Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Energy Efficient Home Improvements

Rising energy costs affect every homeowner. If you are planning a home improvement project, it's important to look at ways to incorporate energy efficient changes as well as merely cosmetic ones. The money you invest today can quickly pay for itself with savings on monthly utility costs, and on your mortgage as well.

Of course, it takes money to save money, and energy efficient home improvements do require a certain amount of cash outlay. Even if you don't have the budget on hand, there are options available to you. If you are planning on renewing or refinancing your mortgage, talk to your bank about borrowing a little extra to invest in making your home more energy wise. Energy efficient home improvements will immediately lower your monthly energy bills, and the interest on home equity loans and home mortgages is usually tax deductible.

Energy Efficient Mortgages

Another good option is to consider an Energy Efficient Mortgage. Owning a car involves real costs like maintenance and operating expenses; the same holds true for a home. Rising utility expenses must be factored into the costs of owning a home. An Energy Efficient Mortgage (EEM) can increase your comfort and save you money whether you are buying, selling, refinancing or remodeling your home. These plans can be applied to most home mortgages, and provide special benefits to borrowers who are buying energy efficient homes or are planning to install energy efficient improvements. Homeowners with lower utility bills have more money in their pocket at the end of each month, and are able to allocate a larger portion of their income to housing expenses.

There are many benefits to financing your energy efficient home improvements through an EEM:

* Qualifying for a larger loan amount allows you to purchase a better, more energy efficient home.
* You can finance your cost-effective energy saving measures as part of your mortgage.
* Older homes can be improved and updated to become more comfortable and efficient
* Stretch your debt-to-income qualifying ratio with a loan for energy-efficient homes.
* Increase your overall buying power.

Other Financing Options

Many utility providers and energy-related businesses are now offering loans and incentives for property owners to install energy efficient heating and air conditioning systems, insulation, windows and other energy efficiency improvements.

Further, utility companies are beginning to offer a range of improvements to help customers enjoy greater efficiency. In the United States, the Edison Electric Institute (EEI) offers a list of member company programs that offer efficiency services to homeowners, businesses and industrial plants.

More energy efficient services and ideas are available a number of websites, including the National Energy Affordability and Accessibility Project (NEAPP) site.

If you're thinking of renovating, make energy efficient home improvements your first priority. Your monthly savings will quickly make up for the initial building costs, and you'll be helping to preserve our priceless energy resources.

About The Author
Barbara Williams writes for several online magazines, including and

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Sunday, February 24, 2008

ViVid Bathroom Vanity Lighting The Most Inexpensive Way Of Improving Your Bathrooms Decor

Because the bathroom vanity is used the most in the daytime, allowing natural sunlight will help in saving money on your energy bills. If your bathroom design is built with an outside wall then chances are you have a small window and have natural light already. To add more light you can add a bathroom skylight or a high cluster window. Another way is to enlarge the small side window. Direct sunlight is generally bluish white and the benefits are that the light reflects off surfaces that are in the bathroom. A bathroom design which has indirect sunlight will pick up the colors of the bathroom tiles or bathroom vanity. Although sunlight is great the problem may arise that on glossy or textured surfaces you will get glare. You can control the sunlight and the surface glare problem by several means. Using fixed or movable diffuse panels like window blinds or window coverings on special window shutters will help in reducing the scatter of the direct sunlight. On the outside you can use the benefits of sunshades or awnings that will cut sunlight altogether.

Artificial bathroom vanity lighting

There are twice other basic artificial bathroom lighting sources that your bathroom vanity can use. First there are the incandescent lights. They are small, bright, and generate heat as well. An example would be recessed lighting, surface mount and suspended types. The other is the fluorescent bathroom light fixtures which emit very little heat but look more cumbersome because of the ballast that is needed to run them. Generally bathroom lighting which ever style you use should provide relatively uniform with no shadows lighting over the entire bathroom decor.

Bathroom vanity Lighting Tips.

· Try avoiding glare with exposed light bulbs especially eye level.

· To make a bathroom decor seem larger, use soft even lighting with light color schemes.

· Low bathroom ceilings will do best with a flat light color or the use of recessed lighting fixtures.

· High ceilings give you the choice of using larger suspended bathroom light fixtures that will enhance the room volume.

· Small light sources create a sharp shadow where as the large light sources give more of the diffused shadows.

