Category: Home


Water Filters That Have Reverse Osmosis

Most of the people that experience drinking tap water find that it is perfect. However, the quality of the water supply is also a determinant in this case. So, if you live in a region that is not famous for having clean and drinkable tap water, then it is high time for you to get a water filter. After all, drinking from tap could actually become a health risk, and it is important for you to remain free from all such encumbrances.

There are many places across the world where the tap water is not good, and under those circumstances, drinking from the water filter should be a justified decision. Moreover, there are also a lot of potential problems that you can find with the tap water. There could be a mixture of Iron in the tap water due to the old pipes, or there could be arsenic in the tap water due to not getting it properly filtered in the initial stages.

Therefore, in order to prevent such kind of problems from happening to you, it is best for you to go for a water filter that has reverse osmosis. Reverse osmosis comes with a sediment filter that is only about 10 µm, which is more than enough to capture almost all the contaminants that you can find in a normal tap water. When you make use of this filter, you will be able to get proper water entering your body, as well as using the same quality of water for your shower and other water-related activities on a daily basis.

However, the reverse osmosis water filtration system makes use of sediments as well as the carbon pre filters. These filters will need to be changed, at least once every six months, so that they would be able to maintain their efficiency. Moreover, the membranes of reverse osmosis will need to be changed every three years or so. This is an additional cost that you need to keep in mind when you’re looking to purchase a reverse osmosis water filter.

How it works!

Apparently, the installation of the reverse osmosis water filter is a pretty tough task. You would need an expert to help you install, as it requires proper water connections from the tank, along with the inclusion of plastic casings so as to understand how dirty the filter gets within a certain period of time. This is the reason why you need to have a plumber as well as an expert for the water filtration system to ensure that water filter is properly installed.

The primary purpose of reverse osmosis water filter is to ensure that it will be able to clear any kind of junk from the water, and leave you with fresh, pure water at your disposal. If you are thinking about the cost, then yes, the cost of reverse osmosis water filter can be a lot more than the normal water filter that you use on a daily basis but it is definitely worth it.

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Which Is Better? Freelance Tutors or Tutoring Companies

Online tutoring companies are all the rage nowadays. You would be able to make use of their services from any corner of the world, making them accessible at all times. Primarily, the online tutoring companies are located in Third World countries, and offer their services at extremely low prices, making it attractive for the people living in first world countries to hire their services. Currently, if you take a tutoring service in any first world country, a cost of about $ 60-100 per hour can be easily foreseen. However, in the same context, the person from a developing country would take about $ 25-$ 30 per hour for the same amount of knowledge which is to be imparted.

So, should you go for tutoring companies? Well, as the demand continues to grow for online tutoring, a lot of tutoring companies have started to spring up. Generally, tutoring companies like Hey Tutor offer a wide variety of subjects in the form of tutoring, and the students can go for a certain package whereby they can get tutoring for all the subjects at a discount. This is extremely desirable for parents that only have a limited budget, and would want to focus on getting proper tutoring at the lowest possible price. What is also welcoming is the fact that you can get all the tutoring services under a single organization, therefore not having to search for other tutoring services all throughout the Internet.

However, the tutoring companies also have a few disadvantages. They are not able to provide a one-on-one tutoring session, as they would have to provide the tutoring services to a lot of students at the same time so that they would turn out to be profitable. Moreover, since they provide an umbrella service, they do not have the leaders of that particular subject tutoring on that subject to the student. What this means is that a lot of critical knowledge may not be passed on to the student, therefore leading to an obvious lack in knowledge about the subject.

On the other hand, going for freelance tutoring services is a wonderful way for students to get proper education on a particular subject. The costs may also be lower than a tutoring company, but at the same time, you would have to search a long time in order to find out the ideal person for the job. Moreover, hiring a freelance tutor also leads to the problem of you searching for some other tutors for other subjects that are not taught by the freelance tutor. So, although you have vast computing power of the Internet by your side, searching for quality freelance tutoring services can prove to be quite a problem.

However, the advantages of freelance tutoring include a one-on-one session with the student, leading to debunking of any kind of problems that the student may have as well as providing in-depth knowledge about that subject.


