The View of Our Home

Last month, my wife Rose and I decided to remodel our home. We have lived in the house for about ten years. Originally, we did not want to remodel, but we had no choice. Our home was very old and falling apart. Rose and I decided that it was time for us to have a fresh start. We wanted to remodel our home within our budget. I wanted the best for my home at a quality price. Rose wanted to get wood shutters for the living room windows. She felt they would be a nice touch to the house.

I have a lot of memories tied to my home. My siblings and I were raised in it. My parents purchased it in 1985.…

Our Plantation Shutters Look So Good in Our Offices That I Think They Help Get Us Clients

I remember when miniblinds became the go-to solution for office windows. I have seen a lot of office buildings and offices since I work in an industry where every client and associate has an office somewhere. It might be an attorney in a high rise building or a client with offices in a converted home in a neighborhood. One recurring theme is miniblinds on the windows. Those or the vertical slat blinds. In our office my wife renovated using plantation shutters. They make the windows look classy. Everyone that comes in remarks about how good our windows look.

I think the style of the look of our office cinches the deal with a lot of our clients. It is like how when you go into a bank you expect to see some granite or marble and high ceilings. Oh, and lots of real wood.…

3 Ways Of Unlocking A Door Without A Keyhole

Most bedroom and bathroom doors don’t have keyholes. This means that when your child locks you outside the door you can’t easily get inside. While it’s challenging to unlock the door, this doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. To help you out here are some of the ways in which you can unlock the door.

Plastic card

While grasping the doorknob with your non-dominant hand you should push the door so that the gap between the locked door and doorframe is wide enough. You should then insert the card into the gap above the doorknob in a slightly downward angle and then wiggle the plastic card downward until you encounter the locking mechanism of the doorknob.

You should slide the plastic card against the angled portion of the metal locking mechanism and push it back out of the doorjamb. When you feel some resistance from the lock starting to give you should push the door open. You should note that you may be required to wiggle the card a little bit in order to get the right opening.

Removing the doorknob

If you have tried the above method and it fails to work you should consider removing the doorknob. Here you should locate the screws on either side of the doorknob and then use a screwdriver to remove them. To unlock the door you should manually pull the locking mechanism back into the door.

Hinge removal

If you have tried removing the doorknob and still the door doesn’t unlock you should go to the last resort-removing the hinges. You should start by determining the direction that the door swings. If it swings towards you, you should remove the door from the hinges.

If there is paint covering the hinges you should use a razor blade or box knife to remove it. You should then place the tip of the screwdriver under the lower hinge and tap it with a hammer. To push the hinge you should pin it up and out.

You should repeat the same procedure with the upper door hinge taking care that the door doesn’t fall off the hinges and on top of someone.

Conclusion

These are some of the ways in which you can unlock the door without a keyhole. You should note that if your door has a trim on it you have to first trim it in order to gain access to the locking mechanism using your plastic card.…

Adding Or Removing Thousands? – DIY Projects and the Value of a Home After DIY Home Improvement

Of course, nearly everyone as at some point tried DIY home improvement. But does it increase the potential selling value of a home after? According to interior designer Scott McAllister:

"Home improvements, their costs and their resultant profits are not a precise science. For this reason, it's hard to specifically quantify what works and what does not. For example, laminate flooring has an inferiority a popularity nosedive due to the market being flooded by so many photographic plastic options. "

McAllister continues with:

"Their cheapness has created a stigma – and even expensive options have become tarred with the same brush.

DIY projects that increase the value of a home

To raise the value of a house, you need to carry out DIY home improvement projects that will definitely withstand the test of time. For example, if you do have laminate flooring you can install vintage wooden doors.

To install wooden doors, you would need a screwdriver, a pair of thick gloves, 4-inch door-frame screws and a hammer. To remove the door from the frame, simply unscrew the hinges from the door frame.

Get that old door off

Once the hinges come off, slowly ease the door from frame itself, taking care not to damage the edges. You would want to of course, preserve the old door for use later on. Home values ​​go up when front doors are beautiful- so choose the replacement door properly.

Another interesting DIY home improvement project that can raise the value of your home is replacing worn out bathroom tiles. If the tiles are more than a decade old and you plan on selling within the next few months, now would be the opportune time to replace the tiles.

Replacing worn out tiles

The replacement of worn out bathroom tiles is a bit more difficult than the first project, Of course, the tiles in the bathroom can no longer be recovered completely intact, so make sure you can dispose of the broken tiles immediately afterwards.

