Here's How to Take Care of Your Skin During Winter

We all want clear and amazing skin; there's no doubt about that. It can instantly boost your self-confidence and make you feel good about yourself. Different types of weather can take a toll on your skin, though, especially winter. Read more

Weekend Wanderlust: Embracing the Elements in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

A weekend road trip is a perfect way to unwind after a long week of hard work. When the wanderlust hits, self-drive rental car options in Manila, Philippines allow you to explore the hidden gems and not-so-hidden retreats the Read more

The Right Way to Do a 1031 Exchange

A 1031 exchange is a tax-deferred method of selling one qualified property and acquiring another like kind of property within a specific time frame. It is a tool to let go of a property today and exchange it with Read more

Beyond Design: Considerations in Erecting a Fence

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Beyond Design: Considerations in Erecting a Fence

fenceRegardless of the type of property you have, you need a fence around it to establish the perimeter and keep it secure. Of course, for many, this entire process is just about choosing the right design and material for the fence, but there’s much more work that goes into it than that. You have to consider these other factors before you can build an aluminium slat fence in Perth.

Land title

First of all, you have to check with Land gate as to what type of title you have for the property. Depending on the type, you would have to follow a set of guidelines regarding the construction and dimensions of your fence. Land gate will find out if there are covenants you have to follow, especially in cases when the fence would divide a property. Strata titles also have different guidelines, thus making it imperative for you to give notice to the respective departments as early as possible.

Legal requirements

As a property owner, you have to know your legal responsibilities before building a fence. Know that all solid structures – fences included – within a distance of 3 metres from the road edge, and sporting a height of at least 1.8 metres, must have prior planning permission from the local authority. You have to process this permission yourself, abide by all building requirements, and define the right boundaries for the fence.

There are also different regulations for swimming pool fences, so you might want to research on that if your pool would have a fence. As for smart wood or slat fencing, strict rules apply regarding the gaps between slats. This provision differs from council to council, so you have to check in your area.

Letter to neighbours

The Building Commission in WA imposes that homeowners provide a written notice to the neighbouring owner whenever a renovation happens to the property. You have to indicate the boundary, type of fencing, and other details relevant to the construction. If the need arises, enter into an agreement with them regarding the terms of the project. Do note that, in some cases, you can split the payment of the fence between two owners who would benefit from the boundary.

Don’t just choose the design for your fence. Know your legal requirements and be a responsible property owner.

From Flop To Fab: Theatrical Performance Preparation

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on From Flop To Fab: Theatrical Performance Preparation

audio systemYou never want to risk technical glitches and audio system malfunction, be it during a concert or some other live performance. Sacrificing the quality of the whole production may lead to disappointment or embarrassment on the part of the cast and production crew, especially upon hearing negative backlash from the audience.

Don’t wait for the succeeding performances to flop. Here are a few key notes you can explore to produce a trouble-free theatrical experience:

Hiring Professional Production Agencies

According to, a theatrical production is almost always daunting, and partnering with a trusted entertainment production company is the solution to keeping the risks to a minimum. It is normal to target low production costs, but there would be more reduction in costs with a professional production agency. By booking services with a highly-skilled crew, you are certain that the audience can witness the spectacle and the vision of the whole cast and production team.

Checking Audio Systems

Ensuring pristine audio intelligibility, you need to be critical in choosing your equipment, and keeping them in good condition. What good is the script if not accompanied by the right music and sound effects? Keep in mind that your production partner should be able to analyze your need, from lighting to audio system arrangement. Faulty wirings and muffled sound systems can bring the whole house down. Any seasoned theater director knows how such a thing can put an end to everything that took months to put together.

Acquiring Transportation Services

Unloading and loading of cargo on time is an essential part of the production preparation. With a delay in the equipment and tools, the whole setup can be sabotaged. Make sure to acquire reliable transport services that fit your delivery and on-site service needs. For effective and full preparation, you also need to make sure the equipment arrives in excellent condition.

With so many things to accomplish, complete your tasks one by one so you don’t miss a single detail. By ensuring everything is handled seamlessly, you are certain to produce a fabulous performance rather than a theatrical bummer.

