Stopping Trouble in Its Tracks: How Often Should You Go to the Dentist?

Oral care needs to be prioritized at all times. Dentists recognize this and send regular reminders to their patients to ensure they don’t forget their next cleaning or exam. Years ago, dentists came up with the twice-a-year dental visit recommendation. They did so as a way to spend more time with patients and educate them on how to prevent dental issues rather than having to fix them. While many men, women, and children find twice a year is enough for their needs, this isn’t the case for everyone. How often should people see the dentist?

 

Factors to Consider When Scheduling Dental Visits

People of all ages need to use the twice-yearly cleaning schedule as a guideline. However, speak to the dental team to determine whether they think more frequent visits would be of benefit. Several factors play a role in this, including the person’s dental health, overall health, and oral hygiene. Speak to the dentist at every visit to see what is recommended when it comes to your next dental cleaning appointment based on what was seen during that visit, as a person’s oral health may change over time.

 

Who Benefits From More Frequent Visits?

Certain groups of individuals find they need to visit the dentist more often. For instance, a person with a higher risk of disease should see the dentist more frequently. This ensures they catch any problems early so treatment may begin.

Pregnant women often experience problems with their teeth because of hormonal changes, so schedule at least one visit during each pregnancy. Smokers need to see the dentist more often, as nicotine negatively impacts oral health. Smokers have a higher risk of gum disease and other conditions, so every smoker needs to make dental care a top priority. Diabetics also experience problems with their teeth more often than healthy individuals, and they may need to see the dentist every three months.

Any person with a weak immune response to bacterial infection should see their dentist routinely. People prone to cavities or excessive plaque and tarter want to visit the dentist more often to keep the teeth and gums clean and healthy. Finally, anyone suffering from periodontal disease will need to see the dentist more than twice a year to keep this disease from progressing.

A person’s oral needs change over their lifetime, which is why people should ask their dentist at every visit. Furthermore, anyone who has been ill or under stress ought to see the dentist. The dental team can help stop problems before they begin.

 

Seeing the Dentist Remains Crucial

Many dental issues remain hidden until the problem has progressed. For instance, a person cannot detect many cavities until they grow and cause problems or pain. Gum disease isn’t easily spotted, but dentists know how to catch problems at an early stage. Many dental problems benefit from treatment at the early stages, and the dentist becomes of great help in determining the right treatment plan for you.

With regular professional dental care, men, women, and children find they keep their teeth and gums healthy and gorgeous. People of all ages must brush their teeth a minimum of twice a day and floss every day. Keep all scheduled appointments, and work with the dentist to find the appropriate schedule for regular checkups. With proper dental care, you’ll have a smile you love and want to share with everyone.

Planning to Host Muslim Guests at Your Next Dinner? Follow These 3 Tips to Ensure They’ll Be Having a Great Time

Anyone who desires to play host to a dinner party knows the importance of ensuring that the guests have a good time. After all, if a person is rumored to be a bad host, he or she may not be able to get anyone to come to the next dinner party. There are some things that hosts should know when they are planning to invite guests who are of a different culture, religion, or social practice. This article will focus on what people should know who are planning to host guests who are of the Islamic faith.

 

Tips for Serving Guests of the Islamic Faith

The first thing a host must keep in mind when serving Muslim guests is that they have a strict dietary code, which means all of the meat they consume must meet halal guidelines. Halal means that the meat used for food preparation must come from a live animal that is slaughtered through the jugular vein, windpipe, and carotid artery. The animal must also be healthy, and if the host is unsure, there are affordable halal catering services in Singapore who can supply the meat for those in the area. This is one way to avoid doing something that would insult the Muslim guests.

 

More Tips for Serving Muslim Guests

Another thing to keep in mind when serving Muslim guests is that it is not considered bad manners to ask questions about what the guests would prefer. It would be better to know of all and any restrictions that a particular guest may have. It is also not necessary to have food and drink that only the Muslims can eat if there are other dinner guests at the dinner party who are of other faiths or are not particularly religious. In addition to finding out what foods people can’t eat because of religious reasons, the host will want to know if there are restrictions because of certain illnesses or allergies.

