5 Tips To Hire the Best Window Replacement Contractor

Replacing windows in your home is a worthwhile, but costly, investment. Because your windows keep you safe from the outside elements, they are one of the most important features of your home—not to mention an indicator of upkeep and maintenance to anyone considering whether to buy it. A trustworthy window replacement contractor is your safest and highest quality option if you want the project done correctly, both in the short and long term.

At Modernize, we frequently speak to homeowners about their home improvement projects. In our recent interviews, half of the homeowners who undertook a window replacement home improvement project did so to increase the value of their home, and 80 percent of them found a contractor for the job through referrals. But it’s important to properly vet and research contractors before choosing your perfect fit, even if a friend or a family member personally vouched for them.

Here are some tips to keep in mind while you make the pick.

1. Get to Know Your Window Replacement Needs

A trusted contractor will be able to assess, identify, and explain potential improvements or upgrades to your home’s windows. Still, it’s best to approach your search for a contractor with some idea in mind of what you need—and even what you don’t need. This will ensure your project is focused and lessen the opportunity for unnecessary and costly improvements you didn’t want in the first place.

If your windows are shattered or broken during a storm, for example, they need to be replaced or repaired immediately to restore your privacy, safety, and comfort—not to mention your property value. But not all window damage is easy to distinguish. And if it goes undetected, it can cause bigger issues—like structural or foundational damage—down the road. Damage to your windows from seasons past might have gone unnoticed, or prior homeowners may have neglected problems you have now inherited like mold or poor insulation.

It’s always good policy to triple check for new—and old—indicators. Hail damage, for example, could result in damage that is not as apparent as broken glass, from torn screens to cracked glazing and dented flashing. Wind damage could leave behind dents in the glass, damaged frames, or cracked siding.

If you do find some damage, carefully document it and safe proof your house against hazards it might cause. A reliable contractor should still double check your work. But seeking estimates with specific information in your hand will make the vetting process that much more easy and, ultimately, successful.

2. Aim for the Most Reliable Window Replacement Contractor

To ensure a long-term and sustained increase to home value, a reliable contractor is key. There’s a lot to consider under the umbrella of reliability. In recent interviews, 90 percent of homeowners requested a checklist to help them find and vet contractors. Modernize now offers homeowners a free, digital Contractor Checklist as a simple, step-by-step guide to assist with your windows project.

Here are some things you can do to ensure you find the best possible window installation contractor.

Ask for Referrals

A strong majority of homeowners approach all home improvement projects by first gathering referrals. Some of the most common approaches are:

“Call them. Pick up the phone, ask them a lot of questions, and if possible go and see [the completed work],” recommends Skip Bedell, who stars in HGTV’s Catch a Contractor. “I’ve found that if people are really proud of the job that was done on their house, most of the time they don’t mind letting other people come by and see it.”

Vet Your Options

One of the most important parts of your search is vetting different contractors and comparing their work.

  • Request quotes from three to four contractors in your area.
  • Visit the website of each contractor.
    • Is it updated and professional looking?
  • Explore the customer reviews for each contractor.
    • Are they mostly positive? Consider negative reviews and responses.

Talk to Your Favorites

Once you have a short list of your top choices, get them on the phone. A trustworthy contractor will appreciate an opportunity to discuss your project further, and a conversation allows you to get to know them. While you know best what you want to learn in the conversation, here are some questions we recommend you ask:

  • How long have you been in business?
  • How much experience do you have with window repair or installation?
  • What is your project estimate?
  • Can you provide a list of references?
  • Can you provide proof of insurance for personal liability, worker’s compensation, and property damage coverage?

“If they’re not licensed and not insured, you don’t want them in your house. Period. End of story,” Bedell advises. “The license is a huge help in that if you have a problem later on, you can go to the licensing agency and get assistance in filing any complaints.”

Meet the Finalists

Meet in-person with your top contractors to review project-specific details and expectations. You can use Modernize’s free worksheet for homeowners to compare contractors. Be sure to bring up the following with each contractor:

  • Ask to see proof of insurance, which should provide their insurance company name, policy number, and policy limits.
  • Discuss who will manage warranty details and responsibility.
  • Make sure to get a fixed price before signing a contract.

3. Don’t Wait Until Your Windows Need Replacement

If a recent storm blew out a window or caused peripheral damage requiring a window replacement, you will want to get the project done as quickly as possible. But you certainly don’t need to wait for a storm to blast through before creating a meaningful relationship with your local windows contractor.

If you have a trusted contractor who has perhaps offered you an assessment of your house’s windows, shown you options for new windows, or helped you learn the needs of your home, you will have less work to do when an emergency does arrive. You could stop by showrooms to take a look at windows or use Modernize to find local window replacement contractors. Whatever tool you choose, we recommend you do so on your own time instead of under the stress of an emergency.

The right time to find a reliable contractor is now.

4. Be Aware of Warning Signs and Avoid Hidden Costs

As with contractors for any home improvement, some are not honest professionals. Before choosing your contractor for an affordable window replacement, be sure you can trust them and that their estimate is transparent and complete.

Door-to-door contractors, for example, flock to areas impacted by storms, and scam unsuspecting homeowners with offers that boast pre-payment or covered deductibles. The best way to avoid scams is to choose a local, trusted contractor—someone who has been around and stuck around, and whose reputation and reliability are central to their success. You can confirm this by checking their physical business address and validating their licensing.

Here are additional warning signs that can protect your window replacement budget:

  • Avoid contractors who request the entire project cost, or large cash deposit, up front. A down payment shouldn’t exceed 10 percent or $ 1,000. “If someone is asking you for a huge chunk of money before they’ve done any work at all, that can raise a red flag,” Bedell explains.
  • Avoid anyone who pressures you to sign a contract immediately.
  • Be wary of any outliers in your quotes. All estimates should be relatively similar unless the material type is significantly different.

When it comes to window replacement projects, there are some hidden costs homeowners could be surprised with down the line. The best way to avoid these is to ask the contractor about them.

A great example of a hidden cost for window replacement projects is complications with lead. If your home was built before 1978, your walls are likely coated in lead-based paint. In recent interviews with Modernize, all homeowners with older units were surprised about this possibility. Windows carry a higher lead exposure risk due to their exposure to outside elements and paint friction—renovations and repairs can create toxic lead dust. Testing for toxic lead typically costs between $ 200 and $ 400. If you have an older home, talk with your contractor about a lead paint test, and how it could impact the cost of your window replacement project.

Other examples include old window disposal and framing changes. Here is Modernize’s full review of the possible hidden costs in window replacements.

5. Evaluate Window Replacement Contractor Quotes the Right Way

The best contractor is not always the cheapest contractor. And the best window replacement quote isn’t always the lowest.

A recent Modernize survey revealed 63 percent of homeowners compare three to four contractor estimates ahead of a home improvement project. Evaluating multiple quotes helps homeowners scope their budget and encourages contractors to be competitive with their pricing. It’s important to understand your window estimates and why quotes may vary from each other. Before comparing your own set of estimates, see our guide Evaluating Contractors’ Window Replacement Quotes.

Here are some musts in any estimate you find:

  • Lots of details
    • The more description the better, what Bedell calls “every aspect of the work.”
  • Clear start and end dates
    • An experienced contractor should be able to know when your windows will be replaced and good to go. “This is hugely important,” Bedell says, “because another big problem that people run into is when a contractor says it’s going to take two weeks to do your job and six months later he’s still there because he only came one day a week.”

Comparing contractors is easy and effective with our free worksheet to help homeowners find the best window replacement contractor. No matter what you use to determine who will replace your windows, it’s important you keep in mind that saving money today could cost you much more money later if the windows don’t hold up or, more realistically, the process to replace them is shoddy. Quality, especially when it comes to your windows, is a lifelong investment.

The post 5 Tips To Hire the Best Window Replacement Contractor appeared first on Modernize.

