Category: Lifestyle

4 Important Vapor Accessories

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Advancements in vaporizer technology have made it more accessible than ever. People who smoke tobacco are opting for vapor at a significant rate. Some choose vapor for convenience, others for texture and flavor, and others still because of the possibility that vapor can save lives.

Whatever your reason to choose vaporization as an inhalation method, there can be a learning curve. Not all vaporizers are created equally, and there are some accessories available that cannot only make your experience simpler but also more cost-effective over the long run.

1. Stainless Steel Cartridges

For many people, one of the most alluring aspects of e-cigs is the cost savings. You can purchase bottles of tobacco juice in bulk and then vaporize as needed. Nevertheless, there can be some hidden costs to this process, and one of them is the cartridge that holds the heating coil. These cartridges heat up quickly and intensely, which results in a great deal of wear and tear. Stainless steel cartridges cost more up front, but they last longer than the alternatives and make it much easier to remove and clean the coils.

2. Larger Batteries and a Charger

Other accessories you may want to invest in are bigger batteries and a sophisticated charger. If you enjoy vapor regularly, then chances are that the battery that comes with your initial vaporizer purchase won’t big enough to suit your tastes. You’ll want something with a little more oomph, and you’ll want at least two of them in order to quick swap in the event that one dies while you’re enjoying a smoke. A good charger serves two purposes: it lets you charge your batteries fast, but more importantly, it does so in a safe and consistent matter, which extends battery life and lowers your battery costs overall.

3. Rebuildable Atomizer

If you’re a novice, you may not need to buy a rebuildable right away. After all, there are different types of atomizers, and you’ll need some time to determine what resistance you prefer. Once you know what you like, however, a rebuildable is a must-have vapor accessory. The atomizer is a consumable part and costs will add up if you have to keep buying new ones. With a rebuildable, you can clean it and maintain it, and when it does fail, parts are inexpensive relative to purchasing a new unit.

4. Stainless Steel Pick Tools

Cleaning your vaporizer can be a hassle, but it doesn’t have to be. One of the most challenging aspects of cleaning a vaporizer is removing the gunk from heating coils and other parts of the unit. This is where a good pick comes in and makes the job a lot easier. Stainless steel is an important characteristic because you don’t want anything that can leave behind its own residue. You can usually purchase a single pick for a few dollars, but if you’re willing to spend a little more, than you get a complete set that comes with a selection of pick shapes.

 

6 Low Cost Ways to Furnish a New Home

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There are a lot of things that go into making a house feel like a home, but one of the most important elements of a home is the furnishings. Furniture and decorations bring rooms and open spaces to life. Unfortunately, these things can be expensive! Fortunately, there are many easy ways to furnish your home without spending too much money.
1. Craigslist.com and Garage Sales

Like-new used items can be an excellent value when you are short on cash but need to decorate your home. Decide what you need, then search at garage sales. Or, Craigslist.com is like an online garage sale! You can search in your local area by item type (if you know you need a specific piece), or by price (if you know you need something to fill that odd corner, but you’re not sure what). Users list their items for a set price, but most prices are negotiable. There are sometimes amazing deals on nearly-new or unused items. Just make sure to check that the item is clean and in good condition before you bring it home.
2. Ikea

Although Ikea products may get a bad reputation for being cheap, many of their products are of very high quality with stylish appeal, and at much lower prices than their competitors. Look for solid wood or metal furniture, textiles, rugs, baskets, storage solutions and lighting fixtures, and be sure to check the as-is section for extra discounted items that may fit your needs.
3. Online Shopping

Because online stores don’t have the costs of a brick-and-mortar store, they may be able to offer better pricing on certain objects. Consider Amazon.com or Overstock.com for smaller items like pillows or lamps or picture frames. Watch for seasonal sales or use an online coupon to get the best price, and make sure to get free shipping.
4. Dollar stores

Dollar stores sell lots of smaller items that can help to furnish your home. Picture frames, wall decals, contact paper, vases, and candles can all be found at these types of stores for a much better price than you will find anywhere else.
5. Thrift stores

Like garage sales or craigslist, thrift stores are an excellent option for finding furniture or other furnishings that are gently used. Look for well-built items that fit the style of your home. It may take several trips to find all the furniture pieces that you need, but this will simply ensure that your home feels naturally collected and designed once it is finished.
6. Do-it-Yourself

Finally, if you can’t find the right piece for your space in any of the other suggested locations, or you find yourself in love with an item for your home that is hopelessly out of your budget, try making it yourself. Pinterest.com has thousands of ideas for do-it-yourself home decorating projects, and there are several good websites such as Ana-white.com that show you how to make furniture pieces. At the very least, consider making over used furniture that isn’t quite right by painting it or changing the cushion. You will feel proud of yourself for the work that you have done, and your home will be furnished with pieces that bear your personal touch.

