Discount Home Furniture for An Entertainment Room

Having a room in the house dedicated to entertainment can be relaxing. Whether you’re turning an old bedroom into a game room or the basement into a den, you’ll want a space that has a great sound system, a lot of space for guests, and great discount home furniture that will accommodate everyone.

The first thing you need to do is figure out your entertainment set up. How big your television is going to be depends on the size of your room. Consider wall mounting for saving some space. A great surround sound system will help give that movie theater feel when watching films. You can mount speakers above you in the corners of the room or just placed them on the floor. Either way you’ll get a unique audio experience.

If you are a gamer, setting up your consoles in here will be another great entertainment option. Make sure to purchase a surge protector so you can plug everything in one place and protect them from any electrical blow outs.

Setting all your electronics up, plus storing DVDS, video games, and other nick-nacks can be tough. A large entertainment center is a great piece of discount home furniture that can be used to keep you organized. They often come with built in DVD shelving and extra space to store that Xbox 360 or Blu-ray player underneath the television.

After you have your sound systems and electronics set up, it’s time to think about seating. Couches are a great option, but sectionals are even better if you are planning on using the room often to host parties. Sectionals can accommodate more people but their layout can save some space. Don’t forget an ottoman, as it can be great as an extra seat if needed. You can often find ottomans that also double as storage which may be another way to keep those movies in order.

Another discount home furniture option is true game room pieces like a pool table or ping pong. No matter what game of choice, even if it’s an old school arcade cabinet, it’ll be appreciated by all. Everyone enjoys a good movie, but to have an option to play a game multiple people can really get involved in is great in itself. It’ll also let your game room have a bit of an old school feel. Don’t forget the much needed dart board.

Carving out a separate space for fun and games will you, family and friends a place to go a little crazy without disturbing anyone else in the house. Properly furnished, it could soon become your favorite room in the entire house.

DIY Roofing Projects

Time

One common mistake made by those seeking the adventure of installing a new roof in “do-it-yourself ” fashion, is to underestimate the amount of time it will take to complete a roof. If you are doing a job yourself, chances are you are recruiting family and friends to help you. If the you and those people working alongside you are not used to working outside in the heat, they can easily tire and make your project last twice as long as projected. Also, if you do not have specialized roofing tools, and instead use common household tools such as hammers and flat nose shovels, a roof tear off can take longer than expected and become a bit of a trial.

Underestimating the amount of time a roofing project will take can become a serious problem, especially if the weather forecast changes or if you are forced to leave your roof half done for a few days while you return to work or other commitments. I have seen more than one house flood, to the point that they had to replace sheetrock, carpet and furniture, because they were doing the job themselves. The wind blew off their covering, or the roof was not covered in time, as an unexpected downpour moved through.

It is difficult to tarp most roofs because one tarp will not cover the entire exposed area. If you combine tarps to cover the exposed roof, it is vitally important to overlap the tarps such that water will not funnel under tarps and into the living quarters and cause interior damage. When tarping a roof, you also need to go around water heater and furnace exhaust pipes, as well as chimneys and swamp coolers, etc. Often, the wind will blow a tarp off a roof during a storm leaving your home exposed to the elements.

To help prevent this, use battens (1×2 lumber) and 8 penny nails throughout the field of the tarp. It is always best to tear off only what you can secure properly by that evening with underlay properly installed around all roof penetrations. Don’t forget to check credible weather forecasts, such as NOAA.gov, throughout the project, viewing satellite images of the weather. A change in the weather can spell disaster for you and your home.

Experience

Another common DIY roofing obstacle is lack of experience. Even your family and friend’s best intentions in helping you on your project will not make up for inexperience. There are certain areas of a roof that need to be installed in a specific manner and order, including ice shields (after drip edge) at eaves, valleys and penetrations. This is why it is a good idea to always have at least one experienced roofer helping when you install a roof.

It is very important to install a proper ice shield on your roof, especially in areas with heavy snow. It is essential to have this secondary measure against moisture penetration and leaks. An ice shield will protect your home as ice dams up in the eaves and valleys and against walls. This roofing technique should be done by an experienced roofer to ensure your home is protected.

Also, keep in mind that inexperienced roofers can actually damage your shingles. If they move across your roof in a way that scuffs the shingles with their shoes or tools, they can remove granules from the shingles. These granules protect the asphalt shingle. Without them, the sun can wear out the exposed asphalt where the granules are missing. These situations can be costly, and are easily avoided by using experienced help.

Safety

When planning a DIY roofing project, be sure to consider the element of safety. Make sure you are using a sturdy ladder without any damage. If you are on a steep roof, you will need harnesses, safety nets and / or guardrails to prevent any falls. About 8 roofers die each year in the US because of falls, and many more are injured.

Also, be aware of power lines near your roof. Keep the ladder away from these power lines, and be aware of them as you are carrying any metal roofing materials. Electricity has been known to arc or jump from these lines for several feet if precautions are not met.

In addition to safety on the roof, be sure you are aware of people, animals and vehicles on the ground that could be damaged by falling objects. It is not worth someone getting injured to skip over these safety procedures.

Finances

The most considered reason for roofing a home yourself usually comes down to finances. However, there are a few options to consider that can help you afford a professionally installed roof. If you can in any way afford to hire a contractor, do it. You can end up spending more money in repairs over the life of your roof than you would have initially by hiring out.

If you are not currently in a position to hire a contractor to install your roof, look into the possibility of patching your roof while you save for the project, or if necessary, a home loan for your roof, breaking down the expensive project into reasonable regular payments. Also, consider performing the tear off yourself and hiring out for the installation. This can really help reduce the overall price of your roof.

Installing a Roof Yourself

If you have no other option but to install your roof yourself, be sure to come prepared. Take the time to do plenty of research. Read advice from your shingle’s manufacturers, or from certified roofing contractors. This is not a good project in which to follow the advice of a DIY blog. Instead, make sure your sources are both credible and experienced. We recommend Owens Corning and Certainty shingles, who both offer installation instructions for each shingle listed on their websites. Also, GAF has a great general DIY section of their website that will help you plan and carry out a successful roofing project.

Even after you have done the proper research to become knowledgeable about installing a roof, it is still a good idea to consult an experienced roofer. If you need any advice, or have any questions, don’t hesitate to call a roofing contractor.

Another great option is to hire a roofing consultant to come to your home and guide you through the roofing process. A consultant usually costs about $200 a visit. It would be a good investment to have a consultant come after you are finished tearing off your old roof and immediately before you begin installing your new shingles. This will help ensure that you are using correct tools, techniques and materials.

In conclusion, your roof is one of the most important aspects of your home. It protects your entire structure and all of your possessions from potential damage. When debating whether or not to install your roof yourself, be sure to make the decision with an honest assessment of how dependable the roof will be in the future.

Black Friday: The Best Time To Get Discount Home Furniture and New Kitchen Appliances?

Ah, November. That time of year when (in most places) the air takes on a pre-snow chill, the last of the leaves start to crinkle and fall from the trees and, most importantly, the Shopper Monsters in us begin to poke their heads out and sniff the air.

It started on the very first day of the month. All through October you saw Christmas-y things peeking out from store corners — a roll of wrapping paper here, a sprig of holly there — but you didn’t really think about it. Maybe you didn’t want to think about it. You were still deciding on what candy to hand out to trick-or-theaters, after all.

Then, without warning, November hit, and with it, the holiday season. As you browsed department stores looking for day-after-Halloween candy deals, you couldn’t help but notice it looked as if the North Pole exploded all over. Your Shopper Monster growled and wagged its tail eagerly. You gently tugged at its leash and got into the checkout line, where you saw that they were already selling Christmas-themed candy, at three times the price of the discounted bag you were getting ready to purchase. The days have passed, growing shorter all the while, along with the patience of your Shopper Monster.

Soon it will be here. The most magical day of the year for your Shopper Monster: Black Friday. Just as it did in years’ past, by now the Shopper Monster will have wriggled its way out and started hauling you around, while all you can do is flail behind helplessly, holding onto the leash for dear life, pretending you have some semblance of power over the beast.

Other people’s Shopper Monsters are even worse; more than once they’ve been driven to go straight to bed after Thanksgiving dinner so they can wake up at an ungodly hour and spend the day fully energized, racing from store to store, finding the best deals on this mp3 player and that blender. Others have powered through the day aided by espresso shot after espresso shot. Still others waited for midnight to hit, refreshing their Internet browsers over and over so they can get first dibs on the online deals.

And what for? All in the name of discount home furniture and new kitchen appliances. The truth is that Black Friday can save you a lot of money, but being a smart consumer all year round can do the same thing. Black Friday is just one day out of the year stores have big sales — most will have at least one other big blowout at some point in the year, and will always have a few things on sale throughout the year.

Checking online frequently is the easiest way to check for discounts on home furniture, kitchen appliances and everything else you don’t want to pay full price for. You might be able to save a lot of money on Black Friday — your sanity is a whole other story. Keep your eyes and ears open for deals 365 days a year, and you’ll be able to keep that Shopper Monster happy all year.

Family Home Furniture

Furniture for the large family

You can deal with the space requirements of your home through the planned purchase of the practical triple bunk beds that are especially made for large families or schools. These are the ultimate space saving items that you have in your grasp and you should not lose focus on the important things. It is not easy working your way through the different elements that make the family home work. But the purchase of these items can be a good thing. You expect practicability when you go for the buying and selling of furniture for the home as well as other institutions with large numbers of occupants. It does not have to be an establishment when you buy these items.

Even the domestic settings could do with the trading of space saving furniture that is meant to ensure the efficient use of available living spaces in the home. You are effectively looking for something that works instead of concentrating on the stereotypes about this type of furniture. It is not important who you are but how you are going to use the furniture that is available to you. The advice that many people need is to go for the right choices and not the popular choices. That way you can concentrate on the acquisition of good quality furniture with the added advantage of being able to save on space. If you are easily swayed by trends then the results will not be particularly nice for you in the long run.

The there are great benefits to be had from the deals in furniture items with the good looks and the ability to use space effectively within a given context. These are items that are relatively inexpensive yet they bring an unprecedented utility to the way that you do things. They might even transform your home in ways that are beneficial. For example you might now be in a position to receive visitors and this will make your social life richer. It is very hard to think of the exchange of various products with the sole aim of maximizing the potential within residential units in a completely neutral. They are items that are not iconic but they enable home owners to make the most of their properties.

You might be worried that your home may end up looking like a school dormitory. This is a valid concern but it is somehow mitigated by the way that you can save on space. The use of the searching of different retail outlets with the possibility of getting furniture items that improve the space coverage of the different home furnishing items can be very useful to your family. In effect you are sacrificing the stylistic concerns for the true benefits of the item. That is all about being practical in the way that you use the items that are available to you. That is the reason why many families are carrying out the process of purchasing high quality items for the home environment with different income groups or their needs.

How to Buy Home Furniture You Will Love

In the past, homeowners felt pressured to select a single decorating style and to stick to it. The goal was to present a room where all the furniture looked brand new. Today, people are more interested in conveying a sense of their own personal tastes, with rooms that look as if they were furnished over time, through careful selections.

While the eclectic decorating style can be more satisfying, it can present its own set of challenges, too. Too many disparate elements can make a room look unorganized and chaotic. Here are a few tips on how to shop home furniture stores, whether online or in person, for furniture that you’ll love just as much when you get it home.

Unifying Elements

Just as a piece of music uses a repetitive drum beat or base line to establish a rhythm, a well-designed room uses repetition to establish a visual rhythm, a pattern that helps to unify the room, presenting it as a cohesive whole. Colors, materials and textures in house furniture can all be used as unifying elements.

For example, the distinctive texture and color of leather home furniture can be used throughout the room to unify the furniture decor. A side table with pictures framed in leather, a wooden console table in the same shade as the leather, and wallpaper in varying shades of the same hue, would help unify the room by expanding the rich feel and deep color of leather throughout the room.

Interesting Accents

Just as music needs melody as well as rhythm, home furniture needs more that repetitive elements to make the room an interesting space. Colors, materials and textures can be used as contrasting elements, too. Elements that would play well against the weight and mass of leather house furniture include metallic lamps, to add polish and gleam, glass tables, to lighten the look, and colors like celadon or fawn, to soften the overall color palette.

Establishing a Mood

Music with melody and rhythm is likely to convey a specific mood. Determining what mood is wanted from a room, before shopping at home furniture stores, helps inform furniture selections. Every room has atmosphere, whether intended or not. Rooms can be invigorating or soothing. They can establish a feeling of luxury or carefree fun. With some forethought, they can surround you with the environment that best suits your own personality.

You’re the Star

When music is personally meaningful, the artist gets most of the glory. To ensure that your rooms best represent your personality, only purchase furniture that you love from home furniture stores. While creating a cohesive room that establishes the right environment is important, each element of the room should give you pleasure. Set the rhythm, add the melody, create a mood, then go ahead and sing.

Gardening Tips

Gardens come in different varieties like the plants you find in them. There are several gardening tips that can be used for all type of gardens.

1.Mulching protects your garden topsoil from being blown away. It also provides nutrients as it decomposes and improves the appearance of your gardens. Mulching has other benefits and is one of the most recommended gardening tips by gardeners and farmers alike.

2.Healthy plants are more disease resistant. Plants are like people, a person with a strong immune system can combat diseases. A healthy plant does the same.

3. Pests can be eradicated by cleaning the plant with a watery solution of soap. Just make sure to rinse after. This gardening tip is best heeded for fruit bearing trees or edible plants.

4. Using compost fertilizers are a great way to have healthy plants. It is also a great way to save money on expensive fertilizers. Non -organic fertilizers also tend to leave chemical residues that can accumulate in garden soils and harm not only the plants but the gardeners as well. They cause toxins to go to the water supplies. Another gardening tip recommended not just by farmers and gardeners but also by environmentalists.

5. There are several plants that are only suitable for a specified climate, a certain kind of soil or can only grow with certain plants. You have to know what plant grow in the conditions you have in your area this is for you to avoid unnecessary purchases. This is a money saving gardening tip.

6.Landscaping is a good investment which can double the value of your home. This is one gardening tip that can earn you money.

7. Growing grass on bare ground is an easy way to make your home look better and appreciate in value. This is one gardening tip that promotes earning money while growing grass legally.

8. Aside from looking great in your home, trees also provide some sort of protection from direct sunlight exposure and strong winds.

9. Vines on the walls, fences and overhead structures also would offer some protection and would also look great.

10.Flowers are beautiful, but they are also expensive. Get one that is resistant to many elements. Flowers from your local community already have developed resistance to conditions present in your area.

11.For most gardens plants, their roots go only as deep as 6 inches. Putting fertilizer deeper than that would be a waste of money. Put them shallower as they seep down when the plants are being watered.

