Beauty. Fashion. Food. Lifestyle.

Tuesday, June 6, 2023

6 Hacks For Healthy And Shiny Hair

Having healthy and shiny hair is an elusive dream for many.  The problem is, keeping your hair healthy isn’t always easy, especially if you use heat styling tools and hair products with potentially harmful ingredients that you’re not even aware of.

When your hair care routine seems ineffective towards achieving silky strands, it’s probably time to reconsider your hair habits. Here are the top hacks to help make your dreams of luscious and shiny locks a reality:

1. Choose The Right Hair Products

There will always be plenty of products to choose from, but keep in mind that the right one should be specific to your hair type and help address your concerns. If you have itchy hair that’s prone to dandruff, look for a shampoo with zinc pyrithione. On the other hand, shampoos for dry hair are better if you want to nourish your hair strands and keep it from looking dry. You may also consider hair products enriched with traditional herb extracts for better hair health.

When looking for products that suit your hair type and needs best, look out for ingredients that may do more harm than good for your locks. Phthalates, parabens, and sulfates, for example, are common shampoo ingredients that have raised concerns in the past years. Numerous studies indicate that long-term use of these ingredients may cause health issues ranging from irritation and dryness to hormonal imbalance and even cancer.

While the true usefulness of these ingredients is still widely contested, it’s best to avoid them altogether especially for products that you intend to use long-term.

2. Nourish From Within

Good nutrition is the foundation for healthy hair. Because just like your body, achieving lustrous and vibrant hair begins with internal nourishment. Therefore, make it a point to eat foods rich in vitamins, minerals, and proteins for shinier and healthier hair strands.

Add nourishing fats to your diet such as eggs, coconut oil, olive oil, and avocados. Adequate intake of fluids, proteins, and minerals such as B12 and iron is helpful in healthier hair growth that’s stronger against damage. This means if you eat healthily enough, you’re less likely to have dull and damaged hair.

3. Reduce Or Avoid The Use Of Heat-Styling Tools

Excessive heat styling can damage your hair and make it look dry and frizzy. Heat depletes moisture from your hair, which can result in the loss of its lustrous appearance. If you regularly use heat styling tools, your hair is bound to become fragile and prone to breakage. Thus, minimize the use of blow dryers, flat irons, and curling wands.  If you must use them, apply a generous amount of heat protectant spray beforehand and do not go over 200°C - the temperature where hair strands start to melt.

4. Don’t Overwash Your Hair

Washing your hair too often can strip off its natural oils, leaving it dehydrated, brittle, and prone to breakage. So, instead of washing every day, do intervals of 2-3 days. This allows your scalp’s natural oils to nourish and protect your strands long enough, promoting healthier and shinier hair.

If your hair becomes oily between washes, use dry shampoo to refresh your look. If you use a conditioner, avoid applying it near the roots as this can make your scalp oilier faster than normal.

5. Trim Your Hair Regularly

Cutting even just the ends is probably the last thing on your mind if you’re trying to grow your hair longer. But a regular trim can be beneficial. It eliminates split ends to keep them from causing further breakage and keeps your hair looking healthier.

If your hair is prone to split ends and you wait too long before trimming, your locks will start to look dry and lackluster. So, schedule regular trims every six to eight weeks to remove damaged ends and promote healthy hair growth. This will also keep your hair from looking frizzy and unkempt.

6. Use The Right Comb

Your choice of comb matters when it comes to hair health. When choosing a brush, opt for a wide-tooth comb with rounded bristles. This brush helps prevent unnecessary hair breakage and minimizes damage to the hair shaft.

You must also remember that hair is weaker when wet and is therefore more prone to breakage. So, when brushing wet hair, opt for a wide-tooth comb and carefully untangle your hair beginning on the ends. Then work your way up to prevent unnecessary hair loss, which often happens when you untangle wet hair from the top. Avoid hairbrushes with tightly packed bristles or combs with sharp teeth, as using them on tangled wet hair often leads to tugging and pulling, which can result to split ends and hair breakage.

On the other hand, when combing dry hair, using a boar bristle brush helps enhance shine as it evenly spreads the natural oils from your scalp to the tips of your strands. Be gentle and patient when combing your hair, especially with knots or tangles, to reduce hair stress and breakage.

Wrap Up

With these six hacks, you can help nourish and transform your hair to make it healthier and shinier. Remember, patience and consistency are key to achieving the desired results. Turn these tips into habits, and soon you’ll be well on your way to flaunting the results: beautiful, lustrous hair.

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Monday, June 5, 2023

Lancôme La Vie Est Belle Iris Absolu Eau De Perfume Review

Disclosure: I was sent Lancome's La Vie Est Belle Iris Absolu Eau De Perfume for review from Bold PR. All opinions in this blog post are 100% my own and honest. This post contains affiliate links. I get commission for purchases made through the links in this post.

PR Sample: Lancome has a NEW edition to it's La Vie Est Belle perfume family! It's called La Vie Est Belle Iris Absolu. Lancome sent me a full size bottle to sample and after spritzing this perfume on, I must tell you it is pure bliss.

La Vie Est Belle Iris Absolu has fragrance notes of Noble Iris Pallida: contains an iris pallida concrete sustainably sourced in France; Fig and Blackcurrant: fruity accents of fig and blackcurrant sparkling with happiness; Patchouli: contains a sustainably sourced patchouli from Bali.

As soon as I spritzed this perfume on my arm, I loved it. I'm very finicky about fragrance. Overall, I'm not a huge fan of floral scents. So when I saw that this perfume contained Iris, I must admit I was a little worried. Well, there is nothing to worry about when it comes to the scent of this perfume. It reminds me of beautiful blue skies, fresh clean air, beautiful sunlight and a walk through a blissful garden. This perfume puts a smile on my face and a pep in my step.

You know what else I love about this perfume? The bottle. When I initially saw the design, I said that's interesting (the ripples). Lancome states, "The bottle has been reinvented with an infinite crystal smile, encapsulating the iris in its most concentrated form. Inspired by the waves created by a drop falling on the surface of the water, its smile radiates outwards like an endless wave - forever engraved in the bottle. Forged from the purest materials, then polished by flame to ensure protection. Now the crystal smile is multiplied, echoing happiness infinitely." Isn't that cool!?! I know one thing! This perfume puts a SMILE on my face, each and every time I wear it.

I encourage you to take a trip to your nearest beauty counter and spritz this on your arm. Walk around a bit and see how it compliments you. Below is a little bit more about La Vie Est Belle Iris Absolu Eau De Perfume (Harrods, Harvey Nichols) and a video. It definitely has my approval. You can read all of my Lancome reviews here.

Sweet-Bittersweet-NotSweet
supersweet(run & buy it) sweet(really good,buy it) bittersweet(ok, issues)not sweet(not good,don't buy this stuff) 
Lancome La Vie Est Belle Iris Absolu Eau De Perfume is Supersweet

In 2012, Lancôme declared, "Life is beautiful” with the launch of La Vie est Belle. By its simple joy, the name chosen by Lancôme has resonated with millions of women worldwide. Today, “Life is beautiful” resonates with hope and a deliberate choice to see life with optimism. 

