Tips for Saving Money on Your Upcoming Move

Moving is already stressful enough as it is without the added expense of the endeavor. What makes it worse is that moving can be more expensive than you originally planned. While you’re working with Austin insurance agents to change your policies over to your new address and make any necessary adjustments to your coverage, take out some time to learn a few tips for reducing the overall expense of your upcoming move.

Map Out a Budget

Rather than getting a general idea of the cost of moving, know for a fact what exact costs you’ll incur. Sit down and create a budget for moving truck rentals, final utility payments, cleaning costs, moving supplies, meals if you’re waiting to buy groceries again until you move into your new space and gas for making trips back and forth from your old place to your new place. It’s even better if you overestimate the cost.

Try Not to Buy Boxes

Chances are good there are free moving boxes in your area. Ask your friends and family if any of them have recently moved and have some boxes they’d like to get rid of. Social media is another good source for finding free moving boxes. If you need smaller boxes, hit up local liquor stores to see what they have for you. Liquor store boxes are strong enough for hefty glass bottles, which means they’re sturdy enough for moving.

Shop Around for Movers

If you have to hire movers to help you out, do your research before hiring anyone. Gather quotes from at least three companies, and see which company has the best reputation. Know that while it might seem less expensive to handle your move on your own, doing so might actually cost you more in the long run, and you also have to think about the fact that experienced movers know the best techniques to use to protect your belongings and furniture so you don’t damage them and have to replace them once you’re settled in your new place.

Don’t Forget to Budget for After Your Move

Once you’ve moved into your new place, you might not be done spending money. For instance, you could need a few odds and ends for your new residence. You might also have to pay activation fees for utilities. Did you move out of an apartment? Not only is there a chance you won’t be getting your deposit back, you might owe more money to cover your move-out fees. Additionally, your insurance rates might be more expensive in your new neighborhood, which is something else you’ll need to account for.

Get Rid of Old Items

Now is a great time to go through your belongings to figure out what you want to keep and what you want to throw away, donate or sell. Remember: the less you have, the less you have to move, which could result in some serious savings. Have a yard sale before your move to make some extra cash, and donate any items leftover for the tax write-off.

Talk With Your Accountant About Moving Deductions

Depending on the criteria surrounding the move and your employment situation, there’s a chance you could get a tax deduction for your move. For this reason, you’ll want to keep close and careful track of all your moving expenses and share them with your accountant.

Extra Insurance Might Come in Handy

Imagine breaking your TV, a prized vase or an expensive piece of furniture during your move. You might have renters or homeowners insurance, but filing a claim between moves could be tricky. Look into insurance specifically designed for moves. Paying a few extra dollars could keep you from spending a few hundred dollars to replace your broken or damaged items.

Be sure to put these suggestions to good use to save on your upcoming move.


Classic or Electronic: Which Drum Set is Right for the Style of Music You Want to Play

Investing in a drum set is a big decision to make so you want to make sure you get one that’s perfect for you. Once you’ve decided this is your instrument of choice, the first dilemma you will be confronted with is picking between electronic and classic or acoustic drums. The type of music you want to place, the location in which you will be playing and the amount of space you have will all influence your decision.

Traditional vs electronic drums

But first, let’s distinguish between the two types of drum sets. As professional drummer and drum educator Simon DasGupta explains, acoustic drums are the traditional set wood shells and metal cymbals. Snare drums would have metal shells. On the other hand, electronic drums are pads, with rubber, plastic, or mesh drumheads. A small box called a sound module produces the sound and you can hear it through a headset or an amplifier.

Advantages and disadvantages of acoustic drums

The traditional drum kit is of course the most realistic in terms of sound and feel. Acoustic sets allow you to better perform drum rolls, buzz rolls, cymbal swells, hi-hat technique and cross stick. The superior stands of acoustic kits also allow for a greater range of adjustment. You are therefore able to get the angle and height that’s perfect for you.

