Tuesday, January 15, 2019

7 Simple and Cheap Upgrades for Your Garden

garden upgrades

One of the best ways to level up and freshen the look of your home is to upgrade your garden! As the saying goes, “First impressions last.” Your garden can make either a good or a wrong lasting impression on people who see your home for the very first time. Before anyone ever gets to see the inside of your home, they see the fa├žade and the garden first. Hence, it is essential to create a positive and beautiful first impression.

It is a common misconception that garden upgrades have to be big and expensive. No, there are many ways for you to DIY or save on costs. Here are some simple and cheap upgrades that you can do for your garden:

  1. Upgrade your garden shed.

Most homeowners think that it’s necessary to have a shed so that they can turn it into a storage space. However, it is often the case that the shed is piled up with things that you no longer use, as your proper storage space is usually in your garage. Home experts suggest that you declutter your shed and turn it into something more useful.

You can turn your shed into any of the following:

  1. Summer house
  2. Playhouse, if you have kids
  3. Guesthouse or guest room
  4. Family room or receiving area

For more ideas on garden sheds, you can check out EasyShed Garden Sheds for some inspiration.

  1. Create a mini vegetable garden.

mini garden

If you have extra space to spare in the garden, one of the easiest ways for you to make an upgrade is to allocate that space for a little vegetable garden. Aside from its aesthetic value, having a vegetable garden is also one way of ensuring your family’s health by adding fresh and organic vegetables or herbs to your diet sans all the unnecessary and potentially harmful chemicals.

Starting a vegetable garden is not as daunting as it sounds. You can start small by using small pots or plant beds.

  1. Clean up, throw away, and donate!

Backyards have the tendency to be a pile-up of many unused items that you decide to keep for future use but you’ve never gotten to actually use them. Over the years, you can be hoarding useless things. All this clutter immediately dampens the total look of your garden or yard. If you can do one great thing for your garden today that does not need so much money, that would be to declutter.

If you want things fast and easy, you can also seek the help of rubbish removal services such as 1300 Rubbish Removal to get rid of your existing pile of unused items in your shed.

  1. Upgrade or reupholster your outdoor furniture.

If you’ve had your outdoor furniture for many years now, and it is getting as old as your grandma, maybe it’s about time for you to make an upgrade. Now, you may be thinking that outdoor furniture is expensive. Yes, it can be. However, the options for you to buy cheaper ones are also available. You can scout the following areas:

  1. Nearby garage sales
  2. Thrift shops or second-hand stores
  3. HomeGoods, Home Depot, Ikea, and other furniture shops that offer affordable items or hold sales

If your furniture is relatively new but there needs to be some repair done, then now is the time for you to do it. You can upgrade your outdoor furniture in many ways such as:

  1. Reupholster any damaged or outdated areas.
  2. Update your pillowcases, cushions, and throws.
  1. Check your outdoor lighting.

Outdoor lighting provides more than just the safety aspect at night; it also adds aesthetic value to your garden. You don’t have to go all-out in buying various outdoor lighting. You can start with one area and move to the next area at another time. Home experts suggest the following:

  1. Hang rattan ball lights or solar tree lights all around your trees to give your garden a cozy feel.
  2. Go for yellow lights as it tends to provide a very relaxing ambiance.
  3. Light your path up with little solar lights.
  1. Plant a tree or shrub.

If your garden has remained to be bare and you have the space for it, you can plant a tree or little shrubs. Although you will have to wait a couple of years for you to enjoy the shade from your tree or the fruits that it will bear, it would be nice for your kids to see a tree grow along with them!

A bonus tip would be to install a tree house if you already have an existing tree that is fit for it!

  1. Paint your fence.

The fence is one of the most neglected areas in the garden. You may haven’t noticed it, but maybe your fence is in dire need of a little TLC, such as a brand new paint color. If you’re more on the bold side, paint your fence a different color so that it becomes more apparent that you’ve done something new to upgrade the look of your garden.


