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12 Hilarious Thanksgiving Game Ideas

12 Hilarious Thanksgiving Game Ideas
You've done a ton of cooking but what about the rest of the entertainment? Here are ideas for 12 hilarious Thanksgiving games for your family and guests. Most of them require household items you probably have on hand already! (www.playpartyplan.com) > Read More
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10 DIY Fall Decor Ideas for Under $50 (or Free!)

10 DIY Fall Decor Ideas for Under $50 (or Free!)
Now that fall has arrived, you might be inspired to try some DIY fall decor ideas in your home.Just try a few of these DIY fall decor ideas below, many of which cost less than $50-or are even free. > Read More
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What to Do in the Garden during the Winter?

What to Do in the Garden during the Winter?
The winter allows your clay soil to be able to grind large clods: this soil will be more friable in spring. It is the cold that will decompose, clean, arrange your land during winter. (1001gardens.org) > Read More
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25 Handmade Ornaments you can DIY

25 Handmade Ornaments you can DIY
Don't you just love pulling out the sweet handmade ornaments every year when you decorate your tree. They're such a timestamp of years gone by. (nobiggie.net) > Read More
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3 Advantages of Selling Your Home During the Holidays

3 Advantages of Selling Your Home During the Holidays
We all know - or maybe we assume - that Spring and Summer are the best times to sell a home. And it's true that many buyers do plan their new home purchases during the warmer months. But that doesn't mean all the serious buyers evaporate after Labor Day. (www.daveramsey.com) > Read More
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How to Decorate Your Fireplace for the Holidays

How to Decorate Your Fireplace for the Holidays
Don't get stuck with the same old boring mantel routine! Spice it up with these ideas from the experts at World Market. (www.worldmarket.com) > Read More
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10 Fall Home Maintenance Musts

10 Fall Home Maintenance Musts
Winter is fast approaching and there is a list of things that need to be done before the end of fall. Take this handy checklist from BobVila.com and make sure your place is cold-weather-ready. > Read More
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13 Things to Know About Selling Your Home in Fall and Winter

13 Things to Know About Selling Your Home in Fall and Winter
The weather may be getting colder, but that doesn't mean buyers' bids have to. (realestate.usnews.com) > Read More
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15 Ways To Make Your Backyard Awesome

15 Ways To Make Your Backyard Awesome
Just because cooler weather has finally come doesn't mean you should just abandon the backyard to Mother Nature. Use some of these DIY ideas to make your yard a place to enjoy no matter what the season brings! > Read More
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5 Easy Pieces: Rustic Curb Appeal

5 Easy Pieces: Rustic Curb Appeal
Now is the perfect time to transition your summer curb appeal to autumn. Benches, welcome mats, and other decor accents that incorporate wood, aged metal, copper, and natural fibers are perfect for the season but subtle enough to offer year-round character. Here are five beautiful additions to consider. (thisoldhouse.com) > Read More
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10 Ways to Create a Backyard Getaway

10 Ways to Create a Backyard Getaway
A patio can be a hot slab of concrete baking in the sun--or it can be a welcoming extension of the house, calling you outdoors to enjoy cool breezes and fresh air. With a little planning, you can make your patio a comfortable seasonal room. (bhg.com) > Read More
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20+ Ways To Have a Debt Free Holiday Season

20+ Ways To Have a Debt Free Holiday Season
If you're a regular credit card user, you may have racked up a nice amount of credit card rewards that you can use for the holidays. And I'm not just talking Christmas gifts either. > Read More
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Built-Ins That Make Entertaining Easier

Built-Ins That Make Entertaining Easier
The holidays are upon us. For help getting party-ready, we've assembled a portfolio of bars and servers that pack style and utility into the typical untapped spaces in a home. (www.thisoldhouse.com) > Read More
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These 5 Home Maintenance Must-Dos for October Are Not Scary at All

These 5 Home Maintenance Must-Dos for October Are Not Scary at All
Halloween's ghosts and ghouls are just around the corner, but you know what's really scary? Deferred home maintenance and the gruesome problems that can result! Prevent this horrible fate by taking care of a few easy tasks now. (realtor.com) > Read More
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26 Design Ideas for Beautiful Garden Paths

26 Design Ideas for Beautiful Garden Paths
Anchor your garden with a pretty walkway and savor the rewards of all that digging, planting and weeding. (diynetwork.com) > Read More
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How to Treat Your Lawn in the Fall

How to Treat Your Lawn in the Fall
After a summer of heavy use many lawns start showing signs of wear and tear by the end of the season. Early autumn is a great time to repair the damage and to ensure that your turf is in good condition for the year ahead. (HGTV.com) > Read More
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Real Life Haunted Houses in the United States

Real Life Haunted Houses in the United States
Most travelers avoid staying at haunted houses, but some travelers consider paranormal activity to be the hallmark of a great vacation. TravelandLeisure.com covers the coolest, creepiest haunted houses around the US. > Read More
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Autumn Porch Decorating Ideas

