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Buying a new construction home has plenty of perks: you will be the only owners of the home, you can customize it to the look and feel you want, and you can truly make it your own and know that everything on/in the home is new. Plus, it means you won’t need to worry about home renovation projects for a while, which is a saver to your budget. However, while there are many benefits, building a new construction home isn’t always easy. If you are currently waiting for land to break, here are the six tips to know for building a house.
- Know your budget.
Before you even start to shop around and find builders and land, it’s important to know your budget. Take a good, hard look at your finances and determine exactly what you can afford, not just in monthly mortgage payments, but also in terms of a down payment and all the fees and utilities associated with the new house. Once you have that in place, you need to add more money as a “fluff fund”. This fluff fund will serve as money you will need to pay for unexpected expenses, such as a change in a design, an unknown permit, etc. If you have extra money set aside for the unexpected, it can help keep your new construction home on budget.
- Choose your builder wisely.
Depending on where you want to build, you may be forced to use a specific builder. However, if you have the ability to choose who builds your home, be sure to do thorough research and find out who would be the best option for you. Not only should you meet with builders to see portfolios of their work, but ask for a list of references and talk with them. Find out what they truly think about the builder and if they would recommend them to others. The more you know about a potential builder, the better chance you’ll have of being comfortable with the build and knowing your home will be done on time.
- Understand upgrades.
When it comes to new construction, it’s important to know that the homes are typically “builder-grade” and any other changes are considered an upgrade. This could be for something major, such as adding a deck or patio onto the house, and it can even be something small, such as changing the brand of fixtures. When you understand upgrades and how they work, you can better plan for your new construction home within your budget. According to Whitewater Kitchen and Bath, “A home’s finishes say a lot about the style and quality of the home, so understanding what specific upgrades you want in a new construction home can help keep your project running on time.”
- Keep constant communication.
When having a home built, it’s very important you stay in constant communication with your builder and your finance broker. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page regarding financing and timeline, and it will help you better understand if any issues should arise. If you find that your builder seems to be dodging your communication efforts, be sure to visit the jobsite in person to stay in communication. The more on top of your new home build you can be, the better it will be for everyone involved.
- Do your finance research.
You should have your financing secure before you start to build a new home, but you should also do your finance research too. Not only does this mean finding the right lender—specifically a company that works with new construction financing—but it also means grants. For instance, if your new home is being built with eco-friendly finishes and technologies, you may be eligible for government grants or rebates. The more you know about what financing offers are available, the more affordable your new home construction could be.
- Hire an outside inspector.
In most cases, the builder will hire an inspector to do the final inspection of your home, and while this is okay, it’s still important for you to get an outside inspector with no relation to the builder. With the money you are spending on this new home, it’s important that everything is done properly and safely. Having someone else come in and put their eyes on it will ensure you’re not being cheated and that the home is safe for you and your family once you move in.
Building a new home can be extremely exciting, but it also requires a lot of work. If you have new construction taking place, be sure to use these tips to keep everything running properly.
While you are getting ready to make your big move to go to your new home located in the South from your home in the Northwest, you may find that the moving process is a lot more stressful than it would be if you were to move just right down the road. Starting a new life in the South can be an exciting process, but it is also an extremely hectic and stressful time. There are a lot of factors that go into play when you are getting ready to make a move, and there are a lot of problems that could occur as you are trying to settle in, as you are getting ready to find or start a new job, and getting all of your things moved into your new home or apartment with as much efficiency and organization as possible. You want to do everything you can to make the process as easy, efficient, organized, and the least stressful that it can be. A moving checklist is the key component that will make your move easier and walk you through the relocation process step by step.
What is a checklist for moving day?
A moving checklist is where you will write down every little detail that needs to be done in order to get through your move with little to no stress at all. When you are going through a move, your mind is in a thousand different places trying to get everything done, so you need to have a list that tells you exactly what needs to be done so that you don’t have a chance to forget anything. This list can be as simple or as complex as you need it to be based on how detailed of a person you are and how much help you need to remember things when you are under a great deal of stress.
How to start a moving checklist
There are so many factors to consider when making a checklist, which means there are seemingly endless ways to start one out. The first thing you need to do is look at your timeline and consider how much time you have to get things done before moving day gets there. Start your list with the most time-consuming projects and work your way down to things that can be done last minute or on the actual moving day.
The actual writing down of a moving checklist
Once you have written down your timeline and figured out what needs to be done and how long you have to do it, you are now ready to start filling in the gaps and writing down your actual moving checklist. There are some basic things to do that every move requires and other items on your list that you may not have thought of!
