Yummy Fall Recipes

Tuesday, September 26, 2023


Fall is my favorite time of year to change up my menu planning ideas so I figured I'd share some of my favorite fall recipes.

Why Board Games Are the Ideal Presents for Game Night Fanatics

Monday, September 25, 2023


Board games are versatile activities that allow players to experience the thrill of competition at a fraction of the cost of going to the movies or traveling for a major sporting event. Psychologists have even cited them as tools to teach important life skills. Board games are also a great way to bond with friends and family.

They’re Unique

Board games have a way of creating memorable experiences for the people who play them. Whether it’s a discussion about a great die roll in a push-your-luck game or the enthralling story behind a campaign-based game, these memories stick with gamers long after the game ends. In addition to bringing together family and friends for laughs, play, and bonding, board games can also have an educational element. From simple games that help young children learn their colors and shapes to advanced language games like Balderdash (which challenges students to create dictionary definitions for words before they’re read aloud), various options are available to suit any interest or age group. The social aspect of playing board games is also important for those who suffer from anxiety. Many people find that playing games makes them more comfortable in social situations as they can focus on the game itself and what the rules dictate instead of worrying about their surroundings or other people present.

They’re a Great Gift

Whether they’re racing to the finish line, raiding dungeons or conquering galaxies, your giftee will enjoy the fun and social benefits of playing board games. It’s one of the best gift ideas for board game players. It’s a great way to connect with family and friends while honing valuable life skills like critical thinking and teamwork. Board game enthusiasts love to express their passion for the hobby with t-shirts, accessories and other memorabilia. They’ll also appreciate this table mat's functional and decorative qualities, which protect tabletops from drink condensation and spills during games. This gift is perfect for any avid board gamer, regardless of age. They’ll love the challenge of crafting the longest path in this award-winning strategy game. The game’s spatial reasoning skills are tested as players create new ways, build castles and earn points.

They’re Fun

Board games are a fun and engaging form of entertainment that all ages can play. They can be used to build social skills and foster a sense of belonging in family and friends. They can also be a great way to relieve stress and promote creativity. Whether seeking a unique and thoughtful gift idea or needing a break from the digital world, various board games can fit the bill. From laugh-out-loud, funny, family-friendly games to challenging strategic epics, there’s something for everyone. The best gift for a board game lover will be something they will enjoy playing with others or on their own. Look for a fun game that gets players up out of their seats, acting and shouting. These games can be especially beneficial for shy children and adults, allowing them to express their creative side in a safe and comfortable environment. They can also be an effective way to practice patience and focus. Using timers, like those found in kitchens, to measure the duration of a game can help players improve their timing while increasing their awareness and attention span.

They’re Social

The social component of board games is one of their biggest benefits. It allows individuals to connect with others and display their creative side in non-intrusive ways, which can benefit shy people. In addition, it can help to lengthen attention spans if a game is played without interruption. Additionally, many board games require high levels of skill and concentration. This can help to increase brain function, improve memory, and foster critical thinking skills for players of all ages. It can also be a good way to practice coping with stress and anxiety by safely simulating the body’s natural fight-or-flight response. Whether racing against each other to victory or working together to defeat a monster, board games are the perfect way for friends and family to bond. This is especially important for those with mental health disorders such as depression or anxiety. In addition, it is a healthy alternative to spending time with electronic devices. This can lead to greater happiness and stronger relationships.

They’re Engaging

Board games are an engaging activity that requires players to interact with each other. They encourage social bonding, role-playing, and negotiating skills. This starkly contrasts puzzles or video games, which are generally solitary activities. Having others around you while playing a board game can also help alleviate anxiety by providing a sense of safety. In addition, playing board games can help boost confidence and self-esteem. This is because it teaches players that they can successfully overcome obstacles in a social setting with other people. When players win a board game, they feel elated. This can boost their self-esteem and improve performance in different social situations. For kids, it can help improve their hand-eye coordination and dexterity as they move cards and pieces on the game board. It can also teach them to wait for their turn and follow simple rules. For older players, it can lead them to use their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. It can also help them sharpen their math and vocabulary skills. It is even a great way to practice reading!

