The varieties of ways to use the Ottoman

Alternative seating-

MY wife and I love doing Super Bowl Sunday. On that day we’ll have about 40 people over our home to watch the game. What makes the night comfortable for most of the invites is the Ottomans because they can be use as alternative seating. My wife loves ottomans. She will use any opportunity to pick herself an ottoman. In our home we have about eight Ottomans. Ottomans are a great way of providing alternative seating.

Storage-

I’m a musician by trade. The problem that i run into is storing all the sheet music and CD’s, not to mention all the gadgets i used. I use an ottoman for a piano bench which stores all my music. If it wasn’t’t for the Ottoman my home would be in disarray and you know my wife wouldn’t’t like that. Thank God for the Ottoman. Ottomans are great for storage.

Foot rest-

After a long day, there is nothing like finding a place where you can put your feet up. Whether you want to take a nap or read a book, Watch TV or simply listen to music , the ottoman can assist you with this. It becomes a great stress reliever.

Table-

Ottomans are very sturdy. We use our ottomans as coffee tables all the time. But you can put magazines and sometimes books on top of them. My family (in particular the kids) have use the ottomans to dine while watching TV. They are not just good for extra seating but also as a table.

Decor-

While we can use the ottoman for a variety of reasons(seating, foot rest, storage. table) they also help with the decor in a room. Ottomans can be use to color scheme a room, adding vitality to a space. Ottomans have the tendency to attract attention when placed in a proper area.

Kids love them-

My kids loves them because they can be used as seating to watch TV, or play with their play-station and other gaming devices. They would also used them to play horse racing. If a child was to fall from them, it is unlikely that they would be harmed. They could also store their toys in them. There are different types upholstery’s that ottomans are made with that could fit your needs.

Eleven Important Squirrel Control Tips for Homeowners

See Squirrels Scram

Squirrels are always thinking of ways to multitask their two daily objectives: finding nuts while driving us nuts. If you have ever watched Princess Bushytail swivel her hind feet to grasp a tree trunk while stretching her body toward your hanging birdfeeder, then you are as aware as I am of her ability to simultaneously be a nuisance and a thief.

It is not that we are against squirrels being allowed to eat. But we do not have to accept Mr. Treerat spending his entire life mooching off our land whiles he stresses us out. And what if there is a Mrs. Treerat? What if she wants to settle down in our yard and start a family? The following are my top 11 recommendations to help us all solve the world’s most annoying type of pest control problem.

GET A CAT

A popular method for any type of pest control is to take advantage of the fact that all pests attract predators. While Sylvester is not likely to ever actually catch one of Rocky’s cousins, he will spend hours chasing them. If we are lucky, we can train Tom to forget about Jerry. We just need to tell Tom to go outside and chase Miss Wannabe Chipmunk until she becomes so irritated that she packs her nuts and takes a permanent vacation somewhere beyond our property line.

SPREAD CAT LITTER

If you are allergic to felines or your feline is too closely related to Garfield to chase anything, you could ask neighbors for their used cat litter. If they actually let you have it instead of slamming the door and recommending you seek professional help, spread the litter around your yard. Then cross your fingers and make a wish that the smell of a predator’s waste will keep Sandy Cheeks away.

RECYCLE COFFEE GROUNDS

Based on Twitchy’s movements, it would be reasonable to think he has a serious coffee addiction. But it turns out the opposite is closer to the truth. We can collect our used coffee grounds and spread them around the perimeter of our house and property. The smell acts as an irritant. After we spend months embedding the coffee grounds in our soil, the stink might become too much for Twitchy to tolerate.

SPRAY REPELLANTS

The world’s most indecisive street-crossers do not care for spicy tastes and smells. We could go buy a specialized repellant spray or we could concoct our own spicy solution. Try mixing a bottle of any pepper-based hot sauce with a gallon of water and spray the solution around trees and birdfeeders. Or, just sprinkle cayenne powder at those same places.

INSTALL PVC PIPE

Jumpy has a tough time accepting that we did not buy the birdfeeders for his recreation. But if he wants a thrill, we shall give him a thrill he will never see coming. For hanging birdfeeders, thread the string that holds the feeder through PVC pipe. For standing feeders, wrap the pole with PVC pipe. By doing so, we booby trap the common paths for Jumpy to get to our feeders by making them too slippery for his comfortable passage.

