Category Archives: Living

Your Guide to Some of Germany’s Absolute Best Restaurants

Most people don’t go to Germany to try the food, but once in the country, one’s got to eat. It’s typically within that first bite that visitors realize that “eat all the food” should be on their Germany bucket-list, right between pay respects at the Berlin wall and ogle Cologne Cathedral. German chefs know what they’re doing, and no matter if you go to a hole in the wall outside of town or a Michelin three-star establishment at the base of the Eifel Mountains, you’re bound to try some foods that will make your taste buds shiver with delight. If you’re not sure where to start your food tour, use this guide to get started.

Zum Zwiebel, Thuringia

Like anywhere else in the world, Germanys absolutely best restaurants come in all shapes, sizes, and price ranges. Zum Zwiebel happens to be one of the smaller, more affordable establishments. However, despite its hole-in-the-wall appearance, this restaurant offers large portions of traditional Thuringian fare. According to recent visitors, the food is absolutely delicious and rivals that of Michelin-rated restaurants.

Ratskeller, München

Ratskeller is one of those restaurants that looks like it SHOULD be pricey because of its vaulted ceilings, stunning murals, and elaborate stained glass windows, but in actuality, it’s on the lower end of the price scale. While not as affordable as Zum Swiebel and other local restaurants, the unique atmosphere more than makes up for the price bump. The dinner menu features typical hearty Bavarian fare, and the full bar boasts a collection of fine wines, beers, and spirits.

Gugelhof, Berlin

If you’re in country on your honeymoon, for an anniversary, or another sort of romantic getaway, you might want to treat your significant other to a dining experience a little more sophisticated than that offered by Zum Swiebel or Ratskeller. Gugelhof offers food at middle-of-the-road prices but of high-class taste. Though the menu is simple and features traditional German fare, each item is full of flavor and each bite more savory than the last. Once the meal is through, you’ll be served a Tarte Flambee, which you won’t think you have it in you to eat but which you’ll devour as easily as you did the main course. As if great food at an affordable price isn’t enough, the atmosphere is cozy, yet upscale and the staff is friendly and attentive.

Vendôme, Bergish Gladbach

Vedôme has made the top 50 restaurants in the WORLD for several years running now, a fact that many attribute to the chef’s creative take on traditional German fare. Dining at Vendôme is truly an experience, one that lasts anywhere between four and six hours, depending on when you go and how many courses are served that night. The food itself is perfection, but the setting is pretty cool too, being that it’s in a castle and all. You read that right—a castle. That said, the deposit for one person alone is more than a family of four typically spends on a meal, so be prepared to shell out some serious dough if you plan on eating at this three-star establishment.

Whether you’re looking for a quick but delicious bite to hold you over until you get to your next destination, a nice, hearty meal for the whole family, or a meal that is also a one of a kind of experience, you can find it all in Germany.

Surface Protection in Home Projects: Cover Things Up the Right Way, Right From the Start

Whether an area is being washed, painted, stained, sanded, or any other such messy task is being performed, most often these will be in areas in the vicinity of the work area that will need to be covered up and protected. Before the job even gets underway, task performers should be equipped with an ample supply of Surface protection products to make sure all areas that can be affected by the job being done have proper coverage.

Covering and protecting furniture, counters, equipment, flooring, and other areas should not be a more-or-less afterthought in this job. Improper planning and preparation in this regard could result in quite a mess later on in the project. The extra time in cleaning up unprotected areas, not to mention additional expenses that may be incurred in any unnecessary extra cleanup, can be avoided if the proper steps are taken to cover things up the right way, right from the start.

Consumers that are unsure about what their coverage needs may be, and what materials would be best for their job, should look to a company, like Trimaco, that specializes in an extensive array of job site protection products sales. Companies that focus only on selling such products carry the most superior products for all the needs the customer may have, all across the spectrum of personal and job site protection coverage.

Highly respected, leading companies in this industry feature their supreme products prominently on their easy to use website, with live chat help right there in the event any questions arise while customers look products over.