Autumn Porch Decorating Ideas
Fall is here! From pumpkin topiaries and leaf garland to a beautiful Fall wreath embellished with mini pumpkins and gourds, give your front porch style with these super easy ideas. (www.lauratrevey.com) > Read More
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Weekend Project: This Routine Cleaning Task Is a Serious Soul-Saver

Weekend Project: This Routine Cleaning Task Is a Serious Soul-Saver
Your fridge needs some attention before all of the holiday cooking begins. Eh? (www.apartmenttherapy.com) > Read More
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Elements of a Cozy Home

Elements of a Cozy Home
This time of year, as the weather changes, our homes begin to change, too. Lightweight summer bedding is replaced with warmer blankets. The air conditioner goes off and the fireplace comes on. Slippers or thick socks become a household necessity and we spend more time indoors. But above all, we strive to be cozy. > Read More
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Tips for Making Carved Pumpkins Last

Tips for Making Carved Pumpkins Last
Mold growth and dehydration are the two main causes of pumpkin rot. Luckily, there are several ways to prevent both so that your masterpieces stay fresh longer! (www.growingajeweledrose.com) > Read More
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September Home Maintenance Guide

September Home Maintenance Guide
Welcome fall! September is a month of transition, when we start to put away our summer gear and prepare for cooler weather. It can be a busy month for home maintenance, especially if you live in a region with fall wind and rain storms. (porch.com) > Read More
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15 Bedroom Designs for a Cozy Winter

15 Bedroom Designs for a Cozy Winter
Getting your bedroom ready for winter means cozy quilts, pretty pillows and soft blankets. > Read More
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10 Home Checks to Prepare for the Warmer Months

10 Home Checks to Prepare for the Warmer Months
10 Home Checks to Prepare for the Warmer Months > Read More
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10 Investment Tips for Buying a Vacation Home

10 Investment Tips for Buying a Vacation Home
You've discovered this great resort community and had a great time there. You'd love to go back any time you want, provide great vacations for others, while making money along the way. Congratulations, you've taken your first step toward buying a vacation rental. Let's look at 10 ways to make the most of your vacation home investment. (home.howstuffworks.com) > Read More
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How to Light Your Bath So Everyone Looks Good

How to Light Your Bath So Everyone Looks Good
These bathroom lighting ideas from Architectural Digest (architecturaldigest.com) are focused on creating a flattering space that makes everyone look good. Designer Victoria Hagan shares her expert advice. > Read More
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A Handy End-of-Summer Home Maintenance Checklist

A Handy End-of-Summer Home Maintenance Checklist
Every season can take a toll on your home's exterior, but the summer heat can be particularly destructive. When the dog days of summer give way to the cool breeze of fall, be sure to take some time to give your property a once-over and make the necessary repairs as needed. (centuryspouting.com) > Read More
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17 ways to cozy up your house for $0

17 ways to cozy up your house for $0
Relaxation for you and your bank account. > Read More
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Ten Tips for Hosting an End of Summer Party

Ten Tips for Hosting an End of Summer Party
It's hard to believe the end of summer is already here. What better way to say goodbye to summer and hello to fall than to host an end of the summer party? (momtastic.com) > Read More
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Backyard hangout

Backyard hangout
> Read More
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How to Pot a Fruit Tree That Will Adorn Any Space

How to Pot a Fruit Tree That Will Adorn Any Space
Not enough room for an orchard? Try planting a small fruit tree in a container. (bhg.com) > Read More
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Tips for Throwing The Perfect Late Summer Picnic

Tips for Throwing The Perfect Late Summer Picnic
Plaid blankets, string lights, live music-event planner extraordinaire David Stark spills his secrets to throwing the perfect outdoor fête. (lonny.com) > Read More
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Your Back-To-School Food Planner

Your Back-To-School Food Planner
Find recipes and tips for easy family meals, creative lunches, and quick breakfasts that will ease back-to-school stress for you and your kids. (realsimple.com) > Read More
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25 Skinny Summer Snacks Your Afternoon Slump Needs

25 Skinny Summer Snacks Your Afternoon Slump Needs
We're all about eating between meals, which every nutritionist and study assures us is a good thing. The key is come 4 p.m., choosing something that's both healthy and satisfying. These fresh ideas will do just that on the hottest days. (redbookmag.com) > Read More
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Quick and Easy DIY Container Herb Gardens

Quick and Easy DIY Container Herb Gardens
Imagine a garden that is easy to grow and even easier to harvest. It's possible with a few containers and a handful of herbs.(bhg.com) > Read More
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How To Pressure Wash A House

How To Pressure Wash A House
You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but many home-buyers will certainly pass on a house that looks like it's been neglected. If you're trying to sell your home and have not taken the time to give it a good cleaning, you are doing yourself a disservice. This article from Pressure Washr will bring you through the steps to cleaning up your home's exterior and making it shine again. (pressurewashr.com) > Read More
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How To Pressure Wash A House

How To Pressure Wash A House
You're not supposed to judge a book by its cover, but many home-buyers will certainly pass on a house that looks like it's been neglected. If you're trying to sell your home and have not taken the time to give it a good cleaning, you are doing yourself a disservice. This article from Pressure Washr will bring you through the steps to cleaning up your home's exterior and making it shine again. (pressurewashr.com) > Read More
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Try some of the tips and tricks at a new Paramount Citrus website dailysqueeze.com to guarantee your gathering will be a blockbuster to remember.

