Monthly Archives: September 2016

Tips for Relaxing at Home

Posted by Ben D Date: September 27, 2016

Being able to relax at home is an important part of a healthy lifestyle. The world can be a stressful place; your home is the place you need to be able to go to rest and recharge. So, what are the best ways to relax at home?

Avoid Clutter and Mess

Housework isn’t exactly relaxing for most people, but if you can keep your living space or at least one room uncluttered and reasonably clean, you’ll feel more relaxed when you are at home. If you can afford it, hire someone to clean it. Decorate your space and surround yourself with things that make you happy whether that’s books, crafting supplies or power tools. Work on developing good habits that help you keep a space the way you like it, but don’t let this item become another stressful obligation.


You may have to bring work home sometimes, but you can still unplug when you need to. This isn’t just about work but encompasses unplugging from leisure as well, so turn off your phone, disconnect from the Internet and even turn off the television. Just relax and be in the space without distractions or obligations.


The one exception to unplugging might be playing some music. Music can be very relaxing, so if this is something you find conducive to making you more relaxed at home, find something soothing to listen to.

Good Scents

Aromatherapy is the word for using scent as a tool to change your mood, and you can get this from essential oils, incense and scented candles. There’s research done into the cognitive effects different smells have on your mood, but you are also the best judge of what scents soothe you, so experiment until you find the best ones.

Time for Yourself

It’s essential that this be time that is only for you and not for loved ones or for things you think you should be doing. If you live with others, insist that they leave you alone for the hour or however long you’re planning to take time to relax. Choose something calming to do whether it’s reading a book, writing in a journal, taking a bath, gardening, drawing or just sitting or lying down and staring into space.

Get a Pet

Sure, they add some extra chores and expenses to your life, but study after study shows that having a pet is life-enhancing. Pets lower blood pressure, decrease depression and give you truly unconditional love. If you can’t have a dog or a cat in the place where you live, find out if you can get something small like a hamster or guinea pig.

Your relaxation time at home needs to be non-negotiable. You may not need or be able to manage an hour a day, but try to get a little bit of time to yourself for relaxation most days and perhaps set aside an hour or so each week that belongs only to you. It’s essential for a happy, healthy and productive life.

The Science of Sleep- How Sleep Technology Has Improved

Posted by Ben D Date: September 22, 2016

How has technology influenced our natural biological process of sleeping? Obviously, the invention of the mattress, bed frame, and pillow has led to many better nights of sleep than the beds of ancient Rome, which more resembled couches. Indeed, the modern bed did not begin to form until the middle ages, and back then it was guaranteed not to be nearly as comfortable as it is today. Today, there are a variety of materials that form bed frames, mattresses, sheets and pillows. Like with many of our other modern conveniences, the quality of these products is on average far better than even the greatest products of previous ages. In terms of sleep quality, getting a good night’s rest and staying asleep longer has never been easier. That is due in part to technology’s ability to test for disorders such as sleep apnea, and provide medication for insomniacs who can’t seem to get to rest at the hour they want to.

The Early Days of the Bed and Pillow

In medieval times, the poor slept on straw mats and used whatever they could as sheets. These beds were often riddled with all kinds of bugs, and diseases were frequently contracted through them. The richest beds were made of the highest quality materials, and often had privacy curtains as a stylistic choice. Initially, the pillow had what was called a headsheet before the invention of the sewn pillowcase came about. In its earliest forms, beds were stuffed with straw and wool. These beds are probably very uncomfortable in comparison to the mattresses of today. Beds were naturally very prized back then and some might even leave beds to others in their wills.

Sleep Technology Today

Today, beds are made in mass production, are made from a variety of materials both natural and synthetic, and range from very cheap to very expensive. Two of the most popular modern materials for mattresses include spring and foam. Modern innerspring mattresses are very firm. They have a springy center, which is held together by a foundation, and then padded with layers of fabric. This is a very common type of mattress, possibly due to the fact that it is typically considered affordable and comfortable. Another type of mattress that is relatively new is the air mattress. These mattresses are naturally filled with chambers that are filled with air. Some air mattresses are deflatable, which makes them good for traveling or camping. Often they come with a pump that is used to inflate them. The foam mattress is also fairly new, and considered to be among the most comfortable forms of mattresses. These can be made from a variety of synthetic materials that, depending on their quality, can contour around the body of the individual for increased comfort. Naturally, in modern times pillows have also improved. Pillows can be made from cotton, down, or other materials. Overall, sleep technology has drastically improved throughout the ages. Synthetic materials will likely lead to even more comfortable future sleep experiences.