The Art Of Mold Removal

When you are attempting to remove any kind of mold from your house, it is important for you to distinguish and find out the difference between the various types of molds that you observe in that particular area. Is it simply black mold, or something which is green in color? Well, if you do diagnose the problematic mold to be black mold, then its removal will need to be done at the earliest possible opportunity.

Black mold is known to be extremely dangerous to babies, as it has been linked to respiratory bleeding disorder that is caused due to the rapid reproduction of the molds and the spewing out of spores in the air very frequently. Moreover, black mold is also linked to diseases such as asthma, bronchitis and a whole lot of other lung diseases for adults as well as growing children. For proper mold removal, home inspections will need to be done in order to find out the proper problem. One has to remember that not all the mold found in the house can be toxic, although to a regular person, it can be pretty difficult to distinguish between one another.

It is also necessary for the homeowner to take it upon himself to remove the black mold in case he is not able to find a specialist mold removal company in his area. Well, the first thing that he has to realize is that the molds are primarily caused due to exposure to moisture within that particular area in the house. Accumulation of water could be one of the primary reasons due to which there is a mold growth in your house. The first thing that needs to be done is to identify the problem area, and ensure that the water problem is fixed.

Another thing to remember before starting the removal process is that the entire area needs to be free from any type of dust. For additional protection, you could also cover up the area and seal it so that nobody will be able to come close to that area. This is due to the fact that any kind of exposure to this particular mold could end up creating respiratory diseases and ailments, and it could lead to a lot of bronchial problems in the person.

The removal process of mold is critical – click here to read more about how to remove mold yourself and how to find the best mold remover at your local stores, as the spores could easily regenerate and spread through the air, making it unavoidable for any person in close proximity to it. Therefore, while cleaning the mold area, always ensures that there is an exhaust fan which is located close to the removal area. That way, it will be able to create a negative pressure, and the entire air which contains the mold spores will go outside, and disperse in the surroundings. You would not have to worry about the mold spores remaining within the confines of your house anymore. For the next time, you need to be more careful about what the leakage and fix the problem as soon as possible.


Why You Need To Have A Proper Home Security System?

According to a recent study by a New York-based website, it has been found out that a lot of people have started making use of home security systems. It has become one of the top priority of every American household, particularly when they happen to live in a place that has diversity when it comes to the income potential of people. It is important for people to realize that the desperate population would have to resort to desperate means in order to earn their income and they might do so by robbing houses as well.

Almost 9 out of every 10 burglars have mentioned that they always seek out houses that have extremely lax security system, and they find it very easy to rob those houses without having to worry about getting caught. Having a burglar alarm system in your home creates a deterrent for the person trying to rob your house, so much so that there would be a 50% decrease of burglars trying to break into your house if they feel that you have a burglar alarm system. Home security systems are a necessity because of the fact that you might have family members in your house who are not capable of defending themselves when you are away.

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By installing a home security system, you will be able to keep your family safe and secure from these kinds of problems. Moreover, it would be a better idea for you to make use of professional services when you are installing the products, since they will be able to prevent any kind of lapses that might have happened due to inaccurate settings of the security. With a lot of people trying to find out good security installation systems, searching over the Internet will definitely help you to find out the contenders of those security systems.

When you have a proper home security system, it is not only effective in taking care of a possible burglary, but it is also a tried and tested method that will prevent any other person from breaking into your home. However, a very strong emphasis must be put on purchasing a good quality product rather than something which is cheap on the purse. The effective solution is to always ensure that you have a good brand quality security solution which will be able to work at all times. Sometimes, the wireless cameras end up consuming a lot of energy when they are running 24 hours, so you can make use of motion detection cameras in order to capture people when they are moving in your house.

To put matters into perspective, at least one in every five houses in America prefer to make use of home security solution, primarily because of the fact that they have been victims of burglary attempts in their house. They would not want to go through that situation all over again, which is why they installed a security system.


Best Fish Tank Coffee Tables For People On A Budget

There is nothing better than to have coffee and your coffee table, and have fishes swimming underneath it. With more and more people seeking out the benefit of using a coffee table that can double up as a fish tank, you would be able to incite the animal lover in you, while at the same time create a fancy product that would go extremely well with the interiors of your house. Apart from the fact that a lot of people have started seeking out good quality products that they can use in their house, it is also a fact that the fish tank coffee table can bring out the very best of interior decor for that person at minimal cost.

