Monthly Archives: February 2019

A Comparison of the Most Popular Countertop Materials

Granite kitchen countertopAmong all the surfaces in your home, your kitchen countertop sees the most action and suffers the most abuse. Because many choose the material to use for these countertops based on how beautiful they look, there’s a real chance that the countertop that they end up with isn’t up to your needs.

From a granite to a quartz kitchen countertop, here is a comparison of all the most popular countertops available. Salt Lake City experts look into all the pros and cons of these different materials to help you choose.


This is the most affordable material. Apart from its low price, it’s also very easy to install. Where it was once derided for looking cheap, it has improved in terms of style and design over the years.

They are also fairly durable for the price — able to resist much better. The downside of laminate is that it can scuff and scratch easily. This builds up over time and can make your countertop look worn and older.


One of the most beautiful things about granite is that each slab is unique as it comes from truly natural sources. It’s far more effective at resisting heat, scratches, and scuffs that laminate is.

When sealed properly, its different types of finishes resisted stains fairly well. The material can get costly depending on the rarity of the design, and you do need to constantly reseal to make sure stains don’t build up.


Blue kitchen countertopAnother heat resistant material, marble also brings a natural stone kind of look without any of the grains and veins that other stone options display. It’s just as effective as most at resisting heat, although some staining can occur when exposed to prolonged heat. The disadvantage of this material is that it collects cuts and scratches, and you need to sand them down finely to fix those scratches.


What makes the quartz kitchen countertop in Salt Lake City quite a popular option is that it emulates the look natural stone materials without needing the heavy maintenance. It’s a very strong and sturdy material that resists heat, staining, scratching, and nearly all forms of damage.

If there is one vulnerability to quartz, it’s that it can chip in the edges and corners. You can deal with this by applying rounded edges.

Recycled Glass

Apart from being very environmentally friendly, the scattered shards lend to this material a very contemporary and artistically modern look. If the glass is ground more finely, it also looks just as pretty — glistening in the light.

It can be resistant to many things that can potentially damage it, but that depends on the quality of the manufacturing process that made the glass you use. That’s why you need to choose carefully.

Your choice of material should depend more on your needs and the volume of kitchen work more than your design preferences. You want your investment in your kitchen countertop to go the distance based on how you use it.

Balance out the options available here and find the best one for you. This should be tempered by choice of a quality, dependable provider.

The Best Towns in Bali for Expat Families

indonesia mountain

Many come to Bali for the year-round sunny climes, surf, sunsets, and nightlife. But some come to find their slice of paradise with their family in tow. If you’re one of them, you surely have a longer list of considerations and months to years of preparations to make.

To help you narrow down your search, here are some of the most family-friendly towns in Bali to put down roots:

1. North Kuta

Kuta is one of the busiest towns in Bali and is known for being the clubbing destination for foreigners. But if you look beyond the center, you’ll find a few good reasons to live there. It’s where all the action takes place. North Kuta, in particular, has some quiet villages with modern conveniences within reach. It’s also home to one of the best international schools in Bali. So you get to live in an ideal location and still give your kids high-quality education.

2. Denpasar

As the main hub and capital city of Bali, Denpasar is easily an expat’s retirement destination. But its breathtaking sunrise views, laid-back beaches, bustling center, and cultural melting pot make it attractive for families, as well. It’s also the main gateway to the island and where the old meets new, where modern buildings and shopping malls are juxtaposed with shrines, temples, and Dutch colonial buildings. You’ll not only get a taste of Balinese culture and heritage, but you’ll also get the best of city living.

3. Ubud

If your family desires a more peaceful, away-from-the-bustle kind of lifestyle, then Ubud is the perfect destination. This idyllic town is in the uplands of Bali where terraced rice paddies stretch as far as the eye can see. It also hosts some of Bali’s most significant temples and shrines. Expect to find big but affordable homes and a charming town lined with shops and cafes. More importantly, you get to live among the locals.

4. Sanur


If you’re moving to Bali for the beaches, then it’s only logical to live in Sanur – Bali’s top destination for diving and quiet coves. It’s on the east coast of the island, which means the ocean is mostly calm year-round, making it ideal for safe swimming with the kids. Not only that, house prices and rentals are much lower in this area, and it’s also near the Warmadewa University and a few world-class restaurants.

5. Seminyak

If you’re looking for a fancier place to live where you can mingle with foreigners and locals, alike, you may find Seminyak an ideal choice. The district is clean, dotted with high-end shops, museums, restaurants, and some of the best beachfront villas in Bali. Not surprisingly, many expats put up roots here or even set up shop.

