How to Teach a Cat Not to Scratch Home Furniture?

A cat that scratches is a cat that was not taught as a kitten that scratching was unacceptable. If your cat is scratching whenever you try to play with him you need to learn how to teach your cat not to scratch.

One of the ways how to teach a cat not to scratch your home furniture is to simply show him that you won’t play with him when he scratches. If you are playing with him and he scratches you tell him “no” firmly and then ignore him until he calms down. Once he settles down you can resume playing as long as he continues to behave and does not scratch.

Another way how to teach a cat not to scratch is by playing dead. If he scratches your hand or foot because it is moving then immediately hold it still, not moving it at all. His attention will soon turn to something else. Do this consistently and he will soon learn that it is no fun to scratch at you.

Giving your cat a good squirt or water from a clean spray bottle is another good way how to train a cat not to scratch. Cats don’t like being squirted with water and he will soon learn to associated getting sprayed with his scratching.

In cases where the cat is scratching at the furniture and not you, giving him a scratching post and awarding him whenever he uses it will encourage him to use the post instead of your furniture. If you combine the reward for using the post with a negative reward when he scratches the furniture he will soon choose to the post and get the positive reward.

Note: Using a negative reward to teach a cat not to scratch furniture can include a Spitz with clean water or placing tinfoil which cats don’t like around your furniture legs until he learns to use his scratching post.

Easy Steps to Select Quality Home Furniture

Going for a couple of moments to do your homework is among the wisest moves you may make when purchasing any product. This really is most certainly the situation when you’re searching to purchase furniture, whether it’s for the office or home. Some online analysis can rapidly let you know which kind of furniture is most the way you like. After you have whittled lower your requirements, the whole job may become much simpler.

Before you decide to make the leap and purchase your brand-new household furniture, you have to think about a couple of key details. Knowing quality could be a little tricky, but you will find ways it can be done. Considering along a warranty is an efficient method to establish the real quality of the product. The longer a product’s warranty, the greater a manufacturer thinks within the product. Using a warranty as the guide, you are able to bypass a lot of the clever salesmanship that may accompany furniture. Producers that know they’re developing a quality product may have no qualms about including a warranty.

Also make certain that you could see lots of images from the furniture that you’re purchasing. When websites offer you detailed pictures, it shows they have belief within their product. Some furniture retailers even offer you videos on the sites to ensure that you will get much more of a concept of the way the products will appear in your house. Be sure to consider the specs and measure your parking space to guarantee the product will fit nicely.

Changing any product whether it’s a vehicle, some type of computer or furniture is a total waste of your time and effort. Purchasing quality items which will last makes sense, as you will save time searching for substitutes. By doing all of your research and adhering towards the fundamentals, you’ll be able to find quality furniture in a reasonable cost. Prior to you making you buy the car, complete your “due diligence.” Contemplate the photos from the furniture and gain as much information as you possibly can including set up particulars, and warranty.

Online shopping has transformed the planet we reside in along with the right research now we are able to get preferred results.. People frequently make buying mistakes because of insufficient preparation and planning. Within the “dark days” prior to the Internet, it had been much more hard to research items to make certain these were worth your hard earned money. The good thing is that today all that has transformed.

The Bookcase – A Cornerstone of Home Furniture

Who doesn’t remember sitting in the study or library of their grandparents’ house as a child, looking up in awe at the massive and intricate bookcase replete with volumes that towered up all the way to the height of the ceiling. With these sorts of memories in mind, anybody can appreciate just why the bookcase is one of the most fundamental elements of home furniture.

It is not only very functional, offering plenty of space to store the reserves of knowledge and literature that a person may have, but also serving as a good display-bookcases are almost always used to put family portraits and other trinkets on display. In fact, a home can hardly be complete without a quality bookcase, to serve as a center of attention in one of the most used and viewed rooms in the home.

Depending on the particular floor-plan of a home, bookcases are usually kept in one of a few different rooms: for large homes with many rooms, there is usually a room specifically designated as the study or the library; other times, bookcases may also make their way into the living room or TV room, when a separate library is missing in the home. Either way, bookcases usually are the largest piece of furniture in whatever room they happened to be located in, and as a result they tend to set the mood of the room. That means that you should try to model the aesthetic feel of the room around the bookcase, and not vice versa; don’t set up a room full of furniture, and then add the bookcase only to notice that the combination does not work well.

Bookcases come in all sorts of different styles, from very simple geometric and basic styles to more elaborate, intricate and old-fashioned kinds of bookcases. It is important to keep the general dynamics and colors of the home in mind when choosing what kind of bookcase to buy. Nothing can be worse than buying yourself one, taking it home, and cursing yourself because it is actually taller than your ceiling! Always take precise room measurements before going out to shop for bookcases-always.

Exactly what you plan on using your bookcase for will affect your ultimate choice, of course: if you have a ton of books to store in it, then having one with plenty of space will be a big consideration; if you want to use it more ceremonially, to put photos, etc., on display then you will want one with broader, taller shelving.

Modern designs have incorporated newer materials into bookcases, such as stainless steel and glass, whereas older styles of bookcases usually were made with nothing but quality wood (like the one in your grandparents’ study). It is important to keep in mind that in order to really be able to load up your bookcase with a lot of stuff (books, trophies, portraits, etc.) then you will have to make sure that it is sturdily built, which generally usually implies a slightly higher price tag.

Home Furniture Store – Launch New Range of Modern American Furniture

In this high tech modern lifestyle where everything is automated for easier access why would the furniture world be left behind in serving their customers with quality home and office which provides comforts at its best? Keeping in mind the needs of the customers and aiming at providing them with designs which are chic, comfortable and affordable, the new range of modern American Furniture for home and home office has been launched. With the evolution in lifestyles we follow today, the top manufacturers, understanding the modern needs of every house owners, have come up with modern styles and designs which can offer the customers anything within their budget.

When we are to set up a new home we definitely want to make it special. A lot of efforts go in buying a new home and it demands even more efforts later while settling in. When we talk about buying our basic needs for the house we first think of modern furnishings. Quality is not difficult to be found in stores. But they are restricted to particular style and design and fail to offer all options which are actually available online.

Online store offer liable service to the buyers at the best bargain. They offer different products for dining room, living room, home office and varieties in entertainment furniture as well. For home office it includes modular office sets, home library walls, computer desks, etc. American fixtures designs are more flexible compared to formal and traditional structures which can get difficult to manage and also maintain. The modern American fixtures are designed keeping the modern needs of owners who are looking at products which serve it purpose without demanding much attention on the maintenance and investment part.

Moreover, American people need attractive and very impressive designs. Because the designs do not consume much of the living space of the room and yet serve its purpose well. They are good decorative items and are multipurpose in nature. A wall unit includes wall, TV cabinet, storage space for home accessories and as the wall units covers the entire wall they come in beautiful crafted designs.

The greatest advantage of buying such important piece of fixtures from online home furniture store is that you get a vast range of varieties to choose from. In general stores you may find ten items under the same category, where as in online stores you can get hundreds under the same. This includes different styles, designs, size, color, patterns and also price range. Online furniture stores offer best quality home furniture at lower rates than the original price. Be it a dining room or home office, you are sure to find everything u desire for well within your budget from well known brands who offer high quality also.

Home Entertainment Wall Units – How to Choose?

The living room is that area which is the most and the first witnessed by anyone who pays a visit to your home. Living room is also the place where one can use the maximum decorative items and make it as appealing as possible. So in order to beautify the room with the various souvenir you have collected for so many years, you would need a place to display them like home entertainment wall units.

The wall units are entertainment centre furniture designed to provide amenities like storage and display all in one. Another important display item of the living room, without which it is incomplete, is the TV set. Therefore the unit is 2 in 1 furniture which takes care of all basic and important items which goes for living room.

Living room wall units are designed in such a way that it compliments the entire look of the room well and also serves its purpose. They are available in variety of designs and styles for both modern and traditional living room. Its design includes large space to accommodate any size of TV set along with many shelves for decorative items, books, Cd storage, music player, etc. They can also be good home library wall units as there is abundance space to display the large book collection you have been gathering fro years.

Here are few things you need to keep in mind when buying entertainment wall units for your living room. Being the important furniture of the living, it call for a good investment and thus can’t be played with.

Space and size – it is understood that if you have a large space to accommodate the wall furniture unit you can get a bigger size. But we still make the mistake of not measuring the space offered by our room and just assume the size of the unit we purchase. This should be avoided, especially when buying from online stores as no store will exchange or replace the wall unit. Also keep a note on how big is the TV set as you do not want to play with your appliance’s safety.

