Posted In:DIY (Do It Yourself) Archives - Pligg
It’s natural for bloggers to invest time in generating new blog topics. You must generate a steady stream of content to build an audience.
Something else you should invest some time on is what types of blogs to write. Different kinds of posts attract readers with different goals.
So let’s jump in and look at some types of blogs you can use and why.
How-To Types of Blogs
The how to blog post is a go-to for any blog focused on deploying a skill or fixing things.
Say you run a blog about writing computer code for websites. It only makes sense that you’d want to talk about how to get the programming language to do certain common tasks.
It’s also popular because it lets you break the blog post up into easily defined sections. That makes it easier to read and lets the audience jump to wherever in the process they got stuck.
Whether you offer a service or sell a product, you’ll see the same questions over and over.
Even if you maintain an FAQ section, a common questions blog post puts the answers in front of all of your regular readers. You can even break it up into posts on individual products or services.
News Briefs and Commentary
Unless your audience consists of experts, you’re probably better informed about industry news. That’s an opportunity for you to do a couple things.
You can keep people in the loop by talking about current news. You can establish yourself as something of an authority by analyzing the news.
An added bonus is that news briefs require less original research. News organizations and industry organizations do a lot of that heavy lifting for you.
Informational blog posts attract readers who want to understand a topic better. You can think of these as why blogs or how blogs.
For example, patriotgetaways might do a post on Why to Rent a Cabin for Your Vacation. The post can talk about the health benefits of spending time in nature.
A science blog might focus on how something like photosynthesis works or how fungus grows.
Interviews are fantastic fodder for blogs. Depending on the interview length, you can often split it up into several posts. That helps to fill your posting quota for the week or month.
It also lets you borrow on the credibility and audience of the person you interviewed. If you blog about marketing, scoring an interview with someone like Neil Patel or Seth Godin makes you look like someone to watch.
Writing different types of blogs helps you attract different kinds of readers. It also helps you achieve some other goals.
Analyzing news in your industry helps you establish yourself as an authority. Interviews not only deliver content but can flesh our your schedule and confer reflected credibility. Answering common questions can save you time by telling all of your readers things they need to know
If you enjoyed this post, you should also check out our post on putting together a tutorial.
Has it been too long since the last time you gave your home a little makeover?
Maybe you’re noticing that the dining room wallpaper is a little shabby. Perhaps that living room couch has seen better days.
Chances are, it’s been a while since you’ve updated your home. According to a survey, 47% of Americans haven’t revamped their home decor in over 5 years. Life gets in the way, and home maintenance often falls by the wayside.
It’s understandable. Doing a remodel or redecorating is a big task. Luckily, there are hundreds of apps that can help you with this undertaking.
Getting started on a home improvement project can be daunting. Check out these awesome interior design apps that will make the project so much easier.
Know that your home needs a change, but you’re not sure where to start? Use the Hutch app to play around with different ideas.
Start by uploading a picture of a place in your home that needs redecorating. Within an hour of submitting your photo, Hutch will virtually erase all clutter from the room.
Then apply one of their “filters” like, “flea market finds” or “eclectic chic.” The filters are basically the names of whatever style you’d like the room to have. The filter will superimpose potential room designs onto your photo.
Everything in the space are items you can buy. The app itself is free, so there’s no harm in trying it. You can buy as many or as few of the furniture and decor as you want.
If you don’t want to use one of their filters, you can try out a totally new look on your own. You can use photos of furniture and decor from their vendor’s list. Mix and match items until you get the look you want.
From there, you can buy all the pieces you’ve found. You can also hold on to the picture for inspiration. Take it with you next time you go home goods shopping.
One downside to the app is you can only use their features on living rooms and bedrooms.
2. Color Capture
Color Capture by Benjamin Moore is like the Shazam of color.
Do you love a color used in a random piece of street art? Is there a particular shade of green you saw on your camping trip? Take a picture of it using the app and it will help you match the exact shade with one of their paints.
The app lets you save your favorite color inspiration pictures. You can also browse through the Benjamin Moore paint collection. Once you know what you want to buy, the app can direct you to the nearest store location.
There are other interior design apps that are similar to color capture. Sherwin William’s has one called Color Snap and Behr’s is Color Smart.
Using any one of these apps will ensure that you get the perfect color for every room during a remodel.
