Simple & Effective Ways You Can Get Involved & Benefit Your Community

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It feels good to be a part of a close-knit community. When you can wave at your neighbors, you know the name of the man at the grocery store, or you see the same person and dog walking on your block every morning, being a part of something like that is comforting.

Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic changed the way communities function over the last year. With guidelines about social distancing and staying at home, many communities have struggled to stay afloat, and there are things that need continued attention and support.

Now that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel when it comes to the virus, you might want to consider stepping out into your community and looking for different ways to get involved. Not only are there mental health benefits to volunteering, but you’ll benefit your community at the same time.

So, what can you do to get involved?

Find Volunteer Opportunities

One of the easiest ways to get involved in your community is to volunteer. There are countless organizations across the country that are always looking for helpers. Even if you only want to do something on a short-term basis, consider looking for local events that might need people to help out with setting up.

If you want to do something that requires more of a commitment, reach out to local organizations. For example, your area pet shelter might need someone to walk dogs or clean cages. A nursing home in your community might benefit from someone who can come read to seniors or spend time with them. You might have to do a little digging, but there are always opportunities to help.

On the other hand, if you can’t seem to find any ways to get involved, create some! Consider hosting a food drive or clothing drive in your community. Or, put together a fundraiser for a local church, kids’ sports team, or any other organization or group that is struggling to get funding. Your idea could cause a chain reaction, getting others to give back or do more for the community, too! Or, your event might become an annual way to bring the community together for a good cause. 

Use Your Skills to Find a Fulfilling Career

Giving back doesn’t just mean volunteering or donating. If you have work skills that you think could be used for the greater good, do your research! There may be some nonprofit organizations in your area that would greatly benefit from what you have to offer.

Some of the important soft skills required to work with a nonprofit include:

  • The ability to collaborate with different groups of people
  • Self-motivation
  • A passion for mission-style work
  • Creativity

If you already have hard skills in a certain profession, many of them can be easily transferable to a nonprofit. That includes skills in marketing, sales, and even accounting. Nonprofit groups are always looking for people who can work with a strict budget, communicate effectively, and pay close attention to detail.

While some national nonprofit agencies can offer handsome salaries, those on the local level may not get you a six-figure income. But, weighing out other rewards and the way you’ll feel knowing you’re doing something good can outweigh any kind of pay cut. So, if you’ve got the skills and you’re willing to step up to the plate, look for organizations that are making a difference and consider where you might fit in.

Think About Those Who Need Your Help

Needless to say, there are countless ways to volunteer your time and skills in your own backyard. But, that can be a bit overwhelming if you’ve never gotten involved before. If you’re not sure where to start, think about your passions. What means the most to you, and who could use the most help in your community? Some groups that are always looking for help include:

  • Pets
  • Seniors
  • Homeless individuals
  • Victims of domestic violence
  • Orphaned children

If you want to dig a little deeper, consider trying something like working with your local juvenile justice center to mentor kids who have been in trouble with the law, especially when considering the current problems within this system. Some opportunities to give back can be heavier than others. But, if you feel one pulling at you, don’t ignore it.

It can be a good idea to get your whole family involved in your community engagement. It’s a fantastic way to teach your children how to give back and how to care for others. Those are skills they can carry with them throughout their lives to create a kinder, more compassionate future. 

Giving back to your community in any way you can is important. If the COVID-19 pandemic taught us anything, it’s the impact of togetherness and socializing. So, decide what’s important to you, and don’t be afraid to jump into community involvement right away. You’ll be glad you did.

How to Create Focal Points in Your Living Space

Is your room in need of a makeover? Have you been thinking about the ways to make a focal point in your living space, but didn’t know where to start? Fortunately, we have a few ideas up our sleeve and are willing to share them with you. From sprucing up your fireplace to creating an accent wall, there’s a full spectrum of possibilities that will help you transform your living space into an eye-catching interior everyone will admire.

