Monday, April 27, 2015

What are some remodeling trends for 2015?

According to a poll of by the National Association of the Remodeling Industry, the overall trend is to take on small projects while you wait to do the really big ones. Here are some specific trends to watch for if you’re remodeling or selling soon: • Updating bathrooms. It’s cheaper than doing a kitchen but you need to keep a close eye on your budget. • Warming up the house with earth tones and metallic features, such as aged bronze, distressed hardware, even brass. • Opening up rooms. More people are taking down interior walls and opening up spaces in older homes. • Going green. The focus is on energy-efficient upgrades. • Paying in cash. Instead of taking out a loan, people are picking and choosing what they can do with the cash they have. • Hiring good contractors. Asking questions and being more diligent about choosing quality contractors is on the rise. • Spending time outside. The trend is to fix up outdoor spaces with a deck and landscaping.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Exercise To Fit Your Personality

If you’re going to maintain an exercise routine, you need to enjoy it. You can, if you find the exercise that fits your personality. There are several quizzes you can take online (try the one at, and search for “exercise quiz”), but here are some quick tips:  Personality: “I get bored easily.” Sign up for Zumba, an aerobic dance class that will get you moving. A dance studio or sports club usually offers these classes.  Personality: “I am a competitive person.” Try CrossFit. Go to to learn about these timed, intense exercises in which participants compete against one another. Then search the local area for a CrossFit gym.  Personality: “I want to relax.” Yoga may be for you. Researchers say doing even 15 minutes a day can lower stress in your body. Search for a yoga studio.  Personality: “I prefer to exercise alone.” You can get a total body workout in minutes by swimming a few laps at a recreation center or YMCA. Plus, it’s better on your joints.  Personality: “I love to socialize.” Join a team (softball or volleyball, for example) or start a running club with friends. You’ll have fun and hold each other accountable.  Personality: “I love to get my heart pumping.” Sign up for Spinning at a local fitness club. It’s fast-paced indoor cycling that includes lights and music to make it a fun adventure.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Help Prevent Sports & Exercise Injuries

Millions of people experience a sports or exercise injury each year. Shin splints, pulled muscles, aching kneecaps, and strained hamstring muscles are common when you begin a new exercise program or put too much stress on your body. Here are tips to avoid getting hurt when exercising or playing sports: • • Have A Fitness Test: A visit to your doctor is important if you are starting a new exercise program. Your doctor may find an undiagnosed heart condition or other disease that will require workout modifications. • Know Your Body: It sounds basic, but many fail to make adjustments to account for known body weaknesses. For example, if you have knee problems you may want to try a stationary bike instead of a treadmill. • Wear Proper Attire: Wear proper shoes that fit and grip the ground to avoid slipping or tripping. Workout clothes that keep you warm but not hot are best to avoid getting overheated and passing out. • Act Your Age: When you get excited about a new workout or sport, you can do too much, too quickly and push yourself too long. Work with a trainer, and make sure you’re using the correct technique. • Feed Your Muscles And Hydrate Your Body: A high protein meal one hour before your workout will give you the fuel you need to keep going. Thirty minutes before you exercise, drink about 16 ounces of water. Drink more water during your workout to replace the fluids you’re losing. • Know The Injury Warning Signs: If you have any of the following for more than 48 hours, see a physician: joint pain (including swelling, redness and heat), reduced range of motion, or numbness, and tingling.

Monday, April 6, 2015

How can I “stage” my home so it sells quickly?

Make sure you address both the outside and the inside of the house by cleaning and de-cluttering everything, from the front yard to the garage to the kitchen, bathrooms, and basement. Put away your personal items so buyers can imagine themselves living there. One way to take years off your home is with paint. Check the home’s exterior paint job, and don’t forget the front door, mailbox, garage doors, and walkways. In the interior, remove the pictures from the walls (as well as old wallpaper) and paint the walls in a neutral color. Also, consider these tips if you want to sell your home fast for a good price: a) Hire professional cleaners to do the work; b) Get a home inspection before you put it on the market; and c) Make your landscaping look sharp. For a list of the specific steps you should take, ask for my Free Consumer Report called “4 Steps To Stage Your Home For A Fast Sale.” I’ll send a copy right to you.

Friday, April 3, 2015

New Miracle Health Food

If you love chocolate, you don’t need to feel guilty anymore! Here’s why. Nutritionists at Penn State University have discovered that chocolate has powerful (and very healthy!) antioxidant properties. Chocolate (especially the very dark chocolates) have been found to have high levels of the antioxidant flavonoids called flavanols. Long-term studies have shown that people with high blood levels of flavonoids have a lower risk of heart disease, lung cancer, prostate cancer, asthma, and type-2 diabetes. Researchers found that Dove Dark Chocolate packed a walloping amount of the heart-healthy flavanols. It reduced bad LDL cholesterol, boosted antioxidant levels in the blood and raised good HDL cholesterol by 4 percent. In the lab, they discovered chocolate reduces blood clotting, and may stabilize arterial plaque, making it less likely to travel and cause stroke and heart attack. “The chocolate flavanol factor” also triggers production of nitric oxide, which maintains flexible arteries and increases blood flow – great for controlling high blood pressure! So the next time you unwrap a savory piece of dark chocolate and offer some to a friend, you can say, “To your health and long life!”