For some, interior design is an exciting fresh start. For others, designing might not be their strong suit. What are those people to do if they can’t afford to hire a professional designer?
Luckily, Modsy is a relatively affordable way to get the help of pro.
The service costs $69 per room. Start by taking eight pictures from different angles of the space you want decorated. Then you’ll take a quiz to figure out your desired style.
Finally, you’ll let Modsy know what your approximate budget is. Then from there, they’ll get to work!
Modsy will send you back a personalized, 3-D rendering of how you should decorate. From there, you can buy what you want from the rendering straight from the app.
Still not feeling so confident and need a little more help? For $199 you can speak virtually with a designer and ask them all your questions.
Maybe you love a good home design project but you’re just not so good at staying on task. There’s an app for that!
Everyone loves looking on Pinterest and finding a cool home project. But, often we never end up getting around to it.
With BrightNest, you can browse through their app and find design and maintenance projects. When you see one you like you can save it and schedule a time to try it.
They’ll send you a reminder when it’s time to get started. There are also hundreds of articles to check out for home design and DIY inspiration.
5. PRO Landscape Home
You’ve put a lot of time into the interior, but what about the exterior? Make your backyard like another functional entertaining and relaxing space.
The Pro Landscape Home app is similar to other interior design apps. Take a picture of your backyard and upload it on to the app. Then start designing your outdoor sanctuary!
With this app, you can see how different landscaping options would look in your yard. Add grass, mulch, and fountains. There are thousands of photos of shrubs, trees, and backyard accessories to choose from.
Play around and see which area would best accommodate a fire pit and patio set. When you’re done, you’ll know exactly where your BillyOh garden furniture should go.
Are you also a gardener? PRO Landscape can help plan and map it out.
Tell the app your location and it will pick out plants and flowers that will thrive in your home’s climate.
Done designing your dream yard? View what you’ve done in “before and after” mode. Then share it all to your social media.
There are Tons of Interior Design Apps Out There
But, we think these are some of the best and most innovative.
Doing a home remodel can be stressful and time-consuming. Interior design apps like these can help take some of the guesswork out.
Are you looking to do some home improvement projects and need a little inspiration? Then check out some of our other blogs!
If you want to look like a model in photos, then you’ve come to the right place.
Professional models always look amazing, right? They strike a pose, and always manage to look a million dollars.
Read on to discover the top 5 photoshoot poses that’ll have you looking like a professional model every time.
1. Say Cheese!
Let’s start with a smile. Pouts and sullen expressions are trending right now, but the smile is a classic.
Your best smile’s a natural one. Overexaggerate your grin, and you’ll be facepalming when your goofy mug pops up in a colleague’s Instagram story.
Instead, smile the way you do when you’ve heard something amusing. And make sure your smile reaches your eyes; it looks way more sincere that way.
2. Angle Your Head
Professional photographers like the guys at Head-Shot.co.uk rarely take a photo head-on.
Head-on photos lack the depth and benefits of shadows and can make your face look disproportionate.
Instead, tilt your head up or down, and then angle it to the left or right. This gives your cheeks more definition, elongates your neck, and allows shadows to play across your best features.
3. Show Off Your Waist
No matter your body shape or size, angling your body to show off your waist will always get you the best photos.
Check out models’ and actresses’ photoshoot poses, and you’ll often see them standing at a 45-degree angle to the camera lens. That makes the waist automatically appear smaller.
Another thing you’ll notice is how they hold an arm away from their body. Copy this pose by putting your hand on your hip, or at least holding it away enough that there’s a noticeable gap.
The camera picks up the gap, cinching in your waistline and giving you that sexy, curvaceous look.
4. Do the Mermaid
You probably didn’t think it when you watched the Little Mermaid as a kid, but her small waist and curvy hips gave this Disney princess quite the voluptuous figure.
To get yourself that hourglass shape, cross your ankles and hold your arms away from your body.
This’ll make your waist stand out against full hips that taper your body down into a single point at your ankles.
5. Props to the Rescue
Props are the best way to add some interest to your perfected photoshoot poses.
Take advantage of those fun lips, mustaches and princess crowns next time you hit the photo booth. Couple props with poses for a fun but sophisticated shot.
But what if you’re out and about without a prop in sight? In that case, get creative!
