Tag Archives: pro tips

Improvements That Could Increase The Value Of Your Home

Standard
Improvements That Could Increase The Value Of Your Home

Are you looking for ways to improve your home, but aren’t sure where to start? Making improvements to your home can be extremely satisfying and you can customize it all to your liking. If you are on a limited budget, it can be hard to know which parts of your home should be prioritized when carrying out a renovation. If you are looking for improvements that will help to add some extra value to your home and, potentially make it more appealing to future buyers, these ideas should help:

Replace Your Windows and Doors:

Your home’s windows and doors are one of the first things that people will notice about your house; as they are one of the most prominent features on your home’s exterior. Over time, windows and doors are subjected to the elements and have to withstand everything from heavy snowstorms to the hot sun beating down onto them. It’s little wonder that every now and again it is a good idea to get your windows and doors replaced. As windows and doors are such an integral part of your home and perform such an important role, it is vital to choose replacement windows and doors which are well-made and of the highest quality. Mr. Rogers Windows and Doors offers a fantastic range of replacement windows and doors, which are sure to improve the appearance of any home.

Convert Your Loft:

Your loft is a part of the house that has enormous potential. If your attic is currently being used as a storage area, then why not bring it to life and get some real use out of it? Your loft offers endless opportunities for use as an extra living space in your home. Using your loft space to add extra bedrooms and bathrooms can really increase the value of your home, and make it all the more appealing to potential buyers. If you have no immediate plans to sell your home, a loft conversion still has its benefits. All the extra living space that you create makes a perfect place for guests to stay and is ideal if your family is still growing.

Update Your Kitchen:

Changing your kitchen can be a large project to undertake, but it is totally worth it when complete. The kitchen is the heart of the home, so making it a space that is as attractive as it is functional is important. Kitchen renovations can be super expensive, but you can adjust your makeover plans to suit your budget, and still make a big difference to the way your kitchen looks. If you are on a tight budget but still want to change things up, why not simply change the doors and worktops, instead? Replacing the doors and worktops may be cost-effective but can still make a dramatic difference to the overall look of the room.

If you fancy going all-out on redesigning your new kitchen, then you may decide to gut it entirely and start again from scratch. Going back to basics means that you are able to utilize the space better and get the kitchen exactly how you would like it. Additions such as high-end integrated appliances, attractive tiles, and kitchen islands can really help to add value to your home.

house1

Naomi Hébert on Unsplash

Renovate Your Bathroom:

Alongside the kitchen, the bathroom is the other room in your home that usually costs the most to improve. Due to the costs involved, a beautiful bathroom can have a really positive impact on your home’s value along with how much it appeals to potential buyers. If you have a small bathroom, you may look for ways to redesign it so that it appears bigger and less cramped. This can be achieved by installing a corner bath and corner sink so that less of the floor space is taken up, and every part of the room is utilized.

Be mindful of your budget, make a plan, and soon your house will be feeling brand new with an increased property value, to boot!

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Advertisements

Keeping Safe When You Spot A Dangerous Dog

Standard
Keeping Safe When You Spot A Dangerous Dog

For a dog lover, it can be difficult to imagine staying away from an animal. However, newspapers have reported fatalities linked to dog attacks frequently enough for people to keep their distance from potentially dangerous animals. Keeping safe when you notice that a dog is acting strangely and could become threatening is often a matter of staying out of reach. But, there is a variety of situations. It can be tricky, for instance, to stay away from a dog wandering in the street. Alternatively, could there be more to their menacing behavior than the desire to attack? Indeed, sometimes, the best reaction when you spot a potentially dangerous dog is not to walk away but to find help. How do you know what to do? Here’s a little guideline to highlight typical canine reactions and the kind of protection you need.

A dangerous dog can bite you or your dog:

Sometimes, there is nothing you can do to protect yourself. You could be walking casually in your local park when, suddenly, a dog comes out of nowhere and bites you. Unprovoked attacks are, unfortunately, widespread especially when you’re dealing with inexperienced dog owners. It doesn’t make the attack any less traumatic; however, you need to make a clear difference between a bad owner and a dangerous animal.

