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Monthly Archives April 2012

It’s National Hairball Awareness Day – really!

IMG_2250Some of you may already know how I celebrated it this year – by making Lady Gaga out of cat fur (and a wee bit of doggeh fluff too). It’s been quite a hit on Fuze amazingly enough!!!

But seriously, it’s that time of year when cats shed like crazy and when they groom themselves, they can swallow a significant amount of fur; hence the oh-so-delightufl hairballs.

There are two ways to deal with hairballs – by feeding cats “hairball formula” food to deal with the fur once it’s ingested or prevent them in the first place by grooming your cat frequently. You could also shave your cat but that would be rather undignified for all involved. 

If you want to see some of the other hairball creations, just hop on over to Furminator’s Facebook page for the “fur creature” celebrity themed contest. There’s bound to be someone that tickles your fancy over there.

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Guest Post: dog and cat wellness questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney

It’s Pet Wellness Month at Embrace so we asked the Embrace Facebook fans what they would Dr Patrick Mahaney to answer and here are the questions we selected to discuss:

  1. Sara: Do flea/tick and heartworm preventatives really have to be given every month? It seems like they might last longer but companies would still recommend them for every month to sell
    more product.
  2. Andrea: Why do I have to test my dog every year for heartworms if I give her her heartworm preventive all year?
  3. Amy: Shortage of Interceptor/Sentinel for herding breeds at risk of MDR1 gene mutation…this is my concern.
  4. Laura: Would it be a good idea to have my vet test my cat’s blood every wellness visit just in case? If so, what would they test?
  5. Lea: how to pick a vet that’s right for you? Anything you’d specifically recommend apart from location?

The answers are all in the recording below:

Laura Bennett & Dr Patrick Mahaney Wellness Q&A

Links Dr P mentioned on MRD1:

Related Posts:
April is Wellness Month at Embrace Pet Insurance
Guest Post: annual vet visits are more than vaccinations
The Best Wellness Product in Pet Insurance
When you aren’t sure if you need to go to the veterinary emergency room or not
Guest Post: dog and cat wellness questions with Dr Patrick Mahaney

Other posts by Dr Patrick Mahaney


Dr Patrick Mahaney Dr. Mahaney is a veterinarian from the University of Pennsylvania and a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist, having been inspired by his own chronic pain
from Intervertebral Disc Disease to provide accupuncture to his veterinary clients. In addition to Dr Mahaney’s house call integrative
veterinary medicine business, California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, he sees patients on an in-clinic basis at Veterinary Cancer Group in Culver City, CA.

Dr Mahaney writes a veterinary column (Patrick’s Blog) for and contributes to a variety of media, including Perez Hilton’s, Fido Friendly, Veterinary Practice News, Healthy Pets and People with Dr Patrick on, and MSNBC Sunday with Alex Witt and Career Day. His first book, The Uncomfortable Vet, will be available in 2012 through Havenhurst Books.


What to Move and What not to Move

Title: What to Move and What not to Move

What to move relocation guideWhen you decide to move, it can be a great motivation to simplify your life and leave behind the things that are weighing you down, whether you are moving your home or your office. However, your spouse, your kids and your boss will eventually find you if you leave them behind. Let’s face it, there are items you need in your new place, and possessions you’re better off without: the key to a successful move is knowing the difference.

Purge the Clutter

When moving your home, according to, if you don’t watch it, wear it or use it, you probably don’t need it. For a business move, the same logic applies–if you haven’t used the 2-hole punch since you stopped using 2 ring binders in 1973, you can safely leave it behind. Keep in mind that some larger pieces are cheaper to buy new than to move.

Get a Scanner

A security manager once showed me his file cabinet, wherein there was an invoice for a flag that his predecessor’s predecessor’s predecessor bought in 1978. The flag was retired 30 years ago; the invoice was not. Part of the reason for this is that he never really had to move his office. Moving can be an excellent time to organize corporate documents that would otherwise take over our workspace.

Of course it’s hard to know what can be tossed and what must be saved. That same security manager had 30 years of incident reports that he accessed regularly to create trend data, answer safety questions, or respond to legal inquiries. Just because he had to save the forms, though, doesn’t mean he had to save the hard copy. That cabinet full of notebooks filled with forms would probably fit on a single DVD or flash drive, or better yet, they could be saved with online storage. If anything, it might make his data analysis easier. There are a few forms that would be absolutely necessary to keep in his case, at least for a year or two–specifically those dealing with medical records or criminal acts, but even those could be scanned and destroyed after a few years.