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10 life-changing retreats worldwide: readers’ travel tips

In havens from Inverness to India, readers have discovered their better selves through yoga, meditation and writing courses

Dhanakosa, on the banks of beautiful Loch Voil, near Balquhidder in central Scotland, is truly a place to stop, breathe, unwind and take stock. Amid the glorious scenery, you eat delicious, healthy vegetarian meals (and can even take a recipe book home), do yoga, hill walk, learn to meditate or reinvigorate your practice and your life. It’s the perfect place to come if you just want some time out to reset yourself. I’ve come here for the weekend and for a week. They operate on the Buddhist principle of Dana or generosity. You pay the deposit of £75 (for a week) or £50 (weekend) and then from a suggested scale (from £285 to £445 for a week). It’s a magical place.
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Carolann

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Top 5 Marketing Tips to Get Ahead in 2019

Marketing is changing. Traditional promotional methods are not as successful as they used to be. How can you make sure that your content marketing strategy is not staying behind?

It’s the perfect time to start thinking ahead to adjust your plans for the next 12 months. Here are five tips to get you thinking of what you need to improve in 2019.

Ready to grow your business?

The post Top 5 Marketing Tips to Get Ahead in 2019 appeared first on Modernize.

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Want to Start a Side Hustle? These 10 Tips Will Help Set You Up for Success

Side hustles can be a great way to supplement your income or satisfy your entrepreneurial spirit. Who knows — having one might someday lead to a more fulfilling job opportunity.

Experienced side hustlers will tell you there’s a lot you can do in the beginning to build a solid foundation for your gig. So if you’re thinking about taking on a new venture, here are 10 tips on how to start a side hustle that will help you avoid future headaches.

Find Out How Much Side Hustle Time You Have Available

McKinzie Bean, creator of the

When juggling a day job and starting a side hustle, time is precious. McKinzie Bean is the operator of Moms Make Cents, a website aimed at helping moms build their own businesses.

She advises people to document their normal routines for one week before starting their side gig so they can see how much time during the evenings and weekends they spend doing things like cooking dinner, watching Netflix, doing chores, etc. Bean recommends using time tracking smartphone apps like Toggl when offline and Google Chrome extensions to monitor time spent on the internet.

You can see how much time you really have for a side hustle once you cut unproductive activities from your schedule.

“In your first year, you do have to dedicate a lot of time to your side hustle,” Bean says. “Just see which pieces you’re willing to give up because it is going to take some sacrifice to get to that point where your business is growing.”

Research if the Side Gig Is Worth Doing

Now that you know how much free time you have available, consider whether it’s feasible to add a side gig on top of a regular job.

Alex Tran is a full-time digital marketing strategist who operates five separate side hustles, including teaching yoga and reviewing activewear.  She recommends searching Google and YouTube to see if there’s a need for your side hustle and to determine how time-consuming it can be. During your research, see if other people are doing something similar and ask if they are willing to offer their advice.

“Say, ‘Hey, I work full time right now, but is it possible that I could just do this maybe six hours a week?’” she advises. If they respond, they may tell you how much of a financial and time commitment it will be to get your business off the ground.

Find Out Whether You Need to Inform Your Current Employer

One thing to consider before starting a side hustle is determining whether the gig will interfere with your day job. Every company is different, and some may have strict guidelines on what employees can do outside of work, Bean warns.

Do yourself a favor and dust off the employee handbook to see if there are any rules against side jobs. The last thing you need is to lose your primary source of income because you forgot to tell your boss about your budding side gig.

Set Some Office Hours

When Bean and her husband started working on their website 2 1/2 years ago, they set a schedule to keep them on track during the evenings. For example, she’d work for an hour on the site after her husband got home, then he’d take over after dinner. She says having a schedule in place was critical for them.

Also included in their schedule was at least one social or family activity per week to avoid burnout. “There was always one piece in the week that we could look forward to,” Bean says. “A few hours where we could recharge and be rejuvenated.”

Open Separate Business Accounts

Trish McDermott poses with baby gear in front of the trunk of her car

It’s never too early to start thinking about tax season. Trish McDermott is a longtime side hustler and co-founder of BabyQuip, a baby gear rental service for traveling parents. She tells people to open a bank account and credit card dedicated solely for their business.

Doing this provides you with a true-to-life snapshot of the financial results of your side hustle. “That snapshot is really difficult to see if you’re commingling your personal transactions with your side hustle,” she says.

By having all your side hustle income and expenses in one place, you can see trends and other relevant information to improve your business. Plus, she says, your accountant will appreciate it when it’s tax time.

Develop an Organization System for Your Paperwork

Instead of throwing all your receipts into a shoebox, consider setting up a digital filing system. “As a side hustler, you have to maximize your time,” Bean says.

Most of her receipts and invoices are sent via email because she runs an online business. To save time, Bean uses free basic automation software, such as If This Then That (IFTTT), to automatically save her receipts into a Google Drive folder.

For physical receipts, she takes photo backups using the smartphone app CamScanner. That way everything is saved on her phone or computer, ready to go for tax season.

Design Templates to Work Smarter

Tran encourages people to set up a task workflow in the early days of their side gig. For example, if your side business is in copywriting or involves creating a lot of documents, she encourages people to design templates.

“Have a system down so you can streamline it when you start to scale your business.” These templates can have the basic format laid out so all you need to do is change out the unique details. That way, you’re not starting from scratch on every project.  

Find Industry-Specific Groups

McDermott says there are many industry-specific groups and communities available on social media for side hustlers. In these LinkedIn and Facebook groups, you can learn from other professionals working in your field as they share advice. McDermott recently discovered a Facebook group for freelance social media managers and was blown away by the information and resources they were sharing among themselves.

“Those kind of connections nowadays are so easy to find, and so fruitful,” she says.

Create a Productive Home Environment

Your home office needs to have minimal distractions. Two ways to ensure this include following a set work schedule and having everything you need in the office, McDermott says.

By following the same work schedule, your family, neighbors and others know not to bother you during designated times. Plus, if you have everything you need at your disposal, you don’t need to leave the room.

“Having the tools you need to do your work available in the space you’re doing it prevents you from wandering around the house and deciding that you should start the dishwasher,” she says.

Don’t Wait for Perfection — Just Go For It!

Whether it’s posting on social media, launching a website or starting a company, McDermott encourages aspiring side hustlers and entrepreneurs not to get paralyzed by perfection, which can get in the way of execution. Her outlook is to do it the best you can and fix what doesn’t work as you progress.

“There’s no company on the face of the planet that has gotten it all right all the time,” she says.

In her opinion, the rewards are more significant for entrepreneurs who take risks and are willing to bring their energy and passion to whatever they do.

“You just can’t wait around to be perfect,” she says. “Someone else will take the idea and run [with it]. Just go!”

Matt Reinstetle is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. He covers side hustles and the gig economy. If you have a side gig story idea, message him on Twitter @MattReinstetle.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Great tips for visiting Las Vegas

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Las Vegas is one of the coolest places in the world. Whether you want to see Elton John in concert, go on a crazy shopping spree, stand at the top of a half-sized replica of the Eiffel Tower or gamble your life savings on red, there is so much to do, see and explore in Vegas. Here are some top insider tips on how to make the most of your fantastic trip!

Never pay full price for a hotel room!

One of the biggest attractions in Vegas is the hotels, and because there are so many, the competition is hot, and so there is never any reason to pay the full amount for a room. Do some research on the best deals you can get for when you go, and remember that part of the fun of Vegas is nosing around other hotels so it’s not like you will miss out!

Get that room upgrade

So, you’ve found yourself a great price for a hotel room, but why not be a little cheeky and ask for an upgrade too? When you check in, handover a twenty and ask if there are any upgrades available. If there are, fantastic, they will keep the tip and upgrade your room. If there aren’t any upgrades, they will usually give you your twenty dollars back, and you won’t have lost anything. Also, if you are celebrating a special occasion such as a wedding, anniversary or birthday, make sure you let them know, and often you will get a little treat such as a bottle of champagne!