Whether you’re drawn to the craziness of Kuta or the tranquil landscapes of Ubud, Bali is an island that has it all. Whichever district you and your family decide to live in, all these towns will just be a few minutes to hours away. Just make sure you choose the town that best fits your needs and desires to make your transition smooth and your move less stressful.

Ways to Cope with the Death of a Loved One

woman comforting the other who is cryingYou or someone you know might be going through a hard time due to the death of a loved one. Losing a loved one is a traumatic experience, whether or not it was expected. For anyone, coping with the tremendous feeling of loss is challenging and often seems hopeless. Each one grieves differently and must find a way to cope.

Accept what happened.

Denial is a natural response for many, but it’s never beneficial. After some time, you must find a way to accept what happened.

It’s also crucial to accept your reaction and feelings. You might feel guilty from feeling angry or frustrated with your new situation but know that these emotions, as well as exhaustion, sadness, and fear, are all normal. Everyone has a different way of processing death, so you don’t have to guess if what you’re feeling is right.

Change your inner talk from “I shouldn’t be feeling this way” to “It’s okay to feel this way because I am still adjusting.”

When you’re ready, talk about it with someone you trust.

It’s never easy to talk about how we feel, especially when the emotions are still fresh. But keeping it all bottled up inside will only lead to isolation and feelings of loneliness. It’s only natural not to want to talk to anyone about anything that had just happened at first, but you have to take the leap and open up to somebody eventually.

Talk about your feelings and thoughts to someone you trust, like your parents, siblings, colleagues, or a close friend. Some people also find it easier to talk to a psychologist because it’s sometimes easier to open up to a stranger with a fresh perspective. If you can’t talk about it, at least write about it in your journal or on a blog.

man comforting woman

Consider getting emotional pet support.

Some people also find great comfort from animals. If you like to get a pet, you can get a certificate of emotional disability and an emotional pet support letter from a licensed psychologist.

It’s great to know that even if you live in an apartment or condo, the Fair Housing Act allows you to live with your emotional support animal legally.

Do something new.

Jinna Young, a lifestyle photojournalist, found that traveling helped heal her wounds from the death of her father. In her words, “It (traveling) opened up my eyes, expanded my perspective and inspired me to continue to fight to find happiness.”

Maybe it’s picking up a new hobby or going somewhere you’ve never been. Maybe it’s reading a new book or meeting new people. Whatever it is, do something new that’s enjoyable for you and will help widen your perspective and change your focus.

In the end, the grief over the death of a loved one is a unique kind of pain. You have to be patient with yourself because the process takes time. But with the support of your loved ones and your continued effort to get support, there’s nowhere to go but up.

Concealed Carry Etiquette: Tips and Tricks

woman drawing handgun from holsterCarrying a concealed weapon is a great way to secure yourself and those around you — as long as you behave responsibly. Apart from training rigorously at the local shooting range to hone your skills, you have to understand the concealed carrying etiquette and practice it to the latter to avoid making people around you uncomfortable.

The rules to follow vary from wearing the right concealed carry clothing to keep your firearm out of sight to instructions on how to handle the weapon to avoid accidents. Here are the top things every concealed carrier must remember on a daily basis.

1. Don’t touch it if you don’t need it.

Most concealed carry people give away their status by fidgeting, adjusting or touching their holsters in public. People will notice your movement no matter how subtle they might be and know what you are doing.

This will not only make people uncomfortable since they don’t know your intentions but also give away your weapon carry status hence doing away with the so important element of surprise in case of an attack.

2. Get used to the setup before wearing it in public.

Every time you buy a new holster, gun or concealed wear clothing, you must first break it in at home before wearing the setup in public. The trial period while at home will not only help you dial in the setup or do away with it all along but also ensure that you are used to it when you step out. This will do away with the fidgeting mention above or accidental exposure of your firearm.

Person putting firearm in gun safe

3. Control your emotions or don’t carry.

Concealed carriers must be even-tempered. Rash action, impulsiveness, and anger could be catastrophic. Don’t carry your gun on days you are angered by something, are going to drink alcohol or feel unsettled.

Such states of mind not only make you a danger but also increase the chances of the firearm being directly used to harm you and your loved ones. You should also avoid highly charged areas, such as bars at late night, political rallies, and high-risk street corners. Don’t put yourself in a confrontational position just because you have a firearm.

4. Concealed doesn’t only mean ‘out of sight.’

Most people assume that concealed carrying is all about keeping the firearm out of sight. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Apart from covering it well, ensure that your firearm doesn’t draw a discernable outline against your clothing when you sit, walk or climb into a car. Choose the holster or carry clothing that best keeps such outlines out of sight.

