Wednesday, 20 February 2019

Easy DIY Hanging Planter

With spring right around the corner, adding plants to your home is always a good idea. They’re a great way to brighten up any space and easy to match with any style and decor. Houseplants have incredible air purifying benefits and many varieties are known to help people with allergies – like the Marginata or Chinese Evergreen. With that in mind, I thought I’d share this beautiful yet easy DIY hanging planter from our friends at Shutterfly. Hang in your kitchen or living room for some added texture and color. You can even have your kids help decorate their own planter to hang in their room! All you need is some colorful paint, a paint brush, jute twine, scissors, a frame and your favorite potted plant to get you started.

Monday, 18 February 2019

Small Business Owner Hurdles and How to Overcome Them

If you are a small business owner or entrepreneur, you likely wear a lot of hats. From keeping finances in check to maintaining a work-life balance, it’s easy to get burnt out. Luckily, you’re not alone. Other entrepreneurs who are passionate about succeeding in business are facing similar challenges. By identifying common obstacles or hurdles, you will be better equipped with the right tools and tactics to overcome them.

In a survey of 1,000 small business owners, Valpak found some common themes between business owners. Out of those surveyed, 1 in 4 people considers money to be the biggest business obstacle. Secondly, the survey revealed that running a business doesn’t come easily to everyone. More women see a lack of knowledge on how to run a business as a challenge than men. For the full business hurdle survey results and actionable tips on overcoming small business challenges, check out the visual below.

Sunday, 17 February 2019

Mommy's Challenge: How To De-Clutter After Your Move To Your New House

Moving to a new house can be a perfect time to start anew and build a clean and clutter-free home that you always deserve. If you keep your new place more organized, life becomes much simpler and stress-free. Plus, you can save yourself on emotional stress by staying streamlined long after your move.

If you want a relaxing experience after the entire moving process, here’s a simple guide on how to de-clutter your new house.

1. Remove excess while unpacking.

As you go from box to box to unpack, you’ll definitely find some additional items that you no longer use. When this happens, it’s a good idea to sort through all your belongings again and make sure you don’t fill your new room with unwanted items. Make a checklist to help you figure out which thing is worth to keep or not. You can make sound decisions about the clutter by asking yourself whether they still serve any purpose or if they have a place in your new home.

Also, many movers NYC offer unpacking services to their customers. Hence, if you’ve moved to New York City, your moving crew may be able to help unpack your stuff before they go, making decluttering a straightforward process.

2. Get rid of your moving boxes.

Right after unpacking, you need to deal with piles of moving boxes that take up the entire space of your new living room. If it’s your first time to move, you may not know what to do with all these storage supplies you’ve gathered. If you want to get rid them of them and put them to good use, follow the tips below:

Give them away – Instead of letting these boxes add up to the landfills, giving them away for free in your neighborhood can be an excellent idea. Make sure these boxes can still be utilized for another move in the future.

Donate – If you know someone who has been planning a house move, you can donate your moving boxes provided they’re still in good condition. That way, you’ll be able to help them prepare their move with ease.

Re-sell – If you spend money for your moving boxes, you can opt to sell them to other people. Look for places to promote your boxes like newspaper classified ads and noticeboards. Also, you should ensure your moving boxes are still in good condition. On the other hand, if moving companies NYC supply their own boxes for your relocation, they also have the option to collect them once the transition is complete.

3. Develop good clutter-clearing habits.

After moving, there are many things to do to make your new place feel like home. From several piles of boxes in the living room to all the stuff that needs to be unpacked, you should start developing healthy clutter-clearing habits. To do that, you should focus on these following steps:

Don’t delay cleaning – Delaying your cleaning assignments has nothing beneficial to offer you. After your move to a new house, don’t let procrastination overpower you if you want a clean and organized new home to live in. Thus, always find time to clean your clutter right away to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Establish a routine – It’s always a smart idea to create a method or schedule to manage the things that you keep properly. Regardless of the way you do it, you should never forget to stick with it to experience a stress-free life after the move. Some of the routine you can follow include:

Put items back in their respective places
Clean the kitchen after you finish your meal.
Complete household chores right away.

Assign designated areas – Ideally, things should be in their designated places. For example, your dirty laundry should have its own space. If you have specific areas for everything in your new home, you can quickly de-clutter and dispose of items.

