Tuesday, March 7, 2017

4 Awesome tips that will completely change your backyard

The ways people use their backyards has completely changed in last 20 to 30 years. While it was previously seen as an idyllic space where you and your friends gather around for Sunday barbeque, now it is seen as an empty lot where you can improve basic functionality of your home.
What do I mean by this?
More and more families are thinking about their backyard in terms of harvesting rainwater, collecting energy and growing plants. This is especially common in last 10 years as most western countries are still in recession or growing slowly. It also coincides with our view of nature and preserving planet.
Without further ado, let’s check the best 4 ways to utilize your backyard.

  1. Growing a garden
Vegetable and fruit gardens are really popular in last couple of years even if you are living in an urban environment.
People are partially opting for this solution as a way to save money. Given the weak economy, a lot of the urban workforce has been laid off and find it hard to get a new job especially in cities that are on a downward spiral.
Another great thing about gardens is that they allow you to control the entire growing process. Instead of feeding your children with GMOs, you are able to eat fresh, natural food.
Lastly, gardening is becoming more popular as there are more and more vegans and vegetarians.

  1. Solar panels
Solar panels are no longer a thing that people frown upon due to its high price. Nowadays, getting several products is really cheap due to a high competition. In fact, governments of certain countries are even giving subsidies and other assistance to homeowners wanting to install this system.
The benefit is clear: you are able to produce your own power without being dependent on local government and local power supply facilities. If that wasn’t enough, you are also able to save a lot of money over the longer period of time.
All you need is some space in your backyard and you can have personal power generating facility.

  1. Helping refugees
Refugee issue has become global. No matter where you live, it will affect you in one way or another. So, instead of closing your eyes to them, why don’t you open your home?
In some European countries, providing shelter to refugees has become normal. If you have some spare space, why would you help? Anyway, you don’t need much; all you need is some space in your backyard where refugees can setup their tents until they find a better option.

  1. Collecting rainwater
Rainwater collection is nothing new; it existed for quite a while.
Nevertheless, the entire system of water collection has become much more sophisticated.
Back in the day, you could collect rainwater with barrels. After a rainy day, all the water from the roof would pour down to your barrels and then, you could’ve used it for cleaning your car or watering plants. Although rainwater barrel collection method is still very popular (due to the fact it is really cheap and easy to install), rainwater tanks are slowly taking over.
Rainwater tanks collect water similar to barrels. However, after that, the water is distributed throughout the house with a water pump. This water if filtrated along the way so you can use it for drinking and taking a bath. If you have a boiler or some other heating system you will also have hot water.


Although backyard fun is still very popular, people are becoming more conscious regarding their environment and social role. Backyards have become a viable resource, a resource that can be used to generate energy, grow food and help those in need.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

How to Make a Good Espresso at Home

With so many coffee shops around the world today, getting a cup of coffee won’t need you to break a sweat. However, not all of these shops offer the best coffee. Any coffee lover will know at a glance if a cafe is true to its word in offering the finest brews or not. Most of the time, they skimp on the ingredients and will leave you with a stale cup of caffeine.

So, what is a coffee lover who’s in search of a good brew got to do? Make his own shot of espresso, of course! With the right materials, ingredients, and know how you can actually make an excellent cup of coffee right in your kitchen.

Making Good Espresso at Home

If you really want a quality cup of coffee, you’ll want to get started with how to make your own espresso. From there on, you can already start experimenting and creating different drinks.

So, how do you make a good espresso at home? Here are some tips:

1. Always start with good, clean water.
Mineral, scale and other sediments will affect the taste of your espresso, so you should be very particular with the water you’ll be using. It’s best to use filtered water to make sure that it’s clean and clear.

2. Never settle for anything less than freshly roasted beans.
No serious coffee lover will buy ground coffee as these things tend to lose their flavor as soon as they’re cut up. So always opt for beans that are freshly roasted. Only use those that are about 4 days to three weeks away from roasting as they have the optimal flavor that will give the best taste to your cup of coffee.

