Sunday, December 20, 2020

Hard Lockdown at Christmas in Germany

The year 2020 is about to come to an end. We were all looking forward to the Christmas season but due to an exponential rise in COVID-19 cases here in Germany, the federal states have decided to go on a hard lockdown beginning December 16. For some states, it started last Monday, December 14. What does the hard lockdown mean? For our state it means closing down of schools and kindergartens, and shops and retail businesses too. Beauty salons are also closed. Bars and clubs too. Restaurants are only allowed to sell food and beverage for takeout. There is a curfew from 8 o' clock in the evening until 7 o' clock in the morning. Shopping malls, garden centers and hardware stores are closed. Supermarkets, drug stores, pharmacies, gas stations, pet stores among others remain open. One can only go out when one goes to work, or to buy basic commodities and medicines for the family, walk the dog, or go to a doctor's appointment. Only two households are allowed to meet with a maximum total of 5 adults, children below 14 years old not counted. On Christmas days, the number allowed to meet is additional four adult persons but that's it. Fireworks sale and use are also not allowed on New Year's Eve.

It is going to be a very silent Christmas night for some but I think this is an opportunity to spend more quality time with the family, to sit down together and share Christmas dinner together, to reflect on what is really important in life, to pray together for healing and world peace and to be thankful for all the blessings received this year.

I wish you all a blessed 4th Advent Sunday and a beautiful and merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Give the Gift of Moments this Christmas

If there is one thing good about this pandemic, it is more time shared with the family. The year 2020 is almost coming to an end and Christmas is in a few weeks. If you are still looking for that perfect Christmas gift, then search no more. I would say that one of the best gifts you can give your loved ones this Christmas are those beautiful moments.

Start or Continue Family Baking Traditions
The holiday season is the perfect time to bake Christmas cookies. So heat up your oven and get those pins rolling. Wrapped in nice tins or clear bags, they are always a hit for the young and old. And you can never have too much cookies.. Paired with coffee, tea or hot chocolate and your Christmas cookies are gone in no time.

Photo Prints and Books
In this digital world, most of us have tons of photos stored in our phones, in our hard drives, even in CDs. We, more often than not, forget about them and they are just there, as digital files waiting or perhaps craving for attention. Why not make prints out of them and put them up on your wall or better yet make photobooks out of them? There will always be something special about printed photos. They immortalize your memories and those important moments of your life

Send out Christmas Cards
I love receiving greeting cards on the mail. This is the time, more than ever, to be sending out Christmas cards to families and friends. To remind them that despite not seeing them for months, they are thought of and are loved. 

With the restrictions for parties and gatherings, it is a challenge for families to celebrate Christmas with our big circle of family and friends. We must be careful, be patient, be understanding of the times, so that we can all see each other again, giving out hugs and shaking hands. But until then, let us continue to be careful and stay healthy. So we can also share more moments with family and friends. 

Thursday, December 3, 2020

The Kinderreisepass

When travelling abroad, we all need an official document that will identify who we are. In the case of Germany, travelling babies and children aged 0 - 12 years old are issued a Kinderreisepass. The Kinderreisepass or children's travel passport is issued to children with German citizenship by the local city office. It is issued on the same day that you apply for it since it has no integrated chip, and is usually honored by most countries. Finger prints will also not be collected. The Kinderreisepass is valid for six years and can be renewed until the child is 12 years old. From 12 years onwards, the child will need a Personalausweis (personal id) or a travel passport depending on the country of destination. 

How to apply:
Normally, you need to go to your local city office once your documents are ready and complete. At least one parent / legal guardian and the child himself needs to appear personally. But in this time of the pandemic, one would need to get an appointment. Most cities have an online appointment system. For those who have no online access or don't know how to use computers, there is usually an information stand at the local city office where one is assisted in getting the appointment. 

Which documents are needed? 
To get the Kinderreisepass for your child, you will need to bring the following: the original Geburtsurkunde (birth certificate) or the old Kinderreisepass of the child, the passports or personal ID of the parents whichever is available, signed declaration of consent of both parents / legal guardians, a biometric photo and a fee of €13,00 which may be paid in cash or through debit card.

