Tag Archives: advice

5 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Kitchen Space

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5 Easy Ways To Optimize Your Kitchen Space

Whether you have a large kitchen or a more modest space, it’s important to make the most of it. With a more organized kitchen, cooking and cleaning will be much less stressful. You can optimize your workflow and always find what you’re looking for. The kitchen is one of the most essential rooms in the house, so it needs a practical design. Assess your needs and plan the layout accordingly. Here are a few ways you can optimize your kitchen space:

Optimize workflows:

Try to create a functional workflow. For example, imagine the process of cooking a meal and the order in which you need to grab things. This will help you organize your kitchen into a circular design where you follow a logical path. You can also group together utensils and food that are used together, such as knives and chopping boards. Keep everyday items within easy reach. Make a rough plan in your mind, and act it out. With a couple of dry runs, you should get a feel of how to organize your kitchen according to your routines.

Add functional lighting:

It’s difficult to prepare food without proper lighting. Consider lighting up your countertops with under cabinet lighting. This will help you to work more safely and efficiently. A few lighting upgrades will also make your kitchen easier to clean. You could get a more durable countertop installed that’s resistant to stains and scratches. Look into stone and granite opinions from this countertop installer. These are incredibly long-lasting materials and very practical.

Organize your storage space:

Make the most of your storage space, especially if you have a small kitchen. Organize your cupboards so that more commonly used items are near the front and less used ones are at the back. Group together crockery and pots and pans into neat logical sets. This will make it much easier to find what you’re looking for. If your space is limited, here are a few clever kitchen storage ideas to give you inspiration.

Use vertical space:

If you are short of storage space, consider vertical storage solutions. You could get a wall magnet to hold knives and metal utensils. Attach hooks for various tools, towels, and even pots and pans. Build shelves and ceiling-high cabinets. Store items you don’t use often on top of cupboards and cabinets. When you’re struggling to find space, always look up. You can even use shelves for plants and ornaments to improve the atmosphere of your kitchen.

Create zones:

Why not give your kitchen a makeover this year? Rearrange it into zones. Separate areas for preparing food, dining, and making breakfast, for example. If you have space to eat in your kitchen always place chairs on the outside of the counter, opposite to where you pass when preparing food. This way the chairs or any guests won’t get in your way or cause a safety hazard. With a few little adjustments, you can design yourself a more practical kitchen and really optimize the space.

Enjoy your time in the kitchen even more by better organizing your space. Preparing meals and cleaning will be a breeze!

Featured Image By: Pexels

4 Steps To Take After A Break In

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4 Steps To Take After A Break In

Home invasions are often pretty scary, and can shake a person’s nerves for years after they happen. Although most home invasions are non-violent, the perpetrators are only interested in your belongings most of the time, it can be worrying to spend time at home afterwards, for fear it will happen again. If you have ever experienced a home invasion in your current house, you’ll know what we’re talking about.

When you discover your home has been burgled, either while you are at home or while you were out, it can be overwhelming. However, if you don’t take the necessary steps right away, you could put yourself in a worse position. Today, we will explore four key steps to take after a home invasion, and why these are so important:

Contact the relevant authorities:

When you discover your home has been invaded, the first instinct you might have is to look through the house in detail to see what has been taken. However, it is important that you refrain from doing this, and that you immediately contact the police. All the evidence will be relevant, so if you go through your home and move items, it could compromise the investigation into the home invasion.

In addition to contacting the police right away, you should also contact your insurance company after the police have confirmed what has been stolen. This will allow you to claim compensation for your stolen items, making it easier to replace them fully. For this reason, it is crucial that you keep your insurance policy up to date, so you don’t realize it’s expired before it is too late!

Replace broken windows, doors, or other structures:

Next, you should go about repairing or replacing any structures that have been broken or damaged during the break-in. Unless the person had a key to your home, it is likely they will have incurred damage to the property in the process. Your home insurance may cover the cost of replacing these items; this allows you to complete the work right away, and ensure that it is done to a high standard.