All these upgrades are simple, fun, and easy to do. They will not burn a hole in your pocket, nor will it also take away so much of your time. Albeit easy and straightforward, these are also high-quality upgrades that will give your garden a fresh new look. Your house is your haven; be sure to make it feel as homey and relaxing as you can by starting with your garden.

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Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Aloha Restoration’s Hassle-Free Business Model

2018 has been an exciting year for Dave Farbaky, the president and CEO of Aloha Restoration in Lake Zurich, Illinois. The Chicago Bears appear to be on a legitimate roll. Farbaky, a longtime fan, is all too happy to mix business with pleasure. Aloha Restoration is a title sponsor of each game’s radio broadcast.

Tom Thayer is a former Bears offensive lineman and one of the few veterans of the squad to sport a championship ring. The Bears won the Super Bowl in 1985. Thayer, who now provides the color commentary on Entercom’s WBBM Newsradio, is one of Farbaky’s all-time favorite players.

Aloha Restoration, which specializes in residential services, such as home upgrades, mold removal, and water removal, also partners with WSCR 670 The Score. One of the station’s most popular features is the “Bernstein and Goff Show,” which airs from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm on weekdays. Bernstein is a Deerfield native and a leading fundraiser for local charities. Farbaky is one of his most avid listeners.

Thayer and Bernstein enthusiastically endorse Aloha Restoration. Joining with two of his idols to cheer the Bears to the playoffs — and, with any luck, the Super Bowl — has been a thrilling but humbling experience for Farbaky. “It’s truly an honor and a blessing for myself and all those who wear the Aloha uniform,” he said recently.

Aloha Construction, the original company, was founded in Lake Zurich in 2010. Initially a small local outfit, it has flourished to become one of the leading providers of general contract work in the Midwest. After just eight years, the family-owned, family-operated company boasts around 20,000 completed projects throughout Illinois and southern Wisconsin.

The Aloha team is made up of inspectors, installers, project managers, field supervisors, and claims specialists. They are committed to providing top-notch quality and unparalleled service. Roof replacement, siding installation, gutter maintenance, and a variety of other services are all in a day’s work. The Aloha leadership is strongly committed to timeliness, attention to detail, and competitive pricing. Courtesy, professionalism, integrity, and safety are guiding values. In 2017, Farbaky’s first company was awarded the Better Business Bureau Torch Award for Marketplace Ethics.

Aloha Construction and Aloha Restoration, the sister company launched in 2017, are also admired for their involvement in and support of the local community. Farbaky participates in a number of charitable efforts around town. He founded the Dave Farbaky Foundation to help children in need. His businesses have hosted chronically ill children in VIP seats at Chicago Bulls games and have donated thousands of dollars to a special summer camp for children with cancer. Midwestern entrepreneurs are inspired by Farbaky’s generosity, success at a young age, and enviable work-life balance. Many look to him as a role model.

Farbaky’s new division Aloha Restoration provides residential services to all the Lake County area. It handles kitchen makeovers, bathroom upgrades, basement finishing, and other home remodeling projects. It is one of the busiest carpet cleaning services in the state. In addition, the young company is becoming known for emergency services such as mold removal, water removal, and smoke damage restoration. Mold and other pollutants left behind after a flood or plumbing failure are especially serious. Water removal, mold removal, and sanitation measures eliminate health risks to family members and pets. Time is of the essence, and Aloha responds punctually.

The company also offers thorough yearly home inspections. Spotting wear and tear early on prevents small, affordable problems from becoming huge, expensive headaches down the road.

Another nice thing about Aloha Restoration is its one-stop-shopping business model. Typically, one company is contracted to dry out a water-damaged home or get rid of mold. Another business must be contracted to redo the drywall or install a new shower. But Aloha Restoration can do it all. Working with one timeline and one budget is a hassle-free, efficient way to get several jobs done. Aloha’s expert water removal service, for example, often has properties bone dry in as little as 48 hours. Mold removal quickly follows.

