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

The Importance of a Permanent Resident Card for Foreign Nationals

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Importance of a Permanent Resident Card for Foreign Nationals

resident cardMany people around the world have at least dreamed of entering the U.S. for residency and employment. After all, it’s among the most developed countries worldwide. There might be some problems in the economy, but overall it’s still ideal to invest in its market.

The Permanent Resident Card is an identification card that verifies the permanent residential status of a foreigner in the U.S. Also known as a Green Card, it serves as proof that the immigration is granting the holder the following benefits:

  1. Foreigners can leave the U.S. and go back without an immigration official denying them of entry. All you need is to present your Green Card – acquired whether through family and employment connections or an EB 5 Investor Program Visa – and take note of the exact dates you left and came back to the U.S.
  2. Foreigners holding a Green Card have the same rights as an average American to own real estate properties, automobiles, firearms, and other items legally. Applying for professional licenses and Social Security card is also hassle-free.
  3. Foreigners have the permission to work in any company in the U.S. regardless of position, function, and working schedule. It’s easier to apply for a security clearance, and there’s no need to present an employer sponsorship. The only exception, however, is that you can’t apply for companies hiring U.S. citizens only.
  4. Green Card holders have the right to apply for government-sponsored education financial aid. As foreigners tend to pay three to four times higher, you’ll save a significant amount of money, especially when enrolling in a state college or university.
  5. Green Card holders can apply for the permanent status (green card) of their spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21. Approved and qualified family members won’t lose their status even if you lose your job or pass away.

These are only some of the benefits of holding a permanent resident card. If you’re planning to stay in the U.S. for more than six months, then applying for this can make your life easier because you have almost the same rights as a local.

Why Display Homes are a Dream Come True for Real Estate Investors

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Why Display Homes are a Dream Come True for Real Estate Investors

new homeIf you’ve ever shopped around for a new house, then chances are good that you’ve seen your fair share of display homes. Perhaps you were even so impressed that you thought, “I wish I could just buy this one.”

Well, it turns out that you can, and it’s actually very common. Builders don’t want their capital tied up in display homes, when they could instead use it for new projects. This is why many Brisbane home builders often look for investors to purchase their display homes, especially for almost sold out developments. They then proceed to lease back the property until the time comes that they no longer need it.

This is a mutually beneficial arrangement; display homes are very popular among real estate investors due to unique advantages. Here are a few:

  1. Top quality – The display home is very likely the builder’s absolute best, since it’s what they use to demonstrate their skill and expertise to the public.
  2. Lower cost – Compared to buying a comparable luxury property, display homes are significantly more affordable. Builders will often price luxuries, such as high quality carpeting, at cost. They can afford to do this because they will often write these off as marketing expenses, and they want to free up capital quickly.
  3. Guaranteed occupancy – Buying a display home almost always comes with a guaranteed period of tenancy. The builder will lease the property from you for a period ranging from several months to a few years, which means you don’t have to worry about vacancy for that time.
  4. No maintenance – The builders have a vested interest in keeping the display home in a clean and excellent state for the duration of the lease. You can be confident that when it’s over, you’ll receive a property in near perfect condition.
  5. Flexibility – Once the builder’s period of tenancy is over, you have several options on how to proceed. You can move in yourself, sell the property for a profit, or lease it a premium rate. At times, the builder will even opt to extend their lease for various reasons.

Do note that display homes aren’t perfect. They carry their own possible disadvantages, which depend heavily on the specific builder you’re dealing with. Some builders rush the construction to start selling as soon as possible. Other display homes might have construction flaws, since the builder is testing out new plans and designs for the first time. Always take a closer look to find any possible problems.

If you detect any flaws, that doesn’t mean the deal is off. Remember that everything is negotiable. The builder might agree to repaint the walls, or replace the carpet for free at certain dates, for example. There’s definitely no harm in asking, and it can make sure that you’re getting the best value for your money.