12.Earthworms are important to plants. They till and aerate the soil for the roots to breathe. Non-organic fertilizers can kill them. This gardening tip dates back to the old days of gardening.

13. Having several kinds of insects that are beneficial to your garden would be good. These insects can be encouraged to stay by having diverse plants in your garden.

14. Spot spraying weeds with household vinegar, instead of using commercial weed-killers, can eradicate them. This is another environment friendly gardening tip.

15. Avoid putting too much mulch on tree trunks; this would encourage unwanted pests to reside on them.

16. Use plant varieties that are common to your area or have been taken from an area with similar conditions.

17. Be sure to know the plants that are poisonous. If you are intent on growing them, make sure to have the necessary cure available in your household. Take note of this gardening tip, it can save your life.

18. The best time to water plants is during mornings.

19. Before planting a new plant in your garden, you must consider its height and size when it matures. This garden tip can help you save money in the future.

20. Newly transplanted plants may require special attention during its first week. This is to reduce the stress and shock it got during transplantation.

And last but not the least of the gardening tips…

21.Plants are living entities. If you want them to grow in your garden you have to treat them as such. They need to be taken care of. They are like your pets, you look out for them. In return you get that feeling of contentment watching them thrive.

A good way to take care of them is to consider that plants might have some feelings too.

How To Choose The Best Home Furniture

Certainly, everybody wants to make their home as comfortable and as aesthetically appealing as possible. And why not? After all, the home is where you find refuge after a hard day’s work. Moreover, it is basically a part of yourself already. Surely you would not want to come home to a rowdy space. It is definitely very relaxing to be greeted by a cozy atmosphere and comfortable furniture after battling a hard day at work. Thus, it is not surprising why many people really take time in decorating their homes and furnishing it with furniture pieces that are not only comfortable and beautiful, but are functional as well.

However, choosing the perfect furniture is easier said than done. With the number of home decor furniture around, choosing is not really a very easy task to do. There are multitudes of style, color, and kind, that somehow it becomes very difficult to choose the most appropriate and the best.

Some of the factors that will help you choose the best furniture include functionality, quality, cost, coordination with the rest of the other home furniture, and personal preferences. It is always important to choose furniture that will make you feel comfortable. More than anything else, you should be able to solicit the feeling of comfort and relaxation in the furniture that you will be choosing for your home.

The functionality of the furniture is very important. It should be able to cater to your needs and serve the purpose with which it is intended for. It is advisable if you choose multi functional furniture pieces. With this, you can use the item for other purposes aside from its primary function. In addition, the size of the furniture is also a major component of its functionality. Choose furniture pieces that would fit comfortably into the room or space.

Select home furniture with high quality. With today’s financial difficulties, it is not practical to be spending money on things that do not actually last. High quality furniture will surely give you a run for your money. The investment that you make will truly be worth it. Choose the furniture with smooth finishing for easy maintenance, durable, stain resistant, and sturdy. In ensuring that you get only the best quality, ensure the authenticity of the furniture.

It is also important for your home decor furniture to fit in with the other furniture pieces and decors in your home. Classic designs and styles will always fit into any theme or concept. Moreover, wood and wicker furniture easily blends in with any type of home furnishings as well.

Finally, you should select furniture that will compliment your lifestyle and personal preferences. Different lifestyles would require different types of furniture. As such, make sure that your lifestyle is catered to by the home furnishings that you choose. Typically if you have young kids, stain resistant furniture is more advisable. On the other hand, if you are the carefree type, you might want to choose furniture pieces that are made of natural materials. The important thing to remember though is that more than anything else, you should choose the furniture that will make you feel cozy and comfortable.

Home Furniture Selection Tips

The variety of home furniture in the market is so huge that customers are easily confused over what to go for. Furniture size, color, type and more need to be put into consideration and the room that the furniture would eventually reside in coupled with the residents of the house need to be kept in mind before making your selection.

The first question you would need to ask yourself is whether you have little kids at home. If you do, then it would influence the make of furniture you might go for. Furniture like fabric sofas, and glass coffee tables should be the last option as kids may spill stuff on the sofa that makes it difficult to clean up. Glass furniture are easy to break and may be injurious to kids.

Next, you need to take the size of your home into consideration. If space within your home is a constrain, you would be better of with lighter colored furniture and furnishings and small to medium sized furniture. However, if space is not an issue and you have spacious rooms, consider darker furniture of good sizes to accommodate residents so that your home does not look too vacant.

Leather sofas and other furniture made from leather are easy to clean but mostly do not come cheap. Alternatives often are PVC furniture or Faux Leather furniture. Solid wood furniture also make a good addition and might come painted in various colors adding to the look and charm of your room.

Armed with the above basics, you can now go for your next furniture shopping and be spoil for choice. At least, now you know what to avoid and what to buy.

Your Home Furniture- A Reflection of Your Personality

Furniture is the basic essence of every home. Whatever the kind of furniture – bedroom furniture, patio furniture or , all go a long way in giving your house that special look. The furniture is among the very first things to get noticed the moment someone enters your house. After all, the furniture you choose is a reflection of your personality and gives an insight into your outlook towards life. Not only the essential furniture, but also the seemingly insignificant add-ons like rugs, lamps and tables give the onlooker a fair idea what you are all about. Beds, bunks, tables, chairs, couches, and spreads for all of them, clearly indicate the behavioral traits of the creator of that setup.

Picture a scene when you enter a friend’s flat. The is bare except for a used plate, and the dining chairs scattered around aimlessly. A piece of clothing lying on the dirty looking rug, and a bare look accentuated by a couple of poorly polished cane chairs. A center table that looks like it came straight from a garage sale. What comes to mind? A bachelor’s pad, no doubt, and one who is not too concerned about the way he lives. If this is the way he keeps the furniture in his home, this is probably how he will treat all who come in contact with him- a casual, laid back attitude that whatever is, goes. Neatness is the last thing I’m bothered about. Let me live my life- others don’t really matter.

Cut to another view. A neat, plush black leather sofa set inviting you to just sink into its depths. Promising to envelope you in comfort the moment you decide to settle into it. A dining set including an etched glass top dining table covered with a handsome , with smart looking, matching dining chairs to complement its beauty. A neat bar in the corner sporting all the latest and exquisite labels. Matching curtains to complement the entire set of the living room. What comes to mind? Obviously someone who doesn’t like to take things lightly. A perfectionist who would go out of his way to achieve that special something. Comfort matters to this man, but class is equally important. And we haven’t even entered the bedroom yet.

Which one would you like to be identified with? Take your pick.

Of course, what I have cited are two extreme examples, just to put across my point. While you may not fit into either of these, what matters is that you understand the immediate effect the look of your furniture has on the people whose opinion matters to you.

So when you decide to go in for that smart rocking chair in the home-decor exhibition, be sure to first give it a long, cool thought. Does that attractive looking piece in the show window really go with the theme of your home furniture, or is it looking attractive, yet would do well to continue sitting there itself? Take your time choosing your pieces, and you will never be the loser.

Home Furniture Is Not Only A Necessity, It's A Joy To Select And Purchase

Your really cant say a house is a home, not until you have the decor you want and the home furniture you want. A house is essentially a box made up of rooms of various types and sizes. To make a house a home we invest time, effort and money in selecting the perfect furniture. Whatever your families needs, you will select the furniture that best fits those needs. Some of the family needs will not change over the years, and in that respect, some of the furniture needn’t change.

It may seem strange in today’s throw away, disposable society that anyone would consider buying key pieces of home furniture with a view to that furniture lasting a lifetime. Its anathema to some people buying anything that lasts more than a year or two when you are talking home furniture. Many of us though do consider buying some main pieces of furniture for our homes that will give us many happy years of use. It makes sense to have some quality furniture in our home; it can become an heirloom you want to pass down.

As consumers, we tend to look for affordable things. Sometimes if its very affordable, i.e. cheap, it is virtually disposable. Cheap and cheerful has its place but quality, beauty and a heftier price tag also has its place, especially when you are talking about home furniture. There are some things you really shouldn’t compromise on concerning quality and possibly price and the things we choose for home furniture is a perfect example. Great quality, good looking, fun and functional home furniture needn’t cost the earth.

So is it worth investing in some high quality home furniture? The answer is undoubtedly yes. Imagine sitting at a dining table with your grandchildren maybe they are drawing or doing homework. Now imagine that your own children sat at the very same table doing the self same things. That is priceless and its something that many of us would love. The continuity that a good piece of home furniture can give cannot be underestimated.

You don’t have to fill your home with long lasting, potential heirloom pieces of home furniture; many of us couldn’t meet the cost of that. What we tend to do is buy a few bits of high quality furniture like the dining table or even a simple bookcase. Long lasting memories are formed of happy times and home furniture can play a part in making those memories. How many of us have had fabulous nights entertaining around a dining table, and we remember it for years to come. If we hang onto the table, the memories remain even longer after the event as we have a reminder of that time in our home.

Complete Range of Home Furniture at Hickory House

Hickory House is a mind-blowing source for shopping residential furniture and the ultimate destiny which can fulfill the desire of a dream home. The company shows the way for making your home the ideal place for living. When people purchase their furniture for their homes, they realize how a truly elegant home must look like. Hickory House furniture generates an environment of glamor and customers feel glad to use furniture products manufactured by them.

Hickory House provides conformation about the great convenience on usage of its products to Hickory furniture users. For last 60 years, Hickory Manufacturing Company has retained its status of a leading manufacturer in the furniture and bedding industry. Customers are glad that Hickory furniture assembling locations are situated across the world. As Hickory Company distributes its products at hundreds of retail stores, customers do not face any difficulties in making their access to all Hickory products. The company manufactures many exclusive styles of a large variety of furniture products, including; adjustable bedding, futon frames, adorable mattresses, roll-away beds and much more.

Hickory House furniture mart is a four story building where customers can find the complete furniture range. Here you can find awesome collection of home decoration accessories, lighting, wall papers and much more creative products to explore. Purchasing furniture from Hickory Furniture Mart serves with benefits of 80% reduction on product rates, as compared to retail stores. This mart has a record of welcoming 50,000 guests every year, and is popular in North Carolina. Hickory representatives are very prompt at their service and never give a chance to their customers to complain. The Mart operates from Monday to Saturday from 9am sharp to 5pm. Visitors love to be at this mart and are always glad to see new products which are being introduced by Hickory Manufacturers from time to time.

Hickory House never disappoints its customers on basis of product cost, and always provides negotiable and reasonable prices of furniture products to their customers. Customers must avail the privilege of clearance sale, offered by Hickory House on its anniversary. It is definitely an exciting news that clearance sale on several furniture products will be available from 17th to 20th February, 2012. The House is also offering special discounts on its products from May 4th to 6th. Furniture Festival and clearance sale will be held from July 27th to 29th. Hickory House provides the free facility of room planning guide to its customers to give an outlook to the homes as is meant to be.

What to Look For to Find the Best Home Furniture Deals

Shopping for home furniture can be very frustrating if you do it unprepared. It is always recommended to go out and do a little research first before you decide on where and what furniture you must buy. You would want to know which furniture stores in your area carry certain items and brands. Also try to ask around on where you can buy quality furniture at a good price. Take the time to ask your friends who have bought furniture on which shop sells the best and have good customer service.

Online home furniture stores are just like regular retail store. There are many of them and each of the shop is different than the other. There are shops which may carry a certain specialty and other that have a range of designs depending on your choice. Some of these stores may sell their furniture at affordable prices while others may charge at sky high amounts. Again, it is up to you to do the snooping and figuring out which stores are the best and which ones would give you your money’s value.

When you have decided on the furniture you want in your home, always make sure that what you are getting is good. You may have noticed that you have gone to different furniture stores and some of them sell the same sofa, only on the second store, it is sold for less. Researching will never hurt you and can actually save you a few bucks. There are a lot of good home furniture store that have furniture on sale. Some of these carry promotions like sales on home bedroom furniture or home bathroom furniture. Find out shops that have these kinds of promotions, usually you can save a lot when you buy things on sale.

When making your purchase of home decor furniture final, try and make sure that you have asked the owner or the salesman enough information about your item. There are some items that may need special caring or others that need to be cleaned in a different manner. If what you are getting is furniture made of wood, ask on what is the best way to keep it looking polished. Years from the time you have bought the item, the wood may look old or worn but these salesmen know the trick on how maintain your furniture.

Do not be fooled with set items that you may think come in cheaper. Always solve for the price of each. Some items are really less when bought in set, but it does not hurt to ask the salesman more about the set. Sometimes, you may be spending more than what you should have without realizing it. Take your time when buying home furniture. It is okay if you cannot buy and choose everything within the day. Also take into consideration things like the available space that you have in your home, the color of your walls or the carpet that you have. A lot of times, these things matter because even though you have elegant furniture, if it does not match your home, it will look out of place.

5 Home Furniture Arrangement Tips

The placing of your home furniture in specific rooms will set the mood and atmosphere, as well as dictate how the room is utilized.

Here are some important tips for arranging your home areas:

1) Take Careful Measurements – Before you start arranging or rearranging you home furniture, grab your tape measure and carefully measure the dimensions of the space. If you do not have a tape measure, you can estimate the length of the dimensions by walking the room, toe to heel, from one end of the room to the other. Also, make sure that you pay attention to where the doorways of the room and the windows fall within the dimensions so that you do not pick out furniture that will block those crucial elements.

2) Mix up Your Home Furniture – Every piece of furniture has a width, height and depth. To create a visually aesthetic aura to a room, choose a variety of home furniture with characteristics that are diverse. If you would prefer a room to be more tranquil, the furniture sizes should be similar; however if you want the room to have character, then you should go for the diverse appeal.

3) Create a Balance – To create an atmosphere that is harmonious, choose diverse home furnishings; however you will also need to ensure that the pieces all balance each other out. Balance comes in two forms; one is symmetrical and the other is asymmetrical. You will notice if the physical appearance of the room does not create a balance. Try adding photos or moving furniture around again to figure out the perfect balance.

4) Use Artwork – Artwork adds many different elements to a room. One element is color, another is depth. Try various pieces of artwork to create visual aspects that furniture simply cannot add to a space. Look at the area that you are decorating and arranging from the viewpoint of an artist or an interior designer. Do not feel like all of your furniture must make exact, perfect lines in the room. Turn tables at diagonals or make couches in a U-shape, and then add artwork behind them that tie the visual aspect together to create a depth to the room that it did not have before.

5) Separate Large Spaces – You can actually make a very large or very oblong room into two different spaces by creating furniture arrangements in circles or groups in each part of the room. Put a table in the middle of one side of the room and surround it with armed chairs and then put a couch facing the other side of the room adjacent to another couch to completely separate the room and make into two different spaces.

