Consumer Real Estate News

    • 7 Really Cool Gadgets for Holiday Giving

      13 November 2018

      Confirmed gadget-lovers always seem to know what’s hot and what’s not in the wide world of electronics. For those who may be technology-challenged, the in-the-know editors at recommend a few of the coolest gadgets to consider for yourself and/or for this year’s holiday giving:

      Turn your phone into a charging device – Don’t shell out big bucks for a new phone because your old one drains power too fast. Check out the Energix Charger, a thin little adapter that turns your phone into a wireless charging device.

      The keychain of the future – Forget that clunky ring of keys. Attach all your keys to KeySmart in less than 60 seconds, no tools required, and feel the difference in your purse or pocket.

      Warm up a single room – Why heat up your whole house when you can heat one room with Heatbuddy, a small, portable, energy efficient plug-in heater you can adjust for temperature in a snap?

      Take the stress out of car repairs – Car owners who panic when the engine light comes on will appreciate a gadget called FIXD, which plugs in beneath the steering wheel and tells you why the light is on, how severe the problem is, and how much it will likely cost to fix. Invented by a couple of Georgia Tech grads, it operates via a free app you can get on your mobile phone.

      Find those missing keys or even your car – The absent-minded will appreciate the XY Find It, which can find what you’re looking for in seconds from up to 300 feet away. Attach the coin-sized gadget to any item you wish – even your dog! – and use the app on your phone to find it.

      A safe that goes wherever you do – As seen on Shark Tank, FlexSafe is a slim, portable safe designed to keep your stuff safe in any public place. Store your phone, cash, credit cards or other valuables in it, then lock and secure it to any fixed item.

      Fall asleep faster – Retrain your brain to fall asleep faster. Designed by insomniacs, a new sleep solution called Dodow sits on your nightstand and projects a rhythmic glow on your ceiling that helps you fall asleep faster and sleep better.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 5 Ways the Whole Family Can Eat Healthy

      13 November 2018

      (Family Features)--People are understandably conscious about the foods they're eating and where they come from. The human eating space has seen the rise of whole, clean and natural foods, and in the last couple years, the trend has even moved into pet foods.

      Many pet parents who eat healthy and care about where their food is coming from have those same thoughts about their pet's food, as well as their family's. Healthy eating is as simple as being mindful of what you eat and being more aware of the origin of your food and its ingredients.

      These tips from can help your whole family lead a more healthy life.

      1. Nosh on Nutrients – Opt for healthy, recognizable ingredients instead of overly processed foods. Make sure you're providing your family with plenty of fruits, vegetables and quality proteins. These ingredients are also beneficial for dogs, so look for a pet food that includes them as well.

      2. Be Mindful of Your Meals – Being more aware of what you're putting into your body is a first step toward making better choices. Try keeping a food journal to keep yourself more accountable for everything you eat. Jot down when you eat and how it makes you feel to help recognize which foods are making you feel good and which ones aren't.

      3. Have Dinner at Home – When you cook dinner at home, you have more control over the ingredients your family is consuming. Try to cook at home most nights to avoid potentially unhealthy restaurant fare that could have an unexpectedly high calorie count. It's also an opportunity to spend quality family time at home and build cherished memories. Allow your dog to share in the family experience by serving him dinner at the same time. Plus, he'll likely be less tempted to beg for table food if he has his own bowl to keep him busy.

      4. Teach Your Tots – Educate your family members about nutrition and include them in the process, from the grocery store to the kitchen to the table. The more you know about your food and the nutrition it provides, the healthier the choices you can make to maintain a healthy life. By incorporating your kids in the kitchen and allowing them to help cook, you can set them up for a greater chance of success in their own kitchen someday.

      5. Don't Forget the Dog – Some pet food brands make it simpler to share a food philosophy with your pet. Just like the food you'd want to feed your family, look for dry dog food recipes made with real, recognizable ingredients as close to their native form as possible.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips for Cooking Safely This Holiday Season

      13 November 2018

      The holidays are a fun, joyous time of family, friends, and hustle bustle. But as you whip up a masterpiece in the kitchen, it's important to be mindful of safety, especially at a stressful time when your thoughts may scatter. Below are a few safety tips from the American Red Cross.

