kitchen

Foreclosure homes for sale have taken a hit in previous months with the scandal surrounding mortgage providers’ documentation issues. This resulted to buyers shying away from the market for fear of being embroiled in a property dispute. This has greatly affected legitimate sellers of foreclosure properties, who are already dealing with declining demand.

The challenges faced by sellers of foreclosure homes for sale should further infuse them to engage in increased efforts to conduct a successful home staging that will ensure a sale. While cleaning the home can a go a long way towards proper home staging, oftentimes this is not enough. The home should look equally good on the outside and the inside. The home is after all a reflection of its occupants and this is what buyers will have in mind when they shop for their home.

Appearance from the Curb

More popularly known as the curb appeal, your home should meet most buyers’ requirements when it comes to the look of the exterior of the property from the street. Foreclosure homes for sale should look neat and fresh at first glance. So, make sure the exterior painting is interesting and lively. Mow the lawn regularly and trim the bushes. Clear out the trash and put away unnecessary items, especially clotheslines, which can be an eyesore. Apply a fresh coat of paint on your fences, garage and garage doors as well as the main door.

Stepping Into a Peaceful Place

Buyers look for quiet comfort when they inspect the interior of foreclosure homes for sale that they are considering to buy. Keep in mind that buyers are keen on seeing the potential of a home or what it can become once they already own it. In other words, they want a blank canvass, so it may be advisable to paint the walls in neutral colors. More importantly, keep the home spic and span through constant cleaning and dusting. Hide personal items, especially children’s toys and other personal paraphernalia. Clean areas that are highly susceptible to dirt like the kitchen and bathrooms. Regularly replace the sheets and other linen as well as the curtains.…

If you live in a warm climate, you know that roaches can be everywhere and that they can enter your house at any time they want. And it is very disgusting to see cockroaches crawling on your wall, floor, and any part of your home. Cockroaches have been around longer than we have and so getting rid of them won’t be easy. You will need the assistance of a pest control professional in dealing this kind of problem.

There are simple rules which you can follow in dealing with the cockroaches. First thing you should know about cockroaches is that they breathe through their skin. Cockroaches need oxygen and they cannot breathe if their shells are covered. An easy way of killing them is by putting oil to their skin. You can use olive oil or any kind of oil would do just fine. All you need to do is spray them with water mixed with the oil. This method will suffocate the cockroaches.

Another thing that many people recommend is vinegar. Spraying vinegar will suffocate the roaches as well, according to experienced home owners. Vinegar is known to work not just in cockroaches but in spiders as well. Rubbing alcohol is also another suggested cockroach killer. Mixing rubbing alcohol in water and spraying them with the roaches will be effective. Any way in which you can put a cover on them so they can’t breathe would be an effective strategy.

You really have to address the issue why these roaches are hard to find and look for ways to eliminate their food source, shelter, and other ways that they can survive. Seal any food source in your home properly. Make sure you clean the kitchen, the floors, and all areas which would be potential for roach infestation. Also make sure that there’s no water or moist area waiting for them.

These methods are very common and you can adopt them on a daily basis. But if you have tried all these tricks and still found roaches crawling in your house, then it would be high time to call your local pest control company for quality assistance.…

Building or constructing a house calls on all your abilities and skills in planning, budgeting and executing the task in hand. Although you may not be physically involved in the actual building up, as the home owner you have the responsibility of building a safe, secure and healthy home with all the factors considered.

There are several areas in home construction that need attention from the roof to the flooring literally and everything in between. A building contractor or expert can provide advice on the basic necessities that include all matters concerning:

• Building engineering like rooftop, walls, ceilings, floors etc.

• Plumbing

• Electrical works

• Heating, cooling and ventilation

• Woodwork

• Masonry

• Water proofing

• Damage proofing or earthquake proofing

These form the basic concepts of home construction; it makes a world of difference getting them right the first time because constant corrections, repairs, renovations and alterations can weaken the structure of a house rendering it unsafe and unworthy.

Apart from the concept of a solid home construction, there are many precautions that are useful to consider that will ultimately provide healthy living. Some of the important factors that go into a ‘precaution list’ as far as a home is concerned are:

1. Building in a clean location – Choosing the right site for building a home is top priority. A home should be built in a clean area where the air is of good quality and the vicinity is free from pollution.

