México here we go

It’s not a secret that everyone loves Latinas. Last summer I went on a trip to Mexico, and I must say, I truly felt in love with the country, girls and whatsoever.

Maybe it’s just the weather —there are no rainy days there— the food is freaking tasty and everything seems to slow down as soon as you get closer to the beach. But there’s one thing I know: I’m damn sure I’ll return really soon to Acapulco.

Don’t expect something like videospornomexicanos on your first day, Mexico is an amazing country but also a dangerous one. Be smart, don’t just to after the first “mexicana” that ask you for a drink. They are hunger for incautious tourists, and you may end laying on the beach, without any clothes and your wallet.

A few pics of the trip:

Acapulco-bahia-765x459 5325-944-550 Boat_Lancha_05_Acapulco_Mexico


How to save money as a freelancer

If you’re an entrepreneur or self-employed, you’ve probably had your fair share of having to deal with an unpredictable cash flow. This may include facing a low-income over holiday periods, especially if you’re a freelancer.

Managing cash flow begins with setting your minimum financial goals. What do you need every month to cover your expenses? Do you have a six-month emergency fund that you can draw on during the lean times? Do you have a savings plan?

Control what you can

You could use a zero-based budgeting approach. This method starts with a zero base and every expense has to be justified over a given period of time. What this means is that every need and associated cost has to be analysed. A budget can then be drawn up accordingly. This could be higher or lower than one’s previous budget.

Luxuries are not permitted until there is enough hard cash to pay for them.

Allow for savings

The amount you can save will depend on what your financial goals and earnings are. When you receive large payments in one go, put that money away so that you save it rather than spend it. Keep working at your spartan budgeting approach and reward yourself when you feel it is appropriate. The more you get used to living on a freelancer’s budget, the better you’ll feel about sticking to it.

Automate, save an invest

Allow for a fixed amount of savings every month. Arrange with your bank to facilitate an automatic transfer to your savings account. By doing this you get to treat your savings as a fixed bill. Start small and increase your savings over time. When you have a fair amount to invest, look at putting your money into a good investment.You could invest in the money market over the short term or buy CDs on three- or six-month terms. Do this regularly and you’ll soon be earning interest which you can then re-invest. When you’re feeling more confident, explore other investment options according to your risk and time preferences.

You could invest in the money market over the short term or buy CDs on three- or six-month terms. Do this regularly and you’ll soon be earning interest which you can then re-invest. When you’re feeling more confident, explore other investment options according to your risk and time preferences.

How to patch up missing veneer

In a previous article we spoke about how to repair blistered veneer. Broken edges are also a common problem with veneered furniture. This is particularly the case with corners but it’s possible to patch up the damaged section. It may take some effort to get an exact match with the original, though.

To begin with, you’ll need a piece of veneer that is a little bigger than the missing section. Once you’ve secured your patch it’s all up to your finishing.

Make a patch

Place some replacement veneer over the damaged section. Allow for an inch of extra veneer all around. Now prepare to cut through both the new veneer and the old veneer at the same time. It’s important that the grain of your patch follows the grain of the furniture’s body. Cut with the grain along one side and in a straight line when you cut across the grain.

Once you’ve carefully cut through the veneers, remove all the scraps as well as the old and new sections. Your new patch should be a perfect fit for the section that has been cut out of the old veneer.

Check for thickness

If your new veneer is much thinner than the old veneer, you’ll have to build it up to the level of the old veneer. Do this by cutting a few more sections to the exact same size as your new patch until you reach the correct level.

Getting on with the repair

The next step is to remove any glue in the area that you’re going to patch up. You can do this by sanding the old glue away. Once it is clean, you can spread a layer of yellow wood glue over the base wood. Position your new veneer patch onto the glued area. Clamp it down or tape it down with masking tape.If you have to build up the veneer to the correct level, spread yellow wood glue on your base patch and lay the next patch over that, and so forth.


Wipe off any excess glue and then leave the glue to set for two hours. Use a razor blade to trim the edges if you need to. The next task is to lightly sand the surface so that it is smooth and blends in with the original surface. Use fine sandpaper for this job.


