Why you Should Design Your Home With Antiques

Why do a lot of people prefer to decorate their homes with antique furniture? For some people collecting antiques, is a hobby. Others just like to mix and match their home interieur. What makes these items so valuable that they are still quite commonly used even in this modern day and age? Below are some of the best reasons why many homeowners love having antiques in their homes:

Antiques are environmental friendly.

If you buy old and used furniture that is still in good condition, you are helping save the environment. There is no need to cut more trees, use more metal, and so on to make new ones, because there are these antiques that are still intact and serviceable. By patronizing antiques, you are contributing to lowering the risks and dangers brought about by pollution and other environmental challenges.

They always have an interesting story to tell.

That old rocking chair or wooden dresser may have been around longer than you have. It may have been passed from one generation to another. It may have been placed in a living room that often held lavish parties where the most respected figures of a town gathered once in a while. That gold, sparkly chandelier? It may have been a witness to lots of family drama. What about that eight-seater dining table? It may have seen some of the most mouthwatering cuisines ever, served for some important historical icons in the last two centuries.

They are generally made of high quality materials.

Antiques enjoy a long lifespan because they are made of top notch materials, using the best crafting strategies and techniques. They may need to be refurbished or restored a little bit to look their best, but that is not out of the ordinary for any object that still exists after a hundred years’ worth of wear and tear. And, sometimes, those blemishes and imperfections are actually a positive thing as they serve as proof of the extensive life they have been through.

They contribute to your home interior’s personality.

If you decide to design your home in such a way that you want the modern and old mixed and blended, you can easily put an old coffee table or bookcase amidst your high-end home entertainment center. You can also throw in a vintage rug that you can quickly tidy every day with a Vacuum Fox recommended robot cleaner, like this one: http://www.vacuumfox.com/bissell-smartclean/, to create a cozy and homey atmosphere.

They are timeless.

Antiques are neither trendy nor untrendy. For this reason, having them around to beautify your home should not significantly affect the value of the interior. Even today, when computers and internet are taking over our lives, antique furniture can still be useful and become an essential part of any person’s abode.

5 Easy Ways to Unclog Your Drain Without Harming the Environment or Using Harmful Chemicals

Nothing conjures up a homeowner’s nightmares as problems with the sink and the drainage does.

Some homeowners go for years without paying any attention to drains until they become problematic – imagine all the refuse that travels through those areas until they become legitimate problems. While a plugged or blocked drain can certainly be daunting and frustrating, fixing the problem does not necessarily call for the skills of a trained professional. Most people typically use harsh chemicals to clean the drain out, but they do not realize the harm or danger associated with the chemicals. Drain cleaners contain harmful substances such as sulfuric acid and lye, which release fumes that can be hazardous.

If you are ecologically conscious and would prefer to unclog your drain with eco-friendly materials and techniques – here 5 simple and easy ways to unclog your drain without harming the environment or using harmful chemicals.

1. Methods Using Elbow Grease: Plungers, Wires, and Snake Hangers

These are the most common ways to unclog a drain and before you settle on any other techniques; you should really try using a plunger. A plunger should seal the opening of the drain completely before the pumping process starts. The vacuum created should be enough to remove a clog and restore flow to your drain. If that fails, a straightened wire hanger or a drain snake should do the job just as easily.

2. Soap and Hot Water

Another natural way to unclog a slow drain is by utilizing hot water and some dish soap. If your drain is clogged by grease, this method should be very effective. Squirt a sufficient amount of soap down then drain then pour some boiling water in to get rid of grease. This approach can also be used to prevent clogged drains if it is done at least once a week.

3. Baking Soda and Vinegar

Baking soda, a base, react with the vinegar, which is an acid, to create a chemical reaction that bubbles and eventually unclog a blocked drain. You should ensure that as much of the bubbling substance produced is retained in the conduit to make it efficient.

4. Hydrogen Peroxide and Baking Soda: Organic All-Purpose Cleaning in a Pinch

A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda can also be used to clear a blocked drain. The mixture reacts and creates foam, which then breaks up the material retained in the pipe.