In 2023, Lancôme continues their message of happiness with the launch of La Vie est Belle Iris Absolu. A majestic ode to the emblematic flower of the original Eau de Parfum, La Vie est Belle Iris Absolu multiplies the emblematic ingredients of its success: signature iris, now 10 times more concentrated than in the original Eau de Parfum. The iconic crystal smile on the bottle is turned into an endless wave.

La Vie est Belle pays homage to its iconic iris in a new variation, launching in July 2023. With an unprecedented concentration, La Vie est Belle Iris Absolu reimagines the olfactory signature of its classic Eau de Parfum.“The inspiration came from Mediterranean aromas and the gardens of Lancôme’s Domaine de la Rose in Grasse”, explain perfumers Anne Flipo and Dominique Ropion (IFF), who co-signed the House’s iconic fragrance as well as this new variation. “We wanted a more vegetal version, with scents of fig trees and vegetal notes evoking wild herbs”.

Ten times more concentrated than in the original formula, iris takes center stage in La Vie est Belle Iris Absolu. This root, one of the most precious ingredients of perfumery, gives a new intensity to this composition and a shimmering vibrancy to its trail. Inimitably elegant, “the blue gold of perfumery” reveals all its nuances on the skin after a sparkling opening: a juicy blackcurrant accord gives a fresh twist to a milky fig accord, warm like a sunny summer. Uplifted by the deep sensuality of a patchouli accord and the unique character of the gourmand note quintessential to La Vie est Belle, this new variation induces a persistent feeling of joy.

 

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Safety Measures For Businesses Carrying High-Value Goods

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko from Pexels

Depending on what business you run, you may or may not be exposed to potential security issues. Of course, every business will need to focus on security. However, as you can imagine, a firm manufacturing and selling paper is at lest risk of targeted theft than a high-street jeweler, even if both must focus on safety and security when developing their operational procedures.

It’s the latter kind of business this article hopes to help. No matter if you’re storing and selling high-value art, watches, jewelry, high-value merchandise, or even tokens of worth, you deserve to feel protected and able to trust your staff at all levels.

Often, good security involves common sense. However, some practical measures and investments provide the backbone of good practice. In this post, then, we’ll discuss some of the most common, the most essential, and the most secure so you can run your business curating high-value goods with peace of mind. Without further ado, please consider:

Vetting Entry Where Appropriate

A worthwhile sign-in system can be a good place to start. This means that potential clients who come to meet you can be allowed in one at a time, or at least will confirm their appointment before being led into the back areas. This is often the case in high-quality salons, tailors or jewelry, and it may apply to your business too. You may also afford guest passes, access gates where appropriate (such as turnstiles that allow one verified customer in per turn), and even accounts that must be logged into in order to book or complete a session. This way, you will only allow approved customers in, while also communicating your onboarding process in the best possible light.

Displaying One At A Time

It’s a simple protocol, but it’s essential to consider. If running a customer-facing business with high-value goods, displaying one at a time is important. So for instance, if showing engagement rings to a prospective customer, you’ll lock up those you’re not showcasing before presenting the next option, keeping them behind the safety glass. While you may have other provisions in place, training staff in methods such as this can help them avoid mistakes, or scamming behaviors designed to use sleight of hand or social misdirection to cause confusion. This principle can also be applied to how you display items around your storefront, or what access you give to particular customers before and after they sign in.

Security & Accountable Protocols

It’s essential to have good security and accountability protocols in place. Without them, bad practice is not even noticed or disciplined, or at least trained out of staff not realizing where the issue lies. Moreover, with essential security investments such as the best safe installation within your premises, you can ensure that your most high-value, in-maintenance or unprepared items are properly stored. You can also assign authority to the staff who can access these areas, ensuring that your front-of-house staff aren’t responsible for the hole operation. This way, multiple levels of permission-based accountability will be ensured, giving you the strongest peace of mind possible.

With this advice, you’re sure to carry high-value goods in the best possible way.

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Thursday, June 1, 2023

A Complete Guide To Wearing The Best Cashmere Wraps All Year Round

Dressing up elegantly has been quite a norm for most women. But many people have little to no idea how much labor, time, and energy is spent to make one piece of clothing.

This article will demystify what has been one of the most elegant pieces of clothing for hundreds of years. It’s the cashmere wrap.

As their name suggests, cashmere wraps are made of cashmere, a type of wool harvested from cashmere or Kashmir goats that thrive in Asian countries like China and Mongolia. This fabric’s name is already luxurious and grand by itself. On top of that, it possesses a gentle caress, warmth, and the ability to turn even the simplest clothing into a sophisticated one.

Cashmere wraps aren’t meant for winter alone and can be worn any time of the year, despite being known for keeping you warm. So, if you want a perfect shawl that makes you look more stylish, consider getting yourself one.

This post will guide you on how to wear the best cashmere wraps all year round. For supplementary information, you can visit sites like theexeterdaily.co.uk.

Italy In Cashmere

The quality of cashmere wrap found at Italy In Cashmere is second to none, an exceptional combination of authentic Mongolian cashmere wool that's handmade by craftsmen in Italy. They use 2ply thick cashmere, which ensures the garment feels weighty and cosy, which is perfect for avoiding the cold chill of the winter air. Their range of colours is also vast, helping you find a cashmere wrap that fits in with your personal style.

If this is your first time buying a cashmere wrap, you’re probably wondering how to determine whether a wrap is high-quality. Since it’s an investment, it’s important to understand how to select a scarf that may last for years without losing its softness and shape.

If you’re looking for a shop that offers some of the best cashmere wraps in the market, you may visit Italy In Cashmere or other shops near you.

The quality of cashmere wrap found at Italy In Cashmere is second to none, an exceptional combination of authentic Mongolian cashmere wool that's handmade by craftsmen in Italy. They use 2ply thick cashmere, which ensures the garment feels weighty and cozy, which is perfect for avoiding the cold chill of the winter air. Their range of colours is also vast, helping you find a cashmere wrap that fits in with your personal style.

Grey Cashmere Wrap from Italycashmere.com

Here are other tips when buying a high-quality cashmere wrap:

  • Check The Price

When it comes to cashmere wraps, price is often an indicator of quality. High-end brands will likely charge more for their products and services than low-cost retailers. This is because of their high overhead costs and use of expensive materials.

However, don’t rely on the price alone when evaluating the quality of a cashmere wrap. The best thing to do is to look for a reliable retailer whose pricing justifies the quality of their products.

  • Check The Quality And Blends

Cashmere has three grades: Grade A, Grade B, and Grade C.

Grade A cashmere can be as low as 14 microns per strand (note: the human hair is 75 microns), while Grade C is about 30 microns. On the other hand, Grade B cashmere is between 20-30 microns.

So, what does this grading system mean? The thinner the fabric, the finer the shawl, and the higher the quality of the final product.

Note that different regions have varying procedures. Many manufacturers blend cashmere with other fabrics. For example, cashmere paired with silk creates stronger and less delicate fabric.

  • Check The Label

You can check the quality of a cashmere wrap by determining its fiber content, which is included in the product label or on the shop’s website.

