Written by guest blogger Coleen O'Hanlon, CNC
If you have given up animal products, chances are you have been asked the age old question, “Where do you get your protein?” Most people believe that consumption of animal products, such as meat, milk, and cheese is the only way to get adequate amounts of protein in a healthy diet. However, it is not only a myth that those eating a plant-based diet struggle to eat enough protein, but it has been shown that most Americans eat almost double the amount of protein they need. Even worse, studies have demonstrated that large consumption of animal protein may lead to chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. According to web MD: The average protein requirement for men is 56 grams a day and the average protein requirement for women is 46 grams a day.
It is certainly not difficult to find protein-packed plant foods. All plants, be it legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables, or fruits, have some protein, but if you are concerned with your protein intake, there are certainly plenty of powerhouse plant-based protein sources. Some great options include hemp seeds, spinach, broccoli, tofu and other soy products, asparagus, lentils, chickpeas, nuts, whole grains, beans, quinoa, avocados, peas, and sesame seeds. A word of caution - any soy products you eat should always be organic and non-GMO.
I logged a standard American diet and a plant based diet on cronometer.com and these are my results:
SAD diet consisted of: breakfast: 2 eggs, 2 slices bacon and 2 slices whole wheat toast with butter, lunch: white roll, 1 slice American cheese, 3 slices turkey, slice of tomato, lettuce and 1 tsp mayo, dinner: 6 oz steak, baked potato with sour cream and peas, snack: bag of Doritos single serve.
Plant based diet consisted of breakfast smoothie: Sunwarrior vanilla protein powder, spinach, banana and blueberry, lunch: tossed salad with romaine, tomato, cucumber, peppers, chickpeas and pumpkin seeds with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, dinner: stir-fry with brown rice, frozen mixed veggie of corn, lima beans, peas, green beans and carrots cooked with vegetable broth and soy sauce and tofu, snack: 3 celery stalks with 2 tablespoon almond butter.
SAD diet - Protein 111 grams, Fat 87.8 grams, Calories: 1,788.2, Fiber 16.6
Plant based - Protein 92.4 grams, Fat 49.5, Calories: 1,677.9, Fiber 45.9
As you can see, these 2 menus easily met daily protein needs, actually more protein than you need in a day. More importantly, look at the fiber results 16.6 vs 45.9. The plant based diet wins every time.
Only plant foods contain fiber, meat and diary do not. On average, we only get about 15 grams of fiber per day. The minimum daily requirement is 31, so we get less than half of the minimum. Soluble fiber such as oatmeal, peas, nuts, chia and apples helps bile acids to get exceed in the stool which can lower cholesterol levels. It also helps excrete excess hormones such as estrogen. Insoluble fiber found largely in leafy greens and vegetables skins add bulk to the stool and ensure regular bowl movements. The benefits of fiber are: increases transit time, minimizes exposure to toxins, removes heavy metals, removes excess hormones from the body, slows absorption of glucose, controls rate of digestion, satiety - keeps you full, increases weight loss and lowers risk of colon cancer. Eating a plant based diet you can easily meet your daily fiber requirement.
Plants contain thousands of antioxidants that contribute to our good health by providing the vitamins and minerals we need to consume on a daily basis. One of these phytochemicals is the carotenoids, which include about forty different varieties that we consume. Most of us have heard of beta-carotene from carrots and sweet potatoes, but there are others such as alpha carotene, lutein, lycopene, canthoxanthin and zeaxanthin. Diets poor in fruit and vegetables deprive us of these vital nutrients. Eating a plant based diet fortifies the body's antioxidant defenses against free radicals.
EAT THOSE FRUITS AND VEGGIES:
Your diet should consist of seven to ten servings of fresh fruits and vegetables a day - as much in raw form as possible. 1 cup is considered a serving size. How am I going to eat this much you ask? Smoothies are my favorite way to get those fruits and veggies in. You can load up your blender with spinach, kale, pineapple, mango, strawberries, anything you like. Make enough for 2 servings so you can drink one when you make it and take the other one with you for a snack. You can add coconut water, plant milk or plain filtered water and enjoy. A large salad loaded with veggies, nuts, seeds, avocado and beans will keep you full all afternoon while a quick stir-fry with veggies and tofu with rice for dinner will keep you fully satisfied.