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Estate Planning Tips For Blended Families

Friday, September 22, 2023


Blended families, where a married couple has children from previous relationships or marriages, present unique estate planning concerns. Failing to plan properly can lead to legal issues, family disputes and assets being distributed in a way that does not align with your wishes.

Following these estate planning tips for blended families, you can help ensure that all family members are cared for after your death.

Consider a Prenuptial Agreement

While prenuptial agreements may have a negative reputation in media and rap music, they can offer significant long-term benefits for blended families. A prenuptial agreement is a legal contract that can be drawn up before marriage that outlines what will happen to the couple's assets should the relationship end. This can help to prevent disputes and disagreements about finances that could lead to family strife in the future.

It is also beneficial for blended families to update their estate plans to ensure that all parties are protected. This involves ensuring that individual documents such as RRSPs, insurance policies and workplace pension accounts reflect the new familial status and include the proper beneficiaries. In addition, a trust can be used to protect assets from creditors and to avoid unnecessary taxes.

A financial planner experienced with estate planning for blended families can assist you with creating a comprehensive plan to ensure that your goals are met, and all parties are taken care of. The most successful programs combine careful documentation with open communication and regular meetings.

A final note: it is important for couples, whether they have children or not, to consider their choice of agent for their medical and durable power of attorney. The person chosen must be someone who will be able to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated.

Review Your Will and Trusts

A well-drafted will is the cornerstone of every estate plan. It provides instructions on who should manage your affairs if you become incapacitated and who you want to receive your assets and possessions upon death. It also specifies how you want your spouse and children to be provided for in the event of your death. In blended families, unclear or unstated instructions can lead to confusion and conflict after your death.

For example, if you outright distribute to your spouse, it could result in your children from a previous relationship being unintentionally disinherited. To avoid this problem, a marital trust allows you to balance providing for your spouse and leaving the remaining assets to your children.

Another benefit of a marital trust is that it can help protect your estate from creditors and lawsuits brought by former spouses. It can also provide greater flexibility and security for beneficiaries, including the ability to avoid taxable transfers.

Reviewing your will and trusts after marriage or remarriage, or whenever any major life events occur, is important. Taking the time to update your estate plan now can prevent problems later on. This includes updating beneficiary designations on your RRSPs, insurance policies and workplace pension plans. Also, having open conversations with family members regarding your wishes and expectations is a good idea.

Review Beneficiary Designations

When individuals die, they typically leave behind assets such as their family home, bank accounts, investments and life insurance policies. If a person has not created a will, state law determines how these assets are distributed, usually leaving everything to a surviving spouse and their descendants. This is problematic for blended families, as it may cause children from prior relationships to be disinherited.

In addition, remarried couples often need to pay more attention to review individual beneficiary designations for RRSPs, insurance policies and workplace pensions, which may cause their spouse to receive an inheritance they did not intend. Ensuring these individual documents reflect the new familial status can avoid conflicts and litigation after death.

Furthermore, remarried couples should also ensure they know who will act as their agents for financial and medical decisions if they become incapacitated. This can include a power of attorney that names an individual to manage their affairs and a health care power of attorney that designates an agent to make medical decisions on the individual's behalf in case they cannot do so themselves.

In addition to these legal documents, individuals should review their funeral and burial wishes while everyone is healthy. Discussing these matters can alleviate stress after death and foster communication throughout the family's life.

Review Your Assets

Everyone needs an estate plan, but it is especially important for people in blended families. It's common for spouses in second marriages to have children from previous relationships, making family dynamics more complex. A clear plan can prevent conflict and disputes after one's death and ensure one's wishes are fulfilled.

The most basic form of an estate plan is a will. Without a choice, state law determines who receives your assets after death. This may mean that your current spouse will inherit everything, or it might include your children from previous relationships and your biological grandchildren. In either case, it is unlikely that this will reflect your true desires.

In addition to a will, an estate plan should include trusts and beneficiary designations in addition to a choice. Trusts can help protect assets from creditors, avoid probate and provide tax advantages. Often, individuals will name their spouse as the trustee and their children as beneficiaries of these trusts.

It's also a good idea to inventory all your assets, including cash, real property, insurance policies, retirement savings accounts and investments (Vanguard has a helpful worksheet). This will give you an accurate picture of your wealth and will allow you to determine whether any changes need to be made.

