4 Fundamental Ways to Boost Your Self-Confidence Through the Roof

At a certain moment in my life I understood that I can no longer take myself the way that I am. I smoked cigarettes, I drank alcohol, and I led quite a low-quality lifestyle in general. No, no, don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t a hopeless human being or anything like that. I had a place to study, a family and a place to live. I just saw no progress in life and I had no final destination. My life had little meaning, which caused me to experience day after day that vicious circle from which I could not see any light. Self-confidence was almost invisible, and depression was slowly crawling onto me.

Despite having that prolonged dark moment in my life, from time to time I would experience a strong desire to change. I knew that there was something in life that I would love to do, I knew that I could do it, but I just felt like it was too far away from me to even bother trying.

Nevertheless, one day I woke up with a feeling that this was the end. I knew that my life was about to change. I had a thousand ideas rushing through my mind of how to become happy, successful, determined, inspired, etc. There was just one problem – lack of self-confidence. In fact, that was the reason that I was too scared to begin my transformation in first place. This time, however, fear and anger outgrew me, and I knew that I needed to raise my self-confidence, for real.

I won’t bore you with everything that didn’t work out for me in the process of raising my self-confidence, but I will tell you about the things that did. The things that I will describe have changed me to the core. Today I no longer feel that I lack something, or that I am not strong enough. I feel that I can succeed in many of the things that I choose to, and the things that I fail at (if I do), I just use them as a valuable lesson to push even harder next time. As the saying goes, everything that doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger.

Self-confidence approach 1 – watch and imitate

One cause for the lack of self-confidence in us comes from the fact that we don’t have enough of confident people around us. If you are reading this post, then you are probably like me – you didn’t grow up self-confident.

One of the most important habits that you can pick up on the way to becoming self-confident, is the habit of imitating very confident people. In this case I mean imitating people in real life, the ones that you know, but also random people on the street, people you hear or read about on the news, or whoever else that may be. And I don’t meant the imitation of only one trait of their character, such as the way they publicly speak, or the way they talk about money, but all traits! You must learn to see the best in people, and to soak up all of the best qualities. Look at this as a process of rebuilding your mind, but from the best parts that you can find.

When I began to imitate self-confident people, I looked at the way they talked to others, the way they handled issues, acted at work, drove their cars, and even the way they walked. Trust me, minor things, such as a confident walk and a straight posture can drastically change your way of thinking.

Remember, imitation is the first step to becoming self-confident. The fact that we lack it in first place, means that we lack that type of mentality. Copying it off of someone else is key.

Self-confidence approach 2 – physical exercise

The ones out there thinking that physical exercise can be avoided, don’t be mislead! To become self-confident, you absolutely must have physical exercise, and the more, the better.

Not only physical exercise reduces the amount of stress in us, it increases the amount of testosterone and therefore self-confidence. So guys, you especially, don’t take this for granted. The bottom line is that doing sports is healthy and sexy.

Self-confidence approach 3 – educate yourself

Stop wasting time on things that take you further away from your dreams. If you want to become self-confident, you should be doing things that make you more aware and knowledgeable. The more useful content that you consume, the more chances there are that you will make use of it.

Let me tell you this, when I began my search for self-confidence, I watched so many motivational videos, listened to so many audiobooks, and read so many posts on the internet (such as the one you are reading now, haha) about the subject, that I began to feel that being self-confident is the only path to success. That idea had its roots grow into me.

Therefore, reduce to the bare minimum useless input, such as from social media, and maximise input that makes you stronger and wiser.

Self-confidence approach 4 – have no fear

The last thing that I want to tell you is – have no fear. Don’t be afraid to change life. Don’t be like I was, don’t think that it is “too late”. I was extremely blinded with limiting beliefs. How can a 23-year old guy think that it’s too late? I now think that it was silly, to say the least.

Life is like a pendulum that will never stop swinging you around. You will always have your ups and down, and as long as you are alive, there is nothing you can do about it. The only thing that you can do, is to become fearless, and to learn from your mistakes. No successful person is without fears, and no successful person doesn’t make mistakes. They all do. The only difference between them and the people lacking self-confidence, is that they never give up. Adversity is just a part of life, and the quicker we understand that and accept that, the quicker we can begin improving ourselves.

As an end to this text, I would like to share a quote that really motivates me and raises my self-confidence. I hope it will do the same for you. “In any given moment of decision, the best thing that you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing” – Theodore Roosevelt. Now go on, make yourself better!

What is the History of Stain Removers?

When your kid asks the question ‘what is the history of stain removers’, you do not really have to fumble for words. Here is an overview of use of different natural materials, soap and detergents for stain removal purposes.

The first of all stain removers is plain water. People find it is easy to wash away mud at a stream or a river.

The history of cleaning agents runs back to ancient Babylonian culture. Soap like materials were evacuated from ancient Babylonian remains. The 4500-5000 year old remains also have detailed description of making such materials. It is however not clear whether they used the fat and ash mixed material for cleaning purposes.

Egyptian, Romans, Japanese, Greek and Chinese cultures of the ancient times paid attention to cleanliness and used different materials for cleaning purposes.

Chinese used the fruit of soap-nut tree (Sapindus Mukorossi) for cleaning soft silk clothes. The nut yielded a soap-like material, which thoroughly cleans the silk and is soft on the fabric.

Soap making started in Europe in the seventh century. Soap making in Europe was mostly a family tradition and people kept the technique of soap making a secret. They used animal fat and plant oils to make soap. They also knew the technique of adding perfumes to the soap for fragrance. The soaps were used for bathing and laundry purposes. Italy, Spain and France were the leaders in soap making.

Large scale soap manufacturing began in 1791, with the invention of a process of making soda ash from common salt by a French scientist Nicholas Leblanc. Several advancements came to Leblanc method of soap. The cost and time for making soda ash became lower.

German scientists developed a method of making cleaning agents without plant oil or animal fat. This chemically synthesized material is called detergent. This is harsher than soap (that produced from fat and oil). This happened in 1916, when the availability of fat and oils was scarce.

Utilization of enzymes for detergent manufacturing was a breakthrough in detergent manufacturing. A no enzyme content detergents too are available today, but the biggest thrust is on enzyme added detergents. There is however different environmental problems associated with use of enzymes in detergents.

