More Home Improvement Tips for Everyone!

There are several ways to enhance the overall look of your home. While this can be fun and exciting, especially for new couples who just moved in, planning ahead of time is important to avoid costly mistakes. Here are some tips you can follow to help you achieve the best possible results:

TIP #1: Choose a theme

Everything starts with bright ideas and great vision; then slowly, you can establish your goals. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box. Just jot down everything you see in home magazines or online. From there, you can modify or improvise these ideas. Basically, choosing the overall theme for your home is about your lifestyle and personality—from exterior painting colors to interior decorations, you need to be consistent with the details and fixtures you want to add. The more challenging part is how to execute the plan.

TIP #2: Create a symmetry

As mentioned above, everything you add or replace is crucial. The key here is to create a perfect symmetry. This means every detail should complement each other. For example, adding proper lighting and front-door accents should make the entryway more welcoming. One way to achieve this is to use lantern-style scones in every corner to guide your guests to the door. You can also match this with urns or planters to add more style.

TIP #3: Improve your lawn

There’s more to adding beauty to your exterior. A well-designed lawn can also maximize the unused space of your property. You can do this by adding the right plants and executing the perfect landscape project. Cover up the dead spots as much as possible. You can bring them back to life by building a greenhouse or perhaps a small vegetable garden.

TIP #4: Replace old hardware

Check every fixture and make sure everything is functioning well. This includes the lighting, doorknobs, window locks, and even your mailbox. Check the pipelines as well. Hire a professional if necessary.

These are just some of the things you can do to improve the curb appeal of your home. Again, always take your time and have a solid plan before going to the nearest home depot.

 


Posted in Uncategorized by with no comments yet.

Our Team Shares some Car Maintenance Tips to Residents

Owning a car requires a lot of responsibilities. You need to keep up with routine checkups and maintenance if you want to keep your car in good shape. With proper maintenance, you’re not only saving yourself from expensive repair costs. This also helps maintain its resale value in case you’re planning to sell it in the future. Learn some of the basics to keep your vehicle looking good and perform at its best.

  1. Choosing the best fuel type

Before gassing up, check the vehicle pump and your engine. Don’t get confused with all the gasoline-based ads and vague recommendations. Technically, not all vehicle types require using premium gasoline. Your safe bet here is to call the manufacturer to find out which specific fuel type or octane volume do you need for your car. Professional auto mechanics highly recommend sticking to a steady 87 octane for engines with low to moderate compression. While using too much octane levels won’t really affect the engine, it’s a big waste of money. So, why not save the extra cash for other important car maintenance routine?

  1. Keeping your vehicle clean

Here’s one way to spend that spare cash from fuel savings. Let’s just say you save $1 a gallon by not using premium gas. If you have a 25-galon tank, that means you’re saving around $8 to $10 with every fill-up, which is more than enough for a regular car wash service.

  1. Change oil, filters, and sparkplug regularly

It’s a big no to skip these steps. In fact, this is where you should put your investment. Regular oil change and filters can help your engine perform at its best. The same thing goes with sparkplugs. Usually, experts recommend changing your oil and filters upon reaching the 7,000 km mileage. In addition, make sure to choose quality brands. Look for reliable car parts suppliers near your area.

These are just some of the basic car maintenance routine you should not overlook. For your own safety, always consult a licensed auto mechanic.


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

Taking a Breather!

We all have to work hard to have a better future; and there’s really nothing wrong with this. It only becomes a problem when you forget about taking care of yourself. Keep in mind that health is the essence of productive life. How can you perform at your best if you’re completely burnout? So, take a timeout every once in awhile and reward yourself.

Bear in mind that you don’t really need to spend a fortune to have your well deserved break. Here are some simple ways to help you relax and unwind after a long exhausting hell week:

  1. Say no to technology

For once, stop checking your emails or any messages that are work related. In fact, you should turn off your office mobile phones. How can you enjoy yourself if you keep checking your emails from your boss or your clients? We found a useful post on Facebook about time management and technology from this SEO firm in Orange County . Take a look , it made a lot of sense. They mentioned time management strategies from books such as the 4 hour workweek.

