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Friday, October 30, 2020

Looking After Your Mental Health While Working During Coronavirus

Our lives have changed significantly in the past eight months or so, from the way we shop, the way we socialise, the way we spend time with our loved ones and the way that we work. We are, of course, talking about the Coronavirus pandemic and the impact that it has had on our everyday life.

When the lockdowns started, our working lives shifted massively. Suddenly, we were all asked to work from home where possible and when we did go into the workplace, everything had changed. No more socializing over the coffee machine, or hanging out in the breakroom with colleagues.  Instead, we were ordered to remain two meters apart, avoid all but the absolute necessary contact with people and wear face masks. We are all constantly on edge, wondering if that next phone call is going to be from Contact Tracing, telling us to stay home and self-isolate.

It is little wonder that combined with all of the other measures in place to protect us against the devastation that Coronavirus can cause, this has placed stress on worker’s mental health. Humans are naturally social creatures, and for some people, that catch up with their teammate over the water cooler or having lunch with their friends in the break room can be the highlight of their day.

If you are struggling with your mental health and working during the Coronavirus pandemic, here are some tips to help you.

 Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Look out for signs that your mental health is deteriorating

It is quite normal to feel sad and anxious at the moment - in fact, it would be more unusual if you didn’t feel this way at times with everything that is going on. However, there is a difference between feeling a bit down in the dumps at times and having poor mental health, and it is important to recognise the signs of things going downhill. If you are feeling particularly tearful, angry or aggressive, withdrawn, or are having problems with sleeping and eating, with no interest in life, it is worth reaching out for support. Talk to your family and friends, family doctor, and your employer. Your employer should work with you to find ways of supporting you in the workplace.

Develop daily routines

This is particularly important if you are working from home at the moment, as all routine and structure can go flying out of the window. Try to get up at the same time every day as if you were going out to work, shower and get dressed rather than sitting around in your nightclothes all day and have proper breaks every lunchtime. If you can, go for a walk and get some fresh air and exercise during your break, as this can be beneficial for mental health.

Consider where you get information from

It can be very difficult at the moment to know where to turn to for up to date and truthful information. There are various theories and plenty of fake information floating around, both online and in workplaces. Fake information can increase your levels of anxiety. It is important to only trust official sources of information around Coronavirus.


11 Unique Things That Will Make Your Wedding Day More Meaningful

You’d like to think that no matter what you decide to do your wedding day will be meaningful, and for many, this will absolutely be the case. However, for some, sticking to the same wedding template as everybody else just won’t cut it. It can feel stilted, inauthentic, and just no fun for the couple involved. The outcome will be the same, but they will usually be left wondering if they could have done anything different to make it more exciting and personal to them as a couple. If you’re in the process of planning your wedding, below, you’ll find 11 unique things that will make your wedding day more meaningful. Take a look and see what you can do to make your wedding day mean more to you as a couple:

1. Getting Rid of the Traditions That You Don’t Vibe With 

There are all kinds of traditions involved in typical wedding days. Wearing a white dress, not seeing each other until you’re at the altar, having your father give you away, and more. The good news is, in 2020, you don’t need to stick to tradition at all. Get rid of as many traditions that you don’t vibe with as you like. You should only do the things that feel important and meaningful to you. This will make your day far more special and personal to you as a couple. It should feel less cluttered, too, and you might just save some time and money in the process!

2. Wearing An Outfit That You Love

Make sure you wear an outfit you love on your wedding day. It doesn’t have to be white - it doesn’t even have to be a dress! Many people feel under pressure to pick out a formal wedding dress in one of the many shades of white or cream, but there’s no need for you to do this at all. You could wear a prom dress, an evening gown, or even a suit. What matters is that you love it and you feel great in it. Forget what other people think - if they want to talk about it, that’s their problem!

3. Get Your Loved Ones Involved

See if you can get your loved ones involved and make the day even more special. You probably already have people making speeches, but remember, you can always ask somebody else to make a speech - somebody who is important to you but not necessarily always part of wedding tradition. You could also ask your loved ones to suggest songs and ideas for entertainment. Ask them to help you decorate. Find as many ways as you can to get them involved in your special day.

4. Involve Your Pets

Why not involve your pets in your big day? It isn't unheard of if your pet is your baby! You could have your little dog at the ceremony before going off to a sitter for the evening. You can get some great pictures with them, and in the end, you’ll likely be glad you had them there.

Photo by Emir Kaan Okutan from Pexels

5. Get Married Somewhere That Means Something To You

Choose a venue that means something to you. Maybe you could get married outside at a festival themed wedding, or even in the pub you first met. You can still pick a landmark wedding venue for an iconic setting for the day ahead. As long as it’s both you and your partner’s dream venue, it’ll make your day meaningful.

6. Give Guests Cameras To Take Pictures From Their Perspective

You can leave disposable cameras at the tables that your guests can turn in and you can have developed at a later date. This can give guests something to do, and you’ll be able to see your wedding day from many different perspectives! 

7. Introduce Your Wedding Party

Introducing your wedding party can be a nice touch if you have lots of guests attending where many of them don't know one another. Consider having a table with your guest book, pictures of each member of your wedding party and stories about how you all know one another and unique facts about them. Make everybody involved feel special and make your other guests feel like they know them!

8. Give Everyone A Special Memento To Take Home

You can have standard favors, but why not have something special? For instance, you could have a portrait artist go around tables and create little works of art while your guests eat, drink, or chat. Take a look at an artist whose style you love and your guests will have something super special to cherish and look back at after your day is over.

9. Get The Kids Involved

If there are some special kids in your life, whether your own or somebody else's, see if you can get them involved. Ask them to sing a song, play an instrument, or recite a poem. Of course, don’t spring this on them on the day. Give them a chance to decide what they want to do and practice first!

10. Give Unique Gifts To Your Wedding Party

When it comes to giving gifts to your wedding party, make them unique. Give monogrammed items, flasks, jewellery, or similar items that you know they will cherish. Let them know how much they mean to you and how grateful you are that they have been by your side through all of this.

11. Encourage Guests To Record A Video Note

Encourage your guests to record video notes for you to look back on and smile - like a virtual guest book! If you have a videographer then you can ask them to record notes from people you love. You may even want to hire a photo/video booth where people can take pictures and have them printed, as well as create video notes for you. If you have a wedding website, then they can be uploaded here afterwards for everybody to see!