In order to make product selection very clear and easy, online catalogs should be featured on the company’s homepage. With a simple click, consumers should be able to view wide varieties of products to look at within moments. Such online catalogs should feature such needed items as:

  • Heavy-duty protection for surfaces
  • Heavy duty tapes
  • Masking tapes
  • Masking products
  • Protective films
  • Rags and Wipers
  • Dropcloths
  • Protective wear
  • Flooring paper
  • Masking paper
  • Gloves
  • Paint strainers
  • Dust containment
  • Envirosolutions Envirowash System
  • Various miscellaneous other items

Comprehensive websites, in addition to providing specific product descriptions and specs, will enable the user to download their catalog to conveniently always have right on hand. Users should be able to simply flip through the catalog online. Brochures and additional details about specific individual protection products should be provided through sales sheets. And to really aid the customer, videos that showcase provided products in the catalog should be able to be viewed right then and there.

4 Steps for Switching Your Car Insurance Provider

If your car insurance premiums are on the rise while the customer service you receive from your provider is not what it used to be, it may be time to switch your insurance coverage. One recent report indicates that some new car models are affordable to insure, but if you are working with a company that does not strive to find you the best coverage possible, you may lose money elsewhere in your premium. Changing insurance companies can be daunting; however, there are a few steps you can take to find the right services for your budget and needs.

Understand Your Insurance Needs

When you first signed on with your current insurance company, you may have taken their advice about what was required or, if you did not own your car at the time, what your bank or lender required. If you have paid your car off since then, you might want to look into what you change about your policy before you switch carriers.

For example, if the bank required you carry collision insurance as well as basic liability, you may be able to get lower monthly premiums if your car is now paid off. You may also now qualify for certain discounts you could not take advantage of before. Make a list of what you want in a policy before you look for a new provider.

Talk With Your Current Agent

Speaking with your local car insurance agent can be an important step in switching providers because he or she may offer you a variety of policy discounts you were not aware of. In many cases, car insurance companies may have discounts available but drivers usually have to be proactive when it comes to seeking them out. While your current carrier might not be able to offer you bundling or other discounts, having this information can be helpful as you shop around for other services.

Beware of Cancellation Fees

Before you decide to make the switch, it is wise to review your current car insurance policy to ensure you will not be penalized for canceling it. While not all companies charge for this service, others may fine you as much as $50 depending on when you cancel. You may want to reach out to local insurance agents as you shop for a new policy to compare how each company handles cancellations in case you must change services again somewhere in the future.

Cover the Gap

Once you find a new insurance provider, it is important that you cover any gaps in your car insurance as you switch your policy over. Most companies now have phone apps that can provide you with digital proof of insurance until they can mail you physical copies, and you can usually begin a new policy right away. You might want to ask your new provider representative about this detail so you can be sure you are covered completely as you make the switch.

Switching car insurance companies might help you find a more affordable policy and improved customer service. Knowing which steps to take during this process can help you make a confident decision about which carrier will best suit your insurance needs and budget.

Preventative Maintenance and Your HVAC System

In order for your home to maintain a welcoming atmosphere, you need to dedicate time to specific tasks. Your HVAC system, for example, plays a pivotal part in providing the right temperature for your space. When you want your family members and guests to feel comfortable while in your residence, the HVAC system is the most important component to pay attention to. Of course, there are going to come times when your units are not performing in the way you’ve come to expect. To keep control over the situation, you need to perform regular HVAC maintenance.

Taking care of your HVAC system and all associated equipment can be a great way to protect your home from disaster. Give yourself a moment to explore these tips on how to best maintain your system. With a little bit of help, you will have no trouble putting in the effort to protect your HVAC system and keep it running in an optimal way.

Clear Away Junk

Some tasks associated with keeping your HVAC system functional will be easier than others. In the summer, you want to keep your home nice and cool. This means you are going to rely on your air conditioning units to help you cultivate an inviting atmosphere inside your residence. As air conditioning units draw in air for reticulation, the units often wind up collecting nearby dirt and debris. When leaves or dust start to collect in a unit, it can lead to all kinds of complicated problems.

