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Understanding Casket Options For Your Deceased Loved One

Posted by on Sep 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

In the first few days after a loved one passes, there are a lot of decisions to make and plans to work out. One of the things you’ll need to determine is what kind of casket you’ll invest in. This is a major decision because it will be your loved one’s final resting place. Unfortunately, many people just rush into buying the first one they see in an effort to get things over with. Here are a few things you should know about the styles that are available before you make a final choice. Metal Caskets Metal caskets are typically created from copper, stainless steel, carbon or bronze. The most common option is created from carbon. If you’re considering a metal casket, you’ll have to decide on the wall thickness that you want. You’ll also be able to choose between brushed metal or polished finishes for most styles. Metals like copper and bronze are best for corrosion prevention and long lifespan. Wood Caskets Wood caskets come in a wide variety of styles, including walnut, oak, mahogany and pecan. You’ll be able to choose from a solid wood construction, wood laminate or even one covered in cloth. While a solid wood casket is pretty self-explanatory, wood laminate styles are usually created from plywood and then finished with a laminate strip on the outside. Cloth-covered styles are created from pressboard or something similar, then the core is covered with fabric. You’ll have many different fabric choices to consider, including different colors and textures. Cremation Caskets Although most people only think about urns when they think about cremation, that doesn’t mean that you can’t invest in a casket, too. In fact, if you want to have a graveside service for a cremated loved one, invest in a cremation casket. Their style is usually a bit more simplistic because they only house cremains, but they are just as functional and often more affordable. This is an ideal choice if you’ve decided to bury your loved one’s cremains instead of keeping them at home or in a vault. Understanding the most common casket construction options can help you choose the best model for your loved one. Don’t let the overwhelming emotions cause you to rush the decision. Talk with the funeral director about which options they offer and choose the one that your loved one would have been happiest with. Think about his or her personal style and preferences to find the best option. For more information on what kinds of caskets are available, talk to a business like the Elmwood Casket Company....

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Window AC Or Mini-Split Unit: A Decision Guide

Posted by on Aug 17, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are thinking about installing an air conditioner, you may think that your only option is a window unit if you don’t have the existing ductwork for a central AC. The truth is that you actually have a choice – you can go with the traditional window units, or you can opt for a mini-split, or ductless, system. The following guide can help you make an educated decision. How many rooms do you need to cool? Generally, if you have more than one or two rooms to cool, a mini-split system is a better choice. This is because window units only work well when it comes to cooling a single room unless the floor plan is very open. Mini-split systems can have multiple cooling units attached to a single outdoor condenser, which allows you to cool several rooms from one main condenser unit. Is security a concern? Window units can pose a security risk for your home unless you take extra steps to protect your property. If you are willing to install window bolts so the sash can’t be lifted and the AC removed, or if you take the time to have alarm sensors attached to the AC window, then you can mitigate most of the security concerns. Mini-split units don’t require a large opening for installation, so they don’t have the security risk. Are you able to make permanent changes to your home? Mini-split units aren’t a suitable choice if you are renting or if you own a condo with an association that won’t allow permanent installations. This is because a hole has to be drilled in the ceiling for the air hose to pass through from the indoor cooling unit to the outdoor condenser, which is then affixed to an exterior wall. In this case, a window unit is the best choice, since it doesn’t require a permanent installation. Does noise or lack of light bother you? One of the biggest concerns with a window AC is that it can be noisy, although newer units are much quieter than they used to be. If you don’t like the noise of the fan running, window units may not be for you. The same goes for light. If your home is low on windows and you crave natural light, opt for a mini-split unit instead. For more help in determining the best options for your home cooling needs, contact an AC installation professional in your...

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2 Things To Do With Old Fabric Swatches

