Biden slams critics of working with GOP: ‘Why don’t you all go home then, man?’

Former Vice President Joe Biden on Monday forcefully pushed back against criticism that he is naïve to think Democrats can work with Republicans in Congress after President Donald Trump leaves office.


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Top 5 Marketing Conceptions in the Home Improvement Industry

Contracting businesses are run by people with a variety of skillsets. Some came up the ranks through sales and are natural networkers and comfortable with canvassing. Others started in the trades, and are more comfortable doing the work than selling it. Very few came up through marketing, and as a result, many owners and general managers are suspicious of the cost, and value of marketing investments. In our dealings with contractors we have found five common marketing misconceptions that need to be debunked.

1. Exclusive leads are the best leads

Every business wants customers where there’s no competition, right? But when it comes to purchasing leads, is it really possible to get “exclusive” leads? Lead generation companies charge a premium to put you in touch with a homeowner searching for a contractor, when they state that you’re the only one getting the information. However, it’s often the case that those leads are not truly exclusive, because most homeowners search extensively online in advance of their project. According to our latest Modernize Homeowner Index Report, 51% of homeowners research their project online, and nearly 30% of them spend more than 10 hours researching their project before connecting with contractors. During that research time homeowners are reaching out to contractors directly, filling out multiple forms online, and getting input from friends and family. So, while there’s a premium fee for “exclusive” homeowner leads, it’s likely that several contractors in your area already know about it through various sources.

Another note to consider is that most homeowners want more than one contractor quote to feel confident they’re making the best decision about their project. Winning contractors know they need to serve the homeowner’s needs, which means you’re likely to compete with other contractors. Make your business stand out by with helpful and trustworthy guidance as they make their selection.

2. You can grow your business with referrals

Referrals and word-of-mouth business is the best, isn’t it? The recommendations of family and friends are among the most important factors for homeowners when they select a contractor. However, it’s hard to scale business solely through referrals. Home improvement businesses need to create a balanced marketing “diet” in order to achieve predictable growth throughout the seasons.

Think of your marketing mix as a financial portfolio – While one stock may perform consistently well for you, market shifts and slow periods are inevitable. It’s wise to diversify your portfolio for the sake of consistency and increased growth. In your marketing mix, you should have a balanced diet consisting of referrals, print ads, digital marketing controlled by your business, and leads from third party providers.

3. If a lead doesn’t close, it’s dead.

Many contractor sales people grow impatient with new business leads that don’t quickly turn into qualified prospects. Try changing your mindset, and try to stop using the impersonal label of a “lead.” Your prospects are living, breathing, people who own homes and are seeking services. They’re homeowners. These real people often need time between when they start making inquiries to when a project is completed. According to our research, 58% of homeowners pause their project because they found they weren’t financially ready for the complete project. That same research tells us that most homeowners are planning to begin their project more than 30 days after their inquiry (or form completion). Just because they need time does not mean they’re a dead or bad “lead”. Many homeowners need nurturing, such as consistent follow ups via email drip campaigns, direct mail, and phone calls. It’s usually a good idea to help homeowners understand how they can financially plan for their project . Can you deliver financing options for them? Shifting your approach to being a helpful source of advice instead of the hard sales pitch can help gain the homeowner’s trust and respect. Then they’ll choose you and refer you to their friends down the road.

4. Digital marketing doesn’t work

Contractors can easily get a bad taste in their mouth regarding marketing where the return on investment isn’t clear. And most contractors haven’t “connected the dots” to show how contacts turn into leads, then meetings, then customers. If you’re investing in digital marketing – and you should be – it is fully possible to know the exact returns from that investment. What you need is a system for lead source tracking. Luckily, there are a wider variety of tools available to provide clear lead source tracking through your sales funnel such as CRMs, Google Analytics, and marketing automation tools.

Traditional advertising, including radio and billboard ads, tv commercials, and canvassing offer virtually no way of tracking the lead back to the source. That is, unless you ask the homeowner how they found you, and they remember the specifics. Yet many home improvement businesses still pour money into traditional ads because they’re afraid of change. And because they’re not tracking lead sources throughout the sales funnel. If you put a good lead source tracking process in place, you can hone in on the channels and campaigns that really work. Then you can turn the volume up on the winners, while dialing down the underperforming sources.

5. Purchased leads are too expensive

Does it really make sense to spend $ 50, or $ 30 or $ 75 per lead when there’s no guarantee they’ll close? While every business owner knows they need to spend money to make money, many aren’t sure that investing in third party leads would provide a positive return. However many contractors do find that, for every $ 1 they spend, they realize $ 10 in revenue. However it does depend on the quality of the leads and how well they’re optimized throughout the sale funnel. Sure, there will be some leads you purchase that will never turn into a sale. Look at the big picture: suppose you purchase 100 leads at $ 50 each, for a total pilot investment of $ 5000. If 20% of those leads turn into an appointment, you’re paying $ 250 per appointment. If 20% of appointments turn into a project, you’ve spent $ 1,250 per project. If the average project size is $ 12,50, you’ve generated $ 10 for every dollar spent. Just as with any of these five points, there are some downsides, but if you focus on the big pictures of marketing, you can see there’s a overall positive return on investment.

Don’t fall victim to these common myths that can cost your home improvement business valuable dollars. Debunk the misconceptions that are keeping you from growing to your full extent.

The post Top 5 Marketing Conceptions in the Home Improvement Industry appeared first on Modernize.

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Frightening Exclusive ‘Annabelle Comes Home’ Clip: Beacon for Other Spirits

Frightening Exclusive 'Annabelle Comes Home' Clip: Beacon for Other Spirits

Real-life demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren, portrayed by Patrick Wilson and Vera Farmiga in Annabelle Comes Home (tickets now available), know evil when they see it or when they feels its presence. But they never expected to find such dangerous evil in the back seat of their own car.

In our exclusive clip, Ed and Lorraine have barely left a cemetery when Ed quickly has one surprising — and frightening — encounter after another. Lorraine, unsettled and frightened for her husband as she…

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Knock lets you ‘trade in’ your home: Here are 6 things to know

Knock home page

A cottage industry of new services has developed around buying and selling homes. Now, you can even “trade in” your home. At least that’s the premise of Knock, a real estate startup that wants to make trading in homes as easy as it is for cars.

Knock, which launched in Atlanta, Georgia, in 2016, promises to save customers the hassle of making repairs, listing their home and opening it up for multiple showings.

What is a Knock Home Trade-In and how does it work?

A Knock Home Trade-in works like this: The service buys your home from you in cash, which they say gets you the best price, and any “repair concessions” that may be needed.

You then work with a Knock Local Licensed Expert to get you pre-approved for a new home before making offers. This expert also represents you in the sale of your old home.