Further researches produced higher quality detergents at lower costs. Detergents eventually went on to surpass soap as the preferred cleaning agent.

Later researches on cleaning products were concentrated on safety of the users and environment, ease of use and lower production costs. Detergents and soaps are available as cakes, powder and in liquid form. Detergents that mix well in saline water are also readily available in the market.

That is the history of stain removers, which started off as a mixture of fat and ash or plant products, which, with advancement in research facilities has grown to such high proportions that everyone today can afford to have a stain remover of his or her choice. Read more Carpet Cleaning Tips from a Professional Carpet Cleaner.

Can You Repaint Aluminium Windows

If you have old aluminium windows, the question— can you repaint aluminium windows —has perhaps visited your mind more than once. Well, the happy fact is that you can. You can paint and repaint the aluminium windows, security screens, fly screens, sliding doors etc. You just need to prepare the material rightly for the repaint and follow the right procedures.

Aluminium frames generally come with a surface coating known as anodised finish. There are also other kinds of aluminium frames which are powder coated or painted. With the right surface preparation, you can repaint all of these surfaces. You should start with scouring the surface of the frames with fine wire wool. This will remove the loose oxidation from the surfaces. You must see that you do not scrub too hard. Once this is done, dust the frames carefully and if possible, twice over, to make sure that all the fine grains of dust created by scouring have been removed. Afterwards, wash the surfaces with warm water and give them time to dry.

The things you will need to perform the job include a chemical metal painter, some metal primer paint, some top coat paint and some good brushes. Once you have finished the scouring process, just head to the local paint store and talk to the man in the know there. Explain what exactly you are planning to do with your windows and ask for advice as to the right kind of paints to use. Make sure that you describe the state your window frames are in and repeat the question to him— can you repaint aluminium windows — and see what he has to say.

Unless your windows are in pretty bad shape, the answer will be in affirmative. Once you come back from the store, and the frames are dry, too, start with applying the metal cleaner all over the surface. Follow the instructions on the label carefully. The cleaner wipes out any kind of surface contamination that can possibly prevent the new paint from sticking to the aluminium. Once the cleaner is applied, make sure you do not touch the frames anymore. Next you will have to prime the surface using the metal primer. Once this is done, you need to apply double layer of thin coats of the finishing paint. Make sure you do not apply thick coats. The temptation is often there but contrary to common belief, the thick layers run the risk of peeling off very soon. Hope you have now got a satisfactory answer to your question— can you repaint aluminium windows.

One last thing to keep in mind is that if you are applying a finishing colour different from the existing one, you must choose the colour with care. For example, do not try to substitute a dark colour like brown with too light a colour like peach yellow or soft cream. This may backfire and hint of the earlier colour will make the new job unpleasing to the eye. In general, the answer to the question— can you repaint aluminium windows — is yes, you can. You just need to be in the know of the right procedures and it will be easier than you thought.

The Truth About Fit Flops

Why do most teenagers own more flip flop sandals than any other shoes? Much has been published about the dangers of daily flip flop wearing, but this generation continues to don them on a daily basis.

Biomechanical engineers in the UK have touted (and backed up their claim with real science) the “Fit Flop” as a way to tone your butt, legs, calves and thighs while walking. Refreshingly, a side effect of wearing “Fit Flops” appears to be a decrease in stress on your feet, legs and back decreasing wear and tear as well as some common achy pains.

Why is this? The “Fit Flop” is engineered much like a “barefoot technology” shoe. It makes the muscles that stabilize the foot work harder and over a period of time can actually strengthen your feet. The common flip-flop actually accentuates pronation, the rolling in of your feet which causes fatigue and biomechanical stress in your feet and lower legs. This can lead to overuse injuries like plantar fasciitis and posterior tibial tendonitis which are commonly known as “arch fatigue” or “fallen arches”. Flip-flop sandals also increase the stress on the great toe joint and can accelerate Hallux abducto valgus also known as “bunion” formation. Different midsole densitities actually accelerate the propulsion phase of gait, decreasing the stress on the great toe joint and decreasing injuries. Those people suffering from bunions may make them their daily shoe gear!

The makers of “Fit Flops” have some good science behind their claim to increase muscle activation 10-12% and it was verified by an independent lab outside their company. Consumers should be cautioned to wear the “Fit Flops” gradually because of the delayed muscle soreness that occurs just like the beginning of a work out routine.

Is the “Fit Flop” the answer to your workout woes? Can your foot problems be a thing of the past? Not even close, no shoe can do that! They can help you burn a few more calories during your daily routine, but cardiac fitness can never be achieved in this manner. A new sandal, no matter how effecive, cannot replace your daily fitness routine. Do no skip your workout. Maybe a curvier calf muscle or thinner thigh, but just walking in a sandal cannot achieve real fitness.

Can anyone wear a “Fit Flop?” Caution should be taken in picking any shoe. Foot type is important to evaluate. The “Fit Flop” is not for you if you have a significantly flexible flat foot due to the destabilizing technology built in to the sandal which can actually accentuate stress injuries in this unstable foot type. If you require in-shoe foot orthotics, the “Fit Flop” is probably not for you.

Bottom line: “Fit Flops” are a good alternative to the common flip-flop sandal but should be worn gradually. Pay attention to any fatigue in your feet! If you have any foot pain or injury, visit your podiatrist and ask their advice on your ability to wear “Fit Flops.”

The History Of Coats For Women

The coat is a real newcomer in the woman’s wardrobe because until the late 19th century women preferred to wear capes. This was because the clothes worn then would have been difficult to wear under a cost. However, as sports activities became more popular, day dresses became less bulky so that women could wear coats and demand for them rose rapidly. Because fashion still dictated that clothes should vary according to the occasion, a wide range of different coat models were developed. In addition, the new mobility made possible by bicycles, automobiles, railroads, and ocean liners required different models with different finishes to resist wind, dust, rain or soot. The newspapers of the early 20th century were full of advertisements for practical yet elegant coats. The suppliers of this new type of garment recorded a steadily growing demand, and coat departments in large stores became increasingly important.