Toxic Links Hurt: When to Use Google’s Disavow Tool

Posted on by Joseph Stevenson in Information Facility | Comments Off on Toxic Links Hurt: When to Use Google’s Disavow Tool

disavow serviceYou’ve noticed that your website traffic is much lower than usual. You thought that the best way to confirm your suspicion is to do a search in Google. After typing your company’s name on the search bar, the results pages confirm the worst. You are no longer on the first three pages and you can’t understand why.

Many business owners have been there and fear is what they felt. It’s important for sites to appear on Page 1 of search engines. Ranking well is key to get more customers, boost profit, and be successful in the industry.

Bad links are the culprit of low search engine rankings. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to recover from the links that are now hurting and not helping you. A lifesaver for many is Google’s Disavow tool. Here’s a guide when to use it.

You received an algorithmic penalty

This happens when your website violates some rules and you eventually lose your ranking. Algorithm penalties are also deadly that could damage your business. That makes it important to use the disavow tool that would make it easier to recover from a bad backlink strategy. Keep in mind that Google knows all, so develop a great link-building plan.

You received a manual penalty

There’s no doubt that backlinks are necessary to improve a site’s rankings on the search engines. Old SEO techniques that many companies used, however, are no longer helpful. As a result of using manipulative methods, they received a penalty. If you receive a manual penalty, industry expert, says using disavow service can give a boost to your website. It tells Google that you want to remove those toxic links.

You’re monitoring your website’s traffic

Say, you’re not sure what links are hurting you or not. Even when you didn’t receive any penalties, it’s best to use the disavow tool to determine all the low-quality links that were linking to your site. Some business owners make the mistake of removing all backlinks even those that help them reap good traffic.

Start removing what’s hurting your website to ensure that you maintain your position. Understand the use of the disavow tool and you can win the search game.

The Fire Safety Risk of Hoarding

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Fire Safety Risk of Hoarding

fire safetyDid you know that owning too many things can harm you? Firefighters and safety professionals all say that there is a huge fire safety risk that comes with hoarding. Different news stories have shown the impact of keeping way too many belongings in an area, as several fire accidents have been blamed on hoarding.

Combustible overload

According to Fire Foe Corp., the main hazard with hoarding is the massive increase in the number of combustibles inside your property. When a spark ignites one item, its embers can easily spread to another and intensify the blaze.

Beyond the harm fire can bring, more combustibles also equate to greater amounts of smoke. Without openings in a property, it could rapidly fill an entire room with a suffocating mist of burnt possessions.

Some might argue that a property’s sprinkler system can do the trick, but fire safety experts caution property owners regarding the mistake of over-reliance on this mechanism. Sure, the spray of water can contain the fire to a certain extent, but hoarding presents an irregular amount of fuel that can overtax the sprinkler.

Pathway obstruction

Fire safety professionals point to another less popular risk of hoarding: pathway obstruction. While there is real danger in having excessive items, another cause of serious trouble is when the rescuers can’t get to the victims or can’t contain the fire. This happens when possessions start burning and blocking the hallways and corridors of a property. Any blockade whatsoever in exits and pathways present more trouble for rescuers and victims in finding a way out and keeping everybody safe.

Another risk associated with hoarding is the large number of items that can serve as falling debris that can entrap, injure, or kill anybody within the perimeter.

Although the US government has imposed different regulations covering the risk of hoarding, some property owners still fail to follow what the law dictates. It’s important for everyone to realize the danger of hoarding, because the act not only endangers possessions, but also neighboring properties and fire-emergency response personnel.

The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Emotional Survival Guide for Caregivers

caregiverCaring for the elderly is a serious responsibility that many Australians would gladly volunteer for. These people receive the training, attend the seminars, and equip themselves with the necessary tools for the job. But, nothing can fully prepare them for the emotional ordeals that come with the job.


