Thursday, 16 November 2017

3 Ways to Cut Your Water Bill

Image Credit: Pixabay

Even when you are frugally conscious enough to remember to switch off all your appliances and wear an extra jumper instead of turning the heating up a notch, water is still often forgotten about as an expense. And yet, water is a commodity just like everything else.

Reducing your water consumption is a really good way to save cash. You don’t need to stop drinking it yourself - that would be a step too far! - but you can cut back in other ways.

Here are just a few:

Get a Low Flow Shower Head

The first thing you can do is get a low flow shower head. These are great because they increase the pressure of your shower by forcing the water through smaller holes. This means you use less water and get a massage too!

Low flow isn’t restricted to showers though. You can get all sorts of low flow fixtures around the house to make sure that everything is running as efficiently as possible. This will get you some decent savings and will help the planet too.

Isn’t it nice when the cheapest thing to do also turns out to be the most environmentally friendly?

Get the Best Water Heater

Heating water can be hugely expensive, especially if you are using a water tank do it. This is because you might not be using all that heated water or because the tank isn’t insulated well enough to keep the heat in. Whatever the reason, a hot water tank is rarely a good idea in a frugal household.

Investing in the best hot water heater on the market is going to benefit you in all sorts of ways, especially if it is only heating the water you are actually going to use. It will cut down on your energy costs by reducing waste and not heating the water until you actually need it.

Collect Rain Water

Water falls from the sky all the time - it lands on the roof, in the garden - it’s everywhere! And yet, people tend to pay for water to be delivered from other locations. It makes no sense!

Collecting rain water is a really easy system to have installed and once it’s there, your water supply will become completely free. And it’s suitable for drinking as well as for your washing machine and garden.

All you need to do is collect the water into big stores that you can just bury in the garden and then have a plumber connect the supply to your house. In the unlikely event that you do happen to run out, you can still have a mains supply too.

Water is such an intrinsic part of life that it’s actually easy to forget how important it is and how much we use in a day. There are lots of simple things you can do like taking a faster shower that will help, but harnessing technology is the best way to make a long term difference to your bills. Invest now and save later!

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Go Green: Building Eco-friendly Home On A Budget






The more we find out about all the ways that our existence affects the environment, there are more and more people who are deciding to make conscious actions that will preserve their surroundings. A lot of people start with the so-called three R-s – reducing, reusing, and recycling. Other people decide that it’s a good idea to make their own clothes. Installing green technology into your home is certainly a good way to go, but in this article, we are going to discuss building yourself an eco-friendly home from the get-go, while being on a budget.

The costs

Most people believe that the costs of buying an eco-friendly house are huge, and the truth is that they are generally right. Purchasing such a house is usually extremely expensive. Eco-friendly tech and building have the tendency to cost more than the cheaper material that isn’t so friendly to the environment. This leaves the impression that living in a green-friendly house is something for people who make a lot of money.
However, the fact is that a lot of people have found ways to build cheap eco-friendly homes. In many cases they cost them less than $20,000. While the entire process does take some time and sweat, what you get as a result is a sustainable, eco-friendly home that serves its purpose well.

The various kinds of eco-friendly homes

So, you have decided that you want to build a home that is friendly to your environment. What you need to determine in the beginning is what you want it to look like. Think about how much space you are going to need, and whether you want to make it a one-floor house or use the stairs. You can find inspiration in many places. Tiny homes are a great example. It goes without saying that you need to think about what your local environment is like and make decisions accordingly. For example, if you’re living in Maryland, you will have to think about how to insulate your home to protect yourself from the cold winters. On the other hand, if you’re living in Florida, you will focus much more on keeping the air flowing and the home cool.
In some cases, eco-friendly homes are built from a starting point. This can be a boat or an Airstream traveling van. For a reasonable price, you can get yourself an Airstream van and turn it into a small eco-friendly home that you can live in. You can also decide to build yourself a cabin, with the investment of less than $2,000, and have enough space to invite guests. All that you need are things such as a water harvesting system, a power system that is off the grid, and a shower heated by propane. During the “moving in” process, you can find some help here with storing your items before you move them into your new home.

How to stay green and spend little money

Green living most often means that you are going to live off the power grid. Therefore, you need to find yourself a source of electricity, a water supply, and determine how you are going to control the temperature. You can save money here, by coming up with your own systems, and making use of recyclable materials when you can.
When looking for the materials that you are going to use, you need the kind that will last. Some people make homes out of salvaged metals, but the fact is that these aren’t that good for the environment. Therefore, you should go for durable wood types, which are both energy-efficient and cost-effective.
In order to protect your home from heat, build smart under trees that provide enough shade. Install energy-efficient windows which will control the light and the airflow. Keep in mind that big windows mean big changes in temperature, so go for smart and green architecture to keep the cooling and heating costs at the minimum. If you can, make use of natural water sources.

