J.D.R. Hawkins

One bullet can make a man a hero… or a casualty.

Archive for the tag “guest post”

Guest Post by Mike Brown

Spring planting is right around the corner. It’s one of my favorite times of year. Because I’m a serious plant person, I look forward to planting season, and to designing my own landscape. This article offers an interesting alternative to landscaping. Thank you, Mike Brown, for your contribution.

Tips to Create a Mediterranean Garden Escape for Your Home

Don’t you just love going to enjoy holidays and staying in a marvelous villa or hotel that boasts glamorous Mediterranean décor, with beautiful large gardens and open-plan living spaces, with some simplistic, nature-inspired accessories that create beachy, relaxing vibes? You can get this auspicious feeling at your home too. By decorating your yard or garden in the Mediterranean style, you can enjoy that holiday feeling at your home.  You can add colors to your garden and add a bit refreshing feel, let’s get together with a few ideas about how you can overhaul and update your garden with a Mediterranean style. 

Don’t forget succulents

Desert plants and succulents are normal highlights in the Mediterranean garden, outgrowing old stone dividers and rockwork. In the event that you have a rock hole between your home and your clearing, a segment of sempervivums or different succulents will mollify the line wonderfully.

Water Features and Pergolas

Usefulness is colossally significant with regards to Mediterranean gardens and insurance from components, through cooling water and shade, is an unquestionable requirement. On the Mediterranean coast, numerous gardens need shelter from the immediate sun, so you will probably see a ton of coverings, pergolas, and water highlights. Pergolas work really hard regarding sheltering gardens from solid breezes and, if your garden is neglected, they also offer protection. 

Assuming you have space, pergolas that are hung in brilliant climbing plants, like ipomoea and jasmine, are an unquestionable requirement. Yet, in the event that you have a smaller garden, you might need to consider utilizing small passageway entrances, or even only some high fencing, for the look. 

Use terracotta planters

Think about dazzling pink or red geraniums tumbling over old terracotta or stone pots, or if you’ve restricted space, connect some smaller terracotta grower to a south-bound divider and fill them with the following dry season darlings that will not need perpetual watering. 

Then again, make an element out of tremendous Grecian urns deliberately positioned in borders or as stand-alone highlights toward the finish of walkways or in the focal point of small courtyards.

Relaxed Outdoor Dining

In the Mediterranean, it is right around a criminal offense to not have an outdoor dining region. Imparting food to loved ones is something that sits at the core of long-standing Mediterranean practice and while we might not have as great a climate as in the Med, large numbers of us actually treasure summer BBQs and unwinding in the garden on long summer nights. 

You ought to, in a perfect world, pick an exemplary dining set. Cast aluminum functions admirably as it is climate safe so can be forgotten about over winter. In the event that you don’t have space for an enormous dining set, a small bistro set will work comparably well and regularly is comprised of simply an end table and seats. Assuming you have greater space, ensure that there aren’t any segments of your garden which can be delighted in – Mediterranean gardens regularly have numerous sorts of seating dabbed around ways and walkways.

Consider gravel or cool tiles

Gravel gardens are ordinary in the Mediterranean and in this country, the gravel surface goes about as a perpetual mulch that will help forestall seed seedlings and monitors dampness. 

Pick a sunny, sheltered spot and set up the dirt, raking it level and then spreading 5cm (2in) gravel over the surface. 

Plant sparingly – don’t cover the gravel surface with plants. They can be set to a great extent and may be adorned with stone or terracotta planters or an old wooden or stone seat.

Create shade

Any Mediterranean garden deserving at least some respect should offer shade during the warmth of the day. Consider how you will accomplish that normally. Maybe develop climbers that adoration heat, for example, grapevine and trumpet plant, over a pergola with customary seating under. Use Carports or Metal Garages for the shade and shelters. 

Sociable seating

The way into all-climate garden furniture is strong and it merits putting resources into a respectable weatherproof mix set. Their Swinging Day Bed has been especially mainstream. Decorate daybeds and outdoor couches with beautiful adorned blankets and pads.

Plant selection for the Mediterranean garden

As we already mentioned, perennials succeed in a Mediterranean environment, as simple to develop in dry and helpless soil conditions. 

A Med garden is, most importantly, a fragrant garden: sage, thyme, rosemary will satisfy both your smell and your taste buds, as you can utilize them in the kitchen… They’re not tall plants, and they are ideal for edging strips or in a little stone garden, on very much depleted and not very muggy soil. You can likewise join them by succulents, similar to sedums with their innumerable assortments, or aeoniums and aloe plants whose delightful flowers will make a superb winter adornment.

Citrus trees: If the climate permits you, set out to plant orange, lemon or tangerine trees – ideally close to the house, to shield them from the virus winds. Envision opening your windows and letting the exquisite fragrance of orange trees attack your room during blossoming season…

Oleanders make glorious fences: They bear loads of flowers in changed tones: from white to fuchsia and everything in the middle, in addition to some more – an eminent range available to you. An extra benefit is that the blossoming season may last as long as a half year. 

The silver-green foliage and the turned trunk of olive trees are, obviously, the Mediterranean landscape’s brand name. Despite commonly acknowledged thoughts, olive trees can develop basically anyplace, as certain species can withstand temperatures well under nothing. One thing to recollect: olive trees don’t endure stale waters; very much depleted, pebbly, light soil, just as a most extreme measure of sunlight, are fundamental for their endurance. During the initial three to five years you should be cautious about ice; covering the roots in the colder time of year is a decent precautionary measure in cool climates.

Guest Post by Yuriy Moshes

7 Myths About Buying a House You Can Ignore

For decades, owning a home has been a part of the American dream. The process can be quite tedious and complicated as the times, regulations and conventions change. This has brought about a number of myths and misconceptions around becoming a homeowner. In this article, we’ll walk you through 7 little-known financing facts around buying a home to help you separate real estate facts from fiction. 

