February 2015 archive
Showerheads don’t often strike people as a particularly important purchase, but taking the time to make sure you pick up a model which is right for you is well worth the effort. Doing so means that you can customize your showering experience, lets you add features which you might otherwise have neglected to consider, and could save unnecessary maintenance in the future.
Fixed or Detachable?
You probably already have a good idea of whether you want a fixed showerhead or one which can be detached, but it’s still worth taking a few minutes to consider the pros and cons of each one. Detachable models tend to look a little less glamourous, but they’re usually essential if you have small children, or if you have pets you need to clean in your bath. Fixed showerheads are often more stylish, and since they’re simpler they’re also usually a bit cheaper. Of course, you do lose flexibility.
Rainfall or Standard?
Rainfall showerheads are extremely fashionable right now, as they easily give your bathroom an air of luxury, and many people prefer their gentle spray to the thinner streams which often come from standard models. However, they’re also non-adjustable, and you’ll always need to get your hair wet – unless you don a shower cap – since the water comes directly from above.
Kids or Adults?
If you’re going to have children regularly using your shower, it might be a good idea to pick up a showerhead which has an inbuilt anti-scald mechanism. These will automatically restrict the flow of water when it becomes too hot. Other options include installing an anti-scald valve, but this often means having to go in behind the wall.
Hard Water or Normal Water?
Do you know whether you’re living in a hard water area? If you are, it’s definitely something to take into account when you’re buying a showerhead. Plastic heads are preferable, since they’re far less prone to becoming clogged up with minerals. Metal models aren’t so lucky, and buying one often means committing to frequent de-scaling. However, some newer all-metal showerheads are coated with Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD), which helps alleviate the problem.
Showerheads are never the most important thing you’ll buy for your home, but it still makes sense to consider all of the options. Ask yourself these questions, and then find your perfect model.
Image by: chaim zvi
We all know that moving homes can be one of the most stressful things that the average person goes through. One of the best ways to help reduce some of the stress that comes with moving home is to use the services of a professional removal company.
There are many good companies all over the country, so you will need to find one that is fairly local to you, and also offers a high level of service to their customers. With the advent of technology and the internet, this job can be made very easy.
Searching for Removal Companies
If you use a search engine and search for removal companies, the results that you get may not necessarily show companies that are close to you. When you do a search, be specific with the area, such as searching for house removals services in Peterborough.
The results that this will give you are going to show companies much closer to your chosen area, which could help you to save some money on your moving costs. You often find that if a company charges you for the distance travelled, the clock does not start when they leave your home, but rather when they leave their depot.
Find as many different companies that are as close to your area as you can. Then you will need contact them to find out about their services, and to also get a quote.
Comparing Companies and Quotes
When you have a list of companies that are within your local area, you will need to speak to them all individually. There are certain questions that you should ask them in order to try and gauge which company you are going to use when you move.
• Are you a member of the British Association of Removers?
• What training do your workers receive?
• Will you pack up all of the contents and also unpack?
• Is there anything that cannot be moved?
• Do you need to survey my home to provide a quote?
• How much time will the move take on average?
• How much will the move cost?
• What level of insurance do you offer?
When you have answers to all of the above questions, you should be able to make an informed decision as to which companies you would prefer to use. All you have to do then is choose which company to use!
Choosing the Best Removal Company
Many people will make a decision solely based on the overall cost, which is not always the best. Of course, the cost is an important factor that needs to be considered, but you should also choose a company that offers a professional level of service.
Insurance is also important as accidents can happen, so you will want to make sure that if the unfortunate does happen, your possessions are going to be fully covered. Most reputable companies will not offer you a quote until they have surveyed your home unless you know the estimated volume of all of your possessions.
When you have weighed up all of these factors you should be able to make a choice as to which company to use. Then all you need to do is sit back and relax on the day of your move as all of your belongings are packed up and transported to your new home. All you need to do is put your feet up and enjoy a brew. You might want to offer one to the workers as well if they have not packed the kettle up!
