As an independent lady with limited funds, I became tired of calling the local handy man to solve my to-do list around the house and decided to start conquering the home improvement projects myself. After countless hours of research, I compiled a list of the Top 10 DIY Home Improvement blog sites to tackle almost any project. These websites can help you wield that hammer in your hand with more confidence and mark off that to-do list.
Written by two couples in Baltimore, Maryland, www.oneprojectcloser.com is a gem. In addition to traditional how-to articles, this blog also offers a forum for users to post questions for experts (or people who just know more than us) to answer.
This blog has an extensive archive of articles that covers topics from the roof to the basement and everything in between. www.homeconstructionimprovement.com.
Why read a how-to article when you can watch a video blog? www.askthebuilder.com has a library of how-to videos that walk the inexperienced DIYer through projects, such as laying tile and grouting. Sign up for the newsletter and have tips and tricks delivered to your email weekly.
www.pioneerthinking.com is a general lifestyle site, but it has a great DIY section with thoughtful tips for those of us who don’t know anything about projects, such as repairing drywall or fixing a dishwasher. Click on Easy Home Repairs under the Home and Family Section.
Home and Garden Magazine has a fantastic home improvement website, www.homeandfamilynetwork.com/homeimprovement/index.html. This site is very helpful for a novice in home improvement and provides information on budgeting and planning a remodel and a first timer’s guide to operating power tools.
Home builder Mark J. Donovan shares his passion for home building and improvement on his blog, www.homeaddition.blogspot.com. He offers his experience in home construction with easy to read articles and hints and tips to make a potentially stressful remodel experience smoother.
Who in the world of home improvement doesn’t know the iconic name Bob Vila? Bob has brought his expertise to the web in his blog ‘On the Level.’ New technology in home improvement is one of the many topics covered.
Tweens – those kids who aren’t quite teen-agers yet but who are too old to be called little kids. It usually means the ages between 10 and 12. Most kids that age are aware of the basic swimming rules, or at least one would think so but it isn’t always true. At this age the love to rough house and try to outdo each other so swimming pool games can get a bit rough. Parents and care givers should constantly be reminding them of pool safety especially when playing swimming pool games. Here are few of the swimming pool games kids enjoy and how you can help keep your child safe in the pool.
Volleyball in the Pool
You can find several games that tweens can play in the water such as volleyball that involves the use of some type of equipment. The rules are very similar to a regular volleyball game with each team trying to score points by getting the other team to miss hitting the ball. Volleyball in the water can get just as intense as it does on land. Make sure your tween understands that getting smashed in the face with a ball is easier in the water and it is also easier to slam into others as the playing area is usually much smaller. You can help with swimming pool game safety by buying equipment that is designed just for the pool. These are usually much softer than the real balls. Make sure everyone understands the rules before the games begin and remove those who don’t follow them immediately for a time out.
This is one of those games not only tweens but adults love to play in the water. There are two teams, as a rule, and two people on a team. One member of the team sits on the other one’s shoulders. The goal is simple. Knock your opponent down before they knock you down. This game can get very dangerous if the teams are not in the middle of the pool. You run the risk of kids falling onto the sides of the pool or the concrete floor. Things can get a little rough when the kids are trying to topple each other as well. If you are going to allow chicken fights in the water establish some ground rules for your tweens. The must be in the middle of the pool and the teams should be evenly balanced strength wise.
Find the Object
Tweens love to play diving games where someone tosses either pennies, or weighted items into the water and they sink to the bottom. The kids dive to find them. This is a favorite swimming pool games for kids of all ages. When kids all dive at once for the objects heads can bump. There is also the risk of a child who does not swim well getting into water too deep for him. If your tween is going to play this swimming pool game make sure he wears goggles so that his eyes are always open and he can see where he is diving. Be very clear about where the game is allowed to be played. For example, you might not let the kids play in anything over 4 feet of water.