Here are 6 things to know about Knock

If you’re thinking about using Knock, or have used it in the past, here are some things to know so that you can get the most out of the service:

1. What markets does Knock operate in?

As of June 2019, Knock operates in five U.S. cities: In addition to Atlanta, there’s Charlotte, North Carolina; Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas; Phoenix, Arizona and Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina.

The listed cities generally don’t include adjacent suburbs but Knock does have plans to expand in the future.

2. Knock is also a home listing site

Like Zillow, Trulia and other sites, Knock also operates as a home-listing service. On Knock Deals, you can see the homes that Knock has listed in selected cities.

You can find home photos, neighborhood information as well as a map that shows other Knock homes and their listing price.

3. How much does Knock buy your home for?

Knock will typically buy your home at a 3% to 5% discount, according to the website. To sell your home, Knock charges a 6% commission, which is the typical rate for an agent.

The good thing is that you can move into your new house before your old one is listed.

4. How exactly does Knock sell your home?

You may be wondering how Knock can sell your home. Knock uses an array of online marketing strategies to sell your dwelling, including MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Google, Facebook, and old-fashioned yard-signs, among other ways.

5. What costs are the homeowner’s responsibility?

You’ll be responsible for paying for a home inspection before Knock purchases a house for you. Typically, you can pay for that — which should cost around $ 500 — at closing.

6. What types of homes does Knock buy & sell?

Knock specializes in homes that have a clear title and are owner-occupied. They like homes that are worth at least $ 150,000 or combined valuation of $ 350,000-plus for your old and new home.

Knock does not deal with homes that are in age-restricted communities, distressed sales or those with foundation/structural problems.

Conclusion

Knock is one of many services that aim to make home buying and selling easier. Before you go this route, read some reviews about the process as well as feedback on Knock agents.

No matter what service you use, money expert Clark Howard says would-be home buyers usually make crucial mistakes early in the process — but you can be the exception. Here are 10 things to know before buying a home.

Here are more Clark.com articles you might enjoy

The post Knock lets you ‘trade in’ your home: Here are 6 things to know appeared first on Clark Howard.

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Home flippers hire Uber and Lyft drivers to scout properties in a pricey housing market

Competition is so fierce in the home flipping market that some investors are hiring Uber and Lyft drivers to help them scour a wider territory for possible properties.
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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Trump speech hit a D-Day home run and other commentary

Conservative: Trump’s D-Day Speech Was a Home Run President Trump’s “gracious, moving” and “poetic” speech commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day may have been the best of his presidency because he focused on “reviving America’s national spirit, sovereignty and strength,” contends The Washington Free Beacon’s Matthew Continetti. When “Trump connects heroism and valor to nationhood…
Opinion | New York Post

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Customer Success Video: Woodbridge Home Exteriors

Woodbridge Home Exteriors has been fulfilling homeowners’ exterior home improvement needs in the Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas area for over 25 years. Their specialty in replacement windows, siding, and doors makes them a perfect fit for Modernize lead generation campaigns.

Rebekah Lopez, Marketing Manager, for Woodbridge Home Exteriors took a break from her busy schedule to meet us at the Modernize headquarters in downtown Austin, Texas. Watch the video or read through our interview below to find out how we helped them increase their revenue by more than $ 2.5 million in the past year.

 

 

I’m Rebecca Lopez and I’m the Marketing Manager for Woodbridge Home Exteriors. We do replacement windows, siding, and doors. We’re in Texas, Oklahoma, and Kansas so we do about 3,000 jobs a year and about $ 40 million volume. With Woodbridge, I run all of our traditional marketing, so I do all of our media, television, radio, newspaper, and direct mail. I also do all of our digital marketing like managing our website, handling our Google Adwords campaigns, and any third party digital lead aggregators that we work with.

How has your relationship with Modernize progressed?

“We started at a pretty small scale with Modernize – we just wanted to test it out since these were
a new type of lead that we hadn’t really worked with before. After a few months of seeing really good results, we were ready to scale. We’ve scaled quite a bit and have increased our volume and have seen some really good success!”

What more can you tell us about that success?

“So, we’ve been working with Modernize for just over a year now – We’ve done over $ 2.5 million in net revenue from Modernize leads. I’ve been really pleased with the consistent KPIs that we see. Our set rates, issue rates, and our close rates have all been really steady and predictable and in a good spot to bring us to a positive ROI.”

What is important to you in your relationship with Modernize?

“As a Marketing Manager, I’m constantly working to optimize all of our lead sources and see where we can get better so it’s important to me that a company I’m working with is doing that on their side and they’re equally invested in ensuring the quality of that lead and the experience of the homeowner. Modernize is extremely committed to making sure that the quality is good on the user (the homeowner side) as well as on our side (the contractor side). I’ve been really impressed with the amount of work and the consistent work that Modernize has done to constantly make it better – even when we’re doing great we’re looking for what we can do better.”

How do you work with Modernize to improve?

“I’m sure there’s a lot that goes on in the backend – I see it from my Account Manager. My Account Manager is always prepared for our meetings, always bringing her own data to the table, always looking at what I’m sending her so I can dig into it on my side and she digs it into it on her side and together we always find a solution if there’s a problem or we find new ideas for things that we hadn’t explored before.”

What are some keys to success?

“Definitely the most important thing is to have a well-equipped and successful call center – the bottom line must have! We contact the customer as soon as possible – as soon as we receive the lead goes into our database – we have technology in place to make sure that they’re getting called right away. We’re also making sure that we reach out to them multiple times through multiple avenues like calling, texting, sending an email, if we don’t get a hold of them then we’re going to call them back in an hour – we’re going to call them multiple times over the next couple of days or weeks if we don’t get a hold of them. Besides setting the appointment and being on top of getting in touch with the homeowner, reviewing the data on a regular basis, working with my Account Manager, looking for trends, looking for what we can drill down into and dig into if a KPI is not where we’re used to seeing it. We can break that data down and find out what’s going on.”

Can you describe your relationship with Modernize in one word?

“If I was going to describe Modernize in one word, I think I would choose partnership
because it really is two-sided. They bring just as much work to the table as I do, and we really work well when we work together.”

Ready to grow your business?

The post Customer Success Video: Woodbridge Home Exteriors appeared first on Modernize.

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How Safe is Your Home? 12 Spots to Doublecheck This Month

Your home should be your refuge from the world—the place where you can feel the most safe and secure. Unfortunately, almost half of all accidental injuries happen in the very place we go for solace: at home. That’s especially true in homes with children or seniors. Many household injuries could have been prevented by taking extra care to safeguard the most dangerous spots in the average home.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Trump embraces time abroad as trouble brews at home

President Donald Trump’s sojourn to Britain is, so far at least, a smooth and only marginally controversial success, at least by the turbulent standards of his foreign trips. But his strategy of constant confrontation has created a clutch of showdowns that threaten to erupt upon his return at the end of the week.


