Just To Let You Know…

Just to let you know, you may see some new posts written by other authors from time to time in the future. Please know that these posts will continue to reflect the character of this site as well as bringing perspectives other than my own to this blog. I’m sure you’ll find them as informative and enjoyable as the ones I have written and will continue to write.

And again, thanks for reading! 🙂

Welcome All!

Columbia Gorge. Hi Everyone! Welcome to my site and blog! Here I’ll be talking about all kinds of things, many based on my own experiences.

Things such as, how I moved from one state to another and what I did to make it more successful, what I’ve gotten from the different jobs I’ve tried, what I’ve learned about selling items at flea markets, and tips about using some of the features on computers, such as Windows Live Photo Gallery, and other things as well.

If you like what you see here, stay informed of new posts by following this blog! There’s an e-mail address field and “Follow” button on the column to the right.  And let others know, too!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

Me at Chanticleer Point and Vista House. 9/18/2015

4 Things You Need To Know Before Buying A Hybrid Car

Hybrid cars are becoming more and more popular every year. They used to be seen as silly little things that you’d buy to try and show others that you’re better than them because you care for the environment. Now, they’re a great middle ground between typical petrol cars and fully electric automobiles.

If you’re thinking about buying a new car, and have your eyes on a hybrid, then here are a few things you need to know before you make the purchase:


They’re NOT Fully Electric

Many of you may already be aware of this, but I thought I’d put it on this list just in case. Yes, hybrid cars do have electric batteries in them that can power your car. However, they also have engines that power the car too. This means they’re not classified as fully electric cars. If you want an electric car, then don’t look at hybrids. The clue is in the name; they’re a hybrid of both electric and petrol cars.

Servicing Will Be Different

Servicing a hybrid car is different to servicing a regular car. This is because you essentially have two main power sources for your car. There’s the engine, and then there’s the battery. As it mentions on the Certified Car Care website, many local mechanics don’t have the skills to handle hybrid car servicing. They trained in traditional motor maintenance, meaning they know real engines and nothing else. So, you need to ensure you find a servicing garage that can actually deal with hybrid cars before you buy one. Don’t assume you can take it to your old mechanic and that they’ll be able to do the job.

You Don’t Have To Buy A Prius

There’s a common misconception that hybrid is a term made strictly for the Toyota Prius. This is because it’s the most recognized hybrid vehicle in the world. It was the car that pioneered hybrid technology way back when. But, if you want a hybrid, you don’t need to buy a Prius. There are loads of other cars out there from different brands as well.

You’ll Need A Charging Station At Home

Finally, you must be aware that buying a hybrid car also means you need to buy a charging station for your home. This is because the battery must be charged up, much like a battery in any other device. Sure, you can fill your tank with petrol and use your normal engine if you like. But, you still have to charge the battery if you want to take advantage of the emission saving technology. So, be aware that this is an additional cost, and you need to have room for it to be installed. If you live in a flat, then this might not be possible for you.

Hopefully, this article gives you more information on buying a hybrid car. You now know it’s not a simple case of just getting a new set of wheels to drive around in. There are other concerns too – such as servicing and charging the battery. I also hope that a couple of the points have answered a few questions you may have regarding what a hybrid car actually is.

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Reduced Costs + Increased Fun = A Formula For Family Success

Most average families wish that they had more money, and those financial issues are easily among the most common causes of headaches. But while finding ways to reduce your ongoing living expenses, nobody wants to sacrifice their sense of enjoyment. Thankfully, you don’t need to.

With these five simple lifestyle changes, you’ll soon save money in a variety of areas without losing the things you love.


Use price comparisons

The internet is a very powerful tool that can save you money in a whole host of aspects. Getting cheaper rates on your energy bills will work wonders. Meanwhile, using a VPN can generate savings on hotels and other luxuries. When coupled with an analysis of your TV and broadband package options, your monthly bills and ongoing services will cost far less. For instant and future financial matters, this is a great starting point.

Choose repair over replacements

Whether it’s a kitchen appliance or a pair of shoes, things break. Worst still, those faults often surface at the very worst times imaginable. While most people will jump straight into the concept of replacing the product with something new, a repair job may be the better solution. You can find services at https://www.trustatrader.com. If they can get your home back to its best at a fraction of the cost, the long-term rewards will be huge. Similarly, getting good at DIY can pay dividends.

Utilise coupons

Most people can appreciate the fact that shopping around can bring great discounts. However, many overlook the impact that coupons and special promotions can bring. Coupons are a great way to reduce your weekly grocery costs while loyalty schemes can result in cash back in many different areas. The vast majority require minimal effort from you, which is why ignoring them any longer would be a mistake. Now is the perfect time to get started.


Lose the need for ownership

We live in a society that is focused on the idea of ownership. In reality, though, there are many products where it may be better to rent. Depreciation rates make vehicles the perfect example for this, and you can find out more at https://www.allcarleasing.co.uk. Aside from being kind to the pocket, it can be the best way to ensure you drive the best car that your budget can afford. In some cases, considering fashion choices and other features can be very rewarding too.   

