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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Quick and Easy Air Conditioner Maintenance Tips


Summer has arrived, and many people are already dealing with high temperatures. A great deal of us can't survive the heat without air conditioning. We need it in our homes and offices, and to give us relief in stores when we're out shopping. If you haven't already ensured that yours is working, you need to check that it's going to survive the summer. As well as giving it a once-over before you start using it, you should check up on it throughout the season. Do your air conditioner maintenance yourself this year by following these essential air-con tips.

Replacing the Filter

The filter on your air conditioner keeps it running smoothly. It will ensure the air flowing through the air-con is clean, but only if you keep the filter itself clean. Cleaning or replacing the filter when needed is essential. If you don't do it, the air that passes through could have dust and dirt in it. Your system won't work as well if the filter is blocked. You might use filters that you can reuse, which you have to take out and clean. However, it's possible that you have to replace it instead. If you need to buy new filters, look for cheap air filters that are still good quality.

Your Air Conditioner Coils

The air conditioner's coils are another essential part of the system that keep it running efficiently. There is an evaporator coil and condenser coil, which both play a part in cooling the air in your home. Dust can build up on the coils, although it will happen less quickly if your filter is clean. You should clean both coils, especially if the condenser coil is outside. If you let them get dirty, the system will struggle to work as well. Try to clean them every year before using them.

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Regular Maintenance Tasks

There are some other small tasks you can do to keep your air conditioner working properly. Make sure that the aluminium fins on you coils stay in the right place. They can bend, but you can easily move them back with a fin comb. You should also use a wire to clean the drain channels and unclog them. If you have window units, make sure that it is properly attached. The seal needs to be intact to prevent air escaping and wasting energy.

When to Call a Professional

You can do small maintenance tasks. However, you sometimes need a professional to take care of your air-con. If you need any repairs, you should call a contractor to come and fix the unit for you. They can check the refrigerant, make sure your unit is working safely, and ensure that everything is in good condition. If there's any way that your system could be improved, they can perform the maintenance to make it happen. You can find a contractor by asking for recommendations from friends and family.

Maintaining your air conditioning unit ensures that you can keep cool in the summer. Don't wait for something to go wrong and leave you without cool air.

Incredible Gifts For Those Special Moments In Life

Births, weddings, graduation: they’re all special occasions. But knowing what gifts to buy for the occasion can be supremely difficult. Here’s a list of great ideas to get you started.

Covered Nesting Bowls For Newly Weds

Newlyweds don’t often have all that much in the way of stuff. And there’s only so far they can get without their own crockery. The problem is that, like most newlyweds, they won’t have a lot of space. So what to get? One cool idea is to get them covered nesting bowls. These bowls are ideal for meals or taking dishes to dinner parties. And they also stack away neatly, in a small space.

Bath Soaps For New Mums

Giving birth and then learning all about the care of a new baby is a life-affirming experience, but it isn’t relaxing. But a long soak in the bath when mom has got a bit of spare time certainly is. Why not get the new mom in your life some bath soaps or essential oils to help her relax in the tub. Well, if she gets her five minute’s peace, that is.  


Cash For Graduates

It’s no secret that university education costs an arm and a leg these days. When most graduates emerge from their degree program, they’re tens of thousands in debt. Often they don’t want gifts; they just want cash. Unless there’s something they desperately need, slip them an envelope with a nice, chunky wad of cash inside.

Mr. And Mrs. Chopping Boards For Newly Weds

What’s your image of domestic bliss? Usually, it’s when both husband and wife do the chores together. One way to represent this physically is to gift a custom Mr and Mrs chopping board. You can pick up theme chopping boards from retailers, like Paper Themes. With this chopping board in hand, you can remind both parties that they can get involved in the cooking.


Kindle For New Mums

What better way is there to relax than to get absorbed in a fantastic book. That’s why the Kindle is the perfect accessory for any new mom. Kindles are strong, light and can store more books than she could ever possibly read.


Bike For Graduates

Graduates need some kind of way to get around once they leave university. Perhaps right now they can’t afford a car. But they want to study masters or a Ph.D. next year. How are they going to get around without their own transport? On a bike, of course. Bikes are the reliable, go-to mode of transport for making those last minute errands and grabbing takeaways.


Casserole Dish For Newly Weds

When it comes to food, it’s easy for newlyweds to fall quickly into bad habits. Many couples often end up cooking only once or twice a week. Most of the time it’s because they feel like they don’t have enough time. A great solution to this problem is to get them a casserole dish. These really are the workhorse of the kitchen and an excellent way to throw together a simple meal in no time.




Have another gift idea to share?  Please comment and let us all know.  See you soon!

