Three Ways to Enjoy Your Holiday on a Budget

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Going on a Trip to Switzerland with an Adventure-Filled Itinerary

Zurich, Geneva, and Bern are very accessible. You can go to Switzerland by train from any of the key cities in Europe when the ski bug hits you. If you want to More »

Target Practice: Comparing Bow Hunting with Rifle Hunting

More than just about the kill, hunting takes mastery and precision to perfect. Every year, outdoorsmen from all walks of life head into wilderness across the country to track and hunt everything More »

5 Things to Know About Dating a Southern Guy

If you’re looking for a real relationship — you might want to consider dating southern guys. Nope, you won’t need one of those straw cowgirl hats (for now), but you might need More »

It Runs in the Family: 3 Habits of Healthy Families

Being healthy is never a lone ranger’s journey. You need the support of people, doctors, nutritionists, fitness coaches, and others. But the most encouraging in one’s health journey is from the family. More »

 

Cebu City: Why It Is Worth Investing At

Central business district at night

Central business district at nightCebu is not only the home of the famous lechon and the Magellan Shrine. It is also one of the bustling and thriving metropolitan cities in the Philippines. Because Manila has become so congested, people are starting to look for alternative opportunities in other parts of the country. While Manila outskirts such as Laguna and Cavite are top options, many people also look further down south for greener and fresher pastures.

Cebu is often a top choice when it comes to local migration. With numerous condos for sale in Cebu City, Philippines, more people, locals and foreigners alike, choose to settle in the “Queen City of the South”. Here are some more reasons the move is worth it:

Accessibility

Cebu has its own international airport, which makes it easier for people to travel in and out of the country. It also has a port, which is an advantage not only for traveling but also for shipments and businesses.

Job Opportunities

Like Manila, Cebu City is slowly becoming a hub for call centers and other businesses. There are many work opportunities in Metro Cebu that can compete with that of Metro Manila. Therefore, if you are looking to change your lifestyle without sacrificing your career and its growth, then Cebu is the place to be.

Security

Cebu is one of the cities in the country where crime rates are significantly low and people feel secure. Therefore, many people invest in condo units in Cebu City because they know that they can retire or raise their family in the province with peace of mind.

Best of Both Worlds

You can easily go to your condominium after a day’s work, and then drive to the beach and be one with nature during the weekend. You can have the best of city life and rural living in Cebu. This is also among the things that attract people to move to the city.

What are you waiting for? Invest in that Cebu property now and see how your life and your lifestyle can change for the better.

Electric Vehicle Batteries: A Guide to Safety and Maintenance

batteryElectric vehicles (EV) become more popular in the United States; a Scientific American report shares that the U.S. EV market has hit the one million mark. The report adds that this is a good development toward decarbonizing the transportation sector, which is the largest source of emissions in the country.

If you plan or already have an EV, it’s essential to understand the proper maintenance and safety of its fundamental component: the battery.

The Common Type of Battery for EVs

Batteries for electric vehicles vary based on the type of the vehicle. It could be an all-electric vehicle (AEV) or plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV).

Lithium batteries are common for electric vehicles, whether it’s an AEV or PHEV. This type of battery features a high power-to-weight ratio, good high-temperature performance, and high energy efficiency.

These batteries are an ideal choice because they can hold a lot of energy for their weight, which is an advantage for EVs. Having less weight allows the car to travel farther on a single charge. It’s also worth noting that lithium-ion batteries have a low self-discharge rate. They can maintain the ability to hold a full charge over time.

Lithium batteries are a great option, as well, if you’re environmentally conscious. You can recycle most of its parts.

Battery Safety for Electric Vehicles

According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DE), EVs and conventional vehicles sold in the US should go through the same safety testing and meet safety standards. The agency also imposes EV-specific standards, including:

  • Reducing chemical spillage from batteries
  • Protecting batteries during a crash
  • Isolating chassis from the high-voltage system

Maintaining an Electric Vehicle Battery

Typically, you can find batteries that have about eight years extended life or equivalent to 100,000 miles. Depending on the climate, some batteries can last between 12 to 15 years in moderate climates while some last for eight to 12 years in extreme climates.

The battery of your EV will be worn out over time. Carrying out proper maintenance on your vehicle can help it perform well in the long run; AEVs and PHEVs have different technologies, so you have to know what maintenance routine will work best for your car.

Other Types of Batteries for Electric Vehicles

Apart from lithium-ion batteries, there are other types of batteries that can be used for EVs based on its type. These include:

  • Nickel-metal hydride batteries – these batteries are common in hybrid-electric vehicles, but you can use also use them in all AEVs. Additionally, they have a longer life-cycle compared to lithium-ion batteries. But when using this type of battery, expect to pay a higher cost, greater self-discharge rate, and generate heat at high temperature.
  • Lead-acid batteries – to date, these batteries serve as a supplementary to other battery loads in electric vehicles. These batteries are:
    • Cost-effective
    • Safe
    • Reliable
    • High-powered

The downside is that it may not last for a long time. Lead-acid batteries don’t perform well in cold temperature so you might have difficulties operating your EV.

