Assembly Jobs at Home – A Fast Way to Make Good Money

Are you good with your hands? Have you always been the crafty one in your group? If you like to make things, but are not brave enough to strike out on your own and start your own craft business, than why not take advantage of the people that have decided to do just that. Seriously there is money to be made any where craft assembly is concerned. How nice does it sound to know what you can get paid to work with your hands, and never have to take a risk to do so.

Jewelry companies are one of the biggest outsourcers there is. Handmade beaded jewelry is selling like crazy due to the fact that it is unique. These companies that specialize in this jewelry can not keep up with the demand. This is where you would come into play. You are going to offer your services to these companies and make the jewelry out of your own home. Look for a homemade jewelry company online and email them, asking if there are any job openings available with them.

Once you are hired, the company will send you a trial kit. There is usually enough to make two or three items. You will be expected to make the items and then mail it back to them in the packages that they provide. If your work is accepted then you will be sent a larger package, with a bigger kit. Make the items as fast and as neat that you can.

The Different Types of Kitchen Sinks

The sink is the most important spot in any kitchen and it also one of the most frequently visited spot in the home. It is considered that at any given day, the morning work starts at a kitchen sink and the night work finishes at the kitchen sink. So, it is absolutely essential for the homeowner to select on the best type of kitchen sinks that will perfectly compliment the look as well as the entire set up of the kitchen area. It is also imperative that the homeowner should select the right sink that will be easy to maintain apart from being highly durable. Nowadays, markets all over the world are flooded with a wide array of shapes, sizes and designs of kitchen sinks that are made from various types of materials. There are so much of models available in the market, that the homeowner will not be finding it difficult to choose the right kitchen sink that suits the need and the décor of his or her kitchen.

The different mounting types are surface mount, wherein the sinks rim is visible on the top of the counter and the under- counter mount, where the sink mounts under the counter and the rim is not visible. The newest and trendy look that the sinks have these days, go well with the latest and contemporary designs of the modern kitchen. The looks of the kitchen sinks range form the normal domestic look to the more commercial or professional look to the contemporary old world styling look. Once the desired look is arrive at, it becomes relatively easy for the homeowner to choose the sinks made of materials like stainless steel, porcelain, marble, granite, copper or brass.

Stainless steel kitchen sinks are the most popular and common type of sinks seen all over the world. They bring out the professional look to the entire kitchen and will be a perfect compliment to any modern designed modular kitchens. The reason for their popularity is that they are highly durable and are very easy to maintain and will last a lifetime if little care is meted out to them. Another kitchen sinks that are slowly gaining popularity all over the world is the granite kitchen sink. They are also the most durable type of sinks whose surfaces are resistant to scratching, chipping and staining apart from being heat resistant. The granite kitchens are slightly on the expensive side, but are highly durable and also resist the rigors of everyday life and needs least attention or care.

If one desires to add a touch of class and antiqueness to the kitchen, then going for the copper or the brass kitchen sinks will be the best option. Copper sinks provide the most contemporary and elegant look not only to the kitchen but also the entire home. They are made from heavy, solid weathered copper or dark brown copper sheets with visible hand hammered prints by artisans on them. The extra thick casting provided on the copper sinks will easily help it last for a lifetime and also help them in absorbing noise. They are highly resistant to stains and discoloration and become more elegant as it ages. Copper kitchen sinks are usually under mounted and are very expensive and fall in the luxury category of kitchen sinks. Kitchen sinks, generally are available as a single or double sink and also come in round, rectangular, square and oval shapes.

Important Techniques for Mastering Lead Guitar – Hammer Ons, Pull Offs & Tapping

Some of the greatest guitar compositions have made it to the hall of fame thanks to their lead guitarists. Lead guitar refers to a the use of a guitar to perform melody lines, instrumental fill passages, and guitar solos within a song structure. Guitarists like Van Halen, Steve Vai, David Gilmour, John Petrucci, Dave Mustaine, Tom Morello, Kirk Hammett, Jimmy Page, Dave Murray, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse and many more have popularized the art of playing the Lead guitar.

Mastering the lead guitar takes time and effort. To master it you will need to use different and advanced scales, arpeggios, modes, riffs and licks. If you are thinking of becoming a lead guitarist then you will have to master various techniques of playing solo starting with hammer ons, pull offs and tapping.

