All posts by Olivia Moffett

Top 5 underrated uses for CBD oil

CBD oil

CBD, or cannabidiol oil is a by product of the marijuana plant that does not contain high levels of THC, meaning that getting “high” is not a side effect. In fact, CBD oil is commonly used for pain management because it is said to activate the same place in the brain that opioids do, making it excellent for helping people with chronic pain. Did you know that there are actually  a bunch of other uses for CBD oil? If you did not, read the list below for a few more ways CBD oil can help improve your life.

  1. Listen up, insomniacs: CBD oil can help you get to sleep. One of the only regularly reported side effects of medical CBD oil is that some users feel tired after using it. This is great news for those with trouble sleeping because CBD oil is non habit forming unlike some of the heavier sleeping pills on the market. If you struggle with getting to sleep, CBD oil could be your new best friend.
  2. Got a teenage-style breakout? CBD oil can help! One of the biggest factors behind acne breakouts is an over production of sebum in the skin. Studies have recently shown that CBD oil an actually inhibit sebum production in the body, which in turn, results in clearer skin. CBD oil is also noted for it’s anti inflammatory properties, which is also great for your newly unblemished skin.
  3. Anxiety be gone! Those with anxiety or panic attacks have had success with CBD oil because of not only its anti inflammatory properties, but its ability to help alleviate stress. Some studies even suggest that CBD oil is a good way for those with PTSD, or post traumatic stress disorder, to find some relief.
  4. Chronic pain can be a thing of the past. For those who suffer from chronic pain, you may have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a frustrating condition that makes pain a part of your everyday life. Again, because of its strong anti inflammatory properties, fibromyalgia patients have seen a significant reduction in their symptoms. In fact, one study used CBD oil versus and placebo and while the placebo group saw little to no improvement in their condition, the CBD oil users saw significant improvement.
  5. Multiple sclerosis symptoms can be lessened. Studies have shown that the anti inflammatory properties of CBD oil are helpful in lessening the painful muscle spasms associated with multiple sclerosis. In a test with lab mice, mice who had been treated for multiple days with CBD oil had improved symptoms and better motor function than those who had not.

There are so many ways that CBD oil can be used and more are being discovered every day. If you are interested in learning how CBD oil might be able to help you, you can talk to the professionals, like those at Modern Health Concepts who can help you understand how it works as well as give you some of the other amazing ways it has proven to be effective for all types of people with all types of conditions, ailments and illnesses.

What are the most expensive colored diamonds for custom jewelry?

loose diamonds

A common question that a Denver jeweler will get when creating custom pieces for a client is: are colored diamonds more expensive than clear diamonds? Clear diamonds, also known as white diamonds, colorless diamonds or D-grade diamonds are the ones most people think of when they imagine engagement rings. These diamonds can be extremely expensive especially if they are high carat and flawless. Colorless diamonds make up more than 99% of the world’s diamond mining export, so it would make sense that colored diamonds, which are far more rare when naturally occurring, would cost a buyer considerably more than its colorless counterpart. This is not always the case however, mostly because the demand for colorless diamonds because of engagement rings and jewelry is much higher, meaning the price stays relatively high.

That does not mean, though that colored diamonds are cheap. In fact, pop culture often points our focus to huge pink diamonds, canary diamonds or blue diamonds that celebrities sport after high profile engagements. Whenever and uncommon diamond gets air time due to a celebrity, it is no surprise that there is a small spike in price for those type of diamonds, particularly because they are curious to people who do not know a lot about diamonds. Because celebrities are thought of as rich and affluent, any kind of jewelry they sport is assumed to be the most expensive money can buy. Curious people will want to know more about diamonds they have not heard of such as pink diamonds or canary diamonds.

Generally speaking, pink, blue, green, purple and orange diamonds are some of the most expensive diamonds and are often very striking conversation starters, especially when incorporated into custom engagement rings. Colored diamonds make for great engagement rings to a non-traditional bride because they are so unique and special. Even a smaller carat diamond in color may seem more impressive and interesting than a larger carat colorless, white, or D-grade diamond.

