Homesteading Couple Hasn’t Bought Groceries in a Year of Self-Sufficient Living

Chris and Stef jumped into self-sufficiency last year when they decided not to buy groceries for an entire year, including staples like salt, sugar, coffee, and flour! Instead, they’ve been growing, catching, raising, and harvesting 100% of their food supply on a small 1/2 acre homestead.

We cannot wait for more people to experience this type of eye-opening change. Indeed we should all be aware of our waste production and our impact on the planet, as well as where our food comes from, especially animal products, and the environmental and ethical costs of it. Thank you for spreading such an important message. This home and property are beautiful works of love. Best of luck on your journey to total self-efficiency.

 They’re only a few weeks away from completing their year-long homestead challenge and they attribute their success to hard work and to the fact that they live in the Southern Gulf Islands where they have a great growing climate and access to the ocean. Be sure to follow their@Lovin offtheLand homesteading adventures (https://www.youtube.com/c/lovinofftheland)  – they’re going to continue producing most of their own food even after the challenge is done, and may even announce a brand new challenge later this year!

The couple’s four main sources of food have been:

  • CATCH – they catch fish, prawns, and other seafood from the ocean
  • GROW – they grow loads of vegetables, fruit, herbs, and spices on their land
  • HARVEST – they forage for things like mushrooms, berries, nuts, and seaweed
  • RAISE – they raise laying hens, chickens, and turkeys for eggs and meat

Eating only what they produce has drastically reduced the amount of money that Chris and Stef spend on groceries (they still buy hygiene products and other items that are not food and beverages) but a lot of the savings went directly towards building infrastructures like fencing and the chicken coop.

Another advantage of living off the land and sea like this is that they have noticed a huge reduction in the amount of household waste they’re throwing out. Food from the garden doesn’t come in a package!

 

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10 Tips to Keep Your Rental Property Safe

As a property owner and landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Aside from providing them shelter, tenants need to feel protected while in the comforts of your property. If your tenants feel that you are looking out for their welfare, they will likely stay with you for a longer period of time. By boosting your rental property’s security measures, you can increase its value, strengthen your relationship with your current tenants and attract quality future renters. To guide you through this process, here are some ways to help you keep your property secure.

Rental Property Safe

1. Start with the entrance

The entrance and front area of your rental property can serve as a hiding place for criminals. Make sure to trim your bushes and or any other obstructions. Your front entrance should be clear and free from any hindrances that will make your tenants vulnerable to ill-intentioned individuals.

2. Secure the doors

One of the first things that you should do is to secure your external doors. Invest in quality doors made of heavy-duty materials and avoid using doors with glass windows, hollow doors, or those made in plastic as they are easy to break and get into. Upgrade your doors’ locking mechanisms and consider installing deadbolt locks and door jammers for added security. For your tenants’ peace of mind, you can add peepholes or multiple chain locks. In addition, make sure to collect the keys from an evicted tenant and consider changing your locks frequently in case your previous tenants made a copy. 

3. Focus on your windows

Your windows are vulnerable entryways in your rental property. Most windows are equipped with a locking mechanism, which makes them impossible to be opened from the outside. However, intruders can easily break the window glass and climb through, especially if your rental unit is located on the first floor of a commercial building. Make sure to install window locks to discourage burglars from breaking and entering. For more protection, you can install window sensors designed to alert you if the windows have been tampered with. 

4. Add more exterior lighting

One of the easiest ways to improve your rental property’s security is to install additional external lighting. Your tenants don’t want to come home at night feeling anxious whenever they try to open the front door. Make sure to illuminate the dark areas around your property. You can use motion-sensors lighting as they can detect movement even from several feet away. They are also eco-friendly as some of them are solar-powered, so you don’t need to worry that they will run out of batteries or increase your electricity bill. 

5. Install a security system

Having a security system can make your tenants feel more protected. It may seem like a significant investment, but it could spell the difference when tenants are property hunting. There are several options that you could choose from that offer a variety of features. Make sure to select the one that suits…

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Build A Garden Room For Better Health

Did you know that a garden room could be beneficial to your health? Yes, it may seem like an ambitious claim at first. But analyzing the pros and cons of the project will let you see how a garden room can benefit your health and well-being in the long run. Although most of us make plans to forego the sofa and TV for outdoor activities, it is easier said than done. In fact, building a garden room can be the beginning of a more rewarding outdoor lifestyle.

Both parents of the modern-day family have full-time jobs to support the needs of the family. Most families do the usual household chores after returning from work. It may including cleaning the house, preparing dinner, and sorting out “kid’s stuff.” By the time the kids are in bed, the parents barely have enough strength to do anything else. They may watch some TV and straight away go to bed.