This is the one supplement everyone should take but especially when eating plant based. B12 is made from the soil plants are grown in and the bacteria in our gut. With today's processing and washing of our produce, we don't receive B12 in our diet. We are told we need to eat animal products to obtain B12 but in reality the animals are given B12 shots because they are not eating grass to obtain natural B12. A lot of food is fortified with B12 but it is just easier to take a B12 supplement. A typical dose is at lease 25 micrograms a day.
SAVINGS FOR YOUR WALLET
Eating plant based is less expensive than buying animal products. To show the difference in cost, I went on Wegmans website and this is what I found:
ground beef - $5.39 lb, chicken breast - $5.19 lb, whole chicken - $3.49 lb and bacon $7.29 lb compare that to plant based foods: tofu - $2.89 lb, dry lentils - $2.09 lb, dry black beans - $1.59 lb. A savings that adds up with every shopping trip.
Use lentils in place of chopped meat for a yummy bolognese, beans in place of chopped meat for veggie burgers, tofu in place of chicken in things like stir fry and sesame chicken. There are also good non-gmo meat alternatives on the market which make the transition easier. Change the way you look at meals, instead of meat being the center of the plate, veggies and starch like sweet potatoes and squash should be the main focus. Things like vegetable chili, soups and stews are so satisfying. Experiment in the kitchen, look up plant based recipes online and have fun with the process. Get your kids involved in preparation and cooking meals. Make it a family endeavor - your result will be good health and feeling good.
In the United States, more than 9 billion livestock are maintained to supply the animal protein consumed each year. This livestock population on average outweighs the US human population by about 5 times. Some livestock, such as poultry and hogs, consume only grains, whereas dairy cattle, beef cattle, and lambs consume both grains and forage. At present, the US livestock population consumes more than 7 times as much grain as is consumed directly by the entire American population. The amount of grains fed to US livestock is sufficient to feed about 840 million people who follow a plant-based diet.
According to Thom Hartmann in The Prophet’s Way, it takes 16 pounds of grain/soy and 5,214 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of edible beef (the same amount of water one American uses on showers in a year, on average). Tomatoes, for comparison, only need 23 gallons of water per edible pound. You can produce 30,000 pounds of carrot on an acre of farmland, but only 250 pounds of beef. It takes 78 calories of fossil fuel to produce 1 calorie of protein from beef, while only 2 calories of fuel to produce a calorie from soybeans. Meat production strongly contributes to global warming.
TOP TIPS TO THRIVE
Eat only plant-based foods and opt for organic when you can. Include at least 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Aim for at least 35 grams of fiber per day. Minimize processed food, especially those containing refined carbohydrates. Rely on whole foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados for sufficient essential fatty acids. Include raw foods and sprouts daily. Flavor foods with spices and herbs and make water your beverage of choice and include green tea and fresh vegetable juice.
In conclusion, eating a plant based diet provides you with the necessary nutrients needed to thrive, is better on your wallet and better for the environment.
Article written by Gary Miller
Co-chair of events, Ambassadors Council
Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. Empathy is not to be confused with sympathy which can be described as a form of judgement.
There are four basic types of communication, reading, writing, speaking and listening. Of these, listening can be the most vital to effectively communicate and often receives the least training throughout our lives. Dr. Stephen Covey in his best-selling book “The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People” suggests that the key to interpersonal relations is to “seek first to understand, then to be understood”. This is at the heart of empathic listening.
Empathic listening gets inside another person’s frame of reference, to understand their paradigm and how they feel. Empathic listening is far more than registering, reflecting or even understanding the words that are said. Communications experts summarize that only 10 percent of our communication is represented by the words we say, 30 percent by our sounds and 6 percent by our body language. Empathic listening requires an individual to listen with their ears, their eyes and their heart. Through this practice you engage empathy by listening for feeling, for meaning and for behavior.
When empathy is displayed through our empathic listening actions with another person we make a deposit in their emotional bank account and give them psychological air. It is at this time that we can focus on influencing or problem solving.
