Why an Airport Park and Fly Service is Best for Peace Of Mind

I travel for work a lot. I work away on the mines as a FIFO worker so it’s kind of the deal you get. I actually think it’s a great job and I love it, unlike some of the other blokes on site. You’d think that they’d got the rough end of the deal even though everyone’s sitting on some pretty good salaries if you ask for my opinion. Anyway, being a FIFO there was the hassle of getting to and from the airports – a monkey I had to get off my back and I did, with the help of a park and fly service.
I’m in and out of airports a lot and I rejoice the moment when I’m getting off the last plane, ready to go home to my family. I stroll out of the airport and the park and fly service is there waiting to take me to my own car so I can drive home. I don’t get to drive my car that often and relish the chance to do so. Driving home from the airport after a long work week away from home is a nice way to unwind. I turn on my favourite music and I leave stress behind. An old saying of mine is “Happiness is work in the rearview mirror”. And that’s exactly how I feel when I hit that highway on my way home after a flight.
But don’t get me wrong – that’s not the only reason I use the park and fly service. There are many added benefits beyond me getting to drive my own car home from the airport.
So, when the week starts, I drive my car to the airport and drop it off at the park and fly. The valet greets me with a smile and helps me with my bags. The service is second to none and I feel like a bit of superstar when I drop her off. As sad as it may be, but for a has-been rocker turned family man it feels pretty good – and good service is hard to come by these days. But when it does, you really appreciate it! I don’t have to worry about finding a parking spot because they take care of that for me. The parking is undercover too, so I don’t have to worry about my baby being out in the weather.
As soon as I leave her I know she’s in good hands. Kind of like she’s having a week away at the grandparents! Every couple of weeks I’ll treat her to a wax and polish which is all done onsite by the park and fly service.  I know she is going to be safe and sound because the place is fully gated with security cameras and on top of that they have 24/7 security patrols. There’s literally not a thing to worry about when I leave! Well, except for leaving my family – but that’s a given when you work away.
The last thing I need is to be worried about my car as well. Then I jump on the shuttle. I never have to wait around because they leave every few minutes and there hasn’t been one occasion when I’ve been waiting.
The more I use my park and fly service the more I get out of it. The frequent parker program is great. I get discounts all the time because I’m flying all the time. So I use these discounts to treat my baby to a wash and wax or cut polish. I even get exclusive discounts on my bill.
You may ask why I don’t just taxi or Uber. Well, I spend all week away from familiarity. Away from my home, away from my car, and away from family. So it’s nice to drive my car back to my home and my family. The cost is reasonable and I wouldn’t have it any other way. So when I get off that plane and jump into the transit bus back to my perfectly clean car, it’s a great feeling knowing I’m on my home to the welcome arms of my wife and children. The park and fly service has become part of my work family. We all know each other by name and we have become great friends. Like I said when you travel for work a lot, familiarity becomes something to cherish and to hold onto.

Home and Garden

Are balustrades the safest fencing option?

