4 Easy Ways to Maintain Your Chimney and Keep It In Tiptop Shape

On a cold winter night there is absolutely nothing better than sitting near a crackling fire sipping on a warm drink wrapped in a fluffy blanket. Many people don’t see their fireplaces as something luxurious and cozy – but hard to keep up with and a nuisance in their home. 

While having a fireplace and chimney can require some extra care, there are four easy ways that you can maintain it throughout the year. With this extra little care, your chimney will stay in tiptop shape and keep you warm on even the most snowy and windy winter nights. 

Only Burn Well-Seasoned Wood

There are two different types of wood: seasoned and green. Seasoned wood is wood that has been cut and dried for months and specifically made to burn in your fireplace. It will prevent your chimney from getting clogged with tar, meaning there is little chance for damage. 

Seasoned wood is also low in moisture and will create less soot than green wood. Less soot means an easier time cleaning and sweeping the fireplace and chimney. 

Routinely Sweep the Chimney 

It’s recommended that you have your chimney swept twice a year, especially if it is a wood-burning fireplace. Your chimney is open to the rest of the world, meaning things and animals can get stuck in there over time. Birds, squirrels, and more have been found stuck in chimneys. 

As a passageway for smoke out of your house, it’s essential to have the chimney swept often. If there is a blockage in the chimney, that smoke can come right back into your house for you to breathe in. That’s a health risk you don’t want to take. 

Waterproof Your Chimney

When you think of a fire, the last thing you think about is moisture, right? Well, chimneys can collect a lot of moisture from the burning wood, so it’s a good idea to get your chimney waterproofed. 

Place a cap over the hole of your chimney to keep out any rainwater. These caps also allow smoke to exit. 

Use a water sealant on the outside of the chimney to keep water and moisture from wearing on the bricks and seeping into your home. 

Lastly, make sure your chimney flashing is working properly and in good condition. This will help prevent any leaks that could arise. 

Get an Annual Inspection

Have a professional come out and inspect your fireplace and chimney once a year. This is essential to maintaining your chimney well and keeping yourself and your family safe. 

While sweeping it helps to keep it clean, there are some things chimney sweeps may not notice or check. A professional inspector will look at everything and make sure your chimney is in tiptop shape. 

There are three levels of inspection, one being basic and the third being the most in-depth to check for all potential problems. 

It’s essential to keep your chimney maintained for both the health of your family and your chimney. 

Flying on a Private Jet is More Affordable Than You Think

You would probably laugh if your friend suggested chartering a private jet for your next vacation. Why would you waste so much money on a flight that lasts only a few hours? Instead, you would rather sacrifice your personal space and sit next to a stranger, bumping elbows every time the plane hits turbulence.

There’s a little known secret about private jets, though. They’re more affordable than you think! You don’t have to be a Hollywood starlet or millionaire business owner to charter a private jet.

Here are some of the easiest ways to fly on a private jet without breaking the bank.

Empty Leg Flights

An empty leg flight means a plane is flying to a destination without any passengers. So, if a client booked a private jet to Boca Raton, but the jet is currently in New Orleans, the pilot must fly the jet to Boca Raton to pick up his passengers. It’s simply a means of transporting the jet to a new location.

You can book a seat on this empty leg flight for a fraction of the cost! Typically, these empty leg flights charge 25% to 75% of the original price of flying a private jet. However, it isn’t a very flexible way of booking a private jet, as you must be going to the same destination as the jet.

Pay Per Seat

You don’t always have to book an entire private jet to enjoy the luxurious experience. There are some companies that allow you to pay by the seat! It’s very similar to buying a ticket on a commercial flight, but you’ll be flying on a private jet with business class standards.

While you will sacrifice the “private” experience of flying on a private jet when you pay per seat, you can still expect high-quality service, luxury features, and a memorable experience.

Book with Friends

If you want the complete private jet experience but only want to pay a fraction of the cost, it’s best to get a group of friends together and split the total. This means you don’t have to give up choosing your own route or sitting with strangers.

Instead, you’re with your friends in the privacy of your own jet with the ability to customize your experience. From meals to special requests to choosing your destination, booking a private jet with friends can save you quite a large sum.

Get a Private Jet Membership

As a frequent flyer of private jets, you can sign up for an exclusive membership that will get you discounts and make you a priority customer. The benefits and features depend on which company you purchase a membership from. However, if you fly privately more than 15 hours per year, it’s a great investment!

People are starting to realize that it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg to fly on private jets. They’re becoming more popular than ever, especially in 2020.

Don’t miss out on flying privately because you’re afraid of the cost!

3 Ways Students Can Combat Racism

Nearly 60 years after the passage of The Civil Rights Act of 1964, black Americans are still battling racial injustice. Perhaps it was foolish for people to believe that legislation alone would remedy hundreds of years worth of discrimination, disenfranchisement and abuse. Indeed, more than half a century has done little to educate white Americans regarding our own privilege. But it seems the tide is finally turning. Over the past four months, tragedies such as the ones befalling Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd have stoked anger and resentment at the marginalization and dehumanization of black Americans, rallying white Americans in ways previous examples of oppression never have. Whether due to the time we’ve had to reflect as a result of social distancing protocols following the arrival of COVID-19 or we’re just weary of reading the same headlines over and over, it seems that we are finally ready to acknowledge and combat our own prejudices in an effort to afford true equality for all. Here are three ways we — students in particular — can work to end racism:

Become Self-Aware

Self-awareness is the ability to see ourselves clearly; by thoughtfully exploring our own thoughts and beliefs, we can come to understand our values and biases. Such self-awareness necessarily enables us to see more clearly the values and biases of those around us, as well. Indeed, self awareness is thought to boost our confidence and increase our capacity for empathy, helping us accept and tolerate differences of opinion, circumstance and culture/race. With this in mind, all of us can and should take the time to consider the systems of thought that shape our perspectives so that we are able to label and reject discriminatory attitudes when we encounter them in ourselves and others.