To avoid a total malfunction with your unit, you want to dedicate a certain amount of time to keeping your air conditioners clean. Set aside some room in your schedule each week and focus on cleaning each unit of anything that might have gotten sucked in while the air conditioner was running. Should problems persist, take time to contact NATE-certified experts to come and take a look at your system. Learn more about what NATE-certified means by reaching out to local professionals who have experience with keeping HVAC systems in excellent condition

Examine the Unit

Preventative steps can get you far, but there are going to be some issues that are more difficult to solve. When you notice your air conditioner is not running the way it used to, it can be a good idea to take a closer look. Examine the unit for any glaring problems. You might want to look at the refrigerant lines, coils, and filters to begin. Any breaks or fissures in the refrigerant lines, for example, can be a big cause for concern. A leak prevents the coolant from flowing around the unit, stopping cool air from being produced.

Should you not be able to discover the source of the problem, you might want to reach out to those who can help you. Experts in the HVAC industry have seen all kinds of problems before. Contact professional assistance and find a solution to your issue as soon as possible.

Replace Filters

Finally, you definitely want to focus on the filters of your air conditioning unit. These fixtures are responsible for keeping recirculated air clean. When the filter clogs, it can lead to more serious problems for the entire HVAC system. Avoid these problems by taking time to change the filters roughly every ninety days. Some filters need to be changed more frequently than others, so be sure to check the specs on your unit to know the exact duration you should wait.

There are many different ways to go about maintaining your HVAC system. As long as you take your time and focus on a few basic tasks, you are going to be able to get more from your system. Contact professionals for additional assistance and give your home a feeling of comfort at all times.

Getting Rid of Household Insects and Pests this Spring

Spring is the season of home maintenance and spring cleaning. It is also when most people begin to spot insects and pests in their homes. While a common annoyance, it’s important to address before it can get worse. Though they are tiny, invasive pests have had a serious economic, social, and environmental impact on our way of life. In order to combat these pests, it is useful to gain a better understanding of the options you have.

Assess the Situation

First and foremost, you want to spend a little time learning about what kind of pests you are dealing with. Ants and termites may look similar from above, but there are drastically different ways of dealing with them.

If you are not entirely sure what kind of species you are battling, then you might want to look towards professional help. Some pests can be treated without the help of professionals, but you always want to contact the experts when you have trouble finding the exact cause of an infestation. To get rid of pests for good, you are going to want to speak with someone in the industry and have experienced technicians check out your space.

Call in the Professionals

When an infestation is caught early enough, you might think you can take care of eliminating the threat without assistance. While this might seem like a simple task, you never know how intense the issue is until you start digging around for the source. By leaving it up to the experts, you are more likely to find the source and destroy it once and for all.

Getting rid of invasive species in your home is not going to be easy. In order for you to see the threat completely eliminated, you have to act fast. As soon as you notice there might be invasive pests in your home, contact the professionals who can come and take a look. The sooner you respond to the problem at hand, the easier it will be to get your home back to normal.

3 Benefits of Learning English Regardless of Your Location

English is the most widely used language in the world. It is the official language of 54 countries and the first language of 360 million people. English is also the most commonly studied language in the world. A whopping 20% of the world’s population speaks English. Because it is so popular, learning English has many advantages.

Study Abroad

If you would like to study abroad, you will need to know at least some English. For students who wish to enroll in English-speaking universities, the TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) exam will measure your ability. Students who are serious about their future can take the TOEFL preparation course online. The course outlines what you can expect from the exam and how to best prepare for it, including practice tests and personal guidance.

Job Opportunities

Many employers today have a global presence. Even if you are working for a local company or small shop, they likely have an internet presence. Because of this, it is common for job offerings to require some level of English. This expectation will only continue to grow in the future, so it’s a great idea to get a head start today.

