Friday, July 31, 2009

Resume Pet Peeves

Finding a new job may be the first step to getting ahead and making more money. One of the biggest roadblocks to your success may be your resume. A resume is a tool to let a potential employer know why you’re the right person for the job. When you’re looking for a job, how you present yourself to a potential employer is critical.

Human resources recruiters receive thousands of resumes a year. Typically, they look for a reason to eliminate resumes up front. Here are 10 of the biggest mistakes people make on their resumes:
1. Typo’s, spelling errors, and poor grammar.
2. Missing information (contact information, dates, or inaccurate dates).
3. Lengthy resumes. (Limit to two pages.)
4. Unprofessional email addresses.
5. Poorly formatted. (Use a simple, clean design.)
6. Functional resumes as opposed to chronological resumes.
7. Long, wordy paragraphs. (Use bullet-points.)
8. Unqualified candidates. (Make sure you meet the qualifications.)
9. Personal info unrelated to the job.
10. Use of false or misleading information. Lying about education, dates of employment, or experience.)
For valuable information about job seeking tips and resumes, go to

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Selling a Home from Long Distance

Q. We are relocating to a new city, and we will have to sell our house from a distance. What steps should we take so we can sell our home successfully?

A. If you are leaving the area before the sale, you will need to stay in close contact with your realty agent, AND provide for the care and upkeep of your property. Here are some practical tips for managing the property and keeping your home looking good for potential buyers:

1. Have the house, windows, and carpets professionally cleaned after your furniture is out. Arrange for fresh interior paint if the walls show dirt, grime, or smoke build-up.
2. You home may be closed up for long periods. If you need to fumigate because of pet, cooking, or tobacco odors, do it. The initial smell of your house will leave a big impression (conscious or subconscious) on the buyer.
3. Leave the water and power ON. They will be needed to carry out various inspections while the sale is in progress. Ask your utility company if they have reduced rates for vacant properties.
4. Hire a landscaping service to mow the lawn and trim the bushes and trees once a month.
5. Arrange to have your lawn watered and sprinklers checked as needed.
6. Schedule pest control treatment, especially during the spring/summer seasonal transition. An ant, roach, or bee infestation would be an unpleasant surprise for your agent and clients.
7. Have your realty agent or a trusted neighbor open up your house for a complete airing out a couple of times a month. This will eliminate mustiness or radon gas if it is a concern in your area.
8. Have someone check the house regularly, open the faucets (inside and out) and flush the toilets at least once a month. This will get rid of stagnant water in your plumbing system and check for leaks.

If you are thinking of selling or buying soon, and require competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Improve Your Vision With Berries!

The Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University has discovered that the humble blueberry and its European cousin, the bilberry are a uniquely rich source of the powerful antioxidant, anthocyanin. Anthocyanin gives grapes, blackberries, and blueberries their deep blue-violet coloring.

Bilberry extract has been used in Europe and Japan as a natural vision-enhancer for years. Beta-carotene combined with 400 mgs. of bilberry have been shown to significantly improve the ability to see in dim light, especially at night. Bilberry extract appears to strengthen the tiny blood vessels behind the eye and prevent macular degeneration.

There is strong research-backed evidence that anthocyanin may protect the brain cells from the wear and tear of extended life. They shield the neurotransmitters from age-related changes in the brain. The antioxidants in blueberries could help preserve our memory, as we get older. The Nutrition Research Center suggests eating fresh blueberries for the maximum benefit, or substitute a good bilberry extract from the health food store.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Walk Your Way To Excellent Health

Walk your way to a Long Life!

According the U.S. Centers for Disease Control the most beneficial exercise we can do on a regular basis is…walking! All you need is a good pair of shoes and few hours a week to do a simple aerobic conditioning activity that really works. The benefits are substantial – walking helps your heart, lungs, circulatory system, and controls body weight. The positive impact of walking is similar to that of running or jogging without stressful wear and tear on your joints, knees, and shins. If you don’t follow any other exercise program, just simple outdoor walking could add many healthy years to your life.

 A Brisk Walk Is Best. You should be able to carry on a conversation and have your breathing slightly elevated.

 It’s Easy—Just Walk 20 Minutes A Day. Start slowly, and then build up to longer, faster paced walks. Stretch your muscles (especially the calves and hamstring muscles) before and after you walk. For the best benefit, make a commitment to walk everyday. A recent study in Germany found that walking just two hours a week can cut your risk of heart disease in half!

