Posts tagged with "appliances"

Rita Azar illustration for 360 MAGAZINE graduation article

6 Inspiring Gifts for Your Daughter’s Graduation

Graduating is a very important milestone in a person’s life. Whether your daughter is graduating from high school or college, it signifies growth and is the start of the next journey in her life. As a result, it should be celebrated – it means your daughter is one step closer to reaching her full potential.

In order to show your pride and appreciation, it is customary to get someone a gift when they graduate. This could be anything, which can often make the decision of what to choose a difficult one. With that in mind, here are six inspiring and appropriate gifts to give your daughter for her graduation.

Flowers

Flowers are a graduation gift that your daughter is sure to love and appreciate. Depending on their type and color, they can have a variety of meanings: love, pride and even appreciation. These flowers can be displayed in your daughter’s bedroom or apartment, and will not only improve how the space looks, but also fill it with a wonderful scent.

There are many reasons why a flower bouquet is a perfect gift. They are very versatile, timeless, affordable and convenient for everyone involved. Also, in addition to being great for graduations, flowers are great for birthdays, anniversaries, Mother’s Day and various other holidays.

A Piece of Jewelry

Jewelry is another classic graduation gift. Giving your daughter a new necklace, ring, bracelet or pair of earrings is a lovely option to consider. You could even engrave the jewelry with a special message or quote. This could inspire them, make them happy, remind them of home or tell them anything you’d like.

The right piece can also help your daughter keep up with the latest jewelry trends, as well. If you want to show your pride in your daughter, and help her look and feel her best, some new jewelry can do just that. Every time she wears it, she will think of you and the support you gave her throughout her journey in school.

A Subscription Box

A subscription box is another good choice. These have taken off in recent years and there are dozens of different ones your daughter is sure to love. These boxes ship products to your daughter each and every month, right to her door. You can choose from beauty boxes, snack boxes, wine and spirits boxes, or relaxation boxes. If she has an interest, there is probably a subscription box for it.

A unique box might also help her discover a new hobby, work on her skills in the kitchen, learn more about a new topic or even add to a hobby or collection she already has. Many of the items in these boxes can be customized, making them completely exclusive to the recipient.

A Book

If your daughter is an avid reader, a thoughtful book can be a great gift. This could be an inspiring book about her future and how to best reach her potential, or even a book all about entertaining her to make her laugh. The choice is yours and will depend on what she likes.

If she’s always on the go and cannot always bring a bulky book or multiple books with her, consider getting her an e-reader. These can store plenty of books on them, and are very convenient to take wherever she goes. 

New Technology

People love technology and most of us rely on it daily. If your daughter is a techie, a new type of tech she doesn’t have is a great gift idea. Wireless earbuds, a new laptop, or a smart speaker are just some of the many options out there. If you are not sure what she would like, consider getting a gift card to an online tech store, so she can choose exactly what she wants.

Household Goods or Appliances

If your daughter has her own place, is going to college soon or is moving out, some household goods or appliances are other great gifts to consider. This could be a fancy blender, a new coffee maker, a good food processor or anything in between. While they might not be the most exciting, they are very useful and will be much appreciated in the long run.

In addition to being incredibly useful and saving her some money, these can help inspire your daughter to think about her future. Once she moves out and finds her own place, she will think of you every time she uses the item, and will appreciate all you had to do to support her growth over the years.

Get a Graduation Gift She Is Sure To Appreciate

A graduation is a big deal in a person’s life and should be celebrated. Any of these six ideas are great ideas to give your daughter to celebrate her graduation and all the hard work she put in to reach her goal.  

Bedroom illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Spring Cleaning Tasks

Did You Remember These Spring Cleaning Tasks?

Flowers are budding, birds are chirping, and grass is turning from beige to green. Homeowners everywhere are thinking about closing the door on winter, cleaning up the house and celebrating a fresh start to spring.

The traditional spring cleaning is something many of us take to heart this time of the year, however, there may be some tasks that you didn’t think of that really take your annual wipe down and declutter to a whole new level.

In every room of the house:

Door frames — As you move through the house, don’t forget the edges of doors: whether they are closet doors, cupboards, medicine cabinets or the front door, they can all accumulate dirt and grime that you may not notice day to day. For example, kitchen cabinets can get sticky and grimy on the front and edges, from the steam produced by cooking. Same for bathroom cabinets. Most doors have a small amount of gap at the top, and that air flow can help dust accumulate. Wipe down the edges of all these surfaces for an extra level of clean. 

Ceiling fans — Another dust accumulator are the blades on ceiling fans. As hot air rises, taking dust and debris with it, the blades can end up getting thick, stuck on coating over winter, when they’re less in use. Light fixtures and chandeliers also have this issue. Lightbulbs in particular attract dust through the electromagnetic waves they emit, creating a magnetic field that inevitably attracts dust.

