Colleen Griffin - RE/MAX Vision



Posted by Colleen Griffin on 5/7/2017

Aside from locking our doors at night and parking cars in a safe place, most of us donít think about security for more than a couple of minutes a day.

In many ways, the United States is a safer country than ever. Property crimes, such as burglary, robbery, and theft, have all plummeted in recent years. However, billions of dollars are still lost each year due to property crimes.

A type of theft that is on the rise in the United States in identity theft. We are all taught the dangers of identity theft, but are rarely given specifics on how to keep our data more secure.

In this article, weíll cover basic security tips that will keep you, your family, your property, and your data more secure at home.

Securing your home

First, letís start with the simple things. Check the exterior of your home. Do you have accessible windows, and are they kept locked? Similarly, are any of your doors glass? If so, thieves may easily break the glass and unlock the door from the outside. At night, keep your home safer by installing motion sensor lights around dimly lit areas.

Speaking of locks, make sure yours are high quality deadbolts. Also, keep track of all keys and donít leave keys in careless places such as under doormats or flower pots.

Use the latest tech to your advantage

Smart home technology isnít just good for clapping lights on and off. You can use smart home security systems to lock and unlock your doors from work, check security cameras, and protect you and your family from fire and carbon monoxide all from an app on your phone.

Buy a safe

Safes arenít just for millionaires and they donít just prevent burglaries. A good safe will keep things secure from fire and water hazards, as well. Items youíll want to keep secure include important paperwork, passports, social security cards, copies of financial documents, jewelry, emergency cash, and hard drives or flash drives with photos and documents on them.

Keep your home safe while youíre away

One of the most important times to keep your house secure is when youíre not in it. An empty home is an easier target for those seeking to gain entry into your home. While youíre away, be sure to let a trusted neighbor know youíll be gone. Have them take in your mail for you so it doesnít look like the home is unoccupied. Before you leave, check that the windows are locked and that nothing has been left on in the house except for a light.

Protect your identity

To keep your information safe from prying hands hoping to turn a profit, here are some best practices to follow.

  • Shred documents with your personal information, donít throw them out with your garbage

  • Donít fall for phone or email scams; unless you entered something you probably didnít win anything

  • Donít let anyone enter your home unless you called them first

  • Be selective of the information you share on social media. Never post photos of your forms of identification, or tell others when your family will be away (a.k.a. Your home empty)

  • Always keep your smartphone locked with a passcode

  • Change your passwords to various websites frequently. Donít use the same password for multiple sites, and make your passwords complex. Instead of words, use pass ďphrasesĒ or series of words.




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Posted by Colleen Griffin on 2/19/2017

Staying in shape during the winter time isnít easy. Colder weather means less time spent walking outdoors, jogging, or riding a bicycle. The days grow shorter and we get tired earlier when to sun is already on its way down as we leave work at night. All of these things combine to make it difficult to maintain fitness during the winter months.

Luckily, we live in a time when we have access to several great fitness resources right from our own home. In this article, weíll cover some important tips to keep you moving this winter.

Skip the expensive machinery

As many fitness practitioners will tell you (except the the ones selling them on TV), most ďhome gymĒ systems are overpriced, difficult to move, take up a ton of room, and will probably turn into a hanger for your laundry after a few months.

Instead of spending a ton of money on exercise machines, go out and buy a good roll-up exercise or yoga mat and a couple weights.

The internet is your trainer and motivator

Many of us who buy gym memberships do so thinking that paying for something monthly will motivate us to use it. Itís easy to slip out of your schedule, however, and find yourself paying for a service you donít use. Gyms that charge low monthly membership fees often have hefty cancellation fees. These gyms sign so many people up and then depend on them not to come every day, otherwise they would be extremely overcrowded.

Save your money, and try out various free routines on YouTube. There are videos in several different areas of fitness including yoga, pilates, dance, strengthening and cardio workouts, or even hula hooping.  

Donít let impossible ideals ruin your good time

Fitness should be fun and rewarding. If you want to stick to it, choose an activity that you enjoy and donít dread doing every day. If you canít think of a physical activity you actually enjoy (trust me, Iím with you), then make your exercise something you look forward to by listening to your favorite podcasts while you do them.

So much of our consumer culture depends striving for an impossible to reach body standard. It can be hard for us to ignore, since women and men alike are taught these standards from birth. But to have the best results from your exercise, it should come from a place of pride and enjoyment in yourself and your body, not shame.

Make it social

If you arenít great at holding yourself accountable (you arenít alone) or just have more fun doing activities with others, making your routine a social act is a great way to make it a more rewarding and worthwhile experience. You can get your significant other, children, or even a rambunctious dog involved in staying active through the winter.




Tags: home   tips   fitness  
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Posted by Colleen Griffin on 9/18/2016

Buying a new home comes with a lot of new responsibilities that may have been previously†taken care of by your landlords or parents. When you're out shopping for things like tools and cleaning supplies†for your new home it's mostly guesswork as to which items you really need. Couple that with the fact that department stores are now filled with endless selections and it becomes almost impossible not to waste money or miss an important item for your home. Users on the popular online forum Reddit were recently asked what the most useful item for their house turned out to be†that they didn't think of beforehand. Their answers, which we'll go through below, serve as great advice. If you're a new homeowner or will be soon, read on for these important household buys:

  • A step stool and a ladder You'll use both of these quite often, especially when you're moving. In my house there are a few top kitchen cabinets that are just out of reach, so I'm constantly pulling out the step stool. However, they're also useful†around the house like in closets or reaching high spots while cleaning and painting. Equally important is a ladder. You won't want to mess around climbing on unsteady chairs†for changing lightbulbs or smoke detector batteries. Plus you'll need one for access to the roof of your shed or house.
  • A whole-house fan or air conditioner When you move into a house, especially in the summer months, you're going to want to stay cool while setting up and cleaning your new home. A great way to bring lots of fresh air into the house is to use a whole house fan which draws air into the attic and therefore causing air from outside to flow into your open windows. Window fans are a suitable substitute, so long as they have an exchange mode to bring air in and out.
  • A bucket and a wheel barrow Both of these items are easily overlooked but will be invaluable when it comes to cleaning your house and maintaining your yard. Reddit user shuggins points out some of the myriad†uses for a bucket: mopping the floor, pulling weeds, watering plants, washing the car, washing the dog, and even turn it upside down for a stool when you need a break from all those chores. And†in the†unfortunate event that someone is sick and queasy, a bucket can be†a lifesaver.
  • Drain stops and screens It won't take long for your drain pipes to get clogged up with food in the kitchen and hair in the bathroom without drain screens. Plus, having a drain stop for your sink will turn it into--you guessed it--a bucket! Buckets are the best.
  • New locks† Who knows who has copies of the keys in and around your home. It's important to change all the locks, including padlocks to your shed. There are many horror stories of new homeowners getting all settled in only to be burgled soon after.
  • Batteries all sizes Reddit user typhoidmarry accurately describes the necessity for extra batteries when they write, "Your smoke detectors battery WILL die at 2am. It will." Play it safe and get extra batteries for your all of your electronics to avoid frustration and rage when you can't watch Netflix because your remote battery died.




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