For 40 years, First Night USA has been a cherished tradition and a signature event for our city. It has been a very successful New Year’s Eve celebration of artistic performances, the wonders of the season and the beginning of a new year.
Celebrate the USA
This celebration will be free and open to all. Entertainment and specialty attractions will be available throughout many cities in the US. Many of the beloved traditions of First Nights past will be retained, including the ice sculptures and light displays and the Midnight Fireworks. In addition, arts and musical performances will take place in numerous inside and outside venues around the heart of the event.
We’re very proud to ring in our countries New Year (see what we did there) with all of our families, and are happy to share it with our online family as well. We wish you all the best on this (rainy) Saturday… Be careful with any fireworks and make sure to keep a fire extinguisher nearby! Now here is a bit of patriotism for you to enjoy!
As we said back in 2015 when we originally published this article (and it still holds true), small apartments are a pain, but they are also a common necessity for life in a big city. With rents skyrocketing faster than wages, sometimes we have to settle for smaller accomodations. Of course, this doesn’t mean we can’t continue to enjoy ourselves as we would in a regular, large apartment. We’ve put together a couple of tips to make living in a smaller, compact apartment a breeze, even if you have a mentality that is larger than life 🙂
Counter Top Dishwashers
I swear, I didn’t even know these things existed 2 years ago, when I first saw it at my Aunt’s apartment. After spending nearly 8 years in a dish-washer free apartment, I forget dishwashers for even a thing. I was so used to doing my own dishes that I was resigned to the fact that an appliance couldn’t help me. When I saw the mini-dishwasher I was amazed. What the hell? This thing is so clutch, it fits right on the counter top and can fit a decent set of plates and glasses (the manual says it serves a set of 4).
The downside is that it can’t really do big pots and pans, those will have to be done by hand. That’s ok though, as long as you get some use out of the thing, and save yourself the time of washing dishes manually. It’s a steal at around $250. I would highly recommend it.
I’ve only had mine for 2 years, but my Aunt has had hers for nearly 5 years and she says it still works like a charm.
PROTIP: Get commercial grade dish detergent if you can (with phosphates). I found mine at www.restockit.com. I got a package of 6 and it’s going to last me until I get old.
Stackable Washer Dryer Sets
This is another key innovation that I didn’t even realize was a thing. Of course, of washer/dryers you need a water hookup and a gas hookup, and some apartments don’t have that, but if you can finagle it (or if you rent out the first floor of a house) you can hook up one of these bad boys in a closet or tuck it away in a corner. I did some research about this a few months back and came across a good source of information, Stackable Washer & Dryer is a blog devoted specifically (see link below) to stacked washer and dryer units, and has over 20 write-ups of various models. If you can get one with free shipping, I’d recommend it, as the shipping on these things can cost you over $100.
Obviously, as with most things in a compact space, you are going to have less capacity for clothes in both the washer and the dryer. I would recommend taking it easy and doing more loads with fewer clothes, rather then jamming it with a ton of heavy clothes at once. You don’t want to have to get it repaired. I never listened to my grandmother when she asked me to do the same, but now that it’s me paying the repair bills, I tend to have a different mind set.
The conversation around small apartment living wouldn’t be complete without a mention of Ikea. It’s likely the king of fitting things into small spaces. Coming from countries where (unlike America) land isn’t as plentiful, the culture is usually to fit a ton of stuff into a smaller space. Places like college dorms, Japanese apartments and broke-hipsterville Brooklyn studios will make for perfect places to put some Ikea stuff.
Also, if you’ve never traveled to Ikea and tried shopping there on a sunday afternoon, you don’t know what hell is. Go on a tuesday night to avoid the massive crowd of parent and their gross children.
Getting a new home is such an amazing opportunity. Picking out the design in your home makes it even more fun. The ability to make changes in a design that will make your home reflect you is priceless. If you are on Vancouver Island, there are many home design choices for you to take advantage of. The choice of designs may seem overwhelming, but there are some things that can help you make sure that you are getting exactly what you want and need.