Balustrades are one of the earliest architectural designs when it comes to fencing. They are popularly used in interior designs and exterior fencing solutions. The history of balustrades dates as far back as the 25th century BC. The Romans and Greeks used the designs in several of their architectural builds. The early renaissance saw balustrades used in the balconies of palaces in Venice and Verona. A Gothic precedent is implicated in the balustrades designs of the rebirth period. Although balustrades design were commonly used in balconies and stairs, they also presented a good fencing solution. The use of balustrades has extended to swimming pools fences and perimeter wall fences.
A swimming pool has always been a lavish addition to any household. In Australia, many residential homes come with a swimming pool. A stylish swimming pool fence may be just what your pool area needs to have the unique, exotic look you have been looking for. Balustrades have always been the best fencing option for swimming pools. Despite the different designs of pools, balustrades blend seamlessly with any design. Whether you have an infinity pool or a traditional pool, balustrades are your best bet for poolside fencing. Balustrades come in different designs ranging from stainless steel to glass balustrades. Depending on your taste, you can choose to go for a rustic look or an ultra-modern design.
If you want to maintain your view from your pool a glass balustrade is the best option. Glass balustrades not only look good but maintain an unobstructed view of the pool area. The beauty of glass balustrades is that the fence feels like it’s not there. This glass fencing creates a look and feel of an open space. Glass balustrades blend with any pool and have adaptable designs. This fencing option is attractive and complies with all safety regulations. Although the fence uses glass, it is not weak or fragile. Glass balustrades use toughened safety glass that can withstand a lot of pressure. The glass is durable and low maintenance.
Cable balustrades system is popularly used in swimming pools, gardens and porches. The fence has both commercial and domestic application. If you are looking for a minimalistic architectural design, cable balustrades are your best bet. This fencing option looks good both in interior living spaces and exterior premises. With a high-quality finish, the end result is not only functional but also beautiful. The Cable balustrades system is modern with simple classic lines and comprises a rail, main posts with fittings and centre posts with cable strands. The choice of fittings is based on personal preference and each component comes with a unique fine finish. Cable balustrades are durable and low maintenance. They offer the safety you need with no compromise on looks.
Tubular balustrades is an affordable modern fencing technique for entertaining areas and commercial premises. Tubular balustrades can be manufactured from either from steel, aluminium or wrought iron. You can have a custom designed and built tubular fence, gate or tubular balustrade to compliment your residential or commercial belongings. These tubular fences can be personalised to meet all your standards. Safety is a non-issue when it comes to tubular balustrades. These fences are strong and durable. A tubular balustrade is an affordable fencing solution for commercial premises, entertaining areas and new houses. The build of this fence presents an opportunity to explore several finishes but the final result never falls short of good looks.
Wood balustrades are a unique design for perimeter fencing in your porch. Depending on the wood and design you choose you can get anything from a traditional English look to an ultra-modern appearance. If you have a wooden cottage, the fence will be a perfect blend into your residence. The durability of the fence is unparalleled. Despite the balustrades being wood, it can be used as a swimming pool fence. Although this fencing option doesn’t come cheaply, it is worth every single penny. Everyone can attest to the unique and lavish look wooden balustrades bring to any living space.
Daring designers combine different balustrades to deliver exotic designs. Wood and cable balustrade is a unique fencing option that works out well in indoor and outdoor spaces. The colour choice for balustrades can vary from plain schemes to colour combinations. In the recent past, this fencing option has gained popularity in Australia as one of the most stylish fencing options. It is a good investment and most of the components used are eco-friendly. Finely finished balustrades are free from sharp edges and splinters. Wooden balustrades are well-treated to avoid becoming soggy. This means they can be used in outdoor spaces including the swimming pool area. If you are still wondering whether balustrades are the safest fencing option, you can stop wondering because they are.
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Common Size Option for Exterior Balustrade
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Keep Your Apartment Safer by Getting Roller Shutters
Winter is a Great Time to Renovate your Pool or Get a Whole New One