 

More Information about Halal Foods

There are some other things people may want to know about Halal dietary guidelines, other than just the way the meat has to be prepared. There are some companies that offer Halal processed foods and products if the hosts will take the time to do the research and find the companies that offer such. In cases where Halal foods are not readily available, Muslims may be permitted to eat foods that are Kosher. As a last resort, if the choice is between eating non-Halal food or starving, they are permitted to consume the food, although they may want to eat sparingly.

 

A Final Thought about Halal Cuisine

In addition to the food being Halal, Muslims are also forbidden from using other products, such as cosmetics and pharmaceuticals, that have been produced by non-Halal methods. Once the host has every possible difficulty removed that would prevent his or her Muslim guests from eating, then it will be certain that the dinner party will be a success. It may also worth mentioning that prior to slaughtering the animal being used in Halal-prepared foods, that the animal should be stunned to prevent it from suffering much due to its throat being slaughtered. This is only humane.

Informative Reverse Mortgage Terminology

Those who are dedicated to work to provide for their families look forward to the day they can retire and enjoy life. Unfortunately, with retirement comes the lack of money. Most individuals decide it’s beneficial to them to take out a reverse mortgage on their home once they retire.

Before you make such a huge and important commitment, you should make it a point to become familiar with the terminology that you may hear when applying or talking about getting a reverse mortgage. Let me take the time to explain some of it to you.

 

What Does Reverse Mortgage Mean?

You know how you pay for your mortgage each month to the bank? A reverse mortgage is the opposite of this. You would actually receive a monthly payment from the loan once you are approved for it. It is a long-term solution for your financial woes after retirement. As long as you permanently live in the home you are borrowing against, you should have no problem accessing the money.

 

How Can I Use My Money?

One of the great things about reverse mortgages is that you can gain access to the money in a variety of ways. One option is to take it out as a line of credit. You will be able to use smaller amounts of money whenever you need it.

Another common method is to take out a single payment. This would mean that you get all of your money in a lump sum. On the other hand, you could opt to split up the payments monthly. They would all be of equal value for as long as you have a valid loan. This is the most common method that people use because it gives them better predictability. It acts as a salary, just like you would have if you were still working.

 

Let’s Talk About The Reverse Mortgage Calculator

The reverse mortgage calculator is what your lender will use to calculate your financial status, which is based on the value of your home as a whole. They have to do this before they can grant you the loan.

There are several factors that contribute to their final decision such as the age of the home, condition of the home, and its physical location. You cannot borrow the complete value of your home’s equity as per federal law. The reverse mortgage calculator will assist you in determining what percentage of the final value you would be able to receive in the loan.

If you already have a mortgage, you will need to pay that off before you can borrow any of the money you may get from the reverse mortgage loan.

 

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage

The shorter version of this is HECM. The difference between a home equity conversion mortgage and a regular reverse mortgage is slim. The distinguishable factor that sets them apart is that the HECM is issued by a government agency whereas the reverse mortgage is given to you by a lender, such as a bank. The home equity conversion mortgage comes with government insurance, which is what really sets the two apart from one another.

So Many Options: What Are the 10 Types of Schools to Send Your Kids To?

Modern-day education allows parents to choose what type of school is best for their child. Many factors go into this choice, including income, accessibility, and the child’s talents and interests. These ten options are available in most states and districts.

 

1. Public schools

Public schools are just that—available to the public. They receive funding from all government levels and, in return, are required to accept all students living within specific boundaries. If you are not comfortable with the area’s school system, you may want to enrol your child in an international school like The Perse School Singapore.

 

2. Neighborhood schools

Neighborhood schools are a subset of public schools, servicing the children in specific neighborhoods. Some local schools have such a good reputation that parents will move to send their child to that school, where they can walk to school and neighborhood friends will be their classmates.

 

3. Specialized public schools

Many school districts now offer schools with specialized curriculums or features typically not available at public schools. These features may include:

  • Emphasis on a particular subject matter or activity
  • More-challenging studies for high performers
  • A higher level of individual attention for struggling students
  • Dress code and stricter discipline for behaviorally challenged children
  • Non-traditional environment for students who cannot adapt to traditional public schooling

These schools are typically smaller and more comfortable environments for students.

 

4. Charter schools

Charter schools are one form of specialized public schools. They often operate outside of the parameters that guide traditional public schools and provide the students with an environment rich in creativity, innovation, and exploration. Since they are still considered public schools, charter schools are held accountable to the state and local education departments’ standards.

