If you are in the process of buying your first home it is an exciting time. Moving out to your own place is the first step to real independence and getting on the property ladder is always a wise investment. However, it is also a big undertaking as the maintenance of the property is something you always need to bear in mind. Keeping on top of DIY jobs around the new home is vital to help it maintain its value and also to be safe to live in. Of course, keeping your new home well maintained also ensures it is a pleasant environment in which to live.

But what are the best DIY tips for those looking to buy their first home?

Get a home inspection first

Okay, this is not strictly a DIY tip as a home inspection needs to be carried out by a professional, however, it is an important step to take in terms of buying a home that it merits a mention. This is something you do need to have carried out before you buy a property. The inspection will flag up any problems with the property such as damp so you can either renegotiate the price or give it a miss altogether. Although there are some costs involved in a home inspection it is definitely worth it as the home inspection cost will be a lot less than having to fix a serious hidden problem with the property after purchase.

Don’t overstretch yourself

As Dirty Harry once said: “A man’s got to know his limitations.” It is easy to feel under pressure as a new homeowner to fix all the various repair jobs that may crop up. However, first take a minute to look at what is involved and decide if you think you can do a good job without injuring yourself. If the answer is ‘No’, then you need to call in professional help. This is essential if you have problems with things like your electrical wiring or fittings, or a gas heating system. Don’t tamper with either!

Get a basic toolkit together

There is nothing worse than starting to undertake a standard DIY job in your new home and discovering that you don’t have the necessary tools. It could something as simple as not having a hammer to put a picture hook up or not having filler to plug gaps in walls. To save time having to head to the DIY store each time a job comes up, invest in a basic toolkit when you move in. This will make DIY less frustrating and mean you always have the right tool at hand. Common items to include are a hammer, pliers, Stanley knife, a screwdriver set, and a tape measure.

Get ready for DIY nirvana

Although you may not do much home improvement work if you move into a newly built home you will always have little jobs to carry out. As long as you work safely with the right tools and only do tasks you feel able to complete, you will be fine. Home inspections will also help as they will ensure if you buy an older house that there is no major work required to bring it to an acceptable modern standard.

As much as you may love your home, you can’t afford for your own sanity to be in it 24/7.

That said what kinds of things do you like to do that involve getting outside of your home?

From trips across the country or even further to doing things not far from home, there are options for you to enjoy.

With this in mind, how can you go out and have fun and still save some money in the process?

Be on the Lookout for Deals

When it comes to saving money when you are away from home, keep these keys in mind:

1. Finding deals before you head out – One of your best ways to save money when out of home is finding deals ahead of time. So, you might be thinking about going to Disneyland, one of America’s greatest theme parks. If so, you can go on the Internet and search for discount Disneyland tickets. By securing those tickets ahead of time, you will often save and not have to worry about buying at a ticket window. No matter the business you want to work with in saving money, also know you may have other options. You might find tickets to an event or locale you want by getting them from an approved ticket reseller. No matter the choices you have, save money and make your experiences even more enjoyable.

2. Getting more social – If you use social media, you have taken an important step on the road to trying to save more. It is not uncommon for consumers to talk about their spending on sites such as Facebook and others. As a result, you could win when viewing or even taking part in such conversations. Whether you know the people chatting online or not, see what they have to say. Often, you can pick up some tips from others on how to go about saving money when away from home.

3. Knowing what kind of budget you have – It is also a good idea to know what kind of budget you may have when you plan to go out. This can be everything from a trip to a theme park or taking a vacation to a routine visit to your local store. By knowing what you can and can’t afford, you are less likely to run into financial predicaments. If money has been tight for you for a long time or in more recent times, have you done any budgeting along the way? By coming up with a budget, you are less likely to spend more money than you need to. As an example, grocery shopping can add up rather fast if one is not careful. That said have a list of what you absolutely need when you go to the store. Try your best to stick to that list. Also, avoid if you can going to the grocery store when on an empty stomach. Going when you are quite hungry can lead you to buying and of course spending more.

By trying your best to save dollars when outside the home, you can relax more once you do in fact get home.

One of the most important things about feeling comfortable at home is having good lighting. That’s one of the main reasons why lighting design is such a hot topic recently. Nobody brings out the best features of any room better than good lights. There are a lot of ways to improve your lighting at home or at work, and it really does make a difference.

Keep scale in mind

One of the first and foremost rules of lighting is that there is no one-size-fits-all light. That means you can’t use the same type and strength of light in all rooms. Sometimes, you just want smaller table lamps; other times, you need a large chandelier. Smaller rooms go much better with smaller, yet tactically placed sources of light, while large rooms generally require a centerpiece. Keep that in mind when you’re figuring out how to improve the light quality at home.

