) - No doubt about it, Americans like their "stuff."
We like to accumulate and surround ourselves with material things.
The late George Carlin summed it up when he quipped, "A house is just a place to keep your stuff while you go out and get more stuff."
The problem is that stuff creates a mess, and most people also like to be neat and organized. Unfortunately, the two concepts do not necessarily align, which is why companies like The Container Store boast close to billion-dollar bottom lines.
And when you have kids? Fugehdaboutit. The potential for messiness multiplies tenfold.
For those wannabe organized families who would like to declutter (or at least keep the detritus at bay), look no further than the tips below:
* Buy bins. These plastic tubs can be a godsend for parents whose kids either refuse to throw (or give) anything away, or who want to try and teach their kids to organize their things at an early age. It keeps the mess to a minimum and makes cleaning simple for both parents and children.
* Cue the cubbies. These three-drawer organizers can be stored in the closet, don't take up much room and allow kids to store odds and ends that might otherwise be everywhere but their bedroom.
* Have an in box. A parent of any school-age child knows the amount of paperwork that comes home is obscene and overwhelming. To that end, having one place for all incoming papers is paramount.
* Use hangers and hooks. These minimally priced inventions that hang on the backs of doors helps keep towels, scarves, coats and other items off the floor. Similarly, a shoe rack that hangs in the closet can also be a great organization tool for little ones.
* Consider a portable spittoon. For smokeless tobacco users, a portable spittoon
can mean the difference between a permanent, albeit accidental, stain and keeping a potential mess contained.
To that end, companies like FLASR, creators of smokeless tobacco accessory products, can help. FLASR's portable spittoons are an easy-to-use solution that prevents unwanted spills and leaks that often accompany spit cups and bottles. The FLASR flask, for instance, has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, even if curious little hands get a hold of it. In addition, the new 4-ounce FLASR pocket-sized spittoon is designed to allow users to open and shut it with just one hand, making it an ideal solution for everyday use.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com
) - Dating is hard these days. Never mind the whole getting-to-know you thing, the Internet has created a world where every foible, every flaw, every thing (literally and figuratively) is on display for all the world, including potential dating partners, to see.
"Surviving any worst-case scenario comes down to not panicking, having a plan and ultimately being prepared," David Borgenicht, author of The Complete Worst-Case Scenario Sur-vival Handbook: Dating & Sex, told the Chicago Tribune in an interview. "And this applies to the realm of dating."
That is why it's best to be prepared for any dating scene so you don't find yourself wondering whether leaving-by-the-bathroom-window is actually an option.
The following tips will help you avoid the minefield of dating.
* You spill wine all over the table, on yourself, or on your date. At best, you and your date can laugh it off. And if you like one another, it's an easy way to ask them out for a second one --to a dry cleaners where you'll foot the bill. At worst, if the sparks aren't there, you have an easy out.
* You're running late. It happens -- traffic, work runs over, mistiming on how long it takes to get ready -- and all of a sudden you've kept your date waiting. In this case, take a few minutes to send a text message or a quick call and let them know you've run into a snag, but will be there as soon as possible. Better yet, giving them a timeframe. One caveat: try to keep it light. If you sound stressed about being late, they'll be stressed about waiting.
* You're a smokeless tobacco user. For smokeless tobacco users, the thought of taking a spit cup or bottle on a date is horrific, and of course, an absolute no-no. So, what to do? You might want to consider a portable spittoon made by FLASR
, an Atlanta-based company that specializes in creating smokeless tobacco accessories.
To avoid the messiness that can go along with using smokeless tobacco, the FLASR flask has an advanced closing mechanism, ensuring that it stays securely closed when not in use, thus eliminating the risk of spills and leaks often found with cups and bottles. In addition, the small size of the FLASR flask allows users to enjoy smokeless tobacco unobtrusively while in public.
For more information, visit www.flasr.com
) - The smart home has gone mainstream. Currently available technology allows homeowners to further personalize the environments in their homes and to monitor their homes remotely. Consider the increasing popularity of smart appliances such as motion-sensor lights, programmable thermostats and sound-control surround systems. Such technologies will likely expand as ways to make homes not only more comfortable, but also safer and more efficient. Smart home technology is becoming increasingly affordable and will become increasingly common in new homes. For example, in 2013, approximately half of all new homes built in the United States included structured wiring, which is needed for the transmission of high-speed video.
