Feb 27, 2012

A Rubber Motor Boat

This motor boat's function is to pull a banana boat with some passengers on top of it. Captured in one morning around Pangandaran Beach (West Java, Indonesia).

Feb 25, 2012


It's my late entry for The Weekend in Black and White. One morning, in our front yard, I found these unique shapes of different plants. I think it's interesting enough to notice.

Pros and Cons of Buying a Kit Home

Kit homes continue to grow in popularity in many markets around the world. There are a number of very good reasons for this. They are much cheaper than traditional homes, and we are seeing they are very durable, especially for those living in remote areas and harsh weather conditions are a very real issue. If you are considering a kit home build, here is a good look at the pros and cons:

· Saving money. This is the biggest reason why most people choose to build themselves. Even if you use a contract builder, the cost of building steel frame kit homes is still considerably cheaper than building a traditional home.
· Time saving. Compared with traditional builds, these homes are much easier to build, and that means a lot of time saving. Everything you need to build your home comes with purchase. Make sure you plan your budget well because you may have additional requirements. Good planning will result in a build that is many times faster than a traditional brick home.
· Strength and durability. This is another reason why these homes are increasing in popularity. In regions where harsh weather conditions require extra durability and strength, pre-fabricated homes deliver what is needed. One of these homes, when properly and purpose built can withstand even the strongest of hurricanes. Steel kit homes are very strong and very reliable.
· Flexible design. Most vendors will only create the kit once a design has been confirmed and purchased. This means you can easily modify an existing standard design with minimal cost increases. Parts are fabricated inside the vendor’s factory to very high specifications. Everything will still fit together even when you have made changes to a standard design.

Cons· Very basic. Some vendors only supply the absolute basics with their homes. You will still need to arrange electrical and plumbing professionals to complete the build even if you have considerable building experience.
· Owner-builder beware. Too many owners think they can build a home themselves. They don’t have the experience and understanding of the complete process. It is important to understand all the legal requirements of your region. You should know what it takes to get a
building permit and have the required licensing to apply for one. It is important you understand the complete building process. If you do not have the experience to build a complete home, it is important to work with a contract builder who does. If you make errors during construction, fixing your problems can be very costly.

If you are considering a home build, it is worth considering how eco-friendly you can go. If you are in a remote location, you will greatly save on additional costs and living costs in the future, such as with electricity and water supply, if you can find self-sufficient options to include in your construction. Allowing for these extra costs is important when planning your budget. Hidden costs after construction is complete are common.

Feb 24, 2012

How to Plan a Vegetable Garden

Growing your own food is one of the smartest things that you can do. Not only can you save money on your organic food bill, but you will also be doing something that is healthy and positive. Before you start you are going to have to have a plan, as it really does make a big difference the way a garden is planned out, in terms of its success and productivity. The following are some tips for planning out your vegetable garden.

Decide What You Want
Deciding what you want to grow is one of the most fun parts of the entire process, so make a list with all of your favourites on it. It’s a good idea to plan in conjunction with other green thumb friends, so that you can coordinate who’s growing what, and therefore, have a huge variety and supply between you. Be sure that what you want to grow are varieties suitable to your kind of climate.

Get SeedsIf you don’t already have the seeds that you want, it’s a good idea to start keeping them from any organic produce that you buy. If they are organic they will work just fine, so save your seeds and dry them out, before bagging and labelling them, and putting them aside. Obviously some plants won’t give you their seeds this way, so you may have to look into finding places to buy seeds for some of your crops.

Your local nursery will have seeds as soon as they are available, and most places selling seeds have pretty decent websites, so you can usually just order whatever you need online. Some plants need to be started months before you plant them as seedlings, so make sure you have all your seeds early.

Plan Your Position
Have a look at potential areas for your garden and watch to see how much sunlight they get throughout the day. If an area gets no light, pick another place for your garden. Depending on your space, you may just need to move your garden area slightly to have way better sunlight. Keep in mind how different plants grow, as you don’t want some to be blocking sunlight to the others.