Around 1900, traveling in the new, modern means of transportation was still rather uncomfortable, so that to survive an automobile journey, an ankle length, double-breasted coat with a high collar was necessary. But as cars became more weather-resistant in the 1920s and 1930s, travel clothes became lighter. At the same time, the growing number of working women also needed practical and thick coats that could be worn to go to the office. This led to the development of a few basic forms that still exist today and are endlessly varied by designers, such as the trench coat, the knee-length swing coat, and double-breasted wool coat with or without belt.

Because the ladies’ coat developed relatively late and was therefore unable to fall back on traditional examples, its designers turned to the classics in men’s fashion for inspiration, at least as far as daywear was concerned. Consequently a woman’s wardrobe may contain a number of well known, traditional designs with this inspiration, ranging from the chesterfield coat with velvet collar to the sporty polo coat with patch pockets, in the other hand, fashion designers created very feminine silhouettes for evening wear, and the fashion for fur developed its own interpretation of the coat. After World War II, haute couture also began to concentrate on coat design, which now had to reflect the fashion of the day. The coat’s length had to follow that of the dress or skirt, as a result of which coats became very short in the 1960s, when designers created a simple but very elegant coats.

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What Not To Text Your Ex – 5 Bad Types Of Text Messages

Everyone tends to focus on coming up with that “magical” set of words they can send in a text to get an ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend back, but knowing what not to text your ex is just as important. There’s a lot of different ways to say the right things, but just one slip up saying the wrong thing can kill the relationship buzz for good.

This article briefly explores 5 examples of what not to text your ex after a breakup. Avoid saying the things below and you’ll be more successful in getting your ex back.

1.) The Overly Zealous Apology

The first type of bad text message is one I like to refer to as the “overly zealous apology”. It occurs when you apologize repeatedly and unnecessarily for things you did wrong in the relationship.

So should you apologize if you know you messed up? Of course.

Should you apologize over and over again with the thought that the next, “I’m sorry” will magically make your ex want to be with you again? Absolutely not.

You can’t erase the past so make a sincere apology once and then stop apologizing for the same things over and over again. It makes you look needy and desperate.

Here’s an example of an overly zealous apology text message: “I’m so so so sorry. What can I do to make it up to you? I’m so sorry I hurt you. It will never happen again.”

2.) The Begging And Pleading Text

The begging and pleading text is another example of what not to text your ex after a breakup. If you’ve been asking your ex for a second chance, then there’s a good chance you’ve been using some sort of begging or pleading text. These texts cry of insecurity and neediness.

For example: “Please just give me another chance. I’ll do anything. Just tell me what you want me to do and I’ll do it.”

3.) The Profession Of Desperation

The profession of desperation is a text you usually send when you’re in panic mode and feel like you have to act fast to keep from losing your ex for good. It’s usually a last ditch effort to say something super romantic or to profess your undying love to get your ex to change his or her mind.

Example: “I love you so much! You mean the absolute world to me. I can’t stand the thought of you being with someone else. This can’t be over. I’ll die without you.”

4.) The “Goes Nowhere And Does Nothing” Text

What I refer to as “goes nowhere and does nothing” texts are what author Michael Fiore refers to in his texting guide, Text Your Ex Back, as nothing texts.

These types of texts aren’t bad in the sense of making you appear needy and desperate, but they usually don’t take the conversation anywhere and don’t leave any curiosity or hooks for a positive response from your ex. They tend to just create an awkward “where do we go from here” moment.

You’ll catch yourself sending these types of texts when you don’t really know what to say but feel like you need to contact your ex to make yourself feel better. You might be testing the waters to see if your ex will actually respond to your text, but it’s better to send nothing at all than to send a nothing text.

Examples: “Hi!”, “Yo!”, “What’s up?”

5.) The Repeat Offender

The repeat offender occurs anytime you start texting your ex wondering why they haven’t responded to the first text you sent. When it comes to using text messages to get your ex back, you should never send these types of messages if your ex doesn’t reply to you. It will make them feel pressured and/or cornered, and they will pull even further away from you.

Example: “I’ve sent you like 3 texts. Did you get them? Why aren’t you writing me back?” or “You must be busy. You’re not writing me back.”

Why Do Muscles Only Pull And Not Push

Muscles are essential to the normal operation of your body because they help you control movement and posture. You use them every day, without fail, because without them, you would not be able to exert force on what you are doing. By adjusting the length of the muscle, also the tension, your muscles are able to contract.

You have three different types of muscles-the cardiac muscle, smooth muscle, and skeletal muscle. These muscle types control the whole of your body. The cardiac muscle manages the blood flow, oxygen, and electric signals, because it is responsible for the beating of your heart. Your cardiac muscle functions involuntarily and so you have nothing to do about it. The smooth muscle pulls the hollow structures of your body, which is also an involuntary action. And of course, the skeletal muscle, which comprises the most muscles of your body, supports your entire body. You need these muscles because without them, you would not be able to move, you would just be immobile.

Many people are confused as to how muscles work. In fact, muscles can only pull or contract (and not push). Every day, muscles work in pairs in order for a person to bend, pick things up, and do a lot of things. In doing these things, a muscle inside the body lengthens, and the other shortens. The one that shortens is the one that contracts, also called as the agonist. While the muscle that lengthens is called as the antagonist. Well, the muscles are designed to only contract, and not to push. This is why muscles cannot push.

The muscles would not be able to pull if the two protein molecules are not present: the actin and myosin. These two are arranged from the end to end of muscle cells, and so they provide the muscles striated appearance. Muscles help the joints in order for you to move, and also perform other actions as well and transmit it to other parts of the body, so you can achieve what you want to do.

Muscles contract or pull when an electrical impulse from a part of your body, say the brain or other organs, stimulates the muscle at the neuronal synapse. The electrical impulse then becomes a chemical signal, which results at the neuron’s terminal, while it activates the chemical signal by releasing neurotransmitters.

There are just so many things to learn about muscles. You have to maintain them, do your best to protect yourself so that you would be strong in the long run. Of course, you need to understand why your muscles contract because you use them in your everyday life. To learn more about muscles, have a chat with your local manual therapist, such as your trusted osteopath or physiotherapist.

Problems With Portable Storage Pods

It is no secret that portable storage pods are a very popular storage option for many. Their demand can easily be evidenced by simply looking around in your neighborhood as odds are good you will see or two fairly quickly. The interest in these has risen to the point where they have become a preferred item over other options. However, even with all this interest, they are not without their own problems or issues. Here, we take a look at a few of these issues and what you can do about them.

