Here's How to Take Care of Your Skin During Winter

We all want clear and amazing skin; there's no doubt about that. It can instantly boost your self-confidence and make you feel good about yourself. Different types of weather can take a toll on your skin, though, especially winter. Read more

Weekend Wanderlust: Embracing the Elements in Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

A weekend road trip is a perfect way to unwind after a long week of hard work. When the wanderlust hits, self-drive rental car options in Manila, Philippines allow you to explore the hidden gems and not-so-hidden retreats the Read more

The Right Way to Do a 1031 Exchange

A 1031 exchange is a tax-deferred method of selling one qualified property and acquiring another like kind of property within a specific time frame. It is a tool to let go of a property today and exchange it with Read more

Of Caps and Raps: Hip Hop’s Influence on Urban Fashion

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Of Caps and Raps: Hip Hop’s Influence on Urban Fashion

snapback capsHip hop and fashion are two things you wouldn’t exactly pair together, but the history between the two runs deep. When you take a closer look at this interrelationship, you’ll see how a circa 1970s street subculture has made a mark on what we wear today.

Put simply, all those The Hundreds shirts and 10 Deep snapback caps you wear exist because of hip hop and its influence over fashion. Without the street culture this type of music created, urban fashion wouldn’t be the same. Given that premise, one question begs for an answer: how did hip hop culture influence fashion?

A study from Cornell University claims that hip hop has the natural “mix of influences” toward fashion. The paper goes on to describe how fashion diffusion comes into play, as the typical hip hop look that stood out in the streets got picked up by big brands in fashion.

At the core of hip hop is the principle of nonconformity, which prompted the shift of typical street clothing from the usual suit-and-tie combination to more casual pieces, such as tracksuits, overalls, and sporting gear. This “homeboy” look became a hit among the masses – and this proved to be something fashion brands cannot ignore.

Hip hop fashion became even more mainstream come the 1990s. This is the time when some of today’s well-established brands began. Soon after, even rap icons made their own mark in urban fashion. You can thank Run DMC for popularising tracksuits and Snoop Dogg for the boom of starter jackets. There are even more “formal” looks that stemmed from hip hop, thanks to the Mafioso appeal of Biggie Smalls and Jay-Z. Now, you have the likes of Kanye West who have their own clothing lines, designing clothes with hip hop influences.

Some might say that hip hop is just one area of urban fashion. Of course, there is truth to that statement, knowing how well the punks, the goths, and the hipsters have influenced streetwear as well. Nevertheless, when it comes to the intensity of the influence, nothing comes close to what hip hop has done to change the way we view urban fashion.

Welding 101: Basic Principles for New Welders

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Welding 101: Basic Principles for New Welders

weldingWelding is a complicated process. Mastering the process takes practice and persistence. Below are some of the basic lessons that every novice welder should remember to become effective in their job.

Making safety a priority

The welding process generates heat and electricity. This is why welders should always remember to protect themselves. The arc, for instance, is very dangerous to the eyes and skin. Wearing proper protective equipment can help minimise the risk. These protective items include flame-resistant clothing, gloves, helmet, safety glasses, and a long-sleeved jacket.

Proper ventilation is also important to minimise direct and prolonged exposure to the fumes and gases. Welders should be trained to protect themselves from the fumes. Inspecting the ground connections is another important safety measure. It protects welders by minimising the possibility of electric shock.

Knowing the properties of the material

Novice welders should learn that materials have varying chemical and mechanical properties and they react differently to heating and cooling. Understanding this factor will allow them to take the necessary precautions like clamping to avoid distortion.

Many materials also require heat treatments before and after the process to manage the cooling rate and avoid buckling. Knowing such aspects will help prepare them in case they need to make adjustments. Welding schools in Brisbane teaching poly welding course teach this to student welders.

Follow the welding procedures

Following proper procedures will result in consistent welds. The procedures for a particular application has been determined and approved by experts to make sure that the recommended parameters yield the preferred results.

Welding procedures contain details that include the necessary shielding gas mixture, suggested rate of gas flow, and voltage/amperage ranges. The procedures also inform the welder on things such as the filler metal’s diameter and the correct wire feed speed.

Welding is more than just setting the power source and holding the torch at the proper angle. It is also important that a welder possesses good habits and practices that he learns regarding a wide range of key points such as materials and maintenance.

