Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Zapata's Mexican Restaurant Collinsville IL



Hi Neighbors!

Stopped by Zapata's Mexican Restaurant in Collinsville, Illinois over the weekend and as one who greatly enjoys, but can be critical of, Mexican food, I was very impressed!  Not sure what to expect I had asked a few customers who were leaving the business and inquired as to how the food was.  All responses were positive so we went inside to check out their lunch buffet.  



On the tables before us were tortilla shells, both hard and soft, ground beef, chicken, strips of steak, chips, salsa and Queso (cheese sauce), as well as beans and rice, lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, and a few other goodies.  The food was unbelievable and the price - only 8.99 a person, well worth the price.  Genuine Mexican food, all was first rate, the service was great.  Our waiter did an excellent job of checking on us without being constantly at our table.  He was peasant and appeared to enjoy his job.



Literally nothing could have been better about the meal and I say that sincerely.  I even joked with the family that perhaps we should look for a home to purchase in the area so we could frequent Zapata's on a regular basis.  That may not be a reality, but rest assured, anytime I am traveling through Collinsville, I need look no further than Zapata's for a superb meal at a great price!  And after three plates of food and many many visits to Mexican restaurants over the years, I certainly consider myself a reliable judge of Mexican food!



So if you are ever passing through Collinsville, IL and need somewhere to eat, try Zapata's!  I think you will come away satisfied. 

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Swago Shopping 2018



Still recovering from all of your holiday shopping? The online rewards site Swagbucks has a smart and fun way for you to earn and save when you spend.  

Swagbucks is hosting another round of Shopping Swago! What is SWAGO you ask? It's
a bingo-inspired promotion run by Swagbucks, a website that rewards you with points (called SB) for completing everyday online activities. You can redeem those SB for free gift cards. If you've never used Swagbucks, participating in SWAGO is a great introduction to the site and an easy way to earn a good amount of points quickly.  

Click here to get started!  
Here’s what you need to know to get your 300 SB Bonus (and don’t worry, you don’t have to make a purchase to complete a pattern):
  • Go to the Swag page and make sure you hit “Join” otherwise you won’t get credit for completing the action items. Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete.
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
  • You have a limited amount of time to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value - up to 300 SB - enough for your first $3 gift card.
  • Once you’ve achieved a pattern the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely.
  • The game ends Friday, January 26th at 12pm PDT/3pm EDT. So make sure to hit “Submit” on the pattern you wish to submit. If you don’t hit “Submit” before the game ends you won’t receive your SB bonus. 

    Also, if you sign up through me this month, you'll get a $10 rebate when you make your first purchase via Swagbucks Shopping! You can activate it in the "Swag Ups" area of "My Account"

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Medieval Times Dinner Tournament Orlando! #TravelTuesday #MTFan

We've taken an extended break in our #TravelTuesday posts due to the holidays and, yes, my own personal travel during the month of December! On our first trip in early December, we ended up in Orlando, FL to meet up with some friends at Disney World. While there, we also enjoyed an evening of historic fun at the Medieval Times Dinner Tournament in Orlando. I had actually been to the Orlando castle once previously, but it was at least six or seven years ago. Also on our previous visit, we arrived late and had no time to check out the Medieval Village. This time, we made sure to get there early so we were able to wander through. It's a very neat place, especially for history buffs like we are. You can get a good idea of the medieval life and there are also a few great photo ops on the tour. You can breeze through in just a few minutes or take your time and enjoy the informational tidbits throughout the tour.






Once inside the castle, we checked in and then had a few minutes to browse the shops while waiting for seating to begin. While waiting, you can also watch the knighting ceremony that takes place in the great hall. This is always fun to see the awe and enjoyment on the children' faces! Once seated inside, our serf came through to take drink orders and inform us of the general rules and menu for the evening. Your first course is tomato soup and a piece of garlic toast. To be honest, this is one of my favorite parts of the meal! As dinner gets started with this appetizer, so does the show as the king, princess, and chancellor make some announcements and get the tournament underway.





For those who haven't attended a Medieval Times show, I won't spoil the storyline for you. Suffice it to say, there is a round of competition amongst the knights, each one ending with the knights tossing flowers to ladies in the audience. All the knights who succeed in competition, that is. On the night we visited, there must have been a new or still-training knight, as he missed out on all but one of the four or five competitions. I was impressed to see one of the other knights share his flowers with that knight's audience though, to ensure that ladies in all sections were given the opportunity to catch a carnation. The falconer brings out his prized bird to demonstrate the hunting skill, the king's horses do a marvelous demonstration, and then the jousting begins. Throughout the tournament, you are served more food; a half chicken, potato, corn on the cob, and it ends with a dessert. At this particular castle/time it was a slice of lemon cake, although normally the castles serve an apple turnover pastry that is magnificent. I enjoyed the lemon cake, but M doesn't eat lemon at all, so she passed me her slice as well.










By the end of the tournament, you are both full, and satisfied with the show. If you leave hungry, it's your fault. And if you leave not having enjoyed the talents of the knights, falconer, and the horses, well, you must not have been watching, that's all there is to it! We've been to Medieval Times at least a dozen times in the past few years, and yet we never get tired of it. It's always fun to see what knights are that extra bit on the mark each night, or maybe a horse that performs extra well. If you're in the Orlando area at all this year for vacation, on business and just have an extra evening, or maybe you live in the area, be sure to visit Medieval Times Dinner Tournament!