* Get your grill on: Now is the time to tune up the grill. Creative grilling starts before your meat and veggies hit the heat, and a splash of citrus flavor is just what they need to stand out among the crowd. Find ways to add an extra kick of flavor to any barbecue dish at dailysqueeze.com. Add the tang of freshly squeezed lemon juice to chicken marinades and the kick of lime zest to spicy dry rubs for steak and chops.

* Shake up some cocktails: Grab a variety of spirits with a few favorite mixers. Place them in a designated area of the room along with lemons and limes for garnishes. This will take the burden off you to feel required to replenish your guests' drinks and let you enjoy your party. If you're looking for that perfect refreshment and a signature drink for your party, try making this simple yet delicious lime cooler from Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger of Los Angeles' acclaimed Border Grill.

Minty Lime Cooler

Makes 2 servings

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lime juice from a Paramount Citrus lime
 1/3 cup sugar
 1/2 cup packed mint leaves
 1 (12 ounce) bottle cold sparkling water
 lime slices and mint sprigs for garnish

Combine the lime juice, sugar and mint in a blender. Puree until smooth. Fill two tall glasses half-full with ice cubes. Pour half of the lime juice concentrate in each. Top with sparkling water, garnish with lime and mint and serve.

For a Mojito, adults can pour 1 ounce white rum into tall glass with ice, and top with Minty Lime Cooler.

* Choose a theme: Everyone loves a good party theme. Pick a food theme like southern barbecue or Mexican. Ambiance is also key, since it will set the tone of any party. Invest in some fun patio lights, lanterns or tiki torches to place around your yard if you plan to utilize your outside space.

* Don't forget the kids: If you know children will attend your party, have kid-friendly items ready for them to play with such as chalk or bubbles. Better yet, rent a bounce house. The kids are sure to entertain themselves for hours while parents can take a break and enjoy the party.

With these tips, your soiree will be the talk of your neighborhood, and your friends will be sure to request an encore performance next year.

Be sure to visit www.dailysqueeze.com for additional recipes.
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(NC) Ask any Canadian homeowner to name their biggest investment - their real pride and joy - and most likely they'll say it's their home. It's their sanctuary with the pristine lawn, beautiful garden, finished basement, and renovated kitchen. When such a paradise exists, why would anyone want to risk losing it? But what if disaster struck and your place was severely damaged by fire or some other catastrophe. Are you certain that your insurance policy would cover the rebuilding of your house and the replacement of all the contents? Unfortunately, this answer often comes too late that the homeowner isn't adequately covered. The property insurance experts from Desjardins Insurance have some answers and suggestions to help you.

  • First, be prepared. The first three days after an emergency are the most critical. So consider creating a 72-hour emergency kit. Typically it will include 3 days' worth of water for each person in your family, imperishable food stuffs, candles, flashlight and batteries, and a first-aid kit. Next, take an inventory of your belongings. Be thorough because it's easy to underestimate the total value of your possessions. Include furniture, jewellery, electronics such as computer equipment, game systems and television, along with clothes, shoes, boots, pots, pans, other personal and household items. Take particular note of expensive items such as antique furniture or other valuables.
  • Read your policy carefully. It's important to remember that your home insurance will not cover every type of major loss. The typical home insurance policy will cover a fire loss, as well as damage caused by lightning, windstorms, hailstorms and even tornadoes. Standard homeowners' policies in Canada exclude flood damage. However, policies generally cover other kinds of water damage, for example from a sewer backup or a burst pipe in your house. Desjardins Insurance is one of the few companies that also cover damage caused by water seepage through basement walls or floors.

Your policy may be worth more than your home. Many people believe that if their home is burnt to the ground, they would automatically receive full market value for their house. This isn't true. The value of a home insurance policy is based on the cost to rebuild the house, not to sell it on the market. The actual replacement cost could end up being either greater or less than the market value. Replacement costs will include the material (lumber, roofing shingles, siding material, carpet, drywall, etc.), and the labor and architectural services. There are also additional costs associated with the demolition and clean-up of the site before construction, which can be expensive in a crowded city neighbourhood. The location of your home could be a factor too. For example if you're located in a remote or rural area, travelling expenses and supply transportation need to be taken into consideration.

For more information about your insurance policy and the replacement value of your home, speak to your insurance provider. Or for immediate answers, call or visit Desjardins Insurance at www.desjardinsgeneralinsurance.com.

