7.29.2023

Happy 20th Birthday




Dear Brooke,

my dear daughter, twenty years have passed from the day I first held you in my arms. It’s been an exhilarating journey being your mom. No, it hasn’t been all bliss and lollypops and gum drops, you and I both know this.

You taught me how to be a mom.

You taught me how to love unconditionally. You taught me how to embrace life. You taught me how to have confidence.

Yes, I know, it’s a mom’s job to teach her children, but on this mother-daughter-deal I think I learned more from you.

When you were born, I was in no way ready to be the mom that I needed to be. I was still growing-up myself. You got the brunt of all my first-time mom mistakes. Like… the time I thought you were dying because your temperature reached 105 degrees, only to realise I did not shake the thermometer to clear it before I t moook your temperature?” I was on the phone with the doctor at the time and quickly said, “Oh never mind. I did it wrong.”

I did it wrong.

“I did it wrong,” that was my theme verse while raising you.



I watched you grow into a capable woman of God, beautiful inside and out. Such talent and grace, with wisdom way beyond your years.

I got to watch you surrender your life to Jesus Christ. I got to watch you get baptized.  Someday I will get to watch you walk down an aisle and into the hand of a man we respect and love, knowing you would always be loved and well cared for. You chose well.

One of the greatest joys of motherhood is watching your kids do stuff (dealing with disappointment, overcoming, soaring) better than you. The joys of motherhood are realized in having a daughter such as you.  You have always known what you wanted to become and look at you reaching for that dream and doing amazing at it.  It warms my heart to hear from your employers just how wonderful you are in the work place.

I am glad the younger version of me is better than the original.

Brooke -happy birthday, my dear daughter, thank you for making my world brighter than I ever thought possible.

I love you now and forever… Mom





7.26.2023

Ways to Improve the appearance and convenience of your garden.

Whether you are a keen gardener or a non-gardener, it is important to maintain the appearance and convenience of your garden so it is always ready to use and inviting for you and your guests. 


When you have an inviting and convenient outside space, it will encourage you to use it more. Making use of your garden will maximize the use of your home and ensure you get to enjoy the outside space when the weather permits. 

If you want to improve the appearance and convenience of your garden, here’s how.


Photo by Maria Orlova: https://www.pexels.com/photo/potted-plants-and-blooming-flowers-growing-on-balcony-of-stone-house-4946994/


Tree removal 

Although trees are great for the environment, sometimes they can hinder the appeal attraction, and convenience of your garden. They might take up too much ground space or limit the amount of sunlight that your garden gets. Hence you will want to remove them and in doing so you should invest in professional help for the safest and best outcome.

For instance, if you require tree service, ensure to seek professional help as you will attain the best results and keep yourself safe while improving the appearance of your garden. There are some tasks you must acquire expert help with, tree removal being one of them. It isn’t safe to perform such intense tasks yourself. So, keep yourself safe and ask for help with some garden maintenance tasks when you are on a mission to improve the appearance and convenience of your garden.


Add more color

Another way to change and improve your garden is to add more color. If your garden is lacking enthusiasm and fun, adding more color is a great way to improve its appearance. 


You could add more color by adding more flowers, painting the doors/fences a fun color, or adding decorative pieces. Although adding color will not make your garden more convenient, it will make it more attractive and inviting. 


Add flowers around your garden

Speaking of adding more color and flowers, adding flowers around your garden is a great way to improve its appearance. Not only do flowers add more color, but they add more life to your garden.


Adding more nature and life to your garden will attract bees, wasps, butterflies, and more insects that can make your garden incredibly beautiful and attractive. 


Add a trellis to your fence

To add more heightened privacy to your garden, it is a great idea to add a trellis to your fences. Trellis is a legal way to increase the height of your fences without adding a blocked panel of wood.


You can get different types of trellis which can improve the appearance of your garden. You can get a plain trellis with basic patterns or beautiful patterns that will add more beauty and aesthetics to your garden. Adding more height to your fences will guarantee that you can maximize your privacy when spending time in the garden.


Add a clear pathway

If you do not have a pathway in your garden, how do you expect to get to the bottom without getting muddy or wet feet, especially when it's raining?


If you wish to utilize more of your garden space then adding a clear pathway will guarantee that you can get around without risking walking among your flowers or on muddy grass. You can add a pathway by laying down stones or adding a patio or adding Steel Garden Edging from The Ideal Garden. This will ensure that you can keep dry and clean whatever the weather.


Install a patio

Speaking of a patio, it is a great idea to install a dedicated patio area so that you can spend time in the garden without risking getting your feet dirty or muddy. You could remove the entirety of the grass section or add a small section of patio so that you can spend time outside whatever the weather.