In summation

Eco-friendly living is a thing of the future, and it’s good for you to know that you can do it without spending tons of money. There is a variety of eco-friendly home types that you can choose from. When building your home, there are certain materials and strategies that you need to take into consideration.

Monday, 13 November 2017

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Affordable Ways To Make Your Home Look Luxurious

How do they do it? Professional designers seem to pull it off so effortlessly, but how will you make your home look more luxurious? You could just employ a professional or you can personally undertake the task of transforming your home into a place of luxury on a budget.

In order to save money on your purchases, be creative and vigilant in your pursuit for the perfect style. Follow our budget-friendly ways for making your home a vision of luxury.

Think it through, choose a style

Luxury look isn’t enough to go on, so before you start shopping and wasting your money on furniture and decorations you might not even use in the end, first do some research. Go online and do some window shopping and find which style is more to your liking. An elegant Victorian style or something more modern and chic? Don’t get me wrong, you may want to mix and match, but before you commit by buying anything, consider what look you are going for.

White is the color of elegance

Choosing white as your primary wall color as well as a possible color for most of your furniture is most definitely a way to go. This is because white makes space larger as well as more open. Of course you can paint one wall or a portion of a wall in a brighter color like red for the dramatic effect, but don’t overdo it. Or you can use wall paint patterns on parts of your walls which will make them more visually interesting.

Lighting is essential

Nothing says luxury like light, so in addition to painting your walls white, and thus making the room brighter, you should also consider other light issues. Especially in the living and entertainment area as well as the kitchen lighting will have to be fantastic. Large windows are a great source of natural light which will complement your light-colored walls, but you should also take into account the lighting system. For a dose of elegance, use lights you can adjust to a situation or your liking. You can also buy a few desk or floor lamp, in brighter tones, which can also work as your focal points.

Find your centerpiece

Finding the right furniture is the most exciting but also the most problematic part of the luxury-on-budget transformation. To make the process easier, try first to find the centerpiece for each room and choose the rest of your furniture in relation to it. Your bed may be the focal feature of your bedroom and the rest of your bedroom furniture should be in a similar style.

Finish up with details

Now your home seems luxurious but is still missing that ‘je ne sais quoi’, and those are actually a few small details. Apart from perfectly chosen furniture you will need curtains to add to the feeling of luxury, so you should think about visiting a premium curtain shop to find some that will match with your elegant interior. By framing your windows with long light curtains, you will open up the space but also allow for the possibility of privacy as the curtains can be drawn over the windows.
When adding other smaller details remember to stay minimalistic. You can, for example, place a brightly colored wool blanket casually over your sofa. There should be nothing more on your bookcase than a few books and one or two vases in bright colors. Every piece will feel well chosen and the whole room will breathe elegance.

The smell of luxury

If it isn’t enough that your home looks like a million bucks, try making it smell like luxury as well. An electronic air dispenser will give off scents you choose no matter the time of the year. It will be the cherry on top as your senses will be occupied by your new home.

Finding affordable ways to make your home luxurious isn’t an impossible process but it also isn’t an easy one. Just remember that nothing good comes both easily and cheaply. This is why you should first have an idea of what you want and how each piece of your project will work together. But your time and effort will pay off when you get to live in the luxury home of your dreams. 

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Adult Acne: Which Product Option is Right for You?


There are so many acne and breakout busting treatments on the market. It’s common to get a feeling of product overload. Dr. Magarita Lolis Dr. Margarita Lolis a Board-Certified Dermatologist in northern New Jersey who takes a holistic approach to treating skincare issues; breaks down the list of common products to consider using with the benefits of each. Hopefully this menu of options will clear some confusion.

Go simple on cleanser. People who are prone to breakouts may use a cleanser with salicylic acid triggering excessive dryness which only increases oil production leading to a breakout cycle. Gentler products that are appealing to all skin types such as Cetaphil or CeraVe are great options because they don’t strip away moisture and soothe the face.

Exfoliate weekly. They key here is not to be too harsh. You want to gently rub product into your face in circular motion then rinse with luke warm water. There are new products available with charcoal an ingredient which does a great job controlling oil in acne prone skin. People with sensitive skin should opt for an exfoliating mask which is less irritating. 

Soothe with serums. Acne prone skin needs moisture not oil. Serums that address acne without compromising moisture are a great bet. Serums penetrate the skin quickly making them a great option for nighttime healing as you sleep.

