Archive for July 2015 | Monthly archive page

Plastic is harmful for the environment, and everyone knows it. To give up from plastic is very difficult, it is very widely used in the home. So the best way is to use recycled plastic again. These products are extremely interesting and attractive for buyers.

 

What can be made from a plastic bottle with its own hands? How to give second life to the plastic bottles will learn in this article. You can make many items from plastic bottles that are strikingly different.

   

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When tires are no longer for use for their primary purpose, they can serve as a very beautiful and interesting decoration in gardens, on terraces or yard. With their standing in the yard or behind some storage, old tires will be will be just ugly picture and on that way they will serve just to collects rainwater or as nest of mosquitoes. They can be used in a very nice and interesting way and be very useful. From used tires can be made swings, decorative flower pots, garden table and chairs as a pouffe.

 

Used tires can be used as mini-gardens for vegetables and flowers. There are several advantages. These mini-gardens require less water, fertilizer and fewer weeds. The black color of tires absorbs more heat from the sun and stimulates the growth of plants.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t throw out those kitchen scraps! What have YOU had success with?

Scallions You can regrow scallions by leaving an inch attached to the roots and place them in a small glass with a little water in a well-lit room.

Garlic When garlic begins to sprout, you can put them in a glass with a little water and grow garlic sprouts. The sprouts have a mild flavor than garlic and can be added to salads, pasta and other dishes.

Bok Choy Bok choy can be regrown by placing the root end in water in a well-lit area. In 1-2 weeks, you can transplant it to a pot with soil and grow a full new head.

Carrots Put carrot tops in a dish with a little water. Set the dish in a well-lit room or a window sill. You’ll have carrot tops to use in salads.

Basil Put clippings from basil with 3 to 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, plant them in pots to and in time it will grow a full basil plant.

Basil Put clippings from basil with 3 to 4-inch stems in a glass of water and place it in direct sunlight. When the roots are about 2 inches long, plant them in pots to and in time it will grow a full basil plant.

 

Romaine Lettuce Put romaine lettuce stumps in a 1/2 inch of water. Re-water to keep water level at 1/2 inch. After a few days, roots and new leaves will appear and you can transplant it into soil.

 

Cilantro The stems of cilantro will grown when placed in a glass of water. Once the roots are long enough, plant them in a pot in a well-lit room. You will have a full plant in a few months.

 

 

 

ALOE PLANT

LEVEL OF CARE: EASY

LIGHT / WATER: Aloe loves the sun water once a week. Allowing to soil to dry out completely in between .

ASPARAGUS FERN

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Indirect light is best. Give them plenty of water, being careful not to over-saturate the soil.

Display Idea: Hang the pot from a modern macrame holder.

SNAKE PLANT

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Indirect light is ideal for the snake plant, along with light waterings.

Display Idea: Place in an elevated planter to add interest to an empty spot in your hall.

 

ENGLISH IVY

Level of Care: Easy to Moderate

Light/Water: Four hours of direct sunlight (and indirect during the rest of the time) and steady moisture is key to keep your ivy happy.

Display Idea: Train around a sculptural form.

FIDDLE LEAF FIG

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Bright, indirect light is ideal. Only water when the top inch of the soil is dry.

Display Idea: Place it in a corner to create a dramatic focal point, like in this apartment over at Design*Sponge.

 

STAGHORN FERN

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Low-to-medium light and moderate moisture will keep your staghorn looking its best.

Display Idea: These plants belong on the wall!

GOLDEN POTHOS

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Care for the pothos with bright, indirect light and moderate waterings (never allowing the soil to become water-logged).

Display Idea: Blogger Little White Whale upgraded a standard terra cotta pot into a charming sculpture, which brings more impact to the leafy plant.

SPIDER PLANTS

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Bright, indirect light and occasional waterings make the spider plant one of the easiest to care for.

Display Idea: Show off the curved leaves with a hanging planter.

STRING OF PEARLS PLANT

Level of Care: Easy to Moderate

Light/Water: You’ll quickly have lengthy strands of pearls by leaving the plant in bright, indirect light with enough water to keep the soil steadily moist.

Display Idea: A Home Full of Color turned a simple wood bowl into a hanging display that allows the plant to beautifully cascade over the sides.

RUBBER PLANT

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Like most of the other plants on this list, the rubber plant requires bright, indirect light. You should only water it when the soil is dry.

