Turning to online classes

Due to this Covid-19 outbreak, parents are advised to consider online learning as an alternative to actual school classes. Majority of the parents who were told about this agree to try online classes while there are still some who favor traditional classes. But who will really risk letting their kids out these days when times are uncertain and you don’t really know who have the virus?

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There is no harm in trying online learning for the students in your family. Not only is it the safest way to attend classes now but it is also economical which is a big help in these times. A computer, either laptop or desktop, a good internet connection, and a quiet space at home, or even a corner will do. You have to stock up on office supplies, of course. A good set of writing instruments and accessories from Rakuten is a must. Plus, a stack of papers.

I believe every household now has a computer at home. Doing research online has become the norm nowadays whereas before we really need to go to the library to search in books manually. A good laptop or desktop is the number one tool your student will need for online classes. And then there’s a good internet connection. There are a lot of packages being offered by different internet providers. In our area alone there are four really good providers who offer affordable packages for families. As for a quiet space at home, well, you can designate a place, even a corner, in your living room where you can set up a table and chair.

It doesn’t take much for a student to transition from traditional to online learning especially when it terms to office supplies. What is really needed is an open mind to try out what can be an alternate solution to this pandemic we are all in.

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How to Enjoy Your Yard to the Max

Most people spend a lot of time making sure that the interior of their home is in good condition, yet oddly overlook their yard. While it’s normal to spend less time out in your yard than the inside of your property, there’s always plenty of potential for having memorable moments out there, and thus it’s worthwhile getting things into shape. In this blog, we’re going to take a look at some tried and tested tips that’ll allow you to enjoy your yard to the max.

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Get It Into Shape

First thing’s first: you’ll have to get it into shape. If you haven’t been paying all that much attention to your yard, then it’s likely that it’s not in the best of conditions. Debris and general wear and tear from the elements can really do a number on outdoor spaces. Happily, it’s a relatively easy problem to fix. You can begin by clearing away any obvious debris/things that don’t belong there. From there, it’s all about making sure that your grass looks good and getting some plants in the ground. These relatively small tasks will have your yard looking fantastic.

Make it Private

If you’re going to spend long days in the yard, then you won’t want to feel like you’re “on display.” Even if it’s highly unlikely that anyone would observe you while you’re in your yard, it’s just not a comfortable feeling to think that it’s possible. So look at making your yard more private. The easiest way to do this is to add a fence or hedge to the edge of your property. A couple of trees can also help. Both these actions will make it more difficult for people to look in and will help to give your yard the ‘private oasis’ feel.

Add the Fun

A presentable yard is all well and good, but if you’re going to enjoy your outdoor space to the max, then it’s important to add the fun. There are multiple ways to do this. A BBQ is the most obvious option; it’ll be an important ingredient of your family get-togethers. To step things up, look at adding a swimming pool with a pool privacy screen — it’ll transform your experience of summer in your home. An outdoor cinema is also easier than you might expect to install, and can provide many enjoyable warm nights in the yard!

Boost the Comfort and Relaxation

Is there anything better than enjoying lazy summer days? Not in our book. In order to do this, you’ll want to ensure that your yard is high in comfort and relaxation. High-quality outdoor furniture will help with this. You’ll also want to look at adding a hammock, too, and perhaps even a jacuzzi. A fire pit will help you to enjoy the yard even when the temperatures begin to dip, too. And who doesn’t love being serenaded by the sound of birds and other wildlife? Look at adding a birdfeeder and plants that will attract wildlife to your outdoor area.

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Tips for Moving to Another State

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People move around all the time, that’s a constant in life. Even more, there are many reasons why they choose to relocate. It could be because of a new job, to be closer to family, or simply a lifestyle upgrade. Regardless of the reason, moving can leave you feeling stressed and not to mention, it can be expensive too. Nevertheless, there a few things movers can do to ease the stress associated with the entire process, and below are some tips to help them out.

1. Research Your New State

The idea of moving to a new state is obviously quite exciting, with the possibility of something new and better in sight. Despite this, don’t allow yourself to be caught unaware because with new things come uncertainties and new hurdles to jump.

It is advisable to find out how much taxes you will be paying, the schools in your new state and their costs, among many other things. Once you’re armed with this information, you’ll be able to plan your budget accordingly. Even more, if you have the time, try and make at least one trip to this new city so you can have a true feel of your new neighborhood and get a head start on learning the lay of the land.

2. Find a Place to Live

Now that you’ve decided that moving to a new city is the best choice for you, it is time to find a new home. Your choice will most likely be determined by your current status. If your family is growing and you need more space, then you should be looking to secure a bigger house. It’s even better if they can match what you’re paying in your current city or go lower. Also, make sure the home you choose favors every aspect of your life. Don’t get a place that’s two hours away from your new office or eons away from your kid’s school.

