What to remember when traveling to NYC

We’re off to our trip to New York City this month and I want to share some little tidbits I picked up that may help on your own trip. Hope you enjoy! (Also, I’ll be away for a few weeks traveling and seeing family during the holidays so I apologize in advanced if I don’t update the blog in a while)  Continue Reading…

Choosing the Best Kitchen Cabinets

A while ago my husband and I decided to remodel our kitchen. Choosing the right kitchen cabinets was the hard part. Fortunately we stumbled upon a great kitchen contractor and they were able to help us out.

Kitchen cabinets have evolved constantly over the years. Colors, styles and costs have generally been a concern in later years when choices were availble.Today you can go mad with a bonanza of kitchen cabinets that will suit your taste, the style of your home, and your budget. .

There are a few questions to ask when looking at the installation of kitchen cabinets. Here, a look at the important things to keep in mind is discussed in order to help you chose the right style cabinets for your needs and budget.

1. Are you after something grand and custom built or something that does the job well but fits your pocket?

In this case you really need to think about what you want your cabinets to do in your kitchen. Essentially all cabinets are boxes which are fitted into your kitchen with shelves and drawers. You just get different results between the ready made, semi-custom and custom cabinets in terms of overall fit in your kitchen. Don’t be confused though. This does not necessarily mean you get a difference between aesthetic in your kitchen. The material you want to use is also important to keep in mind when choosing the cabinets.

2. What are the basic kinds of cabinets you get?

This falls into three categories – ready made, semi-custom and custom cabinets. Ready made are cabinets that are simply installed and ready to use. They are your cheapest option. The costs range from between $75 – $400 per linear foot. They have a standardized height of 36 inches.

Semi-custom cabinets are chosen from a range of designs then made off-site in standard measurements. These are great if you want to add something more personal to your home. Look at paying between $150 – $900 per linear foot. In addition, these cabinets take the longest to make and deliver. Expect a wait of between 12 – 14 weeks before you can install these.

Custom cabinets are designed to fit your kitchen perfectly and the style is modeled to your specifications. The cost is anywhere between $500 – $1400 per linear foot, but cost does not mean that you have to scrimp on style. The cabinets are generally available in 6 weeks and any alterations can be made during the manufacturing process.

We ended up going with the regular kitchen cabinets because they were high quality and fit our budget.

3. Calculating costs.

This is important in order to pick which kind of cabinet you can put in your home. This is done by measuring how many linear feet you need both above and below the cabinets. Depending on whether you are installing ready made or custom a home ware consultant can give you advice about this.

4. When do you choose custom made cabinets?

This choice will be necessary in instances where you have very irregular room space or an uneven floor. It may seem expensive, but the result will be great and worth the money.

5. The choice between cabinets and open shelves.

The idea of open plan living is moving into the fore now in decoration, even in kitchens. It is tempting to use only open shelves, but remember that this means everything in your kitchen cabinets is on display. A better option is to go with cabinets at the bottom, and open shelves at the top where you can store crockery which will look stylish and not unsightly. This will save money and can look attractive if done in the right way.

Let me know about your own cabinet or remodeling experience in the comments below!

Why 30-Somethings are Heading Back to the Classroom

Grad school is usually limited to postgraduates. The majority being 20-somethings on track to enter careers that require advanced level degrees, or maybe just hoping to coast by a little longer before entering the real world. Most programs don’t consist of 30-something executive level professionals — but that’s exactly who fills the Executive Master’s of Business Administration classes. EMBA students are on average 32-38 years old and have already spent years in a managerial role. How does a successful manager benefit from going back to school? Here are a few of the reasons why.

  1. To finally get that promotion.

Climbing the corporate ladder can often lead to a plateau. You reach management level and you come to a point where a promotion would put you in a whole new weight class. Getting your superiors to see you at that level is not always easy. They value you as an employee but may not be ready to move you up. Earning a Master’s of Business Administration gives you new cards to bring to the table when negotiating a promotion and shows your employer you are dedicated and ready for the next step in your career. 37% of graduates expected a promotion after completing their EMBA degree. Going back to school carries a lot of weight when proving your worth for a promotion.

  1. Gain better job security.

Unemployment may not be the media buzz of the moment but it still exists, and job security is something that everyone worries about at one time or another. Earning an advanced level degree, such as an Executive MBA, can increase job security by helping you to be more competitive and qualified. 95% is the employment rate for business professionals with an MBA. Graduating from a Master’s of Business Administration program instantly makes you more employable as you become a better asset to your company.

  1. Expand leadership skills.

The workplace is not stagnant. Culture and technology are constantly changing, shifting the way employees think and do work. By ignoring the evolution that takes place, managers will lack the ability to run a productive team. Going back to school for an MBA brings benefits such as improved leadership skills and the opportunity to adopt new management techniques. Executives that want to stay relevant in a fast paced workforce see grad school as a way to provide their team members with better leadership.

