Tips To Help Perfect A Work-Life Balance

Having the perfect work-life balance is hard to achieve, but once you have something close to it, you can enjoy life but still have the ability to achieve those goals and aspirations you have for your career. There are a few things that can stand in the way of achieving this balance, but with these tips, you too can perfect a work-life balance.

Learn How To Switch Off

Being able to switch off from work is easier said than done. Particularly when you have a job that demands a lot, or you’re in a role where you need access to work emails and files from home. However, you cannot let your work life consume your every waking hour, and therefore, you need to learn how to switch off from your work. This starts by leaving your work devices away from your lounging space. When you’re not working, leave these devices in another room but set on loud volume just in case anyone calls or emails you with urgent responses needed. This means that you don’t carry around the device and have a constant opportunity of looking at your phone all the time. If you’re able to switch off your device completely or have a point in the evening where you know you can shut these devices off until you need them again the next day. It’s difficult to get yourself out of a habit that you’ve been in for a while, but it’s not impossible.

Take The Opportunity To Look After Your Body

Your body is important because you only get one of them, and if you’re constantly putting your body through stress, then this opens up the opportunity for you to get sick more often and to catch more illnesses. If you’re working too much, then you have the risk of losing your focus, and a lack of sleep could mean an accident and having to get skilled injury lawyers who can handle your case. You want to avoid getting to that point where work has started affecting your health, so look after yourself more. When your body is tired, listen to it, instead of ignoring it. Get a good night’s sleep each night and treat your body to a brief workout each day to get the blood pumping around your body.

Try To Unplug Once You Get Home

Make it a rule that once you get home, your home life begins, and your work life ends. That’s the best of getting yourself into the mindset and to have a more enjoyable evening and days whenever you’re not in the office. Try not to talk about work at home because that’s just going to affect your home life more.

Set Boundaries Between Work And Social Life

Having boundaries is always going to be helpful, and that can be the same when it comes to your work and social life. Sometimes you may need to work overtime for your job, but that’s something that should be optional and not necessary. It should be rewarded as time off if you need to do it, and you should have the ability to say no to things that you don’t want to do. Learning to say no in life is definitely a skill worth having. We’ll all have things in our life that we do out of not wanting to disappoint people, but then if that’s sacrificing your own happiness, that’s not right. Set these boundaries from the beginning, and if you find them slipping at any point, look at what it is that you’re not currently doing and fix it.

Remember To Spend Time With Loved Ones

Your loved ones and those you value most in your life are important, and all too often, work gets in the way of spending more time with them. Yes, you can be passionate about your work, but the last thing you want to do is let work stop the opportunities that come by to spend time with people and to create memories. If you’re putting your work above that, then you are going to be unhappy with the lack of social connection. Not only that, but you do put your relationships in jeopardy by prioritizing your work life. Remember to make time for those who matter and that you want to make as many memories as you physically can do.

A work-life balance can be hard to achieve, but it’s definitely something you should be doing in order to live a happier life and a healthier one too.

Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 501

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How to Smoke a Turkey: Tutorial, Tips, and a Sauce Recipe

Disclosure: Today’s post is sponsored by We Love Fire. The opinions are my own.

With Halloween coming up this week, Thanksgiving is just around the corner!  Today I’m getting ahead of the game and sharing a tutorial on how to smoke a turkey.  At our house, we cook a lot of meats.  We only do turkey 2 or 3 times a year, and at this point we have cooked it by smoking/grilling, baking, and frying.  Today we are going to specifically talk about smoking a turkey.  I’ve got tips to help you get a moist and flavorful turkey, and I’ve also got a recipe for Southern White Sauce, which is MUST have item in our house when we are having smoked turkey or chicken.

If you are looking for a new grill or smoker this holiday season I Love Fire has a fantastic guide for you.