Escape the strip

The strip is the main stretch of Vegas and is where most of the action is happening, however, if you want to buy a bottle of water, for example, just walk one block away from the strip, and you will be able to get it for much cheaper! Locals will often avoid the strip due to the tourist markups, so look for discounts (and quite often better offerings regarding food, drink and even casinos!) just off the strip where the locals tend to go.

Catch the Deuce

Although the strip looks walkable, it’s a lot longer than it looks and in the desert heat, it can be a real struggle. The Deuce bus goes all the way along the strip, and even downtown so get one of the passes that allow you unlimited journeys over several days and hop on and off as you please. It’s also a great way to see all the sights and different hotels without shelling out for a pricey cab!

Choose the slow season

Vegas is always going to be busy; however, July, August, and mid-December are known as the slow season when things are a little quieter. This means prices should be a bit lower at least and queues for attractions will be somewhat shorter. You’ll have a much better time if you go during a quieter period, but unlike a lot of other places with off-season periods, the atmosphere will still be there!

Full doesn’t always mean full

If you are driving around Vegas and looking for a parking space, do not be disheartened by a “full” valet parking sign. If you slip the valet 20 bucks, they will usually manage to find a spot for you. Money talks in Vegas!

The most important tip for visiting Vegas is to enjoy every second! There is so much more to explore than just the casinos, so make sure you pack in everything you can and have an amazing trip!

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The post Great tips for visiting Las Vegas appeared first on Worldation.

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A Neuroscientist’s Tips For A New Year Tuneup For Your Brain

An image of the brain's neural network against a black background

Unlike the effervescent bubbles that stream to the top of champagne flutes on New Year’s Eve, what I call brain bubbles are far from celebratory. These bubbles are metaphorical rather than physical, and they distort the stream of reality processed by our brains. Like a real estate bubble that reflects an inflated perception of home values, a brain bubble twists your perception of the world around you. And when either of these bubbles bursts, the results can be devastating.

Problems arise when distorted information results in flawed decisions that negatively affect our lives. As a neuroscientist who’s worked closely with laboratory rats for over three decades, I’ve gleaned from them a few good strategies people can use to burst brain bubbles and enhance well-being in the year ahead. Rat brains are small but have the same general areas and neurochemicals we have, so these rodents are valuable laboratory models for human behavior.

Getting back down to Earth

Psychoactive drug use, aspects of privilege and poverty, psychiatric illness and, in some cases, religious and political beliefs can all create brain bubbles. Even daily excursions to the virtual world of apps, social media and cybergames sever our connections to concrete aspects of the real world and let distorting brain bubbles develop.

This is especially problematic for children’s brains that are still developing. An ongoing National Institutes of Health study suggests that two hours of screen time each day distorts language and thinking abilities in these junior digital users.

As our attention is hijacked by the closest screen while a Roomba cleans the floor and Alexa orders pizza to be delivered to the front door, what’s left for our brains to do? Sure, we likely face cognitive challenges at work each day, but human brains are built for sophisticated and complex activity – even though we’re often lulled into mindlessly scrolling through a virtual feed. In fact, a brain area often associated with reward and pleasure, the nucleus accumbens, is smaller in people who spend more time checking Facebook posts on their smartphones.

Obviously, some of these distortion-generating circumstances are out of our control. But a heightened awareness of our authentic world can move us toward a more reality-based, well-grounded brain – free of those brain bubbles.

The rats that my students and I train in our studies to physically work for coveted treats (Froot Loops cereal is a favorite) develop healthier emotional responses than the animals we call “trust-fund rats” because they’re merely given their sweet rewards. The harder-working rats have healthier stress hormone levels and engage in more sophisticated search strategies when they encounter a surprise challenge – such as when we move their expected Froot Loop rewards. They’re more persistent as they spend time trying to solve the problem, rather than quickly giving up and walking away.

So whereas one popular New Year’s resolution involves saving up to build financial capital, we can keep our brains in peak condition for the year ahead by building up experiential capital. Real-world experiences represent the best currency for our brain circuits, providing neural security for our future decisions in the coming year. Spending time engaged in hobbiessuch as knitting or gardening, for example, with complex movements and rich sensory experiences, provides a valuable yield for our brains.

Savor the anticipation

When the calendar flips to a new year, it’s common to reflect on the past and look to the future. According to the neuroscience literature, this anticipation could be one of the most pleasurable – and healthy – tasks our brains engage in all year long.

Dopamine is the poster neurotransmitter for the cognitive endeavor of anticipating. Traditionally known for its role in pleasure, this neurochemical system can be hijacked by psychoactive drugs such as cocaine that serve as potent creators of reality-distorting brain bubbles.

Rodent research provides fascinating insights here, however. Researchers use sophisticated techniques to measure dopamine activity as rats press laboratory levers that reward them with drugs. Surprisingly, this neurochemical system surges when the animal merely anticipates taking the drug as it approaches the drug lever, as well as when the drug is actually infused into the brain.

Anticipating a new start and a new year may be a scaled-down version of approaching the experimental lever for a hit of cocaine – a legal and healthy dopamine dose in this case. You can try to keep this emotional high going through the year by amping up the anticipation in your daily life: Focus more on delayed than immediate gratification. Buying and planning for experiences is more satisfying than material purchases. Mapping out a menu, shopping for ingredients and cooking a meal provides more dopamine time – and brain-engaging behaviors – than nuking a frozen meal and eating it three minutes later.

Seize the reins of your stress

Another way to enhance our well-being through the year is to gain some sense of control over the stress in our lives. Real-time and authentic interactions with the environment can help us gain a sense of control over the inevitable uncertainty and unpredictability we face each day.

I see evidence of this in the lab. When I furnish my rats’ housing with natural elements such as dirt, hollowed-out logs and rocks, they’re busier and less likely to sit around the edge of the cage than animals in boring empty cages. After building their experiential capital, these enriched rats have healthier stress and resilience hormone profiles and engage in bolder behaviors, such as diving to the bottom of swim tanks instead of staying on the top doing their best impression of a dog paddle. As I watch these animals in various tasks, they appear to be gaining control over the challenges they encounter.

Perhaps this is why retired U.S. four-star admiral William McRaven emphasized simple life strategies in his 2014 University of Texas commencement speech, declaring that “if you want to change your life and maybe the world, start off by making your bed.” Then, even if you have a terrible day, you will come home to a made bed, evidence that you had a positive impact in at least one area of your life that day.

And, considering that over 70 percent of the brain’s nerve cells are in the cerebellum, which is involved in movement coordination, any activity that gets us up and moving – whether household chores or hitting the gym – engages the brain in healthy ways.

Starting your brain’s year off right

Lessons from the laboratory rats also provide potential explanations for some of my own personal favorite New Year’s Day traditions – including the mundane tasks of cooking a familiar southern meal, cleaning my closet and watching HGTV’s Dream House giveaway with my family while we all declare what we would do if we won the beautiful house. Move in? Sell it? Make it an Airbnb rental?

Thinking like a neuroscientist, I know that cooking and cleaning are active endeavors with clear outcomes that allow me to gain a small sense of control, decreasing stress hormones. Playfully anticipating winning a new home taps into that feel-good dopamine system as we contemplate more serious options for the new year. And, perhaps the best neurochemical hit of all is the spike in oxytocin, the neurochemical involved in positive social connections, as I spend time with loved ones.

Although it’s common to turn to pharmaceuticals to lift our emotions and improve our mental health, the emotional benefits of many New Year’s traditions remind me that basic responses can serve as what I call “behaviorceuticals” that enhance well-being. New Year’s resolutions may take the form of New Year’s Rx’s as we consider healthy lifestyle choices for the coming year: Shrink those distorting brain bubbles and build realistic connections to enrich life’s simple pleasures.