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How To Wash a Suit at Home

Now, you may be thinking why would I ever want to attempt something so sartorially risky as putting a heavily structured garment like a suit jacket or blazer in my washing machine at home?

The simple answer is because there are techniques you can use to wash them in your machine without any fear of damaging the garments and therefore, save money that you otherwise would have had to spend at the dry cleaners. Wouldn’t a wool suit get ruined and shrink in the wash? You might be wondering. Again, the answer is no. Not if you’re using the proper techniques.

In the broad strokes though, do fight the urge to take your garments to the dry cleaner every time they need to be washed because the harsh solvents used in dry cleaning will degrade and break down garment fibers over time. Furthermore, water doesn’t actually shrink wool garments rather the agitation that can be caused by a washing machine or more likely a dryer will cause wool fibers to seize together or felt. Therefore, the primary thing you should be looking out for when washing your garments is preventing felting or for non-woolen garments, other damage to the fibers.

Step By Step Washing Process

Preston Schlueter in the process of folding a suit jacket before washing
Preston Schlueter in the process of folding a suit jacket before washing
  • You’re going to want to make sure that the garments in question are properly folded in order to minimize excess agitation that might occur during washing. First of all, turn your trousers and/or your waistcoat inside out before folding them so that any potential felting will be on the inside of the garments. Second, you should end all folding processes not by folding into thirds but by rolling from the bottom to the top as tightly as possible but without causing any undue bunching. By rolling your garments tightly, you’re going to minimize how much they can move and thus prevent any felting that might occur.
Do not forget the mesh bag for your delicates!
Do not forget the mesh bag for your delicates!
  • Place each individual rolled garment into its own separate mesh washing bag. The bag should also be rolled up as tightly as possible and secured with safety pins as necessary.
  • Add an appropriate amount of cleaning agent to your washing machine depending on the number of garments being washed. A general ratio of about one tablespoon per garment works well for small loads and for larger loads, just follow the standard directions for your specific machine. A gentle cleaning agent like wool and cashmere shampoo should be added to the drawer of the machine if you are washing wool suits, and soap flakes can be put directly into the drum of the machine if you’re washing non-woolen suits.
  • You don’t have to select the cycle for woolen or delicates on your machine if all of your garments are properly secured in their individual mesh bags; the Express cycle is fine for most applications. Once the machine is finished with all of its cycles, promptly remove your garments from the washing machine and take them out of their individual mesh bags to prevent any additional creasing.
  • The water temperature on the machine should be set to warm or about 30°C – 40°C .

Drying Techniques

Dry your garments on a rack to maintain its natural shape & structure
Dry your garments on a rack to maintain its natural shape & structure

A word of warning here, don’t use your dryer as the heat and agitation that will occur inside the machine are prime conditions for felting your garments which of course, you don’t want rather each of your garments should be laid flat in their natural shapes on a drying rack. You can speed up this drying process a bit by first laying a clean towel down on a work surface.

With each item in its original shape, gently roll the item up in the towel like a sleeping bag to remove some of the excess water. Wait a few seconds, unroll the towel, and then place the garments on a drying rack. You can reshape or block your garments a bit with your hands while they’re on the drying rack just to make sure that everything is shaped as properly as possible. After most of the moisture has evaporated, you can move your jacket from the drying rack back to its original hanger just to make sure that its shoulders and other padded areas dry in their natural shape.

Kent Clothes Brush - Use in between wears to remove lint
Kent Clothes Brush – Use in between wears to remove lint

A few additional tips here, avoid placing your garments in direct sunlight or near heat sources like a radiator while they’re drying as this can cause shrinking or yellowing of the fibers. Also, never hang wet woolens up right away as gravity will pull on the water that’s still locked into the fibers meaning that your garment’s shape will probably be distorted. To remove any wrinkles after your garments are dry, using a garment steamer is best on structured items like jackets. If you’d like to intentionally reintroduce a crease to a garment, say on the legs of your trousers, for example, that would be a good time to use an iron. If any pilling has happened to occur to your garments, you can take a pill comb and gently run it across the fabric in one direction to remove those pills. Also, using clothes brush in between wears is a good way to more generally remove lint, fuzz, and hair from your clothing.

Hand-Washing & Spot Treatment

If you can believe it, hand washing suits is actually a little bit trickier than machine washing because working these structured garments around in a basin and trying to wash them completely can be a little bit unwieldy. If you’re trying to wash the entire garment, using your machine is actually best.

For spot treatment of specific areas, all you have to do is use a small amount of the relevant cleaning agent and a little bit of warm water and gently blot at the stain. Don’t scrub at it or you might felt woolens and otherwise damage different types of fibers.

CONCLUSION

There you have it! All the techniques necessary to wash your suits in your washing machine at home. If you’re still apprehensive about trying this method, we would suggest that you do it with a non woolen suit first as it will probably be a little bit less temperamental and there will be no chance of felting.

Are you courageous enough to attempt this method of washing your suits? Share with us in the comments section below!

Thanks to the Laundry Evangelist’s Laundry Camp for many of the tips shown in this video. If you ever have the chance to visit it at the Mall of America, you should do so.

If you enjoyed this post, you will also like

  1. How to Get the Musty Smell Out of Clothes
  2. Wool Sweater Maintenance
  3. Cheap and Easy Laundry Hacks


Gentleman’s Gazette

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Next 3 Vera Farmiga Movies: ‘Annabelle Comes Home,’ ‘The Conjuring 3,’ ‘The Many Saints of Newark’

Next 3 Vera Farmiga Movies: 'Annabelle Comes Home,' 'The Conjuring 3,' 'The Many Saints of Newark'

Like all mothers, Vera Farmiga is not one to steal the spotlight, but she does so anyway in Godzilla: King of the Monsters, now playing in theaters everywhere. Farmiga stars as Dr. Emma Russell, a scientist who shares her passion for saving the world with her daughter Madison (Millie Bobby Brown). Even after events begin to spiral out of control, Dr. Russell firmly maintains her integrity and willingly takes decisive action to protect the ones she loves.

The Academy Award-nominated actress…

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How Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Are Revamping Their Frogmore Cottage Home

Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Royal BabyPrince Harry and Meghan Markle are turning their new house into a home.
Since moving into Frogmore Cottage nearly two months ago, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not only adapted to…

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April pending home sales fall unexpectedly

Home shoppers signed 1.5% fewer contracts to buy existing homes in April compared with March, according to the National Association of Realtors' Pending Home Sales Index. Sales were 2% lower compared with April 2018.
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Prince Harry Leaves Meghan Markle & Baby At Home To Play Polo For His Charity In Rome | PeopleTV

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ Tops Moviegoers’ Most Anticipated Summer Blockbuster

'Spider-Man: Far from Home' Tops Moviegoers' Most Anticipated Summer Blockbuster

Spider-Man: Far from Home topped Fandango's Most Anticipated Summer Movie Survey, voted upon by more than 2,000 moviegoers. The next installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe follows Tom Holland as the beloved web-slinging character, who heads to Europe after the game-changing epic Avengers: Endgame and discovers an entirely unexpected and exciting adventure.

