Archives for August 2019

Why Middleton Idaho Deserves To Be Your Next Vacation Spot?

Located in the Canyon County of Idaho, Middleton is one of the oldest settlements in the region dating back to 1863. Ever since then this city of 5.38 square miles has become a hidden gem and it seems like more and more people across the nation are willingly making moves to settle down at a place like this with their families. With a population just over 5,500 people, Middleton is a true small town of Idaho and here is why it deserves to be on your radar for next family trip and places to visit.

Parks Galore & More

For the best time that you can spend with family and friends surrounding you, this small city offers you some exceptional parks to visit. This includes:

  • Great Middleton Parks & Recreation District

Specifically designed to meet the recreational needs for all ages, these open wide spaces have been developed and preserved so that they are accessible for families along with proper maintenance. Facilities are spick n span, with a special care towards keeping them clean. Officials at the park often host movie nights every Saturday, plus there are various on-going contests every week that you and your loved ones can participate in. These include pie baking, archery, sand volleyball and much more. You can also join in during sporting events which include baseball, football, hunting, pickle-ball, and soccer.

  • Foote Park

Located at the corner of North Middleton Road and south of Mill Creek Elementary School, this 23 acres huge vicinity plays the host every year for the Annual Easter Egg Hunt, July Aerial Fireworks Display, and Harvest Festival. There is a huge fountain with tons of splash toys to keep you occupied in never-ending fun for your kids and families. The park also supports community building and awareness by allowing you and your family members to actively take part in building a walking and biking brick trial. Bricks are available in different sizes with the ability to engrave your initials within them so that they can be immortalized for future generations to see and remember you.

Restaurants to Tantalize Your Taste Buds

If you are a foodie and can’t help yourself to try out something savory and delicious every now and then, Middleton will gratify you with exquisite tastes for you to remember for the rest of your lifetime. The best of the best that serves delicious dining experience in this small town include:

  • Burnt Lemon Grill

Open Mondays to Saturdays from 11 am in the morning to 9 pm in the night, this quaint place offers the best burger experience in the town. Top picks include crazy bird salad, finger steaks, Brisket BBQ sandwich, tater tots, and wraps.

  • The Sunrise Café Middleton

Family owned and operating since 1988, there are several branches of this franchise spread across Idaho. They offer you a lengthy selection of items available for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The sheer variety of them is enough to make you go bonkers at this place. You will just keep returning for something new and more.

  • Garbonzo’s Pizza

Undoubtedly offering you the best pizza experience in the valley, their hand-tossed and the perfectly aged dough will melt in your mouth. Served with their own special sauce and freshly grown veggies, the taste so sublime, that every flavor will make you visit a place never known to you before.

  • Jim’s Burger Den

Another burger joint on our list that is bound to keep you visiting the place, again and again, the Burger Den is open through Monday to Saturday from 7 am to 10 pm. Friendly staff, high-quality food, casual attire, and great for families with kids.

  • Tsai’s Kitchen

The best Chinese restaurant that has got more to offer then you could possibly think off. Fresh ingredients and cooked to your liking, run by husband-wife duo, the taste is heavenly and reminds you of the actual flavors from the East Coast. We bet you will keep returning for more.

Shopping & Unique Outlets

If you are on the lookout for a unique experience when it comes to shopping than Middleton is the place to visit. It has some original outlets that no shopper would ever dream of letting go of such an option. These include:

  • Mike’s Bargain Barn: this home improvement and the discount store have got some antiques that would keep you interested and hooked. Lots of other fun things to look around for as well as save tons of money when shopping for home accessories.
  • Blush Creek Specialty Rentals: a boutique based Rental Company that has everything to offer in order to make your special occasions even more memorable. They have a huge list of treasures waiting for you in their warehouse that you would instantly fall in love with.
  • SW Tack & Trinkets: a store that specializes in apparel, gifts, jewelry, and much more including horse show accessories as well as being the only outlet that deals in feed and supplements in all of Idaho. Their collection ranges from the trail of painted ponies to reining equipment.
  • Saddle Up: another one on our list that offers you an extensive list of items for your love of horses and Equestrianism. The name surely says it all, they have exclusive items such as home décor, jewelry, and gifts. Customer service is excellent and their staff is quite knowledgeable.

