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Play with Light: The Hidden Health Benefits of Blackout Blinds

by Admin - on Nov 9th 2016 - Comments Off on Play with Light: The Hidden Health Benefits of Blackout Blinds

Blackout BlindsTemperature, colour, texture — these are only some environmental factors that can affect people physically and psychologically. The right room lighting, for example, can elicit soporific effects and affect a person’s sleeping pattern or the quality of their sleep. One way to control the light that enters a room is to install blackout blinds, sometimes known as ‘darkening shades.’

Blackout blinds, however, offer far more benefits to users than originally thought.

Lower Risk of Developing Cancer

Experts believe that the human body evolved to adapt to respond to sunlight. A disrupted body clock due to irregular sleep patterns suppresses the creation of necessary hormones like melatonin, which helps prevent breast cancer.

When a room is devoid of light during sleep, the body can rest more deeply and peacefully and is able to prevent changes to its natural internal rhythm. When these actions are in place, physicians say people can avert serious illnesses like cancer, obesity and depression.

Decreased Behavioural Problems in Children

Sleep, as most people know, is essential for the growth of children. Studies have shown, however, that these benefits go further than their physical well-being. Children who get proper sleep perform better in school as their memory improves. There was also a marked improvement in the attention spans of children who slept in darkened rooms with no phone or other artificial light sources.

Furthermore, blackout blinds aid in noise reduction because the cloth acts like double-glazing, according to kensingtonsystems.co.uk. The quiet space sends children to sleep in a relaxed state, and lowers the possibility of tantrums the next day.

Blackout blinds help control the light that enters a room, which contributes to the overall environment where people reside. With its many other health benefits, their installation could be worth looking into.

Flu Season Is Coming: Protecting Your Kids from Frigid Weather

by Admin - on Nov 4th 2016 - Comments Off on Flu Season Is Coming: Protecting Your Kids from Frigid Weather

Flu SeasonNothing excites kids more than the holiday season because it means getting new gifts and playing in the snow. Apart from Christmas cheer and festivity, however, the winter season also brings weather that makes kids a lot more prone to viruses and common colds.

Fortunately, there are several ways for kids to avoid getting sick during this time of the year.

Get a Yearly Flu Vaccine

Keep your kids from getting sick by getting them vaccinated at least once a year. Flu vaccines immunise your children against four of the most common influenza viruses that thrive during the winter season, so you can be sure that they will be reasonably protected from holiday viruses.

Flu-Friendly School Architecture

Kids spend most of their time in school, so it is important that they stay safe and healthy within the premises. Common areas and places outside the building should keep students comfortable and safe from added exposure to the dropping weather. Simply having covered walkway systems in place can make travelling around the school more convenient because pupils won’t have to worry about dashing from one place to another on bad weather days.

Stopping the Spread of Germs

Kids should be properly educated on the importance of maintaining routinely clean surfaces such as desks and doorknobs to avoid the transfer of viruses and to keep safe and clean.

Good health habits help protect kids from germs, especially when it is so easy to catch an illness through close contact. Covering coughs or sneezes and encouraging hand hygiene among students can go a long way in preventing the spread of flu viruses.

Winter may be a season that makes kids more prone to the flu virus, but that doesn’t mean they cannot stay free from sickness even when they’re away from home. After all, a little bit of cold weather should not spoil the holiday fun.

Sometimes, You Have to Let Go… Of Your Stuff

by Admin - on Sep 23rd 2016 - Comments Off on Sometimes, You Have to Let Go… Of Your Stuff

Decluttered Home in PerthSometimes, you have to let go — of your stuff.

Most homeowners reckon their homes might be too small. Whenever they buy new items for the house, they end up wondering where to keep these. On the contrary, however, their homes are just the right size; there is just too much stuff in it.

There is nothing wrong with buying, but when the house has too many things inside, it compromises your lifestyle. Fortunately, the solution is obvious: it’s time to let go. It sounds easy, but it is difficult to apply. But with discipline and determination, your house will thank you for it.

Letting Go is Hard

Despite the numerous clutter-free tips and local storage units in Perth, some still refuse to let go of their things. In their opinion, they do not need to declutter; they just need more space. While some homeowners can afford to add a square metre or two, others do not have that capability.