How are you going to make your wedding day more meaningful? Leave a comment!


Anxiety: Does It Get Worse in Your 40’s?

Life is stressful and hectic at the best of times but recent economic and global health turbulence has only served to accentuate feelings of anxiety for many of us, but does that level of anxiety worsen with age?

Plenty of us regularly buy CBD online as a way of helping to alleviate anxiety disorders, amongst other things, and it prompts the question as to whether your coping mechanism comes under greater pressure when you hit the so-called midlife point.

Here is a look at some observations relating to the topic of anxiety when you hit your fourth decade.

Image Source: Pixabay

A more mature perspective on life

One of the first points to make is that the general perception tends to be that maturity would help you to gain a wider perspective on life and, therefore, make it easier to cope with what life throws at you from time to time.

However, the alternative view is that as a result of health problems on the horizon that come with the aging process and changes to our life, such as divorce, redundancy, and other obstacles that can come your way, there is growing evidence that anxiety may increase with age.

The general perception has always been that anxiety levels were more likely to decline with age as a result of emotional maturity and financial security that comes with paying off your mortgage, for example.

Mental health experts are now altering their view in this respect and depression coupled with an increase in cases of Alzheimer’s means that anxiety disorders are now taken more seriously than before.

The challenge of physical changes

Another point to consider is the physical changes that occur in your 40’s and beyond can have a detrimental impact on your anxiety levels.

A good example of this would when women go through menopause.

Menopausal anxiety is extremely common but it can be very debilitating to find that your mood levels have changed as a result of this landmark point of physical change in your life.

Hormonal imbalances are to blame and if you already suffer from bouts of depression or anxiety, the onset of menopause will only serve to heighten these feelings for a certain amount of time.

These symptoms can be addressed through a variety of options including medical help and therapeutic options. This is one typical scenario where CBD has become very popular because it is known to help reduce anxiety levels.

Identify the triggers

You can often trace the source of your anxiety back to a specific trigger, which is often a period of significant change in your life.

If you are forced to seek a new source of employment in your 40’s, for instance, that can be more stressful than if you are younger and feel that time is more on your side.

Family relationships can also trigger a change in your anxiety levels, especially when your children leave home to start their own adult journey away from the nest.

As you can see, there are plenty of reasons to suggest that your anxiety levels could increase in your 40’s but it is also the case that there are plenty of viable solutions to help put your mind back into a good place.


The 3 Pillars to Working Out Effectively and Properly

Image Source: Pixabay CC0 License

Most people think that working out is simple. You lift something and you put it back down, or you run. But you need to ensure that when you embrace some new exercise routine, you've got to look after yourself. Working out effectively can be an amazing way to improve the quality of your life. So many people believe that when they exercise, they need to completely annihilate themselves in the gym. This is not the case. Let's show you the three pillars of working out effectively.

Most people think that they need to go to the gym 5 days a week in order to feel any benefits. Our body is incredibly adept at adapting, but only if we give it adequate recovery time. When we lead such busy lives, we think that we can go to the gym a few days a week and not pay for it further down the line. When people are starting out an exercise routine, the most important thing is to prioritize recovery time. When you step back into the gym or exercise again you need to be 100% recovered. This can mean speeding up your recovery by embracing cold showers or even medical marijuana supplies to help you relax. These days, CBD and medical marijuana are used almost everywhere to help recover the mind and the body. You can visit AZ Natural Selections for medical marijuana supplies and CBD suppliers as well. Recovery is so important. But people don't give themselves the proper approach to recovery.
If you do something safely you will never hurt yourself. Most people think that in order to feel the benefits of any form of exercise, they have to push themselves until things hurt in so many different ways, but this is how you can get a torn rotator cuff and many other injuries. There is a lot for feeling the burn and muscle pain but this is completely different from actually hurting yourself. The best thing you can do to make sure that you are exercising effectively is to maintain proper form. Even those people that do high-intensity training can benefit from isolation exercises that help the individual focus on fatiguing that specific muscle group or groups. If you start to contort your body to get the last few reps, you are going to hurt yourself. While there are ways in managing your pain, don’t confuse this with the burn associated with proper exercise and proper form.
As people think going to the gym 5 days a week is an ideal way to live their lives, what happens when they are outside of the gym? They go to work and they go to sleep, and that's about it! Working out isn't just about completely fatiguing your body every single time. It's about making sure that you are giving your body the stimulus to adapt so you can live a better life. A very good example is those people who undergo high-intensity routines such as Body By Science. They find that after 12 weeks, their strength increases by 50% but they are only exercising once a week! Think about making your workouts as efficient as possible.

Working out effectively isn't just about completely battering and bruising your body. It's about these three pillars.


Wednesday, October 28, 2020

9 Steps To Get You Financially Secure For The Future

When it comes to leading a secure and safe life, financial security is one of the most vital aspects. Financial security doesn’t mean that you have to have tonnes of riches in the bank, however, it does mean that you are able to meet your everyday expenses as well as having a substantial amount of money to be able to tackle any unpleasant financial situation you may come across, such as losing your job, or your roof needs to be replaced, etc.

Image by TheDigitalWay from Pixabay 

If you want to achieve and reach financial security in your life, you need to make sure you are on top of it and don’t ignore the fact you need to be mindful and take action.

Have a look below at nine of the steps that will help you to become financially secure for the future:

Begin With A Good Plan

You’re not going to become financially secure if you don’t have a plan to get you there. You need to set your plan in place and in motion as early as you possibly can. There is no precise age that you should start your plan either, in fact, starting young (around 30) could be one of the best decisions you make especially if you know you are going to be financially secure by the time you are 40.

You need to set yourself a budget that meets your current financial demand and also meets the needs of your future, without any major compromises to your necessities in life. Think about your target amount and include any daily requirements and try to include future financial emergencies.

Set Your Budget

Now let’s get this straight from the start, this doesn’t mean you are going to or have to live to the same budget for your entire life, a budget is something that is adapted as your go on.

Setting a budget is your way of having control of your expenses and any surplus. The income you have isn’t what is most important. It’s the way you spend your money that is really important.

