Category: Lifestyle

Five Items You Must Add to Your Winter Wardrobe


Winter Wardrobe Essential One: Heavy Sweater

A heavy sweater is an essential wardrobe item for both men and women in order to remain warm during cold temperatures. There are a variety of sweaters available, including pullovers, turtlenecks and cardigans. One of the most versatile sweaters is a V-neck because it is possible to layer shirts and T-shirts underneath this garment. By choosing a basic color such as black or red, it is easy to wear a heavy sweater with other garments in a winter wardrobe.

Winter Wardrobe Essential Two: Corduroy Slacks

Nothing is warmer and more classic than a pair of corduroy slacks for wintertime activities. Corduroy fabric is tightly woven and thicker than many other materials, helping to create a pair of slacks that someone can wear outside while attending a football game or building a snowman. The same slacks are also appropriate for casual holiday parties and many work environments. In most cases, slacks made of corduroy are easy to wash and dry, so that someone can have a clean and fresh garment at anytime.

Winter Wardrobe Essential Three: Long-Sleeved Shirt

A long-sleeved shirt is an important garment to have for winter, and it is easy to layer this item with a cardigan or V-necked sweater. Choose a neutral color such as white or off-white that looks suitable for any occasion. For anyone in an extremely cold climate, choosing a shirt made of a heavyweight fabric is important. A lighter weight shirt is a good idea for warmer climates. In most cases, a traditional shirt with a button placket is most suitable, but ladies may want to choose a shirt with a bow at the neck instead.

Winter Wardrobe Essential Four: Winter Boots

In the winter, everyone needs a high-quality pair of winter boots to cope with snowy and icy weather. There are boots with high or low shafts that are made of vinyl, leather or suede. Choosing a pair of boots that is easy to walk in on slippery sidewalks and streets is essential. There are boots in trendy or classic styles in an assortment of colors such as brown, black or tan. Winter boots are an investment, and it is wise to select a pair that will last for many years.

Winter Wardrobe Essential Five: A Winter Coat

A heavy winter coat is a necessity for winter in order to stay warm in cold temperatures and snowstorms. Winter coats are made of wool, cotton or polyester, and many of these garments are also made of quilted fabric that is filled with down. For extra warmth, select a coat with a thick lining and hood, or choose one that has a removable liner for slightly warmer days.

Bloody Disaster: 3 Tricks to removing Stains from Clothing

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There is nothing more frustrating than having a child come home with their brand-new outfit full of stains or having coffee spilled on a blouse at work. While stains can be frustrating, it is possible to remove them without sacrificing the clothing or too much time. The next time a spill disaster occurs, try one of these three tricks to get the stain out.

Boiling Water, Vinegar and Toothpaste

The vibrant colors of strawberries, raspberries and blueberries make look great in a salad, but the same colors on clothing can mean a disastrous stain. Boiling water, vinegar and toothpaste can be used to remove a variety of food stains, including stains from berry spills.

To try this technique, immediately take the soiled garment and stretch it tightly over a bowl. Pour boiling water all over the stain and into the bowl below the fabric. This will remove much of the stain. Next, pour white vinegar in a separate bowl. Place the garment into the vinegar and let it sit for one hour. Ring out the excess vinegar and inspect the clothing; if a stain still remains, apply whitening toothpaste to the area and rub until it has disappeared.

Boiling Water and Lemons

Over time, white clothing can become stained with sweat, dirt and oils. These everyday stains may not show up on colored garments but can ruin a white shirt. To naturally remove stains and brighten whites, boiling water and lemons can be used.

Fill a large pot with water and bring it to a boil on the stove. Add three sliced lemons to the water as it simmers. Once it comes to a boil, turn off the heat and gently place the clothing into the water. Let sit for an hour and then launder as usual. Spreading them out to dry in the sunlight will whiten any stained areas even further.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Stains that contain proteins, such as blood and vomit, can be extremely difficult to remove. Proteins react to chemicals and bind to one another when exposed to heat, making them hard to remove from clothing using typical methods.

Hydrogen peroxide is effective against protein stains. Remove any excess materials from the stain by blotting with a white cloth or scraping it with a butter knife. Rinse the fabric under cool water and lay it on top of the counter. Pour three percent hydrogen peroxide onto the stain and let it sit for one minute. Rinse the fabric thoroughly and repeat until the stain is completely gone. For protein stains that have dried, mix one teaspoon of the hydrogen peroxide with cream of tartar until a paste has formed. Rub it on gently with a toothbrush, let sit for one minute and rinse.

No matter the stain, experts say that the sooner it is treated, the better chance it has of coming out forever. The next time red punch is spilled, don’t stress about the stain. With these three techniques, clothing will be cleaned and look brand-new once again.

5 Common Misconceptions Society has about Scientology


Every religion has their own share of doubters and naysayers who oppose contemporary religious movements. However, Scientology is not a cult, but a unique American religious organization. Below introduces five of the most common misperceptions that people have about Scientology.

Scientology is Just a Cult
Many religions experience a rocky beginning. Christianity was considered to be a cult by Roman authorities, Protestants and Catholic extremists considered the other to be a cult and fought bloody wars during the late middle ages. Latter Day Saints (Mormons), Jehovah’s Witnesses and Seventh Day Adventist have all experienced harsh treatment from the public and the media. However, all religions share basic virtues and ideas that form their conceptual understanding of the universe. Scientology is no different from other churches and also has a belief in the ultimate truth and reality.

Scientologists are Non-Denominational
Scientology is frequently described as being non-denominational and thus excluding certain sects. However, Scientology is actually identical to most major Asian religions, such as Taoism, Buddhism, Shintoism and Hinduism. All of these Asian religions are very diverse, but they openly embrace and integrate with other religions. In similar fashion, Scientology members can actually simultaneously belong to other sects. However, many sects of Islam, Judaism and Christianity have strict membership rules that forbid affiliation with different religious groups.

Scientologists Worship Bizarre Aliens
L. Ron Hubbard began his career as a prolific science fiction writer. Therefore, many outsiders confuse Hubbard’s creative works with the core teachings of Scientology. Like most religions, Scientologists believe people are spiritual beings and that intelligent life exists throughout the universe. However, certain critics claim that Scientologists worship aliens that live inside people. Coincidently, Jesus claimed that the kingdom of heaven existed in the hearts of men.

Scientologists are Abusive
There have been notable media stories about horrifying stories that recount abusive and controlling treatment of members within Scientology branches. However, many religions have different beliefs when it comes to sacrifice and spiritual cleansing. For example, Jehovah’s Witnesses will not allow blood transfusions based on their understanding of Old Testament teachings. Mormon members famously pay their own way to serve two-year missions all around the world. The month of Ramadan in Islamic countries is strictly enforced as believers prioritize humanitarian donations over eating.

Scientology is Rigid and Dogmatic
Scientology does have specific rules and guidelines for how their members should behave. However, all religions have their own unique dogmatic rules. For example, Joseph Smith, the founder of Mormonism, had a revelation known as the Word of Wisdom which is still in practice today. It forbids the consumption of coffee, alcohol and tobacco products. On the other hand, Jehovah’s Witnesses are firm pacifists that famously refused to fight in World War II. However, they made significant contributions to humanitarian aid in Europe.

Overall, many people still believe that Scientology is a cult because they limited exposure and understanding of the core teachings.

Fencing Feng Shui: 3 Fencing Trends for 2016


Fences are not simply structures that separate property lines. They provide a background for landscaping and a setting for outdoor activities. Fencing enjoys trends like other design elements. Today’s homeowners want their fencing to provide a distinctive look to their properties so that they can better enjoy outdoor relaxing, dining and entertaining in an attractive environment. Here are some fencing designs that help to create a conducive atmosphere for these activities:

Horizontal Lines
In the past, fencing was commonly placed in vertical slats or panels that could be either separated or overlapped to provide privacy and security. However, current trends are moving toward horizontal slats that create a more restful feeling in yard areas. Horizontal lines draw the human eye along the length of the fence instead of up and down, which provides a sense of spaciousness and movement.

Staggered Heights
Fencing set in staggered heights is becoming a popular trend because it adds more interest instead of straight lines at the top. Staggered fencing can follow the natural contours of a property, which gives yard areas a more fluid feeling. In rural areas or those where wildlife intrusion is a problem, the staggered panels should be at least 8 feet high to keep out deer and other animals that can easily leap lower sections when they smell tasty vegetation on the other side. In addition, fencing should also be set into the ground to avoid animals that are prone to burrowing under fences to reach food.

