Archive for the 'Tips and Advice' Category

How Can You Go Green with Energy Saver Products? 16Sep14

How do you go green at home? Monitoring your use of electricity is one great way to determine how to save money and be more conservation-minded. Pro Power Saver monitors your real-time electric consumption and lets you know how much power your appliances are using. This is a helpful product to help you understand how much power your household uses.


Once you know how much power you use, you can typically cut your electric bill up to 15%, according to a recent study by IBM quoted in Good Housekeeping. It’s only by learning what appliances use the most power that you can effectively cut back where it makes the most sense.



You can purchase a device that turns down your thermostat at specific times of the night or day, too. Each degree lower on your thermostat for eight hours cuts your energy usage by roughly one percent. If you set your thermostat back 10 degrees at night while you’re snuggled in bed, you could save about 10%.


Motion sensor entry lights help to save money on your electric bill. They detect movement up to about 25 feet away, and then power on to light up your
driveway or walkway. It’s an excellent product if you have children coming home after dark, or just to light your way when you get home late, yourself.


You can also use motion sensors on your indoor lights. They turn the lights off when no one is around. They are especially useful for areas in your home
that you don’t use as often, like guest rooms and basements. Consider solar products for
outdoor lighting throughout the year.


Ceiling fans help save energy by bringing warm air back down to your level in the
wintertime. During cold months, the fan should run clockwise, so that it pushes warm air down where you can enjoy it. This can reduce heating costs and
help you feel warmer without turning up the thermostat.


Source:


http://www.goodhousekeeping.com/home/green-living/energy-saving-tips#slide-1

Be More Productive with the Right Office Furniture 09Sep14

Office furniture can make the difference between a place that is easy to work in and an office where you can never find what you need. The desk is a most important choice. There are so many styles and varieties that it may be hard to pick one out.


If you have a home office, you can choose mix and match computer desk components and build just the right workspace for your needs. They come in sets of five pieces, and you can choose just the pieces you need. They’ll work along the wall or in a corner. From cabinets to computer and writing desks, these sets have you covered.


Offices require the proper furniture for you to get your work done in comfort. Whether you need a small desk or a larger model, you can shop many stores in addition to office furniture stores, to find what you need, according to Christian Net: Office Furniture.



Smaller offices might seem easier to furnish, but you have to be even more careful in a small space not to get too much furniture for the size of the room. You can buy small desks that can still be perfectly functional. For most purposes, you’ll be able to find what you need online or in local stores.


Laptop computer carts are quite handy for smaller offices, since they are mobile and compact. They have a cherry finish for good looks and a pullout shelf that will work very well for your laptop or netbook. You can even set up a small printer, and there is also room for manuals, books and office supplies. A file drawer is a great place for those important papers you don’t want to lose.


Office furniture dealers realize that everyone needs something different in office furniture sizes and styles. That’s why so many different desks, chairs and other pieces are available for sale for your office.


Source:


http://www.christianet.com/furniture/officefurnituredesks.htm

September is National Courtesy Month – Guest Related Products 02Sep14

When you invite guests into your home, you want them to be as comfortable as possible. When relatives or friends spend the night, they may not be accustomed to the temperature at which you keep your house. A lovely throw at the end of the guest room bed will give them a chance to snuggle in if they need to. It also adds design and flair to the room, states Chicago Tribune.



People may want a quick drink if they wake up at night when they are staying with you. A simple carafe on their nightstand gives them a chance to take a sip without even having to get out of bed.


Welcome friends and neighbors to your home with a door mat that will give them a smile. One particular design states “Live well, Laugh often, Leave soon”. They know you don’t mean it, and that’s what makes it funny. Outdoor mats should be sturdy and washable with a garden hose. Some mats also have rubber backing, so they won’t slip on your porch.


If you have guests staying at your home, leave them a comfortable robe on a chair by their bedside. You can find robes in many materials and colors, and his gives your guests a chance to wander down to the kitchen to share some coffee before they head into the bathroom for their morning shower.


When you hold a party, make it a more festive event with a lighted beverage fountain. The liquid is first pumped toward the top, and then it cascades from one tier to another through holes located on each bowl. The effect of a waterfall will allow your guests to fill up their cups with delicious punch without needing a ladle. The base is illuminated and lights the entire bowl and its beverage, creating a wonderful centerpiece.


Source:


http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2013-01-11/features/sc-cons-0110-goods-guest-room-20130111_1_guests-touches-goods

Back to School Items You Don’t Realize You Need 29Aug14

The days are still getting hotter, but the day is fast approaching – the first day back to school. While you are already planning what you are going to do during those first blissful days of being kid free, you are also getting all those back to school items together as well. While you are out shopping, there are some essentials you need to include, even though they are not listed on your child’s school supply list.