3. Grind the coffee beans correctly.
There are different coffee grinds that you can use to make different kinds of coffee. For espressos, you need them to be very fine - almost identical to table salt. If it’s clumping, then it’s the right texture. Always ground your beans right before you use them for their optimal taste.

4. Use the right dose.
You’ll need to use the right dose of ground coffee. The more grounds you use, the body and intensity of the shot will also increase. Experts recommend about 18 to 21 grams, but you can also adjust according to your preference.

5. Only use the best home espresso machine.
Prep your machine accordingly. You can purge, fill it with fresh filtered water, and heat up the areas that will touch your coffee. Make sure that the portafilter is clean and dry to avoid coffee extraction early on and then tamp the coffee. Once done, you can now place it on the group head and start brewing.

Some espresso machines have pre-brew stages, so make sure to do that first if yours has one before you actually start brewing. This will ensure that your coffee will brew properly and you won’t end up with a bad tasting cup. Once done, you can already start brewing.

6. Serve accordingly.
A good espresso will look slightly viscous and as if it’s springing back up because of the oils extracted. It will also have a nice crema on top that you can stir into the shot or just wait to dissipate in a minute or two.

Different baristas have various techniques in brewing a great shot of espresso. With practice, you’ll also be able to create the very cup you’ll love so feel free to experiment as well.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Save Time and Money with Groupon Coupons

 *This is a sponsored post on behalf of Groupon Coupons. All opinions are 100% my own.*

Everyone loves to save money, especially me. I love to spend money, too, but I never want to spend more than I have to. Any time I can save on something I planned to buy anyway, I feel like I've succeeded.

I do most of my shopping online, so clipping coupons has never really been the way to go for me, even though I have tried. I love a good coupon code, but finding one for the store or item you need is not always easy, and I hate to waste time searching.

Now I save time and money. I use Groupon Coupons to check for sales and coupons on the stores and items I want to shop. When searching via search engines or other discount sites, most coupons are expired or invalid (regional). With Groupon Coupons, I never have to worry about that.

I also check regularly just to see if something pops up that I never knew I needed. With over 75,000 coupons from over 11,000 stores, there is always something great to discover. With all the money I save on the things I was already buying, I can afford to buy a few extra goodies for myself and our family.

If you shop online and haven't tried Groupon Coupons yet, you are missing out. If you have tried Groupon Coupons, I would love to hear about your best coupons/deal scores. I have gotten awesome deals on Flowers, Photo products (canvases, blankets) and more. As simple as it is, I love the savings on food. From Pizza delivery to meal boxes shipped to my door. Great food at great savings is always a win.

Resume Writing Tips from Experts

When you want to make a resume, it’s easy enough to get free advice from your friends and family. It’s also easy to think that you can always just do this yourself, because it doesn’t seem all that difficult.
Your better option is to listen to the experts instead. These pros are very much aware of what hiring managers and potential employers are looking for in a resume. So here are a few of their tips:
  1. Keep it short. One of the polarizing disputes in resume writing is the issue of whether the resume should be a single page or not. Here, many experts say that it really depends on just how long your career industry has been. The standard rule of thumb is that you have a page for every 10 years you’ve worked in the industry.
  2. Don’t have a half-empty page. When you make a resume, you have to organize the information properly. It doesn’t speak well of your organization skills when you can’t arrange the info on a single age and you only have a single paragraph on the next page. Try to keep it succinct for a single page.
If you really need that 2nd page, then make full use of it. Don’t just keep it half-empty. Use that valuable real estate to tout more of your accomplishments and to emphasize more of your skills.
  1. Use company buzzwords. Check out the website of the company you’re trying to join. Exactly what words do they use most often? Use the same words on your resume as well. Reflect back their values. You want to show them that you’ve done your homework and that you share the same values. It’s as if you’re already one of them.
  2. Be detailed in your explanations. That usually means you use numbers, which more people understand. Just saying you performed tasks doesn’t make you more impressive.
So if you were a salesperson in a shop, you can say you “served the needs of 30 customers a day with zero complaints”. You can mention how your activities or suggestions resulted in greater sales, profits, or savings in expenses.
  1. Don’t put personal info. Your name and contact info are sufficient. Don’t add your gender, age, religion, marital status, or photo. The problem here is that companies don’t want to be accused of bias or discrimination based on these details. Some even disregard any resume that include these details, so they cannot be accused of discrimination.
  2. Have someone else read your resume when you’re done. The other person can check for grammatical and spelling mistakes. They can also tell you if your words make sense. If your friend doesn’t understand something in your resume, then it’s likely that a potential employer may not understand it either.
What you have to understand is that your resume won’t get you a job right away. That’s not its real function. The goal when you make a resume is to get a job interview, which then leads—hopefully—to a job offer.

