Serenity Weighted Blanket Webpage

A Weighted Blanket Is Exactly What The Name Indicates. It’s A Blanket That Has Additional Weight Added To It. While That May Seem Odd, Those Weights Are Incredibly Useful. Their Purpose Is To Provide Deep Pressure Therapy When Draped Over The Shoulders Or Lap Or When Covering The Body In Bed.

According To The Science Behind That Therapy, Weighted Blankets Use Deep Pressure Therapy To Provide The User With A Calming Effect. That Can Reap A Variety Of Results, Including:

  • A Sense Of Calm For Several Hours Afterward
  • An Improvement In The Quality Of Sleep
  • Improved Ability To Sleep Longer Hours
  • Overall Reduction Of Anxiety
  • An Increase In Happiness
  • An Improvement In Social Interactions
  • An Improvement In The Ability To Communicate
  • Better Ability To Focus
  • Decreased Incidences Of Seizures
  • Reduction In Hypersensitivity To Touch
  • Increase In The Ability To Endure A Public Environment
  • Reduced Incidences Of Self-Injury


The Science Behind Deep Pressure Therapy
It May Seem Far-Fetched That Just A Little Weight In A Blanket Can Provide Such Benefits. But It’s All Based On Science. See, Deep Pressure Therapy Has A Great Impact On Your Autonomic Nervous System, Also Known As Your Unconscious Actions. These Include Your Breathing, Blinking, Digestion, And Heart Rate.
But Along With That Is Your Body’s Fight Or Flight Reaction, Which Is Also Known As Your Sympathetic Nervous System. All Of This Works By The Release Of Hormones That Cause You To Breathe Faster And Your Blood Sugar And Blood Pressure To Rise When You’re Feeling Stressed Or Nervous.

There’s Also Another Aspect To Your Complicated Nervous System: The Parasympathetic Nervous System. This Is The Section That Allows Your Body To Relax By Slowing Your Heart Rate And Breathing, As Well As Lowering Your Blood Pressure. It’s Triggered As You Enjoy Those Peaceful, Serene Moments. For Example, When You Enjoy A Bubble Bath You Feel Relaxed Because Your Parasympathetic Nervous System Has Been Triggered.

But Your Sympathetic Nervous System Is Triggered, Activating Your Fight Or Flight Mechanism, When You Feel Stressed. This Makes Getting Calm Quite Difficult. As A Result, You Have Difficulty Concentrating, Thinking, And Sleeping. By Applying Deep Pressure Therapy, You Balance Out Your Autonomic Nervous System. This Decreases Your Fight Or Flight Reaction While Activating Your Calming Mechanism And Regulating Your Emotions. These Benefits Can Be Achieved Because The Pressure Of A Weighted Blanket Provides Your Brain With Input That Releases Serotonin, Or The Hormone That Calms The Body.

To Put It In Basic Terms, Think About A Time You May Have Been So Angry That You Wanted To Fight. Your Face Turned Red, Your Blood Boiled (So To Speak. Actually, Your Blood Pressure And Blood Sugar Became Elevated), You Felt Sweaty, You Couldn’t Think Straight. All You Could Think Of Was Going After The Person Who Just Wronged You. Fortunately, Someone Intervened By Holding You Back. They Wrapped Their Arms Around You And Held You In Their Grip Until You Calmed Down. And You Did Calm Down, Thanks To Their Big Bear Hug. That Was Deep Pressure Therapy In Action. With That Light Pressure Surrounding Your Body, You Were Able To Calm Down And Think More Clearly. Your Blood Pressure Normalized, Too.

A Less Dramatic Example Is When You Go To The Doctor For Tests. When The Radiologist Puts A Protective Bib On You, You Get Relaxed, Even Sleepy, Right? That’s Because The Heavy Material In The Bib That’s Designed To Protect You From The X-Rays Is Also Providing You With Deep Pressure Therapy. Yep, The Weight Of That Heavy Material Covers Your Body And Acts As A Bear Hug.

Both Of These Examples Are Deep Pressure Therapy In Action. And A Weighted Blanket Works Exactly The Same Way.


Blame It On Hormones
That Sounds Great, But Still A Little Confusing. So Let’s Look A Little More Closely At Just How Hormones Affect Your Mental, Physical, Emotional, And Overall Health, Along With Just How A Weighted Blanket Can Be Used To Keep Them Balanced.
Serotonin: Serotonin Is The Chemical Your Nerve Cells Produce To Signal Each Other. It’s Made Of Essential Amino Acid Tryptophan And Hangs Out Mostly In Your Digestive System, While Also Working Its Way Into Your Central Nervous System’s Blood Platelets.

You Get Serotonin From Your Diet, With Such Foods As Nuts, Red Meat, And Cheese. When You Don’t Get Enough Tryptophan, Your Serotonin Levels Decrease. That Causes Mood Swings, Depression, Or Anxiety.

Serotonin Impacts Each Part Of Your Body And Is Responsible For A Lot Of Key Daily Functions. When Your Levels Are Out Of Balance, Your Physical, Mental, And Emotional Health Can Be Affected. Serotonin Influences Each Function Of Your Body, Including Your Motor Skills And Emotions. It Naturally Stabilizes Your Mood And The Chemical Helps Your Sleep, Eating And Digestion.