Cut the waste

While most people are guilty of many small mistakes, there is no doubt that waste is the biggest problem of all. Food is the big one, and this guide to cutting your waste will make a big impact. On a similar note, selling unwanted goods via the internet is a great way to claim some extra money rather than simply throwing those items in the bin. Aside from the personal benefits, it can be great news for the environment too. What more incentive could you need?

Make those five simple changes in your life, and the results will show in no time.

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How to Help Parents Grow Old Gracefully

Image source – http://www.publicdomainpictures.net/view-image.php?image=44556&picture=old-couple-in-park

When your parents get old, it can be a very difficult time for you, as well as them. Seeing your parents in a condition whereby they are not able to do the things they once used to can be very upsetting. Of course, ageing is a natural part of life, but it doesn’t make it any easier when it is someone you love that is getting old. While you want to be there for your parents and support them, it’s important to allow them to keep their dignity and grow old gracefully. This can be an incredibly sensitive subject, and so broaching it in the right manner is important. Read on for some tips to help you.

Remember, it is all about control and independence – It is important to recognise that the thing that hurts the most about getting older is that the person feels like they are losing control. The older generation puts a premium on self-reliance, and when they cannot do things themselves anymore, it can be a very bitter pill to swallow. Because of this, it is vital that you always make your parent feel like they are in control and that every decision is their own.

Do your research before starting any conversation – You need to be armed with all of the right information before you dive into any conversation about your parent’s health. It does not matter whether you are considering the option of your parent moving into a care home or you are going to suggest they get a hearing aid, you need to learn more before you broach the subject. Otherwise, the conversation won’t get very far, and you’re going to have to try twice as hard to bring it up again.

Put yourself in their shoes – The final tip for helping your parents tackle growing old is to make sure you put yourself in their shoes before you begin any discussion. As mentioned earlier, control is an important factor, but there are other things you need to keep in mind too. You are their child, and you always will be. Because of this, it can be difficult for a parent to view you as an adult who is able to offer meaningful solutions. This is simply because they have been the person that has guided you all of their life. They changed your nappies. They taught you how to walk. So, when the roles start to reverse, this can be very hard for any parent. Make sure you listen to them and that you understand where they are coming from. No parent wants to be told what to do.

Hopefully, you now feel more prepared for assisting your parents with the ups and downs that come with getting older. While this can be a challenging time, and some people have more difficulty adjusting to getting older than others, if you follow the advice that has been suggested, it should help the process to be easier.

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“Be Here, Be Now”, A Good Rule of Driving to Remember


With the advent of mobile phones and built-in communications centers in cars, distracted driving has become more of a problem. And, I suspect it may be responsible for more accidents than we think.

However, even without the instant portable modes of communication we have today, the potential for distracted driving is still there.

Just your own thoughts can be enough to distract you. Say you have an argument with your significant other, then go out in the car. Chances are, that argument will still be on your mind as your driving down the road. And it doesn’t have to be an argument, either. How many of us have thought about how we’d spend the money if we won the lottery with the ticket we’re driving to the store to buy? Or the activities we’re looking forward to doing while driving to that great resort or camping spot? Or about seeing that favorite relative as we’re driving to the airport to pick them up? Or a million other things that can come into one’s head?


Well, whenever I think my mind may start to wander as I’m driving, I say to myself, “Be here, be now!” In other words, telling myself to pay attention to my driving. And it’s true. Those other thoughts can wait. If you’re worried about something or have some problem to solve, you can’t do anything about it while you’re driving! And don’t worry, you’re already going in the right direction to buy that lottery ticket or pick up that relative, and they’ll be waiting for you.

I’ve seen a few accidents in person and some on video that may well have been caused by drivers distracted by mere thoughts.

So, if you want to stay safe on the road, remember, Be here, Be now!







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Attain Self-Build Success

Une maison en bois

Image source

Building your own home is the best way to get the space you want for the price you can afford, but it only really works out like that if you know what you’re doing. It would take a very long time to go through the whole process of self-building with you, but here are some handy hints that should help you to attain self-build success if you use them in conjunction with taking the time to learn about the process as a whole…

Set as Solid Budget

Before you do anything else, you should identify your total budget for the whole project. This includes any savings or assets you can liquidate as well as any home loans or other finance you will be using for the build. Once you have a solid figure, be aware that you should have a contingency fund of at least 20 percent should your build go over budget, so deduct that from the amount you use to make your plans and keep it safe for if and when it is needed.

Few Plots are Perfect

If you want to build your own home, you need to first find a plot. Many would-be self-builders never get around to doing it because they reject plots that aren’t perfect. The thing is, there are no such things as a perfect plot, and with a little vision and a good architect, you can turn a decent plot into your dream home. So, don’t discount every plot you see for minor reasons.

Think About the Future

When you’re building your dream home, you need to think about the future so you can ensure that it’s your dream home now and in the long-term. For example, right now you might be young and carefree, but do you plan to settle down and have kids in a few years? Still, want to live in your self-build? You’re going to have to ensure there’s enough space for family life! Fail to think long-term and your dream home might not be a dream for as long as you would like.

