades that don't even require a formal degree. Today I wanted to talk about how important it is to consider a scholarship for your future. Scholarships can help you in so many ways when it comes to making the decision to go to college and then funding yourself along the way.

A Guide To Central Pennsylvania




It's finally warm out and the next few months leave plenty of time to be enjoyed as you enjoy the outdoors or just enjoy running around town. 



Central Pennsylvania is a great place and whether you're just visiting or you've lived here all your life, there are plenty of things to do.  Sometimes we forget about places that are local simply because we don't see local stuff as "fun".  So if you need staycation ideas, day dates for you and your friends, or just something to do on your own, here are 25 things to do in Central Pennsylvania this Summer.

Tips For Maintaining Good Health

Monday, July 27, 2020

 

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Staying in good health isn’t always easy, but it’s worth your efforts if you want to live a long and fulfilling life. Take a step back and reflect on your habits, what you’re doing that’s helping your cause, and what you can do better to improve your ways.

Books I Recommend You Read [July]

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Ah, summer...the best time to read lots of books. Check out what I read this month.


My Biggest Money Mistake

Friday, July 24, 2020


There was a time before I became a personal finance advice giving guru and enjoyed my debt free life where I made BIG money mistakes.  But the biggest was debt... so today I'm going to share my biggest money mistake with you so you see that I'm human just like you and that if I overcame my finance issues, you can too!

5 Ways To Cleanse Your Body

Thursday, July 23, 2020



We like to think of ourselves to be a healthy person, in general at least. Even if you do the odd workout and punish yourself by dieting, every now and again you just feel sloppy and heavy. It's not because you are any of these things, quite the contrary. You may feel revitalized in your mind, but your body is anything but. We are filled with toxins, lactic acid, horrible waste products, and a whole raft of nasties that make us feel a lot more tired than we actually are. But the only way to fix this issue is to clean your body from top to bottom.





Go to a spa


Six Signs You're Struggling With Alcohol Addiction

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

 

Despite popular belief, it’s not as easy as you would like to think to spot someone addicted to alcohol. Sure, you get your standard drunks in the street; slurring, stumbling, always with a cheap bottle of alcohol in hand. This is the idea that’s conjured up when people think about those under the shadow of addiction, but this is not always the case.

In fact, there is every chance that you are addicted to something - whether that’s alcohol or not depends on your lifestyle. You may be aware of Opioid Addiction Recovery centers, but how aware are you of those recovery centers that help with alcoholics? There is every chance that you are sitting next to people in the office who are dependent on alcohol and yet fully functional in their everyday lives who are also not aware of rehab they can go to. Perhaps that person is even you, and you are the one with the drinking problem. How do you tell? Well, we’ve put together six signs you can tell you’re struggling with addiction.
Clear Wine Glass Filled With Purple Wine

If I Ran for President [Get Ready to Laugh]

People often joke that I should run for president.  It's totally a joke but I figured I would run with it so today I am going to make you laugh because in my hilarious dream world, here's what I would do if I was president.

What Are The Best Ways To Inject Calmness Into Your Home?

Tuesday, July 21, 2020



Your home is the place that should leave you feeling more relaxed than any other. After all, if you cannot relax at home, where can you?

Protecting Yourself Against Possible DIY Injury Risks: A Guide




Practising DIY tasks can be fantastic, and fill you with positive emotion. Why is this? Well, DIY is fun, even if it takes hard work to complete. Feeling a sense of autonomy and ability to craft your home exactly the way you wish it would be is a worthwhile use of your time, and it may help you learn new skills you can implement from here on out.

Missing Our Stella

Monday, July 20, 2020


I'm keeping this short and sweet because that's all I can do right now.  Last Wednesday we lost Stella unexpectedly.  I woke up to find her early Wednesday morning.  It's been a shock and so tragic for us.  We are doing the best we can and navigating through our grief.  Stella was 10 1/2.  


Here is a tribute post I wrote for her: 




Please keep us in your thoughts.



