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Top 10 Ways To Prevent A Home Invasion

Top 10 Ways To Prevent A Home Invasion

 

  1. Surveillance Cameras

install security cameras

Home security cameras have proven to be valuable time and time again. You should install one in the front yard, one in the backyard, and a few inside the home. Packages are fairly cheap these days and getting your hands on an 8 camera surveillance system won’t break the bank. These cameras can record to a computer in the home, or stream to the cloud where the footage remains safe from harm. The last thing you want to do is capture a crook in the act, only to have them steal the computer that recorded them. Not everyone has the budget or technical ability to purchase and set up a home surveillance system, but you can always purchase “dummy cameras” as a deterrent for prowling criminals. These cameras can be set up around the exterior of the home, most take batteries and will display a red LED light indicating the device is powered and recording. This gives the look and feel that the home is under video surveillance and should keep any would be home invasion criminals thinking twice about entering the property. Local cable and network companies are also offering installation and monitoring services in addition to their phone, internet, and alarm packages. Sometimes it’s easier to just let someone else install and monitor the cameras for you.

 

  1. Dog

pitbull for home protection

I have pretty much always had a dog, and I’m not sure I will ever be without one. There are too many amazing reasons to make mans best friend a permanent part of the family home life. The dogs I have had are not little lap dogs, although those can be very effective at making enough noise to make a criminal walk away, they won’t be enough to stop a determined criminal from invading your home. Big dogs are worth their weight in gold, and I have witnessed first hand the power they have when it comes to the protection they have over their family. They will absolutely throw themselves in harm’s way to protect you and your children. Without a doubt the best guard dog I have owned was a Red Nose Pitbull. I know Pits get a bad rap, but they are the biggest loving family dogs I have ever been around. They are like any other living creature, if you subject them to abuse and fighting then they become a product of their environment. If you raise one as a puppy to love and nurture family and other dogs they are the best in the world. I understand that not everyone wants to buy a dog, maybe they are allergic, don’t have the yard, or just can’t afford to feed one. I would still recommend that you buy a large food bowl and even a dog bed and leave it near the back door. You can even set it up inside near a window so that it is visible to criminals peeping through your windows. Don’t forget a “Beware Of Dog Sign” on the gate of your yard. I have two dogs, in the evenings I bring one in the house and leave the other in the backyard. This gives me a set of eyes and ears on any front entrance while protecting the exterior of the backyard and any entry points there. Both dogs here everything out front and will bark simultaneously if they here any foot traffic in front of the home. This is definitely a deterrent for anyone considering a home invasion!   

 

  1. Motion Lighting System

motion lighting front yard

Motion lights should be considered by any homeowner looking to protect their land and their families. Motion lighting systems work for you at all hours of the night will surely make a home invasion specialist think twice about entering your property. Motion lights can also tip off a sleeping dog, neighbors dog, or a dog that might be hard of hearing. Depending on where the light is located in conjunction with your bedroom window, it may even alert you to a possible home invasion. These lighting systems can also be synched up to your home surveillance systems and can trigger alarms and cameras. Cameras can be set to record whenever the motion light is activated. These lighting systems are not only great for protecting you from home invasions, they are also great for protecting you in general. Every time you come and go in the evenings, take out the trash, get the paper in the mornings, or go for an evening walk your motion lighting system will light the way for you. This will give you added security and provide you with a well-lit path as you travel to and from your home.

 

  1. Alarm System

installing alarm warnings

Without a doubt, I am a huge fan of these. Alarms can work around the clock for you and provide you the security you need when you are home and when you are away. Having an alarm sign or sticker in the front yard to indicate the home is monitored by an alarm system is a definite bonus. No criminal wants to deal with that. Alarm systems can be set when you are gone, and when you are home. They can be customized to only go off when a door opens, or if there is motion inside the home. Windows can be equipped with alarm sensors, as well as all the doors in the home including the garage doors. Alarm panels should be placed where criminals can’t see if they are armed or disarmed. A secondary alarm panel should be installed in the master bedroom for easy access to enable or disable the alarm system. Many systems have “dummy codes” that can be programmed to disable the alarm system and notify the police at the same time. This is valuable if a home invasion begins before you enter your home. If the criminal is waiting out front for you to return, engages you before you open the front door, then demands you disable the alarm, you can disable the alarm with a code that will also notify the local police at the same time. Make sure you have this feature setup and available for your safety.

 

  1. Door Brace

break in prevention

There are many home invasions that happen when criminals decide to kick in the door of the home. This could be a front entry, side garage door, or rear entry. You can reinforce the door jamb with metal door braces that will prevent them from being kicked in. You can also add a door brace to the top of the door and the bottom of the door. Metal reinforced brackets that have been anchored into the foundation or into ceiling struts and provide enough reinforcement to prevent a brute force break-in. Your doors themselves can also be upgraded to a heavier duty door that can withstand the force of a violent intruder.

 

  1. Quality Locks

extra strong deadbolt

Upgrade the door latches and deadbolts on your door to something that can’t be picked, kicked, or smashed in. Often times with the higher quality, heavy duty deadbolt systems, they will also come with improved metal sleeves for the locking mechanism to slide into. These will also hold up better to brute force and provide real reinforcement when it matters most. Multiple locks will provide that much more security if you feel you are vulnerable to a home invasion or live in an area that would warrant that type of security then, by all means, add extra locks.

 

  1. Security Screen / Window Bars

heavy metal screen doors

Security screen doors are a great first line of defense at the entry points. These heavy metal screen doors are mounted on heavy metal frames that can be extremely difficult to break through. If there was a home invasion attempt and a criminal was trying to pry through a security screen door it would give you ample time to set the alarm off, call the police, and grab a home defense weapon. There isn’t a criminal on the planet that wants to deal with security screens, these people are too lazy to work for the things they want, so they steal your property instead. They are typically not that willing to go through the hard work it would take to get through a security door. Lazy people like lazy options and a security screen door is not that. Bars on the windows are not attractive, but they provide ample security if you live in an area that is subject to criminal activity. 

 

  1. Home Defense Weapon

home defense weapon

I am a big believer in HD weaponry. You never know what violent criminal might show up at your front door looking to take what you worked hard to earn, and possibly taking your life doing it. Home Defense weapons are typically referred to the primary firearm or weapon you would use to protect your home and family from a violent intruder. I have hidden easy access safes located throughout my home that have firearms in them that can be accessed in under 5 seconds. This means if for some reason I am totally caught off guard while in the laundry room washing a load of laundry, I can still access a weapon that is capable of protecting me and my family. Many of these easy access safe units have combination codes on them, while others can be programmed to accept a fingerprint. I highly recommend equipping these firearms with tased pointers and mini mag lights. If you were to draw one and shine that down your hallway, there is a good chance that it would cause the invader to retreat without a shot being fired. There is something very intimidating about a laser light and mag light being shined in your face, even criminals are scared of that. The other thing to consider is the caliber of the HD. I am a fan of heavy rounds that will provide maximum protection. If the home invasion is taking place while the criminal is high on crystal meth, a 9mm round may not be enough to stop him initially. Using a heavy round like a .40 or .45 will provide enough force to knock a criminal under the influence back and hopefully down for the count. Having a handgun is very convenient but not always ideal when it comes to aiming the weapon in a critical situation. Fear, anxiety, and adrenaline can all impact your ability to aim properly and become effective with your shot. Therefore, I highly recommend shotguns for primary HD purposes. This is the HD weapon you grab when you have time to run from the kitchen to your bedroom. Depending on what you are comfortable shooting, this could be a 12 Gage or a 20 Gage shotgun. There are a few HD shotguns on the market right now that are absolute beasts. You can alternate your loads between birdshot and slugs to give you more versatility when engaging. Birdshot is going to spread and cover a massive area, almost guaranteeing that you will hit your target with something, you can follow that shot with a slug if needed to eliminate the threat of it still exists. Bird shot may slow down the criminal, but it will be the slug that stops him. You can check out the Remington 870 and the Mossberg 590 Shockwave as legal options for home defense. Both of these come with pistol grips and can easily be handled in tight quarters.

 

  1. Safe Room

above ground storm shelter

Ever seen that movie Panic Room with Jodie Foster? That is a very scary reality and could happen to anyone. Most of us don’t have the real estate or money to invest in a Panic Room like the one featured in that movie, but that doesn’t mean that there are not options available to you. There are above ground and below ground storm shelters that are literally bulletproof that can be used as panic rooms in the event, there is a home invasion. Usually, in areas where tornadoes are active, these shelters are installed in the garage where they can be accessed from the interior during an emergency. They can be installed above ground, bolted to the foundation in the garage, and accessed from a heavy duty door with an internal locking mechanism. The below ground shelter is also typically installed in the garage but is common to be found outdoors also if the land allows for it. If you can access your outdoor shelter during a home invasion then you might as well run to a neighbors house if you are not being chased. The problem with these shelters is typically that the location of them may be difficult to reach during an invasion. My garage is located at the other end of the home, and all entry points are between my master bedroom and the garage. A safe room in my garage wouldn’t be as valuable as it would be in the home of someone whose master bedroom sits across from the garage door. The above ground storm shelters can also double as walk-in safes when they aren’t being used as a panic room. They are typically large enough to store survival supplies, guns, money, and other valuables. Depending on the size of the shelter, they can typically hold 4-6 people.