You really do need to set a budget if you want to give yourself a chance of having a financially secure future. If you sometimes feel as though your budget is having an effect on your current expenses, remember never to give up. If you can, you should look for ways to up your income. If you abandon your budget, it will put a huge dampener on your goals. You should aim to reduce your personal expenses, get rid of any unnecessary expenses, and increase your income. Do remember not to make it too restrictive to the point where you struggle and feel like you are always saying no.

Review your budget regularly, especially when you have big lifestyle changes such as a new relationship, having children, an additional income, a new job, or moving home. Using websites such as can really help you to look at your finances realistically.

Get Rid Of Bad Debt

If it is possible, you need to aim to get rid of your bad debts. In particular, you should target your most expensive debts first. This is the dent that holds the highest interest rate, usually credit cards. Bad best also includes purchasing items with credit, things that don’t increase in value over time, no profit in the future, such as a car, house appliance, hotels, holidays, luxury items, entertainment, and others. 

It may sound boring, however, these costs can bring a lot of unnecessary costs, especially if you could have saved for it and bought it outright if you waited a little longer to make the purchase. If you find you have a large number of bad debts like those above, it could be a sign that you are spending more than what your income can realistically allow.

Manage Surplus Income

Surplus income in the part of your income that is left over once your living expenses are removed. You can work this out using your budget. Your surplus needs to be managed carefully if it isn’t, you risk it slipping away from you and getting spent on silly things. If you figure out your surplus over the space of a year, you may be surprised by the nice figure it gives you.

Ideally, you should have a goal to incest or save your money sensibly. Put any surplus every month into a separate savings account.  Sit back and watch it grow year by year. It also acts as a safety net for anything unexpected such as a job loss or an unexpected loss.

Automated Savings

Set yourself an automatic savings percentage to leave your account every month. Ideally, it should come directly from your pay on the day that you get paid. This way you will get used to that amount not been included in your wage and it will become unnoticeable. If you can set it up to go somewhere that will be difficult to withdraw from such as a savings account with a limited amount of withdrawals or with a fixed deposit amount to secure a good APR.

Because you are doing it on payday each month you will be able to save the required amount irrespective of any difficult situation. These types of accounts also make it much less easy to withdraw your funds if you are tempted by a luxury item.

Avoid Taking Risks

You need to completely avoid taking any silly risk with your Surplus income that has been saved. This surplus money is going to serve you very well in the future. Thereof you need to ensure you don’t take any silly risks that are unnecessary If you listen to investment opportunities and get drawn into things that are promising you a return on your investment, it could be a foolish decision and lead you to disaster. If you do want to take some risks make sur they are small and never use your entire savings. 

Think About Your Retirement

There is never a time that is too early to start making suitable retirement plans. They should be done as early as possible. However, at the latest, you should have started something by the time you are 30. This will enable you to have enough time to build a good enough amount for the time you come of age to retire. Starting as early as possible will mean that you get the maximum benefit.

Look At Your Tax

Paying more taxes than you are entitled to, is simply throwing your money away. And paying more tax won’t mean that you should avoid paying taxes, that it is plainly illegal. However, it does mean that you should claim everything you are entitled to and gain the rewards for your future.

Protecting Your Assets

You should always make sure you protect yourself and your assets using the right insurance policies. You can also look at trusts, especially if you have children that you want looking after once you’re gone. Look at protections such as life insurance, critical illness cover, car insurance, home insurance, and pet insurance to get you started. Having this protection in place can help to protect your savings and prevent you from having to start again with your financial security.

These nine steps will help you to get financially secure and feel confident that you aren’t going to need to worry in the future. Is there anything that you are doing now to make sure your future is financially stable? Please share some of your ideas in the comments section.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Wedding Planning Time-Savers For Busy Brides

Ask any bride who’s come before you - wedding planning takes a lot of time! From the dress appointments to addressing envelopes and chasing RSVPs, there’s a lot to do and a set amount of time you can do it in.

So how do you fit in wedding planning around all of your other commitments? When you’ve got a busy job, home, and social life, finding the time to get things done can feel impossible. Is there any hope for you? There sure is!

Take a look at these wedding planning time-savers to help even the busiest of brides plan their dream wedding.

Image Credit: Unsplash under Creative Commons

Get organized

The enormity of wedding planning can feel overwhelming at first, but it’s easy to break it down into tasks that need completing by a certain date. Arm yourself with a wedding planning checklist to work through. You don’t need to do everything at once, so work through it bit by bit to ease some of the pressure.

Delegate tasks to your partner

There are two people saying ‘I do’ here, which means two people can help plan a wedding. Delegating wedding tasks to the groom, such as choosing their suit and arranging transportation is easy enough to do, but don’t be afraid to get them involved in other tasks too. With two of you working through things, it will help save you some stress and helps ensure everything gets done - especially in the run-up to the big day when there will be a lot of checks and phone calls to make.

Make the most of online resources

Thanks to smartphones and the internet, you can take care of a lot of wedding planning when you’re on the move, during your lunch break or even at the gym!

One way you can save yourself some time is to buy a wedding dress online. Online boutiques can provide you with a consultation to help you find exactly what you’re looking for, helping to design the dress of your dreams. You can also look for bridesmaids dresses and your accessories online, which can help you access a wider selection too.

Hire a wedding planner

A key secret of busy brides is to hire a wedding planner. There are many reasons to hire a wedding planner, including saving you time! Wedding planners are experts at what they do, with contacts and knowledge that can save you a lot of stress, while making sure no detail is overlooked when it comes to your big day.

It’s true that wedding planning takes some time. There are a lot of important decisions to be made! But if you take the right approach and get yourself organized, you’ll find it’s much more manageable than you expect. It’s also important to remember that wedding planning should be fun, so make sure you take some time to enjoy it and build wonderful memories of this special time with your partner.


3 Reasons You Might Be Tired All The Time

Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

Most of us get tired from time to time. Maybe you’ve been working too hard, partying too hard, or are just busy all day long. These things can take their toll on anyone’s energy. But what if you find yourself tired all of the time? If you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep each night but are still tired, you might want to investigate other causes.

Your thyroid is underactive

The thyroid is a little gland in your throat which has an important role in so many things. It is involved in brain development, controlling your metabolic rate, your heart, and bone development.

