3 Ways to Make Your Home More Comfortable This Summer  

After a truly brutal winter, you’ve earned a lengthy respite from heavy snowfall and frigid weather. For the next three months, you intend to enjoy summertime’s warm weather and long sunny days to the fullest. Putting away your heavy sweaters and down coats and taking your T-shirts and shorts out of storage is something you look forward to all year. In addition to bringing an abundance of beautiful weather, summertime also provides homeowners with the perfect opportunity to spruce up their residences. If you’re eager to make your home a more comfortable place this summer, consider the following tips.

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Have Your Central AC Unit Serviced

The sweltering heat associated with the summer months can often prove overpowering. If your home isn’t properly cooled, you and your family are at risk for exhaustion, fatigue and heatstroke. When looking for ways to keep your residence consistently cool, a reliable central air conditioner can help tremendously. Unfortunately, if not annually serviced and allowed to fall into disrepair, central AC units lose their ability to evenly cool homes. In order to save money on cooling costs and hefty repairs, make a point of having your central air conditioner serviced at the beginning of each summer. An experienced heating and cooling professional will be able to thoroughly inspect your unit, break up any clogs and replace any damaged parts in a timely manner. Paying the small fee for an annual service call ultimately stands to save you a substantial sum in the long run.

Remodel Your Master Bathroom

Because of all the swimming and outdoor exercise that takes place throughout the summer, master bathrooms see a lot more foot traffic than usual. All the sweating and physical activity associated with summertime invariably lead to an increased number of showers and face-washes. Since your master bathroom is soon going to be a hive of activity, summer is the perfect time to remodel the space. A brand new sink, shower and toilet can help breathe new life into a room your family spends time in every day.

Invest in an Above-Ground Pool

Nothing beats a refreshing dip in the pool on a balmy summer day. Since in-ground pools can take months to complete and cost upwards of $20,000, you can save a substantial amount of time and money by investing in an above-ground pool. High-quality above-ground pools generally don’t cost more than $1,000 and are very easy to put together. Additionally, once fall rolls around, these pools can be disassembled and stored in a garage, basement or attic.

With winter getting longer and more untenable with each passing year, it’s important that people make the most of the increasingly short summer season. Fortunately, the gorgeous weather ensures that people have ample opportunities to get their homes in shape. If you’re determined to get your home in shape for the summer season, have your central air conditioner serviced, invest in an above-ground pool and spruce up your master bathroom.

3 Tips for Staving Off Clogged Bathroom Drains

As much as you love your family, you can’t stand sharing a master bath with them. In addition to leaving the cap off the toothpaste, forgetting to turn off faucets and failing to put away their respective cosmetics, they clog the drains on a regular basis. These days, you find yourself dealing with clogged sink and shower drains at least twice a week. To make matters worse, whenever you attempt to discuss the cause of the clogs, your nearest and dearest act completely mystified. At this point, there’s no question that if you’re going to deal with this problem, you’ll be going it alone. Fortunately, the following tips will ensure that you have an easy time of it.

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Be Mindful of What Goes Down the Drains

Although fallen hair is the most common cause of clogged bathroom drains, it’s far from the only culprit. For example, liquid-based waste that contains dust, dirt and other clogging agents has the powerto stop up a drain every bit as effectively as hair clumps. With this in mind, abstain from dumping carpet shampooer contents and water from mop buckets down your sink or shower drains. If you absolutely must dispose of the aforementioned forms of waste indoors, flushing them down a toilet bit-by-bit is the best option.

Install a Drain Filter in Your Shower

Even without realizing it, everyone sheds a fair amount of hair in the shower. This is why bathtub and shower drains are prime spots for stubborn clogs. Luckily, installing a drain filter, or “hair catcher,” in your tub or shower will go a long way in decreasing the frequency with which clogging occurs. In addition to being very affordable – many drain filters can be purchased for under $10 – these handy attachments are incredibly easy to install. As the name implies, drain filters serve to filter out a substantial amount of fallen hair. Having to manually dispose of all the hair that accumulates outside the drain is the sole downside to this arrangement.

