Home Services: Which to Spend Money on, Which to Add to Your DIY List

By Lee Campbell

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Owning your own home is a major achievement on the stepladder of life. Maintaining this investment takes money and sweat equity because household chores won’t get done by themselves. Some tasks are relatively easy if you’re the do-it-yourself type, but when it comes to the more technical tasks, it is best to hire a professional. 

Which home services should you pay a pro to do, and what can you add to a DIY list?  Check these out.

$pend the Money

HVAC

Heating and air conditioning are nothing to fool with if you’re not professionally trained and certified. Technicians understand heating systems and know what to look for — and what NOT to touch. In furnaces, pipes transferring toxic gases may become rusted, causing them to leak. Duct systems gather dust and debris. The combustion chamber develops residue, which might cause a system to shut down. When it comes to furnaces, if you don’t know what you’re doing, you may cause more harm than good.

Same thing for central air conditioning systems. The AC’s coils, filters, and fins need regular checkups. Maintaining window air conditioners is a bit easier for DIYers, but for a central air system, certified HVAC techs will:

  • Test for refrigerant (and the correct amount of it)
  • Measure airflow through the evaporator coil
  • Inspect seal ducts for leakage
  • Make sure the heating and cooling systems work simultaneously
  • Clean and tighten electric terminals and connections
  • Lubricate motors and check belts for wear and tear
  • Adjust the thermostat.  

Don’t know what this stuff means? Hire a professional. Have the AC serviced in winter, so it’s ready for hot spring and summer weather.

Electrical Work

Electrical circuitry varies, especially in older homes that may use low and high-voltage systems.  Before hiring an electrician, get a cost estimate in writing. The actual job may be more or less, depending on what the electrician finds, but there are ways to save on the cost of labor.

  • Be specific as to what problems you’re finding so the tech can go right to the source.
  • Make sure the electrical panel box is easily accessible.
  • Be ready to pay the bill at the time of service (or make prior arrangements).
  • Get the final bill in writing.   

Plumbing

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Fixing a water faucet screen or toilet innards is a DIY job (for some people). But extensive plumbing issues like broken pipes, heavy clogs, no hot water, sewer smells, and water leaks are not a job for the weekend warrior fix-it crew. If you want to know when to hire a plumber, that time is now.  

Downspouts and Gutters  

Yeah, you could do this one yourself but climbing ladders and cleaning out gutters isn’t an easy job, especially for houses higher than one level. One solution? Purchase a protective system to keep fallen leaves and debris out of the gutter alleys. With various types of gutter products on the market, consider the costs and decide if they’re worth it. Otherwise, you can hire a handyman for the job. (Or, if you’d rather DIY, make sure your health and disability insurance is current — just in case).

Roof and Chimney Repair

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Unless you are a bonded and insured roofing professional, even the slightest tasks can be dangerous. Roof inspections include checking (and repairing) missing mortar, loose rubber, damaged flashing, and shingles. Hire a chimney sweep to clean soot and ash buildup.  

DIY

Depending on how big the property is, lawn and garden upkeep takes just a few hours to do on weekends. Yes, you can hire out for lawn care to enhance the property’s curb appeal, but save some money and DIY these tasks:

  • Weed flower beds. Prune trees and bushes
  • Plant trees, native shrubs, and flowers on your property
  • Paint or stain woodwork
  • Clean indoor carpets
  • Replace furnace filters (that’s one furnace task you can do by yourself)
  • Clean out the attic and crawlspace. (Check for bugs, mold, and leaks)
  • Inspect smoke and carbon dioxide detectors (change batteries twice per year)  
  • DIY with the design! Your home décor awaits.   

Organization

Keep track of all the projects you do. Good record-keeping is helpful for future maintenance needs and useful when it’s time to put the house on the sales market. Buy a couple of notebooks and an alphabetical accordion folder to store repair receipts, insurance documents, and other paperwork about your house. Having it all in one place is a convenient way to keep track of everything.

Lee Campbell is a house flipper, landlord, handyman, and freelance writer. He loves to remodel and refurbish older homes and, like most aspiring writers, is working on his novel.

Moving With Pets

This post is sponsored by Weston Moving and Storage, a family-owned and operated moving company that has been serving South Florida since 1999. Though I have been paid to write this post, all opinions below are my own.

Moving can be a stressful and arduous undertaking for us humans, never mind our animal companions. As people prepare for a move, they also need to think about their pets.

As people prepare for a move, they are generally concerned with things like packing boxes, hiring movers, and changing addresses. But another very important thing to consider is the well-being of your family pet. Moving from one home to another can be traumatic for a pet if not handled properly, and there are several important steps to take in order to make the transition an easy one.

