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Monthly Archives: January 2016

Backyard gardening: grow your own food, improve your health

“Gardening is a past-time that the entire family can enjoy together. You are never too young or too old to start your first garden. Of course, as time goes by, you can enjoy more complex scenarios, plants, and flowers. You will be amazed by how much fun gardening can be, and the pride you take in sharing healthy food nurtured by your own efforts. People will develop more interest in learning about their food choices, and how to prepare fresh, healthy food at home.”

When it comes to gardening, I am all thumbs, and not the green kind. But a new book from First Lady Michelle Obama is inspiring me to try my hand (thumbs and all) at backyard vegetable gardening. American Grown: The Story of the White House Kitchen Garden and Gardens Across America details the challenges and joys the First Lady has experienced with her now-famous White House garden. It also looks at community gardens all across America, and how they can improve health.

The book contains helpful hints for starting your own vegetable garden, as well as a school or community garden. Along with the how-to information about seed spacing, irrigation, soil types, and the right time to plant various vegetables, American Grown also discusses Mrs. Obama’s “Let’s Move” initiative. How does that fit into a book on gardening? In addition to getting more physical activity, so the thinking goes, eating more food harvested from the ground and less from packages can help kids — and adults — become healthy or stay that way.

Read more: http://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/backyard-gardening-grow-your-own-food-improve-your-health-201206294984

The Wide Range Benefits Of Vinyl Fencing

“Although wood and chain link fences are not obsolete, vinyl fencing is the definite way to go for. They’re incredibly hassle free and affordable to maintain. The biggest benefit of these types of fences is that they are extremely flexible and can be cut and shaped to any length that suits you. A whole new vinyl fence will add the privacy of a wood fence and also the security of a chain link fence, however, can even put a great amount of beauty, class and value to your house! Vinyl fences can be found in a huge platter of trends for you to pick from. Here are other factors why vinyl fence is the fence pick.”

Today’s fence market has advanced far beyond a simple wooden privacy fence or a plain chain link fence to protect your yard. Whenever vinyl exploded in to the industry, it introduced a new level of beauty, value and privacy to your property. Vinyl would not rot, and it is very easy to clean and set up. It comes in various colors, and won’t need to be protected against termites and weather conditions. Vinyl is a lot stronger than wood, and its flexibility makes it well suited for locations where extreme weather is common. A good quality vinyl can last a lifetime and looks like freshly painted wood from only feet away. The following are additional factors why you should choose vinyl fence.

Vinyl has 5 times the strength of wood. In other words, it will take 5 times the degree of pressure to break vinyl because it takes to break wood of the same size.

A vinyl fence is flexible and won’t snap or break in strong winds therefore it is great for fencing material if you are living somewhere where high winds and unstable weather can be a problem.

Vinyl doesn’t discolor from sun and rain. The expense of maintaining a vinyl fence is virtually $0. Any mineral discoloration can be removed with a water/bleach or green cleaner solution. You will never have to buy primers, paints, or stains to maintain your fence looking new.

It isn’t going to rust like metal or rot like wood. A lot of vinyl fences are made from high grade PVC that is much like the PVC used in plumbing. Therefore, it’s wear resistant and long lasting.

It is also considered to be safer for use for enclosing animals since it will not splinter or break and certain animals, horses in particular, will not gnaw on it as they don’t like its texture.

A lot of vinyl fence have a minimum of 20 years or even life time warranties, they’re more affordable in the long run and are well worth the initial investment that you make to them

Vinyl fences, by contrast, are lightweight and much easier to put up, taking a fraction of the time as wooden ones.

Cleaning is simple and needs very little effort in vinyl fence. You can just obtain a bucket of soapy water together with a rag and start cleaning.

If choosing a vinyl fence, take into account that not all vinyl fences are the same. It’s going to pay off in the end to check out the maker and also to find out about the quality and thickness of the vinyl. A few manufacturers are able to sacrifice wall thickness for cost savings. Whilst those savings could be passed on to the customer, keep in mind you will get what you pay for. Also remember that while you have the option of installing the fence yourself, a good company will ensure that the fence is set up level and square.