Have the Drains Periodically Cleaned by a Plumber

No matter how diligent you are in your efforts, the occasional clog is inevitable. Preventing every clogging agent from finding its way down your drains is virtually impossible. Some stray hairs and bound to make their way down your sink and shower drains, and over time, they’ll pile up. For this reason, you’ll need to enlist the draining cleaning services of a professional plumber. With the aid of state-of-the-art drain-cleaning tools, a reliable plumber will have your drains sparkly clean and free of clogging agents in no time.

Clogged drains are the bane of bathrooms across the globe. Furthermore, they cause no shortage of frustration to homeowners and renters alike. However, with a little diligence and ingenuity, you can make clogged drains a thing of the past in your home’s bathrooms. When looking for ways to rid yourself of clogged drains once and for all, remember to be mindful of what goes down your drains, invest in a quality drain filter and commit to periodic cleanings.

Things to Consider While Hiring a Professional Junk Removal Service

In the present electronic age of junk consumption and disposal, where the latest technology is expanding fast exponentially and where people are moving through the amenities like televisions, phones and cars as quick as the text conversions, there is no wonder why the junk removal industry has become a dense and highly occupied business. Converting the waste into the resource works as a big responsibility, which all the junk removal Chicago businesses should consider. But the truth is that these companies don’t do this job for the sake of the profit and the bottom line.

While the junk removal business rewards the vehicles, which dispose of the material fast and with the lowest cost, this sets the foundation in the sand with the sign, which can only be read as “take me to the nearby landfill”.

Choosing the junk removal company:

Selecting the right junk removal Boston Company is not only about the price, but what the company does with the collected junk and how the company operates is equally important questions to be asked. Though the junk removal services are mainly needed on a temporary basis, but these professionals can offer a much required service to the offices and the multi-family and single family dwellings. Often people end up collecting different types of miscellaneous items all around the years as they don’t have any idea what to do with the items that they don’t need any longer. In this situation, calling a professional junk removal Boston company can be a great help.

Things to consider while choosing a junk removal company

  • Knowing the price: The junk removal companies, mainly charge by the volume or by weight and the legitimate companies will be able to offer the proof of this. The volume priced services are easy to choose as you will be check how much junk is loaded on the truck. But the weight based services will offer you with a weight on the site.
  • Integrity: Check whether the junk removal Chicago business that you are planning to choose is trusted by the local community and established or not. The popular social media platforms and business listing websites can work like good indicators in this case as this way you will be able to find how the business is doing and what the response of the local people is. In case you find that a company has a negative rating and remarks, then it is better to avoid that company.

The Solar Systems for Better Environment Sustainability

Environment manageability stays one of the prime concerns today and its not without reasons. The present environment corruption has legitimately created a caution among individuals (over the globe) who are leaving no stone unturned to guarantee that they take the right foot forward to defer the inexorable decimation of the planet—seeds of which have been sown by us.

Continue reading The Solar Systems for Better Environment Sustainability

Unusual Accommodation to Give Your B&B a Quirky Touch

Running a hotel or B&B can be a challenging business. With so much accommodation on offer, it is crucial to give guests a reason to choose you over a competitor. The location of your premises, the facilities you offer and the levels of service that you provide will help attract visitors. But to really make yourself stand out from the crowd, think about adding some more unusual accommodation options.

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Treat your guests to something different

Holidaymakers are constantly looking for new experiences to try to make their leisure time more memorable. Different types of activities, new cultural experiences and fresh perspectives on food and drink can be very appealing. However, one of the biggest new trends is that holidaymakers are seeking to push the boundaries with new types of accommodation. Lodgings in every kind of structure, from martello towers to converted double decker buses, are proving more popular than ever. Giving your holiday accommodation a facelift by installing a shepherd hut can make your business extremely appealing to potential clients.

Comfortable and cosy

Camping offers a great of flexibility, with no need to be out of the hotel room at a certain time for it to be cleaned, and no set dining schedule. Added to this that many campsites are set in stunning locations surrounded by spectacular natural wonders, it’s easy to see why it remains a firm favourite. However, some people are put off by the lack of home comforts, worrying that no cooking facilities or a leaky tent will spoil their holiday. But glamping, or glamorous camping, is an increasingly popular choice for couples and families. Giving all the versatility of camping but in more luxurious surroundings, this type of holiday has a broad appeal. Cotswold Shepherd Huts are a great option for those considering a glamping holiday. These quirky little huts have enormous charm and are the perfect combination of rustic and romantic caravan living. More comfortable than a tent, they can be kitted out with beds and even stoves to provide warm, cosy accommodation.