Color and design – a living has more number of furniture pieces to accommodate than other room. Thus it becomes important to match all of them in terms of colors and design. A modern sofa cannot be expected to compliment the traditional entertainment wall units.

Budget – this is the most important point to be considered. They say that unless you are willing to pay more you cannot expect to get the best. This is not true always! Online home furniture marts have more varieties to offer than the normal stores and all the products listed are available at cheap rates.

Buying Home Furniture – Top Priorities

Different parts of your house require furniture of different styles and types to make the best use of both the area and the furniture. This is because each furniture piece plays a different role in your house, with the common feature being that each item should be comfortable and should go well with the surrounding structure and color scheme.

That said furniture in your living room needs to be different from what you will put up in your bedroom and vice versa. Apart from being comfortable, furniture needs to be decorative and stylish. You don’t want to invite friends and family over to a shabbily furnished house now would you? Some of your first time visiting friends might even want to take a little tour of the house, and a rightly chosen furniture will definitely save you a lot of embarrassment.

Before you go ahead and invest money in furniture, there are three things you must take into consideration. After all, you don’t buy home furniture every now and then. Here are the 3 things you need to keep in mind while buying furniture:

  1. Quality should be your top priority. You need not spend your money on super expensive designer furniture available in the market. If you are on a limited budget, go for a more basic, simple design, but make sure you do not compromise on the quality of the piece you want to buy. As far as possible, try buying wooden furniture. These pieces are strong, can be crafted to suit numerous design choices, and they add a homely, warm ambience to your house.
  2. Comfort is another important characteristic which defines good furniture. Your furniture needs to have a design that provides physical comfort. At the end of a tiring day, won’t it be great to come home and just drop on your favorite couch to help you relax after a long day at work? Remember that badly designed furniture is often the cause of many health issues like back pain, muscle pain and even headache.
  3. The design and color of your furniture need to be such that they blend in with the look, feel and the color scheme of your house or room. They must also make the most appropriate use of the available space, without making the room look overcrowded. Also, the members of the house should not face any discomfort while moving about in the house because of the furniture. You should even get specially designed pieces of furniture to allow you to utilize the spaces in the corners of rooms, which otherwise would go unused.

Of course, you need to keep your budget in mind. Be a smart buyer and visit a couple of stores to check the prices and various available designs. The Internet comes to your rescue, as always. Do your homework before stepping out to buy what you need. You would not regret having spent the time in going through the variety of furniture available and its prices, before you make your pick.

Benefits of Buying Home Furniture Online

You get a much wider choice when you buy home furniture online than from a physical mall store. This is particularly true when you visit the website of a distributor or dealership rather than a manufacturer. While the latter is restricted to its own range of products, a distributor can offer you the range offered by each of multiple manufacturers.

For example, the Stickley website will offer only Stickley furniture while a distributor can offer Stickley, Simply Amish, The Custom Shoppe, Southwood and Sherrill furniture, and also great mattresses from Jamison besides. That is surely better than having to choose from just one company’s range of products!

A Wider Choice of Home Furniture

This is one of the greatest benefits of buying home furniture online: you get a wider choice, and not just of the traditional type of furniture. You might want a beautifully upholstered sofa and armchair suite from Southwood Furniture, perhaps in a period Queen Anne style or in a delicately slender Thomas Sheraton design.

However, on browsing further through the distributor website you might come across some beautifully plain Simply Amish furniture that could get you thinking along a different line – rather than sumptuously upholstered period furniture for your living room you might like the idea of a style more fundamental to the original pioneers.

Perhaps a traditional hickory rocker, or an aspen sofa and chairs furnished with comfortable cushions rather than fully upholstered. Maybe even a comfortable four post glider for something different, and you could introduce a touch of modernity with an Amish entertainment center, accommodating a large LCD flat screen TV set and hi-fi unit.

Get New Ideas With Online Furniture Stores

When they set out to buy home furniture, most people will have something in mind, but they will also be unaware of all the options available to them. It’s only by browsing that you get exposed to fresh ideas and options that may never have entered your head. By visiting a mall furniture store you see only what that one store stocks, and you will even more restricted if that store is a single manufacturing outlet.

That’s like going to a sports shop that sells only Titleist golf balls or Slazenger tennis racquets! It is so restrictive! Few would visit a sports store like that, so why do so when you are looking for furniture? Furnishing your home is an expensive thing to do, so you would think that the greater choice you had the better!

Discounts Might be Available

Not only choice in design, style or manufacturer, but also choice in price! When you buy online you can often get discounts not available from offline stores, since the online facility is less expensive to maintain than a mall store. It’s a fact that many businesses that have both an offline and online sales outlet can reduce their prices because the online sales are able to finance part of the cost of maintaining a mall store: rental, rates, staff pay, power costs and so on.

You have none of that with an online store – or at least very little. You have staff to pay of course, but that’s about it. Then you get all the other benefits that an online operation can offer. The major of these is information: if the internet is good for one thing it is for the provision of information. Not only can an online furniture store offer you its entire range of products to look at on your screen, but it can also provide you with specifications of each piece.

Online Room Space Planning
The dimensions of every piece of furniture are at your fingertips, enabling you to easily plan how it fits into your room. You can use online room space planning software to fit each item into your room – and you have the firm’s entire stock to play with, not just the pieces they are able to display in their showroom.

Add to these benefits the fact that you are under no pressure to buy. They might mean well, but how often have you been annoyed by pushy sales staff trying to ‘help’ you come to a decision? You would feel self-conscious if you wandered around a mall home furniture store for 3-4 hours without making a purchase!

By purchasing home furniture online you do not need to travel and can make your decisions while you sip a cocktail on your sofa. Then order, pay, check the insurance or warranty and arrange delivery without even standing up, let alone leave the house!

Summary of Benefits

Here is a summary of the benefits of buying home furniture online that we have just discussed:

• A wider choice of furniture manufacturers
• View 100% of firm’s stock – not just a selection
• Come across new ideas for furnishing your home
• Discount prices
• All specifications and dimensions immediately available
• Online room space planning facilities
• No sales staff to bother you
• Take as long as you like to choose
• No traveling: choose from the comfort of your sofa (or buy one if not!)

You can no doubt think of more. The point being made is that you have total control over your shopping: when you do it, where you shop and how long you take when buying home furniture online.

Kitchen Furniture Manufacturers – Enriching Your Kitchens

Ever wondered what kind of intense pressure Christiano Ronaldo must be going through every time he walks on to the field while playing for the hugely popular Manchester United? I know it’s the wrong kind of comparison, but kitchen furniture manufactures are almost always put in similar kinds of unenviable situations. After all, they have been entrusted with the onerous task of resurrecting our stolid kitchens. Wherever they go, their impeccable reputation precedes them. A reputation, which has been painstakingly built on years of selfless service to homeowners across the globe.

Excellence that speaks for itself

One look at furniture created by leading kitchen furniture manufacturers, and you know that you’re looking at something special. The obsession with excellence, emphasis on cutting edge design, unmatched craftsmanship and complete attention to every possible detail, is unmistakable. Then there are those numerous innovations in terms of style and color that make the furniture look almost like an esoteric yet priceless work of art. Be it kitchen dining furniture, kitchen island furniture, kitchen storage furniture or an array of functional cabinets, nothing comes close to the tireless service rendered by kitchen furniture manufacturers. Giving a fresh lease of life to every kitchen is their credo, and it’s clearly espoused in their work.

Wood and more

If you are on a singular mission of adding oodles of aesthetic value to your kitchen, then there’s nothing to beat wood kitchen furniture. That’s a secret every kitchen furniture manufacturer will tell you. Wood kitchen furniture, be it chairs, tables or even stools has the power to add immense value to any space. Unique and distinct in every possible way, each piece of furniture is sure to fill you with not contained enthusiasm and glee. But what if the thought of being Eco-friendly provokes you? Then there are other options that can be explored. Several manufacturers make fabulous looking furniture from medium density fiber board, particle board and laminates. This kind of furniture is enduring, practical and very affordable. Considering that the radioactive stocks of this furniture rarely last, you must consider it rather providential to get something for your kitchen. It’s all that you need to make cooking an absolute delight.