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Basic Design

While you plan to re-work the bathroom space, the first thing you need to consider is its design. While working on bathroom remodeling ideas for small bathrooms, try not to change the existing layout and plumbing. You can either add or reduce the elements, but avoid shifting the major elements. If you have a bathtub then you can consider adding a shower enclosure. With the required shower fixtures and a classic shower curtain, you can enjoy the soothing shower as well as the relaxing bathtub. Apart from this, add a wall hung vanity to the basin. Corner, wall hung basin is best to be added instead of pedestal basins that occupy a lot of space. Utilize the corner space as much as you can. If you are adding a shower stall consider using glass as this will not give a blocking effect.

Add Storage

Once the basic design is worked over, you need to add some extra storage here. Remember that lack of storage is sure to make your small bathroom look cluttered and messy. As mentioned above, add wall hung bathroom vanity that will not occupy the floor space. Make arrangements to place your towels, bathrobes, etc. Have a vertical mirror over the basin and add small shelves on either sides of the mirror. These shelves will help you place the toiletries. One of the best small bathroom remodeling ideas is to add more shelves and closed cabinets on a side wall where you can keep grooming essentials and other bathroom accessories.

Color it Fresh

Giving a fresh coat to your bathroom needs no mention while you remodel it. Browse through the remodeling ideas for small bathrooms and you will find a lot of lively colors covering the bathroom walls. While it is best to paint small spaces in lighter shades like white, peach, lemon yellow, you can consider adding spicy element with a hint of flashy shade. Go for wall texturing or add a dark shade between the light colors. If bathroom walls are covered with tiles, make sure you clean them and the grout thoroughly and make them anew.

Spice it Up

Once you have finished implementing the basic bathroom remodeling ideas for small bathrooms, it is time to spruce up the area. Add decorative accent pieces like potted plants near the entrance and empty shelves. You can use decorative show pieces, wall hangings and frames to play up the bathing area. Use colorful, scented candles and decorative candle holders to further brighten up the small bathroom remodeling designs.

With the aforementioned bathroom remodeling ideas for small bathrooms, get ready to have a great looking bathing space. Make sure you maintain uniformity in terms of colors to get the best effect while bathroom remodeling for small bathrooms. With latest bathroom fixtures that area available in classy finishes and designs, you can give a grand touch to the area. Fresh and bright colors will help give a lively look to the bathroom designs for small spaces. So when are you remodeling your small bathroom?

by: Mamta Mule 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7148.shtml 
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(NC)-It's hard to stay organized in any aspect of life, but keeping your financial records in order is one of the most important things you can do to help your family should a crisis occur.
 

A recent poll conducted by Leger Marketing for the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA) showed that only one in four Canadians could easily locate their vital documents, so let's  get organized to lessen anxiety when the unexpected happens. Here are some suggestions to get on the right track:
 

Step 1: Collect all of your financial records such as insurance policies, bank account and safety deposit box information, investment statements and more.
 

Step 2: Collect your personal data such as wills, powers of attorney, social insurance numbers, passport numbers, health records, computer passwords, etc.
 

Step 3: Once you have all your records gathered together, set up a filing system to organize the information. The Virtual Shoebox, located at www.clhia.ca, is a free online tool that can help you save important personal and financial information in one place so that family members can easily locate them in an emergency.
 

Step 4: Make sure you store this information in a safe place such as a secured folder on your computer, a safety-deposit box, or in a locked fireproof box.
 

Step 5: Finally, be sure to tell key family members or friends or your lawyer where this information is stored so they can find it easily and quickly.
 

"It's so easy not to think about it now, but taking a few minutes to organize important documents can be such a relief, especially when disaster strikes. Not only does it make our lives easier, but it can make a world of difference to a loved one who has to locate this information," says Wendy Hope, the vice president of external relations for CLHIA. "Organizing key information can help save time and money, and lessen anxiety for all concerned."

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Home life is changing, so sound dampening is more important than ever. Life is getting louder inside and around the home. Televisions, home theaters, computers and video games blare from almost every room. Family cell phones ring or buzz, making life loud.
 

Your home's insulation can do more than keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. With the right selection, your insulation can help transform your home into a quiet retreat and sanctuary from the outside world.
 

Sound dampening is becoming a requirement for modern families, so if you have the opportunity to re-insulate your home, sound-proofing insulation is an excellent choice to escape the everyday hustle and bustle. Stone wool insulation, for example, is a top choice for professional recording studios. This material is an excellent acoustic barrier that actually absorbs the sound. For homeowners, retailers point to a performance tested product called, Roxul Safe 'n' Sound mineral wool insulation. It provides higher sound absorption against low frequency (bass) ranges that other types of insulation struggle to block.
 

For the best soundproofing results, install the mineral wool insulation in your home theater, basements, home office, laundry room, furnace room and even the washrooms. Installing mineral wool insulation on the interior walls will control sound, delivering peace and quiet.