Tuck one hand into the crook of the opposite elbow, and hold your arms at a 90-degree angle. Then, tip your chin down onto your free hand for an instant hand-prop.
If you’re holding a handbag or purse, bend your arm and rest your hand on one corner.
Or, use your hand to lightly touch your face when you’re having your photo taken. Practice in front of a mirror for what looks best, and keep it in mind for that impromptu picture.
Make Photoshoot Poses Work for You
Photos have become a part of everyday life and, of course, we want to look our best.
Whether you’re out with friends and want to capture the moment, or you’re taking a stop-and-drop selfie, use our tips and you’ll have elegant, stylish photos a model would be proud of.
Liked what you read? Keep yourself looking gorgeous with the 5 best fitness apps you’ve got to download.
In years past, you had to look at not one but several different newspapers a day to keep accurate track of the stock market.
In recent years, you had to sit in front of your computer and watch the market go up and down via an Internet tracking board.
You could also buy and download software to help you make financial decisions regarding your stocks.
Now investment apps make tracking and investing simpler than ever. Check out the five best investment apps available below.
The Five Best Investment Apps
The Robinhood app is the perfect app for new investors.
Most investment apps require account holders pay a subscription or maintain a minimum balance. Not this app.
With it, you only need to submit enough money to buy a stock.
In that respect, the Robinhood app is as heroic as its namesake.
Presently, this app is available only to American and Chinese investors. However, it allows you to buy and trade all American-based stock.
The Wealthfront app is one of the best investment apps for slightly more experienced investors.
It requires you to submit $500 upfront. After that initial $500, you don’t need to feed this app any more money until after you’ve made $10,000.
You read that right. The Wealthfront app manages your money up to $10,000 for free.
But that isn’t its only nifty feature.
It has you take a questionnaire that matches you with one of its 20 investment portfolios. The match is made based on your risk management style.
The Wealthfront app also lets you see the history performances of its other 19 portfolios. Additionally, it evaluates your outside investments and makes recommendations based on them.
The Acorns app is one of the best investment apps for investors looking to turn small amounts into big ones. When you sync your bank account with Acorns, it automatically rounds up small purchase amounts and invests the leftover change.
For example, let’s say you buy a pair of scissors for a collage project. The scissors are $1.60. Acorns will round up the purchase to $2 and hold onto the leftover $.40.
After you’ve reached $5 in change, Acorns invests it into your portfolio.
To start on Betterment, you need $1. A single, solitary dollar.
When you open your Betterment account, you answer a short questionnaire. Based on your answers, Betterment invests as you would and monitors your investments.
You can keep up with investment news on reliable sources such as InvestorMint.com to make sure the app is making the best choices.
For its services, Betterment charges only .15% to .35% a year, depending on how much you make.
Openfolio is a wonderful app for those looking to monitor and analyze rather than invest.
This free app allows you to see how 70,000 other investors’ portfolios measure against yours. (It won’t show exactly how much they made, though.)
If your portfolio’s performance paled in comparison, you’ll know you should invest differently thanks to Openfolio.
Need More Apps? Check Us Out!
At Pligg, we know that apps are the way of the future. We offer a variety of resources about apps for a wide range of functions. From gaming to traveling to tracking expenses, we have you covered.
For additional information, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us! We’re always happy to help you find the app that suits you!
Looking to cook up savory fried dishes in your kitchen but worried about the health implications of fried food?
With hot air frying, you can get all the taste of fried foods without the grease, mess, and cleanup involved with deep frying.
If you want to try out an air fryer, here are 7 of the best on the market!
1. Philips XL Airfryer
This fryer is one of the hottest on the market (pun intended) with 2,100 watts of power and the capacity to hold 2.65lbs of food.
It’s the largest air fryer on our list, so it’s perfect if you’re looking to fry food for larger family dinners or parties.
It’s been endorsed by celebrities such as Oprah Winfrey and master chef Gordon Ramsey!
2. VonShef 2.2L Fryer
If you need an air fryer on a budget, the VonShef 2.2L fryer is a compact unit, with a low price tag at $56.
It features a clear lid making it easy to monitor cooking progress.
It uses 80% less fat compared to deep fryers and has options for grilling, frying, baking, and roasting.
3. Breville VDF122 Halo+
This Breville fryer has sturdy parts, making it dishwasher safe. The controls on it are very user-friendly compared to other models.
