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Category: Blog

Protect Yourself From Pollen


Many types of pollen cause mild to severe seasonal allergy, including allergic rhinitis and asthma.

But helpful defenses are available, according to researchers at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences.

Plant Pollen

Pollen amounts are highest in the morning, and on dry, hot, windy days.

Protecting yourself

  • Between 5 and 10 a.m., stay indoors. Save outside activities for late afternoon or after a heavy rain, when pollen levels are lower.
  • Keep windows in your home and car closed to lower exposure to pollen. Keep cool with air conditioners. Don’t use window or attic fans.
  • Use a dryer, not a line outside; dry your clothes and avoid collecting pollen on them.

Grass Pollen

Grass pollens are regional as well as seasonal. Their levels also are affected by temperature, time of day, and rain.

Protecting yourself

  • Have someone else mow your lawn. If you mow, wear a mask.
  • Keep grass short.
  • Grow ground covers that don’t produce much pollen, such as moss.
  • Treat respiratory allergy with antihistamines, topical nasal steroids, cromolyn sodium, decongestants, or immunotherapy.
  • Use an air purifier with high efficiency air filters (HEPA) or an electrostatic air filter.

 

Spring is here and that means moving and cleaning!

Reduce Your Debt and Start Saving Now!

Does your credit card balance look higher than last year? Statistically, Americans increased their credit card debt by 5.9%, according to Equifax.1

Between child-care expenses, groceries, health insurance, taxes – how do you balance saving AND paying off debt?

  1. Know that it can be done. You may have to brown-bag your lunch, car-pool with a friend or pick up a second job – but this can be done.
  2. Create an emergency savings fund. How much? Start with $1,000.
  3. If your employer offers a 401(k) or 403(b) – maximize that benefit.
  4. Prioritize your debt. Pay off either the highest interest debt first or the smallest amounts first.
  5. Celebrate the small victories! Once you’ve reached your goal – whether that’s tucking away sufficient money in an emergency savings fund, paying off a credit card, or seeing the accumulation of your retirement plan at work – take some money and splurge a little on yourself. But keep it reasonable — and don’t charge it.

Sources:

1 Todd Campbell, “The Average American’s Credit Card Debt Grew This Much Last Year — How Do You Compare?” Fool.com, March 15, 2015. (http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2015/03/15/the-average-americans-credit-card-debt-grew-this-m.aspx)

2 www.bankrate.com, 401(k) Retirement Savings Calculator, calculated 05/2015.

Moving Apps That Help You Stay on Top of Things

Moving Apps That Help You Stay on Top of Things

According to RISMEDIA these are the top moving apps to make your move easier:

Unpakt
Book, manage, and pay for your move all within the Unpakt app. No need to fill out multiple request forms or call different movers for quotes. Simply enter your move details into the app to see moving prices in several cities across 37 states.

Hire a mover via Unpakt online or on iOS and Android.

TaskRabbit
Get your home or apartment ready for the move by hiring a Tasker to complete home repairs, deep clean your home, and disassemble your bed frame. Services are available in most major cities.

Get your chores done with TaskRabbit on iOS and Android.

MagicPlan
Take pictures of your new home or apartment before your move and use them to create detailed floor plans with MagicPlan. These floor plans allow you to view your space in 3D, decide where to put your couch, and plan DIY projects.

Visualize your space with MagicPlan on iOS and Android.

Wunderlist
Plan your move with Wunderlist, a to-do list web app. Create lists, set deadlines, schedule reminders, and share your list with friends and family helping you move. You can also assign tasks to people you’ve shared your to-do list with.

Make your to-do list online with Wunderlist.

Sortly
Pack with the help of Sortly, a digital organizer. Use the app to take inventory of what you packed in each box so you know where to find your wine opener, your favorite jeans, or your drill. With the premium account, you can create QR code labels for your boxes, access your account online, and export your lists via PDF and Dropbox.