Monday, January 22, 2018

Why You Should Always Get Travel Insurance



Image Credit: Pexels

You should always take out travel insurance when travelling abroad. That is a simple fact. If you still aren’t convinced, then let me share some reasons why travel insurance is so important.

Covers Medical Expenses While Abroad
One of the main reasons to get travel insurance is that it means that you don’t need to pay money for medical bills should you get ill on a vacation. One in three of the claims made on travel insurance is medical related. You might think that you are going to be perfectly healthy and that nothing will happen on vacation, but things that you can’t predict can and often do happen. From something as simple as getting food poisoning or tripping to more life-threatening illnesses and injuries, it is always best to have travel insurance just in case something happens. Things can start to add up to incredible amounts, and you don’t want to have to pay out of pocket for these expenses. You want to get well again and get back to enjoying your vacation.

Covers The Cost Of Getting You Home If Needed
This point is the obvious next step from medical expenses, but it is worth pointing out that travel insurance will pay for the cost to get you home if you can’t take your planned flights. For example, a British citizen was forced to get an air ambulance to the UK due to multiple fractures and a tear in one of their arteries. The cost of the treatment and transport home totals £500,000. This is not a bill that you want to receive after you have just survived a life or death experience. However, if you don’t have travel insurance, then that could happen. Travel insurance will cover the cost of treatment and transport home, so you don’t have to.

Covers Lost or Damaged Luggage
Aside from medical costs, travel insurance can also cover lost or damaged luggage when travelling. If your suitcase goes missing or it and its contents are damaged, then you can receive compensation.This will mean that you don’t have to pay out of pocket for new clothes and other vacation essentials. This will instead be covered by the company that you took the travel insurance out with. If you don’t have travel insurance, then you could take out a small loan to pay for everything, but if you have travel insurance, then you won’t need to. If your bag gets stolen while on vacation, then your travel insurance may also cover this as well. Baggage is often an extra on your travel insurance that you need to pay a little more for, but it is well worth it just in case something happens.

Covers The Cost of Delays and Cancellations
Another thing that travel insurance covers is the cost of delays and cancellations. Just in case your flights are cancelled or delayed, then it is worth paying a little extra to add these to your travel insurance. How much and what this covers will be detailed in your specific travel insurance as one will differ from another.

So, should you pay for travel insurance?  You will have to make that choice, but it certainly appears to be a wise choice.

Don't Let Bad Experiences in the Past Stop You From Traveling

If you’ve had a bad experience while traveling in the past, it might be stopping you from getting out there and having fun now. That’s not something that you should allow to happen though because there are so many ways in which you can get around your past experiences. No one should be a slave to their past, and you should read on now to find out why bad experiences in the past shouldn’t stop you from traveling in the future.

Past Experiences Have No Impact on the Present
Past experiences are past experiences, just because something has happened before, doesn’t mean that there is much chance of the same thing happening again. This is the main mental block that you have to get past if you want to regain confidence and take that big step. If you can just step past that bad experience, you will find yourself free to enjoy other travel. You will have a good time if you allow yourself too.

The Range of Travel Options is So Varied
These days, you can do pretty much anything you want to when it comes to traveling. There is no limit on what you can do and what you can achieve, so don’t assume that there is only one way for you to travel. The variety means that there is sure to be a travel idea out there that’s right for you. Do some research and see what the options are. If you had a bad experience flying, consider other options like, train, boat, or even go cross-country in an RV.


Image Source

There Are So Many Things to Keep You Safe
These days, most places have great healthcare and safety provisions, including anything from advanced emergency services to medical flight services. So make sure you keep this in mind. And if you’re not sure what the safety and healthcare situation is like in a particular destination, the internet is there to help you. You just need to do some basic research to find these things out for yourself.

It’ll Give You a Change of Perspective
Even if you are not sure about whether you should travel or not, try to view it as a way of escaping from your everyday life. That’s what travel is all about, and you should make the most of it. Sure, you might have bad memories from a previous trip, but people need a way of breaking their regular routines and having some time away to relax or do something different. Explore different options that are available and then go for it!

You’ll Soon Overcome Your Fears and Reservations
Your fears and reservations might be very strong in your mind right now. However, that doesn’t mean that it will always be the case for you. Many people find that once they delve into all this, they soon get over their past experiences very quickly. You won’t have to worry about things because you will be too busy seeing things, doing things and generally having a good time.


Image Source

We’ve all had bad experiences in the past, but we shouldn’t let these have an impact on what we do in the present. There are so many fantastic experiences out there just waiting for you, and you should embrace them.  So, look at your options and choose one you are comfortable with.

Friday, January 19, 2018

Mental Health Starts At Home

When most of us are looking for the best strategies to improve our health, it’s easy to forget an essential element of how you feel: your mental health. Indeed, while you’re investing in a better mattress to get better sleep, or choosing a balanced diet, you might have forgotten that you can use your home as part of establishing a strong and happy mental outlook too.  Your home is your sanctuary, and as such it’s the place where you feel safe and comfortable. What better place to improve your mood and protect yourself from the risks of poor mental health than in the comfort of your own home?