 

  1. Learn A Self Defense System

learn self defense

Sometimes a home invasion is a perfectly planned crime. They have cased your home for weeks, possibly even months and know when the vulnerable times to strike are. If they are not looking to harm you or your family, hopefully, they strike when nobody is home. If they have other intentions besides theft, like killing someone, rape, or kidnapping, they may decide to strike while you are home. In an ideal situation, all of your preventative efforts will buy you enough time to respond accordingly. This could be grabbing your HD weapon, getting your dogs indoors, calling the police, or locking yourself inside your storm shelter. But what if the timing was absolutely perfect? What if the alarm was disabled, the dog was pooping in the back corner of the yard, a gun was not accessible before the criminal reached you, and they were not deterred by the lights and cameras? What if? What then? There was a home invasion that happened out on the East Coast a few years back where a Doctor’s wife and daughters were raped and killed and he survived the ordeal. The criminals were caught, but the family was dead and the home was basically burned down as the criminals set fire to it. My thinking is that if they have made it into my home with me there, they are willing to kill me to get what they want, otherwise they would have waited until the home was empty. In this scenario, this very scary scenario, I believe you need to have a game plan in place that you can execute before they execute you. I am a fan of combat sports, always have been. Anyone that stays in shape is going to be better off than an overweight middle aged man or woman. Young people should learn martial arts, parents should enroll their kids in some form of combat training. Karate, Kick Boxing, Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, Kung Fu, anything that involves combative survival training that an individual could use in a time of crisis is going to drastically increase your chances of survival. Men and women of law enforcement and military all train in this for a reason, it works! Learning how to disarm a criminal with a knife or hand gun, how to escape a choke hold or fight from your back light they do in jiu-jitsu will give you and your family an advantage that most criminals don’t anticipate encountering. Going up against a well trained martial artist can be a shock to anyone that has ever encountered one. This training will get you into the shape of your life and equip you with life-saving combat skills that you may need one day on the streets or during a home invasion.

 

Sometimes terrible things happen to amazing people, and criminals can strike at any time. By preparing your home and family for a home invasion your odds of dying at the hands of an intruder decrease substantially. These preventative measures listed in this article are simply suggestions to help you avoid that scenario and should not be considered as absolute. By taking action before the crisis occurs, you can potentially defer a criminal from acting on bad intentions. These 10 steps listed above should be considered by everyone with a home and family. In an ideal situation, you should lock you and your family in a room or storm shelter and call 911. Let the police handle the dangerous criminals for you, keep your family safe and protected. However, if that is not an option then use whatever force is necessary to stop the threat.

 

Top 5 Dentists In The United States

Top 5 Dentists In The United States

This should give us all something to smile about, a review driven top 10 list of dentists in the United States. There is nothing official about this list other than we used a collective pool of reviews and patient feedback to calculate who the best dentist in the United States was. Our findings generated the following results. Enjoy!

#1 Dr. James Ojjeh

Bloomingdale, IL

www.mydavincidental.com

Bloomingdale dentistAbout Da Vinci Dental

At Da Vinci Dental, we offer friendly and gentle dental care, smile makeover, implants and cosmetic dentistry in Bloomingdale, Illinois. Dr.  Ojjeh and his staff are very understanding, and they know your time is valuable. That is why we work efficiently to get you out of the dental chair and back to your day! Our wait time is less than 5 minutes.

Mission Statement

It is our mission to serve our community, not only through the best dental care possible, but also by being an example of a caring, positive, companionate, and enjoyable place to visit and work. Our core values are to make strong commitments to listen to our patients and provide them with high-quality dental care, treat them with respect and care, and make their dental visit and care a pleasant and happy experience.

Convenient Hours

At Da Vinci Dental, we believe in making it easy for you to make it to the dentist on a regular basis. To that end, we are open late in the evenings and on weekends for your convenience. This means that you do not have to miss work or school to keep up with your oral hygiene. You can even come in on Sundays!

#2 Dr. Kim R. Glick

Tullahoma, TN

www.glicknwoods.com

Tullahoma DentistThe Right Reasons for Choosing Us

Patients have many reasons for choosing Glick & Woods Dentistry. We’ve been a trusted source for complete dental care since 1985 and we have an outstanding reputation in the Tullahoma community as well as the nearby cities of Shelbyville, Winchester, Fayetteville and Manchester. We provide gentle and comprehensive preventive care, pediatric dentistry, restorative dentistry, cosmetic dentistry and care for periodontal disease here in our dental practice.

We have two well-trained, highly skilled, genuinely compassionate dentists who are gentle, friendly, easy to talk to and always looking out for your best interests. Be sure to call us if you’re looking for a kids dentist.

Patients appreciate the fact that we are not part of a dental chain or a large, impersonal group. That means your family receives truly personalized, one-on-one care from dentists and staff who share a patient-first treatment philosophy and always put patients at ease.

Do you have a broken tooth or missing teeth? Need extensive treatment for gum disease? Suffering from wisdom tooth pain? We take our time explaining your dental health issues and treatment options so you never leave us with unanswered questions or concerns.

We’re extremely thorough and we use the most advanced dental equipment and technology such as intraoral cameras that let you see what we see, plus digital X-rays for safer, more accurate imaging.

Patients love our experienced, friendly, reliable staff who are responsive to your needs and who work very hard to help you get the most from your dental insurance with excellent insurance management.

And patients really appreciate our high-quality care and great service at affordable, competitive pricing. You will, too.

Discover family dentistry with a gentle touch from Tullahoma’s most popular dental practice. Come to Glick & Woods Dentistry for complete dental care you and your family can trust. Please call our dental clinic  at 931.455.3917. For your convenience, you can fill out our online Request an Appointment form to arrange your consultation. Patients visit us from Franklin County, Bedford County, Lincoln County, Coffee County and nearby locations.

#3 Dr. Lance R. Schmidt

Oklahoma City, OK

reflectionsdentalcare.com

dentist okcIn 2004, Dr. Schmidt founded Reflections Dental Care along with his wife Stephanie who then served as the practice’s only dental hygienist.

They’ve now been married for 15 years and have three children: Solomon, Theo and Stella. They also have a 14 year old Labradoodle name Bella.

Dr. Schmidt attended the University of Oklahoma, receiving his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Sport Sciences. He then went on to earn a Doctorate of Dental Surgery at the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry.

He then additionally was awarded one of just five available residencies in the renowned Advanced Education in General Dentistry (AEGD) program. He attributes his ongoing excellence in dentistry in great part to this additional twelve months in a comprehensive, high-level learning environment. In this program, advanced care topics are studied and practiced, some of which include general care, cosmetic dentistry, full mouth reconstruction, and dental implants.

Over the past 14 years, Dr. Schmidt has placed over 1,000 dental implants. Unlike many other general dentistry practices, the entire process can happen at Reflections Dental Care. No need to drive all across town for the different stages of treatment.

Dr. Schmidt holds membership with the American Dental Association and the Spear Study Club. A few times a year, he completes advanced training at the prestigious Scottsdale Center for Dentistry.

It is Dr. Schmidt’s goal to exceed his patients’ expectations and to provide everyone with exceptional care in a positive atmosphere that is both compassionate and of the highest standard of excellent care.

He sees his most important contribution to the practice as inspiring and maintaining the vision and culture for the team and patients. His top priority is to create a great work environment whereupon the most natural consequence is great patient care.

Dr. Schmidt’s favorite book is The Count of Monte Cristo. He enjoys date night with his wife, wrestling with his boys, taking his daughter to the flower shop to buy flowers for her mom, and doing Bikram Yoga. Interesting fact about Dr. Schmidt: he just started learning to play bass guitar.

#4 Dr. Andrew D. Frangella

New York City, NY

www.drfrangella.com

dentist nycOur experts at Frangella Dental develop customized comprehensive treatment plans for each patient. At our office we believe that patients deserve the best that dentistry has to offer.   Allow us to offer an advanced level of dental care with beautiful, long-term results. We offer state-of-the-art treatments like Invisalign, Teeth Whitening, and Dental Implants.

