Purchasing a new home requires that you remodel it by making slight changes to suit your preference and taste. Contrary to what many believe, remodeling your home can be less overwhelming and affordable just like with NJ home remodeling. You only need to plan well.
Perhaps the best way to go about it is to identify the areas you need to work on. It may be necessary to identify the areas that are of great concern to you. Such can be windows, additional insulation, doors and siding. These are certainly the obvious areas that are prominent. Although working on these areas may cost you extra money, investing in them will be beneficial in the long run.
Remodeling your home does not need to be an expensive undertaking. You need to plan to buy all that you will need well in advance, giving yourself ample time to watch out for sales bargains. It is not necessary that you buy all that you will need at a go; buy different pieces or items when you have the opportunity to do so. The amount of money you will be able to save can be very attractive.
The other great way to remodel your home cost effectively is to make use of items at your disposal. There certainly are items that you will not need to buy. A close look around the house should reveal items or pieces that you can use for remodeling. Remodeling your home actually gives you the opportunity to apply the three “Rs” – reuse, renew and recycle.
Just like with home remodeling elsewhere, remodeling your home may mean buying new furniture. Depending on your taste and preference, you need to carefully choose the type of furniture to buy. Note that choosing the right furniture can transform your house in a great way. This is perhaps the best time to ask yourself whether you need to spend a lot on your floor and wall or in appliances and wall accessories.
One great way to remodel your home cheaply is to break all the areas you need to work on. This gives you the opportunity to work on one project at a time. However long it takes, doing so eventually leaves your home a comfortable place to relax in. Apart from the house, you will need to pay attention to the external surrounding. Appropriate landscaping and plants will bring in the natural feel into your home.
After spending hours poring over vacation packages I have finally settled on one of the Kenya safari packages. I have realized that this is going to be the best bang for my buck as well as a life changing trip.
So many of my friends have dreamed about being able to go to Paris and see the Eiffel Tower or to London to see Big Ben. Though those are all beautiful spots to visit, I knew it wasn’t for me. I am more of an outdoor person. I didn’t want a vacation that was going to be congested with people and traffic. I spoke to my travel agent and told her what I wanted. The first thing she suggested was a Kenya safari package. She explained that it is an all inclusive trip that wouldn’t break my budget. She also told me about the beautiful sights there that I could see. The thought of driving around in a Jeep, with no roof, and seeing giraffes and elephants in their natural habitat, really appealed to me. I could complete envision myself on this type of an exciting trip. I ended up booking online so as to save money. I found a great website to help me and it was very informative. It explained everything from getting a malaria shot before I leave to making sure I had my passport before leaving the house. It told me the type of clothes to bring and a checklist of necessities. I can honestly say that booking the trip through an online service is the best decision I’ve ever made while choosing a vacation package. These people knew all about the hidden gems in the area and suggested many different excursions for me. It was an eight day trip that I will never forget. If you would like information, please visit ETAfrican Journeys.com.
Water is an important part to the functioning of a home that many people don’t think twice about. Most homes in the United States have what is known as hard water. Hard water contains a lot of minerals and can leave residue and film on many products like clothes and hair and dishes. In addition, hard water is plain and simply hard on the home. It can wear down appliances much more quickly, leaves stains on tubs and toilets and dries out hair and skin. In addition it can make soap and detergents lose it’s effectiveness since it is not fully able to dissolve in hard water. This means that more and more soap is required to do the same job and cause a variety of other problems. For this reason and many others, many people are choosing to install a Kinetico water softener in their home to deal with the hard water problem.
A water softener is designed to do exactly what the name implies and that is to soften the water in a home. The minerals found in normal tap water is what makes water hard. These minerals aren’t necessarily always harmful to consume or have around but can cause problems because the levels of these minerals can vary on a daily or weekly basis. In order to solve this problem, the calcium and magnesium need to be removed from the water. This is done with the help of a water softener system. A water softener exchanges the minerals for something else and it is usually sodium and done through an ion exchange. Beads are put into a mineral tank and as the hard water goes through the system the minerals cling to the beads and sodium replaces them.
If one is sick of their hard water, it is a good idea to consider installing a kinetico water softener to help solve this problem in their home.
Ethan was invited by his sponsors, Mapex and Zildjian to perform at the prestigious China Drumfest 2009 in Beijing on 24th July. It was truly a privilege as Ethan got to perform alongside China’s top professional drummers and internationally acclaimed drummers such as Brady Blade (Dave Matthews Band), Cindy Blackman (Lenny Kravtiz) and his all time favourite, Akira Jimbo. Ethan got the event started by playing Galatic Funk, The Continental Way and a drum solo featuring his newly picked up left foot clave which he picked up from ‘Uncle Akira’. The enthusiastic crowd was very supportive as they watched this kid from Singapore do his thing. At the end of the event, the crowd queued up for autographs and pictures with the drummers. It was really funny as Ethan had just developed his autograph that afternoon in preparation!
Waiting for sound check….calm before the storm…
Letting the reality sink in…performing with famous international drummers (see his picture on the lower left corner of the billboard?)
That’s me! (While in the green room, Ethan spotted his photo in Z-Time 2009 – Zildjian’s Annual Magazine
Take it away, Ethan!