Make Digital Copies

Most experts agree that you only need most financial documents for seven years; which is the length of time during which the IRS can legally notice all the illegal deductions you’ve been taking and call for an audit. Even for those documents, however, the IRS doesn’t necessarily need the paper copies–a scanned copy will be just fine for the IRS in most cases, according to MSN Money. A digital copy takes up less space and can be password protected, while a printed copy could easily be lost or stolen–it could even be plucked from the garbage if you fail to shred it when you throw it out. Again, with online storage you could completely remove these documents from your home or business for safety.

A move can be stressful, whether it’s a residential or business move, but it can be a great opportunity to streamline your life, too. Being judicious about what you bring with you and using modern technology to turn paper documents into digital files can make your new space less cluttered and more efficient.

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Created By: AdminELITE
Last Modified: April 19 2012 15:16
Categories: Prepare for a Move, Relocation Expert, Guest Blogger, Moving Tips
Tags: diy moving, moving tips, moving guide, junk removal

Simple Self Moving Tips from our Newest Employee

Title: Simple Self Moving Tips from our Newest Employee

Things I Learned About RelocationSometimes it’s not so easy for long term employees and industry professionals to think like a customer. After all, our job is to know everything there is to know about the self moving industry. From moving labor to self move planning and transportation solutions, it is our job to be experts. While this can be a great thing, it can also hinder our ability to see the relocation process from a customers point of view.

This has never been more apparent than this past week when our newest employee Michelle began working for us. As someone without much relocation experience, Michelle asked a lot of questions during her training and also observed a lot about our customer interactions. We felt that her lack of relocation experience could actually be used as a learning tool to help us see things we might not otherwise have seen. In addition to helping us analyze our processes, Michelle also noticed a lot of customer oriented trends which she has written about to help you successfully plan, prepare and execute your move.

  1. Furniture Pads: An inexpensive way to protect your household items during a move would be by renting furniture pads. It is great preventative measure to protect your belongings and there is no limit to how many can be used. Most people (including myself) don’t think about this when planning their move.
  2. Affordable Self Moving: Many people underestimate just how affordable a self move really can be. Having friends help could add up when paying for drinks, lunch, etc. Time is also a key issue when having a self move done with friends. An experienced mover can get the job done in half the time and the right way.
  3. Extra Fees: Some rental truck companies purposely place a hand truck in the moving truck so you can use it, but it comes with an additional fee. This prices for these ‘add-on’ expenses can quickly add up and eliminate your DIY savings. Our movers come with a hand truck, floor dolly and standard tools and NO additional fees are tacked on.
  4. Planning: When moving it is important to plan, plan, plan. Reserve the truck early, order any additional moving supplies, and make sure any last minute errands can be done prior to moving day. Waiting until the same day to rent a truck and hire movers only cause added stress. We receive many last minute load and unload requests, even though we were able to service about 99% of them, it would be nice if we could help everyone. Giving the proper notice can help the movers and the customer make moving day go as smooth as possible.
  5. On-Site Moves: I have been a victim of couch moving injuries in the past and it is not nice. Re-arranging and organizing your home can also be done with on-site help from labor movers like Elite. You do not have to be physically moving to another location to hire moving labor. Our movers can help stage your furniture when trying to sell your home, clear out an old couch for a new one, and even help pack your old items when spring cleaning or downsizing. Renovating is also very common and we can accommodate the homeowners by moving their items to the garage, basement or a POD in the driveway. When the renovation is complete, just give us a call and we will put all of the furniture back in the proper places.
  6. Piano Moving: A lot more goes into moving with a piano than most people realize. Access conditions, for example, play a huge role when moving a piano and I don’t think most people really put much thought into it. How many steps must the piano be moved up/down? This includes any steps outside to get to the home which many people forget about. Another issue I have witnessed is that some people really underestimate the weight of their piano. Most pianos are at least 250lbs, many are much heavier. To account for the weight variation we have specific crew size requirements that we must adhere to for different piano types. If you are moving with a piano please take a moment to review our piano policy for more information.

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Created By: AdminELITE
Last Modified: March 28 2012 10:44
Categories: Moving Services, How To, Prepare for a Move, Relocation Expert, Moving Tips
Tags: self service moving, diy moving, moving tips, moving guide, furniture pads, mover

Do You Need Insurance When Transporting Your Vehicle?

Today’s guest post comes from A1 Auto Transport, an online portal of auto transportation companies.

When you are transporting your vehicle, there are a number of considerations to be had. From clearing your vehicle of personal effects to scheduling delivery and pick-up times, the more information you get from your auto transport company, the more informed a consumer you will be.