Disney's all-new live-action adventure The Lion King was named by moviegoers on Fandango as the most anticipated family…

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Home Updates You Can Do Over The Weekend

Weekends are fantastic for laying back and relaxing, getting away on a short adventure or tackling some of those to dos around the house! If your weekend plans involve tackling your home, here are a few affordable home renovations and updates that can be completed quickly but will have a major impact on the look and feel of your home.

5 Home Painting Hacks

A Little Paint – While painting your entire home is probably too big of a job for a single weekend, a fresh coat of paint in key places can update the feel of your home very quickly. Some great examples include your front door, a feature wall in your home or a piece of outdoor furniture that needs a facelift.

Editor’s Favorites, Spring 2019

Accessorize – Much like adding jewelry can take an outfit from simple to stunning, hardware and light fixtures can make all the difference in a room. If your cabinetry is in good shape, simply swapping out the hardware for a more modern style can really freshen up the room. Cabinet hardware, light fixtures, door handles and other hardware are easy to update with huge impact.

Linen Closet Organization Hacks

Get Organized – Well planned organization can make a huge difference in both the look and function of a room. This might mean adding cabinets and shelving to organize your garage or basement storage areas. Or, perhaps installing a closet organization system in the main bedrooms to improve use of space is on your list. There are many systems available that you can customize yourself to create the organization system that fits your needs.

Essentials for Outdoor Living

Move Outside – Prepare for the coming summer months by setting up an outdoor living space for yourself. This might include adding potted plants, planning out the living space and purchasing furniture to meet your needs, adding landscape lighting to improve the look and function of your outdoor space or repairing and refinishing an existing deck! You’ll end up with a beautiful space that you will enjoy for many weekends to come.

From updates big and small, or even just funding a weekend away, a home equity loan can be a quick and easy way to access the equity in your home, allowing you the extra funds needed to complete your projects and update the look and feel of your home! Talk to a Tribecca Home Equity Specialists today to find out who we can help you create your dream home!

The post Home Updates You Can Do Over The Weekend appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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Home sales fell in April despite a big drop in mortgage rates

Sales of existing U.S. homes fell 0.4% in April compared with March to a seasonally adjusted annualized rate of 5.19 million units, according to the National Association of Realtors. Sales were 4.4% lower compared with April 2018.
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3 Handwritten Wills Found in Aretha Franklin’s Home

(PONTIAC, Mich.) — Three handwritten wills have been found in the suburban Detroit home of Aretha Franklin, months after the death of the “Queen of Soul,” including one that was discovered under cushions in the living room, a lawyer said Monday.

The latest one is dated March 2014 and appears to give the famous singer’s assets to family members. Some writing is extremely hard to decipher, however, and the four pages have words scratched out and phrases in the margins.

Franklin was 76 when she died last August of pancreatic cancer. Lawyers and family members said at the time that she had no will, but three handwritten versions were discovered earlier this month. Two from 2010 were found in a locked cabinet after a key was located.

The 2014 version was inside a spiral notebook under cushions, said an attorney for Franklin’s estate, David Bennett.

Bennett, who was Franklin’s lawyer for more than 40 years, filed the wills on Monday. He told a judge that he’s not sure if they’re legal under Michigan law. A hearing is scheduled for June 12.

Bennett said the wills were shared with Franklin’s four sons or their lawyers, but that a deal wasn’t reached on whether any should be considered valid. A statement from the estate said two sons object to the wills.

Sabrina Owens, an administrator at the University of Michigan, will continue to serve as personal representative of the estate.

“She remains neutral and wishes that all parties involved make wise choices on behalf of their mother, her rich legacy, the family and the Aretha Franklin estate,” the statement said.

In a separate court filing, son Kecalf Franklin said Aretha Franklin wanted him to serve as representative of the estate in the 2014 will. He is objecting to plans to sell a piece of land next to his mother’s Oakland County home for $ 325,000.

Judge Jennifer Callaghan in April approved the hiring of experts to appraise Franklin’s assets and personal belongings, including memorabilia, concert gowns and household goods. The Internal Revenue Service is auditing many years of Franklin’s tax returns, according to the estate. It filed a claim in December for more than $ 6 million in taxes.

Franklin’s star, meanwhile, hasn’t faded since her death. She was awarded an honorary Pulitzer Prize in April, cited posthumously for her extraordinary career. A 1972 concert film, “Amazing Grace,” was released with much praise from critics.

The estate is involved in “many continuing projects … including various television and movie proposals, as well as dealing with various creditor claims and resulting litigation,” Bennett said.


Entertainment – TIME

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Expert Advice for Your Home

Experts answer your questions to help better your home!

WHEN STARTING A HOME RENOVATION, WHAT SHOULD I PRIORITIZE FIRST?

Start with the outside and work your way in! What matters is what you don’t see. Is the roof in good condition? What’s behind the walls? Is it insulated properly? Those types of core issues need to be dealt with before you start on the pretty things inside. – Mike Holmes JR will appear in Season 4 of Home to Win, premiering on HGTV Canada this fall.

Watch This Full Segment And More On Demand At MarcAndMandy.com


What is a Passive House?

This is the most ecologically friendly and sustainable construction. The main cause of loss of energy in traditional homes are thermal bridges that allow the easy transfer of heat or cold energy. Passive Homes feature continuous insulation around the outside of the building with no thermal bridges, resulting in dramatically reduced energy costs, improved air quality and increased comfort. – Rick Stacey, www.rascomgreenbuild.ca

How do I ensure my glass shower enclosure won’t leak?

Choose a 3 Point Anti Leak system that includes hinges, side seal gaskets and a threshold. The hinges overclose by 5%, pushing the door against the gaskets for a nice, tight close. The threshold runs across the opening of the door with a slight slope to roll water back into the shower. – Tara Hreljac, www.doorsandmore.ca

What materials are available for kitchen cabinets?

Classic kitchen cabinetry is usually made from solid wood, painted wood, laminate or thermofoil. Modern kitchens are using more wood, glass, and synthetic materials or a combination of materials. Designs are also more convenient than in the past, offering more options for storage and customization! – Shinya Mikawa, www.canadoo.ca

What steps can be taken to ensure accuracy when framing a home?

One important step is to create in-depth shop drawings. They are created specific to our scope of work including supplier details of materials and structural items being used, issues unique to the site and the like. We essentially build the house on our software before commencing the project. This allows us to identify all irregularities before construction begins. These drawings allow construction to move quickly, minimizing errors and producing a high quality of work. – Wall-Up Carpentry, www.wall-upcarpentry.ca

I have a four bedroom house. Will combining a small bathroom and bedroom into a larger bathroom affect my home’s value?