Today’s children are addicted to technology with no time to explore the outdoors. Kids play games via consoles and interact with their buddies through social media portals. In fact, getting the kids out of their rooms could become a challenge for many parents. That is where a garden room can do wonders.

Most of the time, our weekly routine includes work, gym, school, supermarket, and drinks with friends, and most of these activities are based indoors. Even when we are getting out of the house for brief periods, we are still breathing stale air and relying on artificial light. Some people can even complete all their weekly activities without having to leave the four walls of their home. In fact, they have all the apparatus for an indoor existence.

Today, convenience is the main buzzword in our lives. Everything can be delivered to your doorstep after you order them online. Hence, even your need to go out for the odd errand is even rapidly decreasing. Why is it important to be outdoors? In fact, there are many benefits of spending time outdoors.

Our skin is responsible for supplying 90% of the vitamin D intake. It is done when the skin is exposed to UV light from the sun. Vitamin D plays an important role in preventing strokes, heart attacks, depression, and some forms of cancer. The best thing about vitamin D is you get the majority of the substance for free. On the other hand, the latest studies show that fresh air can enhance your heart rate and immune system. It also provides more energy and improves your mood.

Watching TV for long periods will send your brain into a more dormant state than when you are sleeping. The same is true for surfing the net, perusing Facebook statuses, or watching YouTube videos. That is why you need to exercise the brain by engaging in other activities away from your living room. Getting outdoors is the best way to do it. But there are times when you can’t go outdoors…

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Important Points to Remember When Preparing for a Homesteading Lifestyle

There was a time when everyone was flocking away from cities to suburbia, but in recent years even that has lost its thrill. An ever-increasing number of people are seeking a simpler lifestyle away from all the noise and distractions that are a ‘normal’ part of life in populated areas. They are seeking homes even more remote than the suburbs and a homesteading lifestyle reminiscent of days long gone. It may sound simple but there are some important points to remember when preparing for that long-awaited day.

Fields, Path, Farm House, Wooden House, Homestead, Barn

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Access to Services

This is perhaps one of the most fundamental aspects of choosing where you plan to enjoy life on a homestead. Unlike any populated area, some crucial services may simply be unavailable or so remote as to be almost nonexistent. For example, there are areas of the country where it is almost impossible for emergency rescue teams to reach you quickly. Services such as fire rescue may take as long as, or even longer than, an hour to reach you. Always have a family emergency plan mapped out for that necessary, but often remote, assistance you may require.

To Buy or Build

Then there is the decision to be made whether you would rather buy an existing home in the outer reaches of society or if you’d like to build your own. If you chose the former, remember that the asking price may not be in keeping with the real value of the home and property it sits on. Here is where you would want to understand the difference between home appraisals and home inspections. If you are going to require a home loan to purchase that property, the lender will most often require a home appraisal to set a market value to the home as a condition of the loan. Few lenders will offer loans above the valuation so that appraisal is an important factor. However, what you may wish to do even before seeking a loan is have that home inspected. Many of the necessary repairs can be dealt with before the home is valued with an appraisal. On a side note, this is also important to understand if you are selling your own home. You will get a better asking price if all major repairs are dealt with first

A Final Word on Emergency Preparedness

Homesteading really is an exciting lifestyle because you will be learning to do things you never imagined being able to do. However, the one thing many people don’t anticipate is that wherever you go you may be subject to natural disasters that would require preparedness on a new level. As mentioned above, rescue services may be too remote to reach you timely. Keep supplies at hand you can easily access if you are snowed in, for example, or should suddenly be cut off from major roadways due to floods or fires. Most veteran homesteaders have this down to a science but…

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Benefits Of Using A Telemedicine Provider

Seeing a doctor probably doesn’t rank very high on most folks’ list of fun things to do. But, it’s a necessary part of maintaining your health and wellness over time. Luckily, there’s a solution to the more inconvenient aspects of the process: using a telemedicine provider. In telemedicine, you can speak with a professional, qualified, and licensed doctor about a number of medical concerns. Your health insurance likely covers telemedicine in some form or offers it as part of the overall membership package. Even if it doesn’t, telemedicine is an affordable and easy way to get treatment for chronic, urgent, and other issues quickly. It is not a replacement for a primary care physician or a means to attain emergency services (although proactive use of such services might actually decrease the likelihood of such visits). Here are five benefits of using a telemedicine provider for non-emergency medical issues.

Medical Consultation

Consulting a virtual doctor doesn’t have to be just for urgent care situations. Speaking with doctors about other conditions is a useful aspect of the service as well. A medical consultation is a great place to address your general health questions and any immediate medical concerns you might have. During a consultation, it’s important to ask about the severity and treatment of your condition. With a virtual visit, make sure you’re in a quiet place and ensure your internet connection is both secure and high-quality. If you’re doing a video call with the doctor, it’s a good idea to test your headphones/speaker and microphone prior to the appointment. If you’re on a phone call, a quiet space is almost necessary. Take notes, be very descriptive, and ask questions. Imagine that you’re speaking with your primary care physician in person and be sure to be completely honest with the doctor.

Urgent Care

Perhaps the most common and primary use for telemedicine providers is an urgent care situation. This could be any non-emergency medical issue that needs fast treatment or a prescription to treat the problem. Going to a physical urgent care facility takes time and often costs upward of $50 for a single visit. With a virtual doctor visit, you’re typically covered by your insurance, pay less, spend less time waiting (the average length of a telemedicine visit is around 12 minutes), and don’t have to leave your home. Better yet, online doctors can treat a wide variety of urgent issues remotely, including providing prescriptions for treatments. Here are just a few that can be addressed by a virtual doctor:

  • Allergies
  • Common cold
  • Cough
  • Ear issues
  • Fever
  • Flu
  • Headache
  • Rash
  • Sore Throat
  • Urinary Tract Infections
  • Vomiting
  • Insect Bites
  • Nausea
  • Pink Eye
  • Respiratory infections

The doctor will talk you through the symptoms, determine your diagnosis, and help you develop a treatment plan. Often, they’ll provide a written summary of their findings as well for you to keep and reference for your records.

Therapy

While teletherapy is not suitable for treating severe conditions like schizophrenia, it can be useful for a variety of mental health concerns such as panic, depression, OCD, and anxiety. Teletherapy appointments center…

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The great landscapers of history

The UK is famous for its lush and beautiful gardens, but behind every great garden is a talented landscape designer hard at work. Throughout history, the United Kingdom has been the home of some of the world’s most famous landscape designers that have dedicated their lives to creating stunning outdoor spaces for generations of Brits and tourists to enjoy.

Gertrude Jekyll

Gertrude Jekyll

In this blog, we’ll be taking a look at some of the most famous landscapers in history and the impact their systems and ideas still have on today’s garden landscapers.

Gertrude Jekyll

Our list of famous landscapers who made their mark on the UK would be incomplete without mentioning the late and great Gertrude Jekyll.

Jekyll was known both for her solo design work and for her partnership with the architect, Sir Edwin Lutyens. The pair created over one hundred landscape designs together and laid down a foundation of firm planting and garden design principles that would be used for generations to come.

Jekyll was famous for her enormous herbaceous borders and complementary colour schemes that ran from cold colours (blue and white) to hot colours (red and orange) and back again. Jekyll’s focus on architecture as a garden’s main framework to display certain plantlife is still implemented today and has left a lasting legacy.

Vita Sackville-West

Vita Sackville-West was not a gardener by profession. In fact, she was a writer and a poet that had developed a love for gardening after buying the stunning Sissinghurst Castle with her partner in 1930.

Sackville-West spent years transforming the ruined outdoor space into a private and intimate garden that had five separate enclosures; the Nuttery, Cottage Garden, Orchard, Rose Garden and White Garden. After the Second World War, the garden was cleared of debris and opened for visitors, and her experimental and practical approach to gardening caught the interest of the gardening public.

Sackville-West’s principles of ruthlessness and experimentation, allowing self-seeded plants to grow where they fell naturally and mixing cultivated plants with wildflowers, has left a lasting impact on the gardening community and today’s visitors to Sissinghurst.

Margery Fish

Any fan of English cottage gardening will likely have heard of Margery Fish. Like many other landscape gardeners, Fish didn’t turn to gardening until later in life, when she coined the concept of a cottage garden.

In her famous book, ‘Cottage Garden Flowers’, she wrote, ‘Nowhere in the world is there anything like the English cottage garden. In every village and hamlet in the land there are these little gardens, always gay and never garish, and so obviously loved.’

Her abundant garden at East Lambrook Manor is a monument to her work and was exceptionally popular throughout the 1950s and 1960s. After two decades of neglect, the garden was once again restored and visitors from all over the world come to marvel at its natural gullies, winding paths and domed Chamaecyparis. Her natural ability and passion for mixing plants in small spaces…

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5 Basic Principles of a Modern Lawyer’s Office Design

The millennials are bringing into question the knowledge that has been known about the lawyer’s office design. Whether it is for a car accident lawyer in Boise or an estate planning lawyer in Texas, no attorney will fail to admit that the legal workspace has evolved. There are significant generational shifts in the type of offices that law professionals desire. 

