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

Why is it important to include CBD in Health and Wellness Routine

Why is it important to include CBD in Health and Wellness Routine

With continued research, fans of cannabis – both old and new – are coming to realize how useful CBD can be as part of an overall wellness regime.

Cannabis is not just something that “stoners” use on a recreational basis in an effort to get high. While it certainly can be consumed for recreational purposes, cannabis has so many more uses.

In fact, science continues to show us how the various cannabinoids in cannabis – including CBD – play a key role in health and wellness and serve as a natural alternative to traditional remedies for various ailments.

With continued research, fans of cannabis – both old and new – are coming to realize how useful CBD can be as part of an overall wellness regime.

How CBD Helps Your System

CBD – or cannabidiol – may have some incredibly promising cannabis health benefits to the mind and body, but how exactly does it work to do this?

CBD’s ability to promote better health and wellness stems from its interaction with the endocannabinoid system of the body. This system is tasked with regulating brain, endocrine, and immune functions, and influences various experiences in the body, including appetite, pain, stress, anxiety, inflammation, and mood, among others. 

More importantly, the system is responsible for maintaining homeostasis – or balance – in the body that’s needed to keep the body healthy and free of disease and ailments. 

The endocannabinoid system is made up of endocannabinoids, which are neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors located throughout the central and nervous systems. The body produces its own cannabinoids that bind to these receptors, but cannabinoids from outside sources – such as CBD and THC from the cannabis plant – can also serve a similar function. 

When cannabinoids interact with the receptors of the endocannabinoid system – either directly or indirectly – they can relieve pain, minimize inflammation, improve mood, promote better sleep, and alleviate stress and anxiety. 

Why Incorporate CBD Into Your Wellness Routine?

As already mentioned, the endocannabinoid system’s main job is to maintain homeostasis in the body. The body’s internal conditions must constantly be controlled and in proper balance because the cells depend on this environment to function properly. If the conditions are not optimal, certain processes will not function the way they should, and that can lead to disease.

CBD can help the endocannabinoid system maintain this balance and help the body adapt to outside stressors. As such, adding this cannabinoid to your daily wellness regime can help you boost your overall level of health and wellness. 

Here are four main areas in which users can take advantage of the benefits of CBD.

Promote Better Sleep 

Good sleep is integral to overall health and wellness. Lack of proper sleep can bring about a myriad of health issues. In fact, not getting enough quality sleep can lead to high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, and even heart disease. 

Many people go to great lengths to try and improve their sleep patterns, including taking sleep medications. However, CBD may be an effective natural alternative to pharmaceutical meds.

Studies have been conducted on CBD and its relationship with sleep, revealing that the cannabinoid can encourage better sleep and may be able to treat specific sleep disorders, including insomnia, sleep apnea, and narcolepsy, to name a few.

Induce an Anti-Inflammatory Effect

Inflammation in the body can lead to a host of issues because of the damage it causes to the cells and tissues as a result of oxidative stress from free radicals. A high level of oxidative stress can cause serious damage, even to our DNA.

Recent research has shown a link between CBD and reducing inflammation. More specifically, CBD can mimic how the immune system works to alleviate inflammation in the body. By reducing inflammation, a number of ailments can be relieved, including pain and skin conditions.

Reduce Stress and Anxiety

Perhaps the most well-known reason for introducing cannabis into a daily regime is to reduce stress and anxiety. Cannabinoids’ role in alleviating stress and anxiety stems from their interaction with certain receptors that influence serotonin. 

Low levels of serotonin in the brain can cause anxiety. Medications that target serotonin levels – known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) – work to increase the level of serotonin in the brain by blocking reabsorption of the neurotransmitter. This, in turn, can alleviate stress and anxiety and boost a person’s mood.

CBD and THC can mimic the work that SSRIs do to make serotonin more readily available, thereby helping to relieve stress and anxiety and help patients feel better. The cannabinoids do this by enhancing 5-HT1A transmission and may affect serotonin faster than medications.

Promote Healthier Skin 

CBD’s anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties are particularly useful when trying to improve the look and feel of the skin. More specifically, it can help alleviate certain skin conditions, such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.

Studies have found that CBD and THC serve as effective agents in the function of sebaceous glands, which secretes “sebum,” an oily substance which can clog pores and cause acne flare-ups. Dilation of CBD topicals can minimize the secretion of sebum and therefore help keep the skin free and clear of breakouts. 