Some examples of the latest smart home technology could fall into two categories: Home comfort and home monitoring. Homeowners are able to set up systems that program the house doors to unlock, certain lights to come on, and the thermostat to adjust to preselected settings automatically when someone arrives at the home. In addition, homes can be programmed to send emails or text messages to alert homeowners to potential problems, which can be addressed before they escalate into expensive repairs.
Another point in favor of smart home technology: resale value. If you want to boost the value of your home, smart home technology is a worthwhile investment, and a system that monitors plumbing is a good place to start.
Preventing water damage is one area in which smart home monitoring technology can be especially helpful. Water damage accounts for a significant portion of home insurance claims, and being able to identify potential water problems and address them early can save time and money.
The FloLogic System
is engineered to act like a circuit breaker for the plumbing system in the home, and it may be fitted to any home, old or new. The system monitors the water flow throughout the home. The system is designed to shut off the water if it detects any sign of a leak, from something as large as a broken pipe to as mall as a pinhole. It sounds an alarm at the control pad and shuts off the water. The FloLogic System may be linked in with a home security system and will be WiFi enabled by year end.
For more information about how the FloLogic system works, visit www.Flologic.com
) - Owning a second home has many benefits: a potential rental income and a relaxing, reliable getaway, to name a few. However, second homeowners also must consider the challenges of maintaining a property left vacant for long periods of time.
Potential water damage is a key element of concern for homeowners who leave a second property for long periods. For example, a power failure and loss of electricity in the winter might result in frozen and broken pipes in a vacated summer house. An unsuspecting homeowner or renter could cause a flood by turning on the water. Home monitoring systems, such as the FloLogic System
, are designed to provide remote monitoring of the water flow in a home. A sustained flow of water, whether from a pinhole leak, running faucet or flooding appliance, prompts the FloLogic System to send an alarm and shut off the water supply, so the homeowner can identify and address leaks before major damage occurs.
Many insurance companies offer reduced rates to homeowners who install the FloLogic System. Find out more about how the FloLogic System can give you peace of mind as you manage your vacation home by visiting www.flologic.com
In addition to preventing water damage, owners of second homes can protect their property with these other simple strategies:
Protect the Pipes
For second homes in areas where the temperature dips below freezing, reduce the risk of a frozen pipe by leaving the heat running at 58 degrees Fahrenheit. Homeowners also should consider draining toilets, pipes and hot water tanks before leaving a vacation home for a long absence.
Protect Your Property
Be sure all windows and doors are locked and skylights and ventilation shafts are closed. Bring outdoor furniture inside. Secure bikes, boats and other similar items in a garage or shed. Move electronics, such as TVs and computers, away from windows.
Prepare for Power Surges
Unplug electrical appliances, including toasters and washing machines, for safety in case of an electrical surge.
Manage Your Mail
Be sure the post office has the correct forwarding address and the date on which to start forwarding your mail to an alternate location.
) - The high cost of home insurance can seem like one more financial hurdle to homeowners, but a solid home insurance policy doesn't have to break the bank.
Several factors can impact how much you pay for home insurance, including the age and size of your home, and whether you live in an area prone to natural disasters, such as fires, storms and flooding.
In fact, water damage is one of the largest sources of insurance claims, so making a proactive effort to monitor leaks and minimize the possibility of water damage can help reduce your home insurance premiums. Plumbing-related water damage accounts for 22 percent of homeowner claims filed each year and accounts for 25 percent of the claim dollars that insurance companies pay out. This is second to damage caused by acts of nature.
How can you monitor leaks? The technology in the FloLogic system
acts like a circuit breaker for your plumbing system. The system monitors water throughout the home, and automatically shuts off the water if a leak is detected. Homeowners who install the FloLogic sytem may be eligible for a discount on their insurance.
Find out more about how the FloLogic System works by visiting www.flologic.com
Other smart steps to save money on home insurance include:
Improve Your Home
Some insurers offer discounts to homeowners in older homes who upgrade outdated heating, electrical, or plumbing systems. Also a home security system may increase your chances of getting a lower premium.