LED Lighting Is The New Age Energy Efficient Option

“Since early 1960s, LED lighting was already utilized as against what a lot of people view that it’s a brand new technology. LED lights were first discovered in 1907 but it’s in 1962 that it was utilized by as an indicator lights for military services use. Since that time, it was continually improved and eventually put to use by industry and households when it was already inexpensive enough for buyers. Its use had been a standard in various business application and also home requirement.”

Amongst the various options of lighting that we’re knowledgeable about, the LED lighting is transforming to be a new popular choice. Unlike the fluorescent lighting bulbs, the operation of an LED light isn’t operated by gas. Rather, the LED is fitted with a semi-conductor. On passage of electricity, the semi-conductor steadily energizes the electrons within to provide visible light. This procedure is relatively less time taking and is therefore making LED lighting a preferred alternative for commercial as well as residential property. For many, LED lighting might seem expensive in the initial phase. But, if you are able to assess the long term returns, the first expense actually is a long lasting investment.

Listed below are other gains you can obtain from using LED lighting as compared with regular lighting at home.

1. Durable and long lasting.

LEDs are highly durable and can last longer than other bulbs or lighting. They are very durable, plus they withstand contact with serious weather condition and other situations such as scratching and damages. That makes them ideal for applications in outdoor situations as well as other unpredictable conditions. LED also last hundred times or more than an equivalent incandescent bulb, and much longer than a fluorescent bulb.

2. Less noisy.

Regular bulbs give off a faint buzzing noise that is bothersome when it’s very quiet. Good thing that a quiet revolution occurred that changed every aspect of lighting and that is the LED light. LED tend to be more quiet when compared to the regular lights.

3. Instant illumination.

The greatest benefit of using LED bulbs is that lighting is fast and very amazing in contrast to that of a ordinary fluorescent tube light of which has a tendency to become dim in a period of time.

4. Less heat.

LED lighting emits less heat than either incandescent or CFL bulbs as it utilizes energy more efficiently converting more of it to light than either of the others. This is a great benefit if it is used in enclosed or recessed lighting. With lowered heat emission of LEDs, energy is also saved on air-conditioning.

5, Eco-friendly and pocket friendly.

LED lighting is 30-50% more effective than CFLs (compact fluorescent) bulbs and 90% more efficient than the old incandescent light bulbs. This results in huge energy savings once you upgrade all your old light bulbs. The huge benefits to the consumer will be the drastically reduced energy costs and lowered carbon emissions.

If you’re looking for an energy-efficient lights to help you reduce energy usage at home, LED lighting is certainly it. It may be expensive, yet it’s really worth the price.

Bed bugs: Do-it-yourself control options

“Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects up to 4 to 5 mm long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen and reddish after a blood meal. Bed bugs are flat, reddish-brown, oval insects up to 4 to 5 mm long or the size of an apple seed. Swollen and reddish after a blood meal. Bed bugs are good hitchhikers. If you throw out a mattress or furniture that has bed bugs in it, you should slash or in some way destroy it so that no one else takes it and gets bed bugs.”

Bed bugs are one of the most difficult pest problems to eradicate quickly. By far, the best solution for bed bugs is to hire a pest control company with experience successfully controlling bed bugs. Unfortunately, this can be expensive and beyond the means of many people. If you feel you cannot afford to hire a professional, and want to attempt do-it-yourself bed bug control, there are some things you can do. With diligence and patience and some hard work you have a fighting chance of getting rid of bed bugs in your home.

If you live in an apartment or condominium, it’s best to alert the property manager.  A coordinated bed bug control effort using a pest control company is generally needed in such situations. Bed bugs readily move from apartment to apartment, with many people unaware that they have a problem. If one apartment is infested, adjoining units (left side, right side, above and below) should be assumed to be infested unless shown otherwise through inspection or monitoring.  Simply asking tenants whether they have bed bugs is not enough.  In one recent study only half of residents in a large apartment with bed bugs knew (or admitted) they had a bed bug problem.