Area rugs — You might have thought to rent a steam cleaner or hire a service for the broadloom in the bedroom, but what about the area rugs that you’ve placed here and there? The amount of dust and grime that accumulates but isn’t necessarily visible can be surprising! A run around with the vacuum might not be enough. If they’ve been in your home for a while, consider a professional rug cleaning service.

Closet revamp — Everyone knows about decluttering closets and adding hooks and shelving to make it more user friendly, but the change of season is also the ideal time to change how you use your closets entirely. Whether it’s the front hall closet or the walk-in bedroom closet, use the space seasonally and find storage for out of season items. You don’t need to be looking at mittens and boots in July, so set up one storage space as the alternative seasonal storage area and twice a year, spring and fall, you can shift clothes and accessories back and forth. The advantage to this method is that you have less stuff in your main storage spaces that you use daily, which allows you to see what you have to wear that is seasonally appropriate.

Phones and remotes — How often have you thought of wiping down your smartphone or television remotes? It might have occurred to you in a public space like a hotel, but even at home, these often-used items are some of the filthiest items you own. Ideally, you’ll get into the habit of wiping these down regularly!

Garbage bins — Even the indoor bins that you line with bags need a good going over once in a while, to catch dirt and germs that got through or around the liners. Hosing them out and washing them outside is a great job for kids; let the bins dry in the sunshine before you bring them back in.

Specific tasks for the laundry area:

Check your lint traps — Do you find that your dryer is taking a long time to dry your clothes? While most people know to check the lint trap that is right inside the dryer, you also need to clean the rest of the hose and vent to the outside. Over time, lint and other debris can get stuck in there and they could be a fire hazard, given the heat that emanates from a dryer. 

Wash the washing machine — Every time you run a load of laundry, your machine is accumulating some amount of soap residue, dirt, dust and skin flakes from clothing, sheets and towels. Since most washers aren’t self-cleaning, it’s important to wash it out too. You can run a cycle with some bleach; just be sure to run another so that the washer is thoroughly rinsed, and bleach doesn’t get on your next load of colors!

Specific tasks for the kitchen:

Time to move the fridge — The coils and fan area at the back of your refrigerator can definitely get gummed up over time. Unplug your unit and pull it away gently from the wall. While the coils can be at the front / bottom of the fridge, they are sometimes found at the back and the condenser fan is definitely back there. Use a vacuum to remove all of the dust and debris that has accumulated for better overall functioning and efficiency.

Get to ground level and look under appliances — If it’s not built-in, move it! Even removing the warming drawer at the base of your stove will reveal all manner of crumbs and detritus that are attractive to bugs and vermin, so getting down to ground level and making sure that you clean under appliances where food is prepared is just good sense!

Specific tasks for bedrooms:

Eliminate mattress dust — Most people remember to flip and rotate their mattress but what about cleaning it? It’s great if you have a cover for it, but that isn’t foolproof protection for dirt, dust bunnies and so on. A better option is to remove (and wash) the cover, and vacuum your mattress, including the nooks and crannies at the edges. If you sprinkle it with baking soda and let that sit for an hour before vacuuming, you will pick up a lot more debris and the soda will deodorize your mattress from any lingering scents. 

Wash your pillows — Washing pillowcases is a no brainer but as they aren’t drool proof, washing your pillows once in a while is a good idea too. Double check the labels to make sure that you can do it! This task can be a bit much for a standard washing machine, so you might need to take them to a laundromat with a high-capacity machine to get the job done but you’ll sleep better for the effort!

While this might seem like a daunting list of tasks, on top of the normal spring-cleaning effort, just remember that you don’t have it get it all done in one day. Take it a room at a time, over several weeks, but you’ll be glad of the effort when it’s all done, and you have a sparkling clean, fresh space to call home.

Marty Basher is the design and organization expert with Modular Closets. Marty regularly contributes on topics of DIY renovations, home design, organization, improvement and more, helping home owners get the most of the spaces in their home. Modular Closets are high-quality and easy-to-design closet systems made in the USA that you can order, assemble and install yourself, in no time at all. Using closet modules (closet pieces you can mix & match to design your own modular closet), homeowners everywhere are empowered to achieve a true custom look- for nearly 40% less than standard custom closets.

Cryptograph platform announced by the 360 MAGAZINE.

How To Attain A Stable Wi-Fi Connection Throughout Your Home

There are few things more frustrating than slow internet when you are trying to spend some time online. This is infinitely worse when it happens in your own home yet there are so many people across the country who struggle with poor quality Wi-Fi at home. This is something which none of us should accept and no matter how big or small your property may be, you should be able to count on good quality internet with the maximum speed which is available to you. 

If your internet has not been stable of late, here are some things which you can try out in order to stabilize it. 