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For many people, the shower is an escape from reality ... perhaps the only 'me time' in an otherwise hectic day. But if your current shower isn't living up to your relaxing expectations, it may be time for a facelift.- Don't think you have the time or money? Don't throw in the towel just yet - an improved shower is within your reach. Simply follow these four quick and easy fixes that will make an amazing improvement to the everyday enjoyment of your shower.

Curves ahead

Shower curtains may keep water where it should be, but they also have a tendency to make a shower feel smaller, dark and cramped. An easy solution to this problem is to install a curved shower rod. These unique rods add an elegant and luxurious look to the room while also moving the curtain away from your body, creating a more comfortable experience and adding up to 7 inches of elbow room. --Moen offers a variety of styles, including a double curved shower rod that can be used to separate the decorative curtain from the liner - or to provide an additional bar to hang towels. Whatever curved shower rod you choose, be sure to coordinate the finish to match the rest of your bath fixtures.

Downsize and organize

Fewer people are living alone these days, reports the National Association of Home Builders, which means you likely share your shower with others. A shower shelf is an ideal solution to provide adequate storage and keep everyone's everyday essentials neat and easily within reach. The Moen Home Care Designer Grab Bar with Shelf adds the storage capabilities of a straight or corner shelf with the safety of a grab bar - all with a stylish design in the latest finishes.

Chance of showers

A simple showerhead update can dramatically improve your showering experience. With several styles available, the only difficult part is figuring out which one will suit your needs the best.

Rainshowers - If you're looking for relaxing, full-body coverage, a rainshower is the right choice for you. These showerheads are often larger than their standard counterparts, allowing the user to receive all-over coverage rather than a concentrated spray.

Handheld showers - With a handheld shower you're able to bring the water flow directly to you. This type of shower allows for any family member - no matter the size or age - to safely and easily shower.

Standard showerheads - Standard showerheads are far from basic. With many collections offering multi-function spray settings, it's easy to create a personalized showering experience.

Hang it up

The final step to a fabulous shower experience is to ensure you have a place nearby to hang a warm robe and towel. Adding a robe hook or towel bar just outside the shower is a simple solution that can also add a stylish accent to your bathroom. If you currently have a Moen faucet, be sure to select the matching Moen accessories to ensure complete coordination throughout your bath. Moen also offers several non-matching collections, such as the Parlor Collection, which coordinate with a variety of bath faucet styles.- The Moen Parlor Collection features a unique pullout robe hook, which allows each hook to be used traditionally, or extended to hang multiple items. And, once you've added new accessories, finish off the renovated space with a plush robe and matching towel set.

By following these simple and inexpensive fixes, your shower can become an everyday retreat for relaxation and enjoyment. For more information visit www.moen.com.
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(NC)-A little prep in the morning will a go a long way in creating a flavorful and nutritious family meal that cooks while you are at work. Start with spice-coated chicken and a healthy pantry staple pasta sauce. Let it simmer all day in the slow cooker. Finish it off with rich Greek yogurt and lime at dinner time. This dish can be served over quinoa or basmati rice. This traditionally rich butter chicken dish is slimmed down in sodium and fat while maintaining amazing aromas and flavours.
 

Prep time: 15 minutes
 

Cooking time: 4-6 hours on HIGH or 8-10 hours on LOW
 

Serves: 6
 

Serving size: 250g

 

Calories per serving: 307
 

Ingredients:
 

• 2 cups (500 mL) Healthy Choice Diced Tomato with Onion and Garlic pasta sauce
 

• 2 tsp. (10 mL) each: ground ginger, curry powder
 

• 1 tsp. (5 mL) each: ground cumin, cinnamon, coriander
 

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 ½ cup/375 mL)
 

• 1 ½ lb. (675g) boneless, skinless chicken breast, cubed into 2- inch (5 cm) pieces
 

• 2 tbsp. (30 mL) melted, unsalted butter
 

• 1 tbsp. (15 mL) lime juice
 

• ½ cup (125 mL) 0% fat, plain Greek yogurt, optional
 

• ¼ cup (50 mL) chopped cilantro, to garnish
 

Directions:
 

• In small bowl combine all spices, set aside.
 

• Place onion in ceramic insert of slow cooker; add chicken; sprinkle with spices then top with melted butter and Healthy Choice Diced Tomato with Onion and Garlic pasta sauce.
 

• Stir, cover and cook on HIGH 4-6 hours or on LOW 8-10 hours.
 

• Stir in lime juice and yogurt (optional) before serving. Garnish with cilantro.
 

Tip: Make extra of the spice mixture and store for your next "better for you" Butter Chicken.
 

Visit Facebook.com/HealthyChoiceCanada for more recipes and cooking tips.
 

www.newscanada.com

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(BPT) - Railing can upgrade any deck from drab to fab - adding style, as well as safety and support. In fact, it's often the one element that truly sets your outdoor living space apart from others in the neighborhood. Here are five steps to create the perfect perimeter for your deck.