One of the more important questions to ask an auto transport company is whether or not they have the proper insurance to transport your vehicle, and the DOT is a good place to check. After all, while you would like to hope that there won’t be an incident while the company is transporting your car, things do happen. And should something happen to your car, you want to ensure that the company can at least take care of an expenses associated with the damage.

Some auto transport companies may try to sell you additional insurance; however, these extra products are just that: additional sales tools that might give you more peace of mind, but will also cost you additional monies. The company’s insurance and your personal auto insurance is plenty of protection to cover your vehicle should anything go wrong with it during the transport process. Inform your insurance company that your car is being transported and give them information on the process and company being used. Informing your insurance company ahead of time ensures that they are aware of the situation, and can be prepared to file a claim should something go wrong.

If an auto transport company uses high pressure tactics to try to get you to buy extra insurance, you might be wary and question them about what insurance they have on their transport vehicles and drivers. If an auto transport company doesn’t have insurance, then keep shopping until you find another reputable company that does offer a policy and can provide the copies of paperwork to prove it.

Related posts:

  1. Auto shipping tips

How to Forward Mail to Your New Address with the US Post Office

This guest post was provided by, an online resource where you can find the information, products and moving coupons you need to streamline and save during a move.

Moving to a new home is a great opportunity to start fresh and leave behind the unwanted. However, the last things you want to leave behind are important documents, billing information and your favorite magazines! Ease the transition to your new home by making sure that your mail moves with you.

Since it can take up to 10 days for mail to start getting forwarded to your new address after you submit a change of address form, turn in your request two weeks before your moving date.

Where to Find a USPS Change of Address Form

If your moving to-do list is turning into a to-do novel, fear not. There are several ways to get your change of address with the US postal service squared away. Choose the option most convenient for your schedule and you’ll be able to cross at least one thing off that ever-growing list!

  • ·         Online: Easily the most convenient and quickest option, you can fill out a Change of Address form online for a $1 verification fee.
  • ·         At Your Local Post Office: Visit your local post office and fill out PS Form 3575—Change of Address. You can also print it beforehand and bring it with you.
  • ·         By Mail: Send Form 3575 to the address provided.
  • ·         By Phone: Call 1-800-ASK-USPS to complete your address change over the phone. The $1 verification fee will apply.

Updating or Cancelling Your Change of Address

Maybe your new living situation falls through, or maybe you entered your new address incorrectly the first time—after all, it’s hard to remember a zip code when you’ve got moving boxes, heavy furniture and new neighbors on your mind! Either way, it’s an easy process to update or cancel your change of address with the US Postal Service.

If you have internet access, you can simply go online to the Change of Address page and click “Get started on” Next, click on “Need to view, update or cancel a Change of Address order you already submitted?” (located under the “Click here to begin” button). After verifying your zip code and confirmation number, you’ll be able to make any changes or cancellations necessary. You can also do this over the phone (1-800-275-8777) or by filling out a form at your local post office.

Related posts:

  1. Common Moving Mistakes

An insured assaulted in a parking lot and placed in the trunk of his car may be entitled to benefits under his automobile insruance policy

The plaintiff was successful in arguing that injuries sustained during an assault in which the assailants made use of his vehicle were injuries that arose directly from the use or operation of the vehicle.

Martin v. 2064324 Ontario Inc., [2011] O.J. No. 5471, December 5, 2011, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, D.K. Gray J.

The plaintiff was assaulted and injured by two unknown assailants. In the course of the assault, the assailants made use of the plaintiff’s vehicle. The plaintiff brought an action against multiple defendants, including his own insurer under the unidentified motorist provisions of his policy and he also brought a claim for statutory accident benefits. The insurer brought a motion for summary judgment on the basis the plaintiff’s injuries did not arise from the use or operation of the automobile, but rather, the assault.

The plaintiff was assaulted when he was loading his vehicle in a parking lot. The assailants first forced him into the trunk of his vehicle, but then forced him into the front seat to assist in shifting the gears of the car. They drove to another parking lot and the plaintiff was pulled from the car and the assault continued. The vehicle was driven over the plaintiff’s foot; whether this was accidental or deliberate was not clear. The assailants then drove off in the vehicle and it was later found abandoned nearby.

In order to be eligible for statutory accident benefits the plaintiff had to be able to show the injuries arose directly out of the use or operation of the motor vehicle. For a claim under the unidentified motorist provisions it had to be shown the injuries arose directly or indirectly from the use or operation of a motor vehicle. The test for statutory accident benefits was considered first by the court as it was the more strict of the two.

