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Category Gigi’s Blog

Is it Time for a Digital Detox?

In this issue of my Monthly Item of Value learn how to do a digital detox and feel better afterwards.

These days, we’re spending a lot more time behind our screens. In 2021, we’ve been clocking five to six hours of phone time a day, according to the data site Statista. And this doesn’t even factor in Zoom calls, television time and the other times where we swap the “little screen” for the “big screen.”

Are you feeling the effects of this tech on your mental health — think brain fog, poor sleep, low productivity, etc.?Then you should consider a digital detox! While it’s impossible to unplug completely, the information below will help you take a 24-hour break from your devices to reset and improve focus.

Follow the six steps to your digital detox in the infogra...

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Plants not behaving as expected: vegetable garden edition

Thanks to the University of Maryland/Maryland Grows this informative article on plants not behaving as expected.

Vegetable crops

Two of the vegetable crops I grew this year are known for loving the heat: okra and eggplant. I grow eggplant in pots on my deck, to avoid flea beetle infestation, and okra directly in the ground in my community garden plot. Both of them produced adequately over the summer. Now it’s fall; we’re having days in the 70s and nights in the 50s, and there are fewer hours of sunlight in the day. Time to pull the summer crops, right?

Except – boom! Both the okra and the eggplant are going gangbusters. More flowers, more fruits than in the hot summer months, by far.

Plants not behaving
Image: University of Maryland/Maryland Grows.

So why aren’t these plants following t...

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Make the most of your time

Thanks to Cindy Bernstein of Aim4Order for this episode of Tips from the Pros with her blog about time management.

In order to make the most out of your time, you need to take matters into your own hands. You make time for the things you have to do. What you do with the rest of your day and the quality of your actions is the question.

Make a schedule

Create a schedule for your day and stick to it. Put everything in there, including breaks and driving time. Write everything down. Cross things off as you do them and you can track your progress.

Get rid of distractions

You might have to put down the cellphone and ignore texts to get the job done. You can put your phone on vibrate so calls won’t interrupt you...

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Keep Your Home Safe with a Dryer Cleaning from Clean Sweep

Thanks to Clean Sweep for this episode of Tips from the Pros about dryer cleaning and home safety.

Image: Clean Sweep Maryland

Putting off dryer cleaning keeps our dryers from working at their peak efficiency at best and can cause dryer fires in our home at worst. Around 3,000 dryer fires are reported per year, and 34% of them take place due to a lack of routine maintenance. During the humid summer months of Baltimore, the risk of dryer fires is at an all-time low. As we move into fall and winter, however, the risk will only grow.

Signs That Dryer Vents Are Overdue for Cleaning

  • Clothes are not dry after a normal drying cycle
  • A lingering musty odor clings to your clothes
  • When you open the dryer, clothes are unusually hot to the touch
  • When using the dryer, the vent hood flap does n...
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Something’s Phishy

In this issue of my Monthly Item of Value learn how something’s phishy in your emails these days.

Do you know how to tell if cybercriminals have gone “phishing” for your personal information? Learn to spot the red flags of a suspicious email so the identity thieves never get their big catch!

Always think before you click on any links in your emails. If something is suspicious, don’t click! If it appears to be an email from your cellphone provider, go to their website. Do not click on the link. Log into your account and see if the company has sent you a message.

Look at the email, not the name of the sender to see if it’s really from the company it claims to be...

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Best Planning Ideas 2021

Thanks to L. K. Benson for sharing this blog about planning ideas 2021.

Since March 2020, the world learned just how dangerous the COVID-19 virus could be. We have all been mostly in reactive mode. Offices and schools were closed so we learned to work from home while the kids learned remotely. The markets plummeted so we harvested tax losses and rebalanced portfolios. Tax deadlines changed and stimulus bills were passed. We sorted through pages of new legislation to help our clients navigate the new rules. 

There are significant potential changes looming in the tax and estate planning area. Now is the time to shift back into proactive mode...

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4200 Necker Avenue

  • 4200 Necker Avenue, sidewalk view of front

Come home to this single family, 3 bedroom / 2 bath,...

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454 Deer Hill Circle

  • 454 Deer Hill Circle, street view


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627 Dunwich Way

  • 627 Dunwich Way, street view
  • ...
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Natural Lighting for Indoor Plants

Thanks to the University of Maryland / Maryland Grows this informative article on natural lighting for indoor plants.

Natural lighting for indoor plants
Image: University of Maryland / Maryland Grows

Key points

  • Light is probably the most essential factor for healthy indoor plant growth. The energy derived from photosynthesis depends on the amount of intercepted light by leaves.
  • Indoor plants can be classified according to their light needs and tolerances — high, medium, or low. Select indoor plants according to the availability of natural light in your home. Otherwise, you will need to supplement light with artificial lighting. 
  • The three important aspects of indoor light are intensity, duration, and quality.  Each one has a different impact on the plant.

Light intensity

  • Footcandles (FC) is the unit of measu...
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