Some replacements you could make include:

  • Replacing windows that have been smashed, cracked or pushed open during the home invasion. You can find window replacements here.
  • Changing the locks and replacing door handles or frames that have been busted.
  • Repairing any scuffs or damages to the floors and furniture in your home.

Update your home’s security system:

After you have contacted the authorities, your priority should be making your home safe for future living. Break-ins can happen in even the safest of homes, but there are ways to make your property less vulnerable to home invasions.

Here are three ideas for updating your home’s security system:

  • Install CCTV on your front doorstep and other entry points: Security cameras are the easiest way to deter people who are looking to break into your home – if they see cameras, they are unlikely to continue with their plans. If they do, you will catch them on camera, making it easier to report to the police.
  • Have multiple front door locks: Many homes still have a traditional one-key lock on their front door, but if you have been the victim of a home invasion, you should install multiple front door locks for safety.
  • Get a dog! Although you shouldn’t just get a dog for the purposes of home security, having a medium or large sized dog is one of the biggest deterrents to criminals. Even the smallest of dogs will bark if they hear someone at the front door, and while they might be cuddly, their bark will frighten anyone who was thinking of breaking in.

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Change your routine to reduce the likelihood of break-ins:

Some home invasions happen because the inhabitants of the home make common mistakes that attract burglars. Although it is never your fault if somebody decides to rob you, you can take simple steps in your routine to divert home invaders away from committing a crime.

One easy way to deter potential home invaders is to set up a system that makes it appear you are home, even if you aren’t. Some people leave on one small light while they are out at night or leave a radio or TV playing when they leave the house. This will definitely reduce the likelihood of your home being invaded. Similarly, make sure you don’t leave valuables within window view while you are out. Close blinds and put computers, smartphones, and televisions out of street view.

Home invasions are very scary, but there are steps you can take to deter them from recurring like the ones above.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Is Your Home Vulnerable To A Break-In?

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Is Your Home Vulnerable To A Break-In?

We all have the nightmare that one day we’re going to come home and find that our house has been broken into. Even if you have the right insurance coverage, it will still be a horrific experience. You will question whether you are safe in your home and struggle to build back up the feeling that you are secure. It can also be difficult to replace everything that was stolen. Particularly, if you have one-of-a-kind things in your home that you never want to lose. That’s why it’s important to think about whether your home is vulnerable to a potential break-in. There are a few possibilities to think about:

On Display:

One of the key things that you need to ask is whether you are showing people the expensive items that are inside your home. Part of this is about how you layout your furniture and things like the TV. Ideally, you should make sure that you’re not placing your TV somewhere that can be seen from outside the property or even the road. If you do this, then you’re essentially just tempting criminals. There are of course other ways to hide expensive items that might be inside your home.

For instance, you can think about the windows. If you get the right windows, then you can make it impossible for people to look inside your home. Tinted windows are ideal and not as expensive as you might imagine. They make your home look distinct too. For a more subtle choice, you might want to think about using screener trees. These trees have thick foliage and are fast-growing to ensure that they completely conceal an area.

While You’re Away:

It’s fair to say that your home is going to be most vulnerable while you are away from it. However, there are a few steps that you can take to correct issues here. For instance, you might want to think about investing in a CCTV system for your property. With the right CCTV system, you can better protect your home. CCTV systems can act as a deterrent but will also provide peace of mind while you’re not at the property. Some of the latest CCTV systems will even allow you to check-in remotely and ensure that there’s nothing worrying happening.

You might also want to think about getting your neighbors involved too. If you can trust them, then you should consider giving your neighbors a key to your home for when you are away. They can remove some of the signs that you have not been there like the build-up of mail by your front door or the lights always being on.

Poor Maintenance:

When you are thinking about how to secure your home, you should make sure that you consider different entry points. There are likely to be multiple different entry points to your home and some of them could be more vulnerable than others. For instance, the locks in your doors could have seen better days. If your locks are stiff or old, then you might want to think about replacing them. Don’t forget, you should always change the locks when you move into a new property. You never know who might still have the keys to your home. You should also repair any entry points that have been damaged like the garage door. A garage door repair company will be able to fix issues like this for you with ease.