Livability & Demographics

Middleton offers you wide beautiful open spaces with rolling hills on the northern side and the magnificent Boise River valley. The crime rate is low and the rural developments are underway. The median income is $45,391 and the median home value is $128,300. 67% of the population is 18 years old and over, with the median age falling just short of 34 years old. 90.6% are white and 9.7% are Hispanic. Overall Middleton is a Rancher’s paradise and a farmer’s dream come true. There are lots of barns, corrals, and outbuildings available for sale. If you plan to move in with your family and settle down permanently then there are quite a variety of homes for sale in Middleton, ID.

The best time to visit Middleton is from early July to late August so that you can enjoy all the warm-weather activities this place has to offer. For hotels and lodgings, the Best Western Plus Caldwell Inn & Suites and La Quinta Inn by Wyndham Caldwell are top of the pick. For more questions and queries please feel free to let us know of your comments in the section below.

 

 

8 of the Best Wireframe Tools For 2019

 

With so many wireframe tools out there, it can be difficult to narrow down the right one for your specific needs and budget. Each tool has its own unique set of features, integrations, and price range. So which ones are the best? For 2019, we’ve chosen these eight wireframe tools that we think stand out among the competition. We’ve based our criteria on functionality, compatibility, price, integration, and sharing/collaboration. Keep reading to learn about eight of the best wireframe tools for 2019.

1. Wireframe.CC

This web-based wireframe tool is easy to use, functions well, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg. In fact, it’s free to use for a single user; though there are features that are only available with the paid version.

Wireframe.cc is the epitome of simplicity in wireframe design. With limited color options and toolbars, you can stay more focused on the simple aspects of wireframing (which is the whole point of creating a wireframe to begin with). Since the tool is web-based, it doesn’t matter which platform you’re working from. Wireframe.cc ranges from $16-$99/month based on which package and features you want.

2. Axure RP

Axure is one of the most trusted and widely-used wireframe and prototyping platforms available. It’s intuitive interface and gentle price tag make it effective and affordable; a favorite among both small and large businesses alike. The company boasts some high-profile clients, from Amazon to Verizon, and even Microsoft.

At just $29 per user per month, you can have access to some of the most powerful tools in UI/UX design available. The program is compatible with all platforms, and even offers cloud storage and collaboration tools for greater communication and synchronicity among your design and development teams.

3. Sketch

If you’re looking to create stunning visual elements for your design projects, Sketch is the way to go. This simple yet powerful tool lets you create effective wireframes from scratch, and integrate them with other design programs like Axure for further improvement.

Sketch is also quite affordable, with a $99, one-year personal license available. After the year is up, you can continue to use Sketch, but you won’t get access to software updates until you resubscribe for another year. You can also opt for a Volume License for $89/year for two devices.

4. Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is the industry heavyweight when it comes to wireframe design. The software has remained one of the most widely used and effective tools, and along with Adobe’s impressive lineup of design tools, is easily integrated with other programs.

Adobe offers its software on a single-program basis for just $20.99/month, or you can have full access to the Adobe Creative Cloud for $52.99/month without the stock images, icons, and videos that come with each program. If you want the stock included, your price will be $82.98/month. The stock that Adobe provides is one of its best features, so you’ll definitely want to include this option with your monthly plan.

5. UXPin

An incredibly compatible software service, UXPin is available to Mac, Windows, and Linux users via download or in the browser. Bring your wireframes to life with UXPins, where static images and features become interactive designs; so you can get a true idea of what your projects will look and feel like.

UXPin is free for basic prototyping, or you can choose one of three paid options: Basic, Advanced, and Enterprise; which are $12 per editor per month, $20 per editor per month, and custom priced respectively. Each comes with a free trial, so you can get a feel for the software before you decide to make the purchase.

6. Visio

Creating flowcharts and vector images is simple with Microsoft’s Visio. This lightweight, intuitive software is simple to use and can be applied to a variety of tasks, including flow charts and wireframing. Users can work together within the same flowchart, making collaboration and sharing that much simpler.

This Windows-based software can be obtained for just $5 per month for the basic package and around $15 per month for the Pro version.

7. MockPlus

Mockplus’ company phrase says it all: “Prototype faster. Smarter. Easier.” Prototyping for web, mobile, and desktop designs just got easier with MockPlus. Focused on streamlining the design process for better prototypes, the software’s wireframing and prototype tools are something of wonder.