A practical solution

Not only do they add a quirky, distinctive touch to your accommodation options, but huts from companies such as cotswoldshepherdshuts.co.uk can be a practical addition too. They allow you cater for a larger number of guests without having to make significant building alterations to your existing premises and since they are on wheels, planning permission is not required. Not only does this help you to make the most of your available space but also to maximise your revenue, especially during busy periods. In addition, many visitors are attracted by the relative simplicity of this type of accommodation, preferring a rustic holiday experience that does not create too much additional work for you.

Cute, quirky and packed full of rustic charm, a Cotswold Shepherd Hut can not only attract extra visitors to your business by giving you a unique selling point but also help to boost your revenue.

Creating your unique loft apartment

Loft living remains a popular choice for city dwellers. They offer an amazing space that you can use to bring in your own style and character. It’s important with a loft apartment that you choose the accessories and furniture wisely or it could end up feeling soulless. There are plenty of options available that will help to create a homely environment.

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Where to start

When you first move into a loft apartment you are generally provided with a large open space. This is often one of the advantages of loft living and what attracts buyers to the properties. The buildings themselves are often grand old industrial properties that have some amazing features.

The majority have an open plan living space, maybe with sectioned off areas for the kitchen, bedrooms and bathrooms. Sometimes this can result in a minimalist approach to interior design, which can give it a very flat appearance. However, you don’t have to keep things simple and the open space can be used as creatively as you wish.

Be creative

Rather than feeling like you don’t want to add too much to your apartment, it actually gives you the opportunity to be as imaginative as you want to be. You can use the space exactly to match your lifestyle and there really are no limits to what you can achieve. The space and height can accommodate a wide range of colours, styles and designs, with even the boldest of shades not being out of reach. The space provides you with the chance to incorporate unique or unusual pieces, such as a statement chaise lounge or some reproduction designer furniture.

Define the space

With open plan layouts the space can often blend into one if you’re not careful with how you separate it. If you want to create different areas for living, dining or working there are ways in which you can define the use of an individual part of the room. You can use furniture or accessories, such as rugs, to create different areas. For example, with almost 14% of the workforce now working from home, you might want to use a bookcase or screen to section off a space you use solely as an office. You can then add some contemporary office furniture, such as those available from pash-living.co.uk.

Use the features

Often loft apartments will include original features, for example brickwork or piping. Rather than covering this up you can make a feature out of it and integrate it into the overall interior design. This could be achieved by adding in some funky lighting or painting it a bold colour.

Within a loft space you should use the large walls and high ceilings to your advantage, rather than allowing them to make the room feel cold. You can install large lights that hang low and fill the walls with art to compact the area.

By planning the design and layout of your loft apartment, you can create a space that works for you and reflects your character.

Food for the Summer

As the summer draws near, thoughts will be turning to holidays, warmer weather and being outdoors. It also means thinking about the sort of food we eat, and in the summer this invariably means barbecues or other outdoor eating as well as trying to eat more healthily in preparation for summer holidays.

Food for the Summer

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Seasonal Summer Produce

The best sorts of food to eat in the summer are foods that are in season, as there is nothing better than eating food when it is fresh and at its best. BBC Good Food has produced a calendar, so you can easily see the foods that are in season in the summer and therefore the best things to eat. Seasonal vegetables include beetroot, asparagus, courgette and spinach, while the best fruits to eat at this time of year include strawberries, raspberries, gooseberries, rhubarb and tomatoes. Luckily, in the UK most of the meat and fish that is eaten will be available all year round.

Savoury Food Ideas

The beginning of the summer generally means getting out the BBQ ready for the start of the BBQ season. This is a great opportunity for cooking meat and fish outdoors and serving them with some of the seasonal vegetables. However, it is always wise to be aware of the safety issues regarding cooking outdoors. The Food Standards Agency has published some guidance about how to enjoy your BBQ safely, particularly with regards to the storage, handling and cooking of raw meat and fish.

