outdoor heater

Re-Discover Your Backyard

At a time when even more cruise ships are being built to meet the need of people wanting to get away from it all, many others are re-discovering their own backyard. Families are choosing “staycations” over vacations. Many are choosing to not be taken away from the oasis they have personally built and own.

Backyards have not always been for recreation. Actually up to the 1940s, people who had some small amount of land in the back of the house used it to grow food. The backyard was a place for work not fun. As History Of The Backyard (As We Know It) says “In the late 1800s and up to the end of World War II, even those not living in strictly rural settings used their backyards as spaces to support the economies of their households. This meant food gardens that would support the appetites and nutritional needs of everyone living there. The same went for livestock, with those animals who provided eggs, meat, and milk. Even animals need a place to crash. The backyard was it.”

These days, the backyard is our place of rest and relaxation. We can set up mini versions of a baseball field, a volleyball court and many other recreational activities. We can also build an outdoor living space, like a kitchen or living room complete with a flat screen TV. Our backyard can be just about anything we can imagine.

We want to be in the backyard even if the temperature is cold. To satisfy that requirement, an outdoor heater is just the answer. The Lava Lite KD Patio Heater is a liquid Propane Gas Patio Heater. The Lava Lite KD can be utilized all year-long in the comfort of your outdoor environment. Surrounding the tube are steel grills that never get hot and put a safe distance between you and the flame encased in weather resistant glass. Adding to the appeal of Lava Lite KD are chrome reflectors at each inner corner of the unit, which visually enhance the flame by dispersing the light and adding an ambient glow. Safety is further ensured by the built-in SafeTilt switch, which shuts down the unit if it tilts or falls over.

At AddvantageUSA, we understand the value of staying at home building real life memories with the family right in our own back yard. Call us at 888.601.5527.

 

home remodeling project

How to Choose Your Next Home DIY Projects

Since the holidays are over and Spring is just around the corner, now is time to start planning those home DIY projects. But the question is how to choose which project to do. There are so many on the list.

You need to compile the total wish list and prioritize the projects. Then make sure you have the right tools to get the job done. And keep YouTube close to help you with the How-To part of the projects.

In prioritizing the projects, Veri Construction states in their post called Suggestions on How to Prioritize Your Home Remodeling Projects;

  1. Need – This can be driven by the need to repair your home. There can also be the need that is driven by a new addition to the family, such as a child or a parent.
  2. Desire – There can be that room in your home you never liked and now is the time to consider changing it. The emotional value to you could be very high, such as a larger bathroom shower to help make the morning a more pleasant experience.
  3. Gain in Resale Value – This is the type of remodeling project that is driven by the objective of increasing the value of your property.

Need is a top priority. But desire is important too. If you can add the ingredient of adding value to your home while meeting your needs and desires, you have chosen winning projects.

Now the issue is to choose a first project. One way to choose what project to tackle first is to start with a project that you can finish successfully and within budget. Know your skills, access to knowledge and the tools you will need. The success of a project is greatly effected by the tools you have. Those tools can be expensive. That is when you start to look at alternatives such as reconditioned tools.

DeWALT offers an excellent solution. DeWALT Reconditioned is a brand name owned by the DeWALT company. It is only applied to (1) DeWALT tools that (2) were returned to DeWALT, and (3) reconditioned by DeWALT.

These reconditioned tools have been restored to the same performance standards as new. And, DeWALT backs it up with the same Limited Lifetime Warranty they give with their new tools.

These are the types of tools that can become DeWALT Reconditioned:

  • Store display tools: These are the ones that are placed in stores to show off their inventory. They are routinely recycled back to DeWALT.
  • Customer returns: These are tools that customers return to a store, often because the customer gets the tool home and says, “wait, that’s not the thing I need.” If a tool has had any real use, it does not make it into the reconditioning assembly line.
  • Overstocks: Most DeWALT Reconditioned Tools were inventory for a store that stocked too many tools. Many that aren’t sold are returned to the factory. These tools will be examined and tested, and, if they pass the test they become DeWalt Reconditioned.

All of this means you can depend on DeWALT Reconditioned the same way that you would depend on new tools from DeWALT. Same tool, same company, same warranty, and same great quality.