Only experience can teach caregivers about the real rigours of their job, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t learn from the experience of others. The first thing caregivers should know about what they will be doing is that they will not have time to slack off at work.

Caregivers must make themselves available to their wards whenever they are needed, which is most of the time. Every hour, minute, and second is to make the elder as comfortable as possible. This system does not give a person much time to de-stress or blow off steam.

Stress Time

According to psychologists, people carry emotional baggage every time they experience physical fatigue. This baggage does not go away easily, and slows the body from healing itself. People need to make a conscious effort to get rid of that baggage every day, or else it will stack up and compromise their ability to do their jobs.

Finding time to do this is not easy, but caregivers need to do so for their own sake. It may grate on some people, but it is about being able to do their jobs with their sanity intact.

Keep a Keen Eye

Falling into a routine is one of the traps every caregiver is vulnerable to. Routines dull their vigilance, and make them miss important details of the people they’re caring for. The point of having caregivers is to give elders the attention they need outside the hospital – attention being the operative word. Industry veteran Royal District Nursing Service notes that trained caregivers need to sense or identify changes in the attitudes and habits of their wards.

This is the second benefit of de-stressing after every shift. Going in fresh is the positivity elders need to aid their treatment, as well as allowing caregivers the insight of knowing when something’s wrong.

Caregivers need to be emotionally available to their wards to be effective. This is not an occupation that is strictly about health; there are many intangibles involved. Physically, mentally, or emotionally caregivers need to be at their best every time to give elders the care they deserve.

Health ‘Care’: 3 Easy Tips to a Stronger Doctor-Patient Relationship

Posted on by Derick Hill in Wellness Zone | Comments Off on Health ‘Care’: 3 Easy Tips to a Stronger Doctor-Patient Relationship

doctor patient relationshipYour doctor can be a Harvard-educated, multi-award winning medical professional, but if he’s more of the academic-type who lacks the skill to connect and communicate with patients, your relationship is doomed – and you may not be getting all the help you should.

A new study suggests that patients who have better relationships with their doctor and other medical providers tend to have better health outcomes. This means sticking with one healthcare professional and building a long-term relationship with them is better than “doctor shopping,” or visiting multiple doctors until you find one who prescribes the medicines you want.

While many medical professionals do their best to develop better relationships with patients, do know that this is a two-way street. With that, here are a few easy way to improve doctor-patient relationships.

Share Your Biggest Concern, Not Just Your Bigger Problem

In most trips to the clinic, you probably only tell the doctor about a specific medical condition you’re having. It’s equally important, however, to share your main concerns about your condition.

If you have concerns about anesthesia or surgery in general, tell them about it. The professionals at explain that patients should be informed pre-surgery about all their concerns, including anesthesia and the purpose of the operation. Remember that doctors are also trained to address your concerns, not just your conditions.

Leave as a More Informed Patient

When you leave the doctor’s office, the responsibility for your care is already on you. Be sure to leave the clinic or hospital with the information you need. If you don’t understand something about a medication or procedure the doctor is proposing, speak up. Make sure all your concerns are addressed, including the emotional ones.

Point Out any Lack of Care

While it may be difficult to tell the doctor that the care they’re providing is not enough, it’s important to do so. Sometimes, all it takes is a few clarifications or a simple “this isn’t working,” or “It still hurts.” You’ll be surprised at just how hard the doctors will work to remedy it.

Doctors and other health professionals work to help you with any medical problem. Building a strong professional relationship with them will only lead to good things for your health.

Playgrounds, Cognition, and Overall Child Development

Posted on by Robert McMillan in Higher Learning | Comments Off on Playgrounds, Cognition, and Overall Child Development

playground equipmentThe effect of playtime on your child goes beyond having fun. It’s more than just letting off steam, as it’s also a channel for opportunities for development. By now, it’s common knowledge that learning transcends the proverbial four walls, as there are many ways to learn something new outside the classroom.

