September 10th, 2016 | Author:

One thing I love about Fall is the apples. I’m not really a great fan of this fruit, but I just love it when my wife makes some amazing Apple Crumble.

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This is the only way I could eat apples and I have to tell you that this is the yummy way to enjoy the fruit. This and some music playing in the background would make my night. Which reminds me, I have to bring my son’s guitar to lancaster music for repair this weekend. Anyway, back to my Apple Crumble. Do you want her recipe? Here goes…

Apple Crumble

Ingredients:
4 large Golden Delicious apples (about 3 pounds)
1/4 cup sugar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Topping:
1 cup walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Pinch fine salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) cold butter, cut into small pieces
Vanilla ice cream, for serving, optional

Directions:

Position an oven rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
Peel, core, and slice apples into 1/4-inch slices. Place apples in a large mixing bowl and toss with sugar, lemon juice, flour, and cinnamon. Pour into a lightly greased 9 by 13-inch baking dish, and spread out into an even layer. Set aside.
In another large bowl, mix together the nuts, flour, oats, sugar, cinnamon, and salt for the topping. Using a pastry cutter or your fingers, gently work in the cold butter until pea-sized lumps are formed.
Top apples evenly with mixture and bake until apples are bubbly and topping is golden brown, about 45 minutes, rotating once halfway through cooking.
Serve warm or at room temperature with vanilla ice cream.

September 10th, 2016 | Author:

I surprised my wife with a new set of workout outfit from Victoria’s Secret and a new yoga mat for her birthday.

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She loved them and says I’m the best. Anything to make her happy. I knew she wanted that outfit when she saw it from the mall last time we went there, so I thought it would be the perfect gift. If I know her (and I know I do!), she’ll get me that guitar from musicans friend I’ve wanted for so long for Christmas. Winks

September 09th, 2016 | Author:

Thermal curtains are more suitable for room temperature control than vertical blinds. The insulating features of thermal curtains make them a popular addition in many homes. However, several techniques can help make vertical blinds more energy efficient.

How Insulation Works
Air has excellent insulation properties. Air trapped between two layers of vinyl or fabric provides better insulation than the same air trapped between a single layer of vinyl or fabric. Therefore, window treatments containing more than one layer are better insulators than those with a single layer. The more the number of layers in a window treatment, the better insulation they provide.

R-Value: Measurement for Insulation
The ability of an object to resist heat flow is referred to as R-value. Items or objects with higher R-values provide better insulation and vice versa. Most insulation materials used in today’s homes have R-values of more than 40. However, it is important to know that not all window treatments have a rated R-value.

What Makes a Blind a Good Insulator?
Window blind’s R-values are influenced by two main features. Firstly, additional layers translate to more insulating ability. Blinds that have vanes with pocket air in the middle will insulate more than vertical blinds made of a single layer of fabric or PVC vinyl. Another feature that affects R-value is the tightness that the blind has against the window.

What Makes a Curtain a Good Insulator?
Just like window blinds, the R-value of a curtain is determined by the quality of the fabric a thermal curtain if made from and the number of layers it has. Most thermal curtains have several layers and are therefore, good insulators. Another factor that affects curtain insulation is its window fitting. The curtain’s ability to sufficiently insulate a room is lowered by the presence of gaps around the edges of the window. Consider choosing curtains that fit perfectly around the sides of your windows. Window draperies and quilts can hold an R-value of between three and five.

Other Factors
Heat may be lost in a room due to poor insulation of doors and windows. Weather stripping and caulking can help reduce this problem. Single paned windows have less insulating values than double paned windows. Insulating blinds and louvers can enhance insulation in a room, but cannot stop air from leaking into or out of a room. This can only be solved by weather stripping or caulking.

August 05th, 2016 | Author:

There are a lot of individuals who decided to travel before pursuing higher education, getting married, or doing other things in their life. They wanted to see interesting places, meet new people, and experience other cultures. While visiting other countries, they decided that instead of just having that trip be a one-time experience, they wanted it to be a way of life. For this reason, many individuals in this circumstance decide to start a business that allows them to travel.