Different Ways to Incorporate CBD Into Everyday Life

There are various ways that CBD can be used and implemented into your daily regime, depending on your comfort level. Here are a few formats that CBD is available in:

Edibles. CBD can be quickly and easily added to beverages and foods and ingested orally. Whether you add the product yourself and create your own recipes or purchase edibles that are already infused with CBD, edibles are an easy and convenient way to add CBD to your daily regimen. 

Tinctures. Another simple way to consume CBD is to use tinctures that can be taken sublingually, meaning under the tongue. The great things about tinctures is that they provide CBD in a concentrated form that bypasses the digestive system and takes effect more quickly once it is absorbed through the mucous membrane under the tongue.

Topicals. Individuals who are looking to alleviate specific pain points may find topicals more convenient, as they can be applied and rubbed onto the exact areas where the pain is being experienced. Topicals are also useful for those who wish to apply them to the skin as a means to boost skin health and combat acne.

Vapes. To quickly take the edge off and alleviate stress or anxiety, vapes tend to work quite well. Consuming CBD in this manner also takes effect rather quickly because the CBD does not have to be digested before it starts working.

Capsules. An easy way to take CBD is in capsule format. That said, exact dosing might be a bit more difficult.

Final Thoughts

CBD continues to show great promise in the world of health and wellness. With so many different applications – including promoting better sleep, improving skin health, alleviating anxiety, and combating pain – CBD certainly has a bona fide place in this sphere. And with a variety of different modes of application and consumption, CBD can be implemented according to each individual user’s comfort level.
This article originally appeared on myfoli.com

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5 Ways To Protect Your Business

When you’re a business owner, there are constant threats on the horizon. Whether it’s from clients not paying you on time, claims that are made against your business due to the fact that you haven’t followed safety regulations, or external threats such as burglary and fraud, there are always things that you need to be aware of, and steps that you need to take to ensure that your business is not at risk.

However, it can seem impossible to stay on top of them all, and you may not know how you can cover all bases when it comes to protecting your business. Here are 5 things worth keeping in mind.

Image credit

#1: Stay on top of cyber security

One of the biggest threats to modern business is through data hacking and cyber attacks, so you need to ensure that you’re always making every effort to keep your data safe. Speak to an IT professional about how safe your network really is, and make efforts to increase your security every so often. Hackers are always finding new ways of working, so you should be finding new ways of staying safe.

#2: Check the security of your office

In the modern day, no business owner should have an office that isn’t kitted out with CCTV, and other security measures. Look into the best ways to keep your office secure, and make sure that you invest in the necessary precautions. Your employees should feel safe, and you should feel at ease knowing that the building is secure at night, and that you’ve covered all of the necessary risks properly.

#3: Utilize the Cloud

The Cloud is something that every business should be utilizing, and it could save you a lot of headaches should there be a threat to your network. Keeping all of your data and documentation in a virtual space means that if your network does ever go down, you won’t lose a lot of sensitive data. This could protect you from legal ramifications, so ensure that everything is safely stored on the Cloud!

#4: Deal with claims properly

Every business owner will, at some point, need to deal with a claim made against them. Perhaps one of your employees has sustained an injury at work, and you haven’t followed the right procedures to cover yourself in this regard. It’s important to deal with claims quickly and efficiently, and speaking to a claims management company could save you a lot of time and money here.

#5: Keep up-to-date with safety regulations

One way to avoid claims altogether is to stay on top of the necessary safety regulations in your business. Ensure that you have fire exits that are easily accessible, that you’ve trained your employees on what to do in case of a fire, and that you’re constantly keeping an eye on any threats to safety that could arise in the office. These are small things to check, but they will make a big difference.

Make sure that your business is protected, and that you don’t lose out as a result!

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Hemp How-to: Guide to Storing CBD Products and Other Hemp Supplements

how to store cbd products

Properly storing CBD products and other hemp oil supplements is key to preserving their freshness and making sure the cannabinoids don’t degrade or break down prematurely. You want to be able to get the maximum benefits from these products, and by observing the best practice when it comes to storing them, you don’t only extend their shelf life, you also preserve their potency.

