Home Improvements with High ROI

If the ultimate goal of your home improvement project is aesthetic, the greatest benefit may come from your personal enjoyment of the new space. However, if you’re looking to add true value to your home, it’s important to consider which projects are likely to bring the greatest return on your investment.

Flooring

Much like hands reveal a person’s true age, flooring speaks volumes about a home. Replacing and updating worn floors can instantly add value. A timeless selection like wood flooring, particularly in heavy traffic areas, is durable enough to withstand wear and complements a wide range of interior designs. If you already have wood floors that are in reasonably good condition, whether in use or under carpet, go ahead and refinish them for a budget-friendly alternative to installing new flooring. Another option that holds or even increases the value of your investment is tile, particularly in spaces like kitchens, bathrooms and laundry areas.

Roofing

Re-roofing a home gives it an instant value boost, but it’s a job that needs to be repeated periodically. One longer-term and on-trend alternative to traditional roofing is metal. Performance is the big selling point for metal roofs, but not only does the roof itself increase the home’s value, the safety benefits and peace of mind that come with knowing strong, fire-resistant metal roofs can last forever only add to the benefits.

With a variety of styles available, you can find a metal roof to match nearly any home style. For example, CertainTeed Metal Roofing offers profiles crafted to simulate Spanish barrel tile, slate and wood shake. Made from high-performance, deep-drawn steel, these roofing systems offer a lifetime-limited warranty and are engineered with a special multi-layered paint process that resists the elements while offering realistic color details and gradations. Find inspiration and explore a design gallery at CertainTeed.com.

Landscaping

Curb appeal often counts for a lot, whether it’s for your own enjoyment or a potential future buyer. Enhancing your home’s exterior can pay off handsomely when you add vegetation and hardscaping that improve the overall aesthetic. Keep in mind that more unconventional styles are better reserved for private spaces like the backyard; for the street view, stick to a motif with broad appeal to garner the strongest return on your investment.

Entryway

An outdated entry point isn’t just an eyesore; it can pose a security risk and even be the source of significant energy loss for your home. Replacing front doors and even garage doors can both bring a return on your investment and potentially start saving you money right away on heating and cooling costs. A new, properly installed entry door is likely to fit more snugly and allow for fewer air leaks. In addition, a heavier door and frame is more likely to stand up against forced entry.

Insulation

It may not be glamorous, or even anything that you’ll see on a regular basis, but many experts agree that upgrading your insulation is a sound investment. In addition to adding value in terms of comfort and reduced energy costs, it’s an attractive selling point should you choose to list your home.

If you’re still uncertain about the right investments for your home, it may be wise to consult a local real estate expert who can provide insight on the features that bring the most value in your market. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
CertainTeed

Prevent Pets from Fleeing in Fright

Summer social gatherings and celebrations involving fireworks can add up to a lot of fun for humans, but it’s an equation that may test the limits for a fearful pet. The break in day-to-day consistency and the chaos that comes with festivities can cause pets to escape in search of solace, which often times results in them leaving their loved ones behind.

“During the summer months, we tend to take a step away from our usual routines and that can be very unsettling for a pet,” said David Haworth, DVM, PhD, president of PetSmart Charities. “While July 5 is known as a day of high intake for local animal welfare organizations due to the noise and chaos associated with the Fourth of July holiday, even small barbecues and other summer events can cause distress that results in a pet fleeing for perceived safety.”

In honor of National Pet Loss Prevention Month, the experts from PetSmart Charities recommend these tips to prevent your pet from running off.

Practice effective “stay” techniques with your pet: Pets and pet parents who participate in behavioral training courses can learn effective ways to communicate during times of leisure or stress. Knowing simple commands like “stop,” “sit” or “stay” can help prevent a pet from running away.