  • Ultracapacitors – these are not traditional batteries, but they serve as storage for polarized liquid between an electrode and an electrolyte. They help electrochemical batteries level their load.

Electric vehicles contribute to reducing carbon emission in the country. When you use one, you also contribute to this cause. Knowing the type of electric vehicle and corresponding batteries to use will allow you to get more out of this eco-friendly transportation.

Beyond the Baguette: 3 Things to Give Your American Home a French Feel

Crystal chandelier lamp in a dinning room

Crystal chandelier lamp in a dinning roomFrance is a country rich in culture, boasting 41 UNESCO World Heritage sites, like the Carcassonne, Gulf of Porto, and Lascaux. The country is also the birthplace of world-famous dishes like chocolate mousse, beef bourguignon, and chicken Marengo. Of course, when talking about France, who would forget Paris, the city of love and home of the much-visited Eiffel Tower?

All these play huge roles in attracting millions of tourists to France. But, if you are eager to feel the French vibe but don’t have time yet, you can still do something to live à la Française. How? You can start by adding French-inspired architectural details to your home.

1. Illuminate with French Lighting

Chandeliers and Provence sconces provide the perfect lighting in any setting, says Authentic Provence. Barovier and Toso Lamps, for example, can add a touch of timeless chic to your French living. Although Barovier and Toso Lighting originated in Italy, the brand has been using French glass sconces for many years.

Other artisan French lighting styles you can consider are antique French lanterns and French minimalist glass pendants.

2. Style After a French Countryside Home

When you think about French provinces like Provence or Cremona, you imagine fields, sunshine, and fresh air. There’s a way to give your house this vibe.

Homes in the French countryside exude a warm, rustic style, so you may want to give your house touches of sunny yellow to soft gold colors. Or, you can play with bright to darker green. It’s also essential to add architectural features like raw wood, pastoral-inspired furniture, and stone or clay flooring.

3. Decorate Like the French

The French don’t throw away the old things. In fact, they value antiques. Consider adding a touch of the past within your French-inspired home. You can display an antique mirror with signs of oxidization or a vintage desk that came with timeworn scratch marks.

If you’re dreaming to live like the French, perhaps the best way to do is go to the country. But, not everyone can afford to leave their American lives behind. But, they can opt to recreate a little bit of France in their homes.

Professional Cleaning That a Carpet Needs for Spills and Stains

Woman holding broom

Woman holding broomFloorings are designed to be low maintenance and to allow for heavy foot traffic, dirt, and stains. Expect these daily occurrences in any home. Most hardwood floors need daily cleaning and polishing to keep the house presentable. Professional cleaning is essential when you have carpet flooring.

Thorough carpet cleaning in Herne Bay requires professional expertise. Compared to hardwood floors, indoor carpets are low-maintenance and require deep cleaning from professional cleaners only once a year.

Clean Spills Immediately

The annual cleaning helps keep carpets in good condition. It also extends the service life of the carpet. Most manufacturers void the carpet warranty when there is no annual professional carpet cleaning done. Daily cleaning is also simple. Carpets should be dried immediately after water, wine, or any other liquid is spilled. Using dry towels, tamp down on the wet surface to absorb the moisture. Running the vacuum cleaner on the same part of the carpet helps dry the surface faster. Note that liquids seeping through the carpet may induce the growth of hazardous moulds.

Weekly Vacuuming and Stain Removal

Besides the urgency of keeping the carpet dry after a spill, it should also be vacuumed once a week. Vacuuming a carpet is not the same as vacuuming a tiled or hardwood floor. Slowly run the vacuum over the carpet, allowing the shaking motion to loosen up dried dirt. Continue to run the carpet back and forth several times to better pick up the dirt.

To clean stains, you would need baking soda, clean rags or towels, a brush, an old toothbrush, and a bucket of water. Vacuum the stained area to remove dirt and dust. Sprinkle baking soda to cover the stain. Using the brush or toothbrush, scrub warm water gently onto the stain but be careful not to soak through the carpet. Turn on fans or open windows for ventilation to air-dry the carpet. After drying, vacuum the cleaned area again.

Manufacturers recommend annual professional carpet cleaning to keep the warranty effective. For daily maintenance, clean spills and stains immediately using common household materials. Call the pros if you think you cannot handle the job yourself.