 

5. Magnet schools

Another type of specialized public school is the magnet school, available to students throughout the district interested in a specific subject matter. Some magnet schools may require students to take an entrance exam to confirm their talent while others accept students with just an interest. Magnet schools often concentrate on the performing arts, science, or technology.

 

6. Special education schools

Special education public schools focus on providing an adapted curriculum and a safe environment for children with multiple conditions such as hearing- and sight-impaired, mental challenges, physical disabilities, emotional challenges, and other issues. For these children, non-specialized public education is difficult, if not impossible.

 

7. Virtual schools

Many students across the United States have started the 2020-2021 school year attending virtual schools. The curriculum mirrors that of the traditional public school with the only difference being the technology component.

Some school districts offer virtual or distance learning continually, just not in a time of crisis. It may be a full- or part-time curriculum with the student’s individual needs in mind.

 

8. Advanced Placement courses

High-performing students are often able to take Advanced Placement (AP) courses. The content is demanding and ends with a national AP exam. A good grade on this exam may result in college credit being granted.

 

9. Nonpublic schools

Some parents choose to send their children to nonpublic or private schools. Income and accessibility are factors involved in choosing to send a child to a private school. Can the parents afford it? Is there a school nearby?

Religious private schools make up most nonpublic schools, allowing children to learn per the parents’ religious beliefs. Secular private schools have no religious affiliation and often prepare the student for college. Other secular private schools are known for their name and reputation, such as Montessori.

 

10. Home schools

Homeschooling has been growing in popularity in the last several years. Parents have the option of designing the curriculum and training materials or purchasing resources supplied by home school companies. In the end, the students must meet requirements set by the state and local education departments.

Although having multiple schooling choices can be overwhelming, having the ability to provide your child with an education targeted to their needs is a huge benefit. Research the options available in your area and choose the best option for your child.

Sadness Is Not Depression: Are You Just Blue or Are You Sinking?

Millions of people across the globe struggle with sadness and depression. Many people believe these two terms are equivalent. They even seem very much the same on the surface. That being said, depression and sadness are actually two very different situations. Unfortunately, the common misconceptions about their interchangeable ness can lead to quite a few problems.

Many people experience brief stints of extreme sadness and rush to seek out psychological treatment and medication. Others spend the majority of their lives battling depression alone without help because they believe they’re only sad. Knowing the difference between the two is the key to figuring out if you or a loved one needs Therapy for depression. It’ll also leave you better equipped to overcome both issues and help others do the same.

 

Understanding Sadness

Everyone inevitably experiences sadness from time to time. By definition, sadness is a condition of feeling unhappy. It can also be described as feeling disheartened, sorrowful, blue, or down and out among many other explanations. This emotion is a normal human reaction to certain circumstances, such as physical pain, a canceled vacation, being passed over for a promotion, losing a cherished piece of jewelry, or even a hurtful comment from a complete stranger to name a few. Since people react to various scenarios in different ways, any number of things can bring on a bout of sadness.

In most cases, the onset of sadness can be traced to a specific event. It may last a few hours or a few weeks, but it gradually fades away over time. Despite feeling sad, you can still feel happiness shining through as well. Sadness is painful, but it isn’t permanent or all-consuming. In many ways, sadness is even helpful. It can help us better appreciate the happy times and be more empathetic to others’ low points as well as certain other benefits.

 

Delving into Depression

Sadness is an emotion, but depression runs much deeper. It’s a mental disorder. Reports show that more than 264 million people suffer from depression globally. As alluded to earlier, the actual figures are probably much higher. Many cases aren’t reported because sufferers believe they’re only experiencing prolonged bouts of sadness. In fact, experts note that at least 75 percent of people who live with depression don’t receive the help they need.

While sadness is fleeting, depression doesn’t dwindle over time. Though depression can be linked to traumatic events in people’s lives, it can’t easily be traced to a single recent event in the same way sadness can. Its origins are usually much more deeply seated. Most people who suffer from depression struggle to feel happy regardless of the brighter moments in life. This condition is generally accompanied by long-running irritability, loss of interest in virtually everything, sleeping too much or not enough, fatigue, lack of focus and concentration, and noticeable changes in weight and appetite.

