4 Quirky Gift Ideas to Give Someone Who Is Leaving Your Office: Unique and Memorable Farewell Gifts

Finding the perfect gift for a colleague who is leaving your office can be quite challenging. You want to give them something memorable and unique, but also something that shows your appreciation for their time at the company. If you’re struggling to come up with ideas, don’t worry. Here are four quirky gift ideas that are sure to make your colleague’s departure a little more special.

An Experience

If you’re looking for a gift that’s truly unique, consider giving the departing colleague an experience they’ll never forget. This could be anything from a hot air balloon ride to a cooking class to a wine tasting tour. The key is to choose an experience that aligns with their interests and personality.

For example, if your colleague is an adrenaline junkie, consider booking a bungee jumping or skydiving experience. If they’re a foodie, a cooking class with a renowned chef could be the perfect gift. Alternatively, if they’re a wine connoisseur, a wine tasting tour in a nearby vineyard could be a great option.

An experience gift not only provides a memorable experience, but it also shows that you’ve put thought into their interests and preferences. Plus, it’s a great way to create lasting memories and strengthen your relationship with the departing colleague.

A Custom Bic Lighter

A custom Bic lighter is a fun and practical gift to give someone who is leaving your office. These lighters are a classic and reliable choice for lighting candles, cigarettes, or anything else that needs a flame. By customizing the lighter with a unique design or message, you can add a personal touch to the gift and make it something that the recipient will remember for years to come.

Custom Bic lighters are available in a variety of colors and styles, so you can choose one that suits the personality of the person you are giving it to. You can also add your company’s logo or a funny inside joke to the design to make it even more special.

Overall, a custom Bic lighter is a thoughtful and practical gift that is sure to be appreciated by anyone who receives it.

Gift Cards and Subscriptions as Farewell Gifts

Gift cards and subscriptions are a great way to show appreciation to a coworker who is leaving the office. They are also a practical gift that can be used and enjoyed long after the farewell party is over.

Gift cards are a versatile option that can be tailored to the recipient’s interests. Consider giving a gift card to a favorite restaurant, coffee shop, or store. If the coworker is an avid reader, a gift card to a bookstore or online retailer can be a great option.

Subscriptions are another unique gift idea. There are a variety of subscription services available, ranging from monthly snack boxes to streaming services. Consider the recipient’s hobbies and interests when selecting a subscription. For example, a coworker who loves to cook might appreciate a subscription to a meal kit delivery service.

Overall, gift cards and subscriptions are a thoughtful way to say goodbye to a coworker and provide them with a practical gift that they can enjoy long after they leave the office.

Something Personal for Their Hobbies

When someone leaves the office, it’s always nice to give them a gift that reflects their personal interests. If you know that the person is passionate about a particular hobby, you can get them something related to it. For example, if they love gardening, you could get them a set of high-quality gardening tools. Or if they’re into photography, you could give them a gift card to a photography store.

If your departing colleague has a love for reading, consider going beyond the conventional and gifting them a collection of personalized books. These specially curated books can feature custom covers, incorporating elements that resonate with their personality and time spent at the company. It’s a unique way to express your appreciation and provide them with a lasting reminder of their time with the team.

Another great idea is to create a personalized farewell card that includes images and phrases related to their hobby. This will show them that you took the time to create something unique and meaningful just for them.

Overall, giving a gift that reflects their hobbies is a thoughtful way to show someone that you care about their interests and will miss them when they’re gone.

3 Ways to Invest in Yourself: Strategies for Personal Growth and Development

Investing in oneself is a crucial aspect of personal growth and development. It is a way of enhancing one’s skills, knowledge, and abilities to achieve personal and professional goals.

There are various ways to invest in oneself, and each individual must identify what works best for them. This article will explore three ways to invest in oneself that can help individuals achieve their goals and enhance their personal and professional lives. These strategies are practical, effective, and can be implemented by anyone who is committed to self-improvement.

Investing in Personal Skills and Knowledge

Investing in personal skills and knowledge is a great way to improve oneself and increase productivity. There are several ways to invest in oneself, such as attending workshops, seminars, and classes, or reading books and articles.

