Bathroom Renovation Ideas For Tight Budget

Are you getting something frustrated about the way your bathroom looks like nowdays? Here is an idea – renovate!

However, if you are running on a tight budget these days, it is not a reason to eliminate bathroom renovation and put it off as an activity in the uncertain future. You can still start renovating your bathroom into a part of your house that is a welcoming place to be – even on a limited budget.

Here are some effective tips in accomplishing your self-appointed project.

1. Have a specific plan and budget for your bathroom renovation project. Realize the new design you are envisioning for your bathroom and identify how much you are willing to spend to achieve your goal.

2. Stick with your plan. Once you already have the design that you absolutely want to accomplish and already have set up a budget plan for it, avoid deviating from them.

3. Implement your project one at a time. You have to determine which part of your bathroom must first undergo redoing or replacement in order to fit into your planned design.

4. Do some canvassing first and compare the prices of items you need. Do not purchase the item you need in the first store you go into. It is advisable to widen your options.

Go into several shops and stores and check out the prices they offer for the items you need. You may be able to save hundreds of dollars if you purchase the right item in the most affordable price.

5. Try shopping for items you need around the time when there may be discounts available.

For example, during summer or through the holidays when most people are not very keen on renovating their bathrooms, you might find some stores that offer discounts on items you need for your future bathroom renovation projects.

6. Be aware of small and simple ways, which do not entail a lot of money but may contribute to change your bathroom's appearance. Changing your shower curtain or installing a cabinet to put in towels can create a remarkable effect. …

Four Great Reasons to Get a Kitchen Knife Sharpener – Whether For Home Or Professional Use

If you are an avid cook, or if you have ever worked in a restaurant, then you should be familiar with the piece of kitchen equipment that looks like a long steel pole with a plastic handle. This is a knife sharpener, and is used on knives which have become dull or misaligned due to repeated use. By scraping the knife on the sharpener, you can realign the microscopic edges of the blade and bring the knife back to its previous sharp self, in some cases even making it almost as good as new. There are many reasons to use a kitchen knife sharpener, and here are just a few.

Perfect for professional use

If you are a seasoned chef, then chances are you already have one of these and use it regularly. But if you are just beginning your foray into the world of professional cooking, or if you are opening a restaurant, then this piece of equipment will be invaluable. By keeping your knives sharp and honed, you will have no problem cutting anything, even after repeated use.

Ideal for the home

If you cook avidly at home, a kitchen knife sharpener could also be useful. Using knives further can cause the blade to become dull, but by using this every so often, your knives can work almost as good as new for even longer.

Efficiency in the kitchen

There are many models designed to give you the fastest possible results, so by using these you can cut down the time you need cooking, which is very important in a professional capacity, but also at home. Unless, of course if you already have a cordless electric knife .

Money saving!

Retailing for less than $ 10, these kitchen knife sharpeners can give your knives even longer lives, saving you money in the long run! …

Have a Safe Life

A recent survey revealed that 50% of American population is completely affected by the water borne diseases and its related problems. This increased worry has led to the boost in the production of water filters and its producing companies. With growing awareness now you can find an array of house water filters floating in the market. These water filters can be used as house water filters for purification of drinking water. House water filters generally come in a variety of designs, styles, model and colors. The striking feature is that they are commonly quoted at very inexpensive prices which are affordable by anyone. This has led to the popularity of house water filters as they carry the storage of gallons of water which can be used for drinking, cleaning, cooking and various other purposes. In the present situation you can find many compact water filters that can be attached to the decanter to the latest and complex filter. It's just that there are various varieties of water filter catering your requirement and needs.

Apart from this there are a range of other house which can be even deposited at the top of the tap from instant clean drinking water. They are equipped with carbon block filters which not only restricts the entry of germs but also eradicate the impurities. But they fail in terms of impeding the smell which makes people little contact to go for this. This type of water filter's cartridge normally delivers 100 to 300 gallons of untainted water. But with changing times house water filters have seen various changes as now they have become more powerful and safe.