A Look at Mercedes-Benz Sprinter Van: What to Know

Sprinter VanOne thing everyone knows about Mercedes-Benz is that it is a brand that produces high-end and sleek cars. This is why it might come as a surprise to learn that the same car maker also produces vans. Unless you’re immersed in the camping scene, you wouldn’t know about the

Mercedes-Benz Sprinter.

So whether you’ve already heard of it or not, here’s a quick overview of this vehicle to help you learn more about it.
Interior

A sprinter has the basic features of any typical van in the market and at the same time contains some smattering passenger items from Mercedes-Benz. A glance inside will easily identify this as a vehicle for work or commercial use. You’ll find that the interior is almost bare.
While it may look simple and basic, they still managed to incorporate the Mercedes-Benz User Experience (MBUX) infotainment system into it. Its basic design also accounts for easier customization for whatever purpose you plan to use.

Whether for camper conversion or delivery utility, you may quickly turn it into those. In the new Mercedes Benz Sprinter 2019 for sale in Utah, you’ll still find this feature.

Smart Technology

Aside from the Mbox system, the Sprinter has smart technology, which assists its performance on the road. It has push-button ignition which promotes keyless entry and engine start. In addition, Sprinter has powered navigation and ultra-sensitive touchscreen for easier control.

You could easily connect your smartphone through Bluetooth, allowing you to easily access your mobile phones while on the road without distractions.

Driving and Performance

The Sprinter is being offered into two engine options — gasoline and diesel. However, in the US, since a majority of drivers prefer gas over diesel, they mainly produce gas engine sprinter. When it comes to performance, it has more decent run as compared with other vans of its type.
Many car experts find that Sprinter has less vibration and is more stable on the road when driven. It’s fairly quieter than other utility vans out there.
A sprinter is indeed a great option if you’re looking for a utility van that can serve multiple purposes for both personal and professional use. It may not look as luxurious as the other cars Mercedes-Benz have produced, it still offers the functionality, reliability, and efficiency of what the car brand promises.

Alternative Ways to Find the Best Land for Sale

For sale sign outside of the house

For sale sign outside of the houseIs it your first time to buy land for sale in Donnybrook Road? Without the help of top real estate companies such as Peppercorn Hill, then you know that the process can be a pretty daunting task.

There are too many selections to choose from that it can be quite overwhelming to determine which one is the right property for you. To help you with this, here are a few ways to ease the task.

Look for a property that can give you the value for your money

There are several ways to find a real estate property sold much lower compared with their fair market value. Consider purchasing a foreclosed property or sellers who either inherited the property or are moving out of the country. Each seller has a strong motivation for selling their property, which could help you haggle.

Ensure that the “Transfer Certificate of Title” is legit

Check if the title of the property that you are planning to buy is legit. The fastest way to check its authenticity is by acquiring “Certified True Copy” of the property title coming from the Register of Deeds. The office is commonly located at the city hall or municipal hall.

Check the reputation of the developer

One way of somehow gauging the developer’s reputation is by checking the track record of their completed developments. Doing so will give you an idea of what it would like in person and may even help you find a property that you might be interested in investing.

Buying land is a great investment. You have to know where to look — which you could do with a reputable real estate company that can offer you various choices that’ll fit your budget.

Maximising Your One-Bedroom Home’s Compact Living Space

Modern minimalist interior house

Modern minimalist interior houseNow that you’re the proud new owner of a one-bedroom property, you can now enjoy living solo and in style. However, there might still be space concerns here and there, especially if you want to invite a few friends over. With that in mind, here are some effective suggestions to maximise your limited space:

Less is More

Since you’ll be moving in a more compact area, it’s only natural to let go of items that will eat up too much space. Replace wide desks, large tables, and big cabinets with more compact or multi-version models. Replace the doors inside your home with folding or sliding interior timber doors. Consider investing in multi-purpose furniture, appliances, and gadgets or, at the very least, those that can be folded up and stored when not in use.

Go Outdoors

Normally, condominiums or one-bedroom units have their own amenities that you can use like the Jacuzzi and gym. Aside from preserving your square footage, you won’t need to spend a large amount of money to purchase or even maintain these items. If a certain activity can be completed outside your property with little to no difference in your time or efforts compared to it being done inside your house, then it’s best that you enjoy your time out, literally and figuratively.

Keep Everything Organised

The easiest way to create more space is by keeping your home spic and span. Organising promotes better space and time management. Consider investing in stackable shelves and cabinets, which can be secured in unused corners and areas, like the space under your bed and kitchen counter or even high up along your ceiling. You can even construct hidden cabinets camouflaged as raised platforms in strategic areas of your house, such as your bedroom or living room.

Space constraints should never be a hindrance to enjoy your home and lifestyle. Remember, small adjustments here and there can make a great difference. You won’t even notice your home’s limited space if you do it right.

