Wednesday, June 26, 2019

My grandson Amo started Nursery school at the Camelean Academy. I know, it seemed just like a few weeks ago that he was still learning to walk and talk, and now he is starting school! Where did all that time go?

Choosing an institution for early childhood education is not an easy task. There is the concern about proximity to the home, the curriculum, safety at school, and tuition fees. Parents also tend to inquire if the school has accreditation from the Department of Education. The Camelean Academy is only 500 meters from our home. Although it is just a small school, I love the security it provides, the presence of "nannies" who take care of helping the little ones with their snacks, wiping their faces, and taking them to the toilet if the need arises. The school's method of teaching is both progressive and traditional. The teachers are very pleasant with the children. Smiles and hugs are the norm. About tuition fees? I think they are reasonable reasonable enough.

For children attending school for the first time, the Camelean Academy requires summer classes for one month prior to the regular school year. It allows children to have a "feel" of how it is to be in school, to stick to a morning schedule, and to allow them to socialize with other kids their age.

I am happy that my daughter and son-in-law chose this school for my grandson. My little Amo is happy and eager to go to school every morning, saying "I want to see Teacher Myla."

Here are some of his photos during his summer class and his first week in regular Nursery school.

Summer class

First day of regular Nursery School
If you live anywhere near the Katipunan area, Blue Ridge, or Project 4, you may consider enrolling your child at the Camelean Academy.

Here's their address and contact information:
The Camelean Academy
10 J. Ocampo Street, Project 4, Quezon City, Metro Manila
+63 2 421 2595

Whether you’re just started to notice changes in your hearing, or you’ve been dealing with hearing loss for a while, it’s helpful to know how to describe your condition to your medical professional. These questions will help you describe your hearing loss for an accurate diagnosis.

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How severe is your hearing loss?

This straightforward question is commonly asked by audiologists, but (for obvious reasons) can be quite difficult to answer. How are you supposed to know how severe your hearing loss is? You can only hear what you can hear! Audiologists will frequently use descriptors on a spectrum from mild to profound, with a large grey area in between. In general, if you’ve experienced mild hearing loss a conversation will be easily heard if there is not much other noise in the room and you are sat quite near to the person you are talking to. However, if there is music or other noise going on in the background, you may not hear so easily. Severe or profound hearing loss means you’re unlikely to catch what anyone is saying regardless of background noise.

What types of sounds are audible to you?

The most common form of hearing loss is known as high frequency hearing loss. The fancy name for the condition is presbyacusis. Elderly people often suffer from this. The effect for the sufferer is to make speech sound muffled and difficult to comprehend. While you may hear the words being said, you may not necessarily understand the meaning of the statement. Low-frequency hearing loss is the other side of the coin. It’s also possible to experience a loss of all frequencies in roughly equal proportions. You may find that you are especially sensitive to loud noise. Each different arrangement of frequencies that you can or cannot hear will affect your ability to understand speech and follow conversations. An audiologist may use words like sensory, conductive, or mixed, to evaluate your hearing ability and gesture towards which area of your ear has sustained damage. 

What’s that ringing sound I can hear?

Ironically, one of the most common symptoms of hearing loss is a ringing sound in the ear that does not come from an environmental source. The sound is internal. What is even stranger is that you are the only person who can hear it. A doctor may be able to diagnose the condition (tinnitus) but it will be purely based on your report, as they will not be able to hear anything themselves. Tinnitus can be debilitating at first, but once you learn skills to help you navigate your anxiety, the condition can be easily managed. Seek out professional help from your GP or an Audiology clinic in your local area. Mindfulness meditation practices have also been shown to be effective for tinnitus relief, as they help relieve anxiety.

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Unlike visible disabilities that cause reduced mobility, hearing loss is an invisible disability that is often left undiagnosed. This can make it difficult for you or your loved one to adjust to the limitations. Why the delay in diagnosis? Because if you are suffering from hearing loss, the chances are that you’re the last to know. If you would like to better understand your hearing loss, or the hearing loss being experienced by your loved one, these questions will help you get to grips with this difficult issue.

Dealing With Hearing Loss? These Tips Will Help

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One of the unfortunate aspects of getting older is the possibility of losing our hearing. Unfortunately, there is no way of telling whether you will be affected or not, although there are a few ways you can minimize your risk. For instance, you can limit your exposure to loud music and noise. Even if you do all you can to prevent this risk, there is still a chance that you might be slightly affected by deafness in the future.

If you do end up with even the smallest amount of hearing loss, it can still be very frustrating and will no doubt have an impact on your life. Thankfully, there are ways you can manage it. Read on to find out more.

Speak To Your Doctor

One of the first things that you need to do is speak to your doctor. You should let them know about your experience so that they can give you a hearing test. They might need to refer you to a hearing specialist depending on how bad things seem to be. This test will then show whether in fact you are suffering from any loss in hearing. If that is the case, your doctor should be able to advise you on the best course of action.

Find A Reliable Hearing Aid

It could also be worth investing in a hearing aid. Again, this is something that you can discuss with your doctor and they might even be able to recommend you a specific kind that can help with your specific type of hearing loss. It might be worth looking for one that uses all of the latest Bluetooth technology as you will really benefit from all of its extra connectivity. For instance, you would be able to connect it to your TV so that you can hear your favorite movies and programs a lot clearer!