Neighborhood Watch:

A neighborhood watch is another excellent way to deter crime in your area and it also gives you some added peace of mind to know that your neighbors are looking out for you. If you don’t have one, then you may want to consider speaking to your local community members about setting one up.

Better protect yourself, family, and home with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Do Right By Your Dog This Summer

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Do Right By Your Dog This Summer

The summer is approaching and it’s time for you and your dog to head out and find some new horizons to explore. It’s important, however, to look after your dog while you do this and don’t waste the chance to teach them new things. Below is some advice on how to do right by your dog this summer:

Keep your dog cool:

In some places the summer can get very warm. It can even cause tarmac to melt so imagine how it must feel on your dog’s paws! Add to this the warm furry coat your dog has and there is a recipe for an uncomfortable and potentially hazardous time. You need to look after your dog in the summer so they don’t overheat. Time their walks so they aren’t in the heat of the day and provide them with plenty of water and shade through the afternoon.

Look after their health:

During the hot weather your dog’s eyes might dry out and become irritated. This can happen when they lay in the sun for long periods, perhaps in the backyard or the park. Eye irritation will cause your dog some discomfort and they might whine. To remedy this, try some eye drops for dogs or cats, these are made with distilled water and colloidal silver to flush out your dog’s eyes and give them a clearness and ease that was missing before. Using these eye drops through the summer will keep their eyes moist and them comfortable.

Make your garden dog friendly:

During the summer, your dog will enjoy going to new places for walks. They will love running around at the beach and exploring the forest. Equally, they will want to explore your back garden and make it their home territory over the summer months. Make sure it’s dog friendly. The first thing to do is to check that all of your fences are secure. Also inspect your dog for fleas and mites regularly. Check your plants, as well, to make sure none of them are poisonous to dogs.

Teach them new things:

The summer is an ideal opportunity to teach your dog some new tricks or some new manners. You will be going to new and exciting places for your dog and they will want to explore, but you need to make sure they don’t interrupt other people and are friendly to other dogs. Teach your dog new things such as recall, walking nicely on the lead, and how to meet other dogs. If your dog is in a playful mood why not teach them a new trick or two?

Enrich their life:

Some dogs are smarter than others but all of them have some level of intelligence and a need for mental stimulation as well as physical. The summer is an excellent time to stimulate your dog’s mind with new activities and new training. Try to vary the walks you take your dogs on, otherwise they will start to get bored. Your dog needs new smells and stimulation to keep them active and happy.

Make the dog days of summer the best ever for you and your pup with the tips above!

Featured Image By: Freepik

Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

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Issues To Look Out For When You Have Trees In Your Yard

Trees can be an amazing addition to any outside space. In fact, this is such a wonderful little extra that it’s not unheard of for homeowners to ultimately make their decision to buy based on something like a lovely oak tree in a corner. Unfortunately, as amazing as they are, trees are also pretty extreme forces of nature. While this needn’t be a problem if your yard is large enough that they’re well out of reach, it could soon spell issues if your trees are up close and personal with your property.

Of course, you’re going to want to do everything that you can to avoid resorting to removal. Still, it’s vital to look out for these signs that your tree might be taking its toll on your house in the wrong ways:

Blocked gutters:

Autumn leaves can get everywhere, including into your gutters. This is the case no matter how much you sweep them up and, left unchecked, those autumnal remnants could well cause blockage issues that lead to everything from leaking pipes to damp interiors. To avoid this, it’s fundamental to rake leaves at least once a day in the fall, and also to install a drain cover that keeps the worst at bay. Make sure, too, that you invest in professional gutter cleaning or tackle this task yourself at least twice a year. That way, you can keep enjoying that tree, without once feeling its impact in your waterworks.

Overhanging branches:

Unlike flowers, trees grow wherever they want to, meaning that overhanging branches can soon become a problem. This can cause safety issues even in your own yard, but, most often, branches have a habit of growing over the garden fence. This can cause rifts with your neighbors like little else, especially seeing as they’re not legally allowed to chop those branches down. Make sure it doesn’t happen by getting any errant branches pruned at least every two to three years. This will instantly refresh your outside space, and might just ensure that you stay on the best terms with everyone else on your street.