Hammer Ons

Hammer-ons are normally played with pull-offs and are also known as slurs. A hammer if used on a lead guitar can create a smooth sound between different notes and is considered to be a great way of rendering a solo performance. It can be seen as playing multiple notes in one strike. Something like playing multiple notes on a saxophone in one breath. It is the slur effect that makes the hammer a must for playing lead guitar. Just as the name sounds, a hammer-on means striking an open string. Hammer on is extremely useful for strumming patterns in which you would be required to hold on to a particular chord for a few seconds.


For lead guitar playing, to accentuate the rhythm, you use a hammer on first and then play it backward, which is a pull off. To play this better, you should ideally start with two fingers on your fretboard. Let's take an example: if the index finger is at the 5th fret on your guitar's D string and if your ring finger is on the 7th fret then try picking the note at the 7th fret. At the point when the note rings, pull-off the ring finger, which will leave your index finger on the 5th fret. The sound that you get will be similar to a slurring effect and is a pull off.


Tapping is a popular lead guitar technique that has been used by many great guitarists. Associated mainly with an electric guitar, you can use the tapping technique on almost all kinds of string instruments. There are two types of tapping technique: The one-handed tapping also known as ordinary tapping, and the two-handed tapping. Some of the lead guitar experts consider it to be an extended technique. The technique will require you to tap the strings of your lead guitar using the use the fingers of one hand and this will sound like legato notes. But remember successful tapping requires the use of both the hands. Van Halen used the tap-pull-hammer method in his highly successful number called "Eruption" to create a long cascade consisting of several tapped notes.

Mosaic Tile Projects – Is it Durable For Years Ahead?

Mosaic Tile Projects are perfect alternative to traditional tiling such as ceramics. The natural “look and feel” of these unique stone panels opens up limitless opportunities and ideas for today’s interior and exterior design. In this quick article learn how a simple tiling technique can easily help you on transforming your home’s interior/exterior modern and luxurious.

Some basics

Mosaic Tile Projects are created by fixing together the same beach-stones that are selected by hand and then fixed onto a sq/ft mesh backing seamless tile. The seashores of S. East Asia are rich with these flat pebbles, and indeed most of these tiles are originated from that part of the world. There are so many applications provided by this unique tiling technique: Flooring and countertops for kitchens and bathrooms, wall coverings, patio floors, pools, wine cellars and fireplaces.

Main benefits

When we examine the advantages and benefits provided by this tiling technique, we find the following:

+ Easy to be replaced if needed.

+ Installation process is quick and takes only a few hours.

+ Easy do-it-yourself installation that doesn’t require any special skills or professional background.

Helpful advices!

+ Make sure the surface you are about to tile is flat, clean, dry and free of contaminants.

+ Order a small sample of the desired tiles prior to making a complete order – just to make sure it answers your expectations.

+ Measure the designated area first, and then add 5%-7% more to your order just as a backup for future use and in case you may need to repair or cut small tile pieces in order to tile small /narrow spaces.


Mosaic Tile Projects redecoration technique enables you to bring nature into your home, undoubtedly providing unique atmosphere and feeling to any room setting. There are probably many other pluses provided by this stylish home redecoration option, simply because any home-maker can use it at minimal effort. As mentioned earlier installation is quite easy, however, it is advised to use the following tips & advices before installing these stone panels.

Famous Chandeliers From Around The World

Elvis was so moved to bring a chandelier into his Graceland estate that he insisted on an impromptu late-night shopping spree at Memphis' Belvedere Lighting in 1974. While Elvis may have left the building, the breathtaking Italian cut glass chandelier now resides in the dining room.

The impressive wrought iron chandelier that hangs above the Grand Staircase in the Vanderbilt family's great Biltmore Estate requires 72 light bulbs.

The Winchester Mystery House in California, built by gun heiress Sarah Winchester to appease unhappy ghosts, contains an elegant, imported chandelier that originally contained 12 candles, but was refitted to hold the spirit-friendly number of 13.

The Blue Room, the White House's reception room, boasts a chandelier 79 feet by 36 feet, with 19-foot 10-inch ceilings. It takes one person two entire days to clean the monstrous chandelier, but as big as it is, the lighting fixture must also be removed every year to accommodate an even bigger Christmas tree.