This is an excellent decision as bathroom and kitchen upgrades add substantial value and reducing from 4 to 3 bedrooms won’t negatively affect your value. If you had fewer bedrooms, the opposite would be true. – Marcia Bergen, www.marciabergen.com

How can I ensure a quick sale in a competitive market?

Make sure your home is move-in ready, up to date and in good condition. Potential buyers can be very picky and finding one small hidden problem will actually lower their perceived value of your home overall. If funding is an issue, speak to a home equity loan specialist about using existing home equity to fund the repairs needed so you can sell your home for a higher value, faster. – Amit Anand, www.Tribecca.ca

Why is it important to survey for water before drilling?

Way too many homeowners spend thousands of dollars on drilling that results only in expensive dry holes or very low yields. Using research with Seismo-electric technology (Seismic Ground Water Detection) and equipment prior to drilling allows you to minimize risk and maximize yield. – Gary Kehler, www.waterfind.ca

What is involved in a truly sustainable build?

When building a sustainable home, we have to consider more than just energy efficiency. Truly sustainable building includes reducing waste during construction, building with healthy products with minimal chemical off-gassing, choosing local or recycled materials and investing in materials that will last longer and require minimal maintenance over time. Our goal is to reduce long term costs for heating and maintenance while reducing environmental impact. – Cal Dueck, www.dueckbuilders.com

How can I fit a tub and separate shower in a small space?

In this small bathroom, well placed lighting and a glass shower enclosure allows light to move so the space feels larger. The freestanding tub is placed at an angle which allows a larger tub to fit in the space and looks decorative at the same time! – Shawn Jones, www.thehomeimprovementstore.ca

The post Expert Advice for Your Home appeared first on Home Trends Magazine.

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How to feel more at home when you’re at a hotel


You’re either a hotel type of person or not. Some find staying in hotel rooms uncomfortable, mostly finding it hard to relax and unwind in an unfamiliar room. Whereas for others, it can be an exciting experience, almost like a haven for you to get the best night sleep you’ve had in ages.

It’s no surprise that some people find hotel-living a difficult thing because living out of a suitcase can be a bit of a tiresome chore. Even if you’re in the most beautiful paradise location, sometimes you can never feel truly settled. Homesickness can sink in, and all you’ll be longing for is the comfort of your own room, in your own home.

Well if you’re that type of person, here’s some of our best tips and tricks in giving your hotel room that touch of home comfort.

Photo: BURST

Unpack and get organized

Rule number one – unpack your suitcase! A lot of people fail even to remove the contents of their luggage and place them into the storage provided – but this is a necessity if you want to feel genuinely comfortable.

Sanitize

If you’re a bit of an OCD clean freak that’s stressing about the cleanliness of your room, then first things first – sanitize! Always, ALWAYS check the bed sheets…and possibly bring along some sprays and cleaners to go over main areas, i.e. floorings, bathrooms, etc. Plus, sanitizing wipes are great for going over surfaces, remotes, door knobs, phones that kind of thing.

Bring some candles along

If you love your candles, then why not bring along your favorite smelling candle from home to fill the room with a relaxing ambiance. If you struggle to relax in a hotel, then candles are a fantastic way to destress your worries and get into a healthier positive mindset.

Prepare the iPad

Hotel TV can be a bit limited, and the screen is more than often in an awkward place – some don’t even have one! So if you’re a bit of a night-owl and like to unwind in front of the telly watching one of your shows, then bringing along your iPad can make a big difference to your hotel room stay.

Bring your favorite treats

Most of the time, hotel refreshments just don’t cut it. If the minibar isn’t up to scratch, it’s always nice to bring along some of your favorite goods – this could be a couple of mini bottles for a well-deserved nightcap, or. one of your favorite night time teas or morning coffees. Everyone knows having your favorite beverage and snack for the morning time is an essential.

Photo: BURST

Remember the right toiletries

It’s also necessary to bring all of the right toiletries too. Go through your daily getting-ready regime properly, and make sure you don’t forget any fundamentals to ensure your morning runs as smoothly as it would at home. Forgetting your particular shampoo, skincare care and dentist care can be all it takes to annoy you in the morning time.

Whatever the reason, no stay at a hotel should be a challenging experience. In fact, it should be the total opposite -a pleasant, relaxing, and enjoyable break from home. You are ultimately paying a price for your stay, so follow our tips and make the most of it!

The post How to feel more at home when you’re at a hotel appeared first on Worldation.

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The Modernize Glossary of Terms: Financing a Home Improvement Project

Welcome to the Modernize glossary of terms for anyone in the process of, or considering a home improvement project. It’s always advisable to discuss and check with your local contractor how various financing options and programs might affect your project but our guide is here to help familiarize you with some common terms you might encounter along the way. Bookmark this page and advise it whenever you are considering the next step of your project or signing paperwork that will inevitably include some of the terms below.

Modernize regularly updates this list so check back for new information.

Amortization

This term applies to the different allocation of loan repayment, wherein a portion of each mortgage payment, for example, pays partially for the comprehensive loan balance and partially pays for the accrued interest.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

When homeowners (or anyone, for that matters) finances a home improvement project (or anything, for that matter), the interest rate on their loan can be viewed in a yearly way, otherwise known as the annual percentage rate. A loan’s APR is a good measure by which to determine the cost of that loan over any given year but also over its entire lifetime. Homeowners can, therefore, calculate what it will mean to their budget to take out any given loan.

Cash-Out Refinance

Put simply, this type of refinancing replaces an existing mortgage with one worth more and the difference is immediately paid out in cash to the homeowner refinancing. Of course, then the homeowner owes than they did to begin with and carry the associated risks of increased debt. This type of refinancing requires built-up equity in a home before it can be used.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

In its own language, the CFPB is a US government agency designed to “makes sure banks, lenders, and other financial companies treat you fairly.” From answering people’s questions about personal finance to acting as a repository for complaints about unsavory practices, the CFPB is a great resource for any homeowner considering financing anything, but especially when it comes to large-scale investments in long-term projects like home improvement. The agency was erected as a result of the passing of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Learn more at consumerfinance.gov.

Closing Costs

Commonly known as settlement costs, these refer to the cost of securing a mortgage — closing the deal. According to finance site lendingtree.com, common items include

  • Title insurance
  • Escrow fees
  • Lender charges
  • Real estate commissions
  • Transfer taxes
  • Recording fees

Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

Commonly known as Dodd-Frank, this 2010 law is named after its original sponsors, Senator Christopher Dodd and US Representative Barney Frank. Largely aimed at banks, the law serves to protect consumers from predatory lending and financing programs. One result of the law was the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

ENERGY STAR Program

This volunteer-based resource from the Environmental Protection Agency is designed to help homeowners save money on home improvement projects, as well as other endeavors, that aid in protecting the climate.

