Ask Away Blog: August 2022

Why You Should Take Advantage of Your Local Library

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

I've been reading books.  A LOT of books.   I mean, like 8 books a week A LOT.  And I don't spend a dime on them because I get them from the local library.  Some are old books some are brand new books that just released in the last 2 weeks.   Today's post is to explain why everyone should utilize their local library system to get books.


Easier Ways To Keep Your Home Clean & Tidy


If you are keen to look after your home as best as you can, there are a lot of areas that you might want to focus on in particular to make sure of this. As it happens, it is easier and simpler than you might think to ensure that you are looking after the home, though you will need to take a look at some of the aspects to this that you might be overlooking, and that can be hard to remember to do. However, it is going to make a lot of difference to how well you keep the home looking its best.

If you want to keep your home clean and tidy, take a look through these ideas. The following are all bound to help you out a great deal, and you should find that you are able to keep your home looking its best much more easily than you might have thought possible.

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Turn It Into Small Habits

The best way to make sure that you are keeping on top of your home’s cleanliness is to turn the act of decluttering and cleaning into a series of smaller habits. If you can do this, you should find that you are suddenly approaching it in a much better manner, and you might actually be surprised at just how well this can actually work. To do this, break down all of the smaller tasks that you frequently need to do, and then figure out how you can fit these into your daily schedule seamlessly. You will find that you are much more likely to keep the place clean and tidy, and that it will feel a lot less overwhelming as well.

In a sense, this is like organizing your organizational habits, and it’s the kind of thing that can have some pretty amazing and direct results, so you will certainly want to think about what you can do about it. Once you have turned everything you need to do at home into small habits in this way, you are going to be in a much better position with regard to your home looking its best - and at the least effort and expense to yourself.

Make Use Of The Right Tools

There are a lot of tools that you can look into which can be really helpful in keeping the home clean and tidy, and in fact often it really is just about making sure that you are using these. If you are keen to keep your home as clean and tidy as possible, then using the right tools can make a world of difference. There are a lot of different tools to consider, including some which are a little less obvious than others, as well as a few which are actually going to be much more obvious and probably already part of your cleaning habits.

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So what kinds of tools are we talking about here? A good example is those which actually come in the form of machinery and equipment that most households have. You probably have a dishwasher, for instance, and you will find that making use of that every day can be a really useful way of keeping the home looking its absolute best at all times. The simple act of making sure that you are keeping their dishwasher empty every day can really help with managing the kitchen.

Then there are less obvious and more modern solutions using technology. One example would be to use a DJI drone to take a survey of the home or garden and see how it’s looking, and where the main problem areas might be that you need to tidy up. If you can approach it this way, you should find that you are going to have a much better ability to keep the home tidy.

As you can see, using tools can make all the difference, so make sure that you're making things as easy for you as possible.

Keep On Top Of Your Mail


It is often the little things that actually build up to make a big mess at home, and a good example of that is your mail. If you feel as though you are always having to sort through your mail, then it might be worth finding a way to keep on top of it a little more effectively. One of the simplest solutions here is to simply make sure that you are sorting through your mail the moment it arrives in your home. If you make a habit of that, as above, then soon you will find that you do it quite automatically, and before you know it you won’t have mail piling up around the home.

Once that is dealt with, every surface in the home is going to suddenly look a lot freer and more open, and that is a great feeling to have, as it can help to make the home less decluttered on the whole. This can also have a subtle yet powerful impact on the feeling you have in the mind as you walk around your home day after day, so it’s a perfect example of how a small change can make a huge difference in the long run.

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Do Some Laundry Every Day

Another thing which tends to pile up very easily and quickly is the laundry. If this is true in your home, then you are going to want to make sure that you are keeping on top of it as best as you can. The simple thing to do here is to make sure that you are doing some laundry every day, if possible. If you can do that, before you know it you are going to find that you are much more likely to have a clear and tidy home, especially given that laundry is the kind of thing that tends to pile up in various rooms at different times.

If you are worried about wasting energy by putting the machine on each day for smaller loads, consider buying a twin tub machine. These are much more efficient, and you can choose exactly how much water they use as well as how long they are on for, for even as little as three minutes at a time. That way, you can do small washes which are not going to be as wasteful, and you’ll have the best of both worlds.

