Monday, November 30, 2009

Go Cold Turkey on Bottled Water

How Safe Is The Bottled Water You Drink?

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.”

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Time to Burn off Those Extra Holiday Calories

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.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Use IRAs and Roth IRAs to Purchase Investment Property

Q. A friend told me I can buy a retirement home using my IRAs to purchase property. Is this legal? And, if so, how do I go about doing it?

A. Yes, you can buy your retirement home using your IRAs, 401K, or pension. But there is a catch. You can’t live in the house until you can take the entire value as a distribution from your IRAs and that’s after age 59.5. Until then, you’ll have to rent it to someone else!

You can use IRAs and Roth IRAs to purchase property (homes...and even apartment buildings). You’ll have to do your homework, though. Most banks and brokerage firms don’t offer this service—it’s just too costly for them implement.

How do you set up this program? First, you can transfer your existing IRA, or roll over money from an existing plan (401K, pension) to a “self-directed IRA.” You’ll then need to have bank custodian oversee the account. They will receive an annual fee for this, typically .5 percent to 1.5 % percent of the asset. You’ll also need a property manager to maintain and rent the property. You are not permitted to manage the property, according to IRS regulations.

If you’re truly interested in pursuing this option, choose your investment wisely. Make sure you base your decision on the size of your IRA, the time between now and age 59.5, and your level of comfort with risk. For more information on investing with IRAs go to . If you are in the market for a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Glass is Always Half Full in Our Home.

Teaching Kids
“How Live On The Bright Side”

Encourage, limit, help, show, and give. That’s a simple way to say it, but it’s true. Today there can be so many distractions, too many expectations, and unrealistic and realistic fears kids must face each day. Here are five simple strategies to help your kids learn how to live on the brighter side of life:

1. Encourage Your Child’s Special Talents. Research has shown that children who are encouraged to follow their talents by supportive parents are much more successful than parents who have high expectations and are critical.
2. Limit Your Child’s Exposure To News. The news can create an unrealistic perception of danger in your child’s day-to-day life.
3. Help Them To Find The Bright Spot In Their Day. Make this a daily ritual for your family, and have your kids write them down in a book.
4. Show Them Tools To Shake Off A Bad Mood. If your child is a little blue, spend time with him/her reading, talking, playing a game or musical instrument, or go for a walk together.
5. Give Them Hope. Plant a tree...or a garden. Rent a funny comedy. Go see a play. Turn on some upbeat music and get up and dance.

Monday, November 23, 2009

De-Clutter Your Way to Happiness

Are You Hopelessly Disorganized?

Can’t find your keys? Missed an appointment? Still looking for that file you misplaced? Well, if you’re like thousands of people, searching for simple solutions to a big organization problems can be a problem!

There may be hope. Here are five quick tips to get (and stay) organized:

1. Keep an errand basket by the door for returning books, videotapes, dry-cleaning, etc.
2. De-clutter your junk drawer using plastic cutlery trays that come in a variety of sizes.
3. Keep a donation box in your laundry room or garage. Add unneeded clothing, books, toys, or small appliances and drop off monthly.
4. Do one small chore each day (dust, straighten one room, vacuum).
5. Have a key rack near the door with two sets of car and house keys. Remember the adage, a place for everything and everything in its place!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Time to Increase Your Intake of Dietary Fiber. It Could Save Your LIFE!!

Important News About
Blood Pressure

Here’s important news about lowering your blood pressure! In a recent study that appears in the Journal of Hypertension, researchers evaluated 25 studies on the effects of dietary fiber and blood pressure.
They found that by adding fiber to the diet, there was a reduction in both systolic (the top number in a blood pressure reading) and diastolic (the bottom number) blood pressure in patients with high blood pressure.

Today, over 50 million Americans and 1 billion people around the world have high blood pressure, so this finding comes as BIG news!
Dietary fiber includes fruit, cereal, fiber pills, and vegetables. In the study, the fiber intake ranged from 3.8 grams per day to125 grams per day. So, if you’re concerned about lowering your blood pressure, you’ll want to add more fruits, veggies, and cereal to your diet, exercise daily, and watch your weight. You’ll be glad you did!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Be Kind to Your Neighbor. It is Good For Your Health!!

Kindness Is Good For You!