Outside of private residences, however, one must either go to church or gamble at the card tables to find the largest chandelier. While the title for biggest chandelier is not a clear winner, four of the world's top casinos and a Spanish mosque currently vie for the bragging rights. However, reports say a British shopping center under reconstruction will feature the largest chandelier after remodeling is completed by the beginning of 2007.

Pat Fillman, the owner of Horns a Plenty, made the world's largest antler chandelier. He displayed the chandelier in early 2005 wowing all that saw it. The chandelier is 10 feet in diameter, 12 feet tall, and is fixed with sixty-seven light sources. With a final weight of over 850 pounds, he estimates that it took the antlers of nearly 600 dear and elk to make the chandelier.

Perhaps the most famous chandelier of all belongs, not in a house, a casino or a church, but in the theatre. Andrew Lloyd Webber's well-known chandelier crash scene from Phantom of the Opera strikes desperation in the hearts of lighting buffs everywhere.

A Basic Herb Garden – The Basics of a Typical Herb Garden

A basic herb garden is easy to create and it can be made in a small amount of space. If you live in an apartment or you have a small back yard you can still have a basic herb garden for daily use.

There are a few things that you will plan for your basic herb garden.

What type?

You will need to decide what type of basic herb garden you want. Do you want the smaller container type herb garden or something larger, like a kitchen garden or a yard herb garden.

From seeds or existing plants?

Once you have decided the type of garden that you want to build you will need to decide if you want to create your garden from seeds or from existing plants (or green cuttings of plants you have got from friends or family) that you will transplant.


There are a few supplies that you are going to need for your herb garden. This list includes all the supplies necessary for both gardens. Some of the supplies are going to be the same so the list is together for the purpose of being brief.

The items you will need are:

1. Soil

2. Fertilizer

3. Seeds or herb plants (or cuttings)

4. Suitable containers, and a spade.

Some Simple Instructions

If you are using containers to create your herb garden, prepare the container by the soil by dampening it.

Then add the fertilizer to create the best growing environment. Depending on the type of soil you get want to dampen it the soil down before adding your plants.

If you are using seeds follow the planting instructions on the packet. If you are using already established plants, follow replanting instructions.

If you are using cuttings, which are small pieces of plants, you got from friends or family, then they can provide advice on best how best to get the plants started.

There are many places online, which could also provide help in this area

For kitchen gardens follow these steps:

1. Weed and till the area to break up the soil while removing any large objects such as rocks.

2. Add in the top soil and fertilizer

3. Plant the seeds or transplant following the same as above instructions.

4. Make sure that you know the lighting needs of your herbs and place them in areas that receive the right amount of light to ensure proper growth.

To get your basic herb garden growing as best it can, it needs quality soil, regular watering and tending. This applies to both the indoor type and the outside yard type. The basic herb garden is easy to grow and can provide you and your family with regular fresh herbs, which you can use on a daily basis for cooking and medical cures.

Digging Postholes the Easier Way

In case you are wondering what a posthole is and why you would need to dig one, here's the answer! You need a posthole if you're planning to put up a fence or adding a lean-to patio in your back or front yard. This is the hole where individual posts and poles will go in, creating the support structure for your building project. Now that you know what a posthole is, it will be easier to follow the process outlined for digging postholes.

You have the choice of digging postholes manually or using a powered digger. No guesses as to which method most people would readily choose! However, digging a posthole manually is not as tough as you might think! This is due to a marvelous invention known as the posthole digger. You need to know how to handle one properly and once you've mastered the technique, you can dig to your heart's content.

Remember to equip yourself with the necessary protective equipment always – work gloves are most important, as are safety goggles and ear protection. Get out a measuring tape, pencil and paper and make a note of the measurements you will need for placing individual posts, as well as the size and depth on the individual holes. A standard measurement for a posthole is one where the hole is about a foot wide and about two feet in depth. The dimensions of the posts you will be using as part of your building project, will give you a better idea of ​​how deep and wide the posthole needs to be.

