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If you want to enjoy the best face & hair care, health, and household essentials, let us show you some of our favorites.

Keep Your Pool in Tip Top Condition all Year Around

Taking care of your pool is vital, not just to keep it looking good, but also to make sure it's safe to swim in. To do that, you'll need a variety of pool supplies. You can choose from the absolute bare minimum for pool maintenance, right through a high-level maintenance system. Either way, there are a wide variety of products to suit. You can even add in some extras such as a pool cover, ladder or slide.

The main priority is to keep the pool clean. The first step is to focus on the pool water. Generally, something like chlorine, which acts as an oxidizer and sanitizer, is more than sufficient. It keeps the water clean by burning up any organic material that's present, and this also helps to reduce the load for the pool filters. You also need to keep an eye on the pH balance of the water, as well as a level of alkalinity. A basic water testing kit can do this for you. It's also worth looking for calcium hardness and stability. If you find a problem using a testing kit, you can fix it immediately.

Swimming pools have interior walls and floors, and over time these will get dirty and slimy if you don't keep them clean. It's possible to buy a manual swimming pool vacuum system, which will do a perfectly good job as long as you're willing to put in the time to clean the pool. Nowadays, however, it makes sense to invest in an automatic pool cleaner, as they've become a great deal more affordable. Plus it means you can spend your leisure hours enjoying the pool, rather than vacuuming it!

Choosing the right pump for your pool is important, because if it's the wrong size, you'll either waste a lot of energy or it won't work properly. Generally, you should choose a pump capable of pumping the entire capacity of your swimming pool in about eight hours. You also need to choose a filtration system. The three main types are sand, cartridge and D.E. Talk to a swimming pool expert to find out more about the pros and cons of each one, or else get online and do your research there so that you can decide which one is right for you.

Most people want to heat their pool, so some extra pool supplies will be needed for that to happen. Pool heaters have become a lot more energy efficient, dependable and durable over the years. They've even become more high-tech, with some including advanced features like a freeze protector or an integrated timer.

A pool cover isn't an essential, but it's still a good idea. Even if you only use it in winter, it can be worthwhile. That's particularly the case if small children can gain access to the pool. If that's likely to happen, you should probably choose a pool cover that's quick and easy to put in place at any time.

When you first install a pool, it can feel you're spending a lot of money on pool supplies to get started. The good news is that things get much cheaper once you settle into a pattern of ongoing maintenance. If you choose wisely, however, your pool supplies will last a long time and give you a clean pool to enjoy for many years to come.


How to beautify the Concrete Floors in your Home?

Concrete is the foundation of every home building project. Its durability has made it crucial for constructing a home. But, if you do not like the plain, grey concrete floors in your home, there is help.

How to Beautify the Concrete Floors in your Home?

Concrete material has great functional value. However, when you compare it to other materials such as stone and paver, it has less decorative value. If you want your home to look beautiful, you can contact an experienced concrete contractor and choose any of the following choices for beautifying the concrete floors in your home:

Resurfaced Concrete

If you opt for resurfaced concrete, the concrete contractor will fix the cracks in the floor. Once the floor is repaired, he will use a polymer concrete resurfacing material and apply it on the existing floor of your basement, patio, driveway, etc. Choose an experienced contractor because he will be able to create different patterns such as flagstone, brick, wooden planks, etc., and beautify the concrete floors efficiently.

The technique of concrete resurfacing is useful only if the concrete floor is not damaged. If there are large cracks in the floor, the overlaying material will not remain robust for a long time.

Stained Concrete

If you choose to stain a concrete floor, you can transform a boring floor to a beautiful piece of art. The concrete contractor will stain a cured concrete floor with an array of different colors. Following are the most common types of stains used by the contractor:

Acid Stain - It is the most common type of stain used for staining a concrete floor. The acid reacts with the concrete material and gives a unique color to the floor.

Water-Based Acrylic Stain- If the floor has defects, you must opt for water-based acrylic stain because it can hide the cracks effectively.

Dyes - It offers variety of colors and enables you to customize the floor successfully.

Stamped Concrete

If you opt for stamping the concrete, it can help you to decorate the concrete floor beautifully. The concrete can be stamped to remind you of different patterns such as brick, tile, wood, etc. It is an effective way of imitating the beauty of pavers and stone at a reduced cost. Also, if you want to stamp innovative designs and logos on the floor, a concrete contractor can help you with it.

Usually, stamped concrete is ideal for a freshly poured concrete. If you need to stamp an existing concrete floor, do not worry. The contractor will have to add a layer of concrete or overlay mixture to the existing concrete floor before stamping it.

Engraved Concrete

It is a simpler way of adding style to an existing concrete floor. If you opt for it, the concrete contractor will etch patterns into the floor. It is an inexpensive method of adding beauty to a concrete floor. Also, the designs are permanent and don't wear away after years of use.

Concrete material is durable for building a home but its dull grey exterior can be an eyesore for you. If you want to increase its decorative value, you must contact a concrete contractor and discuss the possible choices for beautifying the concrete floors in your home.


Utilize Garden Decor To Change Your Garden From Blah To Stunning

Once you plant a garden, you're transforming a clear parcel of land into an oasis of beauty. To be able to experience the wonder of nature combined with comforts of home, the spirit's longing for grace and beauty is fed by gardens. Trees and plants can make a garden charming on their own, but including garden decor will enhance the landscape. The numerous types of garden decoration each provide a unique function.

Making use of structures such as pillars, gazebos, and arbors can change your garden and make it seem to be significantly larger than it really is. When utilizing these components, you can create the look of a classic garden by growing climbing plants that will cling to the structures. Breeze sculptures and statuaries can insert a look of visibility to your landscape, and also strength or sturdiness. To bring in animals to your garden simply add simple bird feeders or even bird baths. Bringing in birds to your garden will certainly enhance the ambience. Different architectural structures using trees and shrubs helps you to maintain a nice balance. Nature gets to be more friendly and welcoming when together with man made structures.

Using trellises and obelisks will help eliminate those unappealing views and objects that are often prevalent. Obviously, obstructions are unable to usually be averted so a totally perfect view is impossible. However, you could potentially, at least, hide irritating eyesores with a few of these structures. Develop a place to relax with the addition of fountains or ponds. Fountains can make an ideal atmosphere in which to perform meditation. According to your finances, you may want a simple rock fountain at a low-cost, or something sophisticated and grand.

A garden can be experienced anytime of day, particularly when you use some landscape lighting. These types of lights can be set up temporarily on trees or plants to produce whatever atmosphere suits your mood. You may also want to use using lanterns or Christmas lights to light up your garden. Using these lighting fixtures are able to keep your garden safer from strangers. You'll value your garden a lot more if you have some outdoor garden furniture. You'll need a little furniture that you simply enjoy relaxing in so you will want to spend time in your garden. The furniture can also serve as picnic furniture for outdoor barbecues.

Garden decoration is available in enough diverse styles that you can make your own choices to enhance your garden experience your own way. It is possible to obtain it from a garden supply store in your neighborhood or from a landscaping site online. Determine how much money you can invest, pick out the things that suit your needs, and then create a beautiful garden.


Remember The Exterior Of Your Home When You Decorate

The majority of folks like to make their residence a comfortable place to be, especially with the beautifying of the inside. However,you shouldn't just decorate the inside rather than let your personality shine through in your home's exterior too. Just as your kitchen stands out as the center of the inside of your house, finding ways to add your personal mark to your garden and porch are also important. Based on where you live, the outside decor can be more demanding, because of the weather. Give some thought to the way you would like to decorate your courtyard and your outside porch area.

Don't you delight in being with people, like with a barbeque or get-togethers around a pool? Or perhaps you would rather sit quietly in your backyard and enjoy the sounds of nature. You might not possess a pool but more than likely you have an outdoor grill that you can plan everything else around. Outdoor furniture has many options nowadays, and many are weatherproof, so you won't need to be too concerned with them on bad weather days. With such an amazing array to choose from when it comes to outdoor furniture, you should easily be able to get the perfect choice for you.

Despite the fact that an electrical installer had to install outdoor lights in years past, now it is much easier to brighten your outside. A particularly very cost effective method is to utilize solar lights that you can place in different locations so that they will likely be exposed to sunlight which charges them. According to the time of year, brightness, and so forth, they might not last all night, but they do work for many needs. Choosing plant life to use in your landscaping is one of the more typical considerations when you choose your outdoor decorating scheme. Certainly, it's not possible to go wrong with a verdant green lawn, but if you want to add some of your own personality you will want to find some colorful plants. The plants that are picked out can be placed in pots or in the ground. You can utilize attractive planting pots to grow flowers and include them into the actual design.

Maintaining available seating provides a nice touch to your backyard so you may want to consider installing a stone seat. It will be durable, and integrate with the natural parts of your yard. For yet another touch, you may want to to set up a statue. Something that is incredibly soothing, and also quite popular is a fountain. A solar-powered fountain can be an low-cost useful alternative. This is often something as elementary as water going from a container resulting in a simulated waterfall. There is nothing quite so calming as to sit in your yard enjoying the sounds of water which block out other neighborhood sounds.

When you decorate your home's interior, make sure that you also consider the outside appearance. The first place people become aware of when they see your house is the outside. What they see externally can give them a preview of what they'll see once they cross the threshold.


How to Properly Care for Your Bed Linen

For those of us who get the average 8 hours of sleep every night and naps in between the day, it would be logical to conclude that in total, we spend almost half of our lives curled up in our sheets. Some even spend entire days in the irresistible comforts of their bed, and who can blame them? Beds, quilt covers, pillows and other bed linens are specifically designed for maximum comfort, so it's only natural to want to spend a lot of time in them.

Time spent on sheets though means dirt and oils will accumulate on them, and the longer you leave them unclean, the harder it will be to get them back to their original, clean and comfy condition. To make sure your bed linens stay in soft and spotless condition, it is important to know the proper ways to keep them clean.

Cleaning Your Bed Linens

At the rate that they are being used, bed linens ought to be washed at least once every other week, and more often if you live in a hot and humid area. It takes only a few steps to clean bed linen, and even the most stubborn stains can be removed with a bit of effort. Below is a step-by-step procedure for carefully cleaning your linens.

1. Read the labels. Labels on linens are very important, as they will tell you how best to clean your linens. Instructions on these labels will differ depending on the fabric used. If your bed linen is made up of silk or other specialty fabrics, it is especially important to read and follow the washing instructions to retain the quality of your linen.

2. Remove stubborn spots.Before washing your bed linen, address stubborn spots and stains first. Spray or blot those spots with a spot remover or solution of vinegar and water before washing.

3. Separate colours. Just like regular clothing, bed linen that has dark colours may bleed in the wash, so better keep your whites safe by separating them.

4. Wash your linen. Hot water is advisable when washing bed linens in order to remove stubborn dirt and kill germs and dust mites as well. When it comes to detergents, you don't need to use expensive ones, just use the most reliable one you can find. Make sure to use gentle and safe detergents when washing bedding for baby, and use only the amount needed. Wash using only the gentle cycle and for stubborn stains, allow the linen to soak for a few minutes before starting the cycle. Avoid using bleach as this can easily break down the fabric fibres.

5. Dry the natural way. As much as possible hang your bed linen out to dry, as the sun will act as its natural disinfectant and bleaching agent. If it really isn't possible to hang your linen to dry, then tumble dry your linen as usual with a sheet of fabric softener. If you have a problem with yellowing on your sheets though, better skip the softener as it will only make the yellowing worse.

Keeping Your Bed Linen

Once your bed linens are clean and dry, fold and store them in a cool and dry closet to prevent musty odours. To ensure that your bed linens don't get overused, have at least three sets for each bed, so even if one is in the wash, you still have another in storage and another one to use.


Modern Bathroom Renovations: Follow the KISS Formula

Are you ashamed of the condition of the bathroom? Do you think it looks old and worn out in comparison to other parts of your home? Well, if you are interested in a bathroom makeover, consider giving it a modern look.

A modern bathroom involves creating a clean living space. Homeowners prefer a modern bathroom because it ensures less clutter and decreases the chances of accidents. Usually, a bathroom renovation contractor will suggest you to incorporate geometric features in the design instead of traditional antique themes. If you want a modern bathroom, you will have to choose modern frames for the walls and buy sleek furniture that looks trendy and stylish.

The KISS Formula

When you are spending money in upgrading the bathroom and creating a modern living space, you must remember the KISS formula. It means Keep It Simply Simple. Keep the renovation ideas simple because a modern bathroom is simple and it doesn't involve heavy furniture and garish colors. Take a look at a few simple modern bathroom renovation tips to make the bathroom the apple of your eye:

Get rid of Outdated Fixtures

If your home is more than 10 years old, you will find that most of the bathroom fixtures are old and outdated. Get rid of broken door handles and cabinet doors. Also, replace the antique claw foot bathtub with a modern freestanding tub. Usually, old bathtubs are oval in shape. But, you can choose a rectangular tub to give the bathroom a modern appeal. Alternatively, you can buy trendy pedestal tubs to give a fresh feel to the area.

Keep it Clean

Homeowners consider that a beautiful bathroom means one with lots of cabinets. They want to install a couple of frames as well paint quotations on the walls to personalize the area. But, if you are interested in creating a modern living space, you must refrain from cluttering it. Restrict the visibility of toiletries and keep knickknacks out of the bathroom.

Affordable Ideas

If you do not want to opt for a complete overhaul, you can consider the following affordable ideas:

1. Create an illusion of space by opting for ceiling-to-floor mirror.

2. Choose neutral shades such as white and grey to give the bathroom a sophisticated look.

3. Choose a modern piece of furniture that will be the focal point of the bathroom.

4. Choose geometric shapes, simplistic designs for the picture frames.

5. Make ample use of natural lighting in the room. You can opt for skylights.

6. Choose sleek lighting fixtures instead of vintage fixtures.

7. You can also add a small indoor plant to the bathroom.

When you undertake the work of creating a modern bathroom space in the home, remember to keep it simple. Avoid accessorizing the room. But, in the end, it is your bathroom and you should be comfortable with the renovation work. So, do not think twice of experimenting with new ideas and choose things that give you satisfaction.


How To Live A More Self Sufficient Life

Self-sufficiency has been seen as a metaphor for a lower standard of living, going without the modern conveniences. In fact the opposite is true; to be self-sufficient is to aim for a higher standard of living by reducing our dependence on "the system" for our basic needs such as food, water and power.

Considering that the average city contains only sufficient food reserves for three days, it makes a great deal of sense to put yourself in a position to be able to supply most, if not all, your food needs. Similarly, as the cost of power continues to rise, the attraction of being power self-sufficient becomes increasingly obvious.

So how can we achieve this ideal?

A surprising variety of herbs and vegetables can be grown indoors, provided they receive adequate light and nutrients; if you choose compact varieties, they won't take up too much space.

Even if you rely on an outdoor garden, by harvesting and storing your crops you can have homegrown produce all year round. Many vegetables can be blanched and frozen, while herbs can be dried. Another alternative is to pickle or use preserving jars for your excess crop.

A small backyard can also be home to a few chickens to supply you with fresh eggs, provided you supply them with adequate shelter and protection from predators such as dogs or cats. A home-produced fresh egg, on toast made from home-baked bread, makes a wonderful start to the day. Chicken manure is excellent for your garden and your chickens will enjoy feasting on your leftover food scraps.

Even as the cost of power through the national grid increases, alternative power sources are becoming more affordable. Solar hot water panels to capture power from the sun can accommodate much of our hot water needs, even during winter time and this hot water can also be used for taking care of some of our heating needs.

While solar electricity is expensive to install, once the initial costs have been overcome, the system will provide virtually free power. Using solar electricity, supplemented by perhaps a wind generator and using low voltage lighting and appliances, it is possible to live in comfort, free from electricity bills.

Reduce your reliance on piped water by collecting rainwater from your roof; you may wish to include a filtration system before using this water for drinking or cooking. There is no harm in using collected rainwater directly for the garden or in toilets, however.

Want to know more about self-sufficient living? Choose from several excellent books available, for example, "The Self Sufficient Life and How to Live It" by John Seymour, to gather more information and ideas.


Bedroom Cushions for Smart Kids and Fun Times

Calculating the square root of pi or taking on a challenging crossword puzzle might not be on your child's agenda this week but they can be next week. And they can be fun!

With these uber clever cushions from Gallop Lifestyle, that is. Neutral in colour but with so much to say, these cushions are sublime for any kid's bedroom. They're just a jumble of letters and numbers at first glance but look closer and there's lots to be discovered and deciphered.

The 'Numbers' pillow features the square root of pi. It's 3.14, for those who can't remember their high school maths, and these numbers are bolded throughout the square root and hence throughout the pillow. Way cool! The 'Old MacDonald' cushion (my fave) is just so brilliant. It features the nursery rhyme 'Old MacDonald' in its entirety and with no spaces. So it looks like a whole lot of random letters until you see the Old MacDonald has been highlighted and you pick up certain words like 'moo' and 'oink.' That's when it clicked for me and I started singing the song from the cushion. I imagine my daughter would love this pillow to bits and we'd have a fabulous time singing together!

As you can see, I'm totally bowled over by these sensational cushions. They're such a spectacular way to help children learn and grow their thinking and problem solving skills - right in their beds or on the sofa. They're also handmade in Nepal through Womanpower (a co-operative of Women's Entrepreneurs Assoc. of Nepal) using renewable paper fibres which are extra strong, durable and 'tree-free.'

Make your way to Gallop Lifestyle to purchase. Expect to pay $79 for a small cushion or $115 for large, plus postage. The easiest way to order from them is through their website. Alternately, they're more than happy to take your orders via phone or email if preferred.


Like Prepping Steak? - Find Out More About The Below Weber 721001 Guide

Weber makes superior charcoal smokers, and the Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain Cooker is no exception. This model has just about everything, including enough room to simultaneously cook two entire meats (like a whole chicken or turkey, and a whole ham), its own thermometer, drip pan, and fine porcelain enamel casing.

The design makes smoking food a simple matter of keeping the coals hot, adding water and regulating the temperature. The cylinder based shape of the cooker creates 481 square inches of cooking space and includes a nylon cool handle allows you to pop the lid to check on the fish or meat while avoiding getting a burn.

When the portability of the cooker is achieved with sturdy legs and no-wobble casters that can roll the machine away when not in use. The device excels in delivering moist meats through use of a 2 gallon water pan, that can be easily refilled through a access door on the side of the unit. This makes the Weber 721001 Smokey Mountain cooker a "water smoker" that will smoke and moisten the food for the best case possible. The four adjustable vents on each side help maintain the right temperature required to smoke without burning the meat, and the charcoal grating has been upgraded to keep pieces from falling through.

This particular model of Weber smoker is 43 pounds, but accordingly delivers heavyweight results (given its great set of features) to provide smokehouse flavor and really well cooked meats without sacrificing convenience. It's a slow barbecue cooker that enables you to make smoked ribs, beef brisket, and other delights without much hassle at all. This is where a cooking extravaganza can now take off. The large size and versatility of the smoker permits one to now cook a variety of meats simultaneously with minimum complications. Chicken and turkey cooked together should work exceptionally well, as should ribs and beef in combination.

The size factor also allows one to choose between using charcoal or wood to heat the grill, which opens up a lot of experimentation with various flavors. As a famous chef would say, "kick it up a notch" by tossing in some cider or wine either directly on the meats, or in the water pan to produce a different taste sensation. Because the foundation of steamed meats with perfect smokehouse flavor is virtually built into the foods cooked on the smoker, this permits wide latitude in trying out variations with aromas and condiments.

While the Weber 721001 smoker is almost idiot proof, it still does require one to make some choices as to where and when to use it. For many who enjoy cooking outdoors, it's ideal for camping trips or other wide open spaces. One also should choose whether you want to purely smoked meats or to grill them, since there are some differences in each process. Weber provides a cooking book with suggested recipes and meat combinations. Even if you're not camping and already know how to handle a slow barbecue grill, you will truly enjoy the ease at which cooking can soar with a Smokey Mountain smoker.


Create Your Very Own Home Cinema

Not everyone can afford the time and money to go to the cinema on a regular basis, however there is an alternative that can perhaps offer you a similar experience in your own home.

True, the best way to watch a movie is in a movie house with its booming sound and wide screen; still you can get pretty close by creating your very own home cinema. Those chatting, paper rustling, coughing strangers that always seem to sit right behind you in the cinema can now be avoided.

There are a number of factors to consider before you head out to the shops for the latest equipment.

The key element is the room you propose to use for your home cinema. The essential idea of a home cinema is to get as close as you can to the whole cinematic experience. That includes the room layout, seating, lighting and décor.

Consider how many people you may have in the room at any given time. Everyone should have a good view of the screen. Make sure the seating is comfortable and can easily be cleaned, especially if you have kids! A good option would be to visit showrooms and to visualize the set up in your own room.

Now let's look at the equipment. One of the most important pieces of equipment is the visual display. You will need to decide if you are going for a projector and screen or a large TV. A projector will enable the largest picture, often around 100 inches diagonally at a distance of between 10 and 20 feet, with high definition. However an LCD or plasma TV is usually less expensive.

Remember that a home cinema will give you not only a large screen but also a more exciting gaming experience when used with systems such as Nintendo Wii, Microsoft Xbox or Sony Playstation.

A good sound system will complete the set-up. The 5.1 channel system is popular being considerably cheaper, but the top of the range 7.1 channel system is the way of the future. Combine a good quality Blu-Ray player with a 7.1 channel surround system and you'll get pretty close to that wonderful cinema sound.

To make the experience of your home theatre as realistic as possible, consider enhancing the room's ambience with cinema posters and why not install dimmer switches for the lighting. As a final touch, add a popcorn machine close to the room entrance, then sit back, relax and enjoy the experience.