 Walking Relieves Stress And Invigorates Your Mind And Body. Walking will make your heart stronger, improve your lung capacity, and the efficiency of your breathing. Walking circulates more oxygen through your body and is very effective in lowering your blood pressure. A regular walking routine can be your best preventative medicine – greatly lowering your risk of stroke, diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure, and even depression.

 People Who Walk Live Longer. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention conducted an 11-year study of 2,896 adults in their late 50’s who had been diagnosed with diabetes. Researchers found those subjects who walked just two hours a week had a 39 percent lower death rate from all causes! They speculate that if every healthy person in the United States walked briskly just 30 minutes a day, the incidence of many chronic diseases would go down 30 to 40 percent. So grab your shoes and get walking…your body will be glad you did!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

New Construction Trends

Q. We are thinking of buying a new home. What are the trends in new home building?

A. Buyers have their own personal preferences in what they like in a home. But a recent survey by the National Association of Home Builders found the top 10 new home trends:
1. No Living Room. Over 30% of homebuyers will buy a home without a formal living room, preferring special interest rooms.
2. Fewer Open Floor Plans. Semi-open arrangements are preferred with partial walls and columns to separate space.
3. Extensive Wiring. Wiring for high-tech equipment and entertainment is a must for new home buyers.
4. Activity Rooms. Many homebuyers want home offices, dens, exercise rooms, and game rooms.
5. Spacious Garages. Buyers want lots of storage space and workshop areas.
6. Traditional Exterior. Homebuyers prefer traditional American and European architectural styles.
7. Storage Areas. Homebuyers favor walk-in pantries, special interest cabinets, and walk-up attics.
8. Higher ceilings. Many two-story rooms are being built today.
9. Unique Kitchens. Over 78% of buyers want a walk-in pantry.
10. Future Options. Homebuyers plan for their future years. They want wide hallways, main floor suites, and walk-in shower stalls.
If you are in the market for a buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

On-Line Banking Dangers

If you bank online, or are looking for an online bank, don’t get caught up in these sneaky traps…
• Some banks offer no-fee checking to attract customers, then start charging fees within a year…
• Online banking may not be secure. If you don’t have a firewall on your PC, a hacker could obtain your account information…
• When online banks merge, depositors may lose access to funds for a week or more…
• Some online banks charge odd fees. For example, a fee if you sign-up for online bill payment, but never use it.
Scammers also create web sites with web addresses similar to those of legitimate banks, then collect personal data from unassuming clients who access the scammer web site by mistake.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Free Advice…From a Lawyer?

It’s a rarity to be sure...but here’s some sound advice that could save you lots of money, time, and trouble.
• When you order checks, print only your first initial on them. That way if someone takes your checkbook s/he will not know your first name, or how you sign your name...but your bank will know.
• Never place your social security number on your checks.
• Put your work phone number on your checks, not your home phone.
• Photocopy all the contents of your wallet (front and back). This way you’ll know what was in your wallet, account numbers, and phone numbers to call if your credit cards are stolen.
• Write only the last four digits of your credit card account in the “For” line on your checks. Your credit card company knows the rest.
Most importantly, call Equifax 1-800-525-6285, Experian 1-888-397-3742, Trans Union 1-800-680-7289, and the Social Security fraud line 1-800-269-0271 to place a fraud alert on your name and social security number. This process alerts any company checking your credit to contact you by phone before authorizing new credit.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can Laughter Make You Healthy?

Laughter is strong medicine, so says researchers at Stanford University. The physical action of laughter actually increases blood flow and contracts abdominal muscles. It lowers stress, improves heart health, and can resolve conflict in troubled times.

Here are a few tips to help you add a little more laughter and humor in your life:
• Create a “humor first-aid kit” full of comedy tapes, joke books, funny stories, comics when you feel the need or urge to be silly.
• Take a humor break instead of a coffee break. Read jokes, listen to a funny tape, or create a humor notebook to help during difficult times.
• Remind yourself to have fun. It’s OK to lighten up.
• Go to a funny movie, rent a comedy, or watch an old comedy show.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Important Money-Saving Information about Generic Drugs

Generic drugs have been making headlines recently, as the cost of brand-name medications skyrockets and family budgets tighten. A generic drug is the chemical equivalent of a brand-name drug. Ibuprofen, for example, is the generic version of Motrin IB.