When you look at a room without any furniture, artwork, or paint, it may not seem like it, but you can turn it into just about anything you want it to look like with you home furniture and some artwork and home decor. Even very small spaces can be made spacious with the right home furniture setup.

Kitchen Furniture Buying Guidelines

Whether you have a big kitchen or a small one, or a wide kitchen or a narrow one, you need to select your kitchen furniture and plan its layout carefully to ensure that you get a sleek look and ample workable space. In addition to that, you should consider the cost of installation of the furniture you choose as well as the cost of maintaining and repairing it. Furthermore, you should look for furniture that offers ample storage ideas as well.

Important questions to ask before buying kitchen furniture:
Before selecting the furniture for your kitchen, you need to consider a few important questions and make your purchasing decision based on the answers to these questions. The first and most important question that you need to ask yourself is about the decor theme of your kitchen. Thus, you should assess whether you have a modern kitchen or a traditional one and look at the color scheme of your cabinets and other fittings to ensure that the new furniture that you buy fits in the decor theme.

Size matters:
Next, you should consider the size of your kitchen and look for furniture pieces whose dimensions are proportionate to your kitchen size. Thus, if you have a large kitchen, you should look for large kitchen tables, chairs, and dressers. On the other hand, if you have limited space in your kitchen, you should look for smaller pieces of furniture that fit in well and do not take over the space. Apart from the size of the furniture, you should look at the storage options provided by different pieces and select the one that is best suited to your needs.

Another important question to consider at the time of buying kitchen furniture is whether you want a fully assembled set or not. This decision will also affect the cost of the furniture and you should make sure that the piece you select is well within your budget and meets all your requirements. The cost of the furniture also depends on the material used to make it. Thus, a wooden kitchen counter-top will be more expensive than the one made of steel. However, while the former is aptly suited for country style homes, it is a little high-maintenance compared to the latter.

Sense and sensibility:
Whether you opt for sleek contemporary furniture for your kitchen or ornate wooden furniture for your country style kitchen, you should try to achieve a balance of style and space while planning the layout of the furniture. You can always take inspiration for the same from the pages of glossy interior magazines or browse the net for some innovative ideas. However, simply buying and placing your kitchen furniture is not enough and you need to take good care of the same to ensure that it looks good and lasts for a long time.

Flat Track Hardware Ideas – Entertainment Centers

Flat track hardware is popping up everywhere, and its applications seem everywhere. Given its basic and simple nature, and easy installation, homeowners are using it for all different kinds of things. The most common use, of course, is as the movement system for full-sized doors separating rooms such as kitchens and dinning rooms, or living rooms and studies. Yet many other unique applications are also being seen. One application that will be highlighted today is as the cover to an entertainment center.

Entertainment centers are most commonly set-up as shelving units designed to house a TV, DVD player, DVD’s, cable box, and some sort of stereo system. Typically these are built to be free standing units that can be placed anywhere in a room.

Yet in some cases, especially with the advent and popularity of flat screen TVs, people have built their entertainment centers into the wall of a room. The advantage to this is that you create a unique and interesting interior design that will hardly be common among your friends. The disadvantage is that once you build into the wall, that’s the final resting place of the TV and its accompanying components. Unless of course you decide to place the TV elsewhere and replace it with a tropical fish tank, something that looks awesome if it falls within your budget!

Returning now from our underwater tangent to the topic at hand, these in-wall entertainment systems look great and really add to the decor of the room. This is where the flat track hardware comes in. Homeowners who have built in-wall entertainment systems have used flat track hardware to slide small doors or coverings to the open wall space of the entertainment center when its not in use. This is something that we’ve noticed and are particularly pleased with.

Cheap Home Furniture

Sooner or later, you will find yourself in possession of a nice and rather empty home. You stand in the large empty space you now call your own and try to envision how you want it to end up. Until very recently, I’ve played this game with minimal space.

Furnishing each tiny apartment became a delicate balancing act of what’s absolutely necessary to have and how to maximize the space I had. This time I had a new problem. I unpacked my tiny moving truck and I set all my stuff in the corner of my living room. There were a lot of decisions to be made on what to buy, how much to spend, and the best ways to make it all look great without taking out a loan. Visiting the big brand stores was a nightmare because even though it all looked great, the concept of actually paying for any of it would give anyone an ulcer. So where can you get cheap home furniture that doesn’t look awful and can actually make your new place into the home it’s meant to be? The answer to this question is to shop around for the best and most inexpensive quality pieces you can find.

Most importantly, be open to the prospect of shopping for used items. Perhaps used is the wrong term to adopt. What kind of strain would an end table or a bookshelf possibly be put under that it couldn’t pass for new? How about a picture frame or a lamp? Chances are these items were bought in some massive store with a giant advertising budget to pay. Many times people pay ridiculously inflated prices but how roughly was the furniture really handled while in their possession? Although my grandmother’s furniture probably a hundred years old it doesn’t have a nick or scratch on it.

In many cases, this furniture may have never been put to heavy use but purchased for show. Perhaps the piece in question was sat delicately in the living room while its owner remained diligently working away from home with no children and business trips to attend to. I have furnished my home with furniture from discount outlets and want ads. It looks beautiful and I can honestly say I’m thrilled with how it came out. I’m sure others have had similar experiences and are either looking for tips to do as I have or want to share their own inexpensive solutions for furnishing on a budget. Come check out my blog to see my cheap home furniture and to share your great ideas for home design, lighting solutions or artistic projects to make your home truly your own.

Let Your Walls Do Your Talking

What better way to express yourself than to actually put your thoughts on the wall? Let vinyl wall quotes speak for you. They can express your opinion, give direction, offer encouragement, remind, or inspire.

Make your walls entertaining, informative, and inspirational. Share your philosophy. Add a little humor to your decor. Consider what you want your family and friends to know, then publish it in plain sight. You can select whatever you wish to say from a multitude of different ready-to-install, attractive wall quotes that will show everyone what you want them to remember. Your walls will be unique.

Decide where you want to put your statements. Wall quotes can be placed just about anywhere. You can pick quotations appropriate for any room in the house or even outside. For example, a wall quote can welcome your guests to the living room, add humor to a laundry room, add sentiment in the bedroom, or even encourage your child in the playroom. You might even mark the tool shed, garden wall, or the garage with subtle hints or reminders. Take advantage of the places where people relax to display your most meaningful and significant statements that you want to be absorbed.

Select the specific style that fits the comment. Pick something written in cursive. Maybe you’ll prefer simply printed words or just initials. Choose elegant or primitive fonts. Pick serious, dramatic or funny presentations for your ideas. Consider something whimsical. Perhaps you’d favor something romantic. Find an inspirational or spiritual quotation. Let the style reflect the mood of the saying. With so many choices, you’ll enjoy finding the perfect words to get your point across with the right intent.

With vinyl wall quotes you can apply whatever message you’ve selected to almost any surface. These wall quotes are made in the U.S.A. and will adhere to paint, metal, glass, ceramics, plastic and many other smooth, non-greasy surfaces. They won’t leave residue or damaging scars behind either. They are available in a variety of colors in rich tones with a matte finish that makes the wall quotes look as if the words are actually painted on by hand. Because they look so professional, people will think either you’re an artist or you’ve hired one.

Application is easy and fast, too. It takes almost no time to apply these wall quotes because you merely have to “peel and stick” them where you want them. They have been precision-cut from vinyl, so they have clean, clear edges. They should last more than seven years indoors and up to three years outside. When your mood changes, you can easily remove one quote and replace it with another one.

So what do you have to say for yourself? Get the vinyl wall quote you need and put it up right away. You’ll find it quite satisfying and you’ll be proud to take credit for a wonderful way of showing what you think.

Different Types and Styles of Home Entertainment Centers

There are different types of entertainment centers to suit your home décor and style. You can choose from modern and sleek to rustic and classic looks. You can easily find a home entertainment center of your choice.

Let us learn more about different types and styles of home entertainment centers.

A look at popular home entertainment center types

Armories

* Entertainment or TV armories provide a more classical look than most other types of entertainment centers.

* This piece of furniture offers closed, compact storage spaces which means electronic components can be put away from sight. They work well in formal living rooms.

* By letting a door, or set of doors, to be shut, these give a more formal look. They serve as excellent space savers.

Corner units

* Most of your rooms have one or more unused corners. You should employ corner entertainment centers to make optimum use of these unused corners.

* They act as the perfect solution for solving space crunch problem. They provide enough storage areas for your media equipment.

Entertainment walls

* Entertainment walls usually make up the most common and the largest category of prevalent home entertainment centers.

* They mostly include multiple pieces that together form single large piece of elegant furniture with a focal or central area used for storing the television.

* Entertainment walls often comprise multiple shelves and spotlights for illumination purpose.

Side-by-side units

* Side-by-side units are usually of around 60″ width.

* The right side of these units is typically utilized for holding the TV set, while the other one is used for storing electronic components and / or other media.

* Usually doors are there along one side or both as well (smaller doors along the bottom or top).

Home Furniture Safety Tips to Help Protect Your Family From Accidents and Injury

Thousands of People are treated annually for injuries associated with furniture. The majority of these injuries and deaths are to children. Here are tips you may use to make your household environment safer for yourself and your family.

1. Falls are a leading cause of injuries and deaths in the home. To lessen the likelihood of falls, eliminate clutter, be sure rugs have slip-resistant pads, keep electrical cords out of walkways and clean up spills immediately.

2. Position or Place furniture in low-traffic areas such as corners and sections of the room, out of the range of mobility so that people do not accidentally run into furniture.

3. Shelves should be strategically placed in bedroom and living room areas to limit reaching. They should be low enough to avoid using a step stool but all items should be at eye level in order to find them easily.

4. Make sure furniture is stable and without sharp corners, if possible. This will minimize the chances of injury.

5. Make sure that furniture surfaces are smooth and free of splinters or rough edges. Nails, screws and other joiners should be tight and unexposed.

6. Be careful not to overload the shelves on bookcases. In some cases, it may be a good idea to secure the top portion of the unit to the wall to prevent it from tipping over, especially if children are present in the home.

7. Use the correct size furniture to house your television. Because of their weight, especially the popular larger models, TVs can fall forward if they are not properly supported.

8. Place TVs on lower furniture, as far back as possible. Use angle-braces or anchors to secure furniture to the wall.

9. Make sure that lids have safety latches that prevent the top from falling freely or slamming shut on fingers or a child’s head. Lids also should not lock automatically. If you have an older chest without safety latches, it is recommended that you contact the manufacturer for a replacement latch or remove the lid.

10. Arrange furniture so that outlets are available for lamps and appliances without the use of extension cords. If you must use an extension cord, place it on the floor against a wall where people cannot trip over it. Remove cords from under furniture or carpeting and replace damaged or frayed cords immediately.

11. Remove rugs and runners that tend to slide. Apply double-faced adhesive carpet tape or rubber matting to the backs of rugs and runners. Purchase rugs with slip-resistant backing.

12. Lamps or switches located close to each bed will enable you to get up at night and see where you’re going. Rearrange furniture closer to switches or move lamps closer to beds. Install night lights where possible.

13. Never allow children under 6 years-old on the upper bunk of a Bunk bed. Bunk beds should have guardrails on each side of the top bunk, with the side against the wall or opposite the ladder running the full length of the bed.

14. It’s a good idea to check periodically to make sure all screws, bolts, brackets and other joiners on your furniture are tight and secure.

15. To prevent tempting your children to climb on furniture, do not place enticing objects on tops of tables, dressers or bookcases.

16. You should not place furniture near windows where children can climb or fall out.

When shopping for home furniture, choose quality furniture that is not only comfortable and beautiful, but safe as well.

A Few Gardening Tips For You

Below are some gardening tips that I feel are worth mentioning, and may possibly get you on your way to earning your green thumb. There are never to many gardening tips and I will just brush up on a few to get you started. I am sure if you do a search in Google for “gardening tips”, you will have more at your disposal than you can ever ask for.

You could also try garden magazines and books and even gardening clubs. There is plenty of knowledge to go around. The list below will sum up tips on planning your plot, soil preparation, mulch, compost and the watering of the plot.

Garden Tip Number 1

Always plan out your garden before you start digging away at your yard. A good way to start is to take a long look at your garden a try to picture your finished product. Take into account the highest the plants can grow to, the sun spectrum, and the proximity to a water source. Once you see a place you like take a seat and start your gardening plot plan on paper. This way you can get more detailed and include things that you may forget otherwise. Make sure to include in your plans the proximity of your garden hose or garden hose reel and fixture.

Garden Tip 2

Possibly the most important tip of all is correct soil preparation and mixture. It is extremely important to use the non toxic soil nutrients when you are growing anything that you plan on eventually consuming.If you are growing vegetables in your garden then a homemade compost is by far the best fertilizer for your garden. The results will speak for themselves. It is not as hard as you think. Do some research and you would be surprised. If compost is not available the next option is mulch. If you are going to go with this rout, it is best to look for soft woods such as redwood or spruce. Softer woods have an easier time breaking down and spreading the nutrients to the soil in the bed. If you are not growing vegetables there are loads of fertilizers that can fit your project. Just go to your local nursery and they will lead you in the right direction. When you decide on your fertilizer, make sure everything is mixed well and aerated properly. A garden tiller can make this part of the job a lot easier but is not necessary.

Garden Tip 3

Once your plant area is picked out and the soil in properly spread in your garden, you can then start laying your plants in the pattern you thought up in your plans. Laying the plants out can give you a better picture of your end results. It is also best to arrange the plants from the largest growing in the back and decreasing toward the front of the garden. You can group the plants together according to characteristics. This way you can get the most out of your area with all the plants getting the full benefit of the suns rays. This alone can make a huge difference.

Garden Tip 4

It is always best to use gardening sprinklers but this is not always possible for your first garden. If you cannot afford garden sprinkler you can still automate the garden with a hose attachment sprinkler.You can use timers that attach to the hose fixture and place the sprinkler wherever needed and this can make the watering automated also. You might still need to use the garden hose here and there. If you don’t mind watering than a garden hose and garden hose reel setup can work nice and fulfill all the necessary watering you need.Another option is the drip irrigation systems although this will also cost you a little more.

Though the above tips are very important for the basics of your garden you can get a lot more from doing your own research on the internet search engine, ordering a book, or joining a garden club. Ordering a magazine or joining a club can help a lot as you get new informative tips every month. I hope the tips are helpful and wish you good luck on your green thumb quest. You will be there before you know it.