There are three things hemp oil supplements don’t get along well with heat, light, and oxygen. So to make sure your CBD products are not compromised, always keep them in a place where these elements are well controlled. Here are a few things you need to remember when it comes to storing CBD products:

  1. Store CBD products in a cool place

Prolonged exposure to heat will definitely ruin your stash of hemp oil supplements and other CBD products. If you’re looking for a place to store them, make sure it’s never near appliances that produce heat like an oven, dryer, heater, or even the refrigerator. CBD oil does not have to be refrigerated, however, if you live in a hot, humid place it is a good idea to store it inside the fridge. The low temperature inside the fridge might thicken your CBD oil, so if this happens, just place the bottle under warm water and it should be ready for consumption in a few minutes.

Another thing to avoid is leaving your CBD products in the car. It could get really hot in there, and this condition could cause the cannabinoids to degrade and lose some of its therapeutic properties.

where to store cbd oil
  1. Keep CBD products out of direct sunlight

Like other similar neutraceuticals, CBD products and other hemp oil supplements could lose their efficacy when exposed to direct sunlight. Always keep them in their original bottles, which are usually opaque, as they’re designed to protect contents from light damage. Store in a dark cool place, away from open windows.

Along these same lines, be sure when buying CBD oil to look out for products which are sold in clear bottles or containers. The packaging may look beautiful, but being in a clear bottle means its cannabinoid content will degrade more quickly due to the extra light exposure.

Who remembers this old Sam Adams commercial? What they talk about here is exactly what happens to cannabidiol products…

  1. Keep CBD products sealed in air-tight containers

Oxygen can also contribute to the breakdown of natural cannabinoids, and could leave your precious CBD products less effective. This is why they usually come in air-tight containers that are specifically designed to keep the contents protected from air exposure. When storing CBD oil, make it a habit to double check if the lid or cap is properly and tightly closed after each use, to make sure air doesn’t seep in. Also, be sure to only buy CBD oil which comes in a completely sealed container. If the seal is broken, ask for a new one. 

How Long Does CBD Last Once Open?

After you’ve opened your CBD oil, you may be wondering what just happened to the shelf life. We analyzed CBD products from several major brands and found that most have an expiration date of one or two years, if refrigerated. Outside of the refrigerator, you can still expect a year shelf life if stored away from light, heat, and humidity.

How to tell if CBD Oil Has Gone Bad

Typically, a CBD supplement gets used far before it nears the end of its shelf life. However, it’s always good to know the signs of an expired hemp product.

If you’re new to CBD oil, take a moment to smell your product the first time you open it. In general, hemp oil has an aromatic and herbal smell. However, there are endless formulations out there that can affect the scent. Depending on the product, it could smell like olive oil, mint leaves, or any number of essential oils that may be used.

But once hemp oil goes bad, it’s bad. The once pleasant aroma turns unmistakeably rancid.

[RELATED ARTICLE: Full Spectrum CBD, Broad Spectrum CBD, Isolate, and PCR: Decoding the Difference]

Final Thoughts

CBD products and other hemp oil supplements usually last a year, if properly stored. Proper storage can definitely prevent degradation of cannabinoids and make sure you get the most out of them. However, you also have to consider other factors, like the method of preparation, ingredients used, and the actual finished product. CBD and hemp extracts typically have carrier oils, for example, and the shelf life of the product can be influenced by these base oils. In these cases, it’s best that you store them the way you would store their base oils, the most common being olive oil, MCT oil, and coconut oil.

If you choose to cook or bake with your hemp oil supplements, these can also contain perishable ingredients. These would expire more quickly, than say, capsules and oils, and would have the same storage requirements as their non-CBD versions.

Contributed Post. Article originally posted on https://madebyhemp.com/

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How to read a credit report

Once you know how to read a credit report, you’ll have a better sense of what to look for.

You have a different credit report at each of the 3 national credit bureaus: TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. Each bureau’s report may have information from different sources reported at different times. If this sounds overwhelming, don’t worry. Once you know how to read a credit report, you’ll get a good idea of the categories of information all credit reports show. You’ll also have a better sense of what to look for. So let’s jump right in.

Personal Information
Each of your 3 credit bureau reports shows basic identifying information like: name, current and past addresses, date of birth and employer. There’s also a space for a consumer statement, a place where you can explain certain parts of your credit report.

