A Primer on Preventing Allergies at Home – Before They Strike

Your house is the safest place for you and other family members but unfortunately, it can also be a haven for allergy triggers. You may not have control over what happens outside your house, but you have the power to reduce or even eliminate allergen levels in your home. Sceduale regular home cleaning sessions in the weekend. It is important to realize that most allergens thrive on moisture and humidity. The following steps will help to remove allergy causing agents but most importantly, prevent them from developing in the first place.

1. Keep the House Dry and Cool at All Times

dehumidifierWhen the house is maintained under these conditions, it becomes impossible for mold, dust mites and roaches to infest and bedevil your living space. The ideal humidity level inside the house should be below 50% but this largely depends on the outside humidity or weather conditions. A dehumidifier and air conditioner can be used in cases where this level is difficult to achieve naturally. The only condition if using a dehumidifier is to empty it daily or have it connected to a drain. Maintaining optimum humidity also involves getting rid of any materials inside the house as soon as they are wet, e.g. from flooding, spillages, etc.

2. Consider Using Hypoallergenic Flooring Materials

People who are prone to dust allergies have better lives if the floor of the area where they spend most of their time is made from either linoleum, tiles, hardwood or vinyl. These types of floors are easy to clean and this keeps them free from allergens. If the desire to have cloth rugs is there, the size should be small to facilitate regular cleaning. Carpets that cannot be cleaned all the time such as wall-to-wall carpeting should be vacuumed frequently. Once a week is good enough and if possible, asks a family member who is not allergic to dust to do it. It is also a good idea to invest in a vacuum cleaner that has a HEPA (high-efficiency particulate air) filter for trapping the allergens.

3. Declare Your Home as a Smoke-Free Zone

Tobacco smoke is the leading cause of asthma attacks in small children and should be avoided inside the house. To completely keep the house free of smoke, you need to invest in smokeless cooking equipment such as those that use electricity and natural gas. Candles and some air-fresheners produce smoke and while they do make a room to smell nice, they can be serious allergy triggers. A diffuser can help you if you live with a smoker, as smoke cannot be completely removed anyway. You can find several reviews on diffusers if you choose to go down this route – given a chance between cigarette smoke and aromatherapy oil, I think we all know what to choose, right?

A regular allergen check is important to keep your house safe all the time. Pets should be kept clean at all times and if possible have specific areas for playing and staying. Such controls will help you to monitor and keep away allergic reactions that may take place in the house.

Preventing allergies (hay fever, etc.) at home is possible – you can simply identify potential triggers then create a routine of how to maintain an allergen-free atmosphere. Easier said than done, but better done than otherwise.

Cutworms, Aphids, Thrips and Mites: The Bane of All Green Thumbs

Gardening can be a therapeutic exercise. Nothing can be more as relaxing as whiling a nice morning away in the garden, tending to your lawn and your garden as your centerpieces in the great American fashion of doing so.

Imagine yourself riding on a John Deere classic lawnmower while chomping down firmly on a Cuban cigar. Or whatever it is you use for a lawnmower (but if you haven’t yet, check out the detailed reviews from lawnmowerlane.com before making a purchase – you’ll thank us later).

There’s something just inherently relaxing about it.

But even the most carefully tended garden will at some point be attacked by pests – pests that will absolutely bedevil your garden. While most organic gardeners will be at a crossroad on how to control these pests, the extensive damage usually might cause loo of an entire crop. To identify the presence of pests, look at the general condition and appearance of the leaves because that is the main area of attack. The use of chemical pesticides although instantaneous may affect the quality of food and health of other animals and should only be used if anything else has failed. It is possible to keep these pests away without having to use chemical-based pesticides or insecticides.

1. Cutworms

Cutworms are active at night meaning that you will never see them in action destroying your plants but the extent of damage will appear to increase with each day. They are pests at the larvae stage and their body measures 1 inch in length. These grey or black worms can be found in almost all seedlings and vegetables as soon as they are transplanted. The most serious damage to young plants is to chew the stem at ground level, killing the seedling. Use of collars on seedling transplants, late planting and hand picking of the worms are effective organic control measures for cutworms.