Build you happy home

Setting your stylish foundation
Your home reflects your personality and tastes. However, as this article explains, it’s important to understand that defining your style is about finding what works best for you, when it comes to terms of comfortable surroundings and peace of mind. Consequently, don't just go with the flow when it comes to furnishing and decorating your home.  Find things that appeal to you, that help you to feel comfortable in your home.  Start out with the basic furnishings and slowly add touches that you enjoy.


Use your decor to be happy
According to a Dutch study, the color yellow evokes feelings of happiness. However, it doesn’t mean that you should instantly repaint all your walls in yellow. However, what you can do, is add a bright yellow accent to a room, such as using yellow cushions in the living room, or maybe placing a yellow chair in your home office. You don’t need much to sense its effect! Additionally, the presence of happy memories, such as your favorite holiday photos, can immediately help change the mood, even in a dark room that doesn’t receive much direct sunlight.


There’s no denying it: Food can make you happy. However, instead of thinking of snack type foods, which can be unhealthy, you could consider healthy options that are good for your mood and your body. Walnuts, for instance, are a good source of magnesium, which can help to fight off the risk of depression.  Did you know that oysters zinc content can help to regulate your mood and improve your memory? Finally, for everyone who starts the day with a good cup of coffee, you need to know that caffeine consumption doesn't only boost alertness and concentration, but it also makes you less sensitive to depressive disorders.

Use your home to make the most of your senses, to boost your mood, assuming you know how to stimulate each sense. A bright and smooth decor will take care of your sight and your touch; a healthy kitchen pantry can care for your taste. Music playing in the background can help to spread joy through sound, especially if you choose light and happy tunes. Additionally, the use of fragrances can enhance your mood. The smell of vanilla, for instance, is an automatic mood lifter. Citrus scents can give you a rush of energy when you’re feeling a little down.


Vanilla makes you feel happy

Have a list of people near your phone that you can call to talk to.  Sometimes just having a friend on the other end of the phone helps.  You may need more help than a friend can give, so explore other options.  Try to talk to a counselor who can help.  Or if necessary set up an appoinment to meet with a counselor.

So, it’s time to create a home helps care for your mental health. Happiness starts at home!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Adding Fortifications To Your Castle




(Image Credit)

Nowadays, it often feels like it’s impossible to trust those living around you. In the past, communities were much closer and more tightly knit, giving them the benefit of knowing each other while also avoiding conflicts. Of course, though, this isn’t the case anymore, and a lot of people are surrounded by complete strangers. In this situation, home security is a huge factor to consider, and this post is here to help you with it.

Modern Home Security Cameras: In reality, most homes won’t need much more than cameras to make sure that they stay secure, and you probably have access to some of the tools you’ll need, already. Below, you can find some of the key features of modern CCTV systems which can provide huge benefits to your home security.

Remote Access: With most areas being connected to the internet, it’s never been easier for devices to communicate with each other. As a big part of this, modern CCTV cameras are often designed to be accessed remotely from mobile phones and computers. With the options below, this can create an incredibly powerful network to keep your home safe.

Movement & Sound: While being able to see your cameras all the time is a benefit, it will be impossible to keep an eye on it all the time. Instead, to alert you to possible issues, a lot of these devices have both motion and sound sensors which can send you a text or other notification when they are triggered. This could be the perfect way to catch a criminal in the act.

Temperature: Along with movement and sound, a lot of cameras also have the ability to record heat. While it may not be obvious, this sort of tool can be very useful, especially in very dark areas. Normal cameras don’t like to cooperate in low-light environments, and won’t record enough to be used as evidence. A heat signature, on the other hand, will always be visible.

The Other Methods To Try: Of course, this sort of effort doesn’t have to stop with your security camera setup. Along with this, a lot of people will also use habits to keep their doors locked and secure, and some will even go to the lengths of replacing their locks entirely. It can be hard to know what will be best for your home in these sorts of circumstances, and you have to rely on what makes you feel the most secure, even if it will cost you some money down the line.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working harder on the time you put into your home security. This sort of area is something which only you can do for yourself. Research will be a good idea, and you’ll probably need a hand to get everything installed, too. There will be some spending here, but the investment you make will impact your home for years to come, and will be very worth it once you’re able to feel comfortable with the space you call home.

Winter Trio Giveaway

Hey neighbors!

Not sure what you all have been experiencing as far as winter weather goes, but we are freezing.  We had a couple days between Christmas and today that have gotten above freezing, but not many.  And when the feels like temperature has dipped below 0 to temps of -25, it is COLD!!  So we thought we would have a giveaway for a little winter comfort.  We have the Winter Trio of Essential Oil Blends. It includes Merry and Bright, Holly and Pine and Winter Morning.  Each one is 0.51 fl. oz.




We thought that might add a little cheer to someone's cold winter day.  Take a minute to enter the giveaway, and remember to share for extra entries. I have a couple more giveaways coming up soon.  This is not a sponsored giveaway, just something we thought we would do for a neighbor!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Leading A Healthy Lifestyle: Its Not Just About Eating A Well-Balanced Diet



When someone says the words: “I’m going to make a real effort to be healthier this year”, your mind usually jumps to eating a healthier diet, and spending countless hours in the gym trying to achieve that infamous perfect body. However, a healthy lifestyle goes a lot further than the aesthetics on the outside and is a lot more about what is going on internally. Of course, eating a well-balanced diet will ensure you feel energised, and prevent any cholesterol and blood pressure issues, but there are plenty of other things to consider too. Here is a gentle reminder of a few things that may have fallen by the wayside due to a busy lifestyle getting in the way.