Updating of the Kinderreisepass can be done anytime, for example if a new photo, change in the color of the eyes and the height of the child, needs to to be done.

Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Situations When Replacing Your Home Door Locks Makes Sense

This year, American homeowners will spend over $30 billion on home security equipment. Most homeowners view the purchase of new security equipment as a good investment. Choosing the right security upgrades and improvements for your home is not easy.

Taking the time to inspect your existing door locks is wise when trying to get a true assessment of how secure your residence is. The following are some reasons why investing in new home door locks is a smart move.

Dealing With the Aftermath of a Recent Home Burglary
One of the worst experiences you can have as a property owner is having your home robbed. Once your home is burglarized, your main goal needs to be preventing this from ever happening again. The only way to accomplish this goal is by replacing some of the outdated security equipment you have in place.

Getting new door locks installed is a great way to turn your home into an impenetrable fortress. Choosing the right locks and getting them installed is only possible with the help of an experienced locksmith. Working with a reputable lock rekeying service Orlando is crucial when trying to get this job done quickly and correctly. Before hiring a locksmith to do this work, be sure to assess their reputation and the level of experience they have.

Fix Lock Functionality Issues
Are you having problems with one or more of the door locks in your residence? Rather than allowing these problems to linger, you need to address them head-on. Completely replacing the faulty door locks in your home is vital when trying to keep burglars out of your home. Taking the time to research all of the replacement door locks at your disposal is the only way to ensure the right decision is made.

A locksmith should have no problem getting your new door locks installed with ease.

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Officially Winter

Today, December 1st is the official meteorological start of winter. However, based on the calendar, winter starts on the 21st of December, the winter solstice, which is the shortest day of the year. 

Today we woke up to a cold morning, roofs and walkways and plants, and any surface where snow can land on, blanketed in white. I always find delight in seeing snow. It hasn't snowed for some time in a long time now so the color contrast outside is a very welcome sight. But I had to sweep the snow on our walkway so that no one will accidentally slip while passing by. 

The snow is wet though and the temperature is not so low (about 1°C), so I guess it will not stay long and will eventually melt away during the day. But it is a good start for December... And perhaps, when one dreams long enough for a white Christmas, it will be granted this year. Who knows? 

The Possibilities of Each Room in Your House

You probably spend a lot of time in your home, and it makes sense that you want to make the most of your space. For most people, each room in a house has untapped potential. It's rare that everything is just perfect, and it is even rarer if it stays that way. This makes home remodeling or home building a never-ending possibility in the lives of many. Here's a look at getting the most out of each room.

The Kitchen
For some, this is the centerpiece of the home. If you want an exceptional kitchen, with lots of space, new state-of-the-art appliances, beautiful lighting and exceptional flooring, working with a local home builder Ponte Vedra can get you what you want. With a new build and a builder proficient in customizing homes for clients, you can get the most out of a design. A truly outstanding kitchen will complement the rest of your home, and give you a look to that inspires the other rooms.

The Bathroom
This is another room  with unlimited potential. A look at vintage bathroom styles from the past century clues you in on your options. Some of these might seem a bit outlandish, but it is fun to look at what has been done in the past:

A 1930s bathroom with turquoise tiles
A 1940s geometric teal bathroom
A 1950s pink and silver bathroom
A 1960s bathroom in blue florals
A 1960s hot pink bathroom
While you probably won't want these styles, you might find something you like from the past. A new room can always borrow from earlier decades.

The Bedroom
Among the most intimate of rooms, a bedroom should match the personality of its owner or owners. Sometimes it can be hard to please two different sensibilities, but with the skill of professionals it can be done to perfection. 

3 Reasons To Embrace a Nautical Interior Design

Decorating a home is a surefire way to make it a unique place that reflects the personality of the people living there. Before starting, a theme should be selected that can run through the room and unify the home. Choosing a nautical theme can be a great way to decorate a home in a classy manner that still leaves lots of options for customization open for a truly personalized result.