VA Loans: For the Heroes of the Country

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on VA Loans: For the Heroes of the Country

For the majority of military borrowers, Veterans Affairs mortgages or VA loans are the best lending program available in the housing market—especially now that banks are tightening lending standards. Though this may be the case, some people still do not have a very clear idea of what VA loans are.

Here’s a quick read on what you need to know:

housingUnderstanding VA Loans

VA loans are a program sponsored by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), which guarantees home loans for applicants that are currently serving or have served in the military. A VA loan allows you to purchase a home without any down payment and private mortgage insurance. Moreover, you don’t have to be a first-time homebuyer to qualify for the program; you are entitled to the same benefits more than once.

VA loans are available to over 22 million active military personnel and veterans. If you qualify for the program, the DVA and My Great Loan, a subsidiary of the Bank of England offering several loan products, suggest having a clear understanding of the program to navigate the application process easily.


Veterans, reservists, and members of the military and the National Guard are all eligible for a VA loan. Spouses of personnel who died while on duty may also apply. Active military members will be eligible after serving for six months. Members of the National Guard and reservists, on the other hand, qualify after six years. If they’re called to active duty, however, they can gain eligibility after 181 days.

You must obtain a certificate of eligibility from the DVA before you can apply for a loan. You can submit the form online.

There’s a Fee

While the costs of applying for a VA loan are a lot cheaper than other types of mortgages, they still require a one-time funding fee. The fee will depend on the amount of your down payment and on the military branch where you belong. If you’re from the armed forces and are getting a VA loan for the first time with zero interest, for example, you’ll have to pay a fee of 2.5 percent of your loan amount. If you make a 10 percent down payment, the fee is reduced to 1.25 percent.

Several lending institutions participate in the VA program and as most set their own discount points, interest rates, and closing points, you might want to shop around to get the best deal.

Furnished vs. Unfurnished: Which Office Space Should You Get?

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Furnished vs. Unfurnished: Which Office Space Should You Get?

office space for rentIf you’re browsing through listing sites to find an office space for rent in Makati or anywhere else in the Metro, you might notice that most ads have the words “furnished” and “unfurnished” in the title. You’re probably wondering what these are and if they make a difference if you’re going to buy or rent an office space.

Here’s a brief comparison guide:

Furniture and Fixtures

A furnished office space has everything you want, from partitions to the most common office fixtures. It’s ideal for new businesses because you don’t have to worry about filling up an empty office. Although you have to be careful at some sellers who offer sub-standard materials just to raise the price.

An unfurnished office is empty. It doesn’t have anything else except for the electricity and water supply. This is for businesses that are planning to relocate, or those who already have or want to buy their own furniture and fixtures.

Office Design

As furnished office spaces have a few fixtures, you need to include these in the floor plan when designing. Depending on your needs, these might or might not limit you when thinking of projects according to preference.

An empty, unfurnished office space gives you all the freedom to design the area. In fact, the possibilities are endless. It helps plan the number of furniture and fixtures you can buy and install, so everything looks clean and identical.

The Selling or Rental Price

A furnished office space for rent or sale has a higher price than the unfurnished ones because you also pay for the furniture, fixtures, and other renovations. It’s worth the price, though, as you can move in immediately.

An unfurnished office space is more affordable, but if you think about the things you have to pay for to make it look presentable, then the price is almost the same with the furnished ones. The only advantage is you have more control over the space, but need more time to design it.

Furnished or unfurnished, the choice is up to you. Determine what your budget and what the business needs in an office to make a good decision.

Personal Protective Equipment: Keeping Tradespersons Safe in the Workplace

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Personal Protective Equipment: Keeping Tradespersons Safe in the Workplace

personal equipmentWorking in the construction industry is a demanding, but fulfilling job. As you turn your client’s dream home into reality or improve the real estate value of an office building, don’t forget to protect yourself from accidents. Falls, cuts and inhalation of toxic fumes are common health risks among tradespersons.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as gloves, dust masks, earmuffs or earplugs and goggles, reduce your risk of injuries at work. Here are some tips on buying and using PPE:

Listen to experts

With many options on the market, it can be difficult to find the best products, especially if this is your first time to buy some. When shopping for dust masks for instance, experts recommend choosing one that can filter as much airborne particles as possible. Some products can only filter 80%, while others can filter as much as 94%. Furthermore, you should be comfortable breathing while wearing it, otherwise, it may cause more harm than good. According to GTPro, a good dust mask should also allow you to wear a pair of glasses or goggles easily.

