Consumer Real Estate News


    • How to De-Stress in Stressful Times

      27 November 2020

      A certain amount of stress from time to time is to be expected given the demands of work and family. However, the type of stress that is triggered by outside events beyond our control can be much more difficult to manage compared to everyday stressors. Here are a few strategies for staying calm when the world around you is anything but.

      Be more selective on social media. While social media sites are an important way of staying informed, waking up to a news-feed of alarming news and extreme opinions can be unsettling to say the least. If scrolling through your social feeds changes your mood for the worse, unfollow accounts or block contacts that trigger negative emotions. Instead, try following positive-news sources, your favorite comedians, nature or animal accounts, or inspirational leaders. This will help give you a break from the current stress around you.

      Spread some good will. One secret to reducing your own stress, is to be there for someone else. Sharing simple words of support and inspiration as well as random acts of kindness with everyone from your family to your coworkers to the pizza delivery guy, not only brightens someone else’s day, it creates an important sense of calm and connection for you. Of course, you could take this strategy a step further by volunteering in your community. Remembering that you’re not alone in a stressful situation is one of the best ways to maintain perspective and balance. 

      Be thankful. When the world around us is troubling and we’ve been dealt some difficult blows, it may seem impossible to feel a sense of appreciation. However, research proves that taking time each day to remember what we have to be thankful for is key to boosting your mood and putting you in a better frame of mind. All you need is a notepad or journal, or take it a step further and download an app that will help keep you accountable to your daily gratitude practice. 

      Get moving. The powerful endorphins that come with exercise cannot be underestimated. And thanks to our acclimation to the world of video conferences, you can get your daily dose of movement right in your own home with virtual fitness classes. What’s essential to remember is that you don’t need to be an Olympic athlete to get the mood-boosting benefits of exercise. A simple walk will do the trick!

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Tips for Winter Travelers

      27 November 2020

      (Family Features) Because of the pandemic, fewer Americans are taking to the skies, but a significant number likely plan to hit the roads to visit friends and family during the winter months. Whether a few towns over or a couple states away, many drivers will travel interstates, which are major logistics corridors often dominated by commercial trucks.

      According to the United States Census Bureau, there are approximately 3.5 million people working as truck drivers in the U.S. From keeping grocery store shelves stocked to delivering those next-day packages, professional truck drivers impact lives with the freight they move and serve an important role in keeping the economy running.

      Professional truck drivers are also experts when it comes to planning travel. From mapping out a route to maintaining their vehicles and even practicing a healthy diet, many truck drivers are road trip experts.

      Caron Comas is a professional truck driver for Variant, a subsidiary of U.S. Xpress, one of the nation’s largest trucking companies. Highly trained, she’s driven trucks for 17 years and her expert insight can aid the average automobile driver planning to hit the roads this winter.

      “It’s important that the average driver give trucks plenty of space on the road,” Comas said. “People can forget we’re generally handling 75 feet of tractor and trailer, which can weigh 80,000 pounds. We can’t stop on a dime like automobiles, so increase distance when merging in front of trucks and avoid slamming on your brakes.”
      Comas suggests following these tips on the road and before you travel:

      • Don’t follow trucks too closely. If you can’t see a tractor trailer’s mirrors, the driver can’t see you.
      • Schedule vehicle maintenance before your trip. Have your oil changed and ask the experts to check your tire pressure and other important fluids to help assure you’re driving safely and efficiently.
      • Carefully plan your route. If driving through big cities, consider fluctuations in rush hour traffic. For more remote locations where there may not be regular food or gas, plan for when you’ll need to stop along the route.
      • Stay hydrated and nourished. Before setting out, eat a healthy meal and drink plenty of water. For the drive, pack healthy, non-perishable snacks like granola, fruit or nuts along with bottled water. For longer trips with kids, consider a small cooler for sandwiches, string cheese or yogurt.
      • Be overly prepared. Keep a few blankets, a flashlight, a first-aid kit and an extra pair of shoes in your car. If you experience car trouble, make sure you can stay warm until help arrives. 
      • Keep in mind the global pandemic. Check each state’s quarantine requirements that you’ll be traveling to or through, wear a mask when in public and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines when traveling. 
      For more travel tips, visit usxpress.com/news.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Beginners Guide to Power Drills

      27 November 2020

      Power tools can save you a lot of time and hassle. A power drill is a must-have item for all your home repair needs. From changing out hardware to big renovation projects, knowing your way around a cordless power drill is essential. Here are the basics every beginner should know.

      The Components
      A cordless drill handles all the drilling and driving of its corded counterpart, without the hassle of a cord. 