 

All Things Considered

People often confuse sadness and depression because the two may seem very similar at first glance. In truth, sadness is temporary while depression is more permanent. Sadness is a symptom of depression, but it’s not the same situation. It goes away on its own over time. Depression requires outside intervention, such as medication and therapy. It may bring about long-term feelings of fear and hopelessness, but it doesn’t mean all hope is lost.

4 Best Vaporizers for Outdoor Pursuits

There has been a remarkable advancement in vaping technology in recent years. This cutting-edge technology has led to high-grade vaporizer production, which features a wide range of innovative features, including portability, water filtration, and temperature control.  

What are Vaporizers?

Vaporizers are inhalation devices that you can use to vaporize plant substances. Some of these plant substances are tobacco, cannabis, and others. Apart from the herbs, you can also fill your vaporizers with blends of essential oils, and combinations of glycerin, glycol, and propylene.  Furthermore, a cheap and effective option when shopping for vaporizer content is one pound e liquids. Apart from their affordability, they come in different flavors.  

Vaporizers feature different types of extraction chambers that are made of glass or metal.  These forms of vaporizer chamber include venturi, straight bore, and sequential venturi. You can either inhale the vapor directly via the pipe or hose.  Also, it can collect the vapor directly into an inflatable bag. An effective way to use a vaporizer is to avoid combustion as this enables you to extract the ingredient at low temperature. Vaping at cooler temperatures without any form of combustion reduces irritation and other unhealthy effects of smoking.

Best Vaporizers for Outdoor Pursuits

Before you buy a vaporizer, you need to consider several factors. Some of these features are portability, effectiveness, battery life, temperature control, and many more. With many vaporizers in the market, getting a perfect one might be an overwhelming task. We have come up with the four best vaporizers that are perfect for outdoor use to help you make the right choice.  

1. Arizer Solo 2

With its effectiveness and portability, you can never go wrong with the Arizer Solo 2. It is a product made by Arizer, a reputable brand known for the production of high-quality dry herb vaporizers. The product is suitable for outdoor use because it has long-lasting battery life. Therefore, if you are looking for a vaporizer with an impressive battery, you should not overlook the Arizer Solo 2.  

Apart from its commendable battery life, its vapor quality is stellar. The product comprises a blend of stainless and ceramic heating system that produces thick and sweet-smelling vapor. The vapor travels through an extensive glass air path; this makes it stay cool.  

It will interest you to know that the vaporizer heats up fast.  It is a perfect product for those who are always in a hurry to turn the dry herb into vapor. With Arizer Solo 2, you will get vapor in no distant time. Its digital controls are straightforward and are easy to use.  

2. Pax 3

If you are looking for a vaporizer with a sleek design, you should consider Pax 3. Apart from its unique design, the product has a portable size. Its size makes it perfect for outdoor activities like snowballing, skateboarding, and hiking.  

Furthermore, the product is light in weight, making it convenient for outdoor use. It weighs 93 grams. Also, the product heats up without delay; this usually takes 15 to 20 minutes. And, it features lip sensing technology for effective heating.  It will interest you to know that Pax 3 uses conduction and also features a charging dock. Moreover, the battery lasts for about one and a half hours when fully charged. Apart from the fact that the product is easy to use, Pax 3 delivers a fantastic vapor.

3. Firefly 2+

Firefly 2+ is a significant conventional herb vaporizer that heats up quickly, producing thick and cool flavor. Some of the features that distinguish this product include portable size, adequate temperature control, and battery life. Firefly 2+ is an improvement over Firefly 2 and comes with longer battery life.

Besides its improved battery life, it comes with a charging dock. Apart from that, the battery is replaceable. The product delivers high-quality vapor because it uses a conventional heating system. Firefly 2+ is easy to use as it heats up almost immediately, which means you don’t need to wait to heat up. The maintenance and cleaning of this product are super comfortable due to its smart design.

4. Arizer ArGo

This product is recommended for someone looking for a portable and easy-to-use vaporizer.  The ArGo is the shortened form of Arizer Go. It features a retractable mouthpiece, which makes it truly portable, enabling it to fit perfectly in your hand. The Arizer ArGo has an excellent build quality as it features high-quality plastic, making it feel sturdy.

The vaporizer combines the heating technology of Air 2 and Solo 2 for effective heating of dry herbs. This device also heats up pretty fast as it starts to produce vapor in no time, usually under a minute. Another notable feature of Arizer ArGo is the full OLED display, which gives you information about the temperature and the battery life of the ArGo. This feature does not require a separate app; so, it is easy to use.  

