1700 posts Posts by Jayne

6 Ways Technology Can Make Your Life Easier

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Everyone needs a little help every now and then and what better way to get it than using technology in your everyday life. Most people have a phone these days, and these devices are just like a mini computer in their own right, so there’s no excuse to utilise it to make your life a little easier. It’s not only phones that can help either, as the selection of home gadgets and smart devices is also changing the way we live and carry out daily tasks.

If you’re looking to utilise technology to make things easier, check out these top ways to do just that.

Make payments securely

In the old days, you used to have to go into the bank to get money out or pay people, but in modern society, even cash machines are starting to disappear too. That’s where technology takes over. It’s never been easier to pay securely for a range of products and services with the click of a button on your mobile device. Apps are making it simple to buy things and get them delivered within days. Plus you can pay friends and family in an instant if you need to split the bill at dinner.

Watch the latest TV series and movies

Long gone are the days of waiting forever for films to come out on DVD, as now you can access the latest movies and TV series right from the comfort of your own home. It’s easy to set everything up from a smart TV or on your computer, and you can find out how to get favourite shows on Netflix on your Mac here: https://setapp.com/how-to/watch-netflix-offline-legally-on-mac.

Get fit at home

Want to get fit but don’t have the time to go to the gym! Well, you can do all your workouts from the comfort of your own home on your lunch break with the range of apps and videos on YouTube that take you through the steps and techniques. If you prefer running, you can also download helpful guides on how to complete different runs depending on if you just want to get off the couch or want to test your stamina in a marathon.

Find your way around

Once upon a time, a trusty map would get us from A to B, but now in the innovation of modern technology, our phone can guide us around with ease. It’s not just great for using in the car either, as if you hunting for a shop in a town you don’t know, or are exploring a new city, a GPS app can guide through the streets to find your destination. You can also ask your phone for the nearest bank, supermarket or café plus a range of other spots to find the fastest route for your needs.

Control your home

You can now control a host of things in your home with technology too. Everything from appliances to your heating and lights can be turned on and off with your smart devices, which is ideal if you want to monitor elements such as energy usage. There are also lots of smart devices such as Siri and Alexa, who can just play you some music when you need it. Plus you can integrate them into your other smart devices and turn lights on when you come into a room or switch the TV on etc.

Secure your home

Home security is a priority for many families and technology can give you extra peace of mind whether you’re at home or away for the holidays. Installing cameras inside your property that are connected to the WiFi offers you visibility in each room it’s set up in. There are also options to set alerts if motion is detected and you can log in on your smartphone app and look directly into your house from your phone. Another use for these types of cameras is for pet-watching. If you have to leave your beloved pooch at home while you’re at work, it can be worrying for the both of you. So setting up a camera will enable you to watch them throughout the day, and some devices allow you to talk through them, which can help if they have decided that it might be fun to nibble on the furniture.

Technology makes it super easy to get organised and feel more secure in your home. By utilising a range of home and mobile tech options, you will be able to get places faster, get organised more efficiently and have extra peace of mind for your family.

How to Make Your Teeth Last

If you have kids, you might be already teaching them about the importance of looking after their dental hygiene, and take them for checkups. Unfortunately, when we get busier and our daily schedules change, our oral hygiene routine will change. Neglecting your teeth can cost you a fortune, so it is important that you choose long lasting solutions and focus on prevention first. Below you will find a few tips on how to look after your family’s oral hygiene at every age.

Image via PxHere

Regular Routine

From an early age, you should teach your kids to brush their teeth every morning and night, as a minimum. Even if they are going for a school trip or on a sleepover, you will need to ensure that you are checking on them and remind them to look after their teeth. Every habit takes long weeks, if not months to stick, so it is important that you are taking responsibility for providing the right guidance to your kids.

Choosing The Right Brush and Toothpaste

It is not enough to just brush regularly; you might want to ask your dentist which brush and toothpaste to use. You might have teeth that are too close, or suffer from infections, bone issues that will prevent you from making the most out of a regular dental routine. If your teeth get stained or you suffer from plaque, you might need a special treatment and a hygienic intervention.