Apparently, the procurement and the use of the fish tank coffee table is something of a scarcity amongst people, as there are a lot less reliable stores from which they can purchase. However, there are a few products that can still double up as the best coffee table that you might have had in your house, without having to create any kind of problems.

Features associated with the fish tank coffee table:

  • Most of the fish tank coffee table that you find in the market contains about 20 gallons of water that can contain small fishes or one large shark fish that is fit for the aquarium.
  • Almost all fish tank coffee table comes with a filter, as well as gravel that can be used in order to decorate the bottom portion of the fish tank. Appropriate lighting will also be provided in order to decorate the fish tank and provide proper lighting solution for the fishes.
  • Glass construction with clear glass is almost always a certainty in these products.
  • When it comes to the incorporation of water in the fish tank coffee table, you would only find fresh water, and not anything else.

With the love that you have for fishes, you can now expand into the domain of the coffee table by having a fish tank coffee table. It provides you with a clear viewing of the fish, and therefore you would not have to worry about keeping the fish out of your site. Moreover, it looks wonderful, and with the proper lighting and decoration, it would be able to easily attract a lot of attention when you have guests over to your house.

There are appropriate slits located in the bottom of the tank so that you would be able to take the bulb out in case it ceases to function. However, do not try and put a gecko lizard or even a snake in this fish tank, as there are multiple openings, and they can easily escape and cause harassment to themselves as well as for you. It is always a necessity for you to take great care of your fishes, and when it doubles up as a coffee table, you would always have your eyes on the coffee table.

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How to Choose the Perfect Paint Color for Your Home’s Exterior

An old or outdated paint job gives visitors a bad first impression of your home. Revitalize the look of your home with a fresh coat of paint in a color perfectly matched to your neighborhood, landscape and design aesthetic. No matter whether you take the ambitious DIY route or hire a licensed professional for the project, your home’s exterior is either made or broken by your choice of paint color. If the dizzying list of potential colors has your head spinning, a few guidelines and strategies will help narrow down your options for your exterior paint color.

Collect Paint Color Ideas from Your Favorite Neighborhoods

Grab your camera and a notebook before you head off on a driving or walking tour of a neighborhood you admire. Take notes on the kinds of houses that draw you in or turn you off. Pay attention not just to the exterior color of the home but also the accompanying trim and roof colors.

Note the color of the siding as well as the trim around windows, doors, porches or shutters. At the end of your excursion, review your pictures and notes and try to identify any groups or trends. Are you more of a bright spirit with an adoration for yellow, or a subdued thinking with an eye for navy?

Include Your Landscape into Your Exterior Paint Decisions

Your home’s natural surroundings have a significant impact on the colors that suit your home. A navy blue house with royal purple trim may be well-suited for a Victorian home in a revamped downtown, but it will seem out of place in the desert landscape of the Southwest.

Instead, take cues for the natural elements around your home and in your neighborhood. Neutral, warm earth tones are best suited for southern regions defined by arid conditions while midwest ranches surrounded by woods or farmland can withstand the impact of deep evergreen or rust brown hues.

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Complement the Colors that Won’t Be Changing

Once your start your exterior painting project, you sudden realize just how many elements contribute to the curb appeal of your home’s exterior. Gutters, run offs, roofs, trim, shutters and porches are all considerations in choosing an exterior color. Though it’s possible to repaint or reinstall these additional elements, the added cost may break your budget. Instead choose an exterior color or colors that works with the permanent fixtures of your home for a cohesive design.

Choose a Color With Long-term Appeal

Strike a balance between following your instincts and considering your long-term preferences. The restored historical home down the block may look smashed with its sapphire blue siding and bright red shutters, but can you live with that on your own home for five or more years? An exterior painting project is a significant undertaking that you only want to tackle once or twice.

Likewise, don’t settle for a color simply because you feel steered towards other choices for arbitrary reasons. If you love the weathered look of souther country homes done in sunny yellows and whitewashed porches, don’t nix the idea just because you’re living in Oregon. Test your color on a section of you home, even an interior area, and live with it for a few weeks to see how you feel before committing.