Every time you step out of the house with a firearm, know that you can be either the solution or problem to people around you. Following the basic etiquette practices and only bringing your weapon to play when absolutely necessary will not only keep you safer but also keep the person who would have been on the other side of the gun safe.

Frequent practice at the shooting range and regular self-defense classes will help you assess the situation better hence making you a better and helpful concealed carrier.

Keep Braces on the Down Low

Orthodontic Braces

Doesn’t everyone like to be a bit mysterious sometimes? It can be quite a thrill hiding a secret from the world and even from family and close friends. After all, who wants to advertise the fact that they are wearing braces? If they are teenager, while it’s not the coolest thing to get teeth straightened, it is expected. For adults, it’s embarrassing and odd to have a mouth full of metal. Strangers feel the need to ask personal questions, or at the very least have a good stare.

Wouldn’t it be great to go incognito for teeth straightening treatment? Well, it’s possible, with, Incognito in Weybridge. These are lingual braces that fit to the back of the teeth, and so are hidden from view. Teeth straightening dentists in Surrey, such as Weybridge Orthodontics, fit lingual braces.

Who is suitable for Incognito in Weybridge? A wide range of patients. They can be used to treat children, teens or adults, and they are effective for mild misalignments as well as more complex cases.

Early renditions of lingual braces weren’t as comfortable as their front-facing counterparts. These days, lingual braces are more often custom-made for each individual patient. This is especially important for lingual devices such as Incognito in Weybridge, because while the span of the front of the teeth is similar for everyone, the back profile is unique. These bespoke braces mean that the teeth straightening dentist has a high level of control over the movement of the teeth, making them as effective as a traditional brace.

Incognito in Weybridge can be used by almost anyone, but there are particular groups who really benefit from them. Sporty folk will love them because there’s no chance of their brace getting smashed during the hustle and bustle of a game. And lingual braces are also great for brass and woodwind musicians. This is because a front-facing brace would interfere with the mouthpiece they use to play their instrument.

And, of course, anyone who wants to keep their treatment on the down low. This could be because of a high-profile job, a big occasion on the horizon, or just anyone who likes to keep a secret and stay incognito.

Take a Trip to the Dentist for Facial Aesthetics in Camden

Woman smiling

One of the emerging trends in dentistry is facial aesthetics. What is this and why are dentists involved? Don’t they deal with teeth?

Yes, they do, and this is precisely why they also offer facial aesthetics in Camden at practices such as Ace Dental. Imagine this: a patient decides that they would like to show off their smile. So, they have a couple of veneers to cover up chips, get some gum contouring to remove excess tissue and finish off with teeth whitening to really make that smile sparkle. The cosmetic dentist steps back and smiles, happy with their work.

But the patient isn’t finished. Now they have this lovely set of teeth, they want to house it in a refreshed face. Time was, a trip to the cosmetic surgeon was the only option. However, these days there are many non-surgical beauty procedures that offer a temporary lift for the facial skin. Beauty procedure? What’s that got to do with the dentist? Well, a lot as it turns out.

While beauticians and cosmetic doctors do perform these non-surgical facelifts, dentists are ideally placed to offer them. Let’s go back to that moment the cosmetic dentist steps back to admire their work. How beneficial for the patient would it be if, instead of having to go to another clinic for their facial treatment, they could stay with their dentist, who knows their medical history and has already has a good rapport with them?

This is where facial aesthetics in Camden come in. The cosmetic dentist can offer treatments such as Botox and dermal fillers to smooth out wrinkles and rejuvenate the face. Not only does this provide the patient with continuity of care, the dentist also offers a skilled, professional, medical treatment at an affordable price.

Dentists study the complex anatomy of the face for five years at dental school, and they also administer injections every day. They know exactly where to place the injection to have the most natural-looking effect. With powerful substances such as Botox, going for the natural effect is all-important.

Facial aesthetics in Camden aren’t a permanent fix in the way a surgical facelift is, but the treatments can be repeated if the patient likes the effect.

Important Things You Should Know Before Adopting a New Puppy

Cute puppy in the backyardSo, the whole family decided to get a new puppy. You are now probably looking for breeders online or planning to go to the nearest pet shop to check out some adorable puppies. While searching for the perfect pet can be fun and exciting, make sure to do your research about the breed you’re planning to adopt.

Having a Pet is a Lifetime Commitment

The first thing you need to understand is bringing home a new pet means a lot of responsibilities. From proper nutrition, daily husbandry routine to vet visits and even socializing is important to their health and wellness. As the saying goes, “all pets are forever pets.” If you cannot give them lifetime commitment, don’t adopt anything at all.

