5 Outdoor Accessories that Will Wow Your Guests

If you want to impress the guests who visit your home, then invest in outdoor accessories such as a gazebo, water fountain or fire pit to improve the appearance of your lawns.

1: Fire Pit

The guests visiting your home will feel amazed when they see a fire pit in your backyard where everyone can cook food over an open flame. With a fire pit, you can enjoy a backyard earlier in the spring and later in the summer. It is possible to use propane, wood or natural gas to power your backyard’s fire pit.

2: Bug Zapper

If your guests are worried about mosquito bites, then install a bug zapper in your backyard near a deck. Insects are attracted to the lights inside a bug zapper, but the mosquitoes and other flying bugs are electrocuted by the wires inside the device. Having a bug zapper helps to make your outdoor space more enjoyable in the evening hours when many insects begin to fly around.

3: Water Fountain

You can have a landscaper install a water fountain on a lawn to impress your guests. Decorative water fountains look great alone or in combination with other landscaping items. You might want to have a water fountain in the middle of a flower garden to provide a beautiful place to relax each day. Place benches or chairs around a fountain so that your guests can enjoy the beautiful ambience of this item in your backyard.

4: Outdoor Kitchen

The newest way to enjoy your backyard is with an outdoor kitchen that has a variety of equipment, including:

• Grills
• Refrigerators
• Sinks
• Freezers
• Countertops
• Stovetops
• Microwaves
• Tables
• Chairs
• Lighting fixtures

With a customized outdoor kitchen, you can prepare and serve meals to your guests easily any day of the week. You won’t need to haul equipment to the backyard to cook hamburgers or scurry back inside your home for additional ingredients because you can store everything outside.

5: Gazebo

There are great reasons for building a gazebo in your backyard. When guests visit your home, they will enjoy sitting outside, but they won’t like being in direct sunlight. If you have a gazebo on your lawn, then you can place tables and chairs inside it in order to have a picnic. You might want to have built-in benches around the edges of a gazebo for additional seating, and if you install a light in the ceiling of a gazebo, then you can remain inside the structure in the early morning or evening.

Install Outdoor Accessories Over Several Years

You don’t need to add all of these outdoor accessories at one time because landscapers can install these items over several years.

4 Ways to Overcome a Weight Loss Plateau

If you have hit a weight loss plateau, it may be difficult to understand why all of your weight loss efforts have all of a sudden stopped working. However, it is important to know that, according to the Mayo Clinic, weight loss plateaus are normal. It doesn’t matter how meticulous you are with your regimen of good health, eventually, you will hit a plateau. Here are four ways to move past the plateau and continue on with your weight loss journey.

1) Write Everything Down

Record every bite you take, whether you are eating, sampling, or tasting. Underestimating the amount of food you are consuming is a common mistake with people who are trying to lose weight. It can easily lead to a weight loss plateau. Keeping a diary of everything you eat can help you see where your problem lies. It may also keep you from reaching for that next cookie, because you know you will have to record it.

When keeping a food diary, write down the time of day and your feelings to figure out your problem times and certain emotions that may cause you to overeat. Recognize what your eating triggers are and replace them with healthier foods to keep your full. Monitor your progress, and reward yourself for your hard work, but not with food.

2) Be Careful at Restaurants

According to the New York Times, some restaurant meals have enough calories to fulfill three meals’ worth of food. Restaurant portions can sway even the strictest dieter. It is important to remember to practice portion control, even if you are dining out.

Try ordering a dinner salad or an appetizer as an entree. You do not need to order an entree that comes with a salad and then get a dessert to fill yourself up. Pay attention to how you feel and stop when you are full.

3) Load Up on Fruits and Vegetables

Eat a lot of low calorie fruits and vegetables rather than other foods that are high in fat and calories. Put your vegetables in the center of the plate so they fill most of the plate up. Alternatively, start every meal with a salad to fill you up a bit before moving on to your main course.

The U.S. government’s dietary guidelines suggest we consume 7-13 cups of fruits and vegetables each day. Make sure your kitchen is full of plenty of fresh produce and eat a little at each meal. This will boost your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. Also, if you fill up on nutrient-dense produce, you’ll be less likely to eat foods that are highly processed.

4) Practice Yoga

While people often turn to food for stress relief, a healthier option is to turn to yoga. Yoga not only lowers your levels of stress hormones, but it also increases insulin sensitivity. This helps the body to know to burn food rather than store it as fat.

