Safety Features Every Home Should Have

Safety Features Every Home Should Have

We all want our homes to be as safe as possible. We want them to be the kinds of places where people feel safe and comfortable, where they’re happy to attend your kids’ birthday parties and–more importantly–where you can feel comfortable inviting people over.

The truth is that even for people who live in guarded gated communities with a 24/7 security presence, there is more to creating a safe home than simply filling it with happy people and remembering to lock your doors at night. Creating a home that is truly safe for everybody who enters it (well, okay, maybe not home invaders) takes some work.

Here are some of the things you need to create a truly safe environment for yourself, your family, and your friends:

A Security System

As points out regarding their NY ADT security system, good home security should do much more than simply blast an alarm when someone enters unexpectedly. Today’s cutting edge security systems also offers fire monitoring, carbon monoxide monitoring and many other safety features to keep everybody safe and sound when they are within the walls of your home. Some security systems are even “smart” and will monitor your home’s energy usage, turn off power when people leave rooms, and contain motion detectors that can tell the difference between pets and prowlers, etc.

A security system helps watch over you so that you can feel safe and comfortable to enjoy your time with your family and friends.

A Working HVAC System

Your home’s air quality is incredibly important, especially for people who have allergies. Having working heating and cooling systems as well as humidifying and dehumidifying systems is important for keeping the air within your home healthy and breathable. Make sure you get your home’s HVAC system and filters checked out at least once a year. The last thing you need is mold or mildew setting up shop within your walls and causing tons of health problems for the people you love!

Safety Plans

Do you know what to do if someone breaks in to your home? Do you have your hiding places mapped out? Have you set up safe words with your kids? Do you know what to do if there is a fire, or if there is a carbon monoxide leak? Your security system will alert you to these dangers, sure, but do you know what to do when those alarms go off? Having safety plans in place and drilling on them regularly will help improve your chances of safely surviving many of the disasters that can strike within the walls of your home.

Emergency Kits

Nobody is saying that you have to go full survivalist (unless that’s something you want to do).Still, having some food, water, extra clothes, and other emergency supplies stashed somewhere safe is always a good idea. A good rule of thumb is to have a bag packed with bottled water, some canned food, some batteries, a flashlight, and a first aid kit that you keep somewhere handy. This way if a disaster does happen you’ll be ready to wait it out for at least a couple of days.

So far we’ve talked about the bigger things that you need to make your home as safe as possible. Now let’s talk about the smaller everyday tools and habits that go into proper home safety.

Doors and Windows

Keep the doors and windows to your house closed and locked at all times–even when you’re inside. Open windows in empty rooms are a fantastic point of entry for intruders. Keep your blinds mostly closed–open curtains and blinds (especially to empty rooms) let people case your house from the outside and, even creepier, scope out your locations. Let in natural light, of course, but don’t give everything away to anybody walking by!


Each point of entry to your home–doors and windows alike–should have a set of working locks. At least one lock in that set should be accessible from the outside. The other(s) should be invisible. Safety locks that can only be undone from the inside of the home (like deadbolts, etc) are a great stopgap against intruders. Wooden dowelings work wonders for safety in your windows.


Keep it clean! The better kept up your yard, the less likely someone is to mess with your house. A well kept yard tells passersby that you pay very close attention to what goes on on your property, and offers fewer places for intruders to hide.

The more steps you take to keep your home safe in big and small ways, the happier your life in that home will be. Use these tips to help you start making your home as safe as possible.

Who is the Typical American Coffee Pod Customer?

Who is the Typical American Coffee Pod Customer?

Coffee is as much a staple in American culture as stars, or stripes, or flags made of stars and stripes. It’s a morning drink, an afternoon drink, and for those who can never seem to get enough energy, an evening and night drink as well.

Up until a few years ago, one would sometimes have to brew more than they would consume, which was a wasteful practice. With the introduction of K-cups, people have found a much easier way to get their coffee fix without having to throw extra coffee down the drain. So who are the people that benefit most from coffee pods?

College Students

Dorming at college can be a fun and exciting experience for students, but having to share a coffee maker with roommates and relying on each other to keep the pot clean when not in use doesn’t always work out.