APPLY PETROLEUM JELLY

Another tactic to help reserve our birdfeed for actual birds is to rub petroleum jelly around the entryways and edges of our birdfeeders. This will make it much more difficult for Mr. Littlefingers to grasp. We can just sit on the porch and laugh as we watch the entire Littlefingers family continue to slip as they keep failing to invade our feeders.

BUY SQUIRREL-RESISTANT FEEDERS

If pipes and jelly do not work, we can take a break and go shopping. What we hope to find is a feeder contraption that somebody else already invented to fool squirrels into falling. They usually include a mechanism that makes the feeder spin when a squirrel puts its weight on it. Even if it does not work, it will be therapeutic to discover that so many others have suffered like us for hours trying to invent ways to solve our shared problem.

SCATTER FOOD ELSEWHERE

Creating a decoy is also an option for pest control. When it comes to eating, squirrels are pigs. We can scatter easy-to-find treats around designated areas in our yard where we do not mind squirrels visiting. The goal here is for the squirrels to get their fill somewhere other than our birdfeeders or flower gardens.

CONSTRUCT OBSTACLES

The slickness of a metal sheet can prevent Spaz from being able to climb over it. If we cut sheeting that is a few feet tall and erect it around the base of a tree, Spaz may just spaz with confusion because of our successful blocking of his entryway to the birds’ favorite hangout.

TRIM BRANCHES

When furry little dudes find a home inside our home, the pest control becomes much more serious. Get ahead of the problem by taking measures to ensure they never get in where they definitely do not belong. They usually enter from an opening around the attic. They travel there by leaping from the branch of a tree. If you have a tree with branches that hang over or near your house, consider trimming them back far enough to prevent the critters from successfully leaping on your roof.

IMPLEMENT PSYCHOLOGICAL TACTICS

If nothing else works and we are desperate, we can attempt to diminish the morale of Nibbles. Just start talking to Nibbles. Tell him we are fed up with his destruction of our property and ask him to leave. Demand an apology. Try telepathy. Place your forefingers on your temples and see if you can control his spastic thoughts. Wave to the neighbors who are on their phones with police as they peer out their windows at us.

Remember, we are not alone. We are not the first to go nuts from this problem. Although Adam and Eve never mentioned him by name in Genesis, NutterButter was probably being a nuisance in the Garden of Eden. I choose to believe that a squirrel is to blame for distracting Adam when he was deciding whether to eat the apple.

Someone has to finally say that enough is enough. While it may not end in our lifetime, let’s go ahead and pop open a bottle of petroleum jelly to commemorate our fight to stop future generations of squirrels from giving headaches to our grandchildren.

Home Decorating for the Beginner

Buying a new home or just sprucing up rooms in an old one can be very exciting. Home decorating comes natural for some; finding countless ways to inject their personality into the rooms of their home. For others, it can be a stressful experience. Whether you love it or hate it, here are some tips for the beginner.

Before beginning your project, think about how you will use the room. For example, in the bedroom obviously you will have the bed; however, will you select a lovely armoire to become a central point for the room or will you need to spare a large area for your work out equipment? Will you use your dining room for formal entertaining or will you turn it into the home office? If you are decorating your family room, is your entertainment area going to be huge or will a pool table occupy most of the room? It is always helpful to make a floor plan for each room before actually getting started. Measure the room so that when picking out your furniture you will have enough space to fit all of your selections.

Next, think about how often you plan to use the room. This will help you in deciding the amount you will spend for your decorating project, the colors to use, and the pieces of furniture you will need. If you are on a tight budget; you will spend less on the guest room, which will only be used once in a while, compared to what you will pay for a master bedroom which you will use every day. Also the guest room can be a great place to try out bold shades, extravagant items, and different design. However, a master bedroom needs to be done in a color that is familiar and soothing; while including furniture that is practical and useful.

Often, we want to decorate our home using our favorite color. Depending on the color, you probably aren’t going to use that color to paint an entire room. However, you can use your favorite color to accent any room in your house. Using paintings, flowers, towels, and multi-colored accent pieces will bring that desired hue to any room. Adding pillows and area rugs to your decor will not only give your room color, but will also add comfort. Accents will help your favorite color stand out and will become the focal point of your room.

Another thing to consider when choosing colors for your room is what feeling do you want your space to express? Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow will create a cheerful mood;and cool colors like blue, green, and violet tend to be more relaxed or calming. If your space has dark corners or shaded light throughout the day, you should choose colors that make the area bright, even on very dark days.