Moving with Pets – Before the Move

Image courtesy of Weston Moving
  • Plan transport – Ensure that your pet becomes acclimated to the actual act of transportation during the move. If your dog or cat is not used to being in a carrier or a car, plan accordingly and expose it to several short trips before moving day. Place its toys or blankets in the carrier or car with it so that it is surrounded by familiar objects.
  • Pack a bag – Gather enough food and water for the duration of the trip, and some extra in case of emergency. Bring bowls for feeding, toys, treats, and blankets, and a disposable litter box for cats if needed. Also, it’s handy to have a pet first aid kit on hand.
  • Print paperwork – Print copies of your pet’s license and vaccination certificates, and ensure that your pet’s identification tags are up to date and show the correct contact information for your new address.

When I moved from Florida to Kentucky, I was so grateful we had gotten my doggos used to the car because it made them less afraid of driving with me. And, we had gone on several trips that were extended road trips – think 10-24 hours long, so they were completely okay with the long haul of 800 plus miles.

Had they not been used to car rides however, we would have spent time acclimating them to the conditions they were about to experience beforehand!

For our long trek to Kentucky, we packed a bag with enough food to last a couple of weeks because we didn’t know how long we’d be living out of boxes. We also packed toys, blankets, their flea and tick meds and shampoo and other essentials to keep them comfy for the trek and first couple of weeks in Kentucky. We arrived in January, so it was important to have plenty of blankets for them to avoid getting too cold.

Moving with Pets -During the Move

Image courtesy of Weston Moving
  • Provide space – On the day of the move, ensure that your pet is in a safe, secure place away from the heavy moving traffic. It’s best to leave it with a friend or sitter, but if you must have it at home during the time of the move, place it in a quiet room with its bedding. Ensure that others know not to leave the door open, as the animals may spook easily during this stressful time, and open doors can provide a quick exit for scared pets.
  • Monitor behavior – Check in on your pet often to see how it’s doing and to provide it with food and water. It is normal for your pet to be stressed by the move, and any comfort you can provide it with will go a long way.
  • Ensure safety – Once in transit, make sure that your pet is safely confined and restrained, and make frequent stops to allow it to go to the bathroom and provide it with food and water.

Moving with Pets -After the Move

  • Explore together – Walk around your new home with your pet to monitor its reaction to and comfort within its new surroundings, and be sure to keep it restrained when near any open doors or open fencing, as it may be tempted to run away if frightened.
  • Set up camp – Pick out a spot for your pet’s stationary belongings, such as the food and water bowls and bed, and try not to move them from that spot. Signs of stability are very important at this stage, and this will provide it with comfort if its belongings are in the same place consistently.

Moving with Pets – Don’t Make Our Big Mistake!

Unfortunately, my doggos didn’t have stability when we first moved in. Had we been smart about our move and chosen a reputable moving company like Weston Moving and Storage, all of our belongings would have arrived safely. Instead, we foolishly went with a bad company that made it impossible to have any stability for a while due to broken furniture and goods. This didn’t have to happen to us, and it doesn’t have to happen to you either.

Instead of a lovely bed, we slept on blankets on the floor for about 4 days:

We held them close to keep them and us warm, and to make them feel safe while we slept. We also gave them plenty of walks and assurances that everything would be okay. Other than the fact they acted like they weren’t potty trained for a couple of weeks, they finally settled down and settled in to our new home.

I’ve mentioned it several times on this blog, but I sincerely wish we had used a better moving company. Check out my posts A Survival Guide To Moving and my recent post, 10 Things to Look for In a Moving Company as you’re considering the moving company you will use to transport your belongings. Let my cautionary tale motivate you to do your homework and hire a professional rather than choosing based on cost alone!

About Weston Moving and Storage

Weston Movers has been proudly relocating families and businesses for almost 20 years now! Whether you are searching for residential moving, labor only, packing services, or even commercial movers in Broward County, Weston Moving and Storage has you covered. They like to say that they simplify moving, and after looking at everything they offer, I can see why.

Image courtesy of Weston Moving

I didn’t even know packing services was a thing moving companies offered! I always thought you had to get a personal concierge or assistant to do that! To learn more about their company, and the areas they service, click here.

A Survival Guide To Moving

This post is sponsored by Infinite Moving, a moving company serving the central Florida counties of Polk, Orange, Lake, and Osceola. Though I have been paid to write this post, all opinions below are my own.

Anyone who has ever moved before can tell you that moving is hard enough to accomplish without all the little things that seem to go wrong at the worst moments. Luckily, there is hope. Below is a survival guide filled with advice that may help you have a less stressful transition from one space to another.