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Friday Favorites Linky Party – Week 500 with GIVEAWAY

Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet HomeTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst

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Kelly at Under a Texas SkyTwitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL

Jennifer at Busy Being JenniferTwitter | FB | Pin | Inst

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Giveaway

Hello everyone! Welcome to this week’s party: Friday Favorites Week 500! (That’s a LOT of linky parties!)

In honor of our 500th party, I’m offering a $25 gift certificate to Simply Sweet Creations to one lucky reader! Simply Sweet Creations offers hand stamped Christmas ornaments and jewelry, including custom pieces!

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Warning Signs You Need a New Roof

Roofs are designed to last for decades, with most having an average life expectancy of 30-50 years depending on the material. While this is beneficial for those who are building new homes, families living in older homes will likely have to think about a roof replacement sooner rather than later. If you’re thinking about a replacement for your own home but aren’t sure if it’s the right time, then look for the signs below. These are warning signs that your roof is failing.

1. There’s Damage

A visual inspection is an excellent way of determining the shape of your roof and if there is any damage present. You can do this yourself or hire a professional, depending on your experience and confidence. Once you get a visual, it’s important to note if there are any areas missing materials or if there is obvious damage such as cracks and holes. It’s also important to look for water that might be pooling in one area after a storm.

Tip: The experts at FirstClassSlateRoofing recommend hiring a professional if you’re not comfortable going on your roof. Have them do a full inspection and they’ll give you personalized advice about your need for a replacement roof.

2. Water is Leaking Onto Your Ceiling

As roofs get older, their materials can become damaged or even fly away with bad weather. When this happens, water from rain can soak through the roof and eventually find its way into the home. This can cause water damage that leads to dark circles on your ceiling.

3. It’s Old

One of the easiest ways to tell if your roof needs replaced is by simply figuring out how old it is. Asphalt shingle roofs tend to last around 20 years, while tile, slate, and copper should last roughly 50. If you have wood shake roofing, this can be expected to last around 30 years. Once you know the material and when the installation was done, it will be easy to determine if your roof is reaching the end of its life.

4. Signs of Decay

If you see tiles that look rotted through, tiles that are broken, or even mold that’s growing on shingles, these are all signs that rotting has started to take place. Once this happens, it’s important to act fast and have your roof replaced with something safe and sturdy.

5. Your Gutters are Full of Debris

Traditional asphalt shingles will crumble as they get older, which can result in debris inside of your gutters. While a small amount is to be expected after a bad storm, excessive amounts are a cause for concern. When there are many pieces or even small particles, this means your roof is deteriorating and there could be bare spots that make your home susceptible to water damage.

Creating a Stronger Home

A new roof might be a costly investment but it’s one every homeowner has to make at some point. By keeping an eye out for the signs above, you will be able to tell when it’s time to get started with this change. Fortunately, by taking care of it right away, you’ll be able to enjoy a stronger home and potentially avoid damage from inclement weather.

7 Common Air Conditioner Problems and Their Solutions

If you’ve ever had air conditioning problems during soaring temperatures, you know what a struggle it can be. By familiarizing yourself with these seven common air conditioning problems and their solutions, you can avoid repairs and ensure your comfort.

Low Refrigerant

Refrigerant is the chemical your air conditioner uses to cool the air and lower humidity. When leaks form in the lines that carry the refrigerant, the unit won’t have enough of the substance to operate efficiently. However, this isn’t a problem you can fix on your own. You’ll need to have your unit professionally serviced to repair the leaks and replace the refrigerant.

Freezing Coils

The evaporator coils in your unit carry the refrigerant and remove heat from the air around them. However, it’s critical that these coils are circulated by warm air constantly while the unit is operating. When proper airflow is obstructed, the coils become excessively cold and a layer of ice develops. The result is no cool air from your unit. To solve this, check your unit’s air filter. Clogged filters impede airflow and can cause the coils to freeze.