Liquid Interactive was chosen among hundreds of agencies across the globe to compete in the Wix SEO Battle as the “Wix SEO Haters” against the “Wix SEO Lovers”. The Wix SEO Battle is a 6-month competition to see who can outrank the other for the search term “Wix SEO”. The “Wix SEO Lovers” must build their site using Wix and the “Wix SEO Haters” must build their site with anything but Wix.
What is Wix? Check it out for yourself here.
The contest is judged by renowned SEO and Social Media Marketing expert, Lukasz Zelezny, from London. The competition will conclude on December 19th, 2019 with an incognito search from New York City for the search term “Wix SEO”. Whichever team outranks the other in search results will be crowned the winner and receive 25K! The opposing team will receive 10K.
Liquid is incredibly excited to take on the challenge and duke it out for the top-ranking spot! As a local Lehigh Valley business, we are looking forward to competing in a global competition to show off our search engine optimization and web design skills!
Visit our Wix SEO Haters website here.
Learn more about the Wix SEO competition here.
Article written by John Hayes
Chair, Board of Governors, The Chamber
If you go back about 25 years, before the chambers of commerce in the Lehigh Valley partnered, each chamber had its own individual annual meeting, celebrating business and the local community. Local borders were rarely crossed, and attendance at the largest chamber event was never more than a few hundred people. Our affiliated chambers continue this tradition today and their annual meetings are wonderful celebrations of unique communities and excellent businesses. And they even cross borders on occasion. On Every Main Street!
Thanks to the power of our long-lasting partnerships, members also have the opportunity to get together under one roof to connect with business contacts, customers, prospects and competitors from across the Valley at The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber Annual Meeting, taking place on Thursday, November 7th at the Wind Creek Event Center. The Chamber Annual Meeting is the biggest and best opportunity to promote your business, raise your profile, connect with the leaders of the Lehigh Valley business community, and to be entertained, enlightened and informed by fellow Chamber members and volunteers as we celebrate 2019 and look forward to 2020.
Over the years we have recognized organizations that demonstrate successful business operations, display broad interest and involvement in the community, and bring a notable measure of pride to the Lehigh Valley. This year we recognize the following milestone achievements: Zator Law for 25 Years, The Yurconic Agency for 50 Years and Saucon Valley Country Club for 100 Years! We will also recognize the 2019 Chamber Champion, Barb Green and Blue Mountain Resort, the Volunteer of the Year, Bill Erdman, and the Organization of the Year, Lehigh Valley International Airport (also 90 Years)! And back by demand, Rob Vaughn presents 69 WFMZ-TV Business News Highlights from 2019.
With more than 1,200 members expected, this fast paced 90 minute extravaganza will sell out again this year. Please click here to view all the details or check out page 5 of the October issue of Connections magazine!
By Don Wenner, Forbes Real Estate Council Member. As published in Forbes
Everyone seems to be discussing work culture these days. Cue the quintessential startup workspace, consisting of pingpong tables, beanbag chairs, free snack carts, and cold brew on tap. Most businesses are great at acting the part, but time and again, we see a concerted effort put into developing a culture program that ultimately wanes to give way to traditional financial priorities. Incorporating a long-lasting culture in the workplace is paramount and provides innumerable key benefits, including increased productivity.
A Firm Rooted In Core Values
Early on, being part of a business that embraces core values definitely struck a chord with me since they clearly define a firm's brand, character and even behavior. So many offices are filled with disengaged employees who work what they believe to be 9-to-5, day-in and day-out drudgery. Leaders should be reading books specifically around the topics of leadership, business development, marketing, and autobiographies of notable leaders, all of which can help determine specifically the kind of company you wish to grow.
Next, you should concentrate on the development of your company's core values (we have nine), which should reflect who you are as a company and the kind of team you want to build. Embrace your core values, and more importantly, believe in them, allowing continued, exceptional growth as individuals and as a team. The most significant core value to my firm is the 20 Mile March, a concept developed in Great by Choice by Jim Collins. It’s a concept that has had a long-lasting effect on my approach to business.
