Category Archives: For Your Information

5 Home Improvements To Protect Your Home From Burglars

Standard
5 Home Improvements To Protect Your Home From Burglars

Keeping yourself and your family safe should always be the main goal. Want to keep burglars away from your home? Here are a few improvements that could help to ward off would-be intruders:

Replace old windows and doors:

If your windows and doors are very old, you may want to consider replacing them. Many old windows and doors can be easily broken into by modern burglars. Signs of visible wear and tear such as cracked windows or loose hinges could be a particular danger.

When it comes to windows, you ideally want a strong frame material like uPVC, double glazing, and window locks. You should hire a replacement window company to replace your windows as it can be a precise and tricky job to fit them. As for doors, consider upgrading to a steel door with a modern lock (you could even consider a smart lock). Doors can be more easily replaced by oneself, but to ensure that it’s fitted securely you may still want to hire professionals.

Put up net curtains:

Net curtains could also help to deter burglars – especially when hanging them up on windows that are facing onto a busy street. If you have valuables in your home, a burglar may be able to see them through the window and this might encourage them to choose you as a target. Net curtains stop burglars from being able to peek in, while still letting in sunlight.

On top of net curtains, you may also be able to use blinds as a way of distorting people’s view in. Frosted glass could also be an option, but it might prevent you from being able to look out.

Install security lighting:

Security lighting is a great way to keep away burglars. This is lighting located on the outside of your home that only turns on when motion is detected. Many burglars like to target homes at night when it’s easy to move undetected. Security lighting will make it harder for burglars to go unnoticed by illuminating them for all your neighbors to see. The fact that security lighting only comes on when motion is detected will save you money in energy bills compared to permanent lighting.

Cut down high hedges:

High hedges, walls, and fences can offer privacy, but they could also make it easier for burglars to break into your home without being seen by neighbors. By cutting down these barriers, your burglars won’t have anything to hide behind. This will make them less likely to choose you as a target.

Fit a burglar alarm:

Burglar alarms are triggered if somebody opens your door and can only be deactivated using a code. Nowadays, there are smart burglar alarms that can alert your phone as well as taking video footage of whoever is outside. Some will even alert the police if not deactivated within a certain amount of time. If you have home insurance, a burglar alarm could also help to reduce your insurance rates.

Give your family the gift of protection this holiday season with making the improvements above!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Advertisements

Accidents Happen

Standard
Accidents Happen

*Trigger Warning* This post contains details of a car accident and medical trauma.

Helloooo everyone! Those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that yours truly was in a car accident this past month that had me in the hospital. (And, for those of you who don’t follow me on Facebook, make sure you get on it at: Sarah Mushenheim!) It was a really scary, painful experience and I wanted to give you all the 411 on what happened because I have been so blown away by all of the well wishes and all of you deserve to know. So, let’s get to it.

It was a Sunday afternoon circa one PM when my boyfriend and I were driving to pick some things up from his house and then we were going to have a date day. I had just returned from vacation the night before so we hadn’t seen each other for a week and were eager to hang out. Unfortunately, that got cut short, because as we were at an intersection on a twenty-five MPH street, we got hit head on by a driver going at least forty-five.

How did this person end up in the complete wrong lane and effect not just us but SIX cars in total? I’m really not sure, because it happened so quickly. But, I am fairly sure he was trying to get around a person turning left and, in the process, swiped another car and ended up going head first into ours. This left the car that got swiped, our car, and the car of the guy who hit us totaled. And, I’m assuming the other three cars ended up in fender benders or the like from all of the commotion going on on the road.

The heavy blow to our car caused the air bags to go off and, oh my god, the pain was indescribable. Before the accident, I had my feet on the dashboard and when I saw the car coming I instinctively went into fetal position. This caused my skater’s legs to go wham, bam, thank you ma’am right into my chest. I felt like I couldn’t breathe and I just remember screaming bloody murder.

