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The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

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The Fallout: Steps To Take After Suffering Extreme Damage To Your Home

It’s never something we would like to think that would affect any of us, but with the rise of inclement weather all over the world, it seems more and more likely with every passing year that your home will be involved in some kind of disaster. Whether it be a flood, tornado, earthquake, or a fire, it is a terrible situation to be in. But what happens after the event to your home and to you personally? Let’s try and address the issues about how to repair all the damage after a disaster.

The First Thing To Do:

The first sort of call when it comes to a disaster happening to your home, once everybody is safe, is to get in contact with your insurance company and file a claim. Depending on whether you are renting your home or not, you would still need to make a claim based on the damage to your property or your worldly possessions. It’s your prerogative at the start whether you would want to use a loss adjuster to deal with the entire process of the claim, which could help with the buildings insurance, contents insurance, as well as providing emergency accommodation. And the sooner you are able to engage with one, the bigger the burden they can remove from your shoulders. Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will undertake a fact-finding mission throughout your property, and based on the circumstances of the claim, forensic specialists may be called to undertake an investigation, especially if this was a house fire to determine the cause.

The Next Steps:

Once you have met with the loss adjuster, they will submit a report to the insurance company based on the circumstances surrounding the disaster and they will also recommend whether the insurer should pay your claim or not. They will make a decision on whether the policy you have is sufficient enough to cover the damage, which is a big problem a lot of policyholders have, being “underinsured”. From there, the emergency contractors will be appointed to carry out any works that are urgent, and this could include water damage restoration companies, which will provide their own investigation into the causes. If you have issues in your home with things like running water, they will provide a restoration plan for you.

Other companies may weatherproof your property or make your home more secure by boarding up the windows or covering the roof. It’s important to note that the insurers might not pay for this work until the claim has been processed, so it would be your responsibility in the meantime to prevent additional damage to your property. After this, the surveyor will assess the overall damage to your property and put together a plan for the reinstatement of it.

The Contents Claim:

If your home was very badly damaged and all of your possessions have been destroyed, it’s important for you to make a detailed list of all of your contents including the cost for replacements. A lot of insurance companies act on a “like for like” basis. But if you are claiming for things like clothes and bedding, they are replaced on what is called an indemnity basis, meaning that there will be a reduction in their value based on the wear and tear of your original items. And if you’ve got a lot of high-end items such as electronic equipment or designer clothes, you need to provide the proof, the makes, models, etc., before the insurance company will accept the claim completely.

The Personal Impact:

As it would be expected, the process of dealing with loss adjusters and the insurance company can be a trying one, especially if you are without a home. During the process, you will be in temporary accommodation, and this could be the emergency accommodation provided at the outset of the disaster. After that, you would have to find long-term temporary accommodation that suits you and your family during the restoration of the property. This can be difficult to acquire, especially if you have a big family or have pets.

It’s at this point where the stress can get the better of you, as you’re not in your own home. During your dealings with the insurance company, you may feel like you’re being passed from pillar to post, but this is a fact of the situation, unfortunately. If your claim is in limbo, it can take some time. And during your negotiation with a loss adjuster, you may not get everything that you wish in terms of suitable emergency accommodation, as you need to agree on a budget with the loss adjuster.

The Final Pieces Of The Puzzle:

Once the ball has been rolling after the tense negotiations, the process of tendering will begin. At this point, the contractors will be appointed to do the work on your home. The contractors are usually specialist ones appointed by the insurance company, but if you want to use your own contractors, you need to be careful with your choice as there are many out there who may not have a good track record. It is at this point where the surveyor will meet with the contractors to solidify the final parts of the work, which will progress until your home is fully restored. It’s important to note that at this point, you may wish to make some alterations to your home, pending the approval of the surveyor. After this, your contents claim would be agreed, items are secured, and you can return home.

While we all hope that it doesn’t happen to us, it’s important that if your home suffers from any type of disaster that you have the right policies in place. If you don’t have any insurance, it is recommended that you get something for peace of mind. If your home is ever going to suffer a disaster, with the right insurance policies in place you know you can, at least, rebuild your life.