Pack like a pro with Sortly on iOS.

Internet Speed Need Tool
Determine your ideal internet speed with this web app. The tool also shows internet providers in your area that offer your recommended speed—helpful if you’re moving to a new area. The internet speed you need will vary depending on how you use the internet. You may need faster speeds if your kids play video games, if you recently upgraded to a smart TV, or if you run an online business from home.

Determine the speed you need online with the Internet Speed Need Tool.

Postmates
Order late-night meals, cleaning supplies, basic toiletries, or lunch from virtually any store or restaurant in your city. Postmates will deliver the best your city has to offer right to your doorstep—saving you a trip while you’re busy unpacking. Postmates is available in over 200 cities.

Start receiving deliveries through Postmates on iOS and Android.

Nextdoor
Socialize with your new neighbors on Nextdoor, a private social networking app that over 145,000 neighborhoods use to stay connected. Find a babysitter, learn about a rash of car break-ins, and hear about neighborhood events all in one place.

Meet your neighbors through Nextdoor online or on iOS and Android.

Thumbtack
Hire house cleaners, interior designers, carpet cleaners, painters, home security companies, and more, with Thumbtack. Find professionals—in all 50 states—for anything you need in your new home or apartment.

Hire a professional via Thumbtack online or on iOS and Android.

While these apps might not make moving completely pain-free, they can help you get your home ready to move, hire the best mover, and find services in your new neighborhood. Whether you’re moving down the street or across the country, technology can help you save time, money and energy.

 

 

 

Seven steps to stay safe in cold weather

Seven steps to stay safe in cold weather

1) Listen to the weather forecast

  • Listen for a wind chill warning. Warnings are based on local climate and are issued when significant wind chills are expected.

2) Plan ahead

  • Develop a cold weather safety plan in advance to ensure that safety concerns are addressed when it’s very cold, or when the wind chill is significant.

3) Dress warmly

  • Dress in layers, with a wind resistant outer layer.
  • When it is cold, wear a hat, mittens or insulated gloves. Keep your face warm with a scarf, neck tube or facemask.
  • Wear warm and waterproof footwear. When it is very cold, or when the wind chill is significant, cover as much exposed skin as possible. Your body’s extremities, such as the ears, nose, fingers and toes lose heat the fastest.

4) Seek shelter

  • When the wind chill is significant, get out of the wind and limit the time you spend outside.

5) Stay dry

  • Wet clothing chills the body rapidly.
  • Remove outer layers of clothing or open your coat if you are sweating.

6) Keep active

  • Walking or running will help warm you by generating body heat.

7) Be aware

  • Watch for signs of frostbite and hypothermia
  • Some people are more susceptible to the cold, particularly children, the elderly and those with circulation problems.
  • Check on elderly relatives and neighbors to ensure they are warm enough and have sufficient supplies, particularly when the weather is cold or snowy. They might not feel comfortable going outside to shop and may require food, medications and other supplies.
  • The use of alcohol, tobacco and certain medications will increase your susceptibility to cold.

 

Moving with Children Checklist

Moving is exciting and exhausting, but also controllable with the right plan. Make use of the tools available to you to help the move go smoothly and take a look at our moving-to-a-new-home checklist for parents with toddlers:

  • Talk to your child about the move ahead of time.
  • Make the move a family experience.
  • Allow your toddler to express angst about the move.
  • Take a tour of your new community to build positive feelings.
  • Maintain a schedule for your child.
  • Surround your child with their favorite things before, during, and after the move.
  • Pack your child’s things last and unpack them first.
  • Create a safe space in your new home and put away anything that can be dangerous.
  • Remember that moving can be tough and everyone deals with it differently, but it also can be a rewarding experience.

Moving can bring you closer to your family and it will show you how your toddler deals with stress. Your child will learn that no matter what changes around them you are still a constant in their life. By being patient and really paying attention to your child’s needs you can set them up for success in your new home and in their future.

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