Thankfully, the first responders came quickly and, while we were waiting for them, I had to shimmy my way out of the driver’s side door because the accident prevented my side from opening. I can recall yelling “let me out, let me out” and that was also super scary because I already felt like I couldn’t breathe and then I felt trapped on top of it.

Once the police and ambulances came, everything was a whirlwind. The EMTs began to check me and my boyfriend and we ended up being transported to a local hospital. We were both experiencing pain in our chests and had seat belt burns and various bumps and bruises. I also had a horrible pain in the bottom left corner of my stomach.

When we got to the hospital, we were put in separate rooms and I was asked to give a urine sample. I hobbled my sorry ass into the bathroom and got my shorts and undies down to see that there was blood in them as well as blood in my urine. Once this discovery was made, I had to get a CAT scan done and a pelvic exam which hurt so incredibly badly.

According to the scan, there was an air bubble in my bladder. And, as the day went on, there was still blood in my urine and it was becoming increasingly difficult to pee. So, the decision was made to have me transferred to the ER in Cleveland with a trauma team to try and find out what was going on with my bladder.

By the time I arrived in Cleveland, it was already eight thirty at night and I was exhausted. I was in unbearable pain and, at this point, I couldn’t pass urine at all and was experiencing all the discomfort of an insanely full bladder. Another CAT scan was done as well as a bladder scan and a catheter was put in so that I could finally go to the bathroom. I also had to get an X-ray of my shoulder to make sure I didn’t have any fractures there.

When this was all said and done, it was around two in the morning and I was told that I was going to be admitted to the hospital. A room finally opened up around five AM and all I wanted was to sleep but the constant questions, poking, and prodding made that damn near impossible.

I spent the following day at the hospital being monitored and having different tests done and was able to go home around eight in the evening with my catheter still in. And, lucky for me, I got to have it taken out two days later because it was very uncomfortable and quite painful. Everything looked okay according to the urologist and I just had to keep an eye on the slight bleeding that was still happening.

Thankfully, nothing was majorly wrong other than the pain and the same goes for my boyfriend, as well. We both had to take the week off of work and were happy to return the following Monday. There were a lot of things to be grateful for in this situation. No one involved in the accident got severely hurt. The insurance company of the person responsible took care of everything. And, most importantly, we were in my boyfriend’s big station wagon. Had we been in the Little Red Love Machine (a tiny hatchback), this would have been an entirely different story.

I am so appreciative to my family, boyfriend, the first responders, and the staff at both hospitals for taking such good care of me. It was a horrible situation to be in, but it could have been a lot worse and I am so thankful that all is well for both me and my boyfriend now. And, thank you to all of you for the concern and get well soons. It didn’t go unnoticed and I love you all! ❤

What are you thankful for? Has anyone had a situation similar to mine? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

Standard
Three Simple Home Improvement Projects That Increase Market Value

Unless you’re a real estate pro, you might not know how to get the best return on your investment when the time comes to sell your home. For example, did you know that your home could sell for significantly more if you spend a little extra time and money on a few simple improvements? While it may seem counter intuitive to invest money and time into a home you wish to get off your hands, a couple of choice updates and additions to your property could give you a decent return on your investment:

Invest in Exterior Features:

While a home’s exterior features such as the garden, garage, swimming pool, roof, and gutters may seem less important than the interior, ensuring that these features are both operational and attractive to the eye is a great way to add value to your home. Keeping your garden and lawn well maintained will leave a strong impression on any potential buyers who turn up for your viewings.

There may be a lot of work on the exterior of your property that you can do yourself, like painting and cleaning gutters. Larger additions will need to be handled by experts who can ensure that installations are done according to spec. For example, a high-quality water tank can be a strong selling point. Tank Direct is a fantastic option for your water tank requirements. A fresh and well-maintained exterior is a useful way to help a potential buyer imagine the lifestyle their family might enjoy, should they buy the property and move in.