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Structural damage:

Unfortunately, trees can also cause structural damage if surprisingly large tree root systems make their way under your property. If this happens, your structural foundations are at real risk, and immediate action is necessary if you notice warning signs such as cracks in your stonework, bulging walls, or uneven floors.

Luckily, tree surgeons can cut longer roots without damaging your tree itself, meaning that there’s no reason this needs to spell the end. Depending on where roots are, professionals may even be able to install root barriers that stop a repeat performance. However, this is dependent on fast action, because a tree that’s too deeply embedded underneath your house might need to go, after all.

Whether you spend much time in nature or not, trees can be an amazing addition to your yard. Or, at least, they can be if you stay vigilant of these key issues at all times!

Featured Image By: Pexels

4 Things Your Dog Needs Beyond Food And Water

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4 Things Your Dog Needs Beyond Food And Water

If you are a proud dog parent, you know how special these furry creatures are. Dogs are integral parts of their families. They bring so much joy, comfort, and companionship. With that in mind, you want to give them the best care possible to make them as happy as they make you – each and every day.

Safe Space:

When your dog spends time outside, it is vital to their well-being to have a safe place for them to sleep. Colorbond Dog Kennels are a quality and effective solution for your dog’s housing needs. These kennels are designed for longevity. The durable construction is raised off the ground to protect pets from fleas, parasites, snakes, roaming wildlife, and other unsecured dogs. Your dog needs to have a safe place to relax too! The kennel will also be their go-to location during the day if they feel tired or are looking for a quiet respite from the activity around your home. It is a place just for them.

Toys:

Yes, your dog really does need toys. However, they do not need to be fancy to be fun and effective. Dog toys do more than clutter up your floor. They keep your dog busy and entertained. Dog toys prevent your furry companion from finding your favorite shoes or even the baseboards and using them to scratch the chewing itch. Dogs are comforted and calmed by the act of chewing on things, and they keep them happy. You can find dog toys at many stores or try your hand at making them yourself for a DIY project.

Here is a fun tutorial on how to make upcycled dog toys from old t-shirts:

Exercise:

Just like people, some dog breeds require more exercise than others. And, just like people, exercise allows dogs to relieve stress through physical activity. When your dog is worn out physically, they are less likely to become destructive and chew or dig due to boredom or pent-up energy that is waiting to be released. As an added benefit, exercise is a chance to bond with your dog and take some time out of your everyday responsibilities for yourself, as well.

Love:

At the end of every day, if you look back at what your canine family member has wanted from you, it is basic needs and, overwhelmingly, it is love. Your dog wants to be with you. They long for a belly rub or scratch behind the ears with a “good boy/girl” thrown in for good measure. They deserve all of the love and in ample amounts!

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So sweet!

Your best friend deserves the best. Beyond caring for their basic needs, give them a safe space with shelter to retreat to and relax. Dogs do not need much; their basic needs are easy to meet. They just want some love, care, and of course – you!

Featured Image By: Pexels

Keep Your Home Pest Free With These Tips

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Keep Your Home Pest Free With These Tips

The thought of uninvited guests such as spiders, ants, rodents, or fleas roaming around your home may well give you the shivers! And it should. Pests in your home can be a huge health hazard for you and your family so it is important to follow these pest prevention tips to keep everyone safe:

Use natural remedies:

This one may sound a little weird but it’s actually one of the most effective ways of keeping pests from entering your home in the first place. In fact, all you need are the right herbs, either in fresh form or in an essential oil. Although, if you use them in fresh form you will need to combine with water and use a spray bottle to squirt them into all of the cracks and crevices that the pests could be living in. In particular, mint is good for banishing spiders from your home. While lavender and rosemary can help keep your home rodent free and smelling nice all at the same time.

Keep your home clean and clutter-free:

One of the best ways to make sure your home stays pest-free is to keep on top of both the cleaning and the clutter. Indeed, a home with less clutter will not only be easier to clean, but it will also provide fewer spaces for uninvited guests such as pests to hide.

