Are you a hoarder?

Are you a hoarder?

Are you a hoarder?

They say you should always “declutter” when selling your home?

When I was selling my own home after the death of my husband, I wondered if I was a hoarder!

They say that hoarding is often a coping mechanism.

Apparently if we are bereaved , or perhaps it could be triggered when the kids leave home and we suffer empty nest syndrome.

It is probably a combination of many things, and we are often unconscious of doing it – it is a distraction from thinking of something difficult like loss or a change in our lives, so much like some people will comfort- eat as a distraction to just get through the day!

How do you tackle hoarding when selling?

If you are preparing your own home for sale, or perhaps you could be helping an aged parent ready their home for sale, then the best possible way to address the situation is with understanding and sensitivity.

Everyone treasures different things. I know I still have my children’s first letters that they ever wrote, and no doubt I will keep them till I die.

It is when there are some big items that take up a lot of space, or piles and piles of old magazines, or newspapers, or old parts for machines no longer in use that a problem becomes bigger.

Do you then pay for storage for these things or do you just address the situation head on?

Clearing everything out will often make a situation worse for an anxious person

If they are digging their heels in it will make the situation worse – They might then seek out more items to hoard to replace the ones that they have lost.

As well as hoarding, there are some that suffer from chronic disorganisation.

It all just gets too much for these people. However, they might welcome the help although will not admit it.

Sadly, those with a hoarding disorder will often be stereotyped as unclean and lazy when it is often not the case.

They are extremely attached to their possessions and do not know why and it can be traumatic for them, and when approached to rid themselves of their hoarding it can cause a subconscious reaction to such a loss.

Hoarding should be tackled with empathy and care

Let them have a support network, and let them work with people they trust.

Make sure that nothing is done without their permission.

Getting them to make the decisions ultimately helps them cope in the long-term.

If they are aware of the problem, then you can then work on it and declutter the home ready for sale.

“The life changing magic of tidying up”

© 2023 e-propertymatters.com|women-in-realestate.com|gentlelifehacks.com

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Are you a hoarder? They say you should always "declutter" when selling your home? When I was selling my own home after the death of my husband, I wondered if I was a hoarder! They say that hoarding is often a coping mechanism. Apparently if we are bereaved , or...
Asbestos hazard

Asbestos hazard

When buying a house it is always advisable to employ a licensed building inspector to provide information on the building condition.

Knowing what to budget for in respect of any repairs required in the coming years makes a lot of sense!

Finding Asbestos in a home can be quite alarming for some purchasers, yet it is quite common, especially for houses built several decades ago.

Approximately 67 countries world-wide have now banned the use of asbestos.

In New Zealand asbestos was used mainly in the construction industry over many decades.

Despite ceasing the production of asbestos-containing materials in this country back in the 1980s, Asbestos remains as a hazard in many buildings and homes that were constructed over many decades, even State houses in the 1930’s.

According to a report on behalf of the Royal Society of New Zealand and the PM’s Chief Science Advisor in April 2015,

the evidence suggested that if  Asbestos containing materials were maintained in good condition, then they did not pose a health risk.

However, if repairing or removing the asbestos products, the deterioration of such would release asbestos fibres, which are known to be hazardous if inhaled.

It is understood to be quite hazardous to remove sprayed-on asbestos coatings, ceilings, or tile or vinyl flooring if proper procedures are not followed.

Exposure to asbestos is known to increase the risk of asbestos related diseases such as Mesothelioma, which is a rare cancer caused by inhaling or ingesting asbestos.

Tumours can form approximately 20 – 40 years after the initial exposure.

Asbestosis is also caused by exposure from breathing in the asbestos fibres, resulting in scarring in the lungs from breathing in asbestos fibres over a long time.

Most asbestos-containing materials used in New Zealand houses contain mainly chrysotile asbestos, which confers a lower risk of mesothelioma than other asbestos types.

WorkSafe NZ, has been investigating the testing and management of asbestos during repair work carried out in homes in Canterbury following the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011. Read more about asbestos advice for households.

Asbestos fibres in very low concentrations also exist in the natural environment, and therefore some exposure is unavoidable.

There is no absolutely safe level of asbestos exposure, but like most risks, they need to be put in context, for instance like low-level radiation exposure during an aeroplane flight.

Or what about the body scanner at the airport?

Or wireless devices ( mobile phones) yet according to Wikipedia the World Health Organisation stated “To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use.

Read more here about quick facts about farmers and asbestos

Maybe we should try not worrying about the past, but just live in the moment and be happy, yet well informed in order to manage risk.

©2023 e-propertymatters.com|women-in-realestate.com|gentlelifehacks.com

“Health-full” honey bees

Is honey good for us? Raw honey has been enjoyed thoughout history and has always been known for its health benefits and medical uses. It has a source of antioxidants with compounds known as polyphenols which may play a role in preventing heart disease. Phytonutrients...

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Cancer and common myths Cancer is something we are programmed to fear. Cancer statistics in the United States alone make quite alarming reading Yet the World Health Organisation reported that in 2019 the top 10 causes of death accounted for 55% of the 55.4 million...

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Thinking of selling? Don't be a dog in sheep's clothing. Do it the right way. You would not be the first sellers who have questioned what their own obligations are as to what they should disclose to potential buyers. There are some out there who will blatantly hide a...

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When we we were renovating, I purchased my first air fryer. We had limited space so it was ideal until my brand new kitchen was installed. I have since bought my 2nd air fryer (  the same brand -deLonghi "ideal fry"), so we can take one away with us in the motorhome,...

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When fighting illness, it is common to search for products that promote healing. One thing I searched for was a way of maintaining an alkaline body. We were told that cancer does not like an alkaline environment. Cancer cells apparently thrive in acidity (low pH), but...

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When buying a house it is always advisable to employ a licensed building inspector to provide information on the building condition. Knowing what to budget for in respect of any repairs required in the coming years makes a lot of sense! Finding Asbestos in a home can...

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Finding out that you have an auto immune disease can be a quite scary, but by the time I found out, I was actually relieved to at last find out why I was feeling so ill most of the time. Auto immune diseases occur when the immune system, which is the body's defence...

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 So you have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis? I was also diagnosed after many years of feeling unwell. At first, in Australia, I was tested for Ross River disease, and then the doctor sent me off to a Heart Surgeon who organised an angiogram for my heart, after I failed some...

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Buying and selling real estate is not an exact science. Real Estate salespeople are required to comply with the current legislation, and in New Zealand, for instance they need to abide by their professional client and conduct rules. Rule 10 is very important as...

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Ask anybody who has been ill and I am sure that they will agree, it can sometimes be hard to bounce back from illness, without following some simple rules. Stay hydrated Eat well Rest often Keep pain under control Keep moving Have a positive attitude Be kind to...

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Have you ever wondered who the right partner is for you? If you are single and unattached how interesting would it be if you could find the perfect match for you? Many people who have been in a relationship for a while are often shocked at how many connecting things...

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When the real estate market changes

For many years, it is fair to say that Real Estate agents have been operating in a "sellers market". Post "Covid-19", what will the Real Estate market look like? There are many thoughts on this. Obviously it will be changed. There could be job losses, and more...

Make your home a “healthy home”?

Staying healthy requires not only eating the correct food and exercising the right amount, but also by making sure that we live in a healthy home environment. Everybody wants to live in a healthy home, but sometimes sadly, it is not possible for many people. However,...

Understanding Dementia

Wendy was only 58 when she was diagnosed with dementia. This brave lady has written a book about her disease. I was listening to Radio NZ this morning and heard an interview with Wendy who spoke of her life now. She seemed to normalise the disease. A disease that has...

House too small now?

When is the right time to upsize? Wondering if you need to upsize as your toddlers suddenly become"tweens"? Or perhaps it is when they start to bring their friends home as teenagers? It is good knowing where they are and if they feel that they can entertain friends at...

When is the right time to sell?

For many years, it is fair to say that Real Estate agents have been operating in a “sellers market”. Post “Covid-19”, what will the Real Estate market look like? There have been many thoughts on this. One thing is for sure though- it will be a different world once we...

The things kids say!

1940's -As an "Evacuee" duirng the 2nd World War I had learned two new words that day. I was an inquisitive six year old evacuee in Wales, and in the care of my foster Aunt Florrie. “What does ‘severe’ mean Aunty?” I queried. “It means ‘harsh’ or ‘really bad’ she...

Elephants of Etosha

An occasional grunt or yap of a foraging jackal punctured the surrounding silence. It was early evening and the air was oppressive as we sat mesmerised, taut with the expectation of what we would see of this promised show.  Two floodlights directed from our camp lit...

Unusual visitors

The red salt- packed road ran in a straight line up the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. We had left behind the seal colony at Cape Cross a hundred miles back, where the stench of ammonia was so strong, that it brought tears to our eyes, and cleared the sinuses instantly....

When will Covid end?

Worrying about things outside of our control is not helpful It is only with acceptance that there can be an absence of worry. This applies to most things in life. A virus has turned the world upside down. We cannot escape the media and understandably are feeling a...

Fighting to stay healthy

Shock medical diagnosis Hearing a shocking medical diagnosis is always going to be stressful. I know how I felt when we were told that my husband had only two months to live. Our world collapsed.  Shock made it difficult to breathe. What were we to do? How would we...

Turn bad news into good news

When it seems like the bad news keeps on coming Yesterday I had a much dreaded follow up appointment with the specialist. I was feeling slightly nervous, mainly because of recent experiences, and was certainly not jumping for joy, while I remembered the pain of my...

The Bad Landlord

What price should we put on good health? Am I right in thinking that if you are renting a property, and paying good money each week for the privilege one would expect to live in a healthy home? Landlords have been put on notice after the landlords of a damp, mould...

More rainbows please

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Don’t make selling harder by over-pricing

Don’t make selling harder by over-pricing

Buying and selling real estate is not an exact science.

Real Estate salespeople are required to comply with the current legislation, and in New Zealand, for instance they need to abide by their professional client and conduct rules.

Rule 10 is very important as salespeople are required to supply a market appraisal that reflects current market conditions and it should always be realistic.

So no matter how much you love your home, there is no guarantee that when you come to sell it your buyers will admire it as much as you did, or find it as good a value, if you did, when you first bought it.

When it comes to selling them, you should always put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and look at things from a buyer’s perspective.

Buyers buy by comparison

We need to research the competition, and know what we are up against as buyers will mostly buy “by comparison”.

By being prepared and knowing what other similar properties are selling at before you go to market is always sensible.

It is crucial to choose the salesperson who is experienced enough to know that by telling you what you want to hear in order to win the listing is not the right way to go.

Buyers will buy at “fair market price” and not pay you extra because you think that your house is worth more.

The consequences of overpricing at the beginning can often cause you to sell for much less in the end.

9 reasons why you should price your property correctly at the start of the sales process:

  • An overpriced property discourages prospective buyers from making offers since the difference between the asking price and the market price become substantial.
  • You will only help others sell their properties when buyers compare them to yours on the internet.
  • Salespeople loose interest in overpriced properties and will concentrate on the ones that are priced correctly and fairly in the current market.
  • There will be a decline in viewings as salespeople will avoid showing the property in order not to lose credibility with their buyers, or they could show it and sell another home because it is priced correctly in the current market when compared to yours.
  • Potential buyers could get turned off by the price and fail to make any further enquiries.
  • Purchasers who require financing often require a registered valuation by the Bank’s Valuer which will be based on market related sales data  – if a lower value based on those statistics is found, then the finance will fail, and the sale will fall over.
  • You waste advertising dollars with an overpriced property, as it will not get the normal advertising response and often an extended campaign will be required, therefore more money will need to be spent on advertising.
  • Eventually market interest will decline on an overpriced property and when this happens sellers often become desperate and some will sell for much less than fair market value.
  • In the meantime a seller’s maintenance, holding, and advertising costs have increased, and they will get much less in the hand than they would have if they had priced correctly in the first place.

Selling a property is almost always a stressful process as there is a lot of emotion involved with the decisions involved around moving house. It makes sense then to ensure that you do not prolong the time on the market by out-pricing your home in comparison to others.

© 2022 e-propertymatters.com| women-in-realestate.com|gentlelifehacks.com | Author| Kathryn

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Bounce back from illness

Bounce back from illness

Ask anybody who has been ill and I am sure that they will agree, it can sometimes be hard to bounce back from illness, without following some simple rules.

  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat well
  • Rest often
  • Keep pain under control
  • Keep moving
  • Have a positive attitude
  • Be kind to yourself and accept the help of family and friends.

Staying hydrated is critical for fighting off illness. Fluids are essential for flushing out toxins and can help thin out mucus which makes it easier for the body to get rid of it.

Eating a balanced diet of at least five servings of fruits and vegetables to include the healing nutrients and vitamins that we require to fight illness and promote recovery.

Vitamin C helps heal wounds, strengthen blood vessels, and ward off infection.

Lycopene’s are powerful antioxidants that can boost immune function. They are found in tomatoes, apricots, guavas, watermelon, papayas, and pink grapefruit.

Foods rich in vitamins and nutrients such as zinc, selenium, vitamin D, vitamin C, echinacea, ginger, turmeric, garlic, and probiotics, aid recovery.

As a general rule, darker coloured fruits and vegetables are richer than lighter coloured ones when it comes to phytochemicals and antioxidants.

Carbohydrates provide ready energy, and they are crucial to a healing diet.

All carbohydrates are broken down into sugar when digested, but complex carbohydrates such as nuts, seeds, legumes, and whole grains break down more slowly than simple carbohydrates such as sugar and white bread.

The slower a carbohydrate breaks down, the less likely it is to cause a blood sugar spike.

Since these spikes can spark inflammation and lead to damage on a cellular level, you should avoid them if possible, but especially when you’re healing.

A measure called the glycemic index indicates how fast the body converts a food into sugar. If you can, stick with complex carbohydrates and other foods that have a relatively low glycemic index (below 55).

Read more here

Cutting back on sugar makes sense as it can make inflammation worse.

Protein  is known as the building block of cell repair, and it also gives you energy as well.

Plant-based proteins such as beans and nuts have some advantages over animal proteins, especially if you don’t have much of an appetite.

In addition to having cell-repairing properties, plant-based proteins provide fibre and phytochemicals (which can help with healing)  Read more here

Keep moving

Exercise also improves the healing of muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments.

For example, it spurs the formation of collagen, which in turn helps injured tissues heal properly. It also appears to decrease the formation of fibrosis (excessive scar tissue).

Exercise helps us heal better and faster, so begin slowly and build up as you feel more confident. A gentle walk is a great way to start.

Lastly, practice a little self love and have good thoughts and a positive attitude, and accept any help from family and friends with grace.

Have an achievable goal and try to move forward each day, no matter how small the step.

©2022 gentlelifehacks.com | Author| Kathryn

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When the real estate market changes

For many years, it is fair to say that Real Estate agents have been operating in a “sellers market”.

Post “Covid-19”, what will the Real Estate market look like?

There are many thoughts on this. Obviously it will be changed. There could be job losses, and more unemployment, and it will be a different world we walk out into to once we have beat the worst of the virus that has caused a worldwide pandemic. There could be more buyers in the market too, those retirees who have to survive on their lifetime savings which are no longer giving a return. Or those returning to their countries of birth to be with family from many parts of the world.

A seller’s market

In a “sellers market” our sellers have been rewarded with many buyers often competing against each other in a tight market with an “under supply” of property. This has pushed prices up.

In New Zealand, when in Level 3 Lockdown, only 2 buyers were allowed to be shown through a property per day, and there were strict rules of 2m distancing to be upheld and stringent health and safety measures being enforced for the safety of everybody.

Buyers had to be qualified extremely well, firstly, with relation to their health status, but secondly, due to the fact that their “pre-approval” for financing the purchase might not be necessarily the same as it was prior to Covid-19, as the banks came to terms with the economic changes which were occurring daily.

For those salespeople who have been used to doing “open home after open home” with very little interaction with their buyers other than a follow up email, until “Tender or Auction day”, they might find the change to a buyer’s market perhaps more challenging.

The more experienced salespeople who have worked in many markets, will continue to do well as they know how to work with buyers. After all, surely buyers are sellers and sellers are buyers? In some countries of the world you get more for selling a property than from listing a property.

A buyer’s market

The market that  I started selling Real Estate in was a “buyers market”.

I enjoyed getting a buyer into my car, after qualifying them, and showing them 6 properties. I would do this several times a day with several buyers.

Commission was structured a lot more fairly back then, favouring the selling person not the listing person.

Working buyers meant that you would have to know your company housing stock off by heart and be able to quote and show features and benefits of each house on your books.

We would have hundreds of listings on our Company’s books and would perhaps only advertise two or three a week and then show buyers a good selection in the same price range of the one that we had advertised that they had responded to.

It was hard work, but very rewarding, and the experience meant that your buyers became your sellers down the track, that is, if you had done your job right, and you had used the time to build the relationship with them, while finding them a home.

Some salespeople would rather do open homes for many buyers to attend at once, than doing “one on one” appointments.

For me, I have always held “viewing by appointment” as my preferred choice of showing buyers through a property.

When I emigrated to another country and began selling real estate again in another part of the world – the onus was on “listing” where you got the bulk of the commission.

Open homes versus “one on one” viewing appointments

I still preferred the “one on one “appointment, and continued to work with my buyers, understanding that the buyer became the seller eventually.

It is always more time consuming in a busy market, having to show many buyers through on single appointments each day, but it is rewarding in many other ways.

By establishing a rapport with them, and being able to qualify their buying decision is paramount to a successful sale and purchase.

This is a better process in order to understand their buying motivation, likes and dislikes. By providing a better service to them also enables better feedback to the seller, which is very important so that the seller can “meet the market that they are selling in”.

This will often reduce their time on the market, and also lessen the chance of selling for less after many months of disappointment.

It is also about being respectful to the buyer, who if you think about it, is spending a huge amount of money and being asked to spend very little time inspecting a property at an open home with dozens of others, giving them very little time to make an informed decision.

An open home might also be a time when negative comments from other open home attendees who have own agendas could put cashed up buyers off.

There could be buyers making negative comments who want to get the price down, or perhaps they are a neighbour or somebody who has a dysfunctional relationship with the seller. When this happens, a seller can loose a cautious buyer who might have paid more.

Supply and demand

Sadly, buyers do miss out in a sellers market as the supply and demand factor becomes very relevant.

Now in a buyers market, things become very different. Buyers will be the ones who will be nurtured.

For now though, it will be a matter of many months before the real effect on the market will be felt after Covid-19 in many countries.

There could be many sellers sitting tight as they reflect on their losses in the share market, or perhaps their tenants in their investment property might be missing rental payments due to job losses or business restructuring.

While the world comes to terms with the fact that many businesses could fail due to the pandemic, or to the terrible Ukraine war and other global changes, there will be changes ahead, good and bad.

It will be a “wait and see” for most I suspect.

But perhaps moving forward “viewing by appointment” and not mass inspections through open homes might become the new norm.

It would not be a bad thing would it? Buyers would be treated with respect and sellers would benefit from the feedback of the true value of their property in the market that they are buying and selling in.

 

© 2022 e-propertymatters.com|gentlelifehacks.com|Author KC

 

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Make your home a “healthy home”?

Make your home a “healthy home”?

Do you have a healthy home?

Staying healthy requires not only eating the correct food and exercising the right amount, but also by making sure that we live in a healthy home environment.

Everybody wants to live in a healthy home, but sometimes sadly, it is not possible for many people.

However, if you can afford to do the upgrades on your home, then it is considered highly beneficial and well worthwhile for the health benefits you will gain for you and your family.

Rental properties in New Zealand must now comply with the Healthy Homes Act

New rental tenancy agreements must have a compliance statement attached. This document must show the progress a property manager or landlord has made towards meeting the standards on  heating, ventilation, insulation and other healthy homes requirements under the law which became law in New Zealand in July 2019.

Healthy Homes Standards

All new homes should be built with this in mind to achieve these standards, not just rental homes you would hope. 

Surely it is important that our children grow up in a healthy, warm home without moisture or poor ventilation.

Preventing draughts from gaps in window frames and doors should be easy enough to fix, but it is often something we forget about, until we feel cold on a very cold, windy evening or miserable rainy day.

Adequate outside drainage is important

Your property should have efficient drainage for the removal of storm water, surface water and ground water. 

Mosquitoes and other bugs like stagnant water and will congregate in some climates. There are 16 different species of Mosquitoes in New Zealand alone!

Under New Zealand law, rental properties with an enclosed sub-floor space must also have a ground moisture barrier.

A healthy home should have windows that open in the living room, dining room, kitchen and bedrooms.

Read more here about Building standards in NZ

Kitchens and bathrooms should have extractor fans to remove moisture from cooking and bathing.

Sufficient heating should be provided too.

“The first wealth is health”

So it makes sense to do the best that we can to provide a healthy home environment as much as possible.

©2022 gentlelifehacks.com|e-propertymatters.com|women-in-realestate.com

Is Hashimotos Thyroiditis incurable?

 So you have Hashimoto's Thyroiditis? I was also diagnosed after many years of feeling unwell. At first, in Australia, I was tested for Ross River disease, and then the doctor sent me off to a Heart Surgeon who organised an angiogram for my heart, after I failed some...

Business Lingo- Cars NOT Cows!

The Big Move- 1995 Emigrating to a land at the bottom of the world was exciting if not different. There were many things other than acclimatising to the cold to get used to, but also trying to understand the quick speech and odd sayings of my new country was a...

Asbestos hazard

When buying a house it is always advisable to employ a licensed building inspector to provide information on the building condition. Knowing what to budget for in respect of any repairs required in the coming years makes a lot of sense! Finding Asbestos in a home can...

Don’t make selling harder by over-pricing

Buying and selling real estate is not an exact science. Real Estate salespeople are required to comply with the current legislation, and in New Zealand, for instance they need to abide by their professional client and conduct rules. Rule 10 is very important as...

Bounce back from illness

Ask anybody who has been ill and I am sure that they will agree, it can sometimes be hard to bounce back from illness, without following some simple rules. Stay hydrated Eat well Rest often Keep pain under control Keep moving Have a positive attitude Be kind to...

Who’s your perfect match then?

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When the real estate market changes

For many years, it is fair to say that Real Estate agents have been operating in a "sellers market". Post "Covid-19", what will the Real Estate market look like? There are many thoughts on this. Obviously it will be changed. There could be job losses, and more...

Make your home a “healthy home”?

Staying healthy requires not only eating the correct food and exercising the right amount, but also by making sure that we live in a healthy home environment. Everybody wants to live in a healthy home, but sometimes sadly, it is not possible for many people. However,...

Understanding Dementia

Wendy was only 58 when she was diagnosed with dementia. This brave lady has written a book about her disease. I was listening to Radio NZ this morning and heard an interview with Wendy who spoke of her life now. She seemed to normalise the disease. A disease that has...

House too small now?

When is the right time to upsize? Wondering if you need to upsize as your toddlers suddenly become"tweens"? Or perhaps it is when they start to bring their friends home as teenagers? It is good knowing where they are and if they feel that they can entertain friends at...

When is the right time to sell?

For many years, it is fair to say that Real Estate agents have been operating in a “sellers market”. Post “Covid-19”, what will the Real Estate market look like? There have been many thoughts on this. One thing is for sure though- it will be a different world once we...

The things kids say!

1940's -As an "Evacuee" duirng the 2nd World War I had learned two new words that day. I was an inquisitive six year old evacuee in Wales, and in the care of my foster Aunt Florrie. “What does ‘severe’ mean Aunty?” I queried. “It means ‘harsh’ or ‘really bad’ she...

Elephants of Etosha

An occasional grunt or yap of a foraging jackal punctured the surrounding silence. It was early evening and the air was oppressive as we sat mesmerised, taut with the expectation of what we would see of this promised show.  Two floodlights directed from our camp lit...

Unusual visitors

The red salt- packed road ran in a straight line up the Skeleton Coast of Namibia. We had left behind the seal colony at Cape Cross a hundred miles back, where the stench of ammonia was so strong, that it brought tears to our eyes, and cleared the sinuses instantly....

When will Covid end?

Worrying about things outside of our control is not helpful It is only with acceptance that there can be an absence of worry. This applies to most things in life. A virus has turned the world upside down. We cannot escape the media and understandably are feeling a...

Fighting to stay healthy

Shock medical diagnosis Hearing a shocking medical diagnosis is always going to be stressful. I know how I felt when we were told that my husband had only two months to live. Our world collapsed.  Shock made it difficult to breathe. What were we to do? How would we...

Turn bad news into good news

When it seems like the bad news keeps on coming Yesterday I had a much dreaded follow up appointment with the specialist. I was feeling slightly nervous, mainly because of recent experiences, and was certainly not jumping for joy, while I remembered the pain of my...

The Bad Landlord

What price should we put on good health? Am I right in thinking that if you are renting a property, and paying good money each week for the privilege one would expect to live in a healthy home? Landlords have been put on notice after the landlords of a damp, mould...

More rainbows please

Symbols of hope They say a rainbow is a symbol of hope. Rainbows are supposed to be a positive sign. They can bring a smile to the saddest person and lighten most people's moods. After my husband died I used to look out for them as I wondered about the belief in...

Air fryer health benefits

When we we were renovating, I purchased my first air fryer. We had limited space so it was ideal until my brand new kitchen was installed. I have since bought my 2nd air fryer (  the same brand -deLonghi "ideal fry"), so we can take one away with us in the motorhome,...

Crazy world house prices

Buying a home is not for the faint hearted in today's market During the Covid-19 pandemic there has been much said about the shocking increase in property prices around the world. Take Brisbane, Australia for instance- the median house price in September 21 has hit a...

Music soothes the soul

The importance of music Maddie ( aged 11) wrote.... "Music can make a huge difference in peoples lives. I find that music calms me down when I'm mad or when I'm sad. We all need music in our lives as it is important that we think about ourselves every once in awhile....

Tips for a healthier home

Keeping your home healthy is an ongoing process Sometimes we ignore the smaller issues that then become the bigger issues that cause us pain when we get sick or have to pay for extensive remedial work to alleviate further issues. Climate Change is a very real problem...

Healing with food

Living with an Auto immune disease is challenging I know this first hand, as even now, some days I feel like I have been run over and can barely lift my head off the pillow, then other days I am bouncing off the wall. I also suffer at times from waves of anxiety and...

Mindfulness – when the going gets tough

When times are tough When things get tough we often feel anxious and perhaps we might even have issues with sleeping at night. Every time we get stressed, a little part of our brain called the amygdala takes control. The amygdalae defines and regulates our emotions....

The lonely bee hotel

Help our environment with a Bee Hotel During lockdown, Maddie (11) told me that she thought that a good project would be to make a Bee Hotel for the garden. At the time, she was busy re-cycling old glass coffee jars into food storage containers, and we were discussing...

Fighting inflammation with Turmeric

Most people love a curry, but did you know that turmeric is one of the herbs that is known for it's beneficial cancer reducing properties, as well as also having many other health benefits. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is a substance with powerful...

Why children love and need pets

Maddie (11 years) and Lexie (8 years) are cousins in different countries, but since the rolling lockdowns,they talk daily over the internet. They can spend hours showing each other what they are doing every day, whether it is singing, dancing or aerobics, or playing...

Waste not…want not!

When we throw away our unused old clothing, we are creating greenhouse gases which in turn contributes to climate change. Clothing that ends up in landfills around the world is increasing at alarming levels. It is a very important factor in the lives of our children...

Lock down fatigue

Renovating a home is not for the faint hearted Take it from one who knows! But since the beginning of the Covid outbreak and the many" lock down's" around the world, it just became harder. You would think that one would have plenty of time in lock down to do all of...

Bad sugar

There has been plenty of research done that tells us that a diet high in sugar is bad for our health. High cholesterol, high blood pressure, obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, inflammation are just a few health risks associated with consuming too much sugar. Not...

Grab Positivity and hold on tight!

Trying to stay positive is not always easy. Most of us know at least one person who seems to always see the bright side of life. And it is also true to say that we all know someone who leaves us feeling drained or sad. After undergoing some worrying health issues, I...

Create a “laugh alot” garden for kids

Lock down must be incredibly hard on many people, but especially so if you are cooped up indoors with no space to play. Easy projects to keep the kids busy don’t always come to mind, but there are some that are clear winners. When my children were younger they loved...

Mask up and make a difference

Wear a mask .... save a life If somebody who was unknowingly infected with Covid-19 or the recent highly infectious Delta variant, and they sneezed within close proximity to you, the chances are you might get the virus, even if you are vaccinated. What are the chances...

The dark side of chocolate

I was talking to eleven year old Maddie who was eating chocolate over FaceTime the other day. Many countries are still in lockdown due to the Delta variant causing so much havoc. She sent me her research this morning for a blog she wanted to write, as obviously she...

Is stress making you gain weight?

Have you ever wondered why stress causes you to eat more? Stress can cause many unwanted things and we might not notice them all at first. Stress and your emotional, mental  and physical health If you are feeling irritated, or overwhelmed, and have a headache, with a...

Can you cure Hypothyroidism?

Hypothyroidism doesn’t have to be permanent Sometimes finding out that you have an auto immune disease can not only be scary, but a relief to eventually find out why you feel so tired, and why you are putting on weight when you are actually eating less. Auto immune...

So what’s your horoscope say today?

Do you check out your daily horoscope? I wonder if there are others like me who will check out their horoscope every now and then, and if they don't like what they read, will find one that they like better? Are you also amazed that when you are reading all about your...

Get on your bike!

Riding a bike through retirement Who would have thought I would ever ride a bike again at my age? Not me that's for sure! My first bicycle was a second-hand Raleigh. Life in then "war torn" Rhodesia, with Sanctions, meant that we could not buy new things, so when I...

Can Pets improve our mental health?

A loyal friend Basil Brush was my beloved friend. He was a hairy, stocky, short little dog with bucked teeth, an underbite, and a tummy that scraped the steps if he could manage them. He had a deep bark for such a little dog and a very weak bladder, which...

The less you own, the less owns you

Do you ever feel like you are running from one task to another? Are you multi-tasking to get things done and constantly in catch-up mode, mobile phone in hand, and answering email after email, and then suddenly it is time to feed the family and catch up on laundry?...

Try something different

Simplicity is the highest form of complexity When we first went into lockdown, we decided to try ordering ready-made fresh food online. Our Millenial children had already tried My Food Bag and still love it, so we decided to give it a go too! Our findings From the...

Is Red wine good for you?