Storage pods have difficulty in extreme temperatures.

This will be intuitive to many people who recognize that any portable storage will have its limits. In extreme temperatures, these containers suffer in performance. However, they do turn out to do really well in a pretty broad temperature including fairly cold temperatures and very hot temperatures. But if you find that the temperature gets too hot or cold in your area, we suggest that you have the container moved to a climate controlled facility. Most of the container companies have this option and you should take advantage of this option at times when the temperature really goes beyond what these containers are designed for.

Door way opening latch can become blocked.

This can be an issue with some storage pods where the door is unable to be opened because items inside press against the door making it hard to open the container. One of the best ways to guard against this issue is to pack items up to about 85% occupancy. This will help ensure the entrance is not blocked. It also has the added benefit of making it easier to find items in storage because of the extra space.

Some containers have design issues.

One issue for some containers is that they have a raised entrance. This is an issue with only a few pods but it is worth noting. This raised entrance makes it a little harder to load and unload items and there is an increased risk of tripping because of the raised entrance.

Another issue that some containers have is what the container is made of. Some containers are made of plywood which can create an environment where mildew and moisture can become an issue. The best solution in these settings is to opt for other kinds of pods that do not have this issue.

By keeping these different issues of portable storage pods, you should be much better prepared to get the most out of yours.

Air Conditioning Blows Hot Or Warm on One Side – Free Car AC Help

Car air conditioning systems that blow warm on one side and cold on the other side usually have one of two problems. In this short auto repair article, a master automotive technician shares his experience, derived from working on air conditioners in Florida for the last couple of decades. This free information can be equally helpful to the do-it-yourselfer as it is to a consumer that knows the value of being informed when it comes to dealing with car repair shops. Read on for free car A/C help when the air is blowing warm on ONE side.

Usually cars that blow cold on one side of the dash and warm on the other side, are typically equipped with a dual zone climate control system. Dual zone systems allow the driver and front passenger to adjust respective temperatures to their comfort levels. There are two common causes of a temperature difference when both sides are set at the coldest settings, lets cover the first one.

Low Refrigerant

Automotive air conditioners which use 134A, usually hold a small amount of refrigerant compared to older automobiles that use R12. Car and truck air conditioners today are much more efficient than their older counter parts. The fact that 134A systems use less freon, means that a leak can more quickly affect the performance of an HVAC (Heating Ventilation & Air Conditioning) system. Due to the design of dual AC systems, low refrigerant is the leading cause of drastic temperature difference from one side of the dash to the other. Even well experienced car mechanics may be surprised to learn that as little as 4 to 8 ounces undercharged of 134A can make such a huge difference. The temperature from the left vent to the right vent can vary 10 to 20 degrees. The easiest thing to try is to top off the system or better yet, remove all freon and recharge the unit with the factory specified amount. In most cases after the proper charge of Freon is in the car, the temp will blow equally as cold like it should on BOTH sides!

What if that didn’t help? Read on to learn of another possible cause of the problem.

HVAC Door Issue

Dual zones supplying different temperatures from vents on either side of the dash is achieved by the use of small doors within the HVAC housing. By controlling the doors, the temperature of the air on the left and right can be adjusted to the desired comfort level. Many times the motor (or actuator) that controls the door for either side can fail or the door itself can break and prevent the temp. from being adjusted. Diagnosing this problem is more complex and can be a subject for another article. Thanks for reading. Hopefully, the free information provided here will help to remedy the problem of “AC’s blowing hot or warm from one side of the dash.”

What Is A Contactor In An Air Conditioning System? A Bad Contactor Can Lead To Major Failures!

A contactor is defined as an electrical relay used to control the flow of power in a circuit. Many people also refer to them as a relay. A relay is actually defined as a device that responds to a small current or voltage change by activating switches or other devices in an electric circuit. In the real world of heating and air conditioning, what this means is a contactor is capable of handling a higher current than a relay. Relays are usually reserved for small pilot duty applications. Most heating and air conditioning service technicians will not call a contactor a relay.

We will be discussing a typical single pole or double pole contactor as would be found in a modern home using a split system gas furnace with air conditioning or a heat pump. Single poles have only one set of contacts while double poles have two. Single poles are used by many manufacturers of equipment. Single poles only break half the power to the fan motor and compressor while double poles break it all. We feel most heating and air conditioning service technicians probably like breaking both sides, at least we do.

Contactors actually have at least two separate circuits in them. (Some commercial contactors have many circuits). One circuit is the low voltage coil circuit and the other is the load circuit.

The coil circuit in MOST home air conditioning or heat pump systems uses a 24 volt coil, however, there are some systems that use a 230 volt coil in conjunction with a small relay that switches the contactor on and off. These 230 volt coil systems are predominantly on older systems or commercial units these days. Before changing any contactor be sure the correct coil voltage is used or a burnt coil may result. The coil voltage will be marked on a small tag on the side of the contactor. The line/load circuit in the home contactor is used to supply 230 volts to the load side of the equipment from the line side. In other words, the main 230 volt power coming from the power source of the home flows across the contacts in the contactor to the line side (compressor, fan motor and any other component) when the coil is energized by a call from the home thermostat for cooling or in a heat pump for cooling or heating. When the thermostat isn’t calling for the unit to be running, the coil releases and the contacts open causing the compressor and fan motor to stop.

Thousands of on and off cycles however, cause a couple of problems. The most obvious problem is that the contacts themselves get burnt from constantly arching as they open and close the 230 volt connection. Contacts can actually weld themselves closed after a period of time. These thousands of cycles also cause the plastic sliding mechanism to wear. This wear often causes the contactor contacts to stick closed even though the thermostat has stopped sending an electrical signal to the coil. When this happens it usually goes unnoticed by the homeowner and can quickly lead to a frozen evaporator coil and or compressor. When a frozen condition exists the oil in the compressor is also frozen and can’t lubricate the internal parts inside the compressor. This conditions amounts to the same thing as running your vehicle with no oil! The other issue with burnt contacts is that there may be a voltage drop and added heat sent to the compressor and fan motor since the contacts are burnt.

