Manuka Honey Balm





 Are you suffering from really dry winter skin? Yeah, me too. I've tried so many "healing" lotions without much success. The skin on my hands, and feet are especially dry, not only from the winter weather but from washing my hands so much since covid started.


I decided to try Manuka Honey  Balm and it's making a big difference already just in the few days I've been using it. My hands don't feel like they're burning and about to crack now. I like knowing that this balm is made with real bee's wax and high quality Manuka honey, both are very hydrating and beneficial to your skin's outer layer.


This balm can be used on your hands, your heels, your neck, chest, elbows, even your face. It helps to reduce redness and irritation. Really it can be used just about anywhere you have dry or irritated skin. It's a really good body moisturizer. It doesn't make my skin feel heavy or greasy.


Now that I have found the secret of Manuka honey and bee's wax I don't have to suffer with dry, wrinkly looking irritated skin. I'm almost ready to face spring with healthy looking smooth skin.


I received this product at a discount to facilitate this review.


You're Kickin Me Smalls Maternity Shirt




It has been quite a while since I needed to wear maternity clothes, but it's still fresh in my mind how important it was to want to feel cute ( and comfortable) in the clothes I  wore.

I saw this "You're Kickin Me Smalls" maternity shirt and thought it was adorable! It's cute, fresh and comfy. We have a close family friend that's 24 weeks along and I knew it was perfect for her. I just received it and I was so happy with it. It's soft and cozy feeling and the shirring on the lower sides of the shirt allow it to "grow" with your tummy. I know she'll love it!  Not only is it cute, and comes in a variety of  sizes and colors to compliment your wardrobe.

Pregnancy seems to be at an epidemic rate, I'm sure because of all of the quarantining going on with covid. Probably the one good thing that's come of the pandemic. I wanted to share this adorable shirt with all of my readers that may be in need of maternity clothes. 

I received this product at a discount to facilitate this review.




5 Kitchen Updates You Can Do By Yourself


 Home renovations are extremely important, as they can greatly improve your home. Updates to your home can improve the way your home looks and feels and make it more comfortable and efficient. Even if you plan on listing your home as one of the Long Island houses for sale, renovations can improve your home’s value and allow you to list it at a higher price. One of the most important rooms to renovate is the kitchen, a critical room to your home. Lots of time is spent in the kitchen cooking and eating meals, and as a result, kitchen renovations can massively improve your home’s value. Unfortunately, hiring a contractor can be too expensive for some people, forcing them to turn to DIY renovations. So how exactly can you improve your kitchen without the help of a professional? Here are five kitchen updates that you can do all by yourself. 


Add a Backsplash

A fantastic way to update your kitchen is by adding a backsplash behind your stove. Backsplashes are fantastic kitchen updates, as they fill both practical and aesthetic purposes. First, you’ll notice that a backsplash adds a lot of color and character to your kitchen. In addition, a backsplash can help protect the wall behind your stove from splashes and other damages. Finally, a backsplash is relatively easy to install, meaning you don’t need to be a DIY expert to pull this project off. If you want a practical yet aesthetically pleasing upgrade to your kitchen, then this should be one of the first ideas you consider. 


Repaint 

One of the best ways to easily upgrade a room is by repainting it, and the kitchen is no different. Repainting a room can make it feel brand new, regardless if you’re painting the same color or are trying something new. Painting a room is also a popular renovation project due to its price, as buying paint isn’t really that expensive. In addition, painting a room is one of the easiest home improvement projects to pull off, as you don’t need any special DIY skills at all. If you want a quick and easy way to upgrade your kitchen, then this is the way to go.


Change Your Faucet

Another great way to upgrade your kitchen is by changing the faucet on your sink. While you may not consider a kitchen faucet to be an integral part of your kitchen’s design, it actually plays a major role in how your kitchen looks. Upgrading your kitchen faucet can really improve a room’s design and make your kitchen appear more modern. However, this is the first project on this list that requires some thought process behind it. Replacing a faucet isn’t basic knowledge, so you’re going to either need some DIY experience or look up a guide on how to do it. However, the process isn’t overly difficult and can serve as a great stepping stone for someone looking to get more involved with DIY projects. 


