Monthly Archives: August 2015

The benefits of residential electricians


No one wants to have to go through the process of trying to find an electrician, right? It can certainly be a hassle to find the right one. However, there are things you can do to make the process go more smoothly and effortlessly. And once you find a good electrician Long Beach residents, you can rest assured that your electrical needs will be taken care of by a qualified, trustworthy and affordable expert. What’s more, by hiring an electrician that you can use long-term, you’ll likely save some money, too.

So, there are actually many good reasons to hire an electrician. First, most homeowners are not qualified to handle even rudimentary electrical repairs, so things like installing new light switches or wiring, work in the yard that involves power lines, adding circuits and other household electrical jobs should be left to a professional electrician.

But before you hire an electrician, it’s vital that you understand that not all electricians are created equal. There are certain types of electricians who specialize in certain types of jobs and it’s important to find one who meets your needs.

If your job involves wires or other exterior electrical elements in your home that bring power into the building, you should hire an outside lineman.

If your job is one of the many common indoor jobs that arise in most households, such as fixing overloaded circuits, interior lighting and wiring, adding outlets or fixing outdated wiring, an interior lineman is the right person for that job.

If your job is anything to do with a residential single- or multi-family home, whether interior or exterior, a residential general electrician can handle the job. He will be familiar with local building codes, will be able to pull the necessary permits and will ensure all of the work he performs will pass inspection.

If you are doing a renovation in your home, a residential electrician will be able to handle all of the necessary aspects of that project, from adding an alarm system to wiring new rooms, converting a fuse box to a breaker box to adding lighting and outlets. The depth and breadth of a residential electrician’s experience will allow him to competently carry out all of these tasks at once, eliminating the need to hire multiple electricians for the various jobs.

Never overestimate your own ability to handle electrical work in and around your home. If you don’t know with 100 percent certainty that you have the necessary knowledge and experience to complete the job safely, don’t do it. Call an expert instead.  Otherwise, you could be putting yourself, your home, and your family at serious risk if the job goes wrong.  Sure, it can be tempting to try to save a few dollars by doing the work yourself, but the price you could potentially pay is much worse than having to pay an electrician to do the job right the first time.


How to Play Marbles and Other Hands-On Kids Activities  


These days it’s all too easy to keep your kids occupied with a game on a tablet or smartphone — they’re mesmerized by the bright colors and noises, you have more free time to yourself.  But there’s a simple, irreplaceable joy in teaching children more old-fashioned, hands-on activities like marbles, card games, and hide-and-seek. After all, these are the games we grew up with. Think of the joy we had in looking at the swirl of colors in a glass marble, or in finding a friend hidden behind a curtain.  Don’t you want your kids to experience that same joy, interacting with the world around them, instead of staring at a screen?

If you can’t remember how to play marbles (or if you never played them yourself), there are loads of great guides online — and many include suggestions for lots of other, hands-on games, too.

Here are four great reasons to get your kids away from computer screens and involved in these kinds of activities:

  • Your kids will develop better social skills — Too often, playing computer games is a solitary activity. But with marbles, sports, and other games, your kids will learn how to interact with their peers, whether it’s trying to flick each other’s marbles out of the ring or playing in a team in a relay.
  • It’s great physical exercise — Games like marbles are a fun way for your kid to develop hand-eye coordination, and more physical activities like tag or climbing trees are good exercise for their muscles and cardiovascular systems. It’s certainly much healthier than swiping away at a touch-screen!
  • Your kids will start to appreciate the world around them — Computer games create an artificial world that mesmerizes your kid’s attention, but we live in a real, physical world that your child shouldn’t be afraid to explore. If they’re outdoors breathing fresh air, laughing with friends, or admiring the visual beauty of a marble, they’re learning to savor all the wonderful things the world has to offer outside a computer screen.
  • You can play with your kids, and create invaluable family time — There’s only so much parental bonding that can happen through a computer screen. But real-world activities, where you teach your kids how to flick a marble or shuffle a deck of cards, also make family memories that will last a lifetime.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with the occasional game on a tablet to keep the kids busy in a waiting room. But knowing how fun and simple it is to learn how to play marbles, there’s no excuse not to engage your children in the kinds of old-fashioned activities that are healthy for both their minds and bodies. The Internet is full of useful parenting tips — don’t hesitate to make the most of these resources, but once you’ve found what you’re looking for, get off the computer and start involving your kids in good old-fashioned fun!