With nearly 200 components and 3,000 icons at your fingerprints, you can save countless hours searching for the right icon and stay focused on completing your designs. MockPlus does offer a free trial, and you can obtain the software for just $199/user per year for individuals and $1,999 per team per year for larger teams. An unlimited, perpetual license will set you back around $6,000.

8. JustinMind

JustinMind is compatible with both Windows and Mac users, being web-based software. With a huge library of UI elements available, you can save time on your designs and cut right to the meat of the project instead of worrying about the smaller details.

For both web and mobile design, JustinMind is one of the best tools available. Your prototypes can be exported in HTML format, making your developer’s lives that much easier. For just $19/month, you can have access to this impressive software for you and your team.

To read more on topics like this, check out the gadgets & technology category.

Why Social Media Marketing Isn’t Working For You

 

It’s safe to say that without social media marketing, most companies would be stuck with low lead numbers, decreased brand recognition, and a lack of sales. But what if you’ve joined all of the top social networking sites, but haven’t seen much engagement from your community?

If you’re having issues getting customers to engage or interact, you’re not alone. Getting social media marketing right the first time around isn’t always easy or straight-forward.

Here’s why social media marketing isn’t working for you and what you can do to make this form of marketing as effective and useful as possible.

Content Isn’t Meaningful

Posting meaningless content is as useful as buying followers that turn out to be bot accounts! Cute pet videos and funny memes are expected on social media, and they do grab people’s attention as they’re scrolling.

Social media marketing is all about posting content that is advantageous for you and your followers. Content should be shared in hopes that it will drive leads, conversions, and sales.

To encourage the most engagement, share content that is interesting or useful to your followers. The content you post should also be relevant to your business or industry. When there’s a good mix of promotional content and interesting content, more people are more likely to engage.

Lack of Communication & Interaction

Social media marketing is much more than making posts, tweeting, and sharing photos on Instagram. Consumers and followers want to be able to directly contact your business using social media.

While you may not be able to immediately reply to a message or a question posted in a comment, you’ll want to make a point of treating social media messages as serious inquiries. This means responding to questions and helping consumers with any concerns they may have.

Providing good customer service on social media shows that you care and value your audience.

Communication also involves taking part in conversations. If you’ve got a trending post on your page, take part in the discussion. Followers always like seeing businesses interacting with them and sharing their own views on things.

You’re Too Focused on You & Your Brand

We’ve all had that one annoying friend that spends all of their time talking about themselves. While you may be able to tolerate it for a little while, over time, that friend becomes tiresome to listen to. The same stands true in the social media marketing world.

Talking only about yourself and your brand isn’t engaging or interesting. While you may be tempted to post promotional messages as often as possible, this only causes a decrease in engagement.

Social media is all about interaction and engagement. The idea is to start a conversation and to get people talking. In order to get a high amount of YouTube video likes, you have to create a video that’s worth watching, not one that goes on for minutes about why your brand is so great. The same idea stands true for any content you post on social media.

Limited Business Information

Social media marketing can be used for much more than just posting video content or sharing groundbreaking news that impacts your business. Many people follow business’s posts in order to get updates about what’s going on in your business’s world.

To make the best out of social media marketing, be sure to post things such as:

  • Upcoming promotions
  • First notice of sales
  • New product releases
  • Holiday hours
  • Employee appreciation

This not only entices people to follow and continuously check your social media feeds, but it also brings a human face to your brand. The more in-touch and personable a brand, the easier it is for customers to interact and engage.

You Aren’t Using Video Content

Blogs and posts are great for social media, but if you really want to stay relevant and engage your followers, video content is a must. More than 500 million hours of videos are watched on YouTube daily. Around 82% of Twitter users watch video content using the platform.

If you aren’t posting original video content, you’re not engaging your followers! A third of all online activity is spent watching videos. This means that you need to invest in creating short videos that will gain traction among your followers.

Look at some of your most recent blog posts or social media posts. Which ones have gotten the most attention and buzz? With the right topics, you can give your social media followers the content they want in a format that they love.

Conclusion

Social media marketing isn’t as simple as having a presence on each social media site. Instead, there are many things you need to do in order to make this form of marketing beneficial. When social media isn’t providing the results you want, keep these common pitfalls in mind.

Join the discussion on this topic with Zootoo by visiting our contact page.