Find out which plants grow well near each other, and also which ones deter insects and pests, as you may need to add an extra few plants or flowers, to help protect all of the others. When planning positions, keep in mind how you will be able to access the plants once everything starts to grow, as you will need to be watering, weeding, harvesting, etc. If you have any extra garden space to fill, ask your partner what their favourite flower is, and plant some so that you have a good supply to be giving them.

CompostIf you are gardening organically, and you should, you will need active compost in order to feed essential nutrients into the soil, so if you don’t have one yet, start a compost pile or bin. Essentially, you will be creating a mix of organic waste from your kitchen and the garden, mixing and watering it regularly, and creating a substance rich in everything that your soil needs. Ideally, you will want to have had your compost going for at least a few months before you plant your garden.

Feb 23, 2012

Tips and Techniques to Make Carpets More Hygienic

Carpet is one of the most popular choices for flooring these days, but it can also be a lot of work to clean and maintain. A carpet can be an extremely comforting piece of decor to have in your home, however without regular maintenance it can become dirty and unhealthy. Throughout it's life, a carpet will be subject to a lot of abuse from heavy furniture, from people walking on it and through having things spilt on it. Here are a few tips for carpet maintenance that will help ensure your carpet remains clean and safe at all times:

Buy Toxin-free Carpet
Right from the start, your average carpet will release unhealthy chemicals into the air. These harmful chemicals follow your carpet from the manufacturing plant into your home, where they become volatile over time and make the air in your home unsafe to breathe. The chemicals come in the form of adhesives, stain protectors, mothproofing and flame retardants, but are easy to avoid if you buy new carpet that is organic and toxin-free. Even just laying your carpet with staples rather than glue, will go a long way to ensure the air you and your family breathes is clean and safe.

Keep it Out of the Elements
There are some rooms in your home that just shouldn't be carpeted. Rooms such as the bathroom and the kitchen are areas of high traffic and are known to get dirty fast. In addition, these rooms are also subject to higher than normal humidity, which is very bad for your carpet. Any carpet that gets wet regularly and can't be dried out properly will begin to grow mould and other bacteria that are extremely harmful for your lungs. Having
blinds to keep out direct sunlight will also do wonders for extending the life of your carpet.

Leave Harsh Chemicals Outside
Carpets are notorious for absorbing materials from their surroundings and providing them with a place to accumulate. Every time you paint the walls of your home, toxins from the paint fumes are absorbed and trapped in your carpet. Any time you spray your home for bugs, these chemicals also begin to settle into your carpet. You can prevent the build up of external toxins in your carpet by using safe and non-toxic paint as well as by finding a chemical-free way to rid your home of pests. You can also keep your carpet free of many outdoor chemicals, such as pesticides, simply by having people take their shoes off at the door.

Clean it Regularly
To keep dirt, dust and other particles from building up in your carpet, it's really important to vacuum it constantly. This is the very least you can do when it comes to maintaining your carpet, and it should be done at least once a week; in addition to vacuuming, you should steam clean your carpet every six months. A steam cleaner can do everything a vacuum can, only it’s more effective at removing dirt that is ground into the fibres, as well as help get rid of clingy dust mites and bacteria.

Carpet is a wonderful flooring option for any home. And as long as you take care of it properly from the start you should find that your carpet lasts a long time and stays hygienic and safe for your family.

Feb 22, 2012

Buying a Home – Who Can Help You

Buying a new home can be a lengthy and tricky process, but you don't have to tackle it alone. There are many professionals out there that can help you through this sometimes difficult and stressful time. For example using conveyancing services is important when going through the transfer of the title of the land into your name as this is not a simple process and although you can do it yourself you are better off paying the conveyancing fees and having it done properly. There are a number of people who can help you buy a home, so don't feel you are alone and have to make these important decisions on your own.