The most expensive colored diamond by far, however, is the red diamond. It is so rare that some suggest a pure red diamond does not even exist. Diamonds in shades of red brown and red violet have been found, some as expensive as half a million dollars per carat, but so far, no one has discovered a pure red diamond.

Though some colored diamonds can be more expensive than colorless, white, or D-grade diamonds, there are still a lot of colorless, white or D-grade diamonds that can easily break the bank. For those looking at diamonds, colored versus colorless should be based on the style and preference of the wearer more than anything else. To someone unique and edgy, a smaller, colored diamond may be more desirable to them than a larger colorless or white diamond, which may seem common or plain by comparison. Whether someone is looking for a colored or colorless diamond, they should be able to find something beautiful and special in their price range once they work with a jeweler who can help them find what they are looking for.

Water testing is a critical part of fixing the Flint water crisis

water testYou’ve no doubt heard about the terrible events going on in Flint, Michigan for the last three years. If not, the basic overview is that the city of Flint was exposed to very high levels of lead in their water when their drinking water source was switched from the safe water treatment plant in Detroit to the Flint River. The problem with the Flint river is that it is notorious for being dirty and tainted. It’s often a dumping ground for cars, chemicals and even bodies, making it generally unsafe for consumption. After the appropriate safety measures were not taken by the local government, high levels of lead began leaching into the water supply, likely because of the old pipes that made up the system. This caused thousands of residents to become very ill, including many children who are particularly susceptible to the dangers of a tainted water supply.

After repeated water testing, it was found that the contaminated water was found in at least 40% of homes in Flint and the lead rate in children’s blood was all the way up to 5%. There were also numerous outbreaks of Legionnaire’s disease, which was also attributed to the contaminated water supply. The people of Flint, in order to stay safe from the contaminated water, were forced to used bottled water to drink, cook and even to bathe. Many were demanding free water testing on an ongoing basis because they wanted to be kept abreast of the condition of their water.

Today, three years after the initial switch of the drinking water source from the plant to the Flint River, the people of Flint are still suffering with contaminated water. They continue to use bottled water for daily tasks–it has become a reality of everyday life, something that human beings shouldn’t have to deal with.

Former President Barack Obama declared it a federal state of emergency and urged lawmakers and local governments to examine the situation. Numerous lawsuits, many against government officials, were filed and are still backlogged in the courts today. With continuing bad news, the City of Flint, which had been giving out bottled water to residents, is considering ending that program. If that were to happen, a large chunk of a resident’s paycheck would potentially go to purchasing the water they needed to live and do daily activities like bathe, eat, stay hydrated, wash dishes, clothes and more.

One of the reasons that lead levels were able to be determined was because of the microbiological testing that was done to the water. With continued testing, scientists will be able to monitor the water so they can assess what tactics are working or not working to treat the water. Science is an important piece of the puzzle if the local Flint government wants to ensure the water is once again safe for its residents. The residents have been dealing with contaminated water for far too long and want to know immediately when it becomes safe enough for them to use so they can continue living their lives normally.

These are the reasons you might need to get siding replacement

vinyl siding

If you have invested in siding for your home or perhaps you purchased a home that already had siding installed, you’ll want to make sure it is always in top condition. Siding can do a lot for the look and feel of a house and siding can also help to protect a house from damage like weather, insects and more. Though siding can provide a lot of benefits, it is not completely impervious to damage. There are many ways that siding may be damaged beyond repair and in these instances, it’s important to explore the option of siding replacement. Siding can be damaged in the following ways

  • Certain types of siding, particularly wood, are much more susceptible to damage like mold, rot and insect infestation including termites. This can be especially frustrating because it can easily destroy expensive wood siding. If a home does have wood siding that gets damaged, it may need to be replaced completely and likely with a different material.
  • While siding can protect a house from the elements, not all types of siding are good in all types of weather. For example, vinyl siding doesn’t stand up well to high wind, so if you live in a particularly windy area, you may find that vinyl siding needs replacement if it is damaged by wind.
  • Wood siding needs regular sealing in order to be effective, so if any type of wood siding on a home hasn’t been consistently sealed, chances are you will need to repair or replace it. Again, this may be a reason not to use wood siding if the option exists.
  • Steel siding can be popular for a more modern aesthetic and for the most part, is pretty durable. It’s immune to insects and holds up in extreme weather conditions, making it extremely low maintenance, however it dents quickly and can also rust, which doesn’t look very good. Rusted or dented siding may need to be repaired or replaced.
  • Liquid siding, which is usually spray on vinyl, is an easy, effective option because it provides insulation and rich color, however, if moisture gets stuck behind the layer, it can easily mold. Molded siding is a common reason for replacement and generally occurs if the siding hasn’t been applied correctly by professionals like those at Lifetime Windows and Siding.
  • Those who live in very dry climates may have fiber cement siding which is a heavy, fire resistant material. While it is extremely durable, it can also crack while a newly built house settles into its foundation, meaning it could need replacement or repair early on in its life span.