Learn more at energystar.gov.

Escrow

When money is being handed off between two parties like a contractor and a homeowner, for example, or a buyer or seller, escrow is often utilized. It is a third party that is not part of the transaction and who is, therefore, able to hold on to security funds until the process of the transaction is complete.

Equity

Simply put, this is the calculated difference between what a homeowner owes on their home or property and the appraised (or market) value determined for it. The more of a loan a homeowner pays, the higher that homeowner’s equity in the given property.

Home Energy Renovation Opportunity (HERO) Program

Part of the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Model, the HERO Program provides financing for energy-efficient, water-efficient, and renewable energy products in California and Missouri. Local municipal governments collect annual property taxes to pay for the loan program.

Home Energy Score

This Department of Energy-developed program helps homeowners seeking to improve their property’s or home’s energy costs or efficiencies with “directly comparable and credible information about a home’s energy use.” In other words, the program can help a homeowner compare apples-to-apples the worthiness of a product or service as it regards that homeowner’s energy use.

Learn more at betterbuildingssolutioncenter.energy.gov

Home Equity Line of Credit

A home equity line of credit, otherwise known as a HELOC, allows homeowners to borrow money against their home’s equity. HELOCs are generally flexible but limited by a home’s value, and they also carry the risk of foreclosure.

Home Equity Loan

In contrast to a home equity line of credit (or a HELOC), this loan allows a homeowner to borrow money against the value of a home over the amount of any or all mortgages levied against the property. Since the home itself is the security for the loan, it can result in large amounts of borrowed assets. For all intents and purposes, a home equity loan is a kind of second mortgage.

HomeStyle Energy Program

This program from loan provider Fannie Mae lets borrowers get loans valued at up to 15% of their home’s appraised value to finance “energy-efficient upgrades when purchasing or refinancing a home,” according to the Department of Energy.

Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Model

PACE programs are mechanisms by which private property owners (or homeowners) can more easily finance energy-efficient and renewable energy improvements on their property and using private sources of income. Local municipal governments collect annual property taxes to pay for the loan program.

Private Mortgage Insurance

Commonly known as PMI, this insurance protects a lender against a possible default by a borrower. Borrowers in many cases are forced to pay for PMI when a lender deems the given loan as risky enough to merit it.

Preapproval Or Pre-Qualification

Given basic information about a homeowner, for example, a lender might determine that person to be appropriate for a loan. No actual paperwork or fact-checking has been done but a bank, as an example of a lender, is tentatively interested in lending that homeowner money.

Residential Property Assessed Clean Energy (R-PACE) Model

As distinguished from the commercial PACE programs, these are designed specifically for residential homeowners, yielding different allowances and results.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credit

This financial assistance in the form of tax credit applies to up to 30 percent of a renewable energy installation, a solar paneling system, for example. It is important to note that this federal credit is for systems placed in service by Dec. 31, 2019.

Title I Property Improvement Loans

The federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) helps insure private lenders against losses they might incur from loans they provide for property improvement. This insurance applies to “both large and small improvements,” according to HUD.

Learn more at hud.gov/program_offices/housing/sfh/title/ti_about.

The post The Modernize Glossary of Terms: Financing a Home Improvement Project appeared first on Modernize.

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The Week in Movie News: ‘Star Wars’ Returns Again in 2022, New ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer and more

The Week in Movie News: ‘Star Wars’ Returns Again in 2022, New ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Trailer and more

Need a quick recap of the past week in movie news? Here are the highlights:

BIG NEWS

New Star Wars trilogy begins in three years: Disney revealed its known slate of movies for the next eight years, with dates slotted for Marvel, Avatar and Star Wars installments. The last of these franchises will kick off a whole new trilogy in December 2022 with the other two installments alternating with Avatar sequels in the same month through 2027 [via Variety].

 

Richard…

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Today in Movie Culture: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Easter Eggs, the Science of the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Timeline and More

Today in Movie Culture: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Easter Eggs, the Science of the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ Timeline and More

Here are a bunch of little bites to satisfy your hunger for movie culture:

 

Easter Eggs of the Day:

This week, tickets became available for Spider-Man: Far From Home two months in advance of its release – and we got a new trailer for the sequel, too. This spot reveals a lot about how the movie relates to the events of Avengers: Endgame, but how many details did you miss? Here’s ScreenCrush with a breakdown of every Easter egg and plot clue in the latest ad for the…

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10 Cool Things We Learned From the Set of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

10 Cool Things We Learned From the Set of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

A lot has happened since the events of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and a lot has been revealed about the state of the Marvel Cinematic Universe since Fandango visited the set of its follow-up, Spider-Man: Far From Home, in August 2018. But there’s still much to share, things that Sony and Marvel were able to divulge to press at the time — impressively without giving away anything regarding Avengers: Endgame — about the plot and characters of the upcoming sequel. …

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Home price gains keep shrinking, but housing is still overpriced

Home prices are less heated this spring, but the largest metropolitan markets are still overpriced. About 40% of the nation's top 50 markets, based on the number of homes, were overvalued in March.
Real Estate

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Exclusive Interview: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Director Jon Watts Breaks Down That Wild New Trailer

Exclusive Interview: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Director Jon Watts Breaks Down That Wild New Trailer

Click image to enlarge

 

Warning: The following will contain spoilers for Avengers: Endgame

 

As Avengers: Endgame continues to smash box office records and rank among the highest grossing movies of all time, fans are now turning their attention to what comes next in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Well, what comes next is Spider-Man: Far From Home, a sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming that will answer a lot of questions all of us have after experiencing the dramatic,…

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The 6 Best Home Improvements You Can Make in Allergy Season

Prepare yourself for seasonally elevated pollen counts as well as all-year-long allergy triggers like dust and mold by taking care of a few home maintenance tasks and adding some useful equipment to your shopping list.

The following article is paid advertising created in partnership with SupplyHouse. Its facts and opinions are those of BobVila.com.

Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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Key Lime “Cheesecake” | Home Made Simple | Oprah Winfrey Network

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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These 8 Home Makeovers Prove the Power of Paint

They say that first impressions are everything—and there’s no better way for your home to make a good first impression than with a fresh coat of paint. Better yet, a new paint job is a relatively quick and easy way to transform a space. If you need more proof of paint’s remarkable abilities, check out these 8 home makeovers in which paint played a starring role—then rush off to the hardware store to pick up some swatches and start planning your own home transformation.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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U.S. Pending Home Sales Jump Much More Than Expected In March

A report released by the National Association of Realtors on Tuesday showed pending home sales in the U.S. jumped by much more than expected in the month of March. NAR said its pending home sales index surged up by 3.8 percent.
RTT – Economic News

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Next 3 Marvel Movies We Want to See: ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home,’ ‘Black Widow,’ ‘Black Panther 2’

Next 3 Marvel Movies We Want to See: 'Spider-Man: Far From Home,' 'Black Widow,' 'Black Panther 2'

No spoilers here, but Avengers: Endgame is definitely living up to expectations that it would define a generation of movies. Whether that's solely Marvel's 10-year series of superhero adventures or, more broadly, the most recent epoch of ambitious blockbusters, we're happy to raise the question with an eye to the future.