Furthermore, the product has swappable batteries; therefore, you can buy additional batteries for replacement. The advantage of the replaceable batteries is that it elongates your vaporizer’s life since you won’t have to do away with it when the batteries are weak. This is an excellent advantage for people using this product outdoors.

Conclusion  

If you are on the lookout for the best portable vaporizers for one pound e liquids and other herb products, you should note the products discussed above. These products are suitable for outdoor use as they are portable and easy to use. You are advised to clean your vaporizers regularly to enhance the quality of its vapor. Furthermore, it prolongs the useful life of your product. With regular maintenance, you will keep your vaporizer in good shape.

How to be an Eco Friendly Coffee Drinker

Coffee is the world’s favourite drink, and for good reason. Not only is it rich and satisfying, it possesses a seemingly magical ability to keep us awake. It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say that the UK runs on coffee. We drink 95 million cups a day, creating 210,00 jobs and adding £9.1 billion a year to the country’s economy.

It’s not all good news though. As coffee drinking has become a worldwide craze, the environmental impacts of coffee production have also become clear. The massive global supply chain behind every cup of coffee causes pollution, deforestation and global warming to a large degree. Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to make your coffee habit more eco friendly.

 

1. Drink less coffee

This will probably not be a popular option, but it is worth mentioning. By drinking less coffee you will reduce the global demand and therefore lessen the environmental impacts of the coffee industry. However, since most of us couldn’t imagine life without coffee, we should probably consider some less extreme options.

 

2. Change your brewing method

Not all brewing methods are equal in terms of environmental impact. A good rule of thumb is the lower tech the better. Consider switching from an electric coffee maker to one of the simpler options such as a French press or an AeroPress. If you are craving an espresso, switch to a manual machine that uses a hand-operated lever. You could also experiment with a cold brew, thereby saving the energy needed to boil a kettle.

 

3. Avoid disposable cups

Single-use coffee cups are one of the most damaging aspects of the coffee industry. In 2018, UK coffee drinkers threw away 4.1 billion takeaway cups and lids. Paper cups have a plastic liner to keep them watertight, which means that they are very difficult to recycle. The printing and transportation of takeaway cups also contribute to pollution. The chemicals used in printing ink can pollute lakes and rivers, while transporting cups by road or air leads to significant CO2 emissions. By buying your own reusable mug, you can help to reduce this impact. You will also save money, as many coffee shops now offer a discount to customers who bring their own cup.

If you have no choice but to use a disposable cup, there are still eco-friendly options available. Companies such as Vegmare make plant-based disposable cups that are fully compostable.

 

4. Buy local coffee

The high carbon footprint of the coffee industry is mostly due to the long distances the product has to travel. Although the majority of the world’s coffee is still grown in South America, it may be possible to find coffee that has been grown closer to home. Even if the beans come from far away, choosing a local roaster will reduce the total distance the product has travelled to reach you.

 

5. Recycle your coffee grounds

Most of us throw our coffee grounds away, but they can be easily recycled. Adding them to your compost heap will reduce waste, and can also create a useful fertiliser for your garden. Coffee grounds also make an effective pest repellent. Sprinkling them on soil will deter ants and cats from your garden without the need for harsh chemicals.

 

6. Use compostable coffee pods

Coffee pods have got a bad reputation. Many people blame the rise of Nespresso and similar pod-based coffee machines for a huge increase in the drink’s environmental impact. The problem with these machines is that the pods are not biodegradable, but this doesn’t have to be the case.

Thanks to the fully biodegradable coffee pods from Halo Coffee, you can enjoy guilt-free Nespresso coffee in seconds. We believe in bringing you the world’s best coffees in a way that is best for the environment. We have scoured the globe for the finest coffees and have chosen only the richest, most unique flavours for our Halo range. Every coffee pod is ethically sourced, environmentally friendly and fully home-compostable. Halo pods will degrade completely in just four weeks, and can then be used as a nitrate-rich fertiliser for your garden. It’s not just the pods either – every part of our packaging from our boxes to our labels is fully biodegradable.

With free delivery on orders over £35, and the option to have delicious coffee delivered straight to your door with our subscription service, there’s never been a better time to discover the eco-friendly future of coffee.