Home and Garden

Common Size Option for Exterior Balustrade

When it comes to designing barriers for buildings, whether residential or commercial, safety and aesthetic considerations oftentimes go hand in hand. This is especially true for the more contemporary high-rise buildings. Stringent regulatory measures and practices have been put in place through state laws, when it comes to reducing the risk of someone falling from a height. This is a risk both within the building and on its exterior. In fact, any opening in an establishment that allows for someone to fall one metre or more, is in dire need of a barrier. “Falling” here does not only refer to a perpendicular vertical change in position; it refers to any rapid descent to a lower level — even down a slope.
Exterior balustrades can come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, depending on their location on your property, your personal taste and even style. Many materials ranging, from glass to stainless steel, have been used in the making of balustrades over the years. These are particularly prevalent in buildings that need more elegant options when it comes to barriers. However, even wrought iron is a material worth considering when it comes to balustrades, especially if you are going for a more rugged appearance for your building.
But how does one decide on what sizes to go for when thinking of balustrades for their balconies, swimming pools or even walkways? What options are available in the market? What considerations should be made when choosing the appropriate size for their needs?
Legally, regulations have been placed depending on where the balustrade is located. For interiors, a height of 0.9 metres from datum is deemed appropriate. This means that the top of the balustrade must be at least 0.9 metres in height from the point someone can stand on. Exterior balustrades are to be at least 1.1 metres in height. These include balustrades being used on balconies and terraces of the building. For staircases, the hand rails should be at least 0.9 metres from datum, whether they are located within the building or outside the building.
These measurements are standard procedure for any authentic company that manufactures balustrades. Any proprietor that is found to have not adhered to these regulations is liable to face sanctions as dictated by the state laws. Other measurements worth noting are the size of the handrails and the thickness of wire and glass fill ins. The recommended size for handrails is a diameter 42.2mm. However, sizes up to 48.3mm are available in the market. This is to allow for easy gripping of the handrail.
If you are using a stainless-steel balustrade, various fill ins can be used to enhance your barrier. Whether you are going for the more functional wire or the more aesthetic glass fill in, some standard sizes and guidelines can help you decide what would be better suited for your needs. When it comes to wire fill ins, most people resort to using 5 rows of 4mm wire between posts. Glass fill ins have also become a staple for contemporary real estate establishments all over Australia. 10mm toughened glass is usually the go-to when it comes to glass balustrades. Alternatives to this includes 21.5mm laminated glass. The standard post to post length for glass fill ins is 1.2 metres. However, lengths of up to 1.5 metres can be obtained and used, depending on your specifications as a homeowner or a commercial proprietor.
At the end of the day, factors worth considering when designing exterior balustrades for your residence or commercial premises are not just restricted to the aesthetics and functionality. The legal component is also of utmost importance. Not only do you want your building to be safe and beautiful, but adherent to regulations as well. If you are in doubt about the designing and installation exterior balustrades, contact an expert in balustrade manufacture, as well as your local state authorities for advice.
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Are balustrades the safest fencing option?
Home-Staging Tricks to Lighten Up Dark Spaces
Keep Your Apartment Safer by Getting Roller Shutters
Winter is a Great Time to Renovate your Pool or Get a Whole New One

Featured Home and Garden

Home-Staging Tricks to Lighten Up Dark Spaces

If you are looking for some simple tricks to brighten up dark rooms and spaces that lack sunlight in your home, this post is for you. We all know that dark spaces can have an impact on our mood and it is well known that bright rooms make us feel happier and vibrant but major renovations can be time-consuming and expensive. Still, if your home has minimal natural light and feels more like a cave in some parts, you probably want to do something about it to prevent your place from appearing smaller and looking cramped and moody.
If you are eager to learn a little about interior design tricks and want to brighten up your home in a quick and easy manner, we have put together seven beginner tips and advanced ideas for creating light spaces and maximising what you already have. If you are tight on a budget keep in mind, there are a lot of great furniture rental places, which offer furniture pieces for a price that is easy on the wallet and a great way to try out something new and lend a finishing touch to your home’s makeover.


Mirrors hung across the largest window in your room will double the amount of sunlight in the room as the more shiny surfaces are added, the more light will be reflected back. Mirrors can also be hung directly opposite each other to create a certain depth that enlarges the room. If you intend to make a short hallway look longer, place a large mirror at the end.


Neutral colours such as grey and mushroom will make a room that lacks insufficient daylight look brighter as the paint reflects light and doesn’t absorb it. Light colours are a great contrast if you have dark wooden floors or doors. When you paint your walls new also keep in mind that glossy paint will create a glare, whereas matt surfaces reflect light in every direction.


If you have a dark room but like heavy furniture, try to keep the items down to a minimum. Heavy furniture will make the room feel darker and smaller than it actually is, hence chose your pieces carefully and maybe add a couple of lighter pieces to the set to create a more spacious looking room.

Light colour scheme

Opt for a white or neutral colour scheme when painting and decoration your room.  You can also paint the ceiling white to help light reflect back into the room. The more lighter colours you use, the more spacious and bright your room will look like. Using hues of white will also make your home appear clean and crisp.


A sophisticated approach of adding light to a dark space is installing lamps that shine down onto the walls. This is also a nice way to highlight details such as cabinets or decorative standing tables to make them a focal point of the room. Table lamps also work well on windowsills and shelves as they cast indirect light across the room


Dark wooden floors are as popular as they are beautiful in contemporary homes but drain a lot of light. To fix this matter you can add a rug in a brighter tone as an excellent statement piece but also help bring light into the room. A nice patterned rug will break up the darkness and look sharp against dark flooring and heavy furniture.