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Handmade Jewellery: A Style Guide



There are, of course, many different styles and designs when looking at handmade jewellery, with many fine examples of some of the best jewellery ever made, spanning hundreds of years. In this article, we will briefly describe some of the more popular styles of handmade jewellery, with the aim of educating you regarding jewellery style and design.



My Top 5 Handbags



Everyone who knows me knows that I'm obsessed with handbags.  Over the years my taste has grown and I choose only the highest quality bags for my everyday life.  Here's a look at my top 5!


How To Upgrade Your Wardrobe on a Budget

Friday, July 17, 2020



Many people take a lot of pride in their wardrobe. You feel better and more confident if you look the part so you are likely always on the lookout for new items to add to your clothing collection. This can become an expensive hobby, especially if you prefer designer brands but the good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case. If you follow these three tips, you can enhance your wardrobe without breaking the bank.

Should You Try Alternative Medicine and Treatments?


When you get sick, what’s the first thing you do? Suppose you come down with a cold and you need to get to work tomorrow. Do you call your boss and tell them you can’t make it? Or do you just take some pills and try to sleep it off? There are a couple of different solutions and people tend to gravitate towards what they’re used to. For something simple like a cold, it can be a fairly straightforward choice.

However, when it comes to more complex conditions such as mental health conditions, nausea or even cancer, the answer isn’t so simple.

Things I Just CANNOT Handle


It's fun post Friday so today I'm talking about the things in my life that I just cannot stand, my pet peeves that drive me wild on a daily basis when I encounter them. 


My Best Tools for Staying Organized in Life

Wednesday, July 15, 2020


People always ask how I stay so organized in all aspects of my life and how they can do the same.  It's not rocket science, it just takes a little work at first to find what works best for the different parts of your life that you need to manage whether it's work, home life, or parenting.   Here are my best tools for staying organized.


4 Steps to Making Your Pet Healthy and Happy

Tuesday, July 14, 2020



Taking great care of your pet is an important priority, and you want to make an active effort to promote your pet’s health and happiness. Here are four things that you can do to make your pet healthy and happy.

1. Give Your Pet a Great Bed

All pets need a comfortable bed. Even if they tend to sleep in your bed with you, they need a comfy place to hang out when it’s not bedtime and they’re just relaxing or napping. Older pets in particular may benefit from an orthopedic bed made of supportive material such as memory foam. It will contour to their body without causing too much pressure on joints.

You Had A Car Accident...Now What?



Car accidents are bound to happen no matter how careful you are.  Sometimes it's your own fault and sometimes it's someone else's fault.  There will always be reckless drivers out there and at the end of the day, accidents do happen. You may not be able to predict if you'll be in one or not, but you can absolutely be prepared for what to do when or if one ends up happening.  There are some very important immediate steps to take and doing them can mean the difference between a nightmare situation or a situation that works out the best way it can.  So here's how to handle a car accident....

Teddy Blake Kate Stampatto Handbag [REVIEW]

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Every girl needs a beautiful handbag....or maybe A LOT of them.   And I'm one of those girls.  I'm also a huge fan of Teddy Blake handbags from previous posts so when I got a chance to work with them again I jumped.   I can be very picky when it comes to handbags.  A handbag not only has to be stylish for me but practical AND comfortable.  If it is not all three of those things, not only will I not use it but I will not recommend it.  That's why I love Teddy Blake handbags.  They have so many luxuriously stylish high quality bags in different styles and colors to choose from. 



Early Childhood Development Stages and Beyond

Monday, July 13, 2020



Early Childhood Development Stages and Beyond


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Why Is COVID Anxiety Not Going Away?


What did you expect to achieve in 2020? The truth is that under lockdown or self-isolation, you are never going to achieve the goals you set for yourself. Yet that doesn’t mean you can’t focus your attention on other life objectives.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the primary goal for everyone is to stay healthy, both physically and mentally. Managing anxiety and fears is crucial to keeping your immune system strong. Indeed, stress weakens your immune system, making you more vulnerable to infection. For a lot of people, COVID-19 has been the start of a mental health renewal. So, you’ve done everything you could to keep your anxiety at bay. You’ve taken social media breaks. You’ve embraced DIY home improvement projects that keep your interior tidy and welcoming. You’ve created a routine that replaces your everyday commute and social outings. But you are still stressed out. What makes the pandemic so stressful?