When is the Right Time to See Your Foot Injury Doctor?

Foot Injuries

We perform almost all our movements with feet. Without them, you can never even imagine riding that bike that was your gift last Christmas or going for the hike on those beautiful trails outside the city. Anyways, whatever the reason is, athletes and people involved in sports are more prone to have their feet injured and exposed to infections.

In the case of diabetes, foot injuries are also common so for that purpose, your regular therapist can be your way to go. But otherwise, we advise you to visit your injury doctor for your foot condition

When to visit the doctor?

You know that it is important to visit your doctor when there is a sensation of consistent discomfort in your feet.

  • Stinging pain in feet occurring consistently and not fading away
  • Swelling that remains after days and causes discomfort and tingling while walking
  • Burning, Tingling and unpleasant sensations occurring continuously at the bottom of the feet.

Urgent Care

While some of the injuries can wait until the reaction starts to show up, others require immediate medical care. You need to seek immediate medical help in case your foot has the following medical issues:

  • Open Bloody Wound that is extremely prone to getting infected
  • Puss is eliminating from the foot
  • Foot is intolerable of any weight
  • An infection

Home Remedies

If the situation is not very bad you can also try to treat yourself at home initially. Some of the most convenient home remedies that can be effective in case of a minor injury are:

  • Rest

Take bed rest and avoid any form of movement that causes your feet to ache. If its just weariness from the recent adventure you have been in, it will go away.

  • Ice Pack

Put an ice pack on your foot to comfort yourself from the pain and swelling.

  • Medicines

While it is considered harmful to self-medicate yourself, taking lighter pain killers has become a bit common.

Despite the basic home remedies if you do not get the comfort that you are seeking, it is the best time to call your doctor and book the first free appointment.

In the case of Diabetes

Diabetes your nerves of the feet lose communication with the brain. Hence if you have diabetes you are least likely to feel the pain.

Even though the pain cannot be felt, diabetic people have more chances of damaging their feet because of the injuries faced by diabetic people cannot be healed easily.

In case of a foot injury, it is best to see your doctor immediately.

Still no Recovery

If it has been a while and your foot injury is not recovering despite treatment from your regular doctor, it is time to see an orthopedic foot specialist.

Did you know that an orthopedic of foot injuries is known as a Podiatrist?

Podiatrist

A podiatrist is a doctor who works to fix the issues in your feet. Such doctors specialize in the ankle, foot, connecting joints of the feet with the legs.

A while ago they were known as a chiropodist and this term is still used sometimes.

Conditions they treat

Saying that your podiatrist treats all kinds of injuries associated with the feet is easy but let’s just dig a little deeper in the types of injuries they deal in.

  • Wound care
  • Surgery
  • Diabetes
  • Pediatric
  • Sports injuries

These are just some of the most common injuries that you can suffer. If your feet hurt without any reason (unless it’s obesity then it’s a reason) you need to see your foot doctor.

Despite not having any injuries of any kind, it is a good practice to keep up to date with your medical condition and keep the health of your feet intact by the advice and regular checkup of your doctor.

Common problems in human feet

Some of the most common problems that a foot doctor has to deal with are:

  • Corns
  • Warns
  • Hammertoes
  • Flat feet
  • Foot odor
  • Blisters
  • Nail and foot infections
  • Calluses
  • Bunions
  • Arthritis
  • Foot injuries
  • Muscle Pain
  • Heel Pain
  • Pain in muscle and ligaments

Risk of Developing Foot Injuries

Certain diseases and medical conditions can be a cause of discomfort in the feel of some people. Few of the most common health conditions include

  • Obesity
  • Arthritis
  • High LDL/HDL levels
  • Heart diseases
  • Issues in blood circulation

People with these medical conditions are more prone to developing foot injuries but diabetes is the worst.

Symptoms

Few of the symptoms that may lead to bigger foot problems in the end are:

  • Hard Skin/ heels
  • Cracked Skin
  • Discoloration in nails
  • Numbness and tingling sensations
  • Sharp pain upon movement
  • Ulcer
  • Pain while walking
  • Smelly feet

Reason to visit a doctor

Since feet are the most important part of human structure after spine and you don’t want smaller issues lead into issues that can cause discomfort even while walking, it is better to see your regular doctor and the podiatrist.