Get Those Repairs Taken Care Of:

While you might imagine that getting your bigger projects done (like a bathroom remodel or retileing the kitchen backsplash) would be more attractive to potential buyers, it’s crucial to put these jobs on hold until any necessary structural repairs have been completed. These will make a tremendous difference when it comes time to put your property on the market. If you don’t, you risk your buyers being too distracted by the leaky ceiling or the odor of mold to even notice the fancy additions like new tiles. Before you get started on those more exciting beautiful additions to your home, make sure you sort out your repairs, whether it’s electrical, plumbing, or structural.

home3

Pexels CC0 Licence

Update The Heating System:

If you install a modern central-heating system in your house or give the existing system a comprehensive update, you’re almost certainly going to enhance your home’s value. Older properties such as Victorian houses are charming in many ways, but your potential buyer won’t be charmed by a chilly walk down the hallway as they try to imagine their life in their future home.

Some newer homes come equipped with somewhat dated heating systems that don’t provide enough warmth, and can cost a lot to run. Updating the old system should prove highly attractive to a potential buyer. An extra bonus you get when you add a new heating system to your home is that if you don’t end up selling the property right away, you will save money and stay warmer while you wait for the right buyer to come along.

Whether you’re listing your property in the near future or you’re planning to sell one of these days, these updates are sure to boost the value of your house!

Featured Image By: Pexels CC0 Licence

Personal Loans: Why Choose A Moneylender Over A Bank

Standard
Personal Loans: Why Choose A Moneylender Over A Bank

A loan can be a godsend, especially when you are consolidating debts. It can be unsecured, so you do not have to borrow against any valuable assets you own. This makes it less risky for you in case you run into some trouble in the middle of your personal loan’s tenure. As you can use the money for mortgages, revolving lines of credit, or wherever you see fit, you will be less pressured to explain where you will use it. In fact, you may not even be asked about it at all.

If you are planning to apply for one soon, going to a moneylender in Singapore may be more advantageous than dealing with a bank. Why? You can find out more about it below:

Decreasing Interest:

Unlike bank-issued loans, those offered by moneylenders do not come with fixed interest. This is good news, as the extra money you pay to borrow the cash decreases every time you make payments. In a way, you are incentivized not to miss your repayments. For instance, if you borrowed $20,000 and you have already paid $8,000, only the remaining $12,000 would be considered for interest computation.

Quick Approval:

Moneylenders do not process loan applications when there is insufficient documentation, but you can expect less paperwork. Banks are notorious for tons of paper requirements, rendering the entire process a bit more cumbersome. If you are in a hurry, walking into a moneylender’s office should be your priority. If you bring everything you need to get your creditworthiness assessed properly, you may receive the money as fast as 24 to 48 hours.

Flexible Repayment:

Compared to banks, moneylenders are more lenient when it comes to repayment plans. They are more open to unconventional terms because they make every effort to help their customers avoid non-payment. On the contrary, banks have strict rules in place. Individual branches do not come up with their own regulations, and they only follow orders from their higher-ups. In many cases, the hands of bank representatives are tied and cannot accommodate special repayment requests. Negotiate all you want, but that could go futile.

No Discrimination:

Singapore banks only cater to citizens and permanent residents. They mostly do not entertain loan applications from foreigners living in Singapore. In addition, traditional financial institutions are not usually interested in borrowers whose annual income is less than $20,000.

Moneylenders have minimum income requirements, too, but not as much as banks. They serve customers who earn less than $10,000 per year. Their doors are also open for foreigners residing in the country. The maximum amount a borrower may qualify is based largely on their annual income and residency status, but everyone (except tourists) is welcome to apply.

loan1

Admirable Lending Behavior:

The moneylending industry is highly regulated in Singapore to protect the best interests of its borrowers. The government provides a Registry of Moneylenders, making it easy to identify whether a business can be trusted or not. If a licensed moneylender misbehaves, the authorities encourage you to report any unacceptable behavior.

Banks and moneylenders have unique selling points, but the latter is more appealing to most borrowers. Shop around as hard as you can and use the competition to get the most favorable personal loan available.

