Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Safety Options to Consider When Buying a Car

 A car is not only a big investment, but it’s also a powerful machine. It’s therefore essential to buy the safest vehicle for your finances, which can improve road safety for both you, your passengers, other drivers and pedestrians. To ensure you pick the right make and model, we are providing these five safety options to consider when buying a car.

Antilock Braking System (ABS)

A driver will want to feel in complete control of a vehicle at all times. For this reason, you should look for a car with an antilock braking system, which will stop the wheels from grinding to a complete halt during a hard brake. This will prevent the wheels from locking, even on a slippery surface, so a drive will still have steering control of the car during an emergency brake. Another big benefit of an antilock brake system is that it can often reduce your car insurance premiums, so not only will ABS improve your safety, but it will boost your bank balance too.

Head Protection Side Airbags

Side airbags can improve vehicle safety, as they can provide protection during a side impact. For example, they can be activated when a vehicle is T-boned by another car that crosses an intersection. You can often pay a little extra to have side bags incorporated into a vehicle.

Reverse Camera

Many modern cars offer a backup camera that will activate when a vehicle reverses. The center console screen will display a rear view, which can help with parking to prevent an accident causing harm to a car or pedestrian. Consider one of the many Toyota Hilux models that feature a backup camera.

Electronic Stability Control (ESC)

As stated, it’s essential for drivers to have full control of the vehicle. Electronic stability control (ESC) will, therefore, prevent a car from rotating if you turn a little too quickly for a condition, such as in bad weather. In fact, it can reduce the chances of a fatal rollover by 75%. Many modern cars and light-duty trucks now come equipped with electronic stability control, but it can also be a feature in many older cars too.

Forward Collision Warning

A forward collision warning (FCW) features cameras, lasers or a radar, or a combination of all three, which can scan the many cars ahead before alerting the driver if they are approaching a vehicle too quickly, or in the event of an imminent crash. Most forward collision warning systems will alert a driver with either an audible or visual signal, which will provide enough time to react to prevent impact. You could also select a car with automatic emergency braking, so a car can quickly hit the brakes if a driver fails to react.
Nothing’s more important than your safety when driving a vehicle, which is why you should consider a car’s protective features before you buy.

Have you bought a safe car? Do you have any road safety tips you would like to share? Write a comment below. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Landscaping Experiments #DIYproject

Before removing the tree.
If there's one thing that I am not scared of tackling is doing some DIY landscaping experiments.  I love  gardening and I can do it all day long and do it again the next day without feeling tired.  When we first bought this new home a year ago, there was a big  crab apple tree in the front yard.  I liked that it provides  shade and cool win during the summer time but  the roots was  causing the  side walk concrete to pop out.
I talked my husband into removing it  but the thought of  digging the roots out made him not  want to do it but he  recognized the problem the roots are causing so he eventually agreed to remove it.  This was covered with grass so my first task was  removing it.  I used the  suds of grass  to cover the side of our garage  that does not have  grass so it wasn't wasted.

Crab apple is pretty during Spring when it blooms but I have issue with the seeds, they  grow everywhere in the yard which is annoying so I am so glad that we removed it.  We have all the tools that we needed to  cut it down and dig the roots out.  It was a lot of work and one of our neighbors even doubted that we will  get it done but we did, in two days!
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Removing the tree was the easy part, digging the roots out was the hardest.    They have huge roots underneath.  I asked my husband to  cut the  wood in pieces and I used it  as a boarder in our backyard.  I will  posty it the next time.
I planted some perennials once we got done digging the roots.  Why plant another tree, you might ask?  It is a dog wood tree and they don't grow  very big, as long as you keep it trimmed.  I love dogwood because they look beautiful during the Spring.
We used a lot of mulch doing this project but luckily, they were on sale when I did this project.
Thanks to my husband for taking these photos.
I love how it turned out.  Now, I don't have to deal with  dried  leaves blowing everywhere and new  crab apple popping out  in the yard.
Here are the kind of plants  that I  planted in our triangle  garden.   My husband love this Silver Mound Artemisia.  I  love how soft it is and that rabbits and deer doesn't like it.
This variegated Liriope has beautiful   purple  blooms during the summer and they are very easy to care for.  It's a great choice  to cover ground.
The Blue Star Juniper (Juniperus Squamata) has always been my favorite evergreen shrub.  It has a steel-blue foliage  that retains it's color all-year round, it makes a beautiful  shrub even on Winter times.
I I hope that this dog wood survive over the winter so I can see  its leaves turn  white  during the spring.  I wanted a pink dog wood but we didn't find one  around here.  I ordered one online but it never grew so I  didn't have a choice but to get the white one.
HOsta is always  my first pick when it comes to boarder plants.  They are very easy to care for although deer and rabbits love to eat its leaves and flowers.
I added a couple of annuals on the pots.  I also planted  Little Heath Peiris and  Compact Andora Juniper to complete the landscape.
I had to spray  deer repellent on the hostas because they keep eating them.
These are just some of my landscaping experiments.  My neighbor  always compliments us of how our  garden looks which makes me happy.  I will post some more DIY  garden projects we made next time.  