Professional development is important for growth and development in one’s career. Attending workshops and seminars can help individuals learn new skills and abilities that can be applied in their work. These events provide opportunities to network with other professionals and gain insights into industry trends.

Reading is a great way to invest in oneself. Self-education through reading can help individuals learn new skills and gain knowledge in various areas. Reading can also improve language and writing skills, which can be beneficial in both personal and professional settings.

Learning a new language is another way to invest in oneself. Being able to communicate in multiple languages can open up new opportunities for personal and professional growth. It can also help individuals connect with people from different cultures and backgrounds.

Investing in personal skills and knowledge is a great way to improve oneself and increase productivity. Take a look at otdr rental for some great options for rent.

Investing in Health and Well-being

Investing in one’s health and well-being is one of the most important ways to invest in oneself. It is essential to prioritize one’s health and energy levels, as they are key to achieving success in all areas of life.

One effective way to invest in health and well-being is by working out regularly. Exercise not only helps to improve physical health but also has a positive impact on mental health. It can help to reduce stress, improve confidence, and increase happiness levels.

In addition to working out, self-care is also crucial for overall well-being. Taking breaks, getting enough sleep, and engaging in activities that bring joy and relaxation can help to reduce stress levels and improve overall happiness.

Prioritizing well-being can also have a positive impact on one’s confidence levels. When one feels good about themselves, they are more likely to feel confident in their abilities and make better decisions. Ordering a meal delivery service like 2guyswithknives.com is a great way to know that you’re putting healthy quality food into your body.

Investing in health and well-being is a vital aspect of investing in oneself. By prioritizing activities such as working out, self-care, and getting enough sleep, individuals can improve their energy levels, reduce stress, and increase overall happiness and confidence.

Investing in Financial Future

Investing in one’s financial future is a crucial step towards achieving long-term financial goals. This can be done in a number of ways, including:

  • Saving: One of the simplest ways to invest in your financial future is by saving money. This can be done by setting aside a portion of your income each month and putting it into a savings account or investment vehicle such as a mutual fund or IRA. By saving regularly, you can accumulate a significant amount of wealth over time.
  • Investing: Investing in stocks, bonds, real estate, or other assets can be a great way to grow your wealth over the long term. While investing always carries some level of risk, it also offers the potential for high returns. It’s important to do your research and choose investments that align with your financial goals and risk tolerance. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at https://tsginvest.com/.

Education: Investing in education can also be a great way to improve your financial future. This can include pursuing a degree or certification in a high-demand field or taking courses to improve your skills and knowledge in your current profession. By investing in your education, you can increase your earning potential and open up new career opportunities.

5 Ideas for Being Generous to Your Parents This Christmas: Tips for Showing Your Appreciation

As the holiday season approaches, many people are thinking about ways to show their loved ones how much they care. One group of people who often go unrecognized during this time are parents. While they may not expect anything, it’s always nice to show them some appreciation. Here are four ideas for being generous to your parents this Christmas.

Take Them on an Experience

One great way to show generosity to your parents this Christmas is by taking them on an experience. This can be a fun and memorable way to spend time together and create new memories.

There are many different experiences you can choose from depending on your parents’ interests and preferences. For example, if your parents are golf enthusiasts, you could take them to an indoor golf center where they can play a round of golf in a climate-controlled environment. Click here to take a look at some great indoor golfing options.

Another option is to take them on a scenic drive through the countryside or to a nearby national park. This can be a great way to enjoy the beauty of nature and spend quality time together.

If your parents are foodies, you could take them on a culinary tour of your city or to a cooking class where they can learn how to make a new dish.

No matter what experience you choose, be sure to plan ahead and make reservations if necessary. And don’t forget to take lots of photos to remember the special day!

Help Them With Their Car

If your parents have an older car, they may need some help keeping it running smoothly. You can offer to take their car in for a tune-up or oil change, or even help them with some basic maintenance tasks like changing the oil or replacing the air filter. Take a look at https://abeautomotive.com/ for some great options and packages you can buy for them.