If your thyroid is underactive (known as hypothyroidism), then it can make you feel quite poorly. The main symptoms include:

  • Tiredness and fatigue
  • Weight gain (or inability to lose weight if you’re trying too)
  • Muscle weakness and cramps
  • Constipation
  • Fuzzy head
  • Depression

If you are suffering from some or all of these, then you need to go to see your doctor. Hypothyroidism can be detected by a simple blood test. In many cases, the treatment for hypothyroidism is with daily medication.

You’re anemic

When someone is anemic, they don’t have enough red blood cells. These cells carry oxygen to tissue all over the body. When there isn’t enough, the body has to try and work harder.

If you’re anemic, the main symptoms are tiredness, pale skin, dizziness, and an irregular heartbeat.

This is something that can be diagnosed with a blood test. Depending on the reason for your anemia and severity, there are a number of treatment options. Any people need a short course of iron tablets and a change in diet, others will need a blood transfusion. Your doctor will be able to investigate and find out what is causing your anemia.

You have sleep apnea

If you’re getting the recommended amount of sleep every night, but waking up every day exhausted, you could have what’s known as sleep apnea. When you sleep, your airways begin to close, causing your body to wake itself up enough to keep you breathing normally. Because you’re not fully awake, you don’t realize that there is a problem.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include extreme tiredness, sleepiness, and confusion. Often, it is a partner that notices the sleep apnea, when they hear their partner stop breathing for a few seconds and then wake with a start.

Sleep apnea can be caused by being significantly overweight or by the anatomy of the soft tissues in your throat. It can be treated by losing weight, sleeping on your side, or with a Constant Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) machine which is designed to keep your airways clear while you sleep.


It’s easy to write off tiredness to the stresses and strains of modern life. Often, this is the case, but if you are getting enough sleep and otherwise taking care of yourself, then it doesn’t hurt to get checked out by your doctor. Many of these conditions can be diagnosed with a simple blood test and treatment works quickly, meaning you’ll have energy in no time.


5 Morning Routine Habits to Start Off Your Day

Mornings are the best time to kickstart your energy and charge the day with intention and vivacity. What energy, you ask? If you’re the type of person who moves a little sluggishly before noon, you might be surprised by how much better you feel with a bit of dedicated effort. Sure, it’s not easy to pull yourself out of a warm, cozy bed and stretch those sleepy limbs, but there are tons of benefits offered by a healthy morning routine.

So, what’s the secret to success? Here are five morning habits you should do after waking up to make the most out of your mornings and pave the way for a great day. 

1. Skip Social Media

Too many of us are guilty of staring at our phones first thing in the morning by scrolling through social media posts. Use your time more efficiently and focus on your life rather than those of whose accounts you follow. There’s so much you miss out on by being glued to your phone, so resist the urge and defeat the distractions upon immediately waking up. It’s just not worth it—get up and start moving! If you have a hard time breaking this bad habit, try to replace it with an act of mindfulness such as stretching instead.

2. Accomplish a Task

Starting your day by accomplishing an easy task, such as making your bed or brushing your teeth, is a healthy morning habit to get your momentum going. It gives you a small sense of pride and encourages you to keep going, leading to better productivity. It also just looks and feels better, reinforcing the fact that little things matter in life. It might sound small, but these habits can be life-changing.

3. Meditate

On that note, meditation is a great skill to practice every morning—just ask most successful people. Not only does it help improve your concentration and focus in life, but it also promotes mental clarity, emotional positivity, personal enlightenment, and overall well-being.

It’s something you’ll need to train your brain to do, because drowning out your thoughts is not an easy task—especially if you’re filled with anxious thoughts about the day ahead or the night before. But with dedicated time and practice, you’ll begin to see the benefits of meditating for as few as five minutes each morning, and how well it can help you manage those types of stressors.

You don’t need to be a spiritual guru to master your mind, though; anyone can do it from anywhere at home. One great method is to simply focus on your breath with rhythmic inhalation. Slowly take big gulps of air and feel your diaphragm expand, then gently release each breath to the same count. Recognize any thoughts that pop up as merely clouds passing by in the sky, return to your breath, and focus on how your body feels in that exact moment. There are also mindfulness coaching apps that can help guide your process.

Another effective strategy to manifest the life you want for yourself is by starting each day with a morning affirmation. Some powerful examples of affirmative statements you can declare to improve your happiness, confidence, and success include:

  • “I am surrounded by people who love me”
  • “I choose to focus on the positives”
  • “I have the knowledge to make good decisions for myself”

Every day is a great day to be alive, so choose gratitude and live a life of abundance.

4. Eat a Wholesome Breakfast

They said it right: breakfast is the most important meal of the day. You need a hearty meal to give you the energy to sustain your body throughout the day, and nobody can concentrate on a task with a grumbling stomach. Make time for a nutritious meal every morning before heading out the door that’s filled with whole grains, healthy fats, fruits, and protein.

5. Take Healthy Supplements

You should also make it a point to take essential vitamins and minerals every morning to give your body a boost. There are many natural supplements that promote improved vitality, from CBD pills to St. John’s Wort, so explore all your options to find the right fit.

With these morning habits, you’re guaranteed to live each day more meaningfully.


5 Ways To Increase The Value Of Your Home

Besides being a place to live and unwind, a house is one of the most significant investments most people will make. Beyond finding joy, maintaining and improving a house helps boost its worth over time. Discover five ways to increase the value of your home to maximize the potential of this investment.

Image Source: Pixabay

Beautify Working Areas of the House

The bathroom and kitchen are two of the most used rooms in a house. People use these spaces all day for necessary life functions. Beautifying and modernizing these rooms attracts more qualified buyers. People want a home with functional and attractive bathrooms and cooking areas. Contact local bathroom contractors to discuss affordable ways to renovate these essential rooms without breaking the bank. Energy-efficient fixtures and fresh paint can go a long way toward improving the look and efficiency of this space.

Add More Space

One of the most obvious ways to add value to any house is by increasing the living space. Adding a bathroom, deck, second story, or finishing the basement are all ways to expand the useful areas of the home. Consider renovating smaller areas, such as closets, in a house with limited space. Creative contractors share ideas to make the most of any house, regardless of the current living space. Often it takes a few years to realize a return on an investment this significant. In the meantime, everyone will appreciate having more living space to improve the quality of their lives while you reside at the home.