Display Idea: Rubber plants have the added benefit of being one of the best natural air-cleaners out there. Place them near your favorite seating area, like The Blackbird did, to enjoy fresh air.

SPLIT LEAF PHILODENDRON

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Bright, indirect light and even moisture allows this plant to thrive.

Display Idea: The Brick House dipped a planter in neon paint, which brings out the gorgeous green color of the leaves.

PADDLE PLANT

Level of Care: Easy

Light/Water: Give the paddle plant full-to-partial sun and water only when the top two inches of the soil are dry.

Display Idea: Place in a petite pot that emphasizes the plant’s unique shape.

Do you prefer a clean, uncluttered look? Do you like for your home to make a statement? Are you drawn toward bold yet sophisticated furnishings and spaces? Then contemporary style decorating may be for you.

Contemporary style interiors came into vogue in the late 20th century and derived its look from many influences. When sleek Italian-designed goods and other sophisticated European furnishings began making their way into the American market, the contemporary design style boomed overnight.

Contrary to popular belief, the contemporary style home is rarely stark or cold, but instead seeks to combine the ideas of comfort and sophistication. One of the most common design styles, the contemporary style is never fussy, but instead focuses on line, tone and texture.

 

Typical characteristics of a Contemporary style space: Neutral color palette with “pops” of bold color Clean lines and smooth surfaces Soft curves, but avoids the ornate or ornamental Reflective materials such as chrome, steel and glass Natural fabrics with a focus on texture and tone Use of black and/or white Geometric patterns or shapes Sleek cabinetry and lighting (built-ins, recessed)

The Contemporary design style is often confused with Modern but actually the two are very different styles, though both tend to favor simple, uncluttered spaces with smooth, clean lines. The Modern style is an older style that originated during the late 19th century, but from whom Contemporary design derived some of its ideas.

Knowing what your needs are and how best to approach them are the first steps in planning a home security system. A security system professional is helpful when you have questions, but his job is to sell you equipment and not necessarily to look out for your best interests. Consulting with a professional is useful, but write down a plan first that addresses what your concerns are and lists the essentials you need for your specific home.

What is the best way to start planning a home security system?

 

You always need door and window sensors, an alarm and a central control panel. Beyond that, you have options. Go through the house and count the number of doors and windows. Include the door leading to the garage and windows high off the ground. This gives you the number of sensors you need. Systems typically come with a set number of sensors, and then you pay a fee for additional ones.

 

You also need smoke and carbon monoxide detectors if you don’t already have them. Some states require apartment complexes to provide them in each unit. You need one near the kitchen, at least one on each floor of your home, and one in or near every bedroom.

 

Is additional lighting useful in a home security system?

 

Consider security lighting when planning your system. The lights are motion or light-activated. Place them near the main entrances to the house to keep those areas lit at night, especially when someone is approaching the house. The motion sensors are useful as a means of keeping thieves or vandals away, but set the sensitivity of the light carefully to make sure they don’t respond to wind or animal movement.

 

The lights also help prevent others from knowing if someone is home or not.

 

Should the surrounding neighborhood be considered when planning a security system?

Research the crime statistics in your city or town when planning your system by checking the website for your local police department. Talk to your neighbors as well. If car thefts are common in your area, pay more attention to your garage or where you park your vehicle. If vandalism is a problem in your neighborhood, consider security shutters on the windows. Research the rules of your neighborhood or your homeowner’s association to find out if a fence is allowed and a viable option for you.

 

Is a wireless system more effective than a wired one?

 

Older systems used to rely on the phone line when sending signals out to call centers. If the phone lines went down or were tampered with, the system was not effective. Modern wired systems are not as easily disabled, and they have the advantage of being plugged into the home’s main power. Wireless systems are battery-operated. The batteries need to be checked on each device regularly to make sure they are all working properly. Your control panel tells you when the power fails on a device as well. Both wired and wireless devices are effective if properly installed. Wireless installation tends to be simpler than rigging a new system into the existing wiring of the house, however.

 

What else should be considered when planning a security system?

 

If you have pets, verify that any motion sensors in the house won’t respond to pet movement. False alarms are a nuisance, and they are also expensive if they reoccur. Decide what the most important or valuable items in your house are. Consider placing additional security measures such as motion sensors or security cameras in those areas.

 

Write down your needs when planning your security system. This gives you something to share with professionals when you start shopping. This also assists you when budgeting because each company provides a pricing estimate based on the information you give them. Planning the system takes time, research and diligence, but the peace of mind is worth it once the system gets installed.

Funny how some things that are beautiful can also be damaging. For example, ice storms that coat tree limbs or more commonly, icicles which are born of a condition known as an ice dam. Ice dams are a winter roofing problem caused by poor roof ventilation and a warm attic space. Left untreated ice dams can cause serious damage to your roof, gutters, paint, insulation, drywall, structure and in some cases, even contribute to mold. Roof ice dams will form when snow is melted by a warm roof, creating water running between the snow and the warm roof surface. The water then freezes and turns to ice when it gets past the exterior wall and hits a cold unheated roof edge or gutter. As the bottom of the snow pack continues to melt by the warm roof surface, water continues to flow down the roof surface until it hits the cold ice, refreezes and winds up increasing the size of the ice dam. Heavy Snow Makes an Ice Dam Worse Why? Because snow is a great insulator. Snow that is in contact with your roof will melt because the attic is above 32 degrees Fahrenheit to the point that it warms the outside roof surface and melts the snow. The snow acts as an insulating blanket allowing the outside roof surface to warm up easier from the warm attic space, thereby melting the snow faster. Tips for Battling Ice Dams Although ice dams are best defeated in warm weather with proper roof ventilation, there are some things you can do to beat back the formation and prevent the damage of ice dams in winter. Use a Roof Rake: From the ground you can use a special tool called a roof rake. A roof rake is a long handled inverted shovel you use to pull snow off the roof toward you. The tool can be fixed length or telescopic and should be used to remove about 3-4 feet of snow from the roof edge. This does not solve the problem but just reduces the snow insulation layer at the roof edge which will slow down the formation of the ice dam. Use Calcium Chloride: If you want to try and bring the battle to the ice dam it will require getting on a ladder to apply calcium chloride or some similar ice melt product directly on the edge of the roof. Make sure to use the ladder safely. If you don’t want to use a ladder and fancy yourself good at tossing things, you may want to try a product called Roofmelt which is round calcium chloride tablets you toss up on the roof. Steam Removal of Ice Dams: OK, now you are calling in the big guns and opening up your check book. Of course you are also getting the job done while safely on the ground looking out from your window while drinking  a hot cup of coffee, so hey, it’s all a trade off, right? Steam removal is the most effective and safest way to completely remove your ice dam problem. I want to clarify, I am not recommending hot high pressure power washing which can damage your roof, but rather low pressure steam which is safe and effective. The downside is there are less roofing contractors that have this specialty steam equipment than have a power washer. But finding the right contractor will be worth the effort, even if you have to pay a bit more for the service. You can tell a steamer as it will have no trigger on the gun handle and the hose will be black. Just make sure you don’t get a contractor with a high pressure power washer up on your roof.
Yes, you have to clean your pillows. And if it’s been more than six months, they’re way overdue. DOWN AND FIBERFILL PILLOWS Good news! You can wash these kinds of pillows in your washer. For best results, we recommend washing two pillows at a time (to help keep the washer balanced) and using a front or top-loading machine without an agitator. If an agitator-style top loader is your only option, place the pillows in the tub vertically, so it’s less likely they’ll get wrapped around and damaged by the agitator. If your pillow has a care label, definitely read that and follow the directions. If not or you’ve clipped off the tag, use warm water and opt for the gentle cycle. It’s also a good idea to add on an extra cold-water rinse and spin. Tumble dry the pillows on low heat, fluffing and turning them often. In the Good Housekeeping Research Institute Home Appliances and Textiles Labs, we toss in a few rubber dryer balls, like Nellie’s, to help plump the filling and keep it from clumping as it dries. FOAM PILLOWS Unfortunately, you can’t put foam pillows in the washing machine, but if there’s a removable cover, you can wash that according to the care instructions on the tag. To remove dust from a foam pillow, vacuum both sides with your vacuum’s upholstery tool. If possible, dial down the suction level to make the job a bit easier to do. Or, tumble the pillow in the dryer on the no heat or air-only cycle for 20 minutes. Spot-clean any soiled areas with a cloth dipped in a mild sudsy solution. Rinse with a damp cloth. Allow the pillow to air dry completely before putting it back on the bed. Some foam pillows include instructions for hand washing. If you choose to follow them, be very gentle. Wet foam is heavy and tears easily. To help pillows stay cleaner longer, use liners under your pillowcases and wash them monthly. WHEN TO REPLACE THEM No matter how diligent you are about cleaning your pillows, you will need to buy new ones eventually. How do you know when it’s time to toss? If you fold the pillow in half, and it doesn’t spring back into shape, plan for a shopping trip. If you’re not sure if your pillow is still doing its job, ask yourself: Is the foam or batting inside the form lumpy or bumpy? Does your feather pillow have to be punched or fluffed up for support? If you fold the pillow in half, does it stay folded? If you answered yes to any of these, it’s time for a nice, new pillow. If you’d rather your old pillows didn’t end up in the garbage, consider how you can repurpose them. I give mine to my miniature schnauzer, for her bed — the ultimate in recycling!

Giving your kitchen a makeover doesn’t have to be a huge project. In fact, there are a number of low-budget ways to give your kitchen a brand new look without investing too much dough.

 

Here are just a couple of minor projects you can undertake that will breathe new life into your kitchen’s tired aesthetic:

Install New Light Fixtures

If your current kitchen is lit by one central fixture, you might have an off-balance ambiance. Consider adding a few more fixtures to break up glare and create a perfect blend of decorative and functional lighting. Bar lights, under-cabinet lights or other ambient lighting will help give a new feel to your kitchen.

 

Change the Colors

A fresh coat of paint or a bright accent wall can really make your kitchen pop! Alternatively, consider creating a mosaic tile backsplash or using vintage or colorful decorative accents for visual interest.

 

Upgrade the Countertops

Changing out countertops is a great way to give your kitchen an all-over new look without too much investment. You can choose stone materials, like marble, slate or granite or, if you’re really on a budget, just change out colors on your laminate counters and add a new color or pattern to the room

 

Revamp the Cabinets

In most kitchens, cabinets cover a large amount of real estate. Because of this, updating or changing them out can have a huge effect on the overall look of the room. If you can’t afford to completely replace your existing cabinets, try revamping your old ones. A popular trend lately is glass-front cabinets. Simply remove your cabinet doors, cut out the front panel (leaving a two- to three-inch border around it), and insert clear glass panes. This gives your kitchen an open and airy look.

 

If replacing cabinets is outside your budget, you can always repaint cabinets or stain a light wood darker for a whole new look and feel. Even updating the cabinet handles alone can make a big difference!

Add an Island

If you have the space, adding or upgrading an island not only transforms your room; it may also give you more space to cook, chop and serve up food. You can choose to get an island installed professionally – and have it match your countertops – or you could opt for a roll-away island, which you can typically find at any major furniture store or outlet. Most feature underside cabinets and drawers, giving you additional storage space.

 

Create a Bar

If part of your kitchen is blocked off by a wall, consider knocking half of it out and turning the lower half into a bar. This can open up space between rooms and create a better space for entertaining. You can even get bar stools to match your décor to really pull the room together.

 

You’ve been pre-approved and know what you can afford, so it’s time to start home shopping. But the hunt for your dream home will stall rapidly if you don’t know what that “dream” looks like.

It’s easy to talk in generalities about wanting a “big” house or an “older” home. But in order to better target your real estate search, you must think specifically about your dream dwelling. Will your “big” house be 2,400 square feet or 5,000? When you say “older” home, do you mean one built pre-1900, or pre-1980?

Before you visit another open house, sit down and make a list of your needs and wants — and yes, those are two different things. You may want a pool, but you probably could live without it. (Plus, it’s worth considering that having a pool could raise your home insurance costs.)

Understand that your requirements list will likely change as you learn more about your housing options. Proximity to the beach may start as a priority, for example, but once you see the size of ocean-front homes you can get in your price range, you may decide a short drive to the water is quite bearable. Unless you have an unlimited budget, it’s likely you’ll need to make compromises along the way.

Use these questions to help make your very own list of housing requirements.

 

 

Financial Are you pre-approved for a mortgage? What’s your price range? Are you willing to do extra renovation?

Location Suburban, urban or rural? What city do you want to live in? Do you want easy access to highways? Are there suitable schools nearby? How important is the view? Can you sleep easily with traffic noise?

Structure One-story, two-story, townhouse or condo? Could you live in a historic home? How many bedrooms? How many bathrooms? Want a guest room? Hardwood or carpet floors? What a Architecture style do you like best

Lifestyle

 

Do you need any special features for your pets? Do you need wheelchair access or limited stairs? Do you need a space for a car or is street parking sufficient? How important is walking to you?