Author Archive | Jennifer St. James

High Wildfire-Risk Homes in California May Have New Rules

The Woolsey Fire. The Thomas Fire. The Camp Fire. The entire town of Paradise, California was consumed by flames last fall, with almost 14,000 homes destroyed and 85 people killed, making it the deadliest U.S. wildfire in the last 100 years.

Over the last few years, California has seen some increasingly deadly wildfires, and they have spurred lawmakers to consider regulations that would tighten local governments’ requirements for new housing developments in high-risk areas. Continue Reading →

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Increase the Value of Your Home With Landscaping

Image by toddpharistx from Pixabay

Ever heard of the term “curb appeal”? It’s a real estate term used to describe how attractive a house is from the street, and can affect its ability to attract good buyers. And luckily, there are a few ways to freshen up both your front and back yards to boost both the first impression and the value of your home.

The trick is to choose the landscaping ideas that add, not subtract, value from your home. Think your pool is cool? Yeah, not so much when it comes to return on investment, sadly. But Zillow’s team did some research and found out a few important things: Continue Reading →

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What Keeps Insurers Up at Night?

Your first answer to this question (and maybe the photo suggested it) might be dog bites. And while yes, dogs do remain at the top of the list for generating insurance claims, note that deer, birds, and cats are adding to the number of claims each year.

Allianz Global & Specialty insurance company reviewed over 470,000 claims over the past five years to find out that there’s a new growing liability: bedbugs.

Don’t worry, we said it too. EEEW! Continue Reading →

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Do You Have a Broken Sewer Line?

It’s every homeowner’s nightmare: sewer water flooding from toilets across the floor. It’s not just water damage, it’s water damage of the worst kind. While not always preventable, there are signs that you may have a clogged or broken sewer pipe, and if you notice these items, do not delay in getting a sewer drain expert to your home immediately. Continue Reading →

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April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month

Image by Harut Movsisyan from Pixabay

This month of April is Parkinson’s Awareness Month, and we’d like to share some information about this disease and let you know ways to help.

First of all, there is no cure for Parkinson’s Disease, a neurodegenerative disorder that affects neurons in a specific area of the brain called substantia nigra. Parkinson’s rarely happens over night, but rather with symptoms that generally develop slowly over the years. Also, each person can have a different set of symptoms and progression due to the diversity of the disease. Continue Reading →

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Why is Assault the Most Common Workplace Injury for Women?

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When we think of workplace injuries, thoughts of falling off ladders, slipping on a wet floor, or tripping down stairs as the most common. But what if we told you that 70 percent of all non-fatal injuries that cause days off work were ones that women suffered, and that they are due to assault? It’s a sad and true statistic, according to analysis by the National Safety Council. Continue Reading →

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Spring Clean, Marie Kondo-Style

Image by Steve Adcock from Pixabay

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months, you’ve heard of Marie Kondo. She’s the Japanese author and professional organizer who wrote the bestseller, “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing”. You may have heard book lovers railing against her 30-book maximum and her love of folding.

Now that we’re past the time change, it’s starting to feel like spring. So why not do some spring cleaning around the house? You may not want to go full Marie Kondo, but doing some decluttering is always cathartic. Donate some of those clothes and toys to charities—do you have nice business clothes you don’t wear any more? Search out a shop that focuses on giving clothes to low-income people looking for jobs, like Working Wardrobes in Irvine.

We’ve rounded up the top five tips from Marie Kondo’s book, and if you start obsessively folding every piece of clothing in your house, seek professional help.

Tip #1: Have you usually looked at decluttering as a room-by-room task? Kondo says to tackle categories, since objects like book can travel to another room and not get dealt with. Start with clothing, she suggests, as it’s the least emotionally sensitive category in a person’s life—books are next on the list, with old photographs coming further down the line.

Tip #2: Have a little respect for your clothes. Are they all mashed together in your closet? Are sweaters balled up in the back of a drawer? Kondo’s idea that your clothes have feelings may be a bit wacky, but if you think about it, taking care of your clothes while they are stored in closets and drawers will make them last longer, if not “happy”.

Tip #3: Put blinders on and focus on the task at hand, no matter how tempting it is to open that box of old letters or the high school yearbook you didn’t know you still had. Also, it might be a good idea to have the kids out of the house with your other half or a babysitter, as they are highly distracting creatures who will probably help “reclutter”.

Tip #4: Gather every piece of clothing and put it in a big pile. Don’t listen to music or get on the phone with a friend; again, Kondo’s theory is based on focus. Give yourself the permission to let go of those clothes you really don’t wear: the shirt you got on sale that just didn’t fit right but was such a good bargain; that dress that looked good in the changing room but you’re not brave enough to wear out; and again, those business clothes you’re not wearing at the moment. Kondo promises you’ll feel amazing when you see the bags of clothing going to a better home.

Tip #5: Folding! Everybody is Kondo Folding right now. Her technique is simple but effective, allowing you to see everything in your drawers at once and hard to mess up when you pull one piece out. She also uses clean shoe boxes for smaller items, like scarves or socks.

Are you ready to get started? Maybe wait until the weekend to give yourself the time. We don’t recommend starting today; your boss might not be so understanding that you missed work to sort and fold your entire closet. Happy spring cleaning!

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The Reason for So Many Traffic Fatalities

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Once again, for the third year in a row, traffic fatalities reached an estimated 40,000. Those statistics are for 2018, according to the latest report from the National Safety Council (NSC).

That’s only roughly one percent lower than the road deaths from 2017, down only 231. But from 2014, it’s actually a 14 percent increase, the NSC reports. Continue Reading →

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