In Addition, Serotonin:

  • Maintains Your Bone Health
  • Heals Your Physical Wounds
  • Stimulates Nausea
  • Regulates Your Anxiety
  • Decreases Your Depression
  • Helps You Sleep Better And More Soundly Through The Night

When Serotonin Naturally Balances Your Mood, You Feel:

  • More Able To Focus
  • Calmer
  • More Content
  • Less Anxious

But Low Levels Of Serotonin Can Adversely Impact The Above Functions. While Taking Supplements Can Restore These Levels, Doing So Could Also Cause Side Effects. That Can Include Anything From Increasing Agitation And Mood Swings To Affecting Your Cardiovascular System. Fortunately, Weighted Blankets Enable Your Body To Naturally Produce Enough Serotonin To Restore And Maintain Your Overall Health – With No Side Effects – Thanks To The Deep Pressure Therapy They Provide.

Melatonin: Melatonin Is Another Hormone In Your Body That Regulates Its Functions. This One Plays A Role In Your Daily Sleep And Wake Cycle, Which Is Also Called Your Circadian Rhythm. The Production And Release Of Melatonin In Your Brain Is Synchronized To The Time Of Day By Producing More When It’s Dark Outside And Producing Less When The Sun Is Out.

Melatonin Works By Producing More In Mid-Evening, After The Sun Goes Down. Your Levels Then Remain Elevated Throughout The Night, While It’s Dark. As The Sun Rises In The Morning, Your Melatonin Levels Decrease, Which Causes You To Wake Up Naturally.

Your Melatonin Production Cycle Is Easily Influenced By Your Environment. For Example, During Wintertime, The Days Are Shorter And It’s Dark Outside Much Longer. So Your Body Can Start Producing The Hormone Either Earlier Or Later In The Day. That Can Interfere With Your Natural Sleep Cycle, Causing You To Become Fatigued, Lethargic, Or Moody.

But Other Environmental Factors Can Influence Your Melatonin Levels, As Well. Food Is Also A Factor, With Cow’s Milk, Rice, Olives, Tomatoes, Cherries, And Walnuts Containing A Healthy Dose Of The Hormone. When You Consume These Foods, Your Body Absorbs The Melatonin They Contain. This Causes You To Feel Calm And Relaxed And Helps Restore Your Body’s Balance Of The Hormone. But Not Everyone Eats A Balanced Diet. Children And Adults, Alike, Can Be Picky Eaters Or Simply Choose Unhealthy Food Choices. So The Deep Pressure Therapy Of A Weighted Blanket Is A Great Way To Encourage The Natural Production Of Melatonin, Allowing You To Get A Good Night’s Sleep.

Another Impact On The Production Process Of Melatonin Is Aging. Melatonin Production Decreases As You Get Older, And The Hormone Can Also Be Taken As A Supplement. It’s Often Taken In Pill Form To Address Sleep Disorders. Although It Might Be Safer Than Other Sleep Medications, A Melatonin Supplement Can Also Have Side Effects. That Can Include Headache, Drowsiness During The Day, Stomach Cramps, Moodiness, Dizziness, And Depression. That Only Makes Matters Worse When Striving To Manage Depression, Anxiety, Insomnia Or Any Number Of Issues. Fortunately, Deep Pressure Therapy With A Weighted Blanket Can Help Your Body Restore Its Melatonin Production Cycle Naturally And Without Any Side Effects. This Makes One Less Thing To Worry About When Addressing Sensory Disorders Or Any Number Of Issues Connected To Sleep.


The Scientific Research
When Swedish Researchers Studied The Effectiveness Of Weighted Blankets, They Found That Participating Adults Who Suffered From Moderate Insomnia While Using Weighted Blankets For Two Weeks Reported Sleeping More Soundly Through The Night And Did So Without Turning In The Bed As Much. They Attributed This To The Use Of Weighted Blankets.

Scientists Have Also Examined How Weighted Blankets Impact People Who Suffer From Mental Health Issues. A 2015 Study Revealed That When Participating Adults Used A Weighted Blanket, 63% Reported A Reduction In Anxiety And 78% Said They Preferred Using A Weighted Blanket As A Method Of Calming Down.

The Deep Pressure Stimulation A Weighted Blanket Provides Is A Valuable, All Natural, Form Of Managing Sleep Disorders, Anxiety, Post-Traumatic Stress, Depression, And Sensory Disorders In Both Children And Adults. Our Weighted Blankets Enables You To Consistently Get That Necessary Weight Distribution With An Innovative, Patent-Pending Design That Keeps Them Intact And Clean For Your Overall Health And Peace Of Mind.


Serenity Engineered Weighted Blanket About Us Landing Page

Serenity Engineered™ Weighted Blanket Is Created To Use Deep Touch Pressure Therapy To Help With A Variety Of Issues. It Soothes Children And Adults Suffering From Restless Leg Syndrome, Sensory Disorders, Sleep Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, And Post-Traumatic Stress, Just To Name A Few. Our Blankets Are Custom Made For Draping Over Your Shoulders Or Lap For A Calming Effect In The Daytime Or To Cover Your Body At Night In Order To Get That Valuable Eight Hours Of Sleep.


How We Began

The Vision For Our Weighed Blanket Was Born Out Of Necessity. Our Founder, Abraham, Spent Years Suffering From Chronic Insomnia And Anxiety. It All Began When He Was Just A Child, When A Mysterious Stomach Illness Would Have Him Hospitalized For Months At A Time. Though Never Really Discovered, Perhaps It Was Due In Part To His Being Born At Just 32 Weeks. He Would Eventually Recover And Get To Go Home But Unfortunately, The Time He Spent Recuperating Also Cultivated His Anxiety. Even When Safe In His Own Bed, Young Abraham Would Have Sleepless Nights Caused By The Anxiety And Ever-Present Fear Of Hearing The Nurses’ Footsteps And Of The Impending Possibility Of Getting Another Shot Or Having To Endure Another Set Of Tests.

