5 Ways to Step Outside the Comfort Zone in 2015

5 Ways to Step Outside the Comfort Zone in 2015

Everyone has that place, the spot where they feel no pressure, no anxiety, no excitement, no thrill. This is the place that people often refer to as the ‘comfort zone’. It is a find place to be in on a day to day basis, but people who live their entire lives in this area are sure to feel unfulfilled. Everyone, then, should try to step outside that comfort zone every once in a while, and the New Year is the perfect time to do it.

There are a lot of different ways that people can push their limits and experience something new. What outside of the comfort zone is will vary for each person, but there are a few things that everyone wishes they could do at least once, or do more often, that is not typical of their everyday life. Anyone can try out a few of these ideas to experience more and have a great year. Here are five ways to step outside the comfort zone.

Travel to someplace new

Traveling is one of the best ways for people to get outside their comfort zones. Traveling opens up people to new experience, new cultures and new sites. Traveling is commonly one of the things that people say they wish they could do more of. This year, everyone can make traveling to someplace new a priority.

Try some exotic foods

With or without traveling to a new place, people can also try some new foods to get a one-of-a-kind experience. It may seem a little outrageous to try something like sea urchin from the sushi bar, but these types of experiences can show people just how vast and amazing all the foods of the world are. A person could even find a new favorite dish in the process.

Test out a new sport or other physical activity

Getting healthy and fit is a common New Year’s Resolution for many people. Those people can knock out two resolutions at once by trying a new sport. There are so many different sports that people can enjoy while getting a great workout. Anything from using an online surfboard shop to go surfing to renting a spot on a plane to go skydiving are great ways to test out a person’s adventurous side.

Work for a promotion or new career

Moving up in a career is a big goal to take on, but few other things can push a person past their limits like taking on a new career challenge. Everyone can find some way to move up in their career, either to get a raise or to start their own company, that will challenge them in ways they have never experienced before.

Get more involved with the local community

Sometimes there is new adventure waiting in a person’s own backyard. A person does not always need to travel to a faraway place to experience something new. Getting involved with the local community can be a great way to meet new people and learn new things about the area.

Image: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adventure_travel

How to Recover Financially from Holiday Spending with Credit Reports

How to Recover Financially from Holiday Spending with Credit Reports

The holiday season is usually the busiest time of the year for many people. Additionally, it is often also the most expensive time of the year. Everyone feels obligated to host holiday parties, get everyone they know a gift and go on an exotic holiday vacation. Though this may not be a problem for some people, most people struggle to make ends meet the few months after the holiday season because of this excessive spending.

Recovering financially from the holiday season can seem a little more difficult each year, but there are some ways people have been able to accomplish just that. One of the most important factors of holiday spending recovery is a credit report from CreditSesame.com. There are a lot of ways that a credit report can help people resolve their holiday debt and get back on track with their finances. Anyone can use these tips to create a better financial outlook for the New Year. Here are some ways to recover financially form holiday spending with credit reports.

Start paying things off right away

The longer a person waits to pay off debts, the worse it will get. Paying off debt as soon as possible is always the best decision. Everyone can use their credit reports to see what debts are causing the most damage to their credit scores and what they need to address first. This can help protect a person’s credit scores and help them become debt free faster.

Take a break from credit

Most people use their lines of credit to help finance their holiday spending. This usually means that they will have more credit card debt than they do any other time of the year. Credit reports can help people judge how long of a break they should take from their credit cards in order to get back into a reasonable pay-back range. This will help them not only maintain their credit scores, but also pay off their debt faster than they would have been able to otherwise.

Pay normal bills on time

It is common for people to neglect or avoid their normal bills when they have a lot of holiday debt to pay off. This can be a recipe for disaster for a number of reasons. Not paying bills on time lowers a person’s credit score and increases the amount of debt they will need to pay off. Instead, everyone should use their credit reports to pay normal bills and maintain their current scores.

Create a new budget for holiday saving

Credit reports can contain a lot of information about a person’s financial history. Many people may not realize some of the mistakes they keep making every year that are hurting them financially. Credit reports, then, can help anyone establish a new way to not only budget for the holidays, but also save money all year round. This is a great trick that people can use throughout the year to increase their wealth.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/coins-money-change-finance-monedas-116465/

5 Tips for Moving with Pets

Moving can be stressful for anyone, even pets. In fact, pets are often known to not handle change well, so a move could be very traumatic for them. Owners of pets should be aware of this while making any moving plans. Of course, every pet owner wants to make sure that their pet is always safe, healthy and happy, but moving sometimes does not make providing all of these things easy. Some pets will be stressed and distraught throughout the entire moving process if their owners are neglecting them.