Dimmers work wonders

Having a dimmer to change the mood and tone of the room makes an enormous difference. What was before a vibrant and bright living room can easily become a moody room that exudes ambiance. Besides, if you spend plenty of time in a single room, you won’t want the lighting to be constant. It should adapt to the time of day, and dimmers are a great way to achieve that.

Pick the right shade

Window shades play an important role in how people perceive the mood of your room. If your room has a lot sunlight during the day, consider using different colored shades. White shades are great if you want to have more light in, but they can sometimes add a cold feeling to your room. To contrast that, colored shades will tint the light, and they will slightly darken the room, but add a warmer and creamier feel to the room.

Light dark corners

Small utility lights are often underutilized in the home. Most homes have a lot of corners that aren’t properly lit, which is why a lot of rooms might feel cramped and smaller than they actually are. Lighting these dark spots will often make the room feel bigger and add even more beauty to the space around the lights. This goes for different parts of the home as well, like closets, kitchen counters, cupboards, and shelves.

Replace old lights

If you live in an older home, chances are you have a lot of old fixtures. Truth is, just a couple of decades ago, thinking about light as a natural part of design just wasn’t part of the equation. So a lot of these old fixtures might be functional, in a way, but don’t really bring out the best of the room. Consider replacing them, and you’ll immediately notice just how beautiful a room can be.

Light is one of the most important parts of the home. Without good lighting, you won’t feel comfortable, productive, or simply at home. Good lighting really does work wonders, and it’s something every home should have.

There are several options for wood flooring today that deserve consideration when you are looking to purchase a new wood floor. You can select from hardwoods like Merbau, Oak, or Cherry, that have great durability and last a very long time, or softwoods like Spruce or Cedar that have a bit of a spring and look beautiful. These woods are collectively known as solid wood flooring because they are made from wood directly as it comes from the tree.

If you choose either of these woods, there is a downside in that they are tough to maintain and can damage easily. For those looking to have the beauty and durability of wood flooring another option that might be better than either hard or softwood is engineered wood flooring. Here are some of the benefits of installing this engineered wood flooring in your home or office.

What is Engineered Wood Flooring?

Engineered wood is a composite flooring that is made from several layers of wood fibers that are glued together to form one strong wood composite. There are always 3 to 12 layers of hard and soft wood layers at the bottom and center of engineered wood while the top layer is a hardwood.

The Benefits of Engineered Wood Flooring

Engineered Wood Flooring Lasts a Long Time

Engineered wood flooring is made to last as long as solid wood flooring. If you maintain the floor well it will provide you with beauty and comfort as well. When the flooring begins to show wear and tear you can clean and varnish it and it will regain its beauty. You can expect it to last for more than 30 years. It also outlasts other inferior choices like laminate flooring.

Friendlier to the Environment

Solid wood flooring must look perfect meaning much of the tree will not be used for flooring planks. With engineered wood because most of the wood will not be seen. There is much less waste. In fact, an engineered wood floor would use less than one third of the trees of a solid wood floor.

Engineered Wood flooring Costs Less Than Solid Wood Flooring

Engineered wood flooring i much more cost effective than solid wood flooring. You can expect to pay one third less for a high grade engineered wood floor than for a high quality solid wood floor. And of course the floor will look as beautiful, wear better, and last as long also.

Engineered Wood Flooring is More Resistant to Wear and Tear

One of the big challenges with solid wood flooring is that it is sometimes difficult to tell how a wood plank will react when laid on a floor. It can warp or buckle without notice. Engineered wood is a finished product that is easy to care for and has a long warranty against any types of defects.

Less Contraction than Solid Wood Flooring

Because engineered wood is made up of many layers of wood glued together in a way that accounts for spaces that are needed as temperature changes in a room, this type of wood flooring will expand and contract less than solid wood flooring. If you live in an area that is tropical with high temperatures and humidity, the wood sold there will likely be made to remain solid and contract less in the heat. This is one of the great benefits of buying engineered wood flooring, you can choose the characteristics of the flooring that you need based on the location of your home or business.

Wood is Healthy and Feels Good Under Your Feet

There is no floor more beautiful in your home and comfortable to the feet than natural wood and engineered wood is that most comfortable because ifs layers provide a little bounce as well. The flooring will be warmer than the room during the cooler months and cooler during the hottest months as well. Finally it will not attract allergens and is very easy to clean.

For its many benefits engineered wood flooring should be your top flooring choice.