 

5 Ways to Lower New Wardrobe Costs

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Maybe you have lost weight over the past few years, or maybe you got a new job that requires you to dress up on the daily. Whatever the reason, it’s time to invest in a new wardrobe. While shopping for clothes can be fun, it can also make a major dent in your budget. The good news is that there are plenty of ways to purchase a new wardrobe without breaking the bank. Before hitting the mall, try these five tips.

1. Shop the Clearance Racks
Buying clothing out of season can save you big bucks, according to Lifehacker.org. While it can be tough to get in the mindset of purchasing sweaters and boots when you are dreaming of a weekend at the beach, the fact is that buying clothes off season offers the best deals. When you are packing away your summer or winter clothes, take an inventory of what you’ll need for next year, then haunt the clearance racks of your favorite stores.

2. Look for Quality
Spending more money on quality clothing when you’re trying to save money might seem counter intuitive, but the goal here is longevity. Rather than buying cheap pieces that will only last a season, search for well made staples from trusted brands that you truly love. According to U.S. News and World Report, timeless classics never go out of style. Then, for a fresh look, supplement these key pieces with inexpensive, trendier items each season.

3. Know What Suits You
Avoid buying items of clothing that you don’t completely love, or that don’t quite fit right. You’ll find that they get pushed to the back of your closet while you wear the outfits you truly love, making them a waste of both money and space. Be honest with yourself about the cuts, colors, and styles that flatter you, and stick with them. The exception to the fit rule is clothes that just need a small nip or tuck to look amazing on you; for those items, get to know a good tailor.

4. Avoid the Outlets
Think you are saving big at the outlets? Think again. Rather than real deals, retail outlets generally consist of lower quality items that were manufactured specifically to be sold at a discount, making the advertised savings misleading. You’ll also find pieces that didn’t sell well at the regular store and those with imperfections.

5. Shop Consignment
The advent of the Internet makes it easy to find good quality used clothing in excellent condition from designer brands without spending all day sorting through the racks. Sites like thredup.com are meticulous about the brands and condition they accept, and allow you to easily search by item, size, and manufacturer. These online retailers can often save you up to 75 percent on great pieces.

How to Make a Proper Offer on a Home: Guidelines to Follow

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The decision to buy a new house is a significant one, and you can spend a lot of time and energy trying to find the right home to purchase. After you have found your dream home, however, the last thing you may want is to have your offer denied by the seller. With this in mind, you may be wondering what it takes to structure a reasonable offer that the seller will accept. There are a few steps to follow that can help you to accomplish your goal of getting an offer accepted.

Get Prequalified
If you plan to use a home loan to pay for a portion of the property, an offer to purchase a property is stronger if it is accompanied by a pre-qualification letter. You can get pre-qualified for a mortgage through a lender, and the process typically only takes a few minutes to complete. Once you have a letter in your possession, you can hand it to your real estate agent to affix to the offer that he or she prepares on your behalf. Keep in mind that the sales contract will state whether you plan to pay with cash or if you are applying for a mortgage.

Decide On a Reasonable Asking Price
The next step is to work with your real estate agent to decide on a reasonable price. You may only have a limited budget that you are working with, and you may be inclined to submit a lower offer simply because you cannot afford to make a higher offer. While this strategy may be successful if the seller is getting desperate to sell the property, some sellers will immediately turn down a low ball offer. They likely know how much their property is worth, and they may be inclined to wait for a reasonable offer that is close to the asking price. In some cases, the comparable sales data may indicate that the asking price is too high. If this is the case, submitting an offer with comps to support it is reasonable.

Be Reasonable About Contingencies
All sales contracts have contingencies, such as those for the closing, the property inspection and more. For example, it is reasonable to allow ten days after the acceptance of the sales contract for the property inspection to be completed and 30 days for closing. This will vary by market, and some sellers may be more wary of accepting an offer with very long contingencies. On the other hand, some may not be ready to move out of the house for six or eight weeks, so a longer contingency may be preferred by some.