· The color of the bathroom lighting should flow with the bathroom décor colors and not clash against them.

· Bright lights will stimulate the bathroom whereas soft ones will have a calming effect.

· Using light warm colors will create a cheerful feel whereas the light cool colors are restless.

· Light levels that are low and the use of somber colors will make the bathroom depressing.

About The Author
Daryl plaza is the owner of a website that is designed with resources and reviews that will help you with ideas for your bathrooms décor

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Garage Door Opener Safety

Automatic garage door openers are such a convenience that they're practically standard in most garages today. Once upon a time, you could get rain soaked while you got out of your car to open the garage door to park. This modern day convenience has eliminated this scene from our landscape.

But along with the convenience, there are some issues to be aware of concerning your safety and security. If your home includes elderly folks or young children, some older garage doors can pose a risk. If your home is child free, you still need to concern yourself with any neighbor kids that you could be held liable for if an accident were to occur.

Newer overhead roll up garage doors feature pinch resistant or anti pinch panels. Without this feature small fingers could get injured if stuck in the gap between panels while the door is closing.

Garage doors and openers for the home are required to be compliant with Underwriters Laboratories spec 325, and have been since 1993. The UL325 spells out guidelines for a few other mechanisms like gates with automatic self closing equipment - but those are not required to meet UL325 like garage door openers are.

If you are thinking of selling your house, and you have an older garage door or opener, it might not meet UL325 specifications, and it will show up on the home inspection. Given the minimal cost of door openers, it might be a good idea to replace an older garage door opener before making contact with an agent. That will be one less obstacle to closing your home sale when the time comes.

Some of the main UL325 specifications are obvious and should be a good indicator of an garage door openers adherence to the spec. An electronic eye at the base of the door automatically cause the opener to reverses during the close cycle if object or person breaks the beam. A fragile person could be hit on the head by a closing door without this feature.

In some circumstances, an object can obstruct a door from closing even without interrupting the electronic beam. UL325 compliant door openers will automatically reverse if they sense excessive load on the closing mechanism, indicating an obstacle. This prevents the door from crushing down on an obstacle until something breaks.

To conclude, safety and security of a garage door are important considerations, not to mention possible realestate transaction liability. It might be more convenient to replace older doors and openers ahead of time. It's not expensive, and it keeps family and others safe.

About The Author
Scott Hares writes for A free informational resource for anyone considering a new roll up overhead garage door.

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Wrought Iron Coffee Tables: Made Out Of Wrought Iron?

If you own real wrought iron coffee tables then you are one lucky son of a gun. Most of the people who buy "wrought iron" are actually purchasing what is really only worked iron. This metal tends to look a lot like wrought but in fact it is far from it. Our definition of "wrought" iron has changed a lot over the years. There was a time when it was a very particularly treated metal now we seem to give the term away for free. If the metal is hammered at all in any way we want to call it wrought iron. But is it really?

The vast majority of companies out there that are making things like wrought iron coffee tables are really only using mild steel. They can get the same kind of look from the metal by working it a certain way. The composition of the metal is really very different indeed though. These days the look of wrought metal can be accomplished without the use of a forge! Technology!

Real wrought iron coffee tables will have that rougher surface, the surface of real ferrous metals whereas steel often is smooth. The smooth look just isn't the same and that is why many furniture makers are starting to roughen up the outside of the furniture pieces. This lends more the real wrought iron look. Underneath it is still a much smoother and more solid metal but who cares if you can't see it?

The fact of the matter is that wrought iron coffee tables are absolutely glorious. The color and the finish are perfect for any room of your home. Just make sure that you know the score before you buy them because you don't want to get taken for a ride. Mild steel tables will be much less costly than actual wrought iron ones. So know your stuff when you walk into any store and make sure that the salesperson knows you know it too. That way he or she will be much less likely to take advantage of you.

About The Author
Tony Dunk has worked in a furniture workshop for more than 12 years. He has worked on numerous pieces of wrought iron furniture and has enough knowledge to give you his quick 3-step evaluation of the metal as well as his insights on the most popular pieces that has gone through his hands. This is made available to the public via his wrought iron furniture website,

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Friday, February 15, 2008

Curio Cabinets: Beauty, Grace, and Sophistication

Nothing is as marvelous and inventive as a well made cabinets. Some cabinets have a better reputation and a better purpose than other cabinets. I like having a cabinet that is functional and beautiful at the same time. This is not always easily accomplished. I know that I have a ton of those knick knacks that are forever popular. I store them in number of the curio cabinets that I have in my home. Of course, some of these beauties are more useful than others; some are better constructed than others.