Designer tiles can be put in place of the old ones. Designer tiles employ a variety of new colors and textures that will naturally emphasize the dimensions of the bathroom.

For this project you would need a few sacks for tile disposal, a large chisel or a crow bar and a mallet or an equivalent. If possible, work the tiles when they are wet as this reduces friction and lessens dust clouds during working. Drive the crowbar against the underside of the tiles and slowly work around the tiles.

Ease the tiles off the floor, making sure that none are left behind. Smooth white cement may be used to install the new designer tiles after the bathroom floor has been re-leased.

Justin Ray, an interior designer for the TV show How Not to Decorate warns people:

"A bad DIY project will always detract from the resale value. Anything that looks unprofessional, such as a badly-fitted kitchen or uneven plastering, will get buyers wondering." …

How To Pay For Home Improvements

Many home-owners at some time or another want to change some aspect of their house. This could be for a number of reasons. Sometimes it is an emergency repair such as replacing your roof or heating system, whilst other homeowners may opt to extend the living space within their home. This may mean converting a loft space, adding a garage or knocking down a wall to make an open plan space.

You may even choose to add such features as double glazing, central heating or even a conservatory which will not only help make your house more energy efficient, but could add value to your home if you do decide to sell in the future.

By increasing the value of your property, you may want to use the extra equity in your house to buy a new car, take a well-earned trip away or buy a holiday home somewhere.

So, how can you pay for those home improvements that are so unfortunately needed? One possibility which is providing to be popular is to take out a home improvement loan. This will let you to pay for all the material and work costs and allow you to repay on a monthly basis, spreading the costs out even over several months.

Before deciding on how what you will be having done, you need to work out how much you can afford before you start. For large jobs that require professional workers find a reputable and qualified person and get an estimate of work costs. For smaller jobs, such as refurbishing, make a list of what is required and find out what it will cost you. Work out how much you can afford to pay every month in repayments to show how much you can reasonably expect to borrow without getting into problems with repayments.

Before taking out any loan, it is necessary to weigh up the advantages and disadvantages of borrowing money [http://www.home-improvements-loans.org.uk/guide-to-home-improvement-loans] Will the work you are having done increase the value of your home? Is the work essential? Are you making changes for yourself or to make the house more salable? What improvements will add the most value to your home for the least cost and will also be desirable for the property market in your area.

For example, there is no point in spending £ 5000 on adding a swimming pool to your garden which will only increase the value of your home by £ 3000, because most families will not want a swimming pool due to the possible safety issues. Whereas spending £ 5000 on a new luxury kitchen and extension could add £ 10,000 to the value of your house making it more salable and more profitable.

There are several home improvement loans [http://www.home-improvements-loans.org.uk] options to consider before choosing the best way of raising finance to fund these improvements. These include secured loans, an unsecured home improvement loan or even re-mortgaging. The choice you make will depend on your personal circumstances including your credit history, how much …

Apartment Gardening – Tips For Growing Vegetables In Containers

Can you have your own vegetable garden if you live in an apartment with tight spaces? Absolutely! Growing vegetables in containers is the answer for gardening enthusiasts who do not have space for a garden in their home. Think of your balcony, window sill, patio or even a bright, sunny corner in your living room. All these are potential locations for creating your indoor vegetable garden ..

Container vegetable gardening is becoming popular not simply because it has made it possible for apartment dwellers to have their own piece of green sanctuary. Even gardeners who have an outdoor garden are also getting into container gardening for the following reasons:

a) Portability makes it easy to arrange the plants

b) Effective control over the spread of diseases across different plants.

c) Ability to personalize your little garden with a variety of containers

d) No need to repair the lawn if the plants do not work out

These are just some of the reasons that encourage garden owners to get into container gardening. It does not matter if you are having your container vegetable garden indoors or outdoors, there are some golden rules of growing vegetables in containers that will help improve your success rate in vegetable gardening.

Golden Rules for Growing Vegetables in Containers

1. Choosing a container

Before you embark on your shopping spree to purchase gardening supplies, ask yourself – what kind of vegetables do I want to plant? Being clear about what you want to plant will give you a better idea of ​​the type of containers you should be buying. If you are going for big plants, you will need bigger, deer containers that provide space for the development of strong roots.