DeClutter Fast: Discover How To Organize Your House The Right Way

How many times were you hesitant to open the door when the doorbell rang due to the fact your house was a mess? Are you self-conscious for your friends to visit because there is stuff all over your house? Do you want your children to clean up their own spaces, but to make them do it, you know that you will have to do the same thing with the rest of the house?

There is a guide out to assist you, and it is called Declutter Fast, by Mimi Tanner. For under thirty dollars, you can easily have the ebook downloaded on your personal computer in a few minutes, and on your way to a clutter-free house. You'll find that a large number of people have issues of hoarding and it has no relationship to their income. You'll be able to not just declutter your home or office right away, but you can probably get it done in a day or two.

Don't be concerned in the event the traditional four-box strategy is not effective for you, just do your best to make decluttering fast and stress-free. If perhaps procrastination is what's preventing you from decluttering, there is a five-minute solution to help you stop. This will give you the incentive to organize all of your life's paperwork, along with organizing your clothes to the place where you will wear what you love. You will find 17 essential things that need a place in your house and the book clearly explains them. Nearly anything in your living space will fit into one of those categories.

However, if messy home weren't a difficulty, then there would not be so many programs helping people to get organized. There are those whose full time career is assisting people with their clutter. The author, Mimi Tanner had serious clutter issues which prompted her to create Declutter Fast. This lady experimented with many strategies before coming up with what worked for her. Most people do not have the time or the interest to go through a lot of books, experimenting to find the right solution. She has achieved that, and now has it written down in an easy to read format, so you can benefit from what she has learned. If you don't want to endure all of the trial and error yourself, this book is a good way to learn what someone else has found that works.

You will see once your house is free from clutter, that you will enjoy a glowing feeling when you see your house in order. It's extremely energy-draining to be living in a space filled with clutter. Especially any time it is so bad that finding a path to the bathroom is difficult. It is not the best way to live and it should never have to be this way for anyone.


What To Look For When Buying Kitchen Appliances

Everyone loves a great deal - everyone loves to come home from shopping and brag about something that they bought that they got on sale at half price. There are items that you can buy on sale without worrying about. Things like food, (as long as you check the expiry date!) books, shoes, some furniture, etc. There are other items, however, that you should be careful and wary to buy on sale. These items include furniture, electronics and appliances.

This does not mean that you can't or shouldn't buy your appliances on sale. In fact, I would suggest looking around for the best deal when it comes time to make these kinds of purchases. However, be wary of deals that are too good to be true. You know what they say - if it is too good to be true, it probably is! The same is true for home appliances. The reason to be careful when shopping for your home appliances is because the "new" appliance you think you are getting at such a good deal may actually be a pre-owned appliance. Not all appliance stores will do this, but some will, so be sure to ask some good questions when you see an appliance marked down a lot.

Another reason to be wary of big markdowns on home appliances is because the appliance may have something wrong with it. Sometimes stores will mark an appliance down because of a scratch or small dent in the exterior, and most people won't mind these things. However, if you see an appliance marked down and you cannot find anything wrong with it, make sure to ask the store exactly what is wrong with the appliance. There could be something broken inside the mechanism, or the warranty on the appliance could be void.

Some other tips for buying a home appliance would be to prepare before you go shopping. Take a few minutes and measure the spaces inside of your home where you would like the appliances to go. Many people go shopping without doing this and then get excited about finding a great deal on a home appliance. They bring the appliance home and are very disappointed to find out that it won't fit where they need it. This is a waste of time and money, so be sure to measure before shopping!

Before you start your appliance shopping, you should also do your research. Sometimes people just buy the cheapest appliance they can find, but the cheapest is not always the best. The internet is a great tool of research, and you can look up well-known brand names and compare and contrast until you find the right one for you and your home. Another great way to do research about home appliances is to ask around. Many people have had experience buying appliances for their homes, and would be glad to share some of their experiences and advice with you. Also, take interior design into account. If you have a really dark kitchen and enjoy that look, it would be very incongruous to buy white appliances. It's important to keep design in mind. And finally, remember to research, measure and ask lots of questions.


How to Grow a Successful Organic Garden

On the face of it learning how to grow an organic garden is actually quite easy. The basic rule is to make sure you use 100% organic products. These are products that are chemical and pesticide free.

Most of us have tried growing a garden at one point or another and you've probably had mixed success. If it's not working out you many want to first test the soil to determine how healthy it is and what it's balance is. You should take a sample of the soil where you intend planting your organic garden. You'll want to find the best soil possible to plant your organic garden.

Everyone has different reasons for growing a garden, especially an organic garden. Perhaps you want to supplement your family with food that you grow yourself because organic food from the store is quite expensive. Or, perhaps you live in a place that is remote and difficult to get access to good produce so it is easier for you to grow an organic garden. Or perhaps it's just for fun of it! It can be really satisfying to grow and eat your own organic vegetables.

Whatever your reason might be, an organic garden is the best way for you to go. But, you might be wondering, how do you grow an organic garden and get the best out of it? Of course the type of garden you choose to plant is entirely up to you, but you should plan for your garden just the same.

Making Your Organic Garden a Success

There are actually many ways to grow an organic garden. The only thing that makes it an organic garden is that absolutely no chemicals can be used when it comes to growing the food. You have to use only natural products and this includes fertilizers and bug repellent as well. With the growing popularity of organic produce, it's easy to find organic fertilizers and bug repellent at your local nursery or plant store.

One of the best things that you can before growing an organic garden is to make sure that you have done your research. First, you should determine the kind of environment that you live in and what things you are going to have to protect your garden against. Then, you will need to know what products you can use to grow an organic garden and the difference in the variety and availability of all-natural products. Finally you should find out what products grow best for your climate and especially in your soil. If you have poor soil, you can still grow good produce in planter boxes, where you have more control over the growing environment.

Time to Plant your Organic Garden

Once you have determined the things you need to be aware of and you've figured out what you can do to prevent your garden from having any problems, you are ready to begin. Simply choose the foods that you want to grow and be sure that you are planting them correctly. Follow all of the directions that came with the plant, including it's sunlight exposure, how deep it should be planted and how much space it needs to grow.

You should choose a place to plant where you have never used chemicals, as chemicals stay in the soil for a long time. It might be necessary for you to bring in top soil to use, especially in poor soil or clay soil areas.

Caring For Your Organic Garden

Regular maintenance is necessary for the best results. Following the directions for your plants and finding out how to look after them are good things to do. Learning how to care for an organic garden is very important. There are many resources available on the internet as well as your local store to help you.

You should weed your garden whenever weeds appear. This will keep the weed down, reduce, (or eliminate), the need for weed killer and help the plants to grow at their best. Regular watering is also needed and regular organic fertilization will help your plants grow big and strong.

Also you should protect the organic garden from run offs and from other chemicals that might be used nearby. Once you have done this, you can feel secure in the fact that you are doing your part to help not only the environment, but your health as well.

Learning how to grow an organic garden is easy, with a few tips your garden will blossom in no time!


Latest Trends in 220 Volt Kitchen Appliances

If you are building or redesigning your kitchen, it is worth checking out the latest trends in 220 volt kitchen appliances online. Well-known brands manufacture many of these appliances,, and they are high-quality and stylish devices that can simplify and hasten your food preparation, cooking, and baking needs. You can browse a wide array of 220 volt kitchen appliances in online stores that specialize in carrying them. It's easy to find deals and discounts on these appliances online, too. Some products may be hard to find in 220 volt regions themselves, but they are still available at lower prices in a US-based store.

You can explore the latest trends in 220 volt kitchen appliances as soon as you have decided on your kitchen's interior design and your budget. Alternatively, you can start browsing designs and different types of kitchen appliances to help you find inspiration and get ideas for your kitchen's design. Colorful designs are among the leading trends in 220 volt kitchen appliances. They make your kitchen look bright, pleasant, laid-back, and conducive for entertaining. Whirlpool is among the companies that are known for making colorful kitchen appliances.

Most of us are familiar with stainless kitchen appliances because they have been the norm for decades. They used to have no color and are only available in traditional colors like silver and white, but you can now find them in brighter and stylish hues to add a pop of color into your monochromatic or minimalist kitchen. Black stainless steel appliances are minimalist, yet they provide a sleek and solid look to a modern kitchen. Plain stainless steel is still in style and can go with different interior designs, whether traditional or modern. Stainless steel styles can easily go well with a wide range of wood or metal kitchen furniture and fixtures.

Small, compact, and lightweight designs are also trendy when it comes to 220 volt kitchen appliances. Compact and small kitchen appliances are ideal for modern living spaces, especially if you reside in an apartment or condo. They are ideal for small kitchens because they do not take up a lot of space. Most of them are easy to store in cupboards or on countertops, too. Lightweight kitchen appliances are easier to set up and bring with you almost anywhere, especially if you intend to buy 220 volt appliances and take them with you when you migrate to another country.


Stay Safe With An Affordable Alarm System

Imagine the horror of coming home and finding your belongings have been rifled through. Your good jewelry is gone. The door has been smashed in, your sense of security shattered. Or, picture yourself waking up in the middle of the night to flames rapidly engulfing your home. These are the nightmares that drive people to invest in good home security and alarm system monitoring. But will these things really help? The answer is yes, especially if a good system has been purchased.

Getting an alarm system without monitoring can be like buying a car without the wheels. The whole idea behind a good system is to have fast access to people who can help when you need it the most. And even to have access to those who can "watch over" your home or business when you're not there.

Security systems that are monitored can be pretty simplistic or very elaborate, depending on what a homeowner or business owner requires. Systems can include such things as:

* Door and window sensors. These trigger a system's alarm if the doors or windows that have sensors on them are opened while the alarm is on. Basic systems, without actual monitoring, will simply trigger an "alarm" sound. Those that are monitored by an outside company will send a signal to the company that there is something amiss at your home or business.

* Motion detectors. These can set off an alarm, and a subsequent call to a monitoring company, if something moves in the house after the alarm's been turned on. These are effective in homes where family members stay out of particular areas when the alarm's on, but they don't work so well when pets set them off. Carefully consider this feature based on your needs and lifestyle.

* Multiple call/key button pads. A typical alarm system will have a master keypad that enables the system to be turned off or on at a set location. Good systems sometimes also come with "panic" pads to have installed in other parts of the home. These pads let a person quickly notify the alarm monitoring company, police or fire if there is an emergency without having to fumble down a hall or the stairs to the main alarm panel.

* Fire/smoke detectors. These aren't always standard in a system, but they're a good idea for obvious reasons.

* Carbon monoxide detectors. This gas is a colorless, odorless killer. Many modern alarm systems include CO detection devices as well.

* Battery back up. This is always a good idea.

Monitoring companies themselves also often sell alarms. They sometimes offer packages that include the system for free if monitoring is purchased for a set period, or they offer discounted monitoring with the purchase of a system.

Having an alarm in and of itself can deter criminals and help serve as an early warning system for you. But, if the alarm goes off and no one notifies the police or fire department, it doesn't good much good. This is where a good alarm system monitoring company comes into play.


Robotic Vacuums Are Ideal For Pet Owners

Whether you own birds, cats, dogs, small animals, or any other type of pets, you know how hard it is to keep your floors clean. This is true of hard surface floors such as linoleum, laminate and hardwood as well as carpets.

Unless you have time to sweep and vacuum daily (or even more often in some instances), your floors probably show the signs of pet ownership. Pet hair, cat litter, feathers, bird seed, bedding and other debris continually accumulates on the floors of pet owners, almost regardless of their best efforts.

Robotic vacuums are convenient for anyone who has difficulty operating a regular vacuum cleaner, and they are great for anyone looking to save time on housecleaning. But they seem to be almost tailor made for pet owners - those who need daily vacuuming to keep their home clean and in some cases allergen free.

The main advantage a robotic vacuum provides pet owners is convenience. These cleaners are so advanced today, you can literally just schedule your cleaning sessions and forget about your robot. The only thing you will need to do is remember to empty the debris pan, and most robotic cleaners will remind you to do that, too!

Many people wonder if robotic vacuum cleaners are really effective, or if they're just another gadget that really isn't worth the bother. The answer is, they will do a very good but not perfect job of keeping your carpets and floors free of pet-related dust and debris.

The key is to buy a quality robot vacuum with enough power to handle your messes. The more power your robot has, advanced cleaning features and other new capabilities mean today's robots are very effective.

Robot vacuums can be set to operate any time of the day you like. When it is time to clean, they will leave their docking station fully charged, perform their cleaning duties, and return to the station to recharge themselves.

During cleaning, your robot will avoid stairs and other hazards and depending on the model, use a variety of cleaning patterns and several brushes to sweep up dirt and debris. Most robotic vacuums can slide easily under furniture such as beds and even some couches to thoroughly clean hard to reach areas.

Some robotic vacuums come with setups that enable you to create virtual walls to block off an area for cleaning. This can be very helpful if your pets are frightened or upset by your robotic vacuum. You may choose to clean your living room while your pet is confined to another part of your home for example. You can then use the robot to clean that area when you are home to supervise.

Robot cleaners will do a surprisingly good job at removing pet hair and picking up cat litter and feathers, but they do have limitations.

You will not be able to clean your stairs or furniture with a robotic cleaner, for instance, and occasionally your machine may miss an item or two. But overall, considering the time it takes to vacuum and sweep once or twice a day, pet owners are likely to find a robotic cleaner is an investment that's more than worthwhile.


How to Choose the Best Water Filter for Your Family

Whether have recently moved into a new home, or you have simply decided to take a good look at what is going on when it comes to your water supply, there is a good chance that you will want to think about what your family needs when it comes to finding a good water filter for your family. By familiarizing yourself with water filters and what makes each make and style different, you will soon realize that there is a lot information that you can use in order to make your clean and healthy for everyone.

When you are considering a water filtration system, one of the first things that you need to consider is what you need it for. Are you considering getting a water filter that will take care of simple and straightforward drinking and cooking needs, or do you want to think about getting one that will take care of your shower and bath water as well? When you are considering this, think about what bothers you the most about your water supply and whether you have the resources to fix it.

Remember that of the first and best things that you can do to figure out what the best water filter for you is to think about what you want when it comes to what you want to keep out. For example, some people are very sensitive to chlorine in their water, and given that chlorine is actually put into the water to kill living things like bacteria, it can easily be seen why living things like people might hae problems with it. Further more, you'll find that when a water system uses chlorine, it will also use chloramines, which are also used to disinfect your water. Because of this, a water filter that is designed and certified to remove chlorine and carcinogens that are a byproduct of chlorination will be your best bet.

Another thing to consider is the expense and the replaceable nature of the filter itself. Remember that a water filter is only as good as its filter, and these filters do wear out and break. When you are considering the purchase of a water filter, keep in mind the fact that some filters will simply last longer than others. Keep in mind that the most basic filters will see you through 2000 gallons of water, while the more high end ones will keep you going through 16,000 gallons and more.

These are a few of the factors that you should consider when you are thinking about choosing the best water filters for your family. Take some time and make sure that the one you choose is going to be right for your needs and your purposes.


Lower Landscaping Costs With A Stumpgrinder

Homeowners and business owners who deal with trees, and a lot of them, can often find themselves in need of a stump grinder. But considering it's such a specialized piece of machinery, many don't know how to go about picking one out. Nor, do they realize the value of searching for a used stump grinder to do the job.

Generally, those who need stump grinders for commercial purposes go for large machines that must also be towed. They are meant to quickly burn through wood and enable the fast removal of trees and stumps. Whether it's a single-tree job or an entire construction site that needs clearing, getting rid of the stump is important to create a level ground to work on later. This is where a stump grinder comes in handy.

Small landscaping companies, too, can benefit from having grinders along with their mowers and edging equipment, but here a more portable version might come into play. Landscapers that work in states where trees can be an issue during storm seasons can sometimes even boost their business by having a grinder around to help them do a little more than the typical cut and trim.

For the homeowner, a small, more portable version of a stump grinder will generally serve the purpose well. These can be as effective as their large commercial counterparts and are sometimes even used by the pros as well. The advantage to the smaller grinders is the fact they don't require towing, which can save a lot of transport money. Plus, they are a bit easier to handle, coming in at under 100 pounds typically.

Looking for a used stump grinder is a good way for a big company to supplement its machinery or even for a homeowner with a lot of trees to tackle an occasional job without having to hire out a pro. The catch is finding a good grinder, for a fair price and making sure it works, too.

Here's where a little common sense and smart shopping come into play. When looking for a used grinder, know first the kind you need. If the idea is to augment a commercial line up of machines, you probably are already familiar with makes and models. The homeowner, however, might want to do some studying up. Typically, a homeowner will not require anything more than a portable grinder, but knowing what's out there and what pros consider a good machine can ease the search.

After checking into some names, searching for a used grinder can, of course, be done in industry publications or classified ads, but the Internet is often one of the best places to go. What you'll want to look for are the machine's you're interested in, listed at decent prices from current owners who are willing to answer questions about the machine and even allow an inspection prior to purchase.

If pre-inspecting, ask to see a demonstration of the model. Make sure it does the job efficiently and is easy enough for you to handle. If it's too big, or doesn't perform as it should, it's probably not a good buy.

A stump grinder can be a great addition to a yard work arsenal and it can serve businesses well, but a good machine can cost a lot of money. This is where a good used stump grinder can come in handy.


Portable Air Conditioners Offer Comfort and Convenience

A portable air conditioner has the great advantage that you can move it from one room to another. This is of course much more convenient than the standard air conditioner unit, because it gives you the option of mobile cooling.

And by portable I really mean portable. You can easily move it around the house, or there wouldn't be very much point in designing it, would it? Regarding the differences between the portable air conditioner and the standard one, they are as follows:


The portable air conditioner relieves you from having to make a hole in your apartment. This is a serious issue for people who take very seriously the design of their apartment and can't suffer scenery spoilers.

Then, you are not forced to buy a separate air conditioner for each wall, as this one can be moved from room to room. This could very well save you from a few additional headaches.

Finally, and many people would agree that this is the most important issue, it is far cheaper than a central air conditioner unit (in the long run). For people who raise their eyebrows when seeing the cost of standard air conditioners, this could be just the thing.


It is noisier. Did you hear what I just said? Noisier, yes. For persons who can do nothing without their peace and quiet moments, stay away! Also, the hot air is vented outside via a pipe or the door.

As far as the energy consumption goes, the systems are both around the same values, but you can get more energy efficiency values. Generally speaking, if you pay more for a portable air conditioner, it will significantly drop the amount of your bills, so it could prove to be a very successful deal in the end.

Portable air conditioners also offer other features, like washable filters, carbon filters, digital timers, remote controls, etc. When you decide to buy one, a representative from your local company will make you a visit and recommend you one product or another.

Finally, it also depends on the area you are living in. For example, think about the number of days/year in which you have to go through scorching heats outside. If that number is big, then you are probably better off with a standard air conditioner. But if, for example, you are living in a temperate climate area, a portable air conditioner might just be the best option for you.


Which Is Best An 120Vac Or Central Vacuum for New and Remodeled Houses?

There are items to take into consideration when one is procuring a central vacuum system. One of the key considerations is whether to buy a vacuuming system requiring 120 volt power or a system requiring 220 volts. The truth is we should narrow the field even farther. For example there is a 220 Vac vacuuming system and 240 Vac central vacuum system . So it is essencial to comprehend what you are asking of your local central vacuum installer.

Motor Differences Between 110 and 220 Models

The motors are not alike in the 220 and 110 variations of central vacuum systems. The power units are wound differently, the transformer is different, the mini-breakers are different, and the cord and wiring are different. As you can see it is meaningful to specify with your contractor expressly which motor you want.

Differences Between 110/120 And 220/240 Volts A/C

Occationally 120 volts is referred to as 110 volts or 115 volts. Moreover, 240 volts is referred to as 220 volts or 230 volts. Central vacuum manufacturers create motors in all those ranges. The selections are the 120 and 240 volt power units, not the 110 or 220 volt motors.

The 120 and 240 power units will not be harmfully affected if used with lower voltages. The 120 volt motor will be alright on 110 volts. And a 240 volt power unit will be fine on 220 or 230 volts. The other way around will adversely affect the motors. A 220 volt unit would be "damaged" if utilized for extended periods of time on a 240 volt circuit. And the same can be said for a 110 volt power unit running on 120 volts. The bulky voltage motors run very well in any variation of 50-60Hz.

Which is Better?

The reply to that question depends on the manufacturer. For example, MD Manufacturing reveals these facts about their production units. For the most part, their power units have very comparable performance stats between the voltages. Their 120 volt Silent Master S5, for instance has 139 water lift and 191 CFM with a high of 905 Air Watts. The 240 volt version has 136.4 water lift and 190 CFM with a peak of 866 Air Watts. These stats are especially close.

Operating Cost

The operational cost of a 240 volt vacuum unit can undoubtedly be less than its 120 volt counterpart because legs of the power are being used simultaneously. However, the 120 volt unit may not be wasting much power if the opposite circuit is being utilized by lights or other appliances simultaneously. In the worst case scenario, the 120 volt version might cost 12 cents per hour extra to operate. Yes, there is a divergence here, but one must add-up several other factors.

Cost Of The Electrician

As you presumably know electricians charge a set fee for each 110-120 dulex they install. Typically it is based on a flat fee of around $40 to $60 per outlet depending on the area in which one lives. Wiring in a 220-240 outlet requires tying both 110Vac electrical legs together and special NEPA® plugs. Obviously wiring your central vacuum system for 220-240 Vac will incur additional expense. Far more 120 volt units are sold inasmuch as they largely plug into any 20 amp electrical outlets and have lots of vacuuming power.

Power Unit Life Expectancy

They report that the 120 volt versions of the vacuum power unit will last longer. They contain a higher amount of copper and thus the heat has a greater ability to dissipate. In addition, 120 volt motors are also much easier to find replacements for as they are popular motors in the industry. The 240 volt version power units are not used very often and vacuum shops aross America do not typically stock them. They would almost always stock 120 volt motors.

