How To Tell If It’s Really Love

We fall for people, and they seem to fall for us too. But how can you tell if your new squeeze thinks of you as more than just a fling? Is there really a way to tell if a man is actually in love with you – or, as most of us suspect, are men just brick walls of mystery who keep their emotions (if they have them) buried deeper than repressed memories?

Shocker to all of us, men DO actually have feelings, we ladies just don’t read them as easily as we do other females’. So how can you tell if your guy is sending you “forever” vibes or if they’re more “for now” signals? While there isn’t a hard and fast rule, the following cues might mean it’s the big L after all!

A good sign is how he thinks about you on ordinary days. Does he still think you’re gorgeous when you have absolutely no makeup on? Is he proud of your achievements when there’s no big fuss going on? Does he brag about you on a daily basis? Does he care about your family and friends, for no other reason than because you love them?

These are all good signs, but what about your relationship interactions? A man in love can’t help but listen to you. He doesn’t have to hang on your every word, but he will be able to remember your conversations later and think they were interesting. A man in love will feel comfortable enough to be emotionally vulnerable with you, at least enough to show you that he doesn’t want to lose you. He will fight for you, but also with you. Fighting is a natural part of a relationship, and a sign that he feels passionately enough about your future to have real discussions that lead to real solutions.

What is a Water Hammer and Why You Should Know

We all know that houses have their little noises and creaks. It’s part of what gives them character and (sometimes) charm. However, if you live in a house older than a few years, you’ve probably heard a loud bang in your pipes that is anything but charming. Well, it’s called a water hammer (apt!) and in a few simple steps, you can stop this from happening altogether!

Source: Supply House

A lot of people think water moves peacefully through their pipes like a lazy river; after all, it just trickles out of the sink, right? Wrong. Water tumbles and rushes this way and that, wherever the pipes let it go, and when the pressure in the pipes increases suddenly (or sometimes, when you shut off your water value completely) the water comes to a full stop, making the pipes bang into their hangers and fasteners. This can be a one-time thing, or it can happen repeatedly, caused by a clog or by air chambers that have become waterlogged. As you can probably imagine, excess hammering can go hand-in-hand with bursting pipes and other plumbing issues.

Source: PlumbingMart
Source: PlumbingMart

So what is there to be done? If you’re feeling capable, you can turn your water line off and drain the main supply lines, and then make sure everything is off before turning the water back on again. You faucets will sputter for a few seconds afterwards, but then the balance should be restored. However, if this doesn’t work or you don’t feel like it’s something you have the DIY knowledge to accomplish, simply call a plumber. They should check your pipes for excess buildup and clogs, and might install a pressure-reducing valve. Hey, whatever it takes to stop that nerve-wracking banging, right?

How to Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Smell is often one of our most overlooked senses; because we rely on our eyesight and sense of touch so much, scent can easily get brushed aside. However, different smells have the ability to transport us, to change how we feel about a space immediately, and to make us recall crystal-clear memories within seconds of inhaling. The power of scent is so strong that ancient civilizations like the Egyptians and the Romans used to use essential oils both for pleasure (like in baths and in their hair) and in spiritual rituals.

These days, we’re a lot more relaxed about our scent use, but some experts still believe that essential oils can do amazing things, like aid in the healing process or help muscle relaxation. Luckily, there have been a ton of cool technological innovations that allow essential oils to permeate the air in your home, so it always smells (and feels) relaxing! One fairly low-tech method is a reed diffuser, which uses these delicate sticks to help the oils evaporate. They also look really interesting and add a natural element to a bookcase or shelf.

Source: Young Living

If you’d like something less earthy looking, there are candles and heating diffusers, which both melt scented wax, releasing the scent into the air along with the smoke from the wick, for candles. One of the more fun innovations to pop up in recent years is the ultrasonic diffuser, which looks like a modern sculpture or vase and releases water vapor as well as delightful smells – bonus! And for an extra buck (or several), you can purchase a “smart” diffuser which can be controlled by an app in your phone, allowing you to turn it on right before you get home, so your house instantly smells like an oasis! Sign us up for that one!

Why Your Home Needs a High-Efficiency Washing Machine

We all want to go green for the planet, but only if it’s worth our while. These days, so many energy-efficient products are pitched to us that we want to make sure that what we’re buying is built to last and really helps the environment. So is it really worth it to get an HE (High-Efficiency) Washer unit? How much does it really save you?

Source: GE Appliances

It turns out that these machines, which came on the market roughly 20 years ago, really do help their owners save money, about $210/year in electricity! This is good for the planet as well, because chances are that electricity isn’t 100% green-produced. The washers use less water, and squeeze clothes more than they spin them, which is a gentler and more efficient way of removing water from clothes. They also have bigger tubs, so you end up running fewer loads of laundry per week.

So how long does it take for these wonder machines to pay for themselves? They’re more expensive than your standard washer, roughly $200-$400 more for comparable models. Comparing energy savings and loan size, manufacturers say you should make your money back in about six years, which is good news because washers should last their owners about ten years total. Those last four years, owners are basically profiting from their larger purchase.

Source: YouTube

If you do get one of these washers, make sure you purchase HE detergent to get the most efficiency from your washer. It produces few suds and works optimally with the rinsing method of the dryer. Also keep in mind that you should also always run a full load, and use the cold water setting. And finally, check with your utility company – they may offer an environmental rebate to encourage you to go green and offset some of those initial costs!

Will 2017 Finally Be the Year of the Smart Home?

We’ve all heard of these so-called “smart houses,” fully automated homes that you can control remotely and entirely. The technology has been around for a few years, and yet there hasn’t been a huge market for them, despite the buzz they generated when they became a reality. Why is that? Brad Kozak at IHS Markit says it’s because consumers aren’t sure how best to use it. “It’s been a lot of fragmentation in the industry, a lot of confusion among consumers as to which devices are the best to go with. Is there longevity here? If they install a system tomorrow, will it be around in the next year?”

Source: Curb Energy

This makes sense because buying a home isn’t like buying a new cell phone. People need their homes to last, to work well for years to come, and not to become obsolete. However, all that is changing as the average consumer is learning that the technology can be upgraded and that working it is easy – or can be. 2016 saw a 64% increase in the sales of home tech devices, which now include helpers like Amazon’s Alexa. And analysts say that the number will continue to rise as companies are learning how to market their devices as easy and essential to potential consumers.

Source: CNET

However, built-in tech is a different story. Realtor Theresa Taylor says that while home buyers like new homes to come with better technology already installed, they don’t are if that’s not the case on older homes. “They’re not willing to pay a premium for it. If the house has it, that’s fine, but it’s nothing that’s on the top of their list.” This may just indicate how willing buyers are to customize their house: they’re willing to purchase the upgrades they’d like, and leave the ones they don’t want behind. Predictions indicate that in 2017 this market will explode, with 130 million smart home devices shipped this year!