Pump Up What You'll Pay
If you choose a higher deductible (the amount you pay for any damages to your home), you will pay lower premiums. Be prepared to cover damages up to $1,000, so you can save your insurance claims for larger damages.
Read up on information about home insurance rates, and also about complaints related to price, customer service and a range of other issues issues. You can find many insurance quotes online, as well as customer feedback about the company. You may find that paying slightly more for home insurance from a company with mainly good reviews is worthwhile.
Consider using the same company for home insurance and auto insurance. It's not uncommon to get a reduced home insurance rate from a company if you also have car insurance or other types of insurance with them.
) - The saying "They don't make things like they used to," may apply to the plumbing in many homes built in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. During those decades, polybutylene was considered the great future of plumbing for the home. Pipes made from polybutylene (PB) cost half as much as traditional copper pipes, and they were lightweight and easy for contractors to install.
PB pipes became the standard for home plumbing in much of the United States, including the Mid-Atlantic, Pacific Northwest, and Sun Belt regions. Approximately 6 to 10 million American homes built during the period from 1978 to 1995 contain PB plumbing, according to home construction data.
However, if a home has PB pipes, its water system is doomed to eventually degrade and fail. The reason? The chlorine present in every public water supply degrades PB pipes and their fittings over time. The questions are when, and how this problem will occur. Chlorine exposure creates small leaks in PB pipes that can turn into large leaks and major flooding. However, a water monitoring system such as FloLogic can help spare homeowners the hassle of an expensive experience in water damage.
The FloLogic System
) monitors the water flow throughout the home, and acts like a circuit breaker that shuts off the water if it detects any type of leak. The System sounds an alarm at a keypad, and it also can be linked to a home security system. With the FloLogic System, homeowners are instantly alerted to the presence and location of a leak, and can address it immediately.
PB plumbing problems have caused millions of dollars in damage over the decades, and it is often difficult for homeowners to distinguish what their pipes are made of without calling in a plumber. Completely replacing PB pipes can be expensive, but careful monitoring can catch a small leak before it becomes a costly one.
In addition to reducing the risk of water damage, the FloLogic System may even earn homeowners a discount on their insurance, depending on the company.
for more details on how the FloLogic System can protect your plumbing.
) - NewsusaInfographic - Investors have obviously caught on. Tired of paying what can be large fees for traditional mutual funds, they've poured $3 trillion into exchange-traded funds (ETFs) -; with $2.09 trillion of that held right here in the U.S. And according to TD Ameritrade, it's millennials, especially, who've been allocating more and more of their portfolios to these baskets of securities that trade intraday like individual stocks.
See full-sized image here.
) - While many people are aware of the basic tenants of good oral care, thousands of people still don't floss their teeth -- and they lie about it. According to a new national survey, more than a quarter (27 percent) of U.S. adults admit they lie to their dentists about how often they floss their teeth. Along with twice-daily brushing and receiving an annual comprehensive periodontal evaluation, daily flossing is a critical component in the prevention of periodontal disease, commonly referred to as gum disease.
The Harris Poll, on behalf of the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP)
, was conducted online among more than 2,000 U.S. adults and among the top 10 U.S. markets. The AAP is using the survey results to urge all Americans to "Love the Gums You're With" and to raise awareness of periodontal disease -- a chronic inflammatory disease caused when bacteria in plaque grow below the gum line, leading to swelling, irritation, receding gums and tooth loss. Periodontal disease has been linked to many other chronic diseases, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis, Alzheimer's disease and even cancer. Despite its prevalence, periodontal disease is rarely discussed, resulting in a lack of urgency, awareness and education among the public.
"There's clearly more work to be done when it comes to educating Americans about the importance of oral hygiene in maintaining healthy gums. There are more than 500 bacterial species that can be found in plaque, and brushing alone does not remove the bacteria that live below the gum line," says AAP President Joan Otomo-Corgel, DDS, MPH. "The good news about periodontal disease is that with proper and timely care, it's treatable and often reversible. If a person has been diagnosed with or is at risk for periodontal disease, a periodontist has the training and expertise to determine the best course of treatment."
Patients should discuss their periodontal health with a dental professional who can make a referral to a periodontist if necessary.
