How To Choose A Moving Company

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How To Choose A Moving Company

Moving home is a huge task. It’s not like when you were younger and could move everything you owned in the back of your parent’s car. As you get older and have a family, you won’t believe how many items you accumulate.

While the cheapest option would be to hire a truck and do it yourself, there are many advantages to hiring a specialist moving company. When looking at a removal company, make sure your stick to the following tips:

Get a recommendation:

Hiring an Austin moving company isn’t something you do every day, so you probably don’t know much about them. Ask family and friends for recommendations. If you don’t know anyone who has moved property recently, try going online and asking on a forum or local Facebook page.

The next best thing to a personal recommendation is to look at the online reviews. Check out Yelp, Google, and Facebook and see if they have a history of happy customers.

Ask for a free quote:

A good company will send someone to your house to assess what needs to be done and give you a quote. They’ll also be able to view any large items or potential access problems. If they don’t send someone to do a survey, then you may get stuck with additional costs if the job is more complicated than they expected.

They offer additional services:

Many companies will turn up and pack up your belongings, provide the boxes and packing materials, and even unpack them at your new property.

Check their license and insurances:

Different states have varying requirements on the permits and insurance needed. Check to make sure that your chosen removal company has these in place. If they don’t and your property is lost or damaged, you will not be able to claim compensation.

Professional employees/Customer service:

A removal company should have good hiring practices. Their employees should be reference checked and trustworthy. There’s an element of ‘gut feel’ in your decision too. When talking to removal companies, they should be professional, friendly, and responsive.

Be aware of suspicious payment practices:

A reputable company will offer a range of options to pay. If they are demanding that you pay by cash, or pay the entire cost upfront, then you should probably steer clear of that particular company.

Also, ask them about their policy on delays. Things can often go wrong with a house sale, which causes the moving date to be pushed back. If the fees for this are extortionate, then you may need to look for a company that is more flexible.

Choosing a removal company is an important part of moving home.  You need to trust them to turn up, do the job, and take care of your most valuable possessions. Don’t just go for the lowest price, look at the services they provide and the guarantees against damage and delay.

Featured Image By: Erda Estremera on Unsplash

Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

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Give Your Garden A Boost With These Tips

The backyard is the one private space you have in your home that gives you a chance to be in touch with nature and get outside at the same time. It’s also the place you have free rein to be as creative as you like. Getting outside and enjoying your garden space means choosing to reinvigorate and redesign your garden to make it look as beautiful as possible.

You should be able to head into the back yard with a book and a drink and soak up the scenery. The kids should be able to play safely and happily. You should be able to plant your favorite fruits and vegetables, knowing that they are in a healthy place to grow. With the tips below, you can make your garden the most extraordinary place possible, so that you can kick back and enjoy it no matter the season.

Use Trees:

Planting trees in your backyard to frame the garden is one of the prettiest ways to add something amazing. Asking New Life landscape to help you with your lawn is going to help you to map out exactly how you want your garden to look. Adding fruit trees is a great way to not only grow your own fruit, but you will be able to add these trees to the corners of the garden to frame that newly laid lawn of yours. Choose apple trees and lemon trees and watch them grow!

Design The Beds:

Between those new trees you’ve planted, adding garden beds will enhance the edges of the garden. You can make it as informal or as formal as you like, and you can plant beautiful flowers in the flowerbeds. The beds can vary in length, and you can plant flowers and bushes of a variety of colors to make it pop. You can coordinate the flowers by height and by color, and you can share your ideas with a professional landscaping team to bring it all to life properly.

Go Beyond Greenery:

Garden beauty comes in more than just flowers and bushes. You need to consider hardscaping. Hardscapes like decorative rocks and stone patios will help you to make your living space comfortable and low maintenance. You can add different types of hardscapes to the garden, too, to really give it a unique look.

Irrigate:

You should look at installing a drip irrigation or soaker hose system to water your garden properly. Irrigating your landscaped backyard will keep it fresh, healthy and it will stop it from flooding in the rain. Choose the right size irrigation system and make sure that you have your garden covered. You have the chance to create a beautiful backyard, and you should use these tips to give your garden the boost you need.