It uses only a half tablespoon of oil to cook 2.64lbs of food!
The VDF122 Halo+ comes complete with a measuring spoon, roasting rack, cooking guide, and recipes making it perfect for chefs new to air fryers.
4. NuWave Brio Digital
This NuWave fryer stands out above the competition for its circulation features.
Unlike other fryers, the Brio circulates hot air equally around the fry basket at a consistent speed. This process results in food that is cooked with even temperature and texture.
5. GoWISE USA GW22611
This smaller air fryer is compact enough to stay on your kitchen counter or island.
It features an adjustable thermostat, with temperature range from 176 to 392-degrees, so that you can vary temperatures depending on what you’re cooking.
6. T-Fal FZ7002 ActiFry
The ActiFry is light and compact enough for your kitchen but large enough to cook up to 2.2lbs of food.
While it only operates at a fixed temperature of 338-degrees, it features a programmable timer of up to 99 minutes. This will ensure your meals are cooked thoroughly.
7. Avalon Bay Digital Air Fryer
This fryer offers the unique ability to fry with no oil at all for even healthier snacks and meals!
The technology uses a special fan to pulls fats and natural oils from the food you’re cooking.
Preprogrammed settings help to remove some of the confusion and guesswork that comes with air frying for the first time.
Now that you’ve got 7 of the best air fryers to choose from, you’re all set to prepare gourmet fried meals in your own kitchen!
What dish will you prepare first? Have you tried out any of the air fryers on our list?
Let us know in the comments!
Do you hear those sleigh bells ringing?
Halloween is officially over and therefore the Christmas season has begun.
As you pack up your witch and jack-o-lantern decorations in your attic, you’re probably noticing your Christmas decoration boxes staring at you. You’re thinking about the contents and realizing you want to try something new this year.
Fear not, if you’re out of Christmas decorating ideas and tired of doing the same thing year after year this article is for you.
This guide will break down how to up your Christmas light installation game and make all your neighbors jealous. After all, we know you want Santa to be able to see your house from the sky.
Read on for 10 novel ideas for your Christmas light installation.
1. Snowflake Lights in Your Trees
Do you want to turn your front yard into a winter wonderland? If so, hang snowflake lights from the branches of your trees to enhance your Christmas light installation.
It doesn’t matter if you live in snowy Colorado or sunny Florida, having snowflake lights on your tree branches will make your yard look beautiful and festive.
The more trees you have in your yard the better this will look.
Hanging the lights in the trees in your backyard is also a great idea for holiday parties. You can let guests walk through your magical backyard of lights.
2. Inflatable Decorations
You know when you drive by car dealerships and they have huge inflatable decorations outside?
The reason they do this is that they’re eye-catching. Adding an inflatable Christmas decoration to your front yard is sure to grab the attention of people riding by.
What inflatable decoration should you choose? The possibilities are endless. Inflatable reindeer, inflatable snow globes, or an inflatable Santa are all good choices.
Add spotlights in front of your inflatable decorations to ensure people can see it at night.
3. Put Christmas Trees Outside
There’s no rule that says your Christmas tree must be indoors.
Create your own miniature fir tree forest by putting Christmas trees around your yard outdoors.
You can decorate them all with lights and top them with your favorite tree toppers. This is perfect for those families who always argue over whether to use an angel or a star on top of the tree. If you have multiple trees outdoors you can use multiple tree toppers!
Don’t forget you still need to go out and water your outdoor trees. They’ll look so good that it will be worth the trip outside.
4. Turn Your Home Into a Gingerbread House
Gingerbread houses are a delicious part of the holiday season, but they aren’t just for the kitchen.
Making your home look like a gingerbread house is an amazing Christmas light installation idea.
To achieve this look you will need to get candy shaped lights for the front of your house. Line your sidewalk with candy cane lights and gumdrops.
For the main portion of your house, it’s time to load up on LED strip lights.
Decorate the outside of your house with the same design that you would a gingerbread house. One easy way to do this is do straight lines going from the roof to the ground in different colors.
5. Holiday Light Projector
Holiday light projectors are becoming more and more popular in recent years.
These could be a good option for you if you’re short on electrical outlets but you still want to get a great light display going at your house.