The 20 Mile March means that we as a company continue to march consistently, each and every day, hitting targets regardless of the prevailing conditions and favorable or unfavorable economic climates. Too many organizations do the opposite by allowing the outside world to dictate their activities.
The Elite Execution System
The Elite Execution System is my operating system that drives a cohesive integration of the four quadrants of a business: strategy, operations, people and acceleration (sales and marketing). This coordinated system helps everyone speak the same language through clear communication focused on keeping all parties aligned with the organization's top priorities through accountability, issue solving and providing clear alignment. The center of this operating system is culture. At my firm, we focus on building a culture of leadership with a mantra of “leaders made here,” and a culture of execution that is simply “getting things done.”
Center your operations around your compass, which is the vision and direction of the organization and should include purpose, mission, core values, three-year target and one-year bull's-eye. This allows for acceleration and execution in order to meet and exceed your goals. I fully believe in a concept I call “right people right seats,” which means not only attracting, training and retaining employees, but also encouraging them to further develop as producers and leaders. The right people are those whose behaviors match your core values.
Growth And Development
Another integral asset of thriving company culture is continuing to share what team members have learned. Leaders and staff read books on leadership, personal growth and a positive mindset, and team members take part in active discussion and share their takeaways with each other (think of it like book club, but in a much more meaningful aspect when it comes to productivity — both individually and as a team). Groups can meet on a regular schedule, in person and/or by way of technology, for a powerful discussion. In our firm this is part of the Driven For Greatness program, which also entails a health component — members receive activity trackers to incorporate everyday healthy living, and participants pair up for discussion and introductory sessions.
It’s imperative that businesses help their communities, and that they do so in a tangible way. Giving — monetarily, physically and spiritually — will help others in need and create a positive environment that encourages paying it forward. Doing good for others simply feels good, and keeping that positive energy front and center will continue to drive productivity and promote strong company culture.
Create New Traditions
Learning and growing, not standing still, are what will keep a company’s culture going. Recognize your rock stars with various team member awards, and host annual parties and picnics. Maintain an evolving culture that will spark new interest, new ideas and an energized momentum in any company. Great culture and results come when your consumers and team members are aligned with who you are. In other words, there is a fusion of brand and culture.
Culture has and continues to play a pivotal role in any company's current and future success. Building and maintaining culture requires tremendous effort and a continued focus. It must be intentional and a top priority of the organization, or great culture can quickly become toxic culture. Leaders must be focused on continuing to attract, develop and retain gritty, driven, positive people who exude humble confidence and will help to achieve your firm's goals of providing amazing, innovative real estate solutions.
Article written by: Carol Obando-Derstine,
Regional affairs director for PPL Electric Utilities
We can’t choose when a disaster is going to strike. But knowing what to do when an emergency happens—and having a plan ready—can make all the difference. September is National Preparedness Month. PPL Electric Utilities recommends using these tips to develop a plan for your home so your family is ready for action in the event of an emergency.
When disaster strikes, know the warnings
Alert systems operated by government agencies can provide life-saving information when disaster strikes. Know the types of warnings and be prepared for an emergency.
Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEAs)
WEAs are sent directly to your cell phone by state or local public safety officials, the National Weather Service, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the president of the United States.
Emergency Alert System (EAS)
The EAS is a national public warning system that requires all satellite, cable and radio broadcasters to provide the president with a capability to address the American people within 10 minutes during a national emergency. EAS also may be used by state and local authorities.
NOAA Weather Radio (NWR)
NWR is a nationwide network of radio stations that broadcast continuous weather information from the nearest National Weather Service office. For more information and resources on emergency preparedness, visit www.ready.gov. If you experience a power outage, don’t forget to report it online, call 1-800-342-5775 (1-800-DIAL-PPL) or text “Outage” to TXTPPL (898775).
Written by guest blogger Marissa Perez
It’s no secret that big retailers like Amazon are challenging small business owners. How do you compete directly with a powerhouse like that when your business is more of a pipsqueak? Read on for insights that will help your business shine, even in the shadow of the retail giants.