In truth, letting your child frolic around sandboxes and playground equipment can go a long way for their cognitive development.


For one, playing outside engages young ones to take open-ended lessons from life – not some history book or some teacher’s module. This fosters creativity and imagination with the games they play, the way they deal with their curiosities, and the way they view things. There has been practical evidence to prove that open-ended play can yield great results, as one New Zealand school has seen a drop in bullying cases once they ditched their playground rules.

Social skills

On a different note, playing also affects the social skills of children. It is normal to find and make friends for kids whenever they’re at the park or at the playground. This helps their communication skills and lets them develop a positive attitude towards their playmates.

Thinking skills

Some might say that playtime does not teach what a regular science class offers, but that assumption is wrong on many counts. Playtime actually lets the child experience things outside the classroom – and we know how hands-on experience can fast-track learning. Instead of reading about plants and animals, children get to play with them, see them in the flesh (or fur and leaves, perhaps?), and grasp a better understanding of what the textbooks tell them.

Practical experience lets children assess the risks of their actions, too. They get to tackle challenges on their own and compel them to think about a particular action before doing it. In the long run, this has a positive impact on the way children solve problems and analyse things.

There is so much more to playtime than just a way to pass the time. It is, after all, a crucial part in the development of every child.

The Dental Repercussions of Mouth Breathing

Posted on by Derick Hill in Wellness Zone | Comments Off on The Dental Repercussions of Mouth Breathing

considering denture implantsAfter carrying 50-pound groceries and walking up the slopes of your streets, it’s perfectly normal that you pant through your mouth. But you need to realise that you have to keep this breathing habit in such situations only. The normal body mechanics involves the proper use of nose for breathing; this organ is meant for filtering the air you breathe in. Your reflexes, however, make you resort to mouth breathing when you can’t get enough air with the use of your nose.

Mouth breathing sometimes becomes a habit, which needs to be stopped. It may cause a number of health problems, which primarily involve your teeth. Read on to find out how breathing through your mouth can cause dental repercussions.

Unsightly Teeth

When you chronically breathe through your mouth, you tend to rest your tongue on the top of your mouth. This setup makes the muscle groups in your cheeks to rest upon the upper teeth, which in turn, may change the shape of the jaw and make the teeth crooked. Crooked teeth lead to other complications, and when this complication gets worse, you may have to resort to dental solutions, such as dentures and implants.

Bad Breath

Breathing through your mouth dries out the saliva, which is important in preventing bacteria from building up. Saliva provides an organic protection against cavities due to its ability to neutralise acids. When bacteria successfully thrive in your mouth, it may cause bad breath.

Gum Complications

When there’s not enough saliva in the mouth, there will surely be bacterial imbalance. This imbalance may subsequently lead to gingivitis. This inflammation is characterised by swollen, reddish, and sensitive gums, oral bleeding, and halitosis.

Sleep Apnoea

Mouth breathing has a set of mechanics that prevents the air from making it to your system when you sleep. This breathing habit may cause sleep apnoea. This sleeping disorder happens when the back of your throat relaxes and obstructs the airways. When this happens, the amount of oxygen your organs need, most especially the heart and the brain, is reduced. Apnoea has its own set of repercussions, such as memory loss, headaches, and faulty concentration.

Mouth breathing may feel like an easier way to breathe, but it may actually take a toll on your overall health. To resolve such issues, don’t hesitate to consult with your dentist.

A Taste of the Philippines: The Different Flavors of Filipino Cuisine

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on A Taste of the Philippines: The Different Flavors of Filipino Cuisine

foodAbundant seafood, unique tropical fruits, an array of vegetables, and a veritable pantheon of culinary giants make Philippine cuisine a literal melting pot of flavors.

Beyond the gulp-inducing, mind-boggling balut (duck embryo), though, Filipino food isn’t that well known outside the island nation. One reason is that Philippine cuisine isn’t really that well-defined.