4 Ways to Save Money When Buying a Portable Air Conditioner

Many homeowners dread checking their energy bills every month. Fortunately, there is a plethora of ways that you can take advantage of to save your monthly energy bills, one of the simplest ways being using a portable air conditioner. Whether you need just one portable air conditioner to cool your bedroom or several to cool an upper floor, you need to begin saving money right from the beginning—when buying your unit! In connection to this, here are 4 simple ways to save money when buying your portable air conditioner.

Go for the right Unit

Although you may be tempted to purchase a portable AC that uses minimal energy and only takes little space, such a model may not work efficiently for large living or family rooms. Before buying your unit, therefore, check its label to establish the size of area (in square feet) that the it can cool efficiently. You shouldn’t choose a large unit in a compact room, either, because such a unit will overwork to cool your room and in turn make it clammy.

Buy units that serve multiple purposes

While you may only require a portable AC to cool your room or home, you will save a lot of money by purchasing a unit that can do much more. There are air conditioners that you can use as a heater during cold months, a fan when you simply want added ventilation and a dehumidifier when it is rainy. In fact, if you live in an area with a variety of seasons, you will save a lot of cash by investing in a portable AC that can accommodate the changes in weather.

Energy Consumption

When making a purchase, endeavor to always find out where your unit is located in terms of its energy class and performance—it can add a lot to your monthly bill! Go for least energy-consuming portable ACs. Remember that the better the efficiency of your portable AC, the less the amount it will cost you to run. As a guide, units with high energy-efficiency ratio numbers (reached at by dividing their cooling output by electric energy input) are considered to be more cost effective.

Know when to purchase

Like any other product, knowing the right time to purchase your portable AC can save you a lot of money. When it comes to portable ACs, the best time to make purchases at a deep discount is obviously the winter. Demand for ACs is at its lowest during cooler months, so retailers find themselves overstocked with low demand. To encourage consumers to buy, various appliances stores routinely offer huge discounts to lure shoppers into stocking up in the off season.

A portable AC can be a great investment that can go a long way in easing the trouble of seasonal heat and subsequent high energy bills. Follow the above highlighted tips to ensure that you get the most bang for your hard earned cash and experience everything your AC has to offer.

4 Reasons to Hire a Debt Management Specialist

Visiting a debt management specialist is one of the most common practices for people who have problems with overwhelming debt. If you a suffering and sinking into the abyss of the low credit score, then you will want to considering calling a debt management company. Four of the top reasons to hire a debt management specialist are:

It Births Revelations

A debt management specialist sometimes acts as a counselor. Counselors have talent in analyzing things. Such people may be able to see some debt management errors that you are making and give you advice on them from an objective angle. The person can also provide you with tips for managing the debt that you have now as well as avoiding falling into the same trap once you do resolve your debt-related issues. A good counselor is someone you want to have in your corner because that person can help you find the path to financial freedom.

It Relives Stress

Another reason to hire a debt management company is because it relieves stress. A debt management company can set you up with a debt management plan. A DMP is a plan that allows you to breathe and not carry the burden of what to do every month. Your account manager or counselor will take a payment from you every month and then distribute the funds from that payment to your creditors. The counselor can also contact your lenders and negotiate with them, as well so that you do not have to do it. You will be able to focus on your family, job and other obligations that you have with the help of a good debt management specialist.

It Organizes the Finances

Finally, a debt management specialist can organize your financial profile. You will feel so much joy knowing that you only have to pay one entity, and all of your spread about entities will resolve. Sometimes most of the sense of helplessness develops from the financial profile’s disorganized state. You will have much more mental energy when some of the financial clutter gets out of your way.

It Creates a Long-Lasting Relationship

You can go to the same helpers in the future if you need advise for your finances if you find the services of these persons to be pleasing. You will not have to search.

Finding a Reliable Company

To find a reliable company, you will have to review five areas. You will have to look at consumer reviews, BBB ratings and listed information on the provider’s website. The website is a great way to find out which services the company provides and if they consist of the type of services that you need for your establishment. If you feel as though you have found the right establishment, then you need to call and schedule an appointment for your first consultation. Someone will schedule a date that you can come in and speak to someone.