Home Furniture Renovation: Some Useful Tips

Change is an important part of our life. Whether it is your life or your home, you cannot continue with the same things for a very long time, you need to change your lifestyle. The change in the home style and furniture is commonly termed as home renovation. As we all know, furniture is an important part of the home, so it will also be an important part of home renovation. Here, I am sharing certain tips on how to go for home furniture renovation.

Furniture renovation or restoration may consist of many things including remodeling of the furniture, recycling, rearrange the furniture, re-finishing, reuse of old home furniture, etc. If you are going to renovate your home furniture, first thing you need to do is to make a plan. As furniture is an important and costly item so you won’t want to lose any of them while renovation process. So, first you need to make a plan, actually a list that will consist the furniture items that needed to be renovated along with a little description of what you actually want to do with it.

There are many parts of renovation that you can do by yourself and in some parts, you may also need to take help of some expert. If you feel the need of advice in your renovation process, you have several options for that such as online help that is one of the best solutions available for free. There are many websites such as discussion sites, blogs, etc. where you can put your question about furniture renovation and you will get good feedback from the audience.

Tips:

• As I have already said, make a list of the furniture items that needed to be renovated along with a little description of the type of renovation.
• During renovation process, do proper arrangements for safety of the furniture otherwise you may end up in disaster.

• Use only good quality products to paint the furniture.
• If you are going for furniture cleaning, do not use any chemical direct as it may leave stains on the furniture, rather use some good cleaning products or simply a wet cloth for cleaning.
• If you are going to paint the furniture, use colors matching with room walls as it will increase the effectiveness of the room.
• Do not throw the old home furniture in the garbage, rather you can use it to make other things, or can get it recycled, or you can donate it to someone in need.

Wise Buy of Home Furniture

Furniture has always been the best asset of every house that helps in adding a good home environment. Give credits for the size, color, shapes and designs of every house because these will leave a very good impression to the owner as well as for all your guests and visitors. If you are planning to have a discount bar stools to be placed inside your house and sleep in Simmons Beauty Rest world class mattress, you will probably have to decide for the best and high end quality of these kind of furniture.

The following are smart advice that will help you choosing for the right kind of furniture and home decorations.

There are many styles of furniture and home decorations that are available in the market today. Its up to you where will you place it inside your house. The decorations and styles of furniture will depend on the interest and favorites of the person. There are also ready made products that available in markets with an affordable price and of best quality furniture materials too. But if you want for the cheapest prices and wants to have your own personalized furniture, you can go to furniture shops that offer services like this. Internet sources will also help you in purchasing for the right kind of furniture. It gives a lot of information with regards to the features, characteristics and elements of your chosen furniture. Just type in the search engine what you will want to buy and in just a second, you will see various websites that offers great discounts and variety of quality made furniture.

If you choose for furniture, make sure that it has a capacity to maintain its durability and flexibility. You can base this on the positioning of the furniture inside your house or in your room. It is more important to keep your furniture on areas with little accidents and breakage. Once furniture is use everyday, for example a cabinet, you are used to open and close the doors of it, this may cause breakage and are prone to damage some of its parts. Furthermore, the durability of the furniture is not merely based on where you will placed it in your house or the price but it is on how they are built with proper technique and best quality materials.

After you chose for your selected furniture and plan to buy one, it is important to take this as an advice. Check every parts of it making sure that it was properly built and with no damage. The finished product must be smooth, well painted with colors and has the ability of making it lasts long. Try to check if the applications of varnish or polish are well done. It denotes for a nice looking and attractive furniture. Ensure that every pieces of it has passed the standard of being durable and flexible. Always remember that you have the capacity to select and choose for the great products for furniture. Remember that when you budget for furniture, you have to base it on its everyday use.

Best Furniture – Sauder Home Furniture

Sauder home furniture is the best quality among all available in the market at present. The quality is is accepted all over the world and has even become a standard in the industry. Sauder is a brand name that has made a mark in the industry and is going strong. Furniture is one of the most important part of a home and it shows the life style of the members of that house. Good quality and durability is always preferred by everyone and it provides wide range of home and office products for people with different lifestyles. The home products includes computer desks, beds, executive desks and computer desks. The quality of products can be trusted with closed eyes and the company gives you guarantee about their products performance. When you buy a Sauder product you will receive a guarantee card along with that product and in case you are not satisfies with the quality of the product you will get a new one from the company in almost a week. Buying a branded furniture product is always a wise decision and it doesn’t matter if you buy it directly by visiting a store or online via some website, and this is one name that you would never want to miss.

The best thing about this company is that you can even place an order according to your requirement and you will get the product delivered to your place in a month. For people who often have to shift their houses due to some reason face huge problems dealing with their furniture as it may get damaged during the moving process but Sauder provides you with a perfect solution to it. you can disassemble the furniture product and move it to a new place and then assemble it back by following the instructions given in the manual. So in all the quality and the durability of Sauder home furniture products is unmatched and are highly recommended if you are really serious about your home.

How To Select The Best Home Furniture

If you have an interest in purchasing home furniture from Malaysia then there are certain considerations that should not be overlooked. As it is known as one of the top five exporters of furniture worldwide, you can be sure that the range of options will be extensive. It is important to think carefully about the purchase so as to ensure that you buy the perfect items for your place of residence.

Before spending any money you should visualize how the pieces you are considering would look in your own home. Whether or not you opt for a complete set of furniture or choose individual items would depend upon your exact needs. Often selecting separate pieces would give you greater scope for flexibility and changes at a later date.

If you feel that you do not have the time or the inclination to sit down and analyze every aspect of choosing modern Malaysian furniture, the solution would be to hire a professional to conduct the task on your behalf. Most interior designers would be able to suggest specific pieces depending upon your tastes, current decor, and budget. As such individuals are trained in decoration you would be able to create a look that is unique.

Today, choosing home furniture is a lot easier thanks to the internet. Now wherever you are located you can browse at leisure a wide variety of online furniture retailers. If you are planning to shop online make sure you are clear on such factors as the exact color of the items, their dimensions, and shipping costs. You should also inquire if there is a return policy in case you are not happy with the goods once they are delivered.

Of course you can always spend time visiting furniture stores in person. Though you would be able to see exactly how certain furnishings appear you would not necessarily have access to the greatest range of items or the best deals. Using the internet to locate suitable pieces and then planning a viewing trip would make more sense.

Before parting with your hard earned cash make sure you have considered how the home furniture will be transported to your home. Do you need to pick it up or will it be sent to your address. Also, do not make the unfortunate mistake of buying pieces that are too large to fit through your doors or windows; this is an error that occurs all to often.

Tips to Take Care of Your Home Furniture

There are many reasons why people have furniture at their home. Some have furniture to improve the decor of their home while others have furniture so that all family members sit together and spend quality time. Whatever be the reason, it is important that you take care of the upholstery to keep it looking brand new.

Make sure you include upholstery care in your normal household cleaning routine. For example you must vacuum the upholstery when you vacuum the walls and the floor of your home. Vacuuming the upholstery will ensure that surface soil and the dirt embedded in the fabric fibers is removed. If you don’t use a vacuum cleaner you can use a soft brush to remove the dirt from the upholstery.

The life of your furniture can be extended if you turn over the loose cushions in your home. If you don’t turn over the loose cushions they will develop indentations and can get damaged easily. You can also fluff the cushions to ensure they keep their shape. When using the furniture some seats may be used more frequently than others, changing the cushions will help them keep their shape and distribute their use.

Moderate sunlight may be good for your furniture but excess sunlight can cause the furniture to fade and fry. Avoid placing your furniture in direct sunlight. Some fabrics like silk are delicate and exposure to sunlight can damage the fabric.

Airborne pollutants from smoke and cooking fumes can damage the fabric. Therefore it is important that your room is well ventilated. Keeping the surroundings clean will also minimize the possibility of damage from air pollutants.

To keep your furniture free from dirt and dust it is important that you have some rules. Don’t allow anyone to eat on the couch or the chairs. Make sure you cover the cushions will the removable cover that can be machine washed. Dirt from shoes can damage the fabric of the upholstery, so make sure no one sits on the furniture without removing their shoes. Pets can be a great addition to your home but never allow them on your furniture.

Standard Home Furniture

Making the best use of standard home furniture

The use of the garden flower pots to enhance the home is a well rehearsed tradition that has a special place in the modern psyche. Of course the suburban landscape with all the identical housing units is a prime example of why people need to create some sort of distinction with the strategic use of decorative items. The blandness of suburbia can be depressing and anyone that is able to escape it with decoration takes the opportunity with relish. The reasons for the apparent dislike of this setting stems from the fact that most of the people really want to be elsewhere. The garden furniture can take them to the home of their dreams.

It must be said that there are people that like the community of suburbia because it happens to exclude some lower ranked members of the community. I would say that these people use the garden accessories as an additional enhancement to their environment. The variety of plants that they can put in will enable them to put that distinction but still announce that they are very much part of the community. Of course if they are to suffer a family scandal then all the garden products in the world will not save them from the scorn of their former friends. You can make a haven in your community or you can decide to be brave and accept it. The less constrained people will simply move out.

One of the areas that should be explored in terms of the garden flower pots is the smell element. For example there is no reason why aromatic plants cannot be put there in order to give the home that extra dimension. It is safe to assume that we generally like to have fresh smells and aromas in our living spaces. The use of the home accessories will bring this quality to the home. They are also visually enticing so you will in effect be appealing to multiple senses. That is the way to deal with the home rather than just restricting yourself to elements that do not fit in with the process. That is how you keep your home happy and stylish.

The size of the green products is open to debate. Some of them are quite tiny that they have no place but the window sill. Others are just large enough to dominate the lawn area. You will choose the items that make the best impact on your home without destroying the essentially integrity that you expect with those items. It is not very difficult to make a selection if you take into consideration the overall size of the space that is available to you to finish this task. The modern items for the home will have a great impact but you have to look for the right items to build them up. You also have to ensure that they are in the right frame to fit in with the rest of the home.

How to Choose Home Furniture: Anticipate the Activities in Each Room

Decorating a room with furniture can seem like an overwhelming task especially for new homes that are almost completely bare. It becomes easier to determine what kind of furniture to add by anticipating the area’s purpose and the activities that will be done in the room.

Is the room a place for entertainment? If so, then large seats such as sectional sofas may be needed if the room is meant to be the hub for all kinds of entertainment – from watching movies, to playing video games or board games, to simply conversing with friends and guests. An ottoman may be also added for extra seating. To complete the room, a side table or coffee table should be placed for cocktail trays and drinks during parties. An entertainment console is essential if you want to entertain guests with all kinds of media. This type of furniture conveniently keeps the television, DVD player, game consoles and stereo system all in one place. Media chests or drawers and cabinets may also be added for a convenient place to store DVDs, video games, TV guides and remotes.

On the other hand, if the room will be used for taking meals, then spare tables would come in handy. To keep the upkeep easy in your home, furniture that balances look and stain-resistance are excellent choices. Nowadays, you can easily find expandable wooden tables that don’t sacrifice look for utility.

If children will be frolicking in the room, then padded or upholstered furniture with no sharp edges can keep them safe. Kid-friendly cabinets and chests will also provide for easy clean up and storage of children’s toys. If this happens to be your child’s room, why not consider under-bed storage to help keep things neat and tidy? Another option is to choose bedding with a pull-out trundle to easily accommodate friends for sleepovers.

To redesign a room as the perfect place to read or study, consider adding various elements that give that cozy feel conducive to relaxed reading time. Reclining chairs, chaises and rugs are only some of these relaxing elements. Don’t forget the bookshelves and the right lampshades that provide ample light.

Planning out the layout of the house depending on the kind of activities expected in each room is one good way to narrow down what to look for before shopping for your home furniture. This way, you can anticipate what pieces to purchase first and avoid overspending on unnecessary furniture. This will work not only for your budget but also for the over-all order of your home. After all, a well planned home is one that guests are sure to remember when they come over.

Green Construction For a Better Housing Management

Along with the increasing concern on the need to preserve our environment more tightly, nearly all parts of modern people life have now being ruled. It is a good step to help people become aware and also feel like this is also their part to participate in this revolution of the environmentally friendly attitude. In housing management or architecture, the environmentally friendly attitude is also renewed. Green construction is a term that is given to this new trend of green and ecological attitude towards anything related to life style. Green construction is basically a concept that tries to break down the possibilities of making architecture with the essence of environmentally friendly attitude.

It also usually embodies the more detailed concept of green sustainable design which consists of guidance in how to consider architecture and building housing and managing it dealing with the urgent needs of our earth to breathe ad to be preserved by human being, the one, and us who contribute the highest level of earth destruction. It usually consists of some consideration including the place of housing, the interior design, the exterior design, the sanitary, and the materials and so on. It is valuable to make us feel relieving to buy something on this fragile earth.

The green building, from its name has explicitly talked about the need of any kinds of building that should meet environmental analysis on the appropriateness of the environment to be fitted with the need of the building design. By compromising the design without sacrificing the beauty of the building, the green building tries to fulfill people need along with the environmental needs to revitalize themselves. So, it is very important o consider the products of the building that must be very valuable regarding our environment vitality. It is a very solution for our present problems of buildings.

Lettuce Gardening Tips

Gardeners can select from a large variety of lettuces that are easy to grow, highly productive in limited space, and virtually pest and disease free. Lettuce is definitely one of the more “care-free” crops. Lettuce is a great way to start gardening; it is what I started out with actually. There are a few key principles though that should always be kept in mind.

Lettuce

For maximum lettuce production, it’s wise to select a site where the soil drains well, yet retains some moisture. The soil should also be rich in nitrogen and potassium, The best way to accomplish this is to work in plenty of organic matter (compost, rotted manure, or leaf mold) that will loosen and enrich the soil.

Most lettuce varieties mature in 45 to 55 days, allowing many gardeners to plant two or even three crops. But looseleaf and butterhead leaves can be harvested at just about any time in their development. Heading varieties take longer to mature. Romaine takes 75 to 85 days and crisphead 70 to 100 days.

By choosing the right varieties and with these lettuce gardening tips, it’s possible to have lettuce in your garden throughout the growing season. This lettuce is great for salads throughout the growing season. There really is nothing better than a fresh Caesar salad with fresh romaine from the garden!

Lettuce Gardening Tips

Lettuce History

Lettuce, one of the oldest food plants known to man, is believed to have originated in India and Central Asia. Even Herodotus wrote of lettuce being served in ancient Greece, and it was a most favorite vegetable in ancient Rome. This is where we get “Caesar Salad”! In fact, the word “lettuce” is derived from the Latin root word “lac” meaning “milk,” referring to the milky juice found in mature lettuce stems.

Columbus and other European explorers brought lettuce seeds to the New World. Our early colonists included lettuce in the first gardens planted in American soil. Today, lettuce is a favorite vegetable here and around the world. It has revolutionized all cultures of food, from hamburgers to salads.