Indeed, negligent owners are often the cause of many troubles. You can hire The Millar Law Firm to file a claim about the dog bite. Not only can you recover money through the process; but this is where the differentiation between an actual dangerous dog and a careless owner plays a significant role. Additionally, if the dog has not attacked you, but your pet, you can also consider a legal representative to claim veterinary expenses as long as you can prove that the fault lies with the other dog owner.

You can identify their nervous behavior:

In other situations, you might have enough time to observe the animal and make a decision based on its behaviors. It’s important to remember that dogs can struggle with difficult emotions, which can affect the way they engage with people without meaning that they are dangerous animals. If you happen to spot a trembling dog that is trying to hide away from sight, it typically means that the animal is anxious. Following the dog might also lead to an aggressive reaction, as the dog will perceive your behavior as an attack and act in self-defense.

Anxious pets need help to relax if you want to interact with them. However, if you don’t know the dog, it’s best to keep your distance and leave it to a professional. It can be tricky for dog lovers to stay away from anxious dogs, primarily if you are used to petting and playing with them. The most natural reaction, when you see a scared animal is to want to hug them. Unless it is your dog, it is never a good idea to start with a hug when the animal doesn’t know you. They could misinterpret your intentions.

What can you do if you notice signs of abuse?

Ultimately, aggressiveness is not a natural behavior. When a dog is aggressive, your safety depends on your ability to figure out the issue and seek protection. A dog owner whose pet treatment is cruel can be the cause of many behavioral problems. There are signs of animal cruelty that can completely change your reading on the situation. A dog that is left with no veterinary care despite showing wounds or that is beaten by the owner is likely to react either anxiously or aggressively to human interactions. Be prepared to take action and give the animal the help it needs by contacting the relevant authorities, such as the HSUS.

Safe gestures with a scared dog:

If your neighbors or a friend recently rescued a pet from a shelter, the animal could show signs of aggressiveness as a result of its past trauma. You could notice growling, snarling, showing teeth, or even staring. In reality, the dog might be scared. Typically, it’s best to leave it to a more experienced dog handler, however, in a situation where you’re the only person with previous dog experience, you need to know how to approach a nervous dog safely.

Train your dog to be friendly first:

You’d be surprised to know that a lot of anxious dogs find no other way out than to bite when they feel cornered. That’s why it’s especially important that you understand how to read their behavior and how to approach them safely. Additionally, you should also train your dog not to display aggressive signs towards other animals. A nervous dog might feel forced to act in self-defense if your pet growls as they walk past.

Is the dog injured?

There is another reason why an animal might be aggressive, and it is when they are in pain. For instance, if you accidentally touch a dog on a wound, it might bite you. However, it is not a sign of aggressive behavior but only their way of protecting themselves. Therefore, if you intend to approach a lonely dog, you need to keep your eyes open for health clues. An open wound is, of course, easy to spot. But you need to focus on other clues, such as a limp or slight swelling, for example.

dog6

Be cautious with an injured dog

While dangerous dogs are everybody’s nightmare, it is crucial to understand that aggressiveness can be a response to many events. From negligent owners to anxiety, not all dogs that bite are a vicious animal. Some of them, you could even help and prevent unnecessary attacks.

Featured Image By: Pixabay

Getting A Master’s: What You Need To Know

Standard
Getting A Master’s: What You Need To Know

Are you considering getting your master’s or trying to work out whether you should? If this is the situation you’re in, then read on for three key areas to keep in mind:

Job Prospects:

First of all, one of the most important things for you to keep in mind is the job prospects that come with a master’s degree. Can you get your dream job without it? If so, do you need to get your master’s? If you do or you’ve got significant earnings potential with it, then go ahead.

Costs:

The next thing that you need to bear in mind here, is the cost. Because, as you’ll know, college can come with a hefty price tag. And so, you’ll want to make sure that one, you can afford it or have funding options, and that two, you’re happy to take on that much debt if you do. A cheaper college or shorter course could help you here.

Duration:

Finally, you’re then going to want to think about the duration of the course, too. Sure, you can get some year-long courses, but anything like law school is going to be a lot longer than that. And, of course, costs increase as a result. So, ask yourself, do you really want to go down that route? If you really want that career, then you may not have another choice. But if you take a look at the infographic below, you’ll find that a political management degree could be more beneficial. So weigh up your options!