A high-quality cashmere shawl typically has more than 90% pure cashmere. In addition, if you buy a shawl from eCommerce shops like eBay or Amazon, check the tags from renowned brands that provide details about the quality and manufacturing process.

  • Consider Softness And Shape

Softness and shape are the two characteristics that make cashmere unique. So, when you buy a cashmere scarf that can stand the test of time, consider these two qualities.

High-quality cashmere wraps are exquisitely soft. They should be breathable, lightweight, and a good value for your money.

  • Look For Chyangra Pashmina

If you’re looking for a fancier and more expensive cashmere product, choose one made from wool harvested from Himalayan Chyangra goats.

Chyangra Pashmina is a trademark protected by over 40 countries, including Canada, the European Union, Japan, the USA, and Australia. Its fiber shouldn’t exceed 17 microns and has a purity of at least 97% Pashmina.

Ideas On How To Wear The Best Cashmere Wraps

Don’t know how to wear cashmere wraps elegantly and comfortably? Look no further! Here are some fashion tips and outfit ideas for wearing cashmere shawls all year round. Check out which of the following suits you best.

  • The Underneath-The-Belt Style

This style is ideal for those attending a dinner party at someone else’s cool loft.

Following the central notch of your nape, wrap the shawl over your shoulders and allow the panels to hang on your sides. Then, wear a belt over your shawl on your waist to achieve a belted sweater look.

If you want to avoid looking bulky, opt for a form-fitting dress. A simple black belt is also a good choice, but a more fashionable design is much better.

  • The Night At The Opera

As the name implies, this style is an evening cover-up and is ideal for people attending an opera or someone’s winter wedding.

Following the central notch of your mid-back, wrap the shawl loosely across your upper arms. This is ideal for events where you want to cover most of your skin but still prefer to show your beautifully elegant dress. Pair your cashmere wrap with a gorgeous dress or gown, killer heels, and stunning cocktail jewelry.

  • The Blanket For The Body

Have a flight coming this week? This style is ideal for those having a transatlantic red-eye flight and always seen cuddling underneath the airline blanket.

So, how should you wear your cashmere wraps? Like a blanket, indeed! There’s no better way to travel the world than being covered in cashmere.

What should you pair with it? How about leggings with enough stretchability so you can curl and twist into sleep-inducing positions? That would be great!

  • The Weekend Gal

The weekend soldier is perfect when meeting friends for a Sunday breakfast and lunch. It’s also a great choice if you can’t be bothered to match a natural outfit.

From the notch at the back of your neck, let the left panel of your shawl hang on your right shoulder and do the same thing on the right panel. This creates a chic, crisscross effect that prevents your shawl from touching your food.

What should you pair with it? You can wear it with your favorite tee, but make sure it has no design. Jeans and flats may also work.

  • The Caped Hero

Do you want to play a hero or a villain? Either way, this style certainly fits!

So, how should you wear your shawl? Of course, like a superhero’s cape! Look for the empty stretch of your cashmere and let your inner Usain Bolt take over.

What’s the best pair? Anything! Nobody will even care; they’ll be just left in awe.

  • The Secret Wrap

Have you accidentally worn the same shirt two or three days in a row? In case the same scenario happens, grab your cashmere and use it to cover your hidden secret.

Here’s how you can do it: pull one end of your cashmere wrap across your chest and hang it on the opposite shoulder. Your shawl will look like it’s hooked in front diagonally. Then, pull the other end across the first layer and let it hang on your other shoulder. This will give you two diagonal parallel lines, creating an elongated panel that covers the outfit you’ve already worn twice now.

What should you pair with it? The answer is simple: your outfit yesterday

  • Le Parisienne

Have you dreamed of visiting the City of Love and becoming a French, even for just a day? If you have, this style is perfect for you! Le Parisienne is ideal for those zipping through the River Seine on a scooter.

How should you style your cashmere? First, fold it lengthwise twice. Then, wrap it around your neck like a typical winter scarf, and voila!

What should you pair with it? If you’re wearing a white cashmere wrap, red lipstick and a black, velvety dress would be a good combination.

  • The Desk Setup Alternative

Don’t know what to wear at work? Look no further! This chic cashmere draping style is all you need! This style is ideal for those getting blasted by AC in the office. It allows them to focus more on their work without feeling extremely cold.

How should you style your cashmere wrap? It’s simple! All you need to do is drape it over your shoulders. With this, you’ll be able to write, type, and drink coffee without any problem while shielding yourself from Antarctic blasts.

  • In-Between Seasons

As mentioned earlier, cashmere wraps can be worn all year round, regardless of season. Whether it’s a trouser and sweater combo or a jumper and tights mashup, a twisted shawl can work many wonders.

Here’s how to do it: place one end of your cashmere over one shoulder and twist the other end over the other shoulder. Then, let it hang in your front or back, just as you’d like it.

  • The Stylish Traveler

Wearing a bulky jacket or coat can sometimes kill a style and outfit. A cashmere wrap not just provides a stylish, lightweight layer of warmth. It’s also easy to roll and store in a duffel bag when you don’t need it.

If you don’t want your cashmere to fall off your shoulders, tie it in your front and twist it over your head to create a poncho shape. This leaves your hands free to ride any mode of transportation as you travel.

  • Shopping With Friends

Choosing what to wear when shopping with the girls is never easy, especially when the streets are cold. Why don’t you drop the coat and jacket and wrap yourself in a shawl draped stylishly over your shoulders? This way, it’s easier to unwrap if things get too warm and won’t get in your way, unlike your favorite jacket and coat. Plus, you can even pop it over your head in case rain suddenly appears out of nowhere!  Moreover, it’s best with a plain cardigan on top with a simple dress underneath.

Don’t worry about your shawl when the rain comes. Cashmere is a natural fiber and won’t be damaged by rain.

  • The Home And Garden Outfit

Who said you couldn’t be as stylish as you want when staying home or tendering your garden? That’s not true!

Some cashmere wraps are large enough for a king-size bed. You can use them to keep your toes warm and wrap your shoulders while reading your favorite book late at night.

You can have around two to three wraps over your arms, which you can use to snuggle up in front of your home theater system on most evenings. Also, your dog will love stretching out on your cozy cashmere throw.

You can cover yourself up with your lovely cashmere while staying out at night in your garden, too.

  • After-Exercise Style

Keeping your muscles warm after a strenuous workout is crucial for growth and recovery. At the end of your Pilates or yoga class, use your cashmere wrap as a blanket while doing the last pose during meditation. You can also use it to cover your shoulders while walking home after the session!

  • The Busy Bee

If you don’t have time to choose whatever style of wearing a shawl fits you, keep it simple. Throw both panels and wrap them over your shoulders, making sure the ends are in your front. This leaves your arms free and covers what you’re wearing on your most hectic day.

Final Words

Cashmere wraps are a great way to keep yourself warm and comfortable during cold months. But that doesn't mean you can't use them all year round. Of course, you can!

Cashmere wraps are silky and soft, making them a perfect companion for all kinds of outfits, whether working or having a Sunday brunch with friends. This complete guide may help you find the style you've been looking for!