Use art as a focal point

Your living space doesn’t have to be boring and without any art. Whether it’s something you bought, painted or gotten as a gift, consider incorporating wall art into the home décor. A large painting on an empty wall will instantly become a focal point of the room. A gallery wall is another option. Whether you choose to create a wall with photographs of your family members and friends, or you choose to hang a bunch of diverse art, it’ll become the most prominent spot in your living space.

An accent wall is also an option

If you’re not too into art and photographs, then you should consider repainting one of the walls and making it a focal point. Add a fresh coat of bold paint colour and build the rest of the interior around it. If you don’t wat to paint the entire wall, you can use painter’s tape or stencils to create patterns and shapes instead. Not a fan of bold colours? How about wallpapers with a variety of intricate patterns and shapes? You can use trendy wallpapers and make the wall truly pop. Get an image of a beach, a mountain, a rainforest or whatever comes to mind and transform your boring wall into a piece of art.

Play with window treatments and blinds

Windows can also easily become the central part of your room. Add stylish roman blinds to your windows to bring in a dose of chic and elegance to the room. Floor-to-ceiling drapes will also be a wise choice to dress up the windows. If you go with heavy thick fabrics and bold colours, you’ll really make the window a focal point to admire. Decorating the area around the window will also do the trick. Introduce two different seats, a sofa in unique fabric and colour and add a potted plant for extra décor.

Dress up a fireplace

If you have a fireplace, it can be a wonderful focal point. All it will require is a few modifications. How about you repaint it with a vibrant shade that will really make your interior pop? If your walls are white, a navy blue or emerald green paint will bring all the attention to your fireplace. Get some of your souvenirs or family heirloom and dress up the mantelpiece. That’ll do the trick. What if you don’t have a fireplace? You can always get a faux fireplace that will serve as decoration and a focal point at the same time.

Add a whimsical mirror

Are you looking for a focal point that will make a statement without overwhelming the interior? A whimsical mirror can be just what you need. Not only are they decorative, but they’re functional too and will reflect light as well. If you want to create a visually larger space, adding a mirror will be the least expensive option. Hang it in the middle of the wall and let it do its magic. Make sure the frame fits in with the rest of the décor, and keep in mind that not every shape will look flattering in your living space. Also, be careful where you’ll position it because mirrors can make or break the interior design depending on what part of the room they reflect.

Create a decorated corner wall

If you liked the idea of hanging a variety of art pieces on a wall, then you’ll love having an art corner even more. Chose two adjoining walls and transform the corner into a focal point. It doesn’t necessarily have to be filled with art pieces. Maybe you want to put a whimsical wallpaper there and dress up the corner with a bar cart or a sofa and a lampshade for you to have a reading nook. What if you get the self-adhesive quotes that you can stick to the wall and add a dose of charm to the room? The choice is vast, and the options limitless. All you need to do is choose what you like the most.

Final thoughts

Creating a focal point in your home may seem challenging, but with the right ideas, it will be perfectly achievable. All you need to do is inspect your living space and decide which part of it deserves the spotlight. Once you know that, you can work your way up, towards creating a stunning focal point and adding some charm to your otherwise boring interior.

Disaster Proofing Your House

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Your home is your sanctuary. It is the place that you’ve put a lot of time and attention into making a safe, comfortable environment for you and your family. This is why the prospect of a natural disaster causing damage or disruption to your house can be so upsetting. 

No-one likes to dwell on this possibility, of course. However, even if you aren’t living in an area that has frequent earthquakes or storms, that doesn’t mean to say that your home is immune to emergencies. The World Economic Forum recently reported that extreme weather events are occurring more frequently, and they are likely to continue causing severe damage and destruction in the future. This rise has also been linked to the growing effects of climate change. As such, it is imperative for the continued safety of yourself and your family that you take steps to ensure that your home is protected from disasters.  

This is all very well to say, but it’s not always easy to know how to go about doing this practically. It’s certainly a wide-ranging area, but we’re going to take a moment to guide you through a few main points for your attention. How can you best act to protect your home, and sleep soundly at night, safe in the knowledge that you’ve done all you can to keep your family safe? 

