Category Archives: Living

Getting Around NYC on a Tight Schedule

If you are looking for a quick weekend getaway, hopping on a train or taking a quick drive over to the Big Apple won’t be a disappointment. While there is enough to do to keep the lifelong residents busy, you can still take in a lot of the city in 48 hours. Just be prepared to pack light and pick up the pace.

Secure Your Transportation

You could drive around the city, but it will be so much easier to travel by commuter rail, the busses, and your own two feet. You can find just about everything you need in booking a train, finding a bus line, or calling an Uber from Grand Central Station. You will want to go to the station simply for the tourist destination, but you can also secure your transportation there.

Select Your Lodgings

Westgate New York City

When looking for the best experience, check out the Westgate, a jewel of a hotel found close to Grand Central and in the heart of the city. Browse the room types available at https://www.westgateresorts.com/hotels/new-york/midtown-manhattan/westgate-new-york-grand-central/, and depending on your choice, you can have excellent views of the city before you head out on your own.

Stop for Breakfast, Brunch, or Just Because

Don’t tackle the sights of the city without something warm and filling. If you want the best donut in the city, you should start your day at Daily Provision. For lunch, you can’t say you visited New York City without stopping for a pastrami on rye at Katz’s Delicatessen, one of the oldest Jewish delis in the area.

Sightsee to Your Heart’s Content

You need to prioritize your interests in order to get everything in. While the Statue of Liberty is impressive, the security and scheduling to make the trip to the island can ruin your timetable. You can start out at the Top of the Rock and Rockefeller Center where you will find the famed Atlas statue and the directions to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. From there, you can meander towards the Brooklyn Bridge and grab yourself a ride on the East River Ferry. You can walk or ride the train just about everywhere you need, based on your interests.

Save a Seat at a Show

Book a ticket to a Broadway show well in advance of when you plan to take a trip. Shows sell out months in advance, so if you fancy the theatre, save yourself a seat as earlier as possible.

Don’t let a short weekend get in the way of enjoying all NYC has to offer. Get up early, pack your walking shoes, and get ready for an adventure.

Reasons To Consider an Artificial Christmas Tree This Year

With the holidays quickly approaching, Christmas trees may already be on your mind. It can be daunting to think of all that is required when it comes to purchasing a real tree for the holidays. Not only do you have to find the right place to get your tree, but then you have to think about the right time to buy one (Christmas trees are the most expensive right after Thanksgiving). Then there’s getting it to your house – you need theright vehicle for that. It can be a lot of hassle for something that’s going to be in your house for a short time. Here are some reasons why you might consider an artificial tree this year instead.

Cost-Efficiency

One of the most obvious benefits of having an artificial tree is that it will save you money over time. Whether you buy your tree at your favorite local shopping center or have it shipped from a place like Treetopia, that tree will pay for itself many times over its lifetime. According to The Southern Christmas Tree Association, the average lifespan of an artificial tree is six years. Over that six-year period, you can save quite a bit of money by opting to purchase an artificial tree.

With an artificial tree, there is no haggling over the price at the local tree lot. You also won’t have the hassle of tying it down to your vehicle and securing it with ropes or bungees. Buying an artificial tree is a really good way to save on time and money around the holiday season – something we always seem to need more of around that time of year anyway.

Less Mess

Unlike real trees that need to be watered daily and can shed profusely, a faux Christmas tree does not lose its needles and is much less of a hassle to clean up. There’s no need to sweep daily to get rid of those pesky needles that wither and brown from real pine trees. Not only that, but you can purchase trees that come pre-lit, which adds even more convenience to your holiday tradition.

At the end of the Christmas season, you simply pack up your tree and put it in the storage room or garage until next year. With a real tree, you have to find a place that will dispose of the tree. Not all garbage and sanitation companies will pick up the trees from your curb.

Another factor to consider when it comes to real trees is that sometimes they bring their forest friends with them. Not only can bugs and mold be uninvited guests in your house, but you may not be able to get rid of them as easily as you might think.

Endless Options

One of the best things about artificial trees is that they can come in every size and color combination imaginable. According to Treetopia reviews around the web, this is a favorite feature for people who are opting for a faux tree this year. Hues of pink, purple, and even rainbow are all possible with artificial trees. Some people like to match the colors of their trees to their room decor. If you don’t have room for a large Christmas tree, smaller options are available too. It would take considerably more effort to find trees to match your home if you were looking for something that was only a few feet tall.