As students, we need to continue to educate ourselves fully on a variety of subjects. We should read books and watch movies and enter discussions that challenge our minds, opening ourselves up to the exploration of topics and positions we might never have otherwise considered. According to the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI), a well-rounded “education is the best tool for tackling racism and discrimination and building inclusive societies.”


Some of us have extra money and can donate to organizations with the capacity to transform race relations policy (such as the BLM movement, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund or the ACLU). Others can sign petitions or write letters to the editor of newspapers to advocate for change. Some can use yards signs like businesses that advertise using vehicle graphics and billboards. We can patronize black-owned businesses; volunteer as tutors and mentors; or join a peaceful protest. The key is to not stay silent, to use our voices in support of racial equality whenever and wherever we can.

Treatments for Lower Back Pain

Lower back pain is the leading cause of disability in the world. The World Health Organization estimates that up to 70% of people in industrialized countries will experience it at some point in their lives. Whether caused by spinal problems, nerve irritation or muscle strains, back pain can be debilitating and often very hard to treat. Here’s the best options for tackling and conquering an aching back when it hinders you from living your best life:


One of the first lines of defense against troublesome back pain is medication. Several different kinds of medication exist, from over-the-counter pain relievers such as ibuprofen, aspirin and acetaminophen to muscle relaxants, topical creams, narcotics and more. OTC drugs help inhibit the pain response (acetaminophen) and fight inflammation (NSAIDS), but for more severe pain, doctors can prescribe medication to relieve muscle spasms (muscle relaxant) or provide more powerful pain relief (opioids/narcotics). Other types of drugs are usually reserved for chronic pain relief, including antidepressants and steroidal injections.


Of course, sometimes rest is necessary. Clinical research, however, warns against too much rest, instead suggesting that a speedier return to activities helps prevent muscle loss, constipation and depression in those with moderate back pain, all of which can impede recovery. Ideally, patients should rest no more than one or two days in bed (and only for a few hours at a time) as a way to reduce strain to the spine and its surrounding ligaments and muscles.

Exercise and Physical Therapy

While it might should counterintuitive, moving the body can actually help to relieve some types of back pain by strengthening core muscles and increasing flexibility, thereby training your body to improve posture and avoid aggravating positions/situations. Movement also stimulates blood flow, making it easier for tissues to heal, and helps reduce weight, alleviating additional stress to the spine.

Regenerative Therapy

A newer treatment approach for back pain involves regenerative medicine. With science now more fully understanding stem cell therapy, doctors have begun using stem cells to possibly repair and regenerate damaged, decaying and diseased tissue. This is especially promising for back pain resulting from damaged discs. By applying stem cells to deteriorating spinal discs, doctors believe there is potential for new spinal disc tissue to grow.


As a last resort, there is always surgery. Although the most invasive option, surgery is nevertheless a good option for some people with unrelenting pain stemming from structural issues (like arthritis, scoliosis and sciatica) that other therapies haven’t been able to successfully treat. With surgical intervention, the spine is either fused to provide stability, one or more discs artificially replaced to restore function and/or a source of pressure removed from a nerve root to alleviate leg pain or weakness.

Indeed, today’s options for treating back pain continue to expand, making it easier than ever before to alleviate one of the most crippling — pun intended! — issues for people around the world!

5 Helpful Health & Wellness Tips for Women

Living a healthy life is a consistent challenge that many women struggle with from time to time. After all, it only takes a few bad choices to fall into bad habits. And it can take months, or even years, to counterbalance the effects of a sedentary lifestyle, poor diet, or neglected health issues. Thankfully, today we’re going to provide five helpful health and wellness tips for women of all ages. Keeping these things in mind will help you avoid some major missteps and ensure that you do everything in your power to maintain good health:

Look After Your Heart

Believe it or not, heart disease is the number one cause of death of women in the United States. This means that girls and women of all ages should be conscious about their heart health from an early age. Consider reducing your sodium intake and make it a point to engage in cardio exercises on a regular basis.

Know Your Risk Factors

Sadly, women are affected by certain cancers that rarely threaten the male population. As such, it’s important for women to understand their risk factors for diseases like breast and cervical cancer. And it’s just as crucial to speak to medical professionals and undergo tests for these types of diseases too.

Research Fertility Complications

A woman’s potential to conceive and give birth can be damaged by a number of different factors –– including STDs. Yet, many women don’t know much about their own fertility –– or even the risks involved with certain fertility treatments. If, for instance, you’ve received an essure implant, you could be at risk for experiencing a number of frightening side effects. (Check out this article for more information about where and how you can get an essure reversal procedure.)

Manage Your Stress

One surprising medical fact that relatively few people know is that your mood can have a big impact on your well-being. Indeed, there are a number of serious conditions linked to high stress, such as heart disease, depression/anxiety, obesity, diabetes, and alzheimer’s. While some women may feel stressed out by their career, familial life, or social obligations, it’s crucial for everyone to know how to manage their stress in a healthy way. 

Stay Positive

Committing to a healthy lifestyle isn’t something that can be accomplished over a few days or even a few weeks. Rather, it takes years of hard work and dedication. That’s why it’s so important to stay positive whenever you begin a fitness journey. Progress may be slow at first and you might not see results like you always want, but if you stick to a proven wellness routine, you’ll reap many significant benefits in the long run.