By using a single serve machine that brews from pods, everyone can get their cup without having to worry about whose turn it is to wash everything out, or forgetting to turn it off and burning the coffee as a result.

On-The-Go Businesspeople

Business professionals with busy schedules might not have the luxury of time every morning if facing multiple stops, errands, or traffic before getting to work. A single serve k-cup can be brewed quickly and easily without having to rinse out a pot and filter basket, replace the filter, fill it with grinds, fill the water tank, and wait for the whole thing to brew.

With a single serve coffee pod, you can brew your morning coffee faster than some people can button a shirt and tie a necktie, all while beating the morning rush. And if there are other people in the house who get out later than you do, you also don’t have to worry about leaving a full pot sitting on an active heater, which not only results in burnt tasting coffee, but is also a fire hazard.

Multi-Tasking Parents

Waking up earlier than everyone else in the house isn’t easy, and it isn’t always easy to find time to brew an entire pot of coffee and enjoy a cup or two when you’re also worried about making breakfast, waking up the kids, dropping them off at school, getting to work or running errands, and grocery shopping. Before you know it, the coffee has turned off and gone cold and you’re already trying to figure out what to make for dinner, or you’re planning on helping the kids with homework after driving them to their extracurricular activities.

A single serving coffee pod takes the panic and rush out of fitting in a coffee break for parents on the go. For those who are also keeping household budget in mind, Javafly is a great place to shop for discounted kcups.

As you can see, there are many different types of people, from working professionals, to busy parents, who greatly benefit from single serve coffee pods, so it really is no surprise that these products have become so popular.

What an Awesome Life

What an Awesome Life

Taking pictures helps us capture every precious moment of our life, forever. With modern technology, there are numerous choices of equipment and techniques for us to use and record our monumental memories. Having that in mind, it would be quite a shame not to document memories worth remembering only because you did not know how to shoot properly with a camera.

The Art of Photography

First of all, forget about the idea that the price and the quality of a camera have anything to do with the quality of your pictures. The technique you use while taking photos is more important. It is paramount that you practice as much as possible. You should click the camera every chance you get, so you can explore all the right angles, lights, and objects to photograph

The lighting of the image does make a difference. If the sun is behind you, enlightening the object you are photographing, chances are you will take an extraordinary image. Contrary, if you want to take a picture of your friends, and you are pointing directly into the sun, there is minimum possibility for a good, let alone a great shot.

ISO used on the camera is also important. Lower ISO such as 100 or 200 is to be used when taking shots outside, during the day. However, if you choose to take pictures at night, ISO should be increased to a higher number. For better light in the picture, choose an 800 or 1600 ISO. Moreover, when you increase ISO, the grain or pixel size in the photo will also be increased.

For more creative and outstanding photos, try using f/4 lens speed that will help you separate the subject from the background, during the shooting. For some additional inspiration, try searching for free stock photos on the Internet, or join a photographic community to get some great ideas and suggestions on how to improve your technique.


Rule of thirds is one of the most common tips you can get on upgrading your photos. Imagine breaking an image down into thirds, horizontally and vertically, in order to have nine parts of the picture. You should place your point of interest over the cross section of the grid, and take a picture.

Bear in mind of your shutter speed as well, for it will make a difference between a blurry photo and a sharp image. When capturing a fast action, such as a sporting event, you would want a subject to be in focus, therefore, use a shutter speed over 1/500th of a second, if not 1/100th to 1/1200th.

Another important aspect is not to shake your camera while photographing. Any undesired movement will make your image blurry. There is a proper and improper way of holding a camera. You should always support the lens by cupping your hand underneath it.

Background also makes a difference to your shot. Make sure there are no inappropriate situations going on in the background of your shooting object that can easily distract everyone looking at the picture, and prevent them from seeing what you intended to be the focus of the picture.

Consider these suggestions to make the best photos possible. It will be a great pleasure to flip through the pages of the family album full of creative, extraordinary images worth remembering.