Flossing

Many people underestimate the importance of flossing. It might be making your oral hygiene routine a few seconds longer, but it is definitely less painful than a descaling treatment or a bleeding gum or tooth. You will, however, need to find the right type of dental floss, and your dentist can certainly help you with choosing one.

Early Orthodontics Assessments

If you want your kids to have a perfect smile, you might want to get them to have a dental assessment and a referral to the orthodontics clinic. Under a certain age, the treatment is free or pretty cheap, and there is nothing more valuable you can give your kids than the confidence to smile. If you miss the opportunity, you will never forgive yourself.

Long Term Solutions

Image via Health.mil

It is also crucial that you focus on the long term solutions. For example, you might get a denture for cheap, and it will be OK for a while, but maintaining it will be hard, not to mention the lack of comfort. Instead, you can get some strong and long lasting dental implants that will last for decades and feel like you haven’t even broken a tooth at all. If your child breaks a front tooth, you don’t want them to live with it for the rest of their lives: get  a professional technician to restore their smile.

If you want your teeth to last for a lifetime, you will need to make the most out of the checkups and preventive measures. It is your responsibility to teach your kids how to look after their teeth.

 

Wireless vs Wired dog fence. Which is better?

Invisible dog fences are great for pet owners. They can let their dogs play in the grounds without worrying that they will hurt themselves or make a mess. Since the boundary is invisible, it causes no obstacle or hindrance to the rest of the household. However, pet owners are often confused while deciding to buy a dog containment system. They cannot figure out if they should buy a wired or a wireless system. Both have been evaluated and compared below.

Installation

A wired fence is labour-intensive in its installation. Since the wires are buried, mud and dirt need to be dug up. For concrete and gravel surfaces, hardware and manpower are required to cut through the surfaces before placing the wires. This can make the installation expensive. On the other hand, a wireless dog fence does not need any intensive installation. You just need to figure out a centre point to install the transmitter and figure out the boundary size.  

Coverage

Even a basic wired dog fence can help pet owners secure their dogs over tens of acres. The coverage gets higher as the pet containment system improves. However, a wireless dog fence only offers around a few hundred feet of coverage. It will not be possible to supervise dogs over a more extensive territory using this technology.

Wired contained systems can be laid in corners and edges as well as long as the wires are kept rounded. This ensures full coverage of the property. But wireless containment systems only offer coverage along the circumference of a circle and corners are left out.

Durability

The hardware of a wired containment system is weather-resistant. The wiring is buried which protects it from rain, hail and snow. The system remains functional even in bad weather. A wireless system, on the other hand, is susceptible to environmental conditions. The base unit has to be kept in a dry space indoors.

As far as the signals are concerned, a wired system rarely loses signals. If there’s a power breakdown or the wires have been corroded, then the functionality would be affected. But until that happens, it will keep working. On the other hand, a wireless system has sensitive signals that keep on fluctuating. Electronic appliances, nearby trees and harsh weather can disrupt the communication lines of the transmitter

Problem-solving

At times, a dog containment system malfunctions. If the wires have been dug into the ground, it will be difficult to trace the origin of the problem. You cannot dig everywhere the wire was placed. A replacement will require plenty of effort similarly. Meanwhile, a wireless system is portable, and it can be easily opened up to diagnose the problem. It will not exert the owner’s energies and won’t be expensive to repair.

In conclusion, a wired dog fence is operationally very much superior to a wireless dog fence. It is also more durable and transmits signals even in bad weather. However, the installation and repair of a wireless system is cheaper.

Glazed or Not? Which internal doors are better

Door styles have come a long way over the years, and this versatility and variety have come as a result of the needs of homeowners across the world. Interior designs are different, and homes now have a lot of different themes as well. Keeping with this variety, two types of doors have taken the market by storm and are the most common choices for homeowners, especially for their internal doors. These are glazed and unglazed doors. Another factor to think about is whether or not you want the door to lock or not. Many people like to have locks on certain doors like bathrooms and get a company such as Fast keys to install it.

