Jackie Da Rosa - Century 21 North Shore/Storrs & DeNault



Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 11/10/2019

In recent years, the number of employees who work from home, at least some of the time, has increased to about 25 percent. This trend shows that companies are warming up to the idea of letting their employees work wherever they’re comfortable, and that a growing number of people are working on a freelance or contract basis.

Working from home, despite its many advantages, does pose some obstacles to productivity. Thus, time management and daily task setting are key to being as productive or more productive than you would be at the office.

In today’s article, we’re going to help you learn how to become more productive when you work from home so that you can meet your daily numbers while still enjoying the perks of working remotely.

Time management

One of the most difficult aspects of working from home is sticking to a schedule throughout the day. The home poses several distractions--kids, pets, TV, the refrigerator. Aside from the distraction factor, it’s easy to procrastinate when you don’t have a boss lurking around. There are several measures you can take while working at home to counter these factors.

First, make sure you set some ground rules for yourself and your family while working from home. Make sure everyone knows your work hours, including yourself. Stick to those hours by creating a daily routine. Everyone is different when it comes to keeping a planner.

Some people keep a simple task list in a notebook, while others create intricate planners that are color-coded and rife with stickers and reminders. Regardless of your method, make sure you have a physical reminder in front of you during the day that reminds you what you should be doing.

Routine is key to managing your time. While there will always be things that come up that we don’t plan for, having a foundation for your day is vital. Starting each day the same way is a good way to help yourself stick to your schedule. Some people go for a walk each morning, while others dive right into their work. Whichever you choose, make sure you do it consistently.

Creating a productive environment

Try to work in an office or spare room away from kids or pets and let your family know that you need to focus when you’re there.

If possible, set your phone to silent or “do not disturb” mode. Remove any distractions from the room that will tempt you to procrastinate. Things like the TV and snacks can easily steal your attention.

However, in this day of social media, it’s equally important to make sure you avoid procrastinating online as well. If you find yourself subconsciously navigating to Facebook or Reddit, try setting up an extension on your browser that limits your time on those sites to 10 minutes per day to help you stay on track.

A productive environment doesn’t have to be a barren one. Choose decorations and paint colors that work for you. You’ll want to feel comfortable in your work environment, and one of the perks of working from home is being able to customize any way that you like.

Finally, remember to take breaks. Many people who are able to work from home have a tendency to put work off until the last minute and then work feverishly to get everything done.




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Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 11/3/2019

Buying furniture is a big investment in time and money. If you’re trying to match the style and color scheme of your home perfectly, it can be difficult to find something that’s the right fit. 

This is a task made more difficult when many large furniture stores carry largely similar items that don’t veer too far from the current trends.

If you want to buy unique furniture that meets your specific style it can seem like there are few options. However, there are many online stores where you can find just that, and so so by supporting small retailers and craftsmen.

In this article, we’re going to give you some advice on finding furniture that will make your home stand out. Read on for a list of how to find handmade and uncommon furniture for your home.

Buying local

One way to find unique furniture and support local craftsmen at the same time is to search for furniture makers in your area. Oftentimes a Google search will help you local nearby shops. However, you can also use websites like Craigslist to narrow your search down to your area.

If you’re having trouble finding people who make or refurbish furniture in your area, try searching for local businesses on websites like Yelp or Yellow Pages.  

Scavenge and refurbish

One way to guarantee that your furniture will be unique is to buy antique or discarded items and then pay a craftsman to refurbish and alter the item. This is particularly common with sofas and chairs.

Upholstering is an art form that requires a good idea, both for restoration and customization. Oftentimes you can find inexpensive, but well-worn, furniture at thrift stores, flea markets, yard sales, and on Craigslist at very cheap prices.

Sometimes it’s just a matter of sanding, staining, or painting old furniture to give them a new life in your living room or kitchen. What’s more, when you take on a DIY project to refurbish a piece of furniture it will have added meaning and value to you, and you could discover a new hobby that you’re interested in along the way.

Online stores

There are a number of online retailers who sell handmade or refurbished furniture. One of the most popular web stores right now is Etsy. On Etsy, you can find craftsmen and refurbishers’ work who you appreciate and follow them to see what they have in stock.

Before Etsy, Ebay was the leading place to buy handmade and refurbished items online. To this day, Ebay still has a wide selection of items. Since many items on Ebay are auctioned, you also have the potential of winning a bid at a low price.

A third option would be to seek out the hundreds of small furniture shops online. A benefit or seeking out the manufacturer directly is that you get a chance to learn about the product and ask about customization.

Those are just some of the ways to find unique, handmade furniture for your home. Remember to be patient and to ask questions while furniture shopping to make sure you find the perfect fit for your room.





Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 10/27/2019

Many times, advertisements create a false impression about reverse mortgages. Marketing depicts them as a simple, cheap way by which older homeowners can finance their retirement. It is critical to understand how reverse mortgages work because failure to do so might harm your financial future.

Studies show that many homeowners do not have a proper understanding of reverse mortgages. For a better understanding of what reverse mortgages are all about, here are some facts that you need to know:

You should understand that reverse mortgages are a home loan

Reverse mortgages are equity-secured, interest-bearing loans. You should also know that a reverse mortgage is not a government benefit. What it does is that it gives you the opportunity to convert your home equity into funds that can to use to cover any needs. 