How to Choose the Perfect Commercial Door Hardware

If you run a business and are in need of commercial door hardware, now is the time to seek out the perfect product. You can use the strategies outlined below to ensure that you find the right product:

1. Decide What You Want.

Commercial doors come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and colors. As such, it’s important for you to gain a basic understanding of what you want before you get the shopping process underway. For example, there is a vast array of distinct wood types that you may want to choose from. Some of them include:

• poplar
• red oak
• hickory
• walnut
• birch
• cherry

2. Research The Retailer.

Learning more about the company that sells commercial door hardware is a wonderful way to determine whether doing business with a retailer would be a good idea. As such, you should take time to research the retailer so you can determine which companies are operating ethically and in excellence.

There are several ways that you can determine whether a retailer has a good reputation. One way is by reading the retailer’s online reviews. As noted in Forbes, more and more people read and trust online reviews. In many cases, reading a wide range of these reviews can provide you with a clear understanding of whether a retailer offers great products at reasonable prices.

3. Look For A Money Back Guarantee Or Warranty.

Another strategy you can implement to ensure that you select the perfect commercial door hardware is determining whether the retailer offers a satisfaction guarantee. As noted in Wikipedia, the money back guarantee is a guarantee that if the consumer is not thoroughly satisfied with a service or product, she or he can attain a refund. In general, retailers offer these money back guarantees because they are fully confident in the quality of their product.

In addition to seeking out a retailer that offers a money back guarantee on the commercial door hardware product, try to find a company that will provide you with a warranty. Even when you purchase your product from a reputable dealer, there’s a good chance that it will malfunction at some point. As such, it’s a good idea to obtain a warranty which will enable you to attain repair or maintenance services in the event that something malfunctions with the product.

4. Request A Complimentary Consultation.

One final strategy you can employ to help you locate the right commercial door hardware product is requesting a complimentary consultation. This strategy will enable you to meet with a company representative, ask questions, and determine whether you like the company’s culture. You can also request information regarding pricing, discount options, and other important data that could help you save money or optimize your shopping experience.

Don’t Delay: Find The Perfect Commercial Door Hardware Today!

If it’s time for you to invest in a commercial door hardware product, now is the time to start shopping. To ensure that you find the absolutely amazing product you deserve, use some or all of the strategies outlined for you above!

How to Lower Your Company’s Mailing Costs: Tips and Tricks

One of the challenges that new business owners experience is budgeting for mailing expenses, which include costs of sending and receiving mail. When starting a business, there are several considerations that business owners should make. One of the most important is finding ways of cutting operating costs of various sections of the business. Mailing costs take up around 25% of the total operating costs and this is why entrepreneurs should find ways of lowering mailing expenses. Here are tips and tricks which business owners can use to gain control of their mailing costs.

1. Get acquainted with your mailing representative.
Most mailing companies have representatives throughout the country, even in rural and remote places. Some of the roles of the representatives are to deal with questions from customers, negotiate rates, and make the entire mailing process as smooth as possible. Remember that the mailing company representative is a sales person whose aim is to get you to mail as much as you can. The more you mail the better for them.

2. Leverage flat rate mailing.
Many mailing service providers provide mailing packages at a flat rate. This helps clients make significant savings, regulates the entire mailing process, and reduces the inconsistency related to mailing costs. The companies set these rates by distances or zones which the parcel is transported to. Talk to your representative in case you find need information for various mailing zones. They will help you compare and understand the charges involved before you settle for a mailing package.

3. Negotiate shipping rates.
Many companies offer incentives such as discounts and cheaper mailing packages to their active or long-term clients. All you need to do is ask your mailing company if they have these incentives. Apart from offering incentives, they will also help you complete the entire mailing process and reduce costs of switching from one mailing package to another. It is advisable to compare prices and know what other companies are offering, even if you do not want to switch.

Technologies, rates, and benefits change and if you maintain a good relationship with your mailing company’s representative then you can easily renegotiate new benefits to your deal. Many mailing companies also offer discounts based on volume. Therefore, make sure you communicate changes in your mailing volume to receive better offers.

4. Use their equipment.
Some carriers offer mailing equipment and software to their clients including scales, computers, and printers. Some of the equipment may be offered on lease or as part of their clients’ mailing packages. Using this equipment helps startups because it offers them opportunities to acquire mailing equipment at affordable costs.