Invisalign

Invisalign uses a series of clear, removable aligners to straighten your teeth. Our Invisalign-certified dentists can effectively treat a wide variety of orthodontic cases in teens and adults without the use of metal brackets or wires. This method is a cutting-edge approach to teeth straightening that will have a minimal impact on your life but a significant impact on your smile.

With clear, customized aligners, this method gradually straightens your smile in about the same time as braces. Unlike traditional braces, Invisalign aligners can be removed for flossing and brushing teeth, eating chewy foods, or for special occasions. Click here to learn more about the difference between Traditional braces and Invisalign.

When gums fit better around aligned teeth, there the risk of periodontal disease is reduced. By correcting your bite, Invisalign can also improve chewing and speech ability, and can decrease the risk of trauma and abnormal wear on the supporting bone and jaw joints.

Teeth Whitening

Teeth Whitening is a non-invasive dental treatment used to create a brighter and whiter smile. Choose in-office whitening and lighten your teeth up to 6-10 shades in one visit or opt for a take-home whitening kit. Both of these professional whitening methods remove deep-down stains caused by factors such as tobacco, coffee, tea, and aging. This treatment can improve your smile instantly.

Dental Implants

Patients who are missing teeth now can choose a strong, beautiful alternative to bridges, partial dentures, or full dentures. Missing teeth result in negative effects such as increased bone loss, decreased chewing force, limited food selection, and the deterioration of facial aesthetics.

Dental Implants are titanium posts attached to the jawbone which are used replace the root of a missing tooth. A porcelain crown is placed on the post to restore the area to its proper form and function while increasing a patient’s overall comfort. Utilizing the latest cutting edge techniques and technology,

Dr. Andrew Frangella performs all steps in implant placement and restoration from our office. Therefore, eliminating the need to visit different offices to complete the procedure. He conducts a thorough evaluation to determine a custom treatment plan for each patient.

Dental Implants offer a prosthesis that closely mimics nature. They allow a patient to enjoy restored use of the area. This routine procedure creates a new smile which will boost confidence, enhance facial appearance, and improve a patient’s quality of life.

#5 Dr. Sheryl Leipold

Homer Glenn, IL

www.drsherylleipold.com

dentistDr. Sheryl Leipold, Dr. Kristie Dragstrem, and Dr. Erin Nicorata sincerely welcome you to our dental practice!  Dr. Leipold is an active member of The Academy of General Dentistry, American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry, American Dental Association, Illinois State Dental Society, Chicago Dental Society, and International Association of Orthodontics.

We are a dental practice devoted to restoring and enhancing the natural beauty of your smile using conservative, state-of-the-art procedures that will result in beautiful, long lasting smiles!  We now have two locations to better serve your dental needs!

High Standards

A standard of excellence in personalized dental care enables us to provide the quality dental services our patients deserve.  We provide comprehensive treatment planning and use restorative and cosmetic dentistry to achieve your optimal dental health.  Should a dental emergency occur, we make every effort to see and care for you as soon as possible.

Education & Prevention

As a practice, we are true believers that preventative care and education are the keys to optimal dental health.  We strive to provide “dental health care” vs. “disease care”.  That’s why we focus on thorough exams – checking the overall health of your teeth and gums, performing oral cancer exams, and taking x-rays when necessary.  We also know that routine cleanings, flossing, sealants, and fluoride are all helpful in preventing dental disease.  Not only are we focused on the beauty of your smile, we’re also concerned about your health.  A review of your medical history can help us stay informed of your overall health, any new medications, and any illnesses that may impact your dental health.

Uncompromising Safety

Infection control in our office is also very important to us.  To protect our patients and ourselves, we strictly maintain sterilization and cross contamination processes using standards recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA), the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Training & Expertise

As your dental health professionals, we want you to be confident knowing that we are a team of highly trained and skilled clinicians.  We pride ourselves in providing the care you need to keep your smile healthy.  To give you the best possible service and results, we are committed to continual education and learning.  We attend dental lectures, meetings, and dental conventions to stay informed of new techniques, the latest products, and the newest equipment that a modern dental office can utilize to provide state-of-the-art dental care.  Also, being members of various professional dental associations helps us to stay abreast of the changes and recommendations for our profession.

A Positive Experience

Building a foundation of trust by treating our patients as special individuals is vital to our success.  We understand how uneasy some patients may feel about their dental visits, and how we can make a difference in providing a relaxing and positive experience.  Our entire team is dedicated to providing you with excellent, personalized care and service to make your visits as comfortable and pleasant as possible.

Top 10 DIY Car Detailing Techniques

The Top 10 Car Detailing Techniques For The DIY Enthusiast

car detailing tips

Most of us own a vehicle that needs a deep cleaning periodically, this can be done by you or you can hire a professional to do the job. If you are a DIY type of person you will enjoy this top 10 list of the best car detailing tips from the professionals at Chase Detailing in Oklahoma. We caught up with Nicholas Chase to discuss how everyday people can get world-class results like the professionals.

1. Tools Of The Trade

Like anything else, you will need to invest in the tools needed to get the results you want. Here is an itemized list of some basic tools to have ready before you begin detailing your car. Here are the top 10 tools we suggest the DIY car detailer purchases and has available in the garage for car detailing.

• 5 Gallon Bucket
Microfiber Cloth
• Soap
Wheel Brush
Rim Cleaner
Tire Cleaner
• Towels For Drying
Glass Cleaner
Shop-Vac or Portable Hand Vacuum
• Electric Buffer

These items will help you get started. If you don’t have these items and need to purchase them then visit your local Home Depot. If you need to borrow them instead you can ask a family member or neighbor.

2. Wash Your Car Out Of The Sun

I see people in my neighborhood on sunny days washing and waxing their cars, unfortunately, this is less than ideal. The hot sun can evaporate the water quickly and leave your car with undesirable spots. If possible, wash your car in the morning before the sun starts shining on it. If that’s not possible, aim for the evenings once the sun goes down. If you have a carport or covered area that you can use during the day then use that while you have natural daylight. Also, wait for the body of the vehicle to cool down, if that car has been sitting in direct sunlight and is hot to the touch then let it cool before applying soap and water.

car detailing3. Use Multiple Buckets

You wouldn’t wash your clothes with dirty water, why wash your car with it? By having multiple buckets you can soap your rags, wash the vehicle, then rinse the rag in a separate bucket of warm water. Rinse and repeat. This is especially important when the car is dirty, or if you are washing the rims, wheels, or bumper areas that are often times exposed to dirt and grease.

4. Clean From The Top Down

Seems obvious to some, and not so obvious to others. Cleaning your car from the top down is the best way to ensure that you don’t have to clean the same surface area twice. After that, you should give detailed attention to your trim by treating it with a restoration product before moving on to waxing and polishing your car. The chemicals in the wax can stain the plastic trim, so it is advised that plastic gets treated before the waxing begins to avoid this.

5. Use A Microfibre Cloth

Dish rags, sponges, and bath towels have been the go-to wash rag of choice for decades. Switching to a microfibre cloth has many benefits when it comes to washing and detailing your car. Microfibre clothes help to prevent unwanted scratching to the surface of the car and are more efficient for detailing. It is also advised that you wash your microfibre cloth separate from your regular clothes to prevent the cloth from absorbing unwanted lint and particles.

6. Wax Your Car With A Buffer

The days of manually waxing your car should be long behind you. Electric buffers are available at your local hardware store and should be used when waxing your car. Make sure you read the instructions properly and learn how to use it before letting loose on your car’s surface. You start at the back of the vehicle at the bottom towards the bumper to start. This will allow you the opportunity to get familiar with the tool on a surface area that isn’t easily visible. This way, if you make a mistake it will go unnoticed. Make sure you don’t attempt to remove previous wax coats with an electric buffer, the surface area can suffer from streaks and swirls that will become noticeable on the car’s hood.

car polisher

7. Clean The Windows With Care

One thing that separates the DIY detailer with a professional car detailer is how they treat the windows. When you get into a professionally detailed car and look out the windows it’s so clear that you can easily think the windows are rolled down. The DIY detailer might not get those same results. So how do you do it? Here are my top 5 tips for detailing your car windows.

 

• Use newspaper to clean the glass. There is less streaking that occurs from a newspaper.
• Dry the outside vertically and the inside horizontally, if there are streaks going in either direction you will then be able to tell if they are on the inside or the outside.
• Roll your windows down half way and clean the tops and sides of the windows.
• Use a quality window cleaning solution.
• Don’t be afraid to use a new razor on surface substances that won’t wash out. You can carefully remove grime and things like sap, egg, gum, and grime from the window with a flat razor if it doesn’t come off with some elbow grease. If your windows are tinted I would refrain from using a razor, especially on the interior window. This little tool can cause serious damage if not used properly, so use caution before diving in.