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A Step-By-Step Guide to Calculating Pallet Shipping Costs


Pallet freight offers several advantages to both the customer and the carrier. A palletized shipment provides strength and extra protection for the products while allowing carriers to transport and store your goods efficiently.

Most carriers use a standardized pricing model with dimensions (length, width, height) and weight to determine shipping costs. Properly packing your shipment will also condense its volume, helping it fall into a cheaper freight class.

Size and Weight

A pallet is a flat structural foundation that goods are loaded onto and secured for shipping. Pallets help to reduce handling and transportation costs, maximize trailer space, and prevent freight damage. The size of a pallet depends on the type and weight of the items being shipped, as well as how often it will be used. Wooden pallets are the most common, but plastic and metal options exist. When choosing a pallet, consider the weight and dimensions of your freight, as these will impact shipping costs. Many carriers use dimensional weight rather than actual weight to calculate pricing. To determine a pallet’s dimensional weight, multiply its length by its width by its height. Then, divide that number by 139 to find the cubic inches of your shipment. To avoid being hit with unexpected fees, measure and record the dimensions of your freight accurately. Whether you’re measuring manually or using a pallet dimensioner, this will help to ensure compliance with carrier guidelines and accurate freight invoicing. Another way to minimize your shipping costs is by distributing the weight evenly on the pallet. For instance, placing heavier items at the bottom and lighter ones on top can improve stability during transit and handling. It can also improve efficiency and safety for the transportation company and those who load and unload your pallets.

Freight Class

Generally, shipping items on pallets is more cost-effective than transporting them in loose containers. That’s because it takes up less space and reduces the risk of damaged items in transit. However, the type of items you ship will also affect how much they’ll cost to transport. This is especially true if they are bulky or require specialized handling, such as chemicals and hazardous materials. The freight class of a pallet is another factor that can increase or decrease its shipping costs. To calculate freight shipping costs, freight carriers determine the freight class of your shipment by analyzing its dimensions, weight, density, lane balances, travel distance, and fuel costs. They will then apply a tariff based on this information. This tariff will vary between different carriers, so it’s essential to understand the factors that affect freight class before you start shopping around. To calculate the freight class of your shipment, start by measuring its height, width, and length in inches. Be sure to include any packaging. Then, multiply these measurements to find the total cubic inches of your shipment. Finally, divide this number by 1,728 to convert the cubic inches to cubic feet. The higher the freight class, the more your shipment will cost. To avoid high shipping costs, make sure your shipment is adequately stacked and packaged. This means that the heaviest items should be on the bottom and that there are no protrusions that can damage other cargo.


CBM, or cubic meter volume, is the measurement used to determine the freight volume of your shipment. It is calculated by multiplying the width, height, and length of your package together. CBM is often required when requesting a freight quote and plays a significant role in determining your shipping costs. Understanding how to calculate cbm for a pallet can save you time and money by avoiding overpaying for your freight. Most shipments are shipped on wooden bases known as pallets. These are then loaded into containers or lorries for transport to their final destination. Its length, width, and height determine the CBM of a pallet. A standard-size pallet is 80 cm x 40 cm and can be stacked up to 72 inches high. If you have a non-standard-sized package, you must calculate the CBM of your cargo using the formula length x width x height. The height plays a lesser role in calculating the CBM of a shipment because most packing materials are rectangular. Once you have the cubic meter measurement of your shipment, you can find the dimensional weight by dividing the cubic size by 139. This is the weight your shipment will be charged for air and ocean freight. This is different from the actual weight which your shipment will be charged for because it takes into account the size of your packaging and not its contents.


Shipping items on pallets reduces handling costs and improves efficiency. It is also safer for the freight and its handlers. However, many shippers don’t understand how their pallets contribute to freight costs. Pallets can be made from wood, plastic, metal, or paper. They are a staple for most shipping operations as they can be stacked securely to maximize trailer space and reduce transportation costs. When choosing a pallet, it’s essential to consider the dimensions and weight of the shipment. For example, imagine you are preparing to ship a pallet of flat-screen televisions. Each television will weigh 30 to 35 pounds, and the overall shipment will weigh 750 ft3.