Yoga can be a fantastic way to add social, mental and physical fulfilment to your life. One of the brilliant things about this popular fitness hobby is that is can be suitable for anyone, whether you’re young, old, pregnant, or even ill. It can be gently practised or performed more strenuously, depending on your fitness and skill level. Whatever your approach, there are many benefits of yoga to be enjoyed.
Yoga doesn’t burn calories the same way intensive cardio does, but it can still reduce your excess energy levels, which will assist in weight loss, particularly if used in conjunction with a healthy diet. Don’t forget that you can’t use activity alone to lose weight; diet is a huge factor. Use both to see positive results.
Although weight loss over time is certainly a viable benefit of regularly practising yoga, this isn’t the main focus of this type of exercise. If losing weight quickly is your key motivator, consider attending a weight loss retreat like Chi of Life, where yoga is combined with other activities and dietary training.
Strengthening Your Core
An underlying principle and goal of a healthy weight loss exercise regime is achieving a strong and healthy core. One of the fastest ways to do this is through yoga. The positions in yoga are built around strengthening the muscles around the spine. Having a stronger and more flexible core prepares your body for more rigorous exercise and can help prevent any injury that might put you out of action.
Not only does a strong core help with muscular problems, but it also aids in digestive issues too. This is particularly good when trying to improve digestion for weight loss. It also causes your muscles to lengthen and tighten, giving you a leaner appearance.
Yoga isn’t just about fitness and improving your core. It’s also about giving you an opportunity to meditate and have some peaceful moments in a chaotic and stressful world. Yoga encourages peace and tranquillity through deep breathing and focused body movements. It is a great way to put aside any stresses in your life and focus on one thing only, even if it’s just for half an hour.
One of the huge perks of any class-based physical activity like yoga is the social experience. It’s a great way to meet new, like-minded people who you can socialise with before and after class. Socialising is another added perk to an activity already full of advantages!
Specific poses in yoga can help reduce pain associated with everything from digestive issues to headaches to poor posture. If you’re suffering from any of these issues, be sure to give yoga a go!
For all of the reasons outlined above – and more – yoga is a fantastic way to improve your life and lose some weight. Combining excersises like yoga and cardio and adding more fresh vegetables and fruit into your diet will set you on your way to losing those extra kilos and leading a healthier and more fulfilling life. Have you found yoga to be a good addition to your lifestyle? Share your experience in the comments below.
Back injuries are one of the most commonly occurring injuries in the home, especially those resulting from playing with your children. There are many ways that a back injury can occur during simple horseplay, especially when parents are not really on their guard against injury. When children are older and of course weigh more, parents are more likely to be aware of the risk associated with lifting and carrying them during play, but a back injury can be sustained even when playing with very young, and very lightweight, child.
Importance of Playing with your Child
This is not to suggest that playing with your child should be avoided due to the risk of back injury. Most child development experts recommend regular play with your child because it has numerous short-term and long-term benefits. It has long been known that this kind of activity develops your child’s motor skills and adds to their continued health. Additionally, this kind of physical play fosters bonding with the parent and supplies the tactile connection that a child thrives on. The interplay with children is generally enjoyable for the parent as well, providing moments of fun and laughter that become lasting memories of a child’s early years.
Tips on Preventing Back Injury During Child Play
To ensure that play with your child stays fun and doesn’t become an activity that threatens the health of your back, there are a few things you can do to keep things safe. Some of these suggestions might seem like overkill, but back injuries are no laughing matter, and once incurred, they tend to persist for very long, uncomfortable periods of time.
According to Laser Health Spa (http://www.laserhealthspa.net), if you happen to be lifting the child during play, make sure you stand close to him or her and bend at the knees, not at the waist, because all the strain of lifting is immediately transferred to your back in such a posture. When holding the child for any amount of time, be sure to keep him/her close to your body — as opposed to holding at arm’s length — to minimize strain on the back. Ideally, every time you lift, hold, or carry your child, you should stop and think for a few seconds to make yourself aware of the potential dangers.
