All posts by Jessica Thiefels
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October 19, 2018

6 Tropical Vacation Spots that Are Spooky All Year ‘Round

When you think Halloween, the stereotypical images of mummies in graveyards, witches on broomsticks and devils with pitchforks often spring to mind. But these haunted caricatures have more cultural significance than just being trademarks of another commercial holiday.

Some of the eeriest ghost stories you’ll encounter trace their origins to all corners of the earth, from the Caribbean to the South Pacific to the Indian Ocean. While many of these locations are known for their white sand beaches and tropical beauty, they also hold spooky secrets that visitors can uncover on their travels.

The best part is, you can visit these spooky vacation spots all year long. If [...]

 
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July 6, 2018

5 Summer DIY Projects to Encourage the Whole Family to be Healthy

Use these ideas for fun DIY summer projects to keep your kids moving from sunup to sundown. When you’re done, you’ll be motivated to eat healthy and be more active too, which is the perfect way to spend time as a family.
 
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April 2, 2018

5 Ways to Do Less and Get it All Done

Chances are you’ve heard the saying “work smarter, not harder.” But how does one actually do less and get it all done? Is it really possible to check off every little thing on your to-do list without burning the candle at both ends? The answer is yes! You just have to remember to do a few things first, learn to say no to others, and remember that time is your most valuable asset. Here are five ways to better manage your time, become more productive, and get things done.

Learn to Say “No”

If you struggle to get it all done, it’s likely that you have a hard time saying “no” to either co-workers, friends or family members. Yet, [...]

 
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December 8, 2017

Holiday Visitor Prep: 5 Tasks to Cross off Your To-Do List ASAP

Hosting for the holidays can be an expensive and timely endeavor, from investing in new sheets and blankets to prepping dinners and cleaning the house. At a time of year when you’re already stressed, hosting for the holidays can quickly put you over the edge — but it doesn’t have to. Here are five tasks to do before your holiday visitors arrive to reduce how much time and money you need to spend. When you get everything out of the way now, you’ll be greeting visitors with a smile on your face.

Start Borrowing Now

Borrowing from friends and family is a great way to spend less and make your visitors feel at home. It’s also something you can do early and [...]

 
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November 3, 2017

5 Uncommon Tips for Buying Your Dream Home

Your dream home is out there, but how will you get it when you find it? There are many secrets and tricks-of-the-trade that can help you lock down the home of your dreams, like writing the owners a love letter or offering to pay in cash. In a crowded buyers’ market, however, you may need to take it a step further with an idea that’s even more uncommon—yet potentially effective.

Whether you need to find the home (you know what it looks like, but haven’t found it yet), are struggling to come up with a down payment, or have to convince the buyers to sell to you, these ideas will possibly help you get your dream home. Sometimes the most uncommon tactics are the [...]

 
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October 11, 2017

5 Areas of Your Home That Should Be More Secure

No matter where you live or how many people live in your home, security is always a concern. You want your home and family to be well protected from intruders. The only way to effectively protect your home, however, is to know where your areas of weakness are and what intruders are looking for.

According to A Secure Life, here’s what you need to know:

65 percent of burglaries happen while you’re at work. The master bedroom is the first room targeted. 34 percent of burglars enter through the front door; the second most popular entry points are a first-floor window or back door. The most commonly stolen items are cash, electronics, gold, guns, jewelry and [...]
 
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July 25, 2017

5 Ways to Speed Up the Selling Process Without Compromising

Selling your home is stressful and can be long, depending on your location, the season, home price, and much more. However, there are many things you can do to speed up the process without compromising on price, like staging the right rooms, working with a realtor and more.

Use the following ideas to get your house off the market quickly and easily so you can move into your new home and start fresh.

Stage Your Home

Staging is one of the best ways to speed up the sale of your home. In fact, in the 2017 Profile of Home Staging 30 percent of sellers’ agents said that staging a home greatly reduces the amount of time a home is on the market.

The question is [...]

 
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July 12, 2017

8 Expert Tips for Making Packing Less Stressful

The worst part of moving is packing. Not only does it get expensive—that bubble wrap adds up quickly—but packing is time consuming and downright stressful. Instead of using the grin-and-bear-it tactics for your next move, use these quoted professional tips to make your life easier and less stressful during the process.

1. Organize Before You Pack

“Organize belongings prior to packing into three categories:

Move – all items that you are planning to keep Sell – items in good condition that you can make a little bit of extra cash from Discard – items that should just be thrown away

Then start packing items you don’t currently need first [...]

 
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May 26, 2017

5 Purchases To Make After Buying A Home With Land

You’ve traded urban sprawl for a rustic lifestyle, slower pace, and tranquil nature views — congrats! But making that transition from cramped square-footage to rambling acreage is both invigorating and overwhelming—what do you do with all this extra land?!

Maintaining a property with extensive land is a major responsibility, whether your goal is to create a self-sufficient homestead or to give your children more freedom to explore and romp around. It can be rewarding to learn tricks-of-the-trade and maintenance practices, but investing in the right tools couldn’t be more important. Make property maintenance easier for you and your family with these tips and [...]

 
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December 6, 2016

8 Great Housewarming Gift Ideas

8 Great Gifts for New Homeowners

Moving into a new home is an exciting time and often a big achievement for most people. However, whether it’s a first or fifth house, moving never really gets easier—much less when you’re settling in before the holidays.

There’s new furniture to buy, endless to-do lists, and sometimes even major renovation projects to start on.

When attending a housewarming party this holiday season, or just dropping by for a tour of the new digs, bring a gift to congratulate the new homeowners. If you’re having a hard time deciding, here are eight housewarming gift ideas for a thoughtful and useful gift that new homeowners are [...]

 
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October 25, 2016

Tax Cuts New Homeowners Should Know About

Purchasing a new home can be a daunting and expensive task for even the most prepared buyers. Once you get settled in, it’s easy to stress over the many expenses including renovations, high power bills, new furniture, lawn care, and homeowner association fees.

Although buying a home often comes with unforeseen expenses, it can also help lower the amount you owe come tax season. Check out these tax deductions that can save you money when April 15th rolls around:

Energy Efficient Property Credits

What’s good for both the earth and your bank account? The Residential Energy Efficient Property Credit, which can directly lower your tax bill and is applicable when using [...]

 
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August 22, 2016

5 End Of Summer Projects for Outdoor Living Space

Those balmy summer nights will soon be replaced with the briskness of autumn, but that doesn’t mean your al fresco evenings are numbered. Even as the weather cools down, you can turn up the volume on that patio ambiance for year-round entertaining, relaxation, and quintessential curb appeal. Get some ideas from this roundup of DIY pointers for creating your end-of-summer backyard oasis!

Image courtesy of Pallet Furniture DIY 1. Wooden Pallet Walkway

Create a charmingly rustic and down-to-earth vibe by transforming wooden pallets into a garden walkway, lined with foliage or decorative rocks. Find various boards of discarded reclaimed wood and arrange them horizontally in your [...]

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