Be careful when buying second hand items

Don’t be too quick in buying second hand equipment to save a few dollars. For instance, that hard hat your friend is selling may still look great. If it had been under the sun for a long time, however, the heat may have weakened the material and won’t give you enough protection.

Make sure it fits

A safety harness that’s a millimetre too big or too small can result in accidents. Don’t just focus on the brand and price when buying any type of PPE. Whether it’s from GTPro, DuPont or 3M, check the measurements carefully. Test or fit the product and see if you can move in it comfortably.

Replace PPE regularly

Assess your equipment regularly. Depending on the demands of your work, you may have to replace the equipment a few times within a year. Take note of the date you bought your tools, so it will be easy to remember when it’s time to replace them.

Never start working on a project without PPE. Depending on your arrangement with your employer or client, you may shoulder the expenses for your PPE, split the costs with them, or ask them to provide you with protective gear.

Storefront Tips: Owning and Designing the Awning

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Storefront Tips: Owning and Designing the Awning

awningsThe first few seconds of a sales pitch are the most important part of the process. The mere opening statement is enough to make customers and clients decide if they want to do business or not.

When it comes to stores, a good storefront can advertise a business and possibly convert sales where there would otherwise be none. A store’s exterior signage may not be enough to draw people in. The façade is its first and foremost advertising. It needs to be inviting enough to be effective.

Walk anywhere in the Big Apple and you’re sure to see a host of attractive New York awnings decorating storefronts. These can provide storefronts with the necessary ambiance to draw in customers. They can create the perfect atmosphere and provide the appropriate tone for a pleasing shopping experience. Keep in mind that having one will provide ample outdoor shading.

Play with color combinations

Depending on the season and the theme of your store for the month, you can toy around with the colors of your New York store’s awning to create the vibe you want. Awnings can come with the store logo, brand, or catch phrases that will make the store more appealing to customers. A little back lighting can bring out the vibrancy in colors, which can make your store even more attractive.

Be creative and light your store up

Another trick to accessorizing storefront awnings is through the use of fancy lighting. Storeowners most prominently use this technique during holidays such as Christmas. The holiday vibe sets the tone for customers to line up outside your store.

Attractive awnings can turn New York passersby into potential customers. Stores can have multiple awnings; it is up to storeowners to be as creative as they can be in designing their storefronts. It only takes a little nudge to turn window shoppers into full-fledged shoppers. The little cozy shading can be enough to give them ample time to decide to enter your store.

Doctors Design Dialysis Machine For Babies

Posted on by Wileene Grace Olimpo in Customer Service | Comments Off on Doctors Design Dialysis Machine For Babies

babyDoctors in Italy have developed a mini dialysis machine for babies, which gives hope to improve treatment options.

Health Risk

Doctors often adapt standard dialysis machines for very young children, but that can have negative effects since the devices can’t always be accurately changed.

The Lancet study said dialysis machines for adults might cause complications when used in babies.

Prof. Claudio Ronco designed and created the new machine meant for babies weighing up to 10kg.

Development of Mini-Dialysis

Dr. Jan Dudley, on the other hand, praised the discovery, saying it was “not impossible” to dialyze small babies with machines.

“We do already treat about a dozen newborns successfully every year in the UK,” she said in a statement. “Even though treatments have improved dramatically in the past two decades, it’s still a very challenging procedure – there is only a 75% survival rate for these babies in their first 10 years of life.”

Even with new equipment, though, UK experts warn dialysis is still challenging.

Audi A3: Drive Your Way to Living Your Dreams

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Audi A3: Drive Your Way to Living Your Dreams

audi dealerLuxury without compromise; this slogan of the 2015 NY Audi A3 says exactly what every enthusiast wants to hear when buying the car of their dreams. Are you among these people who have finally decided to live the lifestyle everybody has hoped for since forever? Continue reading to know more about this new sedan from Audi that will surely sweep every dreamer off their feet.