Even in rooms with little sunlight, plants make a great decoration. Not only will they light an area but come in different colours to extend the colour scheme of your interior décor. Plants like orchids or bromeliads bring light and life to any room and are also great space breakers.
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Common Size Option for Exterior Balustrade
Keep Your Apartment Safer by Getting Roller Shutters
Winter is a Great Time to Renovate your Pool or Get a Whole New One

Home and Garden

Keep Your Apartment Safer by Getting Roller Shutters

Safety comes first in any neighbourhood. Whether you stay in a community estate or an apartment, you can’t compromise on safety. In Australia, there is, on average, around 200,000 break-ins reported each year.  Most of these break-ins end up with stolen property or vandalism. In some instances, people get hurt or killed. Over the years, the increasingly hard economic circumstances have pushed the crime rates over the roof. This has translated to at least one house being broken into every 3 minutes. Modern burglars have also designed ingenious ways to break into houses. Some come disguised as phone, cable or gardening professional while others find loopholes in your security system. The secret to a safe and secure home now lies in adopting efficient security systems.
Intruders take time to spy on their target. They come when your apartment is most vulnerable. Some spend weeks taking notes on your movement and the layout of your house. Others peer through the windows to pick out the most valuable items. On the day of the heist, it’s a quick in and out. With only a small window period, an intruder can empty your house within minutes. They might not have the confidence to take out the furniture in an apartment building but they will definitely empty your jewellery chest and pocket any other valuable item. Most burglars know what’s inside your house and who is inside, this gives them an upper hand. Luckily, roller shutters make all the difference.
Roller shutters are an effective security installation guaranteed to keep burglars guessing. When the shutters are down, there is no way to know who or what’s inside. These window fittings maintain a high level of privacy and security. Unless someone is inside your home they can’t tell what’s going on. Intruders who peer through windows and take notes will definitely have little to take down. Roller shutters are completely opaque. They are installed on large windows that are within reach but more often than not, homeowners have them on all windows. The element of privacy gives you an upper hand against burglars and intruders.
Whenever we hear of rampant house break-ins in the neighbourhood, we quickly change our door locks and install heavy duty hinges. Unfortunately, we often forget about the windows. Windows offer a good point of entry for burglars. It is highly unlikely that you have heavy duty glass windows. Therefore, a swing at the window is enough to get into your house. Moreover, we are more likely to leave our windows open than our doors and burglars know this. In case you remember to lock your windows, they still have weak locks that are more vulnerable than door locks. If a burglar wants to get in and out quietly they will most likely use the window. Most standard alarm systems are hooked to the main doors thus entry through the windows bypasses your security system.
If you want to seal off the windows as an entry point for burglars, install roller shutters. These window fittings are sturdy and can sustain insult without opening. Once the shutters are completely closed they automatically lock. The bottom rails house slide locks for added security. When in the lock position, aluminium bars secure into the side guides on both sides of the opening. Opening roller shutters without raising an alarm is next to impossible. Aside from guarding your house, roller shutters prevent any damage to your windows. Despite traumatic attempts from a potential intruder, roller shutters are guaranteed to keep your windows safe.
From the outside, roller shutters make a house look like a fortress. This is enough intimidation to any burglar. The installation alludes to an airtight security set up in the house. Even if you don’t have a surveillance system or an alarm system, roller shutters make it look like you do. When you have roller shutters, burglars know you take security seriously. Even professional burglars will definitely think twice about breaking into your house.
Roller shutters are well designed to fit standard windows. Each shutter can be manufactured up to a total size of 9 sq. metres. The rollers come with a curtain, bottom rails and side guides. The side guides and bottom rails are manufactured from extruded aluminium while the curtains are made from polyurethane foam filled slats. Some curtains are also made from extruded aluminium. A pelmet box covers the shutters and it comes in different sizes. The axle has an aluminium rod with fully sealed steel ball bearings. The build of roller shutters is robust and secure.
The operation of roller shutters can either be manual or automatic. The automatic option has a motorised pulley system that makes the operation of the shutters more convenient. It is run electrically but a battery backup operation is also available. The manual operation is either done with a hand feed strap system or a simple hand operated winder. If you are concern about the exterior design of your house, don’t be. Roller shutters come in different colours for you to choose from. Keep your home safe with beautifully designed roller shutters.
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Health and Medical