2. Aphids

cutworms-aphids-thrips-and-mitesThese pests are rather tiny and have long antennae projecting from the pear shaped critters. They are commonly found on fruit trees, vegetables and flowers. By sucking the sap out of a plant, an aphid infestation could lead to foliage distortion and in extreme cases loss of leaves entirely. Aphids can be controlled by spraying plants with solutions of neem, insecticidal soap, garlic, hot pepper and encouraging traditional pest predators such as lacewings, lady beetles and aphid midges.

3. Thrips

Also known as the thunder-fly, thrips are tiny black insects that destroy plants by sucking sap from the petals and leaves. The affected plants will have white patches on their leaves and petals regardless of whether they are indoors or outdoors. Use of biological controls is effective in getting rid of the pests and reducing their damage.

4. Red Spider Mites

It is not easy to spot the red spider mites because other than being tiny, they dwell under the leaves from where they suck sap. The resultant damage is seen as yellow mottling on the surface of leaves which later develops into fine webs. Raising the humidity in the growing area plus use of biological controls can help reduce the effect of these mites but organic sprays can also be used.

Important Cooking Appliances Every Home Kitchen Should Have

A good kitchen should contain proper waste segregation, good layout and appliances necessary for the preparation of various meals. If you are wondering what these are, there are several appliances that you should seriously consider getting to make your kitchen experience satisfying and worthwhile.

Electric mixer

cooking-appliancesIf you like to bake, having an electric mixer is a must. You can get either a hand mixer, for smaller and simpler mixing tasks, or a stand mixer, for frequent use on recipes with more amounts of ingredients. This tool can make mixing together eggs, whipped cream, and other ingredients much easier and faster. It is also able to create a smoother batter for your bread, cakes, and pastries.

Blender

A blender is a versatile kitchen appliance that can be used to make a wide array of foods. It’s very useful for those who like to loose weight; You can make all kinds of smoothies with vegetables and fruits. For instance you can make your own fresh and very healthy almond milk (by soaking almonds in water overnight and put them in the blender), powdered sugar (by blending regular sugar), salad dressing (by mixing and blending together vinegar, oil, garlic, and herbs), and juice (by blending your favorite fruits and vegetables with water). Find the best rated blenders today to enjoy all of these benefits!

Toaster oven

A toaster oven does more than just making toasted bread. It works like a miniature oven, with the ability to cook meat, pastries, and other foods, without occupying too much space and using up a lot of electricity. It can be used to prepare fish, beef, chicken, and pork dishes for main meals; make snacks, such as nachos, French fries, pizzas, and fish sticks; and bake bread and cookies.

Pressure cooker

An energy-efficient kitchen appliance, a pressure cooker has the ability to cook food much faster than other cooking techniques. It makes use of pressure created by boiling water or other types of liquid inside a sealed vessel to cook food. Some tasty recipes you can try with it are pot roast, barbecue pork, beef chili, chicken soup, mashed potatoes, lasagna, and beef stew.

Food processor

A food processor is quite similar to a blender in terms of functions. The difference between the two lies in their blades. The former’s blades can be detached, reattached, and interchanged, while the latter’s cannot as they are fixed.

Before using a food processor, you should know that there are different blades for different functions. There is one for chopping and slicing, one for pureeing, a different one for grating and shredding, another one for kneading dough and mixing, and another for grinding meat and fruits. With this kitchen appliance, you can make mayonnaise, nut butter, flour, sauces, soups, spreads, salsas, dips, ground meat, ice cream or soft serve, bread or cookie crumbs, and many more.

Essential Winter Preparation for a More Efficient Working Routine

Truth be told, it’s already challenging to stay focused at work every day when there are all forms of distractions around us. Whether you work for a company, you have your own business or you are a home-based worker, staying focused can be a challenge or even rather difficult. They say it depends on the person. Some people focus and work better than others. While that can be true to some extent, only you know what’s going on inside of you. With that being said, it is safe to assume that during the winter season, most people have a harder time staying focused at work. Especially if winter comes in your country during the holidays, then expect the weather and the holiday rush to get the most out of you. But still, life must go on. You need to pay bills. You have to get your chores and errands done. You have to work. If you’re looking for ways to stay focused at work during winter, here are some tips you can keep in mind.