It is a good idea to add chairs or dining space to your patio area so that you can use it whether it is rainy or sunny and not risk getting wet and dirty feet. It will make your garden more convenient and seasonal.


Consider more comfortable seating

Whether or not you have chairs or a seating area in your garden, it is a good idea to consider adding more comfortable seating options so that when you and your guests spend time outside, you can maintain comfort and want to spend longer in your outside space.

It is not good to invite guests around and not offer them a comfortable place to sit. Likewise, it is not going to encourage you to spend time in the garden if you are uncomfortable. Therefore, installing more comfortable seating, such as an outside sofa or cushioned benches, will guarantee that you and everyone else can spend more time outside, making your garden more convenient.


Kill the weeds

Nobody wants weeds in their garden. They can hinder the garden's beauty.


Therefore, do your best to kill the weeds and remove them whenever you see them to keep your garden as attractive as possible. Killing the weed on a regular basis will ensure to make your garden maintenance much easier.


Add a shelter

Whether it is raining, snowing, or very sunny outside, using a shelter can benefit you and encourage you to spend more time in the garden.


You could have a shelter over your seated area or where you enjoy sitting to prune your plants so that you can stay dry or free from the strong sun rays throughout the year.


Storage space

Adding more storage space to your garden will guarantee to make it more convenient. It will allow you to store things away and keep your garden as tidy as possible.


Plus, having exterior storage space will ensure that you can store everything you need and use outside in a convenient spot. For instance, if you often use gardening tools and find that storing them inside is inconvenient, you can store them in your exterior storage space and make your life much easier.


Dining space

It is a great idea to add a dining space to your garden, which will improve its appearance as well as its convenience.


Whether you wish to eat your weekday dinners outside or host guests for a summer party, it is great to have a dining space so you can sit and relax and enjoy some great food.



7.25.2023

Texting, Eating, or Daydreaming? Unveiling the Top Distractions Behind the Wheel



Have you ever found yourself shooting off a quick text, snacking on the go, or simply letting your

thoughts drift while driving? We're all guilty of it at some point. But how often do we pause to consider

the potential dangers these distractions pose when we're in control of a vehicle? In this enlightening

blog post, we're going to highlight the most prevalent driving distractions and delve into their often

alarming outcomes. Strap in for a dose of reality as we shed light on the risks associated with texting,

eating, and mental meandering behind the wheel.


Diverse Distractions on the Road

Drivers can be easily sidetracked by a wide array of distractions. Some of the most common ones

include:

Texting: Dashing off or reading a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for about five seconds on

average. That's sufficient time to traverse the length of a football field when driving at 55 mph.


Eating and drinking: Snacking or sipping while driving might not only lead to spills but also serious

accidents. It's crucial to keep both hands on the wheel and your focus on the road.


Daydreaming: Even though we've all zoned out while behind the wheel at some point, maintaining

concentration is vital. Loss of focus can easily result in mishaps.


Conversing with passengers: Engaging in discussions with fellow occupants can divert attention,

particularly if conversations become heated. The priority should always be the road, not the chatter.


Admiring the scenery: While taking pleasure in the surrounding views is a joy of driving, it's important to

refrain from gazing for extended periods. Regularly scan the road ahead to spot potential hazards.


Ripple Effects of Distracted Driving

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reveals that distracted driving results in approximately nine fatalities and injures 1,153 individuals daily in the United States. We've all been distracted at one point while behind the wheel, whether we're adjusting the radio, eating, or conversing on the phone. But these seemingly innocent activities can lead to catastrophic consequences. If you’ve been injured due to a districted driver, find out here what you should do next.

A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety shows distracted driving contributes to 58% of teen crashes and 49% of teen near-misses. And it's not just teenagers who are at risk. Adults are equally susceptible to distracted driving.

The NHTSA defines distracted driving as "any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the primary task of driving.  This includes activities ranging from talking or texting on your phone to adjusting music or rummaging through your bag. Essentially, if your full attention isn't on the road,you're engaging in distracted driving.

Strategies to Minimize Distracted Driving

There are several strategies drivers can employ to mitigate distractions.

Firstly, understanding the typical distractions – texting, eating, phone conversations, and daydreaming –can help. Being conscious of your environment and keeping your eyes on the road are equally important.

If you need to use your phone while driving, taking a few precautionary steps can minimize distractions.

Set your GPS before starting the car. If you need to make a call, use hands-free technology, and if you must text, pull over to a safe spot first.

If you must eat while driving, opt for non-messy, one-hand foods such as nuts or trail mix. Keep your eyes on the road and stay aware of your surroundings.

Daydreaming is another prevalent form of distracted driving. To curb this, stay focused on driving. If your mind starts wandering, immediately bring your attention back to driving.


Recognizing When Your Mind is Elsewhere

Often, when our minds wander, we may not even realize it's happening. Key signs include missing turns or exits, failing to recall the last few miles you've driven, or finding yourself braking hard or abruptly to adjust for traffic or signals. If you've experienced any of these, your mind might be elsewhere.

Repeatedly drifting into daydreams, losing track of ongoing conversations, or feeling restless and unable to concentrate are other indications. Acknowledging these signs is the first step to correcting the habit and maintaining focus on the road.


Conclusion

Being a safe and accountable driver necessitates absolute focus on the task at hand. Hence, it's imperative for drivers of all ages to steer clear of distractions that might detract from their concentration. The most effective way to stay focused while driving involves limiting or eliminating phone use, abstaining from eating, avoiding daydreaming, and other distracting activities behind the wheel. Armed with this knowledge, we hope all drivers will make safer choices, thus reducing the number of accidents caused by distracted driving.

7.18.2023

This Is How To Help Your Community Become More Eco- Friendly

Many of us are doing all we can to make sure our own families and homes are as environmentally friendly as possible. However, as with all important things we are always stronger when instead of being alone in our work we stand together with our communities. The good news is many tactics can help you to help your community become more environmentally conscious. Read on to find out what they are. 


Start a community garden 


One of the best ways to make the community you live in more eco-friendly is to start up a communal garden for growing produce. After all, most of our food travels hundreds if not thousands of miles and uses up huge amounts of previous environmental resources in being cultivated and transported. 


Starting a community garden is a pretty easy task too, as all you will need is a few scraps on land and some seeds. You don’t even need to have lots of land to start as you can grow vegetables in pots, or vertically in wall hangings. Tools can even be brought along by community members, who can get involved in planting and tending the garden at different times. 


Encourage the use of renewable energy 


Another way you can help your community become more eco-friendly is to encourage the use of energy from renewable sources such as wind, geothermal, and solar. Indeed, with services like solar farm customer acquisition, you can very easily narrow down which communities in your location will be interested in sourcing their energy in this way. Indeed, those offering such services will even help you market solar farm energy to your community to make it as easy as possible for everyone to see all the benefits they reap from switching to a renewable source. 


Patronize the most sustainable stores 


You can also help your whole community become more environmentally friendly by shopping at stores that offer sustainable solutions. For example, such stores usually offer refills on products such as laundry powder, washing liquid, and shampoo & conditioner rather than making you buy a brand new bottle that will only become waste after a single use. 


Make it easy for others to swap their cars for bikes 


Last of all, swapping out traveling in gas vehicles for pedal power can make a massive positive difference to your community. This is because gas is a fossil fuel, a resource that is not only speedily running out, but also one that when used releases nasty C02 into the atmosphere which causes global warming. 


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Happily, there are several ways you can make it easier for your whole community to use bikes more than they do cars. One option is to have bike paths installed as this makes it safer for both cyclists and pedestrians. Another option is to offer free or greatly supplemented public bikes as then community members won’t need to invest in their own cycle to change the way they get around. 


Last of all, be sure to install bike racks at all major public buildings including schools, doctor’s offices, and businesses. Then anyone riding to and from work will be able to store their bike safely and not have to worry about it during the day. 



7.17.2023

Are You Are Looking For Ideas To Upgrade Your Home Exterior, Look No Further

Even if you happen to have your dream home, there are usually things you want to change. This is especially true if you have lived there for several years. After a while, things begin to wear out and need repairs or replacement. If you drive up to your home every day and think, “I’d like a change,” then keep reading.


Image Credit


The Roof

Like wearing a hat in the winter shields your head, a roof protects your home from the elements. While it is an integral part of your home’s structure, it is also a main component of the exterior aesthetic appeal. 


The color and material of your shingles matter to you and for the protection of your home’s interior. Therefore, it is important to weigh the pros and cons of wood shingles before making a choice you might regret. Talk with your professional roofer about why alternatives such as asphalt wood shingles might be the best solution when you are ready to replace your current shingles.


The Lighting

As part of the exterior renewal of your home, you should make it a point to upgrade the lighting. Add canned lighting on the front of your home in areas that will highlight the architecture once the sun goes down. If you have a licensed electrician rewire or add new lighting, consider requesting exterior outlets to make hanging holiday lights easier.


Smart light bulbs and lighting that can be changed with the touch of an app are ideal solutions in today’s world. Select a programmable lighting set-up so you can set it to your chosen schedule and move on with your day. 


The Landscaping

After hiring professionals to take care of the roofing, exterior materials, and everything else you want to have done to your home, your budget might need a break. You might still want to accomplish a few more things on your property to enhance the curb appeal.


This is where a DIY mindset comes in. With a little elbow grease and some research, you can complete a front yard project on your own and save money in the process. Watch this video for an expert’s advice on some easy and realistic landscaping projects.


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The Details

Once you have everything on your exterior upgrade to-do list checked off and the dust and debris cleared away, take a good look at the results. Walk across the street to assess your home and property for a few moments. Walk up and down in front of your home and look at it from every angle. 


You might notice that a few accent pieces and accessories are missing. This is where you can let your personality shine through as you are basically decorating your exterior while adding small finishing touches.


Some items to consider changing or upgrading include:



Image Credit


With these great ideas at hand, you can create the home you have always wanted, starting on the outside. Pick high-quality roofing materials, eye-catching home colors, and updated accessories for a place you will be proud to call your home.

Have The Best Summer Ever

Some parents can’t wait for summer to arrive, while others try desperately to plan some activities around work to keep everyone happy. No matter what camp you fall into - or if you’re a mix of both on any given day, here are some tips to help your summer be the best one ever. 


Photo by Raphaƫl Biscaldi on Unsplash


Surprise! 

For you and your child! If you’ve ever said the words ‘I used to be fun’, then it is time to get your fun cap back on. You don’t need to plan it or even tell the kids it is happening. When the laptop closes and the last chore of the day is done, get the water pistols out and take your shot. 


Yes, it is asking you to find extra energy after a long hot day, but you and your children will thank you for it - you never know when these moments will be over. 

Pool Time 

An inflatable pool is great, but there is a lot of maintenance that goes with it, and sometimes (almost all the time) it is better to get a pool installed. Yes, even if you have slightly older children or a small yard, there is a pool that will work for you from Royal Swimming Pools. If you have younger children, a pool fence is a must. A pool offers hours of fun, the ability to cool down in the heat, and you can take a dip in the evenings in peace. 


Swimming lessons are a must! 

New Hobbies 

The summertime is the perfect time to try new hobbies. You have a string of up to 8 weeks where there is no school structure. Kids love learning and doing, and it can be a great way for them to figure out what they love to do. 


Classes can be added to your schedule at the weekend for things like instruments, but things like making videos or art can be done at home! 

Balance 

Balance is a mystical word most of the time because usually while finding balance in the holidays, something slips off the plate. Many children benefit from structure - and it also helps out working parents a lot. Make a timetable with activity ideas for your children (if they are old enough to be autonomous) so that they have things they can do while you work. 


Alternatively, look for local fun classes and sessions that they can attend while you get some work done. At a minimum, try to have dinner together as often as possible. 


Get everyone involved in the tasks that fit their age, like running errands, helping make dinners, cleaning up, tidying toys, and so on. Anything that they can safely help you do - and try not to be too critical of the efforts. Let them help! 

Tip: no one likes chores, but you can make them more fun with these tips: 7 WAYS TO MAKE CHORES MORE ENJOYABLE

Energy Check 

Your energy and mood will dictate the energy and mood in the rest of the house. Aim to keep your stress levels low, and when you have low-energy days - aim for swimming, art, and reading. High energy days? Have some spontaneous trips up your sleeve. Work with what you have available so that you’re never running dry yourself. 






7.13.2023

How To Save Money And Energy by Making Your Home More Eco-Friendly.

Unsplash - CC0 License


Making your home more eco-friendly isn’t just good for the planet as a whole; it’s also good for you. Having a cozy warm home that doesn’t require much energy keeps your bills down and reduces the cost of living significantly. 


The purpose of this post is to explore precisely how you can make your home more eco-friendly and get all these benefits. We look at some of the simple, actionable steps your family can take to reduce energy usage and live a better, more environmentally sustainable life. 


Use LED Bulbs


Using LED bulbs is one of the simplest interventions to reduce the amount of energy your home consumes. This form of lighting requires up to 90 percent less energy than conventional alternatives, making it a massive contributor to energy-saving activities.


The cool thing about LEDs, though, is their longevity. These bulbs can last for many years without replacement, often up to ten times longer than the incandescent versions of the past. 


They also come in various colors so you can use them to customize your home. Creating a different mood in every space transforms your experience. 


Install A Programmable Thermostat


Another way to reduce your energy usage is to install a programmable thermostat. These devices let you set your desired temperature preferences, and avoid heating or cooling rooms you aren’t using. 


Even more advanced thermostats use advanced technologies to help you better regulate temperatures in your home. These learn your preferences and habits over time and predict how much heating you required, based on past activities. You can also control them remotely, which is helpful. 


Keep Your Roof In Good Condition


You can also make your home more energy-efficient with something as simple as keeping your roofing in good condition, something Best Choice Roofing recommends. The reason roofing is so important for energy-saving is that it is the primary barrier between the heat in your home and the outside world. If hot air can escape through cracks or gaps, that’s money that’s going to waste and means that your boiler needs to work significantly harder to generate the same results. 


Fixing the roof can usually solve this issue pretty quickly. And it gives you an opportunity to reduce bills long-term, even with rising energy prices. 


Grow Food In Your Backyard


Another way to make your home more eco-friendly is to start growing food in your backyards. This practice isn’t just “local,” it's hyperlocal, involving no fossil fuel usage in transportation or distribution at all. You simply walk out the back door, harvest the food you want to eat, and carry it to the kitchen. It’s a very primal and satisfying way of living. 


Of course, growing food in your backyard requires dedicating some space to it. But once you have a bed set up, it can continue producing large quantities of food seasonally for years to come. 


It’s also worth noting that the veggies you grow yourself are the freshest and most delicious. Buying them from the store in plastic wrappers won’t be as appealing if you make the change. 

7.07.2023

Can AI help you make smarter investments that generate better returns?


Image Credit - CC0 License


We’re all trying to find ways to make our money go further. In this current climate, we want to uncover ideas that help us generate wealth in the long term. It’s all about saving money, but doing as much with it as we can. 


This is why investing is so popular. It offers a way to put some money aside and generate returns over a long period. However, there’s a trend within the investment world that’s getting a lot of people excited. If you’ve never invested before, the biggest concern is figuring out what to do. You don’t want to hire a broker, so you’re stuck all on your lonesome. 


The dramatic development of artificial intelligence could seemingly provide a lifeline. More and more people are using AI to make investments, but can it help you generate better returns? Let’s look at the main talking points: 


AI can analyze many possible scenarios

A big benefit of artificial technology is its ability to analyze lots of data at once. Indeed, plenty of seasoned investors use platforms powered by AI. These platforms use software that analyzes market trends and sports patterns. In theory, this could mean you know how to make smarter financial decisions. It could lead you to invest in something that’s predicted to grow thanks to the AI model. 


Without this technology, you might be left in the dark and could miss a massive opportunity that helps you make a lot of money - or avoid losing a fortune. 

Big firms are already using AI

Another reason people think AI is the future of investments is that lots of big private equity firms are already using it. However, this should be taken with a pinch of salt. Some firms are using AI, but only to manage contracts and streamline processes. This doesn’t necessarily mean it’s helping them make better investment decisions. For a better overview of private equity artificial intelligence, learn here


Technology and investment strategies usually come from the top down. So, if big investors and firms are leveraging this tech to make smarter investments, you can see why beginners are looking to get involved. 


Not all AI is created equally

The biggest thing to be aware of is that artificial intelligence systems vary. Most people are aware of things like ChatGPT and other AI software of a similar ilk. Would these systems be able to help you make smarter investment decisions


Probably not. They’re not built specifically for this, so there’s a greater chance of mistakes being made. But, if you find purpose-built AI software for investors, this could lead to better results. 



With all things considered, AI can be a helpful tool for beginner investors. Using the right software can certainly help you identify trends and figure out the best things to invest in. Keep in mind that none of this is financial advice and you should only ever invest what you can afford to lose. Speak to a qualified financial advisor before making investments and they can tell you more about AI and how it might help. 

7.06.2023

5 Ways to Serve Your Customers Faster

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You can boost sales and gain a better reputation if you serve your customers faster. Self-service systems are a current modern feature. But keeping customers informed of where to go and what to do is also part of a better process. It isn't hard, so here are a few tips to help get you started.

Streamline the Service Process

The service process itself must be efficient, or you risk people becoming angry as no one likes to wait. Fortunately, there are many things you can do to improve this. If you haven't done so already, buy card readers for your store. Check out this guide to chip card readers for vital info. With remote readers, you can offer pre–service assistance while a customer is waiting in line. This means they can pay for their products before actually getting to the primary EPOS.

Install Self-Service Systems

Most of us don't like the idea of cutting jobs in favor of AI or automated machines. But they can be a massive help in a store. When used right, you can have them assist your staff rather than replace them. For example, touch-screen ordering boards (like in McDonald's) make the ordering process much more efficient and faster. And self-service has revolutionized the supermarket system. However, stay aware that many customers still prefer the human touch.

Serve Your Customers Faster with Better Queuing

There's nothing wrong with using a one-queue system where customers are branched to different EPOS terminals to pay. However, it could be the case that not all customers are queuing to pay for something. For instance, in a clothing store, some might be queuing to return an item. This means they are taking up space in payment queues and taking time from your employees as they process and deal with a return. So, separate lines for each system are vital.

Make Sure Customers Know What to Do

A lack of explanation of where to go and what to do in your store can cause a nightmare for you and for customers. For example, customers need clear queuing information. Clearly marked signs and standing markers are ideal for this. Yet customers also need to know when to come to a checkout. For instance, you may operate a ticketing system. So it helps to install a clearly visible digital ticketing display that can be seen from almost anywhere in your establishment.

Fill Their Time with Distractions

This last one isn't really quicker, but it can help customers feel like their time has passed. When customers stand in line or sit in a waiting room, it can feel like time slows down because their brains aren't engaged. And all they want is to be serviced and leave to get on with their day. Magazines, free Wi-Fi, and even digital information and promo signs are excellent for this. And some stores now offer SMS services to inform a customer of when to come to checkout.

Summary

To serve your customers faster, you need to organize your systems better. To do this, it helps to streamline the service process, optimize your queuing system, and offer waiting distractions.



7.05.2023

Tips To Improve The Cash Flow Of Your Business

 Cash flow is a necessity that your business needs to keep healthy. Without a healthy cash flow, you’re likely going to put the company at risk. A lot of the businesses that fail whether they’re new or have been on the market for years, will go bankrupt due to poor cash flow.


When you’ve got more money going out than you have coming in, that’s a problem. With that being said, here are some helpful tips that are going to ensure you improve the cash flow of your business this year.


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Set up recurring billing for customers and clients

Recurring billing is something you want to be proactive about when it comes to your customers and clients. Those that are paying for their subscriptions or costs every month should be put into an automated system that generates these costs for the customer each month.


That way, you don’t have to keep chasing the payments yourself or manually setting up those payment reminders every month. A payment processing for subscription businesses is well worth investing in and putting in place to help with any potential cash flow problems.

Avoid any overspending within the business

Overspending is never a good thing for your business and therefore you want to avoid it as much as possible. Think about how much you’re spending in your business currently and whether that’s a good balance between what’s going out each month and what’s coming in. 


You want to be providing more income than outgoings and if this is the opposite, overspending needs to be reduced where possible. Look at where that expenditure is happening and curb any spending in this area to keep it under control.

Get a strong financial team or skilled accountant

To help with your finances, it’s worth investing in a strong financial team who can help save you money or a skilled accountant for those who have limited funding for the time being. When starting up a business in particular, it’s good to ensure you have the talent in place for your finances. After all, not everyone is skilled when it comes to managing their money.


If you’re someone who struggles with their own personal budgeting, you don’t want to be in charge of your business budgeting. 

Chase up invoices in a timely manner

Make sure you’re chasing up invoices in a timely manner. Every day that goes by with an invoice overdue is a day that could be causing more financial strain. With multiple overdue invoices, that could affect your cash flow greatly.


Find ways to chase down invoices and send out regular reminders for those who are regular culprits of sending invoices late.

Cut down budgets where required

Budgets are likely to need cutting down or increasing at various points within your business lifespan. To help save your business money, consider cutting down budgets as and when it’s needed.


These tips will hopefully ensure you improve the cash flow status of your business for the better this year.


7.04.2023

5 Things That Can Damage Your Furniture

 

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Furniture is a vital part of any home. It is what makes a house a comfortable and practical place to live. It is also pretty expensive, so doing everything you can to prolong the life of your furniture is a really good idea.


Unfortunately, there are a number of things that can wreak havoc and damage your furniture. Below, we will take a look at some of them so that you can hopefully prevent them from harming your home furnishings.


1. The invisible scorch: sunlight


As blissful as sunlight can be, it's a silent destroyer when it comes to furniture. Sunlight streaming in through your windows may create an Instagram-worthy ambiance, but it can also wreak havoc on your furniture.


Ultraviolet and infrared light can fade and dry out wood, leather, and fabric over time, leading to discoloration and weakness in the material. To protect your furniture from this silent assailant, consider installing blinds, curtains, or UV-protective window films which can help you control the amount of sunlight exposure your furniture endures daily.


2. The tiny terrors: household pests


When it comes to furniture damage, pests are public enemy number one. We're not just talking about termites, either. Sure, these little critters have an insatiable appetite for wood, but they aren't the only ones causing mayhem in your living room. Cockroaches and silverfish, for instance, love to feast on the glues used in bookbindings and furniture. And then there are carpet beetles, those fuzzy little rascals that have a taste for your upholstered furniture.


If you spot signs of pests, call in the professional pest control guys pronto. You don't want these uninvited dinner guests turning your home into an all-you-can-eat buffet!


3. The unseen sweller: humidity


Humidity is another culprit that can sabotage your furniture without making a sound. High humidity can make wooden furniture swell and warp, while low humidity can cause it to shrink and crack. This is especially true for musical instruments like pianos, which can go out of tune due to humidity-induced warping.


Investing in a dehumidifier or humidifier can help maintain optimal humidity levels in your home and extend the lifespan of your furniture, so it is something that is well worth investing in.


4. The hidden corroder: air pollutants


Indoor air pollutants can gradually degrade the quality of your furniture. Cigarette smoke, for instance, not only stains and smells up upholstery but also leaves a thin film that can dull the finish on wood and other surfaces.


Similarly, cooking fumes, if not properly ventilated, can accumulate and make the furniture sticky, attracting more dust and dirt. Regular cleaning and ensuring good ventilation can mitigate the effects of these stealthy vandals.


5. The relentless crusher: gravity


Last but not least, let's talk about a force that's always there - gravity. Yes, it keeps us grounded, but it's also responsible for the sagging of your sofas and chairs over time. Regular flipping and rotating of cushions can help even out wear, and for antique or particularly beloved pieces, consider professional reupholstering or restoration.


In essence, protecting your furniture from damage is a silent battle against various elements, but now you understand the issues, it should be easier to manage.


Attracting Wildlife to Your Garden

 

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Are you craving more fluttering wings, chirping melodies, and quiet rustlings in your garden? Inviting wildlife into your backyard isn't just about enjoying nature's spectacle. It also plays a huge role in preserving the planet’s biodiversity. So, how exactly do we roll out the green carpet for our local wildlife?


1. Food, glorious food


First things first - food! Install bird feeders and bird tables in your garden to attract a variety of birds. Fill them with seeds, fresh fruits, and nuts, but remember, different species have different dietary preferences, so variety is key!


A lot of people shy away from putting food in the garden in case they attract the wrong sort of wildlife, such as skunks or opossums, but with the right food choices and access to humane wildlife management specialists, this is not the problem that you might think it is. Feeding wildlife is one of the best things you can do for the planet, so try not to worry too much.


2. H20 heaven


All living creatures need water. A bird bath, a small pond, or even just a shallow dish filled with fresh water can draw wildlife to your garden. If you opt for a pond, it can attract frogs, newts, dragonflies, and birds. But safety first - make sure the pond has a gentle slope to prevent smaller animals from falling in and not being able to get back out. 


3. Create cozy nooks


Provide safe spaces for wildlife to rest, nest, and hibernate. Bird boxes, hedgehog homes, and bug hotels can all be introduced into your garden. Leaving a pile of leaves in a quiet corner or letting a patch of grass grow tall can also create natural shelter for various creatures who will be more likely to visit as a result. 


Pexels - CCO Licence


4. Plant a variety


Diversify your plant life. Native trees and shrubs provide excellent shelter and food sources for birds and insects. Plant flowers and herbs that bloom at different times of the year to ensure a steady food supply for pollinators. Layer your plants, from ground covers to tall trees, to mimic nature and provide habitats for different types of wildlife.


5. Go organic


Chemical pesticides and fertilizers might make your plants look lush, but they can be harmful to wildlife and beneficial insects. Switch to organic gardening methods. Encourage natural pest controllers like birds and ladybugs into your garden. You should also think about composting your kitchen waste to enrich your soil naturally.


6. Let it be


Sometimes, the best thing to do is nothing! Leaving certain areas of your garden a little wild can encourage wildlife. Resist the urge to clear away rotting logs or deadhead all your flowers because they are natural habitats and food sources for wildlife.


7. Provide safe passages


If you have fences or walls, consider creating small openings at the bottom to allow small mammals like hedgehogs to move freely between gardens. This helps them to find food, mates, and new habitats, especially in urban areas where green spaces are limited.


Welcoming wildlife into your garden can transform it into a lively, thriving ecosystem and provide hours of entertainment, so what are you waiting for?


Creating A Beautiful Outdoor Space

 

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If you are keen on being as happy with your home as possible, you are certainly not alone. Most people would agree that this is an important thing to aim for, and for many of us it’s something that we need to be quite consistent about. There are many parts to the home that you might want to think about in that sense, and one which is particularly important for most is the garden or outdoor area. Here are some amazing ways to create a beautiful outdoor space that you are really going to love spending time in.



Think About Color First


First of all, take a look at the plants and flowers you have in place and think about their color. There might be a lot of things that you need to focus on here, but it’s vital above all that you are creating a color palette that you can be happy with, and which you think is truly attractive and beautiful. As long as you do that, the rest is usually going to be a lot easier to ensure, and you should find that you are going to have a much better outdoor space on the whole. So that's something to think about for sure.



Build A Deck Or Patio


If you want your outdoor space to be beautiful but also somewhere that you can really enjoy spending time in, then you may want to have a deck or patio installed. This is a simple way to achieve that, and it’s amazing how much it can actually help in terms of making your outdoor space so much more beautiful. Make sure that you get it done properly by employing a top-rated deck builder, for the best results. This is going to be an amazing addition to the garden.



Make It Modern


A modern look really helps in all this as well, and as it happens there are quite a few ways to achieve this too. One is to build a deck, as above, but that is certainly not the only way. You are definitely going to find that having a modern garden or outdoor space is really wonderful, and something that can make it a lot more enjoyable to spend time in. You can think about the hues you use and the layout and space. In any case, however you do it, just focus on making it as modern as possible.



Start Entertaining


The moment you start entertaining guests in your outdoor space, you are going to find that you already have a much better sense of the space, and that you are enjoying it so much more as well. So that is something that you should think about here too, and which is going to help you out a lot. Make a space that you can spend time in with your friends, and it is already going to be a much better outdoor space. It’s amazing how much this can help you out.

Signs Your Roof Needs Replacement'

Photo by Pixabay


Your roof is one of the most essential parts of your entire house. If your roof is impacted then you can expect your belongings to be in danger and you will be exposed to the elements. 


Roofs have a long shelf life in most cases but there does come a time when they need to be replaced. You must recognize all the signs that your roof needs replacement and take action as quickly as possible to get the job done. 


The last thing you want is for your roof to underperform when you need it the most. Bearing this in mind, you should know the signs that your roof needs replacement, here are some that you should never ignore.

Sagging


When your roof starts sagging it's a big deal. A sagging roof is liable to collapse at any time. When your roof begins to sag it is usually because it is rotting. The structure of the roof may have been compromised by too much moisture. 


Often when a roof is leaking and it is not addressed it can cause a roof rot in the structure which can cause the entire structure of the roof to be on the brink of collapse. When you notice sagging you must take action and call a professional roofer to get the problem fixed immediately. 


Failure to do this could see the roof collapsing while you are inside. It's going to be dangerous, to say the least, and your belongings may be destroyed in the process.

Age


The age of your roof is another factor that should be taken into consideration when you are thinking of roof replacement. On average roofs last between 20 to 30 years depending on the material that was used to make them. 


Asphalt roofs can give you a good 20 years and metal roofs may last even longer. However, when your roof gets old there's no way around it. It will need to be replaced. 


Otherwise, you may find yourself making one repair after another. Once you notice that you will have to make several repairs to your roof it is usually time to consider roof replacement. Repair costs can add up and it may be more cost-effective to simply replace the defective roof as opposed to exacting continuous repairs.

Your Shingles are Deteriorating

A major sign that you need a roof replacement for the basement is when your shingles start curling. Shingles that are curling, clawing, or cupping are hard to miss. 


Once you notice that there are several of them across your roof you are in trouble. If there's also moss and algae growing at the same time this is happening, it's a sign that moisture damage has taken place. Once this is widespread you will have no choice but to replace your roof.


Your roof is an important part of your home and as such you need to make sure that it is always functioning properly. Once you notice that it's time for a roof replacement talk to a professional roofer and make arrangements to get your roof replaced as quickly as you can. 

7.03.2023

Sound Of Freedom- Movie Review




Today I want to share a movie with you that is important to me, a topic that is a real problem in this world- Trafficking.  Moms, this is an important film to bring your older children, friends, small group, and more to this July 4th week. Everyone needs to see this film!

#SoundOfFreedomMIN is a powerful new film from An-gel Studios (The Chosen, His Only Son) based on an incredible true story!

Angel Studio's goal is for two million people to go see the film during the week of July 4th to remember the two million children who are trafficked every year.  



 #SoundofFreedomMovie  based on the incredible true story, shines a light on even the darkest of places. After rescuing a young boy from ruthless child traffick-ers, a federal agent learns the boy’s sister is still captive and decides to embark on a dangerous mission to save her. With time running out, he quits his job and jour-neys deep into the Colombian jungle, putting his life on the line to free her from a fate worse than death.



Links
Ticketing Page: LINK
Pay-It-Forward Page: LINK   If you would like to help other people see the movie- you can buy tickets here to pay it forward.
If the price of the ticket is keeping you from going, generous fans have Paid it Forward tens of thousands of free tickets for you to be able to see the film opening week. You can get a free ticket at angel.com/freetickets
Media Kit: LINK


Disclosure:
Many thanks to Angel Studios for providing a sample of the product for this review.  Thank you to #MomentumIn-fluencerNetwork for the opportunity to review this movie. Opinions are 100% my own.

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