Real estate agent

When you first start looking at houses it is likely that you will enlist the help of a real estate agent. You might browse through newspapers, magazines or the internet and contact an agent who is selling a particular house that you like. You can also contact an agency and ask them to find a house for you or one that is perfect as an
investment property Sydney. You might want a home within a certain location and price range, need a certain number of bedrooms, you might prefer a home without a garden or want a house with acreage. An agent will let you know when a property that suits your needs comes up. To increase your chances of finding something you are best to register with several real estate agents.

Mortgage broker

Once you have found the house you will need to apply to a bank or money lender for a home loan. A mortgage broker can make this whole process so much easier for you as they will approach the lenders for you and secure the best loan. You will need to meet with the mortgage broker and they will ask for pieces of information like personal details, tax returns, letters from employers and other information detailing your income. You do not pay a mortgage broker directly for their services. It is the lender who you end up borrowing through that pays the mortgage broker's fee.


The bank will help you by lending you the money to buy your home. You will discuss with them how much you need and they will let you know how much they are able to lend you based on your income. There is likely to be choices to make regarding what your home loan offers so make sure you spend time with the bank going through what each loan entails.


When it comes to buying the property or an
investment property in Sydney you should use a conveyancing service. A conveyancer handles transferring the title of the property from the current owner into your name. They can also assist you with other things, such as giving advice or bidding on your behalf at an auction. You can handle all the necessary paper work and transfer of titles yourself but it is a complicated process and it is recommended that you use a conveyancer.


When you find a home get some professional advice from a fully qualified builder. Have the builder go through the property and check to see whether it needs any work done, such as re-stumping or re-wiring. They will be able to tell you if there is termite damage or anything that will require you to spend more than what you would pay to buy the house.

Over-Priced Real Estate Market is Here – is the Reason of Home Mortgage?

According to reports, the Australian residential property sector has been functioning remarkably well in the last few years and has been able to show much better performance than what has been expected of it. But now with the current interest rates and the rising home prices you can’t say that all is well. Real estate is considered to be one of the investment options that can help you to pay off your unsecured debts through debt settlement. And now with the rising prices of the Australian residential property, the situation might turn out to be a bit awry. So, will the people will get sufficient mortgage loan for it. So, getting new home mortgage is all not an easy task.

Australian real estate property

Australian economy rode through the global financial crisis fairly well but 2010 have been a fairly difficult year for most of the people involved with the country's commercial real estate sector. And in case of real estate market in regards to residential property, Australia is reported to have been a front runner on the housing prices.

So, there can be a further slowing of the sales of home due to the appreciation in price in this year (2011). In addition to this, Australia's close trade ties along with Asia and the resource wealth may continue to go on underpinning a solid pace of the domestic activity, and the higher interest rates may even worsen the already strained affordability of the people.

This means that people will lower home buying and thus the real estate market may have to suffer. Moreover, the renowned economist Adrienne Warren has said back in 2010 that in 2011 the Reserve Bank would go on tightening the rules on spending, and so he had forecasted 75 basis point rise in the interest rates by the end of this year (2011). In addition to this she has also commented that the increase in the consecutive interest rate by the Reserve Bank of Australia will total to almost 175 basis points since the month of October of 2009. Moreover, the expiry of grant in regards to the first home owners has already cooled off most of Australia's red-hot property market.

So what is the state of Australia’s housing market? The housing bubble, the affordability crisis, the extremely over-inflated markets are some flattering descriptions for Australia's housing market and its associated growing in regards to the state of the country’s residential real estate sector.

Some however, suggest that the country’s real estate market is heading for a price crash which comparable to the one which was experienced in the US during GFC, or may be more recently in places like Ireland. In Ireland, the housing bubble actually caused a monumental collapse in the values of the local properties.

So, according to experts, only if the mining boom came to an end and if lots of people lose their jobs, the country may see a price crash in regards to the real estate market.