Then, you’ll have to factor in your pallets’ size and weight. Since most shipping carriers use a base rate per 100 pounds, the ft3 will be multiplied by the carrier’s standard freight class, determining the total cost for the shipment.

To calculate the pallets’ density, measure each one’s length, width, and height. Then, multiply those measurements to find the total volume of your shipment in cubic inches. Finally, divide this number by 1,728 (cubic inches in a cubic foot) to find the shipment’s density. Remember to round any fractions to the nearest whole number. This will help you accurately estimate your freight class and prevent surprises.

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Your Fall To Do Productivity To Do List

Monday, September 18, 2023


Fall is here and it's time to get productive so today I'm giving you a list of things to start working on for the next couple of months. Seasonal planning is a great way to stay organized and plan out your activities and responsibilities for the next few months. Do the planning now so the rest is easy!

The Benefits of Commercial Music Streaming Services For Hotels

Friday, September 15, 2023


Using B2C services is illegal in commercial spaces and can lead to heavy fines from local copyright-collecting agencies. Instead, you need a music license for a business with a reasonable fee.

Commercial streaming services offer high-quality digital sound, less song repetition, and an explicit lyrics filter to ensure your guests are comfortable. They are also easy to use and scalable for businesses of all sizes.

Streaming Services

Streaming services offer a variety of music genres and playlists. Their commercial-free music helps create immersive experiences without distracting guests with loud ads or DJ chatter. These services are becoming increasingly popular in retail spaces, hotels, restaurants, and corporate office environments.

Unlike consumer music streaming services, B2B music platforms offer fully licensed music for businesses. This means you can avoid expensive copyright infringement fines from performing rights organizations. They also make it easy to play music in multiple locations legally.

For example, an all-in-one hotel music platform lets you manage your hotel’s soundtrack and messaging from one central portal. You can customize and create branded music mixes using the world’s most extensive library of fully licensed tracks. You can then fine-tune the sound by tempo and mood and choose the best music for your brand.

A commercial music service will save you time and effort by doing the heavy lifting of finding the right music for your brand. They also care for the licensing fees, so you don’t have to pay an arm and a leg in royalties to musicians and composers for your use of their music. The result is an on-brand and immersive experience for your customers and employees.

Casting Devices

One of the reasons that some business owners shy away from commercial music streaming services is their fear that continuous streamed music will use too much data. This is not the case anymore since modern internet infrastructure is robust and capable of supporting high-quality music streams without compromising audio quality.

Another concern is the cost of a commercial music streaming service. The main reason for this is the music licensing that is required. Most B2C mainstream music services do not pay enough royalties when used commercially. The artists with their music can only receive micro-financial compensation per unique listener listening to the same track at home. When a song is broadcast in a restaurant with 70 people, the artist deserves much higher royalties than that.

This is why businesses like hotels should go for commercial music streaming services for hotels that offer music licenses to their clients. This allows them to play their music legally without the risk of heavy fines by local copyright collecting agencies.

Ad-Free Music

Music streaming apps have revolutionized the industry, and business owners are turning to them in droves. Services for Business offers flexible programming options that are easy to use and explicitly designed for commercial spaces. These services are ad-free and feature vast music catalogs to suit any brand.

As well as providing quality music, these business streaming services are also a cost-effective solution for businesses that need to comply with the rules and regulations of their local copyright collection societies. These subscription services enable users to legally play music tracks and albums without paying additional fees to PRO’s.

Music is integral to a hotel’s brand identity and can significantly impact a guest’s experience. The right background music can create a relaxing atmosphere for your customers and improve their moods, making them more likely to spend money at your location and return in the future. Whether you’re a high-end boutique looking to elevate your customer’s retail experience or a clinic wanting to create a calm and soothing environment, the right music can help your business stand out.

Background Music

From the moment a client steps into your luxury resort, music is an element that you can’t ignore. It forges an instant connection with the brand, creating the first impression that you want to make. Moreover, it can distinguish between a positive and negative experience rating.

This is why many hotel companies use professional services to provide the ideal background music for their facilities. All these platforms offer a vast catalog of commercial music for businesses, with high-quality songs and a simple way to add them to your system. In addition, these services allow you to customize the playlists for each room type.