Indeed, what can Marvel do to top Avengers: Endgame? In brief, the focus will remain on individual characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. We've…

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First Look: His and Hers Master Makeover | Home Made Simple | Oprah Winfrey Network

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

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Armoire to Bar Transformation | Home Made Simple | Oprah Winfrey Network

OWN

SPECIAL NEWS BULLETIN:

http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

CHARITY UPDATE :

Click today to request your free ACRX discount prescription card and save up to 80% off of your medicine!

SPECIAL DONATION REQUEST UPDATE:

Please help American Consultants Rx achieve it’s biggest goal yet of donating over 30 million discount prescription cards to over 50k organizations in an effort to assist millions of Americans in need. Please click here to donate today!

Naomie Harris thrilled to return to her mother’s home country for Bond 25

OHMYGOSSIP — Naomie Harris says it’s “amazing” to be able to shoot ‘Bond 25’ in Jamaica because it is her mother’s home country.
It was confirmed on Thursday (25.04.19) that the 42-year-old actress will reprise her role as Eve Moneypenny for a third time in the new 007 adventure alongside returning cast members Ralph Fiennes, Rory Kinnear, Lea Seydoux, Ben Whishaw, Jeffrey Wright and Daniel Craig – who is playing the British spy for the fifth and final time.
The movie will begin with Bond off active service and living a tranquil life in Jamaica and shooting is already underway.
‘Skyfall’ star Naomie revealed that her family “went crazy” when she told them she’d be returning to the franchise and says they’re “so excited” that the movie is being filmed on the Caribbean island because it is where he mother was born and grew up before she emigrated to London.
Speaking during a live Q&A announcing the cast and confirming shooting is underway, Naomie said: “All I thought about was my family actually I just thought, ‘Oh they’re gonna go crazy.’ And they did go crazy, they threw a massive party and it’s been like a whole celebration. It’s not like I just got the job it’s like the whole family got the job and they’re so excited about it, they’re all huge Bond fans, it means so much to all of us. They’re all so excited because it’s happening here [Jamaica]. I’m Jamaican, that’s where my roots are from, so it’s amazing that it’s being launched here, so amazing.”
The film’s producer Barbara Broccoli added that its “incredible” to be shooting in the country where James Bond author Ian Fleming, lived when he created the iconic character.
She said: “It’s incredible to be here this is where James Bond was created 57 years ago.”
The film will see Bond return to the same beach that featured in 1963’s ‘Dr No’ and 1973’s ‘Live and Let Die’.
Other locations for filming include London, Italy, Norway and Pinewood Studios.

Source: Herald Mail Media
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Houseplants are the ultimate stress reliever you need in your home

Words by Maisie Bovingdon 

April is here, and that means it is Stress Awareness Month.

Some people battling with stress, left feeling on edge or anxious, may turn to calming apps such as Headspace or Calm, attend yoga classes or speak to a therapist. But wellness expert Emma Mills has insisted there is another very simple way to put our minds at ease – houseplants.

Research has shown plants in the home can reduce tension in people by almost 40 per cent, because they remind us of the outdoors, nature, and a slower pace of life, which is instantly calming.

The award-winning British author and consultant – who specialises in meditation and wellness – exclusively told Marie Claire UK: ‘By bringing the outside in and enriching our indoor spaces with houseplants, this reminds us of a natural simple way of living. A pace of life that is slower yet still incredibly intelligent, beautiful and efficient.

‘Plants remind us of a natural, simple way of living. A pace of life that is slower yet still incredibly intelligent, beautiful and efficient.

‘Human beings are hardwired to respond positively to the natural environment. For example, studies now show a significant reduction in stress when plants are introduced to the workplace with a 37 per cent fall in anxiety, 38 per cent decrease in fatigue and 38 per cent reduction in hostility and anger.’

Emma has insisted not only having greenery indoors can relieve stress, but the act of watering plants can do wonders for the mind too.

Emma, and a spokesperson for The Joy of Plants, Chanel De Kock, tell us everything we need to know about the health benefits of plants in the home…

How and why do houseplants help to relieve stress?

Chanel: ‘Green is the most predominant colour on the planet after blue. Green balances our energies, and it can be used to increase our sensitivity and compassion towards others, and the care we put into our plants is also an act of mindfulness, connecting us with nature.’

Emma: ‘Usually in our day to day working lives we have a directed sharp focus, heavily concentrating on the screen for example, or intense analytical thinking in a meeting. This is important and useful. Yet after a while we can fatigue our attention and this isn’t without consequence. Attention restoration theory suggests that certain things that can relieve us of our attentional fatigue, one of which is plants and the natural world.

‘Studies have suggested looking at nature or plants – even photos of plants, that are fascinating but not demanding – can switch the brain into a different mode of processing better suited to relaxation, gentle focus and creativity. ‘Further ideas by the human species report into the global impact of biophilic design in the workplace suggest that working in natural elements brings a 15% spike in reported wellbeing and 15% increase in creativity.’

Are some plants bigger stress relievers than others?

Chanel: ‘It all depends on your capabilities when taking care of plants. Large foliage plants do help to create a serene space that brings a sense of calm with it, but if you’re not able to stick to a once weekly watering (and misting schedule if needed), that will not be beneficial to relieving your stress.

‘Choose a plant that will work for you – the last thing the plant should do is cause anxiety. If you are a beginner, opt for low maintenance plants like yucca, dracaena or a zz plant (zamioculcas). They will instantly inject green into your space and you will feel a sense of achievement, and zen.’

‘We believe that all plants are equal in terms of relieving stress, but from an aesthetic point of view, plants with softer, rounder or trailing shapes tend be more relaxing as they appear to be friendlier than plants with hard, striking architectural forms. Imagine walking into a room filled with plants that look ready to welcome you with an embrace – a ficus Lyrata or monstera with their huge rounded green leaves also adding lots of green, and a wall covered by flowing green plants like rhipsalis, Devil’s ivy and hoyas spilling over like cascading waterfalls from a shelf. Visually, these plants will create a more relaxing space for you to stop, relax, and breathe.’

When did you notice that plants helped with your mental health?

Emma: ‘Both houseplants and gardening have always been a big source of joy for me over the years, playing a role in my own wellbeing and the guidance I share with others. Being close to nature has significant and wide-ranging health benefits and that’s why I encourage people to enjoy the natural world as often as possible. I am hugely passionate about helping you to feel happier and healthier through not only meditation, but a holistic approach to life guided by a balanced diet, regular exercise and quality sleep— as well as taking time for the beauty of art and nature. I believe that small steps each day can make a big difference to your wellbeing.’