Skinny to Buff

The majority of the fitness world is filled with products and tips on how to lose weight, yet there are a lot of people who need to pick up weight in order to reach their physical peak. These people are often overlooked because it doesn’t seem to be as big of an issue as someone else who is trying to lose those extra pounds.
There are people who struggle to eat and get in the right amount of calories. This is where these products come in, products that will help you gain weight healthily without you having to eat junk food that has zero nutrition.
These products are also used for bulking up and creating muscle, so if you need to pick up weight while building mass you need look no further. The supplements here will deliver exactly what you need.
Here are a few of the best weight gaining products currently on the market:

  1. Optimum Nutrition – SERIOUS MASS

Optimum Nutrition’s Serious Mass is the answer to all your weight gaining needs, every scoop has 1250 calories and 40g of protein. It’s perfect to take after a workout or even in between your daily meals. If you add a strenuous workout you will get big very quickly without having to worry about what to eat. It takes the thinking and obsessing over what to eat out of the equation.
Every scoop has 250g carbs, creatine, glutamine, glutamine peptides and 25 minerals and vitamins, everything you need in one scoop.

  1. Mutant – MASS

As the name suggests you will be engaging beast mode when using Mutant Mass.
Many hours of research and testing has lead to this product that is at the top of its game. It does what it says, bulking you up in no time.
Every serving delivers a potent dose of anabolic macronutrients which includes their very own MUTANT PRO.
It has over 1060 calories per serving with an addictive taste that will have you coming back for more.

  1. Muscletech – Mass-Tech

The new Mass-Tech muscle gainer was designed for the individual that really struggles when it comes to building muscle and adding bulk to their bodies.
It boasts with 80g of protein and a 1000 calories when it’s mixed with 2 cups of skim milk.
Mass- tech is a high-protein, delicious product that will help you gain weight and build muscle, all you have to do is add your explosive workouts.

  1. Dymatize – ELITE MASS

This powerful Hi-Protein anabolic gainer was tailor-made to provide the correct formula for adding lean muscle and bulk, so you can become the beast you’ve always wanted to be.
This one is for those hardcore athletes who go all out at the gym and need that extra bit of help to bulk up.
With 600 calories, 55 grams of protein, sustained release protein matrix, complex carb matrix, creatine fusion, branch chain amino acid blend, and anabolic lipid complex in each serving, it still comes to less than 99% sugar-free.

  1. Gaspari Nutrition – REAL MASS ADVANCED

Building muscle isn’t such an easy feat, and when you want to become a certain size you have to take in a lot more calories than what you burn. This can become difficult for high-performance athletes, bodybuilders and even those regular gym goers who go all out at the gym every day.
In order to build muscle and mass, you need to consume a certain amount of protein, carbs and fats. When adding weight-gain supplements you will be doing exactly that.
Caspari’s Nutrition – Real Mass Advanced has a 1000 calories with 47 grams of protein, creatine, BCAAS and highly branched cyclic dextrin. This supplement can be taken pre-workout or post-workout and even as a daily meal replacement.
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Why Demand for Japanese Truck Parts Is Increasing

