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  • April 01, 2018 1:24 PM | Anonymous

    We know that having a positive attitude impacts those around us, including our spouses, partners, children, friends, roommates, and coworkers, but have you considered how having a positive attitude impacts your own wellbeing?

    It’s easy to pinpoint things to blame for our mood–the traffic on the way to work, the oatmeal that exploded in the microwave this morning, being late because you had to stop for gas, but the reality is that only we are in charge of our moods. We can get upset at various circumstances and people, but we don’t have any control over these things. The best that we can do is to take ownership of our attitude.

    If we only really have control over our own attitudes, shouldn’t we do our best to ensure that it remains positive, as often as possible? We get caught up in how other people affect us, and vice versa, but we ought to consider how our actions affect ourselves.

    Your coworkers and your boss will notice your mood, and being in a negative one on a regular basis will reflect poorly on you. If, however, you come to work and are eager to take on the day’s tasks, this reflects well on you. Your coworkers will probably prefer to work with people that approach issues from an optimistic perspective. Like they say, you attract more bees with honey! Having a general positive attitude at work could be beneficial to your job security, as your boss will want to keep ambitious employees around, and your coworkers will be able to testify to your drive and hard work.

    Having a positive attitude at work can benefit you mentally, and even physically. A positive attitude will lead to a better mood, which results in less stress. Keeping stress at a minimum is important across all aspects of our daily lives, and not just the work component, but stress at work is sure to damper your mood. We know that anticipating a stressful Friday will make all other days that week seem more daunting than usual! Find ways to uplift yourself at work to lessen your burden. On a day you’re anticipating to be stressful, packing a special lunch or stopping for coffee if you usually make it at home could make a difference in your stress levels that day. Whatever works to keep your stress at bay!

    You won’t be in a perfect, rainbow mood every day, but you certainly don’t want to walk into the office with a rain cloud over your head on a daily basis, either! Do your best to have a positive attitude at work, and you might end up thanking yourself.

  • June 15, 2017 10:44 AM | Anonymous

    By Karen Schembari,  Wellness Educator, Schembari Family Wellness

    I often hear others say, our world is not the same as we were kids. It is so true. The toxins that our grandparents were exposed to in their life time, the average American can be exposed to in one day!  That means that there are toxins are everywhere around us! We use them in our gardens, to clean our houses, to paint our walls ,to take care of our cars, they are in our furniture,  and in the dyes in our clothes. We paint them on our nails, we color our hair with them.  They are in the containers we store our food in. We breathe them in our air freshners that we use in our bathrooms, in our cars. We wash and dry our clothes with them.

    We eat them in our processed foods.  We drink them in our water and during our showers. They basically are in every aspect of our lives.  From the moment we are born to the moment we are at our final resting place,  we are bombarded with Toxins.

    Chronic exposure to these chemicals adds to our body’s “toxic burden” which is the number of chemicals stored in its tissues at a given time.

    As Reported by the National Safety Council   :      

    There are more children under four die of accidental poisonings at home than are accidentally killed with guns at home.”

    The health problems caused by each toxin can be short term or long term.

    Here are some of the toxins found in our homes:

    A.     The Kitchen: Non stick cook ware

    it has PFOA (perfluorinated chemicals).  The toxins are released at high temperatures. (Recomendation: replace with ceramic or glass)

    B.     Living Rooms and Bed rooms:Pressed wood furniture and Fabric.  They have Formaldehyde in them.  Reactions are fatigue, Skin rashes, and allergic reactions.

    C.     Flame retardant chemicals in household upholstery , your mattress, television and computer housings. They have PBDE in them.  They have been linked to altered thyroid levels, decreased fertility and numerous development problems when exposed in utero.

    Since we spend about 1/3 of our life in Bed, this is a significant health concern. Recommendation: Look for 100 percent wool,  and  toxin free matresses. 

    Some simple ways we can do to reduce unnecessary chemical exposure !

    • eat mostly raw fresh foods and stay away from  pre-packaged foods
    • Buy and eat as much as possible organic produce, free-range and organic foods to reduce exposure to pesticides and fertilizers
    • Store food in glass and not plastic, avoid canned foods ( they are lined with BPA)
    • Test your home tap water, install an appropriate water filter on all your facets( showers too).
    • Switch to natural toiletries, Health and Beauty Aide products in your home.  The environment Working Group has a great DataBase to help you find personal care products that are free of  potentially dangerous chemicals. Young Living also offers a skin care and personal care product line that is free of these chemicals. See my display for my ingredients.
    • Avoid using artificial air fresheners, dryer sheets, fabric softeners and other fabricated fragrances
    • Use only Natural Cleaning products in your Home. Those that have citrus Essential oils, are helpful in reducing the use of chemicals.