In short, Aloha Restoration arrives, does the work, and leaves without homeowners missing a single moment of a Bears game. Farbaky wouldn’t have it any other way.

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Monday, December 10, 2018

Where To Go This Christmas and How to Look Your Best

Although Christmas is less than a month away, there is still some time left to squeeze in a few nights out on the town. Whether you have end-of-year work functions to attend or are hoping for a few more soirees with the boys (or your family), chances are, unless you are Michael B. Jordan or David Beckham, you have no idea what to wear on a festive outing. Luckily you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to be able to spruce up your outfit without ending up looking either like James Bond or a Christmas Elf. Here are a few basic hints that will help you plan your next night out while ensuring you look dapper and still feel both confident and comfortable.

Dress to the tee at a formal do

When you have been invited to attend a formal Christmas Party or a night out at the casino or a fancy restaurant, you need to don the correct attire. Even if you work in a casual work environment it will be expected of you to wear a suit if the invitation specifies that formal dress is required. Remember that the term ‘formal’ does not necessarily mean you have to wear a tux. In fact, a tux will more than likely be overkill in all three scenarios. Instead, opt for a simple navy or dark grey suit or, if you want to tone it down, even more, opt for a more casual jacket with a collared shirt and tie.

Casual occasions can be fun too

If you are more of a causal guy you can keep your fingers crossed that your Christmas party is not of the formal variety.  If your wish is granted, you can breathe a sigh of relief and put your suit back in your wardrobe. A blazer over a plain-colored button-down shirt can look very stylish and allows makes it possible to add more layers should the weather call for it. This year lightweight blazers in navy blue, charcoal, camel and black are all proving to be popular choices while white and royal blue shirts have been a top pick among men worldwide during 2018.

When in doubt, wear jeans

Great-fitting, dressy jeans are virtually fail-proof and can be as formal or as casual as you want them to be. If you don’t think you can pull off jeans to a smart-casual affair, opt for a pair of chinos in khaki, navy, black or beige.  Finally, finish your look off with a pair of quality boots or loafers, a suitable belt, and a simple yet classy watch.

Other night out ideas to consider

If your work party has come and gone, your wife makes better food at home than any restaurant, and you are looking for a change of scenery from the local casino, don’t despair.  The Festive Season is all about late-night shopping, special cinema screenings of Christmas movies, craft markets, and other year-end festivities. Whether you spend your night out with your friends, your family or by yourself try to remember what the season is about, stay safe, be happy and share the festive cheer.

With only a few weeks left in the year, it is important that you finish it off in style, without any serious fashion faux pas. Always remember that even when making use of the guidelines above it is important that your outfits reflect your own style and personality as well.

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Friday, November 23, 2018

Great Additions to Your Music Room

A lot of guys have man caves that sport a big screen tv, a full bar, some neon bar signs, and a pool table (for me personally, I like table shuffleboard instead). But while I do have some of those sporty aspects to my man cave, mine is just as much a music room as anything else.

My parents got me a guitar when I was 13 years old and I’ve been playing, off an on, ever since. In the beginning, they had an instructor come to our house and he would teach me the basics like scales and blues riffs. My high school schedule got too busy and I stopped the lessons at the time. I picked up the guitar again in college and have been playing pretty consistently ever since. I like to say I’m self-taught, following along with instruction via Trusty Guitar’s online lessons.

The Best Music Accessories for Your Man Cave

For me, it all begins with some instruments on the wall. I really started getting into guitar again when I was listening to a lot of Ben Harper and Jack Johnson back in college, and it was time that I upgraded from my starter guitar to one that I would keep being able to play for years to come, well into my years of collecting social security. I found my “keeper” in the brand that they use, a Cole Clark Fat Lady acoustic that still looks and plays today as beautifully as it did when I first bought it almost fifteen years ago.

acoustic guitar from Cole Clark

I had always wanted to learn piano as well, but we never had a piano at home while growing up. Well, we did have an organ that we inherited from a great aunt who passed away, but it was never anything I really wanted to play. A few years ago I decided that I wanted to buy a digital keyboard since I lacked the space for a full piano. Plus, I figured it’d be better to learn on something more compact first, and then when I decide I really want to pursue playing piano, then I could someday upgrade to a proper setup. It just so happened that I won my fantasy football league that year, taking home $200+, and that was about what I wanted to spend on a keyboard so I went ahead and made that purchase.

digital keyboard piano

Outside of a few instruments, I decorated my walls with art featuring my musical influences. When I was a teenager, I was huge into Nirvana and pretty much wallpapered every inch of my bedroom walls with posters featuring the band and Kurt Cobain. I still have a few of them, though they’re pretty torn up, but I do have a pretty sweet framed black and white portrait drawing of him that is featured prominently. Aside from that, I like to buy a poster from the concerts that I go to, so I have a number of those around the room to reminisce on all the great shows that I’ve attended.

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Wednesday, November 21, 2018

The Top 3 Things You Should do When You Realize Your Social Security Card is Missing

Technology has dramatically revolutionized our world. Although this digital era has brought about numerous perks, it has a few drawbacks. Identity theft has become rampant across the world – criminals might access your Social Security card and use it to commit heinous crimes. For instance, they could sell it to foreigners who wish to reside in the country illegally. They could also incriminate you by using your alias to break the law.

When you realize that your social security card is missing, it’s important to act immediately. This card contains your unique Social Security Number (SSN) that’s used by the government to identify you as a United States citizen. It’s not possible to “close your account” when you lose your social security card. However, it’s possible to replace. The replacement process is quick and easy.

SS Card

Here are the top 3 things to do when your social security card goes missing:

  • Report your card is stolen

After confirming that your social security card is indeed missing, visit the Social Security website online and report your missing card. You could also call any major credit bureau to issue a fraud alert. Such bureaus include TransUnion and Experian. Once you contact them, explain how your card might have gone missing. The bureau you contact will inform other bureaus about your lost social security card so they can also follow up with the fraud alert.

Reporting your missing social security card is a quick process that could save you from trouble in the long run. Ensure you renew the alert after every three months. Identity fraud can potentially ruin your life and put you behind bars when things go south. Therefore, follow up with the bureau until your issue is resolved.

  • Renew your social security card

It’s important to get your missing social security card renewed swiftly. After all, you’ll need it to conduct certain transactions and get access to government services. There are two main ways you can replace your card. The first involves visiting the Social Security Administration office and requesting for a new card. The second approach is much simpler: get a computer and visit the SSA website. You might be wondering How long to replace social security card? Delightfully, it only takes five minutes to process your card replacement request at the SSA office. Consequently, your new card is sent via USPS mail within 14 days.

  • Inform the IRS of the loss

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is a government body responsible for collecting taxes. In case you delay in submitting your tax returns, the IRS can track you down and slap you with huge penalties. It’s crucial to inform them that your card is missing – imposters can easily use your name to submit their tax returns, putting you in a compromising situation. To report your missing social security card, visit the IRS website or call their unique number. They will take all necessary steps to ensure you’re not incriminated.

Ensure you do these three things when your social security card mysteriously disappears.

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5 Ways to Feel Better in 7 Days

There are times when life can get stressful and we are overwhelmed by the circumstances are in. Some days or even weeks will be better than others, but you don’t need to fret. If you are at that point where you are being too hard on yourself, just do the following things to make yourself feel better.

Pulse Trace

  1. Exercise in the morning – it may require effort, and you might think that staying on the bed and sleeping is the better decision, but trust me when I say that cultivating the habit of regular exercise can do wonders. If you’ve been noticing that you lack the energy and motivation to tackle the tasks of the day, starting your day with exercise may just be the answer. You’ll get a boost of energy and happy hormones that will make facing the day more bearable.
  2. Get enough sleep – you need to make sleep a priority. When you do not get enough sleep, you will feel lethargic, and easily stressed and irritable. And you need to pay attention not just to the hours of sleep but also how restful your sleep is. This is the time that your body is able to repair itself from all the activities you did during the day so you need as much rest as you can. Make your bedroom a haven for relaxation. You can put curtains that will block out the light, put some soothing music or a candle and keep your phone away from you if it will just be a distraction for you.
  3. Get rid of your vices – you need to evaluate your life and see if there are habits that are keeping you from being healthy and living life to the fullest. Some examples are eating too much fast food or junk food, smoking or drinking. They present no benefit to your body and you will need to make it a goal to stop them. If you have been so used to such habits, there are experts who can help you on how to quit drinking and other vices. Don’t hesitate to ask for help because, in the end, you will be the one to benefit from it.
  4. Cut off toxic people in your life – it’s not just vices that you need to cut off from your life, but also people who are bad for you. You need to surround yourself with people who not only have the same passion and interest as you but people who will help you grow as a person and not push you down and discourage you.
  5. Pamper yourself – indulge yourself once in a while, you deserve it. You don’t need to book a luxury vacation in order to do that. Something as simple as getting a massage or eating at that restaurant you’ve always wanted to try but never had time to go, or perhaps giving yourself time to finally finish that novel you started months ago. The important thing is that you need to focus on yourself and on what will give you pleasure.


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Tuesday, November 6, 2018

4 Things You Should Know About the Advanced Use of Thermal Solutions in Manufacturing

Thermal solutions in the manufacturing sector help to improve efficiency. Before you buy any thermal products, it is a good idea to review the available products in the market. By identifying the pros and cons of each product first, it becomes easier to make a decision. Various companies make these products. You may research some of the best-rated companies online. They have positive feedback from their clients. They also have experience in making such products and excellent customer service. In case of repairs and maintenance, they offer such services according to the terms and conditions of the sale. Most manufacturing firms are adopting advanced thermal solutions in their firms. Before you adopt thermal solutions in your firm, there are a few things you should know.

Here are 4 things you should know about the advanced use of thermal solutions in manufacturing:

  1. Principal of operation

Thermal solutions operate on the principle of insulation, current transmission, cooling, and temperature compensation. Current settings and transmission through good conductors are important. Professional companies hire experts to ensure that the thermal products installed in various manufacturing firms are efficient. Engineers in the production of thermal products focus mainly on energy efficient and long-lasting solutions for manufacturing firms. This is mainly because such firms are power intensive and for the flawless flow of work, energy should be in constant supply.

  1. Advantages of thermal solutions

Efficiency is the main advantage. With advanced thermal solutions, manufacturing firms are able to reduce their energy bills. The productivity of employees and equipment is also enhanced with effective heating and cooling systems. Through the advanced solutions, the temperature control in the manufacturing firms is maintained at the right level. This improves productivity. They are applicable in most sectors of manufacturing. Most companies that offer thermal solutions also offer their accessories. This makes maintenance of such products easier. The accessories in stock include rust inhibitors, mold degreasers, and heating elements. Custom controls for manufacturing firms can be made as per their requirements.

  1. Positive impact on pollution

Advanced thermal solutions help prevent pollution from industries and manufacturing firms. Thermal pollution involves a change of temperatures in natural water bodies. This especially happens when water is used as the cooling agent in manufacturing firms. Through advanced cooling and heating systems, such natural resources are not interfered with. Use of advanced thermal solutions helps to promote green technology.

  1. Innovative solutions

Industrialization and economic development depend on innovations. Advanced thermal products have boosted production in the firms and encouraged production of innovative products too. The approach that companies dealing with the thermal solution are that of identifying the problem first and then seeking a solution. Customer challenges in terms of products related to manufacturing are the basis of innovations in this sector.

The manufacturing sector relies on innovations and advanced technology to bring down the cost of production. This leads to higher profit margins. As long as there are advanced thermal solutions that impact positively in the manufacturing industry, then the industry will adopt such products to enhance efficiency.


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