1. Printer Ink – It seems like there is always a permission slip that is needed, or a report that your child forgot to print the night before. Instead of doing the mad scramble to the store to get that rapidly disappearing ink, make sure to stock up on it before school ever gets started.



2. Disinfectant Wipes – Back to school means closer proximity to germs, many, many, germs. Buy a few extra containers of disinfectant wipes for your kitchen and your car. That way, you can simply wipe away those nasty germs that you know your child is bringing home with them, and depositing all over your house and car.


3. Deodorant – Tweens and teens sweat, whether due to an un-air-conditioned classroom, gym class, or after school sports and activities. Make sure your children are not creating a buzz with their pits instead of their prowess – buy several containers of deodorant so there is always a backup available. You can even buy a few extra so they can keep one in their locker or book bag for touchups.


Back to school can be frustrating as you all readjust from your summer routines, but these three must-haves will help save a lot of headache, and mad dashes to the store when you are not even awake yet.


Source:


http://alphamom.com/parenting/education-parenting/back-to-school-essentials-you-didnt-realize-you-needed-until-now/

Things to Take with You on a Road Trip in August 26Aug14

There is no doubt that road trips are fun and exciting, if you are prepared. If not, each step of the trip can seem like it takes a million years, and just as much cash to get everything you left at home. If you are deciding to take a road trip in August, there are a few things you need to make sure you have – before you ever hit the road.


1. Sunglasses. Driving in the summer can be hard on the eyes, unless you remember to pack your sunglasses. The glare of the sun will make you uncomfortable, and the constant squinting can lead to headaches or overly tired eyes, which is something that can make driving dangerous.


2. Cooler. Even if your vehicle has air conditioning, you will still need a cooler that can hold plenty of ice for your water bottles, sodas, and refrigerated snacks. This is also a great way to change out some of those sugary and salty snacks for some healthy carrots or fruit. Depending on how long you plan on driving each day, just purchase small bags of ice along the way to make sure everything stays cool under the hot summer rays, or use refreezable ice packs if you are staying overnight in a hotel.



3. Water. Sitting in the hot car during a traffic jam can quickly cause dehydration, so make sure to pack plenty of water and liquids to beat the heat. While you always have the option of picking these up while you are on the road, it is much cheaper to buy in bulk rather than relying on convenience stores.


These items will make sure you are comfortable, safe, and prepared for your upcoming August road trip.


Source


http://www.smartertravel.com/photo-galleries/editorial/how-to-pack-yourself-and-your-car-for-a-summer-road-trip.html?id=478&all=1

Keeping Your Home Green – Limiting Water Usage in the Yard 18Aug14

‘Green’ isn’t just a color — it’s also a way of life. Adopting ecofriendly practices and limiting your carbon footprint are two very respectable actions that will put less stress on the Earth and our environment. It may seem daunting to start a green lifestyle, but it all starts with one step.


The backyard is a bit of a water hog. Here are a few ways you can use H20 in your yard in a smart and conscious way.


Knowing When to Water


Utilizing watering hoses and accessories in the early morning, when winds are light and temperatures are cool, helps to prevent evaporation.


As a very general rule, you can expect to water your lawn once every three days in the summer and once every five days in the winter. The top two or three
inches of grass will be dry if it is in need of some water.


It’s also time for a drink if your grass leaves footprints when you walk across it where the blades don’t spring back up. Conversely, if your lawn is very light in color and grows fungi, lay off on the sprinklers for a bit.


Reuse and Cruise


Have your gutters empty into a rain barrel with a built-in tap. Then, attach a hose and you’re all set to reuse the rain water on your luscious lawn! Some rain barrels are designed to be collapsible for off-season storage and have a mesh paneling to produce cleaner water.


Start a compost pile using old fruit and various food rinds and remains you would normally toss. This means less garbage for you to collect and more love for your plants! Flower beds and gardens greatly benefit from compost, as it keeps plants cool and helps to hold in moisture.


Organic mulch also helps to prevent evaporation from soil to save you hundreds of dollars a year in water costs. Use about two to four inches of mulch per
year on your garden or lawn.


Devices and Such


Instead of tossing ice cubes, place them in potted and hanging plants to offer your botanicals a cool drink of water without overflow. Or use a
self-watering basket with a built-in wick for slow water absorption.