Plugged Into The Incorrect Outlet?

What takes place when a 240 volt power unit is mistakenly plugged into 110 and 110 into 240? If you connect a 120 volt unit into a 240 volt circuit and immediately turn the unit on it will run with a humongous amount of suction. The motor will be running very fast! If it is operating very long the power unit may fly apart. The transformer will potentially burn out before that happens. When the transformer burns out the motor will shut off. If one basically replaces the transformer the system will be restored back to regular operation.

If you departed the jobsite without testing the vacuuming system and later found that the new vacuum did not work, then it is likely the electrician powered it up with 240 volts. Just sitting in the off position the power unit will burn out the transformer in 3-5 minutes or less.

Plugging a 240 Volt Motor Into 120 Circuit

If you plug a 240 volt unit into a 120 volt duplex, it will not run properly. The great news is that neither the transformer nor the motor will be demolished. It will only be running at less than full speed.

Plan of Action

I would like to offer my many years of experience as a Security / Low-Voltage Contractor and hand you a very plausible plan of action. If you install the system yourself you will save thousands of dollars. To install your own central vacuum you will first need to grasp exactly what components are necessary. What are the top two or three brands to consider? Where is the best location to procure your pipe? What type of wiring needs to be installed in the walls of your home? You are going to need a guide to lead you through the installation process.

Installing Multiple Systems

It has been my experience that when consumers are considering one system for their new or remodeled home, they are likely considering other technologies as well.. It would be in your best interest to have installation eBooks on each system you would like to include in your house. Read them all then procure your components, special tools, and cable so that they are all on the job ahead of your proposed start date.


Wind Energy: Affordable Solutions for Homeowners

From sailing the seven seas to gathering water for the mill, wind has always been an important energy source. It has helped with food production, water irrigation, trade and commerce and morphed into aiding mankind in producing electricity for their residences and workplaces.

Wind turbines first showed up in the 19th century, and in the 20th century America's first wind farm was built in Vermont and powered many areas during World War II. With the advancement of technology, it is possible for wind energy to be an affordable solution for homeowners to power their own homes.

You can both save money and reduce your carbon footprint by using wind energy. It is cost effective to put together for your home, and a humongous wind turbine like you see on a wind farm is not necessary for residential use.

You can purchase and install goods for a grid-connected or stand-alone system for your home. When you are still connected to the grid, wind energy can produce extra power, saving your need to use the utility company's electricity with the company picking up any slack in your total production. When you go off-grid, you actually have the ability to sell money back to the power company.

Stand-alone systems are great for those households that are far away from the grid system, saving you money for energy transfers to your area. The average air speed for either system should be around 10 mph. You will need to have a measure of the wind speed in your area and one place you can obtain that if from the National Climatic Data Center.

The types of equipment you sill need to provide your home with affordable wind energy include a wind turbine, a tower, wiring, controllers, and inverters or batteries. The rotor and generator will be mounted on the tail of the frame of the turbine.

A general rule of thumb when figuring on what type of wattage you will be needing to produce is: 1.5 kW turbines fit the requirements of a 300 kWh monthly usage wherein the average wind speed is 14 mph. Off-grid systems would need to be three times as powerful. When the wind blows high the turbine usually has an automatic speed governing system to keep it in check so it doesn't spin too hard or too fast.

When you purchase your system there is a self-supporting, free standing tower and the more popular guyed lattice tower. The latter is cheaper and is supported by cables and earth anchors. Stand alones take batteries to store the extra power generated so that you can still have electricity when the winds are calm.

An inverter will be needed to convert this energy from the battery into AC (household) current. You even have the opportunity to purchase a stand-alone system that is piggy-backed with a solar cell. Local governmental agencies actually offer incentives such as rebates and discounts when you install and use these systems.

Many manufacturers produce wind turbines for the home. Keep an eye out for three and five blade turbines, the kwH produced - make sure you have enough for what you need to power, materials such as plastic or nylon synthetic materials. Some are more aerodynamic than others and the way in which your turbine is mounted to the tower.

Each manufacturer will have listed the specs for their equipment, so don't be intimidated into thinking you need a physics degree to understand wind energy. It is affordable for homeowners now, so there's no need to wait. Help save the planet and save your wallet with affordable wind energy for the home. You'll be amazed at what you can do!


A Fireplace Plug Helps To Save You Money

As much as thirty percent of the energy you use to heat or cool your house escapes by way of your fireplace. This isn't the heat that is lost because you're burning a fire in the hearth, it's the energy you are making use of for your principal source of heat when there is no fire in the hearth and the damper is closed. If you would prefer to plug that energy loss, get a hold of a fireplace plug.

A fireplace plug is an inflatable pillow that tightly seals the chimney of your fireplace so that there is no heat loss through it. Even though the pillow looks much like an inflatable bath pillow, it is manufactured from a fabric that is resistant to the acids that are a component of wood soot, so that it's going to last for a long time.

To use the plug, your hearth needs to be cold and the opening clear of any sharp objects which could tear the cushion. You should use a scraper or brush to get rid of any soot or creosote in the area leading up to the damper. Inflate the pillow and raise it into the opening of the flue. The handle adjusts to keep the pillow in place.

You have now started to save thirty percent off the cost of cooling or heating your home.

When you would like to burn a fire, you merely take away the fireplace plug and open the damper. After the flames have been extinguished and the fireplace is cool once more, shut the damper and insert the fireplace plug back into the opening. With your fireplace screen or doors closed, the handle that holds the plug in position is barely apparent.

The amount of cash you save on just a single month's cooling or heating costs can essentially pay for the price of the fireplace plug. As well as saving money, though, you will also find that this device makes your home more comfortable. Even when the damper is closed on the hearth and the windows are closed in the home, the natural chimney effect draws warm air out of the house and cold air in by way of the cracks in the windows. This makes your home drafty and there's cool air leaking in that can give you a chill.

When you seal the windows adequately, the chimney effect produces a vacuum in your house that eventually reaches the point where it needs to be filled. If a door hasn't been opened, the vacuum is filled by a down draft via the flue. This practice continues night and day right throughout the winter.


Shopping for a Home Fire Alarm

Your foremost concern is keeping your family safe. Probably the most fundamental way to see to their safety is to own some sort of residential fire alarm system. Systems can range from a single smoke detector to an elaborate system monitored by a company.

If you're not sure of what is the best system for your family, then you should look into the different types of home fire alarms. Then you will be able to make an informed decision about the kind that will provide the most protection and work in your budget.

Every Home Must Have a Smoke Detector

At the very minimum, your home fire alarm system should include one or more smoke detectors, depending on the size of the house. Smoke detectors are a small alarm that's mounted on the ceiling. When the machine detects smoke, the alarm goes off. Many small apartments have only one, but the safest way is to have one to each room.

Smoke detector options include an interconnected system of smoke alarms, in which if one goes off, all the others do as well, and smoke detectors with built in carbon monoxide detectors. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, deadly gas that can be produced by an improperly working furnace.

Although it seems like a good idea to have a smoke alarm in the kitchen, because that is where the majority of home fires start, in reality it is not recommended. This is because smoke can be a usual product of food preparation, burned toast for example, and it is inconvenient to have to respond to these false alarms. The smoke detector placed in the next room will sound if there is a real fire in the kitchen.

Many home smoke detectors use battery power. With battery powered smoke alarms a general rule of thumb is change the battery once a year without fail. One way to remember is to do it on the day we turn the clocks back in fall.

Other smoke detectors are 'hardwired', that is connected to the electricity in the house; however, electric smoke alarms do not work when the power is out, just when your family may need them. Another popular option is an electrical smoke alarm with battery back-up, in which case you must still change the battery every year.

Automatic Sprinklers

Many cities and states have laws requiring automatic fire sprinklers in new residential buildings, usually in high density communities. If you are building or remodeling your home, take automatic fire sprinklers into consideration. The cost can certainly be steep, but the savings can be enormous, the lives of your family members and your home and precious keepsakes.

Automatic sprinklers are plumbed into the water system of the house, and will release a forceful spray of water when the temperature at the ceiling reaches a certain level. They can be recessed into the ceiling using white, black or neutral fittings, and will pop out in use.

Fire Extinguishers

It is a good idea for every home to have one or more fire extinguishers within easy reach. That way, when the fire alarm does go off, quick action may prevent a small, contained fire from becoming a large destructive one.

The best kind of fire extinguisher for home use is one that is relatively small (for easier use) and contains a fire extinguishing chemical that can be used on the largest variety of fire types (grease, wood, textiles, etc.). Make sure the instructions are clear and easy to read, and have your extinguisher checked by a certified agency once a year.

Monitored Fire Alarm Systems

The very top of the line is a monitored residential fire alarm system. This is usually installed along with a burglar alarm system. These systems will include remote monitoring from a company that will contact fire and medical authorities in the event of an emergency. A monitored fire alarm system will contain a central control panel that hooks up to several smoke alarms and heat detectors.

Heat detectors are usually more reliable than smoke detectors alone, since they contain more sophisticated mechanics. These all inclusive systems have the additional advantage of being run off the house power with battery backup in the event of a power outage.

The disadvantage to this system is the cost of installation, and the monitoring service does require a small monthly fee. However, if you can make room in the budget for it, the ability to put more sophisticated detectors in some places, such as the kitchen, and the enhanced reliability of outside monitoring are good reasons to purchase such a system.

A Fire Alarm for Deaf People

If you are deaf, or someone in your family is, you know that the world can be a tricky place. There are many situations in which you are not able to hear something like the doorbell or the telephone. One thing that might be over looked, but is very important, is having a fire alarm for the deaf.

The most common kind of fire alarm for the deaf is one that has a very bright flashing strobe that goes off when the fire alarm goes off. When this happens, even if the person is sleeping, the light should wake them up. It needs to be a very bright strobe, and it needs to be located in a place where it will be noticed when it goes off. This can be necessary if you have deaf family members or even friends who visit often.

But whether you go for the less expensive home fire alarm system or for something with extra features, it is vital that you have some sort of residential fire alarm system in the house for the safety of your most precious belongings, your family.


Building a Greenhouse for Sustainable Living

Greenhouses have been used in the past as a medium for hobbyists for their garden greenhouses but commercial greenhouses are becoming more and more prevalent as the world becomes more "green conscious" and energy efficient.

Universities and Agricultural departments have built greenhouses for educational purposes but elementary and pre-schools were also building greenhouses to teach children about life, the earth, nature, as well as good eating habits and organic growing.

Hydroponics has been used more and more recently in greenhouse structures to transport the nutrients directly to the plant roots thus saving the earth's soil that is growing increasingly scarce.

Acreage can no longer go out so we must consider going up. With a large greenhouse structure, growing up, or "eco-building" is the idea of planting in large glass towers and keeping the glass greenhouse structures growing year round and in places that would normally be unavailable. This would create crop for countries in places where land is not available, either because of climate or because of space. It would also allow growing year round and quite possibly put a stop to much of the hunger crisis. Supplying healthy food through greenhouse structures or supplying crops that would help our oil crisis would be a complete sustainable process.

The other day I was reading an article regarding the desire to create better food products by farming with organic fertilizers. This can be accomplished by attracting insects with particular plants that kill other insects that bring disease to the crop or plants. This quickly brought to mind how the generations throughout my life have always had a wave of "naturalists" that always wanted to get back to nature. Like myself, I have wonderful intentions. Now, it is time to do something about it.

We are all learning so much about the earth, the economy and about green sustainable living. Greenhouse plantations would conquer a lot of these issues very quickly. Building greenhouses could be the answer.


The Power Of Candles

For centuries, the humble candle has found varied, enduring uses, from the practical to the esoteric. The arrival of the electric bulb in the nineteenth century spelt a decline in its use. Recent times have witnessed a resurgence of interest in this ancient source of light. Candles are valued as symbols of romance and celebration, while candle-making is a popular hobby. The warm, soothing glow of candles, then and now, remains unmatched.

Candles as mood setters

Candles are an effective and inexpensive way to define the atmosphere of a room. Tall tapers in a living or dining area spell formality. Floating candles convey tranquillity. A squat, cylindrical or square shape conveys a homely ambience. In the bedroom, candles create a sensual, intimate setting. A ho-hum bathroom dons the luxurious look of a spa where you can relax after a tough day; all it takes are a few lighted candles surrounding the tub!

Scented candles containing essential oils are thought to influence moods although the quantity used is too small to induce any lasting psychological effects. Jasmine, lavender and orange scents help in calming anger. Patchouli, chamomile, sandalwood and rose relieve anxiety. Vanilla and ylang-ylang reduce stress while peppermint, clove, pine and lemon dispel fatigue.

You can even encourage positive moods with scented candles! Try cinnamon for creativity, lemon, rose and honeysuckle for peace and happiness, eucalyptus for good concentration and orange for optimism.

Colours and meanings

Just as wall colours influence a room's dominant mood, so too with candle colours. In esoteric and spiritual practices, candles are selected according to the properties or emotions associated with different colours:

White - spirituality and peace

Red - strength, vigour and energy

Pink - romance and friendship

Green - fertility, plenitude and harmony

Blue - healing, inspiration and good health

Yellow - cheerfulness and devotion

Candles and décor

Candles offer endless options for you to exercise your creativity while decorating your home.

Pillar candles effectively accent coffee tables, cluster them in a bowl or plate or place them in separate holders. Perk up kitchen and dining tables choosing from votive candles, spherical candles, tapers or tea lights.

Focus attention on an isolated fireplace with a few candles placed in tall candle holders. A kitchen cabinet will look interesting with a candle surrounded by artificial fruits. Silk flowers, seashells, pebbles, dried berries, nuts and crystals are just some candle accompaniments with which you can play around with for various effects.

Bring home some candles today and discover their magical effects!


Yard Vegetable Gardens Can Be Very Advantageous

Is your backyard a waste of space right now? Is there a piece of land that's just sitting there being squandered? Couldn't it be great to have your own personal vegetable garden? During the next little bit, you can see why vegetable gardens can be a great investment.

Veggies harvested from gardens taste a lot better than those you buy in stores, or at least that's what most gardeners say. Odds are this case is true and it doesn't matter what the vegetables were used for. Maybe the home-grown green veggies have been supplied more love and care, or maybe they were just picked at the right time. Assuming that the vegetables please your taste buds and those around you is all that matters. You will understand that your veggies are welcoming to eat and not harmed by chemicals or preservatives because you take the time grow it organically and naturally.

A lot of the farmers and corporations nowadays use pesticides on their vegetables for several reasons. Based on the places you get the vegetables from, it's going to have been transported a far distance from where they grew. To prevent them from getting ruined on the trip, they are picked too early, and they need preservatives. If they are coated with preservatives and bug killers, the nutrition that they deliver are often stripped away. Developmental and reproductive results are various nasty side effects if you are exposed to pesticides for a long period of time. It now appears that eating vegetables growing up might be bad for their health. Chemicals in an adult aren't nearly as harmful as they are in a child.

Growing a vegetable garden is a superb way to get exercise, instead of going to the gym. Thirty minutes every day in the backyard garden is a big measure for weight loss and you will notice it. It is possible to present every muscle group in the body a major workout. Your back, glutes, arms, and lower limbs will be effectively toned after you have done it for awhile. Flexibility can come more easily after you have spent some time stretching doing various tasks in the garden. As soon as you begin to see vegetables and crops sprout, your body may well be more fit and healthier.

The more people purchase, the more the corporations make. Chemical compounds and preservatives in our food are going to decrease if a large number of people chooses not to buy it. If a sufficient amount of people possessed a sufficiently big garden in their back yard, the need for commercial farming would diminish.


Energy-Efficient Water Heaters - Save Lots of Money By Purchasing One

Life is constantly changing, and if you are part of the older generation, you can recall when the money you paid for rent or for your house payment was less money than your energy bill is nowadays. The cost of heating your house or driving your automobile is becoming too much to afford, for many of us, while gas prices just seem to keep rising. Virtually all people are very aware of the energy problem, and a usual subject of conversations nowadays is how to use energy more efficiently and save money on energy.

Fuel expenses cannot be rid of totally, but there are ways that they can be decreased. In your place, several opportunities for saving energy exist. More or less the only thing you can do for your furnace is keep it serviced and functioning in an efficient manner. Besides that, to save energy you will have to keep the thermostat lower than you prefer. What can you do with your cooking stove so you can save money other than avoiding using it? Try to do just full loads with your washing machine, and try to use cold water more. Besides your furnace, the hot water heater utilizes the most fuel, and consumes the most fuel.

Water is heated for the wash, for cleaning dishes and for showering and bathing. With many kids, this can end up being a large expense. Families generally discover that they can only get to saving energy and money when they have some sort of strategy. The hot-water tank is the best item for getting started on your plan. If you require a new hot-water tank, don't merely buy the most inexpensive one that you can find. Though virtually all new hot-water tanks are energy-efficient, and that alone will help save you money, some are more efficient than others. You want to be sure your new hot-water heater has a greater energy efficiency, to avoid having to pay much more for your energy use than you could have.

Oftentimes you can save more over the long haul by increasing your inital investment. The most efficient water heater would evidently be best at helping to save money on energy. If you don't have the money for that one, then purchase the most efficient one that you are able to afford. Also see to it, with a new water heater, what the size needs to be for a household like yours. Remember that a household of five would likely utilize roughly 100 gallons each day.

The radiant heat loss rating of your water heater must be 15 at the most, and less if possible. The term radiant heat loss refers to the heat that the hot water loses during transit from the heater to where it' s actually utilized, such as at the dish washer. The less heat that is lost in this fashion the more efficient your new hot-water heater will be.


Natures Own Organic Fertilizers

Many people take pleasure in gardening. They put considerable time and energy into creating pleasant environments around their houses using the very simple elements of seeds, a spade, and fertilizer. A great many people prefer organic fertilizer to the artificial kinds that are manufactured from synthetically produced chemicals. Urea is a good example of such a fertilizer. It is commonly used to promote blooming in plants.

Natural organic fertilizers are so called for obvious reasons. All of the ingredients used to create a natural organic fertilizer actually come from nature. These ingredients include seaweed, manure, guano, fish extract, and composted materials. These types of fertilizers are usually applied to the soil in the form of tea. Advances in how the fertilizers are made means they can also be applied via spray canisters or by pouring them onto the soil. There are several natural organic fertilizers available in the form of liquids.

The most common kind of natural organic fertilizer in a liquid form is fish emulsion. This is made from finely ground fish parts and is very rich in the elements that help plants to grow. It includes several beneficial trace elements as well, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, magnesium, and boron. Some manufacturers add other ingredients to their specific brand of fish emulsion. The ingredients they use to enhance the fertilizer include amino acids, vitamins, enzymes, nitrogen, growth hormones, and additional micro and macro nutrients that are found naturally in fish, but that may be lost during synthesis.

Seaweed is very useful and beneficial product from the oceans that has potential as a source of natural organic fertilizer. Extract of seaweed represents a powerhouse of more than sixty amino acids and nutrients. It also contains gibberellins, auxims, and cytokinins. These are substances that encourage the growth and development of plants and improve the color and bloom of flowers.

Crab shells are another important source of natural organic fertilizer. This type of fertilizer is different from fish or seaweed extracts because it is applied in a dry form. Fertilizer made from crab shells has the added benefit of effectively controlling garden pests. Crab shells contain chitin, a source of food for the bacteria that kiss nematodes and fungus.

Home gardeners tend to favor natural organic fertilizers because of their environmental benefits as well. Because they are completely natural, they bring no risks of environmental pollution. In ideal circumstances, natural organic fertilizers will perform better than chemical fertilizers.


Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?

There's so much to save when you protect household appliances. This is the gist of North Wales Chronicle's featured news article this week. It reported that "Breakdown repair services for domestic appliances have grown immensely ... This fast and effective service is highly reliable and gives households the protection they need. The breakdown services can cover all major household appliances, such as washing machines, hoovers, dishwashers, fridges, freezers, ovens and much more." These repair services are gaining popularity because households have become more cautious and conscious of their expenditures.

In another press release, a UK appliance repair company has also urged the public to consider the option of washing machine repair rather than a new purchase. In the Small Business Newswire (sbwire.com), a press release featured an appliance repair firm in Texas that reminded consumers of one way to save a considerable amount of money: Keep appliances in good working order. And in cases of faulty appliances, don't toss them away; rather, look for appliance repair specialists that can work on any major brands and prepare a quote that's within the budget.

Basic Appliance Care Tips

To avoid the dilemma of fixing or replacing appliances, you should know how to take care of your appliances. Proper care will keep major appliances working better and longer. If you're wondering how you could prevent fixing or replacing appliances, here are some appliance care tips from "Angie's List" featured in KSAT 12 - San Antonio's Money section:

* Refrigerator/Freezer
o Clean the condenser coils.
o Check the door seal if it's still tight.
* Dishwasher
o Clean the dishwasher's filter to remove particles and debris.
o Use the right amount and type of soap.
* Garbage Disposal
o Don't fill the disposal with food waste and then turn it on.
o Run cold water for 10 seconds before putting small bits of waste. Keep the water running while disposing waste and leave the water running 10 seconds after the waste disappears.
* Oven
o Check your oven's temperature gauge.
o Use the self-cleaner before important meals.
* Washing Machine
o Don't overload the machine by washing too many clothes in one spin.
o Set the water level at the appropriate setting for the amount of clothes being washed.
o Empty pockets and put lingerie or thin/small items in mesh bags before washing.
o Replace water fill hoses every five years.
* Clothes Dryer
o Clean the vent with every load.
o Have the outside vent dryad

Also, don't forget to read the user's manual of your appliances. A manual is provided for a reason - to know how to properly use the appliances. Following the factory-recommended preventive maintenance guidelines will make them functional and last for years.

