Archives for January 2019

How To Replace And Store Vital Documents

People who have misplaced their vital documents or had them stolen know how difficult it is to replace them. While the actual process is not so difficult in many cases. all of the footwork involved can make it seem like a real chore. If you are in this situation, whether this has happened to you before or this is the first time, here is some advice that will help you understand how to obtain replacements and how to keep them safe once you have them in hand.


It is a huge deal when you lose a document that is needed to travel out of the country, especially if you are someone who leaves often for personal and business reasons. The good thing is that replacing it is not as complicated as it probably sounds. The main reason that people believe that this is a hassle is because there is no way to apply on the Web. You will have to take time out of your schedule to apply in person. Here are all of the things you need to bring with you when replacing this document:

– Form DS-64, which is a statement offering details about about the missing passport and how it was lost or stolen.

– Form DS-11, which is an application for a new passport

– Proof that you were born in the United States

– A current ID

– A photo for your passport

– Fees (It is $110 for the book and $30 for the card itself)

Keep in mind that you are able to pay for the fees using a credit card, money order, gift card with a Visa or Mastercard logo, check or cash.

You should also consider having your entire Social Security number changed if the original card was stolen. If a scammer gains access to the number, they can use it to open new accounts and ruin your credit. By letting someone know that it was stolen and applying for a new number, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble. Not only will you have a new number, but no one will be able to open new accounts with the old number since it will be invalidated.

This will not erase all of the history you have had with the prior number. You will still be totally responsible for anything that happened before the day that you reported the card was missing. This is why it is essential that you let someone know as soon as you notice it is gone.

Social Security Cards

These are a bit easier to apply for since you will not have to provide a great deal of documentation. As with the passports, you can go to the Social Security office in person in order to obtain a replacement. There is no need to make an appointment; it is as simple as showing up and waiting in line until your number is called. You can get a social security card application online here.

There is a form, the SS-5, you will need to fill out in order to apply for a replacement card. You will also have to provide proof of citizenship, age and identity. For most, it is as easy as bringing along your state ID or driver’s license and a copy of your birth certificate. Once you provide all of this, you will be sent a replacement card in the mail. It typically takes 1-2 weeks to receive this.

Birth Certificates

You can typically obtain one of these by going to the vital records department in the city and state you were born in. There is no need to make an appointment. You can go there at any time when the office if open. This is actually one of the easiest to obtain because the only proof you will need to provide is a state-issued ID. In the event that you do not have one, you can have one or both of your parents notarize a letter on your behalf. The exact rules on that vary by state, so you will need to verify what is true in your area.

If you are trying to get a copy of your birth certificate and you are not in the same state you were born in, things are a bit trickier. In this case, most people head to a third-party website in order to handle these transactions. There are some impostors, so you will need to be careful when providing this information. You do not want to open yourself to becoming a victim of identity theft.

Storing Your Documents

One huge mistake that many people make is carrying all of these documents around with them when there is no need to do so. Ideally, you should only have them on your person in the event that they are needed right away. Other than that, you should keep them safe at home. If you live with others, it would be wise to place them in a place that no one else will have access to, like a hidden area of your bedroom or a locked box.

Passports are useful to have for traveling, but this does not mean that you should carry it on you while you are spending time in your destination city. As soon as you reach your hotel, you should place it in the safe. Make sure that the code you select is not one that can be guessed easily. In addition, if you are not confident that this is a secure option, you should consider talking to one of the staff at the front desk and asking them if it would be okay to leave your items in the hotel safe.

Losing your vital documents may make you feel like it is the end of the world, but it isn’t. Use all that you have learned here to replace any documents that were lost or stolen. You should also make it a point to focus on the way that you store them since this will help prevent any issues in the future.

Keeping Resolutions: How to Stay Active in the New Year


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The New Year is often a time of self-improvement for many people – whether that means quitting something unhealthy, picking up healthy new habits, or simply paying closer attention to your overall health. But most often, resolutions surround being more active.

While some people have an easy time sticking to a fitness regimen, many find it difficult to summon the continued energy and motivation to stay active. This is especially true in the wintertime, when the inclement weather, achy muscles and lack of outdoor activities seem to want to push people indoors, under the covers.

Address Any Aches and Pains

Winter is notorious for being hard on your joints and back. The cold can exacerbate the stiffness you already feel, and winter duties like snow shovelling can only worsen the problem. In order to be active, you need to be pain-free, and in order to do that, it’s advisable to visit a chiropractor. They can offer spinal adjustments, as well as health tips to help you alleviate your back pain – whatever the cause may be.