Increase Energy Efficiency

As living expenses continue to soar, people search for ways to save money. One of the easiest ways to reduce your bills is investing in energy-efficient fixtures and appliances. Over time, energy savers can reduce your utility bills significantly, helping to offset the cost of the initial investment. Potential buyers search for homes that are energy efficient to help them save money on utility costs in the years to come. A house with Energy Star appliances and other modern energy-saving features typically sells faster than one with old-fashioned fixtures.

Reduce Maintenance

When people look at homes with older features, they tend to worry about the cost to replace them in the near future. Investing in the bones of a house pays off later because buyers prefer homes that were recently renovated. A home with a new furnace is less like to require expensive repairs during the winter heating season. Getting a new roof instantly improves curb appeal and reaches out to buyers who recognize the value of this investment to the overall integrity of the home.

Get Smart

Smart technologies are the latest home renovations that are sure to attract tech enthusiasts. Smart door locks, lighting, alarms, and other features work to deliver the best possible results. Plus, tech-savvy buyers are eager to include these innovative features in their homes. Having them in-place when buyers look at the house is another way to increase its value and make the property more appealing to potential buyers.

For a minimal investment, homeowners can realize significant returns to making one or more of these improvements to their properties. While it takes some time for a home to build value after a renovation project, the owners still get to enjoy the home improvements until they realize a return on the investment.


Monday, October 26, 2020

Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop | Cookie of the Month Club Review

PR Sample: I LOVE COOKIES!!! As a kid, my favorite character was the Cookie Monster from Sesame Street. We shared the same love ... COOKIES!!! So when PR for Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop contacted me and asked if I would like to try their cookies, I was tickled pink :)  I want you to check out their website, because they offer a beautiful assortment of delicious and mouthwatering cookies, cookie pies (their Monster Cookie & Elvis Cookie Pies are 2020 sofi award winners), brownies and hot chocolate mix (European style hot chocolate that is made with real Belgian chocolate). I was sent a sample of their Cookie of the Month Club (they offer 3 mos, 6 mos, and 12 mos subscription plans), which included their Signature Chocolate Chip, Molasses Spice and Double Chocolate Peppermint cookies. The cookies were shipped and packaged beautifully (they arrived in a brown pastry cookie box with red tissue paper). I love Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop's packaging! Their festive colors & logo will really put a smile on your face. Presentation is just as important as the quality of the product and they leave nothing undone. The cookies come two to a pouch. The pouch is sealed for freshness. Upon opening the pouch, the cookies smell so good. The cookies were fresh and tasted really good. The Signature Chocolate Chip was loaded with delicious chocolate chip chunks and it had the perfect consistency that you would expect from a really-good chocolate chip cookie. The Ginger Molasses cookie (which is back in stock for the Winter season) was chewy and had a yummy molasses & ginger taste. Its a great cookie and I love the dust of sugar atop the cookie. Let me tell you what surprised me! The Double Chocolate Peppermint cookie! I am not a fan of chocolate & mint together. WELL, I LOVE THIS COOKIE! IT TASTES SO GOOD! It has a hint of mint, but is more chocolate and tastes ABSOLUTELY DELICIOUS. So as you can tell, I really enjoyed ALL of the cookies. With the holidays quickly approaching, THINK COOKIES! I love cakes and pies, but I also love a great tasting cookie. Love to bake? Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop even offers DIY Cookie Kits! You choose the flavor. They send you pre-measured dry ingredients (makes approximately 2 dozen cookies). Bake and enjoy some delicious cookies. Baking cookies is also a fun project to do with family & friends during the holiday season. Plus it makes your home smell soooo good! And cookies make a great gift (co-workers, guests that visit your home, neighbors, hair salon, barber shop, kids friends, church etc). Little Red Kitchen Bake Shop is located in New York. It was created by Susan Palmer (2014) who is also a food stylist/photographer (look at her scrumdiddlyumptious pictures). She also offers wholesale, catering and will make any special event (corporate, birthday, wedding, bridal/baby shower etc.) extra special. They're really good!

Signature Chocolate Chip

Molasses Spice

Double Chocolate Peppermint


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Four Smart Ways To Make Your Money Go Further

Money makes the world go around, and for a lot of us, it can provide us with opportunities in life that can really change how we live it. There are lots of ways that you can help make your money go further in life, especially when it comes to managing your money and knowing what to spend it on. Here are four smart ways to make your money go further.

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Firstly, it’s important to budget, and if you’re not budgeting, there’s the majority of the problem right there. It’s important to try and manage your money a little better when it comes to what you spend it on and knowing what’s coming in and out. A budget can supply that information and can lay it out for you in a handy way. With that being said, it’s good to practice how you do your budgeting, whether you’re writing it down in a journal or perhaps you’re using some platform or application to lay it out, like Excel for example. It’s good to get down everything you spend and how much you have coming in. You may surprise yourself by just how much you’re spending and what you need to do in order to save more money. You may find that simple changes and cuts to your lifestyle might result in a lot more take-home money for you to spend on the more meaningful things.

Seek Help From Financial Advisors

Financial advisors are great at giving advice on what to do with your money and what to utilize when it comes to making the most of it. However, you don’t necessarily need to see a financial advisor, to get the help. There are lots of financial advisor tools available online to take advantage of, and this could be a great way of making the most of the money you have saved and where you should be spending it to make it work for you and your lifestyle.

It is worth speaking to a financial advisor at some point in your life, especially if you’ve got a bit of money saved. It can be handy to speak with someone with professional experience in money.

Invest Into Property

Investing in property is always good to do when it comes to making your money go further. It’s worth investing in property, whether that’s buying your first home or looking at rental properties that you can make a return on. There are lots of opportunities out there, but like any investment, there are risks. It’s therefore very important that you’re looking very closely into every investment opportunity carefully.

Save For Your Future

And finally, it’s good to save for your future. There can be a lot of uncertainty about our futures, but when it comes to money, it’s good to be prepared. Who knows what might happen and it’s good to think about your future and when you retire, so you have money to spend!

Use these tips to ensure your money works for you.


Why Community Farming is The Coolest

There has been a rise in people using small rooftops, stacked pots, and any space they have to grow crops. There has also been an increase in people taking part in community farming projects, buying larger plots of land, producing much more.

But why is urban farming the coolest, and what is the real value?