The FDA requires generics to have the same active ingredients, strength, purity and stability as their brand-name counterparts. It’s called being “bio-equivalent.” Yet they cost considerably less. Generics save consumers an estimated 8 to 10 billion dollars a year at retail pharmacies. The only difference between generics and brand-name drugs may be the inactive ingredients, such as dyes and coatings used.

To find out if a brand-name drug that you take regularly has a generic equivalent, contact the FDA/Center for Drug Evaluation and Research at (click on “drug information”), or call toll-free 888-463-6332.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Save On Homeowners Insurance!

Mounting claims from natural disasters have caused a colossal jump in the cost of homeowners insurance. With wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and mold taking a toll on property, homeowners’ insurance claims skyrocketed resulting in significant price hikes for consumers.

Over 51 million households saw price increases between 2001 and 2008, according to a study by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers Association of America. Here’s some important advice to help you reduce the cost of your homeowners insurance:

1. Raise Your Deductible. You can significantly reduce the cost of your homeowners insurance by raising your deductible to at least $1,000.
2. Keep Your Home In Good Condition. Make sure that your roof is in good shape. Fix any minor leaks or problems. Make sure the heating, plumbing and electrical systems are in good condition. Also, make sure to repair any drainage problems around your home.
3. Keep Your Credit Score High. Insurance companies use credit insurance scoring to determine who to insure and for how much. Your score depends on your credit report score and your claims history. To improve your credit score pay down your debt, close credit cards, and correct any credit report errors.
4. Avoid Filing Unnecessary Claims. Filing several small claims can result in rate increases and in some cases even being dropped by your insurance carrier.
5. Comparison Shop. Look for an insurer that has a good claims record. Every few years compare your policy with other reputable insurers. You may find a better value. Always buy a policy that pays the true replacement value for any loss.
6. Keep Your Policy Up-To-Date. Review your coverage each year. Make changes to the policy, if, for example, you increased the value of home (remodeling or building an addition). Conversely, reduce coverage for items that may have depreciated.

Considering a Remodel?

Real Estate Corner…
Q. We are considering remodeling to increase the value of our home before we put it on the market. What are the best options and the most attractive add-ons for home improvement before sale?

A. Use some basic math before you invest in a home that you are about to sell. The American Homeowner’s Foundation estimates the total cost of moving to be at least 10 percent of your home’s current value. If your projected remodeling costs go beyond that, it would make better sense to put your money in your new house and not your old one.

Even if you make a stunning transformation of your once tired-looking property, don’t expect to push your home’s value past 20 percent of its current selling price. If your neighborhood has varied property values, target your selling price just under the most expensive and best-looking home in your neighborhood. The adjacent “showcase” homes will quietly reinforce your potential asking price.

As a primary rule, be practical about your choice of upgrades. Don’t try to turn your 60’s or 70’s style home into Cape Cod mansion. Upgrade only the details that define the house’s original style. Make your home look like it has been well maintained. Be sure the lighting, plumbing fixtures, and hardwood floors are in top condition. Many buyers will see past any “quick fixes” and wonder what isn’t right with the rest of the house.

The best remodeling can be made to the kitchen because it usually suffers the most wear and tear. Sometimes a good-looking, highly functional kitchen will be your “deal maker.” Adding a bathroom can also add value to an older home. Design touches such as a skylight, glass block windows, and ceramic tile on the floor and walls make it even more attractive to buyers. Be sure to upgrade your existing bathroom with matching paint, tile, and fixtures. If you’d like a copy of my FREE consumer report, “Homeowners Guide To Moneymaking Fix-ups” just call me at 206-226-0565 and I’ll send one over.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Want To Stay Healthy and Slim?

Eat Breakfast!

A new study from Harvard University indicates that people who eat breakfast daily may be less likely to succumb to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease. Why? Eating breakfast regularly helps control your appetite throughout the day, which means you’re less likely to overeat later. A good breakfast also helps regulate your body’s blood sugar.

A study of 2,700 adults who reported eating breakfast every day had a 35 to 50 percent reduced chance of becoming obese, or developing insulin resistance syndrome. This syndrome is a precursor to diabetes in which the body experiences a loss of sensitivity to insulin. Insulin is a hormone that is key to regulating blood sugar.