1. Be prepared.

One of the things that will distract you from work is when you worry about what is going on outside during the winter. Make sure your car is weather-proof so that you won’t have to worry about leaving it in the parking area, and use a snow blower for your driveway to get rid of excessive snow. We found yosnow bloweru great electric snow blower reviews so you can easily pick the one that you like the best. Using the snow blower is also a form of exercise too! It might not make you sweat it out like you would using a shovel but at least you’re moving. And you won’t be worried about coming home to a house buried in snow if you do this in the morning.

2. Wear the right clothes; pay attention to the temperature.

When it’s too cold, one tends to get distracted. You have to get up every once in a while from your desk to get a cup of coffee or change the temperature on the heater. When you’re wearing clothes that are way too warm while working, it’s hard to keep focus too. It is best to program your heater at a temperature you prefer the most and wear the right clothes for indoors and another layer of warm clothing when you’re heading outdoors.

3. Eat your breakfast and exercise in the morning.

The best way to stay focused is by starting your day right. Breakfast, as we all know, is the most important meal of the day. Do not miss it. Exercise and sweat it out before showering and getting ready for work. This will keep you up and energized the rest of the day.

4. Have something warm to drink at different times of the day.

For most, a warm cup of coffee in the morning is enough. But during the winter season, one tends to feel sleepy and go out of focus due to the weather. Consider using a bigger mug and drink some more coffee. If you are not much of a coffee drinker, you can try warm tea or chocolate drinks to make you feel warm and awake.

5. Write down your schedule.

Have a checklist of your things to do. Just like anytime during the rest of the year, you need this to monitor what you have done so far and what else you need to do. If you see that you haven’t gone far with your checklist yet, then you have to force yourself to focus.

Five Reasons You Should Workout With a Friend

Trying to lose weight and stay fit is never easy. Even with all those workout videos you will see online with these very fit individuals making even the most unusual formations and workout schemes seem very simple, once you try it, you know it won’t be easy at all. You may have already signed up for gym membership or you’re trying other forms of exercises and that’s actually good. The only thing you have to watch out for now is consistency. You need to turn exercising into a habit in order for you to stay fit, healthy and even sculpted if that’s what you’re aiming for.

There are some people who prefer working out alone. They use these hours as their “alone time” and would even consider workout sessions their own relaxing moments. For others, they need a workout buddy. A workout buddy can be someone you’ve met in the gym or even a colleague or a long time friend. Whoever you choose to be your workout buddy, you will surely enjoy sessions more with a friend. In fact, here are 5 reasons that will prove that!

1. You will not get bored.

Especially if it has already become a routine and you’ve been doing the same workout sessions for weeks or months, things could get boring. Yes, you’re sweating it out and you’re keeping it busy at the gym, but there are dull moments for sure. However, if you workout with a friend, you know that you have someone to talk to, share music with, or have coffee or an energizing after workout meal with.

2. You will actually look forward to workout sessions.

Treadmill ReviewsInstead of dreading workout sessions and those days when you’re scheduled to go to the gym, when you’re working out with a friend, you might even look forward to these days. Especially if your workout buddy is someone who you don’t live with or work with, catching up while working out will be something to look forward to. You can meet up in the gym or you can even make your own small gym at home. You don’t necessarily need a lot of big workout gear. You also can get some dumbells, jump ropes and things like that. If you do have a little more space but still not a ballroom, you can decide to go for the best and most compact treadmill with manual incline, it gives you the opportunity to do a full workout at home.

3. Someone will be there to motivate you.

Having a workout buddy is one great way to motivate yourself. If you feel like you’re about to give up, someone will tell you that you can do it and you must not quit. Your friend will tell you that you’re actually looking better and doing better with each workout so now’s not the time to stop.

