Many people think of air pollution as an outdoor problem. However, studies indicate that the air in most homes is two to five times more polluted than the air outside. Unfortunately, poor indoor air quality can cause serious health problems, especially when you consider that people spend up to 90 percent of their time indoors.
Sources of indoor air pollution include:
• Mold, dust and pollen
• Tobacco smoke
• Gases such as carbon monoxide and radon
Additionally, volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are a leading cause of indoor air pollution. These gases are given off by many sources. Because they have a low boiling point, they can be released from products even at room temperature. They’re found in cleaning materials, personal care products, new furniture, building materials and even some fabrics.
Here are a few ways to keep the air in your home clean:
• Choose products low in VOCs, and if possible, store new furniture, carpets and building materials outside of your home for a few weeks until they stop emitting gases
• Avoid scented products like plug-in or aerosol deodorizers, candles and incense
• Make sure your carbon monoxide and smoke detectors are working
• If you have one, keep your air exchanger on at all times and clean the filters regularly
Help yourself and your family breathe easier by identifying the sources of indoor air pollution in your home and taking steps to reduce or eliminate it.
Should I worry about my dog throwing up?
Like people, dogs may throw up from time to time. Usually, this isn’t cause for concern, but it can sometimes be a sign of a bigger problem. Here’s what dog owners should know.
Vomiting vs. regurgitation
It’s important not to confuse vomiting with regurgitation. Regurgitation involves undigested food coming up easily from the esophagus. This is often caused by eating or drinking too fast and isn’t usually anything to worry about.
Vomiting is typically preceded by drooling, shivering or swallowing excessively. The dog’s abdomen will also visibly heave repeatedly before they throw up. It’s most often caused by something they ate, but could also be due to motion sickness, stress or illness.
Signs of a health problem
In general, there’s no cause for concern if your dog throws up. However, the following may indicate a larger problem:
• The vomiting is accompanied by other symptoms, such as pale gums, lethargy, decreased appetite or sudden weight loss.
• You suspect the dog ate something toxic.
• The dog vomits more than twice a month.
• The vomit contains blood or a substance that looks like coffee grounds.
If you’re in doubt about your dog’s well-being, be sure to call a veterinarian. They’ll be able to answer your questions and provide you with a treatment plan if needed.
Why should I have my pet neutered or spayed?
The first goal of neutering and spaying is to prevent your pet from reproducing. However, it’s also beneficial for medical reasons. Females spayed before their first heat are less likely to suffer from mammary tumors, while males neutered before puberty are less likely to develop prostate problems as they age. Veterinarians recommend having your cat or dog sterilized when they are about five or six months old.
Sterilizing also helps prevent diseases of the uterus and ovaries as well as “phantom pregnancy” lactations in females. In males, it can prevent testicular tumors and anal growths related to hormones. The surgery also reduces or eliminates behaviors influenced by the reproductive hormones, such as the marking of territory and running away to mate; this, in turn, results in fewer fights and accidents. Last but not least, sterilizing your four-legged friend also helps reduce the problem of pet overpopulation. Feel free to ask your veterinarian for more information.
3 tips for choosing the perfect wedding jewelry
Are you wondering what kind of jewelry to wear on your wedding day? Here are three tips to help you match your accessories to your wedding attire.
1. Be yourself. If you never wear jewelry in your day-to-day life, you shouldn’t be dripping in jewels on your wedding day. However, if you love the way you look in big chunky earrings or long necklaces, go for it.
2. Match the metal to the dress. Pure white dresses look best with silver jewelry, while ivory or champagne fabrics pair well with gold. If you’ve chosen to wear a blush-hued gown, opt for rose gold.
3. Consider the neckline. High-necked or halter dresses look best with statement earrings and a simple bracelet. A V-neck is practically begging for a beautiful necklace to fill the space. And a sweetheart or strapless gown goes with anything, from a choker to a pendant or even just the right earrings.
On your wedding day, less is more. Your radiant face, your beautiful gown and your new wedding ring won’t need much embellishing.
Leave your mark on the world
Would you like to take advantage of your retirement years to create a tangible record of your time on earth for posterity? Here are some ideas to help you decide how you can leave your mark on the world.
The written word is a fine legacy and offers many possibilities. You could write your autobiography, telling your life story or that of your family by sharing the funniest or most touching stories that marked it. You could also create a collection of your finest poems, your best jokes, or your favorite quotes. Words are also a good way to pass on your knowledge and experience to loved ones, such as through a collection of your most delicious recipes, or the traditional remedies that have been handed down through the generations of your family.
If you’re not very good with words, other options are available to you. You could use images; after all, a picture is worth a thousand words. You could create chronological or thematic photo albums, or start scrapbooking, to leave your loved ones with lasting memories. If you enjoy doing research, you could also try to reconstruct your family tree from the time your ancestors first arrived in North America. You’re comfortable with multimedia? You could shoot videos to leave behind for the people you are close to; you could write a blog in which you share one of your passions, or create a website devoted to your family.
If you have children, you have already left your mark; the values you pass on will endure for generations to come.
Use your retirement to create lasting memories for your loved ones.
How to dress your bridesmaids
Whether you have three bridesmaids or 13, you’ll need to decide what you want them to wear. Here are some options.
Same color, same dress
For a classic and cohesive look, ask your bridesmaids to wear matching dresses that correspond to your wedding decor. This option is best when the girls in the group have similar body shapes and skin tones.
Different color, same dress
For a multicolored esthetic, choose a style of dress and let your bridesmaids pick the hue they wear. If you prefer a more subtle approach, ask them to wear different shades of the same color.
Same color, different dress
This is a great way to show off your bridesmaids’ personalities while still maintaining a cohesive look. You can even opt for convertible dresses. These can be worn as many as 20 different ways, so your girls will have no problem finding a look that suits them.
Ultimately, you don’t have to follow any rules when choosing your bridesmaids’ dresses. The most important thing is that the women who matter most to you will be there with you on your big day.
5 signs it’s time to replace your windows
Do your windows need to be replaced? Here are five signs that indicate it’s time for an upgrade.
1. There’s a noticeable draft. Even on cold, windy days, you shouldn’t feel any air coming in through your windows.
2. There’s lots of outside noise. If you can hear each car that drives by and every child playing in the street, your windows probably need to be updated.
3. The frames leak or are damaged. Chipped or soft wood around your windows is an indicator of irreversible water damage.
4. They’re difficult to open or close. Windows should be simple to open and close and they should lock easily and securely.
5. There’s condensation. Condensation between windowpanes suggests there’s a broken seal. If the seal is broken, any gas that provided insulation is gone.
If you notice one or more of these signs it’s time to invest in new windows for your home.