Make Sure Your Dog Feels At Home

Are you a dog owner who wants nothing best for your pet? You’re not alone. The number of pet owners in the United States is growing at a staggering rate, and it’s not expected to turn around any time soon. Let’s discuss some of the coolest things you can do to make your dog amenable to your bet non-human friend.

Make Sure They Can Run Around

Dogs weren’t always domesticated animals, and at one point they had to run around all day long just to get some food. This is deep-rooted in their instincts, and it’s something that they need to tend to despite living with humans over the centuries. Make sure your dog has a place where they can run around throughout the day so that they can get some exercise. If you don’t have a fenced-in yard, you may want to consider an electric dog fence or perhaps just a simple lead on a runner. A dog’s ability to get exercise can have an astonishing impact on their energy levels and emotional wellness.

Easy Access To The Inside

Since your dog will be spending time outdoors if you’re providing them with all of the essentials, it’s kind and considerate to let them come and go as they please. It may seem old-fashioned, but why not install a doggy-door? If you’re worried about them always coming and going without your control, you can opt for a design that locks so that you can leave it open on nice, sunny days and close it off at night or when it’s raining. You don’t want them tracking mud inside on the nice new carpets.

A Personal Shower

Since we’re on the topic of mud it’s worth noting that many dog owners have gone so far as to install a doggy shower in their mudroom. This is a nice touch for dog owners. Aside from the fact that it serves as a convenient place to shower them off when they get dirty from playing outside, it’s an added bonus that you’ll no longer have to share your own shower with them. It’s not all about the dog, sometimes you can reap the benefits too.

A Place To Call Their Own

When the time comes for your dog to lay themselves to rest for the day, it can be very nice for them to have their very own place to call home within your home. If you’ve crate trained your dog properly from a young age, they may already love sleeping there. If you haven’t though, you’ll probably want to give them a nice and comfortable dog bed. Otherwise, they’ll end up taking over your favorite spot on the couch!

Keep An Eye On Them When You’re Not Home

Last but not least, it’s important that you can watch your dog and interact with them when you’re not in the house. These days there are pretty sophisticated dog cameras available for pet owners. Not only can you keep an eye on the dog to make sure they’re not up to no good, but you can also ensure that they are safe, talk to them through the camera if they are feeling scared, and even through them a treat when they’re behaving well. How’s that for good use of technology?


What Drives Homes To The Luxury Status?

A common dream in the world of real estate is to buy a home in the “fixer upper” stage, make a number of improvements, and then to sell the house for a substantial increased margin. Even better is if you are able to break through the price ceiling and bring the home to a classification that is in an even higher tier of homes than it started off in. So how exactly can you go about this?

First, it’s important to define what we mean by luxury status. For the purposes of this article we’re going to define luxury homes as those with a price tag of $1,000,000 or greater. Luxury home prices can far exceed this price tag depending on where they are located. Especially those homes in and around major cities such as New York and Los Angeles can easily be in the tens or even hundreds of millions under the right circumstances. So what is it that these homes have that make them so much more desirable to those who can afford a higher price tag? Let’s discuss a few of the factors that really set these houses apart.

As With All Things Real Estate, Location is #1

Luxury homes are always going to have an absolutely prime location. That can mean a number of things though. On the one hand there is convenience. Being located within a stone’s through of the buyer’s office, the city’s downtown district, grocery stores, etc. is on thing, and this is often desirable if the home is to be someone’s primary residence.

Then there is neighborhood. Being in a good neighborhood is another factor that is commonly characteristic of luxury homes. Many buyers will want to buy into a community where they are surrounded by like-minded folks, and what better way to find such folks than to live near others who can afford such a high price tag house? Riff-raff like myself certainly wouldn’t be able to afford a $10,000,000 million dollar home, so I’m immediately sure to be excluded as their neighbor.

Then there is the ultimate factor when it comes to location – seclusion. Seclusion is where the ultimate in luxury homes comes in, and it is quite often paired with miraculous surroundings of nature. These types of homes are where the ultra-wealthy like to vacation. They want to get away from all of the people and the recognition, and they’re willing to pay top dollar to do so.

Everything Else Falls In Place

If you have such a desirable location to warrant such a high price tag, what are they odds you’re then not going to build a house that justifies the price? Pretty slim, to say the least. What comes with this high price tag is often a non-contemporary design, or something that was built by or under consultation of an architect. These homes stand apart from the crowd. They make a statement, and the owner gets to choose the statement it makes.

Of course, then the owner starts to install the smaller, more superficial items that really make a home seam desirable. Jacuzzis, saunas, enormous wine cellars, the works. If you can dream it, you’ll find it in a luxury home.

What often gets missed in the public eye is that these seemingly luxurious attributes of a house are really not what luxury are all about in the first place. Being in the right place is 90% of the game, and the rest is just gravy.


Organizing Your Kitchen Like A Professional Chef

Many of us love to cook but having an organized work area is imperative to being able to enjoy the process. Whether it is assuring that you have all the necessary ingredients before you begin or being able to find all the tools you need for creating your recipe, organizing your kitchen like a chef will make all this easier. Chefs spend a good portion of time assuring that their kitchens are set up for a fast, efficient and pleasurable cooking experience. 

The first step should be to organize your refrigerator the way one would in a restaurant. All your meat, poultry and fish should be stored on the bottom shelf where the refrigerator is the coldest. This will also prevent any meat juices from dripping down onto other foods below and cross-contaminating them. Always date every container with the date when it was opened. Then there won’t be any guessing as to how old that container of pasta sauce really is, and you can easily see when something should be tossed, rather than used. 

Next you need to organize your pantry. Use clear containers of the same shape that can easily be stacked on top of each other. This way you can see at a glance which container contains beans, pasta or rice, and you won’t waste time opening numerous containers before finding the correct ingredient. 

In both your pantry and your refrigerator, as well as any other food storage areas, always follow the FIFO rule. This means First In, First Out. The oldest of whichever ingredient you are using is always stored in the front of the shelf, and it is always the first to be used, before any fresher ingredients of the same item are used. 

Professional kitchens are usually set up in some form of a triangle, with the points being made up of the stove/oven, refrigerator and sink. Many home kitchens are built in this same configuration to maximize efficiency and reduce the time spent walking back and forth between stations. Try to store items and utensils that will be used at each station near that area, so when you are reaching for a cooking sheet you will be standing by your oven and not the sink. Take into consideration what you will be using when you are baking, prepping food and washing dishes. If you are cleaning off plates to load the dish washer, or peeling potatoes, you are going to want the trash can next to you. Be sure to locate your trash can near your sink and dish washer. 

Many chefs keep a large dry erase board in their kitchen, to keep track of items they are running low on, have completely run out of, or need to purchase large quantities of, for a special occasion. Hang up a dry erase board in your kitchen, so you have a quick and easy way to keep track of these things as well. This way, the next time you open the last bottle of milk or need to remember to buy several pounds of salmon for your upcoming dinner party, all you need to do is check your white board before heading to the store. An additional benefit for home kitchens, if your white board is the magnetic type, you can also stick any coupons you come across during the week up there, so they are easy to grab when you make your grocery list. 

As you can see, there are many ways you can organize your kitchen like a chef, which will make cooking and baking a more pleasurable experience and clean up much quicker. Using these tips will give your kitchen a cleaner look, and your cooking a professional quality!


How To Make Your Own Christmas Cards at Home

Receiving holiday cards like those at Christmas time is a sentimental journey filled with lots of emotions. Also, sending out Christmas cards required us to make our list of the names and addresses of friends and family members. Not only was the outside design of a Christmas card considered inviting, but we also want to the inside message to convey how we feel toward the people we love and care about important. Perhaps we had to purchase several boxes of Christmas cards to send the right message that would suit the person to whom we are mailing them to.

Why not save on the beautiful Christmas cards this year by making your own for very little money. There are a number of free online Christmas card websites that feature great professional templates. When you create your own Christmas cards from online websites, you get to choose your text fonts, Christmas images including uploading your photos, choose your background and choose your own coloring format.

Creating or producing your own Christmas cards shows your creative skills and it shows a wonderful personalized sentiment for this holiday. Online design tools with modern technology can produce Christmas cards that with the right card paper, will look like the expensive cards purchased in a retail store. Making your own cards allows you to produce your Christmas cards faster, easier, and more economical, allowing you to mail, email, or to give out to more family and friends.

Whether you use the Martha Stewart website templates or other professional card making websites, all you need to do is to choose your Christmas card template, then follow the instructions to personalize your own cards with specialized messages inside. There are hundreds of Christmas themes to choose from that will help to make your Christmas card look festive, illustrative, and professionally crafted.

You can easily create Christmas cards that are 3D in texture and dimensions, especially when you add certain materials like felt or foam. Add ribbons, colorful glimmering effects, gems, and other specialized trims. There are a number of inexpensive materials to create your Christmas DIY holiday cards. You can make a DIY Christmas card pop-up with easy to follow steps using tools like scissors, glue, heavy cardstock paper or construction paper with a coloring of your choice.

One of the benefits in making your own Christmas cards to give to loved ones is that they are eco-friendly. From the paper stock you use to the decorations, and including the printer ink, these supplies today are created chemical-free and biodegradable. Not only will your holiday cards spark a special touch with those to whom you send them to, but the cards also can be discarded without any harm to the environment.

Creating and sending out Christmas cards is more than a tradition. The very act of sending and receiving holiday cards brings joy and a smile to everyone’s face. Whether you believe in the traditional idea of Christmas being a religious image or if there are non-believers, you can create the idea of Christmas in many different themes that are acceptable to everyone.

Just taking time out of your busy day to open a personalized, specially designed card just for you, is always a thoughtful gift that shows how much that person is cared for. Just try it! Go to any popular website for your Christmas card templates and find out how much fun and how easy it is to print PDF holiday cards with hardly any out-of-pocket expenses. Your efforts will certainly be rewarded with a hug or a phone call.




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