When it comes to keeping your home clean, deep cleanses are very important. This means you need to move furniture and appliances, making sure to pick up any debris underneath and sanitizing where possible. Also, do not forget to regularly wash items such as chair and cushion covers, as well as throws to prevent them from becoming appealing to pests.

Use your garden:

You may think that spending more time out in your garden will only encourage pests to come into your home. However, the exact opposite is true. In fact, by keeping your garden in good condition and by using it regularly you can help deter pests. This is because they are unlikely to occupy space in which humans are spending a good deal of time.

Of course, by spending more time outside you may increase your chances of letting the occasional fly into your home. However, installing screens on the doors and windows should help minimize this.

Get some help from the pros:

Another smart way of ensuring your home stays pest-free is to get some help from a professional exterminator when needed. Indeed, professionals are best positioned to help you rid your home and garden of any visitors that could be posing a risk to you and your family’s health.

Of course, it’s always best to take the time to check that the specialist you are using has the experience and the equipment to handle the specific type of infestation you are dealing with. What this means is if you have an issue with tarantulas, black widows, or brown recluse spiders, getting a spider pest control expert is your best bet. After all, some pests, such as the spiders mentioned before can be venomous as well as just inconvenient, so making sure they are dealt with appropriately is crucial.

Start utilizing the tips above today to keep your home better protected from pests!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Steps To Take After A Car Accident

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Steps To Take After A Car Accident

Car accidents are not only incredibly scary but they are incredibly stressful because you now have a lot of unexpected things to deal with all at once. Injuries, car repairs, dealing with insurance, and So. Many. Bills – just to name a few. It can all feel really overwhelming but there are some steps that you can take to help make the process easier. Let’s get started:

Hire A Lawyer:

I was in a serious car accident a year and a half ago when my fiance and I got hit head on and I wish that I had hired a lawyer immediately instead of waiting. It would have saved so much hassle between the nonstop hospital and doctor bills and hang ups from the insurance companies. Not to mention all of the stress that came from trying to deal with it all by myself! As soon as I hired a lawyer, it was like a weight was lifted off of my shoulders and I could breathe a lot easier knowing I had a professional on my side.

Car Repairs:

If you have not been injured, you will want to tend to any car repairs or, potentially, car shopping so that you can be mobile and keep your daily life running smoothly. While it’s understandable to want to get this done quickly, don’t be afraid to shop around for the best deals. Lots of collision repair centers offer AAA or veteran’s discounts. Some places like collision repair Richmond Hill even offer in house car rental services to save you from endless Uber rides.

Document Everything:

Not only will you want pictures of the damage to your car but it is also important to take pictures of your injuries if you were hurt, which is standard. Have hard and backup copies of all of your documents and keep them well organized so you can reference them quickly as needed. Don’t forget to take note of time missed from work as well as anything that you have difficulty doing now due to injuries. It’s also a good rule of thumb to send any bills or other communication that you receive in the mail to your lawyer as you get it so they stay up to date on everything.

Take Your Time:

As mentioned above, car accidents are, first and foremost, really scary so it’s understandable to be a bit wary of driving after being in one. This is completely normal and it’s so important to not get behind the wheel of a car again until you feel ready. It’s not safe for yourself or other drivers if you are really anxious on the road. Give yourself time and a break because you just went through something so dangerous. It’s also good to talk about these worries and fears instead of bottling them up so a video chat with a friend or therapist could go a long way.

While these tips won’t take all of the stress of a car accident away, they will certainly help. Also so glad you are okay!

3 Things To Remember When You Start Exercising Later In Life

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3 Things To Remember When You Start Exercising Later In Life

Not everyone likes to exercise and that’s okay. But even if you don’t like running or you are now at the point where you think you may have to do a little exercise, it could be hard to get into it if you’re a bit older. But whatever your stage of life, physical fitness can make you feel better and have a positive impact on a number of health conditions. But where do we begin?