Myth 1 – You Shouldn’t Buy in a Seller’s Market

“Seller’s market” is a term regularly used in real estate when a low supply of homes for sale meets a high demand of buyers. Simply put, there are more buyers than homes for sale. While this can make it tougher for you to find the property of your dreams without engaging in bidding wars or paying higher than the asking price, you should think about much more than whether it’s a seller’s or buyer’s market when deciding to buy a home. Are mortgage rates low? Is the inventory on the market high quality? Are you getting a good deal on the property? What’s your financial situation? Don’t let a seller’s market hold you back if the time is right for you to become a homeowner.

Myth 2 – You’ll Save Money by Not Working with a Real Estate Agent

Why would you spend money on a real estate agent when you have access to homes for sale on the internet? It makes more sense to save on the agent’s commission and do it all yourself, right? Wrong. Very wrong. In reality, following this myth might cost you more in the long run. Real estate agents are skilled in negotiation, and they understand the market, so they can get you better deals. Besides, it’s their job to ensure that you get a good price on your home. Choosing to forego a real estate agent could also make sellers less likely to negotiate with you or even consider your offer in the first place. The whole process is a lot easier with an experienced agent on your side. Your agent will likely work with the real estate lawyer (though it’s not required in many states, we do recommend having an attorney review the transaction) to ensure all bases are covered. Having an agent on your side streamlines the entire process and introduces you to opportunities you might not have had otherwise. 

Myth 3 – You Need to Have 20% for Your Down Payment

This is by far one of the most popular mortgage myths out there. Sticking to a budget is great, but you don’t need to have 20% ready to put down. Years ago, you did need at least 20% before you could get approved for a mortgage, however, there are many other loan options today that don’t require that much money down, including FHA loans. Sometimes you can put down only 1% and still be approved, depending on the circumstances. 

While you don’t need 20%, we recommend putting as much down as you can, as it will help you secure lower interest rates and private mortgage insurance, as well as widen your opportunities. 

Myth 4 – You Need Amazing Credit to Get a Home Loan

There is so much more that goes into your mortgage approval than your credit score alone. Lenders will also look at your income and work history, your debt-to-income ratio, your assets and your down payment. In fact, there is no minimum credit score required by any lender to qualify someone for a home loan. Depending on the lender and the type of loan, you could be approved with various scores. While institutions do get to set their own credit requirements for conventional loans, government-backed loans, like FHA loans will go much lower on score requirements– the minimum score needed for FHA loans is usually around 580. 

We recommend working on your score if it’s on the lower side. The higher the score, the more options you’ll have. People with higher scores usually benefit from the following:

  • Lower interest rates
  • More mortgage/lender options
  • Lower income requirements
  • Lower down payment requirements
  • Better rates on homeowners insurance

Myth 5 – You Should Spend the Entire Amount You Qualify for on Your Home

Just because you qualify for an amount doesn’t mean you should spend that amount. Many first-time homebuyers fall into this myth. Remember that you determine your budget, not the bank. Whether you’re buying an as-is house, a luxury penthouse or a fixer-upper, there are a few key items that can help you determine how much you can afford on your home, regardless of how much the bank approves you for:

  1. Your monthly income – How much money do you bring in per month? Knowing this number will help you establish a baseline of what you can afford to pay on monthly expenses.
  2. Cash reserves – This is how much money you have to make your down payment and pay your closing costs. This can come from savings accounts, investments, etc.
  3. Expenses and debt – What expenses and debt do you already have? What do you pay monthly on those? This can include things like car notes, credit card bills, groceries, utilities, insurance, student loans, etc.

A good guideline to determine how much house you can afford is the 28/36 rule. This rule states that you spend 28% of your gross monthly income on costs related to your home and 36% on your debt (student loans, mortgages, etc). While the 28/36 rule is a great jumping-off point, be sure to take your bigger financial picture into account when deciding how much you can afford on your home.

Myth 6 – You Should Always Choose the Loan With the Lowest Interest Rate

While interest rates are a big deciding factor, pay attention to the details of your specific loans. Interest rates may start out low and increase over time. For example, adjustable rate mortgages will reset, often falling into a higher rate as time passes. On the other hand, fixed rates may have a higher interest rate at the beginning, but you can trust that they will remain at that rate and not drastically increase on you. 

To help you select the rate that makes sense for you, be sure to go over the details of your loan with a professional. They can help you understand the ins and outs of your specific loan, which will help you to make better decisions that align with your future goals. 

Myth 7 – Your Mortgage Payment Is Your Only Monthly Home-Related Expense

Of all of the real estate myths covered in this article, number 7 could get you in the biggest of pickles. This should be estimated and factored into your initial budget setting. Your mortgage will definitely not be the only home-related expense you need to plan for. You’ll need to think about utilities, HOA fees, insurance and property taxes, landscaping fees, etc. Your real estate agent can help you calculate these expenses to help you determine the budget and locations that make financial sense for you. 

Don’t forget that owning a home also means taking financial responsibility when things break. Sometimes you’ll have to replace HVAC parts, mend the roof and repair pipes. You never know when these expenses might come, so having a rainy day fund packed into your budget is a good idea. 

Owning a Home Makes Financial Sense

Which of these is a common financial benefit of home ownership? 

  • Ability to build home equity – Your home value will increase over time
  • Tax deductions – You’ll save on taxes
  • Long-term savings – Building equity allows you to set aside money for your future
  • Control over expenses – No rent spikes

The answer is all of the above are financial benefits that come with home ownership. Owning a home, while a great responsibility, can be very lucrative in the long run. With these home-buying myths busted, we hope you have a clearer understanding on the process of becoming a homeowner, so you can reap the benefits, too. Happy home hunting!

About the Author

Yuriy Moshes is the CEO of Moshes Law and attorney with broad expertise. He has two bachelor’s degrees. Being an experienced expert, he is considered one of the most in-demand specialists in the real estate law field. Apart from that, he provides free consultation for everyone who faces foreclosure problems.


Description: We’ve addressed popular home-buying myths to separate fact from fiction. From your down payment amount and how credit score plays into approval to budget advice, and interest rates, we’ve brought truth to the myths hindering many would-be homeowners. 

Guest Post by David Tylor

Here’s another guest post that I think you will enjoy. With Spring soon approaching, it’s time to start preparing for outdoor entertaining. This article might help you get inspired!

