Friends Around the World

Monday, March 31, 2014

South Padre Island

If you are going to ask me if I went to South Padre Island, the answer is no.  I just received some beautiful postcard sent to me a dearest friend from San Antonio Texas who spent some time in San Padre Island.  Thanks a lot sis Dhemz!
I  love this nail clipper that she sent me along with the different postcards.
Other postcards include: Port Isabel, Texas, San Francisco California,  San Jose,  and Santa Cruz Boardwalk.
Even just postcards, I feel like  these places  would be so much wonderful to visit someday.  Maybe next time, we would see each other again and bond as families.

Wedding Months

Today is the last day of March, oh how time flies!  I wish that  Winter  weather would fly by  so fast like that but it seems to be lingering for so long.   We had snow yesterday  which is really a bummer because lots of kids are getting sick due to  drastic change of weather.  But anyway, I am sure that warm weather is  on it's way for us to enjoy.  

Soon June brides will be parading  and lots of wedding will be held.  Planning a wedding involves a lot of work and so many decision to make.  Lots of things to consider   if you want to have a successful wedding.  One of the many things   that needs to be address is the venue.  I am sure that if you want a very nice  place, you might consider the wedding venues in Grand Rapids Michigan.  

Grand Volute is one of the many places that is popular for   weddings in Grand Rapids Michigan.  Their wedding receptions in Grand Rapids Michigan is just gorgeous.  I have seen  the photos in their  gallery and  all of  those are just WoW!  It reminds me of our church wedding  10 years ago.  The venue  plays a major role  to have a memorable wedding of a lifetime.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Red High Heels

Seeing the red boots that these performers  representing Ukraine were wearing immediately reminds me of  Kellie Pickler's music video, the  Red High Heels.  It was fun watching them perform the Ukranian dance during the Festival of Nations here in our area.  I will be posting more photos next time.  I haven't got the chance to  post any of it but this so for now enjoy.  Also, you can play the music video of KP  below.

Home Upgrades That Everyone Should Seriously Consider in 2014



Have you recently moved into an older property that needs a little work doing to it? Perhaps you are renovating a house, from the bottom up, that you bought at a bargain basement price. Improving our surroundings is a natural part of the human condition and for many it can become an obsession. Some people may carry out the upgrades to increase the value of the house so that they can trade up to a bigger property. Others do it to make a nest for themselves and their families.

Whatever the reason, if you are choosing to revamp your home this year, here are my top suggestions that will give you a better place to live. They are a little expensive, but most things are these days. See what you think.

Swimming Pool

Make every member of your family happy by building a sunken swimming pool in your own back yard. Hardware and building materials can be found at www.gotstock.com.au and many other places, with an internet search. You will be a superhero to your children if you bless them with their own pool.

Loft Conversion

A loft conversion will provide you with masses of space without losing any land. They are often cheaper than home extensions too. If there is a budding astronomer in the family, or you need an extra couple of bedrooms, a loft conversion can be the solution.

New Kitchen

The chef of the house will be in their element if you treat them to a new kitchen with all of the latest appliances. Whether you like the look of traditional kitchens with wooden cabinet doors or a sleek new design utilizing composite materials, a new kitchen will add value to your home.

Bathroom

Live in luxury with an exotic new bathroom. It is far easier to relax if you are in beautiful surroundings. A large whirlpool bath will set the scene perfectly and twin basins will help calm nerves on those rushed weekday mornings.

Bedroom

Create extra storage in your bedroom by the use of a massive built-in wardrobe. There is never enough room for those shoes. If you have a spare room, perhaps you may consider putting in a doorway from your room, into it. It could then be used as a wardrobe and dressing room, which would take the mess out of the bedroom.

Extension

If you have land to spare and deep pockets, an extension to the home could be just what you are looking for. You may decide to build a large single story extension for a games room, or build a two story one that will add extra bedrooms too. If you have the money, the possibilities are endless.

Conservatory

If you enjoy the sunshine, relax in style and soak it up in your own conservatory. Conservatories can be plain and cheap or beautiful and expensive. Either way, you could be enjoying your own in just a couple of weeks as they are fairly quick to erect.

Summer House

You may enjoy parties in your own jacuzzi housed in a luxury summer house. It is becoming all the rage these days but often the surroundings aren’t up to scratch. Your own heated room will keep the guests happy.

After writing all of the above suggestions my mouth is watering and, I think, it is time to give my bank manager a ring. Good luck with your chosen projects my friends. 