Because of persisting pain, you will go through some tests to determine your medical condition like

  • X-rays
  • MRI
  • Ultrasound
  • Blood Test

When you feel that there is a sensation of discomfort there is an issue with either one or all of the following

  • Joints
  • Bones
  • Muscles
  • Ligaments

Conclusion

Foot care is immensely important. To keep your feet healthy, you must be healthy overall. The medical conditions in your feet can arise due to any activity or a health deficiency that can create issues. If you feel that your feet need treatment you must visit your doctor at the first possible appointment.

A podiatrist is your foot injury doctor who will help you in any issue related to the health of your feet. Even if you don’t have a medical issue with your feet, it is highly advised that you seek medical consultation now and then.

A podiatrist has spent years of mastering the health of feet and the medical conditions that are associated with it. Change your diet, habits and even shoes if you want healthy feet.

 

3 Organizing Tips to Add Order to Your Life Now

Becoming organized in life is very important. It is a life skill that many of us must possess to keep our lives in order. It is similar to organizing a desk or room. You take things out and you add some things in. You place things in their proper places, and you make sure you keep it that way.

Regardless of how messy your life is at the moment, what matters most is that you take baby steps towards organizing your life. A small change can mean a lot of things and go a long way. That is why a scheduling app is something you should make use of, and all else will surely fall into its rightful place.

Here are some important tips for becoming organized:

Simplify

The first step to becoming organized is to simplify. We tend to complicate things in life. So, stop doing this from now on. You should not make a big deal out of your neighbour’s noise, or your little sister’s messy ways. Don’t go creating drama out of your life. It is not going to help you have a fulfilling life experience. As a matter of fact, too much propensity towards drama will only cause misery and self-destruction. Instead, analyse and find ways to avoid stress, negative feelings, thoughts, and everything that can ultimately lead to a sad life. Simplifying also means letting go of anything you can’t control. Let it go, do not wallow in your misery, or else you’ll end up becoming depressed.

Compartmentalise

If you think only papers and files can go to compartments, think again. This theory is applicable to life’s organization too. The trick here is to know where exactly to put things. For instance, if work is undesirable in the bedroom, refrain from doing it there. In the same vein, your personal life does not belong in the office. Learn to keep personal and work stuff separately. It is when you begin to cross the line that things can start to go haywire and spin out of control!

Relax

Relax, chill, de-stress – little words, but they have a huge meaning to someone like you. If your life gets too busy, you simply have to stop and spend some time to reflect on things. Never treat life as a competition or a drag race. If you keep moving at the rate you are going, you might reach a certain point where you are juggling too many tasks at a time. Eventually, you will be unable to keep up. Sometimes, all it takes is just a little breather. Learn to take some time to relax and de-stress. Take a seat and look back at your life, find ways you can really make it organized. These short ‘breathers’ are effective in letting you see through things and find ways you can avoid further disasters in your life.

It is always important that we learn how to become organized. It does not only leave a lasting good impression about us, but it also helps us become a better person and be the best version of ourselves.

Image: https://pixabay.com/photos/business-afternoon-awake-blogger-3219268/

 

Moving Checklist

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Transferring to a new place can be a hassle if you haven’t planned it properly. For more information on relocation, visit this link here. There are a lot of boxes to be sorted out and there can be not enough time. You might give notice to your landlord in your old apartment that you will be staying just until the end of the month. However, you might not want to find yourself in a situation where there’s just one left and you haven’t packed your clothes and silverware yet.

Getting things ready in advance can reduce the stress and pressure that you will feel when you are moving house. You need to sort out things such as transferring your medical records, hosting garage sales, cutting off your electricity and water, and move all of your possessions from the old apartment to the new apartment as soon as possible.

Fortunately, moving can be done without stress and without losing your cool. You can follow the following tips so that you can say goodbye to the old home and say hello to the new home.

Two Months Before Moving

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Sort all your Things

You need to sort your things. You can start with walking in every room, opening drawers, and deciding the things that you should get rid of. Make a list of things that require special packings such as fragile items, crystals, paintings, and other valuables. You can donate or sell the things that you don’t need in your new home. If you don’t need your other clothes, host a garage sale or sell them online so that there will be lesser things to move.

Hire Movers

There are moving companies that can make things easier for you on the day of your relocation. Contact several movers and ask them about their quotes. You should ask if they have the license to drive out-of-state, if they have insurance, and if you can receive the most accurate pricing. You should also check their website and look for feedback to make sure that they are legit.