When you consider interior design, you should view your home as a totality instead of attempting to decorate every room with unique colors and themes. Make an effort to have the same theme or style in all of your rooms. You can make your rooms uniform by forming a color scheme. Select three or four colors then utilize them in different ways all over the house.

If your room gets direct sunlight all through the day, your window decor is a great way to make your room pop while helping to control the light. You definitely want your window decor to be functional. Whether you are adding elegant draperies, simple fabrics, or shades; the window decor will make a great, eye-catching decorative piece. Alternatively, decorative lamps will add the artificial light your room might need.

When decorating a room, often the big wall space becomes intimidating. Adding wall decor like a big clock, a painting, family pictures, or many other decor can take a boring space and bring it to life. With a little imagination your wall can be transformed from a dull wall.

These tips for the beginner are just the first step toward creating a home that expresses your personality and style. Once you get started, you will come up with your own ideas and will soon have the home of your dreams.

The Quick Guide to Removing Tiles and Preparing Them for Reuse

If you’ve been eyeing up your bathroom or kitchen tiles for some time, putting off their removal or considering paying someone else to do it, then give this guide a read and get those DIY juice flowing again. Removing your tiles can seem like a daunting task, which is why many people often opt for professional contractors, but it’s really not that difficult and there’s no reason why you can’t do it yourself.

Once you’ve removed them, however, they may still have mortar (the stuff that attaches the tiles to the wall or floor) stuck to the back of them, which will need cleaning off if you wish to reuse the tiles at any point. To help you remove your tiles and then clean them for reusing, here’s a handy guide that will take you through each step of the process.

What you’ll need:

  • Protective goggles
  • Clothes you don’t mind getting dirty
  • Sharp utility knife
  • Putty knife
  • Hammer
  • White spirit or solvent-based cleaner
  • Sponge x2

Step 1

Get your goggles and grubby clothes on, there’s going to be some dust in the air with this sort of job. You should also make sure that the area is well ventilated, because you’ll be using white spirit. Use the utility knife to cut into the grout (the filler between the tiles) surrounding the tiles and remove as much of it as possible using the putty knife and hammer.

Step 2

Here’s where the prying starts. Slide the putty knife under, from as flat an angle as you feel you can without damaging the tiles. Don’t push it in too far, because now you’re going to be doing some chiselling. Gently tap the back of the putty knife with the hammer to gradually displace the tile from the floor or wall. Don’t get discouraged if you end up breaking the first tile – this is the most difficult to remove.

Step 3

Once the first tile is gone, the rest of the them will be easier, because you’ll have a clear side to really get the putty knife down low. Go ahead and remove the others using the same technique, taking care not to be too vigorous with your hammering.

Step 4

Lay all of the tiles upside down and use the putty knife to scrape as much of the mortar off the backs as you can. Be careful not to be too enthusiastic or you may end up breaking a tile.

Step 5

To get rid of the more stubborn mortar, you’ll need to use the white spirit. Soak the first sponge in white spirit and wipe it on the backs of the tiles. Wait 2-3 minutes to allow the cleaner to dissolve the mortar and then use the second sponge, soaked in water, to wipe them clean.

Your tiles are now free of mortar and grout and ready to be reused wherever or however you wish. They could be put in another room, or even given entirely new lives as coasters or wall art. Hopefully this guide will provide you with the knowledge and confidence to carry out your own DIY tile removal.

Shower Door Design

Over recent years, the trend of creating a spa-bathroom has skyrocketed. Bathrooms have transformed from serving as a purely functional space into a space that homeowners enjoy and want to spend their time in. Thus, bathroom design has changed immensely, which includes everything from the layout, square footage, materials, fixtures, and more.

Up until now, one of the most popular shower configurations was the standard shower/tub combo since it promoted functionality and “did the job.” Currently, the big trend in bathroom design is to either convert the shower/tub combo into a walk-in shower, or adding square footage into the bathroom for a separate shower and bathtub. (Feel free to check out this blog post on Creating an Efficient Shower Design For Your Bathroom Reno). Since separate shower spaces are rising in popularity, the design of the shower becomes a high priority in bathroom renovation planning. One design aspect of the shower to be considered is the shower door.

