Looking for Something to Read this Summer?
These are my reading picks to enjoy reading through July. I hope you enjoy them along with other reading options through Sno-Isle Libraries which is offering contact-free pick up and return of physical library materials. All online services and resources continue to be available. No in-library services are available at this time. sno-isle.org
Me and White Supremacy by Layla F. Saad
When Layla Saad began an Instagram challenge called #meandwhitesupremacy, she never predicted it would become a cultural movement. She encouraged people to own up and share their racist behaviors, big and small. She was looking for truth, and she got it… Thousands of people participated in the challenge, and over 80,000 people downloaded the supporting work Me and White Supremacy.
We Rise We Resist We Raise Our Voices by Hudson, Wade – Editor Hudson, Cheryl Willis – EditorBryan, Ashley
What do we tell our children when the world seems bleak, and prejudice and racism run rampant? With lavishly designed pages of original art and prose, fifty diverse creators lend voice to young activists.
We hope you enjoy the books I have chosen to put on our blog to read. Visit sno-isle.org to view other wonderful books that are available online. Sno-Isle Libraries are not open yet but you can reserve books online and there are safe pick up and drop off options for you.
Social Media Director
Windermere Mill Creek Real Estate
10 Basic Rules for a pull together look in any room of your home
There are so many ways to fill a room but where do you start? I’ve complied 10 simple tips to help you pull together any room whether its filled with furniture or not. These tips will help determine where to put things, where not to put things and help you decided what is important and what’s not.
1. Think about the the function of the room and how are you using the space
Ask yourself how do I want to use the room and how many people will use it? That will help you decide the type of furnishings you’ll need and the amount of seating that will be best fit your needs.
2. What will your focal point be in the room
Decide what your focal point will be in the room, fire place, the television or even the view. If you plan to watch television in the room, the recommended distance between the set and the seating is three times the size of the screen (measured diagonally). Therefore, if you’ve got a 40-inch set, your chair should be 120 inches away.
3. Start with priority pieces
The largest pieces of furniture should go first, such as the sofa in the living room or the bed in the bedroom. You want these pieces to face the focal point. The recommended space between chairs are 8 feet apart to facilitate conversation. Of course if your room is small avoid pushing furniture against the walls.
4. Give some thought to Symmetry
Symmetrical arrangements work best for formal rooms and asymmetrical arrangements make a room feel more casual. I think this is a super helpful tip because you will know right away what you prefer your space to feel and look like. Do you want casual or do you want a more formal feel? These are the questions I would ask myself.
5. Create a Traffic Flow
The flow of traffic through the room generally is the path between doorways. You don’t want to block that path with any large pieces of furniture if you can avoid it. The general rule is to allow 30 to 48 inches of width for major traffic routes and a minimum of 24 inches of width for minor ones.
I would direct traffic around a seating group, not through the middle of it. Or you can create two small seating areas instead of one large one.
You can vary the size of furniture pieces throughout the room, this is so your eyes move up and down as you scan the space and avoid putting two tall pieces next to each other. Also, balance a large or tall item by placing another piece of similar height across the room from it.
7. Build in Contrast
Combining straight and curved lines to add contrast can make a huge difference. I really love the idea of straight lines with curvy lines. If the furniture is modern and linear, throw in a round table. If the furniture is curvy, mix in an angular piece. You can also combine a leggy chair with a solid side table, and a solid chair with a leggy table.
8. Design for Easy Accessibility
Place a table within easy reach of every seat and make sure every reading chair has an accompanying lamp. Also, coffee tables should be located 14 to 18 inches from a sofa to provide legroom. I personally think you can adjust this one because sometimes you just do not have the space.
9. Allow for Flow
In a dining room, there’s a recommendation for at least 48 inches between each edge of the table and the nearest wall or piece of furniture. This is to give space to move around easily.
In bedrooms, the recommendation is at least 24 inches between the side of the bed and a wall, and at least 36 inches between the bed and a swinging door.
10. Do some Planning
Before you move furniture test your design thought on paper. Measure the room’s dimensions, making sure your noting the location of windows, doors, heat registers and electrical outlets. You can use graph paper or use a digital room planner to test various furniture. This process can be fun!
Of course these are all just suggestions and the exact measurements on spacing furniture out can be adjusted to fit your needs. Just have fun with it and remember you can always change it.
Written by Chasity Rodriguez
Social Media Director
Windermere Mill Creek Real Estate
By Maryalene LaPonsie, Contributor,
If you’ve been laid off, here’s how to make your money last:
Even if unemployment benefits can cover bills right now, workers should prepare to make changes to their budget and their lifestyle.
MORE THAN 36 MILLION Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. While the government is providing a $600 per week boost to the benefits of eligible workers, that extra money only lasts until July 31. Plus, it may not be enough to bridge the gap for some workers.
Workers should prepare to make changes to their budget and their lifestyle. People want to create a semblance of normality, but there is so much uncertainty.
No one knows how long the COVID-19 pandemic will last or when we will return to previous levels. People should be careful not to wait until their financial situation becomes precarious before taking action. Instead, know how to do the following in order to stretch your unemployment benefits:
- How to change your budget.
- How to make extra money.
- How to wisely dip into retirement savings.
“Take a deep breath and look at what (you) have,” says Jeff Corliss, managing director and partner at advisory firm RDM Financial Group. He advises people to list all their assets first so they have a full picture of their financial status. Understand how much the budget needs to be adjusted.
Before you start making changes, add up your normal expenses and subtract them from your unemployment benefits and other income available. If you have a shortage, that will need to be made up by money from savings or cuts to your budget.
“When evaluating your budget, review the transactions on your bank statement,” says Brandon Tucker, a certified financial planner and manager of financial planning at eMoney Advisor. “If your recurring expenses are automated, it can be difficult to remember where your dollars are being spent, so it’s a good idea to look at each line item on your statement.”
Then, decide what you can do without. “You really want to be in a cash conservation mode,” says Dan Keady, chief financial planning strategist at financial services firm TIAA. Again, you don’t want to wait until you are in financial crisis to make changes.
Eliminating subscriptions to streaming services and limiting takeout meals are both easy ways to cut monthly costs. Many mortgage companies and landlords are being flexible right now, so call to inquire into whether reduced or delayed payments might be an option as well. Also call your auto insurance company to see if cheaper coverage might be available now that you are no longer commuting.
Health insurance is the one expense you don’t want to cut. Getting sick without having medical coverage could be financially devastating and compound the problems caused by unemployment.
After adjusting your budget, you may want to look at how you can bring in some extra money until you are called back to the workplace. However, tread cautiously here since earning too much could make you ineligible for unemployment benefits.
“You really need to find out what your state allows,” Keady says. Some states limit people to a specific amount of earnings while others also limit the number of days a person can work. A few states have both requirements. For instance, in New York, unemployed workers can receive partial benefits so long as they work fewer than four days and earn no more than $504 in a week.
Assuming you are able to work, picking up temporary side jobs may be a simple way to supplement. Instacart, Shipt and DoorDash are all delivery services that may need an influx of workers during the pandemic. Selling items on online marketplaces such as Etsy may also be an option.
“If they can, (workers) should try to rebuild their skills,” Wilson says. Some community colleges are offering free classes to unemployed or underemployed workers. Courses through websites such as Skillshare or LinkedIn Learning may also be a source for online training.
While it may be tempting to go into debt to cover bills, it can make financial recovery for your family even more difficult. “Being unemployed is temporary, but high interest credit card debt is not,” Tucker says.
The CARES Act gives workers another way to access needed money. Under the law, those affected by the coronavirus can withdraw up to $100,000 from an IRA or 401(k) account in 2020. The money won’t be charged a 10% early withdrawal penalty, although funds from traditional accounts are subject to regular income tax. Those taxes can be paid off over a three-year period. The money can also be returned to a retirement account within three years of the distribution and not apply to annual contribution limits.
“That’s one of the last resorts I would use,” Corliss says. “You could blow up your retirement if you’re not thoughtful.”
If you do decide to dip into your retirement funds, make sure it isn’t simply delaying the inevitable. For example, don’t use money from a retirement account to make mortgage payments on a house you won’t be able to afford in the long term. If you don’t anticipate your income rebounding to a level at which it can support your lifestyle, it’s better to downsize sooner rather than later. Otherwise, you could end up losing not only the house, but your retirement fund as well.
Corliss remains optimistic about the future for American workers. He says, “It may hurt for a bit, but we’re going to get through this.”