How do you find the perfect curio cabinet? Well, that answer is not always an easy one. For instance, some curio cabinets are antique and cost a small fortune although they may not look like they should be worth that much. Other times, you can get newer models of curio cabinets that are relatively cheap, but look like they should cost a small fortune. Obviously, I prefer the latter. I want a cheap cabinet that looks like I spent a lot of money on it.

Just because it is cheap does not I want it to fall apart. When I want something cheap I want something that is still durable and functional. Lower price does not equate to falling apart. I want something that will last and last and last. I do not think anyone wants to buy something that will fall apart no matter the cost.

You can get curio cabinets at almost any retail store, department store, and often you can get lucky and find them at secondhand stores and rummage sales. There are so many of these beauties that it is easy to find them almost anywhere you go. Thrift stores are a great way to save money and get the best product for your needs. They are great for home and office; I even have a curio cabinet in my camper. That's right, no matter where you want to add a few extra collectibles, a curio cabinet can make that space all the better.

Curio cabinets are a great weekend project for that do-it-yourselfer as well. Never before has something been so easy to create than one of these wonderful cabinets. You can get free patterns via the Internet and often you can get them sent to your e-mail box at no charge. You can get fancy ones; you can get plain ones. Whatever you want, you can get with curio cabinets. All you have to do is open your eyes to the endless possibilities offered with each cabinet.

They serve a useful purpose either being decorative or plain. You get a great deal regardless of the price you spend. Curio cabinets just seem to get more beautiful as time goes on. These wonderful creations are amazing and brighten our lives with their beauty, grace, and ultimate sophistication.

About The Author
Delbert has been a co-author of many cabinet making books such as “Cabinet Making Magic”. For more than 14 years, he had taught workshop classes at his local community high school. At, Delbert will take you through a step by step guide on how to make an ideal, space saving, and inexpensive cabinet that is right for your home.

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Thursday, February 14, 2008

Products Of Champion Sunrooms

Champion sunroom provides you the strongest and most durable patio rooms. They prepare the vinyl sidings in such a way that it can go well with any color combination, thickness and design of the gutters, shutters, doors and windows. The double framed window panes are filled with argon gas and the doors have surface that is stainable for enhanced insulation. The major Champion products include the patio room or enclosure, windows, doors, vinyl siding, and awning.

Champion sunroom furniture items have its unique set of products that includes doors, windows, vinyl siding, and patio rooms and enclosures. The champion sunroom is the ideal place to relax and enjoy the sight of surrounding landscape. They allow you to bring outside environment inside and enjoy it within the comfort of inside coziness. It forms the perfect place for children to enjoy, and for family member to get together for cups of steaming coffee. It brings you close to nature as you watch and enjoy the surrounding landscape through the glass enclosed area. Depending on the landscape and your taste, the sunrooms can be designed in various forms including cathedral, straight, curved and conservatory sunroom. But to make the place be as comfortable as you want, you need to fill the room with the appropriate furniture items.

The all season vinyl patio by Champion has been in great demand. They provide year-round comfort, allowing you to enjoy the changing seasons within indoor coziness. Champion makes use of quality products that lasts for a longer period of time. The patio rooms are efficient thermally due to 6" heavy duty aluminum framework encased with vinyl. By combining the two, Champion provides you the strongest and most durable patio rooms. The windows are double paneled with Low-E standard filled with argon gas. This insulates the room well and reduces task of maintenance.

The vinyl rooms consist of thermally broken roof frames that are well insulated. They are provided with I-Beams and have R-30 insulating capability. You can select from a range of lightweight polystyrene frames measuring 4" – 6". The powerful header bears the whole load of the room and fits itself well according to the pitch of the roof. The knee panel consists of insulation value of R-30. They can be easily cleaned and help to obstruct wear and tear. The posts of aluminum measure 6" and provide strength to the walls. The center post hides the wiring and reveals only the switches. The doors and windows will be provided with tracks that are recessed to avoid the entry of air for smooth movement. The doors have moisture lock technology with modern handles.