Currently house water filters are outfitted with very potent cartridge which not only restricts the germs but also purge the smell. With the changing time water filters too marked noticeable changes as now maximum house water filters are built by reverse osmosis system. This is the latest equipment which guarantees the comprehensive removal of germs and bacteria along the smell. Now house water filters are not only mounted for drinking purposes but also for bathing purpose. It has been seen that people have become more alert in regards to health. That's why they now prefer to take bath from filtered water in order to consolidate complete safety. So if you are health freak and want to live a healthy life then just install a house water filter. …

The NICCACUM Of A Specific House

When a homeowner decides, for whatever personal reason, it’s time to sell his home, it is a somewhat, natural, normal behavior, for that individual, to often, over – consider, what he perceives the market value, to be! This is one of the principal reasons, it’s wise, to hire a real estate professional, to serve and represent you, throughout this period. Each house has specific strengths, and weaknesses, as does, every neighborhood, block, etc. Since I believe, it’s often easier to remember and apply certain principles, when we use the mnemonic approach, this article will briefly review and discuss, the NICCACUM of a specific house, and property.

1. Niche: It’s wise to consider the specific niche, which might be most attracted to a specific house, and why! Does the house appeal to certain families, because of its size and location, both internal, and external? Wise agents will emphasize these strengths, as part of the marketing plan!

2. Impression: Since you only get one chance, to make a first impression, how will you focus on doing so? Will you accentuate the positives, while eliminating as many potential, negative factors, as possible?

3. Competition: Homes are often priced, and sell for a price, based on competitive, market forces. When a house is priced, right, from the start, the ability to sell it, for the best possible price, in the shortest period of time, with a minimum of hassle, the transaction period, becomes less stressful, etc! The qualified, real estate professional, will develop, a quality, focused, realistic, relevant, Competitive Market Analysis, or CMA, to create the best listing price.

4. Condition: Permit an objective, set of eyes, to evaluate the overall condition of your house, and whether, it needs tweaking, or will make the home, more or less, competitive, with others, of similar size, etc.

5. Access: Since one never knows, when the ideal, qualified, potential buyer, will be ready, and want to view your home, it is essential to make it readily available, for viewings, throughout this sales period!

6. Curb appeal: When one drives up to the house, will their first look, make them, more, or less, enthusiastic, and desirous of taking a further look? Your agent should advise you, of basic steps, to make this more positive!

7. Unique characteristics: What are the unique characteristics of the house, if any, which might, either attract, or deter, potential buyers, from taking the leap?

8. Modern upgrades/ updates: Does your home, seem, well, taken care of, or neglected, dated, etc? The modern upgrades most sought after, are in the kitchens and bathrooms.

Knowing and understanding, paying attention to, and focusing on the NICCACUM, often make a significant difference, in the marketing and selling of a particular house. Will you pay sufficient focus?…

Save Time Cleaning Your Shower Enclosure!

According to a recent survey the amount of time the average household spends on housework has dropped by 30 minutes a day since the Millennium. The survey found that 77 per cent of men and 92 per cent of women spend some time each day doing housework, compared with 86 per cent of men and 96per cent of women in 2000. With couples often working long hours' and leisure time suffering people are now looking at products that will help ease the housework load, which is why we believe silicone-free shower enclosures are growing in popularity.

At some point or another we've all had the daunting task of cleaning up the horrible silicone seal on a shower tray, where the glass meets the tray. It gets horribly dirty very quickly, especially if you have a large family and children – sometimes mouldy too – and tends to deteriorate over time, so spoiling the clean-cut look of a stylish bathroom. It is now possible to get silicone sealants that are guaranteed mould free for a number of years but this does not solve the full problem of silicone as it is possible for shower tray to flex in use it can cause the silicone seal to break, resulting in the enclosure leaking. When considering the conundrum of how to handle this age-old problem, it became clear that the only way to handle the problem of silicone seals would be to do away with them completely, which is the concept of a silicone-free shower enclosure was developed.

