Tips on changing your lawn mower blade

Mowing wet grass, sandy lawns or land covered in twigs and debris are all things that will damage your blades. Each time you cut your grass with a dull edging it will make it unhealthy, frayed and susceptible to diseases. So if you’re mower just isn’t cutting it anymore, it’s generally a good indicator that you need to sharpen or change your blades. Here’s some tips on what to do when you ready to put your mower back in to tip top shape.




Do they need to be sharpened or changed?

There are generally two reasons why you would need to change your blades. The first is if there is visible damage and the second is if you’ve been sharpening the same edges for more than a year. To decipher whether there is actual damage is quite simple to figure out. When you start up your mower, how much is it vibrating? If it’s a little too effervescent your blades are probably damaged. Once you’ve stopped your mower, flip it over and take a look in the undercarriage. Are there any visible nicks, dents and tears? If so, it means that it’s no longer usable and it’s time to pop down to your local hardware store and purchase a new blade. Don’t worry, it won’t cost you an arm and a leg; a pristine one should only be $15 to $20. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Through the Plughole – Celebrity Bathroom Style

I’m afraid even I am not immune to the glitzy allure of the celebrity. Millions of pages – web, magazine and newspaper – are now committed to this most postmodern of phenomena, and as I would love to bring you the best in bathroom design news it is inevitable that I will turn to the elevated brethren of the gossip columns.

So, while affecting my best David Frost, allow me to take you through the plughole and take a look at some famous people’s bathrooms. Well, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d ever write…


Robin Van Persie



I am unabashed here about starting with one of my heroes, the beloved Netherlands and Manchester United striker Robin Van Persie. As Arsenal fans will tearfully confirm, RVP used to be located down south, and his previous bathroom is a marvel of minimalism. A shower cubicle with simple glass door complements blocky ceramics, while the black storage drawers making for a delightful counterpoint for the muted tiles. There’s even a TV there so he could take in Match of the Day while in the tub. Talk about living the dream…


Lovingly written by Joy












Thrills on Wheels: How to Have the Perfect Family Cycling Adventure

Weekends are to families what a fallen morsel of bread is to an army of ants- they’re both something keenly looked forward to.   After a long and tiring work or school week, all parents and kids can think about is a much-needed respite.  If spending hours at the mall no longer sounds appealing to you, why not try doing something different together as a family- like cycling?  If the idea of cycling is totally alien to you, here are some tips on how to have an awesome time cycling with the family:



Safety comes first

Before anything else, make sure yours and the kids’ bikes are safe to ride on.  If you hardly know anything about bikes, have an expert do a safety check on your wheels before you hit the road.  The brakes should work, of course.  Comfort is also important.  The height of the bike should be proportional to your height, and suspension has to be sufficient, in order to cushion the blow when you hit bumps on the road. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Ideas for a Spooktacular Halloween Party

It’s just been days before Halloween and you find yourself at lost over how to put up an amazingly spooktacular Halloween party for your kids. The 31st day of October is of course the best date for it and a lot of preparations are in order so you won’t find yourself spooked by half-hazardly planned party. Don’t stress yourself, even with a limited time and money; you can pull-off a Halloween party with these cool ideas.


My God-daughter Jerika Javien Barbero as Princess Dracula


Halloween parties are about spooky costume contest, ghoulish face painting, zombies, monsters, witches, pumpkin carving and apple-bobbling games. The party should have that eerie and exciting feel to spook your guests. Involve your family in the party preparations to come up with haunting ideas, creepy decorations, music and mind-boggling menu that will make your party the most horror-rific in your neighborhood. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Design Ideas for Small Living Rooms

You probably can’t stop pinching yourself to test your lucidity.  It’s because you can hardly believe that you’re not dreaming, that you’re turning the key, unlocking the door to your new pad.  Finally you have a place you can call your own.  Although your living room may seemingly not be big enough to do a decent burpee, you can still do something to make it look spacious and comfortable to move around in.

Photo credits:  intarya.com


Go glass.  Opt for glass pieces of furniture, as these reflect light, giving off the illusion of space.  And because they’re see-through, it has a barely-there effect to it.

Modular matters.  Choose modular types of furniture, such as an L-shaped sofa.  This is something you can fit snugly in a corner of your living room, while still giving enough seating space.