Make The Bed

There is a lot of advice out there that talks about making the bed as being a way of keeping on top of your home in general, and it really is true. For whatever reason, when you make a point of keeping on top of your bed making, it tends to inspire you to keep the rest of the home clean and tidy as well. That is the kind of thing that can really make a huge difference to your home’s tidiness, and you’ll be amazed at how much it changes your approach on the whole. So when you wake up each morning, make sure that the first thing you do is make the bed. That is going to really help you out a great deal here.

Those are just some of the things you can do to help ensure that your home is as clean and tidy as possible. If you have done these, you’ll have a much tidier home and you will find it a lot easier to look after it properly. That is of course what matters here, and it’s what you need to focus on.



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4 Health Problems You Never Knew You Could Prevent

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

 

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Many people take a fatalistic approach to health. They say things like “if I get sick, then I get sick. That’s life.”

But it turns out that with the right approach, that needn’t be the case for many diseases. In fact, there are all sorts of conditions out there that you can prevent. Here’s a list:

GERD
GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is a form of acid reflux where acid from the stomach travels back up your throat, leading to burning sensations, and heartburn in your chest. You may also have “silent GERD” which typically occurs at night and is harder to protect.

As it happens, there are several easy ways to prevent GERD. These include:

Eating less fatty or spicy foods
Avoiding trigger foods, such as tomato or citrus
Reducing alcohol and coffee intake
Cutting down on foods in the allium family, such as garlic and onion
Avoiding eating for a few hours before going to bed
Eating smaller meals more frequently instead of a couple of large ones

Urinary Tract Infections

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Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are one of the leading reasons doctors prescribe antibiotics. Infections in the bladder, the kidneys, or the tubes connecting them can all cause excruciating pain.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways to reduce your risk of developing UTIs.

First, keep your diet plant-based. Bacteria that cause UTIs come from the breakdown of meat and animal foods in your colon. These germs then migrate to the urethra, causing infection. Eating plant-based reduces this risk.

Second, pee after sex. Flushing your system can get rid of any unwanted bacteria.

Third, take UTI prevention tablets. These are great if you are going into a situation where the risk of a UTI is high.

Lastly, drink plenty of water. Peeing often helps you empty the bladder more regularly, reducing the risk of germ buildup.

Hemorrhoids

Hemorrhoids can be extremely painful, not to mention unpleasant, particularly as they grow larger. Fortunately, though, there are several lifestyle measures that you can use to prevent them.

The main intervention is to eat more fiber. Hemorrhoids were virtually unknown in traditional cultures and civilizations. They only emerged when the quantity of fiber in the diet went down. They typically form when people strain when going to the toilet. Increased blood pressure causes them to pop out, leading to pain and discomfort, often for many months.

The trick here is to pass big, pillowy stools. These require less effort to push along the alimentary canal, reducing straining and cutting the risk of hemorrhoids developing.

Tendinitis

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Lastly, you may be able to prevent sports injuries, such as tendinitis, with the right approach to life.

Tendinitis is an inflammation of the tendons. Commonly, it is found in the elbow (in the case of tennis elbow), the shoulders, wrists, knees, and heels.

The trick here is to maintain a good posture and avoid excessive training if your fitness is currently low. Try to avoid doing the same movement over and over again. Instead, mix up your training routine for more variety.


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How To Eliminate Mold From Every Nook And Cranny In Your Home


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Mold can develop anywhere, from your drywall to your basement. That’s because it is one of the most robust and resilient species on the planet. In fact, researchers believe that molds are responsible for turning bare rock into the soil we know and love today.

Unfortunately, mold can also result in a host of unwanted side effects. Not only does it smell bad, but spores can cause respiratory harm, particularly to children. It can also contribute to the so-called “sick building syndrome” where people in entire apartment blocks feel unwell.

The good news is that getting rid of mold in your home is relatively straightforward. Here’s what you need to know:

Gather The Materials That You Need

The first step is to gather all the materials that you need. You can remove mold with bleach and other specialist cleaning products that kill the fungus.