 

8. Brush Your Interior Before Vacuuming

You can use a brush on your seats, carpets, and in hard to reach places. A brush does a great job of loosening up unwanted debris and draws it to the surface by moving the carpet fibers in a way that pushes the nestled dirt to the surface of the floor. Once the dirt has surfaced you can use a vacuum to draw the dirt off the floor. Depending on the power of the vacuum you are using, you may also pull additional debris from underneath the carpet.

9.Polishing Your Car To Get That Finished Look

If you will be detailing your car on a regular basis then investing in a polisher will be a great idea. A dual action polisher can be used to get the most desired results possible. These polishers are perfect for working out scuffs and surface scratches. If buying one isn’t in your budget you can always revert to renting one or borrowing one from a friend or neighbor.

10. Hire A Professional Car Detailing Company

It’s easy to get caught up in the appeal of DIY everything. Everywhere we look we have the opportunity to just do things ourselves. But honestly, what’s your time worth to you? Unless it’s something you really enjoy doing, just pay someone to detail your car. After I bought my new ride a few years back, I detailed it every month by hand. Well, that got old pretty quick. Four months into owning my new car, I stopped the Saturday morning detail efforts and hired a mobile detailer. They have been detailing my car now for years and I’ll probably never do it myself again. Just saying.

Top 10 Kitchen Countertop Surfaces

Our Top 10 List of Natural and Fabricated Kitchen Countertop Materials

Thinking about remodeling your kitchen? Between the appliances, backsplashes, lighting fixtures, cabinets, and countertops you can definitely find yourself overwhelmed by the options available to you. While we are not experts on appliances and cabinetry, we do have some insider opinions on countertops. From granite counters to concrete counters, there is something for every home and every budget. Here are our top 10 kitchen countertop materials that our interior design contacts have shared with us as the best surface materials for any kitchen.

#1 Granite Countertops

Granite countertops are highly sought out by homeowners around the country, they have complex color schemes, intricate designs, and natural beauty. Granite counters add a look of sophistication to any kitchen and often times become the focal point of the dining area. Granite is not cheap, but it is nearly indestructible and the investment could literally last a lifetime. Price ranges differ drastically depending on the style of stone and where it was imported from. Because of its popularity and availability, the price of Granite has actually come down in recent years.

granite kitchen counters

You can shop for granite at your local natural stone showroom, or call a countertop installation contractor for pricing. It is often times cheaper to go through a contractor that buys granite slabs in bulk and is able to cut it down for you as opposed to buying a slab yourself and trying to cut and install it. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about granite countertops and the installation process here at http://www.countertopsarizona.com/.

#2 Wood Block Countertops

While this countertop may not be as popular as the others on this list, we have become fans of these versatile countertops and continue to see more of them in homes and in vacation properties. The wood block countertops have their pros and cons, as with a cutting board they can warp if not treated properly, hot pans will leave burn marks, knives will cut into them, and they can stain from wines and fruits. So why did wood block countertops make the top of our top 10 list? There is an appeal to them that we don’t see in any other countertops on the market. They give a home a very warm feeling that could be compared to country living. While they may not be ideal for every home, these countertops definitely have their place in the world.

butcher block counters

Wood countertops come in a variety of woods and colors and can be treated and stained to the eyes desire. The biggest benefit of wood countertops is that they can be re-sanded and sealed when the surface or finish become worn and blemished. The biggest issue we have with the wooden surface is that it stains and scuffs easily. Any deep scratches need to be re-sealed to prevent liquids from penetrating the surface. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about wood block countertops and the installation process here at https://allikriste.com/butcher-block-countertops-tampa.html.

#3 Stainless Steel Countertops

It might be my background in the culinary industry that has me placing stainless steel so high on the list here. There are many things I like about the countertop surface and many things I don’t. The industrial look it brings to a kitchen offers a very modern look and pairs great with stainless steel appliances. The countertops are easy to clean and are virtually bulletproof. They are a little pricey but would be fairly easy to replace if needed. The problem I do have with them is like with any stainless steel surface they scratch and scuff very easy. Scratches are noticeable and buffing them out is not an option that I am aware of. They don’t stain easily and do not need to be sealed or treated to maintain them.

stainless steel counters

Stainless steel countertops are also a great option for outdoor BBQ pits. The surfaces are extremely durable in an outdoor or industrial environment and can be cleaned with just about any chemical on the market. These countertops made our top 10 list because of durability, affordability, industrial appeal, and ease of replacement. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about steel countertops and the installation process here at https://www.riversidesheetmetal.net/counter-tops/stainless-steel/.

#4 Solid Surface Countertops

These countertops are awesome for many reasons, they are affordable, easy to repair, and they come in all sorts of color and pattern options. These fabricated solid surfaces can be easily customized and installed to fit your floor plan. They are very resistant to staining and can hold up to most chemical cleaning solutions. The installation process is pretty quick, measurements are made one day and the following week they are fabricated and ready for install.

solid surface counters

Solid surface countertops can become damaged from hot pots or pans. They are not something to cut on as I have seen good kitchen knives leave permanent markings on the surface. They are becoming more popular because the prices can range from affordable to very expensive. The broad range of patterns and color options also make them attractive options for designers looking for color flakes that don’t show up in natural stone and wood countertop surfaces. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about solid surface countertops and the installation process here at http://www.macadamfloors.com/solid-surface-slab/.

#5 Soapstone Countertops

These solid surface countertops are typically dark in color and the surface feels smooth to the touch. You will see these in older homes as countertop surfaces but also installed in the sinks. They are pretty resistant to staining, have great rich color options, are smooth to the touch, and are durable enough to last a long time in your kitchen.

kitchen counter made from soapstone.

These soapstone countertops require regular maintenance, they need to be oiled often with mineral oil and can suffer from cracking over time. The color of the soapstone has been known to darken after years of exposure to the elements of the kitchen. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about soapstone countertops and the installation process here at https://doradosoapstone.com/.

#6 Laminate Countertops

While not my favorite countertop by a longshot, I gave it the number 6 position in our top 10 countertop materials list because of affordability and options. I wouldn’t install laminate countertops in my home, I had them as a kid and never cared for them. They are cheap to make and come in just about every color you can imagine. The surfaces are easy to clean and stand up to most chemical cleaning solutions and everyday activity.

laminate counters

What I don’t like about these surfaces has to do with the front edges and repair options. The front edges always seemed to peel back and honestly gave it a cheap appearance. Something you find at a table in an old fast food franchise. The edging can be pricey, but in comparison to some of the other countertop options, it’s still a cheaper option. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about laminate countertops and the installation process here at https://www.tshopinc.com/denver-laminate-countertops/.

#7 Concrete Countertops

These are cool and offer an industrial look and feel that can’t be beaten. The pricing can be beaten though and that’s a big reason why it made number 7 on our list. If you have a very custom countertop surface that needs to be shaped to the existing architecture and other natural or fabricated surfaces can’t be cut to the dimensions needed, concrete stone countertops offer you the flexibility to pour and shape to any custom design you have.

concrete poured to form countertop

This can be a pricey option that may detour most people from investing in the stone surface. Because of the cost of labor, these prices exceed most of the cheaper options available. They are resistant to hot pans, knife blades, don’t scuff easily, extremely durable, and have a very industrial look and feel to them. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about concrete countertops and the installation process here at https://www.customcretewerks.com/.

#8 Ceramic Tile Countertops

Not a huge fan of ceramic had a kitchen sink that was ceramic and it chipped often. I hear the same goes for the countertop surfaces. It’s a pretty affordable option and fits most home kitchen designs. Installation is fairly simple and can be done by the DIY homeowner. The tiles are easy to clean and hold up to most kitchen wear and tear.

ceramic tile counters

This is a decent option for most homeowners looking for an affordable solution for their kitchen counters. Things to consider with tile countertops are the grout lines. Anytime you have grout lines on a surface that is designed to prepare food you have the potential for staining and bacteria growth. The grout lines can absorb liquids and become resting spots for germs and mold. Purchasing custom tiles can increase the cost of the tile. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about ceramic tile countertops and the installation process here at https://www.thetileguywy.com/.

#9 Engineered Stone Countertops

Engineered stone countertops offer all the beauty of natural stone with man-made benefits. They are scratch resistant, have a nonporous surface, and are fairly easy to maintain. They do not need to be sealed like the natural stone surfaces do. They come in many colors and are very attractive alternatives to natural stone surfaces.

engineered stone

While these countertops are easier to maintain because they do not need to be sealed and cared for like the natural stone surfaces do, they come at a price point that may not be appealing to most homeowners. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about engineered stone countertops and the installation process here at https://multistoneinc.com/engineered-stone/.