Generally, it is recommended to use larger containers for vegetable gardening. You should take both the diameter and depth of the container into consideration. For vegetable plants to be robust and healthy, deep containers are needed as it has more room for roots to develop a strong foundation. The material which the pots and containers are made of is not as important. Plastic, terra cotta and timber planters are all suitable for growing vegetables. Just note that size and depth are more important.

If you plan to grow vegetables such as peppers, tomatoes, spinach, zucchini, lettuce and cucumbers, a 3-5 gallon container will be sufficient. Larger containers of 15 gallon will be needed for the larger plants.

2. Location of your container

The availability of sunlight is a main consideration when it comes to positioning your container vegetable plants. Ensure that your vegetable plants get sufficient sunlight if you want to have healthy plants and a good harvest. Majority of vegetable plants, particularly beans, peppers and tomatoes need a good 6 to 8 hours of sunlight daily.

The location of your containers plays an important part to the survival of your vegetable plants. Apart from sunlight, you also have to consider if the location is windy. Strong winds tend to dry up plants; since you …

Two Types of Orchids: Terrestrial and Epiphytic Orchids

Orchids are a popular house plant with over thousands of species in existence. Surprisingly, there are basically only two types of orchids, the terrestrial and the epiphytic. Each species can be classified between the two.

The main difference between these two types is where they grow. Terrestrial orchids grow in the soil on the ground, while epiphytic orchids grow on structures like trees, rocks and poles.

Many people think of orchids as showy plants that are grown in pots or inside a greenhouse, but did you know that they can also be grown in your garden, on the ground? Terrestrial orchids flourish growing in the soil, preferring their roots to be planted firmly on the earth.

Over 200 species of orchids are included among terrestrials, and many of them grow wild in the tropical areas in America. Though most orchids prefer hot, humid climates, many terrestrials actually thrive in cold weathers. Some even need the sub-freezing temperature to bloom properly. Similar to other bulb plants, these orchids become dormant during the winter before blooming again during spring.

Some terrestrial orchids can actually grow both in the soil and on structures, and these are called semi-terrestrials. A well-known orchid that is semi-terrestrial in nature is the Cymbidium. It is native to Southeast Asia, Japan and even Australia. Cymbidiums are popular among home gardeners because they are easy to grow and provide beautiful, fragrant flowers.

Typically, the orchids that people grow at home on a pot are epiphytic orchids. To properly care for this type of orchid, you need to understand how they grow naturally. Generally, these orchids grow in between tree branches where organic matter accumulates. This is where they get their nutrients to thrive properly.

To grow epiphytic orchids at home, you need to have a pot with drainage holes as well as a potting mixture that drains well. These plants need circulating air and good water drainage to flourish.

Some examples of epiphytic orchids that can be grown well in a pot include the Phalaenopsis, Cattleya, Oncidium and Vanda. All of these prefer a warm, humid climate and enjoy both the sun and shade.

Both types of orchids are similar in the fact that they grow beautiful flowers in a rainbow of colors, have wonderful fragrances, and exist in a great variety of sizes and shapes. This makes orchids an interestingly unique flower that you can grow at home and enjoy for years to come.…

Managing Bad Debts Through Consolidation Debt Loans

How will I ever save money for my retirement when I am paying so much for my credit card debt? How will I ever get back on my feet with so much debt to pay? How will I ever save money when all I earn is just enough for my mortgage, debt and food? With all this student and college loans hanging over my head, when will I ever save? With all this debt and loans hanging over my head, when will I ever get my life back and get back on my feet again? It Is Very stressful! Does It? But do not worry you are not alone! Heard of consolidation debt loans?

We are not created equal with the ability to successfully manage our finances. But your debts and finances can get the professional help of a financial manager or counselors.

What these managers and / or counselors do is to less all your debt related financial burdens and concerns. Managing your debt is a process where you can consolidate, reduce, and eventually eliminate or eradicate all your outstanding debts.

This can be done and completed through the help of a credit counselor from a debt management department of a financial institution or a debt management agency. These professionals will guide you on all your debt management needs.

Let us face it, you will not be reading this if you are managing your debt properly and efficiently.

These financial institutions that hand out these loans and credit cards do not really want you to get out of debt. And that is until you are a greyed old man! If you are drowning with unpaid bills and life is on a downhill. Get Help.

First: You have to honestly acknowledge that you have a debt problem and that you truly (in your heart and in your mind) believe that you are going to resolve and deal with your debt problem. And if you are serious about taking back your life, then it is high time to start the process.