The “Pre-Move”

Far too many people seem to be under the impression that moving starts the day the mover trucks show up. However, if you start packing a couple of weeks (or even a couple of months) beforehand, when moving day rolls around, the stress of packing and transitioning from place to place can decrease immensely. One study documented that, on average, it takes a college student 4-5 hours to pack up an entire dorm room. This is a general guideline as most people intend to move their entire house, not just one room. So for a four bedroom home, you may want to give yourself as many as 20 hours to pack up those four bedrooms, and then an additional 4 to 5 hours for every additional room (i.e. kitchen, dining room, den, sun room, etc…)

It’s also a good idea is to pack a suitcase. In it you should include all the things needed for roughly three to five days after the move. That way, you won’t have to be digging through boxes when you need a change of clothes.

p.s. – for my recent move earlier this year we created a meal plan to use everything we possibly could in our fridge, freezer, and pantry prior to our departure. This way we had less to transport from place to place. The further you move, the more critical it is to avoid bringing things that need to stay refrigerated/frozen. In our case, we moved 800 plus miles, so bringing anything cold just wasn’t feasible.

Pro Tip: Try to make sure you don’t need immediate access to your kitchenware and utensils right away.

We created a box of essentials that included paper napkins and plates, as well as disposable cups and utensils. Our meals for the first few days were heat and eat meals or sandwiches so we wouldn’t need to scrounge the kitchen boxes looking for pots and pans and plates. Planning ahead for this saved us from a lot of expensive takeout food!

We also had a “As soon as we arrive” bag that had things like hand soap, toilet paper, and other essentials we knew we would need at the ready for immediate use. If you only read this far, you’ll thank me if you use these tips.

Packing

It is a good idea to clearly mark all your boxes to save yourself time and confusion. Aim for two “open me first” boxes per room in your new space. Like it sounds, these boxes will hold all the things you will most likely need first in your new home.

Padding – A good space saver idea (and one that is green to boot!) is to use all of your fluffy towels and pillows to cushion delicate and fragile items such as china, DVD players, and even computers. We even used shirts, shorts, and socks for extra padding because the stuff had to be moved anyway, and saved us serious coin on that overpriced styrofoam cushioning we could have used! Of course, whichever boxes have breakables should be labeled as “Fragile” and always put them on top when stacking with the heavier boxes on the bottom.

Weight – Try to keep each box below 30 pounds whenever possible. Heavier boxes have a tendency to get dropped, rip, and generally hurting the people trying to move them.

Electronics – If you have a lot of complicated electronics in your house, try taking a picture of how they are hooked up before moving them. Then when the time comes to re-hook them up, you only have to look at the picture, and voila!

Heavy items – If you have things like a pool table, piano, or other heavy and bulky items, do yourself a favor and choose a moving company that can help you with things like this! For example, if you need pool table moving in Polk County, it’s best to call in professionals like Infinite Moving that are trained in heavy lifting.

These items are not only heavy, but they typically come with a large price tag. And, if you don’t want them damaged, using pros is key. Besides, promising pizza and beer to your friends in exchange for helping move these items is not going to go over well when cousin John or neighbor Alice pulls a muscle or throws out their back helping you move something far too heavy for amateurs!

Labels – Never label your boxes with a pencil. Instead, use a thick black or dark-colored marker, and always label your boxes on top and bottom. If one gets turned upside down, you will still know what it is. We also labeled ours on the sides so we could leave them stacked and easily see what was where.

The Movers

Finding really great movers can be tough, but it is not impossible. If you choose to go with professional movers, don’t be afraid to look around and ask questions. Talk with friends who have used this company or that business. Research the companies that catch your interest and never trust one simply because it is the “easiest” or the cheapest. Feel free to vet these companies by logging on to the Better Business Bureau and US Department of Public Transportation websites.

Also – check out my recent post, 10 Things to Look for In a Moving Company as you’re making your decision.

Unpacking

Once you have survived the moving process, and you and all you hold dear is now safely located at your new house, take a deep breath and relax. Give yourself a moment before you get back up and start unpacking. Although your move is technical “over,” the unpacking process has just begun. Like with the packing process, you will need to have a plan before you begin.

Priorities First – Always concentrate on the “Open me first” boxes for the bathroom and kitchen. These are usually the items you will truly “need” soon if not sooner.

Timetable – Set a specific number of boxes to be opened each day, and don’t stop until you have accomplished the task. Do yourself a favor and take the boxes to the recycle bin as quickly as possible so you don’t have to deal with a bunch of clutter on top of trying to unpack the rest of your belongings.