What you eat is just as important as making sure you eat breakfast. Refined grain cereals and bacon and eggs had no effect on reducing the risk of obesity and diabetes. The best breakfast food is a whole grain cereal, especially oatmeal. A study reported in The Journal of Family Practice concluded that oat cereals work so well at lowering blood pressure, people who are taking hypertension medication can actually lower their dosage if they eat an oatmeal breakfast every day. Other studies have shown that oatmeal will lower cholesterol if it is eaten on a daily basis.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Stay Healthy and Save Money with Your Dry Cleaner

Does it seem unusual to see an article about dry cleaners? Perhaps. But dry cleaners are one of the most complaint-ridden businesses in the United States, according to the Better Business Bureau. At the top of the complaint list are lost items and damaged garments.

Worse yet, some of the chemicals dry cleaners use can be downright dangerous! Clearly, there are reputable dry cleaners, but next time you drop off your items, here are a few tips for protecting yourself as a consumer.

 Always Ask For A Receipt. When you drop off an item to the cleaner, ask for a receipt indicating what you had cleaned. It’s helpful to include the size, color, and brand name if possible. When a dry cleaner acknowledges they lost a garment, they are supposed to pay the full price of a replacement. A detailed claim ticket will be your best argument.

 What To Do About Damaged Clothing? Damaged clothing is a different story. Dry cleaners refer to the Fair Claims Guide published by International Fabricare Institute to assess the depreciated value of damaged garments. One-year-old cotton suits, skirts, shirts in average condition get just 40 percent of their original price. A 5-year-old wool blazer will get you 15 percent of the actual cost. If they ruin an item classified as an heirloom (such as an antique Persian rug) demand fair market value for its replacement.

 PERC Is A Toxic Chemical. Most dry cleaners use PERC (prechloroethylene) a probable human carcinogen, to clean your clothes. The National Institute for Occupational Safety found that dry cleaning industry workers were 25 percent more likely to die from cancer than the general population. Remember, this chemical is on your garments. Take the plastic bags off, and air out your garments before wearing.

 Watch Out For “Meet Or Beat” Gimmicks. The BBB warns that dry cleaners are notorious for “bait and switch” advertising, where the dry cleaner claims he will match or beat a competitor’s price. The catch is you will have to walk in with the competing dry cleaner’s price list to qualify for the discount.

 Watch Out For The “Special Handling” Charge. Women are often charged more than men for dry cleaning similar items. Women’s shirts are a common item of contention that dry cleaners claim need “special handling” for a variety of reasons. Ask up-front if any women’s clothing needs “hand-cleaning” and how much you will be charged for the work.

 Ask Your BBB For Help If You Have A Problem. You may also go to Small Claims Court if you have a grievance against a dry cleaner. There is no guarantee small claims will get you a settlement, but sometimes the threat of action is enough to settle a dispute.

Taking a few small actions and asking the right questions of your dry cleaner can save you considerable money and headaches in the long run.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

What Do Your Nails Reveal About You?

Did you know that your nails might reveal an underlying health problem? Nails are more than just cosmetic...they are big indicators of what’s going on inside your body. If your nails are whitish and curve in like a “v,” you might be anemic. If they curve out and over, they might indicate something more serious is going on with your heart or liver. Make an appointment to see your doctor if you have unhealthy, discolored nails.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Sound you ever buy a House As Is?

Q. Should You Ever Buy A House That Is An “As Is” Property?

A. It really depends on the house and the situation. There may be two reasons a house is marketed as an “As Is” Property. The first may be because the seller just doesn’t have the money to make the necessary repairs, and wants to get out from under the cost of repairing the property.

The second reason is much more difficult. A word of caution is in order. The house may have serious problems! Something serious may be buyers beware. Generally speaking, an “As Is” property tends to have a major structural or functionally obsolete (i.e. expensive!) problem. Typical problems may range from a faulty roof, termites or serious termite damage, problems with the foundation, leaking pipes or other plumbing problems, to problems with a pool/spa just to name a few.

It is in the buyer’s best interest to have a home inspection completed and all the problems documented, so that the buyer is aware of any potential problems with the property.
If you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Number #1 Source Of Calories In The U.S.?

Sweet Drinks

How many soft drinks or other sugar-added drink do you consume a day? One, two, five, or more? There’s an alarming trend occurring in the American diet—soft drinks and other sugar-added drinks are becoming the main source of calories. According to researchers at Tufts University, the average American consumes enough sweet drinks each day that add up to more calories than any other food source.

In the study, researchers collected data to study the relationship between obesity and certain foods. What they found was shocking! Two-thirds of the people sampled reported that they consumed enough sweet drinks to provide them with more daily calories than any other food source. Want to lose weight? Limit your sweet drinks.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Surprising Way To Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally!