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Wednesday, May 31, 2023

5 Powerful Ways To Feel Better About Yourself

Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

Let's face it: most people often get caught up in life's daily demands and pressures. They leave many folks feeling overwhelmed or drained of mental energy, and it's not uncommon for some people to experience burnout as a result.

Everyone has different priorities in life, but one of yours should be about feeling good about yourself. If self-worth and confidence are two things you often lack in your life, don't worry because you aren't alone.

With that in mind, check out the following five powerful ways to help you feel better about yourself as a human being and empower you to be a more confident individual:

1. Prioritize Self-Care

One of the best things you can do is to take care of your physical, mental, and emotional needs. Your well-being is essential, so you should do more things that make you happy and bring more joy into your life.

For example, pursuing life-long hobbies or exploring new ones can be an excellent way to achieve those goals, as do other activities like exercising or meditating. 

Moreover, you must set up personal boundaries and learn to say no if anything might harm your well-being - even if it means you can't be a people-pleaser as much as you'd like.

2. Surround Yourself With Positive People

Did you know that the company you keep, whether socially or professionally, significantly impacts your self-perception? That's why it makes sense to surround yourself with positive people and avoid toxic individuals like the plague!

When you hang out with happy, positive, and inspirational people, they will provide supportive roles in your life and help boost your personal growth. They won't drain your energy, self-esteem, or make you feel bad about yourself.

3. Renew Your Personal Style

Has your personal style taken a backseat in recent years? If so, now's the time to revive your unique look and make yourself the talk of the town for the right reasons!

Get outside your comfort zone and try different garment combinations, for instance, and accessorize yourself to become more stylish and happier.

You may even decide to couple your wardrobe changes with other physical changes, such as dieting, exercising, and getting rid of hard-to-shift body fat using technology like CoolSculpting.

You might ask yourself, does CoolSculpting work, or can a simple diet and exercise regime work for everyone? In short, the answer is yes! And the answer is also the same for making changes to other areas that comprise your personal style, like the contents of your wardrobe!

4. Set Goals To Enhance Your Personal Style

Whatever you decide to do, always start by setting and achieving goals to enhance your personal style. It's a fantastic way to supercharge your self-esteem and give you an incredible sense of achievement.

Make sure your goals are realistic and that they align with your life's passions and aspirations.

5. Stop Being So Hard On Yourself

Lastly, stop being so hard on yourself. You're just one person, and while you can be the catalyst for reform or change for the better in various aspects of your life, you can't achieve everything alone.

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Tuesday, May 30, 2023

7 Ways To Plug Into Positivity

Not Sponsored: A couple of days ago, I wrote about some of the negative things we encounter in life, through my blog post ... Pull The Plug On Negativity. Today, I would like to focus on some positive things you can do for yourself.

Image by Alexa from Pixabay

Prayers And Affirmations

I like to begin my day, on a positive note. When I wake up in the mornings, I usually start my day with prayers. Prayers give me the strength and encouragement to take-on whatever and whoever comes my way ... throughout the day. No matter what denomination you are, I encourage you to pray before beginning your day. It's calming. It's soothing. It gives you mental clarity. Also, THINK POSITIVE. There are many positive quotes and writings out there in the world. I subscribe to a daily scripture, that is sent to me via email, everyday. It really helps me out and makes me feel good. I look forward to reading it every morning. Try to incorporate these types of things into your daily routine.

Focus

When you wake up in the morning, focus on what is most important, takes priority and needs to be done. Then do it. You may be saying, Kim, a lot needs to be done. I definitely understand. But if you bombard yourself with everything that needs to be done, you will become overwhelmed. Ask yourself, what needs to be completed today? this morning? afternoon? evening? Try and do, one to three things WELL. Complete them. You will feel so good. Anything else you do, will be a bonus. Extra. You're doing something positive ... getting things done ... this will help your day move along.

Your Body

Have you heard the saying, If you take care of your body, it will take care of you? You need to take care of yourself. You will look and feel better. I did a great job of this, when I was younger. But as I got older, I started slacking. I paid the consequences. I've been blogging now since 2012. I look like a different person, since discovering and reading blogs. My style has changed for the better. I'm using products that make me look my best. But just as I was getting my outer self together, my inner fell apart. I'm talking about my health. So much so, it landed me in the hospital. But guess what? Through medical care, a change of diet and exercise .... I'm getting back on track. All of this helps you mentally. Evaluate yourself. Do a self-evaluation. Are you seeing the doctor regularly? Are you going to the dentist? Are you exercising? Are you eating good things? Are you getting enough sleep? What you do now, may have to change as you get older. You may not be able to "get away with things" like you use to do. These changes will make you feel better, lengthen your longevity and make you a better you.

Incorporate Fun

We all have work that we must do, but its important to incorporate some fun into your life. Do this on a daily basis. It will give you something to look forward to, after your work is done. See that new movie. Get a scoop of ice cream. Go buy a new book. Splurge by going to a new place for lunch or dinner. Watch a new tv show. Incorporate some type of daily fun into your life.

Peaceful Places

I love spending time in what I call, peaceful places. These places are usually beautiful, serene, free and give you mental clarity. I enjoy walking in out city's botanical garden and sculpture garden. I enjoy a walk in the park. Have you visited all of the libraries nearby in your area? These are the perfect places for a much needed mental getaway. 

Quick Getaways

Depending on your circumstances at home (significant other, children, pets), consider a quick getaway from it all. It could be for just one to two nights. That would really help. Consider renting an Airbnb near your home. Pack an overnight bag, go and unwind. They're usually not very expensive when near your house. It's a great way to have a change of scenery. If Airbnb's are not quite your thing, how about a nearby Bed & Breakfast? Bed & Breakfasts' are more communal, where you would rent a room. But there are so many pluses. They usually have the best breakfast's because they are freshly prepared. You meet other wonderful people during your stay. And you are supporting a small local business. Look into the Bed & Breakfast's in your area. 

Positive People

Surround yourself with positive people, both in your personal and professional life. Ask yourself, do the people in your life contribute to you being the very best you can be as an individual? Are you moving up? Or are people bringing you down? If it's the latter, you need to make some changes. I've had my fair share of takers, liars, manipulators, naysayers etc. I got rid of them all. Have you heard the saying, I can do bad all by myself? It's true. Fly with the eagles! Leave the buzzards, crows etc where they are.

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Sunday, May 28, 2023

Pull The Plug On Negativity

Not Sponsored: Everyday, we are bombarded with negativity from various sources. You don't realize how much negativity you have to deal with on a daily basis. For the last couple of months, I really got sick of it all and knew I had to make some changes for the health of myself. I thought I would share some of the things I'm doing with you.

Image by Gordon Johnson from Pixabay

News

One of the leading sources of negativity is the news and most of it is bad news. Everyday, I would watch the 4 o'clock, 4:30, 5:00 (local), 5:30 (national) and 6:00 (local) news. I thought to myself one day, why am I doing this to myself? It's consistently making me sad, depressed, angry etc. I need to stay abreast to what is going on locally in my city/community and also what is going on in the world, but do I need to watch all of this? The answer was NO and I stopped. I now only watch the 5 o'clock local news and 5:30 national news. I feel so much better.