Let Your Friends And Relatives Know

It is also important that you are open to your relatives and close friends about your hearing loss. They might have even noticed it themselves! Once you tell them, then they will certainly do their bit to help you understand and hear them a lot more clearly in various situations. If they themselves suffer from hearing loss, they might even be able to give you a few tips that they use.

Use Some Alerting Devices Around The Home

One thing that a lot of people have trouble hearing when they are slightly death is whenever someone is knocking on their door. Thankfully, there are a few alerting devices you can use that will flash a light as well as play a louder knocking sound. You will also be able to buy fire and carbon monoxide alarms that will flash a blinking light when they go off as well. It’s important to find these kinds of device, especially as your hearing worsens, so that you are always alerted to all kinds of household situations.

As you can see, your hearing loss doesn’t have to impact your life too much!

Monday, June 24, 2019

3 Things To Remember As You Drive On The Roads

For anyone of any age, driving on the public roads is something that you need to be very careful about. It is clear to anyone that it is the kind of thing which can be very dangerous, and which you need to put a lot of focus into if it is to go right, and the more that you can approach it in that way, the better off you will be. The truth is that driving can be made a lot simpler by ensuring that you approach it in a certain way, and that is what we are going to take a look at in this article. Here are three things that it is worth remembering as you drive on the roads, to ensure that you enjoy it more and that you are as safe as can be.

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Accident Protocol

It is important that you have a good sense of what you would need to do in the case of some kind of accident. If you fail to understand this as fully or properly as you can, then it might mean that you struggle to survive an accident as fully as you would probably hope to. There are certain things you should always do after an accident. One of the first is to make sure that nobody else is hurt. If they are, call an ambulance. You probably also want to call the police if it is that serious. You are then going to want to call Hadley Law Firm, or whoever else might be representing you, as well as your insurance provider. Knowing the protocol will actually mean that you have more confidence as you drive around, so this is hugely important to think about from time to time.

Confidence Is Everything

When you are driving, you will find that being able to have a lot of confidence is absolutely always going to help you drive better. Those who drive with confidence tend to have fewer crashes, and they tend to enjoy the process more as well, which is no bad thing in itself. If you are not currently all that confident, then you can improve this by simply getting a lot more practice in. you can do that through merely driving normally, or you can consider taking further lessons than strictly necessary in order to develop your driving skills. However you do it, developing your confidence is going to help a lot when you are driving.

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Slow & Steady

Remember that driving is one of the most dangerous things you will ever do. That attitude is the right one, as it ensures that you are going to take seriously the power of the vehicle you are behind, and that you will therefore be more likely to take it easy. Taking it slow and steady is going to ensure that you drive with much greater purpose, and that you are much less likely to be involved in any accidents, so this is definitely something that you will want to make sure you are doing from the start.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

Owning a pet is a big responsibility these days, but it can also be one of the most important things in life. More and more households these days are introducing pets into the family home, and this is really improving things for them. As such, it is important for you to make sure you are doing what is right for your animal, and this generally involves spending time with your furry friend.

Pet owners need to make sure they take time out of the stresses of daily life to make time for their pets. However, this is something that can be more difficult to achieve than you might think, and this is certainly something to consider. These are some of the best ideas to make use of when you come to make more quality time for your pet.

Get Out of the House

One of the best places to start with this is getting out of the home. An animal like a dog doesn’t do well being cooped up all day, so you need to get out and take them for a walk. This is a great way of keeping active, and it keeps you healthy and active at the same time. Having a happy and healthy pet is something that makes a big difference to their life and yours. And these are some of the best ways you can achieve this right now. 

Bring Your Pet on Vacation

Of course, it depends on where you choose to go, but it could well be the case that you will be able to take your pet on vacation with you. This would be ideal if you are going somewhere that allows you to be outdoors a lot. You might need to check about things like pet-friendly hotels, and what the deal is if you are looking to fly. There is accepted etiquette for vacationing with pets, and it’s important to familiarize yourself with this so that you can get the best possible outcome. 

Regular Check-Ups

Another thing to keep in mind is that you need to take care of the health of your pet, specifically, when it comes to their physical well-being. And this means taking them for regular check-ups at the veterinarian and ensuring you keep on top of any health problems. Pets can live long and healthy lives provided they are well looked after and taken care of, and this is something you should be doing on a regular basis as a pet owner. The more regularly you visit the vet, the easier it is to keep on top of problems and identify health issues when they arise.  

As you can see, there are a lot of things that you can do that are going to help you improve the time you have together with your animal. Taking the steps to do this effectively is so important, and you have to be sure you are doing what is right for them. This sometimes means getting a little more creative with stuff, and you need to make sure you put your animal first as much as you can.

Friday, June 21, 2019

As we get older, our bodies change. We can’t always do the things that we used to be able to. We tire more easily, our joints don’t work as well as they once did and our muscles start to weaken. If we’re lucky, it’s nothing more than a gradual and natural part of ageing. But, for some people, it’s more than this. The changes aren’t always gradual, and for some, they begin to present much sooner than is the norm. When this happens, life can become harder, and day to day tasks can’t be completed as easily as they once were. 