  1. Get a raise.

Earning more money takes time, and not everyone is patient. Some companies only award raises at milestones (such as a one or five year anniversary) or alongside promotions. In this scenario, if an employee feels they are not being properly compensated for their time they may take a position with another company rather than wait out a raise. While job jumping to reach the salary you want can work short term, it doesn’t look great on your resume — and is also kind of exhausting. A better alternative is warranting a raise by going to grad school and completing an advanced business degree. Some companies reward employees for completing an MBA or EMBA by offering a bonus incentive, and many executives choose to cease this opportunity rather than quitting.

  1. Become an entrepreneur.

Business professionals don’t just go back to school to move up within their company, many do so to gain the knowledge and skills to start one of their own. The average MBA graduate will see annual business revenue of $128,569 just one year after completing their degree. Rather than go into business ownership blindly, an MBA teaches an entrepreneur how to build from the bottom up and manage a successful company. Strategy, planning and profit are all topics that are taught in an MBA program and can help entrepreneurs tackle the common struggles that come along with a startup.

Weekend Trips to Take in the Springtime

You may not be able to get away for ten full days, but a long weekend trip can be almost as rejuvenating. Consider these locations when you’re in need of a quick vacation.

Charlottesville, VA

On the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains, Charlottesville is great for history lovers, hikers, and wine drinkers. Book a room at an authentic log cabin for a truly unique experience. Check out the live concert series downtown and sip wine at Jefferson Vineyards.

Cold Spring, NY

Cold Spring is perfect if you’re staying in New York City and want to venture a couple of hours north for the afternoon or for an overnight. Go glamping at the Liberty View Farm, kayak on the Hudson River, or go paddle boarding with Hudson River Expeditions. Visit Fahnestock National Park for a stroll in the woods. Cold Spring is also close to Beacon, an art-filled community popular with New York City residents who want to get away for a day. To book your New York trip, check out Hipmunk’s guide to NYC hotels.

Hartford, CT

Once home to some of the most influential writers in the U.S., you can now tour their homes in Hartford. Stay in an Airbnb castle that has a Romeo and Juliet room. Don’t miss a tour of the Mark Twain house. You can also visit the Victorian mansion where Harriet Beecher Stowe lived!

Willamette Valley, OR

There are over 400 wineries in Willamette Valley. Plus, you’re just one hour from Portland in case you want to visit the cool city for a day. Stay in a room with views of Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood. Take a walking wine tour while you’re in the valley, too.

Santa Cruz, CA

Complete with both surfing and mountains, Santa Cruz is just an hour and a half from San Francisco. Stay in a tree house in the Sequoia forest, located in the Santa Cruz mountains. Take a surfing lesson or stroll down the Santa Cruz beach boardwalk, too.

No matter what coast you live on, there’s a great getaway to take advantage of.

How To Choose the Best Fence Company

Choosing a good fence company, such as our friends over at Halls Fence, for a job that you need completed is often a challenging task. When looking for a fencing contractor, working with the right company can make all the difference with respect to the quality of job that you will eventually get. Choosing a good fencing company will also protect you from annoying complications that may develop during or after the installation. Without much ado, therefore, here is an overview of some of the factors that you need to consider in order to end up with a good fencing company:


Research On Available Companies: Before interviewing any fencing contractor, you can first learn about the different services that they offer via customer reviews and feedbacks as well as other relevant information about some of the local fencing companies within your locality. This will go a long way in narrowing down your search to a few companies for more thorough examination.


Check Their Better Business Bureau Rating: Besides a general research on the available companies, you can also explore how the companies you are interested in rate on the Better Business Bureau. This will help you in identifying certain complaints that might have been filed against the company in question as well as their overall business rating.


Check Examples of Their Previous Projects: Some companies will provide pictures of their previous works—some will even provide addresses of their past projects. This will provide you with an overview of how a given fence type will look like once it is finally installed. It will also provide you with additional insight into the quality of work that the company is able to produce.


Go For A Well Established Company: A well established fence company that does installations and repairs has been around for years is always a good bet considering the fact that they have extensive experience in the fencing business. Even if it is considerably a young company, consider finding more about its principals and how long they have been in the business.  You can also ask for their portfolio so that you have the opportunity to determine the quality of their initial projects.


Check for Warranties/Insurance: A good company will always honor manufactures’ warranties for products defects. Similarly, the best fencing companies will be ready to give you warranties to support their workmanship. Additionally, it is always in order for contractors to carry various insurance covers (such as workers’ compensation insurance and personal liability insurance) for their employees. Try to avoid fencing companies which don’t have appropriate insurance cover; otherwise, you may be liable for any damages or injuries that may occur during your fencing project.


Check And Confirm The Fencing Materials To Be Used: Ensure that the proposal given covers all the necessary details including but not limited to fence types, fencing materials, type of gates, and other footage requirements. You should be wary of companies that have lower price tags than the proposals that you have considered.


Although these tips don’t cover everything, they are a good starting point when you want to choose the right fencing company.

