Advantages Of East Facing House Plans

Are you planning of constructing a house? While there are many house plans that you can go with, not all of them are ideal for you. One of the best plans that you should consider is the east facing plan.

Benefits Of East Facing House Plan

There are a number of benefits that come with an east facing plan. Some of the benefits include:

Sunlight: since the sun rises from the east, it means that your house will be receiving a lot of sunlight during the early morning. This will reduce your energy bills as you don’t have to leave the lights on if you wake up early.

Health: researchers have shown that the morning sun is always the best. Since your house will be facing east, you will be getting the most from the beneficial morning sun.

Tips To Consider When Designing An East Facing House Plan

For you to design a perfect east facing house you need to put a number of tips into consideration:

Plenty of space on the east: as an architect you need to leave enough space in the east. This is the space that the people in the house will be using to bask during the early morning.

Short east compound wall: to allow plenty of sun into the building, you should ensure that you don’t cover the house with the compound wall. This calls for you to construct a wall that is much shorter than the house. To leave enough space on the east side you should ensure that the main gate faces northeast.

Have a verandah: when designing the house you should ensure that the house has a verandah on the eastern side where the owners of the house can sit and enjoy the healthy morning sun. You can design a sloping verandah; however, you should ensure that it doesn’t face west.

Clutter free: to avoid obstructing positive energy you should ensure that the space on the eastern side is clean and clutter free. This calls for you to remove any heaps of soil, stone or garbage that might be there. You should also ensure that the house doesn’t have any elevated land. The floor should be less elevated than the center room.

If there’s a road running in front of the house you should ensure that it’s lower than the plot.

Conclusion

These are the advantages of an east facing house plan. If you are interested in an east facing house, ensure that the plan is designed by a professional architect.…

Parents – Try Not To be Your Children’s Drill Sergeant

A parent can be many things to their children – legal defence, doctor, teacher – but one personality we would do well to avoid is the Drill Sergeant.

We can be the Drill Sergeant when we come round for living quarters inspection, when we bawl them out for chores that haven’t been done, when we take the approach that they need to be “toughened up” for the big bad world. We can be the Drill Sergeant when we hold on to the belief that children need to earn respect.

The truth is, we don’t need to bark orders at them. Children don’t need to earn our respect. If parents treat children with respect right from Day One the children will respond to it. Parents don’t need to toughen children up for the battleground of life. Children will find out for themselves soon enough that life can be tough, and when they do, they will know that the family home is the safe haven they can fall back in to.

There are many areas that parents can fall into the trap of assuming the role of the Drill Sergeant, for example:

Housekeeping, Homework, And Hard Cash

Housekeeping

Parents get quite wound up when they feel that their child is not pulling their weight when it comes to housekeeping. To a certain degree, this is understandable when it comes to the house in general. Parents have every right to expect their children to tidy up after themselves – pick toys up off the ground, put shoes away, hang coats up.

The difficulty arises over the bedroom.

Problems can be avoided very easily. Is the house ours and the child is staying in one of our rooms? Or is the house the family home and the bedroom is theirs? If we have opted for the first, then we can by all means clamp down – but we are aware that it might well create tension. If we have decided on the latter, then let them be. It’s their bedroom, let them do what they want with it. Do they want to decorate it? Let them decorate it. Are they tidy or untidy? That’s up to them, and it’s up to us to try our best to put up with it. Keep the door shut if it upsets us too much. And refrain from such statements as, “Well if you were tidier you might not lose things!” That’s the Drill Sergeant coming out.

And, also…Keep Out! Privacy is something we all have a right to. If we want to teach our children anything, teach them that: We Respect Your Privacy. Access to the bedroom is by invitation only. Just because we might allow full access to our bedroom doesn’t make it a house rule. And the likelihood is, we don’t even allow that.

Homework

From the earliest opportunity, let them know that homework is their responsibility. It is between the child and the teacher. And let them do their homework their way. They will …

What Are the Top 6 Must Have, Most Popular Board Games?