There are some natural methods for eliminating mold, but they aren’t as effective as commercial preparations. For instance, you could try using vinegar or hydrogen peroxide, though they may not work as well.

Get To Work In The Bathroom

The bathroom is a mold magnet, thanks to the room’s high moisture content. Black stains tend to show up over time, particularly if you are not religious in your cleaning efforts.

Start by taking a look at your shower curtain. If you can see mold and it is made of plastic, then most sprayable commercial preparations will be okay. Once you spray the curtain, rinse it with water. The stains should disappear.

Next, look at your shower and check the grout. Almost always, you’ll notice black stains. Unfortunately, once these become ingrained, they can become almost impossible to remove. Mold actually works its way into the interior of the grout because it uses it as food. In many cases, the only solution is to rip out the old grout and replace it with new.

Remove Mold From Walls And Ceilings

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Mold can also appear on walls and ceilings if conditions are right. Moldy walls usually result from poor guttering, foundation issues, or flooding.

If guttering is the issue, then get a handyman to clear out debris and ensure that your downspouts and drains are working correctly. If foundations are the issue, you’ll need to consult with a structural engineer. Lastly, if you’ve been a victim of flooding, then comprehensive flood restoration may be required.

Removing mold from walls and ceilings is relatively straightforward, as long as there are no underlying issues. Begin by cleaning the surface with some regular detergent and a sponge or brush. Then let it dry completely.

Once that’s done, apply a water and bleach solution: three-quarters of a cup of bleach to a gallon of water. Allow the solution to work its magic before scrubbing, rinsing, and drying.

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Sometimes, this process will damage the paintwork. If that happens, you will need to repaint the affected area.

In summary, getting rid of mold is something that you can often do yourself. However, in some situations professionals are essential.



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What To Do If You Feel Overwhelmed With Your Dog

Monday, August 29, 2022

 

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Are you having a little bit of trouble with your furry friend at the moment? This happens sometimes, and just because other dog owners don’t post about being overwhelmed with their dog, doesn’t mean it’s not okay for you to feel this way. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some of the things that you can do if you are feeling a little overwhelmed with your dog, so keep reading down below if you would like to find out more.

Take Them On A Walk

First, have you thought about taking them on a walk? One of the reasons that you may feel overwhelmed is because they are climbing all over you in the house and you just want a little bit of space. They may do this simply because they love you and want to be close to you, but the other option is that they are bored and want to do something. Taking them out on a walk lets you get the fresh air that you need, and lets them run free to tire themselves out. By the time that you get home, your pooch should be tuckered out. You can look at a list of benefits of walking your dog on a site like https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/the-benefits-of-walking-your-dog if you are interested.

Look Into Doggy Daycare

If you are out of the house for most of the day then you might want to look into some form of doggy daycare. It isn’t always fair to leave your dog on their own for the whole day, especially if they have attachment issues. When it comes to finding a great doggy day care you want to ideally go off recommendations from others. If you can’t get any then the next best thing is to look at reviews and testimonials from previous users. Take a look at somewhere like https://pixeespawspetpalace.com/ they will take good care of your pet while you are working or running errands.

Take Them To Doggy Training

Finally, if you are worried that your dog is becoming too much to handle then you could take them to a doggy trainer. It is always best to get training out of the way when they are a puppy. However, this isn’t always an option, especially if you have a rehomed older dog. Training is great for dogs and owners alike as it gives them something else to focus on. Your dog will be learning all sorts of wonderful things from recall to walking properly and not pulling. You will also find yourself learning lots of new habits and tricks to manage your pooch.

We hope that you have found this article helpful, and now see some of the things that you can do if you feel overwhelmed with your dog. We all get overwhelmed sometimes, so it’s okay to need a little bit of time. These options allow you to fix the problem without having to rehome your dog which we know is the last thing that you want to do.


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4 Cuisines To Try At Home

Saturday, August 27, 2022

 

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If you're a keen home cook and you want to make sure that you are expanding your repertoire as best as you can, there are a lot of ways in which you should be able to do that. One of them is to simply try your hand at a few new cuisines, and that’s something that might actually be easier to do than you might think. In this post, we are going to take a look at this by looking specifically at a few of the best cuisines that you might want to try out at home. All of these are truly delicious and absolutely worth considering, so let’s take a look.