More Lettuce Gardening Tips

Lettuce is so easy to grow it can be started indoors for early transplants or sown directly in the garden. In fact, doing both is recommended to get maximum production. Lettuce seeds are extremely tiny, so it is recommended to be generous with them when planting. It is a good idea to

Romaine Lettuce

start some lettuce seeds indoors in peat pots a few weeks before the last frost date in your area. Provide the seedlings with plenty of sunlight or keep them under artificial lighting until ready to move into the garden. Transplant the seedlings as soon as the soil can be worked in the spring. If a hard freeze threatens, protect the seedlings with a cloche or row cover. Reserve a number of lettuce seedlings to fill empty spaces in the garden as the season progresses.

To sow lettuce directly in the garden, simply plant the seeds about 1/4 inch deep, tamp them down, and water. It’s that simple! Space the sowings according to packet directions that are based on the size of the mature lettuce. For example, a crisphead may require a square foot of garden space. As many as nine plants of a small leaf lettuce variety can grow in the same space.

Keep in mind that lettuce seeds won’t germinate in soil that is 80 degrees F. or warmer, so there’s no sense in sowing directly in the garden in the summer. Resort to starting heat-tolerant varieties indoors and moving the lettuce seedlings into the garden, preferably under partial shade, after they’ve developed a few true leaves.

Lettuce Cultivation

Here are two cultivation tips to keep in mind:

Succession plantings.

Lettuce is ideal for succession planting. Sow seeds every two weeks for production throughout the season, starting with early lettuce varieties, using heat-tolerant varieties as your main crop, and then switching to fall crops late in the summer. Or, if you prefer, use lettuce in successions with other crops. For example, plant lettuce in the spring, followed by bush beans in the summer, followed by lettuce again in the fall.

Watering.

The key to lettuce production is supplying moderate but almost constant water, especially during hot weather. Unless there is regular rainfall, lettuce must be watered deeply at least once a week- more frequently during periods of drought. Mulch with a layer of compost or clean straw to help the soil retain moisture. A drip-irrigation system is ideal.

Lettuce Growing Tips

To improve overall lettuce production, consider using the following four techniques.

Raised beds.

To maximize lettuce production, plant seeds in raised beds. The raised beds warm up faster than the surrounding ground. You should be able to get an earlier start in the spring and a later crop in the fall. Raised bed gardening is, without a doubt, the best way to garden anything out there. Its simplicity, organization, incredible fertility, and results are astounding.

Living mulch.

To make the most of limited garden space, plant lettuce around taller plants like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, peppers, and eggplants. This helps the lettuce grow a lot better; if they are left in the beating sun without moisture, they will not be able to survive. The lettuce helps its neighbor by keeping the surrounding soil moist and cool and keeping weeds shaded out. As the taller plants grow, they provide needed shade for the lettuce as the days get warmer.

‘Tucking.’

You can also start lettuce seedlings indoors for filling vacancies in the garden in late spring and again in early fall as other crops are harvested. Simply ‘tuck’ a seedling in the vacant spot to keep every inch of garden space in constant production.

Ornamental use.

Many varieties of lettuce are welcome additions to ornamental beds. For example, ‘Mighty Red Oak,’ ‘Sweet Red,’and ‘Sierra Blush’ can easily fill gaps in flowerbeds, adding splashes of red where needed.

Insects and Diseases

Lettuce is generally disease and pest free, but you should still be vigilant.

Cutworms and slugs are the most bothersome pests. Use a paper collar around young lettuce seedlings to keep the ravenous caterpillars at bay. Slugs are tougher to control. Sprinkle wood ashes or diatomaceous earth over the soil around the plants to discourage the nasty mollusks. Be sure to reapply after each rainfall.

A major threat is lettuce rot which first attacks the lower leaves in contact with the soil and then spreads throughout the plant.

With these lettuce gardening tips, you can stop this. The best way to prevent fungal and bacterial diseases is to rotate crops. Don’t plant lettuce in the same bed two years in a row.

Raised Bed of Lettuce

Perhaps the greatest threat to lettuce growing are deer. If there is no protection or netting over these lettuce plants, I can assure you that the deer will have a salad bar feast and everything will be gone. I specially recommend the plastic raised beds with pre-made nets from gardeners. These are what I use for my garden. These lettuce gardening tips will save you a ton of time that I had to learn by experience.

Lettuce Harvesting Tips

Lettuce can be harvested any time after true leaves form. For the best quality, better to pick early than late as lettuce allowed to grow too long may be bitter and tough.

To harvest crisphead, Batavia, and romaine varieties, cut the plant right at the soil line when mature, if you prefer to harvest full heads. You can do the same with butterhead and looseleaf lettuce, but I prefer to harvest only the outer leaves as needed. This keeps the plants in production longer. Try to harvest in the morning when the leaves are crisp, sweet, and full of moisture.

When the crown of a lettuce plant elongates, it’s about to bolt to produce seed and the plant has passed its prime. Yank the lettuce plant out, toss it on the compost pile, and replant the space with another crop like bush beans, or with another lettuce seedling.

Recipes and Storage

Primarily water, lettuce does not store well. For the best quality and flavor, use homegrown lettuce soon after harvest. This is particularly true for many of the looseleaf varieties, which wilt readily.

Combine crisp, crunchy lettuce varieties with soft, buttery-smooth types. For example, a blend of ‘Little Caesar,’ ‘Burpee Bibb’, ‘Mighty Red Oak Leaf,’ and ‘Crispy Frills’ makes a fine tossed salad with a variety of colors, shapes, and textures. With the lettuce gardening tips, you will be able to grow and try different blends until you find the ones that most delight your palate.

Ten Essential Steps to Building Your Custom Hillside Home

Envision your dream home, perched atop the perfect mountain overlooking the vast landscape below. Feel the warm sun against your skin as you sip your morning coffee and watch the sky turn brilliant colors of red, orange and pink. With each new hour the scenery outside your window changes, an evolving canvas of light and color. A magnificent painting lay before you, a private masterpiece view able only from the window of your custom home.

A home in the mountains offers more than just beautiful landscapes and stunning sunset views. Hillside construction provides a sense of privacy and seclusion that many homeowners desire when considering their dream home. Far away from the hustle and bustle of the city life, a mountainside home can transform daily living into an oasis of tranquility. However, hillside construction has its own set of unique challenges. Follow these 10 steps to ensure your mountainside construction project is built without a hitch.

1. Hire a Local Builder Who Specializes in Mountainside Construction

Before you decide to build your dream home in the mountains, make sure that the new home builder you hire is experienced in hillside construction in your town. Each municipality has its own set of zoning regulations. It is best to find a home remodeling contractor that can provide actual photos and references from previous home builds in your area. A local contractor will understand the soil, topography and hydrology that is involved in your construction project and can guide you throughout the design process.

2. Choose The Location for Your New Home

One of the most important aspects of your custom home build is choosing the location. Mountainside building is environmentally sensitive and follows strict building regulations and zoning ordinances. Many factors influence the choice of location for your home. This includes the type of soil, drainage patterns and boulder formations. All proposed building sites should undergo a thorough analysis, identifying both challenges and opportunities before moving forward with the home design process.

3. Plan Your Home Design With The Natural Landscape

As said by the Father of Arizona building, Frank Lloyd Wright, “No house should ever be on any hill or on anything. It should be of the hill, belonging to it, so hill and house could live together, each much happier for the other.” When designing your custom home, the placement of the building should be a key consideration. Some important factors to discuss with your home designer are the surrounding views, location of mature vegetation, angle of the sun and prevailing winds. Multi-story buildings should be stepped into the natural contours of the site to establish harmony with the natural landscape.

4. Use Building Materials That Enhance The Mountain

A well-designed mountainside home is a blend of nature and design. Your custom home build should enhance the beauty of the mountain, using colors, textures and materials that coordinate with the natural landscapes. Focus on muted colors that match the desert tones. Shiny metals and other reflective colors should be used minimally. Textured patterns are recommended on the building facade to increase light absorption and tinted windows will help to decrease heat gain. Using desert varnish on exposed rock will enhance the stone’s natural appearance.

5. Avoid Using Excessive Exterior Lighting

Preserve the beauty of the night skies by utilizing exterior lighting that accents and protects without eroding stargazing. Spotlights should be placed on timers or restricted to emergency situations only. Face accent lights towards the ground to decrease light pollution.

6. Protect the Natural Ecosystem in The Landscaping

Utilize native desert vegetation, boulders, and native rocks in your landscaping design. Native shrubs protect the soil surface from monsoon rains, promote water retention and infiltration and reduce erosion. The planting of mature trees will help to maintain the natural ecosystem functions, assisting in the establishment of seedlings, availability of nutrients and decomposition.

7. Choose a Driveway Location That Minimizes Grading

Driveway design should minimize mountainside scarring, and preserve the features of the landscape such as mature saguaros and boulder outcroppings. The slope of the driveway should be designed to meet local ordinances, using retainer walls and natural boulders to minimize the chance of erosion. Using pavers or exposed aggregate will reduce the disturbed area calculation for the driveway.

8. Strategically Place Windows Throughout Your Custom Home Design

Window placement is an important part of a mountainside home build. A properly designed home will utilize windows for natural light as well as beautiful scenery. During the architecture phase of your custom home remodel, make sure to notate the location of the trees, cacti or other interesting landscape elements. Windows are the perfect design accessories to bring the warmth of the mountain to the interior of the home.

9. Use Sustainable Building Designs in Your Construction

Solar power is recommended as a supplemental energy resource and for use in swimming pool systems. Rainwater harvesting systems can be integrated into the landscaping irrigation system, providing an environmentally friendly and sustainable water source for plants and trees.

10. Hire a Company Who Provides a Construction Warranty

Construction warranties provide more than just peace of mind. A warranty will protect you during your home remodeling or new home construction project, ensuring that your home is built to the specifications that were outlined in your contract. Choose a company that provides a minimum of a five-year warranty covering materials and labor.

Delicate Home Furniture

Assessing the values of delicate home furniture

Sometimes the home owner might make the decision to purchase some modern home furniture such as the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. This piece of furniture will make meals the occasions that they need to be. That means that if you are entertaining there is no need to worry about the kinds of things that you are going to use. The efforts can be saved for the other items such as cutlery and cooking utensils. The use of the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet is therefore a great achievement for the home owner.

This type of furniture will cost somewhat more than the standard items that you use in the home. It is an investment in the kind of lifestyle that you wish to create for your family. It is reasonable to expect that you will get the best quality when you decide to go for the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. In the true style of the age, this is a system that tends to work very well with modern settings. You simply configure your home in the way that you want it and then wait for the results. You are almost guaranteed satisfaction when you purchase the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet.

The homes that decide to buy the item will be please by their purchase of the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. It is a delicate balance that includes looking at the item and then trying to fit it within the home settings. If it appears that the furniture is not going to make the grade then the clients can try to find alternative solutions. The end result is that the furniture is merely one of the choices that they can make. Using this sort of set will ensure that you are well served by the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet.

Some people might be concerned about using the item because they believe that purchasing the item will cost them too much. For it is not worth it to buy the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet. They would rather spend the money on alternative projects from which they can expect some sort of compensation in the long run. This might be the wrong way to go about things because the purchase of the item is not about money. Cost are not too important when buying the supremely elegant black dining room dinette set that is available in home furnishing shops and on the internet.

Summer Hip Hop Music 2013

Get ready for the newest hip hop releases. Summer 2013 has officially arrived and we’re gearing up to give you the business of the new music artists’ releases!

Now before we continue, let me just make clear that a lot of rumors have surfaced as to exactly what is about to go down during this hot, sticky, and sexy season.

For starters, Lil Wayne’s songs and other new hip hop music releases will be served handsomely on a platter via your local favorite Summertime radio station, that is. Besides, who would’ve really doubted Lil Wayne songs as yet another regulatory bypassing of judgmental fodder for submissive temporary airplay? Not us.

Besides, the boy has been among the top hip hop artists since he killed audiences with those none other than dare I say who? If you guessed TT Boi a.k.a. Sir 2 Chainz, then you guessed right my friends. Remember back in the Spring of ’07 when we all couldn’t wait for the newest hip hop releases? Ever since that historic mind-blowing period for Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz has gone on to become seemingly out of nowhere literally one of top music artists to date.

But that’s not all, because my sources inside tell me that this summer’s newest hip hop music will be an ever so eventful one considering the likes of the classic duo even once more collaborating.

Just in time. Right on the money, huh? Pssst… we hear this one’s aiming to be a classic.

In other rumors of new hip hop music, Rocko’s not at all in any type of a hurry to take a break thus far in getting off of his wave. After all, so is everyone else riding it out along with him. Definitely be on the heavy lookout for one of his brand new music releases around midway through this hot Summer season.

Oh yeah, and for all you doubters and forgetful types out there, guess which hip hop music artist is making a steady and long-awaited comeback? Younger shorties prepare to pinch yourselves accordingly, for you may not know who this is.

Just not too long ago, the former Cash Money record label signee, known to other artists as Young Turk, was released from prison on what had foully appeared to be trumped up felony-related charges upon him and other music artists as of late.

We hear that Turk is currently back in the lab perfecting and fine-tuning his “oh so” Lil Wayne-ish like craft effortlessly for a sharp and secondarily memorable return.

We wish him well.

*On a sidenote, we also heard unconfirmed rumors of Young Turk once again collaborating with his former group mates Weezy and Juvenile for an official Hot Boy’s reunion.

Hip Hop music artists Hot Boys Young Turk and B.G. were both incarcerated due to what apparently led to the former groups fallout, among other unsolved issues. The new hip hop music releases that are slated for this year’s Summer should be on smash to say the least.

Without giving away all of the goods, I must say that fellow west coast artists will become very active once again this Summer in the newest hip hop music scene. Big up to all of the new music releases coming from up out of the new west. As fans, we need a breath of fresh air, for sure and most certainly.

Well, that about wraps up the lowdown on this year’s Summer 2013 annual music artists and upcoming new music releases. Definitely keep an eye out for the west coast as mentioned for the west will certainly provide this Summer’s classic club bangers and newest hip hop music. Turn up!

Bikini Waxing Styles – Waxing Trends and Fashion Styles

What we do about our body hair changes with the trends and fashion just like the length of our skirts. The seventies, it was way cool to just leave your hair natural. If you had a lot of pubic hair, so be it. It was considered sexy. Now, though, it is becoming more fashionable to have less hair – less on your bikini area, especially. And not only is it more common to get rid of hair, there are now several acceptable bikini waxing styles – waxing trends and fashions – from which to choose.

