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How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?

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Hey there, bloggy friends. In the interest of learning new things, I have a guest post today. Sexy Nerd and I have purchased homes, but still never knew what a reverse mortgage is and how it works. Is it like selling your home but still getting to live there? 

Years ago, we had an elderly neighbor who refinanced her home with a reverse mortgage and we've always been curious about the details. Here's the answer:


How Does a Reverse Mortgage Work?When retiring, lower income than what you are accustomed to can be a cause of stress. Just because you are retiring does not mean you need to compromise on the lifestyle that you have come to know.
Although it is tempting to resort to drastic measures, such a remortgaging your house, or taking out a loan, both options come with major debt implications, and the monthly repayment expectations can be crippling.
A reverse mortgage, however, is an excellent solution for those who are aged 62 and above, and can be a huge help in assisting with e…

Cake Mix Pudding

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Quick side note: Google is ridiculous. Did you know if you search "cake mix pudding", every result is for cake mixes that contain pudding and recipes on how to add pudding mix to a cake you are baking? When I think of CAKE MIX PUDDING, I want a pudding that tastes like cake mix. If you're like me, you've arrived at the right place.

What's your favorite kind of cake? You can easily turn it into a delicious, no-bake pudding. Cake mix pudding! Just think of all the possibilities: Devil's Food pudding, Red Velvet pudding, Pumpkin pudding, Funfetti pudding, Strawberry pudding...

Here is a quick and easy and SO GOOD dessert recipe that can be made ahead of time for your 4th of July get together. This is a million times better than those boxed Jello Pudding mixes. Think of this as more of a thick custard - you'll actually be able to turn your spoon upside down without your cake mix pudding falling off!

(At least for a little while. I don't want to see any grouc…

How to Detox

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I don't know about you, but with all the craziness in the world right now, I've been feeling pretty stressed. It would be great if my response to this was to go for a run or get some extra sleep, but instead I've been turning to unhealthy coping vices, like tubs of ice cream. (So many tubs!) 

When a reader emailed to suggest a guest post about how to detox, it sounded like exactly what I need right now.


How to Detox
(Guest Article)
Cleaning is an important aspect of my life, as I'm sure it is yours. I always believed that living in a clean environment greatly predetermines my optimal health. And by a clean environment, I mean a clean home to live in and a clean bed to sleep in, but much more than that I need a clean mind and body. 
As a clean external environment is very rare to find nowadays, my internal cleansing has become an important part of my self-care routine as a proper support to my physical and mental health.

My body is my temple. The mind, the soul, everything …

Jessner Peel

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Can you believe it has been 7 years since my first Jessner Peeland the resulting blog post, which is still popular to this day? I remember being nervous prior to my first professional treatment and thought it would be helpful to share my experience with Jessner peels for anyone else who is considering this beauty service.

I still highly recommend a Jessner peel every 6-8 weeks, though now I save a fortune by doing my own at home. In this article, you'll find everything you need, including a helpful Jessner peel timeline, post-treatment care, and the best products to maximize your results, whether you're going the professional or DIY route.


Perhaps I should have arranged these Jessner peel before and after photos differently. It looks like I'm having a Microsoft Teams meeting with myself. Jessner PeelWhat is a Jessner peel?

It's a beauty treatment that utilizes a blend of salicylic acid, lactic acid, resorcinol, and sometimes TCA (trichloroacetic acid) to provide a medium…

Vacation Planning Tips

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Despite our paid time off, SN and I always feel guilty taking a break from work to travel. We're clearly not the only ones - a recent study by the US Travel Association found that 55% of Americans did not use all of their vacation time in 2018.

Busy professionals can find it hard to switch off. I know we struggle to reconcile leaving our responsibilities behind with the need for a bit of downtime. In competitive sectors, being out of the loop even for a few days can be tricky and even feel damaging to a career, particularly when you have an important role on your team.

Making time for yourself is vital for everyone. Not only do you need to treat yourself from time to time, but having time to relax and not think about work can make you far more productive and efficient when you are back behind your desk. Time spent walking in the Adirondacks or cruising from San Diego gives you the mental space to think, about work, yes, but also about life and yourself.
Vacation Planning Tips
Thanks …

Our Small Home Office (Featured in Albuquerque Magazine)

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Just the other day, I mentioned to a friend that it would be a dream come true to have our home featured in a magazine, but that it wouldn't be a possibility for at least several years because we still have so many projects to complete.

Imagine my surprise when Albuquerque the Magazine asked to feature SN's small home office!
This office is perfect for keeping an eye on our little weirdos as they lovingly maul each other.
Even Olive made it into the article. Check it out for free in the digital issue (page 94): https://issuu.com/genalacross/docs/2020_june
Small Home Office Here's the full text of my interview with the editor:

Q. What was your day-to-day at work like before the pandemic?

A. With a busy travel schedule, Derek was usually only home on the weekends, and sometimes not even then. It wasn't uncommon for him to work in 3 different states within the same week!

Q. Do you usually work from home or did you have to switch to remote because of the pandemic?

A. It'…

Visit New Mexico

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New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment for a reason. We are a state with vivid landscapes, a unique culinary heritage, and some of the most friendly people you will ever meet.


Our sunrises and sunsets aren't bad either. I still can't believe this is the view from my kitchen window. 
When the world is ready to resume traveling, NM is a worthwhile destination. Here are my insider recommendations for where to go and where to eat while you are here.
Visit New MexicoBest NM Hiking
Jemez SpringsEl Morro National MonumentAngel Fire Simply driving in our state presents an opportunity to enjoy stunning views.
Best NM Restaurants
Slate Street Cafe (Albuquerque, NM): Our favorite happy hourThe Hollar (Madrid, NM): Enjoy a green chile cheeseburger on the patio. It's served on a homemade biscuit and is so large you'll barely be able to fit it inside your mouth!Greenside Cafe (Cedar Crest, NM): Best chicken-fried steak in the worldBest NM Events 
Taos Summer Wine Festival (Taos Ski Va…

Sad Dog Parents

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SN and I were watching TV two nights ago when we heard a strange sound coming from the living room. It was Biscuit. She was on her side, yelping nonstop with her eyes wide open, foaming at the mouth. The foam had soaked all the way through her bed. Panicked, we tried to revive her, but she was like a zombie, just stuck on her side and barking, staring at nothing.


It seemed like this went on forever, but I think it was probably about 3 minutes. When Biscuit finally came to, she tried to stand but kept falling over. She didn't seem to know where she was or even who we were. She was growling at us. 
Finally, we got her calmed down and resting, but she would occasionally let out a yowl, eyes closed. We couldn't tell if she was having a nightmare or was in pain. 

Later, it was like her mind was gone - she could walk, but only in circles around the perimeter of the room. She was not responding to anything we said or did. She still seemed not to know us. 
I was eventually able to get…