1.) Every time you move you should begin with this step first, and that is to sort through all of your belongings and get rid of things that you do not want or will not need when you move. Start simply by putting things into piles of keep, give away, or sell. Next, purge your home of the items you won’t need. This makes packing easier and keeps you from taking any clutter with you to your new home.
2.) Finding a moving company like Allied Van Lines will help keep your stress levels down. If you plan ahead and find a reputable moving company that can take you as short or far of a distance as you need to go, then you can rest in the knowledge that you will have help on moving day. This means that you will not have to move everything on your own and your possessions will be well taken care of throughout the moving process.
3.) Go to a package store and start buying things you will need to pack like sturdy boxes, tape, scissors, markers, bubble wrap, etc.
4.) Now it is time to start packing the boxes up. As you pack, you may want to enlist help from as many friends and family as possible so it is not completely overwhelming trying to accomplish it on your own. Any help that you have needs to know to label boxes in as detailed a way as they can so that you and the movers can put the boxes down in the respective rooms which will make unpacking a much faster and easier process.
If you follow these tips, plan your move ahead of time, recruit the help of movers and family and friends, and write a checklist to keep you as organized as possible, then your move will go much more smoothly and you can settle into your new southern home in no time.
Studying for a degree in healthcare administration is a great choice for anyone looking for a long, stable, challenging, and rewarding career. However, what you may not be aware of is that the career also offers a great deal of choice and variety. While hospital administration is one of the most well-known, there is a wide range of career choices which are outside of the hospitals setting. It’s a continually evolving field with plenty of opportunities for progression. Achieving a Master’s in Health Administration will greatly increase your employment opportunities as the skills you acquire in a health administration degree program will equip you for a wide range of careers.
Take a look at these potential career choices which would be available to you after graduation.
Home Healthcare Administrator
When patients require healthcare in their own home, the nurses or healthcare workers providing the care are supervised by a home healthcare administrator. This includes the training and development of staff as well as ensuring adequate funding and standards of care are met.
Nursing Home or Hospice Administrator
A nursing home or hospice administrator manages the operation and finances of a long-term care facility from staff recruitment, training, and development to the organization of medical care, supplies, and the upkeep of facilities.
Health Information Manager
A health information manager is responsible for managing medical records of patients. This means they need to be comfortable with IT systems and software to comply with federal standards for storing patient information. Through effective and efficient information management and processing, a health information manager can enhance the quality of the facility’s care.
A clinic administrator is also known as a clinic supervisor or manager. They manage, supervise, and optimize the operation of a medical clinic. This includes the clinic’s care procedures, staff training, and recruitment, billing, and marketing.
Completing an online Master of Healthcare Administration could also give you the opportunity to become an insurance underwriter. This involves checking and reviewing applications for insurance and deciding whether or not the claim should be accepted or not. The role requires the analysis of financial data to determine the level of risk involved in accepting a claim before communicating this to healthcare professionals on behalf of the insurance company.
Social Welfare Administrator
Social welfare administrators provide support to social welfare programs. This involves supporting individuals and clients with referrals such as resolving complaints and evaluating the level of need in each case. The role also requires a high level of collaboration with other organizations to ensure the programs working effectively and efficiently, and the needs of the community are met.
Consulting Health Care Administrator
You don’t have to take a position at a single facility if you choose to be a consulting healthcare administrator. In this role, you would travel to different facilities and advise them on how to improve their procedures and quality of care. This could be by introducing new systems or training or identifying inefficiencies.
As You Wish
by Chelsea Sedoti
What if you could ask for anything- and get it?
In the sandy Mojave Desert, Madison is a small town on the road between nothing and nowhere. But Eldon wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, because in Madison, everyone gets one wish—and that wish always comes true.
Some people wish for money, some people wish for love, but Eldon has seen how wishes have broken the people around him. And with the lives of his family and friends in chaos, he’s left with more questions than answers. Can he make their lives better? How can he be happy if the people around him aren’t? And what hope is there for any of them if happiness isn’t an achievable dream? Doubts build, leading Eldon to a more outlandish and scary thought: maybe you can’t wish for happiness…maybe, just maybe, you have to make it for yourself.
You can purchase As You Wish at the following Retailers:
About the Author
Chelsea Sedoti fell in love with writing at a young age after discovering that making up stories was more fun than doing her school work (her teachers didn’t always appreciate this.) In an effort to avoid getting a “real” job, Chelsea explored careers as a balloon twister, filmmaker, and paranormal investigator. Eventually she realized that her true passion is writing about flawed teenagers who are also afraid of growing up. When she’s not at the computer, Chelsea spends her time exploring abandoned buildings, eating junk food at roadside diners, and trying to befriend every animal in the world. She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where she avoids casinos, but loves roaming the Mojave Desert.
–Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
– 3 Winners will receive a Copy of AS YOU WISH by Chelsea Sedoti.
Title: NOCTURNAL MEETINGS OF THE MISPLACED
Tommy Walker and his little sister are sent to live with relatives they’ve
never met. Tommy soon makes friends with Finn Wilds, a rebellious local who lives with his volatile and abusive stepfather, who also happens to be the town’s sheriff.
Finn invites Tommy to late night meetings in the woods, where Tommy gets to know two girls. He forms a special and unique connection with both girls. The meetings become a place where the kids, who don’t fit in at school, or home can finally belong. As the group of friends begin to unravel clues to a cold case murder and kidnapping— they learn the truth is darker and closer than they ever imagined. Even if they live to tell, will anyone believe them?
A tense look flashed across her face, and she briefly grimaced. “This is going to sound crazy, but—”
Silence sat down and wrung her hands together. “When my mom was young, this man took her. He kept her for years, a lifetime.” She told me the story without any emotion like she was detached from it. “She named me Silence because that way he would know she’d keep the secret.”It did sound crazy, but I knew she was telling the truth. Never had a name been more beautiful, or tragic. “Did the guy ever get arrested?”She shook her head “no.” “My mom hadn’t told anyone, but me and my grandmother. And she doesn’t even know
where the house is or the man’s name. Or if she does, she won’t say. He just left her in the woods one day. Not far from our house.” Her voice sounded dreary but removed, even numb. She dropped her head down and looked exhausted.I blinked to clear my head of fog. “Wow.” I was at a loss. “I’m sorry. Is there anything I can do?” I wanted to help her, but I didn’t know how.She leaned forward. “I found this letter. My mom must have taken it while she was kidnapped.” Silence dug into her jeans pocket. She presented me with a simple piece of folded notebook paper. “I’ve only shown this to Finn and Annie. They didn’t know what to do. I thought you seemed really smart.”I moaned a little in disagreement, chewing the corner of my thumbnail, admitting, “I’m a straight-C student.”She pushed the letter at me.The handwriting was shaky. The paper had yellowed and aged with time. It read:If you find this paper, my name is Laney Serel. A man has kidnapped me and has taken my baby. He kept me
in a basement and has moved me to a log cabin in the woods. I think he’s going to kill me. If he does, I at least want someone to help my daughter andThe letter was torn and stopped in midsentence.
I’m a writer, avid reader, and HufflePuff, who wants a re-do at the sorting hat. I am a wife and proud mom, too.
Many parents worry about their kids being online all the time. However, it is a normal part of growing up in the modern world and children today are exposed to technology and the online space from a very young age. Rather than trying in vain to prevent this, it is much better to teach your kids how to be safe online and to make sure that you as a parent understand the most important principles of cybersecurity.
Just as with the real world, it is easy for kids to stray into danger online if they are unprepared for what lies ahead. There is plenty that is educational and wholesome on the internet, but there is also much that you wouldn’t want your children to see. Don’t worry, by following a few simple rules, and ensuring that you and your children understand all the risks of being online, everything will be fine.
No parent wants to be overbearing. We all only want what is best for our children, however, and that means that you need to get involved in their online lives. You would want to know where your children are hanging out in the real world, so make sure that you know what they are doing in the online space as well.
If you yourself aren’t sure of your cybersecurity and internet safety knowledge, this guide from Secure Data is an excellent starting point for preparing yourself with the knowledge that you’ll most want to pass on to your kids.
Set Rules for Your Household
It is up to you as a parent to decide what you consider to be an appropriate amount of time for your children to spend on the internet. There is no right or wrong answer here, different parents will have different opinions. You should try to strike a balance between giving your children the freedom to use the internet for its positive benefits, such as education and productivity, while also ensuring that their communications with other people remain appropriate.
As well as setting rules for the kind of sites that your kids are allowed to visit, you might also want to set particular times of day aside as internet browsing time. The more rigorously you enforce the rules that you set, the more your kids will respect them.
Teach Them the Importance of Privacy
For those of us who have used the internet from the beginning, we grew up with an internet where everyone remained anonymous. These days, we are all regularly being asked to hand over personal data and information to third parties and entrust them with the security of that data.
A number of high profile hacks over the last decade or two have demonstrated just how vulnerable online data can be to theft.