6 Creative and Nutritious Ways to Eat Coconut Oil

There is so much you can do with coconut oil, from adding it to your skincare routine to enjoying it in a smoothie to substituting it in your favorite bakes. Why is coconut oil so loved? Because it has numerous health benefits – whether you use it on your skin or whether you eat it. Organic coconut oil is a superfood that helps strengthen the building blocks of our immune systems, helps promote heart health and brain function, and aids in fat loss.

If you’re curious how you can incorporate coconut oil into your diet or use it in your favorite recipes, keep reading.

 

Health Benefits of Coconut Oil

Let’s first examine why you would want to add coconut oil to your diet. This natural oil can help with weight loss and can have positive effects on your heart. How is this possible? Coconut oil is composed of saturated fats. One of these fats is a fatty acid called lauric acid that can encourage the burning of fats. This process is called ketosis and it can help provide a quick energy boost to your body and brain. The lauric acid can also help raise high-density lipoprotein (or HDL) cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol is the good kind of cholesterol, and higher levels of HDL could reduce risk of heart disease.

In addition to lauric acid, coconut oil also contains medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs). MCTs compete with glucose and head straight for the liver, creating increased energy and producing ketones, which benefit the brain. Additionally, MCTs can also increase the number of calories burned in a day as compared to longer-chain fatty acids. These triglycerides also may reduce hunger, making coconut oil a good addition to a weight-loss regimen.

Whether you’re looking to care for your heart, get a natural energy boost, or lose weight, coconut oil could be the addition to your diet that you’re looking for.

How Much Coconut Oil Per Day is Recommended?

Whether organic, non-organic, refined, or unrefined, coconut oil should be taken in moderation. For best results, consult your doctor or nutritionist. Because coconut oil has mostly saturated fats, which can increase the risk of heart disease if too much is consumed, it is recommended by researches to consume no more than 2 tablespoons per day, with most people (depending on their caloric intake) taking only 0.5 tbsp to 1.5 tbsp per day. The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines say that saturated fats should be less than 10% of a person’s intake of calories.

How to Eat Coconut Oil

 

 

Below we’ve outlined some of the best ways to eat coconut oil. Whether you plan to cook with it, bake with it, or add it to your favorite drinks, we have all the tips you’ll need to diversify your diet.

Cook with It

Do you have a cookout planned for the end of summer? Or are you prepping meals for the week? One staple to always have in your pantry is coconut oil. Cooking with this oil instead of other oils, such as canola, corn, soybean, or vegetable, is a great way to incorporate the benefits of coconut oil into your diet, without having to worry about a coconut flavor.

You can use coconut oil to sauté or stir-fry vegetables, meats, or eggs. It also works great in sauces and for coating meat with spices.

Bake with It

If you have a gigantic sweet tooth, like we do, but are looking for ways to make your recipes healthier, substitute coconut oil 1:1 for butter or oil. This is our favorite way of getting the recommended amount. If you don’t want to put it in your recipe, you can use it to grease your baking pan.

Be sure to follow the recommendations on your recipe, but we find the best success when all of our ingredients are at room temperature (yes, that includes the eggs!) or your coconut oil may solidify again once it touches the cold ingredients.

Drink It in Hot Beverages

A simple (and delicious) way to eat coconut oil is by adding it to your tea or coffee. A teaspoon or two can help you towards meeting the recommended amount while also enjoying a rich, antioxidant-filled drink.

Add It to Smoothies

Another great way to eat coconut oil is by making it a key ingredient in your morning or afternoon smoothie. These island-inspired smoothies are a perfect way to get a nutrient-rich breakfast or snack.

We suggest you melt the coconut oil before adding it to your recipe or you may end up with clumps of coconut oil (which is not a bad thing but some may not find it as pleasant). If you’re looking for a new smoothie recipe to try, check out this one, which is full of bananas, chia seed, and coconut – it’s the delectable smoothie you need to power through the rest of your busy day.

Use It in Your Salads

Coconut oil makes for the perfect ingredient in most homemade salad dressings. It not only adds amazing flavor; it also increases the nutritional value of your salad (because salads can always be healthier, right?).

Get an Energy Boost

As we mentioned earlier, coconut oil can be used as a natural energy booster. The MCTs in the coconut oil increase your energy levels for longer periods of time without a crash later on in the day. Take it by the spoonful or mix it with honey and add it to your tea or coffee.