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10 Tips For Decluttering Your Personal Space Before 2019

Source: Delmaine Donson / Getty

The coming of a new year is a great time to reprogram your personal space. But if you’re known to be a bit of a hoarder and have a hard time letting go of things you no longer need, it might be time to declutter before we head into 2019. Here’s some tips on how to do just that before the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve:

1. Adopt the 1 Year Rule

If you haven’t used it in the last year, chances are you probably won’t use it again. Round up the gadgets in your home that haven’t been touched since last January and donate those unused items instead. If you find it hard to part with anything, put the “hard to part with” items in a separate bin and see if you find use for them over the next six months. If not, it’s time to let it go.

2. Use the “3 Bin” Method

The 3-bin method will help you find a place for every knick-knack item in your home. Label the bins; keep, toss and donate and then decide what item goes where. Stick to your gut and make quick decisions to easily scale your items down.

3. Declutter Your Mind

Decluttering doesn’t necessarily have to just mean purging physical items. It can also mean making small changes to rid your mind from negative thoughts and emotions that may have been holding you back all year long. Re-evaluate your mental space, friendships, relationships and even your daily activity and decide what might need a change, an upgrade or an elimination. Peace and positivity is the goal for all 2019!

4. Turn Clutter into Cash

Turn your old fashions into a profit by selling items on Ebay, Etsy or Craigslist. It’s a great way to get rid of things you no longer wear and bring in extra cash as you go into the new year.

5. Get Rid of Worn Out Bedding and Towels

Are you still holding on to sheets and towels from your teenage years? If so, it’s time to part ways no matter how many memories they might hold. Give them an “afterlife” by donating these items to an animal shelter or a vet’s office. Animals need towels and sheets to bathe in and sleep on and I’m sure they’ll find comfort in your donated items.

6. Toss the Unwanted Hangers

I’ll admit, I can be a bit of a hanger hoarder myself. But those unwanted hangers take up a TON of space in closets. If your closet is overflowing, consider giving those unused hangers to the dry cleaners as they might need them more than you do.

7. Take The 12-12 Challenge

Walk through your home every few months and locate 12 items to throw away and 12 items to donate. While this may seem brutal, it can actually be a fun and exciting way to quickly organize items in your home.

8. Fill Up One Trash Bag Every Few Months

If you’re having trouble purging a ton of household items before midnight, you can use this tactic throughout all of 2019 and slowly get rid of items you no longer need. Grab a large trash bag and see how quickly you can fill it with things you no longer use. Once you’ve filled your trash bag, decide which items are worth donating and which items need to be tossed altogether. Do this every few months and at the end of 2019, you’ll find yourself feeling a lot less cluttered.

9. Take One Room at A Time

Your entire house didn’t become cluttered overnight, so you don’t have to declutter in one full sweep. Take it one space at a time and get rid of unwanted items in one room before moving over to the next.

10. Remember, The Less Clutter, The Less Cleaning

This is a no brainer but it goes without saying that the more stuff you have, the more time you’ll spend cleaning. If you have a ton of clothes, that means the more time you’ll spend finding a place to keep everything, making less space available for those outfits you really care about. Paring down what you don’t need is a sure way to keep your space a lot cleaner.

No matter what decluttering method you choose, remember; there’s something freeing about getting rid of items that no longer serve you. Make it a mission to declutter your house (and mind) this holiday season and start fresh in 2019!

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Readers’ best travel discoveries of 2018: your top tips

What an adventurous lot you are! Your 2018 highlights include mountain treks, centuries-old communities and exotic wildlife. Read on for 2019 inspiration …

The highlight of our fabulous week in Mull in June was our accommodation. A mile along a coastal path, Rubha nan Gall lighthouse cottage is off grid, but apart from not being able to use a hair dryer, you wouldn’t know it. The four en suite double bedrooms were furnished to a high standard and the kitchen well-equipped. The views past the lighthouse to the Ardnamurchan peninsula, not to mention the dolphin we saw just offshore, made this one of our favourite places ever.
Sleeps six, £158 a night, airbnb.co.uk
Mary Bythell

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Travel | The Guardian

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Nintendo Switch Setup Guide, Helpful How Tos, Troubleshooting Tips, and More

If you’re just setting up a new Nintendo Switch or trying to transfer your data over to a new one, these helpful Nintendo Switch guides should make that process much easier. In this article, you’ll find quick links to popular Switch setup guides (as determined by traffic, user questions, and popular searches) and troubleshooting wiki pages.

IGN’s Nintendo Switch guide has plenty of great hardware information, but if you’re looking for more guides on Nintendo Switch games, be sure to check out these popular game wikis:

These 6 Tips Can Help You Move From From Part-Time to Full-Time Employee

Wishing for more from your part-time or seasonal gig?

For workers who’d prefer to be full-time, the difference goes beyond a bigger paycheck.

Depending on the company, full-time employment can mean a benefits package that includes health insurance and paid time off along with the stability of a reliable schedule.

As of November 2018, more than 4.8 million part-time workers in the U.S. said they’d rather be working full time, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. That’s 2.9% of the labor force.

Although that group was nearly twice as large (9,233,000) in March 2010, the most recent figure is still larger than the pre-recession lows of 3,900,000 back in March 2006.

And that number doesn’t count “voluntary” part-time workers, which includes those who might otherwise want to be full time but have to cut back on work hours due to rising child care expenses or family caregiving costs.

But making the leap to full-time employee demands more than wishing. Read on for tips to turn your part-time gig into a more, ahem, full-filling career.

Going From Part-Time to Full-Time Work

 Emily Kapit poses for a portrait

Before rushing into your boss’s office to demand an increase in hours, consider what your goals are, advises career strategist Emily Kapit with ReFreshYourStep.com.

“Are you looking for a 40-hour-per-week job? Are you looking for simply more hours?” she asks. “Or are you looking for the full shebang, including benefits and everything?”

Preparation is essential, since asking for full-time status should be no different than negotiating a job offer or salary increase, Kapit says.

Here are six tips to arm you for the ask.

Know What Is the Difference Between Part Time and Full Time

Researching your company’s policies should be your first step, since the definition of part time and full time can vary by employer.

Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies part-time employees as individuals working one to 34 hours per week, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the federal wage and hour law, doesn’t define full- or part-time employment.

That means one company’s full-time employee could work 40 hours, while another might consider anyone working more than 32 hours full time. And benefits associated with those classifications can vary, too.

Consult your human resources department, hiring manager or employee manual to help you understand your organization’s policy.

List Your Accomplishments

Now is not the time to be humble.

If you’re going to make the case to your boss that the company needs you more, you’ll need to present measurable accomplishments from your part-time tenure, according to Kapit.

“What have you done that has made a difference, that has been impactful, that would not have happened without you?” Kapit asks.

To simplify the process for identifying your achievements, she suggests answering three questions: What did you do? How did you do it? What was the outcome?

This method also applies to seasonal workers even if you’ve only been at the job for a few weeks.

“You have less time to prove yourself,” Kapit says. “But it’s also the nature of the job to have done a lot in a short amount of time.”

Make Your Boss’s Job Easier

Building a good relationship with your boss can help solidify your place on the team. One good way to do that is by volunteering to take on tasks that make your supervisor’s job easier, Kapit advises.

“If your manager knows they can depend on you and that you are being proactive and have foresight into what’s happening, that’s how you build a really strong relationship,” she says.

By changing your mindset so you no longer view the job as temporary, you’ll demonstrate why you deserve to be there full time, according to Scott Waletzke, head of enterprise recruitment strategy at Adecco Staffing USA.

“Set yourself apart and be that individual who is going to have that positive outlook or that positive attitude every single day when you come into work,” he says. “View that job as just an extended interview.”

Network With Those Who’ve Made the Leap

If you haven’t already, introduce yourself to other employees who have successfully made the leap from part time to full time, Kapit advises.

“Ask them for their insight, ask them for their support — especially if they had to have that same conversation with the same [supervisor],” she says.

Networking is a great way to garner support, but Kapit cautions that it only works as part of a bigger strategy.

“If you have built all the great relationships but have really not done anything, that’s really not going to be helpful,” she says. “The main game plan is do a great job because it’s all going to boil down to: How have you been impactful?”

Prepare to Negotiate

So when’s the best time to talk to your boss about your desire for full-time employment?