Second: Make a calculation on how much is your total take home income (net income). Just make sure all monies that you received should be part of your calculation.

Third: Prepare an inventory of how much is the total owed. You need to make a list of every debt you have including the smallest because all your debts played a big role in determining how you will succeed in managing your debt. This list should include; the name of the financial institution, the amount, and interest they charge. Again, make sure to include all your debts.

Fourth: Make an inventory or list of all your expenses. This will take a lot of effort on your part but believe me it will be worth it. This part, you have to be accurate and accurate so it will not be a thorn later. Make a list of all the stuff at home.

Including small items such as, soap, tooth paste, bathroom tissues, …

Menu Development for a Startup Restaurant

This article is designed for an Independent restaurant startup, and not an existing proven restaurant concept, or a restaurant franchise that is providing franchise style operating systems. In designing your menu, consider why you have selected the menu items and how they relate to your service system; be it fast food, fast casual or fine dining. Ie making a Caesar salad table side does not work in a fast food restaurant. The menu and your service system are the foundation of your restaurant and must be compatible. Begin with what you personally feel would be the right menu for your concept. Do not focus only on what is practical and functional. By focusing only on the practical aspects of a menu, you will lose inspiration and creativity. Only after you have settled on what you think are the most appealing items for your menu is it time to consider their practicality.

Cost of product is a main consideration. For example, if your concept is fast-casual, then your price point will probably be in the $ 6.00 to $ 14.00 range. But since the wholesale cost of lobster or a prime cut of New York steak takes you out of the fast-casual ballpark, they would not be compatible with the pricing of your menu. Your pricing must reflect your decor and service. A high-end gourmet menu would be completely out of place in a fast food outlet, with its simple decor and speedy service.

Another consideration is the skill level of your employees. If you plan on opening a fast-food or fast-casual restaurant, you need to hire kitchen personnel which skills are commensurate with a pay scale driven by your menu price points. Conversely, a gourmet, table-side service restaurant, with higher menu price points, requires a higher level of employee skills and experience, and obviously a more appropriate pay scale.

The equipment needed for certain menu items is an important factor. The tools and equipment for a restaurant may differ from those of a construction company, but both are equally critical to getting the job done correctly. Your menu will dictate the needed equipment and its related cost. For example, do you need a grill, or a deep fat fryer? If so, then you will need to factor in the cost of a grease trap and a vented hood with fire suppression equipment. This can easily add $ 25,000 to $ 50,000 to your equipment package.

Inventory requirements are another essential factor. In designing a menu, how you determine its offers is critical to controlling your food and labor costs. Consider the number of items on the menu: the more you offer the more labor hours it takes to prep and serve each dish in a timely manner. An excess in inventory is money sitting on the shelf. And, the more menu items and ingredient inventories you have to account for, the more waste you are likely to incur. An important corollary of this – think how to wheel menu items …

Home Vegetable Garden – Planning Your Garden Year After Year

Humans tend to be creatures of habit – I know I am. So when I first started vegetable gardening, my instinct was to find a spot for my tomatoes and then plant them there year after year. However, as I later learned, this was not good for my garden. Diversity is what a garden needs – the systematic rotation of plants from different families. There is a technical term for this: “crop rotation”.

Crop rotation in a home vegetable garden requires planning the location of each planting to ensure you are not planting a vegetable from the same family of vegetables in the same location in a three year cycle. Crop rotation is an important part of an organic gardening strategy, helping gardeners:

* Protect against pests and diseases

Vegetables in the same plant family are often susceptible to the same pests and diseases; crop rotation helps protect vegetables by making the location less hospitable to these organisms. By introducing a vegetable in a different family, the pests and diseases die off due to lack of a food source.

* Guard against nutrient depletion

Vegetables in different families have different nutrient requirements. By rotating plant families, you are less likely to deplete the soil of individual nutrients. Some vegetables (like beans and peas), actually add nitrogen to the soil. So rotating beans and peas with vegetables that require a lot of nitrogen can be an effective strategy for protecting soil fertility.

* Improve soil structure

Healthy soil contains a lot of organic material which is home to a host of beneficial microbes. These microbes play an important role in maintaining good soil structure, making it easier for vegetables to grow as roots have an easier time penetrating the soil. Crop rotation protects these microbes by helping the soil retain its organic matter.

