Should you Always Dispute Mistakes on Your Credit Report?

When it comes to your credit, you might think it’s fine and not pay it too much attention until you need to apply for a loan or buy a car. Then your credit score will become very important to you. You have access to get a free copy of your credit report from all three bureaus once and year and you should use that opportunity to make sure it’s correct. If there are any mistakes on your credit report, then you should dispute them because they are effecting your score.


There are also free credit card monitoring websites out there you can use to check in on things from time to time. You want to make sure you are getting the most accurate report so that your score is the best it can be. Don’t just think this kind of inconsistency is going to go away. If it’s on your credit, then it will continue to be there until something is done about it.


When your credit is lower than you think it should be then you should look at your credit report for mistakes. These inaccurate things on your credit report can be the reason your score looks so low. You might wonder if you should dispute the wrong information on your credit report, and you definitely should. It’s worth getting the things that are wrong off of your record and raising the score for a number of reasons.


Monitoring your Score


It’s important to monitor your credit score and make sure everything on it is accurate. If there is something on any of your three credit reports with Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian then you need to contact each of them or the one with incorrect information and start working on changing it. This can be saying you paid something late or took out an account you didn’t.


This type of monitoring will also allow you to see if anyone has stolen your identity or is using your information to make any type of purchases. If someone has your information and you catch it in time you can prevent devastating financial problems and make sure you are only seeing expenses, you have personally made. If you are monitoring your credit regularly then the people trying to pretend to be you don’t stand a chance.


How do You Dispute Incorrect Charges?


When you are ready to dispute unfair charges then you should contact both the credit bureau the charge is on and the company that has the incorrect charges. This way you are directly in contact with the issue. The best way to dispute a charge is by writing it down. If you find a problem, then you need to write a letter. There is a form you can use to dispute the charges on the credit bureau’s website, but that is not the most reliable way to get things done. Make sure you hold on to all complaint information and any letters are copied so you have evidence in case you have to continue to dispute after the initial contact. This will give you a better chance of getting the incorrect charge taken off your credit.



It’s Time to Stop Eating Bagged Salads

You could say its the convenience that makes busy and rushed people reach out for bagged salads. After all, who doesn’t appreciate taking out washed lettuce leaves and peeled and cut carrots to eat immediately with your meal? No preparation required – just buy and eat.

But have you stopped to consider how these salads are washed? When you do research, you will find that over the years, a number of people have died and many have become violently ill from eating bagged fresh lettuce and spinach contaminated with E. coli bacteria. Bacterial outbreaks such as these highlight the potential dangers of eating bagged vegetables, and should come as a special warning to pregnant women.

The Treatment Process is Killing Us

It just happens that people are becoming more health conscious, and there is a demand for ‘fresh, healthy salads’ which are ready to eat. Salad however, is considered to be one of the products most likely to cause food-related illness. The reason for this is that they are often grown in soils full of insecticides, and many pathogens can only be killed by heat or strong detergents such as chlorine. Plain water just won’t cut it.

There’s is Evidence of Illness Everywhere


Recently in Ohio in the USA, there was a packet of salad contaminated with Listeria. The salads were sold under various brand names and were withdrawn from stores where they were being sold. Twelve people became seriously ill and were hospitalized, having been infected with genetically related germs.

It has been estimated that Listeria puts about 1,600 people into hospital each year and that many of them die as a result. People who are at risk are those with weak immune systems, the old and the very young and pregnant women.
If you have had the misfortune of eating bagged salads likes those hailing from the Ohio facility, you too might have experienced some of the unpleasant symptoms that come from eating contaminated food.

We’ve All had These Symptoms, but they’re Getting Worse

It is frightening to realize that symptoms can develop up to 2 months after eating contaminated food, but mostly they develop within a week already. Symptoms can include loss of balance, headache, convulsions, muscle aches and fever, stiff neck and confusion. When you consider that some of these salads are soaked in unhealthy levels of chlorine to get rid of bacteria, you can begin to understand why people are getting so sick.

