August 29, 2014

Manufacturers in the hardware industry are always seeking new methods of efficient and cost-effective production. There is a never-ending quest to find alternative materials for traditional metals that have been used to manufacture supplies for residential, commercial and industrial use. For example, steel is one of the most common metal alloys used for hardware. However, this metal alloy is considered to be relatively expensive. The cost of acquiring the raw form of elemental iron and carbon can be significant. Additionally, there are expenses for processing iron and carbon in order to create high-quality stainless steel. 

Aluminum is considered a viable alternative to steel in the manufacturing industry. First of all, the pure elemental form of this metal is more affordable than iron. To save money on hardware production, manufacturers often use some sort of aluminum alloy. There are hundreds of possible alloys that could be created by combining aluminum with other metals or nonmetals. Specialists in materials science work hard to find the perfect formulations of aluminum alloys. Durability is obviously an important factor in the hardware manufacturing industry. Metals are tested for their strength and load-bearing capabilities. Sometimes, it's also desirable to have alloys that are flexible and ductile. For example, some hinges need to be resilient rather than rigid. Similarly, aluminum alloy springs can be produced with the ideal properties for regulating the movement of hardware. A strap hinge that's made of aluminum alloys is much more affordable than one composed of steel. 

Brass is another popular metal alloy that is used in the production of high-quality hardware for plumbing applications. Decorative hardware is also made of this alloy, and brass has a rich history in the art world dating back to ancient times. 

Hardware manufacturers search for formulas that can be used to create long-lasting protective coatings on metal alloys. For marine applications, hardware needs to resist damage from salty water. Similarly, metal alloys that are exposed to the sun must be protected from intense radiation. Melting and corrosion are some of the threats that protective coatings can prevent.

August 27, 2014

Which is harder?

Sometimes I wonder if it's harder for the child to grow up or for the parent who is watching it.  Of course I know most kids (teenagers especially) would say it's much harder for them. I mean after all no one is telling the parent what to do, telling you that you have to be home by a certain time, pick up your room and for the love of Pete don't you talk back to me! But I think as a parent and being able to look back at what it was like being a teenager and growing up I would say it's harder being the parent.

So I am a "justify it person".  I am always telling my kids you better understand why you believe something otherwise you are just repeating someone else's belief.  I think it's more difficult being the parent because there was a time when it was just you and your husband.  You could do anything you want at anytime.  Then one day the biggest blessing happened and you were handed a new baby to love....and you did.  You taught them not to eat crayons, not to touch a hot stove, and defiantly don't take candy from strangers.  They rewarded you with giant kisses and by telling everyone you were the best mommy in the whole world.  Then they started to get older.  They started to do things on their own and become their own person. are doing a great job...right?!  They are becoming their own person.  Except now they have their own thoughts, way of doing things and maybe would prefer that you walk 10 paces behind them when out in public.  Hugs and kisses are seldom and only done in private.   Again, you are an awesome parent and you are preparing them to leave your home.  Except you have raised that small child and now you are relegated to sit back and watch the world do it's worse.  You have tickets for the show but you can do nothing except cheer for them on the sidelines.

This week was back to school week for us and I was blessed and cursed to see that raw fact right in front of my own eyes.  My two little ones who are 2nd and 4th grade told me how much they loved me and marched strong into school but would turn around and wave to me.  They came home with awesome reports of fun and friends.  My Ben had his first day of middle school.  I worried about if he would get his locker open, would he find all of his classes, would he be picked on?  But there was nothing I could do but to watch him walk into middle school.  After his first day he found me in the parking lot and told me about his much as a boy that age tells you.  Finally my oldest started high school.  That in it's self is a whole new world.  School now get real.  These grades will follow her forever.  She is in five honors classes...was that too much?  Will she get into the college she wants?   What will these next four years hold for us?  I watched a young women walk into school and felt helpless.  There was nothing I could do anymore.  I had hoped to hear about a good day but that was not what she talked about.  The teachers were intense...these kids were very different from her and that was scary.  She hated it and there was nothing I could do but to tell her I was sorry and pray that it would get better for her.  I can't solve her problems and know in four years she will be off to college and this is just a small taste of what is to come.