A very important and useful suggestion, when digging postholes, is to saturate the digging area with water! It makes the ground softer and easier to dig, so you will need lesser effort than otherwise necessary. Once the ground is wet, place the end of the posthole digger on the spot where the hole will be and push the digger in using your hands and feet. Use the clipping action of the digger, to break through sections of the earth below ground, going as deep as you need to. Simultaneously, use the digger to make the hole wider. At this point in time, concentrate on your clipping action and less on the scooping out of the loose soil. Once you're satisfied with the depth and width of the hole, bring the blades of the digger together and start scooping out the loosened soil and other debris. At the end of this exercise, you should have a nice posthole, ready to install a post for your fence or other construction.

Simple, is not it? Nevertheless, be prepared to spend some time and hard labor, especially when you have more than two holes to dig! The solution – get someone to spell you with the digging, or rent a powered posthole digger. Happy digging!

Feather Face Lift

A feather face lift or thread lift, like other cosmetic surgery is done to improve appearances and make people feel more confidence and less distracted about undesirable facial features like wrinkles, age spot misshapen nose and others. Several procedures are available to correct these imperfections to make people happier about their looks.

Doctor’s Advice Essential

A doctor can recommend the best treatment but being informed can help people to make better decisions about choosing the best procedure. For some, plastic surgery is the best option and results are usually long lasting. Others prefer to use laser surgery or injecting fillers into their wrinkles to remove them.

Aptos Threads

Feather lift is a new procedure that can be done quickly in a clinic or doctor’s office and the recovery time is short. The feather lift procedure uses a product called Aptos threads which is a monofilament thread designed to create a subcutaneous support structure that lifts sagging skin. With minimal incisions, the thread is inserted under the skin with a needle, leaving little or no scars.


Feather lifts can pull up the skin of the brow area, jaw line, cheek area, neck area, arm or any part that needs to be reshaped. A feather lift face lift is minimally-invasive and can significantly improve appearance without side effects. It can help those with drooping facial and neck skin caused by aging or genetics or reshape under-pronounced facial features. Feather lift surgery normally takes about thirty minutes and results can be long lasting.


Some benefits of feather face lifts include:

  • minimal discomfort
  • no scarring
  • requires no general anesthesia
  • little downtime and short recovery time

Patients should be in good physical and psychological health and current medication and supplements should be disclosed to reduce the risk of related complications. After a feather face lift, the patient should rest avoid smoking, alcohol, some medications and strenuous activities for at least a week.


The cost of a feather facelift varies and depends on a number of factors but the average feather lift cost is approximately two thousand dollars. Feather lift photos are available to show potential clients what is a feather lift and to help them in deciding what results can be expected.

Before And After Pictures

Feather facelift pictures that demonstrate feather face lift before and after results can be found online or at skin care centers that offer the procedure. These pictures often convince client that this procedure is a good alternative to traditional plastic surgery.

The Elevator Speech – Your 60 Second Pitch

Have you ever been to a networking meeting, you hear the first person introduce himself and you turn to your friend and say, “What does he do?” If you’re confused it’s because people ramble on about themselves without much preparation or consideration for the audience. Nobody cares about your product or service. And nobody wants to listen to a sales pitch.

Imagine you’re in an elevator and you meet a perfect prospect. As the doors close you have 60 seconds to introduce yourself and attract their interest.

How do you succinctly and clearly get your message across when you only have a minute? You dont’ want to ramble on and you don’t want to be caught off guard. A good elevator pitch tells the listener what you do, how it benefits them, and the results they can expect. Too many people are unprepared and focused on themselves.So the first step is to script out your message. Read it out loud. Then practice until you can say it conversationally. Time yourself. Thirty seconds is best but don’t go over one minute.

Begin by grabbing attention. Ask a provocative question or describe a situation that everybody has experienced. Talk about what keeps your listeners up at night. Then tell them your name, company and describe your solution. Your solution should answer their biggest concerns, issues, or fears. Avoid the temptation of telling them exactly HOW you do it. That can become too technical. Focus on the what and the why. Make your message concise, clear, compelling and convincing. And then stop talking. Leave them wanting more.

A Kitchen Rooster Brings You Luck

Throughout different cultures the rooster has been a symbol of many things one of the most predominant is luck. Having some form of Rooster in your kitchen is said to bring you luck and could just make you feel good. Here is a little more information about Roosters and Rooster folklore.

