Sunday, November 22, 2020

Cheap Ways To Update Your Rental Property

When it comes to making money on investment properties such as apartment buildings, the time you put into keeping things both attractive and functional will be paid back to you in the form of consistent tenants. Here are some simple ways to spruce up your older rental property without spending a fortune.

Repaint Inside and Out
Any designer would tell you that a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in making a space feel fresh and clean. If your apartment complex is starting to look a little shabby, repainting it can immediately grant it a new breath of life. If possible, repaint the exterior as well as the interior, as curb appeal definitely adds to your chances of keeping renters.

Refinish Interior Surfaces
Whether or not the surfaces in your apartment lobby and common areas are considered "high end," they could probably use a little TLC. A deep clean and refinish on flooring, countertops, elevator touch pads, and even window trim can really work wonders in making everything look crisp and inviting. By investing in projects such as metal refinishing Manhattan NY apartments immediately set themselves apart from the competition. 

Add Contemporary Trim
If you take a look at any newer multi-resident buildings going up across the country, you'll find that many of them are leaning towards a contemporary design on the exterior of the building. While you may not have much control over the "bones" of your building, you can add a contemporary twist by looking into low-cost options for window and door trim. Many of today's options are made from materials that are durable and easy to clean, while replicating more expensive looks, such as natural wood or aluminum siding.

The truth is, you don't have to spend a fortune to make a big difference in the way your property looks and sells. By repainting and refinishing major surfaces, adding contemporary trim, or looking into other ways you can update the feel of the building, the chances of keeping your investment property full of happy tenants will improve greatly.

Samantha's Crib

This is the name of our first ever rental property back in my home country. It is a one-bedroom condominium unit in one of the properties constructed by one of the country's supposed to be best developers. We
officially opened and rented it out to short term renters via AirBnB in the middle of 2019. 

A fully furnished unit, there was a lot of investment, time, skills and love poured into this property. The photos say it all, and the positive reviews we received from our guests were just inspiring and overwhelming. Of course there will always be room for improvement as we are newcomers to the hospitality business. 

Then everything went on a standstill in November 2019 when a strong earthquake hit our City. This was followed by a series of aftershocks and then another strong one in December. One of the building's foundations was structurally damaged and our unit was not spared. It incurred major damages and we had to cancel bookings since then. To make matters worse, early this year the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and with the lockdowns and travel restrictions, our unit has been closed since then. We are waiting for the developer to come and conduct the repair works, and this has been postponed again and again. It was supposed to be in October this year and they moved it again to February next year. 

But what can we do? We can only wait... And hope that soon, we will be able to reopen to the public again. Here is praying that things will be moving forward soon. 

Gift Ideas for Your Outdoor-Loving Family

Shopping for your loved ones is hard enough, but it is all the more challenging when they have interests that differ from yours. If you have friends or family that love being active outdoors, and you want to find a gift that will embody the things they love to do, keep reading. Here are a few ideas for the more adventurous people in your life.  

Buy an Experience
Guided hunting trips New Mexico are a great alternative to your typical holiday offering, specifically for those who relish in time off the beaten path. There is nothing that shows you care for your friends or family more than giving a gift that they will be able to appreciate for years to come. Buying an experience is an over-looked option that can mean the world to some pone who prefers making memories over a tangible present.

Find the Gear
Suppose the outdoor-loving friends you have in mind already have a few trips planned for the upcoming year. You can add to their excitement by gifting the necessary equipment and gear they need to be safe on their journey. You can look into a guide of ten items of gear every outdoors-person needs to own for recommendations. The following items may also pique your interest:
  • Weather protective clothing
  • Hiking boots
  • Gloves
  • Head protection
Picking the perfect present for someone you care about is overwhelming. Still, you can use their hobbies and interests to get your creative juices flowing, making the whole process much more manageable. It also helps to keep a mindful ear out at get-togethers for any hints as to what your friends and family may want when the holidays and birthdays come around. However you choose to surprise your loved ones, you can relish in the warm feeling that comes from giving a killer gift.     

The 1st Advent

"Soon it will be Christmas day... " goes one of those classic Christmas songs. And indeed, it will soon be Christmas. Next Sunday is already the 1st advent. And this year, for the first time in the 11 years of living here in Germany, I finally managed to make a round advent wreath, and a week early at that!