Twitter

Twitter is an excellent source of information, but it is also a plethora of opinions ... both negative and positive opinions. I always look at the trending topics on Twitter and read people's comments. Some can be very disturbing. Limit your time on Twitter. Don't immerse yourself reading comment after comment or (even worse) wasting your time responding to hate-filled comments. Sometimes you can change a person's mind, but many times what they believe ... is set. Don't stay up all night doing either one of these things. If you have school or a job, get a good night's rest so you can be your very best the next day. Use Twitter as a resource. Twitter is great to hear about news first, learn new recipes, get travel tips and ideas etc. Avoid the gossip as much as possible.

Relationships

Whether you are married, engaged or dating ... how is that person treating you? Is it positive or negative? No relationship is perfect. We all mess up from time to time.  But overall does your significant other, bring out the best in you? Ask yourself some questions. Does that person value what you have to say? When you go to them with a problem, do they listen to you and try to do something about it? Do they care about you when you're sick? Do they carve out time in their life to spend time with you? I can go on and on, but you understand where I'm going. Make a list of positives and negatives in your relationship. There should be more positives, than negatives. Don't stand for any type of abuse! Remember there is mental, verbal and physical abuse. If someone is always putting you down (how you look, the things you do etc) that is mental abuse. Is someone cursing you, threatening you etc ... that is verbal abuse. If someone is hitting you ... that is physical abuse. No relationship is worth dealing with all of that! Let them go and ask God to lead you to a better person.

Negative People

There are many people in the world that are unhappy.  Their unhappiness can come from many sources and/or their personal situation. All of us have been unhappy at one time or another in our lives. Think back to a time when you were unhappy. How did you deal with it? I usually try and find a solution to my problem, that will turn my unhappiness into happiness. Some people however like to inflict their unhappiness onto someone who is happy (to bring them down). This can be a family member, friend, neighbor, co-worker etc. Ever heard the phrases, "rain on your parade" "debbie downer", "monkey wrench" "party pooper"? A person sees that you're happy (they're not) and wants to disrupt your happiness. Some people thrive on this type of behavior. They thrive, live, breathe on negativity. They never have anything positive to say about a person or good to say. They're always putting someone down. There's always a problem. Unplug from these type of people or limit your interaction with them. I've cut so many people out of my life. I connect with only a few people. You get tired of hearing them constantly complaining. Do it for your mental health. 

Entertainment

What are you watching on tv? at the movies? What music are you listening to? Believe it or not, it affects you! I'm not here to lecture you on what you watch or what you listen to, but HOW DO YOU PROCESS IT??? You can love CSI Miami, New York, Chicago, LA, but will watching all of these shows affect your sleep? You can love horror movies, but will they give you ill thoughts? You can love music, but will you curse out your significant other and/or child? Can you separate the entertainment from your actual life. How does it affect you? Entertainment can be a positive or negative influence. Be careful what you choose to watch and listen to.

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Thursday, May 25, 2023

How To Journal For Anxiety: A Complete Guide For Beginners

Photo by Mike Jones by Pexels

There are many ways to journal and even more reasons why people begin to journal. It can help people who want to become more organized, practice self-care, or help set goals. One significant reason for journaling is dealing with stress and anxiety to support mental health.

Anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems across the United States. It might seem trite to think that journaling is a way to cope with the stresses of everyday life. The guide below will explore how journaling can benefit those with anxiety and how you can get started today.

Journal Writing 101

Journal writing is the act of physically writing down your thoughts and feelings. Many people just start by writing whatever is currently on their minds when they sit down.

Writing forces people to organize their thoughts and focus on just one thing at a time. Journaling can provide a lot of clarity for people who feel scatterbrained, have significant concerns, and recognize patterns and emotions that pair with anxiety.

How To Begin Journaling

Before you sit down to write, ask yourself some important questions, such as, “Would I prefer a guided journal that helps prompt me with questions or a blank sheet of paper?” You may need to experiment here to find the journaling technique that works best for you.

Holding a pen to paper can be preferable, and some people may rather prefer sitting down at their laptops to type. You don’t have to limit yourself to one specific method of journaling.

You should also make it fun to journal, so you’re more likely to keep up with it. There are custom notebooks you can purchase, where you can add in fun incentives and extras like tabs, stickers and more to entice you to keep writing each day.

Some essential steps to follow that will help you throughout your journaling as you begin to include the following:

  • Be judge-free - there’s no proper or correct way of journaling. Write whatever you feel; don’t be critical of what comes out. Give yourself the benefit of the doubt and use what you write as a tool to help you relieve your stress and anxiety without judgment.
  • Develop a routine - there are bound to be days you don’t feel motivated to write or have anything inspiring to write down. However, establishing a routine with your journaling is the best way to make it a habit.

a. Helpful tip: Block out a specific time every day for just five minutes as you begin your journaling journey. Consider doing it with your morning coffee or just before you go to bed; this time-setting method helps you prioritize journaling and makes it a habit within your daily schedule.

  • Use prompts - journals that have prompts are helpful for beginners because they give you a topic to help you get writing. Here’s a list you can use when you start journaling to help you when you don’t know what to write about:

b. A challenging situation you’re dealing with;

c. One of your fondest memories;

d. Your favorite vacation;

e. A list of things you’re thankful for;

f. Write a letter to someone;

g. Lyrics to your favorite song and why it’s your favorite;

h. Positive affirmations;

i. Something or someone that made your day better.

  • Nothing is off limits - since your journal is just for you to help you with anxiety, there is no limit to what you can write about. Keep expectations realistic, and don’t expect to have complete stories or narratives in your writing. It’s okay to be messy and creative and write about anything that comes up.

Benefits of Journaling for Anxiety

Your thoughts influence how you feel, so if you’re feeling bogged down by something that’s plaguing you, you tend to think about it often, and it communicates with your feelings and emotions. The process of writing is a way to help release those pent-up emotions and thoughts, giving you more peace of mind.

There are studies proving that people who incorporated journaling reduced symptoms of anxiety and depression. With journaling, you can prioritize the things that concern you, providing clarity and recognizing triggers and avoid self care mistakes.

Journaling can supply you with a method to help relieve those feelings and help you feel calmer. For instance, maybe while journaling, you recognize that exercise helps you when you’re angry, so you can set new goals to exercise more often.

Keep in mind there’s no specific format to follow when you journal. Just get your thoughts and feelings down on a page, and allow yourself to become more in tune with your emotions so you can begin to release your anxieties.

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How To Be A Safe Driver

Being a safe driver is easier said than done, as you need to follow a variety of different steps to ensure you and your family can stay out of harm's way while you’re out on the road.

Thankfully, this handy guide is here to teach you exactly how you can become the safest driver around. Below you’ll learn some of the most effective tips and tricks that you can utilize to improve your skills and maintain total peace of mind while you’re driving, so what are you waiting for? Read on to discover more now!