E-commerce and furniture

The emergence of the Internet and the consequent information explosion has revitalized and energized the kitchen furniture industry all over the world. These manufacturers make use of the Internet extensively to offer tailor-made solutions to their clientele. Its just not kitchen furniture that is selling like hot cakes but integrated kitchens, custom-made kitchens, kitchen cabinets and many more food storage alternatives. These manufactures are sure poised for a great leap forward in the near future.

Kitchen furniture manufacturers with their innovative ideas, refreshingly different design and impeccable execution have managed to carve a niche for themselves in the hearts and minds of customers. They have developed an uncanny ability to understand the client’s requirements perfectly and find flawless solutions for them. Only they can ensure the perfect balance between fashion and function, always.

Tips for Buying Kitchen Furniture and Accessories

A perfect kitchen furniture is not bought because it just looks beautiful in the furniture shop just to find out that when you brought it in your house it looks ugly in your kitchen, and what’s worse is that your family members are not happy about it.

What does it take to find a perfect kitchen furniture? All we need is just 5 easy steps.

1. Ask what are your family’s preference.

The kitchen, like all other parts of the home, has to be decided as a family, not an individual because all the members of the family use and benefit all that there is inside the home. Ask your family members what furniture should be bought. If two or more declines on your choice ask why, then change your preference if they are correct. This is to make sure that no changes will happen after you bought the kitchen furniture and also helps you with your budget.

2. Measure the size of your kitchen.

Measure the area of your kitchen then bring it with you when you are buying your kitchen furniture. For a hassle free buying, draw a layout of your kitchen to visualize the actual location of your chosen furniture.
If you are to replace your old kitchen furniture, measure the size of the furniture to match the replacement furniture that you will buy.

3. Prioritize essential items first.

Kitchen counter, kitchen rack, and dinnerware are just some of the kitchen essentials. In order to gain idea about the essential kitchen furniture and accessories, ask yourself these questions:

Is it possible if the kitchen doesn’t have it?
Can it be used for cooking?
Can it be used for preparing the food? If it does what are the usual foods that your family want?

4. Choose furniture with a fireproof finishing

A fireproof kitchen furniture does not keep make our kitchen be immune in fire but it helps keep the fire from starting by preventing smaller flames to spread out. Fireproof kitchen furniture are expensive but it pays to be prepared.

5. The furniture should match the kitchen theme.

Creating a new kitchen or doing some kitchen improvements? It pays to keep the whole kitchen setup clean. Do not just buy a furniture or accessory because it looks beautiful when you see it in the store. Match the theme of your current kitchen so that the furniture or accessory will not look out-of-place. A furniture or accessory, no matter how beautiful it is, will look ugly if it is not a match to an organized theme.

Commercial Furniture Vs Home Furniture – What's the Difference?

Thank god, most people in the world drink alcohol. This is especially true when they are at social events. While its true that people also drink at home, the feel is just different when you’re drinking in a bar or restaurant. For one thing, you don’t have to worry about spilling your drink on your couch, because its not your couch!

Also, the furniture in commercial establishments is usually higher quality than that of your own home. The reason for this is that commercial furniture gets much more use out of it than your home furniture. Think about it. Hundreds if not thousands of people pass through the doors of a given restaurant every single day. Nearly all of them sit in the furniture.

Compare that to the comparably small amount that uses the furniture in your house.

In addition to that, commercial furniture needs to be durable in all situations, both indoors and outdoors.

Once you’ve had your furniture for a length of time, you’re probably going to have to clean it. You should do this once a month or as needed. Simply take a damp cloth, spray some Windex on it, and wipe off the accumulated dust. Fortunately, commercial furniture is made to withstand many, many spills, so keeping it clean shouldn’t be a problem.

Finally, before you make a decision to purchase any furniture, make sure you shop around first. You can get some excellent deals online, especially from China. If you plan on ordering in bulk, take advantage of China’s booming economic growth and low prices.

Bedroom Wall Design

Paints, wallpapers and patterns have been an ever changing and a true challenge for any designer and amateur when it comes to covering the walls of a bedroom. It should provide something that is easy to the eyes, or at least to take their minds off after a hard day’s work as they can sit back and relax without staring at the stressful color of the wall. This is a part of bedroom wall design.

Wallpaper is a good reference that allows ease on applying to a wall. Certain patters can be found just about anywhere, and sometimes it might not look too good for the eye. Teens would often go for darker walls, mainly black, while a pink wall would allow anyone to ask if they’re building a nursery.

Certain themes have inspired designers to bring the essence of a room, and the more popular ones are often the most romantic. Utilizing more bold colors or to create a picture of serene tranquility, the colors used are often red, blue and some yellow. This also applies to pictures when used, mainly flora and the sea. For most city dwellers, some might go for just plain white walls, that is, if the following top of the line furniture and electronics would allow anyone to ignore the seemingly drab white room. Patterns can also be utilized, ranging from anything out of the blue such as polka dots, pinstripes, or even any geometrical shape. They say a poster has a reason, which is to help distract the owner or visitor from looking around too much. Creating a feasible bedroom wall is all about diverting distraction by concentrating a user to focus mainly on the pattern and allowing to create a mental picture.

And as a finishing touch, stenciling and stamping requires a dedicated theme that is consistent. Of course this would depend on the owner, but there are times a picture may seem out of place depending on the room. By allowing stencils to create a simple pattern that follows through the primary theme, whether romantic, nautical or for teens, it helps to know what sort of stencil to use to keep it consistent.

There are various materials, wallpapers and books dedicated on bedroom wall design, as well as the internet, but sometimes it takes a bit of imagination in order to know what most people want when it comes to whatever wall they want to sleep in.

Organic Gardening Tips – 5 Tips to Successful Organic Gardens

Unlike the popular theories that state that the space shuttle could miraculously appear if blown up enough times, an organic garden is usually not the result of an accident. People that have a successful garden have created one based upon their consistent upkeep, planning, and a desire to make their garden grow. Regardless of the therapeutic value the gardening has, relaxation has little to do with the steps that it takes to ensure the success of your gardening endeavor. Here are a few organic gardening tips on how to make sure that your organic garden goals are reached by looking at planning, soil preparation, fertilizers, irrigation, and insect and disease control.

Tip #1 – a plan is always needed. Not something that is thought of and reconsidered over time intermittently, but a specified plan of action that leads to a specified end result. When you decide to grow your garden, and you choose to do it in an organic matter, you will need to take a few things into consideration such as location, the environment that the plants will grow it, the time that it will take in order for you to properly take care of your garden, how much effort will be involved and are there any resources that you may or may not be able to acquire in order to reach your final goals.

Once you have a clear written outline of what it is you need to do and what you need to acquire to reach your garden goals, it is time to start the plan into action. Action is everything once the goals are defined. If you set your goals but neglect factors such as good seed, compost, or even a source of good water for your plants, you will fail in your attempt because any compromise will lead to an overall failure.

Tip #2 – prepare your soil. Soil preparation is the foundation of the growth of any and all plants that you have. From the soil, the plants will be able to get their nutrients. Soil that is hard or dense will be almost impossible to aerate and therefore the plants will not get enough oxygen through the root system in order to thrive and flourish. Likewise, if there is no way for the water to evenly percolate to the plants roots in your garden, some plants will make it while others will die without consistent moisture, and some will be oversaturated and get root rot.

Another organic gardening tip is that you must also consider the consistency of the soil in regard to the amount of compost and nutrients that will be accessible to the seeds that will grow into the plants in the garden that you desire. By adding natural compost or other fertilizers to enhance the nutrients within the soil such as nitrogen or potassium, you will need to prepare this ahead of time, specifically as you are preparing the soil and getting ready to plant your seeds.

Tip #3 – Add compost. With reference to fertilizer, if you are doing this in an organic matter, some of the best fertilizer that you can get can either come from your compost pile or from a worm bin that you have created through your vermicomposting efforts. This needs to be prepared several weeks in advance so that it is ready to use when you are ready to plant. Compost that has not had time to properly finish will be detrimental to your soil and therefore proper preparation is always mandatory before getting ready to add these nutrients to the soil that will bear the fruit of your labor.

Tip #4 – Consistently water your garden. The consideration of water is also paramount in your success. You must have a way for your organic garden to get enough water on a regular basis so that it can grow unimpeded by the periods of droughts that are self induced by someone to did not plan ahead of time and create an optimal situation for the gardens irrigation needs. This includes having enough access to water, easy access through an irrigation system or hose system, and potentially a sprinkler system on a timer which can ensure that the garden is receiving water on a regular basis.