College application letters for students are very important and need to be done right because they can be the difference between one being accepted for a college or not. A well-written application letter displays a student’s interest in studying a particular college as well as how their background put them in a good position to do well at the course they apply for. Below are the tips a student needs to know to produce the perfect application letter for college.

Do a background check on the college and course before writing the application letter.

As a student, you have to make sure that you do your homework on the college, see the quality that they bring to the table, their pass rate and the qualities needed to do well over there. Some of the things that are needed will be clear to see on the college website or their booklet but it doesn’t hurt to look for extra information about the college as well as the course you are doing.

If the course requirements are more than you can handle, it will be a waste of time applying to that particular course. Write an application letter to study something that you can handle as well as put you on the right path to have a fruitful career when you have completed it. If you know someone who has done the course you are applying for, ask them for advice. They might give you some useful tips and tricks you will need to make the course a walk in the park.

Provide a list of all your skills and educational background.

Your educational background and skills are your interests, your certificates, and awards, your personal qualities, experiences, motives as well as knowledge. You have to provide at least seven or eight reasons why the college should take you on board to study the course you are applying for.

For each of your skills, make sure you put a phrase to accompany it.

During the phrase, you have to make sure that you show the college how that skill helped you succeed throughout your education. You can say something that “I possess strong interviewing, proofreading as well as interviewing skills which help me become a skillful reporter for my previous school. Do not be afraid to put a string of skills together on one phrase to let the college know how committed you are to join their ranks and be successful.

In the opening statement of your application letter, be specific about the course you want to study.

We all have different passions and if you are passionate about numbers and want to study an accounting course at a particular college, let them know from the get-go that this is something you want to pursue. If the college has a student in their roaster that referred you to the college and the course, it is worth mentioning them at the start of the application letter as well.

Make sure that your tone is very enthusiastic and strong from the first paragraph to the last because you want to make a good first impression. Showing a lack of enthusiasm and eagerness to be part of an educational institution in your application will most likely get it rejected.

No college wants a student to feel forced into studying at their building, they want a student that wants to be there and further their studies to be the best they can be in the future. This is why it is super important to make your opening statement your best one while being specific about what you want to study.

Make your paragraphs short and to the point.

Since the college administration will have to filter through thousands and thousands of applications from students, you have to make your paragraphs short. This will help your application get scanned quicker without overwhelming the college personnel reading it. Do your best to write a maximum of seven lines per paragraph. This makes your application very pleasing on the eye and structured.

Highlight any high level of recognition you have gotten from your previous colleges/schools.

An example of this can be being named student present at your previous college or school. You can something like “When I was studying at (Name of school/college), I was named student president because I lead by example and all the other students in the school looked up to me. On top of being a good role model, I also displayed good leadership skills and acted as a link between my fellow students and the faculty. It is this reason I was named voted student president by my peers and I carried my duties out with dignity and pride”

Use an amazing closing statement to reaffirm your willingness and desire to study the course you are applying for at that particular college.

You have to let the college know how they are a good match for you and how studying with them will set you on the right path to get a good job in the future. Just like your opening statement, you have to make this one count as well. Stick to the point, don’t overelaborate and bore the person who is evaluating them. Reaffirm your desire and willingness to study at their campus and everything should be ok.

If a student follows the professional writing tips borrowed from CustomWritings that have been suggested above, they will be able to come up with an application essay or letter that any college will find hard to overlook or ignore. The most important thing is to show that you are serious about studying at their campus and making your paragraphs short while highlighting your key skills. The words that you use and the structure is important too as that will also set you apart from the many other applicants who are also looking for a spot at the college.

There’s no doubt that Los Angeles is one of the most beautifully designed cities in the United States. Here are some of the more stunning pieces of architecture that can be found in the City of Angels.

The Theme Building, LAX

Many travelers get an eye full of Los Angeles’ unique brand of architecture upon landing at the biggest airport in the area. The Theme Building is a testament to space-age ideology, accentuating sweeping lines with brilliant colors and incredible heights.

 

Designed by Paul Williams in 1961, it has until recently been home-base for The Encounter Restaurant. Though the food is no longer available, visitors can still enjoy the observation deck on the weekends.

Grauman’s Chinese Theater

If you’re looking for condos for sale in Los Angeles because you love the film and entertainment industry, then paying a visit to the Chinese Theater should be at the top of your list. Arguably the most famous landmark in LA, its distinctive red columns and Asian style grabs attention like no other building.

Now renamed the TCL Chinese Theater, this architectural masterpiece was designed by Raymond M. Kennedy in 1927 and maintains its allure to this day. Stop in for a tour and you won’t be disappointed.