1. Customization
The romance of the sea has inspired many famous paintings, songs and poems. Visitors to harbors can watch the bustle of ships arriving and leaving with the help of tugboat services Luling LA, waves lapping at the docks and seagulls flying overhead. There are many ways to incorporate the wonder of the sea into a home. The color scheme can contain plenty of whites and blues or consist of shades of brown. Rooms can be decorated like the interior of a ship or a lighthouse or embrace a more subtle tone with the nautical aspects showing up in paintings and decorative items.

2. Abundant Choices
The nautical theme has been popular for a long time, so many things have been created over the decades that will fit in with whatever aspect is chosen, whether is it lighthouses, luxury ocean liners or underwater monsters of the deep. Thrift shops, yard sales and internet shops can all be perused to find hidden gems.

3. Timeless Look
A beautifully decorated home that embraces the classic nautical feel will have a timeless quality. Because the theme has remained popular for so long, it will likely be enjoyable for years. Since there is an abundance of decorative options, it is always possible to freshen up rooms with new items without giving up the nautical feel.

Choosing a nautical theme can be a great choice for homeowners who want a fun way to express their creativity while creating a classy look they can be proud of for a long time.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Antiques That Hold Value

Interior design styles go in and out of fashion, and so do the furniture styles, color palettes and patterns that go with them. To a certain degree, antiques are the same way. Sometimes they are more popular, and their value goes up. Other times they fall from favor, and their value drops off. If you're looking tor tips about how to spit antiques that will hold value, look no further. 

When you're looking for furniture that will hold value, you need to pay attention to the quality and the maker, but don't underestimate the importance of functionality. Many antique beds have lost value because people don't want the smaller antique sizes while you can always find use for high quality oriental rugs Atlanta or your area. 

Well made old tools have held their value remarkably well. This is partly because people like using them; they are often better quality than their modern equivalents. They also have aesthetic value as decorative items, though that is subject to the whims of fashion.

Collectibles are perhaps the most hit-or-miss of antiques. Generally they don't have a lot of functionality, and quality isn't always a consideration. The value of a collectible is build largely on how rare they are and how well-known they are, so consider both of these before investing. 

Not all antiques are created equal, and not all antiques will hold value, even if they are of the finest quality. An item is only worth what people are willing to pay for it, after all. However, if you are diligent about maintenance and discerning about quality, you can find antiques that will hold their value, even through the toughest economic times. Sometimes, it takes a little patience. Maybe no one is looking for that piece right now, but the pendulum of fashion will swing around eventually. 

The First Advent

It is officially Christmas. It started yesterday, on the first Sunday of advent, where one lights the first candle of the advent wreath. 

The first candle symbolizes hope. This year, there are so many things to be hopeful for - a cure or vaccine against the COVID-19 virus among others. We are hopeful that this pandemic, like all other pandemic, will end and we can all go back to enjoying the company of our friends and relatives, meet new people, travel new places - all without the fear of being infected and getting sick, or worse, infect others.

We are also hopeful for a healthy 2021, hopeful that our plans will push through, hopeful to see and visit family and relatives back home again. 

What are you hopeful for? 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Small Engine Repair: What You Need to Know

Your small engine might stop working when you most need it. When such happens, the quickest option is to look for small engine repair near me to ensure that it is repaired as soon as possible. 

Whenever your small engine gets damaged, you might not have the money to buy a new one. This does not mean you will leave your work undone. For instance, if you need to mow your lawn or blow snow from your pavements and the equipment is not running well, it might be frustrating. These are urgent activities that cannot wait longer than they already. The best thing to do is search for a small engine repair shop near you, and you will be sorted out.

Buying new equipment might be costly. This makes repairing the small engine the best option because it might not have any other faulty parts. You do not have to buy a new one, yet you can have the engine running again. The cost of repairing the engine is relatively lower than that of buying a new one. All you have to do is talk to your repair shop owner to discuss an affordable rate for repairing your small engine.