Dirty Condenser Coils

Your air conditioner’s condenser coils have the opposite function of its evaporator coils. They dissipate heat into the outdoors. When dirt is left to accumulate, the coils can’t let off excess heat. This strains the unit and may cause it to fail. Keep debris and objects away from the coils and use a coil brush and cleaner to remove dirt.

Fan Issues

The fans in your unit pass air from inside over the evaporator and condenser coils. If they’re not working right, it could be from dirt accumulation, worn belts, bad

motors or poor lubrication. Ignoring malfunctioning fans can cause your compressor to fail and leave you on the hook for a new unit. Routine maintenance is the only solution to this issue, and it’ll save you money in the long run. Before you start your air conditioner for the year, contact Actronair to have it inspected and serviced.

Duct Leaks

Ductwork carries cool air from your unit throughout your home or business. If it develops holes or cracks, some of the cool air escapes into the walls and reduces the unit’s effectiveness and efficiency. If you notice high electric bills or poor cooling, it’s worth it to have your ducts inspected.

Malfunctioning Thermostats

Improper calibration may cause your thermostat to send your unit the wrong signals. This can be fixed simply by calibrating your thermostats. Keep in mind that digital programmable models can be easy to miscalibrate, so if they’re not working right, read your user manual to ensure the proper settings. If your thermostats are outdated, replacing them with newer ones will improve your system’s efficiency.

Blocked Drains

The moisture produced by your air conditioner is removed from the unit through a drain line and into a collection pan before finally being deposited outside. If any part of this drainage system becomes blocked, water has nowhere to go except into the unit. This can ruin the unit and even cause water to leak indoors. Keep debris clear of your unit and if there is no water coming out, check the drain for clogs.

Getting Your Kitchen Ready For Christmas

The amount of hard work and effort that gets put into creating delicious meals during the Christmas period requires a kitchen that’s fully prepped and ready for the mayhem that’s about to begin. Without organizing every detail beforehand, you leave yourself open to encountering so many unnecessary issues that can easily be avoided by following just a few simple steps. If you’re in charge of the kitchen this Christmas and want to use your initiative and get ready before all of the hustle and bustle kicks in, then read on to uncover some top tips that can aid you in getting prepared for the most mouth-watering meals ever this festive season. 

Clear Out The Fridge

Around 2 weeks before the festive season is in full swing, clear out every item from your fridge to start afresh with everything you need over the Christmas period. It’s no use simply squashing all of your old food to the back, as it’s going to go out of date very quickly and make the surrounding items inedible at the same time. The amount of extra food the average household purchases during Christmas is just so high, and you have to have the space to accommodate each one of these items without damaging it. Donate anything that you won’t have time to eat at a local food bank rather than simply throwing it in the bin, as this could make someone elses Christmas just a little bit better instead of adding to a landfill. There are so many recipes that can make use of all of those UFO’s (unidentified fridge objects) that cleaning out your kitchen needn’t be a difficult task at all! Once its completely empty, get to work with some warm soapy water and wipe down every surface inside to get rid of any bacteria or lingering smells and make a clean environment for your festive ingredients to sit in wait for the big day.

Get Your Ingredients Ready

One of the worst things you can encounter whilst cooking up a feast on Christmas day is a lack of ingredients, as all shops will no doubt be closed and the products you need will simply be out of reach. This can easily be avoided with a little bit of forward thinking and preparation, as you can sketch up a list pretty quickly when you know which meals you’ll be making. Ensure that you get down to the shops to buy any tinned or long-life ingredients a few weeks before you need to use them, as this will mean you only have the fresh to worry about during the busiest times. Track your progress by removing them from the list as you go, and ensure that you have all that you need for your main Christmas dinner at least 2 days before the big day. Don’t be afraid to stock up, as it’s likely you won’t want to leave your family to go grocery shopping regularly during this time! There’s no harm in buying a little extra, as you may make some mistakes along the way and require more ingredients to start over. 