Look for:

  • Inaccurate information. Sometimes you’ll see your name or address spelled in different ways because whoever reported your information had it that way in their records.
  • Unfamiliar addresses. This could be a sign someone is using (or is trying to use) your information fraudulently. 

Inquiries
This section lists creditors who’ve asked to see your credit report. When you apply for credit—a mortgage, credit cards, car loans and all sorts of other kinds of financing—the company considering giving you that credit will almost always pull your credit report to evaluate whether giving you the credit is worth the risk. This request is called a credit inquiry.

The reports you see show “hard” and “soft” inquiries. Hard inquiries are those that happen when you apply for credit cards or other types of loans and they stay on your report for 2 years. “Soft” inquiries, which aren’t listed on the reports creditors see, come from companies making you credit offers.

Look for:

  • How many inquiries are listed. This is a good way to pay attention to how often you’re applying for credit. Too many hard inquiries may be viewed by creditors as a negative.
  • Unfamiliar inquiries. If you see any of these, investigate them immediately. You may have just forgotten about a credit application you made last year, but it also may be a sign a criminal has applied for credit in your name. Better to double check now than be sorry later. 

Accounts
This area of the credit report lists all your accounts, open and closed, active and paid, individual and joint. For each account, you’ll see information on: 

  • The loan/credit itself
  • The creditor (including contact info)
  • Balance
  • Account status
  • Monthly payment history
  • Whether or not you paid on time 

Look for:

  • Unfamiliar accounts. If you see an account you don’t recognize, follow up with the creditor to verify it. It may be a sign someone has fraudulently opened an account in your name.
  • Negative information. Look for any late payments or accounts in collections. By law, the credit bureaus must remove most kinds of negative information from your report 7 years after the information first appeared on the report. 

Public records
If you have court judgments against you, they will be listed along with the settlement amount and the date the record will be expunged. This section also may show information about tax liens and bankruptcies.

Look for any listings, whatsoever. Public records showing up on any of your 3 credit bureau reports can seriously impact your credit. If there is anything listed in this section, make sure it’s accurate. If it isn’t, dispute it with the credit bureau as soon as possible. 

Take the next step: protect your credit and start saving money.

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5 Crimes You Need To Safeguard Yourself Against

Photo – Pexels

Is crime really on the increase in the United States? Some people, especially those who work in the media, would certainly have you think that it is. Some people also believe that now there are many new crimes that take place online, these are also pushing the number up too.

The jury is still out as to whether the crime rate is actually on the rise, but one thing that might be interesting to note is that the five most common crimes over the past few years are still those that have been quite common for the past decade or more. Here are five common crimes that we all need to safeguard ourselves against. 

Burglary

Lots of homeowners go to many different lengths to secure their home. Thankfully, there is no shortage of security methods right now. You might want to install a burglar alarm so that you are always notified whenever an intruder tries to get in. Some homeowners also equip their home with CCTV as well. It’s worth taking a look on some home blogs to see the various ways other people have secured their home. 

Car Theft

There are a lot of car-related crimes carried out these days and many people end up hiring a defense attorney to help them get out of DUI and car theft charges. You might be surprised to learn that there are more car theft crimes carried out than DUIs, generally speaking. Just like securing your home, there are also different ways to keep your car safe. If you don’t have a garage to store it in, then it is really worth investing in a car alarm.

Cybercrimes

As mentioned above, cybercrimes are quite widespread these days, so much so that they are one of the five most reported crimes these days. As long as you use very strong passwords for each of your online accounts, then you should be fairly safe. It’s also a good idea to use the latest anti-virus software and firewalls to ensure that no viruses try to infiltrate your network.

Fraud

Fraud is still a very common crime as well, and a lot of it is being fueled by online scams. As long as you are always aware and use common sense, you should find that it is simple enough to stay away from fraudsters. If you are ever in any doubt about a strange email that you receive from your bank, it is best to phone them and query it before you do respond to it or click on any links. 

Assault

Sadly, assault is still a very common crime. The best way to not be targeted is to stay discreet and keep your purse and phone away in pockets or a bag at all times. Also, use your common sense and don’t walk alone at night through a dangerous area or neighborhood.

Crime is always going to be a problem unfortunately but, as you can see from the points above, there are various ways you can protect yourself from it.