The holidays are about spending time with your friends and family. The whole process of finding a tree and bringing it home and decorating it can be simplified by choosing an artificial tree instead of a real one. Not only that, but you are sure to find a tree that is just as unique as your family and will bring you joy for years to come.

What to Expect During Your Employment Lawyer Consultation

If you already made up your mind that you need an employment lawyer, then it’s time to prepare for your first meeting with an attorney. If you’ve never had legal issues before, this can be particularly stressful. After all, you don’t know what to expect. The initial consultation can be stressful because it’s your first meeting. Hopefully, by now, you have done the research necessary to know that you want this lawyer. To help ease some of the stress, here is what to expect when you hire an employment lawyer.

Bring Along Documents

An employment lawyer is there to advise you on legal standards, whether you are an employee or employer. Before your meeting with the lawyer, you need to make sure that you have all of the relevant documents. Before your appointment, the lawyer may give you a list of documents to gather. If you know of any documents that are relevant to your case, make sure that you have them with you. It is better to be prepared.

Answer Questions

The lawyer will have questions of his or her own about your case. You need to be prepared to answer these questions. It should not be that difficult, especially if you have the right documents with you. When it comes to the specifics and technicalities of the case, you need to be able to talk openly and honestly about them.

Ask Questions of Your Own

You do not want to spend the whole time only answering the lawyer’s questions. When you choose a Toronto employment lawyer, then you want to be able to ask questions to find out if this is the right choice. You should be able to ask him or her about his or her pricing options, about his or her opinion on your case and more. Do not be afraid to ask what is on your mind. You are going to be working closely with your lawyer and so you should always feel comfortable asking questions.

If you checked the websites, online profiles and did your research, you may already have a solid idea of what lawyer you want to use. Of course, even if you set up a consultation, you don’t necessarily have to choose that attorney. You are allowed to ask questions and to decide for yourself who is best suited for your case. It should always be an experienced firm and lawyers who you trust and get along with.

Understanding Viatical Settlements

If you’ve never heard the term viatical settlement, you’re not alone. Most life insurance policyholders are unaware that there is a well-established option for cashing out on a policy when the patient receives a terminal diagnosis. It is meant to ease the financial burden on the patient during their final months of life, allowing them the freedom to pay hospital bills, debts, and daily expenses, as well as allow the holder to spend more time with friends and family and accomplish anything else they wish before passing on.

Purpose

When a terminal diagnosis is received, it may become pointless to continue paying into a life insurance policy, as neither you nor your beneficiaries will gain any benefits upon your death. The money that you have already paid into your policy may be put to better use while you are still alive so that you can prevent any financial burdens on your beneficiaries once you pass. Your diagnosis could also mean you will be unable to accomplish your bucket list items unless you have the financial means to accomplish them while you are still physically able. A viatical settlement allows you to sell your policy to a third party, with the help of a viatical company, who will then continue to pay your premiums until you pass away. In the meantime, you will receive a lump sum that, while less than the full value of your policy, can be enough to help you enjoy your remaining days. When you pass away, your policy’s buyer can cash out on your benefits.

Qualifications

All types of life insurance, including whole, term, group, and universal, are eligible to be sold as a viatical settlement. A policyholder can be of any age so long as they hold policy, and their diagnosis is not limited to any specific disease. In general, the holder should have received a terminal diagnosis and given up to 24 months to live. Individual insurance companies will have other specific qualifications that the holder must meet, but the purpose of this type of settlement is to ease the financial burden during an extremely difficult time, not add to it, so the process tends to be relatively simple to ensure the holder receives their cash as quickly as possible.

Risks

As the original policyholder, the risks for selling your policy are fairly minimal. The burden of finding a buyer falls on a viatical company, so you are only responsible for sharing your medical and existing policy information. Remember that you will be paid less than the total value of the policy, and you will not be eligible for any additional funds paid into the policy once it is sold. The buyer will purchase your policy for less than the death benefit, and they can cash out that benefit once you pass away. If you outlive the timeline provided in the diagnosis, the buyer may receive a lower return. The buyer is, therefore, the one taking on the risk, as they are purchasing your policy as an investment.