So yes, I think it's harder being the parent then the child.  What do you  think?

August 26, 2014

Wake Up Wednesday

               Welcome to the 31th week of 

 Wake Up Wednesday "Linky" 

29 Blogs  -  1 Party

We are so excited to have you all party with us.
Thank you so much to all those who participate in our party.
Last week we had  395 awesome linkups!   

 Wake Up and be happy, get excited and have fun with us! 
We want to be inspired, entertained, laugh and have a good time!

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This weeks 
Featured Bloggers

adding nailhead trim to a wood table

When furnishing our garage turned family room, I knew I wanted a round table with some chairs in there.  This way the room could double as extra dining space as well, or as desk space.  I had my eye on the Weston Crank Bistro table from Arhaus furniture for a while.

Painting Metal Chairs with Chalk Paint

Chalk Painted Metal Chairs
I am not sure where I got them, but they have been painted many, you see them blue, with little red peaking through, with just a touch of rust too..beauties I tell you, beauties in the rough!

This idea for a poncho shirt has been swimming around in my brain for a while. I have a shirt from Charlotte Russe that is similar to these, but is not as long as I would like it to be. I looked at the basic construction of that shirt to come up with my plan for making these.  They are easy and fast to make, and oh-so versatile. I could see them with a cardigan over or a long sleeve under in the fall and winter. Enjoy! 

Slow Cooker: Beef and Broccoli Recipe

This is hands down the best thing I have ever made in our married lives. I’m pretty sure my husband loved it more than anything else I have made. He is so sweet he will never say anything. But honestly try this out, it is delicious and super easy to make!!

This is a picture of my sweet grand-daughter Emmaline after she experienced
 eating peas for the first time:

Remember this DIY Chain and Pearl Necklace I posted yesterday? Well, someone requested that I make her one. And I did. And it was awesome.

DSC_0169 copy copy
Today I’m sharing a fantastic flower box with you. On Saturday my niece Laura was married. Her wonderful reception was at a vineyard here in Connecticut.
It was held outside under a tent, that was exquisitely decorated! The weather was perfect for the occasion. It felt like an early fall evening. Everything was beautiful, especially the bride!


Natural Way Organics creates all-natural, organic products for hygiene and other purposes around the house. Not only can you safely wash your hair and entire body with Olive Oil Castile Soap.

Waiting for him to ask for my number.
Waiting for him to use it.
Waiting for him to ask me out on a date.
Waiting for him to confirm said date.
Waiting for him to pick me up for said date.

Lemon Brownies 7
I love getting a bag of lemons given to me, our wee tree is getting there but only have 3 lemons from it so far! The next decision is what to make with them. A few months ago Pinterest was full of Lemon Brownie recipes, I was intrigued - I am a little slow on the uptake but I finally made them today and they are delicious! Lovely lemony smell filling the house and a lovely fresh alternative to our decadent chocolate brownie you will find elsewhere on my blog.

Years ago I found this awesome wood caddy at an antique store. It was stained a dark wood & I refinished it in burgundy to go in my guest bathroom to hold magazines. 

Summer Makeup Favorites | My Life Well Loved
Alabama heat is no joke! It has felt like spring for most of the summer, but now that the true to
 form humidity and soaring temperatures are coming to fruition, it’s the perfect time to 
showcase my Favorite Summer Makeup. These products have been my saving grace this summer for some color and to cover any unwanted blemishes.

Hello my lovely friends, today lets climb one more step on sewing ladder and make a Tote bag with faux leather base. Are you as excited as I am? Then, lets do it!!! This post looks too lengthy because of explanation, but trust me its super simple to sew it.

You go one morning to check the garden for any ripe produce. There's a zucchini there that is still a bit puny, but should be ready by the next day. You forget to check in the morning, but remember and look after dinner. It has gone from the size of a hot-dog to the size of your arm in less than 2 days! Yikes! What are you going to do with all that zucchini?!

