Provide Cool Bird Houses & The Birds Will Follow!

One of the first signs of spring is the welcome return of all the birds that flew away to spend winter in a warmer climate. If you are a backyard bird enthusiast who enjoys spending hours observing your colorful feathered friends, you know that making them feel welcome will increase your viewing pleasure over the coming summer.

One easy way to encourage birds to nest, incubate and rear their young in your yard is to supply them with bird houses and appropriate, readily-available nesting materials:

What Birds Want from Bird Houses

Whether ordering really cool bird houses online or building one of your own design, always consider the following needs:

  • The bird house must be durable and able to resist wind and rain
  • The interior should have some type of drainage holes to allow any rain that blows in to drain away easily
  • Perches should be omitted to make the birdhouse less accessible to predators
  • The interior should be easily accessed for cleaning each fall after the birds have moved away
  • It should be properly sized and situated according to the needs of the particular bird species it is meant to house

Nesting Materials

While most birds are very good at collecting their own nesting materials, offering them a supply of the ones they like can increase the chances of having them nest where you will be able to observe them easily. The following list will help you know what to provide:

  • Small, dry twigs and pine needles
  • Loose animal and human hair, cut into six inch strands (never include hair or fur that has been treated with chemicals or flea repellants)
  • Snake skins that have been shed
  • Bits of moss and fluff from weeds or plants (like cattails or pampas grass)
  • Fine straw and dry grass clippings (never include these if your lawn is treated with chemicals or weed killers)
  • Spider webs
  • Bits of fabric, thread clippings and shreds of cardboard
  • A small muddy area where birds can easily collect mud to help “glue” the nest together

Encourage nesting birds to help themselves to this nest-building buffet by placing small caches of these materials at several heights throughout the backyard. Place handfuls among dense tree branches, in hollow spots of tree trunks, at ground level around the roots, place some around the yard in clay pots or put some into mesh onion bags and hang the filled bags from trees or on the fence.

Making Nesting Birds Feel Safe

In addition to supplying attractive bird houses and suitable nesting materials, nesting birds will be more apt to choose your yard if the threat from predators is reduced. Promote a safe environment for them by keeping dogs and cats out of the yard. In addition to domesticated pets, squirrels, rodents and snakes also like to feast upon the eggs and young of wild birds, so be vigilant in keeping these pests away from your yard during the nesting season.

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Tips For The New Coin Collector

If you are new to coin collecting and want to make sure that you are giving your collection the best chance possible to survive, it will take compiling the right information. Owning a coin collection is not only fun and worthy of a sense of accomplishment, you’ll also be maximizing on an investment by taking the collection in the way that makes sense to you. In order to protect your hobby and investment, while learning about the best protocol that comes wit the territory, read the following information:

Avoid Contamination Through The Proper Handling

Anyone who has at least a solid appreciation for coin collecting knows that a big part of maintenance comes in how you handle your coins. For starters, you’ll need to be sure that you use gloves whenever possible and hold any coin by the edge, while making sure that you are wearing cotton gloves.

This will prevent any sorts of smudges or acid from getting its way and chipping away at the coin. You will also need to be certain that you are always using a trustworthy magnifying glass, so that you can look closely at the coin without compromising its integrity by getting too close. 

Get A Clear Picture Of The Coin Value

Without a clear representation of what each of your coins is worth, you really don’t have much of anything. Because of this, you will need to subscribe to either an online or print manual that gives you the most recent information on different types of coins. Even if you are into your coin collection strictly for the history and not necessarily the money, it still pays to know what your property is worth. 

Go Through The Proper Channels For Insurance 

Since you take your coin collection serious, you’ll need to also take the next step and make sure that you reach out to a company that can sell you a plan to insure the collection. Whether you stake out a plan strictly for your coin collection, or want to find out about adding your coin collection to your renter’s insurance or homeowner’s insurance, the necessity to protect this investment is vital. This way, you will be covered for your troubles should your coin collection become stolen or lost throughout the course of building it. 

Follow these critical tips, so that you can continuously build the best coin collection to your liking, while also maintaining it. For more information, contact a company like Don’s Estate Jewelry & Coin to learn more.

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5 Tips For Saving Money On Dishes For Your Wedding

If you are in the midst of planning a wedding, you have probably noticed that even the small costs of your event can really add up. One added expense that you might not have thought about is paying for the dishes, cutlery and glassware that your guests will use, but many venues do require that you provide these things. Although you might be afraid that it will cost you a lot of money, consider these tips for saving money on dishes for your wedding.

1. Consider Renting

Companies that offer party rentals and wedding supplies often rent out dishes, flatware and glassware for these events. Renting will be much cheaper than buying, and there’s a good chance that you won’t have to worry about washing the dishes, either. This can cut out a lot of work and can be far cheaper than buying dishes.

2. Try Plastic

You might think that plastic dishware is a bit tacky for a wedding, but it doesn’t have to be. Obviously, you don’t have to use the same disposable plates that you would use at a backyard barbecue; there are glass-looking options that look very classy but that are available for a fraction of the price. Plus, you can save on labor and cleanup costs because you can simply throw everything away after the event.