To make sure your sprinklers don’t run when it’s raining, install a rain sensor on your irrigation controller.



Install a flow meter or a hose timer on your spigot to gauge how long you’d like the water to run when watering plants.


You can still maintain a beautiful yard while being kind to the Earth. Start by taking just a few of these actions and discover how great you feel about
doing them. For additional items that will make your yard and home ecofriendly, take a look at oursolar powered outdoor lights and energy saving products. Your efforts will help the environment and you will be one step closer to being green!

Keeping Your Home Green Using Solar Power 11Aug14

We constantly hear about global warming and pollution on Earth, but what are some simple actions we can take to be more kind to our planet? Reducing your carbon footprint could be as simple simply installing compact fluorescent light bulbs. After all, each CFL bulb can save you upwards of $40.00 over its lifetime and only uses a third of the energy that average bulbs do. Other actions can include carpooling to and from work; unplugging devices that aren’t currently in use and, most of all, harnessing solar power.


Let’s talk about solar driven devices. ‘Solar powered’ means exactly what you think it does—powered by the sun. Solar paneled gadgets use photovoltaic material which mimics the photosynthesis process normally found in plants. This kind of energy is clean and does not produce any emissions, so you can get electricity without harming the environment.


Powering your home with solar panels can be costly, but if you live in a sunny climate and plan on living in your home for several years, it may be a good decision for you and your family. After you pay off the initial cost of the panels, you will have free electricity you can even sell back to energy providers.


For those of us who aren’t ready for that kind of investment but do want to cut down on electricity usage, there are other solar powered lights and devices that can be used for the home. You can line your walkway with green lamps and keep a door light for entering and exiting your home. Place some adorable solar powered critters in the yard for company, as pictured below. Or adorn a railing or tree with twinkling solar powered Christmas lights you can use all year round. Any of these options not only spruce up your lawn or garden, but they are completely free after the initial purchase. No plugs, no fuss; and you’re reducing your carbon footprint while making yourp property a safer place to be! How can you go wrong?


We all have a responsibility to leave the world in decent shape for future generations. The Earth is not a place to trash! Let’s feel good about little choices we make throughout the day and be good to this planet, one step at a time.


For additional environmentally-friendly items, check out our energy saving products.

How Do You Prevent Ants and Bugs at Picnics? 29Jul14

When planning a picnic, you probably have a vision of you and your loved ones
sitting by a refreshing stream underneath a large willow tree laughing the day away. What you don’t think about is the swarm of bugs headed your way once you pull the grapes and cheese out of the cooler. Preparing for nature’s pests is an essential part of packing for picnics.

Put It Away Now

Insects love anything sugary or sweet-smelling; this includes soft drinks, fruit and scented lotions or sprays. If your picnic is a lunch date, you may want to spray on a nice perfume or cologne, but this will only attract pests. It’s difficult to envision a picnic without fruit, but this is also like a welcome sign to bugs. If you do plan on bringing fruit, keep it in a closed container until you are ready to eat. This also goes for any food you eat outside—stow snacks in sealed packages in an insulated cooler and your perishables will neither spoil nor invite animals. Our outdoor accessories include plenty of coolers, baskets totes that come with a lid.


Smelly Stuff

Deter pests by incorporating smells that they find unsavory. Mint, garlic and lemon will keep most bugs at bay and there are several creative ways to include these items into your picnic. Add garlic to your dishes and drink lemon and mint sparkling water out of a closed cup with a straw. (Clear cups are best—if a wasp flies into your drink, you’ll want to shoo him away before you unknowingly take a sip!)


You may also put sprigs of mint and a few marigold flowers on the serving table to discourage bees from making a pit stop on your plate. To keep mosquitoes at bay, light a citronella candle for ambiance and added protection, or if you are planning a kid’s outing, put flameless citronella candles around your picnic setting.


Don’t Cross the Line

Simply sprinkling talcum powder or corn starch around your tablecloth will prevent ants from joining the party. This is especially helpful for picnics spread out on a cloth. Ants hate the feeling of powder and will be very discouraged to ruin your food. Be sure to complete this step before you lay out the sumptuous spread. You don’t want the wind to blow powder in your food while you are lining the area.


Remember that many flying insects feed from brightly-colored flowers, so donning vivid, summery clothing is not going to help you avoid them. Blend into the other part of the countryside and instead opt for crisp neutrals. Neutral clothing will also keep you cool in the sun, because you shouldn’t be sitting under a tree or by a pool of water, anyway; this will only attract mosquitoes to you. Those pests love damp shade and will be waiting for you under that beautiful, sprawling tree. Instead, choose an open patch of grass to set up camp in. Ultimately, the best al fresco outing is a well-thought out one. Spontaneity is wonderful, but bug bites aren’t!