Receiving a terminal diagnosis is never easy for you or your loved ones. Knowing there are options to help ease the financial burden can help make a painful time a bit easier to manage.

3 Benefits of Steel Construction

Trends in construction are showing an increased interest in buildings. More specifically, steel frames are being regarded as one of the most efficient, cost-effective, and environmentally-friendly options. The frames can come in all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Quonset buildings offered by SteelMaster USA and the barndominium designs that mimic the wooden structures found on many farms. When it comes to the material selection for your next building project, take inventory of the pros and cons associated with steel fabrication. If you have an open mind, you will see why steel stands above the rest for construction projects.

Becoming Earth-Friendly

There is a lot of attention to organic eating and green living, and some people aren’t aware of just how far they can go with making environmentally-friendly choices. Steel buildings are eco-friendly because they can be built from recycled steel, and they can also be recycled. When you use recycled steel, it can reduce the need to rely on other resources and the energy that it takes to mine other elements from the earth. Choosing to use recycled steel also help save thousands of gallons of water given the need for water supply in mining operations and refinement processes. Once the structure is no longer needed, it can be taken to the scrap yard and easily recycled. This helps keep waste out of the landfill and reduces the impact on the environment.

Keeping Quality a Priority

Steel is a highly durable material. Even if the steel has been recycled, it still keeps its natural qualities. It can resist a number of weather conditions, given its composition of iron and carbon. This makes it an ideal building material where wind damage or storms are highly probable. When steel is alloyed with carbon and heated, it creates a bond that makes it highly resistant to corrosion. It becomes a prime choice for exterior construction framing and even siding materials. This resistance also brings steel to the forefront of choices for both construction and ornamental designs. For additional corrosion protection, galvanizing has become another method of coating metal materials. Resistance to corrosion and even damage from weather elements reduces the costs associated with repairs and upkeep, but it also gives your building a high-quality exterior.

Making Progress Affordable

Many would think a building crafted from steel would be more expensive than a traditional wooden frame structure, but consider the importance of recycling. There are some materials that are simply consumed and nothing is left. Because steel is easily recycled, it does help reduce the overall cost of materials. However, calculating the cost of a project doesn’t just include the materials. Many companies offer prefabricated design structures, which also helps reduce the cost. The time and labor that is reduced when using a prefab building is a considerable financial benefit for investing in a steel frame project.

Whether you need to expand on your current space or you want to build a whole new structure, steel frames and buildings can provide an economical but quality option. Projects that utilize steel will be more durable, stable, and prepared to face the weather conditions that might otherwise threaten the building.

4 Times a Personal Injury Lawyer is a Necessity

Whenever someone is in a vehicle accident, they almost always look to a lawyer for medical help or compensation. But did you know that personal injury attorneys deal with more issues than car and motorcycle accidents? In fact, the lawyers often need to wear many hats as they fight for lost wages, therapy treatments, and other types of compensation. Some of these issues can include problems when giving birth, a wrongful death, spinal damage, and medical malpractice. Read on for more information about how a personal injury attorney can help you.

Severe Injuries

If you have suffered life-threatening or severe injuries, your insurance company or workers’ compensation claim may balk at the amount of recovery time you require, the number of medical bills you accumulate, or the extent of your injury. When that happens, it is always best to seek legal counsel from a knowledgeable law firm in Toronto. Your counsel will discuss your case with the insurance company and fight for your rightful and just compensation.

Unclear Liability

Sometimes there can be more than one party to an accident; in fact, there are times dozens of cars and hundreds of individuals are involved in the same accident. When that occurs, it can be difficult to know who holds the liability. Insurance companies often try to divvy the compensation money around to each party without taking into account the extent of the injury. Hiring an attorney can ensure you are protected and receive the coverage you are entitled to.

Permanent Disabilities

If the unthinkable happens and you become permanently disabled due to an accident at work or a vehicle collision, call a lawyer. Whether you find yourself in need of long-term care, long-standing hospitalization, or permanent bed-side nursing, your attorney can help you accumulate the paperwork to justify lifetime expenses from the insurance company or your workers’ comp claim. Since most permanent disabilities will impact your ability to provide a stable financial base for yourself and your family, those facts and figures need to be applied to the compensation request as well.

