Make Your New Home Experience Easy – Work With An Interior Designer

So you bought a new home, congratulations! Now when you start to unpack and look around, your thoughts are where do I start? Call a designer. Let’s start by discarding the myth that you have to be “rich” to hire a designer. There are many ways to work with a designer / decorator on your decorating projects. Before calling in a professional interior designer, make a list of questions and concerns you may have. Next, make a “wish list” of everything you would like in your new home.

Decide on your budget and make a real budget, then call several designers to see their work, talk to them, see if a friend can recommend a designer, and choose the one you feel most comfortable with, as you will be working together for a while. weather.

Ask in advance about the rates and services provided. If your budget can’t accommodate a full-time designer, ask about hourly rates. Hourly rates work well if you think you have a “good eye” and just need guidance. If not, you can work from room to room. A good tip is to start in the most used room in your home, the family room, complete it, and move on. This not only finishes a room entirely, but also allows you to review the work of your designers. Another note, don’t be afraid to question your choice of designer / decorator. It is still your home and you still have the last word, but also listen to your interior designer or professional interior decorator, you hired them, listen to them.

If you decide to hire an interior designer, have a game plan. First, eliminate clutter. Start with a proposal of any construction changes, electrical changes or additions, plumbing changes, wall covering removal, any surround sound and speaker additions, hard floor installations, and any trim that needs to be added. Now, after all the mess has been cleaned up, it’s time for some real fun.

Have your designer start with a furniture placement scale floor plan, also known as space planning. This will only show the location of the furniture. With a scale, the interior designer can precisely give you the sizes and walking areas that you will need and will be available. A materials board should then be presented to show all fabrics, wall finishes, furniture finishes, actual photographs of the furniture you intend to use, curtains and window treatments, and a detailed proposal. Now, after all this place, there should be no surprises.

The entrance or hall is the calling card for you and your home, so pay special attention when planning this space. The feeling when entering a home will tell a lot about what to expect in the rest of the home. If you are more relaxed, have a classy yet casual atmosphere in the lobby, if you are looking for the dramatic go for the “WOW” factor. Either way, let the lobby be warm and comfortable.

Moving into the living room and dining room. If you are not formally entertaining, think of another use for these areas. Many people think that because these areas are dedicated “living and dining areas” that they should use them accordingly, they are not. It seems like a waste of time, let alone the expense, of furnishing these rooms to look pretty, and just stopping by and looking. Use these areas by thinking outside the box. Would you use a pool table instead of a dining table, a home theater instead of a formal living room? They do it. Guests may be surprised at first by the way you’ve used their space, but rest assured that they will be rethinking the space when they leave.

Usually the last room to be completed is the master bedroom, and I don’t know why. I like to think of this room as the most important “hideaway”. The master bedroom is the most intimate room in the home. It should reflect your true self! Nothing is more relaxing and welcoming than a master bedroom that has all the comforts and necessities one could ask for. Take your time planning this area as the master bedrooms are not changed very often and again I don’t know why. Take pictures of other rooms, items and furniture that you would like to have and give them to your designer. It is your job to present you your own “dream bedroom”. Pay special attention to light control in this area, especially if you need “blackout” conditions to rest, and don’t forget about a rest area if your room allows it.

Moving on to the secondary bedrooms of your house. Think, think, think! How many rooms do you want or need? Can any of these dedicated bedrooms be used for exercise equipment or a home office? Again, think outside the box in terms of using your space. It’s your space, you paid for it, you use it. If you need extra space to sleep occasionally, consider using a sofa bed or Murphy beds. With the comfort level of today’s sofa beds or the added storage and function of a fold out bed, this could be your answer. If you decide to use a room as an exclusive guest room, consider using 2 single beds with a nightstand in the center. This will not only accommodate individual guests, but you can also put them together for a couple. The cost factor is lower and the function is doubled.

Finally, the Kitchen and Family rooms. This, as everyone knows, is the heart and soul of the home. No matter how many rooms you have or how big your house is, have you ever tried to push your guest away from your kitchen? We both know the answer is YES! To rectify this situation, in addition to trying a velvet rope divider, add as many bar stools around the perimeter of your kitchen as possible. This will give your family members and guests the cozy kitchen, feel good, but keep them out of your way. You may have to instruct them to take a seat, but eventually they’ll get the hint, MOVE! In your family room, rearrange as many seats as possible. If you need to add extra seating by the TV, but for conversation the chairs need to be facing a different direction, consider swivel chairs. Chairs are available in a variety of styles, both in fabrics and leathers, and they usually work.

In closing, these are basic guidelines to follow, whether you hire a designer or not. There will always be exceptions to all the rules, but don’t be afraid to try something new. A basic start could be with paint. If you hate the way it looks, just paint it. Keep it simple, easy, and enjoy it. The International Design House philosophy, “Beautify the world, one room at a time.”

Why GTA 5 is the perfect birthday gift

By now, you’ve probably heard the media storm surrounding the launch of the video game Grand Theft Auto 5. You may not be a gamer and you may not understand why so many teens and full-fledged adults spend hours a day sitting starring in the movie television, killing people or stealing cars or something. It sounds pretty awful. But you don’t have to get it, what you should do is buy your friend or relative the game for their birthday if they haven’t already bought it.

So what’s so special about GTA 5?

If you haven’t been involved with video games since the days of pong or Pac-Man, you probably don’t realize how advanced these mini-worlds have become on television. Grand Theft Auto is not so much a game as virtual reality. The kind that was only once portrayed in science fiction movies.

Yes, it is violent, but it is also an artistic masterpiece and a cutting edge piece of technology. Graphically, it is the closest thing to real life. As for the details, it is simply impressive.

Rockstar has established a groundbreaking franchise with Grand Theft Auto, which began more than 10 years ago. Games are recognized in the gaming industry, particularly GTA 3, for revolutionizing the way we play.

You will see that games used to be limited to a set of rules within a predefined context, the creators of GTA are the pioneers of the “open world” game. Which means that they have designed entire cities from which the game takes place, and the player can explore this vast detail freely without having to embark on the predefined elements of the story.

GTA 5 puts players in a very accurate interpretation of Los Angeles, and from there it’s really up to them what they do. You can buy tattoos, smoke cannabis (hey, it’s legal in California with a doctor’s note), go to theme parks or the movies, go skydiving, explore the countryside and mountains, hunt, buy houses and other items. The list is endless, however, the most fun comes when the law is broken, cars are stolen and people are killed. Basically, you can do everything you can in real life. And that’s the charm of it all.

Call it escapism, call it a way out of aggression without the real-life consequences; Whatever it is, it’s fun, and if you buy a money-strapped gamer a copy for his birthday, they might love you as much as playing it!

5 fitness equipment you never knew you had

Everything you need to tone your problem areas and get in shape is right in front of your eyes. You don’t need a gym membership and you definitely don’t need expensive fitness equipment. It just takes a little imagination to transform everyday items into body sculpting tools.

1. Hardwood floors and socks: When it comes to home décor, hardwood floors are really all the rage, but stand on them while wearing a pair of socks and you’ve unknowingly created a new piece of exercise equipment that takes your workout to a whole new level. . The wooden floor under your socks creates a slippery surface that engages more muscles as you try to control your movements. Constant contact with the ground as you slide back to the starting position targets your inner thighs and core in a way that a standard workout routine never will. Side lunges and the scissor plank are two great examples:

Side sliding lunges:

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your hands in front of your chest to help keep you balanced.

Put your weight on your left leg.

While slowly bending your left knee and squatting, slide your right foot to the side.

While stretching your left leg, slide your right foot inward. Your right foot is in constant contact with the ground. Focus on bringing your leg in with your inner thigh.

Complete three sets of 15 reps on each side.

Scissor plank:

Start in a full plank position with your hands under your shoulders and your arms straight.

Spread your feet, spreading your legs as wide as possible without sinking your lower back. Squeeze your inner thighs as you bring your feet back together. Complete three sets of 15 reps.

2. Your sofa: This multipurpose furniture is not just for lounging. Not only does it serve as great fitness equipment for all levels of exercise and for total body fitness routines, its various elevations (sofa cushion versus armrest) allow you to target different parts of your muscle that you may find more difficult. to tone up. Raising your legs on the sofa cushion while doing a push-up makes this upper-body exercise advanced. It targets your upper chest, while simultaneously sculpting your shoulders and arms. Beginners practice perfect form while standing on the armrest and bending over to do push-ups. Standing allows you to control the amount of body weight you are pushing and gives you the benefits of defined arms and chest.

3. Your purchases: Whether it’s once a week or once a month, any exercise helps. Edibles are a great arm toning activity. If you don’t want to draw attention to yourself, don’t move. Hold a shopping bag on each arm at 90 degree angles and keep them there as long as possible. This exercise is known as isometric retention. The longer you stay in place, the more muscle fibers you recruit and the more fibers you recruit, the prettier your arms will look. It’s that easy.

4. Your body: your body is the only all-in-one cardio and resistance training tool you own. In fact, some would say that store-bought fitness equipment is a thing of the past, as newer and more creative body movements take the boredom out of exercise. The burpee is a great example of cardio and full-body toning exercise:

Burpee:

Spread your feet shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squatting position while placing your hands on the floor in front of you.

Step back with your feet so that you are in a push-up position. For more intensity, jump back.

Bend your elbows and lower your chest into a push-up.

Put your feet in their original position. Stand up and then jump into the air.

5. The stairs: Stairs are the best butt lift fitness equipment you have ever owned. The main muscle in the butt, the Gluteus Maximus, works to straighten the hips. Every time your hip is flexed, your Gluteus Maximus has to work to straighten your leg. This is why climbing stairs is so effective. The higher the step, the greater the hip flexion and the more your butt will work.

It does not end there. Stand up at the end of the movement and place your full weight on the leg that is pushing up. This works another muscle in the butt called the Gluteus Medius. This muscle tones the side of your butt as it flexes to keep your hips aligned.

It does not stop here. Almost anything can become your new fitness equipment, adding fun and innovation to any fitness routine.

The Five Highly Paying Law Specialties

The law operates everywhere. Whether in your home as family law, at your workplace as business law, or within your assets as real estate law, the law is everywhere. Without a doubt, an attorney is one of the highest paid people in town. If you are not fighting for a trial in court, you will at least need attorneys to provide legal advice for your situation. Despite the most in-demand Cincinnati foreclosure defense attorneys and Cincinnati OVI attorney, there are other specialties in the law that make the best of your career and promise you good wages once you’ve passed the bar exam. Below are the five most popular law majors among law students.

Criminal law

This is the most common type of legal specialization. This branch also includes DUI laws, which are again one of the cases that attorneys deal with every day. According to a survey, almost forty-four percent of all fatal traffic accidents are caused by driving under the influence of alcohol. Criminal law refers to the government prosecution of someone who has committed a crime, as public law says. If an act is not labeled a crime by government law or common law, then there is a better chance that the case will be considered civil, not criminal. Ultimately, the act that is carried out must be approved as a crime.

Tax Law

This law revolves around individuals and corporate organizations who want to pay taxes according to their earnings and requirements. The rules of the tax laws refer to the Internal Revenue Code, the constitution and other statutes. All tax disputes are dealt with in the United States Tax Court, which can be elevated to the Supreme Court if the matter is serious.

Corporate law

This branch is another famous specialization. The advantage of corporate law is that it covers subcategories such as maritime law, acquisitions, and most commercial law. For business law, proper documentation is an integral part that is emphasized. This branch deals with industry and commerce, as well as tenders and trademarks. As for maritime law, this branch usually deals with disputes over property ownership and navigation.

Divorce law

The divorce rate in the US is fifty percent, for example, almost half of all couples end up divorcing. Such a high ratio makes divorce law a very popular specialization. Divorce attorneys deal with two parties who want to separate. This branch of law usually tries to reach a solution for the best settlement of its clients. Especially when there are children in the case, the court makes the decision that is in the best interests of the children.

Constitutional law

This branch of law is believed to be the most diverse branch of law. Constitutional law is generally concerned with the proper understanding and application of the United States Constitution. Therefore, this understanding of the law is useful to state and federal governments and helps to resolve disputes between them. Therefore, this branch is not limited only to the federal government, but also covers aspects of the state governments. Most of these cases are heard in the Supreme Court.

Five essential things to pick up at the pet store when adopting a kitten

For those who are thinking of adding a new four-legged companion to their life, it is certainly an exciting time. However, it is also a great decision to add a pet to the house. Having the right supplies on hand will ease the transition for both the owner and the kitten. Here are the five most critical items to stock up on.

Kitten food

Of course, a new cat needs food, but there are some important differences between what kind of food to eat. Just as it is inappropriate to give a newborn baby a steak, there are some things in adult cat food that kittens are not ready to digest. Kitten food also has the right vitamins, a balance of fat and protein, and the necessary nutrients to help a kitten get on the right path for development.

Flea prevention

It is especially important to purchase flea prevention from the pet store if the kitten is being introduced to an environment with adult cats. Even if the new addition doesn’t spend time outside, if the adult housemates come and go, they are bringing all the pesky critters with them. Younger felines may not have the proper antibodies and immune systems to fight the diseases that accompany fleas and ticks, so it is important to stock up on medications that can prevent fleas from attacking in the first place.

A place to hide

The first instinct of many new homeowners when adopting is to get beds or gyms in the jungle. While these are certainly beneficial, it is important to consider the nature of cats. They are semi-social creatures, but they often demand a lot of alone time, and moving a pound or shelter to a new home can be particularly traumatic. Getting a specific hiding place, such as a covered bed with a small entrance or even a small box with a hole, can protect the kitten from overstimulation. You can also prevent them from getting lost in the house. When looking for a place to hide from the pet store, it’s easy to guess where they are when they’re not playing.

Carpet Stain Cleaner

The unfortunate truth is that while adopting a kitten can be a lot of fun, hassles and accidents come with the territory. Felines often urinate as a sign of anxiety or stress, both of which can come from a new environment. Male kittens, even when neutered, often spray as a way to mark their territory. Owners who already have pets and are adding a kitten to the mix may even find that their adult cats are urinating out of the litter box as a result of the new member. Most of these screens will shrink over time, but it’s a good idea to have a quality carpet stain cleaner on hand in the meantime.

Toys

Toys may not seem like a necessity, but with a young cat, they very well can be. Playing is a great way to release unwanted anxiety and aggression and to achieve healthy levels of exercise. Obtaining designated toys at your local pet store will also prevent kitties from playing with harmful objects, such as a loose string that could get stuck in the throat. Most importantly, playing with toys can provide time for an owner to bond with their new friend!

These five elements will keep the new felines stimulated and safe as they begin to feel at home in their new surroundings.

Cash flow generation without cash: formula 5 "Flip paper"

You’ve heard of moving houses, right? This has become very well known in recent years, mainly due to many real estate “guru” teaching seminars, book writing, tape sales, etc. There have even been some negative connotations of various forms of government; Mainly because they don’t understand it, but rather they believe and do what the banking industry tells them to do. I don’t mean going down on a political rostrum; However, the type of house exchange that I know and have written about is perfectly legal and, if done right, benefits all parties.

So what about this “Flipping Paper” thing? Well, it’s a lot like moving houses. It is also quite similar to being a bird dog for home buyers, as I discussed with you in one of last week’s articles.

What I am going to discuss with you now is exactly what I did when I first entered the paper business. I attended a seminar given by Mike Meeker, a well-known and excellent teacher, who I believe is now retired from teaching. I also think he lives in Florida, or was the last time I had contact with him.

Anyway, let’s go back to our story. This was in the late 1980s and he had no money available to invest. Here’s the concept: You want to find real estate “paper” (land contracts, deeds of trust, mortgages, promissory notes) that is “for sale” or that will become “for sale.” To keep it simple, let’s call all of these different types of paper “Notes.” You are looking for notes that were created in an owner-financed real estate sale. Due to the current market, these types of banknotes are abundant; however, in any type of market these “private” notes will always be available because many buyers cannot qualify for bank financing and many properties do not qualify for bank financing. To give you an idea of ​​the current market, just take a look at the “Real Estate For Sale” section of any major newspaper and look for the ads that say “Owner Financing”, “No Qualified Bank”, “Special Financing” and so on.

Trust me at this point; Private notes will ALWAYS be available and many of these note owners would rather have a large amount of cash now rather than monthly payments for X years. Furthermore, there are and always will be private investors (and sometimes large corporate investors) who buy these notes. Why? Because almost ALL private notes can be purchased at a substantial discount. Why? Due to the increased risk involved in these non-qualifying buyers and / or properties. In fact, I’ve never seen or heard of anyone paying 100% of the dollar for a ticket.

So let’s start putting this together. Remember, you are going to function as a “middle man”, not unlike the “bird dog” mentioned above. This is how we start:

Find the notes. There are numerous sources; such as Real Estate Agents, Title Companies, Real Estate Attorneys, etc. You can run a short ad in your local newspaper, such as “I buy real estate notes” or “Best price for your real estate note.” If you scan the ads, you may see other people looking for notes. Don’t worry, there are enough for everyone.

You can also look for ads that offer “Owner Financing” to sell a property. Call the person and ask if they might want to sell their note after the sale is closed.

So, let’s say you find a note for sale, now what? You need to have funds available to buy the ticket. Where do we get that from? How do we know how much to pay for the ticket?

Just as we figured out how to find and buy real estate paper, which we will refer to as “Notes,” we will use more or less the same tactics to find someone we can flip these notes to, for profit. Good sources are real estate agents, real estate attorneys, public accountants, financial planners, stock brokers, loan officers, etc. However, the best way is probably the old formula “Ad in the newspaper”. You can advertise with words like “Real Estate Note for Sale” or “Investor Needed to Buy Real Estate Notes.” Check the newspapers and yellow pages for advertisements such as “We buy notes” and / or “Best price for your notes.” In other words, look for the same ads that we saw and used to find Buy and Flip Notes.

When you find an Investor or Buyer of Notes, you should determine the requirements and perimeters of the Buyer of Notes, such as:

What types of properties will they accept as collateral for the promissory note? For example, single-family homes, land or lots, apartments, commercial properties, or mobile homes with or without land.

What kind of minimum returns do they want from the notes they buy? This will vary based on many factors, such as the security of the ticket.

Investors will want higher returns on riskier notes. For example, a promissory note insured for a single-family, owner-occupied home (with an excellent payment history) would likely require the lowest yield, say 12% return on investment. At the other end of the scale could be Raw Land, where an investor can demand 18% or 20%. In this article I am not going to go into how to calculate performance. However, I will recommend to anyone interested in these types of offers to buy a good calculator or financial software.

Examples of other things an investor may require are title insurance, appraisals, credit reports, accident insurance, etc. These things discussed above should be tailored to the investor you may be dealing with.

Okay, now we have found a note to buy on a single family home. The face value of the note is $ 80,000 with 10% interest payable monthly for 20 years. You know that the “on the go” investor return requirement for this type of note is 12%, so you could sell this note for $ 70,115. So for you to make a profit of, say $ 4,000, you offer and are accepted an offer of $ 66,115. Actually, you must get a written contract to purchase the landlord’s note, preferably a “Call Option”. You need to consider who will pay for things like title insurance, closing costs, etc. If you are going to pay these costs, you’d better subtract the amount of these costs from your offer to the owner of the note. Investors normally do not pay these costs.

What you are going to do is have a “Double” or almost simultaneous closing in which you will close first with the owner of the note. Then, a few minutes later, you close with your investor that you are buying the note. The seller (s) will then disburse the funds; $ 4,000 to you and $ 66,115 (less title insurance fees and closing costs) to the seller of the note. Actually, I found that it works better if I paid these costs and bought the ticket at a lower price, say $ 64,500. Sometimes when people go to a closing, they feel unhappy when they realize that they are receiving less money than they thought they were going to receive.

I know I’ve covered a lot here that seems complicated, and it’s – a bit; however, once you’ve made a few deals, it will become routine. I remember when I started testing this. I got discouraged and it took a few months to close my first deal; however, since then, I would estimate that I have bought and sold over 6,000 tickets, most of them one at a time. Of course, once my volume increased, I hired people to help me.

The ticket business is a great and very interesting career; Something new or different all the time. One thing I want to emphasize is that it is very important to have that double closing so that you really own the note, even if only for a few minutes, before selling it to your investor.

I will publish a book in the future, showing in detail how to prosper in this great business. I will sell the book for a nominal price, which I have not determined at this time. It will depend on how much time you spend on it; however, I want it to be as complete as possible. I will tell you this, if a person enthusiastically enters this business, the business will always be there with excellent financial returns.

These publications are the opinion of the author who is not engaged in providing legal, accounting or investment advice. If such advice is required or desired, the services of competent professionals should be sought.

St Louis could have learned the value of patience by watching the Cubs

St. Louis felt a decision had to be made. After all, the Cardinals had hoped to make the postseason, as they were just one game away from .500 here at the All-Star break. So manager Mike Matheny was fired after two straight losses to Cincinnati, giving way to interim captain Mike Schildt.

If the main office had studied very recent history within its own division, St. Louis might have shown more patience. The team the Cardinals are chasing right now was in much the same situation last season, but thankfully they didn’t fire their manager.

In reality, the 2017 Cubs’ situation was even slightly worse than the current Cardinals, because Chicago was two games under .500 and had lost three of the last four heading into the Summer Classic. Those results were deemed unacceptable for the team that seven months earlier took home the organization’s first World Series Championship in more than a hundred years, and overwhelming favorites to win it all again.

Many fans in Windy City feared that Joe Madden had lost the administrative magic he had had the previous season, as his star-studded Cubs had spent exactly zero days at the top of the NL central division. Not only did the hope of a repeat of a World Series Championship look bleak, but so did the likelihood of qualifying for the postseason.

General manager Theo Epstein could have fired Madden at that point, just as St. Louis general manager John Mozeliak did with Matheny. Instead, Epstein decided to stay with his employer, and that patience was clearly rewarded.

Madden made the Cubs play much better after the All-Star break, and in September they had passed the Milwaukee Brewers to win first place. They maintained that momentum for the remainder of the regular season, after which they got rid of the Washington Nationals in the National League Championship Series.

Despite falling just short of winning their second straight pennant, the Cubs had still mounted a great comeback without taking the drastic step of replacing their manager. Certainly Chicago would have preferred another World Series Championship but, considering how far behind they were in July, it was quite a feat for Madden to get them to the playoffs.

There’s no question that the Cardinals, who haven’t made the postseason for two straight seasons, would be delighted to finish where the Cubs did last year. If your main office had the same patience as Epstein and his staff, St. Louis would have a better chance of getting there.

Instead, they chose the easier route, firing the manager. That tactic is often the one desperate teams resort to, so what does that say about the current state of the St. Louis Cardinals?

Vandwellers: where to stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer

First of all, if you are a mobile vandweller and can go to warmer areas during the winter and cooler places during the summer, it will make a big difference to your comfort level and greatly reduce your energy costs and your needs for related supplies. Therefore, following the seasons and climates of specific areas is a great advantage for the mobile dweller. Below are some specific areas to consider to stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Where to go to stay warmer in winter:

In the south, head to the GA or SC coast or towards Florida for its warmer temperatures, or on the Gulf coast (which is said to be warmer), take a look at the Florida panhandle or other areas along off the coast, including many areas of the south and the Texas coast. . Obviously, South and Central Florida also have warmer temperatures. I personally grew up in South Florida and many choose to winter there. However, not all areas / cities in South Florida are traveler or RV / vehicle friendly. So just check the area ahead of time to make sure they have legal places to park overnight in addition to paid caravan camps like Walmart, travel centers, casinos (last time I was there, there were no casinos, but for if anything), where overnight parking is legal.

There are many areas in the west to go and they are generally quite RV / Vandweller friendly in most areas. Topping the list is most of Arizona, including Phoenix, Mesa, and Tucson. Many of its neighboring states are also much warmer than other areas in the US, and again many areas are RV / Vandweller-friendly for the most part.

Much of the California coastline is warmer, yet many, if not most, of these areas are unsuitable for RVs and / or vandwelling. In fact, these include many of the areas with active laws against people sleeping in their vehicles (including motor homes) unless they are in campgrounds or other areas as defined by their local ordinances. Again, this is a personal choice. It may work well for you.

Where to go to be cooler in summer:

In the south, check out Banner Elk, NC! Banner Elk is a very scenic mountainous area, obviously at the higher elevations. When other areas are in the 90’s and above with high humidity, Banner Elk is typically in the 70’s and even in its hottest heat waves, Banner Elk’s summer days rarely exceed the mid-80’s. However, as This is usually a factor in mountainous areas, it is important to note that in some areas of Banner Elk it can be difficult to get a mobile or WiFi signal. For a slightly more populated area just a few miles down the road and typically 3-5 degrees F warmer, check out the cool little college town in quaint and somewhat eclectic Boone NC.

In the north central states, check for cooler temperatures in WI and MN around Lake Michigan and further west around Lake Superior in WI and northern MN. The most perfect summer climate zone is in the North Pacific, from Port Angeles to Vancouver, Canada. Wonderful mild weather and bordering Olympic National Park and right on the beautiful Pacific Ocean! It just doesn’t improve the weather and beauty much! I will never go “full time” in a hot and humid area again! ~ See you on the road!

Blessings for your travels, Brenda

Married to a Chinese

Daria and Alvin’s love story

Daria and Alvin put online on one of the websites where people exchange languages. It was March 2014 and at that time she was living in Harbin (North China) and he was living in Shanghai. They have started exchanging letters and emails as friends. After several months, they couldn’t imagine life without each other’s messages. In the summer of 2014, he convinced her to move to Shanghai. It was a very bold decision for her, to go alone to a big city with a boy she had never met in real life, but it felt so good that she did not hesitate. He left his job in Harbin, said goodbye to his friends, and moved to Shanghai. Finally, the stars aligned for them when they met on August 28, 2014 in Shanghai.

3 years later he proposed for Mount Fuji while the cherry trees were in bloom. This was the most romantic place and the most romantic proposal that he could ever imagine. During the last 3 years they have traveled extensively in Asia, adopted 2 cats and got married.

Questions for her

On our first date …

We visited the Bund at night, then went to one of the biggest parks in downtown Shanghai and spent the whole night sitting on the bench and talking until 4am.

For the first few months of dating, my deciding factor would be

he pushes me to be intimate too early, also if he has no manners or seems to be too boring.

I learned that He is right for me when …

I got to know him better, I knew how ambitious and responsible he was. Also when I learned his views on life and plans, which were similar to mine.

I had a culture shock when He …

got sick and refused to take pills, saying he just needed to drink more hot water!

Three things I love about Him are …

1. I love that you are a very talented artist. 2. I love that he has a great sense of humor and makes me laugh all the time. 3. I love that he is a very open person when we are alone, he never hides his true feelings and is honest with me.

The biggest mistake about your country and your culture was …

I used to think that China is not that developed, but a poor country where people wear those triangular straw hats and grow rice. Apparently, big Chinese cities like Shanghai or Guangzhou are even more developed than most European cities.

The most beautiful thing he did for me was …

during my first week in Shanghai. I lived in the hotel and he would come to my hotel early in the morning before work to bring me breakfast. That was the most romantic thing anyone had ever done for me.

During this relationship, the most important thing I learned about myself was … the fact that it should be more flexible. It’s not that important to be right all the time, and sometimes you should just back off to avoid unnecessary arguments and other problems.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to my Western friends who are in relationships with AMWF, it would be …

that you should not look for a life partner based on their race. I think if someone wants to be with you just because you’re white or Asian, these relationships won’t last forever. We must first look at the personality and soul of the person. And if your soulmate comes from a different culture, the most important thing is to keep an open mind and embrace the different culture, no matter how unusual it may seem.

Questions for him

Asking her out for the first time was …

I was very nervous all night, but I felt like I was my oldest friend. We keep talking all night.

I learned that she is right for me when …

There was not one specific moment, but those countless moments that overwhelmed me with how much I needed this person in my life. Those moments like when he left a love note in my wallet before my business trip …

I had a culture shock when She …

I go through culture shock quite often, which is why I am so drawn to it. It scares me how much he loves coffee and wine. Maybe this is not a cultural issue (we all know that coffee and red wine are not in Chinese culture), but I am more of a “hot water boy”. Drink more water, it is good for your health!

Three things I love about her are …

1. Her compassion (she cries every time we see a stray animal, and we’ve helped rescue many kittens and puppies, including two of our own cats) 2. Her righteousness (you never want to cut the line in front of her!) 3. His eyes!

The biggest mistake about your country and your culture was …

that Russians drink vodka. Vodka is a Russian thing, but not everyone is crazy about vodka in Russia …

The things he likes to do with me for fun are …

traveling, watching movies, exercising, reading, and all the other things couples do.

He hates when I …

This is a very difficult question because she is my biggest fan, she never hates what I do or say. I did not lie. Oh! He hates when I lie. Also, she’s our ‘know-it-all’ little miss, so she hates when I give unnecessary advice.

During this relationship, the most important thing I learned about myself was …

Growing up as a Chinese, I could never imagine ending up with a girl from another country. Chinese family and upbringing could be quite intense, so it didn’t allow me to stop and appreciate the present and progress. It is always about the result (exams, ranking in school and class). It is very different from my wife’s cultural background, where they grow up with friends and siblings, having fun and going on excursions all the time. There are very different settings and values.

What I have learned from our relationship is to accept and respect these differences that we have. It took us a while to fully understand this, but now I’m starting to appreciate the difference between people and culture even more. The fact is that we are all very different people, no matter our nationality or race, we will always be different. The moment that people begin to realize this, they could improve their relationship with anyone, including friends, family, or coworkers, it is very valuable. This is how we create a connection, through our differences.