The Culprits Behind Common Siding Problems

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on The Culprits Behind Common Siding Problems

sidingHome maintenance has always been on top of the priorities of every homeowner. While many focus on the roof and the rooms inside, some tend to overlook the outer shell protecting their home: the siding. At times, homeowners just find themselves dealing with a severe leak in the middle of a storm.

Fortunately, you can avoid such a problem, especially when you know its likely causes. Siding problems often stem from any of these:


Moisture is always a problem in any home, no matter where you find it. The problem, however, is that many homeowners forget to factor in this issue when they check their siding. Just as you control humidity and moisture in attics, so should you do the same in your siding. After all, not every area of your home catches enough sunlight to eliminate moisture. Keep an eye out for those dim, damp spots for moisture buildup, which could lead to mold and algae growth.

Improper Installation

According to the Riteway Construction Group, the improper installation of siding can automatically reduce its service life by many years. Vinyl siding, in particular, requires special flashing trim pieces around the edges for it to hold up against bad weather. If the contractor fails to do this correctly, water can easily leak through the siding and ruin the structure from the inside. By then, it’s a possibility that your siding would break amid a storm.

Poor Maintenance

Poor maintenance is probably the easiest to solve out of the three causes. Your lifestyle plays a major role in how well your home would stand up against the elements and it’s completely understandable when you overlook home maintenance sometimes. But do know that as a homeowner, it’s your responsibility to ensure that your siding is in top shape after a storm. While you can handle the inspection yourself, experts recommend calling in the pros to make sure that you cover all your bases.

Awareness about these three causes not only helps you keep your home in good condition, it also steers you away from costly repairs stemming from these issues. Keep your home and your budget intact by addressing these concerns before they worsen.

5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on 5 Tips for First Time Home Buyers

home buildingJust got married? Are you looking for a home where you will start your own family? Whatever your reason is, home buying is one of the most exciting parts of life, yet it is nerve-racking at the same time.

While the thought of beautiful back-splashes, granite countertops and white picket fences might be dancing in your head, you do not want to be left holding a serious bill.

Here are five tips to help you choose the right house for you:

Set a budget

This is the most important factor to consider before buying a house. How much are you willing to spend for your new house? It is important to stay within budget, but never not sacrifice the quality of your home. Your house is a place where you will be living your entire life so make sure to buy a quality property that will keep you and your family comfortable.

Choose the type of home that suits your needs

Ask any Brisbane home building company and they will note that your home should suit your needs and preferences. There are highly experienced designers and creative teams that will ensure you have a space you will never want to leave.

Visit a display home

There is no better way to find out what your future home looks like than to actually stand inside it. Visiting a display home gives you the opportunity to stroll around and imagine what it feels like to live there.

Check the security

Make sure that the place where you will move into is safe. Try to go to the local police station. They can provide you with statistics on crime. The place should be family friendly as well, regardless of your social status.

Talk to the seller

The seller should provide truthful information to be your best source about the house and community. Take the time to talk with them.

House hunting could be a fulfilling experience, but make sure that you make an informed decision. Look beyond the aesthetics and take the time to inspect.

Gardening 101: How to Grow a Lush, Green Garden

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Gardening 101: How to Grow a Lush, Green Garden

turfGardening is a lot of work, especially if you need to start from scratch. Your responsibilities include designing the layout, adding plants and furniture, choosing the right type of lawn grass, and ensuring its maintenance. When it comes to renovating or reseeding your lawn, you need to choose the right type of grass.

There are many reliable turf suppliers in Brisbane, but before you choose which grass will work best in your lawn, here are some of the important things you need to know:

Shade tolerance

Keep in mind that sunlight is essential to their growth and development. It is advisable that they get at least 4 hours of direct sunlight a day. Areas with much traffic require more exposure. For marginal light, fescues tolerate shade better than rye-grass or bluegrass. Another option you have is the Empire Zoysia, which is perfect for shady areas.

Drought tolerance

If you don’t have time to water plants or your soil is not good enough to retain much water, fescues again are your best option.

Wear tolerance

Fine fescue does not stand well in traffic. Look for other types of grass for lawn areas that are stronger and easier to maintain such as Zoysia grass or Buffalo grass.


Perennial grass is one of the most popular choices when it comes to germinating and protecting the soil. Consider the stability of slopes. For example, Kentucky bluegrass is vulnerable to erosion. It might be better to go for grass with deep root systems like Sapphire Buffalo.

Growth habit

The Sapphire Buffalo spreads by underground stems called rhizomes. It grows quickly to the ground and forms a tough sod. When damaged, it can easily regenerate to cover the bare spot.