But if the inevitable happens and you find your appliance broken down and yourself in a dilemma: replace or repair it. How would you know then whether to buy a new machine or hire an appliance repairs specialist? Here are some factors to help you decide:

* Age of the appliance
* Amount of maintenance received over its lifespan
* How long it's used
* How well it's performed

Whether you're looking into refrigerator or dishwasher repair, oven or washing machine repair, remember that if the repair cost will amount to more than half of buying a new one and your unit is more than five years old, then it's time to replace it.


Free Yourself Of Clutter - Enrich Your Life

Many homes in America have the same problem that comes with a simple solution. There's a chance you're selling your property, you might be moving into a smaller place, or you could just be exhausted by all the stuff. Every so often we need to de-clutter the stuff in our lives. How many times when people move, they want to get rid of everything they no longer need, and they even box it up, but somehow it manages to get transferred with everything else.

You must make the effort to look for stuff you don't really need and simply dump them. Do you ever wonder how come it is difficult to get organized or to do away with things? Is all of your chaos zapping the vitality away from your life? You might want to devote a day to de-clutter your life and see if a feeling of burden is lifted. You might start off by identifying your stuff by charitable donations, storage, garbage and recycle.

You take all your stuff and divide them dependent on how much you use them then put them into the appropriate boxes. If you just can't get rid of specific things, create a box called memories and place it in there. Place the box inside the garage, and take a look at it every now and then, until you decide that some things aren't that important. It's possible you could take a picture of the things in the box, and keep the photos, but get rid of everything else.

When you get things straightened out, be sure to pick-up everywhere you go. Convert it into a common practice to keep it neat, or the clutter will keep returning, and your house will again be a mess. Make the time to set things away right after using them. Tidying up a little bit each time will keep things from piling up and building a new mess. As a result of de-cluttering a few things each day, the disorder will not have a chance to start.

Use a short while every day to tidy up things, and to clean up as you put things away. A mess crops up because we make it easy for things to pile up. Although it is going to be challenging in the beginning, but you'll start enjoying the clean organized space. The clutter won't be in your way mentally and you will find yourself in good spirits. If this seems to be too big of a job, just focus on one room.


A Complete House Humidifier Helps To Make The Interior Of Your Home Enjoyable.

Every thing about your home, from the coverings covering the windows to the paint on the walls, is your choice. What air cooling system is perfect for your needs, may have been discussed, or even which furnace you should be using. Getting the best house humidifer installed will enhance the comfort level of your home's interior environment. Regulating the humidity is vital to ensuring that your house is comfortable.

There are lots of regions, in which the climates throughout at least three seasons of the year have a lot of humidity in the air. Over the winter months, which are usually cold and dry which makes breathing difficult and impairs sleep, people put table top humidifiers in the bedrooms of children to fix the problem. Climate conditions in some other locations are often such that the perfect humidity level, regarding comfort, is seldom experienced. Throughout these locations a full house humidifier might be needed, rather than one or two table top humidifiers. Putting in a whole house humidifier can be done with only a little understanding and very few tools.

Also you end up acquiring an air purifying system when you install a humidifier in your house. The humidity levels are controlled by gauges inside the humidifiers, much like a thermostat keeps track of the temperatures. While the assessed humidity level rises and falls, the device will be turned on and off as required. For any living area of about 2, 500 square feet, the appropriate humidifier would be the size of a television set, the large console type, and it would be placed in one of the rooms. When the entire house humidifier also includes a HEPA filter, there will be a further improvement in the humidity control, along with the filtering climate of your home.

When the air enters into the unit, the air particles end up trapped by the HEPA filters. The air is purified to strict standards related to manufacturing clean rooms, and particles as small 0.3 micron are filtered out. The air within the room or residence is recycled, by being drawn into the purifier where it is filtered and cleaned before being released back into the environment. HEPA filters can do a wonderful job in your home, being that they are designed to handle the much larger volumes of air in commercial buildings.

How the humidifier will affect your decor is not really a problem. It might seem like a nice piece of furniture, and it comes in dozens of sizes and styles. It can be located in a corner, out of the way, and further camouflaged with a few family pictures or a fruit bowl. It requires lots of space to move the air, so you need plenty of room when placed behind a chair or sofa.


The Adirondack Chair - The Selection When It Comes To Patio Furniture

An exceptionally well-liked choice for outdoor seating certainly is the Adirondack. Throughout Canada, it is additionally referred to as the Muskola chair. It was developed with circular, fan-shaped sloping backside panels, in addition to widely set apart flat arms. Thomas Lee devised this chair, containing four legs, in the earliest part of the twentieth century in order to fulfill the need for more outdoor seating. This happened after his family turned out to be on holiday in the Adirondack Mountains of New York.

Featuring its ample seating area, it is possible to comfortably add a cushion. Much like a deck chair, the person's knees are higher than their hips when seated in the Adirondack chair. You will probably find the experience will be more pleasurable if you put the chair on a slope when you sit in it for long periods of time. They're handy chairs due to the wide arms with a large flat surface. It's a excellent place to locate something like your drink if you are resting in the chair.

Adirondack seats may also be fabricated into two-seated benches, swing seats, or rocking chairs. You'll find many of them at picnics and parties, being that they are the perfect summer chair. You may even try them to add charm to for your garden. Much like other outside seating, the Adirondack chairs are constructed from cedar wood. Consequently, they're able to easily be incorporated successfully with your existing garden furniture.

Numerous camping chairs tend to be designed similarly to the Adirondack. They've got cupholders, broad arm rests, and they are close to the ground. They work nicely whenever traveling, along with limited space. You will see that a lot of current products on the market have included the flexibility of the Adirondack chair into their design when you observe how their chairs are slanted. Some include the ample flat arms and are entirely flat.


Landscape Lighting: A Way to make your Home look the Best from the Rest

'First impression is the last impression.'

The saying manifests an important fact of life. A striking personality makes a lasting impression. As homeowners, we take great measures to add beauty to our homes. But, one aspect that remains highly neglected is the landscape lighting. Without proper lighting, the beauty of the entire landscape can go to waste.

Landscape lighting is a very broad area to explore. It can prove to be a little tricky without an expert's help. Instead of considering it as a DIY job, it is advisable to hire a professional electrical contractor who knows the job well. But, you can consider a few tips before hiring an expert.

1. Visualize

Consider different looks for your home. There are so many varieties of lighting fixtures available in the market. And each day, a new type of fixture is added to the list. Make clear decisions to avoid confusion in the future. Do not forget your main aim. It can be anything from illuminating an entire pathway to highlighting a particular part of the lawn. So, it is important to visualize what type of look you want for the exterior of your home.

2. Focus on the 'Must-Haves'

While listing all your lighting objectives, make sure that you have all the basic elements covered. It includes pathway, porch, garden boundary, staircase, water fountains driveway, etc. Consider all the basic elements because they not only accessorize the exterior of your home but also add to its curb appeal.

3. Take care of positioning the Lighting Fixtures

While positioning the lighting fixtures, take care of how they will look at night. Make sure that they do not cast any unwanted shadow. Be extra careful and ensure that the fixtures do not throw unwanted light-rays in any rooms that are supposed to have a soft appeal.

4. Inclusion of Technology

It is frustrating to turn on the lights every night and wake up early in the morning to turn them off. Instead, set the lighting fixtures to a particular time and opt for automatic operation. Nowadays, there are lighting fixtures that come with power-saving features. Ask the electrical contractor to make optimum use of modern technology in order to make the exterior of your home look beautiful with minimum effort.

5. Avoid Nuisance

Landscape lighting can be a major setback if it disturbs the surrounding areas in one way or the other. Light-rays must not create nuisance for your neighbors. It must not throw unwanted attention on the neighboring homes. A practical approach to the problem can be the use of shields or glare-guards.

Landscape lighting is a good idea to add an extra touch to the overall curb appeal of your home. Whether it is highlighting the small elements of your garden or adding an architectural effect to your home, an electrical contractor can work wonders with the help of landscape lighting. If you want your home to look the best, do not forget to incorporate landscape lighting in your ideas.


3 Furniture Buying Fundamentals

Before you venture on a furniture shopping quest, stop for a moment to consider these three furniture buying fundamentals

Know your style:

The first rule about buying furniture is this simple maxim (and if it is not, it should be): Don't be guided by fashion. Instead, allow your personality to guide you.

For there is nothing worse than a home permeated with that impersonal show-room look.

Your interior should be the mirror of your soul. So, look deep inside yourself and decide (no cheating now!) what kind of person you are: casual, modern, rustic, traditional, eclectic?

If unsure, the items that surround you should give you a clue. The car you drive. The magazines you buy. The clothes you wear. Especially the clothes you wear. If your wardrobe is monochromatic, you'll probably feel best in similarly coloured living room. If you like prints and bold colours in your wardrobe, find a place for them in your home too.

Know your measurements:

It sounds like a no-brainer, but it's simply unbelievable how often we buy sofas or cupboards that are either too big or too small for the space they are to reside in.

There are no two ways to go about this. You have to draw to scale (probably in 1:15 ratio) the floor area of the room to be refurnished, with all the windows and doors. On a separate piece of paper, and using the same ratio, draw the sofas, tables, etc. you want to put into that room. Cut out your furniture and position the cut outs onto the room plan. All will be clear to you at a glance!

Of course, you'll have to imagine the third dimension, that is, the height of the furniture. If you are a perfectionist, you may also draw a plan of your walls and proceed with the cut-outs in a similar fashion. This is highly recommended if you need to figure out where to position shelves, photographs, paintings or mirrors (do this before you start drilling).

One more thing, though. The above exercise will be useless if you have to tear down a wall in order to get that antique armoire into your living room. The moral being, take care that the furniture you buy can enter through the doorway you have.

Know your budget:

Skip this one if money is no object. The rest of us will want to budget carefully and prioritise. It is a good idea to buy the most important pieces first, and then build around them. Don't feel that you have to furnish the whole room (let alone the whole house) at once.

You will live happily for a long time with furniture and decorations that reflect your personality. However, do remember to leave room for change. Our circumstances, and our personality too, evolve with time. So should our homes!


Hot Tubs. What You Need to Know Before You Buy

Are you looking for a way to provide hours of enjoyment for your family and friends? Buy yourself a hot tub. They make a great addition to any home, and will certainly give your lifestyle a boost.

If you want to be completely traditional, then your hot tub would need to be built in the shape of a large barrel, including wooden staves. Traditionally the water in a hot tub is still, just like a swimming pool, and would only be circulated to heat and filter it. Chlorine and disinfectants are used to maintain the hot tub. You can even get high-tech and install an ozone generator. This reduces the need for manual or chemical treatment of the water.

A wooden deck is a perfect place for a hot tub, and generally they are located outdoors. However you could put a hot tub inside if you have a large enough entertaining area. The tub will have a wooden seat or bench running around the walls, so that it's easy for people to sit down and relax. You can heat the water in many ways, choosing from natural gas, electricity, propane, or even with a wood fire if you really want to be traditional.

Modern hot tubs are very different to the traditional variety. They're generally quite a bit shallower, and are made from modern materials such as fiberglass-reinforced plastic. The good thing is that this means there's a lot more flexibility in hot tub shapes, and you can choose from a wide variety of seating levels. Modern tubs also usually include hydrotherapy jets, making it possible to have a nice relaxing massage while soaking in the hot tub. The jets are generally adjustable, so that you can pinpoint the massage to the particular areas requiring attention. You can also aerate the jets or water flow if you choose.

Because of their flexible designs, modern hot tubs can be used in a multitude of settings. It can be recessed within a deck, free standing, or if it's moderately sized, it can even be portable. If your hot tub is freestanding, you will need to provide steps so that people can climb into the tub and step onto the seating area.

If you've considered buying a hot tub but were worried about all the special external plumbing you thought might be required, don't be. Nowadays most units are completely self-contained, and generally the only plumbing required is a hose to fill up the tub. There are usually a couple of different water circuits, with one heating and filtering the water, the other operating the hydrotherapy jets.

By the way, if you think a standard hot tub just isn't impressive enough, there are plenty innovations available for you to splurge on. How about a sound system, colored or even disco lighting, and for a really long soak, a flat-screen television with a DVD player. The way it's going, you might end up never leaving your hot tub, unless it's absolutely necessary!


Valuable 220 Volt KitchenAid Mixer

If you love baking, a kitchen mixer is an indispensable tool. KitchenAid is a well-known brand of kitchen appliances that has made life easier in the modern kitchen. Their range of 220 volt stand mixers is a boon for multi-tasking in the kitchen. Stand mixers allow a hands-free operation and come with various attachments and accessories that make mixing easy and even fun. There are accessories for peeling, spiralizing, coring fruits and vegetables, and even mix ice cream.

The KitchenAid 220 volt mixer has always been extremely popular because of its impressive features and robust and sturdy quality. If you have never owned a KitchenAid mixer, you are missing out on one of the most useful kitchen appliances that you could get your hands on. Here is a list of some of its best features.

* Silent Yet Powerful: One big problem that people complain about is the shrill noise of a mixer when it is operated. There are brands that claim to be silent but cannot match the efficiency of a good mixer. The KitchenAid range of 220 volt mixers produces very little noise too. Plus, their efficiency and power is unmatched.

* Powerful Motor: The 220 volt KitchenAid mixers have powerful motors that can mix even the hardest dough without a hitch. The powerful motor is matched with large bowls allowing you to mix in large quantities. KitchenAid mixers come with bowl sizes of 5 quarts and above. Whether you operate a bakery or need to make a double batch of cookies at home, a KitchenAid mixer will never let you down.

* Hands-Free Operation: When you use a mixer, you need to hold it for it to function properly. KitchenAid mixers have a hands-free operation. If you opt for a model with a covered bowl, you don't even need to check it periodically. Multi-tasking with these mixers is easy.

* Large Range of Accessories: The 220 volt mixer comes with many attachments like a whisk, dough hook, and a beater. Apart from these, more advanced accessories include spiralizers, juicers and sauce attachments, ice cream makers, pasta rollers and more.

* Tilt Head Design: KitchenAid mixers come with a tilt head design usually only found in commercial mixers.

A KitchenAid mixer allows you to bake cakes, cookies, bagels, bread, and more. You can also make pasta, salsa, sausages, juices, sauces and ice cream with the right attachments. If you love cooking, a KitchenAid mixer should be a part of your kitchen.


Top Cake Decoration Mistakes That You Must Be Aware Of

A well decorated cake can be a piece of art, but it is all too easy to make a mistake and ruin your masterpiece when you are under pressure to create something for a special celebration. You can avoid mistakes by being aware of the most common ones, and it may not be impossible to fix things if something does go wrong.

Go through the tips given here and you will be more than ready for the special occasion...

The cake should be prepared far enough in advance to cool and settle properly before you begin to decorate it. You will also need to allow plenty of time to decorate it, and to allow the decoration to set if necessary.

Make sure you are beginning with the best possible base. If the cake sank, flatten it out with jam or frosting, or by cutting it down. If the frosting is pulling up a lot of crumbs, then put a think layer of icing on first, and add the main layer only when it has set.

You should always ensure you have plenty of frosting or icing to cover the cake, as it will look uneven if you try to spread it too thin, and fondant icing will crack and tear. Fondant can also tend to buckle around the base, but if you are quick you can fix this by lifting the icing and smoothing or re-moistening the sides of the cake. If the fondant has already set, then you could tie a ribbon around the cake to conceal the problem.

If you are making your own icing then be very careful with your ingredients. If you substitute white chocolate for plain or milk, or a more spreadable fat for butter, then the result will be runnier and will take longer to spread. Be particularly careful too when melting white chocolate as it will melt quicker than other types.

Coloring should be added only very gradually to icing, as it is easy to end up with bright red rather than pale pink. Make sure you wash all the coloring off your hands too so that you don't accidentally add any to your other cake decorations.

Take care to space the letters evenly when writing with icing, and make sure you spell your message correctly. The color from writing icing can sometimes leech onto the base icing. You may be able to cover this up by re-writing over the message with a thicker nozzle. You can prevent leeching by using a colorfast fondant icing, or leaving the writing until the last minute so it doesn't have time to leech.

Store your finished cake in a cool, safe place. If it is a tight squeeze to fit the cake into a tin, then try using the lid like a plate and putting the body of the tin over it as if it were the lid- as long as nobody comes along and turns the tin the right way up, it will be easy to lift the tin off and get to the cake.


Invisible Fences

When people consult with friends and other dog owners about using an invisible fence for containment of their pet, they will be met with a variety of opinions. The primary reason for using an invisible fence is to keep dogs safe while giving them the freedom to run around the yard unencumbered.

Invisible fence systems can be electronic or wireless. Both types have collars worn by the dog and transmitters that send the signal to the receiver. The owner sets the range. The electronic system has an underground fence that is placed around the area that the dog is free to roam. The wireless system transmits the signal to the collar without the use of wires underground. The electronic invisible fence systems are less costly and just as effective as the wireless. It becomes a matter of personal choice.

Electronic invisible fence systems come prepared to protect 1/3-1/2 acres. Additional wire can be purchased and an area up to 25 acres can be enclosed. If there is an issue with the effectiveness of the larger areas, additional transmitters can be purchased.

The function of invisible fence systems is to keep a pet contained in a designated area. The owner sets the boundaries, not the dog. The system can keep the dog from wandering into the street or into an area that the owner wants to maintain without the dog doing damage. This will not only protect the dog, but the owners' property as well.

Invisible fence systems in areas that do not allow physical fencing because of zoning or community restrictions. There is no danger to human beings when the fence is installed and the dogs will not be injured. The initial warning to the dog comes when the dog gets close to the boundary. If the dog ignores the signal, it will get stronger as the dog approaches the boundary and a static correction will occur. This is startling to the dog, but generally does not do any damage to the dog.

As the plan is drawn for the boundary, flags need to be placed along the boundary lines. Once this is done, the dog should be walked along the line to familiarize himself with the signals. This will prevent unnecessary anxiety when the dog is let loose in the yard. It will enable the dog to get used to the warning tones and the static correction that comes later.

When the invisible fence systems are evaluated, be sure that instructions are included for installation of the invisible fences and techniques to train the dog. Both are equally important to the successful use of the invisible fences. They are also less obstructive on the property than privacy fencing or chain link. It will allow an unencumbered view of the property and a safe haven for any pets that are on the property.

It is important that all of the information contained in the packaging be read and adhered to. The size of the dog plays a part in the degree of stimulation that may be needed. This information is available from any company that sells invisible fence systems.


Tips for Keeping Your Central Air Conditioner Running

Most central air conditioner units only last about 12 to 15 years before they need to be replaced, but at an average cost of $2,500 to $5,000 or more to pay for a replacement central AC you might want to try taking a few steps to keep your AC running for as long as possible. Regular maintenance all year around will help you stay cool for longer and with less AC breakdowns on those days when the temperature reaches the triple digits!

Here are some things you can do to keep your central AC unit in god running condition:

Keep It Clear: The big fan housing part of your AC unit that is on the outside your house is called the condenser and it's what actually cools a Freon liquid in the coils of your air conditioner. These cooler the coils the cooler the air in your house should be. It's important to keep the condenser clear of grass, bushes, leaves, kid's toys and just about everything else so that the fan can run as efficiently as it can.. A good rule of thumb is to make sure there is nothing blocking the vents or around the unit for one or two feet in every direction. And be careful to make sure that cut grass isn't blowing into the unit each time you mow your lawn.

Clean your AC Regularly: Different air conditioning units can be cleaned different ways, but you generally want to make sure that the interior is free of debris on the outside and inside. To clean your air conditioning unit you should always check your service manual first, but there are some general steps. Make sure you turn off the power to the unit before cleaning. Most units can be cleaned with a hose sprayed from the top down, washing any dirt or debris from the inside. Simply take a broom or rake and brush out any left over debris or leaves around the condenser unit. Some sites recommend cleaning the coils with soft brushes or wet rags, but you can damage the coils easily. You can spray then down with a hose.

Keep your AC Cool: The U.S. Department of Energy recommends putting trees or some sort of shade structure around your older central AC unit so that it doesn't have to work as hard to cool the coils inside it. Putting your AC unit in the shade will reduce how hard is has to work and some estimates place the energy savings at nearly 10% for just this simply trick! Some newer high-end and commercial air conditioner units actually have regulators in them that can adjust to hotter temperatures.

Check your AC Often: Giving your AC a regular "check up" will really help keep it running. First, you'll need to change your home air filter every three to six months. These filters can get blocked with dust and limit the amount of air you're getting in your home. You'll also want to look around for any leaks in the hoses or air ducts of your home heating and cooling system. Even little pinhole leaks and gaps in your ducts should be repaired with a foil insulating tape. Believe it or not duct tape probably isn't the best choice for this!

Charge it and Service it Regularly: Let's face it, you're sometimes better off having a professional come in and look things over, especially if you suspect any problems. Check with your local electrical or gas utility company because they may have low-cost service plans which include a free maintenance visit once a season. A professional heating and cooling person can also charge your older air conditioner with Freon if needed.

I hope this helps you save some money and helps air conditioner unit keep cool this summer!


How to Use An Upflow Neutralizer for Acid Well Water Treatment

Acidic water is common in home water wells and can cause corrosion to piping, fixtures and appliances. Water that has a pH of less than 7.0 is considered to be acidic. The acid water pH can be neutralized to 7 or above by the use of an acid neutralizer tank, which allows calcium and magnesium carbonates to dissolve in the water. This eliminates the corrosive effect the water has on plumbing and fixtures.

For a pH of 6.0 to 6.9 a type of naturally occurring calcium carbonate media called Calcite is used to neutralize the pH. For water with a pH of less than 6.0, magnesium oxide is blended with Calcite to bring the pH to 7.0 or above. The Calcite or the blend of media is put in either an up-flow neutralizer tank or a down-flow neutralizer tank.

Acid neutralizer water systems are typically installed after the well pressure tank.

In down-flow neutralizer tanks the media flows from the top of the media inside a vertical filter tank down to the bottom of the tank, and up a distributor tube and out of the filter to the household piping. Down-flow neutralizer tanks also act as filters since sediment and other fine particles become trapped in the Calcite. This type of neutralizer is automatically or manually backwashed to keep the media clean.

In an upflow neutralizer the water flows down through the center distributor tube and enters the media bed at the bottom and flows up through the media before exiting the neutralizer and flowing out to the plumbing. Up-flow neutralizers do not get backwashed because the media is never compacted and no sediment is removed. Since the water is flowing up through the media the media is not compacted to theoretically it does not require backwashing.

There are advantages and disadvantages to both up-flow and down-flow neutralizers. The main advantage of the down-flow neutralizer is that it not only neutralizes the water, it also acts as a whole house sediment filter. Down-flow neutralizers are usually automatically backwashed, which cleans the Calcite media and prevents rust particles and other sediment from fouling or coating the media. Since additional Calcite or blended media must be added to most neutralizers once or twice a year, down-flow neutralizers are easier to backwash and put back in service than up-flow neutralizers which cannot be backwashed.

Up-flow neutralizers must use an internal top screen in to order to prevent the Calcite from entering the home plumbing system. Calcite has the appearance of white sand and can quickly damage valves and fixtures if the media enters the plumbing system. If the water contains iron, manganese or sulfides, these internal top screens can later become fouled and so are generally are not used for this reason. Instead of the internal top screen, a filter housing and cartridge filter are usually installed after the up-flow neutralizer tank to prevent any mineral from flowing into the plumbing system.

With down-flow neutralizers these upper screens or external filter housings are unnecessary since the Calcite is prevented from leaving the filter tank due to the bottom internal distributor screen. The bottom distributor does not get easily fouled due to the backwashing the down-flow neutralizer tank receives on a regular basis.

In filter tanks the media can flow around the media and create channels which allow the water to flow without properly contacting the media. This type of channeling is more of a problem with up-flow neutralizers and rarely happens with down-flow neutralizers due to the action of the backwash. For most residential applications down-flow neutralizers work better than up-flow neutralizers due to the filtration feature and the backwashing function.

A down-flow neutralizer can be backwashed on a regular basis to clean, re-classify and distribute the calcium media thoroughly. This backwashing allows the down-flow neutralizer to function properly and lower maintenance costs. The Calcite media dissolves better because it is cleaned and then compacted in the down-flow neutralizer tank.

Well water that is acidic can also sometimes be high in iron, manganese or hydrogen sulfide. If a greensand or other type of manganese media iron filter is used to treat the water for iron, the pH should be raised up to at least 6.8 to allow the iron filter media to work properly. A down-flow neutralizer is usually the best choice to put in front of an iron filter because the neutralizer acts as a pre-filter removing some oxidized iron prior to the iron filter. This lessens the load of iron that the greensand filter must treat. Iron, manganese and sulfides can coat the acid neutralizer media and render it unable to dissolve into the water and neutralize the pH.

There are some applications where up-flow Calcite neutralizers are more desirable than down-flow neutralizers. If the flow is more or less constant on a regular basis, such as when the neutralizer is used to fill a holding tank with neutralized water, the up-flow filter works fine. Since up-flow neutralizers have no automatic backwash control valve they are less expensive than down-flow neutralizers. If the water is of excellent quality with no sediment or iron and the flow rate is constant then the up-flow neutralizer costs less to use and uses no backwash water.


Is Cleanliness Next To Godliness?

Take a look back to old photographs from one hundred years ago and despite the fact that water was available, it was surprising just how little those people worried about dirt. Although it is now said that children were more resilient to germs back then, having built up a natural immunity because of their constant exposure, there was still too much disease spread from bad hygiene habits and close living quarters.

Today, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction with many being obsessed with cleanliness and now we are told it is impossible to build up our own immunity. But where do you draw the line? It doesn't take much common sense to realise that while it's ok for children to play outside in the dirt they should wash their hands before eating to eradicate any untoward germs they may have picked up outside.

But the purpose of this article is to look at cleanliness on a much larger scale than kiddies dirty hands. Take, for example, the nation's hospitals. Overseeing hospital cleanliness was once the duty of matron and nobody would dare cross her, to the point where every inch of hospital surface was scrubbed to within an inch of its life! Hospitals were spotless and a place you could trust to go and recover from whatever ailed you.

These days, many people are afraid to go into hospital for fear of developing the MRSA bug. This bug is resistant to drugs and can prove fatal. It is spread through bad hygiene to vulnerable people in hospital and has been on the increase since funds for cleaning by outside contractors was scaled down to the bare bones. The government have been ploughing money into the NHS to clean up its act by bringing in more contractors that are carrying out thorough deep steam cleaning sweeps of hospital wards and rooms to try to eliminate the dangers of these super bugs.

So what is involved in a steam cleaning process that makes it any better than other methods of cleaning? What is so wrong with a mop and a bucket of bleach and water?

Well, for a start it is a natural process using natural sources. Water is used to create a vapour that reaches temperatures of up to 260 degrees Fahrenheit. This is hot enough to kill dust mites, viruses, mold and fungi. This is not only good news for people in hospital but also for those who wish to use steam cleaning in their homes. It gets rid of many allergy causes and sanitises the environment, deodorising at the same time.

Steam cleaning loosens ground in dirt that is absorbed into a towel at the same time. No chemicals are used in steam cleaning and this means that it is the most environmentally friendly method of cleaning anything from clothing, carpets, car interiors and soft furnishings to commercial kitchens and hospitals.

Another aspect to put steam cleaning above other methods is the fact that any soft furnishings will dry very quickly. The longer a cleaned surface is left damp, the more chance there is of mold spores growing and so the whole process would be a waste of time.

Many people have a cupboard stocked full of artificial cleaning products and while we may feel that keeping our homes clean is good for us, the impact that all these products have when poured into the water system, simply do us no good at all. It is far better to use an ecologically friendly water based steam cleaning process than any other.


Shopping For a New Dishwasher

Shopping for a new dishwasher is not always an easy task. There are so many factors to think about in finding the right appliance for your household. Cost, load capacity, design, color, features, noisiness, and how well it cleans are just a few of the things consumers have to think about when weighing their options. Now with the rising cost of energy and increasing environmental problems, you may be constantly asking yourself yet one more question during the decision making process. Is the dishwasher eco-friendly?

Appliance manufactures are asking the same questions with increasing frequency when designing their latest models. There are now a large number of affordable dishwashers with a wide array of features that are also friendlier to the environment. Here are five of the best eco-friendly dishwashers that sell for $600 or less.

1. Whirpool Gold GU2300XTV [Q]

This Consumer Reports best buy is an Energy Star model. It features 36 spray jets that remove stubborn food without scrubbing. It has an Adaptive Wash cycle that automatically senses the level of cleaning and wash time needed to save both electricity and water. It sells for about $550.

2. Kenmore 13892

This is another Energy Star model that uses twenty percent less energy than dishwashers without the rating. It's Ultrawash cycle delivers optimum cleaning performance by using the least amount of water and energy needed to get the job done. It's tall tub design also allows you to wash oversized dishes and platters. This dishwasher retails for about $500.

3. GE GLD5900NWW

This large capacity appliance has six wash cycles, including a short and cool cycle for less soiled dishes. This way water and energy are not wasted. It's delayed start feature can also save energy by allowing the user to set the cycle to run when energy rates are lower. This dishwasher also has a sensor that monitors water temperature so that dishes stay sanitized. It sells in the $450 range.

4. Hotpoint HLD4000NWW

This is a simpler model with four wash cycles, but it is also an Energy Star model that uses less water to clean dishes. It has a decent size tub that can wash up to fourteen place settings at once. It has a Triple Water Filtration feature that keeps your water and dishes extra clean. This is not a fancy dishwasher but is a good energy efficient choice for those on a tight budget because it sells for only $380.

5. Bosch SHE33M0[2]UC

This Bosch dishwasher was also named a Consumer Reports best buy. It is Energy Star qualified and uses a combination of features to save water and energy. It's confined heating chamber heats water more efficiently. It contains a sensor that adjusts the amount of water according to the level of soil. It uses condensation drying instead of a traditional drying element to conserve more energy. It is also known for running quietly. It sells for $600.

These are just five of the lower cost models you will find that also have eco-friendly features. There are several more to choose from. Kenmore and Whirlpool are two brands that tend to offer a variety of reasonably priced products. Always look for the Energy Star label, and try to find models with several cycle options so that you can save water when you don't need as much. This is one great way to help the environment and save money on energy costs at the same time.


Top 5 Tips On How To Grill Chicken?

Chicken is a favorite worldwide and my favorite too. I am head over heels in love with the chicken. Grilled chicken I can say would be right on top in my list of favorite chicken recipes. Being a health enthusiast I just love the idea of tasty succulent chicken cooked to perfection and that too with hardly any oil or fat.

Grilled chicken can be a wonderful treat - tasty and healthy. Grilled chicken uses very little oil or fat and thus, is a healthy choice. On a diet, grilled chicken can be one that you would love to have on your plate without feeling the guilt.

If you love cooking outdoors, then the grilled chicken is a wonderful choice for your outdoor cooking menu. Have friends over for a fun grilling session, nothing like it for a great weekend party. Let's get started on a great grilling session. It is simple with just a few must remember tips you would have a juicy succulent chicken that you would love to just go on and on with.

1-You could grill the chicken either whole, chicken breasts or in small pieces. The smaller the pieces the faster it will cook, that's plain simple cooking logic. Cooking the chicken well from the inside (without burning the outside) is the trick to great grilling.

2-Clean the chicken well, remove the giblets. Wash and pat dry all set to moving to the next stage of marinating or the dry rub. There are hundreds of variations possible with the marinade or the dry rub and so here your taste buds work as the best indicators or guide. You can try anything from a simple seasoning of salt, pepper and herbs to a complicated and tasty marinades or rubs. The whole process is getting me hungry.

3-If you wish to marinate your chicken, do so well in advance so that all the flavors go deep into the layers of your chicken. Marinate the chicken and refrigerate for atleast 6-8 hours or better still overnight. Marinating the chicken is a good idea to make your chicken more flavorful. If the chicken is marinated, drain the extra marinade before placing the chicken on the grill.

4-If you do not wish to marinate your chicken, using a dry rub is a good idea to make it a flavorful experience. Dry rubs again, could be of many kinds and so go in for the recipe that suits your taste. Smear the rub well all over the chicken. A homemade rub would be definitely a better choice however, if you are really short on time there is wide range available in your local supermarket.

5-Get your grill going. Rub the grill with oil so that your chicken does not stick on to it. The grill should be nice and hot before the chicken is placed over it. However, do not grill the chicken directly on the coals. The breast side should be placed on the grill (the fleshy portion first). Cook till it turns golden brown.

Cut a small piece from the chicken - the juices should run clear and the flesh should be white rather than the reddish color of raw meat. Using barbecue sauce or the remaining marinade for basting is a good idea. However, ensure that you do it only towards the end of the grilling session once the chicken is almost done. Enjoy a wonderful time at the grill!!


Looking for Great Places to Find Those Energy Saving Appliances?

Well look now further. With today's awareness of global warming and environmental concern, placing energy star kitchen appliances in your house makes the most sense as small, individual ways you can help save the environment.

Major corporations like GE and Kitchen Aid have joined forces with the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to create energy saving appliances in over fifty categories. Here's a short list of the best local big box stores that carry the best energy saving kitchen appliances that are approved by the EPA and the Department of Energy.

Ace Hardware - While most people don't consider Ace Hardware when searching for kitchen appliances, Ace carries a sizeable line of energy star appliances for purchase. While there may not be a whole section dedicated to appliances, Ace will have the best quality and most energy efficient appliances available. Check online or in the weekly newspaper for information on any upcoming sale items.

Sears - Sears is the best known store for appliances. While you won't find all the go with it's as you would find at a builder's store, Sears does offer a huge line of energy star appliances, from washer and dryers to regular kitchen apparatus. In fact, many soon to be newlyweds register at Sears to get the best household appliances for their new home. Sears offers over eight hundred different energy efficient household appliances and has received several best energy star retailer awards.

If you are looking for high quality energy efficient appliances, Sears is your best bet. Also, Sears has great sale and credit options, so that you are not paying upfront. They also will remove your old equipment and properly dispose of it for you. Not many other stores will offer such great service.

The Home Depot - The Home Depot is your one stoop shopping center for all things household, however, the Depot does not offer as many appliances as Sears, the major appliance retailer, but with over five hundred appliances available, you are sure to find a piece of machinery to satisfy your needs. Appliances range from GE and Maytag, as well as many other top manufacturers but there are many other options including: Franklin Chef, Jenn-Air, Hotpoint, Profile, Amana, LG, and Americana. Home Depot also offers consultations via internet and in store to help answer all of your questions.

Lowes - Lowes has just fewer than five hundred Energy Star products and while most of the appliances are Frigidaire, Lowe's offers other high quality appliances, including such brands as GE, Whirlpool and Samsung. They usually have a Sunday insert in the newspaper, so keep an eye out for sales and specials on whatever energy saving appliance you are looking for.

Wal-mart - Wal-mart is not known for major kitchen appliances, but for smaller apartments and dorm rooms, you can't beat Wal-Mart for smaller energy saving apparatus, like a mini fridge or microwaves. They are rather inexpensive and space saving, not to mention, energy saving for all those green kids.


Tips to Help Your Air Conditioning System Keep You Cooler

Summer is supposed to be a time for fun and relaxation, however there's nothing like extreme high temperatures and humid conditions to ruin your good times. When you feel like you need to be chained to your home air conditioning unit all day long it follows that it could be time to evaluate your circumstances and investigate what might be done to enhance your residence and its existing failings as it concerns staying cool.

There are a number of things you can change about your present residential air conditioning without in fact getting a new one. If you don't have a unit at home and want to get one then these tips will help you to obtain the most out of whichever unit you decide to acquire.

Insulation may appear to be something you ought to contemplate when you are dealing with heating, however it is imperative to ensure that your home is satisfactorily insulated when it comes to keeping your residence cool also. If you have a poorly insulated residence you are going to lose cool air similar to how you would let out hot air in a badly insulated residence.

It's not always simple to uncover the air leaks and trouble spots in your home and when you have an older house it could be a good idea to call in an expert. A professional can discover everywhere you are losing heat and cool air with no trouble and give you advice on what to do next. Various services will also offer a check up on your existing residential heating and cooling equipment.

Before you decide to acquire a brand new home air conditioning system, consider replacing aged home appliances as an alternative. Inefficient equipment for example older refrigerators or auxiliary fridges will create much heat in your home, a situation you would like to avert when you're endeavoring to stay cool.

You should turn off all electric appliances too while they are not in use; this also means your television set. One more alternative could be to exchange the incandescent bulbs in your home for fluorescent light bulbs.

Modifications to the exterior of your home can likewise assist you to get the most from your home air conditioning unit. Painting the exterior of your home in a light may not appear to be a big deal, however it can actually assist to cool down your interior. Purchasing shingles on your roof that reflect the lightis an additional alternative to keep your interior cool, although be cautious seeing that reflective roofing can be extremely hard on the eyes.


Soft Sided Above Ground Pools-Proper Setup

Soft sided above ground pools have grown in popularity in recent years. This is probably due to their affordability and the increasing durability in their production. They go beyond the inflatable kiddy pools of yesterday and are now large enough to satisfy and refresh an entire family with room to spare.

The soft sided above ground pools come in either round or rectangular shapes. They can be found in a variety of sizes and depths. If there is not one to suit the needs of your family, they can be custom made. The larger pools come with a metal frame to increase their tolerance to a fun afternoon in the pool.

Soft above ground pools can be set up on a variety of surfaces. They can be placed on dirt, grass, concrete or gravel. The strength of the material is similar to that of bulletproof vests. The liners are puncture resistant and very durable. With a little help, they can be assembled in just a few hours.

A filter and a pump will be necessary with your pool. This will circulate the water and the chemicals and help to keep the pool sanitary and healthy. The price of the soft sided ground pool, whether round or rectangular above ground pool is less than the hard sided pool and far less than in ground pools.

Once the soft sided pool has been purchased, decide where it will be set it up. The pool is forgiving and will stand where you put it. Decide if the best place for the pool is in a shaded area, a partially shaded area or in full sun. If it is placed under trees, extra work cleaning out twigs and leaves will be necessary.

The filter and pump will have to have electrical access. It will need to placed a safe distance from the electrical outlet, but close enough to have it plugged in safely.

If the soft sided above ground pool is fourteen feet in diameter, leveling and clearing an area that is two feet larger than the pool is necessary. A sixteen-foot square tarp needs to be placed over the area that the pool will sit upon. If the pool is a rectangular above ground pool, the same dimensions need to be taken into consideration. This will allow easier mowing and safer entry into the pool.

The decision for pool shape and size will depend on the available area that it can be set up. There is no doubt that the addition of a soft sided above ground pool that is circular or a rectangular above ground pool will be a welcome addition to any yard.

It is also important to check with property codes. In some localities, it is necessary to have a fence surrounding the pool area. Once this is done, construction of the pool can begin and the summer fun for the family and friends can become a reality. Choose carefully. The more that is learned about pool safety the better the summer can be.


Cleaning Tips That Will Make Your Home A Healthy Place To Live In

It's clear that many of us just don't have a lot of spare time in our everyday lives. With this lack of free time it can be difficult to get everything done around the house that needs to be done, yet it's important to stay on top of your chores to keep a safe and clean home. It's helpful to break down these tasks according to how frequently they need to be done, whether it's daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly.

The first daily task to complete is to make the bed. You'll thank yourself later that night when you fall into your clean and well-made bed.

Before leaving for work, clean up any cookware and cutlery that was used to cook breakfast. It's dangerous to leave these things lying around all day unwashed since the bacteria can easily spread. You'll want to do the same after eating dinner at night. If you have a dishwasher, you'll find that these tasks only take a couple of minutes.

Anytime you use a countertop, table, or any other surface to prepare or eat food, you should always clean the surface. These areas are bacteria traps and they'll regularly inhabit the areas where you prepare and eat food if you leave even a scrap of food there. In addition to your kitchen, your toilets should also be cleaned every day.

To give yourself extra time in the morning, pick up any stray mess that's left around before going to bed every night. You'll appreciate the effort the next morning when you don't have to clean up while hurrying to get ready for work.

As a weekly chore, carpet should be vacuumed and floors cleaned, especially in the rooms that see the most use. Always vacuum before dusting; vacuuming can kick up clouds of dust that would ruin all your work if you'd already dusted.

Windows should be cleaned every month, both on the inside and outside, and use a brush to clear out any cobwebs. If you have floors that need to be waxed, this should also be done monthly, as should the cleaning of woodwork and light switches.

Curtains and carpets should be cleaned professionally once a year. Steam cleaning fits the bill perfectly.

Keeping up with these cleaning guidelines will keep your home not only clean and pleasant to live in, but healthy as well.


Tips for Choosing Bats Homes

Attracting bats to your yard with a bat house is a great way to control the insect population. Because insects form the main part of the diet of bats, having bats homes on your property will keep the number of mosquitoes down without the use of pesticides.

Due to habitat destruction bat populations have been declining. You can bring bats to the vicinity of your home by installing a well-designed bat house. You will see many of these for sale in yard and garden centers and websites. Some designs are more practical than others and there are ones that look good to the human eye that are not very well suited to being bats homes. The better the design of the bat house, the more likely bats are to be attracted to it.

Size is an important consideration. It's better to choose a large bat house. Remember that their natural habitat is caves, so they prefer an enclosure with a large open space inside. There needs to be a landing plate as well as a rough interior. Some designs for bats homes have screening attached to the inside to give the bats something to cling to. This is better than a smooth wall, but sometimes the screening deteriorates from weather over the seasons. Bats need a rough surface to land on and cling to. The best designs have wood of the appropriate texture, rather than metal screens added on. The wood surface will maintain its texture or even gain more through the weathering process.

Another concern about bats homes is the exterior surface. An unpainted bat house has an appealing rustic look, but unfortunately it's likely to deteriorate faster from weather conditions. Bats homes should be painted for the same reason as humans homes should be, to protect the outside.
Other design features to think about are the sealing of the seams so that the box retains its shape, venting to ensure air circulation and temperature control, and an open bottom to help control temperature and discourage parasites.

To be effective bats homes must be placed where they will best attract bats and help them thrive. It is recommended that a bat house get seven hours of sunlight as a minimum, preferably in the morning. Catalogs and websites often show a bat house attached to a tree. Again, it is decorative, but not what is best for the bats. If you mount the bat house to a tree the location will probably get too much shade.

Attaching it under the eaves of the house will produce a similar problem. Try to find a place that will let the box get sunlight in the morning, but not have bright light shining on it late in the day or as the sun goes down. It should be shielded from any kind of flashing lights or harsh shiny materials.
Ideally bats homes should be near some sources of water and away from vents or sources of smoke. Also, they should not be placed where they will be disturbed by human activity. One solution is to find a good spot, install a pole and then attach the bat house to the pole.


Home Security Trends: What Works And What Doesn't

Home security can get a little overwhelming sometimes. A simple Internet search of "home security" produces thousands of results, each page advocating products and practices that will keep you and your home safe. With so many home security trends and tools, how do you figure out what works and what doesn't?

Are you security-savvy? Is your home a fortress, or are you rolling out the welcome mat for potential burglars? Take this quiz to find out how much you know about effective home security.

1. Darn it! You've locked yourself out of the house again. It's a good thing that you left a spare key:
A. Buried in the flowerpot
B. Hidden under the doormat
C. At your trusted next-door neighbor's house

Correct answer? C. You should never leave a spare house key anywhere outside your home. It's the oldest trick in the book, and burglars know it. Leave a spare key with someone you trust instead.