Prevent Problems from Growing Larger

Plumber checking pipe under kitchen sink

Plumber checking pipe under kitchen sinkA home plumbing system is considered a passive system because it does not have any moving parts. It has a low priority when it comes to maintenance checks since most homeowners depend on the system to work until something goes wrong.

At Your Service Plumbing, Heating & Air recommends regular maintenance to ensure that there are no leaks and no expensive surprises in the near future.

A Need for Annual Maintenance

Regular maintenance and checks should be done at least once a year. The annual maintenance checks for leaks, corrosion, and possible stress in the pipes. The maintenance also checks for the efficiency of the heating system. Air conditioners should also undergo a manual check to ensure that it will work properly, and it is clean of any debris. HVAC systems make use of fans and fins to dissipate the collected heat. These fans and cooling fins should be free of debris and be clean without any mud and dirt. This ensures that the HVAC system is cooled in an efficient manner. The water heater itself should have the same scrutiny as the rest of the system. Heaters get replaced more often than the pipes connecting to it. HVAC maintenance also catches potential problems with parts which wear out due to regular wear and tear.

Pipes and Supply Lines

Water pipes contain water which is under a lot of pressure. The high water pressure forces the water in the pipes to flow out of the faucet the moment it is opened. This same pressure forces small pipes to leak. Leaks start as a small flow of water manifesting in an arch from the leak, which can lead to expensive repairs. Appliances are also inspected, from the above water heater and air conditioner to washing machines, and garbage disposal units.

It is important to have an annual maintenance checkup for pipes, and HVAC. This helps ensure that repairs and fixes could be done before any real damage occurs.

How to Say Goodbye to Your Timeshare Legally

TimeshareOnce you were attracted to the idea of owning a timeshare for whatever reasons. Now, you are suddenly struck in the buyer’s remorse and are looking for a way out. But the resort tells you: Not so fast!

While canceling a timeshare is a tedious task, it can be possible. There are legal ways to cancel timeshare contracts in Florida, for example. All you need to do is find a lawyer to help you. Choose from the options below.

Act quickly

Read your contract again. There should be a “cooling-off” period or the time that allows you to cancel your timeshare commitment. If you are still within the bracket, then you are so lucky. However, if you are way beyond that, then you might want to consider the succeeding points.

Sell it

Put your timeshare in listings. The most effective way to do so is through a broker. It might cost you some money, but the chances of getting rid of such a commitment will be easier. In addition, it’s not unusual to deal with losses when selling your timeshare. You might want to understand this reality and do some math before putting it on sale.

Rent it out

You can also choose to rent the timeshare out to cover the monthly cost. There is tough competition because the resort often also rents out unoccupied units, but this is an option many people use.

Give it back

Check your contract. If it does not say that the resort is not obligated to take back the timeshare, then you can just give it back to them.

Donate it

If getting rid of the timeshare is your only concern and would easily let go of the profits, donating it would be the easiest way. There are charities and organizations waiting to get their hands into one to make a profit.

Now that these options are laid down, all you need to do is choose which one would work for you. All the best in making your exit!

Could You Sell Your Home if You’re Not Done Paying Off Your Mortgage?

a houseA home loan’s repayment period is usually anywhere from 10 to 30 years, but a lot of things could occur in that span of time. Perhaps you want to relocate, or you need a smaller or bigger home, or simply feel that your current home isn’t right for you. While these are perfectly good reasons to sell your house, would it be possible for you to sell even if your house is still under a mortgage?

How Much Do You Still Owe on Your Home Loan?​

Essentially, the only thing standing in your way from selling your house before completely paying off your home loan is your mortgage lender since technically speaking, your lender still owns your house. This means that your mortgage lender in Salt Lake City could foreclose on your house, repossess it, and sell it to compensate for your loan balance if your default on your home loan.

What are Your Options?​

The best way to sell a house under a loan is to try to sell it for an amount that’s higher than your mortgage balance. Most lenders would be willing to approve a sale if they’re 100% certain that you would use the proceeds of your home sale for repaying your loan balance. Once you’ve paid off your balance, you could then use the remainder of the sale proceeds for whatever you want, perhaps as down payment for a new home.

On the other hand, if your house is worth less than your home loan balance, you could try negotiating with your lender for a reduced payoff amount once you sell your home. Depending on your particular circumstances, your lender might also be willing to allow the buyer of your house to repay your loan balance. However, the buyer would need to meet very stringent credit and income requirements to make sure that he or she doesn’t default on the mortgage.

Knowing your circumstances and options would help you make more informed decisions, particularly if you have issues on your house or your mortgage. Your best recourse is to speak to your lender directly to determine how you should go about selling your home, provided that your lender allows you to.