You can choose to keep most of your pubic hair and simply wax the hair that grows beyond the part of your body that is covered with your bikini bottom. This is, of course, the easiest, quickest, and least painful bikini waxing style.

You can also choose to keep just a small strip of hair running right up the middle of your triangular private area. This simply involves waxing more of the area. Because you are getting into a more sensitive area, this can be a bit more uncomfortable than just waxing the bikini line.

You can also choose a Brazilian wax. The Brazilian waxing trend and fashion is becoming more and more common; it’s always been common in Brazil – hence the name – but lots of American women are opting for this, too. A Brazilian wax is the bikini waxing style that removes all the pubic hair. You can get it done at a salon or do it yourself with a kit you can buy at the drugstore.

Probably the most interesting bikini waxing trend and fashion, though, is creating designs in the pubic hair area. You can get a template of a simple design such as a heart and either wax only the heart shape or wax every bit of hair except the heart shape. If you wax the hart itself, you will have a heart in the middle of your hair. If you wax the rest of the hair, you will have a little heart hair and no other hair in the bikini area.

Top 3 Travel Trends For Today's Travel Agent

You must be the change you wish to see in the world

1869-1948, Preeminent leader of Indian nationalism

Trend #1 – The Internet

Everybody knows that the internet has changed virtually everything… especially the Travel Industry. Online giants like Hotels.com, Expedia, Travelocity, and Orbitz have revolutionized travel. Even Travel Agents & Agencies are booking online while the general public searches and buys their own vacations online. In fact, it’s estimated that 82% of all travel is now being booked online. Travel is one of the most researched topics on the internet… and also the most profitable.

The internet is simple, seamless and the perfect medium for the travel industry. We just point, click, and pack our bags. Before the internet, however, an agent’s bread & butter was commissions earned with business travelers… predominantly flights. American Airlines was the first to pull the plug on paying commissions on flight purchases as the internet started coming into its own and more business travelers were finding better deals online.

Since 1997 well over 200,000 agencies went out of business. Over 1 million travel agents lost their jobs to the internet. That number grew after 9/11. The days of brick & mortar very quickly got taken over by click & order, making for a far more efficient system. However, those very few agents & agencies that could foresee the positive impact the internet could have for them, jumped right into the explosive opportunity that the internet introduced, to maintain as much of their client base as possible. Very few, a decade ago, opted to go with the flow of change. Today, everyone understands that the internet is here to stay. When we are adaptable to change, we flourish… and profit.

Because of the internet, the online travel agent is also home-based. Because of the tremendous opportunity, continuous industry growth, and #1 industry training, today’s travel agent is your mother, cousin, aunt, neighbor, best friend, etc. and earning 60-100% of the vendors commission. It’s for everyone.

Trend #2 – Word-of-Mouth Marketing

Word-of-mouth marketing has been and always will be the best way to market anything. Statistics prove that 80% of all vacations (most anything really) are taken because of a recommendation from a friend, family member or co-worker. Think about the last time you came home from a vacation. Did you keep it a secret? No way! We talk about it for 2 months before leaving and talk about it for 2 months after we get back! And we show everyone pictures and videos! And we recommend the destination and hotel to everyone (or not) and tell them where we bought our terrific deal!

Familiarization trips (FAMs) play a huge part in word-of-mouth marketing. The only way for agents to really learn about what they sell is to experience it first hand. FAMs are put together by cruise lines, hotel chains and destinations worldwide. They usually include accommodation, tours, meals, shows, transportation, etc. Prices are slashed making it affordable for agents to travel multiple times a year… VIP!. The vendors roll out the proverbial red carpet for agents when they arrive. They’re given the most exclusive experience possible because vendors know that when agents return home… they’re going to talk about it!

The average person will purchase his vacation online at retail, once a year.

Agents will travel multiple times a year, all over the world as far and wide as they want to go, for pennies on the dollar. For this, FAMs continue to be one of the major perks today for agents in the industry.

Which takes us to…

Trend #3 – Home Based Business

Travel students, Baby Boomers and everyone in between are bringing travel home!

Leading agencies smart enough to follow the internet trend, have gone online and now offer just about anyone the opportunity to be professionally trained to operate and sell travel from home!! Woohoo!! That’s right! YOU can sell travel from the comfort of your own home and get paid!

Doesn’t it make sense that if you’re going to travel anyway (especially as much as the Boomers), that you buy it from yourself and get paid? Or get paid commissions on the trips your friends, family, neighbors and co-workers are taking already? Of course! Most people will do business with someone they know & trust. You may as well be that person, right?

Agencies quickly caught on to the franchise phenomena online and have opened up the opportunity to just about anyone with a valuable work ethic who is willing to learn. Coupled with word-of-mouth marketing… you’ve got a winning combination! The more knowledgeable you become, the more perks, FAMs, FREE trips, upgrades, etc, become available to you… cha-ching!

I’ve been selling travel for years. Everyone who knows me knows that I’m a travel industry professional. For more than two decades I’ve been asked “How did you come by this work?”

But I also get asked, “What’s the best place to go for our honeymoon?” or “Can you recommend a Caribbean cruise itinerary?” or “What hotel should we stay at in the Mayan Riviera?”

Hey, it’s not rocket science!! If I have the answers and I can get paid for the sale… Hello??

The internet made it possible for me to have my own online agency and benefit even more from the extraordinary perks available to travel professionals! Being online means I don’t really even have to be home. Because my business is online, I am accessible to the world, 365 days of the year, 24/7! Friends and family can book all by themselves while I’m hiking with my dog! I can even book flights or all-inclusive vacations right from my BlackBerry!! WOW! So my home-based travel business is really my mobile travel services!! Super cool!!

We must not forget the amazing benefits that come with owning a business from home as well!

Aside from the obvious travel perks, just about every family vacation now becomes a FAM. As professionals, when we take a few minutes to inspect and ask questions about the accommodations, tours, restaurants that we ourselves are experiencing while on vacation, we’re really educating ourselves for our customers. So our personal vacation now becomes classified as a business trip… and an expense that we can write off! Super cool, again!

On a personal note, I’m only 45 seconds from my bedroom to my office!

It’s a beautiful thing to be able to work from home, anywhere in the world, to have your own business and to qualify for such incredible travel-insider perks. Retirees, at-home-moms, students on the run… it’s available to just about anyone with a can-do attitude, has a strong work ethic, loves to learn, and is highly self-motivated. A few hours a day can earn hundreds to thousands of dollars! No bosses, no limits!

A Unified Theory of Time Travel

Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity suggests that time travel to the past is possible via rotating wormholes and/or black holes. The actual technical practicality of actually carrying out such journeys need not concern us since this essay is in the realm of the thought experiment. Now Stephen Hawking says time travel to the past is not possible because he proposes that there is such a thing as a yet undiscovered Chronology Protection Conjecture that prevents this and thus makes the world safe for historians. I’ve come up with a unified theory of time travel into the past that incorporates Einstein’s general theory of relativity; Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture, along with other assorted bits like parallel universes that are thrown into the mix.

Time travel is a staple in sci-fi stories, novels, films and TV series. And, time travel is possible – in theory. We all know about journeying to the future which we do at the rate of one second per second whether we like it or not. Apart from that, if one travels at close to light speeds relative to your place of origin then you can travel to the distant future (with respect to that place of origin) without aging an equivalent number of years (the twin paradox). Travel to the past is apparently allowed too, via the weird physics inherent in rotating worm holes and maybe Black Holes which is where Einstein’s general theory of relativity comes into play. The problem there is that relativity theory predicts worm holes, if they exist at all, will exist for nanoseconds and be very tiny to boot, and thus not very useful in the foreseeable future for the purposes of time travel. Because we don’t know exactly what the inside of a Black Hole is, and where it leads, if anywhere, current thinking suggests that jumping into Black Holes are a more useful means for committing suicide than for traveling to the past, but the jury is still out on that one.

Anyway, the fun bit about time travel is the various paradoxes that arise, the most famous one being the grandfather paradox. That is, what if you travel back in time and kill your grandfather before he sired your father (or mother). If you did that it means that you could never have been born, but if you were never born you couldn’t go back in time to kill your ancestor. This is the sort of stuff sci-fi authors (and philosophers) love – ditto physicists! My favorite time travel paradox however is the one where you get something for nothing. Say you have this edition of “Hamlet”, and you want Shakespeare to autograph it. So back you go in time to Shakespeare’s era. You knock on his door, but the housekeeper says he’s out for the day but if you leave the book he’ll autograph it and you can come by and collect it next morning. When Shakespeare comes home, he sees the book, reads it, and is so impressed he spends the night making a copy. You come back the next morning, collect your now autographed edition of “Hamlet”, and return to the present day with your now very valuable book. The question now becomes, where did the original “Hamlet” come from? You didn’t write it; but Shakespeare didn’t either as he plagiarized your copy which he then passed it off as his own work.

Another favorite is you meeting yourself. Say you’re 50 and not all that well off. You get the brilliant idea to travel back in time and convince your younger self to invest in some stocks you know will pay off big time later on down the track. And so it comes to pass that your younger self so invests, and becomes filthy rich, only, in leading such a high life, dies of a heart attack at the age of 45! Or you always regretted not proposing to the love of your life when you were young, and thus go back and convince your younger self to muster up the courage and do so. He does, but as they fly off on their honeymoon, the plane crashes with no survivors. Sometimes you don’t know when you’re well off.

Or if you can travel back in time, then of course others can to. Naturally there’s going to be lots of people interested in particular events, maybe even at the time, seemingly trivial events (yet which turn out in the long run to have had major impact(s)). And so you might have any number of people going back to particular historical focal points, each with their own particular agenda (most of which will be mutually exclusive), and ultimately causing havoc. I mean if person one goes back and influences an event producing a new outcome, then person two might go back and has a go at that result and things get altered again, which will then prompt person three to go back and influence things more to his liking, etc. In other words, history would never be fixed, rather always be fluid. The world is not safe for historians. Since we believe that history (or the past) is fixed, then that what’s written on your history book page today will not alter overnight. Thus, you have probably concluded that time travel cannot happen, will not happen, and has not happened, however much you yourself might wish to go back in time yourself and change something. (Don’t we all really wish some past something, personal and trivial, or perhaps something of major significance could be changed and you’d be that instrument of change?)

Its paradoxes and situations such as the above that prompted Stephen Hawking to postulate that there is as yet an undiscovered law or principle of physics which prohibits time travel to the past – he calls it his ‘Chronology Projection Conjecture’. Since we have never seen, according to Hawking, to the best of our knowledge at least, any time travelers – tourists or historians – from our future, he’s probably right.

So, putting it all together, here’s my theory of time travel: my unified theory of time travel, at least to the past.

Relativity theory has passed every experimental test thrown at it, so the theory isn’t in much doubt and one can have a high degree of confidence in what it predicts, even if that prediction is currently beyond any experimental test. Relativity theory allows for time travel into the past, but, IMHO, only to parallel universes (otherwise known as alternative or mirror or shadow universes) where no paradoxes can happen.

Why only parallel universes? The ways and means by which you can use relativity theory to time travel backwards involves rotating Black Holes or wormholes. There are serious reasons behind the speculation that what’s on the other side of a Black Hole and/or wormhole is another universe. So, therefore it’s relativity’s time travel allowance, but probably to another universe. The Black Hole or wormhole ‘exit’ isn’t within our Universe.

Whatever you do in that parallel universe is predetermined. It’s fate. It’s destiny – all because causality rules. Therefore, there are no unexpected ripple effects other than what was destined to happen. You were meant to be there and do what you do. Therefore, there will be no paradoxes arising.

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking has proposed his Chronology Protection Conjecture that prohibits time travel to the past within your own universe because of the possible paradoxes that could arise. Why can’t you go back in time in your own universe? That would mean that at a specific time and place you both were not (originally) and were (as a result of going back) present. That’s a paradox. And if you were to travel back in time to a set of time and space coordinates you were actually originally at, then there would be two copies of you occupying the same space at the same time – also a paradox.

But take the grandfather paradox. If you go back in time and kill your grandfather, but your grandfather in a parallel universe, then you don’t prevent your existence, just the eventual existence of yourself, your other self, in that parallel universe. In the case of Shakespeare and “Hamlet”, you gave your copy to a parallel universe Shakespeare. In your original (our) Universe, Shakespeare is still the legitimate author.

Once you time travel from your universe A, to parallel universe B, you can’t return again to universe A because of Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture – paradoxes could arise. However, you could go from parallel universe B to parallel universe C, but, hence never return to either universe A or B – Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture again.

Perhaps some people you’ve seen or known or heard about might be time travelers from a parallel universe’s future. If they then time travel to another parallel universe, then that might account for some missing persons’ cases!

In short, we can time travel to other parallel universes but not to our own; entities from other parallel universes can visit our Universe. No paradoxes need arise. Both Einstein (relativity) and Hawking (Chronology Protection Conjecture) are satisfied and happy campers.

Is that right? No, it’s wrong!

There’s still one very nasty loose end here. What’s to prevent those from a parallel universe meddling and altering our time stream? It’s not enough for them to have a Prime Directive against that – we all know Prime Directives are meant to be broken! So, it looks like Hawking’s Chronology Protection Conjecture must apply to those visitors from parallel universes to our Universe as well. I mean what difference does it make to your existence whether you travel back in time within your own universe and kill your mother before you were conceived, or some serial killer escaping from a parallel universe to our Universe who kills your mother before you were conceived – even though in the latter case there’s no paradox, you still wouldn’t have been conceived of here in anyone’s philosophy!

OK, so relativity allows time travel back in time, but only to parallel universes. The Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture not only prevents time travel paradoxes in general, but it also prevents parallel universe time travelers meddling and altering our timeline; ditto we humans time traveling to someone else’s parallel universe. But how would the Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture actually accomplish this? My best guess is that parallel universes aren’t in phase – they aren’t polarized or synchronized in-phase like a laser beam, or the light that passes through your polarized sunglasses – otherwise we’d have some rather hard evidence of them; certainly way more than we do now.

So, if we go to parallel universe B or those from parallel universe B visits us, we’ll, or they’d be respectively out of phase with respect to the universe they are now in. Translated, they, or we, could look, but not touch for all practical purposes. I say for all practical purposes as now and again what’s out of phase (high probability – the usual state of affairs) will sync into phase (that’s rare). But the in-phase times are so few and far between, and last for such a brief duration that it’s unlikely to result in any inadvertent or deliberate timeline alterations. That’s my rendering of the Hawking Chronology Protection Conjecture – he could well have other ways and means in mind.