Bullocks Wilshire

Only in 1929 Los Angeles could you have a department store crafted in loving art-deco style like Bullocks Wilshire. With a front tower crowned in tarnished copper, there are few sights that brink back days long gone better than this gem.

The interior was designed by Eleanor Lemaire and Jock Peters of the Feil & Paradise Company, while the exterior was crafted by John and Donald Parkinson. It’s currently owned by the neighboring school but has since been the local for numerous film scenes.

If you’re wondering “are there LA realtors near me,” so you can get a good look at these sights, check out agents in the Los Angeles area. Don’t hesitate to find the perfect home and really take in these sights!

Some people play poker with their friends as a hobby while others hone in on their skillset and play online in their free time to try to make some extra money. But a small amount of skilled and adventurous individuals become poker experts and make the game their full-time job.

Many of us like to play poker socially and to take advantage of online poker bonuses to help us profit from our hobby online. But to become a professional poker player this takes dedication and in-depth knowledge of both the game and human Psychology. At this level, it is no good just sticking to your best hands and using the odd bluff to try to fool those around you. Knowing when to be aggressive and when to play more passively in this game is just the beginning for those turning professional.

online poker

These 5 players below have perfected their poker strategies of years and in doing so managed to amass huge fortunes! While playing pro is clearly a competitive and difficult job to master, who wouldn’t love the thrill of making money from their favorite game for a living!

 

Erik Seidel – Live Poker & Online Poker Guru No.3

Erik Seidel is the most revered poker player on the planet amassing an incredible fortune of over $40,000. A legend of the Game, Erik Seidel at 59 years old is a true Veteran who starred in his first major tournament over 30 years ago. Erik entered the 1988 World Series of Poker and was runner up. The tournament finale was so dramatic that it ended up featured in the film ‘Rounders’ 10 years later! Despite being the richest poker player in the world this was the closest Erik came to winning the World Series of Poker. He has won 8 WSOP poker bracelets (only 5 players have won more than this) and reached the final table 35 times. Erik won the World Poker Tour in 2008 and has also won the European Poker Tour.

Prior to Poker Erik was a full-time trader on the American Stock Market where he was also very successful before deciding to move into Poker. While this clearly would have helped Erik start his career off in Poker his achievements in the game are incredible earning a grand total $34,600,000 of live tournament winnings.

 

Daniel Negreanu – Live Poker & Online Poker Guru No.2

Daniel started his poker career off in 1998 with a boom becoming the youngest World Series of Poker Bracelet winner in history taking home $169,460 and holding onto this record until 2004. Since then he has won another 5 World Series of Poker Bracelets and two World Poker Tour Titles. He is also the only player of all time to be named the World Series player of the year more than once earning the prestigious title in 2004 and again in 2013. This is probably something that prompted the Global Poker Index to rank Daniel as the best player of the decade.

During his illustrious playing career has earnt over $39,500,000 in prize money, this makes him the second biggest live tournament winner of all time.

 

Justin Bonomo – Live Poker & Online Poker Guru No.1

At only 33 years of age, it is safe to say Justin Bonomo is doing pretty well for himself!
He certainly started early playing online poker and later became the youngest pro poker player to be featured at a live televised event at only 19 years old.

Justin now has 3 World Series of Poker Bracelets winning his first in 2014 along with $449,980 but it was 2018 that was his most memorable year. Justin won event 16 taking home $185,965 and followed this up with the biggest win of his career. Justin entered the $1,000,000 buy-in One Drop event and came out on top giving him a further $10,000,000 in winnings. With this result, Justin overtook Daniel Negreanu to become the highest earning live poker player of all time with an incredible $42,979,591 in winnings.

online poker

 

No state in America can boast the amount of beautiful and highly desirable big cities as California. The state is blessed with three great cities. San Francisco in the North, Los Angeles in Southern California and San Diego at the southern tip of the state.

Each city has its own treasures and reasons to love it. San Francisco is the state’s most cosmopolitan city attracting inhabitants and bi business from all over the world to set up their homes here. It is also the birthplace of Silicon Valley. Los Angeles has Hollywood which is the entertainment capital of the world. The movie and music stars live here and you can see them when you visit. San Diego is the quietest of the three but also boasts the best weather and perhaps nicest amenities for travelers. There is so much to do here that few who come are disappointed.

If you own a company and are thinking about having a company outing in San Diego, here are some great things to do in the city.

Take Your Group Sailing

How about taking your group on a beautiful ship that sails off the coast of San Diego?  If you are interested in a private charter cruise San Diego has a lovely sailing yacht called America for charter by companies for an afternoon. This 139 foot vessel holds up to 76 passengers and is an exact replica of The America that won the original America’s Cup boat race in 1851. This luxury sailboat offers corporations complete privacy and the perfect environment to have a wonderful corporate event no matter what the occasion.