Tip #5 – Beware of insects. One final organic gardening tip that you should consider is that when your plants begin to grow, insects will appear. Weeds will also appear as well as potential diseases that can kill off your crop. This will take some wisdom on your part knowing the types of plants you are growing and finding natural alternatives to pesticides that may inhibit or deter the natural growth processes of your plants. If you are an organic gardener, you will not want to use these anyway and therefore finding beneficial insects that attack bad insects or natural scents or plants that will deter weed growth or disease is paramount in ensuring the healthy growth of your garden.

When considering all of these things together in a big picture, you realize that gardening cannot possibly be the result of an accident. There must be proper preparation and access to all of the tools necessary in order to make a garden successful and to make your efforts worthwhile. Take some time and use these five organic gardening tips to your benefit and make your garden one of the best you have ever had.

How to Pick Out Home Furniture for a Busy Lifestyle

Leading a busy lifestyle means having less time to enjoy the comforts of home. But that doesn’t mean you should abandon comfort altogether. In fact, when you’ve got no other choice but to be busy, your home furniture should help you get the most of what little time you have to feel comfortable.

Furniture that will fit a busy lifestyle should have certain qualities above other considerations. First, it has to be low maintenance. The less you have to do to keep it spic and span, the more time you’ll have to simply lay back and relax. Next, it will need to be space-efficient. After all, when you’re trying to get from point A to point B on a tight schedule, being forced to go through a long path or to squeeze between sofas and tables will definitely make your temper rise.

Here are some suggestions to create a comfortable, low-maintenance home for a busy bee:

The More Functions, The Better. Aside from the novelty factor, multi-functional furniture can help you reduce clutter and make it easier to move around. Some ideas you can consider include using a storage chest or ottoman for your coffee table in the living room, or choosing a sectional that extends into a chaise-like section instead of buying a separate chaise lounge to pair with your sofa.

Plan The Room To Make The Most Of The Furniture. Speaking of multi-functional home furniture, instead of buying a single desk for a single function, try to envision a space-efficient room and select furniture to follow that idea. This is especially important if your home tends to double as your second office. By being wise with how you arrange the room and position everything you need for certain tasks, you can spend less time searching for documents or designs and finish work faster.

Whether To Go Leather. When it comes to upholstery for your home furniture, investing in leather will definitely matter in short run. Cloth-upholstered sofas get dirty and dusty easily and will have you taking the covers to the washers every so often. Leather upholstery will also help greatly if you keep a pet at home. Fur is much easier to deal with and leather is more resistant to stains. Split liquids will often just need a wipe-down to keep clean.

On the other hand, leather tends to fade over time, especially when humidity varies. If you use an air-conditioner, but leave it off when you’re not in, then leather may not be the best option to you. Leather also scratches relatively easier and these may be harder to repair.

While all of these ideas will help you pick out the best home furniture to suit your lifestyle, remember that above all, you must prioritize comfort. This is most important for the places you plan to spend the most time in, such as your home office and your bed.

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).

Favorite Home Furniture Styles

While the glossy pages of home decorating magazines may feature headlines like “Black Walls for Drama” or “Create Your Own Vampire Nest,” most people tend to avoid trendy fads that may soon look outdated, preferring instead to surround themselves with furnishings that better reflect their own personal sense of style, taste and family history. Here are four favorite home furniture styles that are sure to stand the test of time:

Traditional

Traditional decorating styles typically include house furniture that has a sense of history. Classic lines, timeless designs and an extensive use of fine woods and fabrics are all hallmarks of traditional decorating styles. Although furniture with English, Neoclassical and Colonial designs are popular choices, traditional rooms often incorporate home furniture from several different historical periods. Color, material and texture may inform furniture choices more than any single decorating style. Home furniture stores generally offer a broad selection of traditional furniture, from leather sofas to elegant wood dining room sets.

Casual

Comfort is the primary concern of casual decorating styles. House furniture is chosen both for function and relaxation. The best casual furniture will not only withstand the nicks and spills of family living, but will help establish the atmosphere of ease and comfort that best suits family life. In addition to traditional materials like wood and leather, casual furniture may feature cane, wicker and modern materials like vinyl, stainless steel and chrome. Casual furnishings suit homes decorated in Country, Garden, Cottage and Rustic decorating styles.

Contemporary

Contemporary furniture features strong lines, shapes and forms. Polished surfaces, functional fabrics and man-made materials are characteristics of contemporary decorating styles. Streamlined sofas, chairs and tables suggest energy and movement, making the contemporary style a good choice for those with active lifestyles. While contemporary color schemes are generally neutral, they can include accent pieces that provide pops of color. The contemporary style makes great use of light, both functionally and aesthetically, and lighting fixtures with sculptural qualities are popular choices for rooms decorated in contemporary styles.

Eclectic

Eclectic styles mix and match furniture from other decorating styles at will, aiming for a style that looks as if it were assembled over time, with furnishings collected from extensive shopping excursions, either near or far. Texture and color play primary roles in eclectic furniture styles. Deeply-piled seating in strong colors, and upholstered wood pieces with strong detailing, are both popular choices for rooms decorated in eclectic styles. Eclectic styles may feature components from more exotic decorating styles, such as Moroccan, Tropical or Asian styles.

When choosing a furniture style, personal taste matters. Surrounding yourself with furniture that you love is the best way to create rooms that you will enjoy inhabiting. Furniture styles provide options for presenting rooms with a unified, cohesive look. Each decorating style presents its own atmosphere as well. When shopping at online or at brick-and-mortar home furniture stores, look for furniture that not only looks good, but that establishes the right mood too.

Home Furniture: Regular Cleaning and Maintenance

Keeping a house clean does not stop at dusting, vacuuming, mopping and doing windows. It also means cleaning everything that’s in it – mainly, the furniture. And sometimes, it’s not just enough to have everything spotless, special care and attention is also needed to maintain home furnishings in their best condition.

For the do-it-yourself kind of person, cleaning furniture on a regular basis is not as big a task as most people think. For best results, it is necessary to have a general knowledge of what material your home furnishings are made of. And, if there are spots or stains, it also helps to know what caused them.

There are various ways to clean home furniture that are made of wood. Here’s the one major tip for all DIY lovers: it’s not the type of wood that the furniture is made of, but the finish used that determines what kind of cleaning technique to use. Some wood furnishings are finished with wax, varnish or lacquer, some are painted or polished, and still some are au natural with an oil finish.

Painted, lacquered or polished wood may be easily cleaned with a damp cloth. To bring out its sheen, apply a light coat of furniture wax and buff. For wooden furniture with an oil finish, use an oil-based polish instead.

Cleaning is a breeze for furniture upholstered in leather or vinyl. Using a soapy solution, scrub the surfaces lightly with a soft bristled brush. Wipe off clean with a damp cloth. Leather may require some polishing with a special conditioner to retain its pliability and natural gloss.

Furniture upholstered in fabric are the most tedious to clean especially if they have gone through a spell of neglect. If the fabric is light colored, shampooing may bring out more stains not visible before. Spot cleaning, or cleaning up stains immediately as they happen, is the best option. Spray on any commercially available glass or carpet cleaner on the stain. Rub and scrub it into the fabric, then wipe and dry it off by pressing a clean absorbent cloth down on it.

For your home furniture to maintain its brand-new sheen, it also helps to be a little bit more careful by using coasters for glasses or avoiding spillages. But for households with pets or young children, stick to dark colored upholstery instead. Remember home furniture is used to show off your house, keep your home furniture clean and attractive for your family and impress your guests.

Festive Home Furniture

Home furniture for the festive season

It might be that you family does not celebrate the great festivals. If that is the case then you have no need for festive furniture such as Christmas lawn ornaments. They can be bought specially for the occasion and you will only get them out when they are required. It is advisable to get them in advance because the general expenditure at this time of the year is generally high. If you stagger the expenditure then you have a very good chance of controlling it rather than settling for debt and week day loans. Therefore items such as the Ornaments for Christmas should be bought well in advance. You can even budget for them before the big day arrives.

The family budget need not break due to the Lawn accessory products. You can build them up slowly right up until the day has arrived and then you can see how the expenditure goes. They are not particularly expensive but they come at a time when the expenditure is high enough as it is. If you are not careful the family budget can go out of the window as you attempt to manage this process. You have to be careful about the things that you are using. There ought to be an assessment of whether you are actually getting it right the first time or the Lawn enhancement products are just another unnecessary spending spree. They might not be as important as you think.