The Many Benefits of Drinking Water

A found a great post on one of my favorite new blogs that talked about the benefits of drinking water daily. I knew it was important but I didn’t know it was THAT important. Today I want to share some of the benefit

Drinking water is a struggle for many people; try as they may they just cannot seem to get into the habit of downing several glasses of it down every day. The truth is that you need water for so many different things that you simply cannot afford to go without it. In fact, you are risking your health in some ways. This article is about how water helps with different areas of your body and health. Grab a glass of water and read through!

• Forget the coffee enemas and all those other recommended detox programs out there. The truth is that if you make it a habit to drink water on a regular basis your body will detox itself just fine. If you start taking 2 liters a day today you will be “clean” in a few months time.

• A lot of skin problems happen because we don’t drink enough water. People develop dry skin, uneven complexion, pimples, acne – and all because they are ignoring the simplest cure – water. Drink lots of water if you have skin problems and watch your skin and overall health improve.

• Constipation is a problem that affects millions of people world over. Scientists have looked at the numbers of people who have a problem moving their bowels in hot areas compared to those in cold areas. Not surprisingly, those who live in hot areas report less constipation. The most likely reason is that they drink more water than people who live in cold places.

• Ladies, water will help you feel less bloated. You know that feeling that you get in your tummy sometimes when you drink soda or a coffee? In fact, when you drink water the feeling goes away.

• If you are like most, there are times when you overdo the night out and wake up with a horrible hangover. Along with your 2 aspirin take two or three glasses of water and it will go away much faster.

• The moment you feel a cold coming on start to drink lots of water. It will last a shorter time and your symptoms will be less severe.

• Get a slimmer body – most people who drink little or no water usually rely on sweet drinks. When the sugar in the drink is digested it is converted into fat. Over the years, you will grow fatter and fatter. Water has no calories so it will keep you slim.

Done! Now go get yourself another glass of water!

What Are You Thankful For?

Every year on Thanksgiving, after a few glasses of wine, my family and I like to discuss what we are most thankful for.

It’s an important thing to consciously ask yourself because it allows you to reflect on your life. Even if you have been going through hard times, you can remember the ones around you that love you or that you are healthy and have a roof over your head.

Today I have a list of everything I’m thankful for, and boy is it a dozy!

  1. My health after a big scare with breast cancer 10 months ago.
  2. Our families new dog.
  3. That my youngest son graduated from 3rd grade.
  4. Our new addition to the house.
  5. That all of my family members are healthy and happy with their lives.
  6. My husbands new boat.
  7. The Saturday nights I get to spend with my oldest friends.
  8. The fun things I’ve learned taking art classes.
  9. My new job.
  10. My husbands promotion.
  11. That I learned calligraphy for our Christmas cards this year.

So, what are you thankful for this Thanksgiving? Leave a comment below, I would love to read it!

Dry Skin Tips & My New Favorite Skin Care Products

I stumbled upon this article on dry skin care tips by Lara Ramos and found it pretty interesting. I’ve alway suffered with the “winter itch”  – seasonal dry skin. Since I already have sensitive skin, this has led to me bouncing from product to product, trying out new moisturizers every few months.

The tips that Yon-Ka brought up are great and I’d love to expand upon my favorite and add a few more. Enjoy! Continue Reading…

How To Get Rid of The Hiccups… A Lollipop?

Occasionally I’ll get some pretty bad hiccups due to my heart condition. Nothing extreme, but they sure do hurt.

About two days ago after lunch with a friend, I started getting them bad. She could tell it was uncomfortable for me just by the look on my face after each loud hiccup.

“Did you know there’s a remedy for hiccups? I saw it on the news,” she said.

“Really?” I said bewildered (I’ve tried every crazy hiccup remedy ever created). I was intrigued.

“You’re going to think I’m crazy… It’s a lollipop. A girl invented it to help cure her hiccups when she was 13 years old!”

Well, I was a bit skeptical but I nonetheless interested. If a lollipop could cure my hiccups, I wanted 100.

I did a bit of digging and found out what my friend was talking about. It’s a product called Hiccupops – How To Get Rid of Hiccups For Good. I was very impressed with what I read. Apparently it was created as a cheap and easy way to cure the inventors hiccups when she was a little girl. Below is a video I found of her explaining what they are and how they are made

Inevitably I pre-ordered a bunch of them. If they work, I will be very happy. The only real hiccup “remedy” I’ve gotten to work for me is holding my breath and drinking a full glass of water (while holding my nose). But I can’t exactly do that in public without looking like a crazy person…

I will report back when I try my first Hiccupop!

Fall Family Activities (My Favorites)

Fall is my favorite season. The kids are back at school, the weather cools down, and I get to enjoy my favorite activities with my family :).

It wasn’t always my favorite season. Growing up, my family moved almost every year for my fathers job. Since both of my parents worked full time, I was placed in after school programs in the Fall. By “after school programs” I mean being bored to death in a library being forced to do my homework. I wanted to be outside, enjoying the beauty of the changing colors. When I grew up I knew I would spend as much time outside enjoying this beautiful season and that is exactly what I do.

Today’s post is a collection of my absolute favorite family-friendly activities to enjoy during the Autumn season.

Enjoy! Continue Reading…