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Timeline Includes Carnegie Science Center

Glad that we went to Carnegie Science Center before my son's timeline project was due. His 2014 could have been blank lol.  Well, not exactly because we did some little things as well but  this was  his highlight for this year.
Took these shots before we left CSC.  I am not sure when we can come back again but hopefully we could visit the other  museums  as well next time.
March was a bit harsh for me  but at least, we have   quality time  for our kids.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Deconstructing with Care – How to Safely Remove a Flat Roof

Though there are numerous advantages of flat roofing, it can and will eventually fall into disrepair (either though leaks or eroding materials) and will need to be replaced. If you wish to replace a flat roof, you're first going to have to remove the old one, a task that isn't quite as simple as simply stripping it all away, in fact it could be argued that taking apart a flat roof is far more complicated (in many respects) than Flat Roof Construction. 

Though it might be a job with a certain degree of catharsis attached (who doesn't enjoy tearing up heavy fabric?), removing a flat roof is not a task that should be undertaken by just anyone. It's a job that requires a certain degree of methodical patience and dexterity, as well as a decent amount of experience in general construction work. As a result, if you are in any way unconvinced that you'll be able to complete the task without making a colossal mess of your roof and/or yourself, consider hiring in a professional roofing contractor. There are numerous online avenues you can search, as well as more local contractors such as Marcus Roofing, who should be able to offer you an incredibly competitive quote.

Getting Started
Before you begin, make sure that the job is safe; you are dealing with roofing after all, so a fall could prove damaging or even fatal. You're going to want to make sure first that the roof indeed actually needs replacing instead of simply just fixing. If the damp has set in to the extent that the roofing and supporting timbers have both begun to rot, a complete flat roof replacement will be necessary. If there are just a few damp patches on the felt though, you might only need to replace the cover.

Safety First
If you do decide a replacement roof is the only way to go, the first thing you'll need to do is hire a skip that you can fill with debris as you go. This will not only mean cutting down the work of disposing of the debris, but will provide a safer place to store the 'droppings' so that nobody trips over it and hurts themselves. Safe access is also incredibly important, so make sure your ladders are sturdy and can stand freely by themselves. Also, test the stability of the roof before you step foot on it. If you don't feel it will be able to support your weight, reinforce it with working boards as rotting timbers can be particularly dangerous, giving away completely without warning if enough pressure is put on them.

Guttering
Now that you're all ready to crack on you'll want to start by removing the guttering. If the gutters are of the flimsy, plastic variety (as most are) then this shouldn't prove too difficult as they should simply un-clip and pull away with a little persuasion. Older guttering might need to be unscrewed though. If you plan on reusing the guttering when you've redone the roof, store it in a dry place. Next, remove any remaining guttering, fascia boards and chippings. These chipping will generally take the form of small stones, which you should be able to sweep up into sacks to be re-used later. Try not to fill up the sacks too much of course, as you don't want to be exerting too much weight on the roof.

Covering
Now it's time to remove the covering and the boards. Most flat roofs will be covered in an asphalt covered felt, which will have been applied in long stripes approximately 18 inches wide. Use a crowbar or spade to pry up the edges of the coverings and once you have a good grip, simply thrust forward to rip the material off the roof. It could take considerable force, especially if its decades old, but you should be quite comfortable doing it without any other tools. When the pieces come up, toss them into the skip and move on to the next piece, removing any nails as you go and repeating until the roof is clear. Whilst you're removing roof covering, remember to wear strong work gloves and safety goggles, as small particulates prove dangerous.

Joists
Once you've removed the boards, you'll have to take down the joists, which will most likely be made from timber. You will probably need something to pry them off (a crowbar or wrecking bar) but you should be able to remove them with a little not-so gentle persuasion. When the joists are down (make sure you save them if you intend on re-using them) detach any remaining nails and bits of felt, and remove the wooden wedges ('furring pieces') that have been (until now) holding the joints in place and giving the upper roof its required shape.

Now you're done! Of course you won't want to leave the roof completely bare, so remember to place a tarpaulin over the roof and weight it down with some bricks or heavy rocks. Then you should be ready to replace the roof with some new roofing materials!

About the author:
Jim Goldhorn (with a lot of help from his brother) removed his garages old roofing material last summer and replaced it with a brand new asphalt covering. Thus far it's been a complete success (fingers crossed).

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Across the River

Here are some random shots I took across the Pittsburgh river when were inside the Carnegie Science Center.
This art piece caught my attention as it is very colorful.  It's a sculpture of a triceratops.  
If it wasn't cold that day, we could have enjoyed a nice walk outside.
Pittsburgh has so many educational  establishments for kids and adults alike.  We would love to see the other two Carnegie museum next time.