5. Trap Surgery

If the above procedures do not work, you might have to remove the trap, which is found at the bottom of the sink. A trap can be removed with a pair of pliers, just make sure there is a bucket underneath the sink to hold the grimy water from the drain. You may also have to use a wrench to undo the threaded collars that hold the trap. This technique requires a little bit of plumbing skill and expertise, but that can easily be learned.

Unclogging drains shouldn’t be too much of a production for everyone, even those without any plumbing experience. With a little bit of determination and self-application, anybody could do so, and help out the environment as a bonus. Plus, learning how to unclog the sink will make everything other unclogging job easier, as the guide from Down the Sink to unclog garbage disposals shows (via downthesink.com).

Don’t wait until you need to get a professional plumber and pay far out your pockets for it – unclog your drains NOW.

The Mechanics of the Suburban Fixture Known as the Garage Door

garage-doorThe garage is a fundamental part of any functional house as you mostly rely on it to keep your property secure. The automated garage door has been a useful innovation (since the invention of the car) and although the mechanics of the system may seem fairly straightforward, have you ever asked yourself how it snaps back so effortlessly into place?

Torsion Spring

Contrary to popular belief, the torsion springs and not the motor do all the work. A vast majority of today’s garage doors are embedded with torsion springs, which are characteristically located above the door opening horizontally. When the door begins to close, cables attached at the bottom corners cause the springs to wind upwards, which releases stored energy. As the door continues to open fully, the springs unwind themselves bit by bit, and the energy released allows the door to lift.

Extension Spring

Another system used to open garage doors is the extension spring system, which is not as popular as the torsion springs mechanism. It works by utilizing the springs attached to cables that are found at the bottom corner of the door, much like the way the torsion cables are positioned. When the garage door shuts, the springs stretch, and when it opens, the energy conserved in the springs hauls up the door. The torsion system has more advantages over the extension spring mechanism because the extension springs weaken each time you operate the door. So you can save money effectively by choosing the torsion system due to its longer durability.

The Motorworks

A typical garage door motor is approximately a 1/2-hp, 6-amp machine that is connected to a volt outlet. The voltage of about 120V is all the power a garage door needs to function properly. Manufacturers also incorporate an inverter and battery to create space for smaller more proficient motors that convert AC power into DC, which explains why your garage door still works even when there is no power. A T-rail guides and protects the door’s chain or belt as it opens and shuts the garage door. The height of the garage door or the distance traveled is determined by the operator with the help of the controls on your remote. Once you press the button to open the door, the remote sends a code to your door’s receiver, allowing it to open the door.

Although a number of garage doors still use the torsion spring system, recent modifications include changes in design to make the various models of doors available aesthetically pleasing, less noisy and lightweight. Today’s doors are also better insulated, with other modifications including the use of polyurethane panels that measure the infiltration of air.

Now that you know how automated garage doors work, you’ll be better equipped to make a well informed purchase. If you are like me, however, and prefer to leave the technical details to the experts, you can simply head on to Garage Automatics to see the latest in automated garage door technology as well as reviews on each one that’s out on the market – updated regularly. Check them out at http://www.garageautomatics.com/.

Final Words

Good luck in your search for the perfect garage door for your home. You’ll pretty much have a basic knowledge of how the mechanics work, which will come in handy should repairs do as well. Cheers!

Basi: The Tipple that Started a Revolution

Head up north of Manila, some 7 or 8 hours north through the Pan-Philippine Highway, and you will find yourself in the Ilocos Region of Luzon. This region is famous for its agriculture, its tobacco, its cuisine (bagnet and empanada come to mind), its status as the birthplace of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos, and not surprisingly, its basi – the local wine made from sugarcane which is plentiful in the region.

Nothing sums up the Philippines in a bottle quite like basi, the locally-fermented sugarcane wine that many northerners enjoy. Not just because it’s been consumed in the region for centuries before the Spanish conquest, but because of the history that’s tied to it.

The Wine that Triggered an Insurgency

philippine-revolutionary-spiritFew spirits can ever lay claim to causing an outbreak of rebellion, but that’s what basi did in 1807 by a couple of basi lovers in the city of present-day Piddig, Ilocos Norte; due to the Spanish colonial government’s expropriation and subsequent banning of private distillation of the popular wine, locals were forced to buy from government-approved stores. This paved the way for an insurrection by frustrated basi lovers, spreading throughout towns in the Ilocos region leaving Spanish soldiers and local residents fighting for weeks on end, until it was finally quelled after 22 days of fighting. When was the last time you saw an entire uprising stemming from the love of alcohol? Only in the Philippines.