Plum Tart
I had peaches on my shopping list, because it is peach season. However, the ones I found did not look fresh or ripe, and had no smell to them. I am not sure what that is all about, but like a store-bought tomatoes there was no flavor. So what to do? I went through the market sniffing fruit. The plums I could smell and looked inviting so I brought home enough make a plum tart.

The Best Homemade Café Frappé Recipe – Low-Sugar, Rich & Creamy! | Roxy's Kitchen With five minutes and five ingredients you can make your own! #summer #drinks #icedcoffee #lowsugar
I’ve said this before, I’m not a big fan of coffee – with one exception though, frappes! They were very popular during my high school years back home in Romania (15 years ago!), especially during the summer time. This is when I pretty much fell in love with this delicious iced coffee drink. 

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Link up your funny stories, DIY posts, crafts, decorating, fashion, makeup, health & fitness, recipes, mommy moments -- anything at all, as long as it is family-friendly.

Please visit some other bloggers and make some new friends and say hello to old friends..
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Adding your link to this blog hop gives Sew Crafty Angel permission to share your posts and pictures via social media and as features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts.  Note- All features on Sew Crafty Angel And Co-Hosts will be linked back to the original source .Social media features are linked back to the linky party.

Variety of Home Loan Types

There are a variety of home loan types you can choose from if you don't have 20 percent down for a conventional loan. If you are buying a home for the first time or have poor credit, you may qualify for government-backed loans that offer down payment and closing cost assistance. What type of loan may work best for you?

FHA Loans Offer Low Down Payments

First-time buyers may wish to opt for an FHA loan because it offers buyers the chance to close on a home with only 3.5 percent down. Additionally, the buyer does not need to use his or her own funds to complete the transaction. If you have had a bankruptcy or a judgment in the past two years, it may still be possible to qualify for the loan.

USDA Loans Are Perfect for Those With Low Incomes

A USDA loan is great for those who are looking to live in less populated area and who may earn a low or fixed income each year. While the loan was originally designed to help those in rural areas, you can buy a home in any community that has a population of less than 20,000 people. In some cases, you could live right outside of a major city.

VA Loans Help Veterans Become Homeowners 

Active or qualified former veterans may be able to purchase a home with no money down. There may also be no requirement for the veteran to pay any closing costs or use any personal funds to close the transaction. The spouses, children or other beneficiaries may also qualify for such a loan. 

Those who don't have good credit or simply don't have the money for a down payment shouldn't give up on their quest to buy a home. FHA loans, USDA loans and VA loans may be viable options to help first-time buyers or others have their loan approved at a cost the buyer can afford. 

August 25, 2014

The Great Blog Train Results!!

God’s Growing Garden

The 20th GREAT BLOG TRAIN was a blast! - We all safely reached our destination: PENANG, MALAYSIA. It was a wonderful trip with 34 boxcars!! We (the Engineers) would like to thank all of you for travelling with us and we hope that you all had a wonderful time!

The Giveaway Winner is: H.F.
(I have contacted the winner by email)

W   A   N   T   E   D  :

The Great Blog Train by Angie Ouellette-Tower for photo BlogTrainDestination_zps2925d251.jpg

(Being a "Destination Cohost" means that you get to pick our next destination!!  It also means that you will post The Great Blog Train on your blog on the first Wednesday of whatever month you will be cohosting (1 different cohost per month).  We (the engineers or hosts) will provide you with the html code for the blog hop & for the Giveaway - all you will have to do is add into that post some information on the destination that you picked (like population, known for, location etc - basic family friendly facts) and add a few pictures.  Also, if you cohost we ask that you promote it on your social media sites) (We are now scheduling for November 2014).