Prepare All Necessary Equipment 

If you have all of your ingredients but no equipment to cook with, it’s just not going to work. It’s vital that you check (and check again) that you have everything you need, from cookie cutters to saucepans, garlic mincers to serving plates and cutlery, as without even a couple of these your whole extravaganza might just come crashing down. Check that the equipment that you do have actually works, and source an appliance repair service to fix any issues in a timely manner before you have to get going. If you have to replace some items or invest in anything extra but your budget won’t stretch this far, don’t be afraid to look online to find secondhand products that work just as good as new for less than half of the original price. Always be sure to sanitize anything that’s been used before, even if it was just by you, to remove any bacteria and make it clean and ready for whatever task you might need it for.

Make A Plan For Each Meal

This may be quite difficult as it will take some time, but making a plan for each of your big meals during the Christmas period will really help to relieve some pressure. When you make a meal plan, you can better identify which ingredients you need to purchase beforehand, and what equipment you need to get it together, so essentially your whole practice will be improved. It doesn’t have to be in depth – just briefly outline what kind of dish you would like to serve and think about the specifics as the dates get closer. Meals like breakfast do not need a mention, just those that require extra effort and time to prepare. You can check this with all of your guests and attendees to ensure its all fine with them, and follow your plan meal by meal without having to rush around thinking of ideas at the very last moment. 

Getting your kitchen ready for Christmas doesn’t have to take as much strength and willpower as you might initially imagine, as these easy steps make it so simple to prepare in no time at all. Start by clearing out your fridge and cleaning the contents to make way for all of the festive foods, and write your ingredients list in advance to plan out your various shopping trips to avoid being left without. Don’t forget to check that you have all of the necessary appliances for each different dish, and test each one individually to ensure its in perfect working order. If you have a little bit of free time, attempt to make a brief meal plan that covers the big dinners running up to Christmas day, as this will make it much easier for you to cover every little detail and make the experience run as smoothly as possible. 

5 Ways Your Business Benefits from Web-Based Apps

You likely already know how important an online presence is for your business. A good website, regular activity on social media, and an engaging email marketing campaign are probably already in place for your company. However, a strong business presence on the internet doesn’t stop there. An increasingly important element that many companies have yet to incorporate into their online presence are custom web apps for clients, customers, vendors, and other entities they rely on for business success.

Here are five ways your business benefits from web-based apps:

Increased sales

The most attractive benefit of adding web-based apps to your online presence is an increase in sales. For example, a health clinic significantly expands its potential by using telehealth technology. Doctors can diagnose conditions and write online prescriptions without being in the same location as their patients. This significantly expands the potential for a clinic to provide services to its patients. This technique can also be applied to other businesses, such as automotive repair and legal services.

Better customer service

Most people have come to expect customer service options accessible via business websites. Whether it’s chatting with representatives, scheduling appointments, or customizing orders, these hallmarks of customer service in the internet age are typically achieved via web-based apps. Given the expectation to provide this level of customer service, businesses are certain to benefit from implementing web-based apps for this purpose.

Brand awareness

When customers interact with web-based apps in a positive way, they tend to remember it for next time. This is especially true when a company is providing internet-based services its competitors lack. This helps to drive brand awareness for businesses that may otherwise be struggling to make waves in competitive markets. A notable example of this is the rise of rideshare services like Uber and Lyft. The convenience of these apps drove brand awareness to the point where millions of people who had been using taxi cabs for decades opted to make the switch to rideshare.

Data analytics

Providing web-based applications for customers can help businesses understand their customers better. The data fed into the app via these interactions can clue companies into the wants and needs of their market without having to outright ask customers or conduct surveys. Web-based apps that remain active and used for years can highlight trends and projections which may otherwise elude companies.

More cost-effective

When a company is able to provide its customers with services via web-based applications, they tend to lower operating costs in the process. A situation where personnel might have been needed is now accomplished via software. Sales can be initiated and fulfilled automatically. Customer engagement becomes a 24/7 possibility whereas an absence of web-based tools means it’s limited to the hours the business is in operation. This amounts to a more cost-effective operation.