Between buying gifts, sending holiday cards, and preparing for holiday parties, the winter months can be expensive. Getting a holiday light projector will save you time and money.
Holiday light projectors make the Christmas light installation process easy. All you need to buy is a 1-3 projectors depending on how large your house is and set them up so they’re pointing at the walls of your house.
You can also direct the projector to a large tree in your yard and it will look like the tree is covered in beautiful Christmas lights.
Holiday light projectors are available in many different colors, shapes, and patterns. You can get them in white if you prefer a more traditional look or you can get them in star shapes that appear to dance along the outside of your house.
6. The Nativity Scene
The nativity scene is a wholesome and beautiful symbol representing Christmas.
Setting up a nativity scene in your front yard is a great way to remind people that the holiday is supposed to be about love, family, and celebrating new life.
Keep your nativity scene simple and don’t try to glam it up with too many lights or it will look gaudy.
For your nativity scene, you will need the baby Jesus (we dare you to try the glassblowing technique!), a manger, Mary, Joseph, the wise men, the shepherds, and an optional sheep.
7. Create Your Own Christmas Light Balls
Turn your Christmas decorating into a DIY project with your family.
To make Christmas light balls, you will need chicken wire and Christmas lights. Simply wrap your Christmas lights around your chicken wire orbs to create glowing balls of festivity.
You can vary the colors if you choose, making some red, some green, and some blue and then place them around your lawn. This is a great way to add some color to the ground level of your house.
8. Don’t Forget the Roof
Your roof will be the focal point of your Christmas light installation display.
You want to make sure you put something on the roof that will be eye-catching and interesting for people to see.
What you choose to put on the roof depends on your personal Christmas tastes.
Want to do something funny? Maybe put a spotlight on a Grinch who’s trying to steal the presents out of the chimney. Want to do something classic? Get a light up sleigh equipped with reindeer and put a hearty Santa inside of it. Want to do something cute? Try a light-up Frosty the Snowman who’s waving at everyone who passes your house.
The most important thing is that you don’t neglect the roof thinking that the lights and decorations on the front of the house will be enough.
And, as always be mindful of your safety! The roof is inherently dangerous. Always be careful when using ladders and let a family member know you’re up there in case you need help getting down.
9. Decorate Your Mailbox
When planning their Christmas light installation, many people forget about their mailboxes.
Your mailbox is the closest thing to the road and, therefore, the first thing people see when they drive by your house. You want your mailbox looking just as festive as the rest of your property. Best of all, it’s really easy to decorate!
A good idea for your mailbox is to hang a beautiful wreath on it. Or tie a red velvet ribbon around it and attach jingle bells.
You can also wrap your mailbox with Christmas lights to make it even more eye-catching and add to your light count.
10. Spell Out a Word in Lights
Christmas is the time to spread joy and love to your neighbors around you.
So why not spell out joy or love in your own front yard?
“Joy”, “Love”, or “Peace on Earth” make great letters you can spell out with lights in your front yard.
You can either buy letters that already light up, or you can make your own by cutting them out of food and then wrapping Christmas lights around them.
Putting out a nice message into the world will make people feel good and get them into the Christmas spirit when they drive by your house and see your Christmas light installation.
Make Your Christmas Light Installation Fun
The holidays are all about spending time with the people you love, so make your Christmas light installation process a group project.
Get your family outside to help you hang lights and bounce ideas off of each other about how you want your house to look this year.
Let your house’s Christmas lights reflect each person who lives inside by giving everyone input. When you divide the job, things will go faster and you’ll get to spend quality time together.
Remember, if you want to avoid the process of untangling lights then the holiday light projector might be for you.
For some overachievers, the process of hanging up your own lights might be half the fun.
If you run into any electrical problems while hanging your lights you may need an electrician. Check out our article on knowing when to call an electrician for your electrical issues.
Have fun and Merry Christmas!
Having a great access door means more than just providing entry for plumbing or electrical units. It can offer safety and security when used as a safe.
There are many purposes you can use an access door for but it ultimately ends up being an easy way to conduct necessary maintenance repairs. Whether that’s what you intend to use it for or want to convert it into something else, we have advice on the qualities a good access door should have.
Ready to find out what they are? Here we go!
Concealed hinges are great if you’re wanting the door to be flush with the wall. That way, it doesn’t stick out awkwardly.