Leaf texture

If you’re looking for fine texture grasses, your best option is to grow some fescue or buffalo grass. They both have fine leaves, which is perfect if you’re planning for a picnic with your friends or guests.

Choosing the right type of grass for your lawn requires more knowledge and experience. Before making a trip to the nearest turf supplier, it is best to research thoroughly. It is advisable to consult a seasoned gardener to know which type of grass works for your needs.

Does Your Prospective Home Have These Features?

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Does Your Prospective Home Have These Features?

homeSudden, unexpected moves can bring about different sets of challenges. While uprooting and starting fresh elsewhere holds a lot of concerns, always remember that by no means should you settle for a new home that does not live up to your standards. Here are the essential features you need to look for when searching for a new home:

Curb Appeal

A house’s general charisma rests quite a lot on curb appeal. It is the first thing that people notice and it is usually the factor that leaves a lasting impression. It makes homes more inviting and pleasing to the eyes.

Great Structure

Needless to say, a home needs to be structurally sound. Signs of compromised structural integrity should be a big red flag to avoid purchasing a home. It will only cost you tremendous expenses on repairs in the end.

Ample Space

Look for a house that not only suits your needs, but also fits you. Keep in mind that your minimum space requirements can change. Do you plan on having a family? Are you just starting out in life? These are factors you need to take into consideration.

Improvable Aesthetics

Remodelling projects are inevitable for homeowners. This is true whether it is due to a growing family or whatever reason you might have. It is always advisable to keep future changes in mind; be sure that the house can be amenable to reconstruction projects.

Pleasing Neighbourhood

Keep in mind that the house alone is not the only consideration. Being that you will live in it for a while, also need to look into the surrounding neighbourhood. In addition, renowned home builders Novus Homes point out that homeowners need to check the accessibility of schools, hospitals, along with local business and commercial districts.

There is more to it than just sheer looks. While pure aesthetic value is indeed an appealing trait, it is worth noting that a new home needs to have the features you will need when you move in. If you find yourself in the midst of an unexpected move, make certain to look for these features in your prospective houses.

Coffee Confessions: What Does Your Favourite Hot Drink Say About You?

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Coffee Confessions: What Does Your Favourite Hot Drink Say About You?

coffeeYour morning ritual can affect how you function, as it sets your mood for the entire day. When people think of a life-changing routine, some of the things that come to their mind are running, low-calorie breakfast and uplifting music. For some people, though, wellness comes in a cup of great coffee.

You’ll feel content and relaxed as the caffeine kicks in. It’s your way of starting your day right, as coffee can be beneficial to the mind and body. You may not notice it, but coffee has the power to touch or even change your life every day. If you’re a coffee lover, here is what your choice says about your personality.

The Espresso Drinker

You’re always on the phone, with documents under one arm, and no time to chat with others. Espresso lovers are hardworking. They’re into career growth, leadership and achievements. If you’re an Espresso drinker, you’re friendly and adaptable. You also know how to get what you want. The way you like your coffee can tell people what you do most of the time.

The Black Coffee Drinker

The more bitter, the better. If you love drinking black coffee, you’re probably straightforward and quiet, but moody. Similar to Espresso drinkers, but even more ambitious and have a strong personality. Because you don’t like sugar in your coffee, you also don’t make a habit of sugar coating your words.

You know that a smart, frugal person doesn’t always buy coffee. This is the reason you make your own with care and knowledge. With a quality coffee machine, industry expert says you can create your favourite drink just the way you like it.

The Latte Drinker

If you like to make the perfect latte every time, it shows you like to please people and you’re often spending time pondering the meaning of your life. You tell people you’re great at maintaining a calm attitude and strengthening your personal relationships.

Your personality and lifestyle do come out on how you create your coffee, just as they do when you make choices in life.

Startup SEO Business: Risks and Rewards

Posted on by Sharon Williams in Promotions | Comments Off on Startup SEO Business: Risks and Rewards

reliable seo servicesThe search engine optimization (SEO) industry seems to be a vast sinkhole for startups and a vault of money for the giants. What you might not know is the distinctive combination of risks and rewards that might get you to where you want to be.

The Risks

The initial risk that most startups encounter is the crucial step of establishing their brand identity. They need to become part of the reputable company listings of leading SEO review sites like

As a startup, your company needs to blend in with the key players in the arena to boost your reputation. Become the go-to source of your audience to earn a good position in the industry. This, however, may take a lot of time and effort. Along the way, you might find your company lost and intimidated by the SEO giants. The status quo might eat at you.

The Rewards

Bursting with vigor and passion, you can direct that positive attitude towards work. When the experts are busy thinking about how to enhance their arsenal, focus on the possibilities and work towards them. Don’t let your mind travel alone. Back up your imagination with hard work and research. Encourage your team to explore fresh possibilities. You’ll never know, but this might be your edge in the market.

As you continue reaching the peak, don’t let go of your aspirations. Toil and toil until you reach another business horizon. Use your fresh market disposition in ignoring risks and negativity that may ruin your business, even when you’re just starting.

Why it is all worth it

The SEO landscape might crush the faint-hearted, but it surely welcomes the brave soldiers. There might be algorithms that strike down low-quality web pages, but you don’t have to fear them. Take it as an ongoing challenge as you put your business in a better position. Continue delivering intelligent content, effective web design, and reliable customer service, and see where all of this takes your company.

When you’re losing motivation, remember that the most innovative breakthroughs come from startups. They have insufficient resources, experience, and money, and yet they manage to produce top notch quality that the giants cannot.

When Used Cars are a Better Option Than New Ones

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on When Used Cars are a Better Option Than New Ones

cars onlineCars are one of the biggest investments in a person’s life. That means, you have think about proper budget allocation and fund management. This is why many buyers find themselves torn between used or brand new cars.

Even though buying a brand new car does indeed present obvious benefits, there are cases when second hand cars are actually the better option compared to new ones. Used cars offer those who are handy with a wrench the opportunity to have a new hobby to work on. These provide you with a nice project to put your DIY skills to the test. Even if you are not too handy under the hood, you cannot deny the savings that opting for a used car can bring.

Low Prices, Low Depreciation

Obviously, used cars are going to be less pricy to purchase than brand new ones. Who would not want to fetch a good price? Going for a used car allows buyers to go to higher tier models that would otherwise be out of reach when buying brand new. The steep taxes and ludicrous dealer fees you have to pay when you want to buy brand-new cars.

In addition, depreciation is a major factor that affects cars. Even new cars suffer from significant depreciation the minute they roll right out of the showroom. Think about this fact if you are considering a car sale. Consider the fact is that the value of cars typically depreciates during the first three years, and stagnates after that.

Finding the Perfect Used Car

As from used car dealerships, another good place to search for good automobiles is at car auctions. You can purchase used cars online at government auctions. What is best about buying government owned vehicles is that they are generally in prime condition. You can be sure to get true value for your money.

New cars have that distinctively great smell. The question now is how much are you willing to pay for that smell? Keep these points in mind if you are in the market for your next car.

Caring For Car Window Tints

Posted on by Debra Lefler in Customer Service | Comments Off on Caring For Car Window Tints

car  tintingWindow tints can improve a car’s overall appearance. More than mere aesthetic value, though, window tints offer a lot of functionality.

With so many accessories that you can use to customise your car, you might ask why tint your windows at all? With all the benefits it can bring, window tints can actually save you money in the long run.

Window tints reject up to 99% of ultraviolet radiation. We are all aware of the adverse effects that UV rays have on our skin and it helps to keep ourselves protected from it. They offer us a boost in terms of privacy, reduce the effects of glare — making it easier to drive, and they keep the car interior safe from fading caused by direct sunlight exposure.

Window tints are relatively maintenance-free, but there are a few things that you need to remember to make them last longer.

Choosing the right tint installer

If you get good quality tints right from the get-go, you are more likely to spend less time with care and maintenance. Window tinting has become good business over the years. As there are many window tint installers, quality may vary. Be sure to research before you choose a window tint installer. In addition, keep in mind that installers that have various outlets are often times better because it is a good sign that they do quality business.

Cleaning with the right tools

Make sure to use soft cloth when wiping your tints. Industry veteran Tint Works advises against the use of ammonia-based products when cleaning them. A good gentle soap or detergent mixed with water will suffice. Harsh cleaning agents and rough towels can end up scratching the tint and leave unsightly scars.

Nicks and scratches can be unavoidable over time. With a little extra care, you can prevent this by paying extra attention to metal or sharp objects that you load onto your car. Such sources of nicks and dents are car keys and seat belt buckles. Be careful when handling them. Always keep your windows free from stickers, suction cups, and other such decorative materials that may damage them.