Forget about the idea that a law office should be so substantial to accumulate the piles of case files, these days offices are just a few hundred square feet; enough for what needs to be done by the professionals. However, law firms have realized that the kind of office space they possess plays an imperative role in attracting clients. 

Despite the massive changes in office design, some entities should still stand out in the workspace.

Does One Style Fit All?

Right now, working from the office full time is not considered ideal. The older generation will prefer sitting at the office to finish their tasks, while the younger generation will gladly choose to work from home. It will be quite unfair for a firm to put in place one style and leave the other. 

With that consideration in mind, it is advisable to set up a space that will not go to waste; not too big or too small, just a comfortable size to accommodate the employees. 

Figure out a decor design that impresses the most, but don’t forget your profession’s rules.

Basic Principles for a Modern Lawyer’s Office

1. Fit in the Appropriate Lighting

The proper lighting is crucial for an office and can influence how people feel in the office. Installing dull lighting may affect a lazy and sluggish mood at work. Consider putting bright bulbs and having expansive windows to allow natural light to sip in. Utilize lighting that will make the clients and lawyers feel comfortable. Think about installing many fluorescents if it is hard to allow natural light into the workspace.

2. The Work Space Keeps on Evolving

Without doubt, what works today in the lawyer’s office might not be valid five years from now. The rate of change over the years in the office setting indicates that the office strategy needs to be flexible.

3. Choose the Right Decor

Your decor will have a significant impact on how people feel in the office. Make sure the set makes people feel calm and warm. Do not choose a dark colour palette on the walls. Decorate your office with bright colours to keep the space alive. You can display some pictures on the wall; photos of the employee team, or paintings to enhance a personal connection to the clients. 

4. Distinct Working Spaces for Collaboration

Most firms embrace coworking space because of its distinctive nature of office design that allows lawyers to work together as a team in a coworking space. In open environments, people get to share ideas and complete a large amount of work…

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The Car Accident Arbitration Process

If you have sustained injuries and other damages after an accident, you will expect to get a fair settlement from the at-fault insurer. The settlements are meant to compensate you for the damages to your property, pain and suffering, out-of-pocket expenses, hospital bills, and loss of income, among others. 

To start off the process, you will need to file a claim with the insurance company and negotiate a fair settlement. If negotiations fail or the claims are in dispute, arbitration might be a viable option. Arbitration is an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) method that involves a neutral third party.

The neutral person’s main job is to hear from both sides and decide the outcome. This method works in both fault and no-fault states. Here is what you need to know about the car accident arbitration process.

Preparing for the Arbitration

The first step in the process is to choose an arbitrator. This can be an experienced lawyer or a retired judge because they are familiar with the law. Your arbitrator is the judge and jury in your case. Therefore, it is crucial to select the right candidate because they significantly impact your claim.

Your state’s laws and the insurance policy will determine how many arbitrators should hear the case and how they can be selected. However, the victim also has an equal say in the selection process. The American Association for Arbitrators (AAA) also has several rules that should be adhered to.

Once you have an arbitrator, you will have a deadline for exchanging documents to support your claim with the insurance company and set a date for the arbitration hearing. Review every bit of information or evidence the insurance company has against your claim with your lawyer, understand it, and prepare evidence to support your claim. 

What to Expect During the Arbitration

Though an arbitration hearing is an out-of-court procedure, it takes almost the same shape. All parties involved will be in the same room, and the arbitrator will hear the back and forth discussion of the claim. The hearing mostly lasts a few hours, during which your lawyer will make an opening statement, call witnesses and cross-examine them, present evidence that supports your claim, handle the opposition, and make a closing remark.

The Car Accident Arbitration Process

The Car Accident Arbitration Process

If you do not have a lawyer, you should be prepared to handle the process. Try not to rush through your presentation to ensure that you cover every step, and present all the evidence you have. 

The Award

After the hearing, the arbitrator can take a week or two to review the case and look at the evidence presented. This can take a week or two. Once the arbitrator can determine the outcome of the hearing, both parties will sit down together again.

The arbitrator will issue an award statement and explain why they have come to that conclusion. If you have a binding arbitration…

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How Can Replacement Cabinet Doors Enhance Your Home’s Value

Kitchen interior design is constantly changing, and that’s because there are always new appliances and designs entering the market that can make your kitchen look better and more functional. Similarly, kitchen cabinets are also a crucial component of this design. 