Contact your Children’s School

If you have children who are studying, notify the school about the move. Get all the paperwork done for the transfer and bring all the necessary documents with you. You have to obtain all the academic records of your child so that the transfer will be smooth. You can also contact the new school and ask about the pre-enrollment requirements and transfer procedures.

A Month and a Half Before

Travel Arrangements

Book a flight, arrange hotel accommodations or find nearby inns. You might need these especially if you have already given notice to your old home and you need to move but your new home is not yet ready. Find the cheapest hotel in the area where you can book for a week or while you arrange everything in your new home.

Buy the Necessary Packing Supplies

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You need to get cardboard boxes in different sizes. You may also want to find bags where you can put your clothes. Buy packing tapes, bubble wraps, markers, and specialty containers. You may need to buy ones where you can put your dishes and silverware. Even if you are not yet moving out, start packing things that you won’t use for a week or two. You can buy additional boxes if you found out that there are not enough boxes for all of your things.

Contact your Medical Provider

Get records of you and your family’s medical history. You need to them to send to your new physician in the new place. Settle all your dental, medical and other health insurance. If you or one of your family members is required to take certain pills and medicine, make sure to bring the prescription with you.

A Month Before

Start Packing Seasonal Items

Start packing your clothes, silverware, photos, books, and other things that you don’t need to use immediately. Label them well. You should pack your essentials such as beddings, soap, toothbrush, and laptops last as you may need them even on the day before you move. Don’t forget to mark the contents of each box or label them using a marker. To avoid theft, do not list the items on the box that contains valuables.

Measure your Things

If some of your furniture won’t it into the new home, you can sell it, keep it on a storage company, or give it away. You need to make sure that all the items from your current home will fit in the doorway of the new one. If you are tight on space in the new home, then you should bring things that are not very important to you when you relocate.

3 Weeks Before

Call the movers and confirm that you are moving on the day that you have agreed on. Double-check with them and you can invite them to come over to your place to see your furniture, appliances, and packing boxes that they need to move. More information about movers in this site: https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/mover.

Clear Out

Take all your belongings from safe boxes, storage spots, basements, and attics. Do not forget to hire dry cleaners when you move out to ensure that there’s nothing left behind. Your landlord or landlady will appreciate it if you clean the place after moving if you are renting. If you are selling your house, dry cleaning it can make it sell faster in the market.

A Day Before

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Confirm with the movers again. Triple check with the moving company your plans. You also need to ask them how much will be the bill, when are you going to pay it, and the mode of payment. You need to get the phone number of the crew that will help you move your things out. You need to prepare written directions and a complete address of your new home.

Arrange the Keys

You should arrange to return the keys of your old home to the landlady if you are renting or to a real estate broker if you are selling. You need to obtain the keys to the new house before moving so that you can enter your new house without any hassle. And when it’s all finished, say hello to your new house.

Custom Home Design: Exterior Finishing and Design Ideas

It can often seem difficult to create a house that fits in with planning permissions, the neighborhood, and yet is still customized enough to be the house if your dreams.

Fortunately, difficult is not the same as impossible! Here are some great finishing ideas and designs for the outside of your home:

Clad It

This may not seem particularly stunning or unique but there are many different types of cladding for houses and an array of approaches that will work.

You can choose vinyl cladding and any type of finish you can imagine. Vinyl cladding comes in a wide choice of colors, as well as looking like wood, or almost any other material you can think of.

But, vinyl is not the only option, you can use metal, stone, brick, or fiber-cement. You can choose your own color and even mix and match the materials. With just a little thought and planning you can have a totally unique house which still looks stunning.

Change The Drive

It’s not just the house that needs some attention, pause a take a look at your current driveway. It’s probably a relatively simple affair that looks the same as the other driveways in your street.

However, you can easily change the driveway to customize the house. Consider block paving, gravel, tarmac, or even concrete. But, make sure you add a feature.

For example, if you go for asphalt don’t choose black, have it laid in a different color, such as red or green. Or, if you opt for block paving, add a feature, such as a star or a compass to the middle of it.

Yes, it will cost a little more but the result will be well worth it.