Ensure your pet has proper identification: Microchips are a great way to ensure your pet is armed with the proper identification. To help decrease the number of pets that enter shelters each year across North America, PetSmart Charities supports low-cost microchipping programs in local communities. Whether you use tags, embroidered collars or microchips, make sure you update the information provided at least once a year to ensure the latest contact information is available to those who may find your pet.

Secure your pet’s surroundings: To prevent your pet from running away, provide a comfortable, yet contained environment that he or she may safely explore. This could include a fenced-in backyard during a family barbecue, the use of a leash at a local parade or access to favorite toys for a soothing escape. Don’t forget an ample supply of shade and water to help your pet stay cool and comfortable in the summer heat.

Inquire about calming solutions: Just like pet parents, pets can become sensitive to unexpected events and develop anxiety over time. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to destructive behavior, excessive barking or panting despite lack of exertion. If your pet is exhibiting extreme behavior, ask a veterinarian if calming solutions are a fit ahead of a large gathering.

Know how to handle a lost pet: If you see a lost pet, check his or her tags and contact the pet parent. If the pet shies away from contact, reach out to your local animal control department for assistance. If you lose a pet, contact your local animal control department or your neighborhood shelter to request assistance.

For more information about helping local pets in need, visit petsmartcharities.org. (Family Features)

SOURCE:

PetSmart Charities

Ideas for an On-Trend Bathroom

Bringing an outdated bathroom into the now is a sure way to infuse value and personal enjoyment into your home.

Whether you’re tearing down and starting fresh or simply looking to infuse some new life with a few key elements, these ideas, paired with an option such as Wellborn cabinetry, can give you the inspiration you need to transform a tired toilet into a modern marvel.

Make a singular statement

For a bolder look, the best approach may actually be quite simple. Use a single material throughout the room for big impact. For example, run the same tile you select for the floor up the walls, across the vanity, around the shower and up to the ceiling. It’s a dramatic approach, but with the right color and pattern, it can work, especially with a pale or neutral tone. The same concept applies to other materials, such as plaster or concrete, which can create a uniform look that makes a statement.

Try a timeless tub

Freestanding tubs were once associated with older, outdated homes, but like many things in design, these stand-alone vessels are once more back in vogue. Today’s freestanding tubs offer tons of style to fit nearly any design motif. If the claw-foot style of yesteryear is your thing, there are plenty of contemporary takes on the look for an updated, traditional bathroom. There are also a wide range of sleek styles that look nothing like the classic version for a completely fresh, sophisticated bath. Give your tub extra star power by setting it against a backdrop of tile or reclaimed wood, and punch up the style with standout fixtures to make your tub a truly unique feature of the bathroom.

Float your vanity

Take a look at today’s trending bathroom designs and you’ll see floating vanities cover the pages of most design magazines and articles. Floating vanities, also known as wall-mounted vanities, mount directly to the wall, providing more floor space and creating a streamlined look.

By mounting the vanity to a wall, the space is broadened, naturally making the bathroom look and feel larger. Additionally, the wall mount allows homeowners to customize the space in terms of countertop height and comfort.

Although the aesthetic benefits often come at the cost of limited under-sink storage space, this potential pitfall can be overcome with a customizable U-shaped drawer option, such as those offered by Wellborn Cabinet, that allows functional drawers to be placed within the wall-mounted cabinetry. The storage-enhancing drawer option complements the Wall Mounted Vanity program available in the Aspire Cabinetry line, which offers mounted vanities in more than 40 door profiles, featuring door style selections of wood, decorative laminate veneer, textured melamine, smooth melamine, solid high gloss, matte and designer colors. For more information, visit wellborn.com.

Infuse unexpected color

If you think of bathroom fixtures as purely functional, think again. Not only can they add a stylish focal point to your tub (and shower and sink, for that matter), the ultra-practical fixtures can actually be a source of color. Bold brass and gold tones are in style, or for something completely different, explore a new look like solid black fixtures that pop against several different textures and surfaces.