If you have a loved one who has suddenly found their mobility reduced, or is finding life more painful than it used to be, they might be feeling very helpless as everything becomes more difficult. But, they might not be ready to move into care or an assisted living facility. Let’s take a look at some of the things that you can do to help them adjust and live in their own home, as comfortably as possible. 

Make Changes Around the Home

Reduced mobility doesn’t mean that your loved one is no longer capable of living alone. Nor does it mean that they need full-time help, or that they are going to have to stop doing things for themselves. In most cases, there are plenty of changes that you can help them to make around the house, that will make life easier and more comfortable. Some of these changes are big things like having wheelchair ramps installed. Others are much smaller, like moving the things that they use daily on to lower shelves that are easy to reach. 

Explore Their Options

There are always options. Changes at home should certainly be the first step, but that might not be the only change that they want to make. Look into home help with them, as well as exercise classes, therapy and physio. But, remember, you are there to help them learn more about these options, not to take over or make the decisions. 

Let Them Talk

When facing reduced mobility, or a sudden change to health, it’s not just the physical changes that can be hard to adjust to. They might be feeling lonely, scared and upset. What they might need more than anything else is someone to talk to and share their emotions with. Be that person if they need you to be. 

Help them to Find New Hobbies

A great way to help them to adjust to what life has thrown at them is finding ways to show them that this isn’t the end. They can still have a wonderful quality of life. They can still find new hobbies, make new friends and even find things that they are good at. They might just need a little push to find these things and someone to hold their hand as they explore new interests and hobbies. Take a look online for groups and activities in your local area and even look for support groups nearby.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Care Options for Your Aging Loved Ones

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As your parents grow older, it’s important to make plans for the type of care they may need over the coming years. There are many options to consider as you make this monumental decision, and it’s important to have a plan in place before the need arises. As you prepare for this next phase of life, here are the most common scenarios and the key factors you should take into consideration.

Retirement and Nursing Homes

Sending an aging parent or loved one to a new environment may seem overwhelming, but these highly specialized centers may be the best option, especially if someone is in need of frequent medical care or attention. Many offer treatments for the elderly, including memory care Denver, physical therapy and 24-hour medical staff. Some facilities are also designed to make life as normal and enjoyable for residents as possible, including amenities like movie theaters, salons and cafeterias set up like restaurants.

Professional Home Care

If your parent prefers to stay in their current home but requires frequent medical evaluation and help with everyday tasks, hiring a professional home caregiver may be your best option. This service usually comes with a much lower price tag than moving to a retirement or nursing home, but still allows the client to receive the specialized care they need. Caregivers can help run errands, administer medications and prepare healthy meals.

Personal Family Care

If you have a close relationship with your aging loved one and the time to help, caring for them yourself may be an option. Be sure that your schedule truly allows you to provide the care and attention they will need. You'll also need to consider proximity and make sure someone can get to them within just a few minutes in the event of an emergency. Though it can be stressful, some do find it very rewarding.

Whatever you choose, make sure to be realistic about your parent's needs and desires. With a good plan in place, you can rest easy knowing your loved one will have the care they require.

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Repairing vs. Replacing Your AC

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Summertime is in full swing, and that means your air conditioner is probably going full throttle — that is, unless it's not working correctly. Before you start searching "AC repair near me" though, it is important to consider whether you truly need repair, or whether your home would benefit from an entirely new unit.

 How Old Is Your Air Conditioner?

The first thing you should consider when working through the "repair vs. replace" debate is the gave of your HVAC unit. Of course, there is no steadfast age that makes a unit too old to repair, which is why some experts use a dollar amount instead. To determine if your air conditioner is too old to repair, consider its age as well as how much the repair cost is. Multiply them, and if the number is more than $5,000, consider replacement instead. For example, a 10-year-old unit that is going to cost $500 to repair will equal to exactly $5,000, so it may be best to replace it instead. However, a 5-year-old unit at $350 will only multiply to $1,750, so it is fine to repair.

Is Your Current Unit Energy-Efficient?

Energy efficiency matters as well. Even if your HVAC unit is technically repairable, it could still be costing you hundreds of dollars each year if it lacks any energy efficiency. Energy Star recommends purchasing an energy-efficient unit if your current unit is 10 years old or older, and even HVAC technicians recommend replacement after 15 years. The average lifespan of a unit is 14 years, so if yours is on the brink of old age, now is the time to purchase something more efficient.

Whether you decide to hire someone to repair your current unit or replace it with a brand new, energy-efficient model, it is important to hire technicians who are licensed, certified, and insured. This not only saves you money but ensures the safety of you and your property since HVAC work requires being around dangerous electrical or gas components.

Saturday, June 15, 2019

My sister celebrated her 50th birthday by booking a staycation for the entire family at a hotel in the outskirts of the city.

We checked in at the LeBlanc Hotel and Resort, USA. Nope, not United States of America, but "Upper Side of Antipolo." It took us about an hour to drive from our home in Quezon City to get to the place.

The hotel is nestled in the hills of Antipolo, Rizal. We arrived there at around 3 pm and waited for 20 minutes in the car until we were ushered in. Upon entering, I noticed the hotel was clean and the staff was friendly. 