When it comes to parting with stuff, people have their own reasons for finding it hard. For example, some of their possessions come with sentimental value. How can you let go of those 30 teddy bears in the storage? Others think they will need said materials in the future.

Admittedly, letting go of some stuff is hard. But on most occasions, it is necessary.

You Need Space

Space offers a positive impact, especially inside the house. It is hard to move around if the kitchen has one too many cabinets or a room filled with overflowing clothes. When you have enough space, it is easier to breathe.

More space also means more activities. A bigger dinner party is possible if the dining area is free from excess cutlery, plates or shelves. The kids can play freely in a backyard without old lawn mowers or chairs scattered. Space is necessary and to have more of it, letting go is essential.

Start Small

Decluttering the house is easy when you start little by little. Sort through your possessions and ask yourself: have I used this for the past three months? If you haven’t, get rid of these through garage sales or by giving it to friends or family.

You need space in your home. The best way to achieve it is by letting go.

Boost Your Credit Score in Three Simple Ways

by Admin - on Sep 19th 2016 - Comments Off on Boost Your Credit Score in Three Simple Ways

credit scoreSo you’ve saved up for the down payment on a new home, but have you taken a long, hard look at your credit score? Your credit score will determine the interest rate you will qualify for on your mortgage, primaryresidentialmortgage.com explains. It’s important you’re credit-aware.

An average credit score is good, but it’s not great. And with today’s market demands, you need great credit to qualify for a mortgage and buy your dream house. The good news is you can still do something about it.

Here’s how you can improve your credit, and get a better chance of getting approved:

Pay off your credit card debts

Let’s put it this way: if you’re drowning in credit card debt, lower your expectations. Both your debt-to-income and credit utilization ratio will be high, and that means your lenders will think twice before offering you a loan.

The solution: pay off your balances before submitting mortgage applications. Better yet, add a little extra to the minimum monthly payments. Other than lowering your debt load and boosting your credit score, it can also save you money on interest and show lenders you’re more than qualified.

Stop applying for new credit

A new house can also mean a new car and new furniture. But refrain from applying for auto loans and new credit cards until you’ve locked down your mortgage, or this can raise some red flags.

Shop with intent

It’s smart to shop around for the best rates, but keep the search focused and brief. Over time, your FICO score can start showing your applications as separate inquiries, which can hurt your credit score. It’ll even lower your chances if the lender is using an older version of the FICO score, which reads mortgage applications as separate inquiries when they’re not within two weeks of each other.

Your credit score can sometimes make or break your chances of getting approved for the mortgage of your dreams. Take steps in improving it as early as now, so it’s easier to apply for a mortgage now and other credit lines down the road.

3 Things You Need to Know Before You Rent Out Your Vacation Home

by Admin - on Sep 2nd 2016 - Comments Off on 3 Things You Need to Know Before You Rent Out Your Vacation Home

Vacation HomeWhile renting out your vacation home during the summer may look appealing, there are things you need to know before doing it. After all, this property is somewhat expensive. So, it is normal if you feel hesitant to lease it to strangers even just for a short period. But if you’re still thinking of putting your vacation home up for rent, below are a few tips for you.

  1. Get a Vacation Home Rental Insurance

The Vacation Rentals Insurance says it’s essential to get a proper coverage, as regular homeowners’ policies do not normally cover vacation rentals. If a renter gets injured while staying in your vacation home or guests accidentally started a fire, you are likely to pay physical damages and legal fees on your own. If you want to avoid these hefty expenses, look for an insurance that can cover short-term rentals before leasing your property.

  1. Look for a Reliable Cleaning Crew

Since different kinds of guests will stay at your vacation home, you need a cleaning crew that can do their jobs efficiently. Before taking photos of your vacation home for ads, you need to make sure that the place is clean and attractive to prospective renters. Once the property becomes popular, you’ll also need to maintain its cleanliness in between rental periods. With this kind of business, having a reliable cleaning crew is crucial.

  1.  Establish a Tenant Screening Process

When renting out a holiday home, a rowdy group of tenants could be your worst nightmare. To avoid this, create a strict screening process. Talk to your prospective tenants; ask their age, job, and pertinent information about their group. By screening them thoroughly, you’ll know which ones will likely respect your property and which applicants have the tendency to be destructive.