Introduce ample lighting

Sub-optimal lighting can hamper the ambiance of smaller spaces like bathrooms. If the space has a window, ditch any coverings that restrict the natural light and instead rely on textured glass windows that provide privacy while allowing light to shine freely. Another option is a skylight, which is surprisingly easy to add. If access to the roofline is an issue, consider one (or even a couple) tunnel skylights. Also give care to selecting the right fixtures for the space. Not only should they coordinate well with the overall decor, they should provide plenty of task and ambient lighting to make the room both useful and inviting.

Trick Your Way to a Bigger Bathroom

When knocking down walls to create more space isn’t an option, there are still plenty of ways you can maximize a small bathroom space to make it look and feel larger than it really is.

Opt for monochromatic cabinetry. Whether you buy new or paint existing cabinets, make them blend in monochromatically in the lightest shade possible. White and light colors reflect light, making the room seem brighter and more spacious. To maximize the illusion, extend the monochromatic scheme throughout the space, including floor tiles, wall paint, ceilings and even the decorations.

Place cabinets strategically. Think of the spaces in your bathroom that you don’t usually use, such as the area above the doorway. Especially if you have high ceilings, you can install decorative storage shelves to house items you don’t need in everyday reach like bathtub salts, scrubs and more. You can also use the shelves for storing extra toilet paper and cleaners to free up valuable storage space below the sink.

Maximize vertical space. Consider extending cabinetry up to the ceiling. Adding color at a vertical height can cause the eye to go up and therefore enlarge the bathroom space and feel. It is also a wise use of unused space rather than borrowing from limited floor space, which can make the space feel cramped.

Consider open storage. Open storage shelves trick the mind because the airy openness can give the illusion of taking less space than enclosed storage. However, be mindful of over-filling shelves, which can create a cluttered look. Instead use the open space as an opportunity to feature artwork or other accents that add life to the room. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Wellborn Cabinet, Inc.

Tips for Welcoming a Feline to the Family

Introducing a feline into the family can be an exciting time, but it’s important to remember that a new home is often a big change for a little cat. Whether it’s a kitten or an adult cat, providing your new pet with proper nutrition, the comforts of a good home and engaging playtime are just a few of the key things to keep in mind.

Try these simple tips from the experts at the TEMPTATIONS™ brand to help ensure a smooth transition for your new four-legged family member.

  • Cat-Proof the House – In addition to being constantly curious, cats are also instinctive climbers, meaning no surface is out of reach for your new pet. Make sure any potentially dangerous items – such as wires, cleaning supplies and sharp objects – are behind closed doors and inaccessible to your little climber. You can also provide a scratching post to help prevent your cat from scratching unwanted things, like your furniture.
  • Playtime is a Must – As little as 15-30 minutes of exercise and activity per day can help your cat stay energetic and in shape. Encourage your cat’s natural curiosity with engaging toys, such as the TEMPTATIONS™ SNACKY MOUSE™ Toy. Simply fill the mouse-shaped wobble toy with your cat’s favorite TEMPTATIONS treats and watch them entertain themselves by trying to knock the treats out of the toy and gobble them up. Playing together can also help strengthen the bond between owner and pet.
  • Create Some Comfort – Make your new friend truly feel like part of the family by giving him or her a personal spot in the house. A simple bed to call his own, a cat tree to view his new surroundings and some soft toys to play with are all it takes to provide the initial comfort to make your pet feel safe and welcome in a new home. For cats that prefer privacy when they’re not playing, a covered or hooded bed is a great option.
  • Fuel Your Feline – Taking care of your cat’s health starts with proper nutrition. Be sure to find a high-quality cat food that has recipes that are nutritionally tailored to meet the specialized needs of your cat. A brand like IAMS™ Cat Food fits that bill and has dry and wet cat food options for all stages of life, from kitten to senior, as well as options to aid in oral care, hairball care, high protein, digestion and metabolism.
  • Offer Affection – Always remember to show your cat you care. Whether it’s a scratch behind the ear, a nice brushing or a sweet cuddle session, your cat can feel loved and safe, knowing he or she is in good, caring hands.