A small car that breaks the rules

Audi knows how to give car buyers that smart, stunning, and agile vibe. Their recent offering combines visionary technology, design, and luxurious performance. With innovation at the forefront, it features more space competitive to its larger rivals and supple leather stitch to achieve the highest standard of refinement.

LED light technology for shining distinction

Audi A3 offers full LED headlights to defy night and give off daylight. This vivid LED lighting is effective for driving both night and day. Surely, you would never be driving in the dark with this car that exceeds expectations from its small size.

Audi being omniscient

To say this new car from Audi is a gift to mankind is an understatement. It now presents an advanced touch-sensitive scroll wheel, plus handwriting recognition. As a smart driver, it would be effortless for you to access the latest weather updates, traffic news, and even nearby fuel prices. All these flashed on the car’s ultrathin, 7-inch retractable MMI screen.
Sound system that echoes triumph

Audi A3’s audio system is truly a winner with its Bang & Olufsen sound system. Every journey on the road is a booming experience with this small car’s 705-watt, 14-speaker symphony. You can hear the sound as precisely as the artist wanted it to be, as the speakers are strategically placed in the cabin. The audio system is intended to overflow A3’s cabin with acoustic balance, according to sound engineers.

Great things come in small packages, and that’s for sure. The 2015 Audi A3 has everything you would need to live your dream in this challenging new world.

Rebuild or Relocate: Finding the Perfect Living Option for the Family

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Rebuild or Relocate: Finding the Perfect Living Option for the Family

knock down rebuild homesAs prices of real estate continue to increase across Australia, many families are considering their current living options. With Melbourne having the highest price surge for the first quarter of the year, homeowners are wondering if a knockdown and rebuild project in Melbourne is still cost-effective or if they should start thinking about relocating.

Estate experts share some factors you need to consider when deciding between relocating and rebuilding your home.

Condition of the Property

The structural integrity of properties deteriorates over time. If you are fixing damages frequently, it may be time to have a specialist assess your home. Don’t be too quick at deciding to leave, as a home knock down or rebuild project may help you stay in your beloved neighbourhood. Let professionals evaluate fundamental components, such as ceiling insulation, rafters, studs, sheathing, siding and corner bracing.

Current and Future Needs

Rebuilding a property from ground up is a major decision. To make the most of your home, assess your current and future needs. Having a future-ready home makes it easier for your family to adapt to changes. If you are planning to have another child in the years to come, it may be a good decision to add another room. When you want to continue living in your home during your retirement years, think about adding a bedroom on the ground floor and having a bigger bathroom with handrails.

Neighbourhood and Community Facilities

Many families decide to relocate, as they don’t feel that the neighbourhood meets their needs. If your home is a long way from your child’s school, your office or other essential establishments, it may not be worth it to rebuild or renovate the property. Furthermore, if property prices in your area continue to drop despite a thriving real estate industry, you may not be able to return your investment when you eventually decide to sell your home.

When your home stops being your dream house, it does not always mean that you need to pack up and leave. Consult experts to know if you can rebuild the property.

Amazon Offers “Pay To Quit” Program To Unhappy Employees

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Amazon Offers “Pay To Quit” Program To Unhappy Employees
Image by James Duncan Davidson | Wikimedia

Image by James Duncan Davidson | Wikimedia

Amazon Chief Executive Jeff Bezos is offering its employees an option to quit the job and pay them up to $5,000.

A way to create a positive work culture

Although an unusual practice adopted by Bezos, the “Pay to Quit” program is a way to make sure that the company’s employees really want to work there.

The news was announced by Bezos in his letter to stockholders, with the headline “Please Don’t Take This Offer.”

The goal of the offer

“The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want,” the CEO wrote in the letter. “In the long run, an employee staying somewhere they don’t want to be isn’t healthy for the employee or the company.”

The e-commerce giant will offer to pay its warehouse employees to quit once a year.

The program offers start at $2,000 for newer employees and increase by $1,000 every year up to a maximum of $5,000.