Remedies for Red Wine Stains

Remedies for Red Wine Stains

There is no better feeling than sitting down and enjoying the first sip of your favourite, full-bodied glass of red. But that joy can instantly turn to horror when you end up spilling it on your clothes. All it takes is a slip of the wrist and your favourite dress or shirt seems to be ruined. But from homemade remedies to understanding laundry symbols – when the worst happens, fear not – here is a handy guide for removing red wine stains.

Reach for the Salt

As soon as the spill takes place, grab the nearest shaker of salt, apply a thick layer on top of the stain (make sure not to rub the stain or you will make it worse!) and leave for an hour. The salt crystals will soak up any excess wine and significantly reduce the severity of the stain. You have to act fast though – salt is most effective in the first two minutes of the wine coming into contact with the fabric.

Bicarbonate of Soda and Vinegar

Another effective homemade solution is mixing bicarbonate of soda and vinegar. Sprinkle a layer of bicarbonate of soda on top of the stain and once covered completely, add a teaspoonful of white vinegar. Depending on the size of the stain, you may need more or less, but don’t overwhelm the fabric with vinegar. Once the stain is covered with both substances, throw the garment in the washing machine.

White Wine & Baking Soda for Dry Stains

 “White or red?” – When it comes to getting rid of red wine stains, you may still want to have a spare bottle of white stowed away for emergencies. The combination of white wine and baking soda is well known for treating red wine stains that have already dried. Simply soak the stain in white wine, create a thick paste of baking powder and water, and then generously apply over the stain. Leave for an hour and then wash.

Cleaning Products

There are a number of cleaning products that are specifically designed for getting rid of wine stains. While homemade remedies are usually sufficient, you may need something stronger to combat stains that refuse to budge. However, as specialised cleaning products contain stronger chemicals, they are also more likely to damage the fabric. So if you have a particularly delicate piece of clothing, make sure you check the label before liberally applying cleaning products.

The Final Step – Check Your Laundry Symbols

What do the above remedies have in common? – They all need a thorough wash afterwards! So before throwing clothes into the washing machine, check the laundry symbols beforehand to avoid further mishaps! Wash the garment on a low heat and avoid tumble-drying as this can set the stain, making it more difficult to remove in the long run. If your clothing is particularly delicate or fine, you may need to go to the dry cleaners. When it comes out of the washing machine and there is still a hint of a stain left, wash the garment again until it has completely disappeared.

Gadget Prevention

Prevention is better than cure, so if you are regularly spilling red wine onto your clothing while you are opening the bottle, consider purchasing an electric wine bottle opener! Or, if you are particularly clumsy, maybe you should consider converting to white wine. But let’s not go overboard…

The great news is that there are many inexpensive and effective ways of cleaning red wine from your clothes – often using common ingredients found in your kitchen cupboard and on the dinner table. Now let’s toast to that!

How to Speed Up Your MacBook

How to Speed Up Your MacBook

It goes without saying that you definitely want your MacBook to run as fast as possible, but how do you do so? What many people don’t realize is that one of the main culprits that might be slowing down their MacBook is the sheer amount of junk that is cluttering up its hard drive.

So to speed up your MacBook what you need to do is get rid of all that junk.

While that may sound easy on the surface – if you were to try to go about it manually you’d be exhausted pretty soon. For starters, how are you going to find all the junk that is hiding in various nooks and crannies unless you actually inspect each and every file and folder on your MacBook? Needless to say, that in itself is a pretty laborious task which is why the more convenient solution is to rely on software that specializes in doing so – such as the Movavi Mac Cleaner.

Cleaning a Mac Quickly and Effectively

Knowing how to speed up your Mac using the Movavi Mac Cleaner is really about making one very basic decision:

• Do you want to fully automate the cleaning process so the software will locate and remove all junk files by itself?
• Do you want to select the type of junk files you’d like it to remove for yourself?

Both of these options are provided for, the former using the ‘Auto Clean’ feature and the latter using the ‘System Cleanup’ menu. Regardless of which option you choose, when you’re done your MacBook should already show a marked improvement in its speed and performance.

If you like you can boost that even further by uninstalling any and all applications that you may no longer need. By removing these applications along with all the files associated with them, you’ll free up even more space and your MacBook’s speed will get a corresponding bump.