For more tips on taking care of a new kitten or cat, visit TemptationsTreats.com. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Temptations

5 Common Mistakes In Home Organization And How To Avoid Them

Written By Marty Basher, home organization expert for Modular Closets

Ahh, Summer. It’s that time of year for warmer weather and longer days.  It’s the time when we are full of energy and have more hours in the day! This time of year, even the messiest of us can start to feel the urge for some serious decluttering and organization, especially with back to school around the corner.

But where to begin?

If we’re trying to get our bodies ready for beach weather, we probably have a sense of the kinds of exercising and dietary practices we ought to pursue to get us moving toward our goals. But organizing our homes and our closets can be a less obvious kind of challenge.

In the quest for greater home organization, there are many mistakes that frequently get made by even the most well-intentioned home designers. Here are five guidelines that can help you avoid the mistakes and achieve a better organization system, hopefully in the time you also achieve your 2018 Summer look!

Use All Of Your Available Space

So many of us move into homes where the closets come with a only few shelves or racks, and even if we use them to the best and fullest extent we can, we’re still left with closets full of wasted space. Most people have messy, disorganized homes because they have more things to store than they have storage space – and when you’re looking to increase your storage space, every square inch of your closet system counts.

Make the most of the full height of your closet walls with tall organization systems that fit the dimensions of your space. Make use of every nook and cranny with adjustable shelves and drawers that are custom fit to your room and your storage requirements.

You’ll probably be surprised at how functional your closets and other storage areas can be when you make use of the space you have.

Follow The 80/20 Rule For Storage

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 Rule (also known as the Pareto Principle), which is the idea that for many things in life about 80% of the effects come from about 20% of the causes. Many designers believe this rule applies to the way we use and store our clothes: the majority of us spend 80% of our time wearing only 20% of our clothes (think about those favorite pairs of jeans you wear over and over versus that eveningwear you put on only maybe a few times a year).

If we want to be effective organizers, we should design our closets with this rule in mind. The layout should provide for easy access to the items we use most frequently, while taking advantage of the hard-to-reach-spaces to store those things we’ll only need to pull out once in a while. Can your closet system do this?

Invest in Quality Closet Materials 

If you’re going to put in the time and effort to organize your home, you want to make sure that your organization system will last. So, look for closet systems that are made of quality materials and a thickness that provides for durability.

Here at Modular Closets, all our closets are made of top-grade 3/4” solid plywood with plywood drawers and top-quality hardware. We pride ourselves on building some of the sturdiest closets in the industry.

Personalize Your Space for Your Needs 

No two people are exactly alike, so no two closets should be either. You may be surprised to learn how simple and cost-effective it can be to get a closet system that matches your specific needs, things, and lifestyle goals. Storage options can add not only efficiency but a touch of style that is customized for you. Do you need lots of Shoe Shelves for a large collection? A Belt Rack? A Tie Rack? Do you need more Short Hanging Shelves or Long Hanging Shelves? Or more Drawers instead of Shelves? It’s all up to you.

Modular Closets creates pieces you can mix and match and easily assemble to meet your closet needs. And because they use modular units (in other words, standardized units for easy construction and arrangement), their prices are typically 40% less than standard custom closets.

About Marty Brasher

Marty Basher is the home organization expert for Modular Closets. Modular Closets are high-quality and easy-to-design closet systems you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve the true custom closet look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets.

Ryan Companies Announces Two Senior Living Communities in Texas

Sugar Land and Georgetown will be newest locations for Grand Living

Riverstone Rendering -Ryan Companies

Riverstone Rendering -Ryan Companies

Ryan Companies US, Inc. and Grand Living announced today their intent to develop two senior living communities in Texas: Grand Living at Riverstone and Grand Living at Georgetown.   These projects are located in Sugar Land and Georgetown Texas respectively.  The communities will follow the age-in-place model and include all Grand Living amenities available at other locations.

