Archive for October, 2011
Pass the time when moving in a car with some of these creative activities
By Richard Farrell
Special to Relocation.com
Moving across the country in car is one way to save money. However, when you add kids into that mix you have to consider that they may get bored – especially when you will be driving for hours on end. Check out some of our creative solutions to make it easier to get to your new home when driving.
Planning the Trip:
- Once you have chosen your route, it is time to calculate how long you are going to be a passenger or driver in the car. Allow for unforeseen delays such as traffic backlogs and diversions along the way. Once you know your likely journey time you can plan around it better.
- Pack a cooler of healthy snacks and lunch options for your initial ride. Once you get on the road, plan to use drive-through food outlets along the way as this will save a lot of time. Keep a couple of trash bags handy for any garbage.
- Wear sensible clothing and shoes for the journey. Choose comfortable shoes and clothing that are easy to slip off so that you can relax and let your feet breathe. Long trips will likely result in posture issues and your feet will soon remind you of the fact that you are not comfortable. Shoelaces are not practical in these circumstances.
- Should you be sharing the driving, do make sure you stop in a safe place and take time out to walk about and do some breathing exercises before you take the wheel. Include some stretching exercises too..
- Consuming of alcoholic beverages immediately before or while traveling makes for another definite “no.” Apart from affecting your reaction time it is breaking the law and your journey to your new destination will be remembered for all the wrong reasons!
7 Fun Tips to Pass Time in a Car:
- Bring CD’s. Sort through your CD collection and pick out some favorites and maybe a couple that you have not played for some time.
- Radio. Satellite radio played through your car sound system is of excellent quality and clarity. Tune in to your favorite stations before you set off.
- Books and Magazines. Kids love books and magazines. Make sure you have plenty for the journey.
- Music DVD’s. You may be lucky enough to have a sophisticated in-car system. If not, then there are plenty of good quality portable players for you to enjoy the latest movie offerings as well.
- Take Naps. Short napping is good, but sleeping the entire journey may be considered antisocial, and besides you will be missing the passing scenery and could arrive feeling less than your best.
- Food. Choose snack food that does not make a big mess. Dry snacks such as chips and peanuts or glazed dry fruit are great for the car. Avoid too much intake of food and drink or you will be stopping at every restroom along the way.
- Rotate Drivers Regularly. This is very important for long journeys. If you are the only driver you will need to consider breaking your journey with an overnight stop. In any event, do stop every 90 minutes but make sure you pull over in a safe place.
Spruce up your home with some curb appeal
Your front yard is one of the first things a homebuyer will notice. You may have brand new kitchen appliances, or have excellent hardwood floorings, but if you don’t have curb appeal, buyers may not be interested in checking out the interiors of your home. One of the best ways to reel in potential buyers is to curb appeal. Here are 10 ideas to make your curb look attractive.
1.) The exterior home: Before starting on your yard, check the physical appearance of your house. Take a look at the entire neighborhood and get a general idea about colors. Try and choose colors that stand out among other houses but are not very loud. Pressure washing bricks and curbs is also an excellent idea.
2.) Highlight your home: Make sure to accentuate the features of your home. If you have a drive way you could install lights or have decorative pillars that lead a way to your home. Having beautiful plants and shrubs will also add in curb appeal.
3.) Interior decorations shouldn’t hamper the exterior appeal: Several homeowners decorate their home such that they hamper the exterior beauty of the house. Your interior furniture and fittings should not be seen if you are standing on your curb. Your curb should be an extension of your interiors but it should have its own identity as well.
4.) Entry areas and walkway: Your entry areas and walkways are one of the most important factors of your home. You can improve the look of your sidewalk, driveway, and stairs around your house by removing all debris, weeds, and washing your pavement. If you park cars on your driveway, make sure you clean all oil and petrol stains.
5.) Keep unsightly items away: Curb appeal is associated with the way your family lives. Garbage cans, debris, trash bags, and gardening tools must be kept away from your curbs. These items will give your house an unkempt look, and help homebuyers form negative opinions about your home.
6.) Manicured gardens: Make sure your grass is cut and trimmed at regular intervals. If you have flower beds or shrubs, they must be watered and cared for. For dead and dry spots on your garden, you can buy garden fixtures and hide them.
7.) Constant care is essential: Caring for your home must be a part of your daily routine. If you start caring for your house because buyers are coming, the effects may not have the same impact as maintaining it.
8.) Replace old items: Things like mailboxes, number plates and hardware that are installed in around your house have a major impression on the buyers. Buy new elements to replace the older ones.
9.) Spice up your outdoor furnishings: The appearance of your outdoor and patio furniture should be fresh and clean. These are considered leisure areas and should always appeal homebuyers.
10.) Add exciting colors: To get curb appeal, you must consider adding some color to your yard. Getting in colorful flowering plants and furniture will add additional color to the exterior section of your home.
By Maria Paulia Belgado
Special to Relocation.com
The holidays are upon us again, and first up is the frighteningly delightful celebration of all things ghoulish – Halloween! It’s that time of year when the young (and young at heart) dress up in celebration of All Hallow’s Eve. Dressing up isn’t just for your kids – you can dress up your home as well, to welcome trick-or-treaters or guests for a Halloween Party. To help you along, here are some Halloween home decorating ideas to give your home a festive new look.
Idea #1 Scary Carved Pumpkins:
Pumpkin carving is a Halloween tradition, and is a great activity for kids (though the young ones should be supervised!) If you’ve never done it before, it’s easy to make your own Jack-O-Lantern. Take a fresh pumpkin – the bigger the better – in a shape you like. Draw a circle on the top, around the stem, and cut carefully. Take the top off and set it aside. Scoop out the insides and throw it out. Now, draw a scary face on the side of the pumpkin, and carefully cut it out it a small knife. When you’re done, place a small votive candle inside and put the top back on. And there you have – a pumpkin carving worthy of Halloween! Do this with several pumpkins and place it along your porch or front yard to greet your guests.
Idea #2 Spooky Scarecrow:
A scarecrow isn’t just for the birds – but it can be fun for Halloween too. First, carve an extra pumpkin (same instructions as above) and set it aside. Take some old clothes, like a shirt and pants or overalls, and stuff it with straw. Sew the top and bottom together to make the scarecrow body, and cut out a hole between the legs. Then, drive a large stake to the ground, and push your scarecrow body through the stake, leaving some room on the top. Secure it with some twine if you need to. Now, take your carved pumpkin, cut a hole in the bottom for the stake, and place it on top of the body. Top it off with a straw hat and there you go – a spooky scarecrow to frighten (and delight) those trick-or-treaters!
Idea #3 Holiday Wreath:
Not all Halloween decorations need to be scary. Halloween is also when fall is in full swing – when the leaves turn brown and fall to the ground and crunch beneath our boots. Celebrate this time of the year with a holiday wreath. It’s really easy to make, if you have the right materials. You’ll need a circular frame of some kind, and you can cut one out of Styrofoam or you can use an embroidery hoop. Using crafter’s glue or a hot glue gun, you can attach all kinds of fall-related items to the hoop. It’s good to have a base material of some kind, and usually, brown twigs are a great base. Just take the twigs and glue it to the frame, in the same direction. Then you can attach all kinds of things to it – pine cones, leaves, miniature pumpkins, small ears of corn, etc. Or if you want to keep with the spooky Halloween theme, then you can use plastic spiders, vats, skulls or mini Jack-O-Lanterns.
These are just some of the basic home decorating ideas for Halloween you can do to prepare your home for this fun and frightening holiday. Be creative and try your own decorating ideas – there are no rules and remember it’s all for fun!
Moving can be positive - especially when you are moving into a bigger home.
By Dermound Becker
Special to Relocation.com
Just the thought of having to plan, organize, sort out, downsize and then pack everything into cartons and boxes can be daunting, but there are some positive aspects of moving that are both invigorating and exciting.
You can afford to buy a home. The most common reason for moving is when you can finally offer to transition from renting to buying. This is a huge step in the right direction to financial independence – and will most probably be the best financial move you will make in your lifetime. If one is able to purchase a property with a monthly mortgage repayment similar to the amount you are paying to rent, the net result is that you are basically paying yourself the rental amount and, one day in the future, when the mortgage is paid off you will have your own home and be able to live rent free for the rest of your days. This would clearly be a good change in your lifestyle.
You are moving for a new job. Another common reason why moving is exciting is when you have to relocate for a business or career. This might mean an increase in salary, a rise in one’s status, a chance to improve oneself and move up the corporate ladder. This would also mean a positive change in how you live and what you are able to afford.
You need to downsize. At the other end of the scale, people move when they find that they simply cannot afford to continue living where they are due to rising rents or mortgage repayments or the loss of a job. All is not lost though, as a move to a smaller residence or to a home of equal size in another, less expensive, neighborhood can also be a change for the good. There will be less keeping up with the Joneses and less overall expenses, thus freeing up money for things that you would like to do, such as being able to take a vacation, taking up a sport or hobby and having some spare cash to go to a restaurant or movie. Moving for these reason will encourage you to join clubs or volunteer for a good cause in your area in order to meet new people; and to spend time either alone or with your family while you explore and learn all about your new location – proof that change is good.