The success of your repair job may well depend on how you finish it. You may have to apply several coats of finishing oil stain to the repair in order to get the right shade. What you’re obviously aiming for here is a good match with the original.

Use extra-fine steel wool to gently rub each new coat of finishing oil stain. Continue to do this between the coats. The new repair should start blending in with the old piece. This may be a lengthy process but you might just end up with a perfect match.

How to increase your income

Fact: if you want more cash on hand, you either have to spend less of the cash you already have, or make more cash. While in a recent post we spoke on the rather draining prospect of saving money by spending less, in this post we will explore a few simple ways to increase your income.

Some of these tips could lead to dramatic increases in your income in the long run, such that they actually become your primary way of making money, while some of these other ways are more tedious, yet bring it trickles of money. Let’s explore.

Take on a second job

‘Well, thank you, Captain Obvious!’ some of you are no doubt thinking. Well, the truth is taking on a second job, if your current occupation allows for it, is a brilliant way of making more money. People world over have been moonlighting as waitresses, or security, or any number of occupation that are simple, and have accommodating hours, for years. If you want to increase your income, learn to not be above other jobs on offer, and see if your schedule allows for two occupations.

Moonlight as a freelancer

This task is slightly more complex to moonlight with than working a second job, since you will have to actually sell and market your skills but moonlighting as a freelancer is a great way of making extra money if you have commercial skills. The most marketable freelance skills are those that do not require direct one-to-one interaction with your client, thus allowing you to perform your tasks at whatever time suits you. So if you’re a graphic designer, programmer, or anyone who relies on just a good computer and an internet connection to make money, you’re in luck, since you can start freelancing immediately to increase your income, insofar as you can get the customers.

Design and sell products

If, however, your work is less technologically inclined, but you can package your skills, you can increase your income by making products and selling them. People who are handy with their umm, hands, can sell products at craft markets, flea markets, and through online services.

Easily Grown in your Garden

The French bean, which is quite common in all our meals, is originally from the United States and not France as its name indicates. Beans are easy to grow and when the seeds are planted into the warm earth between the months of April and middle of May, the bean plants bring forth lovely long tender beans.

After the planting, you will be surprised at how fast the new plants have sprouted. Soon you will have them as climbers or as bushes. Bean plants can be grown in pots or small containers or in carefully prepared vegetable plots in your backyard. The soil should be slightly acidic in nature and beans require shade to grow well. The soil for growing the beans needs to be full of nutrients, and the texture should be light. You might want to use something like the Wolf-Garten spreader Perfect WE 430 to prepare the soil and make sure everything is evenly placed beforehand. The time of the year and soil temperature, have to be taken into account if you plan to grow your bean plant outdoors.

Cold and wet weather is not conducive to growing beans, as the sowed seeds would rot immediately. Warm soil and temperature are ideal for the seeds to germinate and grow into plants. You can grow your bean seeds in glass jars and trays indoors and then have them transplanted into your backyard when the weather is conducive and favorable. The bean seeds need to be sown at a depth of one and a half inches and at intervals of eight inches apart in rows that are spaced nine inches. Support the bean plants with pea sticks. Regular watering, feeding, and mulching helps the plant to flower and turn into seeds. Beans have to be picked at regular intervals when they are four to five inches long.

Advice for Growing plants in Containers

Garden lovers have a wrong notion that it is much easier to grow plants in containers than in a garden. Well, they are wrong. It is more difficult growing them in containers than in the garden.

In places, which feature extremely hot summers, the pots tend to heat up and this can cause the soil inside to absorb the heat and be very warm thereby causing considerable damage to the roots. When you grow plants in pots, water fed to them is not retained in the soil as it is drained out. In summers, when you want the water to remain longer in the soil to cool the plant, it becomes impossible. Frequent watering will wash out the fertilizers and your plants will be starved of nourishment.

If your potted plants are undernourished then bugs attack them and diseases can affect them causing them to wilt. It is best you use large pots or containers for growing your plants so they get plenty of root space to help them grow better and healthier. When the roots are better spaced out the upper part of the plant tends to grow better. One advantage of potted plants, however, is that you don’t need to use tools like the Wolf-Garten DR-M30 rake, to care for them; indeed indoor potted plants are much more manageable than a regular garden.