Spruce up your space
Even if websites like Amazon have changed the world of retail, The Balance points to statistics indicating brick-and-mortar sales are alive and well. Even shoppers who research online are more apt to make purchases in a physical store. With that in mind, consider making upgrades to your space. Four walls gives you a solid advantage over major online retailers, and the more attractive and well-designed your store is, the more you’ll catch shoppers’ eyes - and their business. For layout ideas, check out this smart infographic from Napier Marketing Group.
Funds might keep your ideas in check, but there are a couple of agreeable types of SBA Real Estate Loans worth considering in order to make improvements. The SBA 7(a) loan program and the SBA CDC/504 loan program are both designed for real estate, but thanks to the 7(a) line, they can potentially fit your circumstances. These loans can be hard to qualify for, but the payoff is their excellent rates, and the facelift could strengthen sales in the long run.
Level the playing field
Big dogs like Amazon have one obvious advantage over brick-and-mortar establishments: e-commerce. A website is a chance to stay open 24/7, letting customers shop whenever and wherever they choose. In order to level the playing field, a top-notch website is a must-have. Don’t fret if you’re not a computer guru, since there are plenty of ways to get a store online without knowing computer coding.
The best place to start is with a reliable website hosting service. Do some research to ensure you’re choosing a service that will be professional and dependable, since the last thing you want is your site to crash when customers start shopping. For instance, in reviews of InMotion, you can see they offer reliable and secure hosting, provide excellent customer support, and offer a 90-day free trial. Explore your options to ensure you get the best bang for your buck! And if you have a current website that is clunky or outdated, consider investing in bringing it up to speed.
If you build it, they will come
The website itself is one of the biggest factors that can make or break a business, so you want to make sure yours is as attractive and easy to navigate as possible. You can DIY a website using a website builder, which is essentially a drag-and-drop creation. These tend to be easy but lack flexibility, and might not look polished on all types of devices. Ideally, your new site will look great on laptops, tablets, and smartphones alike, so keep that in mind as you explore possibilities.
If you know a bit of coding, you can create a more tailored-looking site using a content management system (CMS). Business.com explains some are more e-commerce-friendly than others, so if you go that route, weigh the pros and cons carefully, and examine the features associated with each option.
Of course, you can always pay someone to build a website for you. Top web designers can ensure that your website engages its visitors and keeps them coming back to do more business with you. When you’re searching for an expert to hire, look for key skills on their profile, including experience with creating an effective user interface, knowledge of web fundamentals, and familiarity with web-design platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, and Squarespace.
Small businesses still have certain advantages over mega retailers like Amazon. Capitalize on your brick-and-mortar experience, and invest in a competitive website. With the right strategies, your small business can outshine the big dogs!
Featured blog post by Robert O. Peruzzi, PhD, PE, R. Peruzzi Consulting, Inc.
Professional Engineers, and the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE)
The state of Wyoming, in 1907, was the first to enact an engineering licensure law. Now every one of the United States, through licensing, grants only Professional Engineers (PEs) the authority to offer their services to the public or to sign and seal engineering plans. There are exemptions for engineering licensure for employees in certain situations, but obtaining a PE license is a legal requirement to practice as an engineering consultant.
Several steps are required to become a licensed PE. First, one must earn an engineering degree from an accredited engineering program. Second, one must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam to earn the title “Engineer in Training” (EIT). (The best time for engineers to take the FE exam is during their senior year of undergraduate Engineering study. The second best time to take the FE exam is now.) Four years of progressive engineering experience are required before one may take the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam to earn the title “Professional Engineer” (PE) and obtain the PE license. Beyond obtaining a license, continuing education is a requirement in most states including Pennsylvania. See www.NSPE.org for further information on licensing.
Independent Practice as an Engineering Consultant
After more years of experience, and perhaps after a nudge by one’s employer, many engineers go into private practice. Depending on an engineer’s skills, experience and interests, opportunities are found in project management, project evaluation and planning, engineering design and engineering inspection and verification. Situations span the spectrum from contract engineer for hire to validation, inspection and sign-off on large complex projects. Providing an unbiased outsider’s opinion can catch errors and flaws that might have otherwise gone unnoticed, saving millions of dollars.