Ultimate Guide on Painting Your Garden Furniture

Instead of replacing your old, weathered wood furniture outdoors, grit, prime, and paint the sand’s surface creates new patio furniture. It is also a good choice to work on old things in our houses and make them new. Just like furniture instead of windows replacements if paint fades, you can paint and give them new look. Don’t replace sidings if it gets fade, instead paint it. It will save your lot of expenses. 

Clean surfaces regularly with a soft product, sand the surfaces to prevent mold, and cover or store components during the winter months. With proper care, the only time you need to repaint your patio furniture is when you want to change the color. 

So when you have some wood lawn chairs with chipped paint and woodcut or shredded, it’s honestly not difficult to make them look fabulous. Repairing such furniture is much closer to carpentry and painting houses than the experienced world, for example, restoring an antique table. 

What Should You Use to Paint Your Garden Furniture?

There are many ways to handle wooden patio furniture, and your choice of finishing will depend on the type of wood and what you are trying to achieve. For example, if you have hardwood benches, the oil will moisten the wood grain to give the furniture extra protection and emphasize its natural style. The oil doesn’t change the color of the bank. It just restores him.

Lacquer adds a short protective film to the wood and better protects garden furniture from wood moisture. You require this additional protection for softwood. Varnishes are mostly transparent coatings such as oil as they enhance the natural color of the table.

The wood surface absorbs a paint-like stain that adds color to your furniture, not to change the unique patterns and textures. However, the paint remains on the wood and covers the entire body.

Prepare Your Furniture Before Painting

Before painting your wooden patio furniture, you should always clean it. Mix washing liquid and warm water in a bowl and applying the wood with a soft brush. After cleaning, let it dry completely before moving on to the next step.

If your furniture is older and has mold and mildew, see our article for cleaning recommendations.

After cleaning, you should examine the wood and touch any cracked or broken parts.

Remove any loose chips and add them back to the furniture with waterproof glue. You can also use a sealant to fill in gaps in the wood. Leave a little more in the aperture as the sealant will shrink until it dries. You can grind this. Use sandpaper to smooth the surface after both touches so you can’t see where the affected area is, then wipe with a damp cloth.

Tips To Paint Your Garden Furniture

Let’s hover over the points that will tell us how we can paint the furniture and how will it give a new look to our old furniture-

  • Select The Paint

Deciding which color to paint your furniture depends on several factors, including personal preference, the environment and color scheme of your garden, the topic you are looking for, and other practical considerations such as availability.

Rattan furniture is usually bold when it comes to color, striking shades of red or navy. Or could the older, faded furniture be turned into a glossy white?

By painting your rattan in this bold, traditional color, you can offset a touch of soft elegance with a smooth or patterned pillow for all weather conditions.

  • Cleaning

Before applying that first coat of paint, you need to make sure the furniture is clean. Older chunks have likely built up some soil over the years, which you will need to remove to ensure a flawless finish.

Remove all grime and grime from all surfaces with a soft brush (vacuum cleaners and brushes work well). You can also use the brush cover on the vacuum cleaner to move furniture around, especially around nooks, crannies, and hard-to-reach places.

Finally, use a mild soap solution of sugar and a damp cloth or sponge to wipe the entire area and let it dry completely.

  • Use an Undercoat at Your Base

By applying a primer to your furniture, you give yourself the best chance of getting the smooth and even finish you want. It can also help reduce the total amount of paint you need on each piece of furniture.

You can buy a spray primer, but you can get an equally good finish by applying a standard acrylic primer with a soft brush.

  • Which Brush Should You Use?

Is the brush right for your color? Oil paints usually have a different coat than latex paints. The brush label indicates this.

Is the brush size appropriate for your project? When painting furniture, a smaller brush may be better. Make sure it fits perfectly into your paint container.

Rollers are ideal for large flat surfaces, e.g., B. tabletop. It can also help reduce brush marks!

  • Take Care of Climate While Painting

Time is a significant factor. If your skin is sunburned and sweaty, the paint may be too hot. It will cause the paint to dry too quickly. If it’s too windy and you use spray paint, your color may dissolve before it reaches the surface. You can wait for the wind to die down or build a spray tunnel out of cardboard. Generally, a temperature of 21 ° C and a humidity of about 50% are ideal painting conditions.

Conclusion

If your garden is a small country, make a statement with bright, bold, plaid colors. Alternatively, if you prefer a natural look, complement the environment with soft, natural colors.

Whatever your taste, follow our simple guide and make your garden furniture the envy of all neighbors.

Guest Post by Diane Seka

Here’s a guest post that I thought some of you might be interested in. Over the course of my life, I’ve moved over 40 times, and I’m not even in the military! Why not have a good book to read while your moving? Ms. Seka answers that question.

Top Three Books to Read While Moving

Between hunting for a new place, evaluating the host of movers in your area before settling for a reputable local moving company, gathering packing supplies and doing the actual packing, not to mention the long list of to-do’s waiting to be ticked, it is understandable that you feel overwhelmed.

Then comes the actual moving day itself. The movers have to arrive at the scheduled time and load up belongings onto the truck, so you want to be sure everything is set and ready to go in advance.

Not to mention, if you have family or a pet owner, there is the child that needs watching over and your furry four-legged member of the family also needs to be kept out of the way.

It’s little wonder then that moving house is considered one of the top stressors in life.

At this time, anything that could distract the mind in a positive way would be welcome. That particularly goes for when we’re moving long-distance to a different part of the country.

One of the best distractions to keep the mind occupied is – no, not the wine (that can wait until we arrive at the new home) – a good read.

Even those of us who are absolutely at home with nothing to keep us occupied but our thoughts can get bored during a long-distance move. It is times like these that a good book would be most appreciated.

Now, if you’re wondering what titles would be nice to include in your list, we have a few suggestions we think would make for excellent company during the trip.

  1. On the Road (By Jack Kerouac)

Of course, what better book to pick up while you’re on the road than – welp! –  one that goes by that same name?

On the Road is a Beat Generation classic by Jack Kerouac written in 1957. The timeless travel novel relays the story of Sal (Kerouac’s main character) who lives in New York City and decides to pull up stakes to head west.

Driven by a frustration and desire to see the world, Sal makes the most of his time, making friends along the way, riding the rails and partying the night away.