The choice of door style that will work best for your home depends mainly on the interior design of the house, the architecture and style of the home, and what the owners want from the home design of course. A glazed door offers a lot of different qualities than an unglazed door and determining which one to buy depends on which qualities work best with your home. Here is a short and comprehensive guide on which door will work best for your home.

A glazed door is often considered to be a bit more modern in its design and style and is commonly used by those that want their internal doors to appear and feel light instead of traditional and heavy. They can be used in kitchens, living rooms, and all kinds of hallways to add in more light to the house and to ensure that the different parts of the house are not closed off from each other. They can, however, only be used in parts of the house that do not have issues with privacy. They can primarily be used in darker corners of the house to add more light to those areas without having to install extra artificial lighting sources such as bulbs. These doors are also customizable in terms of how much glazing is needed. You can have entirely internal glazed doors with large panes of glass or medium or half internal glazed doors that have smaller glass panes and offer a bit more privacy from shops like Online Door Store. Internal glazed doors are great for homes that need the extra light and for individuals that can afford to invest in internal doors that are slightly costly.

Unglazed doors, as the name suggests, are doors without the glazing. They do not have large glass panes to add and bring in extra light into the home. It is possible to use any cut-out space to add glass, but it is up to the homeowner to do so themselves. These doors are considerably cheaper than glazed doors, so these are great options for individuals on a budget. If glass panes must be added to these unglazed doors to turn them into internal glazed doors, then this can be done on a budget by reusing old glazing or finding affordable glass panes on your own. Unglazed doors, for that very reason, are great for homes that do not absolutely require a lot of extra light being brought in, and by individuals that may be on a tighter budget.

Are You Getting the Best Online Shopping Deals?

Who doesn’t love getting a great shopping deal? Let’s face it, there is just something so rewarding when you can scoop up a great deal, and chances are you’ll tell all your friends and family about it. So, imagine if there was a way to better your odds of finding those great deals? Imagine if you never had to feel like you over-paid for something ever again, and in fact you were getting a steal the majority of the time.

In order to make that a reality, we’ve gone ahead and put together some tips and tricks that will help ensure that you get the best online shopping deals each and every time.

Find Sites That Locate the Deals for You

One of the best ways to scoop up all those great deals is to find a website that catalogs them all for you. This saves you a whole lot of time and hassle since you won’t have to jump from site to site looking for sales. A great example of such a site is the Upgraded Reviews site, which provides details on how you can save on everything from food to software. Because everything is categorized, you simply click on the category you are interested in and deals will pop up.

Do Comparison Shopping

Just like you would do in an actual brick and mortar store, it’s also a good idea to do comparison shopping online. This means searching various websites for pricing, warranty information, shipping fees, etc. Even if the product isn’t exact, you may find a close enough match that is much better priced by looking around.

Look for Free Shipping

Another area that you can save money on, and make your shopping deal that much sweeter, is to look for free shipping. Oftentimes websites offer free shipping on a minimum order. What this means is that you have to order a minimum number of products in order to get that free shipping. If you don’t have enough to reach that minimum, either wait until you have a bigger order, or see if you’ve got a friend that wants to go in on it with you and the two of you can then take advantage of the shipping deal.

Loyalty Member Discounts

First time shoppers and loyalty members can also be offered discounts and promotions online. Often if you sign up for a company’s e-newsletter, you’ll be treated to a one-time use discount code. This will obviously bring down the price of your purchase. Also, many companies have customer loyalty programs or rewards that provide you with free samples, discounts, exclusive deals and promotions, and early access to high-demand products.

Price Matching Can Be Done Online Too

It’s also important to note that many of the big retailers offer price-matching online now as well. What this means is that if you can find the same item for a lower price somewhere else, the price will be matched. What’s the point in this? Well maybe one site offers a better shipping rate or faster shipping.

Go Ahead and Leave Items in Your Cart

The final trick is to go ahead and leave items sitting in your cart. Often, you’ll end up getting an email with a savings code or coupon code that you can apply to that item in order to bring you back and close the sale.