The Joy Of Plants has revealed there are five must-have houseplants we all need in our homes, or office, to create a space of zen, and with Lidl selling a string of houseplants for under £3.

Monstera

Monstera

Monstera is a must-have because it helps to balance energies and boost your mood.

This plant is in its element when placed in bright, natural light with poor ventilation, and it needs moderate watering.

Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s Ivy

Devil’s Ivy is said to bring luck and good fortune to your home, as well as extra zen – perfect!

This must-have, which gets its name from the heart shaped leaves, needs to be OUT of direct sunlight and draughts, although a spritz of water is all it needs – simple, right?

Asparagus Fern

Asparagus Fern

The Asparagus Fern is a very strong and sturdy houseplant that is easy to care for, so it’s perfect for a homeowner with a hectic lifestyle.

This shrub thrives when it receives daylight, although it shouldn’t be in direct sunlight.  If you want to bring out its full green glory treat it to some houseplant food each week from May to September, then stand back and watch it grow. We promise it won’t turn into a scene in Little Shop of Horrors.

Dracaena

Dracaena

This houseplant will make you feel like you’ve just got off a flight and landed in an exotic climate with its vibrant leaves.

Similar to Devil’s Ivy, all the Dracaena needs is to be in a light and airy space, away from direct sunlight, with only a light mist every now and again.

Aeschynanthus

Aeschynanthus

Aeschynanthus is also known as the lipstick plant because of its red flowers, but the name isn’t the only reason it’s a fan favourite.

While we may be swooning over the heatwave this April, this plant is not. It needs to be out of indirect sunlight and watered only moderately but be careful not to soak the soil.

And for those who have a true love of plants, this may be the perfect job for you.

Now time to fill our homes with greenery!

The post Houseplants are the ultimate stress reliever you need in your home appeared first on Marie Claire.

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Scouted: The Best Travel Coffee Table Books That Let You Explore The World Without Leaving Your Home

About twice a month, the Daily Beast Travel section features some of the best (and most beautiful) coffee table books that focus on travel in a series called Just Booked. We’ve rounded up the eight you should have with you to showcase and appreciate the beauty that is all around you, from brutalist architecture to intricate library ceilings to the most influential maps ever created.

Theater of the World: The Maps That Made History by Thomas Reinertsen Berg, $ 35 on Amazon: “The book gets its name from Flemish cartographer Abraham Ortelius’s atlas Theatrum orbis terrarum (Theater of the World). Like Ortelius, Berg has built upon generations of work and woven it into a digestible dive into everything from cartography to illustration and mapmaking. While not as hefty as some of our past selections, this mid-size book may be the most likely to cause you to lose a guest in its pages.” –  Read More Here

California Captured: Mid-Century Modern Architecture by by Emily Bills, Sam Lubell, and Pierluigi Serraino, $ 31 on Amazon: “One of the best at documenting the explosion of this style in California after World War II was the photographer Marvin Rand. The book overflows with Rand’s gorgeous images capturing the aesthetic in all its simple So Cal glory.” – Read More Here

Read more at The Daily Beast.

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Thailand tows bitcoin trader’s floating home; owners may face death sentence

Thailand's navy has towed a floating home owned by an American bitcoin trader and his Thai girlfriend. They currently face possible death sentences or life imprisonment.
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4.22.19 Which home improvements pay off?; Ponzi scheme busted; How to cut dental care costs

Which home improvements make sense in order to maximize your money?; A ponzi scheme was busted in Florida and ordered to pay over a billion dollars in fines; How can you cut the costs of your dental care?

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The post 4.22.19 Which home improvements pay off?; Ponzi scheme busted; How to cut dental care costs appeared first on Clark Howard.

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The Yi home camera with pan, zoom, and motion tracking is down to just $38 today

Yi Dome Camera

Before you go and spend $ 200 on a Nest Cam that just sits there and gives you a view of a portion of a room, you definitely need to check out the deal Amazon is running right now on the YI Dome Camera. This excellent $ 50 wireless home cam can pan around and entire room, and it can zoom as well. But we’re not just talking about manual controls in the app — it even has an automatic motion tracking feature that will follow people around the room and record video the entire time! It’s worth every penny at $ 50, but a 10% on-site coupon and the special coupon code 9XM4WEMZ slash the price all the way down to $ 37.99. You’re crazy if you pass up this great deal.

YI Dome Camera 1080p HD Pan/Tilt/Zoom Wireless IP Security Surveillance System with Auto-Cruise…: $ 37.99 (use code 9XM4WEMZ)

Here’s some additional info from the product page:

  • 1080p High-definition, 112° wide-angle advanced glass lens combined with 345° horizontal & 115° vertical rotation range create a complete 360° coverage. Advanced night vision with 8 built-in 940nm infrared LED beads extend the viewing distance to 3 meters in pitch dark with no light pollution, so your baby or pet will not be disturbed by LED glare.
  • Responsive and advanced microphone with a built-in anti-noise filter for a clear 2-way Audio experience. Intercom Mode: one party to talk and listen at a time or Hands-free Mode: both parties talk and listen freely for maximum flexibility.
  • Receive real-time Activity Alerts while you’re out. 10-sec motion tracking records and centers the moving object. Bookmark your favorite positions (up to 8) and return to them at the tap of a button. Select Auto-Cruise to survey the area 360° horizontally or cruise your bookmarks, suitable for large areas that need a quick scan (and tracks moving objects).
  • YI Dome integrates with your YI Home family in one simple interface. User-friendly and intuitive app to customize your settings: activity alerts, auto-cruise, bookmarks, camera sharing, customize schedules, and more. Supports connectivity to a large number of devices with the same app/account for maximum convenience. Available for iOS and Android.
  • Supports YI Cloud to avoid the risk of losing footage from a SD card, ensure all your videos are safe and protected. We provide the most efficient compression and the highest protection of data, so you can be sure that your footage is secure. Reliable Wi-Fi connectivity to access your camera with YI Home App on mobile device, and YI Home App on PC* at anytime, anywhere. Built-in support for 802.11b/g/n 2.4Ghz (5Ghz currently not supported) Wi-Fi band. *PC App is for viewing only

YI Dome Camera 1080p HD Pan/Tilt/Zoom Wireless IP Security Surveillance System with Auto-Cruise…: $ 37.99 (use code 9XM4WEMZ)

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  1. The Yi home camera with pan, zoom, and motion tracking is down to just $ 38 today

The Yi home camera with pan, zoom, and motion tracking is down to just $ 38 today originally appeared on BGR.com on Mon, 22 Apr 2019 at 09:03:50 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.


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