If your parents are having trouble with their car, you can also offer to help them find a mechanic or auto repair shop that they can trust. You can research local mechanics and read reviews to find a reputable and reliable option.

Another way to help your parents with their car is to offer to drive them to appointments or errands if their car is in the shop or if they are unable to drive for any reason. This can be a great way to spend time with your parents and show them that you care.

Overall, helping your parents with their car can be a practical and meaningful way to show your generosity this Christmas season.

Some Technology

One way to show generosity to parents this Christmas is by introducing them to some new technology that can make their lives easier. For instance, you could set up a smart home system for them, which can be controlled through voice commands or an app, making it easier for them to manage their home environment.

Another option is to gift them a tablet or an e-reader, which can be used to read books, watch movies, or stay connected with friends and family. These devices are user-friendly and can be customized to suit their preferences.

You could also help them set up video calling software or social media accounts, which can enable them to stay in touch with distant relatives and friends, even during the pandemic. This can be a great way to combat loneliness and isolation.

Or maybe introduce them to online shopping, which can save them time and effort while also providing access to a wider range of products. You could show them how to use online marketplaces like Amazon or eBay, or help them create an account on their favorite retailer’s website.

Overall, introducing parents to new technology can be a great way to show generosity and improve their quality of life.

Help Around the Home

One of the best ways to show generosity to parents is by helping them around the home. This can mean taking on some of the household chores that they usually do, such as cleaning, cooking, or doing laundry. By taking on these tasks, children can give their parents a break and show them that they appreciate all the hard work they do to keep the home running smoothly.

Another way to help around the home is by offering to do some home repairs or maintenance tasks. This can include fixing a leaky faucet, painting a room, or mowing the lawn. By taking care of these tasks, children can save their parents time and money and make their lives easier.

Children can also show generosity by taking on some caregiving responsibilities for their parents. This can include helping them with personal care tasks, such as bathing or dressing, or assisting with medical appointments or medication management. By taking on these responsibilities, children can show their parents that they care about their well-being and want to help them stay healthy and independent.

Finally, children can help their parents by organizing the home and getting rid of clutter. This can include decluttering and organizing closets, cabinets, and other storage spaces, as well as helping parents sell or donate unwanted items. By doing this, children can help their parents feel more organized and in control of their surroundings.

Decorate Their Home with a Christmas Tree

In addition to helping around the home and embracing technology, consider bringing the festive spirit directly into your parents’ living space. Surprise them by decorating their home with a beautiful Christmas tree. This timeless tradition not only adds a touch of holiday magic but also shows thoughtfulness in creating a warm and festive atmosphere for your parents to enjoy.

You can choose a theme that resonates with them, whether it’s classic, modern, or even a tree filled with cherished family ornaments. Don’t forget to include their favorite colors and ornaments that hold sentimental value. This small but meaningful gesture can contribute to the overall generosity you’re aiming for this Christmas.

Do you need some more ideas as to what you can get for your aging parents? Click here for some more great ideas.

The Best AI SEO Tools And How It Can Be Beneficial To You


The use of artificial intelligence (AI) for search engine optimization has become more and more important in recent years. However, there are many different types of AI tools on the market today, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. We’ve compiled a list of the best AI SEO tools so that you can choose one that will work best for your business needs:


Semrush is a great tool for SEO. It enables you to monitor your site’s ranking in search engines, track backlinks, keep an eye on keywords and much more.

  • Monitor Your Rankings: When it comes to monitoring rankings of your website on Google or other search engines like Bing, Yahoo! and Baidu, Semrush is one of the best tools available in this domain. You can see how well your website ranks against competitors by using its rank tracker feature which gives accurate information about where your site stands in comparison with other websites in terms of keywords used by searchers along with their respective search volumes (how many times they are searched).


SEOmoz is a great tool for getting a quick overview of your site’s performance. It gives you insights into how Googlebot sees your site, and what it thinks about it. This can be useful if you want to know whether or not there are any issues with the content on your website that could be affecting its ranking position in search engines.