Movers have a lot to worry about when moving, and if they have pets, they have even more to worry about. However, movers can make sure that their move goes smoothly and also ensure that their pets are happy and healthy throughout the moving process. There are some preparations that pet owners can take to create a stress-free and calm environment for their pets right away after they have moved. Here are five tips for moving with pets.

Start with crate training

Many pet owners will crate train their pets right away, but for those who did not, they should try to get their pet acclimated with the crate right away. This will help the pet feel more comfortable during the move while they are inside the crate. This can also help the owners get more done during the moving process without worrying about what the pet is doing.

Prepare for motion sickness

Motion sickness might not be something that pet owners think of in advance because it is not always common. Some pets might do fine with short car rides, but will get sick during a longer ride or a ride in a different vehicle that they are familiar with. Medication from a vet can help, and pet owners should speak with their North American Van Lines driver to accommodate their pet.

Get all tags ready before the move

The last thing that pet owners will want to worry about when they move into their new home is finding new tags for their pet. Pet owners should try to get all the licensing and tags that they need for their pet before arriving at their destination to make things easier.

Pack up the old home and adjust to the new home slowly

Packing alone can be traumatic for a pet. They can sense that something is changing and it might spook them to start it all right away. Instead, pet owners can try to pack things slowly and gradually to help the pet adjust. Additionally, they can slowly incorporate new things into the new home to make the transition smooth.

Stay positive as much as possible

More than anything, the best way to make a move successful, with or without a pet, is to stay positive. Pets can be very empathetic, so when their owner is stressed, they too will be stressed. Pet owners can do their best to relax in order to keep their pets relaxed and happy during the move.

Image: http://pixabay.com/en/pet-dog-puppy-the-shy-cute-animal-423398/

Topics to Discuss With Your Remodeling General Contractor


Remodeling any part of a home is usually a big project that requires careful planning and good communication between the homeowner and general contractor. Without these two elements, things can quickly go awry and become nothing short of a financial and emotional nightmare. Once you’ve selected a suitable team to carry out your home improvements, there are a few other topics you’ll want to discuss with your contractor before getting started on the job. If everyone involved has a clear understanding of expectations, there’s a better chance of ensuring a successful outcome.



One of the biggest considerations of a remodeling project is the cost. Prior to having any work done, your general contractor should provide you with an outline of estimated expenses so you can go over your budget together and make any necessary adjustments. Aside from labor and materials, consider the possibility of unforeseen circumstances that bring up unexpected additional costs as well as changes you might decide to make to your order later on during the construction process. As long as your contractor is aware of your budget from the beginning they should be able to work with you to make sure the job stays within that price range and you don’t end up paying an excessive amount for any surprises.



The timeframe it’s going to take to complete the renovations are another important topic to bring up. Larger remodeling jobs can mean that you have to spend time away from home or be inconvenienced without the use of certain rooms, so it’s critical to know how long this may last. It’s best to have your contractor give you a schedule for each stage of the project so that you know what to expect and you can tell if things seem to get off track. Coordinating your personal and work schedule with your renovation timeline will make life a lot easier.



Chances are, you have a pretty good idea in your mind what you want to see your home look like when all the improvements have been finished. Explain this vision as best you can to your general contractor so they can create your blueprints to match and make it a reality. Talking over ideas will also help you to get a professional opinion and suggestions on what will actually work to fit with your budget, timeframe and design taste. If you don’t have a solid concept for your remodeling team to go off of, it will make it a lot harder for them to integrate your specific style into their building plans.



Another aspect of your home improvement efforts you may want to consult with your contractor about is the trends they’ve seen become popular in their line of work. While some trends may come and go, there are others that turn out to be instant classics. If you aren’t positive on color schemes, flooring choices or countertop textiles, you can get some great ideas by finding out what other clients have done recently to upgrade their properties.


It will make a significant difference in the way your project turns out if you start it off by communicating your remodeling goals and visions with your general contractor. Be as detailed as possible when it comes to the topics above and don’t hesitate to ask questions as they arise.




