Real Estate News

    • What to Buy and Not Buy at the Dollar Store

      22 June 2021

      Name brand products turn up at dollar stores for various reasons—manufacturer’s overstock, new packaging, misprinted labels and more—and they are joined by a host of no-name brands that may or may not be as safe, healthy or effective. 

      Some dollar store products, though, are awesome bargains. Others are definitely not. So, how do frugal shoppers know what the values are and what to leave on the shelf? 

      Dollar Store Items You SHOULD Buy

      Paper Goods -
      Napkins, paper plates, tissues and other paper products typically perform as well as those that cost twice as much at the grocery store.
      Cards and Gift Wrap - Save big bucks by buying your greeting cards and wrap here, as well as color coordinated party plates, napkins and cutlery.
      Spices and Herbs - Canadian-based Encore and other companies make FDA-approved seasonings, spices and herbs for dollar stores that are as fresh and tasty as those costing dollars more elsewhere.
      Household Cleaners - Most laundry detergents, fabric softeners, furniture polish and such at the dollar store are related to brands you would recognize and perform just as well at a far lower cost. Don’t forget the white vinegar, which is the cheapest way to clean many surfaces. 
      Dishes and Stainless Steel Utensils - A stainless steel whisk is the same whisk, whether it’s 99 cents at the dollar store or $5 elsewhere. Feel safe buying stainless steel cooking utensils, glassware and dishwasher-safe ceramic-ware at the dollar store and save serious dollars.

      Dollar Store Item You SHOULD NOT Buy

      Black Plastic Kitchen Utensils -
      While stainless steel is fine, these plastic versions may contain Bromine, which has been linked to cancer and birth defects.
      Plastic Food Containers - These may contain phthalates, which cause reproductive problems in lab animals and are found in high levels, especially in women, in the U.S. population. 
      Batteries - Most dollar-store batteries are carbon-zinc, which drain very quickly. Look for alkaline, as they last much longer.
      Vitamins - A Consumers Report study found that half the dollar store multivitamins they tested were missing at least one listed nutrient, and several vitamins didn’t dissolve adequately.
      Toys - Many no-name toys have sharp edges or pieces that can easily be swallowed. They are often flimsily made and break easily, and/or may contain lead paint.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 7 Tips for Planning an Extended Vacation

      22 June 2021

      (Family Features) If you’re making the most of this year’s vacation by planning an extra-long trip, you’re not alone. Whether it’s extra vacation days that accumulated due to pandemic restrictions or pent-up desire for a change of scenery (or both), travelers are planning longer getaways.

      In fact, Vrbo data indicates travelers are 34% more likely to book a stay of at least seven nights and 31% less likely to book a three-night stay this summer.

      “After a year of storing away vacation days, this summer is quickly shaping up to be the season of PTO for many employees,” said Melanie Fish, Vrbo’s travel expert.

      If you’re considering an extended getaway, consider these tips help ensure your trip meets your expectations.

      Adjust your budget to accommodate the needs of a longer trip. A longer getaway obviously means more days of lodging and more meals away from home, but don’t forget to account for other costs that come with an extended vacation like more days of parking at the airport and more entertainment expenses as a result of those extra days you’ll get to fill with fun.

      1. Choose a destination where you’ll find plenty to explore and enjoy over an extended period. Popular options this season on Vrbo include Outer Banks, North Carolina; Oak Island and Southport, North Carolina; Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Rehoboth Beach and Fenwick Island, Delaware; and Jersey Shore, New Jersey. All of these coastal destinations offer a mix of entertainment and relaxation for a chance to truly refresh and recharge.
      2. Create an itinerary, even if it’s loosely outlined, so you can make the best use of your vacation days. Keep an eye on the weather as you plan which days to spend on the beach or at the pool and when it might be better to see some sights indoors. Try to build in activities that appeal to each member of your travel party and aim for a balance between adventure and relaxation.
      3. Look for extended-stay amenities that offer convenience for your trip. When you’re away for a longer period of time, look for amenities that make your time more comfortable, like kitchens where you can prepare some of your meals.
      4. Shop for discounts to make a longer stay more affordable. For example, some Vrbo hosts offer discounts for new listings as well as week- or month-long stays. Travelers can use filters to find these discounted properties when searching for a place to stay.
      5. Avoid overpacking for an extended getaway. You may be tempted to pack extra clothes and other belongings, but that can weigh you down. Instead, choose outfits you can mix and match, and look for accommodations with laundry facilities so you can wash and re-wear clothing.
      6. Make arrangements to ensure your home life is in order. Being away for an extended period may mean a little extra work to maintain things back home. For example, you may need to arrange for someone to water your plants, take care of your pets, check your mail and receive deliveries.
      Start planning your extended getaway at

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Get the Full Benefit of a Mental Health Day

      22 June 2021

      There comes a day in everyone’s life when you just need to stop and put your world on pause. Whether you’ve reached maximum stress level on the job or you’re completely exhausted from juggling the demands of a busy family, the struggle is real, and in order to avoid complete burn-out, a mental health day is a must.

      But to reap the rewards of taking a day to completely disconnect from your frenetic life, you need to do it the right way. Oftentimes, we sabotage the effort to relax and recharge by making simple mistakes with our time. Here are some great tips from the editors at Self to make sure your mental health day actually benefits your mental health:

      Don’t Wait Until the Last Minute
      Most people end up taking a mental health day when they reach the absolute brink of collapse. This is the wrong approach, say the experts. Instead of viewing a mental health day as an emergency measure, think of them as regular tune-ups to boost your spirits and your energy level. To that end, make mental health days part of your planning and add a few to your long-term schedule.