To put things in perspective, changing a contactor is very cheap protection against having to replace a $1,000- $1,500 compressor. Contacts should be examined every year before operating the unit and usually should be replace every five years or so.

Candle Making Molds – What to Buy?

PVC molds

PVC (Polyvinyl Chloride) molds can easily be bought at candle supply stores at plenty of craft stores and of course online. You can buy one piece molds in several standard shapes – cylinder, rectangular prism, square based pyramid etc. There are also two piece molds these clip together to cut leakage. Once the wax sets, you just undo the clips, gently pull apart the mold pieces and you have a candle.

PVC is a good material for molds when making in your own home since it is strong, durable, resistant against heat and simple to wash. I find PVC a very hardy mold and I prefer it when working with children because even if they drop the mold it is unlikely to break. The smooth PVC offers an unblemished finish on the molded candle. Really, the only disadvantage I’ve noticed with PVC would be that the mold is opaque which means you can’t view your candle before you take it out of the mold.

I especially love the way I can easily create some basic pillar molds from just a quick trip to my home improvement store. When creating candles in your own home saving cash is very important, continue reading for more information about this topic later.

Polycarbonate molds

Polycarbonate molds are extremely popular. They also are available in one piece for common shaped candles and two pieces for more intricate detailed candles. You will notice that sometimes the intricate two piece molds have a gasket to cut leaks. You can also find some good polycarbonate trays for producing sets of shaped floating candles. In general I’ve discovered a wider variety of molds in Polycarbonate than PVC but Polycarbonate is often a little more expensive.

Polycarbonate is an excellent mold material for producing candles at home since it is strong and resistant to heat and simple to clean just like PVC. I actually do find I’m more careful with my polycarbonate molds though since they’re not as strong as my basic one piece PVC molds. The smooth Polycarbonate offers a fantastic finish on a molded candle. An excellent bonus when working with Polycarbonate is you can view your candle because the mold is transparent.

Aluminum molds

Aluminum molds are one piece, seamless and create a fantastic pillar candle. Using a single piece means there aren’t any seams to trim after removing the candle from the mold and aluminum has a perfect mold release. You’ll find aluminum molds at candle supply stores, online and at many craft stores. They’re probably most suitable to the candle maker who plan to run a business, more than the casual hobbyist making the occasional candle in their home. I’ve discovered aluminum molds retail at a higher price than polycarbonate molds. Again, the aluminum is opaque so you can’t actually view your candle before you release it from your mold. Having said that, I don’t consider this to be a problem whatsoever.

Polyurethane molds

Polyurethane molds are tough and easy to use. You can buy standard taper molds in polyurethane as well as quite decorative pillars and shaped candles. The creators of the molds are able to include great detail in these molds. They are extremely durable and will definitely work for countless pours. Generally, polyurethane molds are one piece with a side slit, however some are two piece with minimum seams due to their excellent design. You insert the wick through the hole in the base of the mold.

While there are lots of good things about polyurethane, if you’re only starting out making candles, or are simply just a hobbyist making candles in the home, polyurethane candles are a costly investment. Prior to buying one you should make certain you will make use of that mold many times to get enough value from your outlay.

Silicone molds

Silicone is a little like the new kid in the street in the candle making arena. Silicone molds made from high-quality silicone rubber will last through countless pourings, if looked after properly. Silicone molds are fantastic and are available in a wide array of wondrous shapes. You can find molds to create a candle the same shape as a cupcake, a banana split, a cinnamon bun, a flower, a dog – you get the idea! Silicone molds allow you to make candles with incredibly fine detail. However, before getting too excited, they also are quite costly. For the hobbyist making candles at home you should make sure you will make use of the mold many times to receive enough value from your financial outlay. Having said that, I can’t resist them since the range is extensive and the candles created seem so realistic!

Besides cost, the one problem with silicone would be the need to handle it more carefully. Silicone can last for countless candles, however, you need to take great care not to tear it and you also need to make sure you take care of it correctly. Silicone molds must be kept out of sunlight, washed and dried thoroughly after use, and they need care when storing them for extended lengths of time.

If you are making candles in the home as a hobbyist what do you need to buy?

I suppose that will depend on where you’re in your candle making enterprise. If you’re only starting out making candles at home you actually can’t fail using a PVC, Polycarbonate or Aluminum mold in a basic standard shape such as a cylinder, cube, or hexagonal prism. Which one you chose will be determined by availability and your budget. I’d recommend you begin by using a basic one piece mold and as your experience develops move on to two piece and more decorative molds.

Suppose you don’t have the means to buy any molds? You will find loads of Do-it-Yourself options, the fact is I’ve made use of milk cartons, silicone cupcake trays, ice-cube trays, cardboard to make nets of prisms and I have made my own basic pillar PVC mold from a trip to the home improvement store. You can make PVC molds quickly and easily from a piece of PVC pipe and an end cap. Simply glue the end cap on the length of PVC pipe and drill a wick hole in the centre of the end cap. You can make a candle mold out of any material that is able to withstand the heat of the wax and will not leak when you pour hot wax into it.

Overall, have fun making candles and use your creativity to experiment with possible mold materials if purchasing a mold is out of your budget at the moment.

Audio, Visual, or Kinetic – A Simple Exercise to Help You Understand Your Concentration Style

People process the sensory data received by their brains in different ways. How you process the sensory data in your brain has a lot to do with how, and when, you focus best. In order to discover how you process data, I’d like you to try this simple three-minute exercise…

1. Get a piece of paper and divide it into three columns.

2. Title the first column sight, the second column sound, and the third column smell, taste, feel.

3. Now, sit silently for three minutes, and write whatever you happen to notice during those three minutes in its corresponding column. If you hear a dog bark, for example, you write dog bark in the sound column. If you see a bird fly by, you write bird in the sight column, and if you begin to feel uncomfortable, you write uncomfortable in the smell, taste, feel column, and so on.

4. When the three minutes are over, count how many items you have in each column.

5. This exercise works best if you do it before you read any further.

The types of distractions that you noticed during those three minutes will indicate whether you are predominantly audio, visual or kinetic. And whether you are audio, visual or kinetic will have a lot to do with the type of sensory data that steals your focus.