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Steps to Surviving an Office Renovation

When you need to move your business from being based at home to having an office then there are plenty of things to be thinking about. Likewise, when your current office lease starts to expire, then choosing to stay where you are, and perhaps think about upgrading your existing space instead, could be the thing to actually yield some pretty significant savings. However, being able to successfully do just that and make some big savings, then it will be something that will need a lot of planning, and a lot of time taken to ensure that the whole thing is done well. So with that in mind, here are some important considerations, so that if this sounds like you, and an office upgrade or renovation is on the cards, then you can help it all run much more smoothly.

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Stay or Go?

Before you think about renovating your space, then it is a good idea to make certain that relocating isn’t something that is a better option. Have a think about your ideal space requirements, and then with a designer or even an architect, you could see what would actually be possible where you are, or if a move would be better. You could even see what the issues are with where you are currently, as a landlord could consider reducing the price if they have some fixes to make, and if it would keep you as a tenant.

Establishing a Budget

In truth, the complete cost of a project or renovation will not be fully known until the work has been done. If there are any new projects, then a good thing to think about is having about 10% contingency in your budget, but that could reduce as time goes on and you see how well things are going. If you are making structural changes to the office site, then another 10% of contingency is a good idea to think about. You should also think about incorporating costs for things like temporary protection, site office hire, and partitions, as well as things you normally might not consider like having to cover the costs of overtime and additional workloads for you and your team. So carefully plan out a budget, but do remember to have a bit of a contingency plan.

Communication

In a lot of ways, there is a perception that a renovation done by the current occupants is just as important as the implementation of the work itself. But any change that comes to an office space or to a workplace, brings with it some possible anxieties, which can be very true if the reason for going so, or the impact, is not well understood. So make sure that communication over the project is rather clear and informative, so that all people that are involved, are aware of the expectations. Likewise, creating some actual mock-ups of what things could look like, can be a good way for the team to test things out and keep everyone in the loop.

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5 Smart Steps to Manage Debt

Dealing with debt can be difficult. Here are 5 steps you can take to make things easier.

For many, debt is a four-letter word and is accompanied by feelings of dread, denial, even despair. Especially if you have a lot of debt, gaining the upper hand on it can seem hopeless. Fortunately, there are proven strategies you can start using, whether you want to avoid debt or really need to get a handle on it. Here are 5 steps to start putting into place now.

1. Set up a budget.

It doesn’t have to be fancy or detailed to start out. Think of a budget as a plan and just get something down on paper. By thinking through all the different categories of spending you have, you’ll get a sense of what your total spending looks like and gain perspective on how dire your debt situation is.

2. See where you can cut expenses.

With even a simple budget in hand, you’ll be able to start seeing easy ways you can save money. Maybe it’s eating out a little less often. The important thing to keep in mind is this: every little bit helps and can go a much longer way toward debt freedom than you might think.

3. Create and contribute to an emergency fund.

What does saving have to do with debt? A lot, and in a way, they’re two sides of same coin. Whether you’re managing debt or trying to stay away from it, saving cash for emergencies means you may not have to borrow for them.

4. Follow a debt payoff plan.

There are at least 2 schools of thought when it comes to paying down debt. One is to tackle debt with the highest interest rates first. Since debt carrying higher interest rates grows more quickly, you can gain some breathing room by tackling that first.

Another school of thought is to pay off accounts with the smallest balances first. This can work well with your psychology: by paying off small accounts completely, you’re creating some quick wins that may give you the confidence and momentum to put a dent in accounts with bigger balances.

5. Negotiate, consolidate.

One way to make a serious dent in your debt burden is to try to negotiate a settlement. There’s no harm in calling your lender to see if you can’t make a compelling offer to pay more sooner in exchange for some debt forgiveness down the road. Just make sure if you agree on something, you get it in writing. Another way to make a big gain on debt loss is to explore consolidation. If you can get a consolidation deal that combines higher-interest debt into lower-interest monthly payments, this can be a lifesaver that can help you reduce the amount of money you’re using to service debt. It can also give you breathing room when it comes to the growth of your payments.

Digging out of debt can be discouraging. But by following smart steps, sticking to a plan and staying positive, you can be back on your feet sooner than you may think. Just remember, too, that the best way to deal with a lot of debt is to be careful about how much of it you take on in the first place! 

Take the next step: protect your credit and start saving money.

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