As these individuals were traveling, one of the things that they likely saw was that there is a lot of money to be made when it comes to importing and exporting. An importing or exporting business can be something as large as vehicles, heavy equipment, and car parts, like a Ford long shaft starter motor for example, to smaller things like food items, electronics, and handicrafts. For individuals who have traveled to Central America, they saw that there was a lot of potential for an importing and exporting business when it comes to exporting food items from Central America to the United States and then returning to Central America with electronics and other items. If you are an individual who is originally from Central America and you are living in North America, you are willing to pay a lot of money for items from home. It is common for these individuals to buy cheese, fish, and candy from home. And if you are from Central America, you are willing to pay a lot of money for electronics and items that can be purchased online.

Other individuals have decided to make a business by traveling and then writing about it. They will either write their own travel books, they will work for a travel magazine, or they will find another niche where they are able to write their experiences. Some have been able to make money online by posting videos or by writing travel blogs.

The great thing about a business that allows you to make money and travel is that you can constantly see new places, make new friends, and enjoy other cultures. Individuals in this circumstance have found that their life is enriched because of all of the new things they have been able to do. The great thing is they can earn a decent living and still enjoy a vacation lifestyle.

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August 05th, 2016 | Author:

Conveniently finding and buying the supplies you need in a convenient and fast manner can be a real test for the avid specialty shopper. Sometimes the nearest specialty store is nowhere near, and often you’re left having to buy things for top dollar because of the lack of shopping choices. This is when online shopping becomes a good idea in terms of convenience, economics, and variety.

The Convenience Factor
Sometimes, driving great distances to buy overpriced items isn’t worth it. To add insult to injury, often the variety of products you were hoping to find just isn’t available. You’re left having to get what you can simply because you have no other options. These are situations where the trip simply isn’t worth the gas you’d put in the car to drive there. Although discouraging, the situation creates an opportunity to think outside the box and consider alternative ways of shopping.

Dollars and Sense
One of the benefits of online shopping are the obvious savings opportunities anyone can take advantage of based upon the variety of different places to purchase what you need. It’s easy for a person to go from limited ways of buying the item they want, to having a variety of different places they can make competitively priced purchases. Shopping then becomes an online buffet: making it easy for you to get what you want for bottom line prices.

Variety Truly is the Spice of Life
Online shopping opens up a world of choices. Once online, it is quite possible to find many different places to buy the things you’re looking for. Even specialty, hard to find items like 10 round ar mags can be purchased from a variety of different places,on creating improved choices based on variety, price, and delivery options. The possibilities are endless.

When conventional shopping fails to yield happy returns, do yourself a favor and let your fingers do the shopping online. Your wallet will thank you. You will also have more time to catch up on your Tivo. As if these perks aren’t enough, the money you would have spent on gas can easily be used to purchase a pizza: now there’s the real cherry on top.

Category: Shopping  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
July 08th, 2016 | Author:

If you smoke cigarettes, you need to quit. Of course, you have heard this from family and friends many times. You may have seen people talk about it on televisions and certainly, your doctor has mentioned it. The problem is knowing how to quit. The following are three ways to go about it.

Quit cold turkey
This is the toughest way to quit smoking, and for many people, it simply is not possible. Just throw those cigarettes away, and never smoke them again. Of course, the cravings become maddening. Very few people are able to quit in this manner. The addiction to cigarettes is very strong, and not just the physical addiction to nicotine, but also the psychological hold they have over you.

Nicotine gum
Many people try to substitute gum for cigarettes in order to quit. They simply substitute a stick of gum for a cigarette. However, this doesn’t always work because of the nicotine addiction. This is why nicotine gum was developed. The nicotine in the gum will satisfy your addiction, and you can slowly taper off. This attempt at quitting the smoking habit doesn’t always work, because it doesn’t address the psychological satisfaction of smoking. In addition, many people stay addicted to nicotine. They have simply substituted the cigarettes for the gum, but can never quit chewing the gum.