Lovingly written by Joy












3 Great Escapes for the Adventurous Family

The time has swung around once again. The family holiday. Instead of packing the kids into the back of the car, plying them with electronic games and portable DVD players, avoiding their pleas of stopping here and pausing there (or fielding petulant requests to just take them home already), discard your plans for another cross country/state/town trip and inject a little excitement into their lives. Once we reach a certain age, we stop being adventurous, favouring caution instead, but what if I told you that adventure will bring everybody closer together? No more forced bonding moments or tense discussion about stuff or school or friends you don’t like, actual mutual discovery and affirming moments. Sound fun? Great, keep reading.


image courtesy of Sura Nualpradid - FreeDigitalPhotos.Net


The Great Barrier Reef, Australia

Take a dive Down Under and revel in the beauty of an underwater wonderland, bustling with life and colourful corals. The kids won’t have time to get bored, spoiled for choice with water sports, adventure experiences (swimming with sharks/dolphins/sea turtles anybody) and educational seminars where visitors don’t realise they’re learning. While the younger members amuse themselves and frolic with the fish, take a break on the sand, grab a massage and catch some rays under the Australian sun.

Queenstown, New Zealand

What? A small island nation in the middle of the ocean, off the east of Australia’s great mass? What could there possibly be you can’t get anywhere else? Everything. Queenstown is not only one of the most trendy little sprawls in the Southern Hemisphere, your kids will be torn between adventure 4WD across the rugged, though stunning landscapes; throwing themselves head first into a gorge or exploring Lord of the Rings sets on horseback. Not enough? Try white water rafting some of the toughest channels or losing the ability to breathe on-board the eponymous jet-sprint boats. Are we there yet will be replaced with, do we have to leave without a sentence to spare. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Plan your Family Escapade Ahead with 2014 List of Philippine Holidays

September 25, 2013, the Philippine President Benigno Aquino III signed Proclamation 655 which released a list of holidays, special days and special nonworking days for the year 2014.




You can now mark your calendar and plan ahead with your family getaway to take advantage of getting the special deals on early travel reservation or accomodation. Get the most of the 20 days break next year and enjoy bonding with your loved ones.

Below is the List of Philippine holidays for 2014:

Regular Holidays

New Year’s Day - Jan. 1, Wednesday
Araw ng Kagitingan - April 9, Wednesday     
Maundy Thursday - April 17
Good Friday - April 18                                 
Labor Day - May 1, Thursday                                  
Independence Day - June 12, Thursday
National Heroes Day - Aug. 25, last Monday of August
Bonifacio Day - Nov. 30, Sunday
Christmas Day - Dec. 25, Thursday
Rizal Day - Dec. 39, Tuesday 


Lovingly written by Joy












Getting the best credit card deals

Choosing credit cards isn’t something people should do lightly. These products can have a major impact on consumers’ financial health, so it’s really important to make the right decisions.

Credit Card
                                                         Photo credits: 401(K) on Flickr


For this to happen, you need plenty of information on credit cards. Luckily, there is a wealth of advice available online for you to take advantage of. By reading up on these cards, you can help ensure you benefit from the best possible deals and this can save you lots of cash in the long term.

Before applying for the cards, you should think carefully about how they will use them. For example, do you intend to clear their balances in full each month or not? Importantly, the most competitive credit card deals tend only to be available to consumers with excellent credit histories.

If you won’t be able to pay the balances off in full at the end of each month, you may benefit from opting for zero per cent purchase cards. However, it’s important to bear in mind that these interest-free periods do not last forever and you should attempt to clear your balances before any charges kick in.


Lovingly written by Joy












Outdoor Decorating Ideas for Your Garden

Gardens should not merely be a beautiful outdoor space that you admire while you are inside the house. Make it the place for gatherings and relaxation with a few pieces of furniture, some tweaks on lighting and a little spicing up on your greens.



Choosing the right kind of furniture for your garden will need consideration and a bit of exploration. Look at the different options available in your area and consider the kind of weather you have. It would be a waste to invest in something that’s not weather proof despite its aesthetic appeal. Go for a set of table and chairs that is made of strong wood and wrought iron materials. If you have extra budget, you may also find synthetic rattan furniture attractive for outdoor setting. Gardens are to-go places of men after meals, so adding ash trays in strategic locations along with other decorative items is ideal.