Young People, Get Your Money in Order

Posted by Ben D Date: September 21, 2016

Getting a head start on planning your finances may not seem like a high priority, but for most people it is the most important thing they can do to ensure that they live a life of financial security. Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t know where to start their financial planning.

Make a Budget

Luckily, it is possible to get started on financial planning, even when you don’t have a lot of money to spend. Start by formulating a budget. While this might seem like a relatively simple thing to do, many people don’t have a budget or spending plan. Unsurprisingly, nearly the same percentage of people have outstanding balances on their credit cards (according to a survey by the American Consumer Foundation). Start by tracking your expenses for at least one month. Then, develop a plan that accounts for your necessary expenses (such as rent and utilities), minimum debt payments, and some money for entertainment.

Think About Your Goals

Next, think about where you want your finances to be over the next several years. Do you want to buy a home? Start a business? Stay at home with kids? Don’t worry if you only have vague ideas of your goals. In fact, many younger people find that their goals change several times while they settle on a career and make lifestyle choices. By starting to save money towards a goal, however, you’ll know that you’ll have a head start on saving if you change your mind and pick a new goal. People who have a goal for their savings are able to save three times more (on average) than people who just deposit money into an account).

Eliminate Debt

Before you put everything towards your new goal, however, it’s a good idea to review your debt situation. While some people are tempted to simply accrue debt while they are young, multiple studies have shown that people who start planning for their debt early are able to pay it off faster, pay less in interest, and are less likely to file for bankruptcy than people who wait until they are older. Look at the extra money you have in your budget and make a plan to pay off debt that has a high interest rate. At the very least, plan to eliminate your credit card debt. Many young people also choose to tackle their student debt before moving on to other goals. This allows them to improve their credit score and have a lot more flexibility in their budget.


Finally, it is critical for young people to take control of their retirement savings. By starting to save in your 20s, it is possible to retire comfortably by saving just 10% of your salary. If you wait until your 40s to start, you’ll have to save at least 25% in order to have a chance at replacing 70% of your salary. Just getting into the habit of saving means that increasing your retirement savings down the road will be a lot easier. Start by signing up for the retirement plan at your job.

Beating the Heat in Style: Tips for Summer Fashion

Posted by Ben D Date: September 20, 2016

Summer means hot weather, outdoor activities, and hours by the pool. If you are one of many people who live in regions with cold winters and wet springs, summer also means time to shop for a new wardrobe. The winter wardrobe of long pants and sweaters can be neatly packed away for a few months of sunshine and warmth. Picking out what to wear in the summer months can be a challenge. Women run the risk of showing too much skin while men can risk looking too casual and frumpy. By following a few simple tips, however, both men and women can break out their summer styles with confidence.

What to Wear: Women

Summer for women can often mean short shorts and skirt and low cut, sleeveless tops. This style is often for a teenage generation and, while it may be comfortable, it is often inappropriate for a more mature lady. When searching for shorts, look for a pair that approaches that knee that you can comfortably sit and walk in. These can be made of a variety of different fabrics and can still be attractive and cool without showing too much thigh. The coolest skirts and dresses for summer are made of light and flowing material that stretches to the ankle or to the ground. The lose fabric acts as a sun barrier, preventing sun burn and direct heat from the sun, and the excess fabric creates a cool and shady environment for you legs. Similarly, the most stylish and comfortable tops are made of loose flowing material that gives your skin room to breath.

What to Wear: Men

Men’s clothing for summer can get too casual fast. Just because the summer weather is hot does not make athletic shorts appropriate for a day out with the family. Look for shorts made of a patterned material like plaid. This preppy look is classic and comfortable. If you are a slender guy, don’t be afraid to wear shorts above the knee. This style is extremely flattering for skinny men and can be cooler than long and baggy shorts. Finally, classic tee shirts are a great choice for summer for men. A simple, solid v-neck can make an outfit look comfortable and feel great. If you are looking for a more formal look, invest in a button down shirt in a light color such as pink or light green. Wear an under shirt and only button it part way. Then roll up the sleeves for a cool and attractive look. Choose fabrics that are cool and can be easily washed, like classic cotton. That way, these outfits can be worn outside in the yard, when playing with your kids or exercising your dog, and they won’t be ruined.