Prior to playing with your child, it’s a good idea to warm up by doing some stretching. The muscles in your back can easily become tightened just through normal, daily activities, and when there’s a sudden strain or stress applied to tightened muscles, a pulled muscle is one possible—and common –result. Golfers are well aware of this, since their sport places tremendous strain on the back, so all golfers will warm up their backs prior to practice or actual play.
Be especially mindful of horseplay with older and heavier children, because the risk of injury increases with the weight of the child. For instance, ‘playing horsie’ with the child riding on your back might have been cute and fun at age 4 or 5, but at older ages there is a much greater possibility of injury because of the increased weight.
Of course, maintaining an ideal body weight is always a good tip for avoiding back strain, but even at less than ideal weight, exercising the abdominal muscles is a great way to relieve additional strain on the back. If this kind of exercise is done on a regular basis, a parent can be much better prepared for unexpected stresses placed on the back during child play.
This article was contributed on behalf of Laser Health Spa, your number one choice when looking for alternative treatments for neck pain. Check out their website today and see how they can help you!
With a hair care industry that tops $19 billion each year, according to Business Wire, it’s no wonder you feel you’re spending a fortune to maintain your locks. From haircuts to products like shampoo and gel, your expenses can quickly add up. The good news is you don’t have to shell out a lot of dough to look good. In an industry where hair care product sales within salons comprise 15 percent of all revenue in this country, you can find alternatives to hair care that won’t break the bank. Here are some tips on how you can lower the costs of your beauty routine without sacrificing quality.
Get Egg in Your Hair
Natural food products like eggs can be tremendous for your hair. This is because the egg yolk provides natural protein that strengthens the hair shaft, making for a low-cost hair moisturizer, says Woman’s Day. Additionally, egg whites feature oil-fighting enzymes that keep bacteria at bay. If you’ve got oily hair, go for the egg whites. Got dry locks? Go with the yolks. To prepare, apply the egg (approximately a half cup) to your head right after a shower. Rinse after 15 minutes using shampoo and cool water, never hot.
Lemons can Fight Dandruff
A mixture of lemon juice and olive oil can ward off those annoying white flakes, a result of stress, diet, genetics and even your local climate. The acidity in lemons balances the pH of your scalp and olive oil provides a natural moisturizing agent.
If you have frizzy hair, no worries! Cut an avocado in half, mix up the contents, and massage it on your scalp. After 15 minutes or so, rinse it out. You will be amazed at how cuddly your curls are.
According to Amy’s Skin Care (http://www.amyshouston.com), if you still cling to store-bought products, there are many affordable options out there. You just have to know which ones to look for. Keep an eye out for hair care products that have natural ingredients such as sheá, aloe, coconut and cocoa butter. Coconut milk shampoo, for instance, is a great moisturizer with a soothing scent that will leave your hair smelling fresh, says Elle. Another low-cost option is avocado butter that comes in a convenient tube for less than $10.
It’s easy to strip the oil from your hair when you over-style and shampoo every single day. Give your hair a rest in between by only washing every other day. Just by shampooing a few times a week instead of seven, you can save on the amount of product you have to buy.
When it comes to expensive treatments — shampoos, conditioners, mousses and gels — taking a frugal approach to hair care can be easy. You just have to get creative and not be afraid to try new things. Hit your local drug store to peruse the options available to you. By comparing prices and ingredients, you can settle on the best hair care products for your type of hair — whether dry and brittle or straight and oily. Affordable hair care treatments work just as well as the top of the line stuff, keeping more money in your wallet and your hair looking great. To complement your low-cost hair regimen, consider affordable laser hair removal as well!
Points to Consider When Selecting a Family Car
Buying a car for your family is an important decision. Most importantly, the safety of your loved ones could depend on the kind of vehicle you choose. Additionally, selecting an applicable vehicle could save you money on fuel and repairs. Before you make a decision about which car to purchase, you may want to consider a few factors.
One of the first variables you might want to consider is the size of your family. If you’ve recently married and don’t plan on having children for a few years, now might be the best time to purchase that little two-seater sports car. Once you have children, however, that Corvette Stingray you’ve been dreaming about may spend more time in your garage than on the road.
If you currently have a child or two and/or plan to have more, you might consider a minivan, such as a Nissan Quest. A minivan will provide plenty of room for the entire family, and the Quest has a modern look that may appeal to you. Another option is the Buick Enclave, which is a crossover/sports utility vehicle (SUV), a body style that some find more appealing than the minivan, and it offers three rows of seats.
A top priority for many families is being as economical/eco-friendly as possible. According to DealFinder, a company that specializes in dealership marketing, one way to accomplish that goal is to select a car that is fuel-efficient. A hybrid vehicle, such as a Toyota Prius, runs on both electricity and gasoline, offsetting your carbon footprint and your costs at the pump. The Prius provides great fuel economy, and you can buy it for a competitive price. Other fuel-efficient vehicles include the Chevrolet Volt (another hybrid), the Ford Fiesta, and the Honda Civic.
Another major consideration when you have children is the safety features that a vehicle offers. This factor is very important, not only for the baby in the car seat but also for the teenager getting behind the wheel. When you’re shopping for a new family car, be sure to do some research on vehicles that have recently rated high in overall safety. The Honda Accord received at least one safety award in 2014, so it could be a viable option. This mid-size sedan was designed to reduce the impact of a crash from the front, and it also comes with traction control.
Another vehicle that has been awarded for safety is the Subaru Outback. According to DealFinder, a company that provides auto dealers with software solutions, this model of Subaru is equipped with multiple airbags, and it features cameras that monitor immediate traffic conditions. The Outback is also an all-wheel drive vehicle to ensure maximum safety.
When you have a family, you carry a wide range of objects in your vehicle. From sports equipment to school projects to groceries to pet supplies, you’ll require plenty of cargo room, and that space should be easily accessed. The Toyota Highlander has a seat in the third row that can fold flat, so changing storage needs may be accommodated. The Jeep Grand Cherokee also provides an abundance of storage space, including several small compartments that can hold items like bottles, small toys, and schoolbooks.
Shopping for a new car should be fun, but choosing a family vehicle is also a serious responsibility. If you want to get the most from your family car, you’ll need to consider an assortment of factors. Fortunately, you can choose from a broad array of vehicles’ makes and models. One of them will perfectly suit your family’s lifestyle.
Sometimes, finding the right housewarming gift can be difficult. It’s hard to know what someone might want – or not want – and there’s always the chance that you might buy the same thing as someone else. When choosing your gift, it pays to get creative. The perfect gift should be both unique and practical. Try putting yourself in the mindset of a new homeowner; think about what you would want if you were in their situation.
Give Them a Good Night’s Sleep
There’s nothing better than a good night’s sleep, so why not give a gift that ensures your friends get exactly that. High quality quilts, blankets and pillows, such as those sold on the MiniJumbuk website, can make great housewarming gifts. Beds are an essential part of any home, so it’s important that your friends have a bed they can be proud of. By buying your friends quality bedding, you can ensure they spend their time in their new home in extreme comfort.
A Gift That Keeps Giving
As much as we’d all like to believe our new home is perfect, chances are it’s not. Sooner or later, something is going to break or go wrong and, when it does, your gift will save the day. A toolkit can make a great gift, as it is something every new house needs. Toolkits are often overlooked… until something goes wrong. By buying your friends a toolkit, you can prepare them for any mishaps that may occur.
A first aid kit is a must-have for every house, yet it’s something we normally forget to buy for ourselves. It’s a gift that your friends are sure to be thankful for and, should anything unfortunate happen, it may end up being the best gift they’ve ever received. Your gift is not only a first aid kit, but also peace of mind.
Help Your Friend Mow in Style
A lawn mower could be a fairly expensive gift, so you may want to go in on it with a few other people. Cost aside though, a lawn mower is a fairly essential item to have in you home. Although initially the absence of a lawn mower would not be the end of the world, when the grass starts growing up past their knees, they’ll be glad you got it for them.
Make Their Car Shine
Car cleaning supplies make for a great housewarming gift and you’re definitely not going to have the same gift as someone else. Car cleaning supplies are not something you go out and buy when you’re moving into your new house, so there’s a good chance your friends won’t already have them.
Although finding the right housewarming gift can be difficult, if you put your mind to it, there are lots of creative ideas out there. The next time you find yourself in need of a great gift, try one of these five ideas; your friends will be sure to love them. And if you’ve ever given (or received) a perfect housewarming present, share what it was in the comments below – you may just save someone else a lot of trouble!
Working with a family member is challenging enough without the added stress of managing finances together. However, if you’re running a family business, being able to successfully juggle invoices is vital in the success of the company. Sometimes, if one member of the business is better with numerical tasks, it makes sense to assign him or her the role of managing the company’s accounting. This can easily be done with various accounting software programs. Another option is to hire a certified accountant for payroll, preparing tax returns, applying for and extending credit, and other financial tasks.
Tips to Manage Your Business Credit
While it takes time to build a credit history as a new family-owned business, consider it a worthy investment. It is much easier to build your credit history than it is to repair it. Even if creditors are only willing to extend your company small loan amounts at first, make sure that you pay them in full and on-time. A solid payment history is the single best indicator of your company’s financial credibility.
When signing up for commercial electricity, buying a new office computer, or signing a contract for lawn maintenance, make sure that you do it with the name of your business and not your personal name. Not only does this keep your business and personal financial information separate, it also helps you and your family members establish a credit history for the business more quickly. When you are approved for a business loan or line of credit, don’t accept more than you actually need. Taking on too much before you’re financially established is risky, and often ends in disaster.
According to Blue Collar Software, a provider of easy to use software solutions, after you have been in business for several months, request a copy of your company’s credit report to ensure that it is accurate. You should continue to do this at least once a year for as long as you own the business. Similar to your personal credit report, each company listed in a financial database is given a numerical rating that demonstrates credit worthiness to other businesses. The one major difference between the two report types is that businesses are rated on up to 150 different factors while individuals are only rated on six.
Estimate Your Company’s Cash Flow
One key to success as a family business is having a good understanding of your company’s cash flow. This is the amount of money that is left over after you deduct expenses from your generated revenue. Unfortunately, figuring out this amount is not as straightforward as it might seem. Revenue and expenses change constantly and rarely do so at the same time. One month your revenue may be higher than normal because you received payment for several overdue invoices. The next you may have limited revenue and large expenses because you had to replace a company vehicle.
An easy way to monitor and predict cash flow is to invest in affordable accounting software. The program you choose should have easily navigated dashboard and full service integration in order to easily pay bills, print invoices, and create business reports. Having a solid financial foundation can help to ensure the long-term success of your company.
To most people in the United States, Mexican food is synonymous with eateries like Taco Bell, Chipotle, and Don Pablo’s. However, just like other types of ethnic cuisine, the food items at these restaurants are watered-down, Americanized versions of the real thing. So, if you ever get the chance to go to Mexico, you should be able to try out dishes uncorrupted by outside influences. Here are some authentic Mexican foods you should try out in Mexico:
If you are Mexico City in particular, you might not be able to avoid the gordita—not that you would want to anyway. It is a deep-fried thick tortilla that, after being drained of excess grease, is handsomely stuffed with a combination of ingredients, which range from the traditional cheese, meat, and salsa to more elaborate items like beans, eggs, and potatoes. Its name means “little fat one” for a reason, and in the streets of Mexico’s capital city, they are extremely popular; people buy and consume lots of them in the midday.
Also popular in the streets is elote, which is a corn cob usually covered in white cheese, lime, mayonnaise, and chile powder. People eat elote by holding the “handle,” which is actually the elongated husk of the corn cob. Elote particularly enjoys popularity in stores and restaurants, as well. Moreover, in the streets, there is a variant called esquite, which is essentially elote in a cup; all the ingredients—including the corn kernels—are mixed in a cup for customers to eat the mixture with a spoon. Esquite is mostly common in the central and southern regions of Mexico.
Now here’s something a lot more recognizable. No Mexican food or dish, apart from the burrito, is more ubiquitous than the taco. In the U.S., ingredients like ground beef, chicken, cheese, beans, salsa, and lettuce are shoved in hard white or yellow corn tortilla shells. Depending on the restaurant, other ingredients, like guacamole and cilantro, either add to the cost of the taco or are not available at all. In Mexico, though, such ingredients are commonplace—as are soft tortilla-based tacos, which are not as popular in the U.S. Also, many street vendors have spits from which they carve out the meat—much to the delight of onlooking customers.
According to Del Mar Escapes, a place you should consider when wanting to rent a luxury villa, traditionally eaten for breakfast or lunch, chilaquiles consist of a round and thin tortilla cut into quarters. The four pieces are then lightly fried, laid on a plate, softened with salsa or sauce, and sprinkled with white cheese. The resulting dish is served with refried beans. The curious combination provides a distinctively tangy taste that makes it one of the country’s more popular dishes. To make it creamier, people add sweet Mexican cream, and additional ingredients like fried eggs, avocado slices, and pulled chicken make it a richer dish.
Also known as posole, this Mexican soup has been around long before the Europeans decided to pay the Americas a visit. In fact, pozole was the sacred food of the Aztecs due to the fact that corn was used to make it. Today, it enjoys the status of Mexico’s national soup. And with the passage of time, people have introduced more ingredients—such as chicken, pork rinds, chili peppers, and turkey—to make the pozole a more enticing dish than ever before.
This article was contributed on behalf of Del Mar Escapes, your number one choice when looking for a great place to stay in Mexico. Check out their website and book your stay at a Cabo San Lucas luxury resort today!
So you want to freshen up your home but don’t know where to start? Are you bamboozled by those crazy renovation reality TV shows? It really does not need to be that hard… unless you’ve specifically bought a house that’s a renovator’s dream, that is. For everyone else, here are five simple hacks to freshen up your home today.
1. Think Turf
One of the first things you notice about a home is its exterior, especially the yard. Have a think about your grass. It is more weed than grass? Browner than those left-overs in the fridge at work? Patchier than Kristen Stewart’s acting career? Then it’s high time you seriously looked into doing some work on your yard. Luckily, the really tough jobs can be taken care of by a company like Hancey’s Turf – see here for more information about how a turf installation service could provide the facelift your lawn needs.
2. Bathe a Wall in Colour
Why do people still do feature walls? Because they are fantastic! A feature wall can really add that extra something to your home. Choose something a tad darker for your TV or media room to enhance the colours of the TV. Select something lighter for living and entertainment areas to add vitality, warmth and a feeling of spaciousness. The beauty of feature walls is that they are inexpensive, they can be done in a long weekend, and they look great!
3. Choose Décor
Would your grandmother be proud of your hanging macramé flower pot? If you can answer ‘yes’ to this question, then it’s time you invested in new décor and decorations in your home. Rusts, aquas and yellows are really in vogue right now, and you simply can’t go wrong with white. Have a browse at some fresh décor ideas for your home. You’ll be amazed at the results.
4. Get the Fruit, Brew the Coffee
What’s one of the first things you notice when you go to an open home? There’s always the smell of fresh coffee brewing in the kitchen and a bowl of fresh flowers on the bench or table. Why? Because it’s these simple things that freshen a room and make it feel all the more homely. Fresh fruit on the table, especially if it’s displayed in a new fruit bowl, can really transform your dining room. Consider this inexpensive, easy idea to freshen your home today.
5. Rug Up
A rug ties a room together, bringing together all the elements. It can make a hard floor soft, make carpet seem more inviting, and add that extra ‘something’ to almost any room in the house. Rugs aren’t just heavy Persians anymore. You’ll be amazed at the selection of rugs that can give your home that fresh feeling. Why not spend an evening online and seeing what would look good on your floor?
What tips do you have for freshening up your home? Do you have any easy ideas for freshening a particular part of your home? Share your ideas in the comments below.