4. You can turn it into a friendly competition.

You can even turn workout sessions into a friendly competition when working out with a friend. It could be as simple as who can stay longest while on the treadmill on a specific speed and angle. Whoever wins most points by the end of the week will be treat the other a hearty meal on your cheat day.

5. You can monitor your progress together.

When you have a friend with you while working out, you can monitor your progress together. You’ll know whether your progress is actually normal or if you’re doing any good because you have someone to compare your measurements or results with.

Four Transportation Alternatives to Get You to Work

Air pollution, heavy traffic, expensive parking fees and gasoline prices – these are just some of the many reasons why driving your own car to and from work every day is no longer as ideal as it was in the past. Unless your job requires you to drive from one location to another throughout the day, it’s sometimes no longer practical to bring your own car daily. It is good to be reminded that driving to work isn’t always the only option you have. There are other transportation methods you can try out. Check out the list below.

1. Ride a Bike to Work

Bikes are probably the most environment-friendly means of transportation; and it’s healthy too because you are basically traveling and exercising, plus you can loose some weight at the same time. Although you might need to bring extra clothes because biking can make you sweat and especially if you live in the city, you may have to wear facial masks to ensure that you won’t be breathing in all the pollution. Biking may take a bit more time especially if you live quite a distance from your place of business or work but if you manage your time well, wake a little bit earlier in the morning, this means of transportation is a great alternative – and there are almost zero costs when riding a bike!

2. Hoverboards, Electric Bicycles and More

Electric Scooter ReviewsIf an actual bike is quite tiring for you and you’re not the type who would want to skateboard your way to work, then you can take a look into modern means of transportation. Hoverboards are fairly new in the market and are usually enjoyed just for fun. However, you can actually use this for travel especially if your workplace is just a short distance away.
On the internet you can also find the best electric scooters for kids and grown ups, which are great for longer distances because they require no effort from your part. You can also find electric bicycles, but these still require physical work. And yes, you will probably spend money on electricity when charging these, but not nearly as much as how you would be spending on gas and parking!

3. Carpooling

There are many ways to carpool. You can check with your co-workers if anyone passes by your neighborhood or you can check with your neighbors if they work in the same area of your office. You can also do it with friends or family members. Sometime, all you have to do is ask. You can even check on social media, online ads and there are actually carpooling apps – check if there’s one that’s available in your city.

4. Take Public Transportation

Calculate how much you’re spending when you take your car to work. Take into consideration gas, parking fees and car maintenance too. Then try taking public transportation – bus, trains, cab, etc. Find out if this comes out cheaper and more affordable. However, it is understandable if you’re choosing comfort and convenience of driving a car rather than taking public transportation. Weigh your options and choose what’s most ideal for you.

Five Reasons You Should Schedule Regular Home Maintenance

The responsibility of a homeowner to his house doesn’t simply end the moment a mortgage has already been paid in full. The truth is, spending and caring for your home never ends. Every day, you have to spend time cleaning it. You have to spend money to maintain it. If you don’t do this, sooner or later, your home’s structure will deteriorate and it won’t be such a livable place anymore. If you are quite hesitant on home maintenance procedures, such as calling professionals to get the job done for you, then you should realize by now that this is necessary thing to do if you want to preserve your home.

Home maintenance procedures include general cleaning, plumbing, electric maintenance, repainting and a whole lot more. To give you that added confidence that you’re doing the right thing by calling on professional maintenance services, here are 5 reasons we’re listing down for you.

1. Living in a clean home is good for your family’s health.

Walls may already be infested by termites and pests. Tiles may be too dirty and basic cleaning materials won’t do the job anymore. Dust and bacteria may already be living within mattresses. All these and more are the things you should be worrying about as these could be harmful to your family’s health. You can only do so much by sweeping, mopping and vacuuming your home. Let a professional show you how it’s supposed to be done.

2. The stability of your home’s structure is significant for your family’s safety.

As mentioned, there may be pests infesting parts of your home. The structure might already be weak without you noticing it. The patch on the ceiling might be more than just rainwater that went through the roof. To ensure that there won’t be any accidents happening in the future, the structure of your home should always be stable and this can only be guaranteed with regular maintenance.