2. Doing soil testing for strength and presence of pests is very essential. Every home needs a prior anti-pest treatment to prevent insects and pests from invading living spaces.

3. Remembering basic elements of physics – The shape of a house matters a great deal in construction; unnecessary nooks, corners and angles are not only a hindrance but also negatives as far as energy efficiency is concerned.

4. Giving adequate attention to structural elements – Proper laying of foundations and concrete in roofing and flooring and giving it adequate time to harden and strengthen are very essential to prevent cracks, seepage and other harmful effects.

5. Installing proper plumbing and adequate drainage – Pipelines and sewer lines must be given a lot of planning to prevent backflows and flooding. Access to pipelines must be easy to get hold of to carry out repairs and maintenance if necessary.

6. Controlling infiltration – A proper mechanical ventilation system minimizes the extent of uncontrolled infiltration serving to improve the quality of indoor air and prevent exposure to outdoor chemicals and toxins. Using multiple approaches like heat recovery ventilation, central exhaust and other fresh air circulatory approaches have advantages.

7. Use of solid wood or metal for fittings – Readymade bathroom and kitchen cabinets are made of wood and wood products and coated with glues and substances that have high formaldehyde content. Wooden or metal cabinets and fixtures that are custom made provide better and safer alternatives.

8. Using water based adhesives and paints – Water based …

Most people have the right idea when they want to lose weight that they should track their calorie intake. It’s true that calories do matter when it comes to weight loss but counting calories has some serious errors. These errors are typically what breaks a diet and leaves the dieter frustrated and back at square one.

Many nutrition labels are inaccurate when it comes to the calories listed. The tallies are oftentimes wrong. We know that one gram of carbohydrate contains 4 calories, one gram of protein contains 4 calories, and one gram of fat contains 9 calories. Next time you see a nutrition label, pull out your calculator and do a little check for yourself. You will notice the number you get from your calculations is not the same as that of the nutrition label. There could be a difference of enough calories on a consistent basis (that you’re consuming) that is preventing your weight loss results because the true calories are unaccounted for.

Another big error occurs when you track your calories using only a volume measurement. Here are some examples:

– A regular bag of quick oats says a serving size is “1/2 cup (40 grams)”. Most people will measure out a 1/2 cup serving and count the calories of a 1/2 cup serving and go about their day. The problem is that a 40 gram serving when weighed on a scale is actually less than 1/2 a cup measurement. A 1/2 cup measurement of quick oats is somewhere around 54 to 56 grams which is a difference of around 60 calories that are unaccounted for. If you have 1/2 a cup per day, at the end of the week this is an extra 420 calories. Those 420 calories can be preventing you from losing weight or slowing down your progress.

– All natural peanut butter has a label that reads one serving is “1 tbsp (16 grams)”. Most people take either a regular dinner spoon and scoop out their serving or they take a true tablespoon and measure the peanut butter by volume. If you are not leveling off your volume measurement, it’s likely you’re taking more peanut butter and calories in than you’re accounting for. It’s easy to take a spoonful of 32 grams instead of what the nutrition label reads as 16 grams. This could be a difference of

nearly 100 calories that are unaccounted for. If you do this daily, by the end of the week that is almost 700 calories you’re eating which is more than what you thought. This extra 700 calories can completely stall weight loss.

Trying to “eye-ball” or estimate too often can prevent weight loss. It has been shown that people do a very poor job at estimating calories. When you are consistently estimating, it’s simply that, an estimate, it’s not accurate. It’s possible for a small brownie to contain upwards of 600 calories depending on the ingredients in it. Most people might estimate a brownie as only …