  1. Learn to manage your time

Yes, you need to deliver everything on time to be efficient. But this doesn’t mean you need to skip your lunch break. It’s all about time management. Remember, you can’t perform at your best with an empty stomach. So, stick to your schedule and improve your work routine.

  1. Stay fit and proactive

Staying fit doesn’t mean you need to spend four hours in the gym. There are other ways to keep your body fit and healthy without draining your energy. For example, walking or cycling is a good cardio exercise. Participating in sports and other fun outdoor activities can also help reduce stress. The key here is to leave any work related stuff at the office and focus only on your plans.

  1. Pamper yourself

Nothing beats a full body massage or a complete spa treatment after work. If you have a portable bathtub at home, you can simply add essential oil or powder for a more relaxing vibe. After that, you can go to your favorite restaurant with family or friends, and grab your favorite dessert to complete your day. Now, that sounds like a well-spent weekend!

There are many other ways to relax and unwind. Again, don’t push yourself to the limit! Find some time to treat yourself every once in a while.


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

What you Should Consider when Buying a Property

Buying a property is a lot of work. In fact, the whole process can drain you—from searching for the perfect location to moving to your new home, you need to make smart decisions to avoid costly mistakes. Learn some of the key factors when buying a property and how to protect your investment in the future.

FACTOR 1: Hiring a professional service

While hiring a property manager or a real estate agent is not always necessary, this is probably your safest bet for your investment. They can help you find a house that suits your budget, and even fix all the documents needed when leasing or buying a property. Keep in mind, though that you still need to do your homework. For example, you may need to bring up the best way to buying a property through SMSF. They should know the process to protect your overall investment and prevent unnecessary risks.

 

FACTOR 2: Setting your budget

Set a realistic budget plan for your property investment. Compare your monthly income and future expenses. Know your limitations. The general rule here is to never buy a property you cannot really afford. Check your credit score, as well. This should put leverage on the properties you can purchase. Remember, buying a house is big commitment. Make sure you can settle your monthly payment on time to avoid penalty charges. Don’t forget any additional expenses such as property taxes, Mello Roos and HOA’s. These fees can substantially affect your outgoings and in some cases can be close to the cost of the home loan itself – such as in the community of Ladera Ranch in South OC .

 

FACTOR 3: Considering the location

Whether you’re looking for commercial or residential properties, location is one of the biggest factors. Accessibility and security should always be on top of your list. Take some time to observe the environment. What are the amenities they offer? Are there schools or hospitals nearby? Be familiar with the community. Are you comfortable with the neighborhood? This should help you with your decision.

These are just some of the factors you should consider when buying a property. Keep in mind that this is probably one of the biggest financial investments. It only makes sense to take your time and weigh your options.

 


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

Here are some Tips for Retail Shop Owners

In retail shops or grocery stores, you need to have a strategic inventory management. This is the best solution to keep track of your budget, profit, and other expenses. Monitoring these “figures” allows you to manage your finances more efficiently. Today, even some of the biggest corporations still make major errors with their inventory.

Learn some of the common mistakes business owners usually overlook when managing their inventory. Recently I went snow goose hunting in New York and met Captain Joe Austin, the leader of the hunt and owner of DOA Outfitters. The conversation with him about business spawned this article as he was recalling his days as owner of retail stores before setting up in the hunting business.

Accuracy is everything.

From getting the stocks to your suppliers to delivering the goods, make sure to list down everything. Double check your transaction sheets to avoid miscounts. For bigger inventories, you will need barcode labels for better accuracy. Usually, manufacturers have separate accounts for yield or scrap during and after the production.

One way to prevent miscalculation is to utilise cycle counting. This is to organise each item on a daily basis making it easier for you to track down the inventory record. You may also use advanced tools such as barcode scanning device for proper product labelling.

Too much is always bad.

Over-inventory can cause a lot of headaches. Warehouse fees and other expenses can definitely burn holes into your pockets. Your safest best is to get the right amount of stocks on a timely manner. Monitor your monthly sales before restocking. This will help you come up with decent projections of how much supply you will need. Consider other factors such as weather conditions and product timeline.

Time is valuable.

