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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

Top 3 Dirtiest Spots in the Office You’re Not Aware Of

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Top 3 Dirtiest Spots in the Office You’re Not Aware Of

cleaning servicesWhat do you think is the dirtiest spot in your workplace? The immediate response would be the bathroom, but several researchers have come up with a different answer.

Believe it or not! The Bathroom Isn’t The Dirtiest

Based on a study conducted by researchers from Kimberly-Clark Professional, the bathroom isn’t identified the dirtiest spot. They swabbed and then analyzed (with an ATP meter) nearly 5,000 surfaces in office buildings housing about 3,000 employees from law firms, insurance, health care companies, call centers and manufacturing facilities.

The dirtiest spots were those which have been found to have ATP counts of 300 or higher. On top of the list is the break room sink faucet handles, followed by microwave door handles with keyboards on third. The next three dirtiest were refrigerator door handles, water fountain buttons and vending machine buttons.

How Quickly Viruses Spread in the Office

Viruses spread everywhere in just hours. This was proven by another study wherein researchers placed virus samples on doorknob or a tabletop — in an office building. Within 2 to 4 hours, it was found out that 40 to 60 percent of sampled surfaces in the buildings were contaminated with the virus.

The Good News

The good news is, according to Charles Gerba of the University of Arizona who led the research, the solution is quite simple. His claims: “Using disinfecting wipes containing quaternary ammonium compounds (QUATS) registered by EPA as effective against viruses like norovirus and flu, along with hand hygiene, reduced virus spread by 80 to 99 percent.”

Cleaning experts from New Focus Cleaning suggested some easy ways to clean the dirty spaces in the workplace. Among which are to repeatedly wash hands and sanitize the workplace. It’s impossible to avoid germs entirely. But diligent washing, wiping and sanitizing will help avoid the spread of it.

Cleaning your office is a priority. If you can’t find time to do the cleaning on your own, you can always hire cleaning professionals to do the work for you.

Revamping Your Life: Ideas for Home Renovation

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Revamping Your Life: Ideas for Home Renovation

house claddingA person’s home is more than just a place for living. It conveys a person’s lifestyle, personality, and outlook. A home directly reflects who a person is.

Home renovations became synonymous to life transformation itself. Not only does it clear the mind; it can refresh the eyes and lead to a renewed spirit, as well.

Most of the time, it is difficult to know where to start remodelling, or what kind of renovations to do. Here are some ideas that will beautify your home and refresh your outlook:

1. Inside rearrangements – Interior re-decorating costs lower than other home improvement projects. You can simply replace your curtains for a brighter room; reposition your furniture for good flow of chi; or add some colourful decorations for a change of atmosphere and revived vigour. You can repaint your walls or update your wallpapers for a more intense makeover.

2. External renovations – For a more life-altering home change, you can go for a more drastic improvement on your home’s exterior. A simple change in your home’s outward appearance signifies a redirection of priorities. It enhances your home’s features for extra protection, giving your property a longer lasting finish. Consult professional service providers to get more options on house cladding, re-roofing, and other modifications.

3. Adding greenery – No one can ever deny the great benefits of nature. Adding foliage enhances your home’s charm and comfort. Convert your lawn into a mini-garden for your private haven during stressful moments. Creating a mini-garden is ideal for the kitchen, as well. You can have a small nursery for fresh herbs that you can include in your recipes .If you do not have enough space for a garden, place small potted plants around your home, or on your windowsill.

Renovation is a big part of owning a home. Some methods are more costly than the others are, but you can devise ways on getting the most out of your renovations – not just economically, but emotionally and psychologically, as well.

No Sponge Left Behind in Surgery

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on No Sponge Left Behind in Surgery

surgery“Something got left behind.” It’s one of the last things anyone wants to hear after coming out of surgery; it’s also one of the most harmful things a surgeon can do to a patient. People are always left dumbstruck whenever this happens, and many questions come to mind. The most important of which is, “What happens next?”

Becoming a Stat

Answering this question involves the use of a classic good news, bad news situation. The good news is that leaving behind surgical implements is an often enough occurrence that there are standard countermeasures in place to solve it. The bad news is that it happens often.

According to surveys compiled by multiple medical malpractice lawyers in San Jose, there’s at least one incident of instruments left behind after surgery for every seven thousand operations. There were more than fifty one million surgeries conducted in the country in 2010, with later estimates seeing a rising trend. Doing the math, that would mean that a typical hospital would have such an incident twice a year.