With the pressures of modern life, this is a theme that may very well resonate with you. And you’ll love that Sal grows into a better, stronger and more confident individual through all his travel adventures.

  1. A Year of Living Danishly (By Helen Russell)

Dubbed “the world’s happiest country”, Hellen Russell tells the story of the time she followed her husband to Denmark after he landed a job at the Lego office in Jutland.

She spends her time freelance-writing while trying to uncover why the Danes are such a happy bunch.

She explores everything in her book – from food, to education, childcare, sexism, taxes, interior design and more – and does so while throwing a comedic twist to it, making for a poignant story that’s sure to keep you hooked.

Yes, turns out the Danes don’t have much tolerance for witches too.

What this is is an informative read that’s hilarious at the same time – self-deprecating even – that tells an intriguing story of someone trying to fit in.

Just what you need as you head out to start life in the new lands.

  1. The Alchemist (By Paulo Coelho)

Yes, we thought we would include this too. Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is one of the most read books in recent history.

If you are an avid reader, chances are this one forms one of the pillars of your collection. And if you’re not, there’s also a chance that you’ve happened across this book.

Whichever the case, now would be as good a time as any other to immerse yourself one more time in this soul-stirring story.

It follows a young shepherd boy who journeys from Spain to Egypt. Following his heart, he understands love and the meaning of life as he also learns to go with the flow.

If you haven’t read The Alchemist yet, you’re in for a treat. Slot it right at the top of your list. It will be one of the best ways you spend your time (moving or not) and you’ll be happy you picked it up.

Happy Moving!

Guest Post by Tina Martin

Here is another guest post by author Tina Martin. I can certainly relate to this article, because I have a home-based business, and I know I need more space! Thank you, Tina, for your contribution.

3 Reasons Your Home-Based Business Needs a Bigger House

Being your own boss is a dream come true for many people. Launching a business can be difficult, but with a solid business plan and a market need, success is within reach. While your idea may have started off small, once you see consistent success, you may realize you need a bigger portion of your home to dedicate to your work. That’s when it’s time to start searching for homes for sale. 

Moving your home and business isn’t a simple proposition. Nevertheless, sometimes it’s a must. J.D.R. Hawkins shares three of the many reasons why your home-based business needs a bigger house to call home.

1. You Need a Dedicated Office Space

Running your own business out of your house offers a number of advantages, including schedule flexibility, convenience and cost. It’s important that you have a dedicated workspace that is separate from your living space to minimize distractions. If you currently rent your home or are living in the first house you ever bought, you might not have a lot of space or the freedom to remodel it to suit your work needs. This is a clear sign that you need to purchase a bigger house.

Once you have your own home, you can make up your office space however you see fit. Make sure you also have plenty of light and a solid internet connection to help keep your workspace comfortable. Invest in a new computer if necessary, and remember that your home office—and what you invest in it—may also be tax-deductible, so keep track of the upgrades or repairs you make to it.

2. Your Business Items Are Everywhere

If you keep a lot of paper files on clients and accounts, then it’s easy to get overwhelmed with folders unless you have an efficient storage solution. You still need room for other essential, helpful equipment like tablets and computers, and you may need to invest in a newer model if your current ones aren’t operating at full capacity. If you take advantage of discounts and deals online, you can score deals on popular laptops and tablets from different manufacturers. Don’t forget to grab a comfortable chair and a desk to help keep things organized and professional.

Not enough storage space is one of the biggest frustrations many homeowners have, as Organized Interiors explains. If your home is starting to feel crowded as you organize your business essentials, it’s probably time to look for a bigger home that can grow with your company.

3. The Company Is Growing

The expansion of your business can naturally mean you need more space. You may wish to hire employees to help you. You might need a workshop in which to store materials and create products to sell. You may need a dedicated space to service your clients, as with a nail or hair salon

When you start considering buying a larger home for your business, it’s natural to worry about liability. The formation you choose for your business can help with this, particularly if you form a limited liability company. An LLC offers tax advantages as well as limited liability, which can protect your personal assets (such as your home) in the event your business is sued. You can save on lawyer fees by using a formation service or filing as an LLC yourself, but you will need to check your state’s regulations first because every state has different requirements.

In the end, you are the one who determines when it’s time to upgrade your home to fit your business growth. Ensuring you have the workspace you need can help you focus and grow your business even more. When you are considering purchasing a new bigger home for your company, start talking to a professional real estate agent right away. The sooner you start your home search, the sooner you can establish your new home office.

Image: Pexels

Guest Post by Sheryl Wright

I frequently feature guest posts by various authors in order to give them a chance to get published. Here is another. This one is interesting because it discusses writers. Thanks to Sheryl Wright for her contribution.

Five Tips for Young Journalists

Photo by Mustafa Husnii from Pexels

The media industry has transformed in recent years with the emergence of new trends. The old-fashioned TV and newspaper media platforms have seen their once-dedicated crowd fragmented by the emergence of internet-based media. As a result, job opportunities for newsroom-based media have decreased. As a young and ambitious journalist, to prepare yourself for the competitive job market, you should stay updated, gain experience, and sharpen your expertise.

According to Forbes, citizen journalism is gaining traction in modern society, and as such, emerging stories are told even before they reach newsrooms. Therefore, media institutions are looking for journalists who can help their institutions become agile and lean. Today, the media job market is interested in all-around journalists. In turn, you need to improve your skills, experience, and knowledge to cope up with the current market demands and remain competitive.

Below are tips that can help you become a successful young journalist in the media industry.

Look for Internships to Gain Hands-on Experience

Journalism is a highly competitive career in the media industry, and as an upcoming journalist, you need to utilize each opportunity to gain experience. For instance, volunteering at a media station or taking an internship is a perfect way to gain hands-on experience. Besides, this can help you create connections to help secure a job in the future. You should take internships for a short while to gain experience and weigh if the organization will employ you permanently. If there’s no likelihood of getting hired, then work as an intern for a few months and move on to start looking for better opportunities.

Master New Tools and the Basics in Journalism

As a young journalist, you require skills to write, read, and analyze information sources. Therefore, you should master basic language rules such as grammar, tone, and punctuation. By practicing such basics, you will enhance your skills and competency.

