5 Ways to Re-Energize in Just 5 Minutes

It’s alltoo-easy to feel drained and even burnt-out. Unfortunately, you may not have the luxury of time to relax with a good book or go to a yoga class. So, with that in mind, here are some proven ways to quickly unwind and boost your energy.

  1. Take a short walk. Scientists say your body will often de-stress significantly after just a 12-minute stroll.
  2. Drink a glass of water. Dehydration, which can come on without you realizing it, can quickly lead to fatigue and tension.
  3. Do something completely different. Often, if you completely remove yourself from a situation or activity, even for just a few minutes, you’ll come back feeling better. So, take a moment for yourself!
  4. Breathe and stretch. It’s almost impossible to feel tense after a few deep breaths and some stretching exercises. In fact, that’s where the urge to yawn and stretch comes from. It’s your body’s way of boosting energy!
  5. Write it down. If you’re worried or frustrated about something, writing it down is like deflating a balloon. Taking it off your shoulders and onto paper puts the concern into perspective.

Try one of these tips the next time you feel overwhelmed.

*Morris Marketing*

The Latest Options in Outdoor Lighting

Outdoor lighting has come a long way from the days of patio lanterns and strings of lightbulbs. These days, there’s an exhaustive array of options available to illuminate your outdoor space, and make it more appealing and comfortable, particularly in the evenings.

Here are just a few ideas:

• Solar garden lights. These lights are on stakes that can be easily inserted throughout the garden. Powered by the sun, they generate enough energy to cast a soft, pleasant glow along walkways or in flower beds in the evenings.

• Deck post lights. These are easy to install because they’re designed to sit on top of a standard 4×4 wood deck post. Most are solar powered.

• Street-style lamps. As the name implies, these look similar to oldfashioned street lamps. Installation is a little more complex, but still DIY-friendly. They’re eye-catching and have a dramatic impact on the look of your outdoor space.

• Portable lantern lights. These are outdoor lights that are portable and often made to look like a decorative fixture for a coffee table or side table. They can be placed anywhere.

• LED walkway lights. These are small lights that fit neatly and almost invisibly under stairs and around walkways. Walkway lights not only look good but also improve safety. Most are battery powered.

• Planter lights. This is one of the most interesting options. Each one is both a flower pot and a light in one! The pot itself is translucent which allows the light inside to shine through.

Design experts say you should treat your outdoor space as you would any room in your home. Lighting it up for evening comfort and enjoyment is a good place to start.

*Morris Marketing*

Know Your Smoke Detectors

For most people, smoke detectors are simply taken for granted. But, when it’s time to replace your smoke detectors, be sure to understand the differences between the two main types.

Ionization types use a battery to create a small current that charges the ion particles inside the detector. If that current is disrupted by smoke, an alarm is triggered. Though they are designed to detect all types of smoke, they tend to be more sensitive to smoke from fast-flaming fires, such as those that might occur in a kitchen.

Another type is a photoelectric detector, which powers a small beam of light that, when broken by smoke, will sound an alarm. This type tends to be more sensitive to smoke from a smouldering fire, such as a cigarette on upholstery.

To be safe, homeowners are advised to use both types of detectors in their homes because no one can predict the type of fire that may break out, nor where it might start.

Locate them strategically based on the type. Also, be sure your units are tested regularly, and their batteries are changed bi-annually

Planning for Value when Investing in a Major Project

A major condo project, such as a kitchen or a bathroom renovation, is almost always a source of stress for those affected. Aside from the upheaval of accommodating construction phases and compromised living spaces during the project, the planning process can take up quite a bit of time and require a lot of big decisions.

As part of the planning, evaluating the project’s budget and its impact on value should be considered a top priority. Even if a condo owner is fortunate enough to have the means to pay any price, every major real estate improvement should be measured as an investment against its market potential.

For example, funding a major project may require a loan secured against the condo’s overall value, now and in the future.

So, regardless of how much pleasure, convenience or efficiency you may gain from a renovation, it’s important to know that you are making a measurable investment from your lender’s perspective.

In other words, the bigger the project, the more mindful you must be about market trends and resale value. With that in mind, if a major condo renovation is something you want to consider, don’t hesitate to call for a frank discussion about your plans – and your unit’s resale potential.

*Morris Marketing*

Getting Family Members on the Same Page

Remember the last time you had a family discussion about what to have for dinner? Chances are, there were some disagreements! In fact, it might have been agonizing trying to get everyone to settle on the same dish. Now imagine getting everyone to agree on what type of home to buy!

Obviously, you want family members to be in harmony when looking for a new home. The more everyone is on the same page, the smoother the process will be.

Here are some tips worth trying:

• Make a list. Have everyone list the top three features they want in a new home. You might find that family members are closer to agreement than you thought. Also, family members will likely not be disappointed if they get two out of the three features they want.

• Have a family meeting. Set a goal to have a clear profile of the kind of home you want by the end of the meeting. Be prepared for some lively discussion, but also be firm that a decision needs to be made.

• Be understanding. If a family member insists on a particular feature, ask why. It might be trivial, such as having a shopping mall within walking distance when driving or taking transit is relatively easy. On the other hand, the desired feature might be something truly important and worth considering.

• Manage expectations. Explain that not everyone will get what they want and that you (or you and your significant other) will do your best to accommodate everyone’s wishes.

There’s no perfect solution. Depending on your family, it might be difficult to make sure everyone is happy with the home you end up buying. However, by using these tips you can ensure that everyone will at least feel they’ve been heard. Then, once you start building memories in your new place, everyone will start to feel like it’s home!

*Morris Marketing*

Lighting the Way for Buyers

When you have buyers coming to view your house, you want it to look its best. Lighting plays a key role in making a good first impression. Just think of the last time you walked into an unfamiliar space with lighting that was too dim, too bright, or just too harsh.

Experts say the best lighting illuminates the space adequately without being too intense. There’s a simple calculation to determine the wattage you need.

It’s the area of the room in square feet (length x width) multiplied by 1.5. So, a 10×12 room would require three 60 watt bulbs.

However, the type of room also makes a difference. You may want more light in the kitchen and bathrooms, because these tend to be very active spaces. On the other hand, you may want your living room to be dimmer to create a more relaxed setting and atmosphere.

Windows also make a difference. On bright days, a room with a fair-sized window may only need a third of the wattage. Experiment with lighting in each room to achieve the desired effect.

*Morris Marketing*

Cleaning Grout and Tile

Although tile and grout can provide an attractive and durable household surface – especially in kitchens and bathrooms – they need to be maintained to avoid discolouration and/or germ infestation.

When cleaning and disinfecting, it’s important to consider how the surface will react to the various compounds and methods you plan to use. For example, most tiles have an impervious finish that can be cleaned with a basic cleaning solution, but grout could require a specific agent that is effective on its porous surface.

Never commit to cleaning an entire floor or wall until you’ve experimented on an obscure patch. It’s always wise to work up from a simple solution to a stronger formula. If you’re looking for a natural solution, try using equal parts vinegar and water. The combination works well on finished tile, but be careful not to let it come into contact with unprotected natural stone or wood.

To escalate your attack, mix a paste of three parts baking soda and one part water, then apply the paste to the grout lines before introducing a narrow spray of diluted vinegar to create a naturally effervescent agent. If natural household cleaners are ineffective, ask your home centre or hardware store for a stronger recommendation.

*Morris Marketing*