How to Give a Prenatal Massage

Monday, May 2nd, 2016

how to give a prenatal massage

As a woman gets further along in her pregnancy, her body begins to change – increasing belly size, swelling of ankles and legs, sensitivity to smell, frequent bathroom visits, etc. Most women become increasingly uncomfortable as their due date approaches. A prenatal massage can relieve a great deal of the aches, pains, stresses, and anxieties associated with pregnancy. Before receiving a prenatal massage, here are some benefits, tips, warnings, and other information you should know.

Note: Because there is some risk involved in prenatal massages, you should consult with your doctor and/or midwife before scheduling a prenatal massage. This guide is solely intended for informational purposes only and should not be substituted for the advice of a trained medical professional. Use your own discretion when deciding to receive a prenatal massage.

General

A prenatal massage is exactly what it sounds like. It’s a massage specifically for pregnant women that helps relieve pain and discomfort associated with pregnancy. The most common massages and techniques used for prenatal massages include Swedish massages, reflexology, circulatory work, and cranial sacral therapy. One of the most popular massages, a Swedish massage, uses “smooth, long strokes and kneading to loosen any tension.” Reflexology focuses on the feet, hands, and ears. Other areas are affected when pressure is applied to certain spots on these particular body parts. Circulatory work is a combination of different massage techniques that focus on increasing the flow of blood within the body. Cranial sacral therapy focuses on massaging the skull and spinal column. A prenatal massage session usually lasts anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes and focuses on the upper body as well as the spinal column because of the added pressure and strain. Prenatal massage therapists usually choose not to focus on the legs, only doing light massages, because of the increased risk of blood clots.

Benefits

Prenatal massages can improve both the mind and body. They can lower anxiety, stress hormones, swelling, sciatic nerve pain, headaches, and migraines. This is due to the fact that it increases “feel good” hormones, such as serotonin. Serotonin increases your mood, lowers your chance of depression, and lessens mood swings. Basically, it puts you in a better mood, which allows you to spend more time on time important things, such as preparing for the baby. A prenatal massage can also increase your blood oxygen level by 10-15%, strengthening the immune system. A strong immune system is important for both mommy and baby in the time leading up to and after birth. It also increases the circulation of lymphatic fluid, which in turn, reduces edema. After a massage session, many women experience decreased joint and back pain as well as reduced muscle tension, resulting in improved sleep. If you or someone you love has benefited from a prenatal massage, then comment and let us know.

How to Give a Prenatal Massage

The key to giving a prenatal massage is not to give a prenatal massage unless, of course, you’re a certified prenatal massage therapist. One thing that you can do is read and share the information in this blog with an expectant mother, so that she can decide whether or not she would like to receive a massage by a qualified individual. If she does decide to have a prenatal massage after consulting her doctor, you can offer to schedule, pay, and accompany her to the session.

Tips

Warnings

Conclusion

So the safest way for you to give a prenatal massage is for you to be a certified prenatal massage therapist, and since the majority of the world’s population doesn’t hold that title, the next best thing for you to do is to schedule a massage therapy session. Make sure you talk to the mom-to-be well in advance so that she has time to consult with her doctor before the appointment. When you’re ready, give TalkLocal a call and we’ll connect you with the right massage therapist, so you can get back to doing more important things, like preparing for baby.

Designing a Suave Bachelor Pad

Monday, April 25th, 2016

modern neutral bedroom in bachelor pad

Designing a Suave Bachelor Pad
Have you recently moved into your very own pad? You can turn your new apartment into a masculine oasis that looks high-end without breaking the bank to do so. Take these design tips into consideration when you’re planning out your new bachelor pad and transform your home into the space of your dreams.

Use Paint to Your Advantage
If you purchased your home, there’s no reason you shouldn’t paint your walls. Few things can change the entire atmosphere of a space like a fresh coat of paint. If you’re renting your bachelor pad, check with the landlord first. If they give the go ahead, you’re in the clear. If they say no, consider whether it’s worth it to take a hit in your security deposit so that you can make your space exactly the way you want it to. In most cases, it’s completely worth it. Call TalkLocal and within minutes we’ll connect you with a local pro that’s able to paint your new pad.

