Thursday, October 30, 2014

Creative Uses for Area Rugs

When it comes to decorating a room, sometimes it's the simple touches, such as lamps or area rugs, that make the biggest difference.

While you may think first of hallways or foyers when you consider where to put an area rug, there are all sorts of places where you can use them to add color, brightness or visual interest to a room. Area rugs can add sparkle to larger rooms, helping you to define certain areas better or make a specific nook or corner stand out.

A creative use of area rugs can help bring together all the decorative elements of a room. These days, there are so many types of woven or tufted rugs to choose from, including brightly colored rugs in abstract, modern patterns or calmer toned rugs in traditional woven Victorian or Oriental patterns. Those are just a few of the possibilities you can consider when purchasing an area rug for your home.

Best of all, you don't have to spend a lot of time canvasing carpet and home decor stores as many online venues offer a wide selection of carpets, in varying shapes, sizes and styles, that you can peruse and order today. When you begin your search, it helps if you have a general sense of the size of the space for which you're shopping as well as a sense of the style of rug that will work best for your space.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stain Removal

Quick action is often the key to success with stain removal. Many a tie, blouse, carpet, or upholstery fabric has been saved by immediately treating the stain. Gather all the materials needed and keep them in a place where you can locate them quickly. Be sure they are out of the reach of children.

It is important to follow the garment, carpet, or furniture manufacturer’s instructions as well as the cautions listed on the label of any product used in the stain removal process. The process of attempting to remove a stain may be unsuccessful and may, in fact, set the stain, making it more difficult to remove. If you are not sure if your attempt to remove a stain will cause a damage, it might be better to seek professional help. But it is important to understand that even though professional cleaning may do the trick, it too is not always a foolproof approach. Professionals may not be able to remove some stains. Be sure the professional you select evaluates the stain and the stained material, and informs you about any potential risks associated with attempting to remove the stain.

Thanks to MC Stain Removal, the stain on the couch has been removed. Two thumbs up on this product.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Building Your Own Pool: 5 Things To Remember

During the warm summer months, almost everyone wishes that they had a pool. Relaxing on a floating raft above cool, turquoise water is the epitome of luxury. The first thing often considered when deciding that your home needs a pool is whether it should be above ground or in ground. Above ground pools are nice and less expensive but they just don’t have the same awe as built in pools do. If you’re handy, you might even be able to keep some of the costs down by building your own pool. If you decided to go this route, there are a handful of things you need to keep in mind.

Size and Shape

One of the first things to consider is the size and shape of pool you would like. Everyone wants as big of a pool as they can but it doesn’t always make sense. You have to keep in mind the size and layout of your yard. A long rectangular pool may fit your lot much better than a circular pool.

You also have to remember that the larger the pool, the more water is needed. This drives up your water bill and the amount of pool cleaning solutions you’ll need. Having a pool is an added monthly expense that can potentially increase as the size of the pool is increased.

Zoning Laws and Permits

Prior to constructing a pool, you need to check your local zoning laws. Unfortunately, some residences are not allowed to build pools. There are also a number of regulations regarding the actual building of a pool. For example, you might only be allowed to build your pool in a certain area of your lot. You’ll also likely have to adhere to safety requirements such as safety fences.

Building a pool usually requires permits from your local government and homeowner’s association if you have one. Failing to get a permit might cause you to have to stop construction midway if the local government orders you to.

Your Budget/Installation Costs

Your pool should be built with a budget in mind. It is important to remember that as you embark on your pool building endeavor.

Building a pool involves a lot of work and money. There is a major upfront cost during installation as you need need to excavate part of your land. This requires heavy machinery. Once the hole has been dug you also need to frame the walls so that there is enough support.

Additionally, electricity and plumbing must be constructed and run to the pool. Hiring a plumber to create the supply and filtration system will be a fairly hefty but necessary cost. An electrician is required to run wiring if you plan on having lights or a filtration system for your pool.

The next step to installation involves pouring the floor and and building the walls. Even though the walls are framed, you still need concrete to firm them up. After that, lining or tiling is needed throughout the pool since concrete will absorb water. The purpose of liner or tiling is to provide a material that is water resistant so that you pool water is not continually soaked into the walls.

Needed Construction Equipment

If you plan to build a pool yourself, and forego a contractor, you’ll need construction equipment. Excavating a large portion of your lot is too large of a job for a shovel and a “can-do” attitude. Heavy duty machinery such as a backhoe can perform the job. These heavy duty machines have the added traction of rubber tracks, oversized buckets for shoveling, and power to lift incredible amounts of earth at once.

Pouring concrete is another job that could require the use of construction equipment. Mixing enough concrete for your pool by hand would be an extremely strenuous process. Renting or purchasing a large cement mixer can help to expedite the job.

Taxes and Insurance

Taxes and insurance should be considered in your overall budget. They aren’t part of the installation budget but they can greatly increase your monthly expenditures.

Adding a pool can increase your property taxes. Failing to report your new pool to the city to avoid these increased taxes could result in tax evasion charges. So it’s best to remember and consider the cost of taxes prior to building your pool.

Some people build pools to increase their home value which so they see the increased taxes as justified. However, a pool is not guaranteed to increase the value of your home but is almost always guaranteed to increase your property taxes.

Finally, you’ll want to remember to update your homeowner’s insurance policy. There is a good chance that your policy already covers a pool but you’ll want to increase the liability amount to cover the cost of your pool.

About the author:

David Woodbuurn has recenty looked into adding a pool to his home and here are his findings.

Eating Out For Less

Would you like to eat out more but feel guilty for indulging in a luxury like that when the money could be spent on something more practical? You’re not alone. Most people are watching their money pretty closely these days, and while they may not be at the point where they’re borrowing from family and friends or taking out a payday loan, many are still on a budget. The good news is that being on a budget doesn’t mean you have to deny yourself the occasional respite from cooking, serving, and cleaning up afterwards. Here are some ways to save money (and keep from losing money) when dining out.

1. Opt for lunch or “off peak” dinner times. Many if not most of the finer restaurants have separate dinner and lunch menus, with the main difference being that the lunch items are generally a few pounds cheaper. Others have special fixed-price menus or special lunch entrees that give you a chance to sample their style without spending your entire month’s paycheck. By opting for daytime dining you can save a bundle even at the best restaurants. Or if you have a flexible schedule you might be able to find a bargain for dinner as well. Some restaurants have, for example, a pre- or post-theatre dinner menu that is less expensive than the menu they offer during peak hours. Call ahead, of course, so you’ll know what’s available.

2. Take advantage of online booking. You can go to the restaurant’s own web site (see the next item), but you can also take advantage of web sites such as OpenTable (formerly Toptable), Lastminute, and 5pm, which offer up-to-the-minute information about a variety of offers such as half-off, 2-for-1 and other promotions. Search for bargains in your area, pick a restaurant, and book a table. Remind your server once you’re there that you booked a special deal online. 3. Look for online promotional vouchers. Many restaurants offer promotional vouchers online, either on their own web sites or third-party sites. Make a habit of perusing newspapers for vouchers. And before you go out, visit websites such as VoucherCodes and HotUKDeals to check for deals and discounts.

4. Ask for tap water. Unlike many US establishments that automatically give patrons a glass of free tap water, restaurants in the UK often push expensive bottled water on their customers. What many UK patrons don’t realise is that the law now requires that restaurants serving alcohol give customers free tap water. If it isn’t offered, ask for it. As some restaurants charge £3.50 or more for a bottle of mineral water, opting for tap water can save you quite a lot of money over time.

5. Don’t make a pig of yourself, but if you do, don’t waste the food. Many people over-order and then end up leaving a lot on their plate. It’s tempting to order too much when you’re hungry, of course, but take some time and scope out the menu. Find out everything that comes with your main course so you don’t overdo it with appetizers, side dishes or soups and salads. If you do have a substantial amount left over anyway, be sure to ask for a doggy bag – and have a great lunch tomorrow. If you get two meals for the price of one, you’re still ahead of the game.

6. Be a conscious tipper. Heaven forbid that you’re an under-tipper or non-tipper; wait staff work hard for their money and deserve your every consideration. So tip generously, unless the service itself was truly atrocious (but in that case, take it up with the management; don’t just run out without leaving a tip). However you should also scrutinize your bill before you sign off on anything, as many restaurants include a service charge on the bill. In those cases you don’t need to leave an additional tip unless your server has been exceptionally wonderful or you are just feeling generous. When paying by credit card remember that any tip you add to the total will go to the employer and will then probably be divided among several staff members. Cash given to y our server belongs to her or him. The bottom line with tips is: don’t under-tip, but don’t inadvertently over-tip.

7. Guard your card. Using a credit or debit card can leave you vulnerable to fraud, including an ever more common crime called "skimming". After duplicating the details from the magnetic strip on the back of your card the perpetrator creates a "clone" card that, if used fraudulently, can end up wiping you out. Aware of this problem, many restaurants bring a handheld terminal to the table so customers can enter their own PIN. If the restaurant you’re eating at doesn’t offer this option, take your card with you to the checkout area if there is one. If at all possible, don’t let the card out of your sight. Of course there are other ways perpetrators can commit fraud besides sneaking your card to the back room whilst you’re there, so keep a close watch on your credit card or bank statements and immediately report any unauthorised charges.

8. Reap the rewards of loyalty. Lots of restaurants have loyalty or discount programmes, so if you really like the food and service, go ahead and sign up. Many restaurants are on social media these days, so check out your favorite restaurants’ Twitter or Facebook pages and see if they have a daily special you can take advantage of.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Birthday Presents

Next month would be my birth month. I wish somebody could give me a Roland Cube. Lol. Funny I know because this thing is expensive for a gift. I maybe receive a gift on my birthday, but the price is not as high as this. Anyway, a big hugs and kisses from love ones is already a great gift to me. I don’t have a plan for a fancy birthday party because I am not a kid. But I will prepare little food for us only. Maybe that is enough for my coming birthday. By the way, a few days ago, it was my nephew’s birthday. His mom sent us lots of photos on his birthday party. I wish we were there too, but unfortunately, we cannot, because they are in Canada.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Stolen Shots Using a Mobile Phone

I didn't know that my cousin took pictures of me while heading for the boat going to BlueJaz in Samal Island. She used her android mobile phone on these photos. I like her mobile phone's camera because it has a clear shot, even in a distance. I also have the android phone, but the phone's camera is not as good as my cousin's phone. If I have extra money, I will buy a phone like her mobile phone.