Stamp Your Carbon Footprint With Eco-Friendly Flooring

If you are looking to remodel your floor, choose a flooring that is environmentally safe for you and your planet. There are safe eco-friendly choices of carpet, wood flooring, and natural stone tile that will improve our carbon footprint. Take a stance, and make a difference with your next flooring remodel project.

Installing new carpet or other flooring can fill the air with formaldehyde,benzene, and other harmful carcinogens. EPA studies show the levels are 5 to 10 times higher inside a home than they are outside. It is also noted that these carcinogens take years to dissipate.

EPA studies have shown that indoor pollutant levels can be two to five times higher than they are outside. Not to mention, harm from all the toxins used to treat carpeting. Furthermore, chemicals and allergens brought into the home from the yard and other places through foot traffic.

There are Several eco-friendly and recycled flooring options available today. Furthermore, choices that are hip, sleek, stylish, and inexpensive. These options allow you to unburden you and your family of unwanted toxin.

Try a nontoxic, green carpet with water and odor resistant barriers that prevent toxin build up. Buy a carpet made of natural fiber, no chemical treatment, and non toxic adhesives

You can find carpet made of 100% woven wool with vegetable-dyed yarn and natural latex glue. In addition, to a natural sisal or seagrass carpet that are eco-friendly.

When you decide to install your carpet, make sure to employ a company that uses eco-friendly products and materials. Ask that your installer uses tacking in order to avoid glues, therefore eliminating additional potentially harmful toxins. Also, see if the installation company recycles or donates your old carpet. There are millions of tons of carpeting that reside in our landfills, and dwell for thousands of years.

Maybe one day our society will completely evolve to 100% non toxic carpeting, or no carpet at all! Till then, one by one, we should begin improving our own carbon footprint by using tips like this when replacing our carpet.

Another option is FSC-certified hard wood flooring, a man made all natural wood floor that actually helps our environment. Sustainable wood floors are hypo-allergenic, don’t collect and trap dust and debris, and last for generations when properly maintained. This type of lumber is regenerated and conserved in certified forest around the world.

Hard wood floors can be finished many times over the course of its life span. Furthermore wood can be recycled for other projects. This is a great option that allows you to stamp your carbon footprint and really help the eco-friendly movement. In addition, you most certainly will increase the value of your home with this upgrade.

Natural stone tile flooring is a third option for your flooring. Natural stone tiling is absolutely beautiful and always an eye catcher. There are dozens of options to choose from. In particular, travertine, marble, and limestone are popular choices that offer an array of different characteristics, and functional uses. The best part, stone tiling is extremely eco-friendly, last forever if taken care of, and an instant upgrade from carpeting and other man made materials.

Whatever you decide between these three options, your decision will be an eco-friendly upgrade. As well as, an instant upgrade of your home. Make sure to employ an installation company that uses eco-friendly products and material. In addition to, recycling and disposing old material in an eco-friendly manner.

Keep Your Car Cool In Summer

If you have had the misfortune of parking your car for a long time outside in summer, then you know how hot it can get. There are some things you can do (and also make use of certain car accessories) to help keep your car cooler this summer. The heat mostly comes in through the windows and is further insulated by the glass. Depending on the outside temperature your car can get as hot as 200 degrees! By doing some things, you can certainly prevent this to an extent.

The first thing you can do is park in the shade. It might be required for you to walk a little extra from office or shopping mall to your car, but this little thing can help keep your car from turning into a sauna!

Parking under the trees does mean that you might get some bird droppings, so be prepared for that.

Carrying extra water helps you clean this up and also comes in handy if the car overheats. You can also throw some wet towels or blankets on the seats to prevent them from getting too hot.

The use of sunshades is another simple trick to help prevent the car from overheating in the summer sun. The windshield sunshade helps prevent the sun from directly beating on the dashboard, so you eliminate the heat to a great extent. This also helps prevent your dashboard from cracking and fading; and helps you fetch a better price on your car when you sell it.

Depending on your states’ tinting laws, you can get your windows tinted. This facility is available at most auto shops and the cost is also reasonable. This can help keep the car several degrees cooler.

Car steering wheel covers are extremely important, yet often overlooked car accessories. Many an accident has been caused when a driver has been unable to grip the hot steering wheel properly. Cloth steering wheel covers keep the wheel from overheating and also allow better grip for comfortable steering otherwise.

It is also essential for drivers to get their car air conditioning checked by professionals, prior to start of summer and especially before going on long trips. The professionals check for the necessary things like refrigerant levels etc so you can be assured that your air conditioning will not break down in the peak summer heat.

Auto engines also have to work extra hard in the summer heat, so make sure that coolant is up to par and able to do the job properly. Older coolants need replacing every 2 years or 24,000 miles while the new ones need changing every 5 years/50,000 miles. The car manual can guide you regarding this.

The 3 Common Decorative Stones That You Can Use for Garden Landscaping

Having a sprawling garden in front of the house is a dream that each one of us has. Beautifying the garden with flowers, hedges, decorative elements, etc. that match with your choice can customise the look of your garden and make it appealing to the eyes. You can add several decorative elements to your garden where you can install picket fences, water fountain, hedges, flowering plants, etc. and beautify it accordingly.