Audit Current Issues

Whether you’ve purchased a home with the specific intention to renovate, or you bought a new build, an audit is essential. Why? Well, in most cases, the pre-purchasing property survey that was undertaken at the time would have been geared toward determining the general safety of the home. Indeed, when buying a home, people are usually on the lookout for common trouble areas — existing water damage, pest issues, or health hazards. As such, you are unlikely to have the data you need to understand how well-prepped your home is to withstand an unexpected natural disaster.  

It can be a good first step to review the types of natural disasters that may be most likely to occur in your area. After all, it’s not wise to disaster-proof your home for earthquakes if you are not in a risk location. Review recent years’ weather and emergency events — has there been an uptick in any activity? The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) keeps statistics for all reported disasters, which can help guide you. However, it can be just as useful to talk to neighbors and local emergency services personnel about what you should be aware of.

Using this knowledge, undertake a review of your home. You can do this personally if you feel confident doing so — identifying all the areas that may leave your home vulnerable or dangerous. Use ready-made checklists to review systems like electrical and plumbing. It can also be helpful to engage a contractor here. That way you not only benefit from their assessment expertise, but can also arrange for any repairs to be made, or at least make a plan for the future that fits your budget. 

Alternative Utilities

Disasters don’t just affect the integrity of your home. In a lot of cases, they may impact the infrastructure that allows you to maintain a safe and operational house. There may be direct contact with your property that causes utility outages, or there may be a problem further down the line that affects you. If you live in a remote area, it may take a long time for your services to be restored. It can therefore be appropriate to look into alternative solutions.

A generator on your property can provide backup power when there is an outage. However, this tends to be terribly cost-ineffective, and it’s not particularly environmentally friendly. On the other hand, solar power is an increasingly popular and accessible choice for homeowners. In essence, you’ll need a solar panel array — either on your roof or somewhere near your property — which is attached to an inverter that turns the energy into usable electricity, which is then distributed through your home using a computerized controller. You can also get a battery backup system to assist in emergencies. While you can install it personally, it can be wise to engage a skilled contractor if you’re not familiar with your house’s electrics.  

While most internet and communications lines are underground, that doesn’t make them impervious to disasters. Your ability to stay in contact with friends, relatives, and emergency services can be vital when a disaster strikes. Therefore it can be sensible to set up alternatives in your home. A spare 5G router can keep you connected to the internet to check for updates and advice. 

Structural Upgrades

If you have the budget for it, it is definitely worth considering which structural upgrades you can make to your home. Over the last few decades, there have been technological advances that can put your home in a better position to withstand a disaster. Some of these are simple and others make for more involved projects.

If you live in an area that is particularly prone to heavy storms, earthquakes, or even wildfires a good example of advanced structural technology is interlocking 3D panels. These are constructed from a combination of materials — concrete, steel, polystyrene — and reinforced by welded wire trusses. As such, this means that the building can withstand high winds and effectively fireproof the home for at least two hours.

However, this requires substantial capital to undertake, and if you are unable to access these funds immediately it can be worth considering refinancing your home to some extent. This is possible even with bad credit, although it can be sensible to repair your credit score first to get a better financing rate. It can seem like a big step, but this could be an important safety feature in your home and even raise its value.

Conclusion

Your home is an important asset to you and your family, and as such you want to protect it and everyone within it from natural disasters. Not all the alterations you make need to be structural overhauls. However, you should guide your actions with a thorough understanding of the risks.

10 Budget Home Designing Instagram Accounts You Can Check for Inspiration

Since Covid-19 hit us, we’ve been all stuck in our home and there is no news when we’ll be able to walk freely. Now is the best time to decorate the interior and exterior of your home. But money is a true concern for pretty much all of us as home decoration is generally a costly affair.

A home’s not merely four square walls, it’s a place where you can get comfortable and relax. You might be thinking that there are various Instagram pages that are great for finding home decoration inspiration. Speaking of Instagram, when you open a new page, it’ll take time to gain followers. In fact, as per https://www.forbes.com, organic ways although successful, can take quite some time to boost Instagram followers. The best way to get likes on your post is to buy 50 likes on Instagram.