With these three tips in mind, you’ll be more prepared to rent out your precious vacation home. If you follow these pieces of advice, you can keep your property in good shape while earning a few thousand dollars.

Improve Pay Per Click (PPC) Conversion Rates with 3 Strategies

by Admin - on Aug 19th 2016 - Comments Off on Improve Pay Per Click (PPC) Conversion Rates with 3 Strategies

Pay Per Click in TennesseePay per click (PPC) is an avenue that many businesses use, but not all of them use it correctly. You may have all the money you need to spend for advertising yet you won’t be able to make the most of it. Paid clicks are important to the success of your campaign since using it effectively allows you to boost profits and reach your audience.

Negative Keywords

When a small business owner launches a pay per click (PPC) campaign, they often target their market by using keywords that represent search intent. However, some of those keywords serve as an opening for other phrases unrelated to their campaigns. When you choose specific keywords you would also attract wrong clicks to your website, this wastes resources for your campaign. 

One way to filter certain unrelated keywords for your campaign is to specify negative keywords. Using this feature keeps unwanted traffic away from your site. When you exclude a certain audience, you maximize your resources and get the most out of paid advertising.

Using Click-to-Call

Net360 and other companies offering PPC say that many people use their smartphones to look for products or services online. When they look at a local shop, restaurant or business, there is a good chance they might be on their mobile devices. Upon finding what they need, they may want to contact that company to ask for more information. Google has a click-to-call feature for users to include their contact details in their advertising campaigns. This makes it easier for prospective customers to make a call.

Landing Pages

Modifying the landing pages of your websites may not improve the click-through rate of your paid ads, but it allows you to create better ideas for a focused copy. As you audit and check your landing pages, you will be able to boost ad position and lower your quality score, which may result in a better click-through rate.

Pay per click is a powerful tool, only if you know how to use it effectively. These changes enable you to improve your campaign results.

Applying for a Mortgage? Mind These 3 Things

by Admin - on Jul 26th 2016 - Comments Off on Applying for a Mortgage? Mind These 3 Things

Applying for a MortgageWhen applying for a mortgage, your lender will consider your down payment, credit score, and debt-to-income ratio. If your numbers look good, it is most likely that you will qualify for a mortgage and therefore pursue your dream of buying a home. The amount of loan you can borrow, of course, will depend on individual circumstances, but it may also exceed the amount you can afford comfortably.

Down Payment

If you don’t have a good credit history, paying a sizable down payment can be a great help. The more money you can pay, the less risk your lender will have to take on. You will no longer have to pay private mortgage insurance (PMI) if you can afford 20% down payment. This will then add a few hundred dollars to your monthly loan payment. Down payment ranges from 0% to 20%, but the ideal is 15% to 20%.

Credit Score

Most lenders are all about credit scores today. You can get your free credit score from one of the credit or consumer report agencies. FICO is a commonly used agency, giving scores between 300 and 850. If you want your lender to be flexible, you should aim for a high score (at least 700). Kalsee.com says that the higher your score, the more you can qualify for quality mortgage rates.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

It is common for lenders to follow the 28/36 rule, which means that no more 28% of your income should go to loan payment, and taxes and insurance, with debt payments no more than 36% of your salary. There will be no problem if you have to no other debt, as you can dedicate a portion of your income to the mortgage payment. For an FHA-backed loan, you may apply for as much as 41% of your income to debt.

Mortgages are easier to get this year, benefitting all types of buyers including retirees and those looking for a home in expensive markets. While the new rules help buyers, it still important to maintain a good credit score, eliminate debt, and save for a sizable down payment.

Pointers to Help Cut Down on Currency Exchange Costs

by Admin - on Jul 11th 2016 - Comments Off on Pointers to Help Cut Down on Currency Exchange Costs

Travelling in New ZealandWhen travelling to New Zealand you would want to make the most out of your local currency’s exchange rates since it is practical and economical. However, one of the biggest currency exchange issues are the large fees applied during the transaction.

Here are a few suggestions that can help reduce add-ons to your exchange rates:

Check Rates Beforehand – Research on the money exchange rates of NZ, as most of your decisions will be based on that information. No.1 Currency says it’s important to keep yourself updated during your travels. There are many online sites that offer this info and electronic currency exchange services as well. You can also try their services out at the same time and see if it’s a more convenient option for you. Just make sure you are aware of whatever fees they might add to your online transactions.