It should be noted that acoustic drum kits are naturally loud and this can be a problem for neighbours or even the people you live with. Silencer pads will lower the volume drastically but the feel and sound will also be significantly diminished. Your housemates will thank you but you may not enjoy your jam session as much. Traditional drums will need head replacements occasionally and this can be quite costly. They also need to be tuned and you may need to get a professional to do the job. You should also bear in mind that acoustic drum kits can be heavy and they take up a lot of space.

Advantages and disadvantages of electric drums

Electric drums have a number of built-in tools which are perfect for beginners. These include metronomes and drum kit sounds which are ideal for experimenting with style and sound. If you’re in the market, check out an
electronic drums buying guide to help you make the best decision. Contrary to traditional drums, you can turn down the volume or practise quietly with headphones or ear phones. This may be what you need if you have noise-sensitive housemates or neighbours. It is also worth noting that you will never have to tune an electronic drum kit and they generally take up less space than their traditional counterparts.

On the downside, electric drums don’t feel or sound the same as acoustic ones, despite advances in technology. Maintenance can also be expensive since the kits eventually need replacement parts. You should pay attention to the fact that some electric drum kits can’t be fully adjusted in terms of height and positioning and may therefore be uncomfortable to use.

As you can see, there are both electronic and acoustic drum sets have their selling points and drawbacks. Ultimately, you’ll have the choose the one that’s best based on your circumstances and musical needs.

Have Those Girls Tested


A year ago, my friends and I got together for a mini-reunion. We went to college together and promised to stay in touch through adulthood, but you know life happens. We finally got to clear our schedules and agreed for a meet-up to catch up with all the gossip.

The first several hours were spent gossiping and catching up, and then as we sobered up and settled into our meal, Mary, one of us and an excellent science tutor, broke some shocking news. She had undergone surgery two years ago. Mastectomy, no less. We all gasped, knowing that she was pretty young. We were all in our mid-twenties, so why would such a young fall victim to a disease reserved for much older women? Well, Mary’s mom was only 32 when she died of breast cancer, and it turns out she was genetically predisposed to the disease.

It’s Never Too Soon

Every October the reserved breast cancer awareness month, we are reminded to check the girls for nodes and lumps. Well, that is a regular thing, but it naturally we could miss some things through this method of checking. When should you start going for mammograms?

When you are genetically predisposed to breast or ovarian cancer, you are more susceptible than a person who has no history of either. Genetic susceptibility comes from having a close relative being diagnosed with a particular disease and especially at a young age. It does not automatically mean you will get it, but your chances will increase tenfold.

Certain mutations in the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes expose you to breast and ovarian cancer, and so you are safer starting those mammograms as early as in your twenties. Regular screening will help catch the disease early if you ever get it. Additionally, knowing your susceptibility levels helps you make changes to your lifestyle soon enough.

While mammograms are the more popular test, MRI scans are said to be more effective for women under 40 years who are highly susceptible to breast cancer. Naturally, no want ants to spend their twenties (selfish years) thinking about breast cancer risks. Also, a mammogram or MRI scan at that age feels like such a heavy burden to carry for a party girl, but it could save a life. And a breast, or a pair.

MRI scans are not painful, and neither are they as scary as they sound. They get to the root showing everything that the doctor needs to know about your susceptibility level. For those not genetically predisposed, the risk of breast cancer begins at 50 or after menopause. So you should book that appointment too if you fall in that age group.

Naturally, the news of Mary’s diagnosis dampened our day, but her charm reassured us. She is in remission, and she will keep going for annual checks to ensure that she stays in this safe state. Every day above the sun is a good day, right? As I head drove home that day, I made a mental note to book an MRI. I am not genetically predisposed, but caution never hurt anyone.

The Health of Your Air Conditioning Unit is More Important Than You Think

If you are experiencing a major heat wave both in and outside of your home, it’s time to take notice. The excess heat you are suffering from may be the product of a fault in your air conditioning unit. Some of its internal parts may be damaged or the filter may be in desperate need of a cleaning.

It may also be that the unit itself may simply need a tuning up in order to get it back up and running again. In the meantime, one thing is certain: If you’re feeling the heat and not doing anything about it, you are not only risking your own comfort but also the health of your family members and pets.

When Your Air Conditioning Unit Goes Down, You’ll Need to Act Fast

A quick Google search for AC Repair Tomball Texas will turn up the name and number of a professionally qualified air conditioner repair service that will soon have your unit operating back at peak efficiency. This is one area of your personal comfort and well being that you cannot under any circumstances afford to skimp or cut corners on, because it not only affects your own health but that of your loved ones as well.

The best thing to do under the circumstances is to bite the bullet and make the call. The problem isn’t going to get any better if you ignore it, so you may as well go for it. The recent wave of increased temperatures virtually guarantees a breakdown in air conditioning units all across the region. It’s an excellent idea to arrange for a check up for your unit in order to be fully prepared for such an occurrence.

This Is Not a Problem That You Should Attempt to Fix By Yourself

When your air conditioning unit begins to fail, this is not a problem that you should attempt to fix via a “Do It Yourself” approach. This would be a major mistake since, unless you are a qualified air conditioning unit repair tech, you very likely do not possess the actual skills and tools needed to complete such a job.

If the main reason that is keeping you from making the call to a professional air conditioning repair service is money, you shouldn’t worry. Most jobs can be completed in a matter of hours, sometimes even minutes. Prices for repair jobs are generally quite low.

Professional Air Conditioning Repair Services Are Available in Your Area

You should be aware that professional air conditioning repair services are available in your area for you to call on in your hour of greatest need. As soon as the call is received, a service tech will come to your house in order to ascertain the problem and make a quick estimate of just how much the repair job will cost.

This is a case in which you need to consider your alternatives. If you sit back and let the problem in your air conditioning unit get progressively worse, the eventual bill for the repair will simply grow larger as time goes by. Your best bet is to make the call to a professional air conditioning unit repair service in order to get it taken care of.

The Ferberization Method – Here’s How it Works

Getting home with your first baby can be incredibly exciting. You’ve baby proofed the house and picked out the perfect stroller. Then, after a few sleepless nights you realize that you need a plan for getting the baby to sleep.

The Ferber Method or Ferberization is a training exercise invented by Dr Robert Ferber, which encourages your little one to cry himself to sleep. Please be assured that this is in no way as terrible as it sounds. There are a number of misconceptions about this training which are mostly unfounded as parents have embraced this strategy for decades.

It’s understandable that most new parents would have fears of allowing their babies cry for long periods of time but rest assured that your baby is on a learning curve and is perfectly safe.

Before embarking on this training, ensure you seek the advice of your baby’s doctor to be certain that your baby’s respiratory system is in top condition. This exercise for most babies involves crying, and some babies cry a bit more than others.

During Ferberization, you are allowed to check in on your little one at intervals without any physical comforting.Make sure your baby is well fed, is wearing comfortable clothing and is in a safe environment before commencing training. A baby with a full tummy would sleep much better.

The time durations to let your baby “cry it out” should range from 3 to 5 minutes with a 5 minute increase each night. But it is not meant to be rigid so you are allowed to alter the time intervals to suit your baby. This training could last for a few days or even up to weeks, depending on the temperament of your little one.

If your baby is still resistant to the training after several weeks then take a break for awhile before starting again. Practise makes perfect so be ready to give up some personal sleep time to help your baby during this learning phase.

For more information on Ferberization, here’s an infographic to help you understand it better:


Hidden Sugars – Where They Hide and Why They Are Bad for You

Added sugars are terrible for you and that’s a fact that a lot of people already know but what most people do not know is that they hide in plain side. So you may be thinking, “not my business, I don’t eat cake”, “I stick to one teaspoon of sugar a day so I should be alright”, “I have stopped eating ice cream so this post does not apply to me”, you couldn’t be more wrong.