Have you ever stopped in a toy store or gift shop to buy a present and been completely astounded by the aisles after aisles of board games piled up mountain high? With so many board games in existence, it is nearly impossible to find the perfect one with little time and cornered by the never-ending options. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of the best of the best; the top 6 board games that are must-haves for any household. If you have been on the constant search to find a board game that is fun and enticing, then our list of the Top 6 Must Have, Most Popular Board Games is the ultimate resource to quench you board game needs!

The Top 6 Must Have, Most Popular Board Games:

o Monopoly- I’m sure that there are probably less than 10 people in the world that haven’t ever heard of the classic board game, Monopoly. Monopoly is the classic game of real estate and the banker. Players of young and old try to race around the board, buying as many properties as they can and collecting fines from others that land on their claimed properties, all while trying to earn as much money as possible. The player who has earned the most money by the end of the game is declared the winner of that match of Monopoly, but with the game being so addictive that title is usually quickly challenged in hours of follow-up games and re-matches! Monopoly is the perfect game for all types of people and can be enjoyed by both young and older generations, with the help of many different versions of the game, including ‘Star Wars’ versions, popular cartoon versions, special animal versions, deluxe versions, and much, much more for more hours of Monopoly fun!

o The Game of Life- What game is better than one about your own life? The Game of Life is a game in which you travel around the board in a tiny plastic car on the main road of your life. You literally experience all the stages of life right at your kitchen table! Players are given a job and a salary and try to maintain a high fortune after being put through all the joys and troubles of life, such as having children and paying for their education. At the end of the game, each player is led to the retirement home of their choosing in order to count up all the money that they have accumulated throughout The Game of Life. The player who is the richest wins the game! This board game is perfect for any group of people, young or old, who would enjoy having a laugh out of what this board predicts will occur throughout their lives!

o Scrabble- Enjoy using the English language to create long, exotic words out of random letters and scoring points for it? If so, than this game is perfect for you! In Scrabble, players gather around a …

Ways to Save Money on Household Bills

Household expenses are an issue that any family deals with, and if for some it might not cause inconveniences, others have it more difficult to juggle their monthly budget in order to keep up with their bills. If you want to save money and reduce your bill costs, learning a few tricks will probably come in handy. Here are a few useful tips on the subject, which can help you lower your expenses and fit within your monthly budget without worries:

Insulate your house

One of the major expenses of a household usually revolves around energy consumption. Because you probably desire to live in a comfortable indoor environment, turning your heater or air conditioning system up until you reach the desired temperature probably happened with regularity. Well, without having an energy efficient home, you expenses can skyrocket, especially during harsh days of winter. So, what could you do to make your home more energy efficient, and thus save money on heating or cooling costs? Well, a great solution would be to insulate your house with a proper material. By replacing a faulty and old insulation with a more efficient one, such as spray foam, you can cut down on energy costs significantly. The indoor temperature of your home will be kept at a comfortable level, without relying solely on the heating or cooling system. Drafts and air leakages, which are usually the causes of an unbalanced indoor temperature, will no longer be a problem. Moreover, besides energy saving considerations, an insulation project comes with other benefits as well, such as functioning as a barrier against noise pollution, or preventing mould growth. However, even if insulating your home is so beneficial, in order for you to truly receive everything this home project has to offer, make sure to hire only specialists for the job.

Check if windows are energy efficient

Besides an improper insulation, another issue that often triggers energy losses are old windows. If the windows of your home are not in an optimal condition, dealing with drafts on a regular basis is normal, leading thus to an energy loss. If you research the topic, you will find out that drafty windows can cause energy bills to be even 25 percent higher, and in the long run, this is quite a large amount of money you are losing. Inspect each window of your property and see if any of them needs a replacement or repair.

Search for deals on maintenance services

Each household faces the need of hiring professionals from time to time for various maintenance needs. You either have a plumbing system malfunction, or your house needs to be checked for mould – regardless of what services you might require on a regular basis, make sure to search for the best deals. If you look online for coupons or special offers, you might save more money than you have thought, reducing your overall household expenses.