Have your container plants fed with good fertilizers regularly as it helps keep the plants cool and moist during the summer. You can add up to 25 % of fertilizer to the potting soil. Adding mulch to the top soil helps keep the soil moist too. Water should not be left to stagnate in the containers.

A healthy orchid is a beautiful orchid

Many people are put off by the idea of growing orchids, as they are convinced orchids are difficult to grow. This is a myth and with the right care orchids can be grown quite easily. There are 25,000 species and 100,000 different hybrids to choose from, so with some research, you’ll be able to find a plant that’s well suited to the environment you will be growing it in.

Choose carefully

Picking an orchid can be a difficult task, as you need to be aware of your orchid’s needs. Choose an orchid that fits into your environment at home, while also choosing one that will blossom into a colour of your liking. Next, you need to manage the amount of light that your orchid is receiving, whether the light is natural or artificial. Some orchids can bloom for up to three months, given the right amount of light, and placing your orchids near a window will give them the maximum amount of light needed. Direct sunlight can damage your orchid, as the leaves can burn easily, so try and set up a curtain or a schedule to reduce the amount of light the orchid receives.


Another important factor in growing an orchid is temperature regulation. The ideal temperature for an orchid is anywhere from 13-27 degrees Celsius, with the exact temperature depending on the orchid itself. If the growing temperature is higher than recommended, the buds will drop and the orchid won’t bloom. Watering the plant will help cool the temperature if needed, and air circulation will do wonders for your orchid.

The final factor to remember is nourishment for your orchid. Orchids receive the energy from both sunlight and food, and needs to be fed regularly just before they bloom. A solution of water and fertiliser is usual, and be sure to water the soil before feeding it. A healthy orchid will blossom magnificently, and make the effort worthwhile.

A few tips for a brighter smile

All it took was a quote on a silly souvenir from the dentist’s office to remind me just how important and easily negligible oral hygiene can be. It simply said: ‘Smile, it improves face value.’

Why it took a recent visit to my dentist to remind of this unforgettable fact is beyond me. Perhaps it was the graphic images of what gingivitis other oral diseases look like I saw. Either way, here are some tips on how to get a brighter, healthier smile.

Tip 1: Things to avoid

The road to a brighter healthier smile is largely dependent on our diet and habits. Roadblocks to great oral hygiene or things that discolour teeth and aid decay are: Foods/drinks such as coffee, tea, colas, wines, and certain fruits and vegetables (for example, apples and potatoes), and smoking.Poor dental hygiene due to insufficient brushing and flossing to remove plaque and stain-producing substances such as some of those food/drinks is very common. Some medications such as antibiotics are known to discolour teeth, especially when they are given to children whose teeth are still developing (before the age of eight).

Tip 2: Get the right gear

It goes without saying that if you don’t have the proper tools to maintain great oral hygiene all of this will have been written in vain. You like your brush old-school? A manual does the job just fine. However an electric toothbrush is really what you want to be polishing that smile – electric toothbrushes have longer life spans, more durable bristles, and their multiple brush heads offer more variety to your oral hygiene regiment and needs. The oscillating power of an electric toothbrush is far more powerful than your hand action. Remember, brushing violently does more harm on your gums and teeth, so go for the electric toothbrush to do all the gentle scrubbing for you. Another must-have in your kit is dental floss, to be used twice a day or in between meals when you’re struggling with the stubborn remnants of your previous meal. Dental floss is small and can easily fit in your pocket or bag. Finally, mouthwash should accompany each brushing and flossing mission to make sure your oral hygiene regiment is complete.

Tip 3: Things to remember

Don’t forget to change your manual toothbrush once every three months; their bristles are much more fragile than that of your electric toothbrush. Your electric toothbrush heads can be changed every six months. A biannual visit to your dentist is a must to ensure excellent oral hygiene. While you’re at it, why not add a fresh white look to your teeth with an easy to use teeth whitening kit to make that smile even brighter?