2.19.2018

Transforming your basement into home theater of your dreams

Life is wonderful… But it’s also often a lot of hard work. The pressure of work and career combined with our obligations to our friends, families and loved ones often mean that we’re not sure if we’re coming or going. In an age where we’re working harder than ever and the political and economic climate seems increasingly turbulent it’s little wonder that so many of us use the escapism of the movies as a panacea to the exhausting effects of modern living. The trouble is that modern moviegoing can really take a toll on the bank balance. In an age where internet piracy is rampant, movie theater chains are (perhaps paradoxically) hiking up their costs to keep their overheads paid. Thus, when the tickets, popcorn, sodas and hotdogs are all accounted for, one might wonder if they’d be better served taking their family to a 5 star restaurant.


Yet, if you’re prepared to endure some initial overhead costs, there’s never been a better time to set up your very own home theater. Once purely the domain of millionaires and only the most serious of movie buffs, the home theater has encountered a renaissance in recent years with ordinary people from all walks of life eschewing the inflated prices and sticky floors of the multiplex in favor of a picture house built to their own exact specifications. If you’ve longed for a fortress of solitude where you can enjoy your movies without the distractions of the home, or a social space where you can enjoy your favorite movies with your friends and loved ones in the ultimate surroundings you may find a home theater more accessible and affordable than you thought.

Better in the basement

If the idea of a home theater appeals to you, but you’re not sure if you can spare the space, this may be the perfect opportunity to get the most out of your basement. The common basement is a dark, damp and forbidding place used mainly for storage of stuff that we’re unlikely to ever venture down to retrieve anyway. The basement is a natural choice for conversion into a home theater for a number of reasons. The underground spaces are conducive to the kind of sound dampening effect necessary for a theatrical space so that the sound is not distorted by the ambient conditions as they would be in your living room. The floors are usually concrete which will prevent the kinds of vibration usually felt on wooden floors which facilitates the distortion of low frequency sounds coming from your system’s subwoofer. Since most basements have very small or no windows, you have much greater control over the lighting conditions for that authentic movie theater experience.

Laying the foundations

Many basements are quite damp spaces. Since you’ll be storing delicate and expensive electronic equipment here you’ll need to seal and waterproof the space. Visit HelitechOnline.com for a quotation. It may also be advisable to run a supply duct into the room so that you can control the temperature. You may want to keep the space nice and cool to prevent your valuable equipment from overheating.

Soundproofing

Basements tend to make great home theaters because they share no adjoining walls with other houses, meaning that you can crank the sound without annoying the neighbors. Nonetheless, you’ll still need to soundproof the space to prevent sound from bleeding into the rest of the house. Between the concrete walls and ceiling and the drywall you erect in the space, a layer of fiberglass insulation should be used to keep the sound in your home theater while a cushion of foam tape over ceiling joists and wall studs will prevent annoying rattling on moments where your subwoofer gets a workout. You may also want to attach a layer of acoustic tiles to the ceiling.

Your setup

Now the foundations are laid, it’s time to think seriously about the home cinema equipment you use. Depending on the size of the space you may be better served by a large HD or UHD TV or a ceiling mounted projector. If you’re thinking of making the jump to 4k this is only really worth doing if you’ll be viewing on a screen of over 50” in diameter. Besides which, a projector contributes far more to the theatrical experience. With a surge of affordable new 4k projectors on the market you can enjoy your movies in ultra high definition at a realistic price.

You’ll also want to invest in a powerful subwoofer and an amp to which you can attach your Bluray player, PC, games console and whatever other sources you may wish to enjoy on your giant new screen. Most amps allow you to connect 7 speakers and a subwoofer and this guide will enable you to achieve the perfect speaker setup for the space you have available. Most amps will also include a sensor that you can place where you’ll usually sit in order to calibrate the speakers quickly and easily without having to spend hours tinkering with settings.