 Photo by Lady Escabia from Pexels

Always Follow The Speed Limit

One of the most important steps that you must follow if you want to stay safe while driving is to follow the speed limit. Speed limits are predetermined by experts who take into consideration countless influencing factors, with each area or road boasting its own speed limit that may be very different just a few streets away. You must always look out for speed limit signs, both on the roadside and on any satellite navigation channels that you may be using to get around. Ignoring the speed limit could prove fatal in more ways than one - not only do you risk seriously injuring yourself, you can also put other people’s lives in danger at the same time. For example, school zones generally have a much lower speed limit thanks to the higher risk of children running into the street. If you ignore these speed limits and whizz through the roads quickly, then you won’t have enough time or space to stop when a child steps into the street.

Remove Distractions From Your Car

You must never allow any distractions inside of your vehicle whenever you are driving, as it’s your responsibility to ensure your full attention is directed at the task at hand. You cannot use your mobile phone while you are at the wheel, as texting or taking selfies will no doubt distract you from the road ahead. You also must take the time to advise your passengers of the need to focus, as they should not actively distract you either. If your children are causing mayhem in the backseat, then pull over to the side of the road to deal with the situation. Even children can recognize the danger of attention-less driving, so don’t let distractions put you and your passengers in harm's way.

Keep Kids Safe

Children require additional protection when it comes to vehicular safety. First off, they may need some kind of car seat or booster seat to make sure they sit safely and comfortably inside your car. Babies and young children are far too small for a normal sized car seat, and would subsequently not have full protection unless you take the time to buy them a more suitable chair. It’s a good idea to look into window tinting too, especially if you live in a particularly hot area that sees lots of sunshine. Lastly, make sure they understand the importance of wearing a seatbelt, and double check that they have this on before you even consider turning the key in the ignition.

Good luck with your quest to become a safe driver!

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Wednesday, May 24, 2023

Gem Fashion 101: Should You Mix Or Match?

When it comes to elevating your style, gemstones offer a unique touch. Each gem has its own story and charm waiting to be discovered. Incorporating these precious jewels into your outfits can be an exciting adventure. However, one question often arises—should you mix different gemstones or stick to matching ones?

The quick answer is it all depends on your style and preference. No matter what, your choice can take your style to the next level with stunning gemstones. Here are some tips and tricks for mixing and matching these jewels to help create stylish ensembles that reflect your individuality and personal taste:

Embrace The Power Of Colors

Colors hold the key to creating captivating gemstone combinations. Understanding the color wheel can help you master the art of mixing and matching. Complementary colors, such as blue and orange or red and green, offer a striking contrast that catches the eye.

For instance, imagine adorning your neckline with a breathtaking necklace embellished with Australian sapphires, showcasing their deep and mesmerizing blue hue. Pair it with a fiery garnet ring boasting a vibrant orange-red shade to create an eye-catching ensemble. The contrasting colors of blue and orange will make a bold statement, commanding attention and adding a touch of drama to your look.

Analogous colors are your best friends if you prefer a more subtle and harmonious approach. These colors sit adjacent to the color wheel and share similar undertones. To achieve a sophisticated ensemble, consider blending shades of purple and blue or green and yellow gemstones.

Picture an exquisite combination of amethyst and blue topaz or peridot and citrine. The analogous color scheme allows for a seamless transition between gems, creating a harmonious flow and an overall sense of elegance.

Explore Textures And Shapes For Visual Interest

Gemstones come in various shapes and textures, making them a versatile element to play with in your fashion choices. You can add visual interest and create unique focal points by incorporating different cuts and textures.

Experimenting with different gemstone cuts is an excellent way to add dimension to your jewelry collection. For example, consider combining a brilliant-cut diamond necklace with pear-shaped emerald earrings or an emerald-cut amethyst ring. The contrasting shapes create an eye-catching effect and bring a touch of artistic flair to your look.

In addition to shapes, textures can also contribute to the overall appeal of your gemstone ensemble. Mixing gemstones with varying textures can create an intriguing visual impact. You can pair a smooth, polished amethyst pendant with a rough-cut citrine bracelet. The contrast between the smooth and rough textures adds a captivating element to your overall look, making it more dynamic and visually engaging.

Strike A Harmonious Balance

Achieving a harmonious balance is key when incorporating gemstones into your fashion choices. Whether you're donning a statement necklace or opting for a delicate gemstone piece, striking the right balance is essential to create a polished and visually pleasing ensemble.

One effective tip is to let your statement piece shine by keeping the rest of your accessories simple. For example, if you wear a stunning necklace adorned with vibrant gemstones, keep your earrings, bracelets, and rings understated. This way, the focus remains on your statement necklace, allowing it to be the star of the show.

On the other hand, if you're going for a more minimalistic necklace with a single gemstone, you can experiment with layering delicate gemstone bracelets or rings. The secret is to create a balanced look where each piece complements the others without overwhelming the overall aesthetic.

For instance, you could pair a dainty emerald pendant necklace with stackable rings featuring smaller emeralds or other complementary gemstones. This layering effect adds depth and dimension to your ensemble while maintaining an air of elegance.

Dress For The Occasion

While gemstone fashion allows for creative expression, it's essential to consider the occasion and dress code. Adapting your gemstone choices to suit the event ensures you make a stylish statement while adhering to appropriate etiquette.

For formal events, opt for a polished and refined look by matching gemstones that complement your outfit's color palette. For instance, you can pair a stunning diamond pendant necklace with pearl earrings for a classic and elegant combination. Diamonds and pearls are timeless choices that exude sophistication and grace, making them perfect for special occasions and formal gatherings.

On the other hand, for casual gatherings or to add a pop of color to your everyday attire, you can mix and match vibrant gemstones for a more playful and fashion-forward statement. Consider combining a stack of multicolored gemstone bracelets or wearing a cluster ring featuring different gemstones. This allows you to showcase your unique style while adding a touch of whimsy and personality to your look.

Final Words

In conclusion, whether to mix or match gemstones depends on your personal taste and style. Using the color wheel, exploring different textures and shapes, finding balance, and considering the occasion can help create unique gemstone combinations. Embrace gemstone fashion as a way to enhance your style and express your individuality.

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Are There Solar Rebates in Michigan

Michigan is no stranger to looking to the sun to produce a lot of its sustainable energy. Things like residential and commercial-sized solar panels and large-scale projects like solar farms have found a home in the great state. But how much of that is made possible by government-backed solar rebates?

Are you considering installing solar panels in your Michigan home? It's a fantastic idea! Not only will you be taking advantage of Michigan's abundant sunshine and achieving energy independence. But you'll also be saving money with solar rebates! 

Let's explore what kinds of rebates and incentives you can enjoy in Michigan when you switch to solar power.

Read on and take a look at the Michigan solar rebates that you might be eligible for.

How Much Solar Panels Cost in Michigan?

As far as how much solar panels cost in Michigan, the average installed cost of a residential solar energy system in Michigan is around $14,000 to $21,000. It may depend on the size of the system.

While up-front installation costs may seem prohibitive, there are options for financing and rebates. It makes using solar energy a more affordable option for Michigan homeowners.

Solar Financing Options

Solar rebates are available in Michigan for consumers interested in solar financing options. Through the Michigan Saves Solar Now Loan Program, residential and commercial consumers can access a loan for the cost of solar installation.

This loan provides 0% down financing for up to $30,000. The program also offers a solar rebate equal to 20% of the loan amount to help cover the cost of installation.