    Karen Schembari
    Young Living Essential Oil Business Owner
    Non Toxic Products for you and your home!
    Enroller/sponsor #791841


  • March 01, 2017 6:56 AM | Anonymous

    Tax Changes for Tax Year 2016, Tax Season 2017

    -       Tax Brackets have creeped up by .4%, so we will be paying more taxes in 2016.
    -       The Federal Tax Day deadline for filing 2016 Form 1040 is Tuesday, April 18th, 2017.
    -       Penalties have increased for individuals not having qualified health insurance in 2016.
    -       March 15th, 2017 is the “new-earlier” due date for Form 1065, for LLC’s and Partnerships.

    Free-Filing is good, so try it - but know what you are getting 

    As always, we recommend that Taxpayers with relatively simple or straight forward income taxes, consider taking advantage of the many free or low cost electronic filing services offered by the IRS, the States, and many tax software vendors [check-out sites like - www.irs.gov - www.freefile.irs.gov - www. turbotax.intuit.com - and www.taxact.com].

    We caution –

    # Be certain that you know whether: R Both the federal and state returns are being prepared for free, and R Electronic filing of both federal and state returns is free [in some places the federal is free and the state has a fee].

    # Inquire about any service that asks to take the fees from your refund, especially if there is a charge for accepting or processing such payments. If you are inclined to have your refund put on a debit card, research the fees for having and using such cards, before you agree.

    IRS and States are trying to make tax preparers their tax auditors

    Tax Preparers are now required to see, ask for, or verify specific documentation before filing your tax returns, and are now exposed to penalties and loss of license, if it is determined that proper due diligence was not conducted.

    If the Tax Preparer deducts an amount, without full due diligence, not only are you, the Taxpayer exposed to disallowance of the deduction, but the Tax Preparer is exposed to sanctions for lack of due diligence.

    This may create situations where the Tax Preparer and the Taxpayer have to “agree to disagree”. We will always explain the advantages, benefits, draw-backs and exposure of any tax position we recommend.

    don moragne                                

    Tax Accountant

    Registered Tax Return Preparer

    Former IRS Agent and Mid-Level Manager

  • January 23, 2017 6:43 PM | Anonymous

    This year I decided to blog—for the 1st time.  I wanted to share my story; a journey that began with a curiosity, now has turned into my passion.  I am a Holistic Health Coach and I teach people how to live life with abundance.   Just like you, my story has lot of twist and turns, drama, boatloads of lessons-learned and god knows –full of hit and misses. But one thing that has remained constant is my intent to succeed to love and live life to the fullest.   And that intent comes from the fact that I approach life –one day at a time.  I don’t plan it.  If the tides are taking me downstream, I don’t fight it. I don’t steer my boat upstream.  This is because I know I will catch a good current soon.

    Sure, we all lead a busy life with jobs, families and umpteen numbers of things we sign up for. And, as we continue to complicate things, life happens.  We look to capture key milestones but miss out the day-to-day miracles.

    Looking back at 2016, life brought me many surprise packages.  Through every interaction, I learnt about the power of intentions, prayers, synchronicity, abundance, curiosity and above all--the power of Belief.   There also came a time in the last 3-4 months where life became frantically busy for me.  But I truly believed in the magic called LIFE: waking up every morning and wondering who was I going to meet today that will move me one step closer or forward in my journey? Who is going to answer my questions of the day, could be about life, spirituality or anything and everything? I looked for this joy in every conversation, even some difficult ones which taught me great deal about myself.   And believe me, those are not easy to deal with especially if family is involved.    I had to ask myself: am I going to lead life fully with no regrets or hold back and take this beautiful, awe-inspiring Life for granted? Life can change in a moment, regardless of age, color, gender or religion. All your dreams and aspirations can be shattered within seconds. 