It’s hard to tell which province or region in the country has the best food. 17 regions, 81 provinces, more than 170 languages, and over 7,100 islands make the country and its cuisine as diverse as it can be.

A Little Bit of Everything

The long colonial history of the country reflects in its cuisine, with flavors influenced by the numerous invaders that set foot on the island nation. Chinese, Indonesian, Malay, Indian, and Spanish influences, among others, can be seen in many classic Filipino dishes. This is where ingredients like soy sauce, fish sauce, tofu, fresh noodles, and spring rolls, along with the stir-fry cooking method, shine.

Travelling around the country and dining in restaurants like Classic Savory, you can taste the Chinese influence and culture in dishes like Pancit Bihon Guisado, chopsuey, wanton soup, Bam-I, lomi, Yang Chow fried rice, and the like.

Tasting these different traditional Filipino dishes is like taking a journey back in time and discovering how a country came to be.

Big, Bold Flavors

Big, bold, in-your-face flavors are the typical qualities of Filipino food; it’s what sets it apart from its Asian neighbors that favor slow, subtle tastes. Sugar, spice and everything nice can be expected, as sour, sweet, spicy, and salty are common flavor profiles.

Dishes like the popular adobo, sisig, lechon, kare-kare, kinilaw and paksiw dishes all pack their own flavor profiles and yet still come together under the umbrella of Filipino cuisine.

Foreign Roots, Local Execution

While the Spanish, Chinese, and other foreign settlers cannot claim sole credit for enriching Filipino food, they certainly can claim they made a mark. Many of your favorite Pinoy dishes today are probably just local versions of foreign delicacies, but with a local twist.

Spanish and Mexican dishes like paella, empanadas, and chorizo have been given their own local twist with recipes like Arroz Valenciana, Ilocos empanada, and the different longganisas many Philippine towns and provinces are known for.

As renowned chef and TV host Andrew Zimmern puts it, Filipino food is the next big thing. “Everybody loves Chinese food, Thai food, Japanese food, and it’s all been exploited. The Filipinos combined the best of all of that with Spanish technique.”

Truly, Filipino cuisine is as diverse as the country’s 7,107 islands. If you’re a foodie or just appreciate good food, this diversity can only lead to good things.

Bookkeeping Essentials: The Art of Making Accurate Financial Statements

Posted on by Mike Cage in Money Talks | Comments Off on Bookkeeping Essentials: The Art of Making Accurate Financial Statements

bookkeeping servicesTo be an effective entrepreneur, you need to keep track of all your financial activities. An accurate financial report will help you make good decisions for your business. Creating financial statements is part of the entire bookkeeping process. Here is a list of things you need to do and have to improve your financial reporting process:

Access to All Available Information

Timeliness is key to eliminating disputes on your financial statements. You need to gather all information and record it immediately to avoid delays and inaccuracy. You can do this weekly or monthly, depending on your needs and preferences. A local bookkeeping services provider in Brisbane can help you organise all the information.

A Reliable System

You are probably missing out a lot if you’re not using an innovative accounting system or software. Most business owners today use it to streamline their bookkeeping processes. If you think not upgrading your accounting strategy is the reason you are having trouble making accurate financial statements, then it’s time to talk to an experienced bookkeeper. Some companies offer the most reliable accounting software packages today. Working with the right provider will help give your business a great boost.

Proper Accounting

It all starts with accurate recording of expenses and income. This will help you calculate the revenue and monitor the performance of your business. A bookkeeper can help your accounting team in preparing monthly, quarterly, or annual financial reports.

Goals and Deadlines

Setting a deadline for any accounting job is a way to keep track of everything. It will serve as your guide in finishing your financial statements. Bookkeepers know the importance of getting things done on time. Work with the one who can provide you with timely and accurate results.

Financial statements will help you analyse your company’s financial performance. Keep the data accurate to get a clear view of your business’s bright future.