Shower Door Design
Previously, shower doors had a simple function to keep water off of the floor to prevent any water damage to the space. Now, shower doors are no longer an afterthought of the room; they can even be a focal point.

Since homeowners aren’t confined to the standard shower/tub combinations (and standard shower doors), there is much more opportunity for creativity in the design of the shower door. With so many options to choose from when choosing a shower door, you might be wondering “what are some popular designs?” Well, let’s take a look at a couple of the current trends in shower door designs.

Design Trends
The minimalist design trend has become popular for the home, including the bathroom (and shower door). A minimalist shower door typically has less (or nonexistent) hardware and framing. This design tactic is perfect for intricate shower tile designs as this allows you to show off the shower design. It also makes the bathroom appear lighter and more open.

On the other hand, this is an increase in popularity in having the shower door as a strong focal point. This includes choosing bolder finishes such as dark bronze and warm brass for the door’s hardware and framing.

Concerning the glass on the shower door, current style trends tend to favor clear glass. While the traditional frosted glass provides privacy, clear glass creates an open feel and can give the illusion of a larger space.

Choosing the Shower Door
When choosing a shower door, it is important to look at the types of doors offered. There are several types of shower doors to choose from, including sliding, pivoting, and hinged doors. Typically, sliding doors are good for shower/tub combos, while pivoting doors are a good choice for a narrow shower. Ultimately, the type of door you choose will be the one that suits your shower configuration and space the best.

Once the door type is chosen, the glass, hardware, and framing should be picked out. Choosing the right finishes on the shower door can help tie the shower design with the rest of the bathroom. If you have any questions on getting started with your bathroom remodel, feel free to reach out to us to schedule a free in-home consultation.

An In-Depth Look At Digging Tools

If you’re looking for gardening digging tools, recommendations are great! If you’re looking for tools that will help with flower gardening or landscape gardening, here are my recommendations.

Introduction to Garden Digging Tools:

Even among the basic garden tools, you are bound to find a wide variety of designs and sizes – enough to cause confusion when shopping. There is a reason for so many options – using the right tool for the right job makes your work easier and more efficient.

When selecting garden tools, make sure you get the right tool for the job, but don’t stop there. Part of selecting any tool is the “How does it feel in my hand?” test. When choosing, try to imagine how the tool will feel after a few hours of use. Remember, as the size of the tool increases, the weight of the tool also increases. Larger tools are efficient, just remember to choose one that won’t wear you out too quickly. Here are some of the different tools you might find.

Digging Tools

You use a shovel mainly for digging, but some have other specialized uses, including making deep, narrow holes; edging; moving stuff around, and trenching. The shovel is the mainstay and workhorse of the garden shed.

round pointed garden shovel

Round-Point Shovel

Rounded shovels usually have a beveled edge to help penetrate tough soil situations. They may also have a point to push into soil. The edges are curved to facilitate scooping. Handles are the height at which most people stand and can be ergonomically angled. Grips are often cushioned to prevent blisters. This is the workhorse of the garden, found in virtually every tool shed. It has a rounded blade with a point that permits easier ground penetration. The blade is slightly hollowed, allowing you to scoop dirt, mulch and more, and move it around.

Garden Spade

Not all garden shovels are created the same. They come with differently shaped blades and handles and not surprisingly are made with different materials as well. Garden spades, for example, have particularly sharp blades which are useful for edging a garden, cutting sod and transplanting plants. Featuring a shorter handle with a D-grip and a blade with a straight, sharp edge, the spade’s main purpose is to cut clean edges in turf or mulch. You can also use it to chop through small roots and dig shallow, square holes for plants.

Broadfork

Today you can buy a miracle broadfork, which will be an excellent replacement for the usual shovel. This tool has a special mechanism, which saves you from the load on your back and arms. When using it you do not need to raise the soil and turn it. In addition, the miracle broadfork not only digs up the ground, it also loosens it at the same time. You will not need a rake to break up large clods and leveling the site. The width of the treated surface (and the tool respectively) is much greater than when using a simple shovel and this is reflected in its performance. Sometimes called a U-bar digger, this tool has anywhere from four to eight 10-inch-long tines attached to a U-shaped bar. The tines loosen the soil as you push the tool into the earth and pull it out

Hoes

Hoes come in dozens of shapes and sizes and serve many functions, from preparing and furrowing soil to weeding and cultivating it. Garden Hand Hoes, Japanese Garden Hoes, Short Handled Hoes, Long Handled Hoes and garden hand tools online. The floral hoe cuts into the soil quite deeply. Naturally, you wouldn’t want to use this hoe on very shallow-rooted crops. The Warren hoe can get between small plants much easier than the broader bladed hoe. The scuffle hoe, which is pushed back and forth just under the surface of the soil, is for very shallow cultivating and is best used on plants which have roots very close to the surface of the ground.

