Archive for 2018

5 Steps to Creating an Impressive Building Lobby

Wednesday, July 25th, 2018

The lobby is one of the most important parts of a building. After all, it’s the very first thing that visitors, employees, and potential customers will be seeing and experiencing once they enter the building itself. Once people enter the foyer, they’ll be automatically forming their first impressions on the property—and by extension, their opinion on the occupants as well. It’s in your best interest, then, to make sure that this first impression is a positive one. To help you get started with achieving this goal, here are some steps you can take to create an impressive building lobby.

Add an indoor water feature

When it comes to killer decorative elements or fixtures guaranteed to bowl over any visitor or customer, nothing gets the job done better than a water feature, such as a grand indoor floor fountain. It’s the ultimate in opulent decorating: a literal work of art that’s pumping water up and down upon itself all for the purpose of making an environment look more appealing. If you want your lobby to impress visitors the very moment they step through the front door, a water fountain is just what you need.

Fix the lighting

Lighting will always be an integral factor in how a space will look and feel like. While harsh overhead fluorescents may be the weapon of choice when it comes to keeping salarymen alert and productive in offices, they can make a building lobby feel unwelcome and cheap. To prevent this, simply replace your fluorescents with warmer and softer light sources, such as amber-colored LED lights. You can also dial down your current lighting system and then supplement with accent lighting fixtures like wall sconces, recessed lights, and chandeliers. The key here is to keep things easy on the eyes while also providing enough illumination.

Invest in proper signage

Depending on the foot traffic that’s going into and coming from your building, you might need to invest in proper and legible signs to direct first-time visitors and employees to where they want to go. Nothing sours a visitor to a new building faster than having to ask around inside it for directions, especially during emergencies. Adequate signage is therefore important and should not be ignored. A good standard to aim for is for a new visitor to be able to navigate your building without having to ask for help from your staff.

Invest in proper quality furniture and décor

Yes, you can cut a few corners and save a hefty amount by only getting cheap, plastic furniture and the bare minimum in décor, but your lobby will be anything but impressive when your visitors come calling. This will not only make you seem uncaring in the eyes of your ownemployees, it could also make you fail in terms of making a good impression on potential customers and business partners. Just like with lighting, make sure to spring for quality furniture and décor.

Study and remove bottlenecks

Study the foot traffic within your building lobby for a while. Do you see any pathways or corridors that tend to become choked with people during certain times of the day? If so, then you should take the time to remove them ASAP, whether by demolition, some clever rerouting, or just providing people an alternative path to take. This lets your visitors know that you’ve thought of practically everything at this point while also ensuring that any newcomer will not be put off by any huge commotion taking place inside your building lobby. Besides that, it also helps your lobby look a bit more organized and simpler.

Deciding on how to build an impressive lobby may be tough, but with these five steps, you’ll be sure to have an easier time doing so. Just remember that if you ever run into trouble or find yourself at a loss when it comes to designing your new lobby, do not hesitate in getting professionals involved, especially before you start construction. With any luck, they’ll not only be able to help you realize your initial ideas, they’ll also be able to suggest better and much more effective ways of pulling off what you want to happen.

Brought to you by our friends at kineticfountains.com.

Saving Money on Electric Bills

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Energy bills have skyrocketed these days, and that’s why so many people are looking for creative ways of cutting down their costs. However resolute you might be when it comes to paying less for your electricity, the fact is that there are several simple changes that you can do that can make a whole lot of difference.

We’re not saying you should start by making considerable sacrifices such as buying a lot of green power gadgets, some of which might be feasible, it’s true, but they might cost more at the moment.

Let’s look at several practical ways of cutting down your electricity costs.

Air conditioning and heating

In case you didn’t know, Americans tend to use their AC a lot more compared to Europeans. Whenever it’s hot, Europeans open several windows and let the air cooldown their spaces. They keep their temperature with the help of iced drinks, and they tend to walk in the shade when the weather’s scorching. They always wear appropriate clothing.

Keep your AC turned off if it’s not as hot as you might think. The same goes for your heating. What if you didn’t wear just a t-shirt and shorts and you actually put some clothes on instead of turning your heating up and having to pay for it?

Doing your laundry the right way

If you own a washer and dryer, the easiest way of saving some money would be to avoid using your dryer altogether in the summer. Get a drying rack or clothes airer for as little as ten to fifteen dollars and wait for your laundry to get dry naturally. After all, that’s why we have the sun and the wind and are able to take advantage of them.

Did you know that many power companies offer discounted rates to people who do their laundry after 8 pm? Needless to say, that’s what you should do because placing your clothes on the drying rack can be done at 10 pm just as well as 7 pm. Don’t use a lot of heat to do your laundry if it’s mostly composed of t-shirts you’ve used once.

Cleaning your home the smart way

Most everyone we know hates vacuuming, right? And why do you think that is? Unfortunately, back in the day, many manufacturers didn’t really consider the needs of their customers, so that’s how they ended up making bulky and hefty vacuum cleaners.