You can get started by signing up at [https://www.seomoz.org](https://www.seomoz.org/free-seo/)


Ahrefs is one of the best tools for SEO professionals. It offers a wide range of features and it’s easy to use. What makes Ahrefs so popular is its backlink database, which provides an extensive list of all domains linking to your site or blog post. You can also use this tool to analyze keywords and perform other tasks related to content analysis.

The main advantage of using Ahrefs over other similar tools is that it allows you to do more with less effort by providing quality backlink data directly from Google (and others). This means no need for manual checking whether there are links pointing at your website as well as other sources like social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter etc., which would require manual work on each individual website URL link manually checked through another tool like MajesticSEO Keywords Tool which does not provide such information automatically but rather only lists out what has been indexed by Google!


SerpWoo is a great tool for SEO, webmasters and even SEO professionals. It’s a must-have for anyone who wants to improve their site ranking in Google’s search results.

SerpWoo helps you understand what keywords people are using on the search engines and makes it easy for you to rank high on these terms by providing results based on those keywords. You can also see how many backlinks each page has received and analyze them using our powerful link analysis tool that allows you to see which links are bringing in traffic from outside websites (and which ones aren’t).

Moz Local

Moz Local is a local search engine that helps you find customers and the best local businesses. It also helps you find deals, which could be of great value to your business. As an example, if you own a restaurant and want to advertise specials on your website, then it would make sense for you to use Moz Local as part of this process because it will help drive traffic from potential customers who are searching specifically for restaurants nearby.

Moz Local was created by Moz founder Rand Fishkin in 2015 when he realized how important it was for him not just as an entrepreneur but also as someone who knew about SEO (search engine optimization) when he started his first company called Mozcast back in 2003 which later became Backlinko where we provide our clients with high quality links from authoritative sources like Wikipedia or Google+ Communities pages etc…


MajesticSEO is a great tool for SEO. It’s easy to use and has a great interface. It has a lot of features, so it can be used for many different kinds of SEO.


LinkAssistant is a tool that helps you find and analyze links to your website. It’s available for both desktop and mobile devices, in English, French, German, Spanish and Italian.

It allows you to see how many times a domain has been linked to by other sites on the Internet so that you can identify potential sources of traffic or backlinks (or both). You can also see what kind of content each link is referring to on its site so that you can make informed decisions about where they come from.

Google Cloud Natural Language API

Google Cloud Natural Language API is a cloud service that allows you to analyze and process text. This means you can use this tool to help your business understand what people are saying on their website, as well as how they’re using keywords in their content.

The Google Cloud Natural Language API has been around since 2017, but it’s still one of the best ways to get started with AI SEO tools because it doesn’t require any coding knowledge at all! Just upload your text files (in .txt format) and let the program do its job for you!


Blekko is a search engine that helps you find the best products for your needs. It does this by analyzing data from its own users and then uses that information to rank results based on what they think is relevant.

It’s like Yelp for internet shopping, except instead of rating restaurants or hotels, it rates websites and other sites related to e-commerce products (like Amazon).

AI-driven Content Creation Tool for Content Marketing Processes

  • AI-driven Content Creation Tool for Content Marketing Processes

The tool is a content creation tool, used to create content for marketing purposes. It can help you write blog posts and other types of articles that are wanted by your audience and make them easily accessible on social media platforms as well as email newsletters or sale pages on your website.

 SpartanSEO Update Simulator

SpartanSEO Update Simulator is a tool that allows you to test your SEO strategies against different factors.

You can use this tool to see how your site performs when it is not optimized for the search engines, or if it is optimized for certain keywords. This will help you see what kind of effect changing certain aspects of your site can have on its ranking in Google and other search engines.

The use of AI for SEO has become more and more important in recent years

The use of AI for SEO has become more and more important in recent years. It can help with content creation, content marketing, and even the process of creating content itself.