Vancouver Island Design
Siren Consulting Firm suggests that the first thing you want to do is look up all the designers and contractors that you have in your local area. It is important to get someone local because you want someone who knows the area and then can give you advice on what you home is up against weather wise. The options that you have at your disposal will make sense once you have an idea of why they are recommending it. For example, the type of roof you pick will need to be than just visually pleasing. You will need your designs to be customized to your area.
Where to find ideas
Just because you are giving your contractor a say in the materials that you use does not mean that you are not going to have any say in your home. Think about how you want to arrange your home, what type of staircases that you may want, or how you are going to personalize your kitchen. For ideas on how to do that you can go online. There are websites full of inspiration and great design and development ideas.
You can go the low tech way. Look at picking up a magazine. Visit your favorite home improvement store. You never know what will grab your attention. You may find a certain style of lamp and then decide that is exactly what you want your entire library to look like. Inspiration is everywhere. The key with design Siren says is to find a style that speaks to you
Your outdoor space maybe the thing that ties your whole home together. This is maybe even more true if you are someone who has a lot of parties or gatherings. You can add a permanent cover to your deck so that you can grill in the rain. You may decide to do an entire area just for your children, or pet to play and explore. You can create an entire environment that makes the line blur between outdoor space and indoor living. The feel of it should be home.
The point of home design is to create the kind of home you want to have for the rest of your life. It is something that should fit you, your personality, your future, and what you want to say about yourself. It is a project that should be fun. You should find a contractor that will be able to create your vision and keep you on budget. Isn’t that what it is all about, you? Do not be afraid to let your opinions be heard. L
We all know that without enough clean drinking water, the human body can not survive for very long. However, the lack of high quality water is quickly becoming a problem in the modern world.
As a result, mankind is making efforts to develop filtration systems that make their water cleaner and more healthier to drink. These days, Americans seem to really love reverse osmosis water and there are a lot of good reasons for this growing trend.
Why is Reverse Osmosis Water so Popular in America?
Since the Industrial Revolution, the American landscape has been rapidly transforming. As the infrastructure of the nation grows and demands more of the country’s natural resources, America’s fresh water supply naturally dwindled.
With water being such a vital part of life, and with chemical cleansing techniques becoming less popular, reverse osmosis is now considered to be one of the best ways to purify tap water.
In addition, the overall cost of a reverse osmosis water filtration system is relatively inexpensive, making it a simple and affordable solution for the average American family.
What is Reverse Osmosis Water?
It is not difficult to understand an American’s love for reverse osmosis water when you come to know what it is. Essentially, reverse osmosis (also known as R.O.) is a process by which water is cleansed of its impurities in a natural and non-chemical way.
The technique requires the use of a semi-permeable membrane, or filter, which effectively purifies the water as it is passes through the device.
Reverse osmosis can remove up to 99% of impurities, including minerals, pollutants, and other contaminants.
Health Benefits of Drinking Reverse Osmosis Water
Obviously, drinking water that has been contaminated in any way is not good for your health. However, there are times when harmful substances seep into the public water supply and wreak havoc before being caught by public officials.
Moreover, the cost of bottled water is far too much for an average family household to sustain over a long period of time – financially and ecologically speaking. By enjoying reverse osmosis water you not only reduce your carbon footprint on the earth but you also give your body water that is healthy and refreshing.
A few other common health benefits of drinking fresh, un-contaminated water include:
Superior levels of hydration (your body is able to retain clean water for longer)
Health benefits for cancer patients and the cancer prone (lack of contaminants)
Lack of lead additives (we all know that led is NOT supposed to be in our water supply, but it still is)
Lack of sodium (are you on a sodium restricted diet? R.O water is more important for you than the average Joe)
When you take the above points into consideration; health benefits and cost savings, its hard to wrap your head around the fact of NOT having a water filtration system installed, isn’t it?
Yes, you may have to outlay $500-$100 initially, however that will be repayed 10 fold in cost and health benefits. You can’t buy back your health!
