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Through coaching hundreds of people, both in my life coaching practice and as a professional organizer, I’ve discovered the one thing that seems to hold many people back from getting what they want: their thoughts. Is “stinking thinking” holding you hostage? Stinking thinking can be defined as a bad way of thinking that makes you believe you will fail, that bad things will happen to you, or that you are not a deserving person. It stems from the beliefs that were programmed into our minds years ago.

Are the following statements true or false?

What’s your image of perfection?
And how is that working for you? It’s impossible to satisfy the inner judge, that critical voice inside your head that expects you to live up to its unrealistic image of perfection. It tells you all the things you should be, and when you don’t measure up, you feel that you’re not good enough. Our inner critic creates expectations neither others nor we could ever meet, so inevitably we end up feeling disappointed with ourselves; this can lead to feelings of failure and unworthiness.

Ready to make some changes? Use the 3-D formula:
1. Detect:
We’ve been under the influence of our thoughts for so long that we don’t even realize we can take control of them. The good news is that we can. But before we can take charge and change things, we have to become aware of the ridiculous things our inner voice is telling us (detect). One way to bring them to light is to keep a journal. Another way of capturing them is to record them on your phone as you notice them.

2. Dispute:
How true are these beliefs? Expectations of our inner judge are unrealistic and set us up for failure. Once we have exposed these thoughts for what they are, we can stop believing them (dispute). Let go of these false beliefs. Release any criticism and blame you may be directing at yourself.

3. Devise:
Come up with a new way of thinking (devise). Shift your point of view and see yourself differently. Think as if you had your own best interests in mind. That means rephrasing those bullying thoughts to something more forgiving. Instead of harsh, judgemental self-talk, speak to yourself with respect. Use phrases such as “everyone makes mistakes” and “I did the best I could.” Choose praise over criticism.

Quiet the voice inside your head to make space for love and joy to enter your life instead.
“Change your thoughts and you change your world.”
– Norman Vincent Peale

Letting go of false beliefs in your mind creates more space in your life for peace and happiness. Change your beliefs and you can change your thoughts. Change your thoughts and you will change your feelings. Change your feelings and you will change your behavior. Changes in your behavior can lead to you improving your life and your relationships.

Ultimately, your thoughts become your destiny.

A Certified Professional Organizer®, life coach, TV Host and owner of We Organize U. visit www.WeOrganizeU.com or e-mail info@WeOrganizeU.com

Spring is upon us and it seems that runny noses, watery eyes, coughs and headaches often abound. If your doctor has not found the cause of your suffering, it may be time to consider a third possibility: mold.

More than 100 types of household molds thrive in damp conditions, making after spring showers prime time for mold to appear in floors, walls and ceilings damaged by leaky pipes or foundation walls, soaked wood, plasterboard, or even newspapers.

Molds give off tiny spores that can get into respiratory tracts and cause allergic reactions. For most people, this results in an irritating but harmless problem. But in young children, it can be more serious.

Fortunately, you may be able to protect your family by taking these three steps:

1. Regularly check areas where mold thrives, including damp basements, bathrooms, air conditioners and anywhere that ceilings or walls may have suffered water damage. Peeling wallpaper often signals moist conditions, so check these spots carefully. Always quickly repair plumbing leaks.

2. Clean mold growth with a solution of one cup bleach to three cups water. Wear a mask and rubber gloves beforehand. If the area is larger than two square feet, hire a professional to get rid of the mold without spreading spores.

3. Prevent re-growth by using a dehumidifier in basements during wet weather. If you eliminate the moisture, then mold should never be too much of a recurring problem.

Consult your Pillar To Post® Inspector if you have concerns about mold.

Bathrooms are a good place to invest in for more enjoyment and to add future home value. Here are just a few expert “do or don’t” suggestions to help you renovate.

  • DO CHOOSE QUALITY, elegant fixtures in a classic style, as they will last longer and be more resistant to shifting trends.
  • DO SELECT DURABLE, water-resistant flooring such as ceramic, marble, or stone tile. For more warmth underfoot, consider installing subfloor heating coils or choose well-sealed hardwood flooring.
  • DO USE FOUND SPACE. Install a recessed storage cabinet at least three inches deep in the wall between the studs to maximize vertical storage while saving floor space.
  • DON’T OVERCROWD by adding too many accessories, or by installing overlarge fixtures. A 35-square-foot bathroom only has space for an average size tub/shower, toilet, and a single-sink vanity.
  • DON’T NEGLECT to vent. A 50-cfm fan is sufficient for venting a bathroom 50 square feet or less, but for spaces larger than 100 square feet, two fans - one for the shower and another near the toilet are better.

Germs can flourish on plastic or wood cutting boards. Keep them as clean as possible.