Using vapor cigarettes
Sometimes called electric cigarettes or e-cigarettes, these devices have helped many people quit smoking tobacco. The way they work is that a drop of liquid is dispensed on a heating element. This creates a vapor that is inhaled by the user. The liquid fuel is made from a harmless propylene glycol. This fuel is available with nicotine that comes in various strength levels. A box mod starter kit is available that includes everything a new user needs.

A tobacco smoker can start with high levels of nicotine and slowly taper off. The reason why this works better than nicotine gum is that the psychological aspect of smoking is satisfied, while addressing the issue of nicotine. Once you have rid your body of nicotine, you can still enjoy your electronic cigarettes with non-nicotine fuel cartridges that are available in various flavors.

The physical addiction to nicotine is not very strong compared to the psychological aspect of a smoking addiction. There are simply too many situations in a smoker’s daily life that combine cigarettes with a moment of pleasure. If you choose to quit smoking by using an electronic cigarette, you may find that you will not be making much of a sacrifice.

July 08th, 2016 | Author:

There is a bit of debate going on about how to approach vaping and e-cigarette use. Many people attest to how vaping can help quit smoking actual cigarettes. However, the opposition states that it really doesn’t impact cigarette use at all. In reality, it all depends on the person who is vaping in the first place. Quitting cigarettes can be quite difficult for many, but is there potential that vaping can help you?

Changing the Experience

To quit smoking cigarettes, you need to have the right mindset to do so. Not everyone can commit to tossing the habit. However, vaping can be seen as an alternative that can promote a mental change. For instance, the aspect of vaping is much different than smoking cigarettes altogether. You’re not lighting a paper tube filled with tobacco and other chemicals. For many, this can change the appearance of the habit which shifts how they view taking in nicotine. This mental shift may be the catalyst to help remove cigarettes.

Reducing Nicotine Levels

Many companies offer vaping liquids ranging from 24mg of nicotine to 0mg. There are a vast number of people who started with a much stronger liquid while slowly decreasing the level of nicotine. Once their bodies have adapted, the addiction to the drug is no longer a driving force. In fact, most gums and patches offer the same kind of reduction over time. Eventually, you can ween yourself off of nicotine without lighting up.

So, Why Use Vapor?

Vaping is an experience of its own. Although most people relish in moving from a smelly cigarette to something more friendly to the nose, such as lost art liquids, vaping is something different. Because of the wind assortment of flavors available, it’s more like a snack without the calories. It stimulates the taste buds in the tongue while simulating specific recipes. For instance, you can enjoy the taste of strawberries and cream without actually eating. A lot of people view vaping as a kind of hobby. With box mods, mixing flavors and building their own units, it can be just as involved as any other activity.

Although there is still a great deal of scientific exploration that needs to be done for vaping, many will attest to how it’s far safer than smoking cigarettes. The growing number of those who have quit nicotine completely because of vaping are just an example of how it can be done. If you’re looking to drop the tobacco industry, explore your options. Vaping may give you the potential to quit while inspiring a new hobby.

July 02nd, 2016 | Author:

The idea of taking classes online is so popular that some of the top colleges in the nation now offer these courses, including Harvard, MIT and even Princeton. Some of the classes now available are open to students around the world and cost no money, but other courses give you college credit and require that you make a payment upfront. Whether you opt for free or paid online classes, you won’t believe some of the fun classes that you can now take over your computer.

Foreign Language

Have you always wished that you could speak a second language? Maybe you took French or Spanish classes in high school, but forgot some of the skills you picked up. Even if you aren’t planning a trip overseas, now might be a good time to take some foreign language classes. Learning Spanish or another popular language may even help you qualify for a better paying job. Online lessons teach you simple words and phrases before showing you how to put words together to form your own sentences. Some classes have instructors who can help you with your pronunciation too.

Film Studies

Watching movies and studying films are two very different things. Once you take a film studies class though, you’ll learn how to critique independent productions and Hollywood blockbusters with ease. With online film classes, you have the chance to watch movies that you own, rent or watch online. You can then chat with other students about your thoughts and opinions. Instructors in those courses teach you how to identify and critique different aspects about those films, including plot, characters, settings, lighting and music. After a single class, you’ll never look at the film industry in the same way.