Replacement Cabinet Doors

Kitchen cabinets aren’t just functional. They are an important design statement in any home. It is why many homeowners decide to invest in replacement cabinet doors to increase the value of their homes. 

While you could change your kitchen cabinets entirely, many people opt to replace just doors. It is because kitchen cabinet doors face a lot more wear and tear, from constantly being opened, sunlight damage, and so on. 

Replacing kitchen cabinet doors can also prevent damage such as mold and water damage from reaching the interior of your cabinet. Damaged cabinets are detrimental not only to your house’s functionality but to its value as well. 

Match with Your Kitchen Interior Design

You may have gotten your kitchen remodeled at some point while owning your home, but your cabinet doors have now become outdated and odd with your new kitchen design.

While you should buy new cabinet doors that match your kitchen interior, you could also consider other alternatives. These include investing in timeless, classic designs that will not require frequent upgrades, such as Shaker or Flat style cabinet doors.

You may also want to consider designs that are easily customizable in the future by adding a new coat of paint or wood polish. It lets you change the look of your kitchen at regular intervals and upgrade it with different designs you might have over the years. 

Budget-Friendly Remodeling

Whether you don’t want to spend a large amount of money remodeling your kitchen or are on a tight budget, changing the cabinet doors can be an inexpensive way to give your kitchen a new look and feel.

You could also personally change your cabinet doors, which would further cut down the cost of hiring a contractor or handyman. When choosing the right cabinet door for your kitchen, opt for sophisticated but simple designs that will go along with any design type and interior. 

Depending on the type of material you choose to go with for your kitchen cabinets, you could make the price even lower. You also get the option of picking colors and different hardware for the cabinet doors, which can dramatically switch up the aesthetic of your kitchen. 

Makes Your Kitchen Modern

Replacement cabinet doors are an easily achievable method to make your kitchen look modern and minimalistic, one of the most popular trends for 2021. Opting for a Flat or Beadboard cabinet door can easily make your kitchen look modern and high-quality.

It would help if you also considered designs that are easy to repair and durable because you do not want to be reinvesting money repeatedly for cabinet doors. You can also customize your cabinet doors any way you want to make them more modern. 

More Functionality

Certain cabinet door styles like Partial Overlay are not meant to be…

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Key Ways to Prepare for a Telehealth Appointment 

We’ve seen many changes in the world since 2020, when the global COVID-19 pandemic hit, and life as we knew it altered significantly. While most of us have focused on changes such as the need for lockdowns, movement restrictions, mask- wearing, health issues, work shifts, home-schooling, economic uncertainty, and more, there have been some silver linings. 

Telehealth Appointment

One of those is the increasing opportunity to attend health appointments virtually. Telehealth had been expanding before the COVID outbreak, but in recent months more and more health practitioners have seen the benefits of offering services remotely and have gotten the tech in place to do so. 

This expansion is helpful for those who have conditions that make it hard to attend in-person appointments, people who live on the land or other regional or remote areas, and those who struggle to leave home due to mental health challenges. If you’re about to have your first digital appointment with a doctor, here are some ways to prepare. 

Know Your Goals 

Get clear about your specific goals for your appointment before you speak with an online doctor. Understanding what you want to get out of the session will help you stay focused. For instance, you might want to get a diagnosis or a referral, learn about medication or other treatment options, or see if you’ll feel comfortable with a general practitioner and can make them your regular doctor. 

Check Your Insurance Coverage

Don’t forget to check your insurance cover for medical appointments before the day of your conversation. You don’t want to get hit with an unexpected and costly bill, after all. Talk to your insurance provider about what kind of coverage you get with your plan and if telehealth sessions are included. 

For some insurance firms that do offer cover, you’ll have to handle a co-pay cost. Your insurer should give you information about what you might need to cover out of pocket, and the medical practice you deal with should also be able to provide you with details on the costs they charge. 

Write Down Pertinent Details

To prepare for your telemedicine appointment, take time to write notes for yourself, so you’re not trying to think of everything on the spot. For example, write down all the pertinent info related to your symptoms or other health problems you want to discuss. The more details you can give a doctor, the easier it will be for them to provide a correct diagnosis or comprehensive information. 

Make a list of any pre-existing conditions you have that the medical professional you speak with doesn’t already have listed in your file. Note conditions you deal with and how long they’ve been present, as well as any changes you’ve noticed in recent times. The practitioner will also want to know if you take medication for any of your health concerns, including supplements and other treatment programs you’ve utilized. 

Note the medical devices that form part of your life, and have them on hand in case the doctor wants you…

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