Thai

Most people love a few Thai dishes, and it’s going to be something that you probably really enjoy learning to cook too. There are some very simple Thai dishes which are nonetheless truly delicious, and these are definitely worth thinking about if you want to try your hand at Thai. For instance, there is the world-famous pad Thai, which is simple and delicious. Include lots of lemongrass, basil, ginger and garlic for those genuine Thai flavors, and you can’t go far wrong in your home cooking.

Mexican

While a lot of people associate Mexican food with tacos and spicy dishes, there is a whole other side to Mexican cooking that you might not be as aware of, and which is yet still very delicious. The best way to get deeper into Mexican food is to look at some Mexican food weekly specials, so you can gain some inspiration from those as you try to cook it at home. Mexican food does have one quality that you will appreciate: it tends to be fun, and brings the family together in a wonderful way like no other cuisine does.

Italian

The Italians are adept at creating rich and delicious food that the whole world loves. It’s highly likely that someone in your family loves pizza, and someone else loves pasta, and that all of you love a great tomato sauce. So if you can get the essentials of Italian cooking down, you are going to be producing some amazing meals that the entire family will love in no time. This is the kind of food that brings a smile to everyone’s faces, and that is one of the best things that food can ever do, so it’s worth learning about it.

Spanish

Another favorite around the world is Spanish food, and it’s another one that is easy to cook at home and which can produce some amazing meals that people really love. Spanish food can have a kick to it, but it doesn’t rely on it, and it has a lot of deep, meaty flavors combined with some interesting combinations of textures. Start off with some tapas side dishes and a good paella. From there, you can then expand and before long you are going to be producing amazing Spanish meals every week. Your family will be very glad for it.



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Why Your Business Idea Isn't Working, No Matter How Hard You Try

Thursday, August 25, 2022

 

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All entrepreneurs eventually hit a brick wall in their careers. They run with a business idea for a while but find that they aren’t getting anywhere with it, no matter how much time and energy they dedicate to it.

In this post, we take a look at why some business ideas don’t work, however good they might seem.

It Isn’t Unique

You might have a great business idea, but if it’s not unique, then you’ll struggle to stand out against other early movers in your industry. In principle, offering music for download over the internet is a great business model because of its high margins and low overhead. But given how many firms are now in the space, launching a new service probably won’t have much of an impact.

The Timing If Off

During the 1990s, dozens of entrepreneurs experimented with setting up search engines. But it was only Stanford students, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who really succeeded when they founded Google in 1998.

Before they showed up, entrepreneurs were experimenting with all sorts of ideas for how to find and rank pages on the internet. Unfortunately, most early attempts were appallingly bad. Then Page and Brin arrived at just the point when the technology was good enough to offer a decent service. The pair launched Google and the rest is history, as they say.


The lesson here is that timing is essential. If they’d left it just a year to make their move, someone else would have beaten them to the punch, and, today, nobody would have heard of Google. Perhaps Yahoo would be at the top of the pile.

You’re Not Thinking About Shipping

Even if you have a great business idea, you still need to make sure that you deliver to customers. Failing to nail your distribution model can put your firm at a significant disadvantage against the competition.

Just look at how Amazon dominates the eCommerce market. It was able to offer one-click next-day shipping for its customers, squeezing other players out of the market, even if their prices were lower and customer service was better.

Check that you are getting the lowest UPS shipping quotes for SMBs. If you aren’t, switch your provider. Find a partner who can transfer goods at low cost.

The Your Circumstances Have Changed

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Business ideas that seemed great in the past might not offer customers any value today. For instance, setting up a stables and selling horses to the public seemed like a great option for a business in 1900. Unfortunately, by 1920, that model was largely obsolete, thanks to Henry Ford and the modern motor vehicle.

Double check that there isn’t a technology undermining your business model. If there is, you may have no choice but to try a different tack.

You’re Not Executing Properly

Lastly, you may have a fantastic business model, but if you’re not executing it properly, it won’t work. The trick here is to ask for help. Bring people in who understand how to succeed in your industry and put them to work.


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