Don’t make the mistake of cleaning your floors daily with such a dated alternative. You can either get an electric broom or a Shark steam mop if you want to clean tile or grout, or just one from any other company you prefer. In a worst-case scenario, you might even like to use your non-electric broom to sweep up the occasional spill that might happen in a busy kitchen. And guess what? That’ll make you burn several calories, and you won’t waste any electricity at all.

And last, but not least, always turn off the lights if you’re leaving a room and there’s no one left behind you.

Brought to you by our friend, Vlad.

A Guide to Buying the Perfect Patio Furniture

Wednesday, May 30th, 2018

Getting the right kind of furniture for your patio can be quite daunting nowadays, especially as there are so many choices available out there today. Besides, there are a lot of aspects you ought to keep in mind to make sure that youre investing your money in something thats worth the effort and every cent, of course. These range from durability to design and the amount of comfort that any furniture ideas for your patio might be able to provide you with.

Lets look at some of the essential factors that you have to consider when youre in the market for a brand new furniture set of this kind.

The right material makes all the difference

Both the quality of the craftsmanship and the material that the furniture pieces are made of can mean a lot in terms of the value that the product is capable of offering you. There is a broad variety of options in this sense. Outdoor furniture can be made from wood, wicker, plastic, or metal, and all of these have both pros and cons.

Metal is great if youre looking for a highly durable choice, but do ensure that the model you will select cannot rust. Wood is great-looking, but its not nearly as durable as metal, for example, because it tends to absorb moisture quite easily. And guess what? Life often goes in the way of you being able to get the furniture inside whenever there are showers announced in your area.

Wicker is visually appealing and can be made from bamboo, rattan vine, or cane. Both resin and plastic furniture pieces are durable, to an extent, but they might not be so if they are too thin. Besides, weve all seen those distasteful and white plastic chairs before, so be sure to get one that resembles wood as best as possible.

What about storage and proper care and maintenance?

Your patio furniture needs to be designed specifically for outdoor use to make sure that it stands the test of time. But other than its durability, you should also consider the amount of convenience that it can provide.

Are the chairs stackable and lightweight enough to be carried easily? Can you comfortably store all of the furniture in your home, or do you have to make an effort to make some room for it? These days, theres a wide array of furniture sets that can be disassembled or folded with ease. Perhaps you should consider one of those.

Choose depending on your needs

While it might be extraordinarily tempting to select the most sizable patio furniture you can afford, you need to understand that getting too many pieces might restrict your outdoor lounging space. How many people do usually come to visit with you?

How big is your family? Are there folks that would enjoy spending pretty much all of their time outside of the house, therefore occupying a sofa or a chair constantly? Only you can provide the answers to all of these questions and choose the set number accordingly.

Brought to you by our friend, Vlad.

How to Get a Great Truck Tent

Monday, May 14th, 2018

Getting a brand new truck tent can be a real challenge, and that’s because the market seems to be downright overflowing with choices you should consider. It goes without saying that one of the first factors you ought to bear in mind when you’re in the market for such a product is its size. If you pick the wrong one, it might not be compatible with your vehicle.

However, there are many other aspects you should consider to make sure you’re able to choose the perfect alternative. Here’s a list of things you need to keep in mind.

Just what kind of design are you looking for?

There are several variations when it comes to the build of many truck tents. Some can be installed in the bed of the truck, but others are called rooftop tents, so they are larger and can provide a bit more room compared to their regular counterparts.

If you can’t be bothered with checking the size of the unit you want to spend your cents on, although we highly recommend that you do, you can always select a universal tent. Such models are typically made to fit most automobiles, and they come with several adjustable features that can render them compatible with your truck or SUV.

Seasonality

Some alternatives might not be capable of providing you with the warmth and coverage you need when the weather outside is chilly. It would be a good idea to opt for a 3 or 4-season tent, in this case, especially if you are interested in going camping be it during the summer or even during winter.

One thing that we have to mention is that the materials that the products made for all seasons are heavier, so they’ll be slightly more challenging to put together. The other option you have available is to get two tents – one for when the weather’s warmer and the other for when you want to go camping in inclement weather.

Ventilation

Regardless the looks of the tent, the fact is that rain flies, as well as awnings, can make the difference when it comes to your overall comfort. The tent should also come with several ventilation windows that you can open in case you’re starting to feel too hot. Make sure to install it in an area where it can sit under the shadow of a tree. Otherwise, you’ll find it hard to spend time inside the tent during the day.

Ventilation is also important because, at night, you might end up feeling hot. In this respect, it would be silly to have to get outside instead of just open a window and let the cool air of the evening get into the tent.

Usually, most models you might find available for purchase these days come with at least two mesh panels. You can conveniently zip and keep them closed when it’s raining or when it’s cold outside. By contrast, you can zip them up and keep them open when it’s starting to get warm inside.

Brought to you by our friends at trucktentcenter.com.