Grand Living and Ryan Companies have eight communities currently under construction and development across the US in Florida, Iowa and now Texas.  The Grand Living experience has been identified as a distinctive lifestyle and healthcare service for seniors. Each Texas project will include 180 units of independent living, assisted living and memory care.  Well known for their amenities and services the Texas Grand Living projects will include: 24 hour on-site staffing, multiple dining venues, a performance theater, the Grand Spa and Salon, an outdoor pool, Club Room, Library, and many other offerings.   Both projects are expected to break ground in early 2019.

“Grand Living has been delivering upscale senior living communities in Florida and Iowa since 2015, now Texas will be the home of their next two,” said Eric Anderson, Vice President of Development, Ryan Companies. “Aside from the one of a kind amenities offered, Grand Living offers the best healthcare and lifestyle service offerings available in the market.”Grand Living at Riverstone will be located in Sugar Land Texas, at 4814 LJ Parkway, Sugar Land TX  77479. Grand Living at Georgetown is located north of Austin at 1330 W. University Avenue, Georgetown TX  78628.  Both Texas communities will be developed and built by Ryan Companies, designed by Ryan Companies A + E and managed by Grand Living.

About Ryan Companies US, Inc.

Founded in 1938, Ryan Companies offers comprehensive commercial real estate services as a national developer, architect, capital investment consultant, builder and real estate manager with a focus on bringing lasting value to its customers and the communities in which it works. Ryan market depth includes retail, industrial, healthcare and senior living. Ryan development and corporate build-to-suit work spans a wide range of product types including office, mixed-use, hospitality, multifamily housing and mission critical facilities. Ryan has nearly 1,300 employees in 15 offices and has completed projects in 38 states. For more information, visit ryancompanies.com.

Eight Common “Flow Breakers” Leaders Face—and How to Defuse Them 

Constant disruptions at work prevent managers from achieving flow, the state of concentration that allows them to do their best work. The authors of Mind Tools for Managers highlight the most common flow breakers at work and offer tips for eliminating them.

Sometimes it seems like the workplace is designed to keep you doing anything besides, well…working. If you’re a manager, this is a serious problem because everything at work hinges on your ability to effectively lead your team. Still, distractions abound in most offices, from buzzing phones to watercooler chit-chat to the endless lure of surfing the web. With all this chaos, it’s difficult to achieve the intense state of concentration known as flow, where employees of all levels do their best work.

“Flow is a state of mind that occurs when all your conscious thought is focused on what you are doing,” says Julian Birkinshaw, coauthor along with James Manktelow of Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00). “Unfortunately, in the modern workplace, flow can be difficult to achieve and maintain. As a result, you are a less productive manager and stay stressed out at work. But by weeding out typical office distractions and interruptions, you can improve your focus, get more done, and become a more effective manager.”

Mind Tools for Managers identifies the 100 skills that a manager can master to become a better leader. They were identified in a survey of 15,242 managers and professionals worldwide. This research was conducted by James Manktelow, founder and CEO of MindTools.com, and Professor Julian Birkinshaw, deputy dean for programs at London Business School. The authors provide practical advice for each of these skills—one of which is the ability to stay focused—and direct the reader to the MindTools website for a deeper dive into specific skill-building articles, worksheets, videos, and more.

Even if you’re one of the many managers struggling to maintain focus at work, you can achieve a state of flow—which was first described in detail by psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi—by managing or eliminating the distractions that pull you out of concentration. Keep reading to learn about some of the most common distractions managers and employees typically face at work (and how to deal with them), excerpted from the article “Minimizing Distractions: 10 Ways to Take Control of Your Day.” For more information, please refer to Mind Tool 12-1: http://mnd.tools/12-1.