The Importance of Starting Small:

One of the biggest temptations is to make up for lost time. So we think that we have to run 10k, but learning to run before you can walk, almost literally, can make you run the risk of a whole host of injuries. We can get injuries, not just because we are overreaching, but it is also due to poor form. Common podiatrist clients are the people who run too much. Starting to exercise is about making sure you get the form right before you do anything else. Whether you are lifting weights or running, you must focus on doing the move correctly. People are so impatient and want to get into the heavier, more difficult things, but the reality is that you need to slow down and start small.

Finding the Right Exercises for Your Lifestyle:

Another common misconception is that if we are to get fit, we need to hit the gym five or six days a week. This is not the case. When we think back to our ancestors, the hunter-gatherers, they only expelled energy when they needed to and we can learn from that. There are people who believe that you don’t need to exercise much in order to be healthy. And this is a very popular approach, especially for those who need to exercise quickly. This is why there are products like the X3 Bar that prove very popular because they provide the stimulus to grow muscle and cardiovascular health while doing it in a short space of time. But if you like the idea of running long distances, it’s entirely your prerogative. Whatever fits around your lifestyle will be enough to keep you fit.

Keeping At It:

This is the biggest thing we all need to overcome. When we find the right routines for our lives and perform them correctly, we have to stick to a schedule in order to achieve results. This is why many people give up at the gym at the end of January having just set up a membership only four weeks before! The best thing for you to do is to go to the calendar and mark the days where you can exercise and for how long. But in addition, you must remember that you will only make significant impacts on your life if you stick to a healthy diet. Exercising is the best way to begin, but if you want to make big changes, you’ll also need to change your eating habits.

It’s never too late to start exercising! Start small, keep it gradual, and make sure that you are doing your exercises correctly to prevent injuries.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Balancing Costs With Essentials As An Artist

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Balancing Costs With Essentials As An Artist

Creatives have it tougher than others. Unless they end up on magazine covers or are propped up by the industry as the Next Big Thing, it can feel difficult just to survive. And that’s even before the self-doubt kicks in over whether you chose the wrong company to work for. If art is your passion, it’s only understandable that you want to make a living with it. A lot of people will tell you that you won’t make money from a career as an artist, which is not the case at all. Try incorporating these tips to achieve your artist dreams without going broke in the process:

Consider the Right Investments:

One major issue with following your artistic dream is the costs, and anyone who has a creative bone in their body knows what these costs are. From acting lessons to high-quality paints and utensils, it can feel you’ve spent everything before you’ve earned a cent. This is why you need to choose the right investments for your craft. Look for high quality but affordable materials from The Sydney Canvas Company, and don’t forget to create a website to go alongside your social media profiles to boost awareness and look more professional.

Know Your Worth:

Many struggling artists desperate for work will have no choice but to accept being paid in exposure. This is a bit of a joke, though, and it’s something clients use to get people to work for free. If you know your worth, you’ll be able to avoid gigs that take advantage of you, which means you have more time to focus on improving yourself. While you might miss out on some jobs, you will be able to demand a price that you can live off of, because you can’t pay for groceries with likes or word-of-mouth.

Don’t Abandon Other Work Entirely (Yet):

Once you decide to pursue your passion, you may have plans to quit your current job and say goodbye to the nine to five lifestyle. However, as you are not stable yet, this is not a good idea. If you want to make sure that you can balance living costs with the essentials as an artist, you’ll need to persevere in your day job for now. As time goes on, you may be able to reduce your hours before giving it up entirely, but until then, stay patient.

Research the ‘Competition’:

It feels wrong to pit artists against one another when they all have the same goal in mind, and that’s why the word ‘competition’ feels off. Still, if you know what others in your industry are doing, you will be able to adapt to the times, especially when it comes to charging for work or considering how to improve in the future. Building a network of artists is free, and this can help you become better in every aspect of your work.

There will be many, many times where you feel like giving up your dream for something more stable. But, doing so would be a disservice to your talent and your passion. If you know how to balance the cost of being an artist with living a comfortable life, you’ll find that it is possible to make money from what you love to do.

Featured Image By: Unsplash