If there is one piece of advice I could give to my fellow Asian friends who are in relationships with AMWF, it would be …

respect her because she is a special human being, not just because she is Western. If you love her because of her racial background, she will eventually disappoint you. Their racial background might be something special that appeals to you at first, but there is so much more to a person than just this. Before diving into the serious relationship, you need to ask yourself if you see her as a woman like no other or if you put the “western label” on her. If you’re ready for option 1, let’s get over that stereotype together.

Dungeons and Dragons: Homebrew: The Called Shot

In many games that I have run, there is always a circumstance where a player would like to take a shot at an enemy. Within the Pathfinder RPG, and even DnD, there are no substantial rules or tables for taking a called shot against an enemy and what the results are. So my playgroup and I have come up with a simple system that is both for the player and for the DM. (Note that this rule can have devastating effects on your monsters, so use it with caution.)

So to begin with, you need to establish what the player is trying to hit that way you can decide the difficulty of the attack. The called shot should be increased based on the size of the location being attacked, but before doing so, you need to understand the difference between what is or is not a called shot. To take a called shot first, the player must specify the location of the enemy they wish to attack. (Declaring that you want to attack the left flank of a large creature like a dragon is not a called shot, that’s called an attack.) The area should be a very specific location, such as between the ribs directly under the enemy’s armpit. / creature, or the eye would be an acceptable statement.

Now you, as a DM, must decide how difficult it is to get to that specific location based on a few simple questions. How big is the attacked area. To help, here is a simple table based on size location.

Good: (this is 6 inches or less) +8 added to the base Armor class to hit the area.

Diminutive: (7 inches to 1 foot) +4 added to base armor class to hit area

Tiny: (1 ft 1 inch at 2-1 / 2 ft) +2 added to base armor class to hit area

Small **: (3ft to 5ft) +1 added to base armor class to hit the area

** (These areas should only be incorporated or approved by the DM if the creature is huge or larger)

Now that you have determined the difficulty of hitting the area, you need to decide if there are additional factors to add to the difficulty before making the attack, such as is the target area armored? if so, the penalties for tearing armor should apply as normal. (An alternative option is to add an additional AC bonus to the target area based on the material the armor is made of.)

Padding: + 1 / Leather / Leather / Studs: + 2 / Metal: + 3 **

** (Special metals like adamantine should apply their damage reduction rating if the area is hit).

Now the attack is made against the target location. As a DM, you must determine whether the called shot will be a fatal blow if the attack is made. If the attack has the potential to kill the target, if successful, I have devised a decision to determine if the target survives the hit. If the attack is successful, the target must make a DC 10 fortitude save + damage dealt or die. (As I said above, this can be used to take down monsters in single hits and forces the DM to execute his villains carefully, but remember that DM monsters can take aim too, and not all shots are fatal.)

Alright, let me give you an example so this muddy water can clear up a bit.

“Crow the barbarian has engaged Thwak, the orc warlord, in single combat! Early in the fight, Thwak landed some devastating blows at Crow and the result for our hero looks grim. Killed by him. monstrous Orc. So Raven declares that he wants to take a shot with his great sword and drive it into the mighty Orc’s throat. Thwak has a starting armor class of 20, but hitting him in the throat is much more difficult than simply hitting him directly and hitting him. Throat is a fine target that increases Thwaks’ armor class by an additional +8, making their adjusted AC 28. Fortunately for Crow, the area is unarmored, so no additional adjustments are necessary to hit. the area. his attack. Raven has +14 to hit with his enchanted Great Sword and rolls a 16. (14 + 16 = 30) Raven lands a powerful slit in Thwak’s throat. (Now obviously a great sword in the throat has potential to be fatal, so this attack will force a save fortress.) Raven’s damage when wielding his great sword is 2d6 + 8, so he deals damage normally as he would with any attack. Raven deals 14 damage to Thwak’s throat and forces a fortress save difficulty 10 + damage dealt, so Thwak needs to roll his fortress save and reach a total of 24 or more to survive the attack. Thwak has a +10 to his fortitude save, but he only rolls a 4 to his save, failing the test and his head is taken off when Raven takes his head off his shoulders. “

This rule may take some time to become familiar with, but it has the potential to increase the flavor of your combat scenes by forcing your playgroup to do more than just roll the dice and tell you the damage. This rule can be used by any attack that requires an attack roll, even touch / ranged touch spells!

Enjoy.