Pickaxe

This tool is a necessity when your soil is rocky or full of tree roots. Use the broad hoelike blade to pulverize small rocks and soil clods. A wide range of tasks that fall under the remit of landscaping can be undertaken with the use of a pick axe. Normal soil that has become dry and hardened can normally be broken up with a shovel. However, this will be more difficult when it comes to hard clay and hard rocky-type soils. Using the sharp end of the ax will enable you to break up the materials so that it can be removed as necessary.

Rake

Garden rakes can sometimes be called soil rakes, bow rakes, ground rakes or level heads. These have fairly long, straight heads which have short, rigid tines. They are designed for some heavy jobs, such as breaking up hard soil and creating planting rows. You’ll probably want one of each type—a steel garden rake and a steel or bamboo leaf rake. Garden rakes make short work of leveling out the ground and creating raised beds, and leaf rakes are good for spreading lightweight mulches and smoothing the finely prepared soil on top of a seedbed.

Spading Fork

A spading fork’s four tines are much heavier than those of a pitchfork. If well-made, it’s a rugged tool, built to do battle with soil — and the rocks it contains — without bending. It pierces the ground more easily than would a shovel or a spade and is great for pre-loosening soil that you can then lift out with a shovel, and for breaking up heavy soil clumps so that amendments can be added. The stubborn, matted roots of meadow grasses yield to it and can then be yanked intact. Dandelions are pulled out unbroken if a spading fork has probed around them. The digging fork, a similar tool with flattened tines, is the best one for prying out root crops such as carrots and potatoes.

Tiller

If you’re looking to till a new garden, cultivators are no match for the raw power and size of a garden tiller. Garden tillers are gas-powered dirt crushers with larger tines and the strength to break through the hard ground. Even if you’ve already got a large garden that needs tilling and cultivating year-after-year, a garden tiller will help you get your garden ready in less time, covering more area more easily.

Instead of getting down on your hands and knees to ready your soil by hand, let powerful garden tillers do the work for you. Rotary tillers are unsurpassed for breaking new ground, breaking up large soil clumps, digging furrows, and mixing in soil amendments, compost, and cover crops. (But be careful not to over-till because it destroys soil structure.)

How Homeowners Can Control Pests Naturally

It’s a double-edged sword. You do not want pests around your house, but you do not want to expose your home to the sorts of chemicals that are found in pesticides. Just because you want to get rid of unwanted visitors in your home, does not mean you have to expose your family to toxic chemicals. Here are some natural ways you can deal with those pesky home invaders.

Preventative Measures

The best way to deter unwanted guests is not to invite them in the first place. When you leave out food and dirty dishes and when there are crumbs on your floors or counter tops, you are essentially setting out a welcome mat for pests. Most pests are opportunists– at least in the beginning. They will go where they can find food. If you want to avoid pests, prevent them from coming to your house in the first place. Tidy up. Wash dishes. Put food away.

You should also make sure to caulk gaps in base boards, corners, around windows and anywhere else you see them. Not only do you want to stop attracting them with a food source, but you want to give them fewer places to get in to your house.

Cats

Sometimes the way to solve your pest problem is dependent on the types of pests you have. If your pests are furry and members of the rodent family, a cat can be very useful. Cats are natural predators and love to hunt. Show the cat where the rodents usually show up– you might have to do this a couple of times. Then back off. Cats are not always obvious. He may check things out on his own, surreptitiously. It may seem like he isn’t doing anything and then a few days later, you will find a mouse carcass on your door step. A cat can be a very effective way of taking care of certain pests.

Diatomaceous Earth

Diatomaceous earth is the fossilized remains of tiny sea creatures called diatoms. It is also a very effective way to deal with insects and is a highly recommended natural alternative to pesticide. It works by absorbing the oils and fats in the exoskeletons of insects, causing them to dry out and die. Its abrasiveness aids in this process. Diatomaceous earth can be sprinkled near doorways, inside cabinets and drawers and anywhere else insects have been spotted.