So, make sure you choose the best projects that meets your needs, desires and increases your home resale value. If you are looking for quality tools that can be paid for over time, look into the Tools at AddvantageUSA. 

 

rock climbing extreme sport

Be Prepared Before Participating in Extreme Sports

If you are serious about playing extreme sports, you had better be serious about your training. You cannot responsibly participate without being properly prepared. The result may end in injury and serious setbacks in your physical health.

Extreme Sports is an allure for many that cannot be ignored. It is an itch that must be scratched. Extreme Sports that have become most popular in recent years are rock climbing, trail running, and maybe even the most recent is bicycle motocross. These are action sports that demand mental and physical control.

There is also the more known extreme sport that has made a resurgence. Skateboarding started in the 50’s and restarted in the 70’s. In the 90’s it lost its momentum and has now regained popularity and is experiencing an evolution into high-tech that ensures this sport is here to stay.

As The Bootcamp states in its article Preparing for Extreme Sports: Training for the impossible

“Cardiovascular training is another often neglected aspect of many workout regimens. While HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) is often recommended for most athletes, something that drains your energy within 20 minutes isn’t going to be much help when you’re faced with a marathon up ahead. You must condition your muscles and lungs to be prepared for longer excursions and to teach yourself how to efficiently spend your energy. These conditioning exercises must be well thought out prior to embarking on your extreme sport escapade to avoid injury and above all; enjoy your time!”

cardiovascular exerciseTime can be the issue that causes this sensible advice to be ignored. Check out our post on How Do I Improve My Health With No Time Available For Me. In addition, consider getting an in-home gym set. Do your research. Get what fits your body’s needs and your health goals. If you need help in making that choice, call us at AddvantageUSA at 888-601-5527.

Home Interior Colors

How to Easily Synchronize Your Home Interior with the Seasons of the Year

The color of pillows can be used to connect your home decor with the season of the year. The result is a warm and inviting space for entertaining and relaxing because the home’s interior is synchronized with the mood and weather outside.

Nothing feels better than a home that has colors that match the season. So, enhance the entire look of your home by matching it to the season using a simple method of changing out pillows. When your guests walk in, they will feel a strong level of comfort, but, not quite understand why. You will know that the color palette you are displaying through the pillows is causing a synchronization of your guests mood with your home.

Each season has a color palette, as depicted in this Pinterest Pin. Although this article relates the colors of the season to a person’s skin tone, we can extract the same guidelines for our home.

Spring is a beautiful color palette, that is warm and fresh echoing growth and rebirth. While Summer is soft, cool and calm relating to the lazy days of the mid-year. Autumn is warm and rich followed by Winter that is bold, cool and crisp.

The challenge is to pick colors that match the season while at the same time not clashing with the color of the couch, bed or bench that you are accenting with the pillows. To help with this, we suggest you refer back to our previous posts on how to use a color wheel.

As we stated in Choosing the Colors in Your World – part one: Imagination, “People often make the mistake of choosing something (a couch, a pillow) because they like its color, but they don’t stop to consider if it will look good in its surrounding. If you are redoing everything, plan a color palette.”

After you have identified your color, look at the color directly across the wheel from it. This opposing Color Wheelcolor on the wheel is known as the complimentary color. It has the highest contrast to the first color. The further you move around the wheel and away from your color the less similarity they have.

Here’s a page that explains basic color theory to teachers of school kids from Donna Young’s Exploring Color Theory. Or, for those who like academic studies, check out the Dimensions of Colour from David Briggs.

So, you can use the colors of the season to create a warm and comfortable place for your guests and your family by merely using pillows as accent pieces. The base colors of the season are chosen first followed by complimentary colors using the Color Wheel appropriately. But do not stress trying to be scientifically perfect. Use the guidelines as nothing more than guidelines, while you use your own preference and intuitive feelings to create a mood in your home that people will not want to leave.

If you need further assistance on pillow selection, visit the AddvantageUSA online store and see our excellent selection.

 

Mototec Wheelman

The Evolution of Skateboarding to the Motorized Wheelman

If you want to get your young son or daughter out of the house and away from the video games, the newest motorized skateboard called a Wheelman could very well be the solution.

A Wheelman can go over smooth surfaces or off-roading in the grass or dirt. The large wheels gives the rider options of different terrains and surfaces to cruise.

