Dec 31, 2011

Wood Swing Sets: Best Choice for Your Kids

With an abundant array of exciting activities for your children and their friends, swing set is the best option that is available in different shapes and sizes. Swing sets are made using different materials like steel, metal, plastic or wood. There are different researches and studies conducted that have arrived to a conclusion that wood swing sets are the safest, long lasting and most durable play sets available in the market. There are also some reasons that contribute in the wide usage of wood for swing play sets and especially timber redwood. Redwood is a strong timber redwood that is virtually splinter free, has natural resistance to decay and doesn't require constant coats of stains and wood preservatives for maintaining its durability as well as rich exterior color.

There are numerous people, who assume that steel or metal is strongest and most durable material to use for building swing play sets but there are several reasons that support that redwood trees outlast buildings. Weather always remain a threat to a play set frame; there are different factors like year's rain, snow, high winds, excessive UV sunlight, insects and animals that can harm the metal and can also corrode the metal. Corroded metal shows rusted color and sometimes you won’t even be able to detect the weakness of the metal.

Plastic is also used for constructing swing play sets as it is considered to be cheap and lightweight, but it is also under the attack from the environmental elements when placed outside. Plastic play set is considered as the best option, if it has to be placed indoors and not outdoors.

Due to all these reason, wood is considered to be the best material for building strong, high quality and long lasting swing sets. There are different types of timber wood available, including white pine and redwood. Best wood to be used is redwood because it is strong and able to resist natural decay. Splinter free redwood is used for making a solid swing set frame and also ensures that your kids don’t get their clothing snagged on exposed screws and bolts or wood shards from cheaper lumber.

There is another benefit that you will discover after installing redwood swing sets and that is this type of wood does not require preservatives, stains or any other exterior spray for protecting the wood. Redwood is considered as one of the most durable timbers available that can be used for years without any maintenance.

Another most important benefit that you will discover through wood swing sets is that these have the ability to add different accessories in your sets like monkey bars, spiral slides and buoy swings. Metal and plastic sets are usually pre-made and come as is with no option for additions. When your child grows older and wants some exciting features except for only a glider slide then you have to buy a new play set but this is not the case with wood swing sets. With these sets, you can add different accessories as per your child’s specification and requirement.

Cangkuang Temple

Cangkuang temple is a seventh century Shiva ancient temple that located in the small island. The island situated at the centre of Cangkuang Lake (Garut, West Java, Indonesia). We rented a bamboo raft to reach the island.
The Weekend in Black and White

Dec 25, 2011

6 Tips to Paying Off Your Home Loan Sooner

When it comes to paying off the mortgage, whether it is on a home or an investment property, the quicker you can repay it, the better off you will be! By paying off your home loan sooner, you can save thousands of dollars by reducing the amount of interest you have to pay in the long run.

To help those in the process of organising a home loan, below are 6 useful tips on how to pay off your home loan sooner.

Tip 1: Take Out a Loan with Repayment Options

When homebuyers go to take out a loan they generally try and get one with the lowest interest rate. This can sometimes be a HUGE mistake. Instead of focusing on the interest rate, you should be looking at a loan’s repayment options.

Some home loan options, like a standard variable rate home loan, might have a higher interest rate, but there are also a number of repayment options available. Some loans have the options of making larger and more frequent repayments, without any penalties. Some loans also have a redraw function, which allows you to also redraw on those extra payments if, for some reason, you desperately need the funds.

The benefit of making larger and more frequent repayments is that you pay off your loan sooner. You can save heaps by paying off your home loan sooner, despite the fact your loan has a higher interest rate.

Tip 2: Make Sure Interest on Your Loan is Calculated Daily

When searching for the right home loan, try and get one that has its interest calculated daily. This is because whenever you make a repayment on the principal of the loan, you will actively reduce the amount of interest you have to pay on your next instalment.

Tip 3: Connect Your Home Loan to an Interest Saver/Offset Account

Some home loans provide the option of being linked up to an interest saver or an offset account. An interest saver/offset account is generally an everyday transaction account, where the interest paid into that account is used to reduce the amount of interest calculated on your home loan.