Make Your Foundations Deep

When you’ve found your plot and your dream home has been designed, it’s important that you hire a foundation company who will use a method like caisson drilling to dig your foundations deep. This is important because foundations that are fairly shallow are more likely to suffer from subsidence and various other settlement problems. It isn’t worth it.

Charm the Neighbors

This might not seem so important when you have the design and creation of a building to oversee, but these are the people you’re going to have to live alongside, and since few people enjoy having a development right on their doorstep, anything you can do to charm them and get them onside will help you attain self-build success. So, bake for them, shake their hands, and help them out any way you can. It will make things easier in the long-term.

If you do these things, and you choose there right architects and builders for your project, you’ll have a much easier time of it as you build your new home.

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The True Cost Of Hiring An Employee

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The simple fact you have clicked on this post means a congratulation is in order. You’ve grown your enterprise to a place where you need to employ someone to help you manage the workload. That’s amazing. That’s a testament to you working hard and making your dreams become a reality. However, before you jump into the whole hiring process and start writing job descriptions to put on a bunch of job boards, you might want to take a deep breath first and then work out the true cost of employing someone.

This isn’t to put you off. No way. It is to make sure that you don’t get caught by surprise. It is to help you budget effectively. It is also to help you understand just what goes into hiring someone.

So, without further ado, here are all the costs you need to be prepared to fork out for; costs that go well beyond just their salary:

  1. The Matter Of Recruitment

If time is money, then one of the major costs involved in all of this is the time you spend looking for the best candidate to fill the role you have going. There is writing the job descriptions, posting them to the different sites and reading through all the applicant responses, most of which will be frustrating and time-wasting because they’re from job hunters sending blanket responses. Of course, the other option is to hire a recruitment firm, which comes with its own costs.

  1. What About The Benefits

Employee’s don’t just look at what the base salary of a job is anymore. They want to know what other benefits and perks they will be getting, which is why you need to work out what they will cost. We’re talking about things like bonuses, healthcare costs, life insurance, retirement plans, disability coverage and all of these typical job benefits. And that’s without going into the new trend of perks like free fruit and food and drinks, and taking your team on team-building exercises and tickets to special industry events. It all adds up.

  1. Let’s Not Forget Legalities

The moment you go from solo entrepreneur to employer, you’ve gotta understand that you’re about to shoulder a whole new set of obligations and responsibilities in the eyes of the law. One look at Garrity Insurance and you’ll see there are things like general liability insurance and workers compensation insurance, as well as employment laws to adhere, tax obligations to know about, overtime stipulations and, yes, even rules when it comes to firing employees. Our advice: don’t go it alone on the legal front.

  1. The Rise Of The Overheads

The last thing you need to think about is how much your overheads will go up with the addition of a new employee. There will be new furniture to supply, new technologies, new software and tools. Then there are the office supplies that mustn’t go unnoticed, and the increase in heating bills and telephone usage and all sorts. We’re not saying the smaller things will be life-changing, but they will need budgeting for.

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The Next Big Steps Your Startup Might Be Ready For


When you start out on your entrepreneurial journey, it’s highly likely that you’re going to have a vision. You’ll know what you want and roughly how to get there. But as with every startup, you probably also know that you’ll need to earn your stripes. You’ll have to go through that period where you’re giving it everything you’ve got and not really getting anything in return. When this is the case, you can kind of get used to it. So when things suddenly start to take off, it can take you by surprise – especially when it’s earlier than you imagined. However, when it does, you need to be ready to make your next move. When you’ve got there early, or when you weren’t expecting it, you may not know what the best next steps will be. So let’s take a look at some of the most common options.

  1. Hiring

One of the first moves that you might like to make is taking on your first member of staff. This can be quite a big commitment, as you’ll have a second salary to cover – or even a first if you’re not taking one for yourself just yet. So you may want to call toll free and get some professional assistance with the recruitment process. It’s always best to know that you’ll get the best candidate for the job. Because you need to make sure that you’re paying out for quality, and that it will benefit your business in the long run.

  1. Expansion

Another idea could be to expand the business. This could be in a variety of different ways, but mainly in terms of your current capacity. If you’re selling really well, no matter what your product or service is, you may need to be able to sell more. So by expanding, you’ll be able to offer more of that service to other clients, or sell more products without selling out too quickly and leaving customers empty-handed.


  1. A Bigger Office

Taking into consideration points one and two, as well as this idea in its own right, you may also want to consider going for a bigger office. Because you may need the space and capacity to grow. Choosing an office space can be tough, as you’ll need to stick to your budget but also make sure that you have potential to grow too.

  1. New Markets

Maybe you’re ready to move into a new market? If your product or service is doing really well in your own country, maybe it’s ready to move into another? This is something that you’ll be able to do in your own time, but it’s a great idea for when you want a bigger slice of the pie.

  1. A New Product

Finally, you may also want to consider laughing a new product or service. When your current offering is doing so well, you may find that a complementary product or service to go alongside it or meet another need is exactly what your business should be doing next.

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