4. Slow the influx of things in your new home.

Moving to a new place doesn’t mean you need to buy everything that you want. As you aim for a fresh start, it’s about time to change your mindset and go for the slow accumulation of things in your new space. By doing it, the entire process of de-cluttering can be done efficiently. So, it’s best to assess your purchases and think whether it’s worth your time, money, energy once you move. Before heading to a local store and make impulsive purchases, try to ask yourself if you’re buying the item for a good reason or if you have an area to store when you get home.

The Bottom Line

Follow these vital tips, and you’ll be on your way toward a clutter-free life after you move to your new house. Not only will these steps guide you but it’ll also keep your home from collecting items that you really don’t need in the first place.

Curl up and embroider the winter away with two great needlework books!

I Love My Dog Embroidery is a collection of 380 adorable dog-themed stitch motifs for pooch parents and their beloved fur babies, with project ideas, how-tos, and templates.

Created by embroidery artist MakikoArt and six other amazing embroidery artists, this “dog fanciful” collection of stitch motifs celebrates all things canine. With this lovely embroidery guide, you can create all manner of pups, including:
  • The sweet Labrador retriever, fluffy poodle, noble German shepherd, and many others
  • Dogs doing what they do best—classic poses, postures, and tricks—like “roll over,” “give me your paw,” and the ever-popular “rub my tummy”
  • Pooches disguised as people—the farmer, the artist, the businessman—and who can resist the sneaky but lovable mailman?
  • Mutts in different styles and shapes, including borders, frames, and alphabets
You’ll also find guidance on how to customize a motif to fit your favorite Fido, plus a gallery of project ideas for showcasing your stitches. So grab a needle and floss and take everything in your home and wardrobe from drab to double-dog fabulous!

With designs contributed by:
Chloe Redfern Embroidery / Chloe Redfern
How Could You? Clothing / Mia Alexi 
Insanitynice / Valentina Castillo Mora
Miho Starling / mipomipo handmade
Solipandi / Anja Lehmann
Stitch People / Elizabeth Dabczynski

The author

Oksana Kokovkina—better known to her fans as MakikoArt—is a textile artist and jewelry designer noted for her naive and whimsical animal embroidery motifs, especially her hand-stitched custom pet portrait brooches. Born in St. Petersburg, she currently lives in Vienna, Austria.

Hand Sewing Magic is an essential reference to all things stitching, featuring how-tos for dozens of stitches, from the basics for sewing and mending to stunning embroidered embellishment.

Hand Sewing Magic is a modern, all-in-one guide for hand stitchers of all levels of skill and experience, and for all applications. In this unique guide book you will:
  • Get an in-depth overview of essential tools and materials, including thread, needles, fabric, and other key supplies.
  • Explore a comprehensive visual dictionary of 35 stitches plus dozens of variations, from basic mending to stylish decorative embellishment to unique art stitching.
  • Discover key techniques, from starting and ending threads to the right way to use an embroidery hoop, from stitching curved shapes to color shading, and more.
  • Learn essential tips and tricks from influential and innovative stitchers, including Joanne Sharpe, Allison Aller, and Catherine Redford.
  • 10 simple and stunning projects show unique ways to use stitches and techniques. 
With Hand Sewing Magic, you’ll make the most of your hand stitching and give all your projects a beautiful handmade look.

The author

Lynn Krawczyk is a mixed-media surface design artist who focuses on pattern and color. Her work features painting, drawing, and hand stitching on both fabric and paper. Lynn has written nearly 50 magazine articles for such publications as Quilting Arts Magazine, Cloth Paper Scissors, Uppercase, Fiber Art Now, and Sew Somerset, and is the author of The Hand-Stitched Surface (CPi, 2017) and Intentional Printing: Simple Techniques for Inspired Fabric Art(Interweave, 2014).She also has a collection of floss with thread manufacturer Aurifil, Inked by Lynn Krawczyk, as well as three instructional DVD workshops with Quilting Arts/F&W Media: Print, Design, Compose; Color Theory Made Easy; and Thermofax Screen Printing Essentials. Lynn teaches surface design workshops at various venues throughout the United States. She lives in Plymouth, Michigan.

Great Movies To Give This Easter & A Chance To Win Them!

Easter is the next big holiday and the best way to get ready for another holiday is to start buying early to avoid over paying or struggling to find the right gift. There are all kinds of amazing new movies out for you to enjoy with your family whether you watch them at night all snuggled on the couch or use them to entertain your kids on road trips. Take a look at what has just made its way on scene this February!