Try skin oils. You can add drops of vitamin C oil, argan oil, or vitamin e oil to your serum or directly onto your face after cleansing which is like a vitamin boost to skin. This will address acne scarring helping them heal quicker.

Don’t skip moisturizer. Many people who are prone to breakouts want to skip moisturizer because they think their skin is oily enough. The reason skin is producing oil is because it is lacking moisture. Moisturizers with Hyaluronic acid draws water from the atmosphere and keeps skin hydrated. This is great for all skin types. You cannot go wrong with more water in the skin. 

Consider a peel with a pro. Chemical peels are a great option for skin that has scarring and
Hyperpigmentation. While there are at home, do it yourself options available I have seen many people harm their own skin with peels. You really want to work with a professional as not to make matters worse. People often think a burning sensation means it’s working so they mistakenly leave peels on for too long and hurt themselves.

Balance skin with a toner. I like toners because they do a nice job of clearing away dirt and make-up, shrinking pores, and restoring skin to its natural pH balance. Witch Hazel is a simple no fuss astringent found at any drug store which works wonders on acne or break out prone skin.

Do a mask every week. You want to choose “detoxifying masks” featuring ingredients like, charcoal, clay, sulfur. You may want to alternate between a more soothing mask one week and a treatment mask when a breakout first occurs. Another option is using a soothing mask on the cheeks and then a clarifying mask on the chin and jawline.

Spot treat and refrain from picking. We touch our faces approximately 25 times per hour. It’s hard to be conscious of it. When we have a breakout, we may sit at our desks or behind the wheel picking away. It is a habit that spreads bacteria and leads to scarring. Getting a prescription level topical spot treatment is key because many are designed to work immediately which lessens the need to pick.
Ultimately, when in doubt see your dermatologist who will assess your skin and the many factors that may be causing acne. Oftentimes dermatologists will outline a treatment regimen that is more customized to you considering age, skin type and lifestyle.

Dr. Margarita Lolis, M.D. is a board-certified cosmetic, medical dermatologist and a fellowship-trained Mohs surgeon with over 20 years of experience. In her practice, she addresses common skin concerns such as acne prevention and treatment in both teens and adults, sun-damage, skin discoloration, wrinkles, changes to skin texture and loss of volume. On the medical side, she is a trusted expert in melanoma and over-all skin health. Dr. Lolis prides herself in honoring facial symmetry to deliver a natural look to her clients. She always recommends a healthy skin care regimen plus lifestyle habits that are aligned with her holistic approach to beauty. Dr. Lolis is a member of the American Academy of Dermatology, American College of Mohs Surgery, and the American Society of Anti-aging. Her practice, Skin, Laser, and Surgery Specialists is in New York City and Bergen Country, New Jersey.

Your Kids’ FOMO Is Not Worth More Holiday Debt


With the holidays upon us, parents are making a list and checking it twice. And that list seems to be getting longer… while the bank account gets smaller.

That often happens when kids catch an acute case of FOMO during the holiday season. The “Fear of Missing Out” includes not getting some of the gifts they want, or the latest, cool things their friends are receiving.  

So mom and dad go way over the family budget. They hit the credit cards, and the holiday bills climb. After all, overspending on gifts and beginning the New Year with added debt is as much a holiday tradition as mistletoe and stockings hung by the chimney with care.  
“Many adults annually prove they have not learned their lesson, and it’s an expensive one that keeps adding up,” says Jeff Dixson (www.nwfts.net), a financial educator and author of Winning The Retirement Game.

“Discipline is a prerequisite for financial stability, and this kind of chronic overspending of money they don’t really have certainly doesn’t bode well for a family budget, let alone a retirement plan. But habits can change, and the sooner the better.”

Dixson gives four tips for how to keep holiday shopping reasonable and avoid excessive debt:

  • Look at the big picture. Credit card use means putting off paying for something you didn’t have the money for. So forecast what that mounting credit card bill will add to your regular monthly expenses. “The long-term pain isn’t worth the short-term gain of getting the kids everything they wanted and more,” Dixson says. “Seeing their smiles on Christmas morning is nice, but you also have to see on paper the money crunch ahead; that can act as a deterrent.”  
     
  • Use one card. If you must use a credit card, Dixson says, put the rest of your cards aside and use the one with the lowest interest rate. This also makes it easier to track your spending. “If the one card is included in your budget, fine, but remember you’re paying interest each month,” Dixson says. “You need to impose a holiday limit on the card.”
     