Abraham’s Issues With Anxiety Grew Worse As He Got Older And Progressed In School. While He Excelled In The Academics, He Hated Taking Tests. The Pressure Of Taking Those Exams Gave Him Such Anxiety That He Would Have Repeated Episodes Of Nausea, Vomiting, And Eventual Hospitalization.

Despite These Drawbacks, He Finish High School & Went On To College, Earning His Bachelor’s And Graduate Degrees To Become A Mechanical And Structural Engineer. He Worked In Restaurants And Tutored Students In Math And Physics To Pay His College Bills & When Free, Enjoyed Fishing And Camping All Over The Midwest. Although His Insomnia And Anxiety Remained, He Just Considered It Part Of His Normal Life.

After College, He Went On To Become A Successful Entrepreneur And Designer Of Numerous Consumer Products. Despite His Productivity, He Never Slept More Than Three Or Four Hours A Night Which Prompted His Wife To Jokingly Call Him A Vampire And To Lovingly Encourage Him To Get Some Beauty Sleep.

That Affectionate Encouragement Led Him To Eventually Wonder If Getting A Full Night’s Sleep Was Within The Realm Of Possibility For Him. So He Began Searching For Ways To Try To Calm Himself Down And Reduce His Anxieties, In Hopes That This Would Lead To A Better Sleep. Abraham Tried A Variety Of Methods, From Yoga And Meditation To Mind Games And Counting Sheep – Even Changing His Diet. But Nothing Ever Seemed To Work, Leaving Quality Sleep Out Of Reach.

His Doctor Advised Him To Just Take Sleeping Pills. But A Fan Of Alternative Medicine And Natural Remedies, He Expanded His Research On How To Address His Anxiety & Insomnia With These Methods. That Research Eventually Led Abraham To Find Articles About Weighted Blankets.

Armed With This Research, Abraham Went On To Work On Making His Own Weighted Blanket. Unfortunately, Abraham’s Engineering Skills Didn’t Extend To His Sewing Abilities. So After Unsuccessful Efforts, He Decided To Instead Buy A Weighted Blanket. After Just A Few Nights Using The Weighted Blanket, Abraham Noticed A Difference. He Slept As Many As Five Hours A Night – More Than He Had Done In Many, Many Years.

Despite This Success, It Wasn’t Long Before Abraham Began Noticing Imperfections With His Weighted Blanket. For Starters, It Contained Plastic Pellets For The Weights, And The Sound Of Them Shifting In The Pockets Of The Weighted Blanket Would Wake Him Up. Plus, That Shifting Caused The Blanket To Bunch So The Weight Wasn’t Being Distributed Evenly – Therefore Not Enabling The Blanket To Do The Job It Was Designed To Do. Soon After Making This Discovery, He Woke Up In The Middle Of The Night To Discover That His Weighted Blanket Had Become Completely Detached From Its Ties Inside The Cover. This Left The Blanket Bunched Up At The Bottom Of That Cover, Which Left Him With No Weight At All Covering His Body.

This Led Abraham To Wonder What The Point Of Having A Weighted Blanket Was If He Wasn’t Able To Keep The Weight In Its Place. So He Bought Another Weighted Blanket – This Time A Different Brand – In The Hopes That This One Would Not Have Those Issues. But To No Avail.


Necessity Breeds Invention

Since Abraham Is A Natural Inventor At Heart, He Returned To His Research And The Original Blanket He Had Tried His Hand At Making. But This Time, He Was Determined To Solve The Problems He Found With Other Weighted Blankets. He Spent Night After Night Adjusting, Cutting, Tugging, Pulling, Drafting And Developing Solutions To These Problems.

This Time With The Aid Of His Wife, Also An Engineer, They Spent Months Researching The Solutions And Developing Several Prototypes. Those Efforts Finally Paid Off When They Came Up With Their Own, Perfected Version Of A Weighted Blanket. To Ensure The Quality Of The Blanket’s Construction, They Enlisted A Professional Seamstress To Put It Together Using Their Auto Cad Drawings.

Their Innovative New Weighted Blanket Resolved All The Issues Abraham Had Encountered When Using Weighted Blankets Filled With Plastic Pellets. They Did This By Instead Filling Their Weighted Blanket With Tiny Glass Beads. These Beads Were So Small That They Resembled Sugar Crystals. So, Even When The Blanket Moved, The Weights Made No Noise. Plus, The Smooth, Nonporous Surface Of The Beads, As Well As Their Round Shape, Made Them Hypoallergenic. That’s Because Germs And Dirt Had No Place To Grip And Get Trapped. So Not Only Was The Blanket Quiet, It Was Also More Hygienic.

But The Innovations Didn’t Stop There. They Also Addressed The Issue He Had With Weighted Blankets Shifting Within Their Covers – Yet Another Issue Making Them Ineffective. To Solve This Problem, They Engineered A Full Zipper System To Attach The Weighted Blanket To Its Cover. This Would Ensure The Blanket Stayed In Place & Secured To Its Cover.

They Also Successfully Tackled The Problem Of Weights Within Blankets Shifting And Bunching, Which Was Yet One More Issue That Kept The Weighted Blankets From Being Fully Effective. Their Solution Was To Reduce The Size Of Pockets Holding The Weights By More Than Half Of Their Traditional Size. Instead Of Typical 7” X 7” Pockets Found In Other Blankets, Their Weighted Blanket Contained 3”X3” Pockets. That Size Reduction Multiplied The Number Of Pockets, So That A 60” X 80” Blanket That Once Held An Average Of 80 Pockets Now Held A Whopping 500 Pockets. As A Result, This Innovative Design Enabled Their Blanket To Provide More Than Six Times Better Weight Distribution Compared To Others – All Without Making The Blanket Too Stiff.

