car maintenance August 24, 2014

5 Bad Habits that Kill Your Car

car maintenanceYour car can break at the most unlikely, untimely moment. You may be running an important errand or heading out of town for a trip when a weird noise suddenly brings your car to a stop. Congratulations, your car just died on you. But this is not something you can always blame on external factors. Sometimes, it’s the owner’s habits that kill the car, such as these five:

Forgetting maintenance

Set a regular schedule with your mechanic for quick maintenance appointments. Proper checkups detect serious problems early on and prevent costly repairs. Sometimes, people think that their car malfunctions because of some faulty issue, but the real culprit is the way they ignore minor maintenance checkups for the car.

The truth is, any car would run perfectly fine for a very long time with proper maintenance. It doesn’t matter if you’re driving a brand new ride or an old car running on a reconditioned diesel engine – what matters is how you take care of the ride that takes you places everyday.

Going DIY

Yes, there are car repairs you can do on your own , but that doesn’t mean you should always go the DIY route whenever something comes up. You should still consult a mechanic for every minor repair to ensure that you’re doing it the right way.

Ignoring warning lights

The check engine light tells you one simple thing: check the engine. The same principle applies to any other warning light your car has. You shouldn’t ignore this problem, because you never know when there’s a major repair coming up. Remember: it’s always easier and cheaper to maintain things than repair them, especially when you’re talking about cars.

Letting dust and debris build up

Cars need the occasional cleaning, too. No, this doesn’t mean the routine you make where you just hose off the dust and dirt from your car. Your auto needs some cleaning on the inside, an inspection of its filters – both for the fuel and for the air conditioning system.

Neglecting fluids

By default, most drivers only care about the fuel and tyre pressure. The problem with this, however, is that it tends to ignore other fluids inside the car. When you want to secure a long service life of your vehicle (and its parts), you need to check all the fluids once in a while – from the brake fluid to the AC coolant.

Although it may seem difficult, do your best to change these bad habits that ruin your car’s performance and shorten its service life. When you know how to keep your car in good shape, you get more from what you paid for.

calculating August 9, 2014

Investment Strategy: Assessing which Industries to Enter

calculatingThe capital you need to start a business is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever have to make. It will affect how you proceed, as the kind of money you have directly affects what industry you enter.

There are several industries in Australia that you might find attractive, with their promise of big profit and early returns on your investment. Profit is always the major motivation in business, but just because something looks easy does not mean it promises everyone an easy buck. Do your research and find out what industries will make you money but which also fall within the realm of what you can do.

Here are three suggestions you might find interesting:

Property Investments

With a stretch of pristine beaches and wildlife reserves, property investments, such as motels and apartments, can be a profitable business. Many motels being sold in South Australia, Resortbrokers.com.au says, can give you excellent returns on your investment. You only have to deal with moderate entry barriers when you buy holiday houses and hostels as there are no existing dominant players, and only a few industry regulations to follow. As a matter of fact, average profit margins are at 18.3% because many motels and apartments are owner-operated.

Painting And Decorating Services

To enter the landscape of painting and decorating services, you only need a modest capital. With a low market share concentration, the industry only involves a few regulations and significantly slower rate of technological changes.

IBISWorld estimates that the industry profit margins are at 22%, reflecting a high profit level. As many of the businesses are owner-operated, there are reduced labour and operation costs.

Coffee shops

You can offer an authentic Australian coffee experience. As Australia is a nation of coffee drinkers, get in with the coffee culture and watch closely how your business becomes a hit. With a climate perfect for outdoor eating and drinking, your customers can enjoy quality espresso at café tables along the streets, in shopping malls and even at the beaches and parks.

If you examine these businesses closely, they have one common denominator—they answer the simple yet vital needs of locals and tourists. From motels for tourists to coffee shops for locals, investing in the Australian region can be the best business decision you can make. Just make sure to consider other factors and industry-related policies when investing.

old age August 6, 2014

Aging Gracefully: Staying Healthy in Your 60′s

While it is true that aging increases the risks of heart attack, diabetes, and cancer, this doesn’t mean you cannot have healthy and rewarding golden years. By making the right choices and making a few lifestyle changes, you can stay healthy at age 60 and beyond.

old age

Here are some health habits you should adopt in your 60′s:

Exercise Daily

Spend at least thirty minutes daily doing exercises like walking or jogging. Find the right routine that your body can handle and choose an exercise or activity that you enjoy doing.You can also try swimming, water aerobics, dancing, and bowling on some days of the week. If you have an existing medical condition, talk to your physician before starting an exercise program.