1. Find ideas at your fingertips - From contemporary to classic, you can choose from a multitude of modular railing options in a variety of colors and materials to give your outdoor living space a dose of personality. Use the new Railing Configurator on the Trex Color Visualizer iPad app to experiment with more than 1,200 design combinations. Available for free in the Apple iTunes store, the app allows you to virtually mix and match posts, caps, rails and balusters, as well as change the backdrop to emulate your own outdoor living environment. Save images of your favorite designs and automatically generate a list of materials to make the purchase process easier.

2. Select low maintenance materials - When choosing railing, demand the same durability and high performance that you expect from your decking, so that you'll be able to spend more time relaxing on (rather than maintaining) your outdoor living space. Unlike wood, composite railing won't warp, rot or splinter and never needs sanding, staining or painting - even after years of exposure to the elements. In fact, it washes clean with only soap and water.- -

3. Preserve a picturesque view - Whether your deck looks out over a tranquil lake, a dramatic mountain range or just a meticulously landscaped backyard, the proper railing makes it possible to fully enjoy your vantage point. With its sleek and unobtrusive appearance, Trex Reveal Aluminum Railing maximizes scenic views by spanning long lengths for panoramic sightlines. Available in three neutral colors - charcoal black, bronze and classic white - Trex Reveal can be customized to suit the taste of any homeowner with two baluster options (square and round) and two post choices (aluminum and composite).

-"In addition to highlighting the beauty of your outdoor surroundings, aluminum railing offers unparalleled strength and features a powder coating that resists corrosion and color fading," says Adam Zambanini, vice president of marketing for Trex, the world's largest manufacturer of wood-alternative decking and railing. "For ultimate peace of mind, Trex Reveal is also backed by a 25-year limited warranty." For more outdoor living tips and ideas, visit www.trex.com.

4. Look to regional style trends - While personal taste is the biggest influencer when selecting railing for an outdoor living space, many homeowners look to the architectural styles of their particular regions for inspiration. For instance, on the East Coast, traditional colonial style balusters and crown profile railings remain most popular. However, West Coast homeowners tend to prefer sleek and streamlined railing components - including handrails and bottom rails with more contemporary beveled shapes. To learn about trends specific to your area, flip through a locally published home improvement or home decor magazine.--

5. Lighten up - Enhance the beauty of your railing and lengthen the time you can spend enjoying your deck with outdoor lighting that may be installed on rails and post caps. Not only will lighting set the mood for evening cocktail parties and al fresco dinners, but it also will add safety and security. Consider LED dimmable options to maximize energy efficiency.
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(NC)-Minestrone is a thick Italian vegetable soup and is an easy way to feed a gang. Leftovers even taste better the next day. Vary the beans and pasta as desired.
 

Preparation Time: 15 minutes

Cooking Time: 35 to 40 minutes
 

4 slices pancetta or bacon, diced 

2 tbsp olive oil (optional) 25mL

2 medium onions, diced 2

2 large carrots, coarsely chopped 2

2 celery stalks, sliced 2

2 garlic cloves, minced 2

10 cups chicken broth 2.5 L

1 can (28oz/796 mL) tomatoes 1

1 cup whole wheat macaroni or shells 250 mL

1 lb sliced mushrooms (about 6 cups/1.5 L)500 g

1 tsp Each dried thyme and basil leaves 5 mL

1 ½ tsp dried oregano 7 mL

1 can (19 oz/540 mL) mixed beans*, 1

drained and rinsed

4 cups torn fresh spinach leaves 1 L

1 tsp hot pepper sauce (optional) 5 mL

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese 250 mL

 

In large soup pot cook bacon until fat is rendered (if it is very lean add 1-2 tbsp (15-25 mL) oil. Add onion, carrot, celery and garlic; sauté for 3-5 minutes. Add broth, bring to boil and then lower heat; simmer covered for 10-12 minutes or until vegetable are almost tender. Stir in tomatoes, (breaking up with a spoon) macaroni, mushrooms, herbs and beans. Cook covered over medium heat for 10-15 minutes or until pasta and mushrooms are cooked. Taste and add hot sauce if desired. Just before serving stir in spinach leaves. Pass Parmesan cheese to sprinkle generously on top.
 

Makes 10 Servings
 

*Mixed beans are a medley of kidney beans, chick peas, romano beans and black eye peas

Variation: Substitute stewed, herbed or diced tomatoes for whole tomatoes.
 

Tips: For easy preparation chop all vegetables in food processor. Make the soup a few days ahead and refrigerate covered or freeze but don't add spinach until it is reheated ready to serve, so that it keeps its colour.
 

Nutritional Information:Per Serving Calories: 224 Protein : 13.4 g Fat: 7.8 g Carbohydrates: 24.9 g Dietary Fibre: 5.3 g
 

For more delicious recipe ideas visit Mushrooms Canada at www.mushrooms.ca.

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(BPT) - It's the do-it-yourself dream: deciding on the perfect DIY project just as the weekend finally arrives. All the supplies have been purchased and you're ready to dive right in. However, the enthusiastic start of the project doesn't always end in completion.