A decorative element for gardens that several landscapers make use of is decorative stones. Stones vary in size and shape and can be made to use in several ways depending on the kind of garden you have and the amenities it can accommodate. Apart from stones, several landscapers suggest the use of large or mid-sized rocks that can make a great piece of garden decoration. Decorating your garden is a task that you would love to do it yourself but if you are in need of a guide to the kind of pebbles and stones you can use for your garden, here is some necessary help.

• River pebbles – They are round and have a smooth finish to them as they are extracted directly from the river beds that have a natural and smooth texture. These pebbles aren’t that large and are often grey and light brown in colour. You could use these pebbles near the flower beds to prevent the growth of weed and to balance the moisture level of the soil.

• Gravel – These are pea-sized that are round and smooth. You could use them in flowering pots along with soil. It doesn’t block water drainage and allows the soil to retain its moisture level in the pot. If you plan to set up large stepping stones on a pathway, you could place the gravel under them to let it get a grip and not move from its place. They are white or grey in colour and add a colour to your garden apart from the colour of the grass and the flowers.

• Boulders – These are large and differently shaped rocks which cannot be used on around flower beds or the lawn due to its large size. Even though it is large, it has a decorative element in it and thus, can be used to line the area if you have placed a water fountain in your garden. It highlights special attractions in your garden and thus bringing about an aesthetical feeling.

Advantages of Using the Brenda Dygraf’s Air Climber

Three benefits of the Brenda Dygraf’s air climber are that it is simple to use, provides a well rounded workout and will not cause additional health problems. The combination of these benefits makes this fitness mini stepper something that anyone looking for an exercise regimen should purchase. This workout can be done in as little as twenty minutes a session, making it a simple addition to anyone’s daily routine.

This fitness equipment is easy to use and provides a workout by providing a stair climbing activity. Its angle allows for an increased workout that cannot be gained from walking outside. Although the individual using it will set the pace, it is possible to work off 1000 calories simply by walking in place. In addition to using up calories, it also strengthens muscles in the legs and throughout the body.

Walking on this stair climber will provide a well rounded workout that involves a cardiovascular workout, muscle toning and an abdominal workout. There is a knob that allows the user to adjust the setting for how difficult of a session is required. Also, the air climber is powered by each step that is taken, therefore the individual using it will set the pace.

Walking on firm pavement can cause damage to sensitive joints. Using the air climber reduces this by placing air between the pedal and the floor. This allows the person utilizing the air climber to have a longer workout due to a lack of pain during exercise and avoidance of soreness later on.

This article has taken a brief look at the advantages of using the fitness mini stepper. These included ease of use, well rounded workout and minimizing joint impact. With this information you should be in the position to make a knowledgeable decision.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is one of Australia’s most well known and captured milestones. It is the world’s biggest (not the longest) steel curve span with the highest point of the extension standing 134 meters over the harbour. Affectionately referred to by the locals as the ‘Coathanger’, the Sydney Harbour Bridge commended its 70th birthday in 2002, with its authority opening in March 1932.

A History of the Sydney Harbour Bridge: It was as promptly as 1815 that Francis Greenway proposed building an extension from the northern to the southern shore of the harbour. It set aside some time for this to turn into an actuality with configuration submissions welcomed in 1900. All the submissions were viewed as unacceptable thus the force for the extension intersection ceased. In any case, after the First World War more genuine arrangements were made, with a general configuration for the Sydney harbour Bridge ready by Dr J C Bradfield and officers of the NSW Department of Public Works. The New South Wales Government then welcomed overall tenders for the development of the Bridge in 1922 and the agreement was let to English firm Dorman Long and Co of Middlesbrough.

The Sydney harbour Bridge development began in 1924 and took 1,400 men eight years to assemble at an expense of 4.2 million. Six million hand driven bolts and 53,000 tons of steel were utilized within its development. It now conveys eight activity paths and two rail lines, one in every heading, yet at the time of its development the two eastern paths were tram tracks. They were changed over to street activity when Sydney shut down its tram framework in the 1950s.

An Interesting Past: The Bridge has an interesting past including its official opening on 19 March 1932. Before the NSW Premier, the Honourable John ‘Jack’ T. Lang, could cut the ribbon to signify the opening of the Harbour Bridge, Captain Francis De Groot of the political group The New Guard slashed the ribbon with his sword. Captain De Goot believed that the only person to open the Bridge should be a member of the Royal Family. Captain De Goot was detained, the ribbon tied together, and the Premier then officially cut the ribbon. As many as 800 families living in the Bridge’s path were relocated and their homes demolished without any compensation given when the Bridge started construction. Sixteen workers lives were lost during construction of the Bridge.

Flying under the Bridge: It is accounted for that in 1943 a flight of 24 RAAF Wirraways flew under the Sydney harbour Bridge, with one of the pilots changing his flight way finally to head over the highest point of the Bridge just barely clearing it in time. There is an alternate story of the Americans flying under the harbour Bridge, with one Kittyhawk flying under in about February 1942 and two Kittyhawks in May 1942. Again in May 1942, the Dutch flew three flying machine of the 18 Squadron NEI-AF under the Bridge in arrangement and afterward orbited once more to do an alternate flight under the Bridge in a solitary line. On 22 October 1943, Flight Lieutenant Peter Isaacson and his team flew the immense Australian Lancaster, Q for Queenie, under the harbour Bridge throughout a tour around Australia to raise stores for the war exertion.

