Thinking Outside The Baby Shower Gift Box

Baby Showers are thrown to "shower gifts" upon the mother to be. Adding a baby to the family requires adding a lot of new inventory to the medicine cabinet and food pantry. It also means you have to fill dresser drawers and changing tables with the many supplies that will be used in the care of the new baby.

The new baby will likely receive all sorts of baby bottles and tiny little one piece outfits with cute pictures on them. There will be bottle upon bottle of lotions and soaps to keep the new arrival smelling fresh and sweet. Then there will be the tiny socks in the soft pastel colors to make those little baby feet nice and warm.

Stop just for a moment, if you will, and think about mom. While I am sure that mom will be 100% grateful for all of the above-mentioned shower gifts, these gifts are technically for the baby and not for mom. It is time to think outside of the baby shower box and remember mom.

Mom's bath time will now be cut by 80% (note: not a scientifically proven number) with the new addition so how about helping her enjoy that little time she does have by giving her a bath set of her own. She would love to have some bath salts and oils for the tub. When she gets out of the tub she would relish being able to enjoy some fresh body lotion that was in her favorite scent. Oh, that most comfortable feeling she could have been wrapped in a plush soft new bath towel after her relaxing bath.

Adult only time will be a precious commodity that will have a 97.8% reduction after the arrival of the new baby (note: once again not a scientifically proven number). You could have the one that helps the new mom enjoy this time the most by giving her a gift of a new set of wine glasses or cocktail glasses.

Kitchen help would also be a wonderful gift for the new mom. More than likely the time mom has to spend in the kitchen will not be reduced. In fact, there is a good chance that mom will have to spend and even greater amount of time in the kitchen. Why do not you be the one to help her here? There are many outstanding baby shower gifts that could make kitchen time a breeze. A well-made cutlery set could save mom time and energy. There are a plethora of small kitchen appliances that can make mom's life easier. Coffee makers, food processors, blenders, kitchen tool sets. The ideas are almost limitless

I have supplied you with some unscientific numbers just to prove another fact that very well may be scientifically backed up. 1000% is the increase in enjoyment that the new mom will get from baby shower gifts that are for her to enjoy in her new, limited mommy time. I do not want you to forget …

Eliminate Interior Home Disasters

Hello and welcome to my design thoughts.

With thousands of websites, articles, newsletters and blogs on interior design, is it any wonder home design is confusing? As an artist and designer, it never ceases to amaze me the amount of fabulous information available for the curious and motivated homeowner. And Free to boot!

Keeping it simple is a little more difficult. I have visited many "designers" client homes, just to see the designers particular brand or style stamped all over the place. How do we keep our homes in the realm of our own personalities?

When you are searching for a design and or designer, first look at their product. Talk to past clients. Visualize the designers work in your private space. Does it work? Or could you have done a better job on your own and a whole lot less expensive?

I have designed many different styles. Each as individual as the client themselves. How is this done? First, you have to do the homework. A client who states: Do whatever you like, I trust you and I will be back from Bermuda in six weeks "might be a client I may choose to steer clear of.

I will not brand my personal style on a clients home. Your home should and must reflect your personality and uniqueness. With excitement and motivation, create something totally yours, you can learn how to build a really stunning environment all your own.

Magazines, websites other design information can be your very best friend. You have done it before, I just can see both of us searching magazines, ripping out the cool stuff and making piles … This is your start to discovering your personal style.

Build a book on these pictures. Study each picture. Circle the idea or picture which done your eye. Put you piles of pictures in categories. Ie living, bath, family, kitchen. Then go back and cull out the pictures which may not be as appealing. Only keep the very best. You will ever discover what you love, whether in color, shape, size or style name. My personal style is called European Recycled … No joke.

Keep your first trial and run simple. Paint is the least expensive re-do and has an amazing impact. A fresh coat of paint is magic. Interior design can be a simple act of re-arranging or de-cluttering.

Find your magic. Love where you live. Make it a peaceful and creative environment all your own.

SK Sartell …

Refrigerator Repair: How to Identify Common Causes of Refrigerator Noise

Is your refrigerator keeping you up at night with its various moans and groans? When you need immediate relief from your noisy refrigerator, there are a few steps you can take. Follow these helpful tips from your local appliance repair shop:

  • Locate the source of the noise – Is the noise coming from the inside of the freezer, or the outside back of the refrigerator? Determining what area the noise is coming from will help you narrow down the possible components that might be causing the sound.
  • Troubleshoot – There are only a handful of parts in a refrigerator that typically cause noise. Once you have narrowed down the general location of the sound, you can begin troubleshooting various components to try to resolve the issue. While some issues can easily be fixed with minimal effort, others will require that you call in a professional who is trained in refrigeration repair.

Noise Inside the Freezer

Noise originating inside the freezer can typically be attributed to the evaporator fan, which runs whenever the unit is actively cooling. If you notice a chirping, squealing, or groaning sound that comes and goes (rather than being steady), it may be an issue with the fan motor. To find out for sure, open the freezer door and hold down the light/fan switch if there is one. If the sound gets louder with the door open, you can be pretty sure that the fan is the cause. Unfortunately, there is no way to repair the evaporator fan motor–you must replace the part in order to resolve the issue.

Noise from the Back of the Refrigerator

Most noises that you notice will come from the back of the refrigerator, where most of the moving parts are located. If you have a self-defrosting unit, the first place you will want to check is the condenser fan. The condenser fan is located on the back of the refrigerator, often behind a thin panel. The fan can occasionally accumulate a buildup of lint and other debris, causing a buzzing or clicking noise. You can try to resolve the problem by removing the thin cover to access the fan, and then cleaning the fan of any debris using a soft bristled brush (old toothbrushes are great for this!). Once the fan is clear of dust or other materials, replace the cover and plug the refrigerator back in. If you still have noise coming from the condenser fan after cleaning it, you may have to replace the part with the help of an appliance repair company.

If your refrigerator is making a rumbling, or purring noise from the back, it may indicate a problem with your compressor. The compressor is located in a football-sized case on the back of the refrigerator, near the bottom of the unit, and usually contains either black or copper tubes with a variety of colored wires. The compressor is typically a sealed unit, so it can not be replaced by a do-it-yourselfer. If you are able to …

Instead of Getting Angry, Learn to Write a Complaint Letter in Business Format

This is the correct business format for a Letter of Complaint to another business. Use your words with caution because people are often funny about their money.

Tips and Hints to consider:

Keep in mind that Business Writing is about “Getting to the point”

Think about what you want to say before you start writing and get your facts straight.

Stay objective and considerate throughout the letter even if you are feeling angry.

Your letter will include the following:

1. Contacts

2. The complaint

3. Reason why you are complaining

4. The amount to be refunded

5. How long you are willing to wait (be reasonable please)

6. Reason why they should refund you

7. “Thank you” as well as any enclosures such as statements, receipts etc…

Remember to send copies of the receipts, not the originals. However, the original letter you type up and sign should be sent to the recipients. Make a copy for your records.

If you do not receive the response you had wished for, you may want to consider writing a second letter with a firmer tone, or you can contact the next person on their chain of command.

Your number and street address

Your city, Your state Zip code

Phone: Your contact number

Email: your email

The Date

Their Name, Company Title

Company name

Their company street number and address

Their city, state and zip code

Dear Mr. Name,

It has been excellent for my company to use your services for many high-quality door and window projects. I have always been satisfied with your services, however I am writing to you with a concern that I hope you will be able to address.

My company ordered from Custom Wood on July 2 by telephone. We ordered double-glazed, made-to-order oak French doors. When they arrived on July 25, my carpenter informed me that the doors were cut too small. Instead of measuring a total of 11 feet by 8 inches, the doors measured 11 feet by 4 inches.

After waiting three weeks for the door to remodel a kitchen, it was obvious that the customers were not going to wait any longer to have their kitchen finished. My carpenter was able to fix the mistake and did so at the expense of $455.50.

I am requesting that Custom Wood reimburse the $455.50 paid to fix the doors sent in error to my company. I am including the carpenter’s bill, and would appreciate prompt attention to this matter.

I would like to continue business with your company, as I have always been very satisfied in the past. Thank you very much for you time.

Sincerely,

My name

Company name

Enclosures (2)…

Durastone Tile – Congoleum’s Alternative to Natural Flooring

Durastone tile by Congoleum is a luxury vinyl tile product. Luxury vinyl tiles are a superb alternative to natural tiles such as ceramic, slate, stone and marble. There are multiple reasons that luxury vinyl tiles are a great option to consider for kitchens, bathrooms and any other part of the house. Durastone tiles are extremely durable, easy to clean, provide warmth under foot, are extremely stain resistant, and can be replaced relatively easier than other natural tiles. Congoluem’s Durastone tile series should be a flooring option to consider for your next flooring project.

Durastone vinyl tile’s major advantage or natural tile products like ceramic is its’ durability. The tiles are totally different that traditional, sheet vinyl construction. Durastone has a much thicker, denser wear layer, a stronger, commercial rated backing system and a composite vinyl core. These design features make it extremely resistant to cracks, dents and scratches. If you were to drop a heavy pan or object on ceramic tile, it stands a good chance of chipping, breaking or cracking. Durastone holds up great compared to natural tiles when it comes to drops, scratches etc. If you have pets, children or heavy traffic in an area of the home, Durastone luxury tiles will out perform virtually any other flooring choice.

When it comes to cleaning and maintenance, Durastone wins out again. Simple dust mopping with an occasional damp mop is all that is needed. There is never a need to clean or reseal tiles and grout lines. Cleaning and sealing grout lines once a year is a task many of us have learned to despise. Durastone tiles are available with or without integral grouting. The grouting in the Durastone tile is vinyl so it stays clean just as the rest of the tile.

I have heard people complain that they love the look of ceramic or stone floors, but they hate the cold feeling natural floors can give. Durastone tiles and other types of luxury vinyl flooring tend to be warmer under foot than natural floors. This may not seem to be an important feature but to some homeowners it ranks highly. The warmer feeling Durastone gives may also eliminate the need for several rugs throughout the house or room.

Stain resistance is very important in kitchens, bathrooms and even other areas of the home. Ceramic and stone hold up adequately when something is spilled, but if the sealant is older, stains can occur. Durastone vinyl tile has a finish layer that is impervious to almost all stains with the exception of oil and gas based liquids. Hopefully, you will not have too many gas spills in the kitchen! The stain resistance of Durastone does amazing with pet accidents. Not only will Durastone resist stains from pet urine, but it will not absorb the smell either. If you have pets, a luxury vinyl tile or plank is something you need to strongly consider. Durastone carries a lifetime warranty against stains.

If a Durastone tile were to ever become damaged, …

The Differences Between SodaStream Models

Many people want to get a SodaStream but have no idea which model is best for them. It can be difficult to choose, especially when the SodaStream company has no information highlighting the differences between the models. Here is a brief overview explaining which features are unique to the models.

There are currently eight SodaStream models available. They are The Revolution, The Source, The Fizz, The Crystal, The Pure, The Fountain Jet, The Dynamo and The Genesis. First, let’s address the similarities of all eight types. All of the eight models can make soda or sparkling water in the convenience of your home. All come with “stay fizzy” bottle closures that keep the carbonation in longer. All are compatible with the standard 14.5 ounce carbonation cylinder which is capable of carbonating up to sixty liters of soda or sparkling water.

There are four models which are capable of using either the 14.5 ounce carbonation cylinder or the larger 33 ounce cylinder, which is capable of carbonating up to 130 liters of soda or sparkling water. Those four models are The Revolution, The Dynamo, The Fountain Jet and The Fizz.

All eight models use the CO2 tank as a power source to carbonate. The Crystal, The Pure, The Dynamo, The Fountain Jet and The Genesis require no additional power source to operate. The Fizz and The Source do require a battery to operate the display components. That battery is included. The Revolution is the only model which requires electricity to work. Keep this in mind, as it will need to be near an outlet when used.

The Crystal comes with a dishwasher safe glass carafe. The other seven models come with BPA-free plastic bottles that are not dishwasher safe. You can buy dishwasher safe bottles separately that are compatible with those seven models, but you can not use the glass carafe with any model other than the Crystal.

The Dynamo, The Fountain Jet, The Pure, The Fizz and The Genesis all require the user to twist the bottle into place. The Crystal, The Revolution and The Source all lock the bottle into place without twisting, making them a little easier to use.

There is only one fully automated SodaStream available at this time. That is The Revolution. You simply press a button to tell it how carbonated you would like your drink and it does the rest for you. It also measures the CO2 levels to let you know how much is left in your carbonation cylinder. The Fizz is not automated but it does monitor and display the amount of carbonation in your drink as well as the level of CO2 in your cylinder. The Source has three LED lights to let you know how much carbonation is in your drink, but does not monitor the CO2 left in your cylinder.

I hope I have shed some light on what makes each SodaStream model unique. Click HERE for more information on SodaStreams and to see how the different models look. …

How to Strip Cloth Diapers 101

Stripping cloth diapers sucks. My partner and I had to learn how to strip cloth diapers the very hard way. I have a very vivid and very smelly memory of my first strip. It was about ten weeks into my cloth diapering experience, and an internet forum advised me to strip our diapers after my partner and I noticed that walking into the boys’ room in the morning was almost like stepping into an alternative reality and ending up in stable with about one hundred horses. Puuuuh! My eyes would practically water from the strong smell of ammonia. I really felt for my poor dears, having to actually sleep in it.

So we had to quickly learn how to strip cloth diapers or throw them away. The throwing away was not an option really, but we made a major mess after mixing dishwashing liquid and bleach (damn you internet!) in the same wash, forcing us to run away from our own home for a weekend, plus we ended up three dozen diapers short. But memories made, lesson learnt and that mistake was never repeated.

Why Strip?

Stripping diapers is essential to remove the buildup of ammonia, bacteria, detergents, minerals from hard water, and oils in diapers. This is because there are parts of the diaper (like inserts and pockets) where sufficient water does not reach during a regular wash. Hot water works to remove this accumulated dirt and bacteria during stripping and will eliminate that funky smell, increase absorbency as well as reduce the risk of rashes and yeast infections for your baby.

Before Stripping

The first rule of stripping diapers is: never to strip dirty diapers because that will leave your diapers looking like junior did an enthusiastic paint job in yellowish-brownish colors. You don’t want that to happen because if it does, you can forget all about your pristine white inserts and liners that were the pride and joy of your diaper drawer.

Clean your diapers before stripping

  1. Remove any solid waste by shaking it off into the toilet;
  2. put your diapers in the washer and run a cold rinse to remove any remaining waste particles;
  3. add a little (quarter to half cup should do) of your regular diaper detergent;
  4. run through one wash cycle with hot water. Run through a warm water rinse followed by a cold water rinse and ‘voila’ your diapers are ready to strip.

Tip: After the wash, you can soak your diapers overnight in a wash pail (or good ol’ bathtub) with a few drops of peppermint oil for an extra touch of freshness after stripping.

Stripping Cloth Diapers in a Washing Machine

What You Need

  1. Washing machine (of course!)
  2. An additive (like dishwashing liquid)
  3. Extra hot water that you can heat on your stove in a stock pot
  4. Flashlight (for front loading machines)

Method

Time: three to four hours

  1. Put your pre-washed diapers in the washing machine with a teaspoon of dishwashing Liquid. Do not add any detergent. You should do

Quick Easy Cheap Meals

How to put a meal on the table quick.

It is very important in our busy life to be able to serve up an appetizing meal in a quick fashion. If you get in the habit of doing this one easy thing, you will become an expert at getting a  meal on the table in only minutes. Here’s one habit you can start: as soon as you walk in the door, put a pot of water on to boil. Small pot for small family; larger pot for a large family. Practice will make perfect in judging how much water to use. Then, as you are getting ready to come in the kitchen, the water is well on its way to boiling. What can you do with boiling water? You can cook potatoes, rice, macaroni, spaghetti, hard-boiled eggs, use it for hot chocolate or herb tea, throw in bouillon cubes, some veggies and leftover meat for a quick soup. The possibilities are numerous. This one habit is your first step to having quick, easy, cheap meals.

Make it easy to get dinner done.

Dinner is something that has to happen every day, for the rest of your life. Whether you cook for yourself or a family, how can we make this job easier? Plan ahead. You can plan ahead by making a list of what dinner will be for the next week and making sure you have all the ingredients. You can plan ahead by cooking several meals in one day when you have time and then freezing them to eat later. You can also plan ahead by cooking some extra food every time you cook and then using that extra food for another meal later. Talk about easy! Some of the work is done already, with very little effort. It takes only a little more effort to make 2 meatloaves instead of 1 or make 2 batches of cookies instead of 1. Then these “planned-overs” can be put in the fridge or freezer to use later (or sooner; its up to you). This is your second step to having quick, easy, cheap meals.

You can save a lot on your food bill.

You can eat healthy, fun, nutritious food and save money at the same time. One great way to save money on your food bill is to try cooking with beans, peas and lentils. If you’ve never tried them, they are very delicious, filling, and a powerhouse of nutrition. Maybe you have had them before and didn’t care for them. Try them cooked a different way. Scout around for a variety of recipes that use these healthy legumes as they are an excellent way to stretch your food dollar. You could make bean burgers, lentil loaf, or split pea soup as the main course and accompany it with some nice vegetables. When first trying out these foods, start out a little at a time. This is your third step to being able to prepare quick, easy, cheap meals.…

Fire Protection Companies Offer Training Program

Fire protection companies have begun a training program for mechanical and fire protection companies from throughout the country that want to expand their services to include fire suppression and restaurant kitchen hood systems installation.

The fire protection companies have expanded their fire alarms systems and fire suppression systems services nationwide as a result of increased requests.

The companies already provided commercial hood installation and hood cleaning services nationwide.

They will continue to install other systems, including fire suppression systems in all of the surrounding areas. But in order to effectively address the nationwide demand, it’s better for them to bring on contractors who they can train to provide the same quality service in their areas.

Companies interested in the training must meet some specific criteria.

They are looking for professional, ethical contractors who are willing to continuously learn and better themselves. They want contractors who are eager, want to grow their businesses and who care about safety and honesty.

Contractors selected for this work must be willing to honor their contracts with everyone-especially customers- and go a step beyond the contract. Customers typically have no understanding of some of the technical terms outlined in contracts. They get bids, people give them a bunch of technical words and the customer doesn’t know what’s missing.

When a customer comes to them or one of their contractors, they get the whole picture, honest and open, right then. Everything is written down and everything written is delivered completely.

It is important for customers to understand ahead of time what they will get. That takes proper explaining by the contractor, who should walk the customer through the process and answer all questions.

The contractors they work with also must complete work on time and remain available if the customer has trouble with the system. They also must honor guarantees and warranties, even if that means they might lose money on that particular trip.

There are times they go install a hood 100 miles away and three or four months later, the motor burns out. The motor is under warranty and the factory will send it to them, but guess who’s going to drive 100 miles and install it for free? That’s part of the deal, and they have to be ready for that.

Being honorable sometimes is costly, but fire protection companies believe it always pays back.

Contractors must pay bills to their suppliers on time and they must use high-quality products and materials.

Ongoing technical and safety training is necessary for contractors to continue to thrive in the industry. They will get proper safety and technical training on a regular basis, as well as continuous technical support.

-end-…

Five Common Reasons For Blocked Drains – And How To Avoid Them

Few things can be as great of an inconvenience as the inability to use your running water and plumbing system in your own home. Even if you have running water, your plumbing must work perfectly in order for you to be able to turn on the tap in the first place. Don’t put yourself into a situation where you have to be inconvenienced and call in someone for emergency repairs. Make sure to keep your piping free and clear or else you may have some very time consuming and expensive repairs to tend to. Here are the five most common reasons for blocked drains and how you can try to avoid them.

1. Vegetation growth

Although not the most common, this factor could lead to some of the most expensive and extensive repairs you may have to deal with. Often times our piping systems have been installed when our homes were built long ago and new and different unforeseen blockages can occur by way of root systems from trees and other vegetation growth. The roots of a tree can slowly put pressure on plumbing lines causing them to break, bend, leak, or be blocked, all of which can create a worsening situation. Often times these repairs require expensive machinery, digging, and re-sodding of lawns.

2. Foreign objects

If your sink or tub was draining perfectly a few days ago and now suddenly seems to be clogged, you may be dealing with an object stuck inside of the pipes. This can occur when an object is left by a sink that does not have a drain filter or screen. Even if the object doesn’t completely block the pipes at first, it may still begin to accumulate debris leading to a clogged pipe in the near future. Many with kids are familiar with random objects dug out of the pipes- many times toys!

3. Grease

If you are noticing a clog in your kitchen sink it may be due to a build up of oils. Many types of greases and lard can clog up drains very quickly. Do not throw excess cooking grease down the disposal and drain. Hot grease in its liquefied form will get inside the plumbing and then later solidify while grabbing ahold of extra food particles and debris. This will create a strong and difficult clog and may damage the pipes.

4. Hair

If you are noticing clogs in the bathrooms, the most likely cause is build up of hair. Hair, especially long strands, have the ability to become tangled creating larger and larger balls of hair that eventually work like a net. The netting begins to trap other debris and smaller hair and before you know it the sink will not empty. Make sure to use a strainer in all bathroom tubs and sinks.

5. Non-flushables

You would think only children are to blame for attempting to flush random objects down the toilet, but you would be surprised how many adults do the same thing. It sure …