If you are interested in being a Co-host for the Great Blog Train then please click HERE and fill out the form (THANK YOU!!)
We are now featuring the top 3 Boxcars!  (These are the links that received the most clicks)

Black Sesame Seeds Cornflakes Cookies by Treat & Trick

Pushups, Vision Boards and Creating a Routine by Grace, Lace & Iron

When the Empty Nest Isn't Empty Anymore by Chapter Two

   The art of  Jennifer Yoswa

Please join us for the SEPTEMBER Great Blog Train
on September 3rd, 2014!

Toyota model cost of ownership

The following is a sponsored post.

Before taking the possession of a brand new car, some drivers forget to research the vehicle’s cost of ownership. Unfortunately, this can lead to a number of unexpected expenses in the long run. Here are some of the factors that impact a vehicle’s total cost of ownership. 

Fuel Economy
Due to the expensive price of fuel, a vehicle’s gas mileage plays a major role in the cost of ownership. It is also important to research the type of fuel that the vehicle requires. It is not uncommon for premium octane to cost 30 cents more than regular gas. 

Resell Value
A brand new vehicle decreases in value the very moment that the owner signs on the dotted line. However, all vehicles do not depreciate in value at the same rate. The resell value is a very important consideration for the car owners who wish to sell in the future. 

Repair Costs
Due to the automaker’s excellent reliability ratings, the Toyota model cost of ownership is typically very low. A good reliability rating usually equates to less repair work that is needed. Before selecting a vehicle, take the time to research the cost to maintain the vehicle on a yearly basis. After the initial warranty expires, the car owner will need to budget for maintenance and repairs. 

Cost of Insurance
The cost of insurance can vary greatly from one vehicle to the next. Cars that have excellent governmental crash test ratings typically have lower insurances rates. Innovative safety features such as blind-spot monitoring and emergency brake assist may also reduce insurance costs. 

Finance Rates
Most buyers are not able to pay for their vehicle in one lump sum. This means that they must obtain a car loan. Expensive Finance rates can cause the total cost of ownership to escalate. 

August 22, 2014

Kids love California Raisins - and Giveaway!!

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf California Raisins.

When I asked Sarah if she wanted to go to a California Raisins party her first question was if she gets to eat them...and of course once she found out she was there was no turning back.  California Raisins have always been a staple in our home.  It's any easy snack for the kids to grab on their own, not messy when they are working through their homework and a teacher favorite because they are naturally sweetened so that means that you don't have a student all sugared up after snack time.

Thinking that I knew everything there was to know about raisins I actually learned some cool facts such as did you know that raisins have a long shelf life and they are super cool because they don't bruise like other fruits. California Raisins are all-natural and contain no chemicals or additives and again they are naturally sweet so there is no extra sugar added. Plus there are so many great ways to use California Raisins they are great in baked goods, sauces, garnishes, breakfast, candies, desserts, salads, side dishes, entrees, appetizers, and snacks...and the list can go on and on.  Yet, one of my kids favorite ways is just fresh right of the package.

The Snack To School California Raisins was just as great as I thought it would
be.  There were great  California Raisins inspired snacks, fun things for the kids to do and a special treat was a visit from the  California Raisin guy himself...of course that only made me crave a giant handful of  California Raisins even more. ...and I was trying my best to be lady like and not pig out!!!

Did you know that California produces 95 percent of all the raisins in the United States and about 50 percent of the raisins in the world! They are free of gluten toxin and can be consumed by people who do not tolerate gluten as an alternative healthy food. California Raisins are rich in heart healthy electrolyte potassium, offer 9% of your daily fiber and 6% of your daily iron (per quarter cup serving). It's  a snack that is perfect for your child as well as when you want something sweet without the added sugar that comes in other snack.

To learn more about California Raisins and to find some amazing recipes visit them ON-LINE and on FACEBOOK!!

California Raisins is giving away a Fun Raisin Prize pack consisting of a stuffed raisin plushie, snack container and other raisin related items (ARV $15.00).  To enter leave a comment on what your favorite way to enjoy California Raisins!!  Make sure you leave your comment before August 28th!! Winner will be announced  on the 29th!!

Thanks so much to California Raisins and for sponsoring this post!
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