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2011 – The Year I Beat Breast Cancer

By Rebecca Chandler

1836717_10202533582433990_1879360412_oIn February 2011, I was diagnosed with stage 2B breast cancer. I had been going for mammograms every 6 months because they saw something “suspicious.” I had postponed my appointment from December to the end of January because I was busy with the holidays and work. Between June and January, the “suspicious” had grown into a 3 cm tumor and had spread to my lymph nodes. The type of cancer I had was hormone fed and fast growing. Had I waited much longer or skipped my mammogram, I might not be here writing this post.

Luckily for me, I received excellent treatment from Duke Medical Center (chemo and surgery) and Radiation Clinics of Georgia (35 treatments), I am happy to report no evidence of cancer for 3 years now. In some ways, 2011 was a really crappy year. Chemo, surgery, and radiation are not fun. (Although I did gain a new appreciation for hats and large earrings.) In other ways, 2011 was a really good year in that I beat cancer that year and not everyone does.

We all have a story. Mine happens to have a positive ending. But, I’m not writing this post because I want to talk about my cancer. I’m writing this post because I want to encourage regular mammograms. The fact of the matter is that early detection saves lives and putting off your mammogram an extra month or two or three could make all the difference in treatment and success rates if cancer were discovered. Don’t skip your mammogram or put it off. Just don’t. If you are reading this and thinking that you need to schedule one, stop what you are doing and schedule your mammogram now. Now.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, (so you can hardly say you didn’t get a reminder) and I’m proud to say that NewPoint Media Group and The Real Estate Book are active supporters. Your local magazine could be sporting a groovy pink cover and our local representatives are very active in raising money and awareness through local efforts. As a company, we’ve made a pledge to donate $1 for every app downloaded in October to the cause. By simply clicking and downloading, you can make a contribution, and while you’ve got your phone in your hand, if you need to make an appointment, you could do that, too.

To learn more about the Think Pink campaign, click here.

Share this story with others you know who to promote early detection and awareness. It could save someone’s life.

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How to Mix Old Treasures and New Trends at Home

It can be difficult to keep up with the latest changes in decorating styles at home, but an increasingly popular design trend may ease the burden, especially if you’ve kept some family treasures around. Designers are now focused on keeping those traditional accents, furniture pieces or wallpaper and blending them with clean, bright, contemporary elements.

You, too, can incorporate this style in any room of the home, allowing you to display grandmother’s mirror or repurpose aged marble countertops. Use these tips to get the most out of the old and usher in the new:

ffc604efe57f0ddfd31f981f1ccd531aAccent with white

A great way to give an outdated room a contemporary balance is to accent with white on trim, molding, doors or decorative linens. Blending the soft wood tones of older furniture or dark wood floors with fresh white accents will make the room pop, breathing new life into a treasured heirloom piece you’ve had in your family for years. You can achieve a similar effect in your kitchen with stainless steel finishes.

windowAdd small, vintage touches

Think of ways to repurpose older items. An old six-paned window with cracked and worn wood can become a frame for family photos. Wood from an old barn can be used for a coffee table or fireplace mantel. Mix up the chairs around your dining room table by blending both modern and contemporary styles. These small changes showcase two distinctive styles that work seamlessly together.

focalIncorporate focal points

If the shell of your room has a contemporary look, add a few traditional elements as conversation pieces. An antique lamp, an old trunk that becomes a side table or a church pew in an entryway can all be attention-getting additions. On the flipside, if your home features traditional wooden floors that have aged beautifully, let the floor take center stage with simple, modern decorations.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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Stay Productive with Smart Home Office Design

Whoever first said, “You can’t go home again,” probably wasn’t considering the 38 million home-based businesses in the United States, or the approximately 37 million households that have active home offices.  This is especially evident among real estate professionals.

It’s not just small business owners or lucky full-time employees who are working from home, either; the Bureau of Labor Statistics says 24 percent of people employed outside the home work at home at least some of the time. If you’re poised to become home-based, here are some things to consider as you’re putting your home office in order:

Location is key

Without the need to fight rush-hour traffic during a twice-daily commute, you may think the location of your home office isn’t that important. Actually, it is. Where your office is located in your home can affect your productivity and even your personal life.

Choose a room that’s in your home’s heavy traffic lanes, and you could face frequent interruptions. Park your desk in the game room over the garage and you may feel isolated from the rest of the house. Try to stuff a desk in a corner of your bedroom and you’ll spend most of your life stuck in the same room – you may even feel less inclined to sleep there if you’re always working in your bedroom.

You’ll need to balance personal and professional priorities in order to decide which room in the house makes the most sense for your home office.

Good lighting sets the stage for success

The harshness of artificial lighting is a common complaint among people working in offices outside the home. A window in one’s office has long been a sign of prestige in cities across the country, and having abundant natural light in a home office is one of the many advantages of working from home. Natural lighting has a mood-boosting impact that’s been well-documented, making office workers feel happier, healthier and more productive. What’s more, use of natural light can help reduce reliance on artificial lighting and trim utility bills accordingly.

Furnishings create a foundation

Considering how much time you’ll spend in your home office, it’s important to invest in furnishings that will be functional, comfortable, inspiring and in step with your lifestyle.

If you prefer to sit while you work on a computer, the comfort of your office chair will be key. Prefer to get in a bit of healthful exercise while you work? Consider an ergonomic desk that allows you to stand while you type. Many versions of standing desks also can be lowered for use while seated.

Desks should incorporate storage and easy access to electronic components. Be sure your furniture choices not only fit your needs, but the room’s needs too. A huge desk may make you feel like a Wall Street CEO, but your enjoyment will evaporate if you don’t have space to walk around the desk in a small office. It’s important to keep office furniture appropriate to the scale of the room you’ll be working in.

Ensuring your home office is set up to inspire can help you achieve greater productivity and satisfaction as you work from home.

Reprinted with permission from RISMedia. ©2014. All rights reserved.

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