The Most Trusted Brands of Reverse Osmosis Water Systems
Finding a reverse osmosis water filtration system that is made by a reputable manufacturer is pretty easy nowadays since it has become so popular. Luckily, there are numerous brands that offer high quality reverse osmosis water filtration systems at a very reasonable cost. Be sure to choose a system with a filtration membrane that is appropriate for your needs.
It is important to ensure that your home is clean. When doing so you need to employ an elaborate cleaning schedule that will make your work efficient, quick and super easy. With this checklist, you will focus on key areas that are prone to dirt and very visible.
Begin with the kitchen. In the kitchen, it is advisable to start with the hardest job. To ensure that your kitchen is sparkling clean, ensure that you are up to date with the following weekly tasks.
Clean the exterior of the appliances.
Mop the floor
Wipe the cabinet doors and the counters
Polish and scour the sink.
The clean the bathroom. When washing your bathroom spend some time to give your fixtures a little TLC. Utilize general purpose spray cleaners or mix water and vinegar to clean your sink, tub, toilet exterior, and the faucets. Utilize an antibacterial cleaner for heavy duty disinfecting on toilet bowl as well as the baking soda paste on tough grime. Refrain from using abrasives on scratchable surfaces.
Dust the shelves and furniture. By getting rid of dust, you will protect your stationary as well as improving your home air quality. Evacuate accumulated dust particles from furniture and other regions. When dusting use soft, non-scratching that hold and pick up dust. When cleaning fine wood furniture utilize dusting clothes as a substitute of silicone sprays.
Vacuum or shake area rugs. Ensure that your area rugs are in a great condition by caring for them as you would wall to wall carpet. When it comes to small rugs that are difficult to vacuum, take them outdoors and shake them thoroughly, or you can hang them over the clothesline and beat them utilizing a broom to evacuate dirt and dust.
Vacuum living areas. Vacuuming your house once every week ensures that low accumulation of debris and dust. Prior to doing so, collect large debris, buttons, scraps of paper and objects that can damage your vacuum hoses and belts. Make sure that you vacuum evenly and steadily in overlapping parallel manner.
Mop hard surfaces. Mopping is a less expensive and effective way to keep your home sparkling clean. Wet mops are utilized for scrubbing as well applying sanitizing solutions to your kitchen floors and bathrooms. Press the firmly to the floor and move it along in overlapping strokes. While mopping, ensure that you wipe up liquid spillage because such liquids can damage wood surfaces.
Finally, though the above checklist incorporates some of the important tips on how to clean your home, it is critical that you adhere to them to ensure a dirt free and conducive environment for your family.
Many options are available for spicing up a backyard or adding variety to a home during the beautiful spring and summer months. Garden’s and trees add natural beauty, but playsets and swingsets add a level of architectural beauty and function that can be a excellent addition to a home.
Playsets also add many options for young children to get lots of physical activity, something lacking in many of todays homes. Daily exercise is important for young ones, so a wooden backyard playset adds that option as well as an architectural addition and a natural looking scenery.
The installation of this option can sometimes be a difficult task. Companies specialize in playset installation in new jersey and more than just handymen, so it’s important to pick the right one. Don’t just settle for somje random guys that are looking for business. Do a little research, check on Yelp or some other review site for companies in your area.
Before you do that you need to track down a good swing set itself. Some available options are:
Now that you’ve chosen the right supplier, and perhaps chosen the correct installation and assembly company, it’s now time to enjoy the spoils of your hard earned money, and get those kids out enjoying the playground. Instead of taking time out of your day to drive to the park or sending your kids down the block, you could just have them run around in your backyard and make use of the swings, slides, or even rock-walls and tire-swings (see the pictures).
I know it’s still winter, but this time of year is the perfect time to get ready for spring, because it really is just around the corner (probably only 8 weeks away). If we want to be best prepared to enjoy the good weather, we have to start getting ready during the bad weather.
Well, that’s pretty much it, finding a good provider of the equipment, finding a good installer of the equipment, and making sure you enjoy the finished product (once the weather turns around!).
Hope you enjoyed this! Check out this cool video with a slideshow of some more photos of backyard playgrounds. Perhaps you could have your yard looking like this sometime in the future!