“There’s no time like the present,” Waletzke says. “No one’s going to know what you want out of that job unless you tell them what you’re looking for.”

And by going in prepared with your list of needs and accomplishments, you’ll be ready to confidently approach the negotiation as a discussion rather than a plea, Kapit says.

“That question, ‘What can we do?’ is very strategic,” she says. “It’s opening it up as a true dialogue between two people, as opposed to ‘I want this’ or ‘I’ll defer to you.’”

And don’t forget to think outside the box — or your current job at the company.

“If it’s not in your current role, perhaps there is another full-time position available in another department,” Kapit says. “This is particularly true for seasonal employees looking to make a post-holiday leap.”

Always Be Looking

Even armed with a list of accomplishments and an armada of advocates, your boss might say no to your request to become a full-time employee.

“Unfortunately, as an employee, you don’t necessarily always see behind the scenes,” says Waletzke, who notes there are any number of reasons a boss may decline, including budgetary reasons or hiring criteria restrictions.

If you’re a seasonal or temporary worker, Waletzke strongly recommends finishing the assignment, since your manager might provide a reference — or possibly a job in the future.

“Definitely stick it out and stay for the long haul, because you might even pick up some skills along the way,” he says.

By developing a professional, well-researched approach, you’re creating a guide for your ongoing career journey, Kapit stresses.

“Know that’s it’s not personal, and it’s just a matter of continuing your job search,” says Kapit. She adds that until you find a job that offers you the hours and pay you want, “You should always be looking.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer at The Penny Hoarder. Data journalist Alex Mahadevan contributed to this article.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

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Same Job for Many Years? These 5 Tips Will Help You Reinvent Yourself

After 10 years in human resources at a nonprofit, Laura Niebauer Palmer figured she wouldn’t have any problem finding a new HR job when she and her husband moved from Chicago to Austin, Texas.

Then she started reading the job postings — which asked for advanced training and experience with programs she didn’t use — and realized her old skills weren’t marketable for a new position.

“My heart sank,” the 38-year-old says. “I was like, “What am I going to do? How am I going to bridge this gap?’”

So how is it that 10 years of experience could become a detriment rather than a strength for a job candidate?

Many longtime workers are falling behind on the skills required in rapidly changing industries, according to Alvin Nesbot, the New York City market manager for Manpower.

“People who are just joining the job market — maybe within the past three to five years or so — are making moves a lot faster than people who have been working for 10-plus years,” Nesbot says. “There are those people who have worked a lot longer who have stayed in a lull and gotten stagnant.”

And it’s not just another co-worker who’ll offer the skills you’re lacking — at least, not a human one. It’s estimated that half of the work activities companies pay people to do could be automated by 2055, according to a study by the McKinsey Global Institute.

If you’re worried your field is going the way of the dinosaur, here are some alternative jobs for dying industries. But what if you like your industry and just want to change jobs? Read on for strategies for making a change after years in the same gig.

How to Make a Career Change

Laura Niebauer works on her laptop while holding her infant son at home.

If you’re a bit unsure about what’s happening outside your cubicle walls, here are five strategies for avoiding — or escaping — a dead-end job.

1. Network for a Job

Leaving your comfort zone to network may seem intimidating, but it’s a great way to find out what is going on in your industry. It’s part of the reason it’s so important to maintain networking relationships even after you have found a job.

Being around your peers is not only helpful for finding contacts for the next job but also for discovering what credentials and terminology are becoming more prominent within your field, according to Palmer.

“You have like-minded people to bounce ideas off,” he says. “Also, it’s very eye-opening when you’re around a bunch of people and they’re having conversations about topics you don’t really know about or are using acronyms that you’re like, ‘Wait, what does that mean?’”

And if the thought of a networking event makes you break out in hives, try one-on-one networking with former colleagues, Palmer suggests.

“What I would have done differently is definitely caught up with people who had left the company,” he says. She adds that by asking about the transition to new roles, you’ll get a better idea of what technology and skills are in demand outside your office.

2. Update Your Resume

If your resume touts WordPerfect expertise and includes your AOL address, it’s probably time for a resume makeover. (Also, stop wearing that sundress over a T-shirt.)

Reading your resume with a critical eye is essential for identifying skills or programs that are no longer relevant for your position, according to Nesbot.

“What you were doing seven to 10 years ago is not going to be relevant or as important as what is going on today,” Nesbot says. “Are there things making [your resume] look dated?”

If it’s been a couple of presidential administrations since you last updated your resume, you may want to start fresh. (Here’s a guide to writing a professional-looking resume.)

But starting over doesn’t mean you have to forget your past experiences. Instead, take some time to compile a comprehensive list of training and accomplishments, Nesbot suggests.

“Sometimes we don’t look at our resumes in a while, and we realize there are things we’ve been doing that we haven’t highlighted,” Nesbot says. “Include any certifications or training that you’ve done to help set you apart from any other candidate.”

Once you have your list, compare it to current job postings and craft your resume so it includes recent credentials and popular terms within your industry.

“Make sure you have buzz words that are going to stand out to whoever is reading your resume,” Nesbot says.

3. Find a Mentor

Palmer holds her son in his nursery.

Once she got to Austin, Palmer ended up at a staffing agency looking for work. The agency placed her in a temporary three-month position to fill in for a woman on maternity leave.

Palmer used those months to take advantage of the in-house training department to connect with someone who could provide long-term career advice.

“The biggest part that helped me develop was the mentorship that I had with my boss,” she says. “I learned so much from her; my confidence rose 100%.

You can’t replicate that with a course.”

At the end of her temporary gig, the company offered Palmer a full-time position in the HR department.

4. Volunteer for Experience

Rather than repeating past mistakes, Palmer says, she took the opportunity at her new job to question what she really wanted in the next five or 10 years — and it turns out, it wasn’t HR.

After spending some time figuring out what she really wanted to do, Palmer decided than rather than pouring money into additional education, she’d offer to work for free in exchange for the experience she was lacking.

“I volunteered at two organizations, and one of them specifically was something that I wouldn’t have been able to land a job at because I had no experience,” Palmer says. “But when you say, ‘Hey, I can volunteer for this,’ then they’re like, ‘Great, we have somebody who has a lot of time and is really excited about this. We’ll put some training into them.’”

Thanks to that experience, Palmer was able to snag a part-time job at a small company, which allows her to spend time with her infant son as well as write articles sharing her expertise — including some for The Penny Hoarder.

5. Apply for Jobs Before You Need One

Even if you’re happy in your job right now, it doesn’t hurt to start investigating what’s out there.

After all, the best way to discover if you’re growing or stagnating in your career is to find out if someone will hire you — and there’s always a chance you’ll find your dream job in the process, Palmer points out.

Look at the jobs right now and actually apply to them and go through interviewing,” Palmer says. “I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that to see where your skills are — if they’re lining up with what is currently needed in the market.

“But you also might land a job that you didn’t even know you wanted.”

Why You’re Not Job Hunting

Laura Neibauer plays with her infant son in his nursery in Austin, TX.

Reevaluating your skills every few years takes some work, but the rewards are a more fulfilling career with greater chances for growth. Admittedly, that can be hard to do when you’re happy — or at least satisfied — with your current position.

Your salary and benefits might tempt you to stay put, but you’ll suffer in the long run if you’re too scared to change, according to Palmer. She notes part of the reason she stayed at her first job for so long was the generous paid time off and health care coverage.

“It’s hard because you’re trying to balance furthering yourself but also realizing if you further yourself, you’re taking a risk,” Palmer says. “ But if you’re looking to grow in your career… you need to challenge yourself.”

Tiffany Wendeln Connors is a staff writer with The Penny Hoarder. She likes all kinds of change, but pennies are her favorite.

This was originally published on The Penny Hoarder, which helps millions of readers worldwide earn and save money by sharing unique job opportunities, personal stories, freebies and more. The Inc. 5000 ranked The Penny Hoarder as the fastest-growing private media company in the U.S. in 2017.