  • Make a real budget. It’s the easiest thing to do before all the shopping. Set up a budget each year as to what you can afford to spend (for example, $600 = $50 per month) and set this aside each month in order to have the money you expect to spend. But for many people it’s the hardest thing to execute when they’re out shopping. “They lose will power,” Dixson says. “It gets to be a little like gambling; you have to decide how much you can afford to lose, or how much you’ll go over without being totally stretched in January and beyond.”
     
  • Make it a teaching moment. The holidays are a great time to teach your kids about money, a lesson that could last a lifetime. It’s not a matter of being Scrooge; it’s about showing them money doesn’t grow on Christmas trees. Most families have budgets, and part of being responsible means not over-spending. “The greater good of the family is served rather than immediate gratification,” Dixson says. “They’ll learn something meaningful about money, appreciation and responsibility that will stay with them when they have families of their own.”
 

 “If more parents could apply these forms of financial discipline during the holidays,” Dixson says, “it would greatly help them develop a long-term financial plan, as well as greatly help their kids.”

About Jeff Dixson
Jeff Dixson (www.nwfts.net) is known as “The Retirement Coach” and is the founder and president of Northwest Financial & Tax Solutions, Inc. A respected financial educator, Jeff hosts a weekly radio show that airs on seven stations and is author of Winning The Retirement Game.

Stikbot Movie Sets



Stikbots are a unique, poseable and collectable figurine! at a basic level they are a fidget toy that is perfect for imaginative play. Their unique design allows for easy positioning on any flat surface thanks to their suction-cup hands and feet.

Stikbots can be posed in countless ways - their limbs, torso, and even neck can be positioned at multiple different angles! this makes StikBot perfect for making your own stop-frame animation movies using the StikBot animation app which is free to download for iPhone and Android operating systems. Share your creations on the StikBot central youtube channel and get inspiration for your next movie watching other videos on the channel including some really innovative weekly StikBot shows. Roll camera - action! this pirate ship movie set is made from durable foam board and is easy to build with no glue or scissors required.

Set incudes lots of extras: boat, sharks, treasure chest, cannons and more. The ship is open on one side, allowing kids to make movies below deck or outside the ship. Flip-over base scene takes your movie location from shore to Cliff. Includes one pirate StikBot, nine pirate weapons and a sheet of extra pirate clothes stickers. Great for imaginative play or download the free app to make your pirate movie masterpiece.

  • Multi award winning, poseable StikBots are the perfect stars of your own stop-frame animated movies
  • Includes the free StikBot stop frame animation app for iPhone or Android to download and produce your own pirate movie masterpiece
  • This build your own pirate themed movie set is easy to construct and includes a ship, sharks, treasure chest, trees, cannon, walk the plank, row boat and more.
  • StikBot comes dressed in pirate garb and there is a sticker sheet to dress your other StikBots.
  • Great for imaginative play; use the animation app to film inside and outside of the ship 
 

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Tumblstix


Play Anytime and Anywhere: The amazing desk toy that you can take anytime and anywhere! At home, party, office, class, anywhere.

Suitable for everyone: As long as a few minutes a day can effectively help you improve your focus and hand-eye coordination.

Simple design: Unlimited possibilities to be able to effectively test and exercise your creativity and dexterity.

Gently touch: It will be able to move forward somersault, simple play method coupled with mechanical but smooth and flexible action to relieve your stress

A Fun Desktop Game that Challenges Creativity, Precision, and Hand Eye Coordination


An excellent addition to anyone's holiday shopping this year. Something new to fidget with other then those crazy spinners! So much fun and very affordable!


Albert The Small Tree With A Big Dream

I love it when new Christmas movies come out, I always enjoy the classics but it is also nice to have a new film to enjoy with the kids! This little tree makes for one adorable show, the kids are going to love it and it makes the perfect gift they can enjoy for years to come!
Street Date: November 14, 2017

Albert is a little Douglas fir tree who loves Christmas more than anyone. So when a TV newscast announces the search for the most famous Christmas tree, Albert knows he is meant to be that tree. With his friends Maisie the palm tree and Gene the weed, he embarks on a road trip adventure to make his dream come true. Along the way, they attract the attention of a villainous Christmas-loathing cactus named Pete. When Albert is not chosen, Pete redirects his efforts towards the chosen tree and plots to ruin Christmas for everyone — unless Albert and the gang can stop him first.

About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in 180 countries and territories. The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles. PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.

Mother!