In line with this, you should prepare for daily or monthly expenses. Make sure you have enough resources to provide everything for your dogs. Other than food and supplements, you should also be ready for emergency funds. Some people even spend money for professional dog training in Utah. This is ideal for first time dog owners who are having a hard time teaching basic commands. It is also a good recreational activity for your pets.

Providing Proper Nutrition

Puppy with plate in front of himThis is one of the most crucial aspects when having a pet at home. The food and supplements you should give to your dog depends on many factors. This includes the breed, size and weight, age, and medical condition. For puppies age 2 to 5 months old, you may still need to provide milk. Keep in mind however that most dogs are lactose intolerant. To be safe, use puppy milk replacer products. Goat’s milk is another good alternative.

For bigger or heavy breeds such as English Bulldogs, Great Dane, Bull Mastiff, and German Shepherds, consider giving calcium supplements. These breeds are prone to bone or joint disorders such as hip dysplasia. Regular exercise is also important to improve their posture.

Other supplements you should offer are essential fatty acids or omega-3 and multivitamins. This will help strengthen their immune system, boost their appetite, and keep their skin and coat shiny and healthy.

As much as possible, choose high-quality dog food for your pets. Today, many breeders and dog owners are switching to an organic grain-free diet. This helps with weight management and can also prevent mites, which is one of the main causes of skin problems.

Socializing with your Pet

Another important thing you should always remember is that dogs love to socialize. Make sure you have time to play or bond with them. Otherwise, they may develop fearfulness in the future. They can also be too reactive or aggressive towards other dogs and even humans.

Simple things like walking them to the park or bathing them can boost their mood. You can also look for social groups online. Most of the time, they organize a walk and meetups with their furry friends. This can be a good recreational activity for them. Meet other responsible dog owners and get advice about the pet’s health and wellness.

These are just some of the things you should know before getting a new puppy. Again, always do your research and be familiar with their needs.

Emerging Trends in the Global HVAC Industry

Air conditioning

With energy costs on the rise, the HVAC industry is not alone in implementing new technologies and features to reduce the impact on the environment. Not just that, consumers are also able to do their bit and save money at the same time. Even small air-conditioning companies in Riverview, Florida are working on implementing the latest technologies to help customers in their area to stay comfortable while saving money. Here’s a look at some of the current trends in the HVAC market, which are hugely impacting energy use and comfort.

Current heating and cooling trends

Motion-activated AC: Really cool, this modern design uses sensors attached to aluminum rod that are suspended from the ceiling. The way it works is that the air conditioner kicks in only when people are in a room. Motion-activated air conditioners are not only compact but also great for reduced usage and lower costs.

Ice-powered air-conditioning units: These units work off frozen water. Water held in a tank is frozen overnight. Since electricity demand is lower at night, consumers save money during the day. Such equipment, with the right amount of tweaking, can provide ample cooling during the hottest hours of the day.

Thermal air conditioning: This technology is still in the development phase. Air-conditioning units powered by this technology use solar panels and, as a supplement, natural gas. This improves efficiency and also provides effective cooling by eliminating electricity costs altogether.

Heating trends that could save money and reduce carbon footprints

eco friendly home

Dual fuel using heat pumps: Heat pumps are most efficient when they work on technology powered by two types of fuel: a gas-powered furnace and an electric heat pump. During low temperatures, gas heat is used by pumps for maximum efficiency. If the temperature is higher than 35 degrees, electric heating kicks in. The initial installation costs are a bit high compared to conventional heating, but savings over a few years into the future can definitely make up the difference.

Geothermal heating: These pumps tap directly into the earth’s energy via an underground pipe (looped), which absorbs heat and distributes it in a home. These pumps also provide hot water for free. Again, it costs big bucks to install a pump of this type but offers huge savings over time.

Heated floors: Electric wiring or water pipes under a floor can offer unparalleled warmth and comfort. Radiant heat put out by a floor heating system increases energy efficiency by at least 30% compared to a conventional one.

Ductless HVAC: Conventional HVAC systems use ducts to supply heating or cooling to a home. The uses of ductless systems are so efficient that they save 40% or more in heating and cooling bills. Installation is unobtrusive and simple.

Home automation: Smart homes and the use of the Internet of Things (IoT) is the new reality. Most home appliances and other products powered by IoT have already led to substantial energy savings. Homebuilders and appliance manufacturers have already started to incorporate systems, making it so easy that a smartphone can be used to turn appliances and other gadgets on and off in a home from any location in the world.