5. Seek out mailing refunds.
On time mailing guarantees offered by some carriers is another way of saving extra cash. Consider asking for a refund when your mailing does not arrive on time as guaranteed by the mailing company.

Business expenses can make significant inroads on savings and business profits. Business owners can lower their companies’ expenses by saving on mailing costs.

How to Move Large Appliances Efficiently

The task of moving all of the large appliances in your home can be one of the most physically and mentally challenging aspects of the entire moving process. Every year, 1 in 6 Americans move; unfortunately, not all of them know how to move large appliances properly. In order to make sure that you can move all of the large appliances without any injuries or damage to the home, certain precautions are highly important to undertake. By keeping the following tips in mind, you can ensure that large appliance moving doesn’t have to be any more of a trial than necessary.

Consider the nature of the large appliance itself

When planning to move large objects in the house, the first things to come to mind will generally be things like drawers and beds. It’s important to recognize that large pieces of furniture are fundamentally different from large appliances, and as such, special precautions need to be taken in order to undergo the move safely. A refrigerator needs to be disconnected from its power supply for at least 24 hours before the move.

In addition to the very nature of the large appliance itself, you should also make a point to think about the condition of the object itself. Generally speaking, new appliances (or those that have been purchased relatively recently) will be a better idea to move than the appliances that are outdated and may not be worth the cost of relocation.

Have dollies and gliders on hand

No matter what kind of large appliances you may have, there are certain things that are essential to have on hand. In all scenarios, an appliance dolly will generally be necessary. The wheeled dolly to remove a great amount of the risk involved in picking up the large appliance and leaving it at the mercy of gravity.

In addition to appliance dollies, you’ll also want to have sliding gliders that can help make it easier to move large appliances across hard wood floors. Gliders can be used to easily transfer the appliance inside to the dolly outside.

Make absolutely sure that all cords and detachable parts are disconnected

Washers, dryers and dishwashers should all be completely disconnected and drained. The power cords of stoves should be taped to the back, and all detachable parts should be removed and packed separately.

When it comes to properly moving large appliances, physically moving the appliances themselves should generally be the very last step of the process. Far too many people make the mistake of simply trying to strong-arm the appliance out of the room without taking the necessary preliminary steps, which introduces all kinds of potential hazards. Make sure to never move any appliances before taking the above pointers into consideration, and if all else fails, don’t hesitate to invest in the help of a professional moving team to make the process swift and painless.

3 Major Benefits to Gain from Portable Storage Units

There are a variety of benefits to those who want to use portable storage units. Each category of renter will see different benefits based on the use of the units. For example, homeowners will see different benefits than the government, although, some benefits like cost savings can overlap.

Benefits to Homeowners

Homeowners can use a portable storage unit in their yard during renovations. They will have contractors and delivery people in and out of the home during the process, so they’ll need a place to store valuables or appliances.

During a kitchen renovation, the remodeling process could involve tearing out the windows, which leaves the entire home vulnerable for theft. Placing valuables in the storage unit will keep everything accessible to the homeowner, but not accessible to thieves.

Commercial Businesses Benefit from Portable Storage

Instead of finding a larger store, retail establishments can make use of a portable storage unit. They can keep extra inventory in the unit instead of trying to make room in the back of the store. It leaves more room for employee areas like a break room or offices for management.

Whether it’s new promotions or holiday decorations, extra inventory will need to be kept nearby to be used frequently. Using a warehouse or off-site storage means the employees wouldn’t have ready access to the inventory they need to sell in the business.

Other businesses like construction companies can use portable storage units to hold their tools on a job site. When they’re working on the same location each day, they’ll need a place to hold their tools, and large pieces can be stored easily in the unit to avoid theft.

Government Benefits with Portable Units

Even the government can see a lot of benefits to portable storage units. They can be used to store sensitive documents on government property, or they can be used to provide shelter during disasters.

Sensitive documents can’t be stored in a traditional storage unit off-site since there are security risks. Keeping the documents on the grounds where they can be guarded and watched is one of the best ways to keep them secure.

Another benefit for a government agency using portable storage units is holding important gear for routine military exercises. Instead of carrying heavy clothing, masks or boots and helmets, the gear can be stored in portable storage units.

The benefits of portable storage units varies based on whether it’s a homeowner, business owner or government that is using the units. They can be used as a security device and portable storage for valuable belongings as well as overstock for businesses.