      - Install a smoke alarm near your kitchen, on each level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year if your smoke alarm requires it.

      - Consider purchasing a fire extinguisher to keep in your kitchen. Contact your local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.

      - While cooking, don't wear loose clothing or sleeves that dangle.

      - If you are frying, grilling or broiling food, never leave it unattended—stay in the kitchen. If you leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, turn off the stove.

      - If you're simmering, baking, roasting or broiling food, check it regularly.

      - Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.

      - Keep kids and pets away from the cooking area. Make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.

      - Keep anything that can catch fire—pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, towels or curtains—away from your stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.

      - Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.

      - Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.

      Source: American Red Cross

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Caution: Stay Alert for Carbon Monoxide

      12 November 2018

      With winter weather comes an increase in cases of carbon monoxide poisoning, which occurs when appliances and other consumer products are improperly operated or when fuel does not burn properly. Homes that use oil, propane, natural gas, wood, charcoal, gasoline, kerosene and diesel can all be at risk.

      To help, Consumers Energy offers the following safety tips to make sure you and your family stay safe from carbon monoxide.

      - Inspect furnaces annually, and have regular tune-ups performed by a qualified service professional.

      - Change or clean furnace air filters at least once a month (more if pets are present) during the heating season.

      - Inspect chimneys and vent pipes regularly to be sure they are free of obstructions like leaves and animal/bird nests.

      - Keep generators at least 25 feet away from enclosed areas and away from doors, windows and fresh air intakes. Never use a generator in a basement, enclosed garage or covered porch.

      - Vehicles, power lawn equipment and snow blowers should only be operated where there is adequate ventilation, never in enclosed spaces.

      - Never use gas stoves or charcoal grills for heating a room. Never leave a supplemental heater or fireplace unattended.

      Source: Consumers Energy

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Small Businesses: Tips to Simplify Your Tech Setup

      12 November 2018

      As a business owner, your life is already complicated. Your technology, however, doesn't need to be. Below are several tips from Cartridge World to help small businesses save both time and money.

      Upgrade Your Wi-Fi. Nothing is as frustrating as a Wi-Fi crash when sending an important email, giving a presentation, uploading important documents, etc. Upgrading your Wi-Fi is one of the simplest ways to take office technology to the next level and ensure less hiccups. Furthermore, place routers as close to computers as possible for optimal strength and speed.

      Invest in a Multi-Function Printer. Whatever the function of a small business, odds are printing, scanning and copying documents are taking place, and there is no need to have three different machines to handle each of these tasks. Invest in a multi-function printer to have all this functionality in one device while increasing efficiency and saving space.

      Explore Money-Saving Options. Small businesses can further explore budget-saving printer options such as Cartridge World's 'Why Buy A Printer?" program to ensure quality equipment while not breaking the bank. This program allows for companies to receive a business class printer(s) and multifunction devices with all printer maintenance and on-site service included at no additional cost in exchange for the purchasing of toner cartridges at Cartridge World.

      Increase Security Firewall. Most small businesses have anti-virus software, but the protection shouldn't stop there. With one in three Americans hacked in the past year, it's now more important than ever to protect your business. To keep sensitive work documents and communications safe, add different smart internet firewalls to your space to help ensure safety.

      Evaluate Laptops/Desktops. The average lifespan for desktops and laptops are painfully short (three to eight years for a desktop, two to five years for a laptop). If a desktop/laptop hasn't been upgraded, is slow, lacking space to store files and is a hassle to install the latest software, it's most likely time to invest in a new system.

      Invest in a Backup Drive. To ensure the safety and protection of important documents, operating systems and programs, invest in a backup drive to give your small business peace of mind. Be sure to keep this equipment up to date as this vital tool does have a finite lifespan.

      Source: Cartridge World

      Published with permission from RISMedia.