2. The best guard dog is:
A. A giant Rottweiler
B. A yappy Chihuahua
C. An intimidating German Shepherd

The answer is: All of the above. You don't need a ferocious guard dog to ward off potential criminals. Studies suggest that the barking of any dog is enough to scare away the average thug.

3. The key to an effective home alarm system is:
A. Spending big bucks on the latest technology
B. Remembering to set your alarm every time you leave the house
C. Putting the little metal sign in your front yard

Correct answer? B. Even the most expensive alarm system you can afford won't protect you if it's not armed. Always take the extra time to set your alarm, even if you're just leaving the house for a couple of minutes.

4. I live in an apartment, so I should rely on my landlord or management company to provide security.
A. True
B. False

And the answer is . . . False. Even if your landlord makes tenant safety a top priority, you should make a point to step up security in and around own apartment. Always lock your doors and windows, and never open the door to anyone you don't know. Consider investing in a wireless alarm system - you get all of the benefits of a hard-wired system, but you can take it with you when you move.

5. I just moved to a safe neighborhood, so I shouldn't worry about crime.
A. True
B. False

False. Crime can happen anywhere. From big, crowded city blocks to peaceful gated communities, everyone needs to make home security a priority.

Home security trends come and go. But the truth is common sense and a few basic precautions can help you protect your home from burglars. It's OK to try the latest security fads like barking alarms and nanny cams, but don't get so caught up in home security trends that you forget the cornerstones of defending your house and family. You don't have to be trendy or spend thousands of dollars - you just have to be smart and aware of your surroundings.


Cheap Ways to Cool Your Home

We're now entering the hottest part of the summer here in the United States and many of us are faced with a difficult decision. We can stay cool and dry in our homes but end up paying for high electric bills due to the cost of running our air conditioners all the time. Or we can skip the AC and live in hot and humid discomfort for a couple months out of the year while we hope for cooler weather.

If you're struggling with paying your electric bill to keep the air conditioner on this summer than take heart, here are a few simple and inexpensive ways you can help your air conditioner work less and keep your home cooler:

Use shades on windows and doors: Sunlight pouring in through your windows can warm your home like an oven, especially in the long sunny days of summer. You'll be amazed at how much cooler your home can be with the strategic placement of a few light-blocking shades over your sunniest windows. Regular shades or curtains aren't going to cut it. If you can hold your window covering up to the sunny sky and see ANY light coming through, then it isn't a true light-blocking covering. Most light-blocking curtains actually have a thick liner, sometimes plastic and sometimes made out of cloth. You can keep your regular decorative curtains in place, just be sure to also use light blocking curtains between your decorative curtains and the window. Close them during the sunniest part of the day and your home will stay much cooler.

Clean your air filters: Whether you have a central air conditioner or window AC units, you have to clean or even replace your air filters every so often to make sure you have a consistent flow of cool air. A dirty air filter can block air from being blown by your air conditioner. If your air filter is really dirty it could actually cause your AC blower to overheat or cause your air conditioner evaporator coils to freeze over. Both problems can damage an air conditioner and be costly to fix. You'll want to check your air filter once and month and follow the manufacturer's instructions for ways of cleaning or replacing the filter on a regular schedule.

Seal and insulate: One way to keep your home cool is to make sure you're not losing any cool air from your air conditioner where you shouldn't be. No matter what kind of air conditioner you have you can inspect all your windows and doors and make sure you don't have any drafts or gaps where cool air is seeping out. If you have window units you may want to make sure they are held tightly and have no gap around their mounting hardware. If you have a central AC unit then you'll want to inspect as much of the metal ductwork as you can, using foil tape to seal up any pin holes or gap that may have formed over time that let out precious cool air. You may also want to close the air duct registers and doors in rooms you don't use so that your air conditioner doesn't have to try to cool those rooms too.

Any single one of these methods will help keep your home interior cool and help your air conditioner keep up this summer. When combined using these cooling tips can really help you save money on your electric bill this summer!


Using a Refrigerator Water Filter to Fight Water Contamination

It is fairly common for a city to use a lake or reservoir to hold the city water supply. When the summer sun warms the lake water, this unpleasant taste permeates all of the water in the lake.

That taste can easily affect the taste of the water from water taps all over town. A refrigerator water filter is able to eliminate that bad taste and any dangerous contamination that might have come along with it from the lake bottom.

Most farming these days is done on large-scale corporate farms. This type of agriculture requires lots of chemicals including pesticides and fertilizers. These chemicals are either absorbed into the groundwater or run off into the nearest stream or river.

Unfortunately, this polluted water often makes its way into the water supply of towns and cities downstream from the farm, even hundreds of miles away. City water treatment plants may be unprepared to adequately purify this water for human consumption.

Heavy metals such as lead and mercury are another disturbing intruder into tap water. These are often difficult or even impossible to detect when drinking the water. The damage they might do to your system is a real cause for worry. Some minerals should be in the water because they are healthy for us to drink. A well designed refrigerator water filter is able to filter out the heavy metals while leaving the healthy minerals alone.

These days, we all try to take advantage of anything we can find to stay healthy. Nobody wants to have to worry about whether our public water supply is safe to drink. We want to be absolutely confident that any harmful chemicals or pollutants have been eliminated from the water before we drink it.

A refrigerator water filter can give us peace of mind every day that the water we are drinking is not only safe, but pleasant and satisfying. It is far better to invest in a good refrigerator water filter now instead of waiting until a water contamination emergency.


The Top Advantages Associated With Utilizing Modern Fire Pits

There are many reasons why you should utilize modern fire pits in your outdoor living space. Not only do these decorative items add a unique sense of ambience in the space that you use for outdoor living, they also have a high level of functionality. As the light from day starts to fade and the stars emerge against a backdrop of black space, many individuals start to light up pits. In recent years, many individuals have started to push their traditional grills into the garage and pull out modern fire pits. The main reason for the transition is that the devices are attractive, unique, and other many different levels of functionality. In this guide, you will learn about the main reasons why you should use modern pits.

1. One of the main reasons to incorporate modern fire pits into your outdoor recreational area is to unite your family and friends. Small, contained fires have a way of uniting individuals on a social level. Many individuals enjoy gathering around the warm, soft glow of a contained fire to talk about areas of interest and things that are important to them, sharing stories, and to simply enjoy each other's company. Not only does the glow of the fire from pits assist in providing a soothing environment that promotes relaxation, many individuals find a large number of creative activities to indulge in such as roasting marshmallows and hot dogs.

2. In many areas, the temperatures become extremely cool during the evening and night hours. In addition to this, there are many areas where cool temperatures occur during the day time as well. Fire pits have the capability of providing warmth to individuals all year long. Even on the coolest of days, the modern pits available on the market today have the ability to provide a warm environment so that individuals may gather outside and enjoy the fresh air that the outdoors has to offer.

3. For several years, individuals have used traditional charcoal, wood, and gas grills in order to cook outdoors. Today, many individuals use modern pits in order to prepare meals outside. While it is true that outdoor grills may still be used, they do not offer the same level of flexibility that modern pits offer. For example, most individuals do not light up outdoor grills for the purpose and intent of sitting around them and socializing. However, many individual do this with modern fire pits. Individuals that use fire pits for cooking find that it is easy to prepare many different meals on the products and that the foods have a distinctive taste that is high in quality.

As you can see, there are many beneficial reasons to utilize modern pits. If you have an interest in adding a high level of functionality and appeal to your outdoor recreational space, you should consider the benefits highlighted in this guide. Fire pits are not only considered to be highly functional, but they are also considered to be highly decorative as far as appeal is concerned.


Top 5 Benefits of Child Internet Safety

We all know that the internet is filled with information, most of it good and accurate, and some it is complete trash. But more and more reliable resources are becoming available on the internet. These resources are great for children and teens who are researching for their homework, but the internet can be a dangerous place for children.

The real worry for children on the internet is the possibility that they will be exposed to inappropriate material. With one misspelled word typed into a search engine, your child could easily become exposed to pornographic or violent material. Child internet safety issues are always a hot topic, but you can begin now by protecting your child when they use the internet.

The first line of defense for children and the internet are the parents. Know what your child is doing when they are on the computer. Make sure that they are using the internet for the purposes that you approve of, such as homework research and communicating with friends. If your child is talking to someone you do not know, you should ask them about the person and if it is a stranger, you will need to restrict their use of internet.

Many internet browsers offer parental blocks for specific websites. If there is a particular site that you do not want your children on, you can set these parental blocks so that they will not have access to it. There are also some online tools that will help prevent your child from being exposed to inappropriate material. You can even find programs online and in stores that will allow you to monitor your child's activities online. This way, you will be sure that they are doing exactly what they say they are doing while using the internet.

Internet safety laws are currently in place to protect your child as well. If there is anyone out there trying to collect your child's personal information, that person can get into serious trouble with the federal government. Make sure that you warn your children against giving out any type of personal information to anyone, even if they think they know exactly who they are talking to.

The best way to protect your child is to learn about the tools that come with your computer in order to block material from your child when they use the computer. You will also want to learn about software programs specifically designed to block offensive sites. The sites and programs that your child uses, such as social networking sites, email programs, and chat programs are especially important to know about. Make sure that you take the simple precautions to help children stay out of trouble like keeping the computer in a common area of the house, forbid children to participate in a chat room, and talk to your child often about internet safety. If you keep the dialogue open, you will find that your children will be more likely to listen to you and take your advice when it comes to their safety.


Easy To Bake Easy To Make Crepes

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Crepes (or as the French say, crêpes), the simple, elegant and delicious thin pancakes from France. Crepes Suzette are a must in American fine dining and you can get all the crepes you can possibly imagine in one of France's thousands of Crêperies. But you don't need to be a master chef to create this secret to easy baking.

Let's take a trip to Brittany in France's history, shall we? For that's the original home of the crepe. While almost every country and people all over the world have some shape or form of pancakes (thick pancakes in the US and UK, large 'pannekoeken' in the Netherlands and Belgium, filled and rolled up palatschinken in Austria and Central Europe). However, of all places, it is in Brittany where the crepe was born round the 15th century. Originally, they were made with buckwheat flour as white flour was too expensive and thus reserved only for royalty. But even then, it was one of the most popular of easy baking recipes.

But as time passed by, white flour became more commonly available and people really liked the sweetness of it and who can blame them? I know I like my crepes sweet! So nowadays, they're made from white flour.
The most famous variant of crepes, as earlier implied, is the Crepe Suzette. It was first made in 1895 by Henri Charpentier in Café de Paris in Monaco, created for the Prince of Wales - who wanted a crepe for desert. Henri made a crepe with an orange sauce flambé. He named it Suzette in honor of the Prince's beautiful young lady companion. The rest, as they say, is history... the Crepe Suzette is now the most celebrated French dessert.

Now, let's get cracking with the basic, easy baking recipe for all crepes. From scratch! This will be the base for all your wonderful crepe creations! If you master this, the sky, or rather your imagination is the limit! Simple and quick to make, wonderful to eat and best when shared with friends and / or family! With a prepping time of 5 minutes and cooking time of around 30 minutes it doesn't take forever either.

Ingredients (for about 15 crepes):

- 1 ½ cups of flour (all purpose)

- 3 cups of milk

- Pinch of salt

- A small teaspoon of sugar (fine)

- 4 eggs

- 4 teaspoons of melted butter


1) Make sure you sift the flour first sift through the flour to ensure there are no lumps. Leaving large lumps in the flour will make for unpleasant surprises in your crepes - imagine an air bubble filled with dry, tasteless flour, yes, I know, not very pleasant.

2) Once you have sifted through the flour, you mix in the salt and sugar. Create a crater where you deposit the eggs and milk. Carefully start mixing it into a smooth batter. Be sure to use an electric mixer, but make sure you start out at a low speed and build up the tempo. You will want to avoid having the batter all over your kitchen!

3) Once the batter is mixed, mix the butter into the batter. This makes the crepes even more delicious!

4) Heat a frying pan and put a small amount of butter into the heated pan. As soon as the butter is molten and golden brown, take a large soup serving spoon or other scooping spoon and release one spoon full of batter into the pan.

5) Move the pan so that the batter distributes equally amongst the bottom of the pan until the batter has dried up completely and you are left with the deposit, the crepe, at the bottom of the pan.

6) Carefully flip the crepe over - don't try flipping it into the air unless you either know what you are doing, or if you are prepared to lose the crepe you are making!

7) Repeat the process of baking the crepes until all the batter has been used.

Once you have your pile of crepes, you can put a myriad of delicious toppings on your individual crepes, and you are set for a delightful desert!


Carbon Monoxide Producing Appliances in Your Home

Most homes are susceptible to dangers of gas leaks. In our desire to keep temperature inside our homes at a comfortable level, we keep our windows shut most of the time and use layers of padding to seal our homes while we use air conditioning during summers and a heating systems during cold seasons. While we have succeeded in lowering our utility bills by sealing ourselves in, we have also made ourselves more vulnerable in case of carbon monoxide and combustible gas leaks.

Gas and kerosene boilers, heating systems, woodstoves, and all other gadgets that run on petrol based fuels are potential contributors of carbon monoxide. This noxious chemical compound is the result when carbon rich fuels are not thoroughly burned due to improper oxidation or incomplete combustion. Since carbon monoxide does not have any color, odor, or taste, its victims are not aware of its existence until it is too late to react and the damage has been done.

Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide are the noxious chemical compounds that come as a result of incomplete burning of carbon based fuels. When functioning properly, home appliances vent these two chemical compounds outside our homes thru the exhaust plumbing. Gas and kerosene fueled furnace, boilers, and stoves are probable sources of carbon monoxide emissions at home.

Combustible gas leak is easier to be aware of because of its distinct odor. The BBB says that 80% of homes experience this type of gas leak in different quantities. High leak volumes pose dangers of explosion and fire. Breathing this noxious gas can cause severe health problems like shortness of breath to death depending on the volume involved.

Vent free fireplaces have disreputable records in carbon monoxide leaks because of the lack of proper plumbing connections to vent toxic gas outside. Several States have banned its use because of its tarnished safety record.

But while carbon monoxide is odorless, it is easier to be aware of combustible gas leak because of its distinct odor. According to the BBB, vent free furnaces are infamous for their reputation for leaking both carbon monoxide and combustible gas that use of this appliance is barred in some states.

Take time to figure out which places in your home are most vulnerable to combustible gas and carbon monoxide leaks. There are lots of model offering many kinds of features in the market. Your decision to buy must be dependent on matching your needs to the attributes that hey offer. For example, models with a built in smoke detector and the capacity to detect several types of gas aside from carbon dioxide are best suited for the kitchen area.

Since the best place to fix the detector is in the ceiling, it is most convenient to select one that has remote mechanism to control its functions. It should also have long battery life and a warning mechanism to call your attention when batteries are low. Gas leaks are a clear and present danger in our homes and every prudent homeowner must take every possible step to keep his family safe.


The Different Purposes of Metal Welcome Signs

Metal welcome signs are one of the best kinds of welcome signs available in the market today. Metal is a very popular material because of its durability, which makes it perfect for outdoor use. Aside from that, metal is relatively cheap compared to other kinds of materials and they are very easily available. Although welcome signs are generally used to remind people of certain rules, these signs can be used for other purposes as well.

First off, metal signs can be used as charming home decors and accessories. Many of the metal welcome signs in the market today are designed not just to be functional but to be decorative as well. Metal signs also come in a variety of warm messages which you can customize, making them even more attractive to home owners.

Secondly, welcome signs can be used for advertising. Store owners put up these signs to tell people of the products and services that they offer in their stores. They are considered to be a very effective way of advertising and marketing simply because they are the very first things that customers will see on the front of your establishments.

Third, metal welcome signs can also be used to designate certain places or states. For instance, when driving down the interstate highway, these signs are out up along the road to inform you what state you are currently driving through and when you are leaving or entering the area.

So for those of you, who want to make use of metal welcome signs for commercial or home use, make sure that the style you choose goes well with the design of your area. Always go for balance. No, they do not need to be symmetrical to look right but they should be able to complement your space just right.

Metal signs come in a wide variety of styles and designs. For those who want a more personalized touch, there are hand painted signs available in stores today. Hand painted metal signs allow you to customize the welcome message and the design that you want to display. There are also the laser cut signs which create a very modern and contemporary feel to your space.

For those who want a more whimsical feel, a good design to pick is the 3D metal sign that will surely catch the eye of your visitors. And finally, there are the antique metal pieces if you want to achieve that more rustic look.

Metal signs can also be hung or displayed in stands. So when you need to choose between one, consider the amount of space available in your property. Metal signs that are hung do not take up much space because they are simply placed against the walls. Signs placed on stands on the other hand, will require a little room. But remember, metal signs can be considerably heavy. So whether they are hung or placed in stands, make sure that these signs have enough support to carry all its weight.

Remember, metal welcome signs can set off the mood for your home. So if you believe that first impressions last, make sure that you choose right metal signs for your property.


How to Select a Hydroponic Water Pump

Hydroponics is a means of supporting plant growth without the use of soil. A hydroponic water solution is rich in nutrients that are kept suspended through the use of a hydroponic water pump. There are actually three different types of hydroponic pumps available, and those are the non-submersible, submersible, and semi-submersible.

The submersible type of hydroponic water pump is entirely submerged in a nutrient rich solution of water and salts that make up the perfect environment for extensive plant growth. The non-submersible hydroponic pump is placed in an external location that is never in contact with the fluid solution, and the semi-submersible type is placed in the water solution but the top is never in it and must continue to be dry.

When searching for the correct hydroponic water pump for your needs you really should be aware that the semi-submersible type comes with some inherent risks that may not be seen with the other two. Primarily, the main concern is that since it is allowed to be partially in the water there is a risk that it could topple over and create a disaster in the making. Electrocution from an incorrectly placed hydroponic pump could really put a damper on the benefits of such a system.

As you search for a hydroponic water pump to suit your needs, you will first want to determine the amount of nutrient solution necessary to support the kind of plant growth you are wishing to obtain. This will help you to calculate the size hydroponic pump needed to carry this amount of water throughout your system.

Depending on the amount of space that will be devoted to your plant growing system, you may even need more than one pump to accomplish the circulation required to keep your growth medium at its optimal state of suspension. The type of growth medium you are using will also help to determine the flow rate needed to maintain optimal conditions within your water bath.

For instance, rockwool is often used to provide a footing for plants to grow and remain erect, and it takes up about 20% of the container volume. Clay pellets take up 30% and pea stone displaces about 80% of the water solution. As you may be able to notice, it would take a stronger hydroponic water pump to keep the solution flowing when 80% of the water is displaced by pea stone than it would with the rockwool. It is the constant flow that makes the difference between delivery of nutrients and their stagnation.

Just remember that when you are selecting a hydroponic pump that you do not want to create such a disturbance in the water bath that the plant roots will be disrupted. Other than that, when you are ready to consider the purchase of hydroponic water pump, and are not sure which one you should choose, it is preferable to go with one that is powerful rather than one that will not do a sufficient job. You can always create a barrier if the water is moving too rapidly.


Cooking - Easy, Fun And Healthy

Cooking can actually be a lot of fun as compared to the tough, tedious and drab affair that it is made out to be by many. Yes, it does require some patience and effort; but surely there is no pain no gain. Think of all the delicious food that you can enjoy and also treat friends and family to. There are so many varieties of ingredients and cooking techniques like baking, frying, grilling, boiling and even steaming to explore.It is all worth it.

I am sure the goodlooking pictures in the magazines and on cookery shows does make you want to cook. It sure does make me feel that way. Just glancing through a magazine or a television show and a good picture of any dish does make me stop right there for a few seconds. Even during the days when I had not begun my culinary journey and preferred to be a mere by-stander, I liked the theoretical aspect of this wonderful art. Now I know that all those delicious looking dishes are possible right in my kitchen. The lovely cookery blogs and the recipes that chefs at home post is evidence enough that it is no longer the forte of only the fancy restaurants. It is all possible right at home.

Cooking is a lot of fun, in addition it offers a number of advantages as well. Picking up a packet of packaged food from the freezer and putting it into the oven is definitely a lot easier. However, think of all the extra calories that you are taking in. If you would cook the same dish at home, you can use better in fact, the best quality ingredients and ensure a healthy lifestyle. You can make changes in the recipe to make it healthier. You can add some more fruits/vegetables. Lesser oil and salt is a definite benefit when it is cooked in your own kitchen. The cost aspect too is a big attraction. You can do it in almost half the cost of a supermarket bought pre-packaged food. So, if budget is any criteria then cooking at home is a great way to ensure that you are able to keep well within your budget.

It is definitely easy to eat healthy if you cook on your own. The fast paced lifestyle has made us resort greatly to packaged food. However, the growing importance of healthy eating is getting many of us to enter the kitchen.

Cooking can actually be a great stress-buster if you look at it as a form of expression and add to it your personal touch. The smile and satisfaction it can bring to your family and friends really makes all the effort worthwhile.

Cooking is not the time consuming laborious process it is made out to be. If you know how to work smart you can lay out a wonderful spread in no time at all. A little planning in advance can make all the difference. Some dishes can be made a few days prior and frozen so that you can enjoy your favorite dish whenever you feel like. Learn to manage your inventory in the kitchen and in your refrigerator well and you really wouldnt have any trouble even if you have a really long day at work or with the kids.

With the internet being a treasure house of all kinds of recipes you can now cook just what you want. Customize the taste and flavors to your needs, that's what makes you a great cook. Involve other family members and kids in the cooking process and it can be a fun activity that involves the entire family. Add a little twist to your cooking, take it outdoors today. Cooking outdoors can be great fun and has everyone involved as well. A barbecue party with an array of chicken dishes , burgers and vegetables can be simply great. So, put on your chefs cap and go ahead whip up a surprise delight. Happy cooking!!!