Bad Faith Problems

It doesn’t happen often, but when an insurance company refuses to make a fair settlement offer, you need to contact a personal injury lawyer to help you with would could be a long court battle. You should also contact an attorney if you are in negotiations with an insurance company after an accident and those talks break down.

When you or someone you love is badly injured, contact an attorney. You deserve compensation for your pain and suffering.

5 Types of Personal Injuries That Require a Lawyer’s Expertise

Personal injury is a legal term encompassing a variety of mental and physical injuries. Often the damages are due to someone else’s actions, negligence, or liability. Here are just a few of the many times a personal injury may require a lawyer’s expertise.

Slip and Falls

This category includes accidents where you trip and fall, step into a hole or slip on something on the floor. The result can be torn ligaments, broken bones, or severe strains and sprains. If you lose time at work, find yourself in pain, or incur medical bills, seek the aid of a lawyer.

Wrongful Death

A wrongful death occurs when someone is negligent and causes the death of another. If someone you love experiences a wrongful passing, contact a law firm in Hamilton, Ontario for information on what steps to take for legal compensation.

Motorcycle Injuries

For some reason, many drivers complain they do not see motorcyclists, but that is certainly no excuse for inattentive driving. When someone is involved in a motorcycle accident, the injuries are often severe and disabling. After any vehicle accident, contact an attorney for help.

Dog Bites

Over 750,000 Americans are required to seek medical care each year due to a dog bite. This injury has three categories and always requires the owner to be responsible for the actions of a wayward and vicious dog. Seek legal counsel if you get hurt by a canine.

Sexual Abuse

Sexual Abuse is a type of personal injury that often goes unreported for years, and when it is reported, personal rights are frequently overlooked or trampled. Whether it is a family member the oversteps boundaries, a stranger that becomes too familiar, or a date that takes things too far, you do have rights. Talk to a lawyer.

Work Accidents

Work-related accidents are covered by workers’ compensation of some type most of the time. However, even when the injury is covered, there can be complications. Medical bills can be astronomical, wage loss can be devastating, and you may even find you are permanently disabled. If you experience a work-site accident, contact an attorney.

Automobile Injuries

Auto accidents are the most common type of personal injury that occurs every year. One of the legal problems associated with this type of injury is the large spectrum of possible bodily damage that can occur. Another problem can be huge medical bills. If you have an auto accident, talk to a lawyer.

Laws vary between areas, provinces, and states. That is why it is important to know your rights by discussing the situation with an attorney.

Make Your Property Pop With Specialty Lighting

If you’ve ever driven down a street at night and noticed that certain buildings stand out, it’s likely because they had dazzling lights and light features. While it can sometimes be tough to set your property apart from others on a crowded street, lights are one surefire way to create an attention-grabbing look. Learn some tips here.

Customized Designs

If you are interested in having a unique and one-of-a-kind light system designed, this is guaranteed to turn heads. You can use backlighting and colored lights to create the perfect ambiance and style. It may be overwhelming to do this on your own, but there are many experts available to assist you. Just open up your computer and search online for commercial electrical services Houston to find the best professional to help turn your lighting dreams into reality.

Landscape Light Designs

A huge wow factor in lighting comes from landscape design that incorporates lighting. Whether you like the look of simple path lights, the whimsical effect of rope lights, or the more dramatic illumination of tree-mounted lights and uplighting, there are options for every aesthetic. If your property has any water features, you can really add a lot of personality to them with floating lights or fiber optic lights. Landscape lighting can even be set to timers or use motion sensors to save power.

Holiday Lights

A favorite activity for many people is to simply drive around and enjoy holiday lights. You can join the light show and make an impression with a variety of tactics. Try using projection tools to create special effects for large flat spaces, or bring fairy tales to life with animatronic light displays. You can spread cheer with light-up message boards. Holidays are the perfect time to really get creative and experiment with lights you may not use on a regular basis. Holiday revelers are sure to appreciate your efforts and twinkling creations.