The Penny Hoarder Promise: We provide accurate, reliable information. Here’s why you can trust us and how we make money.

The Penny Hoarder

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5 tips for camping with a baby

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To some parents, the very idea of taking their baby on a camping trip might sound like the scariest, most unrealistic thing in the world. However, for others, who are usually more outdoorsy in their nature, this adventure (and yes it’s an adventure in every sense of the word) may sound like the best idea. For those who might be a bit more insecure about the whole concept of camping with a baby, you should probably keep in mind that babies are more adaptable than you’d think, even to less sterilized environments. However, it does take a bit more planning and reorganization.

Taking your baby camping is for sure challenging, but you’ll be surprised how much the rewards are worth the experience. The idea might sound pretty far-fetched, but you really have to give it a try. In fact, the earlier you would take your babies camping, the easier it would be for you. Summer time is also the perfect time to do so, so pack your sleeping bag and a couple of diapers (and lots of baby wipes) and just go. Before you go, here are a few helpful tips that will help you survive camping with your baby:

Daylight is key

If it’s possible, try to make it to your site when the sun is still out and there’s plenty of natural light to set everything up. The things you will take along will probably double now that you have an infant, so it’s really for your own good to try and make it before the sun goes down

There is no such thing as too many diapers

If you always thought what it would be like to go all organic with your baby’s diapers, meaning, choosing the non-disposable option instead, now is not the time. When they haven’t been used, diapers don’t weigh so much so take as many as you think you will need + an extra ten. The last thing you want to happen is to be left without them.

Stay stress-free

Any activity that is done with a baby can be quite stressful. It’s understandable, after all you pull them out of their comfort zone and let them adapt to a new and unfamiliar situation. Or perhaps it’s you that is being pulled out of your comfort zone? In any case, if you’re feeling more stressful than usual, try not to act that way in front of your baby, as he will pick up on that and will act accordingly.

Keep it simple

Camping is already about going on a vacation light in its nature, so you should probably pack accordingly. Sure, traveling with babies sounds like you can’t not go overboard with your packing, but there’s a fine line between getting yourself prepared for the worst case and really over packing. In a nutshell, take a few extras just to be sure you’re not stuck, but there’s really no point in packing your baby’s entire closet.

Fit your daily schedule in your vacay schedule

When you have a newborn at home, it’s really important to try and stick to a somewhat ‘strict’ schedule with their naps and feeding times. It makes their day better and they know what to anticipate for, and it makes your day (and night) much more pleasant. Now, we know that when you’re on vacation, the whole schedule thing gets a little confused. However, try to stick to your baby’s schedule naps as much as you can to avoid any major meltdowns or over-tiredness.

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The post 5 tips for camping with a baby appeared first on Worldation.

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A local’s guide to Jamaica: 10 top tips

The Caribbean’s third-largest island is rich in history and natural highs, from Noël Coward’s clifftop hideaway to ganja (now legal), coffee and vegan Rasta food

The Firefly Estate was the home, and is now the burial place, of Sir Noël Coward. The land was once owned by the infamous pirate Sir Henry Morgan, and it commands one of the most amazing coastal and mountain views in Jamaica, overlooking the town of Port Maria. It was a haunt of the early jet-set crowd – everyone from the Queen to Ian Fleming was entertained at Coward’s modest villa.

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Travel | The Guardian

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5 Tips for Managing Diabetes during National Diabetes Month

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age rose from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014. A 2016 Harris Poll conducted for the Calorie Control Council revealed 20 percent of U.S. consumers reported having been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes by a medical professional.

With November being National Diabetes Month, Karima Kendall, Ph.D., RDN, LDN of the Calorie Control Council (CCC), has outlined five tips for managing this disease impacting an increasing number of people.

1. Manage stress

Too much stress is unhealthy for anyone, especially for those living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In addition to stress causing people to forget or not have time to check blood sugar levels or plan healthy meals, stress hormones can directly alter blood sugar levels. Making an effort to reduce stress by implementing tactics such as fitness classes, breathing exercises, and other relaxing hobbies will only help in diabetes management.

2. Get up and move at least 30 minutes a day

Exercise helps increase insulin sensitivity. This means the cells in your muscles are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after physical activity. In addition to helping lower blood glucose in the short term, exercise on a consistent, regular basis can lower your A1C. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. Be mindful, however, that low blood sugars can occur during and up to 24 hours after physical activity, and are more likely to occur if you take insulin, skip meals, or exercise intensely or for a long period of time.

3. Take advantage of low- and no-calorie sweeteners

Dealing with diabetes on a daily basis is hard enough without having to give up the sweet treats you enjoy. There are several low- and no-calorie sweeteners available that are safe to consume and provide the same sweetness as sugar, but without impacting blood glucose levels. In addition to being found in packaged foods and beverages, many of these sweeteners can be purchased at the grocery store and serve as stand-alone sweeteners for use in your own recipes. Given the holiday treats enjoyed this time of year at seasonal gatherings, these sweeteners can help you have your sweet frozen hot chocolate – and drink it too! For more information on low- and no-calorie sweeteners and diabetes, including carb-smart recipes, visit here.

4. Ward off sickness

Physical stress, such as illness or injury, causes higher blood glucose levels in people living with diabetes. With cold and flu season upon us, make sure to get your flu shot, eat well, and wash your hands frequently. In addition, talk to your doctor about adjustments you may need to make to your personal diabetes management routine and insulin dosing (if appropriate) in the event you get sick.

5. Remember, don’t let ‘perfect’ be the enemy of ‘good’

Although there are differences in the management of type 1 versus type 2 diabetes, maintaining a perfect blood sugar 100 percent of the time is simply not possible, no matter how closely you monitor and manage your diabetes. Even those without diabetes experience moderate spikes and lows in their blood sugar levels. Instead, focus on living a balanced lifestyle full of things that motivate you, instead of letting occasional bad blood sugar levels discourage you. You control your diabetes – not the other way around!

 


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Calorie Control Council from November 16-18, 2016 among 2,074 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Stan Samples at the Calorie Control Council, ssamples@caloriecontrol.org and 678-303-2996.

The post 5 Tips for Managing Diabetes during National Diabetes Month appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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5 Tips for Managing Diabetes during National Diabetes Month

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the global prevalence of diabetes among adults over 18 years of age rose from 4.7 percent in 1980 to 8.5 percent in 2014. A 2016 Harris Poll conducted for the Calorie Control Council revealed 20 percent of U.S. consumers reported having been diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes by a medical professional.

With November being National Diabetes Month, Karima Kendall, Ph.D., RDN, LDN of the Calorie Control Council (CCC), has outlined five tips for managing this disease impacting an increasing number of people.

1. Manage stress

Too much stress is unhealthy for anyone, especially for those living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. In addition to stress causing people to forget or not have time to check blood sugar levels or plan healthy meals, stress hormones can directly alter blood sugar levels. Making an effort to reduce stress by implementing tactics such as fitness classes, breathing exercises, and other relaxing hobbies will only help in diabetes management.

2. Get up and move at least 30 minutes a day

Exercise helps increase insulin sensitivity. This means the cells in your muscles are better able to use any available insulin to take up glucose during and after physical activity. In addition to helping lower blood glucose in the short term, exercise on a consistent, regular basis can lower your A1C. Aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous exercise a day. Be mindful, however, that low blood sugars can occur during and up to 24 hours after physical activity, and are more likely to occur if you take insulin, skip meals, or exercise intensely or for a long period of time.

3. Take advantage of low- and no-calorie sweeteners

Dealing with diabetes on a daily basis is hard enough without having to give up the sweet treats you enjoy. There are several low- and no-calorie sweeteners available that are safe to consume and provide the same sweetness as sugar, but without impacting blood glucose levels. In addition to being found in packaged foods and beverages, many of these sweeteners can be purchased at the grocery store and serve as stand-alone sweeteners for use in your own recipes. Given the holiday treats enjoyed this time of year at seasonal gatherings, these sweeteners can help you have your sweet frozen hot chocolate – and drink it too! For more information on low- and no-calorie sweeteners and diabetes, including carb-smart recipes, visit here.