As with many things in life, the solution was actually quite straight forward. By using simple physics to control the flow of the water and direct it away from the joints of the tray, these new enclosures have no need for a seal between screen and tray. Put quite simply, the specially designed deflectors divert sprayed water back into the tray while any escaping water is diverted back into the bowl from a channel on the outer flange. The water deflectors are fully removable for easy cleaning, and the enclosures are designed to be easy to install.

Although the idea was simple, the development process took months to perfect, in fact many of the new trays and enclosures are so perfect they even come with a lifetime guarantee against manufacturing defect. These silicone free systems are expected to take the market by storm and are now available on many enclosures and walk-in screens.

Although eradicating silicone for good was the primary goal of this development these trays and screens have been designed with ease of installation in mind. To minimize potential errors and speed up the fitting process they come with a five-step installation plan that is quick, simple and provides 100 per cent water tight results every time. Offering adjustment for out-of-true walls, each enclosure is designed to make fitting a breeze, with clever features such as slot-in wall profiles, easy fit tie bars and pre-fitted seals. In fact, armed with just a screwdriver …

Help With Step-Dad Problems

Men who marry women with children come to their new responsibilities with a mixed bag of emotions. Your motivations may be far different from those that make a man assume responsibility for his biological children.

As a new husband, you might react to your “instant” family with feelings that range from admiration to fright to contempt. You might even see yourself as less effective than a biological father. A new stepfather typically enters a household headed by a mother. When a mother and her children make up a single-parent family, she tends to learn autonomy and self-confidence, and her children do more work around the house and take more responsibility in family decisions than do children in two-parent households. These are good things, but to enter such a family, you must work your way into a closed group. For one thing, mom and kids share a common history, one that does not yet include you.

Moving into your wife’s house can make you feel like the “odd man out.” It might be months before you feel comfortable and at home. In truth, initially, stepfathers do have less power relative to stepchildren, particular adolescents, when they move into the mother-child home.

You might feel out of place because of a different background or because you have a different perspective on what family life is all about. After years of living as a single-parent family, for instance, both mom and kids are likely to have evolved a chore allocation system. As a newcomer, especially if you assume the traditional male role in a two-earner remarriage, you may draw complaints that you are not contributing enough. Or, while you think it helpful not to interfere, your behavior might be seen as an unwillingness to contribute.

The “hidden agenda” is one of the first difficulties a stepfather runs into: The mother, her children, or both, may have expectations about what you will do, but may not give you a clear picture of what those expectations are. You may have a hidden agenda of your own. You may see your new stepchildren as spoiled and unruly and decide they need discipline. Or, you may find that after years of privacy, a bustling house full of children disrupts your routine.

A part of the step-children’s hidden agenda is the extent to which they will let you play the father. Children can be adamant in their distaste for, or jealousy of, their stepfather, or they may be ready and anxious to accept you as a “new daddy.”

Stepfathers tend to be more distant and detached than stepmothers, and this is not necessarily a bad thing. Some detachment might be just what’s needed in order to have a workable relationship with your stepchildren, especially during the early years of your marriage. Teenagers may be mature enough to think of you primarily as their mother’s husband rather than as a stepfather. Teens, and younger children, may be unwilling to go back to being “children”-that is, dependent on and subject …

Cat Training – Taming The Household Terror

Is your kitty the terror of the house? Is it always digging through the trash, climbing the curtains, teasing the furniture to pulp, jumping onto counter tops and tables and much, much more?

At first, it may have seemed cute to watch your kitten try to climb the living room curtains and reach the ceiling. A regular clown in the family as you all laughed at it's lovable antics. But this soon turned into a lot of frustration for you when you suddenly realized that this might be an unstoppable cat that seemed to get into everything.

Fear not, pet owner! There are a few things you can do to discourage this type of hyper behavior that has your cat running the show.

Curtains

Replace with tension rods for the time being. When kitty begins to climb the curtains, they come tumbling down and scare the cat witless. It will not take the kitty very long to make the connection. After awhile, you can replace the tension rods because kitty will be too afraid to try curtain climbing again.