3. Professional skills, experience and equipment are needed to get the job done properly.

Sun Joe SPX3000 Pressure Washer ReviewYou don’t have all the skills needed to maintain your home unless you’re in the cleaning or maintenance industry as well. You might be doing well enough when cleaning your home but you don’t have the expertise in plumbing or say electrical repair. Your garden hose does not do a better clean wash then a pressure washer in cleaning your roof and driveway.

4. A house is a reflection of its owners/occupants.

Your home is a reflection of you. Where you live defines you. If it’s a dirty and rather run down home, what kind of impression do you think you’re making? A clean and bright home makes a much better impression of its occupants.

5. Regular maintenance will help increase the value of your property.

As earlier mentioned, your property will deteriorate without necessary maintenance. If you regularly maintain and improve your property, of course, its value will increase. Should you decide to sell it in the future, then you can expect a better price tag.

How to Lose Weight When Feeling Lazy

A lot of us want a fit and healthy body. Especially with all the weight we are about to gain or have already gained through the holiday season, the cold weather makes it so difficult to get up and just exercise. So how can you possibly lose weight when there’s just a lot of great food and you’re feeling super lazy? Of course, there’s really no short cut to a fit and healthy body. You have to work for it. But we have to admit that there will always be days when we don’t feel like getting up and sweating it out. Here are tips you can take into consideration so you can still take those inches off your belly even when you’re feeling a bit lazy.When it comes to food, try a little bit of everything.

  1. When it comes to food, try a little bit of everything.

    You don’t have to have the largest slab of steak on your plate and double servings of mashed potato and veggies. If there’s so much food to choose from, by all means, try everything just to satisfy your hungry tummy and your taste buds. Settle for smaller servings and just savor the taste so you won’t have to get a few more servings after that.Ride an indoor stationary bike.

  2. Ride an indoor stationary bike.

    Ride an indoor bike and lose the weight. It’s easy because you’re basically sitting down and just working out using your legs. You can watch TV while biking and you won’t even notice the time go by.Drink lots of water.

  3. Drink lots of water.

    Drinking water doesn’t require a lot of effort, does it? You don’t have to be all active and jumpy just to go to the kitchen and get a glass of water every so often. This cleans your body’s system and water has become proven to be a great part of effective weight loss.Go on a rowing machine.

  4. Go on a rowing machine.

    rowing machineMost gyms have a rowing machine or you can actually buy one for your home so you don’t have to get out of the house. According to Home Rower, a rowing machine lets you work out both your upper and lower body while basically sitting down. Your feet are in place and it your hands and arms are the only parts of your body that exerts a lot of effort. Much like a stationary bike, when you’re sitting down, it just feels a whole lot better.Motivate yourself.

  5. Motivate yourself.

    The key to losing weight is self-motivation. In the first place, when you’re lazy, you’re probably not going anywhere and you won’t see any changes in your body. It is understandable if you feel lazy today but a bit of self-motivation will do the job. Simple tasks like cleaning your house, already contribute to weight loss and needs to be done anyway. Remind yourself why you want to lose weight and how beautiful or handsome you can be with a slimmer and fitter body. Remind yourself how you want to live a longer life and that’s possible when you take care of your body. It all starts within you and if you get up today, you can make most out of your day!

How to Save Space in Your Bedroom

Even if your home is large enough, there are some things that you’d rather keep in your bedroom. This includes your personal effects, clothes, private items, books, photos, and the list goes on. While you can probably have a cabinet or shelf outside your room so that your own personal area can remain comfortable and spacious, it is quite understandable when you want your things close to you. You’d rather just get out of bed in the middle of the night to get that pocketbook you can read to fall asleep than walk a few more steps and climb up the stairs to your attic to get it.