When was that last time you noticed you were grumpy, then, out of the blue, someone does or says something nice to you? Didn’t it make you feel better…even a lot better?

When you are kind to other people, it also makes you feel good about yourself. And it’s good for your health. Researchers have found positive people have fewer health problems. In his book, It’s a Meaningful Life, it Just Takes Practice, author Bo Lozoff writes about the importance of being kind and building a better community. That community encompasses family, friends, co-workers, and the people you meet in your daily life (the bank teller, cashier, the parking lot attendant).

So as you go about your day, be kinder to your spouse, your kids, your co-workers, and wherever your travels take you. Then see if adding a little more kindness to your daily diet makes a difference in how you feel, how other people respond to you, and how others feel when you are kind to them. It’s a worthwhile experiment!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Happiness IS the Key to Success- Seven Easy Steps

7 Simple Steps To
Happiness And Success!

Are you feeling stuck on the roadmap of life? Have you longed for greater success and happiness, but haven’t yet hooked the brass ring?

Albert Schweitzer once wrote, “Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.” Here are seven steps you can take today to achieve more happiness and success in your life:

1. Believe In Yourself. Identify your natural talents and abilities. Do what you enjoy and what you do best. Truly successful and happy people find joy in their working lives. Invest your time in what you do best. Focus on your strengths and not your weaknesses.

2. Develop a Vision. First, define your path and start working your plan. Write down a vision for yourself and your life. Be specific. What do you want to accomplish? What do you want your life to look like in 5 years, 10 years?

3. Develop Good Habits. Happy and successful people choose good habits. If you’re watching too much TV, chronically late, or eating poorly, make a commitment to change your bad habits into habits consistent with your goals.

4. Show Gratitude. The happiest people are also the most grateful people. Count your blessings frequently and you’ll quickly start seeing a change in yourself and the world around you.

5. Take A Chance. Seize opportunities! Success and happiness does not come to those who sit and wait for it to be brought to them.

6. Give to Others. Studies reveal that the happiest people are also the most generous. Do, say, or give something nice to another and see how your own life improves.

7. Take Responsibility. You hold the key to your future. Take responsibility for your actions. Choose the work you like to do, and do it well. Ultimately, you are the master of your fate. You choose your own future by the decisions you make and the actions you take.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Great Time to Buy a Fixer!!

Q. We’re thinking of buying a fixer-upper as an investment. What’s the best way to find a deal without being taken to the cleaners?

A. Many people make good money buying rundown properties, fixing them up, and reselling them for a profit.

The best strategy for finding a profitable fixer-upper is to find the least desirable house in the most desirable neighborhood. Then, examine whether the cost of fixing up the property to its full market value will yield a significant profit.

You can find a fixer-upper in most communities—even in more affluent neighborhoods. One of the best ways to find a fixer-upper is to ask a real estate agent. Most agents have one or two properties they don’t like to show. You also can look for advertisements with phrases like “handyman’s special,” “needs TLC,” “or earn your down payment.”

The most profitable fixer-uppers will only need minor repairs like inside and outside painting, new carpeting and flooring, new light fixtures, new kitchen cabinets, landscaping, or a thorough cleanup. Look at properties that can be bought at 20-30 percent below what the house will be worth after fixing it.

Avoid homes that have serious flaws like a sinking foundation, structural damage, serious termite infestation, or that need a new roof. Also, avoid fixer-uppers that don’t fit in their neighborhoods, such as a two-bedroom, one-bathroom house in a neighborhood of three and four bedroom homes.

To get an idea of the finished market value, look at comparable properties in good condition. To determine the cost of fixing any existing problems, hire a good inspector. A competent inspector can save you from making a bad investment. You can call me at 206-226-0565 to find a great deal in this fast changing market.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You are Being Watched...

Privacy Facts…
• In big cities, Americans are photographed an average of 20 times a day.

• Everything you charge is in a database that police, among others, can look at.

• Your cell phone calls can be intercepted and eavesdroppers can crib your access numbers with police scanners.

• You are often being watched when you visit web sites. Servers know what you’re looking at, what you download, and how long you stay on a page.

• A political candidate’s career was destroyed when a newspaper published a list of all the videos he had ever rented.

• Your employer is allowed to read your e-mail.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Time to Get a Carbon Monoxide Detector to Protect Your Family

Steer Clear Of This
Invisible Killer!