Landscaping

Don’t stop with the exterior walls and driveway, it’s time to take a look at the yard and start landscaping. Unless you’re a keen gardener you’ll want to make the yard minimal work. This means laying grass and keeping shrubs and other plants in pots or raised beds

Perhaps the most important feature is the decking or another style of outside entertainment area. This is where you can really express yourself. It doesn’t need to be a square or rectangular feature, instead, it should be any shape you want, with your own feature designed into it.

Don’t forget to add lights for maximum effect.

Lighting

It’s not just your entertainment area that needs lighting it. Adding lights to the outside of your home that highlights its best features are a fantastic way of making your home look stunning at night.

You can also improve and customize the effect by adding colored lights. It’s not just you that will benefit from your custom house design improvements, your neighbors will appreciate the extra effort and may even make their own improvements.

You just have to hope they don’t copy your improvements!

It is also worth considering adding an extension to your home as this will allow you to add extra space or even change the whole look and feel of the house from outside.

To read more on topics like this, check out the home & renovations category.

4 Ways to Pass Time During a Layover at Suvarnabhumi Airport

Suvarnabhumi Airport, colloquially known as Bangkok Airport, is one of the biggest airports in Southeast Asia; it’s the 21st busiest airport in the world and 11th busiest in the continent. As a gateway to the region and a connecting point for many international carriers, millions of passengers pass through it every year, with many of them popping into the city proper on a long layover. Below are some of the things you can do in and around the area if you need to kill a few hours, and a couple of suggestions for longer overnight layovers:

Relax and Freshen Up

Overnight layovers can be a drag. If you’d rather rest your head and wake up refreshed for your flight out the next day, there are several hotels near Suvarnabhumi Airport where you can grab a shower and turn in for the night. Searching using “โรงแรมใกล้สนามบินสุวรรณภูมิ” may yield you more results, though they may be in Thai and difficult to navigate if you don’t speak the language. Airport hotels are an option for those who don’t wish to stray too far, too—rooms are available for rent in 4, 6, and 12-hour increments. Going for a massage in one of the many spas available inside the airport is a great way to relieve muscles sore from traveling; they offer a wide range of services, including express massages, hour-long Thai massages, facials, manicures, and pedicures.

Take a Transit Tour

If you have a minimum of 6 spare hours to wait until your connecting flight and don’t want to think too much about how you’d like to spend them, inquiring with the airport tour desk nets you fifteen different options, ranging anywhere from 4 up to 12 hours. These include a tour of the city and some temples, the Erawan Museum, the Grand Palace, some of the more popular markets, and so on. You can leave your baggage with AIRPORTELs Bangkok, a luggage storage facility that is open 24 hours, and just take your essentials with you. Keep in mind that if you plan on going shopping, you may need to exchange your currency or withdraw cash from a machine.

Visit an Outdoor Market

Some of the best eats and bargain shopping in Thailand can be found in Bangkok’s famous outdoor night markets. Suvarnabhumi Flea Market is the closest to the airport; a short ten-minute or less ride if you take a taxi, which is convenient if you’re pressed for time but don’t want to spend it cooped up in the airport. If you only have 3 hours or so to spare, this is one of the best ways to catch a glimpse of the local culture and have a phenomenal meal at the same time, as roadside stalls and friendly vendors hawk incredible Thai dishes and succulent tropical fruit.

Visit Khao San Road

This backpacker’s paradise recently caught the attention of the local government and has since become somewhat more commercialized. Nevertheless, Khao San Road has retained most of its charms, and now it’s one of the most popular areas to visit in Bangkok. Spring roll and pad thai stalls freely mix with international restaurants serving everything from burgers and fries to falafel and hummus. During the day, it’s an excellent shopping destination if you’re into local curios and handicrafts. At night, it comes alive: you’ll find some great bars and nightclubs here, if you’re in the mood to stay up all night long. Seek out Gazebo in particular, a rooftop dance club and bar that was recently voted as one of the world’s best. The drinks are excellent, the kitchen serves terrific food, and great live bands perform nightly.

Suvarnabhumi Airport is one of the better places to be stuck in for a layover: with its proximity to Bangkok and various methods of getting into the city, it’s completely possible to have a mini-holiday in Thailand before getting on your connecting flight. Just make sure to keep an eye on the clock and factor in enough time for unforeseen circumstances, such as traffic or a particularly long immigration queue. Beyond that, enjoy your short stay in the Land of a Thousand Smiles!