Prevent Mold From Growing in Your Home

Prevent Mold in Your Home

  • Do not put carpet in your bathroom or basement.
  • Mold loves soap film so regularly clean surfaces like shower curtains, tiles, grout, and other bathroom areas with a product certified to kill mold and mildew.
  • Clean your shower floor regularly.
  • Don’t over-water houseplants.
  • Store firewood outside.
  • Check into adding mold inhibitors into paint when you buy a new can.
  • Regularly inspect carpet on concrete floors as carpet can absorb moisture.
  • Use your exhaust fan when cooking.
  • Regularly check and repair the caulking and grout in bathtubs and showers.
  • Ventilate whenever possible. If you home has a ventilation fan, use it.
  • Keep doors and windows open whenever possible.
  • Regularly clean ducts in your home’s heating and cooling systems. Remove and replace any insulation around air ducts that get wet; they cannot be adequately cleaned.
  • Vacuum all areas of your home often, preferably with a vacuum with a HEPA filter. This includes furniture and drapes as well as carpets.
  • Keep other surfaces clean with a product designed to kill household mold.
  • Cut the clutter in your house. This will improve air circulation and decrease the areas where mold can thrive.
  • Regularly clean your furnace filter. Replace it before it is completely clogged.
  • Check your roof for places water can enter and keep your eavestroughs clean. Do this often.
  • Make sure the grade of your lawn slopes away from to your home to keep water from pooling beside your home’s walls.
  • Routinely clean your home with a product designed to kill mold.
Lets get rid of mold

Control Humidity

The key factor in keeping mold from growing in your home is to control the level of humidity. Mold cannot grow without moisture, humidity is one of the biggest factors in helping white mold on wood spread.

  • Fix leaks immediately.
  • When showering turn on your exhaust fan and, if possible, open a window.
  • Vent moisture sources to the outside (dryer, dishwasher, bathroom fans, stove exhaust fan, etc.). Ensure they are not being vented into your home.
  • Use fans to circulate air.
  • Use a dehumidifier if your home’s humidity level is out of control. Close the windows when the dehumidifier is in use.
  • Turn your humidifier down if you have moisture collecting on your windows.

Indoor Humidity Levels

According to The American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers, the following indoor humidity levels should be in place in your home in relation to the outdoor temperature.

+20 F. – 35%

+10 F. – 30%

0 F. – 25%

-10 F. – 20%

-20 F. – 15%

A humidity level above 45% provides ideal conditions for mold growth and should be avoided.

To test the moisture level in your home, consider buying a hygrometer. They start at around $15 and can be found at most home improvement stores and on the Internet.

Water-Damaged Areas

Water enters homes when there is a structural weakness. Moisture can accumulate if the home isn’t ventilated enough or properly. Water damage also occurs from leaks within the house. Any areas of your home that have been subjected to water damage need to be cleaned immediately. Absorbent materials like drywall, ceiling tiles, and carpet that are moldy need to be replaced.

Mold growth can occur in just 48 hours with the proper moisture level, food source, and room-temperature conditions.

It is also important to take steps to prevent future water-damage. Prevention is usually less costly and less time consuming than cleaning up after the fact. According to Vicki Lankarge, author of “What Every Home Owner Needs To Know About Mold“, the top three sources of home water damage are burst washing machine hoses, leaks from shower tile grout, and ruptured water heaters.

By taking steps to prevent mold from growing in your house, your home and your family will be healthier for it.


Beryll Eyewear for Men

Beryll Eyewear for men was designed by an architect and the beautiful line of men’s sunglasses truly reflects the eye of a professional. The collection of Beryll Eyewear for men features frames from a various assortment of materials ideal for people from all walks of life. Select from a collection of uniquely designed eyewear ideal for the professional or the rock star all in high quality materials and made with expert workmanship.

Selecting sunglasses is a personal thing and the collection of Beryll Eyewear for men allows the wearer to select from beautifully designed choices such as the Charlton Medium Wrap Frames. Made from handmade acetate the stylish limited edition sunglasses features medium wrap black acetate frames with stylish brown tinted lens. The Beryll logo is strategically situated at the temple sides. The Charlton Medium Wrap retails for $310.