High and Central 

Firstly we need to look at the location of your router, if it is not centrally located in the property and it is not installed high up on the wall, then you may be struggling with connection speeds. Much like holding your phone above your head for better signal, the router should be high up for the same reason. 

Check Your Provider

Without going into specifics, it is important to remember that not all internet providers are able to offer you the same speed or the same strength as each other. For example I have recently switched to NodeOne Internet and the speed has increased rapidly because of the fact that they have fiber optic where I live. If there is no technical issues with your gear then checking your provider first is the best way to go next. 

Clear Obstructions 

If your router is not able to get up too high then at the very least you need to ensure that you have removed any obstructions around the router. Microwaves, home phones and even wires which have nothing to do with the internet can impact the router and affect it from doing its job properly.

Second Router

Another option here is to simply invest in another router. These days you can have 2 lines bringing in the same internet connection so there will be no need to have 2 sources of internet in the home. All you will do is input the same WAP password and you will have connection to both, ensuring that your internet problems are a thing of the past. 

Extend Your Wi-Fi

No matter who the company is the router can only stretch so far and what you may find that you have to do is buy an extension which will maximize the reach of the router. Much like when you share your mobile phone data to another person’s phone, you can use a plug-in toggle which works between the router and the space which it is not able to cover, offering further reach. These appliances can be bought at low cost and can make a big difference in the home. 

One thing that you shouldn’t do is accept slow internet for what it is, there is always a solution and you will be able to find it when you start to look. 

Consumer Reports’ Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings

CR’s Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings can help you pick quality machines that last.

By Katrina Tiktinsky

Consumer Reports gathers data on hundreds of thousands of appliances in order to provide customers with the knowledge they need to shop confidently.

Any appliance you buy will ultimately have an expiration date, but some appliances stand the test of time better than others, and are better investments as a result. No one wants to buy a stove that needs to be repaired only a year later, or a microwave that never performs quite as well as it should. And, especially if you’re an environmentally-conscious shopper, you don’t want to toss five different washing machines into landfills in five years— you’d much rather have one machine in your home for ten!

In CR’s second annual Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings, you can find a wealth of research about the reliability of different products and their manufacturers, which will allow you to make informed decisions about what appliances to purchase. View the full report HERE.

The results of this report draw from member reviews on over 592,000 kitchen and laundry appliances purchased between 2009 and 2019. Using information on how many times each member’s appliance broke or performed sub-optimally, CR estimates how well you can rely on each appliance for its first five years in your home. This report allows you to compare the average ratings of different brands, products, and models. It’s important to remember, however, that reliability is only one factor of how a product will serve you, and that CR’s full ratings will help give you a comprehensive picture of individual models.

This year’s Appliance Brand Reliability Rankings feature a range of brands and models, offering you an enormous amount of information in an accessible format. CR does the work of researching products so that you don’t have to. Take the stress out of shopping and make smart purchases with CR by your side.

For more from Consumer Reports, visit their website HERE.

Vaughn Lowery, 360 MAGAZINE

Air Filter or Air Purifier: Which is better for a Cleaner and Healthier Home?  

Statistics have it that each year, an estimated 1.6 million premature deaths occur as a result of indoor air pollution. While most of these cases can be attributed to cooking using solid fuel sources like firewood, dung, and crop waste among poor households, many other sources of indoor air pollution exist in modern homes. In addition to smoke, dust, dust mites, pollen, pet hair, mold, and mildew, from various parts around the home are known to trigger respiratory allergies, worsen asthma symptoms and cause hay fever. This is why many households (especially those with a family member suffering from respiratory allergies) invest in air cleaning and purification systems. On this note, the air filter and air purifier are the two most common options available for homeowners. But which one between the two should you invest in when looking to improve indoor health?

Well, starting with their definitions, this article seeks to help you understand the differences between air filters and purifiers so you can decide which one is better for a cleaner and healthier home.

1. Air Filters

By simple definition, an air filter is a unit that does what the name suggests… it filters air! The unit contains a mesh-like surface that sieves particles such as dust, dust mites, mold spores, and allergens from the air as it passes through. Also known as air cleaners, there are various types of air filters on the market. In the article “Air Filters vs Air Purifiers” from Filter Buy, the author points out that activated carbon filters, fiberglass filters, HEPA filters, and washable filters are among the most common types of air filters on the market today. This is largely based on the technology they use.

In most cases, air filters work hand in hand with the HVAC system to trap contaminant particles as air is drawn into your home by the HVAC unit. Strategically located in between the furnace/AC and the air return duct, the unit ensures that the air flowing into your home from the outside is clean.

The ups and downs

One major upside of an air cleaner is that it ensures indoor air is free from larger particles like dust and pet dander.