We stayed in twin deluxe rooms on the 3rd floor. It was rather small, but it was clean and the beds were really comfy. It had a mid-size TV, a small desk/dresser, a closet with a safe, and toilet and bath with a hot/cold shower enclosure.

The floor to ceiling window of the rooms offered a great view of the pool.  Once we were settled in our rooms, the kids started changing into their swim wear and could not wait to get into the pool. I can't blame them. Summers in the Philippines can be brutally hot and humid.

The hotel's pool is not big, but the size was ample enough for the kids to swim and play, and for adults to just soak the heat away. The poolside staff was readily available to provide towels, and take your orders for food or refreshments from the Bistro.

We had dinner at The Bistro, located on the ground floor of the hotel. The dining area was nice and clean. The food was okay. Our tummies were happy.

This hotel also has function rooms for events and corporate meetings, and a rooftop area for weddings or private parties.

To summarize, the LeBlanc Hotel is a perfect family getaway not too far from home. Great for weekend staycations to celebrate special occasions. It is also a nice hotel to book a stay if you simply want to unplug and unwind.

How to Choose a Valve Lock System

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When it’s time to perform maintenance or repairs on a pressurized valve, it’s necessary to shut off whatever material is in inside. Valve locks perform this critical role, one which can prevent potentially harmful accidents. But before you install one, it’s important to know that valve locks are not one-size-fits-all. There are several different types which are engineered for specific valves.

It’s more likely than not that your valve is one of the three most common: Ball valves, butterfly valves, or gate valves. Here’s how their corresponding valve lock systems work:

Ball Valve Locks

Ball valve lock systems combine an outside handle with an interior ball to control flow through the valve. You simply shift the handle to the off position to do so. They typically range from one half to eight inches in diameter and will work on a wide variety of pipes, including ones constructed of stainless steel, brass, bronze, chrome, titanium, PVC, CPVC and others.

Butterfly Valve Locks

Butterfly valves themselves are discs positioned in the center of a pipe. When given a quarter turn, they control flow. They are generally cheaper than ball valves because of their lighter weight. Butterfly valve locks, like ball valve locks, can be used on different sizes of pipes, but have a more limited range of 2.5 to 4 inches in diameter.

Gate Valve Locks

Gate valve locks work by blocking access to valve handles. They are thermoplastic covers in the shape of half circles. After they’re installed, a padlock or hasp can be used to secure them in place. Gate valve locks are mostly used with larger pipe diameters (from 2" to the largest pipelines).

Valve lock systems have a wide range of applications: manufacturing, mining, utilities, municipal service, and oil and gas. But before choosing one, always make sure it is the right fit for the valve you need to shut off.

Friday, June 14, 2019

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It is difficult to admit that you have a problem with anger. Many people don't recognize issues with their reactions and actions toward others, and even some of those that do, deny such a problem exists either out of shame or embarrassment. However, when these feelings escalate to the point of court appeals and mandates, then perhaps it is time to recollect and engage with the process that has led to such a result. Therefore, if ordered to seek counseling or anger management classes, seize it as an opportunity for self-renewal and reflection, and try to use the tools taught there to have greater control and improved relationships.

Mandatory Classes

While a judge will probably specify a certain number of hours for the court ordered anger management classes, know that you can continue going if the lessons are helping. Most classes are in person and require signatures from the instructors to prove your enrollment and participation. However, a judge or an order may allow for online courses in certain situations, which may ease some anxiety. The class type mandated typically depends on the severity of the accusation or assault. Anger that results in violence and injury usually requires a more intensive in-person program, whereas an emotional outburst that did not result in serious injury or harm may only require a certificate of completion from an online provider.  

Course Lessons

While the online and in-person courses vary in length and design, anger management classes teach a variation of the same topics: emotional and physical signs and triggers. Some emotional signs you are getting angry are feeling internal tension like you can't say what you want or that you want to yell. Physical symptoms of anger may appear through a clenched jaw, tightness in your back, poor sleep or a racing heartbeat. While courses spend some time exploring signs and symptoms of anger, they typically dive deeper into discovering your emotional stressors or triggers to help you combat them.

You may not want to take court-ordered classes. However, consider them an opportunity to heal. Find approved anger-management classes and start your recovery. 

Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Understanding Chapter 13 Bankruptcy

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For individuals to successfully navigate through society, sound finances play a significant role. With many people unable to support themselves with savings or investments, remaining current with any outstanding debts is essential. However, there will always be extenuating circumstances which arise in life and require unplanned expenditures. If these types of situations occur frequently, you will likely have to consider filing for bankruptcy. Making this type of decision is undoubtedly nerve-racking, but there are quite a few options for you to take. Bankruptcies happen across the country, and this is undoubtedly the case for Orlando, FL. If you live in this area and are thinking about filing for bankruptcy, consult with a chapter 13 lawyer Orlando Fl.

Determining Eligibility for Chapter 13

With there being so many types of bankruptcy to claim, it is essential to understand which form applies to you. If you are interested in filing chapter 13, then your unsecured debts must be lower than $349,725 to proceed with this filing. There are also laws about secured debts, also which a chapter 13 lawyer would be able to explain in detail. A court of law will also determine your eligibility based on any recent filings made under your legal name. If 180 days have not passed since a recent filing was cut short due to negligence, you would not be eligible for chapter 13 bankruptcy.