Buddy Up

Motivation is easier to summon when you are among company. Working out in the solitude of your living room, you might be inclined to give up after only a few minutes; after all, no one is watching. When you exercise with a friend, especially one with a similar resolution, you can help motivate each other to push further. Barring that, you can join a fitness class, which, thanks to the Kohler Effect, are great for sustaining motivation.

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Find Fun Indoor Activities

There is no rule that states that being active can’t be fun. The more you treat fitness as a chore, the more likely you will be to procrastinate. If you are someone who likes to be stimulated and engaged then rather than hitting the treadmill, try a fun indoor activity, like rock climbing, squash or intermural soccer. Even taking a dance class a couple times a week can be enough to help you stay active.

Choose Realistic Goals

Some resolutions are simply too unrealistic to be achieved. If you made a resolution to save a million dollars over the next year, you would likely fail. However, if you made a resolution to save 10,000 dollars, you have a real shot. Likewise with fitness. You might be asking, however: why not shoot for the stars and go big with your resolution? Unfortunately, psychologically, the potential failure you will feel if you don’t meet your goal can be a motivational deterrent in the future. It is better to choose reasonable, attainable goals – one to two pounds a week in weight loss, for example – and succeed.

Keeping your resolutions also means celebrating the small victories. Track your progress, and congratulate yourself on small wins. The winter can sometimes feel as though it wants you to stay indoors and inactive, but fight this urge. Take an active role in reducing your winter aches and pains, and get active the right way.

To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.

Must Visit Toronto Group Tour Destinations

If you’re in the process of organizing an exciting, fun-filled group tour of Toronto, Canada, simply continue reading to discover a few of Toronto’s must-visit sights and attractions. That your whole group will enjoy.

And so you don’t have to wrestle with direction or Toronto traffic yourselves, your group can rent a Toronto school bus to shuttle you from one destination to the next, allowing you all to relax and enjoy the sites along the way.

Must Visit Toronto Group Tour Destinations:

1. The CN Tower 

If you want to wow your group with stunning views of downtown Toronto, it’s well worth planning a trip to the CN Tower. Which stands at approximately 533 meters tall and features a glass floor, which members of your group can choose to walk across if they’re feeling particularly brave.

If you feel peckish, during your visit to the CN Tower you’re in luck as the tower boasts a revolving restaurant. Which is well worth ticking off your bucket list.

2. The Distillery District

The distillery district is a chic neighborhood which is home to a wide variety of theaters, bars, and restaurants, which are housed inside genuine 19th-century buildings. So if you’re looking to visit a district which offers world-class nightlife and plenty of charm, it’s well worth visiting the distillery district on your first night in Toronto.

Better yet, you’ll be able to freely walk down the district’s roads as the distillery district is only accessible by pedestrians and has banned all motor vehicles.

3. Casa Loma

If you want to plan a visit to a site which you wouldn’t expect to find in Toronto, it’s a great idea to visit Casa Loma, which is an 18th century Gothic Revival style mansion, which looks just like a historic castle!

Casa Loma is located in the middle of Toronto and was designed by the architect E. J. Lennox, who also happened to have designed many of the other grand buildings in Toronto and who is arguably one of Toronto’s most successful, most creative architects.

4. The Royal Ontario Museum 

The Royal Ontario Museum attracts over 1 million visitors each year which makes it the number one visited attraction in Toronto as well as the largest museum in Canada.

It’s well worth visiting the Royal Ontario Museum as it features world culture exhibitions, dinosaur exhibitions, space exhibitions, costumes exhibitions and a variety of natural history exhibitions. So no matter what type of history the members of your group are most interested in viewing, you’ll be sure to be able to spend several hours exploring the Royal Ontario Museum.

Furthermore, if you’re interested in learning about Canada’s interesting history, including the history of Canada’s native peoples, you’ll be able to find all the information you need, inside the Royal Ontario Museum.

5. Old Toronto and the St. Lawrence Marketplace

If you’re interested in architecture and would love to stroll around Toronto’s oldest district, it’s well worth planning a trip to Old Toronto. Where you’ll find the oldest church in Toronto and the St. Lawrence Marketplace. The latter of which offers a wide variety of boutique eateries as well as plenty of souvenir shops.

Hopefully, after reading about five of Toronto’s must-visit destinations, you’re well on your way to planning out the perfect group tour of Toronto, Ontario!

To read more on topics like this, check out the travel category.