10 Home Improvements That Will Change Your Life

No project is ever truly finished, and our home is the biggest of them all. Home improvements are worth billions to the economy and are carried out all over the country by people willing to spend whatever it takes. Perhaps building and constantly improving has become set in our DNA since we first left caves and open plains behind.
The best thing about improving our homes is that it can be done in small steps, room by room. Only the brave undertake a complete makeover that will involve finding somewhere else to live for a few months at least. Not that there is anything wrong with that method, it’s just that it will all need doing again at the same time in the future.

Most of us choose a project every few years that we can get our teeth into and finish with a job to be proud of.

Here are my top ten home improvements that you need to carry out to change your quality of life.



Cool Kitchen


Look at that sleek, mouthwatering, design in the image. Notice the clean lines and ultra-modern cabinets, appliances, and sink. The cook of the house will be in their element when presented with enormous worktops and storage to die for. Yes, a new kitchen stands in the number one spot.


Brilliant Bathroom


Friends and relatives will be jealous of your marble palace. Cutting edge suites and accessories can be found at abltilecentre.com.au and many other online retailers for a fair price. If you have a big budget, spend it on the bathroom.


Exciting Extension


Extending the property is a major project to undertake but the rewards are worth it. The extension will add value to your home while providing an extra bedroom and larger kitchen. Whatever you will use it for, an extension is never the wrong choice.


Lovely Loft


If lack of space is an issue, extend upwards with a loft conversion. Often, they are a fraction of the cost of building an extension.



Great Garden


Ok, i’m running out of cool titles, but bear with me. How about a beautifully landscaped garden with a running stream and fishpond.? Add a summer house into the mix so you can get away from it all without going anywhere.


Jazzy Jacuzzi


Invite friends round for a watery massage and champagne. You are ensured regular visits if you have a jacuzzi.


Perfect Pool


The children will love you twice as much if you sink a swimming pool into your back garden. The summer house can double up as changing rooms too.


Convenient Conservatory?


Yes, I know, sorry. Splashing out on a conservatory that is just a little bigger and better than the one next door will give you the evil satisfaction that we all revel in from time to time. Not all conservatories need planning permission either.


Wicked Wardrobe


If you have a spare room in your house, why not knock a doorway through, and use it as a walk in wardrobe and dressing room? Keep all the clothes and shoes out of sight and sleep in a less cluttered place.


Real Fire


If you have a wasted chimney, go back to using solid fuel in a real fire. It needn’t be your main source of heat if you have central heating. Nothing beats a log burner or coal fire for snuggling in front of on a winters evening.

Now you are the owner of the coolest house in your street, all thanks to me. It may have cost you a pretty packet, but the value increase of your home should cover it if you decide to move sometime in the future. If you have carried out all of the above, however, I think that is unlikely. Thumbs up for a job well done.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Doquesne University Clock

Kids are fascinating. I love their spontaneous ideas. When we were roaming around the Doquesne University, he saw this big clock and he blurted 
Mr. Burrito: "I know why they have that clock there"
Me: Why?
Mr. Burrito: "For the students not to be late in class".
Me: How about the teachers?
Mr. Burrito "Teachers  are responsible, they  seldom get late"
Me:  Yeah, but  teachers would sometimes come late.
Mr. Burrito: "That's because they  get caught in traffic sometimes."
I just find it cute that  he thinks very highly of teachers which I am very  proud.

5 Things for Your Home That Will Bring a Crowd

Pools with waterfalls, elaborate staircases and kitchens the size of an entire house; the lifestyles and homes of the rich and famous are certainly out of this world. Add a touch of celebrity to your own home with these five features and soon you’ll be fighting off overeager friends and family, not to mention discovering new acquaintances you never knew you had.

Home Cinema

Movie-watching is a universal activity, enjoyed by those of all ages and backgrounds. This is why your new home cinema is guaranteed to be a huge hit with everyone in your life; the hard part will be agreeing on what to watch! Businesses such as Big Picture People and Digital Cinema specialise in providing and installing home theatre systems; while it can be expensive, think of all the money you spend on movie tickets each year and view it as an investment.