"Knocking out a big home improvement or do-it-yourself project in one weekend can be a rewarding task, but it is also challenging and can be taxing on your knees, feet and back when standing in the same position for several hours," says Mark Clement, home improvement expert and co-host of the national radio show MyFixitUpLife.

Whether you are woodworking at your workbench or staining a piece of furniture in the garage, Clement offers these tips to make the most of your DIY weekend projects while also feeling comfortable enough to successfully finish them:

Focus on form and technique. When learning a new technique, go slowly, step by step, until you've mastered it. Allow your body to become accustomed to the various motions required. Moving efficiently is one of the best ways to avoid injury.

Stay hydrated. Make it a priority to drink at least 125 ounces of cold water each day. Staying hydrated is important when exerting DIY energy, especially in the summer heat. So whether you're digging up the garden, roofing the shed, or wrenching in a no-AC garage, keep a water bottle or sports drink close by.

Create a comfortable workspace. Be conscious of how long you are standing in the same spot working on your project and how your back feels. To relieve pressure and soreness on feet, knees and back, use a durable mat like the Stanley Utility Mat that is engineered with an optimal balance of cushion and support.

Dress appropriately. Flip-flops and sandals do not offer the balance, protection and support that a sturdy closed-toe shoe or work boot does while tackling home improvement projects. Even if you have the grace of a ballerina in the workshop or yard, it is remarkably easy to drop things on your feet and it only takes a small distraction to create a big problem.

Know your limits. When you only have a weekend to finish a big project, you might be feeling the pressure. Before the project even starts, accept that it may not all go according to plan. Plan for a few different scenarios and remember that you can always ask for help.

Have a first aid kit. Even if you are being extremely cautious, accidents can happen and it's best to be prepared. Keep a first aid kit with all the essentials (antibiotic ointment, bandages, burn cream, etc.) near you at all times and seek professional medical help if necessary.

For more information about the Stanley Utility Mat, visit homedepot.com and to tune into MyFixitUpLife visit http://myfixituplife.com/DIY/.
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If you are unsatisfied with the space in your kitchen, but need lots of room in the fridge, you should consider counter depth refrigerators. This kind of appliance does not stick out any farther than your kitchen cabinets, which means that it takes up less room than a traditional fridge. However, it is often a bit taller than most refrigerators so that you do not lose much space when it comes to storing your food. Think about the details to consider before you start browsing counter depth refrigerators.

This kind of fridge usually has different measurements than most types, as it usually sticks out into the walkway a few inches less than most, but is a few inches taller. This means that you need an appropriately high ceiling in order to fit this fridge into your home, so be sure that you measure the height as well as the depth. Of course, you should also consider the width like you would before buying any fridge, but the width of most counter depth refrigerators is typically the same as other types.

If you want to add style to your kitchen while adding space, you should consider counter depth refrigerators that blend into the cabinetry. If you go this route, you will need a custom fridge company, but the results are often worth it since having matching cabinets and appliances is certainly unique. Keep in mind that many of the popular counter depth refrigerators on the market come in the French door style, adding to the classy appearance that most homeowners crave.

Of course, you can expect to pay a little more for this kind of fridge than most others, as the style is unique and up-to-date. Consider how important your kitchen's image is to you. If you rarely use it or show it off and want to save money, you might be better off sticking to traditional top freezer or side-by-side styles. However, homeowners who spend a lot of time in their kitchen and enjoy showing it off to guests will likely find this a worthy investment in their home.

Counter depth refrigerators are not for everyone, and if this style does not appeal to you, remember that there are several other types of fridges on the market. Before you browse counter depth refrigerators, you should first decide if this is the style you really want and can afford. The next step is to measure your kitchen and make sure that it will fit, and then determine whether you want a counter depth fridge from the store or from a custom refrigerator builder. Thinking about these details first can ensure that you are satisfied with this major purchase.

by: Heather Mills 
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/home_improvement/article_7259.shtml 
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Here is the honest truth: most people get into Internet Marketing because they are convinced it is an easy way to earn quick money. Their approach is to make a fast website, put up some advertising and a few affiliate links, then sit back and watch while they earn real cash. There are a large amount of individuals who do this and also earn lots of money on the internet. But what if you want more than some extra or even quick cash? Can Internet Marketing really be leveraged to produce a worthwhile and long term career?

The quick and dirty answer is that yes, you are able to make Internet Marketing your long term and sustainable career. You only need to take on the project properly. The procedures and programs you use to build something to earn fast money are not all that different than the methods and systems you will use to build long term profits. So what would you do if you need to develop a sustainable career on the internet?

It is very important that the first thing you do, in order to earn long term money online, is accept the fact that you are going to have to do real work. You will have to do actual and real work on a daily basis. You will have days when you feel fantastic about what you do and days when you wish you could find something else to take on. This means it's just about like every other occupation out there. If you want to produce lasting cash flow by working a lot right now and not at all later on then you are going to be in for a rude awakening. So be ready to roll up your sleeves and get to work.

There are a few ventures that lend themselves much better to a long term career than others. Affiliate marketing, to use one example, is a great job for someone who wants to earn money on a part time basis or to supplement your already existent income. Is it truly possible to earn a full time income in this manner? You could if you pick out only the right products and then work like crazy to promote them. A far better approach, nevertheless, is to create your own products or websites and then promote those. This gives you full control over the projects you take on and how you accomplish them. And you will end up more likely to stick with it in the long run. If you want to give a service on the web, this works much the same way. Writers, for example, need to create websites for themselves and create portfolios that they can point to as examples of their work.

Finally, perhaps the most significant thing that you need to recognize is that, when you want to build a long term and reliable income on the internet, you need to truly dedicate yourself to your task. You might have fun and feel rewarded by your efforts, but first you should tell yourself "yes, I really want to do this." Making a half-hearted effort is not about to get you anywhere.

by: Tanaka Ara

Article Source:
http://www.articlecity.com/articles/marketing/article_6729.shtml
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(BPT) - It's a sobering truth of real estate that sellers often have to spend money to make money. Even if your home is relatively new, you still face costs associated with getting it ready to show, such as repainting interior rooms or hiring professional cleaners and stagers. If your home could use some TLC and updating, spending as little as $5,000 on key upgrades could improve its appeal for buyers - and ensure a speedier sale at a better price.

Here are five upgrades you can make for under $5,000 to help put your home at the top of every buyer's must-see list.

 1. Upgrade your entryway - Replacing an old, dated or worn entry door can be a cost-effective way to ensure buyers get a good first impression when they walk in your house. Whether you choose a fiberglass, wooden or steel model, installing a new entry door can cost a few thousand dollars, yet the return on investment at the time of resale can be significant. A fiberglass entry door returns about 72 percent of its investment, while a steel door recoups more than 100 percent of its value, according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value report.

Enhance your new door with attractive plantings, fresh paint and clean windows around the entryway to create a memorable, attractive entry for just a few thousand dollars.

2. Increase natural light - More buyers are becoming aware of the mood- and productivity-enhancing benefits of natural light, and homes with big, bright windows have always been in demand. Adding windows to a room can be a costly, time-consuming affair. Not so with adding a skylight. For well under $5,000 and in just a day or two, a professional can install an Energy Star qualified, solar powered no-leak fresh-air skylight, like those from Velux America. Professional installation costs nationally ranges from around $900 to $2,325, with an average of $1,400, according to HomeAdvisor.com.

The low installation cost will leave you plenty of budget to enhance the skylight upgrade even further with energy efficiency-boosting solar-powered blinds. The skylight and blinds are operated by remote control and the blinds are available in designer colors and patterns to enhance your décor. The products, as well as installation costs, are eligible for a 30 percent federal tax credit to further reduce the cost of the improvement.

The most popular rooms in the home for fresh air skylights are baths, where they provide privacy in addition to natural light, and kitchens, where they vent cooking odors and humidity naturally while brightening this much-used workspace. Visit www.veluxusa.com to learn more.

3. Beautify a master bathroom - Bathrooms and kitchens sell homes. Making a few cosmetic upgrades to even a small master bath can help increase a home's appeal and value. For less than $5,000 you can easily repaint, upgrade faucets, replace old cabinet hardware and add decorative touches like designer towels.

If you've already done all that, take a look at the floor or countertops - two cost-effective upgrades that can wow buyers. Since counters don't make up that much square footage in most bathrooms, replacing them with granite can cost just a couple thousand dollars. Tile flooring is also a relatively inexpensive way to improve a bathroom's look and usability.

4. Heat things up in the kitchen - Kitchen remodels can offer high ROI for sellers, but a full remodel may be outside your budget. If you've already done the obvious - like repainting and decluttering - it's time to look for a few more cost-effective improvements that will appeal to buyers.

Just as in the bathroom, swapping old faucets and cabinet hardware with new designer options can enhance the appeal of a kitchen. Shabby, outdated appliances can hinder a speedy sale, so consider replacing them with new ones. You don't necessarily need to install top-of-the-line, high-priced appliances to make a good impression, either. Newer, Energy Star qualified appliances represent savings for buyers down the road.

5. Lavish landscaping - No single aspect of your home has a greater impact on a buyer's first impression than the landscaping. A great front yard sets the tone for the rest of the home, appealing to buyers on a number of levels, including beauty, practicality and savings.

With $5,000, you can accomplish a lot in terms of landscaping. You can sod a small front yard, add decorative planting beds to a lush lawn, or even install shade trees that will both beautify the yard and enhance the home's energy efficiency in summer. Decorative concrete stamping of walkways and driveways is another cost-effective way to improve a home's curb appeal.

Whether it's a buyer's market or a seller's market, no one wants to see their home linger long before selling. A few simple upgrades can help ensure your home gets plenty of attention this season.
 
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