Getting Bottled Water Delivered to Your Home

Bottled Water delivery has become big business in the past few years partly due to the taste and health benefits it can offer. Lets face it water is the basis of all life and it is a well established fact that the human body needs it everyday to keep functioning. Getting water delivered to your home can actually be cheaper than purchasing bottles in the store. Before deciding on a bottle water delivery service, one should be familiar with options before entering a contract that could last over a year.

The first thing one should look into regarding bottled water delivery is the type of water. Many of the companies that deliver water to your home are simply filling the bottle from filtered tap water. Most of the large soft drink makers have a product line that is purely filtered water. This may be fine for your needs and one benefit of this is that it might contain the added benefit of fluoride that helps prevent tooth decay.

However if you are looking for the benefits of a more natural water source you may look into a provider of natural spring water. Natural spring water is exactly how it sounds, it is from a natural source that has not been treated or have chemicals added to it. You can find some natural spring water companies that will deliver it to your home such as Poland Springs, Zephyrhills or Fiji Water Delivery

One should also think about how the water will be delivered. Many companies deliver it in a larger container such as a 5 gallon bottle that needs to be used in conjunction with a dispenser. Usually a water dispenser is rented by the user from the water delivery company so there can be an added cost to the price of the water. Much of the natural spring water that is delivered is shipped in smaller sealed bottles from where it is bottled and that shipping price is included in the price. There aren't many natural spring water providers that deliver in the larger five gallon bottles, so if you are set on having spring water delivered you will probably need to go with a provider that ships it in smaller bottles such as liter or half liter bottles.

Today there are many different types and ways to get bottled water to your home. Before you buy consider all your options so that you and your family can benefit from the water that you choose to drink.


Shed Your Extra Fat With The Best Herbal Tea For Weight Loss

Herbal tea is regarded from the primitive times as a key to good health, wisdom, and happiness. It is showing the positive results till now by bestowing numerous health benefits to the people. This healthy drink can fight various diseases such as cancer, blood and sugar levels, mental imbalance, heart problem, hormonal changes, weight loss, and many more. It has antioxidant and antimicrobial qualities that help in the overall well being of the individuals.

While it is considered for its soothing properties as nature's antianxiety agent, the brew can also be beneficial in reducing weight. Therefore, shed your extra pounds by taking the best herbal tea for weight loss regularly. Many research has shown that tea drinkers, especially green tea can lose weight faster than people who do not take it.

Best herbal teas for weight loss are the healthiest beverage on the planet, loaded with antioxidants and other health beneficial substances. A cup of organic tea ensures intake of many beneficial substances having influential biological effects. Best herbal teas for weight loss shine is in its tremendous assortment of antioxidants that can boost the metabolism and burn the fat.

The active compounds in this healthy drink can enhance the effects of fat burning hormones. It breaks down the fat cell and moved into the bloodstream. The chief antioxidant in herbal tea is EGCG that can control an enzyme that breaks down the hormone norepinephrine. When this enzyme is stifled, the magnitude of norepinephrine increases. The nervous system use this hormone to signal the fat cells to break down the fat. Thus, more norepinephrine results to a powerful signal being transferred to the fat cell and more fat gets break down.

These healthy drinks are prepared by mixing herbs, plants, and other nutritional ingredients. They can maintain the level of free radicals in the bodies well. Herbal tea is often rich in minerals and vitamins, thereby prevents the deficiencies in your diet. Mix it in hot water and drink regularly for the numerous health benefits. Organic tea can also be helpful in the digestion, alleviating stress, healthy metabolism, and for the treatment of ailments like cold and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Best herbal tea for weight loss is both healthy and good in taste. The natural flavors and aroma of this refreshing drink can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Those who want to experience the good results of herbal tea, should follow a healthy lifestyle along with this drink. Regular exercise, workout, healthy eating habits along with the daily herbal tea intake will surely help you with your weight loss efforts. It will show you effective outcomes in a short time.

Get your herbal tea for weight loss from a local shop of your area and start having it daily for a healthy body weight. Time to pack the gym bag for workout, herbal tea kettle and healthy food to achieve the effective results by shedding extra kilos from your body.


Tips For Flower Garden Design

At first, it seems like designing your flower garden is a scary prospect. Once you've planted your flowers, it might be a bit hard for you to tear them up if you don't like the layout, so it's very important to get it right from the beginning.

You might find it easy to come up with a great garden design if you're an artist. But if not, then you may struggle with certain things like where to put everything, which varieties to use, and what colors to use. However, you can still design a beautiful flower garden even if you're not an artist or a landscaping professional.

Texture is one of the most important parts of designing a flower garden. Flowers of different shapes and heights should be used. You should include plants with various sizes of flowers, different leave shapes and sizes, etc. Variety is very important to the aesthetics to of your flower garden. If you have too many flowers that are similar, then it could be very boring.

As you design your garden, you need to keep the seasons in mind. Perhaps you'd want your garden blooming throughout the year as much as possible or you'd rather focus on a particular season.

If you want your garden to bloom mostly in the spring, you might want to choose pinks and purples, or you might want to go with classic tulip colors such as red and yellow. A lot of spring-blooming flowers are yellow, so that's a very classic color for the season.

You can use white and blue for the summer and by adding red, you can have a 4th of July garden! Spring and fall colors can also be used for your summer garden.

Fall flower gardens should probably contain reds, yellows, and orange. These colors would look great with the orange and browns of the fall leaves. For fall gardens, African Marigolds would be wonderful.

You don't have to stick with these colors, but you'll definitely need to choose colors that go well together. For example, you probably don't want to mix orange, purple, and blue together. For a wildflower garden, it's better to use a wide variety of colors.

You can use a wide range of colors if your intention is the wild and natural look. But if you want a more refined or elegant garden, you need to be careful to choose colors that complement each other well.

Remember that the height of the flowers you plant should vary. If you're planting flowers near a border of some sort, like a fence or wall, then you should plant taller varieties in the back, gradually planting shorter and shorter flowers as you move forward. Then a low-lying ornamental grass should be planted in the front as a border between the flowers and the walkway.

Planting annuals may not be the best choice since they need to be replanted each year. You should mix annuals in with perennials. Being relaxing is one of the best things about flower gardens. It's not relaxing if it's too much work.


How to Choose Great Outdoor Patio Furniture for Your Yard

Most people end up replacing their patio furniture much too often. For some people it's almost a yearly tradidtion! If you follow a few simple guidelines, you'll be able to buy outdoor furniture that looks great and will last a very long time.

Choice of material is probably the biggest factor to think about when choosing outdoor furniture. The material is the biggest factor in determining the weather proofness of your outdoor furniture and how long it will last with minimal maintenance from you.

For those that don't want to spend much time cleaning or maintaining their patio furniture, aluminum or plastic are the best bets. Furniture made from these two materials are highly water resistant and weather proof. When they start to get dirty simply soap them up and then spray them down with a garden hose.

Cast iron and steel is another choice but they will corrode and rust unless varnished or sealed with some type of weather coating. You can also look for metal furniture that has been powder coated at the factory.

Wood on the other hand can be more of a problem. Teak is probably the best wood to choose as it is pretty weather resistant. Other woods that are used in very cheap outdoor furniture can rot or grow mold after only a few months in the rain. If you want to put the extra effort in, the waterproofing of outdoor wooden furniture can be improved by staining or varnishing each item.

Patio furniture in these materials are available in all sorts of colors, shapes and styles. Follow these guidelines and you should have no problem finding something that looks great in your yard and will also last a very long time with minimal effort.


Container Flower Gardening

If you are like most people the pleasure of seeing fresh, vibrant and colorful blooms is one of the greatest delights of both the spring and summer seasons.

You don't need to be a gardening expert to produce your own. Anyone can plant, grow, and enjoy their own pleasurable flower garden regardless of where they live. It doesn't have to take up a lot of time consuming nor does it need to take up a lot of space.

The solution for those who want the joys of a real garden without a lot of the maintenance is container flower gardening.

You can choose the type and colors of flowers to suit your own taste and the size and type of containers to suit the free space you have available.

It becomes simple to transform a dull patio, decking area, balcony or even a window sill into a work of art.

Start by deciding what type of containers you want to use. This is largely determined by the area that you intend to use for your container garden. Some typical types of container are ceramic pots, wooden barrels, or plastic containers.

All containers must have adequate drainage to stop your plants ending up soaked and over watered. Remember also that the roots will need to grow so the containers should allow room for that. You can always transfer from container to container as the flowers grow if you wish.

Quick Fact:
Container gardening refers to more than just simple containers - it can mean window boxes, hanging baskets or standard plant pots.

Once you've decided on your container - next you are going to need some soil. Choose a good, high quality potting soil that you can pick up from your gardening supplies store. Look for one with vermiculite added in for correct drainage and moisture levels. When repotting newly sprouted flowers from the plastic tray to the container use a granular type fertilizer to help assist growth.

So you've got your container and your soil, next you need some flowers. The choice here again is your own but its good to vary the heights and colors of your flower selection. You can choose colors that complement each other well.

Container flower gardening allows you to use your own flair and creativity and is a big part of the satisfaction of the hobby.

Your local gardening supply store personnel could be a good resource for choosing which flowers to use and how to place them.

Finally some other important things to bear in mind for keeping your container flower gardening healthy. It will need the right amount of sunlight and water. This will vary depending on the type of flowers - make sure you read the information that comes with your flower seedlings.

Container flower gardening is a relaxing and rewarding hobby with long term satisfaction and can be used to greatly enhance any home.



Buying a new sofa can be an exciting time especially when you have brought it in the sale and you have paid half the price. A sofa can be the focal point of your lounge and it can totally change the look. Once you have made the hardest decision of colour and fabric then you will want it to match the other furniture in the room. More importantly it needs to be colour coordinated, as there is nothing worse than a sofa that sticks out like a sore thumb.

Showing off your new sofa to all your friends and family is great when it's brand new but after a couple of months the sofa can start to get a little dirty. To ensure you keep the quality and freshness of your sofa. Although we don't want to think about this chore too often it really will pay off in the long run.

The first way of keeping your sofa clean is by giving it a good going over when you hoover the carpet. This doesn't have to be on every occasion unless you have pets that lose lots of hair, in which case this needs to be done more regularly. If the cushions of your sofa can be removed then do so and then hoover in the little nooks and crannies where we often find loose change.

When you are on a mission and you are doing a full on spring clean then the sofa does need a little more attention when cleaning. Apart from doing your regular hovering you could also wash down the sofa. This needs to be done on a day that you don't require the sofa for seating purposes as it might take all day to dry. If you have removable cushions then wash these separately and leave these to dry before placing them back on the sofa.

Washing detergent used for your laundry is adequate enough to clean a fabric sofa unless of course you have a different material sofa. Lots of the local supermarkets will offer a range of suitable cleaning products. Under no circumstance should you use a product containing bleach. It has been known to be used on an off white sofa with an unwanted stain on it. This was the worse thing they could have done. The beautiful sofa was totally ruined and had to be rectified by using a throw.

So you do have to be careful when buying a light coloured sofa, particularly white. They can be almost impossible to keep clean unless of course it is just for show and it is never used. You can always flip over the cushions, which will mean you don't have to think about cleaning the cushions quite so often.

Finally it is so important to clean your sofa. Not just for superficial reasons but if left to fester then lots of bacteria can be stored in the sofa which will increase by the minute if neglected. It doesn't have to be done all he time but just enough to keep the quality and cleanliness of the sofa.


All Natural Skin Care Products - Find the Healthiest Cream For Your Skin Today!

There are many ways to repair skin damage and maintain its youthful appearance. It could be as simple as following basic skin care, avoiding those that lead to skin damage and finding all natural skin care products ideal for your type of skin. The problem, however, is that there are so many different creams and skin care products out there. Skin care tips are sometimes contradictory that the once simple solution to skin damage became more baffling.

There is no best cream for everyone but there is such a thing as healthiest cream for your skin. This is because people's skin type differs. Some are oilier while some are drier. Some are more tolerant of the sun's rays while some are more sensitive. A person's lifestyle should also dictate on which cream to purchase. This is because people can be exposed to different triggers that cause free radicals. This means that all natural skin care products you have to purchase should focus on protection your skin needs the most.

The first thing one has to consider when buying the healthiest cream is its protection against the sun. Long exposure to the sun has been long proven to lead to skin damage that sunscreen is one of the best bets for choosing one. Being exposed to the sun for long hours has many consequences including sun spots, discoloration, dryness and wrinkles.

The condition of the skin will inevitably deteriorate with time but it can be slowed down with apt skin regimen and all natural skin care products. There are a few components that your cream has to have to guarantee that it would help you keep that youthful glow. The first one is antioxidants. Free radicals lead to oxidation which has been considered to be a culprit in the process of skin aging. Antioxidants, such as vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin E have been known to kill free radicals and keep the cells of the skin healthy. Having these ingredients in your skin care products would definitely prove to be beneficial.

Products with water and oil need preservatives to prevent bacterial growth after they are opened. Most skin care products contain preservatives, such as quaternium-15 and imidazolidynyl urea, that sometimes cause skin irritation. For people who have skin reactions from these preservatives, it is best to resort to all natural skin care products.

Another main consideration is the moisturizing properties of the cream. Moisturizers, in all natural skin care products, can hold water in the outermost layer of skin. Aside from that, they also act as a temporary barrier that allows damaged cells of the skin to be repaired on their own. Again, it all depends on the type of your skin. For normal to oily skin, water-based moisturizers are best to avoid that greasy feeling. On the other hand, those with dry skin and mature skin may need more moisturizing components that it has to be oil-based.

It is not enough to use the cream that suits your skin best. You still have follow a basic skin care regimen and avoid other factors that lead to skin damage. A multi-level strategy might just do wonders for skin repair and its maintenance. Having a well-balanced diet and having a healthy lifestyle can also improve the condition of your skin.


What Does An Air Purifier Actually Do?

There are different forms of air purifier systems, so it can be hard to know what someone means when they talking about air purifying. For example, all air conditioning units and most central heating devices have some form of air purification built in. In deed, the air purification filters in most split air conditioning units are very sophisticated. A similar add-on unit can be bought for most central heating and central conditioning systems.

However, you may not require heating or cooling units, but you may want a dedicated air purifier. Air purification units can greatly increase your quality of life, especially if you suffer from an allergy or live with a smoker or animals.

Air purifiers or air cleaners, as they are also known, clean the air of pollutants and foreign bodies. However, some air purifiers are more advanced than others, so it is a good idea to work out what you want to remove from your air before you buy one.

This is because not all systems will take all kinds of filter and not all filters will trap all pollutants. Some will, but not all. So if you want to take pollen out of the air because you suffer from hay fever, check with the supplier that the unit that you like, can do the job.

Air purifiers will greatly help allergy sufferers and some people do not know that they have an allergy. Some people are allergic to pet hairs, or dog and or cat skin particles or smoke or traffic pollutants like tyre rubber to say nothing of the exhaust fumes that none of us want. So, if you live near a road or a factory, or keep a cat or a dog, you live with a smoker or you suffer from hay fever, an air purifier would most likely be good for you.

How you do this is clearly up to you. If you have a central air conditioning unit already, it is probably better for you to install an air purification system near your blower. This method is relatively cheap ($300 - $1,000), but it will purify the air in the whole house.

If you live in a bedsit, a trailer or a caravan and it gets hot where you live, a split air con system is perhaps better for you, but if you just want to purify the air immediately around you, then a portable air purifier will meet your requirements.

One word of caution though, many of the cheaper portable air purifying units are worse than useless because they are burning your electricity without giving you any benefit. These cheap models do not have the power to purify large volumes of air and they do not have filters that are capable of blocking the allergens that trouble us.


Stainless Steel BBQ Drawers Make Grilling Easier

There you are all set to make the most out of your barbequing experience and you can't find the utensils it takes to turn the steak over. That would not be the case if you have stainless steel bbq drawers to store those much needed tools in. Everything you need to make your party great is right there next to your grill.

Bbq drawers are handy conveniences that many people do not even consider necessary when setting up their patio for those special moments when you and the family and maybe some friends are right there ready to partake in some of the finest eating possible. However, when you think about it grilling is not that much different than cooking on the range in the home. Most kitchens are set up with drawers right there close by, housing all the tools needed to prepare a fantastic meal.

When creating the perfect outdoor kitchen, shouldn't you also consider placing stainless steel drawers right where you need them the most? When making your selection from the many sizes of bbq drawers that are available the first thing to think about is what kinds of tools will be needed.

Sure you will need tongs and spatulas as well as shish kabob skewers and thermometers, but there are so many more items that can go into those bbq drawers so that they will be readily accessible during those times spent outdoors.

Some items that are often needed when grilling are pot holders and towels for protecting and keeping the hands clean and safe. Paper towels are other items that come in handy when working at any kitchen even the one that is on the patio. Of course you can't forget about plates and bowls as well as glasses and cups when you are creating taste tempting treats for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you need only one bbq drawer or several of them stainless steel drawers are the right way to go. For one thing, they are built to be perfect for outdoor use, and they will hold up to any kind of weather condition. They look good and fit into the decor easily enough for any outdoor situation.

When setting up that outdoor kitchen don't forget that most of the things that you use for those special occasions can be stored in your own stainless steel bbq drawers, and you will not have to be carting them back and forth each time you need them when they are stored in bbq drawers set up right there on the patio or garden area.

Nothing makes more sense than having the things that you need to complete any task right there at your fingertips, and that includes when you are preparing your famous grilling recipes. Therefore, adding stainless steeldrawers to your grilling area is an excellent idea.

Finding the finest quality in bbq drawers is not a difficult task, and can usually be accomplished by visiting sites that offer any kind of grilling equipment. Some suppliers can even custom build steel bbq drawers to suit your individual needs.


Lower Heating Bills With Energy Saving Devices

Once you've had a home energy audit done, you'll be thinking about renovations and purchases based on energy saving. While nothing beats in-depth insulating, buying new windows, weather stripping and caulking air leaks, or investing in a new furnace, there are many smaller changes you can do today that will conserve electricity. For instance, you can buy Energy Star appliances, energy monitors, direct energy and indirect energy saving devices.

The first step toward energy saving comes with a realistic assessment of your home's energy use and where changes can be made. Meters and monitors will show you how much energy you're using -- and, in the end, how much energy you've saved. Thermometers are perhaps the simplest of the home energy saving devices. Thermometers help you measure the temperature of your refrigerator, freezer, water heater and various rooms of the house. If you're having trouble finding the drafts in your home, try using an infrared heat gun to show you an instant temperature reading wherever you point your gun. Your electrical meter and gas meter can also reveal a lot about your energy usage. If you record the data each day, you may see patterns of spikes or declines which will help you determine what might be wasting energy in your home.

The next step in your quest to save energy is to invest in some direct power conserving devices for the home. Programmable thermostats can save up to 1% of your energy costs for every degree you turn down the heat or turn up the air conditioning for an eight hour period each day, states the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy agency of the US government. For instance, if you dropped the thermostat from 68 to 61 from 9 am - 5 pm while you're at work, you can cut your heating costs by 7%. Your thermostat will let you automatically time when these temperature changes take place, so you won't even have to think about it.

Smart Power Strips are another one of the great ways to save electricity. For $35, you could divide your electricity uses into three sections: the control outlet, one or more hot outlets and one or more switched outlets. For example, you can plug your desktop computer into the control outlet, the cable modem and router into the constant hot outlet and all the other devices (printers, speakers, etc) into an easy on/off switch outlet.

You can also find energy saving as a secondary feature of many household products. For instance, a dimmer switch is intended to offer homeowners more versatile lighting in their homes. Yet, it also can also save the life of your lightbulbs and cost you a little less on your electric bills. Of course, fluorescent lights are better at saving you money, but do not have as much ambiance. Similarly, automatic timers on pool pumps, computers and other appliances are designed to turn devices on or off, but these also save on your power consumption. Timers can also be found on bathroom fans, which may be programmed to run for a set period of time after your shower but not all day long. Motion lights function as wonderful power saving devices by providing you with light only when you need it. Power bars protect your equipment from damage during power spikes, but will also cut off all power to your devices with the flip of a switch.


Home made Face and Body Scrubs

love homemade face scrubs! They remove the actual itchy, flaky and unclean layer of your skin that turns vibrant and smooth--your skin feel refreshed. Do it twice a week and you will enjoy a constant smooth, healthy skin. I'll also mention a couple of homemade body scrubs.

What's a scrub?

Scrubs, exfoliators, or exfoliating scrubs--they basically mean the same; an agent that gently removes the outer layer of your pores and skin. A scrub is a deeper cleanse than using cleansers, toners or even soaps. The result is not only a smooth skin but scrubs also stimulate blood flow, skin rejuvenation and revive the natural glow of your skin. Scrubs is most effective on clean skin; a body scrub after a bath or bath is prefect.

Begin with your feet and with slow circular motions work the body up to your shoulders. A body scrub often rubs the skin greater than a face scrub so use a gentler scrub for your face than the body.

Avoid irritating your skin

Face scrubs can be used twice a week but body scrubs only twice a month for those who have normal skin. If you have sensitive skin like me, avoid rubbing the skin too hard. I've seen that if I rub my skin too hard or too often it causes skin irritation and this can be a reminder to treat your skin gentler. You don't always notice immediately if you're rubbing too much; sometimes your skin will show signs of irritation only after a couple of hours.

Why can I do a face scrub twice a week but a body scrub only twice per month? One reason is that your face is under attack all day time long from dirt particles, environmental toxins, UV radiation and more. This is why you ought to revive your delicate facial skin more often. Your body is more protected under layers of clothes for the majority of the year.

Scrubs containing oils

A vegetable oil like extra virgin essential olive oil will make your scrub easier to use--oil makes your scrub milder and lessen skin friction. It means that your skin doesn't obtain irritated as easy. Oil also protects your skin and makes this smoother.

Prepare a milder face scrub

Oat flour and almond flour tend to be both gentle and contain healthy oils. If you have oily skin you can test kaolin clay instead. Mix equal parts oat flour, honey, almond flour. Add yogurt before you get the consistency you like. Wet your face and gently therapeutic massage the mix with circular motions. Leave it on for a short while and rinse.