1. Disinfect with a salad staple: white vinegar. Use a clean sponge or paper towel to rub white vinegar over the board, and rinse with warm water. Vinegar destroys food-borne bacteria on contact.

2. Refresh with a squeeze of citrus. Cut a lemon in half, rub the pulpy side over the cutting board, and rinse with warm water. Fruit’s citric acid kills germs and odors.

3. Clean a wooden board with salt. Place it in the sink, sprinkle salt over the surface, then pour a cup of hot water over the board. Scrub the salt into stains and rinse. Your board will be spot-free, and salt will remove any ground-in flavors

4. No time to scrub your glass or plastic cutting boards? Clean the easy way. Put them in the dishwasher. The high heat will sanitize the surface.

Caution: Avoid cross contamination. Designate one board for raw meat and fish and another for everything else. This eliminates the accidental transfer of bacteria onto your veggies.

There are no perfect houses. Whether you have a new home or one that's a hundred years old, houses have cracks. Houses shift and settle into position after construction. Houses will have cracks in either the cosmetic finishes or structural components. Most of these cracks have no structural significance. Some are significant and Pillar To Post® inspectors use every technique to help their clients figure out the difference.

Shrinkage Cracks
A newly poured, concrete foundation may contain small cracks because concrete shrinks as it cures. Fortunately, a shrinkage crack in a foundation wall is not structurally significant. Here’s how to recognize a shrinkage crack in a poured, concrete foundation:

  • The crack will be small, less than 1/8th of an inch wide.
  • The crack will be vertical.
  • The crack will not extend up through the structure. The crack is in the foundation only.
  • Shrinkage cracks usually occur in the middle third of the length of the foundation wall. If the crack is located towards the end of the length of the foundation wall, it’s probably not a shrinkage crack.

Horizontal Cracks In a Basement Foundation Wall
This discussion relates to cracks in the concrete foundation wall in a house with a basement; this is not relevant to slabs on grade or to cracks in walls above grade level. A below-grade, horizontal crack in a foundation wall, which runs the length of the basement, is likely to be a sign that the foundation is failing under the weight of the surrounding soil. The soil outside the foundation walls exerts an enormous pressure on all the foundation walls. Foundation walls are designed to be strong enough to resist this load. Occasionally, unanticipated, additional loads exert pressure and the foundation begins to fail, resulting in a horizontal crack in the foundation wall.

Settlement Cracks
Foundation settlement cracks are vertical, extending up through the structure. For a brick home, you may see cracks following the mortar joints in the brick wall. In most cases, the settlement crack itself has no structural significance; the concern is that the house may continue to settle over time.

Settlement Crack Size
A larger settlement crack is more likely to be due to ongoing movement than a smaller settlement crack is. While there are no hard and fast rules, a settlement crack or series of settlement cracks that have a sum total opening of less than 1/4 inch are probably not because of ongoing settlement.

Direction of Movement
A typical settlement crack is vertical, starting from where the crack opens up. The bumps and crevices line up and fit together like the pieces of a puzzle. If the crack face has moved in any other direction, such as a shear crack, the quarter-inch rule described above does not apply. This can be a significant structural concern.

Repaired and Re-cracked
A settlement crack that has been repaired and has re-cracked (not just a hairline crack) could also indicate ongoing movement.

Lights, camera, - snacking! Your favorite movie snack is closely associated with the emotions you experience at the cinema. It may reveal anything from your sociability to creativity.

Jujubes or Twizzlers: You are a decisive doer with strong leadership skills.

Raisinets or M&M’s: You are a thoughtful classicist, contemplative and also quiet yet sophisticated.

Popcorn: You are a generous ladder-climber, sharing, charitable yet goal-oriented and successful.

Nachos: You are always prepared and a perfectionist, welcoming any challenge with a methodical approach.

That little can of WD-40 has more uses than you originally thought.

1. Keep silver shining. Remove tarnish from your silver jewelry or platters with a few sprays of WD-40. It helps to prevent tarnish build up by sealing out moisture.

2. Get rid of gum. If gum is stuck to carpet, spray over the spot, wait 10 minutes and you should be able to wipe away the sticky mess with a clean cloth.

3. Bye-bye scuff marks. Make those pesky black marks disappear from your tile or wood floor in a flash. Just spray WD-40, and then rub with a clean cloth until the area is no longer slippery.

4. Loosen zippers. Get a zipper to slide easily again by spraying WD-40 on it, then pull it up and down a few times. Remove excess with a paper towel.

Most settlement cracks are the result of short-term settlement. Ongoing settlement is unlikely and uncommon. Unfortunately, it is very difficult to identify ongoing settlement from a one-time visit to the home.

Since making multiple visits to the home over a few years is not compatible with a real estate transaction, we have to use our experience to read the cracks and take an educated guess as to whether ongoing settlement is likely.


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