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3 Tips For Talking With Your Teen About Alcohol

When you’re raising your kids, there are a few conversations that you know you’ll have to have even if they might not be pleasant to speak about. For many parents, talking to their kids about drinking alcohol falls into this category.

But while you might think that your child won’t have to deal with issues like being offered alcohol or wanting to drink alcohol or being in a car with someone who’s been drinking, there are all situations that it’s better to be safe than sorry with.

So to help ensure that your teen is safe, here are three tips for talking with your teen about alcohol.

Ask Them Why They Shouldn’t Drink

Almost everyone knows that there’s a legal age at which they’ll be able to start drinking. However, many people don’t make it to this age before having one or more drinks. Despite this, these laws are put in place for a reason, and it’s wise to teach your teen just why this is.

Rather than you just preaching to your teen about this, the Mayo Clinic suggests that you first ask your teen why they shouldn’t drink. Some of these reasons may include the risks associated with drinking alcohol at a young age, any family history of alcoholism, and the potential dangers your teen could be putting themselves in.

By having your teen come up with these reasons on their own, and then you filling in the gaps, you’ll be able to gauge what’s important to them and will motivate them not to drink until they’re legally allowed.

Make Your Rules Clear And Firm

As your teen gets to an age where you think alcohol could come into the equation, it’s important that you speak with your teen about what your rules are regarding their use of alcohol and what the consequences will be for breaking those rules.

According to Chris Woolston, a contributor to HealthDay.com, these rules will likely vary from family to family. While some parents take a zero-tolerance policy, others are willing to allow their kids to try things in a safe environment. Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, make sure you’ve made the limits for your teen very clear.

Go Through Scenarios Together

Just knowing that they shouldn’t drink often isn’t enough to arm your teen with when facing the pressure to drink. Because of this, it’s a good idea to go through some potential scenarios together so your teen can plan how they’ll react or respond when it a sticky situation.

For example, the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism suggests that you should run through scenarios regarding peer pressure and other situations so your teen will have an idea of what to say or how to handle themselves.

If you’re concerned about how to talk to your teen about drinking, consider using the tips mentioned above to help you maneuver through these conversations.

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3 Rules To Set For Your Kids About Being Around Cars Or Traffic

As a parent, there are hundreds of things that you worry about that can harm your children. While many of these things aren’t very likely to happen in normal circumstances, there is one hazard that your children likely spend a lot of time around: vehicles.

Not only can cars be dangerous when you’re in them, but they can be dangerous when you’re anywhere around them as well. Especially for children who are smaller and harder for drivers to see, it’s important that they know what they should do to keep themselves safe. To help you in teaching them this, here are three rules to set for your kids about being around cars or traffic.

Never Play Where Cars Are Parked

While it’s great for kids to play outside so they can get some fresh air and vitamin D, it’s important that you set rules about where it’s safe for your kids to be playing and what areas they should avoid playing in.

According to Amy Morin, a contributor to Very Well Family, you should inform your kids that they are never allowed to play near parked cars. While you might think that cars that are parked are less dangerous than cars that are moving, parked cars can be just seconds away from being moving cars. And if your kids are running around them, it can be very hard for the driver to spot your children and make sure not to hit them with their vehicle.

When To Hold Hands

Because your young kids are so small compared to the average-sized adult, drivers may not be necessarily looking out for them in the low areas of their view. It’s much easier for you as an adult to be seen by drivers.

To ensure that both you and your children are seen when going near traffic, SafeKids.org advises that you make it a rule to always hold hands when you’re near driveways, crossing the street, in parking lots, or walking on the sidewalk. By doing this, you’ll be able to increase the chances of being seen and help to keep your kids out of a car’s way.

Face Traffic When Walking

As your kids get older, they’ll likely be responsible enough to walk somewhere on their own, like to school or to a close friend’s house. This will likely require them to walk near the street or by moving vehicles, which is why it’s important that they know how to keep themselves safe.

To do this, NHTSA.gov shares that you should make it a rule that your kids always face traffic when they’re walking on the sidewalks. The reason you should have your kids face traffic when they’re walking is so that they can see the cars that are coming and the cars can see them as they’re walking as well.

To help your kids stay safe, consider using the tips mentioned above to set rules that will allow them to avoid accidents with cars.

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