With an offset account, you want to store as much of your savings and salary as possible into that account. This will help reduce the home loan’s principal quicker and the interest paid on all future home loan repayments.

Tip 4: Pump Extra Funds into Your Home Loan

If you accumulate any surplus cash you should immediately put it towards paying off your home loan. This reduces your chances of wasting your cash on frivolous things.

When taking out any kind of loan, you should also be on a budget and putting money towards only the essential things. This can be tough and not much fun. You have to constantly remind yourself, however, that every dollar you put towards paying off your home loan sooner can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. With the money you end up saving, you can treat the whole family to something nice!

Tip 5: Pay Your First Home Loan Instalment Upon Settlement

Usually your first home loan instalment is paid a month after the settlement of you loan. However, if you pay the first instalment upon settlement, you have immediately reduced the amount of interest you will have to pay on your next instalment and all future repayments.

Tip 6: Seek Professional Financial Advice

Speaking to a financial adviser can highlight a number of effective ways and strategies to help you find the right home loan and to pay it off sooner. You don’t (and shouldn’t!) have to do all the number crunching by yourself, as it can be quite overwhelming.

Financial groups know the tricks of the trade and have the experience to help you develop ways to efficiently use your income and assets to pay off your home loan sooner. Some groups, especially those dealing with investment properties, even have access to special software programs, like
real estate development software, that can help in balancing out your positive and negative cash flows. This is particularly useful if the loan you have taken out is for an investment property.

How to Decorate Walls of Your Home?

The best part about decorating your home is that you need not be a professional home interior designer to decorate your home beautifully. All you would need is dedication, aesthetic sense, willingness and skills to do so. If you have that creative instinct inside you, let your home reflect that. A beautiful home is a true reflection of your own personality. Let the walls speak about your aesthetic taste and creative mind.

Well painted walls do not always add color, charm and your own decorating style to your home without painting the walls. A wall decoration project comprises of things like proportion, balance, scale, texture, variety, color, size and the list is long. Here are a few ways to beautify your home with decorating ideas that are a bit off the wall!

Arrange for a gallery wall:
Locate some focal point sand learn about dimensions before venturing out on wall decoration of your home. Draw a rough plan on a piece of paper before actually starting with the decorating. Put some photo frames on one wall of your living room and you will create a beautiful gallery wall. Measure the distance between the art piece, so that there is equal spacing between them. Select one picture that would serve as the gallery's main attraction. You can also hang some frames without pictures as this form of decoration is in vogue.

Photo collage
You can get more creative while decorating the walls of your personal room. Buy a wall-safe tape and start slapping your collection of photos on the wall of your room. But make sure to paste them in a sequence. Start from your childhood photos and then add photos of kindergarten and then high school, college, your wedding photos and go on further.

Contemporary wall art
Though wall art lack realism and meaning, these do not lack style. The beholder can always come up with his or her own meanings of the wall art. It is the best and the most dramatic way to express your style and character, which makes your home a true reflection of what you are.

Oil paintings:

Living room wall must be ornamented with an oil painting. Choose a painting carefully for your living room, as it is the best way to add grandeur to your living room. You can always seek service from a professional handyman london for hanging these paintings.

You can buy a full-length mirror for your room, as it will bring more light into the room. You can decorate the borders with paint pens. Removable wall graphics are also one of the many ways to decorate the walls of your living room, dining area and lobby. You can built floating wall shelves or bookcases to add vertical appeal to your walls. This not only enhances beauty of your living space but also acts as an extra storage space.

Dec 24, 2011

Seeing through the Window

Thinker, my niece's cat, doesn't allowed to go outside. But when she's at school, once in a while, I let the cat out and kept my eyes open to ensure that she only played in the front yard.