Japanese trucks are pretty popular among Aussie drivers. Part of that is subconscious peer pressure. The average person sees so many Japanese heavy vehicles on the road that should they ever decide to buy one, they’re statistically more likely to buy something Japanese. In that sense, the cycle feeds itself. The more we see them, the more we buy them, the more there are on the road, and therefore the more we see.
China is our biggest trading partner, but their trucks aren’t that well represented, and geographically, Japan is close enough to be a viable substitute. Japan also has a longer automotive history, so it’s a good bet in terms of quality. Importing a truck from Japan is easier, faster, and more economical than buying from Europe or America. And of course the more Japanese trucks we buy, the more Japanese spare parts we need.
Local representation
Japan has been manufacturing cars since the 1900s and is pervasive in the global automotive market. Part of their strategy for creating and expanding their local footprint is to open a local plant for manufacture and assembly. At the moment, Toyota and Mitsubishi both produce cars within Australia’s borders, bringing them closer to the customer.
The wing of Mitsubishi that specifically deals with buses and trucks is Mitsubishi Fuso, with car factories in Japan and the US. Both Mitsubishi and Fuso trucks are prized by Aussie owners and driver. Since the manufacturing plants are local, it translates into more sales. However, not everyone who buys from the showroom will have their servicing done at the showroom – it may be too expensive.
Easy access to parts
This therefore creates market for aftermarket Japanese truck parts, which Aussie companies are eager and willing to fill. There are hundreds of companies dedicated to selling Japanese spare parts. In an interesting twist, supply has increased demand, which isn’t always the case. It makes sense in the car world though, because when someone is shopping for a car, they look at factors like acceleration, top speed, fuel consumption, and cabin space.
They may consider resale value, price, and maybe colour, but a true car enthusiast will look into mechanical matters. How easy is it to maintain the car, can the driver do it on their own, how much service does the car need, and how easy is it to find spares. A surprising number of buyers veer towards Japanese models specifically because their parts are in easy supply. However, this broadens the market for counterfeits, so buyers beware.
Ideal for Aussie roads
Apart from Japan, the world’s top vehicle manufacturers are America and Germany. The other two countries largely make cars for their own markets, but Japan views things a little differently. Japan has a parking problem. It’s so large that before you buy a car, you need proof of your own parking space.
True, your seller won’t know you don’t have a slot, but you’ll need a government-issued license plate for your car, and you can’t get that without proof of parking. That means the bulk of Japanese trucks are manufactured and assembled with foreign markets in mind, and with Australia being such a convenient export destination, a lot of their trucks seem tailored for Aussie driving. And they ship us bulk spares too.
Good pricing
It’s difficult to win a price war with a trading giant, and because Japan is an automotive champion that produces en masse and has a ready market, they can afford to keep their prices friendlier than – say – German cars. Japanese trucks also have a reputation for quality and longevity. There’s a myth that Japanese citizens can’t keep cars longer than two years, which is why their used cars are in such good condition. That’s not entirely true.
A Japanese citizen has to have their car inspected every two years to ensure it’s roadworthy. As long as it passes the test, its owner can keep it. That said, once a car is more than 13 years old, there’s an extra 10% in annual car tax. Still, many Japanese drivers see their car as a status symbol. They trade them in sooner than drivers in other countries. Japanese assembly line techniques reduce production costs significantly, making it affordable to buy a new car.
Japanese cars therefore last longer not because they’re newer when you buy them, but because their quality, workmanship, technology, and market dominance means they can price them lower and still outsell other motoring nations. Besides, aftermarket Japanese truck parts are an industry all their own, and Japan more often ships entire engines and parts than it does trucks. This allows drivers and owners to regularly service, maintain, and repair their trucks, giving the extended life spans.
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Featured Home and Garden

Winter is a Great Time to Renovate your Pool or Get a Whole New One

When winter creeps on in and you’re huddled indoors around the fireplace, your beloved backyard pool is sitting dormant and lonely yearning for someone to splash, frolic in and make good use of it. This makes it the perfect time to renovate or install a pool, ready for the warm summer weather. Make good use of your time spent indoors over the winter and plot, plan, and put into action your pool plans for the summer. Whether your pool needs maintenance, an aesthetic upgrade or you’re going the whole hog and getting a brand new one, winter is the perfect time to implement these plans, for a variety of reasons. In this post, we will tell you why! It’s time to get ready for summer.
If you require renovations, winter is the best time to do it. For many reasons, obviously the first being that the pool is not in use, so no one is going to be hanging out to take a dip, asking when the pool fixers will be finished. The second reason is winter is the slow season. You might find that you are able to score yourself a bargain, whether you’re buying a new pool or simply getting renovations done. Pool contractors often offer discounts on labour and materials. Pool equipment such as pumps and filters are usually on sale in the slow period to promote more sales. So, while you are cooped up inside your house, have a browse around and see if you can pick up some bargains.
Due to winter being the slow season, the contractors will be more readily available, and will more than likely be able to finish your renovations a lot quicker and save you some money. Generally, in summer months, pool contractors are stretched quite thin, running back and forth from job to job doing little bits at a time. Get it done in winter to avoid a long drawn out process.
If you are installing a brand new pool, winter is the ideal time. Installing a pool can be a lengthy process and if a contractor can focus solely on your pool, the installation will take half the time. Also, as I said earlier, a lot of contractors offer winter discounts, so save yourself some time and money.
It’s also a great time to give your pool a makeover. The following are a few ideas to give your pool a makeover during winter, so that when it comes to summer, your pool will become an aquatic wonderland for you and your family to splash around in.