3. Head to a Thrift Store

Many thrift stores sell plates, glasses and more at very low prices. You obviously probably won’t be able to find a matching set, but a fun, mixed-and-match look can be a lot of fun and might work just fine with your wedding. Start scoping out the options at your local thrift stores and yard sales; you might be surprised by what you can find.

4. Use Your Own

If you are hosting a small wedding or have a lot of dishware, consider bringing your own stuff to the venue to use for your wedding. You should be prepared for a few accidents, so don’t bring along your beloved, inherited china, but this can be a good cost-saving option. You can also ask your friends and family members if they will allow you tot borrow some of their dishes for your big event.

5. Buy Used

Start scouring the local classified listings to look for used options. There might be a bride nearby who is looking to sell the dishes from her wedding, or you may be able to score a great deal from a restaurant that is going out of business or upgrading.

Dishes can be costly when you’re buying for your entire wedding. Luckily, one of these tips can help you save quite a bit of money while still acquiring the dishes that you need for your big event.

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What Are Some Of The Benefits Of Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are made by placing a small bulb inside a large piece of Himalayan salt and attaching it to a base. The bulb is connected to an electrical cord that plugs into any standard wall outlet easily. For many years Himalayan salt has been used for various health benefits. Himalayan salt lamps create natural negative ions in the atmosphere.

This helps reduce the amount of positive ions that are created by televisions, vacuums, air conditioners and other appliances. Balancing the negative and positive ions in your home can help improve your overall health. These are some of the benefits that Himalayan salt lamps provide:

Cleaning Indoor Air 

The natural purification of Himalayan salt improves the quality of the air indoors. It helps remove germs and other pollutants that can cause indoor air to have a stale, unpleasant odor. Air fresheners tend to only mask those stale odors, but  if buy a Himalayan salt lamp, you’ll find it actually helps remove them.

As you use your Himalayan salt lamp, you will begin to notice that the air smells fresher and cleaner. Within only a short time of using these lamps on a daily basis, the air inside your home will be substantially cleaner and healthier to breathe.

Fewer Allergy Symptoms 

Many people suffer from severe allergies or upper respiratory infections. These often occur due to the dust, bacteria and other toxins that float through the air inside the home. However, since the Himalayan salt lamp has the ability to help remove these toxins from your indoor air in your home, you and your family members may be ill less frequently.

Relieves Stress 

Himalayan salt lamps also create a beautiful ambience in any room. This helps improve the mood and relieve stress naturally. These lamps have been used to help those with depression and anxiety have a calmer, more content frame of mind. 

Those who have babies, young children and elderly people in their home find these lamps especially beneficial. The calming affect of Himalayan salt lamps help people of all ages keep a more peaceful mood and deal with even stressful situations at home more easily.

Himalayan salt is also used in other products such as bath crystals and cooking products. It is perfect for soothing sore muscles and helping you relax by soaking in a bathtub with a small amount of Himalayan salt added to the water. Himalayan salt is also a healthier, more natural alternative to table salt that is safer for those who have high blood pressure. 

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How To Shop For An Engagement Ring (Without Breaking The Bank)

Weddings are times of joy, but they can also be extremely stressful due to the monetary strain they put on the happy couple. With paying for the venue, dress, food, and floral arrangements, the ring can end up seeming like just another expense to deal with. If you’re looking for an engagement ring but don’t have an unlimited budget, then here are some tips to help you get the ring of your dreams — without paying an arm and a leg for it.

Tip #1: Set a Budget

The number one trick to not going over budget is to actually set one — it doesn’t matter if the number’s decided on over text, on paper, or through a verbal agreement, but make sure both you and your partner are well aware of exactly where the red line is.

Sure, the standby is 2 months salary, but that’s not a hard and fast rule — whether you go over or under that depends on your (and your partner’s) salaries, as well as what you’re willing to spend. Once your budget is set, it’s time to start looking.

Tip #2: Look High and Low

Mama was right — you’d better shop around. You might hit gold at your first stop, but it’s unlikely, and it’s a good idea to get a sense of the market mean before you decide what is a good deal and what is not. Visit the different shops in your area, and hit some out-of-town retailers online.

You may wonder: what about getting your ring fixed and polished? Sure, the convenience of living next to the place you bought your ring at may seem like a good enough reason to spend a little extra locally, but unless you’re planning on living in the same place for the rest of your life, it’s not necessary. There are plenty of stores out there that will clean your ring. What’s important is to love the ring you have.

Tip #3: Don’t Bother With Perfection

You’ve heard the saying about shooting for the moon and landing among the stars, but did you know it holds true for diamond shopping as well as life? You may be tempted to only go for diamonds that are flawless in clarity and are rated a D (the most colorless) in color, but you don’t need to.

Lots of diamonds that aren’t perfect in ratings will be “eye-perfect,” meaning that no one looking at them will be able to tell the difference between your not-flawless-but-cheaper gem and a technically perfect diamond. Look at the diamonds first, then ask for their rating once you find one you like — you’ll get an eye-perfect diamond at a much lower price. For more tips, contact a company like B And A Jewelers.