First a little bit about real Roosters. They do not lay eggs and are not needed for egg production, but are required if you want baby chicks. They are protective of the flock and will defend the family from predators. They can be tamed, and become devoted pets if handled and worked with often.

They can crow at anytime including night time. Crowing marks territory, so the fewer roosters the less crowing. One rooster per flock is all that’s needed. In fact a hen house with more than one rooster is just asking for trouble. You can keep a rooster subordinate if he is smaller than the biggest hen. Which, means she runs the show.

On my favorite island of Oahu, wild roosters have reigned for over a thousand years. I did find it a bit strange when I was at an outdoor BBQ eating chicken and a rooster walked up and was standing by my table. But wild Roosters and chickens have been roaming free on this beautiful island for centuries. In fact on Oahu if you ask “Why did the chicken cross the road?” the answer would likely be “to get to the beach”.

In Portugal there is the Galo de Barcelos, the national symbol of Portugal. Which is a Rooster symbolizing honesty, integrity, trust and honor. The town of Barcelos is well know for its earthenware and the most popular symbol is the Rooster. There are tons of stories and folklore from different cultures about Roosters. The Rooster symbolizes many different things.

I remember watching a story on the news last year about a wild Rooster living in Manhattan. He was wreaking havoc on the nearby neighbors sleeping habits. A farm rescue group from upstate swooped in and tried to catch the rooster. First attempting to lure him with food, a female rooster, and even a red blanket. The crafty rooster didn’t fall for any of these tricks.

Finally a resourceful rescuer was able to capture him with a net. Now instead of disturbing urban sleepers the crafty rooster gets to retire upstate. With lot’s of girlfriends, fresh air and unlimited snacks. Not bad considering, whatever fate he must have escaped from, to be roaming the streets and neighborhoods of Manhattan.

In Chinese astrology people who are born in certain years have a rooster sign. These people are practical quick thinkers who don’t like to take unnecessary risks. They enjoy a keen sense of detail and always seem to know what’s going on. Rooster’s are straight forward and love honesty. The rooster has a trusting behavior and yet is not easily fooled.

Roosters can be perfectionists and expect to be in control, especially when it comes to their looks. They have high standards of dress, conduct, and neatness, and expect the same of others. Roosters need a partner that understands their conservative nature but is not too laid back. The rooster should probably focus on valuing heart and soul above good looks. Appealing to the Roosters logic of live and let live may be a good method for dealing with the roosters overly controlling ideals.

The rooster is a symbol of many things to many cultures. What I like best about the rooster symbol is having one in the kitchen is supposed to be a symbol of luck, health, and prosperity. Whether it’s a rooster clock, cookie jar, wall paper, dish towels, trivet, or just a ceramic rooster sitting on the back of the stove watching over the kitchen. Seeing a kitchen rooster not only makes me feel at home it makes the entire kitchen warm and comfortable and inviting. I think I like it best because it gives me that feeling of nostalgia, like when I was young, eating cookies in my grandmother’s kitchen.

Nothing Fancy About These Preps

My oldest son is an easy going individual who is a firm believer that nothing is going to happen which would require preparations. He appears to lack the insight to see exactly what the future will hold concerning our personal liberties as well as our survival. He never has been able to get intricately involved in any sort of survival details and his level of preparedness is exceptionally low. Does that mean he is doomed when the balloon goes up and we need to rely upon our resources? Not necessarily, I would like to present the simplest preparedness program in existence.

The adult son in question resides in his own three story home with neighbors on each side of his house. He is not rich but gets along well on what he and his wife earn by working. He owns a car but it is never setup as a BOV so we may as well consider him as having no means of escaping his current environment. My goal is to establish an easy, simple and practical method to get him to prepare at least some what for any potential crisis. Here is what I have to offer.

He never was much to store up on a lot of extra food. He and his wife generally purchase enough pantry supplies to last them for approximately two weeks at the most. To start him out in the right direction I would suggest that he purchase at least 30 cans of pre-made canned foods which should not require water to be added. These quick foods could be stews, spaghettis in a can or something of a similar nature. Add to this another 30 cans of various types of vegetables and meats, such as peas, carrots, pork and beans, canned fish, canned fruit or any other types which appeal to the family. Lastly, include 30 gallons of water to this list of essentials. That concludes my suggested food supplies. It isn’t very elaborate and the problem of food fatigue may enter the picture but food in the stomach is of utmost importance and if one is hungry enough they will eat the food.