Three Ways to Use Smart Homes for Smart Parenting

Family Party

My son is a tiny little gadget hoarder. I wish he was outside fishing or playing or creating but I can’t tear him away from Mindcraft. Talking to him about Mindcraft is a sore subject for me. I don’t enjoy it and I don’t enjoy being the bad guy who has to remind him to do his homework, brush his hair, and go to bed. When I talk to my son I want the focus to be on the bigger picture instead of arguing about things that just have to be. The solution? Home automation.

Somehow we’ve managed to turn home automation into something boring. We automate our lights when we get home, we adjust the temperature when we leave…yawn. Home automation is affordable, easy, and fun but it also has the potential to be powerfully creative. I would wager that it is powerful enough to make the toughest job in the world just a bit easier if we color outside of the lines.

One: The Safety of Your Kids Comes First

Protecting our children from danger inside the home is just as important as protecting them outside the home. Home automation can add an extra set of eyes to your house for less money than a traditional home security system. Door and window sensors, motion sensors, door and window alarms and security cameras are traditional home security items but they are also examples of items that can connect to a home automation hub for added home security. Using connected sensors you can monitor activity in your home and setup alerts that go straight to your cell phone or to your inbox if anything fishy happens. Home automation systems can also monitoring for raising temperatures like in the event of a fire. If you want to color outside of the lines you can even have the lights in your child’s bedroom flash red and add a connected speaker to announce safety instructions. This has the potential to be more effective than a traditional smoke alarm as research proves that many children sleep through traditional alarms.

Two: Making Life Fun Through Technology

The idea of coloring outside the lines simply means using technology to make life fun. Hue bulbs are a great way to add color and fun to your kid’s room. You could use Hue bulbs to make colorful fairies or perhaps change the lighting to their favorite color when they wake up in the morning. Automated systems use multi-sensors to differentiate between night and day so you can adjust the color of the light for different periods of the day. You can also connect speakers like Sonos to give your system a voice. You can teach it to say “Wake Up” or “Hey Batman! It’s time to Brush Your Teeth”.

Three: Teenagers Need Boundaries Too

Home automation is a great solution for parents of teenagers. You want to give them enough freedom so that they can grow into independent adults but they need boundaries too. Home automation can help automate the tasks so that you don’t always have to be the “bad guy”.

Beyond being an extra set of eyes, a Smart Home can foster independence. For example, a child can now use his cell phone to open the front door and you can get a text message letting you know all is well. A new driver is given more freedom as they learn to drive through the use of geofencing and free apps like Life360 that grant freedom with boundries. Or perhaps you just want to have peace of mind when your teen daughter is out and about so you add a panic button to her keychain.

The Sky is the Limit

As for me? I use the power of lights to shift the conversations I have with my son. Blue lights mean “brush your teeth” and green lights mean “go to bed”. Not having these discussions nightly means happier mom, more time for snuggles, and less time debating. In regards to Mindcraft? I’m still open to ideas.

My advice to new automaters is to use caution. There is a fine line between shifting how our time with our children is spent and being Big Brother. Instead of monitoring every movement, use automation to find ways to shift the focus of your interactions. Shift the conversations with your kids from “Why were you late” to “What was the best part of your day” by letting automation do your dirty work. Now if I could just figure out a way to automatically fold my laundry…

Rose Thibodeaux

Creative Ways to Get Your Kids Active

Building a Safer Home this Summer

As a mother, it is important to make sure that your kids stay active and healthy. With the invention of gaming consoles, sometimes it is hard to get kids to go outside and play. However, there are ways to motivate your kids to get outside and start having some fun!


Purchase Children’s Playground Equipment

Children are beginning to play video games at younger ages, so sometimes even small children are glued to their game consoles. One way to help encourage your children to experience the outdoors is to purchase some inexpensive children’s playground equipment. This could even be a small swing set or tire swing. This will allow you to avoid driving them to a playground since they have something to play on right at home!


Encourage Nature Walks

This is especially great if you have boys. They love to venture out in the woods and look at bugs and insects. It is also a wonderful opportunity to bond with your children if you decide to accompany them. Perhaps you could take them to a waterfall so they have some kind of motivation to do the hike. Your town website may have some suggestions on the best places to go.


