Easily Forgotten Aspects of Buying a House

October 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on Easily Forgotten Aspects of Buying a House 

Once the search for a house begins, there are many details to look at that are different than looking for an apartment. Between loans, location, pricing, insurance and everything else, a lot can be misleading or not thought through while looking to buy. Luckily the process is not as difficult as long as steps and considerations are not left out when getting everything squared away.

While many will want to start out looking at houses, the smartest first step is to go to the bank to get details on loans. The monthly payment and interest rate are the most important things to ask about. It is very feasible to purchase a nice house in most regions for less than what rent costs, but there are other considerations where pricing is considered. In general, it is a good idea to go for a lower amount to account for the additional costs that come with purchasing property.

Additional costs to rent each month will be insurance and taxes. While taxes do not necessarily count as a monthly expensive, the high amount may want to be divided among the months in order to make it less painful during tax season. Insurance is also high, in general ranging around two hundred dollars a month. Depending on what insurance is required by the zoning or needed due to weather or location circumstances, it may be a good idea to get quotes beforehand before the house is purchased so it does not cause bankruptcy down the road. The last monthly expense to include is for regular maintenance of the house. Not living in a rental property means it costs money when a sink is clogged, and so it is important to get a house without plumbing or electrical issues.

Although it may seem like bigger is better, the location is the most important aspect to consider when house hunting. Picking an area that does not suffer from crime problems or weather disasters can make the residents feel worry free. Also being able to go to favorite places faster makes it that much more of a bonus to choosing a close location, or choosing a distant location if solitude is necessary.

Along with a new house come new decorations. Even though much of the furniture can be used from the previous residence, it is often new house owners want new furniture and appliances that match. One idea for design is to use wall mirrors to make rooms feel larger. Round wall mirrors can especially make any room feel larger and more relaxing.

Careful planning and research can make home buying a fun and rewarding experience, or even a surprising and horrible experience if not done.

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Preparing Your Home For Your New Baby’s Arrival

October 6, 2011 by · Comments Off on Preparing Your Home For Your New Baby’s Arrival 

Having your first baby will be the most exciting and life changing experience of your life. Being prepared when you bring your newborn home from the hospital will be extremely important. You will want everything to be as simple and easy as possible, and having all the staples your baby will need can relieve you from a lot of extra stress. Aside from a nursery or space for your baby to sleep, you will need a long list of clothing and supplies not only for your child but also for yourself. Being completely prepared will calm your nerves when bringing home your first baby.

The first and most important thing will be an appropriate car seat to bring your newborn home in. Get things off to a good start immediately by understanding the laws of your particular state when it comes to baby and child traveling. There will be a number of baby car seats to choose from, so you will want to make sure that it at least meets all the safety standards and requirements before purchasing. The best and safest place for your car seat is in the back middle section with the seat facing the back.

Once you arrive home, a safe place for your baby to sleep will be priority. If you are lucky to have the space, a nursery designated just for your child is ideal. If this is not possible a crib, cradle, or basinet that also meets safety standards is perfect. Your newborn will do very few things early on, being comfortable when he or she sleeps will be important. Have all the essentials for your nursery or crib including things like baby receiving blankets, fleece throws and sheets. Of course, soft toys and stuffed animals are nice, but these are not items that are essential to a newborn.

There will be a number of other supplies that will be essential for the new baby, as well as new parents. Aside from baby receiving blankets and fleece throws, there are a long list of crucial items you will want to have prepared. You can never have too many disposable diapers. Other important diaper items will be baby wipes, washcloths, plastic lined garbage pails and bags for soiled diapers, and the obvious changes of clothes. New moms will want to be prepared with bottles, nipples, formula or breast pumps. No matter how you decide to feed your baby, sometimes things don’t always work out as planned, and you will want to be prepared.

All of these ideas are your basic standard supplies to get your new baby home, comfortable and fed. There are of course other supplies that will be important such as strollers, or baby Bjorn’s. This list will help you get started and allow you to get your new baby home without any extra stress. Starting a new family can be nerve-racking and scary, but it will also be the most joyous time of your life.

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Park Recreation and Activity Ideas

July 20, 2011 by · Comments Off on Park Recreation and Activity Ideas 

For small and large city governments, establishing healthy community relationships helps foster community trust and happiness. Most city governments spend some of their budget on community activities for its resident. Common activities include hosting community festivals, providing sporting equipment for youth sports and providing clean and safe park grounds. City governments estimate several costs when sponsoring these community activities, including maintenance, landscaping, lighting, and miscellaneous costs, such as bleachers and park equipment. However, some community leaders may be seeking new activities to sponsor at a local park. If you’re tired of the same activities year after year, consider some of the following:

1. Host a small festival at one of your local parks. Summer time provides a great opportunity for hosting themed-festivals, such as a pie baking, fruit-themed or even celebrity-based festival that pays tribute to food or a person. In order to help offset the costs, community leaders can consider lending business a booth to distribute their products, charging each business owner a nominal fee to rent the booth.