Upgrade Your Cabinets

Your cabinets are a huge part of your kitchen. Not only do they store most of your kitchen clutter, but they also play a major role in the way your kitchen looks. Unfortunately for many kitchens, cabinets often serve their role in storage but often look quite unappealing when doing it. Thankfully, there are ways you can upgrade your cabinets to make them look more aesthetically pleasing. A common way to do this is by repainting them, but there are other methods as well. You may want to imprint designs on them or even change out the handles and pulls on them. All of these ideas are extremely cheap and easy to pull off and can change your cabinets from an eyesore to a major strong point. 


Improve Storage Options

Something that's probably keeping your kitchen from reaching its full design potential is clutter. Clutter is horrible from a design perspective, as it makes a room feel messy and uncared for, completely ruining some design elements. As a result, you want to make sure that you have enough storage in your kitchen to eliminate all clutter. Some solutions to this could be installing vertical or open shelves, allowing you to use up empty space and store some items at the same time. Additionally, you could use things like wine racks or tip out trays to truly maximize the amount of storage your kitchen has. Installing these storage options can be quite difficult, however, so this is a project for seasoned DIY experts. However, if done correctly, it can solve any clutter problems your kitchen may have, allowing it to truly shine. 



Wooden Spurtles Kitchen Tools Set





 I love, love, love to cook! I am always adding to my collection of utensils . I love having the right ones for every cooking need. My favorite utensils are wooden ones. I found this Wooden Spurtles Kitchen Tool Set and fell in love with them!


This set is made of 100% beech wood and has absolutely no paint, so they're healthy and safe to cook with. They are very lightweight and gentle on your pans, but very sturdy and durable.


Beech wood comes from beech trees that grow in temperate zones and it's wood is hard and wear and heat resistant. It's wood is generally used for making furniture. I'm pretty impressed that these wooden spatulas are made from beech, I'm sure they'll be used in my kitchen for years to come.


Very easy to clean, if any food is dried and stuck to them just let them soak in warm water for a few minutes and they easily wash clean.


When exposed to heat and oil they may darken but are perfectly safe to cook with, You can apply mineral oil when they feel dry.


I really like the shape of these spatulas and the way the handle fits in my hand. Even if you're not a chef, they make you feel like you are.  I also love that these spatulas will not scratch even your non-stick pans.


I received this product at a discount to facilitate this reveiw.


Home Mortgage Calculators


There is so much to consider when buying a home or refinancing the home you already have.  Not to mention trying to calculate how much home you can afford to pay for. I found a really good site to help with all of those decisions.  Mortgage Calculators  has been online since 2008 and has  been recently redesigned  to make it even more user friendly.


What is Mortgage Calculators?


Mortgage Calculators is a site that gives lists of mortgage calculators as well as information on different types of loans, different types of purchases, information on interest rates and payments. This site is uncluttered and easy to use unlike some of the other  sites, which is important to me.


Buying a home or property can seen a little overwhelming without having all the information you need to make an informed decision. I really think that having all the different sites listed and grouped into different categories makes it so much easier to access and answer questions that I have.


Spending a little time on this site I feel more educated on the topic of buying a home, things I hadn't considered before. You can get information such as :

- financial news sites like Bloomberg or CNBC or the Wall Street Journal

- governmental resources like ConsumerFinance.gov

 - stats from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

- studies from colleges or nonprofit organizations


Before jumping into a big purchase , I'm glad I took  take a little time to educate myself, make sure what I  can comfortably pay and what type of loan would  be best for me.  I found Mortgage Calculators to be very helpful and informative.



Make Your Money Work: Protect Your Portfolio with Real Assets

 




Make Your Money Work: Protect Your Portfolio with Real Assets

One of the best words of advice I’ve received from my dear Grammy is to always make your money work for you. Many people use the stock market as a path to build wealth for the future, though not as many as you might think. Can you believe that in 2017  just 54% of American households own stocks according to Gallup.

Considering all your options and their long-term implications is a must when making any type of financial decision. Investing is arguably one of the best ways to successfully increase your wealth over time, at least when done the right way. Investing in real assets can be an excellent option for protecting capital during volatile market conditions. It’s a topic we don’t get into much and I thought it would be good to have a nice adulting post so we can have some extra cash for all our adventures. Enjoy!

What are ‘Real’ Assets?

Real assets are tangible or physical assets which have value, such as real estate. The Los Angeles and Miami real estate markets, as well as many other coastal cities, are experiencing a boom, but this category includes many other sectors like gold, commodities, rare coins and jewelry, art, agriculture, infrastructure, private energy, timberland and more.