Travel

There is a great, big world out there for you to see. Much of it speaks a different language than you do, but English seems to bind everyone together; at least for the most part. By being able to have basic conversations in English, you will have a more enriched travel experience. You will be able to find attractions and little-known spots by speaking with locals and fellow travelers. You will gain a better understanding and appreciation of the areas you travel to.

There are many more reasons why you will want to continue to focus on your English language development. The world is becoming more and more connected. Geographical borders are becoming less divisive and the ways in which we communicate are becoming more advanced. When you are able to speak the most widely used language in the world, more opportunities become available to you.

4 Home Maintenance Tasks for Spring

It’s that time of year again. Spring is in the air! While you may have a spring cleaning checklist, there are some areas of maintenance that you may be forgetting. It’s time to dust off your air conditioner, your washer and dryer, and even the top of your house. Use these maintenance tips to keep your home in tip-top shape throughout spring, summer, and beyond.

Windows and Doors

When spring cleaning your windows and doors, it isn’t enough to simply wipe them down with some glass cleaner. This is also a good time to perform maintenance. Check the tops, sides, and bottoms of your windows to feel for any drafts and visually determine if any of the seals are coming loose. If you detect issues, repairing them now could help you save money on your utility bills. This is also a good time to double-check that doorknobs and window locks aren’t loose or working improperly.

Roof and Gutters

Grab a ladder and some gloves and get up on the roof. Winter weather likely left twigs, leaves, and other debris all over your roof and in your gutters. Clogged gutters mean spring rains can’t trickle off the top of your house and into the yard, which could cause water to sit and even cause leaks. Remove any debris from the gutters and your roof, double-checking for missing shingles or cracks in the gutters as you go along. If you are unsure about getting on your roof yourself, call a professional to help you.

Washer and Dryer

Even if your friends and family don’t see them, it’s important to spring clean your washer and dryer. Doing so can add years to their lives. Remove the detergent and fabric softener dispensers from the washer to clean them. While you’re doing this, let a cup of bleach and a full tub of hot water soak in the machine and then run the long cleaning cycle. Rerun the cycle with hot water and vinegar. Finish with one more cycle of just hot water. If you have a front-loading machine, you should also clean the door seal with a bleach solution and a small toothbrush to prevent debris buildup.

When it comes to your dryer, it is important to remove lint buildup. Remove your lint filter and use your vacuum’s nozzle attachment to suck any lost lint out of the body of the dryer. Ensure there are no holes in your filter before putting it back into the machine. Wipe down the inside of the dryer with a rag and a mild detergent. If your dryer is automatic, you should clean the moisture sensor nodes as well. Don’t forget to remove the vent from the back of the dryer to remove any lint buildup.

HVAC Unit

Your HVAC unit is an essential part of your spring maintenance checklist. The quickest and easiest thing to do is to replace your unit’s filter. It is also important to turn your unit on and off, listening for any strange noises. Don’t forget to check the outside unit, either. If you notice anything that seems amiss, call someone to provide a professional inspection. If your HVAC unit hasn’t received an inspection in the past year, call a professional regardless.

By providing maintenance on the often forgotten parts of your home, you help to ensure their safety and longevity. A few hours on a Saturday afternoon can make a big difference to your wallet.

5 Tips for Making the Most of Natural Light

Sunlight pouring in through windows or a skylight can give a room a warm, comfortable atmosphere. So, you want to make the most of the natural light flowing into the rooms of your home. Check out these five tips that can help you accentuate the sunlight entering your rooms.

Paint the Walls

Do you have beautiful, large windows in your living room, dining room or bedroom? If so, you can enhance the sunlight coming through them by painting the walls a light color. Walls in white, beige, ivory or even a light pastel color serve to reflect sunlight coming into a room. This makes the room appear open and airy. If you don’t want solid white walls, try putting up a wallpaper border with an interesting design. A wallpaper border adds more color to the walls while still allowing the walls to reflect the sunlight.

Lighten Up the Carpeting

Do you have dark carpeting in a room with windows? If so, try replacing it with beige, white or light-colored carpeting. Like your walls, the carpeting can reflect the sunlight coming through the windows spreading it throughout the room. If you don’t want to tear up the dark carpeting in your room, you can put down a light-colored area rug on top of the carpet.