Vinyl Siding Champion Sunroom

The vinyl sidings make your room appear as if it is made of wood and not just plastic. The shadow line of about ¾" gives the true feel of a wood finish, making the exterior of the sunroom appear beautiful. It is of superior quality with premium locking system. It can withstand impact due to its .046" thickness. The vinyl sidings are so prepared that it can go well with any color combination, thickness and design of the gutters, shutters, doors and windows.

The edges of the sidings are concealed with the help of a J-channel that measures ¾" and is preformed. It obstructs the wind from entering through the edges. They are placed with proper 4" corner posts that have the same color as that of the sidings. The foundation of the siding is made from a steel starter that goes round the whole perimeter of the sunroom. The Undersill trim is placed beneath the window foundation to lend a complete look to the sidings. The vinyl sidings are available in various shades of white, blue mist, slate, sandstone, classic linen, cobblestone, clay, khaki, tan, almond, and wheat.

Champion Windows And Doors

The Champion windows are provided with lifetime guarantee scheme. They have double-frame filled with argon gas and are well insulated. This technology helps to keep your room cool during summers and warm in winters and obstructs the harmful rays of the sun. They have earned the seal of good housekeeping for enhanced quality. The sashes have double hung technology to help in easy cleaning. The wool piles help to insulate the room properly.

They are made up of cent percent vinyl construction, the frames of which are enhanced with foams. The windows are styles differently like double-hung, casement, picture windows, double casement, garden windows, hopper windows and awnings. The Champion doors are available in over 6,000 designs; you can select from a range of fiberglass or steel to make the door. The fiberglass have surface that is stainable and offers better insulation. It prevents dents and when compared to wood, it is more durable and has greater strength. The steel doors meet the required energy codes stated by the state and have polyurethane foam that makes the door completely insulated. You can hire a local sunroom contractor for fixing the pieces to make the sunroom of your dreams.

Another important Champion product is the awning. The retractable siesta sol awnings provide you with a shady place during hot summers. They obstruct the harmful rays of the sun from entering the sunroom. Special cassette shells protect these awnings. They are provided with double cabled aluminum arms and are coated with PVC. Champion sunroom provides for you an inexhaustible range of selection for sunroom windows, doors, patio rooms, vinyl siding, awnings and enclosures.

About The Author
Andrew Caxton contributes adding content to . A website with tips on Champion patio rooms at

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Wednesday, February 13, 2008

There's No Negative In My Program - Part 2

Well you know about the young hero who saved his brother, but that was just the beginning of the incredible feats of these young men.

His younger brother arrived at the hospital with a broken back. The doctors told him he would never be able to compete again.

The interviewer asked the young man, "What did it feel like when the doctors told you you'd never be able to ride again?"

Without a second thought he replied, "I don't think I really heard what they said." "There's no negative in my program."

When I heard that I couldn't believe it.

Here's a champion athlete with a broken back and his only comment is "There's no negative in my program."


I wish I could think like that.

Was he in denial, was he crazy, no way.

Instead of cursing circumstance, crying poor me, he set a goal and never looked back.

As soon as he was able he began 4 hours a day of rehabilitation.

When commenting on the pain he said, "My only focus was on what I needed to do to remove the pain."

Low and behold after 16 months of:

Being 100 % focused on his goal
Believing it was impossible to fail.

The two brothers are rodeo stars again.

All because "There is no negative in their programs."

Imagine what you could achieve with just half the determination of these modern day cowboys.

Maybe Willie Nelson knows what he's talking about when he sings "My heroes have always been cowboys."

Wishing You Success,


About The Author
Copyright © John Colanzi. John publishes the "Street Smart Marketing". You can get a free subscription by visiting: If you'd like to see how John uses this strategy to make money in network marketing visit:


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lighting Fixtures - Increase Your Home's Value

Your home is probably the biggest investment you will ever make with your money which is why it is essential for you to buy lighting fixtures that will complement the design and décor of your home. Those home improvement super stores offering lighting solutions for your home at discount prices will almost never carry the line of lighting fixtures that best accessorize your space. Replacing authentic light fixtures with brand new lighting from one of the super stores may actually decrease the resale value of your home. However, buying quality made light fixtures that match one another and the décor of your home can actually increase the resale value. Before opting to go with the home improvement fixtures, why not browse our extensive collection of lighting fixtures and find the perfect ones to make both your home and wallet happy!