Consumers may also take advantage of the Michigan Solar Solutions Grant Program. It provides residential customers with up to $10,000 in cash grants to offset the cost of solar installation. The Michigan Solar Solutions Grant Program also offers rebates to commercial customers on a case-by-case basis. These solar rebates are available to Michigan residents and businesses interested in exploring financing options for solar installation.

Why Choose Solar Power in Michigan?

Residents of Michigan have the option of harnessing the power of the sun to generate electricity through solar power. This can be done both through a large-scale setup and a smaller home-based setup.

Are There Solar Rebates in MichiganThere are many advantages of using solar power in Michigan, not the least of which is cost savings. To make switching to solar power even more attractive, Michigan offers solar rebates for both new home and business installations. This can provide an immediate and tangible financial benefit for those considering switching to solar power.

Besides the benefits of cost savings and other incentives, solar power in Michigan is reliable and has a minimal environmental impact. These are significant benefits that can make a big difference in promoting clean and sustainable energy.

Important Solar Installation Factors to Consider

Solar rebates offered in Michigan are an important factor to consider when selecting a solar installer. These solar rebates help to offset the cost of installing and maintaining a solar array over its lifetime. The long-term savings from a renewable energy system may offset any upfront costs of installation and maintenance.

Other important factors to consider include the type of solar technology chosen. Also, the local weather conditions and the condition of your property.

Additionally, it is essential to consider the solar company to install it. For professional and experienced service, you can call Blue Raven Solar.

Solar technologies can vary, and you should ensure that the one you select is best suited to your property's needs. The current weather conditions of your area may allow you to use more efficient solar technologies.

It can also decrease energy consumption due to lower sunlight hours. Finally, assess your property to ensure that the solar array can be installed and maintained.

How Do Solar Rebates Work in Michigan?

In Michigan, there are solar rebates from a variety of sources. Solar rebates may come from the state government, municipal government, and utility companies. Generally, renewable energy rebates will cover up to a part of the total system price.

Exactly how much can depend on the size and type of the system installed and how much energy is generated. The amount of the solar rebate can range from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand dollars.

Solar rebates offered by the state are administered through the Department of Environment. Many are first-come, first-served basis. Understanding the different solar rebate options available is important when deciding whether or not going solar is workable.

In 2008, the Michigan Renewable Energy Education and Research Act was passed. This act included regulations to increase the amount of renewable energy produced in the state, including the use of solar energy. To stimulate the use of solar energy, many state and federal tax credits and rebates are available.

Things to Consider Before Applying for a Solar Rebate

One of the first things to consider before applying for a solar rebate is if your state offers solar rebates. In Michigan, the answer is yes. The DSIRE website provides a comprehensive database of state-level incentives for renewable energy, including solar rebates.

Eligible Michigan residents can receive up to 25% of their solar purchases up to $3,000. It is from a rebate from the Michigan Public Service Commission’s Renewable Energy Program.

Homeowners should also consider the size of their system, the type of provider they are using, and their energy needs. They should also consider how much the rebate will cover the total cost. They should also check to make sure they are eligible based on the requirements of their local utility companies.

They should confirm that the solar technology they are installing qualifies for the solar rebate. Taking the necessary time to research and understand the solar rebate process is necessary. It will make the most of this valuable incentive.

How Much Can You Save on Solar in Michigan?

Depending on the size of your project, you can receive up to a 30% federal tax credit. The rebate for each system can be up to 50% of the total cost, with a maximum rebate of $2,500. There are also more state credits, which could mean an extra 5% of your project’s cost.

Through net metering, customers of several public utilities, including Consumers Energy and DTE Energy, can take advantage of extra $0.01/kWh credit for every kilowatt hour (kWh) of energy their solar system produces, offsetting their electric bill even further. Depending on the size of your installation and other factors, the amount of money you can save on your monthly electric bills can be significant.

Different Types of Solar Rebates Available in Michigan

Michigan residents interested in taking advantage of solar panel solar rebates should know that there are many types of rebates available. Solar rebates in Michigan vary, depending on the region and type of solar technology.

Solar Renewable Energy Credit Rebate

In some parts of the state, homeowners or small business owners may be eligible for a Solar Renewable Energy Credit (SREC) rebate. SRECs were introduced in 2001.

It is to encourage the generation of solar electricity by providing credits for energy production. Some utilities offer generous rebates to those who invest in solar energy.

Renewable Energy Production Incentives

Other parts of Michigan also offer REPI. These incentives help groups invest in renewable energy projects. It lowers their energy bills and helps the environment.

The REPI program is designed to offset the higher costs of renewable energy systems. It helps make them a more viable and cost-effective source of energy for Michigan residents.

Rebates are based on the amount of electricity produced by your photovoltaic system. It may range up to 40% of installed system costs. It is a great way for businesses and homeowners to take advantage of clean, renewable energy and save money on their energy bills over the long term.

Property Assessed Clean Energy Incentives

There are also PACE Incentives. It is a form of financing that works like a loan to help residential and commercial building owners pay for installation costs.

Most of the incentives are based on the generation and cost of the solar system installed. Solar installation costs are based on size, materials, and other factors such as energy storage. Depending on installation costs, the PACE incentive can pay rebates of up to 50%.

If property owners choose to finance their PACE system, they may be eligible to receive a 5-year property tax abatement. Also, people who install eligible solar equipment may receive a tax credit equal to one-half of the remaining installation costs. With all these incentives, it is clear to see why it is worth it to take advantage of solar rebates in Michigan.

Commercial Solar PV Rebate Program

It is offered by the Michigan Public Service Commission, along with some utility companies, such as Consumers Energy and DTE Energy. This program helps businesses, municipalities, and non-profit organizations reduce the cost of solar electric system installation.

Qualifying customers can save up to 40 percent of the total cost of their PV system. With the maximum rebate amount being capped at $500,000. 

This rebate program is administered by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. It requires that customers meet certain eligibility requirements.

Customers should also keep in mind that the largest rebate amount will vary depending on the type of PV system purchased. Some systems are more efficient and fewer panels may be needed, reducing the overall cost of the system.

Southeast Michigan Solar Grant

It is given by the Michigan Saves organization. It helps individuals and communities invest in solar.

While some of the rebates are location specific, they generally provide 25-30% of the cost of the solar panel installation. This grant covers up to 25% of the total project cost, not to exceed $20,000. It applies to the sale and installation of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems on residential and non-profit properties.

Michigan Solar Energy Production Tax Credit

The exact details of the current Michigan Solar Energy Production Tax Credit depend on the specific situation. The tax credit is available to Michigan residents who own residential solar energy systems.

The credit is calculated as a percentage of the total cost of a solar energy system. It can be applied against the owner’s income tax liability. Participating households may also be eligible to receive an extra 20 percent bonus.

It is above the base tax credit for systems installed before December 31, 2023. It is one of the most generous solar tax credit programs in the nation. It is an essential component of the development of Michigan’s solar industry and a great way for homeowners to save money on their energy bills.

Applying for Solar Rebates

Homeowners who install a solar photovoltaic (PV) system in their homes can qualify for one of two financial incentives that support their investment. Business owners and commercial entities are also eligible for a rebate for every DC watt of approved PV equipment they install in their facility. Applicants should start by researching the different solar rebate programs available in the region.