Music Lessons

Learning how to play an instrument once required that you attended regular lessons with a teacher in your own city or neighborhood. The world of the Internet completely changed the way people learned how to play instruments like the guitar or piano. With self taught piano lessons, you take lessons that include simple workbooks and videos that show you where to place your fingers, how to play specific notes and how to play songs. With hundreds of schools now offering online classes, you can study anything you enjoy or want to learn more about, including music, films and foreign languages without leaving your home.

Category: Education  | Tags:  | Leave a Comment
June 07th, 2016 | Author:

If you’re like most homeowners, the idea of starting a renovation project in your home puts some serious fear into you. We’ve all heard the crazy stories about projects that never end, and obviously, you don’t want to be included among their ranks.

However, renovating your home is really the only way to get the house you’ve always dreamed of. While it can seem like a painful process, there are also some beneficial ways you can ensure that you don’t end up in the middle of a project that’s gone completely off the rails.

Use this guide to learn more about renovating your home on a budget and how you can do it without losing your sanity in the process.

Interview Multiple Contractors

Finding a contractor to help you with a home renovation project can be a daunting task for the average homeowner. That doesn’t mean you should just pick the one who helped with that small project 10 years ago, or the one that your neighbor said did decent work.

Always take the time to interview at least two contractors. Ideally, you should look to at least three to four if you want the best balance of quality work and an affordable price.

Always Get Bids

When you’re dealing with contractors, it can be easy to just pick one and go with whatever quote they give you. After all, they’re professionals, and most professionals charge pretty competitive prices, right?

Not all contractors do, and some may be out of your price range. Whenever you’re considering working on a home renovation project, take the time to get multiple free estimates from general contractors in your area.

It’s worth the extra time to potentially save yourself thousands of dollars.

Know Your Needs

A lot of homeowners dream of renovations that include everything from a home office to that listening room and home theater they have always wanted. While that’s nice to fantasize about, expectations that get out of control can lead to disappointment when the renovation actually happens.

Figure out what you really need in a renovated home and stick with the basics. If you have the budget, add creature comforts or amenities that you will truly use. Take the time to figure out if you’re just imagining your needs or if you really know you need that home office and theater.

June 03rd, 2016 | Author:

Lots of individuals love the idea of owning their own boat. A boat can be used for fun, fishing, transportation, and much more. However, many individuals feel that purchasing a boat is a big investment and want to make sure that that they make a wise decision.

Some individuals immediately put the idea of purchasing a boat out of their head because they simply think that owning a boat is just too expensive. However, this is not always the case. If you are going to purchase an expensive yacht and then store it in a well-known marina, you are likely going to fork over a ton of money. If you buy an older boat, purchase discount boat parts, and do any necessary repairs, the purchase of the boat is not all that expensive. Also, if you have a vehicle that can pull a trailer, you can store your boat on your own property.

Another thing to think about is how often you will use the boat. If you are going to spend a lot of money on an expensive boat and you have to pay for storage and insurance, you want to make sure that you get the most out of it. If you are only going to be able to use it a couple of times a year, it may be better for you to rent a boat whenever you have the opportunity to get out on the water. However, if you will use your boat often, it may be a great investment. Boating presents an inexpensive way for families to have fun together. You can invite close friends out on the water for fishing trips or an afternoon of fun. Many individuals are able to spend multiple days every month out on the lake or ocean during the summer months when the weather is nice.

It is a good idea for you to calculate exactly how much owning a boat will really cost. There are always ways to find less expensive options, but you want to be realistic. Think of how much you will have to pay in order to buy the boat and a trailer. Think of how much you will have to pay for either storing the boat or purchasing a shed or other things that will be necessary in order to protect it if it is stored on your property. Also, think about how much it will cost each time you take the boat out on the water. Depending on the kind of boat, you may need to purchase gasoline and other supplies.

Category: Hobby  | Tags: ,  | Leave a Comment