Climbing the Bridge

BridgeClimb began in 1998 and draws in sightseers and locals apparently equivalent to climb the landmark. In the wake of moving through catwalks and up steps and stairs, the perspective is completely stunning. There are day, dusk and night trips and an aggregation of twelve will leave for a climb at regular intervals. The wellbeing insurances taken incorporate a blood liquor perusing and a Climb Simulator, which indicates Climbers the climbing conditions that could be encountered on the Bridge. By all reports, Bridgeclimb is incredible and one of the ‘must dos’ while on a trek to Sydney, with royals and famous people, for example, Prince Frederik and Princess Mary of Denmark, Matt Damon, Hugo Weaving, Sarah Ferguson, Cathy Freeman, Kylie Minogue and Kostya Tszyu all having done the Climb.

The Pylon Lookout: is at the southern eastern end of the Bridge (the Rocks end) and guests can go and see a display about the Bridge and well as see the fabulous 360 perspective from the highest point of the arch.

Did you know

Closing of the arch during construction of the Sydney Harbour Bridge The highest point of the curve really ascents and falls something like 180 mm because of progressions in the temperature! In 1932, 96 steam trains were situated in different approaches to test the heap limit of the Bridge. At the point when the Bridge opened, it take a steed and rider three pence and an auto six pence to cross. Right away steed and riders can’t cross, you can bike crosswise over in an exceptional path and stroll over the Bridge for nothing. Autos require around A$3.30 for a southbound excursion and it is allowed to go northbound.

The Tyne Bridge in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England is a much littler form of the Sydney harbour Bridge, its length measuring 397 meters and the principle compass 161 meters. There is much debate encompassing the two extensions and which one may have been a model for the other. Despite the fact that the Tyne Bridge was opened in 1928 – four prior years the harbour Bridge was opened – the delicate was submitted and contract marked for the Sydney harbour Bridge in March 1924. The plans for the harbour Bridge were advanced by Dr. J C Bradfield before this date. The delicate for the Tyne Bridge was acknowledged and contract marked later that year in December 1924.

In 1932, the normal yearly day by day movement was around 11,000 and now it is around 160,000 vehicles for every day. One of Australia’s well-known superstars, Paul Hogan, was once a piece of a workforce practically for all time utilized repainting the Bridge, in that they began an alternate layer of paint in the wake of completing the last.

Frank Hurley (1885-1962), Bridge framing vista of City, 1910-1962, glass plate

The Sydney harbour Tunnel was assembled to adapt to steadily expanding harbour activity issues and opened in August 1992. It is 2.3 kilometers in length and expense A$554 million to build. It is solid enough to withstand the effect of tremors and sinking boats. It bears 75,000 vehicles a day.

In 2003, an undertaking initiated to evacuate the toxic paint from the Bridge and swap it with a more tough non-toxic paint.

Some interesting facts about the Bridge

Length of arch span 503 metres

Height of top of arch 134 metres above mean sea level

Height to top of aircraft beacon 141 metres above mean sea level

Width of deck 49 metres

Clearance for shipping 49 metres

Height of pylons 89 metres above mean sea level

Base of each abutment tower 68 metres across and 48 metres long (two pylons rest on each abutment tower)

Total length of bridge 1149 metres including approach spans

Bearing pins Each of the four pins measures 4.2 metres long and 368 millimetres in diameter

Thrust on bearings Under maximum load approximately 20,000 tonnes on each bearing

Number of rivets Approximately 6,000,000

Largest rivet Weighed 3.5 kilograms and was 395 millimetres long

Longest hanger 58.8 metres

Shortest hanger 7.3 metres

Total weight of steelwork 52,800 tonnes including arch and mild steel approach spans

Weight of arch 39,000 tonnes

Rock excavated for foundations 122,000 cubic metres

Concrete used for bridge 95,000 cubic metres

Granite facing used on pylons and piers 17,000 cubic metres

Allowance for deck expansion 420 millimetres

Allowance for arch expansion The arch may rise or fall 18 centimetres due to heating or cooling

Number of panels in arch 28, each 18.28 metres wide

Record tonnage erected 589 tonnes of steelwork was erected on the arch in one day on 26 November 1929

Paint required 272,000 litres of paint were required to give the Bridge its initial three coats

http://www.aussies-fun.com/harbour-bridge/

All of the Facts on Assembly Careers

Work from home  assembly  is not a new concept. Companies prefer outsourcing their works to contractors to hiring workers on their own, for they find it easier to get the contractors services, that too for lower costs. You will never become a millionaire but it can be a very nice second income.

Most assembled products are really small and have strict requirements. Cross-stitching or knitting could be a great hobby for those who watch TV or just want something to do with their hands. Home  assembly  work will not be your cup of tea if you are impatient with detail work.

When working in home  assembly , find a solid company to work for. When you are looking at a company’s requirements several red flags may appear. A good reputation is the first important part. Try to find out if other workers have had any complaints and why they aren’t working there anymore. Stay away from companies not giving you your money back after you complete lots of items. It is a bad sign if the company asks you to provide the supplies to work at home.

On the other hand, there is really dependent on your job, you can find great programs praised the work done at a great time. A fine region to seem into for small commerce Items that would fit into miniature houses are hot sellers, and there are companies that contract home  assembly  workers. Wood crafts and jewelry are the other two popular products that are outsourced to companies.

It is not advised to conduct business with anybody who doesn’t give you their street address, phone number or web address. Additionally, nearly all companies with a good reputation have a customer service line precisely for their work from home  assembly  employees to call with any problems. If you send a sample of your work make sure you put your own trade mark on it. That way they can not try and say that it is there work. After this you will never see the items again or get your money back.

It’s important to find the right company that suits your needs when looking for a job in the work from home  assembly  field. Be wary and don’t hesitate to raise any questions if you want to know more… Many of us cannot cope with losing fifty dollars from our deposit. Research 10 companies that allow you to assemble stuff at home that you think look interesting. You’ll find several offers that are appealing to you.

Is a popular work from home today, the  assembly  program to make a profit from the reduction of corporate overhead. It would be a plus factor if you have the qualifications to work as home assembler, it would greatly benefit businesses. Even though a person doesn’t make as much money as an employee does, you have to remember you don’t have any extra expenses. If you are flexible in schedule, and determined, a work from home  assembly  job is a good option.

Mounting Styles For Your Gemstones

It is more difficult than assumed to find easy to set gemstone  mountings . Most dealers want to sell finished goods and those who supply good to high grade  mountings  without stones sell only to established jewelry businesses. Such  mountings  require a trained jeweler to do the actual stone setting and finishing of the jewelry.

There are some companies that what they call “easy set”  mountings . Without using the means a professional jeweler does, meaning lots of training and tools, this is not a bad way to get a feel for the work. You will be able to produce simple, though not elegant, jewelry in silver or gold. Some of the settings are not as easy to “set” as might be implied. Be ready to make a few mistakes and practice first with silver on your least appealing gemstones. When comfortable with the methods, go onto better settings and better stones.

What do I think of these sorts of settings and the “snap-tite” settings? Frankly, since I do work totally from scratch and by using purchased settings of high quality, I am not very impressed with the “easy set” and “snap-tite” settings. I suppose many years ago when I first started I would have seen these as a life saver, not knowing at the time how to set stones the professional ways. One sock truly does not fit all and sometimes fit will be a problem if stones have thick girdles(waists)or are cut with very deep pavilions.

The finish of the final product will not be like I would do with final finishing to a perfect surface but that cannot be and should not be expected in this sort of setting. The settings do look pretty good overall when you take the time to practice first and then do the best you can with better stones. No one is going to look so closely at the details of the finish as I would. Most regular non-jeweler folks who do like jewelry will likely oooh and ahhhh at the pretty jewelry you have done.

Prices are higher to the hobbyist and selling structures are slightly different. In either regard, the products are good overall and the catalogs provide some limited “tips” or clues to doing some kinds of jewelry work. There is not an on-line catalog but you can order catalogs from the website.

Now, working through your question, you asked: “I was thinking the solitaire  mounting  would be easy to find and should be able to get from the jeweler, but the reproductions will take some hunting. Is it cheaper to supply the mount myself? It there more a risk for damage and a poor setting job if i supply the mount myself?”

“The Emerald Cut Stone”. A simple solitaire type would be fine for this stone. The problem often encountered with colored stones is the “cut”, because often the stones are cut with a fairly deep pavilion (bottom half of the stone). If you simply purchased a setting for a single emerald cut stone of the right mm size, the setting might not fit due to depth of the gemstone.

In your case the depth of the emerald cut is not out of line and will likely fit a standard setting, but it really should be fitted to the  mounting  by hand to know for sure if modifications are needed. A “basket style” setting would likely be best. This has a rim of metal around the prongs just below where the girdle (waist) of the stone will fit in the setting.

“The Antique Style  Mounting  for a Square (cushion) Stone”. This setting will likely be difficult to locate. Many  mountings  are available with the openwork, filigree antique look you desire. However, to find on for the size and shape of stone you have presents a problem.

I seriously doubt you will find such a  mounting  available by your own searching; then, without being a jeweler and knowing how and what modifications can or should be made to a  mounting , you really may not know if the ring will actually work for your stone. This one is also best left to a jeweler. A jeweler will have a much wider range of styles and qualities from several suppliers.

The jeweler if competent should be able to set this square cushion well enough in a proper  mounting  or purchase an antique style ring base and add a proper setting to the base. I do recommend having a jeweler do the work and supply the rings for the two stones you particularly like. The jeweler will have no reason to do a less than normal quality job on a setting you provide, since the reputation of the jeweler goes out on your hands whether the setting came from the jeweler or not.

But, since the setting for the square cushion may be a hard one to come by, if you find a  mounting  believing it will work then the jeweler has to do extensive reworking to actually “make it work” the overall work may not be what you expect in final looks, even if technically well done. Also, if a setting is purchased from a jeweler, the sizing to your correct finger size is generally “not” at an extra charge to you, it is part of the sale.

Going up two sizes from an 8 to a 10 will not adversely affect most settings, exceptions being rings with mostly recessed or hollow areas inside the ring which do not like to bend and round out easily and cleanly. Likely the jeweler cannot get the ring ready made in 10 anyway and part of the plan is to size to the correct finger size.

Overall, the sizes of the two stones are nice but not extreme.The sizes should not be a problem in finding  mountings . Another reason to have the jeweler supply this setting is “turn around time” on the job. Sales take precedent and during busy seasons that is very true! A job with only labor charges and no other sale involved will sometimes be one of the last to get done during very busy times. This is just a part of business.

“Rhodium”. Years ago ladies bought white gold and wore it and had it buffed once in a while and never thought about a rhodium plate to make all whiter. Now, that appears the thing to do. With some white gold with a more yellow look the rhodium is a good idea but often a simple buffing will make the ring look just fine, even if not as white as rhodium. As for replating, the stone does not need to be removed.

Porous stones like turquoise and stones affected by acids such as pearls must be removed or otherwise protected from the solution. Topaz and most faceted colored gems will do just fine as set and no stone removal is needed. The solutions do not affect the gemstones.

What is a Framing Hammer?

You may be one of the many people who think that a  hammer  is a  hammer . However, there are different types of  hammers  designed for different jobs. The framing  hammer  is one of those specialized tools that are meant for use with particular tasks. Here is a short introduction of this  hammer , including some examples of when you would want to use it.

In appearance, a  hammer  designed for framing work is a larger claw design. Typically, they will weigh in the range of twenty-five to thirty-two ounces. Usually there is a longer handle attached to the  hammer , making it easier to get up some power when swinging the  hammer .

The head of this type of  hammer  will also be milled. Milling is simply a process where a waffle like design is imbedded on the surface of the head. The reason for this design has to do with the nails that are often used in framing jobs. Because the heads of those nails also have a milled effect, the raised grid on the head of the  hammer  helps to catch the lines on the grid of the nail head. This results in much less incidence of the  hammer  slipping off the nail of the head upon impact. This will result in fewer swings to get a nail all the way into the frame.

The framing  hammer  usually is made of steel, which holds up well for a number of years of use. The long handle for the  hammer  is traditionally made of hard wood, which is treated and sealed so it will last through many years of service as well. All steel  hammers  have also been manufactured over the years. More recently, there have been some brands that have gone to fiberglass handles for these types of  hammers . The fiberglass and steel  hammers  usually have a rubber grip on the handle, while the wooden handles usually do not come with a rubber grip.

The framing  hammer  is made for just about any type of framing work, from framing a house, or a room addition to a standing structure, or even a doghouse. The idea is to help make the process of framing quicker and more secure. If you have a building project coming up, check out these types of  hammers  at your local hardware store. They will make your job much easier.

Mosaic Tile

The texture mosaic tile is very much similar to the texture of ceramic tile. We use mosaic as covering material of floor and wall or other surface. The different between mosaic tile and ceramics is the size of the mosaic, which is smaller. The raw materials of mosaics are generally made from clay, marl, stones powder and some kinds of mixed sand.

To generally constructing mosaics, you need to have a design in mind and start with a pattern for your mosaic. Draw your design on a piece of paper with markers or colored pencils. There are plenty of mosaic tiles around with many colors, shapes and sizes that you can choose from for your mosaic design. Mosaics can look beautiful by adding color tones.

I would recommend for the beginner to choose the mosaic tiles from ready cut in designing your mosaic. This is the fastest way. Mosaic tiles can be cut using a pair of tile nippers. The size of mosaic tile is generally about 5*5 centimeter. When using mosaic, you will assemble small pieces together and stick with paper glue or other materials.

When starting constructing a mosaic, it is usually a good idea to lay the mosaic tiles first before you fix them with glue. This way you get an idea as to how the colors and shapes look together in the mosaic. Lay out the pieces of tile on the paper to be sure that you have enough pieces of each color and remove the tiles and lay a sheet of clear acrylic over the design. Then apply a layer of adhesive to the back of each tile using a palette knife, and place it in the correct position.

Always lay tiles for the main subject first and then do the boarder as these tiles are the most important. If you need to cut or move tiles around each other it is easier to do so without the background getting in the way. When laying the boarder tile of your mosaic, start in the corner and work your way out as the corner tiles are often a little more intricate than the normal side tiles.

You will usually need to create the smooth finish by applying grout to the mosaic. Grout is generally mixed with water. Spread grout over the entire design after you have all the tiles in place. Make sure the grout is not too stiff – you risk pulling off little pieces of tiles that have not been glued on properly. You must get the grout down between all the tiles, and make it level with the tile tops. It is important that you have more than enough grout as often it is hard to tell how much you will need, so always make a little more than a little less, especially if you are mixing color into it.

Leave the mosaic until the grout is firm and dry. Lastly, clean the surface of the mosaic pieces and polishes the tiles with a clean, damp cloth.

Repair Mortar – How To Mix It

Are you ready to start your mortar and stucco repair projects around your home or business? If so, let me show you how to minimize your problems when you begin to mix your repair mortar and how to ‘temper’ it (keep it workable) as you continue with your work. If you follow these tips your mortar repair chores will be much easier and can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience!

These tips are for use with the ready made repair mortars that are sold at your local building supply center. They are available under many name brands including Quikrete and Sackrete.

Product – Try to find a commercial grade mason’s mix if you can. It is available in many parts of the country and is a premium product. Since it contains more cement as well as other additives, it is a little ‘fatter’ and easier to work with. If you cannot find the commercial grade mortar in stock then pick up a bag of regular masons mortar mix which can be used as well.

Mixing Tools – Since most of your repairs will be small to begin with, you will not need a large mixing container. In fact a large plastic bowl, of a gallon size or a small bucket, will work just fine. While you are at the store pick up a small 5″ x 2″ margin trowel for mixing and have a small bucket of water with a cup, available as well.

Mixing – Now open up your mortar bag and fill the bowl or bucket half way with the mortar mix. Pour some water into the bowl until you cover your mortar well and begin to mix.

As you mix, pull up and turn over the mortar. At first it will dry out quickly so just add little more water and continue to mix. Eventually you will notice the mix ‘smoothing out’ which means the clumps are separating you are close to finishing the mixing process. Here is where you need to pay the most attention.

What you are looking for is a stiff batter like consistency. The amount of water that you use will vary with the temperature and humidity. If it is hotter then more water will be needed… cooler, less. This whole process shouldn’t take any more than about 5 minutes to complete.

As you get closer and closer to the final mix consistency be careful not to add too much water, as this will make the mix wet and runny. If that has already happened don’t worry, just add a little more dry mix to stiffen it up.

Checking the Consistency of the Mix – After you have completely mixed the mortar in your container, take your trowel and insert your blade in the mortar approximately 11/2″ deep and at about a 90 degree angle to the surface. Now drag the trowel across the surface of the mortar from one side of the container to the other.

If the consistency is right you should see a well defined and smooth furrow in the mortar. The furrow walls should not have ‘slumped’ down as you moved your blade through the mix. If the consistency is too wet then the furrow walls will slump back into the furrow and you possibly will see water in it as well.

If the mix is too dry it will tend to ‘pull’ and ‘ball’ the mortar along the furrow walls like it is being pulled away from the sides of the furrow. Temper the mix with water until you get the right consistency.

Let the Mix Set – Now I want you to step away and let the mortar ‘set’ for about 10 minutes. This will allow the initial hydration ‘kick’ to take place so you can quickly temper the mortar before you begin to work.

It better to wait a few minutes then to get to where you are working and find the mix beginning to harden as you are starting to work on your repair. In addition, this first ‘temper’ tends to increase the ‘workability time’ of the mortar which makes it a little easier on you especially when it is warm.

If it is chilly out the mortar probably won’t change much, if at all in 10 minutes. If it is warm then you will notice that the mortar has stiffen somewhat. Add just a small bit of water to the mix again and ‘temper’ or mix again to the right consistency.

Check your mortar frequently and maintain its’ workability but adding small amounts of water. With practice and practice you will come to know just how long your mortar will last and any given day depending on temperature and humidity. Have fun and good luck with your chores!

Selecting a House Painter

Your house is most likely one of the biggest investment you might be having right now. Taking time to do research and choose the best painter for your house is very important. When it comes to painting there are many options starting from individuals to companies. It is obvious that once you want to hire a professional painter the most important thing is to get the best person for the job. In this article you will find ways on how to get the best person or company to paint your house for it to have a look that you like.

First is to ask around – If you see a house that is freshly painted and you like the look, be polite and ask the owner who or which company did the job. Sometimes the best form of advertisement is through word of mouth. Your friends, neighbors and even relatives can recommend for you somebody who they know can do a good painting job.

Sometimes you will see a painting advertisement in the backyard which is a good indication that the painter must have done a good job for the owner to allow any form of advertising. Successful mouth to mouth advertisement doesn’t happen unless the painter or the company did an exceptional job. This means that you will learn more about a painter from past clients. One disgruntled past client may not be enough but if you hear same complaints from everyone then it will be time to stay clear.

If possible always ask for references – this is slightly different from asking around (neighbors, friends and relatives). This involves speaking directly to the contractor and asking her any references for past jobs. If She cannot give you a list of any references it is time to strike off the contractor from your list. Always allow a minimum of three references and make sure you follow through all the three references to confirm claims.

Check out their website -Every reputable painter or contractor must have a website and it should be the first place to drop and check what kind of services and reviews they have from past clients. Their site if professional should generally tell you the kinds of services they offer and at what rates. Their website will also tell you on how to contact them, their field of expertise and most importantly the quality of customer service.

Diamond Chandelier Earrings

To value a diamond, the four C’s are carat, cut, color and clarity. When a jeweler describes a diamond as flawless, it means that there are no internal imperfections or visible surface imperfections. Viewed under a 10-power magnification, a skilled diamond grade expert can establish the value of a diamond. Diamonds, as with many other gemstones, have their weight stated in carats. When the weight of a diamond is in decimals, this figure is accurate to the last decimal point. An example is a diamond said to be .40 carat; this could represent a weight of .395 to .404 carat.

Pink diamonds

Pink diamonds are uncommon but considered some of the most beautiful diamonds on earth. Many famous movie stars own pink diamond  chandelier  earrings and they are certainly a thing of beauty. These diamond earrings are luxury and people love luxurious items. Pink diamonds are ‘real’ diamonds that nature does not make very often. Because of this, there are man made pink diamonds offered by jewelers. They are less expensive than natural pink diamonds. These diamonds are in style

 Chandelier  earrings

Purchasing a pair of diamond  chandelier  earrings for you or as a gift can be very exciting but also a difficult decision when it comes to choosing the right pair. As with clothing or other products, diamond jewelry and earrings have fashions or styles also. Make sure you consider this when shopping for diamond earrings.