  1. Create an indoor picnic with available props, ie, picnic tablecloth, paper goods. Share finger foods and favorite trees along with a glass of wine. Spice up "dessert." Enjoy your picnic on the living room floor or in bed. Play card games, board games, or make up your own.
  2. Decorate a unique-looking jar or box with craft items. Write numerous love notes on small pieces of paper and fill the jar with them. Present the jar to your sweetheart.
  3. There are many local and national Valentine's Day giveaway contests with great prizes. Enter as many as you can and maybe you'll get lucky.
  4. For young couples with kids, get them involved in an all-family fun Valentine's Day dinner at home. Mom can prepare a dessert for two and light the candles while dad puts the kids to bed.
  5. Since Valentine's Day is on a Saturday, celebrate with a day full of low-cost activities you both enjoy doing (depending upon your location and weather). Do something with your significant other that he / she rarely has time to do, but loves.
  6. Take a 2-hour, one-time salsa or tango dancing lesson together. Or, identify some other interest you share and find a place to give you one-time extended lesson on Valentine's Day.
  7. Gals … Make the entire day full of his favorites: the breakfast of his dreams, the dinner of his dreams, TV that is his favorite, his music, etc. Do not say anything about it, surprise him all day long.
  8. Take the person you love to experience something spectacular in nature: a sunset, a sunrise, the calm of the beach, share an evening walk gazing at the moon.
  9. Create a framed group of photos that put your relationship in chronological order of events, by months or years (depending on how long you've been together).
  10. Create a CD with songs that make you think of your sweetheart, and give it to him / her.
  11. Choose specialty foods, such as wine, cheese, fresh bread / dessert from a favorite bakery. Enjoy in front of your warm, toasty fireplace.
  12. Create an at-home spa day for your mate. Deliver the gift in a basket filled with inexpensive candles, bubble bath, rose petals, facial mask and scrub. Then give your mate time to enjoy it. When he / she is done, heat up towels in the dryer for drying off.
  13. Give each other long-lingering back rubs or head-to-toe body massages. Invest in luxurious lotion or oils.
  14. Create a favorite drink together. Try all kinds of ingredients. Enjoy taste-testing. Be sure to record the ingredients, so you can make the "your" drink again on Valentine's Day year after year.
  15. Watch an old movie at home together, with popcorn and soft drinks and candy – movie-theater style.
  16. Share a scrumptious dessert and latté at a local patisserie or bakery.
  17. Pick a few household chores your Valentine usually does and surprise them by doing it before they get a chance, ie, making the bed. It does not sound romantic, but

The mere name “Salvation Army” evokes powerful images of aid in times of crisis, charity in times of need, mercy and transformation in the hours of one’s personal deepest, darkest hour. The Salvation Army’s role in social reform during the latter half of the 19th century cannot be underestimated. William Booth, the Salvation Army’s self styled General, who stood in a point of history when suffering was both overwhelming and unnecessary, saw the world in need of radical change Like Petrarch some 400 years before him, Booth was adamant he would make a difference. Together with his wife Catherine, their eight children and the support of close friends, William Booth set out to bring salvation to the lives of the hopelessly poor, the destitute, the homeless and the hungry. From humble beginnings in London’s east end, today the Salvation Army operates in 111 countries, utilising 175 languages and has a well established reputation for being the first organization to arrive in the aftermath of disaster, providing clothes, food, shelter and healing words. At the time of writing, the Salvation Army continues its work in Iraq where it provides food, clothing and shelter to a land ripped apart by war. “The people of Iraq love the Salvation Army because it brings the message of the love of God to the Iraqi people,” said a Shia Muslim spokesperson, demonstrating the Salvation Army’s well deserved reputation for transcending all barriers to bring comfort to the suffering.

The Salvation Army uses a flag with an eight sided, yellow star on a red background with a blue border. Originally, the star was meant to be the sun but the Booth’s changed it to a star as it offended a branch of the Zoroastrian’s when the Salvation Army was first in India. Astrologers would recognise a double grand cross in the star and an emphasis on the fourth and eighth harmonic. John Addey wrote about 8th harmonic: “The numbers four and eight have a special reference to outward events and conditions.” We regard squares in a chart as indicating conflict. The Salvation Army so embroiled itself in conflict that its joint founders, William and Catherine, manifested a child (Kate-see her chart) who had the Salvation Army symbol in her chart shaping–which seems nothing short of miraculous and a testament to the struggles the family faced in their war on sin and poverty.

The Booths achieved so much in their lives together that it is overwhelmingly tempting to uncover their motivation to change the course of history. What makes ordinary people extraordinary? What makes a hero take risks, not just as opportunity arises or once in a lifetime, but over and over again? What, astrologically, can account for such phenomenal success in the extreme adversity the Booths faced nearly every day of their early ministry?

The man who would be the Salvation Army’s Founding Father and first General was born on 10 April 1829 in Nottingham. His own father, Samuel, was a man dogged by financial disaster …

Pre-boomers were taught the first Thanksgivings was a day of gratitude expressed by the early settlers nearly 400 years ago in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims thanked God for delivering them to the new world where they could live free of religious persecution, for surviving the first year, and for the harvest to sustain them in the winter months ahead. We also learned that they shared their food with the local Native Americans.

This national holiday has become a secular celebration of parades, football games, and overeating with the next day marking the official start of the Christmas shopping season, overshadowing its true roots. However, most pre-boomers have seen and remember Norman Rockwell's series of Thanksgiving paintings which appeared in "The Saturday Evening Post" during the war years of the 1940s. The warm feelings we get when exposed to those magazine covers remains with us to this day.

The Thanksgivings of my childhood remain viable in my mind. As a young child it was the Gimbel's Parade in downtown Philadelphia. Later the football games took up the morning. Then it was home from college for the long weekend. And later it was the quick train rides from Manhattan to get there in time for the mid-afternoon dinner. Then, many years past before the family got together again. The kids had grown and the first grandchild had arrived before my parents finally moved to the West Coast, after years of prodding. So they were able to enjoy the day each year with all of us and we with them before they passed on a few years back. For this I am most grateful.

I have fond memories of Thanksgivings past and am fortunate to have family close by, so we can enjoy this day together each year. In fact, recently the family took a cruise over the holiday: grandparents, adult children and their spouses as well as the grandkids. It was different and lots of fun, but I missed the "home cooking."

No matter were you or who you're with this Thanksgiving, try to recall those magical days gone by when you woke to the alluring aroma of the turkey roasting in the oven. Be quiet and you can almost here your mom and maybe grandma and your aunts talking as they worked for hours to prepare this family feast. And, even though you were shooed out of the kitchen, you managed to catch a glimpse of the vast array of food to be served and knew this day would be good.

Of course, we ate leftovers for days to come: turkey platters, turkey sandwiches, turkey soup, turkey ala king, turkey hash and turkey croquettes. Nobody ate turkey burgers back then or we would have had them too. Even though we grew tired of a week of turkey, everyone looked forward to having another feast at Christmas. Thankfully this meal was at another family member's home, so we were spared the endless days of leftovers.

This Thanksgiving it's appropriate to reminisce about …

How safe are hoverboards?

Aside from the natural concerns of balancing and falling off, there are much more serious concerns. Namely: “How do I know that the product will not explode, melt, or catch fire when I’m charging it?”

Indeed, there have been several mishaps of late, related to the charging mechanism in these hoverboards. To understand why, it helps to have some background knowledge of the product.

There are over 20 factories in China that make these things. Some are reputable, and some are not. When you order off of eBay, Amazon, or Alibaba, you are likely buying from a re-seller who imports them. Maybe they buy a quality product, or maybe they buy from the lowest bidder to earn more profit on the turnaround. In other words, it’s a gamble. When someone buys a new product from Amazon, the last thing on their mind is burning the kitchen down, but it is worth considering. In fact, it has happened to at least two people in the UK within the last 6 months. So, the first step is to buy from a reputable source that does not use cheap electronics on the interior, especially the batteries and charging mechanism.

“These Ain’t Your Momma’s Batteries”

Hoverboards are powered by the newest generation of Lithium-Polimer, or “Li-Po” rechargeable batteries.

For those new to Li-Po batteries, they are different from previous battery technologies in that they maintain a nearly full charge right up until they are almost fully depleted, and then they are empty almost immediately. They produce a lot of power, and are prone to thermal runaway (meltdown) when overly depleted, so in addition to buying a quality product, we have a few more words of caution we would like to share with you.

First, because of this steep drop-off in power when the battery gets low, it is important to stop riding the board when the battery alarm starts. Although you can continue to ride it due to the constant voltage, doing so could reduce your long term battery life. If you continue to deplete the battery for just a minute or two longer, you can actually force it to a point from which it cannot recover, and it will no longer accept a charge at all. In this case, the battery is prone to get very hot and possibly damage other internal components. So, the moral of the story is: stop riding when the low battery alarm (continuous beeping) starts.

Secondly, unlike other kinds of batteries, it is not recommended to store a li-po battery with a full charge, as this will also reduce the long term battery life. The good news here is that our engineers have already thought of this, and our chargers use a simple red-light/green-light charging system. When the charger turns green, the battery is optimally charged for safety, battery life, and a sufficient battery duration. The word of caution here is that you should unplug the charger when it turns green so that you …

Improper maintenance of your safety tank could jeopardize the safety of your health, finances and of course the environment. Leaks, blockage and sludge build-up in the tank could contaminate the groundwater, soil and the even the nearby water bodies. Following the following septic tank maintenance tips will help keep your tank in good shape.

Make Sure To Protect The Tank And The Drain Field

Safeguarding your tank from any physical damage would ensure the longevity of your septic tank. Never plant anything other than grass around your septic system. This is because the tree roots are capable of damaging the system. It is also suggested that you don’t operate any heavy machinery near the tank or build a shed or structure above the system.

Take Care Of What You Are Putting Inside The Tank

The kind of things that goes into the septic system has a major role to play in the proper functioning of your tank. Your septic system consists of microorganisms whose task it is to treat organic waste by breaking it down. Therefore you shouldn’t make their job tougher by introducing anything in the septic system which might hamper their ability to break things down.

The more solid waste you insert in the tank the more septic tank pumping is required. Never flush your sanitary napkins, tampons, diapers, cigarette butts, coffee grounds, paper towels, floss or facial tissues down your toilet. Also try not to flush the food scraps and grease down the kitchen drain. Grease can clog your drain field making it impossible for the soil to absorb fluid.

Be Wary Of Heavy Duty Cleaners

Excessive use of heavy duty cleaners would kill all the microorganisms responsible for breaking down the waste. Extermination of the beneficial bacteria would lead to improper breakdown of the solid waste.

Keep rainwater away from the drain field

A soggy drain field leads to improper neutralization and absorption of liquid waste. Therefore go for roof gutters, landscaping and foundation drains to divert all the extra water from the septic drain field.

Go For Regular Maintenance

The solids in your septic system need to be pumped out from time to time. Ideally you need to pump your septic tank every three to five years to ensure its longevity. It needs to me mentioned that you should never attempt to open your septic system on your own since it contains poisonous gases and bacteria.…

Is your home getting a remodeling or repair work done? Are you worried that you need to move out to a temporary home and you need to do packing and stuff? That is a difficult task. Selecting things that you will only require in your temporary home is tough.

Here are a few tips that will help you to sort the things you want to take with you.

Sort out things room-by-room – Do a quick survey of the things you own. Select one room for a day or two, and sort the things in each room. You can empty out your belongings from drawers, closets and shelves and create groups into the ones you want to move with yourself, the ones you want to give away and the ones you want to store for a bigger home.

Decide what to take with yourself when you move to your temporary house – Only keep the things you require in your temporary house. It would be advisable if you only take kitchen utensils, linens, towels and other small things you think you will need. This is if your temporary home is furnished; if not then it is obvious you will have to get some basic furniture like beds, chairs, kitchen table, coffee table, couch and other pieces of furniture. Pack clothes according to the season in which you will be staying at your temporary home. It is better if you include some clothes of the adjoining seasons.

Confused as to what to put in storage and what to take with you? – Here is an idea. Think that your temporary house is a major real estate which will be used by you every day and that your storage is the vacation home for all your stuff. The things you will not require every day can be kept in your store house. If you need an item that will be helpful for you for the season in which you are moving into the temporary house, then you can take it along with you. Other seasons’ items need to go into the storage.

Box, label and move – Take photos of all the items you want to put in the storage and save them on your computer so that you will have record of the things in your storage. You can also put pictures of the items outside of each storage boxes for reference purpose. While packing your items make sure you separate them properly; one should be for storage and one for moving purpose. This will be helpful for you so that you can tell the movers as to which will go with you and which will go to storage.…