These stats don’t seem so bad on paper, but having something in the human body that’s not supposed to be there is a dangerous and costly mistake. Unlucky patients that join these statistics commonly experience pain, readmission, additional surgeries, even death in extreme circumstances. This isn’t even putting any consideration for the inconvenience and emotional damage that such an incident might cause.

Sponge Out of Water

The item that gets lost most often is the surgical sponge, which answers plenty of questions regarding the intelligence and eyesight of surgeons. A surgical sponge is a two inch by two inch square of gauze to stop excessive bleeding.

Surgeons often have to place them between and under organs during an operation, making them harder to track – especially when coated in blood. But, that’s not an excuse; there are procedures in place to prevent this from happening.

The fact of the matter is, the human body is a complex and precise collection of systems that work in concert to keep itself alive. Messing with that balance in any way has the potential of causing serious damage if done without the utmost attention and care.

Common AC Unit Problems and How To Solve Them

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Common AC Unit Problems and How To Solve Them

Air-conditioning units are lifesavers, especially during the intense summer season. Like other major appliances, these units fall victim to mechanical or electrical problems.

aircon repairAccording to Wollongong Panasonic split system air conditioning maintenance providers http://conductairconditioning.com.au, it’s essential to know what to do should your AC unit break down. While some problems can be solved by homeowners, others require the help of licensed repairers. Here are some common unit problems and ways you can resolve them:

Ice Inside the Unit

When the unit stops working, checking the filters is a start. Filters gather dust and dirt, eventually creating a blockage, which stops the unit from releasing air. This results in the formation of ice inside the air conditioner.

First, switch off the unit and allow the ice to completely melt. Furniture situated under the unit must be moved to prevent leak stains. It is also advisable to place buckets or towels to avoid puddle formations. When the ice has melted, remove and clean the filter. Pat it dry and return it to the unit.

Leaking Refrigerants

If the unit is low on refrigerants, check for leaks immediately. If there are leaks, adding refrigerant is not enough; it will only cost you more. In this case, hiring a technician is advisable. While waiting, switch off the unit’s circuit breaker or safety switch until the repairman arrives.

Leaking refrigerants should be handled with extra care. It requires caution so as to avoid excess damage.

The Unit Does Not Work At All

Check if there are blown fuses or tripped circuit breakers. If the circuit switch has tripped, switch it back on again and see if the unit works. If it does, but trips again shortly, there may be a problem with the wiring. If other appliances are running at the same time, try turning these off and see if it makes any difference. If it does, hire an electrician to check your wirings at home.

During the unfortunate instance of unit breakdown, do not panic. These remedies can help should come across such instance. It helps if the unit experiences a rest period, so as not to overwork it and avoid requiring repairs.

3 Home Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on 3 Home Improvement Projects You Can Do Yourself

Redo Your KitchenYour home is a source of great pride, since not everyone is fortunate to afford one. You have invested a great deal of effort and money to achieve the home of your dreams. Naturally, you would do anything just to keep your greatest treasure in a good shape.

One of the best ways to keep it in a good condition is to conduct home improvements. Perth has a number of companies that can make your dream home a reality. Make your home stand out with these easy DIY home improvement ideas.

Redo Your Kitchen

Your kitchen could be one of the messiest places in your home, but it also needs to be the cleanest. After all, the kitchen is where you prepare your meals. To make it look more attractive, you could breathe a new life to it by doing a paint job and a bit of de-cluttering. A fresh coat of paint combined with neatly organised kitchen utensils? That would be a simple yet perfect makeover!

Adds Colour to Your Bathroom

Another area to give your attention is the bathroom, especially if you are tired of the usual white or cream theme. You could be more playful by adding more colours to it and following a patterned utility sink and shelves. Start changing your bathroom’s curtain and make coloured floating shelves. A floating style creates an optical illusion, making the bathroom seem bigger.

Living Room Makeover

Since your living room is primarily your receiving area, you may want to spice it up a bit, depending on how you would use the space. For example, if you would use the living room for large gatherings, make it appear bigger by filling it with light colours such as white, cream, and icy shades of blue and green. You could do a painting job or just decorate the living room with curtains and pieces of furniture with light colours.

Do not be afraid to experiment remodelling your home. Nevertheless, if you insist to get it right for the first time, you could always ask a professional for help to remodel or renovate your beloved home.

Enjoy the All-Year Round Festivities at Bath City Centre

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Enjoy the All-Year Round Festivities at Bath City Centre

bath hotel roomThe Bath City Centre is not only famous for its natural, hot springs where you can relax and perhaps enjoy a massage afterwards. There is always something to look forward to in this city all-year round.