Once They Completed Their Vision, Abraham Started Using His New Blanket. Each Of His Innovations Proved To Be Successful. As A Result, He Was Finally Able To Get A Good Night’s Sleep He Had Longed For All These Years. That Precious Sleep Helped His Body Better Deal With Stress And Manage His Anxiety Issues Gifting Him With A Much Better Quality Of Life Overall.


Sharing Success

While Conducting His Research, Abraham Had Learned That One In Three Adults In The United States, Or More Than A Third Of The Nation’s Population, Suffers From Some Form Of Insomnia. He Knew That Wasn’t Good, Because Medical Studies Show That Lack Of Sleep Can Impact Cognition & Mood. It Can Even Lead To Heart Ailments, Stroke, And Diabetes. With This Knowledge, He Realized He Needed To Share His Weighted Blanket Innovation With The World So Others Could Share In Its Benefits. Thus, Serenity Engineered™ Weighted Blanket Was Born.

Once They Completed All Their Research And Development, Sourcing, Manufacturing, And Application For U.S. Patents, They Were Finally Able To Realize Their Vision Of Making Serenity Engineered™ Weighted Blanket Available To Everyone. Now Children And Adults Alike Can Reap The Benefits Of The Only Blanket In The World With A Patent Pending Full Zipper System.

Serenity Engineered™ Weighted Blanket Provides Touch Therapy Necessary To Manage Sleep Problems. But Thanks To Its Ability To Be Noise-Free, Stay In Place, Evenly Distribute Weight, And Stay Hygienic, Its Benefits Move Well Beyond Abraham’s Original Vision. It Aids With The Management Of A Number Of Anxiety Issues, Post-Traumatic Stress, A Variety Of Depressions, Sensory Disorders, And Nerve/Muscle Issues.


QSI Facilities: Exterior Maintenance Landing Page

Exterior Maintenance

Save time and money
with on exterior maintenance services

At QSI Facilities, our focus centers around our core values. We strive to provide all of your exterior maintenance needs with reliability, focus, efficiency, and commitment. That’s accomplished with powerful field partner and client relationships, loyal employees, and an unparalleled work ethic.

Starting outside Wichita, Kansas, we spent the last 20 years becoming the nation’s leading provider of construction services and facilities maintenance.

We look forward to the opportunity to meet your commercial exterior maintenance needs with our dedicated expertise.

Snow Removal and Ice Remediation

At QSI Facilities, we provide high quality, integral, timely, and cost-effective snow removal services. As a result, liability is reduced, wintertime curb-appeal increases, and your property remains safe and accessible.
Regardless of your property size or how many locations you have, we strategize to remediate snow that ensures your business remains accessible, and operable in snowy weather.

Click here to Learn more about our Snow Removal Services & Contact to Learn More.

Click here to read 5 Considerations & Reasons to Hire Commercial Snow Removal Services in the Summer.

Parking Lot Maintenance

At QSI Facilities, we know how important your parking lot’s appearance is to you, and we’re committed to helping you keep it immaculate. By delivering such services as inspection and assessment, we tackle big tasks like redesign, striping, sealing, repairs, and coating.

We also clean the surface with regular parking lot sweeping and removing such unsightly items as paper cups and grocery bags so your lot always looks its best.

Our professional parking lot maintenance services are tailored to your needs, as we factor in and remediate environmental issues affecting your lot.


Power Washing

How clean your organization’s exterior looks is important to your business’ success. A spic-and-span exterior is appealing and shows you’re presentable. At QSI Facilities, we’re driven to helping you keep it spotless all throughout the year.

Grime, dirt, pollen, and tree sap build up on walkways, outdoor furniture, roofs, downspouts, and walls. Plus, bird excrement, gum and graffiti can make your exterior less appealing. With power washing, we remove every unwanted element, leaving your outside looking immaculate and inviting.


Landscape Maintenance

It takes a lot to maintain your commercial landscape. You may dread such tasks as regularly mulching your beds to ensure they always look their best, pruning those tall hedges on a weekly basis, and following specifications to keep the grass on your company’s lawn at a designated height. But it makes our day. So much so, that at QSI Facilities, we’re eager to provide your landscaping services.

Whether it’s trimming, mowing, mulching, pruning, fertilizing, weeding, installations, herbicide applications, restorations, or addressing irrigation issues, QSI Facilities is always ready to provide landscaping services to your specifications with our high standard of quality.



Exterior Maintenance

At QSI Facilities, we look forward to delivering the highest-quality exterior maintenance services. We do that by first assessing your property’s characteristics, needs, and challenges. Then we provide consistent, top quality service that keeps your organization’s exterior looking its best.

QSI Facilities Exterior Services include:

  • Painting
  • Removing graffiti
  • Fencing
  • Masonry and concrete work
  • Installations


Eliminate scheduled maintenance headaches with one source for high-performance accountability

What Content Marketers Can Learn From the Property Brothers


property brothers
Ever since hitting the HGTV scene in 2011, the Property Brothers have been the channel’s top commodity. It’s no wonder because twins Drew and Jonathan Scott deliver that sibling-based witty banter everyone can relate to while doling out how-to intel on home renovation and real-estate issues. So, it only makes sense that today’s marketers can take many a note from the Property Brothers’ key to success when looking for ways to up their content game.

Have Fun

It doesn’t take long watching the HGTV wonder twins doing their real-estate-and-home-renovation thing to see they know how to keep it fun. In all of their shows, which include Property BrothersProperty Brothers: Buying and Selling, and Brother VS Brother, these two bring a healthy dose of levity to the table with good-natured jabs at each other and humor that eases trepidations and lessens stress homeowners appearing on the show may have. It also makes for great TV, as evidenced by the Property Brothers’ position as HGTV’s top talent.