The safest way to use the BBQ for cooking is to partially cook the meat using a conventional oven or grill and then put it on the BBQ at the end to finish the cooking process and add flavour. Steak, in particular, is great on the BBQ, as are traditional favourites such as burgers and sausages. Serve them all with salads made with seasonal vegetables, or cook vegetables such as asparagus and aubergine on the BBQ for a smoky flavour. Whatever you are cooking, make sure you prepare it well using good kitchen knives such as those available from Cilantro Cooks.

Sweet Treats

If you still have room for dessert, then there are some great options using seasonal fruit. One of the best ways to eat raspberries and strawberries is in an Eton Mess. This dessert is made with meringue, the fruit and large amounts of whipped cream. If you are making the meringue yourself, then using a hand mixer will be a lifesaver. Whip up gooseberries or rhubarb with cream to make rhubarb or gooseberry fool, or alternatively use fruit and/or seasonal vegetables to make great-tasting summer juices and smoothies.

Hopefully, this has provided some useful tips about food that is in season during the summer months, as well as some ideas of what to do with it. This will enable you to make some healthy dishes that not only taste great but will work well whether you are entertaining a crowd or just feeding your own family.

Top 6 Household Hazards for Cats

It’s not a secret that our homes nowadays are packed with various potentially hazardous things, ranging from toxic and poisonous substances to numerous electrical equipment, which might put your pet, especially a puppy or a kitten, at great risk. In different shelters, which offer cats for adoption it is possible to find those poor animals who became victims of their owner’s careless attitude to them. If you are aware of these threats our little friends are exposed to, you will do your best to avoid different unpleasant situations.

  • People food. Strange, though it may seem, but food people are accustomed to eat can be dangerous for cats. Products with xylitol such as chewing gum can seriously threaten the health of an animal. It is forbidden to give such product as chocolate to your pet because it can lead to diarrhea, vomiting and panting, and sometimes even seizures and tremors. It’s also better to avoid raisins or grapes as cats can easily choke with these fruits.
  • Medications. There’s no point going on and on about the evident thing that different pills and drugs are dangerous and must be kept out of reach both of children and pets. Cats can easily pick up a tablet (painkillers or antidepressants) dropped or left unattended and the consequences might be terrible.
  • Plants. Once you have decided to keep a pet at home, you should know that such innocuous for humans plans as rhododendron, lilies, schefflera or azalea can cause harm to your kitten or an adult cat because they are toxic and affect animals’ kidneys and liver.
  • Household Cleaners. Toxic even to human beings, household cleaners need to be dealt with very carefully and with all precautions. A lot of detergents, bleaches and disinfectants can result in serious gastrointestinal disorder and poison your pet. Especially when it comes to treated toilet water. Of course, it is convenient to keeping an automatic cleanser to keep your toilet clean and smell of roses, but it can be deadly if your cat drinks it. It is possible to avoid this problem by keeping the lid down or choosing other methods of sanitation.
  • Tinsel and Thread – the first image that come to mind thinking about kittens, is the one playing with a clew. It’s true, that cats enjoy string games and has fun pouncing and catching this seducing string, however, if your kitten happens to swallow some thread, it might cause serious intestinal damage require surgery to remove it.
  • Insecticides. Various pests and unwelcome insects are often guests of home animals in attempts to get rid of invasion of fleas, lice, ticks, etc resort to modern insecticides promising the owners to forget about this problem for good. You should take into account that before applying any of these sprays or ointments on the animal, it is worth consulting your pet’s vet.

All of these possible hazards are true not only for cats and kittens, but also for dogs and puppies, especially unexperienced and trusting puppies. So, before you decide to call the seller to adopt a dog or a cat, consider all the possible dangers to avoid problems.

Creative Office Design Ideas from Google Offices around the World

Office design has become such a big deal in the business world. Many companies as well as their staff grow tired of the boring and drab cubicles and bland office designs. Creative office environments not only make for happy employees but also make for creative employees. Some of the biggest organizations in the world are creating unique working environments to boost morale and create a fun place to spend your 9-5. Google is not only a multi-billion dollar business, but they provide these types of environments for their employees!