Stay Sharp

In your 60s, you may find yourself having trouble remembering things. This is because part of the brain circuitry burns out with age. You can avoid memory loss and improve brain health through mental stimulation, physical activity, and social interaction.

Be Happy

As you get older, it is important to strengthen social interactions, as they are important in facing future challenges with flexibility. Twin Lakes Community says senior communities where you can hang out and meet other active adults, and time at home with family and friends can help with staying happy.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Obesity can have a huge impact on your health as you get older. It is also more difficult to lose weight with age, as your metabolism has slowed down greatly. Eat balanced meals and always keep an eye on portion sizes. Limit processed foods and add fiber to your diet to help you avoid colon polyps.

Keep Your Heart Strong

Heart disease is the one of the leading causes of death in both men and women. Know your blood cholesterol, blood pressure, body mass index (BM), and waist circumference and keep them within range to lower the risk of heart disease. Doing moderately intense activity 150 minutes a week also lowers your chances of developing coronary artery disease.

Adopt healthy lifestyle choices to enjoy your senior years. Learn more about the warning signs of medical conditions and talk to your doctor for screening procedures and preventive measures.

Steel Tow Bar August 6, 2014

3 Must-Have Accessories to Improve Car Safety

Since 2011, Western Australia has seen a gradual decline in the number of road accidents. Unfortunately, that trend came to a halt this year. Although we’re just a little over halfway through the year, the Western Australia Police has noted more cases of injuries and fatalities than the previous years.

Steel Tow Bar

With that said, everyone must once again focus on road safety. Whether you’re just going for a quick drive or hitting the highways for interstate travel, your car should have these safety accessories.

Bullbar

No one can understate the importance of durable bullbars, says TomsTowBars.com.au. After all, they shield your car against further damage (especially in fragile parts) from a car crash. When you have a roo bar on your car, you have an implement that suppresses the impact of a crash.

Moreover, a study from the University of New South Wales noted a high incidence of collisions between cars and wildlife (of which kangaroos account for a significant percentage), which prompts the necessity of roo bars while driving in remote areas.

Do note that the right bullbar must follow the Australian standard AS 47861.1/2002.

Occupant-sensitive airbags

Whilst we all know about the necessity of airbags, not every product is created equal. You have to know the right type to make sure that you’re always safe on the road. Today, the ideal choice is to go with occupant-sensitive airbags, which senses the weights and sizes of the passengers before popping up.

Improved headlights

Although in most cases, you can trust your orange headlights, there are instances when theyseem inadequate to provide full visibility in a dark area. You need something more than just these two orange lights, such as adaptive headlights and infrared cameras. Both will help you avoid collisions by gaining better visibility when it’s dark or hazy.

Other than a spare tire, a working jack, and a basic toolbox, these are the accessories that should be present in your car to keep yourself and your passengers safe on the road.

entryway August 1, 2014

Warm Welcome: Styling an Entryway

The entrance of your home is the first thing visitors see and should be telling of what it’s like inside the other rooms inside. If your entryway is nothing but a boring pathway or just a plain simple door that you use to get in and out every day, it is time to get creative.

Extend a warm welcome to guests with these entryway decorating ideas:

Light it Up

Light up the atmosphere of a boring pathway by installing a beautiful lighting fixture and hanging a mirror for quick touch-ups. Table lamps or pendant lighting are great when checking makeup or tying shoes before you leave for the day. It is best to have control of the lighting so you can give guests the impression that they are welcome into your home.

Bring it to Life

Place a proper-sized table and add decorative accents to the mix. Plants and flowers are an affordable way to add life and colour and scent to your entryway. Artworks, figurines, and candles are also great additions that can bring the space to life. You can also group ornamental and decorative mirrors and framed wallpapers to engage visitors.

Make it Functional

Place a small tray or dish to keep keys and other essentials organised and easily accessible when you’re running out the door. Design experts like HomeLife.com.au and TheRenovationCompany.com.au suggest placing an attractive area rug to add colour to your entryway and allow guests to dry off shoes before entering.