      Truly Disconnect From Work
      Many people take mental health days but remain tethered to their jobs in some capacity by checking emails, keeping notifications turned on or texting colleagues to check in. This will completely thwart your efforts to unwind, so make sure work to any degree is off limits.

      Connect With Others
      While you might want to just crawl under your blankets for the better part of your mental health day, you might be better served by spending at least part of the day with a good friend or family member. Social interaction has a wealth of positive psychological benefits, and being with someone who truly cares about you will lift your spirits and take you away from the usual stress of your life.

      Do Something You Love
      Whether it’s hiking in the woods, going for a run on the beach or refinishing a piece of furniture, use your mental health day to really tap into whatever it is you love to do most but never have the time for. This will bring a sense of fulfillment that might be missing in your day-to-day life.

      Keep in mind that one mental health day will not solve your stress-related issues. Find a way to take more mini breaks throughout the course of your day, and adopt some daily habits that will help balance the hectic pace.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Tips for Staying Hydrated This Summer

      21 June 2021

      With the global pandemic slowly receding and warm weather descending all across the nation, Americans are resuming activity in droves—and that’s a good thing. But it’s easy to forget how important it is to stay hydrated in summer’s heat.

      Whether you’re out in the sunshine hiking and biking or back to working out at the gym, medical professionals offer tips for preventing dehydration.

      • Know the Signs - Dehydration can take many forms, from dry, itchy skin to muscle cramps, headaches, fatigue or dizziness. Other signs are infrequent urination or having dark yellow urine. If you experience these symptoms, get out of the heat and drink plenty of liquids. Over-the-counter options like Pedialyte can help balance out the electrolytes and sodium associated with dehydration. 
      • Drink Enough Water - Daily fluid intake recommendations vary by age and sex. Start by drinking a cup of water each morning and another before bed. Have a glass with every meal and drink one or two cups after working out. To help ward off dehydration, drink fluids gradually throughout the day.
      • Avoid Alcohol, Sugary Drinks and Caffeine - Drinks like coffee, sodas, beer, wine and hard liquor, lemonade, sweet tea, energy drinks, smoothies and flavored milk work against hydration. Swap them out for more water.
      • Dress Up Your Water - If plain water bores you, try dressing it up with limes, lemons, mint, oranges, berries or cucumber to improve the taste without artificial sweeteners or preservatives. Or, give coconut water a try. The mineral-rich liquid is packed with potassium, magnesium, sodium and calcium to replenish lost fluids and electrolytes from exercise and hot climates.
      • Eat Foods With High Water Content - About 80% of our water intake comes from drinking water. The other 20% comes from food. Whole fruits and vegetables contain some water, but for maximum benefit, snack on cucumbers, celery, tomatoes, radishes, peppers, cauliflower, watermelon, spinach, strawberries, broccoli and grapefruit.
      • Try Probiotics - Probiotics are the living microorganisms found in yogurt and other cultured foods and supplements that can help improve your body’s bacteria. Taking a probiotic can help improve your immune system, protect against infection and improve your digestion and absorption of food and nutrients—including water. They also help with several conditions associated with dehydration.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways to Support Ocean Health

      21 June 2021

      (Family Features) The ocean covers more than 70% of Earth’s surface, produces more than half of the world’s oxygen and is home to more than 700,000 species. However, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, scientists estimate if nothing is done, 90% of the world’s tropical reefs will be gone by 2043, threatening 25% of marine life and impacting nearly 500 million people who depend on them for food, income and coastal protection.

      As a leading cat food brand, SHEBA® is hoping to be a catalyst in helping ensure the future has fish. To do so, the team launched Hope Reef, the start of the world’s largest coral restoration project. Additionally, there are many ways individuals can get involved and protect the health of the ocean.

      Explore the Ocean
      If you live close to an ocean basin, consider visiting the beach and ocean. From swimming and snorkeling to whale watching and sunbathing, there are many activities that can help you gain a greater appreciation for the ocean. If you live near a local lake or river, consider paying a visit to learn how it connects to the ocean, or go online to learn about coral reefs and the marine life that calls the ocean home, such as sharks, octopuses, clownfish and more.

      Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
      Carbon dioxide emissions drive global warming, which has several negative effects on the ocean, including increasing its acidity and weakening coral reefs. You can reduce your carbon footprint by walking, riding a bike or using public transportation; turning off lights when leaving a room; line-drying clothes; opening windows or using fans instead of adjusting your thermostat.

      Support Coral Reef Restoration Efforts
      There are groups working to restore coral reefs around the globe. For example, the SHEBA® team aims to help restore more than 185,000 square meters of coral reefs around the world by 2029 through the world’s largest coral restoration program. Hope Reef, unveiled off the coast of Sulawesi, Indonesia, was built to spell out the word “H-O-P-E” on the seabed using restored coral. Since the start of the project in 2019, coral cover has increased from 5% to 55%, fish abundance increased and species such as sharks and turtles have returned. To help support the efforts, visit the Channel that Grows Coral on YouTube. All content views contribute money to coral reef regeneration.

      Conserve Water
      Using less water can help limit excess runoff and wastewater flowing into the ocean. To help ease the burden on the environment and your local water supply, there are simple steps you can take at home like turning off the faucet while brushing your teeth, taking shorter showers, fixing leaks, installing low-flow toilets and shower heads and avoiding overwatering your lawn.

      Get Involved in Local Cleanup and Community Efforts
      Debris often found in the ocean and other bodies of water typically begins as litter. After a day at the beach – or near a water source – be sure to take all your belongings and trash with you. You can also volunteer through local organizations that help keep the land near water sources free of debris or join a community garden or group that has adopted an area to help maintain it.

      For more information and to help support the efforts, visit

      SOURCE: Sheba

      Published with permission from RISMedia.