There are many reasons that siding may need to be repaired or replaced, but generally these reasons come from poor installation at the beginning. Avoid these types of issues by working with professionals to ensure your installation is done correctly, that way, if your siding does succumb to something like extreme weather or fire, you will have a warranty that will help you bounce back and replace your siding.

Top 5 best things to eat before yoga classes

yoga studio

Those who work out frequently know that fueling yourself correctly before a workout is crucial to having a successful workout. While many people who are trying to lose weight might opt not to eat anything at all before working out, this is actually not a healthy strategy because food is energy and fuel. Failing to fuel your body before a workout will make you tired, less focused and less likely to work out at your full potential or intensity. In the long run, this strategy is detrimental because when you starve yourself, your body will go into starvation mode. This means that when you do eat again, your body will store most of it as fat as a way of saving up in case it is put in starvation mode again. Subsequently, you don’t want to eat too much before yoga classes because you will feel sleepy and weighed down. The list below gives a few great ideas for pre-workout snacks that will fuel you and keep you performing at your best.

  • Whole grain bread and nut butter- A quick and easy thing to make before yoga class, simply toast a piece of whole grain bread (avoid white bread as it has no real nutritional value) and spread on a tablespoon of your favorite unsweetened nut butter like peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter or sunflower butter. This mix of easily digestible carbs and protein will give you fuel but won’t weigh you down.
  • Half a banana and yogurt- The natural sugar in a banana will give you a boost of energy, but opt for only half here as bananas are extremely rich. Balance out the sweetness of the banana with some tangy protein like Greek yogurt, which will also give you sustained energy for vinyasa yoga classes.
  • Green smoothie- If you have a hard time eating anything solid before working out, a green smoothie may be a better choice for you. There are tons of recipes and combinations, but a simple and delicious version is half a frozen banana, some almond or soy milk, a tablespoon of unsweetened nut butter and a handful of leafy spinach. This will provide you with protein you need for a good workout while also helping you get in your healthy greens.
  • Dried fruit and a few nuts- For sustained energy that is light in your stomach, try a handful of dried fruits and nuts. You can even make your own healthy trail mix and have it on hand before your workouts. Include things like raisins, raw almonds, dried apricots, unsweetened coconut flakes or dried mango.
  • Chia seeds in water- If you are on the go and do not have time to make up a snack, keep a bag of chia seeds in your bag. Simply toss a few into a bottle of water and they will turn into a gel that you can drink to curb hunger and give you a big dose of protein.

Before you head to any yoga classes Houston, make sure to fuel up properly so you can have a wonderful, focused workout. No one likes to feel their stomach rumble mid-workout. With one of the snacks above, you are sure to have sustained energy and a strong body and mind.

Top 5 things to look for in your industrial roofing contractors

industrial roofing contractors

If you are dealing with an issue like a roof leak, you’re probably stressed out, worried and perhaps even a little panicked. Many people who work in construction or any kind of industrial industry know the principle that a third of your building protects 100% of your assets, which means that only a small part of your actual structure (your roof) is the difference between keeping your assets safe or ruining them in potential damage. Just think, without a roof, your assets are completely exposed to all kinds of things like the elements, inclement weather, robbery and more. Of course, this drives the point home that roofing is a critical component of industrial businesses. If you’re in the market for industrial roofing contractors, there are a few things you should look for to ensure you’re getting the best service to protect your assets.