Feb 20, 2012

While Choosing Mortgage Loan for Your Dream Sweet Home

Own real estate is perhaps the biggest dream of many of you. However, if you want to purchase a home, many of you can not arrange the required money at one go. That is why, you often resort to home mortgage loans. Home mortgage loans are secured loan. The rate of interest on these loans is comparatively less than the rate of interest of unsecured loans. In case you are not able to pay off the mortgage loans, your mortgage is taken away by the lender. So, you need to ensure that you have taken out such a real estate mortgage loan, which you are able to repay. In other words, the home mortgage loan should be very much affordable to you. Before, taking out a home mortgage loan, it is important to find out your monthly mortgage payment amount.

Here, it is to be noted that various online
mortgage calculator are available at the market place. You need to select an online mortgage calculator from an authentic website. Through a mortgage calculator, you will be able to know your monthly mortgage payment amount. This will help you find whether or not the mortgage loan is affordable to you. In other words, this will help you to find out the most suitable home mortgage loan. In order to find out your monthly mortgage payment amount you need to insert information on the total mortgage loan that you want to take, term of the mortgage loan and the mortgage rate.

The mortgage calculator will then calculate your monthly mortgage payment amount. If you are interested to pay more than or less than the minimum monthly mortgage payment amount, you also you can find out your mortgage loan paid off day. If you make more than the minimum monthly mortgage payment, you can pay off the entire loan much earlier and vice versa. Again, if you want to shorten the mortgage term, you can take the help of a mortgage calculator. The mortgage calculator will then calculate the monthly mortgage payment that you will be required to make. Obviously, this monthly mortgage payment amount will be more than the initial monthly mortgage payment amount.


Dragon Mural

I saw this mural on a wall under the train bridge inside my city.

Feb 19, 2012

Click: 5 Reasons to Shop from Home

Christmas is just around the corner – as is Christmas shopping, and this year more than ever, you should stay home and away from the shops. It sounds like an ominous warning, doesn’t it? But it’s not, think of it more as a hint—though you shouldn’t need one, because the evidence is right in front of your face!

The Australian retail market is floundering – a global market of clothes, gift baskets, trinkets, vouchers and other great gifts and products has opened up, offering lower prices, ease of access and an amazing range. While this is a negative for the Aussie economy, it is great news for the discerning buyer, who wants to purchase high quality gifts, but doesn’t want to pay the earth for them.

Still not convinced? Well here are five reasons to shop from home this Christmas:

1. The crowds
Let’s face it, Christmas is a busy time – like the rest of the year – and most of us are left with no time to smell the
roses, undertaking our shopping at the very last minute. This means hustle and bustle, big crowds, ruined displays and a sense of rushing and competing the whole time you’re trying to thoughtfully shop. Logging onto the net at home and doing your shopping that way saves you the hassle of big crowds, means you can browse for as long as you like without too much risk of someone coming up next to you and stealing your perfect gift.

2. Stock
Ever been in one of the situations when you’ve looked all day and come up with nothing, and then finally at the last minute, when you’ve all but given up, you set your eyes on the perfect gift. But the last one is broken and you’re going to have to traipse through all the shops to find another one. One of the great things about online shopping is all the shops are at your fingertips. So instead of walking through shop after shop, you simply search for the gift you’ve found to see if there are any other online stores that stock it.

3. Shop in advance
While it can be hard to find the time to shop, you can likely find five spare minutes to get online. This means you don’t have to leave your shopping to the last minute, you can do it little by little in the five minutes you have spare each night. Getting it done in advance will relieve the other stresses and pressures of Christmas, and leave you more time to deal with them.

4. Get anything you want
Almost anything you can dream of, you can get online. The range contained in the endless global stores online will not only mean you can cater for the gift requirements of every age, you can also cater for any passion, hobby, phase or sporting craze.