Akira Jimbo – Wowing the crowd!
(L-R) Brady, Ethan and Akira holding up their autograph postcards
This is like manuscript practice, but a whole lot more fun!
Drummers posing for a picture after a hard day’s work
In August 2008, Ethan took part in the China-wide Youth Talent Competition organised by the Ministry of Culture, and aced the drum section with a score of 97.4 from 5 judges. He clinched the Gold Medal Award to become China’s Junior Drum Champion (6-12 years old)!
Version 1: Daddy’s shoulders, palms, and lap (a.k.a. daddy custom)
Yup, that’s right. Ethan’s first ever drum set was the ever present, ultra mobile shoulders of mine. During church services (especially the fast paced songs), Ethan would readily bounce along in my arms and drum on my shoulders when he was somewhere between the age of 1 to 2. Before long, we noticed that he had a very natural sense of rhythm and was rather precise in his groove and crashes (on the “cymbals”). Needless to say, he looked forward to every worship service!
During the weekdays, Ethan would drum on my lap and palms whether we were in the car or on the MRT. We would either be listening to music from the car stereo or I would be singing, with him drumming along to practically any tune or groove.
Version 2: Milo/ Neslac Tins, pot and pans and what have you
Naturally, Ethan started to source out every container he could lay his hands on and started to create his own rhythms on tins, pots, pans and boxes (yes, he was actually more interested in the boxes his toys came than the toys themselves). Armed with his very own pair of “Ethan Signature Series” disposable chopsticks, he drummed along to songs primarily from Hillsongs Australia (Christian Praise and Worship songs commonly referred to nowadays as Contemporary Christian Music).
Even when we visited our relative’s homes, they would actively display some of their pots and pans for Ethan to drum when we visited. Despite the noise that this created, they were always supportive of Ethan’s emerging talent.
Version 3 – 6: Toy Drum Set(s)
We decided before he turned two, that it was time Ethan got his first toy drum set. We used some of the Toys ‘R’ Us vouchers which my colleagues gave (for his 2nd Birthday gift) to purchase a toy drum set. Though this was a bare bones drum, he took to it like a fish in water. Since the drum had only 2 toms and a cymbal, he used the rims of his right tom as the hi-hat. With this basic set up, his drumming really started to take on a definite shape and form. It was also during this time that Ethan started to watch “Live Worship” VCDs from Hillsongs. He could literally sit in front of the TV and drum away everyday (for hours on occasions). Being made of relatively cheap plastic, the drum set didn’t last very long (especially with the long hours of practice) and Ethan went through about 4 of these drum sets. After that, we convinced ourselves that it made economical sense for us to invest in a drum set that was less “disposable” in nature.
Version 7: Our 3-Seater Sofa (a.k.a. softest drum set in the world)
The more Ethan watched drummers (be it TV or in church) perform, the more he realised that his toy drum set somehow didn’t look like the real thing. It lacked the snare, some toms and quite a few cymbals. The fact that he was now watching drum videos by Akira Jimbo/ Modern Drummers also heightened his awareness of a significant between the set up of his own toy kit and the “real thing”. Being the creative child that he is, he started to re-arrange the cushions on our 3-seater sofa in a very precise fashion to simulate the set up of a drum kit. Having said that, we lost our ability to use our sofa for quite a long while as any attempt to use the sofa for what it is (to sit on!) was met with a rather emphatic response from Ethan. After all, we were messing up his “drum set”. This situation was not sustainable and we decided that it was time to equip him to another level…plus we wanted to have our sofa back!
Version 7: Yamaha DD-55 (Electronic Drum Pad)
Other than the reasons mentioned above, another limitation of the toy drum/ sofa “drum set” was the lack of pedals. We felt that the next phase of Ethan’s drumming development should be the kick drums, since his grooves were now consistent and steady. The decision that lay ahead was whether to get a true blue acoustic drum set or an electronic drum pad/ set. We decided on the Yamaha D-55 Electronic Drum Pad as it offered the much needed volume control. Additionally, the drum pad was much more affordable compared to an acoustic set…after all, Ethan was still very young (3+) and we didn’t want to fork out a huge investment and then have him change his mind on drumming (parents will testify that this is a very common trend amongst young kids taking up instruments/ hobbies). In any case, Ethan’s 2002 Christmas present was settled!
Version 8: Tama Stagestar
As Ethan’s drumming progressed, we started to expand his cymbals set. We added a Paiste 502 18″ Ride and a Sabian 10″ HH Splash. In October 2005, Ethan received a set of Zildjian ZXT from the Zildjian’s Asia Pacific Marketing Manager (Kim) – such a wonderful gesture and blessing! The most amazing this is this – on the same day we received the kind offer from Kim, we discovered that Ethan’s Paiste 402 crash had developed a crack – talk about God’s wonderful provision once again!
After countless checks on reviews and recommendations, we decided on the Yamaha Manu Katche Hipgig junior. The tone was beautiful and the kick drum had oomph indeed. Very hard to imagine when you first set eyes on it as it is only 16” in diameter (the size of many regular floor toms).
We had initially thought of using it for busking. But we changed our minds and decided to keep it nice and pristeen at home, and leave the Tama Stagestar to rough it out on the streets!