(Source)

Go For A Check-Up Regularly
Even though paying a regular visit to your GP is essential to check your blood pressure, and have a blood test to check everything is in working order is advisable, there are a few other check-ups that should be pencilled in your date book this year. If you can’t remember the last time you sat in a dentist’s chair - either through fear or never making the time - you may want to place an appointment at your nearest Family 1st Dental or local private dental practice, at the top of your priority list. It's recommended you see a dentist every six months and even though you have to pay for each appointment and a deep clean, it could save you money in the long run. It is better to pay out small amounts to help keep your teeth healthy, than having to pay out a hefty amount when it comes to having a decayed tooth or gum disease. You may also want to book an opticians appointment while you are sorting your date book out too, as they are recommended every one to two years. Even though you may not wear glasses, it is important to have your eye health checked regularly as it can show early signs of diabetes and other underlying health problems. Many opticians also offer a hearing test, which is recommended annually, as it is harder to recognise symptoms of hearing loss in comparison to a toothache or eye strain.

Mental Health
You may have struggled in your past, be struggling at the moment or have never been affected by mental health problems - if the latter is true, it essential to know the symptoms of suffering. If the former is true, you will already be aware of the symptoms and the importance of asking for or seeking help. If you find yourself unable to get out of bed in the morning, not wanting to take care of yourself or eat, not wanting to leave the house or talk to your loved ones, experiencing feelings of hopelessness and isolation, or thoughts about hurting yourself or suicide, it is crucial you talk to someone about it. That can be someone you trust - a family member, friend, or colleague, or it can be an anonymous phone call to a help-line. You are not alone in how you are feeling, and you will get through this period in your life and learn how to deal with your anxiety and depression if it is ongoing. Getting help is nothing to be ashamed of - in fact, it is admirable you have the courage to talk to someone, and have taken the first step in starting to feel like yourself again.

Taking Time Out For You
If you struggle to say no to every weekend and evening plan that comes your way - whether it's a playdate with your children or coffee with your work colleagues, it can have a huge toll on your overall wellbeing. If you cannot remember the last time you curled up on the sofa to under a blanket or when you took a Disney day with your family, or lost yourself in a good book in a hot bubble bath - it may be time you took a look at your social calendar. Taking the time to relax and focus on yourself will not only help to reduce your stress levels, but it can also help to maximize your productivity. Having some me time or a pamper evening to look forward to after a long hard work week can be the motivation you need to keep going. Even if your perfect timeout is a quick workout  session - it is still taking the time to do something that is solely for your own benefit. It can give you important reflection time, maximizing your happiness as you have time to focus on all the good things you have going on in your life - rather than punishing yourself for taking longer than you thought to achieve a certain goal. Even though this suggested timeout may seem counterproductive, it can actually help you to become more focused and prioritize goals to achieve them quicker.

Leading a healthy lifestyle can become overwhelming from time to time, as it takes a lot of commitment and perseverance to prioritize your health over anything else. Evaluating which area in your health is lacking and putting some time aside to focus on that area, will work wonders for you and your health.

Thinking of Moving? What Have You Forgotten To Check?



Image Credit: Pexels

When moving house, there are a lot of things you need to take into consideration. You need to find a home that you like, for the budget that you have and then work out how to transport all of your things to this new home. However, before you put an offer down on a house, there might be a few things that you have forgotten. Here are a few.

Are You Happy With The Property?
This is so important. Are you happy with the property? Are you? If you are not 100% happy, what is it that makes this house loose some of it's luster in your eyes? If you feel like you are settling for something that you aren’t happy with, then you need work out why that is. You might have made a compromise with your partner as it is their idea of the perfect home. Or you might be rushing because buying a house is a long drawn out process that can take a lot of time and effort. If it is the latter, then you need to assess whether you are going to be fine with that happening. Can you see yourself living in this house in 10-15 years time? If not, then this might not be the house for you. You shouldn’t feel like you need to live somewhere you don’t want to because of factors like pressure to buy, a cheap deal or any thing else that might come into play. You should buy the house that you love and that you can imagine living in for years to come.

The Local Area
One of the things that people often forget to do when buying a house is to explore the local area. You need to see what is around, who are the people that live here and how you will get along in this new area. This is because as much as you are going to live in your new house, you are also going to live and probably work in this area as well. This means checking out local schools, shops, entertainment and events. If anything isn’t to your liking, you need to decide whether you can live with or without it and how it impacts whether you want to buy the house you were looking at. A good idea is to speak to your neighbors and try to get a feel for what it is like to live in the area and what their opinions are. You don’t need to take them at face value, and you can form your own opinions, but more information is always better.

Add Up The Cost of Hidden Charges
There are a surprising number of hidden charges when buying a house. You need to factor in more than just the cost of buying the house or putting down a deposit. You also need to calculate how much moving costs will be, house valuation, legal processes, survey and a slew of other things that you might not have thought about. If any of these end up pushing your budget beyond the realms of possibility, then you want to know before you start down the path of buying the house. All of this doesn’t take into consideration any home repairs or improvements that you will need or want to do to the home in order to make it completely yours. Don’t be caught by hidden charges.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Moving? Check Out The 4 Ps Of Success

Moving can be a stressful situation. There are endless to-do lists, tears, tantrums and moments where you feel like you should just stay where you are to avoid all the stress. If these behaviors sound familiar, then perhaps you didn’t have the four Ps up your sleeve. Not to be confused with marketing - these four Ps could actually help make moving a far simpler process that has you sailing into your new home with a smile.


