Clean Your Dryer Vents!

Why is it important to clean your dryer vent? Mostly because of energy efficiency but more importantly, if the place one lives in has a dryer, then a lint build up crisis can cause a fire in the home if it has been left long enough. Energy efficiency is key but to live efficiently, a person has to first be alive, so cleaning the vent prevents death; in some cases. The lint trap on the dryer that everybody hopefully cleans when they dry a load is just the beginning.

 

That plastic tray will clean over half of all the lint being dealt with but some gets by the tray’s defenses, therefore it is important to get the surgery done on the machine, even if the owner isn’t confident as a home appliance engineer. There are places that need dryer vent cleaning and hiring those cleaners contributes to the economy, when the economy isn’t tanking like when it did during the Great Depression. Even if they didn’t have drying machines back during the Great Depression, it would have still been important to clean out the lint from the dryer, had they had the machines; which they did not. What we are dealing with here is one of those stranger moments where a machine needs to be gutted. Lint can become a nuisance if one considers air filtration. I’m sure children out there in the world need clean air to grow and breath.

 

Lint prevents clean air from staying clean. House fires can be caused by cigarettes being left out, stoves being left on, and a number of other reasons. One of them is not getting duct cleaning done. When a house goes up in a blaze, entire communities of people are put on red alert because houses are big piles of tinder and sometimes the spacing of houses is way too tight, so the fire can hop over to the neighbor and then the neighbor’s neighbor. If one considers how many dryer’s there are out there in the world, then you will understand that the risk in apartment buildings is much higher because the more dryers per building the higher the risk of a fire. One person might be cleaning the duct in his/her apartment but the others may not be doing that, or vice versa. The situation works in reverse too. So be careful and regularly get your ventilation system cleaned up!

Night on the Town

When was the last time you really splurged and said, let’s go and have some fun, and I mean some serious fun? I thought that renting a limousine for a special romantic evening would be the way to go and surprise my significant other for a night out on the town. I wasn’t sure what to expect but planned it as best I could and truth be told, it couldn’t have turned out any better.

We were celebrating Valentine’s Day and I had reserved a table at one of the nicer restaurants in Portland that had a great view of the city and the countryside. The day turned out to be a beautiful winter treat and was fairly warm (45 degrees) which is nice for us in the dog days of February. I had the limousine arrive a little before sunset and we had a wonderful drive that showcased the city and its mountain backdrop with snow covered  mountains sparkling in the late afternoon glow. It put us in a great mood as we were sipping our favorite wine, listening to great music and gliding around town like we were celebrities. My girlfriend was almost speechless and that might have been worth the extra cost of the limo right there. I have never seen her as happy and content and we weren’t even to our dinner spot yet. We drove for over an hour and stopped briefly to view the sunset with our heads sticking out of the limo’s sunroof like we were young kids. I was thinking how can it get any better than this and we were only an hour into our date.

The limousine driver couldn’t have been any more professional and courteous. He had a great knack for getting us to some awesome view spots, some I never knew existed and gave us a tour we will both remember and the night was still young. He moved in the traffic with fluent ease, never in a rush and always with our comfort and FUN in mind, it was beyond terrific.

We arrived at our dinner reservation right on time and I felt like we were local celebrities arriving on the red carpet.  He drove us right up to the entrance, the doorman opened our doors and we stepped out like we were the most important people in town, actually we were giggling like teenagers. Dinner was a spectacular feast and we savored every minute, every morsel of food, and every drop of wine. By the time dinner was over and our desserts plates were being removed, I knew renting the limousine was one of the smarter things I have ever done in my life. My girlfriend couldn’t have looked more gorgeous and happy, and from the expression on her face, dessert wasn’t the only thing she had on her mind, wow, talking about heating a relationship up.

As we exited the restaurant, the limo was right there waiting for us and we were escorted back into the world where usually only celebrities live. To our delight it was a full moon and as we luxuriated in the after warmth of our great dinner we just laughed and enjoyed our special time together. We had a slow and absolutely delightful drive home and wondered how much more special the evening could be.

I know now when I need to have some spark put back in my relationship that renting a limousine is a fantastic idea. I give it FIVE Stars and would recommend it to anyone looking for that special romantic evening, CHEERS!