Frankly speaking, it is hard to imagine an easier or more convenient way to clean your MacBook and speed it up in the process. Assuming you regularly clean out the junk from your MacBook, you’ll be able to maintain its performance levels and keep it in great condition. Not to mention, you’ll also end up with a lot more space in your hard drive that you can use to store files that really do matter to you.

4 Great Reasons You Should Start Cooking From Scratch

4 Great Reasons You Should Start Cooking From Scratch



Food is one of the most important aspects of human life. Without the right nutrition, our bodies simply won’t work in the way that we desire. Moreover, diet plays an integral role in our appearances.

In today’s fast-paced society, cooking can feel like a chore. As a result, it’s easy to fall into the routine of eating ready meals and processed rubbish. While the odd quick cheat meal is fine, you don’t want to fall into the trap of taking the unhealthy eating lifestyle.

Besides, cooking from scratch can be very rewarding. Here are four great reasons you should rediscover your love of the kitchen.

It’s Better For You

The primary reason for choosing to cook your meals from scratch is that it gives you better nutrition. It’s as simple as that.

Feeding your family with the most nutritious food should be a priority for everyone. It’s hard to achieve this when you don’t even know what preservatives are added to your supermarket bought meals.

Growing your own fruit and veg, for example, has to be better for your family. It’s hardly the only benefit either…

It Tastes Better

While food should primarily be viewed as a way to fuel our bodies, it’s also important that we delight our taste buds. Let’s face it, a freshly cooked meal will always achieve this in a better way than a quick oven meal.

You don’t have to be a Michelin style chef to create amazing meals, especially with today’s modern kitchen tools. Sous vide equipment will ensure that you get the perfect meat time and time again. Better still, it’s often even less hassle than cooking your supposed quick and easy meals.

Your taste buds will be left satisfied, and your plates will be left empty.

It’s Cheaper

One of the main excuses that many families use is that cooking from scratch is too expensive. However, if you do it smartly, taking this option could actually save you money too.

The key is to make the most of the available ingredients before they go out of date. Even if it means cooking an extra portion and freezing it, the reheated meal will taste better than a ready meal.

Moreover, treat meals like pizzas are extremely cheap to make if you buy a dough base and decorate them yourself. This is additionally a great way to enjoy a group activity with the kids while teaching them the benefits of healthy eating.

It Will Impress Dinner Guests

There are few things in life more satisfying than entertaining your guests with a great dinner party. However, the evening will hardly stand out if you present them a plate of chicken nuggets and oven chips.

If you’re already used to cooking your meals from scratch, you’ll boast a repertoire of great recipes ready to wow your visitors. Combine it with a winning wine selection, and you’ll be set for the perfect evening of great food and entertainment with your friends.

Not producing great food won’t necessarily ruin the night, but it will remove some of the shine. Besides, it’s a great way to show off your culinary skills.

A Guide to Finding the Right Timepiece for You

A Guide to Finding the Right Timepiece for You

Finding a watch is a big deal to a lot of people. I mean, you’ll want to wear it most days to ensure you really get your money’s worth out of it. Your watch can say a lot about you, and you don’t want yours to be any different. Use these tips and you’re bound to end up with the most perfect timepiece to suit you!

Decide What You Want Before You Start Looking

Before you start looking at watches and confusing yourself, decide what you want. You could note down the metal type, the colour, features, and so on until you have a list of everything you want. It might help if you make a list of ‘must haves’ and a different list of things that would be nice so you can effectively pick the right watch for you. Not everything you think of will be a ‘must have’.

Know What Your Budget is Before You Shop

The worst thing you can do is go watch shopping without a clear budget. Watches can be very expensive, and many of them range in price. Some might be less than £100, others might be well over a few grand. It all depends on how much you want to spend. How serious are you about finding a great watch, and how long do you plan on keeping it? If you want a watch that is going to last you forever, then you’ll likely need to spend a bit more. Shinola’s watches are an example of a watch that will stand the test of time (pardon the pun).

Try on Different Watches

When you go watch shopping, try on different watches to see how they look on you. You might like to take a friend with you for a second opinion. They’ll be able to tell you what they think suits you best so you can make a better decision. Sometimes you might like the way a watch looks in the box but not the way it looks on your wrist, so make sure you try it on.