Image: Pxhere

Read on and learn the secrets to stress-free moving.

Preparation
“By failing to prepare, you’re preparing to fail.” These are wise words from Founding Father Benjamin Franklin. While he may not have been talking about moving to a new home here, it’s certainly a phrase that fits the bill. It’s good to start your moving preparations as far in advance as you can. Work backwards from moving day to establish when all of the essentials need to be done, such as booking the movers, getting the house cleaned and when unwanted items need to go. Make lists, set up a schedule and stay on task. You’ll be glad you started planning well in advance by the time the big day arrives.

Being prepared will save you a lot of headaches, including finding ways to avoid losing money when moving. Get yourself a notepad and start writing down everything that needs to be done ahead of moving day.

Packing
Packing (and the subsequent unpacking) is one of the least favored parts of moving to a new home. If you plan on doing everything yourself, make sure that you have enough packing materials to see you through. Alternatively, hiring a company to pack and move your things can save you a lot of time and stress. A professional moving company like Jersey Shore Moving Storage can take the burden of packing off your shoulders so that you can focus on getting your new home ready.
Pitching In
Even if you are the self-elected project manager of your move, it will go a lot smoother if all of the family are involved. Even small children can pack up their toys and games, helping to make things less stressful for you. Assign everyone their own task and give them ownership of it, checking in now and then to make sure it’s all in hand. You’re all in this together, so you all need to do your fair share.
Positivity
It doesn’t do any good to fear the worst, so maintaining a positive outlook throughout your move will instantly make things cheerier and less stressful. If something isn’t going to plan, laugh about it. Find ways to stay positive during a move that will help keep you and your family going, even when it’s getting too much. Whenever the moving process gets you down, think of the exciting things that are to come instead. Play cheerful music and plan breaks to have a snack or play a quick game.

Moving doesn’t have to be the nightmare that you envisage it to be. Make sure you’ve got your four Ps covered, and you’ll be well-prepared to start the next exciting chapter of your life. Remember that the pain is temporary, and you’ll forget all about the trauma once you’re settled in your lovely new home.

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Is Your Older Dog Really Getting the Care That They Need?

If you have an older dog then you will understand more than anyone how important it is for you to look after them in their old age. You need to ensure that they are getting all of the help and support they need and you also need to make sure that you are looking after their general health as well.

A Protected Living Environment
As your dog ages, you may find that they can’t find their way around the house and you may also find that they need to take shelter from various hazards that are around the home. This could mean that you tidy up any areas they are allowed in and you will also want to make sure that nothing is left out in their pathway.  Older dogs tend to have poor eyesight and hearing, and with this it can be hard for them to understand their own environment. If you know that your older dog is having troubles with their eyesight then try and keep the living room layout the same. Don’t change the sofas around or the tables if you know that your dog uses them to navigate around the home, as this will help them to feel comfortable.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/shallow-focus-photography-of-a-golden-retriever-686094/

Access to Fresh Water at All Times
Making water available to your dog at all times is very important if you want them to maintain a high standard of health and energy. When you have an older dog, you may find that they forget where their food and water bowls are and you may even find that they don’t drink at all. If you notice that your dog is not drinking much, then you need to encourage them to drink so that they can stay hydrated throughout the day. This is especially the case if you take them out for long walks.

High-Quality Diet
Overweight humans can experience a huge range of serious health problems. The same concept applies to dogs. When you own a dog, you have to make sure that you follow all of the dietary requirements made to you by your vet. This is because the information that they give you will be based on the size of your dog, the level of activity that they have and even their breed as well. It’s also a good idea for you to provide them with healthy treats from time to time as well, as opposed to scraps. If you are continually feeding your dog scraps then this will only contribute to obesity and it may also cause them long-term damage as well.

Vet Checks
Your dog may hate the vet, but at the end of the day it is their job to make sure that your pet is as healthy as possible. Your vet can provide you with all of the information needed to understand your pet’s vaccination schedule and they can also help you to know whether or not they need to be dewormed. Another huge benefit of taking your pet to the vet is that they can provide flea treatment for your pet while also taking care of any parasites that may be living in their skin. Ultimately, your vet isn’t just there to help your dog when they are sick and injured because they are also there to help you with their general health as well.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/canine-daylight-dog-flowers-533079/

Arthritis
All dogs can be subject to arthritis, but it is much more common in older dogs. Turmeric for dogs is a great way for you to put an end to this because it has plenty of anti-inflammatory properties. It works wonders if you know that your dog has very stiff joints and it is also great if they struggle to go out on walks because of their condition. You may be able to talk to your vet about this because in some instances it may not be suitable for them because of another health condition. Either way, your vet should be able to give you all of the help and support you need with this so you know that you won’t have any problems at all there.