FLOW BREAKER 1: The relentless presence of personal technology. Smartphones and now smartwatches have blurred the line between personal and professional communication. Now you can receive work emails and calls on the same device as private Facebook comments, Instagram photos, and an array of other personal information. The good news is, this is a challenge that you and your colleagues can effectively manage yourselves. When focusing on a particular piece of work, choose to put away your phones for a certain amount of time. That way you can devote your attention entirely to the project at hand.

FLOW BREAKER 2: Email, email, and more email. Many emails in your inbox are probably not particularly important, and yet you may feel you must look at them when they arrive. Instead, try these tactics:

  • Schedule checking time. Turn off the alert that appears on your computer screen when you receive an email, and check and respond to messages at set times instead. This helps you manage your coworkers’, managers’, and customers’ expectations about how and when you will reply to them.
  • Choose “low-productivity” times. There are likely certain times of the day when you do your best work, like first thing in the morning or maybe late at night. Schedule email check-ins for your less-productive times and save your peak hours for high-value work.
  • Turn emails into actions. If you need more than a few minutes to read an email, add it to your to-do list.

FLOW BREAKER 3: Social media and web browsing. Both are major productivity killers. Trouble is, organizations can no longer block people’s access to websites that aren’t work-related—smartphones can easily get around this. So it’s up to you to use social media and the rest of the web responsibly. If it is acceptable within your organization, use a brief personal browsing session as a reward for an hour or two of high-quality, focused work.

FLOW BREAKER 4: Nerve-jangling phone calls. The ring of a phone often prompts an intense need to answer, even when you’re in deep concentration. To minimize this source of distraction for you and your team, consider arranging a rotation so that team members can take calls for one another. Also be sure to let friends and family know that you will be available for calls only at lunchtime or in the evening.

FLOW BREAKER 5: Distractions in your work environment. Rather than trying to ignore such distractions as strong cooking smells or loud colleagues, get away from the problem. Set yourself up in an empty meeting room to regain your focus. Or wear noise-canceling headphones or play “white noise” to blank out anything that would otherwise grab your attention.

FLOW BREAKER 6: Confusion due to overwhelming workload. Always try to have a manageable to-do list, because having one that’s too long can lead to procrastination, as you wonder which task to tackle next. Each day, commit to accomplishing the two most important tasks on your list, and put the rest on hold until tomorrow.

“In our study we found that 79.5 percent of managers view prioritizing tasks effectively as one of the most important planning and time management skills,” says Manktelow. “It is so important!”

FLOW BREAKER 7: Other people. Colleagues visiting your desk can be a big source of distraction, but you’re also a manager who wants to be available for your team members. So, if you don’t want to be disturbed at times when you need to focus on a task, consider either working at home or in a conference room. If you have your own office, close the door and tell your team that you need to be left alone to concentrate for a while.

FLOW BREAKER 8: Shortfalls in your own well-being. It takes a lot of mental and physical energy to juggle your priorities, manage visitors, and have the discipline to control your use of technology. So, it’s vital that you take care of yourself. Get plenty of sleep and make sure you drink enough water, as dehydration can make you feel tired and impact your thinking. It’s also important to get some fresh air and take a brisk walk during the day—this will energize you. And try to avoid heavy lunches and sugar-laden snacks, as they can lead to a slump in concentration later in the day.

“It’s easier than ever to lose track of what you should be doing at work, but you can still take steps to avoid distractions and improve flow,” concludes Birkinshaw. “Learning to better manage these ‘flow breakers’ is a valuable skill that can be practiced and sharpened over time. And when you can achieve flow more easily, you will not only become a better manager, but you’ll set a great example for your team as well.”

About the Authors:

James Manktelow

James Manktelow

James Manktelow and Julian Birkinshaw are coauthors of Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00).

James Manktelow is founder and CEO of MindTools.com. He has written, edited, and contributed to more than 1,000 articles, more than sixty workbooks, and seven books and e-books on management and leadership, including Manage Your Time and Manage Stress.