This new generation skateboard has a center mounted engine that can be gas or electric with a frame supported at each end by two-wheel. Your feet are inserted into the two wheels while standing upright. You balance like a traditional skateboard but have much greater flexibility as to where you ride.

Generally consensus says skateboarding began in the 1950’s, although no one can say who developed the first skateboard. Many attached a wooden box to an old pair of roller skates. no one was yet buying a skateboard from a store pre-made. In the sixties, skateboarding was having its first peak as a fun pastime. Skateboard companies began mass producing skateboards as single planks of wood with roller skate type wheels.

The fad faded until it restarted in the mid 70’s and continued strong through the 80’s. The technology took a leap in the way the wheels were made and their design. This catapulted the skateboard from being a pastime to being a recognized sport because of the added tricks that took skill and athleticism. There was a mild pause in the popularity of skateboarding in the 90’s where it lost its momentum. But X Games gave skateboarding the attention it needed to regain its fan base.

The evolution for the skateboard would not stand still. Motors have been added while still maintaining the same physical posture and skills used in the originally designed skateboard. The motor can be gasoline powered or electric. An example of an electric-powered skateboard is the MotoTec Wheelman V2 1000W. Its maximum speed is 20 MPH with a ride time of 1.5 hours. The frame is aluminum with a finger throttle and a cable disc brake. The recommended Age is 16+ years old.

The skateboard continues to get kids out of the house doing an athletic activity that takes practice and is physically healthy. If you are looking to acquire a MotoTec Wheelman on monthly payments while improving your credit, contact AddvantageUSA at 888-601-5527.

Couple buying first home

Consider This When Planning to Purchase Your First Home

Now is the time to start executing those plans you have for the future. The Christmas Holidays are over and all the gifts are bought for everyone else. Now is the time to invest in yourself.

One way to invest in your future is to buy a home for your family. Many families are looking to buy their first home this year. This trend is due to the savings incurred from owning a home over renting. According to Trulia, “Homeownership remains cheaper than renting in all 100 largest U.S. metro areas. In fact, buying is 35% cheaper than renting now, compared with 33% cheaper one year ago.”

The article goes on to say, “Homeownership remains cheaper than renting in all 100 largest U.S. metro areas. In fact, buying is 35% cheaper than renting now, compared with 33% cheaper one year ago. Paradoxically, home price growth nationally has outpaced rents over the past year. So what gives? Two things. First, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rate has fallen from 4.5% in 2014 to 3.87% today (as of April 15). Second, the 3.9% home price gain wasn’t much larger than the 3.7% gain in rents. In the past year, these two trends have made homeownership even more affordable compared with renting.

Trulia’s Rent vs. Buy Report assumes a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage with a 20% down payment. But for those looking to buy a home, apartment, or condo with homeowner association (HOA) fees, the extra cost could make renting a more attractive option.”

However, all of that good Holiday cheer and gift buying may have caused a hit on your credit. You may also have less ready cash for those things you would need before moving into you new home.

When buying a home, the interest rate can be greatly impacted by, both, your down payment and your credit rating (FICO Score). AdvantageUSA credit program helps you to get the things you need for your future home and will help you establish personal credit worthiness for your first new home purchase.

The AddvantageUSA credit program or store credit account helps your credit rating the same way that any major credit card or department store account helps you. Think for a second or two about how that works.

  • You want/need to buy something
  • You don’t want to/can’t afford to pay cash
  • The credit program lends you money
  • You buy now and make monthly payments
  • Your credit becomes established

As our Post How does an AddvantageUSA online account help my credit? states, “Don’t blow it. We report the good and the bad. If you use your credit wisely, and if you make your payments on time the way you are supposed to do it, then you will have the chance to create new payment history on your credit reports. Good payment history will definitely improve your credit reputation. That reputation is measured by your credit score. The higher it is, the better your reputation. On the other hand, late payments, defaults, or payments in amounts smaller than the amount due will create negative credit history and bring down your credit score.”

Contact AddvantageUSA for more information and assistance or call us at 888.601.5527

Multi Generation Moms helping children

Traditions to Bring the Joy Back into Your Holidays

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year.” Isn’t that what they say? Sometimes in the busyness of the season, we can get away from that sentiment or lose sight of the true meaning of it all. But even if you are feeling like you’ve lost that holiday joy, it’s not too late to reclaim it!