The Art of Paying Down Debt


Yes, you read that correctly.  I consider paying down debt an art because when you master it you feel like the king or queen of the world.   Here's what I mean.


How to Grow Your Blog as a Brand

Sunday, July 12, 2020

How to Grow Your Blog


If you're reading this post you may be wondering how to even start a blog and there are so many great tutorials that exist for that. Growing your blog is a whole different thing though. 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.

Why You Should Take Care of Your Smile (And How)

Saturday, July 11, 2020


 Your smile aka your mouth, lips, and teeth are the first thing anyone sees when they look at your face.  In fact, it's the first thing you see when you look at yourself aside from your bedhead hairstyle in the morning.  It's where you speak from, how you eat, and how you show facial expressions.  So it goes without saying that you should always protect and take care of your smile and today I'm going to tell you how and why.


What No One Tells You About Being A Dog Mom

Friday, July 10, 2020


Being a dog mom of 4 can be entertaining, exhausting, and totally worth it so today I wanted to share some of the things I've learned from being a dog mom that no one ever really warned me about.  I am sure many of you can relate.


How To Keep Your Company Going

Thursday, July 9, 2020


Times are so tough now especially if you run a company or business and while there is the fear of the unknown in the future, there are still things you can do now and at any time to keep your company going and keep it going strong


Quick Tips to Stay Energized Throughout the Day

Wednesday, July 8, 2020


Our lives are so jam packed busy this day and age so it's no surprise that there are days we find ourselves completely lacking energy.  I've found some little ways to make it through days like this and I'm going to share them with you today. 


Bring Good Vibes Into Your Home With Feng Shui




Feng Shui is a Chinese practise that involves using energy forces so that you can be harmonized with your surroundings. It is increasingly being used by interior designs and homeowners to help them create a more peaceful and harmonic home environment. By adding some Feng Shui design principles to your home, you will be able to create the perfect place for relaxation, which is exactly what you want after a difficult day at work or looking after the children! So, with that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the different ways you can bring good vibes into your home with Feng Shui.

5 Ways to Brighten up Your Living Room

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

 

With the recent pandemic, many people are finding themselves home a lot more, and increased time at home can equal house projects and updates. Your living room is one place within your home where a little can go a long way. Since many people spend a lot of time in the family room, it makes sense to focus your budget on this area of your home. Here are five ways to brighten up your living space to make your time there all the more enjoyable. 

Ten Maintenance Tasks That Need Doing For Your Property

Monday, July 6, 2020



Keeping your property in good condition is important for many reasons. Not only is it good to live in a property that is clean and tidy, but if you eventually sell your property further down the line, you want to have left it in good condition. Not only that, but if you’re ignoring certain maintenance jobs, you’re going to end up doing costly damage to the property that’s only going to eat into your bank balance. With that being said, here are ten maintenance tasks that need doing for your property.


Beauty Hacks That Will Make Your Skin Pop


We’d all love to have perfect skin. But for most of us, it’s a dream. For whatever reason, our skin doesn’t want to play ball. It’s either blotchy or spotty, or there is some other problem holding it back.

A List of Things All Women Should Master


As women, we have a lot of stuff we handle on an everyday basis but there are still some things that even I find myself rolling my eyes over because it's something I have to ask my husband to help with.  So today, I have a list of things that every woman should master so she can truly be an independent chick!


How To Cope With Incontinence

Friday, July 3, 2020



Incontinence can be very difficult to deal with. You can feel like a part of your independence is being stripped away from you. However, the truth is that incontinence is very common, and it is something that a lot of people experience in different degrees. Below, we are going to take a look at some of the different things you can do in order to manage your incontinence effectively.

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