3 Design Mistakes You’re Making In Your Child’s Room

Designing your child’s bedroom can be a tall order – after all, kids are constantly changing and growing out of things, and their room needs to grow with them. So where do you start? One solution may be to focus on what doesn’t work, rather than what does. Beyond that, kids’ room design is something of a free for all. After all, kids don’t thrive because they have the perfect bedroom, but because there are people in their life who want them to be happy and safe.

Mistake #1: Not Puting Safety First

Bedroom safety is a top priority with children of every age, with nearly 3.5 million children injured at home every year, so when designing your child’s bedroom, this is a good place to start. Cover outlets with safety caps, make sure your child’s crib or bed is placed away from the windows, and that furniture, especially dressers and shelves, are secured to the walls. Children are notorious for climbing on their furniture and tip over injuries are especially common among young children and can cause serious injuries or even death, depending on the piece of furniture and the size of the child.

Mistake #2: Overlighting The Room

Finding the right balance of light and dark in your child’s room can be the difference between getting a good night’s sleep and being up evening after evening, so don’t discount this element. First, focus on how the room is lit at night. Ideally, the room should be dark with nothing more than a nightlight, since excess light can suppress melatonin and interfere with sleep cycles; it’s also implicated in many long-term health issues, including metabolic problems, cardiovascular disease, and some cancers.

In addition to the health issues, excess light can also cause children to become overstimulated when they do wake at night, and it can prevent them from falling back to sleep. If your child uses a nightlight, opt for red-toned lights, such as Himalayan salt lamps, which are the least likely to interfere with sleep.

It’s also important to block out external lights, especially if you live in an urban area. One option is to use heavy blackout curtains, which will also make the room quieter. Another is to install blinds or shades that you can adjust at night, while allowing light in during the day. Just be sure to opt for cordless blinds, as traditional cord blinds pose a serious choking risk for children (and pets).

Mistake #3: Too Little Storage

One of the most common mistakes that parents make when designing their child’s bedroom is not installing enough storage – and then they’re frustrated when the space is always a mess. Make sure there’s room for all of your child’s things and that those storage strategies are accessible and make sense, even for small children. Bins and baskets are great for this, and they can be stored either on the floor or on a shelf or low cube organizers. You can often get beautiful but inexpensive baskets secondhand for a storage solution that will still look mature as your child grows. You might also consider using pictorial labels to help young children put things away with minimal guidance.

While setting up storage, don’t forget about the things you’ll want to hide away in your child’s room. Use a crib or bed skirt to disguise storage bins under the bed so that you have somewhere to stash out of season clothing. If your child’s room is especially small, you might also consider lofting your child’s bed so that you can set up toys, a dresser, or a desk beneath the bed. When you have a storage system that works, everything else comes together.

Your kids’ bedroom is their home base, and it should reflect their interests, whether that’s cars and trucks or Disney Princesses, but as a parent, you also want your kid’s room to be functional, which is why you should focus on safety, sleep, and storage. Beyond that, let your kids call the shots. In a few years they’ll probably be covering the walls with celebrity posters, so enjoy their excitement about décor while it lasts.

To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.

7 Signs It Might Be Time to File for Divorce

Many marriages undergo struggles. Every couple has disagreements they need to work through.

Counseling can help, but it’s not a cure-all. With some scenarios, divorce may be the only viable option, and it’s often better to act quickly than to prolong the inevitable.

If you think you’re seeing signs that a divorce could be on the horizon, don’t forget that the experience is extremely personal. Your process will be different from most, if not all, of the others, so try not to make comparisons, and take what everyone tells you with a grain of salt.

Remember also that divorce is usually a longer process than you’d like or expect. It might entail legal mediation and the counsel of a trusted attorney, so it’s not a decision to be taken lightly.

However, there are a few signs that will indicate you probably should consider pursuing a divorce now rather than waiting.

1. You’ve been verbally or physically abused

Perhaps the most obvious reason to divorce is outright abuse. No one should ever stay in a marriage where she or he is regularly mistreated, whether physically or verbally.

That’s an unmistakable sign that the marriage is as good as over and you need to seek safety. Don’t try to convince yourself it’s “not that bad”; that being hit or screamed at once in a while is not really abuse.

If you’ve been injured emotionally or physically by your spouse, the relationship probably should come to an end as soon as possible.

2. Your marriage is saddled with secrets and lies

Although some husbands and wives are utterly blindsided when the truth comes out, most have some sense of when their spouse is lying or keeping secrets from them. Unless your spouse’s secrets have to do with a dream vacation in the works, it usually mean he or she is hiding something bad. When that truth comes out, it often means a divorce is on the way.