The Weekend in Black and White

8 Cheap and Easy Ways to Secure your Home

Home protection is something that we should all take seriously and should be willing to spend money on. It will cost you dearly in the long run if you do not make your home visibly and physically secure to burglars. Installing crimsafe in Brisbane is one of the best things that you could do to protect your house because it offers security with no repeated effort. A similar level of security can be achieved with the use of security shutters in Brisbane but this will require more commitment to checking that they are all locked when you leave the house each day. Whilst creating a high level of security for your windows is perhaps the most efficient use of security expenditure, there is much that you can do without breaking the bank:

1. Burglars are far less likely to attempt to rob a house which is occupied. No one wants to get caught right? Use timers on your TV, lights and radios to create the image that you are home, even when you aren’t.

Leave your curtains exactly how you normally would when you go away for a long period. Don’t half open curtains which you would normally open and don’t close curtains because it will be visibly strange. Just leave your curtains in the positions that you normally would so that it looks like you are still there.

Turn your phone and answering machine down. People casing your house will be more likely to enter if they hear repeated rings and no answer. An answering machine should never tell callers that you are on holiday or away for a long period. It is just asking for trouble if you state how long you are away from your home.

Get your mail and papers collected. A build-up of mail and newspapers will attract attention so get someone to pick it up each day on your behalf.

Hire a gardener if you are going away for a long period. An overgrown lawn is a sign of absence and will be noticed.

Use natural defences to deter burglars. Whilst it may not be legal to use razor wire as a deterrent, it is perfectly justifiable to plant roses under all of your first floor windows. By planting painful plants you will cause discomfort and most likely deter the burglar.

Don’t leave ladders lying around. Leaving a ladder in your garden is just stupid, and so is allowing trees to create access to your roof or windows. Be sure to trim trees regularly and keep all tools under lock and key.

Never leave a spare key somewhere near your house. Burglars have far more practice looking for spare keys than you do at hiding them. If you plan to leave a spare key somewhere make sure that it is with a friend or family member and is not labelled. It is far better to have to drive for 10 minutes to pick up your spare key than it is to come home to an unlocked door and an empty house.


Dec 23, 2011

5 Benefits of a Clean Bedroom

Remember when mum told you to clean your bedroom? As a kid, you probably didn’t care about the messy bed linen, the clothes all over the floor and the toys lying around. However, as adults, most of us develop a sense of cleanliness that we wouldn’t have believed as teenagers.

If you’re having trouble convincing yourself (and your kids) to clean up your bedroom at least once in a while, here are five reasons why a clean bedroom is actually helpful for your mood and daily activities.

Less clutter means less stress

Let’s admit it: clutter is kind of stressful. In certain cases it denotes a cluttered, unfocused mind; most times it’s just because we don’t have time. But less clutter means less distractions and visual stress. Don’t you find the pile of things on your nightstand or the jumble of shoes in your closet a bit distressing? A sense of order in your environment will also promote a sense of order in your mind.

A clean bedroom is more appealing

Sometimes it’s hard to let go of the day and let ourselves go to sleep calmly. Some of us even avoid our bedrooms because it’s not exactly relaxing and we’d rather sleep on the couch. But a clean bedroom will entice you to go spend some relaxing time there with a good book or with your partner.

A clean bedroom is easier to keep clean
If you always wait until you have a mountain of things to clean, it always seems worse and takes much, much longer. By cleaning regularly, not only do you reduce the time required to clean up, but you also reduce the stress related to cleaning. An empty (or near-empty) room is easier to vacuum or sweep than one that’s littered with things.

A clean bedroom helps with emotional stress
Why do people clutter their space? It’s usually a safety net—and hoarders are an extreme example of people whose emotions run over into their environments. By cleaning your room, not only are you ensuring a relaxing environment, but you’re also working through the negative emotions that push you to clutter. By getting rid of old objects or by putting them in order, we’re also ordering our hearts and our minds. It might feel distressing at first (ask any hoarder to get rid of their things and they’ll have a panic attack), but the relief after is extremely rewarding.

A clean bedroom makes everything easier to find
Some people argue that they find order in their clutter. But ask them to find something quickly, and they will fumble around forever. Having a clean room also means that you can find what you need quickly, which reduces the time that you spend looking for that white shirt or that special pair of shoes.

And while you’re cleaning your room, why not add a nice accent with some flowers or decorative cushions? Your now clutter-free room will enhance decorative touches much better than a room filled with useless things.

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