“Mesmerizing”
- Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

“Spectacular”
- Guy Lodge, Vanity Fair


ACADEMY AWARD®-WINNERS* JENNIFER LAWRENCE AND JAVIER BARDEM STAR IN ONE OF THE MOST THOUGHT-PROVOKING FILMS OF THE YEAR 
Director Darren Aronofsky’s Visually Arresting Psychological Thriller Comes Home on Digital HD December 5 and on 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs December 19, 2017
Acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky (Black Swan) delivers “a mind-blowing masterpiece” (Scott Mantz, “Access Hollywood”) with the extraordinarily original mother!, arriving on 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray and DVD December 19, 2017. The film arrives on Digital HD December 5, 2017.

Described as “darkly exhilarating” (Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times) and “Aronofsky’s most daring film yet” (Ben Croll, Indiewire), mother! stunned critics and audiences around the world. Jennifer Lawrence and Javier Bardem star in the visually arresting psychological thriller that will leave your heart pounding and your mind blown. The film also stars Oscar® nominees Ed Harris** and Michelle Pfeiffer***, along with
Domhnall Gleeson, Brian Gleeson and Jovan Adepo.

The mother! 4K Ultra HD and Blu-ray Combo Packs include over 35 minutes of in-depth bonus content. Join director Darren Aronofsky and cast as they discuss the production of the movie and take us through its spectacular finale. Plus, check out the incredible makeup effects that made mother! a visual tour de force. 
 

mother! also boasts a Dolby Atmos® soundtrack remixed specifically for the home theater environment to place and move audio anywhere in the room, including overhead. In addition, the 4K Ultra HD disc features Dolby Vision™ high dynamic range (HDR), growing Paramount’s library of titles featuring both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos. Dolby Vision transforms the TV experience in the home by delivering greater brightness and contrast, as well as a fuller palette of rich colors. Together with the captivating sound of Dolby Atmos, consumers will experience both cutting-edge imaging and state-of-the-art sound technology for a fully immersive entertainment experience.

mother! Blu-ray Combo Pack
The mother! Blu-ray is presented in 1080p high definition with English Dolby Atmos (Dolby® TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital®, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The DVD in the combo pack is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The combo pack includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film as well as the following: 
Blu-ray
·      Feature film in high definition
·      Bonus Content:
o  mother! The Downward Spiral
o  The Makeup FX of mother!
DVD
·      Feature film in standard definition
 
mother! 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack
Fans can enjoy the ultimate viewing experience with the 4K Ultra HD Combo Pack, which includes the Blu-ray Disc detailed above, as well as an Ultra HD Disc presented in 4K Ultra HD with Dolby Vision and English Dolby Atmos (Dolby TrueHD compatible), French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Portuguese 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description with English, English SDH, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The Combo Pack also includes access to a Digital HD copy of the film.

mother! Single-Disc DVD
The DVD is presented in widescreen enhanced for 16:9 TVs with English 5.1 Dolby Digital, French 5.1 Dolby Digital, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital and English Audio Description and English, French, Spanish and Portuguese subtitles. The disc includes the feature film in standard definition.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MotherMovie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/OfficialMotherMovie/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/MotherMovie/
Amazon: http://paramnt.us/mother.blu-ray
iTunes: http://paramnt.us/GetMotherNow


PARAMOUNT PICTURES Presents
A PROTOZOA Production
A Film by DARREN ARONOFSKY
JENNIFER LAWRENCE JAVIER BARDEM “mother!” ED HARRIS MICHELLE PFEIFFER
Costume Designer DANNY GLICKER Edited by ANDREW WEISBLUM, ACE
Production Designer PHILIP MESSINA Director of Photography MATTHEW LIBATIQUE, ASC
Executive Producers JEFF WAXMAN JOSH STERN MARK HEYMAN
Produced by SCOTT FRANKLIN, p.g.a. ARI HANDEL, p.g.a.
Written and Directed by DARREN ARONOFSKY


About Paramount Home Media Distribution
Paramount Home Media Distribution (PHMD) is part of Paramount Pictures Corporation (PPC), a global producer and distributor of filmed entertainment. PPC is a unit of Viacom (NASDAQ: VIAB, VIA), home to premier media brands that create television programs, motion pictures, consumer products, and digital content for audiences in 180 countries and territories. The PHMD division oversees PPC’s home entertainment and transactional digital distribution activities worldwide. The division is responsible for the sales, marketing and distribution of home entertainment content on behalf of Paramount Pictures, Paramount Animation, Paramount Vantage, Paramount Classics, MTV, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central and CBS and applicable licensing and servicing of certain DreamWorks Animation titles. PHMD additionally manages global licensing of studio content and transactional distribution across worldwide digital distribution platforms including online, mobile and portable devices and emerging technologies.