5. Get personal
If you’re looking to get something personal, or something a little naughty, you may find it difficult and embarrassing to walk into a shop and make the transaction in person. Online, you remain anonymous and safe behind a screen, so can purchase whatever you want!

Feb 18, 2012

Bamboo Raft

This bamboo raft ride was very memorable for me because it was our last trip with my late father.

Feb 16, 2012

Ways You Can Save Time Doing Housework

There are many ways that you can save time when doing your housework. Doing the housework is never really anyone's favourite daily task, and often it does get left for weeks until it finally becomes a mammoth job. Whether you need to be more organised when it comes to cleaning the bathrooms, clearing out the Westinghouse fridge or washing the floors, there are ways that you can save time when cleaning. Next time you are having a good clean up make sure that all your possessions are included in your contents insurance because you want everything to be covered against theft, accidental damaged or loss due to some sort of disaster.

Good appliances and cleaning products

You can save a lot of time with your housework if you have good quality appliances. Newer models of appliances are usually have faster cycles and also have higher energy saving ratings, which is great for the environment and for helping you save money on your electricity bill. A newer model vacuum will pick up more dirt and debris off the carpet more easily so you don't have to waste time pushing it back and forth. You should also invest in the right cleaning products and equipment to make cleaning easier and faster. You should buy cleaning agents that are specifically targeted at doing the different tasks around the house, such as glass cleaners, oven cleaners, carpet cleaners, for cleaning scum off tiles in the bathroom and shower, something for hard services and for polishing wood and silverware.


You will find that top loading washing machines have faster cycles than front loaders, although you can find that some front loaders use less water. When you put a load of washing on make sure that you put on a full load. This will not only save you water and electricity but also time. Put your load on first thing in the morning so that you can get your finished load out on to the line as soon as possible to make the most of the sunshine. You can also buy washing machines that have timers so you can set it the night before to start before you get up so it is all ready to hang out before you go to work or start your day.

Cleaning tips

Have an extra long extension cord for your vacuum cleaner so you don't have to keep on switching it off and plugging it in to a different power point every time you change rooms. The best way to clean the shower is to wipe it down after you have finished showering and if you need to give it a good scrub also do it while you are having a shower, it will save you getting wet while you are in your clothes. Keep your kitchen bench clear and put things away straight after using them. Put your clothes away at night when you take them off or put them straight into the laundry hamper. It can help to keep your house tidy if you have adequate storage space. If everything has a place where it goes then it can help make tidying up much quicker and your home will never look cluttered.

Feb 15, 2012

Growing Trend towards Smaller Houses and Renovations

Two new reports released in August 2011 have contributed to growing evidence that houses in Australia are getting smaller and homeowners are choosing renovation over buying new houses. This trend has implications for property investment. In this article, we take a closer look at the trend and what it may hold in store for investors.

Smaller Houses
The first noticeable trend is a reduction in the size of houses. Reports released by CommSec and IBISWorld both suggested that houses are growing smaller. The CommSec report drew on Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures to reveal the following about Australian houses:

· Smaller homes overall. While Australians continued to build the biggest homes in the world by area (at 10 and nine per cent larger than houses in the US and New Zealand respectively), data for the nine months to March 2011 found that the average floor area of new homes (including apartments) was 214.1 square metres. For free standing houses the figure was 243.6 square metres.
· Peaking home sizes. Home size has reached a peak in Australia. In 2008/09 the average new house was 248 square metres. In 2009/10 this figure was 239 square metres.
· More smaller apartments being built. While we still build the largest homes of any country in the world, Australians are building more smaller apartments. In the nine month period to March 2011, the area of new apartments averaged 133.7 square metres, which was the smallest result for the past decade. For this reason, a smaller apartment will make a better
investment property for investors.
· Apartment sizes peaked in 2004/05. The peak for apartment sizes was probably reached in 2004/05, when the average area was 143.7 square metres. In the 2009/10 period, the average apartment size was 143.4 square metres compared with 133.7 square metres in the nine months to March 2011. For the March quarter, the average was even lower at 128.9 square metres.
· The largest houses in the country. New South Wales built the largest houses on average.
· The largest apartments in the country. The Northern Territory built the largest apartments.
· The smallest houses in the country. South Australia built the smallest houses in Australia.