    So I ask you: are you going to waste your time blaming everyone and/or every situation?  Are you going to be a prisoner of the past or a pioneer of the present? The answer lies in you.  Shed the blame; stop carrying the load of yesterday, the pressure of tomorrow and focus on the present moment and this magnificent gift called Life.   If not, eventually, it will consume you and manifest in the form of Dis-ease or Dis-Ability.   As cliché as it sounds, living in the moment without guilt, anger, resentment, judgment, expectations, and changing your attitude, perspective or the way you see things will change your life forever.

    As you start your new year, question to ask yourself is: How am I going to live in the present moment this year?

    Here are some suggestions to help you live in the now:

    1.      Take 5 to 10 deep breathes. When you start thinking about past or worried about future or when you are upset. Remember Respond Don’t React.
    2.      Ask yourself: the problem I am having --is it within my realms of control?  If not, quit worrying about it. Be honest and gentle with yourself.
    3.      Practice new way of thinking every few minutes. Start enjoying everything you do. Look at things, people and your surroundings in a totally different way. Even if it’s for 5 minutes. Changing Your Perspective Will Change Your Life.
    4.      Focus on things that really matter to you and work on it daily. Ask yourself: What are some activities that can be optional or can be eliminated so you can work on something meaningful.
    5.      Do or try one thing new, something you have never done before, in a month or week or daily.
    6.      Do what you love every moment. Go do what you always wanted to. Do it now, tomorrow is not guaranteed.
    7.      Look beyond co-dependency: Don’t spend all of your time making everyone happy. Remember there are billions of people in this world and you are not going to like everyone and not everyone will like you and that’s completely OK. Conflicts are part of life, a learning opportunity to speak your truth.
    8.      Start moving, walking, dancing, playing golf, be active daily.
    9.      Start Journaling and reading: daily 10-15 minutes. Read about or works of people that inspire you.
    10.  Always remember:
    Right now, at this very moment everything is OK.
    Right now you have everything that you need.
    Right now you are safe.
    Right now you are loved unconditionally and are supported by everyone around you.
    Right now you have the options and FREEDOM TO CHOOSE your emotions, your every moment, every thought and every word.
    You Are ENOUGH.
    You Are Love & Light.
    You are the Best thing that has happened to you.

    Above all be Grateful for everything, everyone and for this very moment!!

    Hemali Vora, PT
    Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach, Reiki Master

  • November 01, 2016 4:48 PM | Anonymous
    An effective meeting can increase work productivity.

    Meetings can be a drag for everyone in the office, especially when they are run poorly. Yet touching base with your employees is crucial for communication and day-to-day functions. As much as you may want to wish them out of existence, meetings are not going anywhere soon. So, the next best option lies in learning some key ways to run them efficiently. This can help save time for everyone involved, time that can be spent taking care of more important work tasks. These tips will help ensure your next company meetings are on task and on time.

    "As with most things in life, preparation is key."

    Set a clear agenda: As with most things in life, preparation is key. Forbes contributor Kevin Kruse believes that the key to any effective meeting is having a pre-designated agenda. These itineraries should be handed out to meeting attendants beforehand in order to have time to review the talking points. Kruse suggested stating topics as questions in order to influence your staff toward making solid decisions before moving onto the next item. This document should also indicate a facilitator for the meeting whose sole responsibility will be keeping the discussion on-track and time-sensitive. When possible, state the purpose of the meeting in a prominent spot on the agenda so employees can be reminded of the end goal.

    Meet regularly: Another way to ensure effective and efficient meetings lies in meeting frequency. The more you touch base with your staff, the less there will be to discuss in future meetings. Try scheduling bi-weekly meetings with different departments in order to ensure optimal communication. Your employees will appreciate the designated time to discuss any lingering issues and you will get a more steady picture of how things are working within your company.In the same vein as pre-set agendas, try to clearly state a purpose for these meetings. Inc. contributor Kristine Kern noted that its best not to mix too many subjectsinto one meeting. Separate the tactical topics from the strategic ones when possible, as this will allow your staffers to dedicate their complete attention to the subject at hand.

    Don't beat around the bush: In a separate Forbes article, Susan Adams laid out some solid advice about effective communication. One of her major points was about being direct. This can be endlessly helpful when it comes to crafting your meetings. Adams urged leaders to hone in on the meat of their messages. What do your employees absolutely need to know? What information can be left out? Using these questions can help trim the fat off your presentations and get your employees in and out of these meetings in a timely manner.

    "Ditch the office chairs and take your employees for a stroll."