As a marketer, you can learn from this by incorporating fun and humor into your own content. However, be very judicious and let it come organically. No one wants to see that awkward guy walk in who thinks he’s the hit of the party and mistakes cringes, grimaces, nervous giggles, and finger pointing for approval of his forced jokes.

As I mentioned, the Property Brothers’ humor come naturally. Their dynamic as siblings and their natural desire to ease client stress are universally relatable and just plain fun. As a marketer, you would do well to find some natural niche that enables humor to come into your content organically.

Provide Helpful Content

No matter which show the Property Brothers are working on, the premise revolves around providing help. They help beleaguered families solve problems with their home that revolve around renovation or navigating the real estate market. Audiences who tune into these shows also benefit from these lessons by gaining knowledge they can use themselves.

You, dear marketer, should take note of this premise when scrutinizing your own content. If the majority of your existing content is missing that helpful factor, it doesn’t have to be scrapped. Just take the basics and rework it to provide answers to audience questions. From there, begin producing new content that is less sales-pitchy and more, “Here’s some info you can use or solutions to problems you may have.”

Stick to One Voice

I’ve already touched on the fact that the Property Brothers have a handful of shows on HGTV. But these busy guys do a whole lot more, too. They also have Scott Living, a coordinated collection of interior furniture, home decor, and accessories that are available at stores across the nation. Plus, they make ample use of social media by providing more of that previously mentioned helpful content with a nod to Scott Living and their HGTV shows on a variety of platforms. That diversity is expertly tied together with the Property Brothers’ branding and consistent, informative, yet fun voice.

This is something you should strive for with your marketing content. Of course, diversifying is going to mean something different for each organization. It might include anything from incorporating videos that focus on Q&A’s or tutorials to blogs that showcase the company’s good works, just to name a few. But varying your content is a great way to keep things fresh in order to retain and grow your audience.

Connect with Your Audience

One thing the Property Brothers know how to do is connect with their audience. These Scott siblings are active on social media and engage with fans regularly, exchanging jokes and comments, and even asking for audience participation for planned posts. But they also do periodic meet-and-greets in a variety of locations and occasionally host a Sailing with the Scotts cruise for loyal fans.

This should be nothing but pure inspiration for your content strategy. These days, an organization’s ability to endear and connect with its audience is a big key to its success. Using content and social media as tools to cultivate those connections great ways to do just that.

Share the Love

Not only are the Property Brothers generous with their audience, they also share the love with other organizations. They use their platform to tout their support of Habitat for Humanity. Plus, in a periodic web video series in which Jonathan Scott surprises homeowners with his solution to a problem, he incorporates a little product placement collab, which gives attention to a company that otherwise may not get a lot of attention.

Both of these ideas are great inspiration for your content strategy. Spotlighting your organization’s work with a non-profit both showcases their cause and boosts your company’s brand. Then collaborating with complementary businesses gives you both fresh attention.

By combining fun and helpful know-how about the home renovation and real-estate game with a consistent voice across diverse platforms, as well as connecting with their fans and showcasing nonprofits and other organizations, the Property Brothers have cemented their place as HGTV’s top talent. Their efforts should inspire your own efforts to overhaul your content strategies.

Cathy H has years of well-rounded experience in the writing field. Since transitioning from the newspaper industry, she has written countless pieces for clients that include content for blogs/articles, website landing pages, apps, press releases, and email newsletters. While her versatility enables Cathy to adapt her tone to the need, her favorite projects are those that add a dash of fun.

What’s the Difference Between a Lien and a Mortgage?

person giving keys on man
Photo by on

When you’re ready to buy your first home, there’s a lot to consider – and learn. The financial terms, alone, can be very confusing. That’s why it’s best to learn all you can before you start the process, so there won’t be any surprises. Two terms that are bandied about are mortgage and lien, and it’s very important to know the difference.


Just What is a Mortgage?

Definitively speaking, a mortgage is a loan. That’s when an individual or lender gives the borrower money but expects it to be paid back. Along with that, they want something for their trouble, which usually comes in the form of interest – or a percentage of the loan amount factored into the repayment.


So What is a Lien?

A lien is legal claim on an asset. It can be part of the mortgage process when one is placed on property in a secured loan. It the lending process, this legal claim states when a borrower seeks a loan to buy property, the lender has the legal right to take that property and liquidate it to ensure they recover the amount of money you borrowed.


Different Types of Loans

There are two different kinds of loans – secured and unsecured.

Unsecured: A good example of an unsecured loan is a credit card. A bank issues the borrower a loan that’s paid back with a higher interest rate. That higher rate stems from the fact that borrow doesn’t guarantee the loan with collateral. Instead, the borrower’s ability to make payment is the collateral.

The exact rate of interest a borrower is charged depends on two factors:

* Their credit rating, which forecasts the likelihood of their ability to pay an unsecured loan

* The lender’s predatory nature. Some companies that issue credit cards place liens on their unpaid balance, meaning they put themselves in the position of recovering the amount owed them once the asset – or credit card account – is liquidated.

A personal loan can be either a secured or an unsecured.

Secured: With a secured loan, the lender assesses the borrower’s financial assets, such as checking and savings account, as well as their 401k. That’s because these are valuable and can be considered collateral. The borrower lists these assets in their loan application. Before signing the application, the borrower should make sure this doesn’t mean the borrower is placing a lien on these assets.

An example of a secured loan is a mortgage. In this type of loan, the value of the property the borrower intends to purchase becomes the collateral – a lien the borrower agrees to as a first lien. That means if the borrower defaults in payments, the lender is first in line to get repaid with liquidation of the property.