With the right inspiration, you can make your garden stand out and improve the way that you spend time in it at the same time. Take the time to landscape your garden this year, and you’ll be enjoying it by next summer!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Paranormal Activity Pt. 5

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Paranormal Activity Pt. 5

Hi! For those of you who don’t know, I have experienced quite a bit of what I would call “Paranormal Activity” in my apartment. From a piece of paper almost levitating onto a candle to walking on broken glass a lot, my “ghostie” seems to pop up from time to time just to remind me that he (I think it’s a he) is still here.

Broken glass has always seemed to be the motif of my ghost. I can count on over one hand the amount of time I’ve stepped on it, even though it has been months since anything was broken in my apartment. The glass also seems to end up in the most inconvenient and unexpected spot – my bathroom for some odd reason.

This past week, I was standing in front of the bathroom mirror getting ready for work when, all of a sudden, I felt a sharp nick – like I cut myself shaving. I looked all over the floor for the culprit and couldn’t find zilch. I also examined my legs and feet extremely thoroughly and could not find any cuts or blood so I continued with my morning routine and considered it a “phantom” pain.

I left the bathroom and got dressed and then returned for finishing touches to something really weird – a trail of blood on the floor that was definitely not there earlier. I looked on both of my feet again and couldn’t find any puncture wounds or traces of blood.

At this point, I was in a rush and decided to just forget about it and I almost had until later that evening. I visited the LOO and as I was walking out, I felt that same sharp pain in my foot and, this time, there was a shard of broken glass sticking out of it.

This may seem like something little or coincidental but I swear, I walk on broken glass at least bimonthly and I’m not sure how it’s always me and never Johnny. It’s not like there is a lot of room to walk around in our apartment and yet I am the one with the glass in my foot. My right foot to be specific because that is always the one to get injured.

I understand that broken glass is hard to clean and it can end up everywhere but, the fact is, it somehow ALWAYS ends up in the bathroom and I am always the victim. The glass is never enough to hurt but it sure can be annoying and I am hoping that my ghostie comes up with a new motif ASAP!

Has any paranormal activity ever happened to you? Do you have a ghostie in your house? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

How To Embed Health & Safety Into Your Business

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How To Embed Health & Safety Into Your Business

All businesses have a duty of care to their employees, a series of legal requirements that they must meet with regards to the health and safety of those in their employ. Often, the health and safety guidelines are covered in an employees onboarding program, then forgotten about.

With injuries in the workplace costing businesses millions of dollars each year, you can’t afford to let things slip. Here’s how to ensure that health and safety are at the heart of your business:

Support should come from the top:

The importance of health and safety should be evident at all levels of the organization. Everyone from the boss on down should be promoting the importance of health and safety at work, or risk a call from a personal injury lawyer. Don’t just leave everything to one designated person.

Perform annual training:

Health and safety training should be covered when an employee joins the company. This way, you are ensuring that they are getting the very latest information on your policies. But what about those employees who have been with you for a long time? How do they get their information and how much of it can they actually remember? By making annual health and safety refresher courses mandatory, you can be sure that all employees are getting the latest information on a regular basis.

Annual training doesn’t have to be an onerous or expensive undertaking, you could put the training online and people can complete it with minimum interruptions to their working day.

Include employees in your policy making:

Rather than making one person or department totally responsible for health and safety within the company, try and find ways to get others involved. You could make health and safety issues a standing agenda item on a team meeting or have some kind of forum that people can make suggestions or report issues.

Show that you are listening:

If you have gone to great lengths to include your employees in the health and safety process, they will soon lose any enthusiasm if you aren’t listening. By failing to act on their concerns, they will assume that they are not being listened to and will eventually stop contributing at all. Make any health and safety changes or results of investigations available to them.

Focus the benefits on the employee:

You have to pitch your health and safety policies in the right way. If you present it as something that is there solely to protect the company legally and financially, it will be difficult to get buy-in. Instead, show how the policy affects their own lives and is there to protect them and keep them safe.