The downside, however, is that some air cleaners can be particularly noisy and may replacement of filters may be a bit expensive.  

2. Air Purifiers

As you can tell from the name, an air purifier sanitizes or purifies the air coming into your home. This means that it gets rid of bacteria, mold, certain viruses, and fungi. In other words, the unit is designed to get rid of things that may make you sick and not necessarily cause allergies. By so doing, the unit goes a notch higher in improving the quality of air inside your home. However, some air purifiers may have the capacity to sieve allergen particles from the air as well, but these often have a filter of some sort.

From standalone systems to units installed in HVAC ductwork, there’s a wide range of air purifiers depending on the air purification mechanisms they use. Some common types of air purifiers include Ionizing purifiers, Adsorbent purifiers, and UV light purifiers, which use Ionic or Electrostatic capabilities, ozone generator, and UV sterilization mechanisms to neutralize microorganisms.

The ups and downs of air purifiers

Just like air filters, air purifiers have their fair share of pros and cons.

On the Brightside, the biggest advantage of air purifiers is that they eliminate airborne pathogens that may cause illness and allergies. Also, a majority of air cleaners provide quiet operation and compared to an air cleaner, an air purifier is less expensive to operate and maintain.

On the other hand, very few air purifiers are capable of removing dust and particulate contaminants from the air. Additionally, some possess a risk of ozone and UV emissions. Unless air circulation is really good, an air purifier’s ability may be limited to only a portion of the room.

PConsidering the above pros and cons of each of the two alternatives, two facts are evident. One; both of them are incredibly vital in improving the quality of air inside our homes. Two; combining air filtration and air purification can be a great way to ensure that you and your family breathe in clean air that is free from allergens and pathogens. This also means that while an air filter can be used on its own, it’s better to look for an air purification device that also has purifier capabilities… one that combines both technologies. To add to that, it’s important to be keen on the features of the unit you purchase because some companies use the terms “air cleaner” and “air purifier” interchangeably.

360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Top 10 anniversary gifts

When celebrating your anniversary, you want to do so in style. This is a day for the two of you to share your love and appreciation with a tangible gift that helps keep the mystery and romance alive. Your early anniversary gifts may be simple to choose, but over the years, keeping gifts unique and surprising can become more difficult, but not impossible.

Be inventive with gift-giving with the help of www.anniversarygiftsbyyear.org which provides the theme from which you choose your gift, such as silver for a 25th wedding anniversary and gold for a 50th. The themes can be taken literally, as in the above cases, or think outside the box for a gift that your beloved actually wants and that remains one of the top 10 anniversary gifts:

1. Flowers

Rather than flowers that wilt within a week, consider a framed floral print in a design that fits your home décor. Plant a tree in your garden or in another special place where you can watch it grow over the years.

2. Jewelry

For milestone anniversaries, choose diamonds and precious metals to feel like royalty. Earrings that can be worn during the day and dressed up with a necklace to be the most glamorous among friends.

3. Home Decor

If you prefer not to wear jewelry, dazzle with home décor. If you are a hopeless romantic, a platinum-dipped rose will celebrate your partnership, surviving hard times that we all face in one way or another. This is an elegant rose that will be a daily reminder of your love.

4. Linen

Cotton could be matching bathrooms, new bedsheets, or even matching underwear. If you had cotton sheets on your second anniversary, by your seventh, you could upgrade to a silk sheet set for a romantic snuggle fit for a queen. As you share a bed, this is a gift for you too.

5. Technology and Appliances

You can stretch the idea of appliances to being a camera, such as a Go-pro or a pet-at-home camera that can monitor Fido while you’re out of the house. Agree together beforehand before you upgrade to a fancy fridge to mark your anniversary. You have an excuse to gift an iPhone XS Max since fruit is the theme of this anniversary year.

6. Leather

Leather could be a calfskin leather weekender bag that will age beautifully over the next decade while also hinting at weekends away together. If your getaway is further afield, a stylish three-piece luggage set with 360-degree wheels will make navigating an airport painless.

7. Chocolate

Chocolate covered strawberries are a favorite, even if a cliché. Have these as a dessert at home after a meal out. A designer leather laptop bag is stylish for upscale occasions, while practical enough for everyday use.

8. Spa

For an anniversary where you just want to stop and take stock. To appreciate getting through the year together and take time to relax. Have a couples’ massage, a manicure, and a pedicure and enjoy the steam rooms and other treatments on offer.

9. Dinner

Invite as many people as you want to a dinner party at home and have a chef cater for the event so you can both relax in the company of those who mean the most to you. Alternatively, hire a private room in a restaurant for the whole night.

10. Perfume

f there are bottles of unopened fragrances, consider a perfume bottle from their favourite designer or in their favourite style instead. Classic designs from Lalique or bold geometric designs in metal. Choose their favourite style.