Dial-Up Better Home Savings

06 Jun 2012 --- Mature woman using laptop in kitchen --- Image by © VStock/Tetra Images/Corbis

Is there anyone in the household better than mom when it comes to saving money?

Sure, you see those stereotypical moms clipping coupons, going to the stores on sale days, even going to “discount” stores to save on back to school clothes and supplies for the kids. When all is said and done, many moms are downright smart shoppers.

With that in mind, are you a mother looking to score some big-time savings for your family?

Have an Eye for a Deal

While clipping coupons may not be your forte, doing so is a great means to save some hard-earned dollars.

For starters, many families are finding today’s economic conditions to be putting a hurt on their ability to enjoy what many would call the “mainstays” in everyday life.

With a little ingenuity and putting time aside to look for deals, here are some basic necessities that moms should be targeting:

  • Utilities – From cable to phone service and don’t forget the electric bill, moms can drastically reduce their family’s utility bills with some time and effort. For the phone, are you getting the best deal when all is said and done? You and your family can dial-up deals with providers such as and reduce your bills. Do you picture lower cable bills? Some families have actually done away with the television and now watch shows and movies on their mobile devices or laptops. You may not be ready to pitch the TV, so compare the differences between cable and satellite providers to see where the best deal is. With summertime in full-force, your electric bill could be multiplying due to running the A/C. If that’s the case, do simple things like keeping windows/blinds/drapes closed during the hottest daytime hours. Do the reverse in the wintertime with the blinds and drapes to let as much sun in your rooms as possible. These little tips take only minutes to do and can ultimately reduce your respective bills;
  • Transportation – Are you one of those moms baffled by the up-and-down gas prices? It seems in many parts of the nation like you get a deal one week, and then pay double that price a week or two later for no satisfactory reason. In order to cut down on what you give to the oil companies, look to carpool (your kids can ride with their friends at times instead of multiple moms taking the gang individually to meeting places), do as many errands in one trip instead of going out and coming back several times a day, and keep your vehicle/s maintained regularly to make sure they are running at peak performance;
  • Food – Last but certainly not least, what are you paying monthly on your food bills? There are several well-known strategies regarding grocery store shopping and how to use them to your advantage. Never shop when you are hungry is one. Also, don’t use a credit card if at all possible (it “hurts” more to buy stuff when you’re using cash). If you have little ones, you might want to leave them home with your significant other or a babysitter when you go grocery store shopping. Face it; many little ones would like one of each in every aisle you go down. Finally, take a few hours a month to clip/scan those coupons and then take them with you on your shopping day or days. You might be amazed at how quickly the savings can add up in terms of a smaller bill.

5 Signs your Furnace is in Need of Repair


A homeowner’s worst nightmare is a heat unit failure. It leaves you scrambling around trying to locate an alternative source of heat and an emergency repair contractor.  The good news, furnaces and heating systems tend to provide you with various warning signs prior to breaking down.  If you notice any of the signs below, chances are it’s time to call in your heating contractors London Ontario services.

It Doesn’t Seem to Matter How Much you Crank up the Thermostat

Your natural response when you are cold is to crank up the thermostat a few notches to warm things up. However, what happens when it doesn’t seem to make a difference? It could be a faulty thermostat and you should definitely have that looked at first (because it’s much cheaper) or it could be an issue with your pilot light or leaking ducts. Things are problems that can be repaired rather easily.

Drafts All Over and Ice Formation

If you notice constant drafts around your home that is not normal, it could be an indication that your heating unit is not able to heat up your entire home anymore. Also, if you notice any ice formation on your roof, it could indicate that you need furnace repairs as your home’s heat is not staying down where it belongs in living areas and is leaking up into your attic.

You Have a Yellow Pilot Light

If you notice your pilot light is starting to burn the color yellow, this could be an indication that your furnace has a gas combination that is not good. An ideal balance of gas is usually a blue flame. Yellow can mean problem gases like Carbon Monoxide.

Your Energy Bills are High

A pretty common sign that your furnace is in need of repair is a spike in your energy bill when you know you haven’t been cranking up your system for more heat. Of course your bill will go up a little when you are in heating season, but a significant spike could indicate a problem, therefore its essential you get it taken care of right away before it turns into a more serious issue that could lead to premature replacement.

You Hear Unusual Noises

Every furnace or heater makes some small amount of noise, but if you notice a new or different noise than what you are used to hearing, that could mean a problem. Because loud noises are hard to miss, this should be easy to catch in time.

It’s essential that you know the different warrant signs that your heating unit shows when in need of a repair or replacement. You should not wait until the problem becomes more severe. The last thing you want on a cold January day is to be without heat.   Visit this website to get the repair done now.

How to Give Yourself Spa Treatments Without Leaving Your House!



I wish I could visit the spa more often, for a bit of me time. The thing is, it always seems like an impossible task. I just don’t have the time or the money to spend half a day at my local beauty centre. That doesn’t mean I can’t have the same kind of experience at home, however. There are loads of ways you can have some real R&R in the comfort of your own living room. It’s far cheaper and won’t use up valuable work or family time. Here’s how you can bring the spa to you.

Homemade Beauty Treatments

Pinterest will become your new best friend when it comes to making beauty treatments at home. There are so many different recipes and techniques; you’ll be spoilt for choice. Most of these treatments can be made with things you find in the cupboard or fridge, too! Popular ingredients include olive oil, coconut oil and natural yoghurt. You can make face masks, for a deep and relaxing facial. You can create your own bath creams and shower gels if you only have a little bit of time spare. There are even treatments you can put together at home, which will do a better job than something at the spa. After all, there are a lot fewer chemicals in something you make yourself. What’s not to love about going homemade?!



Amazing At-Home Beauty Treatments

If you’re not keen on whacking a load of yoghurt on your face, there are some products you can buy which are of spa quality. You don’t even need to spend a small fortune on these. For example, did you know that Sudocrem can get rid of skin redness? I bet some of you ladies have some of that lying around, anyway! If you’re looking for something a bit more intense, then Platinum Skin Care do a range of chemical peels. They’ve been specially created for at-home use and are as good as the stuff you’ll find in a spa. Dig around in the cupboards and have a look what’s been stored in there since Mother’s Day. If you’re like me, you’ll probably have stashed away a tonne of toiletries you received as gifts. Some of these may be perfect for your at-home spa treatments.

Massages and Relaxation

One of the best things about visiting a spa is the peace, quiet and relaxation. Not forgetting the massages, of course! If you can rope your partner in, see if they wouldn’t mind giving you a massage one quiet evening. You can find a whole range of essential oils and massage lotions that will give it that professional feel. As for getting some R&R, well there are plenty of ways to do this too. Have you ever tried meditation? You only need a spare 10 minutes, and it can help you feel much more rested and relaxed. Download an app like Headspace, that will walk you through the technique. Light some scented candles and put on some calming music. You’ll instantly feel more at ease with the world.

Once you’ve tried some of these tips out, you’ll wonder why you ever forked out so much money at a spa. It’s so easy to recreate at home, and it will save you plenty of time too.


Getting Married in Downtown Atlanta

Wedding Ring and Bouquet

If you’re getting ready for that special day in downtown Atlanta, there are probably a host of different considerations to keep in mind. Besides the interior considerations—who’s going, where they’re going to be placed, announcements, and so on, there are also the exterior, formal aspects of your wedding that need to be looked at. While it might seem overwhelming at times, it’s important to remember that your wedding is a unique event, and proper planning at the outset can make everything go smoothly later. Furthermore, a little research will certainly help calm your nerves as well.

The Ceremony

The location of your ceremony is very important, since it’s the most deeply personal consideration you need to decide with your significant other. Unlike the reception, where everybody participates, the ceremony itself is most important for the future spouses, with most of the guests largely acting as spectators. Because of this, there are a variety of different approaches as to where the ceremony will be held. Will it be a small, intimate outdoor ceremony? Will it be a majestic event at a large church? Will it be a guest-friendly, large-scale wedding at an event area in a hall? Can the ceremony and the reception be held close to each other?

In the end, however, every consideration concerning the ceremony should reflect the subject of the wedding: your guests are there for you, and the wedding ceremony is yours. The way it’s done should reflect how you want it to be.

The Reception

Once the ceremony is planned, the biggest part of the wedding, in terms of logistical preparation, will invariably be the reception. Depending on the number of guests that will show up at the reception, this is certainly the part that requires the assistance of either your friends or a professional wedding planner.  After determining the size of the group, seating arrangements, meal planning, entertainment planning, and other possible amenities a specific venue could offer will help give you a gist of the size and style of reception you’re looking for.

In Atlanta, there are a number of downtown venues ideal for wedding receptions, like the Ellis Hotel, that can accommodate any number of requests. A quality reception venue will most likely have a lot of experiences dealing with wedding events, so they will be able to help guide your plan for the perfect reception.

The Honeymoon

Finally, depending on how you’ve planned out your wedding, the honeymoon may be set in either local or far-off location. In some modern cases, the ceremony, reception and honeymoon can all happen in venues near each other. This is, in some ways, the easiest part of the wedding to plan: to a large degree this is where the newlyweds enjoy the beginning of their lives together as a married couple, by the time most or all of the guests have already gone home. While the ceremony and the reception must take others into account, remember that this part is all about you, so make sure to indulge in it and start your new life together on the right foot!


I’ve Found These Awesome Family Den Ideas

For many families, spending quality time together is a challenge. Work, school, hobbies, and social commitments often mean each of us are on different schedules. So when the weekend finally comes around and you are all together at home, you want to make your time special. I’ve been looking into some awesome den ideas so the whole family can group together and enjoy some family activities. I wanted to know what goes into the ultimate family room to make sure everyone is comfortable. Here’s what I’ve found:


Kids Seats

Kids love to have fun, and their style is a lot different from adults. As a family den, I think it’s important that everyone in the family feels that it is their place equally. I found some bean bag chairs online, and it made me realize that the kids should have their own seats. Bean bag chairs are fun and funky. They come in a range of colors and styles so your kids should be able to find the one that suits their tastes best.


Adult Seats

The family den is definitely the place I would want to head to if I were having a pajama day. I want to slouch around and be comfortable. A big comfy sofa with lots of squishy cushions sounds perfect to me. I like to put my feet up too, so I might even look at a reclining sofa. With snacks and drinks on the go in front of the TV, leather is probably the best option. It’s much easier to wipe down and keep clean than fabric.


On the Floor

When the kids bring their toys into the room, they love to be sat on the floor. Us poor adults groan as we shift ourselves down to be with them. Some bean bags, cushions, and a very soft rug are definitely going into my ultimate family den! I think this room would best be carpeted too, although wooden floors are easier to clean when drinks get spilled.


This pic is from Flickr


Coffee Table

I love having somewhere to put my glass down, and the kids love a table to put their games onto. For the ultimate den, a big, solid, square coffee table plus a smaller nest of little tables would be perfect. That way there will be plenty to go around. I love dark woods so I would hope to find a complete matching set in something like oak. We will need a nice coaster set too!


This pic is from Flickr



The TV will definitely be used in the family den. It would probably be on all day if I didn’t keep the viewing hours in check! A big screen is essential for a big family so everyone can enjoy it together. I love the idea of a smart TV that is connected to the internet. That way, we can stream TV shows, movies, and music. Watching on demand is far more convenient for us as we have other things to do during the normal programming schedule.


While I think the sound from the TV is fine, there is often a man around who disagrees with me quite loudly. A sound bar is apparently essential for the perfect family den. I can kind of see his point with a surround sound system too. If we’re watching a big effects movie, it is nice to get the full sound right around the room. It adds to the atmosphere. Maybe I can be convinced…



I love dimmable lights. They can be on bright when we’re playing a family board game, and then we can dim them down for a quiet evening once the kids are in bed. Of course, the lights have to be out for a big movie night! When I’m reading, I like to sit under my nice standard lamp. It’s not dimmable, but I can put in one of those app-controllable light bulbs if I fancy some awesome lighting effects.



When the kids are in the room, I prefer the windows closed as the noise levels can start interfering with the rest of the neighborhood! In the summer, I love throwing them open so I can see the garden more clearly and hear the kids playing outside. When I dress the windows, I’m mindful of how much sunlight is coming in. Venetian blinds are great for diverting the sun’s rays, but they aren’t that attractive. I like to have some lush curtains or drapes hanging in the window. Blackout ones are best for this room, so we can enjoy a big movie in the dark at any time of the day.



While some people may like to have a mix of great pieces of furniture, I do like things to match from a set. In my perfect den, I would have a great sideboard where I can keep the family games, some pens and paper and a few DVDs. Lots of people like their TV hanging on the wall, but I like mine a bit lower to my eyeline than that. I would love a beautiful wooden TV cabinet that can also hold the Blu-Ray and Satellite machines. I would probably pop a photo frame or two on there as well so I can see my babies while I watch TV.



This ultimate family den would have to be decorated by the whole family jointly. It might be that every wall is a different color, though! I would like a feature wall in a nice bright color like pink or purple. Perhaps we can all agree on some wallpaper with a geometric pattern in those colors? Maybe not! Still, I think if we all came up with some ideas we would find something we all like together. Hopefully everyone will pitch in with the painting.


The ultimate family den for me is the place where I see us all together smiling. It’s a happy room where we’re all doing the same thing at the same time. It’s a snuggly room too, where I can give my babies a cuddle and let them talk about their day. For me, it’s important to have that family space so we can make the most of our quality time together.


How to Get Creative With Your Kids

Getting creative with your kids is a wonderful way to spend time with them. No bad can come from broadening their creative horizons and having fun! It gives you the opportunity to bond, and trying out different things with them will help them to develop. Take a look at some of my ideas to get creative with your kids:

Draw With Them

Drawing with kids can be a lot of fun. Ask them to draw something for you, anything. Maybe a picture of you, your house, or a self portrait. The idea is that you let them do this as freely as possible without too much input from you. If they colour the sky purple, let them do it. Drawing is a chance for them to create their own world and make their own rules, so don’t be too strict with them. You want to enhance their creativity, not hinder it!

Another fun thing you can do is create your own monster. Start by folding the paper over into even sections, then decide who’s going first. You take it in turns to draw a part of the monster without looking at what the last person drew. The only thing you should see is where the last part ends so you can carry it on. Kids love seeing the end result of this game!

Turn Them Into Little Chefs

Kids love to help with cooking, so get something you can all cook together. This might just be your dinner, or you could make some cupcakes. Depending on how old they are, you’ll want to give them a big part in making the food. Tell them why we use certain ingredients and teach them about food as you go along if possible. They’ll love eating what they’ve created afterwards.

Try Sewing

Sewing is a great skill to have for the future. Kids will be able to mend and alter clothes, as well as make their very own creations! You’ll want to find the best sewing machine for kids so that it’s easy to use and they enjoy it.


credit: Flickr

Write a Story Together

Writing stories with kids can be a lot of fun. You won’t believe some of the things they can come up with! You could take it in turns to write a paragraph each, and you should end up with a really interesting, funny story that your kids will love.

Make Jewelry

Kids love making jewelry, and you’ll probably enjoy it too! They’ll love making things that they can wear, and you’ll probably end up with some new jewelry yourself. You can buy kits, but you can easily put one together yourself. Friendship bracelets are really simple and fun to make.  

Build a Fort

Building a fort is a great creative activity for a lazy day. Use cushions, blankets, and anything else you can find!

Getting creative with your kids will give you both a chance to bond. Not only that, you’ll help them to develop and give them skills for later on in life!

Health Benefits of Tea

Health 4

Aside from water, tea is the most widely drunk beverage in the world. There are four main types of tea, which all come from the same plant called Camellia sinensis. They are differentiated through harvesting and processing to yield the black, white, green, and oolong teas people are familiar with.  The plant is native to China and India and the drink has for thousands of years been linked to good health, happiness, and wisdom. However, recently, western researchers have also begun delving into the possible health benefits of tea.

Keep in mind that though tea itself has many benefits, adding refined sugars and sweeteners may be just as harmful as drinking soda.  Choose well-brewed and healthy teas without additives to take advantage of the many advantages tea has to offer.

Weight Loss/Metabolic Benefits

Drinking tea seems to be helpful in keeping your waistline under control.  Studies have found that tea can boost exercise endurance through the antioxidants it contains, allowing the body to burn fat as fuel and consequently improving muscle endurance.  Furthermore, regular tea drinkers have been found to have lower BMIs and are slimmer than their non-tea drinking counterparts.  Scientists also speculate that drinking tea may reduce the risk of metabolic syndrome and related diseases including diabetes, artery disease, and stroke.

Stress Reduction

Drinking tea, particularly white tea, has been shown to reduce stress levels.  When the Journal of Physiological Anthropology compared stress levels in students drinking green tea, white tea, and water, all students drinking tea had lower stress levels, though wider studies are still looking to confirm this.

A Brain Boost

Those looking to protect their brain from memory loss should perhaps start drinking tea daily.  Certain studies suggest that tea could be used as an effective prevention and treatment for neurological diseases, particularly degenerative diseases.  Tea may lower the risk of both dementia and Alzheimer’s thanks to the polyphenols that help maintain the brain regions regulating learning and memory.

Cardiovascular Health Benefits and Disease Prevention

Studies have also proven that tea is good for improving cardiovascular health.  Heavy tea drinkers showed significantly lower risks of dying from cardiovascular disease.  Also, not only are stroke, artery disease, and heart attacks less of a risk for tea drinkers, but the antioxidants also serve as protection against a myriad of other diseases, including Parkinson’s disease. Furthermore, drinking tea may also help counteract the negative effects of smoking as well as radiation exposure.

Cancer Protection

Tea’s most studied polyphenol Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) is particularly effective at destroying free radicals and decreasing tumor growth in laboratory animals.  Research and evidence suggest that tea antioxidants may help prevent a wider variety of cancers ranging from breast, colon, and the skin to lung, stomach, liver, and oral cancers, amongst others.  Though research is still needed to confirm these suggestions, scientists note that countries with high rates of green tea consumption have lower rates of cancer than those that don’t.

Joint Health

EGCG may also be beneficial for those struggling with joint health, particularly arthritis.  Green tea has been shown to have anti-inflammatory properties and preliminary research also suggests that other agents within tea may prevent cartilage from breaking down. Lab studies by Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland have shown that EGCG may also slow or even stop arthritic progression by blocking pro-inflammatory cells that damage cartilage.