Your decor

Just because you’ll be spending most of your time in the dark, doesn’t mean that your home theater can’t be beautifully appointed. The beauty is that you can decorate the space however you want. You can go for the classic art deco inspired look of the theaters of yesteryear or opt for something more contemporary or minimalist. Whatever design concept you choose, its best to stick to dark colors on your walls and carpeting (carpeting is preferable to hard flooring for comfort and acoustic reasons) as these will prevent distractions from the images on screen. Likewise be sure to use matte paint on your walls as glossier finishes will reflect light from the projector and result in distracting glimmers around the room. For that authentic theater experience, some home theater enthusiasts like to surround the space with reproduction prints of their favorite movie posters.

Your furniture

Now all you need is some comfortable furniture from which to recline and enjoy your movies. Most opt for recliners or love seats but a leather (or vinyl if you’re vegan) upholstery is preferable. It’s comfortable yet hard wearing and if you should spill popcorn, ice cream or any other favorite cinema snack, they’ll wipe down easily.








Nine ways to reclaim romance in your marriage after a baby

Having a baby will change a lot of things, including your daily routine, lifestyle, and relationships. You will be more tired in the first few months than ever before, and will find it hard to cope alone. To make sure that having a family doesn’t affect your marriage, you will need to talk about your issues, ask for help, and trust your partner. You both have to take responsibility for the future of your marriage, and this means taking some time off to spend together and enjoy intimate moments watching a movie on the TV, curled up on the sofa. Below you will find a few tips on how to reclaim romance in your marriage after having a baby.
Image via Pexels
  1. Involve Your Partner in Childcare

Men often feel neglected and left out when you face your new responsibilities of caring for a small and vulnerable human being. They might seem like they accept that the baby needs you more, but deep inside they crave intimacy. You cannot just neglect your childcare responsibilities, therefore, it might be time to involve your partner. Wait for the bathing time until he gets home from work, and make sure that he sees the baby before he leaves in the morning. You can ask your partner to watch the baby while you are cooking dinner, so you can share the workload, and he can have some time alone with your little one, too. This will improve the bond between the two of you and him and the baby, as well.
  1. Have Regular Date Nights

No matter how busy you are with the laundry and looking after the little one, you can take some nights out to have a date night. If you have a family member or babysitter to watch the little one while sleeping at night, you can book a table at a nearby restaurant, or simply have a date night at home with some great food after the baby goes to sleep. Be sure that you stick to a routine with your baby, and put them down to go to sleep at a certain time, so you can spend some quiet time with your partner. As soon as your baby sleeps through the night, you can make programs for the evening together.
  1. Take Family Trips

Image via Flickr
If your partner is working all day, they might be missing out on taking the baby to walk. You will be the one who goes with them to the local park, meet other mothers, and socialize around the baby. In the weekends, however, you can take family trips to the local national reserve, with your partner carrying the baby. Just because you have a new addition to the family, you shouldn’t stop doing what you used to enjoy for years before. Spend some time together, book a family room, and simply enjoy being together.
  1. Take a Drive Together

Sometimes you might be struggling with getting your baby to sleep at a certain time. It is a well known fact that some babies fall asleep better in the back of the car. Why not get your partner to jump in the car with you and take an evening drive together? While this might not be your idea of a date, you can connect better, have a chat, and enjoy a change of scenery. It will do you good to get out of the house, and with your baby fast asleep you can continue the conversation at home.
  1. Socialize

One of the main problems young mothers face is social isolation. You need to make sure that you maintain your friendships and get together with friends, and get your partner to accompany you. Meet your old friends and introduce your partner to your new ones. You are less likely to feel alone and unsupported if you have friends around. Find out more about improving your relationship with your partner from Sam Nabil Counseling Services and ask for expert advice on how to improve your communication.
  1. Work Out

Stress can negatively impact your relationship. To restore your chemical balance after childbirth, and feel better in your skin after having a baby, you might want to start a home routine just a few minutes a day, while the baby is sleeping. You can get involved in energizing workout programs, such as yoga and tai chi. Working out will restore your confidence level, and make you feel better about yourself as a woman, which will improve your romantic life.
  1. Leave Love Notes