If you are structuring a sales offer, a smart idea is for your real estate agent to reach out to the seller’s real estate agent. This can provide you with additional information about what the seller is looking for in an offer. Through your efforts and with the help of your real estate agent, you may be able to structure a great deal that the seller will accept.

3 Major Differences Between Whey and Soy Protein

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Supplementing your diet with a healthful source of protein has been shown to be beneficial to skeletal and muscular health, especially after exercising. During an intense workout, the body excretes electrolytes and burns the most readily available protein to use as energy. Supplementing with a soy or whey based protein drink is a popular method of consuming more protein. There are major differences between these 2 protein sources of which consumers should be mindful.

Possible Hormonal Influences of Soy

Unlike whey, which is derived from cow’s milk, soy protein is derived directly from the humble soybean. However, soy has been shown to contain substances, called isoflavones, that may mimic the hormonal action of estrogen. It is thought that isoflavones may lower testosterone levels. Increases in estrogen levels may cause:

  • Thyroid issues
  • Low energy
  • Digestive troubles
  • Fertility issues

However, there are many studies that oppose this viewpoint, claiming that the influence of soy upon human estrogen levels is rather innocuous. Therefore, most people can consume soy products without any trouble, but this is one issue of which consumers should be aware.

The Issue of Lactose

Whey is the watery portion of milk that separates from curds during the process of cheese making. Whey is a complete protein and an excellent source of amino acids. Due to its chemical makeup, it has a high degree of bio-availability. This means that the human body can quickly digest and absorb the nutrient profile of whey, making it a great choice after an intense workout for quick refueling.

However, since whey is a dairy product, it is not suitable for people who suffer from a dairy allergy or who are lactose intolerant. People who are vegan also would want to avoid this source of protein, but they can count on soy to provide a complete protein profile. While it may not be as readily digested by the body, soy is still a good protein choice for individuals who need to avoid dairy in their diet.

Weight Loss & Muscle Building

Although soy is a complete source of protein, a 2013 government study found that people who supplement with whey protein build more lean muscle mass and lose weight more effectively than those who choose soy. Although the mechanism by which whey works differently from soy is as of yet unknown, the results draw a clear conclusion that whey is a superior source of fitness nutrition.

Although whey may yield more weight loss benefits, soy is still a healthful and effective fuel for the human body. Despite their differences, both soy and whey can be part of a healthful lifestyle.

8 Creative Pottery Painting Ideas

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There are several styles to use when decorating your pottery, both before firing and afterwards, and it can be a little confusing choosing the right style. Decorating pottery doesn’t have to be difficult; in fact, painting pottery is so easy people have been doing it since prehistoric times. Here are some ideas to get you started.

 

Stencils: This method will add life to a plain pot. Place a stencil on a pot and paint around it, or even try using a cookie cutter and paint inside of it.

 

Make it metal: Choose a metallic craft paint or spray paint in a shiny hue. Nail polish is an option for added sheen. Leave it shiny or dab green or black on the edges of the pot for a natural-looking patina.

 

Ombre: Place water in a pot that’s larger than the one you want to paint. Mix in water color paint. Completely submerge the smaller pot, then very slowly pull it out, allowing the paint to soak deeper though the part you want to be darker.

 

Chevron: Chevron is a popular pattern that adds a pop of color to anything drab. Choose two colors, or choose one color that will complement the natural color of the pot. Paint the lighter of the two colors over the whole pot, and when it dries, place painter’s tape over the pot in zig zags, creating the Chevron pattern. Paint the open areas with the second color. Remove the painter’s tape, and voila! You’ll have a pot fit for Charlie Brown.

 

Sponge Paint: To jazz up your décor, dip an old sponge in brightly colored craft paint, then dab onto the pot. Go gently for light dots, or make it rough to the touch with a heavy hand.

 

Stamps: Using stamps and stamp ink or paint, create a pretty picture on a plain clay pot by rolling it firmly onto the desired surface. For added flair, paint in the details with colorful craft paint or outline your favorite parts with a shiny permanent marker.

 

Drip Paint: Using thin or watered-down paint, drip tiny dots around the top rim of the pot. Alternate colors for a festive look. Or, flip the pot over to create movement from the bottom.

 

Finger Paint: Be a kid and get your hands dirty. Dip your fingers in pools of paint and smear it all over the surface of the pot. While it’s messy, the shape and texture of your finger will add an interesting look to your masterpiece.

 

With all painting, make sure you leave every piece time to properly dry; happy painting.

 

3 Simple Skin Care Tricks

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Did you know your skin is an organ? It is true! As the body’s largest organ, the skin has the awesome responsibility of keeping us free from damage and disease and helping to regulate our body temperature. It only makes sense that we take care of this vital organ to maintain optimal health. Here are three simple skin care tips to consider in keeping your skin at its best.

1. Protect it from the sun! (Including indoor tanning beds.)

Sunburn is absolutely no fun, but you don’t need to have sunburn in order to have skin damage. The skin can become damaged in as little as 15 minutes in the sun. The Centers for Disease Control offer several tips for sun protection.  Clothing and hats are a first line of defense against the damaging UV rays. Seek shade and avoid going out in the sun during the middle of the day when the sun’s rays are most intense, and don’t forget sunscreen of SPF 15 or greater. Even with sunscreen, you should limit your sun exposure when possible. Artificial sunlight in tanning beds is not a safe alternative, either. In fact, tanning beds can cause more damage to the skin in a shorter amount of time than sun exposure. Stay away from them.

2. Keep Skin Clean and Moisturized

In order to maintain flexibility and health, the skin needs to be free from damage and kept moisturized. Wash with warm water and cleanser every day, being mindful to remove make up if you wear it. Pat dry to avoid causing skin damage by rubbing. Follow up with a moisturizer that meets your skin type. Even oily skin needs moisturizing. You can select from a wide variety of cleansers, moisturizers, and creams, or you can use some home remedies for keeping your skin in tip-top shape.  Did you know coconut oil is good for your skin? So is honey.

3. Take care of it from the inside.

The nicest thing you can do for your skin is nourish it from the inside out. Eat a balanced diet and stay hydrated with fresh, clean water. Balanced meals include fresh fruits and vegetables, healthy grains, lean proteins, and a limit on processed and sugary foods whose ingredients are as bad for your skin as they are for the rest of your body. Water will help your skin look and feel fresh and maintain the right balance of moisture and flexibility.

Taking care of your skin does not have to be complicated. Protecting it from the sun, cleaning and moisturizing it, and nourishing it from the inside are all habits you can build into your daily routine.

7 Things You Must See in San Diego

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According to U.S. News, a trip here will prove there is little reason to leave the city while visiting. There is so much to do from the beaches to the cliffs that San Diego’s natural wonders are sure to provide excitement for days. Here are seven of the things that you must see while in San Diego.

1. Mission Beach

Mission Beach is one of the most popular beaches in San Diego, due to its proximity to nearby attractions. This 2-mile beach is a popular spot for San Diego locals, which brings visitors into the authentic scene of the city. Also, seals happen to frequent this beach, so there is often some wildlife to see. An the northern edge of Mission Beach is a landmark feature, the Giant Dipper rollercoaster. Luckily for daytime visitors, there are many places along the boardwalk to grab lunch.

2. Gaslamp Quarter

Gaslamp Quarter is filled with Victorian-style buildings that house a variety of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. This area includes some of the city’s most popular nightlife destinations. The Horton Plaza is a great place to start in the Gaslamp Quarter, as it is an outdoor shopping center. The side streets home beautiful architecture and there is even a trolley available for an Old Town tour.

3. Coronado Island

Just across the Coronado Bridge lies a beautiful place to see the downtown San Diego skyline. The Huffington Post claims Coronado Island to be a small town within a big city due to the local boutique shops, historical hotels, restaurants and cafes.

4. San Diego Zoo

This zoo is one of the most famous in the country, widely known for its large natural habitats. There are almost 4,000 different species within the walls of the San Diego zoo, and space to house them all. This expansive zoo gives hours of fun with everything it offers. The trails and pathways lead visitors throughout the zoo alongside wildlife, so there is always something exciting to see.

5. Balboa Park

This park is the centerpiece of the city’s culture. Located right in the heart of downtown, Balboa Park is a sought after place for a walk, bike ride or picnic. The park has many gardens and beautiful Spanish-Renaissance architecture. Because this is such an attraction for the locals, there is a lot of people watching to be done. This iconic park is a must-see due to its authenticity.

6. USS Midway Museum

The USS Midway Museum shows visitors what life is like atop a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier. Aboard this 20th century aircraft carrier, there are 60 different exhibits. The self-guided audio tour lets people move at their desired pace. Some of the top attractions on this tour are the crew’s sleeping quarters, the ship’s jail, the engine room, and the flight control room. Docents are also present on board the ship to provide extra information for guests. Two flight simulators are also included in the museum, which is a great added touch to the excitement.

7. Torrey Pines

This natural reserve consists of 1700 acres of numerous types of plant life, but it is particularly known to house the Torrey Pine. The Torrey Pine is one of America’s most rare pine trees. This beautiful and well known area is great for a day full of hiking and bird-watching. Eight miles of trails are available for visitors. Scenic hikes go through cliffs overlooking the Pacific. There are also two secluded shorelines for swimming opportunities.

 

How Often Should I Have My Car Detailed?

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You always want your car to look its best. Keeping it free from salt or other chemicals can prevent rust that will eat away at the car’s framework. Keeping your tires free from grime and slush can keep your rims looking shiny and your car looking new for months or years after you buy it. However, the question on most car owner’s minds is how often they should detail their vehicles.

What Is Detailing?

Detailing is the process of making sure every inch of your vehicle is clean, shiny and looks like new. This may mean cleaning the rims and tires with a brush and specialized soap or foam or wiping down the exterior to get rid of dirt and salt. On the inside, you may decide to vacuum the carpet and remove any odors from the air. You would also wipe down the dashboard and any non-carpeted features on the inside to make them look and smell as if you just bought the car.

When Does Detailing Make Sense?

Detailing is most often done when you are about to sell the car to a private party. While you may also want to detail prior to trading it in to a dealer, the fact is that the dealer is going to value your car the same regardless of how it looks. You detail prior to selling to a private party because you want that person to see the car in pristine condition, which may justify your asking price. Detailing may also be worthwhile if you notice that there are strange smells coming from the car or if there are noticeable stains that you just can’t stand anymore.

How Often Should You Have Your Car Detailed?

There is no set time frame in which you should have your car detailed. In other words, you don’t need to clean the interior every 3,000 miles or scrub down the rims every six months. Instead, you can perform any necessary detailing based on personal preferences. Even if you don’t fully detail the car on a regular basis, it is important to wash it, vacuum the interior and take care of minor dents and scratches as they occur.

Getting your car detailed can make it look great and feel better to drive in. If you have kids or pets, you can rest assured that there will be stains and odors that accumulate over time. Therefore, it may be worthwhile to look for a car wash or auto body shop that offers detailing for a reasonable price.

Five Ways to Plan the Perfect Luxury Yacht Tour

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One: Contact a Professional Travel Agency

One of the first things that you should do before going on a luxury yacht tour is to contact professional travel agencies to get the best deal. An agent can talk to you about certain types of amenities that you want for extra comfort such as a deluxe size cabin with a regular bed instead of bunk beds. You might want to travel to multiple ports to visit local historical sites or walk along beautiful beaches rather than spend the entire trip on the yacht.

Two: Where Do You Want to Travel?

Perhaps you want to fly to Alaska in the summer to get onboard a yacht that travels along the coastline to photograph wildlife such as seals, polar bears or elk. This type of tour might include going further out to sea to see whales or visit islands where there are penguins. Alternatively, you might want to go to Florida to get onboard a yacht that travels offshore to permit fishing. It is also possible for you to relax on a yacht while sunbathing on the deck instead of trying to do anything else.

Three: Check the Crew’s Training

Before getting on the yacht, verify that the crew has the proper training by checking the state’s licensing regulations. It is especially important to understand the boat captain’s reputation in case an emergency situation such as a major rainstorm occurs while at sea. You need to know if the yacht has emergency supplies, including extra drinking water, life jackets and working radio equipment to contact someone for assistance if a disaster occurs.

Four: Understand What to Pack for Your Tour

You should learn what to bring along for your yacht tour because there are no stores to shop at onboard. While the weather may be sunny and warm when you leave for the tour, the temperature can drop rapidly while on the water. The sleeping quarters on a yacht are not as big as a cruise ship, so you cannot bring along a large assortment of suitcases. Make sure to bring along sunscreen, sunglasses and heavier clothing for breezy days on the yacht’s deck.

Five: Learn About Boat Safety before Going on the Tour

If you have never been on a yacht before, then you need to learn a few rules to remain safe. Unless you are a strong and experienced swimmer, you might want to wear a life jacket at all times to avoid drowning if you fall overboard. It is a good idea to review first aid procedures such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation or how to cope with a broken bone in case an injury occurs during the tour.