Understanding the Process

There is a lot of documentation that a bankruptcy court will require for this process to move along. Most people do not have a schedule of assets and liabilities on-hand for personal property and the accompanying valuations. All of this information must be accurate to the best of your ability, and an attorney can assist with this process. Filing for bankruptcy is not easy, but seeking legal counsel can help aid in this burdensome task.

Tips for Planning a College Spring Festival

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Although college is a learning environment, it is also a place of community. With that, comes a need for socialization. Why not celebrate springtime? The sun is finally shining, providing some much-desired vitamin D. Kick off the season with a good old-fashioned festival. Young adults, after all, need enjoyment just like little kids, and (let's face it) college is not just about academics. It's also about having fun. Here are a few tips to make the most of the event.

Get Help

Planning a large scale event takes time and coordination. Consider hiring a college event planner. This could relieve some of the pressure, and it might offer some discounts from vendors. This person brings experience to the table that might present some new ideas and exciting concepts. Also, don't take it all on yourself. Ask campus organizations to sign up and work on a committee or sponsor booths. Let them get creative with activities appropriate for the campus and student body. Getting others involved provides a personal investment and pride. It might also make your job a little bit easier.

Think Variety

Remember that people have different interests so you'll want to provide options. For example, festivals usually include silly booths and inflatables. Select a range of activities. Some a little tame, and some more adventurous. Music keeps events lively, so consider a DJ or a band. Don't worry so much about genre. Just ensure it's upbeat. Lastly, don't forget the food. Festivals have your traditional fare: cotton candy and popcorn. Rent some machines to have large quantities. Think of offering those for free as a perk to those who attend. With food trucks readily available, arrange for some to provide additional choices. You'll save set up and time by using their menu and supplies.

Enjoy the day. Many people want to return to those carefree childhood days. A spring festival offers a chance to relive the fun and memories.

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

If you are considering buying a new car, there are likely lots of things that are running through your mind right now. From the obvious and straightforward choices you need to make to the ones that take a little more consideration, it can feel like every time you think you know what you are doing, another one of those thoughts pop up in its place. Fear not, however, as that is why we have written this post - to help you out by listing all of the things that you need to think about when it is time to purchase a new car. 

Photo by Raivis Razgals on Unsplash
Selling Your Old Car

Many people need to sell their old car to fund the purchase of their new one. You first need to think about the condition that it is in. If it is still roadworthy and not too battered and old, you will probably get a fair amount of money for it. However, if it could be described as an 'old banger', then that is probably not going to happen. Do a thorough inspection of the car, from the interior to the exterior, and under the hood. If there any minor issues, think about addressing those before you try to sell it on - this can help increase the value of the car. 

You then need to think about how much you are aiming to get for it. Be realistic with your expectations - do not aim for something ridiculously high that you are never going to get, but at the same time, do not undervalue your car. You can always drop the price when negotiating with a potential buyer.  You also need to decide whether to sell to a private buyer or a trader. There are benefits to both options, so weigh up the pros and cons of each and decide which would be best for you.

New or Second Hand?

When we are talking about a new car, we do not necessarily mean brand new - we mean new to you. You may well be looking for a second-hand car, and if this is the case, you need to check out sellers very carefully.  If you are going car shopping in Tucson, AZ, a reputable dealership may well be your best option. Sometimes, it can be a little risky to buy from a private seller.  You will find that most established second-hand auto traders offer you some sort of guarantee or warranty that is not provided by private sellers, but this gives you an extra layer of protection on the off chance that something should go wrong.

If you do decide to buy a brand new car, make sure that you shop around to get a good deal and make sure that you do get a comprehensive warranty from the dealer because while unlikely, things still can and do go wrong. 

How Are You Going To Pay For It?

If you have the cash to buy the car outright, that is great, but if you are upgrading your car or purchase brand new, it is likely that you wouldn't be able to purchase it outright. This means that you need to look into a car financing option that works for you. There are many ways of doing this, such as hire purchase. This means paying an amount every month, but you do not own the car until you have fully paid it off. Others prefer to get a personal loan from the bank so that they can pay cash for the car and then pay the loan back to the tender. The advantage of this is that you have a good credit score; you may be able to get a lower interest rate on your vehicle. Be aware though that interest charges on your loan can fluctuate without warning

Car Insurance

Car insurance is something you need to think about before you purchase a car. There is no point in buying a car if you cannot afford to pay the insurance on it because of the engine size or because of it being a particularly desirable car. Once you know the registration of a car, you should be able to go online and get quotes for the insurance to give you an idea. By doing this, you will be able to compare prices and know whether you can afford the monthly or annual insurance premiums. 

Other Costs 

There are many other costs that you need to consider on top of the purchase price and car insurance. For example, you need to think about the vehicle tax. You would need to pay this every six months or every year, depending on the plan that you choose. As well as this, it is always a good idea to add on breakdown cover just in case - you do not want to break down and have no way of getting to your destination! All of these costs add up, and these are not even the full extent of it.

