Your August Reading List

 

Looking for Something to Read this Summer?

These are my reading picks to enjoy reading through August. I hope you enjoy them along with other reading options through King County Library System 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. Visit there site here, kcls.org.

 

All the Days Past All the Days to Come by Taylor, Mildred D.


In her tenth book, Mildred Taylor completes her sweeping saga about the Logan family of Mississippi, which is also the story of the civil rights movement in America of the 20th century. Cassie Logan, first met in Song of the Trees and Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry , is a young woman now. In search for her place in the world, leads to a journey that takes her from Toledo to California, to law school in Boston, and, ultimately home to Mississippi to participate in voter registration in the 60’s, . She is witness to the now-historic events of the century: the Great Migration north, the rise of the civil rights movement, preceded and precipitated by the racist society of America, and the often violent confrontations that brought about change.

 

The Moment of Lift – How Empowering Women Changes the World by Melinda Gates


In this candid and inspiring book, Gates traces her awakening to the link between women’s empowerment and the health of societies. She shows some of the tremendous opportunities that exist right now to ‘turbo charge’ change. And she provides simple and effective ways each one of us can make a difference. A personal statement of passionate conviction, this book tells of Gates’ journey from a partner working behind the scenes to one of the world’s foremost advocates for women, driven by the belief that no one should be excluded, all lives have equal value, and gender equity is the lever that lifts everything.

 

 

We hope you enjoy the books I have chosen to put on our blog to read. Visit kcls.org to view other wonderful books that are available online. Kcls.org Libraries are not open yet but you can reserve books online and there are safe pick up and drop off options for you.

 

 

 

Written by Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

Posted on August 4, 2020 at 6:41 pm
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Your July Reading List

 

 

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.

 

 

Chasity Rodriguez

Social Media Director

Windermere Mill Creek Real Estate

Posted on June 30, 2020 at 5:01 pm
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Get The Most Out Of Your Furniture

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.

Furniture

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.

Furniture

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.

Furniture

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.

Furniture

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.

Furniture

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.

Furniture

6. Variety

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.

Furniture

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.

Furniture, Space, Arrangement

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.

Furniture, Space, Arrangement

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.

Furniture

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

 

Posted on June 22, 2020 at 3:56 pm
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Your June Reading List

 

 

Looking for Something to Read this Summer?

These binge-able titles will keep you engrossed with reading through June. KCLS is planning a phased return to in-library services when it will be safe to do so. Until then, take advantage of their expanded collection of eBooks, audiobooks, streaming movies and TV, and online programming at kcls.org.

 

Here are a few reading suggestions from Emily Calkins of The King County Library System:

 

Queen Sugar by Natalie Baszile


A single mother living in L.A. inherits a sugar cane farm from her father and returns to her childhood home in Louisiana. Baszile’s debut inspired the television series, which soon begins its fifth season. Baszile brings humid, kudzu-draped rural Louisiana to life in this story of family and second chances.

 

 

Chemistry by Weike Wang


A chemistry graduate student takes uncomfortable steps toward adulthood as she navigates her Ph.D. program and her relationship with a more successful boyfriend. Wang’s writing is both melancholic and dryly funny, and it gives this coming-of-age story an unforgettable voice.

 

 

 

About Emily

Emily Calkins is the readers’ services program coordinator for KCLS, where she specializes in connecting readers with stories, authors, and each other. She also is the co-host of KCLS’ podcast, The Desk Set. As a reader, she likes flawed characters, atmospheric world-building, and anything with a slow-burn romance.

Posted on June 9, 2020 at 4:15 pm
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How to Rediscover Happiness

Are You Feeling Extreme Loss During This Time of Hardship?
May 15, 2020

 

At this uncertain time, when many are feeling an extreme loss of control,  shifting your mindset and even discovering happiness can change your expectations as things go forward. Many factors play into why we are feeling the way we do right now. Not only with the pandemic but with the equality of our country.

Although many people think the key to happiness is their level of productivity, science finds the opposite is true: Increasing your happiness will actually boost your productivity. It’s important to seek positivity in the midst of a pandemic and beyond.

You can choose the things that resonate for you and skip what doesn’t. Here are some of the choices you can make:

  • Grace. Don’t be so hard on yourself while life itself is especially hard. “Are you holding yourself to pre-coronavirus standards right now? Because that’s not fair, Find beauty in the mistakes you make and view them as learning opportunities.

 

  • Gratitude. Remind yourself of the things you are passionate about. That will help you to stay motivated in your daily tasks, which might include parenting, pursuing business leads, or both. Daily affirmations can help you lessen your anxieties and reach goals, but what she calls “afformations” may be more effective. While an affirmation is asking someone, “Let me know if you know someone looking for a house,” an “afformation” is more direct: “Who do you know that is looking for a house?” This communication style can trigger synapses in your brain, changing the mind’s pathways to bring more positive thoughts. You are more likely to get satisfying results using the “afformation” method.

 

  • Growth. In order to be at peace, you must practice peace. Balance the negative news you read with good news. Search for the hashtag #covidkindness on Twitter and Instagram to flood your feed with “paying it forward” stories that will leave you with a smile. Also hashtag #blacklivesmatter to see what you can do to stop the spread of hate and diversity. We are all equal and we can do our part to help our communities.

Taking part in acts of kindness, even if it’s simply smiling at people you pass on the sidewalk, will raise your serotonin levels. “Little acts make the biggest difference in people’s lives” and your own.

At a time when many are living socially distant from others, it’s important that the interactions we do have are making a positive impact on our well-being. Evaluate how you feel about your relationships; lean into those bringing you good energy and back away from those who don’t.

Cut yourself some slack while your daily duties have shifted dramatically and concerns about your financial, mental, and physical well-being have escalated. We need to prioritize our self-care, We need to be kinder—and to start with ourselves.

 

Visit Monthofer’s website for more resources on taking care of yourself during these stressful times and beyond.

Posted on June 1, 2020 at 8:31 pm
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Ways to Stretch Your Unemployment Benefits

Loan word made from gold balloons

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.

How to Change Your Budget

“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.

How to Make Extra Money

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.

How to Wisely Dip Into Retirement Savings

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.”

Posted on May 28, 2020 at 6:25 pm
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