The Jimmy Semi-Wrap Frames from Beryll Eyewear for men is another very stylish pair of sunglasses for men. These are designed in hand polished rich acetate brown toned frames with brown tinted CR39 lenses. Also a limited edition style, the semi-wrap round styling is attractive and sophisticated. The Italian made sunglasses feature the Beryll logo at the temple sides. The limited edition Jimmy Semi-Wrap Frames retail for $310.

One of the most attractive pairs of sunglasses from the collection of Beryll Eyewear for men is the Colt Retro Frames. There is such beautiful coordination between the frames and lens with this design. The frames are made from hand polished rich acetate and are available in black with dark green tinted lens, or black with gray and peach gradient lens. This is a beautiful pair of glasses for fall. The limited edition design is stylized retro shaped wayfarers with metal at the front and stems and the Beryll logo at the temple sides. A must have for fall from Beryll Eyewear for men the Colt Retro Frames retail for $330. Visit the official web site for Beryll Eyewear for more styles and information.

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The Contributor has no connection to nor was paid by the brand or product described in this content.


How Do I Detect Bed Bugs

Bed bugs infestation is getting more common these days. These small insects find many hiding place in the room and crawl out during dark to bite a person. At one time or another, homeowner needs to learn about the possibility of bed bugs in the room and how to get rid of them. You must probably be thinking ‘how do I detect bed bugs‘ as you have no knowledge about the beg bugs. However the information here will not only help you identify bed bugs but will also guide you to understand whether bed bugs are crawling their way in your room!

How do I find bed bugs?

Looking out for bite marks reveals the presence of these beds bugs. Once bitten a rash similar to the one of the mosquito bite appears on the skin and is very itchy. These bites will appear mostly on the arms and legs and unlike the mosquito bites there will be more bites in a row and much itchier. A sudden check at night can also help you find bed bug. If in the dark of night you quickly get up and switch light there is a strong probably that you will spot these bed bugs.

Bed bugs are microscopic and so can be difficult to trace. If you wake up with red, itchy welts all over your body then there is immediate reason for concern. Asking a doctor would be the most surefire way to know. Another option is to purchase bed bug killer, steamer or any other product that is guaranteed to rid the bed of these critters. If a few of these products are used and there are still bugs in your bed then it is perhaps another type of species. What Else To Do To Know How Do I Detect Bed Bugs

Checking out the trails of bed bugs can also help. These insects are small and first so will sneak to their hidden places quickly but can leave behind traces of small waste and blood on bed which strongly indicates their presence.

If you feel there are chances of bed bug in your room buy a bed bug spray and use it in some corners to check. If the bed bugs are there they will crawl out of the cracks with speed this is one quick way to spot this creature. Finally a better way is to get professional help (call Mesa bed bug expert today to get professional help). Although this way to detect bed bugs will cost more but these professionals will not only thoroughly check for bed bugs but will also help eliminate them. This will definitely ease your mind of the nagging question of ‘how do I detect bed bugs‘.

Check your bedding for reddish, brown or black debris. This will be either blood or fecal matter that has escaped the bugs. One may also be able to find eggs. Another great method for finding out if their is concern for bed bugs is to trap them. If they are trapped, the problem is not solved but at least the issue is identified. This at least allows you to understand the implications and develop a plan of action based upon what you know the problem to be.


Control Summer Bugs with Insect Repellents

The average backyard contains up to 1,000 different insects. Fortunately only 10 per cent of these are destructive or harmful to man and plants. Modern weaponry includes foggers that spray clouds of gas over your yard, mosquito-zappers that electrocute them, coils that smoke them and liquids that repel them. But going green will also help deter the pests and you won’t be harming yourself or the environment.

Mosquito and Blackfly Repellents

Mosquitoes lay their eggs in winter and melting snow and excessive rain provides perfect breeding pools to cause a soar in the mosquito population. Larvae develop in 10 to 30 days. Since different species lay their eggs at different times, mosquitoes proliferate throughout the summer and fall.