You also need to take into account the amount of fuel that you will need to run the car. This is dependant on a range of factors, such as how often you drive, the distances you cover, and how economically you drive. You must not forget to take this into account when you are looking at all the costs associated with a new car. It is all well and good to be able to afford the purchase price and insurance, but if you can't afford to put fuel in, you will not be going anywhere.

Also, remember that if something goes wrong and a guarantee or warranty do not cover it, you will need to fork out for the repairs. If there is something wrong with the engine, that is going to cost you. Tires, which do need replacing regularly, will cost you a fair bit. 
All those smaller costs add up and usually come to bite you when you least expect it or can afford it,  so, you need to plan for every eventual cost that you could need to pay before you purchase a new vehicle.

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

What’s Likely To Influence Your Attitude To The Road?

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Do you even really know what influences your attitude when you’re on the road? Do you know how to stay in control on the road? Let’s take a look at some of the things that may influence your attitude when you’re on the road.

Your Mood

First of all, one of the biggest influences that may significantly influence your attitude to the road and driving in general, is your own mood! If you’re in a bad or negative frame of mind, it can make you perform differently, and react different on the road. And so you need to bear that in mind and aim to control it.

Other People

Now, another thing that can often largely influence how you are on the road, is other people! It’s not always your own attitude or outlook on that day. Sometimes, the actions of others can really influence you. But if you want to make sure that you’re able to stay safe on the road, stay sane, and also avoid confrontation too, you have to be weary of those.

The Facts

Finally, something that you may not know much about, is the facts of the road. And here, we’re talking more about the negative side of things, as unfortunately there are lots of traffic collisions as you can see in the infographic below. Sometimes, when you know more about the statistics surrounding road issues, alcohol, drugs, and fatigue, you’ll often be much more wary of your own actions on the road.

Infographic Design By Canada car accident statistics

Friday, May 31, 2019

When MTV premiered the iconic “Pimp My Ride”, 15 years ago, nobody knew how much the show would influence car owners all across the country. Viewers could follow the experience of turning a regular car into an exciting road monster, ready to devour the miles with style and comfort. Since then, it has come to light that the final vehicle they got to drive may not have had a lot in common with the car that appeared on the show. You can even find some candid reviews as AMAs on Reddit from car owners who have been on “PImp My Ride”. Regardless of how the show handed contestants, there’s no denying that the legacy lives on. More and more car owners are inspired to upgrade their vehicle. 

Do you love pimping your car?
You need to gather data first

One of the most popular upgrades car owners add to their vehicle is to try to increase the overall power output, which is designed to make the car quicker on the road and lighter to handle. Rally and racing vehicle, typically, undergo similar tuning operations to reduce the weight of the car by stripping out everything that isn’t strictly required. In a racing car, this would be the rear seats, the stereo, some body parts, and the spare wheel, for instance. In your day-to-day car, you can’t just ditch body parts and equipment. Instead, you need to modify your tuner, by adding an SCT tuner, for instance, to boost horsepower and maintain the power delivery as smooth as possible. Tuners are used to overwrite the existing tune on your vehicle computer. However, you need to understand not only what you want to modify but also how your engine performs to pick the best solution. 

Lack of knowledge is harmful

As a rule of the thumb, you can’t afford to modify your car unless you’re confident you understand the work you’re doing. Cars is an area where enthusiasm without know-how can get extremely costly. Take a look at these example of tuning gone wrong to understand the risks. Similarly, you also need to work with professionals who are experienced in tuning and modifications. 

You need to know WHEN to stop

It’s easy to let your enthusiasm lead the way. However, when it comes to car modifications, health and safety should remain a priority. You should stay away from add-ons that can obstruct any of the windows while driving, as it’s likely to make your vehicle NOT road legal. Some of the modifications you might have seen on “Pimp My Ride” were removed before the car owner could take the vehicle home! 

There’s no point unless you protect your car

Last, but not least, there is a lot you can do with your car, even if you stick by the rules of knowledge, cautious and research. But, you can afford to invest in tuning and modifications if you don’t know how to look after your vehicle. A car cover is a crucial investment to protect your vehicle from damages as a result of moisture, sun exposure, or even mold. Ideally, you want to park your car in a secured area – preferably a locked garage. 

The bottom line is that when it comes to upgrading your vehicle, you need to proceed with caution. You should also research your options, find the best experts and solutions for your car. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Home Tech Innovations Which Are Worth The Spend

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Technology and homes go hand in hand, and the latest solutions are so smart they can do everything from keeping your home tidier and more secure to saving you money on the household bills, enhancing your lifestyle and increasing the value of your property. All we need now is a flying car in the driveway and we really will have arrived in the future we were promised as kids. Of course, as with all home gadgets, there are some which are a great idea and others which aren't worth the spend. Here's a run down of the latest tech additions it could be worthwhile investing in… 

A Smart Doorbell

Knowing who is at the front door before you answer - whether you're home or not - is incredibly useful. Not only can you keep tabs on that delivery that arrives when you pop out, but you can also avoid that sales call you didn't want to be in for. Plus, you can ensure better security for your property when you go away. Smart doorbells from companies like Nest feature a HD video stream using your home WiFi so you can check exactly who is there. There's also an in-built microphone and speaker so that you can communicate with any visitors - even if you're far away from home. 