AI can be used to help you rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs). You may not think it’s possible, but there are plenty of ways that an algorithm can identify what Google thinks is relevant for users when they’re searching for a certain term or phrase. By using an algorithm created by Google itself—called RankBrain—you’ll have an easier time ranking higher on your site if you incorporate some form of artificial intelligence into your website’s design or layout.

For example: If someone searches “what does [your website] do?” You’d want them seeing exactly what your business does from start till finish before making any decisions about whether or not they want anything else done here at all!


We’ve covered a lot of ground here. And while you may think we’re just talking about robots and AI, the truth is that all these tools are powered by technology that came out of research labs and academia. That means they have their origins in science, which makes them a little more difficult to understand—but also has resulted in some amazing developments like Google Assistant (which can answer any question). So whether or not you choose to use these tools on your own website or business, let us know what you think about them in the comments below!

3 Tricks To Help You Break A Bad Habit

Everyone develops bad habits. However, once you’re ready to break this bad habit, it can be a lot harder than you’d like to admit feeling like you’ve regained control and start living the life that you really want. Luckily, science has uncovered all kinds of ways that people can hack their habits to break away from the bad ones and start turning them into good ones.

To help you see how this can be possible for you, here are three tricks to help you break a bad habit.

Find Ways To Exert Self-Control

While many habits can’t be fought off simply by self-control, the more you’re able to control yourself and flex those self-control muscles, the easier it will be for you to do this with your bad habits as well.

The more you get used to resisting things that your body may want but that your mind doesn’t, even with seemingly small things, the more experience you’ll gain in a mind-over-matter mentality. And for all bad habits, allowing your mind to be in control is vital. Otherwise, you could succumb to any and all of the urges that your body might think it wants, regardless of how much your mind or motivations may think otherwise, simply from hearing, tasting, or smelling something that triggers you and makes you want to fall back into those bad habits that you’ve been trying to hard to kick.

Allow Yourself To Be Disillusioned

For some people, they have developed habits over years and years of habitual behaviors. And while these habits might have served a purpose in the past or have been beneficial somehow, if you’re still feeling the need to do these things when you’re old enough to be in a senior living community, it might be time to rethink just how helpful or hurtful some of these habits are.

As you participate in the habits that you’re wanting to stop, think about what’s happening in your body and your mind as you bring that habit to conclusion. Are you enjoying it? Or did it leave you feeling worse than before? Once you start to get disillusioned about your habits, it becomes easier to want to stop doing them in the first place.

Recognize What Triggers You

For habits that people don’t like or don’t want to do anymore, one of the reasons why it can be hard to shake them is because they’re conditioned themselves to these habits based on certain triggers. So, when those triggers happen, your mind automatically wants to fall back into that habit.

To stop this in the process, try to recognize what some of your triggers are and interrupt yourself before you get into that bad habit cycle. Even pausing for a moment to think about what you’re feeling and what you’re wanting to do can help you slowly but surely break that habit.

If you have some bad habits that you’d like to stop doing, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you learn how this can actually be done, aside from just gutting it out.

An Overview of Wire-O Binding in Book Printing

One of the essential aspects of wire-O-bound books is the margin. This is a necessary part of wire-O binding since it is used to punch paper before inserting the wire. The margin is generally one to 1.5 inches, though it may vary based on the project size. Too little margin may cause the text to fall into the binding area. Therefore, wire-O bound books require a margin at least one inch larger than the edge of the book.

Wire-O binding is more expensive than coil binding.

Wire-O binding is a book printing technique that uses preformed pairs of wires to bind the pages together. Unlike coil binding, wire-o binding prevents the pages from slipping out of place during a presentation. Wire-o binding also uses a metal spine to ensure a secure connection between the pages. This method is more expensive than coil binding but can give your book an attractive, professional look.

The Wire- O bound book printing method is a more affordable option for small printing projects. It is commonly used for calendars and employee training books. The wire-o process uses a C-shaped wire threaded through a document’s hole and squeezed closed to form an “O” shape. Wire-o books are much more durable than coil binding and can stand up to more use. In addition, wire-o books are more portable, which makes them popular for storing and reading.