More than 70 species exist in Canada and almost all use mammalian blood to produce eggs but only the female mosquito bites. Her favorite meal time is sunrise and sunset when light, heat and humidity is perfect.

The pesky blackflies are expected to reach their peak in the first two weeks in June and while their season in Southeastern Ontario lasts only about two weeks, it feels like forever.It’s difficult to recognize the bloodthirsty little beasts but if you look closely they are black and humpbacked, not sleek like a mosquito.

Blackflies make their insidious way through shirt sleeve cuffs, up pant legs, through button-holes and any other available openings. Since their bite is initially painless, it’s hard to know you’ve been bitten until the swelling.They inject a salivary secretion of anti-coagulants into their victim’s flesh to prevent clotting since clots can clog their proboscises.

Most people are aware of insect repellents and use them. The most effective ingredient used is dietyhltoluamide, commonly known as DEET. They are easily available at any pharmacy, grocery or hardware store.

Repellents with a DEET concentration of 100 per cent last for up to eight hours. The Canadian Paediatric Society recommends that repellents used on children contain no more that 10% DEET and that parents should assist children in apply the products.

Use Natural Insect Repellents and Strategies to Curb Insects

Natural insect repellents strategies, however, can lessen or eliminate the need for such harsh measures. The most important measure you can take is to eliminate standing water, thereby not giving mosquitoes a chance to breed. Change bird baths, wading pools and pet water dishes at least twice a week and more often, if you can and remove sundry items that hold water.

Natural insect repellents range from citronella and neem oil to eucalyptus and thyme. Certainly, none of them will hurt you.

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Sandflies, Earwigs and Other Pests

DEET and other repellents can also be used on sandflies, tiny midges that can crawl through standard window screens. Their bites are painless but the resulting swelling can be quite painful. Sandflies and other biting midges are strongly attracted to light so keep the lights off in your tent or cottage when you are elsewhere.

European earwigs are pests that have increased in numbers in the last few years. Experts say the growth in population may be due to a lack of natural predators.

The best way to keep the critters away is to clear front and backyards of debris, as earwigs will hide under anything. They are nocturnal feeders and hide by day in the soil and garden debris. They lay their eggs in the top two inches of soil and can be carried indoors on a child’s shoe or creep through door and window cracks.

Tomato plants (but not the tomatoes) and impatiens are disliked by earwigs but they will munch holes in most vegetable leaves, attack seedlings, carrots, beans and beets. Diatomaceous earth, the naturally-occurring remains of hard-shelled algae, comes in an abrasive powder that can be sprinkled around plants as a defence against earwigs and other soft-bodied garden pests. Diatomaceous earth can be found at most garden stores. You can also trap earwigs in a shallow container half-filled with vegetable oil. If you must use pesticides May, June and July are the months to do so.


Table Saw Buying Tips

There are many things to consider when looking for a table saw but the first you need to decide on is whether you want a portable or stationary saw. We will be going over both stationary and portable saws. Table saw is the most expensive and most important tool that you will need in your wood shop. Here is a checklist of all the features that you should consider before buying yourself a new table saw. These tips will surely help you decide the important features that you need in your table saw and the features that you don’t need so much.

Stationary Saw:

  • How wide is the right and left rip width?
  • Do you need table extensions?
  • Are outfeed extensions included or optional?
  • How easily can you read the measurement gauge?
  • How easily can you adjust the saw, height, bevel, fence, miter gauge, out feeds, etc..
  • Does it provide a dust collection port?
  • What accessories are available?
  • Is the power switch in a convenient location; can you get at it fast in case of emergency?
  • Safety features, does the guard look sturdy? Some saws even have a feature that stops the blade if it comes in contact with a finger.

Portable Saw:

  • The power is one consideration if you plan on cutting hard woods or pressure treated lumber you want a higher horse power saw.
  • Tool storage is also important do the tools store out of the way for hauling the tool around, do they lock in solid?
  • Does it come with a stand, how easily does the stand fold up?
  • Does the stand have wheels?
  • Is there a dust bag for the saw?
  • Also regard many tips from stationary saws.