Check for Reputable Exchange Centres – You may want to consider buying their currency from your local bank but check for hidden fees if there are any. Check if your bank has international partners to facilitate money exchanges so you can take advantage of the same rates while in New Zealand. There are New Zealand currency exchange companies that offer slightly lower rates but don’t add extra fees so you may want to try that option too.

Check for Other Means Of Payment – Other than cash, you can use traveller’s cheques, credit cards, debit cards and even the cash passport card. Out of the three, the most recommended would be the cash passport card since the exchange rate and whatever fees added on are locked in for months at a time. The credit card is also a good option since it offers standard interest rates whatever country you might be in. Travellers checks and debit cards usually may have a lot of hidden fees but they are also a safer option than carrying cash.

Once you’ve made your choices, settle in and enjoy your holiday. Money, after all, is just a means to an end, which is to enjoy yourself. Remember, that’s why you’ve travelled to New Zealand in the first place.

Roof Replacement: When is the Ideal Time?

by Admin - on Jul 8th 2016 - Comments Off on Roof Replacement: When is the Ideal Time?

Roof Replacement In NapervilleNow that you've finally decided to have your roof replaced—whether due to numerous repairs or old age—and you’ve chosen the specific roofing materials and specs, the next thing to decide on is when to start the project.

Is your contractor busy during specific months?

Roofing contractors say that the busiest seasons for them are early in the fall or during late in the summertime, and prices will be relatively higher than off-season. If you have budget constraints and your chosen roofing contractor is available during winter, then schedule the job for winter. Take note that weather conditions can affect the entire project depending on the roofing material you’ve chosen. It's best to consult your roofing contractor in Naperville if a winter installation is viable.

When is the right time to hire professionals?

Some homeowners are averse to the idea of investing a new roof—mainly because of the cost—so they delay reroofing as long as they can. They only act until the roofing situation is completely dire, which then forces them to make rash decisions. Homeowners should definitely avoid going this extreme route. If you wait until a major damage is present, it’s highly likely that this damage will extend to other components of your home and you’ll probably end up paying for a whole lot more repairs aside from your roof.

Planning in advance and having your roof replaced on time will enable you to make more informed decisions. Don't take this lightly because it’s a substantially a huge investment that will affect your home’s exterior aesthetic and the efficiency and comfort levels inside your home. So what's the ideal time to replace your roof? When it's time for replacement (old age or early signs of damage), not after it’s in dire need of it.

Mind Blown: Art Installations and Exhibitions that Caused Controversy

by Admin - on Jun 3rd 2016 - Comments Off on Mind Blown: Art Installations and Exhibitions that Caused Controversy

Art InstallationsArt has been with humanity since the beginning of time. It’s an innate passion and talent. This is the reason companies such as Clocate designed an online directory for both organizers and participants to search for various events near their area.

However, some artists took their passion and freedom of expression to a level that caused controversies worldwide.

Brownnosing by David Černý

In 2003, at the Futura Gallery in Prague, David Černý, a famous sculptor known for carving odd and lurid pieces, showcased his work Brownnosing. This large-scale installation features the bottom half of a person bent forward, with videos portraying a local politician and artist feeding each other. This artwork comes with Queen’s song titled “We Are The Champions” playing in the background.

The proper way to view the piece is to climb a ladder attached to the backside of the sculpture and look into it.

All by Maurizio Cattelan

Maurizio Cattelan, an art provocateur, debuted his art collection called “All” at the Guggenheim Museum in New York, on display from November 2011 until January 2012. He presented his art from the ceiling, on platforms, instead of the usual manner.

According to the New York Times, it was one of the oddest and most audacious presentations they have witnessed in over half a century. They said he hung several thousand pounds worth of premium quality art collected globally. He used cables to suspend the pieces and fastened them to heavy-duty aluminum truss. Installed 90 feet in the air, the artworks were located just below the glass dome of the museum.

La Nona Ora was one of the infamous pieces. This is a wax sculpture of Pope John Paul II hit by a meteor.

Art exhibitions and installations had the capacity to break norms over the course of history. These art pieces, no matter how controversial they are, still offer a unique experience for everybody.