In Amos v. ICBC, [1995] 3 S.C.R. 405, the Supreme Court of Canada established a two-part test to determine whether an injury arises out of the use or operation of an automobile. The first part, the “purpose test”, asked:

1.         Did the accident result from the ordinary and well-known activities to which automobiles are put?

In this case the insurer conceded that the “purpose test” had been met.

The second part of the test addresses the issue of causation. Following Amos the wording of the statutory accident benefit provisions in Ontario was amended and subsequent caselaw established a narrower “causation test” applicable to statutory accident benefits in that province as follows:

2.         Is there a direct or proximate relationship between the plaintiff’s injuries and the ownership, use or operation of his vehicle or is the connection between the injuries and the ownership, use or operation of the vehicle, indirect or merely incidental or fortuitous?

The court concluded that the injuries caused to the plaintiff in this case were directly connected to the use and operation of his vehicle. He was forced to assist one of the assailants in driving the car while the assaults were being committed; the car was driven to another parking lot where the assaults were continued; and the car was directly used to commit one of the assaults, namely, driving over his foot. As a result of this conclusion regarding the statutory accident benefits claim, there was no doubt that the plaintiff’s claim under the unidentified motorist provision could also be maintained. In the result, the court held the plaintiff’s injuries had occurred as a result of an “accident” as defined in statutory accident benefits provisions, and arose directly or indirectly from the use of operation of his automobile.

This case was digested by Emily M. Williamson and edited by David W. Pilley of Harper Grey LLP.

Relatives living in a separate and distinct household may not be entitled to fire insurance from the non resident house

An application seeking a declaration that the defendant was an unnamed insured under the policy was dismissed when it was shown that the defendant, who was a relative of the insureds, maintained a separate and distinct household from the insureds.

Jomaa v. Jomaa, [2011] O.J. No. 5468, December 2, 2011, Ontario Superior Court of Justice, D.J. Power J.

This was a case in which the plaintiff’s insurer brought a subrogated action in relation to extensive fire and water damage caused to a two-unit residential property owned by the plaintiff insureds. The named insureds were Mohamad Jomaa, Mohamad’s wife, Monira Jomaa-Kayhan, and Samir Olleik, who had formerly been married to Mohamad’s sister, Rima. The defendant was Mohamad and Rima’s brother, Issam Jomaa. This was an application by Issam seeking a declaration that he was an unnamed insured under the plaintiffs’ insurance policy and, therefore, could not be named as a defendant in the action. At issue was whether Issam was “living in the same household” as any of the plaintiffs at the time of the loss so as to bring him within the definition of “Insured” under the policy.

The policy provided as follows:

‘INSURED’ means the person(s) named as Insured on the ‘Declaration Page’ and, while living in the same household:

(a) his or her spouse;

(b)   the relatives of either; and

(c)   any person under twenty-one (21) in their care.

The policy did not define the term “while living in the same household.”

The property at issue consisted of two self-contained apartments in one building. When the plaintiffs initially purchased the property, Samir lived in the lower apartment with his then wife and Mohamad and Monira lived in the upper apartment. Later on, Mohamad and Monira moved out and Issam moved into the upper apartment to look after Mohamad and Issam’s mother, who later passed away. At the time of the fire, Issam lived in the apartment with his wife and child and did not share household obligations with any of the named insureds. At no time did Issam pay rent for living in the apartment. The evidence was unclear whether Samir was living in the lower apartment at the time of the fire.

The case authority on the issue established that the word “household” must be given a flexible meaning but could be defined as “… a collective group living in a home, acknowledging the authority of a head, the members of which, with few exceptions, are bound by marriage, blood, affinity or other bond, between whom there is an intimacy and by whom there is felt a concern with and an interest in the life of all that gives it a unity.” The motions judge found no basis upon which to conclude the defendant was an unnamed Insured. In the result, the plaintiffs were entitled to a declaration that they could continue with the action against the defendant, as he was not an unnamed insured under the policy.


This case was digested by Emily M. Williamson and edited by David W. Pilley of Harper Grey LLP.


Outlive Your Term Life Insurance Policy: Be Grateful

Term Life Insurance and GratitudeIt turns out giving thanks is good for your health. Research shows that appreciating what you have may be the key to living a healthier, happier life. Below are some ways that feeling grateful can improve your health.

Sleep Better

Researchers at the University of Manchester in England studied more than 400 subjects (40 percent of which had sleep disorders) and found that those who felt more grateful also reported more positive thoughts and feelings, which allowed them to fall asleep faster and improved their overall quality of sleep. The research suggests that taking just a few minutes before bed to write down or say aloud a few things you’re grateful for might help you fall into a deep slumber.