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), found that people who ate a lot of plant sterols and fiber naturally lowered their cholesterol by 29%. What are plant sterols? They are foods that many of us like to eat: avocados, walnuts, almonds, olives, eggplant, olive oil, and flaxseed.

The researchers found that people on the drug, Lovastatin, lowered their cholesterol by 30%, and people who ate a low-fat diet reduced cholesterol levels by 8%. What’s interesting about these findings is they show that a diet rich in plant sterols can be as effective as one of the most frequently prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs—and without some of the side effects associated with prescription drugs.

Adding these important foods can help raise your good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering your bad cholesterol (LDL). Note: If you’re on a cholesterol reducing medication, talk with your physician before making any changes.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Negotiating On The Job

Would you like to improve your job negotiation skills? A recent survey conducted by the Society of Human Resources Management and, found that both employees and HR specialists are willing to talk about salary, but they differ on other issues.

Employees focus on bonuses, incentives, and time off, while HR specialists may be more willing to talk about flex schedules and relocation costs. (The survey indicated employees may have more negotiating power on non-salary issues.) Here are six valuable tips you can use for better negotiating on your job:

• Make sure to show your enthusiasm for the job at hand.
• Know your strengths and skills and explain why you’re the best person for the new job or raise.
• Use the right words and cite facts, “I’ve done the research, and the market reflects this salary.”
• Ask for what you want, and explain why you deserve it.
• Be open to what is presented and remain objective.
• Avoid talking about specific salary figures until the end the interview process; otherwise you may limit your options.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

The Power of Sleep...

And the Dangers of Not Enough

Did you know that the quantity and quality of your sleep may be the biggest indicator of your health? Dr. James B. Mass, bestselling author of Power Sleep, and Cornell University professor, reports that sleep can have an enormous impact on your overall health, outlook and productivity. It may also be the biggest predictor of how long you live – even more than diet, and exercise!

How do you know if you’re getting enough sleep? Most people should get eight hours, experts say. If you fall asleep the minute your head hits the pillow, if you’re frequently tired, irritable, or if you have trouble getting up in the morning, you need more sleep. What can you do? Here are seven important strategies to help you get a better night’s sleep:

1. Maintain A Regular Sleep Schedule. Go to bed at the same time and wake up at the same time every day; allow for at least 8 hours per night.

2. Keep Your Bedroom Dark and Quiet. Your body’s response to darkness is to produce an increase in the naturally-occurring hormone, melatonin – proven to produce a deeper, more restful sleep.

3. Exercise Daily. Exercising daily relieves stress and improves your overall health; however, avoid exercising right before bedtime.

4. Avoid Alcohol and Stimulants. If you have any trouble sleeping, avoid alcohol, coffee, caffeinated drinks, tea, chocolate, and nicotine.

5. Make Sure Your Bed And Pillow Are Comfortable. Choose the right bed (and pillow) for you. If you’re having trouble sleeping you may want to shop around for a new bed or pillow.

6. Put Your Worries In Jar. Write down any worries, put them in a jar, and let them go for the night. You can set aside time the next day to handle them.

7. Sleep Alone If Your Partner Keeps You Awake. If your mate is keeping you up with his/her snoring, sleep in another room.

A good night’s sleep is essential to your good health. Make it a priority!

Monday, July 6, 2009

The Power of One Small Step…

Are you having trouble losing weight? Saving money? Or reaching some of your goals? Here’s an interesting approach to life: Instead of trying to achieve the “big goals” try something small. For one minute a day, try making a small change. Sound intriguing?

Author Robert Maurer, “One Small Step Can Change Your Life,” says here’s how it works...instead of crash dieting, try taking one thing off your plate. Or, if can’t seem to find the time to exercise...walk one minute a day in front of the TV. Maurer’s clients reported that small steps led to big client lost 40 pounds with this approach.

Maurer says using small steps helps people overcome their fears and roadblocks. Small steps can reinforce and build good habits. Here are a few suggestions: Overspending? Take one item out of your cart before checking out. Feeling a little down? Take time to notice and cherish one small moment of joy a day. Craving fast food? Go ahead, but order the children’s meal.

Try it for a day, and then maybe a month, and see what happens.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

How Safe Is The Bottled Water?

Don’t be fooled. The bottled water you’re drinking may not be any safer than your tap water. According the National Resources Defense Council (NRDC), some bottled water sold in the United States may contain bacteria and/or chemicals. And 30 percent of bottled water sold in the U.S. comes from a city or town’s tap water!