Financial assets, such as stocks and bonds, are valued based on a contractual claim of an underlying asset. For example, if you buy Roku stock, you’ll have contractual ownership as an equity position in the company and will be entitled to dividends and liquidity in the public markets for buying and selling the position. With real assets, they typically have a value that’s separate from valuations that are derived from money’s value, which can make it a great way to defend against inflation.

There’s gold in them hills

Among the many real assets to consider, gold has proven time and again to be one of the best ways to protect your portfolio when stock markets fail. It’s been used as currency for thousands of years, while other forms such as livestock, stones and even tulips (one of history’s biggest bubbles) have come and gone. Gold has withstood history, maintaining its inherent value, and unlike cash, it’s finite. All forms of paper money, whether it’s the yen, dollars or euros, have a potentially unlimited supply as all it takes it turning on the printing press for it to be made. Paper money can be printed again and again until it becomes worthless, which is what can happen when too much is printed out. Governments can’t print gold, so it’s something that holds real value, a true ‘real asset’ that can help keep your portfolio protected.

Real Estate = Real Money

Owning real estate can be a fantastic store of value to hedge against inflation. Buying a rental property can also offer relatively consistent cash for investors looking for income, though it can also be time-consuming and come with unexpected added expenses. Think about issues like having to install a new water heater, making expensive repairs or having to deal with problem tenants. Still, many investors have made excellent income by investing in rental properties. According to Forbes.com, over 2,650 individuals enter the rental market every single day, making it a great time to be a landlord, with rentals flourishing and rents increasing. The demand has been exceeding supply, so you’ll have more applicants to choose from, a better chance of finding a good tenant, and greater odds for increasing your profits.

Pretty neat info right?! I hope you enjoyed this financial post. Let me know your thoughts in the comments.

I’ll see you around the city soon!


How Much Rent Can I Afford?






Are you thinking of moving into a different house or apartment? Are you wondering how much rent you can comfortably pay? Zumper makes it easier to calculate how much rent you can afford to pay. 

First you need to make a list of everything you spend money on each month. Keep in mind that beyond paying monthly rent ,  you may need to pay various upfront expenses when moving into a rental property. Expenses may include: Security deposit, pet deposit,amenities fees, move in fees, and parking fees.

Along with rent, you may need to pay for your utilities. Contact your utility provider to ask how much the average utility costs for your new address are.

The ideal sweet spot is spending around 30% of your income in rent to ensure you maximize your savings. As a rule of thumb, we suggest spending no more than 40% of your income on rent to be able to save enough money for all your living expenses.

How Much rent can I afford on minimum wage?

Historically, experts suggest spending 30% of your income on rent. Currently, the U.S.'s federal minimum wage is $7.25 per hour. However, many states have their own minimum wage laws, so it's important to see if your state guarantees you more than the federal minimum wage.
Using the 30% rule and the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour, you can afford $377 in rent per month. While finding housing in this price range in big cities might be a challenge, many rural and suburban areas have rental properties within this budget. You can also consider finding roommates, which brings the cost of renting an apartment down considerably.
Make sure your income will adequately cover your rent and housing costs when selecting a place to live.

What is the recommended rent to income ratio?

When you're looking for a new apartment or house to rent, it's vital to consider how much of your income you plan to spend on rent, utilities, and any other housing expenses. Having a budget in mind before signing a lease ensures you'll be able to pay your rent every month.
We suggest spending around 30% of your income on your rent and other housing expenses. For example, if you make $50,000 per year, you should plan to spend about $15,000 annually on rent, or $1,250 a month. If you're having trouble finding places to rent within your budget, consider getting roommates or looking in less expensive neighborhoods to meet your needs.
Establishing a budget for your housing expenses is important. It will help ensure you have enough income every month to easily pay your rent and still have money for important necessities like food and transportation. Use the 30% rule to help you determine how much money you should spend on rent every month.

So, what is Zumper?

Zumper is used by millions of Americans to find apartments, houses, rooms and condos for rent.  Apply online, submit digital rental applications and credit reports with Zumper's screening service, powered by TransUnion .

Their inventory is updated in real-time, so you'll always see new listings on Zumper first. 
You can filter by location, price range, bedroom count, pet-friendly, amenity, and set an alert to get notifications when a new listing is posted.