Take Them Swimming

Swimming is a great way to exercise, especially for children. Have them invite some friends to come along. If your children don’t know how to swim yet, your local pool may have swimming lessons available. Some kids love to go to the beach as well so they can build sand castles. You could even have a BBQ day out of it and spend the day in the sun!


Take Them to the Park

Have your children get some friends together to go to the park to play some sports. Some parks have tennis courts, basketball courts, baseball fields, and even soccer fields. There may even be a recreation center in your area where these are available for public use. Some recreation centers will even watch your kids for you, similar to a day camp, so you can get some errands done or have a day date.

These days it seems as though it is getting more difficult to get children to play outside. There are video games, computer games, the internet, Facebook, cell phones, and so many other technologies that are keeping kids inside. However, if you tune in to what kind of activities you think they might like, you may just find a winner!

When Your Elderly Parents Don’t Want to Move


Convincing your elderly parents that a change needs to occur with their current living situation is not always the easiest task. This is especially true when they’re strong-willed and independent or in other words, stubborn. Moving to an assisted living home is not a transition that’s always welcomed with open arms, but it’s a necessary one when you can no longer do simple daily tasks or function safely in your own home without help. So what do you do when your elderly parents don’t want to move out of their home?

The following are a few ways you can help your parents ease into the idea of moving out of their beloved home and into a place that will provide them with care and comfort, as well as peace of mind for the rest of the family.


Bring up the Subject Regularly in Conversations

If you feel that your parents will eventually need assistance with their day to day chores in the near future then make it a point to regularly bring up the topic in conversations. Doing so long before they start showing signs of struggles with their daily routine will get them more accustomed to the idea of assisted living even if they don’t completely agree with it right away.

This approach is far better than springing up the issue one day, out of the blue or right after an incident has occurred. Don’t wait till something happens to your parents to talk to them about their future and well-being. Be proactive and start right now.


Identifying their Need for the Move

One reason why some parents can be resistant to the thought of moving out of their home is because they feel like they don’t need to. In their eyes, they’re still the young, hard working, independent, capable individual they were 10+ years ago. But you and everyone else know that this isn’t the case. Help your parents realize the reality of their situation by identifying their needs. Gently and lovingly raise awareness on any health issues they may be currently experiencing, give examples of simple tasks that they have a hard time of completing, show them that they do in fact need assistance and that’s OK.

Most parents don’t want to burden their children with emotional, physical or financial issues which is why they sometimes shy away from asking for help and it could also be another reason for rejecting the move. Show your parents that you generally care for their well-being by letting them know your worries and concerns. You’ll not only lift the burden off their shoulders, but when you’re the one approaching them with these issues they’re more likely to be open to your suggestions and ideas.


Helping them Realize the Benefits

Assisted living homes are more than just old and sick people. Nowadays you’ll find communities that are just as lively as the jazz club next door. Many elders have become even more active upon moving into a home. Not only do they have several activities, programs and events to keep them stimulated and entertained, but they no longer have to worry about daily chores, running errands or medical needs. This gives them ample leisure time throughout the day to focus on things that matter most to them, like learning a new craft, engaging in their favorite hobby or just relaxing without a care in the world.


Create a Support Team with Family and Friends

Get everyone involved in the process, including siblings, aunts, uncles, and even close family friends. The more people you have supporting your elderly parent’s possible move, the more likely they will start to warm up to the idea if not completely agree with it. Have a meeting with your family and close friends and discuss all the issues and concerns each member may have. The sooner you get everyone on the same page, the better and the more encouraged and empowered your seniors will feel about their decision to move.

Even if you don’t think your parents will need to move into an assisted living community any time soon or that day is still years down the road, you can begin to make the process and transition easier now by implementing the tips above. The sooner you do so, the better the response and the easier the move will be for everyone.


Author Bio – This article is written by Mary Herald, a writer for SunshineRetirementLiving.com, a reputable and caring retirement community. To find out more about their independent retirement community in Chula Vista, click here.


Image courtesy of Ambro/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Live A Happy Married Life

wedding day

Conjugal life or married life stands for a lifelong bonding. It is a pledge as well as sacred thread that tend to establish a lovable equilibrium in the very core of your life. When you have been entangled in a conjugal bond you need to respect the matrimonial treaty for sure.If you have to make this conjugal relation work then you would have to call for some extra measures. There are crucial aspects involved. Before you get into a marriage you need to seek advice and help from wedding planning advisers and professionals.