Pool Lighting

There’s something magical about swimming around at night time. So, get your pool ready for those after dark swims with some super cool LED lighting. There is an extensive range on the market. My favourite is the LEDs that can be controlled via an app on your smartphone. You can control the colour, duration, and schedule at the touch of a button. LED lighting looks amazing and will brighten up your backyard at night time and entice people into the pool. Get your backyard ready for pool parties with friends and family.

Water Features

Water features can turn an average pool into a thing a beauty. Not only do you get the aesthetic benefits, you also get the soothing tones of running water, creating a tranquil atmosphere in your backyard. I simply love going to sleep with the soothing sounds of running water in the background. Water features can be as simple or as intricate as you like and range in price depending on how far you want to go. It’s best to have a look online for some inspiration and take your ideas to your pool contractor.

Automate Your Pool System

There are a range of pool systems (i.e. filters and pumps) on the market that pretty much do the work themselves. Once you set the schedule via the app, you can forget about it and free up time. The systems work via Wi-Fi and are completely autonomous. Some of the apps available can even analyse your water parameters and provide a detailed report on what chemicals you need to add to ensure your water is safe for swimming. Obviously, you will need to add the chemicals yourself, but there is no need for calculations; the app does it all for you.

Resurfacing Your Pool

If your pool is in need of a resurface, winter is the perfect time to drain it and get the contractors in. A leaking pool can cause all sort of problems to your backyard flora and fauna and cause erosion. It can be a costly process, so try to get some sort of discount during the slower season.
While you are freezing cold, dreaming of the summer, get your pool in tip-top order and make those summer dreams a reality. Turn your backyard pool area into an exciting, inviting and enticing place so that you, your family and friends can enjoy your pool and make the most of summer.
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Fashion and Beauty Featured

How to Go Subtly Darker for Winter

Ready for a hair change but don’t want too big a change? Winter is a great time to go a little bit darker, as the colours often match our winter clothing choices. A subtle change is often a better choice than a big change. People get a little bit weirded out if you go from bright blonde to brunette, or red to deep purple. If you go with a subtle change then you can learn towards more brunette later if you’re really feeling it, or go back lighter again easily if you decide it’s not really your thing.
But how do you go subtly go darker? Here we take a look at a few different techniques that can give you a little bit of change in your hair life.

Darken up your roots

The ombre look is still in, so that means no one really needs to be pedantic about covering up their roots when their lighter colour is growing out. If you’re a blond, instead of getting your roots done the same colour, ask your hairdresser instead to try a graduated, darker colour. This will soften up your dye line and allow you to have dark roots. You can then either let this grow out more, keep it the same, or go back to lighter after if you wish.

Darker underneath

Many people choose to get streaks via lowlights on the underside of their hair, instead of the usual highlights on top (although you can do this at the same time). Adding in brunette streaks underneath will see this colour peeping out when you have your hair out, or provide a really interesting look if you have it swept up in a pony or topknot. After putting streaks in underneath, next time you can start adding them in up top if you’re loving the brunette, let them grow out if you’re not really digging it, or put in more highlights underneath to phase them out again.

Just go a shade or two darker

Prefer an all over dye job? Instead of going full on dark, simply ask your hairdresser to see what you colour would be a shade or two darker than it is currently. You’ll find that you might notice a big difference in your colour but friends and family might be like, “Have you changed something about yourself?”. Because it’s a subtle change, it’s an easy way to see whether you do actually like things a little bit darker or not.

Use a rinse

Not committed to going brunette? Why not try out a rinse for a non-permanent change? While these colours don’t last long and don’t have a very striking effect, they’re a good way to have a little bit of a change from your everyday colour without locking yourself into something that you end up stuck with.
There are plenty of way to go subtly darker over winter and these are just some of them. If you’re still looking for ideas, then it’s a good excuse to head to the hairdresser and ask for their professional opinion. A principal colourist is a great person to ask for ideas, particularly if the salon regularly competes in events. They’ll be up to date with all the latest fashions and techniques and will be able to direct you towards what might work particularly well on your hair. You’ll be able to learn the cost for each too. Different shades of brunette work with different colourings, too, so make sure to have a browse around the internet and see which colours might work best for your hair, skin tone, and current wardrobe, too!