A Soothing Soak

If you're into relaxing in the bathtub with a glass of wine after a long, hard day, then you may want to get on board with the new wave of technology coming to a bathroom near you. The Archer VibrAcoustic bath harnesses the power of technology to make that bathing experience even better. Housing a Bluetooth speaker and made of acoustic materials, the idea is that you can play your favorite relaxing Spotify playlist while you soak in the tub and feel every note in three dimension with music waves rippling through the water. As well as accessing your own music library, the bath has several soothing pre-programmed mixes to add something a little extra to your bath! 

An Entertaining Experience

If you're in the mood to treat yourself, and add value to your home, Home Theater Installation could be a path to consider. Movie aficionados will relish being able to dodge the queues at the cinema, re-watch the classics at their leisure or even do proper justice to those epic Netflix picks with a big screen and surround sound. With custom smart technology, you could queue up that movie, dim the lights and have a chilled beer waiting all by the time you pull up in the drive. 

No More Mowing

If you have a lawn in your garden, then you'll know what a pain it is to maintain around this time of year, when it seems to grow faster than you can cut it! Bring the power of robots to the job with the Worx automatic lawn mower. Similar to the famous Roomba vacuuming robot, this little guy has a clever shock sensor system which can detect and mow around obstacles and automatically returns to it's base if the battery gets low to recharge or it senses rain. Everyone's least favorite chore just got a hell of a lot easier. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Dear Unknown Japanese Soldier,

I know, it has been about 75 years since that day. Long time, huh? Well, I don't know if you are still alive, but I just wanted to let you know about a few things.

You were the one who shot and killed my grandfather. A man I never had the chance to meet. Were you also the one who pushed his body into that deep well along with countless other men and women you massacred? 

Did you know that the man you killed had a pregnant wife at home and 4 young daughters all under the age of 10 who were too young to understand why there was a war?

Did you know that my grandfather had a very good singing voice and was the lead singer in the church choir?

What did he do to hurt you? All those men and women you rounded up in the town plaza, giving them false hopes of peace and free rice? And what did you do? You mercilessly gunned them all down. Why?

My grandfather worked hard to raise his daughters, hoping to give them a bright future. With your bullet, you put an end to his dreams.

My poor grandfather did not live long enough to even see his youngest daughter. You robbed my mother and my aunts the chance to grow up with a father to guide and protect them. 

Don't you have a father yourself? How much hate did you have in your heart when you did this? I cannot understand your lust of bloodshed. What made you so evil? I want to know. But it is too late now. Way too late to know the truth.

We only have one photo of my grandfather. 


In the photo, he was tall, dark complexioned, with black wavy hair and beautiful deep set eyes. I wish I met him. I wish I got to know him. But all I have is that one photo. And his name, Casiano. 

He missed seeing his 5 daughters graduate from college. He missed walking them down the aisle when they got married. He missed getting to know all his 13 grandchildren and 18 great grandchildren (plus one great-greatgrandson)

My grandfather's 13 out of a total of 18 great grandchildren.
(13 girls and 5 boys. Missing 3 other girls and 2 other boys not in the photo)
We can no longer change the past. The war is now etched in my country's history. I can only pray that that would be the last war, and the last foreign invasion that would come to our shores. 

So to you, Unknown Japanese Soldier, I hope you were given the time to repent for the atrocities you committed. I hope you at least felt sorry for all that you did. 

And despite all the hurt you caused my grandmother, my mother and my aunts, I want you to know... 

I forgive you.

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Four Tricks For A Luxury Kitchen Redesign

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The kitchen truly is the hub of the house - it's where people tend to congregate and socialise, where we entertain our friends, visit with our family and talk to our children. So it's little wonder that making an investment into this room can enhance your life and make your property much more saleable. If you're looking to achieve an elegant redesign that look luxurious, the trick is to combine practical innovations with beautiful finishes to get that high-end appearance. These tips will show you some of the best ways to get the look… 

Let There Be Light

Immaculate lighting design for your kitchen is something that often gets overlooked, or only addressed as an afterthought, when it's actually quite fundamental. A kitchen is a unique space because it demands a mix of functional, task lighting and more relaxed mood enhancing lights for dining and entertaining. Your lighting scheme could include a mix of LED spotlights in the main body of the kitchen, a hanging pendant light over an island unit or peninsula, and then downlighters or a dramatic cluster light over the dining area - you could even add a dimmer switch for ultimate mood lighting control. 

Get Classy With Countertops

If your mission is to give your kitchen that high end look, then one area where you don't want to cut corners is on beautiful quality countertops and splashbacks. Installing something like Quartz Countertops gives a sleek and durable finish that instantly makes your kitchen look upscale. If you're trying to make the case for a luxury look on a budget, then it's better to spend more on the countertops and try to make savings on the units of the kitchen and the appliances by sourcing them separately online rather than purchasing at inflated kitchen showroom prices. 