Be Bold and Wow Your Guests

If you have stair risers, paint them with a bold colour to greet all visitors who enter. A darker hue with a glossy finish is a great choice for livening up this seemingly useless feature. You can also line staircases with family photos in a tight arrangement of frames of the same style and colour.

Make it Cosy and Intimate

Place a chair beside your entryway table for a cosy feel. Give it a pop by covering the chair with a fabric in a bold pattern. You could recycle a tablecloth you no longer use or purchase a new one. Placing a few magazines and books on the table is also a good idea.

A good entryway should be functional and well lit. Make sure to choose the right colour scheme for your entryway and keep it organised.

man utd stadium July 10, 2014

Nike To Terminate Man Utd Sponsorship Deal Due To Costly Demands

Nike has confirmed it will not renew a long-running kit supply deal with Manchester United at the end of next season because of the cost of the new agreement.

Asking too much money

Nike has been supplying United’s famous red shirts since 2002, but the need to spend heavily is now being questioned by those in charge.

The American sportswear company released a statement, saying: “[T]he terms that were on offer for a renewed contract did not represent good value for Nike’s shareholders.”

“Manchester United is a great club with passionate fans. We look forward to a successful final season with the club,” Nike added.

Last design

It’s withdrawal is expected to clear the way for the club to sign a deal with either Germany’s Adidas or Warrior.

For the first time in 19 years, Manchester United failed to qualify for this season’s Champions League.

Recently, the club revealed their new home kit for the 2014-15 season, which will be the last designed by Nike.

Credit card July 6, 2014

Deadline for Consumer Credit Rebate Applications Approaches

Only a few days are left for firms to claim any rebate they may be due on their old Consumer Credit Licence. After June 30 2014, no further rebate applications will be considered by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

Required Fees

The need for rebates exists because all consumer credit firms are expected to pay a certain fee. This is to become fully authorised by the new consumer credit regulator, the FCA, when they are required to upgrade their existing limited permission. These firms have also already paid £350 to obtain their interim permissions. However, firms have already paid for consumer credit licences (CCLs) from the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), raising the prospect of effectively needing to pay twice.

In general, firms who have paid a licensing and/or maintenance fee to the OFT in the five years prior to April 1 2014, will be eligible for a rebate. However, exceptions include:

  • The 50 leading payday lenders, who were all ordered by the OFT, following their compliance review, to make urgent changes to their practices and procedures. It is the Government’s decision to exclude these firms from the rebate scheme.
  • Any firm for whom the rebate would be less than £10
  • Any firm who has been informed that the OFT is minded to revoke their licence, suspend their licence or refuse their application. If a firm successfully appeals against such a decision, they would become eligible for the rebate once the appeal process has completed, assuming they meet the other criteria. In these circumstances, the June 30 deadline may be waived.

Firms expecting to receive rebates must have held a CCL right up until April 1, 2014, or have relinquished their licence by giving notice to the OFT since April 23, 2012. It is actually not necessary to have obtained FCA authorisation in order to receive a rebate, so some firms who have exited the industry will also be eligible for rebates.

The rebate amount is calculated as the amount paid by the firm to the OFT in respect of the licensing fee or maintenance charge, multiplied by the number of complete months remaining on the licence or charge and then divided by 60.

bigbitcoin July 4, 2014

Venture Capitalist Tim Draper Wins U.S. Bitcoin Auction

Venture capitalist Tim Draper is the winner of almost 30,000 bitcoins in an auction held by the U.S. Marshals Service. The bitcoins are part of a batch seized last year in a raid on Silk Road.

Venture capitalist Tim Draper is the sole winner of an auction held last week for nearly 30,000 bitcoins by the U.S. Marshals Service. The well known Silicon Valley investor partnered with Palo Alto-based Vaurum, but would not discuss how much he paid.

Tim Draper

Draper is from a prominent Silicon Valley family, son of one of the nation’s first venture capitalists and father of another. Like many in Silicon Valley, he has embraced bitcoin, due to its open architecture and growing use as an alternative currency.

“If they thought that they were going to try to put the kibosh on bitcoin, I think they would have just buried these,” Draper said, referring to the government’s stance on the currency. “Instead, they decided that this was of real value to society.”