Keeping your children safe is every parents’ first priority. When it comes to formulating an approach to their online safety, try to consider how you approach their safety in the real world and apply the same logic. You will naturally want to know who they are talking to and who they are hanging out with.
by Deborah Schaumberg
YA Fantasy/Historical Fiction
Gangs of New York meets Cassandra Clare in this debut YA fantasy set in 1882 Brooklyn
New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.
Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn’t. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.
Like her mother’s, Avery’s powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power—or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own: strange experiments are being performed on “patients”…and no one knows why.
Photo Content from Deborah Schaumberg
– 5 Winners will receive a Copy of The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg.
Little Fires Everywhere
by Celeste Ng
In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is meticulously planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colours of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenage daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than just tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the alluring mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past, and a disregard for the rules that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When the Richardsons’ friends attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town and puts Mia and Mrs. Richardson on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Mrs. Richardson becomes determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs to her own family – and Mia’s.
Little Fires Everywhere explores the weight of long-held secrets and the ferocious pull of motherhood-and the danger of believing that planning and following the rules can avert disaster, or heartbreak.
4 out of 5 FLEURS DE LIS
With a novel with a great number of characters and such a sweeping plot as this book has, it’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to a review. Little Fires Everywhere can be thought of as a thick rope, in which each strand of twisted nylon is intricately woven into the whole, and each strand has something important to offer when it comes to contributing to the overall story.
As its’ basis, it’s a story of how two very different families become intertwined in each other’s lives one year in the late 90’s, in prim and proper Shaker Heights, Ohio. There’s much to be said about the town being a character of its’ own; the setting and all the reader comes to know about it play an integral part of how the plot plays out.
The Richardson family is well off and has been a part of Shaker Heights since its’ founding. The father is an attorney and isn’t actually present that much, and the mother Elena is a journalist working on small pieces for the local newspaper. Elena is proud and thinks herself kind and giving, but I could tell from the beginning that her kindnesses didn’t come without later-to-be-named stipulations. Oldest daughter Lexi is a senior and Ivy League bound. Son Tripp is a sports star, attractive and beloved by all the girls. Younger son Moody is sensitive and speculative, and youngest daughter Izzie is a rebellious spitfire who is always at odds with her mother’s meticulously planned life.
The Richardsons come to know the Warrens when they move into their rental duplex. Mia is young, an artist with a wandering spirit who only holds down menial jobs because they pay for her art supplies. Pearl is her daughter, quiet and bookish but longing for a sense of home. Pearl and Moody become immediate friends, and before long the Warrens and the Richardsons are getting involved in each other’s lives in intimate and irreversible ways.
Now, the first chapter of the book will tell you what the immediate consequences were, and then the story unfolds from the beginning to tell you how the characters got to where they are. There are also several flashbacks to the pasts of a lot of characters, so if you don’t like non-linear storytelling, I would say Little Fires Everywhere is not for you. I happen to like a good deal of background information as long as it is relevant to the plot, and the flashbacks here only enrich the story further.
The conversations and the way events unfolded in the novel felt so natural to me; I could really see and hear each character in my mind. I listened to the audiobook version of this book, and I’m glad I did because I am sometimes a skip ahead reader ( :O ) and getting ahead of myself in this book would have made the whole thing not come together as beautifully as it did, in my opinion.
The Warrens and the Richardsons couldn’t be more different, and that’s why the two families coming together ultimately leads to dissension. There really wasn’t too much interaction between the two mothers in the story until the end, and I was waiting for this because I knew when it happened it would be disastrous. But the story ended quietly, with not as many fireworks as I had hoped for.
I enjoyed Little Fires Everywhere a great deal, but the ending did let me down a little bit. I was both sad at the way things worked out, and frustrated that the entire truth did not get revealed to everyone. I feel like reviewing this book doesn’t do more than give you a broad picture of what the plot is about, so I’ll say it’s worth a read just so you can see a masterpiece in story weaving, because that’s what the author has accomplished here.
About the Author
Celeste Ng is the author of the novel Everything I Never Told You, which was a New York Times bestseller, a New York Times Notable Book of 2014, Amazon’s #1 Best Book of 2014, and named a best book of the year by over a dozen publications. Everything I Never Told You was also the winner of the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the ALA’s Alex Award, and the Medici Book Club Prize, and was a finalist for numerous awards, including the Ohioana Award, the John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger Award, and the VCU Cabell First Novelist Award.
