Real Estate Tips

    • Savor a New Way to Seafood

      26 January 2022

      (Family Features) Adding salmon to your weekly menu can take dinnertime from drab to delicious. Combining it with bright, fresh veggies heightens the savory experience even more for a burst of seafood flavor.

      Loaded with salmon, a homemade dressing, sushi rice and a variety of tasty veggies, this Salmon and Shrimp Coconut Curry is a perfect option for putting together a quick yet delicious meal. Plus, you can feel good that it's sustainably produced by looking for the Aquaculture Stewardship Council’s (ASC) certification on farmed salmon.

      Fast becoming a leading source of seafood worldwide, aquaculture is similar to typical agriculture but with fish, shellfish and seaweeds. It consists of two methods: natural environment and onshore tanks, which are both safe ways to raise quality, responsibly produced seafood.

      Through strategic partners, innovative technologies and mindful farming practices, the ASC is transforming the seafood industry with a certification for farmed fish to help ensure the seafood you enjoy is traceable, responsible and flavorful.

      This “new way to seafood” includes four upgrades to the way seafood is produced:

      • Traceability: Seafood is traced from the farm to the store, eliminating seafood fraud or mislabeling.
      • Social responsibility: Certified seafood comes only from farms with a record of fair treatment and pay for workers as well as a commitment to conserving and restoring wildlife.
      • Environmentally mindful: Only farming operations that operate with a minimal impact on the environment are supported. These farms enact sustainable resource practices so you can protect oceans, coasts and wildlife with your purchases.
      • Quality products: Food with the ASC label has been monitored at every step of the production process to ensure quality.
      Visit NewWaytoSeafood.com to find more information about the certification process.

      Salmon and Shrimp Coconut Curry
      Recipe courtesy of MOWI on behalf of the Aquaculture Stewardship Council
      Servings: 2

      2 pieces of MOWI Pure portions salmon
      1 cup wild rice
      1 tablespoon coconut oil
      1 clove garlic, sliced
      1/4 cup red onion, diced
      1 cup pumpkin or butternut squash, diced
      1 tablespoon lemongrass, finely chopped
      1 1/2 tablespoons red curry paste
      1/2 cup coconut milk
      1 tablespoon fish sauce
      1/4 cup tomatoes
      4 shrimp
      1 lime, quartered
      2-3 cilantro leaves, for garnish

      Cut salmon into 1/2-inch cubes. Cook rice according to package instructions.

      In a large skillet, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onion and pumpkin or squash; saute 5 minutes, or until onions are translucent. Mix in lemongrass and curry paste. Cook 2-3 minutes, or until fragrant.

      Add coconut milk, fish sauce and tomatoes; mix thoroughly. Add shrimp and salmon; cook until done.

      Serve with rice and lime quarters. Sprinkle with cilantro.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Spot the Signs: Are Your Burnt Out?

      26 January 2022

      If you’ve been feeling stressed and overwhelmed lately, you’re not alone. Though stress is a normal feeling each and every one of us deals with, it’s not something you should take lightly. But how do you know when it’s just too much?

      Whether your stress stems from your job or daily life tasks, you need to be sure that you understand how it can affect you. Here are some signs that you may be burnt out.

      Physical and Emotional Exhaustion 
      One of the most obvious signs that your burnt out is exhaustion. When your body and mind feel completely spent, consider this a first and prominent sign that you’re burnt out. You will feel tired most days and find that you have no energy at any point in your day. Because this not only affects the body, but also the mind, you may feel disconnected from relationships and lose the desire to complete, or even start, daily tasks. 

      Unexplained Frustration 
      Because of your stress, you may find yourself in fight or flight mode in almost every situation. This means that your filter for irritability and patience is very thin. Outbursts, physical or verbal, are often the main result of frustration. If you can’t get through even the first half of your workday without screaming, crying or over-exaggerating any given situation, this is another sign that you’re burning out.   

      Poor Concentration 
      A common resolution for people who feel stressed is to distract themselves with a new piece of work. However, this can quickly become a problem, as your mind is surely tired and distracted. Though many people claim to be great at multitasking, it can actually negatively affect your concentration and productivity. When your problem solving skills diminish and your decision making skills can’t be trusted, it may be a sign you’re burnt out. 