Julian Birkinshaw

Julian Birkinshaw

Julian Birkinshaw is professor of strategy and entrepreneurship, deputy dean for programs, and academic director of the Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at the London Business School. He is the author of fourteen books, including Fast/ForwardBecoming a Better Boss, and Reinventing Management.

About the Book:

Mind Tools for Managers: 100 Ways to Be a Better Boss (Wiley, April 2018, ISBN: 978-1-119-37447-3, $28.00) is available at bookstores nationwide, from major online booksellers, and direct from the publisher by calling 800-225-5945. In Canada, call 800-567-4797. For more information, please visit the book’s page on www.wiley.com.

If You’ve Got a Lawn, You’ve Got a Playground! And So Much More

If you’ve got a lawn, you’ve got a playground for kids and pets to enjoy. A lawn offers a sturdy place for children and animals to play. In fact, our yards and green spaces offer amazing benefits for your family and community.

Now that summer is here and we will spend more time outdoors, the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) shares a few reasons why our lawns are awesome.

Reason #1: Your lawn offers a safe place for kids and pets to play. A useable outdoor area providing a spacious living area for the entire family, including when it’s time to play! Turfgrass can handle the pounding of little feet and paws, while providing a soft landing pad for tumbles and fun.

Reason #2: Your lawn can help kids get into shape while having fun. Outdoor play is an important strategy in helping the one in three American kids who are obese get fit. It increases fitness levels and builds active, healthy bodies. Research also shows that children’s stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces.

Reason #3: Your lawn can make you happier. Research shows that knowing and experiencing nature, including green space, makes us generally happier, healthier people. Just looking out a window at green spaces can lower adult stress levels. Walking or running in green spaces, instead of synthetic environments, can lead to decreased anger, fatigue and feelings of depression, while increasing attention levels.

Reason #4: Your grass cools down your community and the area around your home. This is especially important in cities, where asphalt and hardscape radiate heat. Grass dissipates this radiant heat through a process called evapotranspiration, which combats the heat island effect.

Reason #5: Your lawn helps control water runoff and erosion. Grass acts like a sponge and prevents water from “running off” into area sewer drains and carrying anything it collects along the way – like motor oil or dirt. Grass cleans the water it collects and breaks down harmful microbes and pollutants, keeping them out of groundwater supplies. The natural filtration system in your lawn is so effective that rain water filtered through a healthy lawn is often as much as 10 times less acidic than water running off a hard surface like a sidewalk or hardscape. It also prevents flooding and soil erosion by “hanging on” to soil.

To get more information and tips on maintaining your lawn, visit www.savelivinglandscapes.com.

Campus Safety Advocate at MTV Awards

SABRE, the leading self-defense brand, is shining a spotlight on campus safety at the MTV Red Carpet Style Lounge, on June 14.

1 in 5 women will experience some form of sexual assault in college (Krebs, 2016), and 75% of women feel unsafe walking home to their dorm or apartment (Her Campus Personal Safety Survey, 2018).

SABRE is featuring 5 key products for campus safety:

Pepper Gel Kit — Perfect for building confidence, this set comes with Sabre’s industry-leading, maximum strength pepper gel formula, inert practice gel, target, and free training video.

Personal Alarm with LED Light —  Featuring a discreet and secure clip, the personal alarm can be heard up to 600 ft away and the LED light ensures visibility on walks after dark.

Personal Alarm with Key Ring — Anywhere their keys go, they’ll be protected with this 120 dB alarm that can alert bystanders up to 600 feet away.

Pepper Spray with Quick Release Key Ring — From the parking garage to the hallway, this spray can be accessed even when the keys are in the ignition or door.

Drink Test Kit — Test for the presence of GHB and Ketamine in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages. Compact, discreet, and easy to use.

“The MTV Movie & TV Awards is an amazing platform for us to reach university students and arm them with the tools and knowledge that will empower, protect, and build their confidence​,”​ said Nance.