The IBISWorld report noted that Generation Y have shown a preference for smaller houses. Similarly, baby boomers nearing retirement are choosing to downsize, preferring smaller, well-situated properties close to transport, cafes, amenities, entertainment venues, and not too far from work hubs.

More Renovations
The IBISWorld report showed that the do-it-yourself renovation sector is expected to grow by 15 per cent over the next five years. The report suggests that more people are choosing to renovate over changing homes, though part of the trend is attributable to cyclical factors.

The report suggests that Australia could even see an increase in the number of families where different generations live in the same home, with seniors being cared for at home and renovations being used to make homes for habitable for more people.

People may move less often, preferring to upgrade their properties rather than make a complete change. This may lead to increased demand for consumer items such as hardware retail products, professional renovation advisers, and garden suppliers.

Feb 13, 2012

Home Improvements to Complete Before Summer

Before summer arrives there are a few home improvements you should complete to help you survive the heat. Whether you choose to spend a lot and put in a new pool or make smaller additions to your home, like adding a retractable awning, there are plenty of things you can do to help you keep cool this summer. You can also put security screens on your windows, which will not only keep your home secure but will mean that you can leave your windows open both day and night and no insects will be able to get in.


Putting a pool in is a fairly big financial decision and not something that you decide to do on a whim. If you have decided to take the plunge then have a good look around at the different styles of pools and choose one that is going to not only suit your budget, but match the style of your house. You will need to install a safety fence with a childproof safety gate and finish off your pool nicely with non-slip tiles or pavers surrounding it. Having heating will prolong the use of your pool and if you have the space and the money you might want to look at building a pool house.

Create shade

By building a veranda or patio, or even installing retractable awnings around your home you will create the perfect entertainment area. It is great to be able to eat outdoors during summer but you do need to be able to escape the heat and avoid sunburn. A veranda or patio are permanent structures which will give you the flexibility of using your outdoor area all year round. With a retractable awning you can create shade when you need it by extending the awning, or put it away if you want to have a sunny outdoor area.

Plant trees

If you have just recently built a new home on a vacant block you should start planting trees as soon as possible so that they have plenty of time to become established. They might not be big enough to provide any shade this summer but you will appreciate their shelter in the years to come.

Security doors and screens

You can keep your home a lot cooler in summer by having security doors and screens install in your home. By having security doors you will be able to keep your front and back doors open, while still having the security doors locked, and this will allow the breeze to blow through your house which will significantly cool it down. The flow of air through your house does reduce the overall temperature. Security screens can be put on your windows meaning you can keep your windows open both during the day and through the night, and any cool breeze can come in through the windows, but bugs and intruders cannot.

Air conditioning

Another great improvement you can make to your home before summer is to install an air conditioner. Split systems are very effective, are not too costly and are easy to install.

Feb 11, 2012

Patching the Hole

The profession is already rare now. The soldering process is through several stages. First, the soldering equipment is heated in the flame. After heat, welding tool is removed and used to melt tin that will connect the two metals.
He went from door to door to receive orders and repair damaged metal goods.
The Weekend in Black and White

Feb 10, 2012

Tips for the Perfect Outdoor Party

For the perfect outdoor party you need to have a great area for entertaining. Having patios or a veranda is perfect as it will give you a good amount of shade or shelter. Kit homes look fantastic with outdoor entertainment areas and are perfect for throwing outdoor parties.

Guest list

Think about the occasion before you make out the guest list. It might be something where you just invite family and close friends or you could be throwing a big party and invite lots of friends and acquaintances. For an interesting night you might want to get friends to bring along one of their friends, even if it is someone you haven't met before. This way you can make a whole lot of new friends and the mix of people will make for some interesting conversations.