No matter what type of look you want to create for your building, there are plenty of ways to achieve it. Using lights to enhance the beauty of your property is just one benefit. Specialty lights also generate additional safety on your property. Keeping paths and stairs lit in the dark help people avoid mishaps, which is important for any terrain and property. There are many great reasons to add lights of many types to your land and buildings, so don’t be afraid to start planning.

Should You Rent or Should You Buy?

Making the decision to rent a house or to buy one can keep you up at night, but taking the time to examine your situation can make the decision easier. Will you need to move within the next few years? Are you earning enough to take on a home loan? Are you ready for the responsibility of owning a home? Answering these few questions can help you see the way forward.

Settling Down

If you know that you will need to move in the near future, renting is probably the better option for you. If you will need to relocate for a job or school, renting gives you flexibility,  but if you are ready to settle down, buying may be a possibility. Real estate professionals recommend staying in a property for a minimum of five years in order to recoup your investment–of course, this depends upon market fluctuations–but even while you are renting, you can take steps to make buying a home in the future much easier. Be sure to always pay your rent and bills on time. This will help you establish good credit and this will be important when you are in a more stable situation and ready to buy.

Examining Your Finances

The money you pay in rent is essentially gone, but house payments build equity and are an investment. Take a look at your monthly income and expenses, or debt-to-income ratio (DTI), an important consideration when applying for a home loan. To calculate your DTI, add up all of your recurring, regular monthly payments for things that are considered debt, like car loans, student loans, credit card payments or mortgage payments. Then divide this figure by your total monthly income calculated before taxes–also known as monthly gross income. A DTI under 50 percent is acceptable, but a DTI of 20 percent or less will give you more financing options. A Sun West Mortgage representative can help you find financing that works with your situation.

Taking on the Responsibility

When you rent, the landlord takes care of maintenance and repairs on your home, or you hope that is the case. When you own a house, that responsibility falls to you. But you also have the flexibility to choose how your home will look: you can decorate it how you like, decide on your landscaping or paint it whatever color you choose. You can make your home a true reflection of your style, which is not always possible with a rental property.

Once you have examined your living situation, finances and desired level of responsibility, you can make an informed decision about renting or buying a home. No more sleepless nights!

Building a House Cleaning Kit

Most people don’t enjoy household chores like cleaning toilets, dusting furniture, mopping floors or washing windows. Unfortunately, these are necessities of having your own home to live in. Since you have to do the job, why not make sure you have the tools to do it right? As you embark on building the perfect cleaning kit for your home, here are some essential tools you’ll need for each job.

Cleaning Floors

Clean floors make a huge impact on the perception of your home’s overall cleanliness. If there are stains in the carpet, crumbs on the floor or dirty footprints on your tile, your whole house will seem dirty. Fortunately, cleaning the floors is the easiest on your list of chores. If you have carpet, start with a good vacuum cleaner. Make sure you buy a more powerful vacuum if you have furry pets. The vacuum can also serve double-duty for your hard floors. A good mop is also important. Just note that the type of mop you need will differ depending on the flooring you have in your home. Reach out to a company that sells cleaning products in Canada to help you pick the right tools.

Cleaning Bathrooms

Having to clean bathrooms is the bane of most homeowner’s existence but since it is so prone to germs, it’s essential that they are cleaned well. Your vacuum and mop from above will see use in the bathroom to clean up the floors. A high-quality cleaning solution will make sure you kill germs. Use something with antibacterial disinfectants or bleach to make sure nothing harmful remains. A good toilet scrubber will help get the bowl clean. Then use a soft cloth and your cleaning solution for surfaces and fixtures.

Cleaning Furniture

With the right vacuum, some of your furniture cleaning can be made easier. An upholstery attachment will allow you to vacuum your couches, chairs, mattresses, and sofas to remove dust and crumbs. The right attachments for your vacuum can also help with blinds, vents and baseboards. A nice feather duster can help remove light surface dust on shelves and cabinets.

Cleaning Windows

Windows and mirrors with streaks, smears or water spots leave the impression of a dirty house. Fortunately, cleaning these surfaces isn’t too difficult. Find a cleaning product specific to windows, spray it on and scrub it off. Sometimes, especially outside your house, you can utilize a brush and squeegee to clean large areas at a time.

While cleaning the house can be a chore, having the right tools will make it easier. Go through this list and make sure the next time you have to clean, you have exactly what you need to get the job done.