They also come in handy if you’re using your door as a safe. When the hinges are located within the door itself, it’s impossible to be tampered with. Crooks looking to gain access won’t find a way because they can’t locate the hinges.
Not only do they offer security when used that way but they’re easy to install. Whether you do it yourself or have a professional do the install, most concealed hinges work like a puzzle. All that needs to be done is to click one piece inside the other.
Fire-Rated Access Door
Since most doors are used to conceal electrical units, it’s best to invest in a door that’s fire-rated. Why?
If a fire were to happen, one that’s fire-rated limits the amount of smoke that’s produced. Also, it has properties that prevent the fire from spreading past the doors.
These types of doors prove themselves useful because when installed, it creates a tight seal against the wall. When used in the kitchen, for example, the material it’s made out of won’t become hot to the touch. All that’s heated inside the door won’t transfer onto the door itself.
Companies like Best Access Doors understand consumers want to keep their home protected. Therefore, they offer a wide variety of fire-rated access doors.
Can Withstand the Elements
Most doors can be used indoors and outdoors. While it’s great to have one that can do both, it’s best to consider the type of weather in the area you live in if the door will be on the exterior of your home.
If it’s strictly indoor, sticking it outside won’t put it to good use. It’ll slowly deteriorate from the outside elements.
Harsh winters or even blazing sunlight can cause damage. When shopping, be sure to pick up one that’s specifically for the outdoors.
It can also withstand mildew and warping caused by weather. It’s worth the investment so you don’t have to replace the door three years from now.
When picking out an access door, it’s best to remember these three qualities. Your door should be able to withstand the outside elements and keep your valuables safe.
Whatever you decide to use it for, make sure it fits your needs. There’s plenty of options to choose from so you won’t be stuck with one that’s useless.
For more information on a plethora of topics, check out our recent blog posts!
Whether you are a new or seasoned homeowner, redecorating is something that usually happens more than once.
But paying a professional interior designer can become very expensive. Do you still want that professional look without the high price tag? Enter design apps.
Read below for some fabulous ways a home design app will help you achieve your goals all by yourself!
Paint is often the first step in any redecorating plan. It can also be a scary choice to make. Fear of a color being overwhelming once on a wall prevents many people from beginning at all.
Luckily there are apps that can help you see what a color will look like. Many paint brands have their own apps that once you upload a picture of a room, you can apply any paint color to one or more walls.
This process will help you have an idea of how a color will actually look before you take the plunge.
Color apps can also help you figure out what a color is. Did you damage a wall and need to do some touch ups? Unsure what the paint color is? Snap a photo and most apps will be able to find you the exact color or a close match.
Get Inspiration from a Home Design App
If you have the urge to redecorate but lack inspiration, a design app may become your best friend.
These apps can provide you with different types of rooms all decorated in different styles. There is something for everyone regardless if you like modern furniture or country styled pieces.
Try Out Layouts and Furniture
Rearranging the furniture in your home is an easy way to bring new life and a new look to any room.
But sometimes the thought of moving heavy couches and tables sucks.
If you want to only rearrange once, consider using apps that let you create a 3D image of your room. These let you pick room shapes and put windows and doors where you have them.
Once you have a shell that matches your room, you can place images of furniture pieces in the space. When you move furniture, you can be sure it will look how you want!
Some apps even let you customize floor materials or window treatments.
For example, with a home design app, you can sometimes test out some blinds and designs to find something that works perfectly for your space.
Staying organized during home renovations or redecorating is important. Managing your time well will ensure your project will help increase your home’s value.
Find an app that can act as a virtual assistant. Create all your tasks that need to be done and create reminders for cleaning tasks that will help you maintain
Start Creating Your Dream Home
As you can see, a home design app can really help make your dreams come true with your home.
Have some friends who want to do some redecorating? Be sure to share this article with them.
Also be sure to check out some other home decorating resources!
Regular bike maintenance is critical to enjoying hassle-free rides and prolonging the life of the bike. Who wants to go out and buy a new bike every few years? Not many!
When a bike’s squeaks, rattles, clicks, and clangs are ignored, performance suffers and it can become a safety hazard.
You don’t always have to take your bike down to the local bike shop, however, when some work needs to be done. Many maintenance techniques can be done right in your garage with an iced tea in hand.
Here are 5 at-home pro tips to help keep your bike in perfect working order for years to come.
1. Keep an Eye on Those Brake Pads
With regular use, brake pads begin to glaze due to the friction and heat between the pads and rims. Failing brake pads can turn an enjoyable ride into a scary one!
A cyclist’s first reaction is to buy new brake pads. This isn’t always needed.
Before spending unnecessary money, use some sandpaper and gently scrub the surface of each smoothed-out pad. Most of the time you’ll end up with like-new pads using this inexpensive, easy procedure.
2. Simple Frame Protection
Keeping the bike frame in good shape is key to a bike’s longevity.
Oftentimes the brake and gear cables that run along the frame begin to rub against it, causing damage. When this happens, find the points of contact and put small pieces of electrical tape between the frame and cables.
This helps protect the frame from long-term damage.
To cover existing nicks and dings, use an appropriate shade of nail polish (find that 50-shades-of-everything basket in the house) — but do so sparingly.
3. Keep Lubrication Levels in Check
More isn’t always better, especially when it comes to lubricating a bike chain.
If too much oil is applied to the chain, it can begin to accumulate dirt, dust, and debris. It can also cause excessive chain slipping and shorten the life of the bike’s drive train.
When too much oil has been applied, you’ll see areas of it beading up and gathering on components. Take a clean cloth and run it over the chain to rid it of the excess lubrication.
4. Properly Fit the Front Wheel
Tire punctures are frustrating, but they happen to the best of us.
Many times, after replacing the front tire, a rider will put the wheel back on the wrong way. This is common after experiencing the frustration of lost ride time.
We’re always in such a hurry, aren’t we?
The problem with attaching it backward is that the tire is now essentially rolling the wrong way. This results in less overall grip and performance.
How can you tell if the front wheel is fitted properly?
Simply match the quick release side with the quick release of the rear wheel.
Then be on your way to a high-performance ride.
5. Maintain the Seat Post
A seat post left in the same position for long periods of time can get permanently stuck in position. This turns the bike into a one-user-only proposition.
To avoid this, every month or so take a few minutes to remove and re-insert the seat post into the slot.
If you have a metal post and frame, use a bit of grease to keep it lubricated. If the bike has a carbon post and frame, dab on some friction paste.
These 5 tips will get you well on your way to keeping up with regular bike maintenance.
If your bike needs more work, a bike repair manual can save you loads of money. Plus, websites like the Inflation Zone can give you the lowdown on the best bikes out there, if you’re in the market for a new one.
Summer is time for making memories with those you love.
It can also be a time for life lessons that your child will carry with him or her into adulthood. Among them:
- The importance of sustainable living
- Appreciating nature
- Using his/her hands to build things
- Valuing time with family
- Working together (for siblings or friends)
Those hummingbirds move fast, so let’s not delay learning how to make a recycled hummingbird feeder.
What You’ll Need
An Empty Bottle
You can use glass or plastic. If your kids are younger, plastic is likely your best option to avoid dangerous breaks.
Look for a bottle with interesting features your child can decorate. And, to keep in line with the purpose of recycling, don’t buy a bottle just make your feeder. Reuse something.
Here are some to consider from the ordinary to the unique:
- Sports drink bottle
- Olive oil or alcoholic beverage bottle
- Wine bottle
- Water bottle
- Hot sauce bottle
- Test tube
- Spice jar
Plus you’ll need:
- A cap – Look for a cap similar to a cap off of cooking spray, spray paint or something of the like.
- A screw on cap, a little smaller that fits your bottle snugly
- Sandpaper (optional)
- Spray paint (optional)
- Very sharp scalpel or craft knife (for your use only)
- Glue gun
- Tweezers or needle nose pliers
- Beads or other decorations (optional)
- Screwdriver or drill
- String or rope for hanging
- Eye protection – Rarely drills can throw plastic shrapnel into the air. Sunglasses or prescriptions glasses should suffice.
Making Your Recycled Bird Feeder
Choose appropriate attire. You and your child will be working with paint and glue so choose kids clothes that are comfortable and okay to get messy.
Cut out the middle of smaller cap. The safest way to do this is to poke holes in it with the drill or screwdriver. And then punch the middle out. It doesn’t have to look pretty. This piece goes on the inside.
Very carefully cut around the larger cap to shorten it to about 1.5 -2 inches tall.
Warm up the hot glue gun. For those of you, who are new to crafting, hot glue guns work best because the hot glue bonds better to the materials and dries very fast creating a strong bond.
Borrow one from one of your crafting friends if you don’t own one.
For very small children, please note that glue guns and the glue that comes out can burn skin.
Use tweezers or needle nose pliers to place the smaller cap inside the large one without allowing the cap to touch on either side or underneath.
With glue dots from your gun, create little bridges between the little cap and the big cap. The goal is to hold the little cap in place without completely blocking the flow of liquid from one cap to the next. Let the glue dry, which takes less than a minute before you can let go. But wait another 10 before screwing the cap on to be sure it’s dry.
Careful not to get glue inside the little cap or the cap won’t fit the bottle.
Remove any labels from the bottle and clean thoroughly.
Step 6 (optional)
If the bottle is plastic, rub sandpaper around it before you paint so that that paint will stick.
Paint the bottle. Let it dry.
Decorate the bottle. Use the hot glue again to attach foam flowers, string or beads as desired. Get creative and whimsical. Hummingbirds are drawn to red, so use as much red as possible. Let everything dry.
Add humming bird solution, which can be made with sugar and water. Avoid food coloring, which can be harmful.
Screw on the cap and hang the feeder upside down in a tree.
Got pests? No problem. These DIY pest control tricks are your ticket to getting those bugs off your back. Before you call the calvary, give these a shot.
It’s Friday night. You’ve got a hot date coming over. You’ve cleaned the house. Shoved your dirty laundry under the bed (hope he doesn’t look under there). And you’ve lit a few romantic candles while you fixed him dinner.
It’s going to be a fantastically romantic evening. And then you see them. Your biggest nightmares. A cockroach, a horde of ants, and a mouse trooping across your kitchen like satan’s army.
It’s too late to call the pest control services. What do you do? Your hunk of a date is going to be here anytime.
Don’t scream. It’s going to be ok. There are some easy things you can do to take down the pests in your home.
This could also work as vampire repellent. But it’s really for bugs. Blend some mint leaves and garlic cloves. You were just cooking, right? So you should have these. Add some cayenne pepper and some dish soap. Boil the stuff.
Now, if you need it this instant, you could probably just pour some on the sucker right away. But it will make a mess. But for future use, chill it overnight in the fridge and then strain it into a spray bottle.
The ants go marching one by one, hurrah! Until they encounter coffee grounds. Then they run away. Really. They do.
All you need to do is put on a pot of coffee then sprinkle the used grounds around the house. Find out where the ants are coming from. Your date won’t think it’s cool to step on coffee grounds all night.
Even the mice will run away from this one. But it’s really just for bugs.
Take one gallon of water. Mix it with three tablespoons of hot pepper flakes. Heat it in a pan on simmer for about fifteen minutes. This brings out the hellfire in the spray i.e. pepper oils.
This is another one you will have to let sit for about 24 hours to let the flakes release all of their torment into the spray.
Once you’ve let it sit, strain it. Drop some dish soap in. Put it in a spray bottle. And now you have the cruelest insect repellent on the planet.
Spray it on plants or in cracks where ants and cockroaches might come in.
This is also a great way to keep squirrels from getting into bird seed. You see, birds don’t have salivary glands and thus they can’t feel the heat of the peppers. But squirrels sure do. Spray down that bird seed with a dish soap-less version and watch the squirrels freak.
4. Apple Cider Vinegar Fruit Fly Trap
Really, any kind of alcohol will work for this one.
But fruit flies are the worst infestation. They are gross. Just nasty. And you will always have a hard time getting rid of them.
First, put all fruit in the fridge. Don’t leave any out.
Then, get a salt shaker, fill the bottom with apple cider or rum. Drop in some dish soap to break the water tension. And then set it out. Watch them flock to it. They’ll crawl into their sweet and drunken death.
5. Borax And Sugar.
Certainly not sugar and spice. But ants sure think it is. Until they die!
Take 1/2 cup of sugar. 1 Cup of warm water. Mix the two with 2 tablespoons of borax.
Put it in a shallow lid of some sort and place it where the ants march. They’ll even take some of it to their next and kill more over time.
So, now you can enjoy your Friday night. Just don’t let the bed bugs bite!
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