If most of the items on your list were in the sight column, then you tend to process information visually. You are probably distracted by anything within your line of sight. But when you control what enters your line of sight, you also control your distractions. If you are visual, you probably can’t take your eyes off the flickering of a television. Bad lighting annoys you. Clutter most likely distracts and irritates you. And if you have more than one project on your desk, you will have difficulty focusing on the project at hand. You do not work well facing windows, messes, or crowded rooms. But what you can’t see won’t distract you. So, when you do need to concentrate, control what you have in your line of sight, and you will find concentrating much easier.

If most of the items on your list were in the sound column, you tend to be audio. You cannot ignore sounds. If someone asks you a question, you are compelled to respond. When you go to bed, you lie awake-listening to the sound of your own thoughts and hearing every drippy sink for miles. Noise steals your focus and concentration. When you try to concentrate in a noisy space, you are driven to distraction. Libraries were made for you because once you control the sounds around you, you begin to control your focus. Earplugs, closed doors and white noise are your best defenses. By white noise, I mean any continuous sound that keeps your overly sensitive ears busy without distracting them-continuous being the key word because if there is a disruption in that noise, you will notice. Some examples of white noise are: a television with the volume at a faint mumble, the clatter and murmur of a local coffee shop, the trickling water of a fountain, an air conditioner’s hum, low chanting, your own voice drowning out other noises and soft music with no lyrics. “No lyrics” is important because if audio people can hear words, they will start paying attention to those words. If you are audio, then once you begin to control the sounds around you, you will begin to expand your focus.

Finally, if most of the items on your list were in the third column, you tend to be kinetic. Touch and smell are your dominant senses. Extremes in temperature, poor airflow, obnoxious smells and cramped quarters are your concentration sappers. Kinetic people benefit from controlling the space and smells around them. In fact, aromatherapy can actually aid a kinetic person’s concentration by giving them something upon which to concentrate. Kinetic people also benefit from improved airflow, air conditioning and heating systems. They’re the one type of person who must invest in comfortable desk furniture because unless kinetic people feel comfortable, they’ll be unable to focus on the job at hand, and the investment in their comfort will be worth the expense. Kinetic people only really notice what enters their personal space, so if you want to hold a kinetic person’s attention, you had better be within their arms reach. If you are kinetic, then controlling your personal space will expand your ability to focus.

Can you be all three types? Well, can people be ambidextrous? Of course! And the same holds true for audio, visual and kinetic people. However, most people do have one dominant sense, and they only notice the distractions to their other senses after their dominant sense has been distracted. I’m audio, for example, and the fact that my office is cramped, stuffy and cluttered only seems to affect my concentration when my neighbor is playing loud music. By and large, when people control the distractions to their dominant sense, the distractions to their other senses don’t bother them so much.

Different Alternatives of Picture Frame Mat Styles

For most people who are viewing art, the wider mats help to give a visual “breathing space” between the picture frame as well as the art that seems more comfortable. Wide mat borders were once mainly utilized by art collectors and museums on their highly valued pieces, but they are now quite popular for a lot of kinds of framed art.

The best choice of mat borders is mostly personal preference which can change over time. It’s a good idea, when trying to determine your preference, to consider framed art in magazines, in museums, in other people’s homes, or really anywhere art is found.

In addition to the width of the mat border, you will find variations which have developed throughout the years, some to match variations of art along with decor. Create the mood of the art that you display with different varieties of mats borders.

Equal Borders, Single Mat

The most basic standard mat has equal widths all around and supplies a straightforward presentation for almost any form of art. The texture and color of the surface of this mat board can make the overall character of your artwork.

Numerous Opening Mats

This type of mat is generally used for photographs, a single mat board has multiple openings cut in it allowing you to display more than one picture. The openings may all be a variety of shapes and sizes, or might be the identical shape and size. This sort of mat can also be used to show off collections, like trading cards or stamps. When you are displaying many items within one frame, usually it is advisable to choose simple frames, like solid colored wood picture frames or plain silver plated picture frames.

The Double Mats

The double mat is actually two mats that are over one another. From a half inch to 1/8 inch of the bottom mat is revealed within the opening in the top mat. Usually the mats are two different colors, but this is not necessary. This sort of map creates visual and physical depth. If the artwork utilizes a double mat, it’s thought to be a more finished and professional looking piece.

A Weighted Bottom Mat

A weighted bottom mat is one that includes a wider or slightly extended bottom border. Some people believe that it suits a person’s eye since it gives the feel of a solid base. It’s a very popular style for several types of art framing.

Museum Mat Style

This type of mat has significant borders on the top and sides and a distinctly wider lower border. Art museums usually use this kind of mat to display drawings, engravings, and watercolor paintings, and that is the place that the name comes from. The traditional color preference of museums is neutral mats in gray, off-white, and white, however when used in home decor, some individuals like more density with the colors of their matting.

The Oriental Mat

This kind of mat has two narrow opposite sides, and the remaining borders are much wider, and is meant to mimic the proportions of the art which is located on scrolls. Typically, the narrow sides are one third to a fourth the width of the other sides. This sort of mat works well with elongated art, but is typically seen with Asian art prints and paintings.

Arched Mat

If you are looking to get a traditional, romantic, or classical feel, pick a curved arch mat. This style of mat makes artwork feel antique, and it is a wonderful choice for vintage photographs. It’s also a wonderful choice when you have romantic photographs, like from an anniversary or a wedding.

A Print Mat

This mat gives your art a contemporary character and works well for prints that are on oversized sheets of paper, and the mat has a narrow bottom and top and wider sides.

The Oval Mat

A mat that has an oval opening imparts both a romantic and an old-fashioned feel. This sort of mat works the best for a centered image, since the corners of the art that you are framing will be hidden. Oval mats can be used to frame silhouette portraits, wedding photos, and vintage photographs.

Using Fabric Covered Mats

It’s easy to add depth and dimension with the texture of the fabric mat. Usually these are found covered with linen, silk, suede, and velvet.

French Mats

The opening of the French mat is enclosed by ink lines, with panels of watercolor washes between these lines. These can have just two lines with one wash of color, or they can possess a number of lines and color panels.

Embellished Mat

It is possible to apply stickers or other decoration on the surface of a mat, like a simple monogram in a corner or possibly a tiny decorative design on all four corners. The kind of embellishment that you choose will make your artwork anywhere from playful to formal and chic.

