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Gail Finnegan

Gail Finnegan

Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.
Staunton, VA 24401
Real Estate Agent

540-294-8636
Contact Me

Contact Me







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Helpful Real Estate Info!

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How-To Build the Perfect Playlist

(Family Features)--Music can set the mood, no matter the occasion. Whether you're playing jazz classics to give your dinner party a sophisticated ambience or blasting the latest dance-pop tracks for motivation on the treadmill, music is able to provide the soundtrack to different aspects of people's lives.

These days, playlists are one of the most convenient ways to organize music, and there's no limit to the number of playlists you can create. It can also be surprisingly simple to make the perfect playlist to match your music needs. These tips can help you on your way:

Tailor the Playlist to Your Audience

Crafting your playlist based on who you're playing it for, like guests at a house party or family barbecue, can help you select the proper vibe, tempo, length and theme. The goal should always be to include songs the majority of your guests will enjoy. Just keep in mind that if you're relying on a single playlist for an occasion, you'll want to ensure that it's long enough to last until the end of the party. A good rule of thumb is at least 30-40 tracks.

Make It Personal

Because different genres and styles of music are available in abundance, your songs and playlists can reflect who you are and the way you feel. A music streaming service allows listeners to build personal playlists as well as listen to expert-curated playlists on-demand using its free mobile app.

When taking advantage of those custom features, be sure to clearly identify your lists with ultra-personal names. For example, instead of naming a list "Summer 2018," go for something like "Favorite Poolside Beats 2018."

Mix It Up

Keep people interested with a wide variety of slow and fast, new and classic, and various musical styles. Don't be afraid to combine genres or decades. This ensures you strike chords among listeners of various ages and backgrounds. When in doubt, add classic crowd-pleasers and chart-topping hits of today.

Update Often

If you're creating a playlist that you plan to keep going back to, like a workout playlist, keep in mind you can update it whenever you like to keep it fresh. Switching out songs from time to time can make the listening experience more enjoyable.

Collaborate with Others

Allowing friends or guests to have access to your playlist and make their own additions ensures that everyone's music tastes are represented. Another plus: it's a fun way to discover hot new tracks and artists your friends and family are listening to.

Find Inspiration

If you're short on time or just looking for some new ideas, check out pre-existing playlists that are already curated for your occasion. For example, on Spotify you can find options like "Afternoon Acoustic" for relaxing or "Songs to Sing in the Car" for a long road trip to the beach with friends.

Music is both universal and personal, so let your playlists tell a story about you. If you'll use the list for entertaining, sprinkle in some extra flavor with tracks that appeal to the broader group or specific guests, and just like that, you have a winning playlist for your next party.

Source: Spotify

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Keep the Bugs at Bay...Safely

As the warm weather descends upon us, so do the bugs, and from the mild annoyance of a mosquito bite to the more nefarious health issues associated with insects like ticks, protecting yourself from pests should be priority one as you enjoy the outdoors.

Here are some common-sense safety reminders for using insect repellent, and some creative ways to stay bug-free.
- When using an insect repellent, always read the entire label carefully before using, and follow all directions. This includes restrictions for use on children and the maximum number of applications allowed per day.
- Keep in mind that insect repellents are proven to work against only the insects listed on the label.
- Apply only a small amount of repellent on exposed skin or on top of clothing. (You don't need a lot for it to be effective.)
- Never spray insect repellents directly into your face. Spray on your hands first and then apply to your face.
- Keep all insect repellent containers out of reach and sight of children and pets and supervise the application of insect repellents on children. Avoid applying repellent to children's hands to reduce the chance of their getting repellent in their eyes and mouths.
- If you are concerned that you might be sensitive to a product, apply the product to a small area of skin on your arm and wait 24 hours to see if you have a reaction.

If you’re looking for a chemical-free way to keep bugs away, try some of these natural repellants:
- Put a dryer sheet in your pocket when hiking or at the lake.
- Mix cinnamon in the kids’ sandbox.
- Mix vanilla extract in a jar of water and add in some lemongrass, lavender or mint essential oil for a lovely smelling repellent at your outdoor gathering.
- Switch to unscented toiletries. All those nice-smelling lotions, soaps and hair products are attractive to bugs. Consider using unscented varieties at least for peak insect season.
- Wear light-colored clothing. Mosquitoes, in particular, are attracted to darker colors.

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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How-To Improve Indoor Air Quality

(Family Features)--More efficient, tightly built homes than those constructed in previous generations are generally well-regarded, for the most part with good reason. However, when you consider people spend 90 percent of their time indoors on average, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), such airtight environments raise some concerns.

All that efficiency cuts down on airflow, effectively trapping allergens and toxins inside. According to estimates from the EPA, the air inside the average home may be as much as five times more polluted than the air outdoors, even in a bustling city.

"We know instinctively that spending so many hours in stuffy places isn't good for us," says Peter Foldbjerg, head of daylight energy and indoor climate at Velux. "According to research, living in damp and moldy homes increases our risk of asthma by 40 percent and leaves us vulnerable to developing other ailments."

Limited fresh air and light during the day can negatively impact mood, sleep and performance. Air pollution can also pose a health risk through irritation to the eyes, nose and throat; headaches, dizziness and fatigue; and respiratory conditions, heart disease and cancer. To help alleviate some of these concerns, consider these tips.

Bring the outside in.
Even a small step like adding some potted plants, which are known to purify air, can improve your indoor environment. In addition, think of how you could create a better view to the outside through smart use of windows, skylights and doors that bring in fresh air and daylight.

Rely on natural air flow.
Open your windows 3-4 times a day, at least 10 minutes at a time, to allow fresh air in. To complement natural light and fresh air from vertical windows, consider adding skylights to rooms you use most often. Skylights that can be opened contribute to greater indoor comfort and ventilation by removing excess heat, moisture, odors and other indoor pollutants. They can also help reduce the need for air-conditioning due to the chimney effect, which occurs when skylights and vertical windows are both opened, allowing warm, stale air to rise and escape through the roof, replaced by fresh air drawn in through traditional windows.

Eliminate potential obstacles.
Avoid blocking fresh air with drapes, blinds and other hindrances, like heavy furniture placed too close to windows. Also consider other aspects of your home that could be thwarting your efforts to improve air circulation and quality, such as dust, dirt and mold. Regular and thorough cleaning can help keep those irritants at bay and make your quest for cleaner air easier.

Source: Family Features Editorial Syndicate

Published with permission from RISMedia.

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Gail Finnegan | 540-294-8636 | Contact Me
16 Gosnell Crossing, Suite 102 - Staunton, VA 24401
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