Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Memo to self: In Case of Emergency (from Redbook Mag)

I've been posting a lot of Real Estate related things on my blog lately, but decided today to do a health one. As many of you know, I am on a weight loss "journey". I think many times we can draw strength and ideas from others. I really enjoyed this article in the latest Redbook Magazine, especially the author's memo. I have the link to the entire article at the bottom. Hope you enjoy this has much as I did!!

** I found this in the latest Redbook Magazine. It was this great
article about a gal who while losing weight decided to write
songs "skinny songs" to help motivate. She's sold tons of her cd. I
really liked this memo she wrote to herself:


You've just consumed a whole bunch of calories you didn't need. You
slipped, you splurged, and you hate yourself for it. What now? Give
up? Eat some more? I think you deserve better than that. Here's what
I want you to do:

1 Forgive yourself. No one is perfect. Stop kicking yourself.
Everyone who has succeeded has had moments like this. You can still
succeed too, but you must stop yelling at yourself and simply say, "I
forgive myself for the mess-up."

2 Put it in perspective. Even if you ate 1,500 calories in a single
sitting, it is not a deal-ending amount. You have not permanently
ruined your life. You have an extra half a pound to get rid of. Big

3 Reaffirm your bigger goal. Remind yourself about the importance of
the goal you have set out to reach and recommit yourself to working
to achieve it. Look at the dress you ripped out of the magazine, or
imagine yourself bounding up a flight of stairs in a black tracksuit.
Just because you ate a quart of ice cream doesn't mean you can't meet
your overall goal.

4 Eliminate the temptation. I don't want to waste food, but sometimes
the rest of the bag or carton needs to go down the garbage disposal.
This is one of those times.

5 What can you learn from this? Take a step back and see if there is
something that will help you overcome future moments like this. Did
you deprive yourself so much that you were overwhelmed with hunger?
Did you get mad and eat out of emotion? Think about what you can do
to avoid this trigger or situation next time.

6 Don't punish yourself. Don't starve yourself. Don't go on a cabbage-
soup fast. Punishment doesn't work; it just perpetuates a bad cycle.

7 Recommit to lose. Say out loud, "I'm over it, and I'm back on my
plan." Imagine yourself standing up, dusting yourself off, and
getting back on a horse. Hold that visualization for a moment and
feel great about that decision. Feel proud that you can recover so
quickly. Now forget it and move on! You are back on track.

You can find the entire article at: http://www.redbookmag.com/health-wellness/losing-weight/weight-loss-songs?click=main_sr

Thursday, February 19, 2009

How to save on Home Repairs

Have I ever mentioned how much I love my subscription to Real Simple Magazine?? If not, I do. :) In almost every issue I find SOMETHING that I cut out and save for later. Sometimes these articles get put in a pile and I forget about them for months and months...but I still save them! Well, I'm looking through that pile right now and found a few good suggestions that I wanted to share!!

In the January 2009 issue (see, I'm only a month behind!), They had a Moneywise segment on "how to save on home repairs". Here's what they had to say:

- Get free DIY advice. Go to www.youtube.com and type in "ask the builder" for how-to videos on simple procedures like replacing a faucet or a light fixture.
- Be Flexible. Ask a tradesman if he has a hole in his schedule, then inquire about a discount if you book during that time.
- Learn the lingo. Before calling a contractor, check out sites like www.moneypit.com and diynetwork.com. You'll be better informed - and less likely to get taken - if you can speak his language. (Jodi's Memo: If you haven't see the movie Money Pit, you should rent it before doing any major renovation...nothing can go as bad....)
-Don't succumb to "Your roof is falling" tactics. If your basement floods, say, a cash-hungry contractor might try to talk you into a drainage system that costs around $7,5000. But in the majority of situations, you can guard against indoor deluges just by cleaning and extending gutter downspouts and grading soil away from the foundation. (Jodi's Memo: This TOTALLY happened to one of my clients and they DID NOT go with the drainage system! And the house is still standing!)

The article also made some monthly checks you should do around the house. I will try to update these monthly :) Since it's already February...I'll also give you the advice for January as well!

- Test your home for radon. A radioactive gas that causes lung cancer, radon can build up when windows and doors are sealed tight. So January, the coldest month, is an optimal time for an annual test, says Elias Rodriguez, an EPA spokesman. Visit epa.gov/radon (Jodi's Memo: I can suggest radon testing companies and someone to mitigate..I had this done on my own home!)
-Make sure your attic insulation is doing the trick. If snow melts off the roof soon after it falls, or if icicles form even when temperatures remain consistent, too much heat may be escaping from your home. If so, call a contractor.

- Check your sump pump. do this now, before the first spring thaws or March, when melting snow and rain showers can cause basement flooding. To test, pour two gallons of water into the drain to raise the float and activate the motor. It should stop running once the water level drops below the activation level.
-See if your gas meter is iced over. On average, February is one of the snowiest months of the year. According to managemyhome.com, accumulated ice on the meter can cause it to malfunction and create a gas leak. If the meter is iced over, contact your gas utility. (Chipping off the ice yourself can damage the unit)

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stimulus Bill & Tax Credit

By now I'm sure most of you have heard about the new Stimulus Bill & Tax Credit that was just signed. I really think this will be a POSITIVE thing for everyone, especially the Real Estate Market! Yeah!! Here is what The Kansas City Association of Realtors has to say about it. Also look for their ad to appear in this Sunday's Kansas City Star (or click the link to see it below!)

The economic stimulus bill we’ve all heard so much about in the last few weeks was signed into law yesterday. Officially known as the “American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009,” the bill is a $780 billion package, with roughly 35% of the package devoted to tax cuts (mostly for 2009) and the rest to spending intended to occur in 2009 and 2010.

The mix of provisions of interest to REALTORS® changed frequently throughout the legislative process, with changes continuing to be made just hours before the measure was released prior to the vote. In the end, the elements of NAR’s housing agenda were included.

Learn more by viewing NAR President McMillan's video podcast or read more about the housing provisions in the bill. Additionally, the NAR Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, has posted a commentary summarizing more information on this important legislation.

The tax credit for first-time home buyers, up to $8,000, is an important aspect of the bill for all REALTORS®. It’s a significant improvement over the $7,500 credit included in TARP 1 last year, especially in that it is not repayable. Click here for a chart with the major modifications for the first-time home buyer tax credit.

Promoting this tax credit, and the incentive it brings first-time buyers to contact a REALTOR®, will be a central message in the KCRAR Public Awareness Campaign this spring and summer. This ad will appear for the first time in the Sunday Real Estate section of The Kansas City Star on March 1. A column by Chris Collins, ABR, CRS, GRI, 2009 KCRAR President, will appear on the cover of the Saturday Real Estate section in The Star on March 14. And additional print and online placements are being planned now. So stay tuned for more!