In order to embed health and safety into the forefront of your workforce, you need to ensure that you include employees at every step, communicate often, and repeat training on a regular basis. Not only will it lead to reduced incidents in the workplace, but will also protect your company from potential litigation.

Featured Image By: Benjamin Sow on Unsplash

Moving? Get Things In Order For A Smoother Move!

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Moving? Get Things In Order For A Smoother Move!

We all know that moving house can be a bit stressful, especially when it comes to your first time. The scale of organization, the psychological adjustment, and the emotional strain involved in the process, are the main factors behind the enormous pressure we can experience during this transitional stage of our lives.

First-time movers often underestimate some key elements of the pre-mobile phase, such as market research for a modern transportation service or packing their assets properly. So, to avoid feeling in a state of panic a week before the big day, do your homework and get an idea from some transport company specializing in home relocations. Also, make sure you start packing your items in advance and mark the shipping boxes correctly. This way, you will be able to find everything you need, quickly and easily, when you start unpacking them in your new home and garden!

So your dream home is ready. Let’s say you have found a beautiful new property with Bellriver Homes and you are about to move in. You will definitely want to make sure it runs smoothly, so how can you pack up easily and effectively?

Priority marking:

This marking system could determine which box has priority in moving, which goes first to the transport truck and which is loaded last. In this way, the moving company will be able to give priority to which boxes will be loaded first in the truck so that they can then be unloaded and transported in the correct order to the right room. The other idea behind this system for easy removal is to state clearly so that you remember which box has priority in terms of unpacking. Thus, you can mark a box with a “Y” for high priority, a “M” for medium priority and an “X” to highlight its low priority level. 

How to pack fragile items and how to mark the boxes to achieve safe transport:

In this case, whether you decide to pack your fragile items in groups or to make fragile items per room, numbered or with colored markers, you will need to use packaging and to wrap them properly with protective bubble wrap. Wrap each item individually whether it is glass, crystal, porcelain, or mirror and carefully place them in boxes. Use a lot of bubble wrap or old towels and cloths to fill any gaps between the objects and the sides of the box so that when the transport is undertaken with the truck the objects remain in place. Lastly, make sure that you have a label on all sides of the package that says it is fragile for the movers to see.

Unpacking after moving house?

The move is over, you are in your new home, and there are so many boxes to unpack! The best thing you can do is keep your cool and take your time. You will find that unpacking can be fun, especially if you have done the packaging and labeling correctly. You can reuse the marking system and start unpacking room by room, from high to low priority. Take regular breaks and enjoy, decorate your new home gradually without stress. Why not open a bottle of wine or lemonade, light a scented candle, and say “hello” to your new home! And if you have to move again one day, you now know how to do it the easiest way!

Featured Image By: Unsplash

Lil Red & The Best Morning Ever

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Lil Red & The Best Morning Ever

Hi! I am and am not a morning person. I love to sleep in on the weekends but when I do need to get up for work during the week I am pretty good about not hitting the snooze button! My mornings before work are usually a bit hectic because I still need to write and get ready before I head out an hour and change later. So, I guess I have to be pretty good about not hitting the snooze button.

A few days ago, though? I hit that snooze button so hard! Fifteen minutes worth, in fact, so I had to kick it into hyper speed if I wanted to make it to work on time, write, and shower. Instead of freaking out, I said “challenge accepted” and ended up having a morning where everything went my way.

First of all, I felt awesome from the little bit of extra sleep. I also managed to leave my apartment earlier than normal because I had to drop some about to be due library books off at my mom and dad’s on the way. But, in my rush out the door as well as carrying a bunch of other crap, I forgot my can of Diet Coke on the kitchen table and didn’t realize it until I got in my car. Too late to turn back so I headed to chez parents.

LUCKY ME, though, because besides from seeing my parents bright and early (Which was nice!) I was able to snag a can of pop from their place and all was well. Then, about five minutes later, things just got a whole lot better.