      Chronic Sickness
      Walking around with a dark cloud of stress can seriously affect your health. Aside from depression, you may suffer from migraines, digestive issues, heart disease or even something as simple as a cold you just can’t shake. This is a sign of burning out, as your body is trying to signal you to slow down. When your brain function is thrown off, it doesn’t only affect your mind, but your entire body. 

      Loss of Sleep or No Sleep
      Combining the stress of the day with the dread of what the next day will bring can keep your brain awake through all hours of the night. Insomnia causes many forms of anxiety, which will only burn you out more. And the longer you stay in this cycle, the harder it will be to break out of the fight or flight mindset and rest your mind. 

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • Find a Good Mechanic in Your New Town

      26 January 2022

      Outside of your home, your car is likely the most expensive thing you own. That makes finding a good mechanic an essential step to take when you move into a new house.

      Here are some ways to find the automobile wizard who can keep your car or truck running smoothly.

      What to Look For
      You may need to bring your car to a few shops before settling on the right one, but it is a good idea to establish a relationship with a mechanic so that they become familiar with your car. Price and quality of work are the most important factors, but also consider how quickly they get a job done, if they’re attentive to your questions and if they treat you with respect. There also are mechanics who specialize in foreign cars or certain makes and models.

      Ask For References
      If you have a current mechanic who you like and trust, ask them if they know of anyone who’s talented and reliable in your new neighborhood. You also can ask your REALTOR® and, of course, your new neighbors.

      Do Your Homework
      Thanks to the internet, you can find feedback and reviews on just about any business in your new community, including mechanics. Check out websites like Yelp for reviews. A local chamber of commerce is another great resource when it comes to finding great businesses.

      Start With Something Simple
      Hopefully, your car won’t need major work shortly after you move into your new home—who needs that aggravation? But you can make an appointment for a simple oil change. Or maybe a tune-up or new battery. Consider bringing your car to a few different places for these basic services to get an idea of who the best mechanic in town is.

      Look For Other Car Services
      In addition to a mechanic, you’ll also need to find a gas station and maybe a car-washing or detailing service as well. Once you’ve established a relationship with a good mechanic, they should be able to help steer you in the right direction in finding other businesses that will keep your car running smoothly.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • 6 Ways to Help Small Businesses in Your Community Thrive

      25 January 2022

      (Family Features) Small business owners faced the challenges of the past couple of years head-on. Nearly all re-evaluated their operations to accommodate new ways of doing business amid changing safety standards and local protocols, and many plan to make these changes permanent.

      Over the past year, pandemic-related operational challenges, combined with a surge in physical and verbal attacks, have been uniquely difficult for a group of small business owners.

      Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) businesses comprise nearly 10% of small businesses in the United States. Among them, 92% faced difficulties keeping their businesses open and operating amid the pandemic, according to Bank of America’s 2021 AAPI Business Owner Spotlight.

      “While almost all AAPI entrepreneurs said the pandemic created additional stress around running their businesses, they remain determined and resilient,” said Carol Lee Mitchell, head of small business strategy at Bank of America. “Even as they faced immense obstacles, AAPI business owners took steps to move their businesses and communities forward.”

      Local companies, including AAPI businesses, have proven to be fundamental to strong, healthy economies and inclusive communities. These entrepreneurs remain solution-oriented, quickly adopting new tools and strategies; however, they require support from customers and community members to thrive.

      Consider these ways you can support small businesses, including AAPI owners and the community at-large, from the experts at Bank of America:

      Choose to Shop Local and Small
      Small businesses are ingrained in many local communities. When you choose to purchase from a small business, you’re directly supporting neighbors, friends and the people in your community. This support isn’t taken for granted by entrepreneurs; more than half of AAPI small business owners noted the importance of community support amid the pandemic. Also consider leaving a generous tip when you receive exceptional service – it can make a big difference for small business staff.

      Gift Local
      Keep the impact that your support could have on local community businesses in mind when shopping for gifts, whether they’re for loved ones near or far. For locals, a gift card to a nearby eatery or business such as a spa, salon or recreation center makes for a welcome gift that keeps your money local. When gifting those who live farther away, you can still benefit small businesses in your community by purchasing a thoughtful gift and packaging locally then shipping it with the help of a business in your area.