New Used Or Reconditioned

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This is another option, new and reconditioned come with warranties. used are cheaper but you probably will get no guarantee. I’ve bought quite a few new and recon. tools over the years and have found that they work equally well. Always remember you get what you pay for. If you buy the cheapest model of most anything the quality will be equal to or less than the price.

A table saw is basically as good as the its blade. Make your you get a high quality blade for your table saw and you should be good to go.

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DIY Gift Ideas – Great for Valentine’s Day

As the big ‘V’ day looms closer, I’m sure many of you are beginning to worry about the perfect gift for your loved ones. Making a present for someone not only saves you money, but also shows a thoughtfulness, earning you big brownie points.


Here are a few ideas.

Scrapbook of Memories

This is especially good for those of you who are particularly sentimental, and keep things like cinema and concert tickets from dates. You would need to buy a cheap hardback plain sketch/notebook. Most craft stores or places like Paperchase sell ideal ones. Collect together photos, letters; you could even use receipts, anything you like. Arrange and stick them on the pages of the book.

Use decorated paper, buttons and feathers if you want to add some texture and colors to your scrapbook. Occasionally writing a note wouldn’t go amiss either. Don’t worry if it looks messy, that adds to the home-made look.

If you’re thinking to make something like this, it’s a good idea to begin a few weeks ahead as it is quite a project. You’ll be able to work on it slowly and often you’ll find more things to add to the book. It can be a long process, but your loved one will love how much time and effort you’ve put into it.

Personalized Mug

Pottery are great gifts because they’re things we all use everyday. It’s very easy to find and purchase a pottery paint kit (usually including a mug or tea set) from craft stores, or the internet. Although most kits are usually for children, there is nothing wrong with buying it anyway and putting your own design onto it – at least you won’t need adult supervision to use the oven!

First, draw the design on the plain mug with a pencil. It’s completely up to you what you want to put on the mug. Quotes, cute pictures, names are all great, just in case you’re stuck for ideas. When you’re finished, color in with the paint supplied by the kit. Usually the mug would need to be baked to finish. However, depending on the kit being used, complete the mug by following the instructions.

Voilà! A cute and useful gift!

Cookies in Tin

It’s always nice to be given delicious treats, why not bake some for your Valentine? Cut them into heart, boy and girl shapes. Decorate with icing and store in a seal tight tin.

Origami Gifts

There are many videos on YouTube demonstrating how to make cute origami shapes. Most are pretty simple to make and add a little extra to a valentines card. Take some time in browsing the different origami to find something unique and suitable for your loved one. A great one would be the Dollar Bill Heart, which is nice to carry around in his/her purse as a reminder of your love.

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Mixed CD

This maybe a little out-date in our ever-growing technological world for those of you who still use CD players this is a nice way to show how much you know someone. Compile a list of her favorite songs, plus a few new ones you think she might like and burn it onto a CD. Then present it to your loved one with a candle lit bath for the ultimate relaxation experience. Although bear in mind, safety first!

Love Coupon Book

A bit cheesy but guaranteed to light your partner’s face up. Just jump on the PC and customize your own “deals” like “30-minute massage.” Add something humorous and naughty, and make it personal. Print them out, cut if necessary, and staple the coupons.


Alphabet Toys for Toddlers: Educational Activities that Teach the ABCs

If parents want to encourage young children to learn the alphabet, perhaps the best way to get them to learn is through the use of toys and interactive activities. Gentle and fun exposure to educational toys will promote literacy concepts, such as letter recognition and letter sound relationships. Here are top toy recommendations for teaching children the ABCs in a way that will having them learning without even realizing it.

LeapFrog Fridge Phonics Magnetic Set

Leapfrog has created a fun, dynamic toy that teaches children to recite the alphabet, the letter names, and the letter-sound relationship through the use of song. All pieces are magnetic and hang conveniently out of the way on the refrigerator. The toy comes with a base and 26 capital letters. An expansion pack of lower case letters can be purchased to compliment the set. Additionally, the letters can be used in other Fridge Phonics Sets.