For additional products that will keep unwanted visitors away from your outdoor meals, check out our outdoor pest control products.


What Are Some Tips & Tricks When Traveling with Jewelry? 22Jul14

Traveling with jewelry can be a huge irritation, both while packing and when searching for the perfect accessories to wear while vacationing. Small pairs of earrings are easily separated; necklaces are caught in a never-ending knot; and soft metals become tarnished or scratched. What’s more, when you’re away from your usual routine and home organizational system, it’s much easier to misplace valuables. Accessorizing while on holiday can be stressful, but these tips and tricks could help save you money and headaches on your trip away.


To ensure every item is secure and accounted for:


Separate for Safety


– Packing all your jewelry together in one place ensures that if one item gets stolen, all will be lost. To avoid this dilemma, try stowing away your jewelry in various locations when packing to keep everything safe and accounted for. Separate by jewelry type to save time sifting and unknotting different pieces, or compartmentalize by day/outfit so you have every item you need in one handy Ziploc or makeup bag!


Watch Your Watches

– When you are flying, keep your jewelry in your handbag or carry-on so you can keep an eye on it at all times. That way, you won’t have to worry about
your expensive jewelry going missing if your luggage gets lost.


Wear Without Worry

– Keep your jewelry on when going through security checkpoints, unless specifically asked to remove it. When you put your jewelry in the bins, you run the
risk of the person before or after you claiming it as his or her own.


If You Love it, Leave it

– Leave your expensive jewelry home. This may be unavoidable for dressier occasions such as weddings, however, when packing for more casual trips, try and
avoid bringing any jewelry you’d be devastated to lose.


To Avoid Unnecessary Digging and Disentangling:

Small Storage Solutions

– Use pill box or wallet to store small items like rings and earrings. It will be
easy to access your small pieces without digging through large containers. The compact pill box will also fit nicely in your bag, yet will be easier to
locate than small plastic bags or fabric pouches.


Sort and Store

– Store your jewelry in a compact jewelry organizer box with separate compartments for each item. This will keep everything organized and safe from being tangled or crushed. These boxes come in a variety of sizes to fit neatly in your
luggage.


Tangle-Free Pieces

– Tangled necklaces can take forever to sort out. Try stringing your necklaces through a plastic straw. This is a cheap and easy way to keep your necklaces from getting jumbled up.


Hang it Up

- Most hotels and lodges don’t supply an adequate space for you to keep your jewelry. Consider using a hanging jewelry organizer to sort and store each piece for easy access. You can hang this in your closet and easily roll it up to fit it in your suitcase.


When you’re packing for your next vacation, keep these tips and tricks in mind. In addition, always remember to stay alert when traveling with expensive items and to use your best judgment to keep yourself and your belongings safe.

3 Best Gifts for New College Freshman 15Jul14

Entering college as a young adult is one of the biggest steps a person will take in a lifetime. College is a whole new world, where a person who has been largely dependent on others to care for him or her is finally able to assert some independence and learn life lessons on their own. These three gifts are not only items they would probably never buy for themselves, but ones that will help them on their journey to adulthood:


1. Organizer. A planner or organizer is essential for someone who needs to take care of his or her own appointments and deadlines. No longer able to depend on mother or father for wake up calls and homework reminders, college freshmen can use an organizer to get a head start on keeping their new life in order. Not only can school assignments be organized, but work and entertainment schedules can also be added to the calendars, ensuring they are never late for anything important.


2. Savings bonds. Though the idea might be a little old fashioned, the fact that many people still find it difficult to begin saving money for their futures makes savings bonds relevant gifts for today’s college freshmen. With a minimal investment amount, gift givers can give young adults a vehicle for savings that comes with an incentive to save it as long as possible. If the recipient holds the bond until it matures, they will get full value for it.


3. Emergency kit. Kids are used to being able to get first aid from their parents or having them dress wounds before running to the emergency room, if necessary. With their very own first aid kit, college freshmen are able to learn to handle minor medical emergencies on their own, without having to run around looking for bandages and antiseptic cream. Emergency roadside kits will provide assistance for minor car troubles they
might experience.


Above all, gifts to new college freshmen should be thoughtful and help them to become successful adults.


Sources:


http://www.forbes.com/sites/geoffreymorrison/2013/08/04/best-gifts-for-college-students/

https://www.treasurydirect.gov/indiv/planning/plan_gifts.htm