I bought the wreath structure made of Nordmann fir and then put in the candles and decorated it with my eldest while my husband looked after the baby. I realized I missed doing crafts with my eldest since it had been a while since we did something handmade together. 

We went for a semi-natural theme, and used what I already have at home from our previous Christmases: cinnamon sticks, pine cones, wood figures, red berries, and repurposed the star ornaments that I usually hang on our Christmas tree. I wasn't able to buy some white ribbons to emphasize the candles. I will be adding them as soon as I purchase some.

So there... We are now ready for the 1st Advent. What do you think of our creation?

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

How To Host a Movie Night at Home

Lockdowns around the world have many people stuck at home. It's a time of confusion and boredom for those who are used to being out and about. Thankfully, there are many different activities to keep oneself entertained during quarantine, and a movie night is a fun idea for film lovers. Continue reading to learn how to put together the perfect quarantine movie night.

An HDMI cord can put your computer screen on a bigger screen, but to fully replicate the theater experience, consider audio visual projectors for your home. The image can be projected on any blank wall or backdrop so viewers can see the picture in its entirety. When not playing movies, a projector is perfect for displaying funky backgrounds anytime you want to have a dance party or create a relaxing ambiance.

Have plenty of snacks available for your housemates or family. Popcorn is a universally loved cinema snack that can be dressed in butter, caramel, or any seasonings to enhance the flavor. Candy complements the salty, savory taste of popcorn. Along with traditional snacks, try cooking up some new delicious snacks that will satisfy everyone's cravings.

The Movies
A movie night without movies is like a fashion show without fashion—it just cannot go on. Familiar movies never get old, but a new movie you've never seen before could be your new favorite. If a movie marathon is in the books, select a mix of movies under a certain theme, or no theme at all. Many streaming services offer libraries of films of all genres and can be paired with DVDs, also.

Movies are an everlasting pastime that bring people together, even when the theaters are closed. Have these three main things ready so you and your housemates can have a movie night to remember without leaving the house.

Christmas Decor Ideas for Your Home

Christmas is just around the corner, as of this writing only 36 days to go. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I find it important more than ever to have that Christmas holiday festive mood in the house because everything else, especially the beloved Christmas markets are unfortunately cancelled. 

To have that festive holiday feeling, I have noted some nice Christmas and winter decorating ideas both for indoors and outdoors that I would like to apply into our home.

1. Nordic Gnome with Pointed Hat

Aren't they cute? I found this on Pinterest, which leads to an Instagram account (and I don't have one). I want to make these Nordic gnomes and place them outside our front porch. To make these, I would need fir branches which are hopefully now available at the garden centers, a wire mesh for the base structure, some binding wire, a big fat potato for the nose, filling material for the pointed cap and a white pointed cap. Perhaps a red cap will also make it more colorful? I am excited so wish me luck!

2. Outdoor Christmas Lantern for the Porch

These outdoor Christmas lanterns are just gorgeous, aren't they? Found this idea On Sutton Place and there's even an instruction on how to DIY. Now, if I can just find a red lantern similar to the one on the photo, that would be great! It definitely gives that festive Christmas feel. And it is not so large so it would be perfect for our small front porch.

3. Upcycling those Snow Sleds

We have a wooden sled that has been unused for some time now. And we can't go sledding just yet and I doubt if it will snow this year. I think I will put the sled into good use by turning it into a shelf for some small Christmas decor. This is perfect both as outdoor and indoor deco. Add some block candles to get that cozy mood, some fir branches, wooden stars and Christmas figures and you have a homey and natural Christmas deco.

4. Christmas Wreath for the Door

A Christmas wreath on your front door should always be present at Christmastime. They say "you are always welcome to this home" and will give both family and friends visiting that feeling of belongingness. I always smile at homes with wreaths on their doors, not only during the holiday seasons. I would like to make a wreath this year made of natural materials. Let's see if I can outdo the one pictured here. Hehe!

5. Advent wreath

There's always a thousand and one ideas for your advent wreath. I have always had a rectangular shaped advent wreath. This year, I want to make the traditional round one. Because the first Advent is in two weeks, I think I would make this one first. 