Exercise and Staying Healthy
It’s very important that you give your dog plenty of exercise. You have to make sure that they stay fit and you also have to make sure that your dog is getting out of the house often enough as well. If you don’t then this could cause serious problems for your pet and you may even find that they can’t enjoy the activities they used to love doing. By giving your dog a level of fitness, even if it isn’t high, you can keep them much healthier and happier. It may get to the stage where your dog doesn’t want to exercise and this is completely normal, but it does help to encourage them to some extent while also giving them the chance to play in the house.

https://www.pexels.com/photo/adult-animals-beautiful-daylight-275717/

Dental Care
Your dog can’t brush their own teeth and there are a lot of breeds out there who are very prone to gum disease. This can have serious effects on their health and it can also cause a number of other problems for them as well. Gum disease can even go on to cause infections in the organs, and this can include the heart valves. Premature tooth loss is also an issue in dogs, so if you want to keep your dog’s teeth clean then you need to make sure that you give them a diet of dry food or give them plenty of dog treats that double up as dental sticks.

Clipping Nails and Grooming
Even as your dog ages and slows down, you still need to clip their nails and groom them regularly. Overgrown nails can make it very difficult for them to walk and can actually cause pain. Their nails will also be much more prone to breaking if they are not trimmed regularly. Their coats will still need groomed just as often as before.
 
Take time to take care of your aging pet.

Hygge Your 2018



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Hygge is a Danish principle and way of living which is all about being cosy and homey. The idea behind it is to make the most of being at home in the house, spending time with the family, and simply being content.

It is a principle which is spreading like wildfire across the world and one which we should all try to incorporate into our every day lives for the better. Here is how you can add some hygge to your life this year.

1. Candles
Lighting is the first major part of living a hygge lifestyle. The people who practice the hygge lifestyle every day believe that the lighting you have in the home affects the way you think and feel. Natural light is preferred which is why candles are a large part of this cosy culture.

Candles can be used in any season, not just the colder months, and it is always good to have some plain white candles or tea lights in your home. In the winter, the Danes burn candles all day to invoke that feeling of coziness and warmth in their homes, and in the summer they light them as the sun sets and the homes are shrouded in darkness. The reason candles are such a big thing is that they provide natural, warm and soft light. So get yourself some candles this weekend and enjoy the feeling of living in natural light in the evenings.

2. Invite Friends and Family
Hygge is all about being homey, and being homey ultimately involves being surrounded by the people we love. Invite your family and friends over for a meal one night and spend the evening talking, eating great food and sitting by the fire. Leave your mobile devices in another room too so that you can all enjoy each others company uninterrupted!

3. Go for a Long Walk
As we said, a big part of living a hygge lifestyle is being present in the moment and enjoying life as it comes. This is why many love to enjoy going for long walks in the countryside or on the beach. It is a perfect time to think, talk and enjoy the company of your companion.

4. Have Some Quiet Time
A big thing in Hygge is cosiness, and being cosy in our own homes can mean a number of different things. It could be that you sit down with a good book and a blanket at the end of the night, or maybe you all watch a movie as a family. Enjoy your relaxing time at home and do something that makes you happy.

5. Make your Home Hygge
Make the time to detox your bedroom, clear out things you don’t need and spruce up the space you live in. Danes value their homes and the time they spend living in them, which is why it is important to make that bit of extra effort with your home. Make sure there are plenty of house plants, candles and simple furniture in your home to make it feel homey and uncluttered.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Your Home Could Be A Health Hazard- Take These Steps to Put it Right!

You might think that your home is a place of comfort and protection against the world- but actually the average home can be something of a death trap! It’s no secret that more accidents happen at home than anywhere else- that’s at work, in public and on the roads combined! Our homes can also be the source of many serious health issues, for this reason it’s important not to get too complacent and do what you can do make your property as safe as possible. And the start of a new year, what better time to go about it! Here’s how you can keep yourself and your family as safe as possible at home.



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Be Aware of Slipping, Tripping and Falling
There’s a reason why slipping, tripping and falling feature so heavily in any employer’s health and safety training. These are some of the most common accidents, the same applies to the home too. Wet floors after mopping can be a slipping hazard, and loose carpet or a mess on the floor can cause serious trips. This can lead to major accidents such as falling down stairs, hitting your head, pulling muscles or breaking bones. In the elderly this is particularly dangerous, older adults tend to have weaker bones and things like hip fractures can cause sever problems.  This can often cause permanent problems.  Make sure carpets and floor coverings are properly secured, and floors and walkways should be clear of messes, shoes, kids toys, anything that could cause someone to trip over them. Create a routine when you come home where shoes, coats, bags and umbrellas are all put away properly in a cupboard rather than being left out.

Get Rid of Black Mold
One of the biggest health hazards at home is the presence of black mould. It develops quickly especially in the colder months. When walls and windows are cold from outside then warm air and moisture from inside (cooking, baths, even just breathing) touches it you’re left with wet surfaces which is the perfect condition for mold. This stuff can grow behind furniture so you might not even be aware of it until you pull things like beds and wardrobes back. But it releases spores which can cause respiratory problems, these are bad enough for the average person but anyone who is vulnerable due to their health, medical conditions or allergies can really suffer. Have an extractor fan installed in kitchens and bathrooms to remove most of the steam. Get into the habit of regularly opening windows to air out the house- even on cold days. It’s so worth it to avoid the build up of mold, plus your home will generally feel fresher too. If you already have mold growing, use an antifungal cleaner- you can find these in most DIY stores. Next time you redecorate, use anti mold paint in the rooms that are worst hit to prevent it completely.

