Consumer Real Estate News

    • Raising Kinder Kids, Today

      18 February 2019

      Kindness and compassion can get you far in life, and when it comes to parenting, it's important to instill these values early. In partnership with PACER's National Bullying Prevention Center, a leading nonprofit bullying prevention organization, Planet Fitness shares five tips for raising consistently kind kids:

      Model Kind Behavior. Being a copycat can be a good thing. Your kids are always watching and learning from what you do, so remember to exhibit kindness regularly with everyone in your daily life, from their teachers at school to wait staff in a restaurant or your postal worker. Even when you're tired, stressed or distracted, taking a moment to remember that the behavior you model will be the behavior they mimic makes all the difference.

      Watch and Learn. Whether watching a movie together or in line at the grocery store, your child will have many opportunities to observe examples of both kind and unkind behaviors. Encourage your child to consider how observed interactions impact those involved, whether positively or negatively. These interactions can serve as teachable moments for the future.

      Caught Being Kind. Kids hear all the time about what they shouldn't be doing, but what about what they should be doing? Reinforce kind behavior by acknowledging specific examples and encouraging a dialogue around what they did and why it matters, such as, "I am proud that you included the new student from school today at the playground. How do you think it made them feel?"

      Exercise Kindness Daily. Learning to be kind is just like learning to play a sport or an instrument. Make kindness a daily ritual by reflecting on something kind that you witnessed and discussing as a family to help your kids build muscle memory and make caring second nature.

      Imagine If... Ask your children to consider the perspectives of people they don't usually talk to, such as a new student at school, a student who looks different than them or a student who has been teased. Ask, "How would you feel if…" to help your child see how actions impact others.

      And don't forget, consistency is key!

      Source: Planet Fitness

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • More Hot In-Home Tech Trends

      18 February 2019

      From high-tech toilets to beds that monitor your sleeping pattern, there's never a lull in new in-home technology. Below are a few more sizzling smart home scores unveiled at CES - Las Vegas' annual gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies.  

      Brad Moon at investorplace.com says he saw countless companies putting Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri and Bixby in everything from beds to toilets, observing that 2019 is shaping up to be the year that virtual assistants are literally everywhere in the home.

      Katie Collins at cnet.com was drawn to Urban Canopee, which wants to retrofit cities with plants by growing them over the roofs of buildings or other spaces. This innovative company creates canopies for climbing plants that are grown over lightweight, adaptable and flexible frames, which either stand alone or can be placed together in modules to allow the plants to weave together to form a leafy ceiling.

      Sensors within the frames and the plant pots allow the hydration levels of the plants and the temperature under the canopy to monitored remotely via an app. A solar kit and an intelligent, connected irrigation system operate autonomously to water the plants.

      James Peckham at techradar.com discovered the first fully operating prototype for the Foldimate laundry-folder.
      You manually insert items of clothing into the Foldimate by clipping them in, but that's all you'll need to do.
      About five seconds later the machine spits them out at the bottom and makes a bell noise when it's complete. The company is hoping for a "late 2019" launch date, but at nearly a grand, this is only a nice to have if you really hate folding laundry!

      Peckham's colleague Cat Ellis explored McAfee's new Secure Home Platform with voice command for Google Assistant, which will enable you to keep track of your whole network without fiddling with software and app interfaces.

      Ellis says Secure Home Platform will come built into routers and gateways, and will let you perform security checks using spoken commands. Shailaja Shankar, McAfee’s general manager for mobile and ISP business units said Home Platform Actions for the Google Assistant, "empowers consumers with an easy way to manage their home’s network security using their voice.”

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Snag the Best Cookware

      18 February 2019

      If you're looking to upgrade your pots and pans, it's important to be choosy. And while the majority of available pots and pans look similar, there are several ways you can make better choices. Below are a few tips.

      Weight. A good pot or pan should have some heft, and a thick bottom. However, if it's too heavy, you may have trouble getting it to and from the stove, especially when it's hot.

      Durability. You want to buy cookware that will last a long time, and look good in the process. Stainless steel is considered to be one of the best for lifespan.

      Maintenance. How much work do you want to do to keep your cookware looking good? If you're not looking to spend a lot of time on maintenance, opt for stainless steel or non-stick. Copper and cast iron cookware, while durable and long-lasting, require quite a bit of elbow grease to keep them looking great.  

      Material matters. There's a long line of different material you can consider:

      - Stainless steel with an inner layer of aluminum is a well-rounded winner that's durable, easy to clean and non-reactive. It also conducts heat well.
      - Copper is the priciest, and often requires special care, but will last a lifetime if treated well.
      - Anodized aluminum is a great choice; it responds well to heat and is treated to prevent chemical reactions with food.
      - Cast iron also conducts heat well, but can rust if not properly seasoned.
      - Non-stick pans get a bad rap because they easily scratch and can leach chemicals into your cooking, but some newer non-stick coatings are more scratch-resistant and less toxic, so do your research.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Tips for Maximizing Small Space Living

      15 February 2019

      Small space living is still on the rise, as more folks choose an optimal location (a quick walk downtown) over square footage. Whether you're snug up in an urban studio apartment or have a camper on the outskirts of town, these tips can help you make more out of your small space.

      Look up. Small spaces are often built with high ceilings to make them feel less cramped, and you should take advantage of this real estate. Use this wall space to install shelving for books, off-season clothes, and more.

      Hang tight. Hanging storage is king in small space living, and again, can maximize on height if you have it. From hooks to hang your bike to a rack for hanging pots and pans over the stove or counter, don't miss out on opportunities to dangle.

      Functional furniture. These days, you can snag storage in just about every piece of furniture if you're choosy. Think ottomans that open, couches with stash space in the arm rests, coffee tables that house books and DVDs, even beds with compartments in the headboards.

      Stack your cupboards. If you have tall cupboards, this space may go underutilized. Grab a wire drying rack or similar shelving unit to turn your single cupboard into shelving space, stacking glasses above your plates, mugs above your glasses, and so on. This can also work to add storage layers to countertops.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Flying? How to Save on Flights

      15 February 2019

      Everyone loves a good deal, and nothing feels sweeter than scoring a great deal on flights. The 2019 Travel Pricing Outlook report recently revealed that timing matters when it comes to unlocking travel savings.

      Below are a few insights from the report, based off an in-depth analysis of Airlines Reporting Corporation's (ARC) global air and Expedia Group's lodging-trend data.

      When to book? Now or later? According to the report, when it comes to lead time for booking flights, three weeks out is the sweet spot for savings.

      Utilize the weekend. You have have heard you should book travel on Tuesdays, but that news is old. Wait until the weekend to book flights to unlock around 20 percent (or more) fare savings.

      Hot hotels. Fridays are when the best hotel deals are snapped up, so wait until the end of the week to score.

      End to end. Start your journey on Thursday or Friday to save money overall, and add a Saturday night to your mid-week trip to save up to 25 percent on airfares, sometimes more for popular business destinations.

      Source: ARC, Expedia Group

      Published with permission from RISMedia.