Pool


Make the most out of summer’s warmth and promises of fun by installing a pool in your backyard. Those less fortunate will flock to your new oasis, craving relief from out-of-control temperatures and boredom. Be prepared to be amused, surprised and impressed by a plethora of excuses or reasons for dropping by suddenly; of course, they just happen to have their swimsuit with them. For the ultimate pool area, purchase accessories such as sun loungers and outdoor settings from retailers such as Super A-Mart (superamart.com.au/)

BBQ

What better way to complement your outdoor pool area than by adding a barbeque? As the smell of cooking meat and vegetables wafts through the neighbourhood, you can bet that you’ll suddenly be inundated with requests to get to know each other; if you have children, the excuse will most likely be play dates. Hosting a BBQ is also a great way to show off your pool and amazing cooking skills.

Table Tennis Table


Attract the competitive and sporty by purchasing a table tennis table for your home. This is a great, low-cost option for those that want to be active, enhance family bonding and just have some fun! Remember to try and keep things light-hearted though; a shattered ego can be a very sad sight indeed. If you’re not a fan of table tennis, consider buying a pool table, dart board or football table to jazz up your home.

Sauna

A perennial favourite of spa and gym goers, saunas are fantastic for bodily cleansing, stress relief and muscle relaxing. Other supposed benefits include weight loss, boosted immunity and improved skin conditions. Even if you originally intended to have a sauna for private use only, an overwhelming spate of requests will soon have you thinking otherwise. Sharing is caring after all.
Do you have a friend or family member with an enviable house and amenities? What do you wish you could add to your home? Or maybe you wish you could be less popular? Share your stories and tips by commenting in the section below.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sunshine and Shadows

One fine morning
I glanced at our wall
saw this beautiful pattern 
 shadows that somehow brings 
sunshine on a freezing winter morn.
Sun
shine
brings
s
h
a
d
o
w
s

Tips for Remodeling Your RV Garage

In order to protect your RV from the elements, it is ideal to store it in a large garage. These structures need to be at least 8-feet tall with 10-feet being ideal. This allows for enough head room for safe parking.

You can remodel the space to make it usable for more than just RV storage. Along the exterior edges, you can create storage shelves for excess household items or tools.

Get creative and make the space usable for more than just a large room for an RV.


Add LED Lighting


LED lighting is brighter and lasts longer. It is a good idea to install this type of lighting in your RV garage so that you do not have to climb ladders to change burned out bulbs. Most LED bulbs can last up to 10 years.


Use an 8-foot Automatic Door


With this being such a large space, an automatic door that is at least 8-feet high is ideal. This ensures that you have enough room to back in safely, even on a slight incline. Once inside, the roof ventilation doors can be opened.

The automatic door would work on a remote control to prevent a back injury from lifting the heavy door.


Create a Living Space above the Garage


Rather than creating a garage on the side of the home, consider creating living space above the tall garage. Not only are you up higher off of the ground but you have a better view. In areas where rain and flooding are prevalent, this is an ideal situation.

You can renovate the garage space to have an elevator, escalator or custom set of stairs leading up to the living quarters. The design of the structure can be traditional, rounded like a barn or completely square.


Create Storage and Work Space


Within the garage space you can create space for storage of tools and household items easily in the large garage space.

Some storage ideas include:
· Pull down storage boxes for holiday items
· Hanging hooks for lawn maintenance and gardening tools
· Wall drawers for building materials
· Work bench or table areas for crafting
· Storage cabinets along the sides for winter clothing, winter snow removal tools and other items.

These storage and organizational tools often create a mess in garage spaces. The ability to organize around the RV and use the space for more than one purpose is ideal. These organizational properties reduce safety hazards from tools and parts being strewn about randomly.

Adding in climate control devices will help the RV tires and the interior as well. Tires and interiors can dry rot easily when the vehicle sits. Moving the RV a few feet forward and backward once a month helps the tires to keep their integrity.

Consider also adding in heat or a finished floor to the garage space. This will allow you to hold large family gatherings in the garage when the travel vehicle is not stored inside. Tables can easily be setup for a garage sale as well.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Sheer Curtains for our Living Room Windows

As I have mentioned here, we also bought some curtains for our living room.  We took down the boxes where our former curtains were attached and just  used a metal one to  hang our sheer curtain.  IT makes the room so much bigger without the   box.  It looks plain but we achieved what we were aiming for, which is to have  more light  in the room.  The off white sheer curtain  does the trick, the light from outside is good enough  to  make our living room sop much brighter.
I just got done putting away the Christmas decor when I took these photos so there's nothing  in our  center table but my kids  stuff.  

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Adele Song

I was  watching the video of a father and daughter duo the other day singing  one of Adele's song and it was very cute.  The father was  playing the guitar and daughter  was singing with him.  The little girls is only  4 or 5 years old and she can really hit the  high notes.  I think it's an advantage if you  expose your  child to the things that he or she is interested in doing  at an early age.  I just love watching little kids singing with their  parents, it's a joy  and it's very inspiring.  I think that if your  child is interested in  playing a guitar, an affordable hagstrom guitars from guitar center could be a great start.  