Furniture

If you have a scratching post of some kind for kitty, but it is still teething up the furniture to shreds, then begin to take the kitty to it's scratching post and praise it for using this. If this is still not working out quite right, get a bottle of spray from the pet store to use on the furniture that your cat will not like. Also, keep it's scratching post in the same room so it will naturally want to use this instead of the furniture.

Countertops

Leave enough empty cans and such on your counter tops so when kitty jumps up on them, they fall over and clatter. Cats hate loud sounds like these and will run from them. In time, your kitty will stop trying to jump up on the counters.

Trash Containers

If your kitty is a trash digger, then put a lid on the whole thing. The same goes for cats that like drinking water from the toilet bowl. This one is easy.

Setting Boundaries

Why is your cat running the show at your house? You may have one of those frisky bundles of fur that just has a ton of energy and likes to seek out adventure where the kitty can find it.

All cats want affectionate attention given to it. They want this praise, so give it as a reward for doing what is right. Stop trying to reprimand kitty. This is still attention being paid to it. Some cats are real attention getters. If you give it positive attention for behaving but do not give it the emotionally charged, chewing out when it misbehaves, this will go a long way.

Get kitty some creative toys that it can exert some of it's energy over and use these to play with kitty. This is good cat training. This is positive reinforcement for your cat to want to play with it's toys instead of …

Tips For Reducing Birthday Party Planning Stress

Birthday parties are stressful. There's no way to avoid the pressure, but there are ways to reduce it. Here are some great tips which will help you in planning your child's next party.

1. Family affair: Get the whole family involved in the party planning. Depending on your kid's age he / she may be very motivated and excited to help you plan their party. After all this party is for the kids not the parents, so do not leave out your most energetic helper.

2. Location: Plan ahead by finding a location. If it's outside of your home make sure you find a location large enough for both the kids and the parents. Many party spots sell out months in advance, so be sure to plan ahead. If the party is outside, do not forget to set a back-up plan in case of rain.

3. Party Basics: Make sure the party is manageable. Remember this is not a wedding, so there's no need to invite the fourth fourth grade class, if you do you'll probably regret it. A one and half hour party is probably long enough for most kids under the age of four. Any older you may want to think about two hours.

4. Time: What time of the day is best for your party? Well that probably depends on your child's age. For kids below one to two year olds, morning is best, as the baby will be most energetic. Two to four year olds are tricky as some nap and some do not. Your best bet is to schedule a late afternoon or pre-lunch party to avoid the afternoon cranky times. Lunchtime is fine for four to ten year old kids who are not napping. Evening parties are great for kids over ten years.

5. Budget: Decide on the amount of money you want to spend on the party and then expect to spend 20% more than that. Birthday parties are not cheap even when they're at your house the expenses add up.

6. Themes: Sports, dinosaur or princess themes are classics and always work. Most popular themes are available inexpensively in discount party stores or online, including themed games, decorations, balloons, stickers, and birthday party favors.

7. Active kids are happy kids: If you have a backyard party make sure you have a lot of activities for the kids. The last thing you want is for the kids to look for their own entertainment as it probably will not be the kind you recommend. Relays, balloon tosses, sack races and pin the tail on the donkey never get old. If you're having your party at a kids gym, make sure you meet with the manager before the party to discuss the activities. Also, try to find out who will be hosting your party to make sure they have experienced and energetic.

8. Food: The time and location of your party always dictates what you'll need to serve. Of course pizza is almost always a …

Things To Think Through Before You Remodel Or Update Your Kitchen

The kitchen is the most used room in the house, the place everyone gathers, AND it can be the MOST expensive investment you make should you update or remodel it. There is a lot to consider yet it’s totally doable. You don’t need to be overwhelmed. I’ve worked with hundreds of homeowners to transform their kitchens. Over the years I have learned watching thousands of others make mistakes. From all this I have figured that there are some simple, basic but often overlooked things to think through BEFORE you get started. Here they are!

Before you speak to a contractor, designer or other professional who will take your money, first figure out what you like and don’t like about your kitchen. Are you a cook? What’s important to you? What don’t you like about your space right now? Ask yourself all these questions. No need to figure out the solutions yet. That will come later. Get a real good idea of what’s important to you.