      Help Spread the Word
      Small businesses don’t usually have the means to invest in big marketing programs, so referrals and word of mouth can make a major difference. However, in today’s world, a great deal of consumer research happens online. That means you can be most helpful by taking your stories of great service and quality products to the internet, too. Seek out your favorite small businesses and write reviews on their social media channels. Take it a step further and give them a shoutout (with tags, if possible) on your own social media accounts where your friends and family are more likely to notice.

      Help Fill Open Positions
      The job market has shifted noticeably over the past year, and local businesses have been struggling to find the talent they need to continue to serve their communities. Small business owners recognize this and are shifting benefits for their employees, allowing for more flexible schedules and additional paid time off.

      Since these business owners are looking for employees to help fill some of the uptick in demand, you can help by tapping into your own network and recommending people for different positions you see, whether it be through “Help Wanted” signs or based on the needs you hear from the businesses you patronize.

      Be Mindful of Business Challenges 
      Finding a work-life balance can be difficult for small business owners even in non-pandemic times because they wear so many hats within their businesses, from CEO and salesperson to human resources and everything in between.

      Business owners were more conscious of their mental health over the past year, as nearly all AAPI business owners acknowledged additional stress and more than half set aside specific time for self-care and mental wellness.

      As a consumer, it’s important to be mindful of the fact that business owners are both short-staffed and dealing with supply chain issues. Take an understanding approach and work with local businesses to make sure they know they are supported by their community.

      Check In on What’s New
      Just as you’ve changed your consumer habits and needs, small businesses have adapted in dozens of ways. That could mean you have access to new services or options you never considered. For example, your favorite yoga studio may offer streaming classes or a favorite breakfast cafe you haven’t visited in a while might have an all-new menu. Take time to stop in and learn how your favorite businesses are changing with the times and see how those changes may suit your needs.

      Look for additional resources designed for small businesses at bankofamerica.com/smallbusiness.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.

    • How to Stay Productive Throughout Your Workday

      25 January 2022

      No matter where you work or what you do, everyone out there wants to get the most work done in the highest quality and the shortest amount of time. Productivity and efficiency are some of the most important goals companies large and small strive for. With high expectations for employees and only a limited amount of hours in a day, daily tasks can quickly become overwhelming.

      Here are a few tips to staying productive and successfully completing your work each and every day, stress-free…

      Plan Ahead
      It’s getting to the end of the day on a Friday and all you can think about are your weekend plans. But before you clock out for the week, you should set yourself up for success. What projects are you working on? Do you have a deadline coming up? How long will each task take you? Writing down a to-do list for the following work week is a great step to boosting your productivity. Figure out what your top priority is and plan to start it Monday morning. At the end of each workday, review and update your to-do list for a fresh start each day.

      Get Organized
      Starting each day with a cluttered desk can be overwhelming. This includes your digital desk. If you come into work every day and sit down at a desk covered in piles of papers, scattered with no rhyme or reason, you may not know where to start. And if you log onto your computer to find your screen full of desktop icons and documents, you may have the same problem. Create folders, physical and digital, and spend some time getting organized. It’s inevitable that as you go through each workday, your desk will clutter, so just be sure to spend a few minutes at the end of the day tidying up and reorganizing.

      Minimize Distractions
      Do you find yourself checking your email every 10 minutes? Maybe the person sitting next to you makes too much noise? No matter the distraction, you can reduce the interruption and get your work done efficiently. Set yourself blocks of time during the day where you close out your email and focus solely on your work. Wear headphones to minimize outside noises from the neighboring cube. If you have a home office, keep the door closed to avoid pets or family members from popping in and disturbing you. Also, make sure to keep light snacks and water close by, as hunger and thirst can be an immediate and prominent killer to your focus.

      Take Multiple Breaks
      Like multitasking, working for hours with no break can cause frustration and exhaustion, and inevitably lessen your productivity. To keep your mind sharp and your creativity peaking, you should take shorter, more frequent breaks throughout the day. Even a walk to the water fountain or a short conversation with a coworker can improve the quality of your work. Sitting at a desk for hours on end can make you tired and lose interest in your project. Movement is key to keeping the body and brain working and successful.

      Published with permission from RISMedia.