It is quite understandable that you want all your things in your bedroom especially if you live with someone else in your home, whether it’s your family or a roommate. If that is the case though, you will most likely have so many things in your room that are accumulated through the years. Without space-saving techniques, you’d find yourself having too much things, you barely have any walking or moving space left. Important is, to clean your room and pick up the clutter. Here are some more tips on how to save space in your bedroom that you may find interesting.

1. Install Floating Shelves

nail gunFloating shelves make use of the overhead or air space. If you have all these cabinets and shelves around your room that are placed on the floor, then soon enough, no walking space will be left. You don’t have to spend a lot as you can easily install floating shelves on your own. Simply gather some plywood or any wooden slab that you can easily saw according to your desired size, use paint color that would match your room and start installing it on the walls. For beginners, L-brackets are a great way to make sure that the shelves are stable. If you know a bit about DIY building, then you can probably use a nail gun instead to secure these shelves over your head. A nail gun is basically like a hammer; instead, it’s a gun. This means you can quickly attach one piece to another securely without all the noise and with better accuracy.

2. Make Use of the Space Under Your Bed

You can draw inspiration from many tiny bedroom models you’ll find online. There are some who would simply install drawers under their bed or use under-the-bed show organizers. There are others who would have their beds installed up high so that the area under it can be a place for full-size cabinets or even a desk where one can work or study.

3. Dispose Things You Don’t Need

Every year, look into your closet and take out the clothes you haven’t worn for a long period of time. Check on your book shelf and gather the ones that you have read already and don’t intend to read again. Organize the shoes you don’t plan on wearing anymore because it has grown out of style. You simply need to know how to dispose the things you no longer need because these will just waste space. To feel better about getting rid of these personal items, consider donating to the needy and the homeless.

With courtesy of:
SFGate
Air Compressor Spy
Do-It-Yourself Fun Ideas

How to Have a Successful General Home Cleaning Weekend

Cleaning your home is a must. If you don’t keep your house clean, you are not just allowing your property to deteriorate at a quicker pace, you are also placing your family in a very serious health risk. Now this is common knowledge and for most, chores are distributed so that the house is cleaned daily. However, you still need that general cleaning weekend to make sure that your home is cleaned thoroughly. If for some reason you are getting confused on what to do first or what to clean last, then here’s a guide to help you out.

  1. Pick up all the clutter and store things that are not in their right place.

    This is really the first thing you must do. Before you can even start sweeping or mopping the floor, you need to make sure nothing obstructs the area where you will be cleaning. You also need to make sure every little child’s toy is in its right place and every piece of trash goes to the bin.

  2. Dust or vacuum your furniture.

    The reason behind having to dust furniture first is that the dust tends to fall on the floor. If you are already done sweeping or mopping, then dust will fall down on the floor again and you’d have to start over.

  3. Sweep the floor.

    If you use the mop right away, you will just be transferring dirt from one place to another. Unless you have an awesome mop that absorbs even pet hairs and dust, then you can probably skip the sweeping.

  4. Begin mopping.

    You can now start mopping your floor. Mop bedrooms, then the living area and make the kitchen your last stop. The kitchen is the busiest and probably the dirtiest place in your home. If you mop it first, there’s a chance the dirt from the kitchen will be transferred to the bedrooms and the living area.

  5. Put the curtains and the sheets in the laundry.

    You need to wash curtains and sheets regularly too. Your curtains accumulate dirt and dust through time and there’s no way you can skip washing this. Sheets and pillowcases must be washed too because this is where you sleep and you just want that to be clean for sure.

  6. Clean the bathroom.

    toilet reviewThe bathroom should be your last stop. Your toilet should be cleaned thoroughly because you sit here and who knows what kind of disease you can get out of the dirt and bacteria that has stuck to the bowl. Unless you are the owner of a very good dual flush lavatory, which prevents you from having to scrub the toilet more than one’s a day. Aside from the toilet, you need to clean the floors, walls, shower area and the sink. This is your last stop because right after you clean the bathroom, you can finally take a relaxing shower already.

It isn’t really all that difficult to go through general cleaning of your home. Yes, it could be very tiring but nothing beats the great feeling of having a clean and beautiful home to live in.