Summer fashions need to be functional, comfortable, affordable, and stylish. By selecting fabrics that breathable and washable, and choosing a few basic pieces that can be worn over and over again, you can create a summer wardrobe that is perfect for your style and your budget.

benefit to reupholster your home

Posted by Ben D Date: September 19, 2016

Every detail matters when it comes to decorating and building a home. This is why people should consider investing in an experienced upholsterer. The right professional understands how to take an old piece of furniture and make it new again. This saves home owners a lot of time and money. Reupholstery is a creative way to make a home look new again.

Save Money on Furniture
Buying a whole new set of furniture can be incredibly costly. This is why it is smart to invest in the services of an upholsterer. Such an expert understands how to remove the original fabric and accents and replace it with newer materials. This makes it seem like a home owner redecorated and invested in new furniture. Making the decision to invest in reupholstery rather than buying new pieces can save a home owner hundreds of dollars. After all, there is the delivery and moving of the new furniture to think about too. This is a smart investment that has the same impact of buying new furniture.

Save Old Pieces of Furniture
A couch could be incredibly comfortable and still durable, but its fashion could be outdated. Instead of throwing it out, one could contact an upholsterer. This ensures that the basic shape and comfort of the furniture is kept without dealing with old or damaged upholstery. Why throw something out when it could be updated and used in a different way? This protects the initial investment and helps a person save perfectly fine pieces of furniture that just need new materials or fabric.

Save Time
Shopping for new furniture can be incredibly time consuming. This is why it is smart to consider investing in new upholstery rather than looking for new couches, chairs, and other pieces of furniture. Fabric can be looked at online, and one can even use programs to see what the impact of different patterns and colors would have on a space.

Redecorate a Room
Redecorating a room is fun. This is a chance to change around its layout and play around with its colors and design. Simply changing the fabric on a couch or chair can change the whole look and feel of a room. Thus, by investing in quality upholstery services, one can update everything from living rooms and family rooms to bedrooms. This keeps a home looking fresh so that it continuously impresses visitors and creates the desired tone or impression.

Choosing new upholstery for existing pieces of furniture is a smart idea for home owners of all types. This is a chance to change the look and feel of different rooms. Forget having to look for new pieces of furniture or spending a lot of time and money finding such items. Investing in new upholstery is an efficient and cost effective way to update a home. With the right fabrics, it will look as if a person has bought all new furniture. Updating a home is a fun and exciting project that can have some great short- and long-term results.

Where is Canada Located Again?

Posted by Ben D Date: September 18, 2016

Not all travel agencies are created equally. The difference between a good travel agency and a bad travel agency might very well equate to the same kind of holiday experience and expectations. Once you discover the right travel agency, your needs will be met before, during, and after your holiday. A few very helpful tips on finding the right travel agencies in Toronto will help ensure your holiday is one to remember for all the right reasons.

Key Points

Some people may feel this method of holiday planning is archaic; however, many people continue to realize the value of allowing a professional to take care of the details such as hiring cars and learning the visa requirements of each country to ensure the money and time spent on the holiday is worth every cent. It is highly important to have a holiday in mind prior to walking into any travel agency. This will start you in the right direction for finding the right travel agency. You should choose a travel agency which specializes in the type of holiday you seek, as well as the destination.

This is not the time to look for the cheapest service. It is great if you are able to find a bargain with a reputable agency; however, do not start your search by looking for the agency with the cheapest rates. You want a travel agency which is going to ensure that any complication which may arise on your journey will be dealt with promptly and effectively. Check their social media channels. You should be able to determine a great sense of their abilities by reading feedback from their communities.

Warning Signs

You should seek travel agencies in Toronto which fit your needs. If you are looking to go on a safari and you see photos of people hiking on snow-capped mountains everywhere in the office, you might just be better off walking out the door at that point to seek out a new agency. All travel agents are resourceful; however, this does not always equate to the agent being able to plan the dream holiday you desire and deserve.

Many travel agencies with substandard reputations will promise you the world and deliver on nothing. You should seek out certified professionals, and not the type whose credentials were printed off a website. Trustworthy agents should have degrees or proper certification in the hospitality or travel industries. Also, be mindful of incorrect usage of travel vocabulary and geographical inaccuracies. If someone tells you that your two-day layover in the tropics will be the perfect time to see the running of the bulls, you might consider another travel agency.

The best travel agencies in Toronto have your best interests in mind when they are booking your holiday. They have proper connections with reputable hotels and services at your destination, and they are educated and certified in the industry. The best way to start your search is to walk in the door, look them in the eye, and start swapping travel stories.