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How to save money on summer road trips

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Three easy tips to create a more natural bedroom

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But for all the farmers market-purchased food in the kitchen and goat milk soaps in the bathroom, one room that has been neglected in the quest for a more natural home is the bedroom. However, it doesn’t take very much to make the bedroom more natural or “green.9rdquo; Here are three easy and effective tips:

Can’t read it, don’t feed it: Why wild bird-lovers should choose top-of-the-crop natural feed

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Composting… The simple way to better vegetable garden soil

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The keys to an affordable home automation system

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River cruising: An easy way to explore and experience Europe

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* See Europe’s great cities: Many of Europe’s greatest cities such as Budapest, Paris, Vienna and Prague developed along the rivers because of the easy means of transportation and trade, as well as access to fresh water. That’s why river cruises can easily access so many of Europe’s cosmopolitan cities, and even quaint towns and villages which developed along the river banks. Sleek, intimate ships hosting only about 200 passengers are much smaller than ocean cruise ships, and often can dock right in the heart of town so passengers can walk right off and start exploring.

Start enjoying your deck after one day’s work

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  • Always know your deck’s surface space before heading to the store to buy stain. Don’t estimate, because nothing is more frustrating than having to stop your project because you ran out of stain - Find a handy calculator so you can get an idea of how much you might need. Make sure you also have all the necessary supplies before leaving the store.

  • Before the day you stain, examine your deck to see if there are any necessary repairs that should be done. If your deck is squeaky, it’s likely due to loose nails. Replace loose or missing nails with deck screws, as hammering a nail into the same spot won’t fix the problem.

  • Once you have all the supplies, check the weather report and pick a day that’s good for staining. Required temperatures will vary but it should set for at least 48 hours without a threat of rain.

  • Remove everything from your deck and use a wood cleaner to clean and prepare your surface. Decks that are in good condition can simply be cleaned before staining. But if your deck is peeling, has mildew growth or experiencing other surface irregularities, it’s best to strip it before staining.

  • If you’re using a waterproofing finish, you can begin staining a few hours after you prepped the surface. Quick tip: If you’re using multiple cans of stain, mix them together for color consistency and continue to stir throughout the process.

  • Work the entire length of each board and make sure you are applying evenly throughout. If you are working on a vertical surface, start at the bottom and work up to avoid streaking.

  • Take your time to do a thorough job, but make sure you use only as much stain as the directions call for. Especially when working with oil products, using too much can ruin the look of your deck.
  • It’s important to note that for larger decks, or decks that pose unique challenges such as numerous hard-to-reach areas, the process could take longer than a day. But by following these steps, you’ll ensure that your deck will be looking great in less time and with less hassle.

    Tips for managing your credit while traveling

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    For richer or poorer: Don’t let newlywed bliss turn into financial nightmare

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    “Communication is a key part of a strong marriage, and it’s also the basis for a strong financial partnership,” says Barrett Burns, president and CEO of VantageScore Solutions. “Being proactive before and planning ahead of the wedding while sticking to a financial plan will help guard against common financial mistakes that can occur early in a couple’s life together.”

    Design the perfect deck: 5 must-ask questions before you start

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    Home tech: affordable and uncomplicated ideas to add enjoyment to your home

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    Spring to it: Cleaning tips for creating a healthy home environment

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    If your cleaning routine doesn’t specifically focus on allergen removal, you may be only moving dust around, sending allergens and irritating cleaning chemicals into the air. To maximize your cleaning efforts to reduce allergens, consider these simple tips from the asthma & allergy friendly Certification Program, the healthy home initiative of the nonprofit Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA):

    The psychology of seasons: Caring for your mental health

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    Those who face this type of depression, known as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), feel a physiological response by the body to decreases in light exposure associated with the fall and winter months, according to Dr. Gary Bruss, program dean of the American School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Southern California.

    Home improvement tips that instantly lower your energy bill

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    Heating, cooling and water heating are the top three energy drains in a home, accounting for 60 percent of a home’s energy bill according to ENERGY STAR, so it’s wise to focus your home improvement efforts on those areas. A few simple steps and some strategic investments can lower your monthly bill significantly, plus you’ll reduce your carbon footprint. Here are some tips for giving your home an energy-efficient facelift: