DIY Decorative Twine Balls

Make your own Decorative Twine Ball

I saw this craft idea on The Nate Berkus Show last week and decided to give it a try. Here are all the things that you need:

The project is a bit messy but it is just white glue so it cleans up easily.

Needed:
~ Balloons
~ Ball of Twine or Jute or String
~ White Glue mixed with equal parts Water
~ A bowl or plate to hold the Glue

I mixed the glue and water with a whisk. Then I cut off a large piece of string- I did not measure- I prefer trial and error to actual mathematical calculations!

I dropped the twine into the glue and water and let it soak for a minute or two.

Then comes the messy part. I used a plastic cutting board to contain the drips and started wrapping the wet twine all over the balloon. The two tended to slip and slide but I kept wrapping it and tried to cover the balloon evenly.

I set it down on the cutting board and let is dry a bit. I picked it up and cleaned the glue off the cutting board several times. Once it had stopped dripping I set it on a glass overnight so it would continue to harden.

In the morning- I broke the balloon and was left with this ball. Okay so now what? You may be asking. Good question!

These can be stacked in a wooden bowl or on a tray. They can be covered in glitter or painted. Make a variety of sizes and use them as sculptures or hang them like paper lanterns or use them in your Wedding Centrepieces.

The same technique would work with lace, string, jute, raffia, yarn or thread. Experiment with different materials and stack them all together for an interesting look.

The Various Uses of Ski Masks

A ski mask, which also goes by the name of balaclava or balaclava helmet, is headgear made of cloth that is designed to cover most of your face. The name balaclava is derived from the use of these ski masks in the Battle of Balaclava. This is a town located close to Sevastopol, Crimea. The battle was fought in the Crimean war.

There are a variety of styles available and depending on the way that you wear it, you can expose just your eyes, or also your nose and mouth. You may also wear it so that your entire face is exposed. If you go with the design that exposes the whole face, you could roll it to make a hat that will cover your head or it may fold down so that it looks like a collar.

Balaclavas are worn outdoors especially by people who engage in winter sports including snowmobiling, snowboarding and skiing. They are a protection for the face against the lash of cold winds and help to maintain warmth. Lately they have also become part of what motorcyclists wear since they too have to deal with the lash of the wind.

Interestingly, firefighters also wear them although theirs are fire resistant and are made from a material known as nomex. The face opening on these modified ski masks is then covered by an SCBA (self-contained breathing apparatus). Fire retardant balaclavas are also worn by race drivers who must put them on under their helmets. In the racing events, various rally stages, hill climbs and the like, it has become mandatory for these to be worn along with other protective gear such as gloves, socks, long underwear and special shoes. Electrical workers also have a modified balaclava. Theirs is arc-flash rated and is usually worn with a shield over the face as well as other PPE to protect them as they work on their equipment.

Balaclavas can be purchased in a retail shop that sells sports gear or winter sports gear. Anyone running such a shop would have to purchase the wholesale ski mask from a wholesaler. They are actually able to select the style of balaclava to sell including casual, active, classic and formal. Since they come in a variety of colors and patterns, as a retailer, you can get the most attractive for your store. There are multicolored ones, plaid, print designs, striped and solid color ones too.

Of course it is cheaper to make a bulk order if you are a retailer than purchasing in small amounts. You may need to get on the internet and find wholesalers that will give you a good price before you can make a purchase. Saving money is always welcome. However, it is important to find a balance between quality and price. Cheap can end up being very costly, but you can also find well priced products of good quality. Payment methods will vary depending on the company you buy from. However, if you are required to make an online payment, you will find that for most of them, even PayPal is a valid payment option.

Rope Cocking Device Vs Crank Cocking Devices

If you are a crossbow enthusiast, then it is advisable for you to research about the different types of cocking device that you can use. There are actually two basic types of cocking device. The first one is the crank device which appears as a small winch mounting on a crossbow’s stock. This device requires you to wind a crank handle in order for you to cock your crossbow. Before getting this device, it is important for you to determine if this can offer you ultimate satisfaction when using it for crossbow hunting. One of the major advantages of crank cocking device is that you will never have a hard time drawing it back. It is also a major help in your attempt to put the string at the center of the trigger so you can shoot accurately. But the expensiveness of this device is one of its major drawbacks. It is also heavy and bulky so there is a great possibility that you will deal with discomfort upon using it.

The second type of cocking device is the rope cocking device. This is less expensive than the crank type so it is no longer surprising why a lot of people prefer to use it. You can get it at around twenty-five to forty dollars. Attached in the pull rope of this device are two string clips and handles. It also comes with a pulley system designed to improve its mechanical advantage. The pulley system also allows you to use only half of the strength needed in cocking the crossbow. The device also works in centering your string and this is a major help in improving the accuracy of all your shots. But it is still best for you to put a mark on the bow string’s center to ensure that the process of releasing the arrow produces even force. You can also prepare your next shot within just thirty seconds with the help of this device.

But there are also disadvantages of using the rope cocking device. You will need to spend more time positioning the rope cocker, cocking your bow and then stowing it away once you are done using it. Still, it is highly recommended for crossbow hunters because of its affordability and all the other benefits that it holds. Making this device a part of your crossbow hunting gear can definitely give you a more pleasurable experience when hunting. Just make sure that you are willing to practice your skills using the device so you will never have a hard time making it work during your crossbow hunting expedition.

You Can Have a Dog and a Beautiful Lawn Too, With Synthetic Grass

Any dog owner can tell you: dogs and grass do not mix. You love your four-legged friend more than anything in the world, but you probably don’t love the muddy spots, yellow grass, trails and bare spots he or she leaves on your lawn. But now, you can have your cake and eat it too, or in other words, have a dog and a beautiful lawn too, with a synthetic grass lawn.

Not only is artificial grass beautiful and low maintenance, but dogs love it! The soft, realistic synthetic grass lawns of today are perfect for dogs to play, lay and roll around on – with none of the downfalls normally encountered with having a dog and a lawn.

Dog waste can discolor or stain normal grass, leaving ugly muddy spots and yellow grass all over your lawn. But with a quality synthetic pet turf, urine drains right through and won’t leave an odor. Droppings can be scooped or hosed off, and you can use any household cleaner to get rid of messes. You can easily wash down and disinfect your lawn if needed, leaving a clean, germ-free environment for everyone to enjoy. Your yard will always be available for sports, games and activities without the worry that you might step into an unexpected “surprise” on the lawn.

Wouldn’t it be nice to eliminate muddy paws and dirty dogs from your home? With good artificial turf you can spend less time cleaning your dogs and your home, and spend more time enjoying your beautiful, resilient landscaping instead. In addition, you will no longer need to use toxic pesticides that could pose a danger to your furry friend.

Most synthetic grass is very low maintenance, saving you significant time and money over the years. A high-quality synthetic lawn can last anywhere from 20 to 25 years, and will more than pay for itself in water bills and maintenance savings.

Not all synthetic lawns are alike, however. When shopping for a dog-friendly synthetic lawn, be sure to check for the following:

Drainage

Drainage is paramount in artificial turf, especially when a dog is involved. Turf with drilled holes in the back for drainage is not suitable for dogs, and will not drain properly, leaving your lawn smelling of urine. Look for an artificial turf company that offers special pet turf guaranteed to drain faster than natural grass, or better yet, ask your local pet humane society, pet care facility or dog park which artificial turf they use. These locations see many more dogs using their grass than you, and will definitely be able to tell you what works and what doesn’t.

Materials

Many companies still use nylon in their artificial grass which can be dense, abrasive and worst of all, is absorbent. Nylon fiber grass will absorb dog liquids resulting in a horrible smelling lawn. When shopping for your artificial grass, find a company that uses 100% pure polyethylene fibers. Polyethylene is soft and silky, yet is designed to stand up to years of use and exposure to the elements; and it will not absorb liquids.

Durability

Many companies will say their grass is durable, but then again, they’re trying to sell their product. Investigate the turf surface as well as the infrastructure of the grass. Much like a blade of grass or a leaf out in nature, artificial grass blades with a built-in “spine” are far more resistant to damage from foot traffic and busy paws.

It’s time to stop worrying about your lawn and start spending more time with your precious pooch – get a quality synthetic grass lawn today!

How To Deal With Water Logging Issues in Your Home

You have bought a beautiful house and everything’s working perfectly. But lo, it rains and your house is flooded with water! Yes, waterlogging issues can be an unforeseen problem that can arise after you have moved into your new apartment. Most common during seasonal rains, waterlogging can leave you stranded when you get out of your house. It’s true that most of us are still in the dark when it comes to dealing with this issue. Keep reading to find out some of the most effective techniques that you can use!

Understanding The Issue

Waterlogging in your house can be caused due to many reasons such as storm runoff, sullage, or damaged drain sewers. Apart from the short-term effects like hampering your daily routine, it also causes other serious damages like weakening the foundation of the entire house. When water mixes with other garbage and wastes, this can pose a great threat to your health. So, it is always important to understand these risks and deal strategically with water logging issues.

Effective Precautions And Strategic Troubleshooting

Once you know what the problem is, it becomes easier to take steps to troubleshoot. Some effective solutions to prevent water logging in your home are given below. Depending on the reach of the issue, you can employ any or all of the following solutions.

Solution 1: Rainwater Harvesting To Cope With Flood

It may be impossible to prevent the huge amount of water entering the premises during heavy monsoon rain or flood. But, it is possible to direct the flow of the water and treat the problem of waterlogging judiciously. Rainwater harvesting is the most effective way to cope with the issue of rainwater flooding your house.

Solution 2: Downspout Extensions For Basement Flooding

Installing downspout extensions is an effective solution to keep your basement dry. This helps in redirecting the water flow from the rooftops as well as basements to a safer location, such as a dry well or any other rainwater harvesting system.

Solution 3: Dry Well For Cheap Water Logging Solution

If you are looking for an economical way for solving water logging issues, nothing works better than a dry well. Standing water can be directed to the dry well using downspout extensions. The dry well is usually filled with stones, gravels, and pebbles so that water does not seep back into your lawn.

Solution 4: Installing A Sump Pump

Foreseeing the issue of waterlogging, you can install a sump pump that can pump out the standing water from your basement. This is a simple solution that can help you tackle waterlogging issues effectively.

Solution 5: Rain Gardens For Rain Runoff

Rain gardens are an ideal solution for apartments, schools, and other residential premises where run-off rainwater poses a major issue. Creating rain gardens in well-drained/sandy soils can be perfect for capturing storm water.

Solution 6: French Drains For Plain Surfaces

When you cannot judge the slope of your lawn to construct a dry well, a French drain, also known as the weeping tile is an effective alternative. A French drain is nothing but a trench filled with sand and gravel. It has pipes that drain the stagnant water and direct it away from the area.

Three Things to Know About Using a Power Inverter

The first thing you will need to know is what you are planning on running in this time of emergency. The fewer the items or the smaller the amperage, the smaller or least costly inverter will be needed. I will give a table of items and their average power uses below followed by a simple formula that will give you an idea of the size of inverter you will need.

Stackable Washer/Dryer: 2500 Watts

Electric Chain Saw: 1700 Watts

Electric Circular Saw: 1600 Watts

Full Sized Microwave Oven: 1400 Watts

Chest Freezer: 1200 Watts

Mini Microwaves: 1000 Watts

1/3 inch HP Submersible Pump: 920 Watts

Reciprocating Saw: 720 Watts

1/2 inch Reversible Drill: 620 Watts

Coffee Maker: 600 Watts

Portable Vacuum: 525 Watts

Electric Garden Tools: 475 Watts

10 Speed Blender: 450 Watts

Orbital Sander: 400 Watts

Home Stereo: 350 Watts

3/8 inch Variable Speed Drill: 320 Watts

20 inch TV/VCR Combo: 300 Watts

12 inch Three Speed Fan:200 Watts

Computer/Printer/Fax: 150 Watts

Quartz Halogen Spotlight: 100 Watts

Mini Stereo/CD Player: 50 Watts

Laptop Computer/8 inch TV: 38-45 Watts

Cell Phone/Camcorder Charger: 10 Watts

14 Volt Cordless Drill Charger: 8 Watts

If the appliance you are planning on using is listed in watts, just go ahead and use that number. If it is listed in amps you just need to use this simple formula: volts (120) X amps (listed on device) = watts. This will give you the amount of watts the appliance will be using. So if you had a 3 amp appliance, and you wanted to find the watts, the formula would be: 120 (volts) X 3 (amps) = 360 watts.

You would then total all of the watts that you will be using and come up with a number. Lets say your total watts usage is 500 watts. If that’s the case it would be a good idea to get a 750 watt inverter. Always get a larger size than what you think you will need, it may come in handy.

Your next step will be to determine where your power supply is going to come from. If it is for emergency purposes there is a very good chance that it will be coming from a battery hooked up to your vehicle, or you may be a little better prepared and have a bank of batteries hooked up in a parallel fashion. Since most people reading this are probably unfamiliar with creating a battery bank I will just cover running the inverter from the vehicle. The main thing to know is what type of battery you will be using. It is suggested that you have a deep cycle battery or those that are used for trolling motors or golf carts and that you get as many amp hours as your budget allows. A few years back I was able to go 11 days using a 750w inverter and a 120amp hour deep cycle battery attached to my car. I had to run the car for 10 minutes every 2 hours to run everything that I had hooked up which was a laptop, 13″ color tv, direct tv receiver, modem for the laptop, 40w light, and a small box fan. That doesn’t sound like much, but I thought I was staying at the Ritz Carlton compared to most of my neighbors.

The last thing you need to know is how long will your power supply (battery) last before it needs recharging. First you will need to know the wattage of all the appliances. Lets say we have 480 total watts of power being used, and we are running our inverter off of a 12 volt battery attached to the car. Next we have to convert this number so that we know how many amps are being used. We do this by taking the watts (480) and dividing it by 12 (volts of the battery) and come up with 40 amps. The formula is: watts / volts = amps. If we have a 120 amp hour battery we would divide 120 (amp hours) by 40 (amps) and get 3 hours before the battery is dead. It is recommended not to drain a battery below 50% of its capacity so you may want to divide the 3 hour in half giving you 1 1/2 hour before starting the car up to recharge the battery.

How To Lose Your High-Pitched Squeaky Voice And Make It Deeper – Best Deep Voice Training Tips

If you have a high-pitched squeaky voice that you feel it is affecting your enjoyment of life, then you should do what you can to lose it. Losing your high pitched voice or making it deeper might be a difficult thing to do, however it is possible, if you use the right techniques and follow the correct recommendations. There is so much help you can get for this, there are even deep voice training guides which sell online that can help you as much as you can with your voice tone.

There are also voice coaches who train speaking voices so they sound great to listen to. Even though some of these coaches are really expensive, if you think your voice is giving you trouble, you can consider paying to improve it. However, in this article, I have some few tips and tricks on how to lose your high pitched voice and make it deeper, and sound strong and timber.

Before we go further, you should know something about your voice, and this formula can explain so much: “Voice Quality = vocal tract configuration + laryngeal anatomy + learned component”

So this means that learned components makes up to an extent, the quality of your voice, and that is what you have control over. With that said, I’ll list the progression of techniques you can use to naturally transform your voice tone and make it sound deeper and sexier:

1. The first deep voice training technique I will list is breathing deep, so that your sides and belly expand. Many people who talk with a squeaky voice is as a result of breathing shallow. You have to take long and deep breaths so that your chest can easily press out your voice.

2. Second tip on How to Lose Your high pitched Voice and Make It Deeper is dropping your larynx. You might identify the feeling as “opening the throat” but the larynx will physically drop so there’s no doubt about it. This seems to be the most important one, so here are some ways to do this exercise:

– Keep your mouth closed an “open your throat” keeping your hand on your larynx to test. There is depressor muscles that have to push down that might have not ever been used so it might be tough going for a bit. Keep at it. Breathe in while making the shape that produces “Haw” with your mouth and throat.

3. Another thing you can do to Lose Your squeaky Voice and Make It Deeper, is that you talk form your chest, not your nose. Posture and articulation also helps.

Stairs Made of Wood Versus Concrete Stairs

Wood is one material that has won the hearts of many homeowners when it comes to their interiors and furnishings. Every home is bound to have something that is made out of wood. After all, it’s a very classic material. Wood is timelessly beautiful. Even when it comes to stairs, wood still plays a key role in most homes and to further reinforce this, here are the advantages of a wood staircase versus concrete stairs:

Wood is definitely safer to use. Indeed, it is better to fall on wooden stairs than on concrete stairs. The reason behind this is pretty obvious, wood offers better cushioning in case something lands on it. This is indeed good news for homes with little ones who tend to regularly fall on their butts. Their chances in developing fractures and the like are lessened when using the stairs made of wood.

If you also talk about the building point of view, stair builders have a divided preference when it comes to the wood vs. concrete debate, although most say concrete is easier to work with. Besides, wood planks are more expensive if you replace them than redoing a concrete mixture.

When it comes to your interior stairs, wood definitely sets a homey ambience to complete a home’s look. Ever notice that welcoming feel you get in a home with lots of wood furnishings? The same goes for stairs made of lumber, nothing spells ‘home’ more than wood. It sets off a cozy tone as opposed to a the hard, condescending aura of concrete. For the offices, concrete spells “corporate” out quite well, but wood can also add a Zen touch, something the office could use to reduce stress in the area.

The wooden alternative will also cause less and will be easier to renovate and change as opposed to the concrete version. Renovating and fixing the stairs will be easier if it is made out of wood. Just in case your wood staircase needs fixing, you can visit your local home depot or a trusted online stair parts supplier to get the quality stair parts you deserve at a reasonable price.

Speaking of price, be it known that wooden stair parts are more expensive and they also cost more money, time and effort to maintain and to keep beautiful.

At the end of the day, it still depends on which attributes of wood or concrete are the ones which you prioritize. Your staircase is your investment. Make it count.

Ironing Boards – Helping To Make Ironing Less Humdrum

Ironing clothes is a tedious but necessary household chore. It can be made easier, though, by using a good quality ironing board and there is a huge selection on the market today.

An ironing board has a flat, padded surface, on which clothes are placed for ironing, usually with a decorative cover made of heat-resistant fabric. The pad normally has vent ‘holes’, which allow steam from the iron to penetrate the clothes and escape out the bottom.

A good ironing board also has extra features, to make ironing easier. These include ‘sleeves’, which are about 2 feet long and 6 to 8 inches wide, attached to the board, for ironing sleeves and small items of clothing.

Another important feature is the iron-rest. This is usually at the end of the board and made of heatproof material. A good iron rest is large enough to hold the iron safely, without risk of it falling off.

Types of ironing board

There are three main types of ironing board – portable, table-top and wall-mounted – each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. To help select the best kind of ironing board for your needs, you should consider how often it will be used, where it will be placed, how much space is available and what price range you can afford.

Portable ironing boards are the most common in American homes. They have extendable legs, which fold away for storage and fold out for use. They can be moved to which ever room in the house you want to do your ironing and then stored away when you have finished.

An advantage of portable ironing boards is the ability to adjust the height. For example, you may prefer to sit while ironing, instead of standing. And it helps to be able to adjust the height of the board easily, if smaller members of the household want to iron clothes, Portable ironing boards have a disadvantage, though, in being awkward to set up and cumbersome to move around.

The second type of ironing board – the table-top board – has short legs, and is designed to sit on a table top or counter. These ironing boards are easy to carry around and set up in a confined space, which makes them popular with dorm students. But because they are so small, it is difficult to place larger items of clothing properly on the board, which can be annoying when ironing sleeves or anything that needs to fit around the end of the board.

The third type of ironing board is mounted on the wall and then folds out when needed for ironing. These wall-mounted ironing boards are becoming more popular in modern homes. They have the advantage of saving space, which is a great asset in a smaller house or apartment. They can even be installed in a walk-in closet or other confined space.

Even in larger houses, many people prefer wall-mounted ironing boards because they are so convenient. They take only a few seconds to fold down and put away, so they are huge time-savers. They also eliminate the need to carry the ironing board and unfold awkward collapsible legs. Wall-mounted ironing boards are strong and sturdy, and can be swiveled out at any angle into the most convenient position for ironing.

Some wall-mounted ironing boards are designed to be easily installed by an ordinary householder, without the need to call a tradesman, and can thus save you money on installation costs.

The history of ironing boards

Although we take ironing boards for granted today, it’s worth remembering that 100 years ago they were very much a novelty and were only just starting to appear in stores in the United States.

For centuries previously, people used to press their clothes on any available flat surface. For example, the Vikings in the 9th century used flat pieces of whalebone, on which women would press their clothes using heated rocks.

Later, in Europe, it became common for people to iron their clothes on the kitchen table, or on a flat piece of board resting between two chairs. This practice spread to North America and by the early 19th century there was plenty of advice in housekeeping books about what size an ironing table should be, what it should be made of, and what sort of blanket or cloth it should be covered with.

About the same time, several ironing boards started appearing on the market but there is some controversy over who actually invented the ironing board.

In 1858 W. Vandenburg patented what he called the ironing table and about three years later Isaac Ronnie Bord of Georgetown, Delaware, took out a patent for an adjustable flat horizontal surface for the pressing of undergarments, garments and bed linen.

In 1892 an African American woman, Sarah Boone, patented an ironing board that was the forerunner of the modern folding ironing board with a narrow, curved shape, designed to make it easy to iron shirts. (The term “iron”, of course, comes from the fact the implements used to press clothes were made from heavy cast iron, which was normally heated at the hearth or on a wood or coal-burning stove.)

Improvements in ironing boards, naturally, followed the development of the iron, which became powered by electricity and were lighter in weight. By 1940, manufacturers were producing all-metal collapsible ironing boards with tubular legs, and the basic design of ironing boards has changed little since then.

How To Get Rid Of Bed Bugs – Learn How To Treat Bed Bugs With Ease!

Bed bugs are a huge problem for many people and generally are considered one of the hardest bug infestations to get rid of for good. How to get rid of bed bugs, is a question that many infected household owners ask themselves.

Once a bed bug infestation has been correctly identified they can be treated methodically. There is no one treatment; instead there are multiple processes that have to be followed one after another. For best results it is recommended that a professional pest control firm be consulted from the start. In earlier times bed bugs were treated by spraying DDT on all the affected furniture and rooms. However that is no longer allowed due to safety concerns with regard to DDT. Today the treatments tend to be more targeted.

In order to properly treat a bed bug infestation the property should be subjected to a thorough inspection. Even before that, various items cluttering the promises should be reduced, so that inspection can be carried out smoothly. It must however be remembered that cleaning the house in itself will not have any great effect on the bed bug infestation.

First step in this process of reducing clutter is to remove and launder with water at a temperature of above 120 degrees Fahrenheit the linen and garments that could have been or were infested. If garments and other items can not be laundered due to some reason, a cloth dryer can be used to heat them till they are free of bugs. Another method that can be used is to wrap the garments using plastic and then to leave them in the sun for few days. Low temperatures, below 32 degrees Fahrenheit, can also be fatal to bed bugs. In order to remove the infestation through that method the items have to be kept at that temperature for over two weeks. Carpets and other such items can be steam cleaned. All these methods are used because they can not be directly treated with insecticide. Items that can not be subjected to any of the above methods should be discarded. Furniture should be taken apart as much as possible and cleaned, for instance by emptying and taking out the drawers in dressing tables and desks.

Another step in this process is to vacuum the house so that some bed bugs will be physically removed. While vacuuming the suction opening can be applied to infected surfaces, seams, and crevices scraped using a rough brush, so that some of the bugs and eggs get dislodged. The contents of the vacuum bag should be sealed and disposed of safely.

After that the house should be inspected and the areas of infestation should be noted. Insecticides can then be applied. Insecticides used against bed bugs come in a variety of forms such as sprays, aerosols, or powders. Some of them can be used against other insects, such as roaches or ants. The user should check to ensure their effectiveness against bed bugs before applying. Instructions issued with insecticides should be adhered to faithfully to achieve best results.

If the bed bug species identified is one that mainly attack birds and bats, any bird nesting sites nearby should also be treated and precautions taken to prevent re-infestation through that site.

Tame Frizzy Hair With A Curling Iron

The experts recommend, and most people with curly hair know, that air drying is the best way to avoid frizz if you have naturally curly hair. Unfortunately, that does not always work out in real life as air drying can take several hours even for my fine hair. On those days I need to go out before my hair is completely dry on it's own, I use the blow dryer with a diffuser. This usually amplifies my curls into frizz that even additional hair products will not bring back under control. That's when I know it's time to get out my curling iron and get to work.

If you have an extra five to ten minutes, my hair stylist shared with me the following steps to eliminate the frizz and give my hair a very polished look (and it works!). All you need is a curling iron and some hair clips.

1. Section your hair into at least four divisions going around your head. Pull the hair on the top of your head into one big section. Secure each section with hair clips.

2. Start with section one (sub-division if the section is fairly thick) and curl your hair with a curling iron in alternate directions for each strand. First, make the curl going towards the back of your head. Then make the curl going forward. Continue through each section until you get all the way around your head. Spray with a little hair spray if you'd like.

3. Then divide the top into three sections. Curl each section going back and secure with a clip. Let rest for 15 seconds. Again, spray with hair spray if you'd like. Unpin and let fall loosely.

Run a wide-toothed comb through your hair. Your style will be loose, polished and, best of all, the frizzies will be gone.

How Outdoor Lighting Can Keep Your Home Safe

Many people are now taking advantage of the great new energy efficient technology that is solar powered outdoor lighting in order to decorate their outdoor spaces, creating wonderful yards and gardens to relax or socialise in at dusk. With high quality fairy lights, solar decking lights and lanterns now available, there is something for every taste and requirement.

With that said, these items are also particularly useful at keeping your home safe; here are a few reasons why installing this kind of lighting option at the exterior of your home may be a good idea.

The first reason that outdoor or solar lighting can keep your home safe is that it has been shown in studies that burglars and trespassers are genuinely deterred with any kind of exterior security light on a property. Whether a mains security light or simply your solar decking lights, intruders are put off by well-illuminated spaces.

If you are concerned about theft in your home, it may therefore be a wise idea to consider investing in some outdoor lighting to deter intruders. As mentioned above, there are several options to choose from, although the most effective choices are security lights, designed only to come on as someone approaches the property.

To ensure that you get an effective light, find a trustworthy manufacturer than guarantees that their lights have been made with high quality materials and components and give out a bright light when its sensors – which should also be highly efficient – are activated. You also need to make sure that the solar panels are of high enough quality to work in year round UK weather conditions.

It is not only your home that can be protected by your outdoor lighting; if you have a shed or garage, adding a security or shed light here can again deter intruders. Some top suppliers will sell solar shed lights particularly for this purpose, with no mains cabling required, meaning they can be placed at a distance from your property.

In addition to protecting your home and outdoor spaces from intruders and trespassers on your property, outdoor lighting also plays a great role in ensuring your safety, which is why installing some kind of lighting such as solar decking lights or solar garden lanterns is a great idea.

The reason for this is that there are several areas of your outdoor space that can result in accidents after dusk has fallen, such as the edges of decking, steps, staircases and paths. You may also want to illuminate the edges of a pond so that no-one falls in under the cover of darkness!

Although in the summer months this may not be a problem due to the long daylight hours, this can be a danger in the darker months of the year such as winter. This is a particular concern for the more frail, such as the elderly, or for children and adults returning home from school or work whilst it is dark.

A security light, garden lamp or some solar decking lights placed near an entrance can also illuminate things sufficiently so that it is easy to find the lock to open a door, instead of leaving you fumbling around in the darkness.

Investing in outdoor lighting can bring a number of aesthetic benefits to the home, but also some significant safety ones, not least because security lights have been shown to have a significant impact in deterring intruders from a property.

In addition to this, adding solar decking lights, garden lanterns, shed lights or solar security lights can help you illuminate your outdoor space sufficiently so that you and your family can move around in the darkness of reduced daylight hours without having an accident. There is just one thing to remember – choose solar lights that will be sure to work all year round!

Foxes As Pets – 6 Ways They Differ From Dogs

A lot of people are enchanted by the idea of owning a pet fox. They’re charming, intelligent animals, and there is a lot of appeal in having a “special” animal that not many people have. While foxes can make decent pets for someone with the time and resources to care for them, a lot of people make the mistake of buying a pet fox thinking it is going to be just like a dog.

1. Foxes Are Difficult to Train

Dogs are born with a very strong pack mentality. A dog sees you as its alpha, and is hard-wired to want to obey the leader. They live to please you. A fox, however, lives to please itself. While they are very intelligent, the core motivation of a fox is different than that of a dog. The dog wants to please you and make you happy, the fox wants the treat.

2. Foxes Stink

Foxes have a very strong odor. While a dog can take a few weeks without a bath to work up a powerful stink, foxes smell skunky 24/7. This strong, musky odor can be lessened somewhat by having the fox neutered, but it cannot be eliminated entirely.

3. Foxes Are Shy

Many people picture a fox as an awesome pet that they can show off to their friends and neighbors. Unfortunately, the reality almost always falls far short of this. While foxes often become very attached and affectionate with their families, they remain impossibly shy around visitors and strangers.

4. Foxes Have Special Needs

Foxes have special dietary and exercise requirements outside that of a dog. They are extremely energetic, and require loads of exercise every day. A large, carefully-built outdoor enclosure is a must. Which brings me to my next point…

5. Foxes Are Escape Artists

Foxes are much more proficient at getting out of enclosures than even the most determined dog. They can leap six feet in the air, climb up fences, and even cling upside down to climb along a chain link ceiling for short distances. Any enclosure that is meant to keep foxes must not only be large, but impossible to dig out of and have a full roof.

6. Foxes Are Destructive

Many people buy a fox under the mistaken impression that it can be kept as an indoor pet, and left with free run of the house while they are away at work. Nothing could be farther from the truth, particularly with the larger species like red foxes. They will steal and hide anything small enough for them to carry, and shred just about everything they can get their teeth in to. It is nearly impossible to break even the best-trained fox of these behaviors. A dog can be taught not to chew things, a fox can only be taught not to chew things while you’re watching. While a fox is loose in the house, it requires constant supervision.

In conclusion, foxes can make fascinating pets for people who are prepared to care for them. If you are interested in a pet fox, go into it with your eyes wide open, do your research, and understand that caring for a fox is not like caring for a dog.