Luxe Up The Details

Steering away from basic handles in favour of something more unique and luxurious can really make your kitchen standout. Unusual finishes such as brass, copper or leather can totally elevate a more basic design and make it look expensive. You can also add to the look by choosing sockets, switches and taps in more stand-out materials - this can add a lot of sophistication to the look of the room in a subtle way. Don't discount the impact a beautiful extractor hood can have as well - they are highly functional items but they can also be very decorative and add to the overall look in their way. 

Create A Standout Feature 

Every elevated design features a talking point which makes a lasting impact, so think about what would make sense for your home. If you're a wine lover, a beautiful alcove filled with honeycomb wine holders can make an arresting sight. If you have small kids, painting a wall with chalkboard paint and allowing them to make colourful scribbles - or noting down quotes that make you smile or even your shopping list - injects a little personality into proceedings. For others it could be beautifully designed furniture or a standout piece of art. Just make sure there is one element that draws focus in the mix. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Preparing For The Family Vacation In Style

Family vacations can feel fantastic to attend and to look forward to, but not always to prepare. Of course, selecting a location is a wonderful thing, but budgeting, preparing, and planning your routes can often feel like busywork. However, we all know it’s a necessary evil, much as losing at least an hour a day to our commute to and from work can be one. 

Preparing for the family vacation in style can help you ahead of time is rarely something you can avoid, lest you pay over the odds to have every single small circumstance sorted for you. But none of us enjoy that kind of inquiry, so we look to see just what might benefit us, now and in the future. 

A great idea is to consider how you might spend time with your family through the preparation. This way, the excitement can grow even further as you all look to equip yourselves for that you might need. Not only this, but as you’re likely to start that process even earlier, you might feel more comfortable in how things will turn out. Let’s see what that might look like:

Prepare The Vehicle

The most common means of taking a family vacation is to drive to the destination. Of course, this is not necessarily always the case, but it’s so common that it should be considered the default standard. This means that preparing your vehicle for a long-haul drive should be an essential part of your daily efforts. Preparing your vehicle could and should be part of that. For example, using Thule products to help you attack your bicycles to your car should be an appropriate means of securing personal effects safety to the storage connections there. This also goes for if you wish to use a top-box to hold your luggage and reduce the space taken up in the car. Also, consider how you store items within. Give your children enough leg room, perhaps find them entertainment such as a DVD screen for playing movies, and ensure your tire pressure, your brake fluid and oil are all topped off. When you plan this out on top of your route, driving to your destination will be a joy, not a horrible chore.

Give Yourself A Structure

It can often be hard for families to make the most of the day, because not only will people wish to see disparate things, but it can sometimes be hard to motivate the troops up and out by a certain time. This is where giving yourself a structure can be a great idea. Heading to the pool, visiting the local culture, enjoying beautiful food can all be completed on-time and loosely within a guiding path should you consider your routes ahead of time.

Consider All Needs

Consider the appropriateness of the vacation before you select it. Consider how members of your family might interact with the environment. For example, if you have young children and the elderly, a much more relaxed experience on a beach could be the best idea, rather than hiking around a beautiful yet hilly medieval town. Consider all needs ahead of time, and then when there you’ll be able to ensure everyone can have an equal amount of fun.

With these tips, you’ll be sure to prepare for the family vacation in style.

Keeping The Car Clean With Little Kids

Where kids go, mess tends to follow. This is something all parents realize sooner rather than later. When you take the little ones in the car, therefore, this can cause a lot of trouble. Unlike the home, a vehicle is an incredibly small space. This means that even a small amount of junk or dirt can leave it looking a mess. It can also make your family and anyone else who travel in your car quite uncomfortable. With that in mind, here are five ways to keep your car clean, even with kids.

1. Keep A Trash Container

Rather than leaving trash to float about your car, you should give it somewhere to go. Some people choose to use a grocery bag, others a cereal box, and some buy trash bins specifically for their vehicles. You could give each of your kids their own trash container or use one for the whole car. Either way, you should empty it at the gas station every time you fill up the tank. 

2. Leave Food At Home

Kids are easily motivated and distracted by food. This is why many parents use food to treat their kids and cheer them up. The only problem with this is that food can be messy. Your little one could drop their food on the seat and stain it or make the car smell. For this reason, you should consider banning food from the car and only allow water, as this makes very little mess.

3. Protect Seats And Floors

If you can’t or won’t ban food from the car, then consider investing in protections instead. Seat covers and floor mats will both help to prevent stains, as well as any other damage. They can also both be removed, which means that it’s much easier to clean them than the floors and seats themselves. You could also put shades on the windows to keep fingers off the glass. 

4. Limit What’s Allowed In

When you start letting your little ones bring things into the car, it’s very difficult getting them to stop. Because of this, you should set rules on what is allowed in your vehicle. You might let one blanket and a few books in, for example, but say no to pillows and toys. Whatever you allow into your car, make sure that your little ones take it back out again when you get home. 

5. Create A Cleaning Schedule

Unless you have a plan, you will put car cleaning off until its a huge task, and you just don’t want to do it. This is why you should create a schedule for your cleaning tasks. Some jobs, like wiping down the dashboard and removing toys, can be done daily, while others, like vacuuming, can be done weekly. Splitting up the job like this makes it a lot less daunting. 

Children are messy creatures, but that doesn’t mean that your car should turn into a tip. With the advice above, you should be able to keep your vehicle relatively clean.