Celeste grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio, in a family of scientists. Celeste attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan (now the Helen Zell Writers’ Program at the University of Michigan), where she won the Hopwood Award. Her fiction and essays have appeared in One Story, TriQuarterly, Bellevue Literary Review, the Kenyon Review Online, and elsewhere, and she is a recipient of the Pushcart Prize.
Currently, she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her second novel, Little Fires Everywhere, was published by Penguin Press in fall 2017.
If you keep up with tech and electronic news or have even picked up a sales ad for major stores in the past year and a half, it’s plain to see that smart home devices are gaining in popularity. For almost every device or machine that is in your home, there is a “smart” way to control it; from washing machines, to your thermostat, to your television and much more, it’s becoming more common to see smart devices in people’s homes. With the plethora of products and brands out there, it can be a little overwhelming to find the right item to purchase to suit your needs. In this post, I’ll share some points to think about when you’re looking to buy smart.
What do you want to control?
Smart devices often have settings that let you put timers on the thing you are controlling, or turn them on and off while you are not even home, or schedule a function from the touch of your phone. Once you think about what you want to do with your appliance or household item, then you know what you can shop for. Want to turn your central air on before you come back home from a long trip? You would benefit from a smart thermostat such as Nest. Devices like Philips Hue let you control your home’s lighting.
How much do you want to be involved?
If you are interested in a device that can get to know you and help you in many ways on an every day basis, you want something like the Amazon Echo or Google Home. These are essentially “smart speakers” that can answer questions, set timers, look up information, add calendar events, and much more. Not only that, these products often can tell the difference between users’ voices and respond in kind. They are highly customizable and can make life easier in a lot of ways.
Are you comfortable with the integration of tech into your personal life?
As specialists such as Andrew Charlton have noted, technological automation has been highly unavoidable as the world relies more and more on machinery and computers. Some people are happy to embrace change and advancement, and others hesitate at the thought of machines knowing so much about them and their lives. Smart home devices WILL learn about your habits and use them to perfect the way they work for you. You must make sure you are comfortable with what is essentially computer chips knowing so much about your day to day life. There are some people who believe that these devices can be hacked into and the information they hold used in some unsavory way; I am not of this mindset. Authors such as Andrew Charlton have written multiple articles about the future of automation in the world. It’s up to you to make the decision as to whether smart home devices are right for your life.
Weddings are joyous occasions that everyone looks forward to attending. It is a time to make merry, celebrate the couple, link up with old friends and get to know new people as well. Fashion statements are also made in the wedding from the dress code of the guests, to the bridal party and ultimately the bride’s gown along with the groom’s attire. As the couple, as much as the day is in your honor, it is essential to prioritize the guests who have made the time and effort to be there on your special day. In this post we discuss the best ways to ensure that the guests are pleased and enjoying themselves.
- Try to stick to timelines.
There is nothing as frustrating to guests as when the program is not followed. It makes them feel like their time and presence is taken for granted. Do your best to adhere to the timelines your party planner has set, and this will go a long way to keeping the mood light and festive.
- Choose thoughtful wedding favors.
Wedding favors show your guests that you acknowledge and appreciate their presence. There is no formula as to what should be chosen as a wedding favor. You can gift anything you feel your guests can relate to; personalized wedding favors for your guests are getting popular these days.
Wedding favors are an essential part of the wedding because you will not have the time to acknowledge each person at your wedding personally. A wedding favour is a wonderful way to show them your appreciation. You can also explore these wedding favor ideas.
- Provide refreshments as they wait.
The refreshments come in to play when the guests are waiting for your bridal team to arrive and the ceremony to begin. Your invites can get to mingle while munching away on drinks and snacks and this helps to pass the time and also keep the atmosphere pleasant.
- Issue transportation.
If the venue of the wedding ceremony and the venue of the reception are far apart, you can provide transport to the guests so that they do not feel inconvenienced to get to the reception. The aim is for the guests to enjoy both the ceremony and the reception, not to remember how much of a hustle it was to move around.
- Place thank you notes on the tables.
The notes are an excellent surprise for the guests and give a personal touch to the occasion. They also contribute to the deco of the wedding, making it look classy as well as elegant. The note can contain a short message from you thanking the guests for their presence.
- Give realistic accommodation recommendations.
If the wedding is in a remote area where the guests will be required to stay in hotels, it is vital to provide good suggestions on where to stay. You should plan on where they can be comfortably accommodated and if it is in motels or hotels, make sure that the prices are pocket-friendly and convenient for the guests.
All these tips are guaranteed to enrich the experience of all the people who will attend your wedding!