Smart Shopping = Great Deals

By using all these smart tips and tricks, you’ll find that you are able to score the best online deals out there and never question if your purchase was worth it.

Giving Your Blog A Little More Glam

Your blog is getting to be quite old these days, isn’t it? You’ve been running it for 5 to 10 years now, and when it comes to the internet, that makes you an ancient player in the news feed’s eyes! You’ve updated your blog consistently over the years, building up a reader base that regularly comes back to visit you, and you love noticing all the traction you receive on social media. Hey, you’ve been working hard to build an online persona, you’re allowed to want to see it pay off!

But because of all of this history, there’s a good chance you could do with ‘glamming up’ your blog throughout 2019. It’s a new year, and it’s a big one for all of us who work online: millions is being spent on contenting writing and marketing, and the price is only going to go up!

So, why not think about making your blog more of a glamor model in your network’s eyes? Here’s a couple of ideas you might want to check out to do just that.

(Unsplash)

Know What Other Blogs are Doing

Other blogs on the platform can be your friends, your collaborators, and your competitors. They can be all three at once, of course, or they can just be another blog you’ve never approached before. But there’s one thing they are always going to have in common: you can look to them to see what works.

When you use other blogs to base your layout, your images, and your themes off of, you can quickly learn what’s popular and what isn’t. You can also mix and match much better than before, seeing as you now have a template to work off of!

Know the Templates that Work

Speaking of templates, you’ll find all kinds of posts across the internet telling you the most popular WordPress themes for the year, or the best layouts to use to make sure people stay on your website. And sure, these posts have some grains of truth to them, but they’re not experts on the matter! Your readers come from all walks of life, after all, and they’re all going to have their own little tastes; only they can decide if they like the aesthetic of your blog or not.

Which is why it makes a lot more sense for you to rely on what’s worked before, rather than try to predict the future. You’ve been in the business a long time; ask yourself how many times a choice has paid off without doing any research beforehand? For example, Microsoft Office templates are always going to popular with both professional and personal users alike. So if you’re someone who’s always out to advertise to both bigger companies you could work with, and the readers who love to consume your content, this could be a good place to start!

Your blog might need a new sprinkling of glam to it, it might not. Either way, it’s always nice to be able to redesign!

How to Understand Your Rights When You Go on Maternity Leave: 5 Things You Need to Know

There are sets of laws that have been put in place to protect women when they are pregnant and employed. Many women have a lot of questions when it comes to their employment. Will you be given a set time period for your pregnancy? Will your job be protected? Can you be fired? There are a few things pregnant women need to be aware of so they can make sure their rights are fully protected.

The Family Medical Leave Act

For pregnant women, knowing your maternity leave rights is vital. The Family Medical Leave Act was passed in 1993 and applies to companies with at least 50 employees. Those who have worked at least a year with the company and work at least 25 hours a week qualify for taking up to twelve weeks of leave for pregnancy. When you return to work, under the law, you must be returned to employment offering equal benefits. The twelve weeks can be split up or taken all at once.

The FMLA also allows spouses to take leave for work for the care of their pregnant spouse or their newborn baby. It is imperative you are well-versed in the law so you can fully protect your rights as you go through the process.

The Pregnancy Discrimination Act

Unfortunately, discrimination still occurs against pregnant women. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was passed in 1978. This act provides women with the same rights as others with medical conditions. This act states the following.

· You cannot be fired because you are pregnant.

· You cannot be forced to take a mandatory leave.

· You must be given modified tasks so you can continue to perform your job safely.

· You are allowed to continue working as long as you can safely and effectively perform your job.

· You are fully guaranteed job security during your leave.

Women need to be aware of this act that was passed to protect their rights as a pregnant woman. The Pregnancy Discrimination Act was put in place to ensure pregnant women are treated fairly in the workplace.

5 Things You Must Know

1. As long as you have worked part-time for at least a year, you qualify for maternity leave.

2. You are required to request maternity leave in writing.

3. Your employer must continue to provide you with insurance, but you must pay your premiums.

4. There are only four states that have government-funded maternity leave and they include New Jersey, California, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

5. Short-term disability insurance can offer coverage for the partial term of the maternity leave, but it will not cover it all.