When you do these simple things swimming pool games for your tweens can be fun. Kids love the water and they will literally spend hours in it playing games. You can keep them happy, entertained and safe this summer easily.
Many use different things to cover the furniture. This will keep the cushions clean or if worn cover it up. Throws are used most often. Covering the seat or the whole chair with a sheet is an idea. Also covering the sofa or loveseat with thin plastic with keep it clean another is to purchase furniture covers. The furniture covers can be very costly. Then they never fit. Each of these will move every time they are sat on. The covering has to be straighten when used. Having fabric recovered is also costly. There are ways to make a cover for the furniture cushions. This is a tip to make one that will not need adjusting. They are inexpensive to make depending on the material chosen. They also can be taken off to be washed.
Furniture cushion covers can be made with any kind of fabric. Some that are less expensive is sheets or blankets. The cushions on the sofa, chairs or loveseats are different sizes. In this case it may take more then one to cover them. Having a queen or king size will work well. Of course the material used would need to match the back. A solid color is great.
These are things needed to make and do the covers. First things are the cloth with thread. Also scissors, measuring tape, pins and sewing machine are needed. Now measure the cushions front to back, side to side and thickness. Next, cut the material chosen by the measurements giving an extra inch for seams. It will take a top and bottom for one cushion. Cut the bottom part which should be shorter. Allow five inches more. Now fold it from side to side and cut to have two bottoms. This will be for the seam and to lap over on the underneath. Then four strips for front back and sides.
After the cover is cut it is time to put it together. With the pins attach the strips together. Now stitch them together until all ends are sewn. Usually chair cushion are not square. So there should be two long and two shorter slips. Next, turn the fabric where the good side is in to sew. Take the sewn strips then pin the front to the pieces. Then sew down one side to corner all but a quarter of an inch from end. Lift the pressure foot to turn the material. Once the cloth is turned sew about an inch then back stitch to end. Repeat this until all of it is attached.
Now it is time to do the back or bottom of seat. Since it was cut bigger measure the top allow one inch for seam. Next, seam each one of the bottom pieces one inch side to side. Then lay flat placing them together overlapping the seamed sides. Measure it to get it the same size as the top. Attach the overlap with a pin on both ends. With making sure everything is turned right repeat the same as top.
When finished just turn then take a pin to pull the corners out completely. This way they actually look like corners. The cushion itself will have to be folded to place it in the cover. It will be a tight fit. But it will look neat, cover any torn places, and also keep it clean.
One of the oldest techniques of body hair removal goes by the name of threading. It is more popular in the Middle East and India, but is also used in some Western beauty parlors. Rolling twisted cotton threads over unkempt hair lines and pulling out the unsightly hair is how threading is done. It is so much healthier for the skin and will not result in an ingrown hair; this is the main reason for its continued popularity. It is a temporary technique as opposed to laser hair removal with is safe, if done right, and long lasting.
Believed to have originated in Turkey, threading is used in many places. It is known as khite in Arabic and the Egyptians call it fatlah and both cultures use it to remove hair from the eyebrows, upper lip, the chin and cheeks. In many countries, including India, beauty salons have employees skilled in this ancient art. Some cosmetologists in the west have chosen to practice threading as well and favor it to remove eyebrow hair.
How threading is done
The skilled practitioner holds one side of a cotton thread between the teeth and the other in the left hand to perform threading. The middle of the cotton thread is looped through the index and middle fingers of the right hand and the loop is used to grab the hair and pull it from its place on the skin.
More commonly used on facial areas, threading may also be used on lower parts of the body such as the belly button area, the pelvic region, and even on the toes and tops of feet. One fact about threading must be remembered and that is it must be performed by a thoroughly trained person and takes months to perfect. Nothing could be more painful than an unskilled person performing threading.
Advantages of threading
Several advantages of threading over other methods of hair removal include; threading is inexpensive as well as virtually painless so it won’t hurt your body as well as your pocket book; it’s a fast method as opposed to other methods; threading is convenient for removing all forms of facial hair and last for two to four weeks; its suitable for all skin types, so if your skin is too sensitive for laser hair removal threading maybe a better option; it has none of the pain accompanied with waxing and no disgusting smells or allergic reactions from using lotions or creams. Only fifteen minutes are needed to do both eyebrows, so that makes eyebrow threading particularly popular. Threading is a good alternative to most hair removal methods, but there are some disadvantages.
Disadvantages of threading
The hardest part is finding a skilled practitioner to perform this method and it can be painful if done improperly. It has a few side effects such as, a bacterial infection of the hair follicles called folliculitis and reddening of the skin where the threading is performed. Another major drawback of threading is it only works on flat surfaces which make it difficult to perform on the bikini line and the knees. If you suffer from acne you should not use threading because it can cause sever acne to be ruptured. Even with these set backs, threading and shaving have a superior advantage to other methods.
I’ve been tutoring for the past three years. Currently, I am a junior at a local university and work with other college students as well as elementary, junior high, and high school students. When I first started tutoring, I had no idea what I was getting into. I thought it was going to be a rewarding and satisfying experience. And it has been. However, it is far more difficult than I ever thought it would be. If you are considering becoming a tutor, there are some things you need to know.
First, I want to reassure you that there are a lot of benefits that come with tutoring. The pay can be one of the biggest advantages. Most tutoring services start around $20 an hour and if you are qualified to instruct in an extremely difficult subject – such as calculus – you may make over $100 an hour. Salaries are even larger if you have a graduate degree.
Another advantage that comes with tutoring (albeit a less tangible one) is the knowledge that you are helping another human being. Unlike some occupations (*cough* telemarketing *cough*), tutoring is extremely fulfilling and meaningful. I feel good about going to work because I know that I’m making someone’s life a little easier.
One more significant benefit to tutoring is that it allows you to learn while you educate. Since many of my students have mental or physical disabilities, I have learned a great deal about both behavioral and physical disorders. I have also learned how to cope with different learning styles and how to motivate students.
With that said, I wouldn’t want you to blindly invest yourself in a profession without understanding the potential downsides. Each age group has its own unique disadvantages.
If you are tutoring elementary, junior high, or even high school grades, you will inevitably end up dealing with the parents as much as the children. Most of the parents I deal with are fairly pleasant; I even got Christmas gifts from some of them. However, you will undoubtedly run into some issues with parents who don’t fully understand what tutoring is. They may expect you to baby sit their kids, to do their work for them, etc.
Another issue that commonly arises among young kids is that they don’t understand the need for tutoring, and therefore consider it to just be another thing that cuts into their free time. It’s difficult to encourage kids to care about their education when all they want to do is go out and play or watch TV. You may be able to win over most of your students, but some will be stubborn.
One difficulty that I have occasionally is incompetent teachers. Now, when I say this, I do not mean to criticize the teaching profession. Most of you care about your students and are working hard on their behalf. However, I still will sometimes run into a teacher who is incorrectly teaching a student something. One student of mine was taught MLA formatting completely wrong. What’s worse is that many teachers feel “competition” with a tutor, which is even more problematic.
If you’re working with college age students, you will face different challenges, especially if you’re working at a tutoring facility run by the college or university. Many students will come in simply because their instructor or professor is offering extra credit for those who get help on their papers. These students don’t think there’s anything wrong with their papers and expect you to just look it over, smile, and give them the thumbs up. Unfortunately, most of papers have poor writing quality, but these students can’t see that.
Another problem is that many students who come in for college tutoring expect to hand over their paper or assignment and have the tutor proofread or do it for them. Unfortunately, tutoring is about teaching someone to better his or her skills in a particular area. If tutors simply fix the problem instead of showing the student how to do it, what is the point of tutoring? The student will never learn how to do it on his or her own.
Tutoring has the potential to be a very gratifying experience. There are definite downsides – as with any job – but if you can handle these disadvantages, tutoring might be a good choice.