President of Syria Decries American Efforts Against ISIS

isis

The President of Syria, Bashar Al-Assad, believes that the United States is not serious about trying to defeat the ISIS invasion in his country. Al-Assad, who is a polarizing leader around the world, spoke about the matter during an exclusive interview he conducted with NBC News earlier this week. He talked about how he was branded as being a “delusional” leader for hoping to take back every inch of his country from the ISIS barbarians. But he may owe his new-found boldness to a close relationship with Russia.

syriaAssad claims the Syrian army has made sufficient headway in the past few months against ISIS forces, which means they are on track to get the entire country back over the coming years. Even though he claims it may not “any more than a few months” to get Syria back from ISIS, most experts believe it will take a little longer for the Syrian army to completely defeat their enemy.

For his part, Al-Assad is not diplomatic about who he credits with helping his country defeat ISIS. During his interview with NBCNews, Assad went on to say that Russia was the world power that really stepped up when his country needed them most. “It was the crucial factor that tipped the scales in our favor,” said Assad. One example of Russia’s assistance is how they helped get the city of Palmyra back from under ISIS control.

But the role of the Russians is not necessarily viewed as a positive sign by other Western powers. They are worried about the Russians overreaching in a part of the world that may not concern them. In addition, the United States and other countries are not happy with the fact that Russia has been busy bombing various parts of Syria, with little regard for whether they are hitting civilians or terrorists.

us-flagRussia does claim their attacks are targeted and only strike on terrorist hubs, but other entities do not have share the same views. The United States is still determined to have more of a say in what goes on in Syria over the coming months. They are attempting to strike a backchannel deal that may see Bashar Al-Assad give up power in return for United States support in the war against ISIS. The Secretary of State from the United States, John Kerry, is heading to Syria for talks in the coming days.

According to Assad, the assistance given by the United States so far has only served to make matters worse. He believes that “illegal” American airstrikes have resulted in more terrorism, while Russia’s “legal” attacks have helped the Syrian army defeat the enemy. But some view Assad’s statements as having a huge agenda, because he wants to align himself with Russia to remain in power.

Donald Trump Meets with Veep Candidates

With the Republican National Convention fast approaching, and Donald Trump set to accept his nomination as their candidate for President of the United States, it is time for him to pick his Vice-President. A few serious candidates have emerged, while reports of other names are still coming out every day, with the public eager to find out who Trump chooses. There are some who believe Trump’s VP is the person who can help him unite the Republican Party, while others think he will only pick another person who shares his views on how to reshape the political reality in the United States.

donald-hands

Whoever he picks, Trump’s VP is set to make the headlines over the coming weeks and months. Trump is known for managing to keep himself close to the front page of the news, and many expect a similar impact from his Vice President. Whether the pick helps solidify and expand Trump’s support or simply makes #NeverTrump supporters more determined to vote for anyone but him, is anyone’s guess. There is a growing percentage of the population who do not see themselves voting for Trump under any circumstances, which means his VP choice could be his one chance to prove himself to those citizens.

The primary candidates for the Vice-Presidency under a Trump administration are Jeff Sessions from Alabama, Newt Gingrich from Georgia and Mike Pence from Indiana. Meanwhile, the likes of Chris Christie are also seen as serious possibilities for the role. Most Republican experts believe the role should and will go to Newt Gingrich because he represents Trump’s best chance of securing the Republican base and appealing to those #NeverTrump supporters from within his party.veep

Historically, picking a Vice-President has a bigger impact on the future of a campaign than people would expect. Even though being VP is a largely ceremonial role with no real power, it does make the Vice-President one accident or horrible event away from becoming President of the United States. One of the most prominent cases of a campaign picking the wrong Vice-President occurred in 2008, with John McCain picking Sarah Palin from Alaska as his running mate.

The logic behind McCain’s pick was fairly understandable, given the fact that he was running against an African-American candidate in Barack Obama. He wanted to diversify his ticket, which meant finding a Republican, who was a minority or a woman. He decided to go with a woman in Sarah Palin, but underestimated how unprepared she was for the national spotlight. Palin’s lack of knowledge about basic world events was exposed, which left the McCain campaign embarrassed. The move ultimately cost him any chance of winning the election, which is a mistake Trump is not going to want to repeat.