4. Ward off sickness

Physical stress, such as illness or injury, causes higher blood glucose levels in people living with diabetes. With cold and flu season upon us, make sure to get your flu shot, eat well, and wash your hands frequently. In addition, talk to your doctor about adjustments you may need to make to your personal diabetes management routine and insulin dosing (if appropriate) in the event you get sick.

5. Remember, don’t let ‘perfect’ be the enemy of ‘good’

Although there are differences in the management of type 1 versus type 2 diabetes, maintaining a perfect blood sugar 100 percent of the time is simply not possible, no matter how closely you monitor and manage your diabetes. Even those without diabetes experience moderate spikes and lows in their blood sugar levels. Instead, focus on living a balanced lifestyle full of things that motivate you, instead of letting occasional bad blood sugar levels discourage you. You control your diabetes – not the other way around!

 


This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Calorie Control Council from November 16-18, 2016 among 2,074 U.S. adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact Stan Samples at the Calorie Control Council, ssamples@caloriecontrol.org and 678-303-2996.

The post 5 Tips for Managing Diabetes during National Diabetes Month appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Lifestyle | Black Enterprise

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A local’s guide to Marseille: 10 top tips

Transformed but not gentrified since its year as Capital of Culture in 2013, France’s second city remains a vibrant cultural, ethnic and gastronomic melting pot

Alexandre is a modernist chef who I admire a lot, and his restaurant is worth a gourmet splash out, especially at lunchtime (midday tasting menus from €39-92). He opened AM four years ago and was awarded a Michelin star in 2016. A meal here is very much a surprise: no written menu, just tasting selections that can run to 10 servings, but actually include 20-30 tiny dishes. Alexandre was born in the Congo, and incorporates surprising global ingredients in his cuisine – tapioca from Africa, kumbawa fruits, satay and sake from Asia – but also the wonderful fish and seafood we have in the Mediterranean.

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Travel | The Guardian

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Best vegan restaurants in the UK: readers’ travel tips

With influences ranging from Van Gogh to Asia, these vegan venues serve up arty as well as delicious food – on beaches, buses … and in an underpass

Bundobust is fast becoming a Leeds institution for food lovers of all persuasions. Everything is veggie, and a large proportion of the menu is vegan, with an easy vegan sharing menu for two a great way in. From the okra fries dusted in black salt and mango powder (genius) to the chole dal and masala dosa, its south Indian street food, craft beer and Asian-inspired cocktails are a winning combo. With dishes from £4-6.50 it’s also easy on the wallet, so you can try a bit of everything.
bundobust.com
Laura King

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Travel | The Guardian

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Independent cinemas in the UK: readers’ travel tips

Over 1,500 of you recommended indie picture houses. Here are the top 10 – in stations, warehouses and rural villages

Campbeltown Picture House on the Kintyre peninsula is amazing. Recently refurbished, it has retained all of its original charm (it has been a functioning cinema since 1913) but is now a welcoming, contemporary space offering two screens and a cafe. Screen 1 will blow you away with its atmospheric ceiling and half-timbered “wee house” features. It shows all the latest releases, great classics and streamed live theatre. It is a fantastic cultural hub in a remote, rural area and testament to the relentless hard work of the volunteers who fund-raised to get the refurbishment project off the ground.
Adult from £7, campbeltownpicturehouse.co.uk
Emma Macalister Hall

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Travel | The Guardian

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Daylight saving time: How it affects your sleep, and tips to adjust to the extra hour

It’s time to turn back the clocks. Here are some ways to manage your sleep.
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7 Tips for Taming the Undead in ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ Zombies

Treyarch’s take on its ever-popular Zombies mode is back in Call of Duty: Black Ops 4. It may feel familiar, but a lot has changed. Arm yourself with these seven tips to stay on the right side of dead in your never-ending battle against the zombie hordes.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Zombies IX screenshot

ORIENTEERING ORIENTATION

There are a handful of maps to choose from at launch. New to Zombies? Start with IX. It’s the smallest of the bunch and easiest to learn the ropes.

If it’s been a long time between dead-head drinks, try Blood of the Dead. This one’s a remake of the incredibly popular Mob of the Dead map from Black Ops 2.

Got the Black Ops Pass? Sink your teeth into Classified, which is a 2.0 take on the classic confined Five map.

Seasoned undead slayers should dive straight into Voyage of Despair. It’s the trickiest and most involved with a mountainous iceberg of challenges across the board.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Zombies IX screenshot

NEW ZOMBIES, OLD TRICKS

Some of the old Zombies strategies are alive and well in Black Ops 4. Grab green pick-ups when they’re flashing unless you desperately need them immediately. The light in the sky points to the Mystery Box. And the Mystery Box has the best chance of gifting the best weapons.

When playing with a squad, split the cost of opening new pathways. It’s worth spending the first round or few in the starting area to stack easy points. On the topic of points, knife kills reap bonus points. So do headshots. You’ll need to master headshots to survive the later levels.


Black Ops 4 Zombies - IX screenshot

STRINGING ZOMBIE KITES

Lining up biters (aka “kiting them”) biters is a smidge trickier in Black Ops 4 because of the stacks of chokepoints, corridors, and solid objects.

Doing this is best saved for open areas. Use the “Now You See Me Elixir” to instantly get their attention.

For breathing space, kite the last surviving zombie. This requires communication but lets the rest of your team hunt for parts, solve Easter eggs and tool up. Let the last-remaining zombie hit you once or twice to keep them alive for longer.


Black Ops 4 - Zombies - Voyage of Despair screenshot

BULLET SPEWING

Some guns are personal preference in Zombies. For everyone else, the higher the fire rate, the better. Snag an SMG like the Spitfire or MX9. The Maddox RFB and Hitchcock M9 assault rifles offer the fast-food equivalents of lead sandwiches. And the Hades LMG brings hellfire to the hellish undead.

Make it deep into the roamer rounds and these bullet spewers turn absolutely epic after you put them through the Pack-a-Punch machine. Remember, max ammo automagically reloads all empty weapons, so mag dump your arsenal before snagging it.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 - Zombies Blood of the Dead screenshot

BUILD-A-CLASS

In Call of Duty, classes are generally made after you’ve stacked on some levels. Not in Zombies. All-new Elixirs are your best friends. “Anywhere But Here!” is a get-out-of-death-free card that teleports you to a random location. Get downed a lot? Chug “Aftertaste” beforehand to keep all your hard-earned Perks.

Speaking of Perks, you can personalise where they’re accessible on each map. This means you can frontload your fave ones to the earliest collection points. Save the one with the biggest modifier for the final slot.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies IX screenshot

NEW RES-OLUTION

Reviving players isn’t as speedy as it used to be. That’s why it’s worth investing in the “Quick Revive” Perk. For the maps where it’s available, the Scepter of Ra special weapon is as good at resurrecting fallen friendlies as it is frying foes.

The other trick is to lure the bulk of the horde away from your incapacitated comrades, then chug the “Nowhere But There” Elixir. This will teleport you to your downed teammate to get them back in the fight.


Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies - Blood of the Dead screenshot

AGENTS OF SHIELD

Every map has hidden Easter eggs. Some are powerful, map-specific weapons. The common one is a shield that works well on defence and offence. You’ll have to find the parts scattered randomly around each map, then build it at a specific bench.

Thankfully, collected parts are shared between players. And there are only three of them to sniff out. Unequipped, the shield protects your back. Equipped, it blocks hits up front. It also has an insanely powerful melee attack and strong ranged attack. Rebuild it once it’s smashed.

Apply these tips to your next Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Zombies session, which is available right now on PS4, Xbox One, and PC.

The post 7 Tips for Taming the Undead in ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops 4’ Zombies appeared first on FANDOM.