Wire-O binding is more formal

Many different types of binding are available today, and wire-o is one of the most popular. Like spiral-coil binding, wire-o uses coils to make the binding. Spiral binding has advantages and disadvantages that make it a popular option for various books. For example, spiral-bound books have a softer feel to them. On the other hand, wire-o binding is more expensive than spiral-coil binding. Still, the cost is worth it if you’re looking for a quality and professional-looking result.

Wire-O binding is more formal than spiral-coil binding, which is why it is commonly used for business books. Wire-O binding allows pages to turn freely while remaining firmly in place. It is best for bound projects that contain tabbed page dividers. These printed tabs help users quickly find specific pages and are often colored or numerically coded. It is also possible to add a ribbon or decorative band to the book for presentation purposes.

Wire-O binding allows for index tabs.

Wire o binding is the most common method used in book printing. This method of binding allows for index tabs. The attached sheet is typically made of frost composition, white index stock, or gray Mylar. Moreover, the tabs are often pre-printed with numbers, letters, and months to give the finished product a professional look. They are a good choice for in-house materials.

Printed tabs allow for an efficient and easy-to-use index in book printing. Printed index tabs enable users to identify specific pages quickly. These can be color-coded or simply a small tab that sticks out of the book. Wire-O binding also allows for index tabs in book printing. In addition to the ability to add index tabs, this binding method also provides for indexes and pages.

Another advantage of wire-O binding is that it can accommodate different page thicknesses and page counts. The wire is inserted between the pages, and the margin should be large enough for the wire to fit through. The margin should be 1 to 1.5 inches, depending on the page count and size of the loop. Furthermore, the text will fall into the binding area if the margin is too small. Wire-O binding is recommended for books with smaller page counts to avoid this problem.

Wire-O binding is readily available.

The benefits of Wire-O binding are well known. This binding option offers a wide variety of page counts and can be customized to suit individual needs. Its versatility makes it an ideal choice for bound projects that require page dividers. Printed tabs help users quickly locate specific pages within the book. Additionally, these tabs can be numerically coded for easy reference. Wire-O binding is a common choice for books with low page counts and high page weight.

Wire-O binding is an affordable and accessible option for bookbinding. Although not as popular as spiral binding, it is an excellent option for smaller production runs. Wire-O binding is simple to use, requiring no adhesives or folded signatures. The wire loops are inserted between the cover and pages during assembly. Once the wire loops are in place, the pages are secured to the book’s spine. Unlike spiral-bound books, Wire-O books can open 360 degrees and lay flat. Moreover, Wire-O binding is also available for smaller print runs and can be quickly done by a novice.

Avoid Making These Mistakes After a Car Accident

You probably know that you need to swap insurance information after an accident, but do you know everything you need to do after the fact? Whether you think you do or not, all too many drivers make 6 common mistakes in the aftermath. If you’ve been in a recent wreck, avoid making these critical mistakes.

Underestimating Your Injuries

You might not feel that bad after a crash. In fact, you might not feel injured at all. This happens because your adrenaline is in overdrive, numbing the pain you’re going to feel in the following days. By the time most people realize the extent of their injuries, it’s too late.

Once you give a legal statement to the police or your insurance company, it’s on record. Ask any auto accident lawyer, the best thing you can do is say you’re not sure about your injuries or how you feel. That way, you can seek compensation if something does crop up later.

Waiting to Act

The longer you wait to report and treat your injuries after an accident, the harder it become to claim your legal rights. Medical care, investigating the wreck, contacting a lawyer, and filing a lawsuit are all time sensitive actions when seeking compensation.

Giving Your Insurance Company Too Much Information

You’re supposed to be able to trust the company you’ve paid into all these years to cover your costs completely, but trusting your insurance company is top mistake. Their job is to make money, and they often short people by paying them less after an accident.

Never talk about fault, don’t talk about your injuries at the moment, and answer as few questions as possible. It doesn’t matter how nice the representative is, just stick with the basic facts and never tell them a concrete answer if you don’t have all the information. The extent of damage to your vehicle is an excellent example.