Top Quality Travel Tips

Top 5 Quality Travel Tips

Travel Tips

It really doesn’t matter if this is your first time traveling or if you are an expert and racked up thousands of frequent flyer miles.  The mere thought of taking a trip out of town can be exciting and stressful all at the same time.  This article will help you better prepare for that trip, so check out the 5 travel tips we have for your below.

  • Check reservations
  • Buy airport carry-on toiletries
  • Research the weather
  • Be flexible
  • Watch prices

This may sound like common sense, but something to keep in mind when you are traveling is to make sure you check reservations for hotels, flights, car rentals and any other entertainment planned.  You can never be too cautious with this information and there have been many a mistake made and when you arrive new arrangements have to be made which could cost you time and more importantly money.

Make sure to double check confirmation e-mails and contact customer service if you see anything that looks wrong.  The last thing you want to do is miss a flight or get to your destination and the hotel is booked because your reservation was not done correctly.

When traveling you want to make sure and buy airport carry-on sized toiletries.  Checking in at most airports across the country, any liquids over 3 ounces will not be allowed (at the time of this writing), so you have to make sure your toiletries (especially liquid ones) fall under this size.  If by chance your liquids are over this size they will ask you to discard them or check them in with your checked luggage.  The normal SOP (Standard Operating Procedure) is to have them in a zip lock bag and place them in a separate tray as you go through the metal detector.

Before traveling to your next destination make sure to research the weather, so you can have a good idea of what it will be like while you are there.  Doing this will allow you to pack properly for your trip.  You do not want to be surprised and it rains the whole time you are there but you packed summer clothes, or if it is projected to be record highs and you only have winter décor.  This can save you money and heartache from your significant other if you plan ahead appropriately.

Be flexible as possible when you are making your travel plans.  If you have a legitimate reason for having to travel on the specific day and at a certain time, then try to be flexible in your planning.  You may also need to find a limo like the guys over at www.losangeleslimovip.com to get that extra pop for your trip. When you are flexible this allows you to save money and have more options open for better accommodations and a reduced price.  There are a number of booking sites online that can check your dates, accommodations and flights around other times that might save you money.  You will be surprised what you can find if you are flexible in your travel schedule.

Even after booking your reservations keep watch on the prices.  Many airlines and hotel chains offer refunds if the price you booked dropped after you made your reservation.  So it is always a good idea to keep an eye on the prices for this potential savings.  In addition, set-up an account with a price watch online site, which can do this on your behalf, so you don’t have to constantly check.  These sites can alert you of the change and the potential refund you may be due.

These tips are given to remind you of some of the most overlooked aspect of your trip.  The most experienced traveler can sometimes forget many of these tips to help save a little money that can be used on the trip.  Keep your eyes on this website as we continue to bring you information to help make your travel less expensive, less stressful and more pleasurable.

Check out this infographic from a recent traveling report.

Renting a Limousine

Rental services have been trending to a much larger extent these days although it is still largely seen by many as a luxury for the rich and celebrities but more people are beginning to enjoy it thanks to the opportunity that rentals affords. The basic functions and occasions which people rent limousines for range from Weddings, Night club visits, school proms, Birthdays, Dinners and so many other parties.

These days, there are hardly weddings without exquisite limousines and this has practically become a tradition. On board the limousine, the newly-weds get to enjoy romantic music, various decorations, champagne and privacy. For outings to night clubs with friends also becomes so much more fun in a Limo. Most times these kinds of Limousines are the Hummer Limousines and the party goers are assured an awesome night time experience.

When you therefore intend hiring a stretch limousine therefore, you do not have to experience a hit and miss situation, there are quite a number of tips which can ensure that you get the best deal. One of the first ways to get insights in to the operations of a Limousine rental company is through their responsiveness and how professional they are in their approach to you as a new customer.

Group of beautiful women clinking glasses with champagne inside
If for instance you contact them online and filled out an enquiry form, you might want to look out for how quick they respond to the completed form, how correctly they interpret your requirements and if the quotation is professionally scripted. Similarly, if the company is contacted via phone, you can also pay attention to how promptly they answer the phone call and how professional their responses are. You should also look out for the professionalism of the company via the layout. On their contact page look out for a fixed phone number, a P.O Box and other specific professional details.

When getting on the site, you can look through the gallery of limousines available and study the pictures available online. A website which doesn’t show images of the vehicles for example shouldn’t be explored further. In actual fact, you may want to take a look at the location of the picture taken by checking out the license plate and even ask about the vehicle’s signage as some limos get advertised on.

Basically, there are some certain questions which you should ask when conversing with a Limousine operator and some of these are:

Finding out how long they have been in business, asking them how many vehicles they have, finding out their location, requesting for details on their minimum charges as well as the duration of hiring and some other relevant questions. Either way, the most vital thing is to research properly.

Traveling to Dangerous Places

Traveling to dangerous places.  Are you interested in or required to travel to a destination that has a good amount of instability or presents hazardous conditions.  Whether it is due to war zone, terrorism, natural enemies or weather related.  Risky travel does not have to be totally avoided, if the desire or need is there.

dangerous

You need to understand and evaluate all the risks, and you need to mitigate those risks.  You will have to establish what is an acceptable level of risk once all issues are identified and ranked and if you are comfortable with a mitigation plan.

 

What’s the best approach to take from a travel risk standpoint?

 

  1. Start at a high level.  Don’t drill down immediately.  List what the major risk points are ie- major political unrest, foreigners may be targeted.
  2. Once the high level risks are identified, drill down on each one.  The level you want to be at is where a specific action can be assigned for mitigation purposes.  For example, traveling to and from hotel. Mitigation action could be employing security escort.
  3. If there are any risks that you have drilled down to that can not be mitigated, these need to be ranked in order of danger to you and your traveling party.
  4. Each mitigation action has to have a cost and feasibility assigned to it.
  5. Your goal here is to get to a point where you can logically evaluate whether this trip should be canceled or postponed.

 

If you have mitigation actions that are cost prohibitive or not feasible, the associated risk should be reclassified as not having mitigating actions.  If you have more risks that can not be mitigated than those that can, this should be a red flag and tell you the risks make the trip prohibitive.

 

If you are content that there are reasonable and obtainable mitigating actions for the risks you identified. then you are in a much better position to proceed with your travel plans.  But obviously keep in mind that the scenarios you evaluated can change, and you have to stay on top of current conditions as they relate to the risks.   Travel may need to be curtailed, cut short or unfortunately canceled at the last moment.

 

If you made a decision to post pone your trip due to your risk evaluation, it will be very easy for you to perform the same risk evaluation exercise at a later date.  You could then proceed with your travel if the  results of your latest risk evaluation end up being more positive and meet the criteria to classify the travel as risk acceptable.

 

 

Stepping Up Our Game; Into The Digital World We Venture

When you’re involved in the world of interior and exterior design, you stick to what you know best; design and layout. However, in today’s society of the Internet and digital age, we need to step up our game in the realm of technology.

You Might Ask Why?

Well, plain and simple – the digital world sells…and it sells well. Whereas our products and services speak for themselves, we still need to reach our audience through technology. With all of these ‘Internet Marketers’ out there, there are plenty of ‘online secrets’ and special recipes that are, “…guaranteed to get you on the first page of Google.”

I’ve only seen one thing in this life that is guaranteed: death. In, no way shape or form, do I see it feasibly possible to guarantee someone a placement on a service (or product) that the company doesn’t even have control over and/or access to persuade those results. In this case of “ranking on the top of Google” how can a random company, that isn’t Google, guarantee me anything on their end?

Simply put, they cannot do it.

Once we got our website up and online, we became flooded (Nay, overwhelmed) with online marketers and SEO gurus claiming to help us get to the top. I should have started by saying that we aren’t your average, run-of-the-mill, company that just jumps at every gold pot we’re offered. We research, we dig deeper, we figure it out before going forward.

After bringing on our own experts, weighing out the options in regards to SEO and Google Rankings, and laying it all out on the table we’ve come to the conclusion that the MLM route is one we’d lke to attempt. Doing the MLM route, we’re able to control our own outcome as opposed to paying a monthly retainer to some company we’ve never met. We would much rather hire someone on staff that we can plan strategies with as opposed to hiring out a random company that we have no control over, that we have no idea what they’re accomplishing on our behalf, nor do they ever communicate with us if what they’re doing is even White or Black Hat.

TIME FOR US TO STEP UP

stepping-up

Obviously, we’re a company that shoots straight with our clients, ourselves, and our loved ones. What’s the point of doing business if you aren’t going to treat people like people (bold theory right?). We’re to provide you with the best information and ideas possible when it comes to interior and exterior design. We don’t need to bog you down with the online marketing end of it but we wanted to share this on our website, in hopes of stopping some of these mass emails we’re receiving.

International Design

It was a time when the modern design movement blew the lid off conventional with exuberance in form and color, and with creativity expressed through revolutionary materials and execution.

Calderwood 2Newly developed technologies allowed a freedom of design previously impossible. A cantilevered chair in stainless steel with no apparent support structure, a bentwood-style rocking chair executed completely in Lucite, lamps made of coral, cork, plastics and chrome, entire dining tables in stone and brass – whatever designers conceived could be produced.

A robust economy fed the appetite for innovative design that was well executed. A mod squad of high end shops and adventurous interior designers embraced the creation of a fab environment with a lot of glam, and a dash of pop.

Calderwood 2 heralds this renaissance of imagination and creativity. Brought to you by our world-class Calderwood Gallery

How an unexpected fat loss challenge opened my eyes

My neighbor, Julie, stopped over after work a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing unusual.  That girl always seems to be dropping in.  Which is cool.  I mean, I’m a social butterfly and so is she, so it works out.

advocare-24-day-challenge

How some chick looks after taking this AdvoCare supplement–crazy, right?

Typically, a 30-minute rant about her day, followed by a glass (or four) of Riesling, is what transpires.  But this most recent time was different.  Julie had a good day at work, which surprised me.  That never happens.  WTH?!?  Why was she in such a chipper mood?

I was about to find out.

To my amazement, Julie was 12 days into some new 24 day challenge thingy.  Apparently this ADVOCARE company sells it.  I rolled my eyes, and tried not to listen but the more she talked, the more interested I became.  And, I had to admit, she did look good.  Must be some decent stuff.

“How much is it?” I asked her.

“Almost $200,” she responded.

Holy Cow!

Yikes.  ‘Nother glass of vino, por favor.  Stuff was working, but damn, was it expensive.  A little more chit-chatting and she convinced me to hop on board and do it with her, albeit a couple weeks behind.  I was excited, nervous and still skeptical.  Sure, it was working for her, but I’d tried and failed on so many diet programs in the past.  How was this baby gonna be any different?

A few days after that unexpected fat loss challenge landed in my lap, the doorbell rang.  It was the UPS guy.  My 24 day challenge had arrived and I was excited to rip open the box and start downing pills like they were going out of style.  Haha, seriously, I was on board and ready to blast away at some of the extra belly fat I’d acquired over the winter months.

Fast forward to present day.  Thanks to Julie’s weird recommendation, I’m down 16 lbs and feeling toner, tighter, fitter and more energetic than I have in a really long time–we’re talking years here, people.

My plan is simple:

  1. Stay the course.  No reason to veer off now.  I’m going to finish out my 24 days strong and see this thing all the way through.  Can’t wait to see what the final results are.
  2. Maintain all weight loss by adopting a clean, moderate calorie diet that I know I can sustain over the long haul.  No crazy calorie restrictions or anything like that.
  3. Exercise intensely, at least 5 times each week.  This is where I struggle.  But, man, I’ve found so much synergy by combining supplements plus diet plus workouts–and not just the first 1-2, like I normally do.  Big time results when all 3 are done, in conjunction, alongside each other.
  4. Treat myself with one cheat day each week.  Probably Saturday.  Or Sunday.  Nothing like ordering up a pizza, some breadsticks and chilling out on the sofa, watching some football, right?  Cool thing is, this actually recharges your metabolism–or so I hear–which is in a weird way sorta good for you overall because your metabolic rate doesn’t slow down so much.

That’s it.  Just 4 simple steps and I’ll be on my way to fitness model status before I know it.  Kidding.  Kind of.  I’m happier than I’ve been in a long time and that’s the main thing.  To be continued.  Wish me luck!  Talk to ya’ll soon.

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