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Carnegie Science Center Landmark

We had a beautiful day yesterday so we decided to take the kids to the Carnegie Science Center in Pittsburgh. We have never been there and thought that this would be something new that the kids can learn to. I will make a detailed post about our trip next time, sharing here first is the landmark of the CSC.
Carnegie Science Center is just one of the  four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh.  This north-shore attraction has 400 hands on exhibits where you can see science come alive.   If your kids are into science, this is the perfect place for them to visit as it is an interactive  amusement park for their  imaginative minds.
The CSC includes:
  • Highmarks Sports Works.
  • Real cold war-era submarine
  • Rangos Omnimax Theatre
  • High definition digital planetarium
  •  2,000 ft aquarium
  • 3e live demonstration theaters
  • Miniature railroad and village.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

JP Colors Photography Classes in New York City

As increasing numbers of people have started to use digital cameras, the demand for digital photography instruction has grown. Attending a class in photography will open your eyes to all the amazing things that your digital camera can do. Also, in a photography class, you will learn methods for taking better photos, and editing techniques to enhance the appearance of photos prior to printing.

Typically, there are a couple of different kinds of photography lessons available. One option is the conventional courses provided by private businesses, community centers or educational institutions. Frequently, in these lessons, you will take photos outside of the classroom, and then assess them collectively. These lessons are perfect for people who find it easiest to learn new things through practical work.

Indeed, the advantage of photography courses offered by JP Teaches Photo is that you deal with your teacher and fellow students in person, and work alongside them throughout the lessons. Also, you can venture out to do shoots as a group. For social people, who learn better when others are around them, this is the recommended option. The downside is that sometimes, these classes can concentrate strongly on one aspect of photography. Therefore, you do not acquire as much knowledge as you would get from an online class. If you choose to follow this path, combining it with a decent online course would compensate.

This brings us to the other option, which is online digital photography instruction. While these lessons lack face-to-face interaction, they offer the advantage of a broader range of subjects and more versatile timetables. Students submit their photos on the web, for the teacher and other students to analyze. This format is most suitable for people who live in areas that do not offer much in the way of photography tuition, or people who require more schedule flexibility.

Online photography classes enable students to get started quickly. In contrast to offline classes, you do not have to worry about any schedule clashes, fret about whether the class is fully booked, or wait for lessons to commence. Rather, with an online lesson, you can begin immediately at your own pace. Furthermore, online lessons are good because normally, you get to take part in online exhibitions and chartrooms with fellow students. Here, you can get helpful advice on how to improve your work. Typically, there will be a teacher you can contact for help as well. Several decent online lessons are available, with everything included, for no more than a couple of hundred dollars.

The best way to learn photography is to master the technical aspects and theory, and then implement your knowledge straightaway. Afterward, you repeat the process again. The more accustomed you get to use your newly found skills, the easier it will be to retain the knowledge. Eventually, you will employ your new skills instinctively. Photography workshops that are taught on location allow you to learn "hands on", and find a practical application for the new techniques immediately.

Article provided by JP Teaches Photo

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Rainbow Loom Bands

 My sister-in-law made my daughter a craft bag and she also gave her  some craft stuff including  rainbow loom bands and  containers for her  crafts.  We used the containers for the rainbow looms so she could organize each colors.  

There are so many patterns that you can follow  in making bracelet or  necklace with these rainbow loom bands.  I am  amazed  of the different designs that you can do.  One of my  daughter's classmate made her a bracelet with her name  on it as the design, I thought that was pretty neat.
This type of things  makes our  cafty little girl  busy most of the times.

Mixed Race

When I was just dating my husband, I was warned by many people  around me that mixed race relationship is a gamble but I told them that I am willing to take that chance.  I am glad that I did because we are married for over ten years now and still going strong.  Marriage is something that two individual  should work on over time.  It doesn't matter if  the partners have multicultural background, as long as they respect and love each other, relation is guaranteed to work.  

I admit that there are some  challenges sometimes but it's never a big deal for both of us.  I am glad that there are resources for multiracial families like us.  I found Happily Mixed Up Community  that offers   subjects about  different topics on children coming from different races.  They also have topics such as parenting, children, friendship, dating, and a lot more.  I think that, our differences makes it more interesting.  Look what I could have missed if I did not gamble?


About Me

My photo

A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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