Of course you still may be wondering why to invest in quality light fixtures when so many other investments loom? Is considering buying Tiffany lamps or other high quality light fixtures a sound decision? Well, if you are thinking about selling your home then the answer is a sound ‘yes!’. Lighting fixtures, such as chandeliers, play a prominent role in determining how much a prospective buyer is willing to pay for a home. While plain or inexpensive light fixtures and lamps may not subtract from the resale value, they will definitely not add to it. A coordinated lighting scheme with the wall sconces, lamps, pendants, and decorative lighting all matching in design and finish may very well increase the resale value of your home. Throw in a nice crystal chandelier or some quality Tiffany style lamps, and the difference can really be astounding. We carry more lighting fixtures than can possibly be mentioned in an array of styles and prices to suit your every need and help you get the most out of your resale value.

One of the most important things to remember when thinking of lighting fixtures as investments is that you can enjoy them as well. These are not stocks and bonds that you can just look at and imagine all the nice things you could be doing if the investment pays off. With quality lighting fixtures, you are enjoying the investment the entire time. When you see guests admiring how the wall sconces complement your other light fixtures or how the entire décor seems unified by your lighting choices, that is when you realize how investing in light fixtures produce very real and tangible benefits for you and your home. Our collection of high quality lighting fixtures is diverse enough to accommodate any taste or budget.

The final thing to consider when making a decision about the lighting fixtures in your house is how much you truly enjoy being home and being surrounded by an environment that is warm and comforting. The home should always be considered a sanctuary for the homeowner and investing in quality lighting fixtures is a means of ensuring that your house is always a warm and welcoming place. A home that only has purely functional and economical lighting fixtures will never have the same quality and appeal of a home where all of the light fixtures match and contribute to the overall décor of the residence. We have the diverse selection of lighting fixtures you need to make certain that your home has the quality accents and illumination to make the place a true sanctuary against the madness of the outside world.

Investing in high quality ceiling light fixtures and lamps can have a dramatic impact upon the resale value of your home. Quality light fixtures will also add pleasure to your experiences within the home both when entertaining and when simply spending time alone. Although the home improvement super stores will definitely have an assortment of lighting fixtures to suit your budget, they cannot compare with the selection of quality lighting fixtures we offer! Stop wasting time searching for a cheap lighting solution and start searching for the answers you crave by looking through our vast collection of lighting fixtures offered at affordable prices!

About The Author
Pamela Tice is the owner of numerous lighting and home decor websites including Her store offers a complete selection of trendy Table Lamps and faboulous Home Lighting ranging in styles such a Mission, Contemporary, Traditional and Tiffany lamps.

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Sunday, February 10, 2008

25 Tips and Tricks for an Organized Move

Worried because you're moving soon? This really doesn't have to be a stressful, chaotic time. Here are some tips to help you achieve a successful, organized move.

1. USE A MOVING CHECKLIST. Make yourself a moving checklist outlining everything that needs to be done before, and after, your move.

2. LEAVE IT BEHIND. Avoid moving anything you don't really need. It is expensive, time-consuming, and physically unnecessary to move things you won't be using. If you don't use it now, you most likely won't use it later.

3. GET RID OF CLUTTER. Dispose of broken tools, old toys, old clothing and other items that you no longer need, before you move. Give usable items to charity or hold a garage sale.

4. DON'T SKIMP ON YOUR MOVING SERVICE. Choose an experienced moving firm with an established reputation for good service and reliability. Choosing someone that is unreliable or inexperienced will waste more time and money than you can imagine.

5. ENLIST ANY HELP YOU CAN GET. You will get a lot more done, with some family members and friends helping you pack and/or unpack. If your children are old enough, they should be helping too.

6. BOX IT. Get boxes in assorted sizes. Be sure they're clean, in good condition and have covers so they can be closed and sealed with tape. Start collecting them from your local merchants, or purchase them from your moving company. Liquor boxes are excellent. They are sturdy and contain dividers making them ideal for packing glasses, goblets, vases, etc.--but make sure these boxes have lids. By the way, an easy way to store boxes so they do not take up storage space is to open both ends and flatten them out. Cartons can be resealed with tape as you use them.