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Fabric swatches can be beneficial when trying to create a color palette for a cohesive look. Once the fabric swatches you are using in the design process become obsolete, they often fall by the wayside. You can easily put these fabric swatches to use by using some creative thinking and design skills. Here are two simple and unique things that you can do to give your old fabric swatches new life. 1. Create fabric envelopes. Envelopes can prove invaluable for housing photographs, coupons, or money. You can easily turn your old fabric swatches into colorful envelopes with just a little bit of ingenuity. Start by taking apart an old paper envelope to use for a pattern. Trace the envelope onto two different fabric swatches so that you will have a contrasting pattern on the inside of your finished fabric envelope. Sew around the outside of the two cut pieces of fabric (with right sides together), leaving a 5 cm gap to turn the pieces right side out again. Once turned, slip stitch shut, fold the fabric using your paper envelope as a guide, then glue together with fabric glue. Press with an iron, add a velcro or button closure, and enjoy your new fabric envelope. 2. Create a child’s memory game. Children love playing memory games, and your old fabric swatches can easily be given new life as a soft memory game for the special child in your life. Start by cutting your fabric swatches into two squares each, then cutting an equal number of squares out of a larger piece of fabric to serve as the backs of your memory pieces. Place the right sides of a piece of fabric swatch and a piece of the larger fabric together, then sew around the edges. Turn right side out, slip stitch closed, and repeat until all your squares have been constructed. Place the squares on the floor with the fabric swatch sides facing down, so that only the larger piece of fabric is showing. Your child can then attempt to locate the two blocks with matching pieces of fabric swatches on the back by taking turns turning over the blocks to reveal the fabric swatch underside. Using your old fabric swatch cards in creative new ways can help you recycle some of the swatches you might have lying around your home. Try turning these swatches into colorful envelopes or a fun child’s memory game to breathe new life into fabric pieces that may have become...

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Tips For Improving Printer Efficiency

Posted by on Jul 13, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If you are working in a business that requires a lot of printing, you are likely spending a ton of time and money on the process. Ink is expensive, it can be difficult to get resolutions right for large-format printing, and you have to wait for huge jobs to complete which can take awhile. Here are some tips for improving printer efficiency so that you are able to get the most out of your time and money. 1. Take the Time to Prioritize Your Print Jobs Some print jobs can take forever to finish, a frustrating fact that can lead to a jam in your overall workflow. Take the time each day to figure out the optimal printing queue to ensure that all of the jobs get done before their respective deadlines. Be sure that you prioritize the jobs that need to be completed the soonest first, followed by prioritizing shorter jobs. Try to schedule a longer job every few shorter jobs in order to avoid starving it time with the printer. 2. Optimize Number of People Per Printer You next need to make sure that you optimize the amount of people that you have assigned per printer. In order to do this, calculate the amount of hours that the printer is available to use, ordinarily a working day of eight hours. Next, have each person in the company use their phones to time how long each print job takes from the time that it starts printing to the time that it stops printing using a stopwatch on their phones. Have them add up the total amount of time that the printer is in use for them. Setup a shareable document so that each employee can access it and record the total time they spent printing that day. Once you have all of this data, get a rough average of time spent printing for each employee by adding up each day’s time and then dividing by the number of days that were tracked. You now know how much time an employee needs a printer each day. Assign employees to printers based on the time that they use a printer each day in order to make sure that you space out who is using the printer and ensure that no single printer queue gets jammed up while others sit unused. This will allow you to reduce the amount of time that people spend waiting for a printer.  For more information, talk to a company that specializes in managed print...

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Restoring And Storing Your J. Shin Ice Cream Dolls

Posted by on Jun 27, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Back in the early 1980’s, J. Shin created a line of dolls called Ice Cream dolls. These dolls came in three soft body sizes and one plastic body size. Today, collectors around the world strive to get their hands on these adorable boys and girls to include them in their collections. Unfortunately, when the dolls aren’t stored properly, they become damaged and are no longer as valuable or wanted. The dolls can be restored, and if stored properly, will go many years in storage without suffering any further damage. Restoration Tips These are not the kind of dolls that you want to tie up in a pillow case and send through the washing machine. The cleaning process must be completed by hand to prevent the bodies from becoming misshaped, the hair from unraveling and the heads and hands from becoming infested with mold inside. Body Cleaning – To clean the soft body dolls, get a mixture of equal parts of water and white vinegar. Use a white cloth to clean away any dirt spots on the body. It may take several attempts before it comes clean, but eventually, the white vinegar will remove nearly any stain that the doll has on it. Head and Hands – The plastic head and hands must be cleaned as well, but they are a little more durable than the soft body. You can wipe the surface with the vinegar and water mixture first to see what will come off easily. Spots and marks that don’t come off with that mixture will likely come off with a bit of Goo-Gone on a cotton ball. Leave the Goo-Gone to sit on the spot for twenty minutes or so and then wipe it off. Dark spots that don’t come off with either product may come off with a bit of zit cream and sitting out in the sun. The only thing to be aware of is that you should never put the zit cream on the doll’s pink cheeks or the cream will bleach the color right off of her skin. Hair – The hair can be kind of tricky to get clean since it is made of yarn. You want it clean, but you don’t want it to unravel. The best method of cleaning it is the white vinegar and water mixture and a clean cloth. Hold one strand at the end and wipe the hair starting from the scalp and working towards your finger. Going over it a few times should get it clean. Follow up with a clean water towel to rinse the vinegar out and when you’re done, the hair will be clean and ready to go. Clothing – The clothing can become discolored and stained after so many years. Pour three parts white vinegar and one part water into a bucket or bowl. Place the clothes in the mixture and let it sit for a day. Then, put them in a laundry bag or pillow case and send them through the gentle cycle on your washing machine. Line dry them and fluff them for a few minutes in your low-heat dryer. Storing the Dolls Now that you have restored the dolls, you want to be sure that they are stored properly to avoid having to go through all of this work...