Do you spend time around gas-burning motors, generators, stoves or heaters? If so, this little article may save your life! CO (or Carbon Monoxide) poisoning is responsible for thousands of deaths per year. And because the gas is odorless, colorless, and tasteless, many times the inflicted aren’t aware of their exposure. Yet it can kill in seconds. Generally, the initial symptoms of CO poisoning include the feeling of being intoxicated followed by nausea. Here are a few tips for keeping you and your family safe from CO poisoning:
 Buy one or more CO detectors for your home and install them according to product instructions,
 Never spend time around a running gas-burning auto, boat, generator, stove, or heater without adequate ventilation,
 If you feel you’ve been exposed to CO, immediately get into fresh air and seek medical assistance.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Time to Shake Things Up a Little!!

Are You “Stuck In Neutral?”

Are you someone who puts things off until the last minute, or misses deadlines? Well, you’re definitely not alone. Everyone does it sometimes. But procrastination can lead to even more stress. Here are a few tips to help you manage your time and reduce your stress:

• Time Management. Use a schedule planner or notebook to plan your day or week. Use a timer or alarm clock to help you keep on track.
• Break Up Large Tasks. If you know you’re unable to concentrate on a project for three hours, divide your work into one hour blocks for three days.
• Plan To Play. Plan your work and plan your play. If you know you are going out for fun later, you will be able to start your work and concentrate on it now.
• Create Short-Term Deadlines. Many people feel they work better under pressure. But if you always work under pressure, you will increase your stress. Decide to reach some short-term goal before stopping your work for the day.
• Avoid Perfectionism. If you accept nothing less than a perfect performance, you may never get to work on a task because you’re worried that it won’t be perfect. Strive for excellence, not perfection.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Is Your Cell Phone Weakening Your Facial Muscles?

There could be more cell phone dangers on the horizon. Researchers in Florida recently studying more than 200 patients with tumors and other related conditions found that while cell phones may not necessary raise the risk of certain tumors, that doesn’t mean they are completely safe.

The intratemporal facial nerve, the one that runs through the middle ear just behind the eardrum, affects facial movement. Researchers noted that when people place cell phones next to their heads, this nerve is exposed to cell phone radiation.

Researchers found that tumors on this nerve can cause facial weakness and disfigurement. While cell phone radiation may not increase the risk of these tumors, cell phones are a relatively new technology.

Most cell phone calls usually only last a short time. But, there’s no way to know what may happen when people talk much longer on cell phones and over a period of many years. Here’s just one more reason to either limit your cell phone use, invest in a headset, or buy a hands-free cell phone for your car!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Real Seven Wonders of the World

Wonders Of The World Twist
A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the “Seven Wonders of the World.” Here’s what they came up with: 1) Egypt’s Great Pyramids 2) Taj Mahal 3) Grand Canyon, 4) Panama Canal, 5) Empire State Building 6) St. Peters Basilica 7) China’s Great Wall. As the teacher picked up the votes she noticed one student had not finished her paper yet. She asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list.
The girl replied, “Yes, a little. The teacher said, “Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help. The girl hesitated, then read, “I think the “Seven Wonders of the World” are: 1) To See 2) To Hear 3) To Touch 4) To Taste 5) To Feel 6) To Laugh 7) And to Love. The classroom was so quiet you could hear a pin drop. A gentle reminder that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Three Home Makeover Ideas

Real Estate Corner…

Q. I’d like to do a makeover on my house and make it the look more luxurious, but I don’t have a lot of money to spend. What do you suggest?

A. 1) You can make your home look more luxurious with a fresh coat of paint and a little bit of creativity. Try the new faux treatments and other new painting techniques. Your local home improvement store-brand paint usually runs about $30 per 5 gallons. Give your kitchen cabinets a clean, quick makeover by applying a coat of flat primer. After it dries apply a top coat of semi-gloss latex enamel.
Another trick: add crown molding where the wall meets the ceiling for a elegant style. Kits are available at home improvement stores.

2) Ceramic tile flooring can add luxury to your entryways, kitchens and bathrooms for $2-3 per sq. ft. If you’re handy, you can do the work yourself; otherwise installation is usually $2.50-3.50 per sq. ft.