Pro Tip: It’s a good idea to have a plan for where everything will go before you unpack any boxes

Clean as you go – Trash bags should be kept on hand at all times for any newspaper, packing tape, and general trash. And, sanitize the area before you start filling it up.

A Few Tips To Make Moving Day Less Stressful

Having moved quite a few times myself, I know first hand how stressful moving can be. In my opinion, the packing and unpacking are the worst and most stressful.

Oftentimes, I would find myself standing in the middle of the room, spinning in circles while surveying the room, and wondering to myself, “Where do I begin?” That overwhelming feeling that comes over you when preparing for the big move can be daunting at times.

After the first few times I moved, I realized that I needed to become more organized. I had to find a better way to do it, and here’s what I came up with….

First of all, if you are planning on using a moving company such as Infinite Moving, or renting a moving truck to do it yourself, make your arrangements as soon as possible to reserve your time slot.

The easiest way I found to pack was to do it in “rounds.” What I mean by that is, start in one room and, doing each room individually, pack away the things you know for sure you will not need until after your move. This is round 1. Then, each week leading up to your move, do a sweep through of your house and pack away the things you know you can live without for the time being.

Not only will this help to lessen the stress of moving, but at this time, you can also decide to sell or give away the things you don’t ever use instead of moving them with you.

If you will be using cardboard boxes to pack your things, use a permanent marker and somewhere on the box, write the name of the room that the items in the box belong in. Then when you move, you can put the box in its designated room right away to make unpacking that much easier. If you are using plastic storage containers instead of boxes, pick up some cheap, easily removable labels to place on the containers and write the names of the rooms on the labels instead of writing it directly on the containers.

Another idea would be to mark each box with a number according to necessity. For instance, if the items in a box are personal toiletries, those would be something you would need to be unpacked right away, so you could mark that box with a “1” so you would know to unpack that box first. Then follow suit with the other boxes using the number “2” for items that you wouldn’t need to be unpacked right away but would need soon, and so on and so on.

If you have children, give them a box or two and have them pack up their own toys and personal belongings. This always works great with my kids. They love to help me out in any way they can, and they’re always so proud of what they’ve accomplished when they get their packing completed. Then when your move is over, and it’s time to unpack, the kids can then unpack and put away their own things.

Hopefully, the moving tips I’ve listed here will help to make your moving experience a little more pleasant, organized, and less stressful.

Cool Summer Workouts

Many people want to get more fit during the summer but find it hard to keep up with regular exercise in the heat. How can we stay cool and yet keep up the pace?

Summer is not the time to give up on exercise just because of the heat. Some people have no trouble sticking to their exercise routine no matter how hot it gets, but that’s not most people. There’s nothing to feel guilty about if you can’t take the heat, but it also does not mean that we forgo exercise until the weather gets cooler. The whole objective is to continue an active lifestyle for a lifetime, so we want to find ways to stay active throughout the year.

Where to Start Beating the Summer Heat

It’s best to let go of any expectations about exercise. There ought to be no rules about how, when, or where we should exercise and no rules about what type of exercise we should engage in. It doesn’t matter if running, walking, treadmills, or any other type of exercise is the latest rage. The important thing is that we move consistently. The body doesn’t care how we move – just that we move. It doesn’t even have to be considered exercise to be exercised. For example, playing with your kids or grandchildren in the pool may not be considered formal exercise, but, if kept at a steady pace, it can be.

Just because you walk the rest of the year doesn’t mean you have to walk in the summer. If you take such an all-or-nothing approach to exercise and you can’t take the heat of summer, you’ll probably do nothing when it’s hot. In addition, this type of thinking keeps you from being creative enough to find other activities that are good exercise and will keep you active all summer.

Six Steps to Finding the Right Exercise for Summer

Here are some steps to take in finding the right exercise for those “too hot” days:

  1. Make a list of places you can exercise that are cool enough for you. These may include shady areas, your house, the office, the mall, outside in the evening, and in water.
  2. Make a list of ways that you like to “move.” This list might include dancing, stepping, swimming, water aerobics, cleaning the house, jumping rope, gardening, using an exercise DVD, and so on.
  3. Review accurate information on how to exercise properly to get the results you wish to get. The objective here is to move at a pace that gets your heart rate up enough where your body needs to breathe deeply but not to the extent where you cannot have a conversation with someone while you’re exercising. We want to be breathing heavily but not to the point of pain.
  4. Decide which exercises on your list you would like to start with and how you will be able to make them “aerobic.”
  5. Set aside the time when you will engage in your summer exercise program. If you had a doctor’s appointment, you would make sure nothing interfered with that time. Your exercise time should be given the same priority. If anyone asks to see you during your exercise time, just say, “I’m sorry. I have a commitment then.”
  6. Nothing says that you have to do the same form of exercise all summer. The more you vary exercise, the more enjoyable it will be, and the more likely that you will want to continue it.