Photo by Anaya Katlego on Unsplash

Shared benefits

There is a social benefit to community farming. When multiple people with a similar interest come together, big things can happen. With farming, many unused plots of earth will be commandeered (usually legally) and used to great effect. Urban farming can and does improve neighborhoods. The social bonds between local residents who a) tend to the farm and b) buy or trade with can be very strong.

Feed the few

Urban farms don’t usually have access to large plots; they don’t have use of tractors, GPI pumps, and other large machinery. Or the funds required to grow food for the masses. But they do have enough to feed the few, which makes the products more limited edition than ever. The food grows within those communities and goes back into the community, which is a really good thing. In these resourceful settings, farmers often find ways to make the job more efficient with a rake attachment, seamlessly integrating technology with traditional farming practices to maximize yield and sustainability.

While there aren’t nationwide food shortages for many countries, there are local food issues and poverty. Smaller farms can help to alleviate much of the struggles that people are going through by providing them with seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.

Not everyone has access to fresh, healthy food, and community farming projects can really help. 

Appreciation for food

When you can head to the grocery store and pick up bags of the food that you want, you might not always have an appreciation for where it comes from and how much work it took to grow. Or how much the meat took to raise and then prepare.

When you grow your own food, even the smallest carrot will have more meaning for you—learning the process to grow large, healthy broccoli, sweet apples, and even some more exotic flavors too.

The more conscious people are about where their food comes from, what is it in, and the work that goes into the more of that is fed down to children too—improving how people feel about food for years to come.


In order to give us huge amounts of out-of-season fruits and vegetables, many producers will use a lot of pesticides and growth hormones. Not only that but the natural-looking fruits and vegetables often don’t make it to the shelf because we are so used to seeing perfection. This contributes to food waste on a large scale too.

Commuting gardens and farming projects don’t often use chemicals in the growing process and grow fruits and vegetables in the right season. Meaning that the whole process is more natural. 

Community farming is not only great for people. Community farming can help increase the value of the houses locally, improve the look of the local area, and help to provide local residents with fresh and healthy options.


Your Guide to Home Beauty Routine During the Quarantine

Lockdown may limit the places your can go for beauty treatments, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take care of your skin at home. Here is your guide to creating your beauty routine while at home and how to pamper your skin during the quarantine.

Pamper Yourself
Skincare is about helping your skin look its best, but it is also a way to increase your confidence and makes you feel better. In stressful times, caring for your skin is also a way to care for your mental health. A daily routine helps you manage your time and keep you active, and in the same way a regular skincare routine is a way to ensure you are taking care of yourself.
Wear Sunscreen
While when mentioning self-care, a makeover such as getting the best hair transplant Toronto can offer usually comes first into our mind, caring for the self also involves skin damage prevention, which must start at the very basic, such as applying sunscreen. Even though you may be spending most of your time at home these days, it is important to wear a broad-spectrum sunscreen of at least 30 SPF every day. Sunscreen helps protect your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause damage to your skin cells, an increased risk for skin cancer and more wrinkles, fine lines and age spots. Even indoors UV rays can damage your skin, so protect yourself and slap on the sunscreen.
Stay Away from Long Hot Showers
Nothing is more relaxing than a long hot shower, and with all this time at home, you probably have the time to enjoy one, but keep in mind all that hot water and soap can strip moisture away from your skin. Shorter, warm showers are better for your skin and use a gentle moisturizing cleanser to help your skin feel soft and supple.
Use ingredients from your kitchen
The secret to preventing sleep line can be simple. If you can get to your favourite beauty treatments, why not take a look in your kitchen cupboards for ideas?  Honey is a great way to hydrate your skin - mix up a paste with plain yogurt and raw honey for a hydrating face mask. You can also use olive oil, or coconut oil as a moisturizer for dry elbows and ankles, or spread it anywhere you need extra hydration.
Drink Plenty of Water
With all this time at home, there is no excuse not to stay hydrated. Drinking water is one of the best-kept beauty secrets around. Keep a glass next to you while working on our computer, or watching TV. Be sure to drink at least 8 glasses every day to see full benefits.
Clean Your Makeup Bag and Brushes
With more time at home you can tackle some chores that often get put off. Cleaning out your makeup bag and brushes are often forgotten, but old makeup and dirty brushes can cause breakouts and skin irritation. Clean your brushes with a gentle shampoo and rinse thoroughly then allow them to air dry in a well-ventilated area.

Most makeup also has a best before date and shouldn’t be used beyond that time. Use your time to get rid of old lipstick and makeup that are past their prime.

Find Ways to Destress
When we are stressed, our skin is often the first place to show signs of it. Breakouts, skin irritation, and dry patches are some signs that you may be feeling stressed. Although a global pandemic is a good reason to feel stress, try to find ways to deal with the tension and anxiety for your mental health and the good of your skin. You can get yourself spa manicure pedicure products to add to your self-care routine.

Daily meditation and relaxation exercises are great ways to centre and calm your mind. Exercise such as a brisk walk or bike ride can also be helpful to release some pent up energy and give your body and skin a boost.


Thursday, October 22, 2020

Look Good Feel Better - Words To Live By

If you are serious about looking after your health and well-being you need to make sure you look as great as possible. There are so many elements that play a part in this, and it is important to try to make the most of this as much as possible moving forward. Come up with ideas that will let you do your best moving forward right now, and there are a lot of ideas that will help with this moving forward.

Image Source: Pixabay

Looking good is certainly linked to feeling good, and this is something to think about for the future right now. If you can do as much as possible to improve your looks and be happy with how you present yourself, it’s clear that you are going to need to make the most of this right now. Check out these techniques that will help you embrace the look good feel better philosophy moving forward.

Respect Your Body 

Your body is a temple and should be respected as much as possible. This means you need to come up with ideas that are going to allow you to treat it with care and do more to ensure you have the healthiest body you can. This means you should focus on trying to lose weight, tone up, be careful about what you are putting into your body, and exercise regularly. Giving your body a regular detox is one of the most essential things you can do, and this is so important to make the most of right now.

Moisturizing is a Girl’s Best Friend

You have to make sure you take steps to help keep up a significant beauty routine, and one of the best ways of doing this is going to be to moisturize as much as possible. Think about the different ideas that play a part in helping with this moving forward, and there are so many factors that you should consider right now. Try to make the most of this, and make sure you source the best possible moisturizer on the market right now. Keeping up with a skincare routine every day is so important and can have such a major impact on this.