Think Modern
You may not have the bank account to throw a small fortune into your design, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make your place look expensive, without it actually being, well, expensive. An easy way to do this is stick to modern décor options. Clean lines and modern materials combine for a high-end look your visitors will definitely be impressed by. Modern looks lend themselves to minimalism, which is great for guys looking to carve a clean, clear space that encompasses the best of the 21st century. If you’re unsure what can be categorized as modern, use websites dedicated to modern objects, gadgets, and decorations like www.touchofmodern.com. One of the easiest ways to make an impression without going overboard? Statement art. Banksy-style pieces are sure to draw the eye, and minimalist paintings will give you an air of sophistication with ease. If you don’t want to drop hundreds of dollars on a canvas painting, consider purchasing a few large art prints from Society6. You can hang up multiple or rotate through to keep your décor feeling lively all year long. One final note: make sure you frame it; this isn’t college and unframed posters have no business being taped or nailed to the wall.

Maintain Your Space
Keep your space clean. Nothing is less impressive than a space that’s cluttered with décor and littered with trash. If you can’t find the fortitude to clean up after yourself, invest in a cleaning service to come each week. Keeping a clean space is good for both your physical and mental health. Clutter leads to higher rates of stress and depression, so do yourself a favor and make the commitment to keeping your new pad looking its best. Besides, with a clean place, you’ll never have to worry about quickly picking up for an unexpected guest.

A Source of Entertainment
If you want your bachelor pad to be the go-to spot for the big game or Friday night get-togethers, make sure your entertainment center is up to par. If you’ve got some money to work with, an in-home theater system is the way to go. Complete with a Blu-ray player and speakers that you can hide throughout your living room for the biggest effect, your movies and music will come through with the best audio in the apartment complex (don’t be surprised if you get a few noise complaints). While you probably want to include a television, game consoles, and speaker systems in your space, one thing that will kill the look of your space is the presence of tangled cords. Install a concealing channel and thread your wires through, or use a BlueLounge Cable Box to get rid of unsightly brambles of cord. If you need help hanging and installing your latest gadgets, call TalkLocal for a local handyman.

An At-Home Bar
What could be more debonair than your very own personal bar? If you plan on doing any type of entertaining, it’s worth it to invest in some quality barware. From cocktail shakers to tumblers for your whiskey, you likely have many of the bar accoutrements you need already. One thing you might not have? A bar cart. Check out this simple but refined option from Room & Board. A little out of your price range? This version from Target is under a hundred dollars, and you can always spray paint it to make it match your home’s color scheme.

The Clauses Every Landlord Should Include on Their Lease

Thursday, April 21st, 2016

lease

More and more Americans are choosing to rent instead of own, making for a competitive renter’s market that leaves landlords with the pick of the litter when it comes time to place a tenant. As you have more leeway in the selection process, make sure your lease is up to par with all the provisions you need to keep yourself and your personal assets safe. If you are drafting your first lease agreement, or just looking to make some smart additions, consider the following lease provisions that are often overlooked.

Renter’s Insurance
It’s becoming more and more commonplace to require renters to purchase their own individual insurance. Should any natural disasters or accidents happen, you may find yourself paying extensive deductible fees to cover repairs on damages. If your tenant were to have something like Allstate renter’s insurance, their coverage would likely cover the cost of your deductible. This provision is ideal for both renter and landlord, as both their personal possessions and your personal assets are covered in case the worst happens. Make sure you have a clear understanding of just what is covered under your tenant’s plan before signing off on the lease.

A Set Number of Tenants
This may seem obvious, but make sure you put a provision stipulating the exact number of people that can live in your home. You may find the perfect tenant, and realize months down the line their boyfriend or girlfriend and four kids have moved in. It’s a common occurrence, so make sure you stipulate verbally and in writing that only the signed tenants can reside in the home. Forgoing this important step means potentially allowing un-vetted individuals to live in your home.