7. USE THE A-B-C SYSTEM. Everything you pack does not have to be unpacked the first day in your new home. If it contains essential items, mark it PRIORITY A. If the contents are important, but not crucial, mark the box PRIORITY B. If the box contains out of season items, holiday items and other things you won't need right away, mark the box PRIORITY C. Then, unpack in A, B, C order.

8. WRAP IT. You will need plenty of wrapping paper and heavy- duty tape. Anything wrapped in newsprint will most likely be soiled from the ink and will require cleaning after unpacking. Movers use unprinted newsprint. For items you prefer to keep clean, you can purchase this packing paper from your mover. Kraft paper, tissue paper and shock- resistant corrugated paper make excellent wrapping materials and may be purchased at most major department stores, craft stores or your mover. These papers also make excellent cushioning and lining material.

9. MARK IT. Felt pens are ideal for marking boxes with information such as its contents, destination room, fragile or this side up.

10. LABEL IT. As you're packing, place removable, colored, circle stickers on your boxes to easily distinguish kitchen items, from bedroom items, from bathroom items, etc. Use a different color for each room. If necessary, make a master list so you'll know what is in each box. If you can go to your new home ahead of time, you may wish to stick a corresponding colored sticker on the door, or door frame, of the room that the box will be delivered to.

11. LIGHTEN UP. Cartons can be handled easier if they do not exceed 50 lbs., fully packed. Keep this in mind when you're packing.

12. ROOM BY ROOM. Pack on a room-by-room basis, keeping the contents of each room in separate boxes. This will eliminate confusion and save time when you're unpacking.

13. PACK EARLY. Even if you only pack two boxes a day, in thirty days you will have packed sixty boxes. Start in areas where the goods are not in frequent use such as the cellar, attic, garage, etc.

14. ORDER ADDRESS LABELS. Order address labels before you move into your new home. They will be great to have on hand when you need to indicate a change of address on anything. Leave a few behind with the people who move into your old home or apartment so they can forward anything that gets delivered to them for you. Give them a few bucks to cover any postage costs.

15. MAKE A SURVIVAL KIT. Make a survival kit for your first night in your new home. This should include items that will get you through the night if it's too late to unpack or the movers didn't show up. Helpful items to include might be: non-perishable food, can opener, paper plates, plastic utensils, bottled water, a flashlight, a few towels, sheets, toiletries, a blanket, toilet paper, pen/paper, a few small games or magazines and a change of clothes for everyone.

16. HAVE SOMEONE WATCH THE KIDS. If you have children, especially young children, it might be a good idea to have someone babysit them while you are doing anything that involves your move, such as packing, unpacking, etc. Your kids won't be interrupting your progress and you'll accomplish more.

17. USE THE ONE ROOM RULE. Set up ONE room in your new home as quickly as possible. This way, you'll have a quiet retreat, free of boxes. You and your family will then have a place to go when you need a break from all of the unpacking activities.

18. MAKE IT PET SAFE. If you have pets, be sure you have a plan for when the movers arrive. Perhaps keep your cats in the bathroom with the litter box, or put your dogs in a fenced in yard. Also, take care to do what you can so your pets feel comfortable in your new home. Bring their favorite toys, give them attention, and don't leave them alone for long periods of time for the first few days.

19. MAKE THE FIRST NIGHT SPECIAL. Make the first night in your new home as special as possible. It can be take-out Chinese food, or pizza, but you may sweeten the evening with flowers, candles and music. It will really make a big difference and will help you to unwind and de-stress.

20. DEVISE A PLAN. Before you begin unpacking randomly, sit down with your family. Discuss a plan, including where things will go, who is responsible for what, etc. It will help things run smoothly.

21. HAVE A TOOL KIT ON HAND. One of the most important things to have on hand when you're setting up your new home is a basic toolbox that includes basic tools and hardware, such as a hammer, screwdrivers, nails, hooks, etc.

22. FUNCTION BEFORE FORM. It is best to first arrange your furniture, and then unpack accessories and personal items.

23. GET READY FOR BED. As soon as the bedroom furniture is delivered, set it up and put the sheets on the bed. You'll be grateful that everything is ready for sleeping later on tonight when you're really tired.