Makeup Essentials

Makeup is every woman’s secret weapon, and trying to do as much as possible to choose the right makeup is so important. There are a lot of ideas you can use that will help with this, and it is pretty clear that you need to try to make the most of this. Choosing the right eyeshadow palettes and shades of lipstick when it comes to finding the ideal makeup for you is so important. There are a lot of ideas that you should keep in mind here, and buying makeup can often be overwhelming if you’re not sure what you’re looking for. Try to figure out the best shade and tone of makeup to suit your skin as often as you can.

You have to make sure you do as much as you can to work out the best ways of looking and feeling as good as possible. So much of the way you feel is linked with how you look, and how comfortable you are with how you look. There are a lot of ideas that play a massive part in this process, and it is important to understand what it takes to make the most of this moving forward.


Make-Up Buying Advice

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Cheap makeup online and free shipping choices are enticing. After all, who wouldn’t want such a brilliant deal, especially if the makeup they are purchasing is cheap to begin with? However, if an online company is offering too many unbelievable deals, it might be time to be a little suspicious of them.

Cheap makeup online companies, naturally, have to make a profit, but they could be missing vital things like insurance from . They generally do this by purchasing end of line makeup from big high street and online names. Along with surplus stock, this is one of the primary ways they can discount their makeup products, and make them appealing to you as their customer. That said, it still costs them a significant amount of money to purchase makeup, and they have to make a profit somewhere down the line. Offering free shipping cuts further into their profit margins, and so it can make it uneconomical to continue to offer it unless they’re cutting corners elsewhere. This could be something as simple as using inferior material to package your makeup items, which leads to them being damaged in the post. It could also indicate a problem with the quality of the products themselves, perhaps even raising a question mark over their authenticity. Some makeup online companies are open about the fact they can’t offer free shipping, as much as they’d like to. Shopping for makeup with one of these reputable and honest companies ensures that the products you’ll get through the post will be securely packed and genuine. Don’t settle for anything less.

Cheap Makeup Sites UK Based For Huge Discounts

Cheap makeup sites UK based are increasingly popular for those searching for branded beauty on a budget.  You should beware though: some of the spectacular prices offered by some online beauty and makeup retailers aren’t all they seem. Some massively overstate how much they’re saving you on big brand makeup.

Most people buying makeup online don’t have time to massively research the prices of every single product they’re thinking about buying. For many, buying cosmetics online is supposed to save time, not add to their workload. So it’s very possible that, having been drawn into a makeup online UK based site with one spectacular offer, you believe that all the offers on the site are that good. That might be a false promise, designed to hook you into a site and then hoodwink you with seemingly good prices which you accept because the original prices were so good. However, some of the best online makeup retailers will be completely upfront about what discounts you’re getting on each individual product. They’ll recognise that, as a customer, you deserve to be treated with intelligence and respect, so they won’t ask you to buy anything without demonstrating that you are actually getting a discount on the recommended retail price. They might not be able to offer the same level of discount on every product, but honesty about their prices means that you’re more likely to be a return customer. Don’t put your faith in makeup sites that try to hide the full story from you when it comes to prices.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020

6 Ways To Take Back Control Of Your Life

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Do you feel as though you are completely disorganized? Like life just gets on top of you and you completely lose control? You’re not alone. Many people feel exactly the same.

Feeling as though you don’t have much control and that you are disorganized can leave you feeling quite stressed.

But what can you do when life gets like this?

Here are some tips for helping to get back in control of your life.

Start Each Day With A To-Do List

One of the best ways to get organized is to start each day by completing a to-do list. Every morning, sit down with a cup of coffee and a pen and paper and jot down a list of everything that needs doing that day. Make sure you prioritize the most important tasks that really must be done.

If anything is unfinished and can be carried over until the next day, make sure you complete these the following day.

Have A Good Spring Clean

If your home is a mess or is disorganized it can leave you feeling stressed. Take the time out to give your home a good top to bottom clean and tidy.

Use cleaning as an opportunity to declutter your home. The more you can get rid of, the better you may feel. Anything that you don’t want can go to charity or you could sell it.

Get On Top Of Filing All Of Your Documents

There’s nothing worse than not being able to find an important letter that you know that you have had. Organizing all of your paperwork will mean that you won’t have to rummage through it all to find important documents. This will save you both time and stress.

Review Your Healthcare Insurance

Your health is important and if you haven’t taken the time to review your health insurance for a while then this is a job that you should avoid putting off doing this important task. Look into your Medicare today to ensure you have the right level of cover for your health needs.

Create Meal Plans

Do you get stressed or down because you can’t seem to come up with a creative meal choice every day? If you do, then this can lead to you eating unhealthy or dull meals. You should enjoy your meals and you should ensure you have something nice to look forward to.

Create a meal plan for yourself that allows you to eat well every day. If you know what you will be eating in advance it takes the stress out of having to make a decision closer to the time. If you know what you’re eating in advance, it makes shopping so much easier too.

Batch Cook All of Your Meals

One way of saving time and effort and making sure you always have a great home cooked meal is to batch cook whenever you can. Make up a large batch of a certain meal and you can freeze a few portions for a later date.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Best Ways To Find Your Business Niche

A good niche can benefit your business in a variety of ways. It can help you tap into markets that might be crying out for someone to serve them. It can help you avoid direct competition with large, established businesses in the industry. However, finding a niche isn’t always as easy as simply brainstorming up an idea with a difference. You need to know that it’s worth taking the risk in striking out new territory, too.