Featured Image By: Wikipedia

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Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Edition

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Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Edition

Hi everyone and TGIF! Today we’re going to ring in more Face Mask Festivities by discussing The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask. This is one of the first face masks that I ever used and it holds a special place in my heart for that reason and the fact that it eliminates my pesky nose blackheads like no other. Take a look at some pics and let’s chat about this miracle mask further:

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^^^ So this mask admittedly looks pretty gross in the container and on my MUG, for that matter, but gosh darn it is it effective!

With five nose piercings, my honker is a freaking battleground of blackheads that pop up like landmines around my studs. This isn’t the biggest skin care problem one can have, and I realize that, but I know that they’re there and it really bothers me. Not only does my skin care perfectionism cause me to lightweight freak out over blemishes, but I’d prefer for my pierced up nose to stay clean and clear to prevent irritation and infection.

We all know that charcoal is the “it” thing in the skin care world, especially when it comes to drawing blemishes out and giving your pores a deep clean. That’s what made this mask an obvious choice for purchasing. After ONE USE of my TBS mask, there wasn’t a single blackhead left on my nose. Saying that I was ecstatic about this is an extreme understatement. After countless cleansers and scrubs, I found something that literally eliminated the problem within ten minutes. Amazing much?

My favorite thing about this mask is its smell. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that it smells minty, but when you unscrew the container lid you get an instant waft of brisk freshness. Kind of like opening a new pack of gum but without that overpowering peppermint aroma. This mask feels cool on your skin so that combined with such a crisp scent definitely makes for an invigorating experience.

Despite all of the above rave reviews, there are some things that I dislike about this mask. For one, you really have to be careful about washing this mask off quickly. If you go over the ten minute limit even just slightly, the hydration in your skin seems to slip away in double time, leaving your skin feeling brittle and looking flushed. Not fun.

And, for pettiness’ sake, this mask is a big fat pain in the BOOTASH to clean up. I prefer to wash my masks off in the shower and the chunks of charcoal in the mask simply REFUSE to go down the drain. As soon as I shut the water off, there is face mask residue coating my tub, so you have to use a towel to wipe it all off. God forbid you just leave it there (Which I’ve totes done before – #lazygirlproblems), because the mask will dry and it will be a vicious cycle of the mask getting wet and then drying every time you shower. SMH.

Although there are some annoyances with this mask, I do recommend it for those looking for an effective charcoal product. My skin always seems to thank me for using it (If I’m quick enough to wash it off!) and saying bye-bye to blackheads is a blessing in itself!

So there you have it, the newest issue of Face Mask Festivities: The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Edition! Be sure to tune in on Sunday as I wrap this mini series up. What is your favorite product from The Body Shop? What is your favorite face mask to use? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Elf Palette Faves #1

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Elf Palette Faves #1

Hiiii everyone and TGIF! Okay, so this Wednesday I introduced you guys to my New(ish) Elf Nude Rose Gold Palette and I wanted to share a few of my fan favorites with all of you. Unfortunately, I don’t know the names of any of these colors SO I’LL MAKE THEM UP MYSELF. Ayyy! Let me introduce you all to SPARKLING EGGPLANT lololol:

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Sparkling Eggplant is the last color on the right in my palette. This is my favorite color out of the ten. I love the purple-y, mauve color and the fact that this shade has some glitter thrown in for good measure makes me like it even more. I prefer to wear Sparkling Eggplant (It never gets old!) as an eyeliner and I wet my brush to give it the appearance of the second heart seen above.

My eyes are hazel and frequently change colors from brown to green or gold depending on the lighting and what makeup I’m using. The purple hue of this eyeshadow brings about green eyes, which I love. To complete this look, I like to use one of the shell pink colors in the corner of my eyes with one of the browns or mauves in the palette across the lid. I then blend these together for a purple haze, smokey look – which sounds a lot better than my makeup skills allot for!

So there you have it, the first of my Elf Palette Faves! How do you use makeup to play up your eye color? How would you name this color from my palette? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

July 2017 Finishes

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July 2017 Finishes

Hi everyone and TGIF! My goodness, the months are just flying by, which brings us to another wrap up post for all of the beauty goodies that I used during July. This month brought to an end some products that I’ve been using for what seems like forever as well as some short lived lotions that were still enjoyable, just the same. Take a look at my July Finishes and let’s discuss:

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Would I Use Again?

  • Bath & Body Works Beach Nights lotion: YES
  • The Body Shop Satsuma Body Puree: YES
  • Destiny Boutique Charcoal face wash: YES
  • The Body Shop Vitamin C Skin Boost: YES
  • The Body Shop Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask: NO
  • Too Faced Better Than Sex mascara: YES

Why/Why Not?