Finally, transform your garden in to a cozy and relaxed venue by installing the right kind of lighting. You can have spot lights for a small fountain or pond, beautiful lamps on your trees, scone lights on posts and walls. You can look for inspiration from home improvement sites online so you can have better idea on how you can enhance the look and feel of your garden but you can also seek a good landscaping company to help you out with the landscaping and lighting installation.


Photo credits: crownhillgarden.com


Lovingly written by Joy












A Modern Bathroom Restyling - Tips

Now, before we get going here I should probably begin with a disclaimer: there is nothing wrong with vintage, traditional bathrooms. There isn’t! The ability to combine the best of cutting edge technology with classic style is still a fine way to go. It’s just not the only way…

Yes, we are looking at contemporary bathrooms here, which is just as good a design path to take as traditional; it all depends on your taste and your home. But the trick is how to achieve a gloriously modern look in your bathroom while still maintaining the high level of functionality that you will need.


image courtesy of bathempire.com


Well, here are a few suggestions.

Ceramics

The suite elements of your bathroom are, undeniably, going to be the ones that really grab the attention. To this end, you must ensure that they correspond to modern styling. A back to wall toilet offers minimalism due to its concealed cistern, for instance, while take pains to pick out basins and baths that evince a contemporary essence. Think stark lines and little embellishment – scrolled edgesand filigrees and the like tend to err on the side of the traditional. 


Lovingly written by Joy












Fancy Christmas Outfit Ideas for Kids

It can be a bit difficult to find wearable trends for the coming Holidays and the same can be said for kid’s Christmas outfits. The season is considered as the happiest time of the year. It is when the family will come together for a massive Christmas feast and spend time in utter relaxation. It is also the time for the kids to feel festive for this is their time to show off. Usually, kids become entertainers in family gatherings thus parents stress over Christmas outfit ideas for kids.

For both boys and girls, parents should go for comfort over style and designs when it comes to fancy costumes so that the little ones can enjoy themselves. Bright colors and Christmas hues will surely hit kids outfit store so be on the lookout for reds, greens, and some metallic trimmings on accessories.



Little girls will look cute and elegant in velour or velvet party dresses. Though some parents would dress little their girls in pixie fairy or angel costumes, you should choose something that does not restrict movement and will let them move freely. Little boys can easily get away looking real smart donning checked shirt and trousers to any Christmas event. You can also pull a vest over the shirt which can keep them warm when the temperature is cool and they can easily remove it when they feel hot. Boy trousers should also come with flexible waistband so that they’d be comfortable with their outfit all day. 

Photo credits:  estilo-tendances.com




Lovingly written by Joy












Heating & Radiators – A Brief History

Monty Python’s hilarious and controversial 1979 film The Life of Brian contains any number of seminal scenes, being as it is one of the greatest comedy films ever made. Set in the Judea of the Roman Empire around the time of Jesus’s crucifixion, the film, as the name suggests, charts the life of Brian, who has the bad luck to be confused with a messiah – the Romans were not big on dissent, as you probably know…

Anyhow, the scene shows a meeting of misfiring rebels who, traducing the Romans, demand ‘what have they ever done for us?’ What follows is a long list of societal benefits, including sanitation, medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh water system and public health. One thing they missed there, however, is central heating. The fools…

Yes, those ingenious Romans pioneered what we would now call central heating. This didn’t require radiators, as a hypocaust system would heat the air via a furnace and circulate it under floors to provide warmth. This setup was replicated sporadically over the coming centuries across Europe but unfortunately the dark ages followed, where people were far too preoccupied with charming medieval things like gout and pestilence to consider artful heating solutions.

In what is perhaps a grand expression of logic, the first water-based heating systems have been traced to Russia, a place where the sun would freeze if it came too close to the gelid ground.Home of the Nobel, Sweden, had the first functioning water-based heating system, whilethe Swedish engineer Triewald brought this idea over the North Sea to heat a greenhouse in Newcastle. In turn, steam heating systems were first installed in homes in the 1830s. 


Lovingly written by Joy













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