Monday, June 20, 2016

Some Great Ideas for Summer Fun

Ever heard about people who try to impress neighbors that they really don’t even like?  Well here are a few ways to spruce up your home and life that just might make someone think you are trying to impress them.  Try one or more of these ideas and it won’t be long until your neighbors wish they had your home instead of their own! Let’s get started.

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Getting Creative With Water

The chances are that neither you or your neighbors currently have a swimming pool. Whether you feel a swimming pool would be an affordable option is something that’s up to you, but you don’t have to spend masses of money! Instead, you could create a DIY water park for your children to have fun with. It doesn’t take a lot to make something that can rival swimming pools in terms of the amount of fun they provide! Get creative and search for some feasible ideas that might work in your yard to give the children a way to cool off this summer.

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Big, Expensive Vehicles

Ever seen two men try to out-do each other by buying different kinds of luxurious RV’s! I’m not saying you need to go out and buy one, but it certainly could give you a great way to spend the summer. You can even rent RVs now and believe me when I say camping in an RV is much more luxurious than tenting.   Imagine if you can, heading out for a couple of weeks this summer and having everything you need right with you.  You can cook your own food on a stove, sleep in the same bed every night and have many of the benefits of home.

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A Patio Area

If you’ve got the time and money to put some real investment into your garden, a patio area can really improve it. Not only does this give you a nice space to sit and relax, but it improves the look of your garden massively. There are lots of things you can do to be creative with this, too. Personally, I love the added touch of a waterfall. It’s only a small addition, but it adds an element of relaxation and class to your backyard. You can do whatever you like with it, though. Think about your budget and the style you want to convey.

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Create A Kids Play Area

This would make a great summer project!  If you’re the sort of person that is able to get creative and hands-on, why not create a kids play area for them? From swings to slides and much more, you can do practically anything you want to do! Make sure that if you’re going to do this, you do so with the utmost care. It needs to be a safe place for kids to play in. Invite the neighbors kids around when it’s done and watch as they tell their parents how great your garden is!

Improve your home because you want to improve it and make it a better place to live! You and your family will enjoy adding one or more of these projects to your summer.

Summer DIY Inspiration: Simple And Stylish Bathroom Makeovers

Summer is finally here! If you’re thinking about doing some DIY or updating your bathroom over summer vacation, here are some ideas. With bathroom makeovers, you don’t have to go crazy with designs or spend a fortune. Often, simple changes can make all the difference.

Bathroom themes
There are so many different angles you can opt for when it comes to planning your new bathroom. Do you want something ultra-modern and stylish? Do you over the quirky styles you see in boutique hotels? Are you a fan of a simple suite and clean, fresh shades? Do you adore the opulence of vintage themes? Does the nautical trend appeal to you?

If you’re thinking about redesigning your bathroom over the summer, look for inspiration online. It’s also a good idea to visit showrooms and flick through some interior magazines. You may also find that wandering around home stores gives you ideas for easy and affordable bathroom renovations.

The theme you go for may dictate the colors and shades you choose. For a modern bathroom, white, gray, beige and metallics are very popular. Blue and white are perfect for seaside and nautical themes. Pastel shades and printed wallpaper are the ideal accompaniment for traditional hardwood floors.



Planning a new layout and design
If you’re going all out with your makeover and you want to change the layout, ask some builders for quotes. You’ll also need to get in touch with a local plumber. You may want to add a bath or create a separate shower unit. Do you want to install a new sink or change your flooring?

Once you have a vision of what you want, it’s much easier to determine the amount of work involved. If you’re making changes that are purely cosmetic, your makeover should be complete within weeks. If you have more drastic changes in mind, it may take significantly longer.

Finishing touches
Once you’ve chosen paint colors and selected your suite, turn your attention to the finishing touches. Toilet roll and toothbrush holders, rugs, and vases can pull the look together. You may also wish to add candles, LED lights, and a statement mirror to take your bathroom to the next level.



Storage
Storage is an important consideration for many of us in the bathroom. If you don’t want towels or bottles lying around, invest in some smart storage solutions. Go for metallic units and glass shelves for a contemporary bathroom. Or opt for a rustic vanity unit for a chic Parisian vibe.

If your bathroom is looking a little drab or tired, it may be time to think about adding some color or switching up the design. You can spend as much or as little as you want. Paint the walls and add some accessories for a simple, affordable makeover. Or upgrade the suite, change the layout and go for a completely new theme. Take inspiration from showrooms and magazines. Don't be afraid to mix and match trends and pay attention to the detail. Often, the finishing touches can make all the difference.

Friday, June 17, 2016

5 Things About Moving to a New Home You'll Kick Yourself for Not Knowing

Moving to a new home is always a difficult time in a family’s life, but you can learn how to reduce stress with these tips:

You need to change your address

This might sound obvious. Of course, you’re changing your address. But make sure all the companies you deal with know that you’re moving. You need to think about your mail, utilities, telephones, banks, your insurance, doctor. Don't forget all the bills or documents assigned to your current address. You don’t want the new owner of the house to receive all your mail and parcels or maybe even running up bills in your name! Make sure you arrange this in advance with every company. You’ll regret it if you don’t!

Make sure you’ve got a good removal company

Do research into local removal companies and make sure you find one that’s reliable and fairly priced. If you’re moving far, try looking at removal companies close to where you’re going too. They may be even better than the ones in your current area. Check reviews and ratings online to make sure you’ve chosen correctly, and always book in advance. A friendly, reliable removalist can make your moving day go smooth and stress-free. Don’t forget to leave a tip for their hard work, carrying your heavy furniture around all day can be tiring!

The kids need a sitter

Make sure you’ve arranged for a family member or friend to look after the kids while you’re moving. It’s going to be a busy day, and it can be stressful enough without the children running around! It also helps to keep them happy. You don’t want your stress of moving rubbing off on them, and it could make them anxious seeing all their things being put in boxes. Moving can be scary for a child, so make sure they get special attention and that they understand everything that’s happening! (The same rules apply for pets, but it can be harder to explain to them what the situation is!)

Pack wisely

Before the removal guys arrive, you’ll need to pack your boxes clearly and in an understandable way. It can be tempting to just throw everything in boxes labeled “stuff” but you’ll have a nightmare finding things when you get to your new home. Pack things in each room into separate boxes, and label them “Master Bedroom. Shelves” “Bedroom 2. Toy box” etc. You can then find what you need quickly, and you can tell the removal company which room is which, so they can read the boxes and take them straight there!

Also, make sure you have a priority box. This one goes on the removal truck last and comes off first. It’s the coffee and food to keep you, and the removal men energized. Pack the bedding, toiletries and medicine that you’ll need on your first night in your new house.

Introduce yourselves to the neighbors before you move in

Let them know what day you’ll be arriving. It’ll make them feel better knowing whose truck is outside and what’s going on, plus it gives you a great reason to introduce yourself. If your neighbors know who’s moving into the house, you’ve already started a relationship with them before you get there. Get ready for more at the fence conversations in your new home!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Is Your Dog Ready For The Next Family Vacation?

Vacations are one of the most special moments of the year. It’s a chance for you to explore new places and enjoy fun and games with your loved ones. But they should be for the whole family, and that includes the dog.

Unlike other pets like cats and rabbits, it is possible to take your furry friend on vacation. However, this should only happen if the dog is well prepared. Otherwise, it won’t be fair on you, other travellers, or the pooch.

A little strategic planning goes a long way. Here’s everything you need to know.


Dog Training

First and foremost, you need to be sure that the dog is going to behave. The last thing you need is a pet that runs wild in an unfamiliar territory. If that’s going to be the case, it’s better off to leave your furry friend with a relative or in kennels.

Specialist dog obedience training should work wonders for getting your pet to behave and respond in a positive manner. And those benefits should be felt long after the vacation too. Quite frankly, it won’t just make life easier for you. It will improve the quality of your dog’s life too.

As a responsible owner, you need to have control over your dog at all times. Apart from anything else, you need to know your pet won’t get into fights with others.

Nutrition

Taking care of a dog requires various elements. Good nutrition is easily one of the most important factors to the pet’s overall health, and that shouldn’t change on holiday.

It’s crucial that you continue to use any supplements that may be required to fight various problems with joints and muscles. Similarly, you need to focus on foods that are good for their dental health. You can still treat the pet with special ice cream for dogs to make it a real holiday, but you cannot throw their nutrition out of the window. Being responsible is vital.


A healthy dog is a happy dog. That will lead to a better holiday for you. Perhaps more importantly, it will generate a better holiday for the pooch too.

Accessories

Holidays should be about fun and games. If you’re taking the dog, then you’ve probably gone camping or taken another dog-friendly trip. Let’s face it; you aren’t jetting the dog off for a week-long trek in New Zealand.

Staying active is a crucial part of the enjoyment for the dog and your entire family. There are various games that can be played to inject extra fun into your adventures. However, if you’re going to be utilising the pool, you may want to consider doggles. Just like humans, dogs deserve to have their eyes protected. It could go a long way to avoiding serious problems.

It’s equally vital that you’ve packed a dog bed and have a suitable collar and lead. It’s for the dog’s sake as much as yours. Knowing that your pet is safe and happy will make a huge difference to your holiday adventure. With those factors in mind, there’s nothing to stop it being your best vacation ever.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

The Best Ways to Make Sure You Have a Happy & Healthy Summer

With summer here, some of you might be looking for ways to be healthier so that you can enjoy it all. There seems to be something that helps us all to relax a little more during summer. More of us take vacations during summer, so it is the perfect time to focus on being a little healthier. Here are some of the best ways that you can look to improve your health and be happier.

Drink More Water

This is crucial at any time but particularly in summer. In the hotter months, it means that you sweat more and have more chance of becoming dehydrated. So aim to drink at least eight glasses of water per day. You will feel fresher and your skin will look better too. You will flush toxins out of your system and get rid of any dark undereye circles. http://www.infusedwaters.com/ has some more recipes if you get a little bit bored of just straight water.


Use a Sunscreen

If you want a surefire way to be miserable this summer; don’t apply sunscreen. Nothing is worse than getting sunburn. It hurts just to do something as simple as turning over in bed. So the best way to avoid this pain and misery is just to use sunscreen. It is something that you should use all year round. In summer the sun is stronger so needs to be used more than ever.

Take a Probiotic

Probiotics can be in a supplement form, or found in certain foods. Things like yogurts and some soy products will contain probiotics in them. Probiotics help with digestion and can calm an upset stomach. So if you are visiting a foreign country this summer, they might be rather useful. When you eat foods that you aren’t used to, it can upset your stomach. So probiotics in summer will be helpful to combat any negative side effects. If you don’t know where to start with probiotics, then have a look online. A website like http://nootriment.com/lactobacillus-plantarum/ will have more information to help you.

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Move More Outside

Summer is the best time to get out and about and enjoy the great outdoors. You can go on hikes, walks or even take up a new running regime. Whatever you decide to do, just do more than normal. You will burn more calories and have your skin soaked in vitamin D from the sun. All of which will lead to a healthier and happier you this summer.

Take Care of Your Eyes

In summer, the sun is bright. So take care of your eyes with sunglasses. A lot of people think they are just a fashion statement. But they serve a fantastic purpose, as well as looking good. They can stop damage to the retina of your eye, as well as the delicate skin around the eye. You don’t want to get those areas of your face sunburnt!

What are your top tips or suggestions for having a healthy and happy summer? I’d be interested in hearing what you all think. Thanks for reading. I hope you have a great summer with family and friends!

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Create An Amazing Outdoor Living Space With These Top Tips

If you’re desperate for more space in your home, the answer could be right outside your back door. Outdoor living areas involved transforming an area in your garden into a functional space. Whether it’s an outdoor kitchen, dining area or living room, there are endless opportunities to choose from. They can add value to your property by providing further storage and living space. They can also encourage you and your family to spend more time outside, which can benefit their health no end. So if you’re interested in transforming your garden into an amazing outdoor living area, here are some top tips to help you get started.

Install outdoor blinds

Installing outdoor blinds above and around your decking and patio is one of the easiest ways to create an outdoor living space. Outdoor blinds can protect your family and belongings from bad weather conditions such as wind and rain. It can also provide shade during the summer when the sun is out. So no matter what the weather forecast is, you can still enjoy spending time in your outdoor space. You can also put them away if they are not required, making them flexible and convenient. If you are planning on using your outdoor space as a dining room or play area, this is an essential item you need to have. Read through the 10 signs you should invest in outdoor blinds for further ideas and information.


Make it comfortable

An essential part of creating an outdoor living space is to ensure that it is comfortable. To begin with, choose furniture that you like that is also suitable for outdoor use. This should also relate to the primary function you have chosen for your outdoor space. This could include armchairs, sofas, bar stools and coffee tables. Next, think of how you can make it more comfortable for your family. You might want to add oversized pillows or throws. Rugs and hammocks could also be a fun addition that adds comfort to the area. See Pinterest for further inspiration on how to add comfort to your outdoor living space.


Give it plenty of thought

There is more to creating an outdoor living space than putting some furniture outside. It should have the same amount of thought put into it as the rooms inside your home. It should be an extension of the style and personality you have inside. So think carefully about color schemes, accessories, and pattern. You might want to paint your fence or garden furniture in a bold color. Or you might want to add picture frames, patterned pillows and candles as accessories. You should also add storage for books, toys, and kitchenware. This will make your outdoor space more enjoyable to spend time in and helps it feel more connected to your home. Just remember to use items that are suitable for outdoors.



These tips should make it easier to create an outdoor living space in your garden, no matter what size it is. Always hire a professional to complete challenging tasks and installation to get a safe and high-quality result.