The Basi Formulation

Basi is produced by fermenting freshly-extracted sugarcane juice in earthenware vessels called burnay by the locals – which is the only way it can ever be called proper basi. It is then flavored with ground rice, samac leaves, different pieces of bark, and java plum, with every basi maker having his or her own secret formulation, and then left to age for up to one year. As it ferments with the homemade yeast called bubud, the anaerobic fermentation process creates a delightfully sweet golden brown tipple of about 15% alcohol which is not recommended if you are trying to loose weight. But, it is the delight of many a northerner. Basi is an excellent wine to serve chilled; though there are similarly fermented wines, notably in Guyana, they don’t come close to the uniquely refreshing taste of basi. Enjoying basi can thusly be improved by using a wine cooler; finding useful information about this contraption has never been made easier than at Cooling Wine.

Basi in the Present Wine Market

In recent times, basi has captured the tastes of upmarket wine fanatics with a taste for the exotic and therefore it’s a nice idea for a gift. A local wine marketer, Basi del Diablo, has placed basi into the international wine market in 2015, largely in part to sustain the flagging livelihoods of the sugarcane farmers in the Ilocos region. Furthermore, large-scale efforts to introduce the drink to the rest of the local market has been made by Destileria Limtuaco, which is one of the oldest distilleries in the Philippines, marketing its own version of the wine. This rediscovery and little renaissance of the wine bodes well for the farmers who have made it for centuries. It’s as close as you can get the Philippine revolutionary spirit in a bottle.

Life Lesson Number 1 – How to Effectively Save Money

There are some people who are born or have learned at a young age how to effectively save money. There are many more, however, who are simply struggling to make ends meet. Everybody goes through their first job and during this period, it is most difficult to save money. But if you learn how, you might wanna turn it into a hobby. It it’s a challenge and fun to save as much money you can. If you successfully learned how to save money early on, you will have this discipline instilled within you and everything else comes easy or naturally as you get older and work different jobs.

The Importance of Saving Money

This is actually a no-brainer subject. Anybody, even a child, can give you many reasons why saving money is important. You’re getting ready for the “rainy days”. You’re building your future as early as now. Perhaps the $50 every month that you’re putting into your savings during your early days at work won’t mean much. You may have been doing this for a few months already but you still don’t have enough money to even buy the latest smartphone or a nice laptop. But later on, this will make a huge difference. Especially when you have to deal with emergencies or unexpected expenses such as hospitalizations or car repairs, you’ll be thanking yourself that you placed a little bit in the bank. In addition to that, your money will eventually grow for as long as you stay consistent. Before you know it, you’d have enough cash to make a downpayment for your very own car or home!

Save Now, Enjoy Later

Your friends are probably already starting to pay for their first car. While you want to become an “adult” and drive your own set of wheels already, if you are patient enough, then you can probably have a better car later on. For now, you can ride a bike to work. You want to look cool? Get a nice hoverboard! A hoverboard will get you to work safe and sound, faster than walking, cooler than a bike or a skateboard. The best part? No need to pay for gas, maintenance or parking and you can practically afford to pay for your hoverboard in cash! Bring packed lunch to work instead of dining out all the time, you’ll really enjoy it. Skip some drinking nights with friends and save your money instead. By practicing self-control and discipline, you are simply saving now to give you a guarantee that you can enjoy later.

Keep Your Eye on the Goal

Electric HoverboardsYou can’t force your boss to give you a raise each time you feel like you can no longer make ends meet. Remember, if there’s a will, there’s a way. If your salary package is legal, meaning it is within the minimum of the law, it means that you can make ends meet and if you spend money wisely, you can even have some savings on the side. Better yet, go ahead and find other ways to earn. Try checking online jobs you can do during the weekend. Start your online shop. Offer services such as house cleaning or pet sitting outside office hours. There are so many ways, you just have to be creative. Keep your eye on your goal and don’t settle for temporary happiness. Your future is what matters. These little sacrifices you’re making today will surely give you a brighter and more prosperous future.

More information can be found at:
The Electric Rider

The 6 Things You Should Stop Doing if You Really Want to Lose Weight

Losing weight is such a challenging thing to do. Most of us would have probably said we’re going to start working out or going on a diet on Monday then it became Tuesday, the week after, the month after and so on. It just never happened. If you are still stuck with the same weight you’ve had for the longest time and you keep on gaining, then it’s time to stop what you’re doing, think things over and start making moves in order for you to lose weight. This is for your health anyway and you’re doing this for yourself and not anybody else. With that being said, here are 6 things you should stop doing if you really want to lose weight.

1. Stop eating unhealthy food.

Occasional cheat days are okay. But you have to stop eating too much junk food, too much sweets – just stop eating too much. Do not starve yourself though. You just have to have a balanced diet. If you’re used to eating a lot many times a day, make slow but sure adjustments. Eat in smaller portions several times throughout the day to keep you from getting hungry. Just quit the unhealthy food and you’ll be okay.

2. Stop your bad habits and quit your vices.

Stop smoking, stop drinking alcohol too much and just make it your business to find new hobbys to do that will keep you from going back to your vices. Though smoking and wine probably won’t let you gain weight, these will stop you from moving around and exercising as much as you can. You need to have enough strength and energy to sweat out as often as possible.

3. Stop waking up late in the morning.

Sleep 6 to 8 hours per night and you should be fine. Don’t stay up too late and wake up early in the morning. This way, you’ll have time to plan your day, exercise and eat a healthy breakfast. Stop waking up late because this will also stop you from feeling active the rest of the day.

4. Stop thinking you cannot do it.

Sometimes it’s all in your mind. You feel you can’t lose 10 pounds in a month for some reason. You feel like you can’t run on a treadmill for 30 minutes. You feel like you cannot quit eating junk food or drinking beer every single night. You won’t know unless you try and you should try. Stop making excuses. You can do it!

5. Stop being lazy when it comes to working out.

Fitness Pro ReviewIf you want to lose weight, you have no choice but to work out. You can’t be lazy when it comes to exercising. Go ahead and find yourself a nice exercise bike through Indoor Training Bikes and use it for at least 30 minutes every day, and when matched with a healthy diet, you are guaranteed to shed a few pounds in a month!

6. Stop making promises you can’t keep.

Just stop saying you’ll do it tomorrow when you won’t. When you promise yourself something, just do it and keep your promise.

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Six Housewarming Gift Ideas That Aren’t Too Heavy on the Pocket

It’s an honor to be invited to a housewarming party. This only means that you are important to this person or this family, which is why they wanted you to be part of this new milestone in their life. While housewarming gifts aren’t really required, it is nice when you can bring a present to the person/s who invited you. When budget is tight, you can always try to make a nice gift yourself or you can always look for more affordable housewarming gifts that won’t be too heavy on the pocket. Here are some ideas that you can take a look at:

1. Kitchen Tools

Food ProcessorsOne can never have too many kitchen tools. While you probably can’t use everything all at the same time, these things get old and overused so it’s better if there’s a backup. If you know the couple likes baking, kitchen utensils and small kitchen appliances for baking are a nice gift. While some may think that even the best processor for baking and cakes aren’t enough of a gift, these items will surely be appreciated as housewarming gifts.

2. Gift Cards

Gift cards are always very helpful. Whether it’s a gift card from the grocery or a department store or even relaxation packages in a spa or salon, these will always be much appreciated. Most people who just moved into a new home most likely spent a lot of their cash and overloaded their credit cards with home expenses. While giving them a cash envelope wouldn’t be ideal at all, a gift card would be a much better idea.

3. Home Décor

You have to be very careful when giving home décor though because decorations that wouldn’t look great along with the rest of the new home of your friend will probably be hidden in storage. As much as possible, you want to give something useful. Find out the theme or at least the color scheme of the new home and base your choice of home décor there.

4. Pillows

Throw pillows or bedroom some nice down pillows are also great gifts that won’t be too heavy on the pocket. Of course, your friend will most likely have all the pillows they need in their bedroom but extra ones would still be good especially if they welcome guests every once in a while.

5. Picture Frames

No matter how digital this world can get, each house can still be easily transformed into a home with the help of picture frames. Picture frames can easily add that personal touch to a house, which makes a bare home into a family home. Better than paintings because you’ll never know if the painting you choose is something that will please the taste of the new homeowner, picture frames need not have a photo yet because your friend will be the one who will add their choice of photos onto the frame.

6. Framed Mirror

Choose a classy framed mirror that will easily match any house theme. When someone has a new house, they will probably get a couple of mirrors but each room of the home won’t have one yet so if you give them one, expect them to hang it on the wall soon. Even better, each time they look into the mirror, they will be reminded of you.

Five Signs You Should Turn Your Hobby Into a Business

Many of us are still stuck with a 9 to 5 job, a fixed paycheck and a basically, boring life. Or maybe, you’re one of those who are lucky enough to land a job that pays well and is somehow fun and exciting. For some, this stable, quite comfortable, convenient and guaranteed “okay” life is enough. For others, it feels like something is missing.

Those who feel that something is missing are usually those who are passionate about something else. Here’s an example. You have an office job and it is a stable one. You play the guitar as a hobby and you write your own music too. It is your dream to become a musician full time but you feel like a music career might not be sustainable or even realistic. You have bills to pay. You are already in a good place. You know that there’s greener pastures somewhere else where you can play music but you’re still not quite sure. To help you realize whether you should already turn that hobby into a business, here are 5 signs you should look out for.

  1. You think about this day in and day out.

    If you think about it too much, you dream about it, you breathe it, then it’s no longer just a hobby. You are passionate about it. When you’re passionate about something, you can succeed in it. Just remember to remain consistent and never lose that same passion.

  2. You are willing to invest your savings for the business.

    Sometimes, it’s all about the money. Are you willing to invest your own hard-earned money for your business? If you think about it, you can still call investors to help you come up with enough capital and it’s so easy to spend when you know it’s not your own money. But think of it this way – if you are to use your own money, will you be willing? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to start your business.

  3. You have enough equipment and materials.

    When you’re creating music, you might need your instruments, a good computer, music production software, etc. If you want to help people in the winter to clear their driveways from snow, you go to a website like SnowShifts and purchase a real powerful snowblower that you can use daily. If you already have these or at least some of the essentials, then you can go ahead and start your business.

  4. You want to become your own boss.

    When you own the business, you’re the boss. You give the orders. You make decisions. You also enjoy all the success and have to take in all the failure. At the end of the day, it’s such a great feeling when you don’t have to answer to anyone other than yourself.

  5. You are most happy when you spend time on your hobby/passion.

    For some people, it doesn’t really matter if they have little or lots of money. As long as they’re happy, they’ll take it. Although it’s good to note that if you have a business, you will most likely earn more money (if you become successful), compared to getting a fixed paycheck.

Think it over. One or more signs above don’t necessarily mean you should already pass your resignation letter to your employer now. Think hard and think many times. Do what will make you happy. Follow your dream.

How to Protect Your Children from Allergies

There’s probably no immunization shot out there that will prevent one from getting any type of allergy. While some are lucky enough to get through life without any allergies at all, there are many others who get puffy eyes, red and itchy skin and sneezes at the rate of 30 per minute just because their meal contained shrimp or they cleaned out a dusty cabinet. If you are a parent, it is your responsibility to protect your children from allergies. While most would recommend not shielding your child too much as constant exposure will eventually get him immune to what gets him allergies, it is still important for you to provide as much protection as possible to prevent this from happening. After all, the effects of allergies can be simple and serious at the same time and anti-histamine medicines might not work at all times. With all that being said, what can you do as a parent to prevent allergies? Read on and find out.

Find Out What Your Child is Allergic With

Sometimes the only way to find out if your child is allergic to something is by trying out everything and anything. If there’s an allergic reaction, then it means your child is allergic to it. In the hospital, they give us skin tests to find out if we’re allergic to a certain medicine. The same goes in the salon when you’re trying to get a hair treatment. You can’t do this all the time to a child. He or she has to taste and try to find out whether he or she is allergic. For example, as toddler, you gave your child peanuts and it seems like he’s getting an allergic reaction to it. You have two choices – if the allergic reaction is not too bad, then anti-histamines might work and you can let him try again in the future until he gets used to it. If the reaction is bad, then you would have to stop giving him peanuts in the future. Because it is very likely that your child, ones it has had a bad reaction to something, it will still react this way at the time he goes to college and even when he’s a senior. If a certain medicine gives him a bad allergic reaction, then you’d have to switch something else. It is very important to consult with your child’s pediatrician. Allergic reactions can be very dangerous when not dealt with properly so you can’t take guesses and always go for trials and errors.

Keep Your Child’s Surroundings Clean at All Times

Dehumidifier ReviewsMake sure you wash your child’s clothes well and keep his room and the rest of your home clean. Do not expose him to dust and dirt that might cause allergies. Same as before, you shouldn’t stop all these things altogether as there are many cases when a child is “super clean” and once exposed to the natural and real world which isn’t really clean at all, the body won’t react very well. But as much as you can, keep your child’s surroundings clean. Place a dehumidifier in your home, particularly in your child’s room so that excess moisture will be absorbed. According to Dehumidifier Web, dehumidifiers help in making the air cleaner too so that allergic reactions can be prevented.

Once again, it is important to remember that if your child has any issues with allergies, you should consult with your pediatrician. This is something you should take seriously because allergic reactions are very dangerous if not dealt with by a medical professional.

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How to Decide on What College Course You Should Take

Even before many of us turn eighteen, we already have to make a very important decision that will greatly affect how our life can turn out to be – choosing our own college course. At such a young age, it is quite difficult to make a decision as huge as this because of lack of knowledge and experience. There are some parents and teachers who might interfere during the process and their interference might just have an effect on the ultimate decision. There are also some who are mature enough to know what they really want despite being young and these people are quite lucky to have parents who will always be supportive.

It is important to know though that choosing a college course is such an important stage in one’s life; however, one can never really be sure about what they want. For example, a kid has always dreamed of becoming a doctor. A few years into studying medicine, he realized that what he really wants is to study law. He made that drastic decision of shifting courses from medicine to law – two very different things. Not only was this a waste of time, it was also a waste of money. But that kid has never been happier in his life since he shifted courses. While he might be forgiven for his initial lapse in decision-making, not everyone is blessed to have enough funds and even support for making such decision shifts. If you are a young man or lady, or a parent or guardian who wishes to learn how to make this decision making process easier, look into these tips below:

1. Determine your dreams and think more than once about this.

MITER SAWSSometimes you think you want something but you end up not wanting it once you already have it. For example, as a child you were always interested in wood work. As early as high school, you already joined the Woodworking Club. You handled all the tools well and you even asked your mom to buy you some equipment including the miter saw you still have today so you can practice at home. You enjoy doing this so you decided to take up a Designing Course in college. When things got too serious, you realized that you wanted to do something else because woodworking is just a hobby. Don’t be blinded by your dreams. Keep an open mind and think of other opportunities. If in the end you still want to pursue that same dream, then go for it. Whether you want to do woodworking for a hobby or professional, Straight Kerfs has the proper tool for any purpose.

2. Think about the things you’re actually good at doing.

Whether you’re good in math or science or you excel in sports or in the arts, these could play a big role in the decision-making process. Take this into consideration when choosing your college course. Especially if you’re not really sure what you want in the first place, choosing something that you’re actually good at will most likely be a good decision.

3. Be realistic. Consider your potential school/college/university and the budget you have for education.

You have to be realistic when making a decision. Of course, your decision should be dependent on your potential school. If your parents are only capable of sending you to a local college, then you have to choose from the courses they offer; unless of course you manage to win a scholarship for a university. You also consider the budget. The budget for college doesn’t include only tuition fees but daily allowances, fees for school projects, and the number of years you have to spend in school. All these should be taken into careful consideration.

Lastly, it is worth to mention that all the factors that need to be considered are overridden by what you really want to do in life. Even if you don’t have enough money to pursue that course you originally wanted or you want to do something that you don’t seem to be capable of doing at first and even if there’s a lack of support from your family and friends, always remember that you make your own decisions now and if there’s a will, there’s a way. Do what makes you happy.