Decide on Subleasing
If you don’t include a clause on subleasing, be fully prepared for your tenants to take advantage of the situation and look to make a little money off of your property. Most common in communities with college students who will leave for the summer months, subleasing can be an essential part of your rental agreement, but it comes with its fair share of challenges and potential consequences. The problem with unregulated subleasing is that it allows new tenants to reside in your home that haven’t been checked for criminal pasts or eviction histories. If you do decide to allow for subleasing, make sure you require your tenants to submit applications for the subleasees to be vetted through a service like MySmartMove. It will give your long-term tenants the flexibility they need, and ensure your home isn’t vulnerable to the damage of strangers you haven’t approved.

A Pest Provision
You might not have thought to put pest control on your lease, but it can be an important part of the rental process. If you have a pre-existing problem, laws require you to take care of it for the tenants. However, if poor hygiene or living habits on the part of your tenant is the main cause of pests, you don’t want to be responsible for paying for pest control and cleanup.

Charging a Late Fee
If you’re using a general template for your lease, you might not already have a clause including late fees based on rent checks that arrive late. Varying states and localities have different regulations in place about how much of a late fee you can charge, so be sure to check with legal counsel before you try to enforce this rule. Not only do you need to get your late fee charges in writing, but you also need to remain firm in your practice. Letting it slide once means letting it slide every time, and you need to remember that your rental property is a business, and your tenant is not your friend.

Whether you’re renting out your home for the first time or you’ve been a landlord for years, it’s always a good idea to review your lease provisions before allowing a tenant to reside within your personal property. Run through this checklist of clauses and ensure you lease protects you and your personal assets from the vulnerabilities that come along with being a landlord. If you find your current lease agreement less than sufficient, call TalkLocal and we’ll connect you with a lawyer that can help.

Unique, Affordable Ways to Celebrate Your Anniversary

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

 

one of many unique, affordable ways to celebrate your anniversary

There’s never a bad time to be grateful for and celebrate the love you’ve found with another, and at no other time is it more important than on your anniversary. If you’re looking for ways that you and your special someone can celebrate six months, a year, or even 25 years together without breaking the budget, read on.

Channel Your Inner Ghost
No, I don’t mean you should get spooky. Think “Ghost” as in Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze, the movie where they have a romantic (if supernatural) date over pottery clay. Head out on a date and get in the artistic state of mind with a pottery throwing class or go to a ceramics studio like Color Me Mine and paint some pre-thrown glassware or pottery together. You’ll have fun exploring your artistic sides together and come home with mementos of your fun anniversary date.

Play Hooky from Work
If your anniversary falls on a weekday, why not play hooky and spend a day frolicking together? Not only is it a great way to spend some quality time alone with each other, but it also is reported to have great mental benefits. Choose a day when you both know you can get time off, and plan to do whatever your hearts’ desire—as long as it’s not work or other life responsibilities. You’ll need to make a commitment to sticking to the plan; regardless of whether that plan is to stay in bed all day and order delivery food, or to head to your local beach and soak up some rays while the rest of your poor colleagues are stuck in the office.

A Handwritten Letter
Use your personal words to explain to your sweetheart just how much they mean to you in a handwritten letter. This is romantic to its core, and harkens back to the romantic poets and playwrights of the olden days. This is a tangible piece of your love, something that can’t be bought, and something that can’t be recreated. Sweet and personal, any guy or gal is sure to appreciate the effort and heartfelt sentimental behind this gift and will definitely treasure it for years to come.

Make Delicacies Yourself
If the budget is tight but you still want to indulge, try your hand at some culinary delicacies in your own kitchen. While the grocery trip might be more expensive than your weekly shopping list, buying and cooking your own filet mignon is going to be a lot cheaper than heading to a four-star restaurant and paying for the service on top of the steak. Sit together and plan out your dream meal, then start looking up recipes and techniques to make your favorites. This will give you both something exciting to look forward to, and makes your date into a more interactive experience that will transport you both back to the days of the exciting unknown that was the beginning of your relationship. You can set the atmosphere in your home by spreading out a tablecloth (hint, hint: a pressed white sheet works in a pinch), lighting some candles, and putting on a little bit of mood music. All the allure of a fancy restaurant, without the exorbitant price tag. Make sure you both still dress up for the occasion, and try to avoid seeing each other before you’re both ready. It’ll provide a little more nervous anticipation to the evening.