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Melissa & Doug Alphabet Train Floor Puzzle

Melissa & Doug, well-known for making durable toys of quality, put out this 10 foot long train floor puzzle. Made of thick cardboard, 20% thicker than other common cardboard puzzles, it wipes clean as easy for children to manipulate. The puzzle features both capital and lower case letters, and added bonus for children learning the complete alphabet. There are two noted concerns about this puzzle – regarding the letter U and X cars. All other letter train cars feature an animal that begins with the letter, except for “umbrella” and “fox.” The discrepancy may confuse some children.

Hooked on Phonics The Ratini Brother’s Alphabet Circus Game

This bean bag toss game adapts easily to different learning abilities. Children just beginning to learn the alphabet can play along with those who are learning advanced alphabet skills such as word play and rhyme. The game gets children moving and harnesses the energy of a young child so that they can focus. The game comes with a floor mat, three bean bags, and 52 activity cards.

Here Come the ABCs

Though not a toy, indy-pop music band has created a fabulous music CD/DVD called Here Come the ABCs. This fun and creative album teaches many alphabet concepts and the companion DVD stands on as a unique, animated educational tool. +

These top alphabet toys geared for approximately three to six year olds will provide children with a fun way to learn. Each toy focuses on a different learning style, and parents can pick the toy that best matches their child’s interests and abilities.


Buying Organic Cotton Clothes, Bedding, Towels: Are Organic Textiles Important, Or are They Just a “Green” Thing?

The cotton symbol is often perceived as a wholesome symbol. After all, what could be more natural and good than to wear soft cotton clothes? But there is a side of the cotton industry that many people are not aware of.

Growing Cotton With The Help Of Toxic Chemicals- Not An Eco Friendly Situation

The problem starts with industrialized farms mass producing a few varieties of cotton(though hundreds exist). Variety is important because each variety has its own weakness and if only one kind is grown and disease strikes or pests invade, the whole crop is lost. Farmers attempt to prevent such a loss by heavily treating crops with dangerous, cancer causing chemicals in an effort to keep pests and disease at bay. The resulting product is cotton saturated with pesticides, herbicide, fungicides, and the like. To illustrate just how heavily treated cotton crops are, consider this: Cotton crops take up only 2.4% of the world’s agricultural acreage, but use 25% of the world’s pesticides. This cotton eventually becomes clothes, blankets, and household items. And the cotton oil is often used in potato chips,crackers, and other processed foods. Raw cotton seed is often fed to livestock, affecting people indirectly who eat meat and dairy products. Then, there is the issue of direct pollution to the environment, especially since many of these chemicals are sprayed on the crops aerially. Also, farm workers (sometimes women and even children) often have health problems, as they are exposed to these chemicals excessively.

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More Chemicals Added Before Clothes Make It To The Rack- Baby Clothes No Exception

Cotton clothing often has various chemicals applied to it during production, each having its own purpose. For instance, formaldehyde is often applied to clothing that has to be shipped long distances as a mildew preventative. And an array of additional chemicals can be added during the process of clothing manufacturing to accomplish things such as shrink reduction, fire proofing, and wrinkle reduction. These chemicals can potentially cause health problems to the person wearing the affected clothing.

To Buy Organic Clothing, or Not

The consumer who chooses to buy organic cotton clothing need not worry about their clothing affecting their health in an adverse way. Organically grown cotton is not treated with dangerous pesticides and herbicides. The organic farmer implements natural disease and pest control methods such as crop rotation, mulching, weeding by hand, and using beneficial insects and plants to combat crop pests.

Making Your Clothes As Clean and Healthy as Possible

If you purchase clothes or bedding that is not organic, it is very important to wash them thoroughly before using. suggests soaking affected merchandise overnight in a tub of water containing the following mixture to reduce chemical residues and smells: 1/2 to 1 cup vinegar, 1/2 – 1 cup pickling salt, 1/4 – l cup baking soda.

Affordable, Natural, Cotton Organic Clothing

Organic clothing is often sold at high prices. However, there are some retailers that sell at more affordable prices than others. actually has a pretty extensive inventory of organic merchandise. Price comparison websites, such as , let you choose the lowest price of the particular organic item you are looking for. Also, some of your local stores may carry organic choices- for instance Target carries organic sheets. When you buy organic merchandise that is offered for a fair price, you are sending the message that there is a demand for it. And if you don’t find affordable organic choices in your favorite store, let the management know you would like to see them stock.