Plan your menu well before the party just in case you have to get the butcher to prepare something special or you need to have certain seafood or other hard to find foods ordered in. This is also the case if you have anyone coming with unusual dietary requirements. Instead of just having a barbecue why not have a theme with your menu and have a seafood night, cook dishes of Indian or Thai food.

Entertainment area

Having a good entertainment area will help make your outdoor parties a success. You will need a good covered area, either a veranda or patio, and a paved or timber decking creates adequate flooring for your entertainment area. Buy the best barbecue you can afford and make it a permanent feature by having it built in. If you plan on entertaining often you might want to think about installing an outdoor kitchen.

If you have a larger entertainment area this is easier to achieve and your outdoor kitchen can include your barbecue, extra storage space, large benches for you to prepare and serve food, a sink and even a bar fridge. Have the benches constructed out of a material that will withstand the weather, such as marble, other stone bench tops or even smooth concrete.


Don't switch on the overhead fluorescent lighting as it is a harsh lighting and doesn't create much of a mood. Set up fairy lights around your garden, buy some cheap tiki lights and switch on any garden lights. If guests are arriving after dark have the garden lights on in the front yard and even light the pathway with lights that point up out of the ground. If you don't have garden lights candles work just as well which you can protect from any breeze by standing in jars or vases. If you have a pool, then switch on the pool light giving your party a lovely glow.


For a bit of fun you might want to have a theme for your party. Dressing up can help break the ice for people who don't know each other and it can make for a really fun evening. You can continue the theme through from costumes, decorations and even the menu.

Feb 8, 2012

4 Steps to Introducing a Baby to your Home

Preparing your home for your baby is a natural party of parenthood. In popular culture it is referred to as nesting and it can include everything from decorating the spare room to preparing with a good long sleep. There are many stages to ‘nesting’ and not all of them will seem immediately obvious. Typically, first time parents will spend a lot of time buying things (in excess) for their new baby when there are far more useful things that they can be doing. This article will consider some of the ways you can practically prepare for the arrival of your baby.

1. Safety comes first

When you live alone with your young and healthy partner safety is often neglected through an arrogant belief that you can look after yourself. This may well be true in most cases but when you have a baby home security becomes vitally important. Fire alarms take on a new significance because whilst you may survive jumping from a first floor window to escape a fire, your infant will not. It is essential that you install alarms to provide you with an early warning system because babies will suffer from smoke inhalation and burns far sooner than an adult will.

The physical security of your home also becomes more important when you have a baby because your role is to protect your child at all costs. Make sure you invest in a quality home security system so that you are immediately alerted to the presence of intruders. Other measures like installing security lights and creating a gravel driveway will help to alert you of intruders on your property.

2. Look after yourself

Baby food is wonderfully provided by nature so it really isn’t something you need to worry about. The baby will, however, take up a lot of your time so you won’t always be able to look after yourself as you are used to. The best preparation you can make to help yourself recuperate is to fill your freezer with healthy home cooked meals so that you can maintain a healthy diet without the stress of cooking every day.

3. Get a car seat

Most hospitals will stop you from discharging your baby if you do not have a car seat. A car seat will help to protect your child whilst it is in your car and will enable you to transport it safely. It is a necessary purchase so make sure that you get one well in advance of birth and practice securing it properly so that you know your baby is safe once it does arrive.

4. Get the ‘nest’ ready

It is obviously nice to decorate properly and get baby clothes and toys ready, but there is actually very little preparation you need to make to your home for a new born baby. It will be a while before the baby is crawling around so you should focus on cleaning the house thoroughly and preparing to make both the baby and yourself comfortable. Focusing on creating an environment in which you can quickly recuperate will enable you to best cope with the introduction of a new born baby into your home.