The great news is that diamond  chandelier  earrings are all the rage and a ‘must have’. Open any celebrity magazine or watch the awards shows on television and all the women are wearing magnificent  chandelier  diamond earrings. These earrings are a great accessory for any outfit and make you feel glamorous. Not only will they make you feel sexy but often catch the eye of people around you. Originally started around 1920, these  chandelier  earrings are still available in some antique and collectible shops.

Diamonds have a fiery brilliance all their own, and wearing a pair of diamond  chandelier  earrings draws attention to a woman’s features as they cascade from each earlobe, framing her face and drawing attention to her neck. If a woman is wearing a special  chandelier  pair for an evening out, bare shoulders and cascading, dangling diamond earrings will look spectacular. Do not forget to give some thought to what you want the diamonds set such as platinum, white or yellow gold and silver.

Diamond  chandelier  earrings that have a tapered dangle design give a modern yet sophisticated look. Worn both as casual and formal wear, they give a brilliant, yet captivating look.

So remember, for yourself or that special someone in your life, a pair of diamond  chandelier  earrings will last forever, go up in value and make the person wearing them look and feel special. Make sure you do some research and then go buy the earrings of your or someone else’s dreams.

Quick Guide to Wedding Catering: Part Two

So you’ve tasted the offerings of the caterer and you’ve selected your main menu options. What about drinks?

What’s on tap

Much like selecting the menu options, you will need to factor in what kinds of drinks everyone would like to drink. The easiest way to take care of this is to offer a full service bar. In this way, guests can have mixed drinks of all varieties or they can stick to wine and beer.

You want to plan this option out carefully as you may end up paying more than you would like. Check with the provider as to how many drinks each guest can have, or can expect from the supply that will be brought. In most cases, there is no limit.

A word of advice: Don’t ever have a cash bar. Making your guests pay for their drinks when they may also have paid for their outfits and transportation is just a lot to ask.

What to choose for everyone

In terms of wine and beer, tastes and varieties are enormous–how does someone choose?

The best advice is to select four to five different kinds of beer with each one having enough to fill everyone’s glass. This may surprise you, but sometimes all of your guests will like the same thing and you may want to make sure that they can have it.

As for wine, you may want to have at least one of each a red varietal and a white varietal. This ensures a milder and more acidic selection. A way to make sure that everyone is happy is to find blends of each of these wines. By blends, this means to find a red that includes a merlot, syrah, and pinot noir, while the white might include a chardonnay, reisling, and zinfandel.

These can be tricky to find, but they are crowd pleasers.

Champagne for toasts

Toasts are just not toasts without a little glass (or two) of champagne. It’s common sense to make sure that the new couple and their wedding party have the very finest in champagne (as determined by the budget), while the rest of the guests have another variety. In many reception halls or catering services, the champagne for the wedding party is provided.

Of course, there will also be designated drivers at the wedding, so you will also want to have water, sodas, coffee, and juices available as well. When you’re planned it thoroughly, everyone will be well-watered throughout the evening.

Save Your Back During Snow Season

Brrrr! “Baby, it’s cold outside”! Now that winter is here, snowfall is certainly in the Mid-Atlantic forecast. Many people take on the white stuff without adequate caution and end up bending, twisting, and lifting heavy weight. Improper biomechanics while shoveling and snowblowing can result in back pain, shoulder pain, and other injuries that lead to muscle strains and sprains and even herniated disks. Here are a few guidelines to help you alleviate undue stress on your spine during snowy weather.

Stretch and Warm up!

Most individuals who are about to tackle snow removal do not properly prepare their muscles beforehand. Just as you warm up for a workout or a run, appropriate stretching before shoveling snow reduces your chance of injury. Start by stretching your hamstrings, quadriceps (upper thigh muscles), calves, groin, and buttocks. A chiropractor or fitness trainer can provide a list of suitable stretches, and directions for doing them properly are typically shown online. Hold each stretch for 15 seconds. Ten minutes of stretching and warming up is recommended.

According to a report released by the US Surgeon General, just 15 minutes of snow shoveling is as much exertion as 30 minutes of a regular physical activity. If you are considered at risk for heart attack, you should be extremely careful about physical exertion. Paying someone else to do your snow removal may be a very wise, possibly lifesaving, decision. Dr. Thomas Campbell, head of Emergency Medicine at Western Pennsylvania Hospital in Pittsburgh states, “Shoveling snow is a very risky endeavor. Lifting 10 shovels of snow in 1 minute can take as much energy as climbing 7 flights of stairs.” He also advises complete avoidance of shoveling for those over the age of 40 or 45, those who live a sedentary lifestyle, or individuals with known high blood pressure.

Correct Biomechanics During Shoveling

Snow varies from wet and heavy to powdery and dry. Depending on the quantity and weight of snow, use of a lighter weight plastic shovel may be advantageous during heavier snowfalls. Spraying a silicone spray or a product like WD-40 on the shovel blade will help keep snow from sticking and make snow removal less strenuous. Choose a shovel with a curved, adjustable handle, which is a design that works well regardless of the individual’s height or size.

It is smarter to push snow than to drag it. The key to lifting snow properly is to squat with your buttocks low and bend at the hips and knees. Hold the shovel by placing your hands about 12 to 18 inches apart, with one hand at the handle and the other closer to the blade. Always face the snow pile you are going to lift rather than twisting your spine to get at it. In fact, twisting the spine while bending forward can increase the pressure on lower back disks up to 100-fold! Use your leg muscles and contract your abdominal muscles each time you lift, almost lunging at the snow.

Stretch your legs, buttocks, back, shoulders, and arms during the entire period you spend shoveling. Stretching increases flexibility and warmth and limits the likelihood of injury. Some shovelers choose to wear a corset or brace to support the muscles of the back, further reducing the potential for damage. While you are shoveling, stay hydrated by drinking liquids frequently (nonalcoholic, of course!), as it is surprisingly easy to become dehydrated while removing snow even in colder climates. To prevent slips and falls, pour kitty litter or salt on walkway areas that are icy or have already been shoveled.

Injuries to the coccyx (tailbone) are relatively common during the snow season when slippery conditions make you more likely to fall and land on your back. As you dump the snow out of your shovel, always turn your entire body, making sure that your belly button is your “pointer” and is facing the spot on which you intend to drop the snow. Walk to the area where you are piling snow rather than throwing snow over your shoulder or twisting your torso to reach it. When operating a snowblower, use the power of your legs and buttocks versus using your shoulders. Contract your abdominal muscles and keep your spine straight while maneuvering the machine.

Frequency of Shoveling

Remember to take frequent breaks while you are shoveling. Often a quick break every 10 to 20 minutes helps muscles rejuvenate from fatigue. Shoveling smaller snow piles more frequently is a better approach than attempting to move heavier piles in one marathon session. Contrary to some opinions, removing snow during snowfall is smarter than waiting for a big snowstorm to end.

Proper Snow Removal Attire

Dressing adequately for prolonged exposure to cold weather should be a no-brainer! Proper clothing is essential to the prevention of frostbite and other harmful effects. Boots need to feature good tread, and using kitty litter or an ice-melting product wherever you require good footing can help avoid slips and falls. Layer your clothing. Wearing waterproof items underneath your heavier clothes and including underclothing that wicks can help prevent exposure and sickness. Note that mittens trap warmth far more efficiently than gloves do.

What to Do if You Suffer an Injury

Even mild physical activities can cause disk herniations, back pain, neck and shoulder pain, radiating pain, and muscle soreness. If, despite precautions, you experience an injury or develop pain or muscle strains during snow removal, stop all exertion. Help is available! Contact Corrective Chiropractic, and let trained professionals make you more comfortable and help you recover faster through a variety of relief-giving therapies.

Bare Lifts – The Easiest Breast Lift There Is!

I’m excited about something new in the beauty market called Bare Lifts – The Invisible Bust Support System – that claims to lift and enhance your bust line simply, cheaply and effectively and is disposable. No more dreadfully uncomfortable bras that make you feel like you’re being hugged by a Cyberman and that require the dexterity of an octopus to get on and off.

Bare Lifts, like all the best products are very simple – they are clever, unobtrusive adhesive patches that you fix around your nipple line. You then lift your breast until it is to the height you require, peel off the adhesive backing and stick the strip to your skin, thus giving yourself an invisible temporary breast lift with no stitches, no surgery, no pain and no massive bill to pay!

These things are disposable and you can wear them for up to 24 hours – the adhesive is guaranteed to last that long – and then you just discard them. For that 24 hours the effect they have is absolutely amazing; in one small move, the shape of your chest is completely transformed. And you can wear them with or without a bra, and even under a swimsuit as the adhesive is completely waterproof. Sexy cleavage, here we come!

I don’t know about you, but I hate wearing bras. Always have. I find them uncomfortable and restrictive, and as I get older they seem to be made of more and more material with wider shoulder straps that dig into me until I feel like my whole chest is held up by some engineering system. I never needed a bra when I was younger; my breasts would just stay nice and neat and upright all by themselves! But sadly, encroaching years, childbirth and putting on weight has made my assets head southwards at an alarming rate. I’m not talking spaniels’ ears just yet, but it worries me that they will be before too long!

Exercise does help. Press ups, chest presses, even squeezing something together between your hands will all work the pectoral muscles that lie beneath the breast. But having good pecs is only half the story; breasts themselves contain no muscle tissue and to put it bluntly are always going to sag as you get older especially after having kids. So you get to the stage where you have to wear heavier and heavier bras because, if left unsupported against gravity, the ligaments supporting the breasts will stretch making the breasts hang lower and lower. Sad but true; I used to be able to go bra-less and now I daren’t. People would run away screaming if they saw me.

But now we have these Bare Lifts; inexpensive, invisible and figure-transforming in seconds. The feel of the adhesive takes a little bit of getting used to, but it’s nowhere near as restrictive as having to wear a horrible tight bra. And boy, what a difference these Bare Lifts make to the shape of your chest! Just think; now you can wear those backless, strapless dresses that you were always too embarrassed to be seen in before – no bulges, no lines, no discomfort; no fear of the damned thing coming undone like a bra. (I’ve had that happened to me in an aerobics class and believe me, it’s horribly embarrassing. I was in serious danger of giving myself a black eye as I pranced about!).

So as far as I’m concerned, these Bare Lifts get a great big thumbs up from me, and they’re a whole lot cheaper than either a fancy bra or breast surgery. I don’t go in much for strapless dresses as I’m small and solid, but I’m happiest in workout gear anyway, so I’ll personally be hitting the town in my favorite T-shirt. Wearing no bra, thanks to my Bare Lifts!