If you are already a homeowner in your current city and are looking to sell your house off, then you should consider using a company that will buy homes for cash. This takes away the hassle of getting a buyer within a short period of time and you can equally use the cash to make plans towards getting your new home immediately. In fact, try your best not to move until you have paid for your new home.

3. Decide on What to Take

This has to be one of the toughest parts for many people – deciding on what to take and what to leave. Especially if you’re leaving a childhood home or a place you’ve lived in for years, everything seems so sentimental and important. An easy way to get through this stage is to see this as an opportunity to purge.

Get rid of things you have never gotten around to using, like that weight bench which will end up taking up space, or an old couch that needs to be replaced. To make it a lot easier, you can organize a yard sale to sell these items off and replace some with better options once you relocate.

When you’ve made the decision on what to move, you can hire a reliable moving company. If you’re moving out of state, you should also consider forwarding your mail and updating your new address with your postal service company. Also, inform the important people in your life. You probably won’t see some of your friends again so, let them know that you are moving so you can have a little send-off party.

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Things You Should Probably Know If You Want To Keep Your House In Good Stead

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We all want to live in the perfect home. We all want the perfect look and the perfect functionality when it comes to our domestic lives. Obviously, there’s no such thing as perfect, but we’d like to get as close to it as possible. We can, of course, work on things around us in order to improve on our homes, but we need to have a little bit extra about ourselves in order to achieve a lot of these tasks. It’s nice to have the home we want, but in order to keep it thriving, we need to be constantly alert and competent. If we’re not, then the place we call home won’t be in as good a stead as we’d like.

We don’t need to be superhuman in order to keep all of the plates spinning – far from it. We do need to have a few basic traits to ourselves, though. These strings to our bow will help an awful lot when it comes to maintaining a decent enough home. Here are a few for you to delve into right now:

Discipline!

If you have a little discipline in your life, then things are going to be a lot better for you in the long-term. This applies to yourself and to the way you treat others in your household. If you have children, then keeping them on the straight and narrow by way of chores and routines would be a smart idea. You don’t have to be super strict, but just getting them into the right frame of mind domestically would set them up for the future. They’d learn to treat the place right instead of leaving it like a pigsty like their stereotype always suggests.

Know How To Organize Things

This is pretty obvious, but if you know how to keep things in the right place, then you’re going to be a lot neater around the house. If you work out how to save space as opposed to just throwing things anywhere, then your home isn’t going to be in a much better state – long-term and short-term. You don’t need to be an expert, but knowing how to organize is something you should probably get learning about if you haven’t already.

Plumbing And Heating Basics

Your home needs plumbing and heating – it’s one of the most important parts of the house. Sure, the technical bits can be a little tricky, and people study for years in order to know about it all, but you can still figure out some fundamental aspects. We’re not saying you should be an expert on boiler feed pumps, but simply learning about the likes of your boiler, sinks and radiators would go a long way for you.

Know The Right People

It’s always good to know the handiest people around for when something goes a little awry. It’s also good to know who to call for when you want to upgrade your home in any way, too. You can’t do absolutely everything on your own.

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4 Ways To Take Your Photography Skills To The Next Level

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If you love taking photos, you’ll know how it feels to have serious photo envy. Taking to Instagram, you can easily feel like a total amateur when presented with the most beautiful, perfectly lit, like-able photographs. You might think that these people, the ones who post the photos that make you go, ‘How! How do they do that?’ are all professional photographers. It seems as if they’re trained in the art of getting that right shot at exactly the right time. You’d be surprised, however, how many of these photography geniuses are self-taught.

Taking your photography skills to the next level doesn’t necessarily require an expensive online course or hours and hours of classes. No, you can actually learn from home, using your own free time to take your photos from zero to hero! Whether you have a passion for travel, wildlife photography, landscapes, sports or portraits, here are four great tips to make your photography shine without spending thousands on professional classes.

1. Turning YouTube Into Your Photography Guru

YouTube is useful for just about everything, right? Whether it’s how to get the cap off a jar that just won’t budge; how to train your dog to do a backflip; you name it, YouTube has it. Using YouTube for photography is an amazing, free tool. There are so many photographers who make free videos, with tips, tricks and equipment reviews. Learning new photography techniques is challenging, but with your own photography gurus guiding you, you’ll find yourself taking photographs you never thought you could!

There are tutorials for all kinds of photography, too. If you are an analogue person and love taking photos using an old film camera, there’s so much information online that you’ll love. Using your free online resources helps you up your photography game without spending a single penny.

2. The Right Equipment

Smartphones are super high quality nowadays, it’s true. There are many professional photographers who have taken to using their phones to complete their work. In theory, all you need is your phone, and you’re on your way to creating brilliant photographs.

However, to build a diverse set of skills which can cover a range of styles and situations, some equipment is needed. For wildlife photography, for example, you may need a tripod to position your device on, in order to watch movements and behaviours of wildlife for a long period of time, from the same viewpoint. Similarly, if you are interested in shooting landscapes, it might be time to invest in a drone. Drones, which can be bought in stores, or online at sites like www.drdrone.ca, are devices which can be sent into the air via remote control, and film from above. When you watch a nature documentary which follows the hunting path of a pack of wolves or see a sprawling cityscape shot from above, it’s likely these shots were created using drones.