I should make a trip to the garden center soon, baby in tow, and shop for materials that I will be needing. Will post what I have done soon!

Hot Signs Your Refrigerator May Be on the Blink

The refrigerator may be the most important appliance in every house. Homeowners realize the value of these units when the day comes they break down. How do you know when that day is coming? Your refrigerator will tell you it is in need of repair or is about to reach the end of its life when it shows the following signs.

Noisy Motor

Sometimes increased motor noise is the only signal that your refrigerator is heading for trouble; you may notice that the compressor either sounds louder or runs longer than before. Even if you notice nothing else wrong with your refrigerator, you should consider calling mobile appliance repair Albany NY when you pick up on new or increased motor sounds.

Warm Interior Temperature

Spoiled food can also signal reduced refrigerator performance. If the internal temperature of the appliance does not hold at your temperature setting, your food will not remain optimally chilled. Because this condition can cause you and your family to suffer from gastric distress, you need to call in repair technicians right away. First, however, make certain that you have set the temperatures to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Hot Exterior

Occasionally, you should pull your refrigerator away from the wall and check the temperature in the back where the motor is located. Ideally, you would have performed this task for the first time when it was brand new to gauge its normal warmth. If it feels excessively hot, or the temperature has increased at all over time, it may not be ventilating well. You should first vacuum the coils to see if that resolves the issue before taking further action.

All appliances do have a limited lifespan. When you see ongoing problems with your refrigerator, you should consider whether yours is ready for replacement. In the meantime, if you pay attention to your refrigerator’s operation and work with a repair service, you can keep it from dying prematurely.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

2 Must-Do's Before Your Baby Arrives

If you're expecting a baby, you probably have a list a mile long of things you need to purchase, things that need to be done at work or at home, or even an endless stream of worries keeping you up at night. While all of that is normal, it can also take its toll. And because your overall health is so important during this exciting time, making sure you prioritize now will ensure a smoother transition upon baby's arrival. Read on for two must-do's to add to your list. 

1. Have a Plan for Childcare
Childcare is one of the most important things you'll need to figure out, and it can also be one of the most stressful. Since stress isn't good for either one of you, placing this at the top of your priority list will serve you well. That way when the time comes for you to go back to work, you'll already have a reliable plan in place. 

Since it might take a while to find a provider, setting up tours ahead of time for a daycare center Batavia OH will help you narrow down your options based on your personal preferences and provider availability. 

2. Purchase and Install the Car Seat
While getting the baby's car seat squared away early might not seem like something that should be done way in advance, rest assured it is. By planning ahead, you'll give yourself plenty of time to research different options, purchase it and have it professionally installed into your vehicle. 

Since your baby's safety is paramount, don't hesitate to devote a good amount of time to choosing a car seat. Having it professionally installed is also a great idea, particularly if you're a first-time parent. The peace of mind you'll receive will be more than worth it. 


I find the German word for happy child, Glückskind, very beautiful. The word "glück" has various meanings, depending on the context. It could mean happy, lucky, fortunate. It is both a noun and a verb and when formed with other words, changes its meaning, which oftentimes connotes something positive.

I would say that having children is a fortune. And being a mother of two doubles the happiness.

This word is also used by a leading drugstore here as its membeship promotion for expecting women and moms with children. DM, that's the drugstore's name, gives away a small box of happiness for mothers with newborns for free. All they have to do is register through the drugstore's official app and activate the coupon. I recently got my "Kofferchen" a few weeks ago and it is filled with lots of sample goodies from various baby products.

The box contained the following items: avent feeding bottle, nuk pacifier, Naty plastic- and chemical-free diaper, alana cotton baby cap, medela and lansinoh nursing pads, pampers aqua pure baby wipes, babylove diaper change cream, penaten ultra sensitive lotion, seba med baby wash and lotion, buebchen skin milk.

Even my baby is happy and surprised with the contents. So many products from trusted brands to try. So far, we have tried the babylove diaper change cream, DM's private brand, and I find it works better than the one I am using from a higher end brand. I have just tried the Naty diaper and we will see if it suits my baby's skin. Will update once I have used up both. We are currently using pampers premium protection diapers so let's see. Will we make the switch or not?

And no, this post is not paid. I am mentioning the brand names so other moms may also know of my experience with these products and may help them decide which product to use for their babies. 