Infographic Design By George Washington University

No matter your choice, consider it carefully and make sure that it is the right one for you.

 

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

Raising A Happy And Obedient Dog

Standard
Raising A Happy And Obedient Dog

For most of us, our four legged companions are just that… A source of companionship. Indeed, just by existing they do a great deal for us. They cheer us up when we’re feeling down, they help us stay active and in shape, and they never ever forget to show us how much they love us. However, if we want to raise and train a dog to do a specific job, like rescuing us when we need them or simply to be well-behaved while walking them, we need to ensure a particular disposition. Dogs are, in many ways, just like children. While any child can learn virtually any skill in theory, parents need to create the right disposition for learning. Just as all children do not perform equally well at school, not all dogs are apt to learn the skills that could one say save your life.

Here we’ll look at some key factors in raising a happy and obedient dog that will rise to any challenge you set him or her with ease:

It starts with sourcing:

Where your pet comes from plays a huge role in its malleability and eagerness to learn. This is one of the reasons why it’s not advisable to buy puppies from a pet store. 90% of these come from puppy mills which, by necessity, churn out literally thousands of pups every year. Not only does this contribute significantly to an already colossal rehoming issue, dogs from this kind of background are more predisposed to psychological and emotional instability.

Your best bet is to determine which breed is best suited to your intended purpose and find a rescue group or breeder that puts the effort into raising healthy and happy pups. Take this breeder of chocolate lab puppies, for example. The website demonstrates not only outstanding knowledge but genuine care. They even have their own training school. Puppies who have been raised by loving and knowledgeable breeders from day one are likely to be well predisposed to human contact and quick to learn.

Never too young to learn:

Just like children, puppies are never too young to start learning the basic skills which will form a strong foundation for their further training. Obedience training with a qualified professional is a great investment if you want to give your dog the best possible start. Of course, if your budget is limited, there are ample resources out there that will teach you how to run obedience training yourself.

It’s essential to start teaching good habits to your pup as soon as possible. Many habits that are cute and endearing as pups like nibbling your fingers or jumping up to say hello can be barriers to learning for adult dogs.

Socialize, socialize, socialize:

As well as learning, socialization should take place at a young age, too (as soon as the vet deems your dog ready). This will help them to deal with the spontaneity and unknown variables of the outside world. It will help them to understand that new sights, sounds, and smells are normal and nothing to worry about. This will give your dog the confidence and easy nature that makes a great service dog.

Brain food:

Could we achieve great things on a diet of heavily processed cheese burgers, potato chips, and soda? Probably not. The building and consolidation of physical and cognitive skills starts with good nutrition. If you want to get the most out of your dog, it’s imperative that they get the right brain food in their diets that allows them to excel.

Choose a dog food that is high in omega 3 oils which are just as beneficial for cognitive function in dogs as they are in humans. You should also choose foods that are high in antioxidants to protect the brain from damage caused by free radicals. A well nourished dog is far more likely to be obedient, calm, and happy.

Consistency is key:

Finally, it’s absolutely essential to be consistent when training your dog. You love your dog, but you can show them how much you love them without indulging them. Allow them to get away with things or ignore you once or twice in their early years and it will be more difficult to train them effectively later on.

Featured Image By: V via PxHere

Shaving Secrets

Standard
Shaving Secrets

Hi! During my late birthday outing to a winery with my BFF, she commented on how smooth my legs are. Through BFF telepathy, we both shaved the night before our hang out and my legs were definitely a lot smoother in comparison to hers. She asked for my secrets and also looked through my bathroom once we went to my apartment to see my shaving supplies, lol!

After bequeathing my knowledge onto her, I realized that this would make a great blog post. So, here I am to share my tips for the closest shave ever with you!

Use a men’s razor:

You have not experienced a close shave until you’re using a men’s razor. I swear by the razors by Gilette and refuse to use anything different. Men’s razors are designed to give as close of a shave humanly possible for their face as well as to move around gently on the contours. So, it just makes sense that it would work amazingly for the rest of the body, too!

I feel like women’s razors are made to just go in straight lines on the legs but the human body is not perfectly straight. There’s curves and bumps and muscles and a terrain on the body that doesn’t make it that simple. Men’s razors have a lot more movement to them to get all of those difficult areas effectively. Ditch your women’s razor and see an immediate difference just from that.