Now for providing light in an emergency we must understand that my son lives in a three story home and has two young children. Taking that into consideration, I suggest two hurricane lamps along with several battery operated flashlights. The lamps are fairly inexpensive items and can be purchased at any department store or Wal-Mart for less than $15 dollars. Add four gallons of lamp oil to that list along with batteries for the flashlights and you are ready for action. Keep in mind that batteries when used for the sole purpose of light do not last very long however they are warranted so that the family members can go from floor to floor safely as well as a means of seeing while outside the confines of the home. The lamp oil on the other hand will consume a mere ½ ounce per hour. Not bad at all.

Heating the home presents a bit of a dilemma since it is so large and occupies three floors. Granted the oil lamp will provide a small measure of heat but nowhere near what would be needed. The only alternative would be to stock up on plenty of warm clothing for each family member and lots of thick wool blankets. Open flame devices for heat are not acceptable due to fire safety reasons as well as for the carbon dioxide hazard presented.

For their sanitation needs they could obtain a five gallon plastic bucket similar to those found in cake decorating shops from bulk icing. These are generally free or at a small cost of one dollar or so. Toss in several boxes of garbage bags and enough toilet paper to handle the family’s usage. To freshen up the smell keep several bottles of dishwashing liquid nearby. For washing up after use include a bottle of waterless hand soap.

To account for minor health related issues you should include the more common over the counter items like pain killers, bandages and a small bottle of iodine. Add the kind of simple items which one would find in a first aid kit. Serious health issues which require prescription drugs should be dealt with accordingly.

No home is a fortress and security should be adequately addressed. Place a few 2×4’s in a convenient location along with some nails to secure them across the homes doors and windows. To use nail one of the boards into the floor near the base of the door. Next nail two others at 45 degrees angles across the middle section of the door or window. This naturally means keeping a few hand tools such as a hammer and screwdriver readily available. Be sure that you keep one exit clear for departure in dire emergencies.

As you can readily see these items do not involve any long term efforts to organize as they are short and to the point. For less than $150 dollars you can assemble these emergency supplies which will easily take care of several people without difficulty for at least one month. I have deliberately kept everything as simple as possible. In addition to the above suggestions try to keep a low profile and windows covered with heavy blankets at night.

Copyright @2011 Joseph Parish

By Joseph Parish

Plastic Surgery: Significance Of Board Certification

There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a practitioner for plastic surgery. Board certification gives patients confidence in their surgeon and can set their minds at ease when it comes to their safety and security during the procedure. Surgeons display their board certifications proudly to let patients know they have certain training and experience.

Requirements for Board Certification:

To achieve board certification in plastic surgery, a physician must meet a list of requirements. It begins with four years of medical school. At this point an internship in general surgeries is required along with three or more years of residency in the same field. During this time, potential surgeons learn about a variety of different procedures. They gain experience inside and outside of the operating room.

A two to three year residency in plastic surgery follows. At this point, the requirements are met; however, some surgeons continue to take on additional fellowships for even more training and experience. Surgeons often post a list of these experiences and where they were completed for patients to view. At this point, it is possible to receive broad certification from the American Board of Plastic Surgery.

The Expected Outcome:

There are no guarantees when it comes to any type of surgical procedure. Health conditions and other factors can easily affect the outcome. Choosing a board certified surgeon does increase a person’s chances for positive results. The strict guidelines and requirement show that he or she has put in the time and effort to learn more about the specific procedures involved. They have attained a level of success in the field.

A non-certified surgeon could produce the same results. Unfortunately, there is no way to know whether or not they have reached the same level of achievement when compared to a board certified physician. Many patients consider the lack of certification as a risk factor when continuing with the surgery.

Going Past the Requirements:

Technology is steadily evolving. New techniques and equipment are consistently introduced to the field of plastic surgery to create better results and increased patient satisfaction. Outside of board certification, it is important to look at other training, experience, and continued education before deciding on the right practitioner. Keeping up to date on the latest innovations means that a surgeon is able to provide his patients with the best care possible.