It is really up to you to work out a method for treating the different elements of the Garden product items. You choose the colors and materials that you like. At the heart of the things that you do is an absolute understanding of the basic tenets of the process of managing the different elements that go into the items that you are dealing with. This means that you have to be prepared to take risks but also make sure that the risks are not harming the way that you manage your budget. The uses that you can make out of the Modern garden furniture are not fixed. You can adjust them accordingly depending on the home situation. That is the situation that faces most families.

Of course you may come to the conclusion that it is not really worth your while to contest the different elements that go into the Trinkets for the lawn. You might feel that it is all for show and therefore you have no interest in participating in something that is something of a charade. This is still a valid point of view to have but it does not necessarily reflect the reality that many different people celebrate these events and they need the furniture to accompany the occasions. It is not an accident that the Lawn trinkets are one of the most popular purchases around the holiday period. The majority of families do something special for the whole group once in a while. The festive season might be time for this sort of thing.

Choosing the Best Furniture From Kitchen Furniture Stores

One of the most important rooms in your home is the kitchen. Furnishing your kitchen appropriately will give it a social environment. You can always create some quality time in your kitchen with your friends and relative. The kitchen has many uses ranging from entertaining guests around the kitchen table to cooking. The furniture you put in your kitchen will have great impact on the appearance of the room. Thus, when you venture into kitchen furniture stores, ensure you select the right furniture.

You could visit different kitchen furniture stores and compare the items on offer. You could buy the furniture online. As you evaluate the various options, consider the available space in your kitchen. Also have your budget in mind and search for furniture options that fall within your budget. What are the main types of kitchen furniture you are likely to need? You will probably need some kitchen chairs, kitchen carts, tables, bar stools and racks. Having the right furniture will make it easy for you to carry out kitchen chores comfortably.

Ensure that the kitchen furniture is made from the right materials. You could be in need of a kitchen cabinet from the kitchen furniture stores. Start by examining the face of the cabinet. These are the parts that are visible from the front of the cabinet. The wood that has been used should be of high quality. Examine it to ensure that the wood does not have some knots, sanding scars or some grain irregularities.

When you are investing in kitchen tables, ensure that the table is large enough. It should accommodate your family members as some people eat breakfast and other meals on the kitchen tables. The surface of the table also matters. Tables with an impermeable surface are preferable. Spillages are very common in the kitchen. Permeable tables could get stained when drinks pour on them. Tables that are resistant to stains will give you more freedom and help you work at ease.

What technique should you use to choose the best furniture in the kitchen furniture stores? How about testing furniture before you finally buy it? If you are buying some kitchen chairs, sit on them and assess their comfort. Most furniture dealers will allow you to test the furniture to enable you make an informed purchase. You could go for ready made or custom made furniture. The ready made furniture is readily available in the online and onsite stores. The custom made furniture is developed to meet the specifications of the buyer.

How to Choose the Best Die Cut Machine for You!

The holiday season is right around the corner, and nothing says “I love you” like a personalized scrapbook or homemade crafted gift. To really jazz up your scrapbooks and craft projects, you need a die cut machine! Die cut machines enable you to personalize the items you make with fun shapes, letters and designs.

Here’s what to consider when choosing the best die cut machine for you:

Portability

Portability is a big concern for most home crafters – and for good reason! If you ever attend scrapbook parties or crafting events, you’re going to want a machine that’s portable enough to go with you wherever you go. But even if you don’t, being able to move your machine to different rooms in your home can be a big advantage.

When choosing a machine based on portability, there are two things you’ll want to consider – weight and computer connections. The best weight machine for you is somewhat subjective, but a good rule of thumb is that the most portable scrapbooking machines are those under 5 lbs. And as far as computer connections go, you’re going to want to choose a manual machine (like the Cuttlebug) or an electronic one that doesn’t require a computer to operate (like the Cricut Personal Electronic Cutting Machine).

Features

Do you need a die cut machine that will cut simple letters and shapes, or do you want one that will enable you to design your own die cuts and patterns? Will you use your machine solely for scrapbooking, or are you an avid home decorator who plans to use the machine to cut fabric, felt and even wood? Be prepared to ask yourself these questions and more when choosing the best scrapbooking machine.

If all you need to cut are simple paper shapes, the Sizzix Sidekick (a low cost, low frills die cut machine) might be right for you. But if you plan to sell your craft projects professionally (or if you simply want the flexibility the cut whatever you want), a machine like the Cricut Expression might be a better investment for you.

Cost

Although a good die cut machine will last for a long time and give you plenty of use over its lifespan, it’s still important to consider the cost up front. Only you know your personal budget and how much you can afford to spend on a machine, but one thing to keep in mind is the added expenses you can incur with different machines.

For example, that bargain scrapbooking machine might not be such a great deal when you find out that you have to buy a new cartridge for every single shape you want to cut. In fact, it might actually wind up being more expensive in the long run than a model with a higher base price that comes with all of the accessories you’ll need for your projects.

The Perfect Wood For Home Furniture

The most popular and durable wood for the furniture is pine wood. This wood has many unique qualities. It has the style, comfort and the durability of lifetime. This wood is very stiff and can easily bear sever climatic conditions. If you want to buy new furniture for your home then the pine furniture is an ideal choice to go.

This is very easy task for you to modernize your residence and will be very cost effective way to get a fresh appearance to your home. The wooden furniture is a better choice to renovate the house. The wood will last for many years and only the color will fade that can be fixed very easily whenever needed.

This can be easily identified by having a look at the furniture edges. If you notice that the edges of the furniture are faded due to some sort of wear and tear then you should think of recycling the furniture.

The wear and tear may be the result of some daily cleaning or the sun light effect. But, this is not any issue and don’t waste your furniture just get it painted again.

First of all you should take the loose fragments of the item away and then scrap the edges that are needed to be coated again gently with a good cement scraper. Then re-coat the item again and you will get a new piece of furniture again with the original shine.

Then the damp cloth piece can be used to remove the extra pieces from the wooden surface.

The sand paper can make the surface ready to paint and remove the splinters off. You can now coat the item with the varnish or the wood stain whatever you like. You can also give it a new look by painting it with the desired color.

The whole process is very easy it will not affect the furniture at all. You might have understood that the pine furniture can be the best choice to buy.

Ten Tips for a Trouble Free Paris Taxi Experience

If you’re visiting Paris for more than a few days, you will most likely have an occasion to use a taxi. Maybe you’ll be using a taxi for your Paris Airport transfer – traveling from Charles de Gaulle or Orly airport to the Paris city center. Or maybe you’ll want to splurge for a night when you visit the Paris Opera. The Parisian taxi system is heavily regulated, so these tips will help to ensure that you’re Paris taxi experiences don’t turn into Paris taxi adventures!

    1. Know how to find an unoccupied taxi – Spotted from down the street, it’s not always easy to tell if a taxi is occupied or not. Luckily, the “Taxi” light on top of the car tells you everything you need to know. The old system (which will be phased out by July 2012) uses a white plastic sign that is either lit or unlit. IF the light is lit (yellowish light), the taxi is unoccupied and you may stop it. If the light is off, the car is occupied, the driver is on a call, or the driver’s shift has ended. The new system, beginning in 2011 uses a white plastic sign with a green light (unoccupied) or a red light (occupied).
  • Taxi Stands – In Paris, certain locations throughout the cities are set up as taxi stands. Whenever you’re ready to get a taxi, simply go to a main thoroughfare and look for a sign next to the street that says “Taxis”. On busy streets during busy hours, you may find a few people already waiting. The rule is first come, first served, so locals will not treat you kindly if you try to jump the queue. Taxis are prohibited from taking on passengers within 50m of a Taxi Stand. So if you are having problems getting a free taxi to stop for you, but they all stop at the end of the street. Take a look and see if there is a Taxi Stand close by.
  • Extra Fees – Taxis are allowed to charge you an extra fee for certain services. Pickups at train stations, airports allow a supplement of up to 1€. Each suitcase put in the trunk (over more than 5kg) maybe be charged 1€. Animals and a fourth passenger may be charged a supplement.
  • Busy Nights and Rainy Days – Be aware that the number of taxis available is regulated and is not necessarily the number that would be available in a free market. On rainy days during tourist season (April – October) in touristy areas and on weekends on the Champs-Elysees after 2AM, it may be very difficult to find an unoccupied taxi.
  • Use a radio taxi – If you are in an out-of-the way location, consider calling a taxi. You’ll pay a little bit more, but you’ll also avoid very long waits in the case of a busy night or a rainy day during tourist season. If you’re in a hotel the reception can call the taxi for you. If not, you can use a service like Taxi G7 or Taxis Bleues.
  • Pay in Cash – Most taxis don’t accept credit cards, so be prepared to pay in cash (Euros). A tip of approximately 10% is standard.
  • Avoid unlicensed taxis – Legal taxis in Paris have a TAXI sign on the roof. From time to time in touristy locations and at the airport you will be approached by people asking if you need a taxi. These offers should be declined. Legitimate taxis stay in their cars and wait for passengers at the taxi stand (including at the airport). The unlicensed taxis could charge you much more than the normal fare.
  • Write your destination address on a piece of paper – Many taxi drivers in Paris only speak French. So unless your French language skills are very good, in order to avoid misunderstandings, it’s best to write your destination address on a piece of paper and hand it to the driver
  • Know the fare system. Parisian taxis charge three different fares: A,B, and C. The A fare is the cheapest, it is valid during the daytime, inside the city limits. The ‘B’ fare is more expensive, it is valid during evening hours and on weekends inside the city limits, and at night outside the city. The ‘C’ fare is the most expensive, it is valid outside the city limits and inside the city limits at night on weekends
  • Take a ride along the river Seine late at night. Driving along the Seine while Paris sleeps is a good way to experience the City of Light. Late one night, between 3am and 5am, take advantage of the opportunity to see Paris in a new way. Ask the taxi driver to drive you along the Seine between Bastille and Place de la Concorde. You’ll be glad you did!
  • The Basic Details About Law Enforcement Careers