Pest Resistant Landscaping

There are certain plants that can help repel pests. These plants will act as a barrier, preventing pests from coming through. Pennyroyal is one such plant. It has long been planted around homes to keep fleas and mice away. It is a member of the mint family. It should, therefore, come as no surprise that mint is also a good plant to grow around your house to create a barrier against pests. Other plants that help repel bugs include lavender, catnip, citronella and bee balm.

Use Herbal Sprays

People turn to natural remedies when they worry about the effects of more mainstream approaches. Often a natural remedy is safer than a chemical one. Here are several natural mixtures that you can spray around your house.

Soap, Orange Oil and Water – For this spay mix three tablespoons liquid organic Castile soap with one ounce orange essential oil. Add the mixture to one gallon of water. This spray will help with slugs, ants and roaches.

Chrysanthemum Tea – Boil 100 grams of dried flowers with 1 liter of water for 20 minutes. Strain out the flowers and put tea into a spray bottle. This plant contains a chemical called pyrethrum which invades the nervous system of insects, leaving them unable to move.

Neem – Combine half an ounce of neem oil with half a teaspoon of a mild liquid soap then add them to two quarts warm water. The spray is effective on a variety of insects.

Mineral Oil – Add 20 ml of high-grade mineral oil with one liter of water. This will dry out insects and their eggs.

Citrus Oil and Cayenne Pepper – Mix 10 drops of citrus essential oil with one teaspoon of cayenne pepper and add to one cup of warm water. This spray is especially effective on ants.

Sometimes pests find their way into your home despite your best efforts. That does not mean that you have to compound the problem by bringing in harsh chemical pesticides to get rid of them. Using one of these methods can help you fix your little pest problem naturally.

Types of Curtains in Malaysia and How They Match with Your Home Interior

Curtains are popular among Malaysians as part of their interior decoration especially during festive seasons. Certainly, to many households, it is a necessity to prevent the sunlight from going into the house. Curtains play an important role to turn an ordinary house into an extraordinary. In fact, there are a lot of different curtain design that you can get to match the theme of your house.

【Modern and contemporary style】
Most houses that adopt this type of style normally need different kinds of curtains to match with the home theme. For example, one of the most commonly used curtain is the very fashionable Eyelet curtain that is able to give a dramatic feature to a window. Eyelet curtains are often being hung from a pole, which is threaded through metal rings.

A window blind is another type of curtain in modern and contemporary style. A typical window blind is made up of several long horizontal or vertical slats from various types of hard materials, including wood, plastic or metal that are normally held together by cords that run through the blind slats.

【Traditional and elegant style】
If you are adopting this type of style in their home, you can still stick to normal window curtain that is seen in many houses in Malaysia. For more dramatic change to your house environment, sheer curtains, which allows the most light to go through the fabric, is highly recommended. The setback of this type of curtain is unfortunately, the lack of privacy as it’s possible for someone to see completely through the fabric.

If sheer curtains are not your cup of tea, you can always go for the ready-made curtains in Malaysia that is easily available at most of the curtain shops, such as Baagus. These shops usually offer customers a wide selection in terms of fitting, such as the curtain for two windows, three windows, sliding doors and door windows. Users can easily hang them in their houses right away without worrying whether they will fit or not.

【Comparison between traditional curtains and modern curtains】
The traditional curtains are sometimes considered outdated because they use mostly older types of materials compared to the modern ones. Modern curtains normally have no revealing flower patterns on the materials, making it is easier to match with any house theme.

Moreover, since modern curtains usually have the colors and materials that adopt the concept of minimalist, there will be no issues in mixing and matching with your furniture / your home theme. All in all, it made your home look modern and cool without trying too hard.
With the right curtain, one is able to create a stunning interior and gradually transform the house into an attractive piece of art. So, is modern curtains better than traditional curtains? No doubt, modern curtains are more flexible and easier to match. But in the end, it’s still up to the users to exert their creativity in creating the right ambience for their homes.

What is the importance of an estate plan?

Many people think about creating a will or Estate Plan only after they retire from their service. Even though the average life expectancy of a male or female is more than 70 years, there is no guarantee that everyone will reach that age. Because Life is unpredictable and anything can happen at any moment. Do you have a dependent spouse or children? Yes ? Then, it is your responsibility to take care of them till your lifetime or even after that. So, it is wise to create an estate plan or will to make sure that your dependents can live their life comfortably in the absence of yourself.