Value of the bitcoins

The 29,655 bitcoins had an estimated worth of $18 million. The Marshals planned to sell them in nine blocks to different bidders, but Tim Draper ended up beating the rest of the competition. According to a Marshals spokesperson, 45 bidders made 63 bids.

Silk Road

The bitcoins were part of 144,000 bitcoins seized last year in a raid on Silk Road, an Internet black market bazaar, which authorities said that it had been used for drugs and illegal goods. A spokeswoman for the U.S. Marshals said that no further auctions are planned unless without a court order.

baby clothes June 25, 2014

Laundry: Why It’s Especially Important When You Have a Baby

baby clothesDoing laundry becomes more difficult when you have a baby. You can’t just toss your little one’s clothes into the basket of other dirty clothes and use the same cleaning products. You need to pay special attention to washing your baby’s clothes and other accessories that come into direct contact with your child’s skin, as it is still very delicate and sensitive. Moreover, improperly washed clothes may carry bacteria and allergens that may cause irritations and illnesses.

Listed below are some tips on how you can wash newborn baby clothes properly.

Preparation

Separate baby’s clothes from the rest of the garments you will launder. Read the instructions for washing and drying, as the fabrics of baby clothes are usually made of lighter materials. Be extra careful when it comes to clothes that have hooks and buttons.

The Cleaning Agents

You might feel obligated to use a special detergent for your baby’s clothes. This, however, is not required, as long as your baby doesn’t have allergies. You can still use special detergents and other cleaning agents, especially when dealing with stubborn stains.

The Stains

For protein-based stains (such as poopy and food stains), cool water and detergent are recommended. For urine stains, apply a few drops of ammonia to the cloth, let it stand, and wash. Remember to be extra careful with coloured fabrics. This rule doesn’t apply to silk and wool clothing. You may also use white vinegar for lighter stains. Just don’t mix it with bleach or ammonia, as the mixture may produce harmful vapours.

For stains that are quite acidic, such as fruit juice marks, you can pre-wash the stained area in cold water. Apply some liquid detergent, let it stand for at least 5 minutes, and then rinse with warm or hot water.

Baby clothes are made of delicate and light materials, so you may want to be extra careful when washing such items. More than that, you need to take care of these garments, as your baby’s skin is sensitive.

designing spa June 20, 2014

The Zen Escape: Designing a Zen-styled Bathroom

designing spaApplying the Zen style in your bathroom is an excellent way to make it your own sanctuary. Zen decoration uses natural materials to create a minimalist design. This type of bathroom design requires the right use of lighting and scents for total relaxation.

Fortunately, you do not have to completely remodel the bathroom to achieve a state of Zen. A few modifications and additions are enough to acquire this style.

Aim for Cleanliness

A Zen-styled bathroom calls for a clean and tidy space. Invest in a deeper bathroom cabinet and reorganise your drawers for bathroom necessities. You can use a stripped down cabinet design to make the room look bigger. For storing other things like towels, use woven boxes for natural texture and appeal.

Pay Attention to Lighting

Zen decoration requires the use of different lighting sources to create balance and symmetry. Choose a variety of interior lighting to create a layered effect. You can use scones on the side of mirror light or hang pendant lights over the bathroom sink. Dimmers are a good option as well to create balance between natural and electric light.

Install a Soaking Tub

A soaking tub in your bathroom is perfect for achieving a ritual of relaxation. Bathroom spa stores in Perth suggest installing an extra deep tub for a comfortable bath time. If possible, place the bathtub by a window for a more relaxing experience.

It Is All About the Scent

Scent and aroma plays an important role in achieving ultimate Zen. Relaxing aromas such as chamomile, vanilla, and lavender are perfect to set the mood in your bathroom. You can use diffusers and candles to complete the Zen bathroom style appeal.

Focus on Small Details

To ensure bathroom coordination, transfer bathroom products like shampoo and conditioner to similar containers. You can use ornate glass containers in different sizes and heights in storing cotton balls, cotton swab, and soaps. In storing other bathroom essentials, use containers that match the overall design of the bathroom.

Zen style is all about simple, clean, and minimal design. Use these tips to create a sense of the calm in the room and invest in decorations like simple artwork and seasonal flowers.