One of the best ways to get it back is to enjoy some holiday traditions together. So whether your traditions are plentiful or whether they are running low, here are some traditions to consider for this holiday season and for many holiday seasons to come.

Decorate Together

For some people, this one is difficult, especially if your children are young and don’t have an eye for spreading out ornaments on the Christmas tree. But what wonderful memories it makes when the family spends time decorating together! Oftentimes, our youngest kids are the ones who enjoy it the most. If they’re taught early on that it isn’t about everything looking perfect, but rather a chance for family to spend time together, laughing and enjoying each other, there’s a good chance that even when they hit those teenage years and always seem to be with their friends, this is a tradition they won’t want to miss. And if you’re the type that has to have things just right, you can always fix things to your liking when the kids are asleep.

Look Beyond Yourselves

There are so many ways to give back during the holiday season. It doesn’t have to involve lots of money. You can go to a local retirement home with your family to visit some elderly. Take cookies that the kids helped you make and give them out after you sing some Christmas carols. Contact a school to find out about a family in need. Bring them a meal and/or get some gifts to make their Christmas special. In the post Giving Jars by Heather Platt, she talks about a tradition they have, “at the beginning of December, we put a jar out for all four of the children.” She goes on to explain how they can earn money throughout the month for their jars by doing various extra chores or by being kind to others, etc. On December 24th, they look to see how much money they have earned and find ways to give it away to those who are less fortunate.

Shopping for Family

Allow the kids to help shop for family Christmas gifts. You’ve probably been thinking about what you would like to get people for months now, but help your children think about your family members and what each person may like. It’s a way to express love but also teaches them how to buy gifts with a certain person in mind. You can go to a store to shop together or shop online with one child at a time.

Yes, the holidays can be stressful, but why not do what you can to enjoy them with lasting traditions your family will treasure for years to come?  At AddvantageUSA we wish you and your family a very Happy Holidays!

Safe online Holiday ordering

Safe Online Shopping – A Must for the Holidays

It’s one of the busiest shopping weekends ushering in the busiest shopping season of the year, but what if you aren’t up for getting out in all the chaos or what if your life (or the little ones at home with you) make it where you don’t feel like it’s worth the effort? Never fear! You aren’t alone if you decide to avoid the crowds and stay hold up at home. In fact, you are part of what is becoming more and more of a popular trend in this day and age… the online shopping experience!

BUT, if you decide to do your shopping online, make sure you are taking steps to stay safe!

Who is it?

Is this a reputable company you are purchasing from or are you going with some obscure company because they are offering you a deal that is way better than anything you can find elsewhere? It may not be a scam, but if it sounds too good to be true, it may be. Play it safe and make sure you are ordering from a website/company that has a good reputation.

What is it?

What have you ordered and how much did you pay? Make sure to keep records of your transactions, as well as any confirmation numbers. Check your credit card statements or bank account to make sure it is showing up properly. If it is not, address it immediately.

Where is it?

Make sure you are using a secure network and a computer you trust. Avoid using a public computer or free, public Wi-Fi, where hackers can easily break into your system and quickly access your information. Unless you have a program installed that can protect you, it’s better to wait until you are on a secure network to shop.

And how?

How does the company have its payment form set up? If it is not encrypted, you may want to purchase from somewhere else. In the post 9 Tips for Safe Online Shopping it states, “Before you purchase anything from a web site, verify that the vendor has encrypted its payment form. Many sites use SSL (secure sockets layer) technology to encrypt information flowing between your computer and the store’s server.”

Whether you feel calm as you approach holiday shopping or anxious for waiting too long, make your online shopping experience stress-free as possible. Use these common sense precautions to avoid potential pitfalls of shopping online for the holidays.

Are you looking for a company that cares about protecting your online identity, and that can help you find gifts for everyone on your shopping list? AddvantageUSA is able to do just that. Visit us today and let us help you cross off the items you are looking for with ease and peace of mind!