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Three Ways To Assemble A Budget-Friendly Fashion Wardrobe

If you’re looking to transform your wardrobe from frumpy to chic, there are ways to do so without going broke. Develop your own unique fashion style, then mix and match your apparel to stretch your wardrobe and your dollar. Knowing how to accessorize can maximize your existing wardrobe and make you look in vogue.

Your Budget-Friendly Boutique Wardrobe

Shopping at your favorite fashion boutique doesn’t necessarily have to mean spending lots of money. Rather than buying a new outfit for every day of the week, why not choose one or two accessories to make your existing outfits seem new and exciting? Also, shop at a consignment fashion boutique or second-hand clothing boutique. To get you started in the right direction, follow these three guidelines:

1. Develop Your Own Style

Every fashion-conscious lady should strive to be an “original”. Rather than emulating your favorite celebrity or matching your best friend’s wardrobe piece by piece, do your own thing. Start by choosing outfits that accentuate your best features and complement your figure. The most gorgeous outfit won’t do anything for you if it doesn’t fit properly.

Clothing that is too large or baggy could make a woman look frumpy or out of place. Try on that new dress or sweater, step in front of the mirror and be your own fashion critic. If it doesn’t feel like “you”, find something that does. You’ll know it’s right by how it makes you feel.

2. Understand the Concept of Mix and Match

While most women dream of owning a different outfit for every day of the month, buying a new entire fashion wardrobe is not always possible when on a budget. There is a way to achieve the same effect and look new and exciting each and every day. Maximize what you have by pairing your existing blue jeans with two or three tops or sweaters in various colors. That tired old denim skirt you haven’t worn in ages can feel new again by teaming it with an exciting western style hat or gorgeous new boots.

Browsing your favorite boutique, you’ll find many opportunities to spruce up an otherwise humdrum wardrobe. Choose a new pair of shoes that will look great with at least two or three of your existing outfits. Choose a new handbag that will complement several of your dresses. Even an inexpensive new scarf can dress up an entire wardrobe.

3. Shop at the Second-Hand Bargain Boutique

If you want to look fashionable but can’t afford shopping at the upscale boutique, there is a solution. Consider a used clothing boutique where you may find chic apparel at a fraction of the cost. Many secondhand clothing boutiques offer previously owned designer clothing that is in “like-new” condition. This may allow you to buy four or five outfits for the price of just one at retail.

If second-hand boutiques aren’t your thing, try a factory outlet boutique. Closeout specials and everyday discounts will allow you to expand your wardrobe at reasonable prices. Designer outlets exist in most major cities, so get shopping and save.

In conclusion, think ahead and don’t buy on impulse. Remember, looking like you’ve stepped out of a boutique doesn’t have to mean spending a fortune. Be a savvy shopper and love your wardrobe.  (For more information on women’s boutique, contact Foxy Lady Siesta Key)

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3 Things You Didn’t Know About Legos

Legos have likely been a part of your life since you were a kid. From the large toddler-friendly Legos to the tiny minute building blocks that challenge your imagination, Legos have been a part of your toy collection for as long as you can remember. Not only is this toy iconic and fun for nearly everyone, it has a pretty cool history and stakes claim to odd facts as well. Celebrate your favorite toy, and learn 3 cool things you didn’t know about these colorful connecting blocks.

Legos have gone custom

You can buy custom lego minifigures for sale to make your collection truly unique. You can create a ‘Minifig’ of your own, choosing the facial expressions, clothing, and even little sayings you can have emblazoned on your characters. Lego has even gone haute couture, so your little custom Lego friend can be at the top of fashion at all times with trendy clothing styles. All you have to do is click through your options online to create the perfect Minifig to play with.

A single Lego piece is worth thousands

If you think you are a crazy Lego collector, guess again. An avid fan of Legos spent $15,000 on a Avohkii Mask of Light platinum piece from the brand’s discontinued Bionicle line. The piece is one-of-a-kind,lending to its high expense. The owner of the piece is considered to be one of the most successful collectors of this rare and highly demanded Bionicle Lego collection. This single Lego piece is the most expensive one ever sold to date.

Legos are old

If you remember playing with these colorful building blocks as a kid, there’s good reason. Legos have been around since 1932, ever since Danish carpenter Ole Kirk Christiansen invented them in their wooden version with his young son. Christiansen named the iconic toys ‘Leg godt’, which translates to ‘play well’ when the little toys were first introduced to market in 1934. The plastic Legos were first introduced in 1958 after a massive fire wiped out all the wooden series, and surprisingly, all modern Legos can still connect with classic plastic ones from back in the day.

Whether you enjoy these plastic building blocks for the sheer joy of innocent fun, or you are a massive collector of your own, Legos are a fun and quirky piece of toy history that you can enjoy learning more about. Use these fun facts about Legos to grow your own curiosity or to share with your other Lego-loving friends.

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