3) New overhead lighting fixtures can change the look of a room and create a luxurious ambiance. Shop for off brands or contractor packs at home improvement stores that’ll save you money. If you are buying or selling a home and need competent and caring representation, please call me at 206-226-0565.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

4 Ways Google Can Help You

The number #1 search engine may be able to help you in ways you never are just a few:

1. You can enter your airplane’s tail number (in Google search box) to find out the airplane’s maintenance service record before you fly.
2. To find out about yourself (or anyone or anything else), go to (Try this’ll be amazed!)
3. Need something defined? Enter “define” in the search box, followed by a colon, space, and then what you would like defined.
4. Need a recipe? Enter a key ingredient(s) to get recipes for your next dinner party. Bon appetit!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Overeating Triggers...And How to Avoid Them

Why do we overeat? While not all of us struggle with weight (yes, there are a few out there who don’t) most of us do have triggers that can cause us to overeat and consume up to an extra 500 calories per day. Here are a four overeating triggers and tips on how to avoid them:
Emotional Triggers. Stress, frustration, and worry are just a few of the emotions that can trigger overeating. Have a plan to deal with these feelings without food...go for a walk, bike ride, or talk with a friend.
Situational Triggers. Overeating has a pattern. TV is a big food trigger. Focus on what you’re eating without any distractions (don’t watch TV or read while eating). Set a time to stop eating (after 7 p.m.)
Low Energy Triggers. People tend to overeat when they are tired and need an energy boost. Identify your low energy times, and plan to do something else (or have healthy snacks like carrots ready to eat).
Environmental Triggers. Lighting affects how much we eat and when we eat. The brighter the lighting, the less likely you will overeat.
If you’re plagued by overeating triggers, keep these quick tips in mind: take a walk, take a nap, make a phone call, leave the table, do 20 sit-ups, drink two glasses of water, brush your teeth, or check your email

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Latest News On Wrinkle Cures

With age comes wisdom, and with age also comes the dreaded wrinkles. While many of us continue to search for the fountain of youth, there is some new information on the latest therapies that help to remove or diminish wrinkles, and improve our skin as we age.

• Today’s lasers are better at removing spider veins, scars, birth marks, age marks, tattoos, and hair.
• Intense pulsed light therapy delivers multiple wavelengths of light in millisecond intervals. It works by inducing trauma to the skin just as lasers do.
• Light-emitting diode photo-modulation uses a single wavelength, promoting collagen and elastin production in skin. It’s less powerful than a laser, but promotes skin growth without trauma, and there’s no recovery time. You can do it on your lunch hour!
• New skin products like Revitol, Hydroderm, Avotone, and Prescriptive Intensive Rebuilding Moisturizer are now available that improve skin tone, and help diminish wrinkles.
For more information, go to The American Academy of Dermatology’s website at

Monday, November 9, 2009

Time To Turn OFF the TV

Here’s Another BIG Reason
To Turn Off The TV…

Watching TV may not only be mind-numbing, it can turn you into a couch potato. But here’s another reason to get rid of your TV habit. Consumers are paying high dollars for cable TV and satellite TV. Today, nearly 110 million American homes have at least one TV, and of those 68% receive a cable signal and 22% receive a DBS signal, according to Gary Shapiro, president of Consumer Electronics Assoc.

The average cable TV subscriber pays over $58.51 per month, while the average satellite TV subscriber pays about $57.72 per month, reports J.D. Power and Associates. This adds up to about $700 per year just for watching TV! Imagine what you could do with an extra $700 per year. You can take that money and invest it, and in five years at a 15% return; you’ll be almost $7,000 richer! In 25 years you could have $200,000–or a vacation home! Now, that’s worth thinking about!

I turned my TV off a year ago and do not miss it at all. I hope to never get TV in my house again. When it is gone you find other things to do. Trust me!!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

It is Time to Consider Organic Produce.

Are the Foods You’re Eating Contaminated by Pesticides?

If you’re concerned about pesticides and your food, there’s some new information that you should know. Some of the most popular fruits and vegetables you eat every day are the most contaminated with pesticides, according to reports conducted by the Environmental Working Group, and Consumers Union. What are they?

Foods that were found with the highest pesticide levels were: Apples, Peaches, Pears, Potatoes, Spinach, Strawberries, Grapes, Cherries, Nectarines, Celery, Bell Peppers, and Raspberries.