    Take a walk: Want to take a less conventional approach to improving your meetings? Ditch the office chairs and take your employees for a stroll. Kruse pointed to a study in The Journal of Applied Psychology that found sit-down meetings on average took 34 percent longer than their stand-up equivalents. Even more, the longer time didn't produce any better results. Famous company heads such as Mark Zuckerberg and Richard Branson are big fans of this approach. According to Kruse, Branson noted that walking meetings are not only more efficient but a great way to build relationships with staffers.

    Categorize your meetings: Make sure to finish strong when it comes to company meetings. It is better to prolong a meeting than leaving people confused or in various states of disagreement, explained Kern. It is crucial that everyone leaves the meeting with a clear conclusion. Whether this involves instructions going forward or a general consensus on a client, make sure your staff knows what is expected of them. Take the time a the end of the meeting to communicate a run-down of the key points and the necessary actions.

    Whatever way you run your meetings, you always want to make sure they are as efficient as possible. Whether that means the meeting runs for 30 minutes or an hour, make sure you are mindful of your employees' time. Get to the point quickly, outline what needs to covered or take a walk if needed! The style is up to you – the only constant needs to effectiveness.

  • November 01, 2016 12:55 PM | Anonymous

    Everyone knows that the idea of buying or selling your home can be daunting.  Having the tools to do the research along with the help of a seasoned agent can help make the process manageable. Here two useful tools so you can educate yourself to both the buying and selling process in real estate.

    When buying, this on line booklet allows you to follow the process from working with a real estate agent to settlement. Get the Access Booklet

    When thinking of selling your home this booklet starts with getting your home ready through to settlement. Get the Access Booklet

    Work with a seasoned agent!  Please contact Sharon DeGrouchy and she will walk the entire process with you as well as provide vendor recommendations, contractors and various services.

    Provided by:

    Sharon DeGrouchy
    Long and Foster Real Estate, Inc.

  • October 09, 2016 5:37 PM | Anonymous

    “My kids are natural multi-taskers!” a friend exclaimed. She bragged that they could listen to music, watch TV and do their homework all at the same time. She might have been proud of their efforts, but she wasn’t accurate about their abilities. Research has concluded that it will take her kids longer to do their homework and likely they won’t do it
    as well.

    We think of multitasking as the ability to successfully perform more than one activity at the same time. It has become a seemingly ubiquitous phenomenon like walking in the park while talking to a friend. But there is a difference: walking doesn’t require our cognitive attention, so we are free to concentrate on our conversation. Other situations are more complex.  For instance, it’s a different matter to read a book and listen to a lecture. 

    In reality, what we commonly refer to as multitasking is the rapid shifting of attention from one task to another that creates the illusion we are performing them concurrently. 

    Nancy K. Napier Ph.D., in her article, The Myth of Multitasking said, “…much recent neuroscience research tells us that the brain doesn’t do tasks simultaneously, as we thought (hoped) it might. In fact, we just switch tasks quickly. This rapid switching of tasks makes us prone to error and ends up consuming more time than if we undertook one task at a time.

    Workplace demands often create the perceived need to continually switch tasks. That makes people less effective. The ability to do a thing well and quickly requires full attention, and the myth of multitasking prevents that from occurring.  

    Success in any area is a function of the capacity to pay attention. Isaac Newton, for example, credited his success and discoveries as “owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.” 

    So what can you do? Here are some suggestions:

    Stop fooling yourself. You’re not truly multi-tasking, you’re task switching. And that’s fine if that’s what you want to do. But there is a better way. 

    Block uninterrupted time to work on important projects. Aim for at least 30-60 minutes without phone calls, walk-ins or other distractions. 

    Choose to focus your attention on one thing at a time. For example, at your next meeting, try listening to others rather than glancing at your smartphone or jotting unrelated notes. 

    Give people your undivided attention. While it sounds cliche, it is difficult to do, but the payoffs are big. Not only will you improve the interaction, but you’ll demonstrate the regard you have for the other person. 

    Consciously avoid demanding others to multi-task. Don’t interrupt a colleague involved in another activity to make a request. Pick (or schedule) times to interact when the other person isn’t distracted by competing demands.

    Read Cal Newport’s book, Deep Work. It is one of the best books I’ve read in recent years and will provide many insights and tactics you can use to beat the myth of multitasking.


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