Friday, August 25, 2017

How to Start a Major Home Improvement Project

Do you want to undertake a major home improvement project but are unsure how or where to begin? Don’t allow a lack of knowledge or experience to stop you from transforming your home. Simply read our handy advice on how to start a major home improvement project.

Prioritize Tasks
Many homeowners can often become swept up in the fun of choosing color schemes, furniture and decorative accessories. That’s because they often provide instant gratification. However, don’t get caught up in the fun stuff and focus on the big home improvement tasks. For instance, do you need better plumbing in the bathroom, a full kitchen remodel or to replace a worn heater? Resolve the bigger issues first and the fun stuff will follow.

Understand Your Limitations
It is imperative to understand your limitations when embarking on a home improvement project. While you might want to perform all the big and small tasks within the home, you might unfortunately lack the knowledge and experience to execute them well.

The last thing you will want is to incorrectly plaster a wall or cause a fire due to inaccurate wiring. Don’t view it as admitting defeat, as hiring a qualified builder near me will help you create a beautiful house that you will be proud to call home.

Consider Your Energy Levels
Even if you do have the skills to undertake a task, it is advisable to consider your energy levels before you start a home improvement project. For instance, if you have recently endured a significant life event or have just moved into your new home, you might not have both the mental and physical energy to embark on a major home improvement project.

If you are worn out, you will have to decide whether to set the project aside or hire a professional. In fact, it is never always a bad thing to wait for a few months before you make any major changes to your new home, as you could spot design possibilities once you have lived in the home for a little while.

Identify Your Wants and Needs
Before you start a project, sit down to identify your wants and needs ahead of a home improvement. For instance, what type of environment do you want to create in each room? If you are a parent, you might simply want a beautiful, durable living room that is clutter-free, so you must look for hardwearing, functional and stylish furniture with storage solutions. Once you understand exactly what you want from each room, you should then undertake a project.

Get to Work on the Frequently Used Rooms
Think about the room you spend the most time in within the home? This is where you should start making improvements to your home. Transform rooms one at a time, working your way from the most used rooms to the least visible areas of the home.

Please share your helpful home improvement tips by writing a comment below.

Monday, August 14, 2017

#DIYprojects : Path Lights

I always admire  well-lit gardens whenever we  go on our afternoon walks.  So When I saw these path lights  on sale  during one of the major holidays,  I thought it was a great opportunity to buy them in bulk for our garden.  I always wanted some  for our garden but I always shy away from getting them because of the price.  Glad I got lucky to find them   on sale.
They were very easy to assemble and putting them on the ground is also easy.   My husband joked  that the deer  is happy because they see clearly where the flowers they love to munch on are, lol.  I told him that the deer need lights too.
We have a long  driveway and  a decent size of  backyard garden so we bought  9 boxes of these  path lights.
These solar lights  are great addition to our garden.  It looks beautiful  at night time .
Even though our front  yard  is  well-lit with the  lamp post, we  decided to  put some in it too so it would look uniform.
I took a short video so you will see how the lights illuminates  the garden  especially in the dark  areas. If you want to add character in your garden  during night  time,  these solar lights are the perfect  way to do it.  

Friday, August 4, 2017

Picket Fence #DIYproject

My husband's initial plan was to put fence  just around the back porch but  I thought  that it would be easier and less expensive  if we include the  concrete side of our backyard since we would need less material.  The  challenge he had was that he didn't know  how to put  a fence post on a concrete.  I told him that we will figure it out and he did.  
By having a picket fence attached to the side of the garage, we can let our  dogs  without  worry that they would ran out and wander around the neighborhood.  I mean it is easier to let them out  and I am glad that he agreed with me because  our backyard looks a lot bigger for the kids and  fur babies to run around to.
 He used his  special  tool to  make  specific cuts for the posts.
 The picket fence comes in a kits also so we  put  it together when it arrived.
We used a metal post holder for the posts.  His buddy at work lent him  a drill for the  screw.  He tried doing it manually but it was taking so long to make the hole so I am grateful that his friend  lend us his tools.
Our fence project took us a long time to finish but I am really satisfied how it turned out.  Our neighbors are complimenting us for  doing it by ourselves and we even had a guy who was visiting our neighbor's house came and  asked us where we got the  fencing that we had, he said it looks beautiful.  I told my husband that we should do this for a living lol.  It was  fun doing it with my husband and our kids helped us a lot too.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