If your engine becomes faulty a few months after purchase, it would be irrational to buy other equipment. The current one is still new, and therefore, you are better off having it repaired. Shopping for new equipment can be hectic since you need to window shop for quality. You also have to buy one that matches your budget. If you do not have time to do all these, why not have the small engine repaired by a shop near you? It is less time-consuming since you will not have to window-shop or consider factors such as quality.

Repairing a small engine might not be as easy as it seems. One, it will require an expert in engines to do so. The repair process involves alt of activities, and you might get dirty while doing it. If you want to avoid all these hustles, it is advisable to seek professional services to repair your small engine. The expert will ensure to correct the fault that was making the engine not work. They would also help you with frequent maintenance to avoid cases where the engine won’t run at all.

Equipment with small engines plays an important role at home. Hence, it is necessary to keep them in good condition at all times. Small engine repair shops know how to do it. You should look for one near your area to avoid the inconveniences that faulty equipment might bring.

Small engines have become one of the most common things that run things around the home. Whether for personal or commercial use, they are prone to get damaged. Whenever such happens, it is necessary to take the right action as soon as possible to get back to your work. Companies such as Westside Small Engine Repair have qualified professionals that will repair your engine as soon as possible. 

Prepping Lexi for TÜV Inspection

Car inspections are necessary to endure that your vehicle is safe to be used in public and to check out the conformity of the emissions to existing standards. Should faults or issues arise during the inspection, they should be adressed or rectified first. Once done, a reinspection is conducted. Should there be no further issues, you get a certificate confirming that the vehicle is safe to use in the public. You then get a sticker that is attached to your vehicle's license plate, which tells you when your next car inspections will be done. 

Lexi, our Toyota Corolla sports edition is due for inspection soon. She has an oil leak somewhere and my husband, being the handyman that he is, is trying to look for the source of the leak. So he has Lexi under close scrutiny in our small garage. He is only able to work on Lexi when time allows him to. That means after he finishes his work (he is in home office by the way), which is oftentimes already late. In the winter months, it is already very dark at 5 o' clock and so, he can't do much. 

Hopefully he will be able to fix this problem before then so that Lexi can run without problems again. 

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Tips for Successful Interior Decorating

Whether you need to decorate a new home or want to revamp the look of your current house, you can do it without giving up all you already have.

Your home should remain comfortable, but retain an updated look. You can achieve this with a few updates or by contracting with one of the many interior design companies Denver offers. Even when creating a new look for your home, you need not throw out all of your existing furniture. Pick out your favorite pieces to keep and have the designer create the new look with them included.

A few exceptions exist. Interior designers agree that some looks should not resurface. Their design personalities simply clash with today’s way of life. This list lets you avoid huge mistakes, like the room full of flowered furniture ala Laura Ashley in the 1980s.

Carpets and Rugs
Too much or too little reflects badly on design. The 1960s and early 70s obsession with a wall-to-wall carpet should not come back, reports Insider. Actress Jayne Mansfield once had her bathroom carpeted wall-to-wall, ceiling-to-floor in pink no less. Conversely, the popular notion from just a decade ago that your accent rug should fit the size of the table on top of it died. Today’s designers have learned that moderation rules. You can use a room-sized rug without it touching the corners. The pattern works better than monochrome. Super plush and flokati rugs only work in very specific settings.

Ah, the 1940s innovation of linoleum meant you could have a new floor in an instant or at least an afternoon. It rolled out in sheets and covered many bathrooms and kitchens. Today, you should choose from tiles or laminate flooring, marble, or stone. Hardwood floors with accent rugs make a cozy look, too.

The Overly-Designed Look
Some interior designs of the past turned out a bit too much like a staged shoot for House Beautiful. Your home should look lived in and comfortable. Some designers chose matching furniture sets and attempted austere monochromatic designs. Today’s interior designers understand how to make a house feel like home much better. Include a variety of pieces with similar looks in the same color family or hue, but refrain from purchasing furniture sets such as you would buy in most chain furniture stores. Purchase a couch from one collection, a chair from another, end tables from a different furnishing designer, etc.