Read more: http://citybugs.tamu.edu/factsheets/biting-stinging/others/ent-3012/

22 Cool and Unusual Kids Bed Designs

“A child’s surroundings can have a huge impact on how they grow and develop, so parents always try to make their children’s living spaces as comfortable and fun as possible within their means. I’m not sure my parents could have afforded an indoor treehouse, but I still had plenty of pictures and bright, colorful artwork up on my walls. Sleeping in a bed that looks like a pirate ship or a princess’ wagon, as one can imagine, would probably fill a child’s life with endless hours of joy.”

Having a cool and trendy kids room can make your child feel more stylish as well as beautify your home. Usually is not so easy to choose furniture for the kids bedroom. Kids adore fairy-tales, different stories about pirates and cowboys and surely cartoons. As kids mature to adolescents and teens, being cool often becomes a focus of their personal style development. You can find so many creative ideas of kids bed designs but you must choose the right one for your child. It need to be functional and interesting in the same time.

 Whatever your child is boy or girl you need to find their childhood hero and bring it in their own room. They will wake up every day with positive spirit and their creativity will be more increased. So look at our examples and get inspired to build your child an amazing kingdom that they gonna love it.

Read more: http://www.architectureartdesigns.com/22-cool-and-unusual-kids-bed-designs/

Air Conditioner / Heat Pump Diagnostic Procedures

“Appliances are meant to make our lives easier, which they usually do. Until, that is, they start leaking, heating imperfectly, burning toast they were supposed to brown, and generally malfunctioning. Although they may seem complicated, most home appliances work on fairly basic principles. And while there is a common sentiment these days that it’s less expensive to simply buy a new appliance than to have it repaired, many of the minor problems that plague these devices can be dealt with using a minimum of time and effort. “

Air Conditioner or Heat Pump Diagnosis:

This article is the start of our series on how to diagnose an air conditioner or heat pump that is not cooling: this article explains how to diagnose and correct air conditioning problems like lost or reduced air conditioner cooling capacity, reduced or no cool air flow, reduced or no actual lowering of the air temperaturer, or an air conditioner that won’t start.

First try our air conditioner checklist just below – try these steps before calling your HVAC service company.

If not enough cool air is provided by your air conditioner, or if the air temperature is not cool enough, or if you just can’t get your A/C unit running, this article helps diagnose and correct the problem with step by step things to check and links to more detailed explanation when you need it.

Read more: http://inspectapedia.com/aircond/Air_Conditioner_Diagnosis.php

5 Easy Tips On How To Save Money From Air Conditioning

“Air conditioning costs could become devastating over the hottest part of the year. You will find simple measures that may lessen the amount of energy that an air conditioner unit uses daily, which in turn can drive down the overall costs of running an air conditioner. These steps do not cost much to apply, yet the savings they give can be apparent all summer long.”

The cost of cooling a house has a tendency to rise quickly throughout the hotter months of year. The good news is, you could lessen that necessary expense through the use of a number of approaches to lessen the amount of energy you expend on your air conditioning unit. Here are some useful ways in which you can decrease your cooling costs:1. Adding a automated thermostat in your home is an effective method to make sure that you don’t expend unnecessary energy on heating or cooling when you’re sleeping or out of the home. According to Energy Star, getting a automated thermostat to keep your air conditioning system from running in daytime can cut your electricity costs by as much as $180 yearly2. Take into account insulating your property better. If you can maintain the heat out and keep more of the cool in, you won’t need to have to run your unit as much. This initial expenditure must save you cash on your heating and cooling bills all through the year. Make sure that windows are properly sealed and if necessary replace them with a more recent one.

3. Try to make use of your oven as sparingly as you can; frequent oven use is one of the fastest approaches to heat your house. Instead, make use of microwave or toaster, which both expend less energy and produce less heat. Once you do use the oven, keep preheating to low. Its also wise to stay away from such heat-generating appliances as the dishwasher and dryer in daytime.

4. Shut off lights when they aren’t used. All artificial lights, even compact fluorescent lamps and LED light bulbs, produce at least some heat. Engaging in the habit of flipping a light switch when you leave a room will pay off in the long run by reducing air conditioning system usage and energy.

5. Keep heavy shades, drapes, or perhaps awning on the warm side of your house. This will block sunlight from entering thus keeping extra heat out of your house you don’t need or want.

It is just a known fact that cooling systems are very costly, however it does not have to be that way. Should you really want to save cash during this bad economic season, you will then be certain to take all of the proper safe practices before. You simply won’t regret taking preventative measures when you’re saving thousands a year.

Tips About Eclectic Style Decorating

“Eclecticism means getting a variety of styles from various resources and combining them. Simply it is a sort of combined style in fine arts. This term explains a single art work with a variety of influences; it is a broad field covering different areas which include painting, architecture, music and decorative arts.”

It may be baffling but Eclectic design is simple. Eclectic Design combines of furniture modern with classical, old with trendy, pastel colors with vibrant, oriental with bohemian. Everything may be put together freely, yet wisely to make your unique livable space that will reflect your personality.

A lot of us, when looking at home interior, won’t be able to decide on a particular style to go for. We want a bit of one style and a bit of another. This means that you want to go with an eclectic style which is a mixture of different interior styles. It could encompass a big variety of periods and styles brought together through the use of various colors, textures, shapes and finishes. Eclectic style is actually in line with the idea of mix and match i.e. bringing together the design elements of different interior styles that give your place a fascinating look. This style purely and unconditionally depends upon the creative imagination and taste of a person.

For your home decoration be a less headache, listed below are the secrets to decorating an eclectic style home.

1. Color

Eclectic style can be quite a mix of eclectic colors however it is intelligent to go for something neutral so it could complement all the components of the place together. Creams and browns serve best for this purpose since they assure that the design is not mislaid in many tinges. This can be one of the great bedroom tips to liven up your humble abode.

2. Furniture

There’s no limit to furniture selection in eclectic style. You may opt to use anything from flashy carved chairs to simple enamel coated cabinets. Generally, the paint covers up the diversity of the style as well as the type of furnishings.

3. Artwork and Decors

Cool art pieces for the walls, distinct knick knacks found at flea markets, and thick throw pillows decorated in nubby textures with added fringe are typically great additions for the eclectic look. You needn’t be afraid to combine variations together, as eclectic decor ought to be entirely based on what you love, rather than what you think seems “right.”

4. Focal Point

Pull your design together having a center point say for example a piece of artwork or a major furniture piece that draws your eye to it when you enter the room. For instance a vignette of vases at varying sizes, heights and colors may add an eye-catching focus point to a room.

5. Finishes

Combined together, finishes and textures are definitely the factors that set the eclectic style apart from the rest. Finishes are the only elements that are essentially not a mixture but materials that separate the eclectic look from looking like a mixture and provide it with its own originality.

How To Tell Kids About Moving Out

“Relocating is commonly noted among family’s most nerve-wracking activity. It’s even stressing once you have the kids along. Whether moving out of state or just in the neighborhood, kids and teens often are not happy by this kind of situation. Typically they react by causing problems, go through swift changes in moods and get over emotional. But, to make the transfer as tension-free as possible, you should check out these pointers.”

Moving out of the home you have resided in may become a very stressful activity. Moving with kids can be some other cause of stress. Moving with children needs a great deal of consideration given that they have the tendency to cause additional issue. Typically they respond by causing problems, undergo moodiness and become emotional. Nevertheless, moving by using these suggestions can help reduce the problems.

1. Attempt speaking with them as much as you could concerning the move.

Once the family has plans in moving, ensure that the children are aware of it. You must make them get used to the notion of moving. Typically, children have the tendency to feel uneasy or unhappy since they might lose some friends or for any other reasons therefore, it needs that you check on their emotions. The more you try speaking with them regarding the issue, the more comfortable they will feel. Therefore, talk as much as you can in regards to the move.

2. Include them in major activities and allow them vent out their issues.

Children often desire to be a part of main events. This is very important to make them get accustomed to the idea. Always pay attention to their petty issues and ideas. Answer questions completely and in truth, and be open to both positive and negative reactions. Even if the transfer indicates an improvement in family life, kids do not always understand that and may be focused entirely on the frightening elements of the change. Answering their questions is the ideal approach to involve them in the transferring activity.

3. Motivate them to help.

You might think that kids would just add up to your concerns when moving, then you’re probably mistaken. Regardless of how minor a task could be, their involvement on the process can make them feel that they are indeed part and valuable on the moving activity. Consequently, they could feel more secure and will even get excited to the new house.

4. Stay calm and do not appear worried.

Remember children are good at picking up the parents’ behavior and emotions. This means you should have a positive attitude so your children to feel the same way.The parents’ emotions towards the whole process is going to be obviously shown in their actions and attitudes.Thus, it is vital that you display an optimistic side of you in the process. If you appear stressed, the kids will certainly hold exactly the same emotions. So the best way out would be to seem relax as possible.

5. Show them the new place.

Taking the children to view the new home prior to transfer is always recommended. You should discuss the new home and keep them excited. That way they will feel positive regarding the move.

Following all these tips, your move would not be that nerve-wracking any more. The key matter is just to try to appreciate every moment and every activities with the family to make the whole moving process fun.

3 Essential Tips On Styling A Guest Bedroom

“Possessing a guest bedroom is great for when visitors stop by to spend the night, but redecorating your guest bedroom with style and comfort may be rather challenging. Your guest bedroom needs to be attractive and warm. It needs to be a place where your guest will feel as if he or she is right at home. How can you accomplish this task? Well, it takes a few decorating expertise plus a bit of creativity to create a friendly and happy abode for your visitor to stay.”

It really is easier than you think to create a perfectly beautiful bedroom for overnight guests that will make them feel welcome and pampered. Also it does not have to break the bank, either. A couple of affordable changes can take guest room from Simple to spectacular. You don’t have to go to the expense of employing someone to do it for you. Simply follow our tips and tricks below to decorate an amazing guest bedroom all that you and your family can simply do.

Keep the Colors Neutral

A plain white room with no amenities, color or style is about as welcoming as a squash court. Change the room with calming color that encourages relaxation and restful sleep. Great pastels like pale ocean blue, light sage green or delicate lavender supply a comforting backdrop for deeper shades and contrasting tones and textures in window treatment and bedding choices. Patterns with graceful curves tend to be more peaceful than bold geometrics. Avoid bold colors or wallpapers that can make your guest bedroom feel busy as well as could cause your guest not to get the rest they need.

Provide a Comfortable Sleeping Area

Lots of people choose to put their outdated furniture and bed inside the guest bedroom. This is okay should the bed is risk-free and stable. You might want to purchase a new mattress though, as this will be common courtesy to give a comfortable sleeping area instead of your 20-year-old mattress.It is simple to take your old bed and stain or paint it another color to match the décor of the room. You can also find rather economical and simple beds that could be ideal for guest bedrooms and will not break your budget.

On the subject of the bedding for the guest bedroom, don’t buy the cheapest set of sheets you’ll find. Rather, try to find something in the middle that’s comfortable but isn’t that much cost you money. A simple cotton sheet might suffice with a comforter or blanket. You can also add some style and color into the room with the bedding set without it being too obnoxious.

Provide Storage Space

Storage is something that sometimes poses a problem for the guest room, especially if the room doubles for something else. Even if the room just isn’t used for another purpose, oftentimes people will utilize the closets and dressers to save their own clothes that could be out of season. If this is the case, you will have to make a few changes before your guests arrive. Be sure that the closet is arranged in order to give ample space for your guests’ clothes – and be sure to provide sturdy hangers rather than flimsy wire hangers.

Keep in mind guest room décor should be relaxing and cater to a general theme which can be appreciated by all guest women and men. Your main goal would be to possess a guest room that is comfy and inviting so your guest will feel relaxed and at home.