2. Provide a fireworks show for residents. Parks provide ample room for families and friends to come out and enjoy a July 4th celebration. Allow families to bring their own BBQ grills to cook their own food before the fireworks show. Consider having performers, such as belly dancers, comedians and singers perform during the cookout and before the firework show. As with the small festivals, consider charging a set fee for individuals to off set the maintenance and clean up costs.

3. Host an outdoor sports camp for kids. Sports camps allow recreational leaders to provide several physical activities for kids who want to learn new sports and activities. A sports camp provides the perfect opportunity for communities to grant children with extra curricular activities during the summer. Recreational leaders can create a camp itinerary to include hosting one sport per week while asking local high school and middle school coaches to participate as sports camp teachers.

4. Host an Easter egg hunt at one of your parks. During the Christian holiday, families can enjoy an Easter egg hunt at one of your parks. This activity is perfect for parks with large tress and tall grass areas that serve as perfect hiding spots for eggs. Consider having a barbeque before the Easter egg hunt to help generate a bigger turn out.

Remember, community activities vary on your budget and park space available. However, you can always get creative in order to save money while still providing activities for the community. For example, instead of purchasing stationary bleacher seats, purchase portable bleachers to transport seating to other parks. Do not forget, building a healthy relationship with your community requires both creativity and smart financing.

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Living in Hawaii

February 4, 2011 by · Comments Off on Living in Hawaii 

Living in Hawaii is a dream that can become a reality for you! Who wouldn’t want to live in Hawaii and have a life filled with beautiful weather, wonderful people and weekends spent lounging on the beach? While Hawaii is a tourist destination for people throughout the United States and Asia, it’s also a great place to live and work. It is home to many large corporations, who are always looking for talented employees willing to relocate off the mainland and into Hawaii.

If you have dreamt about living in Hawaii, now is a great time to make the move. Real estate is at its lowest prices in decades, meaning that it’s more affordable than ever to purchase a home or condo on one of Hawaii’s popular islands. In fact, some people are even making a living out of purchasing property in Hawaii and selling it at a significant profit.

The reason that many people can do this is because there are many homes and condo in Hawaii which have gone into foreclosure in the past few years. These bank-owned homes can be purchased from a lender at a fraction of their value because of this reason. In many cases, these homes have not been lived in for some time and are in need of repairs before they can be lived in again. However, a person willing to put in the time and effort to refurbish these homes can fix them up and sell them for a nice profit.

So why not take a chance on your Hawaiian dream? There are plenty of cheap apartments to live in while you start refurbishing and selling the bargain homes you have bought. It’s a good idea to do the work yourself so you can be assured of its quality and save money. That means that now is the right time to move to Hawaii and start flipping those homes.

How to Grow Catnip

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on How to Grow Catnip 

Catnip is a herb that is part of the mint family and it comes with a powerful fragrance, that has the effect of attracting cats. The normal height for the catnip plant is between three and four feet. It has light green and downy foliage and in some cases you will also find smaller lavender flowers on it.

You can grow this herb on almost every type of soil possible, but it’s best if you grow it on a soil that is moderately rich and well drained. If a better aroma is what you’re looking for, grow it in a soil that is sandy, as they love that. It’s a versatile plant, that can be kept both in areas that are sunny and in shade.

You can easily grow the catnip plant in your own backyard, especially since you can use the seed of the plant to propagate it. You can also use the root ball division or the stem cuttings to grow this plant in your backyard. The time period when you should start planting the seeds of the catnip is either early spring or late fall. The cover put on the seeds should be light. If the planting of the catnip seeds is done during the fall season, the crop should end up being denser.

When you keep catnip in your backyard, you should make sure that the space between them is between 15 and 18 inches. The pH of the soil can be in any range, since they accept both mildly alkaline and mildly acidic soils. If you are limited in space, you can grow those seeds in other types of media too.

Other places where catnip can be grown is perlite, potting mixes, rockwool, vermiculite, oasis foam and coco peat. You don’t need to keep it in the sun, as it will do well in a shady area as well.

Verbena Care

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on Verbena Care 

Verbena is more of a genus name than that of just a single plant. There are a number of plants under this name and they have different characteristics. While they are different, they have in common the fact that they need care and love, in order for them to thrive. If you take care of the verbena as you should, they will manage to survive and you will love the benefits that they bring with them.