The summer heat doesn’t have to get in the way of your workouts as long as you know how to stay active and cool.

How To Make Spelling Easy And Fun

Different vowels often combine together to make similar sounds, and this can be tricky and challenging to spell. But it can also be fun if your child can learn a simple trick – say the word aloud, pay attention to the sound of the word, and look at word groups.

When two vowels combine together to form one sound, it is called a digraph. Here is a fun way to help your child understand and spell the long “e” sound.

The Long “E” Diagraph: Formed by “ee”, “ea” and “”i.e. Combinations

The long “E” sound is normally formed by “ee”, as in SEEN, “ea,” as in MEAN, or ” i.e., as in THIEF., We will work with “ee” and “ea” combinations now, as the ” i.e., a digraph is a little more complex and, “i.e., words are longer.

For the exercise, make two sets of five cards each, with words from the first two vowel combinations. Make each set visually different, so the cards can act as visual cues and memory aids to help your child remember.

Start with the “ee” combination; SEEN, KEEN, KEEP, WEEP, MEET. Notice that the words kind of lead one into another, with a replacement of one sound or with an additional sound. This will help your child understand how the sounds are made and make them more interesting.

For the “ea” combination, you could use MEAN, LEAN, MEAT, HEAT, BEAD. Notice how only some consonant endings take the long “e” sound. For now, avoid similarly spelled words that take the short “e” sound, like HEAD.

Keep a couple of blank cards handy in each set, so you can add any new words your kid identifies in the course of the exercise. In one card, which you keep separate, write out the word THIEF.

Begin the exercise with a Smiling “ee” Sound

Begin the exercise by stretching your mouth into a wide smile, making the long “ee” sound. Talk about smileys! Ask your child to do the same, and then ask him or her to try and spell the sound. Lead her into spotting the “e” and show how the long sound is actually a second additional sound. Explain those vowels like company and often work together with another vowel.

Encourage her to play around with the long “ee” sound. Once she is familiar with the sound, show her the “ee” cards one by one, saying the word aloud and spelling it with her. Act the words out together, or chant them. Make sure she makes the sound of the “ee” again and again. Then, ask her to tell you a couple of words that are spelled similarly. If she is hesitant, give her clues, make a game of it and let her guess the word. Make her write one or two words on the blank cards and add them to the stack.

Move on to “ea” Words

After a while, pick up the card with MEET, and ask her if she can think of another word that sounds the same but has a different meaning. If she doesn’t come up with MEAT, lead her into it with hints. Then explain how “e” also often (but not always) works with “a” to make the long “e” sound. Play around with the “ea” cards.

If she brings up words like HEAD, which take the short “e” sound, explain that some words are different, and lead her with hints to a long “e” word. Fill up a couple of cards with words of your child’s choice.

Once you’re done with the “ee” and the “ea” words, show your child the card with THIEF. Explain that ” i.e., also makes the long “e” sound. Ask him or her to think of other words that also make the same sound. Examples you could give would be FIELD, SHIELD. Do not get into spelling the “i.e., words.

Wrap Up with Mime

End the session with a quick mime of how “E” makes the long “e” sound; by working with another “e” to make “ee”, with an “a” to make “ea”, and with an “i” to make “i.e.. Repeat the game a couple of times using different word sets with the same “ee” and “ea” sounds. Then when your child is comfortable with the long “e,” it’s time for other vowel combinations like the long “a” sound, the long “o” digraph, and the long “i” sound.

Essential Oils Healing Through Aromatherapy

Only Lavender and Tea Tree oils have been proven safe for children. Other oils are too strong. Diluting these oils in carriers is the safest way to use them on both children and adults- never infants.

Some allergies arise, even in presumably harmless essential oils, such as chamomile. It is important to read handling instructions for every oil type you are planning to use and even to test the oil for any side effects that may occur.

Here are some ways that aromatherapy can be used at home:

Inhalation, bath salts, and hot or cold compress, for physical or emotional health; as an additive to hair products; facial steam bath; massage; perfume (essential oils may be combined with carrier oils to create your own unique scent), and potpourri to add ambiance to a room or area of your home.