When you’re using coconut oil as a natural energy supplement, be sure to use organic, unrefined, cold-pressed coconut oil.  Refined coconut oil has been heated to a point that the molecular structure of the coconut oil has been destroyed, which means the beneficial qualities it possesseshave also been killed.

Why You Can Enjoy Coconut Oil Too

There are so many creative ways to eat coconut oil. Whether you love the taste of it or not, you can reap the health benefits. Blend coconut oil with a variety of fruits for a heart-healthy smoothie. Substitute coconut oil for other cooking oils in your recipes. Or, stir it into your tea or coffee for a natural energy boost.

Because coconut oil is a natural source of MCTs, it can have several health benefits. However, it must be consumed in small doses, no more than two tablespoons a day, so that your diet doesn’t turn into one that is high in saturated fats. Keep your intake of coconut oil to less than 10% of your daily calories. Finally, be sure to use organic, cold-pressed coconut oil whenever possible because the cold-pressing leaves it in its natural state, ensuring its health benefits stay intact. However you choose to eat coconut oil, your heart, digestive system, and brain will thank you for all the natural nutrients.

Author Byline: 

Louisa Quinn is the Regulations Manager at Organic Fiji. She handles all the certification applications, ethics and regulations of products/practices, and ingredient sourcing for their coconut oil products. Louisa enjoys empowering women and men to protect the environment, animals, and people by educating them on practical and ethical ways to shop for personal care items.

 

Prior to Beginning the Project: 8 Questions to Ask Your Bathroom Remodeling Contractor

People are giving their homes a great deal of attention these days. In fact, spending on home improvements surpassed $450 billion last year in the United States alone. Experts expect this figure to grow during the years to come. While home additions, kitchen renovations, and basement and attic transformations are popular projects, many homeowners are focusing on their bathrooms. Updating this space or adding square footage can transform your views of the entire home while increasing property values by a considerable margin.

 

Developing a Working Relationship with Your Contractor

Though some homeowners take the do-it-yourself route for bathroom renovations, most choose to hire a contractor. Bringing in the professionals helps ensure the job will be done correctly, more quickly, and on par with local building codes. Using the experts also reduces the likelihood of unexpected problems and takes the workload off of your shoulders. That said, it’s important to make sure you and the contractor are on the same page. This means asking bathroom remodeling contractors all the right questions.

 

1) Are You Licensed, Bonded, and Insured?

By law, contractors must be licensed and bonded. They’re also required to have insurance coverage in case they damage your property or one of their workers is injured on the job. Far too many homeowners assume the contractors they’re considering meet all those prerequisites, but some don’t. This could lead to any number of problems down the road, not the least of which is extensive and costly property damage.

 

2) Do You Offer Guarantees?

Contractors generally work with networks of suppliers. All the products and materials they get from those suppliers come with warranties and other guarantees, and they’re passed along to customers. At the same time, contractors should offer a guarantee on their workmanship. If the one you’re interviewing doesn’t provide those reassurances, consider looking elsewhere.

 

3) Can You Show Me Examples of Your Work?

Looking at contractors’ reviews and past projects is essential. This will give you a good idea of their skills, capabilities, and work ethics among other aspects. It’ll also help determine if a specific company is the right one to take on the type of project you have in mind.

 

4) Who Will Be Completing My Bathroom Renovation?

You wouldn’t allow a complete stranger to come into your home without at least getting a little background information beforehand. It’s important to know your contractor wouldn’t bring just anyone into your home as well. Be sure you know exactly which workers and subcontractors will be working on the project, and find out if background checks are performed on employees before hiring them.

 

5) Which Permits Will I Need?

Most home renovations require certain permits. If you don’t have them, you could run into quite a few expenses and legal issues down the road. Ask the contractor which permits you’ll need. Also, find out if the contractor takes care of them or you’re responsible for that portion of the process.

 

6) What Is Included in the Estimate and Contract?

Countless homeowners have proceeded with bathroom remodels only to find themselves paying hundreds or thousands of dollars more than initially expected. Along those same lines, quite a few have enlisted professionals and been stuck with incomplete work and subpar materials. Ask the contractor exactly which expenses are included in the estimate and what the contract covers before allowing him or her to start on your project.

 

7) What Type of Payment Schedule Do You Have in Place?