Hiring an interior designer does not mean handing them your house keys and letting them do all the work. You still need to understand why they make the suggestions they do and vocally contribute which pieces of furniture and art you currently own that you just cannot give up. This helps you obtain a cozy result that makes you love walking in the front door each night.

A Bedroom in the Attic

My first born's bedroom in the attic is just about the largest sleeping room in the house. Technically, we are finished with the renovations. New wallpaper, white paint, carpet flooring and baseboards are finished and she already moved in, along with the furniture that she decided to keep. 

All that is left is how to decorate it to make the room more relaxing and a place to retreat to after a busy day. I wanted it to be a room fitting for a girl her age but designed in such a way that it will be easy to update once her taste and color or design preference changes. Basically, her room has the sloping roof on the long side and it has two skylights for windows. We placed one bed on one of the shorter side, while her book shelves and study table are positioned on the opposite side. This is to separate her study and sleeping area. Now she has plenty of space in the middle of the room. 

I read from interior design magazines and online articles that low furniture for storage are my best options when choosing furniture. I could place a lowboard below one of the skylight windows and then perhaps a lounge chair beneath the other skylight window for when she wants to take a break from all the studying.

I am also thinking of placing a round low table in the middle of the room. Like this table we found at Ikea last Saturday:

We plan to illuminate the room with lamps, a standing lamp beside the lounge chair and table lamps for her bedside table and the lowboard. There is this simple but modern design that I particularly like:

I also plan to place some framed photos on the wall where her bed is. And maybe add this printed deer to give the room a touch of color:

We can't wait to finish decorating her room so we can move on to the next room in the house. But because my hands are full with our 2nd baby, I can only do so little at one time. Well, we have all the time in the world. Slowly but surely, we will be able to renovate and redecorate each room to our liking. 

Most Common Reasons to Contact a Locksmith

Whether it’s your vehicle, your home, or your business, getting locked out can be extremely frustrating and inconvenient. The good news is there is generally a Locksmith Denver residents can count on to get them into their property or vehicle. A locksmith is someone who is trained to duplicate keys, replace locks, install security cameras, and unlock your vehicle without damage to the car. Here are some of the most common reasons why you might need to get help from a locksmith.

Moving into a New House or Apartment
Moving is stressful enough, so the last thing you want to worry about is how many other people may have a key to your new home. Even if it is a brand new home, there is still a chance that there are people out there that may have a key to gain access to your home. Once you have moved in, the best way to ensure the safety of your family is to contact a locksmith to install new locks or rekey the existing locks.

Emergency Locksmith
One of the most common reasons why people contact an emergency locksmith is when they’ve been locked out of the home or vehicle. The first thought many people have is to break a window so they can gain access, but this will be a costly way to enter your home or vehicle. Whether you went outside to get the mail and the door shut and locked behind you or you locked your keys in the car at the mall, a locksmith has the tools and knowledge to safely get you back inside your home or vehicle.

Forgotten Passcodes or Combinations
Forgetting the passcode for a home security system or the combination for a safe happens more often than many people realize. Electronic systems are great for eliminating the need to carry several physical keys, but they are also prone to people forgetting the code or combination necessary to gain access. It’s completely normal for people to write down passcodes and hide them in a safe place, such as a safe or in a desk drawer, but what happens when you forget the combination or the passcode for the security system on your home? A local locksmith can reset and recode the electronic keypad for you.

The best time to search for a local Denver locksmith is before you need them. There are hundreds of locksmiths in the area, so it’s important to choose the one you can trust and that is reliable. It’s also recommended that you keep the contact information of a local locksmith in all areas where you may need their services, including the house and your vehicle. It is best to hire a local locksmith because they will be easy to contact and you most likely won’t need to wait long for them to get to where you are. It’s also safer and less costly to hire a locksmith that is local to the area. Make sure the locksmith you choose is certified and experienced in the types of services that you may need, such as getting into a locked car or recoding your alarm system.