Home and Garden

Make Your Dream Man-cave from A Small Garden Shed

What’s your favourite thing to with your boys? Do you get together to watch the game, play videogames, take the cars off-road, or have fishing trips with your kids? Maybe you’re more the solitary type. Maybe what you really want is space away from the wife and kids (that you love very, very much). A little quiet time to read your paper or tinker with your toys.
As sexist as it sounds, when a woman wants some room, she will go to the kitchen (because none of you will follow her there, not even the kids, because chores!) Or she might go to the spa or beauty salon and have herself made over. She might meet her girls for wine and ‘book club’. Or maybe she’ll go shopping. Of course there are girls with other interests. She might clear her head by riding her Harley or curl up in the bedroom with Sudoku.

A room just for you

You probably want your own special space, where you can do your own version of self-care. Something with a big imposing door where you can post a ‘keep out’ sign, and where everyone will respect your private moments. After all, you might pay the rent, but if you have a family, it’s not really your house. Enter the man-cave – your own undisputable domain.
The second you tell your loved ones they can’t come in, they’ll do everything possible to breach the boundary. At least you’ll have the option. Plus, you can be more sneaky about it. Don’t wall them off. Instead, invite them in once or twice, just to quell the mystique. But design your man-cave in a way that is so ‘you’. This way, your ‘visitors’ will soon get bored, realising there isn’t anything in there to hold their interest even though it fully sates yours.

Style and substance

Your best option is a PVC garden shed. They come in calm, neutral sheds that range from green to beige, so they’re suitably manly. Nothing too loud or garish. You can even order it in off-white. Don’t worry about it getting dirty – it’s easy to clean. Just hose the shed walls and you’re done. No scratches, no rust, no fuss. If a spot of dirt is particularly stubborn, you can clean it off with some soap and a soft brush.
Your man-cave won’t look boring, because there are multiple styling options. Sizes range from a little over a metre to six metres long, though they’re always one-story units that are two metres high at most. You can opt for single or double doors, with hinges or sliding mechanisms. You can buy a flat roof, a gable, or a skillion, complete with gutters and sidings. That way, you can connect the roof to a tank for harvesting your own rain water supply.

Get organised

What sorts of things will you put in your shed? You might want to kit it out with a gaming console, a sound system, and a massive flat screen. Or maybe you’re more interested in an analogue set-up, with a pool table, darts, table tennis, or foosball. If your man-cave is more hobby-oriented, maybe you want a work surface for your tools, or a table and a reading lamp.
Whatever you’re doing in your little room, it will help to have some kind of storage space, whether you’ll use it for books, tools, or manly crockery. Talk to your shed supplier. A lot of them offer shelving systems that you can assemble with the same ease it takes to install your shed. They’re lightweight but sturdy, and easy to maintain.

All set for stargazing

It’s not just star-crossed lovers who gaze into the night sky. Sometimes, you want to count the constellations without worrying about mosquitoes. Or maybe you’re more interested in daytime use. Natural light is great for painting and photography, and it can make the room quite warm. It brightens your space in a way that light bulbs can’t.
Some shed providers give you the option of a fibreglass skylight that can replace a section of your roofing, letting the sun (and the moonlight) into your little cave. It’s a simple feature, but it will really make your garden shed stand out from your brother-in-law’s shabby shack. You can even extend a car awning past the roof boundary, to park your wheels or bike.

Bring in the boys

Pre-fab shed suppliers can install the shed for you if you want them to. It costs a hundred dollars on top of your buying price, maybe two hundred if your shed is big and fancy. You don’t need it though, because part of the joy in a dream man-cave is knowing you put it up with your own bare hands (and a power drill). It only takes a few hours, and the pack comes with clear, easy-to-follow instructions. Or you could just look up a tutorial on YouTube.
If this is going to be a club house, get the other members involved. Think of it like a tree-house, but for grown-ups, so everyone has to do their bit. Get the barbie running and chill some beer, then work out a system so you can each raise a wall or screw something in without getting in each other’s way. It’ll be fun, you’ll get to bond, and everyone will have a stake in the cave, which will be important when it’s time to clean the cave and do the dishes.