Saturday, November 7, 2020

4 Ways You Can Save Money on Standard Business Expenses

Saving money on standard business expenses is important during times of economic struggle. To help your company survive a downward trend in the market, look into one of these four ideas to help you save a little bit of money throughout the fiscal year.

Consider Shared Office Spaces
Instead of paying a lease for an office building or space, you should look into the possibility of renting a shared office space. A shared office is a collection of workstations or small offices rented per space or per person. It is a great option for businesses that have a lot of employees on a contractual or freelance basis.

Rent Your Delivery Trucks
Rather than purchasing or leasing expensive delivery trucks, you could look into trailer rental Everett WA services. This way you only pay for a truck or trailer when you actually need one, instead of letting one sit expensively in your business lot.

Rely on Social Media for Marketing
Social media is a wonderful way to advertise your company's products and services. Accounts are free to create, so you just need a strong eye for photography, a smart caption, and a fun layout to create marketing posts. If you can fit it in your marketing budget, you could hire social media influencers to help you create content showing off your company.

Apply for a Line of Credit, Not a Loan
For large purchases, you should apply for a business line of credit, instead of a traditional bank loan. A line of credit does have a spending limit, but you will only need to pay back what you spend in a month, instead of making one large payment every month.

With a few new ideas when it comes to running a business, you can save money to help you through the tough times.

Baby Photography Services in Hospitals

I have always wondered how they are able to take studio photos of days-old newborn babies when generally, mommies will not expose their newborns to places outside of their homes when not necessary. Then I got answer when I let our little one have her photoshooting right at my hospital bed when she was 2 days old. :)

Yes, hospitals offer this photoshooting service and they have an "in-house" professional photographer who magically turns your hospital bed into a photo studio for your little one, complete with all the accessoires the baby might need for the shoot. In a small trolley, they have lots of props available for baby girls, boys and twins.

And the photoshooting takes just about 30-60 minutes depending on the baby's mood. Because they are still newborns, they don't really move a lot so this makes it easier to photograph them. Be sure that your baby is fed though so they are in a good mood or asleep during the shoot. There is also no need to those blinding studio lights as natural light can very well do the trick.

And in this time of the pandemic, the photographer has to follow hygiene protocols, wearing of masks included!

The photoshooting in itself is free and you get some freebies from the hospital composing of a bib cloth, a welcome video, a digital print of one of the photos from the shoot, and a photo of the baby published on the hospital's website. Parents have the option to buy prints among others. Depending on which package you choose, I would say the photoshooting service is worth it. You would want to capture these moments of your tiny little baby and distribute prints to family and friends. As for me, I just ordered the CD and digital copy of all the photos. And with the pandemic, you would like to restrict and limit visitors so sending them the first photos of your child is one of the best and safe options.

5 Tips for Brightening Someone's Day

When it comes to boosting someone's mood, you may wonder what the most effective ways of spreading a bit of happiness are. From planning fun activities to thinking up compliments, it can be easier than ever to support someone you care about.

Give a Helping Hand
From household chores to last-minute errands, daily life can feel overwhelming at times. If you are looking for a quick and easy way to make a big difference, try asking your loved one if he or she needs help accomplishing any of these tasks. Not only can you spend time together, you can also get work done.

Choose the Right Music
From pop songs to Caribbean music Brooklyn NY, there are endless sounds to choose from that can boost someone's mood. Making a playlist and sending it to your loved one is another great way to show you are thinking of him or her.

Reach Out
Being physically affectionate with someone is an easy way to show you care. A quick hug or pat on the back helps you connect emotionally while showing you remember your loved one even in tough times. 

Say What You Think Out Loud
A simple statement or compliment can make someone's day. Instead of merely thinking about your loved one, try telling him or her just how much you appreciate having someone in your life who cares about you. Point out specific traits or skills you admire, and see how he or she reacts. 

Plan a Trip
Going to a store or another fun place the two of you love can help boost both of your moods. Injecting a bit of spontaneity into someone's day can help him or her shake off any residual tiredness or worry. Make sure you know ahead of time what to pack so that neither of you are caught unaware.