  1. Deep and diverse experience- When doing your research, it’s important to look at a list of prior clients so you can get an idea of the contracting team’s experience. A good team will have many years of experience on numerous different types of properties and projects. It also might be helpful to look for a property or project similar to yours so you can assess the results.
  2. Good reviews- Do a bit of digging into the reviews in order to get a sense of what real people are saying about the roofing contractors. Keep an eye out for comments about pricing, professionalism, speed and efficiency of work. You will also be able to get a sense for how popular the company is which may factor into how long you will have to wait to schedule work.
  3. Transparent pricing- When working with a contracting company, especially in a dire situation like a leaky roof, you don’t want to be blindsided or forced to pay more in a panic. Make sure that the company you are working with is upfront about costs, not just at the beginning, but throughout the whole process.
  4. Good communication- Pay special attention to how well the contractors communicate with you. Do they reply to your calls or email in a timely fashion? Are they able to explain the process with you thoroughly? Do you feel like they care about you as a customer? These are all important considerations because they will make the process much easier and more pleasant for you.
  5. Get it in writing- Make sure than any industrial roofing services you are looking to get can be put in writing along with pricing, timeline, etc. It’s extremely important that there’s clarity on both ends: yours and your contractor. This will ensure that the work is done to a standard and for the price you both agree on.

There are of course many other considerations to look into when choosing a roofing contractor. Your roof is important and you should treat any work done to it with the utmost care. Roof work can be stressful and frustrating, but by working with the right team, you can be sure that a little of the stress will be removed and your roof will be back in tip top shape in no time.

Top 5 window styles to make your home look beautiful

window installation

The type of window you choose to have in your home can really contribute to overall value and curb appeal. When one looks at a home, one of the first things they notice on the exterior is the windows. Clean, well-maintained windows can do much for the way a house looks. In the interior of a home, windows are often one of the first things people notice because it dictates how much light gets into the home at any given time of day. Paying special attention to the style of window in your home can contribute the vibe and aesthetic in both the interior and exterior of your home. If you are confused about what type of window might be the most attractive in your home, don’t worry. This is a common concern and one that can be alleviated by exploring some of the options available to you. The list below contains five of the most popular options for windows.

  1. Single hung windows- This is an extremely common type of window for a very good reason: it looks good and is functional in most types of homes. A single hung window is the classic style that opens from the bottom and slides upwards. This lets air in through the panel and can bring fresh air into a room.
  2. Double hung windows- This is another very common type of window and is equally, if not more functional than its single hung counterpart. A double hung window has two panels: one panel on the bottom that slides upwards and one panel on the top that slides downwards. Opening the top panel is a quick way to suck warm air out of a room and cool it down quickly.
  3. Bay window- A beautiful, classic window type, bay windows are windows that bow outwards to provide a tad more floor space as well as a lovely area for a window seat if desired. Bay windows maximize light because they can allow light in from more angles than a regular, flat window.
  4. Arched windows- Whether you choose to have these windows open or not, they provide a heavy dose of style to any home. Arched windows feel regal and can be a good choice for awkward spaces like lofts, attics and staircases with high ceilings.
  5. Storm windows- If you live in an area with particularly heavy storms, it may be smart to get storm windows. Storm windows are not a particular type of window, but rather a separate window placed on the outside of your existing windows to provide an extra layer of protection and security. Window installation for storm windows is important and must be done by professionals for full effectiveness.

There are many other window types to consider as well, but these are a few very popular options. If you are interested in looking at more types of windows, it is smart to seek out a professional company such as Lifetime Windows and Siding to help guide you through your many options and help you find what will look and function best for you and your home.

5 things to look for in a wedding venue

wedding

A wedding venue is arguably one of the most important parts of planning your wedding. Your venue is a crucial piece of executing the vibe and theme of your wedding and will also serve as the backdrop for your photos and memories. Feeling like you have found a comfortable, beautiful, functional space will make you feel even more excited about your special day. Because a wedding venue choice is so important, it can also be one of the most stressful decisions to make. Once you have chosen a venue, many of the other planning aspects become based on that space. So how do you ensure that you are choosing the best possible venue for your wedding? This list will give you the top 5 things to look for as you visit different venue possibilities.