Cut back on extras

Try to make a list of every monthly bill you …

The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

Book Review: The Phantom of the Opera by Gaston Leroux

The Phantom of the opera is a well narrated horror, fiction, mystery, romance, adventure, in short a blend of various genres narrated beautifully into musical words. The story of the novel entails around the major characters that is, Erik, Christine and Raoul.

The novel can be summarized as follows. Apparently, the Paris opera was considered to be a haunted place. Christine was offered a position in the opera house and in that house she used to hear melancholic sounds, which eventually attracted her attention. News spread throughout the house that it was haunted and thereby the managers had to disprove this.

In Paris, Christine was visited by her childhood friend Raoul and through some meetings and engagements he figured out that Christine was having conversations with a strange man. She had suddenly developed the ability to sing and there were no traces as to who taught her and she accords the credit to the angel of music which her father refereed to as a dominant character in his stories, the voice belonged to the haunted ghost.

Gradually Eric and Christine shared a deep bond and their relationship strengthened over time, by watching all this Raoul realized that the ghost was a mad man and had taken Christine under his control because Christine had seen his real face. As a result of which Raoul made full attempts to run away with Christine but the haunted figure wouldn’t allow that.

At the time Leroux completed writing this book there were many rumors about haunted ghosts in cities which were all exaggerated stories. The author throughout the book had maintained the decorum of the scenes by using melodramatic words.

Every novel consists of a hero and heroine but the interest and suspense is maintained with another character like Eric in this story. He was the key element in making the novel feel more interesting, the phantom of the opera turned out to be a huge success and has been read and adapted worldwide.…

A Torrent Of Punishment

Mocoa, Colombia – Beyond the number of dead, more than 300, it’s very, very hard to watch the survivors, with their pain and trauma. Many people have lost six, ten, or even more relatives. Not to mention their friends, neighbors, acquaintances, engulfed by the mud.

It happened just before midnight. Many inhabitants slept when the river invaded their house and carried them away. It is all the more difficult because of this city, together with the Putamayo region, is at the heart of an armed conflict that lasts. Many Mocoa residents are displaced or have lost a loved one in clashes between the guerrillas, the paramilitaries, and the army. With this disaster, the tragedy overwhelms them again.

I was at my home in Cali, and on rising on Saturday morning, on April 1, I saw messages on my phone warning that a river had overflowed in Mocoa after torrential rains and There were many victims. But I did not imagine the magnitude of the disaster.

On the first day, the Colombian Red Cross reported 23 dead. As of 6 April, there were 306 deaths, including 92 children, and 314 disappeared.

I first looked for a way to reach the city, in the south of the country. I was able to catch a flight to Puerto Asis, near the border with Ecuador, and go up a road to Mocoa. It only took me two hours because it was spared by the mud, which swept three bridges on the other road leading to the city. Once there I moved with a motorcycle and then walk.

I stayed there for several days, and the smell of the dead bodies was very strong.

There was dirt everywhere, a lot of dust. And the sound of machines used to clear and break the rocks carried by the river.

Sometimes we could also hear tears or the cries of people to whom the body of a relative or an acquaintance was reported.

It is a very heavy atmosphere, very sad.

The scene provides a feeling of complete impotence. It is painful to see the inhabitants try to save the little that remains of their existence, fridges full of water, televisions, some clothes, dolls, shoes. Sincerely, it is very trying. Like the pain, we read on the faces of the survivors. She looks very, very strong. And then there is all the destruction of the environment, houses in crumbs, buried cars.

I was able to take pictures of the site from an army helicopter, and that’s where I really measured the scale of the disaster.

The force of nature surpasses the imagination, with rocks and trees transported by the river, and under which houses were literally buried.

Wherever there was a neighborhood, nothing was left but mud and rocks.

We went up to the source of the river, and to that of landslides, the mud of which inflated the deadly flood.

With the torrential rains, the mountain yielded, notably because of deforestation.

I counted at least ten …

How to Paint Laminate Countertops – 4 Easy Steps

We are often asked how to paint an existing laminate countertop, and if it is even possible. Yes, you can paint countertops, but you need to prepare the countertop surface carefully beforehand with special primer. Here's how.

(1) Wash the countertop with some ammonia-based cleaner or some warm ammonia diluted with water. Get it as clean as possible, removing all dirt and grime. When the surface is dry, you may wish to put strips of low-tack painter's tape on any trim around the countertop.

(2) The next step is to prime the countertop surface with a bonding primer, this will make sure the paint will stick to a non-porous surface. Some good bonding primers are XIM 400, Sherwin-Williams PrepRite®, or Zinssers Bin. Follow the primer manufacturers instructions; Plan on allowing the primer to set for about 24 hours before painting. The odor can be strong, so consider opening windows and closing the room off from the rest of the house when using these products.

(3) When the primer is dry, it's time to paint your selected new color paint to the existing laminate countertop. Nothing changes a kitchen's look quite so much as countertop finishes, so make sure you've matched swatches to your existing colors – appliances, walls, flooring and all. If you use your laminate countertops to prepare food directly on, use water based paint; The chemicals in oil based paints may leech into your food, which is not a good thing. Apply two to three thin layers of paint, letting them dry between each coating. If you like, and are feeling creative, you can stencil-paint some patterned borders on your laminate countertops new base paint as well at this point.

(4) The final step is to seal the paint. Three coats of satin or high-gloss non-yellowing polyurethane will give you maximum durability. I prefer water-based sealer; It will not alter the appearance of your paint's colors when it dries. Allow the sealer to dry 24 hrs. You might have to order take-out dinners for a couple of days, but it will be worth it when you see your fabulous new painted laminate countertops in your kitchen. …

Review: Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas From Galveston

I had planned this cruise for seven months. A friend and I who had previously cruised with Carnival and Celebrity were eager to try Royal Caribbean after hearing so many positive things about the beauty of the ship, quality of food and service, etc. For the second time, I surprised my retired parents by taking them with us (the previous year I had surprised them with an Alaskan cruise which I will review later), and they were absolutely giddy with excitement when they found out that they would once again be traveling aboard Royal Caribbean’s Navigator of the Seas, which they claimed was their favorite ship of 13 other cruises they had taken. With the ship fresh out of dry dock for upgrades, were set to go to some brand-new destinations none of us had ever visited: Roatan Island, Honduras and Belize City. Expectations were high.

Then cruise time came. While I am not prepared to say that we had a BAD time on this cruise, I think it is fair to say that our expectations were a bit deflated, pretty much from the minute we arrived at the Port of Galveston. Allow me to take you through the high and low lights of life on the high seas aboard Navigator of the Seas.

The Highs

Our dining experience– Most definitely the best service we received on the ship was in the main Sapphire Dining Room, which is without a doubt the most gorgeous dining room I have seen on a cruise ship. Walking into the dining room is like entering a regal opera house complete with grand stair case and three levels of dining with windows on each side. Our two servers were extremely attentive, noting my step-mother’s preference of making her own ice tea with two glasses of ice, 2 tea bags and some hot water, which was waiting for her every night after night one. I could fault her for being a “tea snob,” but then I’d have to look at myself in the mirror with my Starbucks in hand turning my nose up at Folgers. All of us enjoyed the variety of meal choices and thought the food was of very high quality, with service running like clock work. It was truly a pleasure to dine each evening.

Here we are at dinner. I am the goof-ball in blue.

The Cabin– Inside cabin 7667 (Aft Port) was home sweet home for our week at sea. My parents were right next door in 7669. For an inside cabin, there was plenty of room to stow all of our stuff and have a completely clear space to move in. I would say the bed was a bit hard, but it’s all about your preference as my friend and traveling partner Jay (the guy in purple) said his was just right. Ample closet and drawer space allowed us to each have sufficient space to unpack. Our steward service was also top-notch, re-stocking and tidying up twice daily.

The ship– …

Places to Visit in New York

New York is a buzzing, vibrant city which attracts thousand of tourists each and every year who come to experience its huge buildings, fantastic museums, quality restaurants and world-class shopping. New York is a place where you can find various multicultural and diverse populations, also it varies from desperately poor to the height of excess. This diversity and variation ensures an interesting and lively atmosphere and brings its own unique flavor in each district.

New York City boasts more for its amazing sights than anywhere else in the US, New York has a charm to make people feel as if they know the city before they’ve even been there. In my article I have mention the top-most places to visit and things to do in New York, so that the visitors can easily figure out the most important places to see. So if you are in USA planning next visit to New York then book visit us and book cheap airline tickets. So buy cheap flights to your travel destination now and save more money.

The Statue of Liberty: A lovely gift given by the people of France stands for what New York is all about. The best place to start exploring New York is from visiting The Statue of Liberty. It is one of the most prestigious as well as famous monuments in the world. For the visitors climbing up to 354 steps to reach the statue’s crown is a life time memorable experience and it is completely different from a postcard or photograph of the statue. The Statue of Liberty is situated in New York Harbor with standing on 12-acre Liberty Park. For a panoramic view of the city u must visit the observation deck. And in order to cherish the amazing engineering structure, you can tour the national monument. Viewing this beautiful statue is one of the moving experiences for the visitors.

Central Park: For providing some very much-needed open area for Manhattan’s fast growing expanding population, this 843-square-mile have been designed in the mid of 19th century. In the heart of concrete jungle the construction of Central Park have became a peaceful sanctuary among the New Yorkers. The park contains 58 miles of pavements and is encircled by a six mile loop. You can send your entire evening by taking a stroll along the park, Central Park is a major place of attraction for tourists and residents because for everyone of all ages the park has something to provide, beside walking and jogging you will also come across a marionette theater carousel, restaurants a zoo and an observatory. In the month of November and March you can see the famous ice rinks. For more added fun you can rent a boat from the Loeb Boathouse on the Central Park Lake.

Chelsea Galleries: Chelsea has become the art capital of New York during the nineties, as huge number of galleries has moved into the area. Chelsea Galleries is now an important stopping place for anyone having interest …

Holiday Gift Ideas For Her

You are thinking, her closet is full of clothes, the coat closet is overflowing with her stuff, the shoe rack is packed and I haven’t seen those earrings I got her for her birthday in month’s right? Well not surprisingly many women have numerous material items and surprise, surprise purchases many more throughout the year as well. This can lead many husbands, boyfriends, brothers and friends clueless as to what that special woman in their life might actually need. Well, not shockingly, many women probably don’t need anything else, but there are some gifts you can get her that she will definitely appreciate.

If you describe your woman as a beauty queen, someone who lives and dies by fashion and beauty, then finding the perfect something for her is easy. Jewelry for this woman is always a great choice, think of something classic like a beautiful pair of pearl earrings, or if you want to splurge go for a pair of diamond studs. You can also head to your local spa and grab a gift certificate for a day at the spa, think manicure, pedicure, facial and massage. You can also choose a perfume scent that you enjoy, and trust me, if you like it she will be bound to wear it. If you are looking to spend a little less money, browse for some aromatherapy candles in her favorite scent or a plush bathrobe that will make her want to stay in bed all day.

If you are looking for a gift for a home and kitchen goddess think about getting her something she can use around the house. Think about adding the cookbook the American Fashion Cookbook, assembled by the Council of Fashion Designers of America, to her collection. Anthropologie also has dozens of different kitchen items ranging from petal shaped measuring cups to lotus dinnerware to a Parisian café apron. Again, if you looking to splurge a little bit think about gifting a Kitchen Aid mixer which comes in a variety of sizes and colors, my tip, gift the largest mixer your budget can afford.

The next lady on our list can only be defined as superwoman, or in more simple terms an athlete. This woman can often be hard to shop for, seeing as you can only have so many workout shorts, shirts, shoes, etc. Well this year look into getting her an iPod shuffle so she can add some of her favorite tunes to her workout. She would also benefit from a Timex Sports Ironman Wrist Watch which would help her train like a champion with the time zone and lap recall features. This woman might also enjoy a Wii Fit that would allow her to work out from home on those days she just doesn’t have time to get to the gym. There are also a number of small things you can get this special lady, think a yoga essentials brick, a Pezzi Gymnastik Ball or a Biggest Loser Workout DVD.

For those women …