Forensic Engineering, and the National Academy of Forensic Engineers (NAFE)
Forensic engineering is defined by NAFE as the ‘application of the art and science of engineering in matters which are in, or may possibly relate to, the jurisprudence system, inclusive of alternative dispute resolution’. NAFE is a chartered affinity group of the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). Its members and associate members must be licensed PEs and have experience in forensic engineering case preparation. Full members must have testified as an expert witness in at least two cases. NAFE has continuing education requirements which are similar to those of NSPE. NAFE membership enhances one’s credibility as an expert witness. See www.NAFE.org
Testimony by Expert Witnesses:
A witness who is qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise if:
(a) the expert’s scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will help the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue;
(b) the testimony is based on sufficient facts or data;
(c) the testimony is the product of reliable principles and methods; and
(d) the expert has reliably applied the principles and methods to the facts of the case.
In addition to engineering, expert witnesses practice in areas such as medical, business/financial, human resources, family/custody, insurance, police/penal, real estate and more. There is no defined requirement for declaring oneself an expert, however, the expert and his/her retaining attorney must convince the court of their expertise.
Engineers of any engineering discipline can and should enhance their career by obtaining their PE license, whether or not required by their present employer. Engineers well-established in their careers may see expert witness cases fall into their lap without any effort. To seriously pursue this path, search online for “Expert Witness Training”. A licensed PE with some expert witness experience may apply for NAFE membership to further establish their career as a Forensic Engineer and Expert Witness.
Featured guest blog post by Crystal S, author at LATRO Cellular Forensics Lab
Recently I read an article on Psychology Today that triggered some thoughts about kids, teens, and cell phones. Being a millennial, I identified with many things I read in this particular article. It also pointed out that kids and teens use their cell phones eight or more hours a day which was mind-blowing. According to PT, “kids are using their cell phones way too much and putting their mental health at terrible risk. National surveys are showing that kids today are more anxious than ever before, with spiking rates of depression and suicide.”
But Why Are Kids and Teens Reaching for their Cell Phones More Than Ever?Is it because of boredom, addiction, or for social interaction? I’ll be the first to admit that when my cell phone dings, I immediately reach for it. It is a crutch when it comes to a long day of working to space out on social media during my lunch hour. Kids and teens do the exact same thing. When you give a child a cell phone without any restriction, they treat it like candy. Kids love candy so they will eat and eat until they get sick and the same analogy can be said for their cell phones.
Also, addiction can be a scary word. I knew I was addicted when myself and our team experimented and put parental controls on our phones. To read the full experiment, check it out here. I reached the parental control limit before lunch so unfortunately cell phone addiction is real and alive and not just in our kids and teens.
But it seems our youth seems to be reaching for their cell phones more than ever because it stimulates their pleasure centers and sends waves of excitement throughout their bodies. Getting a cell phone notification whether its a text, DM, like, or comment makes kids and teens feel wanted, needed, liked, and accepted. This has been happening since social media skyrocketed back in the Myspace days. Millennials would race home to check their Myspaces to see their new notifications. Now its even easier because we all carry little computers in our pockets and get instant notifications and instant gratifications.
What’s Happening with their Social Skills?
It also seems that the younger generation is petrified of picking up their phones and calling family and friends. Its as if phone calls are only made when there is an emergency and instead of saying “hello” we say “what’s wrong, who died?” It is easier to send a text and get an instant answer but we see it more than ever with Gen X kids. They need to mentally prepare themselves to call people on the phone especially when its someone they don’t know or if they are asking for help. They will use technology such as email and instant chats before they ever pick the phone and call.
Even full on discussions and even arguments happen via text instead of sitting face-to-face and communicating. “Rage texting” is also another form of fighting over cell phones: inessentially sending vicious texts to one individual over and over again with no resolution. The problem with this is that the recipient isn’t able to retaliate their feelings or their answers go unread. Another problem is that the sender cannot see the recipient’s reaction so they send extremely hurtful texts that they might regret later.
Social skills are also hindered when kids and teens are in public. They tend to bury themselves in their phones instead of interacting with others around them. They could be missing out on normal social cues that help mature them.
What’s the Solution?
There are solutions for the world of social skills in our kids and teens: limit the cell phone use, add in other forms of excitement and pleasure inducing activities, and lead by example.