It’s likely your business depends on its web presence for much of its success. While a well-designed website, social media activity, and engagement by email are likely already in place, the pieces are not all there yet. The missing element is one or more web-based apps, which are certain to benefit your business in several different ways.

7 Ideas to Create a Workspace Which Will Inspire for Writing

Writing is a true art. You may be working on a blog, news article, tech copy, novel, or even an academic paper for college. Still, each word you type will be another manifestation of art.

As we all know, art in any of its forms requires inspiration. Without any, it is impossible to keep the words flowing. However, where to look for incentives?

Inspiration can be found everywhere you go and in whatever you do. It is in books, in paintings, in sunrises and sunsets, and in every little thing that surrounds you.

One thing that not every aspiring writer knows is that inspiration can be drawn even from your workspace. Or better say, your perfect workspace is the one that inspires you.

If you manage to create such a space, you will be surprised by how it can affect your workflow. In this article, we are going to give you a few ideas on how to do it.

Can you say that your workspace is inspiring?

It doesn’t really matter if you are a poet, academic writer who prepares a great essay outline for any project, blogger, or just one of the millions of college students forced to write a paper during their studying process.

In any case, lack of inspiration results in a so-called writer’s block that holds you back from creating the best piece. That’s why everyone needs an inspiring workspace, and here are some of the best ideas that will help you to create one:

Choose the Right Furniture

In order to make you feel comfortable and avoid physical stress from long working hours, it is vital to equip your space with ergonomic furniture.

The first prominent feature of an effective space is a good old desk. Some authors prefer spacious and large ones, while others stick with smaller options.

Which one to choose is up to you. The only thing you have to ensure is that you feel comfortable and productive working at it.

The next vital piece of furniture is an office chair. It should be as comfortable as possible, supporting your back and encouraging proper posture to help you avoid aches.

Opt for a Standing Desk

This point is some sort of contradiction to the previous one. However, this might be just the right option for some people.

It is odd enough, but some studies suggest that standing desks can bring lots of benefits, including:

● Decreased risk of heart diseases;

● Better engagement in the process;

● Lower chances of developing musculoskeletal problems;

● Boosted life expectancy;

● Higher productivity.

These are only some of the key benefits of standing instead of sitting while writing. Therefore, standing desks could be an excellent option for those who don’t mind being on their feet for long hours.

Find a Place Isolated from Distractions

This is one of the most critical points you should keep in mind when preparing your working environment. It doesn’t really matter how cozy and inspiring the space is. If you can’t shut out all distractions, you won’t be productive.

Unfortunately, implementing this can be quite hard for some. Especially for young people who are currently obtaining education and live in dorms. However, the good news is that you don’t need to own acres of land and large properties to find a small, isolated, distraction-free corner for yourself.

Keep Windows Open

Let lots of fresh air circulate in the room.

The main reason that makes this a good tip is that fresh air and sunlight can give you a boost of energy. Besides, keeping the windows open, you rid the room of any fumes, which contributes to your overall well-being.

Surround the Room with Books

If you are an experienced writer, you should know that writing and reading are closely tied to each other. For ages, books have been the primary sources of inspiration for authors. Therefore, having a mini (or even a full scale) library right in your office can be great for productivity and motivation!

Decorate the Space with Things That You Like

Are you a fan of paintings or love Christmas lights? Any type of decoration that you like can help in making the environment even more inspiring.

Therefore, feel free to decorate the room with anything that looks good, be it motivational posters, plants, lights, flowers, etc.

Let It Reflect Your Personality

Finally, the best advice we can give you regarding arranging the writing environment is to make it more “you,” meaning to let it reflect your personality.

Every author’s office is unique. It can be small or large, dark or light, empty, or decorated with a variety of items. The only rule is to organize it the way you feel it!

Final Words

What does a perfect writing space look like? Browsing the pictures of famous authors’ workplaces, you can clearly see how different and unique each one is.