Gänsebesen with Friends

The first advent is in four days and for us who love traditions, it means a visit at Bauerles Besen in Fellbach with our family friends. Dining at this seasonal family run restaurant is one of the highlights of Christmas... Because winter / Christmas time means goose time and eating good food with good friends. 

We especially love the crispy goose served with Apfelmus (apple puree) and Bratensauce, and served optional with Semmelknödel, Rotkraut or potato salad. The goose dish is best enjoyed with a glass of wine from the restaurant's own winery. 

I only have wonderful memories of eating goose, with family and friends. The restaurant has also a very homey, warm ambience with hardwood furniture. This year, I will miss the ambiance and the cheery atmosphere due to the pandemic but luckily, we can still order and just pick the food up so we can enjoy it at the comfort of our own home. 

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Cheap Ways To Update Your Rental Property

When it comes to making money on investment properties such as apartment buildings, the time you put into keeping things both attractive and functional will be paid back to you in the form of consistent tenants. Here are some simple ways to spruce up your older rental property without spending a fortune.

Repaint Inside and Out
Any designer would tell you that a fresh coat of paint can go a long way in making a space feel fresh and clean. If your apartment complex is starting to look a little shabby, repainting it can immediately grant it a new breath of life. If possible, repaint the exterior as well as the interior, as curb appeal definitely adds to your chances of keeping renters.

Refinish Interior Surfaces
Whether or not the surfaces in your apartment lobby and common areas are considered "high end," they could probably use a little TLC. A deep clean and refinish on flooring, countertops, elevator touch pads, and even window trim can really work wonders in making everything look crisp and inviting. By investing in projects such as metal refinishing Manhattan NY apartments immediately set themselves apart from the competition. 

Add Contemporary Trim
If you take a look at any newer multi-resident buildings going up across the country, you'll find that many of them are leaning towards a contemporary design on the exterior of the building. While you may not have much control over the "bones" of your building, you can add a contemporary twist by looking into low-cost options for window and door trim. Many of today's options are made from materials that are durable and easy to clean, while replicating more expensive looks, such as natural wood or aluminum siding.

The truth is, you don't have to spend a fortune to make a big difference in the way your property looks and sells. By repainting and refinishing major surfaces, adding contemporary trim, or looking into other ways you can update the feel of the building, the chances of keeping your investment property full of happy tenants will improve greatly.

Samantha's Crib

This is the name of our first ever rental property back in my home country. It is a one-bedroom condominium unit in one of the properties constructed by one of the country's supposed to be best developers. We
officially opened and rented it out to short term renters via AirBnB in the middle of 2019. 

A fully furnished unit, there was a lot of investment, time, skills and love poured into this property. The photos say it all, and the positive reviews we received from our guests were just inspiring and overwhelming. Of course there will always be room for improvement as we are newcomers to the hospitality business. 

Then everything went on a standstill in November 2019 when a strong earthquake hit our City. This was followed by a series of aftershocks and then another strong one in December. One of the building's foundations was structurally damaged and our unit was not spared. It incurred major damages and we had to cancel bookings since then. To make matters worse, early this year the COVID-19 pandemic happened, and with the lockdowns and travel restrictions, our unit has been closed since then. We are waiting for the developer to come and conduct the repair works, and this has been postponed again and again. It was supposed to be in October this year and they moved it again to February next year. 

But what can we do? We can only wait... And hope that soon, we will be able to reopen to the public again. Here is praying that things will be moving forward soon. 

Gift Ideas for Your Outdoor-Loving Family

Shopping for your loved ones is hard enough, but it is all the more challenging when they have interests that differ from yours. If you have friends or family that love being active outdoors, and you want to find a gift that will embody the things they love to do, keep reading. Here are a few ideas for the more adventurous people in your life.  

Buy an Experience
Guided hunting trips New Mexico are a great alternative to your typical holiday offering, specifically for those who relish in time off the beaten path. There is nothing that shows you care for your friends or family more than giving a gift that they will be able to appreciate for years to come. Buying an experience is an over-looked option that can mean the world to some pone who prefers making memories over a tangible present.

Find the Gear
Suppose the outdoor-loving friends you have in mind already have a few trips planned for the upcoming year. You can add to their excitement by gifting the necessary equipment and gear they need to be safe on their journey. You can look into a guide of ten items of gear every outdoors-person needs to own for recommendations. The following items may also pique your interest:
  • Weather protective clothing
  • Hiking boots
  • Gloves
  • Head protection
Picking the perfect present for someone you care about is overwhelming. Still, you can use their hobbies and interests to get your creative juices flowing, making the whole process much more manageable. It also helps to keep a mindful ear out at get-togethers for any hints as to what your friends and family may want when the holidays and birthdays come around. However you choose to surprise your loved ones, you can relish in the warm feeling that comes from giving a killer gift.     

The 1st Advent

"Soon it will be Christmas day... " goes one of those classic Christmas songs. And indeed, it will soon be Christmas. Next Sunday is already the 1st advent. And this year, for the first time in the 11 years of living here in Germany, I finally managed to make a round advent wreath, and a week early at that!

I bought the wreath structure made of Nordmann fir and then put in the candles and decorated it with my eldest while my husband looked after the baby. I realized I missed doing crafts with my eldest since it had been a while since we did something handmade together. 

We went for a semi-natural theme, and used what I already have at home from our previous Christmases: cinnamon sticks, pine cones, wood figures, red berries, and repurposed the star ornaments that I usually hang on our Christmas tree. I wasn't able to buy some white ribbons to emphasize the candles. I will be adding them as soon as I purchase some.

So there... We are now ready for the 1st Advent. What do you think of our creation?

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

How To Host a Movie Night at Home

Lockdowns around the world have many people stuck at home. It's a time of confusion and boredom for those who are used to being out and about. Thankfully, there are many different activities to keep oneself entertained during quarantine, and a movie night is a fun idea for film lovers. Continue reading to learn how to put together the perfect quarantine movie night.

An HDMI cord can put your computer screen on a bigger screen, but to fully replicate the theater experience, consider audio visual projectors for your home. The image can be projected on any blank wall or backdrop so viewers can see the picture in its entirety. When not playing movies, a projector is perfect for displaying funky backgrounds anytime you want to have a dance party or create a relaxing ambiance.

Have plenty of snacks available for your housemates or family. Popcorn is a universally loved cinema snack that can be dressed in butter, caramel, or any seasonings to enhance the flavor. Candy complements the salty, savory taste of popcorn. Along with traditional snacks, try cooking up some new delicious snacks that will satisfy everyone's cravings.

The Movies
A movie night without movies is like a fashion show without fashion—it just cannot go on. Familiar movies never get old, but a new movie you've never seen before could be your new favorite. If a movie marathon is in the books, select a mix of movies under a certain theme, or no theme at all. Many streaming services offer libraries of films of all genres and can be paired with DVDs, also.

Movies are an everlasting pastime that bring people together, even when the theaters are closed. Have these three main things ready so you and your housemates can have a movie night to remember without leaving the house.

Christmas Decor Ideas for Your Home

Christmas is just around the corner, as of this writing only 36 days to go. With the COVID-19 pandemic, I find it important more than ever to have that Christmas holiday festive mood in the house because everything else, especially the beloved Christmas markets are unfortunately cancelled. 

To have that festive holiday feeling, I have noted some nice Christmas and winter decorating ideas both for indoors and outdoors that I would like to apply into our home.

1. Nordic Gnome with Pointed Hat

Aren't they cute? I found this on Pinterest, which leads to an Instagram account (and I don't have one). I want to make these Nordic gnomes and place them outside our front porch. To make these, I would need fir branches which are hopefully now available at the garden centers, a wire mesh for the base structure, some binding wire, a big fat potato for the nose, filling material for the pointed cap and a white pointed cap. Perhaps a red cap will also make it more colorful? I am excited so wish me luck!

2. Outdoor Christmas Lantern for the Porch

These outdoor Christmas lanterns are just gorgeous, aren't they? Found this idea On Sutton Place and there's even an instruction on how to DIY. Now, if I can just find a red lantern similar to the one on the photo, that would be great! It definitely gives that festive Christmas feel. And it is not so large so it would be perfect for our small front porch.

3. Upcycling those Snow Sleds

We have a wooden sled that has been unused for some time now. And we can't go sledding just yet and I doubt if it will snow this year. I think I will put the sled into good use by turning it into a shelf for some small Christmas decor. This is perfect both as outdoor and indoor deco. Add some block candles to get that cozy mood, some fir branches, wooden stars and Christmas figures and you have a homey and natural Christmas deco.

4. Christmas Wreath for the Door

A Christmas wreath on your front door should always be present at Christmastime. They say "you are always welcome to this home" and will give both family and friends visiting that feeling of belongingness. I always smile at homes with wreaths on their doors, not only during the holiday seasons. I would like to make a wreath this year made of natural materials. Let's see if I can outdo the one pictured here. Hehe!

5. Advent wreath

There's always a thousand and one ideas for your advent wreath. I have always had a rectangular shaped advent wreath. This year, I want to make the traditional round one. Because the first Advent is in two weeks, I think I would make this one first. 

I should make a trip to the garden center soon, baby in tow, and shop for materials that I will be needing. Will post what I have done soon!

Hot Signs Your Refrigerator May Be on the Blink

The refrigerator may be the most important appliance in every house. Homeowners realize the value of these units when the day comes they break down. How do you know when that day is coming? Your refrigerator will tell you it is in need of repair or is about to reach the end of its life when it shows the following signs.

Noisy Motor

Sometimes increased motor noise is the only signal that your refrigerator is heading for trouble; you may notice that the compressor either sounds louder or runs longer than before. Even if you notice nothing else wrong with your refrigerator, you should consider calling mobile appliance repair Albany NY when you pick up on new or increased motor sounds.

Warm Interior Temperature

Spoiled food can also signal reduced refrigerator performance. If the internal temperature of the appliance does not hold at your temperature setting, your food will not remain optimally chilled. Because this condition can cause you and your family to suffer from gastric distress, you need to call in repair technicians right away. First, however, make certain that you have set the temperatures to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Hot Exterior

Occasionally, you should pull your refrigerator away from the wall and check the temperature in the back where the motor is located. Ideally, you would have performed this task for the first time when it was brand new to gauge its normal warmth. If it feels excessively hot, or the temperature has increased at all over time, it may not be ventilating well. You should first vacuum the coils to see if that resolves the issue before taking further action.

All appliances do have a limited lifespan. When you see ongoing problems with your refrigerator, you should consider whether yours is ready for replacement. In the meantime, if you pay attention to your refrigerator’s operation and work with a repair service, you can keep it from dying prematurely.

Tuesday, November 17, 2020

2 Must-Do's Before Your Baby Arrives

If you're expecting a baby, you probably have a list a mile long of things you need to purchase, things that need to be done at work or at home, or even an endless stream of worries keeping you up at night. While all of that is normal, it can also take its toll. And because your overall health is so important during this exciting time, making sure you prioritize now will ensure a smoother transition upon baby's arrival. Read on for two must-do's to add to your list. 

1. Have a Plan for Childcare
Childcare is one of the most important things you'll need to figure out, and it can also be one of the most stressful. Since stress isn't good for either one of you, placing this at the top of your priority list will serve you well. That way when the time comes for you to go back to work, you'll already have a reliable plan in place. 

Since it might take a while to find a provider, setting up tours ahead of time for a daycare center Batavia OH will help you narrow down your options based on your personal preferences and provider availability. 

2. Purchase and Install the Car Seat
While getting the baby's car seat squared away early might not seem like something that should be done way in advance, rest assured it is. By planning ahead, you'll give yourself plenty of time to research different options, purchase it and have it professionally installed into your vehicle. 

Since your baby's safety is paramount, don't hesitate to devote a good amount of time to choosing a car seat. Having it professionally installed is also a great idea, particularly if you're a first-time parent. The peace of mind you'll receive will be more than worth it. 

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