Although laws have not been put in place in every state that requires employers to offer paid maternity leave, some employers provide this for the good of their employees. Preparation with savings before medical leave can make this period of time less financially stressful.

Conclusion

Pregnant women need to be aware of the rights they hold and should familiarize themselves with the laws and the policies of their employer. Being informed will help you to protect your rights as you go on maternity leave. Those who have been discriminated against or illegally fired should file a report and consider getting legal help.

Make Your Life Easier as a Mumpreneur

With childcare costs at an all-time high and earnings not really falling into line, it’s little wonder that so many women are turning to the idea of running their own businesses from home. The advantages of working in your own home are numerous, allowing you to set your own hours, work around school times and school holidays, and ultimately save a lot of money on childcare. It’s not for everyone, and some people struggle with the challenges of running a business in their home, but if you’ve got the drive and the patience, it can be a great alternative to a traditional 9-5 career.

If you’re thinking about becoming a work-at-home-mum, or even if you already are and are looking to make your life a bit easier, we’ve got some tips on how you can delegate certain tasks.

Get an Assistant

If you’re not keen on the idea of having someone coming to work alongside you in your home office every day, virtual receptionist services could be a great solution. For as little as 30p per day, you could have an automated service to handle all of the calls you don’t have time to deal with. It also means that you’re not tied to a desk and have the freedom to work from absolutely anywhere without the risk of missing important calls or losing business – far cheaper than a human assistant!

Outsource the Cleaning

Having a cleaner may seem like a luxury you can’t afford, but when you think about how much time you spend cleaning in a week, and then consider the fact that you could spend that time working on your business instead, can you afford NOT to have a cleaner?! Taking the domestic chores off of your plate can free you up for more important things and increase your earning potential.

Co-Parenting

As we mentioned above, childcare is a massive expense for many families, which is why homeworking is good for parents of younger kids. However, when you’ve got a deadline or an important meeting to deal with, having kids around isn’t always doable. Teaming up with another Mumpreneur could be the answer – arrange to cover each other’s childcare during important times and the reciprocal arrangement means your childcare won’t cost anything and you both have the opportunity to develop your businesses when you need to. This can also work when you have to start doing school runs – take it in turns each day to take the kids to school while the other works.

Do Everything Online

The world is set up so that most things can now be one online, so set aside a couple of hours each week to get as much done online as you can. From your weekly shop to paying bills and even booking appointments, doing things in a set time slot each week can save you lots of time and give you a clearer head for dealing with work-related tasks. You can even use services which will not only remind you that someone’s birthday is coming up but will also send a card out to them without you even needing to go near a post box!

Get Your Beauty On!

If you’re the kind of person who likes to look ‘put together’ but struggle for time, there are a few things you can do to help you feel good without spending hours in the bathroom each morning. A Brazillian blow dry will cut down on hair styling time and keep your mane sleek without too much heat. Having your eyelashes permed and tinted could help give you the confidence to go out without mascara and having your eyebrows micro-bladed could save you loads of time each day, too. Think about your beauty priorities and see if there’s a permanent or semi-permanent solution.

The Dos And Don’ts Of Buying Used Cars

We all know that buying used cars will work out far cheaper than buying brand-new vehicles. But not many people know exactly how to go about buying second-hand. More often than not, they will end up going to a private seller and paying slightly over the odds for the make and model that they go for.

There’s no reason to end up fleeced if you follow our guide though. These dos and don’ts of buying used cars should help you save some money and come away with a very reliable vehicle that you can use for a good few years.

Pixabay.com

Do Buy From A Reputable Trader

For starters, it’s really important that you buy your car from a reputable dealer. If you don’t, then you risk being conned into buying something that really isn’t worth it. Ideally, go to your nearest second-hand car dealership as these will have to follow some industry standards. This is also a good idea if you want a used 4×4 or something a bit more specialist than just a basic family car. The staff will be able to give you plenty of advice on the vehicle that’s best for your needs.