To bring back the romance you believe is lost after having a baby, show your appreciation to your partner. Leave love notes for them on the fridge, on the mirror, and their lunch box. This way you can express your love in a way that men can understand it. If you would like to improve the game, you can even get your baby to “sign” the letters with their fingers or toes.
  1. Spoil Your Partner Sometimes

Instead of focusing solely on your new baby, make sure you have time for planning surprises for your partner, too. Simple things, such as cooking their favorite food, or getting them a surprise, a card, or a video game will not take a lot out of your time, and can help you restore romance and intimacy. Make sure you tell them how you feel about them, so they don’t feel left out and unsupported.
  1. Create New Rituals

Your lifestyle will change with the arrival of your new baby, and so will your daily routine. Spend a few minutes with your partner in the morning and have breakfast together. Never be too busy to listen to them. Spend a few minutes together or talk about your day after the baby has gone to bed, over your favorite snack. Have a bath together, and simply enjoy each other’s company.

Having a new baby can be challenging for most couples. You need to make adjustments to your daily routine, and pay attention to your partner’s feelings, as well as your baby’s needs. Don’t make your partner feel ignored and unsupported, and involve them in looking after the little one, so you can start a journey towards a new level of intimacy together.

Pretty in Green

Towards the beginning of 2018, I was contacted by a member of the customer service team for the popular online etailer, eshakti.com, who was curious to know if I'd like to receive one of their garments (of my choice) to review. I'd heard about eshakti before and read a few (mixed) reviews of their products and services online, but never purchased from them before, so I was totally game to sample their clothing. 



I have always thought Green is not my color but while browsing eshakti, I came across this and to be honest I fell madly in love with this and so has everyone else once they saw me wearing it.


The thing I love most about eshakti is that you can customize to be however you want it to be, you can have long sleeves, no sleeves, above the knee, v neck etc.




2.16.2018

Your outdoor spaces need some love to

Girl Staring at the Sky

If there's one mistake that pretty much everyone makes when it comes to taking care of their home, it's that they tend to focus almost exclusively on the interior spaces. Now, paying attention to the interior of your home isn't inherently a bad thing. After all, if you're going to spend pretty much every day somewhere, there's no reason why you shouldn't want it to be as nice as possible. However, the point where that becomes a problem is when you're spending so much time paying attention to the indoor spaces in your home, that you end up totally neglecting the outdoor spaces. Things like your backyard or your driveway might not be the most exciting parts of your home, but they still have a big impact on how your home feels and ignoring them can be a big mistake. With that in mind, here are some ways to give your outdoor space a little bit more love.

Repave your driveway

Most people never even think about their driveway when it comes to taking care of their home. After all, it's the kind of thing that you just take for granted most of the time, isn't it? Well, the truth is that if you don't take care of your driveway, then you could end up doing some serious damage to your car. Potholes and cracks and damage your tyres and make driving pretty dangerous. Using some kind of oil based driveway sealer can be incredibly useful to prevent this from happening. It might not be the first thing that jumps to mind, but if you're not taking care of your driveway, then your next drive could end up being pretty dangerous.

Keep your lawn trimmed

Your lawn is likely to be the centrepiece of your entire garden, not to mention the part of your garden where you actually spend the majority of your time. If you're not keeping it trimmed then not only is it going to look ugly, but you're never going to be able to actually enjoy your garden. Not only that but letting it get too overgrown is going to leave you with lumpy and uneven soil.

Get rid of the weeds

Dealing with weeds is very few people's idea of a good time, but it is something that needs to be done if you want to avoid your garden becoming messy and overgrown. The best way to deal with weeds is to take the "little and often" approach. That way you're not breaking your back pulling up weeds every few months, and your garden is going to look much more consistently attractive.

Now, this doesn't mean that you suddenly need to start putting all of your effort into your outdoor spaces. In reality, you only need to take care of them in the same way that you would give your home a thorough clean. It's something that, the more often you do it, the less work you'll have to put in, but you don't need to spend every single day obsessing over it. If you try and ignore your outdoor spaces, you're just going to end up creating more work for yourself in the long run.

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