Aside from the three carrier oils mentioned above, there are a variety of carriers that can be used to dilute essential oils:

Sunflower oil (good for all skin types); avocado gel (for burnt/dry skin, massage, and facial oils); sesame seed oil; wheat germ oil; safflower oil; grape seed, evening primrose, comfrey, calendula, and black currant oil; water; cornstarch; talc; store-bought lotion, cream, shampoo, and more.

Aromatherapy compresses can be used to help with fever, sinus, headaches, dermatitis, and other physical ailments. With the use of a washcloth or cotton cloth, absorb the solution and wring any excess liquid from the cloth. Apply the cloth to the area to be treated.

A common therapeutic essential oil comes from spearmint. To treat acne or congested skin, 2-3 drops can be mixed in a carrier oil of your choice and dabbed on the affected area. The same number of drops can be applied to a carrier oil for hot or cold compresses (fever, flu, and colds) in a diffuser to treat fatigue, nervous tension, and stress; it can also be used to alleviate sore gums by being mixed into a mouthwash solution. This essential oil mixes well with basil, eucalyptus, ginger, lavender, myrrh, peppermint, rosemary, and wintergreen. It is not compatible with homeopathic treatment.

An alternative solution for fever can be created with 4 ounces of cold water, 3 drops of tea tree, and 2 drops of bergamot oil. For sinus problems, add 4 drops of lavender and 4 drops of eucalyptus to 1 or 2 cups of hot water. An alternative solution for dermatitis is to mix 1/4 cup Apple Cider Vinegar, 1/4 cup Witch Hazel, 2 tsp. Baking Soda, 4 drops of Lavender, 2 drops of chamomile, and 2 drops of Bergamot with 1 to 2 cups of Cold Water.

There are many sources for aromatherapy solutions. The challenge is to find the combination that suits your needs most effectively.

Essential Oils For Anxiety And Stress

Stress and anxiety can cause many health problems, from a weakened immune system to degenerative diseases. Fortunately for us, essential oils can be wonderful allies in times of stress and anxiety. Read on to discover how you can benefit from essential oils when you’re stressed.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Lavender Essential Oil

Lavender essential oil is one of the best essential oils for treating stress and anxiety. Place a drop or two of the essential oil on a tissue and inhale as often as you need to. This is especially effective during times of acute anxiety or panic attacks as it provides an instant calming effect. If you are prone to these attacks, keep some lavender essential oil with you at all times to use when needed.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Chamomile Essential Oil

Chamomile essential oil is another of the greatest essential oils for anxiety and stress. It provides a calming, soothing effect on the nervous system. Try inhaling a few drops on tissue in times of extreme stress or anxiety. Or, for tension and general stress, add ten or fifteen drops to a hot bath to help you relax and ease tensions.

WARNING: Do not use chamomile essential oil in early pregnancy.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Sandalwood Essential Oil

Sandalwood essential oil is another of the best essential oils for the treatment of stress and anxiety. The sweet, woody scent gives a sense of relaxation and warmth. Inhale the oil to reap its benefits. Or, try adding it to a bath with another of the essential oils for anxiety and stress for maximum relief.

WARNING: Due to its anti-spasmodic properties, sandalwood essential oil should not be used during pregnancy.

Essential Oils for Anxiety and Stress – Cardamom Essential Oil

Cardamom essential oil is one of the most effective essential oils for treating stress and anxiety. Its sweet, spicy scent is comforting and will give feelings of warmth and well-being. Inhale a few drops on tissue during times of acute anxiety, add it to carrier oil and massage into the neck and shoulders, or add a few drops to a hot bath.

Any application of these essential oils will provide you with reduced stress and anxiety.

WARNING: Don’t overdo it with this essential oil. It’s perfectly safe to use, but in large quantities or when applied directly to the skin, it may cause skin irritation. This is one of many essential oils that must be diluted in a carrier oil before direct application.

10 Things to Look for In a Moving Company

What to Look For Moving Company Dolly in Truck
This post is sponsored by 24/7 Logistics Services, a moving company, in the Florida area. Though I have been paid to write this post, all opinions below are my own.

For those of you who don’t know, I moved to Kentucky from Florida at the beginning of 2021. I have a lot of regrets about how I chose to go about hunting for a moving company to transport our belongings from state to state. If I had it to do over, I would have been much more careful in selecting our movers rather than trusting blindly.

I don’t want you to make the same mistakes I did, so with that in mind, below are 10 things to look for in a moving company. Hopefully, they will prevent you from experiencing some of the woes we had when we moved.

What to Look for In a Moving Company

1. You need a trustworthy company

Whether they are packing your stuff for you, or just transporting it from point A to point B – you want a trustworthy company who won’t throw your crap around like the company I used did.