Not Calling the Police

In order to seek compensation, there needs to be a police investigation and report. Many states legally require this, as well. This is also your chance to be checked by a medical professional at the scene, which only adds to any claim you might need to make.

Admitting Fault

Even if you think the accident was 100% your mistake, never admit fault. There could be a wide variety of factors you haven’t considered that go into this collision, especially what the other driver was doing. Until the investigation is complete, you won’t know for sure what exactly transpired. So, don’t blame yourself or make any statements that could implicate you as the cause of the accident.

Stay Off of Social Media

Don’t talk about your accident, don’t post pictures, and never talk about an ongoing claim online. All of this can be used against you by the other driver, their insurance company, or your own. Injuries and medical treatments are included in this as well. The less you say until the claim period is over, the better off you are.

Tips for Keeping Your Home Safe While You Travel

After months of lockdowns and quarantining, we’re finally at a point where people are ready to leave their homes and explore the country and even the world. Apart from the planning part, traveling should be fun and stress free. However, if you’re leaving your home behind without roommates or family members to keep it safe, you run the risk of it being vulnerable to intruders or damage. There are a lot of things that you’ll want to take care of before you go on your merry way. Here are a few of the most basic yet important tips for keeping your home safe while you travel. 

Run a Test on Your Alarms

Before you leave, do a run through of any alarms and smoke detectors in the house. Check the batteries and make sure that they are functioning properly. These alarms and detectors will help protect your home from fires, carbon monoxide, and intruders while you’re away– if they’re dead, they can’t serve their purpose.

If you use a security system in your home, test it out prior to leaving. Further, if you don’t own a home security system, now would be a good time to purchase one. There are a variety of options that come at different price points. Choose one that will work well for your living situation. 

Hide Your Valuables

Obviously, hiding items like televisions and surround sounds isn’t practical, but securing expensive and valuable items is a smart thing to do before leaving. This can go for just about anything, but some items to keep in mind include:

  • Fine jewelry
  • Cash
  • Passports
  • Weapons
  • Social security cards
  • Heirlooms

Placing these items in a secured spot will help keep your home from becoming vulnerable to burglars who are on the lookout for items like these.

Let Neighbors or Friends Know

Another thing you can do to keep your home safe and secure is to let neighbors or friends know that you will be gone. If you don’t live in a populated area, have a friend or family member stop by and do a run through while you are gone. If you do live in an area with more people, give the neighbors notice of your absence. Some areas have a neighborhood crime reporting system that involves members of the neighborhood to report suspicious activity to the local authorities. 

If you’re an avid traveler thinking of buying a house soon after calculating what you can afford via a home affordability calculator, look for a home in an area with a neighborhood crime watch.

Keep Plumbing and HVAC in Mind

Do you live in an area with colder seasons and plan on traveling in the fall? Come up with a plan to keep your pipes safe from cracking. Planning a trip during the summer and have an air conditioning unit? Set your system up for success so that it doesn’t constantly run all day. This could lead to it freezing over and breaking your air conditioner. Do a quick run through of your plumbing and HVAC systems to prevent overuse and damage. 

Following the tips above and doing a sweep-through of your home before jetsetting are just among the few ways to keep your home safe and secure when you travel. Enjoy your time away and leave the stress behind this vacation!

What Makes An Ideal Learning Environment?

What Makes An Ideal Learning Environment?

Everyone, adults and children alike, responds favorably or unfavorably to their environment. The environment is more than just the physical building itself. It includes design, attitudes, emotions, social interaction and freedom for students to engage and stay focused in the learning process.

Helen Lee Schifter, former arbitrage trader for Wall Street and former editor, offers some practical and useful suggestions for creating ideal learning environments for both adults and children. Unity, harmony, calmness, peace and racial justice are needed to create ideal learning environments. How does one achieve this?