Apart from mastering the basics, you should also familiarize yourself with the latest software and tools used in the industry. For instance, you should learn about the investigative transcription tools to become an expert at everything related to your career. Moreover, you need to create connections with other journalism students of similar interests to exchange knowledge and skills. Since there are several fields, joining a specific community can help you learn from others.

Build an Online Portfolio

Building a professional online portfolio can be helpful when searching for job opportunities. Remember to include professional details like your resume, contact information, social media accounts, and links to various works you have completed in your portfolio. Additionally, include a bio that emphasizes your career interests, work experiences, and qualifications as a young journalist.

Build a Network

You should start building your network by tracking fellow journalism graduates from your college and contacting them. If you don’t have contacts from college, you can join online groups of journalists or expand your network through internships. You can always submit your work directly to different magazines and newspapers to expand your portfolio and get your name out there. Having a vast network can be helpful when searching for job openings. Your contacts can recommend you or suggest a job opening for you to apply. Besides, you can network with senior journalists who can mentor you to become a top-class journalist.

Acquire New Skills

As a young journalist, you should be curious, enthusiastic, and ready to develop new skills. For instance, if your specialization is photography, try learning about writing. If you are a reporter, develop new skills in video shooting. There are tons of online learning opportunities for those who want to learn photo or video journalism. Don’t forget about the endless opportunities for travel writing as well. Even if you are going on a personal vacation somewhere, it can be an opportunity for you to write a travel piece and add that to your repertoire of skills and topics in your portfolio. In the end, acquiring new skills can make you an all-round journalist and a valuable asset any media station would want to have.

Concluding Remarks

Journalism is a highly-competitive career that requires unique skills, expertise, and experience for you to succeed. Therefore, you need to become a versatile young journalist to progress in your career. A few skills you need include engaging in internships to gain hands-on experience, building networks, and mastering new tools and journalism basics. You can also build a professional online portfolio and acquire new journalism-related skills. With these tips, you can revitalize your journalism career to become a world-class young journalist.

Guest Post by Lucerin Saldana

I regularly share guest posts of other writers by giving them the opportunity to get their work seen. Since I am interested in home decor, interior design, and plants (I only have 100 in my house right now., downsized from 300), I wanted to share this article with you. I hope you enjoy it and find inspiration. Spring is coming!

Home Decor Ideas for the Green and Garden Lovers  

At the point when the world is truly worried about global warming and carbon emanations, There are a few different ways to decrease warming practices and contribute to making a more advantageous tomorrow for our children. 

Constantly, the ideal way to deal with this is through a themed home elaborate format, with the ultimate objective that the furnishings, embellishments, and dividers all join to give one single, bound together plan of impressions. 

Improving on account of a subject doesn’t suggest that you ought to mastermind all your furniture from one spot, or that all that requirements give off an impression of being indistinguishable. What it infers is that you empower your tendencies to accept a particular part in your Home Decor Ideas, rather than just buying whatever looks “great” and accommodates your monetary arrangement.

The color and style selection

People with a “green” demeanor consistently find that all-typical home expressive design stays as a loved memory to them. Regardless, not every person is sure how to go about it. 

The best spot to start is buying utilized furnishings, made out of limitless or possibly recyclable materials. Wood, metal, and rattan clearly bob out as top picks, as those materials fulfill all of these standards, and are strikingly strong too. The best portion of Home Decor Ideas is that these three materials combine very well with one another, and can be put to use to make a contemporary, utilitarian yet gorgeously fulfilling inside inclination.

Décor ideas for kids’ room and others

For kids moving into their own special position, the primary need is comfort. This must be met in all rooms — the receiving area, room, study, restroom, and kitchen. 

Each room requires seats of different kinds. In the receiving area, a course of action of low, cushioned stools works consummately as a footrest, and also, a parlor circumstance. Sprinkle Pads can be stacked with sawdust or tufts, as an environmentally friendly alternative to produce polyester foam. Add Some Playground Equipment to mess around with kids. 

Rattan sofa sets with wooden edges are both strong and smooth, allowing you to loosen up in style and comfort while sitting before the TV and checking out the music. Also, pick a pleasant seat and work region for your working space.

Succulents and Cacti for Indoor Garden 

Not we all are honored with the greenest of thumbs. Thinking about indoor plants can be precarious, and relying upon the kind of plant, the atmosphere that you live in, and how much extra time you need to dedicate to the cycle, a few plants can be a whole lot harder than others to keep alive and green. In the event that your plant assortment continues kicking the bucket on you, think about desert flora or delicious plants for your home office. These tough plants are appropriate to unpleasant environments that would somehow be not exactly cordial to other plant types. Desert plants and succulents need just a little water and daylight and are extremely low upkeep which makes them truly simple to think about. Notwithstanding their quality and lifespan, these plants likewise have a particular, negligible look that functions admirably inside any cutting edge home office configuration because of their perfect, direct shapes.

Furniture ideas

A bed of a good height can be made with woven rattan on a wooden or metal edge. While wooden sponsorships ensured that thick snoozing pads are agreeable and pleasing, people with back issues would profit by the adaptability of a rattan bed. In a hot climate, rattan besides remains fundamentally cooler than any sheet material, and can in addition be ensured about with a wet sheet as an unassuming method to manage remaining cool. Sheets can be gotten out the colder time of year, or you can in like way utilize a warm resting sack on the bed itself. 

While rattan and wood make an extraordinary mix in shades of white, cream, yellow and darker, steel is in like way exceptionally flexible.

Greener homes Decors

Everyone will feel glad to have the plants at home yet the hardest part is about their support. Anyway gone are days when you neglect to offer water to the plants. 

There are applications like Plenty, in this day and age which causes you to speak with your plant and promptly illuminates you when it needs your consideration. 

It doesn’t generally make a difference whether you have an insignificant chance to deal with the plants as these brilliant applications will make your occupation unbelievably simple.

Solar and Green energy

The establishment of Solar boards may look somewhat expensive at first anyway in the more drawn out period it’s truly worth speculation. 