#10 Marble Countertops

Marble doesn’t deserve to be at the bottom of any top 10 list. These are some of the most sought-after natural stone surfaces in the world and it just made number 10 on my list of countertops surfaces. My reasoning behind this has less to do with the quality of the surface and more to do with the price and awareness. First, it’s expensive. Second, everyone knows about marble countertops, if they wanted to purchase marble they wouldn’t be here looking for alternate solutions for their kitchen. So why put it at the top of a list for people searching for countertop options?

marble counters

Marble is beautiful and highly regarded as the most precious of the natural stone surfaces. It’s expensive, requires constant maintenance, and it becomes stained easily. If it were not for the price and the maintenance required to keep the surface protected it would have made top 5 on this list. There are countertops installation specialists all over the country, you can learn more about marble countertops and the installation process here at https://majesticmarbletile.com/.

Keep bugs off your kitchen counters with these pest control tips.

15 Pest Control Tips For Your Home

Our Top 15 Pest Control Tips For Your Home

pest controlWhen it comes to pest control there are hundreds of over the counter options, local pest control companies, and everyday cleanups that can be performed to not only prevent infestations but to terminate them. While we try to as economical as possible, and environmentally friendly as we can, sometimes it can take a nuclear war to properly terminate hard to kill pets like Cockroaches. This is our highly anticipated list of pest control options for homeowners. By taking baby steps, cleaning up, and consistently caring for your property you can rest assured that your insect and rodent problems will be a thing of the past. If you neglect the property, then like anything else it will suffer. These 15 pest control tips when followed through on provide homeowners an amazing foundation to work from. If the problem is already out of control, you may want to refer to a pest control company that has the staff, equipment, chemicals, and knowledge needed to eliminate nesting and infestation problems that already exist. If your problem is in the beginning stages, or you were wanting to prevent a problem from evolving in the first place. These 15 tips were shared with us by Phoenix pest control company Green Home Pest and are meant to be foundational guidelines that can be followed by all homeowners across the country. 

Before diving into these 15 tips, you need to understand that these are general suggestions and applications that may not necessarily be applicable to your specific problem. Take these tips as the resources they were meant to be and apply them where you see fit. Many suggestions here are basic cleaning solutions that most homeowners may already be doing, while other methods will require chemicals and treatment tools to properly apply the chemicals to the property.

Insects and rodents are pretty simple creatures, when they intrude on a property it is typically for food and shelter. Understanding this basic need makes it easier to prevent them from entering your property or taking up residence in your yard. We know that if they are searching for food and it is not available that they will move on. If they are searching for shelter and there is not a way to enter the home, they will move on. Rodents can find shelter in sheds, junk, and miscellaneous items in the yard. If you keep your property free of this clutter they will move on to the next property where they will continue their search for food and shelter. Use these 50 pest control tips to keep your property clean and pest free.

  1. Sweep And Mop

This may sound silly, but if you look at it from the ground level it makes complete sense. Insects and rodents are attracted to crumb trails and sugary spills. sweep food from floor oftenBy keeping your property free of food and sugary substances you can avoid attracting ants and cockroaches who are constantly on the ground level searching for a treat. Ants and cockroaches can find their way into a home through the tiniest cracks and crevasses. These are often times the hardest insects to get rid of, but you can avoid them altogether by keeping the floors free of food and garbage. The applies to the exterior of the home also. Keeping the ground clear around your trash cans and the back patio where you may gather and grill is extremely important. Food scraps attract rodents and insects. Birds can also become a problem as they scavenge your property for scraps, bird poop can get extremely messy and cleaning it up is no fun, so prevent the problem from happening with cleanliness, to begin with.

  1. Seal Everything

Another one that may seem obvious, but not everyone acts on. Check your doors and windows to make sure the weather stripping isn’t dried out and cracking. It may go unnoticed in doors and windows that are rarely used but it can make a huge difference. Stripping the garage doors and outside facing doors can keep the smallest critters out of your home where they belong. Check walls and door frames for cracking and splits that can be penetrated. Dryer vents and chimney stacks can be blocked off with steel mesh to prevent larger rodents from entering through those openings and nesting.

  1. Diversify Your Plant Portfolio

If all you have in your yard is grass and rocks you may be vulnerable to infestations from specific species. What happens is there may be an attraction to a certain grass or plant that occupies the majority of your yard. There are a few problems here. An abundance of a single plant life that attracts one type of bug can lead to an infestation. The other problem is that there may not be any natural predators drawn to your yard to combat these insects. By diversifying your plant portfolio, you will be naturally attracting all sorts of insects that will gather and keep things balanced naturally. Many insects feed on others, finding out which plants attract the predators of your pests will allow you to plant in a way that prepares the yard for a natural form of pest control.

  1. Cedar Oil

Cedar oil is a great natural insect repellent that can be used in the yard without concerns of poisoning your pets. Cedar oil is a safe organic option that will not only repel bugs, but it will also coat any eggs that are attached to your plants and prevent them from hatching. Using a bug spray application tool, you can mix some cedar oil with a little bit of water and spray throughout your yard. It’s great to use on the lawn, on flowers, and in shrubs. Cedar oil is cheap enough that you can spray daily and not break the bank. You can find cedar oil online or at any local pet supply store or feed store.

 

  1. Hire Professionals To Treat Termites

I don’t think it’s worth the risk to try and do it yourself. If you find signs that termites have invaded your property, hire a professional immediately to treat the property and prevent the infestation from causing permanent damage to your trees and home. Many times when a homeowner notices termites have infested their home it is too late, preventative pest control is highly advised for these destructive little creatures. Other insects are a nuisance, but these can cause terrible damage to the framework of your home. If you even think for a moment that you might have termites, spend the money to have the problem treated properly.

  1. Clean Up The Clutter

Clutter in the garage, clutter in the yard, clutter in the home. Pests like to nest and find shelter among the clutter. It’s convenient to stack boxes in the garage, old bins on the side of the house, yard equipment, and random unused junk around the home. These concentrated pockets of junk provide great dwelling places for rodents and insects. Larger forms of clutter like cars and trailers can provide shelter and become breeding grounds for rats and wild cats.

  1. Keep Your Grass And Plants Cut

cut back overgrown bushes and treesOvergrown trees and grass provide hiding spots and feeding grounds for many pests in your yards. Overgrown grass can hide cockroaches, fleas, ticks, and rodents can hide in the overgrown brush. Trees that overhang can cause all sorts of problems. Trees overhanging the home can invite roof rats and termites can use these overhanging branches as bridges to your property. Trim your trees, cut your grass, and dispose of the clippings properly. Don’t stack tree branches and yard debris, they become nests and resting places for insects and rodents.

  1. Solar Pest Control Is An Option

Solar energy is an option for anyone with existing solar panels. You can power vibrating stakes in the ground with solar power to deter them. This is an effective method for anything that burrows underground like ants, moles, groundhogs, and rodents that burrow like that. Snakes and scorpions can also go underground to find shelter. Solar stakes are a great option to prevent ground dwellers from nesting and they don’t pose an electrical threat to the yard. If your home is solar powered you can benefit from this eco friendly pest control option. 

 

  1. Don’t Overfeed Your Plants

Plant foods nourish annual and perennial plant life. Overfeeding these yard plants can also provide an abundance of food for insects that are drawn to the plant food. Limiting the amount of plant food you apply to the plants in your yard will also reduce the chances of the plants from overgrowing. Overgrown plants and bushes will invite an abundance of insects that thrive off the plant. Don’t overfeed.

  1. Pack With Plastics When Traveling

If you travel often, or even on occasion you should use plastics to seal your clothes and belongings within your bags and suitcase. Staying in hotels can expose you to unwelcoming guests like bed bugs, fleas, and mites. By sealing your belongings in plastic bags you can limit the possibility of invasive pests from catching a ride home in your luggage. Pack with plastics to keep pests out.

  1. Cap Off Your Chimney

For those of you fortunate enough to have a fireplace in your home, you will benefit from capping the chimney off. The chimney is the single largest opening to your home and it can be an easy entry point for many flying pests and roof roaming rodents. Birds, bats, squirrels, roof rats, raccoons, possums, and insects can all enter the home through the chimney. This might not be an issue during the winter when the fireplace is blazing, but in the summer when it’s not in use it can become a tunnel into your home. Cap off your chimney to keep the unwanted company out of your home.

cap off the chimney with mesh

  1. Keep Flies And Mosquitos Out

Flies are drawn to smell if you keep your garbage cans empty and food off the counters you can limit the attraction they may have to your interior. Fruit flies are drawn to fermented fruits and vinegar. If you keep your fruits in the refrigerator until they are ready to eat you can limit the attraction and starve the breeding grounds fruit flies seek out. Mosquitos can creep in through cracked windows, torn screens, and open doors. Keep windows and doors without screens closed during the summer months. Fix torn screens and install screen doors where possible. Install a bug zapper outside of main entry points to zap wondering flies and mosquitoes. Mosquitos can transfer viruses that can be hazardous to ones health. Make sure you eliminate them when you can.