B&BW Lotion: You guys all know that I love me some Bath & Body Works so, of course, this lotion was no exception. I got this full sized lotion as a freebie months ago and just now got around to using it and am so glad that I did! The Beach Nights scent smells amazing!! It literally smells like vanilla mixed in with the crisp sea breeze scent of the ocean and marshmallows roasted over a big bonfire. It’s absolutely delicious. A fair warning, though, – the lotion is quite pungent. I never wear lotion unless it’s at night, but even if I were a day time wearer, this would be my last choice to use. It took me about six full body uses to finish this product.

TBS Body Puree: I looooooove all things Satsuma from The Body Shop. To me, it is the most divine citrus scent on the market and I am always so happy when I can snag some of its energizing deliciousness. I would never buy The Body Shop bath and body care products from there because the prices are absurd, but when TJMaxx is stocked with their items, it’s hard not to indulge! I got this lotion for four bucks and it was such a wonderful treat. The Body Purees are so much lighter than a normal lotion – it feels like using a lush, aquatic gel and it feels so nice on the skin. The Purees also absorb almost instantly, which is another amazing touch! It took me about seven full body uses to finish this product.

Destiny Boutique Face Wash: Destiny Boutique is a brand that I discovered through TJMaxx that I freaking love. I am obsessed with all things charcoal and loved using their charcoal face bar so much that it seemed silly to not buy their cleanser. This face wash was well worth the ten dollar price tag as it took me OVER FIVE MONTHS to finish it. Every day, this cleanser left my skin feeling fresh, clean, and blackhead free – which is a fantastic way to feel! I’m so happy that I have another one of these washes in my hoard for another five months of beauty bliss!

TBS Skin Boost: I don’t need to explain my love for this product anymore, you guys already know all about it! It took me over two and a half months of daily use to finish my Vitamin C Skin Boost from The Body Shop.

TBS Face Mask: I really enjoy using face masks but, unfortunately, this Amazonian Acai Energizing Radiance Mask from The Body Shop really missed the mark. In its title, this mask has everything that I look for when selecting a product – something invigorating that provides bright radiance to the skin. This mask did none of that and my skin was left looking and feeling no different after about a month and a half of using it two times per week. The product smelled lovely, but it was far from effective. Whomp whomp.

Too Faced Mascara: I rarely write about makeup finishes during my monthly empties posts, but this mascara is a different story. Too Faced’s Better Than Sex mascara has been a complete game changer to my makeup routine. My sister got me hooked on the stuff and after using this mascara for close to FOUR MONTHS, I had to get more to feed my addiction!

This mascara is AMAZING. It does for my lashes what using multiple different tubes of mascara during my routine couldn’t even come close to doing. Better Than Sex gives you gorgeous fanned out, jet black, lush, plush lashes that stay in place but still feel soft to the touch. There is literally nothing better and I am so willing to shell out the twenty-three dollar price tag for a mascara that does what the classic drug store brands can’t. It’s worth every penny and then some.

Besides for my face mask from The Body Shop, July was a very successful month for my finishes. I am so happy with the empties that I did like and would happily purchase them again in a heart beat!

So there you have it, my July 2017 Finishes! Which beauty products did you finish up for the month? Has anyone used any of my empties before? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Zara Haul: Black & White, Alright Edition

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Zara Haul: Black & White, Alright Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to the conclusion to my Zara Haul series featuring a twenty dollar button down dress with to die for details! I’m unsure of the original price for my dress because there was no tag on the item but I’m assuming that it’s starting price was around seventy or so dollars, because that’s the Zara way. The button down dress is an item that I took for granted until I realized that I flipping love them, so now I have to make up for lost time and BUY ALL THE BUTTON DOWNS! Take a look at this new beauty and let’s discuss:

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White is a color that I don’t wear very frequently, just because I find it very anxiety provoking. Hello, future coffee stains. But, I always do enjoy a crisp, white piece of clothing when the perfect one comes a knockin. I simply love this dress, so having to be extra careful with eating, makeup, etc. while wearing it is totally worth it. The sleek fabric, kimono-esque style, blossoming pattern, and daring details all make this dress worthy of being in my expansive wardrobe.