The NRDC cited one incidence where a bottled water brand labeled “spring water” actually came from a well in an industrial facility’s parking lot. While they reported that most bottled water was safe, about 30 percent of the bottled water they tested contained bacteria, synthetic organic chemicals and inorganic chemicals.

In another recent study, Dutch researchers found 40 percent of the bottled mineral water they tested from 16 countries, (not including the U.S.) showed the presence of bacteria or fungi.

Why should you care? First, people with a weakened immune system (children, the elderly, people with cancer, kidney failure, or AIDS,) may have an increased risk of infection from bacteria. Serious infections can develop from legionella, a bacteria causing Legionnaires disease, pneumonia like illness.

Secondly, bottled water is expensive. A five-year supply of bottled water (8 glasses a day) costs about $1,000. The same amount of tap water costs $1.65.

There are some regulations on bottled water. The Federal Drug Administration (FDA) requires that if water is taken from a municipal source and not treated, the label must say it’s from a municipal source. If, the water is treated (using common technology) there is no requirement to label the municipal source.

The NRDC concluded that bottled water “should not be assumed to be purer or safer than most tap water.”

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Parenting Truths!

• If you have trouble getting your children’s attention, just sit down and look comfortable.
• Money isn’t everything, but it sure keeps the kids in touch.
• Vacation is a time when parents realize that teachers are grossly underpaid.
• The first sign of maturity is the discovery that the volume knob also turns to the left.
• There would be fewer problems with children if they had to chop wood to keep the television set going.
• Those who say they “sleep like a baby” don’t have one.
• The best thing to spend on your children is time.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Planning to Move Soon?

Q. We’re planning to move to a new home soon. What steps can we take now to make our move go more smoothly?

A. Moving can be very stressful, but there are ways to help you tackle the task. Here are six quick tips to make your next move go more smoothly:

1. Have a garage sale well before you begin packing. That way you won’t be taking unnecessary items to your new home. (Here’s your chance to unload all the things you don’t want or don’t need any longer. You’ll be glad you did.)
2. Use sturdy, reinforced boxes. Go to a professional moving company to get the right boxes. Your grocer’s boxes just won’t do. Remember to pack your boxes carefully.
3. Use towels, blankets and pillows to separate pictures and fragile items. Pack all your glass items and dishes vertically and with packing materials to prevent any breakage.
4. Label all your boxes. Mark boxes with FRAGILE ITEMS on the outside.
5. Pack one box with essential items: coffee, tea, soap, toiletries, flashlight, plastic ware, snacks, paper towels that you can open when you arrive. Mark this box OPEN ME FIRST...that way you’ll have the essentials when you arrive at your new home.
6. Lastly, work with your moving company. Be sure to have your shipment’s registration number, and let the company know how to reach you at all times.
If you are in the market for a buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Not Getting Enough Exercise...

How to Get Back On Track

One of the best ways to stay fit is to have at least one athletic hobby: walking, swimming, bowling, tennis, golf, skiing, bicycling or even dancing. If you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll stick with it.
Second, a workout partner can make the time go by more quickly, and you can have fun at the same time. Whether it’s a family member, friend or co-worker, a workout partner will encourage you on the days you may want to slide.
Third, hire a trainer if you have trouble maintaining an exercise program. A trainer can guide you through a program that works for you.
Remember to vary your workouts. This prevents overworking certain muscle groups, and it will keep you motivated.

Natural Health Remedies

Minor aches and pains can be an annoyance, but they’re usually not serious enough to warrant a trip to the doctor. You can treat most minor health problems yourself: minor cough, heartburn, swimmer’s ear, muscle strain, headache, and sinusitis. Here are six useful home remedies:
• Strained Muscle – Right after the injury, put ice on the injury for 20 minutes; elevate the area. Repeat every few hours.
• Tension Headache – Put a drop of lavender on your index fingers; rub the oil on your temples and the back of your neck.
• Heartburn – Mix ½-teaspoon baking soda and 1-cup warm water, and drink it to relieve the discomfort.
• Swimmer’s Ear – Warm ½ onion in the microwave for 10-20 seconds. Hold it close to your ear (but not touching) for one minute.
• Cough – Make hot tea from wild cherry bark, steep. Drink 1 cup.
• Sinusitis – ½-teaspoon salt dissolved in 1 cup of warm water. Gently breathe into your nostrils.
(If any symptoms are unusual, or don’t go away after a few days, or come on suddenly, call your physician.)