    The law enforcement is a wide field of career options, the Bureau of Statistics of the United States estimates that the field will keep on growing steadily until the year of 2018, and it will increase by 10% for law enforcement professionals. The usual career that requires 4-year degree course in the law enforcement is the Police Department as well as the Security Enforcement Agencies.

    Investigators and detectives – they are acting for the review evidences, interview the witnesses and follow the leads for solving the crimes committed within their jurisdiction. In spite of the glamorous reputation, being a detective is not that easy. Hours of work are long, the nature of job is dangerous and the salary is usually low. Detective ranking is achieved through climbing the steps like the police forces.

    Parole officers – they are the type of law enforcers who are working with the parolees report as they are being conditionally released from the prison. They have the backgrounds in administration or law enforcement and they should be knowledgeable with the basic-moderate of their computer skills. They have to be ready to testify against or favor to their parolees in the court proceeding if needed.

    FBI and CIA – they are 2 of the best enforcement arms of the United States Government. Career seekers that obtain the security clearance can find stable employment within the government, and they can be at the secret service or even military police.

    Prosecutor and Defense Attorneys – they can enter the field after they have completed the 3-year graduate level of the law schooling programs. As the degree of law enforcement is not being required for the law schools admission, they can still provide a competitive edge that are needed for earning an acceptance to any law school.

    These potential experts must pass the background investigation that includes inquiries to their working history, financial history and criminal history. For those individuals who want to pursue their law enforcement degree must be prepared for the participation of several interviews with their choice of agency. They need to practice for answering the interview questions that are difficult.

    This is a rewarding field that has many advantages for the ones who are choosing it as their career. Landscape of this career is augmenting everyday as the advancement of good opportunities are many.

    How to Find Good Wholesale Fashion Styles and Designs to Sell

    If you are looking to start a business that will surely usher you a good amount of profit for yourself, you may need to start your own local clothing store.

    If you are running a retail shop is not quite easy as you think it is, you have to start collecting the different styles, colors and designs of the latest trendy clothes of your choice from the wholesaler shop or store.

    You also have to look for the latest fashionable clothing from their website that is in vogue. This will give you the option to choose from the style and design you prefer to buy from. Another option is that you can also contact different wholesale suppliers through the online site and choose the dresses of your choice.

    There are some entrepreneur who fear that when they invest money on fashion clothing, that, they won’t be able to get the money they invested back. However, this may not be the reason why you should not be conscious of where to get most of the great deals.

    That is why you should try wholesale clothing because in wholesale clothing that is where to get a great discount deal that allows you to have the best deal at an affordable price.

    If you want to be able to succeed, There are lots of things you have to put into consideration first. When you are into selling wholesale fashion cloths, it’s important to look for a supplier that can be able to offers good reliable deals.

    The wholesale clothing have great advantage that enable you to have the best variety of cloths and good designs at lower prices.

    Some times you can be the most fashionable person, at the same time looking into your budget and staying within your budget.

    Another great feature of you shopping from this wholesaler is that you can easily look through their website for good design clothes and different styles.

    How to Buy Vintage Jewelry at Thrift Shops

    Some of the best places to find great vintage costume jewelry are thrift shops. You’ve seen the big stores – Goodwill, Salvation Army, Savers…and then there are the charity shops run by churches and non-profits. All of them receive donated jewelry, and I have found some amazing pieces in thrift shops. It seems to me that the larger chain shops have better prices than the smaller charity shops, but it really depends on who is pricing the jewelry when they put it out for sale. Some shop employees are very savvy about values, but some aren’t and they often price jewelry very low. Maybe they figure that if it isn’t real gold it isn’t worth much. Good for us!

    Thrift shop shopping has lost the stigma of being just junk shops or places where the down-and-out shop.

    A great tip is to become friendly with the staff of the shops that you visit. One clerk lets me rummage through the jewelry bins before she prices them and puts them out on the floor. Another lets me know when they get a large amount of jewelry donated.

    Find out when the shop has their specials. One store in my town has a 30% Senior discount on Wednesdays. Guess which day is my shopping day!

    Sometimes the shop management will put a large amount of jewelry in a plastic bag and sell the bag for a fixed price. If you find these, examine the bag as closely as you can – you won’t be allowed to open it, and there’s lots of junk in there, mostly stuff that didn’t sell, and often lots of plastic Mardi Gras beads. I bought these bags a few times, and it was fun sorting through everything, but I wound up donating most of it to a nursing home for crafts projects. I have found a few really nice pieces this way, but I don’t think it was really worth the time and trouble.

    Most thrift shops have a glass case where they keep the better stuff. Ask to see pieces that interest you, and examine them closely. Look closely at the racks where they usually hang the cheaper stuff. I found a sterling silver Native American belt buckle, with a turquoise stone in it and signed by the artist, hanging in a zip lock bag on a rack. I bought it for $2.80 and sold it on eBay for $52! It was badly tarnished, but I polished it up and it was beautiful.

    There always seem to be lots of watches in those cases. Beware of copies of famous makes, and buy only name brands that you recognize. Make sure the band is in good condition and that there are no scratches on the crystal. The watch probably won’t be working, so plan to spend $5 to $7 for a battery. If you’re buying for resale, be sure to include the cost of a battery to see if the watch is worth buying. You’re taking a chance there – it might not work even after a new battery is installed.

    Whether you are buying jewelry for your own collection or for resale, there are several things to look for when examining thrift shop jewelry.

    1. Condition, condition, condition: You are going to come across all kinds of jewelry in all kinds of condition. Look for broken clasps, missing stones, worn metal finishes, and any green material on gold tone jewelry. The green stuff is corrosion, and it can’t be cleaned off. Pass on that one. Check that stone settings are tight, and if they aren’t, be careful with the piece – you should be able to tighten them. If the piece is dirty you can clean it. Bring a jeweler’s loupe or strong magnifying glass so you can examine the piece closely.

    2. Is the piece signed? The name on the back of a pin or earring, on the clasp of a necklace or bracelet, or on an earring clip is the “signature” of the designer. Signed pieces can be more valuable than unsigned, but there are also many many “unsigned beauties” out there. Look for the name, and if there is a copyright symbol ©, that means the piece was made after about 1955. No symbol – you probably have a real vintage piece. Look for the numbers 925 on silver jewelry – that means it’s sterling silver, and if the price is right, you’ve got a steal.

    3. Price: It’s hard to put a price on thrift shop jewelry – the cheaper, the better, of course! I try not to spend more than $3 for a pin, bracelet, necklace or pair of earrings. You might come across something really spectacular that costs more, and if you think you can profit from it, or you want it for yourself, go ahead and buy it. A good rule of thumb when shopping thrift shops is this: If you like it but aren’t sure, set yourself a limit, say $5. If it turns out to be not so great, you’re not out that much. As mentioned, some thrift shop employees know more about jewelry, and will price some pieces too high for you to sell and make a profit. But there seems to be quite a bit of employee turnover in these shops, so the next person pricing jewelry might not be as knowledgeable.