Next, find pictures or real examples of kitchens you like. Be discreet (or not!) when you’re with neighbors, and use your phone to take pictures if you like what they have. Check out magazines-House Beautiful, Signature Kitchen and Baths, Kitchen and Bath Design, to name a few-at supermarket checkouts. Bookstores and Amazon have great books for kitchen designs. Plus you can look online for ideas. On my site you will see some samples on the home page and then under the “door samples” tab, you’ll see hundreds of ideas and samples through the links I’ve provided. This is your time to explore and have fun as you look for Walnut Creek cabinets or cabinets wherever you live.

Now you’re ready to choose your first professional. Find someone who can help you design it. Experience is important. Don’t go with someone who is new or a part-timer. This is NOT the project to hand over to your nephew or uncle who is in-between careers. Sixty to seventy percent of the time homeowners work with a kitchen or interior designer. That’s a service we provide. In thirty percent of the cases architects are used. Whichever way you go, I can help you get started. I specialize in Walnut Creek cabinets and can provide them in any home in the Bay Area. In twelve years of doing cabinets in this area, I have gotten to know the best in the business.

Choose the best way to get the work done. In situations where the project is not too complicated-meaning you are not tearing the room down, moving walls, etc.-you can save some money (now that’s a good idea!) by working with your designer to bring in the right sub contractors to do the work. I do this regularly with my clients, because I’ve developed relationships with service providers I can trust. With other projects that are bigger is scope and require a contractor to manage it all, I can make some suggestions. You’re going to want to pick …

Irish Christmas Traditions and Customs

Ireland is a magical country, filled with tradition and folklore dating back many years. Christmas in Ireland is an especially magical time of year. Many Irish Christmas traditions have become part of the Christmas celebration of many nationalities and have made their way into mainstream American Christmas customs.

In Ireland people say "Nollaig Shona Duit" pronounced NO-Lihg HO-nuh ghwich. This Irish Christmas greeting literally translates to Happy Christmas .

One beloved Irish Christmas tradition is that of the Christmas plum pudding. The traditional Irish Christmas plum pudding has had humble beginnings. Plum pudding was originally a porridge flavored with scraps of leftover meat or fish, thickened with bread crumbs and bound together with eggs, fruit and spices. During the Tudor and Stuart period in England, discharged prunes were added to the pudding mixture which became known as a plum porridge . Sometimes becoming called plum pudding.

Another very common Christmas custom in Ireland is the candle window. The placing of a lighted candle in the window of a house on Christmas Eve is still practiced today and has become an American Christmas tradition as well. The candle in the window has a number of purposes. One of its primary meanings is as a welcoming symbol to Mary and Joseph as they traveled looking for shelter. The candle also indicated a safe place for Catholic practices to perform mass during the penal times when Catholic masses were not allowed. Another part of the tradition is the candle should be lit by the youngest member of the family and should only be extinguished by a girl bearing the name Mary.

In Ireland celebrating the Feast Day of St. Stephen's is usually accompanied with the Wren Boy Procession . Saint Stephen's Day celebrated on December 26th, also know as the Day of the Wren is a national holiday in Ireland.

During Penal times there was a plot in a village against the local soldiers. The soldiers were surrounded and about to be ambushed when a flock of wrens pecked on their drums and awakened them in time to defend themselves. The plot failed and the wren became known as the "Devil's Bird".

On Saint Stephen's Day a process takes place where pole with a holly bush is carried from house to house and families dress up in old clothes with blackened faces. In olden days an actual wren bird was killed and placed on the pole. This custom has seriously disappeared but the tradition of visiting from house to house on St. Louis. Stephen's has survived and is a large part of the Irish Christmas celebration today.

Last but not least a fabulous Irish Christmas tradition that has not made its way to the states is called "Women's Christmas" . In Ireland on January 6th, the Feast of the Epiphany , is when traditionally the Irish finish celebrating Christmas. It is also known as "Nollaigh na mBean" in Irish or "Women's Christmas" . Tradition has it that women get the day off and …