The produce with the lowest pesticide levels were: Avocados, Sweet Corn, Broccoli, Bananas, Mangos, Papaya, Sweet Peas, Pineapples, Kiwi, Onions, Cauliflower, and Asparagus.

A 2003 study conducted by Seattle scientists and published in Environmental Health found that school children eating conventionally-grown fruits and vegetables are more likely to exceed EPA safety thresholds for organophosphate pesticides than children eating organic produce.

What can you do? To reduce your exposure to pesticides, always wash your produce, and buy organic whenever possible. What are the advantages of buying organic produce?
Organic foods have been found to contain more nutritional value and more antioxidants than conventionally grown foods, according to University of California, Davis scientists. Organic foods were found to have high levels of vitamin C, calcium, magnesium, and iron.

What’s the difference between organic and conventionally grown foods? Organic foods are grown in safe soil, and have no additives, or irradiated genetically modified organisms. Organic foods must be separated from conventional foods (in storage containers) so there is no contact with chemicals or pesticides. For more information, go to, or

Friday, November 6, 2009

Natural Remedies for Migraine Headache Attacks

Banish Headaches with These Amazing Natural Remedies

Do you suffer from chronic headaches? Headache pain is one of the top ten reasons for absenteeism in the workplace and schools. The migraine headache strikes 18 percent of women, 6 percent of men and (surprisingly) 8 percent of children. Migraines are throbbing headaches that affect only one side of the head and can be accompanied by vision complications, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound. The duration of a migraine can last from a few hours to a few days.

A variety of foods, the body’s own hormones, and environmental stimuli can trigger migraines. Migraine sufferers should avoid beer, red wine, monosodium glutamate (used liberally in Chinese foods), certain cheeses, yogurt, and smoked fish. Sodium nitrate, found in bacon, cold cuts, and hot dogs is also a known cause. Caffeine and chocolate also may be connected with migraines.

Fluctuations in hormones can cause migraines. It can affect men, but it especially affects women during their monthly cycle – possibly due to fluctuations in estrogen and serotonin levels in the body. Sixty percent of female migraine sufferers have them in relation to their monthly cycle.

People on long-term prescription medications or painkillers like aspirin and acetaminophen can experience a “boomerang” effect when medications are stopped. The body may go into withdrawal, triggering a massive migraine. A magnesium deficiency may also trigger migraines, and has been correlated to the migraine-like symptoms of early fibromyalgia.

Can anything be done for sufferers of migraine headaches? The answer is yes. There are new prescription medications for treatment of migraines, but simpler natural solutions may effectively eliminate or lessen migraine suffering with less cost and side effects. Here are a few suggestions:

1. Watch what you eat. Keep a food diary, and notice the effects of the food listed above. If symptoms appear up to 18 hours after eating, avoid the food.

2. Try the herb “feverfew.” This potent herb reduces the release of serotonin and the production of an inflammatory substance known as prostaglandins. Both of these events in the body are associated with migraines. Taken regularly, it has been shown to prevent future attacks.
3. Take 800 mg. of L-carnitine a day. The amino acid L-carnitine decreases the sensitivity of the body’s nervous system to fluctuating oxygen levels, one of the key migraine triggers.
4. Take a calcium and magnesium supplement daily. These two minerals work in tandem to reduce the duration and severity of migraine attacks.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Beware of Nasal Spray Addiction. STOP Using it Immediately After Your Cold!!

Nasal Spray Dangers!
You can run the risk of addiction by using a decongestant nasal spray for more than three days. Nasal sprays constrict the blood vessels in the nose, enlarging the passage so that air can flow through. After three days you can suffer “rebound nasal congestion” when stopping. The vessels swell up again, leading you back to the spray for relief. Best bet? Either quit cold turkey and suffer for a day, or consider diluting your nasal spray with saline solution.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

How to Get a Free Credit Report. It is Your Credit and You Have a Right to View it for No Charge!!

Free Credit Reports
Now Available!

Now you’ll be able to get your free credit report thanks to the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act. The three national credit bureaus: Equifax. Experian, and Transunion are required to provide consumers with their credit reports for free once per year. Your credit report and score can affect your ability to buy a home, the rate you can get on a car loan and the terms of these loans. The score is based on a formula that evaluates your credit file. The higher your score, the less your credit risk to lenders. To get your free credit report, go to

You also can order reports over the telephone at (877) 322-8228. For further information and tips, go to the Federal Trade Commission's Web site:

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What Doctors can Learn From a Blood Test

What Can You Learn From
A Simple Blood Test?