    After Christmas is a good time to pick up Christmas jewelry. Some shops will mark down holiday items to get rid of them, other shops just store them away for next year.

    I love shopping at thrift shops – just like Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Every trip is a treasure hunt. Some days are slim pickin’s, but some days are very rewarding. Just yesterday I got 10 pieces for $15 – several are sterling silver, and one piece may be jade – I’m still not sure.

    Be consistent in your thrift shop shopping. Try to go out every week, and find out when the shops have their special promotions. Most of the large chain shops put out new merchandise all day long, some other shops restock on certain days. Find out when those are, and get there early.

    Read books about costume jewelry, and become knowledgeable, so when you shop the thrift shops you’ll be armed with information. Have fun with it, get to know the thrift shop staff, and you’ll come home with some fabulous jewelry at fabulous prices.

    Free Move Apartment Locating Companies – Know the Truth!

    We all are attracted to the word “free”, and the idea that we are getting something for nothing. There are many legitimate free offerings available to consumers in a wide variety of settings. For instance, Apartment Locators truly do offer a valuable service to all renters who are searching for an apartment, and the service is completely free to the renter, saving them countless hours driving around visiting thousands of properties, and very probably missing out on the best deals and the best apartments.

    However, there are also many companies who use the word “free” to lure in customers, and then they may or may not actually deliver the product or service that they initially promised. They get past this deception by writing so many loopholes into the fine print of their advertisement that they can always excuse their lack of delivery. So caution is always in order when you are trusting any company who promises to give you something important for free.

    Moving is a very stressful time for many. Often there are deadlines to be out of your current apartment by a certain time. There are items to sort and boxes to pack, and to pack carefully to avoid anything from being broken. Then there is the careful loading and the careful unloading and the unpacking and placing and sorting. You have to allow time to clean the old apartment before you turn in the keys, and you have to be sure you are stopping by the new apartment during business hours so you can obtain the keys to your new home. You have utilities to disconnect and new utilities to connect. A lot is happening at once, and there always is the concern that perhaps you have forgotten something important. You already arranged your schedule to have the day free for moving. You got all your affairs in order, and now you are just waiting for the moving company to arrive. The LAST thing that you need is a glitch over some small detail in fine print that causes your moving company to not show up and deliver that “free” move that you were counting on and planning for.

    That is exactly what happened to a friend of mine very recently. She used one of those apartment locating companies in the Dallas, TX area that supposedly offered a “free” move. I wont mention names here, but it is a well known company. Anyway, she gets home from work and has all of her items packed and ready to go. It’s a Friday evening, and she has had the move scheduled with the movers for weeks. She has to be OUT of her apartment by midnight THAT night. They are suppose to come at 7:00 pm, so there is a bit of a time crunch but that’s the only time the movers had available. They finally show up, take a look at her small 1 bedroom apartment and tell her “The free move only covers 2 hours worth of free moving. It looks like you have more items than we can move in 2 hours” (fine print), and they leave!!!! My friend is panicking. She is a single lady who lives all by herself and has to be out of her apartment in just a few hours. If she lives in a small 1 bedroom and had too many items for them to move, it makes me wonder exactly who they COULD move?? Anyway, my friend calls me at 8:00 desperate and crying. I rally up our other friends and we manage to find a U Haul place that was still open and rent a truck. We all go over and move her that same evening. She got out of her apartment in time, and she got a free move all right, but it wasn’t from the company who promised her the move. She did everything she was suppose to do, wrote their name on the Leasing Application as the Locating Company who referred her to the new apartments, and THEY GOT PAID FOR THE REFERRAL, yet they did NOT deliver the move that they promised.

    It turns out that many of these “free move” companies have fine print that limits how long they will give you for the move. And what happens if the move happens to go over that time. Do they just leave? Evidently. Or, if they look over your items and feel the job might take longer than the allowed time, they may not even START the move. Another thing to beware of in the fine print….not only may there be limits to the time they will allow, but they often limit the types of items and the number of items they will move. For instance, if you have a one bedroom, they sometimes have a very specific list of the only items they will move. For example: 1 couch, 1 coffee table, one dining room table, 4 dining chairs, a bed, a dresser, a nightstand, 2 lamps, a few boxes (they often will only agree to move a small number of boxes) and many times that is it!! If you have a 2 bedroom, they may increase the list by adding another bed and dresser. But what if you happen to have an item that is not on their list…..such as a desk, or a curio cabinet, or a piano, or an aquarium, or a chest of drawers or an extra table or a loveseat, or a recliner, or a few more boxes than they allow? Do not be surprised if they leave all items behind that are not on their restrictive list, and you are just stuck figuring out what to do with them yourself. If it’s enough items, or items that are large enough, you may end up having to rent a truck or UHaul anyway, or call friends who can come help you.

    Another friend of mine recently told me that something similar happened to him that happened to my first friend. He was using one of those apartment locating companies that offer a “free” move. He said they were calling him every day while he was looking for the apartment, trying hard to convince him to move into one of the few places they had recommended. Each day they called to check if he picked a place yet and if he put their name on the Leasing Application of any apartments yet. Finally he did pick a place, and he did put there name there as the Locator who referred him. After that, an interesting thing happened. He could never get a hold of anyone at the apartment locating company again! Once they found out he picked a place and wrote them down (their check was guaranteed), they never called him after that. They wouldn’t return his calls and he couldn’t find a real live human in the company to speak with in order to schedule his free move. He ended up having to hire another moving company in the end. The “free” move locating company got paid their money and they never delivered the free move.

    How are the “free move” locating companies different from all the other Apartment Locating Companies? Well, there are some definite differences that you should be aware of. First of all, let’s establish the fact that most Apartment Locating companies do not need to offer a “free move” to lure in customers. It has been shown that their superb customer service and the expertise they offer will save the average renter $500-$700…..which is much more valuable than the cost of a 2 hour move. Plus, they truly help you find the BEST and most awesome apartment home. Another clear difference is this: Not all of the apartment communities out there will work with the “free move” locating companies. In fact, many of them will not. This is because of a combination of reasons.

    For one, some of these “free move” companies do not have the best reputation. Secondly, some of the apartments do not feel that they actually earned the commission that they are wanting the apartments to pay them. Some of those free move companies simply have a website where you log on and search for yourself. They only will show you information on the limited number of properties that will actually work with them and pay them. Once you pick a place, you log on again to the website and tell them which one you picked and then the computer is suppose to schedule the move. Not all of the companies are identical, but this is the procedure for some. A real human is not even actively involved in helping you with your search in many cases. Many of the apartments feel that just putting a website online alone does not merit earning a commission. Anyone can have a website. In fact, the apartments already have their own website. Although there is nothing wrong with a Locating Company having a website (in fact, all of them do), the problem arises when the locator ONLY communicates through their website and are predominantly a dot.com business.

    The apartment complexes don’t want to pay a dot.com for setting up a website and then only delivering what they promises part of the time. They want to pay Apartment Locators who have a brick and mortar office, who have actual live Agents who work there and who deal one-on-one with the potential renters, assisting them to find their new rental home with customized, individual lists of apartment information. Many times these Locators even escort their clients to the properties. If the client has a unique situation, the Locator can tell them which properties are most likely to work their their particular circumstances. They know who has the best specials out there, or who has the specific amenities that the renter is seeking. The renter can actually call their Locator and speak to them and ask questions and develop a working relationship.

    What is the disadvantage for YOU, the prospective renter, when not all the apartments will work with the “move free” locating companies? The problem arises in that the “move free” companies are only going to recommend to you the particular apartments that happen to work with them. This means that you may not find out about the property who is actually the one that matches exactly what you want and has the best special. They will only display information for the properties who will pay them. When you work with a traditional Apartment Locator who works with ALL the properties in the City, you can be confident that you are getting the whole picture and will honestly be told about all the properties who have the best specials. This is a distinct advantage that real brick and mortar Apartment Locators have over the so-called “free move” locators. Most traditional Apartment Locators work with All the reputable apartment and town-home communities. It doesn’t matter to them which one you pick in the end as long as you are happy, because ALL of them will pay the Locator and work with the Agent. They have no need to try to steer you to one particular property over another. Their job is to recommend who has the best deal and seems to be the best match for you.