Put Up Some Mirrors

Hang a large mirror across from a window that lets in a lot of natural light. The mirror will reflect the light creating a more pleasant tone in the room. One of the best things about this tip is you can find a mirror with an elaborate gold, silver or wooden frame. This adds even more elegance to the room’s décor. Hang another smaller mirror on another wall of the room for added effect. Express your own creativity while choosing your mirrors!

Install Blinds that Accentuate Sunlight

Blinds or window coverings from a place like Next Day Blinds can go a long way to enhancing the natural light in any room of your home. For instance, blinds in light-colored wood can reflect the light that’s coming in the windows. Next Day Blinds shades with a roller design enhance the natural light while adding elegance to the décor of a room.

Choose Furniture Items with Care

Look at the furniture in your rooms. If you have a coffee table, end tables and dressers in dark wood, they aren’t really helping to enhance the sunlight that’s coming in. Replace some of your furniture items with some made of glass. For example, swap out your coffee table of walnut wood for a table with a glass top. The glass tabletop will reflect the sunlight flowing in. Get a glass display case for all of your miniature collectible figures or photos. Any piece of furniture with glass in its design can help to accentuate the sunlight.

Lastly, when you’re lucky enough to have a lovely window that lets in a lot of light, there are steps you can take to bring as much of it inside as you can. A full afternoon of filtered sunshine moving through a room can make your home an extra special place to be.

Maintaining Indoor Air Quality in Your Home

If you struggle with seasonal allergies, it may be tempting to blame them on outdoor triggers like pollen, mold, and ragweed. In many cases, poor indoor air quality in your home may be the culprit behind your itchy eyes or a runny nose. Prolonged exposure to these triggers may contribute to serious conditions such as bronchitis, asthma or respiratory issues.

Many Americans spend the majority of their lives indoors. Indoor air pollutant levels can be up to 100 times higher than pollutant levels outdoors. While it may initially be alarming to think about the number of toxins you are likely exposed to on a daily basis, there are a few things you can do to improve the indoor air quality of your home.

Restrict Smoking Areas

Exposure to secondhand smoke is dangerous for a number of reasons. Smoking indoors just one time is enough to contaminate the entire home. Avoid these indoor air contaminants by eliminating smoking in indoor areas.

Open a Window

Many heating and cooling units are designed to circulate the air inside your home. Opening a window allows fresh air to enter the home.

Wash Bedding Frequently

Sheets, comforters, and pillows can be breeding grounds for indoor pollutants. You can reduce exposure to these allergens by washing your linens thoroughly and often.

Regular AC Maintenance

Ensuring that at your AC unit is regularly maintained is key to improving your indoor air quality. Professional air conditioning installation West Chester companies like Mattioni Plumbing provide a wide range of services to help keep your unit running smoothly all year long. A visit from a professional AC maintenance technician may include services such as:

  • Duct Cleaning: Ducts may be cleaned to ensure that air can flow freely. When the air becomes trapped, the blockage can cause damage to the unit.
  • Thermostat Checks: An AC maintenance technician can check your thermostat to ensure that it is registering the correct temperature. When the thermostat is not working properly, it may push too much or too little air.
  • Coolant Level Checks: If the coolant is leaking into your AC unit, it can prevent it from operating properly. It can also cause damage to any parts that it leaks on. A professional air conditioning installation technician can identify the cause of the leak and then repair it.
  • Unit Inspection: During a routine maintenance appointment, a technician may inspect the inside of your unit for chipped, broken or damaged parts. In many cases, these failing parts may not be immediately noticeable. Running the unit with damaged parts can cause serious damage to your unit.
  • Check Seals: The seals of your AC unit are designed to keep air from leaking. An air conditioning repair technician can identify and repair seals that have become loosened over time.

Frequent Pet Grooming

Pet dander is a common indoor pollutant that can trigger allergies. Ensuring that pets are frequently washed and brushed can help control this issue by decreasing the amount of shedding.