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Hoping To Bring Home A Baby Through Adoption? Keep These Tips In Mind

Posted by on Jun 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

The choice to adopt a child is one that you and your spouse need a lot of time to think about. When you’ve finally agreed that you’ll start the adoption process, you might start to feel somewhat overwhelmed if this is your first time through it. Use the suggestions in this article to assist you in learning and doing what is necessary to be able to bring a baby home. Picture the Birth Mom and Her Feelings At some point, you’ll have to fill out documents about you and your spouse. One of the most important documents you’ll have to complete is the biography or profile that the birth parent is going to read. Because you are eager to do a good job, you might instinctively want to rattle off a list of your degrees, your current income, your accomplishments, your IQ and other information that you hope will make you seem like a qualified parent. However, before you write a word of that profile, take a few moments to picture the birth parent in your mind. What must she be experiencing? What are her hopes for her baby? Instead of talking about yourself exclusively in the profile, talk about what kind of parent you would be. Paint a picture of the type of life a baby can expect if they live with you. Taking the time to get into the headspace of the baby’s birth mother can help you craft a profile that will touch her heart and encourage her to meet with you. Pay for Adoption Costs Out of Pocket You might be surprised at the costs involved with an adoption. You may think about taking out a personal loan or using a credit card to cover the fees. However, it is important that you remember that you don’t know what kind of financial situation you will be in after you adopt a baby. You might need to take out personal loans or drive up your credit cards in the future for baby-related reasons; therefore, it’s not a good idea to put yourself into further debt in order to have the baby in the first place. Instead, start saving up for adoption fees and talk to loved ones to see if they can contribute. With the information above, you can start to do the work involved in adopting a little baby. Consult a few adoption agencies in your neighborhood to ensure you’re working with one that will guide and communicate well with you and ultimately help match you to your own adopted child. Consider an adoption agency like ABBA...

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How Custom Bags Can Help Promote Your Small Business

Posted by on May 18, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Your small business has seemingly peaked, but you think it’s capable of doing more business. To further promote and build your business, perhaps you need to invest in creating custom bags to give away as free promotional items. You’d be surprised at how effective these items advertise your business and bring in new customers. Statistics About Promotional Product Effectiveness Creating free promotional products may not seem like a good investment for a new or small business, but they are actually one of the most effective ways that you can increase your company name and reach new customers. When customers receive promotional products, you can expect the following results: 83% are happy they received an item 85% do business with a company after receiving a promotional product 58% keep the product one year or more 53% use the product at least once a week Beyond these statistics lies other major benefits, including an increased marketing platform and the fact that you’re providing your potential customers with a physical reminder of your existence. But why should you choose custom bags over other promotional products? Benefits Of A Custom Bag There are plenty of different types of promotional items, including free pens and calendars. Why should you choose a custom bag? They offer multiple benefits that other items don’t. When you use a custom bag as a promotional tool, you have the following benefits: Ample room to print a variety of messages, including your logo, store open times, and even recurring deals Offer a product that can be used in multiple ways, including as a shopping bag or in a home environment Plenty of opportunities to customize the bag, including printing personalized bags The chance to put your small business’ name right on your customer’s lips every time they shop is a major promotional advantage. It creates a sense of loyalty that will bring customers back to your shop again and again and drive up business. Maximizing Your Custom Bag Promotional Effectiveness When you decide to implement a custom bag promotional campaign, you can’t approach it without careful consideration. To most effectively utilize your custom bags as a promotional item, try the following: Give them out at a grand opening or similar sales events Mention them in your other advertising methods to attract customer attention Offer a personalized service where new bags can be made while customers wait Give discounts to shoppers who use your bags, making sure to mention it on the bag and in your other advertising materials As you can see, the benefits of using custom bags as a promotional tool are many. So set aside a little bit of your advertising budget and print out some free custom bags. Hand them out to your customers and watch your business...