They had no qualms about dropping boxes, scratching my furniture, or dropping my entertainment center stair by stair down the stairs – which caused it to break by the way. Ugh. Do your homework people! Use a trustworthy company so they don’t do shoddy work!

2. They gotta be reliable

If your movers say they will be there between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m., they sure as heck better do it! While my movers did show up early, they spent most of the time taking turns in the bathroom and not really working while running out the clock and then demanding extra pay for overtime. Sigh….

3. You want folks that are experienced

Oh, how I wish I had known about 24/7 Logistic Services when we were preparing to move from Florida to Kentucky. They not only have award-winning, nationwide movers, but they have four years of experience and a great reputation. But I digress…

4 and 5. They should be licensed and insured

One of the problems with who we booked…you guessed it – they weren’t licensed. So, when they broke my entertainment center and scratched my furniture, I really didn’t have any recourse. They had no way to pay back the damages

6. You want PROFESSIONALS

It sounds obvious, but janky websites and missed calls should be a key indicator to you about unprofessionalism. I should have paid attention to the red flags instead of pressing onward and getting screwed. I guess I’m just grateful most of our stuff arrived in one piece. But, I’m certain if I’d gone with professionals like the folks at 24/7 Logistic Services, all of my pieces would have arrived intact and there wouldn’t have been any negative issues.

7. They should be honest and transparent about pricing

While pricing will vary depending on demand and time of the week, there should be transparency about prices. In other words, no surprises! For example, we didn’t realize there were surprise fees to be incurred with our shady movers.

8. Prices should also be affordable

If someone is charging a fraction of what the average is, or multiple times more than the average – it’s a red flag. That said, I can understand charging more based on quality – just not a crazy high price that doesn’t seem justifiable!

9. Services should be customizable

Even in clothing one-size-fits-all doesn’t actually exist. That’s another thing I like about 24/7 Logistic Services. Their services are customized based on your unique needs. Its not just residential moving – they also offer apartment moving, packing services, long distance moving, special assistance for senior citizens, piano moving, and so much more!

10. Finally, they have to have amazing customer support

If customer satisfaction isn’t their number one priority – move on to someone that does hold that in the highest regard. You don’t have to use crappy movers. You deserve to have movers that will treat your belongings like you do – with care!

About 24/7 Logistics Services

24/7 Logistic Services is one of the leading moving companies, working on both local and long distance moving in Hollywood, Florida. They strive to provide customers with the top quality local and long-distance moving services. Their main objective is to provide speedy delivery and efficient support even in long-distance moving. Therefore, they offer first-class and well-maintained trucks and tractor-trailers. Moreover, all of their vehicles get 24/7 roadside assistance. And to become even more reliable partner to customers they have GPS-devices installed in each of their trucks, which enables the company to track your belongings’ whereabouts in 24/7 mode.

Learn more about their company here.

And, if you’re looking for more information about moving, I highly recommend their blog.

More of My Posts About Moving

I’ve shared a lot of posts recently that offer tips on moving. Check out a few of them by clicking here.

I hope you found this post helpful! If you did, please share it with a friend who might be moving too.

Visit Lake Erie For Fun On Ohio’s Lakeshore

Travelers find great fishing, a lively party scene, bird watching, photography opportunities, gourmet dining, and natural beauty on Ohio’s northern border.

Boating and fishing are two of Ohio’s most exciting and popular activities, and nowhere in the state are there more opportunities to enjoy them than at Lake Erie. Places to launch boats of all types are easy to access, and there is a wide selection of fishing charters from which to choose. Lake Erie is best known as The Walleye Capital of the World, but perch, catfish, and bass are also plentiful and popular with anglers.

Proprietors of bait shops and marinas are friendly, helpful, and always happy to assist visitors with information about the best places to fish and the best tackle to use. Fishing off the rocks near Marblehead Lighthouse yields white bass, catfish, and more. Anglers fish in the shadow of the picturesque lighthouse while standing in shallow waves that wash over the rocks. They can purchase the most popular local rig for this kind of fishing, a large weighted bobber with a tiny tube lure on a three-foot dropper, from most local bait shops.

For party fun, visit Put-in-Bay

For the liveliest party scene in the area, visitors will want to make the rounds at Put-in-Bay. Gift shops, restaurants, bars, music, and a fun seaside ambiance make this a great stop for people who want to see and be seen, meet new friends, and enjoy a drink or two. Golf carts and bicycles are available for rent, so it’s easy to leave cars behind on the mainland, cross to the island on a ferry, and still have transportation to all the island’s attractions.

Wineries provide a more relaxed environment for drinkers and diners. Surprisingly good and affordable local wines are available for tasting. Of course, wine lovers will want to purchase a few bottles to enjoy at home.