Algae and kelp

Algae and kelp are often utilized in spa treatments and are good for aged skin. Put the dry algae or kelp in water for some time before use. They contain minerals and salt that makes for the gentle scrub.

Body scrubs with salt

Salt is excellent in entire body scrubs. Just be aware that salt dries out your skin and to balance this you need to use a moisturizer or oil after you rinsed the scrub off. A simple salt scrub is by using a gentle soap that creates a foam on your skin. As the foam is still on your skin gently gently massage your pores and skin with salt and rinse it off. And again, be sure to utilize a moisturizer. If you mix salt with olive oil or rapeseed oil it becomes less irritating and doesn't dry out your skin as much. Try extra virgin coconut oil following this scrub--it's wonderful for the skin and smells great.


Day Spa Margaret River - 10 Reasons Why You Should Not Miss Out On the Experience of a Day Spa

If you want to enjoy a relaxing day, visit a day spa in Margret River. For those who are wondering what exactly a day spa is, here a small elucidation. A day spa is essentially a cross between a salon and a spa. So, as in a salon, you visit the place only during the day and get various hair and beauty treatments done at the place. Also, as in a spa, you can enjoy several rejuvenation massages, steam baths, aromatherapy treatments and so many other relaxing procedures. Here are ten reasons that are going to compel you to visit a day spa in this charming city.


Unlike conventional spas that are usually located away from the city centre, day spas are very much a part of the city. So, visiting the place is more convenient. Also, if you cannot spend a few days away from your routine life to visit a conventional spa, you can visit a day spa and enjoy the same benefits. You can drive in at the appointed time and drive off in the evening, after having enjoyed a few hours of utter relaxation.

Cost effective luxury

If you like luxury but costs stop you from visiting a conventional spa, head over a day spa. Although day spas are not very cheap, they are more cost effective than a conventional spa. You can enjoy almost the same level of luxury as well.

Comprehensive beauty care centre

Many day spas provide beauty treatments such as pedicure, manicure, hair care and skin care. So, when you visit a day spa, you can get yourself treated from head to toe.

Weight loss benefits

The massages and detoxification treatments provided at day spas help you lose weight in a healthy manner. Some day spas have special packages for weight loss treatments.

Pampering and relaxation

Visiting a day spa is the best form of pampering yourself. Enjoy the experience of skilled hands working on your tired muscles and enjoy enhanced relaxation.

Reduce stress

With your body detoxified and muscles relaxed, you experience a reduction in stress. So, if you have been working too hard and are stressed out, one visit to a day spa is the need of the hour for you.

Get rids of pains

People suffering from backache, neck and shoulder aches and pains in the joints can experience a lot of relief by undergoing special massages at day spas. You can enjoy pain relief without spending too much money.

Improve mental health

With your stress level down, body detoxified and your entire biological system refreshed by the treatments at a day spa, you notice a distinct improvement in your mental health. If you have been experiencing bouts of depression, dullness, reduction in memory power and lack of concentration, visit a day spa.

Experience better sexual life

Sexual life depends on the overall wellbeing of your body. When your mind is alert, stress levels are down and body is detoxified, you feel energised. The quality of sexual life improves.

Improve quality of life

Ultimately, when you are relaxed in your mind and body, you can live life of a much better quality. You can face challenges better and can juggle all the important things in your life more efficiently.

To comprehend the true extent of benefits you enjoy from a day spa, visit one today.


Thinking Through the Value of Charcoal Water Filters

When you start researching the best kinds of home water filtering systems, you will hear a lot about charcoal water filters. Its a good idea to know more about how charcoal water filters work so you can make an informed decision before you invest in your own water filtration system.

Many people know that charcoal itself is the outcome of a process of where organic matter and wood are heated together in an oxygen free system. One of the most useful products of that comes out of that process is charcoal because it has a lot of diverse uses including charcoal water filters.

Charcoal often has air pockets buried inside the hard black material. Along with how well charcoal burns, the characteristic that makes it so great in the form of a charcoal water filter is it traps gases and contaminants in as water passes through the filter.

A charcoal water filter uses a variation on the material called activated charcoal. Activated charcoal has been processed so it even more porous than conventional charcoal. That additional processing makes activated charcoal very good at trapping unwanted substances that are in the water.

Activated charcoal water filters can absorb a tremendous amount of substances and trap contaminants for quite some time before you should change the filter out. For example, just one cc or charcoal can trap 90 times that much water contaminants in a very small space. That makes an activated charcoal water filter a tremendously efficient water purification system.

Charcoal water filters do not filter out the natural minerals in your drinking water. We get a lot of minerals from drinking water that are essential to health. If a water filtration system removes those minerals, you would have to replace that source of nutrition.

When shopping for a water purification system, you can have confidence if you consider use the charcoal water filter approach to water purity. It is a design of water purification that has been in use for quite some time and it has been proven time and time again to be reliable and healthy in keeping your water healthy for you and your family to drink.


Do It Yourself Home Security. Keep Your Home Safe

For the majority of people, that sense of safety and protection has always been found in the comfort of their own homes. However, many homeowners fail to take the necessary precautions to secure their homes against illegal entry. Even if you are on a tight budget, there are basic do-it-yourself steps that you can take to better protect your home.

One of the choices you have when you are determined to increase the security of your home is to implement a do-it-yourself home security program. With an install it yourself system, you have the ability to choose what components you can afford. For instance, if you want sensors on every window and door, then that's what you will choose for your system. Because you are the security system designer, you decide what it does.

Little or No Cost Burglar Prevention

There are many ways you can secure your home with little or no cost:

1.) Conduct a security check of your home to determine possible weaknesses

2.) Fake Security Cameras are a cost effective of way of deterring criminals from your home Fake cameras look exactly like real cameras. Quality fake cameras come equipped with a cable and flashing light. Most criminals cannot tell the difference between a real and fake camera.
3.) Keep all entrances and garages well-lit at night.

4.) Do not advertise that you are away

5.) A wide-angle door viewer allows you to view callers before you open the door
6.) Never open a door to strangers without credentials. Teach your children this step.

7.) Because burglars can operate on a person's routine, it is important to change your routine frequently.

8.) Do not keep large amounts of money in your home. Mark valuable items for identification

9.) Keep valuables in a safety deposit box at your bank. If this is not possible, keep them locked in a fire proof safe

Front and Back Doors

All exterior doors should be constructed using a solid hard wood or reinforced steel. A good door is useless if its frame is in poor shape. Assess the door jams. It is recommended that you install 2-1/2 to 3 inch stainless steel or nickel plated screws in all exterior door jams. Screws should be driven at least 1-3/4 inch deep into the underlying frame. Many home improvement centers sell quality door reinforcement kits. Supporting the front entrance and back entrance is an important step. Dead bolt locks are available at your local hardware store and they come with easy to follow installation instructions. Upgrading locks is essential, but remember the screws holding the lock and door hinges in place. Remove the short screws and replace them with the 3" screws. Your door will be tightly fastened into the door frame. Upgrade the strike plate on your door jam with a much longer strike plate 10" or 12" and install it with 3" screws. These screws are long enough that they will go right through the door casing and into the frame around your door.

Securing Windows

Most double hung windows have cheap locks which should be replaced by heavy duty locks. Upgrade your locks by installing dead bolt locks. Double dead bolts locks provide the best security. The safest windows are glass block. They are nearly impossible to break and cannot be opened. They are a good choice for basements or areas at or near ground level. A glass-break detector can detect the sound of breaking glass and can be installed in an area in close proximity to doors and windows. Security pins can be added to window frames to prevent easy entry by a burglar. Window locks, even high quality secure windows locks, are inexpensive and an important security requirement.

Patio and Sliding Window Doors

To prevent thieves from lifting the frame from the track, drive a few screws into the top track above where the door or window rests when closed. Don't drive the screws all the way in. The protruding heads make it impossible to lift the door or window out of the frame. You will still be able to remove the door or window for cleaning by sliding it over to the open section.

Downstairs/Basement Areas

No matter what style of window you have in your basement, they're always going to be difficult to secure because their location. Break resistant glass and pins or locks securing the window to the frame will definitely help. Key operated window locks are the securest method to safeguard your windows, but you must ensure that the key is kept somewhere close by and all family members must know precisely where the key it is locate in the event of a fire.

Security Alarms

Wireless do it yourself home security systems can give you a remarkable level of protection. There are many wireless do it yourself home security systems that are supplied as a basic kit. These security kits typically come with a couple of motion detectors, a couple of sensors, along with the control panel and probably a siren. These wireless do it yourself home security systems are not expensive and adding components won't put much of a strain on the bank. Although there is variation among different makes and models of security systems, almost all work the same way. All the keypad consoles are wired to a central control box, usually located in a basement or closet. The control box contains a battery backup, phone wires and wires for a cellular backup.

Neighborhood Watch

One of the best ways to keep your home safe is to establish a neighborhood watch of neighbors to keep an eye on each other's property for suspicious activity. Having other people monitoring your home while you're away is one of the most efficient ways to deter intruders.

Organization is Fundamental Security

Simple changes in your home and your lifestyle can ensure that you never have to worry about break ins. Beginning with a basic do it yourself home security system is better than no protection at all. In the future, you can always add to your set-up to bring it to the level of security you and your family need.


Winter Gardening Tips

Gardening is a favorite pastime for many people, especially on the seasons when it is warm and sunny outside. During winter, however, most people either give up gardening all together or they do not perform it with the same zeal. There is no good reason why gardening should have to wait for springtime to arrive. The garden does not have to remain barren and bare just because it is winter.

The garden landscape may be improved in a two ways. These are landscaping and redesigning. One of the ways in which a garden may be redesigned for the winter season is through the erection of garden statues. Statues are beautiful ornaments that can drastically alter the look of the garden during the winter season. One may choose to undertake the redesigning process themselves.

Alternatively, they may seek professional help. Before trying out anything, the owner should have decided before hand whether it is the whole garden that needs redesigning or just parts of it. Again, they should be clear on their preferred designs. With the garden statues in place, the gardens look as beautiful as they would during summer or spring. Even without plants, or with dormant plants, the garden appears complete with statues in place. This is because they provide the garden with both depth and breadth. Before one settles on the particular garden statues, they would like for their gardens, it is important to first assess the landscape and decor of the same.

For instance, one may settle on bronze garden statues. The statues may take the form of cherubs or even lions. What the owner should take note of is that while the statues may be beautiful, they should fit in with the scale of the garden. This means that the bronze statue should not be too small or too large. A small statue may not add enough character to the garden because it would not be able to demand the required presence and interest.

On the other hand, a very large statue would only serve to draw attention away from other surrounding features of the garden landscape. Bronze garden statues that may also serve as fountains can be a priceless addition to the garden during winter. One main advantage of erecting such a piece lies in the fact that statues are frost resistant. This means that they are not damaged by the cold. A fountain is a sure way to attract birds. However, it is not only the birds that may be in need of the water provided by the fountains, rather, the evergreen plants in the garden may also be watered from the fountain. These evergreen plants tend to lose water through their pines even during the winter season.

It is imperative that they are watered on a weekly basis. By conducting online searches, one may come across many beautiful bronze garden statues. Moreover, by comparing the statues on offer on the different sites, it is possible to obtain good bargains on unique bronze pieces. It is possible to order the statues online.


Various Styles of Indoor Lighting

Are you looking to decorate or redecorate your house? Would you like to add that stylish flair to it that makes it even more beautiful? We at Estelles Lighting realize that each room in your house needs lighting according to its purpose and we provide you with the best collection of lighting fixtures and solutions available in the market today.

Indoor Lighting is a modern necessity but not many people take advantage of the vast array of indoor lighting fixtures available in the market today. Proper indoor lighting can bring your entire house to life- one room at a time. Estelles Lighting helps you choose a modern design suitable to your budget and with very little effort involved. We give you ideas that can make any home look more inviting and stylish at the same time.

There are many different types of indoor lighting. For example, there is Task Lighting which helps you perform a specific activity such as reading, by concentrating light in a particular place. Then there is Decorative Lighting which includes lighting fixtures like chandeliers and candelabras to give your home that extra oomph. Other types of lighting include Mood Lighting, Ambience Lighting etc.

Natural light is the best light that you can decorate your house with. Natural light creates a better living environment by making spaces visually interesting and also there is the added bonus of reducing your energy consumption. Skylights, often called roof windows, are unique features that lend your rooms a cheerful air and a sense of spaciousness. The location of the skylight should be based on sun angle, prevailing wind direction, light distribution pattern and the effect on home décor. Skylights come in various shapes like rectangular, square, triangular, circular or any other shape that you can come up with. Skylights can be flat glass or domed acrylic as well. Skylights can be used in your family rooms, atriums, kitchens even attics.

Wall Lights
The latest trend in indoor lighting is wall lights. They give a sophisticated charm to your house and they are a great way to adorn your empty walls. Wall fixtures include wall sconces, wall lamps etc. Estelles Lighting offers you an exclusive range of designer wall lights that give your home a warm inviting atmosphere. While traditional brass wall sconces continue to be in popular demand, there is an increase in painted metal and nickel or pewter finishes today as well. Wall lights can be used in hallways, drawing rooms, stairways etc. They are incredibly versatile and can be used for ambient, task or accent lighting.

Tree Lighting
Tree lighting doesn't have to be done just during Christmas. Your indoor trees can make interesting indoor lighting fixtures as well. By merely adding a string of simple white lights, an indoor tree can become the focal point of a room. By adding a small decorative mirror behind the plant, you can create a glowing effect that brings out the greenery and hence brings the room to life.

Ceiling Lighting
Ceiling lighting is a great way to set a mood, create an atmosphere and make a statement. The choices of styles in ceiling lighting are endless! Ceiling light fixtures provide the best overall lighting making general tasks easier. The great thing about ceiling fixtures is that they are available in any style imaginable and can be used to decorate any room. For example, a stylish pendant can be used in the kitchen or to add flair to the bar area. You have choice from a wide variety of ceiling fixtures here at Estelles Lighting. All you have to do is choose the perfect fixture to add that flair and beauty to your home.

Indoor lighting products help you to decorate your home and help you to make your home bright. Buy Indoor Lighting from the company that has good repute in the market for giving lighting solutions.

About Estelles Lighting: Estelles Lighting, Inc. is acknowledged in the market for our professional approach in the supply of Light fixtures. We supply all kind of lamps, ballasts, tubes, and nearly all types of associated accessories. Estelles Lighting, Inc. expansive warehouse stocks most if not all kinds of light bulbs that are at guaranteed to have competitive prices with quick delivery. For more information visit http://www.estelleslighting.com


Home Spa Treatments-enjoy The Many Benefits Of Your Own Home Spa

Thanks to home spa treatments you can now relax and de-stress all in the comfort and privacy of your own home. With the right products, you can create your very own unique spa treatment experience. Now there's no need to spend hundreds of dollars at a pricey salon anymore. Home spa treatments make sense if you are on a tight budget but you still want to enjoy the benefits of professional treatments.

Fewer Expenses

Spa treatments are no longer considered luxury. Gone are the days when spa treatments were only reserved for the rich and famous. Because of the amount of stress that we have to endure everyday, spa sessions are a must to keep the mind and body healthy and strong.

Of course, it goes without saying that spa treatments are rarely a bargain. You have to pay much for the best treatments. Moreover, you have to return for succeeding sessions if you want to maintain the effects of your treatment.

Home spas definitely cost much less than typical spa establishments. The most that you would have to spend for are for the products that you need to use for your home spa session. There are no other extra fees so you get more for your money.

Product Flexibility

One of the best benefits of home spa treatments is that you get to choose which products you want to use. Your options are virtually limitless. There is every imaginable product for cleansing, moisturizing, exfoliating, toning and all your other facial skincare and body needs. You don't have to limit yourself to just one brand or to an expensive product either. You can explore as much as you can with products that work well for you and fit your budget.

Products are now also divided into natural organic products and artificial products. The choice between the two product types is for you to make. You could also opt to use products that have both organic and synthetic ingredients.

If you want to get the best deals and products for your home spa, consider doing some comparison shopping online. You might find it a bit daunting at first because there are so many products to choose from. To help you in your product selection you may want to look into consumer product reviews to see what others have to say about a particular treatment or retailer.

No More Limits to Your Comfort

Some people just aren't comfortable even in a peaceful spa if they don't have the exact environment that they want. In typical spas, your choice of amenities and atmosphere is limited. This is not the case with a home spa. Aside from being able to use the products of your choice, you also have the added benefit of constructing the exact environment that you want. You can play your very own mood music, install dimmers, hang themed curtains and invite loved ones to share your spa with you. Your home spa can be anything you want it to be.

The benefits of home spa treatments are not to be overlooked. If you want what's best for your health and your wallet, you should seriously consider your very own home spa now.


Simple Chicken Breast Recipes

Simple Chicken breast recipes are one thing that a recipe box or kitchen should not be without. Between soccer games, karate, and doctor appointments life can be very hectic and cooking a 5 course meal is just out of the question. However our families still deserve a well balanced, nutritious and tasty meal; which means we have to improvise and come up with recipes that are simple, quick and meet those requirements.

These simple chicken breast recipes are just the ticket to sitting your family down to a hot, nutritious and flavorful meal. They will take you from the chicken to the table with ease and little time. Enjoy!

This first one is very simple and is a one pan wonder. My family really enjoys it and it only takes me about 10 minutes to throw together and then about 35 minutes to cook. I love cooking this on nights when my husband works because it smells wonderful and when he walks in he always says "ooooo, can't wait for dinner."

Ranch Chicken with Veggies

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 c veggie of choice (carrots work well)
1 c Italian bread crumbs, plus a little extra
2 packages of dry Ranch dressing mix

Preheat oven to 350.

Spray or oil the a 9x13 dish and coat with extra bread crumbs.

In a bowl mix the ranch dressing and 1 cup of bread crumbs together. Coat the chicken in the mixture and place in pan. Then put your veggie in the mixture, stir to evenly coat and then place carrots in the pan around the chicken.

Bake for 35 minutes then serve with slices of bread or biscuits.

This next simple chicken breast recipe is a marvelous well-balanced meal that can be done in one pan. It's incredibly easy to make and simple to clean up. This recipe can also be converted to a crock pot if necessary and baked during the day.

Chicken and Rice

8 boneless skinless chicken breast
1 can onion soup
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/3 can milk
1 box of long grain and wild rice mix
1 16 oz bag of frozen veggies

Preheat oven to 350.

Evenly spread the rice in a 13x9 inch pan. Then sprinkle the herb packet that came with the rice over it, and top with the veggies. In a bowl mix the onion soup with one can of water and pour it over the veggies. Then place the chicken on top of the rice. In a bowl mix the mushroom soup with the milk and pour this over the chicken. Bake for 1 ½ hours.

Both of these recipes do involve quiet a few ingredients and minimal amounts of prep time. However if you need something with almost no prep and few ingredients then you can always opt for the classic; throw some chicken in a pan and pour a can of cream of chicken over it, serve it with instant mashed potatoes and a veggie. This simple chicken breast recipe has been around for ages and has become a favorite quick meal for most families.


Uplift your Rooms with these Low Cost Decor Ideas

Does your house look duller to you with every passing day? If yes, here are some ideas to revamp it and have all your friends complementing you on the new look.

If you stick with most of these ideas, your house will have gone through a complete overhaul by the end of the weekend! Even more exciting is that you do not have to rob a bank to meet the cost of the make over. All the materials needed are within the household budget; with some already in the house.

We'll begin with the larger tasks and follow through with the smaller, easier ones.

Paint a wall

Repainting one wall in the room is enough to give the room a fresh look. Choose one wall and paint it in a shade chosen from the room's color scheme. It will brighten and become the new focal point.

You can create a whole new look by changing the placement of your furniture. This applies mostly to the living room. Place the sofas in such a way that they convey warmth and openness. If you cram them together, they will look closed up and uninviting. Such a plan will also make the room look small. Whatever you do, do not push furniture against the wall.

Often times, moving the furniture creates a totally different look in the room. Form an open setting with the sofas, one that looks inviting and would encourage conversation among guests. Avoid pushing furniture to the wall. Leave some space to allow for passage and a few accessories if need be. To enhance your new setting, buy an area rug that complements the colors used in the room. If the furniture furnishings are in a solid color, choose a floral rug with a rich design to break of the monotony of single-color use. If you have a table in the room, do not choose a rug with a central design as it will be covered by the table anyway. If your upholstery is floral or patterned, choose a rug in solid color. Black rugs will neutralize the room if you've used very bright colors. Blue rugs are also great.

Dining chair magic

If your dining chairs are unused most of the time, consider using a couple of them to prop the sofa or console table. They will be like sentries. You can also place one chair by the dresser. If your living room is big and largely empty, these chairs will fill up some of that space so it looks well coordinated.

Define a Cozier Space:

Use screens to break up the room into cozy spaces. Plants will work well too. You can also divide spaces using area rugs. Spread a modern area rug at the centre and a colored Flokati rug on each screen area. Of course the number of cozy zones you can create will depend on the size of your room. If your room is more on the small scale, one zone is enough. Define the area with a settee or sofa, and plenty of cushions. These are spaces where you can have a quiet conversation or just relax.

Break up the Matched Sets:

Many home decorators ditch the matching pair of pillows from their sofas right away. If you haven't, now's the time to move up to pillows filled with down and covered in fabulous fabrics. Don't be afraid to mix up patterns; that's what makes life interesting.

Craft a Collection:

What common elements can you find among your household decorations? Cobalt blue pitchers, silver picture frames, porcelain figurines? Whatever their common quality is, you can craft a fascinating tabletop collection in moments by grouping these items together in odd numbers. The fun part of this suggestion is that these collections can change frequently, which will give ho-hum rooms a fresh look on a regular basis.


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