A Weeklong Event
Make your anniversary into a weeklong affair and start rolling out small presents or surprises early. Surprise him with a delivery of his favorite meal on Monday, send him with a special note in his pocket Tuesday, make his favorite dinner Wednesday, send a racy text on Thursday, and finish up the week with a sweet anniversary gift of your choosing. Showering your attention all over your special someone for an entire week is sure to improve the romance in your relationship and make for a wonderful anniversary celebration.

If you have an anniversary coming up, make the occasion special without depleting your bank account. Incorporate these unique and inexpensive celebratory ideas into your occasion. If you do decide you want to  splurge on a limo rental or professional massage, let TalkLocal help connect you to a local pro.

Five Scams to Watch Out for During Tax Season

Tuesday, April 5th, 2016

taxes-tax-evasion-police-handcuffs

Getting your tax information sorted and filed conjures up enough stress in itself, and when you add the potential of being scammed by opportunistic thieves, tax season becomes even more daunting. Awareness is key; take a look at the most common scams thieves use during the tax season and protect yourself and your family from the efforts of opportunistic con artists.

1. Identity Theft
Let’s start with the largest threat—identity theft. You might hate filing your taxes, but a scammer would love to get ahold of your information and file them for you, then reap the rewards of your tax return. By filing early, you can better avoid this issue. Within this scam, con artists will steal your personal information, like your social security number, then file a tax return under your name. Most people affected by this scam don’t realize what has happened until after they actually file and the IRS lets them know one has already been filed. In 2013 alone, the IRS claims to have thwarted 14.6 million attempts at fraudulent returns, resulting in an excess of $15 billion in refunds. Protect your social security number, and don’t give out any sensitive information unless you’re using a professional tax preparer or registered tax filing system.

2. A Shady Email
The IRS won’t email you, let’s just get that out there right away. Very few cases see IRS agents sending important information to your personal email account, so any message received claiming to be from the government agency should be regarded with suspicion. Recent scams that capitalize on email captures have asked taxpayers to update sensitive information on their tax portal—a fake but convincing feature on a website of the scammer’s making. Always make sure any website regarding IRS dealings begins with www.IRS.gov. Scammers may use variations in order to make their site seem more legitimate, so tread carefully.

3. A Call from the IRS
An unexpected call from the IRS can have you shaking in your boots, but the government agency warns that these calls can’t always be taken at their word. In recent years, the IRS has noted an increasing trend of scam phone calls looking to swindle taxpayers out of their sensitive information. These scammers can convincingly pose as IRS agents; some skilled scammers have been able to hack the phone number so that it looks as if the call is coming from a registered IRS number. These so-called agents will ask for multitudes of sensitive information—if an individual isn’t easy to sway, they may be slapped with threats of audits, tax levies, and even jail time. These scams are usually highly sophisticated, and it can be tough to determine whether the caller is a scam artist or actual government agent. Should this situation happen to you, call the IRS and get confirmation of the agent who has been calling you.

4. Miracle Return Offers
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is—especially when it comes to lofty promises of inflated tax returns. If someone offers to help you file in order to gain you a higher return, and they don’t ask to see your records, run away as quickly as possible. Never sign a blank tax form—this is a clear indication the individual in question is attempting to scam you. Use a certified and trusted tax filing service or the help of a professional from a company like CTax to ensure your information stays safe and you do everything by the book with the IRS—no one wants to land in hot water with the government.

5. A Charity Scam
It’s a sad fact, but those looking for donations to nonprofit organizations and charities don’t always have well-meaning intentions. If you’re approached by a nonprofit or similar charitable organization, especially during tax season, make sure you do your research. These scammers are cunning; the websites may look completely legitimate. For an easy safeguard against these types of scams, always be sure the charity is listed as a 501(c)(3) before donating. There are many scammers prepared to target hardworking taxpayers, and if you want to keep your personal information and assets protected, it’s essential to remain aware of the potential for scams.

If you need help filing your taxes before the April 15th deadline, let TalkLocal help you find a local tax professional.

Employee Appreciation: Company Culture, Productivity, And Employee Satisfaction

Friday, March 4th, 2016

Wake up. Push yourself out of bed. Shower, dress, stumble to the kitchen, get coffee. Find something to eat. 7:30AM – drag feet to the car, drag yourself into work, drag your way through the day. It’s like a vending machine: insert hours, receive dollars. Take your earnings and drag yourself home…just in time to get some sleep and start over the next day.