Printed T-shirts And The Military

Standard
Printed T-shirts And The Military

The simple T-shirt, genderless and worn by all, hasn’t changed much since the late 19th Century when it was introduced as an undergarment. Or has it? Today’s T-shirts are basically the same with one exception: They’ve become a vehicle for promoting and advertising anything and everything under the sun. Corporate-branded T-shirts, pop culture and celebrity fan T-shirts, concert and event T-shirts, military unit and veteran T-shirts, protest and social cause T-shirts, and self-image T-shirts are commonplace throughout the world.

The Beginning of Printed T-shirts:

One of the first instances of printed T-shirts occurred in 1942 when Life magazine featured an Air Corps Gunnery School T-shirt on its cover. But the idea of putting words and images on T-shirts did not get real until the 1960s when printed T-shirts became a popular means of self-expression. Marketers picked up on this trend, and, as they say, the rest is history.

Military T-shirts:

Marketers weren’t the only ones who saw the value of printed T-shirts. Today, thousands of military-related messages appear on T-shirts, both in and out of uniform. The military realized the convenience of T-shirts early on. In 1905, the U.S. Navy adopted the T-shirt as part of its uniform. Other services followed, and by the end of World War II, T-shirts were required to be worn under the uniform by all military branches.

Many service members continued the habit of wearing T-shirts upon returning home after the war. Military veterans began wearing them as casual outerwear as they had done while serving overseas. Up until that time, T-shirts weren’t considered an appropriate garments to wear in public.

The T-shirt owes much of its popularity to the military, and military printed T-shirts are popular with the young and old. Their printed messages normally promote unit cohesiveness and recognition; honor a certain group, such as veterans and POW/MIAs, and display pride and patriotism.

The more you know!

Basic Traffic Boosting Strategies For Startups

Standard
Basic Traffic Boosting Strategies For Startups

In the past, we’ve talked about merging traditional marketing with digital technology to boost your business’ online presence. While SEO is one of the most effective ways to get people to your site, it’s not the only way. In fact, there are other ways of boosting organic traffic, you just have to know what to do! Here, we list some basic Traffic Boosting strategies that aren’t too difficult to pull off:

Long-Tail Keywords:

With almost 50% of search engine queries coming from voice search, Google is starting to shift its focus towards long-tail keywords. Simply put, long-tail keywords are more like key phrases: they contain more words than traditional keywords and are usually much more specific.

For example, instead of typing down “best BBQ Texas”, users will more likely use their voice search and ask, in plain English, “What’s the best BBQ restaurant in Texas”. Because of advances in voice-recognition software over the past couple of years, Google and other search engines will be prioritizing the use of full sentences rather than chunky keywords.

This is good news for everybody: online companies will have to write more organic sounding content (which is always better than contrived pieces), and search engines are able to provide more accurate, more localized results (and even improve their Machine Learning algorithms in the process!).

boost1

Wokandapix on Pixabay

Internal Links:

Basically, internal links are when you create content that has links to a different webpage within your webpage. Why is this important? Well, it all boils down to two things: bounce rate and page rank.

Bounce rate refers to the percentage of website visitors who navigate away from the website they’re visiting. A high bounce rate is bad news; it means your website is boring, it doesn’t add value to your readers, or it’s confusing, among other things. A low bounce rate, on the other hand, is good news: it means your website is interesting, easy to use, adds value, and a lot of other things that people will want to stay for.

Page rank is pretty self-explanatory: it’s the rank your website occupies in the search results of Google. The higher the rank, the higher the chances of your website garnering traffic, the higher your chances of converting leads. There are dozens of data signals Google uses to determine page rank, and one of them is, you guessed it, bounce rate.

So what do they have to do with internal links? Well, internal links drastically reduces your bounce rate, especially if the links you provide go to a page in your site that offers even more information (or value) to your visitors. This creates a positive feedback loop that reduces your bounce rate and increases the time people spend on your website which, in turn, gets you higher up the page ranks which, in turn again, drives traffic to your website.

boost2

Edho Pratama on Unsplash

Involving the Community:

Now that you have your internal links and keywords sorted out, it’s time to start reaching out to your community. Social media management is an important aspect of traffic-driving and, if done right, can mean a drastic uptick in website visits.