Top 5 Mosquito repellants On The Market

Picaridin Insect Repellent

Repel Scented Family

Repel Lemon Eucalyptus

Natrapel 8 Hour Repellent

Deep Woods OFF!

  1. Embrace The Ladybug

Ladybugs bring a lot of value to the yard. They eat aphids and can help fruit plants like tomatoes survive the aphid infestation during the growth stages. If there aren’t a natural population of ladybugs in your garden you can order them online or pick them up at a local gardening shop. Once released into your garden they will help you combat other infestations that are more damaging to your garden.

 

  1. Declutter Your Gutter

Gutters are a must for homeowners in stated that experience heavy rainfall. There are gutter screens that can protect the gutters from fallen debris, for gutters that don’t have protective screens you will need to clean them out regularly to prevent clogged gutters. Clogged gutters will prevent water from draining and can harbor mosquito colonies and become a single cause of mosquito infestations. As the rainy season passes and the gutters continue to contain dirt, pine needles, and leaves they will become breeding grounds for spiders and other creepy crawlers. The brown recluse spider can be found hiding in these conditions. Keep your gutters clean, prevent standing water, and keep them free of debris that will house unwanted insects.

  1. Glue Traps

I have mixed feelings about glue traps. For rodents like mice and rats, I prefer traditional spring loaded, neck breaking traps. Limit the suffering of the rodent by making its death immediate. For those of you battling roaches, crickets, ants, and other insects that roam your floors consider glue traps. Glue traps and sticky paper can be lined along the baseboards to prevent the creepy crawlers from roaming the rooms in your home. If you have children keep the traps hidden in a place where they can’t be tampered with.

These 15 tips for pest control should give homeowners the information they need to limit the opportunities pests have to invade their yards and homes. These are simple steps that can be highly effective if done properly and consistently. If you are a homeowner and your problems are beyond control, and the infestations require professional attention then consider hiring a professional pest control company in your area. Do your due diligence, read reviews, ask questions, and get to know your local pest control experts before hiring them.

Top 10 Ways You Can Save Lives

10 Different Ways You Can Save A Life Today

Every day offers you an opportunity to save a life. You could be a shoulder to lean on for a friend in need, save a drowning child from a pool, perform CPR, or donate blood. Those are a few ways lives are saved every day. Most of us are not put in positions regularly to be heroes. Fortunately drownings and CPR are not every day occurrences for the general public. Some people perform heroic acts everyday as the result of their career choice. Firefighters, Doctors, Paramedics, and members of our military are out in the field daily doing these things. For the rest of us, we can take action today to help save a life in the future. Some of these are simples processes and ideas, while others require a little more commitment from you. Here is our top 10 list of life saving action items that can be taken today.

#1 Become A Blood Donor

blood donation center

Blood transfusions happen everyday and for different reasons. Victims of violent crimes, car accidents, cancer patients, birthing mothers, and many more. Anyone can become the recipient of a blood transfusion, and anyone can donate blood. Blood banks are constantly searching for new donors as they are constantly in need of new blood supplies. Donating blood is a fairly quick and simple process that can be done on your lunch hour. Connivence is key for many people and donor trucks are a great way to donate without having to go too far our of your way. you can find donor trucks in the parking lots of various city businesses like the library or city hall. Donate blood today to save a life now or in the future.

#2 Become A Bone Marrow Transplant Donor

There are cancer patients all over the world that are in need of a bone marrow transplant. Bone marrow and stem cell transplant donors are saving the lives of many patients that are in need. Unlike blood donations, bone marrow and stem cell donations are not convenient and require a little more commitment from the donor. Diseases like leukemia are life threatening but can be treated medically with bone marrow and stem cell transplants. You can register to become a stem cell and bone marrow transplant donor by visiting https://www.giftoflife.org/. Get swabbed and become a life saving bone marrow donor match today.

bone marrow donor match

#3 Learn The Heimlich Maneuver

People choke to death daily, from kids to adults. The Heimlich maneuver is a pretty simple way to prevent death. The maneuver is applied when an object becomes lodged into the windpipe of an individual and needs to be dislodged. You have seen it done in many movies, maybe you have applied it before, or maybe you know how to perform the technique. You would be surprised by the amount of people that do not know how to perform the Heimlich. Don’t be that person that someone else dies around because you couldn’t help them. Go take a short class on it and prepare yourself to save a life.

#4 Donate Your Organs

Don’t wait until it’s time to renew your license to become a certified organ donor. Head down to your local DMV and get a new license. During the process you can check the box that states you want to be an organ donor. People all over the world are in need of organ transplants, and if you were to die today, you could save a life tomorrow. You can sign up to become an organ donor here at https://organdonor.gov/register.html.

#5 Learn CPR

There are plenty of places where you can become certified in CPR. Cardiopulmonary resuscitation is a life saving process anyone can use on someone that is no longer breathing. You have seen the process in the movies and on TV, it’s time that you get a CPR certification. The process is also pretty simple and only requires you and your body, no special tools are needed to save a life. The process requires the individual performing CPR to compress the chest of the individual that is not breathing. In addition to the chest compression, the individual performing CPR will also need to provide artificial ventilation through mouth to mouth resuscitation.

CPR certification

 

#6 Make Yourself Available To Others

You may be doing fine, but others around you may be suffering internally. This could be kids, co-workers, spouse, or friends. Anyone can suffer from depression or have suicidal thoughts. Keeping communications open with the people around you can save a life one day. Talk with your loved ones, let them know you are there and available should they ever need anything. Set up a Facebook page or attend local meet ups where people who need support attend to receive it. Be that supporting anchor in the lives of loved one or a complete stranger. Make yourself available to others.

#7 Empower The Youth In Your Life

Suicides and mass school shootings in our schools seems to make up the typical school year for American kids. With social media and cameras on every phone, it’s next to impossible for kids to evade bullying and harassment. By empowering tour youth to be strong and take a stand against something that is not right, we can help them make the right decisions, and potentially help those in need. Bullying and harassment can drive kids to suicidal thoughts and can even push them to the point where a mass school shooting could become an option for them. Keeping the communication lines open with our youth and encouraging them to reach out to those they see in need of a hug or a helping hand can prevent these tragedies from happening. These talks can start today and have an impact on tomorrow.

 

#8 Do Not Drive Under The Influence

People are killed every day by drunk drivers, by not getting behind the wheel of a car under the influence of drugs and alcohol you can prevent tragedies like this from happening. With affordable taxi options available at the swipe of your smart phone you should never have a reason to get behind the wheel of a car impaired. Services like Uber and Lyft are affordable enough that it’s worth spending the money to save a life.

#9 Know Your Way Around The Buildings You Frequent

One of the first things I do when I walk into a restaurant, mall, movie theatre, or anything remotely close to those buildings I immediately scope out the exit options, stair cases, fire extinguishers, and the people there. When you arrive at an amusement park or any large venue you should locate all exits, first aid centers, bathrooms, and visitors center. For Disney land I download a PDF of the Disneyland park map. I also scan the room and assume alliances and potential threats. While this can be difficult to do just judging by appearance, I typically reserve judgment for people that are obviously acting in a manner that would associate with being on drugs or under the influence of a controlled substance.

#10 Stay Healthy

Have you ever heard the saying “you can’t help the poor if you are one of them”? I think this applies to your health and helping others also. If you are not taking care of yourself you may be at risk of various illnesses both mental and physical. Keeping weight down, exercising regularly, and getting checkups frequently is a great way to stay healthy and keep you in a position to help others.

get healthy and donate

Reaching Your Weight Loss Goals With A Personal Trainer

How You Can Benefit From Hiring A Personal Trainer

healthy food fro weight lossEveryone benefits from being healthy. The modern day American diet is the cause of many diseases and obesity. Americans are the fattest people on the planet and are only getting lazier as technology continues to simplify life and automate so many of the tasks that used to require human hands, and human effort. As we continue to educate the public on the dangers of processed foods, processed meats, and processed sugars, we have begun to see an upwards trend of health conscious people taking their lives into their own hands. Eating whole foods, taking supplements, and introducing regular exercise into your life can reduce high blood pressure, bad cholesterol, diabetes, and heart disease. There are so may other benefits that come as the result of proper diet and exercise. Finding the time to tune into your mind and body can have a life changing impact on you and those around you. If you are currently obese and don’t know if you can go at it alone you should consider working with a personal trainer and dietician. There are many phases to proper and healthy weight loss, reaching those goals and keeping with it. Here are some helpful hints to help you get the most of your experience working with a personal trainer.