Chances are we’ve all experienced this grind; it’s the hallmark of a dissatisfying workplace. Even one burned-out employee can suck the joy out of the room and drag everyone down, hurting productivity. Meanwhile, Creating the Best Workplace on Earth authors Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones tell us a few benefits to highly-engaged workforces compared to the not-so-engaged:

–        50% more likely to exceed performance expectations

–        54% higher employee retention

–        89% higher customer satisfaction

–        400% more revenue growth

Take Google, for example. Some argue that their meteoritic rise from ten guys in a Palo Alto garage to the giant it is today is the product of good company culture. At TalkLocal, these three strategies have showed us that, when it comes to company culture, a little effort goes a long way:

1)     SHOW EMPLOYEES THEIR VALUE

Employees will inevitably slide into “The Grind” if they lose sight of their value to the company; reminding them that they’re more than a number of hours is crucial. By holding weekly meetings where company goals are articulated in terms of how each employee fits into the picture helps instill a feeling of investment in their position. Educating employees on their roles can also improve their performance; only clear goals can be pursued.

Combining this approach with compliments and recognition of performance improvements will bring genuine positivity and an attitude of focus to your company culture.

2)     NIX THE “IT’S WORK; IT’S NOT SUPPOSED TO BE FUN…” MENTALITY

This mentality can tear a business apart. We’re always at our best when enjoying ourselves, so find ways to bring a little fun into your team. It can be as easy as a game of cards for a smaller group or as big as a bowling night; take a vote on it. The other night, the TalkLocal team went bowling, scheduled right after we hired new interns – put briefly, relationships were built.

It’s no surprise that, the next morning, the TalkLocal interns were talking to their teammates. Not only did having fun increase our team’s productivity through facilitating collaboration, it contributed to the relaxed, positive atmosphere that defines a good company culture.

3)     BRIDGE THE GAP BETWEEN MANAGEMENT AND EMPLOYEE

To company managers and owners: understand that to your audience and employees, you embody the company. Capitalize on this through the intimacy of a small business by keeping in frequent and meaningful contact with employees, especially new ones. Enrich your employees by allowing them to make recommendations and educating them about the business model; questions are a sign of investment, so make sure to invite them.

Overall, a positive company culture is defined by recognizing that your team is the sum of real people. Don’t wait to make them feel that way, because you’ll lose out on the most productive and satisfied force you’ve seen yet. If clock-in is starting to feel like a funeral death knell, then turn a new page on your workplace and enliven the office by showing everyone their value and your appreciation.

Of course, if getting more and higher quality jobs is the best way to lift up your team’s spirits, then check out TalkLocal; it lets you preview jobs for free by phone and opt into a live conversation with the customer you want to do business with. No more paying for leads you’ll never use. Click here to claim your profile.

Snowzilla and the TalkLocal Knights

Sunday, February 28th, 2016

Snowzilla

(This story is for National Tell a Fairy Tale Day. We hope you enjoy it and it inspires you to tell some fairy tales of your own.)

By Krystal Moore

Once upon a time, in a land not-so-far away, the good people of Homeville were enjoying their winter. It had been a strange one. Rather than the usual frostbiting wind that forced the people to wear heavy coats, the weather had been rather warm. While it was a concern for some, many people took the warmth for what it was – a chance to be outside and enjoy themselves. Certainly things would be well this winter.

But then…it came.

Without warning, the people awoke to a fearsome roar. Gazing through their frosted windows, they all watched in horror as a grand, bone-chilling beast came through the city. The monster roared thunderously as it stormed through the city, covering all in its path in a mass of snow and ice.

It was a beast that none believed they would see for another year. A monster that no one could defeat and all feared.

It was…the dreaded Snowzilla!

As people ran to their homes, seeking shelter, Snowzilla ravaged the city, leaving nothing but destruction in its wake. The monster’s rampage was swift but brutal. In a mere day, it had managed to uproot the lives of all the people before leaving to spread chaos elsewhere.