FANDOM

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Spooky places to visit in the UK this Halloween: readers’ travel tips

Serious history collides with fond imaginings in our tipsters’ tales of the unexplained, from a Spanish Armada wreck to a snuffling ghost pooch

Windhouse, on Yell, is probably Shetland’s most haunted house. Last year, two 13th-century skeletons were uncovered at this 18th-century ruin, which is reputedly haunted by a lady in silk, a man in a top hat, a servant girl and a dog. There are reports of skeletal remains of a woman, man and child found in separate incidents between the 1880s and 1900s, as well as the story of the shipwrecked sailor who spent a night in the house one Christmas and had to fight off a monster with an axe. The house can be visited for free anytime – and if you’re feeling brave, the gatehouse is now run as a camping pod by Shetland Amenity Trust (£12pp, sleeps 8, Mar-Oct).
Charlotte

Continue reading…
Travel | The Guardian

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14 Crazy Cleaning Tips That Actually Work

You may have your allegiances to certain brands of cleaning products, but are they really getting the job done? If you have an especially tough cleaning problem to solve and the supermarket supplies just aren’t cutting it, maybe it’s time for a slightly more unconventional approach, one that involves grabbing a few items from the pantry or trying a wacky, off-the-wall cleaning trick. Ready for a little adventure? Here are 14 crazy cleaning tips that actually work.
Bob Vila : Trusted Home Renovation & Repair Expert

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The Weekend Reset – Product Wars, disguise tips and a Halloween party playlist.

It’s Friday. Looking for something to switch up your weekend, or to give you an excuse to relax a little? That’s what the Weekend Reset is for. Each week contributor Tim Johnstone pulls together five things to get your weekend started. Could be something to read or watch, something to eat or listen to, or even something to do. Enjoy the weekend fellas.

 

ADJUST:…your perspective.

This is a story about the Mercator projection. It is a story about maps and how they are mostly wrong. It is a story about distortion and the poles. And, it is a reminder that there are some things which we learned and thought we understood that might need another look.

 

PARTY: A playlist made for your Halloween bash.

The Saturday night before Halloween (especially when the holiday is in the middle of the week) is THE night for big adult parties. For those of you hosting or going to a party, we’ve created the perfect soundtrack for a night of fun. Like the old Ronco adds would say, “set it and forget it!”

 

READ: Yes, you can work yourself to death.

It happens. If you find yourself being tasked with more and more projects and obligations at work, make sure you keep yourself healthy and aware of your health. We’d very much like to have you hanging around with us. Obligatory.

 

WATCH: Product Wars (a short)

For those of us who wonder about the future of marketing and branding, this is a surrealistic take on what could be coming our way. Satire and social commentary with a dose of humor all combine for a bit of fun. I’m hoping for my own Gritty.

 

LEARN: Pick up some pointers for your Halloween costume?

When I was a kid there was a movie called F/X and it was a pretty big pop culture hit. It hasn’t aged well but it was fun at the time and it left an impression. This story is about how the CIA protects its agents via disguises. In other words, this is the real life version of the movie and it is really interesting.

Tim Johnstone is Dappered’s music correspondent as well as our resident gatherer of all things interwebs related. He’s currently undergoing a Tim Improvement Project™ (Version 4.0). It’s not pretty.


Dappered Style Mail

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6 strangely effective sleep tips you haven’t tried before

Experts share quick tips to help set you up to catch some primo z’s. Chill out A cold room — between 60 and 67 degrees — is best for sleep, says Dr. Alex Dimitriu, a psychiatrist and sleep doctor based in California. When your body temperature drops, he says, it signals that it’s time to…
Living | New York Post

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5 Tips for Power Rapport Building for Networking

Networking is all the rage, but if you’re introverted, the idea of meeting someone cold is not appealing. So how do you optimize a brief meeting with a prospect, an industry colleague, or potential employer? In these popular speed-networking events, 5 minutes may be all the face time you get to establish a rapport — which, let’s face it, is the very beginnings of a relationship. However, it is the very foundation of strong ones.

In many ways, networking is like dating — the relationship will only take off, if there is mutual interest: #swiperight

How do you spark that interest? Here are five ways to establish a solid rapport, and they can even help a die-hard extrovert:

Set your rapport-building agenda.

As with anything, you need to have an agenda — sounds cynical, but you should know exactly what your goal is for your meeting. Ask yourself, “What do I want to get out of making this new contact?” Answer that, and crystalize it in your mind. You need no more than 2-3 items on your agenda.

Keep reading. I provide 3 proven agenda items for effective communications below.

Raise a question.

Consider a leading question that will show your new contact that you are familiar with and have an interest in what they do. But that question should also lead you down a path that makes your next step seem natural.

Example: “I read your last thought leadership piece on XYZ. I loved that you took a position on ZYX. What do you think about [insert something organic to the topic that will tee up your mission/interests/value]?”

A Harvard study has found that there is a link between asking a question and likeability. Be sure to genuinely listen to the answer and ask a follow up question or engage with the answer in some way.

Share your mission.

Some of you have been coached on how to deliver a great elevator pitch. Think of this as your mission. This is the one or two sentences that sum up who you are and the value you bring. For instance, mine is:

“I help businesses and people make money and thrive at the intersection of business, culture, and technology.”

That is bigger than a title or a job description, and it allows your contact to see your potential. When you share this value proposition, be certain to project confidence.

Call them to action.

Invite them to visit your blog, your LinkedIn page, or to look over your resume. This is your time to lead them on a path to get to know you after your brief meeting ends.

Follow up!

Your meetings are only as good as the follow up you give it. Whether it’s a phone call, an e-mail, or a LinkedIn connection, you want to ensure that your follow up is meaningful to your connection and not simply self-serving.

Now that you’ve established a rapport, it’s time to network.  Here are 5 things you can do, if you absolutely don’t like the idea of it.

The post 5 Tips for Power Rapport Building for Networking appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

EMPLOYMENT UPDATE:

Feet Don’t Lie! An Expert’s Tips on Reading Body Language

One look at how people are standing and Linda Clemons can tell the type of work they’d be best at and the outlook they typically bring to what they do. She can scan a room and spot the risk-taker, the decision maker, the most likely to be biased or to succeed.

Fake it til’ you make it? Not around Clemons. She can call out a crafty liar, even if they don’t utter a word.

The CEO of Indianapolis-based Sisterpreneur Inc., is a body language expert, certified in undercover surveillance tactics she uses to benefit clients from Southwest Airlines, Nestlé, and Major League Baseball to U.S. Customs and the FBI.

reading body language

Body language expert Linda Clemons

Petite and unassuming, she also consults with lawyers on jury selection and Fortune 500 clients seeking competitive advantages for their sales teams.

The ability to seamlessly blend into a room is a job requirement, but hand Clemons a mic and she transforms into her own version of Beyoncé’s alter ego Sasha Fierce. Entertaining and on-point in her ability to connect with audiences of all ages and backgrounds, she will have you in stitches, even as she goes about the very serious work of schooling you on the nonverbal cues that are the most telling, and useful.

Here are her top three tips on reading body language:

Feet don’t lie. The eyes may be the window to the soul but, in non-verbal communication, the most illuminating cues happen south of the face. Feet, for example, point in the direction that we really want to go. Have you ever been in a networking situation and you’re in a circle and all of a sudden someone’s foot turns out even though they seem engaged? Says Clemons: “They’re ready to get up out of there.”

Even in silence, the mouth says a lot. Biting a bottom lip or pressing the mouth together is a sure signal of holding back. Clemons explains, “It’s what you automatically do in a meeting when somebody says something and you think to yourself, `That is absolutely cray-cray.’ Then you’re asked what you think and your first response is lip compression.”

Mastering eye contact is tricky. Yes, eye contact matters and “Don’t be the first to look down,” says Clemons, “because that signifies defeat or submissiveness.” Her secret for winning at the steady-gaze game? Rather than look directly into the eyes, look slightly above the brow line. It’s easier to hold that gaze and not look away, but the effect is the same.

The post Feet Don’t Lie! An Expert’s Tips on Reading Body Language appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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