Managing a social media community is all about engagement, transparency, and prompt addressing of issues. This means talking to your customers through social media, whether it’s by commenting on their posts, replying to tags, or through instant messenger. For the latter, bots exist to address the most common concerns, but it’s always good to be on hand for any questions that you might not have programmed your chatbots to answer.

But, don’t limit yourself to social media! Find out which online forums your community hangs out in and start cultivating a positive image of yourself by posting value-adding content that isn’t spammy or kitschy. Just stick to forum guidelines and you should be okay.

boost3

William Iven on Unsplash

Build Those Links:

Speaking of community, it’s a good idea to start link building. Basically, link building is getting an external website (usually blogs) to host your content on their site with a hyperlink that can direct visitors back to your website. Simple, right? Well, yes and no.

Link building is a very effective way of driving traffic, if you do it properly. What is proper link building? It’s creating great, organic content that other website owners will have no problem hosting. What’s important is that this happens naturally, with no exchange of any kind of resources, whether monetary, favors, or even the website owner’s links. This is because Google hates it when you try to manipulate your page ranks in a non-organic way.

But not to worry: there are plenty of legitimate link building service providers who can help you build your links in a natural way for maximum traffic driving.

boost4

DiggityMarketing on Pixabay

Boost your traffic with the tips above and watch your website begin to blossom!

Featured Image By: Carlos Muza at Unsplash

Apartment Do’s And Dont’s

Standard
Apartment Do’s And Dont’s

Hello! It has been a little over two months since moving into my apartment and I have so enjoyed the time spent in my “vacation home”. Apartment life is definitely different than being in your old neighborhood and, in the short while that I’ve been in mine, I feel like I have learned some important do’s and dont’s to make yourself the best neighbor and to fully enjoy your experience in your own place. Read on to find out more!

Do: Introduce Yourself

First impressions are key everywhere in life so it shouldn’t be any different in your new digs. Introduce yourself to any of your neighbors that you might see in passing. It’s the polite thing to do and you might end up making a new friend or at least someone you could borrow a cup of sugar from, if need be!

I really like my neighbors and because of good first impressions, I can enjoy hanging out with them every so often for drinks or a chill sesh. This has been nice, especially since I live alone, because that can get a little lonely, for sure.

Don’t: Drive Recklessly

This applies to whenever you’re driving but please be extra careful when driving around the apartment property! Some people in my apartment neighborhood drive like goddamn maniacs and this is super dangerous because of the tight squeezes in the building parking lots and the winding roads to get to each building. You’re not going to get anywhere faster by straight whipping your car around and you could end up really hurting someone in the process. Je-sus!

Do: Be Quiet

A noisy neighbor can make or break the apartment experience for yourself or the people living next to you so keep it down! You are not the only one living in the space so no blasting the TV, music, or screaming matches with your roommate or partner. It is not hard to file a noise complaint, so don’t be surprised if this happens to you if you can’t keep it down. Remember, most apartment walls are paper thin.

Don’t: Forget Your Safety

The first thing that my dad told me when I moved was to always make sure that my doors are locked and I religiously abide by those rules. As well as for my car, too. Safety is key and my apartment community is not well lit so, if I’m coming home once it’s dark already I try to find a light to park under. But, carrying a flashlight isn’t a bad idea for these occasions, either.

It’s a scary world, so do what you can to keep your safety in mind when entering and exiting your apartment. This is also why it’s important to introduce yourself to your neighbors to let it be known that you’re there. That way, they become aware of you and your schedule and could help if something is not quite right. You’re always better safe than sorry!

Apartment life can be a really fun time if you let it be and you can help the cause by following the rules above to make it pleasant for both yourself and your neighbors!

What are some of your apartment do’s and dont’s? Do you have any advice for apartment life? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah