5 Tips to Winterize Your Home

November 26, 2012

5 Tips on Winterizing Your Home

  • Check the exterior doors and windows for crevice cracks and exposed entry cracks and seal them, use weather-stripping around doors to keep the cold air out, and replace your summer screens with storm windows or glass replacements.
  • Service weather-specific equipment. Drain gas from lawnmower, service or tune up snow blower, and replace worn rakes and snow shovels.
  • Prevent plumbing freezes by locating your water main in case you need to turn it off, insulate exposed plumbing pipes, and if you go on vacation keep your heat on at least 55 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Prepare landscaping and outdoor surfaces for the weather by trimming trees, sealing driveways, brick patios, and wood decks, and move sensitive potted plants to indoors or a sheltered area.
  • Prepare and emergency kit! This should include candles, matches, bottled water, non-perishable food items, and you should create an emergency evacuation plan in case of emergency. 

Stores are packed with shoppers spending money and going over their budget; do you want to be one of them? I didn’t think so, don’t worry, there are ways to cut the Christmas shopping expenses:

  1. Pay in cash and set a budget. This way it is easier to stick to your budget since you will only have cash with you.
  2. Save gift bags from Christmas presents you received last year.
  3. Go shopping throughout the year, especially in January because that’s when stores have the best sales.
  4. Make home made presents. The crocheted look is back in, so get started!
  5. Check store sales as well as online sales.

Christmas shopping doesn’t have to put a major hole in your bank account. Just follow these steps and stick to them. Happy shopping!

Holiday Gifts for a Cause

November 5, 2012

Are you trying to find that special gift for a special someone this holiday season, but you just can’t think of what to get because it seems like they already have everything, or, during the year, if they need something they just go out and buy it? Well, don’t worry, you are not alone and there is hope for a great present still. Consider getting gifts that help animals this holiday season. Below are 10 great gift ideas that will put a smile on that special someone’s face and on the face of the animals you helped by doing so:

  1. Buy your holiday greeting cards from your community’s animal rescues or shelters.
  2. Purchase merchandise, accessories, and other neat items from animal shelters online stores.
  3. Donate directly to a rescue or shelter for your own end of year gift to nonprofits in your community.
  4. Sponsor a pet for a child’s gift or sign up for monthly recurring donations in the child’s name.
  5. Buy calendars and appointment books for 2013 from your local animal rescue or shelter
  6. Buy gifts from companies which donate to animal rescues and/or shelters. Such as Dog-Gone Sauce (www.DogGoneSauce.com), Three Scoops of Vanilla (www.threescoopsofvanilla.com), and Jak of Arts Photography (jakofartsphotography.com)
  7. Buy holiday ornaments and dog toys from PetSmart which goes to helping homeless pets.
  8. Buy gifts from national rescue groups such as ASPCA, which sells items including iPhone cases, animal accessories, etc.
  9. Buy gear from DogsRuleGear.com hosted by Pedigree and with the money they will help shelter dogs find loving homes.
  10. Consider planning a family Christmas outing to your local animal shelter to walk the dogs, pet the cats, or volunteer in some other way.

                Your heart is racing, everyone is looking at you, and you try to read your paper but get stuck on the words. Sounds like a case of glossopgobia (fear of public speaking) which many people have at least one time in their life. Here are a few tips to being a great public speaker:

  1. Body language. If you feel confident you will come off as confident, but even if you feel nervous you need to come off as confident so standing, walking around or moving with appropriate hand gestures is recommended.
  2. Speak to your audience (NO NOTES!), listen to their questions, and respond to their reactions in a likeable way.
  3. Add humor to your speech, after all if you hear a good joke you never forget it but if you hear a dud it’s in one ear and out the other.
  4. If using audio-visual aid with your speech, be sure that it is set up ahead of time instead of fooling around with it and distracting your audience during your speech.
  5. Choose an appropriate topic for your speech. If you’re giving a speech to a bunch of nurses do not do a speech on engineering, instead maybe you could do a speech on how to properly take blood pressure.

Speaking in front of many people, especially your peers can be extremely nerve racking, but with these tips you should be on your way to a confident, informative speech.