Sample local walleye and perch

For the most mouth-watering Lake Erie dinner, a visit to Mon Ami Restaurant and Historic Winery back on the mainland in Port Clinton for the fried walleye dinner is in order. After dinner, diners will be sure to enjoy browsing in the wine and gift shop.

For those who prefer to catch their own, the area offers fish cleaning services. Anglers can fish beautiful Lake Erie, have their catch professionally filleted, and then retire to one of the local campgrounds for a fish dinner cooked over a campfire.

Bird watchers and photographers find plenty of interesting sights

Bird watchers can see gulls, herons, ibis, cormorants, ducks, geese, and more in the area. Bald eagles have even been spotted nesting not far from Port Clinton. In addition to birds, photographers will find interesting subjects, including boats, lighthouses, and spectacular sunrises and sunsets on the water. Lake weather creates cloud formations and lighting conditions that result in spectacular photographic opportunities.

Visitors to Kellys Island can view the fascinating glacial grooves, a natural formation where bedrock has been sculpted by Pleistocene glaciers to create a remarkable record of ice scouring the earth’s surface. Eighteen different kinds of fossils are identified along the walkway around the glacial grooves.

Lodging to fit every budget

Comfortable lodging of all sorts is available along the Lake Erie coast, including bed & breakfasts, budget hotels, campgrounds, and cabins. The lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake offers luxurious accommodations, including wine country tours and a variety of packages for seasonal visits and romantic, wine-country getaways.

Top 10 Niagara Falls Attractions

Niagara Falls is a natural wonder that everyone should behold at least once in their lifetime. Located on the American-Canadian border, it is one of the world’s most famous marvels. Traveling to Niagara, New York, then across the American border to Canada, you will find the most beautiful of views and many great families, and budget-friendly attractions.

Maid of the Mist

Perhaps one of the most famous attractions at the falls, the Maid of the Mist is an engine-powered boat that takes you on a half-hour ride beneath the falls. It is kid-friendly, and the prices are fairly low, so a family of four could take this trip for around forty dollars.

Casino’s

Whether you are visiting the Casino Niagara or Seneca Niagara, gamblers are afforded plenty of locations to play the slots. Providing, of course, that you are over the age of 19, you can partake in over 3000 slot machines, over 78 blackjack tables, and 17 roulette tables.

Fallsview waterpark

The waterpark is indoors and offers over 16 waterslides and an indoor wave pool. Located across from the falls, this is a great getaway for those with kids, as children will love the fun and adventure in safer water than the falls they just witnessed.

Bird Aviary

Feeding exotic birds and watching lizards scamper through the wild while hosting a giant Macaw on one arm is an interesting day indeed. These are a few of the things that you can expect from the Bird aviary on the Canadian side of the falls.

Butterfly conservatory

Where else can you see butterflies drink the sweet nectar from thousands of blooming flowers? Here you can travel along paths that will grant you access to unlimited species of beautiful, fluttery butterflies, all unique in their own way.

Cave of the Winds

The Cave of the Winds leads you deep into a gorge where you can ascend stairs that lead you to Hurricane Deck. Here, you stand twenty feet away from the falls themselves and are confronted with a torrent of water from the falls.

Skylon Tower

With a rotating restaurant, you can not overlook this overlooking view of the Falls. The Skylon Tower is 520 feet high and awards you with a view of all of Niagara Falls. It takes one hour for one full rotation, so you can take your time and take plenty of pictures.

Niagara Helicopters

Still can’t get enough of the beautiful falls? Take a helicopter ride that will reward you with every sight possible. Of course, these are not likely to be cheap rides, but the experience might very well be worth it. Not everyone can say that they had a personal, private tour of Niagara Falls in a helicopter, now can they?

Journey behind the Falls

If you haven’t had your fill of a front view of the cascading falls, how about taking a little sneak peek from behind them? Made up of tunnels and elevators, the journey behind the falls takes you as close as 150 feet away from the back of the falls.

Whirlpool jet-boat

It’s like white water rafting, but safer and tons more fun. A jetboat takes you to ‘Devil’s Hole’ and through several rapids spraying water in your face while you get shocking views of the falls above you.

A trip to Niagara Falls has something for everyone! Visitors from all over the world travel to Niagara to take in the sights, visit the falls, and partake in the splendor that Canada and America provide for all to see. A word to the wise, though, for anyone traveling across either border from anywhere, a passport is now needed, so make sure you plan your trip accordingly. Also, since Niagara is such a popular hot spot, you might want to make reservations for all of these attractions in advance.