How To Keep Your Yard and Home’s Exterior Sparkling Clean

Keeping your home and yard clean will not only make it more inviting, but it will also have more curb appeal. There are a number of ways to keep the exterior of your home sparkling and in good condition. The key is to keep up on it and to do it annually.

When cleaning your home, an electric pressure washer will become your best friend. It will make even the toughest and grimiest tasks easier and in much less time than if you tried to clean with a sponge and bucket of water. Plus, it will make it possible to reach hard-to-reach places. If you don’t already have one, an electric pressure washer is a great investment. According to TBEPW, you can use it for many different jobs, and you can even use it to clean off your car. Most pressure washers will come with different nozzle types so you can pick the best one for the job.

You should try to spend some time every year on things such as cleaning off your deck, cleaning out your gutters, and also resealing your driveway. You will also want to fill any cracks with a concrete filler to prevent further damage. It will also make your driveway and sidewalk look better. In order to keep your home looking nice, you should also pay special attention to any potted plants or garden areas. Keep them free from weeds and get rid of any that are struggling. You may also need to thin them if the plants and flowers are beginning to get crowded. This will also allow the remaining plants to become healthier and will give them more room to spread and to mature. 

If you have risers or paving stones that have become crooked or out-of-place, you will want to tidy those up as well. You should also fertilize your lawn twice a year to make sure that your grass gets what it needs to thrive. Treat weeds as soon as you see them sprout up so that they don’t have the chance to spread. You will also want to rake up any leaves that are on your lawn. You should also keep your lawn trimmed. It may be time to reseal your deck or give it a fresh coat of paint. 

Do not forget to check your roof for loose or missing shingles and make sure that the flashing around your chimney to make sure that it is sealed. If your roof is over 10 or fifteen years old, it may be time to replace it. Clean your windows so that you can see out and lest the sunshine it. If you don’t like heights, the good news is that your pressure washer will be able to reach those high windows so you won’t need to haul out the ladder. 

You may also want to give your fence and home a fresh coat of paint or stain. If there are any pickets that need to be replaced you should repair them. Paint can do wonders, and if your home is looking kind of drab, his will give it a facelift. By taking good care of your home, you will also avoid problems such as pests and rodent problems because there won’t be as many places to hide and to make nests. 

It may not seem like any of these jobs will do much, but it is the little details that really count. People notice these things ad you want your home to make a good first impression. You want your home to communicate to others that you take care of your home and that you take great pride in your abode and yard. 

It can able helpful to keep a checklist to make sure that you don’t forget to do anything important. If you take the time to do your maintenance will keep your home looking nice and prevent problems caused by neglect.

Futon or Sofa Bed – Which Will You Choose?

Have you ever had a call from family or friends saying they are coming for an overnight visit and your first thought was, “Oh no! Where will everyone sleep?” No need to panic. Even if you don’t have an extra bedroom or beds, there are sofas that double as beds and don’t take up too much room or “break the bank”.

There are a couple of choices to consider, the first one being a futon. This looks like a sofa that is actually a mattress or cushion, covered with a futon cover that sits on a wood or metal frame and converts into a bed. You sit or sleep on the same cushion. Some benefits of a futon are:

1. Is great for a small room or apartment.

2. Can open up quickly and easily then folds back up easily.

3. Two people can sleep comfortably.

4. Comes in different sizes and can choose mattresses with various thickness

and sizes.

5. Is light in weight and easy to move.

6. Is reasonably priced.

A second option to consider is a sofa bed which is an actual sofa with cushions and has a metal or steel frame that pulls out into a bed. Here is a good article about sofa beds. Some benefits of a sofa bed are:

1. Looks like a regular couch so no one knows a bed is inside until you

remove the cushions.

2. Can use it in a room you don’t want to look like a bedroom, yet have the

option of extra sleeping space.

3. Can find all sizes, styles and designs to give your room the look you desire.

4. Can easily sleep two people.

To make the right choice, you need to ask yourself, “How much space do I have and do I want a more casual or more stylish look?” To answer your question, let’s look at the downsides. The sofa bed is heavy and difficult to move, so you would need someone to help; they are much more expensive than a futon; and the mattresses are thin and not very comfortable. The futon doesn’t look as nice as a sofa bed; doesn’t have as many choices in design, colors or style; and is not as comfortable as a couch. After careful research, hopefully the choice you make is one that works best for you and your guests for years to come.