Street Date: February 5, 2019

Ready, Set, Robots! Shift gears with Blaze and the Monster Machines in these 4 high-octane adventures. By transforming into powerfully strong robots, Blaze and his friends are ready to roll out and save Axle City from a runaway train, an overflowing glue factory, and an erupting volcano! Plus, team up with the robot riders as they race against asteroids, dinos, and a giant runaway meatball!

Street Date: February 5, 2019

Soar through the clouds to the all-new, sparkle-dusted world of Zahramay Skies with Shimmer, Shine and Leah on their incredible Zahracorns in these 7 high-flying adventures! They’ll learn Stardust Magic from Princess Adara in a double-length special, meet new genie friends, and outfly that sneaky sorceress Zeta too.

Street Date: February 5, 2019

Peter Rabbit: Hop into a modern take on a classic adventure with Beatrix Potter’s beloved Peter Rabbit! Join Peter, his cousin Benjamin Bunny, and his friend Lily Bobtail for 8 charming tales in the Lake District, where they’ll outsmart Mr. McGregor and Mr. Tod, meet new friends, and discover delightful surprises. Spring into Adventure!: Spring has sprung in these 7 stories starring Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, and Lily Bobtail! Help them take on adventures big and small as the bunnies work together to rescue a friend, catch a trout, help out a baby bunny who’s afraid of the dark, and of course ALWAYS make time for a yummy radish snack. Ready? Hop on in!

Street Date: February 5, 2019

See Where it all Began! These are the moments that turned SpongeBob from a cartoon into a worldwide phenomenon! Meet Bikini Bottom’s denizens of the deep, learn the technique to blow the perfect bubble, sing “The F.U.N. Song,” ride the hooks, turn a gum wrapper into a gold mine of entertainment, and so much more! The Nautical Nonsense Continues! Dive into episodes featuring Bubble Buddy, Wormy, Clamu, Frankendoodle, and memorable moments like selling Pretty Patties, the 21st Annual Fry Cook Games, Patrick’s secret box, performing at the Bubble Bowl, and oceans more!

Street Date: February 5, 2019

Season Three: Ride waves of laughter with the complete third season of SpongeBob SquarePants! Hitch a hook underwater to relive some of the most shell-cracking sea tales in Bikini Bottom history, like when Plankton trades lives with Mr. Krabs, SpongeBob patrols the beach, Squilliam returns, and more! Season Four: Come out of your shell for some side-splitting stories of nautical nonsense with the complete fourth season of SpongeBob SquarePants! Enjoy some of the most iconic episodes ever to make land, like when SpongeBob attends a party with Mr. Krabs’ Navy buddies AS Mr. Krabs, Patrick becomes Patricia, the gang plays Dunces and Dragons, and more!

Buy it here: RUGRATS: SEASON 1-2
Street Date: February 5, 2019

Season One: This must be your ducky day! Relive the very first season of Rugrats, the classic Nickelodeon series, in this complete collection! Join the hunt for Grandpa’s dentures, explore Stu’s mysterious workshop, and cheer on contestant Tommy in the “Little Miss Lovely” pageant (don’t ask!). Those adventures, and over 20 more, baldly go where no baby’s ever gone before. Season Two: The toast is clear for over 10 hours of non-stop Rugrats adventures in season 2 of the hit Nickelodeon show, featuring fan-fave episodes “Reptar on Ice,” “Visitors from Outer Space,” “The Big Flush,” and “Tooth or Dare.” So man your paddle stations, and prepare to laugh along on your trip down memory lane with Tommy, Angelica, Chuckie and the rest of the Rugrats!

Buy it here: RUGRATS: SEASON 3-4
Street Date: February 5, 2019

Season Three: Don’t be a baby! The Rugrats are back in this complete season 3 collection! This set is a diapee full of laugh-out-loud adventures, including fan-favorite episodes “Angelica Breaks a Leg,” “Stu Gets a Job” and “Naked Tommy,” and more baby duties, like Chuckie’s first haircut, a trip to the moon, and the reign of Princess Angelica! Season Four: Skip your nap and join the party in the playpen with the complete fourth season of Rugrats! The baby band is back in this set filled with adorable adventures, including fan-favorite episodes “Spike’s Babies” and “Chicken Pops,” and even more laugh-out-loud lullabies, like when Phil and Chuckie discovered the joys of dresses, Chuckie tried to potty-train Spike, and the babies worked Angelica’s lemonade stand!

