Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Interesting Ways To Use Solar Power To Bring A Little Light To Your Life

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Renewable energies are great. They’re good for the environment, your health and your wallet. So if you haven’t jumped on the bandwagon yet, it’s about time. Here are some brilliant ways that you can use solar power to bring a little extra light to your life.


Power Your Home


This is one of the most notable uses of solar energy and with good reason. Installing solar panels on your roof or having solar panels grounded in your garden can save you a small fortune. After panel and installation costs, any energy you produce is free. What’s more, you can sell any surplus energy back to an energy provider. So there’s profit to be made too. A good solar company can provide you with all of the information you need in such a beneficial investment. They will also aid you throughout the entire process. From consultations to installations and upkeep.  


Garden Lights


Use the sun’s energy to give your garden an extra glow when it gets dark. Solar powered garden lights soak up the sun’s rays during the day. They then use the energy at night to bring themselves to light. They’re particularly great for garden parties or summer BBQs if your guests want to stay for a few drinks after the main event.


Pond Lights


There are thousands of pond accessories out there. But nothing can quite make a pond stand apart from the rest like lighting. If you have a rockery or plants around the pond itself, solar lights can be nestled away out of sight. They won’t be massively noticeable by daylight, but come night they’ll light up and draw attention to your pond, making it a feature like no other. This is also a great health and safety feature.

Pool Heating


Energy derived from solar panels can be used to create heat. If you’re lucky enough to have your pool, you’ll know that it can be pretty daunting jumping in when the water is cold. Solar energy can heat your pool for you. They will circulate the energy they create around your pool and getting in will be like sinking into a nice, warm bath.


Phone Chargers


If you’ve ever been to a music festival, you’ll understand the overwhelming importance of a phone charger. It’s not until you’re lost in the middle of a field of strangers and haven’t seen your friends for about six hours that you realise how handy having a functioning phone is. Solar panelled chargers are a great fix when it comes to charging your phone while you’re out and about. These solar panels are small and portable and will keep your handheld device running for days at a time.


Gadgets


With such huge investment in renewable energies, there are now thousands of solar powered gadgets and toys to choose from. Gone are the days when you’d open a Christmas present, only to be disappointed that you don’t have the necessary batteries to power it up. From mini solar cars to miniature reading lamps and wireless keyboards. Solar powered gadgets can make your day to day life easier or serve as a brilliant, alternative gift for birthdays and other big events.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Storm Coming? Here's How To Handle It Properly

If you know there’s a storm coming, then you want to make sure that you’re well prepared. Some storms can be more dangerous than others. Some can cause many problems in your home. At the very least, they can end up scaring your pets and children silly! With that in mind, here’s how to handle it when you know a storm is coming:

Make A Risk Assessment

If you know a storm is coming and you have time, make a risk assessment in and around your home. It’s so important that you take a look around and make sure there are no accidents waiting to happen. For instance, a big tree with loose branches could cause a problem in high winds. Do your best to clean up any risks so that you and your home can remain as safe as possible.

Store Away Garden Furniture And Toys

If you have garden furniture and toys, don’t risk leaving them in the garden. Store them safely away in a garage or shed. If you don’t, you could end up with your child’s toys all over the street, or worse, coming through your window!

Strengthen Your Home And Garages

Find ways to strengthen your home, garage, shed, and any other area that could become damaged in the storm. Make sure you use special products to protect them regularly, and that they are securely locked and sturdy. The roof is the most exposed area on the home, and can easily become damaged in a storm. Make sure it’s safe. Make sure there are no gaps where water or wind can get in either, as you could leave yourself susceptible to a flood. The only thing you can do then is find a reliable flood cleanup place to help you minimize the damage.

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Stay Away From Windows And Close Your Curtains

In serious storm instances, windows can become broken by things flying into them due to the high winds. It’s a good idea to stay away from your windows and keep your curtains closed to protect you from any glass that might break.

Make Sure You Have A Good Insurance Policy

A good insurance policy that will cover you for this kind of thing is essential. Make sure it’s suitable for your needs, and that you contact them ASAP should you experience problems.

Explain To Your Children And Comfort Them

If you have children, chances are they don’t like storms all that much. You can minimize their fears when you explain to them the science of a storm, so they understand it better and feel they have more control over the situation. Talk to them about their fears and make sure you validate their feelings. Don’t tell them that they are being silly! You can also comfort them and ask them what they want to do to feel better. This might be listening to their music, or making a fort where they feel safe.

Stay calm next time a storm comes and use this advice as soon as possible!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Essential Help For Choosing A Gift For A Teenager

Once your child becomes a teenager, it can be incredibly difficult to think of present ideas. They seem to have everything already and you don’t want to choose something they don’t like. For some guidance, you should ask them what they would like as a present. If they can’t come up with anything, here is some essential for help for choosing a gift for a teenager.


Handmade sneakers


Cologne or perfume


You will be quite surprised that both sexes love to spray some scent before going out with their friends. Looking and smelling good has never been as important as it is to the new generation. Therefore, you should buy them a bottle of perfume or cologne that they can use on a daily basis. You could ask them if they have a particular smell they love, or just choose one which you think is great. The celebrity endorsed ones such as Taylor Swift’s Wonderstruck perfume tend to be the most popular and will be loved by your teenager.


Something technology-based


You can’t go wrong with anything technology-based for a teenager. You all love the latest gadgets which they can link up with their mobile phones, laptops, or iPads. You might want to get them a portable charger so that they can give their mobile some juice while they are out with their friends. Or a selfie stick would go down well with teenage girls who love to take a selfie. If they love their gaming, you might want to go for Video Game Accessories such as a mouse or keyboard which they use with their computer.


Ticket to a movie or a DVD


Movies are always a great choice for teenagers. They love to see the latest flicks and are always heading to the cinema to watch them with their friends. Therefore, a great gift would be a ticket to a new movie that’s coming out soon. If you don’t know one in particular, you could get a voucher so that they can see a film of their choice. Add in a popcorn and a drink and they will love the gift. A DVD will also be a popular choice if there is a good film coming out soon that they love.


A book or kindle voucher


Although books are not as popular as they once were, teenagers still love to read one every so often. Therefore, you should consider buying them a new book they can read in the evenings. Look at the bestsellers list and find one which they will love to read. As this article says, teenagers love to read but don’t want to spend their saved up money on a book. Therefore, by buying the book, it means they don’t have to miss out on great novels. You can also get them a Kindle voucher which they can use to buy great books for their device.

And if you still haven’t got a great idea, you should go down the food route. Teenagers love to eat sweets and chocolates, so buy them a box which they can consume!

Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Faults You Absolutely Must Tackle On Moving Into A New Home

So, you’ve bought yourself a home. Before you move in, you should have as thorough a check as you can. However, that won’t stop the possibility that you don’t catch some faults before it’s too late. These can’t be left on their own. You’re going to have to tackle them. Here, we’ll identify some of the most common faults, what you need to do with them and when you need help.




The plumbing
The first thing you need to do is get familiar with the utilities in your home. For plumbing, this means getting to know the flow of all the pipes and taking a run through. Run the taps and look out for any signs of trouble. Drips and leaks are an obvious one. However, you should also be looking out for low water pressure and listening out for creaks and screeches or gurgles. You also want to make sure you don’t smell any waste or drainage, as it could mean a blockage. Find your water mains and turn it off if you’re making any minor fixes with changing a tap. For other problems, it’s best to have a professional on hand.




The electrics
Much like plumbing, your electrics are not something that any kind of novice should be trying to work with. All you want to do is to be able to identify any problems. Be able to identify your main switch and turn off the electrics in an emergency. Find your fuses and circuit breakers and carefully investigate to make sure there’s no melting or damage first. If you’re checking your electrics, get your hands on a residual current device, first.




Damp and mold
One of the problems that’s significantly easier to deal with yourself is that of damp and muld in the home. However, it depends on what level it has gotten to. If it’s surface level black spots, it’s easy to simply clean it off with a bit of effort. Others might require that you replace the affected structures. If you can get rid of it, it’s best to see how you can prevent it from happening. In a lot of cases, this can just mean making the area more ventilated.




The roof
One of the most common sources of damp and mold problems is, of course, the roof. First, you want to make sure it’s insulated from the inside. This prevents it from being the kind of closed, humid space that easily forms damp or mould. But you need to check it from the outside as well. You can save yourself the unnecessary hire of a roofing company by using an access equipment hire to look yourself. If it’s as simple as a missing tile, you might be able to fix it yourself. However, some roofing materials have an expiry age to them. If your roofing has expired, you might need to get it replaced.

We hope the above tips help you identify and sort some of the faults in your home. Just remember that it’s best to leave anything electrical to professionals. Same goes for anything you don’t feel confident in tackling yourself.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Staying Cool: Everything You Need To Know This Summer

With the summer weather in full swing, you want to know that you are ready for the heat. There are plenty of things you can do to prepare for the hotter temperatures, including summer-proofing your home. After all, there is nothing worse than sweltering away.

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Get rid of winter bedding

Blankets and throws look great on the bed, but in the summer you want as few layers as possible when you’re trying to sleep. Also, consider changing your duvet. Most duvets have tog ratings for warmth, so obviously you want a much lighter one in the summer. You can also alter the material of the bedding that you use. Think of materials such as linen and cotton for cooling comfort.

Use a gel mattress topper

If you haven’t heard of this before, then it could be your summer savior. If you get hot when you sleep, then a gel mattress topper is a must for your bed. It will add comfort to your bed, as well as rejuvenate your mattress.

Make sure you air conditioning is working properly

Don’t run the risk of your air conditioning breaking down in the summer months. Regular maintenance can help prevent any problems and save you from suffering a breakdown. However, should the worst happen, and it does malfunction during the hottest time, then call out a One Hour AC repair company to get your system back on track.

Keep your curtains/shutters closed

Ok, so this isn’t pleasant if you’re at home during the day. However, closing your curtains or shutters is a great way of keeping your home cool. It stops the sunlight and heat from getting in, providing a lovely, cool environment to enjoy later in the day.

Turn off electrical items

This might seem like strange advice, but all electrical items give off heat. So, if you are suffering in the heat, having lightbulbs and the TV on can be contributing to the temperature of the room collectively.

Open your windows at night

If you are suffering from the heat at bedtime, open your windows to let a breeze in. The temperature can often drop enough at night to provide some relief. It can also help to place fans next to the window to help create a wind-tunnel effect. Just remember to close the windows in a morning before the hot temperatures start to heat the room back up.

Set ceiling fans anti-clockwise

Did you know that ceiling fans need to be changed every season? In the summer, it needs to be going anti-clockwise and a higher speed. This allows the fan’s airflow to create a wind-chill breeze effect, meaning you will feel much cooler.

Have a lukewarm shower

If all else fails, then take a lukewarm shower. You might think that taking a cold shower would be better, but that can shock your body into preserving more heat. A tepid shower will bring your body temperature down meaning you’ll feel more refreshed.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Looking To Broaden Your Horizons? Why Not Give These Hobbies A Whirl?

Are you stuck in a rut? Have you got spare time on your hands? Are you looking to meet new people or broaden your horizons? If so, there’s no better way to spend your time than taking up a new hobby. If you’re looking for ideas, why not give these suggestions a try?

Getting active
Many popular hobbies involve getting active and moving those muscles. If you’ve been inspired by the Rio Olympics, now is the time to take on a new challenge. Have you always wanted to learn to dance? Were you enthralled by the dressage or captivated by the cycling? Have you got ambitions to try the pole vault or take up a martial art? Nowadays, you can try a whole range of sports and activities without having to travel for miles or spend a fortune on kit. You can book a taster session at the track or organize a few riding lessons. You can look for local sports clubs and teams and ask about opportunities to learn more and give a new sport a go.

Trying something new can be daunting, so why not take a few friends or your partner along with you for moral support? If you’re desperate to learn to ballroom dance, for example this is something you could do as a couple.



Learning a new skill
Life is an experience and you don’t stop learning just because you finish school or graduate from college. It’s never too late to gain new skills and use your talents. Have you always wanted to learn a new language? Are you eager to improve your cooking or baking skills? Would you like to learn how to fix problems with your car or do you fancy yourself as an amateur circus performer? Whatever your interests and goals, it’s always possible to expand your skillset. The Internet is a fantastic resource for tracking down local teachers and tutors and finding courses and classes.



Collecting
Collecting is very popular, and there are all kinds of different items you can concentrate on. You could form albums of stamps from all over the world or try and track down rare cartoon figurines. Look for rare currency, like 100 trillion Zimbabwe dollars for sale, or start a collection of sporting memorabilia. Think about your interests and use them to decide on your focus. Do you love computer or console games? Are you an avid fad of TV and film? Are you a follower of football or a keen traveler? There are various places you can look for items for your collection. The Internet is an excellent place to start. It’s also worth visiting yard sales and specialist independent stores. Forums are a great way to connect with others with similar interests and possibly set up some swaps.



Appreciating the outdoors
When you’re busy, life can pass you by without you even realizing, and you miss out on what’s around you. Do you love spending time outdoors? Are you a bit of an intrepid explorer at heart? If so, why not take up a hobby that enables you to gain an appreciation of the world around you? Give gardening a go or take up orienteering. Learn to climb or join a hiking club. Take some sailing lessons or try your hand at fishing.



Expressing yourself
Any people are blessed with creative talents, which they’re unable to use in their day jobs. If you enjoy being creative, why not take up a hobby that enables you to express yourself? You can take classes to perfect your techniques, or learn as you go. Spend time drawing, painting, writing, or playing music. You don’t have to get top grades in exams or showcase masterpieces in a gallery. Even if you’re not brilliant, you’re doing something you enjoy, and that’s what is important. If you have a busy job, or you’re prone to stress, creative activities can be particularly beneficial. They often give you an outlet and provide a much-needed distraction.



When you have spare time, it’s beneficial to spend it doing something you find interesting, challenging or enjoyable. Taking up a new hobby is a fabulous way to expand your skillset, enjoy new experiences and meet new friends. There are countless pursuits, pastimes, and activities you can try. Start up a new collection or rediscover a love of painting. Learn to speak Italian, take cooking lessons, or join a local walking club. Sign up for dance lessons, swap stamps or become a green-fingered maestro. The choice is yours!

The Dos and Don'ts Of Keeping Your Home Safe

Your home is your castle. While for some fortunate people, that is literally true, for most of us it's a figure of speech. However, it is one that holds true. If you feel that your home is under threat, then you feel threatened to the core. After all, if you can't feel safe and secure in your own house, where can you? It is often said by people who have been burgled that it is the most invasive experience they can imagine.
As we can all agree, the prospect of it happening to us is a genuine nightmare. Many of us will do anything we can to prevent it. There are countless tips available - online, from friends and from law enforcement. Sometimes, the biggest question we have is which ones actually work, and which ones are not worth the paper they're written on.
Do: Purchase Strong Locks For Doors And Windows
Burglars look at the locks on a house, and often there and then decide whether or not to go ahead with an invasion. The idea that there are locks won't turn them off - they are used to picking and bypassing locks. But if they are of good quality, these locks can persuade them not to try.
Don't: Plant Large Hedges And Bushes
While some bushes wouldn't be a bad idea - anything with thorns near potential entry points can be a deterrent - there are drawbacks. A large bush provides a potential concealing place for an experienced burglar. Especially late at night, they can use any shade and structure to hide.
Do: Have A Motion Sensor Light Installed
Darkness is a burglar's friend, and the moment it is fractured by light they become less at ease. When a light flicks on late at night, if you are at home you'll notice it. If you're not, your neighbors might well. Most burglars won't want to wait to find out. Certainly, they won't want to break in when they're all lit up.
Don't: Make Your House A Prize Target
If you have recently bought expensive appliances, dispose of all packaging yourself. Don't leave the cardboard boxes out for the recycling or garbage trucks. If you do that, you're telling burglars "my house contains some trophies for you - go right ahead".
Do: Buy An Alarm
A good burglar alarm will alert people far and wide if you're being burgled. One word of advice, though. If you have a sticker in the window saying the home is "protected by ADT Security", it gives burglars a clue to how they may disable an alarm. A generic sticker saying the house is alarmed is a better idea.


There are other tips you'll hear from speaking to people. Some of them are good, some bad. The key is to remember that there are simple things you can do - and others you should avoid like the plague - to keep your home safe. It's much more likely that you won't be targeted than that you will. But there are always things you can do to tip the balance further.

Friday, August 19, 2016

8 Sure-Fire Ways To Create A Grown-Up Room For Your Teenager

It’s hard to believe the baby you had is now a fully grown teenager. The years seem to fly by, and they are now an independent human being. Now they are a teenager, they feel like they are grown up (they will remind you so at least twice a day). They will want to change their bedroom, so it’s more ideal for their age. Here are eight sure-fire ways to create a grown up room for your teen that they will love.




You need to give them some seating


Your teenager will want their bedroom to be somewhere they can go with their friends and hang out in peace. You can make their bedroom the ideal place to do this by adding some great seating in there. You should add a sofa or a couple of chairs for them to chill out on. You could even go for some bean bags for some unique seating that they will love. They may now want their friends to stay over too now they are a bit older. You can ensure they can do this by choosing a sofa bed for their room, so their friend has somewhere convenient to sleep.


You need to create a study area


It’s so important that your teenager can study in peace at home. However, it can be hard to find somewhere quiet to do it with their siblings running around the home. They need to be able to concentrate as the work becomes a lot harder as they age. Therefore, you need to create a study area for them in their bedroom. You should find a good sized desk which will enable them to work with plenty of space for their books and worksheets. You can visit PlumGoose.com/arteriors/, and other sites, to find suitable desks for their room. You should ensure it has a drawer for storage so that they can keep all their stationery suppliers in there. As this feature on amara.com explains, you could go for a white desk which will suit any bedroom scheme and is easy to maintain. Your teen can then go for bright accessories to make the space more personal for them. You will also need to buy them a cool chair which will be comfortable to complete their work on.


You need to get them a larger bed


Although your kid loved their bunk beds when they were younger, it’s not very suitable for a teenager. The beds aren’t very big which is not good for your growing son or daughter. Their weight as a teen may also be too heavy for a bunk bed. You should look for a larger bed which will ensure they have a good night’s sleep. If you have space, you could get your teen a double, so they have plenty of room in the night to spread out. It also means they can have friends stay over without much inconvenience. However, if you can’t afford a double, you can still get some single beds which will look great in their room.


You should get them book shelves


As much as teens love their Kindles and eReaders to read the latest books, nothing does beat a traditional book. A bookshelf which can hold all their favorite novels is a lovely addition to their room. It will make the room look more sophisticated and grown up. They can also keep all the books they need for educational purposes in there. If there is limited room, you could add display shelves over their bed where they can put their books. That way, it won’t take up any floor space in the bedroom.


You need to give them plenty of storage facilities


You will be surprised how much stuff a teenager has. It ends up all over their room and can create a big mess. Therefore, you need to give them plenty of storage, where they can hold all their belongings. You should consider getting them some drawers for underneath their bed where they can put their stuff, so it’s not on the floor. You can also add some shelving above the bed and on the walls. You could also get them a double wardrobe so that they have more room for their clothes. If you have a teen daughter, you will know how many clothes they accumulate over time that they won’t get rid of!


You need to add posters and art


Having posters in your room is part of growing up. They will want to have pictures of their favorite movies and crushes all over the wall. You can create a memory wall for them, where they can have all their favorite pictures and mementos from their favorite films. It can make the room look personal and grown up. They can also add pictures of their friends and family on there to make it look even nicer. Also, let them have some art on the walls to make the room look more sophisticated and grown up.


You should change the paint and add some wall decor


They might want to change their room color now they are a teenager. Baby blues and light pinks are never good for their age. They will want to go for a darker color which they love. As much as they want the room to be bold, you should stick to natural colors which you know they won’t get bored of over time. You should consider adding some wall d├ęcor to their room. As this article from homedit explains, it can express a teen’s individuality without taking up loads of space.


You need to change the bedding


Your teen will also want to have a cooler bedding in their bedroom to make it appear more grown up. They will want to avoid characters and movies for now, so they can make it look more age appropriate. You may want to go for neutral colors bedding, and then they can add cushions to make it more fun. You can find more ideas to make the bed look more grown up on this site.

Remember if you have limited space in your home, so siblings have to share, you could put up a curtain or a screen to separate the room. That way, your teen will feel like, despite the fact that they are sharing, they have their own grown up area to chill out and have some privacy!

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