Portuguese Barbecue Cooks Beautifully In An Electric Smoker

Portuguese Barbecue Chicken is one of the most delicious chicken recipes you can find. The combination of spices and tang of lemon makes it mouthwatering. Not only is this dish delicious, but it is healthy too! And when you’re wanting something good but don’t want to go to the store, this dish is perfect. Most of the ingredients can be found in any kitchen.

Portuguese Barbecue Chicken is made with chicken, Portuguese wine or (any other dry wine) , grated lemon rinds, lemon juice, tomato paste, chopped garlic cloves, olive oil, paprika, piri piri (or any kind of hot sauce), and salt to taste. Before cooking you’ll want to marinate it. Mix the rinds and lemon juice, tomato paste, oil, paprika, hot sauce, garlic, and the salt to taste. Place the chicken in a dish and pour most of the marinade on top. But keep what you have left over to heat and pour over the cooked meat. Cover it and allow it to marinate for at least 4 hours.

Once the chicken has marinated it’s time to get cooking. This can be cooked on the grill or smoker. Grilling is fine and fast, but a smoker delivers the most tasty and juicy meat. This type of dish is excellent for a smoker.

The way technology is constantly advancing, an electric smoker is the perfect method to cook this dish. Some electric smokers are equipped with a thermostat and a rheostat. The thermostat and rheostat maintain a constant internal temperature. This is a big advantage over other smokers and it gives you perfect control over the temperature and you don’t have to watch it. You also don’t have to be an expert to use one. It’s as simple as a microwave. Set it to what you want and turn it on.

Portuguese Barbecue Chicken is a perfect recipe for a smoker due to the paprika ingredient. Smoked paprika really works nicely with chicken. You also want to use Applewood since it really compliments the chicken. Cook the chicken at 225 degrees and make sure the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees so you’ll know when it’s done. Generally you will want to cook it an hour for each pound. When the chicken is done you will have the most delicious and juicy chicken ever!!

So when you’re trying to think of something that would be really good and easy to make, this is the perfect dish. The combination of the ingredients, and the smoker will have your mouth watering. This would be great for the weekend or anytime!

The Portuguese Republic

I’ll bet Portuguese government trivia isn’t a topic that comes up often at your dinner table. As foreign and far away as it sounds, there are several things its government has in common with the US. Memorize these facts and become the center of attention as the mashed potatoes get passed around.

Government Structure

The Portuguese Republic (its official name) is made up of the Government of Portugal, the President of the Republic, the Assembly of the Republic and the courts. It’s called a semi-presidential republic because the president governs along with his prime minister and his cabinet. The President’s cabinet has a Council of Ministers who are given their jobs by him and are recommended by the prime minister. Presidents serve a 5-year term and can have a second term.

Portugal has legislative and judicial branches of their government like the US does. There are 230 people in the legislature which is the Assembly of the Republic. The supreme court has 13 judges who are nominated by the president and appointed by the Assembly. Also, they have a constitution and a system of civil laws like we do. There are at least 8 recognized political parties including democratic, the Ecologist Party (nicknamed “The Greens”), the People, Animals Nature Party, the Socialist Party and the Portuguese Communist Party.

People in the Portuguese Government

The President of Portugal is Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa of the Social Democratic party. He won the country’s last election on January 24, 2016. The Prime Minister is António Luis Santos de Costa who belongs to the Socialist Party. Other members of the President’s cabinet (his ministry) are:

Augusto Santos Silva – Foreign Affairs

Màrio Centeno – Finance

Francisca Van Dunem – Justice

Tiago Brandao Rodrigues – Education

Adalberto Campos Fernandes – Health

Luis Capoulas Santos – Agriculture

Each minister has one or two secretaries and sometime deputy ministers, too.

Citizenship is one thing about the government in Portugal that is really different from the US. Over there at least one of your parents has to a citizen for you to be one. Just being born there doesn’t make you Portuguese. If you move to Portugal, you have to live there for 10 years before you can become a citizen. However, if you lived in a Portuguese-speaking country for at least 6 years that will work, too. A more direct way is to buy your citizenship by investing a little over $300,000 in business, culture, property or research in the country.