For more information and tips on how to properly care for your gums, visit perio.org.
) - Did you know that you start to lose muscle at a mere 30 years of age? Whether we like it or not, muscle starts to degenerate with each decade of life. This age-related muscle loss, known as sarcopenia, springs from many factors, including inactivity, inadequate protein and increased levels of the regulatory protein myostatin, which impedes muscle growth. Clinical studies have shown that high levels of myostatin can lead to reduced muscle mass.
Sarcopenia impacts overall health as well. Age-related muscle loss can limit daily activities of living and increase the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and obesity as well as cardiovascular, neurological, and orthopedic diseases.
That said there are steps you can take to help stem the effects of sarcopenia.
Moderate physical activity, along with resistance training, can help promote muscle growth and reduce the impact of this biological event.
Focus on Food
As you age, adequate protein intake plays an important role in maintaining muscle health.
Re Muscle Health Products
feature the revolutionary bionutritional supplement Fortetropin, described on MYOS Corporation's website as "the only safe and naturally occurring myostatin inhibitor available with a clinically demonstrated positive effect on both muscle thickness and lean body mass compared to placebo." Fortetropin is a proprietary product of the MYOS Corporation.
MYOS' Re Muscle Health nutrition products are formulated to help protect and preserve lean, healthy muscle tissue. The product line includes: bars, powders and meal-replacement shakes designed to be used daily to supplement a sensible workout regimen, or simply as part of a regular healthy diet to promote muscle health and lean body mass. The products contain a 6.6 gram serving of Fortetropin along with 20 grams of protein.
In clinical trials, Fortetropin, the active ingredient in Re Muscle Health products, was associated with a reduction in myostatin levels, as well as an increase in lean body mass and muscle thickness.
It's important to note that the "Re" in "Re Muscle Health" stands for Rebuild, Rejuvenate, Results. Dr. Buzz Aldrin, decorated combat pilot, Apollo astronaut and member of the company's board of directors, believes the products, which he uses daily, live up to the name.
"I am pleased that Re Muscle Health is tailored to the aging population as well as athletes and the fitness community," noted Dr. Aldrin, a former intercollegiate athlete and pole vaulter, in a company press release. "MYOS is doing important groundbreaking work in muscle health, and I rely on Re Muscle Health products to help me maintain my lean muscle. They taste great and I've seen tremendous results," Dr. Aldrin said.
To learn more please visit, www.remusclehealth.com
) - It's never too early or too late to be healthy, but not everyone knows where to start. A combination of diet, exercise and healthy supplements can go a long way toward improving the quality of your life. And the prevalence of social media means that you're never alone in your efforts.
Follow these steps to help get you started on a road to better health:
Eat Wisely and Well
A healthy diet is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle. In particular, starting the day with a healthy breakfast has many benefits. Data from multiple studies have shown that people who eat breakfast are less likely to overeat and snack later in the day. Breakfast doesn't have to be boring or tasteless either. Granola cereals, such as System LS Rise granola, are high in fiber and protein. In particular, System LS Rise
features organic ancient chia seeds and barley malt. Also, think outside the box (cereal box, that is). Breakfast can be a breakfast bar, a protein shake or even leftover pizza from last night.
Be Smart About Supplements
Sometimes diet isn't quite enough, especially for those who eat more meals on the go. In those situations, a multivitamin designed to help support the immune system and provide missing nutrients can help fill the void. Supplements make sure your body is getting what it needs to be healthy.
Build Your Support System
Improving your health can be a struggle, and a little encouragement goes a long way. Today's social media outlets provide multiple options for seeking advice, as well as sharing health tips and information. For example, the System LS Facebook page
provides a place to comment on health and nutrition, share ideas and get motivated by reading success stories.
Moderate exercise can yield a multitude of health benefits, from improving mood, to lowering cholesterol, to building bone density. Other benefits of exercise include maintaining a healthy weight and boosting your energy (because your heart and lungs are working more efficiently). In addition, exercise can enhance your sex life by improving your energy and appearance, which will also boost your self-confidence. Have trouble sleeping? Exercise may be the cure.
For more information about health products and living a healthy lifestyle, visit Rapid Nutrition at: www.rnplc.com