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  • Kids Bedroom Themes Sure to Inspire
    on June 29, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Create an atmosphere that stimulates the magic and whimsy of childhood.Inspire playful adventures and peaceful nap times with these kids bedroom theme ideas. Black, White and Green A modern take on a “boy” theme, this color scheme is perfect for any child who loves sports and wants to bring their joy of the game into their room. Create a sports theme that your all-star will adore for years to come. Nautical Nods A nautical theme offers childhood fun with a grown-up approach. Create a nautical beach feel and sail the high seas with deep reds, navy blues and white paired with a dappling of seashells for a whimsical feel. Jungle Vibes What is more exciting to a child than the idea of exploring an untouched jungle? Feature an accent wall of banana leaf wallpaper paired with texture, like an animal print area rug, to ensure that your child can enjoy a jungle oasis.   Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Important Documents That You Should Gather Before a Natural Disaster Strikes
    on June 29, 2022 at 4:00 am

    A natural disaster, such as a wildfire, hurricane, tornado or earthquake, can occur at any time. You may have to quickly evacuate to get out of harms way or your home may be destroyed in an instant. You may need to prove your identity, address, income and relationships with family members to file an insurance claim, get medical care, find a new place to live or seek government assistance. Gathering copies of important documents before a disaster strikes can help to ensure that you will have them when you need them. Documents to CollectThere are many documents that may be important to members of your family. Gather any of the following that apply. Family/Identity Documents: Marriage certificate; birth or adoption certificates; divorce and child custody agreements; drivers licenses; passports; citizenship documents; Social Security cards; records related to military service. Financial Documents: Deed to your house; vehicle titles; mortgage and loan documents; home, auto, life, and medical insurance policies; savings, checking, retirement, and credit card statements; tax returns for the previous year; pay stubs. Medical Documents: Information on allergies, medical diagnoses, medications family members take, the pharmacy where prescriptions are filled; immunization records; records related to any surgeries or other serious procedures family members have had. Include medical records for pets, too. Legal Documents: Wills; living wills; trust and power of attorney documents.You should also have recent photos of family members and pets. They can help you locate each other if you get separated. Where to Store DocumentsIts important to make multiple copies of these documents and to store them in different locations so that you will be able to access them, no matter what happens. Keep physical copies in a plastic bag or a safe in your home so they will be protected from water and so you will be able to grab them quickly if you need to evacuate. If you have been warned that a disaster, such as a hurricane, is approaching and you think you may need to leave your home, you can put essential documents with your clothing, medication and other supplies that you have gathered for a possible evacuation. Keep physical copies in another secure location, such as a safety deposit box. The second set of documents should be in a place that is some distance from your house. If a storm destroys your home and you have important documents in a safety deposit box at your bank in the same city, the bank may also be destroyed by the storm. Store copies of documents online. You can store them in the cloud or scan documents and email them to yourself so you will be able to access them quickly, no matter where you wind up after the disaster. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Productivity Tips for Working From Home
    on June 28, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Whether youve been working remotely for years or are new to a work-from-home scenario, there are important strategies for doing it successfully. Many have the misconception that working from home is easy and will automatically lead to increased productivity. In reality, the opposite is usually true. There are often more distractions at home, and not having the office resources you rely on readily available can hamper your ability to do your job. If you want to improve your chances of being productive while working from home, do the following: Create designated space. Dont try to do your job from the sofa, or worse, your bed. If you dont already have a designated office space in your home, create one. Set up a table and comfortable chair in a room"or corner of a room"where youre likely to have the most privacy. Use a decorative screen to help section off your workspace if need be. Take over a guest room, if you have one, or claim the dining room as your new office, relegating meals to the kitchen instead. The idea is to have a space thats as private as possible, where you can leave your work materials out at the end of the day. Get up on time. Working from home doesnt mean its time to sleep in. Be sure to maintain the morning schedule you had when going into the office, and if you now have more time due to not having to commute, use it for exercise or to have breakfast with the family. Giving in to sleeping longer may reduce your energy level and make it harder to focus. Establish a communication system. Working from home can often leave you feeling cut-off from your coworkers and managers, which can quickly stymie productivity. Make sure you have a system for effectively connecting, using both chat programs and video conferencing to stay in regular contact. Dont just rely on email, which can lack details and intent. The idea is to avoid isolating yourself, even though youre not physically present at the office. Work during work hours. When working from home, it can be tempting to try and sneak in some domestic tasks or social engagements. Try to avoid this during designated work hours, as the distraction factor will quickly mount, and youll find it hard to keep switching between work and home life. Take a lunch hour and a couple of breaks for your personal tasks, then focus on work during the times you would while at the office. Honor quitting time. One of the dangers of working from home is that your work is always right there with you. Be as productive as possible during work hours, then end your day as you normally would when at the office. Shut your computer down, organize your papers, turn off the light in your home-office space and call it a day. Taking the necessary time to detach from work every day will ultimately make you more productive. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Recycle and Repurpose Your Old Jars
    on June 27, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Staycation Ideas the Whole Family Will Enjoy
    on June 26, 2022 at 4:00 am