You need not stuff yourself full of cakes or ice cream to consume excess added sugars. Look around you, they are everywhere; in your BBQ sauce, your yogurts, energy bars …those demons are out to ruin you.  According to the American Heart Association, men are supposed to keep their added sugar intake to under 37.5 grams while women keep theirs’ under 25 grams. However, when we take a closer look at all the foods we consume daily, you would be shocked to realize how much sugar we consume on a daily basis.

The AHA are worried about our sugar consumption rate and they should be rightly so because those demons overload your liver thereby causing severe damage to the liver. When you eat too much sugar, it causes what the doctors or nutritionists like to call “classic metabolic dysfunction”. This is a scenario where the individual starts to gain weight, while experiencing high blood pressure and elevated blood sugar. These can see you booking a room at the hospital pretty fast.

The good news is, we know where those slick little fellas are hiding, thanks to this awesome infographic we ran into. Check it out here!

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Equipment Necessities When Fishing in Texas

Fishing in Texas is a lot of fun, but you’re only going to get the most out of it if you have the right equipment. The fishing environment in Texas requires you to use specific types of gear, so you need to pack the right stuff before your next fishing adventure. Here are some tips.

How to Choose a Fishing Rod

The best fishing rods state the lure weight rating, length, line recommendation and action listing, giving you an idea of how to use it. Those for saltwater fishing rods are classified as medium heavy, medium or medium light. For most Texas fishing, any of the three medium types will help you catch trout, redfish and other fish.

Baitcast Gear

Baitcast reels are very effective for Texas fishing, in particular, catching bass. These are also suitable for aggressive fish and notable for their accuracy. One drawback with these reels is the backlash, so practice first before tackling any large fish.

Spinning Reels and Rods

These are also widely used by freshwater and saltwater anglers in Texas. These are ideal for beginners because they can handle different lure weights. There is no backlash with spinning rods, and the learning curve is short. Some anglers prefer baitcast over spinning cast while others like it the other way, it’s up to you.

Lures and Baits

If you want to go with live baits, worms are your best option. They’re easy to get and attract a lot of different fish. You can also try shrimp, crabs and other crustaceans to lure the bigger fish. If you’re going after large fish, any small fish will also serve as good bait. This is probably the easiest option and one that’s tried and tested by anglers everywhere.

As for artificial lures, these are the best options:

  • Plastics: they come in various shapes, sizes, and colors and simulate stuff fish consume.
  • Plugs: they’re known to attract fish along the Texas coast.
  • Top waters: you should bring a few of these to catch flounder, reds, and trout.

Other artificial lures that you may want to try are tied jigs, buck tail jigs, swimbaits, corky lures, crankbaits and spinnerbaits. Crankbaits are particularly effective when it comes to luring bass.

Extra Lines

Sooner or later your fishing line is going to break, so bring along a few extra lines. When it comes to fishing lines, get the most durable you can afford.


Stack up on hooks of different sizes and shapes. The J-hook is the most common, but there are others available. Hook sizes range from 32 (the smallest) to 19/0. Make sure you use the right hook size for the fish you’re going after. You’ll also want to have a few bobbers, sinkers and needle nose pliers to remove the hooks.


Last but not the least, don’t forget to bring a first aid kit. It’s unlikely you’re going to suffer any serious injury, but it’s better to be safe. And if you’re having trouble finding a good spot, don’t hesitate to ask the locals as they’ll be happy to help.

5 Important Decisions To Make Once You’re Pregnant

Congratulations on your pregnancy! It’s a beautiful feeling to finally hold your baby in your arms after nine long months. It is a feeling that cannot be adequately put into words – It’s just awesome.

There is so much to get done from day one and your probably on the edge of freaking out, you’ve got a thousand questions running through your mind, but generally, a lot of mothers like you want to make sure the journey is a smooth one and their babies come out safe and healthy.

So here are 3 important tips to keep in mind as you get ready for your baby’s arrival.

Tip #1

Do remember to make a prenatal appointment – Usually, the first appointment is set up around the 8th week of pregnancy. You will want to go to that appointment with enough information about your medical history; this is so the doctor can plan for any complications that may occur during the pregnancy.