Who knows what else goes on before they are bagged such as the cleanliness of the hands or the gloves that are used to cut up some of the fruits and vegetables that are bagged. Enough to make you shudder and immediately start looking at growing your own stuff if at all possible. Certainly you should be looking at washing these salads thoroughly yourself before eating them.

Consider Your Drinking Now, Not Later, If You’re Trying to Get Pregnant

Yes, health benefits of alcohol have been reported, but these benefits are for a moderate alcohol intake. But having said that, the effect of alcohol on individuals varies widely, so it is not always beneficial for everyone, like pregnant women as an example. Alcohol abuse can lead to malnutrition, gastritis, insomnia, fetal alcohol poisoning, domestic violence and death.


While moderate drinking for those who aren’t pregnant, is associated with a lower risk for coronary heart disease, high levels of alcohol can increase your risk of stroke, violence, suicide, cancers, heart disease and hypertension.

Looking after Your Baby during the Critical Months

When you’re pregnant, you may become tired of everyone bombarding you with what do do and what not to do. There is also plenty of information in magazines and on the Internet about pregnancy or even trying to fall pregnant. Everyone of them emphasizes that if you choose to ignore a lot of information, the ‘refraining from alcohol‘ bit is surely the one snippet of information you should not ignore. In the UK the Department of Health doesn’t suggest alcohol in moderation, they say that pregnant women, or women trying for a baby, should avoid alcohol altogether – period.

Birth Defects and even Mental Problems

If you’re going to ignore all warnings and go ahead with drinking when you’re pregnant, you need to know that a 175ml wine glass which is considered as standard, contains 2 units of alcohol. Drinking more than 2 units a week is already putting your baby’s health at serious risk.

The truth is that when you drink, the alcohol goes from your bloodstream through the placenta and directly into your baby’s blood. Alcohol ‘fed’ to a unborn baby can have a harmful effect on its development.

Do serious research on alcohol and pregnancy and you will find that small birth weight, premature birth, stillbirth, miscarriage as well as Foetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) are all risks you face if you insist on drinking while you’re pregnant. Also, if you’re trying to have a baby, you should stop drinking too, as alcohol can reduce fertility in men and women alike. If you’re trying to have a baby, certainly your partner will also have to cut down on their drinking too.

Prenatal Care

When you know for certain that you are pregnant, its time to take extra good care of yourself so that you and your baby will be healthy. See a doctor as soon as possible to begin getting decent prenatal care.

During your first visit, you’re once again going to be asked lots of questions and the doctor will tell you that smoking, drinking alcohol, and taking drugs when you are pregnant are going to put you and your baby at risk. The doctor will tell you that it’s not safe to drink any amount of alcohol when you are pregnant, and in fairness to the baby, to stop drinking immediately to avoid walking around for the rest of your life with your secret shame.


To Get the Tastiest Parm for Your Money, Buy Close to the Rind


Most people think that the as long as they are able to buy the real Parmigiano-Reggiano, they think that they are getting the best parmesan they can buy with their cash. However, few only know that the best and tastiest parmesan turns out to be those closest to the rind. The secret here and the reason why the tastiest parmesan are located closest to the rind are found in the tyrosine crystals. It is said to be so since the cheese here is formed for ages.


It is not only the because America’s Test Kitchen good folks count so many crystals found on the outer pieces, the testers of the taste of the cheese found out that these pieces of cheese are pleasantly crumbly, nutty, and complex all at the same time. On the other hand, the tastes testers say that cheese which are found or taken from the middle of the wheel have a plastic-y texture and taste milder and smoother.


Commandments On How To Handle Cheese


Below are just some of the commandments which you can consider in buying cheese close to the rind so that you will preserve its taste.


Never Return Partially Exposed And Unwrapped Cheese


It is a big no – no to return the partially exposed or unwrapped cheese into your refrigerator. Never leave those edges exposed when placed on your fridge. The moisture content of any cheese, especially the special ones, are carefully composed and the moment it entered your home you might want to try and give the cheese the same storage condition it had before you bought it from the closest rind. Leaving it unwrapped and edges exposed are a recipe for a hard as a rock, dried-out, and flavor sapped rind. Also, when you expose the edges, it will be prone to absorbing the flavors or scent in your fridge.