Aside from the historical buildings that date back from the 18th to 19th centuries, the city enjoys renown as well for its annual programme of festivals, cites The Royal Hotel.

Who’s Who in Bath

Some of the famous classic writers, like Jane Austen, claim Bath as their hometown. It is for this reason why the Bath Literature Festival kicks off with a selection of famous authors and literary themed debates.

Get Moving

During March, the city centre transforms into an urban racetrack where runners across the globe compete for 13 miles at the Bath Half Marathon. By June, you can take part in the city’s local cycling event, the Bike Bath.

Be ready to practice your waltz for the Jane Austen Festival by September. When you go hungry and tired, go treat yourself in Bath City Centre’s more than 100 restaurants that serves the town’s favourite recipes.

The Best Entertainment

The colourful mix of comedy shows at the Bath Comedy Festival at springtime will surely entertain you and make you laugh. Before moving into summer, you may want to find out the latest season’s styles at the Bath in Fashion.

Other shows to look forward to are the Bath Film Festival that features our favourite films. To listen to some wonderful sounds, attend the International Bath Music Festival or enjoy the best of classical music at the Bath Mozart fest. Last but not least, do not forget to do your Christmas shopping at the Bath Christmas Market.

Bath has certainly come a long way since its Roman Empire days as a spa resort. Bath is now one of the cultural centres of the UK, where you can enjoy the richness of British culture.

What Your Office Doesn’t Have, But May Actually Need

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on What Your Office Doesn’t Have, But May Actually Need

water dispenserMost of the time, offices with their seemingly totalitarian design do not exactly offer the most perfect place to work. In some offices, in fact, the design inspires more stress and boredom. No wonder then that articles on the coolest working places in the world have become viral.

Employees look at it and think “I should be working for that company.” But having a game room, a skateboard ramp, and a multi-million dollar interior design may seem a little bit extreme, especially for small companies. But there are a few simple things that might inspire the employees. Here is a list of what they may secretly wish for their offices.

Definitely, having a lounge in the building will make things better. The office may sometimes prove to be stressful, toxic and in some ways a hurdle to productivity. Think about it: the cubicles, the white fluorescent light, and sometimes windowless interior do not inspire, but rather curtails the imagination and creativity.

That is why once in a while, employees flock to the water coolers or to the pantry to de-stress and chitchat. Wouldn’t it be better if they have an actual lounge where they will be able to empty their minds of the work pressure and go back to the desk with fresh ideas? A short break and gulping down a refreshing glass of clean water can help do that. Clean and Clear then recommends putting the water coolers in a comfy spot will help relax the staff.

Another one that may be useful is a gym membership. Some companies with toxic long hours and stressful tasks set up an actual gym in their building. The logic is simple: the gym offers a quick release of stress and enables the employees not only to be fit, but more importantly help them be quick and sharp. After all, a healthy body also means a healthier mind.

To provide more stimulation, perhaps the office with its drab walls need more colour. A good interior definitely helps keep the employees creative and mentally alert. In fact, the most creative offices provide their employees with very creative designs like the ones found in the offices of advertising agencies. Their wildly creative and sometimes fantastic outputs of course are constantly seen on TV. In short, better interiors will yield to better job results.

There is no need to spend big on redecorating just to make your office interesting. It is best to get input from the staff to understand what they really need to keep them motivated and feeling great while in the office.

3 Ways to Accommodate a Growing Family

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on 3 Ways to Accommodate a Growing Family

granny flat poolIt is always good to know that your family is growing, but thinking about how you can accommodate all the members can make you ill. You have to plan carefully and make wise decisions to maintain the quality of life you currently enjoy.

Most of us dream of having a happy family and live in a beautiful and comfortable home. While some people believe that it is better to have a big family, others just prefer a small one, maybe due to financial or personal reasons.

Nevertheless, what if your family starts growing? Your parents just moved in and your kids are having their own families and planning to live with you temporarily. Is your existing space enough to accommodate everyone?

These simple ideas from Gran Designs WA will help you deal with the situation effectively:

Expand

Space is among the primary concerns for growing families because you need to make sure every member is comfortable. There may be a need for renovation. Adding more rooms is a good idea, as it will provide the extra space to accommodate all the members of your growing family. You can also build an extension or expand your kitchen or living area.

Move Up

Building another floor is a good option for growing families, as well. With a generous budget, you can create a larger dwelling, which can house all of your family members. Keep in mind that states have their respective building codes. Always adhere to the standards and secure all the necessary permits to avoid penalties and delays on the construction schedule.