In most cases, contractors require a deposit before they’ll begin a project. From there, their payment schedules vary a bit. Some ask for partial payment at some point during the project with the remainder due upon completion. Others don’t accept payment until clients are fully satisfied with their work. Anything more than a ten-percent upfront payment may be a warning sign of a scam, and you don’t want any unexpected surprises to crop up. Be sure you fully understand when and how much you’re expected to pay.

 

8) How Do You Handle Projects?

This is a complicated question, but you need to cover certain important points when you ask it. Find out when the contractor will show up each morning and how late the team works in the evenings. Do they work Monday through Friday or only on certain days? Will they take extra care to avoid damaging your walls, flooring, fixtures, and other items in the home? Do they take care of the cleanup after the project is complete?

 

Bottom Line

Getting answers to all these questions helps you better understand how a contractor approaches projects, whether he or she is capable of meeting your expectations, and what your role in the process will be as well as other crucial aspects. In the end, asking the right questions will greatly improve your chances of being happy with the end results. Truly qualified contractors who are dedicated to client satisfaction won’t mind answering your questions and offering in-depth explanations.

8 Low-Cost Ideas for Remodeling Your Home’s Facade

When people pass by your house, the very first thing they see is your facade. This is why it is only natural to improve how it looks to make it pleasing to the eyes.

The only problem is, remodeling sometimes costs a lot. So, we present to you eight low-cost ideas that will change up your home facade without breaking the bank:

 

Install a new front door

Your front door serves as the entrance of your visitors. It is also probably the first thing visitors notice when they visit you. By simply installing a new door can change the way people perceive your house.

It also offers other benefits like:

Better Home Security
Better Insulation Properties for Energy Efficiency
Better Durability for Low-Cost Maintenance
Better Appearance

Update exterior lighting

The next thing that you should pay attention to is the exterior lighting of your home. This is very important if you still want to make your home stand out during the night time.

It sorts of adds to the overall visual appeal, emphasizing your beautiful facade.

Other than the visual appeal, exterior lighting will also help improve your house’s security. Better lighting helps with visibility, increasing the chances of catching a thief when he crawls into the night.

It also protects you and other people from tripping or falling.

 

Swap exterior finishes

Swapping exterior finishes will give your house a more modern look instead of it looking plain. You can make endless designs by decorating your house exterior using different materials. This is what you call cladding.

If you have no idea what materials are best for your house, a recladding specialist in Auckland would be able to help.

 

Refresh your landscape

Nothing makes a house more refreshing to look at than a good landscape. It makes your home stand out so much, not to mention that a good scene will continue to be beautiful year after year when better-taken care of.

Here are a few ways to refresh your landscape:

Take your spring cleaning indoors
Invite wildlife to your home
Add or repair hardscaping
Do little maintenance
Check your plant beds

Paint the exterior

Old painting gets damaged, and as years pass by, it makes your house look dull. But, you can always give your house facade a significant makeover by simply painting it. This will help:

Better aesthetics
Improve the ambiance
Remove any old marks and stains
Protect your house from outside elements

Remember to invest in better painting materials. This will help you save more money in the long run.

 

Replace your windows

We’ve already mentioned installing a new door, and you can do the same for your windows. If you have those ordinary windows, then you should change them.

Here are some reasons why:

Help reduce energy costs
Protect you from UV rays
Easier maintenance
Reduce noise
Make your home safer
Improve visual appeal

Makeover your driveway

Remodeling your facade shouldn’t only end with your house.

It would be best to improve your driveway and other pathways around your house for that total visual appeal. Here are a few of the most common used materials to makeover a driveway:

Concrete
Paving
Stoneworks
Gravel
Bluestone

Check out the pros and cons of each material and see which suits you best. There may also be cases that you might need to combine two or three of these materials. It’s up to you.

 

Build a fence

Last but not least, building a fence. This is what appears at the outermost part of your house, so choose one that will make you stand out. There are fences made precisely for this, and it gives your home a higher value.

But other than adding visual appeal, a fence also gives you a sense of privacy, improves your security, and marks your part of the property.

 

Over to You

Remodeling your home should not cause a lot. And you do not even have to do these all in one go.

You can start first with what you think is the most important. If you believe your door and window are still in good condition, you can start with your exterior. If pre-cladding is out of your budget, then repainting should do.

Be creative without needing to spend too much.