#DIYproject : Planters We Made Using Scrap Materials

Our picket  fence on the side of our house has bigger  gaps in between the panels so the rabbits can still get our from it.  I asked my husband if he can build me some planters to block the bottom of our picket fence and he said  yes.  I told him that he can just use the scrap of woods available in the garage but just like  every project that he work on, he doesn't like  making something that isn't to his standard.  He told me that he will go to the store and buy some piece of wood but I really didn't want to  spend  any cash  for it so I decided to build it myself using the wood I told him to use.  I am always into up-cycling stuff.  I mean why spend money if you can  use the  ones you have available already.  I do agree that my husband's projects always turned out great but I love  avoiding unnecessary expenses.  Anyway, here's what  I ended up creating.
My husband   helped me put some screws on the first planter.  I think it was painful for him to watch trying to use nails hahaha.  I am not comfortable  using the   electric tools yet so I was using all the manual tools that I know how to use.  So this project  took several hours to make as oppose to getting it done quickly if  I use his  wood cutting tools.  When I was growing up, I was always my Dad's right hand girl when he is fixing something in our home.  He always calls me his  personal  assistant which makes me feel special.    I just love watching and learning about carpentry.
I even used  the small  cuts of  wood to decorate the  center of the planter.  I couldn't use any nail to it so I just glued them using wood glue.  My husband think that it would have  looked cleaner without those  triangle wood I added, so I build another one without it.  Then he told me that he like the first one I made, ahhhh he makes me go bonkers sometimes.  He told me I  did a great job though so that is  a really nice compliment from a man who is always a hard  critic.
I drive my husband  crazy sometimes when I want us to do project because I don't like  waiting.  I  would  start working on it  until he gets on board.  As a former  Navy guy, my husband always  want to  do things by the book whereas I do things very differently.  He does a lot of planning and sketching, I just work on whatever  pops in the small nugget of mine.  Most of the time  my idea works but  sometimes it fails, it doesn't  discourage  me because it's the failure that I  make that I learned a lot.  

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Fence is Done, YAY! #DIYproject

Our fence project is finally done, at last after two months of working on it!     Oh let me tell you how relieved I am now that this big project is done. We ordered the panel kits in April and it did not get delivered until the first week of May.  It took   almost an hour to assemble the very first panel, the first is always the  most difficult but as the time goes on, it got easier and  we assembled it   a bit faster.
We decided to buy the kits  although we knew that it would take us an extra time to  do it.  There is no design that we like on the  pre-assembled ones.  At first, my husband  got frustrated but he was okay after we got done with the initial shock lol.
There are many pieces that comes in a kit so it takes a while to put it together.
The kids had their summer job working for us staining the panels after we assembled all of it.  He did  a really good job.  I love including  our children in doing projects like this because it teaches them to be a team player.  They might not realize it but it is a good  lesson for them  in real life when they get older.
I think if we dedicated time just to do  this project all day long, the project would have last  for a week but since we  could only work on it  full days on Saturdays and  a couple of hours  during the weekdays, it took us almost two months.  
There's no instruction how to attach this kind of panels to a post so we figured it out as we go.  On regular fence panels (see  the fence we put at our old home here), you attach the panels at the back of the posts but on this specific kind of panels, we  have to attach it on the side of the posts so  every  holes that we dig  has to be precised in measurement.
We were kind of worried but  at the same time finding humor  when the top of our street burst  in flood.  All the water ran to our yard and flooded our new fence that  wasn't even finish.  My husband said, now is the true testament  to test the panels if the stain we put would protect the wood from water, and it held up pretty good so it was a relief.
I am so glad that  the fence is up already because our dogs can stay in our own backyard.  They used to love running around our neighbor's yard and I feel awful because they feel  terrorized by our pets.  Granted that  our dogs don't bite but for them it  was scary.
Anyway, as soon as the fence was almost done, I did not waste time  and did some gardening around the fence.
We had to order the  hinges and other hardware online because we couldn't find something that my husband like on our local  stores.  Our order  took a week before  it arrive so it made the timeline of pour  project a lot longer.
The empty  dishwasher detergent bucket was  a great tool to use  for the stain.
We had to  buy additional wood panels  to put on the side of the doors.
We couldn't find a matching panels for the  side of the  garage so we decided to use this picket  fencing.  These are made of cedar wood also so  after  staining them, it kind of looks similar to the  other side of the fence.
The bunnies can  slide in between the panels so I put plants  in front of  it to serve as a barricade.  I made two planters for this specific sports but that would be another post next time.

I also chronicled our project via Instagram so it serves as our timeline.  Now I can breath and relax before  school start again.  

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Coming up are some projects that we did in the yard.

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