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Make Sure it Suits Your Wardrobe/Accessories

Think of your current wardrobe/accessories and make sure this watch suits them. If you always wear gold jewellery but you’re looking at a silver watch, you might run into problems when you try to accessorize in future. It should match your overall style to ensure it always looks amazing!

Take Some Time to Think About it

Don’t feel like you have to buy a watch in one day or even one week. Take some time away to think about it. Watches can be expensive, so it makes sense to wait before you make such a big decision.

Finding the right time piece for you might take a few weeks, or even a month or so. You want to be sure that you’ve found the most perfect watch before you part with your cash. How would you feel if you found an even better one a week down the line? Don’t buy one unless you’re absolutely sure that you love it!

What you should know before going on an international sailing trip

What you should know before going on an international sailing trip

An international sailing trip has all the exciting potential to be the trip of a lifetime – the sort of adventure that will lead to unique memories and an abundance of stories you will never forget, or get tired of telling.

While there is something daunting about such an expedition, particularly for first-time boat owners, some careful preparation is usually enough to mitigate against most risks and therefore allay even the most serious concerns. Preparation is also key to ensuring that you are in a position to really make the most of this special event and get the best out of the investment of your time, money and efforts.

From beginning to end

First-time boat owners in particular need to take a methodical approach to planning and then carrying out an international sailing trip, by considering every aspect of every step from beginning to end. Here are a few of the most important considerations:

  • Getting the best advice. Fortunately, there are people who will have had this sort of adventure already and who are more than happy to share their expertise with information such as what sort of boat you need, where to buy it, and the most important logistical considerations. The internet is a great source of advice, with its various specialist platforms for submitting questions and sharing knowledge. There is also a range of exciting videos, such as that of the Lady Christine Superyacht to whet your appetite.
  • The practicalities of such a trip are necessarily complex and need to be carefully considered. For example, where will you store the boat, either while you are on the trip or when it is out of use? There are pontoons and storage yards available, but these vary in costs, quality and security so it is important to do some research in order to find the best one for you.
  • Health and safety. This should absolutely be the number one priority for anyone considering such a trip. Sailing is an inherently risky activity involving complex equipment in occasionally dangerous environments, and it requires specific expertise. Make sure you and any travelling companions receive all the training you need to provide you with the skills and confidence to keep you all safe. It is also critical to consider the health and safety regulations in each of the jurisdictions through which you will be travelling, as well as the correct travel insurance with the specific clauses required to cover you should the worst happen.

The trip of a lifetime

It is true that there is a lot to think about, but this should not be enough to put you off if you are really serious about making this something special, and an international sailing trip, especially one’s first, should always be exactly that. In fact, if it is done well, the planning and preparation even has the potential to become an exciting part of the whole experience itself.

By getting the best advice and making sure you are prepared for every step of the way, you can be confident of making the most of this truly extraordinary adventure.

5 Reasons Vaping Is Better Than Smoking

5 Reasons Vaping Is Better Than Smoking

Ever since electronic cigarettes burst onto the smoking scene with a vengeance a few years ago, there has been fierce debate as to their effectiveness and their safety. With stories of e-cigarettes exploding whilst on charge and setting fire to users, it’s little wonder than many people are wary of giving them a try.

Of course, there are always risks with relatively new technologies – because e-cigs are a form of technology – which isn’t helped by the lack of research and studies into the short- and long-term effects of vaping. However, the general consensus seems to be that those risks are worth taking for the benefits that vaping brings. Indeed, although key health organisations like the NHS and the FDA, have yet to formally back e-cigarettes as an effective aid to quitting smoking, many smoking cessation charities tentatively assert that many ex-smokers are successfully breaking the habit with the help of e-cigs.

E-cigarettes work by heating a cartridge of liquid (commonly known as eliquid or ejuice) to produce a vapour that users then inhale. Eliquid is primarily composed of glycerine, water, nicotine and flavourings, and can be bought in bottles for refillable e-cigs or as pre-filled cartridges within disposable vapes. Since their introduction to the UK market around a decade ago, around 2.6 million adults have used one, and the percentage of adult smokers is down by around 6%, indicating that many have given up in favour of using e-cigs.