To have or to have not After a tough day, I often look forward to a relaxing glass of Pinot Noir. Recently though, after a health scare, my partner gave up alcohol almost entirely, apart from the odd glass of wine. So it made me think whether I was now tasked with the...

Is Goat’s cheese better for you than cow’s cheese?

Which is better? Goats cheese or cows cheese? I have always been wary of goats, mainly because I was attacked by one many years ago. The kind owner of the mean goat told me that "Pearl" was not attacking me but merely being friendly. I learnt how to jump a fence that...

Good, bad or ugly?

Have you ever wondered about which indoor plants are good and which are bad according to Feng Shui ? A friend of mine once remarked that her son’s new girlfriend had left an obnoxious plant by her front door called “mother- in-laws tongue” as a belated Christmas gift....

Stressed & Angry?

Life is 10% what happens to you and 90 % of how you cope with it. A sense of humour can be an amazing asset when it comes to dealing with stressful situations. It will improve your overall emotional and physical health and will help you to look at things in a...

7 Cancer Myths

Cancer and common myths Cancer is something we are programmed to fear. Cancer statistics in the United States alone make quite alarming reading Yet the World Health Organisation reported that in 2019 the top 10 causes of death accounted for 55% of the 55.4 million...

Is coffee good for us?

There is nothing like the smell of freshly brewed coffee is there? So often we are told that coffee is not good for us, but we continue to drink it and enjoy the different varieties that are offered today. The choice is mind boggling! In fact, it is estimated that...

Kill unkindness with kindness

It doesn't cost anything to be kind By being "the rainbow" in somebody's stormy day is such a lovely way to think about being kind to others. Even a simple smile can go a long way. How often does a good mood do a U turn when your happy greeting is barely acknowledged...

Zoomers and creative writing

Children and creative writing Maddie (aged 11) loves creative writing and has sent me her reasoning as to why it is so good for children. Maddie is from a generation now referred to as "a Zoomer" - Generation Z I love that she is busy in the school holidays being so...

Feeling like a sad bear?

Seasonal affective disorder Sometimes when the days seem dull and the sun forgets to shine for days on end, we can suffer from something called SAD (Seasonal affective disorder). This depressive disorder is linked to the seasons of the year and is more common in...

Greens are good says Maddie

Spinach and Kale are 2 vegetables that are nutrient rich with loads of antioxidants, vitamins, calcium, iron and more. Maddie ( my eleven year old granddaughter) is on school holidays at the moment and has sent me a recipe that she has found for a healthy lifestyle....

Oranges to stay healthy

School holidays have arrived again and there are kids still in lock down in some countries. Maddie, my 11 year old granddaughter has sent me a good healthy recipe for a tasty orange drink. Maddie's healthy Vitamin C drink Recipe Get 6 -8 oranges ( or however many you...

“Health-full” honey bees

Is honey good for us? Raw honey has been enjoyed thoughout history and has always been known for its health benefits and medical uses. It has a source of antioxidants with compounds known as polyphenols which may play a role in preventing heart disease. Phytonutrients...

Auto immune diseases

Finding out that you have an auto immune disease can be a quite scary, but by the time I found out, I was actually relieved to at last find out why I was feeling so ill most of the time. Auto immune diseases occur when the immune system, which is the body's defence...

Baby Baby good for you?

Here is a great little tip from Sandy, in Christchurch, NZ, who was advised by her surgeon to use baby shampoo as a make up remover on her eyelids after having surgery. Unlike many expensive products these days that are sold to remove makeup, like Clinque or Lancome,...

Maddie’s raw egg shake

Eleven year old Maddie sent me this quick and easy recipe. She called it a "high in protein" tasty drink. It is refreshing to see somebody so young taking an interest in healing foods. Maddie's simple recipe Use a Blender or Quick shaker Take a cup of milk One banana...

Home and income… really ?

Home and Income Many people these days are looking for ways to reduce their mortgage. What better way than to have a property that can be split into two seperate dwellings. Of course, they have to comply with the building regulations and various council rules and...

Befriend the little birds

A simple life hack from Pat... Here is a life hack or handy tip from my childhood friend, Pat Barber who lives in Maryland, USA. How to keep ants from invading Hummingbird feeders. Hang the feeder on a pole and apply a 3/4 inch collar of Vaseline near the bottom of...

Mokopuna

A drawing by Maddie ( age 11)

Apple Cider Vinegar’s Mum

When fighting illness, it is common to search for products that promote healing. One thing I searched for was a way of maintaining an alkaline body. We were told that cancer does not like an alkaline environment. Cancer cells apparently thrive in acidity (low pH), but...