Time is the biggest investment you have; so spend it wisely. Always check your calendar and see if you’re ahead of your timeline—restocking, supply and demand forecasting, stock recounts, and other important tasks you need to accomplish.  When dealing with products, focus more on the highest selling items. Update your sales flowchart for reference.

These are some of the basics you should know when dealing with inventories. Always have a contingency plan. Hire a professional service when necessary. There are services available to train in stock rotation and general inventory management. Considering the potential for loss it’s short term pain for major long term gain.

 

Here is a useful video about inventory management.


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

Our Staff Gives some Helpful Tips Dealing with Leaking Pipes

Wondering why you’re getting higher water bills? You might want to search the whole house for broken or leaking pipes. When looking for leaks, make sure all the faucets are tightly closed. Observe the water meter—if the dial is stil moving, you are losing water somewhere in the system. To help you out, here are some useful tips suggested by  our staff:

Locating the leaking pipes

  • The easiest way to track down the leaks is to look for water stains in your house. If water is staining the ceiling or dripping down, then the leak is probably directly above. On the other hand,  if you find water stains on the wall, it means there’s a leak in a section of pipe.

 

  • Keep in mind that water may occasionally travel along a joist and could leave stains or drip at a point some distance from the leak.

 

  • You might need to remove some part of the wall to find the exact location of the leak.

 

  • For instance there is no soud of running water or no sign of drips or water stains, use a flashlight to find the leaks. Check all the pipes in the basement or just any area of the house.

 

Fixing the leak

If the leak is too strong, turn off the water source immediately from the main valve. You should also prepare yourself for pipe replacements. And unless you’re an avid handyman, it is best to hire a professional plumber. If you think the leak is still manageable, there are solutions to replace the pipe. But keep in mind that these methods may only work temporarily:

  • Sleeve clamps works perfectly with rubber blanket. You can simply wrap a rubber blanker over the leak, then seal the clamp down over the blanket. You may also use an adjustable hose clamp to prevent a pinhole leak.

 

  • When worse comes to worst, use a C-clamp and wrap it tightly with a small block of wood or a rubber blanket.

 

  • You may also apply waterproof selants around a joint to provide more pressure and to stop the leaks. Turn off the water supply, and leave the sealants until it hardens completely on the pipe. For smaller leaks, you may stop the leak temporarily by plugging it with a pencil point.

Keep in mind that following tips are just temporary solutions. It is best to look for professional plumbers to make sure your pipelines are in good condition.


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

Idyllwildlife Activities that Require Adventure Pass

  1. Fishing – Lake Fulmor located about 10 miles north of Idyllwild on Hwy 243 is stocked with trout throughout the summer and provides picnic areas with grills and trails surrounding the 2-acre lake.  (Adventure Pass Required)
  2. Lake Helmet – the largest lake in the San Jacinto Mountain area, located in Garner Valley off Hwy 74 is stocked with trout, catfish, bluegill and big mouth bass. Picnic and camping areas available. Also a waterpark and boating.(Adventure Pass Required)
  3. Hiking – There are over 275 miles of hiking trails throughout the San Jacinto Mountain range.  Trails range from casual to strenuous and provide the most breathtaking scenery and vistas in Southern California.  Maps of trails can be obtained from the Idyllwild Rangers Station at 54270 Pine Crest. For a detailed description of the many trails, visit the Chamber of Commerce.

    9

  4. Idyllwild Area Historical Society Museum – Find out how Idyllwild developed from a summer destination of Indians and ranchers, through an era of logging, to become the unique vacation village we find today.  The museum of the Idyllwild Area Historical Society is located in an original 1923 cabin at 54470 North Circle Drive (corner of Oakwood).  Admission is free.  Open 11 am – 4 pm, Thursdays-Sundays, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Open 11-4 weekends rest of year.  Also open all Monday holidays.
  5. Horseback Riding – Visit the Little Yellow Rose Ranch. Fun personalized guided trail rides – sunset and group rides available.  Located in McCall Park – Mountain Center. 951-659-0383.
  6. Mountain Biking – Mountain biking, at its best, is all about challenging trails and beautiful scenery.  Idyllwild has over 40 miles of mountain bike trails and 200 miles of dirt roads traversing the San Jacinto Mountain range.

Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

5 Things to do in Idyllwild

Idyllwild is always bustling with interesting activities for tourists and locals alike. For those more adventurous, preferring the splendor of the great outdoors, you can choose from backpacking, hiking, rock climbing, camping, horseback riding, mountain biking, fishing and boating – it’s all available in Idyllwild.  Below are highlights of the activities our mountain Village has to offer.

Adventure Pass may be required.  Parking a vehicle on Forest Service land requires the display of an Adventure or Recreation Pass. Passes may be purchased for a day, or annually, at the Forest Service office in town or at a number of local merchants.

8

  1. Boating

Lake Hemet offers boating and kayaking on this 1-1/2 mile long by ½ mile wide lake.  There’s also a water playground, camping and picnic areas available.

  1. Camping

Idyllwild has many options for those wishing to hop in the car and get away from it all.  Choose from hike-in camp sites to campgrounds with showers and full hookups.

  1. Go to Mount San Jacinto State Park

This is located within walking distance of the village and accommodates both tent and RVs. 33 campsites with restrooms, showers, fire pits with half grills, water hook ups (few with electric). RVs and trailers up to 24ft. Visitor’s Center with WiFi within 150 to 200 feet.

  1. Go to County Park 

Located a short distance from the village. Many tent and RV sites within 202 acres of forest. Seasonal creek, restrooms, showers, fire rings with half-grills and picnic tables. Hiking trails. No hookups available.

  1. Go to Hurky Creek 

In Garner Valley between Mountain Center and Lake Hemet. This year-round park is situated on 59 acres with 5 group areas and 2 day use sections. Restrooms, showers, fire rings with half grill, picnic tables and children’s playground.  Hurkey Creek flows almost all year; attracting a variety of wildlife. Hiking trails extend into the San Jacinto wilderness areas.

 

 

 


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

Recipe 101: Irish Coffee

On a cold winter night a delicious Irish coffee is a welcome treat.  Making the perfect Irish coffee is a combination of ingredients and technique.  Always start with a good quality Irish whiskey.  One of the secrets to a perfectly layered Irish coffee is using older dated cream.  If the cream is too fresh it will melt, blending with the hot coffee giving a cloudy appearance instead of gently resting on top.

Freshly brewed Coffee (regular or decaf)
Irish whiskey
Sugar Cubes
Whipping cream

Preheat Irish coffee glasses by filling with hot water. Whip heavy cream until thick yet still pourable – do not over whip. Empty the hot water and place two sugar cubes into each glass.  Add one shot of Irish whiskey – stir to dissolve sugar.  Pour hot coffee into each glass, leaving ¼ inch of space for cream. Stir once to blend coffee, whiskey and sugar together. Hold a spoon upside down over the top of the glass as you pour the heavy cream, allowing the cream to flow over the backside of the spoon and gently rest on top of the coffee. Serve and enjoy.


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.

Recipe 101: Mile High Pie

Recipe by Melissa Banks, Idyllwild
If your family loves strawberries, or any type of berries for that matter, they’re going to love this incredibly light and scrumptious dessert. Once the ingredients are whipped, the filling becomes quite voluminous, giving this pie a truly “mile-high” appearance. The pie in the photo was made with raspberries. This is one of those desserts, if there’s nobody watching, you’ll want to lick the plate.

2 Egg Whites
1 TBS Fresh Lemon Juice
1 Cup Sugar
1-10 oz. Package Frozen Unsweetened Strawberries (or Raspberries)
1 Cup Heavy Whipping Cream
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust

In a large bowl, using electric mixer, blend egg whites, lemon juice, sugar and frozen fruit (do not thaw). Beat at high speed for about 15 -20 minutes or until very thick. In medium bowl whip cream and fold into the fruit mixture. Pour into pre-made graham cracker crust (Chocolate Graham tastes best), place in freezer until firm. A half hour before serving, transfer from freezer to refrigerator for correct consistency for serving. Top pie with fresh berries. Drizzling chocolate syrup over individual pie slices when serving adds a nice touch. If there’s any pie left over, store in refrigerator. Drizzling chocolate syrup over individual pie slices when serving adds a nice touch. If there’s any pie left over, store in refrigerator.


Posted in Featured Stories by with no comments yet.