Avoid Depression

According to a recent study in Human Development and Family Studies at Kent State University, increasing your level of life satisfaction may be as easy as writing a letter of gratitude. The study asked subjects to write a meaningful letter of gratitude to anyone they wanted. The more letters people wrote, the less they reported feeling symptoms of depression, and they noted feeling happier and more satisfied with life overall. If you are looking to increase your wellbeing and decrease depression, take 15 minutes three times over three weeks and write letters of gratitude to someone. There is a cumulative effect, too. If you write over time, you’ll feel happier, you’ll feel more satisfied and if you’re suffering from depression, your symptoms will decrease.

Strengthen Bonds

A 2010 study published in the journal Personal Relationships found that taking the time to focus on the positive gestures your partner makes can help you feel more connected and satisfied in your relationship. Simply taking a few minutes each day to tell your partner one thing you appreciate about them can go a long way towards strengthening your bond. And a healthy relationship can go a long way in lengthening your lifespan.

Improve Mental Health

Feeling grateful can positively influence your wellbeing and quality of life, according to a 2007 study done by researchers at the University of California. A study tested recent organ recipients who were divided into two groups. One group kept routine daily notes about medication side-effects, how they felt about life overall, how connected they were to others, and how they felt about the upcoming day. The other group answered the same questions but were also asked to list five things or people they were grateful for each day and why. At the end of 21 days, the group that showed gratitude had improved their mental health and wellbeing scores, while the scores in the control group declined. The researchers say feelings of gratitude may distract from the challenges that a chronic medical condition can create.

Take time to recognize what you’re grateful for whether it’s in a journal, to your partner or simply consciously noting it. This can help improve your overall health and even to outlive your term life insurance policy.

Diet Changes For Healthy Skin

Term Life Insurance and Healthy SkinWhat you put into your body is going to have an impact on how your body looks and feels. If you consume foods that are healthy for you then your body is going to respond by looking and feeling healthier. This is also true of your skin. People who want to have skin that looks young and supple and that has that healthy natural glow need to start by paying attention to what types of foods they are putting into their bodies. Below are a few tips for a healthy skin diet.


Stay Hydrated

Fluids keep your skin hydrated and help flush toxins. The number one thing that you can put into your body if you want great skin is water. The more water you drink, the more you flush all of the other stuff out of your body and the healthier your skin is going to look. When you’re not drinking water, you should be drinking tea. Tea has many different health benefits including benefits for the skin. Avoid adding sugar or milk to it if you want the best benefits for your skin.


Eat Citrus

Citrus fruits play an important role in keeping your skin looking young. That’s because the antioxidant Vitamin C found in citrus is involved in the formation of collagen, a protein that binds cells and tissues together. In other words, collagen helps keep your skin firm and hence reduces wrinkling. The more Vitamin C-rich foods such as oranges, grapefruit, kiwis, strawberries, red bell peppers, and broccoli in your diet the better your skin will be.


Eat Plants

There are pleanty of health reasons to add fruits and vegetables to your diet. Great skin is one of them. Silica found in plant-based foods can help maintain the elasticity of your skin and improve your complexion. What you probably don’t know is that silica is often found in the parts of the fruit or vegetable that are often discarded such as the strings and peels. So if possible, enjoy the whole fruit and vegetable, like cucumber skin and the strings of celery and asparagus.


Switch Your Fats

For nice skin you should switch out the bad fats in your diet, like saturated and trans fat, and replace them with good fats. Omega 3 fatty acids from fish sources can help the appearance and feel of your skin as well as reduce your risk for skin cancer. Try two servings of salmon a week for desired effect. Another great source of fat for your skin is linoleic acid. It prevents dry, flaky skin and can be found in vegetable oils like safflower oil, sunflower oil and olive oil.


Replace Your Carbs

Switching your refined carbohydrate foods like white bread, cookies and pasta with their whole grain counterparts can have a huge affect on your skin. Not only do whole grains provide a lot more anti-aging antioxidants, they also provide the key element of a healthy skin diet, which is fiber. A high-fiber diet with lots of whole grains can help eliminate toxins and act as a detoxifying agent for your body. It is recommended that you eat 35 grams of fiber each day for better skin.

Luckily, what is good for the skin is good for the rest of the body. Follow the above tips and you should be on your way to healthier looking skin and a healthier feeling you. And the healthier you are, the more you will save on a term life insurance policy. Win, win!