Move Out

Moving out can mean constructing a small house or granny flat within your premises. Designing or constructing not your thing? Go instead for a prefabricated module home. You can easily find a builder who can take care of the entire construction process. A container home can also provide the additional space your growing family needs.

We all want to give our loved ones the best quality of life they deserve. Use any of these ideas if you think your existing space is not enough to accommodate all the members.

The Secrets to an Unforgettable Small Group Luxury Adventure Cruise

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Secrets to an Unforgettable Small Group Luxury Adventure Cruise

small group expedition cruisesWe all need a break from the daily grind. From time to time, it is necessary to disrupt our routine and breathe – which is why people book boat cruises. But your next cruise shouldn’t simply be a way to relax a little bit; it should be something you’ll remember for a long time. Make your vacation unforgettable through these tips:

Get the Destination Right

The travel whizzes at GreatEscape.net.au say small group expedition cruises in Western Australia are one of the best choices you have. Of course, this is based on the premise that the destination is half of what makes a vacation unforgettable.

True enough, WA is one of your best bets for a small group luxury adventure cruise, as the region is rich with natural attractions. There are reefs, beaches, and islands to explore – and the best part is that not a lot of people visit the area, so you’ll be enjoying these top destinations in WA practically to yourself.

Bring Close Friends

No matter where you go or what you do on a vacation, it’s best to do it with people close to your heart. OR at least people who are like-minded. One of the greatest tricks to make your cruise unforgettable is to visit all the destinations whilst enjoying the company of your dearest friends, both old and new!

In the event that it’s just you alone or you and your partner, why not mingle with the people on board? For sure, the people on the boat will be glad to have some new acquaintances during their travels and often become life long friends.

A small group luxury adventure cruise is a great way to unwind and take a break from the daily grind. But with these tips, the boat cruise not only becomes enjoyable; it becomes a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Why Small Groups are Better

Small group cruises offer a more intimate experience. You can get to know the officers and crew and bond with other passengers better. Most importantly, you can expect a highly personalised service to meet your expectations and every whim.

Have a Taste of These Super Spicy Chinese Dishes

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Have a Taste of These Super Spicy Chinese Dishes

Ma Po TofuHow familiar are you with the five flavours of Chinese cuisine? In addition to salty, sweet, sour, and bitter (the four it shares with the West), Chinese food culture has also included “hot”. It is easy enough to tell that they hold spicy food in high regard, and think of it as an integral part of their cuisine.

As a result, every Chinese restaurant worth its salt has at least a few spicy items on the menu. This is true whether you having a quick lunch at a typical hole-in-the-wall, or dining with a date in one of the fanciest New Farm Chinese restaurants around.

If you want to give your tastebuds the challenge that only spicy food can bring, here are a few things you should order.

1. Ma Po Tofu – First on the list should come as no surprise, as Ma Po Tofu is one of the most iconic examples of Asian cuisine in general. The Sichuan peppercorn and bean chili sauce give this dish its fire, while the delicious ground pork and tofu balance the overall flavour perfectly.

2. Kou Shui Ji – Here is a hint: the name, which translates to “mouth-watering chicken”, doesn’t just refer to how delicious it is. It is a specialty of many Sichuan restaurants, and is one of the spiciest poultry dishes you will ever taste.

3. Gan Guo – Think of this as the dry version of a hot pot. The ingredients, cooking style, and seasonings are fairly similar, just without the soup base. While it is simpler and easier to prepare, don’t be fooled – the lack of a soup means that the spiciness often packs more of a punch, as it’s concentrated.

4. Dan Dan Noodles – This is another Sichuan classic dish, and it is practically addictive. The combination of al dente noodles with the scorching hot sauce at the bottom of the bowl is incredible. You should definitely try this at least once, and it should be easy to find in most established restaurants.

5. Guizhou Fish Sour Soup – Freshwater fish served in a broth of tomatoes, red chili peppers, chili oil, and more. This dish gets its distinctive sourness not from vinegar, but the fermented vegetables used in its cooking.

A word of caution, though; some establishments may be reluctant to serve you their dishes at an authentic level of spiciness. There are plenty of customers who order these items, complain about it being “too hot”, and send it back. As a result, many restaurants choose to play it safe, and keep it at roughly the same level as green peppers.

If you’re the type to eat fire for breakfast and ask for seconds, make it clear to the waiter that you really can handle the heat. An easy way to do this is by specifying that you want it “Mala sauce” spicy – they should realise that you mean business, and serve the dish to you in all its tongue numbing glory.