Do Not Plastic Wrap It


This is a common mistake of cheese lovers. I know that this commandment is a pretty tough one but it will do your cheese some good. According to the author (Stephanie Stiavetti) of the famous Melt: the art of Macaroni and Cheese, “Cheese is a living, breathing thing, and without proper oxygen, it will suffocate. And your best bet is to wrap it in a finely porous material, such as cheese paper, parchment paper, or breathable plastic wrap made especially for cheese.” Research on some tips regarding cheese storage so that you won’t have trouble in letting your cheese stay tasty and fresh.


Never Freeze Fresh Cheese


A lot of people know that placing their cheese in the freezer will only destroy the taste, freshness, and essence of the cheese. When you place your cheese in the freezer, it will gather certain form of moisture made by ice crystals which can surely disrupt the protein structure that your cheese has. If you really want to preserve your cheese in the freezer, just make sure that you wrap it with a paper, then a plastic, and followed by a tin foil.

Make Your Own Tonic Syrup for Better Tasting Cocktails

If you are looking for something to spice up your cocktail game, here is an easy to make tonic syrup. You can even customize it by simply adding different ingredients you deem special. One thing you should remember is that tonic goes great with vodka and gin. Chad Eschman of VinePair shares a little secret on his method in making killer and enjoyable tonic syrup for your cocktail game. What you will need is 1 and ½ cups of water, 1 and ½ teaspoons of your chopped and fresh Cinchona bark, and a cup of sugar (preferably cane sugar). Bring your 1 and ½ water to a boil in your saucepan. After boiling the water, add your 1 and ½ Cinchona bark into the saucepan along with the ingredients you deem special. Simmer for about 30 minutes and use your French Press in order to divide the liquid from your special ingredients. Seal it with your glass container and add your sugar, then shake everything up.


This recipe will make about Twelve (12) ounce or so of tonic syrup which is definitely enough to fill up 24 cocktails. Most people would insist on an additional citric acid to your cocktail. However, if you are serving your G&T with a piece of lime, adding citric acid will no longer be necessary. There are different variations when it comes to your classic G&T. Apart from this basic and easy setup, you are free to introduce and add other flavors to your cocktail. You can even use different sweeteners. When you are celebrating during the winter, you can make a winter tonic by simply adding a cinnamon, clove, orange peel, and sweeten it with a touch of turbinado sugar. On the other hand, when it is spring season, the best way is to add lemongrass, Meyer lemon, cardamom, and sweeten it with a touch of agave nectar.


What Is Cinchona?


Cinchona bark is the key ingredient in the bitterness of your tonic syrup. Quinine is its signature bitterness when made as an ingredient in your tonic syrup.


What Are The Benefits?


Aside from satisfying and enjoyable homemade tonic syrup, there are other benefits or tons of reasons why you should make your own syrup. One reason is that it takes a little of your time and it is easy to make. Second, you can get pretty much high-quality tonic syrup compared to those being sold in the market which has high prices. You can also use your pennies to buy more vodka and gin instead of spending it in buying that expensive tonic syrup. Third, you can even customize your drink by adding special ingredients you want and according to the likes of your visitors or friends. Fourth, you will never again carry those heavy bottles or cans of tonic from the grocery store to your home. It can even give more space for you to buy beers and wines. Fifth, it will give a good impression on your part because you took time in making it for the sake of the party and your visitors.





In Strangers We Trust: The Power of Online Customer Reviews

Reviews are arguably the most powerful tool that can make or break products and companies in this day and technological age. How often do you as a consumer ignore the 1 star warning of a potential product and continue to purchase anyway? The days of the high street are nearing an end, as are the days of trawling through many different shops to find the best price and product. now it’s all done online. But with this comes a risk in that we take the word of complete strangers about a product, we can’t physically see or touch it until it has been delivered.