24. LET EVERYONE KNOW. Inform everyone that you've moved with simple postcards, or e-mail for those family members who can receive it.

25. GET ACQUAINTED. Once you arrive at your new home, schedule some get acquainted days on your calendar. This is a great time to figure out where the supermarket, bank, post office, etc. are and will give you a chance to get familiar with your area. If there is a tourist bureau in town, stop by and see what events and opportunities your town will be offering.

About The Author
Want to get organized? Get your FREE Get Organized Now! Idea-Pak, filled with tips and ideas to help you organize your home, your office and your life, at the Get Organized Now! Web site.

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Friday, February 08, 2008

Decorating Tips: How To Make Windows The Focal Point Of Your Décor

Windows are such an important part of any room, that it's amazing the number of times we ignore their many possibilities for creating or complementing a room's entire mood and theme. They are the source of light, air and sunshine, which are direct and integral sources of our feelings of comfort. Therefore, the task of how to dress them should become a focal point.

Even if the windows themselves are not attractive, some sort of treatment on them (if only to disguise them) will change their appearance, but even more importantly will beautify the entire room. In this way, windows can greatly influence a room. They can be the focal point of an entire scheme in which you build the room around them because of a fabulous view, or just because the window itself is impressive.

Alternatively, you may choose to let them blend into the overall theme, because a piece of artwork is of specific interest and so needs to stand out. If you have a small living space or office, you may decide to keep things simple and neutral to maximize the room's dimensions.

Sometimes, however, even this rule must be ignored, because you may want to maximize the feeling of intimacy within the room.

According to Yasmin Siboldi, Manager Visual Merchandising at Blinds To Go, the country's leading manufacturer and retailer of custom made blinds and shades, it is best to begin, as with all décor choices, thinking of what you need with regards to function.

"Window treatments have so many variations, that they will probably be some of the most challenging, but also the most interesting decisions you will make about the look of your room," Siboldi said.

But finally, she says, the one issue that has no bearing on needs, is simply aesthetics. That is to say the "need" to create a mood, a theme, a way of beautifying the appearance of a room, even if the treatment is unnecessary.

"Once you have determined the mood and theme you want to create for your room, selecting a window treatment can be easy," Siboldi added. "Just remember decorating is supposed to be enjoyable and creative, so there really is no wrong answers. What's important is that you created a look that you are pleased with."

For more home décor and window covering ideas, visit a Blinds To Go superstore (1-800-blinds-7 for store locations) or its Web site at

About The Author
News Canada provides a wide selection of current, ready-to-use copyright free news stories and ideas for Television, Print, Radio, and the Web.
News Canada is a niche service in public relations, offering access to print, radio, television, and now the Internet media, with ready-to-use, editorial "fill" items. Monitoring and analysis are two more of our primary services. The service supplies access to the national media for marketers in the private, the public, and the not-for-profit sectors. Your corporate and product news, consumer tips and information are packaged in a variety of ready-to-use formats and are made available to every Canadian media organization including weekly and daily newspapers, cable and commercial television stations, radio stations, as well as the Web sites Canadians visit most often. Visit News Canada and learn more about the NC services.

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Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Adhesives Provide 'Nail Power' Without the Nails

Homeowners are finding that adhesives are indispensable when it comes to do-it-yourself projects around the home. Adhesives add stability and strength to most projects and offer an easy way to make projects "stick."

In fact, professional contractors say using the right adhesives can prevent a lot of costly maintenance down the line. And, a degree isn't needed to select the right adhesive. All it takes is a quick trip to the local hardware store and a brief introduction to the adhesives aisle. Most adhesives are self-explanatory, and the packaging gives detailed directions on what kinds of materials the adhesive works with best.

The makers of Nail Power offer these tips for deciding which adhesives will meet your needs:

Once you get familiar with adhesives, you will find that there are adhesives for practically all jobs around the home, from basic home projects and repairs to heavy-duty construction needs, which can require a bond stronger than wood itself. Certain adhesives can also be used on wet or frozen lumber.

For those "strong as nails" projects like putting up drywall or paneling, there are adhesives engineered to eliminate nail pops and reduce nailing up to 50 percent.

A tub surround adhesive can provide quick adhesion to reduce extended and complicated bracing. Although it provides a strong bond, the solvent-free adhesive will not damage the plastic panels, and maintains resistance to water, heat and steam.