Now that you’ve learned about a few of the numerous forms of mat which you can choose, have a great time framing your pictures. You are able to really improve your pictures with the type of mat that you use.

9 Wet Carpet Cleaning Myths

Water has damaged your carpets. Maybe you had a toilet leak, maybe your water heater burst, maybe your kid left the faucet running in the sink for hours.

What should you do to dry your wet carpet to minimize damage to your carpet and pad?

First of all, there is some general information about carpets you should know that applies to all the myths .

General Information about Water and Carpets

Residential carpet usually has a pad underneath it. The pad can be anywhere from 1/4 inch to almost an inch thick. The pad provides cushioning and gives your carpet that comfortable, soft feel when you walk on it.

Commercial carpet in offices and stores generally doesn’t have pad underneath it.

Carpet pad absorbs water like a sponge: The problem with pad under a carpet is that it is a sponge and can hold many times it’s own weight in water.

Pad is designed to cushion your feet, so it is spongy by nature and will soak up water like the cleaning sponge in your kitchen sink.

Carpet doesn’t stop or hold much water:

Although your carpet may feel very solid under your feet, it offers very little resistance to water passing through it.

Carpet is actually like a sieve to water. A typical carpet will not hold more than a few ounces of water per square foot of carpet before it is saturated. After these initial few ounces of water have entered the carpet, any further water filters straight through the carpet and into the pad.

Water likes to travel:Water doesn’t stay put, it is always on the move. The rule to remember is “Wet goes to Dry”. Water will automatically move towards a dry building material.

Water at the center of a room will flow through the carpet and across the pad to the walls. It will migrate to the edges of the room in a matter of minutes or hours depending on how much water was spilled.

When you touch the carpet at the edge of the room, it may not even feel damp, but the pad could be saturated. This can be seen using an infrared camera. An infrared (or Thermal Imaging) camera is useful in finding the real area that the water has damaged, even if you can’t see or feel it.

In general I would say that the actual wet area in any flood (found with professional water damage meters) is about twice the size of what the home owner reports.

An infrared camera will show how water travels under the carpet through the pad. Even in a ‘small’ flood, water can migrate through walls and end up 2 rooms away within 12 hours.

Bearing the information above in mind, here are some common myths about wet carpets and how to dry wet carpets

Myth #1. The carpet will dry by itself

This is actually true, just like it is true that you could win the lottery with one ticket.

Yes, the carpet will eventually dry by itself. However, will it smell bad or have mold on it by the time it is dry? What other damage will occur while the carpet dries by itself?

Unless you live in someplace like Arizona or the desert where you have high temperature and low humidity, there is VERY little chance that the carpet and pad will dry before mold starts growing or bacteria start creating that wet carpet, damp smell. Typically you have about 72 hours to dry wet building materials before they start growing mold.

Even if the carpet itself dries, does that mean the pad is dry? There is very little chance that the pad is dry. The pad holds more moisture than carpet and is prevented from easily releasing the moisture due to the carpet above it and the sub-floor below it. So even if your carpet is dry, the pad is probably not dry.

Which brings us to another point. What about the wet sub-floor? Remember that carpet is like a sieve, and the carpet will pass water down to the pad very quickly. A saturated pad can then release water into the sub-floor.

Drying Sub-floors

Sub-floors are usually either wood or concrete.

Concrete sub floors are sponges too, except they are very slow sponges. They absorb water surprisingly quickly, but release it very slowly. So even if the carpet and pad are dried quickly, the concrete sub-floor could still release moisture for weeks.

Wood sub-floors hold water too. If they’re made of chip-board/particle board/press-board (small chips of wood held together with glue) and they are wet for more than a few hours they absorb water, expand, and lose their structural integrity.

When wet particle board dries it has almost no strength and you will find yourself stepping through your floor if you’re not careful.

Plywood or OSB (Oriented Strand Board) are much more hardy choices for a sub-floor than particle board. If they get wet, you can dry them, as long as they haven’t been sitting wet for long enough to warp. This falls loosely under the 72 hour rule. Another concern is dry rot which is a bacterial deterioration that takes 21 days to manifest at lower moisture levels.

Determining whether the sub-floor is wet or not can only reliably be done with a penetrating moisture meter. Different building materials have different acceptable levels of moisture, so you use the meter to tell you if the material is acceptably dry or not.

Depending on the region you live in, plywood is dry at around 20% Equivalent Moisture Content (EMC). In as little as 4 days, mold can start growing on wet plywood if not dried correctly.

So, we know that the carpet and pad are unlikely to dry quickly enough by themselves. But even if they did, is that all you have to concern yourself with when your carpets are wet? No, it’s not.

Like I said, WET goes to DRY. What this means is the water keeps spreading outwards from the source.

On one flooded carpet job we did, the carpet first got wet about 12 hours before we arrived. During that time the home owner used her wet vac to suck up as much water as possible from the wet carpet – about 100 gallons.

She just wanted us to dry her carpets. However, using the infrared camera and moisture meters, we found that her walls were wet, in some places to almost 12″ above the carpet.

Wet drywall, is that a problem?

The problem with wet drywall is the usual 72 hour problem.

In as little as 72 hours mold can start growing on that wet dry wall. Mold especially likes dark, warm places with no airflow. That describes the wall cavity – the perfect place for mold to grow.

So that’s the problem – wet carpet creates wet drywall which can create mold. Below is a picture of a wall after water had been standing for a long time.

To summarize. Yes, the carpet will eventually dry by itself. But you’ll more than likely have mold and smells by the time it is dry, and then you’ll be ripping walls and carpet out to fix the problem

Myth #2. You have to remove the wet pad underneath your carpet

There is a myth that you can’t remove water from a wet pad, even with commercial extraction equipment. People who say this are talking about the standard carpet cleaning ‘wand’ shown on the right. It is what is commonly used to clean carpets. It sprays hot water onto the carpet and then sucks it back up again.

The wand is designed to pull water out of the carpet fibers, not the pad and it does a good job at that. So if you have water damage on commercial carpet without a pad, the wand is a good tool to use.

However, on residential carpet with a pad, it extracts almost none of the water from the pad.