Tired Mom

A Tired Mom’s Guide to Feeling Refreshed

I have an almost five-year old and a just turned three-year old, and nobody told me that interrupted nighttime sleep would come back to haunt me at this stage in the game. I thought that was a thing for parents of newborns only, but my three-year-old is determined to stay dry all night, so with his little bladder, that means wake up calls every night. And somehow my four-year old got the memo that this was happening and didn’t want to be left out, so she has been waking us up after bad dreams.

So how does a tired mom ever feel refreshed? Here are a few tips to help out, whether you are exhausted from the newborn months or are having a relapse a few years down the road.

Eat Regularly and Drink Water

Make sure you are eating regularly throughout the day and not skipping meals. This is imperative in keeping energy high. It’s easy to skip a meal, especially breakfast when you’re busy with the kids in the morning, or when you’re just too tired to think about what you may want to eat, but don’t fall into this temptation. Keep your body fueled up with healthy food.

Also remember to stay hydrated. Drink lots of water all day long. This not only can give you energy, but it is also good for your skin.

Let Dad Help

Sometimes as moms, we feel like we have to do it all. Other times our kids insist we do it all. Don’t let either one of these thoughts rule your life. Not only are dads capable of helping, but they often want to help, but sometimes they need to be given permission. So, step back and let Dad lend his helping hand and enjoy some time alone, whether you need a nap, time out of the house away from everyone, or just a nice, relaxing bath.

Fresh Air and Sunshine

If possible, get outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine every day. As stated in the post 6 Tips for Tired Moms, “Head outside or open the windows…The fresh air & sunshine makes everyone feel a little happier and revived! If it’s raining or just simply too hot to play outside, I will open the windows.  The sounds of nature & the slight breeze makes us all feel a little happier, even if we are stuck inside the house.”

Eye Cream

If all else fails, invest in some good eye cream. We all have days when we feel like those bags under our eyes couldn’t be puffier or the dark circles make us look like raccoons. Why not pamper yourself with a nice hydrating cream or gel that helps reduce that puffiness and makes us feel better about facing the tough days?

If you would like help finding the right eye cream for you, contact AddvantageUSA. We are happy to help!

Carving a Turkey

The Keys to Carving a Thanksgiving Turkey are the Presentation and the Cutlery

“Every block of stone has a statue inside it and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it.” Michelangelo

If you do not see the relationship of this quote from Michelangelo to the carving of a Thanksgiving turkey, then say “no” when asked to do the honor of the final step in preparing the bird for the feast. Step away from the carving table and let someone whom appreciates the assignment to step in your place.

If you do appreciate the great honor of being front and center during the time of the evening when anticipation is at a crescendo, then read on.

All eyes are on you, judging your skill and watching for any lack of confidence. You must be prepared to embrace the moment. Preparation requires a previously established knowledge of the optimum steps. Never show a kink in your armor by looking up at your Uncle for reassurance in your decisions. Never.

Confidently pick up your carving knife, examine its blade for the appropriate sharpness, and masterfully run the blade across the honing steel. Actually, do this even if the blade is like a razor. You look good when you are doing it.

Now, the real work begins. There are many suggestions on how to carve a turkey. Many suggest that the parts are separated before the breast is carved. This seems logical. But, this is not about logic. This is all about the experience. The fact is that carving the limbs off of a very large bird can be visually disturbing to some people, and, at the very least, boring to most others.

Instead, slowly guide the blade across the breast meat allowing the juice to flow down the browned skin. Even the skirmish will find this action to be delectable. The goal is to have the observers eyes dilated as their mouths salivate.

Pile the juicy white meat slices high on a serving plate. You need only to do one side to achieve the effect desired. Pass the plate of cleanly sliced meat to the middle of the table. All eyes will go to that plate with human sounds announcing group approval. Then proceed to dismember the bird, breaking the thighs away from the body, the legs from the thighs and finishing with the wings. The dark meat eaters will gaze back at your activity in between their passing of the potatoes and vegetables. The dark meat should be piled high on a second plate for distribution. Conversation will be in full swing as you finish up by carving the remaining side of the breast to refill the now empty plate of white meat.

The guests anticipation has been met with your confident culinary skill and understanding of the presentation.

HenckelsThis traditional event of carving the Turkey began with a knife. There is no doubt that the carving knife must be of high quality for success to be achieved. Check out AddvantageUSA cutlery knives to ensure your success at the carving table this Thanksgiving.