All in all, technology is changing our lives. Its impact can be felt. We can feel the impact in the places we visit and inhabit, along with the pocketbook.

How to Keep Your Greenhouse in Great Condition

woman in a greenhouse

Now that you’ve finally built your dream greenhouse and have been using it for all your gardening chores. It has been a great shelter for all your plants and veggies so far, but if you wish to maximise its use and life, you should think about proper care and maintenance as well. Greenhouses are a wonderful amenity for gardeners but as with any outdoor structure, they’re also prone to wear and tear.

As an owner, you must keep it in tip-top shape so you can benefit from it even after the growing season. Here are some tips and reminders on how you can take good care of your greenhouse.

Autumn cleaning

The autumn breeze is a sign that your plants need the warmth and protection of your greenhouse. Before you take them in, know that it’s also a sign that the glass shelter needs a deep clean.

First, bring your plants, pots, supplies, and tools outside so you can run a thorough cleaning of your greenhouse. Scrub the windows and wash the flooring. Free the paths and bricks from dirt and debris. Get rid of pests and their eggs from the surfaces.

Once the interiors are clean, wipe the glazing from the outside until it’s spotless. Don’t forget to clean the drains and gutters. Clean the pots and tools before you take them inside.

Maintenance check

Take time to check the different parts of the structure for potential damage. Windows and door panes are particularly prone to damage so always check their condition. Broken glass is another common problem that needs immediate action.

In case there is damage, ask your supplier if they can provide you with the greenhouse part that you need. When damages are not repaired immediately, your plants may suffer and it may lead to other structural problems.

Spring cleaning

woman in a greenhouse

When spring comes, your greenhouse will again need some cleaning. Remove moulds, mildew, algae, and fungi on the shelves and benches. Pluck out weed and unwanted plants in and around the structure. Sweep dried leaves and debris. Let the light in by removing the winter cover. To bring your greenhouse back to life for the new season, thoroughly clean the glass parts inside and out.

Roofing replacement

Greenhouse roofs usually become dirty and dark due to the accumulation of debris and the growth of moulds. This happens in both plastic and fibreglass roofing. The problem with this is it minimises the amount of sunlight that enters the shelter.

If you think that cleaning the roofing is not the most practical option, consider buying a new one. Just talk to a greenhouse parts supplier and while you’re at it, ask about their replacement service as well.

Keeping your greenhouse in good working condition is easier than you think. All you need is the basic know-how and a little bit of patience in cleaning and checking its condition on a regular basis. Greenhouse maintenance may require some time, but it’s all worth it if you’re truly passionate about gardening. Take good care of your greenhouse and for sure, it will take good care of your plants.


Three Top Safety Reminders for Garage Door Owners in America

White garage doorThis is a wake-up call to all homeowners in America who uses a garage door daily. You should pay attention to the results of a report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission’s National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS). It turns out garage doors are the cause of about 15,000 emergency consults in the United States in a year. Injuries from a garage spring repair gone awry in Provo can be serious enough to require hospitalization and additional rehabilitation. How can you protect yourself and your family from such incidents?

1. Never put aside signs of potentially disastrous problems

Safety sensors are there to ensure your safety. When you wake up one day, and the sensors seem to be misbehaving, do not put that aside. It won’t do anyone good if you keep neglecting a malfunction. When a person or an animal walks under the door, he or she must have the confidence that it will hold itself up. A door that does not reverse when you block the beam with a broom to test it is a disaster waiting to happen. Do not invite disaster. Instead, report the problem immediately.

2. Regular maintenance keeps you safe

Repairman fixing a garage doorOlder doors may already be running on empty. That is, the springs that work the door may already be nearing the end of their lifespan. A well-built door will serve your family for many years. Nevertheless, it is a machine that is subject to physical laws, and all machines wear out eventually. When torsion springs wear out, they may not show signs early on. In some instances, the only sign of a problem is breakage, and a door that refuses to close, or a door that suddenly crashes down into the ground. Regular maintenance will reveal signs of wear and tear that a homeowner would not be able to discern. A professional technician would be able to identify potential issues and make the necessary recommendations to avert a disaster.

3. Learn to differentiate petty concerns from large issues

In a machine with many moving parts, something can suddenly let loose, break into smaller pieces, or stop working properly. A garage door may look bulky and huge, but it is made up of many smaller parts. A well-oiled machine should not give you any problems, but anything that falls to neglect, or is not fully understood can be a disaster in the making. Protect your family with updated and relevant safety information about your garage door.