Searching For A Personal Trainer

I am a firm believer in research, you should research the personal trainers in your local market to find out who they are and what they do. Most trainers will have a website or a bio on a website of the business they work for. There are plenty of trainers that don’t have websites but instead, well built profiles on LinkedIn and Facebook that showcases their industry knowledge and often times has reviews left by actual clients. Take time, read the reviews and reach out to some of the clients through social media. It’s easier than asking for a referral and you can choose who you want to contact. Find someone that has left a review that is similar in age and body type to you. If the trainer was able to help them, there is a good chance they can help you. After you have concluded your research online, contact them and conduct an interview. Ask questions, ask about certifications and how long they have been dong it. Schedule an interview, meet them in person, and setup a trial class. This will allow you some face time and give you the opportunity to see if your personalities are compatible. You will be working with this person in a very close environment that will require you to get along with each other. You will be depending on this person to encourage you, help you, guide you, motivate you, and in many cases befriend you. Most people build relationships with their trainer, so make sure this person is someone you can see yourself working with for a long time.

Diet And Exercise

A personal trainer is there to help you in the gym, not to babysit you in the kitchen. Most personal trainers are experts on dieting also, but this may not be a service they offer, and if they do it may come at an additional price. If it’s an affordable option for you, then invest in the option to have a diet plan created for you. Macro diets and flexible dieting are great options for those looking to eat healthier and still eat the foods they enjoy. If you are serious about hiring a personal trainer to achieve weight loss goals or build muscle, you must take your diet just as serious. Being honest with yourself through the process will keep you on track for achieving your goals. If the personal trainer you hire is not a specialized dietician, then you can always look online to find an online nutrition coach.

 

Top 5 Diet Plans 2018

HMR Diet Program

Biggest Loser Diet Plan

Atkins Diet

Weight Watchers Diet

Eco-Atkins Diet

 

Benefiting From Your Personal Trainer

So you have searched for your trainer, found a diet plan that will help you reach your goals, and have taken training with a professional the next step by signing up for a program. What now? You need to apply everything you are being taught to truly benefit from the training you will receive. It’s possible that your trainer will give you homework, things that can be done at home like planks, sit-ups, pushups, squats, lunges, and many other variations of at home exercises. Going above and beyond will always help you reach your goals faster. If your trainer is encouraging you to to spend an extra 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening doing additional exercises then you should take that advise and do it. Stick with your diet, you are not doing anyone any good if you cheat yourself and your trainer by snacking on foods that you shouldn’t, or over indulging in the foods you can eat. By following the guidelines written up by your trainer you will help both of you and everyone will benefit from the efforts that are being put in on both sides.

Avoiding Injury In The Gym

Going from 0 to 100 isn’t healthy for anyone. If you have spent the past few years on the couch, or in the office, your body will need time to adapt to the new training regimen. A great way to avoid injury is to start out slow and with low weight. You will also want to start taking your pre workout and post workout stretching exercises seriously. Properly stretching your body to prepare it for the shock of an intense workout has many injury preventing benefits. Stretching the body after working out also helps to loosen muscles and keep the body from tightening up too much after the work out. If you are working out with weights or engaging in other resistance training you will want to make sure you are starting off with low weights and slowly increasing the weight as your body begins to build muscle overtime. Staying hydrated to avoid dehydration and muscle cramping should be automatic. You can also feed your body the proper recovery nutrition to help it repair itself properly before your next workout.

 

 

Energy And Recovery Supplements

vanilla protein powderThere are many energy supplements on the market that can give you that extra boost you need to get that last rep in or run that extra mile. When consumed at appropriate levels, energy supplements have proven to be extremely beneficial for athletes in need of increased energy for performance based workouts. Talk with your trainer about Amino Energy Supplements to see if they are right for you. Anything that increases your heart rate or makes you feel jittery should be stopped until you have gained approval from your general practitioner. Recovery supplements are a great way to get that soreness out of your body as soon as possible. Proteins are needed for proper muscle recovery, the body rebuilds itself with proteins, so supplementing your diet with powdered protein drinks will benefit your body during the recovery process. BCAA powder also has proven benefits for recovery. Ask your personal trainer about recovery supplements and how they can improve your experience in the gym and with weight loss.

Top 5 Protein Supplements 2018

Syntha 6

Nitro Tech

Stacked Protein

COR Performance Whey

Combat Powder

Staying Committed

Staying committed to the target goals is extremely important for anyone that wants to truly achieve weight loss. Invest in supplements, buy a nice pair of gym shoes, and purchase some sporty workout clothes. The encouragement a personal trainer provides should offer enough motivation to keep you on course, but that is not always the case. Often times when you get home, or head back to the office you will have outside influences that can derail your progress. Company lunch parties, happy hour, family eating habits, and spousal influence. By committing to yourself and your trainer you can see this all the way through to the end and reach the weight loss goals you set out to achieve. You can use these suggestions to help keep the focus and stay motivated.

 

Top 5 Weight Loss Motivation Tips

• Weigh Yourself Constantly

• Get Competitive and Compete

• Take Pictures and Create a Visual Timeline

• Set Goals

• Train With Someone

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Self Driving Automobiles And The Future Of Auto Repair

Self Driving Cars And The Future

The age of the self-driving car is upon us and the world may or may not be ready. It was a thought for so many years, then it became a reality as technology progressed. Automotive manufacturers from all around the world have embraced the idea of self driving cars, and now it’s a race to produce the best and more efficient self-driving cars on the market. The great car manufacturers of the world are not the only ones getting into the race, the tech giants of the world are are competing to develop the most advanced cars of the future. Waymo, Uber, Google, Lyft, IBM, and Apple are a few of the biggest tech companies in the world that are competing in the automotive space.

Auto Repair Mechanic For Self Driving Cars

self driving car mechanicThe Taxi industry has already seen their profits take a huge hit as Uber and Lyft have taken over. Self-driving cars will eventually take over the human controlled taxies of today. This advance in technology has led to a boom in other industries developing technologies for these self-driving cars. Companies that produce laser sensors, mapping systems, charging systems, and maintenance centers. Automotive repair mechanics will be scrambling to update the technologies in their garages to prepare for the opportunity that will surface for self-driving car repair as these vehicles get deployed for day to day use in the coming years.

The self-driving car industry will be responsible for adding over 7 trillion dollars to the global economy and could potentially be responsible for a decline in accident-related deaths that could exceed hundreds of thousands of lives. While it will create so much opportunity for the tech world, and give technically savvy mechanics an opportunity to own the self-driving mechanic industry in their local markets. While this is great for business owners in those industries it will devastate automotive industries like gas stations, taxis, truck drivers, food delivery, and possibly even bus drivers for public transportation and school transportation.

The world was revolutionized by transportation. From horse carriages to Ford Mustangs in a very short period of time. This revolutionary jump to driverless cars will change the way the world operates. In the next 20 years, we will experience a transition in our day to day lives that we never experienced before.

The First Self-Driving Cars

Self-driving cars were first developed by the military in an attempt to limit casualties on the battlefield. An Air Force base near Los Angeles had been working on self-driving cars for years without success. It was eventually determined that the contract work should be sourced out to tech companies that could execute the technical aspect of the project that could advance it to where it is today. The military was already`dumping massive amounts of money into the project and it paved the way for the Waymo’s and the Uber’s of the world. Eventually, they invited the tech industries to partake in the development of these technologies and prize money was offered to the first company that could create a self driving vehicle that could cross the Mojave Desert. The cash prize was a million dollars.

Google’s Self Driving Car Project

Google started it’s self driving car project back in 2009. It took them about a year and a half to develop a self-driving system that could navigate some of the wildest roads in California without human control.

Elon Musk

Tesla founder Elon Musk made it known that his car production company would build a self-driving vehicle for the consumer market.

Uber

Back in 2015, Uber reached out to a group of scientists from Carnegie Mellon University. THe university specialized in robotics and AI. These scientists were the minds behind the project and were responsible for getting it off the ground.

Automotive Manufacturers

The big automotive manufacturers couldn’t ignore the efforts of the tech giants. Mercedes, Nissan, Ford, GM, and more have invested billions of dollars into research and development. Other startups are scrambling to get a piece of this revolutionary opportunity. There are now hundreds of tech startups working with automotive manufacturers to develop and improve the electronics needed to operate these self-driving vehicles. Things like cameras, sensors, radars, mapping systems, and GPS technologies are being built upon and improved.

What The Future Holds For Self Driving Cars

This technology is evolving much faster than previous automotive technologies that advanced the Artificial Intelligence transportation industries. The technology is pretty much here, it’s affordable, the legalities are still in a gray area, and price points for these technologies are affordable enough to justify mass production. The hardware continues to improve but software is still something that is to be questioned. Artificial intelligence is the focal point in the development of the and progress of self-driving cars. The Ford company invested billions of dollars into an AI company called Argo, while industry competitor GM purchased another startup called Cruise. The money is being invested in all corners of the world and we can expect that self-driving cars will be a major part of transportation in the future. While this is already a reality for automobiles, could it be a possibility for airplanes to follow the lead of self-driving cars?