Lilly's 1st Month

On your first four weeks, a lot of things happened. It was a busy time as we prepared for our move to Ludwigsburg. You came three weeks early into this world you see, but I think that is a blessing in disguise, then we were already able to establish some kind of a routine. Had you been born on the day that you were supposed to come out, it would have been a lot more stressful for all of us.

Phototherapy to reduce bilirubin levels in newborns with jaundice.

With the pandemic, it is not simple. We always feel afraid for you and your big sister. But with the observance of proper hygiene, wearing of masks and only going out when necessary, you are both healthy and safe. Almost a week old and you had to be admitted back to the hospital because you had jaundice and you had to undergo phototherapy to lower the bilirubin levels in your blood. We both needed to be swabbed for Corona virus tests. This is a protocol for all patients admitted. They pierced you very tiny hands and feet with needles so they could check your blood properly. Hearing you screaming out in pain broke my heart I had to get out of the examination room because it was too heart wretching to witness. Also, it really pained me to see you inside the incubator with nothing but your diaper on and your "swimming" eye protector for a total of 12 hours, with 6 hours of break in between. You did not know how to breastfeed properly yet at that time and my milk supply is still too small so that feeding you was a challenge. I had to give you formula milk to supplement the breastmilk that I had to regularly pump. Thankfully, the therapy was a success and we were able to come home three days after. 

It could be muscle reflexes but this was one of first smiles
captured on camera at about 3 weeks old. 

As you turned a month old, we finally managed to go breastfeeding all the way. Such a huge feat for me since it has been my silent wish and desire to be able to nourish my child with my own milk. I was not able to do it with your Nee-chan and I thank the heavens I was able to do it with you. We still have our mishaps sometimes
👶🤦🏻‍♀️ especially when we try to find a comfortable breastfeeding position. It was a learning process for me, and all the sleepless nights made me feel very exhausted. I am thankful that your daddy is there to watch over you when he has the time and energy to allow me rest and get a few hours of sleep. 

Thursday, November 5, 2020

Climbing Rocks Indoors and Outdoors

Outdoor Rock Climbing

Some of the people who start climbing at indoor rock climbing gyms will want to switch to climbing rocks outdoors in the future. Other people are just interested in indoor rock climbing gyms for their own sake. Both groups of people can certainly enjoy all of the activities that are available at indoor rock climbing gyms. There's no reason why a person has to go to one of these gyms for the sake of one day climbing rocks outdoors. 

However, it is true that the people who are interested in outdoor rock climbing should go to indoor rock climbing gyms first. Ideally, they should not start this activity in a setting that tends to have unique risks and challenges. While it's certainly possible to start outdoor rock climbing on rock faces that are relatively low to the ground and that have good handholds, it still will not be a controlled environment.

Climbing and Stability

There are lots of environmental factors to consider when people are climbing rocks in nature. They'll have to think about moisture levels, the amount of sunlight, and other variables related to the weather. Outdoor rock faces are also not as stable as interior climbing walls, even if they have been specifically maintained for this purpose.

People can secure themselves when climbing rocks outdoors, but it's still easier to do so in a rock climbing gym that was explicitly designed for this purpose. The handholds that are accessible in nature also might not be able to hold a person's weight. All of the handholds in rock climbing gyms were designed to be strong and stable, giving people another reason to feel secure. 

Indoor Rock Climbing

People who want to climb rock faces outside might be concerned about whether or not the skills that they've acquired in rock climbing gyms will be usable there. Obviously, climbing walls indoors at places like Rock'n & Jam'n is still different from climbing rock faces in important ways. However, people still have to develop the muscle power to make both sets of actions possible. They can certainly do so in both environments.

There are lots of major and minor skills involved with something like rock climbing. People need to avoid getting tired during an activity that requires them to lift a certain amount of their body weight. They'll improve their cardiovascular fitness levels in the process. Rock climbing gives people the chance to pause between bursts of energy, but they'll need a lot of energy each time they move. Individuals who are used to walking or jogging might still find wall climbing strenuous since it might involve an unfamiliar energy usage pattern for them. 

People also just have to get used to the setting itself. Climbing is not something most people do on a regular basis. People may have climbed trees in the past, but rock climbing and wall climbing is very different. Relying on a flat, vertical surface for balance is unusual. The people who get used to that position will already end up developing skills that they can use in all types of climbing. 

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