So another way of putting this is that time travelers would be spectral or ghost-like in their host universe, and maybe that’s where our traditions of ghosts and other things that go bump in the night come from! This is much like the parallel universe ghost or shadow photons that are conjectured to explain some highly mysterious aspects or phenomena contained within the famous quantum double slit* experiment. Now an obvious question is how do all the parallel universe ghost photons get into our physics labs where double slit experiments are carried out? I mean there are no local macro Black Hole or wormhole exits present – are there? Yes in fact there are! Not a macro wormhole, but a micro wormhole – actually wormholes. Theoretically, micro wormholes should exist all around you. It’s just that they are at quantum levels – incredible tiny; way subatomic in size. And they exist for just nanoseconds before collapsing. They are just part of the quantum foam** reality at super microscopic levels, a reality at the level where all things exhibit the quantum jitters or quantum fluctuations. Thus, every second of every day, everywhere, there are little quantum gateways – quantum sized wormholes connections between universes which quantum sized particles – like photons – can traverse! From the standpoint of the double slit experiment, it doesn’t matter whether the parallel universe’s ghost photons came from the past, future or present – just as long as they are, indeed, present!

Now you may think it would be easy to detect these ghostly photons. Just put a photon detector in a totally dark and sealed room. Well, not quite so easy. Some photons can pass through ‘solid’ matter. X-Ray photons anyone? Radio wave photons pass through the walls of your home. If you look at a bright light, you’ll still see light even if you close your eyes. So, your photon detector in your dark and sealed room could easily detect our local variety.

The ghostly bits aside, parallel universe time travelers (or even ordinary time travelers from within our Universe assuming Hawking is wrong)) might explain the sometimes uncanny, often incredible look-a-likes that we all seem to have. A long shot to be sure, but something interesting to ponder.

There’s still one more problem on the horizon. Just because a macro Black Hole or wormhole plunks you into a parallel universe (and of course you’ve got to be able to survive the trip itself which might be problematical), doesn’t mean you’re going to be with spitting distance of your ultimate destination(s) – say a parallel Earth(s). So, time travelers might also need more conventional transport – like Flying Saucers (okay, forget the saucers – like spaceships with fins and rocket motors). But then what’s really there to distinguish a visiting time traveler from a parallel universe from say a run-of-the-mill extraterrestrial from within our own Universe? Maybe you could just put out the welcome mat for both options!

One final thought. Could there be a Clayton’s time travel? – Time travel without traveling in time? At the risk of making Einstein turn over in his grave; I’m going to propose a universal NOW across all universes. Now I know that NOW, when it comes to observers, is a relative thing. An observer in Martian orbit sees Mars’ NOW somewhat before you on Planet Earth sees the same Mars’ NOW because the speed of light is finite. And relative motions and velocities complicate what is NOW. But, I propose (a thought experiment remember) to instantaneously freeze-frame the entire collection of universes’ NOW. Everyone and everything everywhere comes to an instant standstill. Right! We now have a universal NOW that we can study at our leisure (the freeze doesn’t apply to you and me – we’re outside the space-time continuum).

Let’s focus on that subset of all parallel universes – all parallel Earths and time travel between them. Now there’s no reason to assume that all parallel Earths are identical in all aspects. Indeed, some parallel universes may not even contain a parallel Earth! There maybe some parallel Earths identical or so close to identical to our Planet Earth as makes no odds – abodes you’d feel right at home in. Other Earths would differ in various ways, some minor, some major. Still others might be really weird and alien, as in having evolved a dinosaur society, civilization and technology. There was no parallel asteroid impact 65 million years ago; thus no human beings around the traps 65 millions later.

Your subset of parallel Earths would show near infinite diversity in infinite combinations. I say ‘near’ because you can only stretch the term ‘Earth’ or ‘Earth-like’ so far and no farther, before it’s not Earth or Earth-like. A 100% oceanic world is not Earth. If a parallel ‘Earth’ has Venus-like temperatures, it is not Earth-like. If it has a density approaching that of a neutron star, it is not Earth-like. If it has no life on it, even though in all other respects it is a near carbon copy of our Earth, it is not Earth-like.

Now it’s back to the NOW subset of parallel Earths and Earth-like abodes. There’s no reason to assume that evolutionary development; that evolutionary development rates would proceed in each and every case in an identical fashion. Some parallel Earths would still be in the dinosaur era (if they had dinosaurs of course). In some parallel Earths, cavemen and saber tooth tigers rule. In others, it’s Biblical times, or Medieval times or the era when Britannia ruled the waves. Others in our absolute NOW, on yet other parallel Earths, or parallel earthlings, might have just invented the wireless or landed on their Moon (if they have one). On some parallel Earths it may already be what to us will be the 23rd or 24th Century with interstellar warp drive capabilities at hand – and even way beyond that. So, you could seemingly travel to the past and future while actually remaining in our NOW. You’ve traveled in time without really traveling in time, or, time travel without the paradoxes – but maybe that spoils all the intellectual fun of contemplating time travel in the first place!

*The problem solved here is how can you get a classic wave interference pattern behind two slits you fire photons through; even when you fire the photons at say a rate of one per hour? Who you gonna call – ghost photons of course to the rescue.

**Quantum foam – the world may look pretty smooth from a distance, but as you keep magnifying the finer details, the micro world gets ever so slightly bumpier. Close in some more and things get rougher still, until at quantum level everything is a seething cauldron of tumultuous activity. It’s like the sea that looks perfectly smooth and tranquil from Earth orbit, but at rowboat level, you’re terrified as that 50 foot wave comes crashing down on you.

Miami And The Florida Keys – Reflections

The earliest known residents of what is now Miami were the “Tequesta” Indians. Little is known of the Tequesta Indians other than they resided along the banks of the Miami River over twelve hundred years ago. Believe it or not there was a small natural rapid a few miles upriver from where it emptied into Biscayne Bay. The Tequesta Indians hunted and fished along the banks of the River. In the 16th and again in the 18th century the Spanish established a few small missions along the banks of the Miami River. Spain originally possessed the area now called “Florida”, but ceded Florida and of course Miami to the British in later years. The first American Settlers began arriving in Miami Florida sometime in the early to mid 19th century and settled in and around the River. Agriculture in addition to fishing was one of the few economic mainstays of the area. The River’s water source was the Everglades and it was believed that the wetland could be drained by removing the rapids. Thereby providing additional cultivatable land for the new arrivals to settle and develop as farms. I am very sure that real estate sales and potential profits were a motivational factor as well. Real Estate in Miami has been a motivation from the beginning to present. Regardless of the reason(s) a decision to remove falls by dynamiting was made and implemented in mid to late 1800s. Other than during those years of the Seminole Indian wars the population steadily increased as did the real estate industry.

In the beginning Dade County was a huge track of land that extended from the southern tip of Lake Okeechobee (Fort Worth Florida) south to Key West Florida. Indian Key was the the seat of Dade County until sometime between the years 1860 and 1870. Prior to these years residents of the Florida Keys, other than those at Indian Key were counted as residents of Dade County.

MY RECOLLECTIONS AND REFLECTIONS

Once upon a time there was a little fishing village located in Dade County, towards the southeastern tip of Florida. The name of this village was Miami. Many people living in Miami at the time, pronounced the name “Miama”.

I offer these remembrances’ as one born in the Biltmore Hotel; a land mark hotel in Coral Gables Florida, a town located in Miami-Dade County and a veteran’s administration hospital during the years of WW II. If my stories and recollections seem somewhat disjointed to the reader I beg forgiveness. They are all or at least most inscribed from memories. My only reason for attempting to write this article at all is to impart a few of my impressions/reflections to an interested reader regarding the conception of, development of, metamorphosis of and transformation that has occurred to the area that is today Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. My intention is to offer the reader a comparison of sorts to the areas mentioned, the inhabitants, their way of life compared to then and likewise now. I have no intention of smearing of chastising any particular group of people but too simply record the facts as I believe-remember them to be. I will leave it to the discretion of the reader which Miami, Florida Keys he/she prefers to relate. The then version 1945 to 1970 or the now version 2010, in order to provide a comparison between the two I will offer, in addition to my recollections, a few bygone happenings and circumstance conveyed to me by my predecessors on my mother’s side of the family, all residents of the Keys and Key West dating back 150 plus years ago, some still living there. To do this I am going to begin with my earliest recollections following WW II living first in Hamburg Germany, my father was an officer in the Air Force during the war and was at the time stationed there. Since he had not received his discharge my mother and I joined him, I think, sometime in the year 1946.

KEY WEST CONCHS

They Don’t Call Them Conchs For No Good Reason! (yes I know that’s double negative but I use it for emphasis)

Those that have eaten conch can relate to what I mean by this statement. Conk is a very tough marine mollusk. Rumor has it that in the early 1800s the doctors of Key West prescribed for new born babies, that they be set out on the porch to allow mosquito bites. The reason for this was to make the baby immune to the bite of a mosquito. What does this have to do with conch; man those people had to be tough to live in that environment during those very early years. Screens for windows did not happen until late in the 1800s so it is safe to say that these early Keys inhabitants did not have such luxuries. Don’t forget they had no present day amenity such as air conditioning either.

WALTER C MALONEY, JR.-KEY WEST FLORIDA

The Economies of Key West-1800s

It is a fact that at one time Key West was not only the most populated city in Florida but also had the highest per capita income in Florida and rivaled that of many other US cities. The economy was driven by numerous industries during this period of time.

AGRICULTURE

My relatives speak of one, Mr. Walter C. Maloney Jr. (Maloney was my grandmother’s maiden name). The story goes that at some point in time, during the year 1885, Walter left Key West to travel to what was then known as the Gainesville Land Office in Gainesville Florida. There under Grover Cleveland’s land act, I think for the price of fifty cents per acres, he purchased 67 acres of property in what is now known as Marco Island, Collier County Florida. In reality the land he purchased was located on “Horr’s Island”, AKA “Marco Key”, located a mile or two west of Marco Island, Florida. Mr. Maloney’s purpose was to plant, grow, harvest pineapples on this island and sell his produce to the Key West market. To me it’s amazing that a man in his late forty’s’ and then fifty’s would board a sailboat in Key West and navigate his way across one hundred miles of Florida Bay to sell pineapples in Key West. The reader should understand that the waters of Florida Bay are prone to sudden violent storms during much of the year. In addition there were no cell phones or GPSs.

My granddad once told me of a relative, I believe last name “Hart” that would travel from Key West to Chokoloskee Florida to hunt. Chokoloskee is an island located south of Everglades City. This was also a very long boat ride from Key West. Chokoloskee boasts an elevation of 20 feet above sea level. Rumor has it that the reason for its’ elevation was discarded shells of various types deposited by the Indians of the “Ten Thousand Islands”, living in the area many years ago.

Obviously these were a different breed of people during that time in our history.

The Keys and Key West produced other crops in addition to pineapples, tomatoes, I call charcoal another because of the process used to produce it. Hookie-Pokee Ice Cream, made in the shad and sold in the sun, if you aint gotta nickel you cain’t have none. Yes with the heat and humidy ice cream was big in Key West. Cigar factories were also big in Key West.

FISHING INDUSTRY

Like Miami, the fishing industry was and still is a driving economical force. Florida lobster (commonly called crawfish) is still a big ticket industry. In early times turtle and conk were plentiful; today these are for the most part protected throughout the state. I will offer additional experiences I had as youngster with the seemingly unlimited conk and spiny crawfish that could be easily taken from the waters surrounding Key West and Miami Florida.

THE NATURAL SPONGE INDUSTRY

Before the invention of synthetic sponges, sponges were harvested from the sponge beds located in the waters surrounding Key West.

SALVAGE

The waters surrounding Key West also had arguably the most treacherous reefs of any found elsewhere in the world. The history books are full of accounts of ships hitting these reefs and sinking, Spanish galleons loaded with gold taken by force from the natives of North and South America crashed on the reefs and sank with unbelievable regularity.

One of the better known salvage operations of recent times was that of Mel Fisher’s. He and his team of researchers and divers located the long lost “Atocha”. The Atocha crashed and sank on a reef west of Key West in the early 18th century and was loaded with over 400 million dollars worth of gold, silver, precious gems and other valuable artifacts. Most of which stolen by Spanish missionaries and Conquistadors (conquerors) from the Aztecs of Mexico and Incas of South America among many others.

During the 1800s, ships were still crashing on these same reefs. The series of light houses now erected on the reefs were not there during most of the 19th century. This resulted in a very lucrative salvage business during the 1800s. I have heard family members mention that years later, after the warning lights were built on the reefs some residents of the Keys would either allow them to burn out or manually extinguish them for the purpose of causing shipwrecks on the reefs to promote their salvage businesses. All productive salvage operators and operations were required by law to register their salvage ships and any salvaged items with the authorities in Key West which of course served to boost the local economy.

Prior to the erection of light houses on the reefs in an effort to reduce the number and severity of ship wrecks in these waters, the federal government commissioned “light house ships”. These ships and their captains were charged with the task of anchoring on the reefs, 24/7/365 to keep and maintain warning lights. One such ship was captained by another relative of mine Captain Whalton (my mother’s maiden name). Drinking water and other supplies were brought to land locations of these ships and deposited on shore. The crews would then leave the ship in a row boat, get the supplies and row back to their ship. The story goes that one night Captain Whalton and one sailor traveled to shore to transport the supplies back. For some inexplicable reason they traveled ashore unarmed, a war part of Seminole Indians waited, hidden in the bush. Both the captain and the sailor were killed.

FROM HAMBURG GERMANY TO KEY WEST and Back to Miami-THE YEAR 1947-1950 +/-

During my time in Germany but sometime after my Dad was discharged from the Air Force. My Grandfather Whalton called and suggested to Dad that together they should open a hardware store in Key West. At the time Key West did not have a hardware store. Purchasing a “Western Auto” Franchise they opened for business at 515 Duval Street directly across the street from the San Carlos Theater, now a land mark, in Key West Florida. The family remained in Key West for about 2-1/2 years, while Dad and Granddad operated the hardware store. The year was 19850 maybe 1951. The commercial passenger airline industry was stirring-ready to be born in earnest. National Airlines called my Dad and asked him to fly for the airline. Flying being my Dad’s first love, we moved from Key West to Miami, Florida. My parents rented a little house near the main hanger for National. The hanger was located on the east side of Lejune Road but Miami International Airport was located on the west side. We had one car; so when it was time for my Dad to fly, my mother and I would take him to the hanger. There he would board a two engine aircraft renamed for it new purposes a DC 3. The same plane, a C-47, Dad flew during the war with some seats bolted to the floor and some paint applied to the fuselage. A policeman would stop the automobile traffic on Lejune Road and my Dad would taxi his plane across the road and onto the end of the only runway that the airport possessed at the time, which was runway 9. For those of you that have passed through MIA recently I know this seems a bit bizarre, but as was Miami the airline industry was in its infancy. During this time 1950-1955, I would be surprised to learn that Miami Florida’s population exceeded 300 thousand.