Before deciding on a cosmetic surgeon for any type of procedure, research his or her qualifications. Look for board certification as well as other experiences and training. It is important to be comfortable and confident in the skills of the surgeon before continuing with the procedure.

Bamboo Hardwood Floors

Bamboo hardwood floors are an excellent alternative to regular hardwood and exotic wood floors. This is because bamboo is a grass that only takes five to seven years to mature and replenish, while hardwoods are trees that take 50 to 100 years to mature and replenish the supply. Bamboo floors also are slightly more durable than other wood flooring is. They resist scuffing and gauging, and they are easy to maintain. Bamboo flooring is also less expensive than most hardwood flooring options.

When you are shopping for bamboo hardwood floors you want to keep a few things in mind. First you will need to decide between bamboo flooring and bamboo laminate flooring. These two options are available for most hardwood flooring options. The regular bamboo flooring will be more expensive than the laminate flooring, however, the laminate flooring will tend to slightly easier to install. The second thing that you will want to keep in mind when shopping for bamboo flooring is that you will need to buy all of your flooring in one stop. This is because the color of bamboo varies greatly from growing season to growing season based on the weather conditions and the amount of water that the plants receive. Because of this, your floors will not have a consistent color palette if you buy flooring planks from different bamboo plank batches. The final thing that you will need to think about when shopping for bamboo is whether you want horizontal or vertical bamboo planks. The direction refers to how the grain of the bamboo lies on the plank.

After you have installed your bamboo hardwood floors you will need to learn how to take care of your floors. Like hardwood floors you want to avoid getting your bamboo floors too wet. Regular sweeping is about all your floors will need to stay clean. However, occasionally you will want to use a mild bamboo wood floor cleaner to remove built up dirt and debris. Make sure that the product that you use to clean your bamboo floors is recommended, or designed, for bamboo floors.

8 Ways to Survive (and Maybe Even Enjoy) A Family Holiday With a Child With Autism

Work has become tedious. The walls of your home seem to be closing in. You NEED a vacation. But the thought of traveling with your children, especially your child with autism, is less than enticing.

Families need vacations: time to escape the regular chores, schedules and routines of home and family. Holidays mean a chance to break away from routine, a change of pace, new setting, food, people and activities; not exactly autism friendly! Traveling with children is always more challenging, but planning a vacation with a child with autism can seem downright daunting.

There are ways to alleviate some of the stress and create a getaway that is enjoyable for every member of the family. Some simple guidelines and smart planning will make a big difference!

1. Start small

Children with autism do best with small steps. If your child has never had time away from home it is wise to take a “mini vacation” for a few hours, build up to a whole day and soon after that a night away. The more familiar a child is with a new activity the less anxiety they will experience. A few hours spent in an activity close to home that is similar to what you plan to do on vacation, will be worth the time and energy. You may choose to visit a local beach, shop, sight – see in your town or spend some time on a boat. The closer the “mini holiday” matches the real thing, the better.

2. Take time to preview

Our anxiety levels typically increase when we have no clue what to expect about an upcoming event. Many people have a difficult time with the “unknown.” This is particularly true of kids with autism! As adults, we may choose to browse a travel guide, read rating scales and look at photo galleries of places where we plan to visit in order to preview where we are going and what we can expect. Our children who live with autism will benefit from these activities as well. Browse the Internet, peruse travel brochures and maybe even visit a bookstore and/or library to allow your child to read about a specific place that you plan to visit. There are numerous books about traveling on an airplane, visiting grandparents, ocean life or life in big cities. Whatever you decide to do with your family, reading about it is an awesome way to acquaint your children with the idea.

3. Pack a map

Individuals with autism gain a sense of calm from predictability and familiarity. When planning a trip, highlight the route on a map and if you know where you plan to stop, mark those spots on the map. Maps are often appealing to children with autism and they provide a visual tool that the child can hold and manipulate as they travel. For children that can read you may consider providing a list of some of the towns or cities through which you will travel. Children can check them off as they go or just use them as a reference when they want to know, where they are. Maps and trip itineraries are useful tools to reduce anxiety because they provide a tangible reference point and predictability. Route changes can also be made quickly on the map or just written on a piece of paper.