      As such, it generally features:

      • Battery - For those with a lithium-ion battery, you can keep one on the charger when not in use. For other types of batteries, only charge as needed.
      • Chuck - Part of the drill that rotates and holds the drill bits in place.
      • Clutch Torque Selector - This dial allows you to control the amount of torque.
      • Forward/Reverse Switch - Use the toggle to control the direction of the drill.
      • Drill Bit - Removable part of the drill that makes contact with your project. Surface. The angle of the point helps determine what type of material the bit can drill.
      Basic Use Guide
      • Safety first! Utilize safety goggles and any gear suggested by the drill manufacturer.
      • To begin, select the correct drill bit for your project.
      • Insert the bit, tighten the chuck and adjust torque for your needs.
      • Clamp project to keep it from shifting.
      • Consider using scrap plywood underneath to prevent splintering. 
      • Hold your drill vertically, perpendicular to your project. 
      • Start with a low speed and gradually speed up.
      • To change out the drill bit, remove your power source and loosen the chuck. 
      Once you’ve mastered beginning repairs, the sky’s the limit. Having a cordless drill at your disposal will be incredibly handy throughout your life as a homeowner.  You never know where your next project will take you.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Sending Holiday Thanks to the Military

      26 November 2020

      As the first snow blankets our mountains, Americans everywhere begin to think about the holidays. While most of us will spend this time at home surrounded by loved ones, thousands of U.S. military personnel are still deployed to foreign countries, remote sites, and ships and subs all over the world.

      If you’d like to reach out this holiday season to express your thanks, there are several things you might like to know:

      There is no longer a national Holiday Mail for Heroes P.O. Box to which cards or letters may be sent. Instead, the program, sponsored by the American Red Cross, is being conducted on a community level. Check with your nearest Red Cross office to get more detailed information and to learn about this and other opportunities to get involved in the effort to thank our troops.

      You can email your thanks via email through Military.com - This program matches registered service members with civilians who may correspond with them via email. The program also operates support projects that include the option to send care packages overseas. 

      Send care packages to random service members through AnySoldier.com - The service members involved in this effort are military volunteers stationed overseas. You send your support (letters and/or packages) addressed to them and when they see "Attn: Any Soldier” in the address, they put your letters and packages into the hands of military members of all branches who don't get much or any mail. The site includes a section providing suggestions on what to include in your package. 

      Full Circle Home gives deployed service members a chance to send a gift box to their wives back home. Gift boxes contain pampering items, such as lotions, bubble baths and spa socks, as well as a handwritten note from the sending serviceman.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • What to Look for in an Infant Day Care

      26 November 2020

      (Family Features) It can be challenging to raise a baby even in the best of times, but many parents need additional support for the education and care of their young children amid the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, both parents work in nearly two-thirds of families with children. The number of working single parents is even higher.

      However, as long as teachers and staff follow rigorous health and safety practices, day care centers are among the safest places for children right now.

      “More than ever before, families are struggling with balancing the need to return to consistent routines with concerns about the possible health risks to their children,” said Dr. Elanna Yalow, chief academic officer of KinderCare Learning Centers. “Our rigorous safety protocols give families confidence they can count on our programs when traditional support systems may not be available.”

      Although the decision to place your baby in someone else’s care can be difficult, the benefits of day care can be significant, especially for children who start a program as babies. Consider these important factors when choosing an infant day care.

      Exceeding Recommended Guidelines
      Parents will want to make sure their day care center follows Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, American Academy of Pediatrics and local health department guidelines. These include masks and social distancing, restricted access to classrooms, consistent grouping of children, health screenings upon entry, handwashing throughout the day and frequent cleaning and sanitizing. In addition to knowing the steps teachers and staff are taking to keep children safe, ask about staff training and the checks and balances the center has in place to make sure written policies translate into best practices in classrooms.

      Teachers Who See Each Baby as an Individual
      Responsive, caring teachers tend to each baby’s specific needs. From the moment you meet them, they’ll ask what your baby enjoys, what comforts him or her, what milestones your baby is working on and so forth. The best teachers see each baby as a unique person and work to meet your child wherever he or she is, whether that’s watching for signs of tiredness and holding him or her or responding to your baby’s babbling and coos as signs of early language development.

      Strong Communication
      Trusting someone else to look after your bundle of joy is a tremendous leap of faith for many parents, particularly as safety-conscious providers are limiting access to their classrooms and parents may not be able to go any further than the front door. That leap is easier if you know you’ll receive updates about your child throughout the day. Whether you want videos and photos, phone calls or texts, or short notes about the things your child is doing while you’re at work, talk with your potential provider about how often you want updates and what kind of information is most meaningful to you. While it’s natural to feel a twinge of nervousness when you get a phone call from your child’s day care, you should also be contacted with good news and friendly reminders.

      For many parents, the most important thing is that their baby is safe, happy and flourishing in a loving, caring and engaging environment. Once they find this, they can rest assured they made the best decision for their family. Find more information and tips to find the right center at kindercare.com.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.