Amsterdam Office

Google has taken quite a bit of inspiration from the great outdoors with this Dutch inspired office space. Lawn chairs that surround a small caravan with plush carpet created to look like grass. Imagine stepping into your caravan office for an important conference call. Bright lights that open up the room along with ceiling panels that have been created to appear like stroopwafels, completely this innovative office space and bring a whole new meaning to the word creative.

New York City Office

The Google offices in New York City are known for their amusement park designed office space fully decked out with fire hydrants, graffiti, and subway gates. So it should come as no surprise that some individual offices spaces have been turned into New York-style apartments. An apartment with all of the amenities and even some extra perks. An electronic drum kit, a refrigerator, television, all created with the latest style of New York décor. Every office space at Google’s New York City office is designed to appeal to ever who inhabits it. That is 2.9 million square feet of complete 100% originality and modern design.

London Office

Every office has a break room but not quite like the one that was created for the staff at Google’s London offices. This break room has no tables and no chairs, but it wall-to-wall sofas, even the walls themselves are sofas. Plush, green, 70’s-style sofas with throw pillows where staff members can bring a book or their mobiles and stretch out and relax. This area definitely gives a new meaning to “getting away from your desk.” Staff members have plenty of room to stretch out and take a little snooze of they so desire. It is the perfect creation to help employees relax and unwind.

Conclusion

Many studies have shown that when you give your employees a creative work space, they are three times more productive. Drab office spaces do nothing for employees as they grow bored and unmotivated. Everyone should take the step that Google did in creating office environments that increase morale and productivity.

The sofa-filled break room at the Google office in London is a prime example of what can be accomplished with office design with Saracen Interiors. If you think a brighter and more creative office space would boost your business, update your current office design to something magical.

 

Fresh Versus Refrigerated: Are Fresh Foods Better Than Refrigerated Or Vice Versa

For many years, we have been conditioned to believe that fresh food is healthier and generally better for us, so given a choice, we should always choose the fresh option. In recent years though, we are realising that might not necessarily be the case.

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Supermarkets have noticed the demand, and there is now much more space devoted to freezers and frozen food than there was even ten years ago. Consumers are driving the change for more frozen food and demanding more choice. Convenience is still important and there has been massive improvement in the quality of ready meals, not to mention choice.

No Additives

The one big advantage of freezing food over other ways of preserving it is there are no additives.

There are some who argue that frozen food can be even fresher than fresh food, because fresh food is loaded on to lorries and transported for several hours to its destination, while many foods such as fruit or fish can be frozen at source and are left for much shorter periods of time before reaching the consumer. Fresh food can see sensitive nutrients and vitamins lost during transportation.

Getting the most from fresh food before it turns is not always possible, so we are left with the conundrum of freezing, and not eating something fresh, or throwing it away, and not eating it at all. Waste is one of the biggest food issues of our time and any way of reducing the amount of food discarded it must be considered seriously. Buying and using frozen food allows us to use only what we need, which is great news for your wallet as well as for the environment.

More Choice

Using frozen food allows us a much greater selection of food and turns ‘seasonal’ produce into something that is available year round. Looking at consumer demand again, freezing is more environmentally friendly than using greenhouses to ‘force’ fruit out of season. Storing frozen food is easy if you have the right equipment, and specialist retailers such as 247cateringsupplies.co.uk can help with freezers or other catering equipment.

The British Frozen Food Federation has some great tips on storing and defrosting frozen food, which is important to get right, especially where meat or poultry is concerned so that all harmful bacteria is killed. There are however other ways of preserving food and keeping it fresh without freezing, according to the Telegraph.

A Question Of Taste

Some still harbour the stigma that frozen food does not taste as good as fresh, which seems to come from the texture of defrosted produce. This can be avoided by steering clear of very simple recipes, and using seasoning to add in a bit of flavour.

Weighing up everything together, the nutritional value, the lack of preservatives, the cost and value for money, it seems that frozen, or at least refrigerated, food can be considered better than fresh food that has not been preserved.