Feb 7, 2012

Saving for a House

If you are working towards buying a home, but are not even close to footing the removalists’ fees to move in, there are a few things you can do to speed-up the saving process.
Purchasing a new home is not an off-the-cuff-decision. It’s something that, for most people, is several years in the making. You don’t simply walk into a store and sign-up to repaying a kit home do you? Well, most people don’t. Most people plan ahead – working to save the biggest down payment they can.

Not good at saving? Live by these tips.

Savings tip # 1: Consolidate, consolidate, consolidate!

Get on the phone and on the internet to find the best possible deal for all your debt, whether it be credit cards or personal loans. There are great deals to be had including balance transfers or long-term repayment options. In some cases, simply putting all of your debt into one place and creating a repayment plan is all you need to give you the kickstart your finances need.

Savings tip # 2: Your junk could be someone else’s treasure.

Ever perused through the racks at St Vincent de Paul’s and found a steal? Someone might feel the same about your pre-loved items so why not put on your own garage sale or sell your items over eBay. You will be surprised by how much money you can earn by simply decluttering your lifestyle and your home.

Savings tip #3: Apply for a high-yield savings account.

Boost your savings and reach your goals faster by putting all of your savings into a high interest-incurring bank account.

Savings tip # 4: Supplement your income.

If you need more money, why not find it in a new job – consider ways that you can make more money so that you put more towards your down payment. It may mean finding a part-time job in addition to your current position, but it will be worth it if you can reach your goal faster.

Savings tip # 5: Watch what you spend.

Achieving your goal may mean that you need to change your lifestyle temporarily. You may need to eat in more, stop shopping so much or limit your partying. Whatever the sacrifices are, remember that you are working towards strengthening your financial position and your personal equity.

In addition to this, one of the most important things you can do to get your finances in order is to write a personal budget and incorporate your financial goals into it. When incorporating your goals into your budget you should figure out how many months you will need to save to reach that goal. In the case of a home, it might be better to set yourself small wins i.e. a small treat for every $5,000 you save. With these tips you should be well on your way to reach your goal of a buying a new home.

Feb 3, 2012

The Importance of Having a Security Door on Your Home

It is very important that you have security doors and security screens fitted in your home. Not only will your home be more secure but it is less likely that your home will be a target for intruders. It is likely that a potential intruder won't bother with trying to get into your house because of the security door and the fact it is much harder or even impossible to break in.

Protect your assets and your family

By having a security door on your entrance way you are making it harder for an intruder to break into your home. You are less likely to have your home broken in to if it looks difficult to do so, so by having a security door you are also providing a deterrent. Your home will look a lot less inviting to intruders if you have a security door, and even security screens on your windows. You can have a security door installed right at your front gate, if you happen to have a wall around your property. Otherwise have it right at your front door. You need to feel secure in your own home and with a security door you can be happy knowing that your family is safe. A security door is an easy way to protect your family and possessions.

Value add

Anything you add to your home in terms of improvements is going to increase the value of your property. It might be a new kitchen or bathroom, a patio or outdoor kitchen or even solar panels added to your roof. By adding a proper security door to your home you will also be adding value to your home. You can even buy doors that look great as well as being functional. There are great security doors that have fancy iron work with scrolls and even coloured glass embedded in them. You don't have to choose a plain door made of simple bars.

Keep your home cool

If you have a security door you can also keep your home cooler without having to automatically turn on the air conditioner. If you have a security door you can open up your front door to let the cool summer breeze through your house but still keep your home secure by keeping the security door shut. Create a cross breeze through your home by opening the back door and your windows. The breeze will blow through your house, with the movement of air significantly reducing the temperature inside your home.

Reduction in insurance rates

You also may find that the rates you pay on your home and contents insurance may be reduced if you can prove you have made additions to make your home more secure. If your home is more secure and harder to break into then it is less of a risk for the insurance company. As well as having a security door install a security alarm and a camera and even have a high wall built around your property.

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