10 restaurants you have to eat in if you visit Holland

As a tourist, one of best experiences you can gain while traveling is to try sample the sumptuous feasts at well-known restaurants. If you have been eyeing Holland for a while then you may know some of the popular restaurants that made it into our list. There are more to Holland’s culinary treats than you realize, Wijnspijs.nl is a great website to help you get a grasp on this. If you are planning to visit Holland, be sure to list the restaurants you want to try eating in. The place is packed with amazing places to eat, drink and be merry. Here’s a basic rundown of some of the best places to indulge your palate if you are headed to Holland:

1. De Librije
The lure of exotic food is that it is not something you get to eat every day. So if you are in the mood for an unusual but appetizing dishes, try De Librije! This restaurant ranks 57th in the world’s best restaurants. You surely won’t be disappointed with their food or service.

2. De Leest
Scouting for great restaurants in the area will lead you to De Leest. Forget about your diet and go ahead and indulge in delectable appetizers – this is exactly what De Lest offers. You should enjoy their sumptuous full-plated meals, too.

3. Inter Scaldes
The combination of cheese and fruits is a mainstay in this restaurant. Don’t miss out on that experience. You just might get inspired to try a new recipe when you get home from your trip.  

4. Aan de Poel
Dine al fresco with dishes that are made from the freshest ingredients in the city. If you like it healthy and green, this restaurant will be an ideal find for you.

5. De Kromme Watergang
Local flavors at its finest. Of you are eager to taste Holland’s local dishes, make a stop at this highly-recommended restaurant.

6. Beluga Loves You
Living on a budget is not an excuse to skip Holland’s delicious treats. For an affordable meal that will still appeal to your taste buds. Try Beluga Loves You. This restaurant combines affordability with contemporary tastes. Quite delectable, indeed.

7. Fred
Excited to try authentic recipes? Fred is the best go-to restaurant. This place boasts of original recipes from the locals, made even more flavorful by its talented chef.

8. Bord’eau
Traveling with someone special? Impress your date with a nice view, some really great food and a superb selection of wines at the Bord’eau. This place is a haven for lovers – definitely a must-try!

9. De Lindenhof
Getting homesick? No worries! De Lindenhof is your home away from home. It offers delicious home-cooked meals with a homey ambiance that will make you forget about being on a foreign land.

10. Librije's Zusje
Nestled in Herengracht, Amsterdam, this culinary find is another great restaurant that you should try to complete your culinary experience in Holland. The place has an amazing selection of wines and delectable dishes that will make you want more.

There are many exciting things to do in Holland. But of course, your trip won’t be half as exciting if you don’t take advantage of the delicious culinary treats at the many highly acclaimed restaurants in the area. So sit back, enjoy the experience and live to tell the adventure.

Monday, November 21, 2016

FREE 12x8 Canvas Print at http://www.canvasonsale.com/congrats/

The holidays are practically here. Don't scramble to find gifts at the last minute or fight the crowds on Black Friday. Not when you can get the perfect gift, right form your home, and at a great price. Actually NO PRICE!

FREE 12x8 Canvas Print! - All you need to do is to click the website link http://www.canvasonsale.com/congrats/ , upload your favorite picture, choose 12x8" canvas and enter the voucher code from the website in the basket Keep it for yourself or present it to your loved ones.

Once you have ordered your free canvas you can share this with your friends anywhere in the web, so they also get a free canvas print. FREE 12x8 Canvas Print! The AMAZING FREE CANVAS FOR AMERICA CAMPAIGN. All you need to do is to click the website link http://www.canvasonsale.com/congrats/ , upload your favorite picture,

*Although I will be compensated for this post, all opinions are 100% my own.*

Monday, November 14, 2016

Jazz Loves Disney

*This is a sponsored post from Disney Music and One2One Network. All opinions are my own.*

Calling all Disney fans, all jazz fans, all music fans. I am so excited about the new Jazz Loves Disney album.Jazz Loves Disney is a collection of classic jazz versions of beloved Disney songs. It has such a timeless energy. These songs take me back to the good ol' days.

I have been a Disney lover for longer than I can remember. I have seen all the movies more times than I can count, and I know almost every word in the movies. I do know every word in all the songs and I can never help singing along.

I love that when I watch a Disney movie or listen to a soundtrack or song that it transport me back to a simpler time. It makes me feel calm and happy and just instantly lifts my mood, no matter how I was feeling before.

I love being able to share my love of Disney with my children, as my mother shared hers with my siblings and me. It helps us make memories and start traditions. It gives us more excuses to spend time together as a family and helps anchor those family times into lifelong memories. Having a song linked to a memory, makes it much easier to recall.

My kids love Disney as much as I do, and they both love music. With my son being autistic, music is a really great outlet for for him. He struggles with self expression and has sensory issues. Music helps him so much. I love hearing him sing along to our favorite Disney songs.

I love that I can share jazz music with my kids but still have the songs and the themes that they really care about. This album is really great, we have been listening to it every day since I got it. Our favorites are: Bibbidi Bobbodo Boo, Everybody Wants To Be A Cat, and I Wanna Be Like You, but they are all so much fun. As you can see, there are lots of great songs from classic to current.

Track Listing:
1.  Jamie Cullum – "Everybody Wants To Be A Cat" – from The Aristocats
2.  Melody Gardot – "He’s A Tramp" – from Lady And The Tramp
3.  Stacey Kent – "Bibbidi Bobbodo Boo" (French version) – from Cinderella
4.  Gregory Porter – "When You Wish Upon A Star" – from Pinocchio  
5.  China Moses – "Why Don’t You Do Right" – from Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
6.  Raphaël Gualazzi – "I Wanna Be Like You" – from The Jungle Book
7.  The Rob Mounsey Orchestra – "A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes" – from Cinderella
8.  Hugh Coltman – "You’ve Got A Friend In Me" – from Toy Story
9.  Anne Sila – "Let It Go" – from Frozen
10.  Melody Gardot & Raphaël Gualazzi – "The Bare Necessities" – from The Jungle Book
11.  Laika – "Once Upon A Dream" – from Sleeping Beauty
12.  Nikki Yanofsky -"Someday My Prince Will Come" – from Snow White & The Seven Dwarfs
13. The Hot Sardines – I Wanna Be Like You (French & English version) – from The Jungle Book (US release only)

I would love to know more about all of you. What are your favorite Disney songs. Is Disney just a casual interest for your family or is it a lifelong passion and tradition like it is for our family? Do you like jazz already or are you not normally a fan? Do you plan to seek out the Jazz Loves Disney album or songs? Please discuss in the comments.

In the meantime, you can find the Jazz Loves Disney Album on iTunes and Amazon.