Additional entities can place a second lien on property to recover defaulted payments. Such cases include car loans, unpaid credit cards, and even federal income taxes. But the first lien has to be satisfied in the form of foreclosure before the second or third liens can collect.

When a borrower has a co-signer, that party agrees to be responsible if payments aren’t made. But if a borrower defaults in payments, the lender could place a lien on the co-signer’s assets in order to recover their funds. This often takes place when the lender takes the borrower to court, arguing the money owed, and the court grants the lender a lien against property owned by the co-signer to satisfy the case.

An example of this type of situation would be when a person owes a landscaper for work they provided but the person doesn’t pay because of a dispute. To recover their money, the landscaper goes to court to put a lien on the person’s property or other asset the court allows.


Once you know the difference between a mortgage and lien, you’re better equipped to move forward with the home-buying process.

The Most Common Causes of Tire Failure

close up photography of vehicle wheel and hankook tire
Photo by Leo Cardelli on


It goes without saying that getting a flat tire is inconvenient. But it can be dangerous, too. Waiting on the side of the road at night or in bad weather can get you hit by oncoming traffic. Not to mention the peril of the tire failure, itself. The best way to overcome tire malfunction is to do everything you can to prevent it in the first place. And that starts with understanding the most common causes of tire failure.

It goes without saying that getting a flat tire is inconvenient. But it can be dangerous, too. Waiting on the side of the road at night or in bad weather can get you hit by oncoming traffic. Not to mention the peril of the tire failure, itself. The best way to overcome tire malfunction is to do everything you can to prevent it in the first place. And that starts with understanding the most common causes of tire failure.


Under-Inflated Tires

One of the most common causes of tire failure is the when it’s under-inflated. This can lead the tire to become too flexible in the sidewall. When that happens, the sidewall can overheat, causing the rubber in the tires to break down and rupture.

Under-inflation affects the tire’s inner liner, as well. Once the tire ruptures and has been removed from the wheel, small chunks of burn rubber found will indicate that the tire wasn’t properly inflated. This nullifies a warranty on the tire that would otherwise entitle you to have it replaced for free.

Keeping your tires properly inflated is a simple process. Pick one day of the month, the first Saturday, for instance, and take it to your auto repair shop to have the tire pressure checked. The mechanic will check inside the driver’s side door for the appropriate level and inflate your tires as needed. This is a quick and free process that helps you maintain the life of your tires.


Wheels Are Misaligned

You can also have tire failure when your or the wheels are misaligned. When this happens, weight isn’t evenly distributed on your tire. So one side of the tire wears down prematurely, making it a risk to drive on because it reduced traction and becomes susceptible to flat. Even when a tire has a small amount of uneven wear, you need to replace it to prevent it from failing you on the road.


Worn Suspension Parts

When parts in your car’s suspension wear, it can cause a wheel to wobble. This leads to wear on the tire tread, making the tire unsafe to drive on. When this happens, the tire needs to be replaced to ensure your safety on the road.


Road Obstacles

Driving on a road with obstacles can shorten the life of your tire significantly. Hitting a pothole at a high enough speed or running over a nail can cause it to puncture. Although some road hazards are avoidable, they’re just a fact of life.


The best way to keep your tires from failing is to ensure both they and your vehicle are in shape. But if the unforeseeable does happen, we have a huge selection of tires, backed by our limited warranty, to choose from so you can get back on the road.


Marquette at Preston

Cheerful positive family of five is having fun together in lost chessroom.

The best Escape Rooms have a fun theme, are full of unique clues, and are challenging but not too challenging! If you’re looking for something new to do this weekend, check out these three awesome Escape Rooms in Plano near Marquette at Preston Park Apartments.


It’s no wonder Escape Expert earned Trip Advisor’s 2018 Certificate of Excellence. This is the largest escape room in the Lone Star State and packs in ten different escape rooms with eight different themes. All escape challenges will test your critical thinking, logic, teamwork, and time management skills. Your team must follow the clues to solve the puzzle and escape to avoid disaster.

Best of all, the themes here are always changing. The latest addition is “The Outmost City Holding Cell B12.” Here, the world has spiraled due to overpopulation. You and your team must work out how to move up in the new social regime so you can avoid becoming laborers.


Red Door Escape Room offers challenging fun for teams of 2-6 and is a best all-around escape room experience according to Facebook, Google, Trip Advisor, and Yelp. Each room can be played at multiple levels of difficulty to keep you coming back for more! The two newest rooms are “The Warrior Way,” a collaborative challenge, and “The Gift,” a creative challenge. Their loyalty program rewards you every time you visit. Score!


Touted by Trip Advisor, the Escape Hunt experience gets your adrenaline pumping with the thrill of the chase. Four different scenarios offer teams the chance to work their way out of a conundrum in the wild west, a journey through time, a museum heist, or a prison break. Failure to solve the puzzle within an hour could have dire consequences! Reserving a game here is really convenient with online booking.

Plano is home to excellent dining, varied local businesses, and fun events. Are you looking to make your home in the neighborhood? Contact us to find out more about our luxury apartments. We offer modern amenities in a convenient location.

Translation and Localization Services: Like Apples and Oranges

translation localization services

Writer Access

Transcreation, translation and localization. They’re all the same, right? Wrong.

While there are similarities, these services are more like cousins than twins. They all take content intended for one audience and make it easy to understand for another audience. But transcreation is a term advertising and marketing professionals use to reference the process of adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its tone, style, context, and intent. Translation is the process of translating words or text from one language into another.

Instead of comparing apples and oranges, let’s compare translation and transcreation.

Transcreation Specialists Are Copywriters

Since transcreation is part of the marketing and advertising lexicon, it makes sense that people who specialize in the niche are copywriters. Writing advertising and publicity content is definitively what they do.