However, on the off chance that you truly can not decide on Solar energy, at that point you might need to look at with your energy supplier about how energy is being produced. In some nations energy providers for the most part, determine whether they are Green energy suppliers or not. It’s not elusive reasonable energy, created from environmentally friendly power sources, for example, wind and sun based. Picking such providers generally doesn’t cost a remarkable measure of cash and more often than not it very well may be benefited at similar rates as that of different providers.

Metal Buildings are green buildings

There are many, many green things and splendid structure options out there today that can upgrade your home, decrease the home’s natural impact and cause your home to perform better. Basically by choosing to work with steel instead of wood is a tremendous good situation insensibility. Consider that when trees are accumulated for wood, it can take more than 20 to 40 years to create replacements to where they can be procured. Close to the completion of its life hope, a wood layout of the Prefab Metal Buildings are demolished, and the wood can’t be reused for a greater turn of events. Shade Structures give different opportunities to save imperativeness and make a pleasing workspace.

Author Bio

Lucerin Saldana Lucerin writes for topics like Home Improvement, Kitchen decor, Garden, or travel-related topics additionally; he has a passion for the metal building industry for more than ten years, Lucerin has become an experienced building specialist in this industry. His goal is to help people with his vast knowledge to assist them with his best suggestions about different metal buildings such as Metal Carports, garages, barns, Custom Steel Buildings, and commercial structures.

Guest Post by Jim and Dave Schuelke

I frequently feature guest posts by various authors. Here is an article discussing plumbing repairs, which I think we can all relate to. I hope you enjoy the article!

10 Tips to Help Avoid Emergency Plumbing Repairs

Your plumbing system needs regular upkeep to keep it working smoothly. Plumbing emergencies can cause serious inconvenience and often require expensive repairs. With a bit of foresight and preventive maintenance, it is possible to avoid emergency plumbing repairs. Read on for practical tips on how to prevent emergency plumbing repairs.

1. Watch What You Pour Down the Drain

Your drainage system isn’t designed to handle everything that fits. Don’t treat your drains as trashcans.

Foods such as potato peel, eggshells, pasta, and coffee grounds can clog the drains. Oils, fats, or grease solidify and form a sticky mass as they flow down the drainpipe.

Even a small chunk of sticky mass can attract other material and clog the drainpipe.

Allow fats, oils, etc., to solidify instead of flushing them down the drain. Dispose of food chunks and anything greasy in the trash can.

2. Avoid Harsh Drain Cleaners

When you notice that your bathtub or kitchen sink is draining slowly, you may feel tempted to visit a local hardware store and grab a chemical drain cleaner.

On the surface, it seems like a quick, easy, cheap, and convenient solution. Harsh chemical drain cleaners will sure work in the short term, but such chemicals can also corrode your drainpipes over a period of time.

Corroded pipes are likely to develop leaks when the water pressure goes up or burst on their own.

So don’t reach for chemical drain cleaners too often, or you might have to deal with a plumbing emergency in the near future. Chemical drain cleaners also have a serious negative impact on the environment.

3. Know Where Your Main Water Shutoff Valve Is Located

Despite preventive maintenance, it is possible that your plumbing springs a leak due to a hidden issue. On such occasions, you need to turn off the water flow immediately to prevent flooding.

Knowing how to handle the main water shutoff valve can help prevent major water damage and reduce the scale of a plumbing emergency till plumbing specialists arrive at your doorstep.

4. Fix Minor Plumbing Issues Immediately

Don’t ignore minor leaks and drips. You may think that a leaky pipe or a dripping faucet won’t cause significant water damage – but you cannot be more wrong.  

First, there may be other, hidden leaks in pipes behind ceilings or walls. Second, even small leaks can wreak havoc on your home’s foundations, ceiling, and floors. Mold growth in the attic, basement, or on the walls and ceilings is one of the earliest signs of a plumbing leak.  

So, don’t let seemingly minor plumbing issues go unattended. Call in a professional and get a leak investigated and fixed as soon as possible.

5. Use Drain Screens

Get drain screens for all your drains. Drain screens in your kitchen and bathroom can help avoid plumbing emergencies.

Human hair deposits in the pipes can get entangled in solids flowing through the drainpipes. Such deposits can quickly slow the water-flow and even lead to complete blockage.

Similarly, without a drain screen in your kitchen sink, many solids such as food scraps end up in your drainpipes.

6. Monitor Water Pressure

Reduced flow from faucets or showerheads can be due to sediment build-up. So, the low water pressure should be considered a red flag.

High water pressure, on the other hand, can stress your plumbing system.

7. Inspect Your Septic Tank

Be sure to inspect your septic tank regularly; watch out for water leaks, overflows, corrosion, etc., especially after heavy rains.

8.  Avoid Using Flushable Wipes

Do you use ‘flushable’ wipes? Most of the flushable wipes available in the market will not biodegrade quickly. So, they can clog your drainpipes.

If you want to continue using wipes, avoid flushing them down. Just because something can be flushed down the toilet doesn’t mean it should be disposed of this way.

Flushing wipes, cotton balls, paper towels, sanitary napkins, and other trash can lead to a plumbing emergency.

9. Keep an Eye on Your Water Heater Tank

Water heater tanks have an inner lining that helps prevent rusting or corrosion.

Over a period of time, your water heater tank is likely to develop a sediment build-up.

When this happens, there’s a possibility of overheating. Beyond a point, excessive heat can rupture the protective lining, thus resulting in a major leak.

So, make sure to drain your water heater tank at least once every year to get rid of sediment build-up.

It is equally important to regularly inspect your water heater for any signs of a water leak.

10. Use Stainless Steel Hoses

Do you use rubber hoses? They lose flexibility over time and develop leaks. Consider using stainless steel hoses instead. They are more durable and less likely to develop leaks. 

Email: web@twinhomeexperts.com

Address: 7243 Woodley Ave, Van Nuys, CA 91406

Guest Post by Kylo Walter

I frequently feature guest posts by various bloggers, just to give them an opportunity to get their articles published. Typically, I try to find articles that I think you would find interesting. This one is about car maintenance in winter. I hope you enjoy it.

Eight Easy Vehicle Maintenance Tips in Snow Fall

Now is an ideal time to pull your hands from over your eyes and grapple with the one thing we would prefer to concede: winter has arrived.