How many episodes of ER have you watched and wondered...what exactly does the CBC tell these actors turned doctors? A CBC (complete blood count) can reveal a lot about your health. The CBC measures your hemoglobin (a protein that allows red blood cells to transport oxygen and gives blood its red color). Low hemoglobin indicates anemia.

A hematocrit measures the volume that red blood cells take up in the blood. Elevated numbers may indicate dehydration, or it may be an early sign of cancer or kidney disease. Low numbers indicate anemia. Your white blood cells (WBC) fight infection and promote healing. A high WBC count indicates a bacterial infection. Very low numbers may indicate exposure to toxic drugs or environmental toxins, or other diseases.

Your platelet count indicates your body’s ability to initiate blood clotting. A high number may indicate anemia, inflammation or a more serious condition. A low number may indicate an autoimmune disorder, allergic drug reaction, or an enlarged spleen. Your physician may order additional tests if your blood measurements don’t fall in the normal range.
If you any questions about your CBC, be sure to ask your physician to explain the ranges and results to you.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Time for a Home Makeover? Easy Decorating Tips!!

Q. I want to redecorate our living space, but I don’t know where to begin. Do you have any decorating tips?

A. You can makeover your living space with these simple decorating tips:
1. Change your color palette. You can choose neutral and earth tones, such as whites, tans, beiges, and golds. A room of monotone decors appears more spacious. And you can dress up a room with white walls, a white sofa, and white or glass coffee tables with accented throw pillows, colorful table runners and placements, and decorative rugs.
2. Soften the lighting. Lighting adds warmth and drama to any room. A lamp or sconce lighting will provide more warmth and mood than overhead lighting. In your rooms, place your lamps and lighting arrangements so that they form a triangle of light in the room.
3. Rearrange the furniture. Try moving your sofas away from the wall. You can place two sofas in “V” formation with tables behind them. Or you can arrange the sofas so that they’re parallel to each other. Placing a rug between them creates a conversation area.
4. Create a focal point. Select a special focal point in your room: a piano, piece of art, picture, or floral arrangement. Make sure to hang your art and pictures at eye level. (Many people hang them too high.)
5. Create warmth. You can transform your dining room by adding lamps on each side of the buffet. Be sure to choose tall, sleek lamps to add drama to your dining area.
6. Experiment with ideas. Don’t be afraid to experiment with light, color, and furnishings. Use your own personality and charm to create the living space you’ll enjoy entertaining and spending time with your family.
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.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Fight Osteoporosis Now!!

How To Maintain Strong,
Healthy Bones…For Life!

Nearly 10 million Americans suffer from Osteoporosis. By 2020, half of all citizens over 50 will be at high risk for developing the condition. In a recent report, “Bone Health and Osteoporosis,” U. S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona outlines important measures you can take to maintain strong, healthy and happy bones for life.

One of the most common myths, he says, is that only women need to worry about bone health. Osteoporosis affects men and women of all races. By age 75, osteoporosis is as common in men as it is in women!

Are you at risk? The first symptom of osteoporosis is a bone fracture. Other risk factors include: low calcium/vitamin D intake, a sedentary lifestyle, smoking, body weight less than 125 lbs, long-term steroid medication like prednisone or cortisone, eating disorders such as anorexia or bulimia, and early menopause.

How to maintain strong bones? First, while bone weakness is evident in older Americans, strong bones begin in childhood. Here are four steps you can take today to prevent osteoporosis and maintain strong, healthy bones:

1. Get the recommended amount of daily calcium by drinking milk and eating green leafy vegetables, soybeans, yogurt, and cheese. (1,000 mg of calcium per day).
2. Exercise 30 minutes per day for adults; 60 minutes a day for children. This can be walking, running, or any weight-baring exercise.
3. Get Vitamin D (200 IU), which is produced in the skin by exposure to the sun. It’s also found in fortified milk and cereals
4. Your doctor can order a bone density test (DEXA), which measures bone density at the spine, hip, and wrist where most fractures occur.

For more information on osteoporosis, call 1-866-718-BONE, or go to