The button down dress is a classic piece of clothing. It’s something that looks good on every body type and can really be worn for any occasion depending on how you style it. The button down dress offers timeless beauty to all who wear it and I am ashamed that it has taken me so long to appreciate that. The few button down dresses that I own are some of my favorites, so it’s definitely nice to be able to find one that I think is so well suited to me to add to the collection.

From the lace up detailing on the side to the barbell shaped cuff links on the sleeves, this dress is full of surprises. Probably the biggest surprise being that white actually looks good on me! As a very pale gal, white is something that I tend to unconsciously shy away from because of the fear that it will wash me out (And also stains, lol.), but it’s actually quite the contrary. By some divine miracle, the color white manages to enhance and exaggerate my skin and hair color even more, creating a stunning effect – especially while wearing red lipstick!

Of course, I’m looking forward to wearing this as an actual dress but I’m more excited to pair this with some black super skinny jeans and a nice pair of stilettos for an edgy, office chic look. Throw a blazer or a moto jacket over top of it and you’re all set with a look that can be easily suitable for day or night!

So there you have it, the conclusion to my Zara Haul: Black & White, Alright Edition! What was your favorite item from my haul? Who else is getting some serious summer shopping in? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Improving Your Emotional Well-Being, Starting With You

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Improving Your Emotional Well-Being, Starting With You

While the world is still full of many wrongs – many things we would alter, tweak, and change – we are moving in the right direction on so many critical topics, not least of all mental health. Funding, awareness, openness, and the battle against its stigma. These are all ways in which we are improving as a society that realizes the debilitating outcomes for those unlucky enough to be preyed on by their own mind.

But the one thing that can have the biggest influence above all is you. Sure, that may sound cliched, but what’s wrong with that? Cliches are just truisms. Of course, the only way that you can help yourself on an emotional level is knowing how you can take better care of yourself. Get that right and your well-being will follow.

The Word ‘No’: We are taught to say ‘yes’ from an early age. Taught that the word ‘yes’ brings with it opportunity and adventure, and this is true. However, it is important to respect the word ‘no’, too. By learning when and how to say no with grace and understanding, you will find it much easier to fit in the things that you want and need to. There is never enough time or energy to do everything. So in order to enjoy saying ‘yes’ you need to know how to say ‘no’, as well.

Go Outside Every Day: When you are trapped in the vice-like grip of depression or anything of that ilk, the idea of crawling out from under the duvet and leaving your bed can be unfathomable, let alone leaving the house. However, research has proved that spending time outdoors can boost your energy and emotional strength, while also giving you a heightened sense of well-being.

Make Big Waves: Mental health issues can manifest in so many different forms, including severe dependencies. Escaping this crux can be as tough as it gets, so don’t be afraid to make big waves and take big steps. Seek help. Speak to therapists. Look at that extended stay treatment at Beachway. Approach councilors. Your mental health and emotional well-being is the most important thing that you have, which is why you shouldn’t accept any compromises. Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness.

Get Lots Of Sleep: Studies have shown that you should get at least seven and a half hours of sleep each night. This is because sleep deprivation, whether it be broken sleep or chronic insomnia, can lead to weight gain, a loss of focus, feeling unstable, and a general lack of productivity. If you manage to get into a good sleep pattern, not only will you feel better, but you will be better too.

Respect Yourself: We neglect ourselves without even realizing it. That is why you should start making a conscious effort to treat yourself in the same way that you treat your family and closest friends. Imagine how you would help a friend that was suffering in the same way that you are. We’re talking about offering yourself compassion, respect, kindness, and advice. Pushing yourself to be a better you is important, we can’t deny that. But being hard on yourself is different. Being hard on yourself only encourages guilt and can harm your emotional well-being to no end.

Every new aspect of your life starts with you, including improving upon your mental health. Make goals, challenge yourself, and take the steps necessary to start a lifestyle in which you are kinder to yourself.

Featured Image By: Pexels

Selfie Secrets

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Selfie Secrets
Hi everyone and TGIF! The day that selfies became a thing was the day that the internet changed forever. I bet you any money that you can’t scroll down the newsfeed of any of your preferred social media mediums without seeing at least one selfie in the process. And taking selfies? It’s a process. The selfie: AKA taking twenty minimum one hundred max pictures that, for all intensive purposes, look exactly the same yet so SO remarkably different.
Everyone has had those days when they’re really feeling themselves (ayyy!) but can’t take a good selfie to save their lives (booo!). It’s cruel and unusual and I’m just not going to stand for it. That’s why I’ve come up with a list of pro tips to keep your selfie game on point. No more bad selfie days for all!