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Look at it as a customer
Before you start putting on your entrepreneurial hat, try to browse the market as if you were a customer, first of all. This can be as simple as Googling for the products and services that you provide or by looking on social media for those who are already marketing their presence in the industry. This way, you can better see what kind of market and services their branding is speaking towards, which can help you find room to squeeze in between them.
Look at different locations
Perhaps the easiest niche to capitalize on is that of location. It’s becoming a little harder for a lot of businesses due to the fact that the internet is expanding everyone’s reach much more than ever. However, you can use local searches to find businesses that are and aren’t near you. If you find that there are large physical locations that your competition isn’t touching, then that could be just the space that you need to move into. For local businesses, nearer is always better, so long as you’re close to a portion of the market that’s somewhat sizeable, at least.
Get the research in
Don’t just rely on what research you can do by yourself, either. There are analysts who have reams of data available on all markets from the cosmetics industry to the food industry to the hospitality industry and beyond. Access to relevant and recent market research can help you get a much better idea of what the market is currently like. You can see who your competitors are, how they are doing, and markets that might be underserved by them. It’s in that latter aspect that you might find some room for yourself.
Identify new problems you can solve
Not all niches are going to be as simple as finding the pre-existing gaps that your competitors don’t already cover. Some of them might have to be forged with a bit of ingenuity and a mind that’s focused on solving your customer’s problems. Consider the barriers between your customers and the current offerings in the industry. If you can eliminate one of those barriers and it makes a meaningful difference to the customer, that could be a niche in and of itself.

With the above tips, you can hopefully find a niche that’s both rich and untapped. It’s important to understand that you might not be the only one to occupy that niche forever, however, so be agile and be ready to invest what early profits you earn into quick and measured growth.


Monday, October 19, 2020

Could It Be Time to Run Your Own Business?

The coronavirus and Covid-19 pandemic have changed many of our lives in many ways. One major change that many of us have found is that we aren’t content in our work right now. Whether you’ve lost your job and are unemployed due to the virus and its consequences, or whether you’ve been unable to work for a while and have had time to think about your career direction and concluded you’d like to make a change, you’re really not alone. Right now, countless people are reconsidering what they do for a living and are following new career paths that they wouldn’t have even considered at the start of this year. Many of us have had fleeting thoughts of starting our own company, but may have been put off by daunting feelings. Sure, news reports are showing a lot of businesses collapsing right now. But there’s still a market for many products out there and you could start the company that provides people with them! Here are a few considerations for if you’re contemplating starting your own business.

Image Source: Pexels CC0 License

Weighing Up the Pros and Cons

First, you need to weigh up the pros and cons of running your own business. There are plenty of each, so you need to determine whether the positive will outweigh the negative for you. Here are just a few.

  • You become your own boss
  • You decide what industry you will operate in
  • You gain control over your working hours
  • You gain control over your time off
  • You could earn more money, as you don’t work to build someone else’s fortune
  • The market isn’t as saturated right now
  • You take on more responsibility
  • Now is a difficult time to start out with the pandemic
  • You will have to invest a lot of time, effort and money into your venture

Choosing a Business Concept

If you decide that you do want to start a business, it’s time to come up with a business concept. Your business could sell anything, from clothes to tech to oil water separators, which you can learn more about here. What’s important is that you choose something that you’re genuinely interested in, that has demand and potential for profit and that doesn’t have too many competitors right now. Make sure to do plenty of research into any area you’re considering getting involved in.

Conducting Market Research

Right now, market research is essential. You need to know your market - and the market has changed a lot this year. You need to know how much people have disposable, how much they would be willing to spend on a product like yours and how regularly they’d be likely to shop with you. This can help you to anticipate demand and ensure that your products are priced correctly.

These are just a few steps you’re likely to come into contact with if you do go ahead with starting your own business. So, if you find yourself going full speed ahead, hopefully, some of the above information will help you out!


How to Make Work From Home Work For You

As companies migrate to remote workspaces and hire more contracted and freelance employees, working from home is becoming more and more ordinary. Today, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of workers across the globe have moved from in-person to remote, home-based functions while striving to sustain the same degree of work efficiency and enthusiasm. We won't be the first to tell you that this sudden shift can be quite challenging for those of us who are new to telecommuting.

Living in 2020 has been unlike any other, and adding in working from home may or may not soften the blow life has thrown. In full truth, you probably have a lot to feel stressed out about. The good news is, with the right attitude, know-how, and equipment by your side, you can make work from home work for you.

Create a designated workspace

Creating a designated workspace can work wonders for your mind for three primary reasons:

1. It establishes an association in your brain that when you’re stationed in the space, you’re in work mode.
2. It builds a distinct (and very necessary) divide between your work and home life.
3. It allows you to keep your workstation intact at all times so you’re ready to go when it’s time to work.

As much as your home is a safe environment for you to decompress and relax, it is very likely stocked up with plenty of distractions. Whether it’s your living room with a TV or bedroom with a gaming console, there are plenty of distractions that may tempt you during your work from home schedule. That's precisely why it's so important to set up a dedicated home office for yourself. Equip yourself with a pair of noise-disrupting headphones, a second monitor, a standing desk, and you'll be set for reaching peak productivity.

Bear in mind that just as your personal life will divert you from work, the same thing will happen to your work life. To properly manage the inevitable pressures that come with working from home, try to keep your work affairs exclusively in your workspace during work hours, and leave those stressors there once your workday is done.

Upgrade your internet connection

A stable and speedy internet connection is a must-have for most employees working from home. Serving as the single-most important link between you, your boss, your colleagues, and your company, a reliable internet connection guarantees that you are able to stay up to date on your workload and in the know about any important meetings, changes, or deadlines.

Despite the fact that WiFi has become the standard internet type for the average home, anyone in need of genuinely secure networking would benefit from converting to Ethernet. This is particularly true of household networks that need to support several users and connected devices including computers, wireless printers, smartphones, and more.

Take regular breaks

Working at home has a wealth of advantages — you can wear your jammies all day, blast all of your favorite playlists, and give up your tiring morning commute on the road (and save money on gas while you're at it!).   At first, these trappings and time-savers might seem to translate into increased productivity, but these habits go unchecked, you'll quickly find yourself spending more time away from work than you are doing it.

And that's exactly the key. Taking breaks and enjoying your work from home setup is all a part of the new normal. There's no denying that being on a relentless grind during the work day will lead to rapid burnout, which is why finding that balance is so key.

Not sure how to begin building breaks into your schedule? We’ve got you covered. Here are our favorite break ideas that’ll work in your favor:

  • Go for a 10-15 minute walk or run
  • Cook up a nutritious lunch
  • Do one household chore
  • Tidy up a space in your home

Enjoy the experience

As you navigate work from home life and learn what works for you and what doesn’t, remember not to be too hard on yourself. Everything will take a bit of trial and error before perfection. Enjoy the work from home life!

How do you make work from home work for you? Let us know in the comments below!

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