There is also a water-resistant adhesive specifically designed for vinyl and rubber cove bases. The adhesive prevents vinyl from curling, holding the material in place.

What about that mirror in the bedroom that's been leaning against the wall since you moved in? There is an easy-to-use mirror mastic adhesive that can permanently mount a mirror to wood, drywall or painted surfaces. Now, isn't it great to get the "full view" in the mirror?

There's not much Nail Power adhesives won't stick to. If you want to learn more about the kinds of adhesives that can help with your "stickiest" DIY home projects, visit

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Friday, February 01, 2008

Funky, Fun Garden Plants

I have a love for funky, fun and unique garden plants. Here's one to try. It's called Sea Holly, and it's actually in the thistle family.

Sea Holly is a perennial garden plant, which means you plant it once and it comes up year after year, somewhat depending on your climate.

This plant never did fail to bring attention and comments from people seeing my garden. It grows about 3-4 feet high, very branchy and the branches are a brilliant electric blue color. It's stunning!

The only drawback to this lovely plant, in the fall you must cut it to the ground and burn or compost the plant. Do not let it go longer than that, casting it seeds or you'll soon discover it's family trait of being in the thistle family, if you know what I mean. The following spring, it'll come back again to it's beauty.

It is an easy plant to grow and does best with full sun, or as much sun as is available to you. I live in the Pacific Northwest, U.S.A. so we get a lot of rain and fairly mild summers and yet it seems to be enough for this plant.

You can search for Sea Holly seeds in seed catalogs or sometimes you can find it in some nurserys. An internet search would surely find you a source for this lovely plant.

I thought I'd let you know about one of the coolest, funky plants for outdoors I've ever run across. It's called Evening Scented Stock, it is NOT the common stock, however.

This is an annual plant, that needs to be sown early spring, directly into the soil where it is to bloom and grow. I recommend planting it nearby windows and doors, porches, etc. This plant really doesn't look like much in and of itself, it's not a pretty plant per se..but when about 5:00 PM rolls around watch it do its stuff! This plant has a VERY powerful fragrance similar to hyacynths or lilacs. At the gentlest breeze it sends a waft of fragrance to die for. This is why it's so excellent to plant near a window, door or pathway. When you open up your screen in the evening, this will scent your entire house.

One place that I have found the seeds for this rare plant is at Fragrant Path, PO Box 328, Fort Calhoun, NE 68023 They were about $1. a packet but the price may have gone up. Please write and ask them. Enjoy!

Here's another one to try. This one is called Autumn Crocus.

In this case you can tell a lot by it's name. You generally purchase it as a bulb, which are usually quite large. It does return year after year without needing to re-plant it.

In the spring it shoots up a lot of foliage, this is preparing the plant for it's autumn blooms, be sure to just leave this alone. Come about June or so, this foliage starts looking like it's dying, again just leave it be.

In late August/early September, when most of the flowers are past their prime and the garden is starting to look sparse, out comes the Autumn Crocus, with their beautiful lilac colored blooms. They bloom for quite a long time when few things are blooming. A fun plant, give it a try!

This one is an annual (only lives 1 growing season) plant called Love Lies Bleeding. It's as strange as it's name.

It is very easy to grow. You just simply direct seed it in the soil (full sun preferably) where it is to grow in the spring. It's height seems to vary greatly. I've seen it be as small as about 2 feet high, and reach up to 6 or 7 feet high. It's "flowers" are long, burgandy colored ropes that hang. It is simply stunning. Always gets attention! It will usually re-seed itself so you'll get new plants the following year without doing anything.

It's best to try to find this seed in an unusual type seed catalog. It is in the amaranth family.

Here's the last one. Ever tried the hellebore family? There are many varieties. They are perennial which means they come back year after year. These are best planted in shady areas, but where they will get sun in the winter, like under leafed trees or something of that nature.

What is so unusual about hellebores is that they bloom somewhere between Dec. and March. There are very few plants that do that! One variety is called a Christmas Rose. It's quite striking to see flowers in the midst sometimes of snow.

These plants usually must be puchased at a nursery. Check out your local nursery for this wonderful family of plants.

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Valerie Garner - Get a series of no cost traffic builders that work to get traffic to your website, plus a few ideas for earning income too. Many unique resources you'll love!

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