Tell Pests to Bug Off
Not only are pests creepy and unpleasant to be around, but they can also pose a real issue to health. Rodents can spread diseases like hantavirus that can be fatal to humans, and the urine and feces of both rodents and insects can cause respiratory issues too. Pests can affect any home, but keeping your place clean can help you notice the signs of infestation early and take action before it becomes too expensive. Keep food covered at all times, remove crumbs and residue from floors and surfaces and store the items in your pantry in glass jars. Having things like flour, grains, sugar, cereals, herbs and spices on hand is useful as a home cook, but these can be a feast for pests. If you store them in glass (use a label maker so you don’t forget what anything is) there’s no way pests can get inside, and everything will stay fresher for longer. Keep doors and windows shut on warm days when a lot of pests will be around, or you could buy a curtain designed to let the air into your home through the door but keep insects and pests out.

Invest in Fire Protection
Fire is one of the most dangerous and damaging things to happen to a home. A fire could quite literally destroy everything, including the lives of your loved ones so it’s crucial to protect against it. Smoke alarms on every floor are a given- make sure you’re regularly checking the battery. Go a step further by purchasing a number of fire extinguishers, make sure to check what each should be used for. For example, you should have a fire blanket in the kitchen since this will extinguish things like pan fires- where foam or water extinguishers will make it worse. Work out the risks in each room, and select the right extinguisher to combat it if a fire were to break out. Your chimney and fireplace should be scoped out by a professional such as Capitol Chimney to make sure there’s no debris or dangerous combustible deposits that could start a fire. Electrical problems are one of the leading causes of fires in the home, if you’re in an older house or somewhere the wiring hasn’t been looked at in a while, it’s worth calling out a professional. Some areas (or the entire thing) might need rewiring to bring it up to current safety standards.

Check Over Power Tools
Another way people can get seriously hurt at home is using power tools. Common sense is essential here, if you don’t have the skills or experience to manage these kinds of things then you’re much better calling a professional company to do the job. Follow safety precautions such as using eye and ear protection where necessary, and give all tools a regular check over. The cord should be free of damage, and tools should be stored somewhere they won’t get damp or potentially damaged. That way you reduce your chances of getting injured due to a power tool malfunctioning.


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What steps have you taken to ensure your house stays as safe and healthy as possible?

Friday, January 5, 2018

January Swago Promotion!



The digital rewards site Swagbucks is offering big payouts during their January "Swago" promotion starting Monday, January 8th at 9am PT and running until Monday, January 15th! Swago is just like bingo, but in this case you're filling out squares as you earn points on their site for doing things you already do online. If you're thinking of trying Swagbucks, this is a great chance to learn all about how the site works and earn bonus points while doing it, meaning you can get more gift cards faster. Here are a few tips:  
  • Each square on your Swago Board will contain an action item to complete. They can be anything from getting a search win, completing a survey, or just visiting one of our popular stores!
     
  • Once you complete the action item in a particular square the square will change color signifying the action item is complete.
     
  • You have until 12pm PT/3pm ET on Monday, January 15th to mark off as many squares as possible so use your time wisely.
     
  • Be mindful of the patterns and their corresponding bonuses located on the right of your Swago Board. The patterns will vary in difficulty and bonus value. Once you’ve achieved a pattern, the corresponding “Submit” button will light up. You can have multiple patterns available for submission, however, you can only submit ONE pattern so choose wisely. 
  • Each activity you successfully complete on your Swago Board will give you anywhere from 1-20 spins on the Spin & Win Wheel. PLUS, when you submit your board for a bonus you'll get additional spins. The number of spins will depend on the pattern you complete. The wheel has all sorts of great prizes that you can win, and each spin is a winner!

The Spin & Win Wheel will be available all throughout Swago and you have until 11:59pm PT on Monday, January 15th to use all your spins.  

Fill up your board and then submit your pattern to get even more points - if you can fill in the whole board, you get a 500 SB bonus, which is enough for a $5 gift card from the retailer of your choice.   

Click here right now and click "Join" to get started! If you don't already have a Swagbucks account, you'll be able to quickly sign up; PLUS, if you earn 300 SB before the first of January, you'll get a bonus 300 SB!

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Kickstart Your Healthy Life With These 3 Tips

Treat yourself
When it comes to ensuring your wellbeing, nothing is too much effort. It’s not like you’re going to work for nothing, and that effort has gone to waste, as it goes straight to your health! You’ll find that once you get yourself on the track you’ll be feeling both physically and mentally better. It’s scientifically proven that a healthy body can help with a healthy mind, so why not give it a try? You can really only feel better, satisfaction is guaranteed!



Getting motivated
It can be quite difficult to get yourself into a schedule without any other motivation, as it’s not like you’re going to be letting anyone down; well, except yourself. First off, the way you see yourself has a lot to do with your determination, so you should learn some self-respect! It can take a lot of work, and you have to be willing to do that for you. If you find it hard to get your own motivation, you can try relying on other people at the start to help encourage you. There are many great speeches and videos out there that show you what other people have accomplished and can inspire you to accomplish your own goals. Something to get the body going and the blood pumping, just make sure you find a way to keep that going so you don’t crash!