Drones are an incredible addition to your stock of photography equipment. Plus, they’re so much fun to use. Learning to fly a drone and help it aid your photography by reaching angles and heights you couldn’t otherwise reach is super satisfying.

3. Practice Makes Perfect

Even with expert teaching from online tutorials and super cool, high-tech equipment, the only way to become an amazing photographer is to never stop practising. Like any special skill, it never just ‘comes to you’. You’ve got to work hard and earn the skills that so many photographers seem to make look easy.

Practising doesn’t just mean taking photographs of everything you see. Your practice must be intentional. Setting yourself goals to achieve each month, for example, ‘This month, I will go on four nature walks and take photographs of the wildlife I see.’ This sets a time frame and an achievable goal to work in your skills wherever you can.

4. Don’t Be Fooled

Comparing yourself to others is never a good idea, and photography is no exception to this. Your photography journey is your own, and you will work at your own pace, within your own means. The photography you see on Instagram might be beautiful, but it’s often not what it seems. Most of the time, seemingly perfect shots have been edited for hours on end using online software. Although a shot might look candid and casual, it’s likely that an influencer, who makes money from posting on Instagram, has edited the photo a lot – or has paid someone else to do it.

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Working Remotely? Time to Change Up your Home Office

Working remotely from home has some huge benefits: your coworkers never know if you are wearing pajama pants, there’s no long commute drive to and from work each day, and nobody (besides your family!) cares that you are blasting your music or podcasts throughout your workday.

If you are new to remote working, it may feel like you got shoved into it, and once you set up your VPN and your laptop, you may not have thought much about the space that you occupy for about 8 hours a day. If you are spending that much time in one spot though, you might as well make the most of it! Let’s dig into some ways that you can change your office surroundings, even if your home office happens to be your dining room table.

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1. Have a clean backdrop for any video conferencing. While it’s fun to look at everyone’s backgrounds with pictures of pets and kids, and try to guess which books on the bookshelf behind them they’ve cracked open to read recently, it’s distracting. The space behind you should be relatively boring so that you can keep a good work-life balance: something that can be hard to come by when you’re finding yourself working from home. Below are some tips to help keep distractions behind you to a minimum:

  • Remove any personalized items including framed photos that your webcam may show.
  • Take down any wall hangings that include quotes on them.
  • If you have a large bookcase, aim to have the books be out of focus. (You can do this on some upscale webcams.)
  • If you can’t easily blur out the background of your home office, opt for a simple backdrop, either by pinning a bed sheet behind you, or purchasing a simple background. (Zoom, for example, even has free backgrounds to blur out your actual room.)

2. Add some music! Instead of playing music from your laptop speakers, which, let’s be honest, probably aren’t great, consider investing in a real speaker to place beside your desk, or even in that bookshelf behind you that you’re trying hide. The KEF LS50 is a mini bookshelf speaker, so it doesn’t take up a lot of space, but does offer a lot better audio quality than any built-in computer speakers. After all, you can listen to your podcasts all day without anyone judging you. (Just don’t get mad if your productivity decreases a little.)

3. While you may be used to the fluorescent lights of many corporate offices, you don’t have to deal with that at home. In fact, you can choose to have different hued lights depending on the time of day. Add a welcoming lamp on your desk, or floor lamp beside you, and use a bulb that can switch from bright blue-based light in the morning to red-based or warmer tones in the afternoon. There are several bulb options on the market right now that allow you to switch hues, including the very popular Philips brand. Warmer toned lights in the afternoon help your body understand that the sun is getting lower in the sky, and has been linked to improving your ability to sleep.

4. The last thing you want to do when you see your home office it feels like it doesn’t represent you, or fit with the rest of the house. Although it’s advisable to keep your immediate background devoid of personalized things, you can add a cozy blanket to throw on your lap as you work, a fun rug to add color, and desk accessories or even a vase of fresh flowers from the garden. You may be working, you are doing it from the comfort of your home. If you’re craving a creative office space, check out these options. Searching for more inspiration to inspire productivity? Architecture Digest has an amazing selection that can help motivate you to get down to business.

5. Consider purchasing a standing desk. If you’re going to be working at home for the foreseeable future, it might be time to purchase a standing-sitting desk. People who have sitting jobs have an increased risk for diabetes and heart disease, so if you can switch out some of your sitting with standing, you’ll reduce these risks. You’ll want to find an adjustable one so that you can stand or sit depending on your mood; make sure you also have a supportive rug where you stand, since standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time will end up hurting your feet.

Working from home might be a little strange for those of you who have spent years physically interacting with your coworkers, but it certainly does offer more freedom to your surroundings.

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