Tip #2

Quit alcohol, smoking and ease up on the caffeine – These substances can harm the development of your baby. While you’re at it, remember to make a list of medications you are currently on and relay this information to a doctor. The doctor will let you know which ones are safe for your baby.

Tip #3

Enroll in a childbirth education class

Tip #4

Stay away from all forms of strenuous activities and contact sports.

Tip #5

Eat well! Pregnant women require additional nutrients daily as the baby relies on its mother to survive; to help you out, here’s a useful infographic on nutrition for pregnant women.

Please include attribution to with this graphic.

Pregnant? Here

A Few Things to Understand About an Uncontested Divorce in Texas

You and your spouse can file for an uncontested divorce in the state of Texas. This can save both time and money, but you must first understand the answer to the question what is an uncontested divorce texas. The following is a quick explanation, and a few things you need to know about this procedure.

Not everyone qualifies
Obviously, neither one of you should be contesting property dispersion or other assets you may share. However, if you have real estate in both of your names or a shared retirement account, you won’t qualify for an uncontested divorce. Neither can you be going through a bankruptcy. Neither can you and your spouse have any minor children. Other than this, everything must be agreed upon in advance. The state of Texas also has residency requirements for divorce. Both you and your spouse must have resided in the state of Texas for at least six months. In addition, both of you must have lived in the county that you file for divorce in for at least three months.

There are certain required forms that must be filled out in order to be granted a divorce. Some of these forms are necessary wherever in Texas you reside, but there are forms that are specific to the county that you live in. There are websites that you can find these forms, and then download them for printing. You can also get these forms at your local court house. This latter option is often a good idea because you are assured of getting the necessary forms for your county.

Getting assistance
Even when a couple agrees on everything ahead of time, there is still the issue of filling out the paperwork properly, and then filing the forms properly. Although the process is simple to an attorney, it can be a bit intimidating for the non-lawyer. There are a few things you can do for assistance in the process. There are para-legals that can provide you with help. They are not attorneys, and can not provide you with any legal advice, but they do understand how to fill out the paperwork and can be valuable during an uncontested divorce.

A do-it-yourself uncontested divorce is not for everybody, but if you and your spouse are on good speaking terms and are able to agree on everything, it may be a good path to take. You will save a lot of money, and the process will go quickly.

Kiosks for your Sales Needs

A good company is always looking for fresh and new ways to get their product out to people. This is especially true when it comes to the food and drink industry. The restaurant industry has so many variables. One of the biggest variables is the way the cost can rise and fall at the change of the hat. Also, the real estate situation in a given market can affect the success of a restaurant or coffee shop as well.

Have you ever considered a retail kiosk for your sales needs? You may be surprised at how effective that they can be. They can help your company reduce cost and increase profits. They are also sure not to make you waste money by paying rent in an area where you aren’t going to get enough traffic to sustain your business. Here are 4 great reasons to consider a mall kiosk for your sales needs.

1. Streamlined experience – The purchasing experience is very favorable for customers when you use a kiosk. This is because it is automated and consistent. Because of this, it is easy to use. When something is easy to use people are much more likely to use it. It’s as simple as that.

2. Widened base – Because the kiosk will hopefully located in a high traffic area a lot of new customers will come across and get to try your product. The more people that come into contact with your product, the more people will be likely to buy your product. Because kiosk are small and portable, it is easy to relocate them and adjust them to meet both your needs and the needs of your customers.

3. Cost – The cost to open up and operate a mall kiosk is much cheaper than opening a traditional store front. This means that is getting your product in front of more customers and also keeping your costs much lower than they would have been. There is no better feeling as a business owner than increased profits with lowered costs.

4. Efficiency – Kiosks are consistent and reliable. They are also very efficient. Those that use them see almost no wasted money in their day to operations.

If you are looking into getting some mall kiosks for your coffee stand or food company you should look into All Star Carts. All Star Carts is one of the premier companies for providing kiosk and food cart services to businesses looking to increase their profits and stabilize their bottom line.