Ellen Corbett's Blog
Many homeowners or soon-to-be homeowners are anxious about making big purchases online. However, there’s a lot to be said for the perks of online shopping for things like furniture and appliances for your home.
As technology progresses and more and more retailers build their online presence, the selection has never been bigger. That’s why we’re going to show you how to find the nicest furniture and appliances online, get the best deals, and ensure that you’re buying from a trustworthy seller.
Read on for our tips on online appliance and furniture shopping.
The efficiency of online shopping
If done correctly, shopping online is much faster than driving to your local furniture store. The best way to achieve this is to know exactly what you’re looking for before ever opening up your browser. This will help you avoid scrolling endlessly through Ikea’s or Best Buy’s websites wondering what’s worth clicking on.
You’ll need to determine the following:
Your budget. This will narrow down the selection immensely and keep you from dreaming about unnecessarily expensive items.
Your style. Is there a specific color that you’re hoping to match? Does your furniture need to meet a specific style, such as mid-century modern? Using these search terms will help you find very specific results.
Practicality. There’s a difference between buying a washing machine and refrigerator for yourself and buying one for a family of five. Knowing the size and load specifications you need will help you narrow the search.
Take advantage of user reviews
One of the immense benefits of online shopping is the wealth of reviews that can be read. User reviews help the consumer and the company--it tells the company what products people prefer and it tells the consumer if the product met the description and quality standards of other customers.
It’s best to purchase items that have a higher number of positive reviews. A refrigerator that has a single five-star review might be of good quality, but I would trust that the refrigerator with twenty four-star reviews is consistently a top-quality item.
If you’re buying from a smaller online store, check out reviews for the retailer itself. Websites like Yelp and Google+ are both good places to look before hitting the “checkout” button.
Try before you buy
The internet is just one tool used for online furniture and appliance shopping. If possible, make a list of your favorite products and visit a local retailer who has them in stock. This will allow you to compare how the products look and feel in real life, as sometimes photos don’t quite portray the color and texture correctly.
This is also a good time to make sure the items are sized correctly to fit your home. Before leaving for the store, measure the space you have to work within your home. Remember that there often needs to be room behind your appliances for wiring. At the store, check to see if the products you looked at online will meet your space requirements.
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So, the family trip this year requires a road trip. The thought of everyone packed in the car or van for hours may cause some anxiety, but it doesn’t have to. These hours on the road can be an opportunity to build family bonds and create one-of-a-kind memories that you all will be talking about years from now. Although it may take some planning and a little imagination you can head on out with confidence, excited for the journey, as much as the destination. Depending on the ages of your family you can put together a road trip adventure kit that is sure to engage everyone in the vehicle.
Depending on how long the trip will be, you can plan it out by the number of scheduled stops. For one day trips, you can have everyone weigh in on when to stop and for how long. Including everyone in the logistical planning can create a sense of anticipation even before you hit the road. Making individual snack boxes or bags with each persons' choice of travel-friendly foods is a great idea. A small cooler to carry beverages and food items that need refrigeration is another good idea to keep passengers satisfied and the road trip, on the road. Individual activities such as books and 3-d puzzles (think Rubik cubes) can keep some travelers entertained. But if you have a passenger that tends to get a bit carsick, you can have them try a road trip scavenger hunt. Options are available online to print out and cover different kinds of areas you will be traveling through; for example, city, country or even mountain areas.
Many Miles to Go
If your road trip unfolds over the course of a few days, your planning will need to be a bit more detailed. Think about making a map with the route and stops marked with stickers for the younger travelers to use as a tracker. Then every time you hear that infamous question "Are we there yet?" you can refer them to the map and have them find where you are currently and how long it will be until you reach the next scheduled stop. Older travelers may want to plug in their electronics that entire way, but you can challenge them to take a selfie every 100 miles or so to document the trip process. With some planning, your family road trip will be an enjoyable part of your time together.
Next time you are planning a trip try having each person pack their individual activity bag with some car-trip friendly items and see what they invent.
The modern human doesn’t always follow the natural order of things. For example, we often eat by the clock. We eat in the morning before work or school whether we are hungry or not. We snack at our morning coffee break. Then our lunchtime schedule again must coincide with our workplace or school day schedule. In the evenings, however, it seems we have more control over our appetite. Sometimes, though, even our evening meals don’t follow the plan we intend. We have after school or after work activities, homework, projects, social times. All sorts of things dictate our meal times. But the thing we rarely pay attention to is our natural rhythm.
Circadian rhythm: eating with the day
According to recent research, healthy eating may be less about what is on our plate as it is about when it’s on our plate. In fact, the latest science reveals that when we eat may be a more significant factor than what we eat. The truth is that our three-square meals may not jive with the rhythm of our metabolism.
Your metabolism is your body’s energy usage. Your circadian rhythm is your body’s internal clock that tells your body what it needs when it needs it. And a more natural way to align your body’s internal clock is not with your smartwatch. It’s with the sun.
So, if your job dictates that you rise before the sun is up most of the year, forcing your body to digest food that early might be preventing you from losing weight. The research shows that eating outside your body’s circadian rhythm might increase being overweight, metabolic syndrome and diabetes, and even up your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Aligning your eating times with your natural daily cycle improves weight loss, increase energy, and improve your general health. How do you do it?
- Follow the sun. Don’t eat before the sun rises in the morning. But once the sun is up, break your fast with something. Morning calories seem to burn more quickly than calories consumed later in the day since your body is replenishing what is used up overnight.
- Stop eating in the afternoon. The studies showed that eating past mid-afternoon (about 3 PM) hindered weight loss in the study participants; while those that stopped eating by the middle of the afternoon tended to lose more weight than their cohorts.
- Additionally, better results came from eating the highest caloric meal at breakfast with a smaller lunch and even smaller dinner.
- Keep your eating inside an eight-hour window. That means starting your first meal and ending your last meal within the window and not eating or fasting for the remaining 16 hours of the evening and overnight.
Consider trying this eating cycle for 30 days and enlist family members to join you. You may just love you’re your new rhythm of life.