Archive for the ‘Home and Family’ Category

Preparing Your Home and Yourself for Major Renovations

Thinking of home renovations? Wondering what you should be doing now in preparation? The following list focuses on the work that needs to be done before the renovation takes place.

You’re smart to have decided to contract out your major home project. Remodeling a kitchen or bathroom, building an addition, or totally remodeling your home are all jobs that extend far beyond the skill level of most homeowners.

If you have ever survived an arduous do-it-yourself project, finding a contractor may give you a sense of relief, as you envision yourself telling the contractor what to do and then having it magically done for you.

But while your physical labor will be minimal, a different kind of work is involved: preparing yourself, preparing your home, and dealing with your contractor. Let this guide ease your home’s transition into a gorgeous sanctuary that you will love for many years to come.

Prepare Yourself and Your People

There is a season for everything, and some seasons are better than others for major remodeling projects.1 For most exterior house projects, such as painting or deck-building, temperate seasons such as late spring, summer, and early fall are best. For roofing projects, the middle of the summer provides the longest stretch of dry weather. Interior projects can be done at any time of year, as they are independent of the weather.

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The Organized Pantry: 8 Rules for Decanting Dried Goods

The most common problem that we come up while we are cooking is when we do not find the proper goods in our kitchen.These tips are helpful for those whose passion is into cooking and worries about their dried goods being thrown unorganized every time they use the kitchen.

Decanting is life changing. For a relatively low investment (think Ikea jars or reused glass containers), you can make a big impact in your cupboards by decanting grains into neatly stacked jars. Here’s how—in 8 easy steps.

1. Choose your jar.

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Find an airtight canning jar you like, and buy in bulk at your local grocery store. To maximize utility, opt for uniform jars that line up and stack well so you can easily see what you’ve got. To minimize expenditures, wash and reuse old jam jars and the like.

2. Use jars that suit your needs.

If you’re a baker, make sure the jars are large enough to store what you use most often; invest in the largest size of canning jar for frequently used ingredients like flour and sugar. If you rarely bake, one medium-sized jar of all purpose flour will do. If you use lots of spices and herbs when you cook, the smallest sizes work best.

3. Clean and dry your jars before using.

Make sure your new (or reused) jars are completely clean. And dry. Any remaining moisture will cause your dried goods to clump. We recommend leaving newly washed jars out to dry for at least a day before filling.


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Why Refinish Hardwood Floors?

There will come a time in the life of a wooden floor where its shine will fade and it will no longer look new. You might find which waxing your floors is enough to get them looking wonderful again; however, you are going to probably have to learn hardwood floor refinishing if you’d like them to look like they did when you initially had them installed. Have in mind the the fact that this is pretty laborous though, therefore many people choose to hire a professional. If you’re the do it yourself type though you will likely enjoy dealing with a project like this.

Before you begin to refinish hardwood flooring at home, first make sure that it is the right course of action. This is a fantastic way to boost the value of your home, but isn’t always required. For instance, if your floor only has light scratches or a lackluster surface, it might simply need a top coat of finish to make it looking new again. Another possibility is that your floor could be far too late for even hardwood floor refinishing to be enough. When this happens whole planks in your floor may require replacing. If the boards seem soft, spongy, sags or are warped, then consider simply having them replaced.

If the main problem with your floor is scratches and dings, then hardwood floor refinishing is most likely an appropriate treatment. Nonetheless, remember that a floor may only be refinished several times because it takes a fair amount of sanding, every time taking off quite a bit of wood. In order to get a good idea of how much wood remains in your flooring, check around the edges. Also keep in mind that maple floors are particularly difficult to deal with, so consider employing a professional in this case.

Among the first steps to refinish hardwood flooring is sanding, but just before you begin it is a good idea to first fill in the gaps. These is going to be much easier to spot in winter than in summer, but when they are visible in summer you know they should definitely be filled. When you are ready to begin sanding, you will need the next tools: drum sander, floor edger, buffer, palm sander, and a shop vacuum. This is a noisy job, thus be certain that you’re wearing ear protection. Ultimately, be careful to not let the sander sit in one spot since it just takes a second to cause damage.

After the sanding is finished it is time to apply your stain. When you are ready to apply the stain and finish, put on a mask and ensure the area is well ventilated. The fumes will get a little overwhelming at times and you also do not want any moisture to build up in the room. It will make certain that they both dry quickly and effectively. The simplest way to apply stain is with a rag. It will prevent brush marks as well as enables you to rub the stain into the wood.


Why This Solution Is The Most Eco-Friendly Way To Dispose of Your Food Waste

Environmentally friendly living is an important factor for most people in their daily lives. But in this article, it is discuss here the best solution and the most eco-friendly way to disposed our food. Find out why!

Why this solution is the most eco-friendly way to dispose of your food waste

In an ideal world, we would eat only what we needed and not be left with unwanted food scraps pushed to the side of plates. However, as we all know, life often gets in the way. Whether you end up over-catering for a dinner party, unable to convince the youngest family members to finish their meal or forget those leftovers pushed to the back of the fridge, it helps to know there is a tidy and environmentally friendly way to rid ourselves of consumption guilt.


According to the New Zealand Ministry for the Environment, 700,000 tonnes of organic waste is trucked to landfills every year in New Zealand. Once there, it quickly decomposes and produces methane, an environmentally harmful greenhouse gas at least 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. In fact, landfills are considered the third largest sources of methane.

“Considering food waste makes up as much as 40 per cent of the solid waste stream in New Zealand, consumer and government officials should look at multiple options for managing food waste,” says Michael Keleman, manager of environmental engineering for InSinkErator. “Given so much focus on better managing food waste, stakeholders should take a closer look in their own homes – the answer might be right in their kitchen sink.”

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Getting Good Home Remodeling Estimates

Most of the time, you must get the help of professional remodeling companies if you decide to remodel your property. Unless you are considering to accomplish everything absolutely all on your own, it’s likely that professional companies will be needing to be called upon. If it is the case, then, you will certainly have to acquire remodeling estimates by these companies. Below are a few guidelines to bear in mind, though, about the estimates that you will obtain from remodeling companies:

#1: Obtain Multiple Estimates

Anytime that you get hold of any type of request from a specific company then chances are that you’ll want to approach over 1 or 2 companies to find out what the costs will likely be. While one particular business can charge $1,000 simply for adding tile on the floor, another company may charge far more expensive. Choosing which company will offer you the best value for their remodeling jobs are what homeowners should be keeping a lookout for.

Another facet of getting multiple requests for remodeling that needs to be regarded is where the companies and professionals are situated. If you find one company located outside of the city and there’s one that is inside, most likely one of them may be more expensive based upon their location and traveling charges to travel from their location to yours. However, this is usually a well worth investment if one company reputation prevails over another, but these are all things which must be thought about.

#2: These are only Estimates

Just as the word indicates, getting a remodeling estimate is simply an estimate of what you should be paying. For example, if a homeowner does obtain a remodeling estimate for $2,000 to carry out a job then they should very well expect to pay anywhere from $3,00 to $4,000. The expenses that should be expected on top of the company estimates are because there are usually unexpected hidden costs throughout the remodeling process.

For example, many of the materials might be higher priced than initially realized, or there may be more work that is actually required than initially considered. In any case, the remodeling estimates that happen to be obtained from remodeling companies should be treated only as estimates, and home owners should be mentally prepared if what they pay is is a great deal more expensive.

It’s all right to want to change your home the way you wish it to be, yet bearing in mind these tips and hints will go a long way and also money in reaching that goal. Remodeling your home seems like a good idea in most cases, however don’t over-reach yourself and let frustration dominate. Patience and diligence is the key to making your home perfect for you.

All in all, though, they’re significant things to take into account when obtaining a home or business remodeling quote to complete the work. In any case, remodeling companies are typically much more than glad to offer them when they’re asked!


25 Doable Ways to Volunteer at Your Kid’s School

One of the biggest regrets that parents can have is not spending enough time with their kids.  This article is going to offer some great ideas for parents volunteers  and be active at their kid’s school.

We know you can’t finagle a day off for every field trip to the museum. Or your shift work prevents you from committing to a regular volunteering gig. We get that it’s tough to make it to school council meetings with a new baby or toddler at home. But with a new year starting, the pressure will be on to donate at least some of your time or talent to your kid’s school.


It’s not that you don’t want to be involved; after all, getting to know the staff and your kid’s friends gives you the inside scoop into his world. But sometimes it feels like you’re asked to do a zillion things, and you just can’t swing it all. Cue the busy-parent guilt and aversion to raising your hand.

This year, take some time before the flood of volunteer notices starts to figure out what type of involvement you’re interested in, so you’ll know which opportunities to jump on and which ones to leave for another keener.

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Silk Bed Sheets

Silk bedding is a thing that everybody must have at least one set of. Silk has existed for centuries, and was once only used by royalty and the richest people in a place. Nowadays, however, it really is a lot more affordable and lots of people love sleeping on this type of fabric. The idea of silk sheets still brings out the thought of sophistication and elegance. There are numerous benefits to sleeping on silk sheets each night.

They’re durable. If we think of silk we don’t really think that it’d be quite strong, but it is. In fact, it’s naturally very strong and one of the strongest fabrics you will encounter. Silk bed sheets will stand strong night after night provided that you wash them properly and treat them with care. Such things as pointy toenails or fingernails creates snags therefore be sure to trim them up often and you will be perfect.

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These are luxurious. What fabric out there is a lot more glamorous than silk? They’re visually shiny and they feel great against the skin too. If any room in your own home need to scream luxury, it ought to be the bedroom. This is the private sleeping space which means you must make a comfy, elegant atmosphere in the event that’s what makes you happy.

Silk sheets are 100% hypo-allergenic. Be it dustmites, various kinds of molds, as well as fungus, none of this could grow in or live in silk because of special proteins that happen to be just present in silk. Thus if you suffer from allergies or even asthma then you need to start resting on silk.

Simply because silk is so smooth, it is recommended by a lot of hair stylists to sleep on silk to protect your hair. Silk cuts down on amount of tangles in the hair. In addition, in case you have just gone in for a blow out, silk will assist to preserve that look longer. Ultimately, because silk causes less tangles, your hair won’t rub against each other as much and you’ll have less split ends and much less damaged hair.

Also, they are very easy to wash. Everybody knows that silk needs to be hand washed, however this is for the first few times. It’s also washed in a machine, just put it in a gentle mode. Silk dries fast in sunlight. Silk bedding can also be maintenance free as you don’t have to clean it; it naturally repels dust mite, molds, and mildew.

Should you be on the lookout for some good quality luxury bed sheets you should think about silk fabrics since they give a great deal of comfort which assists you sleep better.


This Chart Will Help You Tell If You’re Overspending on Groceries

Maintaining and preparing budgets have become ever so simple with household budget chart. Do it properly and make much more than a good living. This article will show you how it is done.


When it comes to feeding your family, how much should you really be spending? Shannon Clark, the mom who runs the budgeting program Affording Motherhood, created a chart with guidelines to help. Based on data from the United States Department of Agriculture’s Cost of Food report, it presents an estimate of monthly grocery costs for “thrifty families” relative to their size.

Clark writes on her site that parents often “feel completely unequipped” to feed their families on “real-life budgets,” and with her help, she wants them to take a closer look at how much they’re spending to determine if they need to make a change.

The chart (which is a bit off from the updated 2017 guidelines — but not by much) was posted on Facebook by The Real Deal of Parenting, and it’s causing mixed reactions. Take a look:

Some parents found the numbers accurate. “Family of 5 [is] pretty accurate but it also includes for us non-food items purchased in those trips. Thought I was spending a lot. Nice seeing we fall into the norm,” one Facebook user commented. Another said that for her family of three, the estimate was “dead on.”


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Essentials Tips to Know About Home Maintenance

It’s no question that purchasing a home for the entire family is definitely a pricey investment. a residence that is well maintained can go a long way, giving a family a convenient place to live in. Then again, to be able to take the full potential of every people’s home, every owner should make an effort to maintain and preserve its look and condition as far as possible.

Consider these pointers which you could use if you want to keep the condition of your home.

1) Establish a budget scheme. Examples of the activities which are done when maintaining a residence are repainting, fixing and if necessary, some enhancements. And sadly, these jobs come with a price. Some house owners may want to perform it on their own yet it could still demand a fair amount of cash. Therefore, it is essential that you set a budget for it. You may even call for a professional’s help for a specific process therefore it is important that you anticipate it in your budget to stop setbacks in emergencies.

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2) Fully understand the things inside your home and their features. Thru this, you are able to presume the possible issues that may occur and easily figure out how to avoid them. This is how preventive steps come in. As an example, to avoid termite-infestation on your timber tunnels, wall space and ceiling, you should keep the dryness of these areas. Also,, repainting your walls enables to withstand moisture and thus prolong their functionality. Keeping the gutters clean will also help in proper water discharge.

3) Have a schedule for all your maintenance activities. To avoid emergencies, preventive measure is very important. Eventually, your house will slowly weaken. Major features like domestic plumbing and heating really should be examined and maintained regularly. They are not only necessary for comfortable dwelling, they can also be very expensive to replace. You need to recognize its significance since this you can conserve a lot of money in the long run.

4) Always be ready to accept the possibility of replacing some parts. It’s also true that no matter how you try to make things work, it is not possible anymore due to their outdated parts. Still trying to maintain them will cause you more pointless expenditures than simply updating them. Replacing the parts is the best way to make sure of the safety of the family which means you must not force things to operate or ignore the fact that they are already damaged. And ultimately, don’t give up quality and functionality over appearance.

5) Consult with professionals who can provide a detailed details about the condition of the house.. A professional can give you more information on what changes or fixes the house requires. Irrespective of how hard you try to try and do things on yourself to decrease cost, it’s still best that you ask for their advice every once in a while. They can see things in a different standpoint which enable it to prevent issues that might cause harm to the family.


6 Big Mistakes You Make Washing Sheets

We have been laundering our sheets for years. What can we possibly need to learn about taking care of our bedding? If you’re going to spend the extra money to get some great sheets then make them last you years.

There’s nothing better than sliding into a bed covered in freshly washed sheets, but getting to that end-of-day treat certainly takes effort. Avoid these common missteps to ensure you get a great night’s sleep on laundry day.

1. You wait too long between washes.

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Sheets don’t wear like your gym shorts or favorite jeans, but you do spend quite a bit of time in them. And night after night, germs, sweat, and body oils accumulate quickly.

“The longest you should wait before changing out your sheets is two weeks,” says Carolyn Forte, director of the Cleaning Lab at the Good Housekeeping Institute. “Weekly is even better.”

2. You forget to pretreat any stains.

“If there are no stains, there’s no need pretreat the sheets,” says Forte. “But it’s always a good idea to check pillowcases for makeup residue. A prewash stain remover like Shout Advanced Gel can help get any spots out.”

3. You overload your washing machine.

It can be tempting to dump all of your family’s bedding in one load, but you’ll need to do a couple to get the job done right.

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