Here is a list of some Instagram accounts that not only offer great interior and exterior designs, but also inspiration, good suggestions, and cheaper but high-quality items. 

Room for Tuesday

Sarah Gibson, who shares great ideas for home renovation, design tips, DIY projects is the owner of this page. Whenever you observe her work, you’ll notice she focuses on both the interior and exterior of the house equally, so this account is really useful for those who own a bigger home or real estate. She has two cute puppies that she features in the majority of her images, which produces a different vibe for dog lovers.

Philip or Flop

There’s no doubt that there exists many more female DIY creators than male DIY creators. This proves that female DIY creators can offer much more fantastic home decoration ideas for budget-friendly decorations. However, Philip is amongst the rare male designers who can decorate both the interior and exterior perfectly. His ideas about interior designs are much more realistic than any female designer.

Angela Rose Home

Angela Rose, known as fearless DIY creator, uses power tools and design to transform your home. She decorates the interior of the house in such a way, that you’ll get so many decoration ideas just by scrolling through her IG feed. Her website, linked on her IG account, offers so many new ideas and detailed tips to accomplish her vision in your home. Until you check her IG account, you won’t be able to guess how cool and brilliant interior home design can be!

Budget Home Interior Design

This is a type of IG account that shouldn’t be missed. When you land on this page, you’ll notice one thing is common in every image despite the house, a splash of color offered by plants. You’ll also notice how the interior changes when a plant is around. Natalie, owner of the IG page only decorates the interior of houses, but in a budget-conscious way, even using simple items such as Washi tape, which is quite amazing.

Philip or Flop

There’s no doubt that there exists many more female DIY creators than male DIY creators. This proves that female DIY creators can offer much more fantastic home decoration ideas for budget-friendly decorations. However, Philip is amongst the rare male designers who can decorate both the interior and exterior perfectly. His ideas about interior designs are much more realistic than any female designer.

Jenny Komenda

Jenny Komenda, Founder and Creative Director of juniper print shop and juniper home, is a pure skilled artist. From designing the interior to the exterior, everywhere she proves that she focuses much more on details. You’ll see that in every post she shares, she offers some subtle tips that make a budget-friendly decoration so much simpler. There is also a touch of large and expensive items like furniture in her posts to remind you that accessories are like vitamins to fashion.

Grillo Designs

Medina shares her thoughts on interior designing on her Instagram page. Medina’s website, where she writes her own posts, has beautiful budget-friendly ideas, which is a key factor during this pandemic. Her style blends in every aspect of her culture. And it is also so fascinating to see that she prioritizes turmeric color to design interior homes, which will surely impress you the moment you scroll through her IG feed.

Making Pretty Spaces

The most lovable thing about this account is how small changes can bring so much glory and transform a space thoroughly. From changing a night lamp or a small bookshelf, Jennifer does it like a pure skilled designer. Her website is full of blogs and tutorials. Jennifer’s idea of making a small upgrade is to deliver a perfect and happy economical life. You’ll be so inspired by Jennifer that you might start purchasing small items to decorate your rooms.

Chris Loves Julia

This account has everything from budget-conscious designing to marvelous home designing ideas. They have linked their website on the IG page, where you’ll find all the details. The moment you land on their IG page, you’ll notice some video walkthroughs, which are not only extremely satisfying but also added a bonus to the fact that every image they share on their page is extremely stylish and looks fantastic.

Right Meets Left Interior Design

Courtney McLeos, the owner of the interior design company, showcases much from wealthy clients, but shares tips of interior designing in the caption of some images. Upon scrolling her IG page, you’ll notice beautiful highlights of the color scheme or how small pieces of furniture can help you achieve your desired look. Though the page showcases wealthy clients, much of what she shares can be used by budget-friendly followers, too.

Conclusion

Remember one thing, a home’s not merely roof and room. It is where you can bloom your heart and spend quality time with your family members. Home is sweet, and it is your responsibility to make it sweeter.