Dark Backgrounds
In recent years, home fence designs have favored using natural materials chosen to fit in well with the surrounding environment. A new idea that provides an enhanced outdoor experience is the look of charred wood. The darker background allows highlighting of the colors and textures of interesting landscape plants and can also emphasize yard décor. The use of charred wood in design, a Japanese art called “Shou Sugi Ban,” provides rich, deep colors in charcoal, gunmetal and chocolate that won’t peel like paint or fade like stain. The technique requires more than just burning to create the subtle color, and surfaces must be properly finished to provide long-lasting intensity. The process is expensive, but the end product is a unique look that gives outdoor areas a simple, yet refined elegance.

These designs can help to give your property a fresh and modern look that sets the stage for all your outdoor pleasures. See how new fencing can give your property a whole new look and feel.

5 Party Ideas for your Artistic Child’s Birthday


Your little artist is having a birthday and you want their day to be just as creative as they are. Birthday in a Box has a kit that you can purchase, or you can do it yourself. Here are five ideas for your child’s next birthday party:

Cupcake Decorating
One of the best things about a birthday party is the cake. So why not let your child, and everyone else’s, show their artistic ability by decorating their own cupcake. Make the cupcakes yourself at home or order plain cupcakes from a local bakery. Grab a couple cans of icing and some fun sprinkles at the grocery store and place them in bowls around a table, so they are in easy arm reach for the kids. Make sure to include spoons with icing. The kids will love digging into a cupcake that they just created themselves.

Grab Bag/Favor Bag Decorating
Kids love getting favor bags at the end of a party, so letting them decorate their own bag only adds to their excitement. All you need is some basic paper bags (even brown lunch bags will work!), stickers, and crayons. Make sure each kid puts their name on their bag for easy identification later. When they are all done, collect them and stuff them with your chosen goodies.

Paint a Picture
Set up a paint station for one of their activities. If you have access to a set of easels, that is great. If not, just cover a couple of table with either newspapers or a disposable table cloth. Give each child a large piece of paper or a blank canvas and let them get their creativity on. Let the kids get really creative by setting up a brushless paint station.

Need an activity that doesn’t involve paint? Try sculpting. Give each kid a container of Play-Doh as their sculpting clay. Call out a birthday item (candle, cupcake, balloon, etc.) and give the kids a set amount of time to try and sculpt them out of the Play-Doh. Allow them to show them off and then have the smash them to get ready for the next sculpture. They can take the Play-Doh home as their favor, as an added bonus!

Your child is an artist, so let them show off their skills by creating some of the decorations. Let them make the signs that will lead to the party, or if they can’t write yet, let them decorate them. Have them make pictures that will hang around the party. They will love getting to show off their abilities to all of the guests.

Temporary Generators Still Shouldn’t Cut Corners


When do you need a generator?
There isn’t much worse than settling in for a quiet night at home only to have the power shut off. At best you’ll end up reading a book by candle light, or going to bed early, to wake up and find the power has been restored overnight. The worst case scenario can be far more impactful. If power isn’t restored quickly, not only are you forced to suffer the mild inconveniences like getting dressed in the dark and going without any sort of electronic entertainment, you must also contend with more serious issues, like an inability to cook your food without an open flame, and the need to preserve any refrigerated or frozen foods you have. If the outage extends beyond a few days, you may find yourself in dire need of power, or you face a serious degradation of your quality of life.

Why choose a standby generator?
In an emergency situation like this, a backup generator can mean the difference between mild inconvenience and significant property damage/loss. If the area you live in is prone to blackouts or brownouts or if you simply want to avoid some of the discomfort that comes with power outages, a backup generator can be an excellent resource. Having a standby generator can save homeowners a lot of stress during extreme weather and power outages. Determining the right system for your home can be tricky, but there are resources out there that can help you find out which systems are right for you.

What sorts of problems could lesser generators cause?
Not all generators are created equal, however. William Pentland discusses some of the issues with smaller, off the shelf generators in his article on Forbes. Essentially, these smaller generators cut corners everywhere they can. Since they aren’t meant to be used for extended periods of time, they’re held to a far lower standard than more robust systems. This means that smaller, off the shelf generators can suffer from reliability issues. If they’re used for much longer than their rated times, they can begin to fail, or perform inconsistently, potentially causing just as many problems as you might have without it. At the very least, these devices aren’t made to run very efficiently, and you’ll likely using quite a bit of fuel, be it gasoline or propane, to keep them running. Not only is this costly, it’s also quite bad for the environment.

What are some solutions?
Professionally installed standby generators can offer peace of mind in the face of serious weather issues. They can keep vital home appliances running during power outages, and help homeowners maintain their standard of living through these times. Buyers should beware of cheap, inefficient generators because, while they may offer short term relief, they aren’t likely to be long term solutions.

How Plan and Prepare for the NCLEX Exam


If you are completing a degree in Nursing from an accredited program, your next step to qualify for a nursing position is to get licensed in the state in which you will work. All states in the U.S. and in Canada require the National Council Licensure Examination, or NCLEX-RN. This examination will determine whether you have the competencies to qualify for entry level nursing practice at the RN level.

NCLEX-PN is also used in the U.S. for licensure at the Practical Nurse level.

In planning and preparing for the NCLEX, you should proceed with the application procedures and scheduling of the examination so as to avoid the risk of testing delay caused by a high volume of applications.

Applying for the NCLEX

Detailed instructions for the procedures to follow to apply for the examination are given on the National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN)website Here is a summary of the steps to be taken:

1. You need first to get a licensure/registration application from the Board of Nursing in the state you will be working. After submitting your application materials and paying a fee, the Board will determine your eligibility to take the NCLEX.
2. While waiting for the Board’s action, you can contact Pearson VUE through phone or email to register for the examination and to pay the fee of $200 in the U.S. and $360 in Canada. This step reserves a space for the examination for 365 days. Once the Board of Nursing establishes your eligibility and issues a license, Pearson VUE will send you an Authorization to Test (ATT). The ATT gives you the authorization number, your candidate ID number, and the valid period for examination, usually 90 days.
3. You should schedule your examination date with Pearson VUE as soon after receiving the ATT as possible to secure an appointment within their crowded schedule. The examination is administered individually and requires an appointment for a specific time and place.

Preparing for the Examination

The most comprehensive way to prepare for the examination is to study the examination process itself and to review the subject matter being tested.

The NCLEX Process

NCLEX is administered through computerized adaptive testing (CAT) which is a process that is individualized for the person being examined to determine his or her true competence level. The items in the test pool are calibrated for difficulty level, and the computer selects each question given according to how the candidate has scored on previous questions. The kinds of questions asked and the way a person’s competence level is determined is explained in this video This second video explains how the computerized adaptive testing procedure of NCLEX works and how you will be tested.

Content Review

In the explanations of the NCLEX exam structure above, note that Comprehension and Knowledge establish your base level of competency, and that to pass the test, you will have to score correctly on items that test Application and Analysis. A good way to check on topics and areas which you need to review is to try the NCLEX practice items provided on this website For the items you answer correctly, an explanation of both correct and wrong answers is given. For items that you got wrong, no explanation is given, but this clues you to review that particular topic. This article gives you the subject matter covered on the NCLEX and also lists a number of resources that you can access for preparation.

Besides familiarizing yourself with the testing process and reviewing nursing knowledge, approaching the examination with optimism and facing it as a positive challenge will prepare you to do well on the NCLEX. Good luck!

3 Crawl Space Repair Mistakes to Avoid


If you implement improper procedures when repairing a crawl space, you’ll have to deal with more costly issues down the road. To save cash, you must gather information about crawl space repairs in order to avoid the most common maintenance mistakes.

Installation and Add-on Mistakes

You won’t eliminate any moisture from your crawl space by installing additional vents. If your home is located in a humid climate, you’ll need to cover the vents to keep humid air out of the crawl space.

As warm air enters a crawl space, it raises to the ceiling and creates an uncomfortable environment. If the interior surfaces remain damp, black mold with grow on the joists. To prevent this issue, ensure that every crawl space and vent has a tight cover.

You must understand that all air that enters a vent doesn’t move side to side. Instead, the currents move up and create the Stack Effect. This means that every current that enters the crawl space exits above the living space in your home. Contractors are now building encapsulate crawl spaces to address high moisture levels in humid communities.

Damp Crawl Space Mistakes

Although spray foam insulation is an effective solution, you shouldn’t use it in a damp or wet crawl space because the insulation will trap moisture. After water is sealed between the wall and the coating, the moisture can’t escape. As a result, mold will grow in the crawl space and wood rot will occur.

If you use a spray foam in a crawl space that has untreated plates, the insulated coating will pull away from the wall when heavy moisture builds up. This is why you should only use a spray foam in a crawl space that has a foundation sealant, a water resistant membrane, footing drains, and downspout extensions.

You should never use fiberglass insulation to insulate a damp crawl space. Over time, mold will grow on the insulation; then, the fiberglass may drop if the material absorbs too much moisture in the air.

Drainage System Mistake

A typical crawl space is susceptible to moisture issues because leaks can occur quite easily. Standing water usually builds up in narrow crevices after a hard and windy rainstorm. This is why you must install a proper drainage system that pushes water away from your crawl space.

Besides these problems, there are many other repair mistakes that can ruin a crawl space. You can learn more proper repair procedures by contacting a reputable contractor.

Airport Pickup: Do you Always Need to Plan Ahead?

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Just over a decade ago, picking up a friend or family member at the airport was a breeze. One could pull up to the curb at the arrivals terminal and simply wait until the passenger appeared. Obviously, these days are long gone. Airports have tightened up restrictions—for good reasons—and there are now all kinds of security issues to consider when you’re headed to the airport. However, with a bit of planning, you can remove any potential headaches from the equation.

Give Yourself Extra Time
Many airports, such as LAX, will do a brief visual inspection of each vehicle as it enters the airport. This usually just involves an officer nodding to the vehicle to proceed, but prepare for the fact that you may be pulled over so that the officer can take a closer look at you and/or your vehicle. You may be asked for your license, so treat it like a regular traffic stop. Make sure that you have your registration, insurance and other necessary paperwork in the car with you.

Also, if you have any outstanding issues like a broken taillight, try to get it fixed before you head to the airport. Your good deed could turn into a ticket if your vehicle isn’t up to snuff. Remember that airport security can turn on a dime, in accordance with whatever is happening in the world. To stay posted on any specific delays or security issues, check out the TSA website.

Keep Tabs on the Flight
Get your friend’s flight number and check on it periodically. Most airlines allow you to do this through their websites. This way, you won’t be surprised if the flight is delayed—or even if it lands a half-hour early.

Find Out if the Airport Has a Cell Phone Parking Lot
The best thing to do is to wait for your friend in the airport’s cell phone waiting area. Once their plane has landed, have them give you a call or text you. Find out if they’ll be heading to baggage claim; if they are, then don’t leave the parking lot until they’ve picked up their bags. Many of the airport police officers will have no qualms about giving you a traffic ticket for waiting too long—it’s best to err on the side of caution. Stay in communication with your friend as much as possible, but make sure that you’re not using your phone unless it’s hands-free.

While airport pickups are often a necessity, there’s no need to make them more of a hassle than they already are. By planning and staying in communication, you should be able to complete an airport pickup without any difficulty.

Remodeling: Property Value vs. Pleasure


One of the joys of owning your home is the opportunity to make it into your own unique living space. If you want an extra bedroom, you can create one without penalty. If you want to paint the walls red instead of white, you can do that without anyone telling you that you can’t. However, you may want to think about whether a home improvement project is worth the cost of completing it.

Will You Get Your Money Back?

One of the things that you have to think about is whether your investment will ever be recouped in the long-term. In other words, when you sell the home, will you get a higher selling price because of that addition you put on or the extra bedroom that you made? If not, you may want to hold off on that project or scale it down.

Does It Make Your Home Nicer?

There are times when remodeling your home just makes it look nicer or allows it to function better. Even if you don’t recoup your investment, putting in a new workspace or adding a half-bathroom to your basement may make it easier to do arts and crafts on the weekends or get ready in the morning without getting in anyone else’s way. In that case, you may want to go ahead with the remodel just to avoid stress and help you enjoy the several years that you will spend in your home.

Can You Do It Yourself?

If you can do a project yourself, you may be able to reduce the cost of the project. For instance, if you know how to put in drywall, have experience with electrical work or can do your own plumbing, it may reduce the cost enough that you can get your money back when you sell the home. Even if you are doing a remodeling project for your own pleasure, it always helps to do as much of the work as possible yourself to cut down on labor costs. You may also benefit by learning new skills if you decide to take on the project yourself.

Whenever you remodel your home, you should always take your own needs and wants into consideration. While it may be nice to have a second bedroom or a second half-bath, you never know if that will actually increase the sale price of your home. Instead, focus on the things that you like as that will make any project money well spent for as long as you own the home.