Let’s take a closer look at copywriting. A key element of effective online marketing, it’s the science and art of strategically using either written or spoken words to compel people to take a designated form of action.

It’s commonplace (and pretty darned impressive) for people providing transcreation services to be copywriters in two or more languages. They have to understand the climate of contemporary pop culture, slang terms, motivations, and even offensive triggers (in order to avoid them) of each audience that reads the language they’re addressing.

But let’s give translators their fair credit. They, too, know how to step lightly across various cultures. For instance, a letter in American English that reads, “I gave the construction project a thumbs up,” looks like great news, right? Of course, it does. But a translator instinctively knows not to translate this literally.

That’s because “thumbs up” in Greece, Russia, Latin America, Western Africa, and the Middle East, is the same as giving someone the middle finger in the United States. So a corporate executive thinking they’re expressing their resounding approval of a project proposal from an international client, is unwittingly, well, you know…

Fortunately, a good translator catches that and translates the intended meaning of the phrase, thus preventing an international incident (As a bonus, they get a GREAT story to tell at parties.).

Each Discipline Begins Differently

In translation, projects begin with a source text. That means in order to perform a service, translators must first have something to translate. Makes sense, right?

For example, open a second tab in your web browser and pull up “Google Translate.” There you see two blank windows, both topped by menu tabs listing different languages. In order for “Google Translate” to work, you have to first enter words into one of the windows.

By first clicking on the Spanish setting on the right window and then typing Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in the left window, both windows are suddenly filled with text. But the window on the right reads, Harry Potter y la piedra del hechicero. This is translation.

On the other hand, transcreation begins with a creative brief that a client provides to the copywriter. It includes a description of the creative concept and the desired action the copy should trigger from audiences reading it in a designated language.

Transcreation Projects Can Have Multiple Messaging

When copywriters provide transcreation services for a target audience, the message they create for one international audience simply doesn’t resonate with a different group. That’s where using this same service to create multiple messaging for one campaign comes in. Transcreation uses copywriting tools to create messaging that targets audiences of various cultures, who read different languages, but keeps the messaging consistent.

While a good translator can also translate the same information in the spirit of the source text, the science backed by transcreation is not there. So the impact of the messaging can get lost if the goal is to translate marketing or publicity content.

Both transcreation and translation are valuable services. But confusing them could result in disaster of global proportions. Instead, understanding their similarities and differences helps you make the most of your message localization.


What Content Marketers Can Learn From “The Middle”

Content Marketers The Middle

“The Middle” recently wrapped up a successful nine-season run of 215 episodes on ABC. This endearing and witty sitcom followed the misadventures of The Hecks, a five-member, working class family dealing with life’s daily struggles. Told from the point of view of mom Frankie, played by Emmy winner Patricia Heaton, it takes us on the Hecks’ journey. Content marketers looking for inspiration to up their funny game should take note from the success of this journey that lasted nearly a decade. There are plenty of lessons to be learned, like these:

Focus on Storytelling

There’s no doubt that “The Middle” is funny. The combination of wit and subtle slapstick draws laugh out loud guffaws from an average of 7 million viewers in every episode. But those laughs only come within the context of the story, which is the actual focus of the show. The show has an overall arc at the beginning of each episode that expertly unfolds in less than 20 minutes. It does this by taking two or three story vignettes focusing on different family members and tying them together in the end. With Frankie narrating the story, it’s reminiscent of a mommy blog — just from a mommy that’s lazy, needy, and somewhat neurotic.

This sets “The Middle” apart from sitcoms that try too hard to get the giggle, leaving the story, and even the show’s concept, to get lost. Some may make it through a full season, maybe even two. But it’s not long before audience’s fall away, because the story was weak or nonexistent.

This is a critical lesson for content marketers to heed. Funny for funny’s sake ain’t funny, or interesting. Instead, content must tell a story that draws audiences in and means something to them. The humor can complement the content – not encompass it.

Curate Content From Your Experiences

One especially memorable episode of “The Middle” involves toenails. Yep, I said toenails. Frankie is so engrossed in a TV show that she grabs a potato chip bag that’s on the coffee table and starts chomping down. Unfortunately, the bag contains nothing but the freshly clipped toenails of her oldest son, Axl, played by Charlie McDermott. From here, mayhem ensues. Another fun episode involves Frankie and husband Mike, played by Neil Flynn, going online to buy a dining room set for a bargain. When it’s delivered, they learn it was such a great deal because it’s doll furniture.

While it may seem like these storylines are pulled out of thin air by the creative minds of screenwriters, that’s not the case at all. Instead, “The Middle” creators DeAnn Heline and Eileen Eisler took real stories that their cast and crew swapped over the years and tweaked them to create TV gold. The toenail incident happened to a family member of one of the show’s hairdressers. And the doll furniture? That came from Patricia Heaton’s story of how her husband went online to order a set of gazing balls for the garden. The picture showed just what he wanted. But upon delivery, he found he had ordered three marbles that fit in the palm of his hand.

Heline and Eisler masterfully took the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction approach to pack their show’s storylines. They often curated ideas from everyday life. This creative, yet common sense, approach is one that content marketers (especially those who want to create comedic content!) can draw inspiration from. When you’re brainstorming and planning content, look at your own life or the lives of friends, family members, and colleagues. You never know when those watercooler stories or seemingly far-fetched adventures can be re-worked into content marketing gold.

Be Relatable

“The Middle” creators set their show in the fictious small town of Orson, Indiana. Along with the family was the sixth character that embodied all the recurring characters, guest characters, and even the locations. Both Eisler and Heline were from the Midwest and referred to this sitcom as their love-letter to the region.