How Will This Technology Change Our Lives?

In time, this form of transportation will change we operate day to day. This technology will reduce human error, reduce the number of times an individual gets behind the wheel of a car under the influence and should eliminate driver distraction accidents. These are some simple-minded changes, the true changes that will come as a result of self driving cars will be something for the ages, something that we cannot foresee, but it is something that is inevitable.

This technology could transform everyday life as much as the internet has, as much as social media has, and with all the good that this automotive revolution will bring to the streets of the world, along with it will come some insanely tragic events.

History Of Womens Sports Clothes

Evolution of Women’s Golf Clothes  

womens golf clothesMany moons ago (early 20th century) when this world was still lost in the dark, clothing manufacturers didn’t pay attention to women’s clothing like they did mens. Because women’s sports weren’t popular, manufacturers didn’t give the designs the attention they needed to enhance performance for women athletes. These garments were often tight fitted and were not ideal for athletic movements.   

Women in the Golf game at the time wore tailored tops and hemmed skirts that were similar to the outfits they wore in a place of business. Golf was and still is considered a sophisticated persons sport, so naturally, women wore outfits that were similar to those being worn in a place of business.

Around the year 1910 stylish women’s golf clothes started to make an appearance on the golf course. They began to introduce pleats into ladies golf jackets to prevent the jackets from tearing when they swung a club. The pleats were plain and were not decorated for fashion.

As the industrial revolution took off, women’s golf clothes began to see mass production like never before. Sportswear for women experienced an upward trend in production, modifications to jackets and skirts began to surface to make womens golf clothes more comfortable. At this time in America, women’s sports skirts were beginning to be manufactured shorter and with hems.

Today all the major manufacturers like Puma and Fila are producing massive amounts of womens golf clothes. We are even beginning to see small boutique designers like Flirtee Golf design and manufacture stylish women’s golf clothes.

Evolution of Womens Tennis Clothes  

When women began playing tennis they were restricted to long skirts and uncomfortable tops. tennis clothes for womenTennis fashion consisted of stylish tennis hats, sporty jackets, and long skirts that were less than ideal for women to play in.

Like anything else that needs disruption, the tennis world was shocked in 1922 when Suzanne Lenglen made her Wimbledon appearance in a short tennis skirt. She continued to revolutionize the way women appeared on the tennis court for competition. Like other sports attire for women, tennis clothes were not being designed with the athlete and the performance in mind. Suzanne ditched the fancy hat, and opted in for a headband instead that was worn to keep her flowing locks out of her face. Casual tennis play was the norm before Suzanne took her play to the next level. By the 1930’s we began to see more women taking their athletic attire more seriously for performance. Eventually, the fancy hats were ditched entirely for variations of headbands and tennis visors. Soon other women followed her lead and continued to revolutionize womens fashion on the the tennis court. Alice Marble followed her lead by showing up to play in white tennis shorts, ditching the skirt entirely. Eventually, designers began to shorten the skirts to increase performance while maintaining a fashionable presence.

Eventually, women’s tennis clothes were being mass produced in white and in a large range of designs and fashion styles. whites became available in a huge range of fashion styles. Shorts and skirts were eventually combined to create the skort which is worn in Golf and in Tennis.  

Evolution of Women’s Ski Clothes

ski clothes for womenBy the 1930’s skiing was the fastest growing sport in America. The clothes that were being designed for women were not being designed for performance like the men’s line of ski clothes were. Long, tight trousers with limited mobility restricted the movement of women skiers. Most women were then wearing sweaters with a jacket over the top. Neither of these were being designed for ultimate performance.

Color options were limited to white and blue and styles were less than desirable. Later, the production of gloves began to introduce new color schemes that included two-tone designs which were new to the world of women’s skiing at the time. As the sport continued to grow, modifications to the garments were being made quickly. Waterproof materials were being researched and materials were being designed to allow for more flexibility.

Stocking caps and knitted sweaters rocked the winter wear for years. Sweaters were designed with winter themes that included skiers and winter landscapes. These sweaters would later become a hit during the holidays as consumers found joy in wearing them to Ugly Sweater Parties.

Solar Real Estate

The Solar Real Estate Market – Why Go Solar

benefits from solar energyThe U.S. solar market has grown substantially over the years, especially in sunshine states like California, Arizona, and Florida. Previously, solar was something that was not very accessible to homeowners. Now, with so much to be gained from energy efficiency the solar market is booming. So why would you upgrade your home with Solar energy? There are many reasons that include financial and environmental benefits. Here are some of the main reasons why homeowners are jumping on the solar train and converting to energy efficient means of powering their homes.

1. Saves You Money

Depending on the state you live in and the incentives available this may fluctuate a little, but overall these savings tend to be universal for homeowners living in the states. Monthly savings from solar can exceed $100 dollars a month in many of the states. If you add those savings up for a 20 year period, which is typically less than the length of the warranty for solar panels, you can calculate a savings of over $30,000 dollars. There are homeowners in Arizona, that on average save $64,000 dollars after 20 years of going solar.

2. Instant Savings

There are Solar purchase power agreements, and solar leasing options that have made it possible for homeowners to get into solar energy for next to nothing, and sometimes for no money down. There are ways that homeowners can finance as they go, making it a more affordable option then most people realize. After the solar panels are installed you pay the solar company that owns and manages the panels rather than the utility company. The savings are instant. Pay as you go solar is available to all homeowners in the States.

3. Return on Investment

If you were to drop cash on a solar system, your return on investment could be made in about 10 years depending on the state you live in. In Arizona, it can take a homeowner about 5 years before the savings they made matches the cost of purchase. In this case, your return on investment is sooner than many anticipate.

 

4. Added Property Value – Faster Sales Process

If you own a home with solar panels it can increase the property value and also make the home attractive to buyers. how to buy and sell solar homesBuyers that know they will get immediate energy savings may be more likely to purchase a home on the market that is equipped with solar panels. You could say that a home with solar panels is seen in the same regard as a home that offers other amenities like pools and sports courts. These are attractive incentives for buyers. There are also studies that suggest that homes with solar panels have seen sales prices increase over $15,000 thousand dollars after hitting the market. Prior to selling your home with solar, you should consult with a solar broker to find out the true value of your home and how to leverage that added value for resale.

5. Incentives

In 2009, the $2,000 dollar limit on the Federal Solar Tax Credit was lifted. You can receive as much as 30% of the total solar system expenses back for the cost of the equipment and installation fees. As a result, you could save up to $7,500 dollars on a home solar system that is worth close to $25,000 dollars. If you combine that with local state rebates, Solar Renewable Energy Credits, the cost of going solar can literally be reduced by 50% or more of the initial quote.

6. Investing in Solar is Safe

Energy prices in your local market can be as volatile as the stock market. At any time an energy company can create peak energy times, increase rates, and charge for just about anything they want. When going solar it’s pretty easy to calculate how much energy you will be generating and what it will cost you monthly for the next 20 years. Having this fixed rate allow homeowners to have a fixed dollar amount set into their monthly budget.

7. Solar Panels Work and Are Efficient

The manufacturer’s warranty is usually good for 20-25 years. This is a standard performance guarantee that you will find is offered with most solar solutions. It’s also industry standard to also guarantee that performance after the 25-year mark. After 25 years it is said that most solar systems will continue to generate energy with over 80% efficiency. Solar panels usually exceed that guarantee and can last anywhere between 30-40 years.

8. Better For The Planet

The money saved from going solar is reason enough to upgrade, but there are other reasons that might make a homeowner choose to go solar. The impact on the environment is extremely beneficial. The United States is right behind China in carbon dioxide emissions. We can lessen our carbon dioxide emissions by ditching the local utility company and opting into the generation of clean energy with solar panels.

9. Free Yourself From Energy Dependence

solar real estate in arizonaIf you are like me you don’t like depending on others for anything. In the case of energy, depending on the Government to produce what I need is not appealing, especially when our own Government is dependent on other countries of many of the natural resources we currently use to produce energy. By freeing yourself from the dependence on this energy, you can also help us as a country lessen our dependence on the foreign importation of natural resources. Going solar is a great way to aid that process.

10. Going Solar is Not as Hard as You Think

Technology has made many things in life easier. The ability to get online and search for a competent solar specialist is also easier than ever. There are hundreds of solar companies across the U.S. dealing in solar energy that have great information on the web to help educate you and get you on the path of going solar. You can contact any one of these solar specialists to receive an energy audit or a quote for solar installation. Typically the quotes are free, don’t hesitate to contact someone about the process and get pricing.

You can learn more about saving money with solar energy by viewing this energy savings chart released by Energy.Gov.                  • solar energy savings chart