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A Cleaner Work Space: 4 Good Reasons To Hire A Janitorial Service For Your Business

Posted by on Apr 28, 2016 in Uncategorized |

People spend a good portion of their day and week in an office. If the office is dirty, you might notice that productivity plummets. While on the opposite spectrum, a clean office promotes productivity. While you could certainly do the cleaning yourself or enlist an employee to do it, it is usually better to hire a janitorial service company. Why? There are many reasons why it is beneficial to outsource office cleaning duties. Some of the more beneficial reasons to hire a janitorial company include the following: 1. Affordability and Value Contrary to what you might think, it is actually very cost-effective to outsource your cleaning duties. When you hire a company, these professionals usually purchase and use their own cleaning tools. This makes hiring a janitorial company extremely cost-effective, as you do not need to worry about purchasing cleaning tools or materials. The company you hire is also responsible for paying anyone on their cleaning staff, so you just have to worry about the flat fee you pay the company.  There is also a lot of value to hiring a janitorial company. Not only do you save money, you also save time and frustration. Plus, a clean office keeps your employees happier and more productive. 2. Access to a Variety of Services Janitorial companies often have a variety of services that you can purchase. Cleaning is the most common service; however, these companies will often have bundles that include other services like maintenance, plumbing, and handyman services. This not only saves money, but it makes it convenient. After all, you will get all of the services you need from the same company for an affordable price. 3. Professionalism Hiring a janitorial company ensures professionalism. With a company providing the cleaning, you can ensure that your business is always clean and productive. With a team of people cleaning your office, it will always look professional. Additionally, the janitorial staff will always remain professional to you, employees, clients, and guests while cleaning your office—which is vital if your business operates 24/7. 4. Healthier Finally, a janitorial company will ensure that your work environment is clean and healthy. With bacteria and dust on nearly every surface, an office can quickly become a hot-spot for allergies and seasonal sicknesses. Fortunately, professional cleaners will take the time to disinfect and clean every surface in your office. This makes it a healthier environment for everyone. As you can see, there are many reasons to consider hiring a professional janitorial service. Not only do you save time and money, you also create a better work environment. If you are interested in learning more, contact a janitorial company like Performance...

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3 Tips On Restoring Your Furniture

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in Uncategorized |

When you need to restore a piece of furniture, you will be able to do so as long as you follow some words of advice. These tips will give you the opportunity to restore the shine, charm and appeal of any type of furniture piece so that it can once again retain value and become a centerpiece of any room in your home. To do this, it will take some understanding and savvy about the process, so read on in order to get the restoration that you need.  #1: Be Certain That You Have The Time And Resources To Undergo Such A Project Whether you are handling the furniture restoration yourself or leaving it in the hands of professionals, it will take a sacrifice of time and money on your part. It will take some legwork to find tools and parts if you are doing it yourself, and you must find the right craftsman for the job if you hire professionals. In handling your own restoration, it can take hours just to sand the piece and days to get rid of rust. Always make sure that you are deciding on the best course of action regarding whether to replace or refinish a piece of furniture, and recognize the sacrifice.  #2: Get Rid Of Water Stains First Since water is penetrative to the finish of your furniture, you will need to be vigilant about getting rid of these stains before they become bigger issues. If you are dealing with tough stains, you may need to get your hands on some denatured alcohol. If the rings have turned black then you are dealing with wood damage and will need to replace the finish that surrounds it. Always tackle these stains before proceeding with any furniture restoration, or hire a professional who is skilled at this part of the process.  #3: Find The Best Professional If You Decide To Go That Route If you decide to leave your specialty furniture restoration to professionals, be sure that you take the time to hire only the best contractors who are used to dealing with the most sensitive, costly pieces of furniture. Be sure that you also shop based on the price that you can afford. The hourly rate for one of these professionals can vary from $32 per hour to $48 per hour. Always get a warranty on the work so that you are protected.  Follow these techniques in order to get the most of your furniture restoration...