While the people were glad that Snowzilla had gone, it didn’t change the fact that they were still left with its aftermath. Many people were trapped in their homes, and while they were able to ask for help, it still seemed too much to handle.

Who would be able to save these poor people from the dread that Snowzilla had brought upon them?

Just as all seemed lost, there was the sound of fanfare. People who were capable left their home as they saw a crowd of knights coming forward on their fearsome steeds.

The people stared in awe as all of the knights stopped in front of them. Who were they? What did they want?

One knight stood in front of the others, their powerful voice booming over the crowd. “Good people! We understand that Snowzilla has rampaged through your great city! Fear not!” The knight raised their shield, manifesting their kingdom’s crest for all to see. “We are knights from the kingdom of TalkLocal! We are here to assist you!”

No one dared to move. They had never heard of this kingdom and now that it had come right after Snowzilla’s rampage, what were they meant to think?

The knights simply stood there, waiting for someone to come forth first. You see, they would not make the first move. Although sent to Homeville to help the people of the village, the knights could not act without the direct request of each individual. Thus, they waited, giving the people time to see that they were interested in assisting them.

After what seemed like an eternity, an older man came forth. He shuffled slowly towards the knights, using a cane to help support himself.

His voice was low but he spoke clearly, “Good knights, I am capable of walking from my home but there is still treacherous snow in my driveway. I am unable to remove it on my own. Can you assist me?”

One knight came forward, helmet covering his eyes but not hiding the large smile he had as he rode towards the man. “Good sir, I shall assist you. Please return to your home and leave this concern to me.”

“Oh, thank you so much, gracious knight.”

When the old man was finished, a younger woman came forward, a bit hesitant as she asked, “Snowzilla destroyed my pipes. Froze them over until they burst. What am I meant to do?”

Another knight came forward, holding a pipe in her hand as she smiled. “Worry not, ma’am. I shall return your plumbing to its former glory.”

Slowly but surely, more people came forward, each with a concern that needed to be addressed, and with each person, there was a knight who was able to solve their problem. With enough time, the knights of TalkLocal had assisted the people until they were able to resume their normal lives.

“Let’s give thanks to the great knights!”

“Cheers for the grand kingdom of TalkLocal!”

“TalkLocal! TalkLocal! TalkLocal!”

The first knight stepped forward once again, raising their hand and the people went quiet. “Good people! We’re glad we could assist you! Unfortunately, the horrible Snowzilla has spread more chaos, and we must go and assist its other victims But always remember,  if you ever require our assistance again…” All of the knights raised their shields, the pride of their kingdom a beacon of hope. “…TalkLocal will be here!”

And with that, the knights rode off towards their next quest, the cheers of the people  sending them off.

The End

Homemade Toothache Remedy

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

sensitive teeth

Toothaches can bring even the strongest person to their knees. The tingling, aching, frustrating feeling of a toothache can disrupt your entire day. We try to prevent it by using special toothpastes, such as Sensodyne, but that provides little to no short-term relief. Sure, there’s Orajel, but here are some natural alternatives if you want to make some yourself.

Salt water. Add a spoonful of salt to a glass of warm water. Stir the mixture until the salt dissolves. Swish the mixture in your mouth, focusing on the area of the affected tooth. Do this for 5 minutes then spit out the salt water.

Salt & Pepper. Yes, the two things sitting on your dining room table right now can help alleviate your toothache. Combine ¼ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of pepper with a small amount of water to make a paste. Apply the paste to your tooth and let it sit for approximately 5 minutes. Remove the paste by rinsing with warm water.

Garlic. Make some garlic paste by smashing 3 cloves of garlic with 1 teaspoon of water. After you’ve made a smooth paste, apply a small dab directly to the afflicting tooth. The antimicrobial properties of the garlic should help alleviate the pain. Meanwhile, mouthwash should freshen your breath afterwards.

Asafoetida & Lemon Juice. Mix equal parts of asafoetida powder and lemon juice, about a teaspoon each, to make a paste. Then, apply the paste to the affected tooth, leave on for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it out with warm water.