5 Delicious Recipes for Cooking with Wine

Friday, May 11th, 2018

If you’ve never cooked with wine, now is the time to stock up and give it a try. Using wine in your recipes adds a delicious layer of flavour you can’t find with any other ingredient. At the same time, the wine adds moisture to many foods and can be used in marinades to tenderise meat. There are plenty of recipes that call for wine and the experts suggest choosing one that you’d be happy to drink. Give these mouth-watering dishes a try and see just why cooking with wine is such a great choice.

Beef Bourguignon
This beef bourguignon recipe is an ideal one to try if you’re new to cooking with wine. In fact, this is one of the most traditional recipes when it comes to using wine. This dish came to be as a way to cook with and serve cheaper cuts of beef, which generally tend to be on the tough side. The meat is enhanced with a delectable blend of onion, garlic, celery, bacon and mushrooms. The addition to Burgundy wine gives it a depth of flavour that is both rich and delicious.

Drunken Broad Bean and Goat’s Cheese Salad
Many recipes that use wine tend to call for red wine, but this one makes great use of white wine. It’s used in a marinade to give flavour and moisture to the broad beans used in the salad. The delightful burst of taste in each of the beans pairs well with the tangy and rich flavour and texture of the goat’s cheese.

Red Wine Barbecued Salmon
Usually you see red wine used in a beef recipe, but don’t overlook how wonderfully it pairs with salmon. This recipe combines the richness of red wine with the creaminess of salmon, then grills it to create a mouth-watering dish that will be both delightful and surprising. Eating salmon is a healthy choice and this dish allows you to give it a delicious new twist.

Scallop Ravioli with Seared Scallops and White Wine Sauce
You probably know that white wine is the best choice for sipping with seafood, so it makes sense that white wine is your best choice when cooking seafood. Creamy scallops taste wonderful served in this recipe’s white wine sauce which includes tomatoes and shallots. Pasta is a no-brainer with scallops, so the ravioli is the ideal food for sopping up the leftover sauce.

Red Wine Chocolate Bundt Cake
No recipe collection is complete without a dessert to finish off any meal. If you’ve never considered using wine to bake, it’s time to change your thinking. The red wine in this cake really brings out the decadent chocolate flavour and turns this into a dessert that will have people wondering what your secret ingredient is. Don’t forget to serve it with a scoop of ice cream.

Whichever recipe you choose, always remember to use a good wine. If you wouldn’t drink it, don’t cook with it.

Brought to you by our friends at winedirect.com.

The Best ATV Sports Races in the United States

Monday, April 23rd, 2018

Is ATV racing a sport? Many seem to think so, and if you are the owner of a four-wheeler and you’re passionate about racing, you should consider keeping tabs on the following events. Who knows when you might want to try something new and go see these races or even join them? We have listed some of the most popular races below.

In case you didn’t know, there are several types of associations that organize such races every year, and one of them is the All-Terrain Vehicle Association. The Grand National Cross Country is another one, and it usually takes places in some parts of the U.S. East coast.

ATVA series

There are two main events you should consider attending if you’re interested in those organized by the All-Terrain Vehicle Association. One of them is the Southern Challenge Series, which takes place in Texas. The neat thing about this one is that the participants are not required to have an STQRA membership, but it is mandatory for the collection of points and awards. All of the information regarding this race is available at the official website of the series.

The next event you ought to bear in mind is the ATVA Short Track National series. Compared to some of the others we have come across, this one is somewhat new. It includes ten classes, five of which are Open and two of which are specifically destined for youth. This competition is open to amateurs, pros, and pro-amateurs alike.

GNCC series

If you are looking for a somewhat challenging race, grab your good mud tires and join the Orange Crush, which happens in De Leon Springs, Florida. It’s the place where people go race with their ATVs when in the middle of winter, so you’re likely to enjoy all the perks of nice weather and even get to see some local attractions, while you’re in the area.

Both South and North Carolina organize their own ATV racing events. There’s the Big Buck in Union, South Carolina, and the Yadkin Valley Stomp in Yadkinville, North Carolina. These two are more or less similar to each other, but there are several differences. While the first happens in dense woods and wide-open fields, the second has a plethora of challenges available for participants, including going through an abandoned house.

The Nevada Passage Wide Open is usually organized at the beginning of the month of May in Winnemucca. It is a relatively new adventure race event compared to some of the others we have mentioned in this list. What seems to make the difference between this one and its counterparts is that it includes a wide array of competitions ranging from kayaking to mountain bike racing. It is a two-day event, and on the second day, participants are required to navigate their way through the Winnemucca Mountain.

The ATV MUD Nationals and the ATV Super Challenge Series are two other events you might not want to miss. The first traditionally takes place in remote areas of Texas, where competitors have the chance to drive through water and mud alike. As for the second, it includes a course consisting of anything from jumps to hills and stutter bumps.

Brought to you by our friends at youngchoppers.com.

Inspire. Inform. Engage.