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A Quick Guide To Understanding How Snow Affects Your Roof

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

If this is your first time living somewhere where it snows, you need to realize that their are both upsides and downsides to having snow on your roof. This quick guide will help you understand snow and your roof. Snow Makes Things Quiet When it snows outside and begins to accumulate on your roof, you will notice that things start to get a little quieter. As each snowflake falls on top of the next snowflake, little tiny air pockets are created. Over time, all those little air pockets help muffle the environmental sounds from outside.  Snow on your roof actually makes your home a quieter place. Snow Keeps Your House Warm Even though snow is technically really cold, it can actually help your home stay nice and warm. Once snow starts to accumulate on your roof, the snow acts like an extra layer of insulation. All of those air pockets that keep out the noise also keep heat inside of your home and helps keep it warm.  Snow Can Show You Where Your Losing Heat A nice layer of snow on your roof can actually allow you to see where your home is losing heat. When warm air escapes from your home, it rises up and then leaks out of your roof. That leaky warm air will melt the snow on your roof. After you get a couple of inches of snow on your roof, go outside and see if there are any areas where the snow seems to be melting unusually fast. These are areas of your home where you may not have enough insulation, and where heat is probably escaping out of your home. How the snow melts on your roof can help you figure out where you need to beef up the insulation in your home. Light Snow Is Okay It is okay to have a couple of inches of snow on your roof. As discussed above, a light layer of snow will actually help keep your house warm and will cut down on environmental noise.  Excessive Snow Is Not Okay A couple of inches of snow can be beneficial, but when the snow accumulation on your roof starts to creep up to a half a foot or more, you need to take steps to remove the snow from your roof. Too much snow may put more weight on your roof than it can handle; this is especially true if you have an old roof.  When a significant amount of snow accumulates on your roof, you’ll want to use a snow rake to get it off of your roof. A snow rake has rubber blades instead of metal or plastic ones like a regular rake. It also has a telescopic handle so you can reach even the farthest corners of your roof.  To use a snow rake, you’ll stand on the ground and scrape the snow off of your roof. However, you don’t want to remove all the snow from your roof. Leave an inch or two of snow on your roof; this will help keep your home warm. Additionally, if you get all the way down to your actual roof tiles, you could damage them with your snow rake, which is why you should leave some space between the rake and your actual roof.  As...

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Three Ways Planning A Natural Burial Is Great For The Earth

Posted by on Mar 3, 2016 in Uncategorized |

Although cremation isn’t a perfectly eco-friendly process, it certainly has some advantages over the conventional in-ground burial. But there’s an even more eco-friendly option, known as “natural burial,” that can nearly erase the environmental impact of your funeral arrangements. Unlike a conventional burial, this process is in tune with natural processes and doesn’t try to halt the deterioration of remains. Here are three ways that a natural burial process successfully reduces or eliminates the environmental impacts that cremation can produce. 1. No pollution A natural burial can have little to no environmental impact. By opting out of embalming, natural burial avoids dumping chemicals into the ground, and by opting out of concrete grave liners and steel coffins, it allows the remains to dissolve into the earth through the most natural process possible. Cremation vaporizes the remains, meaning that it distributes matter into the air in the form of chemicals. This can pollute the atmosphere, especially because of the mercury that often escapes from dental fillings during the cremation process. 2. Less energy intensive Cremation, for all its advantages, is not energy efficient. The heating process takes incredible amounts of energy, and crematoriums generally use fossil fuels to provide the necessary power. Natural burial harnesses the elements and microorganisms naturally occurring in the ground to reduce the remains to earth, sidestepping the need for energy expenditure. 3. Uses renewable resources About a third of families decide to bury the cremated remains of their loved ones after the cremation process is over. This allows them to place a permanent physical memorial stone, but it also ties up a parcel of land indefinitely. The natural burial process is designed to allow the same burial plot to be used multiple times over the course of the century. This ensures that the earth’s available land isn’t increasingly encroached on by cemeteries. In addition, wooden memorials can be used for a natural burial, reducing the amount of non-renewable stone or concrete used. Natural burials also place an emphasis on using renewable energy. For this reason, graves are often dug by hand rather than using machines run on fossil fuels. These three points demonstrate the advantages a natural burial can have over the cremation process. It has even more advantages over a conventional burial. Conventional burials use embalming liquid and frequently place non-renewable resources such as steel coffins and concrete grave liners into the ground. Natural burial is one of the most eco-friendly burial processes available and definitely the most budget-friendly method of environmental burial; the only alternative that comes close is sea burial, which is much more expensive. Contact a funeral home, such as the Foran Funeral Home, for more...

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