Limiting the cell phone use will challenge your kids and teens to fill their time with other activities but it can be hard especially if the cell phone was given without any restrictions. Putting on parental controls is an option but there’s ways around the locks so be cautious with that approach. If you believe your child is missing out on life and too plugged in, then take the steps necessary to help them which might include taking away their cell phones or even making them pay for it.
Adding in other forms of pleasure inducing activities is also another route to take. Replace the cell phone use with sports, after school clubs, new hobbies, family nights, game nights, and all without any cell phone use. Let your kids and teens show off their skills and talent through new sports and hobbies. This will also ensure constant human interaction and face-to-face connections for your kids so they don’t lose out on those key social skills.
Challenge yourself to regulate your cell phone use too. Pick a set time for no cell phones like dinner time, family activities, and an hour before bed. If you find it difficult to not check your phone every few minutes or to even put it down once you’re on it, then setting a routine might be the answer. You are leading by example for your kids so lead in the direction that will allow them to excel at life.
Featured blog sent in by: The Flying Locksmiths
A vacation checklist for before you leave town
The Flying Locksmiths understand that would-be thieves don’t take a break in the summer. Before you head out on your next vacation, use this checklist to help ensure you and your belongings in your home are as safe as possible.
The good news is great security makes for better vacations! Knowing your home is protected means you’ll worry less and be able to enjoy yourself more.
Have visibly secure window and door locks: Windows and doors are the first line defense towards protecting your home. In other words, these are not places to skimp on protection! All locks and installations are not considered equal: Invest in properly installed deadbolts for all your outside doors. Consulting with your local locksmith and getting the best locks for your particular home will not just make it harder to get in, but may deter the bad guys from even trying to begin with!
Pause your mail service: Decide what to do about your mail and newspaper delivery ahead of time. There are pros and cons to the following options and what you decide to do may depend on your unique situation. Fortunately, this has gotten much easier in recent years. All you have to do is visit this page on USPS.com and make your request. Doing this a few days ahead of time is best, but you can even request that the post office hold your mail as soon as the next day.
Stop newspaper delivery: Again, this is has become quicker and easier and can be done as late as the day before! Simply visit your local newspaper online and make your request. BUT depending on your situation (i.e. – has your neighborhood recently been targeted by thieves?), you may want to have a neighbor pick up paper and mail for the following reason: Burglars often watch our habits. If they notice that the mailman and paper delivery is suddenly bypassing your home, it may be a clear signal to them that you are out of town.
Consider your lighting and change up your lightbulbs: Lights that are left on 24/7 serve as a glowing beacon to would-be burglars. One inexpensive solution is to install dusk to dawn light bulbs in any outdoor fixtures, such as these.
Install outdoor motion detector lights: Nothing will give a would-be burglar pause more than a light that pops on unexpectedly. A variety of shapes and sizes are available from hard-wired options to battery-operated porch-lights. If you are going to leave on lights, be sure to leave on the ones that make sense to be left on, such as in bathrooms and hallways.
Don’t hide your valuables in the Master Bedroom: Don’t hide things in here! In the event of a break-in, the Master Bedroom is one of the first places that a burglar will look. If you have to keep valuables in your bedroom, be sure to keep them locked up in a secure home safe.
Of course, it’s best to deal with many of these items well ahead of your next vacay! So contact or give us a call at 1-800-649-5397 to help you get started with those deadbolts you’ve been meaning to get.
We know – no one likes dealing with this stuff. But we promise you’ll quiet those voices in your head that lead to us not appreciating the best parts of life as we should, sleep better and overall enjoy that hammock time more if you take these important precautions.
BONUS HOME SAFETY TIPS
Here are a few additional steps we take at the last minute, especially when leaving our homes for more than a few days:
· Adjust thermostats (don’t turn off, as leaving your house too hot or cold, can lead to other problems upon your return.)
· Turn off water main
· Unplug major appliances or use surge protectors on them
· Be sure refrigerator doors are shut
· And last but not least, be sure you remember where you put your house keys in your luggage, so you don’t need to call us when you get home!
The Greater Lehigh Valley Chamber is the 7th largest Chamber in the United States!