Health Checks
While it might not be anything of concern, you should always get yourself checked out by a doctor when things aren’t quite right. Obviously, if you know why you’re having sudden aches and pains then there’s no need to have it explained, but what if they’re sudden? It’s important to have these checked just to make sure there’s not a serious problem. You might want to book yourself in with someone working in cardiology, or other medical professions to make sure if you do have something, then it’s caught early on. The quicker you find the problem, the more they can do for you. That’s not to say that random symptoms are definitely serious, as a lot of the time they’re caused by something minor that you wouldn’t have taken note of.

Start a New Diet
There’s no better way to fight off your temptations than with a new and healthy diet. You’ll find that if you’re used to eating what you want and when you want, fighting that temptation off can be very difficult. It’s important you don’t give in because when it rains, it pours. A diet is something you should be extra strict with, as once you start allowing yourself little treats here and there, you may find that you slowly work your way back out of it.  Plan for the times you are going to have treats rather than just randomly breaking your diet.  If you can be strict at the beginning, then it is easier to stay on the diet.

It can take a lot of willpower to bring yourself into a healthy lifestyle, but you have to find ways to stay motivated. If you lack in willpower, that motivation is likely the only thing that’s keeping you going, so find a source and cling to it! Whether it’s listening to other people’s stories, spending time with people who inspire you or thinking about your future! Never forget who you’re doing this for, and make sure to remind yourself why you’re important.

Taking The Bore Out Of Your Chores



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It’s very rare to find someone with a passion for housework, gardening, or the other chores you’ll find around a modern home. Instead, these sorts of jobs are often some of the lowest on the list of things you’d like to be doing, but highest on the list of things which have to be done. Of course, though, it doesn’t have to be this way. With the right time and effort, it should be nice and easy to turn your chores from boring into something you don’t even think about, and this post is here to help you out. It will be exploring some of the best ways to achieve this sort of goal, while also giving you some ideas to try for yourself.

Make A Game
Like most creatures, humans like to play and will thrive when rewarded for their work. Of course, you don’t have to give yourself treats for doing the cleaning, but you could find some ways to make the job itself more fun. By giving yourself targets, like fastest mopping time or shiniest windows, you’ll motivate yourself without even realising it. As time goes on, you will be able to give yourself more and more challenges, eventually making all of your jobs into their own little games. This sort of approach may seem a little childish, but the results will speak for themselves.  Not to mention it works great when your children are helping with chores as you can challenge them to see who has the fastest time.  Maybe you could keep a chart for them.

Share The Load
With the price of modern housing, it’s quite unlikely that you live by yourself. This means that there will be other people around with the power to help you with the household chores, and you can enlist their help to make it a lot easier for yourself. The best way to do this will be through a strict rotation chart which lets everyone know exactly what they will have to do. Of course, you can’t expect the kids to do the same amount as the adults, but they can still do a little bit to help prevent the rising tide you’re having to deal with.

Having Someone Else Do It
Thankfully, even if you hate all of this work, there are still ways to make it easier for you, and this final one should be able to cover everything. If you want to move, but don’t want to deal with the stress, a moving company should be enough to take things out of your hands. Likewise, if your garden is starting to look bad, you could consider hiring someone to come and take care of it for you. Nowadays, more and more people are charging fair rates for this sort of work, and this is only making it easier to let someone else do the hard work.  Often young teens are looking for a way to make money, so consider hiring a neighbors child.

Hopefully, this post will inspire you to start working towards making your chores more fun. A lot of people struggle to keep this part of life under control, especially as life is getting busy and children are hitting the scene. Of course, though, with the right effort, you should be able to make each chore disappear.

Wanting More Comfort From Your Home?

Comfort is Everything in a Home
I am sure you are aware of how annoying small issues can be when it comes to living in comfort in your home.  The small things are often the most annoying, because we let them go rather than do something about it. Something as simple a cold draft can create an unwelcoming atmosphere, and if you want to achieve a warm and comforting home, then that’s something you should seek to fix!

Invest in your home
When it comes to your living space, there’s no reason to shy away from spending money on improving it. It’s somewhere you’re going to be spending a lot of your time, which can have quite a significant effect on your mood. Having a home you can be happy with, and feel that it’s inviting can really change how you feel when you are there, you just have to splash a bit of money on it first. It doesn’t have to be a large amount either, as there are inexpensive changes you can make that will make a difference in the overall tone, you just have to know where to start. For some people, making changes to the color of the paint and the wallpaper is the answer, whereas some might need a complete overhaul of their furniture and structure. It can be hard to get inspiration at first, but if you took the time to look into what others have done, then you might spark some ideas of your own.


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Problem-solving
Sit down with a pen and paper and write down any issues you can think of that need fixed in your home, big or small.  Then figure out the best ways to go about fixing the issues.  If it is something that you can fix/repair plan on purchasing what you need and set aside the time to fix it.  If it is something more technical or that requires training to repair, see if you have a friend with the necessary skills and perhaps you can trade work for each other.  When it comes to areas like weatherproofing your home, especially if you already have leaks, it might be best to seek out services like roofing contractors to ensure your house is safe from heavy rains and winds. Make an effort to prevent an even bigger inconvenience, as you really cannot predict the weather.

Giving yourself a comfy and safe environment can be a huge relief when that’s something you need, no more dreading going back to your cold and unwelcoming house, and no more trouble falling asleep on that hard mattress or listening to a leak drip under your sink. Your very own living space is a luxury that everyone deserves, and you should try to keep it as nice and comfortable as you can.