The consequence of winter is snowfall. If you have an ideal opportunity to get in a couple of repairs, the benefits will go far towards ensuring your investment until spring. If you cannot do them yourself, book an assistance arrangement closest to your area.

Right away, here are eight snowfall Car Maintenance Tips. They are quick, genuinely simple, and the best part is that they are economical.

1. Do not Make Compost in Your Car

As you tackle fall’s abundance on your yard, leave some energy for eliminating the leaves that discover their way into your vehicle. Leaves, twigs, and other natural issues can destroy with drains on your home—and the comparable on your car. When garbage develops in territories of your vehicle where water should run out, you can get holes or corrosion.

The air plenum close to the windshield is the right spot where this can occur. If you do have a sunroof, open it up and glance around in there, as well, from outside the vehicle. Sunroofs have channels to stream water that sneaks past the seals out for the count of the car. Plant gunk in there can plug those channels, making for wet headliners, wet rugs, or more awful.

2. Consider Getting Snow Tires

Snow tires are made of a softer elastic than all-season tires, allowing them to hold adaptability, even in the coldest of cold. Track designs on these tires likewise take into consideration remarkable grasp in the snow. However, snow tires are certifiably not an instant fix. They will not eliminate the chance of slipping and sliding in your vehicle; however, they do give more traction than standard tires.

“All-wheel drive is certainty motivating when you’re accelerating, yet it doesn’t help you when you’re slowing down and turning,” says Woody Rogers, overseer of item data for Tire Rack. “Winter tires are an absolute necessity in regions where the temperature routinely dips under 45 degrees,” Rogers adds. Snow tires give more traction when you are attempting to stop and turn on a cool asphalt.

3. Replace Your Wiper Blades

We need our blades to last more than they do. However, unavoidably, they wear out, break, and are delivered pointless. Heavy rain-snow is in transit, so check your edges to ensure they’re adaptable and still ready to clean your windshield. If they’re not, or blades, the off chance that they don’t, supplant your blades with new ones. Fortunately, blades are pretty economical, and you can get a good set for $30 or $40.  

4. Is Your Battery Fully Juiced?

Winter puts more weight on your battery, mostly if you leave your vehicle outside. Evade the sinking feeling of hearing nothing when you hit the start with a proactive check of your battery and charging framework now. As a rule, fix shops do not charge particularly to stack test your battery, and some vehicle parts stores will do it for nothing.

If you discover your battery’s going south, you can supplant it whenever it might suit you, rather than being helpless before whatever shop your dead vehicle’s been towed to. 

5. Don’t Roll Your Windows in Freezing Temperatures

Stand by until your vehicle has been warming for in any event 30 minutes before endeavoring to roll the windows, as doing so heretofore will cause water gathered in your window seals and the mechanical pieces of your entryway to freeze. If not permitted to defrost before working the windows, this can harm your vehicle, for example, defective windows or temperamental controls.

6. Check Your Fluid Levels

Working windshield wipers and a strong supply of wiper liquid will guarantee that you and your customers have visibility in the most exceedingly awful of snowstorms. Wiper liquid will get used rapidly if a vehicle is being driven during a snowstorm, for evident reasons.

Wiper sharp blades last a year. If you feel that it is the ideal opportunity for a substitution, it probably is the perfect opportunity for supplanting them. Contingent upon how terrible your winters are, you might need to prepare your vehicle(s) with winter-specific wipers. In conclusion, ensure the car(s) have wiper liquid with a low freezing point.

While we are regarding keeping liquids full, keeping the gas tank full is considerably more significant in the colder time of year. A full tank may forestall aggregated water in your fuel pump from freezing. It can likewise help you remain warm, as the driver can keep running the engine motor if they get stuck.

7. Add a Protective Layer

A polymer wax layer can make a boundary against street salt, grime, snow, and then some sleet. Couple with high-pressure vehicle washes after winter storms to flush away buildup in difficult to-arrive zones, such as wheels, underbody, and wheel wells.

8. Park in Shed

As the cold weather months approach, with them, comes the danger of extreme winter climate. While snow and icy streets can spell catastrophe for drivers, these cruel climate conditions can harm vehicles also.

If you will, in general, stop your vehicle on the street or uncovered in your garage, you likely are certifiably not a stranger to the dull daily schedule of scratching your car clean. This can be incredibly irritating when you are late, or you need to get someplace in a rush. Peephole driving or freeing just enough from your windshield to have the option to see a part of the street is something that numerous chilly climate drivers know about.

Putting resources into metal garages or carports can help protect your vehicles’ value and enhance their life span, setting aside your money.

Conclusion

Giving your special vehicle consideration in the colder time of year is essential. If you have not to get ready for your vehicle for winter yet, make sure to focus on it for your wellbeing and the security of those offering the ways to you. Readiness and upkeep will set aside your cash over the long haul. Since your vehicle is frequently the second most costly buy you make, winterizing your car is an investment.

Woodworking 101: How to Get Started

For the new year, I wanted to share an article about something near and dear to my heart. My dad loved woodworking. He was very talented, and created many beautiful pieces, including furniture, sculptures, carvings. etc. Here are a few pictures of some of his creations.

My main character, David Summers, who appears in all of the books in the Renegade Series, is modeled after my dad, in that he has a passion for woodworking.

This article is a guest post courtesy of Mr. Carlos Trejo. Thank yo so much, Mr. Trejo, for your contribution!

Did you know that wood was the first drawing material? In the form of charcoal, it was the first artistic medium. An example of cave art, using charred wood, at Rouffignac in France dates back 13,000 years!

Woodworking can be a wonderful hobby, but knowing how to cut wood, make doors and build stairs can also save you a ton of money. If you want to get started, however, you need to do it the right way. Woodworking is a skill like any other, and a learned one at that. 

In past generations, many people were lucky enough to have a parent, grandparent, or trusted uncle who knew their way around a woodworking shop. Some even remember taking shop in high school, learning to make practical things like toolboxes and the like. But not everyone was blessed with that kind of early exposure, but you can make up for the lost time and learn the skills you need to complete home projects like a pro. Here are some key things you need to know to get started with your new woodworking hobby. 