Value Of Reviews


E-commerce today is extremely reliable on great customer reviews and comments, and happy customers will lead to new potential customers. This has always been true to an extent, even before the internet people wanted goods others had bought and were pleased with. However in an online presence, the seller has no real input until the customer has opened the port of communication. A staggering 88% of consumers state that they wholeheartedly trust online reviews, and would not bother trying a product with a negative review. This shows how valuable the online review has become. It is almost as if by reading these reviews, we are metaphorically finding the products’ great utilities and its flaws all by ourselves.


Impact Of Reviews


Now of course, by the time a consumer is reading the reviews of a product, they have already decided they need a product for a certain task, have selected some goods that are likely to fulfil this task, and are at the final hurdle of deciding which product to go for. This makes it pivotal for businesses to ensure that their products are receiving extremely high reviews and praise, otherwise the customer will instantly look at the other options available with possibly kinder reviews. Many consumers also state that even a business with good reviews, not necessarily excellent reviews, are much more appealing these days than those that don’t utilise a review system. In essence customer reviews have become increasingly influential in e-commerce, and are needed to win points over your rivals.


Customer Expectations


In reality, all customers are now expecting to see some kind of online review system in place whenever they visit a website to purchase any good or service. According to Yodle Insights, as much as 40% of consumers expect to see reviews when looking for products or services. By not implementing an online review system for your business in this day and age, you are potentially losing customers since many will not even consider purchasing an item without at least one or two reviews from previous buyers. Many companies have even began to offer sweepstakes for prizes for all that submit a review for recent purchases, as they know the power of an online reputation. On the other side of the coin, as consumers we would be foolish not to take heed of online reviews. They are there for free for us to read and examine, and can potentially save us from making a terrible purchasing mistake.

Make Positive Online Reviews Work For You

With more and more customers utilizing online reviews to help in their buying decisions, it should come as no surprise that making use of these good reviews is important to not only getting more, but also growing and thriving.


We have compiled a few tips below that should help you use these positive reviews to build on your success and see happy customers walking both in and out.


Make your website user-friendly


Given the amount of time we spend on our phones and computers, looking at reviews is taking up more and more of the web traffic. Users will often trust positive reviews online before buying and trying something for themselves. Positive online reviews work as well as recommendations from friends. Therefore, when your potential customers get to your website to do some extra research or find out where to go, they need to get that information quickly and not get frustrated.


It pays to have mobile-friendly sites that allow someone to click to call or find a menu or services with relative ease. After all, if they are quick to search your business from positive reviews, only to find it isn’t easy, they’ll abandon ship just as quickly and turn to someone else.


Positive Reviews Can Still Help You Grow and Change


Rarely are reviews so perfect that your business couldn’t possibly change for the better. Check both your negative and positive reviews for feedback that can help you make modifications immediately. Even the positive reviewers will talk about things that were good, not great, or acceptable and still count as a positive review.


By using both the negative and positive reviews to help modify your business, you turn the negative reviews into positive ones, and the positive reviews into fantastic ones that will sell your business like never before. All it takes is you checking out the places that you are reviewed on and responding to those posting reviews for them to clarify. It certainly cannot hurt you to ask your customers how you can be better. You aren’t directly asking for a positive review, but you’re making an effort to get one and believe me, it will not go unnoticed.


Make It Easy To Give Reviews


When you have a happy customer, you want to make it as easy as possible for them to write a positive review. You could have all of the happy customers in the world, but if they find it difficult to write a review, they might not write one at all, or worse, a negative one.


It is important then to make reviewing your business quick and painless. Make it accessible on plenty of review sites, Facebook, Twitter, and even in-person. The best reviewers are the ones who have no trouble getting to where they can give their opinion.



In the digital age, online reviews hae become incredibly important for how we choose where to take our business. Utilizing the negative reviews is easy, but making sure that you acknowledge and grow from the positive reviewers is just part of the challenge. Following these 3 guidelines, your business can be more productive and better reviewed!