Understanding Epoxy Flooring and Ways of Cleaning It

Epoxy flooring is a perfect solution for those who are looking for a floor that is not only durable, but also good looking and easy in maintenance. Let us take a closer look at it and understand more about its benefits and maintenance.

What is Epoxy:

Epoxy is the result of a chemical reaction between a resin (in this case epoxide) and a hardener (in this case polyamine). It is like a stiff plastic like material which is strong, resistant and well bonded. When this compound is applied over a floor, the floors look attractive, bright and sophisticated. Epoxy flooring increases the life of a floor due to its strength. There is no need to replace floors; a coat of epoxy can do the work and make the floors look new.

Benefits of Epoxy:

Epoxy flooring gives you the benefit of not re-doing the floor again and again. Due to the application of a chemical layer, it repels dust, water, chemicals, dirt and stains. Even if you spill some viscous liquid that is a chemical agent, you will be able to get rid of the liquid in a jiffy. It will not impact the look of the floor nor will it corrode the surface. This helps the floor to last longer. The floors do not chip off from the corners and there are no scratches. This makes the floor look cleaner and neater. Wooden floors or carpet floors often get stained and the look of the room is marred. But epoxy makes sure that floors remain intact for long period of time. This chemical treatment on the floors is beneficial especially if there are chemical treatments going on or if the floors have a heavy footfall on them.

Maintenance:

Just because epoxy flooring repels dirt and stains does not mean we should not pay attention towards its cleanliness. There are at times some stains that can be seen on these floors. But these stains can be easily removed.

Wear rubber gloves while you are at the job. Use a blade to gently scrape off the stain and move the blade along a horizontal line. This process, if followed carefully will not leave stains on the surface. Use a sponge sander to remove the stain completely. Collect the debris with a dry piece of cloth. Then with another piece of cloth gently rub the affected area. The cloth needs to be soft so that you do not end up scratching the surface again. Apply a layer of epoxy on the area where there was the stain. Try and get the same colour of epoxy layer so that it matches with the rest of the floor. If the affected area is a small portion, you do not need to worry with the exact shade of colour. However, if the area affected is considerable large, colour mismatch will be evident.

It is quite annoying to walk on chipped and damaged floors. Epoxy flooring provides a complete solution to these problems. The chemical layer not only makes the floor look good but also increases the longevity of the floors in turn reducing the maintenance cost.

Professional Tips for Designing a Custom Closet

1. Try to create a balanced and visually appealing design. You're investing your time and money …. so be sure you like the finished product.

2. Determine how much of each clothing storage "type" you need (eg hanging, folded, drawers). Some professional organizers recommend doing a detailed inventory …. but who has the time. Just make a general estimate of what you use now, and note any shortcomings. For example: you have 10 feet of hanging space, but could use another 2 feet.

3. Do not underestimate how much space you require for hanging clothes, and do not plan too much area for long hanging. With today's fashions most people do not need more than 12 to 24 horizontal inches of long hanging space.

4. Locate drawers at the center of your closet design, directly across from the door so they are the first thing you see when entering the closet. Drawers make a good visual focal point and typically need the extra clearance provided by the central location. If you're designing a large closet, include an island in the center of the space that incorporates your drawers.

5. Use the corners for hanging space not shelves. Corner shelves are usually too deep and folded clothes get lost. However, corners work well for hanging clothes where occasional use items can be moved to the back.

6. Leave ample vertical space between shelves for folded clothes. The minimum height is 8 inches, the maximum is 18 inches and the optimum height 12 inches. Too little height creates deep dark spaces and too much height wastes space and stacked clothes fall over.

7. Use pre-assembled cabinets in your design when possible. Shelf widths and heights are designed to standard industry measurement. This removes some of the guess-work for first time designers. High quality pre-assembled cabinets can be found at Speedy Closets (www.vClosets.com).

8. Plan sufficient space for your shoes. If you have an average number of shoes you may be able to place them under the hanging clothes sections. Otherwise, you should plan a full closet section for shoe storage.

9. Shoe shelves should be a minimum of 2 feet wide to accommodate two pairs sitting tandem. Wider shelves should increase by increments of 12 inches (or approximately one pair of shoes).

10. Make a space for your dirty laundry hamper. Keep in mind that you must tote that full hamper to your laundry room. Retractable hampers that slide on runners is an ideal system for most closets. A good place to see a variety of durable hamper kits online is at Hafale (www.hafale.com).

I hope these tips are helpful and good luck designing your custom closet.