Clove oil. Place 1 drop of clove oil on the affected tooth. If you don’t have clove oil at home or can’t find it in the store, you can make a paste from cloves or clove powder and coconut oil. Apply the paste to the affected tooth, let it sit for 5-10 minutes before rinsing your mouth with warm water.

Peppermint oil. If you want to numb the area, add a drop of peppermint oil to the affected area.

These homemade remedies work to help alleviate pain and discomfort associated with a toothache. Remember, toothaches are preventable. If you eat a lot of carbs and sugars, you may want to reduce your intake. They are known to wear down your enamel. Though these home remedies are meant to help, we still recommend you visit a dentist to ensure there is no further issue. Go on to TalkLocal and we’ll connect you to one ASAP.

Clean Out Your Computer and Make It Run Like New

Monday, February 8th, 2016

keyboard-824317_1920

Your computer was so great when you first got it. It ran like it was could win first place in a marathon. But now? Now, it’s become the titular tortoise from “The Tortoise and the Hare,” taking the lesson “slow and steady wins the race” a bit too far. Well, it needs to turn back into the hare, so you can use it to its full potential. Here are some tips to help clean out your computer to make it speedy again.

1. Uninstall programs: Take a look in your programs and settings menu. There are probably several on the list that you don’t even remember downloading, and now they’re sticking around for nothing. If you don’t need them, uninstall them.

2. Upload files: We have a tendency to take the photos and documents we’ve downloaded from the internet or our cameras and just leave them on the computer. If you want to keep them, upload them onto a flash drive or external hard drive. That way, you’ll have them for safekeeping before deleting them from your computer.

3. Update your virus software: Viruses are the bane of a computer’s existence. Just when you think you’ve taken care of them, they come back up. Make sure you have anti-virus software and that it’s up to date. Also, remember to do a routine virus check.

4. Physically clean it out: Your computer might be slow because it’s full of dust bunnies, blocking up the vents. So, shut your computer down, unplug it, and let it cool down for 30 minutes. Then, take a can of compressed air and use it to clean out the computer’s vents and keyboard of residual dust and crumbs.

5. Ask an expert: If your computer is still rebelling against you despite everything you’ve done to help it, it’s come to the point where you should ask an expert opinion whether it can be saved. Call TalkLocal so we can find you a computer specialist.

With these tips, your computer should be picking up speed. If there are any other issues that you want to take care of while you’re on a roll, check out our computer repair blog page and get going.

Re-energize Yourself: Inspire Your Heart with Art Day

Sunday, January 31st, 2016

1

Art is a universal language that touches the soul. It has the ability to help heal wounds, revive old memories, and connect people across place and time. And, with the chill keeping you indoors, it’s a great time to express your creativity. After all, today is Inspire Your Heart with Art Day, a holiday for self renewal through artistic expression and appreciation. So, take a pause from the monotony of your daily routine, stop simply going through the motions, and rediscover your passions.

If you’re looking to get inspired, then here are some things you can do.

Visit a museum. Nothing really compares to getting up close and personal with a piece of art. If you’ve never really been into art and museums, go into it with a different attitude. When looking at a piece, think why does this piece appeal to me? What am I seeing? What is the artist trying to convey to me? One fun thing to do is to try to name a piece before looking at its title.

Listen to music. As one of the oldest forms of therapy, music is known to be a refuge during difficult times. If you feel like you’ve been in a rat race and are anxious about everything, try calming acoustic music without lyrics. If you feel like you’ve hit a slump and don’t have a lot of energy, try some upbeat music, such as techno and hip hop to get your blood moving.

Decorate your home. Take some of what you’ve seen in the world and put it in your home. Your home is your biggest blank canvas. Don’t let it be boring and uninspiring. Throw some paint on the walls. Get some statement-making furniture. Turn your backyard into Van Gogh’s Starry Night. Do whatever it is you have to do get and stay inspired. Because why be inspired for just one day when you can be inspired for a lifetime? And, if you need help bringing your vision to reality, let TalkLocal find you the right local contractor to turn your idea into a masterpiece.

After so many years of juggling responsibilities and trying to get ahead in the rat race, it’s easy to become jaded and lose that child-like wonder that used to color your world. So, have fun with your imagination today and rediscover the creativity and beauty that’s so important for living an inspired and fulfilling life.