Change Air Filters

In order to keep your air conditioning unit running as efficiently as possible, it is important to change your air filter frequently. The filter helps remove indoor pollutants from the air as it circulates through the unit.

Have Air Ducts Cleaned

As part of your cooling and heating system, in-home air is pushed from your unit and through air ducts. Without regular cleaning, these ducts can quickly become a nest for mildew, microbes, bacteria, dirt and lots of dust. Having your air ducts regularly cleaned by an AC professional can help remove the build-up of these harmful allergens.

Get a Humidifier

When your home has too much humidity, toxins like mold, mites, and dust can easily accumulate. If a home has too little humidity, it can leave your body vulnerable to infection. Proper humidification levels can help prevent symptoms like sore throats, viruses or respiratory infections.

Dealing with allergies is never fun, but luckily, there are a few things you can do to manage them. These tips will help you control your allergies by reducing indoor pollutants in your home.

3 Simple Ways to Elevate Your Life in 2018

Oftentimes, people dream of getting and remaining in a state of perpetual, unbroken progress in their personal and professional lives. Yet in many cases, individuals find that they experience substantive, ongoing stagnation in at least one area of their life. If this is the case for you, now is the time to tap into the power of systematically implementing strategies that will help you reinvent your life so that you can keep moving forward. If you’re ready to get into the state of perpetual progress that takes your life to a new level, consider implementing some or all of the following tips:

1. Develop a Morning Ritual

One of the best ways to really reinvent your life so that you are consistently becoming a better person is through the development of life-giving morning rituals. These rituals are important because they set the tone for the day such that you are in a productive, positive, progressive state of mind before you even step out of the door on your way to school, work, etc. Luckily, you are in no way limited when it comes to selecting your morning ritual. The key to success here is selecting an activity that you will consistently do so that you can truly see results.

When you start thinking about which morning ritual you want to engage in, be sure to consider the value of meditation. Meditation can help you rid yourself of any anxieties or negative thought patterns that gained traction the night before or while you were asleep. Meditation can also be used to help you attain the level of focus necessary to get through a morning that will require you to be energetic and attentive. Note that there are multiple forms of meditation that you might engage in to start your morning off in a manner that entails mental clarity throughout the day. Some of them include Zazen, Mettha Bhavana, and Japa Mala Meditation.

2. Make Time for Exercise

It’s no big secret that consistent exercise can take the quality of your life from average to amazing. Yet most people still don’t attain the amounts and types of exercises required to see amazing health benefits like more energy, mental clarity, weight management, elevated mood, and the ability to limit the symptoms that result from pesky conditions. In many cases, people say that they will start an exercise program in a week. When the week comes, they put the exercise off for another week and continue this cycle of procrastination such that physical activity never becomes a part of their life.

If your mental life is marked by this pattern of procrastination, it’s time to implement interventional strategies in your own life so that you can step into a world marked by profound health and happiness. Luckily, getting and remaining on an exercise routine doesn’t have to be difficult. One secret to success is figuring out which fitness activities you actually enjoy doing. This could be anything from hot yoga to cycling to weight-lifting. Another strategy for success is working out in a group fitness setting where you will be able to attain support and encouragement from the class instructor and other exercise participants.

3. Read Inspiring and Motivating Blogs

Another strategy for success that can help you take your lifestyle from mediocre to marvelous is reading life-giving blogs. This is a strategy that will help you attain free, helpful life-optimizing advice from individuals who specialize in assisting people with the process of changing their actions and attitudes in a manner that promotes health and happiness. Note that Ilchi Lee CEO Change your Energy has a website which features a blog. By visiting the blog featured on the website of Ilchi Lee, you can gain information on key topics like how to train your brain to stay young and steps you can implement to get into longevity walking.

Three life reinvention strategies that you can implement to elevate your life are outlined above. Rather than fearing change, start incorporating these techniques into your life now so you can make the inner transformations necessary to cultivate a profoundly healthy, happy life!