Don’t Forget To Check How Eco-Friendly The Car Is

It’s really worth looking into how eco-friendly a car will be. Even though this won’t help you save any money on the initial cost of buying it, you should find that it will be cheaper for you to run. For instance, environmentally friendly cars often pay lower road taxes. Plus, you can be happy knowing that you are doing some good for the environment!

Don’t Ignore Your Head

It can be very easy to listen to our hearts when we go shopping for a used car. You might spot a car that looks absolutely fantastic, but are you sure it’s the best option for you? Instead of following your heart in this case, you really should follow your head. This will prevent you from overspending on a vehicle that will be too small and not meet any of your other needs and requirements.

Pixabay.com

Do Take It For A Test Drive

Before you agree to purchasing any vehicle, you should always take it for a test drive. That way, you can get a proper feel for the car and can see how well it drives. If you notice any issues with it or it has very poor driveability, then it could be best for you to move on and look at another one.

Don’t Be Afraid Of Haggling

When you buy second hand prices aren’t always set in stone, so it could be well worth trying to haggle with the dealer. You might be amazed at the discount you can walk away with!

There are plenty of things to try to remember when you buy a used car, but these dos and don’ts are some of the main ones. Hopefully, if you follow these you will be able to find your ideal vehicle when you go car shopping!

Dress up Your Outdoor Windows for Summer

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

As we move into the warmer weather, you may want to give your home a fresh look to reflect the change of season. Not only can you make interior décor changes to fit the summer vibe, but the exterior of your home deserves some TLC too.

Do you ever walk past a lovely-looking house and admire decorative features in the driveway, beautiful windows, or a brightly painted door? First impressions are everything, and what your home looks like from the outside can instantly boost a home’s curb appeal.

With so many styles to choose from, it can feel overwhelming to do a complete overhaul of your home’s exterior, so take it one step at a time, and begin with your windows.

Here are four ideas to dress up your outdoor windows for summer, using the classic English House for style inspiration.

Select Your Window Type

Don’t underestimate the power of your window frames as they make all the difference when preparing your home to “pop” from the outside. Sash windows are the perfect choice to achieve the English House look as the “sashes” form a frame to hold the panels of glass. They’re an elegant and timeless way to finish off a period-inspired home.

You can choose between uPVC Sash Windows or Timber Windows, each of which offers you a range of styles and configurations. From dual swing to tilt and slide to casement and sliding sash, you’ll be sure to find the right option to suit your home. For a classic English House style, a timber window with the sliding sash style would be ideal.

You can also choose any colour for timber windows if you treat the frames with several coatings of specialised paint. White window frames offer a classic English House style and look great against bricks or stone. View sash window inspiration here.

Add Window Flower Boxes

When properly arranged and placed, window boxes are a wonderful addition to your home’s exterior to add some colour and to make heads turn.

The best window boxes compliment the style of a house, so make sure that the size is correct (not too wide) and that the depth gives your flowers enough room to grow, without blocking the window’s view.

Pick your favourite summer flowers and you can look at them with pride every time you return home. View window flower box inspiration here.

Install Decorative Exterior Shutters

Typically, window shutters are used on the inside of the window frame to control the amount of light that comes through. However, you’ve likely seen them on the outside of people’s homes and wondered do people actually open and close them? Although window shutters were originally designed for privacy and security, they are now more commonly used for decoration and style.

Exterior window shutters add character and charm to your home’s appearance and require little in the way of maintenance. View exterior shutter inspiration here.

Consider Window Awnings

Window awnings are another great addition for aesthetic purposes as the overhang above the window adds an extra dimension to your home’s exterior. With so many, colours, patterns and designs available, it’s easy to choose an awning that will match the style and décor you are trying to create. View window awning inspiration here.

Awnings also prevent the sun from shining in through the windows and protect the window from above.

Not only are these window additions great for curb appeal and your own enjoyment, but they can also translate into a higher resale value of your home — in case you ever decide to move.

Now take a step back and admire your Pinterest worthy outdoor windows you’ll be amazed at how much they doll up the exterior of your home!