And of course you need a little something for the parents as well! Check out this hilarious piece of modern entertainment! 

Buy it here:  NOBODY'S FOOL
Blu-ray, DVD
Street Date: February 5, 2019

Trying to get back on her feet, wild child Tanya (Tiffany Haddish, Girls Trip) looks to her buttoned-up sister Danica (Tika Sumpter, Ride Along) to get her life together. As these polar opposites hilariously collide, Tanya discovers that Danica’s picture-perfect life — including her online romance — may not be what it seems. With the aid of her eccentric mother (comedy legend Whoopi Goldberg), Tanya will do whatever it takes to help… even if it means completely blowing up her sister’s life! Omari Hardwick (Power) and Amber Riley (Glee) also star in in “Tyler Perry’s funniest movie ever” (Andrew Freund, DISH NATION – FOX TV).

Win your own copies of each title here: 

Friday, 15 February 2019

Water saving plumbing fixtures to update your bathroom with

Low-flow fixtures are mandated by certain government entities for a reason: these allow a homeowner to save water, thus resulting in significant monetary savings each month, not to mention contribute to saving the environment. There are many models of low-flow versions of toilets, taps, and shower heads, as well as aerators for taps. These models vary on the type of technology used in their creation. However, they provide just the same benefits. 


More details on low-flow bathroom fixtures are highlighted below. 


Low-Flow Shower Heads

A low-flow shower head is one that usually has a flow rate that is less than 2.5 GPM at a pressure of 80 psi or pounds per square inch. Newer low-flow shower heads, however, provide flow rates less than the amount mentioned above. 


The following are the two basic kinds of low flow shower heads:


Laminar-flow: This type of shower head forms water streams and provides higher temperature accuracy


Aerating: This particular low flow shower head type mixes water and air together so that a misty kind of air spray is formed. It creates a significant amount of both moisture and steam, and thus isn’t advised in places known for humid climates.


A low-flow shower head is the perfect replacement for an older shower head that has been designed to have a 5.5 GPM flow rate. 


Low-Flow Toilets

This type of toilet, as well as the newer ultra low-flow toilet, is a type of toilet designed to utilise half the water that the traditional toilet consumes. While the traditional toilet consumes 3.5 gallons each flush, the low flow type consumes an average of just 1.6 gallons each flush. This design has led to the belief that there are low-flow toilet models that can’t flush efficiently


Fortunately, the coming of newer technologies served as remedies to these supposed problems. But that’s not all: majority now have half-flush options, suitable for the removal of liquid wastes, together with the full-flush option that’s suitable for the disposal of solid wastes.


Numerous low-flow toilets also are designed capable of reducing clog problems since they have wider drainage passages. 


- Gravity-Fed Low-Flow Toilets: The said type of low-flow toilet makes use of the weight of the water to push it down. These options are cheaper and not that noisy compared to the pressure-assisted type of low flow toilet.


- Pressure-Assisted Low-Flow Toilets: The said kind of toilet usually is noisier. But on the upside, it is able to lessen water consumption by almost half unlike the above type of low-flow toilet. This particular system makes use of air pressure that’s built up in the tank to push water down.


Low-Flow Taps

Old sink taps waste lots of water, which leads to money getting tossed down the drain. As such, they need to be replaced as soon as they are found. Old taps use 2.5GPM and beyond, and that’s a lot. 


As for replacement options, you have two ideas you can go with. A new tap, particularly one that uses 1.5GPM water or less, can replace the old tap. Another option, one that does not involve the complete replacement of the old tap, is the installation of an aerator. Also called a flow restrictor, an aerator may be set up on almost all taps, allowing for cheap and easy modification. Setting one up also helps you save money over the years. 


The Exact Cost Benefits of Low-Flow Fixtures

As mentioned above, low-flow fixtures help in saving money since they prevent the overuse of water, especially if connected to a water tank with back-flow prevention device at home. But these fixtures cost more compared to the traditional fixtures, hence making them an investment. The thing is, because numerous building codes in different places demand that you incorporate low-flow fixtures to your home, you really will need to spend on them. Fortunately, the returns—the savings—can be quickly acquired, therefore making these fixtures a worthwhile investment.