Less is more. Schifter believes in using minimalistic decorating design for her personal living space. White, black, silver colors with muted and restrained materials create a serene environment. Lampshade lighting as opposed to bright overhead ceiling lights provides a calming effect for the students, as well. Minimalistic design creates a relaxed environment which relaxes the students. Art can heal. Art can inform. Art creates a visual relaxant and inspiration for the students. Reduced noise levels create the appropriate quietness students need for calmness, peace and ideal learning opportunities. Any environment which incorporates these techniques will increase the students’ potential for learning.

Ms. Schifter advocates the benefits of patience. For students to have a better chance to learn, the idea of impatience must go. It is important to create an environment in which students slow down to reflect on the moments of learning. Reflecting and meditating on what is important helps students to prioritize the most important things. Students embrace what is important during the reflecting process. This gives students the chance to keep pursuing the learning experiences when the learning becomes important to them.

A healthy regimen is also necessary for an ideal learning environment. Surround students with choices they will hopefully apply lifelong. Daily provide students with healthy foods to eat. Healthy food choices contribute to the health and wellness of students. The learning environment should also provide ample time for physical workouts. Healthy, energetic students learn.

Students need the chance to socially interact with one another. Interaction with one another increases inner confidence. Students need the chance to express their feelings and viewpoints with one another in-person, as well as using social media. Race, ethnicity and differing beliefs should not stop the right and privilege of students to engage in expression. All who feel they are heard will hopefully reciprocate the same opportunity and privilege to their classmates and instructors. This process will aid in unity and harmony within the learning environment.

Students need to expose injustices as they arise. Doing so helps provide awareness and the ability to correct injustices. When all feel a part of the environment, then all feel they can participate in the learning process.

Learning is a lifelong process. Helen Lee Schifter believes that environments enhance and make possible the learning moments. Choices made and actions displayed will benefit or hinder the learning opportunities for all students. Pulling together, everyone can make the ideal learning environments all need to achieve their hopes, dreams and aspirations.

Buying Your First Home: What You Need to Know

What to expect when buying that first home

Thinking of buying a home for the first time is exciting and turbulent. Shalom Lamm believes each of us deserves one. Will you get that house you want? You have looked up what you can afford, run the figures past a real estate agent, and calculated for yourself. You have decided what you can’t afford. meaning you want money for living a bit more freely. You can’t bid higher.

Some things to consider:

Don’t buy a car just before looking for a home.

Watch your credit rating.

Don’t change jobs.

Don’t consolidate expenses.

Don’t increase your credit

If you mess up and find you have financial trouble, Shalom Lamm believes that failure will help you learn and understand and then go forward with even more knowledge than before.

That Is the Home

Inevitably a real estate broker, or even you by yourself, have found a house that is slightly over your budget. Now it will really depend on making a down payment high enough to cover the extra expense if you don’t make enough. Saving that down payment has been a priority for some time.

Remember, that there is mortgage insurance to pay until your investment reaches 20% of the cost. That insurance is expensive. Also, taxes go up and up and so does the mortgage payment, not a lot but enough if the budget is too tight.

What to Do

You have found the house. Get an appraisal. Yes, really. Get one. It will cost you and be worth it. Make an offer after the appraisal if the sale can wait. Sometimes other bidders will interrupt your best plans. Get a home inspection and inspect it yourself. Walk around looking at the foundation and look up at the roofing. Look for termites though you probably will not see the devils. Check if the house is in a flood plain, sometimes it isn’t that clear. Check the sheet the real estate agent will give you about a week before closing for details of other expenses and the expected payments. Other expenses will be about 3% of the house’s cost. These are taxes, insurance, agent fees. Things like that. Check to see if there are association fees if the home is in an area with general maintenance.

What to Buy

Now you have the house and finally, it is moving day. What do you need? You need a garbage can. Where else are you going to put all that extra packing material? You need cleaning supplies and a pail, gloves, sponges, chemicals. A broom.

Look at the windows. If you don’t have blinds so you can close them sometimes, you will need to get some curtains or blinds, something to cover those windows. Get a shower curtain if you don’t have an enclosed shower. If you are a coffee drinker, know where that machine is and keep it handy.

Stop and take a deep breath and relax. Everything is over. You’re finally a homeowner.

Infographic Provided by Marketplace Homes