Covid-19 Is Inspiring People To Reinvent Themselves: Here’s How to Start

Covid-19 Is Inspiring People To Reinvent Themselves: Here’s How to Start

There’s nothing quite like spending a year in physical and social isolation to foster introspective thoughts. On top of that, the dramatic shift to remote work, virtual school, and long-distance relationships has challenged the way that most people go about their daily lives.

With so much change in the air and deep internal processing taking place everywhere, it should come as no surprise that many people are using the ongoing situation as a source of inspiration to reinvent themselves. If you find yourself amongst the ranks of those itching for a new beginning, here are a few suggestions for ways to get the journey started.

Slow Down …On Purpose

It’s difficult to slow down on your own. There are even fewer times when life actually slows down for you. Rather than kicking and screaming against the inevitable, use the pandemic as a chance to accept where you currently are: at a standstill.

Being in the moment is extremely hard, but it can yield some powerful benefits. For instance, it gives you a chance to focus on what’s going on around you. It also helps you disconnect from obsessing over future anxieties and ambitions.

Being in the moment can feel uncomfortable and even a little scary. However, getting out of your comfort zone in this manner is a great way to gain some perspective and begin the process of reorienting yourself for the future.

Re-evaluate Your Goals and Priorities

Once you’ve slowed down and focused on the present, you can begin the process of unpacking who you are, what you need, and how you can go into the future with a positive and productive mindset.

This starts with re-evaluating the current state of your goals and priorities. Ask yourself basic questions, such as:

  • Have you lost sight of larger long-term goals? It’s easy to let long-term goals slip in the day-to-day bustle. Did you ever start saving for a downpayment on a dream house? Do you need to go back to school to get an MBA degree so you can finally start your own business?
  • Do you need to spend more time with your family? It’s easy to get distracted by work. Do you need to schedule family time or establish some new family-focused hobbies to do together?
  • What do you want to get out of life? Sometimes who you want to be and what you actually do look very different. Have your desires and your activities drifted apart lately?
  • Do you need a new infusion into your personal style? Sometimes something as simple as a style change is all you need to get a fresh start. Do you need a wardrobe refresher or even a new pair of glasses?

Ask yourself the tough questions. Challenge the status quo. Resist the urge to take the easy way out. This is how you can begin to peel back the layers and remember what it is that drives you underneath the surface.

Consider Your Responsibilities

While desires and goals are a good start, it’s also important to consider your current responsibilities. This doesn’t mean you have to feel trapped by them, though. Instead, review any and every personal duty that you currently have and prioritize them.

For instance, taking care of your children’s safety and basic needs is a high priority. So is making an income. However, working in a specific field or industry may not be as important. Perhaps a shift in your career is in order.

The pandemic offers a perfect time to sort through and prioritize your responsibilities. It also offers the perfect opportunity to weed out minor duties and commitments, even if it’s something as simple as changing up your social hobbies during a time when events are canceled and you won’t feel peer pressure for doing so.

Assess Your Skills

Skills are another area that should be considered as you go about looking for a fresh start.

For example, if you’ve lost your job or found yourself working remotely when you didn’t want to, it’s a perfect opportunity to review your skills and consider if you’re working in a profession that utilizes your strengths.

Even if it isn’t career-related, there are many other ways that you can re-evaluate your approach to life. For example, spending time at home may have pushed you to tackle some home improvement projects that may be better left to professionals. If that garage door still isn’t working or the molding that you installed is out of whack, take that as a sign that you should focus on other areas in your life where utilizing your skills lead to better results.

Share with Others

Finally, remember to seek out others as you go about planning how to reinvent yourself. The lack of social interactions can make this difficult, but try to do so via video chat, phone, or text if you can.

Seeking guidance and wisdom from those who are older and more experienced than you is always smart. Running your plans by a peer that you respect is also a good way to process and get feedback.

Reinventing Yourself for the Future

There has never been a better time to plan for the future and reinvent yourself. So take advantage of the situation. Consider who you are and where you are right now. Then look for ways that you can tailor your current lifestyle to help it better line up with whoever it is that you truly want to be.