    So, go with the Locating Company that is going to give you the best long term deal and the home that you will be the most happy with. These type of Companies should have years of experience and contracts with almost ALL the apartment communities in your area of interest. For instance, in the Dallas Fort Worth area of Texas (DFW), there are over 3000 apartment communities. Apartment Locators in this area should have brick and mortar locations with multiple Locators onsite who are all Licensed Real Estate Agents, and familiar with DFW. Listen to these comments made by a local DFW Locator: “I give my cell phone number to each client because I want them to be able to reach me any time they need my assistance. I’ve even had them call me while they were sitting in the chair at the leasing office at one of the apartments I referred them to, to ask me a question. I truly am their advocate, an expert on their side to make finding their new apartment as quick and easy and successful as possible. I work with them all the way through their move and have even assisted many people who were relocating from other states and were not able to come here in person to DFW to see the properties first. They relied on me to be their eyes and ears and select the best property for them and arrange all the paperwork so that their new place was ready and waiting when they arrived.” Try getting THAT kind of service from a “free move” company website.

    Instead of opting to go with a “free move” Company that may or may not actually deliver their free move, and may or may not tell you about all of the choices you truly have at your disposal, go with a reputable and experienced live Apartment Locating Company who can save you $500-$600 average on your overall lease by telling you about specials you may not have ever discovered otherwise and give you complete information on all the awesome properties available. For more information, visit: http://www.BestApartmentsDFW.com.

    Dental Care For the Poor

    We all know that dentists are highly specialized doctors who deal with all kinds of dental issues; however, his expertise does not limit to only teeth but may also cure other issues related to the mouth such as sore mouth, swollen gums etc.

    It is widely believed that visiting a dentist more often for a routine check up is always better than visiting him for any dental issue. Though the fees charged by dentists are high there are some dental care services that may charge you nominal fee and help in getting treated at a low cost.

    For those people who find it difficult to pay for their dental checkups, there are dental care organizations where cheap or free of cost dental checkups are done.. Even universities have offers for the poor to take care of their dental issues at a low price or for free. Often projects and camps are conducted by students who are doing the studies of dentistry to offer free or reasonable aid to people suffering from dental problems but can not afford dental care.

    You may also come across numerous plans and communities established only for the welfare of poor who are not able to afford dental checkup. There are several NGOs and governmental organizations that can help in curing your dental problems for free or at a nominal cost. There are thousands of recognized dentist who participate in such charity based dental checkup events.

    Those people who cannot afford regular dental checkup due to unfavorable financial conditions, it is suggested to opt for dental discount plans. Such plans may be available with most of the dentists. You may receive your membership card which you need to show to your dentist whenever you visit him.

    Finding a proper dentist who offers cheap dental care service in your locality, may not be that tough. You may seek advice from your friends and relatives about cheap dental care programs. You may even check in business directories for reasonable or free dental checkup.

    There are fair chances that you may find details of some good and reasonable dentist. A search on the internet for low cost dentist or free dental care can help you find affordable dental treatment service in your vicinity.

    The Role of Recreational Therapy in Mental Health Treatment

    Recreational Therapy has become a popular component of treatment for many health fields, including mental health. The American Therapeutic Recreation Association defines it as “a treatment service designed to restore, re-mediate and rehabilitate a person’s level of functioning and independence in life activities, to promote health and wellness as well as reduce or eliminate the activity limitations and restrictions to participation in life situations caused by an illness or disabling condition.” (American Therapeutic Recreation Association, July 2009) Recreational Therapy services are provided in a variety of mental health treatment settings, including inpatient, outpatient, and residential care. Certified therapists have earned at least a bachelor’s degree in the field and have passed national certification exam.

    Recreational Therapists use a variety of techniques to help alleviate symptoms of mental illness and improve the quality of a consumer’s life. Leisure education is often provided, which can help consumers identify what types of leisure they are interested in and find community resources for participation. Many people who are experiencing symptoms of a mental illness have lost touch with their leisure lifestyles or have become socially isolated. Leisure education can also improve social skills to enhance enjoyment and enable consumers to build better relationships. Many Recreational Therapists also use recreation participation as a treatment modality. Therapists will engage in leisure activities with the consumer to improve leisure skills and practice social skills in the moment. In a group setting, therapists will use leisure based activity to explore patterns of behavior and teach healthy coping skills.

    In treating mental health, Recreational Therapy can be a versatile treatment addressing various issues. Leisure activity can provide improved daily structure when participating in activities such as volunteer work, classes, or social groups. Certain leisure activities also provide opportunities for social interaction and support. Physical activities and exercise can help improve your mood. Exercise and other leisure activities also can provide a sense of accomplishment. Many of the concepts reinforced in Recreational Therapy align with cutting edge treatments like Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT). The skills of mindfulness, regular participation in pleasant events, and building mastery are all core components in both DBT and Recreational Therapy. Finally, leisure involvement can provide a sense of purpose and meaning in one’s life, as well as strengthening individual identity or one’s sense of who they are. A Recreational Therapist can motivate and guide someone experiencing mental health difficulties to leisure that provides the specific benefits suited to their needs. Recreational Therapy services are included in most high quality mental health programs.

    Online Babysitting Services: How Do They Work and How To Choose The Right One For You

    So you need someone to watch your children and have decided to look into online babysitting services. However, there are so many to choose from, including Sittercity, Care, Care4Hire.com, GoNannies, AuPairCare and 4Sitters.com, that it is overwhelming. To find the best fit for you and your family, you need to check out an assortment of sites. Each one will vary in everything from their fees and services, to their applicant filtering system and reputation, to the number of caregivers in their database. Some even provide contact information for pet sitters, housekeepers, tutors and eldercare services.

    There are two ways in which online babysitting services work. With the first method, parents post a job and then the sitters who are interested and nearby contact them. This may be done via email or telephone. The parents can then respond accordingly. With the other method, parents can look at the profiles of potential babysitters and then contact the best ones. When searching, you get immediate access to babysitters. Simply type in your zip code and a list of local sitters pops up. When you click on a sitter, you may get a brief bit of information or their entire profile.

    Some sites will let you preview and look for sitters without registering, so you can see the options. However, if you want to get the contact information, you need to be a member. Subscriptions may be paid for on a monthly or yearly basis. The best sites will give you a free trial period, perhaps for a week, so you can try it out first. If you like it, you often have to pay an initial registration fee, in addition to the subscription costs.

    Be aware that not all sites do the same things. Some may simply interview the babysitters to create a profile but do not check references. Others provide the option of doing extensive background checks. However, it may cost extra or require you to increase your membership level. The best sites will have a multi-step screening process. In addition, the online babysitting services should have comments or referrals from people the caregivers have worked for in the past.

    Most online babysitting sites also have a search filter that lets the parents narrow down the candidates. For instance, if you have a child with special needs, you can locate a babysitter who has previous experience with this type of child or someone with specific medical certifications. This search filter will help you save time. They can also help you find back-up sitters at the last minute, in case the scheduled sitter gets sick or you get an unexpected dinner invitation. Some sites, like Sittercity, even offer nannycam and video monitoring options.

    Keep Time Trendy With a Gold Watch

    This Valentine’s Day give your partner the gift of time; buy them a gold watch. If you have a highly defined taste for jewelry, such a watch must make your collection. You love the rocks and the rubies, but you wear your watch everyday because it is simply more than just a watch. Gold watches are the bomb and are a clear way of making a statement. Whether within your inner circle of workmates or with the high fliers during the business presentation, your watch will definitely set you apart. Gold does that, it is what it is meant to do. If you are missing out of the rich user experience, it is time you got a few nice watches for your dressing table, just look at the price tag before handing over your credit card.

    Gold is precious and expensive, so is such a watch. The visual apparel is just amazing a single piece will have an amazing effect on overall appearance. You will feel shamefaced if you appear at work gold-time late. With a perfectly working watch, you will arrive for meetings in time and walk through the door with style. Ladies Gold watches make brilliant gifts on any special occasion for your girlfriend, mother or sister. Whether it is her wedding, birthday or anniversary, your mother will thank you volumes for the gold masterpiece. A single piece will go for $1500 – $8000, but you cannot compare a price to the loving care your mother accorded you, she is precious, thank her preciously.

    If you spot expensive Giorgio Armani suits, there is no harm in crowning it all with a brilliant golden watch. If well maintained, gold can last forever. This means, you can stunt several pairs of suits with the same golden watch. One thing you should note is that the luster of gold never goes out of fashion or style. The value of those watches will vary with the purity of gold used. Pure gold watches will be valued more than the others. It is therefore advised that you understand the quality of gold you are buying to ensure you get your money worth. To keep the watch alive as well as maintain the gold, you will want to keep your gold watch away from chemicals.

    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.