So how do you get water out of the pad so you don’t have to remove and discard the pad?

There are a number of new commercial extraction tools that will remove water from the pad. Our favorite is the FlashXtractor. It is a wonderful piece of equipment, probably my favorite tool. (We have no affiliation with the makers of this tool, and receive no compensation for mentioning it)

The FlashXtractor will pull buckets of water out a carpet that has been wand extracted to death!

Before tools like the FlashXtractor came out, there was a technique called “floating the carpet” which was used to dry carpet and pad due to the poor job the wand did of extracting water from the pad.

To float a carpet, you pull up a corner of the carpet and stick an air mover or carpet fan under the carpet to blow air under the carpet and onto the pad. While this method still works it is slower, less effective, and often stretches the carpet so that it doesn’t fit properly when restretched.

Floating the carpet is an old school technique that is unnecessary if you have the right tools, ie a deep extraction tool such as the FlashXtractor.

To complicate matters, bear this in mind. While you can dry wet pad, it doesn’t always mean you should.

If you have contaminated water in the pad you can dry it, but you will be leaving at least some contamination in the pad and over time, it will start to stink and rot. In contaminated water situations you will have to remove the pad because you can’t effectively decontaminate it while it is underneath the carpet. In the water restoration industry, contaminated water is called Category 2 (gray water) or Category 3 (black water).

Myth #3. You can’t dry a wet pad under a carpet

The truth to this myth is the same as for the question above. Basically, you can dry a wet pad, even without floating that carpet, but that doesn’t mean you always should. See the answer above for details.

Myth #4. You have to lift the carpet and ‘float’ it using blowers

The answer to this question is in the answer to question 2 above. To summarize, you don’t have to float carpet if you have a deep extraction tool and know how to use it.

Myth #5. You have to remove and discard wet carpet.

Sometimes.

If you have a black water situation (Category 3 water – contaminated water such as sewage, toilet leak or rising ground water), according to the industry standard IICRC S500, you have to discard the carpet. I believe this is because there is no EPA registered disinfectant for carpet.

However, if you have Category 2 water (gray water such as washing machine waste water, shower runoff,etc) you have to discard the pad, but you can clean the carpet and keep it.

Category 1 water (clean water – toilet supply line, fridge ice maker, etc), and it hasn’t been sitting for more than 48 hours, then you can extract the water and keep the carpet and pad.

The other reason water damage restoration technicians sometimes believe they should discard wet carpet is because the backing of the carpet will de-laminate when it is dried. The backing is the lattice webbing on the back of the carpet that holds the carpet fibers together. It is glued on. If it gets wet and stays wet for a long time it can separate from the carpet fibers and start to disintegrate.

How long is a long time? It’s hard to predict – depends on the carpet, the temperature, how wet it was, etc. Normally by the time the carpet de-laminates you’ve got a black water situation anyway, so the carpet has to go.

Myth #6. Professional Carpet Cleaning will dry your carpet and pad

No. Not unless they use a deep extraction tool that is designed specifically to remove water from the pad. A regular carpet cleaning wand will not remove significant water from the carpet pad.

Myth #7. To remove the wet carpet smell, you should have it professionally cleaned.

Yes, with a ‘mostly’ attached to it. The carpet cleaning machines and methods available to most home owners aren’t very effective. Compared to commercial carpet cleaning equipment, the carpet cleaning machines you rent from the local supermarket are like a moped is to a Harley. They’re the same thing, but not really.

Getting anything other than a light smell out of a carpet requires the high pressure and suction of a commercial machine. It also requires the expertise of a trained and experienced carpet cleaner. There are many causes and solutions to different smells in a carpet and knowing what to do and when to it requires training and experience.

If baking soda and vacuuming don’t work, your best bet is to call an trained and experienced carpet cleaner, preferably one that is also an IICRC certified Odor Control Technician.

Myth #8. If you dry a flooded carpet, you will not get a moldy wet carpet smell

Depends. If a carpet is dried quickly and properly there will be no smell. In fact, if anything, there will be less smell because the carpet has effectively been cleaned.

If the carpet and pad are not dried quickly and properly you will probably have a problem with lingering musky smells and mold.

See myth #2 for more details.

Myth #9. You have to use a truck mount carpet extractor to dry or clean a carpet properly

False. This is an ongoing debate that I don’t think will ever be resolved completely. Portable carpet cleaning machines have the advantage of short hose runs while truck mounts have the advantage of high power.

What it comes down to is really the technician holding the wand. A good technician on a bad machine will get a better result than a bad technician on a good machine.

Summary

If you’ve had more than a few gallons of water spilled on your carpet, you’re better off calling a professional water damage company to properly dry your home if you can afford it, or if you have insurance. As you leaned above, the problem is that if the carpets and walls aren’t dried quickly you could face a mold situation which is much more expensive to fix than drying the carpets.

The Best Rug Pad For Laminate Floors

With all the stories about damage to laminate floors, one has to be careful in using the proper rug pad for the type of floor involved. I keep hearing that flooring people advise the homeowner not to use any rubber or PVC rug pad on their laminate floor as this can cause a negative reaction with the floor. Although this may not be the case in all instances, one is better to be safe than sorry.

A good quality jute rug pad is completely safe for laminate floors, prolongs the life of the rug and adds comfort. By a good quality, I mean choosing one that is made of recycled material. There are plenty of these so called jute rug pads on the market that are based of polypropylene, which is another word for plastic.

It is simple to choose the right pad for your laminate floors. First, make sure the description of the item states it as being made from recycled materials. This type of material is usually recycled nylon and wool carpet fibers compressed together to form the pad. Second, since there are various qualities, the best one is what is called a 40 ounce weight. This refers to the amount of material per square yard compressed into the pad. The higher the weight, the longer the pad will last and the more resistant the pad will be in protecting the floor and rug.

When purchasing a 40 ounce recycled jute rug pad and using it under your rugs on laminate floors, you will not have any damage to your floors. This quality should last around 15 years, even more in less used rooms, with very little care. A simple vacuuming once in a while will not hurt and there is not much else to be concerned about.

Your laminate floors are an investment so be sure to protect them with the proper rug pad. If you save a little now with those waffle like non slip pads, you may pay a much larger price in the future to repair or replace your floors.