Your team can take part in team building exercises as they help to commandeer the yacht and hoist and lower the sails. They will also spot whales off the boat as the Blue and grey whales migrate past San Diego throughout the year. You and your team can also have a world class dining experience aboard the America. Finally, the boat is completely licensed and fitted with an experienced crew and best of all “no sea sickness” is guaranteed.

Many people who take a corporate tour on the America come back on their own and do a San Diego harbor tour which can be done day or evening and includes meals and great sightseeing.

Del Mar

This city by the sea with the popular race track, is one of Northern San Diego County’s most popular beach communities. Companies can come here and find the perfect getaway location to have a corporate outing. There is access to the beach from several locations including right through the heart of town. If you want to do something outdoors with your group, there are hiking trails and two parks in the city that overlook the water. There are great restaurants and bistros that invite groups to come and have some of the local seafood. And, there are many lovely hotels along the water with ballrooms and conference areas. Each reflects the mood of the city which is relaxation and calm. If you want your group to kick back a bit and leave their work cares at the office Del Mar is the perfect place.

San Diego offers companies great ways to get their teams together on retreats or corporate events. These are two of the best in the area.

It has got to that stage of the season where things are really heating up! The European Soccer Season is coming to an end as the top sides battle to win their domestic tournaments & establish Champions League and Europa tournament qualification. At the end of the spectrum those at the bottom desperately try to hang on and survive their relegation battles.  English football this season is particularly exciting with 4 of the last 8 teams remaining in the Champions League from England. There are two huge battles in the Premier League with Manchester City and Liverpool fighting for the title and then 4 teams battling for Champions League football next season. Here are 3 must watch games coming up this month that English Soccer Fans will be eager to place their bets on:

online sports bets

Essential EPL Games For Online Sports Bets:

 

1. Manchester United Vs Manchester City 24/04

This is a huge game in the title race and poses a big dilemma for Manchester United Fans. On one hand they of course want to win their Derby against local Rivals Manchester City but they know that in doing so Manchester United will give their Arch-Rivals Liverpool a huge boost in the title race. Only one point separates Manchester City at the top of the table ahead of Liverpool at this moment in the season and the title remains up from grabs. Manchester United are also in a battle of their own trying to qualify for The Champions League. Down in 6th they 2 points behind both Arsenal & Chelsea and need all the points they can get!

What makes things even more complicated though is that after already winning the Carabao Cup, reaching the Semi-Finals of the FA Cup and the quarter finals of Champions League Manchester City are in contention to win the quadruple. This is something that has never been done before. Manchester United are the only English team to have ever one the treble that included the league, (Liverpool won the English Cup, League Cup and European Cup in 1983/84) this is a record they are very proud of and players & fans certainly would not wan’t Manchester City to be the ones to better their achievement. Also with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s recent appointment as manager he will be very keen to pick up a big win on his first local derby. At home at Old Trafford Manchester United have a good chance of picking up some points. So will Manchester United do their arch-rivals Liverpool a favour and get the win? Try your luck with online sports bets with PSH.

2. Liverpool Vs Chelsea 14/04

A Big One at the Top of the table sees Chelsea take on Liverpool at Anfield. The last time these two teams played each other back in September the game ended in a 1-1 draw. However if Liverpool want to keep the pressure on Manchester City they will desperately need a win here.

After Liverpool’s last minute winner at Tottenham last week this is the final game Liverpool will play against a top 6 side this season,. The game comes right before a difficult spell for City who will face both Tottenham and Manchester United shortly after.

Liverpool’s final showdown of the season comes against this seasons Giant Killers Wolverhampton Wanderers, but as far as April is concerned this is the big one!

 

3. Manchester City Vs Tottenham 20/04

Manchester City on current form will be favourites to beat Tottenham at home. The reverse fixture ended with the away side Manchester City winning 1-0 through a Riyad Mahrez Goal.

What makes things more interesting is that prior to this game to two sides meet in the Quarter Finals of the Champions League! In fact this will be the third game between to the two sides in 11 days. This comes at a part of Manchester City’s season which is particularly congested and after a two-legged Champions League tie one of these top teams will almost certainly be out for revenge. Manchester City’s quadruple hopes lies in their hands but 3 games against a top side like Tottenham will be a tough test! Spurs have their only problems to worry about as they look to hold onto a Champions League qualification position for next season which is absolutely vital after moving into their brand new 850 Million Pound Stadium.