The best part is that they offer a monthly subscription, much cheaper than the royalties PROs charge. Plus, the service is entirely legal.

As a result, the most prestigious hotels change the music in different areas of the resort depending on the time of day, from lounge melodies for their reception area to the rhythm of pop-upbeat music in their restaurant. Besides, they also update the theme every week to keep the atmosphere fresh. This helps to not only please the clients but also motivate their employees. In this way, they can improve the quality of the service and increase sales in each of the facilities of their complex.

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Cleaning the Summer Mess this Fall

Wednesday, September 13, 2023


We spend most of our time outdoors in the Summer or on the go traveling. This is great, but when Fall comes around, we tend to notice we've neglected a lot of aspects of keeping the inside of our homes tidy and clean.  Here's some ideas for how to clean the summer mess and aftermath from inside your home.

Key Considerations When Selecting Roofing Products

Monday, September 11, 2023


The selection of a roofing material is a major decision that should be made after careful consideration. Many factors must be considered, including cost, appearance, durability, maintenance requirements, and energy efficiency.

While many steps homeowners can take to improve their home's curb appeal, few add as much value as replacing the roof. That's why selecting a new roofing material is a crucial decision beyond aesthetic preferences.

According to IKO Roofing professionals, among the most essential factors in this selection process is finding the right color and design to match the house's architecture and enhance its curbside appeal. There are several different roofing options, including asphalt shingles, wood shakes, and slates, each with advantages.

For example, wooden shingles and shakes offer a rustic and natural appearance that many homeowners find appealing. However, they're not as durable as other roofing materials and aren't recommended for areas with high moisture or wildfire risk. In contrast, metal roofs are sleek and attractive. They can often be installed over existing shingle roofs without requiring structural reinforcement. A qualified roofer can help homeowners select the best roofing materials to meet their requirements.


When selecting roofing materials, it's essential to consider the lifespan. A quality roof should last for decades to maximize your return on investment. Some roofing products, like asphalt shingles, have shorter lifespans than others, such as slate tiles or metal.

Other factors that affect the lifespan of a roof include the material, installation, and maintenance. For example, poor installation can significantly reduce the lifespan of a roof. In addition, a roof with poor ventilation can lead to premature wear and tear.

Additionally, a roof's lifespan can be affected by the climate and sun exposure. A roof exposed to direct sunlight all day may experience rapid temperature changes, which can cause the shingles to break or fade. A roof constantly exposed to the elements can also suffer from water leaks or mold growth. Therefore, it's essential to choose durable roofing materials such as IKO Shingles that will hold up in extreme weather conditions. A good roofing contractor can provide options that will withstand the local climate.


The initial cost of a roofing material is one of the most important factors homeowners consider when selecting. Cheaper materials may be less expensive upfront, but they may require more frequent repairs and have shorter lifespans than higher-quality options.

Additionally, it's important to factor in the cost of maintaining a roof. Some roofing materials, like shingles, need annual recoating or painting. Other materials, such as metal and clay tiles, require periodic professional maintenance.

It's also important to consider how the pitch of a building's roof will affect installation and maintenance costs. A steep roof pitch requires a specific roofing material to handle the increased weight and structural stress it will endure. In addition, a high roof pitch may necessitate using special tools and equipment, such as ladders or harnessing, to access certain building areas. Thus, it is good to check websites such as https://iko.ie/ for more valuable information on the right roofing material for your home.

Environmental Impact

In addition to the aesthetics of a roof, its environmental impact is also important to consider. Many roofing materials require extensive energy to manufacture, transport, and install, while others are more sustainable and create fewer greenhouse gasses.

For example, asphalt shingles use fossil fuels that produce greenhouse gases and clog landfills, while metal roofs are inherently sustainable because they can be recycled and reused immediately. Furthermore, their durability helps to reduce the frequency of roof repairs and replacements, which decreases carbon emissions.

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How to Make Next Year's Garden More Pollinator Friendly

Tuesday, September 5, 2023


While we are all preparing to close up our gardens for the upcoming Winter season, now is a good time to think of what you want next year's to look like.  So today I'm going to talk about how to make your garden more pollinator friendly next year.