    As the term staycation cements its place in the American lexicon, many families are looking beyond smores on the grill for new ways to make vacationing at home a fun and memorable adventure. Here are five simple staycation ideas to help you do that: Put Time on Hold – Recreate the leisure of past vacations by putting away your watches and doing your best to unplug from emails, texts and social media during the time the family is on staycation. Just taking a break from checking your feeds several times will make you feel more relaxed. Dine Out While Eating In – Exploring new restaurants and different foods are a fun part of every vacation and they should be part of your holiday at home. Treat yourselves to meal delivery from some of the high-end or ethnic local restaurants you havent yet tried or felt you couldnt afford. Splurge at the Supermarket – Whether you have groceries delivered or are picking them up yourself, use part of your staycation budget to indulge in a crown roast, filet mignons, lobster tails or whichever high-end foods you fancy, including decadent desserts, that wouldnt ordinarily be on your shopping list. Finding the best recipes and preparing meals as a family can be eye-opening fun. Bring the Water Park to You – The kids can have a splash-tastic adventure with a 25-foot-long Slip n Slide and a bunch of super-soaker pump guns so that the fun can begin each time you turn on the hose. Indulge in new outdoor furniture or more outdoor lighting if you need it. Even a stand-alone water fountain to bubble soothingly in the background while you read can help you enjoy the summer vibe. Sleep Under the Stars – If camping is your thing, you have the equipment. Set it up in your own backyard. If not, indulge in a family-sized tent and/or a few inflatable mattresses. Cook dinner on the grill, settle down for an evening of star gazing"get out your GPS-enabled device and download the Night Sky App to help you identify stars and planets"and fall asleep to the sound of crickets. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 5 Tips to Design Your Home Library
    on June 25, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Design a library that will give your abode major appeal with these tips. Identify the Style Determine the look that youre going for. Is it a moody traditional look or an eclectic modern one? Consider the Functionality If your library will function as a home office, include space for a desk and keep the overall ambiance in mind. Built-in Bookcases Consider the size of your book collection and if youll be using the shelves to display artwork or other objects. Comfortable Seating Whether its a chaise lounge or plush leather chairs, the furniture should be comfortable and sophisticated. Thoughtful Lighting Recessed lighting is best for reading, whereas wall sconces can contribute to the ambiance. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • Prioritizing Your Debt Payments
    on June 24, 2022 at 4:00 am