Some places are messy and stuffed with notes, books, and papers, while others look completely empty. This means that there is no answer to this question that’s right for everyone.

In brief, the environment you write in should be a reflection of your personality. It should make you tranquil and comfortable. Also, it should shut out all possible distractions.

In this article, we have collected some key ideas on how to create a place that inspires and sets you in the right mood for creating another piece of art.

5 Health Concerns A Parent Might Run Into

As the season’s change, coming down with a cold or flu is fairly common. This is why you should always schedule an appointment with a physician if your child is seriously ill. There are many other things that may seem like an emergency, but aren’t, and will likely clear up in a day or two. As a parent, we want to do everything in our ability to protect our children. Here is a list of health concerns that parents commonly face regarding young children.

Removing Warts

Warts are a fairly common problem which affects 20% of all children. Although warts aren’t necessarily life-threatening, they are contagious and embarrassing. Warts are commonly caused by HPV (human papillomavirus). This is a virus that invades the skin through a cut or scratch. Warts can be found on the palms, between your fingers, or even on the soles on your feet. There are ways to prevent your child from getting warts, such as promoting healthy hygiene. Oftentimes, a doctor will either use a chemical agent or cauterizing pen to remove a wart.

Skin Tags

The moment you notice a skin tag or growth on your child’s skin, it can be a concern. When a person develops a skin growth, you shouldn’t automatically assume it’s cancerous or life-threatening. A skin tag is a benign skin growth that will usually develop in areas that generate excess friction, including the armpit, neck, and groin. Contrary to popular belief, a skin tag isn’t a mole and will seldom turn into cancer. Skin tags are more commonly found on adults, but children who suffer from obesity will commonly suffer from skin tags. You can help prevent skin tags by removing clothing that irritates the skin and by practicing healthy hygiene. Skin tags seldom require medical assistance and will often go away on their own.

Allergic Reactions

Watching your child’s face swell up is every parent’s worst nightmare. It could be a sign of a severe allergic reaction. There are a plethora of different things that can cause your child to have an allergic reaction, including insect bites, food allergies, dander, and even chemical allergens. These reactions can range from mild to life-threatening. Side effects may include hives, rash, itching, and cause your throat or tongue to swell, which can block the airway and make it hard for your child to breath. It only takes a few moments for an allergic reaction to quickly become life-threatening. Statistics show that more than one million people annually suffer from serious allergic reactions. If you believe your child is having a life-threatening allergic reaction, you should seek medical assistance immediately. Other symptoms of an allergic reaction include abdominal pain, diarrhea, dizziness, and vomiting.

Nose Bleeds

It doesn’t matter if you’re a grownup or child, there is nothing more embarrassing than getting a nose bleed. It is fairly common in kids ages 3 to 10. Watching blood pour out of your child’s

nose can seem alarming, but it usually is not as dramatic as it seems. Nose bleeds are common and seldom require medical assistance. There are two different types of nose bleeds: posterior and anterior. Anterior are caused by ruptured blood vessels and tend to be fairly common. Posterior nose bleeds are usually caused by facial or nose injuries. Most nose bleeds are commonly caused by dry air, picking, allergies, or bacterial infection.

Pinkeye Conjunctivitis or as it is commonly referred to as “pinkeye” is a condition that causes the inner eyelid and the white part of the eye to become inflamed. It is common in young kids but not usually serious. If your child contracts pinkeye, it’s important to take them to a doctor as soon as possible. Pinkeye is commonly caused by bacteria or a virus such as a sore throat or respiratory infection which can spread to others as soon as symptoms appear. Luckily, pinkeye is fairly easy to treat with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. You can prevent pinkeye by teaching your kids to wash their hands and by changing their pillowcases regularly.

These are just some of the reasons why you might take your child to the doctor. When raising kids, there is always something that can happen to cause concern. Stay calm and get a doctor’s opinion if you are not sure if it is a problem or not.