Selfie Secrets

1) Find The Light: Okay, yeah I know I sound like Tyra Banks circa ANTM cycles 1-1 million but it’s so true. Half of the selfie struggle is finding good lighting and using it appropriately. That’s why I prefer to take a majority of my selfies outside or in a room where a lot of sunlight filters in.
So you’ve found the light – but are you really finding it? Lol, that sounds like some fake psychology mumbo jumbo but it’s a legitimate question. Finding the light isn’t just about taking a picture in good lighting. It’s more about angling your face so that the sunlight is smacking you right on your cheeks. While you’re having a selfie photo shoot, move your face in small motions until the lighting is just right (And I promise that you will know when that is.), and snap away you selfie queen.
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2) Chin Up: I can guarantee that a majority of the selfies that people take are deleted due to the illusion of a double chin. No one likes double chins. Okay, some people probably do. But, for the most part, a double chin is a major selfie faux pas. A killer selfie is all about the long, pretty neck, which can be easily achieved if you tilt your chin slightly upwards when you’re taking pictures. It’s going to feel unnatural, but your double chin days will be a thing of the past when you’re showing off your swan neck. Now, remember, chin up, shoulders back, and WERK. 
3) Smize: Okay, yeah I know I sound like Tyra Banks circa ANTM cycles 1-1 million but it’s so true. Dead eyes are a selfie no no. So, I want you to do an exercise with me. Go to the mirror and take a good hard look at yourself. Now, think about something happy and slightly sexy for that perfect “I have a secret” look in your eyes. A day in bed with Johnny Depp, perhaps? Hello! You should notice a visible difference in your face thanks to the newly found alertness and mischievous twinkle in your eyes. Thank you, Johnny Depp day dream!
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4) Quirky Cool: All selfies look the same. No matter who you are, from a super model to your average blogger (like me). It’s literally a picture of the camera on the flipped mode taking a shot of your mug. Cool. Now it’s up to you to make your pic unique so you don’t look like everyone else. When selfies first made their internet debut, a normal picture was just fine. But, now, standard selfies just don’t cut it anymore and absolutely nothing is worse than snapping a selfie only to have it be lost in the void of social media because it didn’t stand out.

Nowadays, selfies are more about fashion, quirk, and unlikely scenarios. Throw on a sassy Panama hat, tilt your sunglasses down your nose, and work like your life depends on it. And, bear in mind, that cool backgrounds are a must. What makes a background cool, you might ask? It literally could be anything – you just have to sell it. Take a selfie in front of a garbage can, label it with #ME, and watch the likes pour in. Be silly, be serious, be anything that you want, but for the love of all that is holy – be DIFFERENT.

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^^^ Being on top of the world is a pretty sweet background!

5) Give Me Face: Every selfie star has those little quirks that they do when they’re taking pics. Whether it be laughing out loud or giving duck face for days, find what expression works for your face and own it. I, personally, love an angular look. When I snap pictures I bite down on my jaw to give a more defined line. I also slightly suck in my cheeks to give the illusion of cheek bones to cut glass – but shh don’t tell! It’s a selfie secret! 😉
If you’re not keen on edgy cool but love a boho glow, inhale when the camera snaps for a “you just caught me picking flowers from the forbidden garden” face. Sounds silly? It is. But once you find that little quirk that works for you, your selfie game is about to change infinitely. Now, give me face, mother!
With these pro tips compliments of Lil Red, your next selfies are going to be so Instagram worthy that you’re not even going to be able to handle it. Just imagine what your followers are going to think! I taught you how to give face, but now, let Aura Frames teach you some tech savvy ways to up your selfie game even more in this infographic. Snap some gorgeous pics and snag yourself one of Aura Frame’s Digital Picture Frames for the perfect gift for your SO/parent/sister/friend or anyone else that likes looking at you!

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What are your tips and tricks for taking the perfect selfie? What is your preferred form of social media? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Bonus Tip: Always, ALWAYS include dogs in your selfies if you can!! My featured image photo can attest to that! 😉 ❤