Take a soak:

I only will shave after I have had a nice soak in the tub. The warm water relaxes the skin and makes your hair stand up, which makes for an easier shaving experience. I enjoy a weekly bath every Friday night with a glass of wine and my music to help unwind after a long work week. There is just too much room for error if you shave in the shower and a bath time shave lets me know that I haven’t missed any spots. No one likes random hairy patches!

Use an exfoliater:

Instead of using a shaving cream, I treat my legs and any other areas of my body that I shave to an exfoliater. It helps loosen up the hair follicles, removes any dead or dry skin, and really helps prep your body for a shave. I used to love the more gel-like scrubs from The Body Shop but, after using a cream based one, I don’t plan on using anything different. Gels and shaving creams dry the skin out but a rich, creamy scrub moisturizes the skin as you go along and provides a much closer shave.

Lotion up:

And, finally, using lotion after you shave is a must. I will cover my whole body in lotion (I like Jergen’s!) after my bath, put on a long sleeved pajama top and bottoms, and then sleep in it for all night moisturizing. When I wake up, my skin is so silky smooth and I don’t feel any type of prickles growing back. And, on the subject of moisturizing – make sure you use a cream based body wash to avoid your skin from drying out, which doesn’t help the cause of smoothness, either.

With my shaving routine, I don’t see any type of noticeable hair growth on my body until at least day four. And, at that point, my bath night is close enough that I can handle a little prickle until then!

What are your shaving secrets? How do you stay smooth in between shaves? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Featured Image By: Rebel Circus

“Elderspeak” Done Right

Standard
“Elderspeak” Done Right

The elderly population of America is growing these days. The Population Reference Bureau (PRB) report entitled “Aging in the United States” revealed that the number of Americans aged 65 and above will more than double from 46 million today to over 98 million by 2060. The group’s share of the country’s total population will rise to nearly 24 percent. Which means, it’s time everyone learns how to talk better to the elderly, particularly to their aging loved ones.

Elderspeak: A New Trend?

In an article, The Chicago Tribune talked about the proliferation of “elderspeak,” defined as a specialized type of speech younger adults use to communicate easily with their elders. According to the writer, Cindy Dampier, describes it as a “sugary tone” that mimics how people talk to pets or small children. It might seem like a harmless form of personal communication. After all, you’re trying to help aging loved ones by adjusting to their communication levels. On the contrary, it’s not always a good idea.

They’re Still Adults:

If you’re trying to open a conversation about Wichita hospice care or other important matters, refrain from talking to them in elderspeak. Keep in mind that the person you’re talking to is an adult who has more experience in life. They’ve raised kids, served their country, directed board meetings, and more. They are still adults who deserve to be treated (and talked to) like adults.

Words Can Have Consequences:

The popular children’s rhyme “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me” is untrue, especially with older adults (particularly those who are emotionally sensitive). A number of researches reveal that elderspeak can affect an elder’s mental and emotional welfare.

A study from the Yale School of Public Health reported that elders who experienced negative stereotypes associated with aging were more likely to have balance and memory problems. While the researchers didn’t study elderspeak in particular, the participants of the study encountered condescending communication styles from family, doctors, nurses, and other people in the community.

Kristin Willams, RN, Ph.D., of the University of Kansas also conducted a study on the effect of elderspeak on an elder’s health. She reported that aging individuals with Alzheimer’s disease became more resistant to care when people use elderspeak around them.

age1

There’s a Better Way to Talk:

Communication with aging loved ones can be challenging, especially if they are experiencing physical and mental problems. Still, there are better ways to talk without switching to baby talk for adults. First, be mindful of your tendency to speak down to elders and make a conscious effort to use a tone and words that echo dignity and encouragement.

Second, speak calmly and clearly without raising your voice. Always use a gentle and relaxed tone but talk at a slightly slower pace so that your loved one will understand you. Finally, exercise patience. It’s easier said than done because how the elderly respond to you is out of your control. How you respond to them, however, is in your hands.

There are always better ways to talk to your elderly loved ones. Instead of getting frustrated or subjecting them to elderspeak, a good rule of thumb is to interact with them in a way you would want them to treat you if the tables were turned.