It’s important to make sure the system meets the efficiency requirements and that all paperwork is complete and accurate. Your application must include a copy of your PV system permit. It should have a detailed description of all equipment used in the installation.

After submitting all the necessary information, you can receive up to 30% of the total cost. To qualify for the rebate, homes must be located in Michigan and governed by the Michigan Energy Code. Homeowners must also submit proof of sale.

You should also have proof of installation of solar PV equipment from a Michigan Saves-approved contractor. The solar energy system must produce energy for at least six months.

This program was designed to encourage residential use of solar power. It also helps reduce energy costs for Michigan's residents.

Enjoy Sustainable Energy More in Michigan With Solar Rebates

Yes, there are solar rebates in Michigan - residents can receive a rebate of up to $7,000. Michigan residents should take advantage of solar rebates available to them. There are many potentials for rebates to help offset the expense of a solar installation.

Learn more and start saving today by contacting a solar provider or contractor and exploring your options. Start taking advantage of this great renewable energy source.

If you enjoyed this article and would like to read more like it, check out the rest of our blog now!

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Tuesday, May 23, 2023

How To Feel Fulfilled When Off Work

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio from Pexels

It can be hard to feel fulfilled when off work. But there are always things you can do to make the most of the day or days you have scheduled at home. Here are some quick ideas to get started.

Plan An Unforgettable Day

Your time off might begin immediately after your working day closes. And that means you can get started on enjoying yourself. Perhaps a good night out will suffice because you don’t have to get up early. Of course, take it easy and don’t drink too much. Or just relax while waiting for the next day. But to use a good day with excellent weather, why not see what great concerts this summer will bring. Maybe it’s time to see your favorite singer, band, or performance artist.

Get Some Pesky Errands Out Of The Way

It’s a really good idea to get errands out of the way on the first day off. By doing this, you can use the rest of your time off to enjoy yourself. Additionally, you won’t have the weight hanging over your head all week. So, if there’s shopping to be done, get going to the store. Laundry piling up? Check the pockets and wash whites separately. And if the carpet looks bumpy, get the vacuum out. You will also feel very accomplished when these are done and out of the way.

Feel Fulfilled When Off Work With Relaxation

Of course, time off work means you can simply relax. And there’s nothing wrong with that. So, get up early, get your chores out of the way, and then spend some time doing things that relax you. Perhaps make a home spa for a deeper feeling of calm and serenity. Or take up yoga as an alternative to strenuous exercise. And maybe get outside and visit a local park you have never really been to before. That’s also good for hobbies like photography, art, and even just reading.

Cook Something Special

A recent survey found that 25% of couples don’t eat together. But this provides a way to connect with your partner and enjoy something together. Plus, cooking a meal for someone is a very generous gesture considering the time and money it takes. Yet because you are off work, why not take the time to make a special meal? Forget the weeknight fish and chips and get stuck in learning a new cuisine, attempting a tricky dish, or spending more on a special cut of meat.

Spend Time With Family

Working full-time is a great way to provide for your family. But it can get in the way of developing relationships. So, if you are lucky enough to have children, there is no better time to make time for them than when you are off work. With the better weather right now, theme parks, attractions, and even outdoor activities are open for business. But a day out doesn’t need to be too expensive. Things like bowling offer family deals. But a family hike or cycling trip is free.

Summary

If you want to feel fulfilled when off work, it helps to address personal and family needs. You can attend something special, find ways to relax more, and spend time with your family on a trip.

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How To Live With An Anxiety Disorder

Living with an anxiety disorder can present unique challenges, but with the right strategies and support, it is possible to lead a fulfilling life. In this article, we will explore practical tips and techniques to help individuals manage and thrive while living with an anxiety disorder. While these suggestions can be beneficial, it's important to remember that professional guidance from a mental health expert is crucial for developing a personalized treatment plan.

Image by Gino Crescoli from Pixabay

Educate Yourself

Understanding your anxiety disorder is key to managing it effectively. Educate yourself about the condition, its symptoms, triggers, and available treatment options. This knowledge can empower you to make informed decisions, recognize your personal warning signs, and implement appropriate coping strategies.

Seek Professional Help

Consulting a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist, is essential for managing an anxiety disorder. They can provide an accurate diagnosis, recommend suitable treatment options, and offer ongoing support.

Therapy, such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), can equip you with effective tools to challenge negative thought patterns and develop coping mechanisms. Also, it would help if you get help nearby. For example, if you’re living in the Michigan area, Michigan Psychological Care can help you out with problems. Remember, the nearer and faster help is, the better the outcome.

Build a Support Network

Surround yourself with a supportive network of family, friends, or support groups who understand and empathize with your struggles. Share your experiences, seek their understanding, and lean on them when you need assistance. Having a support system can provide comfort, encouragement, and practical help during difficult times.

Practice Self-Care

Prioritize self-care to nurture your physical and mental well-being. Engage in activities that promote relaxation, such as practicing mindfulness or deep breathing exercises, pursuing hobbies, getting regular exercise, and maintaining a balanced diet. Taking care of your physical health can positively impact your mental state and reduce anxiety symptoms.

Establish Healthy Habits

Creating a structured routine and healthy habits can help manage anxiety. Establish a consistent sleep schedule to ensure adequate rest, maintain a balanced diet to support overall well-being, and limit caffeine and alcohol intake, as they can exacerbate anxiety symptoms. Regular exercise can also promote the release of endorphins and reduce stress levels.

Practice Stress Management

Implement stress management techniques to reduce anxiety. Explore relaxation techniques like meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or guided imagery. Engaging in activities that bring joy and provide an outlet for stress, such as art, music, writing, or spending time in nature, can be helpful in managing anxiety.

Set Realistic Goals

Set realistic and achievable goals to avoid feeling overwhelmed. Break larger tasks into smaller, manageable steps, and celebrate each accomplishment along the way. By focusing on realistic goals, you can reduce unnecessary pressure and maintain a sense of control.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Anxiety often involves distorted and negative thinking patterns. Practice challenging these thoughts by asking yourself if they are based on evidence or if there are alternative perspectives. Replace negative thoughts with positive and realistic ones. This process may take time and practice, but it can gradually reframe your thinking and reduce anxiety levels.

Embrace Relaxation Techniques

Incorporate relaxation techniques into your daily routine. Deep breathing exercises, progressive muscle relaxation, yoga, or aromatherapy can promote a sense of calm and relaxation. Experiment with different techniques to find what works best for you and make them a regular part of your self-care routine.

Monitor and Manage Triggers

Identify the triggers that exacerbate your anxiety and develop strategies to manage them. This may involve setting boundaries in relationships, avoiding certain environments, or practicing self-soothing techniques when faced with triggers. Recognizing and managing triggers can help you navigate challenging situations more effectively.

Conclusion

Living with an anxiety disorder requires patience, self-compassion, and an individualized approach to self-care. By implementing these strategies, seeking professional help, and building a strong support system, it is possible to manage anxiety symptoms and live a fulfilling life. Remember, each journey is unique, and it's important to prioritize your mental health and well-being above all else.

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