After we moved to Miami, I for many years thereafter traveled from Miami to Key West. During summer vacations I worked in the store that my granddad still owned and operated. He had left the Western Auto Franchise and then operated the store as “Walton’s Auto Toys and Hardware.”

Each summer for about 5-6 years my mother would put me on a “Greyhound Bus”. Greyhound ran regularly between Miami and Key West. The bus station as I recall was in Downtown Miami, 8th street, AKA the Trail, AKA US-41. The driver would take a route west on 41 to US-27 or Krome Avenue, turning south on Krome proceeding through Homestead Florida and then left to US-1. Within a few minutes of entering US-1, we would be traveling at rate I believe to be over 80 miles per hour. I feel comfortable that this was so because the land distance from Miami to Key West is 160 miles and the trip never took more than 1 hour and 45 minutes. Folks on a trip today from Miami to Key West by car, you cannot do 35 miles per hour once entering the upper keys.

During the years that I worked in this store, the store would open for business 5-/12 days per week. On Thursdays the merchants of Key West would close at noon. My Granddad, my Grandmother and I would travel out “Overseas Highway”, US-1. With a “four pronged gig” and a bucket walking into the Mangroves that lined both sides of the highway, we could gig enough crawfish (Florida Lobster) for crawfish enchilada to be served at dinner that night, conch style with black beans, rice and fried plantain. During that time, Florida Lobster was plentiful in the Keys; there were no restrictions against harvesting them. Today, first you cannot use a four pronged gig without the risk of incarceration; second harvesting Florida Lobster is restricted to certain times of the year. This is also true of conk that could be taken a few yards off the beaches of Key West and sea turtle cannot be taken at all.

My point is, the quality of life in south Florida has been reduced by the influx of too many people from all over the US, south America and Cuba. I don’t believe that State and Federal authorities have done their jobs in protecting the things that were here when I was young and growing up. I believe that some measure of prudence could have and should have been applied a long time ago. The experiences that I had my children will be denied they will never have the opportunity to know the area the way I knew it.

As one that makes his living as a builder and General Contractor in the State of Florida but has known this area intimately for so many years, I have a number of questions in mind that I deal with on a daily basis, the questions are, 1. What could we have done previously to reduce the impact of uncontrolled influx here and thereby preserve more for future south Florida generations. 2. Is there a possibility of regaining some measure of the resources that were here in the earlier years?

I do believe that these are questions that some of the Florida agencies and law makers now deal with on a daily basis as well. But I’m not certain that the legal vehicle and money resource is available to accomplish the task if so be it possible.

But then with similarity to some higher mathematical problems, I think that the only constant is change and the only variable is time. Is this not also a statement of the development-over development and maybe the resurrection, restoration of south Florida?

Traveling Nurse – The Benefits

Being a traveling nurse has many attractive benefits over regular nursing Firstly, nurses are in demand constantly not only in the US but worldwide. For a nurse that has the desire to travel and earn money, becoming a traveling nurse would be ideal. Of the hospitals and medical facilities rely on traveling nurses to fill roles when staffing levels are lower than normal, but further than that to bring a new level of expertise that may be lacking in the nursing in the respective hospital. So now for the advantages and benefits of becoming a traveling nurse.

Money, like most things in life, would be one of the main reasons someone would choose to become a traveling nurse. Traveling nurses, make considerably more money than their full-time counterparts. For a start the basic wage will be higher for a traveling nurse, when this is combined with overtime or penalty rates such as night shifts- the earnings can become quite substantial. The pay and calculations are performed by the traveling nurse agency and are therefore much more effectively managed. Becoming a traveling nurse is a great way to save money.

Traveling can be a major part of being a traveling nurse. If a nurse wants to see the world- there is no better way than becoming a traveling nurse and seeking work in the areas they want to see. If the traveling nurse is a native English speaker, there will always be a high demand in the US, UK, Canada and Australia (Specifically as they are experiencing a shortage of nurses). Traveling nurse agencies will actively seek nurses, and will assist in organizing visas, accommodation and appropriate work.

Harmony in the work environment for a traveling nurse is not as important as it would be for a full time nurse. The traveling nurse may only be working in the respective environment for a month before moving on to the next assignment. For this reason workplace politics will play a lesser role than in other professions.

The social benefits for a traveling nurse are massive as well. They will get to meet new people regularly and benefit from constant social interaction and communication- which is a large part of being a nurse.

In most cases a traveling nurse will also receive generous health benefits. In most situations agencies that specialize in traveling nurses offer these medical and dental benefits to entice new traveling nurses to them. Some nursing agencies also have 401K plans, which is obviously fantastic.

Working as a traveling nurse, is a fantastic way to quickly build an impressive resume. The experience a traveling nurse receives could be argues that in a shorter period of time the experiences will amount to much more than would be learn via all time position in the one hospital. It will prove to prospective employers that you have life experience, and are mature to deal with all scenarios and situations.

Certain traveling nurse agencies will also offer incentive bonuses for referrals’ to their agencies- recommend a friend and receive a payment. As a traveling nurse is constantly working at new locations with equally new nurses, the opportunities for referrals are high. Further to this, some agencies also offer a completion bonus simply for completing the assignment or placement.

Traveling nurses often travel in pairs or groups. It is a great way to travel obviously, and will also provide a support network for less confident individuals.

Traveling nurses also have the opportunity to assist in the case of natural disaster’s and missionaries where medical attention is urgently required. This may not be for everyone, but the opportunity to be involved tin the rehabilitation of such an event could be considered an honor by some.

How To Select The Perfect Entertainment Wall Unit For Your Home

One should never rush into the purchase of a large piece of furniture. It’s important to assess the room, think about all the possibilities and potential arrangements, and really get a feel for the space before making any large renovations.

The entertainment wall unit is the perfect instance of such a purchase. This can be an absolutely expansive piece of furniture, dominating an entire wall if you allow it or it can take up an entire corner of your room. On the other hand, you may not want such an enormous piece of furniture to completely change and dominate the look of your room so you may instead opt for a smaller simpler console design. TV wall units are versatile pieces of furniture, coming in all varieties of styles, shapes, and colors. These options should all be taken into careful consideration before going ahead and making any purchase.

Ignoring for now the varieties of styles, materials, or size, let’s examine the most integral part of your purchase: the space for your television. Entertainment wall furniture is designed to house your home theater, with the television as the crown jewel. You want this piece of furniture to compliment your television perfectly. It shouldn’t overwhelm the TV or make it look too small, but rather highlight all of its assets. Take careful measurements of your television before looking at any of these units to make sure you’re going to purchase a unit that will be the perfect fit for your TV as well as the wall space and size of your room.

Now, with that piece of advice out of the way, it’s important for you to select the entertainment center that will really make your home pop. Your existing furniture may already demand that you choose a particular style or manufacturer. For example, a contemporary unit might look out of place in a traditional home and vice-versa. At the same time, purchasing such a large and dramatic piece of furniture may be the perfect time to alter your existing style and give your home a new and up-to-date look. The choice is all yours.

When selecting an entertainment center, you’ll notice that they come in a variety of materials and color combinations. You can buy any design you’d like, all the way from incredibly futuristic designs made entirely of glass and metal to a solid wood piece that looks like it’s from another century. The variety of centers on the market allows you to make any choice that you desire.

One last bit of criteria you should definitely take into account is the size of your room. If you’re furnishing a small room, you should probably purchase a smaller entertainment wall unit so that it doesn’t monopolize your room. These units come in all different sizes, so it’s easy to find the perfect size for any space. If you have a huge room, you may want to think about buying a unit that extends all the way to the ceiling just to break up your room and provide a dramatic and eye-catching focal point.

It’s also important to pick your storage. Cabinets and shelves, closed or open; these are all additional considerations you have to think about when deciding how to store your equipment and accessories. Some units have a combination of cabinets and shelves and are now being sold as sets, which may include a TV nook, two side units and an upper shelf called a bridge. This provides an extra degree of flexibility for homeowners who would like their entertainment unit to double as a bookcase so that they can display books, collectibles and other personal treasures.

When selecting a TV wall unit keep in mind that little details can make a big difference.. Before purchasing, carefully consider everything you’re looking for and start out your search with a well thought out idea and a solid plan. From there, locating the perfect entertainment wall unit should be a breeze.

Significant Bunk Bed Home Furniture Which You Need To Undoubtedly Acquire

When you enter right into a child’s room or even game room often times you will discover the room left in complete disarray. The ground that at one time existed within the bedroom has today been completely covered in toys and games from all of the way under the bed to in to the cabinet. We all know that children are usually difficult whenever requested to thoroughly clean up their bedrooms nevertheless it doesn’t continually have to be a battle. This mayhem does not have to be exactly what you notice every single time you enter your kid’s bedroom. Along with many basic tips you are able to have your kid’s bunk beds or even playroom organized within a blink of an eye.

Nevertheless you can make certain of that by purchasing the proper rec room furniture. Here are many illustrations: Loft beds tend to be one of several best home furniture that you can buy. Together with activity furniture, your child can play with it in a massive amount of ways. You will find a lot of things to do that he is able to do in addition to the things that he will think of. Your small one could have several hours of enjoyment with it. This is the rec room household furniture that will make certain that the space is sorted out. Train your kid to arrange his toys and private belongings along with inventive storage space seats. You’ll find a wide range of models readily available that can enhance any rec room. You are able to pick from storage space benches as well as bins and containers.Your child will have to have all of the naps that he could get especially following hrs of playing.

When scouting for kids household furniture, choose only the products and solutions that happen to be of outstanding quality. Do not invest in low cost products that are very likely to break and harm your little one. Generally, you can uncover excellent, quality household furniture for youngsters at affordable rates. And if you do a little investigation you might even find great merchandise that happen to be on sale or even at a discount.In this circumstance you may save considerably.When you are looking at the playroom walls, it is seriously only a question of personal tastes. You might opt for whatever color you like, nevertheless preferably would be 1 that is not too dimly lit. You want your kids playroom to seem inviting. Work with vibrant and bright shades which produce a calming and joyful atmosphere. On the other hand you might make use of a few wall stickers or wall art. Murals tend to be excellent for creating the marvelous ambiance and look you need for the child’s game room.

Another crucial issue in a rec room is the playthings. All things considered, what is a game room without having toys and games? So, when you seek out toys, you need to go for the ones which can be safe, hilarious and also engaging. Don’t forget to take a look at some educative playthings which develop your child’s ingenuity. Those are incredibly good as they expand the children’s creativity.Right now, where exactly can you discover bunk beds for the playroom. You are able to often check out your nearby store and see if you uncover anything you like. On the other hand, for far better price offers and a lot more variety, you should check some world wide web outlets. These usually are fantastic due to the fact they present discounts for excellent items and you are able to browse from the ease and comfort of your own house.

Deducting Travel As a Business Expense

As a general rule, travel expenses are deductible as a business expense as long as the expense is considered by the IRS to be an ordinary and necessary business expense under (IRC section 162). But when you incur a travel expense outside the United States, that is when the rules begin to change. Do not assume that 100% of your foreign travel expenses are tax deductible. And better yet, consult with your CPA during the planning phase of your foreign travel in order to maximize your opportunity for a tax deduction.

General Rules Regarding Travel Expenses:

Travel expenses traditionally includes the following categories of expenses associated with at least one overnight stay (i.e. where sleep is required while away from home):

1. Transportation Costs – Transportation includes airplane, train, bus, car, or ship between your home and business destination. It also includes commuter bus, taxi and limousine transportation.

2. Baggage and Shipping Costs- This category includes the cost of sending baggage, samples, display materials between regular and temporary work locations.

3. Lodging Costs – Such costs include overnight hotel stays and temporary housing costs.

4. Meals – Allowable meals expenses include food, beverage, tips and tax. If the meals qualify for a tax deduction they may be 50% or 100% deductible. Meals between employees/employers are generally not deductible unless a business purpose can be substantiated. In cases in which there is a business purpose, the meal is eligible for a 50% tax deduction. Meals also include customer-related meals in which business is discussed (50% deduction).

Also allowed are meals related to business-related travel that includes an overnight stay (50% deductible. If the overnight travel is related to an employer-sponsored social or recreational event the meals are 100% deductible. If the meal is related to promotional activities that are made available by the business to the public such costs are 100% deductible.

5. Cleaning – This category includes dry cleaning and laundry expenses incurred during your travel period.

6. Telephone – Business calls, fax costs or other communication costs associated with the business travel are deductible.

7. Tips paid for any travel expense category are allowed as a tax deduction

8. Other – Other costs related to the business travel might include internet fees, computer rental fees, equipment rental fees, supplies etc.

Travel expenses must be temporary in nature. What this means is that the travel period cannot last more than one year. If the travel lasts more than one year all of the travel expenses become non-deductible.

Special Rules:

1. Conventions – In order for travel costs associated with a convention to be tax deductible, such costs must be directly related to your company’s business and must benefit your company’s business. Conventions outside North America are allowed, however, there is reasonableness test that must be met. Reasonableness is based on the purpose of the meeting, activities taking place at the meeting, activities of any sponsors, homes of sponsors and other material facts and circumstances that the IRS will consider in determining eligibility for the tax deduction.

2. Cruise Ship Conventions – If the convention meets the ordinary and necessary business purpose test and the reasonableness test then the IRS will permit a tax deduction equal to $2,000 per person, per year for travel expenses incurred in connection with the cruise ship convention as long as the ship is a U.S. flagship and all ports of call are located within the United States or its possessions. In order to deduct cruise ship convention travel expenses the business must attach two written statements to their tax return. Statement #1 must be signed by the business owner. This statement specifies the number of hours each day that were devoted to business activities, total days of the trip and the program of business activities on the ship. Statement #2 must be signed by an officer of the cruise ship convention organization and provide detailed schedules of the meetings and the number of hours the taxpayer attended.

3. Travel Outside the United States – Only costs associated with the days in which business was conducted are allowed as a travel tax deduction. Business days include days spent traveling to and from the business destination. Days spent on non-business activities are not counted as business days. Weekends and holidays are considered business days if they fall between the business days. Where part of the foreign travel includes non-business days, travel costs must be prorated by dividing the number of business days by the number of total days. This
percentage is then applied to the total travel costs in arriving at the tax deductible travel expense deduction.

4. Non-Convention Cruise Ship Travel – The travel deduction allowed for this type of travel is determined by the IRS every year, so it changes every year. IRS publication 463 lists the daily deductible amounts allowed(called per diem rates). You multiply the per diem rate by the number of travel days in arriving at your tax deductible travel expense amount. If meals are a separate charge you are allowed to deduct 50% of the meal costs in addition to the per diem amount.