To be successful with a crop rotation program, gardeners need to keep records from year to year in order to track the location of each planting within the vegetable garden. Without detailed records, it would be difficult to manage a crop rotation program. For those who do not enjoy record keeping, you can use a garden planner application which handles the tracking for you and places plants in the optimal location considering crop rotation requirements.…

My House and Garden

A Fondue Party is ideal for an informal evening with friends. This popular dish comes from Switzerland where villagers in the mountains had to rely on local produce, like cheese, wine and home baked bread during the long winter month. The name fondue comes from the French word "fondre", which means to melt or blend. Fondue meaning melted cheese in wine. You will need a chafing dish over a spirit stove and long fondue forks. Place the heated fondue dish on the spirit stove in the center of your table and hand out a fork to all your guests. Everyone spears a piece of bread onto the long fork, dips it into the fondue, turns it once or twice before eating it. In no time the ice will be broken and the party in full swing with everyone trying not to drop the bread form the fork. The custom is that anyone who looses a piece of bread in the dish must supply a bottle of wine. Even the experts find it hard, especially after a few glasses of Kirsch. Fondue Parties in Switzerland are a lot of fun with its warm atmosphere.

Lots of other delicious variations exist now, eg Fondue Bourgignonne made with Fillet Steak accompanied with Mustard, Tatar, Bearnaise, Tomato or Curry sauce and so on.

Swiss Cheese Fondue:

Ideally a rustic wine and small glasses of Kirsch and a crispy salad are served with this. Suitable for Vegetarians.

350g (12oz) Emmenthal Cheese, grated

350g (12oz) Gruyère Cheese, grated

45cl (3/4 pint) dry white wine

3 tablespoons of Kirsch

3-4 flat teaspoons of corn starch

grated nutmeg to taste

1 clove of garlic

pepper to taste

crusty firm bread, like French bread, cut into bite size pieces

rub the fondue pan with garlic

pour in the wine and heat very gently over the cooker

when hot add a small amount of cheese at a time, stirring continuously

bring it gently to bubbling point

add the kirsch mixed with the corn starch

let it simmer for another 3 minutes, stirring continuously

now place it on your fondue stand with a lit flame and serve

Tip: corn starch is a white type thickening flour and not the yellow maize variety …

Beautiful Kitchen Decor That is Also Practical

Here are a few simple tips that will help you keep your kitchen functional as well as beautiful.

Be creative with glass displays. If you have glass pane cabinets, display some pretty wineglasses on the second shelf and keep the use everyday items on the bottom. You can also install extra racks that will allow you to hang some of those beautiful wineglasses. You should consider changing the decorative items in your cabinet with the changing season. You should also change the other decorations in your kitchen with the changing seasons. This includes your apron, potholders, tea towels, and other decorative items. You can have holly and mistletoe hanging around Christmas, fake bats and pumpkins around Halloween, hearts and flowers for Valentine's Day, etc …

Keep the top of your refrigerator clean. A modest display of books, especially cookbooks can be quite attractive. When you keep them at an arm's reach it increases the amount of tasty treasures that will make an appearance. Using decorative bookends makes your space looks beautiful and will also ensure that your books are not falling all over the place.

When it comes to your counter top, there are two types of people. Some people like to keep their counter top completely clear and then other people like to see everything that they own gadget wise out and ready for action. You should sit in the middle of these two types of people. If you use something almost everyday, such as a coffee pot or your food processor every night with supper, then keep it out. On the other hand if your new state of the art blender is only being used once a week or only for the holidays find a home for it within your cabinet space hidden below the scenes. Remember though that items that you have on top of your counter can also be clustered into categories that are relative to their function. If in the morning you make toast and coffee, and then have them plugged into the same outlets as they will make lovely companions to each other. If you're a mother that cooks every night, your food processor and electric can opener would make another great cluster with the same outlet.

Plants are a very positive addition to your kitchen. If you have a window in your kitchen and the available counter space, add a bit of life with a plant. If you can not remember to water them, set an alarm on your cell phone once a week that says to water plants. Everyone has a cell phone now a day and uses the alarm or calendar features on them quite frequently. A plant does not only look beautiful, but it cleans the air of the pollution and gives you oxygen in the atmosphere.

A kitchen rug can be a great solution for a kitchen that has damaged or worn out floors. These rugs can also help keep someone from slipping on the floor when it is …