But “The Middle’s” appeal extended way beyond the Midwest. It’s an ode to small-town life audiences across the world relate to. Quite often, fans took to social media to share how an episode was eerily similar to an experience they had. Or even that a character was just like their own kid, parent, or neighbor.

One of the most endearing and relatable characters from “The Middle” is Sue Heck, played by Eden Sher. This character breaks the mold of the middle child by getting the least amount of attention from anyone. Yet she has the most determined and optimistic attitude – direct contrasts to those of her family. Things don’t always work out, but she tries and tries again. She’s so beloved that plans are in the works for a spinoff featuring Sue navigating young adulthood, even as the original show lives on in syndication.

This relatability endeared “The Middle” and its characters to its legion of loyal fans. It’s definitely a lesson that content marketers should learn from. In today’s climate, the only way to be successful in content marketing is to be relatable. Doing so enables audiences to interact comfortably. From there, they build a relationship with you, come to rely on you as an industry authority, share your content, seek your services, and recommend them. Before you know it, you’ve set yourself up for growth, thanks, in part, to your authenticity and relatability.


Cathy H has years of well-rounded experience in the writing field. Since transitioning from the newspaper industry, she has written countless pieces for clients that include content for blogs/articles, website landing pages, apps, press releases, and email newsletters. While her versatility enables Cathy to adapt her tone to the need, her favorite projects are those that add a dash of fun.

Take A Dive into the Springs that Call Volusia County, Florida Home

ERA Grizzard Real Estate

Volusia County is ideally situated in the eastern section of Florida. Rich with arts, entertainment, and recreation, it has a lot to offer. But the real jewel of Volusia County is its four beautiful springs.

Peppered throughout the county, Blue Spring, Green Springs, DeLeon Springs, and Gemini Springs are distinct treasures in their own right and quite enticing for those lucky enough to make Volusia County their home.

Here’s a look at the area’s unique springs, the sought-after recreation they offer, and the way of life it boasts for Volusia County Residents.

Blue Spring

manatees in the st johns river near deland florida

Blue Spring is the largest spring on the St. Johns River. Located in the 2,600-acre Blue Spring State Park in Orange City, it’s also the winter home of West Indian Manatees and a designated manatee refuge.

During swimming season, water enthusiasts enjoy the spring’s comfortable 73-degree water by swimming, scuba diving, and snorkeling. They can also take advantage of the fishing, boating, and canoeing opportunities, as well as river-boat tours.

The aforementioned hundreds of manatees make for ample wildlife watching from the spring’s overlook from mid-November through March. Visitors can also take self-guided tours of the historic Thursby House, erected in 1872 in the heyday of the steamboat era or enjoy the picnic areas and three covered pavilions.

Blue Spring makes Volusia County an even better place to call home by allowing residents the chance to see the wonder of wildlife migration in action. Plus, the watersport activities set in the Blue Spring and St. John River are just the thing for an invigorating outing with family and friends.

Green Springs


Located in Enterprise, Green Springs is one of Florida’s few green sulfur springs. It’s nestled in Green Springs Park, which includes 36 acres of natural beauty that can be enjoyed from any of the overlooks and paved nature trails. With free admission and dawn to dusk operating hours, it’s a great place to spend the day from eating at a picnic pavilion or letting the kids enjoy the playground.


Green Springs’ own history is interwoven with that of Volusia County that dates back to early Native American settlers, including the Seminoles and Mayaca, who believed the spring water had healing powers and deemed the land surrounding it as sacred. In 1841, Cornelius Taylor shared that belief and built one of Florida’s original health spas, a hotel, so visitors could benefit from the sulfur springs.

Green Springs enhances Volusia County by providing residents with a place to enjoy the outdoors and become enthralled by both the mystique and history of the springs’ gentle sulfur waters.

DeLeon Springs

deleon springs florida

Located in both the municipality and state park that sport their namesake, DeLeon Springs are cascading springs that produce 19 million gallons of water every day at a year-round 72-degree temperature.

Visitors can access the water by swimmer’s lift, ramp, or stairs. Swimming and limited access snorkeling and scuba diving are also available. Rent out canoes, kayaks, and paddle-boats for exploring the 22,000-acre Lake Woodruff National Wildlife Refuge. Another option is to learn about the Refuge in a 50-minute guided boat tour.


The 625-acre park overlooking the water affords the opportunity for hiking, birding, picnicking, and enjoying the playground. There’s lots of natural beauty to love, including a 600-year-old cypress tree and butterfly garden with hundreds of plants attracting the migrating creatures.

Visitors can also get a literal taste of history at the on-site Sugar Mill Restaurant in a replica of the actual 1830s sugar mill that’s is 100 years old. It’s fun for all ages to cook your own pancakes right at your table!

With a rich history, natural beauty, and activities that encourage lots of memory making, DeLeon Springs makes Volusia County an even better place to call home.

Gemini Springs

gemini springs

Located in DeLand, FL Gemini Springs is true to its name with a pair of springs that generate 6.5 million gallons of sparkling, clear water every day. It’s great for fishing on the dock (with a freshwater fishing permit), but the 210-acre Gemini Springs Park has lots of other offerings for visitors, too.

The free park is open sunrise to sunset and sports a dog park and camping. Plus, the numerous walkways and trails for biking and walking allow ample opportunity to observe the natural wildlife and vegetation.

Just down the road from Gemini Springs is the town of Enterprise. In Florida’s frontier days, it was teeming with government and commerce activity. Nineteenth-century farming operations at Gemini Springs included citrus, timber, and making turpentine from longleaf pine trees.

The wealth of history and opportunity to exercise in a beautiful natural setting makes Gemini Springs just one more reason outdoor enthusiasts should call Volusia County home.