    If youre in debt up to your eyeballs, or at least up to your waist, it can be hard to see which debts should be paid first. The creditor that screams the loudest may not be the best one to repay first. Some debts should take precedence over others because they can have worse consequences. Here are bills you should pay off first: Back Child Support PaymentsIf you dont pay child support, you could be found in contempt of court. That could land you in jail, have half your net wages garnished, and drivers and professional licenses revoked. A lien could be placed on your property, tax refund intercepted, and your car could be booted, among other things you dont want. Income TaxesOwing the federal government money can leave you with high interest and fees, in addition to the original amount owed. To resolve this, the feds may put a tax lien on your property"which will be listed on your credit reports"and they could seize your property and garnish wages. Money in retirement accounts and other bank accounts you have may be claimed, and your home or vehicle may be sold to pay the debt. Car Title LoansThese loans use your vehicle as collateral, usually providing 30 days to repay the loan. They have high interest rates of 25 percent or more per month, equaling an annual rate of 300 percent. Miss a payment and the lender can repossess the car. If you need your car to get to work, then getting the money for the loan will be that much harder. The car may be sold at auction. You may also be required to pay the difference between what the car is sold for and how much is left on the loan. Vehicle PaymentsIf you dont have a title loan but are financing your car with an auto loan, paying late or missing a payment or two could cause the vehicle to be repossessed. Youd have to make the payments, along with late fees, to get it back. Mortgage PaymentsMissing a mortgage payment is only behind missing a car payment because it takes longer to foreclose on a home than it does to repossess a car. A foreclosure takes an average of 19 months to process, giving you a longer span of time to work out the problem. That can be enough time to pay the missed payments and late fees, or at least find another place to live. Your credit score will be extremely low, making it hard to rent or obtain another home loan. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • How to Check If a Debt Collector Is Legitimate
    on June 23, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Figures from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) show that about 70 million people"more than a quarter of adults in the United States"either have a debt in collection or have been contacted about one. Some of those people are wrongly contacted by debt collectors. Reasons include contacting the wrong person for the wrong amount, or for debt that cant legally be enforced, according to the CFPB. Some calls are from debt collectors who arent legitimate and dont represent an original creditor or dont own the debt. In other words, theyre outright scams. There are a few warning signs that a debt collector isnt legitimate. Here are a few, according to the CFPB: They hang up when you question themAsk the caller for their name, company, street address and telephone number. If your state licenses debt collectors, ask for their professional license number. If they wont give you any of that information, or they hang up when you ask for such information, then its probably a scam. Dont give personal, financial information or money to the caller until youve confirmed theyre legit. Criminal charges threatenedLegitimate debt collectors shouldnt have to claim that theyll have you arrested. You dont recognize the debtIf debt collectors refuse to give you information about your debt, or you dont recognize the debt, you can request more information in writing before you pay. Dont discuss any debt until you get a written validation notice, says the CFPB. The notice must include the amount of the debt, the name of the creditor you owe, and a description of certain rights under the federal Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. They ask for personal informationAny caller who asks for personal information should be avoided, including fake debt collectors. This can include a request to confirm personal financial or other sensitive information such as your bank account, credit card or Social Security Number. Scam artists can use this information to commit identity theft and charge your credit cards or open new credit card or checking accounts in your name. They wont stop contacting youIf you dont want a debt collector to call you anymore " whether theyre legit or a fraud " you can ask them to stop calling you. The Fair Debt Collections Practices Act requires them to stop contacting you if you tell them in writing to stop. If its a legitimate debt, that doesnt mean the debt will go away. These tips will help if you’re being wrongly contacted. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • 4 Home Features Urban Dog Owners Should Look For
    on June 22, 2022 at 4:00 am

    If youre looking for a new city home that your pups are sure to love, keep an eye out for these features. Fenced-In Backyard A fenced-in backyard in the city provides a safe and convenient space for your dog at all times of the day. Dog-Friendly Neighborhood A nearby park where you can go on walks and play fetch is a major benefit for dogs that need plenty of daily exercise. Nearby Pet Services A good vet that you can trust and a groomer who can keep your pets looking and smelling their best are services you want to have close by. Friendly Building Policies Of course, if youre moving to an apartment building, youll have to make sure that its pet-friendly. Published with permission from RISMedia.

  • At Home Training Tips to Enhance Your Home Workouts
    on June 21, 2022 at 4:00 am

    Working out at home has its share of advantages. You dont have to wait for others to finish with your favorite gym equipment, theres no need to worry that the person before you forgot to wipe down the yoga mats and the commute, or lack thereof, is pretty great. Working out at home can have its share of challenges, too. If you are hoping to optimize your home workouts, here are a few training secrets you should know. Have a RoutineConsistency and routine are keys to any fitness goal and it can be a lot harder to keep a workout routine when you decide to start working out at home. The convenience and flexibility of working out at home can actually be your downfall if you arent careful. With no commute, theres less emphasis on keeping your timing structure rigid and there are more temptations to take care of a few small tasks before you begin your workout. Keep a solid schedule and routine so you dont get distracted. Decide on Your GoalsIf your goal is to gain strength, an at-home HIIT regimen may not serve you as well as youd like, conversely, if you would like to lose weight, a low-intensity yoga session may not be enough to shed the fat you desire to lose. Decide on your goals and avoid the urge to bounce around from exercise to exercise. With tons of home workouts on the internet, it is all too easy to not be consistent in one area and lose sight of your goals, even if youre working hard. Invest in Key EquipmentYou dont need every piece of equipment to be functionally fit or to have a great workout, but it can help you enjoy the process more or reach specific goals you have in mind. Dont be afraid to invest in a small range of dumbells and an exercise mat if your goal is strength-training, and dont hesitate to buy good shoes if you decide youd like to run every morning. You may not need a specific item to get started, but they can certainly help you feel better and reach your goals sooner. Try Something NewWorking out at home is a change of pace. Traditional gym workouts dont always translate well. If youre finding this to be the case, try something completely new. Dance videos, a workout smartphone application or even a new workout challenge can give you the variation you need to make working out at home fun in the confines of your living room or garage. Published with permission from RISMedia.