3. Your relationship exhibits signs of toxicity

A toxic relationship is characterized by:

  • Ongoing passive-aggressive behavior
  • Mean “jokes”
  • Constant isolation from friends and family
  • No opportunities to spend time with others without your spouse being present
  • Feeling you have to ask permission to do anything at all
  • Always walking on eggshells around your partner

These are all indications your spouse is controlling you or making you feel bad about every little thing. You’re in a toxic relationship that needs to end for your own well-being.

4. You’re sleeping alone more often than not

If your spouse has better things to do than sleep by your side every night, your marriage could be in critical condition. Sleeping alone does not necessarily mean someone’s having an affair.

Your spouse could be working long hours, going out with friends, gambling, staying up at all hours playing video games, or making other decisions that keep him or her away from you. But whatever the reason(s), it’s pretty hard to maintain a healthy relationship when you never enjoy the intimacy of sleeping together (literally or otherwise).

5. You realize you’re more happy or content when your spouse isn’t around

Take notice of your moods. Do you smile more when your spouse is elsewhere?

Do concerns about how your actions will affect the other person keep you from enjoying your time when you’re together? Maybe it’s time for the relationship to end.

6. Your spouse is involved in an emotional or physical affair

Catching your spouse in a physical affair is a no-brainer. It’s one of the irrevocable signs that you’d better get a divorce. However, many people get blindsided by an emotional affair.

This occurs when a spouse is unfaithful in ways other than the blatantly physical, such as through a pornography addiction, explicit emails, or phone sex. Your spouse might lust after other people, even if he or she never commits the act.

Whatever’s going on, the effect is to shift all the attention from you and diminish any real intimacy you might once have had.

7. The police have been called more than once during your arguments

Physical abuse repeatedly committed by one party against the other is an obvious signal that divorce may be necessary, but sometimes the parties are equally abusive. When your arguments escalate to screaming, throwing objects, and any form of violent contact, and the police get summoned to mediate, the pair of you might have reached the point where resolution is beyond your capabilities.

In this case, ending the marriage might be an especially wise choice if you have children. It’s not psychologically healthy for kids to see their parents fighting aggressively and repeatedly, so you should consider separating for their sake.

To read more on topics like this, check out the lifestyle category.

7 Interesting And Easy Methods To Reduce Your Household Plastic Waste

Plastic waste is a huge issue for our world. It is all over landfills and ends up hurting the environment from production to disposal. How can you be sure to do what is necessary in regards to these things? How can you reduce the plastic waste that your home is producing? Here are 7 tips to make that process easier.

1. Stop Using Straws! Plastic straws that just get thrown out are one of the biggest forms of waste out there. If you stop using straws, you can help to reduce the amount of waste that you’re putting into the environment on a regular basis.

2. Buy Boxes Instead of Bottles of Detergent and Other Home Cleaning Supplies. There are often other options that you can get in boxes instead of buying plastic bottles. These include detergents, cat litter, baking soda, and more. Look at what’s out there for you to purchase.

3. Have Reusable Grocery Bags Available For Everything You Purchase and Take With You. Whether you get bulk order reusable bags or you purchase them from your local grocery store, you will find that it’s really beneficial to go ahead and have these on hand. You can use them for shopping, lunches, workout bags, and a number of other things that you may have used plastic bags for in the past.

4. Reuse Your Glass Containers. Whether you like salsa, spaghetti sauce, or something in between, you’ll find it useful to clean those glass containers out and keep them on hand for storage and whatever other things that you may be trying to do.

5. Stop Eating Frozen Foods. Frozen foods use a lot of plastic, from the seal to the tray that it’s in. Try to find options that use recycled plastic or that don’t use plastic at all. Or, even better, take the time and cook instead! It’s healthier and better for the environment as well.

6. Use Reusable Containers (Mugs, Bottles, Etc.). A lot of us will use bottled water and other such things in order to get what we need. Instead, consider using mugs, bottles, and other reusable containers in order to try and reduce the amount of waste that you’re dealing with. Finding new products for this can go a long way.

7. Use Cloth Diapers and Reusable Feminine Products. Diapers, pads, tampons, and other products that are used for bodily functions and such can be problematic when you’re trying to reduce waste. Cloth diapers, menstrual cups, and other options can be very beneficial and ensure that you’re doing your part in reducing the amount of plastic that we’re dealing with on a daily basis.

Consider these as you’re looking to be the best that you can in regards to reducing household waste. Take a look at what your local community offers as well and learn as much as you can so that you can play a role in helping to reduce the amount of plastic that is in our environment.