Woodworking Basics: What You Need to Know

Where to Start

If you are ready to get started with your new woodworking hobby, you probably have a lot of questions. So how can you get started safely, and what do you need to know as you set up your new woodworking room? 

Even before you start building anything, you will need some basic materials to get started on your woodworking adventure. Many people choose to set up their workshops in a garage or storage shed, and adapting those spaces to a new use will require some basic supplies. 

Lining the walls of a garage or storage shed with pegboard, for instance, will give you plenty of space to hang hand tools and power tools. You can even add a cord spool to keep all those extension cords neat and tidy.  

You will obviously need electric power for your new woodworking shop, so make sure there are enough outlets available. If you have any doubts, an electrical upgrade may be in order; the last thing you want is an overloaded circuit that could become a fire hazard

You will also need some basic knowledge, even if you plan to take a DIY approach to learn woodworking. If you have a trusted woodworker friend or neighbor, reach out to them for help. If not, check into woodworking classes at the local community college or extension center; these low-cost courses are a great way to learn the basics. And there is always the internet, especially the many detailed woodworking tutorials on YouTube and other video channels.

What Kinds of Tools Do You Need?

As you build out your new woodworking shop, you will need to outfit your new space with the right tools. Building a woodworking shop from the ground up can be an expensive endeavor. It is a good idea to begin with the must-have tools, those go-to items you will need again and again. Regardless of what you are building, here are some essential tools you will want in your woodworking shop from the start. 

  • Circular saw
  • Nail gun
  • Hammer
  • Cordless screwdriver
  • An assortment of nails, screws, and other fasteners
  • Chisels
  • Hand clamps
  • Power drills

Once you have the basics of your woodworking shop laid out, you will need a secure place to keep all those items. Hopefully, you have already lined the walls of your space with pegboard. So all you need are some hanging hooks to keep most of the items in place. You can also use tool storage drawers to hold all those tiny materials, as well as smaller hand tools. 

Now that you have the essential tools taken care of, it’s time to look at other tools that will allow you to expand the number of projects you take on. Some of these power tools can be pricy, but if they allow you to turn a contractor-led project into a DIY one they could pay for themselves in a matter of weeks. Here are some smart large form factor tools to consider for your new woodworking shop. 

  • Lathe
  • Jointer
  • Table saw

In addition to those larger tools, you might also want to add a jigsaw and a reciprocating saw to your woodworking repertoire. Both of these tools are highly versatile and can be used on dozens of home improvement projects. 

As you continue with your woodworking hobby, you will probably find other tools you would like to have. If you plan to do some outdoor home improvements, you will probably want cordless hand tools at your disposal. Including drills, screwdrivers, nail guns, and the like. You may want to choose a single brand and stick with it since the charging stations should be compatible with one another. And while you are at it, look for a dedicated space where you can set up a charging station for all those tools, so they will be ready whenever you need them. 

Woodworking Safety Tips

Woodworking can be a fulfilling hobby and a great way to save money on home improvement projects. For the cost of hiring a single contractor, you can build out an entire workshop and do the work yourself. 

Even so, it is important to put safety first whenever you are working with power tools, and protecting yourself should always be your most important consideration. Here are some essential safety tips you should never ignore:

  • Goggle up – eye protection is vital when working with power tools, so always wear a pair of quality goggles in your woodworking shop
  • Wear a mask – Cutting wood creates fine particles, and those particles can damage your lungs. Always wear a mask when you are sawing, screwing, or drilling wood.
  • Never disable safety devices – Table saws, circular saws, and other power tools come with guards and other safety devices built-in. Those guards are there for a reason, and you should never disable or tamper with them. 
  • Protect your ears – Power tools generate a lot of noise, so protect your ears with foam plugs or don specialized headphones to dampen the sound and prevent long-term hearing damage.
  • Check cords for damage before and after every use. It is easy to nick a cord while cutting wood, so examine extension cords for signs of damage before and after every project. 
  • Wear proper shoes or safety boots – Protecting your feet is essential, so leave the sandals and flip flops behind when you enter your woodworking shop. 
  • Read the manuals carefully before using any new piece of equipment. Make sure you know where the emergency stop button is located, and always read the safety precautions before getting started. 

Good Woodworking Projects for Beginners

Now that you have your woodworking shop set up and all your tools have been hung up, you are probably anxious to get started. But you will want to start slowly, with simple projects you can complete quickly. 

As you gain confidence and experience, you can ramp up the complexity of the home improvement projects you take on, but for now, here are some easy woodworking ideas to get you started. 

  • Build your child a wagon.  A wood wagon is relatively easy to build, and it requires only the most basic of tools. 
  • Give yourself a great place to sit. If you love those stylish Adirondack chairs but not the high price tag, you can build your own, all in your new woodworking shop. With basic supplies like a circular saw, a few pieces of wood, and a couple of dozen nails and fasteners, you can give yourself a comfortable place to sit when your project is done. 
  • A workbench. Having a workbench in your woodworking shop will come in handy, so why not build your own? Building a workbench is the perfect first woodworking project for beginners, you can get it done in a single afternoon.
  • Make a set of sawhorses. This is another woodworking project that will add to the usefulness of your new shop. Every carpenter needs a set of sturdy sawhorses, and the ones you make will be vastly better than any you can buy. 

Recycling/Reusing Past Materials

As you get started with your new woodworking hobby, you will probably find yourself taking on lots of home improvement projects. Once you have your woodworking shop set up, you will view your home through a different set of eyes. You will find all kinds of things that suddenly need an upgrade. 

Every one of those woodworking projects will generate some level of waste material. Recycling those materials is the environmentally responsible thing to do. There are many ways to make your projects as green as possible. 

If you have usable wood and other construction materials left over, you can donate them to a good cause. Habitat for Humanity runs a number of resale stores around the country, and that is a good place to start. You can also check with local charities to see what they need and where you can donate. 

You can also reuse smaller pieces of wood and leftover construction supplies for your future projects. Those small pieces of wood, for instance, can be glued together to create a wonderful little birdhouse. So you can share your newfound woodworking skills with your avian friends. 

No matter what your goal is, learning some basic woodworking skills is a smart thing to do. And now that you know how to get started, you can begin your new hobby with confidence. 

Originally Posted on Porch.com

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