I haven’t mentioned this on here, but my car radio has not been working for the past month. No radio, no CDs, no plugging in my iPod – nothing. So, I just have to play my iPod really loud while driving but it just isn’t the same. I missed being able to play the radio, specifically on Throwback Thursday, desperately and vowed to get it fixed EVENTUALLY.

Although it sucks, I came to terms with my unfortunate radio situation and was cranking AFI’s decemberunderground on my iPod when a miracle happened. I was sitting at a red light and out of nowhere my radio turned on! I literally thought I was imagining things but it really was playing and I eagerly began going through all of my favorite stations to hear what was good that I’ve been missing out on.

During my twenty or so minute drive to work, I heard all of my favorite songs on the radio and it really did feel like everything was going my way. I was just worried my radio wasn’t going to work again when I was done with my shift. LUCKY ME, though, because it did and I heard even more of my favorites on the way to my next client. It. Was. AWESOME!

Having such an amazing string of luck all morning was just the pick me up I needed to finish my work week strongly and I am still reveling in my good fortune. It really is true that the smallest things can have the biggest impact! 🙂

Have you had something lucky happen recently? Are you an early bird or night owl? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Could You Work With Dogs?

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Could You Work With Dogs?

With unemployment levels high and rising all of the time, and so many sectors hit hard by COVID-19 and the restrictions that it has brought, many people are starting to think about entirely different career paths. If many people in your industry have been made redundant, competition for the jobs that are available is going to be tough. With no idea when the economy might go back to normal, or even when life will start to feel like it used to, it’s a great time to explore alternative options and give a completely different job a try.

One option that appeals to many of us is starting our own business. When it comes to creating something for ourselves, most of us hope to do it in an area that we enjoy. If you’ve always had dogs, and use dog walking or training businesses yourself, you might be tempted to start your own. Here are some of the things that you should ask yourself before jumping in:

Do You Love Dogs?

Loving your own pet dog isn’t the same as loving someone else’s. Looking after an animal requires patience and understanding. You might happily clean up after your dog, but would you do it for someone else’s? Could you cope with another dog disobeying? Are you the kind of person that can only truly love an animal that you’ve gotten to know and bonded with? Or, do you care deeply for all animals?

At the same time, it’s worth asking yourself if you would still enjoy spending time with your own animal if you spend all day looking after other peoples?

Do You Have Great People Skills?

When you work with dogs, most of your days will be spent with the animals themselves. But it won’t be the dog that hires you, pays your wages, or tells their friends how great you are. If you want to build a business, you don’t just need to get on well with the animals. You also need to be great with people.

Do You Have Business Acumen?

Running a business is always about much more than doing those core tasks that you enjoy so much. To build a business, you need to have good business sense. You need to be able to choose the right pet food packaging if you want to sell products. You need to be good at marketing, finance, and all of the other elements of running a successful business. You need to come up with ideas that sets your business apart if you want it to do well.

Do You Have the Drive to Work for Yourself?

Another problem that many new businesses owners face is the shock of actually working for themselves. If you’ve always been told what to do, suddenly having to manage your time, get stuff done, and stay on top of your to-do list can be tough. Do you think that it is something that you are ready for?

Working with dogs can be great fun. It can also be an exceptionally fulfilling career, giving you the chance to make a difference to families with pets. But it’s also challenging, time-consuming, and often stressful. Working with dogs can be fantastic, but it’s not something that you should do without giving it some careful thought first.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Wanted: Back To School Guest Bloggers

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Wanted: Back To School Guest Bloggers

Hello! Whether you’re learning from home or actually going on campus, it is now back to school season. Was I ever really excited for back to school? Not really! Not until college, anyways. I think I would be extra not excited to go back now so that means lifewithlilred needs some amazing guest bloggers more than ever.

No matter how you or your children are learning, I want to hear about it! What has home schooling been like? Do you have a how to guide to make cloth face masks? What about a fresh face MOTD or comfy cozy OOTD for Zoom meetings? Or perhaps your own unique take on a school lunch? If you are interested in guest blogging for lifewithlilred, please shoot me an email at: sarah.mush6794@gmail.com (And remember – my blog is read in over one hundred and ninety different countries!)

Can’t wait to hear from you!

thanks

Grocery Shopping Fun

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Grocery Shopping Fun

Hello! I don’t know about you guys but I have always loved going grocery shopping. From tagging along with my mom in my youth to stocking up the cupboards in my apartment, there’s just something about picking out tasty food that is so enjoyable to me. I normally only try to go shopping one time a month and knock everything out that I need and it has always worked for me. In fact, it works even better now in COVID times because who wants to go to the store every single time they run out of something?

My shopping extravaganzas were put on pause for the past month or so because Johnny made a few smaller trips. I was so thankful he did because I really didn’t feel like it but his shopping trips just didn’t hit the same. No offense to my MAN because I definitely was not as specific on the shopping list as I could have been, lol! This past week, I finally did a big shopping trip after we deemed our apartment as having “nothing to eat” and it was a blast!

In my neck of the woods, we have Giant Eagle and if you’re lucky it’s a Market District one like I have by me. The Market Districts are DOPE because they have literally everything you could ever want including all of the things you didn’t even know you needed. When it first opened five or so years ago, it was actually the place to be as there is a bar where you can get a drink and walk around with it while you shop. They even had live music playing for the first handful of months.

Not only does the Market District have a bar but they have all kinds of food stands where you can pick up specialty items – everything from gelato and sushi to stir fry, soul food, and delicious prepared pasta salads, soups, and antipasto. Like I said, all of the things you didn’t even know you needed.

I love going grocery shopping because it feels good to take care of myself and Johnny. Of course, I get everything we need on the list but I picked up plenty of treats for myself like vegetarian sushi, my favorite grapefruit beer, and yummy fruit popsicles. Johnny, on the other hand, got a lot of the breakfast items that he eats but didn’t make a special request for. I got them anyways because I wanted him to have variety. 🙂

Adulting doesn’t always have to suck and I think my deep love for grocery shopping is a prime example of that. Don’t tell anyone – but it can actually be kind of fun!

What is your favorite adulting chore? How about your least favorite? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Fun & (Video) Games

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Fun & (Video) Games

Hi! Johnny and I celebrated our one year anniversary on September first – hurray! Pre-Johnny, I never played video games too often. Of course, I played my fair share of Mario Party and Super Smash Bros. back in the day. I was also addicted to Diablo II on the ol’ desktop computer. Besides from those, that’s about as far as my video game expertise goes. Until Johnny and I started dating that is! Before, all I had was a lowly GameCube and Wii – now we collectively have a Switch and a PlayStation 3.

In recent quarantine times, I developed a huge taste for Animal Crossing and try to check in on my island at least every other day. I also love playing throwback Mario games on the Switch’s Super Nintendo Arcade. Other than that, though? Nothing really. Until Johnny and I exchanged gifts for our one year that is!

For part of my gift (Tune in later for more on our celebration!), Johnny ceremonially turned the Switch on and displayed on the screen was both Paper Mario: The Origami King and Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls. I absolutely LOVE the Paper Mario games and have been telling Johnny I want to try The Origami King for the past few months now. I also haven’t played Diablo III in over half a decade so that was just the cherry on top of a perfect gift.

Johnny and I recently watched an excellent documentary on Netflix called High Score. The series was about seven or eight episodes long and it discussed the evolution of video games from the old school arcades to present day. I think the video game bug definitely bit the both of us while we bingewatched High Score and I can see it reflected in my anniversary gift – I’m so not mad about it though!

In fact, I think I shall dub our one year as the Fun & Games anniversary because I, too, got something entertainment based for Johnny. That’s right, I got him the Millennium Falcon LEGO set from Star Wars. No, not the crazy expensive sets – however, we decided our five year will be the Upgrade the Millennium Falcon anniversary! Johnny put his space craft together in one evening and I am already looking forward to more time with Paper Mario and Diablo, lol. I’m looking forward to more time with my MAN the most and here’s to our one year together. ❤

Which anniversary did you and your partner celebrate this year? How did you celebrate? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah