Blog Archive

Archive for: March

kitchen designThe kitchen is more than just a place where you get your nourishment. It is one of the most used spaces of a home; more and more, people are using their kitchens as an additional area to entertain guests and for spending time with family and friends.

Owing to this multi-functionality, it is also one of the hardest to plan when building from scratch, more so when refitting. Whether doing a makeover or building for your new home, planning your kitchen well saves you a lot of trouble. It also helps to have a particular style in mind before doing any work.

To start off, here are some kitchen styles for inspiration:

The Classic Kitchen – Characterised by creams, whites, and beiges, the classic kitchen also features simple, yet elegant architectural details with brown or black accents.

The Rustic Kitchen – Roughly hewn and distressed are words that get tossed around when talking about everything rustic. Think woods, brick, stone, fireplaces, and vintage furnishings.

The Modern Kitchen – These kitchens feature simple and sleek hardware, along with frameless cupboards and cabinets. There is also a lack of ornamentation that may take the focus away from the kitchen’s clean lines.

The Traditional Kitchen – This is mostly defined by its utilisation of decorative mouldings, dramatic arches, antique finishing, and raised panel cupboards. A chandelier would not be out of place in this kitchen.

The Contemporary Kitchen – Not to be confused with modern kitchen styles, contemporary kitchens feature more laid-back furnishings and designs, while incorporating other aspects to be more reflective of current trends. Professional kitchen designers like Kitchen Matters can help you understand which trend is best suited to your needs.

The Eclectic Chic Kitchen – Two words—no rules. The eclectic kitchen is highly reflective of its owner’s extensive tastes and is often a cornucopia of different styles harmoniously blending together to create a distinctive look like no other.

The living room may always be your home’s social centre, but this doesn’t mean your guests won’t venture out and end up in your kitchen. It is important that your kitchen not only reflects your needs but your style as well.

Maximize Your TripIt is only natural that you plan all the details, including the destinations and accommodations when going on a trip. Your dream vacation may become a difficult experience if you do not prepare or consider your preferences. If you want to make your trip more fun, here are things you can do:

Draft your own itinerary

Some traveling agencies have too many places in their itinerary, which leaves you little or no time to linger and enjoy the place. Research and choose places that fit your taste and schedule instead. You can travel at your own pace and time by having your own itinerary. You can go to uncommon but beautiful places if you have control over your destination.

Bring your car

You can get around faster by having your own car instead of taking public transportation. Look into South Florida Toyota dealers as they offer quality cars and provide maintenance services at affordable rates. It’s more convenient and cost-effective than paying transportation fares. The maintenance costs for fine-tuning your car in long trips will be worth it once you enjoy the view.

Hire a guide

Traveling alone in an unfamiliar location can be dangerous and time-consuming. Personal tour guides will help you get to know places well. They prevent unscrupulous locals from taking advantage of tourists like you, as well.

Avoid peak seasons

While it’s nice to visit places on special occasions, this may ruin your fun. Peak seasons have pricier flights, worse traffic and longer queues in tourist spots. Traveling off-season reduces costs and adds enjoyment of the trip.

Travel backpacker style

Using huge roller bags and staying for days in fancy hotels may keep you from visiting many places. Travel with a backpack and stay in affordable inns instead. You can visit more places and buy more souvenirs without a hitch.

Your comfort, preference and enjoyment should take a front seat when planning for your trip. Customizing your itinerary, lodgings and transportation gives you a wholesome experience that ready-made travel arrangements cannot provide.

It’s often said that a child suffers the most during a divorce, because they’re the only ones that don’t have a voice in the whole situation. There have been cases wherein courts accepted the testimony of the child, especially concerning child custody, but why don’t all cases accept such evidence, and is it appropriate?

Trauma PatientMany parents feel the temptation of asking for child testimony, especially if the young one expressed a desire to stay with them instead of their spouse. The whole “let the child decide” is a custody tactic that’s been the subject of debate regarding its ethical and legal value for years. There are just so many questions about how much a court should accept from such testimony.

Noble Intentions

Before any parent seriously considers their child to take the stand, they should first question their own motivations for the move. Every Denver CO child custody attorney will tell their clients that the legal standard for custody cases in the state is the best interest of the child. With that in mind, can the testimony of the child help the judge better understand the situation at home? Or, is it just a ploy to humiliate or embarrass the spouse in the harshest manner possible?

Trauma on the Stand

Another important consideration is whether the child is mentally prepared to take the stand. A divorce is already a traumatic enough experience for a young mind, forcing them to testify may make them feel like they’re picking sides. If such a situation occurs, allowing the child to testify might backfire on the parent that made the request, since it will show that their influence clearly isn’t in the child’s best interests.

Lawyer’s Advice

Most lawyers would advise against letting the child testifying on those two reasons alone, but they may also have additional concerns such as spousal relationship and the resulting alimony. If a child effectively testifies against one spouse, that parent will feel betrayed and may become less accommodating with providing monthly support.

The only time attorneys recommend that the children take the stand is if there’s a significant threat to their well-being with the other parent.

SingaporeSingapore is one of the most expensive cities in the world to visit, travel, and live in. While most people are aware of this fact, not everyone believes an explorer can go around Singapore with just a backpack and a small amount of money, and still explore all the city has to offer.

The modern explorer is a freethinker who is not afraid to explore and go on spontaneous adventures. The lone traveller traverses cities, goes through hostels and inns, and dines with locals. Immersing yourself in how the locals live, work, and play is the best way to discover what a country truly has to offer.

Fly Cheap

With the advent of budget airlines in Southeast Asia, it is possible to fly round trip from many Asian cities for next to nothing. These airlines also allow you to stop in Singapore on your way to/from Indonesia, New Zealand, or Australia. Singapore is more accessible than most believe.

Singapore is far from inexpensive when compared to Thailand, Cambodia, or even Malaysia. Board that plane and experience all that Singapore has to offer without costing all of your life’s savings. Stay in a hostel at night so that you have more money to explore Singapore.

Get Lost

Backpacking trips are never complete without getting lost. Carry that map with you and take on the streets. Do not be shy to ask locals and get your Singaporean culture fix. Get a dose of Mother Nature and visit their beautifully landscaped gardens. Singapore is not known as the garden city for nothing.

View the majestic city skyline from the famed Sentosa Merlion at sunset and enjoy free entertainment along the harbour front. Visit temples and immerse yourself in praise of all the goodness you have had and will have. Go for walk-a-thons and go to Singapore’s beaches, for a little sun worshipping, too.

Eat in the Streets

Grab yourself a cheap and delicious meal where the locals go. Singapore’s cuisine is sprawling and vibrant. Eat out and find something that suits your palate. You can find an abundance of authentic local dishes and a colourful assortment of Malay, Indian and other international cuisines.

Finding satisfying dishes in Singapore does not have to cost an arm and a leg. Exploring the city does not have to, either. With a map in hand and a sturdy backpack, experience what Singapore has to offer without breaking the bank.

Organise your desk“The truth is, many people are obsessive about maintaining a clean desk or organising all their records and files precisely, because they’re not really sure what they actually ought to be doing,” says Jim Stroup, author of Managing Leadership. If you’ve been spending too much time trying to de-clutter your desk, then all you need is a little bit of direction. Here are the ways the industry’s best keep their desks (and their work) organised, with the help of commercial cleaning service providers:

Find Your Center

If you’re going to organise your desk, organise around something. There’s no need to endlessly spend the day on just shuffling through the papers on your desk, you have to figure out a system that would help keep yourself from falling back into a disorganised abyss. To keep things in perspective, experts suggest answering the following questions:

  •  What do I need to do to add value?
  • What is my company’s purpose and how does my role fit in?
  • What are my boss’ major problems and how can I help solve them?
Contribute to Your Workplace

Even if your workplace is something out of the ordinary like a coffee shop, you can still contribute by making suggestions that make everyone’s jobs easier. Experts believe that the secret to improving local coffee shops and keeping them clean is helping shape up businesses everywhere. They suggest that officers or other higher-ups can ask their people “How could we make the experience better for you?”

How It Affects You

A research firm based in California has found out that how you keep your desk, your office, and your work organized reflects greatly on your professional reputation. About 83% of HR representatives agree that they quickly form a judgment on an employee based solely on the appearance of his or her desk. So, if you’re looking to improve and boost your productivity, keeping your desk clean and clutter free is of utmost importance!

concrete wallDoes living in a concrete home really make all the difference? What do insulated concrete forms (ICF) have that wood-framed walls don’t? Read on to know the benefits and change your mind about concrete construction today.

Decrease in Energy Consumption

Homes with concrete walls need 44% less energy to heat and 33% less energy to cool compared to wood-frame homes. These energy savings are the results of ICF walls’ exceptional insulating values and tighter construction.

Improved Comfort

The lack of unwanted noise and cold drafts is the most favorite benefit of those living in homes with ICF walls. In fact, this added comfort and silence even tops the energy-saving benefit of concrete, according to Styrke Construction. This is due to ICF walls being less drafty and containing more air temperatures.

Not Prone to Fire

Insurance companies prefer homes made from concrete because they are less prone to fires. ICFs have plastic foams that will not add fuel to a fire because they contain flame retardants that avert them from burning. In fact, they can withstand flames of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 4 hours. This is much better than wood-framed walls.

Free from Pests

Concrete and ICFs are an unpleasant food source for carpenter ants, termites or rodents. These pests tend to reside in and feed on wood-framed walls. Installing concrete will make your home free from pests.

Healthier Indoor Environment

Because they don’t contain any organic material, concrete walls don’t sustain the growth of harmful microorganisms like mold and mildew. They can also decrease the access of air that may bring in outdoor allergens. This makes the overall air quality and atmosphere of your home more pleasant and safe for all.

There’s no denying how great the benefits of concrete are for the building of your home. You can’t afford to miss these advantages, so ask an expert now and say hello to a safer and better home.

Success KidMemes are an online sensation. Before, only a chosen few make it, as nobody knew how to use Photoshop. Now, there are meme generators available for everyone to use. Richard Dawkins first used it as an explanation of how ideas and cultural phenomenon spread. He might not have seen it developed this way, but its modern equivalent is doing what it actually intends to do.

As memes are so accessible, several companies used them as a part of their marketing campaign. Wonderful Pistachios became wildly popular with their honey badger/king cobra ads. On the other hand, it’s recommended to approach the source of the meme. There are copyright conundrums that might arise if the image is used without permission from the owner.

So, which memes have made it into mainstream advertising?

1. Y U NO Guy

Originally from a Japanese rage comic, Y U NO Guy helped Hip Chat gain a monumental amount of exposure and new customers. For just US$7,000, their fame skyrocketed because of a well-placed billboard. Moreover, as Y U NO Guy is basically a stick figure, many people related to it. You’ll definitely crack a smile while looking at it.

2. Success Kid

Nobody expected Virgin Media to come up with something like this. When they released billboards of Success Kid representing their low-cost HD cable subscription, the world suddenly fell in love. This little dude just showed they wanted their customers to react to their newest promo. It was a success, by the way.

3. Grumpy Cat

When it comes to meme success, nobody can beat Tardar Sauce, aka Grumpy Cat. She has contracts with several companies, but her first taste of mainstream attention came from an anti-drinking campaign. Her snarling expression was perfect to discourage teens from drinking after their prom.

4. What Do People Think I Do/What I Really Do

Many people suffer from negative public perception. Pessimistic as it is, Hubspot used this to show the hilarious side of marketing. Ever since, SEO agencies from Perth to Los Angeles have been using the same meme to hilariously display what they do and what people think they do.

5. Nyan Cat

Cats are infamous among Internet users for their cute, but mischievous behaviour. People just can’t get seem to get enough of them. So, when American telecom giant Sprint used them in one of their ads, the world seemed a happier place. Real cats and nyan cat were portrayed adorably using phones and doing “hooman” stuff.

Marketing can be sophisticated, witty or just relatable. More and more companies are banking on relatable, and they are attaining success. Using memes requires certain responsibilities, but these certainly produce results.

Window FramesWhat material are your window frames made of? Most people would answer aluminum, wood, or vinyl, but a growing number of people are now using fiberglass frames. Fiberglass has been around for decades, but only in recent years has it become a widespread choice for window frames.

Although many homeowners are still not aware that it is an option, installers like Salt Lake City Window Company have done much to highlight the material’s biggest advantages. These frames boast a few select benefits that make them an excellent choice for windows of all types.

1. Strong rot and warp resistance – Because of its composition, fiberglass is highly resistant to rotting, swelling, and warping. This makes it look brand new for longer, as these problems are common sources of frame damage. As an added bonus, you will enjoy better energy efficiency; warped window frames allow air to escape and enter, driving up electricity bills.

2. Great aesthetic appeal – You can add wood veneer to fiberglass, giving it the timeless appeal of wooden frames without any of the downsides. Guests will never know the difference unless you tell them. If you would prefer a different look, you can also paint fiberglass frames any color you wish, making it a highly versatile component of your home décor.

3. Strength and durability –While fiberglass is not the cheapest type of frame, its sheer durability means that it will last for many years, and it provides excellent value for money. This same strength allows it to hold large expanses of glass with ease, making it one of the best choices for huge windows.

4. Minimal expanding and contracting – Glass fibers and resin do not expand or contract much with changes in temperature, making a fiberglass frame highly consistent. This makes it excellent for locations that experience sudden weather changes, and for outdoor use in patios or al fresco areas.

Every year, you see more homes that have windows with fiberglass frames. The benefits are too good to ignore, and it is now a solid alternative to traditional options like vinyl and wood. With time, it may become the default choice for discerning homeowners.

Baking cakesWhether you plan to get cake-decorating supplies online or at a nearby store, it is important to know what the essentials are. That way, your baking experience would be nothing short of exciting, fun and tasty.

For first timers in whipping up a cake, look no further because My Little Angel – Cake Decorating & Supplies rounded up the essential cake decorating supplies you should have at home.

Cake Pans

What’s a cake without pans, right? Make sure you choose pans that are straight instead of slanted. That way, the side of your cake remains upright and you don’t have to go through the painstaking process of carving down the edges.

Parchment Paper

From cutting circles to placing it at the bottom of your pan, parchment paper does wonders to your baking experience. Consider it your new best friend in the kitchen! Just remember: Wax paper and parchment paper are different. Don’t make the mistake of putting wax paper in your oven.

Fondant Rollers

Small fondant rollers make fondant (hence its name) for décor while larger fondant rollers cover the entirety of the cake. You may have a rolling pin in the kitchen, but the handles may not be strong enough to roll the fondant as thin as needed.

Piping Bags

Cakes are all about decoration. This is where piping bags become your magical tool. Whether it is to create fancy borders, lettering or flowers, have a piping bag that’s washable because it saves you a ton of money in the long run.

Revolving Cake Stand

Everyone should enjoy ices cake regularly, so you definitely need a revolving cake stand at home. It elevates the cake from the table, making it far easier to decorate. Second, it rotates and twists, letting you have a better time reaching all sides. Get one that can accommodate different cake sizes.

Making cakes are not only therapeutic but also, fun and engaging. Have these basics ready and you will find yourself baking every single day.

New House OwnersBuying a house is a long and arduous process that can take months of paperwork, negotiations, and financial planning. But, it’ll all be worth it on settlement day, when the agent can finally hand over the keys and you step through the doors of the house for the first time as its new owners. There’s a catch though, this almost never happens.

Where to Place the Blame

The agents at speak from years of experience when they say most people have no idea what happens on settlement day. Instead of joyful euphoria, buyers end up feeling disappointed with what should be an important milestone.

Who is at fault for this tragedy? No one deserves any kind of blame if the settlement day doesn’t meet expectations, but at the same time, everyone shares a bit of guilt. The expectations set for the occasion are just so high that it would take a near perfect transition to meet them.

The agent may have sold the settlement day a bit too much, or the hype carried the buyer away; either way, it’s no one’s fault, but nobody feels good about the situation. The only way to counter the impending feeling of dissatisfaction is to adjust those lofty expectations accordingly, which is the buyer’s responsibility, since it’s the agent’s job to publicise things.

A common agent tactic is making the settlement day seem as simple as possible to keep the buyer from considering too many factors. Several things should happen on settlement day to ensure everything runs smoothly.

What to Expect on Settlement Day

First, the lender authorises the buyer’s loan money, and they pay the agent. The agent collects the payment, and adjusts the amount for taxes or reimbursements that apply. The buyer gets the title, and the Registrar General registers the transfer and home loan. Finally, both parties agree in writing that the settlement occurred, and the agent can release the keys to the buyer.

The entire process lasts a couple of hours, which isn’t very long to settle a deal, but it can be frustrating if people are ready to move in right away with their removal trucks idling out front. This happens more often than most people care to admit, and it ends up costing buyers hundreds of dollars as the removalists watch their charges rise with every second they’re not doing anything.

Don’t be a victim of this heartbreak and resist from trying to move in on settlement day. Schedule the removal specialists the day after everything is said and done. This way the buyer won’t end up paying more than they should and enjoy the feeling of a new home to its fullest.

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