  1. Price- This is probably the most obvious tip on the list. Price is important. Weddings can get very expensive very quickly and it’s important to try and stick to the budget you and your significant other have agreed on. Venues are often one of the larger expenses and therefore can be a stressful decision. Ideally,  you should look at venues that are in your price range or venues that have a history in working with different budgets and providing options to suit all budget needs. If you end up overpaying for a venue, it can take away from the other aspects of your wedding and cause you more stress.
  2. Size- If you already know the general size of your wedding, it is an important factor when deciding on a wedding venue. Wedding venues come in all different sizes and you will no doubt find one that suits your needs, but it is important to make sure the venue can accommodate everything you are envisioning. For example, if you plan to have a live band, a buffet, a photobooth, etc., you must factor this in as you look at venues.
  3. Staff- The staff of a venue is important because it’s who you will be working with for the duration of your planning process, as well as on your special day. You want to be sure that your account manager or venue contact understands the vision of your wedding and has a similar work style as you. If you are the type of person who needs to be able to get a hold of someone consistently, you may want to check on this. If you are someone who needs frequent in person meetings, you should find out if your venue coordinator is able to provide this.
  4. Functionality- You likely have a very specific vision for your wedding and you’ll want to make sure that the venue you choose can effectively accommodate this vision. In some cases, it may be helpful to choose a venue that is more of a blank canvas because you can do more to transform it into your vision. If you have a very specific vision, however, and find a venue that already embodies this, you should choose that venue.
  5. Wow Factor- This one is hard to describe, but it’s easy to feel. Generally, when looking for a venue, you’ll have a certain feeling when entering one that says “this is it.” The wow factor is the thing that makes you feel excited and helps you truly imagine your wedding taking place there.

Following these tips will help you to find the best wedding venue for you.

How a nurse audit review can save you money

nurse medicare audit

Errors in the medical field are costly. This includes errors in billing, errors in receivables, errors in grant funding and more. Because money is always an issue in the medical field, you may have heard that numerous clinics and other operations occasionally use Medicare fraud and scamming to get kickbacks from the government. This includes fraud in billing for not only procedures and appointments, but equipment as well. Studies show that Medicare fraud has resulted in billions of dollars of loss, which is a shame for the people within the Medicare system who could have truly used the funds to their benefit.

Medicare fraud is a dangerous spiral and if and when a clinic or organization is caught, the financial and societal repercussions can be absolutely devastating. After the introduction of the Affordable Care Act (or the ACA) in 2009, the government cracked down specifically on fraud within the healthcare system. Penalties were heightened and more strict guidelines were put into place. For example, for losses of more than a million dollars, federal sentencing guidelines increased up to 50 percent. That means that the maximum penalties available for people who commit fraud crimes are significantly higher than they used to be.

There is also significantly more oversight on companies that have had issues with fraud in the past or pose a specific threat of fraud to the system. This is figured out through advanced modeling technology which uses predictive coding to determine what kinds of organizations are more likely to be involved in fraud. Not all of this can be done through technology however, because technology can miss many elements of human error. It is important to also have a human eye on fraud because humans can use deductive reasoning to examine the situation and detect deception in a different way.

A large part of this crackdown comes from nurse audit reviews, which are designed to provide a thorough look into every claim filed by a clinic to ensure they are necessary and correct. During these reviews, specialists will review all records in a patient’s file to ensure that any kind of treatment or procedure suggested by a doctor is both necessary and fitting with the patient’s medical history. This is where the human element is especially helpful because humans are more likely to catch deception from a narrative perspective rather than solely through numbers. Nurse Medicare audits will also work to make sure that any procedures that are recorded as having occurred, actually did occur. This requires a lot of coordination and corroboration on the part of the reviewers, who rely on impeccable record management systems to ensure the information they are getting is accurate and complete.

Overall, if an individual is found to have committed Medicare fraud, they may be fined as much as $250,000 per offense. Organizations that commit fraud may be fined as much as $500,000 per offense. If an organization has a long history of fraud, it is likely these fines will far outweigh the kickbacks they received through the fraud. Nurse audit reviews are an excellent way to ensure accountability and transparency in both organizations and individuals.