If you’re still on the fence, though, here are five great reasons why you should at least give vaping a try.

#1: You Can Control Your Addiction

Although electronic cigarettes still contain nicotine – it forms an ingredient in the e-liquid that e-cigarettes use to produce vapour – manufacturers have the ability to adjust the amount of nicotine that is included in each batch of e-liquid. This means that vapers can begin with e-liquids that contain a higher level of nicotine, and gradually reduce their intake by ordering liquids with lower nicotine content as time goes on. Nicotine-free e-liquids are also available, so people who still enjoy the habit of vaping can continue to do so even after they’ve recovered from a nicotine addiction.

#5: It’s Less Harmful to Your Health

There are relatively few conclusive studies on the long-term impacts of e-cigarettes, which does mean that as things stand, we don’t know if using them will pose problems in the future. However, it’s clear that in the short term, they function very effectively as an intermediate step for smokers looking to quit. As they contain zero tar and only a fraction of the chemicals found in standard cigarettes, you are instantly reducing your risk of developing illnesses and diseases linked to these substances.

#3: It’s Cheaper

As a rule, if your vaping habits mirror your smoking ones, then the cost is considerably cheaper. For someone smoking 20 cigarettes a day, using disposable e-cigarettes will save you around 50% per year, and if you invest in rechargeable e-cigs then you’re looking at around a 75% reduction in costs.

#4: It Tastes and Smells Nicer

Most e-liquids are flavoured, usually with your standard fruit, menthol or tobacco-inspired aromas; but many manufacturers have expanded into more atypical flavours such as cookie dough, custard, caramel and bubble gum. There are even tastes to replicate alcoholic drinks or childhood pops. All of this means that vapers using these flavours will enjoy a lingering aftertaste of their given variety of e-liquid, and the vapour produced will share this scent. For friends and family especially, this is a considerable improvement on standard cigarette smoke.

#5: It Won’t Affect Your Appearance

It’s the tar found in tobacco which causes the tell-tale yellowed teeth, nails and fingertips commonly associated with smoking. E-cigarettes contain no tar at all so, combined with their ability to keep your breath smelling of something considerably more socially acceptable, e-cigs are a fairly safe way to stay looking your best. And with three out of four people saying they’d find smoking a turn-off in a prospective partner, vaping as an alternative can only improve your chances in the dating world.

Why to Consider Adding a Wall in the Bathroom

Why to Consider Adding a Wall in the Bathroom

Walls can be added to bathrooms relatively easily, although this isn’t an option which many homeowners consider. Most bathrooms are too small to make such an arrangement practical, but, if you have the space, adding a wall will come with a number of benefits.

Provides Privacy

Most people thinking about adding a wall in their bathroom are sharing it with another person. Privacy can be a problem in these situations, even between long-married couples. Adding a wall will separate the toilet from the shower or bath. You can even add a different door if the space allows it, meaning that one of you can use the toilet while the other is washing.

Creates a Nicer Spot for the Bathtub

If you have a larger bathroom, the tub is often hard to place. This is because it’s usually mounted against the wall, and seems a little too out of the way. Using a wall to divide the space will improve the room’s symmetry and balance. It also provides a space to hang towels, making it easier to reach out and grab one.

Close Outlets and Lighting 

An added wall can be fairly simple – something which is only used to divide up the space. However, you can also choose to have lighting fixtures and outlets installed. If the wall is placed next to your sink or vanity, you’ll improve the functionality of the room. Cords won’t run across it, and illumination will be improved where you need it most.

Breaks up a Larger Room

People typically want their bathrooms to be bigger, but those with bathrooms already on the large side often want theirs to feel smaller and more intimate. It can be difficult to do that since there’s very little which can be added to break up the space. However, an added wall is perfect. You can create an intimate nook in which to place one of your fixtures.

Adding a wall in your bathroom is easier than you think, and it’s more advantageous than most people imagine. If you could benefit from one, there’s no reason not to start considering the idea more seriously.