Also, you must not forget that it comes with compounding interest and fees that, like any other loan, require repayment. Reverse mortgages are different from other home loans because there is no principal payment or interest during the time of the loan. Instead, your principal balance grows by the addition of this interest.

It is possible to forfeit your property with a reverse mortgage 

Another important fact that you should bear in mind concerning a reverse mortgage is that you can lose your home. Contrary to popular reverse mortgage advertising that you can always retain the ownership of your home, and that you can stay there for as long as you like, you might forfeit your property if you do not meet all their loan requirements. 

Examples of some loan obligations are home maintenance costs, property taxes, and others. If you are unable to meet all the loan requirements, you might lose your property to the lender. Losing your home not a palatable situation because you no longer have a place to rest your head and there is no more home equity.

You can outlive your loan money

Advertisements on reverse mortgages may tell you that they guarantee your financial security for the rest of your life. Do not rely on this statement. It is essential that you make necessary financial backup plans for your future.

Talk to your qualified financial advisor and consider all your options before signing up for a reverse mortgage. If you have a home with a reverse mortgage that you wish to sell, speak to your real estate professional about your options.





Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 10/20/2019

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Photo by Tania Van den Berghen via Pixabay

When your kitchen or another part of your home could use a bit more light, consider adding skylights instead of lamps or light fixtures. Skylights can provide your home with some important benefits. As long as you have these lights properly installed, they can offer the following advantages for your home. 

 

Increase Natural Light

Installing skylights results in more natural lighting in your home. Exposure to natural light is associated with several benefits, including improved mood. This can be a major benefit during winter when it’s hard to get enough exposure to sunlight thanks to shorter days. Natural light from skylights can also create a more pleasant ambiance in your home, resulting in a more cheerful and calming environment. If you’re planning on selling your house, keep in mind that having plenty of natural light can improve your home’s appearance and make a great impression on home buyers during showings and open houses. 

 

Reduce Energy Usage

Skylights can help you save on the amount of energy your home normally uses. With skylights installed, you’ll gain solar heat from the sun during the winter months, which means you won’t have to run your heating system as much. This reduces wear and tear on your heating system and leads to lower heating bills. When it’s warm out, you can open your skylights to get cross-ventilation inside your home, which helps cool it off. Doing this can reduce your air conditioning bills during summer. 

 

Improve Ventilation

Skylights that open up provide your home with improved ventilation. Throughout the day, hot air rises and gathers near the top of a room. This can make rooms feel stuffy and uncomfortable, especially when it’s hot out. Skylights give you a way to release this hot air while also letting in fresh air from outside, resulting in better ventilation and improved indoor comfort. 

 

Make Rooms Feel Bigger

Having a skylight or two in your home can make the room they’re in seem more spacious. While this might not be a concern in a larger home, it can do wonders for smaller homes or older homes that don’t have an open floor plan. 

 

Offer Outdoor Views

Skylights in your ceiling give you a great way to enjoy views of sunny skies during the day and starry skies at night. Depending on where you live and where you have your skylights placed, you might also have good views of forests, mountains or other natural surroundings. 

 




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Posted by Jackie Da Rosa on 10/13/2019

You know artificial intelligence, aka aI, equipped everything is in. And while AI thermostats, home security, and doorbells are nice… they aren’t particularly exciting. I hear you. And that’s why today I”m sharing my favorite AI equipped kitchen gadgets.

Let’s start with a popular device you’ve probably overlooked - the smart speaker. You know Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Pick your preferred flavor of brand loyalty (see what I did there?) because they can all help you out in the kitchen.

For example, have you ever been mid-recipe and realized you’re missing a critical ingredient and need a substitute? Or how many tablespoons are in a ? cup? Whether to serve red or white wine with your zoodles?

With a smart speaker, you can use voice-activated inquiries to get answers to any of your kitchen Q’s. And you won’t have to make a complete mess of your tablet trying to find it.   

Keep your trash can lid clean too by investing in a garbage bin with a motion sensor opening capability. There are so many options at all different price points, this is one techy upgrade anyone can make.

One thing you won’t have to worry about is how long to cook something for or at what temperature if you have the June intelligent oven. This convection oven is full capacity yet still can sit on your countertop. You can also spring for the “pro” version to build it into your existing cabinetry.

Or maybe you want to cook two things at the same time but need them to be at different temperatures? Samsung double oven has a removable divider allowing you to use the full capacity or split it into two. And of course, it has wi-fi connectivity to monitor cooking progress from anywhere.

If you’re the type who can’t just throw two things in the oven at a “good enough” temperature you value quality. The right cooking process can’t be rushed. Chances are you also feel this way about tea.

Not every variety and blend should be steeped at the same temperature water or for the same time. Each has its own best conditions for the perfect cup. But creating those conditions takes time and effort. The Mr.Coffee Tea Maker and Kettle that can be set to the right temp and brew time for every type. It’s literally as simple as pushing a button as the buttons are even clearly labeled for each type.




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