4. Pack a calendar with Velcro

Not knowing how days will be filled and what will happen next is unnerving for individuals who live with autism (and for many non autistic people)! Many of us rely on electronic gadgets or day planners to keep us feeling directed, calm and in control. When planning your family trip, bring along a calendar or a day planner of some sort. Attach a strip of Velcro on each day of the trip and bring along pictures of activities or places.

Photographs, brochure cut outs, or homemade pictures will work. If the child is able to read, then writing on the calendar may be just as useful. By attaching events and activities to specific days we give our children the opportunity to see what is coming and to organize the time in their minds. The Velcro gives us the flexibility of changing plans if necessary. It also demonstrates to our kids that events are not always fixed; plans change. The key is to teach the child to refer to the calendar when they are feeling uneasy. Reward them when they do so. The alternative is to listen to a constant barrage of questions.

5. Plan time fairly

Each person needs to know that their needs will be met. Children with autism need time away from the hustle of holidays. Holidays by nature, tend to be very social, unpredictable and novel. If we want to set up the experience to be enjoyable we need to try to create “downtime” for the child with autism. This may mean allowing that child to participate in a favorite activity for a portion of time; whatever activity the child truly enjoys doing that helps him to unwind. It may mean that the child spins, jumps, twirls a sensory toy or just sits in a chair.

Watching the history channel while the family is down at the beach may be just what the teen with autism needs. The activity is driven by the child and NOT the parent. Using a timer or visual clock helps to set parameters around the activity. Using cell phones or Walkie Talkies allow parents and kids to communicate when they are not in direct contact.

6. Avoid over planning

Choose a few favorite activities rather than trying to cram everything into the day. A trip to Disneyland can be a sensory nightmare for a child with autism. Limiting the amount of activity that is done in a day will go a long way to making the trip more pleasant for the whole family. Do you really have to visit all of the theme parks? Is it necessary to shop in every mall? Must you participate in all of the resort activities? Your child with autism may not be capable of managing the sensory, emotional and social stimulation that more typical children are able to cope with.

7 Plan for unstructured time

Children with autism may not be able to entertain themselves and parents shouldn’t have to be entertainment directors. Some simple tools will make unstructured times like travel time and waiting for flights much more bearable. Start with a written or picture menu of all of the available items to play with. Be sure to show only the choices that ARE available! Fidget toys, digital toys, magnetic travel games, iPods, handheld games, a whiteboard with markers and magnetic puzzles are invaluable when down time is non negotiable. “Wait cards” and “Unavailable cards” are invaluable when we need to let a child know that an activity or item is either delayed or not available. These cards must be part of the child’s daily life before the vacation so that they are tolerable for the child during the holiday.

8. Don’t leave home without the Visuals

Visual supports are an absolute necessity when traveling with children that have autism…even if you are away from home for a day! Pictures, calendars, maps, brochures, photos and short scripts provide individuals with autism a priceless gift of predictability and order. Holidays can be filled with distractions, changes of plans, new events and unknown people. Sensory stimulation, emotions and expectations are on overload and the potential for meltdowns is high. Visual supports can act as an anxiety reducer and a welcome relief. A social script can be quickly written on paper or a whiteboard before the child is expected to participate in an unfamiliar social situation.

For example, the rules of hanging out on the beach could be written as a social script and reviewed each time a child goes to the beach:

People like to play on the beach and some people like to lie down on the beach.

We are careful not to kick sand on people when we walk in the sand.

We can lay our towels next to each other in the family.

We can lay our towels 1 or 2 big steps away from someone that we do not know.

When we lift our towels we are careful not to shake sand on other people.

The beach is fun.

The most important item to make sure you bring along on a vacation is the expectation to enjoy it. Our thoughts control much of what we experience so it is worthwhile to affirm in your own mind that this time away will be fun. Remind yourself to really watch your children as they experience new things; smile, breathe deeply and laugh often. When plans don’t quite work remind yourself that “it is what it is” and your reaction to a situation is really what determines the outcome. Choose to be cheerful and positive and your mood will likely rub off on the rest of your family.

Plopping your children in a car, driving for six hours and telling them to stop whining will not likely result in a great vacation! Planning ahead will play a huge role in creating a holiday that is fun filled. There are little things that we take for granted about traveling that we must be aware of so that we can create a great vacation. You need it. Your family needs it. Go ahead and have fun!