You can plant either perennial or annual verbena. Both options can be found if you go to a garden center. In a garden center you can also found a number of varieties to choose from. While some survive the frost better, others are woodier and some are more sensitive when it comes to the cold. If you get a tender variety, expect to take more care of them, especially when it comes to offering them sunlight and protecting them during frost. Planting verbenas means that you can expect the bloom period to be during the summer, which they will keep doing until the frost shows up.

These plants are quite colorful, so they will enhance the look of your garden, making it look more lively and bright. You can find both bi-colored and solid colored verbenas. You will find a number of shades of yellow, white, red, orange, purple and peach. In some cases verbenas will seem like they have eyes that are cream colored. They have thin leaves, with the shape of a lance and the color is green. From experience I can tell you that the foliage can look great if it’s fine cut.

The growth habit of the verbenas are loose and sprawling, so they go well in containers and hanging baskets. Taken singularly, their flowers are small, but when they are in clusters they look absolutely great.

Lemon Balm

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on Lemon Balm 

A plant that is hardy and perennial, lemon balm can grow up to a size of 24 inches, as far as its diameter is concerned. This plant is part of the mint family and in many ways it has the same properties as regular mint. You can use lemon balm both for culinary and medicinal purposes, so if you want to grow it in a garden, go for it.

You can grow this plant (lemon balm), both in areas that have shade and in areas that are sunny. The soil where they are grown should be fertile and loose, but you can grow them in soil that is dry as well. One option would be to grow lemon balm together with other flowers and balms, or in their own special place, next to the door of the kitchen. In most cases, lemon balm is best used in a kitchen, but in some cases it can also be used for ornamental purposes.

If you use lemon balm, make sure it is fresh and if possible pair it with some mint. You can use it in some ice or hot tea and the taste will be great. If you don’t have any lemon peel around the house, you can use lemon balm in your recipes. In most cases, lemon balm can be used in recipes for chicken, tea or vinaigrette.

Besides the culinary benefits of the lemon balm, a lot of people will use it medicinally as well. For example, crushing some leaves and rubbing them on your skin can repel mosquitoes. Also, the herb’s leaves have anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties, so they can be used to fight herpes simplex as well as a calming agent or a mild sedative. The oil that can be obtained from lemon balm is used regularly in aromatherapy.

Growing Chives

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on Growing Chives 

Chives are as easy to grow as putting some seeds in a lot in the corner. While other plants are very difficult to grow, chives are very easy. You can se them in your soups, dips or simply as a garnish. If you want to grow them you should have them in a sunny spot, as they love the light. Still, they can be kept in a less sunny place as well. If you want to plant some chives, wait until the winter is over and frost is no longer a danger. With a ready and moist soil, put the seeds of the chives inside and tamp them down a bit.

If the seeds of the chives are bought from a store, put them in the ground as soon as possible, as they’re usually less viable over longer periods of time. When you plant them, they will clump together and those clumps should be divided in clumps planted every two years or so. You can do that by digging the chive clumps, getting them into groups and getting them back into the ground. In that area more chives will grow.

What I love about chives is that they are quite resistant to pests and insects, much more so than normal herbs and plants are. The great thing about them is that you can put them in the right places and the garden will be protected from pests. My flower garden has chives in it and I really recommend you to keep them as well.

If you’re keeping your chives in some pots or inside some containers, keep those either near your house or inside. The plants need a minimum of five hours of sun on them, so make sure they get it. It would be a good idea to turn the plant every day or so, in order for it to get sunlight on all its sides.

How to Dry Lavender

May 5, 2009 by · Comments Off on How to Dry Lavender 

There are many uses for dry lavender, so naturally a lot of people want to get it or to make it on their own. You can use lavender if you’re doing aromatherapy or you can use it to create oils and a number of different lotions. It’s an easy thing drying lavender. All you need to do is to do a number of things when you harvest the stems of the plants.

It’s easy to harvest the stems. All you need to do is use the gardening shears and cut above the leaves to get the stem. Do that as the buds begin to open. That’s because oils are stronger when the bud begins to open. If you cut it when they are at that stage, the oils are at their highest point.

After you harvest the stems, make sure you secure them by using a rubber band. After that, place them in an area that is safe. They should be protected from the sunlight that might get to them otherwise. So, make sure they are kept in a storage area that is as dry as possible, without the chance of water or sunlight getting to it.

In order for the lavender to try as it should, you should leave it between 7 and 10 days. After the stems of the lavender dry up, you can remove the buds from the plant’s stem. Use a towel to put the dried stems in it and try rolling them a bit gently. By doing this you are making the buds fall from the stems. Then, you can use the buds and the stems separately when you need to. For example, you can use buds to make some potpourri or to create sachets. As you can see, it’s not hard to dry lavender and use it.