Showing consideration and importance is pretty much a mandate

The married life happens to be a multi dimensional space that makes room for unique blend of amorous feelings, love making and a bit of clash as well at times These are the hues or the flavor that tinge your relationship and make it strong enough to last forever. There could be times when you might think that things are not at all doing or working. You might have wanted the relation to go your way. However things fall apart at times. Instead of losing your cool in such situations you need to show a little bit of restraint.


A hug as well as kiss is going to be a good idea on daily basis

In order to be able to jazz up your relation with your spouse you can think of some very simple as well as effective stiffs for sure. For example, a hug as well as kiss is going to be a good idea on daily basis. It does get you close to our spouse. Physical contact and intimacy is important in terms of saving your relationship from being a distant one in future. Professionals who work in the field of divorce mediation would like to suggest that couples should be physically intimate to each other at least once a week. It is good to maintain this intimacy. It helps in bridging up the gap to a great extent.


Show that you value her more than anything else in this world

After a couple of years of marriage your spouse might think that you have started developing less interest in her. It is in fact an unfavorable thought. To avert such situations, you need to show her genuinely and passionately that you value her more than anything else in this world.


Wedding celebrations

A vital thing such as the wedding celebration could prove to save the grace of your relation. Wedding celebrations should be important for both the couples because it is going to make you feel that the marriage is vital for both of you. Aforementioned are some of the most important facts that can ascertain the longevity and surety of your married life. Giving careful and insightful consideration on each of them you are going to be on the right track to make the marriage work for you. Even if you had the feeling that it was not working you would be able to find some lost flairs and flames for sure once again,

How Does Divorce Mediaton Work?


Marriages can be wonderful and they can last for an eternity, but not always. Some people might find out after a few years of marriage that they don’t get along that great and they need to divorce for various reasons. However, a few issues come into play, especially if the couple who is divorcing now has kids.

The best way to cope with these problems is to go for divorce mediation. This is an alternative to the formal process of a divorce court and it basically involves finding solutions to problems such as spousal support and child custody, among many others.

The Mediation Process

During the mediation process both parties come with their attorneys as well as a third party. The latter is actually the mediator which assists the people who are now divorcing in finding a common ground and solving the matter at hand. What’s really important to know is that the mediator is an objective party. He won’t solve any agreement, instead he will make suggestion on how the whole problem can be solve without any issues, while also pointing the means of doing so.

One of the main issues that can be the target of mediation is surely the distribution of liabilities and assets. This can be a very important problems especially for those couples that bought a house, car and numerous other things together during their marriage. Using a mediator can easily help solve this problem a lot faster, especially since at the beginning both parties think that they can’t possibly get to an agreement.

The mediator provides all the help a divorcing couple needs, while also ensuring them that everything discussed during such a session is confidential. This is really important, as many people don’t tend to trust mediators for that reason alone.

It’s important to know that mediation is absolutely voluntary, as couples don’t need to undertake it. Most of them tend to do it because it involves much lower costs when compared to a litigated case, not to mention the fact that the results also come faster as well, so basically everybody wins.

Mediation Advantages

There are many advantages when it comes to mediation. First of all, it saves time and money by shortening the divorce process. In addition, it’s confidential and nobody will ever find out about what has been discussed during such a session.

What’s more, mediation is fair to both parties and objective as well, and its only reason of existing in the first place is to help both parties as fast as possible. Mediation provides a lot of benefits to a divorcing couple and it surely costs a lot less than other similar means. This is why undergoing a few mediation sessions can easily solve the problems brought up by the divorce, which is amazing, as a divorce can take quite a lot of time without it.

Ways To Prevent Health Hazards Around The Home


We all want to have a healthy home.  Every home has health hazards in it in one form or another.  An enclosed living space is bound to create hazards for your health, luckily with some education you can be aware and remove many of these hazards.

From mold in the home, to dust mites and other little critters that love to become your roommate, there are lots of hidden health hazards lurking around your home.  Dave Steinberg of Nusite Group, a Toronto basement waterproofing and mold removal company says that removing chronic moisture from the home can remove many of these hazards. Take some time to go over the infographic below and use that information to make a full sweep of your home this weekend and get rid of some of those hidden dangers in the home.

Have questions or ideas to add?  Feel free to add them in the comments below, thanks!