What is an Estate Plan? Is it the same as Will? No. An estate plan is a process of directing the ownership of your assets like home, car, cash etc to one or more individuals. To put it simply, it answers the question of who will have the right to take care of your assets after you die. Creating a will or trust is part of the estate planning service. Because of the name, it doesn’t mean that you should think of estate planning only if you are rich or have more assets. It is applicable for anyone who wants to reduce the burden for their family in their absence.

For example, if you have a dependent spouse, children, and grandchildren you can split your assets to all or only to some of them. If you are a regular donor to charities, you can mention in your will or trust about how much of your assets should go to charities. Even you can mention the specific details of the charities.

Are both will and trust the same? No. Then, What is the difference between a will and trust? Which one should you choose? The main difference between a will and estate plan are given below:

1. A Trust can be made private whereas a will is always available to the public.

2. A will has to go through the process of Probate whereas a trust need not. Probate is nothing but the legal procedure through which the will has to be proven in the court to accept it as a valid document.

3. A will is executed only after you die whereas a trust takes effect when you live.

Estate planning will be very helpful if you are alone or having serious irrecoverable medical ailments. In that case, you may authorize a person to take any health care decision on behalf of you. Are you a single parent who is having minor children? Then, it is better to authorize someone as a legal guardian for your children so that they will get the necessary care in your absence. For business owners, an estate plan is very much needed to name the successor of their businesses. Without that, a family will lose the ownership in case the business owner is gone.

For disabled children or children who need regular medical attention, setting up a trust will really help to get the necessary Medicare or other government benefits in your absence. Because taking care of a special child involves more money and time.

Even though creating an estate plan may be little costly, it saves a lot of money for your family in the future as it doesn’t involve the court fees, taxes etc. The Blenner Law Group is high reputation personal injury law firm based out of Palm Harbour, Florida that provides excellent estate planning service since 1986. So, it is a good idea to think and create an estate plan as early as possible when you are in an active state of mind.

Using Houseplants to Decorate Your Home

There are several reasons why someone would want to use houseplants to decorate their home. One of the main reasons is to fill empty space, to add a decorative accent and to improve the air quality in a room. The types of houseplants used will depend on the reasons you want the plant in the first place. Not everyone has a green thumb, so this article will focus on the simplest types of houseplants to use in decorating.

When I first purchased my home 20 years ago, I went from a two bedroom apartment to a three bedroom house. The first thing I found was that I had a ton of empty space that needed to be filled, problem number one. The second problem was that I didn’t have a lot of extra money to buy additional furniture and home accessories. The cheapest way I discovered to decorate was to buy a few houseplants. My initial investment consisted of two houseplants, two flower pots, two plant stands, potting soil, and two crossed fingers because I wasn’t an expert by far in growing houseplants. I started decorating my dining room first, because it was totally empty, and I had two large windows that allowed great light into the room.

The first two plants I purchased were a Golden Pothos (Devil’s Ivy) and a Schefflera (Umbrella Tree). Both plants were small when I purchased them and, believe it or not, I still have both 20 years later. The Umbrella Tree is very large and the Golden Pothos is now in a hanging basket, with the vines trailing down and across the floor. I have taken stem cuttings from the Pothos and started other plants several times over the years. Pothos is an air-cleaning plant that removes formaldehyde in the air that comes from carpet and other materials in our homes. They are very low maintenance and only require bright light and water once a week. This plant is extremely easy to grow and even the novice gardener will have success with this plant. The plant can grow to 8 feet or more and easily fills empty space. The Umbrella Tree also requires bright light and should be turned occasionally to keep it growing evenly. I water this plant once per week as well. This plant can grow up to six feet tall and may need some support as it gets larger. I do mist both plants daily to keep the humidity high, as heat from furnaces and cool air from an air conditioner can dry out the air in the room.

Houseplants clean the air by removing formaldehyde, benzene, ammonia, alcohol, xylene and other toxic chemicals harmful to the human body. Plants also improve the air quality by restoring oxygen to the air that we breathe. They also have a calming effect and make us feel good. What began as two houseplants to fill empty space has turned into 13 plants in my dining and living room over the years. I have also made room for 9 plants at my workplace to fill empty space and clean the air there as well. Houseplants can bring years of joy if given the proper care and it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money when used to decorate.